Thursday, October 29, 2020

GlossyBox October 2020

Hello Lovelies! I have a fun—and possibly my favorite—beauty subscription box to share with you today. Not only is Glossybox beautifully packaged, it contains amazing products that truly feels like a little treat each time I open the box. 


What it Glossybox? Glossybox is a monthly beauty box that contains 5 deluxe-sized (occasionally full-sized) beauty products that can include makeup, skincare, haircare, and more.


Price: $21 a month (plus tax, if applicable) shipping included for the US, shipping to Canada is $5

Use my referral link HERE to save 20% off your first box (works on 12 month subscription also) or use my code: ANGELA-R2BA


How is it packaged? Each month Glossybox arrives in a sturdy outer shipping container. Inside, you’ll find a lovely box (sometimes themed) that is not only sturdy but reusable. Inside the Glossybox you’ll find your products nestled on a bed of shredded paper packaging and wrapped in tissue paper that’s tied with a ribbon. Honestly, this is one of the most beautifully wrapped subscription boxes that I’ve ever had the pleasure of unboxing.


Is a product card included? Yes, each box comes with a little booklet that contains prices and tells you about each product.


Website: Glossybox US


October’s Theme: Glossy Fairytale. There were two boxes this month: Midnight Fantasy, which is a lovely dark blue and gold box that has a lovely nocturnal motif, and Enchanted Spirit, which is a lovely lavender and gold box that a lovely diurnal motif.


Here’s what I received in the Midnight Fantasy Box

-Ciaté Extraordinary Translucent Powder (deluxe mini, $18.98)—at 7 grams, this is a massive container of setting powder. While I do have a full size of this setting powder, it’s one of my favorites so I’m happy getting a deluxe mini.

-The Beauty Crop Stargazing Blush Duo in Orion Glow (full size, $23)—this is a gorgeous blusher duo that contains a matte and a shimmer. The formula is pigmented and applies smoothly.

-Earth Harbor Aurora Superfood Luminance Ampoule (full size, $32)—full of sea greens, cannabis sativa hemp oil, and grapeseed oil this serum will soothe and repair skin. I’ve been debating on buying this serum for a few months so I’m exceedingly happy to see this in my box this month.

-Ona New York Spolight Radiant Glow Gel Mask (full, $9)—I never say no to getting a sheet mask and I’m very excited to try this one with its plant-based formula. 

-Mane Club Bad Attitude and Cry Baby Conditioning Hair Mask (full size, $3.99 each)—I do like a deep, conditioning hair mask so I’m eager to give these a try.


My thoughts on the Midnight Fantasy box. This was a great box. The value’s definitely there for the money and the value’s there in the products that I’ll use. Several of these products are products that I’ve been wanting to try or need to replace (serum, blush, setting powder) and I never say no to face or hair masks.


Total MSRP Value of the Enchanted Spirit Box $90.96


Here’s what I received in the Midnight Fantasy Box

-Ciaté Extraordinary Translucent Powder (deluxe mini, $18.98)

-The Beauty Crop Stargazing Blush Duo in Orion Glow (full size $23)

-Earth Harbor Aurora Superfood Luminance Ampoule (full size, $32)

-Generation Clay Ultra-Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask (deluxe mini, $14.44)—at 50 ml, this is nearly as big as the full size. This is one of my favorite clay masks—it’s probably one I reach for the most—so I’m glad I’ll have a tube for my upstairs bathroom.

-Tree Hut Sugar Lips Lip Scrub in Brown Sugar (Full size, $5.99)—I’m always a fan of getting lip scrubs in subscription boxes because they’re an item I just don’t purchase, so this is great because I’m running out of my current one.


My thoughts on the Enchanted Spirit box. Again, this was another great box and the value was definitely there. Yes, the first three products were duplicate products but I don’t mind duplicates of things that I will use or things I know a friend or family member will use.


Total MSRP Value of the Enchanted Spirit Box: $94.41


My Overall Thoughts: I simply adore these boxes. Not only were they filled with amazing items that I know I will use, the sizes of the deluxe minis they included were massive. The value was there in both boxes both in the MSRP totals as well as in the products that I’ll use.


Another plus with this subscription is the boxes they come in are reusable. They’re perfect for storing things in and make wonderful gift boxes. The boxes themselves are also protected by an outer shipping box, which I love because that reduces the chance the items will be damaged and it saves the reusable box from being dinged up.


The Holidays are right around the corner and this box would make the perfect gift. Each month it would be like a little treat delivered straight to them. This would also be the perfect way to treat yourself, with the year we’ve had, we definitely deserve a treat.


Using my code: ANGELA-R2BA or clicking HERE will save you 20%, meaning a year’s subscription will cost $183.40 instead of the regular price of $210.00


Give the gift of Glossybox. I promise they’ll thank you for it!!!!!

All links in this post are affiliate links. I earn credits to spend on future boxes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Fraterfest Update

Hey Lovelies,


I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the spooky season! It’s Day 6 of the Fraterfest Readathon—can you believe it?—so I thought I would post a quick update of my progress thus far.


