If you know me at all, you know that I am a total bookworm. My latest favorite is "Girl on the train" by Paula Hawkins. It came out in 2015 and was dubbed a psychological thriller that could be the next "Gone Girl". After hearing that, I knew I had to get my eyeballs on it! It totally did not disappoint. I was hooked by the very first chapter.
Each chapter is told by one of the three leading characters. Rachel, who is a 32 year old alcoholic and sort of dealing err not dealing (aka the drunk blackouts and all) with her divorce from Tom after he left her for another woman (Anna). Rachel is going to be played in the movie version by Emily Blunt. Perfect casting.
Anna who went from mistress to misses (Tom's new wife) who is very happy with life as a new stay at home mom to her perfect daughter. The only thing that isn't picture perfect about her life is the lingering presence of Rachel, the old ex that keeps coming around (drunk) and harassing her family.
And Megan, who is the woman that Rachel sees daily on her train to and from pretending to go to work. Megan is gorgeous and seems to have a beautiful life with a handsome husband that dotes on her left and right. This is the life that Rachel admires until she sees Megan kissing another man.
After a night of heavy drinking, Rachel wakes up bloody and bruised, and can't seem to remember the events of the night. She learns that the top news story of the day is that Megan has gone missing. Rachel becomes obsessed with piecing together the events of the night. How did she get injured? What happened to Megan? Was the secret lover involved? Does Megan's husband know about her affair? Oh the webs we weave!
Oh it's all so good! Definitely worth staying home on a Friday night to keep reading. Which is exactly what I did. Now I have to see the movie. Justin Theroux is cast as well as Emily Blunt. Let's hope the movie stands up as well as the book! I have high hopes.
Have you read the girl on the train yet? Comment below and let me know what you thought!
Fall is officially here! And along with the cooler weather (sort of, I do live in southern California after all...) and the changing of the leaves, I enjoy a good ol baking session. So I figure what better way to kick off fall than with an Apple Cinnamon bread. Tis the season!
This recipe is super easy and quick. Just the way I like it! You'll need:
Baking & Spices
Betty crocker supermoist yellow cake mix
1 1/4 tbsp
Oils & Vinegars
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of two 8x4-inch loaf pans.
large bowl, beat all Bread ingredients except apples with electric
mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in
apples. Divide batter evenly between pans. In small bowl, mix Topping
ingredients. Sprinkle over batter in pans.
45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely,
about 1 hour.
A lot of interesting things have happened this month. It's officially fall, the leaves are changing, the skies are getting darker earlier, among other changes. One thing I can for sure say is that I have become obsessed with Snapchat. Everything is better with a deer filter.
I have a habit of asking my single and married friends what the best thing about their relationships or non relationships are. So far we've learned that my married friends feel like they missed out on tinder and want more spontaneity in their lives. As for me, still single, I have learned that smoothies and all things sticky seem to be popular date ideas. Be sure to follow me : StarrJoy1 for more on that.
With the change in weather, comes a change in skin. I shared my skincare routine with you guys and am completely obsessed with it! Changed my life for the better!
Stay tuned for next month. October! It's seriously the kickoff to the best part of the year. Everything is scary and Halloween related (I'm sure my future dates included). Blog soon!
I don't know about you, but I never had problematic skin until I was in my mid twenties. That's right, I was the girl in high school with glowing clear skin, not a stitch of makeup. As soon as I hit 23, problems started to arise. Blame it on late nights out at the bar, drinking and even later nights at Denny's. I would come home super late er early in the morning and go to bed WITHOUT washing my face. No bueno. I started breaking out like crazy. Not to mention going on and off birth control over the years. All of the extra hormones really jacked up my skin. Even now, at 32 I am still experiencing breakouts like a hormonal 14 year old boy going through puberty. The recent weather changes haven't helped anything either! I've tried it all, from proactive to fancy over the counter products. You name it, I did it. Nothing seemed to be helping. Finally I decided to go back to basics and take the all natural approach and I am sooooo glad that I did. I am happy to report ONE whole month without a single blemish. It's been amazing. I want to share my secret skincare routine with you. It will make your skin glow and your wallet thicker. My whole skincare routine costs under $30.00 The secret ingredients are: Grapeseed oil, witch hazel, and coconut oil.
Wash your face with Grapeseed oil and a wash cloth or face scrubber. It gets rid of EVERYTHING. Even water proof mascara and thick eyeliner. I use LA Tourangelle.
