Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: Adventuress Skin Purifier

A new skin care line for me, Adventuress Vividly Restorative Skin Purifier has key ingredients like quince extract, willow bark, orange, lemon and olive leaf and sugar maple.
It is fragrance and paraben free. The pump dispenser is airless to keep out contaminants.
Skin Purifier "decongests" stressed out skin and reduces breakouts while adding micronutrients to replenish skin cells.
Apply it to clean skin, dry skin and feel the difference it makes. It not only hydrates but cleans pores, too. And we all know what blocked pores will do to your skin!
I like the way it glides on and while it is drying I can feel my pores tighten..my skin looks and feels smooth. My mineral foundation glides on and I look "fresh faced". I love this product. You can use it whenever you want during the day or night, but my favorite application is before applying make up in the morning.
Wow, makes my face beam!!
You can buy Skin Purifier or any of the other products in the Adventuress line by visiting their website at:  goadventuress.com.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

Bartholomew Neil is a forty year old man, that has never held a job and has lived with his mom all his life. I guess that was his job, taking care of his mom. They went to church, ate, shopped, watched TV...always together. His father, according to his mother, went out one night and was abducted & killed by the KKK, because he was Catholic. It was never in the paper and killers were never found…body not found either. He is in love with the girl at the library, the girlbrarian, but of course he will never speak up and let her know.
His mom dies of cancer.
All the arrangements and expenses were paid, as were Bart's home expenses..he didn't know how ..maybe his mom paid in advance?
While going through his mother's things, he found a letter that she had received from the actor Richard Gere, thanking her for boycotting the Olympics in 2008. His mother was a great pretender and Bart figures his mom realized this was just a form letter but she had kept it for five years, pretending that R.G. had sent it to her personally. He then sits down and writes a letter to Richard Gere, letting him know his mom had kept that letter for five years…this was  the first letter of many.
Bartholomew's life unfolds in the letters he sends to R.G. and you soon realize that Bart has some mental & emotional issues. He seeks help from the church , as he and his mom always had , and lo and behold he comes home to find Father McNamee on the front porch..
I will leave the story there. This is a great book, I really enjoyed it. Full of imperfect human beings.
From first page to last, a gem.
FYI: Matthew Quick also wrote Silver Linings Playbook :)



Friday, November 22, 2013

Miss Anne in Harlem by Carla Kaplan

When I saw this book on the review list and read the little synop, I thought how interesting. This is something that I never had heard of and I am fascinated with the women of the 1920-30’s..thank you, Downtown Abbey.  Women started to come into their own during those times and it wasn’t easy. So many obstacles, and yet these white women took on even more as they made their way into the lives of black men and women. Intriguing.
First off, it is a big, thick book full of history. Also, you should know that “Miss Anne” is just a name that was given to white women who got involved in black politics, art and philanthropy during the twenties & thirties.
Kaplan gives us history behind several of these women, one of which was Nancy Cunard, heiress to the steamship company wealth.  Another Josephine Schuyler was the daughter of a Klansman and wife to journalist George Schuyler, who was black.
These women lent their money and time and in some cases notoriety to black causes. They seemed full of good intentions but were they taken seriously? Not always according to Kaplan.  Some were viewed as agitators, some as women who were sexually deviant. 

This book, a history book really, was so full of information that it took me a while to read it. If you are looking for some mind-ful stimulation this winter as we get “stuck inside” by the weather, try this one.                                                                                                                                    

Thursday, November 21, 2013

authentic skin REMEDIES

I have been sampling a new skin care line called  authentic skin REMEDIES.  Seven products in all , all very easy to understand and use….all great products made from minerals, plant extracts and vitamins.
 I started the process by using one of the products at night, called ENRICH. (I told you they were easy to understand) I was told by a skin care expert that serums were where I should be spending my money at my age, so I am always interested to try a new one. Applied at night,  washed it off in the morning with REFINE, which is a natural exfoliant.. My skin was very supple and  smooth ..no dry spots. SOOTHE is a cooling masque, very nice after exfoliating. REPLENISH is a masque with moisturizers to hydrate and nourish.  Plumped my skin, fine lines disappeared.  
CLEANSE is a gel , which gently cleanses without leaving skin dry.  Leaves the skin ready to absorb moisturizer, RENEW.
I think my favorite product is BALANCE. It is a sea water mineral mist that you can refresh your skin and hair with. You can use it before you apply serum or moisturizers but I like to spritze it mid-day while I am at the office.  It refreshes and gives me a lift  at the time of day that I need one!!
All in all great new line , great new products.
Please check out their website www.authenticskin.com for more information.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Time Warped by Claudia Hammond

