Thursday, January 27, 2022

Vunella Shampoo and Conditioner Bar Review


I should have reviewed Vunella shampoo and conditioner bars like a year ago. But I didn't want to because they made me mad. To start with, I ordered them at the same time as I ordered the Earthling Co bars, but it took my first shipment months to arrive (whereas the Earthling Co bars got here in like a week). I was honestly two days away from reporting it as fraud to PayPal (which is how I paid for them) when they finally arrived on my doorstep. And even after they arrived I was still tempted to report it as fraud, because one of my shampoo bars was missing from my order (I didn't, because I'd received most of my order and that would've been dishonest). I had expected them much sooner you see, because they were on SALE when I bought them. But I've been paying attention to the Vunella site since then, and their stuff is ALWAYS on sale. The sales are a gimmick so you'll think you're getting a bargain, but it's really just the price of their bars. But the gimmick worked on me because I chose them as one of my first orders BECAUSE of the sale. Long story not so short, I wanted to hate these shampoo and conditioner bars. 

But I didn't. In fact, except for the fact that I absolutely love, love, love the lilac scent of my Viori bars, these are my favorite shampoo and conditioner bars that I've used so far. They lather quickly, and leave my hair feeling more full than I ever remember it being in my life. And when I'm not going to the gym and using the pool every day, I can easily go three days without washing my hair, and it will only just start to look greasy (and that's with wearing a hat, oftentimes in a hot kitchen, for "8" hours a day). I am legitimately mad because of how much I like these bars. 

I like them so much, in fact, that I ordered from them again (even though I still have a list somewhere, although I'm not sure where somewhere is right now, of other companies to order from and test out) because they caught me with another sale gimmick. Each bar was like $8, and that's honestly the cheapest I've found, and I know these bars work well with my hair. I'm also going through my shampoo and conditioner bars more quickly because I am going to the gym and using the pool most days so my hair needs to be washed more often. And I'm happy to report that this order arrived within like a week of me placing it. 

So it is against my better judgement that I highly recommend these bars if you're looking to jump on the shampoo bar bandwagon. They are affordable and the best I've used so far for keeping my hair moisturized and healthy. - Katie 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Major Life Update

 Guess who's back, back again. Katie's back, tell some friends. Okay, two years ago I wrote a post about being back, and I've not posted much since, so let's try this again shall we. Let's start with a life update. Towards the end of 2021, I slid into depression. I started feeling overwhelmed by everything in my life, so I started cutting things out. I stopped checking my email (I've got like 3 months worth of emails I need to sort through now, most of them junk), stopped getting on Facebook, basically stopped doing everything that wasn't work or family related (I even stopped entering Goodreads giveaways), and I really cut back on the family related stuff too. There was even one day at work where I could not for the life of me put a smile on my face (I spent most of my day crying in fact), which is not helpful when you work in food service and guests expect you to smile. When I started to come back from the depression, I joined a gym and signed up for personal training, which may be helping the depression because exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy (and happy people don't kill their husbands, they just don't). I've lost some weight, and I was starting to see some improvement in my physical strength. Then I took vacation for the holidays so we could visit my in-laws in Illinois/Wisconsin/Iowa, and I caught Covid.

After spending 10 days doing literally nothing because I couldn't be on my feet for more than five minutes without being extremely winded and needing to use my inhaler, I've lost some of my gains. And I can't even just jump right back into workouts like I was doing before to get back there. Fortunately for me, my personal trainer had Covid just before I started working with him, so once I told him that I just had it, he's been very understanding of my current limitations. But I'm currently frustrated with the situation. 

The last thing I did to free myself up is quit every single book that was on my Goodreads currently reading shelf (all 20+ of them). They are all back on my to-read shelf, because I might still want to read them, but honestly that number was overwhelming too. I'd like to say that I'm going to never have more than four books on my currently reading shelf from here on out, but I know that's an unrealistic promise for me to make. 

Now I just want to be more active here on the blog, but I still need to figure out what that's going to look like for me. I'd like to participate in weekly memes again, but I don't have a lot of time to visit other blogs, so I'm not sure if that's for me anymore. I will return to reviewing the books I read, with the exception of the books I proofread (those will just be spotlight posts). And I may try to post some more frequent life updates, and reviews of other products as well. 

