Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Life Lately: August

August was my husband's and my birthday month. It's been very busy lately with getting some of our wood floors refinished, drywall issues in one room repaired, and getting the baby's room set up! Oh and I started back at work in August, too. And had to move rooms. It's no surprise I've been taking naps whenever I can after all that! Fortunately we were able to take a day date to Galena, IL to check out the stores and have lunch. It was a really fun day!

Books I've Read:

The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark - This was a mystery I picked up at the library. It is about a professor's murder that may or may not be due to a parchment he was working on translating written by Jesus Christ. I really enjoy mysteries, especially with a historical aspect to them and this one kept me guessing until over halfway through it. It was a real page turner!  

Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang -  This was another murder mystery I read on my Kindle through amazon. It's set in 1918 in New York while the Spanish Influenza strikes the city. There is a series of murders in a group of friends and no one knows who to blame. I had no idea who the real killer was until the end! What an incredible story with incredible thought to the detail. I couldn't believe how the real killer was revealed. 

P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy - This is about an actress in a failing marriage who goes to stay with her friend in Paris and decide if she wants to work on her marriage or leave her husband. While in Paris she meets someone and forms a friendship with him. It's a cute, lighthearted book. Great for an easy read. 

Through the Streets Broad and Narrow by Gemma Jackson - This was a free book I chose through my amazonprime account for July, but didn't read until August. It's set in Ireland in 1925 in the tenements (poor area) of Dublin. The story centers around a woman named Ivy Rose Murphy and her attempt to make a better life for herself. After our trip to Ireland earlier this summer I was really interested in it because of the setting. I like reading about what it was like for people living in the tenements although the story doesn't always seem completely believable at times. 

Ha'Penny Chance by Gemma Jackson - This is the second book in the Ivy Rose series. There are 4 books that I know of. Although there are aspects of the storyline I don't really love, I still like the characters and setting and want to finish the series. In this book, Ivy continues to try and change her fortunes with new business ventures and some family issues. I'm looking forward to reading book 3 and 4!  

Recipes I've Tried:

Unfortunately I haven't tried any new recipes this month. I have been trying to make a double recipe of at least one meal a week to freeze for once the new baby comes. So far I've made Greek Yogurt Enchiladas and Turkey Pesto Meatballs, Hamballs with Cherry Sauce, and my husband smoked some pork to freeze. I'm starting to feel really proud of my stocked freezer! 

Skincare & Beauty Products I've Tried:

I had the opportunity to try quite a few Kenra Professional products through Brandbacker this month. I've tried a few of their products in the past and am always impressed by the quality. If you are unfamiliar with Kenra, Kenra Professional® is a purely professional brand dedicated to understanding and serving today’s stylists. They have a passion for developing innovative products and delivering superior and reliable results. Their three unique brands, Kenra, Kenra Platinum, and Kenra Color, are each driven by the daily needs of stylists. Here is what I was able to try and my thoughts:

~Kenra Platinum Snail Anti-Aging Shampoo & Conditioner
This shampoo and conditioner states that it fights all 10 signs of aging hair, and restores shine manageability, and prolongs youth in hair. It also provides moisture, softness, radiance and resilience for hair. Both the shampoo and conditioner are enriched with snail essence which is a highly concentrated blend of proteins and both are formulated without sulfates, parabens, and sodium chloride. My hair often feels dry so I always look for ways to add moisture back to it. The shampoo and conditioner made my hair feel really soft and shiny and even helped decrease my hair's tendency to frizz in the humidity. 

~ Kenra Platinum Snail CC Creme
Kenra Platiunum Snail CC Creme is a lightweight creme without styling hold infused with Snail Essence proven to awaken youth in hair. It helps to fight the signs of aging hair by boosting shine, increasing thickness, reducing breakage, taming frizz, hydrating your hair, improving elasticity, relieving scalp irritation, increasing manageability, decreasing coarseness, and providing heat protection. It can be used with all hair types and is paraben and sulfate free (and don't worry, snails are not harmed in the making of this product). This is the second time I received this product and just in time too! I finished the first tube recently. I typically put a few pumps in my hair after washing it a few times a week. I do notice a distinct difference when I use this on my damp hair versus when I do not. My hair definitely is softer, less frizzy, and shinier. It only takes about one and a half pumps. 

