Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Beauty Boxes? Worth it or worthless?

This weekend I signed up for two different beauty box services. For those who don't know, beauty boxes are subscription services that arrive at regular intervals in the mail (usually monthly). You receive a mixture of four or five samples, deluxe samples, and full sized products. Some services lean more heavily towards makeup while others focus on product (moisturizer, cleanser, etc.)

I signed up for two of the most popular (and cheapest!!) services. Here are my impressions so far:
  • Ipsy--Focuses on makeup, comes with a different makeup bag every month, good reviews, curated by Michelle Phan and has a variety of associated youtube videos. $10 dollars a month. For anyone who wants to give it a try, here's my affiliate link (I don't get money... just points in the Ipsy system): http://www.ipsy.com/r/25trn?sid=ipsypoints&cid=general
  • Birchbox--Focuses more on product, good reviews, more established, better points system. $10 dollars a month. For anyone who wants to give it a try, here's my affiliate link (again... my only benefit is whackadooo points on their website): https://www.birchbox.com/invite/24119
I have yet to receive either box--they should start arriving mid November and I'll review them then--but I am really excited. 

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Aleah, I thought you were supposed to make saving money sound fun and interesting! Now, I just want to make a run on Sephora." Gentle reader, you are right! Unfortunately, while I know a little about many things and a lot about other things... I know practically nothing about makeup.

I'm deprived.

I'm thinking of these boxes as an investment in my future education. They'll give me the opportunity to sample many things without making a hasty (and expensive) decision because I hate to disappoint the sales-girl at Sephora. Additionally, I'm bribing myself to make other (necessary) lifestyle changes, so I can have the monthly subscriptions if I 1) scale down from lattes to black coffees when I'm buying coffee out and 2) bring my lunch to work every flipping day. If I do those two things then the savings will be way more than twenty dollars.

Fingers crossed.

What about you? Have you tried any beauty boxes? What about other subscription services (I hear there's one that will send you cute panties every month... I totally want that... le sigh)? Any good experiences? Any bad ones? Any that you want to try?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How I Blew My Budget in Three Easy Steps

Today I blew my weekly budget.

I know what you're thinking... how could you possibly do that Aleah? You had a plan. You were going to have one hundred dollars in spending money a week! You were going to stick to it and be awesome! Maybe you overspent on Sunday--25 dollars in takeout is an awful lot, but Indian food is totally worth it--but you got right back on track. You took your lunch to work. You recommitted to buying black coffee instead of lattes (seriously though, work coffee has gotten so, so bad). There's no reason you should be over budget.

Okay, maybe three reasons:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Skip the Latte and Solve Your Finance Woes is a Bullshit Philosophy... and Why I'm Skipping the Latte Anyway

Once upon a time a very long time ago (the nineties) someone said: If people just stopped buying lattes they could save so much money!!! And thus began the gospel of "give up something cheap you like today for moderate savings in the future."

Let's do the math.

I buy *mumble mumble* lattes a week...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Get Wicked With Entangled Blog Hop: Sexy Charcters and Sinful Costumes

What's your costume going to be this year? Last year I went as the Wicked Witch of the East. Black dress. Striped tights. Red high heels. (Give me an idea for this year's costume in the comments--or just tell me one of your favorites--toenter to win an ebook copy of one of my books... drawn on Halloween). My two books with Entangled are Leaving Las Vegas and Too Hot to Handle (Tagline: He stole her heart, she stole his car). If the main characters were going to a Halloween party this weekend they'd definitely go all out. How would they dress? Take a peak and find out...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Detroit is for Zombies... and Dog Parks

When I first moved to Detroit it seemed like a war zone. There were no thai restaurants, no fancy coffee shops, and no dog parks. Today, we've got three dog parks:
  • The Detroit Dog Park on 17th and Rose Street--It's got a killer view of the train station and is close enough to Astros to pick up a flat white on the way. The dogs are friendly. No small dog area.
  • Shinola Dog Park on Cass and Canfield--Privately owned by Shinola, the fences are a little lower and there is a small dog owner (although everyone hangs out in the big dog area). The dogs are friendly... the people are a little more pretentious. You can walk to Melt afterwards for an ice cream.
  • Grand Circus Dog Park at Adams and Woodward--Downtown dogs and downtown people. If you live downtown then this is the park for you. Otherwise... there's no parking.
Which one is your favorite? Did I miss any? Have you seen any zombies at them??

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Vampires vs. Zombies: 50 Shades of Undead Hotties

I write novels that stomp all over the fine line between urban fantasy and horror. Set in Detroit, the Dead Sexy series is made up of fast paced adventure stories with lots of mystery and tons of romance. The heroine is a mortuary attendant/hunter and the hero is dead... really dead... he's a zombie.

Some people have been asking: "Why zombies? Why not vampires? Vampires are sexy." I totally understand. Vampires are sexy. Brad Pitt is sexy. James Marsters is Sexy. Robert Pattinson is sexy. True Blood is all about the sexy. Why is that?

First, let's take a look at vampires:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hot Hero Blog Hop--D.S. Thomas Conroy

I just want to thank Jodi Linton for inviting me on this blog hop. Her book Pretty Reckless is devestatingly funny and the follow up--Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy--is hot, hot, hot!
Now.... here's the hop!
What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical?
D.S. Thomas Conroy is a fictional government agent without a hope or a pulse. He's a zombie.
When and where is the story set?

The story is set in Detroit in a recent future--twelve years after the zombie apocalypse.

What should we know about your character?

D.S. might be dead, but he's still sexy. He takes care of what's his, does a damn good job, and isn't above cracking heads for a good cause.

What is your character's goal?

D.S. wants to find out who's "disappearing" zombies from the streets of Detroit. As an agent for the Department of Undead Americans it's his job to enforce the law.

What is screwing up your character's life (main conflict in writerly speak)?

Just when he thinks he has a handle on being a member of the walking dead he meets a woman so full of life she knocks him sideways--and stun guns him in the ass.
What is the title?
Dead Sexy
When can we expect the book to be published or when was it published?
Available Now: http://j.mp/abDeadSexy
Check out Jodi Linton, Lauren Smith, and Incy Black for more information about their heroes today!