Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet

Wow. This book has me looking for all the books coming next. If you’re a fan of paranormal-this is for you.

Lana Harvey is a reaper. Since Grim retired and started his own company, Reapers, Inc., he has several that he produces every hundred years in the town of Limbo. Which, incidentally, is the last place you’ll go to before you’re shipped off to your respective afterlife. Although she’d much rather chill with her best friend, the Archangel Gabriel and go out for drinks at the Purgatory Lounge, she discovers a secret that could tear the Underworld apart. Read it yourself to discover noble Egyptian gods, terrifying Hellhounds, and what life and death really is.

Rated a 3.76 on Goodreads, I’d give it higher-a 4.5, if you will. It uniquely factors in all forms of the afterlife, such as ancient mythology to modern religion. It is a largely entertaining and thought-provoking story that challenges popular thought of the what happens at death and after, and if you like themes that sound like they could be something off Supernatural, this could be for you. The only downside is, as with most self-published works, it seems like a few more proofreaders could have done it some good. Some scenes are cut short, creating confusion in the material, and there are a few grammatical errors that change the meaning of a few paragraphs. So if you love the storyline (like I did) you have to re-read a few parts with a little bit of grace to understand what she’s trying to say. It available as a free e-book, the second one for $2.99. Pocket Full Of Posies is definitely next on my list.

More Than Pancakes by Christine DePetrillo

First up-flaky love stories! These are for you, Mom. 😉 I recently sat down and read this adorable beginning to the “More Than…” series Christine DePetrillo seems to have started. Although I’ve read several, I will review the beginnings of series, and if you love the idea, you can check out the following books.

When Lily Hinsdale’s grandmother passes away, she mentions the beautiful Vermont property she has no attachment to-to her boss. Which is all well and good when your boss is a disinterested party, but now, as a resort designer-her new mission is to visit the land, purchase the property next to it, and design a beautiful mountain resort.

When she gets there, the hang-up to her big plans is a reclusive maple farmer whose property she wants to purchase with his maple business. Trees and all. As she gets to know the area and people (a charming set of sarcastic cousins make this story easy to read) she thinks she may be more attached to the place than she wants to be, and feels the pressure from both her new-found friends, and her business.

Both main characters have baggage, and hidden talents, and for a syrupy romance, this fits the bill. Rated a 3.84 on Goodreads, this is a self-published work with a few editing needs-but overall, I liked the series. It’s free for e-book owners, both on nook, and kindle.

Whoa!

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post, and I know I really suck at this whole “blogging thing.”

But… new news!

I decided to take Stephen King’s advice and write a book! I feel like every time I say it, I am still trying to convince myself that I’m going to do it. But I am.

Thank you all for being so supportive and loving as I do this. In the meantime, I’ll also be reviewing books I’m currently gaining inspiration from, analyzing, and reading. Enjoy!

Happy Camper

WELL! LONG TIME NO SEE! My fault, I know. I’m not so good at staying on the blogging train.

So…. big news:
I am now the proud parent of a 1948 Spartan All-Aluminum Trailercoach!
I had originally found this shirt, and was proudly wearing it at home when my father mentioned one of his friends liked to refurbish little teardrop trailers. We went to go admire them, and on the way back, Dad asked if I wanted to see one he had driven by several times and noticed.

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I hadn’t expected to come home for this visit and find such a little gem, but fate happens, and ever since Mandi from Vintage Revivals showed me this little nugget, I have been wishing upon the stars for the opportunity to refurbish one someday.

Lucky me, my dad knew just the one.

It has been sitting for quite some time on a little fenced piece of property outside of Caldwell, ID.  And when my dad told me he knew who owned the lot, I was really hoping my wallet could afford the price tag for such a beautiful trailer. Luckily (and with my hubby’s permission) I did, and we set to work hauling it home.

We had to drag it out of the corner of the yard it was in, and all I can say is: Hornets=Minions of Satan.  Unfortunately, they’d taken up a pretty solid residence in said trailer, and we were fighting with them for dominance almost every second. Of course, I can’t really blame them. It is after all a warm, shiny place to live, I suppose. And just FYI… WD-40 kills them better than any can of Raid I’ve ever used. You’re welcome.

We took off the wheel skirts to jack it up and change the wheels (they were flat) and after a small fiasco with the bolt pattern, we learned the holes were stripped. We could only put 3 lug-nuts on one wheel, and 2 on the other. Ouch.

