What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg

You all know I love a fabulous female author and when that fabulous female author is a New England gal, well then we were meant to be fairy book sisters.  I was so thrilled to receive a wonderful package from Jeanne early on in her book promotions and then to have her be part of the Booksparks Summer Reading Challenge, well that was icing on the cake!!!  Eden is the perfect end of summer or beginning of fall read.  You will be able to escape back to the beach with this family drama or snuggle in a cozy sweater and endure this rich saga.  This is Jeanne’s debut novel and for sure the start of more wonderful books to come.  Lucky us ❤

EDEN Cover

via Amazon~

Becca Meister Fitzpatrick―wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community―is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel―with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship―will react.

Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family―her parents’ beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named “Eden.”

 

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What is your bag of choice?

I really like classic handbags, not floppy ones, but those with a little bit of structure.  I can carry papers and books as easily as the must haves without things getting creased or crumpled.  I’ve been using a Miu Miu bag this spring.

I like my bag to be deep so that I can stash some leggings and work out top at the bottom.  These days I’ve been having to squeeze in short work outs at the gym.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I started using Rodan & Fields beauty products last December when a friend of mine became a distributor. They are fantastic.  The multi-function eye cream has decreased the puffiness around my eyes.  Their most amazing product, however, is the Lash Boost.  I put it on my eyelids before bed and now my eye lashes are so full and lush, I barely need to wear mascara.

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

I always carry hand cream – living in a cold environment, my hands dry out easily.  I like to have moisturizer on nearby at all times, especially scented with lavender or grapefruit.  It not only brings my skin back to life, but the scent can sort of wake me up.  I also like to have lip-gloss on hand as well as a hairbrush and a big clip.  I never know when my hair is going to feel like a windswept mess and I might need to put it up on top of my head.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett.  Annie is an instructor at Grub Street in Boston where I have found an inspiring community of writers.  This debut novel is heartbreaking and funny at the same time.  The protagonist is a quirky, young girl named Elvis.  The language is sparse and poignant.  I highly recommend it for lovers of contemporary fiction.

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

Haha… when my kids were young, I’d always be able to find some sort of snack in my purse.  But there’s a poem I like by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers that begins “Keep a poem in your pocket and a picture in your head, and you’ll never feel lonely….” I’ve taken that to heart and carry a book, a paperback for those times when I’m waiting for an appointment (I’ve been going to the dentist quite often in the last year!)  I also carry a small moleskin journal I use to write down interesting observations or snippets of conversation.  Sometimes I’ll hear a word and want to write it down for future use. But lately, I’ve been jotting down notes on my phone and carrying ear buds in order to listen to audiobooks.  This evolution of my life condensing onto my phone feels efficient, however, I can’t help but feel that I’m losing something at the same time.

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Lake Union Double Feature ~ What’s in My Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Kathy Cooperman and Kerry Lonsdale

Lake Union is a treasure chest of books and authors.  The publishing company of Amazon, is always producing literary gems and I am lucky to be able to get my hands on them.  I am so excited that two of their fabulous authors ~ Kathy Cooperman and Kerry Lonsdale decided to share not only their gorgeous bags but celebrate their two latest releases!  Both the prefect anecdote for end-of-summeritis 😉

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via Amazon ~

“Lighthearted…You’ll speed through this read.” —Real Simple

Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy.

Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground.

Hilarious, intelligent, and warm, Crimes Against a Book Club is a delightful look at the lengths women will go to fend for their families and for one another.

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What is your bag of choice?

My bag of choice is a Simply Vera Wang handbag I got at Kohls last year.  It’s like my brain:  roomy, compartmentalized and full of junk.  I love it because it’s practical, but stylish.  My older kids – I have four of these creatures—are getting to a point where they don’t want their mom to embarrass them with her sheer dowdiness.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

I use a mashup of high-end and bargain basement products – whatever works.  I have very dry skin (think tumbleweed) so I need stuff that moisturizes and protects; otherwise, I look like the Crypt Keeper.  My go-tos these days are: Laura Geller’s Spackle Supercharged Primer (moisturizes like nobody’s business), Tarte primer and concealer (takes ten years off my face – I hope), Lancome liquid eyeliner, and Almay multi-coat mascara (cheap, but works great to prevent me from looking like one of those pin-cushion-eyed babies from The Muppets).   Also, since I have frizzy, super thick hair (a Jewfro), I use CHI Shine Infusion hair spray to moisturize and tame my hair.

