Loving Right Now: Revenge Books

I’m trucking away at my 2020 reading and found that book #96 and book #97 had a bit of a theme… revenge. Or, more specifically women who decide that they’re not going to take it anymore and do something about it!

I love a good comeuppance story and both of these books were great for different reasons, so I wanted to share them with you.

Source: Amazon.com

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (find it here on Amazon)

This book is the second in the Bromance Book Club series and just as fun as the first one. The premise is that Braden Mack is a man who thinks he knows it all about women, since he was one of the founders of the Bromance Book Club and spends his free time reading romance novels. Liv Papandreas is a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant, until she walks in on the celebrity chef owner harassing a young waitress and ends up fired. The book is a lighthearted romance, but also deals with #metoo and getting revenge on people who deserve it. I thought it was great and loved the strong friendship, love story… and of course, some revenge.

Source: Amazon.com

They Never Learn by Layne Fargo (find it here on Amazon)

Holy crap, this one was a page turner that had me totally holding my breath! Scarlett Clark is an English professor, but she’s also a serial killer who searches out deserving men and plots their murders. The book follows Scarlett’s latest plans for her next kill, while also focusing on Carly Schiller. Carly is just trying to survive her freshman year when her roommate is sexually assaulted and Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay. The writing in this book truly has you rooting for the serial killer and I’m not kidding when I say I COULD NOT put it down until the very end. Just a little warning: this IS about a serial killer, so it’s not for the squeamish.

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Reviewing Dashing Diva Nail Strips (Compared to Color Street)

I’ve established before that I’m a fan of nail strips. In fact, I’ve reviewed both Color Street and Jamberry in the past. Basically, other than a professional manicure, nail strips are the only way I can have pretty nails. Which bring us to my latest experiment: Dashing Diva Nail Strips.

Color Street was my absolute favorite, but I figured I’d give Dashing Diva a try since they were so easy to buy (Color Street has to be ordered online) and they were cheaper ($6.99 per pack vs $12 per pack).

I picked up my first couple sets of Dashing Diva nail strips on a random Target run on impulse. Here are the exact ones I used for my first try: Dashing Diva Rose Sparkle. They also have their own Dashing Diva website with even more options: Dashing Diva Website.

My initial thoughts were that they were a bit more difficult to put on, had less size options than Color Street, and felt kind of plastic. More like a nail sticker than nail polish.

Now that I’ve tried a few different packs of strips over the last few months, I have a few additional thoughts:

Putting Them On: I still find them tricky to put on because my nails don’t necessary match exactly with their sizing options. However, one trick I found is once you get them on your nail, rather than using the included nail file, I like to use a nail clipper to clip the strip at the very end of my fingernail to get a perfect fit.

Wear and Tear. While the finish on the Dashing Diva nail strips is more ‘plastic’ than the real nail polish of Color Street, it has some benefits. First, they do NOT chip at all. Rather than chipping at the tips, I found that I might get a little bit of lift around the edges at the end of the week.

Here is what they looked like after one week – you can see the regrowth but there is no chipping!

Taking Them Off: Color Street nail strips are made of actual nail polish in strips, so to remove them you need to use nail polish remover. With some of the glitter shades, this is frustrating because it takes a long time to break through all that glitter polish. Dashing Diva nail strips are more like a nail sticker, so when you want to take them off you can just rip them off like a band-aid. It is best to first put a few drops of nail oil around the edges first so you don’t harm your nails.

Sometimes They Just Don’t Want to Play Nice: I’ve had a couple times when I’d go through my normal routine of drying my nails out with alcohol and then applying the strips only for one to just fall back off and not want to stick. It’s annoying and frustrating and I have no idea why this happens. So, I’ve found it’s best to just try again with a new strip.

While I haven’t been wearing nail strips on a regular basis since I’m mostly teleworking, I do like to put a new pair on every so often to brighten my day. I’ve found that they last about 7 – 10 days easily. At that point, I usually have enough regrowth that I just go ahead and rip them off. After removing the nail strips, my nails are quite dry… so I massage in some cuticle oil or hand lotion and then give my nails a break for a while before sticking on a new set.

