BONUS: What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Cristina Alger

 

I figured we would all be struggling after a long weekend so hoping a BONUS post for the week will help brighten things up!  Who else than none other than one of my favorites, Cristina Alger, to show us her ridiculously beautiful bag and add some chic to our Tuesday.  Her latest book, which just came out in paperback, This Was Not the Plan was one of my favorites of 2016.  It is the perfect book buddy to accompany a glass of rose or tuck into a beach bag.  Cristina was so kind to let us peak into her Hermes (insert heart eyes) bag filled with gorgeous accessories and go-to mom must haves.

This Was Not the Plan paperback_High

via Amazon

From the acclaimed author of The Darlings comes a “funny, bittersweet, and ultimately uplifting look” (Sarah Pekkanen) at fatherhood, love, and family life.

Charlie Goldwyn’s life hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Widowerhood at thirty-three and twelve-hour workdays have left a gap in his relationship with his quirky five-year-old son, Caleb, whose obsession with natural disasters and penchant for girls’ clothing have made him something of a loner at his preschool. The only thing Charlie has going for him is his job at a prestigious law firm, where he is finally close to becoming a partner.

But when a slight lapse in judgment at an office party leaves him humiliatingly unemployed, stuck at home with Caleb for the summer, and forced to face his own estranged father, Charlie starts to realize that there’s more to fatherhood than financially providing for his son, and more to being a son than overtaking his father’s successes.

At turns heartbreaking and hilarious, This Was Not the Plan is a “sparkling and heartfelt” (Bookpage) story about loss and love, parenthood, and friendship, and what true work-life balance means.

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What is your bag of choice?

My bag of choice is my Hermes Evelyn bag. It was a big splurge and I still feel vaguely guilty about how much it cost, but I wear it every single day. It’s incredibly chic, goes with everything, and is, in my opinion, the perfect size. It’s also a cross body bag, which is great for a mom on the go.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I am (and I mean this literally) a dry person. My hair, my skin, my sense of humor. As a result, I am a devoted user of Carmex, SkinCeuticals Overnight Dry Moisturizer, Frederic Fekkai Shea Body Butter, and Neutrogena Hand Cream. All my makeup is NARS. I love their sheer glow foundation and their matte lip pencil, which I like to wear layered under their lip gloss. Also, I have very fine blondish hair so I have to pencil in my eyebrows every morning or else it looks like I don’t have any. The best eyebrow pencil I’ve ever used is the mechanical one from Sania’s Brow Bar. It’s a magical product.

 

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

Carmex. Hand Cream. My Mason Pearson hairbrush (for both my daughter and for me – she’s very precious about her hair). I don’t wear a lot of makeup during the day, but at night I usually bring my NARS lip pencil and gloss with me. I don’t carry a wallet – too bulky! – just a metro card, some cash and a credit card, which I usually tuck in my back pocket.

 

What are you currently reading?

The early stories of Truman Capote. I can never get enough Truman Capote. IN COLD BLOOD is one of my favorite books of all time.

 

Any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?

My daughter calls me “the snack lady” – I always have snacks! I also carry a strip of photo booth photos that my husband and I took at the Santa Monica Pier before we were married. Seeing my husband’s face always makes me smile. And a good scarf can jazz up any outfit. Except in summer, I’m never without one.

 

Cristina Alger_Photo Credit Deborah Feingold

 

Twitter: @cristinaalger

Facebook: Cristina Alger

Instagram: cristina.alger

 

*Thank you Cristina for opening your bag to readers!  It’s just as chic and fabulous as you are 🙂

 

Always by Sarah Jio

Always by Sarah Jio was the first book I read of hers and it certainly will not be the last.  I loved this book.  The story, the characters, the setting and time were all perfection.  Always is part drama, part romance all set against the 90’s music scene, a time that I loved and loved reading about.  If you want a book that will suck you in within the first few paragraphs this is it.  Plus, I love the Sarah’s connection the the premise of the book, make sure you read at the end as it’s a good little author tidbit, not to be missed.

