June 14, 2018

Self-Publishing Your Own Book

Sponsored post.

Have you dreamed of publishing your own book? Do you have a story in you waiting to make its way into the world? Self-publishing is easier than you would think. CaryPress International has a mission to help writers metamorphose into published authors and get their books in their fans' hands and hearts.

CaryPress offers self-publishing packages, author website set up, and book marketing services. You can actually self-publish your book in two weeks or less! What else makes CaryPress different?
  • One project manager for each client: from start to finish
  • Being personable: no canned responses/emails
  • Reasonable prices
  • Giving authors an option to take over the reigns of their marketing: by coaching them on how to do this on their own. Authors love control over their creative work, so they should be allowed to make a decision to outsource 100% of their book marketing to a company like ours, do it 100% on their own or any other ratio of outsourcing in between.
  • Diverse book marketing options: from bookmarks, author websites to book signing event scheduling

What does the self-publishing process look like? Here's a guide.

  • Have an aerial view of your book’s content. 
  • Create a rough draft for a Table of Contents.
  • Have a vision for your book cover.
During Writing
  • Focus on the length of each chapter; no imbalanced content where one chapter has one page, while the next has 12 pages of content.
  • Set up a group of Beta Readers; at least 4 people.
  • Talk to copy editors and developmental editors to gain an idea which one will you need.
  • Hire an editor and a proofreader.
  • Choose one of the self-publishing packages and get a timeline from the publisher.
  • Plan a marketing campaign using at least five different strategies; Set up a system to measure results of your marketing efforts.
  • Review marketing results, tweak and consider maintaining marketing or upgrading.
  • Gather ideas for creating 2nd edition or your new book.

Did you know that 81% of Americans want to write a book? Writer Joseph Epstein shared this years ago, and we can bet that that number still holds true. Make your story come to life. Visit CaryPress for more information on their self-publishing services.

June 11, 2018

What's In My Bag?

Sponsored post.

What's in my bag are some of my favorite posts to read. It is so fun to peek inside someone's personal space. Let's face it - for women - it doesn't get more personal than her handbag! So let's start there! The bag I am currently using is the Seven Oaks Turn-Key Classic Tote by Spartina 449. I receive so many compliments on it. I love the color and it is just the right size to hold all my stuff.

Inside there are three pockets on one side and a zipper on the other side. As you can see, I have plenty of room to also carry a water bottle, a notebook, or whatever else I need for any given day. So what do I carry no matter what? Let's peek inside.

I spread out all of my must-have items so you can see everything. Starting at the left and moving clockwise, we have my iPhone (of course), a Vera Bradley wallet, a pill organizer, Tampax Pocket Radiant tampons, tweezers, a handbag hanger, the perfect ponytail holder, dental picks, a pen, Nest perfume, a case for my earbuds, Tom Ford lipstick, Josie Maran argan oil hand cream, Buxom lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and eos lip balm.

I keep my earbuds in this little zip contact case. I have no idea where I got it, but it is the perfect size for my earbuds. The ponytail holder you see in the back is hands down the best I have ever owned. L. Erickson Ponytail Holders are made of a soft elastic and don't damage your hair at all. I love them!

You can see another view of the ponytail holder here. Seriously though, check them out! I also carry pocket size Tampax Pocket Radiant tampons with me. You never know when you will need one and they are compact so they don't take up too much precious handbag space. Available at Walmart, Pocket Radiant features Tampax’s superior width-wise expansion and LeakGuard protection system, a purple pocket size applicator, and a unique re-sealable wrapper.

I always carry a sample of perfume in my handbag. Right now it is the Nest Indigo perfume. It is a bit sexy and a bit floral - making it perfect for day and night. My must-have lipgloss + lipstick combo is Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Brandi with Tom Ford Lip Color in Indian Rose. So ... what's in your handbag?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tampax Radiant at Walmart. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

June 10, 2018

Gunther's Tinted Natural Dry Shampoo

Sponsored post.

Handcrafted in Columbia, Missouri, Gunther's specializes in all natural soaps, lip balms, pomades, and dry shampoos! So if you are in the market for a dry shampoo that not only works great - but is all natural too - then you must check out Gunther's!

Gunther's Tinted Dry Shampoo contains no aerosols, no alcohols, and no harsh chemicals. I love that! If you use dry shampoo as much as I do, it is nice to know that you are only adding natural products to your hair on a regular basis. The non-aerosol and non-alcohol formula is tinted to match your hair color. No more powdered wig look! 

The all natural ingredients are great for those with sensitive scalps. Ingredients like cornstarch, cocoa powder, bentonite clay, and peppermint oil. How cool is it that they are available in tinted formulas? This is an added benefit if you also have thinning hair!