But if you've stuck with this post this far, please leave me a comment that I can write on a sticky note for my office wall. It needs an update. - Katie 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Spotlight: The Champion's Ruin by Kristen Banet - November 24 Release


Author: Kristen Banet
Published: November 24, 2020

Pride comes before the fall

Riding the high of the victories their rebellion had been able to claim early in their campaign against the tyranny and oppression of the Empire, the Andinna stand tall. They find reasons to celebrate with every won skirmish, every freed slave, and every reunion with their friends from Olost. Mave stands at the top beside her king, her friend, and her brother, Alchan Andini, as they claim each of those victories. Supporting them, the full force and power of the Ivory Shadows, helping lead the Andinna to freedom. Her husbands, their extended families, their community, a band of warriors brought together in the most terrible of times. A band of warriors who will stop at nothing to see freedom before their lifetimes are over.

But Shadra has joined the fray now. A thousand years before, a cunning noble woman knew how to cut to the heart of the Andinna and bring them to their knees. Her generals and admirals are floundering. Her son and heir is dead. There are traitors and spies in her midst. But she is Empress Shadra of the Elvasi Empire and she has defeated the warrior Andinna people before. She is resolved to do it again.

Pride comes before the fall.
And when one can fly, that fall can be a very long way down.

The Champion’s Ruin is a 155,000+ words, full-length novel. 
Age of the Andinna is a reverse harem epic fantasy series. The female lead will collect her lovers as the series progresses.
There is triggering content in this series including but not limited to: abuse, violence, mature language, and sexual content. It’s recommended for mature audiences.

Kristen Banet loves to read books that make people cry. She likes to write books that make people cry (and she wants to hear about it). She’s a firm believer that nothing and no one in this world is perfect, and she enjoys exploring those imperfections—trying to make the characters seem real on the page and not just in her head.
She might just be crazy, though. Her characters think so, but this can’t be confirmed.

You can find more of her works under K.N. Banet!

Check out her social media to catch what's going on in the worlds inside her head. She drops teasers, new covers, and opens ARC reader slots through her Facebook group, The Banet Pride.
Facebook Page:
Facebook Group:

Friday, January 15, 2021

Viori Shampoo and Conditioner Bar review


It has been a couple months since I last reviewed shampoo and conditioner bars, because I've been using the same brand that whole time. Now, that wasn't my intention, but when I got the Terrace Garden shampoo and conditioner bars from Viori, I immediately noticed they smell like lilac, which is one of my most favorite scents, and I can almost NEVER find it in anything. So for the past couple months (20-22 washes, because I'm not 100% sure I marked them all down) I've been using this. And that leaves me with plenty to say about them. 

First off, can we talk about that packaging! The conditioner bars have wax seals on them, making them look all fancy and stuff, and the shampoo bars come in those adorable gift boxes that I'm absolutely going to reuse at some point for something.

Secondly, the Terrace Garden shampoo bar does not leave my hair feeling more dry than washing with traditional shampoo does. However, it is designed for dry to normal hair. This means that unlike the bar I was using from The Earthling Co, my hair still needs to be washed every two to three days. If you are looking for a shampoo bar designed for oily to normal hair, you're going to want to go with the Citrus Yao bar (according to the website). I wish I could review that one as well, but I sent it off to Bekah the Awesome from Playtpire Reviews to try out, and I've got several other brands of shampoo bars to try out first before I even think about reordering from Viori (although next time they have a sale I may just have to stock up on the Terrace Garden Bars because I seriously love them). 

Another thing I've noticed since I started using the Viori bars is that my hair is showing it's natural curl more. I don't have a lot of natural curl, and it seriously only lasts up until I brush my hair, but there have been days when I've gone to bed with my hair still damp and woken up with the most adorable ringlets. I don't want to say that this will absolutely lead to more curl for you ladies with curly hair, but it might based on my experience. 

The final point I'd like to make about these shampoo bars is that the scent seems to linger in my hair longer than the ones I tried from The Earthling Co. Now some of that may be psychosomatic because I really like this scent so I want to smell it longer (whereas I wasn't fond of the Cool Breeze scent I was using from The Earthling Co.). I don't think it's entirely psychosomatic though, as my bathroom has smelled like lilacs since I put these bars in my shower, and the previous bars I tried did not noticeably scent the whole room. 

Like The Earthling Co., Viori had super fast shipping, I think it only took three days from the date of purchase for them to arrive. And I would definitely order from them again, if only because of the lilac scented bars. 

