Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reading Rainbow

I was 10 when the TV show Reading Rainbow debuted so I don't think I watched it much.... but I have some memories of it, maybe from babysitting? Lately I've been doing a different kind of Reading Rainbow.... devouring author Rainbow Rowell's books.

Full disclosure- I am addicted to the Audible app! I first began listening to audiobooks when I was training for a half marathon a few years ago, and even though I've given up long-distance running, I've always got a book downloaded and you'll often see me with ear buds in.

Earlier this year, Audible suggested I give Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park a try, most likely due to my predilection for YA fiction (in particular, all things John Green).

From Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love--and just how hard it pulled you under.

You. Guys. So so so so good. So good that anything I write about it won't do it justice. It'll just be embarrassingly *not* enough. Let's toss it to the writers of Forever Young Adult for a proper review.

After E&P, I immediately downloaded Fangirl, which I have listened to no less than 4 times in the past 2 months. It's just that good. (And has my current bookcrush in it.) Again, Forever Young Adult says it better than I ever could.

From At first glance Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl has a lot in common with Eleanor & Park: idiosyncratic girl with troubled family meets good, normal boy and falls in love for the first time. In Fangirl, quirky introvert Cath is safe within the immensely popular Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fan-fiction blog she writes with her twin sister, but college turns her life upside down, leaving her feeling like an awkward outsider. When she writes, Cath knows exactly what her characters should say to each other, but when it comes to forging real-life friendships, much less a romance, she hasn’t a clue. An immensely satisfying coming-of-age novel, Fangirl deftly captures the experience of discovering your true voice and clumsy, vulnerable, remarkable, first love. --Seira Wilson

So, spoiler alert: I am so Cath. No, I don't write fanfic, but I can so relate to introvert Cath and her anxieties. And Levi, oh Levi. I am officially smitten.

Next, and by that I mean later that same day, I moved on to one of Rowell's adult fiction offerings, Attachments.

From In sweet, silly, and incredibly long digital missives, best newsroom pals Beth and Jennifer trade gossip over their romances—Beth with her marriage-phobic boyfriend, Chris, and Jennifer with her baby-mania-stricken husband, Mitch. What they don't know is that the newly hired computer guy, Lincoln, an Internet security officer charged with weeding out all things unnecessary or pornographic, is reading their messages. But lonely Lincoln lets the gals slide on their inappropriate office mail and gets hooked on their soapy dalliances, falling head over heels for the unlucky-in-love Beth.

I promise you'll find yourself rooting for Lincoln!

I just finished Rowell's latest book, Landline, which for some reason I was hesitant to start. Actually, I know why.... although her other three books had storylines that could actually happen, Landline has a time-traveling phone plotline. Just suspend your disbelief on that one and go for it, I promise it's an amazing book.

From In Landline, Rainbow Rowell once again shares her insightful, funny perspective on love and relationships, this time delving into a marriage floundering in the wake of kids, careers, and the daily grind. Georgie and Neal have been married for fifteen years and have two young girls who Neal cares for while Georgie works as a sitcom writer. When Georgie skips the family trip to her in-laws in Omaha for Christmas and the rest of her family goes without her, she realizes that maybe her marriage is going too. When a line to the past (literally) gives Georgie a chance to re-live an earlier pivotal moment in their relationship, she sees it as an opportunity to figure out if she and Neal should have been together in the first place. Landline is a deeply resonant story about being willing to go all in--at the start or after being together for many years--for the kind of love that makes “everything else just scenery.” --Seira Wilson

Part of the reason I think I loved all these so much was the narration on Audible. Rebecca Lowman narrates Fangirl, E&P and Landline and she has an amazing voice. I've always called myself a speed-reader but I think I am actually more of a skimmer, and I suspect I may actually have some sort of a visual processing disorder like my kiddos (and this might make even more sense to you after reading about my bookcrush in Fangirl). I've found I get so much more out of a book listening to it rather than reading it.

If you haven't used Audible before, you can follow this link for a great signup deal:
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: Neutrogena® Naturals Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Influenster invited me to join the #WipeforWater challenger and since I love trying new products, I was definitely game. Read on to see what I thought.
This Earth Month, Neutrogena® Naturals is partnering with The Nature Conservancy to save water. Take the #WipeforWater challenge and pledge to clean your face without using water — and only using Neutrogena® Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes — for 3 days! Then, get sharing about your Neutrogena® wipes with your social networks! For each pledge, Neutrogena® Naturals will contribute $1 to The Nature Conservancy to support water conservation, up to $50,000.

