All posts by Christina

October Boxy Charm Reveal

Boxy Charm October 2019

I was not impressed by my Boxy Charm box this month. Here is what was included:

  • Dose of Colors Eyeshadow Palette in Blushing Berries
  • Touch In Sol Pretty Filter Glassy Skin Balm
  • Iconic London Lip Plumping Gloss
  • Skin&Co Truffle Therapy Radiant Dew Mist
  • Luna by Luna Eyeliner in Baby Blue

The only thing in this box that I was impressed with was the Touch In Sol Pretty Filter Glassy Skin Balm.

I LOVED this skin balm. Matter-of-fact, when my back-up product reviewer came to pick up the rest of the items in this box so she could review them, she was amazed at how good this balm made my skin look! This is a product I would rate 5 stars and would buy again! It smells delicious and made my skin glow and feel extra soft! This is the 2nd product I have tried by this brand and both times I was extremely impressed.

Tonight’s Comfort Read

There are just some authors whose words speak to your soul. They reshape your mind and spirit and bring you peace just reading their work. Anissa Garcia is one of those authors for me. She is one of my favorites and tonight’s chosen comfort read. I have re-read this book so many times that I have officially lost count.

I can honestly say that I loved her work before I even met her but now she is a cherished friend. Her way with words and the fluidity with which she writes is quite flawless and are a reflection of the enormous heart and generous nature she possesses. If you haven’t read her books, I highly recommend you give them a try!

About the Book:

Author Grace Clark closed her heart a long time ago, making a promise she’s vowed to keep. Hollywood heartthrob Evan Matthews moves next door and vows to break down the walls she’s built. Grace will not be allured by Evan’s good looks, charisma, wit, and sexy smirk, but she seems to be losing the battle daily. She will do whatever it takes to protect herself from being played, not wanting to fall for his charms, because it’s more than just her pride at stake. Evan is enchanted from the start. Grace is enticing and down to earth, but she is also holding back, and he wants nothing more than to break through that reserve and let her shine. Can Grace risk being around a man who tempts her without compromising the importance of the promise made? Can Evan be patient enough to let Grace break down those walls? Or has the promise kept them from recognizing true love?

Quick Review:

The love story between Evan and Grace is one for the record books….sweet, funny, and sultry. They have great chemistry but more important they connect on a level that screams “intimacy” without shedding a stitch of clothing (although, yes, they eventually do that). These two characters have depth and charm and their banter provides plenty of entertainment. Separately they are extremely well written but together they can move mountains. No matter how many times I read this book, I always feel giddy and glowing afterwards and look forward to the next time I pick it up. A 5 star read for me.

Find Anissa:

Website * Facebook * Instagram * Pinterest * Twitter * YouTube

Battle of the Bubbles Week 1

This week I selected Dr. Jart+ Porecting Solution Bubbling Charcoal Sheet Mask. I read some pretty good reviews about this mask and while it’s a little pricey, I decided to give it a try for the first week. You can purchase this at Sephora for $9. Don’t forget to follow the steps at the end of this post for a chance to win an at-home facial gift bag which is getting fuller by the day!

The basics:

  • Ease of use: Easy
  • Price: High
  • Packaging: Simple
  • Smell: Medium
  • Reactions: Mild


This was very easy to use. Simply wash and tone your face then put the mask on. The recommendation is 10-20 minutes so I did 15. The smell was medicinal, which I’m not a fan of and, because I’m a hot mess, I inhaled some product up my nose and it caused me to sneeze repeatedly. It took about 5 minutes before I felt the familiar “bubble tingle” that I love however, it was only a mild tingle. Where GlamGlow’s mask makes my face feel like it’s in a bubbling tingle factory, Dr.Jart+ was very subtle. This sensation came and went during the last 10 minutes. Upon visual inspection at removal there were absolutely no bubbles visible (Glamglow’s turn the black mask white). Per the directions I massaged the remaining residue from the mask into my skin and went about my business. My skin felt slightly sticky for 2 hours after the mask and was extremely shiny. So shiny by husband asked me what I had on my face. While Glamglow’s makes my skin feel super soft and clean after use, Dr.Jart+ made me want to wash my face to remove the extra product (I didn’t). Dr. Jart+ had some pretty significant advantages though. It caused no breakouts (huge points) and while my face looked shiny and felt sticky after use, the next morning it was GLOWING! My complexion was clean and soft and there was no redness or stickiness. I was impressed.

