Five on Friday!

Happy Friday, friends!

1. Spring Porch Refresh

We’ve been sprucing up and enjoying our outdoor spaces lately and I am obsessed with our new door mat! It’s so bright and happy (and on sale for $15!).

2. Book Review: The Butterfly Garden

Title: The Butterfly Garden

Author: Dot Hutchison 

Genre: Psychological Fiction 

Back Cover Summary: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars. 15k+ reviews — an Amazon Charts best seller. 

My Review: WOAH. No wonder it’s an Amazon Charts best seller and a recommendation I received from several of my readers — I could not put this book down and read it in 3 days during our beach vacation. Warning, it’s incredibly dark and disturbing, the bizarre plot is quite the stretch and the extra “twist” at the end was a little unnecessary, but  it’s unlike any thriller I’ve ever read which kept me captivated. I read a review that said this plot is something you might expect to see on Criminal Minds or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and that could not be more spot on. This book is definitely not for everyone — read it with caution. 

3. At Home Microdermabrasion

I recently had the opportunity to partner with Neiman Marcus on the launch of their Michael Todd Beauty line! I got to pick out a skincare tool and chose the Michael Todd Beauty Sonic Refresher — a professional grade microdermabrasion system! This minimally abrasive tool provides gentle suction (kind of like a Shop Vac to your face) for deep exfoliation to remove dead or damaged skin cells to reveal firmer, fresher and more radiant skin!

4. Swim Lessons

I snapped this cute picture of Tom before swim lessons this week! Both kids are doing so well at Aqua-Tots!

5. Amazon Luxury Beauty Products

I’m a sucker for tacking on beauty products to my Amazon orders. Some of these items are tried and true favorites that I’ve been using for years and have blogged about time and time again. A few others are products I’ve purchased more recently and wanted to report back on now that I’ve used them for a bit!

As a reminder, you can always find lots more of my Amazon beauty favorites here!

  1. Moroccanoil Root Boost: If you’re looking to boost your hair volume, this is the product for you!
  2. Hyaluronic Acid Serum: Most of the hyaluronic serums I’ve seen people raving about are $150+! So I went on a mission to find an affordable product at the same quality and was SO pumped when I found this $15 bottle. I’ve been so impressed with this anti-aging product and apparently so have 6,644 other Amazon buyers. I add it to my face creams both morning and night and have definitely seen a difference in my skin — it is softer and smoother.
  3. EltaMD UV Lip Balm Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 31: My favorite lip balm for sun protection. 
  4. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: This is a newer product for me I picked up a few weeks ago after Cristin Cooper recommended it. This has truly been a dry lip saver!! And it smells good too.
  5. Revision Skincare Black Mask: Going on two years with this product and it’s still my favorite mask in my collection! (see previous review here)
  6. RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner: I just started using this a few weeks ago and have seen a ton of eyelash growth!! I purchased the travel size to test it out but will definitely be splurging on the full size when I run out. 
  7. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater: Love, love, love this long time favorite spray. I use it to set my makeup and love to keep it in my pool bag to refresh my face.
  8. Mario Badescu Cleansing Milk With Carnation and Rice Oil: Another new product! I’ve been experimenting with different face cleansers and have finally found THE one! My skin doctor mentioned that I should be using a milk-based cleanser due to my dry skin and this creamy cleanser is amazing!
  9. L’Oréal Paris Makeup Voluminous Lash Boosting Conditioning Primer Mascara: The very best mascara primer — ever. 
  10. L’Oreal Paris Makeup Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara: After several years of trying 32893445634 mascaras, this one still takes the cake as the best! 


  1. Lauren
    May 17, 2019 / 9:09 am

    I love that primer, but man – I must be the only person alive that’s unimpressed w/ that lip mask? I mean – it’s a decent lip balm, but I guess I was expecting more.

    • Lora
      May 18, 2019 / 3:36 pm

      Same here, Lauren. I was so excited for it but the product was a letdown. Aquafor does the same job for cheaper. I’ll stick with the Bite Beauty agave mask for overnight hydration.

  2. May 17, 2019 / 10:14 am

    I absolutely love the Mario Badescu Cleansing Milk. It is so gentle and moisturizing on your skin. I’ve been using it for several months now and love it! I’ve also been using that same Hyaluronic Acid Serum on your recommendation and am loving it too! Have a great weekend!!

  3. Mindy
    May 17, 2019 / 10:22 am

    grandeLash- MD works really well and for about half the price. i’ve been using this brand for about a years now and love it!

    • Mindy
      May 17, 2019 / 10:23 am

      ooos! meant to add that it’s a lash growing serum.

  4. Steph
    May 17, 2019 / 11:43 am

    Caudalie also makes a really nice hyaluronic acid serum for around $50. Leaves my skin hydrated and brightens as well.

  5. Morgan
    May 17, 2019 / 3:34 pm

    The book looks SO GOOD. I’ve already added it to my list!

  6. May 21, 2019 / 11:08 am

    Yikes – I love a good thriller and suspense fiction but I just don’t know if I could read that one…

  7. Laura Wyatt
    May 29, 2019 / 9:08 am

    I just went back to Lash Paradise after using Roller Lash and can’t believe I ever strayed!! Love that stuff!!

  8. Katie P NC
    July 15, 2019 / 11:24 am

    I checked out Butterfly Garden – omg, so twisted but I couldn’t put it down. I’ll happily take any more book suggestions you have. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Christina
      July 16, 2019 / 4:25 pm

      RIGHT?! It’s so disturbing yet captivating!!! I’ve NEVER read anything like it before!!!

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