• books,  Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday: 10 sequels I can’t wait to get

    Top Ten Tuesday

    Ooooohhhhhh, sequels. I have a love-hate relationship with sequels. Sometimes I find a book so great that I can’t wait for the sequel, and then…it disappoints. Other times I kind of want to know how the story continues, but the book wasn’t good enough to drive me through additional installments. Nonetheless, there are a few sequels I’m eagerly awaiting and probably won’t be able to procure fast enough for my tastes!

    1. The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire #6), by George R. R. Martin. Seven Hells, man! I know you have a writing “process” and I get it that you don’t want to rush the story. I don’t want you to rush it either, per se…I just kind of want you to get the damn thing written so I can read it. Preferably before I’m 87.

    2. Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3), by Robin LaFevers. I’ve been waiting for the conclusion to this trilogy for months. At least it’s finally on hold at the library.

    3. The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3), by Justin Cronin. Another trilogy wrap-up that I’ve been waiting for way too long. This was supposed to be out this year, but now it’s apparently been pushed back to October 2015. A WHOLE ‘NOTHER FREAKING YEAR. Gaaaaahhhhh.

    4. Dawn’s Early Light (The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #3), by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. It’s steampunk, and also, it has Tesla. Oh yes please. I’d hoped the library would get around to purchasing this so I could borrow it but they haven’t, so it looks like I’ll have to cave and buy it for my own self.

    5. Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5), by Brandon Sanderson. Once again, waiting until freaking 2015 for the next book! I decided I wouldn’t start this series anyway until all the books were out, because a quick flip through told me I’d probably race through them. They look really good. I guess to be fair, I do have plenty of other books to read in the meantime…

    6. Dust (The Silo Saga #3), by Hugh Howey. I’m reading the first book, Wool, right now, and I’m already impatiently tapping my foot waiting for the third book to arrive from the library so I can complete this trilogy uninterrupted.

    7. All of the rest of the Pretty Little Liars books by Sara Shepherd. I know, these are so trashy. I’m not even going to pretend that they constitute anything other than vapid, gossipy, guilty-pleasure reading, and I should probably feel terrible for enjoying them. But goodness, they’re addictive.

    8. Whatever the next book in the Trilogia Victoriana is going to be. Felix J. Palma has become one of my favorite authors, even though he’s only got two books out. They’re AMAZING. Or maybe that’s just me. (There’s a small chance that it’s just me.) Anyway, I have no idea what the third book in this trilogy will be called or when it will be released, but I need it. Badly.

    9. Forged (Taken #3), by Erin Bowman. This trilogy surprised me. I like the inversion of the typical love triangle (there’s one guy and two badass girls, instead of the typical helpless girl torn between two guys). I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s one of the best YA series I’ve ever read, but I’m really curious to see how it ends.

    10. The Master Magician (The Paper Magician trilogy #3), by Charlie N. Holmberg. I have the first two books on my Kindle now, and as eager as I am to read them, I dread waiting another year for the third and final installment.


    So…any sequels you just can’t wait to get your hands on? Any that disappointed you once you finally read them? Tell me in the comments!

  • Beauty,  product review

    Unboxing: Influenster Moda VoxBox

    (Disclosure: The products mentioned in this post were provided compliments of Influenster for testing purposes; I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)


    It’s been a long time since I’ve had one of these to unbox for ya! The Influenster Moda VoxBox arrived recently and I’m finally getting pics of all the products and squeezing in some product testing. For today I have a quick rundown of the box and its contents, with some mini reviews.

    First up we have a trio of products from Rimmel London. The Scandaleyes Rockin’ Curves Mascara ($5.99 at drugstores). This mascara promises to give you major lash volume, with a specially designed brush that grabs even the tiny lashes at the inner corners of the eyes. This mascara does contain beeswax and silk powder, so it isn’t vegan friendly.


    The Moisture Renew Lipstick ($7.49 at drugstores), in #560 As You Want Victoria, promises brilliant color and “lips drenched in moisture”. The photo does a terrible job of capturing this shade; it puts the “shocking” in “shocking pink”. Click over to the Rimmel website (here) to see a photo of Georgia May Jagger wearing this shade.


    Finally from Rimmel there’s a Moisture Renew Lip Liner ($6.49 at drugstores) in a clear shade, designed to prevent feathering. I have to say that I don’t understand why more companies don’t offer a clear lip liner; I’m constantly reading in beauty magazines that it’s a “must-have” and better than colored lip liner. Mystifying.


    I have to say that for cruelty-free consumers, Rimmel London might be an iffy choice. In a pop-up on their home page, the company states, “We at Rimmel take the issue of animal testing very seriously, and have for many years been vehemently against animal testing products or product ingredients on animals.  We do not undertake animal testing for any of our products or even product ingredients, and do not commission such tests with outside test institutes either.” However, the company is owned by Coty, and their animal testing statement (see it here) includes the infamous “where required by law” clause that has caused many cruelty-free consumers to shop elsewhere.

    I know this statement causes a lot of heated arguments, especially in light of the recent EU ban on testing and all the confusion about what that means for cosmetics sold here in America; also, the Coty statement is from 2012…so, this might warrant a longer post on another day. For now I’ll just say that as consumers we always have to make our own choices about what to buy, so you’ll have to weigh the two statements and decide how you feel purchasing from a company whose parent may or may not occasionally submit their other brands for animal testing. (Much like The Body Shop and Urban Decay being owned by L’Oreal.)

    Okay, on to other products! There’s a Puffs SoftPack ($2.49 at drugstores), which will come in handy since both the husband and I have the sniffles. The soft body lets you easily stick these in a backpack, baby bag, luggage or anywhere else. Let’s face it, those tiny “travel packs” are never big enough when you have a severe cold; this is so much better!


    The Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask ($14.99 at Target) is designed to condition and smooth hair with honey and apricot oil. Because of the honey this product is not vegan-friendly, and I believe Clariol tests on animals (they’re also owned by animal-testing Proctor & Gamble).


    There’s a travel-sized bottle of Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer ($4.99 for a 21-oz. bottle or $6.99 for a 32-oz. bottle, at drugstores). I’ve used this before and liked it, but more recently I’ve had trouble nailing down the brand’s animal testing policies, so I’ve stopped using their products. I have heard both that they do not test on animals and that their parent company, Kao Brands, does test.


    Next we have a Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa packet ($2.29 for an eight-count box; at grocery stores). This contains milk, so I can’t drink it, but I gave it to a non-vegan friend who appreciated the “short, sweet ingredient list” and “rich, not-too-sugary taste”.


    Finally there’s a bottle of Resource Spring Water ($1.49 at grocery stores). This is a water enhanced with “natural electrolytes”, in a 100% recyclable bottle made with 50% recycled plastic. Nifty, though I’m not sure I’ll necessarily notice a difference from any other bottled water–but I’ll certainly give it a spin!


    So that’s it for this VoxBox! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more pics as I try out these products!


  • books,  giveaway

    GIVEAWAY: ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy (paperback)

    Hunger Games trilogy

    Who’s excited for the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 in movie theaters this Friday?! This is one of my favorite book series ever, not to mention my favorite YA series, and I’ve loved the movies, too. To celebrate the release of the latest movie, I’m giving away a paperback copy of the trilogy–so whether you want to re-read the series once again, or you’ve never read the books and want to see how they stack up against the movies, now’s your chance!

    To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget below. I’ve added some new options for you to look over (for starters, you can now follow me on Instagram!), but please remember: I do verify all entries, so don’t check them off if you didn’t complete them! The giveaway will be open internationally for one week, and I’ll be drawing the winner next Monday. May the odds be ever in your favor!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway