Prytania Cottage at the Creole Gardens in New Orleans, Louisiana

I’ve been to NOLA more than a handful of times. It’s the kind of city that lures my family toward it with good food, interesting architecture, a colored history, and music filling the air.

New Orleans has so much more to offer than “stumbling around the streets with a drink in hand.”

We tend to steer clear of Bourbon Street. Our first day in the French Quarter, we’ll walk Bourbon and grab a hand-grenade for me, a frozen drink for the kiddo and a beer for the boy. Other than that, we cross over Bourbon to get place to place, but that’s about it.


More to that point, there’s other places to stay just outside the FQ, if you’re looking for a more authentic vacation experience. Added bonus, less woo-girls and frat boys!

This NOLA trip was completely impromptu. Josh had a work-cation scheduled, and when we found out the city… I was quick to book a hotel that very day. YES PLEASE!

Short notice, we opted to bring the Pugs, and also wanted a more laid back experience. We wanted to stay in one of the neighborhoods outside the quarter, where it’s a bit quieter and slower paced. Also, I didn’t want to stay in the quarter, for lack of a space to take the boys to potty outside. They prefer a nice patch of grass to pee upon.

I found a gem of a place in the “Lower Garden District” which happened to be not just pet friendly, but budget friendly! YAY ME!

We stayed at the Creole Gardens, and selected the Prytania Cottage, bottom floor.

The Prytania Cottage is across the street from the main house of Creole Gardens. There’s 3 different units: bottom floor, upstairs and a soon to be renovated back apt space. There’s a front porch for the upstairs guest, a little shared courtyard area in the backyard, and additional covered porch seating seating for the downstairs guest. The back apartment also looks to have it’s own little porch area for outdoor seating.

It’s super quaint, and quiet, and completely charming.

NOTE: this is not a 4 star hotel, this is an updated cottage, it’s old. That being stated, it’s pretty clean, there’s central heat and air, cable, and a full kitchen if you fee the need to cook while vacationing (just be sure to pack pots and pans, the kitchen isn’t fully stocked at this time with those types of amenities.)

The Prytania Cottage is brightly painted, and is tastefully decorated. A decent mix of old and new. I love old bungalows with their built-ins, hard wood floors and ceiling moulding. Made me miss my bungalow back in Tampa, FL. One thing I will say about old houses, is they tend to be a bit dim. I wish each room had more than a ceiling light. The living room had a lamp, but it didn’t really brighten the space too much.

The kitchen was a decent size, had a full size stove and fridge. The dishwasher was out of service, but I wasn’t going to do dishes on vacation. There was a small dining room, with a circular table and 4 chairs. The living room had a small sofa, and 2 chairs, and a small tv. The bedroom had a comfy queen bed and the bathroom had a full size shower/tub and toilet.

So all the creature comforts you would expect from a small vacation home.

We traveled after Mardi-Gras, Easter and Jazz Fest, so pricing was more of their mid-off season. I like NOLA before June, because it gets pretty hot and humid there. We tend to not travel during the summer months, and since we homeschool, we can vacation in the off seasons, and not contend with summer crowds.

The Prytania Cottage is also PET FRIENDLY. They only charge a one time fee for pets to stay. No price gouging on daily pet fees!

Best part of our stay, was the breakfast at their main house. Breakfast is served hot, daily, and is included with the stay. Of course we threw in $5 each, whenever we went to breakfast because it was a legit breakfast, and to not at least throw a few bucks is not only bad mojo– but why be cheap? You’re on vacation, and these people are working and providing you a service of a delicious breakfast… so put a few dollars in the tip jar. (Yeah, we saw a few people eat and not tip!)

Would I book the Prytania Cottage again? Yes I would. The lower Garden District had all sorts of eateries and bars in walking distance. The St. Charles StreetCar was just a block away, so transportation was readily available to get around from the cottage to the French Quarter and to the Garden District for lot’s of food, fun and exploring.

Beauty and the Me


Oh! I just love Love LOVE makeup.

It's kinda my biggest vice. Make up: from skin care
products to color, there's not enough skin to slather
stuff upon, or swipe the latest palettes across. 

