Tag Archives: books

Friday 5 – What I Read

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By the looks of this post, it’s been almost all cookbooks and audiobooks these days. I think there is a reason for this, but I won’t get into it now! 🙂 This was a really good selection, though. And these are books I read probably over a month ago. Let’s see what I retained…

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How Not to Die:
Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
by Michael Greger (nonfiction) – must read

For the past few years, I’ve heard it said numerous times from various sources that we should be eating “real food, mostly plants”. Dr. Greger explains why. This is a doozy of a book! With a section on the most common diseases that lead to death and in-depth explanation why food is the root cause and how the right food can heal us, too. He opens with his example of his grandmother’s diagnosis of a terminal disease and in changing her diet – lived 20 more years.

There is a lot of information to back up his claims, so much that I skimmed over most of it, taking greater note on certain diseases that afflict loved ones. I wholly admit that I didn’t read every word of this book, but that I find what Greger writes to be candid and enlightening. The second half of his book focuses on how to approach a healthy diet with a checklist of your daily necessities and a stop-light approach to foods (Green light – EAT! Yellow light – think twice, don’t eat often. Red light – don’t eat).

Why is this all not common knowledge? There is no such thing as Big Broccoli!

I followed up by reading his cookbook of the same name which was recently released. You can also find information about specific diseases, foods and studies on his website at www.NutritionFacts.org.

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The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas 
(fiction, audio) – must read

I absolutely adored this book on audio! I don’t know what constitues YA, but this one has a lot of not-necessarily-just-young-adult themes that are appropriate for these times. The book is being adapted for the screen and the trailer has just been released! I haven’t watched it yet, but I will say I think Amandla Stenberg will make a perfect Starr Carter.

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This is Me:
Loving the Person You Are Today

by Chrissy Metz (nonfiction, audio) – worth a read

This popped up as a suggestion on Hoopla Audio where I download books from my local library. I promptly snatched it up and listened to it while picking up around the house and doing dishes. I really liked learning about Chrissy’s journey to Hollywood and also her philosophies now. She really puts her personality out there in the writing and reading of this story as well! She offers little nuggets of truth, too, like “Hurt people hurt people.”

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My Kitchen Year
136 Recipes That Saved My Life

by Ruth Reichl (nonfiction, cookbook) – worth a read

I didn’t really know what this book was about, other than that it was a cookbook and that the recipes were possibly healthy: “136 Recipes that Saved My Life”. But what I came to learn is that these recipes came to save Reichl’s “life” after she became unemployed. They inspired her mentally and she illustrates how the methodical repetition in their creation could be meditative. The book is written like a story, which I love, as I read cookbooks like novels. The sections are divided by season and I found it quite lovely to read about such things while sitting out in the lounge chair on my patio on a spring afternoon. (Only a few of the recipes I could actually see myself making, but would probably eat quite a few if they were offered my way. 🙂 )

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Hunger:
A Memoir of (My) Body

by Roxane Gay (nonfiction, audio) – worth a read

 

Whoa. This is a heavy, but real book. I’ve only read one of Gay’s books and it was entirely fiction. I can see where draws her ideas and feelings from now. This is a very vulnerable topic of which to write and is not a feel-good story, but one of Truth. Want a really in depth review/reaction to this book? This is one of the best I’ve read.

~

What do you like to read outside in the summer?

Cheers~
Carrie

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What I’ve Been Holding at the Library

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Okay, still crushing on the library!

When I last posted what I was reading on Facebook commenting how I loved the hold service at the library because I got a BRAND SPANKING NEW book {as in no one else had read it yet}, a friend commented asking how it works because she spends way too much money on books.

And since it took me sooooo long to just get in and renew my 10-year-old library card, I thought I’d give some insight on the process so that you don’t wait another moment and start utilizing your local library immediately! It’s so easy.

