My 2014 Reading List – UPDATED!

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Last year, I listed all of the books I wanted to read in 2013.  I made a dent, but not as much as I wanted to.  Although, come to think of it, there were books that I read that weren’t on my initial list – two being the Divergent series!  Here’s my list for 2014.  (Note: a New Year resolution I really need to keep to this year, is to NOT BUY ANY MORE BOOKS until I read the gazillion I have in paperback or downloaded on my Kindle.)

  1. Orphan Train – COMPLETED 1/15/14
  2. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  3. The Holiday by Jane Green
  4. A Walk in the Park by Jane Green
  5. The Girls in 3B by Valerie Taylor
  6. Over You by Emma McLaughlin
  7. Bared to You by Sylvia Day
  8. Swim by Jennifer Wiener
  9. Paris Without End by Gioia Diliberto
  10. Paris in Love by Eloisa James
  11. The Fallback Plan by Leign Stein
  12. Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb
  13. Prep, a novel by Curtis Sittenfield
  14. The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
  15. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  16. Pearl of China by Anchee Min
  17. Womenomics by Claire Shipman
  18. The Weighing of the Heart by Jane Thynne
  19. Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie LaCava
  20. The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
  21. The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Phillipa Gregory
  22. Motherland by Amy Shone
  23. A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel
  24. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  25. The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  26. Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly
  27. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
  28. The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay
  29. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Brett
  30. Smut: Stories by Alan Bennett
  31. Girl Land by Caitlin Flanagan
  32. The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar
  33. A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay — READING NOW AND LOVING!  9/20/14The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
  34. Saving Ceecee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman – COMPLETED 7/14
  35. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  36. The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain
  37. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
  38. Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
  39. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
  40. Promises to Keep by Jane Green
  41. The Summer We Met Gatsby by Danielle Ganek- COMPLETED 9/12/14
  42. Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Do you have any good book recommendations?  I’d love to hear!

BOOKS I READ THAT ARE NOT ON THE LIST!

  1. The Chaperone – COMPLETED 1/14
  2. No, Seriously – (audiobook) COMPLETED 1/14
  3. On the Inside – COMPLETED 1/14
  4. Orphan Train – COMPLETED 4/14
  5. Wedding Night – (audiobook) Sophie Kinsella – COMPLETED 2/14
  6. Spelling it Like it is (audiobook) – COMPLETED 3/14
  7. Have You Found Her? – COMPLETED 4/14
  8. Brunette Ambitions (Lea Michele – audiobook) – COMPLETED 5/14
  9. Maxed Out – American Moms on the Brink – COMPLETED 6/14
  10. The American Heiress – COMPLETED 7/14
  11. The Book of Life – COMPLETED 8/10

 

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Five for Friday: September 19th

5 friday favorites

It’s Friiiiiiddaaayyyyyy!  This week was a bit slow-moving for me but Friday is here so I am super happy!!  Last weekend I decorated my house for Halloween and my husband didn’t understand why so early.  I want to enjoy the decorations!!!  Next thing you know it is going to be time to decorate for Christmas (um, Michael’s you’re freaking me out with your multiple rows of Xmas cheer…).  I digress…on to the Five for Friday!

1. Ever wonder what wine goes best with your tradition of Friday night pizza?  Enter this cool Vinepair app…all you have to do is click on the cute toppings illustrations of what type of pizza you are eating and if you are planning on drinking red or white wine and voila!

2. One of my dreams has come true, although I was a bit disappointed I must say.  So SJP’s house is up for sale, and there are pictures of the absolutely awesome kitchen and other interior rooms INCLUDING her closet.  She totally cleaned it out before the photo shoot because I envisioned it much more crowded.  What do you think?

3. I am a huge Starbucks fan.  I loved this video on Saturday Night Live introducing the Verismo.  So funny!

4. This next article is for my Long Island readers!  25 Things You Don’t Understand About Long Island Unless You Lived There – so true!

5. If you are a scarf lover, don’t miss out on my post about Fall Scarves and video share of cool ways to tie them!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Fall Trend – Scarves!

fall fashion scarves

While reorganizing my guest bedroom closet, I came to realize that I have quite a few scarves.  I think scarves are a GREAT accessory to any outfit – especially when one has a wardrobe like mine that is neutral.  A scarf can add an extra pop of color or texture – besides the traditional use to keep you warm!

Believe it or not I do have scarves with color!  I love polka dots and paisley print – I guess scarves are the one clothing item that I really do tend to buy outside of my normal comfort zone.

As mentioned in my Fall Fashion: Part One post, plaid is back!  Here are some fun plaid scarves to choose from:

Notice the Burberry-esque one for a fraction of the price!

You can easily achieve the dark floral trend with a gorgeous scarf!

Something about polka dots always makes me smile!