So I followed Dad home with my hazard lights on, jamming out to the radio, when about a mile or so from the house at the last major intersection before the home stretch, the left wheel popped off and made it’s way lazily across the road. Laying on the horn, I pulled over and retrieved the offending wheel while the truck behind me took on the task of following dad through the intersection and trying to tell him he was driving wheel-less.

I suppose he figured he’d take his chances, because the rest of the way home, I followed little pieces of axle spring home until I saw the fireworks display happening under the left side of the camper, shortly before turning into my driveway.  I hopped out, and looked for fire but thankfully there was none.

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Trailer, at Home in the Driveway

And in true dad form, completely unconcerned with impending fire, I hear, “Man, isn’t that a nice trailer, it towed wonderfully! Even with the wheel gone! Joyce, I know this is going to be a good trailer!” Sigh. My dad.

 

Looking at the Front from the Inside

Looking at the Front from the Inside

 

Standing at the front, looking back

Standing at the front, looking back

 

Second Section: Kitchen from the Doorway

Second Section: Kitchen from the Doorway

 

Left Kitchen Countertop

Left Kitchen Countertop

 

Right Kitchen Countertop

Right Kitchen Countertop

 

By the Rear-Door is the CUTEST little sink!

By the Rear Door is the CUTEST Little Sink!

 

Straight across from the sink-These rear windows roll down! This rear room was probably the bedroom.

Straight across from the sink-These rear windows roll down!
This Rear Room was Probably the Bedroom

 

What do you think? Am I crazy or what?

July Highlights!

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Whew! Another awesome month! These are a few of my favorites!

Hair: I’ve been using more volumizing products this summer month, and these are what worked out well for me. Redkin Workforce 09-Makes my hair look huge! Clinicure Botanical Thinning Hair Botanical Hair Volumizer-Has such a nice, grapefruit/minty smell, and is a wonderful volumizing product.

Face: Mary Kay Compact- I think I’ve harped on this enough-but it’s SO NICE to have whatever I want at the moment at my fingertips! I’ve got my whole face in here! Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara- I always thought this looked gimmicky, but upon actually trying it, I love it! And it doesn’t smudge! Urban Decay 24/7 double-ended pencils- …are AWESOME. I have a tutorial for an easy smokey eye coming up using one of these guys!

Body: The Body Shop Satsuma Body Sorbet and Hand Cream- Guys, I can’t tell you how good this smells. If you like citrus, check this stuff out! Tocca Simone Perfume-Such a pretty, crisp Spring/Summer scent. It’s got Watermelon as a top note, too, so it makes it sparkle!  For a deeper/evening fragrance: Pink Innocencia Perfume from Sonia Kashuk-A pretty close match to the Michael Kors fragrance, which I also love. This one’s just cheaper :) Formula X for Sephora in Wham!- Love this topcoat! It’s got little dots and rods in it, making it a pretty addition to any color. Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar-What a lifesaver! And at 160 calories, it’s a healthy and filling snack!

Head: You need a hat in this sunny weather, people. Mine is an old favorite. Here’s a similar one. Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle-Another one of my little coffee mystery books, it’s a cute and yummy series!

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Dupe Alert: YSL vs. Mary Kay

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Well, this post is about a new dupe I’ve just found-suprisingly, I might add. I had gone to Sephora (not a big surprise there), and received a YSL Baby Doll Lashes sample.

I was so excited! High end mascara, in my opinion, is almost always a home run. They’re such heavy black formulas, that give your lashes such a luscious look… *sigh* I can hardly stand it. I don’t go out of my way to purchase them, however. And at $30 a pop, neither should you.

The rubber brush has short, sort of stumpy bristles, but the product is where the magic happens with only 1 coat, my lashes looked phenomenal. With 2, I was ready for a night on the town. But the whole time I was putting it on, I could only think, “This looks JUST like my Mary Kay mascara!”

So the next day, I wore the Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara on my right eye, and the YSL on my left. As you can see, they provide the same look and result, and they both lasted throughout the day with no flaking or crazy mascara shenanigans.

The Mary Kay formula was SO similar, I HAD to share! You could save half the money, here folks! The brush is a almost oval shaped, more traditional bristle wand, making it just as easy to apply. I do think it’s worth mentioning, however, that the MK one has to dry out the *teeniest* bit to become like the YSL one. After about the 5th use, it seems to start building better.

 

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(Next time, I promise to stand in better light)

 

YSL Babydoll Mascara available at Sephora and other authorized retailers for $30, Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara available online or with your personal beauty consultant for $15.

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#GirlBoss

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If you want an inspiring read about following your passions and how social norms might not work for you, this is it. I have also decided what I want this blog to be about.

