Thursday, November 20, 2014

Event: December, A Month of Favorites!


All December-long, Estella's Revenge,  Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing our fave bookish (and sometimes non-bookish) experiences from throughout the year AND we want YOU to join us! The schedule of topics is posted below – in some cases, we’ll be joining with other bloggers' events – and other times, one of us will be hosting a link-up. Plus, there will be 3 GIVEAWAY WINNERS for a book of your choice from Book Depository. Every time you post on one of the topics below, and join the Linky on one of our 3 blogs – you’ll be entered to WIN!

A Month of Bookish Faves Schedule

1 – Faves Month Introduction – About YOU and Your Reading this year (eg. fave genre, fave author, how you read (percentage (%) physical, eReader, audiobooks), when you read, what genre did you read the most from this year, which author was most prolific on your reading list, which month did you read the most, the least, did you have any reading slumps?, which book sucked you back in, etc.)
2 – 5 Faves by a Theme {eg. Audiobooks, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mysteries, Books with Surprise Twists, Surprise Endings, Non-Fiction, Books That Made You Cry, Laugh Out Loud, Cringe, Book Boyfriends That Stole Your Heart, Apocalypse, Dystopian, Best books with kick ass girls, favorite siblings, couples, friends, most hated and loved villains}
3 – 10 Fave Book Covers – link-up hosted at Traveling with T
4 – 6 Degrees of Separation {with a fave book} - linking up with Annabel Smith
5 – Picking Favorites – a list you loved from someone else this week

8 – Book Review / Discussion {a book from from your fave genre or author} – no linky
9 – Fave New-to-Me Author Discoveries – linking up with Top Ten Tuesday
10 - A Year in Books Timeline {Which month did you … read the most, the least, read the book you liked LEAST for the year, read your longest book, tried a new genre, fell hard for a book boyfriend, re-read a favorite, finished an epic series, read something you’ve been wanting to read for a long time etc. }
11 – 5 Most Useful Digital Lifehacks or 5 Fave “Insert something non-bookish here" - link-up hosted right here at Estella's Revenge
12 – Picking Favorites – a list you loved from someone else this week

15 – Book Review / Discussion {a book from from your fave genre or author} – no linky
16 – Top 10 Books That Blew My Mind in 2014 – linking up with Top Ten Tuesday
17 – 5 Fave Winter Reads {looking back at your top choices from books your read last winter} - 
link-up hosted right here at Estella's Revenge
18 – 5 Must Haves for Winter Survival {bookish and non-bookish winter loves … moisturizer to keep those page-turning hands working, a plushy blanket, favorite tea / cocktail / coffee / hot chocolate etc.} – link-up hosted at Traveling with T
19 – Picking Favorites – a list you loved from someone else this week

22 – Book Review / Discussion {a book from from your fave genre or author} – no linky
23 – 5 Books I Almost Put Down and I’m Glad I Didn’t
24 - 5 Hyped Books That Deserved the Hype - 
link-up hosted right here at Estella's Revenge
25 - xoxo CHRISTMAS xoxo {eat, read – but no blogging today}
26 – Picking Favorites – a list you loved from someone else this week

29 – Book Review / Discussion {a book from from your fave genre or author} – no linky
30 – Top 10 Goals/Resolutions For 2014 – linking up with Top Ten Tuesday
31 – 5 Fave (or Most Popular) Blog Posts From This Year – link-up hosted atTraveling with T
Giveaway Details
To enter, just participate by posting on any of the above topics, and entering your information in the linky. 3 winners will be randomly shosen from all the participants – and will be emailed for their choice of any book from the Book Depository (with a max value of $15). This means that the giveaway is open to International participants – anywhere Book Depositary ships to. Winners will be announced the week of January 5th, 2015.
So how about it – do you plan on participating this month? Come on! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Favorite Non-Glamorous (Necessary) Skin Products!

Note: I'm not in bed with any of these products. Well, I am LITERALLY in bed with some of them when I wear them at night, but this is not a sponsored post in any way. My thoughts, my money, my wintery issues.  

Howdy, y'all! I'm coming to you from Texas where it SNOWED THIS WEEK. #crazytalk

I've been so busy with paper grading, everyday work, holiday stuff (and maybe watching Downton Abbey), that I haven't been reading much. I sort of feel like I'm just existing at the moment. Putting out one proverbial fire at a time.

