loves & latest: June 3, 2019

loves latest

loves

reads

The Woman in the Lake by Nicola Cornick

This is my third Nicola Cornick read and definitely not the last. She writes time-slip mysteries set in England. Her first two books in the “series” were set in Tudor/modern day England, but this one is Georgian/modern day. These are edgy mysteries with a psychological bent… I don’t want to give the plot away, but it involves a dress that brings out the worst in those who possess it.

*more in my upcoming video review – later this month*

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beauty

twinkle * apothecary – petal tint and bronzing balm

Instagram is my happy place. I keep a separate account to track my daily outfits, and have curated this feed with indie beauty brands, project panners, and women of all sizes. As I was browzing, I came across twinkle * apothecary, a female-owned indie beauty brand and store from Oklahoma City. Her products looks so pretty and lush (and affordably priced!), I had to give them a try.

I purchased the petal tint and the bronzing balm. Both give just the right amount of glow to my skin and give me a natural flush. They are lighter and dewy-er than my RMS and great for summer. Love them and look forward to trying more from the brand.

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random

I don’t often talk about my partner in online platforms, but we’ve been together for a decade and, despite the ups and downs, there are some days when he really comes through. Today was one of those days. A wasp got into my bedroom and he rose to the occasion like a proper knight to help me get it out and soothe my panicked state.


latest

podcast

bluestocking-circleIt’s June, which means it’s my birthday month(!) and my fellow host indulged my fangirling with a tribute to my FAVORITE movie: Labyrinth.

Episode 22: Labyrinth is available on your favorite podcatcher.

If you want to hear three lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

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life: May – month in review

may-review

Finished the draft! “Red Dragon” will rest while I review Project 2 and revisit Project 1.

Went to Orlando for a conference, made sure to stop by Harry Potter land.

Went off the [budget] rails (see Orlando, Harry Potter adventure).

Read some very good books, and some ok audiobooks *video review coming in June*

Visited a local animal sanctuary and saw all the creatures I love.

diagon alley universal orlando dragon

peacock and peahen

No video this week because LIFE.

video: writing with a chronic illness

I’m a writer who deals with chronic illness. Fatigue, migraines, and generalized pain often leave me with brain fog and deep exhaustion (among other things). I also have a 9-5 and a 2 hour commute. Time is short and the stories won’t write themselves. I don’t have a magic fix, but I have developed strategies to make the most of the good days and plan for the bad.

How you do you cope? Comment below.

#ProjectPan 2019 – April/May update

Project pan 1

That was then.


This is now.

Nest Fragrances: Midnight Fleur EDP

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You can’t really see it, but there’s just Midnight Fleur left for a few more weeks. Expect this in my May empties.

Verdict: I’m not usually into florals, but this is deep and sultry. Would buy again.

 

Tarte: Tartelette Tease eyeshadow palette

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Yes! I have made some progress. Eye allergy snafus aside, this one is a winner. I’ve made some major dips in wink and first kiss, and seeing some progress on heartbreaker and crush.

Verdict: A good, versatile palette that works for day or night. Great for neutral looks or a natural, smokey eye. One of the few palettes that doesn’t irritate my eyes or lids.

Lipsticks: Kosas Rosewater & Besame Red Velvet

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This is the real challenge: using up a tube of lipstick before it goes bad. Red Velvet is on the cusp of going off, so I’m planning to try to wear it more often in the coming weeks. Marking my progress really helps and makes me feel good about my effort.

Verdict: Rosewater will forever be my perfect, pink lip. My keepcup does not love it when I wear this red.

I also shared some thoughts in my recent makeup declutter video.

Are you doing a project pan? How do you stay motivated to stick with it?

video: off the shelf reviews – what I read in April (and March)

The best books I read in April (and March, if I’m being honest). Mystery, finance, and manga, oh my!

MENTIONED

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What have you read lately? Drop a recommendation in the comments.