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Cade and Kailey are former loves who had separated years ago.  Kailey is currently engaged to Ryan and planning wedding.  After a nice dinner Kailey sees a homeless man outside the restaurant.  She notices the stare and the eyes.  Cade.  She can not comprehend that this was once the man that she loved.  What happened to him?  Why is he in this place?  Told from alternating points in Kailey’s life, we find out how Cade and Kailey met as well as their fall out.  Will she recover the first true love of her life or will she walk down the isle with the man of her dreams?

Sarah Jio © Nina Subin

Highly recommend this book!  If you love a good romance with an ending you didn’t expect then this is it.  It would be the perfect companion for Spring Break, trust me.

*Thanks to Random House for sending a copy for review.

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Teri Wilson

TGIF book and beauty lovers!  I am so excited to bring you a peak into Teri Wilson’s fabulous Kate Spade tote.  Teri is the author of the newly released Royally Roma which Cosmopolitan featured as one of their must-reads as well as a writer for Hello Giggles and Teen Vogue.  Not only does Teri have fabulous bag taste, but her manicure is on point with the new live-action release of Beauty and the Beast.  See pic below for her Belle manicure which of course is fitting as Belle was the bookish princess 🙂

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via Amazon

“A charmingly modern twist on a classic love story—loads of fun and all the feels.” —Julia London, New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly in Love

In this enchanting retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, a royal prince tries to escape his hectic and rigid life and ends up leading a young graduate student on a chase through the Eternal City.

Julia Costa is too busy trying to complete her PhD while also holding down a full-time job as a private tour guide in Rome to keep up with celebrity gossip. So when she crosses paths with a real, actual prince, she mistakes him for a client and takes him on a daylong tour of the city.

Intrigued by the idea of spending time with someone who obviously has no idea who he is, and delighted at the prospect of a day free of royal obligations, Niccolo La Torre, Crown Prince of Lazaretto, acts on impulse and assumes the role of Julia’s client. He swears to himself that he’ll return to his royal duties after only half a day…but he’s having the time of his life.

Until Julia presents him with the bill. Since he snuck out of the hotel without so much as a dime, he tries to escape, only to discover that she won’t let him out of her sight until he can pay her back. She’s determined to get her money…and perhaps more from the handsome stranger she’s fallen for.

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What is your bag of choice?

I’m a handbag junkie. I just can’t help it. I love to shop for bags when I’m on vacation. The purse I’m carrying now is a powder blue leather bag with a crystal bunny charm, which I bought at the Kate Spade store in Tokyo in January. The Kate Spade store there is to die for! It’s in a very tall building with pink hydrangeas spilling out of balcony flower boxes on every floor.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

My favorite beauty item right now is black winged eyeliner. I use Clinique Quickliner in Intense Ebony, which is a soft pencil. (I’ve yet to master liquid!) I also love nail art. Right now I’ve got Beauty and the Beast nails, which I put on myself using nail wraps from Jamberry.

What you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?

I never go anywhere without my lipstick. It’s a must! And I love a bold lip, usually hot pink. I also always carry a MAC compact with pressed powder and a small tube of hand lotion. The lotion in my purse right now is from a London brand—Cath Kidston. It has little British guards on it. So cute.

What are you currently reading (books/magazines)?

I never go anywhere without a book in my purse. Right now I’m reading Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley. It’s a very unconventional romance, and I’m loving it. As for magazines, I adore Cosmo!

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

I always carry a tiny pillbox in my bag that I bought a few years ago at the Louvre museum in Paris. It’s gold with an enamel picture of Marie Antoinette on the lid. It makes taking a Tylenol seem super glamorous. * wink *

 

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Teri Wilson

www.teriwilson.net

Twitter: @TeriWilsonauthr

*Thanks Teri for your time and letting readers take a glimpse into your bag 🙂

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Brenda Janowitz

Her books are amazing.  Her Popsugar lists are what I call the “Oscar Nominations” of books.  She’s fabulous and we are getting a peak into her gorgeous bag ~ today I have the lovely Brenda Janowitz sharing her Bookish {Beauty} Bag.  Her most recent novel, “The Dinner Party” is out now and was one of my top 2016 reads and an US Weekly “Standout Spring Novel”.  I do not know Brenda personally but I like to think someday we will meet for a glass of rose’ and chat all things books, beauty and pop culture aka everything that is BLISS 🙂

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via Amazon

This Passover Seder is not just any Passover Seder. Yes, there will be a quick service and then a festive meal afterwards, but this night is different from all other nights. This will be the night the Golds of Greenwich meet the Rothschilds of New York City.