We've been experiencing super-cold-for-us weather here in Texas, and it's hit WAY earlier this year than usual, so I've been having some regular ole this-happens-every-year problems earlier than usual. And that got me thinking about everyday products. Things that make our lives a little better, easier, and more comfortable, but they're not nearly as much fun as more glamorous products. No eyeshadows and lip colors here, folks...let's talk about other stuff I have to have.

My hands crack like a field worker's. As soon as the weather cools down, and I keep washing my hands like the germaphobe freak that I am, little fissures start forming at the edges of my fingernails, and sometimes--like now--right down the middle of my thumbs. These are like gaping, angry paper cuts and all the pain, irritation and annoyance that comes with 'em.

David threatened to buy me a tub of Udder Butter (yes, it was once used on cows' teats, apparently), but he found O'Keeffe's Working Hands instead. This is a rich hand cream you can pick up very inexpensively at your local drug store or big box store. I tend to use it at night before I go to sleep because it does leave a bit of a residue on the hands. It works, though! Stops those cracks in their tracks.

During my waking hours, I use Eucerin on my dry skin. I have eczema, you see, and while it's not nearly as bad as others I've known, it makes for dry, cracked, scaly skin on parts of my legs. I grew up using Lubriderm, because it's what my doctor recommended, but I find that Eucerin works even better for me. Beware the type for super ultra dry skin, with the greenish top. It smells like moldy feet. The regular white bottles are great and don't smell like anything appalling. Beware putting this on irritated, inflamed skin. Burns like a mo'.

So I mentioned the cracked, bleeding, awful fingers earlier in this post. If I don't moisturize enough and somehow there's a breach in the Working Hands and Eucerin, I depend on liquid bandage. I actually buy the generic brand from a local grocery store...usually on the way to work when I'm out of it and need some to carry around in my purse. This puts a clear, antiseptic layer of relief over the finger cracks. It stings for a few seconds, but it's so worth it...especially when the cut or crack is in an inconvenient spot like the edge of a fingernail or top of the thumb where it's hard to position a bandaid.

Finally, a lip product because chapping. My lips literally get flaky and craggy and kissing me can't be fun. I recently found Mongongo lip balm in an Ipsy bag, and I am in hardcore lip-balm LOVE. This stuff smells heavenly (Mandarin Green Orange Ginger, infused with lime oil and ginger). It is so smooth and hydrating, if I have chapped lips and put this on, I actually sigh with relief. And did I mention how good it smells? Amazing!

Which products do you swear by in the fall and winter? I neeeed to know. 





Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Post-Birthday Blush! And David Sedaris!


What an awesome birthday I had. I really have the best bunch of family, friends, and online buddies around. But let's back up a step...


I turned 34 last Monday, and my husband has been taunting me with promises of an amazing gift for MONTHS. He's been positively gloating. As the day got closer and closer, he got gloatier and gloatier, until the moment finally arrived.

The verdict...

BEST LITERARY GIFT EVER. Two tickets to see David Sedaris speak last Tuesday.


The program was part of the Dallas Museum of Art's Arts and Letters Live series, and it took place at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas. They were really hardcore about not taking pics or video during the event, so unfortunately, all you get is a promo shot. Ha! 

From the moment Sedaris came onto the stage, he was absolutely hilarious. He read all unpublished material, one essay of which, "Leviathan," was especially touching in his warped, roundabout way. It'll be published soon in The New Yorker, if I'm remembering correctly. I'll share a link when I see it surface. 

He read for about an hour and a half, talked off the cuff quite a bit, and did a short Q&A with the audience. I've loved David Sedaris for ages, and now I love him even more. It just doesn't get any better than hearing him speak in person. 


But back to the actual evening of my birthday. David, Greyson and I had dinner with my mom. There were burgers, cake. Plenty of laughs. And then...the gift "from Greyson." A signed first edition of Naked! While there was a signing after Sedaris's speaking event, I was so dang tired, there was no way I was willing to stay until the early hours of the morning in line. Luckily, I don't have to feel bad since I already have a signature all my own. :) 

My husband is officially the King of Gifts. My mom is pretty close, as she gave me a very nice cash gift to go clothes shopping...one of my favorite things lately. And a big thank you to all of you who wished me well on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere. You made me smile all day long.