Decorating with Silk Plants from Museum Trees

I love changing up my home decor for the seasons, and when fall rolls around I love to get especially cozy. However, I do miss the lush greenery that comes with summer. I don’t exactly have a green thumb, so I rely on beautiful silk plants to bring the outdoors inside year-round. 

Museum Trees offered to send me one of their high-quality products for review, and I was thrilled to see what their plants look like.

The silk plants are shipped in a sturdy cardboard mailer, and my ficus was snug and secure inside. 

Museum Trees ReviewMuseum Trees Review

After I took the silk plant out of the packaging, I just had to fluff up the leaves and it was ready to go. 

Museum Trees Review

Museum Trees Review

I’m impressed with how realistic this silk ficus looks. From the leaves right down to the trunk, it is very convincing. (In fact, one of our cats is still fooled into thinking it’s real — she’s obsessed with it!) The base is weighted so the plant doesn’t fall over. I have it in a corner of our living room and once the weather is cooler, I plan to add some twinkle lights to up the “cozy factor.” I just love it!

Museum trees review

Museum trees review

Museum Trees offers a huge selection of silk plants perfect for your home or office. I would certainly recommend them to anyone looking for an easy decor update that requires minimal fuss!

Review | LipSense Lip Color & Lip Gloss

I feel like I am constantly searching for a great lipstick. Every few years I find one I love, but then it goes out of production and I have to start from scratch. Well, I am happy to say that after a few years of looking, my current search is over!

I was offered the chance to try out LipSense from Red Gate Beauty and after using it for a few weeks, it’s official: I’m in love. LipSense is not your typical lipstick. It is waterproof, kiss-proof, and smear-proof. The color and gloss are both available in an array of beautiful shades.

LipSense is a long-lasting liquid lip color that lasts between 4-18 hours. I can personally attest to it lasting for 6 hours and lots of talking, drinking, and eating! It is lead-free, wax-free, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and not tested on animals. Plus it is made right here in the U.S.A.!

To wear LipSense, you just have to follow a few steps. First, clean and dry your lips. Then shake the bottle of color. Swipe the color on in one direction (just a thin layer). If you want more color, wait 10 seconds and reapply. (The first time I tried the color I was surprised by the tingling sensation, but  that is just the cosmetic-grade denatured alcohol which create a bacteria-free environment in the tube. It wasn’t unpleasant at all – it just caught me off-guard.) Five seconds after you apply the color to your lips you can apply the gloss, which acts like a magic sealer and moisturizer.

LipSense review for redgatebeauty.com

My favorite part about the gloss? You can choose from several different colors that adds just a little bit extra to your lips when combined with the color, or you can wear it on your own for a natural look. For my gloss, I chose Orchid, and it really is the perfect topcoat to the Praline Rose color.

LipSense review for redgatebeauty.com

In addition to being long-lasting, the color itself is what I love most about LipSense. It is so hard to find color that isn’t over-the-top or really fake looking. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I do like to accentuate my lips. LipSense is perfect for that. And if you want a vibrant color, they have plenty to choose from! Plus, you can mix and match colors in order to get the shade that is uniquely yours!

LipSense review

I’m excited to offer my readers a 15% discount code if you want to try LipSense out for yourself. Head over to Red Gate Beauty and use the code bloggymoms15 at check-out.

 

Book Review | Real American: A Memoir, by Julie Lythcott-Haims

I received a free copy of Real American: A Memoir in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Real American: A Memoir

As a librarian a lot of books find their way across my desk, as you can imagine, but I am drawn to biographies and memoirs and always have been. I love learning about people’s individual histories, and Real American: A Memoir is no exception.

About the Book

Real American: A Memoir
by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Holt, $27 (288p)
ISBN 978-1-2501-3774-6

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the daughter of a white British mother and an African-American father. Julie was born in Africa in 1967, but her family moved to the United States when she was very young. This book chronicles her life as a bi-racial young woman in the 1970s, while living in Palisades, NY, and Madison, Wis. The book takes us through many pivotal life experiences that almost everyone shares — playing with neighborhood kids, going to prom, getting that college acceptance letter, navigating college life, experiencing love and disappointment — universal moments.

It didn’t matter that her father was an accomplished physician (and Assistant Surgeon General of the United States in 1977) and that her mother was loving and encouraging — racism was a fact of life that Julie could not escape. After graduating from Stanford University, Julie married a Jewish man, adding another layer of complication in her quest for self-understanding.  

