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Craft Review: Kid’s Mosaic Stone Kit

26 Mar

I had a poll up on my Instagram and Facebook asking what kind of blog posts you all would like to see from me, and one of the topics that came up a few times is that you’d like some product reviews. Well, with Jack being at home so much it kinda makes sense to do a few craft/game reviews! The first one is for the Kid’s Mosaic Stone Kit.

I purchased a shrink-wrapped Mosaic Stone Kit when I was out thrifting at some point. I have no idea how much I paid for it, or exactly when I thrifted it. But it has been living in my ‘craft corner’ for quite a while. Over the weekend, I was digging through some potential projects and Jack and I decided to give it a try.

The kit was pretty simple and contained all the ingredients… you never know when you thrift something! All you have to do is mix the concrete, use the stained glass pieces to make your original design, and let it dry for a day or so.

I found two similar kits on Amazon with Prime shipping:

There were warnings on our kit about inhaling the dust when mixing, so I took it outside and mixed it with water into an old tupperware. I didn’t have Jack help with this, due to the dust. But once I brought it back inside he helped pour the wet concrete into the mold.

Then, Jack used the stained glass pieces to create his design – first on the countertop before transferring it into the concrete. He smushed each piece into the wet concrete and we put the wet mold out of the way for a full day.

After about 24 hours, I popped the stone out of the mold and let it sit upside-down until the entire stepping stone was completely dry.

We are SO HAPPY with the finished design. The cement somehow has a sparkly/shimmery finish and the design turned out beautifully. I added it to our front walkway and when I do leave the house, it’s makes me smile.

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Books I’m Loving

19 Mar

I’ve been trying to do a better job of keeping track of the books I read this year. As I finish each book, I post it with a few words of a review on my Instagram stories. Then on a monthly basis I update my “2020 Books” saved story with a running tally of all my tiny reviews so far. Earlier this week, I shared two TV shows I’m watching and loving, in case you are stuck at home within nothing to do. So now, I’m sharing my favorite books of 2020 out of the 20 that I’ve read so far!

I understand that borrowing books from your library may not be an option right now (ours is closed for the foreseeable future), so I’ve provided an Amazon Kindle link for each book. For anyone who doesn’t have a Kindle, you can read the book directly on your laptop. Or — of course — you can order a paperback/hardback version to be delivered to your door.

I’ve also decided at this point to only recommend books that didn’t bum me out – as we all need a little extra happiness right now.

Here are my 2020 book favorites so far:

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting https://amzn.to/2xGLPub

Amazon synopsis: Kailyn Flowers was always calm, rational, and controlled–until she ended up sprawled all over Daxton Hughes, the former actor she totally crushed on as a teenager. Then she did the unthinkable: She became a mortifying fangirl in five seconds flat, which may or may not have included professing her undying love. And oddly, he didn’t run away. In fact, their meet cute led to a friendship she never saw coming. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming, either… Now Dax needs her help. As guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister, he’s in way over his head. And though Kailyn hasn’t forgiven Dax, she isn’t heartless enough to make him fend for himself, either. Soon their friendly meetings turn into flirty dinner dates, and Kailyn can feel their chemistry is as explosive as ever. But how can she possibly let down her guard again to a guy who has heartbreak written all over him?

My tiny review: Loved it!

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb https://amzn.to/3a0Agwr

Amazon synopsis: From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).

My tiny review: So, so, so good. And thought provoking. I’d have to take a break every couple chapters to let it soak in.

Marked for Murder by Colleen Helme https://amzn.to/2whz0pV

This is the latest book in the Shelby Nichols series and I can honestly say I’ve loved the whole series. Even better, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber all the books in the series can be read for FREE!

Amazon synopsis: Trouble follows Shelby Nichols. Why wouldn’t it? She works for a mob boss. And the police. A desperate call from a friend in need turns Shelby’s life upside down. Someone is out to prove that Shelby is a fake, marking her for murder. How far will they go?

My tiny review: I love the Shelby Nichols series and this one was great!

My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis https://amzn.to/33xcc1x

Amazon synopsis: Bailey Moore is finally getting to live on her own terms. After a fierce battle with cancer, she’s ready to do all the things she never dared to before, like sail the Greek Islands and explore Europe’s castles. Her first new adventure brings her to Cedar Ridge Resort, a ski lodge in the Colorado Rockies. Bailey quickly discovers that following her No Regrets List won’t be easy. It doesn’t offer instructions for how to deal with a suffocating mother or an ex-fiancé who doesn’t want to let her go. Her list also doesn’t include falling for the lodge’s swoon-worthy head of ski patrol, Hud Kincaid, and his boisterous, kindhearted family.

My tiny review: Loved it! Perfect romance with a bit of sass!

Well Met by Jen DeLuca https://amzn.to/2Wq0QuW

Amazon synopsis: Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

My tiny review: Loved it so much and it took me back to my days working at the Maryland Renaissance Festival!

