What I’m Reading Right Now

I finished one and am in the middle of the other. What are you reading? Join me on Facebook to talk about it!

stardust

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott

Nothing strikes a chord with me more than a book that takes place in the 1930’s/40’s and throw in some old Hollywood? I’m into it! In A Touch of Stardust, young  Julie Crawford leaves her Fort Wayne, Indiana home in search of success as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Soon after landing a job at a major film studio, she’s fired only to become an assistant to none other than Carole Lombard. Julie is taken behind the scenes of filming Gone with the Wind and the romance  between Clark Gable and Carole.

Kate’s writing is chock full of details and I had no trouble getting lost in this world of glamour and fame!

This book is due out in February 2015 but you can pre-order it now! Or read my own novel of Old Hollywood and Marilyn Monroe which is available right now!

undertaker

The Undertaker’s Daughter by Kate Mayfield

I was instantly intrigued with this memoir by Kate Mayfield. Deep in the south during the 1960’s when racial tension ran high, young Kate and her family move to Jubilee, Kentucky where her father opens a funeral home. She’s brought up around caskets, mourning, embalming, riding in hearse which is all perfectly normal to her.

As Kate grows older she learns more about her father, the charismatic undertaker. There’s secrets and feuds, alcoholism, infidelity.

I am almost done with this book and really enjoying it. The book is humorous with there is a seriousness to it as well. I really like the various characters woven into the story. Highly recommended!

Available January 2015.

 

Lotus Moon Nourish & Repair Night Creme with white tea extract and resveratrol

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by Caroline Leavitt
Have beautiful dreams (and skin!) with Lotus Moon Nourish & Repair Night Creme with white tea extract and resveratrol

I admit that I don’t use night creams. My reason why? They’re often so greasy that I feel sticky. Or they manage to get in my eyes so I wake up looking puffy. So I was a little anxious about trying Lotus Moon Nourish & Repair Night Creme, but after just one night, I’m now a convert.

Your skin–and your whole body, actually–rejuvenates while you sleep. So it really does make sense to use some kind of produce. This cream gives a breathable barrier so your skin can heal and absorb the moisturizing effects of this beauty potion.

I loved the way it glided on and didn’t feel sticky or heavy. And even better, I loved the way my skin looked when I woke up! It’s beauty-boosted with Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Rosehips Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, and all kinds of wonderful antioxidants including Resveratrol, which is found in red wine and grapes, and is the most powerful anti-aging ingredient around.

It’s one way to be a sleeping beauty!

Wellness Wednesday: Top Tools for a Healthy Kitchen

 

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I try to cook most meals at home and since going gluten free, I depend on really great tools to help. I like eating the Paleo way, which includes lots of vegetables and meats.

Having the right stuff in the kitchen makes prep a breeze and when you have these items, its just easier to  make healthy meals at home. These items help chop, dice, juice, blend and much more!

Here are my top must-haves in the kitchen:

1. Micro-Plane/Zester: I use this all the time for ginger, lemon, orange, etc. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Smaller than a grater, this is ideal for grating ginger into tea, adding zest to a meal or dressing.

2.  Breville Juicer- You can  use any reputable brand but I like my Breville. The one I’ve linked to is a step above the one I currently use, its time for me to get a new one! I have really enjoyed juicing over the years.

My favorite is an apple-carrot-mango blend but I do enjoy a good green juice with fennel, dark leafy greens and cucumber. This juicer is easy to clean and it does a great job of extracting the juice from the fruits and vegetables.

3.  VitaMix- If you buy one item for your kitchen this year, make it a VitaMix! I use mine constantly. Recently I even blended up a batter for blueberry muffins, I’ve also made tomato soup.

The best way to utilize  for your  VitaMix  for your health is to throw your greens in there with some water, green tea or Kombucha and blend it up into a smoothie. Washing it out is a breeze.  It even breaks down kale and fennel!  Highly recommended.

4. Spiralizer- A Paleo replacement for pasta is often Zucchini made into long pasta like ribbons. Get your zucchini pasta done fast and easy using a spiralizer. You can also use this for carrots, cucumbers and basically anything else you want to fashion into long ribbons.  My number one way to use the spiralizer is with zucchini, allow it to then “sweat” on a bed of paper towels for about 30 minutes, then lightly sautee to get it warm. Serve your sauce over the “noodles” and this is a healthy, Paleo friendly meal.

