Holiday Décor

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I had a post two years ago about my holiday décor in my old apartment and I have moved since then so I have new things, mostly the same décor but in different spots. 

            This is not going to be a long post, it’s going to be some words but more photos than anything else. I am not including everything in my place because I have a lot of little bits and bobs all over, mostly stuffed animals, candles, and random small pieces of décor that I am not going to bore you with here. There are also a few things that I don’t have out that I had out in my old place but space is kind of limited in this place. 

            So I know it’s before Thanksgiving, I have been decorated for over a week now and I don’t regret it one little bit, I needed some happy in my apartment and putting up my Christmas decorations and my tree (which I will not be lighting until the day after Thanksgiving) made me really happy when I needed some joy. Is everything in the world fixed after slapping some lights and ornaments on a tree and putting on Christmas music? No but if I can get my own corner of happy I’m going to do it.

            My tree is the same, mostly all Hallmark but with a few new ornaments this year than in years past, I wrote a post on some of my favorites you can check that out if you want to. Here, unlike my old place, my tree is almost right inside the door instead of across the living room from it. I don’t know which I like better. 

            Also in my living room with my workout DVD’s and on my TV stand are some cute little mice that my grandmother had for a long time before I inherited them and some polar bears that I found in a box (honestly completely forgot I owned them). 

            Also in the box was my grandmother’s nativity set that my aunt painted, I knew that it was in the box but I didn’t know there were other things in the box with it. I made room or it this year because it’s been in a box for a few years now and I wanted it out this year. It took some time for me to get everything on top of the bookcase but I got it! 

            A few more things, these are in my bedroom, I made the large piece in the back a few years ago and the snow globes in like 2017, I think? I don’t actually remember, it was before I left Indiana so it’s been at least since Christmas 2017. I love the Grinch it’s one of my favorite Christmas movies, and yes I do mean any and all of the iterations of The Grinch.

            Next up is my dining room table, I do a different thing every year and this year I put up my rose gold reindeer and red chargers, I just like having something festive on my table this time of year. 

            I have a small tree with even smaller ornaments on the work table in the kitchen which is cute. 

            A Santa holding up another snow globe, my dad made the Santa, I made the snow globe. 

            Some penguins next to my mixer where the pumpkin was in my Halloween Décor post.

            The top of my comic book bookcase that has a penguin, a small candle, and a snowman candle holder. The rest of the stuff up there is up year round so nothing fancy.

            On my entry table this year is the stuff that was on my dining room table last year, I think that they will go back on the dining room table next year but I really don’t know yet because I just want to get through 2020 before I even start thinking about 2021. 

            In my office I have my small Christmas tree which I have had for three or four years now and I love so much. It doesn’t have a theme but if it did it would be plush things but also make it fashion because it’s just a cute tree. 

            I also have my third snow globe in my office next to a Boyd bear that I have had since I was a kid, this snow globe needs to be fixed because the deer and the tree have dislodged themselves from the floral foam so I think I just need to cut my losses and replace the foam. 

            Also a bonus: I made this arrangement for my mom and I absolutely love it, it’s at her house and I love arranging flowers but I haven’t done it in a few years.

            So that’s a lot of my bigger or more involved décor in the apartment and I am happy that I am decorated already. 

            I said this post wouldn’t be too long and I am trying to keep true to my word on that so I think that’s going to be it for this post, I hope if you celebrate American Thanksgiving that you all have a good, happy, and safe Thanksgiving even if we all have to celebrate it a little different this year. 

            I hope everyone has a good rest of the week and I will see y’all on Sunday with another post! 

            -MJ 

A Christmas Décor DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            This is probably the easiest Christmas DIY I have ever done and I have done a couple now. A while back I was looking in the dollar section at Target, you know at the front when you walk in with all the cute cheap things well it sucked me in and I found two things that gave me an idea, a chalkboard sled and a vinyl cut decal that said ‘dashing through the snow’ and it gave me a cute little idea. 

            I thought this was going to take me five minutes tops but I had to pull out all the little pieces in the cursive so it took me a little longer than expected but I did it! 

            So what do you need for a project like this, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same but for a cute little DIY that is something like this you are gonna need some things. 

            Materials:  

            A backdrop (you can use wood, a piece of glass or whatever that you want to put words on)

            Vinyl die cut words (you can usually buy individual letters at most craft stores or if you have a circuit like go crazy!)

            A quote you like (I bought one that was already done)

            A paint pen (I used a Sharpie paint pen)

            Some paint (because I couldn’t find another paint pen or if you don’t want to use a paint pen you can use this.)

            The actual DIY: 

1.  Okay with this one, first of course gather your materials, this one is a little different than my Halloween ones because it was a lot of premade materials. 

2. I had to pick apart all of the die cut letters which I thought would take me like seconds, it took like ten minutes so if you can I would get individual letters but that would also present challenges. The reason I found this so challenging was the cursive lettering and the little pieces you don’t need were really hard to get out because I didn’t want to rip the letters.

3. I drew a straight line in pencil on my sled where I wanted the letters to go and with the words that worked out great, the letter’s not so much but it looks okay.

4. Put on some snowflakes, I did mine in gold because that was the pen I had at the time and I did add the white and silver snowflakes later (I seriously had it up in my house for a few weeks and it wasn’t actually finished.

5. Display, I have mine sitting in my office but you could hang it on a wall (depending on what it is and your quote) or display it however you want, it’s your craft. 