My Review

Lythcott-Haims writes with honestly and vulnerability. I did not grow up in a very diverse town, so I found many of Lythocott-Haims’ experiences eye-opening. The author spent a good deal of time struggling with issues of race and identity — what does it mean to be mixed race and how do you fit in, especially as a young adult during that time period? — and to ultimately moving toward healing and self-acceptance. We all can relate in some way to being an outsider, or not fitting in with the people around you. When we are in high school and college, even the most average person (whatever that might mean to you) tries to figure out who they are and where they stand. But the author’s struggles were much more than average.

Real American: A Memoir

Real American: A Memoir wraps cultural moments (from seemingly simple things like watching “The Cosby Show,” and noting important movies to reflecting on Hurricane Katrina, the election of President Barack Obama, and the impact of Black Lives Matter ) around the author’s personal life. While reading I couldn’t help but reflect back upon where I was during these time periods and what I was doing. While reading this book I felt like the author was talking to me. Her writing style is so personal that it draws the reader in immediately. I soaked up every word, and I know it is a book I will go back to and read again. 

Real American: A Memoir

Real American: A Memoir is insightful and poetic, raw and honest. I think that this is an important book to read, especially given our current political climate. There’s no denying that the world we live in is racially-charged and I think that more than ever, we need to really try to know and understand each other. Whether or not you consider this book out of your “comfort zone,” I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy because it will no doubt have a lasting effect on you. Learn more about the book on Real American: A Memoir’s Publishers Weekly page.

Win A Copy of Real American: A Memoir

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway details:
Prizes: One of 10 copies of Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims
Dates: September 1 – September 29, 2017
Entry: Readers may enter the giveaway via the widget and by posting ONCE to Twitter and including: @DeanJulie and the hashtags: #RealAmericanMemoir and #CLVR
Notification: Winners will be randomly selected and notified by CLEVER by October 6, 2017
Terms & Conditions: Age 18+ | US resident only | Only one winner per household

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Review | GlassesShop.com

I was given a free pair of prescription eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Last month I decided that I really needed new glasses. The pair I was wearing just never seemed to fit right. I dealt with it as long as I could, but it was time. As luck would have it, a rep from GlassesShop.com contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a pair of eyeglasses from them.

After browsing their site for a moment, I quickly took advantage. I found several styles that I loved. I decided on the Iowa Rectangle style and the green shade looked so different! I couldn’t wait for them to arrive. In fact, I didn’t have to wait long — before I knew it they were in my mailboxes! I have ordered glasses online several times before, but I think these shipped faster than any other company.

New Glasses from GlassesShop.com

The fit was great! I could see clearly

New eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com

GlassesShop.com offers all kinds of glasses. Whether you are looking for fashionable frames, or  prescription sunglasses they have a fantastic selection!

If you want to give them a try, just make sure you have your eyeglass prescription (including PD – pupillary distance), pick your favorite style and order them. Simple as that! I also have a special GlassesShop.com discount code for my readers! Use coupon code GSHOT50 and save 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded). 

New Glasses from GlassesShop.com

I am extremely happy with my pair of glasses and I definitely see myself ordering from them again in the future!

Easy Organization with BIC Gelocity Pens!

It’s no secret that I love pens — especially gel pens! So when I had the opportunity to try out the new quick-dry Gelocity Pens from BIC I knew I couldn’t say no!

BIC Gelocity review

My Smiley Kit came with a package of three gel pens, coupons, and a cute coloring sheet. I couldn’t wait to test them out!

The first thing I noticed is how comfortable the grip is on these pens. The barrel is slightly padded and you can write for a long time without fatigue. Also, check out how vibrant the ink is!

BIC Gelocity review

Sometimes pink gel pens don’t show up well, but this one does. The blue and purple are so pretty, and the best thing is that the ink dries faster than regular gel pens. I can’t say they are smudge-proof, but they are certainly an improvement over some other brands.

BIC Gelocity review

And of course, if you’re trying to get things organized for the new school year, these pens make color-coding a snap! Assign each of your kids a color for the family calendar, or designate a color for different areas of your life — work, to-do, fitness, etc.

Thanks to Smiley360 for the opportunity to sample these pens for free! All opinions are my own.