A sea of blue amidst the hills in Texas

Springtime in Texas is so pretty.

Fortunate for us, we home school, so taking time to actually stop and smell the flowers, is part of our science lesson plans. Our primary focus this year is to learn about the state we live in, visit places along our journey, and add some science and agriculture information!

One of my favorite things this time of the year, are the blue bonnets.

photo by josh: Texas boot

Scattered all along the road side, across the towns, and among the hills are the prettiest little blue flowers. These lupines are not just spotted here in Texas, but can be seen in many parts of the world. I just love that Texas has made sure to encourage the densely seeded landscape that blankets the hills so close to Austin.

Makes driving so much more pleasant. You almost don’t mind all the traffic.

josh took this one: that’s me, taking a picture…

I really don’t remember seeing this many wild flowers back home in Florida. And wildflowers are really important to our ecosystem. They’re not just there to look pretty. They help the bee population, which are useful for pollination of other plants, and to make honey.

photo by LP – honey bee at work

Of course we don’t just have bluebonnets dotting the roadside. So many pretty wild flowers blossom and bloom during springtime. There are fields with white poppies, red Indian paintbrush, wine-cups, pink primrose, yellow star, lantana and thistle. (just to name a few)

Since we’re trying to get outdoors a bit more, and enjoy this beautiful weather, we decided to take a little family road trip to visit some of the pretty bluebonnet fields. It was a great time, just chatting in the car and visiting a few small towns along the way.

Texas is so big and vast, there’s so much to see and experience. Definitely can’t see it all in a day! LOL

Along the way we spotted cattle, steer, longhorn and even spotted Bison grazing in a field next to a road stop. Of course we tracked a path to take a snap. Texas has so much farm and ranching land. I like to see the livestock out roaming. along the way we also got to see cattle roaming freely in the fields speckled with white and blue.

We each took many photos of different areas. Spent the majority of our time in an area called the Willow City Loop – Texas Hill Country Trail. It was a near perfect day. The weather was so nice, and we disconnected from our phones (except to navigate and snap pics), and experienced a lot of fresh air.

I’m hoping we can plan a few more days like this, now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit and the flowers are popping up.

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! 🙂

Beauty can Morphe you into something beautiful!

Morphe Cosmetics is a beauty brand that offers quality products that garner the approval of many makeup artists, at a price-point anyone can afford.

What began as a makeup brush company, Morphe has literally morphed and created a full beauty line. Between makeup artists and beauty influencers, Morphe has become a well know makeup brand and has amazing brushes. They have collabed with some mega youtube famous makeup gurus, and presented some awesome – super sought-after items. HOT HOT HOT!

Want your makeup to look great? You need great brushes. Yes, I’m a firm believer in make-up brushes. I never liked those little sponge tip applicators. Want to FEEL like a makeup artist? Then your face is a blank canvas, awaiting a brush to stroke on some color! GET TO IT!

Want eye shadow that blends so smoothly? LIKE BUTTAH!! You need to get your hands on a Morphe palette STAT. On the market and hard to find (always sold out) is the James Charles #sisters “Release Your Inner Artist” palette. I have one in my hot little hands! YEP- one for me, one for LaPetite, and a few extras to sell.

This eye shadow palette has some really great colors. Lots of variety, and creativity can happen, thanks to James’ genius color story and tutorials on line. I really like the palette as a whole, I can create some great evening looks, and can play around with some wilder looks. I do wish there were just one of the larger pans dedicated to a light nude matte color. I’m older now, so I don’t use shimmer all over, I don’t need to be seen from outer space. LOL

They also have lip color. While I do adore their color selection, I feel the glosses don’t have the staying power I’m used to with other products. Their lipsticks go on super rick, and have great pigment. But, the price is right for either product!

Their cheek palettes are great too. I love having options. There’s cool or warm palettes in 3 or 8 color combinations.

Morphe JUST RECENTLY launched a 55 shade foundation and concealer line. It’s pretty amazing, they have really paid attention to their consumers and have a great selection of foundations for EVERY SKIN TONE.

I think as a parent, getting the kiddo into makeup that is on trend, and affordable is the way to go; skip the walgreens and cvs – and order from Morphe!

*Morphe has not sponsored this post, however if they’d like to contact me to do a more in-depth product review of their stuff- HIT ME UP! 🙂

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!

Homeschool SPRING BREAK 2019

Spring Break is something ALL kids are excited about. Yes, even homeschool kids.

Many people think that homeschooling is just sitting around in your PJ’s all day playing video games with your on line friends.

Sure, for some homeschooling families, that’s life… but not us.

We’re pretty much focused on doing lesson plans, there’s 170 of them. Similar to a traditional school system. Our focus is on Reading, Writing, Math, Language Arts, and Spelling. History and science is usually covered in our reading plans. We’re also learning about our state, again, part of our reading lessons- and part of our “outings and field-trips”.