Product info:
These ultra-soft wipes effortlessly dissolve all traces of dirt, oil and makeup. It targets even the most stubborn long-wearing and waterproof makeup. Skin is left purified, fresh and healthy-looking with no greasy residue, so there’s no need to rinse. It is formulated with pure, naturally-derived ingredients and without any harsh chemical sulfates, phthalates, parabens, or unnecessary additives.
  • 25 pre-moistened towelettes
  • Clinically proven to completely remove make up, even waterproof mascara
  • 97% Naturally derived formula
  • Wipes made from 100% renewable fibers
  • Free of harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes and phthalates

My first impressions were that these wipes felt so soft and smelled so good! They have a faint green apple smell that reminds me of my college days of wearing Bath & Body Works Country Apple. I do wear quite a bit of makeup, but I did find that one wipe actually did a pretty good job removing most of it, but left some mascara behind. I used a second wipe to make sure any remaining makeup was removed.

I found that these left a bit of residue behind, which was a little hard for me to leave alone. I guess I'm just used to that squeaky clean feel! I think someone with drier skin than mine might like this feature, but I couldn't resist giving my face a pass with a damp washcloth to get that residue off. I definitely used less water than I normally do when washing my face though.

I don't think these will change the way I wash my makeup off, but these will be great for times when washing with water isn't an option. They will be *perfect* for my daughter's theatre bag to help her cleanse off her makeup after a production. She has a role in our local children's theatre production of Dear Edwina Jr. coming up so I have already put my package in her bag. Since she is young, I love that these wipes are free of harsh chemicals.

Neutrogena® Naturals Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes retail for around $6-7 for 25 wipes.

Disclosure: I received this item complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 Summer Movie Programs in OKC/Norman

I've gathered up the summer movie program deals for the area and am so excited! These are such great deals! This year the Regal Spotlight Stadium 14 seems to have the best movies- there are 18 options! Harkins and Warren each will show 10 different movies.

Bricktown Harkins 16
Okla City, OK
Admission: $2, or $5 for season pass for specific day of the week (BEST DEAL of the bunch! This makes the cost 50 cents per movie!).  Please note that individual ticket seating availability may be limited due to advanced purchases made by season ticket holders.

Summer Movie Fun begins June 1. All shows begin at 9:45 am. The same movie is shown every day, M-F.

June 1-5 The Lorax
June 8-12 The Boxtrolls
June 15-19 Rio 2
June 22-26 How To Train Your Dragon 2
June 29- July 3 Penguins of Madagascar
July 6-10 Mr. Peabody & Sherman
July 13-17 The Nut Job
July 20-24 Puss in Boots
July 27-31 Curious George
Aug 3-7 Dolphin Tale 2
Regal Spotlight Stadium 14
Norman, OK
Admission: $1 per movie

The 2015 Summer Movie Express runs for 9 weeks with select titles playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am throughout the summer. Each week both movies are available on both days.

Week 1Tue June 2
Wed June 3
Nut Job
Week 2Tue June 9
Wed June 10
Earth to Echo
Week 3Tue June 16
Wed June 17
Week 4Tue June 23
Wed June 24
Rio 2
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Week 5Tue June 30
Wed July 1
Mr. Peabody
Book of Life
Week 6Tue July 7
Wed July 8
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Penguins of Madagascar
Week 7Tue July 14
Wed July 15
Madagascar 3
Dolphin Tale 2
Week 8Tue July 21
Wed July 22
Muppets, Most Wanted
Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Week 9Tue July 28
Wed July 29
The Lego Movie
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Warren Theatre
Moore, OK
Admission: $2, or $15 for season pass

All shows begin at 10:00 am.

The Lorax June 2 and 4

Rio 2 June 9 and 11
Mr. Peabody & Sherman June 16 and 18
Hotel Transylvania June 23 and 25
The Lego Movie June 30 and July 2
Penguins Of Madagascar July 7 and July 9
Despicable Me 2 July 14 and 16
The Croods July 21 and 23
How To Train Your Dragon 2 July 28 and 30
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 August 4 and 6

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Target Beauty Box- Spring 2015

Target Beauty Box- Spring 2015
Target has been offering seasonal beauty boxes over the last year and this one was offered (and sold out the same day!) a few weeks ago. I am so glad I was able to purchase one.
Target Beauty Box
Price: $5 (one time purchase)