How to Put Books on Hold at the Library

I’m sure all libraries have a somewhat different system, but here is how my Dakota County Library works:

  • Email: When I reopened my account, the library asked me for a email address that I check all the time. They don’t spam you. I only receive an email to remind me if a book is almost due or if a book that is placed on hold is ready to pick up.
  • Library Card Number: I used to know my bank account number by heart. I had the account since I was 16. Then, a couple of years ago, I switched banks. I still don’t have that new account number memorized, but I do my library card number! You need this (and a pin or password) to access your account online. It’s here were you can put any book on hold!
  • The Queue: Once you put a book on hold {and indicate from which library you want to pick it up} you can see how far along you are in the queue for that book. You can also see how many books of each are available throughout the county. If it’s a popular book, there will be several. However, there may only be one of a particular book. If it’s checked out, it may take some time to get it. If there are several and the queue isn’t long, it’ll become available much more quickly!
  • Suspend Hold: If I am seeing that I am the 1st in a line for number of books, I can put my hold on suspension. This means if I’m not quite ready for it now, but I will be in a month, I can suspend my hold from now until a month from now. That way, I don’t have to delete it from my hold list and try to remember to put it on hold later. If I’m ready for the book before my designated suspension is up, I can cancel the suspension and, I believe, resume my place in the queue.
  • The Pick-Up: Once the book is available, I receive an email that it is ready. I have one week to pick it up or they will take it off of the hold status for me. When I go to my library, they have my book waiting for me in the “hold” section. I don’t have to ask anyone for it. I find it by my card number and last name and there is a slip in the book indicating that it is on hold for me. Not just anyone can grab these books, however. The self-serve checkout counter will only all the book to be checked out to me because it is on hold for ME! This takes me TWO MINUTES. So easy!

Side Note on E-Readers: If you are an e-book reader, I am 95% sure that you can do the same with holds online. It’s even easier for you because you don’t have to go to the library and pick it up when it’s available. I’ve yet to jump on that bandwagon. I borrowed a friend’s old Kindle when I went to Ireland and it was Just Fine. I didn’t like having to keep it charged. We weren’t too bright that we only brought one adapter/converter! I do like the feel of a real book in my hands. I tried reading on my phone and just can’t do it. The sheer number of e-readers overwhelms me. And with tablets, I fear being distracted by something else I can do on it. That happens to me all the time with my phone!

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I currently have about 40 books on hold! The ones that are on order by the library show that my place in queue is “0”. I have several books suspended because I know I won’t even be able to read that many books at once. One of the books I have on hold is Liane Moriarty’s Truly, Madly Guilty. I am 195th in line! There looks like there are close to 50 copies available in my county. And several are Lucky U books, of which you can read more about under the JoJo Moyes book I picked up in this post. So if I really wanted to read it now, I could check online to see if a Lucky U book was available and run and pick it up.

Here’s what I had put on hold and was able to read over the past couple of weeks!

DWTT

Dancing with the Tiger by Lili Wright (fiction) – worth a read

I found Dancing with the Tiger on a book blog. The blogger was recapping the books she read in July and noted this one as her favorite. I promptly put it on my Library Hold List and was surprised that when they got the book in stock, I was the first one who got to read it. 🙂 Brand new book! This is a fantastic, colorful debut work of fiction. I loved the short chapters that still made me want to continue reading. What I didn’t like was some of the Spanish used in the novel. I don’t speak Spanish; so I was lost on some of the phrases when they weren’t explained. Of course, I could figure some of them out by context or if it was similar to French, but not all

Wait. Scratch that. I found myself googling some of the phrases, which means I learned something, right?! I also liked learning about the world of Mexican masks.

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On the Edge of Reason

On the Edge of Reason by Miroslav Krleža (fiction) – DNF

This one I did not get from the library, but thought I could read in between holds because it is a rather short book (less than 200 pages). “How did I come across this book?” you ask? It’s been on my bookshelf for about 10 to 15 years. Back then, I tried to order the sequel to Bridget Jones’ Diary, which is called The Edge of Reason. But whoops, not paying attention, I put the wrong used book in my cart. One word can make a difference!