So here I am thinking about what to review this month,
and I realize, it was right there before me.
Beauty & MAKEUP!

This isn't going to be a product comparison, but a
general overview about my ever-changing hair and makeup
routines, as I've been "getting older".

Over the next few days, weeks, or months - whatever may
strike my fancy... I'll do an introspective post about
somebeauty, makeup and skin-care companies and why.

So, if you're a secret makeup junkie, like me,
keep on reading!

Growing up I began with normal skin. Teen years, I welcomed the new addition of my T-zone and the oilier skin with the monthly acne (zits) that would visit- along with my Aunt Flo. My 20’s and 30’s would be my wonder years. WONDERFUL skin, looking all peaches and cream, beautiful dewey skin. Perfect complection, and texture. (those were the days)

NOW… it’s 2019 and I’m considered middle age. At 45+ my skin has become a bit drier. I’ve noticed lack of elasticity. “Fine lines and wrinkles” are appearing and well, no amount of coconut oil is smoothing this hot mess out.

I miss my 25 year old skin.

One thing I wish I would have told myself way back then would have me not to over tweeze my eyebrows. Thinner brows make you look a lot OLDER!

I’m growing out my hair to its natural color, which has amazing natural silver highlights! That means less maintenance, and less color products. Bleaching has kinda made my hair a bit dry feeling to me. (Although my hairdresser says it feels good and healthy and she never pushes for me to purchase any products or hair care. LOL)

So I’m trying out a few new skincare products to see what might actually work for my new “older lady skin” and get some of that much missed 25 year old radiance, elasticity and perfection back.

If you have a skin care product you love and swear by, share it in the comments below!


Your car and the interest rate.

I kept my last vehicle for 16 years. Although she was still running smooth, and looked pretty decent for being an “older but paid for vehicle” I decided to trade her in. I wanted newer safety features, bluetooth and well, that new car smell! I shopped around and like Cinderella, found an SUV I liked, and it fit me and my requirements, wants and needs, “just right.”

We bought a NEW car!

That was 3.5 years ago.

Things were good, we didn’t have any credit card debt and got a low interest rate. To keep the monthly car payment “manageable” we spread the loan over 7 years. The idea was that by the time it was paid for it could go to the kiddo as her car, she would be nearing driving age by then.

See? We had a plan. To us we figured we had gone so long without a new vehicle, and had a track record of keeping our vehicles for a lot longer after they were paid for. So it was an easy way to justify the new car, a new car loan and a new car payment!

YAY US!

So, our loan interest rate was under 4% which was pretty much the norm about 4 years ago. Our previous vehicle’s interest rates were closer to 7% so we felt like we were doing great and making financial progress. As we were making monthly payments on the loan, the interest amount was slowly creeping down. But hey, we had this new car to show for it! YAY US!

Now, let’s fast forward to about 3 years later and I’m thinking, “I don’t want to have this car payment anymore.” We had been budgeting pretty hard for over 2 years already, and with that I was seeing the error of our ways. So at the beginning of 2019, we sat down and planned the financial year. We set a goal of paying off the car by the end of 2019, because we hated seeing the wasted money on the interest amount.

When I tallied up exactly how many dollars and cents we had wasted so far, the amount was $3402.44 and we still have another 3 years to go to PIF this loan!


I started thinking about what we could have used that $3402.44 towards. And realized that we would still be paying off this car for 3+ more years. That would mean loosing more money every month to the interest. Sure, it’s been nice having a new car. Sitting in something safer, nicer and more luxurious than my previous vehicle, made me feel good. Seeing the wasted money increase every month did not.

We thought about trading the car in, and finding something less expensive. But the depreciation on a vehicle is ridiculous. We owed more than what we could get for trade, and I know the game. That guy at the dealership who is acting like he’s doing you a favor, is just thinking about his commission check.

We were stuck, and needed to to find a solution.

The solution that looked to be the best case scenario, was to get laser focused on that car loan and just pay it off. The remaining balance on the car was just under 20K. Funny, because that’s actually the price of a good used vehicle. Sure I had the car I wanted, but that cost us a bit of green. We restructured the budget, and tightened up even more. I figured it would take us about 15 months to pay off the loan if we got really serious about our spending and our money.