I want to be that best friend that can help you with the way you look. You know you have one. Maybe two. The one you call before a big date, or a night out to help you with what to wear. Or your hair. Or your makeup. Whatever you’re not great at.

I want to be that friend you can ask-about what makes YOU look good. And that’s what I want to do. I have a passion for all things beauty, and I want to use it to help women feel inspired, beautiful, and confident.

I realize there’s so much more to life than beauty tips, so I want to explore the things that make you feel beautiful and confident. So if you have any questions, post them below! I want to know what YOU want to see. Smokey eye? How to wear blush? Lemme hear ’em!

Or… if you have anything you’d like to share here about something that makes you feel beautiful, I’d love to hear it! I’m inspired!

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Beauty Roundup!

Well, I’ve been cruising through a few products I just have to share! This is some slam-dunk stuff that I just want to give mention to lately:

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Jergins BB for Body is my new favorite moisturizer. I’ve been using it for about 4 straight days now, and I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my skin. I use it mainly on my legs and arms, and not only does it have a pretty, nutty scent, it has a pearlecent quality that reflects light nicely, making your legs look great! I’ve also noticed my legs looking generally… nicer. It’s a little weird, and to me it’s magic, but I love this stuff.

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The Mary Kay Compact Mini has been my new favorite for on-the-go glow. I think I like travel-sized things. I love mini hairsprays, tiny nail polishes-everything. So it comes as no surprise this lil’ guy would be my new favorite. The top pan is magnetic, and holds any of the MK makeup, and a little compartment in the bottom for brushes and applicators. I keep eyeshadow (listed below), then MK pressed powder in the bottom, held in place with a glue dot, as the bottom isn’t magnetic. I have a set of Urban Decay full sized brushes I love and use daily, so I didn’t bother purchasing the little applicators to put inside the bottom. But any assortment of MK makeup fits in the bottom just as well as the top (minus the magnet) so mix and match! I keep:

Spun Silk: A pretty, shimmery ivory color

Hazelnut: A mid tone matte light brown, perfect for blending

Driftwood: Matte medium brown, perfect for a crease color or deepening color.

Strawberry Fields: A pretty, satin-y finish blush that’s a beautiful pinky/champagne color. It reminds me of Nars Orgasm blush.

Pressed Powder: I’ve repurchased this time and time again, as it’s the most wonderful pressed powder ever. I would have to call it my “Holy Grail” pressed powder. It isn’t cakey or chalky at all. And since I’m a concealer and powder kind of girl (I don’t get along well with foundation), this fits the bill beautifully.  Speaking of concealer…

81rP3jKf0RL._SL1500_Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer is one of my new favs! I love the Jouer Age-Repairing Concealer, but this drugstore gem has stolen my heart (and not run away with all my money!) I’m very picky about concealer, and this has passed all my tests. It’s a nice consistency, good color, and doesn’t break down throughout the day and end up looking patchy. It has a tube you twist, and concealer comes up through the sponge, making putting it on a breeze. It doesn’t clump up, making it easy to use for touchups as well. I find if I set this with powder, it lasts all day, and still looks nice.  I’m almost tempted to use it’s accompanying foundation, but I find with this concealer and my Mary Kay Pressed powder, it still looks almost as wonderful.

s1482462-main-LheroAnd now for my crazy summer color obsession, the Urban Decay Ammo Palette. I’ve always had trouble doing the whole “pop” of color thing, even though I’ve always wanted to try it. I’ve looked up a myriad of YouTube tutorials, always struggling to do some cool, colorful eyeshadow.

Never you fear, friends, I’ve found the solution. This palette is full of colorful, shimmery shades to play up your look. Urban Decay is known for their high-intensity eyeshadows, and this palette is no exception. I’ve found when I use any color in this palette, my eyes just pop. I’ll use one of these colors on my lid, then use my Mary Kay shadows in the crease, and to darken or lighten up my look as desired. It’s a spender palette, but there’s not a shade in here I won’t wear. My favorites are Maui Wowie, Sin, and Shattered.

Well, there it all is! Hope I helped some of you, and if you liked this post, let me know what you’d like to see in the future! Thanks for your support, and feel free to comment! I read and value them all!

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Lost Ones

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Isn’t that a stupid phrase for when someone you love dies? Like, you’ll find them again before you leave this life? On days like this, I feel a deep sorrow, and love for a person whose time on this earth was cut short.
My little brother, LCpl Kenneth Eldren Cochran’s birthday is today. He would have been 23. He passed away in Habib, Afghanistan on January 15, 2012 and the world has been a little less bright since then.

