Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Anybody who knows me knows that I am filled with passion.  Passion for writing, passion for motherhood, passion for creativity, passion for nature, and a passion to travel, especially to places I have never been before.

I have a wanderlust, sparked at ten-years-old when I looked at my first travel brochure for Europe.  Ever since then, I knew my dream in life was to travel, and to Europe in particular.  I finally made my first trip to Europe last year, and not only was it one of the greatest things I've ever experienced in my life, it cemented my innate urge to travel.

This week the kids are out of school for Spring Break, and ever since late last week, I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out somewhere we could go.  Apparently the wanderlust has struck, and I have a burning desire to hit the road.  We've decided on Arkansas.  Why?  My mom took a job there awhile back, and although her main house is still outside of Austin, TX, she rents a home in Fort Smith where she works during the week.  She's invited us to come down, and as I haven't seen her in a few years, we're overdue for a visit.

Looking into the mysterious land of Arkansas on the internet revealed that my mom lives in a gorgeous place.  Land of the Ozark Mountains, lush forests, rivers, lakes, and several state & national parks within a stone's throw.  I couldn't believe it!  Arkansas?  No way!  The kids are just as excited as I am now to get out and explore the beautiful nature around my mom's house.

So, to you I wish a great week and an even better weekend.  I hope you find some adventure, it's always there if you know where to look.  I'll be back next week, my trip documented in photos that I will share with you.

Au revoir!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunday Funday

The kids and I were out and about yesterday, walking and taking pictures.  We walked around Heartland of America Park first, then made a pitstop at St. Cecelia's Cathedral on the way home.  (My son took the first picture.)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gerald Ford Birth Site

Yesterday was another day of looking for a good spot to take photographs.  I love taking pictures, and it's not so much about the place (although that plays a part in it for sure), but rather about the perspectives I can find in the place.  I like to find layers and angles that are interesting to me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rainy Day Photography

I got some work done this morning, and since I'm still battling (albeit not quite as badly) the evil sickness, I was feeling antsy in the house.  Since it's a rainy, dreary day (which, believe it or not, are my favorite kind of days) I decided to grab my camera and take a drive.  Here are a few of the photos I took today.  I played around with the photo editor I use to make my book covers, and I think they turned out well.  Those of you from the Omaha Metro area will recognize these.

 Hummel Park from the top of its reputed haunted stairs. *

Mormon Bridge: view from John Pershing Drive.

 The Florence Mill.

Some of the many radio towers on north 72nd Street.

*EDIT: November 11, 2016. These are not the haunted stairs (a.k.a. The Morphing Stairs) of Hummel Park. For more info on those, see my post "The Morphing Stairs". I wasn't sure where they were during this period of time, and guessed it to be these. I was wrong. ;)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Check out my Stash!

Good morning!  So, I'm finally feeling better, not perfect, but better.  I am definitely weak, and still a bit achy, but overall, I can't complain.  As a treat, I figured I would go ahead and make the post showing you my makeup.  Now, I know it doesn't look like much, but let me explain.  A few months ago I realized that the majority of my makeup was old, and really needed to be tossed out/replaced.  So, I thinned out my collection considerably.  Although I was sad, I realize that I just made a hell of a lot of room for new stuff!  Whee.  So here's what I kept, and some of the new.  Stay tuned though, because big palettes are next on my horizon.

 The white drawer unit is where I keep most of my beauty essentials.  The container on top is makeup.

 Here are two foundations and a tone correcter.  If you don't have one of those, you really need one.  They are awesome.

 I couldn't bear to throw away that one Wet 'n Wild eyeshadow so I didn't.  :)  The others are some NYC, one is also from their older collection.  Hey, I am partial to some of my old go-tos!

 You saw from my dollar store hauls a couple of these, and yes that one does say 50 cents!  I couldn't pass it up for that price!  The small grey is a Pur brand, and it's pretty cool because the underside opens to reveal a small mirror and brush.  The large one is an awesome set I picked up at Walmart.  The shades are very shimmery so I would more recommend for night use, but nowadays I noticed that a lot with many eyeshadows.