I decided to give this book a shot because of the accolades on the back:

Paris had its Balzac and Zola; Dubin its Joyce, Croatia its Krleža… one of the  most accomplished, profound authors in European literature…

The Croatian Miroslav Krleža is amount the most neglected of the world’s great writers.

My new favorite word – folly. It is used often at the beginning of the book. Alas, I Did Not Finish this book. It was originally published in 1938. I sometimes need to push myself to read books that were written before me time. Right now, though, it’s back on the shelf for another day. I do intend to finish it, just not now.

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Make Room for What You Love

Make Room for What You Love by Melissa Michaels (non-fiction) – skip it

Another brand new book from the library! This one was waiting for me, so it made me read Dancing with the Tiger faster. I wanted to be done before my hold deadline so I could just swap the books out. Not sure how I found out about this book – probably from an organizing blog? I often don’t remember where I hear of books, unless a friend recommends it.

I thought it landed in my hands at the perfect time because my husband was going out of town. Remember when I KonMari-ed my wardrobe the last time he was? I get into these kicks when he’s not around. 🙂

What I learned is that I didn’t need this book. This surprised me, because I generally think of myself as a clutterbug. However, with the current change in circumstances at work and home, I was forced to change some habits! To be quite honest, I got annoyed after the first 60 pages or so that I skimmed the rest of the book.

There wasn’t anything revolutionary in here. The author focuses on simplifying, but then throws in so many questions to ask yourself and lists to make, that it is completely overwhelming as a reader! Most of the time she’d say, “Find ways to…” instead of just listing the ways to solve those problems.

I did like the little sideboxes with tips. And the one takeaway I did get from this book is that it’s indecisiveness that creates clutter. By not deciding what to do with something and putting it in a pile, you are actually deciding something – you are choosing clutter.

Still, there was a lot of generalizing going on, a lot of stating of the obvious {i.e. How do you feel when your house is cluttered? How would you feel if it wasn’t?} and a lot of repetition. The author has her own organizing and design blog. The book was written like I would write a blog post – like I’m talking to someone. In a book, it felt a little unprofessional. I think I would actually prefer to read her blog – with a little tip here or there, instead.

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night

Night by Elie Wiesel (fiction) – must read

I’m sure I found this book a list of Short Books That Everyone Must Read. Or Books You Can Read in a Day. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard of it nor did I know it was true story, a personal account. It’s sort of a classic and one that I do agree that Everyone Must Read or that it should be part of a curriculum. It’s a powerful reminder of the hatred during the time of Nazi rule. I did read it in a day; but I’m a slow reader.  Many of you would have it completed in an afternoon. I have now put Wiesel’s subsequent works in this trilogy on hold at the library. But I’m also confused because books two and three appear to be works of fiction.

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The Lake House

The Lake House by Kate Morton (fiction) – DNF

I have no idea how I found this book; but it had great reviews. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. I kept trying to push along, but kept getting distracted. Just like everything else in life, timing is everything. I do like the layout of this story and the mystery behind it. However, it’s just too slow for me right now. I’m more intrigued by the two books on hold at the library waiting for me to pick them up! Perhaps I’ll pick it up The Lake House again sometime down the road…

Have you used your library’s hold feature?

What would be on your hold list at the library?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

His & Hers Gift Guide – What They’ll Actually Use

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This time of year, I’ve been getting a lot of searches that link to this post from last year: Top 5 Gifts for the Hard to Buy For Person Who Has Everything. I want to offer up some more gift ideas this year. But I don’t want to give away my surprises of what I’ll be gifting.

Instead, I thought I’d create a different kind of list.