            Guys, let’s be honest with ourselves I am not great at writing DIY posts, I was better at making small DIY videos but I don’t feel like doing that at the moment, but sometimes it’s just the simple things that can help you get inspiration for a DIY. The Target dollar section is really good at that around holiday times. 

            This post isn’t long and to be honest I have been sitting on this one for a while half-finished because I have been focusing on other things, like decorating my apartment, helping my parents decorate their house, and work so this has kind of been taking a back burner; a lot of DIY and craft ideas are at the moment and that is alright.

            So it’s a cute little craft when it’s finished, that I can say because I have been staring at mine for a few weeks now and it’s not hard to do just to have a simple DIY somewhere in your holiday décor. 

            I hope everyone has a great start to the week, we are off this week from school because it’s Thanksgiving Break so I plan on writing several posts but I will see y’all on Wednesday with my actual updating Holiday Décor post, fingers crossed. 

            Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

            -MJ 

November 2020 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So this showed up in my mail a few days ago and I am not going to ramble as much as I usually do at the beginning of a post, I feel like I don’t have anything else to say that I haven’t already said a dozen times in 2020 posts. I will say this though, if you are able to hug your loved ones, you never know when you won’t be able to do that anymore. Someone I know lost her husband in a car accident earlier in the week and we take even simple words to our family members for granted, tell you parents that you love them, hug your pets, and check in on family members virtually that you can’t see right now. I know we are coming into the holiday season and a lot of people aren’t going to be able to celebrate in person with their family this year but please everyone be safe. Wear a mask, social distance, and if possible avoid large gatherings. 

            That for sure brought down the mood a little bit but it needed to be said, please be safe and responsible this holiday season because cases are on the rise again.

            Right so onto the actual post, like a huge 180 from what I was talking about but I feel like it needed to be said because people aren’t being smart and it’s causing problems for others. 

The Bag: 

            It’s cute, I still don’t know how I feel about getting the bags, I like the little glam bags for the regular Glam Bag but the drawstring bag for this one is still going to have to grow on me. I like the color blocking though and it’s a nice light weight bag that seems like a breathable material so it might work for something that might be on the damp side, maybe mask storage? 

The Products, what did I get?

Violet Voss Coral Pop Eyeshadow Palette:

            This was one of the two that was picked for me and I think it was a pretty good choice on IPSY’s part. So for years I have honestly called Violet Voss Violent Voss because I apparently can’t read. All the colors are super nice and there is this beautiful pop of a coral red. This palette is mostly neutral and it is going to go in my travel pile of palette’s because it’s a cute little six pan palette. The pigmentation and the holding power of this shadow is actually pretty great and I am actually looking forward to dipping into this palette.

Girlactik 3-in-1 Lip Sparkle Balm in Twinkle and Periwinkle:

            This is was the other IPSY chosen product and I do not have a lot of lip crayon products, I also like Girlactik, I have one of their lip balms and I actually really like it so I am looking forward to giving these two a chance. They are both actually really nice colors, I thought that I was going to like Twinkle more just because of the shade on the packaging but I think that I like Periwinkle a little bit more. They are very sparkly so if you are into that, this product might be for you. Also I am always afraid of crayons to be honest because I am never sure how to sharpen them, I am afraid of ruining them in the process. 

Tula Skincare Eye Feel Amazing Colling & Brightening Hydrogel Eye Masks: 

I love Tula, that is my current facial cleanser and I love the brand so when I saw a Tula product in my choices I wanted to so bad and that was one of my choices. I am really looking forward to this because I need to get back into meditation in the new year because I do miss taking a nice skin care break with a mask on or doing an eye mask because let’s be real I am tired like all the time and I would like to not look like I am super tired all the time. There are four in this set and I am really looking forward to using them, they are going in my fridge as soon as I am done taking a picture of them. 

Flesh Touch Flesh Highlighting Balm in Pinky:

            It’s kind of blinding y’all, I actually really like this even though you really don’t get much of it. I really love highlighters and that is not a secret, I should eventually do a new or updated highlighter round up but that will be for at some time next year. I feel like there are a lot of posts that I want to write next year. It a beautiful shade (seriously when I am writing these posts my hand is just covered in swatches) and I have seen Flesh before but I have never purchased anything from them, this might be my gateway product. 

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

            I see a Murad product and I jump at it, I love Murad so much and it’s just so expensive. Murad was kind of my gateway into good skin care products and I really like everything I have tried from them. I like the idea of a retinol night cream even though my skin is still pretty wrinkle free but that could change and this year has for sure added some small wrinkles to my face so I am really excited to give this one a try but I have some other that I need to use first that are hanging out in my fridge. I do love a good night cream though, I am still finishing off my Korres Wild Rose one and I love it so much.

            So overall this bag was kind of amazing, I loved it so much. I feel like maybe the Glam Bag Plus is finally starting to find its stride though I still think that giving more than four choices would be awesome but I don’t run the company. I really like IPSY and there is so much good about it, it for sure outweighs any of the problems. I am excited to see what my choices will be for next month, as long as it’s not eyeliner. 

            Do you subscribe? Did you get any really great products this month? 

            If you want to see what else I have gotten this year in my Glam Bag Plus’s, you can! January, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October!

            I hope everyone has a really great rest of the week and I will see y’all over the weekend with a new post!