 This is my old brush collection:  well-loved and well-used.  I really need to wash these brushes, and it's on my to-do list, I swear!

 Some of my lip colors, the baby lips was another 50 cents clearance item.

 Mascaras.  One isn't even open yet!  I prefer the Mary Kay one, but it started clumping up after my first couple of uses.  :(

 Some eye liners.  The old tried and true Maybelline, a smokey eye pen by Maybelline as well in blue, L.A. colors dial-up black pen, Revlon felt-liner (one of my all-time faves), and the last is actually a lip liner, also shown in my dollar store haul.

 This is my eyebrow stuff.  I had a bad elf mascara so I cleaned the brush and saved it for grooming my eyebrows or for when my other mascara gets clumpy.  The light brown pens are no good for my collor, and the bottom one, by Wet 'n Wild is my favorite.

 I forgot to put this with my other eyeliners.  The LA colors liquid eyeliner.  Liquid eyeliner is one of the best things to ever happen in the makeup world IMHO.

 A couple of concealers, one stick the other liquid.

 Extra applicators (they suck) and some applicator wedges (love).

 I always keep regular old chapstick and hand creme in my makeup stock, just in case.  ;)

 These are both eyeshadow primer.  Another great invention.

 Face powder, one is the old standby Covergirl, and the other is L'Oreal Infallible matte.  Then my lone blush.  I have naturally rosy cheeks so I rarely add blush, but when I do I prefer something non-rosy, like this gorgeous copper.

 Eyelash curler and misc. that you've seen in other posts.

 This great thing was another Dollar Tree purchase for $1!  You can refill it yourself and it's great for all the obvious reasons.

 Top shelf of the beauty unit.  For showing where my brushes live.

The various brushes I use.  Elf makes a quality, inexpensive product.  I have a couple of the eco tools that are made with real hair as well, and then I few others I found at the dollar store.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Being sick & doing manicures

It seems I'm coming down with an icky cold.  I felt it rearing it's ugly head yesterday, so I started taking zinc right away.  Sick or not,  when you've promised an 8 year-old a manicure, you follow through.  It came out very cute.  She looks fabulous.  :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

King John's Castle - Limerick, Ireland

Writing Update!

Good morning!  I can imagine you sitting somewhere drinking a nice cup of tea or coffee and watching the sunrise out the window while you curl up in a blanket.  For some that might be close to reality, while for others, more like grabbing a cup as you rush off to work.  Either way, I hope today is shaping up to be a fine day.

I'm inching ever closer to my book's completion.  I took a few days off as I had company and some other writing work to complete.  Anyway, I have a couple of articles to write, so my end of month deadline for "The Melody" might not be met, but we shall see!  I've accomplished more in less time.  I'm now an editor and writer for Zerys, so if anyone needs some freelance work done, send me an email and I will give you the details for finding me there.

I hope you're enjoying the breadth of topics I've added to my blog!  I love adding the other dimensions of myself here, it's a nice peek into my life.  



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

Here in the States, you'd have to be living under a rock to not know that yesterday was St. Patrick's Day.  My days of getting drunk on green beer in bars that I spent all day in are long over.  These days, I much prefer to make good food shared with friends, and have a Guinness or two at home.  My friend Audrey came up from Missouri for the day and we looked at my photos from my vacation to Ireland as we haven't seen each other in several months.  We went out and had pizza for lunch, and then took a leisurely hike out at Neale Woods.  It was gorgeous as always.  We made a few pit stops, and came back to my house to cook Irish stew, bread, and drink Guinness.  We did put one bottle of Guinness in the stew....of course!  My best friend Keith came over after work, and we all gathered (with my family) to eat, drink, and be merry.  It was a fantastic day.  Hope yours was too!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Clearance Snacks

So, I went to Target last week to get some random items, and I thought I would grab some food basics for the house.  While perusing their food aisles, I came across an endcap of clearance stuff.  Here's what I scored.