I came up with a value of about $26, and I'm super happy with this box. There was also a coupon for $3 off a $15 beauty purchase at Target.
The box contained two full-sized products (lip gloss and makeup setting spray) that I will definitely be trying. My skin is a bit oily for the gel cream, but it's always nice to have travel sizes of shampoo and hair spray.  
If you like sample boxes like me, this is a great one to try because there is no commitment since there is no subscription. It's also nice that you know what you are getting when you place your order! These boxes have been selling out, so be sure and purchase it when you see it next time if you are interested.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring 2015 Walmart Beauty Box

Sometime in late March, I received my Spring 2015 Walmart Beauty Box. The Walmart Beauty Box comes out 4 times a year and costs $5, which includes shipping. Beauty boxes are just plain fun.... especially if you are a product junkie like me. I am currently only subscribed to Glossybox and was glad to add this low-priced box to the mix. I also purchase the Target Beauty Box when it is available (it always a one-time purchase box).
My Spring 2015 box was better than my Winter 2014 box..... after I got that box which was full of sample packets and not much else, I read that there are two boxes and the one I received was intended for their more mature audience. I *did* just turn 41, but I still like color cosmetics, so I adjusted my birthdate down 15 years or so after getting the Winter box to see if I would get the younger box for the next shipment. I'm glad I did because this time I got a makeup item. I do think $5 is a great price to try so many new products.
My Spring 2015 box contains:
  • Lady Gaga Fame Perfume (1.2 ml sample vial)
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser (.5 oz travel size)
  • Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Omega Repair & Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner (each is 1.7 oz travel size)
  • Dove GoFresh Nutrium Moisture in Mandarin & Tiare Flower scent (1.8 oz travel size)
  • Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara (full-sized product value $8.50)

There were also sample packets and coupons included. I love having travel sizes on-hand of cleansers and shampoo and conditioner. So nice when you are just going away for a day or two. This box was MUCH better than the Winter 2014 box for me!

from the website:

How does it work?

Each new season brings different product needs and a reason to refresh your beauty cabinet. In your Walmart Beauty Box, you’ll find sample beauty products and tips on how to use those and other items sold at Walmart and on Receiving your Walmart Beauty Box will be another reason to welcome each new season.

Monday, April 20, 2015

March 2015 GlossyBox

March 2015 GlossyBox
(click to enlarge)

GLOSSYBOX is one of the more expensive beauty subscription services ($21 versus both Birchbox and Ipsy's $10). In the past, I was excited with the high end brands that were included, but I have honestly been a bit disappointed lately as they have been repeating brands from month to month. I do LOVE the beautiful, high quality boxes they send each month. They are great for drawer organizing or keeping craft products in.

Here's a run-down on what I received in my March 2015 box, along with the value of each product.
  • Nexxus Color Assure Rebalancing Shampoo- (Value: $12 for full-sized 13.5 fl. oz. product) This is a sulfate-free formula meant to protect color from fading. I can definitely use this since I do highlight my hair.
  • Pop Beauty Kajal Pen in Inky Purple- (Value: $10 for full-sized product) I definitely don't consider Pop Beauty a high-end brand..... and I am not a fan of eyeliners that need to be sharpened.
  • So Susan Concealer Quad- (Value: $31 for full-sized product) So Susan is a repeat brand for GlossyBox, and one that I haven't been ultra impressed with. I do like that this product has multiple shades that can be mixed together to allow more customers to match their skintone.
  • BellaPierre Cheek & Lip Stain in Pink- (Value: $20 for full-sized product) Again, a repeat brand for GlossyBox. However, this is a shade that I will use.
  • Orogold Cosmetics 24K Multi-Vitamin Day Moisturizer- (Value: ?? not sure- size of item in box does is not listed anywhere) Sadly, Orogold does not have a good reputation and appears to have fake reviews on their own website as well as on Amazon. On top of that, I won't use this as I always make sure my day moisturizer has an SPF in it. Two of these were included.
VERDICT: My box had a value of approximately $73, not including the Orogold products, and does contain 4 full-sized products, so it's a good value. I do hope my next few boxes do not include So Susan or BellaPierre products as I'd like to try some other brand.
GLOSSYBOX also has a great point program- if you answer their survey questions on each product after you receive it, you will receive 100 points. After you have collected 1000 points, your next box is free. So after 10 months, I will have a free box.

They also have a referral program and if you use my link to sign up, I'll receive 200 points, getting me closer to my free box! You can do the same with your friends after you sign up. Right now you can use LASHXTEND to get a free ModelCo LASHXTEND Mascara with in first box.