Friday, December 15, 2017

Guest Post | Staying Motivated during the Holiday Season by Fitness IGer RippedRobin

You have to give this girl lots of love on IG today because it's her birthday! You know her as babytooth, but today bday baby RippedRobin aka my bestie and baby sissy is taking over! She slays in the kitchen and in the gym and is mega funny. Go give her a follow and bday wish after you read her tips & tricks for staying motivated, xo!

When your blogging bestie texts you “want to write a guest post?” you obviously say yes! So, here I am sharing a topic with you that many people, myself included struggle with. What’s that? Accountability during the holidays! And I’m not talking accountability in regards to going into the 9 to 5 rather than calling out and binging Lifetime Christmas movies but health and fitness.

If you’re like me the closing of the year goes by in a blink of an eye. I’m talking thanksgiving ends and all of sudden is January 2nd.. For some of us the end of the year is a time to push harder and finish those goals strong. But for others its that oh sh!t I didn’t do anything this year worth sharing on NYE. So what I am giving you today, rather than ramble on for days about how to stay accountable I’m giving you 5 tips and tricks to help finish 2017 how it start or how to get started, you ready? Deep breath, you’ve got this…

5 tips and tricks for finishing 2017
 •    Make time for yourself. I get it, theirs only 10 days till Christmas and 16 days left in the year, BUT that’s 10/16 WHOLE days! Every day dedicate as much time as you can for yourself in anyway shape or form. An extra minute in the hot shower focusing on your breath, 5 minute yoga session before bed, or a 30 minute jog to clear your head. If you need, write this time down and schedule like it’s an important meeting with yourself…which leads me to tip two.
 •    Get excited to sweat. Write down your sweat schedule and stick to it! Find a killer playlist and hype yourself up to get sweaty.  Its cold outside and your body needs it. Seriously, sweating detoxes and helps flush all those buffalo wings we pounded back at Friendmas. Not sure what to do to get sweaty? Google high intensity interval training , check out a hot yoga class, or a local spin studio (hint hint, ride with me!)…now for 3.
 •    Go to a fitness class. It’s easy to avoid that post-it that says “hey hot stuff, go get sweaty”, its not easy to pay that $5 no show fee after scheduling a class. Classes help keep us accountable and the best part – you don’t have to think about what to do for a workout. There’s literally someone guiding you the whole time and a class full of people helping to keep you motivated.  Speaking of thinking lets move onto 4…
 •    Think* before you eat. Holidays are time to indulge. Yes I said it, indulge – BUT indudge while still thinking. I would never tell someone not to eat his or her favorite holiday cookie during Christmas. It seriously comes once a year and we need to savor the flavors. What I am suggesting is that we take a few seconds before we go back for handful of cookies, that third helping of buttery mashed potatoes, or that entire bag of red and green peanut m&ms and let the brain belly connect. Are we still hungry? No.  Are we satisfied with the taste already? Yes. Than pack some up leftovers or back away from the cookie platter and get back to table full of laughter and love. *think not over think – no need to over think the calories, carb count, points, etc just a simple mind body check point before getting back into the holiday cheer!
 •    Last but not least, the final tip I have for you. It’s a big one. It’s the game changer, it’s the golden ticket…drum roll please. :::::drums::::: LIVE YOUR LIFE. We’ve heard it all before, life is short. But for realz y’all it is. We are so focused on changing our bodies, not eating carbs, pining to be the biddies on IG that we forget to just live. We spend so much time practicing balance that we forget to put down the phone and just stare at the beauty of the Christmas lights. Take a moment and look up from this blog and just look at something pretty….just a moment. Okay, good. Keep reading…

I could sit here and tell you how to count macros during the holidays and give you healthy swaps but what kind of life is that? I can promise you that if you do tips 1 to 4, whole heartedly make time for yourself, get sweaty, take a class, and think before eating - you’ll enter 2018 feeling excited, accomplished, confident, and ready to throw the deuces up to ’17. I mean after all, it’s the ending everyone remembers right? ;)

Want to read more or see how I keep myself motivated on the daily? Follow me on IG: rippedrobin 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Bucket List!

I took a poll on IG stories and you guys wanted to see my Christmas bucket list! So here it is! Some of these things I've already done & will mark off. Leave me your Christmas must dos below, xo!


Little Kayla; less hair, just as pale

  • Watch as many Christmas movies-I work on this one often...pretty much nightly if the Rangers aren't on!
  • Make Christmas cookies-done last Sunday. Need to make some more!
  • Make a gingerbread house-actually doing this tonight!
  • Go to see the local light displays; there's one we go to every year and we're adding a new one this year.
  • Run through a pop up tree lot-doing this tonight as well :)
  • Read a Christmas book that is basically a Hallmark movie
  • Have some Christmas themed treats-like that reindeer cookie from Starbs or make my own Christmas tree pancakes
  • See Santa and tell him what I want for Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Gift Guide | For Him

Now, I already know what you're thinking...for him, really? Well yes, I always build these with my future Mr. Bubbly in mind! And I think these gifts are great for any man in your life!


top left to top right;
Charcoal Soap | Etsy $6.50 -great stocking stuffer!
Cologne | Gucci Pour Homme $90
Earbuds | B&O Play H3 $149
Watch | Biden Steel Mesh Band $24.35 -on sale, almost 1/2 off!
Briefcase | Incase City 13" $70
Shampoo | $24
Sunnies | Polarized Alloy Pilot $15 -3 diffrent lense colors
Shaving Kit | 4-pc shaving kit $9.74 -this is a steal!
Sneakers | Lacoste Chaymon Leather $79.99 -unable to find on the site, but tons similar
Phone case | similar $31
Water bottle | $35
Beanie | Heat Holder Beanie $14
Wallet | $24 -so many different styles!
Slippers | Ugg Men's Scuff $111

I just joined ebates, make sure you sign up to earn cash back when shopping at some of the stores above :) Let me know what you think of my picks, xo! 