Part One – His

If you read last year’s post, you’ll know that my shopping for my husband is very difficult. He usually just buys what he wants when he wants it. And no matter how much thought I put into them, the gifts I get him end up in a drawer or on the shelf in the closet. So, instead, the HIS GIFT LIST will include items that Rob has either bought himself or has been given, but that he uses all the time.

Part Two – Hers

Here you will get a my Christmas Wish List. No, this is not a post to get what I want for Christmas. Besides, probably only one person I’m exchanging with actually reads this blog. And I’m pretty certain my mom is done with her Christmas shopping already. 😉 Instead, it’s just a list of things, that if offered to me this holiday season {or any old time}, that I would not turn down! It’s meant to give you ideas for women you may know like me.

Let’s start with the guys, since they seem to be the hardest to shop for, right? For additional ideas, please read Running with Racheal’s post from last year.

Great Gifts for Guys

{aka items Rob uses ALL THE TIME}

  • Smartphone – His iPhone is the one gift that Rob thanks me for throughout the year. He doesn’t know now, how in the world he ever lived without it. The thing is, it was a surprise a couple of years ago. He didn’t even know he’d want one. Because of the never-ending thank yous, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
  • iPhone Wallet – Rob bought this for himself within the last year and it’s made his life so much simpler. When getting ready for work in the morning, he no longer has to go in search of his wallet and his phone. It’s all together now. He found his on eBay and there are several styles. His is pictured below. He gets compliments all of the time. They are cheap, too!
  • Extra iPhone Chargers – Rob found these cheap online, too. I never strayed away from my one charger that came with my iPhone. But once we got extra, it made life so much easier! I can’t tell you how nice it is to have one in my car, one to keep in my suitcase or carry-on, purse, one for the office and the living room. Rob keeps one at work, too. It was handy when we left one behind on vacation to have extras on hand. Only downfall: When we finally upgrade to iPhone 5 or later, we’ll have to buy all new ones. But no matter, these were seriously cheap.
  • Flashlight(s) – Laugh all you want, but whenever we need a flashlight we can’t find one. This year, a friend of ours put flashlights in our golf tournament goodie bags. Of course, they were meant to keep in our golf bags to look for lost balls. But since we are too lazy to look for them are such good golfers, we use them around the house. Now, if we had about 5 more of those…
  • Lounge Pants – I don’t know about you, but we live in comfy pants over the weekend. That is, until we leave the house, of course. We’ve received lounge/sleepwear pants for Christmas a couple of times and now I don’t know what we’d do without them. They come in many styles. Rob’s collection includes Guinness and ESPN lounge pants, among others.
  • Packer/Wolverine Gear – You can never have enough gear to cheer on your team. Just make sure it is the size, style and fit that your recipient likes. I’m just sayin’, when I get him this kind of stuff, it always gets used!
  • Hammock – Once upon a time, Rob bought a hammock from Hammocks.com. And on any beautiful day in the spring, summer and fall, I come home to him reading, relaxing or napping in that thing. The dogs join sometimes, too! We bought our friends, who invite us up to their cabin every year, one as a thank you gift. It’s a priceless gift, really. It may be hard to think about when it’s so cold, but that’s why they are on sale today! We recommend the Quilted Island Bay with metal stand. Rob’s tip: Get coupons and promo codes when shopping online by typing in “Hammocks.com Coupon” instead of just “Hammocks.com” to save extra dough!
  • Dinner out – Rob nearly always takes me out to dinner, so it’s a special treat when I buy. Sometimes, I’ll make my own little certificate stating such {as I explained in this post} or what restaurant I’m planning on taking him, like I did for his birthday one year.

