Book Challenge by Erin 15.0

It’s time for another book challenge with Erin! I’ve been pretty bad at these lately, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Book Challenge by Erin 15.0 – Categories

5 points | Freebie: Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First. by Laura Tremaine
10 points | First word starts with “A”: America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray
10 points | Read a debut book: The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs
15 points | The word to/too/two in title: Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus
20 points | A book by an POC author: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
20 points | A book 500+ pages: GoT (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin (819 pages)
25 points | A book about a famous woman: Becoming by Michelle Obama
30 points | Has a color of the rainbow in the title: Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
30 points | A song title in title: Live in Love by Lauren Akins (same title- Times of Grace)
35 points | Protagonist is a girl younger than 15: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

I know some people just don’t do well with reading challenges. I’ve found that I’m the opposite- I can’t decide what to pick up next unless I have a paired down list in front of me. So while I rarely finish all the categories, it helps remind me of the stuff I WANT to read. And I like that.

What are you reading this summer?

Everyday Beauty Routine

“Everyday” is actually a stretch… I would say 4 or 5 days a week is more accurate. Before M was born, these products (and more!) were applied every single day. But still… these are my go-to make up items. I did a post like this in 2017. It’s funny how much I’ve paired it down. That said, there are still some things from 2017 that I use today.

Before I apply anything, I spray my face with Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 spray. I notice a difference in my foundations longevity and finish when I forget this step.

Next up is Bare Mineral Complexion Rescue. I love the SPF 30 in it.

I brush a little NYX Stay Matte Powder on my cheeks, chin, and forehead. Then finish it all off with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Setting Powder.

I still use Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer when I’m feeling fancy. Also, if I plan to use eyeliner or eyeshadow I will apply Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer to my lids before I brush on the finishing powder.

*trust me when I say I, too, hate how expensive this stuff is… but if it works, it works.

Ok, that takes care of the basic foundation.

Next up are brows. NYX Tinted Eyebrow Mascara is the JAM. I love this stuff for quick brow definition. For mascara I usually stick to Essence Princess Lashes and Get BIG Lashes but my mom got me some fancier ones for Christmas: Tarte Maneater and Too Faced Better Than Sex.

When I use it, eyeliner of choice is NYX Matte Liquid Liner and eyeshadow is Urban Decay Naked3 Palette.

If I’m in a hurry/don’t care, I just do Complexion Rescue, setting powder, and mascara. M loves sitting on the sink counter and watching me. She pretends to put on lipstick and loves to have her face tickled with the brushes. Sometimes I apply make up just for the bonding time 😊

I imagine COVID has changed everyone’s make-up routine. It definitely put mine on pause and made me reevaluate what I really needed on my bathroom vanity. Do you have any tried-and-true staples that you use?

What I Read…

Happy Book Day! Linking up with Steph and Jana for a few recent reads on this glorious Show Us Your Books Day!

I have 3 (YES, THREE!) books today. Woot woot!

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer | Fantasy | ★★★★/5
This is the final installment in the Cursebreakers trilogy. Before I picked it up I saw some negative reviews, but I enjoyed it! I was sad that a few characters got the short end of the stick. It didn’t feel super creative as far as how the results shook out… but it was realistic and natural. I love Grey and have since the start- so I enjoyed his development over this book and the last two. It’s a worthwhile series with a slightly lackluster ending- but still a great world with great characters.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse | Thriller | ★★★/5
I picked this one up for book club- I don’t read a bunch of thrillers. It was fine and I breezed through it. There were definitely some unrealistic moments. I highly disliked the main character Elin and often doubted her abilities as a detective. The creepiness of the setting was fantastic and I think there was a lot of potential… but I don’t think the author got it quite right. But I read it quickly and was engaged- so I’m just being picky.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for… by Robin DiAngelo | Nonfiction | ★★★★/5
Sheesh… it took me long enough to finally finish this one. I found this book interesting and I think it’s helped open my eyes to some racial disparities that I hadn’t noticed. I didn’t agree with absolutely everything DiAngelo said, though. And the idea of a nice white lady breaking down race for another nice white lady doesn’t escape me. It’s opened the door for me to pick up other books on racial inequality, though. Most definitely not a waste of time.

I’ve had so many three star books this year. It was nice to get a few four-ers. Still waiting for that magical five star read. I think I’m extra picky and judgmental this year. Lol.

Give me a five star recommendation!

A Year & A Half

My sweet little cheeseball is 18 months old tomorrow. A part of me thinks, ‘Well of course she is!’ but another part of me is like, ‘HOW HAS SHE SURVIVED A YEAR AND A HALF. OMG HAVE WE REALLY BEEN PARENTS THAT LONG? WHY IS SHE BOTH THE DEATH OF ME AND ALSO ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!?’

I think the latter is how I know I’ve been a parent for 18 months. Lol

I’m going back to the formula I used for her 3/6/9/12 month posts. And looking back at those… WOW so much has changed. As expected, of course.

Nicknames: Moo, Noodle, Poodle, Moo Poo

Stats: She was just over 26 lbs. at our ear infection visit this week (84th percentile). I’m not sure on height- I will update that after her wellness visit.

Likes: Holding my hand, Mickey Mouse, torturing the dogs (we discourage this), playing outside, playing on the steps, daycare, eating, and getting tickled/tickling her dad and me.