Also, a HUGE giveaway just went live on my so after you shop for him, go get yourself entered!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Guest Post | Holiday Makeup Tips & Must Haves by Makeup Artist Ashley Landry

It's no secret I think Ashley is one of the most talented and underrated makeup artists on YouTube, so I wanted her to stop by today to share her tips for holiday makeup and must haves for Christmas! Be sure you give her a follow on the soc meeds and subscribe to her YT channel cause she just slays every look! Also, if you live in the NJ/NY area, she's available for bookings and was rated in The Knot as best makeup artists!! Take it away, Ash, xo!

The holidays are of course my favorite time of year!  Not only do you get to see all your loved ones but you get to engulf yourself in so many cookies that you gain 10 pounds before the new year starts.  As a makeup artist, creating holiday looks is always my favorite part of every December.  You can do anything you want and sparkle as bright as the star on your Christmas tree!  I wanted to share some of my favorite makeup tips of the holidays and some products that beginners can ask for from old Saint Nick!

Tip #1 - Glitter is always a good idea!
When it comes to the holidays, glitter is always a must!  I feel like every kind of look has some type of sparkle whether on the lid or for an inner corner highlight.  Glitter is your best friend for this time of year.

Tip #2 - Red lipstick is a must!
Whether you love red lipstick or not, the holidays is the perfect time to try it out!  Red lips can be intimidating because there are so many shades out there.  My tip is to just try a bunch!  You never know what shade you will love and what will look the best on your skin tone.

Tip #3 - Metallic lipsticks are GORGEOUS at the holidays!
I was never a huge huge fan of the metallic liquid lip craze until I tried it for myself.  My favorite’s are by Colourpop! They are inexpensive and don’t make your lips extremely dry.  I love going in with a red lipstick and then top it off with the metallic color.  It really just bumps up your holiday look and ties everything together.

Tip #4 - Anything goes at the holidays!
You can honestly do anything that you want at the holidays!  It’s the time of year where you can wear as much highlight as you want, as much glitter as you want, and the most glamorous lashes.  Be creative and be yourself!

My picks for products to get for beginners!

#1 - A neutral eyeshadow palette!
It’s perfect for beginners because you can start simple with creating eye looks.
Persona Cosmetics Identity Palette -
LORAC Pro Palette -
Elcie Cosmetics The Minimalist Palette -

#2 - Get a palette where you can get out of your comfort zone!
The biggest tip I have for beginners is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things!  If you stick with neutral and simple colors (though they are they base of every look), you will stay with the same kind of looks.  If you bring in colors and sparkles, then it makes you a better artist to do different things.  You learn more when you do things you aren’t used to.
Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Palette -

#3 - A good set of brushes!
Brushes are essential to creating the perfect looks and believe me.. a good brush makes all the difference!  I always recommend beginners to invest in a good set of brushes.  Yes they aren’t cheap and yes it’s a big purchase.. but you will have them for a very very long time.  The brushes I have received 4 years ago I still use to this day!  You can start out with Morphe Brushes or Sigma Brushes which are my two favorite brush companies!

I hope you all enjoyed my tips and picks for the holidays!  Have a great holiday season and I hope Santa brings you everything your makeup heart desires!

 ♥ SIGMA BRUSHES: Click the link 
Use code “ASHLEY” for 10% off site wide! 
 ♥ FOLLOW ME: ** INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @aa_landry 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas Night In!

I know the season just started, but if your calendar looks anything like mine you're already thinking about the next down time you have! As fun as it is making memories, self care is also super important-it's called balance, people! So throw on your fave pair of festive pjs and fuzzy socks cause today I'm sharing my Christmas Night In ideas with you! 

I couldn't help but share this outtake :)

Christmas Night In Essentials

1. Warm Drink of Choice; I've been hooked on the Trader Joe's Winter Wake Up tea, but I'm a sucker for a fun hot chocolate so I searched for some recipes:
2. Movies; It's no secret that I live for the Hallmark Channel this time of year. Here's a list of all of the movies I have to see each holiday season:
  • Christmas with the Kranks-I watch this all year long, at least once a month.
  • The Santa Clause 1-3 (fun fact: the first one is my favorite movie of all time!)
  • Elf-duh.
  • It's A Wonderful Life-we watch this every Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Every Day-this is a CLASSIC. 
  •  The Ultimate Christmas Present-it's on demand, so you can watch it often...which I may or may not do!
  • Finding Santa-this is a new Hallmark one, but it's super cute
  • Dear Santa-such a cute made for tv movie with a sweet message.
  • The Sweetest Christmas-another Hallmark classic.
3. Face mask; Now just cause you're staying in doesn't mean you can't be prepping your skin for your next big holiday gathering! Some of my fave face masks;
4. A good book; If you prefer to read, then I've rounded up some Christmas titles that look SO good!
 What's your must haves on a night in? Let me know in the comments, xo!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gift Guide | For Her

Ahhh, it's already time for gift guides! Holy crap, where did the year go?! I'm starting off with my GG for Her, cause it's really just a wish list for me (haha!) Let's dive right in!