Getting serious… I mean real serious.

This plan looked doable on paper. The real work was executing the plan. Of course if we got hyper crazy on paying off the loan, we could figure out how to make 15 months into 12 months. Our goal was set and we decided we had 12 months to make it happen.

Q1 is done, and we’re mid Q2. We are on track! This month is the second phase of making our additional payments to the car. Every little bit helps. When we reconcile our budget at the end of the month, we take any left over or additional money and apply that to the car loan. We have had 2 months so far that we were able to put an extra unscheduled $100 towards the loan. My trick is to get creative with the groceries, and plan our spending and family’s additional expenses.

Things pop up. We’ll need additional maintenance on the car, tires and other things. So we plan. Hopefully there won’t be any major surprises. Part of budgeting is to have a little safety net, “bucket of money” for those unexpected surprises that life tends to hurl our way. Having that extra money on the side for emergencies can be tempting. Luckily we are in a position where we got on a budget and learned how to control our spending. But that takes time. You have to get over the initial temptation of knowing the money is there, but can’t be utilized…

The smart thing to do is go into things with a plan.

I’ll do an update later on in the year. Hopefully we will stay on track and make our goal a reality!

You can’t afford that extra bill!

You might have read that I’m kinda a bit of a budgeterian. I believe in the B word. It’s been working for me and my family for over 2 years now.

Life on a budget is a choice. Once you accept it and agree to it, it really can work for you and become part of your lifestyle.

Even wealthy people budget, heck, how do you think they got all that money? Not everyone is fortunate to win the state Lottery, Megamillions or Powerball! So for those of us who don’t have winning numbers in hand, or stupidly rich aunts and uncles to leave their unspent fortunes to, there’s plain old BUDGETING!

I’ve been asked on more than one occasion, from those who are on a budget and are using my service as an accountability partner, “If it’s OK to take on another bill, and add it to their budget, for something that isn’t quite an emergency.”

Let me preface 2 different scenarios: Both families are already over budget on their monthly bills, meaning that they make less than what is needed to cover current living expenses. However, over the past few months they are making progress in getting not only out of debt slowly, but not regressing to their old ways. (No new credit purchases, and curbing unnecessary spending.)

ONE Family one recently had a car accident, totaling the family vehicle. No major injuries and luckily received a generous payout from their insurance company claim.
This family had a fairly manageable amount of credit card debt that they were already in the process of paying off. Minimum monthly payments keep the collectors from calling, but don’t do much to the overall amount of your debt. Credit companies make money on the interest you pay them, every month.
A majority of that insurance check paid off what was still owed to the bank for their totaled car. A small bit was left over to put towards a replacement vehicle. Their question to me was, “Can we get into a new vehicle, with an OK interest rate and payments only a little more than what they originally were paying.”

My response, “NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.”

Reason: They were already over on their monthly budget. The car payment, now gone, was a minor financial relief. The lack of a car payment now brought them to a point of budgetary break even. They had a small bit of money from the remainder of their insurance payout check. I suggested they shop around and get a less expensive car, but most importantly to buy it outright with the remainder of their insurance money. This way, they wouldn’t incur any additional debt, and their new monthly car insurance would be even less! This additional “found money” would help them to also pay off the $5000-ish in credit card bills that they still had.

This vehicle was really a means to get around safely, not to impress the Jones’. Sure it may not have been the prettiest, coolest or most impressive vehicle on the road, but it would be paid for. After all it’s just a car, and there’s no need to go into debt over it. Many used vehicle dealerships have clean cars with good mileage. You just have to shop around. Find something that is safe, and has good reviews, and go to a reputable dealership. You have more negotiating power with cash in hand over any financing situation.

Then once ONE family was debt free, which would take about, 2 years, they could then save up for a newer vehicle if needed. Again, budgeting for it, save up and then pay cash and not financing it. 🙂


No need to try and keep up with everyone else.
Focus on your OWN goal.
Their journey is not your journey.