There’s a misconception that homeschoolers are “always on vacation” and that they don’t have to do any real work. Sure I’m not big on diagraming sentences, because that’s just ludicrous… I mean when are you going to be sitting around with friends, or at a job, and NEED to diagram a sentence? That’s just silliness; but the kiddo knows all the parts of a speech and can label the hell out of a sentence!

Do we have spring break? Well, sometimes yes, and other years no. It really all depends on what we have going on at the time. That’s part of the beauty of homeschooling, having the freedom to school when you want to, and to take time off when you need to.

This year, Spring Break 2019, the kiddo has been learning about the land and animals. She’s been spending time in the great outdoors, at a friend’s farm, helping out. So even though she’s getting “time off from schoolwork” she’s still working and having fun, it’s still a learning experience.

BONUS= fresh air and animals!

So, what do you do during spring break to keep busy, have fun and always be learning?

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

Outlook Good! #manifest

Month #2 is nearing an end. Goodbye February, you’ve been grand.

WOW 2019, so many new doors and opportunities, combined with a new goals and projects, have graciously presented themselves to me over the past two months.

Whether one or 2 or three, or even NONE of these gifts ever come to fruition- it’s nice to have a reminder that it’s more than OK to dream.

So where to begin?

This year I’ve been taking an abundance mentality, and looking to view things in a positive light. I’m manifesting what I want. Asking the universe to give it to me. Sure… I’m still waiting for those winning lottery, powerball and mega millions numbers to land in my hand, but until then, I’m winning at the game of life.

It sounds like crazy talk, right?

It’s not, I’m definitely not certifiable, and no drugs or daily meds! I’m just honestly envisioning how I want my life to go, and opening myself up to all the possibilities that are offered along the way. Which is sometimes… eye opening.

Manifesting!

Earlier in mid January, I came across 2 articles/blog posts – that gave me a brilliant idea.

APPLY! (so I did)

So what on earth have I applied to?

One application is for a summer sabbatical in Grottole Italy. OMGosh, I have visions of me as an Italian version of Belle in Beauty and the Beast… singing in a quaint village. There’s hills, red wine, olive groves, bees and sunflower fields, some guy named Andrea that is hosting this thing, oh and nonna Rosa- who will teach me how to make pasta athentico! It would be an entire summer drenched in the Italian sun. Wishful thinking, but dreams can come true. Only 4 people out of like 30K applicants will be selected.

Have I mentioned any where that 4 is my lucky number?

Grottole, Italy

Around the same time, I read about a TAP (Travel Access Project) Gap Year grant. This is a $3K grant to be given to 10 selected applicants. This project is open to anyone regardless of age or student status… so why the heck not! The money can be used towards a travel project of my choice. Of course if all the stars are aligned and I were to be selected for BOTH– well then that would be like winning the lottery for sure. If Grottole isn’t meant to be, then I’d use the TAP for a family trip to DC in the fall.

Even my abundance and manifesting mentality is shared by Josh. He’s sent in his Ycomb application, and this time he’s doing it solo! I was so surprised, proud and amazed with his application video. This time, it just feels right. (Third time’s a charm.) My fingers, toes and eyes are crossed that he will be selected for the interview and be offered funding this session. Of course it would mean he would be in California for the summer, working on his platform, business and product… but how amazing would THAT be? Josh would finally be building his company!!! (p.s. I KINDA miss palm trees and the salty sea air.) #S2019

Yesterday, a possible PT job opportunity was offered. Pay is more than minimum wage, and I’d be working around 15- 18 hours a week. This position would be 2 or 3 days a week, from 2:30-8:30pm. I’d be missing dinner time and stuff, and I would have to tighten up my availability and schedule for EVERYTHING else in life. That extra money would mean paying off the SUV even sooner. I’m definitely considering it. But if it doesn’t work out with scheduling, it’s not a big deal.

I wasn’t looking for a job, but maybe the universe is trying to tell me something? SO I’m remaining open to all options and possibilities. I have a few new projects that I have begun and right now I’m considering everything. Wondering how I can best manage my time to do everything.

Grottole and TAP and Ycomb – should they ALL happen – would be great gifts from the universe. Wouldn’t that be FABULOUS? It would a “pazzo serendipitous trifecta!”

What a life changing summer it could be for us all.

Until then, I have 4 months of staying focused on life, budget, goals and yes, dreams. <3

Abundance Mentality

OK, so I’m LOVING the Ariana Grande song 7 Rings.

Of course, I love to sing along; And knowing all the words help. The lyrics speak to the tune of having money to get whatever you want, whenever you want it.

“I see it, I like it. I want it, I got it.”

Now I’m not looking to have a philosophical entry on the song itself, or even the message it might be sending. I didn’t write it. But I really do like her song. <3

“Whoever said money can’t solve your problems

must not have had enough money to solve them.”

In a way, the song sings the praises of HAVING. IT. ALL.

living a sweet life,
sugar cookie with edible glitter

Well, I’ve been doing my own version of just that and applying an “abundance mentality.” At the beginning of 2019, I decided to refocus how I perceive things… So don’t mind me, I’m just the girl wearing rose colored glasses, wearing a big smile on my face at the moment.