Bottom line, I would rate this product 4.5 out of 5 stars. I took points off for the smell, lack of oxygenating bubble tingle (I want to feel like I’m getting a spa treatment during my weekly facial because it enhances my experience), and stickiness. It got huge points for not causing me to breakout, not drying out my skin, not making my skin oily, and the visible results the next morning. So while it’s not an in-your-face immediate result it’s definitely worth the results the following day. I would purchase this product again and I’m actually going to check out a few more of their products, particularly their DerMask Micro Jet Clearing Solution, Focuspot Blemish Micro Tip Patch, and numerous items in the Cicapair Line.

This weeks winner: GlamGlow….but it was very close!

For a chance to win an awesome at-home facial bag during the Battle of the Bubbles:

  • Comment on each Battle of the Bubbles Post – 1 entry
  • Follow the Books, Beauty, and Blessings Blog – 1 entry
  • “Like” the Books, Beauty, and Blessings Facebook Page – 1 entry
  • Share each Battle of the Bubbles post to Instagram – 1 entry for each share (make sure to tag me @BooksBeautyandBlessings so I can mark each entry)
  • Tweet each Battle of the Bubbles post to Twitter – 5 entries for each tweet (make sure to tag me @BookBeautyBless and @DrJartUS so I can mark your entries)

My Current Eye Obsession!

Let me tell you about my latest eye shadow palette obsession. I honestly can’t rave enough about it!

Colourpop Truly Madly Deeply

I stumbled upon Colourpop about a month ago while wandering aimlessly around Ulta. I thought this palette looked pretty for everyday looks and decided to give it a try. Oh my! What a find. This one palette changed my whole makeup perspective. Not only did I learn I don’t always have to spend a fortune for the best palettes but also that looks can be deceiving….this is not only an everyday palette, it is AWESOME for dramatic night-time activities. So far these versatile shades have seen action for an afternoon of football games in various sports bars (Jackpot and Renegade in this palette worked great for 49ers colors on my eyes), a nighttime football game, a day at Busch Gardens and two daytime excursions just running errands. It’s pigmentation is great and the color stays in place forever! It’s buildable so you can go subtle with one layer or dramatic with 2-3. My eye shadow looked just as fresh at 9 pm as it did when I applied it at 10 am!!! That’s a miracle in the Florida heat and humidity. It didn’t clump, run, or smear. It didn’t irritate my eyes or my contacts as some eye shadow has previously done.

Colourpop has some amazing products and I’ve come to adore their eye shadows and blushes and am thinking of trying some of their other items as well. I also saw they just released Smoke Show…and the colors are to die for! I will be adding that to my collection as well. If you haven’t tried Colourpop I highly recommend you give them a go. You will not be disappointed!

Purchase Below:

Colourpop * Ulta

Battle of the Bubbles

I’m obsessed with GlamGlow’s Bubblesheet Face Mask. It’s an oxygenating deep clean mask that makes my skin feel soft, fresh, and recharged for days after I use it. Best of all, it doesn’t break out my skin as some masks can do. And it only takes 3 MINUTES!!!! I can’t rave enough about it. But, it’s a little pricey and I use one of those suckers every Sunday. I’ve noticed different brands have similar masks so I’m trying them all out over the next 11 weeks. Yes! 11 masks in total and I’ll let you know every Monday how each one compares. At the end of this battle, I’ll be giving away an at-home facial gift bag which will include the winning Bubble Face Mask. In the meantime, check out these beauties to see all the fabulous masks I will be comparing.

Are you as excited as I am? I hope so! For a chance to win an awesome at-home facial bag, all you need to do is:

  • Comment on each Battle of the Bubbles Post – 1 entry
  • “Like” the Books, Beauty, and Blessings Facebook Page – 1 entry
  • Share each Battle of the Bubbles post to Instagram – 1 entry for each share (make sure to tag me @BooksBeautyandBlessings so I can mark each entry)
  • Tweet each Battle of the Bubbles post to Twitter – 2 entries for each tweet (make sure to tag me @BookBeautyBless so I can mark your entries)

5 Star Read – Park Avenue Player by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

I have to be honest…I’m a little bit in love with authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. Sure, separately they are awesome authors but when they write together fireworks go off, volcanoes erupt, parades flood the streets, panties melt….ok, ok, so maybe that is only in my head but still, I’m telling you, it happens every time a new release by this duo comes out and Park Avenue Player was no exception! I’ve been dying for this book and when it released a few days early I was overjoyed! Seriously, first check out this cover……

Isn’t it yummy??? No? That’s doesn’t snag your attention? Well, maybe the blurb will….