The Rothschilds are the stuff of legends. They control banks, own vineyards in Napa, diamond mines in Africa, and even an organic farm somewhere in the Midwest that produces the most popular Romaine lettuce consumed in this country. And now, Sylvia Gold’s daughter is dating one of them.

When Sylvia finds out that her youngest of three is going to bring her new boyfriend to the Seder, she’s giddy. When she finds out that his parents are coming, too, she darn near faints. Making a good impression is all she thinks about. Well, almost. She still has to consider her other daughter, Sarah, who’ll be coming with her less than appropriate beau and his overly dramatic Italian mother. But the drama won’t stop there. Because despite the food and the wine, despite the new linen and the fresh flowers, the holidays are about family.

In Brenda Janowitz’s The Dinner Party, long forgotten memories come to the surface. Old grievances play out. And Sylvia Gold has to learn how to let her family go.

Brenda's Bag

What is your bag of choice?

I always carry a huge tote with me. Let’s face it: I’m a mom. I need lots of stuff!

I carry the LV Never Full, which my husband bought me for my first Mother’s Day as a mom. I think all moms need a bag that is “never full” but the truth is, sometimes it really is full. (Sorry, Louis!) In addition to the basics—my wallet, phone, makeup case, and sunglasses—I always pack it with stuff for the kids—crayons, lollipops—along with my own work stuff—postcards with my book titles listed, Sharpies in case of an impromptu signing. (You’d be surprised.) I never leave home without a book (or my reading glasses!) and I usually bring along a scarf wherever I go.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I’m obsessed with makeup. Just check my Sephora account! Right now, a favorite is the Nars multiple. I use the South Beach as a bronzer and then put the Orgasm right over that. I love how it makes me look so dewy and fresh. (I do look dewy and fresh, don’t I?) And the best part? You can take it with you and use it on any other part of your face—even your lips!

I’m also pretty obsessed with perfume. (Again, just ask Sephora.) I’m so in love with Chanel’s new formulation of its iconic No 5 perfume. It’s called No 5 L’Eau and it is absolutely delicious. Who doesn’t want to smell absolutely delicious?!

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

I always (and I mean always!) carry lip balm. No matter the season, you can be sure that I have chapped lips. I’m obsessed with cult favorite Rosebud balm. First of all, it’s only six bucks. What other product could you possibly get for six bucks?! Second of all, it’s a salve, so that means you can use it on your dry lips, your dry hands, and even minor cuts and burns.

And without fail, I’ve always got concealer. As a busy working mom, I need all the help I can get!

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)
I’m always reading one season ahead from everyone else, and I read most books in galley form in anticipation of my PopSugar seasonal roundups. It’s almost spring, but right now, I’m reading for summer, which I’m really excited about. I’ve got Jane Green’s The Summer Sisters in my bag right now, which I can’t wait to read after doing an excerpt with Jane on PopSugar. (Link: https://www.popsugar.com/love/Excerpt-From-Jane-Green-Novel-Sunshine-Sisters-43302166)

I also love magazines. I’m a huge fan of People, US Weekly, and Entertainment Weekly.

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have.

I could never go anywhere without my phone. It’s my lifeline! But I also seem to find my kids’ toys at the bottom of my bag, too. There are lizards, toy cars, you name it. 

And since I’m always on the go, I love my Moleskine notebooks. I’m often asked how I have the time to write when I’m always running around with the kids. And the answer is: I don’t! I make the time. 

