The Well-Read Wife


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I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
March 12, 2011
A Sailor Went To Sea to See What he Could See, See
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Children's Books
Topic: Book Reviews

This Little Piggy with CD: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games and Pantomime RhymesThis Little Piggy with CD: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games and Pantomime Rhymes by Jane Yolen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect for librarians, teachers, day care workers, and parents of children under the age of three years old. The children will enjoy the pictures in the colorfully illustrated book, and enjoy the repetitive lyrics featured on the accompanying compact disc. Educators and caregivers will enjoy the squeals from their charges.

The Tushy BookThe Tushy Book by Fran Manushkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very cute book celebrating the uses of children's tushies from babyhood to adulthood. With colorful illustrations featuring children of all colors in different scenarios, toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy relating to how they use their tushies every day. The rhyming verses make it an excellent book for story times. Beware, there are some semi-nude tushy illustrations that will have your little ones squealing and falling over in laughter.


The Three BearsThe Three Bears by Byron Barton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Byron Barton's picture books can do no wrong in my book. I've been sharing them with my children and children at the library for the last 5 years. The colors are bright, virbrant, and a joy to behold. The text is always bold, black, and easy to read. He covers subjects that all little ones like to read about over and over again--trains, planes, dinosaurs, cars, trucks, astronauts. Now, he brings his brillance to the classic tale of The Three Little Bears with great success. Definitely a wonderful introduction to the tale that can be read to children as young as 18-months to children as old as 7-year-olds. (Once your child gets to 2nd or 3rd grade, definitely introduce them to all of Paul Galdone's interpretations of the classic fairy tales and fables.)

View all my reviews

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 2:57 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
March 7, 2011
From the Sweet to the Sultry
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo and Taming Blackhawk by Barbara McCauley
Topic: Book Reviews

Just Being AudreyJust Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo (and illustrated by Julia Denos) is an adorable children's biography of film star and human rigts activist Audrey Hepburn. In a scant 32 pages, Cardillo presents the life of Audrey Hepburn as a collection of qualities that children should strive to achieve--hard work; kindness; helping others; and self-acceptance. The illustrations are soft-colored and almost dreamlike. It is a beautiful book for every Audrey Hepburn fan (like myself) to own or a beautiful book to gift every children who ever felt as though they were too awkward (or untalented) to fit in.

View all my reviews

Taming Blackhawk (Secrets!) (Desire, 1437)Taming Blackhawk (Secrets!) by Barbara McCauley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished Taming Blackhawk last night, and boy was I ever pleased! It was a brisk and sensual love story featuring a modern working girl and her cowboy lover, Rand Blackhawk. The family secrets of Rand were wrapped up quickly and tidily, and gave the book a little more gravitas. I was a bit disappointed that the heroine was a virgin, and felt her life would be incomplete without a husband and a "passel" of children. However, I forgive the book for those characteristics for this is a romance novel not a post-modern feminist theory text book. (Hmmm, I suppose, as a feminist, I would say that it is okay for a woman to chose to want to have a family.)

View all my reviews

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:23 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
March 6, 2011
Can I Get A Q&A With Jesus?
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: A Conversatin with God by Marcia Ford
Topic: Book Reviews
It is hard to be a Christian especially if you’re new to it and you’re an adult like me. I didn’t grow up in a structured religion nor did I attend church. My classmates and friends practiced all different religions from Islam to Catholicism, and all variations of the above. I gleamed tidbits from each. I was intrigued for I liked to learn new information, but I was nonetheless confused about who was God, what did He want, and why were we here.  

As I grew into adulthood, I developed my own spirituality based on the existence of God but it also included a mixture of my very secular beliefs. Some times, the little laws I knew from the bible collided with the scientific/political laws I knew from my life on Earth. These collisions caused confusion, and I had no idea where to turn to find the right answers. Even after I was baptized ten years ago, I still found myself confused. I knew was on the right path but.... I tried reading the bible several times to completion, but I found it daunting. Heck, I found it boring but I persevered. Study bibles gave me some insightful lessons, but A Conversation with God for Women (If You Could Ask God Any Question, What Would it Be?) by Marcia Ford has really helped put God and Jesus’ laws/thoughts/concerns into perspective for me.

