Monthly Archives: March 2015

March ArtSnacks Unboxing [ 2015 ]

unnamed

One of my goals for 2015 is to sketch more. I’ve always loved art, whether it was admiring other’s work or creating my own. Over the past year I have been taking online classes through Sketchbook Skool. I found out about it before the first class and I’ve taken all three (plus currently their Bootkamp) that they have offered. They have inspired me to capture the everyday. They also inspired me to try new materials which has me on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ sketchbook as well as new products.

That’s where Art Snacks comes in- they send you new art products every month. March is the second month for me (and their 2 year birthday!) and I still love it! I wouldn’t have picked these items up on my own, and it was fun un-boxing and playing with my new toys.  The following are the products I received to make the sketch above.

Pro Art Chamois Cloth

A soft pliable cloth used for smudging, blending and shading. This cloth works really well with the Pentalic Soft Pastels.

Pentalic Soft Pastels

I got four soft white pastels in a easy to travel box. I haven’t played with pastels in a long time, so this was a fun surprise!

Conte Pierre Noir Sketching Pencil

This pencil has the darkest lead in the Conte pencil family and creates a matte finish. It was a different pencil to work with, I’ll have to play with it more to see what surfaces I like using it best on.

Art & Graphic Twin by Zig

One side of the marker has a brush-shaped rubber tip, making it super flexible on any surface. The opposite side has a thin felt tip for fine detail work. I love this pen – the brush end in particular is so fun to use.

Aquatowel

The Aquatowel is a little wet towelette to clean up messy hands. It was developed by a former NASA engineer and is made up of mostly water.

 

Check out my other Art Snacks unboxings!

February 2015

__________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, and 2012 and my bucket list!

Advertisements

Lush : Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb [ REVIEW ]

One of my *unofficial* goals for 2015 is to relax more. As the great Leonardo da Vinci once said, ‘Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgement.” What is more relaxing close to home than a luxurious bath?  This year I will review products from my fav shop that makes fresh and handmade beauty goods, Lush! So draw up a bath, get a good book and a glass of wine, and let’s relax!

Lush’s Fluff Egg Bath Bomb smells like cotton candy and turns a sweet pink. This classic bath bomb is about as simple and straight forward as they come. Just a fizzy bomb with no frills of a bath melt, glitter or special surprise. It does however smell great and would be a treat in any girl’s Easter basket.

This bath bomb melt dissolved extremely fast. The smell is sweet like Easter candy, but dissipated quickly. Although there is no bath melt involved, it still made the water and my skin extremely soft. Overall it was a fun bath bomb and the perfect morning smell to get your day started.

Happy Easter!

Other Easter Lush Products I’ve tested:

Immaculate Eggception, Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt

Other Lush Products I’ve tested:

Blackberry Bath BombTwilight Bath Bomb

*This post is not sponsored

_________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

Lush : Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt [ REVIEW ]

One of my *unofficial* goals for 2015 is to relax more. As the great Leonardo da Vinci once said, ‘Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgement.” What is more relaxing close to home than a luxurious bath?  This year I will review products from my fav shop that makes fresh and handmade beauty goods, Lush! So draw up a bath, get a good book and a glass of wine, and let’s relax!

Lush’s Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt is decadent smelling and turns a bright yellow. It combines the best of both bath worlds- an exterior of creamy, moisturizing cocoa butter and a fizzy bath bomb interior. As the bath water turned a dehydrated pee-yellow, I literally felt like an Easter egg getting dyed, just like I did in the pink bath water of the Immaculate Eggception Bath bomb– still a strange experience.

This bath bomb melt dissolved sloooooowly, (I’m assuming because of the moisturizing exterior). The smell is clean but heady, with the classic honey-toffee fragrance of Lush’s ‘Honey I Washed The Kids’ soap. The melt is very moisturizing, and the golden shimmer the egg is dusted in adds sparkle and pizzaz. It seems as though there is so much glitter you’ll emerge from the water resembling a sparkling Edward Cullen from ‘Twilight” – but not so. One could call the bath water color ‘sunshine’ yellow, but the leftover glitter on your skin is very subtle. Overall it was a fun bath bomb and a clever concept of a bath bomb within a moisturizing melt. I would purchase this again… but I’ll be sure to clean my tub while it’s still wet because otherwise the glitter/melt sticks to the bottom and sides.