 

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

Since I live in sunny San Diego, I always carry weapons-grade sunscreen for me and my kids.  I also would never be caught dead without a hairbrush (see Jewfro referenced above) and lipstick.   I use Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Color lipstick.  I love bright, red lipstick, but I am too lazy and disorganized to reapply.

 

What are you currently reading?

YOU’LL GROW OUT OF IT by Jessi Klein.  She’s hilarious (writes for Amy Schumer).  She tells on herself with great honesty.  I also read a ton of Simon Brett murder mysteries.

 

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

Emergency chocolate.  And life savers for when the emergency chocolate runs out.  I use candy bribes on my children and myself.

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via Amazon ~

From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behindeffortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

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What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?

I have three bags I switch around throughout a week: a red Kate Spade shoulder bag, a saddle-brown Michael Kors bag that looks like a piece of luggage, and the black leather Moda Luxe you caught me with today.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks? 

bareMinerals is my go-to for all beauty products, from facial lotion to lipstick. It’s the only brand I’ve come across that works for me. It doesn’t dry out my skin or feel too heavy.

 

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

Lipstick! My everyday color is the bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Rise Up. You’ll also find the Mentha Shimmer Tint lip gloss in Bare Mint flavor from Co. Bigelow in that fuzzy leopard print cosmetic bag along with the bareMinerals performance wear powder foundation I use for touchup throughout the day. A new favorite is the invisible glow powder highlighter I received with my last bareMinerals purchase. It was the freebie gift and gives your cheeks and chin that dazzling magazine shimmer you see in ads.

 

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

I prefer to travel light, even around town, so I don’t carry paperbacks. I’ve been a die-hard e-reader since Amazon first launched the Kindle. (I used to own the flagship white brick version.) Right now I’m reading several books on  my Kindle Oasis, a couple of early reads for books publishing in 2018 along with Camille Pagan’s FOREVER IS THE WORST LONG TIME.

 

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

I wouldn’t necessarily call them fun, but I ALWAYS must have my Tory Burch (prescription) Sunglasses and Coach bifocals. (Gah! My poor eyes.) You don’t see it in the photo (because I ate it), but I always carry an RxBar. My favorite is the cocoa and date bar. And thanks to my fair English-Scottish complexion, you’ll always find Supergoop lip balm in SPF 30 and CeraVe Sunscreen face lotion in SFP 50 in my bag.

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Thanks to Kathy and Kerry!

What’s in my Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Maria Murnane

One thing I love about book blogging is discovering new, fabulous authors like Maria Murnane.  We connected via email and she sent her AH-mazing books my way.  Her latest, Bridges, is out now and is the quintessential female fiction as well as her already popular Waverly Bryson Series.  (Psst, if you have Prime and the Kindle App, the first book is free- you’re welcome.)  Read below to see Maria’s funky tote filled with a fave beauty product of mine- MAC lipstick!

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via Amazon~

From the bestselling author of the Waverly Bryson series.

It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it.

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears.

And laughter. And love.

The fun-loving trio readers fell for in Wait for the Rain is together once more. Here’s to the power of friendship!

My purse

What is your bag of choice?
I love tote bags because they are so easy. I don’t care about brands– I bought the one in this photo at a street fair in Vietnam for $7!
 
What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
I love Mac lipstick– my favorite color is Midimauve
 
What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  
The two products I have with me at all times are lipstick and hand lotion. I have the dryest hands– it is so annoying!
 
What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)
I’m currently reading a novella called Broken Bay. My friend Andrea Dunlop wrote it!
 
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂
This photo shows my staples: my Kindle, my lipstick, my hand lotion, my sunglasses, my business cards, my Altoids, and my mini-purse for money, etc. The only thing missing is my phone, which I needed to take the picture. 🙂

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*Thanks Maria for sharing your bag and the gift of your books!

What’s in my Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Stacey Lender

Stacey Lender‘s debut novel City Mouse is nothing short of fantastic.  Compared to The Real Housewives, Lender takes on suburbia, friendship and motherhood- all ingredients for a perfect beach read and page-turner.  I am delighted she shared her bag with us today and HIGHLY recommend City Mouse for your beach bag paired with a crisp glass of wine because that’s what all suburban wives and mom’s do…right?  Also I immediately fell in love with Stacey when she shared her vintage Gucci make-up bag, gasp!