Do you know of another retailer who sells lilac scented shampoo bars? Leave me a link to their page in the comments (even if it's an Etsy seller or something like that) because I'd love to try them out. - Katie 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Book Blogger Hop - 11/27/2020


We are on to a new week for the Book Blogger Hop hosted by the lovely folks over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. This weeks questions is: 

Do you own an e-reader? If so, what is your favorite thing about it? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews

I own several e-readers. I have like a nine-year old Kindle touch that I haven't even thought about using in a couple years. It was my first e-reader so it has sentimental value, and who knows, maybe it'll come in handy at some point in the future (if I could just figure out where I put it). 

Then I have a Kindle Paperwhite that is probably about five or six years old now. I haven't used it recently either. I liked it better than the touch because of the backlit screen though. In fact, it was my most preferred e-reader for a while. 

I also have a Kindle Fire 7" HDX. They don't make these anymore, which is disappointing because this was the best kindle for proofreading on. The keyboard was much more responsive than my Paperwhite or Touch. It's also about 6 years old now though (I think), and it's starting to glitch like crazy, sometimes deciding it just doesn't even wanna charge at all, which is not ideal.

I bought myself a Kindle Fire 7" about four years ago to try and replace the HDX for proofreading, but found a major problem with that. It opens .docx files as documents, rather than opening them like books, which eliminated the note taking process that I utilized for proofreading. I'm not sure if I ever even read an entire book off of that Kindle. 

After we discovered the problem with the Kindle Fire 7", we managed to find me a 10" Fire HDX that we snatched right up. That was a good four years ago now, and I mostly don't use it anymore because it's bigger than I'd like it to be for proofreading purposes. 

Then I have the Kindle app on an iPad pro, 2 iPad minis, and at least 3 iPhones that I could still easily use right now if I wanted to (and actually do most of my reading/proofreading on my phone now because it's easily accessible on my break at my day job). 

So what's my favorite part of e-readers? Their mobility and the fact that I have thousands of books at my fingertips with them. They also make my freelance proofreading easy to do on the go when necessary. 

Do you think I have too many e-readers? - Katie 

Join the 2020 12 Books of Christmas Challenge!

#31DaysOfChristmas - Let it Snow

Watched on: Netflix
Duration: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Originally aired: 8 November 2019
Directed by: Luke Snellin
Starring: Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, and Odeya Rush
Please see IMDb for full cast and crew information


In a small town on Christmas Eve, a snowstorm brings together a group of young people.


This is not a typical holiday romance, although there was romance involved. It's more of a teenage party movie, and the main problem is making the party happen in the midst of a snowstorm. It's not a severe snowstorm, but bad enough that flights are grounded. The unexpected return of some parental units throws a real kink in the plans, but the party must go on. 

And it is with this movie that I think I may have finally outgrown my teenage rebellion years. It only took me about twenty years. I had a really hard time getting interested in the story here, and really couldn't have cared less about any of the main characters. The only character I was really interested in was the tin-foil tow truck lady, and she's just a minor side character. 

I can see an audience for this movie, it's just not me. - Katie 

My Rating

Join the 2020 12 Books of Christmas Challenge!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

#31DaysOfChristmas - Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas


Watched on: DVD
Duration: 48 minutes
Originally aired: 4 December 1977
Directed by: Jim Henson
Starring: Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, and Marilyn Sokol
Please see IMDb for full cast and crew information.


A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas.


I received a copy of this DVD as a gift from my penpal, and I wanted to like it so bad. Unfortunately, it's older than I am, and I just watched it for the very first time in my life as an adult, and I really think that it's the type of movie that relies on the nostalgia factor, or a child's point of view.

The movie started out with Emmet and his mother singing while rowing down the river. In a movie with a title like this, music is kind of a given, but the singing just reminded me of the scene in A Goofy Movie where Max and Goofy are watching the "band" at the possum park, and well, I've always related to Max in that movie. And that was a bad start for me for the movie, making it harder for the film to win me over at all.

The story itself was very Gift of the Magi. (And I've debated adding a spoiler alert there, but again, the movie is older than me, so...) In this case, the sacrifices weren't nearly as heartwarming though. In fact, they almost seemed cruel, and they were definitely short-sighted. This is a major reason I think nostalgia is needed to enjoy this movie. As a semi-responsible adult, I don't like seeing people make really stupid, potentially life-ruining choices. Even though things worked out in the end, it left a bad taste in my mouth, like bleu cheese. 

All in all, this movie did not provide the type of cheese I'm looking for in my holiday movies, but I might give it another watch sometime when I'm drunk, and see if I don't change my opinion of it. - Katie 

My Rating

Buy the DVD

Join the 2020 12 Books of Christmas Challenge!