Monthly Archives: October 2016

12 Months of Beauty Products Review: Fall Edition

Katherine’s back with her ongoing series reviewing People Magazine’s “Best of” Beauty products as described back in January. Take it away, Katherine:

After a very busy start to the school year, I’m back with my reviews for September and wondering what I should blog about in 2017? So let’s get started.

September left me not wanting to walk away from summer, which was reflected in my two beauty picks.

Best Body Wash winner: Nivea Coconut Body Wash

Summer or winter, I love to pamper myself with shower creams that leave my skin soft and smelling great. Nivea is one of my favorite brands for these products because I like its price point, fragrance, and lather.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.01.21 PM

The consistency is medium to light and honestly, I found this one to be a little less creamy than other Nivea shower creams. It does have a nice summer smell (light coconut fragrance, not overpowering). The formula contains Jojoba oil, which leaves your skin smooth and well moisturized. I also loved the lather. It did not leave my skin dry after the shower, which was another plus–especially going into winter months.

Overall, I would buy this one again.

Now for the Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Foam

Let’s be honest, this is a mouthful to say and I didn’t love the packaging. It did not last very long, either (and I only used this product in the mornings while in the shower).

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.03.56 PMIt was creamy and had gently exfoliating micro beads that I did like. This product promised to brighten my dull and uneven skin. It also said it would give my skin a smooth, conditioned, and even texture.

So did it deliver?

Well, I loved the smell–fresh and citrusy. The gentle exfoliator did not overpower my skin, and my skin was slightly brighter. But the even texture? Not so much.

Overall, Olay is widely available with a line of products to address any skin need, but this product did not WOW me. I look in the mirror and say to myself, “Time for a peel.”

Coming up for November- time to prep for winter! I’ll start with the Best Exfoliator winner, Biore Charcoal Pore Minimizer ($8.99). As most of you know, charcoal is the new “it” ingredient and I have yet to try it.screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-7-53-40-am

Along with the exfoliator, I am going to use the Best Eye Cream, Best Cleanser, L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Eye Renewal ($24.99). screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-7-55-21-amThis little overachiever battles dark circles, fine lines, puffiness and bags–who doesn’t need help in that area?!

Look for my review at the end of November.


Now, start thinking about 2017. More beauty, or maybe some recipes, or a combination of both?

Please tell me, what would you like to read about in 2017?



Who Else Loves a Sad Song?

My brother and I were laughing about this recently, because he and I share an unusual affinity for all things melancholy. We love sad stories, sad movies, and sad love songs. To us, there is a cathartic quality to each of them. It’s oddly freeing to allow that heaviness in and then let the tears out.

Perhaps we like it because that emotional exchange takes place at a safe distance, far from the reality of our own life struggles? I don’t know, but I’m curious, are we alone, or do you like these things, too?

Here’s a list of some of my brokenhearted love songs:

Spotify Playlist

What’s one of your favorites, or are you only looking for the upbeat love songs and stories?


Audiobooks…Yay or Nay?

My mother drives up to visit my family roughly every six weeks. It’s an 8-hour trip, but she passes the time by listening to audiobooks. She swears that she becomes so engrossed by her story, the trip passes quickly. Granted, she’s listening to mystery/thrillers (loves those spy stories), so I can imagine that the pacing and plots would pull her along.

I’ll admit, I’ve never listened to an entire audiobook. I think I might enjoy a non-fiction one because it would be like listening to a lecture (which I enjoy). But fiction? I don’t think so. fullsizerender34I’ve tried listening to my own books, but can’t get beyond the second or third page because the narrator does not use the pace, tone, or emphasis that I had imagined when writing the story. It’s strange, actually, to hear the way someone else is interpreting my words and meaning with their own tone and twist. I can’t imagine how a screenwriter or playwright handles seeing their work come alive in sight and sound!

When it comes to reading, I prefer attaching the voices and inflections that I think match with the characters. I wouldn’t want to hear them through someone else’s lens (especially if it is a woman pretending to be a man, or visa versa). Maybe I’m just old-school, but it seems I’m destined to continue using my eyes instead of my ears when it comes to “reading.”

That said, it seems audiobooks are growing in popularity. So I’m curious, what’s your take? Do you like them, or not?


Pre-Launch Fun with Canva

I’m really getting excited for the November 1st release of the final St. James novel, WORTH THE RISK. worth-the-risk-coverTo try to get others to match my enthusiasm, I started a “Tuesday teaser” campaign on my Facebook and Instagram pages using graphics made on Canva (a site I affectionately refer to as “graphic art design for dummies”).

Here’s what I’ve posted these past six weeks:

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What do you think? It’s a different experience to read them one after another (as opposed to waiting for one each week). Hopefully these quotes and graphics depict a bit about the tone and setting of the story. If you’re looking for a fall “trip” to Vermont, this book is for you (as it’s cover aptly reveals). Jackson is a lovable, if presently damaged, hero, and I hope fans will love him as much as I do.

By the way, my publisher is giving away 100 digital copies in a Goodreads giveaway this month, so if you’re interested, click on that link!

Otherwise, have a great day and happy reading!