Family TWO was also over budget every month. Between having kids and not making enough at their 9-5 jobs, they were stretched beyond their means. As a parent, I understand how difficult it is to have to scale back on your child’s extracurricular activities, so that usually means putting things off for yourself instead, in an attempt to afford it all. Part of being on a budget is to live within a set goal of allowed spending and to not live beyond your means. This family still had a large amount of debt to tackle, PLUS 2 car payments. Their question to me was, “We want to get some dental work done, and can put it on a zero interest account through a credit company. Can we just add that to our current budget?”

My response, “YOU CAN’T AFFORD ANOTHER BILL.”

Reason: Family TWO was already living well above their means and had substantial credit card debt. They brought in less on their monthly income than what their current actual monthly bills were. After getting a budget plan in place they were slowly starting to make some progress. Receiving an income tax refund, helped to propel them in a positive direction. With that and some careful monthly planning, coupled with some massive over time hours, they were almost making enough and nearly at break even. Every little bit helps.

However they still were over budget every month and the overtime wasn’t going to last forever. Sure, getting some dental work was needed, but they couldn’t afford an additional monthly payment on their budget. Even if it was only $5, which it was not. The $50-$100 additional bill each month would put them further into the red. However there was a bit of a silver lining. They were nearing having both cars paid off. If they could just hold off on any additional spending for the next 6 months, they could then plan to utilize a portion of their budgeted car payments towards their upcoming dental expenses.

Sure my response might not have been what they wanted to hear, but the end game and goal to budgeting is to not go further into debt. Plan how and when to spend it, and do it wisely.

At the end of the day, it’s all about creating good and sound spending habits.

Treat Yo Self

Part of my budgeting for the family, is to make sure that while we’re paying the bills and doing all the responsible things that “adulting” has to offer, we all have a TRS column on the spreadsheet.

TYS- that’s right, Treat Yo Self

Unlike Donna and Tom, it’s not a free for all that happens on the best day of the year… but a monthly little sumthin sumthin. It helps to keep all that crazy spending, a little more reeled in. And a monthly something special, helps us all stay more on track with our financial goals overall.

So, WHAT do I like as a TYS goodie or thing?

Here’s a few of my personal favorites:

These are just a few things that I like to do every once in a while to remind myself that while being continually conscious of what we spend and how we spend it… that it’s ok to have a little fun along the way. I think by having the availability to spend just a little bit of money on myself every month, I don’t feel so restricted with having a budget.

How does Josh treat himself? That’s pretty easy. He likes a good bottle of Bourbon, Scotch or Whiskey. So, once a month he finds a bottle to add to his ever changing collection. Recently he bought a new pair of shoes! There’s even been talk of him crashing the mani/pedi party and getting his nails done!

Lizzy has very similar TYS tastes like me. <3 She’s also at the age where she’s getting interested in jewelry and handbags!

Bernie- new furriend – Thumper and Sebastian at the Gentlemen’s Club

Even the PUGS have recently had a TYS moment. What happens at the PugSpa stays at the PugSpa. BOL!!

It’s not a work hard play harder mentality… it’s an earn it and appreciate it way of life.

SO… what do you do to treat yo self? I wanna know!

I want to Rent a Finn

2019 has begun a year of personal change and challenge; personal growth and acceptance. Creating goals and more importantly, having dreams.

It’s good to dream. Having dreams is just a gateway to having an idea and actually making things happen.

Happiness does not come from searching for it, but by living. – Finnish saying

I’d like to think that I live a happy life. Working on fulfilling my goals; and reacquainting myself with some long lost dreams.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve shelved that bit of ambition, and have somehow masked my internal drive for the things that I’ve long forgotten… and focused more on everyone else. Partly a mom thing, partly a me thing: fear of succeeding, or fear of failing.

Now it’s more a fear of do-ing, coupled with laziness, and a bit of lack of direction.

Happiness is a place between too little and too much. – Finnish Proverb

I believe that I am right there, in the in-between.

Now, how to make sure it’s the right place?

Finland has been voted as the happiest country in the world for the second year in a row. There’s even an interesting “Visit Finland” travel campaign happening right now.