Whenever I have an idea, I don’t wait—I just jot it down. Sometimes, I’ll even write an entire chapter of a book in my Moleskine notebook while my kids are off at their activities. (Hey, I didn’t say it was easy!)

And last but certainly not least, I never leave home without my (totally gorgeous and amazing) personalized make-up case, which was made for me by my favorite book and beauty blogger (that’s you!)! I’m completely obsessed with it, and I get endless compliments whenever I take it out. Of course, I would never risk getting it dirty by putting actual make-up in the make-up case, so I use it to hold my author postcards and signing pens. What?! Sometimes a make-up case is too pretty to take a risk!

Brenda Janowitz_credit Hy Goldberg

Bio:

Brenda is the author of five novels, including THE DINNER PARTY (St. Martin’s April 2016). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, the New York Post, Publisher’s Weekly, PopSugar, Mom.me, Hello Giggles, Writer’s Digest Magazine, WritersDigest.com, and xojane. You can find Brenda on her website, www.brendajanowitz.com, and on Facebook and Twitter at @BrendaJanowitz.

Brenda attended Cornell University and Hofstra Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. Upon graduation from Hofstra, worked for the law firm Kaye Scholer, LLP, and did a federal clerkship with the Honorable Marilyn Dolan Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Social media:
Website: www.brendajanowitz.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendaJanowitz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaJanowitz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brendajanowitzwriter/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brendajanowitz/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/241404.Brenda_Janowitz

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-janowitz

Praise for THE DINNER PARTY:

“With an impeccable eye for detail, Janowitz skillfully creates scenarios and relationships so authentic that they’re simultaneously hilarious and cringe-worthy. Equally compelling is the cast of emotionally complex, nuanced characters who are lovable even at their most exasperating … [T]his novel delivers poignant universal truths about familial love and conflict in story that will have readers eagerly turning every delicious page. Thoroughly kosher.” – Kirkus Review

“THE DINNER PARTY is everything a reader wants in a novel: guests with a knack for inspired conversation and family drama swirling both above and below the table. A truly entertaining read!” – Elin Hilderbrand, author of THE RUMOR

You think your family is chock full of quirky personalities? Pull up a chair for a holiday meal with the Golds of Greenwich! The vibe is hilarious with a side of heartfelt (but never corny); and the guests are as relatable as they are occasionally appalling. Brenda Janowitz works the room with sensitivity and humor. Thanks to her consummate hostessing, The Dinner Party is a satisfying, delicious meal that sticks with you long after it’s over. –Elisabeth Egan, author of A WINDOW OPENS

“In her funny and smart novel, THE DINNER PARTY,  Brenda Janowitz tells a story of transformation and hilarity. With an acute eye for complicated family dynamics, Janowitz takes us inside the hearts and minds of her characters at a holiday dinner. In great bursts of laughter and solemnity, we meet and love family members who are all trying to find their way both in the world and also in their family. As with any good dinner party, it’s a pleasure spending time at Janowitz’s table.” – Patti Callahan Henry, author of THE IDEA OF LOVE

“Don’t miss a seat at this table! Brenda Janowitz’s THE DINNER PARTY charms and delights with a story of the time-honored struggles between parents and grown children, husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters as unconditional love bumps up against unmet expectations. Laugh-out-loud funny with the biggest heart, you will fall in love with this family.” – Jamie Brenner, author of THE WEDDING SISTERS

“[The Dinner Party] skewers family distinctions, revealing how each member is vital to the functioning of the whole … readers who enjoy tales of family dynamics will devour this title.”  – Library Journal

*Thanks to Brenda for her time and all she does for the book world ❤

 

 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware ~ “Beach Bites”

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Another quick post from me about an absolutely creepy thriller that kept me turning the pages even though I am completely sleep deprived 🙂  Ruth Ware, author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, took me to sea in The Woman In Cabin 10.  A cruise trip gone wrong for the main character Lo.  She is sent on assignment onto a gorgeous cruise ship.  While aboard she meets a young woman who is in the cabin next door.  She needs a quick beauty rescue and has quite an abrupt interaction with this woman which seemed odd to Lo.  That evening she hears a thud and sees a blood stain on the side of the boat.  When she goes to see if everything is ok with her neighbor she discovers she is gone.  As the book develops Lo is tested as the rest of the ship never recalls seeing this women making Lo as well as everyone else question her sanity.  But she is sure she this woman exists and will stop at nothing to prove it.