CITY MOUSE

via Amazon ~

“A hilarious book about the city vs. suburb divide.”
New York Post, a Must-Read Book

“City Mouse is a sharp and sophisticated novel of suburban life with a narrative voice that is equal parts witty, observant, and vulnerable. A wonderful debut!
Susan Isaacs, New York Times best-selling author

“For every city mom who fears death by suburbia–and for every suburban mom who wonders if it’s just her–this insightful, funny trip into the secrets behind those picket fences is required reading.”
Maureen Sherry, author of Opening Belle

“City Mouse reminds mothers of that priceless lesson: the grass is always greener…and maybe even alcohol-soaked Astroturf. I tore through this book like a bored, competitive housewife tears through her Xanax.”
Faith Salie, author of Approval Junkie

“Lender sharply portrays the corrupt privilege of upper-middle-class suburbanites, and with a twist of her pen, the Stepford Wives take the upper hand over their husbands…the climactic explosion takes everyone by surprise. A bracingly tart portrait of suburban hell.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Lender’s enlightening, beautifully plotted novel dives deep into the notion of having it all while playing with the shallow notions of the American dream.”
Publishers Weekly

“This defines a beach read for me! So relatable to our own lives as it is all about mom trying to find out exactly where she fits in the in the scheme of suburbia–all that goes along with it. Plus, when a book is described as The Stepford Wives meets Bad Moms, how can you go wrong?”
Mom of the Year (blog), included in 20 Best Summer Books

“It’s not long before neighborhood secrets give away to scandal, proving the grass–and the Astroturf–isn’t always greener on the other side of the white-picket fence.”
Star Magazine

“With real estate prices on the rise, Jessica, Aaron, and their kids are forced to ditch their chichi Manhattan digs for the suburbs. Though she had her worries, Jessica settles into her new normal with ease–but when she embarks on a moms-only trip with her new galpals, she ends up learning a few eye-opening lessons that spur her to reevaluate her life.”
OK! Magazine

“Lender’s debut novel is positively irresistible. It’s hilarious and insightful and just the type of book any city girl needs to tote to her vacation rental this summer…even with three kids in tow.”
Daytime Confidential

Priced out of their Manhattan neighborhood, Jessica and Aaron move with their young daughters to the one place Jessica swore she’d never go: the suburbs. But to Jessica’s surprise, life in the commuter belt makes a great first impression. She quickly falls in with a clique of helpful mom friends who welcome her with pitchers of margaritas, neighborhood secrets, and a pair of hot jeans that actually fit.

Still, it’s hard to keep up in a crowd where everyone competes for the most perfectly manicured home and latest backyard gadgets. And what’s worse, as the only working mom in her circle, Jessica sometimes feels disconnected and alone. So she’s thrilled when she’s invited to a moms-only weekend at the beach, which she assumes will mean new opportunities for real talk and bonding. Instead, the trip turns into a series of eye-opening lessons, and Jessica must decide if she’s strong enough to be honest with herself about the sort of life she really wants.

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What is your bag of choice?

I recently discovered this great brand Verloop Knits, and am in love with my new summer tote. It’s so happy and bright and has such a beautiful texture – plus it can go straight from the beach to a lunch meeting. It’s a perfect match for my W.H. Petronela Python iPad sleeve.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

When it comes to beauty products and makeup, I’m all about speed and a natural everyday look. For skincare, Tatcha Brightening Serum is incredibly sheer and lightweight and gives my skin an amazing glow. Kevyn Aucoin has so many terrific products, especially the eyeshadow and long-lasting Precision Eye Definer (bonus: it never needs a sharpener). For lips, I like NARS lip gloss because it isn’t sticky, and when I step it up at night and wear lipstick, this sparkly tube of Lipstick Queen’s All that Jazz says, ‘it wouldn’t kill you to put on a pair of heels.’

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

Elta MD SPF 46 sunscreen is seriously the best product out there for sensitive skin and one of my everyday musts. I always throw a pair of sunglasses in my bag (and have quite a collection of $5 street fair specials), but when I splurge, my go-to shades are Lafont Paris.

What are you currently reading?