The three available shades are light (best for blonde and very light brown hair colors), medium (best for brown, red, and amber hair colors), and dark (best for dark brown, and black hair colors). I would go with light or medium for my hair. It is quite versatile so don't be afraid of choosing the wrong shade.

I have thick, wavy hair. I love how this tinted natural dry shampoo doesn't make my hair feel sticky or tacky after use. It has just enough power to freshen up my scalp without messing with my style. The tint is very forgiving, but I love how there is no white residue like other dry shampoos. The pump applicator is awesome too. I can just poof it onto the areas where I need it and then blend with my fingers. There is even a slight cocoa scent!

Gunther's is determined to give people high-quality natural care products. All of their products are handcrafted in small batches using the best ingredients. This ensures that you get a consistently high-quality product. Check out Gunther's to learn more about their all-natural products.

Connect :: You can connect with Gunther's via Facebook and Instagram

Buy It :: Gunther's Dry Shampoo can be purchased for $19.99.

Father's Day Gift Guide

What should you get dear old dad for Father's Day? Well sit back, relax, and get ready to shop. I have some great suggestions for every type of guy. From the outdoorsy dad to the techy dad to the glam dad - I have you covered!

Nautical Iron Bookends | $36
Add classic elegance to dad's library with this nautical theme bookend set. He can be a captain of his library and protect his book collection in style with a solid anchor and helm iron bookend set. With its tarnish-proof bronze finish with gold patina, these bookends will coordinate with any nautical theme at home or at the office.

Maison Margiela Jazz Club Fragrance | $28+
Jazz Club immortalizes the masculine and exhilarating ambiance of a Brooklyn jazz club. The balmy base scent of musk, vanilla, tonka bean, vetiver, and tobacco leaves combine to evoke a familiar but forgotten moment - a night’s sojourn to a hidden jazz club. Dad can close his eyes and let the fragrance transport him to the memory of sinking into a deep leather armchair. Notes: Pink Pepper, Primofiore Lemon, Neroli Oil, Rum Absolute, Clary Sage Oil, Java Vetiver Oil, Tobacco Leaf Absolute, Vanilla Bean, Styrax Resin. Style: Spicy. Confident. Smooth.

Magnanni Square Buckle Leather Belt | $70
A classic belt for a classic guy. A men's leather belt is the subtle component that ties together a business suit and is a mark of personality for casual wear. Magnanni sources the highest grade European leathers which are precisely cut and carefully formed to be both comfortable and fashionable.

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | $30
A personal recommendation from my own dad, this is the next generation of the best-selling Fire TV Stick. Dad will enjoy tens of thousands of channels with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, NBC, and more. This thing can do everything - including finding a show or movie by simply speaking to the remote.

Moore’s Hot Sauces | $4
Excite dad's taste buds and add extra flavor to all of his favorite foods with Moore’s Hot Sauces. Don’t just add heat, add Moore Flavor. My husband loves all four of the hot sauces with Habanero being his favorite. With four flavors to choose from, there is something for every dad's taste buds.

Ray-Ban Original Aviator Sunglasses | $178
There is something so sexy about a man in aviators. Ray-Ban has definitely made sunglasses an essential part of personal style. Synonymous with counterculture cool, Ray-Ban's iconic aviator styles have been worn on-and-off screen by Hollywood's most rebellious stars (and now your dad).
These classically cool aviators feature adjustable nose pads and full sun protection.

HotSox for Men | 3 for $30
Get three pairs of cool socks for just $30 on select Father's Day styles at HotSox.com! No code needed through June 17. I love the style choices like the Cognac and Cigars Crew Socks or the Barber Shop Crew Socks. These are definitely not your boring ordinary sock styles. You can pick something out that is personal and that dad is sure to love.

Lucky Tackle Fishing Subscription Box | $26
Lucky Tackle Box is a fishing subscription box that ships once a month. Each box packed full of some of the top fishing lures, tackle, and accessories in the industry. Choose from 10 different boxes for species ranging from Bass to Walleye, Trout to Fly Fishing. I honestly believe that this is such a fantastic gift for the dad who loves to fish, wants to improve his skills and try new fishing products.

June 7, 2018

More Pixi Beauty Picks

You know how much I love working with Pixi Beauty! They always send me the latest and greatest to share with you guys! From fabulous collaborations to lovely lashes and liners to sensational skincare, here is what is new, cool, and pretty from Pixi.

Let's start with the fabulous collaborations. Dulce Candy, Weylie, and Chloe Morello (aka Pixi Pretties) created three collections that I absolutely love. Dulce Candy created the Cafe con Dulce Multi-Use Palette + Dulce's Lip Candy Lip Palette! The Café con Dulce Multi-Use Palette features 9 complementing hues in a unique cream-to-powder formula that were developed just for her.