top left to top right;
Sunnies | similar TopShop on sale $55
Necklace | Ettika Layered Charm Choker $40  & similar Baublebar Abbie Y-Choker $36
Scarf | similar Mango Fringed Edge Scarf $49.99
Beret | $30.95 -comes in wool or cotton!
Bag | $12.81
Watches | black; $20 white-similar; $14
Gloves | Ugg Bow Waterproof Sheepskin $155 -comes in 3 different colors!
Scarf | Gap-none similar, but lots of finds!
Necklace | Ettika Multi-Layer Celestial Charm Necklace $60
Phone cases | $29 & $27.90
Beanie | $8 -want, need, must have!
Backpack | similar Aldo $30
 Earrings | Gabriela Stud Tassel Earrings $48 -comes in 13(!) colors


Eyeshadow Palette | Mac Cosmetics $32 -this might be discontinued, but they have tons of singles
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer | Tarte Cosmetics $27
Marc Jacobs Beauty Nail Laquer | Sephora $18
Christian Louboutin Nail Polish | Sephora $50
Smith & Cult Nail Polish | $18
Fresh Sugar Lip Balm | Sephora $18 -similar and it's caramel flavor, so it's a win!
Blush Brick | $48
YSL Lipstick | Nordstrom $37 -so many colors!
Fenty Beauty Lip Gloss | Sephora $18 -designed to look good on every skin tone
Anastasia Glow Kit | Anastasia $40
Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Highlighter | Sephora $38
What's on your wishlist? Let me know if the comments and stay tuned for a more gift guides to come, xo!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Review | Onyx Youth Magnetic Face Mask

 *this post is sponsored by Onyx Youth, all opinions are my own!

I don't know about you, but I am always on the lookout for the next thing to keep my face looking young and glowy! When Onyx Youth reached out to me to try their new magnetic face mask, I was more than intrigued. I checked out the website to see how it works and what it's made out of and was surprised to find it's formulated with 20 enriching amino acids, 17 natural botanical oils, Korean volcanic scoria, vitamins and minerals. These ingredients have been scientifically tested and designed to provide your skin with essential nutrients to restore its elasticity, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and enhance your natural beauty. Count me in!

The kit comes with a jar of the magnetic mask, an easy to hold applicator, magnetic wand to remove, and 20 plastic covers. A little goes a long way with the mask and it goes on nice and thick. You know I don't care for fragrant things on my face and I'm happy to report there is little to no smell! Once you have the mask all over your face, it's time to wait 5 to 10 minutes before the fun part. Which is more than enough time to take a bunch of selfies...!

After my 10 minutes were up, my face didn't feel hard at all and I could still talk which is always nice. I put the cover on the wand and was ready to put this baby to the test...and guess what? It worked like a CHARM! The way the wand pulls off the mask didn't hurt one bit, in fact it felt kinda of cool and luxurious. After you get all of the mask off, the directions say to rub the remaining mask in and to not use water (which I made the mistake of using water to clean the applicator, it just smears all over-save yourself the trouble and use a paper towel instead!). As I was wiping my face, the first thing I noticed was how smooth my skin was! And it was glowing, like I just had an hour facial, glowing!

before and after
Now, don't take my word for it, head over to their new website and use the code: bemagnetic at checkout to receive 20% off your very own magnetic mask kit! That's right, 20% OFF! 

A huge thanks to Kristen and the crew over at Onyx Youth for sending me the kit and giving 20% off to all of you. If you pick up your own kit, be sure to use the hashtags;  #MagnetMask #MagnetBeauty so I can stalk your pretty faces, xo!

Follow Onyx Youth on the soc meads!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Play by Sephora | November Box

 This month's Play by Sephora subscription box was really good and had a little bit for everyone! I'm going to test out these products for two weeks and then I'll be back to let you know my thoughts!

Do you get a monthly sub box? Let me know in the comments, xo!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas!

I took a poll and outfit ideas for tgiving won, so here we are...! My Thanksgiving is pretty low key and not all about the glam life; a cute sweater, jeans, booties, and some accessories and you're out the door! Let's get real, you need to wear something comfy so you can curl up for your after dinner nap, or if you're like my fambam a board game. No matter how to celly turkey day, I've got you covered!

Olive green has been my favorite color this fall season (which should come as no surprise!) I paired this oversized tee with jeans, booties, and this great bomber by Sancutary which I picked up from Elizabeth Boutique. It's such a fun, trendy piece that looks great over anything! We spend so much time picking out our outfits that we forget about our outwear! This jacket will change that!
You may have caught my IGstory try-on this past Saturday where I tried on a bunch of sweaters perfect for tgiving. I also tried on a bunch of fun tops of holiday parties which I'll bring to you in another post soon! Here's a bunch of my favorite sweaters from the shop including some of the most coziest I've ever tried on!

Fringe Sweater this runs a little small, so size up! It has the cutest sleeves with fringe detail. 

Off the Shoulder this runs true to size and is SO SOFT! Also the color is gorgeous and makes it not just another brown sweater.

V-Back Tunic I didn't try this one on, but wish I did. It's so cute and would look perfect with dark demin.  

Camo Pullover another one I didn't try on, but I talked a customer into buying. This is the softest sweatshirt and can be dressed up or dressed down. This is one you'll want to live in!

Zip-up Jacket another soft piece that has a lot of character with the diagonal zipper. I personally liked it unzipped half way. It created a flattering V-neck.

What do you wear on tgiving-super causal or all dolled up? Let me know in the comments, xo!

*this post is sponsored by Elizabeth Boutique, all opinions are my own!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thanksgiving Menu by Aven Ellis!