Finished Books:

On Borrowed Crime: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery by Kate Young—this was a bit grittier than a standard cozy mystery and the mystery/murder aspect reminded me more of a full-on mystery/thriller. If you get squeamish with graphic accounts of murders, then you may want to pass on this one.


A Curious Incident: Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #6 by Vicki Delany—this was the first in this series that I’ve read and I loved it. I really enjoyed the Sherlock vibe and will be checking out the previous books in the series. This one comes out in January 2020.


Currently Reading/Listening to:


The Patient Man: Jackman and Evans #6 (audiobook)—I have about 4 hours left and it’s been an okay listen so far.


The Carriage House by Carla Neggers—this hasn’t been a bad book so far but I’ve been struggling to get into parts of this one.


I have a busy morning with techs from Spectrum coming back (for the 3rd time this week) in an attempt to fix my cable and landline but after that I’m hoping to finish both books then start Turn of the Screw on audiobook.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

My Christmas Crate (September) Subscription Box Review

Hello Lovelies,


Today I’m sharing with you a new-to-me subscription box, My Christmas Crate. It’s a monthly subscription for Christmas/Holiday lovers that’s fill with Christmas/Holiday goodies.


Before I get into the contents of my September Christmas Crate, let me give you the details. 

What is My Christmas Crate? It’s a monthly subscription crate filled with Christmas and holiday items.

According to their website, each box will contain (premium, high quality, specialty) products in an array of categories such as:

Holiday home decor

Premium Christmas culinary delights

Fine paper goods/stationary

Holiday inspired beauty & personal care

Holiday accessories (think cozy scarves)

Christmas novelties


Cost: $29.95 plus shipping (US Flat Rate Shipping: $8.50, Canadian Flat Rate Shipping: $15.95, UK International Flat Rate Shipping: $22.95) The buyer is responsible for all customs fees and etc.

Total Cost in US: $38.45

How is it Packaged: The box is a sturdy cardboard (there’s no outer packaging) and on the inside there were a few bits of shredded paper packaging in festive colors.

Is a product card included? The box does contain a card but it doesn’t really tell much about the products or give prices (I like my subscription boxes to have prices listed).

How many items will be in my Christmas Crate? The website says 3-5 items in one place then 4-6 items in another place.

 Website: My Christmas Crate (this is not an affiliate link)



Items I received in my September Christmas Crate:


-Primitives by Kathy ‘Merry Christmas’ Cotton Ribbon—this is a cute cotton ribbon that would look nice on packages or in decorations.

-Brownlow Gifts S’mores Flavored Hot Cocoa (3 pouches)—it’s always nice to have hot cocoa on hand but I’m not too sure about this one as it’s s’mores flavored and one of the flavor notes in fire-roasted marshmallows and I’m not a fan of my drinks containing anything smoky or fire-roasted.

-Reindeer Socks—these are really soft and adorable. These would be fun to wear during the Christmas season.

-Snowman Playing Cards—the face of the cards has a cute snowflake design and the back has a snowman print. These aren’t the sturdiest of playing cards but they’d make for a cute set to play with during the Winter.

-‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ Canvas Tote Bag—this is my favorite item in the box and something that will definitely come in handy during the Christmas season. It seems like it’s going to be a durable bag.

I received 5 items in my September Christmas Crate. My top three items are the socks, tote bag, and ribbon; I know I will definitely get use out of these items. The playing cards, while cute, will probably be tossed into a drawer and the cocoa will probably be passed to a friend or family member.

Are these premium, high quality, specialty items? The tote bag seems like a high quality item, something you’d go on Etsy to buy. The ribbon, while a nice quality and yardage, is a standard cotton twill ribbon that I see a lot of either in the Holiday section of craft/fabric shops or in the packaging aisle. The socks (they do seem nice), the cocoa, and the playing cards are something that is standard items in all stores during the Winter/Christmas season.

My Overall Thoughts on September’s Christmas Crate? This was an okay box; I will use three out of five of the items. The fun thing about this box is that the items I won’t use or don’t need can be used as stocking stuffers or part of a gift.

I still think this box is a little pricey (with shipping it comes in a little under $40) and I’m disappointed because there’s no prices on the card so I have no way of knowing if the value of box is actually worth the amount paid for the box.


Monday, October 12, 2020

Coloring and Classics Subscription Box Review (September 2020)

Hello Lovelies,


Today I’m going to be sharing with you another new-to-me subscription box, Coloring and Classics. Adult coloring books and activity books are great stress relievers as well as great items to use while carving out a little ‘me time’. Because I’m such a fan of adult coloring books and activity books, I was eager to give this box a go.


Before I tell you what I received in September’s Coloring and Classics Box, let me tell you more about the box. 

What is Coloring and Classics? It’s a monthly subscription box that contains one hardcover book in your chosen genre, an adult coloring book, and an adult activity book.

