Just Added to My List of Favorite Books

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is an amazing book about a quirky, young woman named Eleanor Oliphant, who constantly finds herself outcast due to her odd social behavior.  With a stable career and a decent living situation, Eleanor is completely content to go on existing on the outskirts of all social circles.  That is until unexpected circumstances arise which create new social opportunities and force her to look more closely at herself and her past that she can’t completely remember.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a heart-warming book about pain, loneliness, truth, and hope.  A combination that is rarely found nor presented so well in a novel.  This is a must read and might even be a read-again.  But hurry, Reese Witherspoon’s company Hello Sunshine, not only picked it for their book club, but is also producing it as a movie (currently in development).  Read it first, then grab your girlfriends and go see it when it comes out.  I mean, how could Reese Witherspoon be wrong about a book?




Top Gifts for Mother’s Day

Lucky for you we spend a lot of time reviewing products and services that any mom would want for this blog.  Here’s our list of top products and services that are sure to make your mother or mother-in-law happy.  And if your husband doesn’t even have Mother’s Day on his radar (ahem…) then, you may want to share this post with him (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
Top Gifts for Mother's Day
1.  Margarita basket:  What mom doesn’t like a good ole margarita?  From now until Cinco de Mayo, zero-calorie BeMixed margarita cocktail mixers are 20% off if you use the discount code “SHARETHELOVE”.  So make Mother’s Day fun with a little less guilt by getting her these yummy mixers.  Add a bottle of good tequila, and what mom wouldn’t love you for that gift?  I know these moms would!
Be Mixed Margarita Mixer
Be Mixed Margarita Mixer
2.  Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman will be our next book review.  But, don’t wait for the review.  This title has been added to Libby’s list of favorite books – so trust us, your mom will love it!  Still skeptical?  Add a $25 Amazon gift card so she can pick out her next book club book, cookbook or stack of magazines.
3.  PJs – So who really likes to buy pjs for themselves?  If I got a cute pj set like these Bardot Dreamland Pajamas, that are super cute and I could lounge in at the same time, I would be happy!

4.  Tote – This is a great gift for any mom that needs a bag to hold just about everything.  This Reversible Faux Leather Tote and Wristlet  is great, pretty indestructable and large enough to fit all the crap that mom’s lug around.  It’s simple and cute!  It’s also available in black – which I want!   Check out RemnantsBagCompany for even more great options for totes, handbags, and clutches!


Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet
Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet

 4. Spa Services – These are always appreciated!  What mom doesn’t need a little me-time?  Choose from a host of services, including a manicure, pedicure, facial, dermoplane, massage, or just go with a general gift card.  She deserves it!  For Clevelanders, we highly recommend Santo Salon & Spa. We’ll be reviewing this spa and some of their amazing services later this week!

Spa Service
Spa Service
5.  Don’t Forget the Card.  Buy a unique card, one that you won’t find in big box chains and let her know that you took some time to think of her.  Inked & Dotted offers both humorous and sincere cards that add a special touch to any gift.
 6.  Spanx leggings  – What mom doesn’t want to look trendy and cool?  Well, I do and I’d like a pair of these please!  Not only do they suck you in a few inches but they can be worn for a workout or for a casual outing! And remember it came recommended – so don’t read into it when you get these as a gift – appreciate them – they are awesome!  Available in multiple colors and fabrics.
Spanx Faux Leather Moto Leggings (available in multiple colors and fabrics)
Spanx Faux Leather Moto Leggings (available in multiple colors and fabrics)
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Book Review: The Beauty of Dirty Skin

The Beauty of Dirty Skin, the Surprising Science of Looking and Feeling Radiant from the Inside Out by leading dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe is a must-read for anyone looking to slow down the aging process and improve their skin’s appearance.  Not only will you learn which foods, actions, and products may be impeding your skin care, but more importantly, you will learn why.

In her book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin, Dr. Whitney Bowe explains the interrelatedness of our gut, our mind and our skin. Research over recent years has been telling us that what we put in our mouths matter. In this book, you will learn the science behind our gut and how that plays a role in our skincare.  In her three-week plan, you will learn how to attack skin issues, through improving your gut’s natural biome and how to take simple, actionable steps to clear your mind and diet for better, and clearer skin.

