Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Recommendations

Skimmers, recommendations are in bold. Aside from me, this month you get recs from Suze at Straight on the Ground and Lori, my Fairy Godmother.  I hope you guys like that I'm sprinkling recommendations of non-bloggers in with bloggers! You'll get to know the people in my neighborhood a little bit better.

April Recs from Suze @ Straight on the Ground
Links under photo, please go check her out!
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1.  Paul Simon's entire catalog.  As you may or may not know, I am a lifelong Paul Simon fan.  I love everything he has produced, and I think there's something for everybody in his music.  As Bob Costas of all people so eloquently put, Paul Simon has written the soundtrack of our lives.  He's just really, really great.  Despite the fact that he and his wife Edie Brickell were arrested recently for disorderly conduct, which makes me sad.  I have travelled all over seeing him in concert, and it's amazing every time.  What's your favorite Paul Simon song?

2.   Julep's Bare Face cleansing oil.  I know, I know.  Oil?!  How does it clean faces?  Well, I don't know how, but it does.  And it's amazing on my skin.  I have sensitive skin that is dry in places and oily in others.  This has helped balance it out and left my face feeling and looking better than ever.  I love this stuff!  I go make up free all the time now.

3.  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is my very favorite book of all time.  Here's the description:  "The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa."  Sound good?  It is.  

4.  Lavender.  Lavender is what I use in all aspects of my cleaning - body and home.  I love the scent and they say it has so many benefits to mind and body.  I think it's relaxing.  I throw a bag of dried lavender in with my clothes in the dryer, I use the essential lavender oil in my detergents and cleaning products, in my bath, on my body, etc.  I even eat lavender-flavored foods!  I think it's delightful.  My next step will be growing some of my own.  I am lucky to know people who do that and dry it themselves.  I'll let you know how that goes- I have a very non-green thumb.

5.  Evening meditation.  Something about meditation just helps me stay centered.  Whether it's religious-centered or not, I think there's something beautiful in taking some moments "away from it all" inside the mind.  I really like to listen to meditation playlists on YouTube.  I'm totally one of those people listening to the sample relaxation CDs at Target.  I love them!

1. Candle Melts: I love candles but not the flame so I use candle melts and I use them daily. Because of this I have searched the world over for the perfect candle melts and stumbled upon Candles by Victoria. The scent shots last me two whole days and fills the house with scent. The number of scents they have is incredible. 

2. Tea: I am a coffee and tea drinker and my favorite tea is Davidson's Sun, Moon and Stars. I found them at a small shop in Owego, NY but since that is a hike for me I do what I do best and shop Amazon.

3. Mascara: I love makeup. I like to try different brands but my go to now and forever more, as long as they discontinue it,  is Loreal Voluminous Mascara the original. 
4. Raymour & Flanigan Cindy Crawford Brynn denim slipcover Sofas, loveseat, chairs. They are comfortable, they are sturdy, they are washable. Yep washable. I don't care if I didn't have the dogs I have, I would have these sofas. They are washable!!! I spill. Enough said. 

5. Pepperidge Farms Sandwich Thins. These are the only bread item I have found that hold my hamburger, ketchup, mayo and lettuce together and do not disappear. They are thin so I taste burger and fixings not just bread. 

1. Books: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, Lost Lake by Sarah Allen Addison, The Headmaster's Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene

2. Self tanners: Banana Boat Summer Color for body and Jan Marini Bioglycolic Sunless Self Tanner for face. This Jan Marini is fucking magic. I used to use Clarins and Clarins can't hold a candle to this. I mix the body with my regular body lotion and the face with my regular face lotion. No streaks.

3. Hair stuff: I don't blow dry my hair. The only time it gets blow dried is when it gets done at the salon. So you don't want most of your hair recommendations from me. However, I don't wash it daily either, thanks to my friend LLCJam who persuaded me after many years that I, too, could go without washing every day even if I had oily hair. She was right. I've tried a zillion dry shampoos. Then I got Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. Hold the phone, this is the holy grail of the dry shampoo and I don't need to try any others. As someone who never blow dries their hair, you may suspect I don't use a lot of product and you'd be right. I do use Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray to add texture, especially on my non-washing days. It rules. At 5.99 each, these are power houses.
4.  Sea salt caramels from Whole Foods. Kelly brought these down for us this weekend. Everyone left and I was left with them, full of glee to hoard them all to myself. Since my bridesmaid dress is roomy, I can eat all of these, right? Seriously, they're like crack for mid-30s women who don't actually do crack.
5. Essie Pink a Boo nail polish. It's a neutral but the sparkles give it pop.
6. Place to buy nail polish on the cheap: The prices rock. Check it out especially if you like Essie, OPI and Zoya.

Thanks to Suze & Lori for their recommendations.

What are you recommending this month?

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Linking up with Kathy for Humpday Confessions.
 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday


  1. oh those sea salt caramels sound amazing! i just bought not your mother's dry shampoo and haven't used it yet, but am excited to try it out!