Using bible scriptures (with proper notations) and first person narrative as though God is speaking to you directly,  Ms. Ford provides direction to the answers of some of my difficult questions--such as “Are All Sins the Same?”; “Do You Hear Everybody’s Prayers?”; and “Is It Possible to Find Genuine Peace?” Each chapter is only 2 or 3 pages, and highly readable. I leave my copy of the book in the bathroom. Each day, I read one chapter that has the answer to the question that is most bothersome to me that day. (Lately, they’ve all seem to center around suffering and prayer.)

I can’t see what is so special about the book that makes it geared toward women because I think everyone who is walking with God has similar questions whether they be man, woman, girl or boy! I would love to give this book to my brother who is more pragmatic than me. I’m sure he would find some of the answers to his questions about God’s relationship with man/woman here. Definitely a 5 star book.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 9:19 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 20, 2011
Kiki's Favorite Things for February
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Wonderful Bargain Make up Finds!
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

Motherhood is a bitch, because it eats into all of your "me time." It gets even harder when you have a child in school, because that child has to be at school a whole hour earlier than you have to be at work. Essentially, I've been spending the last 5 months awaking a "not-a-morning-person" kindergartener while trying to get my own motor running. Once I've gotten my daughter completely ready for school, I have 20 minutes to be work ready from shower to coat. This has turned me into a grumpy and a bland-faced miss, but I've resolved this by putting on my "face" at work which isn't so bad since I now arrive at least 20 minutes earlier than needed.

I hate that I have to apply make-up at work, because I'm really the only one in the office who wears it and I feel like this little feminine ritual might dimish my credibility with my co-workers. Yet, I persist because if all it takes is a little mascara to separate them from their respect for me, then I never really had it at all. *ahem* But, I digress. 

This new desktop make-up routine has taught me to appreciate the smaller and more portable products, which I will now review.


1.E.L.F. Essentials Eyelind Primer is a miracle prodcut that costs only $1. I couple of swipes of this primer will sop up the oil on your lids and provide a smooth and mattified canvas for your favorite eyeshadow colors. The liquid to power formula does take a little longer to dry than most cream eye shadow bases, but it works for hours! I literally get no color fading after 5 hours. Just one tip, a little goes a long way. 


2. 32 Endless Eyes Studio Eye Shadow Mini Palette is a perfect purse-sized palete that includes an array of eye shadows in matte, shimmery, dark, bright or neutral colors. Even better, it was only $5!! Use with the primer and you have a banging eye look. The only downside is that the included sponge-tip brushes are incredibly cheap. Use one of your travel eyeshadow brushes or disposable eye shadow sponge-tip brushes. (Hint: the sponge-tip brushes will give you a bolder cool which I like.)



e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palee.le.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette


3. Wet n Wild's Mega Length mascara gives me nice, long, defined lashes all for $2 and it fits in the palm of my hand! Wnw beauty has certainly stepped up its game and I'm benefitting. Besides their new nail polishes, beautiful eye shadow palettes, they also have a a slew of mascaras for you to chose from depending on your lash needs. I have to get another tube to keep in my house now.


4. WnW ColorIcon Eye Shadow Palette in Cool as a Cucumber is my favorite goto green shade. (I'm a huge fan of green eyeshadow.) The included brushes also work very well. For $3, it's a steal! 

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 9:44 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
December 30, 2010
Promises, Promises
Now Playing: My 2011 New Year's Resolutions
Topic: Random Thoughts

As the year comes to an end and the second decade of the 21st century begins, I decided to come up with my 2011 list of goals. I'm going to go with the word "goals" because resolutions seems too restrictive. Goals are fluid. Cool


Find a new church/spiritual home closer to my house that is inclusive--one part Christian and one part Unitarian Univeralist.

Buy more fresh cabbage because I like eating cabbage, and I'm good at cooking it.

I want to eat better--more vegetables, less cola.

Find an indoor exercise to do Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday mornings until it gets warmer and I can start walking outside again.

To remember to take my daily multivitamin every day.

To yell less at my children.

To get my hair cut professionally more often. (I got a hair cut about 2 weeks ago, and I've been getting lots of compliments. Holla!)



Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:22 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
December 29, 2010
Just A Few Of My Favorite Things
Topic: Random Thoughts

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 7:45 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
October 19, 2010
This ELF is Better Than the Ones That Work for Santa
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: E.L.F. 32 Eye Shadow Palette and Eye Primer

I've been a bit on a mini-spending spree. Something about money being tight makes me want to spend more rather than less. My attitude is better get stuff now before I don't have any more money to get anything. I try not to get too silly or exorbitant with my spending, but to find something that is expensive and will bring me joy. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) Cosmetices comes into the picture. Besides the awesomely inexpensive prices, they also have really excellent coupon codes and deals.


Here's a tip, follow their blog!If you're one of the first 25 blog registrants to post a comment to a story, you'll score a $5-off coupon. Depending on what you buy, it's almost like getting a free piece of a make-up. This is what I experienced last week when I scored this mini eye shadow palette filled with an array of 32 colors. It is only $5 although it looks even more expensive. The case sleek and black, and contains a mirror that's perfect for at your desk touch-ups. It's also very light and slim. It fits into my handbag without adding bulk.

On my bare eye, the shadow lasted about four hours before creasing since I have oily eyelids. If I had used a primer or base, I'm sure I could have eked out another couple of hours. The colors are bit darker than they appear in the palette so don't be too heavy handed. Also, ditch the eye shadow brush included and use one of your own. (I recommend Smashbox's Crease Brush #10 or E.L.F.'s All Over Eyeshadow Brush.)


I also recommend using it over their $1 primer. I did a skin test on my inner wrist and it lasted for hours, even after I washed the dishes. Imagine how it will handle the shadow. Go on, splurge yourself for a little money. If you spend $10 by October 25, you'll receive a free E.L.F. Studio 27 Piece Mini Make-up collection that contains 9 eyeshadow shades, 1 cream eyeshadow shade, 1 blush, 1 bronzer, 10 lip gloss shades, 1 brow powder, 1 eye liner pencil, 1 dual ended eyeshadow applicator and brush, 1 face brush and 1 lip brush. The hardest part of this offer is figuring out how to accumulate at least $10 worth of products since the prices are so damn low. lol. (I'm thinking about their translucent studio HD powder, $6, and another eye shadow palette for Christmas presents.)





Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:05 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: October 19, 2010 9:15 PM EDT
October 6, 2010
Maintaining Your Status from the Great Hereafter!!
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Otrib, an online funeral planning/memorial site
Topic: Random Thoughts

Now folks, I've heard of everything. But when BzzAgent sent me an introduction to try out the new Facebook app, Otrib, my jaw hit the ground. It was too surreal for me not to sign up. Besides allowing you to honor a loved one's life and help plan and manage your final arrangements on the internet and off, Otrib will help you create a "virtual will." In other words, name someone the executor of Twitter, Facebook, blog and other online presences when you die. They will be responsible for closing or continuing the account.


In my honest opinion, when I die, my Facebook account will not be "carrying on" without me. However, who will remember to closeout my accuont in the middle of mourning me? Although the application requires too much access to my Facebook account for my maintaining my privacy levels, I do see how it could be a good service. If you take a look at it or sign up, please tell me what you think.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 4:16 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
September 7, 2010
The Big Fall Round Up

The best part of my 4-day Labor Day weekend, besides not having to work, was catching up on all my September 2010 fashion magazines. Whew, I swear each year those issues get bigger and heavier! (I still have the September issue of Harper's Bazaar to get through, and I've already received the October issue of Lucky!!!) Well, what's bad for me is good for you. I've complied a list of fall fashion trends to look out for and how to achieve them on the cheap. You can achieve these looks by shopping at the following eRetailers: Old Navy; Fashion Bug; Payless Shoe Source; and Target. Are you excited yet? I know I am. Shall we begin?

5 Fall Fashion Trends

1. Mad Men Era Retro/feminine shapes: Think nipped in waists, full skirts, and defined shoulders. It's Dior's New Look for the 2010s, like Target's take on it with this nifty shirt dress. It comes in red and black, and is less than $40.


2. Menswear : This trend has been hanging tough for the past couple of seasons. Think feminizing Mad Men's anti-hero Don Draper's look--pointed toe oxfords; wide length trousers; form fitting pants suits; and over sized watches. Your fashion icons should be up and coming crooner Janelle Monae and Katherine Hepburn.