Tone with a cotton ball and a Few drops of witch hazel. It's refreshing, moisturizing, and smells soooo good. I use Thayers witch hazel aloe vera formula. It's alcohol free and has rose petal in it.
Step three: (which I was so hesitant to try)
Moisturize with Coconut oil. I was nervous about this because I have oily skin but it seriously helps neutralize my natural oils. It's hydrating and smells so delicious. It also helps my makeup go on smoother. A little bit goes a long way with this. I use Viva labs organic extra virgin coconut oil.
I do this both morning and night and have seen a world of a difference in my overall skin texture as well as huge reduction in redness and breakouts. It's been amazing. Don't believe me? You should try it! It will totally change your skin. I'd love to hear your experience. Feel free to comment below.
I'm a huge Amazon shopper. The invention of Amazon prime is seriously the best thing since sliced bread :) I just scored this adorable white feathered dream catcher for $16.00. It's by A&A Decor and can be purchased here. Just had to share!
Good morning and Happy Sunday! I stumbled across this cute book 14,000 things to be happy about by Barbara Ann Kipfer and had to share. It's a compiled list of well, things that just make you happy! From "watching old movies with old friends" to "reliability" to "throw rugs" to "watching a cat run 30 mph", she covers a lot! Some of the things on my list this Sunday include waking up without an alarm clock, white roses, fuzzy slippers, Iced coffee in a cute mug, and a good read! I hope you all enjoy your Sunday and take a moment to appreciate the good. There are so many things to be happy about!
While redecorating my room, I thought it would be a great idea to get a mirrored dresser (minus the hefty price tag). Seriously, some of these dressers retail anywhere from $300 to $1,000. Ain't nobody got to spend that! I decided to make my own. All for under $150. If you saw my D.I.Y. nightstand from Ikea post, then you know I'm all about Doing It Myself for cheap!
I headed down to my local Ikea (which was an experience in itself). After a trek of 20 minutes through a maze of bright lights, I made it to the warehouse. I picked out my wood Malm dresser. Yes, wood because the store was conveniently out of stock in the white, even though their inventory was said to have 3 in stock. *sigh* The malm dresser retails for $79.99 and was super easy to put together. Score!
After a few quick coats of paint, I indeed had myself a white dresser.
Next, I ordered overlays from MyOverlays.com They have soooooo many to choose from and are customized to fit over Ikea furniture. I ordered "Jasmine" and the cost was $55.95 for all three drawers.
While waiting for delivery of my overlays, I got my mirror from Lowe's. Select a 30" x 24" piece and have the handy dandy people at Lowe's cut it for you (FOR FREE) into three 8" x 30" strips. While at Lowe's, get your adhesive glue. I chose Liquid Nails. Worked like a charm. Total setback for cost of Mirror and Glue was $15.00
Now get to gluing! You want to lay the dresser on it's back (or remove shelves and lay them with front facing ceiling) and apply a thin layer of glue around border of the back side of the mirror. Then apply more glue in a big X across the back. Apply mirror to drawer and clean it of any residue.
Apply glue around border of the back of your overlay and then dot all around backing (careful not to use too much glue as it will ooze out once you press it on top of your mirror). Press overlay on top of mirror and clean up any residue.
Repeat with the two other drawers.
Gather heavy items and weigh down area. This is important and the most annoying step because if you're like me, you hate waiting and are anxious to have your dresser completed. But you need to wait a full 24 hours before even thinking about touching your dresser or else you run the risk of gravity sliding the mirror and overlay off and or peeling corners of the overlay. Not so pretty and not so chic. So WAIT 24 HOURS!
Once the 24 hours have ended, place your dresser upright (or return your drawers to the dresser) and Tada!
You now have your own mirrored dresser for under $150.95 Not a bad deal!
I stumbled upon this recipe from Gimme some Oven and I seriously cannot stop making and eating it.
It's so cheesy and yummy!
