Sunday, March 26, 2017

Petit Vour Unboxing // March 2017

I really enjoyed last month's Petit Vour box and was super excited to get this month's in the mail. If you've never heard of Petit Vour, it's a monthly subscription featuring products that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. The subscription is $15 a month and features about four products (typically 1 color item, 1 hair care item or fragrance, 1 skincare item, and 1 body care item), with some full sizes and some samples. You can subscribe here.

It seems like this month is more focused on skincare than anything else, but that's okay with me, especially since last month's box was so diverse.

Kani Botanicals // Galaxy Milk Illuminating Beauty Oil
Our first product is an oil highlighter that can be worn alone or mixed in with another product. It's designed to provide "a subtle glow while blurring the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles." This is the 7 mL travel size.

I'm not really one for highlighters, but this one looks really pretty and smells great, so I'm looking forward to giving it a go.

Retail price: $16
(full size: 14 mL for $32)

METTA // Intensive Replenishing Face Balm
According to the card: A deeply hydrating vegan balm, formulated with rare East African shea butter, cold-pressed oils and botanical ingredients to help soften, moisturize and promote skin suppleness.

This is meant to be applied at night after washing your face. It smells amazing and I'm anxious to try it, except it contains macadamia oil. My husband is allergic to tree nuts, so we try to avoid products with those ingredients. So unfortunately, I probably won't be able to use this very much.

Retail price: $12.50 (60 mL)

Little Barn Apothecary // Blue Yarrow + Geranium Cleansing Oil
According to the card: Clean, pure plant oils formulated to remove impurities from deep within pores. Easily dissolves makeup and buildup while deeply hydrating and toning skin.

To use, you just rub a bit onto your face, press a warm cloth to your skin, then wipe away. Pretty easy. I'm not sure how a cleansing oil will work with my naturally oily skin, but we'll see.

Retail price: $8 (sample size)
(full size: 115 mL for $32)

Forumulary55 // Rosehip & Clay Facial Mask
According to the card: Detoxify and soften naturally with this gentle pink clay facial mask. This blend will draw out toxins without over drying the skin.

I'm pretty excited to try this one. It seems like pink clay is all the rage these days? And the package has enough for two uses, which is nice. It can be used as a normal mask or as an exfoliator.

Retail price: $8

So it seems we got some high-quality products this time. The total value of the box adds up to be $44.50. I think a lot of people will enjoy these, even if they're not all quite for me. I'm planning to use them throughout the month, and then I'll do one big review post after April's box.

Be sure to tell me if you've used any of these!


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

books that were short and wonderful.

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about short reads--books you read quickly, short books, etc. I've actually been working on a post for books that I finished very quickly, but they're not necessarily short (case in point: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell). So I'm going to save that post for another day. Today, I'm going to be focusing on great books that I've read that were under 200 pages.

Today I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday!

This week's theme: Read In One Sitting Theme
My topic: top 10 books under 200 pages

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The Pearl // John Steinbeck (90 pages)
(also good: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway)

A Thousand Mornings // Mary Oliver (96 pages)
(also good: Dog Songs by Mary Oliver)

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Bridge to Terabithia // Katherine Paterson (163 pages)
(also good: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman)

Tuck Everlasting // Natalie Babbitt (139 pages)
(also good: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson)

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Number the Stars // Lois Lowry (137 pages)
(also good: Night by Elie Wiesel)

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe // C. S. Lewis (189 pages)
(also good: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

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I Am Legend // Richard Matheson (161 pages)
(also good: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells)

Lord of the Flies // William Golding (190 pages)
(also good: The Call of the Wild by Jack London)

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Arsenic and Old Lace // Joseph Kesselring (104 pages)
(also good: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde)

Saga, Vol. 1 // Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (160 pages)
(also good: Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama)

currently listening to: Barcelona by Ed Sheeran

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Monday, March 13, 2017

books I plan on reading Spring 2017

Just so we're clear: just because I plan on reading these doesn't mean I actually will. You might have noticed that some of these have been on past tbr lists. That's because I have no self-control and just grab whatever I feel like in the moment.

Right now, I'm reading A Conjuring of Light and it's taking me forever so if we're being real, I will probably only get to a few of these. But I'm trying to be optimistic.