Have you tried Dashing Diva nail polish strips? What do you think of them?

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored review. I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own. This post contains a ShopStyle affiliate link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Dining Room Planning

I’ve wanted a new kitchen table for YEARS now. I decided to hold off though, because I didn’t want to be the kind of mom who freaked out when her kid played with matchbox cars on the table. Then, I held off more, because I didn’t want to be the kind of mom who freaked out when her kid colored or painted on the table. And then I held off because tables are expensive and I never found one that was exactly what I wanted.

For a while I was eyeing up a local table builder who makes tables from reclaimed wood. However, I had two big issues with his designs… First, he always had such big unwieldy pedestals holding the table top up and I just felt like it was taking up too much room for my long-legged family. The second issue with the reclaimed wood is that the planks of wood had small spaces where they butted up against each other… or as I call them, CRUMB CATCHERS.

So, I waited and waited and would occasionally scour the internet for a ‘farmhouse’ kind of table. And NOW I’m finally pulling the trigger on an order, so I wanted to give you a sneak peek!

Here is our current table set up:

I took this photo on a super rainy day, so the whole thing is a bit darker than normal.

The china cabinet is very dark, but the wood is too gorgeous to ever paint. Rather than having a dark table and chairs set, I want to lighten it up a bit. Also, the current table is a bit stubby looking, so I was looking for one that was longer to give us some more elbow space.

Finally, the rug has to go. I had put it there to break up the room a bit to make more of a dining area (our kitchen is a huge open kitchen on the other side with an island). But it’s gotten dirty and worn over the years. I was thinking about getting rid of the rug altogether, but then I remembered that it is hiding a hole in the floor from when the previous owners had the island over on this side of the room and electrical cords running into the floor.

And here is what I’m looking at:

Sources: GrainWoodFurniture.com, WestElm.com, and Wayfair.com

Dining table: Grain Wood Furniture, Valerie Dining Table in Driftwood, $399

Dining chairs: West Elm Windsor Dining Chair, set of 2 for $199

Rug: Wayfair Alicea Striped Flatweave 5×8’ rug, $126.99

I originally found the dining table on Overstock.com, but I dithered around for so long that they sold out of the finish I wanted. I then did a google search using the full name of the product and found the website of the company that makes it. I was surprised that they are based nearby(ish) in Virginia and even more surprised that their price was $100 less than the Overstock price!

The reason I like this table is because it is 100% solid wood with no particle board or MDF. The top is distressed, which keeps it from feeling/being too precious. And since it’s actual wood and not a veneer, any extra dents or wear will just add to the charm of it. Rather than a pedestal or rail along the bottom of the table for support, it has four legs giving us ample room for our legs.

I knew I wanted to pair the rustic farmhouse table with more traditional classic black Windsor chairs. However, there are like a billion options of Windsor chairs out there to pick from. Believe me, I had windows open on my computer for Wayfair, Pottery Barn, Overstock, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Amazon and more.

I finally decided on the Windsor Dining chairs from West Elm for a few reasons. They are more modern with a straight back (rather than curved). The price was $199 for two chairs, and they were on sale so they ended up totaling $338 for 4 chairs. My runner-up choice at Pottery Barn was $179 per chair, which would have totaled $716 for 4 chairs. So yeah, I liked the chairs better and the price was right. Also, I checked the return policy and if I end up hating them in person, I can drop them off at a West Elm about 45 minutes away for a free return.

As for a rug, I really like the indoor/outdoor rug I bought for my sun room and I wanted something similar. I searched and searched for the most neutral stripe possible and I think I found it with this indoor/outdoor rug in ‘mushroom’ stripe. It’s hard to tell though until I put everything together, so fingers crossed that this one works out. Otherwise, I do have a couple other rugs that I can steal from rooms around the house to help me decide exactly what I want.

I placed my orders this week, so now I get to wait until everything gets delivered!

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