As I have mentioned before, I read alot of fiction, but every once in a while I like to throw in a book of science or a biography, a memoir, something to shake things up. Time Warped is just what I needed.
Throw out all your ideas about what time is..this book will clear up plenty of misconceptions.
Why does life speed up as we get older? Why does the clock in our head sometimes move at a different speed from the one on the wall? We have all heard the old adage, a watched pot never boils..and it is true. Waiting in line 'takes forever" , waiting for a train to pass..same. We all have had these feelings about time, why do we? Can we retrain our brain to improve our relationship with time.
A couple of interesting things I learned by reading Hammond's book..1) that there is no organ in our body that keeps time. 2) That there is a species of Hummingbird that can accurately time a flowers replenishment of nectar/ which is  every 20 minutes. Amazing.

Loved the chapter about why time speeds up as we get older.  i.e.: While a week with nothing planned stretches ahead of you if you are eleven and it is summer vacation...as an adult, in the hopes of redecorating your house and before you are even halfway through, the week has rushed past.
Time has an impact on memory, memory shapes our experience of time. To make sense of our memories we rely on time  to link us to events , and develop a timeline. What intrigues Hammond about the sensation of time speeding up is that it is something we often discuss, but to which we never seem to become accustomed.
If you are looking for something just plain interesting to read, this is the book!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

At the Bottom of Everything by Ben Dolnick

A very well written novel, At the Bottom of Everything is the first book by this author that I have read. In the beginning it looks like a story about a junior high/high school friendship, Adam & Tom, kids that became very close. Adam comes from a broken home, has a new stepdad. Tom comes from intellectual parents, just the sort that Adam relishes. So Adam starts spending all his time at the Pells' with Tom, two peas in a pod, more like brothers. Basically two good teenage boys, learning about girls, getting into very little mischief. Adam is the more social of the two and when he gets into sports and starts hanging with different kids, the friendship starts to fade.
One night trying to recapture the friendship, the two are involved in an accident that will change their lives forever. A guilty secret that they keep, decides which way these two lives will move forward, on separate paths.
Tom Pell heads into a spiral of mental illness, Adam Sanecki's life just never gets on track. A chance meeting with Pell's parents sets Adam on a journey to India in a search for his lost  friend. 
A very intricate tale is woven by author Dolnick. Is it guilt from the secret that has directed these two lives, the lives of Pell's parents, as well? What a person will go through to keep another from revealing a devastating secret..is this the motive for Adam? The last few chapters of this book are fast paced and written so that the reader can feel the panic build...and you do. At the Bottom of Everything..good read. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

SPA SONIC SKIN CARE SYSTEM FACE & BODY POLISHER

Have you ever seen the info-mercials with a certain soap star toting her micro-dermabrasion skin care system? Her skin is lovely  and I want to try it but just couldn't get up the nerve. Something about putting those rough looking crystals on a buffer and going to town on my face just didn't appeal to me, no matter how good she looked. 
But for the last couple of weeks, I've had the chance to try the Spa Sonic  Skin Care System and let me tell you there is nothing rough about it! The brushes are as soft as a baby's..well you get the idea :)
The brush head has four attachments: a small brush for face, a larger brush for body, a pumice (this I love for my feet!) and a facial sponge for smoothing on lotions. 
I brought it right into the shower with me, used the facial brush with my regular face cleanser, loved using the soapy soft body brush on my legs before shaving, loved-loved the pumice on my feet. When I got out of the shower, I just wiped it all down and put it back in the box. 
I can honestly say that my skin looked polished and shiny clean but didn't feel dry. Being able to use my regular skin care products is a big plus. My moisturizers absorbed sooo fast, I could start my make up right away. 
The price is right  and it is convenient to find. It is retailing for $60.00 and you can buy it at Target, Walgreens or online at www.drugstore.com. It is available in white, pink, and lavender..comes with a battery pack AND two facial brushes. 
A winner!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Help with the Cure