~

Great Gifts for Gals

{aka gifts I would Graciously and Gratefully accept}

  • Socks – Not kidding here. As it grew colder this fall and I had to put the sandals away, I found that many of my socks were either missing a sibling or developed a hole. I’ve thrown away quite a few. I like fun, funky socks, but they can be hard to rotate within the wardrobe and Rob isn’t a fan. So even just comfortable black socks will do!
  • Turtleneck Sweaters – Are these out of style? I’m having such a hard time finding nice ones! I’m a freeze baby. So in the winter, I like warm sweaters. When I’m trying to overcome Pirate Eyes in the early, black a.m. of winter, I don’t want to have to think about my outfit before work. I want to put on a warm turtleneck sweater and dress it up with a scarf. DONE. Solid colors are best… and timeless.
  • Alligator Clips – This is the name Rob gave to a hair clip I used to rely on all of the time. I’ve lost it since our trip to California this fall and just feel LOST. I am all about low maintenance when it comes to my hair and rarely use a hair dryer. I used to twist it and put it up with my alligator clip when wet. Later in the evening or the next morning, I can wear it down without having to do very much with it! We’ve search stores everywhere for more, but just found them online under other names – beak clip, Japanese clip, concorde clip. There are lots of colors and styles to choose from!

Beak Clip

  • Opolo Mountain Zinfandel – This is one of our favorite wines, but it’s not really priced for everyday. So it’s a treat when we get it!
  • Davis Family Vineyards Pinot NoirGuy Davis knows his Pinot. I never actually liked Pinot Noir until I tasted his at his tasting room on a trip to the Russian River Valley. You can’t find it in stores, so you’ll have to order some. Might as well get a case while you’re add it. Your life will be transformed.
  • Davis Family Vineyards Wine Club Membership – Hell, why not just join the club? I did join the Davis Family Vineyards Friends and Family Club after that trip, but canceled when we needed to buckle down to buy our house. I should just get back in this club and swear never to buy a cheap bottle again and savor every drop of this wine. Quality over quantity, right?
  • Other Wine Goodies – I love this post by grapefriend, with some unique wine-related finds. In particular, I’m intrigued by the wine2go flask and the rewined carmenere candle.
  • Champagne – I love me some bubbly. But it’s extra special to receive a bottle of real champagne!
  • St. Germain – This elderflower liqueur is one of my all-time favorites. I haven’t met a cocktail I didn’t like when it’s made with it.
  • High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil – At one point, we bought a Groupon to join an olive oil club. Each month for three months, we got high quality, expeller pressed Italian olive oils! We didn’t continue because it took us all year to use them. The third bottle is almost empty, so we’re in the market for more. I also love this idea of adopting an olive tree and receiving the olive oil produced from it.
  • Cheese of the Month Club – Um. I’m from Wisconsin. I’m a Francophile. No brainer.
  • Fruit of the Month Club – I’ve always wanted this! Fresh fruit delivered to my door every month, yes please! I’ve been eyeing the Arizona Orange Company for two years now…
  • CSA Share – I absolutely adored my CSA box in the summer! But it just proved to be too much food, even split with a friend. They had solo shares this year, but were more basic and sold out right away. If you want to give someone a CSA share, make sure the pick-up location and window is doable for them.
  • Donation to a Cause I Support/Admire – Like a Pet Rescue or Shelter, such as Homeward Bound, where I found Sophie almost 9 years ago and the Carver-Scott County Humane Society, where we found Shamrock this year. When friends of ours refused to let us pitch in for the timeshare and rental car when they invited us to join them in Hawaii, we donated to the Marine Mammal Center in support of the endangered Monk Seals on the island of Kaua’i. We were lucky enough to see them there.
  • Packer Gear – Can never have enough!
  • Packer Tickets – Hey, I am getting higher up on the waiting list; but if anyone can spare a pair, we’ll take ’em! {We support our team during winning AND losing seasons!}
  • Gourmet Coffee – I’m always willing to try a new brew.
  • Tickets to Evita – I love musicals and Evita will be in Minneapolis this year. I loved the music in the movie and have never seen it performed live.
  • Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake – Laugh if you must. I had a roommate with whom we bought these for each other’s birthdays! The Bonus is that the two of us shared it, so we both got to pick away at it All. Week. Long. It’s been years since I’ve had one, though, so maybe my tastes have changed. Wouldn’t hurt to find out!
  • Gift Certificates – I know some people think that these are impersonal, but I love them. They say to me, “I know you like to shop here, so pick out what you want!” or “We really loved this place and thought you might like it, too.” I also like to save them to use as fitness or weight loss rewards. Here are some great places for which to receive gift cards:
    • Sul Lago – Our favorite restaurant “South of the River.” The very first time we visited, we saw about a dozen or so people come in to order gift certificates at the bar!
    • Restaurants – We like to dine out, so any place we haven’t tried, under our Restaurant Impressions Wishlist will do. Otherwise, we always like to try other people’s favorites, so recommendations are welcome.
    • Kohl’s – I don’t buy clothes very often, but when I do it’s because I need something. Kohl’s is close and familiar. I like to save gift cards here as rewards to myself. I’ve found a lot of good deals on workout gear here, too!
    • Barnes & Noble – I don’t have a Kindle or Nook. I still read real books. But I really think B&N gift certificates are good for travel guidebooks. We love to travel. If you know someone is traveling somewhere, buy them the most current guidebook. Or, they can walk right into a store and flip through guidebooks to see which ones suit them best.
    • Spa – I don’t know any girl who wouldn’t appreciate a spa day or to choose their own spa treatment. Just a pedicure can do wonders.
    • Movies – We don’t go to the movies often, but when we do, we ask ourselves why we don’t do it more!
    • Car Washes & Oil Changes – Okay, this one sounds really impersonal. But truthfully, I hate spending money on this kind of stuff myself. So having a card to just use whenever it is needed would be so wonderful.
    • Amazon Gift Card – Well, because you can use it for ANYTHING!