Dislikes: Timeouts (for torturing dogs), having the snot cleared from her nose, when I walk away from her, being denied food for any reason (including the fact that it’s not cooked or cooled or prepped yet), and loud, sudden noises.

Sleeping: On a good night M goes down around 7pm and wakes up around 7am. She takes a 2 or 3 hour nap around lunchtime. But she still sometimes wakes up around 12 or 1am and needs to be held for an hour or so. I blame it on 18mn regression and the ear infections that won’t quit and her new clinginess.

Eating: Dang near everything. She used to reject fresh fruits and veggies but since we started at daycare she’s been good with just about anything. M loves snacking because she’s her mother’s daughter. LOL

Development: I love her brain. She’s so clever and ornery. It will probably bite me in the butt someday, but she’s incredible. Physically, M can walk and run, dance and jump. She climbs on EVERYTHING and is so fearless. We have the bruises and skinned knees to prove it. (K swears she’s going to give him an actual heart attack one of these days.)
M says a few words and will repeat things back like a parrot. She can identify almost all her body part, makes several animals sounds, easily identifies friends and family when you ask her to point them out, and will spend several minutes examining a new item or toy to figure out how it works.
She has such a busy brain and I can tell she learns by watching. She also seems more logical and less creative- which surprises me!

Personality: Moo is the funniest person she knows. She’s a little shy, but she’ll wave to anyone. (High fives and snugs (hugs) are reserved for those closest to her.) She’s still relatively quiet in public and then super chatty once we’re in private. It cracks me up.
She is skeptical of new things. She loves greeting her dogs in the morning. She is a creature of habit and will answer yes or no to questions. She’s very sweet but also very mischievous. She is queen of the side eye and knows how to make that innocent puppy dog face right before or after she misbehaves.

Travel: We took M to the NASCAR races in Bristol, TN. We stayed in the camper and my parents came along, too. She did SO well in the car. We’ve done a few camping trips since then, but nothing long distance. We have a family trip later this summer and I’m hoping to head down to Tampa with M to visit my bff.
We’ve just started taking M to restaurants again and she does so well. I’m glad COVID didn’t cause too much damage as far as behaving in public goes. She also went to her first wedding! M is a people watcher so as long as there are people around, she’s entertained.

Mom’s Summary: Being a mom is tough sometimes, but it’s the most natural thing in the world now to be M’s mom. (17 months and 3 weeks ago I would have been singing a different tune- hold on, new mamas. It gets better!) I have never been a “kid person” but spending time with M is the best. I’m sad when we’re apart- even when one or both of us need the break. It’s a unique feeling to be someone’s favorite person in the entire world- their home, their safe space, their comfort object. The dependency is stifling sometimes, but I know it won’t last forever and it’s perfectly normal. I am really enjoying this stage with Moo, even with the occasional temper tantrum.

I cannot believe that my next official M update will be her second birthday. What the hell is happening and where did my squishy newborn go? 😭😭😭 Sigh.

Coffee Talk

We haven’t had a Coffee Talk since June 2020 so I’d say we’re way overdue.

This week our a/c at work stopped running so if we were having coffee I would be drinking something iced or frozen 😁

If we were having coffee… I’d ask what your plans are for the holiday weekend. I swear… the days run together now and holidays (and birthdays and anniversaries) completely sneak up on me.

This weekend I’m having a garage sale on Fri. & Sat. Kyle is playing in a cover band on Friday night. I think friends are staying over that night, too. Monday my parents are having a Memorial Day party with their friends (& us). It will be a busy weekend.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you how much I’ve missed you. I miss blogging and reading your blog. With work and parenting and my p.t. freelance job… I just don’t have the time or energy or creativity to spare. I hope this balance shifts soon. I miss this space. A lot.

If we were having coffee I’d have to vent a bit… I’m not fully comfortable ditching my mask just yet, but I don’t hold it against people who are. That said, if the business you are entering has a sign that says masks are required, then you need to WEAR YOUR MASK. /end rant

For the next SUYB link up I think I’ll have three books finished. (RIGHT?? Yay!) So obviously I’m an avid reader now. I kid, but I have been thinking about joining the Book of the Month Club. What are your thoughts on that? Is it worth it? Is there a better alternative? Is it a waste of money? If we were having coffee I would definitely pick your brain on this.

If we were having coffee you might ask how M is doing. Can you believe she’ll be 18 months next week? A year and a half. I cannot handle it. She’s been very clingy lately, but she’s also a ton of fun. She’s goofy and giggle, and climbs like a monkey, and honestly has very little fear. (GULP.) She started going to daycare about two months ago, twice a week. I think she LOVES it. She’s learning to play with others and she’s so chatty on the car ride home- then sleeps like an angel at night. A true win for everyone. (And I get a day or a half day a week ALL TO MYSELF!)

Chances are we’re now out of coffee. Lol. Before we part I’d ask if you have any travel plans? I know some people feel safe moving around and some don’t. We have a few camping trips planned and a family trip to Michigan later this summer. We’re also tossing around the idea of a visit to Tampa (to see Aub and Meg!) and a fall visit to my favorite place- Williamsburg. What about you?

And with that… I need to go price some items for the garage sale. And get more coffee. Have a relaxing weekend!