5 things: writing implements

five things

I like pens. I’d say it’s a fairly common addiction among writers and academics (or nerds in general), and I am all these things.

I went through my collection and identified my pens of choice.

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In no particular order…

Stabilo point 88 (in mini and regular) – colored ink 

I’m especially partial to pinks, purples, and green in this range. I pick these up at my local Michael’s, but have also bought the minis on Amazon (if you have pen friends, the minis make great gifts). Will ghost through thin paper.

PaperMate InkJoy retractable ballpoint pens – colored ink

Bright colors and smoothie smooth ink. These are great for color-coding. I like the gels too, but the ballpoint pens won’t bleed through delicate notebook paper. I buy the 8-packs.

TUL retractable pens – black gel ink

I use these exclusively for my nightly journal. The ink is stark black and quick-drying. It will ghost through thin journal pages, but I’ve never had it bleed. All in all, A+. You can find these at Office Depot or Amazon (the white barrel was a special edition that I refill).

Sakura Pigma Micron 05 – purple and black ink

Microns are the darlings of ink-based artist (or so it seems). The 05 tip is the perfect thickness for a nice, bold line without scratching (common with the thinner tips). No bleed or smearing, but will ghost through thin paper. I usually buy these at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, but Amazon has them in packs.

Ticonderoga pencils

Who does not love a Ticonderoga? I prefer pens, but when I want a pencil, I reach for these. I am especially attached to the ones I find around campus (it’s like the fry at the bottom of the bag).

 

Are you a pen addict? What are you favorite brands? Let me know 🙂

video: makeup declutter & project pan

Products I don’t like, products that make my eyes hurt, regrets, lessons learned, and an update on my #ProjectPan!

My first makeup #declutter of 2019 (likely, not the last).

Progress.

Are you doing a project pan? How’s it going?

loves & latest: May 6, 2019

loves latest

loves

reads

Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

I resolved to read more sci-fi in 2019, but the male-dominated aspects of the genre is often a turn-off… not so with Polaris Rising. Runaway princess? Check. Sexy scoundrel? Check. Forced proximity? All the checks! An excellent, fast-paced plot with an active heroine? SOLD! I’m half-way through and want more from this writer/universe.

beauty

eltaMD UV Physical Tinted Sunscreen

Summer is here and the time is right… for sunscreen! The Florida sun is blaring and my Juice Beauty CC cream is not going to cut it, so I switched to an old favorite: Elta MD physical sunscreen. It has a light tint, kind of like a BB cream; it’s COMPLETELY scent free (a must for me), and does turn me a whiter shade of pale (even if I skip the light fandango).

random

turmeric supplements

Turmeric! It’s a magic root! Well, that’s what they say. All I know is I was desperate to kick a hormonal migraine (5 days! gah!) and picked up a bottle of 1000mg of turmeric with BioPerine (a patented form of pepper that helps you absorb the turmeric). The stars aligned, or something, because it worked. Not the first time either; I just haven’t been consistent.

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latest

podcast

bluestocking-circleCelebrate May-tilda 😉 as the Bluestockings discuss everyone’s favorite, telekinetic bookworm.

Episode 21: Matilda is available on your favorite podcatcher.

If you want to hear three lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

video: Camp NaNo update, hitting a wall, and saving a plot

An update on my Camp NaNoWriMo project, what happens when I overthink, and how I hit a wall and worked my way back to save the plot.

Cue obsessive thoughts and Upholder tendencies.

Are you working on a writing project? How’s it going? Let me know in the comments 🙂

life: April – month in review

Month in review april

Met my Camp NaNo goal! 30k words = a solid start.

Tried my hand at 1st person POV and did not hate it.

Took a writing retreat (technically, still on a writing retreat).

Found myself an amazing vintage bag c. 1994 and am loving it. It’s classic, mahogany leather, and holds all the essentials.

Finally created my author website. It’s just a placeholder, but it’s a start – gdcowan.com

Set up a coffee budget and it’s been pretty life changing (video to come).

 

The Bag