Today I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday!
This week's theme: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

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Dumplin' // Julie Murphy
The Female of the Species // Mindy McGinnis

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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry // Gabrielle Zevin
Saint Anything // Sarah Dessen

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock // Matthew Quick
We Are the Ants // Shaun David Hutchinson

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American Born Chinese // Gene Luen Yang
The Rest of Us Just Live Here // Patrick Ness

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Attack on Titan, vol. 6 // Hajime Isayama
Saga, vol. 2 // Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

currently listening to: Where's My Love by Symi

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rex Update // 8 weeks after 2nd surgery

Rex is officially off of cage rest!

I took off work on Thursday to drive him to the vet so they could do final X-rays. Everything is aligned correctly and healing well, which means he doesn't have to stay in his crate anymore and can gradually go back to his normal activity level.

We are all incredibly relieved. It's been almost a year since he first tore his ACL, and it's been nearly five months now since his first surgery. We're ready for him to feel better again and run and play and follow us around the house. He pretty much follows us around everywhere now. He's also been coming with us on car rides more lately, which he loves. He gets really anxious when we leave without him.

Once the weather warms up a bit, we plan to take him to a fenced-in area to see how he does without a leash. (Our backyard isn't fenced-in, so we're not sure how well he'll listen when he's running freely.) I think he'll enjoy that a lot; he loves being outside, and always wants to run around when we're out on our walks. If that goes over well, we might start introducing him to other dogs and maybe try to take him to a dog park. He's always really skittish around other dogs, but we're hoping he can learn to at least tolerate being in their presence.

Thank you all for staying with us through this journey and for sending so much love and support. This will probably be his last update for awhile!

currently listening to: The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Alice and the Fly by James Rice // you'll need ice cream and puppy hugs after this one.


I've been waiting to read this book for so long. I heard about it back in the dark ages when Cait @ Paper Fury posted a review. I hunted for it afterwards, but it didn't come out in the US until May 2016!

Goodreads Description:

- The plotting. 
Holy crap that was a good plot. It was paced perfectly and set up nicely. Nothing seemed out of place. It was airtight.

- The format. 
This is probably the only time you'll see me praise a diary format. But I don't think there is a better way to portray this story. You see everything how Greg sees/interprets it, which leads to a lot of oh man that's creepy moments even when you understand why he's thinking/doing it. And every few chapters, there are police interviews with members of his family, so you also get to see their side of things, and from the very beginning you know that something bad has happened. So it really sets up a kind of mystery/thriller vibe.

- The US cover.
Just look at that cover. I think it captures the overtone of the book. Seeing from Greg's perspective, you know he's troubled but very genuine and good-hearted. But you also see him break social norms and do some creepy things. And that cover definitely captures the creepiness.
(I have no idea what's going on in the UK cover.)


- The extra details.
Well, okay, I lied. Some things did seem like they were thrown in without sufficient meaning or explanation. Like the Miss Hayes' engagement. Or the goings-on between the other high school kids (especially towards the end). I'm not saying these were worthless details, but I'm not sure they were completely necessary. It helped show Greg's social alienation, but there were some specific details that I did not see as completely relevant.

- The sentence-long chapters.
Sometimes, Greg will have an episode while he's writing a diary entry and the entire chapter (we're talking 5+ pages) is one very long sentence. I liked that it was included because its clear evidence that he's not doing well despite his medication (and despite what his parents believe), but it was pretty hard to understand.

- The cover's font.
This font is so overused and totally ruins the dark and suspenseful mood.

This story was much heavier than I thought it was going to be. It's well-written, but it's not really a book you can enjoy. The back pages compare it to a dystopia, which I can see. Greg is in a place where there's no escaping. There's no one in his corner. And as his story unfolds, things just get worse.

But it was fascinating to read. There was so much that isn't explicitly stated; you just have to figure out what is going on by context. I really liked that here. You have to read carefully (there are still a few points I'm confused about), but it's not too hard to figure out what is going on.

Pick this up if you're interested in mental illness or reading from different points of view (it's written in 2nd person), but be sure to have ice cream nearby for when you finish.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Do you prefer darker reads, or light & fluffy?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Petit Vour Unboxing // February 2017


(Note: This is not a sponsored post. It's just something I wanted to write about.)

I first heard of Petit Vour about a month ago while reading Cruelty-Free Kitty. I figured it would be a good way for me to be introduced to cruelty-free brands and products as I make my switch over, since every product they sell is cruelty-free and 100% vegan.

