Bring me a book with a good mystery, a hefty dose of history and a captivating story, and I’ll be a happy camper. In Brad Meltzer’s latest The House of Secrets, you can find all of the above. It’s the story of family, a television host that is remarkably like Meltzer in Decoded, and a host of secrets that sweeps from the American Revolution until today. I found myself reading and reading and reading into the wee hours of the morning just to find the answer to all of my questions and it was worth it. It moves more along more quickly than The Fifth Assassin and feels sweeping and a bit thrilling like the early Metlzer novels. Character-wise, the dynamic between Jack and Hazel was curious, though nice and fresh. Skip’s character fell a little flat for me. I felt like I needed more of his story, and look for him to engage a bit more in subsequent novels in this series. The complicated ties that bind the characters and pull us through history from the American Revolution until today are fascinating, fun and held my interest until the end.
Fans of National Treasure, the Bourne books and Jack Reacher will be delighted with this book. For a sneak peak at the first chapter, visit here.
The House of Secrets, Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg, Grand Central Publishing, available June 2016.
We all know that I am a fan of the Subscription Box. It’s like Christmas every time there is a box on my front porch. I love it! A new one that you are sure to love and that has been a hit on my Instagram and in the house here is the new Degustabox. New to the United States, the boxes contain between 10-15 edible treats that make snacking easy, fabulously delicious!
This one came with the following goodies:
Elmhurst Harvest Real Pistachio Milk
Haribo Sour Gold Bears
Orchard Valley Trail Mix and Roasted Cashews
Vita Coco Coconut Oil Individual Packets
Brianna’s Italian Vinegarette
Wise Popcorn in Cinnamon and Sea Salt
Honees Honey Drops
Topo Chico Mineral Waters
Soy Vay Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade
So when the box came in wrapped in lovely brown paper in a box that said Discover, Share, Enjoy, Taste and Family in several languages, we couldn’t help but dig in. I decanted the box into a picnic basket and let everyone select their favorites. Right off the bat, the popcorn, sour bears and peanut butter were chosen. I loved the gummy bears, trail mix and honey drops. I took my daughter’s suggestion and tried the coconut oil in my coffee. We had heard about it on the morning new, and while I was skeptical — it is delicious. Be sure to try the recipe below.
Teia’s Vanilla Coconut Coffee
Easy, frothy coffee with a foam that is smooth and rich. Perfectly lovely with a hint of coconut and the floral sweetness of vanilla. It feels really decadent, but couldn’t be easier.
1 cup of freshly brewed hot coffee
1 tbsp. Coconut oil
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter (optional — but rather yummy too)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Place all ingredients into your blender. Whip on Smoothie mode about 30 seconds until frothy. Pour into waiting mug. Drink in delight.
I absolutely cannot wait until next month’s box. The great team at Degustabox are curating additional boxes for each month and at 19.99 per month, it’s a great deal.
Marie Reyes, the beautiful creator of SkinSpaMED and fan-favorite cast members on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Dallas, has launched RAGS2Riches, a luxurious anti-aging skincare regime. The four-step beauty process allows anyone to create the kind of gorgeous and sparkling skin that Reyes, a skincare expert and former model, is becoming known for nationwide.
“This is a very personal mission for me, because all women – my friends, my fellow housewives, everyone watching our show – we’re all the same. We all want fabulous skin, and we don’t have loads of time to spend researching it,” said Reyes. “With a product line like RAGS2Riches, the leg work has already been done. I’m excited that women can just put their best face forward.”
RAGS2Riches is a sumptuous four-step system meticulously formulated by Reyes, a registered nurse, to reverse the signs of aging. Used as a complete skin transformation system or as individual must-have products, RAGS2Riches is an effective and surprisingly simple regime that accelerates cell renewal, increases skin hydration, evens-out skin tones, and eliminates fine lines for all skin types.
The RAGS2Riches four-step regime is easy to remember by its acronym, “RAGS”:
“R”Retinol Crème de la Crème (Step 1) – This retinol exfoliate cream is derived from vitamin A to build collagen, accelerate cell turnover, and brighten skin. It’s as powerful as it is gentle. ($180)
“A” – Antioxidant Super-Charge Serum (Step 2) – Antioxidants fight damaging free radicals and help prevent skin aging at a cellular level. Rich in potent antioxidants, this age defying super hero fights damaging free radicals with the power of one pump, delivering a micro-surge of skin revitalization to the areas of need. ($180)
“G” – Growth Factor Peptide Rich Complex (Step 3) – Growth Factor and peptides keep your cellular material young and healthy restoring healthy skin. Rich in more than 53 amino acids, this is Marie Reyes’ favorite skin preparation to renew and replenish a tired, stressed complexion. Reyes considers this her personal “time capsule in a bottle” to help reverse the signs of aging with plumping and firming while you’re on the go. ($225)
“S” – Sun Defense Tinted SPF 31 (Step 4) – Sun Protection blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays from damaging skin and causing premature aging. Rich in age-defense actives, this luxurious, cashmere-like formula offers broadband UV protection combined with intuitive color correction technology. This advanced formula has anti-aging, anti-acne and pigment reducing properties for a more even skin tone and sun protection that can keep up with a busy lifestyle. ($80)
The complete skincare system can be purchased for a single price of $546.00 that will be conveniently shipped to clients’ homes every two months. Used as directed, Reyes’ clients have seen noticeable and dramatic changes to their skin in as few as six months.