~Kenra Shaping Spray
This is a new hairspray from Kenra and the first professional alcohol-free hairpray. It has maximum moisture retention, extra firm hold on hair, and high shine. I don't like to use hairspray often because I feel it dries out my hair and makes it more prone to breakage. But with this hairspray that isn't the case. I feel much better about using it to help make my style stay longer and combating its potential to frizz. Of all the Kenra hairsprays I've tried, I think this is my fav. 

~Kenra Platinum Heat Block
Kenra Platinum Heat Block is a multi-benefit styler provides heat protection up to 450 degrees F and finishes with a high hold while allowing for a clean release from styling tools. It is enriched with Bee Propolis for unparalleled heat protection. I have tried this a few times so far with a curling wand and straightener. It definitely makes my hair feel more coarse and stiff, but that helps with the hold. It goes on easily and has a nice scent which I appreciate. I use heat tools more often in the winter so I will definitely continue using this to help protect my hair! 

Pregnancy Update:

I debated about whether to do any kind of regular update about pregnancy. It was hard reading pregnancy updates when my husband and I were going through everything and I certainly wouldn't want to hurt anyone else going through that. In the end I figured I could do one third trimester update as a part of these posts. Currently I am 30 weeks pregnant and due November 11. For the most part the pregnancy has been going pretty well. We have to have another ultrasound in a few weeks to check on something that was found at 20 weeks, but hopefully it all turns out ok. I am feeling lots of movement and even Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. She moves a lot after meals, and sometimes when she hears certain people's voices. I had the joy of doing gestational diabetes tests after my one hour came back as positive. Claire kept me company during the 3 hour test and all was good. I got the results on my birthday so I was thankful I was able to eat some of the birthday cake I made! This pregnancy has been flying by. I can't believe in just over 2 months we will be able to hold this little one in our arms! 

What I'm wishing for:

Fall is such a fun time for fashion and I am restricting myself on how much maternity clothes I buy because I have about 10 weeks left. So if I buy something it has to be an item I can wear now and after pregnancy. But that doesn't stop me from window shopping and making a wish list for after pregnancy! Here are a few items I've been loving lately:


  1. Thanks a lot :D

    I'm super curious with beauty products my friend :D
    Nice sellection :D

    NEW OUTFIT POST | NOT a DéJà Vu // I Already, I Never.
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  2. Thanks for the update! Love your wishlist and need to check out some of these books. I haven't heard of this haircare line either. So glad you are doing well with your pregnancy.

  3. That yellow dress is so gorgeous though! Perfect shade for fall. And happy to hear that the pregnancy is going well, crazy how fast time flies by these days! Xx

  4. That ruffle top is so pretty! I got those same Kenra products and I am always blown away by the quality! I need to try the Greek Yogurt Enchiladas!


  5. I'm glad your test came back okay and you were able to enjoy some birthday cake! I'm wishing you smooth sailing for the rest of your pregnancy. November is coming up!! Those Greek Yogurt Enchiladas are a favorite at my house, they are so good. So smart of you to make double batches to freeze too!

  6. I love reading. I read The Lost Years and loved it. I just recently learned about the free books for my Kindle with my Amazon Prime account - I'm going crazy!!!! I love real books and try to get what I want from the library but free on mi Kindle speaks to me!!!!
    I'm hoping your school year is off to a great start now that the room move is over!

  7. That's why shoes & jewelry are always good, right? They'll fit after the pregnancy!!
    I haven't read Mary Higgins Clark in forever...was this any good??

  8. Happy Birthday to you and your husband!!!! I would love to try Kenra beauty products, especial the snail shampoo and conditioner, snail slime is supposed to be super moisturizing.