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams https://amzn.to/2U1807m

Amazon synopsis: Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

My tiny review: This is my favorite book of the year so far. Super funny and touching and romantic and sexy!

Love Her or Leave Her by Tessa Bailey https://amzn.to/3bi8g7N

Amazon synopsis: Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp. 

My tiny review: A couple with a broken marriage trying to find their way back together. And holy tamales is it spicy!

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory https://amzn.to/33DLS6d

Amazon Synopsis: When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part—they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans… At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up—in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes.

My tiny review: LOVED IT! Great storyline and really likeable characters!

Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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TV Shows I’m Loving

17 Mar

On Monday, I told you what I’m doing to keep from stressing myself out when it comes to Coronavirus. Well today, I’m sharing two TV shows that I’m currently watching and loving. That way, if you’re stuck at home in quarantine or self-quarantine you have a couple recommendations to add to your viewing queue!

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

This is a new show on NBC that I’ve been watching and it’s filling the hole in my heart left after Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ended. Zoey is a computer coder who through an unusual event in the first episode suddenly hears the innermost thoughts of people… in SONG. Like, full-on dance numbers. Here is a great little taste of it:

Since it is on television on Sunday nights (and I don’t have cable), I get my Zoey fix by going straight to the NBC website on Monday night. You can find the first 6 episodes of it here for free: https://www.nbc.com/zoeys-extraordinary-playlist

Lucifer

You guys, I watched one episode of this show for literally no reason at all on my lunchbreak… and then BOOM I was addicted. I have been hungerly binging on Lucifer episodes ever since. There are FOUR seasons of episodes currently on Netflix, the show was renewed for a 5th season (also on Netflix) and there is talk of it getting a 6th season too. It’s goooooooood.

I just finished the third season over the weekend, so don’t spoil me on what’s coming!

Have you been watching Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist or Lucifer? Do you also wish people would start singing to you and dancing around – while staying 6 feet away at all times, of course?

Pssssst: I’ll be sharing what books I’ve been reading in 2020 on Thursday, in case you’re more of a reader.

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Reviewing Hand Masks

5 Mar

Did you know that hand masks are a thing? I mean, I feel like everyone knows about face masks, but HAND masks?! Brilliant. Like most people who live in a place where it gets cold, my poor hands get so dry in the winter. I’ve tried basically every kind of hand lotion and cream out there, but this year I learned about hand masks. So, I ordered three different brands to try: Natural Hand Mask, Aveeno Repairing CICA Hand Mask, and Mond’Sub Honey and Almond Nourishing Hand Cream Mask.

Let’s take a look:

Natural Finland Korean Shea Butter Spa Treatment

3 set for $8.90 (buy it here)

Amazon Rating: 4/5 stars

What they promise: Utilizing innovative Korean skincare techniques, the specialist ingredients used to create this mask have all been carefully selected for their nourishing properties. Containing rose flower, shea butter, mineral oil, collagen and vitamin E, this expert blend provides deeply-penetrating moisture to the entire hand area – including nails and cuticles.

My thoughts: Out of the three hand masks I tried, this was my least favorite option. I liked that the gloves kept the treatment inside of them, and I did use them for the recommended 20 – 30 minutes. However, when I took the gloves off my hands just felt wet. Like it was more of a serum than a lotion. I didn’t notice any long-lasting difference with this one.

Aveeno Repairing CICA Hand Mask

Hand and Foot mask combo set for $6.79 on Amazon (buy it here)

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 stars

What they promise: These skin relief gloves are enriched with shea butter and moisturizing prebiotic oat—known to have soothing and nourishing properties—to help restore essential moisture to extra-dry skin, leaving your hands visibly soft, smooth, and healthy-looking. From a dermatologist-recommended brand, these non-drip CICA masks are formulated to be gentle enough for sensitive skin and are both paraben- and fragrance-free.

My thoughts: I bought mine at Target, but the deal on Amazon is much better for a combo of the hand mask and foot mask. This one is kind of what I imagined – basically some gloves with lotion squirted inside. To be honest, it felt exactly like I had just used a couple squirts of my Aveeno lotion and stuck some paper/rubber gloves on. It worked nice (and I might have really liked the foot version if I had tried it), but it wasn’t anything special.

Mond’Sub Honey and Almond Nourising Hand Cream Mask

2 set for $6.99 (buy it here)

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 stars

What they promise: These masks are formulated with all-natural almond, honey ingredients and botanical extracts that absorb quickly to deeply moisturize dry hands and keep your hands looking and feeling smooth.

My thoughts: This was my FAVORITE set of hand masks that I tried. The gloves fit well (with space if you have larger hands) and the cream went on nice and thick. I left them on for 20 minutes and when I pulled my hands out… they almost looked like they were covered in honey. I rubbed the excess off on my tummy and the rest of it soaked right in within a few minutes. They were a little sticky feeling for about 5 minutes or so. However, my hands actually felt and looked much more moisturized after using this mask. I would totally recommend this one and it’s pretty reasonably priced too!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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