The RAGS2Riches products come with a 100 percent happiness guarantee: If for any reason the customer is not happy, products can be returned within 30 days of purchase for a refund. RAGS2Riches is sold online at www.mariereyes.com/rags-2-riches and at SkinSpaMED, a medical spa and laser clinic that offers comprehensive monthly memberships for laser, facial, and dermal skin fillers at an affordable monthly rate. SkinSpaMED has two locations in North Dallas (5330 Alpha Rd., Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75240) and Colleyville (5604 Colleyville Blvd., Suite D, Colleyville, TX 76034).
Beautifying your skin can also benefit one of the most beautiful parts of Dallas. Throughout the month of June, RAGS2Riches is donating a portion of proceeds to The Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy, a non-profit which provides the entities’ continued conservation, preservation, and further development and maintenance.
Last week, Quince and Co., one my favorite American retailers, sent a teaser.
Admittedly, I adore teasers, and I promptly sent an email asking if it was crochet. Crochet, love of my heart, is often the lesser loved sister of knitting. She gets significantly less press and pattern love. If I were her, I might even feel a bit slighted.
I get it, as I dig both, but my first fiber art love is crochet. So when I noticed the lace like stitches and the textured love in Quince favorites like Chickadee, Piper and my personal favorite wool-silk blend Tern. I felt a little smile a light my face, and then I noticed some of my favorite crochetwear designers like Julie Blagojevich, Rebecca Velasquez and Sara Kay Hartmann, I was on-board.
Individually, the patterns are $6, but there is a significant savings in purchasing the e-book via Quince and Co or on Ravelry. Most patterns require three skeins of yarn and utilize simple stitch combinations. There are enough patterns to keep your hands busy all summer long. 🙂
Below is the gorgeous lookbook from Pam Allen and Team. Enjoy!
Here in the US, Memorial Day is the un-official start of summer. It’s the day we remember those that gave everything to ensure our freedom. It’s a gloriously long weekend that is often filled with family, food, friends and festive merry making. It’s also a day when oodles of American retailers take advantage of the fact that shoppers are home with a bit of time to spare and offer fabulous deals to entice them in.
Here are a few finds from some of my favorite retailers.
Vintage Inspired Dresses and Skirts in Fun Shades and Fabrics.
Sale: Free Shipping and Extra 20% off of Clearance – use code (EXTRA)
Perfect for gorgeous pieces that stand the test of time and are easy to wear. I love their embellished dresses, silk basics and unique home goods. This is the Berega Dress — love! You can find it here.
Summer is made for sitting on a porch with a mug of something delicious, a good book and a work in project basket. It’s the recipe for a perfect day. BOOKSPARKS and redbook present their summer bookclub live stream with Harlequin/ MIRA powerhouse author Mary Kubica of the Pretty Baby,The Good Girl and now, Don’t You Cry.
Fans of murder-mystery, suspense laden stories are in for a treat!
Sometimes, it is all about perspective. It can change the feeling of a day, and the gorgeous that is lying dormant in the rain. My Mom shared this absolutely adorable and fitting gif on how women look at a day…. and themselves.
One of our pleasures in Dallas is our arts community. Alive, fleshed out and with a variety of options to suit your favorite flavor. It’s an amazing accomplishment that continues to grow and draw the fascinated in. One of my personal favorite places to visit is the Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District. In both turns, glamorous and welcoming, the Winspear Opera House, situated inside the ATT Performing Arts Center, is home to a flourishing home for live performances. The latest show in the series is the classic production of Caberet.
Below are details and the link for ticket purchase. I’ll be there opening night, and I hope to see you there.
ABOUT THE SHOW:
“Direct from Broadway, the acclaimed masterpiece returns to Dallas! As part of their 50th Anniversary Season, Roundabout Theatre Company is proud to present Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall’s (Nine and Chicago, the films) Tony Award®-winning production of CABARET.
Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd — and to leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-World War II Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times?
Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Leave your troubles outside — life is beautiful at CABARET, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony-winning musical about following your heart while the world loses its way.”
It’s about that time again. Summer! Already, I know! I’m fairly certain that like me you love activities that are fun and those that make the summer that much cooler (with minimal effort from mom 🙂 . Here’s a fun one from the Dallas Galleria. See below for the details.
THE KIDS ARE GONNA GO WILD AT GALLERIA DALLAS
Free Entertainment, Education and Crafts Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
“Galleria Dallas invites families to celebrate free family fun this summer on Saturday, June 11, when Kids Gone Wild returns to North Texas. Families are encouraged to celebrate by dressing for the ultimate beach party and prepare to clown around at performances by Slappy & Monday and Magician Magic Mike! Enjoy crafts and activities provided by Galleria retailers such as American Girl, Build-A-Bear and LUSH, free face painting, balloon magic, stilt walkers and a special activities hosted by community partners including Texas Discovery Gardens. All kids will be able to create a custom flip book with photos taken on-site! Kids under 42 inches can also experience Galleria Dallas’ Play Place area with colorful jungle-themed climbing structures, seating for grown-ups and fun interactive elements for toddlers. It’s time to have some summer fun and let the kids “go wild” at Galleria Dallas. ”
WHAT: Kids Gone Wild at Galleria Dallas FREE Family fun
WHEN: Saturday, June 11, 2016, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
*Shows presented by Slappy’s Playhouse will be at: 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm
Galleria Dallas – Level 3
13350 Dallas Parkway/I-635 at North Dallas Tollway
Dallas, Texas 75240
COST: All activities are FREE and open to the public. Self-parking complimentary OR Valet available