Exclusive Deal to Benefit Breast Cancer Awareness and Treatment, This Week Only http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/lfyHfTob8QBmdajZBMiZgw--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http:/l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/gma/2013-09-30/b673a021-1d4b-4ad8-ad5e-49b6f47a26db_SpaSonic-Product-Online-copy.jpg 
Spa Sonic joins in the fight against breast cancer, a disease that affects one in eight American women.  15% of all sales on October 1st – October 3rd will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Here are all the details:   

Spa Sonic: Skin Care System Face & Body Polisher
Original: $69

Exclusive Deal: $34.50

50% savings

Valid: 10/1/13

bca.myspasonic.com
(Promo code: GMA)

Treat yourself to an at-home spa experience that will make your skin feel silky smooth. Exfoliate, cleanse and smooth with this 7-piece face and full body kit. The waterproof device makes it easy to clean your face while in the shower and the dermal penetrating action allows the skin to rapidly absorb your skin care products. The Spa Sonic helps in tightening pores, reducing dark spots and removing dead skin. Limit 2 per person. Shipping is $9.95.

Join the Fight Against Breast Cancer, Be Adventuress
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Adventuress, the skincare collection created for women on-the-go by outdoors enthusiast Michele Carter, is partnering with Bike4BreastCancer, a non-profit organization that provides women in low-income areas with the opportunity for pre-screenings, education and receive treatment for breast cancer.
cid:image009.jpg@01CE5E14.72318D50From now until the end of OctoberAdventuresswill donate $1 from each Vividly Restorative Purifier purchase to the Bike4BreastCancerinitiative. The Vividly Restorative Purifier ($35) hydrates and firms skin while unblocking pores with the power of the quince seed and other naturally occurring fruit and plant extracts. Restore the look of skin for a youthful radiance morning, noon or night with the Vividly Restorative Purifier.

The Vividly Restorative Purifier and other Adventuress products are available atwww.goadventuress.com. For more information on Bikes4BreastCancer, please visit www.bike4breastcancer.org





Friday, September 27, 2013

Winning From Within by Erica Ariel Fox

LIFE is a series of negotiations. From insignificant daily decisions to major life choices, you negotiate every time you aim to persuade, argue over a decision or resolve a conflict. THe most important negotiations are the ones we have with ourselves..so says author Fox.
I found Fox to have a very interesting philosophy regarding the struggles a person has trying to make a decision, or decide to leave a relationship,  or take a new job..or even to take a stand on an issue. I had read a similar book long ago about all the different characters that reside in a person. Author Fox describes them as four negotiators..the Warrior, the Lover, The Dreamer and the Thinker. At any given time any one of these four can be dominant and react to a situation a person is facing.
I know you have met a person who is brusk, a take charge kind of person, one who dominates in a meeting or at work. This person operates through the warrior negotiator, which is fine as long as it is not the ONLY negotiator they use. We all have met people who are dreamers or brainiacs or over thinkers, or bleeding hearts..we all have these qualities inside..they all operate within us, we should be looking for a balance of all four according to Fox. Now, if this all sounds like psycho babble, trust me , it isn't and you will get it when you read the book. I have found this new insight helpful and plan to re-read the book, so that I can make some changes. I found that I lean more toward the dreamer & the lover when I need to make decisions and I need to add a good dose of thinker and warrior to my mix.
If you are looking for a good constructive read for October, this is it :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

pur minerals Correcting Primer

Another great  purminerals  product to talk about ! I have been lucky enough to try a few of these awesome skin care products and have added them to my skin care regimen.
I sampled the Redness Reducer primer and was so pleasantly surprised that this green (yes, green) tinted primer glides on like velvet and color corrects my red spots. I have had more compliments on my skin in the last couple of weeks and I have only added the primer to my daily routine, so I know what is giving my the glow!
Why use a primer? The function of a primer is to prepare your skin for make up. A primer also helps your make up last longer and helps to conceal your pores and imperfections. It creates a barrier between your skin and make up, helping my foundation do it's job.
After moisturizers soak in, I smooth on the primer and then my mineral makeup foundation...smooth as silk with a very even tone. Not just giving me an even tone and silky smooth surface but also brightening and firming my skin so that the foundation covers flawlessly.
As I said I tried the Green because I am trying to tone down the red sun spots on my face..the other primers are: Peach for color balancing, Lavender to hydrate & balance, and Neutral for prep & perfect.
Choose the right one for you.. but do choose one to add to your daily routine, you will love it as I do!!
                   purminerals products are available on line at purminerals.com

