Morning, loves. Today we’re talking about makeup, which isn’t that surprising. I’m pretty much always talking about makeup. Or therapy. Or both. But this is kind of different. We spent last weekend in the Great Expensive North with Buzz’s parents, camping.

I know. Camping. What. Not my jam. I do not like to camp.

It’s okay. They don’t really either.

They have a gorgeous RV hooked up to water and electricity and a fridge stocked with cheese and better wine than I can afford on my own. They set the coffee to brew in the morning, and my husband turns into a guy from a nature food commercial and insists on cooking all of our food over the campfire while I sit inside drinking coffee or wine. (Probably wine. I’m on vacation. It’s always wine time.)

Now, granted, it’s not as perfect as it was in 2011. Buzz and I weren’t married yet, and so when we joined his parents for a weekend at the camper we obviously slept separately. I had the whole master suite to myself- huge bed, overhead light, a door that closed.

Oh man. Married life is lovely. But virginity had way more room.

By the next year I was married and almost pregnant and no one cared about my virtue anymore and I was on a pullout couch. *sigh*

I mean, I love being a wife and mother! Yeah!

No for reals, one of my favorite parts of the camper (or any traveling really) is that I get to sleep next to my husband with our babies right next to us in the next bed. Our kids sleep in in their own rooms, and really always have. I’m not complaining about that. At all. But it’s so cozy to sleep with them right there, so that’s super fun.

Anyway, I certainly wasn’t going to go without makeup for the weekend. I mean, we had big things like…sit on the beach planned. But I legitimately don’t do makeup for anyone else, I just love to play with it.

So here is my Super Awesome Not Patented Way to Get Pretty in the Woods. (As long as you have a shower, a sink, and some patience.)

First of all, tools. You do not have to lug your entire vanity to the northwoods. I mean, you can. And God knows I have done that on vacation. Ask my dad sometime about the bag of shoes I dragged all over the East Coast in 2010. He loves that story.


I can fit all my stuff in a makeup case. The handled ones are nice if you’re “camping” because you can just carry it to the bathroom and not worry about bags and other random crap that you have to keep track of.

The kids have enough of that.

I keep brushes in the pencil-like case. A few eye brushes, a blending brush, and a blush brush, and you’re good to go. The separate case keeps them from getting lost or bent or anything.


Liquids go in a bag in the same container. I bring one cleanser (Philosophy’s Purity) when I’m traveling. It cuts through EVERYTHING, and can be decanted into tiny containers. I usually do the same thing with moisturizers, but I had a few from Birchbox that were pretty good, so I just brought one of those along.

For the actual makeup, primers, setting sprays are key to making it last. I use Smashbox for primers (face and eyelid) and they are really the best. I’ve spent so much money trying to find a better cheaper one, but I just can’t. Better to suck it up and pay the $21. You will not regret it. This weekend I brought NYX Matte Finishing Spray. It’s not my favorite- that’s Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. But it’s super expensive and a big bottle and I didn’t want to take a chance losing it in a campground bathroom. NYX works almost as well honestly, and it was like $6.

For actual makeup, I stuck with palettes and powder formulas mostly. It made packing a lot easier and I had the freedom to do basically any look I wanted.

I didn’t, because I’m a mom who was camping. BUT IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT I COULD!


I’m in love with Ulta’s Sculpting Palette. Got it for free during their 21 Days of Beauty Event (I’ll have a post on that next week- so many good deals!) in a Buy 2, Get 2 promotion. It has a passable contour/bronzer shade, a really nice highlighter, and a blush. I legitimately love the highlighter. I use it most days actually.

The blush is a really pretty pink with a light shimmer, and great for a neutral look.

The contour isn’t amazing by any means- we’re not talking Anastasia here. But it definitely does the job and some days I even prefer it because it blends so well in my pale skin. And really, you’re not going for a full contour on a camping trip anyway, right? I just wanted it to look like I had cheekbones at one point in my life.

I used Laura Gellar’s Balance and Brighten foundation, and Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer. I used my fingers and a brush to blend them, and oh man I DESPERATELY MISSED MY BEAUTY BLENDER YOU GUYS.

Alas, there was no place to dry my Beauty Blender, and so it had to stay home.

That little bit of roughing it aside, I think I did pretty well.

I brought along the Tartelette palette and a black eyeliner, and did a fair job on making a halfway decent eye the first day. Sunday I neglected to realize how difficult it was to get mascara perfect when you’re rushing to get to Mass and then when it ends up on your eyelids it’s really hard to blend out without…well, anything to blend it out with.



Some setting powder (I used valuable real estate and brought my full size Laura Mercier setting powder, because you really cannot do better than that) and a few spritzes with the NYX spray, and I was good to go all day. At like 5 pm Buzz looked at me and said, “Wow. Your makeup still looks really good! We must buy good stuff!”

Which is the first and last time he has been thankful for the amount of money I spend on makeup.

Here I am at the end of the day-


Still pretty good. And obviously outlasted my straightener. Geez. My baby hair is so curly. Jesus Himself could straighten it and it would only last an hour.

Oh, and the most important thing- SUNSCREEN. Any kind. All kinds. ALL THE TIME.

Ain’t no primer that covers up the horrific sunburns I get from, like, standing outside for a minute.