I sometimes wonder why God does things like that-let it happen, I mean. I probably should be angrier at him for it, but realistically, I know all of the time we have on this earth is being counted, and nobody lives forever. We are mortal, and sometime, whether you’ve had a long or short life, we will die.

I think our world is separated from death these days. It’s just something that happens to the bad guys on TV, and after all, they deserved it. The world is now a little less bad.

It used to be Great Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles lived in the same house as the kids, and helped with chores, or watching little ones. When anyone died, it was a very personal experience. If an animal was sick, it was the family’s job to put the animal down as to not let it suffer.  Now, we push death away from us, isolated in the sterile environments of hospitals, or in my case, war zones.

Kenny died in a freak electrical accident in Afghanistan, and I think that somehow makes it worse. If he had “gone down in flames and glory,” it seems only then you can truly think of them as a hero. I’ve found that’s not the case, but as it is, it seems almost senseless. I went through the anger stage of grief like anyone else, but in looking at the bright side of things, you always find a silver lining.

Emma Thompson is quoted to have said, “Its unfortunate and I really wish I wouldn’t have to say this, but I really like human beings who have suffered. They’re kinder.” And I think I agree. While I wish none of this on anyone, it’s very easy to relate to people who have really lived-gone through life a little rougher. They always seem to know exactly what you’re going through.

I hate that Kenny died, and I hate that I am no longer able to insta-chat with him on Facebook, I hate that now with my family, there are only 5 of us. Everytime I go home, and we all go out to eat, I still count in my head and tell the waitress it will be 6+however many people we have with us. And my heart breaks a little every time my family quietly leans over, and corrects my count.

Sometimes people leave this earth, and they leaves holes in who we are. I think they’re not quite meant to fill with something else, instead I think that longing is what makes some people not afraid to die and meet their maker-they realize that people are what count, and getting to see them again in the beginning of eternity is what makes it all worth it.

Kenny, I’ll see you again, and I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with your hair.

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Snapshots: 4th of July 2014

Well, I wish I could say our weekend was filled with fireworks and BBQ’s, but it ended up being more than that! We took the truck, threw camping gear and a change of clothes in the back and took a road trip down to Seward. We did no research beforehand, much to our dismay, but ended up having an excellent time anyway.

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This was taken about halfway around Turnagain Arm, a windy road that follows the Cook Inlet leading around to the Kenai Peninsula.  It’s listen on several lists as one of the most beautiful drives in America, and I would have to agree.

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We took the 3hr drive to Seward, and found where the Alaska Railroad starts, and also where several cruise ships live. Also happening in this salty sea town was the Mt. Marathon Race. Traffic was horrible, and we saw several muddy people wearing race numbers walking around in our slow-as-molasses drive down the main road of the city. The Seward website claims it goes from pop. 2,400 to 30,000, so I snapped a picture of this Restaurant and  a ship from Traffic since we didn’t want to stop and get out-it could have gotten crazy trying to get back in! So we headed back out of town once we heard we had missed the fireworks (they had gone off at 0001 that morning).

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(That bus is labeled “Red’s Outdoor Seating,” btw!)

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(Princess Cruise lines ship)

 

We then drove to FOUR campgrounds in the area that were COMPLETELY full, and ended up finding a nice area off road somewhere.

We weren’t the only ones in this large area either, there were tents and campers all around. Figuring in case of emergency at least we didn’t have to collapse tents or pull in a camper, we would be able to escape before the others.

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This was our little campsite, and I had planned on taking more pictures of our setup (it really was ingenious- you’ll just have to believe me) but I thought I could get a few in the morning, and that didn’t happen with my low camera battery. The only thing I would have done differently would be to bring another heavy blanket to sleep on top of. I forgot how air mattress never get warm, the air in them just gets cold like everything else does in the night. I brought my eye mask and Brad pulled a beanie down over his eyes, as it’s still pretty light out 24/7 up here, and it worked beautifully! We blew our queen sized air mattress that Mom gave us for the ferry ride up here, and slept like royalty!

Another weird mention: these wipes. If you’re looking for wipes that don’t burn your eyes out, these are it. They also were EXTREMELY nice for freshening up after a night out in the great outdoors. You know how your body gets almost sweaty at night to help you stay warm while camping? That’s my least favorite part. But these saved the day!

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Also, there is nothing more beautiful than the evening/morning summer mist of Alaska. Of course, I haven’t seen the Northern Lights yet, but I will this winter! Now that we’ve worked out all the kinks on this short trip, I imagine we’ll be doing this more often. I can’t wait!