1 pound dry pasta (I used small shells, but you could use macaroni or any shape of pasta)
1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (or frozen works too)
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup milk, warmed
2 1/2 cups freshly-grated cheddar cheese (I recommend sharp cheddar)
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon finely-ground black pepper, or more to taste
2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(optional topping for the baked version) 1/2 cup extra shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook pasta al dente in a large stockpot of salted water according
to package instructions. About 2-3 minutes before the pasta reaches al
dente, add in the broccoli florets and let them cook alongside the pasta
for the remainder of the cooking time. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, as the pasta water is heating, melt butter in a (separate)
medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 1
minute or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the flour
until combined and cook for an additional 1 minute, whisking
occasionally. Slowly whisk in vegetable or chicken stock until the
mixture is smooth. Then slowly whisk in the milk until it is combined.
Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a
simmer. Then remove from heat, and stir in the cheddar, Parmesan, salt
and pepper until the cheese sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.
Once the pasta and broccoli are cooked, pour the cheese sauce on top
of the pasta, add in the chicken, and toss until everything is evenly
At this point, you can either serve the pasta stovetop-style as-is.
Or pour the pasta into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle
with extra cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 15-20
minutes, or until the top becomes slightly crispy and the breadcrumbs
are slightly golden. Remove and serve immediately.
Not bad for 21 days. This challenge was VERY easy to follow. I nailed all 5 exercises in under 5 minutes every other day. I saw improvement and definition within 7 days. I really started to feel the burn by day 17. Super glad I stuck with it! Are you up for the challenge? Feel free to comment below.
I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day celebrating with your mamas. I decided to make my mom brunch for this mother's day. I showered her with flowers and food :) See the recipe for these delicious Strawberry Shortcakes that are so easy to make:
1 can Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk buscuits
2 tbsp margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipped cream (I used Reddi Whip)
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine margarine and sugar and brush over top and sides of biscuits
3. Place biscuits on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 13-17 minutes
4. Let biscuits cool for 5 minutes
5. Combine Strawberries and vanilla extract in a bowl. (Adding more sugar if preferred)
6. Split biscuits, layer on whipped cream, and strawberries
It's bad enough that some guys can barely hold together a verbal conversation. It's worse when they cannot seem to keep a texting conversation from falling apart. Being the helpful soul that I am, I've compiled a list of texting no nos to help a brotha out on his bold mission of texting a girl for the first time.
1. Do not text "hey". Hay is for horses you jackass.
2. Do not text her without telling her who the fuck you are and where the fuck she would know you from. Newsflash, you're not the only dude she's given her number to this week.
3. Do not lie and say "This is Tim, remember?" When in fact your name is Billy and you are "testing" the girl. It's not funny and You will fail every time.
4. Do not text her asking for a selfie right then and there. She did not "wake up like this".
5. Do not overuse acronyms. wyd?, wryut?, OMG! WTF? man, you sound like a lazy teenager.
6. Do not send her a selfie that you don't fully feel confident about. IE awkward smiles and fucked up hair. If she was debating you before, she's fully forwarding the picture to all of her friends to get in on judgement of you.
7. Do not ask her to get together right then and there. A girl's gotta plan.
8. Do not send her a dick pic. It's not attractive in any shape or form. Refer to #6. She'll be sending this picture to all of her friends to make fun of you.
9. Do not text her while drunk. You think it's a good idea at the time but I guarantee you'll make an ass of yourself. Spelling mistakes and missing words are not cute.
10. Do not text her past 10:00. She ain't no holla back girl.
This has been a public service announcement. Thank you and you're welcome.
Mother's day is right around the corner. It's Sunday, May 8th for those that are calendar or date remembering challenged. With that in mind, I've rounded up a few of my favorite gift ideas for good old mama.
How cute is this "You are a good mom." $14 mug from Nordstrom (the inside reads "That's all".) I also like their other mug that reads "You are my mom. You are crazy".
I am obsessed with this "Mother of dragons" t shirt that Drew Barrymore is wearing. Similar tees available on Etsy. My favorite is from LostCoveApparel They have several different colors to choose from and tees retail for $14.99
For the flashy mama, I am loving this gold "mama" necklace from Cult of Youth $35
These handmade lavender candles from AromaLab read "Mom (noun) 1.Superwoman: Best friend 2. I'm so lucky to have you as my mom" A sweet smelling gift for $20
How adorable is this "Obey your mom" pillow cover? A good reminder for $19 from Nest2Impress
You can never go wrong with flowers for mother's day. Make them even more special with these "mom" mason jars from OMGMASONS $24
Any gift for mom will be loved along with the right card. These are my 2 personal favs:
"As you suspected, you were right about everything" $4.13 from BettieConfetti