 These bark THINS are the bomb!  They are both made of dark, dairy-free, chocolate.  The first one has blueberries and puffed quinoa, while the second one has almonds and coconut.  Wow they are delicious, and vegan!  I can't believe they didn't sell, so I'm guessing it was the price point.  I got them for around $2/each.

 These Snappers are amazeballs.  Chunks of pretzels molded together with caramel and then drizzled with chocolate.  They are absolutely delicious, a bit tough to eat.  I'm guessing their price point also made them unattractive, but I still paid around $2.50/each (I bought two bags).  The next I got for around $2.75 and are Ghirardelli's chocolate covered cranberries.  Mmmm.  Love them.

Then I ran into these.  These organic Annie's snack kits each contain hummus, cheese crackers, bunny graham crackers, and fruit snacks.  They were only $1.78 each!  They are usually around the $5 mark so these were a complete score.  My intent is to use for hikes, and we've already used them twice. I take our water bottles and we're set.  I bought all they had left, which was about 6.  :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Amope Review

The other day I showed you all my drugstore haul, and what a great thing it was!  If you didn't read it, check it out here.  Anyway, the last item I showed was the Amope Pedi Perfect and I said that I would give it a review after I used it.  Well, I've used it (every day!) and here's my review.

The Amope Pedi Perfect foot buffer is, I am just going to say it, a godsend for anyone with horrible feet!  Cracked, scaly, rough, and calloused feet?  Not anymore!  Many years ago, in another life, I worked in a packing plant (yuck) and wearing those god-awful boots did a number to my heels that I've never been able to correct.  I've tried every remedy under the sun, spending many dollars in the process, trying to make my heels not look so hideous.  I had really just resigned myself to a monthly pedicure and the Dr. Scholl's pedi egg/feet balm routine in-between, but it's so much work and never looks that great anyway.   It's essentially ready to go, you open the package, which has an easy open piece on the back, and use it.  It takes 4 AA batteries, which were included and loaded.  I have rechargeable batteries that I will use hereafter.  The rotating buffer head is similar to sandpaper and it just sloughs off all the crap.  I've used it three days in a row, and will keep using it until the callouses have receded (I thought of doing before and after photos, but no one needs a scare this early in the morning!).  You can purchase their foot cream (I didn't because I wanted to see how well the product worked first) and there are head replacements for when it gets too caked with dead skin to work properly.  The Pedi Perfect will set you back $50 while the foot cream is $10.  Replacement heads are $20.  In my honest opinion, this is a bargain!  If you have horrible feet like me, use this product!  Easy to use, works great...worth every penny!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hike at Hitchcock Nature Center

We found a new trail at one of our favorite spots today, and we loved it. 

$5 Dollar Tree Challenge

So yesterday I walked into a Dollar Tree with $5 and a mission:  find some decent makeup.  Here's how I did. (BTW, I'm using my grandmother's embroidery for the background.)

 I found these eyeshadows!  Look at those cool looking L.A. Colors shades!  I like the speckling, and I'm guessing they help the eyeshadow with effects.  I've heard of these before, and they had a few different shades so I tried to pick one that has colors for different seasons.  Then I found the NYC eyeshadow, and I got excited.  I've been looking for a good dark green/orangey-brown type combo, and this was it.  I already have a couple of NYC shadows and I like them so this was a good find.

Next I found an L.A. Colors compact for my purse, a must have!  Then I found a Milani lip liner.  They only had two colors, #10 which was kind of brown, and the #7 which is burgundy and the one I purchased.  It should go good with several of my lips colors, so I can't wait to try that out.  Lastly, I grabbed this small Nivea Creme, perfect for my purse.  It's really creamy and thick.  Good stuff.

It's always nice to find some bargain makeup to add to your collection.  Try out the $5 challenge and let me know how you did!