Monday, September 9, 2013

Paperboy by Tony Macauley

Oh, how I loved this book. I just wanted to get that right out of the way.
On the cover it says that Paperboy is an enchanting true story of a Belfast paperboy coming to terms with The Troubles. Absolutely take the word "enchanted" for FACT,  I couldn't put it down.
I have often wondered when I see & hear stories unfolding in worn torn countries...how do the people survive day to day? The poor children, how do they make it to old age? This book, is my answer. Tony Macauley gives us a kids eye view of life in Belfast, on Shankill Road in 1975. Bombs go off, people get beat up or killed day to day..sirens a constant noise in the ear.
"Belfast in the seventies was like the newspaper I delivered. Everything was black & white, albeit Orange & Green. Everything got smudged and ruined, like dark ink from the stories that dirtied my hands every day. I was a paperboy. Aged twelve. thin and easily crumpled. Blown around the streets by greater forces. More smart than tough. Yearning for peace, but living through Troubles. And yet I was happy with my calling. I was a good paperboy. I delivered."..Tony Macauley.
He loved the Bay City Rollers, he saved his money to buy the latest fashions to wear to the teen center that his parents ran, called the Westy. He hid from older kids who would be out at night ready to beat him up for his paper route money. He knew which days not to go to the grocery, because they usually got bombed on that day.. and he was in love with Sharon Burgess, who ended up breaking his heart:(  And all the while he delivered the Belfast Telegram, or the Belly Telly, with a dedication that I truly admire.
I love this kid..who now happens to be a grown man with a wife & kids . He is Managing Director of Macauley Associates, specializing in community development and conflict development ... what else would have become of the only pacifist paperboy in Northern Ireland?
Please do yourself a favor and read this book..I would lend you  mine but I just can't let go of it yet.
Oh and by the way, he was such a great paperboy that he got promoted to bread boy....
the name of the sequel!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

When you hear the writer Wally Lamb's name, you expect nothing but great writing. After all he did bring us She's Come Undone & I Know This Much is True.  His new book We Are Water, due out in November, is a very good book.
It is the story of the Oh family.  Annie Oh is a housewife to Orion Oh who is a college pysch counselor. They have three children, a boy & two girls. Annie discovers her artistic side when she starts making collage type pieces of art work in the basement of the family home while the kids are sleeping. These pieces of work tend to lean toward anger and violence, so you begin to wonder what secrets Annie is hiding. But wait... there is a  story within the story ... a tale of a talented black artist, working as a laborer many years before, who happened to live on the same property as the Oh's now do.  Annie's work brings Viveca, a NY art dealer into her life and after 27 years of marriage, Annie decides to divorce Orion and marry Viveca. Add murder and floods, and you have a story that is just barreling toward a tragic end.
This is a complex story, where the past and the present are uniquely intertwined. There came a point in the reading of this book that I really believed the Oh family had to have been cursed somewhere along the line. So many just plain bad things were happening to good people.

I did enjoy Lamb's "We Are Water"   and recommend it for good fall reading.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau




It's 1983 in Berkeley, California. Twenty-year-old Allie Dodgson is a straitlaced college student working part-time at a dress shop to make ends meet. But when the shop turns out to be a front for a dangerous drug-dealing business, Allie finds herself on the lam, speeding toward Los Angeles in her best friend's Prelude with a Wonder Bread bag full of cocaine riding shotgun and a hit man named Vice Versa on her tail.

And so I decided this would be a good summer read. I was thinking it would kind of be Thelma & Louise-y, in the beginning. As the story moves on, it gets a bit out there and a bit unbelievable. Straightlaced girl gets involved in drugs and sex, literally overnight? Not that I am a stickler for true to life, by any means. But I mean this girl makes one wrong move after another. She has an ultra beautiful mother, who left the family to join an aging rock star and his band. Her dad had a restaurant and then he mysteriously closes shop and she loses contact. Her closest friend is held captive by drug dealers as Allie runs around trying to sell the stolen cocaine (in a Wonder bread bag)  to raise money for her college tuition. All while avoiding this hit man called Vice Versa who is after her. 