I've never had a monthly box subscription, but I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to try it out, so Deacon got me a three-month subscription as my gift for Valentine's Day. The subscription is $15 a month and features about four products (typically 1 color item, 1 hair care item or fragrance, 1 skincare item, and 1 body care item), with some full sizes and some samples. You can subscribe here.

This month's theme: the creme de la cruelty-free


Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Shadow Stick

This is a full-size product, and mine is in the color Mist. I haven't really worn it yet, but I like it. The color is very light, but I like my makeup to be subtle (and it is able to be built up). It's pretty glittery, but I like that in this case. (I tried to swatch it for a picture, but it didn't show up with my lighting.)

Retail price: $22


Konjac Sponge Co. Facial Sponge

I haven't used this yet, but I'm pretty excited about it because I've heard good things from Youtubers. The card says it's actually a konjac potato? You just add water and use it to exfoliate with and without cleanser. It's safe to use around the eyes an can be used to remove water-based makeup.

Retail price: $12


St. Tropica Organic Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask

I'm actually trying this out as I type! It's supposed to help give you stronger, thicker, luminous hair. You microwave it for a few seconds and then apply to dry hair, let it sit for 20 minutes (though the package says use overnight for best results), and then shampoo twice.

I'm a big fan of coconut scent, so I've been really excited to try this. I thought it would be thicker than it actually was, but it is definitely more oil than gel (as you might gather from its name). I was a little confused on whether to use the whole package for one use or not. It seemed like quite a lot, but I have relatively short hair. I might have been able to get two uses out of it, but I went ahead and used the whole thing. The package says to repeat weekly.

Retail price: $5


AILA Cosmetics Nail 3-in-1 Nail Color Remover Wipe

I haven't used this yet (because I haven't had my nails painted) but I'm looking forward to it. I've been worried about finding a cruelty-free nail polish remover. This says it's pure argan oil and is supposed to be a healthier alternative to traditional polish removers.

Retail price: $1 (or pack of 10 for $9)
(4 fl oz. for $22)


currently listening to: Save Myself by Ed Sheeran

Have you heard of Petit Vour? What is your favorite product?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Wrap-Up



- I went to a basketball game back home so that was fun. I hadn't been to one in a long time. I understand very little of the technical details, but I really enjoyed it.

- Deacon got me flowers for Valentine's Day and a 3-month subscription to Petit Vour. They send a a monthly box with cruelty-free and 100% vegan products. So expect some reviews coming soon.


- Deacon's grandma, Ginnie, passed away earlier this week. I don't want to say much about it (I've always preferred to grieve quietly), but she was a wonderful person and we all loved her.


- I'm trying to train my hair to go without shampooing every day. It's dreadful. I know it's so oily because it's washed every day and I just need to man up and break the cycle, but there are few things I despise more than greasy hair. Even if other people can't tell. I can tell.

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I'm thinking about giving up red meat. But I also had a cheeseburger for dinner last night.

- Audible is super good at keeping their subscribers. I tried to cancel my subscription twice and they pulled me back each time. The first time, they let me suspend my subscription for three months without canceling. The second time, they literally gave me $20. I finally canceled today because I just don't have as much time to listen anymore and I have a lot of books in my library already. But man they're good.

- PicMonkey has made several of their free fonts premium-only and I am very unhappy about it. If you want my business do not make me unhappy. (PicMonkey should take some tips from Audible.)

- Karlee and I spent quite a bit of time a few weekends ago ranking our favorite Disney songs. "Colors of the Wind" won. Although "Kiss the Girl" was close.

I cannot pronounce outlier. I know it's out-lye-er but it always comes out as out-lee-er. I've said this to students while helping edit their papers on numerous occasions and I'm always horribly embarrassed because in no world has it ever been out-lee-er.

rex report


Rex is nearing the end of his crate rest! He hasn't liked the storms these past few days, but other than that he's been pretty fine.

tv shows

Legend of Korra (almost finished Book 4, but then my blu-ray froze)
The Office (almost done with Season 7)
One Tree Hill (almost done with Season 2, which sucks)
Attack on Titan (rewatched entire season because season 2 comes out in April)

Image result for attack on titan gif


Sully (liked it)
Suicide Squad (did not like it)
Deepwater Horizon (really liked it)
The Girl on the Train (liked it)
Star Trek Beyond (liked it)

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Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour (really liked it)
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (it was okay)
Attack on Titan vols. 4 and 5 by Hajime Isayama (really liked them)
Alice and the Fly by James Rice (really liked it)


currently reading

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen

currently listening to: Library Magic by The Head and the Heart