(Piece together these two matching separates from Old Navy for an inexpensive suit. The darting on the blazer will give you the feminine look you want in your menswear.)

3. Animal prints: Mainly leopard in its traditional brown/camel colored family. If you're feeling daring, try a neon leopard print like this wallet from Fashion Bug.


 4. Gray: To hell with the washed out, heathered looks of your gym sweats. These grays are dark enough to replace your black staples, but bright enough to give your wardrobe a lift. Soft pale grays will give your white blouses a break, and allow your jewel tone accessories to pop! (Check out Target's Dolce Vita studded oxford in gray, and those shoes are three trends in one! Me likey!)

5. Studs/ornamentation: Everything from shirts to purses seem to have a hint of metal ornamentation. However, you will not be channeling Sid & Nancy's punk rock days. These studs a flatter and faceted.

6. Chunky knits: Nothing screams fall like wrapping yourself in a big warm knit sweater. This year, they will be coming in all shapes and sizes. Replace your trusty blazers and suit jackets with hip length chunky cardigan for a twist on your career wear. Also think about rocking a sweater dress with your knee-high boots and a sexy waist-cinching belt.

Sweater Links:

Old Navy

Fashion Bug


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:02 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: September 16, 2010 6:20 PM EDT
August 22, 2010
I Created a Fall Clothing Database
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: How I Spent My Vacation
Topic: Random Thoughts

My Fall Clothing Wardrobe.


Look who figured out how to use Excel! 




Posted by Kiki Shoes at 7:59 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: August 22, 2010 8:17 PM EDT
August 12, 2010
My Philosophy? Treat Others Like You Want to Be Treated
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Philosophy Skincare Giveaway at The Fashionable Housewife
Topic: Contests


Dear Followers,

As most of you know, I love entering contests; answering surveys; and giving reviews. Basically, anything where I can get something for free! Most of the time, I'm entering for products I don't know much about or have not previously used. Not this time. One of my fav blogs, The Fashionable Housewife, is having a Philosophy Skin Care QVC Giveaway worth approximately $80.

I have been a fan of Philosophy for at least a decade. They made one of the moisturizing lip balms I ever used, and they have deliciously scented body washes. (I was a fun of the gingerbread body wash.) I am also a huge of QVC. I watch it with the same regularity that people watch the news. (*SMH* I know, I know.) With that said, it would really please me to win this giveaway. If not me, than you. (I only say that half-heartedly because I REALLY WANT TO WIN. LOL.)


As part of The Fashionable Housewife's Philosophy celebration, they are giving away the Philosophy Eternal Grace spray fragrance & shower gel duo ($45) and Philosophy Your Best Skin 3pc skincare classics collection ($35).  So why don't you head on over and enter at:

Good luck!



Posted by Kiki Shoes at 8:22 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
August 7, 2010
Pleasantly Warm Face of the Day
Mood:  down
Now Playing: face of the day featuring Nicka K Diamond Duo Eyeshadow
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

This morning I had some extra time, so I decided to do a full face of make-up. In retrospect, I think I should have gone with my CoverGirl Queen Collection Bronzer in Ebony instead of the CoverGirl Simply Ageless Cream Blush in Berry. I should really, really, really find a spot in my house where I can work in direct natural light. Actually, there is a great place but it is also a very inconvenient space--my living room. If I ever buy a roll top desk that I could transform into a vanity, it might work because I can hide my make-up works when I'm not using them. But, I digress.

Below is the full face.  How do you like the vibrant golden yellow eye courtesy of Nicka D and N.Y.C. color?


1. I dusted my eyelid with E.L.F.'s Studio line translucent powder; 2. I dotted on a very thin layer of Ultima II base; and, then, 3. applied the yellow (the highlight side) from N.Y.C. Color's latest eyeshadow duo Upper Zest Side from brow to lid. (The yellow is much more vibrant when you dampened the brush, which I did. I used a tapered eye shadow brush to stipple on the color.

Finally, from crease to lid, I applied Nicka K Duo Eyeshadow in Toasted Almond. I swiped across both sides for a sunshine golden color. This picture came out dark, so it's not doing the vibrancy of the colors justice.