            -MJ 

Some of My Favorite Christmas Ornaments

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Alright it’s almost Thanksgiving and I am already decorated for Christmas, don’t even think about judging me… it’s been a year y’all and I just wanted to feel some happy from having my living space full of holiday cheer. I am not listening to Christmas music until at least late next week at the earliest and I am not going to light up my tree before Thanksgiving, I’m just getting all of it done so I don’t have to do it.

            Seriously I decorated my tree on Friday night while watching Star Wars Episode 4 and 5 because that was what I felt like doing on a Friday night, I live such a glamorous life because let’s be real that would have been pretty much my plans anyway even if we weren’t social distancing and quarantining, just mask up, wash your hands, and distance when possible. 

            But back to the reason for this post, some of my favorite ornaments. I will say this a lot of my ornaments that I had on my tree when I was a kid are packed up in my parents basement I only have a small number of my overall ornaments but most of them are from Hallmark because I am one of those people. 

This is the whole mess that goes on my regular Christmas tree, just so y’all have an idea of what I am working with.

            I have a lot of Marvel and Disney ornaments and if I did a post about all of them this would take you all of December to read and me most of November to write so I just picked a few ornaments and maybe next year I will do another post with a few more because most of the ornaments I am talking about aren’t available (Hallmark at least) anymore, I mean you could probably find them on the internet but they are not available in the stores. 

            So let’s get to it: 

            This ornament I made when I was still in Indiana with the first grade class that I worked with when I was getting my masters, they were making these cute little yarn stars and the teacher told me that I should make one, I still have it on my tree and it is displayed proudly because it reminds me of those kids who I later student taught when they were in third grade. 

            I got this one at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan. If you like Christmas it’s like the largest in the world and it’s like heaven. I’ve been there three times in my life and now I am many more miles away from it than I was in Indiana but if you like Christmas give their website a check. I have several ornaments from them, like you can spend several hundred dollars there without blinking. This is just a tiny penguin and it was made in Russia, it’s like a nesting doll but it’s all by itself and I love it so much.

            This balloon dog I got at Crystal Bridges which is an art museum in the city I live in now and they have a heart that was designed by the same artist, Jeff Koons and I still want a little balloon dog for my apartment but the one on the tree will have to do. I feel like every kid gets a balloon dog at some point during childhood and they are just fun. This is just a reminder of that fun as well as being a take on an artistic piece.

            These two came as a set also from Bronner’s and I just loved the idea of two marshmallows on my tree who are having very different days and some days I am the marshmallow on the left and some I am the one on the right but I always have them hanging together because they are just perfect and adorable. 

            Chip and Dale and this cartoon, I had a VHS tape as a kid that was a bunch of Disney cartoons, it was called A Walt Disney Christmas, this short was called Goofy’s Christmas Tree and I loved it as a little kid so when I saw that Hallmark was coming out with this ornament I had it on my wish list because I needed it on my tree. It’s just one of those cartoons that has stuck with me since I was little and I have seen it just a few times over the years but I still love it. 

            This Tangled themed mouse hat is from Disneyland, my best friend got it for me last Christmas or the Christmas before and I don’t really remember but Tangled is my one of my favorite Disney films. I get the Tangled Hallmark ornament every year that they have one so that’s fun. 

            Last is just my office Christmas tree, it’s just really aesthetically pleasing and it makes me happy every time I look over at it while I am working on anything at my desk. It’s not themed but it is pretty neutral for the most part. I don’t want to say too much about it because I am doing a new holiday décor post because I moved last year but I do really like the look of this tree if I do say so myself. 

            Alright, I think that’s enough. I just wanted to give y’all a taste of my ornaments and you can all see from the cover photo for this one that I have a lot that I didn’t talk about and that’s okay, my Eeyore collection, my Marvel ornaments, and several other series that I have on my tree. I know it’s early but I’m done decorating and my apartment just feels more festive and I want to feel festive this year.

            I will see y’all later in the week with a new post, I hope everyone has a good start to the week and be safe out there.

            -MJ 

What Was in My November 2020 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            How is it November, how. I mean seriously 2020 had been like several years long but also like two weeks and it has been a mess all around but here’s looking forward to 2021 anyway. This is one o the last Glam Bags of the year and I honestly didn’t even get a tracking email for this one which is fine but I have a feeling I will get the tracking email like late this week with the last few months.

            So this probably will be a shorter post because that’s just where my brain is at the moment, I’ve been busier than normal and I kind of forgot that I needed to have a blog post ready for today, like I am writing this Tuesday night while watching Netflix, like I did almost an hour of yoga and now I’m tired but I promised myself I would post twice a week so here we are. 

            This month the descriptions of the products are back on the insert card again and I was so happy to see them! I missed the descriptions. 

So let’s go:

The Bag: 

            It’s a really cute bag and like something you would see on an outfit that someone would wear to Thanksgiving dinner, my only problem with it is that it smells like nail polish remover and something else that I cannot name but have smelled before. 

Context Skin Matte Lipstick in Sweet Emotion:

            I may or may not be humming Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith while I am writing this at the moment. I like the shade though it is a little too dark for me but I will give it a chance. It has a bunch of good things in it though like Vitamin C and E plus some other things that make your lips feel great and also moisturize and nourish them in the process. It’s a great deep fall into winter shade and I will give it a try. It says it’s a deluxe sample but it looks like a full sized lipstick to me so that’s fun.