It started out like any normal day.

Then the fender bender happened.

The guy I collided with drove an expensive car and was drop-dead gorgeous. Too bad he was also a total jerk. We argued over whose fault it was and any other thing that came out of his condescending mouth.

Eventually, the police came and we went our separate ways. The insurance companies would have to figure things out. I had a job interview to get to anyway—one I was excited about.

Though that excitement changed to disappointment the moment the person interviewing me walked in. The guy from the accident.


Yeah, so I didn’t get the position.

The problem was, I really wanted it. No, I needed it. Anything to get me out of my current career and back into working with kids.

So, even though Hollis LaCroix was as intimidating as he was devastatingly handsome, I went back to see him and begged for a chance.

To my surprise, he gave me a shot taking care of his troubled niece.

At least my attraction to him wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. I wasn’t about to jeopardize my job or the strong bond Hailey and I formed.

But resisting the magnetic pull between us wasn’t that simple. (Then there was our little underwear game—don’t ask.)

We continued to flirt without crossing the line—until it finally happened.

This is the part of the story where we fall in love and live happily ever after, right?

Well, life has a way of throwing some major curveballs.

Ours was one I didn’t see coming. 

Did that work? Well, if the cover and the blurb don’t grab your attention, maybe the fact that I’m telling you this book was A-FREAKING-MAZING will help sway you to one-click right now! I can’t gush and extol its virtues enough! Hollis and Elodie are two of my favorite characters this dynamic duo has ever written and their chemistry is off-the-charts explosive! Their witty banter and flamboyant personalities made this book both swoon-worthy and heart-stopping with lots of fun in between. Hollis is arrogant and ruthless but once he lets down his walls he becomes charming and kind. His approach to handling his niece is both sweet and hilarious. Now Elodie, she is magnificent. Charismatic, funny, and smart she truly is Hollis’s match in every way. Her approach to handling Hailey (his niece and her new charge) was both nurturing and real, causing me to fall further in love with all her goodness! And their “games”? I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard reading a book. Hollis and Elodie know how to “play” a sexy game. Now, the plot twist…..OMG! It was crazy and let me tell you, these two authors know how to throw a curve ball at you, and it’s usually something you can never guess. This was no exception. Emotional, gut-wrenching, and though provoking, Ms. Keeland and Ms. Ward hold nothing back and leave you wanting more with Park Avenue Player! I’m waiting with baited breath for their next release!

Go ahead and one click this bad boy TODAY!!!


Goodreads ➜

Audio ➜

Amazon print ➜

September Subscription Reveal – Allure Beauty Box

I know I’m running behind but it’s been trial and error setting up all the social media connections to go with this site, so I very much appreciate your patience!

September 2019 Allure Beauty Box

September’s Allure Beauty Box included:

Ciate London Dewy Stick. I’m was excited to try this and it was great. It created a subtle “dew” look. I’m not a huge fan of makeup sticks but this will work nice when traveling and space is at a premium.

NatureLab Perfect Smooth shampoo and conditioner. I really liked the citrusy smell of these products but I was not impressed with the conditioning power of the conditioner. It took almost the whole bottle to feel like my hair was properly covered. I would probably not buy it in the store.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita – I have come to really love NARS. I never would have thought to try them but every time I receive a trial, I am impressed. This lip pencil went on smooth and not clumpy and created an evenly distributed line to my lower and upper lip. I was able to blend it with one of my favorite lip glosses and it created quite a stunning look. When your husband says your mouth looks different in a very good way, a girl definitely pays attention! I will look into purchasing more NARS products.

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub – I have not tried this yet. I’m nervous trying new face products as my skin is sensitive and I’m prone to breakouts. I will give this a go once I have the chance to do more research.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream – I do not have Eczema but I know someone who does so I had them try this and it was a hit. So much so that a full size was purchased. It was not greasy and calmed the flare up better than expected. The smell was overwhelmingly medicinal either, so that was a plus!

Nutrafol Hair Wellness from Within capsules came as a bonus. While they seem great, I already take Sugar Bear Hair supplements and they have been amazing. With Sugar Bear Hair I take 2 supplements but these capsules require 4 for the serving size and that’s more than I want to take. It’s a seven day supply that I will set aside for as a giveaway.

