Monthly Archives: August 2016

12 Months of Beauty Products–August Edition

Everyone welcome Katherine back with her ongoing year of testing the so-called “Beauty Product Top Picks.”

Hard to believe that summer is almost over. While I am sad to see it end, I do look forward to the school year routines. I’m also a sucker for fall clothes, cooler weather, and heavier food. Bring on the sweaters and stews!

If you remember from my prior post, I was looking forward to trying out the Best Lip Balm, ChapStick Total Hydration, and the Best Face Wipes, Simple Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes.

Here are my thoughts on both:

ChapStick Total Hydration.  If you’re looking for total lip care with no color, look no further. Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.22.29 PM

The ChapStick Total Hydration is a collection of three flavors (I picked Soothing Oasis) and has one of my favorite ingredients, Shea Butter! To mix things up a little, I shipped this little goodie off to my daughter who was spending a month in Texas at summer camp.

As in 100+ degrees, sunny all day, and no air-conditioning summer camp.

Being outside all day long made her desperate for a good lip balm. I’m pleased to report that, shortly after delivery, a nice little note arrived from my daughter telling me how much she loved the ChapStick. She said it was highly moisturizing and, better yet, long lasting. She reported that it worked great under a lip gloss or lipstick and that her lips felt great all day. ChapStick is a tried-and-true brand and was easy to cart around while doing all of her camp activities. Yay! This will be a staple for the upcoming winter months.

Simple Skincare Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes

Let me first remind you that I was traveling all summer to various lacrosse fields, where I sat for hours in the heat. Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.23.47 PMBy the end of each day, my makeup had pretty much melted into my face. I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel and wipe off my face with these wipes. Not only are they the perfect size to handle my face and neck, but also they are the softest cloths that I have ever used when compared with other drugstore facial towelettes. Second, I loved that they removed all—yes all—of my makeup with very little effort. They even removed all of the sunscreen. My face felt very clean. Bonus: they are fragrance-free, so there is no eye irritation like I have experienced with other towelettes. I will definitely continue to keep these cloths in my travel kit!

Coming up in September.

I’m going to hang on to summer a little longer and give the “Best Body Wash” winner, Nivea Coconut Moisturizing Body Wash, a test. Along with the body wash, I am going to use the “Best Cleanser,” Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Foaming Cleanser.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.01.21 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.03.56 PM

Look for my review at the end of September!

Here comes Fall, ya’ll!


Read A Romance Month!!

I’m so excited to be part of this year’s Read A Romance Month! Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 10.14.48 AMEach August for the past few years, literary reviewer Bobbi Dumas organizes 93 authors to contribute posts about romance novels, as well as offer recommendations and giveaways.

Please go check out my post as well as those of the many other authors, some of whom are probably your favorites. You could end up with several free books. And in each case, you’ll get a little peek inside the minds and hearts of every author involved.

Have fun and good luck!


On the Road…Home

It shocks me to realize that it’s already August. My summer has whizzed past, mostly because I’ve spent fewer days at home than I have on the road.

34577862 - pittsburgh, pennsylvania, usa downtown skyline.

34577862 – pittsburgh, pennsylvania, usa downtown skyline.

I’m currently typing from Pittsburgh, where I’m visiting family before I leave here to drive to Hilton Head Island for an annual extended-family vacation.

While I thoroughly enjoyed my research trip to Portland, Oregon, and had a fabulous, productive work trip to California for the Romance Writers of America convention, I love coming home to Pittsburgh to reconnect with my family and old friends.

No one would call Pittsburgh and exotic or even beautiful location. When I look out the window, I don’t see a glittering ocean or majestic mountain range. FullSizeRender(32)But it doesn’t matter. The familiar sights and smells take me back in time and make me smile. I no longer remember all the street names, but I do remember how to get everywhere. And there isn’t anywhere else in the world where I’ve ever tasted a better hoagie! (If you don’t know what a hoagie is, come to Pittsburgh, and if you make it here, go to Danny’s in South Park for the gold standard Italian hoagie).

Some things have changed (the skyline, the stadiums), but some things remain the same (my mom’s house). I suppose that is how everyone feels about home, and no matter where I ever live, Pittsburgh will always be “home.”

Where’s your home?