Avette Fresh Clean Coconut Mild Cleanser:

            I love a good cleanser and if it claims to be mild it will probably be even better for my skin. It’s also a brand that is underneath Tonymoly which their face masks as my absolute favorite so I am really looking forward to trying it knowing that. Also it’s coconut and I really like the smell of coconut. If I like it I probably will buy a full sized of this one, I have been using Tonymoly for years now and it’s really cool to see a cleanser come my way from that brand. 

111 Skin Theorem Day Cream NAC Y(2): 

            I don’t know which key would make that Y squared but we are just going to go with it. I think I picked this one because 111 Skin is one of those brands that is really good but super expensive, a full size of this retails for $270 for 50 ml which is insanity.  I mean you should pay good money for good skin care but that just feels like so much money to me, though I have had their products in bags and things in the past and it’s worth it. 

Eyeko Rock Out & Lash Out Mascara in Carbon Black:


            The brush on this one is super cool, I will say that for sure and the formula looks really nice just from looking at the brush. It says Beatnik Black on the tube but it doesn’t’ really matter the color name. It lengthens and volumizes and I really need to start using my mascara samples because I have several and I love trying out new mascara’s. I can’t really say much about mascara’s though because a lot of them in my mind are similar and I like most of them, there have been for sure a few that I have not liked at all but for the most part I have not met a mascara that I didn’t like. 

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Vitamin Enriched Face Base:

            Two Bobbi Brown products in two months, I have been hearing about this one for quite some time now and it’s one of those luxury brands that I see from a far but never buy. I love how it smells and I am really excited to give it a try, I am not a huge fan of primers but this one can double as a moisturizer in a pinch and I am excited to give it a try like I am for a lot of the products I get from IPSY.

            So there it is my November bag, my November Glam Bag Plus is on its way but it’s not here yet and I don’t expect it to show up until late this week or maybe early next week. Overall this bag was really skincare heavy which I’m not mad about and it was a really good bag over all and I am glad that even in the times of COVID and quarantine that these bags are still being produced.

            Want to see what else I have gotten this year? You can: January, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September

            I hope everyone has a good rest of their week and I will see y’all over the weekend with another post!

            -MJ                                 

Self-Care: Coloring

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I was originally when I started the blog going to have a section called “Self-Care Sunday” but that never became a thing because I needed to practice self-care before I wrote about it and I still probably won’t have a section dedicated to self-care. Everyone has a different definition of self-care and that’s totally cool. I have a page in my Bullet Journal that is dedicated to self-care ideas and I use it pretty frequently. I am going to do a post next month about self-care activities that I find helpful when I need to take a mental health break or just a few moments for me. 

            This is also a tour of my coloring book collection and I should use them more but it’s just the fear of ruining the picture because I don’t like the colors or something but I need to stop living with that fear. I grew up loving to color though I think that most kids feel that way and then in what like 2013 the trend of “adult coloring books” began and I think it’s kind of faded now but I for sure have Happy Color on my chromebook and it’s like a color by numbers app and I use it really frequently because it’s relaxing.

            I have seven coloring book and more than half of them are geeky and I love them so I’m just going to run through them and then maybe quantify why coloring is relaxing. Because I for sure did color some things during quarantine but I cannot find them at the moment because I tore them out of one of the books, my mistake. I think I got all of the mat Barnes and Noble, maybe one from Amazon but I bet you can find coloring books pretty much anywhere. 

            This first one is my first coloring book and I really like it and it’s the one I have torn pages out of to color them which it’s not perforated pages like coloring books for kids are and I should stop pulling pages out. I like the big bold designs and patterns and it is a lot of fun to color but it also can take days to color them because if you are like me your hand cramps up because you don’t write by hand much anymore so that repetitive motion hurts after a while.

            I’m doing all of the non-geeky ones first and the second which I am going to get my teeth into here soon is Winter Wonderland, what I like about this one is it’s mostly two page spreads and nice simple whimsical patterns and drawings. The sheer work that goes into a coloring book is amazing and I would never be that creative. 

            This one is one of my absolute favorites, I grew up near Chicago. The town I was born in and grew up in was about 45 miles south east of Chicago in Indiana so I grew up knowing about the Art Institute but didn’t actually visit until they had Van Gogh’s Bedroom’s on display a few years ago and I love that place. So having a coloring book of the classics at the Art Institute brings me great joy but also great trepidation because they are master works and I don’t want to do them dirty. 

            On to the geeky themed ones, first off is Harry Potter because I am in the age group where the books came out when I was in elementary school and I kind of grew up with the series. I do not support some of the authors viewpoints but I enjoyed the book. There are quite a few two page spreads in this one as well but my only problem with it is the binding, you can’t actually get to some of the middle sections between the pages which is a problem if you are a completionist like me. 

            Next is A Bestiary (did not know that this was a real word) of Tolkien, I also grew up on Lord of the Rings and I love Tolkien so having this coloring book is great because it’s all of or at least most of the beasts in the Tolkien universe.  

            Two more, I promise. The next one is Dr. Seuss and we all grew up on Dr. Seuss before they made all the movies I can still remember reading The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins which I feel like no one actually remembers and The Sneechs I loved Dr. Seuss growing up but I was never really a fan of Cat in the Hat, personal opinion that many people do not share. 