Letting one of my favorite people take over p&b today...she's not only an epic author, amazing friend/advice giver, but she SLAYS in the kitchen. Aven...take it away, xo! *ps, be sure to peep the end of this post for something extra sweet!


Thanksgiving. Yes, you can do it!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Why? Because it’s all about the friends, family and food. I thrive on Thanksgiving Day. As someone who loves to cook, it’s my big game day of the year. I plan my menu. I do all the shopping, I make a timeline of when things need to be done (more on that later) but I live for it.
But for some of you this is a foodie nightmare. The idea of hosting a big meal, timing everything just right, crossing your fingers for a non-dry bird-can be super stressful.
Never fear! I’ve got a simple Thanksgiving menu for you that will make you Food Network ready in no time. Ready to get started? Okay, let’s do this Thanksgiving thing!

First Step: Plan your menu.
This requires some thought. One of the key things I learned back in seventh grade, thanks to a teacher named Mrs. Nyland, was that you never want multiple sides in the same color. Think about this. Turkey with squash and sweet potatoes? With green beans and sprouts? A colorful plate is a beautiful plate.
I also like to mix some lightness into the menu. There’s no need for Thanksgiving dinner to be all heavy, calorie-dense foods. Pick your favorites, but pick with balance. I’m a big believer in a harvest-theme salad on the Thanksgiving table as a counter balance to the stuffing/dressing. (Stuffing-baked in the bird. Dressing-baked in a dish.) The menu I’m showing you today is simple with complimenting flavors:

Maple Glazed Turkey Breast
Harvest Salad-Mixed Greens with roasted delicata squash, honey goat cheese, dried cranberries, hazelnuts and a maple balsamic vinaigrette. (Not your thing? Easy subs! You can do pear, pecans, blue cheese. Apples and walnuts. Make it yours!)
Mashed sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes
Bread stuffing or cornbread dressing
Cranberry sauce
Pumpkin pie

Second Step: Plan your shopping trip.
Get your recipes together and make the list out by sections: produce, meat, dairy, frozen, and miscellaneous. Shopping in order will make you super organized.

Third Step: Create your timeline.

I usually make my cranberry sauce a few days before and let it hang out in the fridge. Homemade cranberry sauce is super easy! I simply use the recipe the back of the bag. Like it jellied? Dozens of ways to make that, too.
Pie? I bake the day before. The night before I also do all my prep for stuffing/dressing: chop onions, celery, etc. and store in containers so you are ready to go on game day.
I also create a timeline working back from when I want to eat. I write a schedule: when to take out the turkey breast, when to put in the oven, when to put the dressing in, when to start potatoes. This gives me a feeling of control having the game plan, and it’s something I don’t skip in preparation.

Fourth Step: Cooking.
I love turkey breast on the bone, easy to manage and cook. Need to feed more? You can cook two at the same time. Victory. Here’s a recipe for you to try:
For a classic bread stuffing, you can’t go wrong with this one:
The salad with delicata squash (the goat cheese/hazelnuts/cranberries were my additions):
And I love this pumpkin pie by Danielle Walker:

And while you have a break in between dishes, you can set the table. Or do it the night before, or that morning. Above is a sample place setting with salad fork, dinner fork, bread plate, knife and spoon and wine glass. As far as wine? I love pinot noir with my Thanksgiving meal-but I say drink what you like.

Fifth Step: ENJOY YOURSELF! And because you’ve worked so hard, you go watch football while others do the dishes, okay?
Happy Thanksgiving!

And since Thanksgiving is the start of the giving season; Aven is giving away an e-copy of her rom-com hit Surviving the Rachel!

Entering is easy, follow both of us on IG: @avenellis @polishedandbubbly and leave a comment below telling us what your fave Thanksgiving food is! Winner will be announced on my IGStory on Saturday, November 25th!

Monday, November 13, 2017

a book in review | Trust by Kylie Scott

Brief Summary:

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.


This story starts out like none I've ever read. The hostage scene feels so real like you are right there with Edie. Kylie's writing style is unique and gripping. Her ability to tell a life like story is amazing. She holds your attention page in and page out. Edie is a character that you will need to see through her journey. And John is a bad boy that will steal you heart. This book is one that will stick with you for days after you read it. I recommend this 4 star book to anyone who likes a gripping New Adult book that has heart, xo! 

To purchase:

Friday, November 10, 2017

Unboxing | FabFitFun Sampler Box!

Happy Friday, babes! My dad came home from work a few weeks ago and surprised me with a really cute gym bag that says "meet me at the barre" (which if you didn't know barre is my absolutely obsession). I didn't know where he got the bag from, but I was super happy that he did cause I was in the market for a gym bag. The next day he came home and said "do you know what this is?" and handed me a post-it that said "FabFitFun" on it. I told him I knew what that was, but never tried it. He proceeded to tell me that his coworker receives the boxes and that's where my new gym bag went. He gave her my email and volia! for $2.99 I received my own sampler FabFitFun. Let's see what I got...!

A travel tumbler from which you know is IG worthy with it's cute saying. Next was this GORGEOUS rose gold drop necklace from Luv Aj which I love! I've been eyeing drop necklaces like this for a while and I'm so happy this one came my way. And rose gold = yes, please! And finally is probably my favorite thing in the box, a shadow palette from RealHer. You can see how amazingly beautiful these shadows are below and they are creamy af, I'm obsessed with them, but the best part is 20% from the sales of the RealHer products go to the charity AAWL which supports women. 

