Friday, December 19, 2014

On Borrowed Time by Jenn Mckinlay

Oh my! I just finished the most awesome book and I had to drop everything to tell you about it. You surely know by now that I love a good mystery, so as you might have guessed that is the genre of On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay.

Being a little sister, I know full well about the bonds between siblings, especially brothers and sisters. That bond is the driving force in this newest mystery in the Library Lovers Mysteries. In this part Lindsay Norris, the library director, gets a surprise visit from her brother that ends up doing more than disrupting the "Crafternoon" women's group when a dead body appears as he vanishes.

This is fast paced, hard to put down mystery. I really read this in two sittings, which is saying a lot as tired as my eyes have been with all of the holiday crafting.  It was a real edge-of-my-seat type of story where you just have to see what was going to happen next.

The whole cast was so much fun and I really started to bond with the crafters and library staff. Plus, there was a love triangle between Lindsay, Sully (her ex) and Robbie (an Englishman, which you know I love) and these two men really were ready to battle it out for Lindsay’s attention. I will be interested to see how this plays out in future parts. I am going to have to get my hands on the earlier parts so that I can get a better insight into all of the dynamics at play.

That said, this was a very well crafted and stand apart story. Even though I was jumping into the series at this part, I did not feel lost or like I was missing anything. The characters are warm and welcoming and considering how exciting this was, it somehow still managed to be cozy and charming, which is a great feat. In addition to getting the other parts in this series, I did some looking and there are other mystery series' from Jenn Mckinly and you can bet I will be grabbing them too because I like her style.

And don’t leave just yet because in the back of the book you will find ideas from the Crafternoon ladies for reading, crafts, and recipes. I have tried the fruit cake cookies, I had too, because as an Englishman, my husband loves his Christmas cake and couldn’t deny him that in cookie form!

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read.

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Best Holiday Gifts are at Best Buy

Do you still have last minute shopping to do? I know I have few gifts left to pick up. Some people on my list are harder to shop for than others. Thankfully there is a huge and varied selection at Best Buy. They really do have something for everyone. 

My husband loves his games and I found a great deal on the XBOX One at Best Buy. What is Xbox One? Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers. With the best exclusive titles (Halo, Sunset Overdrive), the biggest blockbusters (Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty) the hottest sports franchises (Madden 15, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15) and top family titles (Fantasia: Music Evolved, Just Dance 15, Skylanders), Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level.

In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.  With Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.

For my techy buddies Best Buy has awesome JBL deals too, like the JBL Charge 2. Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone, the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL Flip 2- Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones-  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

And they even have something special for that extra hard to shop for friend like the Garmin and TomTom

Feauting bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates.  Lane assist, Lifetime traffic and map updates and Voice Recognition Technology.  

The Garmin 52LM features: 5.0” display, maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates, lane assist with junction view, displays speed limit and accurate arrival time, easily find addresses and millions of points of interest, and spoken turn-by-turn directions. 

Or you might like the Garmin 2597LMT which features a 5.0” display, maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates, lane assist with junction view, displays speed limit and accurate arrival time, easily find addresses and millions of points of interest, and spoken turn-by-turn directions.  

They also have the TomTom Go 50s with lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device, lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map
3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D 5" touchscreen with advanced lane guidance. 

No matter what you are looking for make sure you check Best Buy first! 

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Most Comfy Sleep Mask Ever

I know I am not alone in not sleeping well at night. In fact, I don’t sleep well in a lot of situations. Where as my husband could fall asleep on a park bench, I can never be guaranteed to fall asleep in the daytime, in the car, and even in bed at night. If there is even a hint of activity or light, I will be awake. 

That being said when it comes to sleep masks, most of them do let in light and are generally awkward and fall off when you shift around; and I do shift around a lot. If you can relate, you have got to try this patented Sleep Mask that is specially designed with deeply molded cups that curve away from your eyes and eyelashes for rub-free comfort. 

This mask blocks out light and visual stimuli, while contouring to your face and eyelids for comfortable and uninterrupted sleep! That means you can sleep anywhere, any time even if you struggle like I do. It is also light weight which adds to how comfortable it is.

As you may know, exposure to light during sleep interferes with your sleep cycle, preventing you from the long and deep night's rest you need to function at your best. This patented Sleep Mask completely blocks out all light and visual stimuli so you can nap or sleep soundly anywhere. Sleeping with this mask is like having your own personal mobile black-out curtains. 

This really is the most comfortable sleep mask I have ever tried and I have been able to get a full night sleep as well as naps in the daytime! You can get your own HERE at

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

50 Fabulous Garter Stitches from Leisure Arts

I must admit that even though I started knitting first, crochet is the yarn art that seems to come like second nature to me. As such, I don’t know how to make the fancy looking knitted items. In fact, I really only know the very basic stitches and didn't feel like that was enough to make anything really pretty - boy was I mistaken!

Garter stitch is the first stitch you learn when someone teaches you to knit, but rows and rows of just a knit stitch are pretty boring. In fact, I even got bored with a blanket I made using knits and purls, so as you might imagine I didn't realize the garter stitch could be so interesting until I opened  50 Fabulous Garter Stitches.

I really had no idea that the garter stitch can be used to make lace, ripples, mosaic designs, and ribbings. In fact, without using a purl stitch, garter stitch can even be made to look just like stockinette. As the title suggests, there are 50 different stitches all created by only using a knit/garter stitch! In fact, there are more than 50. And there are no purl stitches in this book.

Another fabulous feature is that you can make these stitches using any weight yarn you want. They are fun to make and will add a new dimension to your knitting. I personally cannot wait to try my hand at a lacy one since I am in a real shawl mood lately.