  2. The voluminous mascara by L'Oreal is my favorite!! I'll have to check out your book recommendations. I love OPI colors but can never find them so I'll check out your links! Thanks!!

  3. The Banana Boat is THE best self tanner in the world. I have tried them all it seems and nothing compares to it!

  4. i'll have to check out those self tanners...i need me some because the sun refuses to come out. also, i tried on shorts in prep for miami and omfg my legs nearly blinded me i'm so pasty white.

    Vodka and Soda

  5. Thanks for the tip on the cheap nail polish! You have convinced me to finally get my shit together at age 35 and try to take better care of my nails, but nail polish is expensive! Also, I still need to work on figuring out a time when I can just sit and let me nails dry without messing them up.

  6. The Sea Salt caramels are calling my name!

  7. Those books look good! Also I use loreal mascara too but the voluminous million lash one, its awesome!

  8. Poisonwood Bible is one of my very favorites! Dark chocolate sea salt caramels? ABSOLUTELY!!! I LOVE Paul Simon. And I think I better try everything else on this post! Except the mascara... I don't do makeup. I am naturally beautiful.

  9. All good ones! I may dance to a Paul Simon song for the mother/son dance in November. Probably Love you like a Rock! I am a S and G fan, too! Had all their "albums". L'Oreal mascara, the sandwich thins- both great. And I am way in love with the NYM Beach Babe spray, great product and so inexpensive. Forever grateful that I do not have to get up and out on days like these. 2-4 inches of rain here, but thankfully, no wicked destructo weather.
    I am very glad those sea salt caramels are not here and no close-by Whole foods.
    Stay dry! Love your MOMMA

  10. I've been using the Voluminous mascara since it came out...and have sworn for YEARS if they ever discontinue it, I'll never be able to leave the house again! Not EVER! I love that stuff. And thank you for the book recommendations, I've written them all down and will now go in search of them. One can't ever have enough good books....I've even passed the list on to my Mom who's almost as voracious a reader as I am! Thanks for your blogs, they are fun and entertaining and informative....I love them...and you!

    1. Thanks Stace! I hope you and your mom both enjoy the books. I got them all from the library!

  11. I totally forgot the Poisonwood Bible existed. I read that in high school, I remember liking it. I tried the sea salt spray a couple times but it just seems to make my hair sticky and tangle-y. I must be doing it wrong.

  12. NYM's beach spray is amazing! I love the smell, too! They have a shampoo/conditioner that I want to buy... once Wallet Watch is over, obvs. ;P

  13. NYM Dry Shampoo is my favorite now too. I need look no further!

    I clicked that nail polish link and saw OPI for $5.99 on the first page. Seriously? You are going to be in trouble with my husband. Just FYI. Groopdealz is your fault and now this place. He is not going to be happy with you.

  14. i just found the holy grail of all sunless tanners and now i can't remember it's name. i suck. and i love the smell of lavendar!

  15. I need a good sunless tanner im practically glowing over here im so white

  16. Not Your Mother's for the win...holy grails for sure...I still swear by Xen Tan, but sadly, i think it's being discontinued. :(

  17. Not Your Mother's should pay bloggers for all the people we're sending their way! I find Paul Simon very soothing but I wouldn't call myself a fan, though I will be singing "Graceland" all day. I've never heard of Candles by Victoria but I do love the wax melts so I will have to check them out!

  18. Ugh, you're a godsend for the nail polish site!

  19. I also love the smell of lavender & those sea salt caramels sound soo good. Salted caramel is crack to me for sure. During the fall when everyone is all "OH PUMPKIN STARBUCKS!!!" I'm all "GIVE ME THE SALTED CARAMEL!!"

  20. I like non-blogger recomendations as much as any bloggers!!!

    I am dying to try the Beach Babe Salt Spray, yours is the second blog I've seen it recommended on.

  21. Are wax melts basically the same thing as tarts from Yankee Candle?

    I think you should include some caramels in your next giveaway for those of us who don't live near a WF...just a suggestion....

  22. Ohhhh lavender ALL THE THINGS. I need a new lav candle for reals. And you just reminded me I need to start reading more often!

  23. The sandwich thins are AMAZING! I even use them for burgers. And I am on a role with sea salt and chocolate. MMmmm. Cannot get enough. My pants can. They sure aren't getting looser, but ya know....

  24. Totally random, but my husband just stayed in Owego last night - I should have made him go shopping :) Also, the dark chocolate sea salt caramels are available in a very LARGE bin from costco and my boss sends me one for Christmas every year. It's gone in a flash. So good.

  25. I'm going to need to purchase the face tanner for sure. I looked like a ghost in some pictures I took this past weekend. Thank goodness for filters that make you look tanner...

    I do what I want.

  26. I have weird, sensitive combo skin. I may need to try Julep's Bare Face! Candles By Victoria look adorable! I need to get some! I also got some good book recommendations, thanks ladies!


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