I created a few looks with this palette already (one is coming your way real soon!) Let me know if you get any subscription boxes in the comments and what you like best about them, xo!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

5 polishes I can't live without | Collab with Ana from ifthepolishfits

One of my favorite things about blogging is the people you meet on the internet. I have some web-friends that I talk to more everyday than I do people I've known for years. You get to make friends with people who have the same interests as you and never get bored with talking about the new Essie collection like your real life friends do! I teamed up with ifthepolishfits aka Ana who is the sweetest gal from Florida to bring you each of our 5 polishes we can't live without. She's a fellow nailpolishaholic and always has the prettiest pictures on her IG. Check out her picks below!


Ana's picks-Left to Right;

 I love all of her picks and love that she included polishes that scream each season to me! Here's what I came up with and we all know this was super hard for me...

My picks-Left to Right-top;
Left to Right-bottom;

Let us know what colors you can't live without in the comments and be sure to give Ana a follow! We're already working on our next collab for you guys coming next month, xo!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Where have I been...?

Hi, hello, hey, hi there, it's me! I know what you are thinking "excuse me? what is this? A blog post from Kayla?!" Trust me, I get it. I hate when something I like goes away for a bit, but I feel like I was (kinda still am) in a rut. But I am working through this and I hope you all are still here for it! I won't lie, Instagram kinda killed my spirit. I don't post for likes, I don't post for comments, but when you are putting time and effort into each picture, each caption, each edit and then it falls WAY short, it's like a slow pop to a balloon. 

I tried everything over on IG-moving my hashtags, changing my hashtags, making a theme, only posting at the same time on the same days-NOTHING works. The algorithm hates me and well most people. Now I bet you're thinking "but Kayla, you stopped posting here too..." and that's because I was driving a lot of traffic from IG. But whatever, I'm done with worrying about it (okay, I'll still worry and hope they change things over there)...we will continue to roll on over here!

I'm going to stick with a Monday/Wednesday schedule for now with an occasional Friday and I'm happy to say the rest of this month is scheduled! Including a Thanksgiving takeover post with a giveaway that's cooking up to be one for the books! (the hints in that sentence are ENDLESS...) 

I hope you're still are here with me for all the p&b shenanigans to come :) follow me on social media to stay ahead of the game with sneak peeks, xo!

Monday, October 30, 2017

a book in review! | Squeeze Play by Aven Ellis

Full of enthusiasm, recent graduate Hayley Carter is thrilled to be working for a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Having spent a lot of her life in the background due to family circumstances, Hayley is eager to step up and be heard—and bring much needed change to her new organization. With romance on the shelf, it’s time to focus on herself and new career. Armed with a workbook to help her improve on a personal and professional level, Hayley is ready to become a better version of who she already is.

But will a baseball player for the Washington Soaring Eagles challenge her thoughts on not only dating, but the person she thinks she needs to be?

Brody Jensen is the new catcher for the professional team in DC. Baseball is everything to Brody and has been his salvation while growing up. Brody wants to make the most of his full-time shot behind the plate. Which means no serious relationships.

However, when a chance encounter leads him to Hayley, Brody finds himself wanting to know all about the beautiful blonde who has engaged him from the moment he spotted her. Together, they find themselves questioning the ideals they had set for not only relationships, but themselves, too.

When the cherry blossoms bloom in the nation's capital, Cupid puts a squeeze play on Hayley and Brody. Will they be brave enough to love themselves and each other? Will love be called out? Or will their relationship be safe at home?


I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Let's start with this, you do not have to like baseball or even watch baseball to enjoy Squeeze Play! Aven out does her self with her game scene writing in this one, you can tell that she isn't just winging it. Her writing style isn't only descriptive, it's clear it's researched and that she wants to write the most believable book that she can! From the a sweet meet cute to yummy ball park eats, Squeeze Play has it all! Hayley is a girl you are rooting for from the beginning, she has this infectious outlook. And Brody is h-o-t and has a vulnerable side which makes me even hotter! Even the supporting cast will have you talking and hoping they all get their own books, including the sweet couple across the hall. Squeeze Play proves that Aven is an all around romcom genius and is here to stay-in hockey and baseball! I recommend this 5 star home run read to anyone who needs a cherry blossom romance to warm up your fall nights, xo!

Amazon UK -
Amazon US -
Goodreads -

About the Author
I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I’m a hockey nut (Go Stars!) and watch as much as humanly possible. I also love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. In addition to be obsessed with the Duchess, I’m equally obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.

Tour Dates
Polished & Bubbly - 30/10/2017
Simona's Corner of Dreams  - 30/10/2017
Smutty Book Friends - 31/10/2017
Rachel's Random Reads - 31/10/2017
M's Bookshelf- 01/11/2017
Always Books - 02/11/2017
Compelling reads - 02/11/2017
Comet Babes books - 03/11/2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

happy release day!

Full of enthusiasm, recent graduate Hayley Carter is thrilled to be working for a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Having spent a lot of her life in the background due to family circumstances, Hayley is eager to step up and be heard—and bring much needed change to her new organization. With romance on the shelf, it’s time to focus on herself and new career. Armed with a workbook to help her improve on a personal and professional level, Hayley is ready to become a better version of who she already is.

But will a baseball player for the Washington Soaring Eagles challenge her thoughts on not only dating, but the person she thinks she needs to be?

Brody Jensen is the new catcher for the professional team in DC. Baseball is everything to Brody and has been his salvation while growing up. Brody wants to make the most of his full-time shot behind the plate. Which means no serious relationships.

However, when a chance encounter leads him to Hayley, Brody finds himself wanting to know all about the beautiful blonde who has engaged him from the moment he spotted her. Together, they find themselves questioning the ideals they had set for not only relationships, but themselves, too.