            Last one! I love Doctor Who that is not a secret, I am a lot less visual about it now but I still love the series and they came out with a coloring book in 2015 and I had to have it. I really like the formatting of this because the back of each page tells the episode in which the image is from and that is such a good idea because some of them I know but some I have no idea about. 

            Coloring is a lot of fun but it can also be frustrating and when you are practicing self-care it is important to find that line and not cross it. I now have a pile of coloring books on my office floor that I need to take pictures of and then put them back; for now. 

            How do you practice your version of self-care?

            I’ll see y’all later in the week with another post, I hope everyone has a great start to the week!

            -MJ

Netflix Watch List

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            So this post has been on the books several times and I just never got around to actually writing it but I feel like now is as good a time as any after bingeing a lot of shows since like March. I mean I have logged the hours on Netflix this year so I figure why not give you guys a few highlights from my watch list. 

            A lot of them are going to be TV shows because most of the movies I watch on Netflix are movies I have also seen off of Netflix and maybe eventually I will do another post but this will be a lot of TV shows that you can binge if you want.

            They aren’t in any order it’s just what I have been watching or I have watched that still exists on Netflix because I swear I get into a show and then it’s gone, Hawaii 5-0, Charmed, and even Doctor Who and Torchwood, all gone from Netflix. Seriously, just let us live. 

The Umbrella Academy

            I love this show, it’s outlandish and amazing, Gerard Way was a very influential musician during my adolescent years, back in my emo kid days so when I found out that he was involved in a comic book and it was becoming a show I watched the first season twice in a week. The second season I think I watched in two or three days. I need to watch it again because it is just one of those shows were most everything just fits so naturally that you can’t tear yourself away from it. 

Grey’s Anatomy

            I didn’t watch this show until the pandemic shut everything down and I think I watched all 15 seasons in like a month or so, I watched a lot of Netflix at the beginning of quarantine and it’s one of those shows that pulls you in, it gets crazy and there are so many characters that didn’t get a fair shake but it’s a good show overall no matter its flaws. 

Private Practice

            The Grey’s spin-off, I watched this when I ran out of new episodes of Grey’s to watch and it was a lot for me, I really enjoyed it and Kate Walsh is a phenomenal actress (who is also in the Umbrella Academy) it had a completely different feel from Grey’s and I think that’s what kept me hooked into it.

The Great British Bake Off

            Or whatever Netflix is calling it right now. I am very late to the party but I love baking shows, I watched a lot of Food Network growing up so I have a soft spot for cooking and baking shows and I got hooked to this one as well, I haven’t watched much of the new season yet because I have been cutting back on TV but every other season I have seen I have loved so far.

Nailed It

            Halfway between a comedy show and a baking show, I love watching people try their best at something like this because we have all been there, trying to make something look and taste perfect and it just doesn’t come out right, the classic Pinterest fail. It’s a fun show with some really interesting challenges that kept me laughing. I need to catch up on the newest season of this as well because I took a break from reality shows as well.

The IT Crowd

            It’s so good, I don’t know what else to say about it, like mid-2000’s office humor in the UK. I have watched the whole series and I will eventually watch it again because it had me laughing uncontrollably a few times.

The Crown

            I can’t wait for season 4, this was another quarantine show because I have been meaning to watch it since season one came out and I watched all three seasons instead. I think that most everyone loves the British Royal family and this show really does show a different side of them in historical fictional form.

The Witcher

            This is my best friend’s favorite video game, she’s amassed something like 1,300 hours in the game or some ridiculous number like that. I have read The Last Wish which has some of these tales in it and I really enjoyed it. The show is graphic in all sorts of ways and if that isn’t your scene don’t watch it but is a beautiful show over all, amazing cinematography and visual effects, so good.

Lucifer

            A very recent show that I have been meaning to watch for years, I binged everything Netflix has of the show so far and it’s so good. If you like a little bit of wit, some crime drama, some amazingly fleshed out characters, and just a really well planned and thought out show, give Lucifer a chance.

Good Witch

            It’s a really feel good show but it’s also a Hallmark show so that’s about what I expect but it’s really great and I have watched the whole series a few times because it just makes you feel good inside and I would love to live in a town like Middleton. Like if you want feel good and heartwarming give this show a watch. 

Supernatural

            Everyone pretty much knows this show and it’s good, a little repetitive and outlandish but it’s been on for 15 years so they were doing something right. I have watched it all the way to where Netflix has stopped it so far an I am on a rewatch because it’s been years since I have seen the original seasons so I am going through it again. 

 Criminal Minds, and NCIS

            I watched these for years on regular TV and I have watched a lot of them on Netflix now and both of them are just shows that remind me of a simpler time and the 2008 writers’ strike for some reason. I wish that Netflix wouldn’t have gotten rid of CSI:NY either, I loved that show. 

Schitt’s Creek

            It just ended and the final season is up on Netflix, I was not expecting to cry during the finale but I did. It’s one of those shows that has so many amazing moments and characters that are so well developed and you want to see more of them and they had so much growth throughout the show that you rooted for them to get the things they deserved after learning how to function in normal society. 

Kim’s Convenience

            It’s a really funny show and I am excited to eventually see season five. This was something that Netflix suggested to me earlier in the year and I watched it on a whim, it is very bingeable. 

The Good Place

            I cried at the series finale of this one too, I wasn’t expecting to cry but I did. It’s just a really fun show with a really unique plot and some really funny moments that had me laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair. So many amazing actors and actresses with such a well developed plot that knew when it was time to stop the show and bow out with grace. 