Happy Easter!

Other Easter Lush Products I’ve tested:

Immaculate Eggception

Other Lush Products I’ve tested:

Blackberry Bath BombTwilight Bath Bomb

*This post is not sponsored

_________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard [ REVIEW ]

Red Queen

One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!

Mare Barrow lives in a world similar to our own, but that has one major difference. It is segregated by the color of one’s blood. There’s the “Silver,” the ruling class of citizens that have super human powers, and the “Red,” the powerless inferiors (and literally the servants) of the Silver. Mare has red blood. Born into poverty because of the color of her blood, she, like her family, like all reds, struggle to survive. There’s hardly enough food or electricity and even less job prospects. Without a talent or apprenticeship, reds are forcibly drafted into the army, forced to fight in a war for the Silvers that has gone on for years. Being recruited means an eventual and agonizing death for most Reds.

With three older brothers already drafted, Mare (who has no job) and her family rely on Mare’s little sister, Gisa who can sew and has the only stable job. Mare is skilled when it comes to picking pockets, but she doesn’t possess any type of lawfully marketable gifts. It is only a matter of time before she’s drafted. In a desperate attempt to save herself and her best friend Kilorn, who is also going to be drafted, Mare dreams up a plan to steal a large sum of money. Their only hope is to pay an outrageous amount to smuggle them both to safety. The plan, though brave, is riddled with problems Mare can’t control, and in a shocking turn of events they fail and her sister Gisa ends up paying a vast price which causes her to loose her job.

Devastated and sick with worry for herself and her family Mare attempts to pick one last pocket before she’s taken from her home. She targets patron after patron leaving a local bar, and she stays later than normal out of desperation. Her last victim, a handsome and mysterious stranger named Cal is the first ever to catch her. He listens to her woes and gives her more money than she could hope for. This initial meeting changes Mare’s life irrevocably. Cal gets her a job at court (did I mention he’s a prince? Mare didn’t see that coming either.) Mare attempts to fit in, disgusted but amazed at the life that the Silvers live. It’s so different and extravagant from her life in the ‘slums’. Mare turns out to be more than she originally seemed. Not only is she a Red, but everyone discovers she has powers like a Silver. But not only powers- powers no Silver should even have, to be able to control lightning and electricity. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to his youngest son, prince Maven. She becomes a strong revolutionary symbol caught in a power struggle she doesn’t truly understand.

You  can’t trust anyone in this book because a lot of people want the throne, and they will do whatever it takes to get it. This book is all about deceit, lies, and using others for your own means. Mare is told by numerous others not to trust them because everyone lies. She spends the book learning the history and ways to grow her power, and survive in her new circumstances. She is caught in a love triangle between Cal and his brother her betrothed, Maven. Also, because she isn’t busy enough, she volunteers to help out the Red uprising.

I devoured Red Queen. It’s a dystopian through and through but a lot darker than most already on the market. Aveyard does add an interesting touch with aspects reminiscent of an X-Men comic — namely mutations, powers and sociological subtext. The Silvers Mare meets range from telekinetics and powerful “strongarms” to various folks who can bend fire, light and water to their will. Having them around – especially the Queen who can force her way into Mare’s mind and read her memories- ups the action and the stakes.

If you’re a fan of X-Men, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and dystopians like The Selection, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s got elements of each, which combine into a captivating read. The Red Queen came out in February 2015, which means it’s sequel will be released too far away for my liking!

four_half-stars_0

_________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

Lush : Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb -Pink [ REVIEW ]

One of my *unofficial* goals for 2015 is to relax more. As the great Leonardo da Vinci once said, ‘Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgement.” What is more relaxing close to home than a luxurious bath?  This year I will review products from my fav shop that makes fresh and handmade beauty goods, Lush! So draw up a bath, get a good book and a glass of wine, and let’s relax!

Lush’s Immaculate Eggception (pink) Bath Bomb is sweet smelling and turns a girly pink. You can break the egg apart to reveal the surprise chick bath bomb inside, and even use the pieces for up to three baths. I used the entire bath bomb so it was a deep pink and very fragrant! I literally felt like an Easter egg getting dyed- a strange experience.