September Subscription Box – Ipsy Glam Bag

This Months

September’s Ipsy Glam Bag features some pretty great finds…and a little bit of a mess. The box was damaged in shipping but almost everything inside was undamaged. Included I found Nomad Cosmetics Underground Intense Eyeshadow Palette, Apto Skincare Pomegranate Mask, Ciate London Extraordinary Translucent Powder, Illamasqua Antimatter Lipstick in Solar, and Ofra Cosmetics Madison Miller Midi Palette.

Nomad Cosmetics Berlin Underground Eyeshadow Palette – I adore this palette. the colors are rich and vibrant. They go on flawlessly and look just as rich on the eye as they do in the palette. The are super pigmented and have real staying power, especially in the Florida humidity. These colors are metallic and perfect for a night out at the club or, in my case, a night at the football field (my son’s team colors were featured in this collection and they looked stunning on my eyes)
Ciante London Extraordinary Translucent Powder
This powder was AMAZING!!! I had never tried it before and I’m always nervous that a new product is going to cause my face to break out, but this product did not. It went on flawlessly and smoothly and really evened out my look. My face looked dewy and fresh and I will definitely purchase this product when this runs out.
Apto Pomegranate Mask
This mask smells fresh and clean but I have not had the chance to give it a try. I will give it a go later in the week and let you know my thoughts
Illamasqua Antimatter Lipstick in Solar
This lipstick looks fancy but the reality was anything but. The lipstick did not glide on easily and felt heavy on my lips. As time progressed, my lips began to feel like they were coated in glue. The color did not complement my skin tone and I could not get past the way it made my lips feel. On a positive note, I ate with it on and it stayed in place. It took makeup wipes to remove the lipstick, so it has real staying power, which is a plus.
Ofra Cosmetics Madison Miller Midi Palette
I was so excited to try this product but sadly, this is how the product arrived. It gave me a chance to contact Ipsy but that was not an easy feat. I finally sent an inquiry to get this replaced and Ipsy contacted me back within 2 hours and sent out a replacement. I’ll update my thoughts when I receive the replacement.

Falling Into A New Season

Happy First Day of Fall! I’m so excited. Ok, ok, what could I possibly be excited about? Florida has one season…summer, year round, with the occasional 20 days a year of cold weather. Still, from the first day of fall until about March 1st, I’m in my element. The colors, the sounds, the smells…all of it delights me. Pumpkin Spice everything (although the Spam seems to be a little much), boots, football, and winter clothing, I’m excited enough to turn the AC down cold enough to pretend I’m experiencing fall weather. If I’m feeling really frisky, I’ll turn my fake fireplace on in my bedroom and really use my imagination. How did I spend my day? Well, I went to the gym and ran errands and then came home and cooked a meal for a neighbor who needed a little extra help today. Kindness matters and the smallest gesture can sometimes make the biggest impact.

What is your favorite season? Are you like me and now totally in your element or do you wish summer would hang around? Share your thoughts in the comments section and Friday I will draw a name to win one of my favorite candles from Bath and Body Works (Sweater Weather and Autumn are a tie so it will be a surprise). If you share this post on social media, I will enter your name in twice for every share. Make sure you enter your Twitter handle in the comments so I can follow you back!

Happy Monday!

Welcome! Thank You For Joining Me!

I’m so happy to have you here.   This site will be all about the things that strike my fancy in the book and beauty world along with sprinklings of the blessings I count daily and the new blessings I find in life.  I invite you to comment freely and join any giveaways I hold and, most of all, enjoy yourself and have fun (and maybe find some new things you would love to read or try).  This site will also feature honest book and product reviews that will not bash or belittle anything or anyone and will remain positive and informative without being pushy.  For efficiency, I will include buy links to any products I’m trying or books I recommend.   If I have been given the book or product in exchange for an honest review, I will state that in the review.

I am not new to the blogging world but have decided to go on a different journey combining all the things that reflect my life today.  And since the blogging world is constantly changing and evolving, please bear with me while I navigate the changes that have taken place during my 18 month hiatus.

What you will not find here? Negativity, politics, religion or any subject I find to be too controversial in nature.  I am going to politely request that you refrain from commenting  with anything of that nature and I am going to forbid and delete any derogatory or rude comments.  We don’t all have to agree, but we all do have to have respect, compassion, and kindness while visiting here.  We are here to enjoy ourselves and just be who we are without fear, recrimination, or judgement.  Everyone is welcome and I’m thrilled to have you here!