Part of our 3 year family plan, is to start gathering information about all the places we would like to visit once we are in a position to “WORLD SCHOOL” during part of LP’s upcoming high school years.

Because of this, I’ve somehow entered into a vortex of interesting opportunities, via the internet.

Finland is known as a place of beauty and nature, and a slower, more deliberate pace of life and interacting with others. Sounds good to me.

Back to renting a Finn… so here’s another really interesting opportunity that I’ve happened upon and well, WHY NOT APLPY to this 3 day travel sabbatical? It’s simply called RENT A FINN!

The details: there are 8 different hosts that are opening up their homes, to entertain and educate some lucky chosen guests to learn more about the Finnish way of life and living. Travel and accommodations are covered, all else would be on our own dime. This might be a solo jen-cation, or a family thing. I think it would be a really cool experience either way. (And a great way to test the waters of international travel- which we’ve all been chatting about at the Sherman house since the beginning of the year.)

I’ve been compiling a list of about 100 cities all over the world that we would all like to learn about, visit and experience. And yes, Finland (Helsinki, Archipelago and Rovaniemi – Santa’s hometown) is actually on our list of places to see; this would definitely be amazing opportunity.

Finland is big on nature: there’s snowcapped mountains, northern lights, blue flowers (bluebonnets like Texas) seaside locations, clean lakes, forests filled with lush tall trees coupled with nature and wildlife. It just looks so picturesque and peaceful. *and midnight summer sun? That seems like something to see!

Suburban life here in ATX has afforded us a lot of amenities, and is an easy lifestyle of abundance and accessibility. Everything is super convenient. Right now I’m searching for a different kind of abundance, the kind that money can’t exactly buy, but that can fill our hearts and minds with experiences and memories.

On my list of things to do this week: create a 3 minute video and submit my application. Anything is possible!

Lent 2019- the half way mark!

We are officially at the half way point of LENT, so I wanted to do a little check in to let you know how it’s going.

Yesterday, I threw in the towel, I’m off the wagon. I went to McD’s and got a cheese burger. I’m not going to say that it’s been an easy challenge for me, not at all!

I will say that I’m still going to attempt to eat less meat over the next few weeks, but I know I’ve not completed the challenge or task at hand as a complete success.

So yes, I failed. (and I’m ok with that.)

Here’s what’s been happening at the Sherman House:

For starters, the whole reason we decided to go meatless during lent was brought on by just being in a “food rut”. I was bored with cooking dinner, and pretty much fell into making the same kind of meals. Nothing horrible, but also nothing exciting or noteworthy. This eating vegetarian thing was merely a way to get way out of our comfort zones, to HAVE to find new things to prepare for dinner… and get a few new ideas on what to make.

THANK GOODNESS I FOUND A LOOP HOLE.

SO although this was to be a 30 day meatless challenge, as you probably read in my previous post, we chose to do this challenge during Lent since it gave us a definitive beginning and end point. Lent is 40 day, so we thought an additional 10 days of eating meatless wouldn’t be too difficult. THEN I DID THE MATH… The season of Lent is actually 46 days.

The loop hole: Sunday is a feast day.

We began our vegetarian journey on Wednesday 6 March 2019.

We ate meatless for our anniversary on 10 March… opting for a delicious spinach salad (minus the bacon) and it was really good. Of course I would have loved a steak, and had I known about the Sunday MEATDAY loop hole, then that celebratory meal could have been a bit more bacony!

Fast forward to Sunday 17 March and LP and I finally utilized said loophole and got some actual meat. We went to a local bar where I opted for a burger, which was lackluster, and she wanted chicken tenders. Nothing major, but I did add bacon to the burger, which was the highlight! That evening I opted for chicken pad se-ew and that was pretty darned tasty.

Then back on the vegetables!

By the middle of the week LP was done. THURSDAY 21 MARCH, we decided that she could opt out and go back to her more normal eating habits.

Sunday, 24 March, I had a few chicken nuggets for dinner. Nothing major and they weren’t delicious like the ones from Chick-fil-A…

Then more non meat foods… until yesterday!