When the cherry blossoms bloom in the nation's capital, Cupid puts a squeeze play on Hayley and Brody. Will they be brave enough to love themselves and each other? Will love be called out? Or will their relationship be safe at home?

  I extend the cup toward Brody. “Close your eyes and inhale the tea.”
“What?” Brody asks, appearing surprised.
“Do it,” I encourage.
Brody grins but complies. He dips his head forward and closes his eyes, slowly inhaling the scent of the hot tea in front of him.
This shouldn’t be a sexy experience, but it is. There’s something about watching this gorgeous man close his eyes and breathe in the drink that is a huge turn-on to me.
I refocus before he opens his eyes and catches me staring at him.
“You should be detecting the rich, dark tea, floral scents, and the brightness of citrus, all coming together for a lush, aromatic experience.”
Brody slowly opens his eyes.  “I detected something else.”
“Really? What?” I ask, curious. “Those were the things mentioned on the Earl Grey website I pulled up.”
“I smelled fresh-cut flowers and spice, mixed together,” Brody says. He reaches across the table and gently brushes his thumb across the inside of my wrist, and I shiver as soon as I feel the roughness of his skin move against mine.  “Your perfume is what I noticed.”
I can’t breathe.

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About the Author
I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I’m a hockey nut (Go Stars!) and watch as much as humanly possible. I also love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. In addition to be obsessed with the Duchess, I’m equally obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.
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Friday, October 6, 2017

a book in review!


Playing Defense Tour Kit
Dallas Demons #5 - can be read as a standalone
238 pages
Publisher - Soul Mate Publishing, LLC
Release Date - 27th September 2017

Brief Sumarry:
After a string of bad set-ups and boring dates, Reese Brannon is done with men. She’s focused on her job as a fitness model and blogger. Her life in the city is fun. She’s young. There’s no need to look for a man because she doesn’t want one. Especially when relationships usually end in heartbreak.

Jean-Pierre Rochat—known as JP— is done with women. All this Swiss hockey player has ever wanted is to fall in love, but his relationships never end with a happily ever after. Believing he’s always going to be dealt the friend card, JP is over it. If he’s going to be stuck in the friend zone, he’ll keep things casual for his new endgame.

But will one hot Dallas summer night change everything for Reese and JP?

Because when the two meet again when JP returns for hockey season, Reese finds her attraction to him hasn’t waned since their first meeting. Charming and intelligent, JP is different in all the right ways, but Reese realizes letting him in will make her vulnerable, something that terrifies her. JP never forgot Reese from their initial introduction last winter, and the sparks fly for him even more so the second time. But with Reese, his thoughts are anything but casual . . .

Can JP and Reese let their guards down to take a chance on love? Or will this simply be a game of playing defense?

 I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Okay, I have to start of this review by saying Aven of course out did herself on this one…& I’m not talking about the whole book (cause she did, she always does!), but one scene in particular. This isn’t a spoiler because every romcom has a first kiss, but this first kiss stands apart from any other than I’ve ever read. IT IS THE BEST FIRST KISS EVER WRITTEN. Honestly, Aven took this one to the a whole other level. JP & Reese are one of my fave couples of Aven’s to date. Reese and I are very similar in the whole giving up on dating (still waiting for my JP over here.), but her outlook on dating is very fresh and real life. I promise you this 5 star read is exactly what you need in your post summer life, pick it up and devour it on a weekend, cause you won’t be able to put it down, xo!


About the Author
I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I’m a hockey nut (Go Stars!) and watch as much as humanly possible. I also love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. In addition to be obsessed with the Duchess, I’m equally obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fall Issue of #NEXTonSCENE Magazine

Check out the new fall issue of #NEXTonSCENE to see my on page 18! Also, babytooth makes her big print debut! If you like my articles, let @nextonscene on Instagram know, xo!!
*ps-as great as reading digitally on the go is, you can buy your own copy in print and have it sent right to your door! Visit for details

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sneak Peek | First Chapter of Hooking Up!