5.  Food Processor- Never chop an onion again! I use my food processor mostly when making things like meatballs or meatloaf, where anything mixed needs to be finely chopped or diced. I love having one, it saves a lot of time!

6.  Toaster Oven- When you have someone who is gluten-free in the house (that would be me) you need a toaster that is designated GF. No one is allowed to put anything in here unless its gluten free. So basically, this one is ALL MINE.  I use this to toast my bread or waffles, sometimes even bake something. It sits right out on my counter top and is very easy to operate.

7. Crock Pot- This is an all in one crock pot that’s a  beast in the kitchen! Its a must-have  because you can do various things with it. I am all about saving time in the kitchen. Not only can you slow cook (what a crock pot is known for) but you can brown meat,  saute and even bake. Has oven and stove top abilities and I have made soup in here, roast, even corn bread! I highly recommend this crock pot.

8. Kitchen Aid Mixer- Ahhh, the must- have in all kitchens! What would I do with it? Especially good for making whipped cream or things where the mixer needs to be going for more than a few seconds.  I have made mashed potatoes using this as well.

Dump your ingredients in here then turn it on and walk away, its that simple to use.  You might not use it daily but when you do use it, you will love it.

9. Hand Held Blender- So convenient! Excellent for blending salad dressings and gravy, puree soups etc.  There’s a great recipe in Nom Nom Paleo and you use an immersion blender for the gravy, its truly outstanding.  I recommend that book too!

10.  A great stack of good Paleo cookbooks! Here are my favorite gluten-free books which happen to be Paleo:

Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain the recipes are very easy and don’t require crazy, hard to find ingredients. I am a big fan!

The Paleo Kitchen, Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking a  beautiful cookbook, chock full of information and recipes.

Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry with lots of delicious gluten-free, dairy free recipes that are fast and simple. I also really like Elana’s almond flour cook book.

Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods Quick, gluten free recipes that the whole family can enjoy?  I’m sold.

 

*this post may contain affiliate links to products I happily use and enjoy*

Mad Hippie Advanced skin care Face Cream

madhippie

How could you not love a product called Mad Hippy?

By Caroline Leavitt

Fall’s starting to put a nip in the air and you know what that means. Dry, parched skin. I tried Mad Hippie Advanced skin care Face Cream. It’s filled with peptides that help your skin boost collagen and minimize those pesky wrinkles.  It also has real flow power, including grape Seed Extract, Pomegranate Seed oil, Green Tea Extract, Argan Oil  and more. Of course, there is no animal testing and even the packaging is processed use soy inks and wind energy.
The cream glides on and smells delectable, and best of all, it made my skin feel pampered. Those hippy days were full of love, and now Mad Hippie gives some of that love to your skin!

New from Tarte Cosmetics

 

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I do love some Tarte Cosmetics, their lip glosses and mascaras are in frequent rotation over here. If I go to Sephora, there are only a very small group of brands I check out and Tarte is one. While *green beauty purists may shy away from Tarte due to some of their less-than-perfectly-clean ingredients, I do like the fact that they are free from:

parabens • mineral oil • phthalates • triclosan • sodium lauryl sulfate • gluten.

I have some favorites from this brand and they make an amazing mascara.

Let’s look at what I’ve been using:

Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers- best used with the magnificent Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara, this product gives you the false eyelash look  by adding tiny fibers to the mascara. You simply sweep this on after applying your first coat of mascara, then add a bit more mascara and take note of how full and glamorous your lashes have become.

Colored Clay Under Eye Corrector- The one place I need concealer is under my eyes! This one is nice, smooth, gives good coverage and doesn’t crease around fine lines. Contains colored clay plus caffeine so puffy eyes don’t stand a chance. Don’t forget to dab a little on the inner corners of eye area!

Lip Surgence Lip Gloss- I rarely do anything without a coat of gloss! This product is a tint/gloss combo so it plumps, tints and adds moisture with vitamin E, jojoba seed oil and flower extract.  Its really nice, gives a kind of sheer color that looks very natural.

Amazonian Clay Dual Liner is a  Bronze- Black Gel Eyeliner that is ideal for those of us who have a tough time working with liquid liner! Using a slanted brush, its very easy to glide right around  your upper eye lid and get the perfect cat eye. Its the waterproof eyeliner in black and then the bronze to add dimension.

*check out the EWG’s rating of Tarte Cosmetics here!

 

 

 

By Hello Dollface