How stunning are these shades? They can all be easily blended with one another to create a beautiful look. Bring out your natural beauty and enliven your complexion, lids, and cheeks with this multi-use palette. The powder to cream blush, face glow, and lid shades will enhance and add luminosity.

The 9 shades found in Dulce's Lip Candy are hand-mixed by Dulce. The universally-flattering shades found in her lip palette can be mixed together to create your own customized, one-of-a-kind color. I love that they are formulated with skin-conditioning ingredients and rich pigments. The velvety-textured shades can be easily applied to both the cheeks and lips. The multi-use formula contains antioxidants and minerals to keep skin soft and hydrated.

Weylie's Dimensional Eye Creator Kit includes the Let's Talk Eyes Palette and a dual-ended Black Liner Duo. So basically everything you need to create the perfect eye look. The eyeshadow palette offers 6 of Weylie's favorite shades that highlight and brighten your eyes. These are the colors I typically reach for, so I am getting lots of use from just one palette. You get six blendable eye shades in a portable palette. What more could a pixi pretty ask for?

How about a dual-ended liner that comes with the eye creator kit?! The Black Liner Duo features both a kohl pencil and a liquid liner. Rich in pigment, it sets in seconds and lends a consistent application of color with each stroke. For a winged eyeliner look, use the perfectly soft, yet firm felt-tip end for a precise application that easily glides on the lashline. Then to add a touch of dimension to your eyes, flip to enjoy the creamy, long-lasting kohl pencil! 

Chloe Morello's collaborative duo includes the Palette Chloette and Lip Icing. The soft colors in Palette Chloette create an ethereal glow for the eyes and cheeks. This must-have makeup palette contains super silky blush and eye shades. The powders blend smoothly and seamlessly on the skin, unveiling romantic radiance and rich color payoff. To finish off, she also included a trio of matte eye contour and liner shades that double as brow powders to define. It's easy to see that Chloe was inspired by love and romance when creating this go-to palette.

The liquid lip glimmer of Lip Icing finishes off your romantic look perfectly. Use this dazzling lip gloss to create a 3D glimmer to your Pixi perfect pout! Infused with rosehip seed and marula oil to smooth and condition, Petra and Chloe worked closely together to create this nourishing, luminous treat for your lips. Enjoy applying this go-to favorite onto bare lips, or on top of color for a lustrous sheen. 

Don't you just love all of the Pixi Pretties collaborations? You can have your whole makeup look and then some! Let's move on to what's hot in lashes and liners. Warm weather and beach days don't stand a chance with the award-winning Endless Silky Eye Pen - and lashes will be plumped to the max using Pixi's primer and mascaras.

Black Lacquer Lash Primer is a multi-use black lash primer that plumps, protects, and preps lashes. Use it before mascara as a base coat, after mascara to set, or by itself for a natural tinted look. The unique comb applicator defines and volumizes for an intense effect. This is definitely a do-not-skip step if you want mega defined lashes.

Pair the primer with Large Lash Mascara and your lashes will be wow-worthy. This intensely volumizing and lengthening mascara will give you large lashes in a few fuss-free seconds. The specialized, buildable formula along with the oversized brush delivers extreme volume and intense color in one sweep. It separates, lengthens, and plumps each lash for a false lash look without clumping. I reach for this all the time.

Now for the liners. I love a Pixi eyeliner. Why? There are so many colors, they glide on smooth, and they stay put. I love these eyeliners. 

From left to right above: 
  • Lash Line Ink is an innovative eyeliner that creates the most natural-looking eye definition. The easy-to-use applicator and super smooth water-resistant formula make this a must-have for both natural and dramatic makeup looks.
  • Eye Define Waterline is a retractable waterproof slim eyeliner. With an intense no-smudge color payoff and gentle application, use on the inner portion of the upper lash line for maximum eye definition.
  • Endless Silky Eye Pen is my favorite eyeliner. These waterproof, super-long-wear, no-smudge, no-budge eyeliners glide on like seamless silk. You can use them in a single sweep motion to create a flawless, solid jewel-toned line. They come in stunning shades like Deep Plum and Cobalt Blue.
  • Eye Bright Liner is an eye whitening brightener to use on the lower inner eye rim for eyes that look awake instantly. The nude flesh-toned colour enhances the whiteness of the eye white, giving the illusion of larger, more bright and awake eyes. Think of it as your own little wakeup makeup secret! 

Pixi knows how to make your skin glow. I have been using these four skin rescue essentials to restore, revive, and reveal my skin's radiance. Start with the Glow O2 Oxygen Mask to revive dull, tired skin. This oxygen treatment mask provides an immediate anti-fatigue effect. A mixture of oxygen complex, vitamins, ginseng, caffeine, and antioxidants replenish your skin's natural moisture. While probiotic lactococcus ferment lysate strengthens skin and lactic acid detoxifies. Glow-O2 Oxygen Mask goes to work, bringing oxygen to the skin as the gel transforms into bubbles! Result? An immediately revived and energized complexion that makes your skin look and feel great.