This bath bomb dissolved crazy fast. The smell is clean and refreshing, and it made the water very soft to the touch. Overall it was a fun bath bomb and a clever concept of a bath bomb within a bath bomb- but not my favorite. The smell of grapefruit oil is pleasant, but more energizing than relaxing. I should have used it in the morning instead of the evening!

Happy Easter!

Other Easter Lush Products I’ve tested:

Golden Egg Bath Bomb

Other Lush Products I’ve tested:

Blackberry Bath BombTwilight Bath Bomb

*This post is not sponsored

_________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry’ by Gabrielle Zevin [ REVIEW ]

unnamed

One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!

Gabrielle Zevin’s “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” is a surprisingly real human story, a literary work of art and a page-turner. Zevin makes the reader fall in love with the characters, even the ones that aren’t always so lovable. The title character A.J. Fikry is the cranky owner of Island Books. His wife has died. His store is failing. A treasured book, which is his hope for his retirement fund, has been stolen. Then on top of everything, a young child has been abandoned in in his bookstore with a note. The mother wants her baby girl to grow up to be a reader in a place with books and among people who care for them. There are a lot of questions. Who is the child? Who stole Fikry’s valuable edition of Poe poems? How can his store, and his life, be turned around?

We watch as Fikry falls in love, slowly makes friends and learns how to turn his business around. We love that he learns to love the little girl left in his store, and cheer for her as she grows and learns to love the written word herself. It beautiful story of an unlikely father and a daughter, who brave the world together. Toward the end, story lines are wrapped up, and we realize how closely intertwined the lives of everyone we meet are. This book will make you laugh and cry, but most importantly will make you feel.

star-four-11-jpg1

_________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!

 

‘The Mime Order’ by Samantha Shannon [ REVIEW ]

tumblr_nfwhdnDnAP1s2msv3o1_1280

One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!

“The Mime Order” is the second novel in the seven part series by Samantha Shannon. We left off at the first book, “The Bone Season,” with our heroine Paige Mahoney escaping the penal colony where she was held captive. This book opens right where the first left off, with Paige and crew on the train heading back to the Scion citadel of London. Paige is wounded after leading the uprising and they are all still in danger. Within hours, she is the most hunted outlaw “voyant” in the city, her face on massive screens everywhere one looks. If caught by the Vigiles — clairvoyants used by the State to track their own — she will be imprisoned in the Tower of London, then executed.

For her own protection, Paige is forced to go back into service for Jaxon Hall, mime lord of the Seven Seals gang. He welcomes her back to her old position as mollisher, with promises she will take his place in a few years. She doesn’t quite fit in as she did before due largely to what has learned in her time at the penal colony. A race called the Rephaim created a puppet government in London almost 200 years before she was born. Paige is hunted by their leader Nashira Sargas, but Jaxon refuses to fight them, maintaining his stance that Paige is safe under his care. Jaxon spends much of his time drinking and preparing to take over leadership of the Unnatural Assembly after the last leader is killed. Paige follows his lead, but knows she must not give up her fight- even if that means becoming Underqueen herself.

NPR books sums it all up perfectly: “In The Mime Order [Paige] comes into her own. She forges alliances, fends off poltergeists and monstrous Buzzers, rescues Warden from a secret dungeon in Camden, and risks her life to travel to London’s most notorious slum to find out who assassinated a rival and his gang. She engages in combat with the toughest of the mime lords and mollishers. Even Jaxon. Shannon’s haunting dystopian universe is rich in detail, consistent, suffused with familiar afternotes. Just when the bloodshed seems over the top, she turns to shimmering descriptions of Paige’s dangerously illicit tie to Warden. When Paige seems toughest, Shannon reminds us of her empathy for the downtrodden. “Hope is the lifeblood of revolution,” Shannon writes. “Without it, we are nothing but ash, waiting for the wind to take us.” Like Paige Mahoney, Shannon now has proven staying power. Her fans will be calling for more.”

five-stars-624x145

_________________________________

Click here to see my goals for 2015

You can also see my goals for 2014, 2013, 2012 and my bucket list!