About Me

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The 'B' List. A look at the beautiful things in life. This blog is devoted to that list. Join me on the journey, why don't you?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My new look!

Since I started this blog, I've had the same background graphics, style, etc., so I thought it was time to change it up a bit and give my digs a new look. Whaddya think? I love the funky colours and the swirls and curlies remind me of hot java for some reason, which I am absolutely addicted to. I guess it is fitting that I review now for Coffee Time Romance!

I also used to work for two major coffee chains; my first job ever in high school was for Tim Hortons which was actually really fun. Ok, the pay wasn't so great, but there was a lot of perks, free coffee being the first, and back in those days we got a lot of other freebies, doughnuts, muffins, sandwiches, soups, etc. My favorite lunch ever was a toasted blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese and a GIANT cup of chocolate milk. Oh, and about 4 or 5 coffees :)

I also worked for Starbucks, and they literally make their staff go to 'coffee college' so I learned even more in-depth about all things coffee. The best was the frappucinos though; fake coffee if I ever saw one, but tasty none the less. I also learned how to pull a mean espresso shot! There were a few oddball requests for drinks; one I recall was a venti latte made with half and half instead of milk. Ewwwww - I almost gagged!

Today I'm lucky to get through the day with two coffees, but I say, it's a yummy little bean that makes the world go round.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My first official reviews are up!

Just wanted to let you all know that my first *official* reviews for Coffee Time Romance and More are up - click here for the direct link. As I mentioned previously, these reviews are a bit more formal than my chick-lit reviews on this site, but I am quite proud of these and think it is a great way to get myself into the whole book business a little more.

The two books I reviewed first are ebooks and primarily romance; the next two I am currently working on are chick-lit and women's fiction, so you'll see a smattering of genres here and there. Also, I still have a shelfload of chick-lit books, and I do hope to actually find some time to read them, so as that happens, reviews will be posted here. But for now, every time an *official* review gets posted, I will post an update here as well. Hope you like the new writing style!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A New Year...new books, new direction.

Hi again! So, starting up from my last post, I thought it would be difficult to blog regularly going into September as school was starting up again. And how right I was! My wedding, combined with researching, writing, teaching, tutoring and sitting on various committees meant my fall was pretty much shot. I hardly did any reading which was a shame, since I love it and it is always a great escape - I can then come back to things refreshed and ready to go.

So, in the spirit of the New Year I decided to try something new. I applied for and got a position as a book reviewer/interviewer at Coffee Time Romance and More. They are the best site for reviewing, talking about, and finding out about new books. Because I now review, I have to stick to a reading schedule - it is manageable, and I make sure I get my reading time in! And then the reviews are posted on their site (click here). So this means my book reviews are a bit more formal and will be published there instead of on here. However, because Coffee Time is mainly a romance site, if I ever do any chick-lit reading on the side, I will post that review over here.

Also, since my reviews will generally now be posted elsewhere, I had to come up with another idea on what to post on for my blog. I love reviewing things and reading reviews online - in fact, I always read reviews on books/products before purchasing them. So, I decided to take my reviews to something a bit different - beauty. Recently I was introduced to the new phenomenon sweeping beauty junkies all across the country (and several countries, actually) - beauty sample boxes. Birchbox started it all. A U.S.-based company that sends you 4-5 deluxe beauty samples per month for $10 (shipping included). I think the reason this caught on so quickly was because some of the samples in the box are actually full-sized, and the products in the box always exceed the small cost you paid for it. Also, these boxes are personalized, you fill out a little questionnaire and products are sometimes tailored to your skin type, tone, hair type, colour, etc. Plus, it is the best way to try new things, sometimes products you never even heard of, and find new beauty favorites. It gets any woman out of a beauty rut!

Since I'm located in Canada, in order to try these beauty boxes I had to scope out the Canadian companies, or companies that would ship to Canada. So here is the lowdown. Glymm is based out of Montreal and ships 4-5 deluxe samples to you for $10 (all in). Luxe Box by Loose Button is based out of Toronto and ships 4-5 deluxe beauty products for $12 (all in). Top Box is based out of Toronto and ships 4 handpicked deluxe samples to you for $10 per month  (all in). GlossyBox (also has a U.K. and U.S. counterpart) ships 5 (and sometimes a 6th) product samples to you for $15/month (all in). And finally, Julep Maven is U.S.-based, but ships to Canada; they are only nail products and their box is a bit different. You take a style quiz and for $19.99/month (all in) you get over $40 of polish and treatments, never-before released colours, 20% of additional purchases and always free shipping. You can also see what is in your box before it is shipped and have it changed if you don't like it. There is also the option to skip the month, or have the month's box sent to a friend. All of these boxes can be cancelled at anytime.

That's a lot of boxes! See, I told you this has just exploded onto the beauty scene. So what I think I will do is each month give my honest review of each box. Right now I am signed up to Glymm, Luxe Box, Glossy Box and Julep Maven. TopBox has an insane waiting list; I am on the list for a box to ship out starting in June! There is a lot of buzz around that box, that is why I think there is a crazy wait list.

And of course, I am excited to try new products, but my student funds cannot sustain purchasing all the boxes every month (and it's not practical), so I am reviewing with the goal of cutting down the boxes to half. May the better boxes win!

If you would like to join me on my beauty box journey, here are the sign up links to get your very own boxes:

To join Glymm, click here.
To join Luxe Box, click here.
To join Top Box, click here. (Sign up to get on the waiting list for a June box).
To join GlossyBox, click here.
To join Julep Maven, click here. They have a promotion where you can get your first box for just $5 (all in!) The code to use is: FIRST 5.

*If you are from a country outside of Canada and are interested in trying a beauty box, click here to see a list of beauty boxes that are currently in the States and abroad*