I enjoyed this month's box but there were some oddities for it. I kinda felt that one of the items was left over summer stock, but since it was useful, I wasn't going to complain.
The box also had some great things that I adored. I'm a big fan of quite a few of the products. So it was overall a great box.
Macy's does not provide spoilers. The only time they did something like that was for the Jo Malone box. You sign up and then get the box. It's samples of skincare, makeup, fragrance, and usually another item. Sometimes there's a makeup bag and sometimes not. I prefer this box over other similar priced ones because I think the brands are higher quality. Plus, it's usually easier for me to get them at Macy's if I like it.
I'm going to double up so I can attempt to catch up. I didn't mean to get all behind. Yikes.
I also changed up my genres again, but not until the new year. So this is the last section of just the romance only. I went to every other month romance/friendship and the other month fantasy.
The Book Drop is a subscription box for books from Bethany Beach Books. It's pretty much just a book and bookmark with some info on new releases. Occasionally the author featured writes a letter or does a FAQ (or something is copied from the website). All the books that are sent in the mailers (all genres) and other things like puzzles and mugs are available on the website.
The next two books are from the "Books for Bubbly" which are the genres romance and friendship. I've liked this category a bunch. I normally stick to less contemporary romances when I pick any out, so I like getting stuff I would normally pass by. There are zero serial killers/FBI agents running around in these so not like my normal contemporaries.
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas StarrRead Now
Oh, this book was a revelation! It's one of those multi-storied books. We get the story of a serial killer and his apprehension, a story on how the lawyer changed how to prosecute, and the story of how a scientist used forensics to catch the criminal. We also get to have the culture of France at the time, the history aspect really. It's one of my favorite type of book set ups. I'm not sure if it has a name. Popular History? But with this multiple arcs.
That being said, it's a lot of information. Obviously, any of these aspects could fill multiple books by breaking it down in detail. I got enough to understand everything though.
Douglas Starr is a new author to me. He has another book, aptly titled Blood, about how blood became valuable in the medical field. I do like my nonfiction to be science or history, so I might see if I can pick that up soon.
Happy Friday! What a week. I've been catching up on laundry and the news. What is this world coming to...
All the hub-bub where I live is on some minor political scandal (it's really the dumbest thing) so I'm just going to ignore it all. Let me know if it's at a Matt Gaetz level of wrong. He's an odd dude isn't he? I feel like he's probably odd.
The book below is an illustrated poem by Yeats. It's from The Song of Wandering Aengus...and the illustrations are divine. I picked it up in Dublin, Ireland when I went there a few years ago. It was a whim of a purchase but I really love it.
I made a double batch of shells (there was a bridge tournament going on outside on the porch). I've learned not to mess with people playing bridge...they're fearsome! I love manicotti and stuffed pasta shells...it's what I order most of the time at Italian restaurants. It's so simple to make but I tend to not make it at home to prevent my fat ass from pigging out. Like, what's a serving size? One shell? Two? I'll eat a disgusting amount without blinking.
I found a recipe from Epicurious (Vegetarian Skillet Stuffed Shells) and it was a pretty big hit. I have one skillet, so since I was doubling the recipe for the group out back (fully vaccinated and retired...I'm not playing around with Covid. No vaccine, no play) I put the pasta and shells into a baking dish and tented some aluminum foil on top before putting it in the oven. It turned out okay that way.
I think if I make it again, I'll use a different recipe. One that has more cheese (manicotti and/or ricotta). This was a nice, simple recipe. Worked for a crowd (cheaper that way) but it wasn't as good as I'd like.
I'm almost caught up on Janet Evanovich. I'm still not loving the later part of her series, but something seems to be happening (well for Stephanie and her grandmother...she's still in a love triangle). I'm in line at the library for the last book so we'll see how that goes. I've basically kept all the books around three stars in my head. They're not great, not comforting, but not the worst. I just feel she's phoning it in...
I also picked up 10 Things I Hate About Pinky. I didn't read the back, I thought it might be a type of telling of 10 Things I Hate About You/Shakespeare. I'm not actually sure it is, but I've only read two chapters into it. It's Young Adult (YA) and a pretend-dating to real romance type fiction book. I think it has the potential to be really cute.
I've started some new subscriptions but I'm not sure I've posted them (or talked about them...). So, I'll start with this one as if it's the first in case I've never mentioned it.
I tried to do this with an American subscription (less hassle on the shipping) but that company was not being cool at the time...so I went across the pond. I've shopped with Ohh Deer (plus, some of their cards are available at my local indie) before, so this wasn't a totally new thing for me.
Ohh Deer is a British based stationery shop. They also have a few different subscription boxes. I choose Papergang, which is a stationery box. Each month's box has a different designer collaboration, which is a very cool touch. They also plant a tree every once in awhile to offset some of the paper + shipping. It's 14 GBP a month with the shipping free (for UK subscribers). They also have a quarterly and annual pay plan which might save some money. Shipping to other countries has a different cost structure.
Well, I accidentally took a week off. I was supposed to go to the beach this weekend but the gas pipeline ransom thingy caused a rush on the gas stations (like all the people who panic when a hurricane comes and buy stupid crap in bulk...or all the toilet paper). So I just met a friend for lunch and shopping at Ulta.
Ulta was slammed too! Like, everyone was there getting their stockpile back up. I needed more foundation and perfume so it worked out just fine. It's too bad about the beach because the weather was perfect.
I'm not happy about any of the decoration decisions I've made in my home office/library set up. So I'm still working that out. It's just a mess in this room.
The book on review is called It's Always the Husband. I thought the blurb was interesting, although I figured it was most likely going to be more of a thriller than mystery led. It started slow but I think picked up at the end.
It's Friday!! yay!!
I had the busiest week. I got my second Covid shot and in two more weeks, I'll be fully vaccinated! I also had a bunch of work that I managed to get caught up on! Success!!
I gave Smitten Kitchen's Perfect Margarita a whirl for the household of retired folks staying with me. They said it was amazing. I'm not a tequila person so I tend to avoid margaritas (unless it's a mango margarita slushy, but that's another story). The seasoning seems to be the huge winner to this drink's success. It's called Tajin chili powder (I even put a tiny amount into some of the margaritas for those with spicy taste buds (like, a dash). She always has great recipes.
I think my next drink (other than Mint Juleps that I drink before and after the Derby) will be the classic Mary Pickford.
The smash is one of those older cocktails (pre-prohibition) that was popular in the mid-nineteenth century only to fall out of favor in the twentieth. That is, until it was revived in NYC by bartenders such as
When it first seemed to appear, the smash was a drink that could be made with gin, whisky, and brandy. It was a sweet, cool drink that paired perfectly with a hot summer. In 1862, Jerry Thomas put the Whiskey Smash into his Bartender's Guide book. This book (also titled How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant’s Companion) is the first cocktail book published in America.
The monthly box has about six items, which are often available at the website shop (if you want doubles). I'll see if I can find them in the shop, they might not be available after all this time. The card also tells what shops created the items, with the website address. So I'll link that too.
Lavish's website has a large selection of bath bombs, which I really like (amongst other things) but I've found some great indie bath bomb makers through them and that's kept me quite supplied.
The theme for this month is "Snow Kissed." I love a good theme.
I was just talking to a girl on bumble bff, we were discussing how nice it would be to have a month extra a year where we could just get stuff clean and all these extra chores done. Riveting stuff to be sure. There's just a backlog that doesn't seem to end.
Well, lets get on to the books. As we left the last one on a cliffhanger, it luckily resolves quite quickly. While both books begin in England, they move off to other areas. Both feature reoccurring characters and I quite enjoyed them.