Although the scientific explanation can get a bit lengthy at times, we found it useful for understanding why you need to change your approach to skincare.  Once you get through the science behind this , she divulges want you really want to hear – what you should eat, what type of vitamins you need to take, proper skincare products, how to exercise and why you need to meditate. Some of the information Dr. Bowe presents may already be familiar to you, but there is so much more to learn from this book.

Both of us loved this book and we think you will too. Here’s what Ashlee had to say:
Listen, I have tried it all… seriously.  I love her plan.  It made me feel like I could really do this.  SO, I am.  I know you are thinking you have to give up all those things you love but I promise you can still have chocolate, just have the right kind.  You can still have wine maybe not as much as you like or I like but it’s reasonable.  You can still have good food, just cut out the stuff you already know is not good for you.  I won’t lie and tell you its a cake walk – but is it doable?  Yes!
Ashlee, inspired by the book is currently on day 8 of the program and will report back when she’s finished to let you know how she feels, if it changed her skin for the better, if her mind is more clear,  and if she lost any weight (an added side bonus of this program!).
Here’s what Libby had to say:
I’m always reading articles and books on how to improve my health, stay fit and how to improve my skin as I age.  This book combines all of those topics and showed me what I was missing, especially when it comes to the importance of probiotics for my gut and in  my skincare line-up.  I am following Dr. Bowe’s advice and have already seen improvements to my skin.  I’m really excited to have this book as a reference for vitamins, advice on probiotics, recipes, and natural masks that i can make at home to combat specific skin issues. 
The beauty of this book is that it finally gives us what we are all looking for  – a manageable way to take care of our skin for the long haul.  The book will be released April 17th, 2018.  You can preorder it from Amazon here. 

 Join us on this journey to a healthier gut, mind, and skin. Come back and post when you are finished reading it. We’d love to hear from you!  Also, our posts for the next several weeks will include some cool things we learned from this book and associated product reviews.  Make sure you follow us so you don’t miss out!   We will also be posting a give-away of The Beauty of Dirty Skin on Instagram – so follow us there if you aren’t already. 

About the author:  Dr. Whitney Bowe is Medical Director of Integrative Dermatology, Aesthetics & Wellness at Advanced Dermatology, P.C., in addition to being a distinguished research scientist and a thought leader in her field. She is one of the most in-demand dermatologists in America and has lent her expertise to programs like Good Morning AmericaThe Rachael Ray Show, The Doctors, and Dr. Oz. She and her work have been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Allure, InStyle, VogueElleReader’s Digest, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Sex Feeling Like a Chore? Read This.


Front Cover Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship

Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship written by Stephen Snyder, MD, a sex and relationship therapist, offers exceptional advice on how getting out of our own way, untangling our sexual knots, and being a little more selfish in bed can rekindle the spark in a committed, long-term relationship.

Dr. Snyder reveals, through other couples’ perspectives, the many different issues, or as he refers to as “sexual knots” that can put sexual desire on the back burner.   In order to untangle these knots, Love Worth Making advises couples on finding the root of the problem.  This book looks at what both partners should do (and sometimes not do) to strengthen positive feelings about each other, sustain their connection, and improve their sex life.

Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship  does a great job of giving examples and offering ideas to help you understand your sexual feelings.  This is done in a way that is interesting but doesn’t push boundaries that would leave a reader feeling uncomfortable.  Rather than band-aid fixes, Dr. Snyder offers safe ways to get your sexual relationship and feelings unwound so you can move into a positive long-term relationship with your spouse.

If you are in a long-term relationship that has lost its early passion and would like to bring back the joy and fun of sex, I highly recommend this book.  It’s a great way to look into our sexual lives from a different angle and to understand your partner and yourself better.  After all, if you’re going to be in a long-term relationship, why not enjoy it?

Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship is sold through Amazon in print or for Kindle.

About the Author: Stephen Snyder, MD is a sex and relationship therapist in Manhattan and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Psychology Today, a frequent guest on major media, and a New York Magazine “Best Doctor” since 2012.