I’ve decided to choose what light to see things in. For instance, our 2019 financial goal is to PIF my SUV by the end of the year. That’s right, I don’t want to be paying on it come 2020. Let me inform you that for the record, we have 3 years left on the loan to pay on my vehicle.

That’s right! We’re half way through my loan term for my SUV, and determined to pay this thing off FAST. So fast that we’re getting 3+ years of payments done in ONE year.

So when I see things that I like and I want, instead of thinking, “I can’t afford that.” or “That’s too expensive!” or even, “It’s not in my budget this month.” I just rephrase my response and shift my thinking to: “I’m focusing on paying off my car first.”

By doing this, I’m viewing my actions of making multiple payments on my loan, as something positive, something that I’m CHOOSING to do. It becomes a focused action, and a priority. Not something negative and dreadful. This way of thinking has also helped with evaluating all of our household spending.

For me, part of having an abundance mentality is to “live the best life possible in the best way possible.” It means making decisions to increase our overall wellness and happiness. One thing we did in the beginning of 2019, was 2 major purchases… new mattresses for our beds. (Mine was 20 years old, it was time!) and we upgraded our living room. As Ariana said, “I got it.” Now that those few creature comforts have been secured, and paid for, back to the task at hand.

Now HOW is this going to be accomplished? Well, one part is hard work, thanks to Josh. He’s the one that makes it all happen. He works constantly, for our money; my job is to make the money work for us. So, the second part to the equation, is the budget, which is my responsibility. I have our entire financial year planned out. It’s a collective effort that we’re all on board for, as a family.

By taking the budget, and “finding” as much extra or left over money as possible, we should be able to hit our 2019 goal.

Sure, I won’t be going on shopping sprees, and partaking in retail therapy/ or retail addiction like Ariana, (LOL) but that doesn’t mean that I’m missing out.

Within our budget, there’s actually a little bit of fun money for each of us every month. Doing completely without can lead to a lot of rebellious overspending over time.

So far all left over cash is put towards the car loan, once everything is paid off and the spreadsheet shows we have money available to allocate to additional car payments. Between the past 2 months, January and February, there’s already been 3 additional payments towards the principal balance on the loan! YAY US! 🙂

One of my tricks, is staying out of the grocery store if at all possible, during the last week of the month. I basically have made some interesting “feasts” that I lovingly call a “make it work meal” – that I serve with my rose colored glasses and a big smile. We’ve been pleasantly surprised at some of the things we’ve come up with. Creativity in the kitchen.

This is just a way for me to find some extra money to throw at the loan. EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. And as we keep chipping away at the loan, it will decrease. Which I see as such a positive thing.

So it’s all on your personal POV – maybe you too can begin living in an abundance mentality. Come join me!

These are a few of my favorite things!

I thought for this week’s post I’d make a little list of the things I love. Definitely in the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day.

With that, Happy V’day. I love that you’re reading this!

So in absolutely no particular order, here are some THINGS that I love:

  • the way the air smells, just before it rains
  • the sound of the kiddo laughing or singing
  • snapdragons, the flowers… I like making them talk
  • the Starry Night by VanGogh
  • dark chocolate, that’s right I like my chocolate bittersweet
  • things that smell like lavender, vanilla or coconut
  • mac and cheese
  • car rides with LP, and our little talks
  • nice pajamas or loungewear
  • when josh makes dinner, especially his marsala chicken or general chicken
  • the sound of the beach- waves and seagulls
  • when Thumper, my pug, puts his nose on the back of my leg
  • a bottle of decent red wine
  • singing in the shower
  • makeup
  • candles candles candles
  • WDW
  • sunsets or pretty cotton candy colored skies
  • mint tea
  • watching the clouds in the air
  • sofa cuddles with Sebastian, my other pug
  • the shapes of trees
  • being on a ship or boat
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • late night chats about life and goals with the boy
  • the sound of snoring pugs
  • LP’s hand massage, makes me sleepy
  • medium rare steak, because I’m trying to be healthier but would rather it rare
  • thunderstorms
  • angel hair pasta
  • singing in the car with LP
  • tacos aren’t just for tuesday’s
  • fluffy socks
  • lucky brand blue jeans
  • wind chimes
  • watching the kiddo dance in the house
  • cheese, i like cheese
  • makeup paletts
  • fresh cut grass on a summer day
  • the thought of traveling the world once day with my family
  • quiet moments at night
  • making lists, with different colored pens and sticky notes
  • antiques, I like furniture, old style wood furniture
  • painting
  • laughing fits with the family
  • good Bourbon -like Jefferson’s Reserve Pritchard Hill Cabernet Cask Finished Bourbon
  • Christmas lights, and trees any time of the year lit with white lights
  • Classical music, I just love flutes and violins
  • family DANCE PARTY – LOL


SO yeah, just a list of some of the things that when I encounter or experience them, they make me smile.

Of course there’s more, but I thing my list represents a piece of what I find to be special.