• books,  Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday: books recently added to my TBR list

    Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re talking recent additions to the TBR pile! I add new books weekly, so this list is constantly updating, but as of typing this the ten most recent additions were:

    1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I heard that this has beautiful writing, and it was highly recommended by two of my GR friends. (By the way, if we’re not friends on Goodreads yet, we totally should be!)

    2. Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay. I like the idea of interwoven plots, and this is another book well-liked by my GR friends.

    3. Someone is Watching, by Joy Fielding. I don’t know why I read this kind of book–I guess I secretly love scaring the crap out of myself.

    4. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain. How could I not want to read this? It involves Hemingway!

    5. None of the Above, by I.W. Gregorio. I don’t normally “do” YA contemporary, but this sounds really thought-provoking.

    6. The Novice, by Taran Matharu. Heroes in hoods, y’all. There’s a reason I have a shelf for it.

    7. Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle. I actually just picked this up from the library, and it’s so short, I might read it in one sitting this weekend.

    8. Girl in the Dark, by Anna Lindsey. I’m not really a “memoir” person per se but this sounds so sad, scary and interesting.

    9. The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant, by Joanna Wiebe. I might start this sometime this week. I actually just finished book one and had really mixed feelings about it, but I do want to know what happens next in the series!

    10. The Starbound trilogy, by Amie Kaufman. I keep hearing amazing things about it, and the covers are beautiful, so I finally added the whole trilogy to my TBR list.

  • music

    Music Monday: Boston

    Man, this is a flashback to high school. I think the lyrics have really stuck with me throughout different time periods and events in my life.

    She said I think I’ll go to Boston…
    I think I’ll start a new life,
    I think I’ll start it over, where no one knows my name.

    (Funny side note: I remember when this was the hot “look” on boys. That haircut, the soul patch, everything. Kind of funny to see something from ten years ago and realize how much things change, while other things don’t change at all.)

  • Beauty,  body products,  cruelty-free,  product review,  skin care,  vegan,  vegetarian,  winter

    Product review: Andalou Naturals Lavender Shea hand cream

    I’ve struggled with dry hands all winter and have tried a few different hand creams, without finding one I really love. Now that spring is here my skin isn’t quite so dry, but I still need something, so I picked up this fresh-smelling hand cream from my local natural foods store.

    Andalou Naturals Lavender Shea hand cream review from I'd Rather Be Reading blog

    What it is: Andalou Naturals Lavender Shea hand cream; $8.95/3.4 ounces. An organic, vegan and gluten-free hand cream designed to nourish dry hands and cuticles.

    What it does: It’s a fairly thick cream that absorbs quickly and smells strongly of lavender, without that baby powder tendency found in some lavender-scented products. It’s less sweet and more earthy, which I like.  I do feel like the scent fades quickly.

    I like how this feels on my skin, but it’s still not quite thick enough for the winter months. You still have to reapply every couple of hours or after washing your hands, and I’ll be shopping for something a bit thicker for the colder, drier winter months. That said, I feel like this will be a good hand cream for the spring-to-fall period, when I want something with a medium thickness and a clean scent. I also really love that the profits from this hand cream support projects to benefit women’s education–I feel that it’s important for companies to find ways to give back to society, and human rights and education are important to me.

    Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice (organic), Aqua, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil (organic), Stearic Acid, Prunus Amygdalus (Sweet Almond) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (organic), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter (organic), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Butter, Vegetable Glycerin, Calophyllum Inophyllum (tamanu) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Malus Domestica (apple), Solar Vitis (grape), Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) (Fruit Stem Cell Cultures and BioActive 8 Berry Complex. Organic), Allantoin, Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract (organic), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil (organic), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Oil, Xanthan Gum, ethylhexyl glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Lavandula Officinalis (Lavender) Oil (organic).

  • accessories,  Fashion,  jewelry,  style

    My Rocksbox redux: March 2015

    Rocksbox March15 1

    If you’ve read my blog for a while, then you might remember the time I tried out Rocksbox. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the service and ended up canceling my subscription after my trial period ended, but when the company reached out recently to see if I’d like to give it another shot, I decided to go for it. After all, practice makes perfect, so a few months’ worth of style profiling should make my boxes better this time around. Plus, I’ve had a serious case of the “wanna-buys” lately–probably because of the seasonal change–so this is a good way to play with some new jewelry without committing to a piece I might not want to wear for very long.

    Rocksbox March15 2

    Here’s how it works: After signing up and completing your style profile via the Rocksbox website, a stylist puts together a set of jewelry and ships it out to you. I’ve found that the shipping is incredibly speedy–I got my box (and my return box was processed) in a matter of mere days. You can keep the pieces as long as you like, and if you like anything in particular, you can purchase it at a discounted member price, plus you get $10 each month in “Shine Spend” to put towards a purchase. When you’re ready to send back your set, simply reuse the package it arrived in (a prepaid label is in your box) and drop it in the mail; you’ll get a new set within days, and you can refresh your set an unlimited number of times in a month. The monthly charge is $19 and you can cancel at any time.

    Rocksbox March15 3

    Want to try a free month? Use my code “mhokensonxoxo” at sign-up to get a free one-month trial! You can try out multiple styles during your free month and cancel at any time if you decide you don’t want to keep your membership.

    Rocksbox March15 4

    Now, let’s look at my box…the first item is the Gorjana Taner Ear Climbers earring set ($40, $32 for insiders). In all honesty these earrings were just too plain for me; I like very bold earrings!

    Rocksbox March15 5

    The second item is this Slate Marble Triangle Necklace ($50, $40 for insiders). I’ve been toying with buying a similar necklace and appreciated getting to try the trend with some pieces in my closet before committing. I ended up deciding it wasn’t for me, but it was fun to try!

    Rocksbox March15 6

    Finally, I have a House of Harlow 1960 Symbols and Signs Bangle in Gold ($68, $54 for insiders). Of all my pieces, this was the one that most tempted me to buy it–anything boho is good by me–but I sent it back because I’m trying to control my cash flow right now and I already splurged on books and a yoga class this month.

    So there’s my box! I was much happier with this box than previous ones, and I’m super-pleased with the speedy shipping. (If there’s one thing I hate, it’s waiting!) I already snuck a peek at my next box online and I can’t wait for it to arrive next week–I have a feeling I’m going to love everything in it!

    Don’t forget to sign up for your own free month of Rocksbox! And pop back in next week to see my next set of gems…