This  was not a stellar week for reading. I checked out five books from the library and couldn’t get into any of them. I had several books downloaded to read (a real book is always my first choice) on my ipad and kindle but none of them struck a chord either. Don’t you hate that?

I read some really good ones last week and I long to lose myself in another book soon.

The one book I read that I can recommend to you isn’t out for a while. That’s the bad news. But you can mark it to-read if you are on Goodreads or add to your Amazon wishlist, its due out on May 27.

And that book is… drumroll please…

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio. 

In this novel, the author imagines a relationship between the writer of the classic children’s book Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown and the fictional character of Ruby, the aunt of the main character June.

When Ruby dies, she leaves her quaint Seattle bookstore to June, a successful but stressed out lawyer who is married to her job. June  plans on selling Bluebird Books quickly and heading back home to New York City.

Once in Seattle, however, June discovers letters  between her Aunt Ruby and Margaret Wise Brown, letters that inspire June and make her take charge of her life and make new choices. The letters also inform her of secrets that Ruby held close to her heart. Its a very sweet story and I could just imagine the cute little bookstore as I was reading Goodnight June. I think you are going to like this book especially if you are familiar with Goodnight Moon!

And…if you are looking for another book, my novel To Marilyn, With Love is available on Kindle right now. You can buy it here.  A book I am anxious to read is A Little Bit of Everything Lost written by my friend Stephanie Elliot, check it out! 

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I was super excited to test the brand Skincando. I just had a really good feeling about it when I stumbled upon the website looking for clean, green skincare!

It was love at first sight when I opened up my Skincando Combat Ready balm! This ultra soothing, rich and gentle cream will calm irritated skin within seconds of application- that was my experience when I had a terrible rash recently (thanks gluten!).

This product has been known to work on skin conditions such as dryness, eczema, minor abrasions, scars, windburn and sun burn and more. This balm has been used on soldiers in the war zone who suffer from all of the above maladies.

After testing that winner, I was eager to see what else this brand offers. Next up is the Eye Balm which is a luxurious, nurturing balm that contains white tea and chamomile essential oil. I used this after my shower, first thing in the morning and I’ve applied it throughout the day because I love  how very rich and nurturing it is. The delicate eye area needs this!

Can you tell I am already a fan?

When I first smelled the Combat Ready bar, one word came to mind: Invigorating! With organic rosemary and brewed black tea, this cleans the skin gently and makes your body feel energized.

I love a good lip balm and keep several tubes throughout the house. The Combat Ready Lip Balm is a peppermint flavored balm made with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Shea butter. You cant get much more pure than that! I am also loving the Brew Lip Balm which is made with Myrrh, a powerful ingredient! It heals lips and I’ve been eyeing it up to use on my wrinkles too! I wonder if it would work…

The Miracle Cream is an intensive treatment for skin- use this at night and wake up with re-hydrated skin! Fresh ingredients feed your face and help diminish the look of wrinkles and fine lines. I pat this into the areas that need lots of moisture including my neck and the tops of my hands.

I don’t hesitate to recommend any of these Skincando products to you. They are so soothing and feel great on the skin.  Highly recommended! Go here for lots more information!


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I found this infographic and I think it’s so interesting. I am fascinated by health and the body and how food can affect a person’s overall well being.

Would you ever equate a rash or swollen ankles with a food intolerance?  A year ago, I probably wouldn’t but after studying up on this very topic, I attribute a lot of health issues to food. Our foods have been modified and soil has been depleted, creating crops that are different than when our grandparents and parents were growing up.  Wheat, a very common ingredient in many products, is not even close to being the same as it was years ago.  For more about the wheat issue, go here.

There are people suffering with food allergies and intolerances from things other than wheat.

Allergy vs. Intolerance

“Food intolerance, also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, refers to difficulty in digesting certain foods. It is important to note that food intolerance is different from food allergy.

Food allergy triggers the immune system, while food intolerance does not. Some people suffer digestive problems after eating certain foods even though their immune system has not reacted – there is no histamine response.

Foods most commonly associated with food intolerance include dairy products, grains that contain gluten, and foods that cause intestinal gas buildup, such as beans and cabbage.”  SOURCE

Common food allergies include:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts (such as walnut or cashew)
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • soy
  • wheat

According the the Mayo Clinic, food allergies can appear as an adult with no obvious reason behind it. You might find yourself suddenly unable to eat something you used to eat all the time! It’s so frustrating, as I can tell you from experience. 

“When your digestive system isn’t operating properly, the unhealthy environment actually destroys the lining of the digestive tract.  This scenario has become known as “Leaky Gut” and can drive systemic inflammation and either cause or aggravate a variety of inflammatory and auto-immune conditions.  At the very least it will lead to food sensitivities known as “food allergies.”  When you completely and comprehensively repair the leaky gut, you can eliminate food sensitivities.” SOURCE

You can help to heal your stomach by consuming certain nutrients that help get the digestive system back on track. Try looking into these: Acid stable digestive enzymes, Quercetin, N Acetyl Cysteine,  L-Glutamine, N Acetyl Glucosamine, Phosphatidyl Choline, probiotics, and gentle fiber.