Now that it’s the midway point, I’m not happy. I’m kinda cranky. Others in the house are a little more crankier than usual. I don’t want to point that out, and site that they probably would be a bit happier if they would just eat a damn burger- however, I foresee him managing to get through all the way to lent without issue.

Now for the positive stuff. Here’s what we’ve learned from this challenge.

My new favorite protein for taco night is a “meatless crumble” from a company called LightLife. It also makes one heck of a believable faux-meat-loaf. Also fried rice with tofu, although a lot of prep work, is a family favorite. Our friend raises chickens, so we’ve been buying eggs and making a weekly quiche and that’s been a hit.

We have another 3 weeks of Lent, and since one of us is still eating meatless, I’ll be making dinners as a meatless meal, and have meat, at lunch if I have a hankering for it. Hopefully a few new favorite recipes will be added to our ever growing dinner ideas.

It’s definitely been a little extra work in the kitchen, but it’s been an interesting experience. Just not for me.

I think, If we weaned ourselves off meat, but cutting one protein out at a time, or gradually went meatless every other day, I would have had a more successful outcome. But I knew this was going to be difficult. The headache yesterday still lingers. Maybe I need another burger.

Truthfully though, I’m ready for it to be done. I’ve actually gained 5 pounds with all the extra beans and rice + a bit of bloating… totally not a fan. I also have been noticing that I’m craving more snack foods, especially salty stuff… again adding to the water retention and my increased weight gain.

Main take-away is we’ll be making sure to continue sourcing more meatless meal ideas; and will be eating meatless (hopefully) 2 days a week.

So if you’re reading this and have tried going vegetarian or have some meatless meal ideas, feel free to share with me! 🙂

Frankly darling, hit the deck Scarlet!

Deck of Scarlet, a curated makeup palette subscription. If you’re always looking for a palette that “has it all in one place” then this is for you. I jumped onto the Deck of Scarlet product the month it was launched. There’s been a few tweaks along the way, and their products are never the same. In a good way though! Each month (their subscription began as an every other month service) a newly curated makeup collection is presented. You choose which ones you would like to have delivered, and which to skip. You have options! 🙂 (You can opt for a monthly subscription, or every other month selection, and choose to have a palette delivered or to skip a palette.)

The price? Just 29.95 a month! Not too shabby.

Now what do you get and how about the product itself?

EVERY palette in their collection contains:

  • 3 eye shadows
  • 2 cheek/face colors (blush, highlighter etc)
  • 2 lip colors
  • sometimes there’s an added *bonus item (like lip liner, eye liner, glow gloss)

Many of these collections are curated by different online makeup artist, usually found on Youtube. Some of the looks are bold, daring and I’d dare to say avant-garde. I really like the eyeshadows as a whole, the colors go on smooth, and blend pretty well. Texture of the cheek colors is nice, the lip gloss can sometimes be a little thick.

What I’ve noticed is that, the 3 eye colors are usually ALL medium toned, so for me there’s not a lot I can accomplish with the palette, being fair skinned. I have a few different collections, and so for as excited as I am to see them and use them, I feel they sometimes miss the mark with presenting a color story that can be used 100% without a few things from my personal collection. I do sometimes use the cheek color on my eyes, to make-do.

What I really like about DoS is that they’re always putting out a new collection, so there’s variety. And although the monthly makeup palettes are “exclusive” many are still available for purchase after the month has passed. Every month you can have a different look, and really get out of your makeup rut with some fun and interesting looks.

They also have some good tutorials on their site to help you create the look! For the price, it’s really great! So I’m always intrigued with each palette. Best of all, I can decided what to get sent my way, and what to pass on.

So, if you’re intrigued, and searching for a palette use my referral link and get started for 29.95. With summer fast approaching, you’re bound to be traveling somewhere, and the DoS palettes are a great thing to take along. You’ll have pretty much a complete look at your fingertips in one handy little palette!

Wake up, grab a brush and put a little makeup!

Here are a few of my general “rules” for using
color on your skin. Your face is a blank canvas.
Like a great painter or makeup artist, it’s a
good idea to understand a little bit about
color theory.