The story was very fast paced, true and may be a good read for a college student, but not for a seasoned reader.  I just could not connect with any of the characters or story line for that matter. The writing just didn't hook me. So you can pass this one by, there are sooo many other great books out there:)

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

Let me say one thing right up front..you will need a free period of time to start reading this book. Have your snacks and bottled water at your side, you will take few breaks:)
The novel takes place in rural Oregon in the early twentieth century. Talmadge tends his apple orchard and leads a peaceful, solitary life. Takes his fruit to market, talks to few people, dozes off for a while and then heads back to his orchard. Many years before, his mother arrived at this place with both Talmadge and his sister Elsbeth in tow, and here he has remained some forty years or so after the death of his mother (he was just thirteen) and the strange disappearance of his sister.
On one of these trips to market, two young girls, both very pregnant, dirty and hungry steal some apples from Talmadge. He does not pursue them. Back home he is in the trees picking apples when he can see them hidden in the grass, watching. And so begins the cat & mouse game...he starts leaving food out and sits  back in his cabin where he can hear them on the porch, he does not approach them..only dirty dishes left behind as a clue that they had been there.
An unlikely relationship develops and he begins looking after these girls, although few words are said between them. Then one day an ugly group of men come looking for the girls, and what follows is heartbreaking. Life for Talmadge after that is anything but peaceful.
If you have read Toni Morrison's Beloved you will understand when I say this novel is a bit mystic. If you have read Grapes of Wrath you will understand when I say that the orchard and the land is described so that you think you are there with Talmadge tending the trees.
Outstanding, mythical, intense, awesomely written first novel.( Coplin tells that she took eight years to write it.) This is a MUST read..this will become a classic, a book destined to remain on library shelves forever. One of the best books I have read in years and years. My daughter-in-law lent me this book, knowing I would love it. I am ordering a copy of my own..I am hoping to get it autographed someday by Coplin, truly a great and gifted writer.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Women From the Ankle down by Rachelle Bergstein

I have started my summer reading, which to me means light hearted, full of romance and fluff novels..but this new book by Bergstein is not a bit of fluff.  It is a very decent history of shoes and women, empowering and powerful.
It begins with the first shoe "designer", a young Italian man named Salvatore Ferragamo who thinks shoes should adorn the foot. He follows his brothers to America and opens a shoe business. It ends with Sex in the City's main character, Carrie Bradshaw and the role shoes played in that series.
But there are so many shoes and so much history in between. The world wars, a time when women had to enter the work force and the shoe of choice was steel toed. After the wars, in the 50's women are back in the home and back in heels. The 60's roll around and we were either barefoot or Birkenstocked with flowers in our hair..the 70's bring the platforms !! Oh my!! Grunge brings Doc Martens..and on and on....and who would have thought that a red glittery pair of shoes worn by a young girl from Kansas would have created such a fuss?
Author Bergstein has done her research and provides so much history in this book..it is a genuine education about how shoes have defined the decades. So, if you are like me and have 20 pairs of shoes by your front door (after I read the book , I had to count them) then get yourself into a pair of your fave shoes and head to the bookstore to pick up this book :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NEW ! Pur Minerals CC Cream

I am loving the new multitasking face creams that are on the market. For a while now I have read about BB creams and all that they offer in one tube. But PUR has taken it a step further. I have just tried their new CC Cream and I love it.
A little about PUR first. PUR minerals have a performance based line of skincare designed for skin fitness & health. They provide good-for-your-skin ingredients that offer coverage and also nourish and condition the skin. PUR's multitasking skin care products keep things simple:)
This new CC Cream comes in a great, easy to use tube with a pump applicator, convenience starts there. Packed with plant based ingredients like meadow sweet and wheat germ it is engineered to erase blemishes and brown spots. This CC cream is  an all in one moisturizer, skin brightener, makeup primer, concealer & SPF foundation. Can you stand it? The first time I used it I was amazed at the coverage it provided. Loved the fact that my face was sun protected and did not feel thick & greasy. But the best part was on my way to work, at a stop light, I looked in the rearview and I saw a radiant face looking back at me, that is how well the brightener works. Can't say enough about this product....oh I will say one more thing...BUY IT :)
Pur Mineral products are available at ULTA stores and www.purminerals.com

