LipSense

I have been a SeneGence distributor since August 2016.  I fell in love with their premier product, LipSense, the very first time I tried it. I never was much for makeup, because I’m not very “girly” and would always forget I had makeup on and rub my face and get it everywhere. There’s no danger of that with LipSense.  This lip color literally stays ALL DAY.  My lips are healthier than they’ve ever been since I started using LipSense, and I’ve never had so much fun finally learning how to enjoy makeup.

Gloss

SeneGence has a full makeup and skin care line. My favorites are LipSense and Gloss (the gloss is applied over the top of LipSense to protect the color and keep lips moisturized), and ShadowSense (smudge-resistant crème-to-poweder eye shadow).  These are the ShadowSense colors.

ShadowSense

With that being said, regardless of how much I love my SeneGence products, and how much I cherish the relationships I have made through this entire endeavor, I have decided to close my LipSense business.  At this point, my family needs me, and running my business makes it difficult to be there for them mentally and physically as much as they need.  My remaining inventory will be on sale – 15% off, tax-free, free shipping – until gone.  Please check out my VIP group to see what I have left in stock www.facebook.com/groups/optimalips or www.optimalips.com (which will take you to the same Facebook group).

Independent SeneGence Distributor

Let me introduce you to the Sash Bag.

Aqua Leather

This amazing anti-purse is a crossbody bag that comes in leather, cloth, and leather/cloth combo.  The company plans to release vegan leather bags later this month, which I can’t wait for since my best friend is vegan and I’m dying to gift her one of those bags.

Camo Cloth

I discovered the Sash Bag in June 2017 and at first it kind of irritated me.  I ordered a grey cloth bag, and per the company’s recommendations, I thoroughly Scotch-guarded the bag prior to wearing it. I really had to pare down what I carried with me on a daily basis and that was VERY hard to do.  I fancy myself a sort of “prepper” and so I carry a lot of “what if ?” stuff in my purses.  “What if there’s a zombie apocalypse and I need 7 different ways to make fire?” That kind of stuff.  I hated not having what I needed on me, or what I might need in the event of some wacky probably-never-going-to-happen scenario. There was definitely an adjustment period for me.

Brown Fringe Leather

Once I figured out what things I actually NEEDED on a daily basis, I began to realize how much easier my life was with this bag.  It’s a crossbody bag, so my hands were 100% free to hold my kids’ hands crossing the street without a shoulder bag falling down and digging into my wrist.  I could shop, eat at restaurants, drive (NEVER put the bag between you and your seat belt – always make sure the seat belt is against your body), without ever having to worry about my bag.  I could use a public restroom without hanging my purse on one of those not-so-safe door hooks or having to set it on the floor.  I could even go out dancing without it getting in the way … if being social were my thing.

Merlot Studded

The bag is so light it’s really easy to forget it’s even on.  It’s January, and has been ridiculously cold where I live, and the Sash Bag fits easily under my winter coat.  That’s great for safety!  I’ve seen reviews by other people who use it for travel and claim that this bag was so secure they were the only people on their trip who weren’t pick-pocketed.  Someone even mentioned feeling someone trying to get into their Sash bag “discreetly” but they were unable to because it sits so close to the body that there’s no way to get in without the wearer feeling it.

Black Corset Leather

Another important thing to mention is where Sash sources their leather.  The leather that Sash uses is a by-product of the meat industry in India. The people at Sash went to the butchers in India and taught them how to remove the lamb skin so it could be reused instead of wasted.

I highly recommend liking the company’s Facebook page to be kept up to date on new colors and styles of bags.  They also periodically have sales of “defect” bags, which honestly have nothing wrong with them, they’re just not up to the company’s very high standards for selling at full price. They typically announce these sales in their VIP group, Sash VIP. The VIP group is full of amazing women (and men) and it truly feels like a large group of friends.  We refer to ourselves as Sash Sisters.

Speaking of men, the Sash Bag is considered a unisex bag, but they do have a bag called Stash that is marketed more towards men.  It fits about the same amount of stuff, but it fits differently, and is a more angular bag. The Stash bag currently is available in brown and black leather.

Brown Leather Stash

The company does not provide coupon codes for their products, but they have recently launched an Ambassador program.  If you shop on their website, https://www.thesashbag.com (USA) or https://sashbag.ca (Canada), you can use my Ambassador code to get 10% off your order.  I do receive benefits if you use my code.  For each purchase using my code I get credit that I can later apply to a later Sash purchase of my own. It’s super easy to use the code – just add the bag or bags you want to order to your shopping cart, and on the checkout page put APORTER in the space where it says “Gift Card or Discount Code”.

You’d be amazed what you can fit in a Sash Bag.  Here’s a video (posted on Facebook) made by the owner of Sash Bag, Nichole MacDonald, showing how she organizes her Sash. There are plenty of pockets, and the credit card slots are RFID protected.

It has been 7 months since I first purchased a Sash Bag, and I’m embarrassed at how many I own now.  I mostly shop the occasional sales.  In November they had a BOGO (buy one get one half off) sale, and I went a little crazy.  It’s honestly the only purse I will ever use.

Try it! Use my code above for a discount, and if you don’t love the bag, Sash will refund your money so there’s no risk! If you do try it, let me know what you think in the comments!