Wedding Unbliss
This is the happiest day of my life. I allow that thought to roll around in my head, trying to figure out why it doesn’t seem to resonate the way it should. This should be the happiest day of my life. So I’m not exactly certain why the uneasy feeling I associate with cold feet is getting worse rather than dissipating. I’ve already done the hard part; walked down the aisle and said “I do.”
My husband excused himself to go to the bathroom several minutes ago and, based on Armstrong’s itinerary for the day, speeches are supposed to begin promptly at eight-thirty. According to my phone, that’s less than two minutes from now, and he’s not here. The emcee for the evening is awaiting Armstrong’s return before he begins. And then the real party can start. The one where we get to celebrate our commitment to each other as partners for life. As in the rest of my breathing days. Dear God, why does that make my stomach twist?
I sip my white wine. Armstrong pointed out that red is not a good idea with my dress, even though it’s my preference. Besides, I don’t want it to stain my teeth. That would make for bad pictures.
I glance around the hall and see my parents, who are probably celebrating the fact that I didn’t walk down the aisle with a convicted felon. And frankly, so am I. My dating history pre-Armstrong wasn’t fabulous.
The sheer number of people in attendance spikes my anxiety. Speaking in front of all of these people makes me want to drink more, which is a bad idea. Tipsy speeches could lead to saying the wrong thing. I check my phone under the table again. It’s after eight-thirty. The longer Armstrong takes to return, the further behind we’ll get. The music playlist, devised by Armstrong with painstaking efficiency, leaves no room for tardiness. If we don’t start on time I’ll have to take out a song, or possibly two, to compensate for his delay and he’s selected the order in such a way as to make that difficult and that will annoy him. I just want today to be perfect. I want it to be reflective of my decision to marry Armstrong. That I, Amalie Whitfield, can make good choices and am not a disgrace to my family.
“Where the hell is he?” I scan the room and take another small sip of my wine. I should switch to water soon so I don’t end up drunk, especially later, when all of this is over and we can celebrate our lifelong commitment to each other without clothes on. I’m hopeful it will last more than five minutes.
Ruby, my maid of honor and best friend for the past decade, puts a hand on my shoulder. “Would you like Bancroft to find Armstrong?”
Bancroft, or Bane for short, is Ruby’s boyfriend who she’s been living with for several months. Recently I find myself getting a little jealous of how affectionate they still are with each other, even after all this time. Cohabitation hasn’t slowed them down on the sex or their PDA. I have hope that Armstrong and I will be more like Bane and Ruby now that we’ll be sharing the same bed every night.
I’m about to tell Ruby to give him another minute when a low buzz suddenly fills the hall. It sounds like a school PA system. I start to panic—they can’t start the speeches without Armstrong at my side. What’s the point of speeches if the groom isn’t present?
I’m halfway out of my seat, ready to tell the deejay, or whoever is behind the mic, he needs to wait, when a very loud moan echoes through the room. The acoustics are phenomenal in here, it’s why we chose this venue.
I glance at Ruby to make sure I’m not hearing things. Her eyes are wide. The kind of wide associated with shock. The same shock I’m feeling.
Another moan reverberates through the sound system, followed by the words, “Oh, fuuuck.”
A collective gasp ripples through the now-silent crowd. While the words themselves are scandalous among these guests, it’s the voice groaning them that makes me sit up straighter, and simultaneously consider hiding under the table.
“Fuck yeah. Ah, suck it. That’s it. Deep throat it like a good little slut. Fuuuuuccckkkkk.”
My mouth drops and I look to Ruby to ensure I have not completely lost my mind. “Is that—” I don’t finish the sentence. I already know the answer to the question, so it’s pointless to ask. Besides, I’m cut off by yet another loud groan. I clap a hand over my mouth because I’m not sure I’m able to close it, my disbelief is as vast as the ocean.
Ruby’s expression mirrors mine, except hers is incredibly animated since she’s an actress. “Oh my God. Is that Armstrong?” Her words are no more than a whisper, but they sound very much like a scream. Oh no, wait, that’s just Armstrong on the verge of an orgasm. But these sounds are nothing like the ones he makes when he’s in the throes of passion with me.
I clutch Ruby’s hand. The next sound that comes from him is a hybrid between a hyena laugh and a wolf baying at the moon. And every guest at our wedding is hearing the same thing I am. Our wedding. Someone other than me is blowing my husband at my own wedding. My mortification knows no end.
I grab the closest bottle of wine and dump the contents into my glass. Some of it sloshes over the edge and onto the crisp white tablecloth. It doesn’t matter. There’s plenty more where it came from. I chug the glass, then grab Ruby’s.
People lean in and whisper to each other, eyes lift to the speakers. A few people, the ones who are probably just here for the social-ladder-climbing potential, question who it is.
“Is the deejay watching porn?” That comment comes from a table full of mostly drunk singles in their early twenties.
Several eyes shift my way as I carelessly down Ruby’s wine and someone asks where the groom has disappeared to.
The grunts and groans grow terrifyingly louder. This is nothing like what I’m used to in bed with Armstrong. The dirty words aren’t something he ever uses with me, mostly it’s just noises and sometimes a “Right there” or “I’m close,” but that’s about it. He’s never talked to me like he is to the woman currently providing oral pleasure. And I’m very adept at oral. Although with Armstrong it’s very polite, neat oral, with no sounds other than the occasional hum. Slurping is uncivilized and a definite no-no.
I reach past Ruby for the bottle of red since I don’t really give a flying fuck about purple teeth right now. As I sink low in my seat I pour another glass of wine, surveying the people in the ballroom from behind the cover of the centerpiece. The centerpieces are huge and excessive and I don’t like them at all, but at least provides a protective barrier between the guests and my disgust, which I’m certain they must share. He sounds like a wild animal rutting. It is entirely unsexy. I have no idea who he’s getting intimate with, but I’m suddenly very glad it’s not me.
And doesn’t that tell me more about our relationship than it should.
It’s only been about thirty seconds—the most humiliating thirty seconds of my life—before Armstrong comes. How do I know this? Because he says, very clearly, “Keep sucking, baby, I’m coming.”
And “baby,” whoever she is, makes these horrific gurgling noises. It sounds like some form of alien communication. It’s way over the top, and apparently Armstrong is loving it, based on the string of vile profanity that spews from his asshole mouth.