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Instructions for a Heat Wave by Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of After You'd Gone, My Lovers Lover, The Distance Between Us, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and The Hand That First Held Mine, all of which have won literary awards.
Instructions for a Heat Wave is the first book of O'Farrell's that I have read....won't be the last. This is
the type of book you can't put down once you have started it.
In 1976, London is suffering a terrible heat wave and drought. Gretta Riordon a married woman, mother of three grown children, grandmother to two sees her husband off to the "news agent" one hot morning not unlike any other morning since he retired. Expecting him back after he picks up his morning papers, she continues with her usual morning routine. Except this morning is quite different from years of other mornings... her husband Robert, does not return.
As her three kids make their way back home to search for their father, one from America(Aiofe), one from the country (Monica)and one from down the road (Michael),  the search for the missing father almost takes a backseat to all the unfinished business between parents and siblings.
Now I know I have mentioned that one of my pet peeves is when a writer will use a name that is not easily pronounced, or one that I stumble over every time I read it. So when I came across the name Aiofe, I said why oh why Maggie, did you throw in a curve ball? As the story progressed I was very interested to see that the pronunciation of that name was woven into the story. I have yet to truly figure out what the meaning of this was (other than her character was the story's most memorable, to me) , but eventually I could read the name with out a hitch:)
This is a story of growing up and how great and how difficult it can be, especially when there are secrets that shadow all the members of a family.
Loved her style of writing, loved the flow of the book...thank you author O'Farrell for this GREAT summer read :)
This book will be on the book shelves next month!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

When I saw this title on my Harper/Collins book list, of course I jumped right on it. Who does not want to think clearer? And it is an interesting book... I love informational books with short chapters:)
This book points out to all that read it the errors of our judgement.
The little synopsis on the back of the book asks these questions:

HAVE YOU EVER...
paid too much for an item on EBay?
continued to do something that you knew was wrong for you?
backed the wrong horse?

Well, that piqued my interest for sure. What I found inside  were chapters based on these very types of life's questions. Chapter One( Why You Should Visit Cemetaries) tells us why we consistently over estimate our chances. We read/hear all the time about success stories. So, we think that if we have some similarities with the winner, we have a good chance at being successful ourselves. This is called survivorship bias. People systematically overestimate their chances of success. You can guard against this by visiting the graveyard of UN successful ventures, to get a reality check.

Just a sample of the types of wisdom you will find in this book. I am now treating it like the handbook of life, a good reference:) Look for author Dobelli's book , out this month.




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Anyone Who Had a Heart by Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach has had seventy top 40 hits, won three Academy Awards, eight Grammy's, and an Emmy. He was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin prize for Popular Song...there isn't a day goes by that if you listen to the radio or are in an elevator someplace, that you haven't heard a tune by Bacharach. And  now he has a memoir, using the title of one of his most beloved songs.
As I started to get into a few chapters of the book, I was immediately thrown off by the style of writing. I almost set it aside and just chalked it up to a badly written book. But I kept going..I haven't quite given myself permission to stop reading all books that I don't like. But in the book when he starts mentioning names of famous people that I do like, I kept going. Probably not the best reason to continue. The book is kind of choppy in it's chronology. Bacharach may be telling a story of the fifties, jump to something in the sixties and then back to his original story. Not my preferred way to read. But once I accepted that was the way is was going to be, I became interested in his marriages, children and famous friends. His collaborations with Hal David were the songs of legend. The sheer volume of songs written and number of artists that recorded them are mind boggling. So, if music interests you, it is a book that you really should read. If not, you could probably skip it and still lead a full and happy life :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Purminerals Lip Gloss Stick

I have tried other purminerals products and have been happy with what I have tried. I was not disappointed with their new lip gloss stick. First off, love the applicator. It is a stick, with top cap so that the lip gloss remains out, no need to wind it up or down for every application. No need for sharpeners, it's built-in! Great to keep with you for a quick touch up. The gloss is creamy, not greasy or  runny. Stays put. You can line your lips and fill in with great color, with one product. A whole line of awesome colors, too. (I tried Daredevil) A great must have lip gloss for a summer on- the- go!!
You can find purminerals on line at www.purminerals.com or at an Ulta near you!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oh Dear Sylvia by Dawn French