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

I am not a gamer. Never have been, probably never will be (I don’t have the patience or stress tolerance). But Felicia Day’s web show The Guild resonated with me. It was and still is hilarious. The characters are unforgettable, and I still quote this show more often than I will admit.  I don’t remember how I first heard of it, but I watched the shows as they came out online and bought the series on DVD.  There are 3 shows that I re-watch randomly throughout the year and will never get sick of watching – Gilmore Girls, Firefly (this, of course, includes the movie Serenity), and The Guild. So when I saw Felicia Day was writing a book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), I was ecstatic. I strongly hinted I wanted a signed copy of this book for Christmas, but secretly pre-ordered a signed copy on Powells.com just in case (luckily I did, as I did not get it for Christmas), and jumped for joy when it came in the mail. But as I don’t read very many print books anymore, I just put it on my shelf and smiled at it every time I passed by.

     Then one day I noticed it available on Audible. I knew I could finish an audiobook in a few days and was excited to finally read this book, but what made it an immediate buy for me was when I saw it was narrated by Felicia Day herself. No one can read an authors book like they can.  And Felicia Day is awesome.
     So anyway… I listened to it. I put aside the other two audiobooks I am currently listening to, and listened raptly to this memoir on my commute to and from work, during my lunch breaks, and while doing dishes. I’m not a memoir person. I am usually fiction all the way. But. Oh my goodness. I loved this book. She is me. I am her. I have so many neurotic thoughts and behaviors and I swear she touched on every one of them.
     Four words came to mind when I finished this audiobook. Validating. Inspiring. Terrifying. Brilliant.
     Validating because OH WOW I am not alone. When she describes how it felt to sit down and write the screenplay to The Guild, I finally felt like the way I feel when I try to write my never ending book in progress is NORMAL. Other people feel this way! I wonder how many other authors I know have this same feeling. I honestly thought every other author sits down to write and the words just spring forth from their fingers like really talented and not gross vomit. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, or why something I have wanted to do for most of my life would feel so difficult and painful to accomplish. So much relief, Felicia! Thank you!
      Inspiring because Felicia Day peppered this book with nuggets of positive wisdom, a whole lot of “you can do it”! After reading everything that she went through to get where she is today, I truly feel like maybe I can do this. Maybe I can write this book. Maybe it won’t suck. And if it does, I will still have a finished book in my hands with my name on it. I WILL DO THIS.  It also inspired me to write this review.  My second review on this website, and it’s been up for over a year. This will probably also be my longest ever post. I also tweeted Felicia Day right after I finished the book (today). I can count the number of tweets I’ve done on one hand.
      Terrifying because OH MY GOSH, I’M GOING TO DO THIS. I was so inspired that I am really going to finally buckle down and write my book no matter how painful it is to finish that first draft. This is a very heady feeling. I’m not sure that I like it, but it’s definitely motivating. It was also terrifying because I had no idea some of the things she had to deal with from critics in the gaming industry.  Just imagining being in her situation… *shudder*
     Brilliant because, well, it’s brilliant. Felicia Day has a way of making you feel like you are sitting at lunch with a kooky friend who is telling you that you’re not crazy, well you are but that’s good, and you can use that crazy to get where you want to be in life. I laughed out loud, cringed with her, and even almost cried a couple of times. This book is exactly what I needed, and it came to me at exactly the perfect time.
     The only thing I didn’t like about the audiobook is that often throughout the book, Felicia Day refers to a PDF that apparently was supposed to come with the audiobook (I never got a PDF) containing pictures that she sometimes talks about in the book. Luckily I had my print copy of the book and was able to flip through to see what photos she was referring to, so it was only mildly irritating.
     I read a review somewhere online where the reviewer was irritated that Felicia didn’t use the book as more of a platform for pro-female geeks and gamers and discussion on how they’re treated in the gaming world. I disagree. This is her memoir. She wrote about her life and her experiences in the gaming world. She did touch on the way women are seen and treated in gaming throughout the book, but most of the book was about her life, as it should be.
     So, to make a long review longer, but not terribly so, I highly recommend Felicia Day’s book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). If you can get your hands on the audiobook, even better (but nab a copy of the print book so you know what pictures she’s talking about or you will go insane).

Today is release day for The Z Chronicles, an anthology by Samuel Peralta and edited by Ellen Campbell. Authors included are: Angela Cavanaugh, Ann Christy, Christopher Boore, David Adams, Diedre Gould, Geoffrey Wakeling, Hugh Howey, Jennifer Foehner Wells, Kris Holt, Lesley Smith, Peter Cawdron, Stacy Ericson, Theresa Kay and Will Swardstrom.

I had high hopes for this book – a few of my favorite authors are featured: Hugh Howey, Ann Christy & Theresa Kay. Their stories were all excellent, and I was very pleased with the entire anthology. Theresa Kay’s story “Six Days” in particular merits a mention as story that most hit “home” with me and disturbed me greatly. It is a story of a mother’s love that broke my heart, and I can only hope in a similar situation I would be strong enough to do the same. But I was surprised to note that the two stand-out stories were from authors I had never experienced – Christopher Boore and Peter Cawdron. Boore’s “Kamika-Z” was a terrifying scenario – not at all the ending I expected and terribly real and fascinating. I look forward to reading more by this author. Cawdron’s “Free Fall”…WOW! Hands down the best story in the anthology. This was a scenario I had never thought about, and towards the end I was quite literally on the edge of my seat. You will not be disappointed with this anthology.

* I received an Advance Review Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review.  The links to the book on Amazon.com are not Affiliate links.