Spenser Confidential

            The one movie that’s going to be on this list, I have only seen it once but my dad has watched it like a dozen times. I really enjoyed it and I need to watch it again but it’s this perfect balance of action and comedy with an interesting plot. 

            There are so many other shows and movies on my watch list but I think that’s enough suggestions for now and I am probably missing a few or they have since been taken off Netflix, like Friends, Parks and Recreation, and a few others. That is my one issue with Netflix they pull things off without much warning and sometimes you log in to finish a show and it’s just gone. I understand licensing prices but still a little warning system would be nice like “hey we are removing this show at the end of the month, watch it before it’s gone!” that’s it that’s all I need. 

            What do you like to watch on Netflix? Any suggestions for me?

            I’ll see y’all later in the week with another post, I hope your first week of November is going well!

            -MJ 

Once Upon a Book Club Sweet Halloween Unboxing and Review

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Happy spooky season y’all, by the time this goes up it will be November 1st so after spooky season so welcome to 60% off chocolate season leading into Thanksgiving season but that is not what this post is about. This is about a really cool service and the fact that they make reading experiences immersive and who can be mad about that. All the opinions in this are my own I’m just willing to support brands and services that create things that I enjoy. 

            I found Once Upon A Book Club well over a year ago and my first box I purchased was their Sweet Halloween box last year and that book was Housewitch by Katie Schickel which took me a long time to read because last October and November was difficult for me, let’s be real all months are hard for me but I’m still kicking. But I loved that book when I got into it and the gifts were perfect, a pink scarf and mud mask and I have enjoyed both. 

            This year I decided that I wanted to write a post on the book I got this year which was 15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher which is the third in the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries and if you think that I am not purchasing the first two you are wrong. (I will probably have them by the time this post goes live if I am lucky.) I devoured this book it was so good. I am a sucker for a cozy mystery and the story in this weaving Nantucket history and current affairs on the fictional version of the island. I loved it so much and I am excited to see the beginnings of Stella Wright in the first two novels and all of the rest that will eventually come out in the series. 

            Because this was the third in the series I did feel like I was missing some things so I want to rea the other two though I am no stranger to reading mystery series out of order I read like the 19th book in the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews first and then the 16th before I read the first one so I understand reading it out of order and needed to go back and meet the characters for the first time. 

            So what was the book about? The lead up to Halloween, a skeleton found in a wall of a 19th century chandlery, a murder near an old well, a mysterious map, a more mysterious map, and trying to unravel a mystery that happened over a century ago. 

It is for sure worth a read just in general, I will put this one my list for my Books Read This Year Part 4 which I expect to come out at the end of the year because I finished this book just a day after I posted the last one, (you can check out 1, 2, and 3.) 

            I don’t want to give too much away about the book but I will tell you about the gifts. On the page where you are to open your gift is a sticky note and it’s important not to open your gifts until you get to those pages and they were all late in the book so I had to wait to get them. 

            The first gift was a candle clock with a prominently featured throughout the book and it’s a really interesting concept so I am excited to actually give it a try, but I live in an apartment at the moment and I can’t burn candles so it will just have to wait until I get a more permanent place. 

            The second gift was a cup that has to do with a cup in the book and I kind of love reusable coffee mugs and this one has books on it so I cannot be mad at all about it. 

            The last gift was my favorite, in the book the group of women that come to the main character’s candle classes are called The Candeleer’s and they made cobwebs for the Halloween Haunts event and for the “cobwebs” it is a beautiful spiderweb shaped table runner which will fit perfectly on my bistro table next year when I have a chance to put it out before Halloween and I am so jazzed to have something really cool and kind of spooky to put on my table next year.

            So I think that this Halloween box is going to be a yearly tradition for me because I love the idea of this whole Once Upon a Book Club idea, eventually I would love to subscribe to their regular box or get their Advent Box one year but this year is not that year for either of those things. It’s such a fun concept and I love the suspense of waiting to open a gift that goes along with a book that I am reading. 

            If you like cozy mysteries give this one a read because it is totally worth it and I know that I am going to sink my teeth into the first two as soon as I can. 

            I hope everyone had a really Happy Halloween if you celebrate it and I hope y’all have a great start to November and I will see y’all mid-week with a new post. 

            -MJ 

Books Read so Far in 2020 Part 3

Hey hey, it’s MJ.

            I’m doing this one a little different, I am writing this in September and I have no idea when this is actually going to be posted but I realized after doing my last book update that I forgot some of the things that I wanted to say about the books and doing it this way I think will make my life a little easier and that is just progressively writing this as I finish a book because it means that I have a better memory of what I read as I go. So this post might seem a little disjointed and there is for sure a reason for that; I am not writing it all in one day I am writing it when I finish a book and I think that might be a better format. I don’t know so you’ll have to let me know your thoughts on it. 

            So what have I read since the last post? 

A High End Finish by Kate Carlisle.

            So this was for sure the first book I have read since June so bear with me on a review. Overall I really enjoyed it, it had me guessing who the killer was until about 25 pages until the end so that is the mark of a good mystery novel, keep the reader guessing. It did take me a while to get into it, the chapters are long which can both be amazing and terrible when you want to finish a chapter and it’s another twenty pages. I am one of those people who prefers to stop at the end of a chapter than in the middle so that was a little frustrating. It had a slow start and a shocking attempted sexual assault in the first chapter which was a cozy mystery was a lot for me and I had to put the book down for a while before I was even sure if I was going to continue reading it. It took a while to pick up but when it really got into the meat of the story I couldn’t put it down. I love the girl power in this novel as someone who helped build a house it’s cool seeing ladies building things as cool. Like most cozy mysteries the names are ridiculous and the town is cute but I really enjoyed this novel overall. Can’t wait to get the second in the series and read it to find out about more of the hijinks that Shannon gets up to. 

Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

            So this is a Hannah Swensen mystery but it happens several years before the first book which is Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, it was interesting to see the characters before you meet them in the first novel. This one didn’t per say have a real murder in it which was interesting because I am so used to Hannah finding a body. This one was different it was about the whole community coming together to put on a Christmas Ball for one of their residents. It also involved a book with in a book which again is interesting and I read a book earlier in the year that had the same thing. This one in the context of the novel was more autobiographical to the character that the story focused on outside of the characters that I have come to know and love that are in this series. It was interesting to see how different some of the characters were though in this, like Delores; Hannah’s mother. It was overall a really good book and I blasted through it in two days, also having recipes in it never hurts which is  one thing that this series is known for and I want to try about 98% of them, cook and bake my way through Hannah’s recipes but that is a job for another day. 

If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell

            Clearly I am on a mystery kick, maybe because I can read through them rather quickly, I love a good cozy mystery and I really like the ones with nods to the supernatural like this one. I have another series that I love and that is the Witch City Mysteries by Carol J. Perry so having another one to read will never be a problem for me. Though like a lot of cozy mysteries Barnes and Noble has the first one and then like the eighth one so if you start the series late good luck finding them in a store. Beyond that though, I really enjoyed this one like I said about A High End Finish, normalize ladies in construction and carpentry. It was good and kept me guessing who was behind it until like 50 pages before the end which was great. This one kept me guessing and making me want to keep reading, I want a book that sucks me in and doesn’t let go, it makes for a great read. The characters are well built and dynamic which makes for a good story overall and I feel like I am repeating myself but because it’s the first book there is a lot of world building and exposition on relationships of the characters and I can’t wait to see how the series progresses. 

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning 

            So I like Sherlock Holmes in most iterations that you find that character in, I recently rewatched the BBC version because quarantine. So this one with a twist of magic was a fun retelling or rather a fun reworking of the classic Conen Doyle tale of A Study in Scarlet. There were also a few other cases in this and I enjoyed reading through them as well. It took characters that were so familiar and flipped them on their heads. There is a second novel and probably a third but I have had this book for quite some time and I think actually I bought the second one first. Overall I enjoyed it there were funny bits and bits that were surprising so good on you for keeping me turning the pages on an old classic. I am looking forward to reading the other four that I have found on the internet but I think I am going to take a break between them because this book was a little heavy, not a super quick read but worth it. 

Supernatural: Bone Key by Keith R.A. DeCandido

            Yes this is a TV tie in like the Doctor Who ones that I love, I used to watch Supernatural a lot, I was late to the game of course because I didn’t watch it until it was on Netflix and then I stopped because it was just a lot for me but I have been watching it again recently because I am a completionist when it comes to TV shows that I like, I mean really. It’s a good show and I love it but with it ending I wanted to catch up with it. I pulled this one out of my bookcase a week or so ago and decided just to finish it. This book was written over a decade ago and it’s kind of obvious because of the technology references but it reads like an episode but with such a vivid storyline. Stuff at the time that might not have been possible with special effects on TV. It took place in Key West and lots of ghosts with some twists and turns so if you like the show you will probably enjoy the read. I love all of the show tie in novels mostly because they give you extra stories with these characters that you love and sometimes all you want is one more story. 

One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly

            I love mysteries and that is no secret because there are like three just on this list and that means that I read three mysteries in September which is not a record for me but is an interesting note. I liked this book, it was really good and I honestly didn’t see the murderer coming, like I had no idea who it was going to be until it was suddenly happening and that is both a great thing and a weird thing, usually I at least have an idea as to you did it and there was a lot of subterfuge with who did it and how the case was going to be solved. I like the characters and I am excited to, when I can find it, read the next one. 

The Night Garden by Lisa Van Allen

            I read this whole book in one day, it was such a good book and I had the time on my hands. It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down and I really want visit the gardens mentioned in this book because they sound absolutely breathtaking. It was one of those stories that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. I just needed to finish it because I needed to see how the story ended. I couldn’t believe that I read it all in one day but I could not put it down and it was beautifully written with such vivid imagery and it was amazing. I thought about this after I finished writing this little blurb but the book for sure gave me Pushing Daisies vibes and maybe that’s why I liked it so much, it had some really great elements and characters that you rooted for and it was just one of those pieces of fiction that sweeps you up and doesn’t put you down until the very last word.

Everything is Awful and Other Observations by Matt Bellassai

            I love reading books by funny people and this one had me laughing silently to myself as to not look like a crazy person. I watched Whine About It when it was still on the internet, I think it came out on Wednesday’s and I would come home from work and watch it because it was so funny. I saw this book in Barnes and Noble right after it came out and I had to get it, it’s taken me a lot time to actually read it but I did it and I found it so funny. I also like reading books from people on the internet if that hasn’t become clear yet. So having another book from a person of the internet who is also funny is always a win in my book. 

