I've recently read some great books lately, that I thought I would share with all of you!
The Opposite of Me, by Sarah Pekkanen - click here to view via Amazon.
The summary on Amazon gives too much away, so click above if you want to order it, but I'd suggest refraining from actually reading the synopsis; it gives away the entire book! In summation, all you need to know that is that this book is about relationships between sisters, between oneself and who you "think" you are, and also who you really are. It's about coming into your own, following your passion, and realizing that life might not be what you've always pictured it to be, but that can be the perfect thing for you.
This book is part chick-lit book, part tearjerker (not in a Notebook way, more in a gentle tears in my eyes during various parts of the book kinda way)...and I really, really loved it. It's a great "beach read" kind of novel without being stupid or annoying, like a lot of those books are to me. I do love some Shopaholic-type books from time to time, but overall I find them to be mindless, and I often find myself getting irritated with the writing. I found this book to be witty, intelligent, and honest, and I couldn't put it down. It's a longer book, at almost 400 pages, and I found myself engrossed the entire time. I HIGHLY recommend it to all of you, and if you end up reading it please, please let me know what you think.
The second book I finished recently was a memoir called Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist's Journey Through the Hell of Divorce, by Stacy Morrison. Click here to view it via Amazon.
The emotionally charged story of a divorce that brought the surprising gift of grace...
Just when Stacy Morrison thought everything in her life had come together, her husband of ten years announced that he wanted a divorce. She was left alone with a new house that needed a lot of work, a new baby who needed a lot of attention, and a new job in the high-pressure world of New York magazine publishing.
Morrison had never been one to believe in fairy tales. As far as she was concerned, happy endings were the product of the kind of ambition and hard work that had propelled her to the top of her profession. But she had always considered her relationship with her husband a safe place in her often stressful life. All of her assumptions about how life works crumbled, though, when she discovered that no amount of will and determination was going to save her marriage.
For Stacy, the only solution was to keep on living, and to listen—as deeply and openly as possible—to what this experience was teaching her.
Told with humor and heart, her honest and intimate account of the stress of being a working mother while trying to make sense of her unraveling marriage offers unexpected lessons of love, forgiveness, and dignity that will resonate with women everywhere.
This book popped up in my recommendations while I was browsing Amazon in search of books to put on my Kindle. As you probably already know, I love memoirs. I wasn't too sure about the topic of this book, but I had a sample sent to my Kindle anyway and began reading. Immediately I was engrossed in the writer's unique and wordy style. I'm not sure if it's for everyone though- she REALLY gets in her own head and the writing shows that. It's part story, part stream on consciousness that explains every single thing the writer is thinking about, why she is thinking it, and where this thinking gets her. Personally, I adored it. Everything she said made a lot of sense, and coming from someone who is happily married, I thought it was interesting to see the other side of things, especially from someone who never thought she'd be there. I found so many of her insights to affect me quite deeply- her thoughts on parenting, marriage, self, what it means to be a woman...all of it was hard hitting and although incredibly poignant, still extremely uplifting. I loved the author's writing style and couldn't put this book down either.
I've always loved Meryl Streep and she's one of my all-time favorite actresses. It's amazing, but the older she gets, the more amazing she gets. I find her to be incredibly inspiring, and this movie is no different. I highly recommend to everyone- you will laugh (hard), you'll cry, you'll think about your life and where it's headed. It's another one of those movies that makes you think, but it's not one of those movies that throws anything in your face. It's more of an underlying "hmm..." as you watch it, and especially afterward. Go rent it!
The second movie I'm recommending is quite different from the first.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
I love love love movies like this. Dark, macabre, suspenseful. My all-time favorite movie is Rosemary's Baby, and this movie has that same feeling. I've had it recommended to me a million times but Hank and I only just watched it for the first time a couple of weeks ago when it was on Netflix Instant Play. We were both immediately engulfed in the strange way this movie sucks you in. You have to see it! Let me know what you think if you do.
I've tried quite a few new beauty products over the past couple of weeks and I wanted to recommend one and NOT recommend the other. The first is a product I've mentioned on this blog before. It's the belly cream that Autumn had me get when I became pregnant.
Great Mother's Belly Butter for Babybearing Women- click here to view via mothernature.com
OH MY GOSH you guys, I LOVE this stuff. I will continue to use it even after I have Henry, because it's truly amazing. It's a thick cream/body butter kind of stuff that goes on pretty greasy. Greasy would probably bring about negative connotations, so try to think of it as a pleasant greasiness, and that fades as it sinks into the skin. There's no petroleum in it, so it is actually absorbed and used by your body to heal, prevent and repair.
Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Comfrey Root, Wheat Germ Oil, Calendula, Marshmellow Root, Hawthorn Berry, White Oak Bark, Red Raspberry Leaf, Passion Flower, Vitamin E, Pure Essential Oil
Due to it's heavy consistency I apply it only before I go to sleep, but I apply it everywhere I feel a little dry, not just my belly. I've had issues in the past with a small eczema like dry patch on both of my forearms and this completely took that problem away. At $20 a 4 oz. jar it's a little pricey, but if you order from mothernature.com and then search for coupon codes at retailmenot.com you can get anywhere between $20-30 off your order. I love this stuff and I think it's totally worth it!
The second product I am sharing but NOT recommending is Chanel's Double Perfection Compact- click here to view via nordstrom.com.
This product initially got me really excited. One of my formspring commenters recommended it to me, and I ordered it right away, after reading online that it was oil-free and wouldn't clog pores. I have extremely sensitive skin, so I need to be careful, but even the reviews on makeupalley.com were favorable for sensitive skin, so I took the plunge and ordered it. At first I liked it. Alone and dry, the powder (which is supposed to be of a foundation consistency) wasn't enough coverage, and to me was just like my Laura Mercier translucent finishing powder, which is in no way foundation. I found though that if I layered it over my Almay foundation it gave me a nice MAC Studio-Fix-ish look, without the breakout (or so I thought). I also tried it wet, which make the formula thicker and allowed it to work better on its own.
As time went by, I started to breakout. For some reason I didn't attribute this to the makeup- I'm pregnant with crazy hormones so of course it was my body. But I decided to stop using it for a week, and my skin went back to normal during that time. I haven't used the powder again and have had NO breakouts! I'm so annoyed with myself that I used the product for almost a month, dealing with imperfect skin, thinking it was little baby Henry's fault! ;) It was all the powder. And for $50, that's no good. So, my verdict is that this product may work for someone else, but NOT for me! No thank you.
I hope you guys enjoyed this mini-recommendation post! Let me know if you end up reading, watching or trying any of these things! I hope all of you have a wonderful Sunday.
ps, thanks again for all the congratulations about our happy news! Baby Henry is already so loved and I feel lucky to have such a great support system here on this blog! Love to all of you.