Summer is my favorite time to chill with a good book, and I like to mix it up with juicy novels, memoirs, biographies, and short story collections. Colum McCann is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve been catching up on some of his works including Thirteen Ways of Looking. Last month I was at an event where author and comedienne Cynthia Kaplan read one of her hilarious essays about sex after childbirth, and I can’t wait to dig into Leave the Building Quickly. Also on my must-reads for summer: Abby Fabiaschi’s debut I Liked My Life and Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke’s The Good Widow.

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

In high school I saved up for this Gucci makeup bag, and while I’ve upgraded its contents since those Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker days, to say that this little bag has stood the test of time is an understatement. It’s been with me on my roadie travels across the country, at my wedding, and a million everyday stops in between. Oh the stories this bag could tell…

 

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*Many thanks to stacey for sharing her gorgeous, summery tote and blessing us with a wonderful beach read ❤

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Michele Campbell

I have been featuring some great summer thrillers lately on my Insta and Michele Campbell’s, It’s Always the Husband is nothing short of that.  A thrilling and chilling debut that is sure to keep you guessing until the very end.  I was so excited when she shared her STUNNING Louis Vuitton tote filled with fabulous beauty products and fun accessories.  Plus she is another New England gal, near and dear to my heart!

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via Amazon ~

“This book is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.” –Redbook Magazine

“Fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn meet your next obsession.” ―BuzzFeed

“In the tradition of Big Little Lies comes the excellently titled It’s Always the Husband, a thriller about three friends–frenemies, really–who met as college roommates.” –New York Post

*Named one of “50 Best Books for the Beach” by Coastal Living
*Named one of “7 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Month” by InStyle
*Named one of “6 Books to Cure Your Little Big Lies Withdrawal” by Elle.com
*Named one of “20 Must-Read Books for Spring 2017” by Redbook
*Named one of “8 Thrillers You Will Devour This Summer” by BuzzFeed

“A page-turning whodunnit that will speak to anyone who’s ever had a frenemy.” –Ruth Ware, bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin Ten

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver―brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.

But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.

How did it come to this?
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion.

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What is your bag of choice?

I travel a lot, and my go-to carry-on is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull.  I know, everyone and her sister owns this bag!  But for a reason.  It’s stylish and durable and has an incredible ability to shape-shift.  I can fit half my wardrobe in it and still scrunch it up and shove it under the seat in front of me — which means I never have to gate-check it.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I love Dr. Hauschka products, especially the rose-scented hand cream.  I’m also crazy for lipstick, especially MAC, which is now available in lots of airports.  I buy it in two color ranges — nude/pink for day and deep-red for evening — over and over again to the point that I end up with multiples of the same color.  Gotta work on controlling that!

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

I can’t live without Jo Malone’s Vitamin E lip conditioner (so moisturizing, and tastes yummy) and Coola’s Face sunscreen, which goes on like a dream.  Also, for a long plane flight, I love to bring one of those Evian rosewater spritzers — so refreshing!

What are you currently reading?

I never get on an airplane without something thrilling to read.  I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of The Breakdown, by B. A. Paris, which is so suspenseful I can’t put it down.

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

When I travel, I always bring my laptop, because planes are a surprisingly great place to write.  I have a Dell notebook-size one that fits on a tray table.  I always have headphones with me so I can plug into some good tunes.  And I love to tuck the Longchamp Le Pliage backpack into my carry-on so I can do a little sightseeing or go for a long walk wherever I am.  It’s a classic, folds up tiny and weighs nothing.

Michele_Campbell_CREDIT Sigrid Estrada

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❤ Thanks to Michele for sharing her bag and for her fabulous beach read this summer!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? 4th of July edition ~ Lisa Duffy

Happy 4th of July!  Time to celebrate and read a good book 🙂  I am so happy to have another local author and gal, Lisa Duffy on the blog sharing her debut book, The Salt House.  This is the perfect beach read or getaway book.  With rave reviews since its June release, The Salt House is a dramatic and emotional story that will hook you from the beginning, a must-read of 2017.

The Salt House cover

via Amazon ~

*Real Simple “Best Books of June”
*Refinery29 “Best Beach Reads of 2017”

In the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova, this gorgeously written, heartbreaking, yet hopeful debut set during a Maine summer traces the lives of a young family in the aftermath of tragedy.