Well, what a surprise for me when I found out one of my fave TV actors was an author, too. Dawn French is the lead character in the BritCom "The Vicar of Dibley", which I just love. She plays the Vicar of the church in a small English town, in which lives a host of characters and I mean they are characters. She has had many roles in Brisitsh TV and comedies, plays, movies you name it. I didn't know what  to expect with this author but I have to say, boy, am I glad I read the book.
This is the story of Sylvia, who you learn right off is in a hospital in a coma after falling off her balcony. Her story is told through the people that come to visit her while she is in the hospital. It is the story of her visitors, too.
Ed, her ex-husband who is still not over the "sudden" divorce. Next is Cat, the woman Sylvia left her marriage & family for. Her daughter Cassie, who was told when she got pregnant as a teen that there was no room for her in the family home and she was thrown out on the street. The granddaughter Willow, although she never actually goes in to the hospital she nevertheless is a part of the story. Her son Jamie, who is away fighting in Afghanistan and has washed his hands of his mum for abandoning the family. Her sister Jo, who is constantly trying crazy voodoo-like cures to get her sister to wake up. And there is Winnie, the Jamaican nurse who has taken very good care of Sylvia for the short time she has been in the hospital.
The book is divided into chapters by the character who is in the room at the time. I loved the premise of the book to begin with: what would you say to a person lying in a coma to try to bring them out of it? I think these visits ended up as time went on, a way of all the characters to discuss their problems and work out solutions. Sylvia seemed to be at the center of both problem & solution, but was she really?
This book had some predictable outcomes but definitely some un-predicted twists, too. What a roller coaster..... funny, sad, poignant, mysterious....
I recommend you grab this book when it hits the shelves in June. Maybe go on-line and  find French's other books and get a copy of those. That is what I intend to do :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Serving Victoria by Kate Hubbard

Oh yes, I am a Downtown Abbey fan. Anything Downton..gossip, behind the scenes, cast interviews and I do have a Free Bates T-Shirt:) So when I saw this book, Serving Victoria on the review list, I jumped at the chance. Hubbard has written a book about the Upstairs Royal household during "Queen Vicky's" reign. It is very interesting the way it all happens in the Royal castle. The Royal "servants" are most likely a cousin, a cousin's cousin, an old friend's sister or sister-in-law. These are mostly Lords & Ladies in their own right. If you were asked by the Queen, you didn't turn her down even though it would mean months of the year away from your own family.
Author Hubbard relies on letters and diaries to glean her information about what went on in the royal household from the time the Queen sat on the throne until her death at the end of the book. A real glimpse into the life of a Queen who is best known for her life long grieving after the death of her husband Albert. What it does give the reader is a real look at the Queen. Her portraits would you believe she was foul and austere but in actuality she was vulnerable, selfish, odd and someone who was very controlling. She never made a move without consulting her husband, Prince Albert. After his death, she herself wondered what would become of her people.
The book tells of Ladies in waiting, Ladies of the bed chamber, Dressers, not to mention Governesses, Teachers of the children, Religious Teachers for the children ( and the Queen had nine children)  .. the list seems endless. I don't think I could have withstood the constant presence of these many people. (And I will never find out since my title Queen Bee is a title without any real Royal significance:)
I enjoyed this book but it not an easy read. There are many people and titles to remember and you need a scorecard to keep track of births and deaths. But, if you enjoy a bit of history and all things Royal, it is worth the read. Available May 2013.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

purminerals Tinted Moisturizer

Love it when I come across a great beauty product, especially one that combines so many steps into one. I have used purminerals for the last two weeks and I love it! It is a very lightly tinted  moisturizer and it has an SPF 20. But the secret ingredient, Ceretin Complex,  is an exclusive blend of ceramides (for moisture) and non-irratating retinol (for anti-aging). Last time I was at the dermatologist, she told me to use products with retinol and to make sure I moisturized daily. Most products with retinol are night time products and I would be forgetting that step more often than not. But having a 4 in 1 product that I can apply in the morning before my makeup, is perfect....no chance on forgetting any step.
purminerals tinted moisturizer has a very light  coverage so that when I apply my mineral makeup, I need only either a light dusting or a touch up . It also helps my skin up to look better under my makeup, more luminous.
purminerals  has been developing skin care products since 2002. Their products not only offer exceptional coverage but also nourish and condition your skin for that healthy glow.
You can find purminerals products at an ULTA near you.