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This book, like Ware’s debut, is a phenomenal thriller.  Ware is excellent at what she does and how she captures the essence of a good mystery is on point.  I highly suggest both novels as you will become an instant fan of hers.  What’s even more exciting is In a Dark, Dark Wood is coming to the big screen!  Not only do I love a good thriller but I love a thriller motion picture even more!

*Thanks to Gallery Books for sending a copy for review.

Beach Bites- Karma Brown and Megan Abbott

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Hi readers!  Sorry I have been MIA for the last few days.  I just welcomed my second baby last week so I have been a bit preoccupied 🙂  I will be off and on the blog over the next few weeks and then back to my regular review schedule come fall.  Right before I went into the hospital I read the amazing The Choices We Make by Karma Brown.  Then while I was in the hospital I finished up the thriller You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott.  Both fantastic in their own right but completely different.  Read below for a quick “bite” on both!

The Choices We Make by Karma Brown

Brown quickly became a favorite author of mine with her debut- Come Away With Me.  In The Choices We Make she tackles on the tough choices between two best friends.  One is struggling with infertility the other a successful mom who wants to give the gift of motherhood to her friend.  As things progress both are put up against the odds and their true friendship will be tested emotionally and ethically.  Get ready for tears with this novel as Brown once again takes a serious situation and pulls at the readers heartstrings.  This book again solidified her as a favorite and from the first two novels, Brown is only getting started.

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

This fabulous thriller kept me guessing until the end.  Abbott takes the reader into the cutthroat world of gymnastics where the death of one of their own makes them question everything.  The sport is intense and dark  not made any better by the parents.  Jealousy and competition are everyday emotions for the gymnasts so when they are pushed to their edge the community will do anything to get ahead and hide their secrets.  Abbott is the real deal when it comes to a classic thriller.  She writes dark and twisty, my favorite thriller characteristics.  You do not know where the book is going therefore you are turning the pages until the wee hours of the night.

*Thanks to Mira and Little Brown for a review copies of both.

The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

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As I am counting down the days until my little arrival I have to cram in as many books as I can!  I am SO glad I picked Sarah Pekkanen’s newest, The Perfect Neighbors.  Reminiscent of Desperate Housewives, one of my favorite shows, the book is the perfect blend of drama, mystery, gossip and friendship.  The best type of summer read that you can’t put down, The Perfect Neighbors is my “Poolside Pick” for this week!

The book takes place in beautiful Newport Cove, a picture perfect neighborhood where the sun is always shining and neighbors are there to help one another.  Kelli is a newly working mom, who stayed at home for years with her kids, and is now in real estate.  Wanting to feel appreciated and beautiful she starts to take to her boss who is handsome and reciprocates this little work crush.  Gigi is a mom of two girls where one is on the outs with her, typical teenage behavior.  She wants to rekindle the relationship they once had but she can’t do it alone as her husband is running for Congress and he is always tied up.  Tessa, the newest neighbor to move to the Cove is friendly enough but always on edge as she is running from something with a secret in her back pocket.  Looking for a fresh start, Tessa isn’t sure how much longer she can fool everyone into thinking she is leading a perfect life.  But who really is?  A picture perfect setting and life behind close doors can be anything you want it to be or can it?

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Pekkanen’s latest is a page-turning, delicious book that kept me guessing each chapter.  The scene she set and the characters she created were intriguing and mysterious.  I love a dishy read with an almost thriller type twist and Pekkanen wrote this perfectly.  I can’t wait to jump into her back catalog and read some of her other novels because if it is anything like this book then it is sure to be fantastic.  Absolutely add this one to to your summer list, you won’t regret it!

 

*Thanks to Atria books for sending Bliss, Beauty and Books a review copy.