“Holy crap. Is this for real? That was really fast,” Ruby mutters.
I guzzle my glass of wine. Then decide the glass is unnecessary and take a long swig from the bottle before Ruby snatches it away. Wine dribbles down my chin and onto my chest, staining the white satin purple. My dress is ruined. I should be freaking out. But I really don’t care.
“Come on,” Ruby tugs on my hand. “We need to get you out of here while people are still distracted.”
My older brother Pierce and the emcee are standing in the middle of the hall, gesturing wildly to the speakers above us. My other brother, Lawson, is on his way toward the podium in an attempt to do something. I don’t think there’s anything he can do to stop this train wreck from there.
Ruby tugs again, but I’m frozen, still trying to figure out what exactly just happened. Well, I know what’s happened. I just can’t believe it.
The sound of a zipper and the rustle of clothes follows. “Thanks for that, now I’ll be able to last later tonight,” Armstrong says.
“What about me?” A female asks. Her voice is nasally and whiny.
“What about you?”
“Well I helped you, aren’t you going to help me?”
“Didn’t you come with a date?”
“Well, yes, but—” God her voice is familiar. I just can’t figure out where I know it from.
“My cousin, right? He loves my sloppy seconds. Speeches are starting. I gotta get back to my ball and chain.”
Gasps of horror ripple through the room, followed by a few giggles. These people really are assholes.
I think I’m going to throw up. I can’t believe he’s going to come out here and pretend nothing just happened. Like some other woman didn’t just have her lips around his cock. His distinctly average cock. Maybe even slightly below average in length, if I’m being one hundred percent honest.
A door opens and closes.
Lawson turns on the mic behind the podium and taps it, sending screeching feedback through the room, making people cringe. Too bad no one did that a minute ago.
Murmuring grows louder and glances flicker to the head table and then away as Brittany Thorton, a seriously skanky debutante, comes strutting through the doors, using a compact to check her lipstick. She’s made it her mission to attempt to get into the pants of half the eligible men in this room. She’s followed, not five seconds later, by a very smug-looking Armstrong.
“I’m going to kill him.” I grab the closest steak knife, but it appears my hasty, and possibly felonious, plan is unnecessary. My brothers leave their respective posts and stalk toward him. Across the room my mother is gripping my father’s arm, whispering furiously in his ear. Great. Just what I need, additional family drama.
“Oh shit,” Ruby gasps.
I follow her gaze to find Bane converging on Armstrong with my brothers. Bancroft is a tank and he used to play professional rugby. I’ve seen him with his shirt off, he’s built like a superhero and he’ll probably crush Armstrong, or at least break something. Possibly multiple somethings.
For a second I consider that Ruby should probably stop Bane from destroying Armstrong’s pretty, regal face, but then I realize I don’t actually care. In fact, the possibility that he might break Armstrong’s perfectly straight nose fills me with glee. Armstrong’s wellbeing is no longer my concern, it’s more about Bane ending up in prison for murder.
“I hope Armstrong has a good plastic surgeon, he’s going to need it once Bane is done with him.” Ruby echoes my internal hopes and her chair tips as she jumps up. “Come on, let’s get you out of here.” She nods to the right.
I notice my mother and father engaged in a heated discussion with Armstrong’s parents. I really don’t need this right now. Not the drama. Not the humiliation. All I wanted was a nice wedding. Instead I end up with a husband who gets a blow job during our reception—and it’s broadcast to everyone attending.
Ruby urges me into action. “Don’t worry about them. Get your stuff and we’ll get you the hell out of here. I’ll have the limo meet you by the entrance near your bridal suite as soon as I can.”
I nod and stumble unsteadily to my feet, thanks to having consumed the better part of a bottle of wine in the last minute and a half. It’s amazing how ninety seconds can change a person’s entire life.
All hell breaks loose as more men jump in to either pummel or extract Armstrong from the pummeling. I grab my clutch and phone from the table, gather up my stupid, too puffy gown, and head for the bridal suite, where I had prepared for what was supposed to be the most amazing day of my life. And now it’s likely the worst, at least I hope the mortification level I’m experiencing can’t exceed this. I feel like the foulest version of Cinderella ever.
I rush down the empty hall and grab the doorknob as I fumble around in my clutch for the key. I’m surprised when it turns. I thought I’d locked it before we left for the ceremony. Regardless, I need to get away from everyone before I either lose it or commit a felony. Maybe both. Murder in the first. Armstrong will be my victim. And maybe that horrible skank, Brittany.
I thrust the door open and slam it closed behind me, locking it from the inside. Tears threaten to spill over and ruin my makeup. Not that it matters since there’s no way I’m going out there again. I can’t believe my forever lasted less than twelve hours. I can’t believe the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life loving couldn’t be faithful to me for even one day. What the hell is wrong with me? With him? I’m as devastated as I am angry and embarrassed. Once I annul this farce of a marriage I’ll become a spinster. I should probably go ahead and adopt six or seven cats tonight.
“I need to get out of this dress,” I say to myself. I reach behind me and pull the bow at the base of my spine. Instead of unfurling, it knots and I only succeed in pulling it tighter. Of course my dress has to be difficult. I growl my annoyance and rush over to my dressing table where my makeup and perfume are scattered from earlier today. Half a mimosa sits unconsumed beside the vase of red roses Armstrong had delivered.
The card read: I can’t wait to spend forever loving you.
What a load of bullshit. I drain the contents of the champagne flute, not caring that the drink is warm and flat. Then I throw the glass, because it feels good and the sound of shattering crystal is satisfying. Next I heave the vase of roses, which explodes impressively against the wall, splattering water and shards of glass across the floor.
I yank out a couple of the drawers and find a pair of scissors. They actually look more like gardening shears and seem rather out of place, but I don’t question it. Instead I reach behind me with my back to the mirror and awkwardly try to cut myself free. It’s not easy with the way I have to crane my neck.
“Goddammit! I need to get out of this stupid dress!” I yell at my reflection. I think I might actually be losing it just a touch now. I stop messing around with the laces in the back and shove the scissors down the front. I nearly nick myself with the blade—they’re a lot sharper than I realized—but that doesn’t slow me down. I start hacking my way through the bodice; layers of satin, lace, and intricate beading sliced apart with every vicious snip.
I just want out of this nightmare.