Things to remember:

  • light colors bring things forward
  • deeper tones set things back
  • matte works best in the eye crease
  • not everything needs to be shimmery
  • learning to blend is important
  • contouring can alter how you look, over contouring can make you look like a clown
  • find a good blush, I lean towards something neutral
  • brows are important
  • don’t forget to line your eyes

I know, it all sounds like an awful lot of little things and steps to do. Putting yourself together can be done in under 5 minutes. Really, my every day look is to wear a tinted moisturizer, prime and powder my eyes, a little liner, mascara and brow gel, and swipe a bit of gloss. This is not my look to get me free drinks, it’s my look to not scare everyone that I’m a walking “mom-bie”!

Eye shadow and trying to “figure it all out”… always 
begin with eye primer. Your shadow colors will look more true 
and primer reduces creases. In fact on lazy days, a little primer and a swipe of powder will help you look more rested!

I think cheeks & lips need to walk hand in hand. That
basically means, cool cheek color = cool lip color… 
warm cheek = warm lip. Makes sense. 

About cheeks, as I’ve gotten older and my face is a bit rounder, blush placement is less on the apples of my cheeks. I set it back a bit and a little higher. Gives a more “pulled back” and youthful look.

Liner… line your eyes (I like a soft brown for my no makeup look) top line and bottom line. Smudge it out so you don’t have a harsh line. Lips, Using a shade just one shade darker than your natural lip color and a little lip color will brighten your face. I like something that’s a true lipstick, nothing too matte, otherwise your lips will look dry. Gloss is great, Dab a bit in the center of your bottom lip, press and go. It always makes me feel pretty.

Foundation, I usually lean towards a tinted moisturizer for my face. Just something that will do a little color correction for my completion. I’m not looking to wear a full face of makeup every day, and when I do it’s usually not a full coverage foundation. Most important thing it to find a product that also offers a bit of sun protection!

Tools, yes like a great painter, a makeup artist usually has tools. Think of applying makeup like paining a canvas. Using decent brushes can make a BIG difference. One thing to remember, dirty brushes are bad for your health and won’t give you the best results when applying your makeup. wash them! I do mine weekly.

Ok of course there’s so much more to makeup. You have to do what works best for you. Just remember, practice makes perfect!


MEATLESS for Lent

Those who know me, are aware that I like to eat. I love a good medium rare steak. Josh makes delicious marsala chicken. Oh sushi, how I’ll miss you. I can sear scallops that would make chef Gordon Ramsey a very proud man. And then there’s BACON, Oh bacon how I adore your salty yumminess.

We’re not overly religious, however we ARE always up for a mini challenge. SO… the family is going meatless for Lent.

  • What about our anniversary dinner? NOPE!
  • What about corned beef for St Patty’s day? NOPE, NOPE.
  • And pizza night, no pepperoni pizza on Friday? NOPE. NOPE. NOPE…


I know, what are we thinking? No meat for 40 days and 40 nights?


We’ve decided to take on a challenge of going meatless, and since Lent is right around the corner, we figured it would be a good time to coordinate.


We’re not taking this challenge on for financial or medical reasons, however I know that once we start doing some more traveling in the upcoming years, there will be meatless times. This will be a good test for us to see if we can do it.


It’s going to be an interesting challenge. Over the next couple of nights, I’ll be using up most of the meat in the freezer- while planning out the next 40 nights of our torture  meal plans. LOL 😉

This means: no secret burgers, secret sushi, or secret BBQ of any kind. Did I mention we live in TEXAS? Once Lent has passed, we’re smoking a big brisket!

If you have an amazing meatless main course, please share in the comments below. I’m looking for some good recipes for the next 40 days and 40 nights! <3

**EDIT-  on 3/12 I just learned that the Lent season
is actually 46 days! Oh no!! However, every Sunday
is considered a "feast day." This means we can have
meat on Sunday if we choose, which will definitely
make it a little easier to be "mostly meatless"
But now this has me thinking back to when I was a
kid and gave up sweets for Lent.
Had I done the math, I would have seen an error
in the numbers!! :p