On my lips, I'm wearing CoverGirl ShineBlast in 880 underneath Black Radiance Liquid Lip Color in Coral Kiss. I used CoverGirl for moisturizer, because it really isn't highly pigmented. I used a light swipe of Black Radiance. Their coral is more pink than orange. It's a subtle hint of color. (I suggested using Black Radiance or any brand geared towards African-Americans or Latinos because you'll always get more color vibrancy.)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:02 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: August 7, 2010 6:00 PM EDT
July 19, 2010
Libraries are cool
Now Playing: Brigham Young University Library Commercial
Topic: Random Thoughts

As a librarian and a fan of the Old Spice commericals, this parody commercial floored me. Enjoy.



Brigham Young University / BYU - New Spice | Study like a scholar, scholar

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 10:38 AM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
July 14, 2010
Nails and Stains
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Avon Nailwear Pro Nail Enamel and CoverGirl Lipstain
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

I haven’t done any FOTDs in awhile. It’s just a little too hard for me to do it whilst my little ones are running around trying to get my attention before I go to work. However, I’ve still been doing my make-up each morning. Glamour magazine was right, a little bit of waterproof mascara and tinted moisturizer make it easy to do a flawless face during the heat and humidity of the summer. Goddess bless Kiss My Face’s tinted moisturizer and CoverGirl’s LashBlast Mascara.

I am also officially in love with Avon’s Nailwear Pro Nail Enamel which go on great and last more than just two days on my fingernails. Without a base coat but with a Seche’s quick dry top coat, their polishes last at least 4 days before it starts to show some wear. Two of my newest colors are complimentary shades of green--Jade (see color below) and Olive Green. I heart Olive Green (picture left) for it is a dark and sexy shade that is an excellent alternative to those who are addicted to dark opaque shades like chocolate brown, blood red, and black. Olive Green reminds me of the dark green industrial trash bags. If the pastel trend is what you’re looking for, Jade is an excellent alternative to the lilacs, blues and pinks that have been crowding the shelves.

A buy one get one free sale at Rite Aid this week led me to finally buy CoverGirl’s Outlast Lipstain in Plum Pout and Wild Berry Wink. I never used a stain before and I was very excited as I tore off the protective plastic and pulled off the cap. The marker applicator slide over my lips easily without dragging or drying. My lips looked pouty and sexily stained as though I had just eaten a cherry ice pop. However, the look didn’t last long. After a morning diet soda and mid-morning snack, the stain had disappeared leaving only a faint ring around my lips. I might try it under lip gloss to give my mouth that extra pop. On a scale of 5, I give it 2.5 stars. Buy it on sale, for sure.


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:01 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: July 15, 2010 3:11 PM EDT
July 3, 2010
I Shoulda Loved Max B4 He Left
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Face of the Day with Max Factor Lip Gloss in 810 Vegas Nights
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

Late last year, I purchased two Max Factor Vivid Impact Eyeshadow Duos and one MAXalicioius Lip Gloss at a deeply discount price at my local drugstore. It was 75% off! It was a great deal, and I was giving myself major kudos for buying such great products. The Vivid Impact Eyeshadow Duos went on smooth; blened well; and lasted all day. (I purchased the colors Sulty Sage and Smoking Rose.) The lip gloss was vibran, shiny, and highly pigmented. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later did I find out that Max Factor was no longer selling in the U.S. market hence the deep discount. Now, I was kicking myself for not racking up on such a well-performing gloss. You can see it below on my lips. That, my friends, is only one swipe on the top lip and one swipe on the bottom lip without liner.



Formula D Minerals Ultimate Vegan Face Powder and Primer, $9 on Etsy

Kiss My Face Tinted Moisturizer in Branch, $9,

Formula D Minerals Vegan Blush in Flushed, $7, on Etsy


J2 Double-Sided Eye Liner and Shadow in Black/Silver, $3, beauty supply stores

Nicka K Duo Diamond Eyeshadow in Debut, $4, beauty supply stores. (It's hard to tell on the computer screen but darker color is a soft black with silver shimmer.)

Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara, $9, drug stores




Max Factor MAXlicious Lip Gloss in 810 Vegas Nights, various online sites, not available in United States drug stores, about $8.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:56 AM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Updated: July 3, 2010 9:17 PM EDT

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