One of my favorite Pixi products ever - this girl loves a mist - Glow Mist gives a glowing, luminous, and smooth complexion. Enriched with 13 natural oils plus propolis, aloe vera and fruit extracts, this glow mist hydrates, protects and nourishes. It also sets makeup, adds a dewy finish and protects skin. Or just use it to refresh your skin and your makeup. Basically, take it with you everywhere! You can even use it on your hair!

Overnight Glow Serum is a concentrated exfoliating gel that helps to reveal a more even and radiant skin tone overnight. Use it to exfoliate and soothe skin while you sleep. Formulated with 10% glycolic acid and arginine, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and fade sun spots over time. It is also enriched with cucumber and aloe vera extracts to calm the skin.

Jasmine Oil Blend is a radiance recovery oil effective in helping skin recover from the loss of moisture and dullness. It helps to repair damage as well as calm and restore stressed and unbalanced skin. The healing and calming Jasmine Flower Extract along with Evening Primrose will restore and renew your skin in no time.

Visit pixibeauty.com to learn more about looking flawless in a few fuss-free moments. Connect with Pixi Beauty via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Buy It :: You can purchase my Pixi picks by clicking the links below!
  1. Café con Dulce Multi-Use Palette $24
  2. Dulce's Lip Candy $24
  3. Dimensional Eye Creator Kit $20
  4. Palette Chloette $24
  5. Lip Icing $14
  6. Black Lacquer Lash Primer $15
  7. Large Lash Mascara $16
  8. Lash Line Ink $14
  9. Eye Define Waterline $14
  10. Endless Silky Eye Pen $12
  11. Eye Bright Liner $12
  12. Glow O2 Oxygen Mask $24
  13. Glow Mist $15
  14. Overnight Glow Serum $24
  15. Jasmine Oil Blend $24

Enter to Win a $50 Oriental Trading Gift Card

I am super excited to be working with Oriental Trading on a $50 Gift Card Giveaway! Think of it as your one-stop shop for party supplies, decorations, toys, novelties and so much more. No matter what kind of summertime fun you are planning, $50 will go very far at Oriental Trading!

What would I do with a $50 Oriental Trading Gift Card? I would love to re-create a fiesta themed party with bright colors and lots of creative DIY projects like this one. How much fun does this look? The inspiration came from a Chicks and Churros Girls' Night Fiesta article that I found right on OrinetalTrading.com. So many cute ideas! 

What would you do with a $50 Oriental Trading Gift Card?

Win It :: One {lucky} reader will receive a $50 Oriental Trading Gift Card!

How To Enter :: Use the form below to enter. Giveaway closes June 24, 2018, at 11:59 pm PT. The winner will be notified via email. Good luck!

$50 Oriental Trading Gift Card Giveaway

June 5, 2018

Moore’s Hot Sauces

Dad will love cooking and grilling with Moore’s new line of hot sauces! With four flavors to choose from - a milder mustard with cayenne to an explosive habanero - there is something for everyone’s taste buds.

My husband puts hot sauce on everything. No joke. Everything. So he is a hard critic when it comes to hot sauce - and loves Moore's Hot Sauces! They are bursting with spicy flavor and go with pretty much anything.

The Spicy Mustard hot sauce is a little tangy, a little sweet . . . perfect for when you crave that mustard taste but want the added kick. It contains mustard seed combined with chili peppers and cayenne peppers. He decided to add it to his wings while grilling the other day. The result? Fabulous. Too hot for me, but he loved them.

If you love green salsa, the Jalapeno Hot Sauce is for you. Made with tomatillo and cilantro with just a hint of lime, this sauce pairs perfectly with Mexican dishes. You can use it to spice up a Bloody Mary recipe too!

The Harissa Hot Sauce takes the heat up a notch with its unique blend of roasted chili peppers, habanero peppers, cayenne peppers, and a touch of garlic. Truly a unique taste, it perfect for adding the perfect amount of fire to any dish. We can't wait to try it with this Fire Cracker Shrimp.

For those that like their food as hot as it can get, Habanero is a naturally smoky sauce made from Costa Rican habanero peppers pairs perfectly with any food. Check out this recipe for a Habanero Monterey Jack Burger.

Excite dad's taste buds and add extra flavor to all of his favorite foods with Moore’s Hot Sauces. Don’t just add heat, add Moore Flavor.

Connect :: You can connect with Moore's Marinades and Sauces on Facebook and Instagram. At just $3.29 for a six-ounce bottle, Moore's Hot Sauce is perfect to add to dad's father's day gift! You can purchase their products at these fine retailers.



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