I'm Back!

Hi Everyone! I'm back!

I know that my blog has been down for a few months now and I wanted to apologize. Here's what happened. When I started my blog, I was originally hosted by Bluehost and that is where my blog has been for 3 years. This past year, I have been having nothing but trouble with Bluehost and Weebly through Bluehost. As a result, I decided to start looking into switching to a different hosting site. This then came with a whole host of problems I didn't expect.

While it was simple enough to switch my domain, switching the content of my site has been a completely different story. It turns out, that there is no easy way to do this from the way I had it set up. 

As you may (or may not) have noticed, there is a lot of content missing from my site currently. I will be slowly transferring my previous content to this new set up over time. I'm hoping it will be completely transferred by the end of the summer and I plan on posting new content while doing so. I do apologize if some of the older content isn't formatted exactly the same as the new content, but I'm doing the best I can.

I hope that you like the new site and that you will forgive my absence and continue to read my future posts. Here's hoping to a fresh start and getting back to consistent content.

Series Recap: Lost Heroes of Olympus

Have you ever started a long series when the first book came out but then over the course of multiple years lost track of it? This has happened to me a few times, but most significantly with the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.
When I first read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series when I was in college, I fell in love. I own all 5 books and I have read them multiple times. However, they were all already out when I read them so I was able to read them sequentially in a short time span.

When I find an author I love, I immediately check their backlist and proceed to read whatever else I can find by them. For Riordan, that was the Kane Chronicles. Now, if you aren’t aware, the Percy Jackson series follows Greek mythology while the Kane Chronicles follows Egyptian mythology. I have never really had an interest in Egyptian mythology, so while I enjoyed Riordan’s writing, I didn’t love the story as much. Then, he came out with The Lost Hero (the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series) which went back to the Greek mythology with an overlap of characters I had loved from the first series.

The first book came out in 2010 while I was still in college. Because of that, I had to wait for each book to come out. During this time, I went to graduate school, moved to Florida, moved back home, started a new job, and then moved into my own apartment with my (now) husband. While I kept up pretty decently with the first three books, I completely missed books four and five.

I’ve always regretted not finishing this series, but knew that if I was going to finish it I would have to re-read the first three books. Luckily, it seems like I finally have time to do that! I am really excited because for years it has bugged me that I didn’t finish a series I had been enjoying so much.

So, what that means for the blog is that for the first three books I will do a little series re-cap/refresher, and then I will do two reviews of the two final books. Possibly mini-reviews combined into one blog post, but I’m not really sure. Anyway, I thought it could be a fun way to learn about the series without (hopefully) giving away too many spoilers.

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1)
The Lost Hero starts with Jason, waking up at Wilderness Camp with no idea who he is or how he got there. The only thing he knows is his name. Throughout the story, pieces of his memory come back to him in small spurts. This is pretty much how I felt while reading the story. I was grasping for memories of plot points, but couldn’t quite reach them. All I could remember was that Jason and his friends Piper and Leo were on a mission to stop Gaea from awakening and that Percy Jackson was missing. I also remembered (SPOILER) that Jason was a Roman Demigod and not Greek. Other than that, I had vague memories of what was going to happen but nothing concrete.

It was fun to re-read because I got to meet the characters all over again and experience their quest with them. I didn’t know everything that was going to happen so it wasn’t boring. I love Riordan’s writing and I love how he created this world of Greek mythology. I also love that each of the main characters is flawed and they always have to find their own personal strengths with the help of their friends.

This first book sets up a lot of storyline and I am very excited to continue with the second book and see where this series goes. I enjoy the balance of old and new characters and look forward to being back with Percy in the next book!

Mini Candle and Skin Care Haul

ephora’s Beauty Insider sale started on April 20th, and I decided that I needed to go. Bath and Body Works was also having a candle sale, which of course I couldn’t resist.

This year, one of Sephora’s birthday gifts was from Caudalie. It included the Vinoperfect Radiance serum and moisturizer. I have fallen in love with the Vinoperfect serum and decided that having 10% off with the sale was the perfect time to but the full size since it’s a bit expensive ($79 full size). 

The Vinoperfect Radiance serum is meant to even skin tone and texture, lighten dark spots, and brighten skin. It is made with an ingredient called viniferine that is from grapevine sap and is meant to be more powerful than Vitamin C. It also claims that if it is put on under sunscreen that the ingredients will give you a more even tan. While I don’t know about the tan (as it is only April), it has brightened and evened my skin tone for sure. I originally thought that I wasn’t going to like it because of the consistency and because of the price, but my skin tone has definitely evened out since using it. I often have difficulty with spots and redness and this has helped so much. Because it doesn’t have anti-aging properties, I will probably continue to use my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair as well. In fact, I might actually start using the Estee Lauder at night and use Caudalie during the day.

While I was there, I also got sucked in by the Sephora facemasks. They’re so bright and colorful that I couldn’t resist. This time I picked up the pomegranate sleeping mask. The only kind of odd thing (that I didn't know until I got it home) is that it seems like it's a bit of a jelly texture. This should be interesting as a mask and I’m really looking forward to trying it out as it says it’s supposed to awaken your skin and is only $4. 

I’ve been trying to be better about using up candles, so I haven’t purchased many lately. I used up a bunch of my winter ones and a few of my more summery ones, so I finally allowed myself to buy new ones with their $10 off candle sale. I also had a coupon for $10 off of $30 which made my candles only $10 a piece.

One of my favorite candles is the Love, Heart, & Flowers candle. Unfortunately, it was limited edition and I only purchased 2 at the time. Last year, since they didn’t bring back the Love candle, I bought the Baja Cactus Flower candle and fell in love. This year, I went with the intentions to repurchase the newly renamed Cactus Flower and to find a candle as similar to the Love candle as possible. After smelling almost every candle in the shop, I came to the conclusion that Endless Weekend was as lose as I could possibly get. It has a slight sunscreen smell which I greatly enjoy.

Well, that’s it for my mini-haul! Did you purchase any items at the Sephora sale?