With a book like this, even a beginning level knitter, like me, can make and design the most beautiful works of yarn art. I am seriously still in awe with all that can be done only knowing one stitch. Just look at the beautiful stitches on the cover! I see shawls, blankets and even sweaters in those stitches.

Take some time to browse Leisure Arts' great selection and make sure you also connect with Leisure Arts on Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss a special or new pattern! Also, if you sign up for their knitting or crochet newsletters, you get a free pattern on Fridays!

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my reader. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Find the Cannon You Want at Best Buy #CanonatBestBuy #HintingSeason

I know I have told you in the past how important pictures are to me. I really love being able to capture the moment perfectly. To be able to capture that moment, you need the right camera and now is the time to start hinting to your family about what you need/want.

While you are hinting, you might want to let them know that Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. Of the cameras at Best Buy, I have really been eyeing the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. It is one of the best-selling DSLRs for a lot of reasons.

This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression. You can capture Hollywood caliber full HD video. Plus, it has continuous auto-focus while taking HD video. For pictures, it features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.

One feature I really love, since I am bit challenged with interface, is the 3" vari-angle touch screen which simplifies navigation. Right now you can save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more. *offer valid 12/7-12/20

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

BoxyCharm - November 2014

It is that wonderful time of the month again where my BoxyCharm box arrives and I get to try all sorts of awesome, new products! Just in case you forgot, BoxyCharm is a monthly subscription box that sends out full-size and luxury-size samples of high end and on trend brands. Best part? A BoxyCharm box has a low cost of only $21, plus free shipping! This month the theme was Sparkle and Shine, so let's hop right in.

First up is the MicaBeauty Eye Primer ($44.95). This primer is a yellow toned primer that is great for cancelling out red and purple tones on and around your eyes. This product is waterproof and helps extend the life of your eye look without smudging, fading, or creasing. I really like this primer and I am glad to report that is doesn't crease on me! My eyelids tend to be oily and most eye primers crease on me but not this one! I love it!

The OFRA Cosmetics Pressed Blush in Paradise Pink ($24.95) was the next item I pulled out. This is such a lovely shade of coral-y pink with some shimmer. The simmer isn't too big though and adds a natural looking glow to your cheeks without looking fake or chunky. The color blends out great and can be very subtle or applied heavier for a more dramatic look.

I love Tarina Tarantino and I was so excited to see the Eyelicity Glitter Liner ($16) included this month. I do want to mention that the glitter can settle and the product can look used or damaged but stirring and shaking the product redistributes the glitter. I got the color Black Diamond which is a black liner with multicolored glitter in it. This product applies smoothly and has great staying power for an awesome, all-day look.

The Kevin Murphy Color.Bug ($20) in purple is the next item. The instructions say to apply a hair styling product and then to wipe the Color.Bug over your hair for instant, intense color. This also easily washes out so you can change your hair color as easily as you change your make-up. I am not totally sure what I am going to use this for yet, but I know I will come up with an awesome idea!

The last item included was a Bellapierre Shimmer Powder in the color Reluctance ($14.99). This is easily my favorite product this month. It is a beautiful mossy green color with gold shimmer. I can see myself using this in so many different eye looks! It is made out of 100% pure mineral powder which helps it stick to your eye and stay in place without smudging or fading! I really, really love this eye shadow!

As always, I loved my BoxyCharm box! With a retail value of $120.89, $21 is an amazing cost to pay!! It is a great value and awesome way to try out new beauty products. Be sure to head over to their site to sign up and see past boxes. Also, follow BoxyCharm on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to never miss any news or promotions! 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lee For All Your Holiday Looks

Who has a million places to be this holiday season? It can be hard to get everywhere and do everything while looking pulled together on the outside even if you are going a little crazy. It doesn’t have to be too hard though. A great pair of jeans can take you from dashing about casual shoppers to dressed up party goers with just the change of your top!

Andrew was totally due a new pair of jeans and he is pretty picky so I always go with Lee because I know he always loves the fit and they really are a great quality, long-lasting jean. They have a new series for men called the Modern Series and knowing how picky he is, I was a bit hesitant to try a new style but it’s Lee so went for it! 

I got him a straight leg fit in the shade Stagger which looks like a well worn and loved pair from day one. They are a regular fit with below the waist rise. There are five pockets and the back pocket has detailed stitching. The material is denim with just enough spandex to give it a good fit. He was really happy with this new style too. They have a slight snug fit but are still very comfortable. He really loved that they looked and felt like he had already broken them in. They allow for good no restrictive movement and look generally awesome on him.

For me I wanted another style from the Curvy line that I introduced you to in October. I am still losing weight and happy to report I have dropped one more size! The Curvy line has been flattering for me at every size and stage of my weight loss. I love the tilted rise. The front is a midrise and the back swoops up to add to give better, fuller coverage. The leg construction allows for more room in the back, which extends through the hips, seat and thigh. What that means to you and me is you have room to breathe but your jeans fit like a glove in all the right places.

While I love the functional changes, the subtle details did not go unnoticed. These are made with a stretch denim that has a crosshatch pattern. These have fun flap pockets and lovely bold stitching throughout. They are close fit jeans and the rise just below the waist. The color is Rhine, which is perfect for that versatility I mentioned to go from casual to party with just a change of your top and perhaps a bit more eye makeup.

As always, Andrew and I were thrilled with our new Lee Jeans. Have you tried either of the new lines yet? If you haven't already, head on over to Lee's website and see all of the great styles they offer. Also, follow them on Facebook and Twitter to never miss any news!

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.