Monday, March 4, 2013

Pain, Parties, Work by Elizabeth Winder

Sylvia Plath.  I am sure you have heard the name and probably can't place it. Plath was a poet and writer of short stories. She also wrote one novel, The Bell Jar, before she killed herself in 1963, at age thirty.
Author Elizabeth Winder takes Plath's life in the summer of 1953 and exposes the real names and places of Plath's first downhill spiral with mental illness. At times while I read, I felt deja-vu..I felt like I was reading The Bell Jar where only the names were changed to protect the not so innocent.
Plath was a very gifted writer from early on, having her first poem published at age 8. Her father died the same year, and her mother decided due to her tender age,  she would not attend the funeral. Years later she would remark that she did not mourn his death until she was in her twenties, breaking down into unconsolable tears at last.
Through high school and college she had more small works published and she ended up winning a spot with Mademoiselle, in the summer of 1953 along with 19 other young women, as a junior editor. They would all stay at the Barbizon Hotel,  be involved in fashion shoots, photo sessions, dinners, dances..they would meet famous fashion experts, writers, poets, actors and actresses. A few of the girls, including Sylvia, would be put to work actually editing writers for the magazine. It was not all fluff for those few. They were expected to work and work hard.
This was quite a different world away from where most of these girls had been brought up. Sylvia hailed from Wellesley, MA...some of the girls were from the corn fields of the mid-west and plantations in the south. Needless to say,  most were naive about living in NYC.
After this world wind summer in NYC, Sylvia returned home and made her first suicide attempt, spending three days under the cellar of her home after taking a bottle of anti-depressants. She was 21 years old.
Such a tragic life. The Bell Jar, written by Plath, focuses on her life after the suicide attempt and her stay at the asylums, her therapies and treatments, her coming back into the"normal" world.
So much has been written about Plath since her death, it was good to read a novel about that one summer.... tragic though, because you can see the unraveling of a young woman's life. Something she obviously never fully recovered from.
This is a very good book, I recommend you read it. I also recommend you read some of Plath's works before or after this book. Definitely re-read The Bell Jar.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pieces of Light by Charles Fernyhough

I love fiction, but every once in a while I like to read something science-y, or a little sci-fi-ey or an autobiography.  But now after reading Pieces of Light, I realize that when people are writing their memoirs,  their memory is re-inventing the story each time it is told. Very interesting idea. So the truth of what really happened may not end up the story as written. Author Fernhough is a psychologist who has devoted alot of study to the brain's process of memory.
I wondered if that is why the pain of childbirth dulls over time or why some bad memory of childhood seems to get not so bad later on in life. I wondered if that is why people are able to forgive after a time, if the memory gets re-invented over and over to the point that is doesn't matter anymore? These are some of the questions and answers that Fernhough explores.
The author explores these questions by interviewing his elderly grandmother, he visits his old college campus to see if his memory is still clear, he talks with patients that have had brain trauma.
Be prepared for alot of information about the way the brain processes memories, how sight and smell interact to produce a memory...how you can fabricate a memory by hearing a story from someone else.
I enjoyed the book, it was not "light" reading however. It took a while to read, but well worth the effort.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: emerginC aromatic cream tea cleanser

Have you tried an emerginC product yet? I was happy to test their aromatic cream tea cleanser. emerginC is formulated with natural plant based preservatives in place of parabens. All ingredients are sourced as naturally as possible and emerginC does NOT test on animals or use animal ingredients.  All outer boxes are printed on Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forest Initiative certified paperboard with non toxic vegetable based inks.

The first thing I noticed..this cleanser does not smell like medicine. It has the lightest,  most darling fragrance. (I want a whole line of body lotions & sprays with this fragrance!) It goes on creamy, and it gently removes dirt , makeup and oil. Good for all skin types, you can use it morning and night.
I found that it calmed the redness, left my skin smooth. The three teas:  green, white and red are added as antioxidants and for calming of the skin. Hibiscus is added which helps with microcirculation and has soothing qualities, too.
Love it, love my skin after I use it.
You can find emerginC products at leading spas or at emerginC.com