Missoni scarves are definitely on my “want” list, like the ones below, but are somewhat of an investment.  NOTE: they go on sale!!  Check out online shops like Gilt and Rue La La…sales pop up all the time.

Now on to how to actually wear the scarf and not just admire its beauty!  Depending on the shape of the scarf, there are many different ways you can tie it!  The video below is awesome.  I sat in front of the mirror with my computer right next to me and pressed play then pause then play then pause so I could try out a lot of the different styles.  They are definitely doable!

Do you wear scarves?  What’s your favorite print and style?

Birchbox Review!

birchbox review

OF COURSE the reason why I sign up for these beauty subscription boxes is to find the most convenient ways to learn about and test up and coming and best performing beauty care products.  I don’t have time (nor the budget) to go to the department stores and try each and every facial wash doted as the “BEST”. This is where subscription boxes such as Birchbox and Ipsy come in.

I’ve shied away from Birchbox the past few months because the last box I received was less than stellar – BUT I’ve been seeing better boxes come through my friends’ mail, so I figured I should give them one more try.  (I also signed up for Ipsy, which will be another post.)

I am happy to say that this Birchbox was a goodie!  Besides containing a sample from one of my favorite lines, Caudalie, the other samples are definitely items that I am interested in checking out.

birch box review contents

Included was:

  1. Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (a little while ago I posted about how red wine is also a great ingredient in beauty products) – it boasts to fade dark spots and even skin tone – something I do need on my cheeks.  I have started the sample, but feel that it will take a few weeks to see the full results.
  2. dr. brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner – sorry if this is TMI, but every time I go to get a facial, my esthetician tells me that my nose is a breeding ground for blackheads (that is gross, I apologize again, but this is reality).  The directions for this product says to apply 2-3 times weekly and then rinse after 5-10 minutes.  I can’t wait to see the results.
  3. Juara Candlenut Body Creme – my skin is always dry.  I drink a lot of water everyday (well, on the weekends I slack a bit, but I am trying…).  This body cream is applied a bit differently than traditional creams.  You are supposed to put it on a loofah, work into a lather, massage over your skin and then rinse.  I did so – and my skin did feel well-nourished and smelled yummy too.
  4. Noir Cosmetics Long-Wear Eyeliner – this is a full size!  It’s waterproof and I will definitely be using it!
  5. Whish Shave Crave – currently I use EOS shaving cream but tried this sample and it smelled good and seems to have done the trick.
  6. This may sound silly, but my favorite of all was the ChapStick Hydralock  It is double sided.  One side is meant to be used at night to replenish your lips while you sleep (with a  soothing camomile scent).  The other side is for the day time and contains SPF 12 sunscreen.  So handy!  I tried it right out of the box!

I am super happy with this month’s Birchbox and look forward to next month’s!  If you are interested in trying out Birchbox, it’s only $10 a month and you can cancel at anytime.

 

Fall Shoe Picks for the Busy Mom

fall shoesMy dress code is business casual during the week. I love high heels with a pencil skirt or a nice pair of slacks (yes, I said slacks LOL). They make me look taller and are just so much nicer looking than flats. BUT I have a bad lower back (I’m falling apart slowly), so I have to opt for either a low heel, like a kitten heel, a wedge or a flat.

I always wondered where the name kitten heels came from so I did some digging. In the late 1950s, these shorter heeled shoes were introduced as formal fashion attire for young adolescent teenage girls because they were too young for higher heels. At that time, high heels apparently came along with sexual connotations. Kitten heels were also referred to as “trainer heels” in the US, used by young girls getting ready to eventually wear high heels. Here are some of my favorite kitten heels for Fall.

To get somewhat of the look of heels, but not kill my back, I may opt to wear a wedge. Banana Republic has some super comfy wedges. Here are some other great picks for the office.

Now I do have to say that flats have come a long way. There’s nothing more comfortable than a well-fitting ballet flat – I love my Tory Burch flats and definitely wear their worth in gold. D’orsay heels are my favorite style heel and now they have d’orsay flats. The Madewell ones in the slideshow below…I have them and LOVE them. They are so comfy and the pointed toe gives them a little splash of style.

People always ask me how I can confidently purchase shoes online, as they traditionally like to try them on in the stores. I wish I had the time to look for shoes in a store and have someone help me! I did try a few times but I was with one or both boys and it was so stressful trying to make sure that they weren’t wrecking havoc in the shoe department while trying to find the perfect shoe.

A trick I use when buying shoes online is to buy two sizes (especially when I am purchasing from an online retailer and they have free shipping & returns) OR I can go to the nearest location and return them and not have to pay the return shipping.

Where are your go-to stores or online retailers for shoes?  Do you feel more comfortable going to the brick and mortar store or are at ease shopping online?  I’d love to know!

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