Girl Online: On Tour by Zoe Sugg

            I watched a lot of YouTube, I still do and a few years ago I watched a lot more than I do now, I still subscribe to a bunch of people but I just don’t watch as much as I used to. I bought this book twice, I have a signed copy as well because at the time Zoe was one of my favorite YouTubers, I still enjoy her content but I am in a different headspace now. It took me some time to get into this book because I am in that different headspace but it was a good book and because it’s been so long since I have read the first one I had to remember everything that happened in the first one. I have been dealing with anxiety since I was in middle school without knowing what it was until late in high school and I still deal with it on the daily, every time I post a blog every time I have to talk to someone, every time there are too many people I feel like the world is closing in on me so being able to read about a character like that would have been something I needed in high school but finding it in my early 20’s was still okay. It’s a good book, YA and the middle in a series of three so I will read the third one eventually, hopefully not four years from now like I did with the first one and this one. 

Murder, Take Two by Carol J. Perry

            This is part of the Witch City mysteries, the first is called Caught Dead Handed and I have been reading the series for almost two if not three years now because I wanted a Halloween mystery to read and I love every single one. This one took me a while to get into just because I was in a reading funk but it didn’t take me all that long to read and I really enjoyed it. This one was a little different than novels in this series in the past and it had me guessing who the killer was until the last few chapters, I was really thrown off on who it actually was which is still one of the marks of a good mystery novel. As someone who was behind the scenes in TV in college this is one of those series that I love because the main character is a reporter as well as a whole host of other things and I just really like cozy mysteries if that isn’t hard to tell but if you like cozy mysteries I would suggest this series over all. 

This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle 

            This is the second in the series that started with A High End Finish and I read it in like three days, I want to start off and say it was great. It had me thinking one person was the murderer, changing my mind, and then making me realize I was right in the first place. I can’t wait to see how the story progresses through the rest of the series; I have the third one on deck to read soon but I need a mystery break because I have a Once Upon A Book Club box coming in the mail (by the time this post goes up I hope to already have it) so I will be reading that sooner rather than later because I did it last year too with the House Witch and I didn’t finish it until December and I don’t want to do that again this year. But back to the book at hand! I am loving meeting and getting to know these characters like you do with a cozy mystery series and I cannot wait to read the third one. A side note: I really dislike Whitney and I know I’m supposed to but I don’t really just don’t like her. 

            I read a lot of books in two months and I am now down to ten books to hit my goal by the end of the year and I really hope that I can hit my goal for the first time in three years so that is something that I am looking forward to. 

            Long kind of disjointed post but here it is eleven books that I have read in the last few months and there will be another post before the end of the year. 

            I will see y’all later in the week with another post, hoe you have a good rest of the week!

            -MJ 

What was in My October 2020 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well we are about to say goodbye to October in a little less than a week and I have no idea how that is even possible, I just can’t fathom it. But here we are anyway moving through time at a million miles an hour and it’s never going to change. 

            Glam Bag time y’all because why not. 

The Bag:

            Like the Glam Bag Plus this month it features the all seeing eye on the front and embossed with “you’re magic” on the reverse. Unlike the GBP this is a pleather bag with a cute little star and moon zipper pulls and this is officially one of my favorite bag now. 

What products did I get?

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Smokey Eye Mascara in Black:

            I picked this on, I have been hearing the name Bobbi Brown for years now in cosmetics circles and videos so I was excited that this was one of my potential choices for my customizable choice item. The brush is huge and mine came bent so I had to bend it back to where it’s supposed to be but I love the shape of the inner brush beyond the bristles so I am really jazzed to give this one a try. 

Essence Cosmetics Pure Nude Highlighter in 010 Popping Champagne:

            I love highlighter, I think it’s my inner crow I like shiny things and it’s a beautiful shade, though it is a shade that I have several of already but will that stop me from using it? No, the answer to that is no so I’m excited. I feel like I am excited about a lot of little things recently and I am totally cool with that. I will say this is a really subtle highlight, it will not blind you with its brilliance but that’s a good thing for everyday wear. 

Illamasqua Eyeshadow in Hoard:

            This is the teeniest eyeshadow I have ever seen, like it’s the size of my thumbnail and that’s such an odd size for a sample, I just think that the packaging is large and the pan is small which doesn’t make much sense. The pigment and shade on it are great though so I can’t complain too much. 

SLMissGlam P40 Round Blusher Brush:

            This looks like a brush I would have begged my mom for in like the 90’s and early 2000’s, there is glitter in it and it just reminds me of that time of my life but it’s a pretty soft and not super packed blusher brush which is something that I love with a blusher brush that it’s fluffy. I just think for me that I like a more sophisticated looking brush but if the quality is there that is really all that matters to me.

Smashbox Cosmetics Oil & Shine Control Primer:

            Smashbox’s green primer was the first primer I ever used and I loved it so much so I know that Smashbox has some great primers. I am eager to give this one a try because it’s been quite some time since I have had a Smashbox product in my makeup bag.

            Overall my Glam Bag was pretty good this month. I feel like this post is kind of short but I really don’t have much to say about this bag, I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to trying out the products in the coming weeks and months.

            Do you subscribe? Did you get any really cool products? Any that you weren’t super excited about? I would love to know, leave it in the comments!

            If you want to know what else I have gotten in my Glam Bags this year, you can! January, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.

            I will see y’all later in the week with another post so until then I hope you all have a great couple of days! 

            -MJ