All I truly need for Christmas is health, love, spending time with family and reconnecting with old friends.

However, sometimes we just fret over that perfect gift for a loved one. So I hope these his and hers lists inspire you with ideas for the rest of your shopping this year. Or sit down and make out your own list. You might just come up with something for someone else!

What is a gift you wouldn’t turn down?

Did this post give you any ideas for someone else?

Cheers~
Carrie

Goodbye, Cravebox. R.I.P.

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For this Subscription Box Saturday, I had a totally different post planned. But I received this email yesterday:

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Do you know how sad I am? Of all the boxes I’ve subscribed to, Cravebox was my favorite. I felt like I was introduced to some of the best things I never would have known about otherwise. I could choose only the boxes I wanted. And they were soooo inexpensive for what I received. {Maybe that was part of the company’s demise?} I still needed to post about my last few boxes – Cooking Light, Girls Night In and Spring Cleaning.

Here’s a short recap of the themed boxes I chose through Cravebox:

And here are the boxes of which I had not yet written a review:

Girls Night In –  The $50 Naked Wines gift card also came in an Goodies Box unannounced. I will review that wine experience soon!

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Cooking Light – The pasta isn’t gone yet, so I know I’ll be thinking of Cravebox each time I cook it…

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Spring Cleaning – I’m looking forward to trying out the Dry Cleaning Kit.

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I received a second Cooking Light box, but cannot find a photo. I will tell you that the contents included two unique seasonings {which Cravebox encouraged the sharing of recipes and photos of dishes created with them}, coupons for three free boxes of Brown Rice Triscuits {very good, but not really any additional nutritional value}, cookies & biscuits, STASH tea {adore this tea and will be buying more!}, Zone Bars, artificial sweeteners, Pop Chip Tortilla Chips and additional coupons for other products.

I will miss Cravebox. It was a box where I knew I’d get items I’d actually use or at least try. As I mentioned, I’ve found some of my favorite products through these boxes, too.

Whenever a restaurant closes, a product goes off the market or a TV show is cancelled, Rob always says it’s because we loved it. This is one of those instances.

R.I.P. Cravebox.

It was fun while it lasted!

Is there something that has closed or been discontinued that you miss?