In the coastal town of Alden, Maine, Hope and Jack Kelly have settled down to a life of wedded bliss. They have a beautiful family, a growing lobster business, and the Salt House—the dilapidated oceanfront cottage they’re renovating into their dream home. But tragedy strikes when their young daughter doesn’t wake up from her afternoon nap, taking her last breath without making a sound.

A year later, each member of the Kelly family navigates the world on their own private island of grief. Hope spends hours staring at her daughter’s ashes, unable to let go. Jack works to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to avoid his crumbling marriage. Their daughters, Jess and Kat, struggle to come to terms with the loss of their younger sister while watching their parents fall apart.

When Jack’s old rival, Ryland Finn, threatens his fishing territory, he ignites emotions that propel the Kelly family toward circumstances that will either tear them apart—or be the path to their family’s future.

Told in alternating voices, The Salt House is a layered, emotional portrait of marriage, family, friendship, and the complex intersections of love, grief, and hope

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  • What is your bag of choice?

I have a thing for hobo bags. I’m not picky about the designer–it’s all about the color anddesign, sort of a love at first sight type of thing.

 

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?

My go to perfume is Lush’s Lust. They call it “Unabashedly carnal jasmine”. I’m stocking up on it just in case they ever decide to discontinue the scent. I’m also a hand cream junkie. The prettier the tube, the better. My sister-in-law introduced me to L’Occitaine’s Shea Butter and I’m loving.

 

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

I always have a tube/container of lip balm (or ten) at the bottom of my bag. I don’t wear lipstick, and I love clear (not sticky!) lip moisturizers. Lush’s Ultrabalm is my go-to because it comes in this cool tin, and it’s all purpose…feels great on lips and hands.

 

  • What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)?

I just finished an ARC of Elise Hooper’s The Other Alcott. An excellent debut out this September about the untold story of May Alcott.

 

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

I try to always throw my Kindle in my bag. It comforts me to travel with it so if I’m stuck waiting somewhere, I can always just use the time to relax and read.

Lisa Duffy credit © Tom Wheble

Thanks to Lisa for sharing her bag and make sure to pick up a copy of The Salt House!

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Hannah McKinnon

Who is getting ready for the 4th of July?!?!  I am excited to have the next week off and plan on finishing up some books and jumping into some fabulous beach reads.  I am thrilled to be able to feature Hannah McKinnon’s latest, The Summer House and have her share her BEACH BAG!  Hello.  Quintessential beach read and fabulous author’s beach bag?  Can we say perfect 4th weekend kick off 🙂

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via Amazon ~

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. 

Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.

No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

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What is your bag of choice?

With summer upon us and beach reads on the brain, my go-to beach bag is my Mar Y Sol valencia beach tote. I love the raffia, I love the fact that I can fit everything in it from sunscreen and snacks to books and a beach towel. And for a girl who trends toward earth tones and neutrals, the Madagascar orange color is such a fun pop!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Cruelty-free and paraben-free products are important to me. I love to shop Sephora, but as a working mom of two little girls, the local drugstore often has to do. Moisturizer is my number one beauty pick: its amazing what a good one can do. I love Alba Botanica moisturizers with sunscreen. A beauty favorite that I discovered on Cape Cod one summer is Kiss Me in the Garden. I adore their No 04 Lemongrass & Verbena shea butter balm. Locally made, and all natural, it feels indulgent and it smells divine; I use it all over! You can find them online, and they offer a custom blending bar, too.

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

As a fair-haired and sensitive skinned-girl, little blemishes or tired eyes stand out. I love Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque. A swipe of sheer e.l.f. lipgloss and I’m good to go.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Wally Lamb’s ‘I’ll Take You There’. I’ve always been a big Wally fan. For summer, nothing beats an Elin Hilderbrand book.

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

My RayBan’s go everywhere with me! Polarized protection for blue eyes and a quick fix to pull your look together. As a mom, my two other must-haves are sunscreen and snacks. Babyganics is a great mineral-based sunscreen for sports and outdoor play. I also keep my bag flush with food- my girls love Annie’s and Honest Kids. We make a solid organic effort, but you’ll find Doritos in there, too! Well, at least the crumbs.

Much as I’m loathe to admit it, the first day of summer is probably the ONLY time my beach bag actually looks this put together! By day two- with kids, pets, and beaches- it’s full of sticky juice containers, sandy granola bar wrappers, and who knows what else. My younger daughter has been known to pop one of our pet chickens in there to carry around. Even she knows the value of a good sized tote!

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