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My April Favorites!

Hey, hey, hey! I managed to remember this for April! So what were my favorites for this month?

My favorite lip product:

BurtB_lip_balms

 

Burt’s Bees lip balm. Whether it’s the colored ones, the “special” ones with pomegranate or peppermint, or the one I originally fell in love with (the one with honey!), their lip balm kicks. Even Hims will suffer me to put some on his lips when they are chapped, and that’s saying something. This is one of those “purse staples” – so much so that if I can’t find a tube at some point (which is rare) I can always go look in a few of my purses and I’m bound to find one lurking.

My favorite nail polish:

No-Miss

 

This isn’t so much a nail polish – it’s a base coat. No-Miss Base Coat, a vegan base coat that dries quickly and is pretty durable. (I can wear just one coat on my otherwise bare nails for four or five days before I need to redo it.) I found it at Dorothy Lane Market, a local market here in Ohio, but as it’s vegan I’m sure you can find it at places that offer a healthier, vegan-friendly stock. And worse comes to worst, you can always try direct from the manufacturer (No-Miss) or Amazon!

My favorite book (that was read this month):

By Source, <a title="<a href="//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Non-free_use_rationale_guideline" title="Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline">Fair use</a> of copyrighted material in the context of <a href="//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresh_Off_the_Boat" title="Fresh Off the Boat">Fresh Off the Boat</a>" href="//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fresh_Off_the_Boat_intertitle.png">Fair use</a>, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45310660

 

The Tank Man’s Son by Mark Bouman. I found this book courtesy NetGalley and wound up happily reading it on my Nook.I was afraid at first it would be a depressing story, with me feeling so wrung out by the time Mark reached adulthood and got out of the situation that I would have to force myself to finish it. Not at all! Throughout the whole thing there is wry humor, touching moments, and at no point does the father come off as anything less that a human being. Many books like this tend to ostracize the abuser, show them in an animalistic light, but not this, and I applaud that! The blurb about the book:

In the tradition of The Glass Castle and Angela’s Ashes comes the most unforgettable memoir you’ll read this year!
What did it mean to be the Tank Man’s son? To grow up overwhelmed by my father’s presence and personality? It was as if I didn’t exist, as if I was just something else for my father to crush.”

So begins the haunting memoir of Mark Bouman as he recounts the events of his childhood at the hands of his larger-than-life, Neo-Nazi father in brilliant, startling detail. From adventure-filled days complete with real-life war games, artillery fire, and tank races to terror-filled nights marked by vicious tirades, brutal beatings, and psychological torture, Mark paints a chilling portrait of family life that is at once whimsical and horrific―all building to a shocking climax that challenges even the broadest boundaries of love and forgiveness.

An epic tale of redemption and reconciliation, The Tank Man’s Son is a literary tour de force that is sure to become an instant classic.

My favorite scent:

My Sin

 

Lanvin – My Sin. This is my Mom’s perfume. She had a small bottle of the extrait that she would use for special occasions – like school plays, Christmas shows, and holidays. I’m sure she used it when she and Dad were dating, too! This scent does not smell like “old lady”, believe me. It has this lush, rich, velvety feel to it. Think of the femme fatale movie stars of Hollywood’s golden age. As I saw in a review somewhere, this perfume is like “a beautiful woman who doesn’t even have to try” – she simply is the center of attention. Unfortunately, this perfume was discontinued in 1988, but I am lucky enough to have found a small half-full bottle of the extrait on eBay about five years back.

My favorite app on my phone:

Survive 1

 

Survive – Wilderness Survival for Android. The game is described like this: “Try survive and travel to safety. Wilderness survival themed simulation where you need to decide how you spend your time and what action is most crucial for you now in order to survive: building a shelter, finding food, water, traveling, collecting firewood…” Believe me, it’s a lot harder than what you might think, but it’s also very addicting! And play with the sound up… you can hear the rain, the fire, animals, everything. It just really adds to the game play experience.

Survive 2

 

My favorite drink:

 

Nothing so very interesting this month: coffee. Just coffee with two or three packets of Stevia in the Raw and two tablespoonfuls of Sugar Free Coffee Mate in Sweet Italian Cream. That’s how I start my day!

Favorite thing to watch on television:

By Source, Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Fresh Off the Boat
By Source, Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Fresh Off the Boat

 

 

I heard about this around the start of this season, the show’s second. Oddly enough, it wasn’t rave reviews or praise for the comedy that caught my attention, but a reply (by Eddie Huang himself, I believe) to some people who were screaming abut the show being racist and showing Asians and Asian-Americans in a bad light, promoting stereotypes. Obviously, these people didn’t know where the show originated (Huang’s own book) and I’d guess they’d probably never really sat down and watched some episodes before pronouncing damnation.

Naturally, I had to see what the fuss was about, so I found Fresh Off The Boat on the On Demand menu. Hims came in and sat down to watch, too – both of us not holding out high hopes for real comedy, but wanting to give it a try. And we loved it. Are there stereotypes? Probably. But guys – there’s a reason there are stereotypes, and that’s because those things actually happen. Jessica micro-manages her family – not because she is Chinese, but because she needs to be in control, and that’s probably how she was raised. Louis opens a restaurant based on the American West, with American food, and strives for success – not because he’s Asian, but because he is making the most of opportunity. Dood, if I had the money, I’d open an American food restaurant tomorrow. (Though I’d probably nix the taxidermy bear…) I’m not going to pick apart the family like this, but please – the older White neighbor guy with the young blonde wife who looks like she should be in Playboy – that can also be pointed at as a stereotype.

Usually it just grates on my nerves when people try to tear things down and demonize everything, especially when there’s nothing really there. Mountain out of a molehill. This time, however, I’m glad they did, only because I wouldn’t have discovered this series had they not got their panties in a bunch.

(And I apologize to anyone I might have offended with this mini-rant, though if you’re offended by just that, you might want to rethink what’s actually important in your life. Go outside. Breathe in the fresh air. We’re all the same, but blessed with the ability to think for ourselves. Have a beautiful day!)

My favorite thing at Trader Joe’s:

wn-org-riced-cauliflower

 

Oooh, oooh, oooh! Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower. I know, I know – eiw, right? That’s what I thought at first, too. But it’s not eiw… it’s really oooh! I saute it in a skillet with olive oil (also from Trader Joe’s), some salt and garlic cloves, and top it off with some butter. Even Hims likes it! It’s a great substitute for rice, which means less carbs for those of you counting that, and less SmartPoints for those of us doing stuff that way. Be brave! Be adventurous! Try it out once, just for the heck of it!

What else should I add to my monthly favorites list? Anyone have any suggestions?

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Author:

Syd is a Midwestern girl who doesn’t think the term “girl” is sexist in the least – especially after she left her 20s. She holds a huge love for history (from WWI through the end of WWII, Victorian, Regency, and Elizabethan eras), some science fiction, and likes to pass the time reading, working with photography and needlework, and writing things. Lots of things. Syd likes to dance, too, but she looks like an utter goob doing so!

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