There are two options: a Coffee option, which will contain 12oz of premium hand roasted coffee in your choice of ground or whole bean and a No Coffee option.

There are seven genres to choose from: Acclaimed Fiction, Acclaimed Nonfiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Romance, or Sci-Fi.

Your first box will contain a pack of colored pencils. Each box is 2 to 3 times the value of what you pay.

Cost: No Coffee Option: $18.99 (shipping included) Coffee Option: $30.99 (shipping included)

How it is packaged: The box is a sturdy cardboard (there’s no outer packaging) and on the inside. The items were wrapped in lime green tissue paper.

Is a product card included? There was no product card included but most of the items did have prices listed on them. 

Website: Coloring and Classics or Amazon (not affiliate links)

What I received in September’s Coloring and Classics

(I selected the No Coffee option and Romance Genre)

-The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable ($27.99)—this is a 2018 book from St. Martin’s Press. I’ve actually read this book (I received an ARC for review) and it was an okay read. I’ll probably pass this on to a friend or stick it in a giveaway.

-The Bell-Ringer Variety Puzzle Pack ($5.99)—this is a nice puzzle book that offers several different options. I look forward to working the puzzles in this one.

- Libro de Colorear Vida Animal (price not included)—this is a fun little coloring book. The pages are a nice weight but it is double sided. It gives you a few different options (pages with pre-colored details and background as well as white backgrounds). This book is in Spanish but it’s not a big deal.

-Home Sweet Home from Kappa Publications (3.95)—while this is highly detailed, it’s not the heaviest of coloring books. The pages are on the thinner side but it does look like it will make for a fun coloring book.

-12 Pack of Madisi Colored Pencils (no price)—these are okay colored pencils. The lead seems nice and sturdy. I received these because it was my first box.

I also receive a chupa chups lollipop in the cherry.

Total value of September’s Coloring and Classics box: $37.99 (this is the value for the 3 items that had prices)

My Overall Thoughts: this is a fun and unique box and it does seem worth the price. This would make a great gift to gift or receive. What I like about this box is that the items inside would make great gifts to throw in a giftset or a stocking.

What I would like to see in future boxes:

-I would like to see a tea option for us non-coffee drinkers.

-It would be nice to have a subgenre offer

-I would like to see additional coloring implements included in each box (such as sharpeners, pencil cases/pouches, blenders, burnishers, and such)


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle

Shannon's good friend and retired tech billionaire Raphael Nash is loving his new retired life, but he can't stay unoccupied for too long. He's started the Marigold Foundation, which helps fund small companies and individuals who do humanitarian work around the world. It's an exciting time in Lighthouse Cove as Raphael hosts the first ever global conference, inviting big thinkers from every area of industry to give presentations on eco-living.

Raphael's old business partner arrives in town with a grudge and a plan to steal him away from his important new passion project. Shannon knows her friend has no intention of giving up Marigold and is proud of Raphael for sticking to his guns. But when his former associate winds up dead, all signs point to Raphael.

It's up to Shannon to hammer out the details of the murder before her friend gets pinned for the crime.

 Series: Fixer Upper Mystery #7 | Publisher: Audible | Narrator: Jae Delane | Length: 8 hours 47 minutes | Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery  | Source: Publisher  | Rating: 4.5
Challenges Read For:  - Audiobook Challenge 

I’ve had some ups and downs with this series but I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed Shot Through the Hearth. Even though this is the seventh book in the series, I think the series finally found its footing.

Here’s what’s going on. When Raphael Nash hires Shannon to doing a barn raising during his eco-living conference, Shannon can’t refuse, especially since the foundation is named after her close friend. But things get off to a rocky start when Raphael’s former business partner starts causing trouble then ends up murdered. With everyone at the conference in danger, including Shannon and her friends, Shannon takes it upon herself to discover the killer.

This one has to be my favorite in the series. I’ve had some problems with Shannon acting a bit immature and overly annoying in the previous books but this book showed a lot of growth with her and I’m hoping that stays the same in the books to come. She was more mature, more likable, and just a delightful character. There was also a solidness and maturity in her relationship with Mac that I hadn’t seen before.

The mystery in this one wasn’t unique but the situation—the eco-conference—that brought the characters together was something that I’ve not seen before in a cozy mystery and I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed that this book used a few red herrings to throw you off the murderer. While this wasn’t the hardest mystery to solve, I thought this was exceptionally solid.

I just want to touch on the backdrop—the eco-conference—for a minute. I really enjoyed how bits and bobs of the conference were woven into the book without overwhelming the plot. It was interesting and added a fun layer to the plot, especially with all the eccentric characters it included.

This was my first time listening to Jae Delane narrate and this was the first time she has narrated this series. While she was okay, she wasn’t my favorite and some of her accents, especially the Scottish were just off to me. I really wish they would stick to one narrator for this series instead of switching around so much.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I felt like the book was the best in the series thus far. If you are going to pick this one up, I would suggest you skip it on audio and go for the actual book.