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Book Review: The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

A Year of Living Danishly book cover

Imagine a place where you could leave a sleeping baby in a car seat while you run into the grocery store knowing that they would be safe.  Or, what if you could quit your job in search of one that would make you happier knowing someone would take care of you in the meantime? What about a place where equality for women, minorities, and wage earners was real?  Imagine a place where employers strongly discouraged working a full 40 hour week so you could spend more time with your family.   In her book, The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country, Beth Russell uncovers a place where this all exists…….in Denmark.

When Beth Russell’s husband is offered a job at Lego, she and her husband must decide whether they want to move from fast-paced, cosmopolitan London to a job in a small city in Denmark.  Encouraged by her husband, Beth agrees to move to Denmark for a year and sets out on a project to uncover why the Danes are consistently ranked as the happiest countrymen in the world.

With brutal winters that only see 10 hours of light some weeks and taxes that can exceed 50% of your income, Denmark is not the first country many would consider to have such happy people.  But Beth starts to realize, these are some of the reasons that this little country of only 5 million people are so happy.

Russell does a great job of unveiling what life is really like in Denmark, even the not-so-great aspects.  Overall, The Year of Living Danishly is a great read that will make you consider how we could all live just a little bit happier if we live the Danish way.

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Book Review: Sisters First: Stories from our Wild and Wonderful Life


Sister’s First: Stories from our Wild and Wonderful Life is a touching collection of memories from Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager’s childhood as granddaughters to Former President George H. W. Bush and later as daughters to Former President George W. Bush.  Devoid of politics, Sisters First relays a first-hand account of the loving relationships and personalities within the Bush family from the strong-opinionated Ganny (Former First Lady Barbara Bush) to their witty, loving, and at-times emotional father (Former President George W. Bush).

Book Review Sisters First: Stories from our Wild and Wonderful Life

Admittedly, at first I was a bit cynical about reading the stories of two privileged girls growing up within the Bush family.  But as the stories continued to unfold, I realized that what was most appealing was the sense of normalcy that surfaced among this very famous and influential family.  I found it easy to relate to the touching stories of a child lying to her parents, the love and need to protect a sibling, the nervousness of a boyfriend meeting a father, the desire to get engaged, the excitement and birth of a baby, a longing to help others, and the sadness of losing loved ones.

Overall, Sisters First: Stories from our Wild and Wonderful Life is an intimate recollection that captures the softer side of the Bush family.  Jenna and Barbara share with us their family stories, their struggles, their losses, but mostly their fierce loyalty and love for one another in a more down-to-earth way than many may have doubted before reading this book.

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Here’s a Show You Need to Bingewatch Next

Looking for a new series to bingewatch?  We have it for you!  Ozark starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney is a little bit of Breaking Bad,  a little bit of Narcos, and a little bit of Silver Spoons (C’mon, I had to put that in there for Jason Bateman – he’s come a long way since his role as Derek :))

Image of Ricky Schroeder and Jason Bateman on Silver Spoons

If you have not caught up on Ozarks already on Netflix now is the time. We enjoyed this series for many reasons but mostly due to it’s crazy storyline where Marty (Jason Bateman), known to many as a respected financial advisor and family-man, is not what he seems to be.  He decides to move his family to the Ozarks to launder money for the second largest drug cartel in Mexico.  What could go wrong with that?

We love stories where regular people actually do some pretty crazy things.  Marty’s character is similar to Walter White from Breaking Bad. (If you have not watched that you really better get going because you have a lot of Netflix to catch up on.)  Watching the crazy unfold in this series was similar to Breaking Bad – there’s intrigue, a little stress, and we found ourselves rooting for a guy doing bad things.  As you move along through the series you realize deep down he is trying to save his family.

With every dirty deed he does, the plot gets more twisted.  More players are added that are just as dirty (in their own way).  What you have is many little stories, all pretty messed up, forming one big cluster!  Makes for some great TV.  There are some pretty evil things that happen during this series so be prepared.  Watching this show will make your life seem a lot less crazy!  See the trailer below.  We highly recommend it!

The good or bad news, depending on how you look at it, is that there is only one season available on Netflix.  Fortunately, according to Variety.com Netflix has renewed Ozark for another season.  Yay Netflix!

If you’ve seen Ozark, we want to hear from you!  Leave a comment in the comment section below or leave a message on Facebook.  If you haven’t seen it and take our recommendation, be sure to return back and let us know what you think.  Sharing is caring 🙂

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