Cheers~
Carrie

SBS: Books, Beauty & Bikinis

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Subscription Box Saturday – Cravebox Edition

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Cravebox is one of my favorite subscription boxes because you don’t receive a box every month. Instead, you only pick the ones you want! There is a different theme going at any given time and you choose only the boxes that suit you. In addition, I’ve found that the retail of the items inside the box is more than what you pay for the box itself ($12 – $18). For a complete rundown on how this works, check out my original post on Cravebox.

Here are my two most recent boxes:

Book and Beauty – $12

Contents:

Contents: John Frieda Deep Conditioner; Vaseline Total Moisture Lotion; Biore Sample Trio: Cleanser, Pore Unclogging Scrub & Nose Strip; Hardcover Book: Mistress of My Fate by Hallie Rubenhold

One of the things I loved about one of my first Craveboxes (Dog Lovers II) was the surprise of receiving a book, which has become one of my favorite reads about dogs! So when a Cravebox for Book & Beauty popped up, I knew it wouldn’t disappoint, especially when it was described this way:

Some call them “guilty pleasures.” We prefer “well-earned necessities.” Cravebox brings you a romantic read that will whisk you away from the everyday. Add skin cleansers and care, and decadently rich moisture for body and hair. You deserve it!

I absolutely love the John Frieda Deep Conditioner. (And it helps solve my conditioner dilemma!) I tried the Biore Nose Strip and wasn’t too impressed. And since the Biore Cleanser and Scrub are one-use samples, you know that I’ve already thrown them into my travel toiletry kit!

I have not yet read the book just because I have so many in queue. But it’s smart of Cravebox and/or the author to include part one of a series! I will tell you that I loved the book so much in my Dog Lovers II box, that I sought out another book by that author. Genius. As for the Vaseline Total Moisture Lotion, I’ve learned from Comedian Bill Burr that as a Caucasian, I need to use it more. 😉

Bikini Ready – $13

Contents:

Contents: Hardcover Book: The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy; $5 Gift Card towards the Gympact App; Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit (and coupon for next purchase); Zone Perfect Chocolate Caramel Cluster Nutrition Bar; Weleda Sample Trio: Pomegranate Regenerating Body Lotion, Arnica Massage Oil, Birch Cellulite Oil; Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

Originally, I was not going to try this box. Having never worn a bikini in my life, I didn’t think it was for me. Remember, when a box is released, you don’t know what’s in it. You just get a description. And after reading this one, I changed my mind:

Don’t let those winter winds fool you. Spring is not far off, with summer sun just behind. That’s right: beach season is coming, and your bathing suit awaits. Why wait for warmer weather to get your “house” in order? This box gets you bikini ready starting with a fired up metabolism and ending at your perfectly polished nails. Indulgent body oils, smooth skin, a healthy treat, and a pact worth keeping round out the offerings found in the Bikini Ready Cravebox.

Again, I’m surprised by receiving another hardcover book! Alas, it’s not my sort of book. I’m not into fad diets. But I’m going to thumb through it anyway to see if I can pick up any good tidbits of information or recipes. All of the other items I will use and am looking forward to trying. The Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips aren’t really my style, though. Maybe I’ll give them a shot on my toes instead. We’ll see what “Fits All Nails” means!

Bikini Ready Salon Effects

But what intrigues me most in this box is the information and gift certificate on the Gympact App.  With this app, you can earn cash rewards for “hitting the gym, paid for by the non-exercisers.” You set your goal and the amount you will pay each time you miss a workout. Then you track said workouts and earn cash rewards. Hmmm… Has anyone tried this yet?

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If either of these Craveboxes interest you, they may be available soon as Instant Boxes. Instant boxes are a few dollars more because the contents have now been revealed. If you decide to purchase one or any other Cravebox, feel free to include my username uncommonwine as your referral, if you’d like.

What books are YOU reading now?!

Cheers~
Carrie