Here are the details:

“Digestive enzymes break food down into nutrients preventing them from fermenting (rotting) into toxins. The probiotics repopulate the intestines with beneficial bacteria supporting healthy immune function, nutrient absorbption and they also compete for space and nutrients with harmful microorganisms that may be present, diminishing their numbers.  L-glutamine, N Acetyl D Glucosamine and Phosphatidyl Choline actually help to rebuild the mucous membrane that lines the digestive tract, ensuring proper absorption of nutrients.  This is the “back-bone” of the healing process for “Leaky Gut”.” SOURCE

If you are suffering from something and can’t figure out what  it is, try looking into your daily diet. You can keep a journal of what you are eating, then start eliminating foods one by one.  If you have an allergy or intolerance, how are you handling it?




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I am always so excited to find a non-toxic brand of color cosmetics. These are a lot harder to find than you might think. I want a really good quality, fair price, a product that doesn’t contain fragrance, nothing that clogs pores, it has to last all day and it needs to be heavy enough to cover spots and discoloration but light enough to not look like I am wearing pancake makeup.

It’s a tall order, right? I know. 

So when I tell you that Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Creme Foundation delivers on everything, you can trust my opinion!

Check out the ingredients:  Triglycerides, Zinc Oxide, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba, Silica, Radish Root, Organic Argan, Organic Rosehip, Neem, Clay, Organic Green Tea, Organic Passionflower, Organic Raspberry, Natural Vitamin E (+/-, Iron Oxides, Mica, Org Essential Oil Blend).

Its chocked full of really good stuff! And you don’t need much, I put a little dab on each area of my face and blend.  I love everything about this and based on this foundation, I want to try lots more from this brand.

Topping my must-have list is the concealer, mascara, and botanical lip gloss. The prices of these products are quite affordable. I feel a shopping spree coming on…

For more information, go here! 

Have you tried this brand? What foundation are you currently using? Spill it!




If you haven’t heard of this brand yet, let me place it on your radar!

Let’s first address the unique name: “The name  is rooted in a myth that says that elephants love to eat the fruit that has fallen from the Marula trees. Once eaten, fermentation occurs inside their very large tummies and the elephants become drunk!”

Virgin Marula oil is found in many of the products from  Drunk Elephant. It has a high content of fatty acids and antioxidants. The skincare from this line is also non-toxic, unscented and gentle. I love that these products are formulated without toxic ingredients, its a big deal to me. I don’t want my skin care to have anything liked to organ toxicity, cancer, endocrine disruption etc. You can find out more by going here.

I tried two products from this brand. Let’s learn more! 

First is the C-Firma Day Serum which is for brightening and firming up the skin. It contains powerful anti-oxidants to improve the look of skin and it works nicely with the Umbra Sheer Physical Defense. It will stay active on the skin for up to 72 hours! I have been lightly applying this in the morning to improve the slight discoloration I have on my face thanks to years of tanning at the Jersey Shore.

“This revolutionary serum evens skin tone, fights cellular UV damage, stimulates collagen synthesis and optimizes skin physiological activities of defense and cell regeneration. Our unique formulation enzymatically dissolves unwanted surface skin cells and provides intense hydration through the use of Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, which can easily penetrate the skin. The result is a noticeably diminished appearance of photodamage, replaced by incredible radiance and luminosity.  The pH level is 3.3-3.5.”


drunk2The Umbra Sheer Physical Defense offers anpf of 30 and contains 20% Zinc Oxide plus sunflower extract. This is made without chemical sunscreens which are known skin irritants.  It doesn’t leave a white tint on your skin, it absorbs quickly and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

“This physical block is formulated without any chemical sunscreens, which have been known to cause irritation and are not as effective as the natural alternative, Zinc Oxide. It is difficult to formulate a physical sunblock that is suitable for all skin tones, but we have done just that. Drunk Elephant formulations only contain ingredients that are there to benefit skin health and support the formulation, keeping them safe and making them ideal for even the most sensitive skin. You will never find colorants or fragrances of any kind in our products. That is our commitment to you.”

I loved these two products and have been reading up on the other items that Drunk Elephant offers and T.L.C. the Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum has caught my eye! Find that and other products here.

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Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton

For some reason, I thought this book was a memoir. I was really impressed how the author wrote her life story like a novel although I was irritated that I couldn’t think of a single song from the band mentioned in the book. Then I realized its NOT a biography- its a novel.

I love the plot of Driftwood: a  young woman named Clementine Jasper, with no real job or sense of purpose sets out on a journey after her father, rock legend Tommy Jasper, dies. Using only the letters left behind from her father as guidance, she takes a road trip that gives her clarity about her father and herself. California comes alive as Clem drive through small towns and meets various people. She’s a fun main character, quirky and the story (not a memoir) is a quick read.



Delicious by Ruth Reichl

I know Ruth from watching Top Chef. This is the first book I have read of hers, I hear her other books are very good. This one is a novel with so many mouth watering details and little insider snippets, you feel like you are really immersed in the kitchen! I especially liked the cheese shop where the main character, Billie, meets an interesting group of people. If you love cooking, New York city, heartwarming characters, you will want to read this gem.

I read this book back in December and was waiting until the release date to post my review which is May (right around the corner)!  I’m borrowing the synopsis from Amazon:

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.




I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer

You know Judy Greer, she’s been the best friend in countless comedies! She’s been in so many movies that even if her name doesn’t ring a bell, her face will. 

This is her story, with humorous essays about what its like to be an actress.  In the beginning chapters, Judy takes us through her childhood in Detroit,  growing up and going to college, her career aspirations and little bits of Hollywood  insider stuff- not the dirty gossip, but her own experiences. Its an entertaining book and Judy comes across as someone I’d be friends with in real life- down to earth, sweet, likable, and funny!