Literal white girl problems, yo.


Week One and Two: We Still All Like Each Other.

Kind of. I mean, the principal and I fight sometimes. Mostly because he doesn’t pick up his underwear from the floor. But then we also make out sometimes. Because we’re married.

Ha! Sorry. That will never be not funny to me, you guys.

Anyway, the first two weeks of school are finished and overall? Pretty good, y’all.

We’ve been super busy, which has made actually hitting our stride with scheduling. Squeaks struggles with transitions, so I’ve been trying to keep us working for a chunk of time in the morning and get everything done. But now she’s trying to get everything finished super fast and doesn’t want to stop to fix anything like, oh, her nines facing backwards.

So tomorrow I’m going to try to switch it up and schedule playtime in the middle of the morning. Hopefully it would be enough to give her a break but having it actually scheduled will be official enough for her little executive function-challenged head.

One can only hope.

My favorite part of this year is that both my mom and my bonus mother are so involved. both of them homeschooled their kids* and help me out when they’re able to. This morning I had my prayer group and so I laid out all the subjects I wanted Squeaks to finish and my bonus mom took care of everything! I even came home to cute pictures of her doing her work.

*I know. My husband. He loves him some homeschooled girls apparently.


My mom helps out almost every day. We’re learning Latin together this year (or relearning as it’s been awhile since high school for me) and it’s so much fun to have my mom and my little girl bonding over a language. She’s also doing a ton with Buddy while I work with Squeaks. And now Buddy can count to fourteen now, so that’s super fun.

I know he’s three. We’re still happy about it. Shoot low. That basically my parenting motto.


One of the best things I’m doing differently this year is actually for me. After having a slight (major) breakdown last year, I realized that unless I’m a happy person I am not going to be a happy mother. Or a very effective teacher.

So I’ve started getting up with Buzz in the mornings, which gives me about an hour to myself before the kids get up. I get my housework done, and have enough time to do my own reading.

This year I’m following The Coming Home Network’s plan for reading the Bible and the Catechism in a year. (I’m only doing it on school days, so it’s going to take me a little bit longer than a year.) It’s available for free as a download or a $1 booklet at It only takes about 10 minutes (I read fast) and it really makes me feel centered to do some spiritual reading every day.

I also have a pile of parenting books that I’m working through. I read a lot, but I tend to get caught up in mostly novels. Which is fine, but then I ignore the ones that I should be reading to help me along my journey. So I devote ten minutes to that as well.

Finally, I make sure to say a rosary in the morning. I love doing a daily rosary, and doing it in the morning honestly makes my day so much easier. I know part of it is just the meditative/repetitive prayer aspect, but I love starting my day by petitioning the Blessed Mother.

So overall, we’re still doing okay. And I get to make out with the principal.




First Grade

Dear Squeaks,

Today is your first day of first grade. I remember being in first grade, and this is completely mind bending to me that I now have a DAUGHTER that will probably REMEMBER THIS TIME IN HER LIFE and maybe I should screw up a little bit less. Maybe.

But nope, it’s true. You are starting elementary school. You’re old enough that we have to register as a school with the state because you’re old enough that you’re required to be in school. That is also a little mind-bending, and the libertarian part of me is like okay guys, time to live off the grid. Shutter the windows and cancel your credit cards. We don’t need no government.

(Then I remember how much I love getting makeup in the mail and I’m like will ipsy still be able to find me on the compound? Probably not. Better stay in civilization.)


You are bright and funny and even on the days when your little personality and my personality end up not gelling too much with each other, I can honestly say that you are my favorite kid in the world and I am so glad I get to be your mother.

You can read and add and think you can swim. You can really do anything you set your mind to. You don’t like joining teams or taking lessons because people want to tell you what to do and you really don’t like that. Which I get. Mommy was never much of a joiner either. That’s okay. You’ll be fine and someday you’ll meet a nice widower and your mother will be like, “I don’t know what happened, she never liked spending time with people before!”


I am so honored and excited to be your teacher, sweetie. I can’t wait to see what you learn- what we learn together- this year.

I love you more,


First Day of First Grade Questions:

I write my name like:


I am 47 inches tall and 51 lbs.

My best friend is: Joey. (Oh!)

My favorite thing to play is: I don’t know. Wait. Tag.

My favorite color is: PURPLE!

My favorite book is: my Frozen book series.

My favorite TV show is: DEFINITELY My Little Pony

My favorite food is: oriental chicken (just like they recorded on the adoption record lol)

When I grow up , I want to be: a mommy.

Something I love: my little brother

Something I don’t like: broccoli.

Something I like about myself: That I have the longest hair in the family.

Something I want to do this year: have a pool party before the first day of fall.




Recipe Weekends: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Oh man, guys. I totally planned on making dinner and other random crap this week and taking pictures and doing like a real recipe or whatever and then I didn’t really do that because it was hot and then it was cold and so I didn’t feel like doing anything and then I felt like doing all the things except cooking and…anyway.

So here’s something I was planning on posting later, but already had pictures of on my phone.

Last Friday I was heading to a picnic and turned to my go-to dessert that looks super impressive and isn’t. (That’s my main criteria for all the things- I want to look impressive. But I also really like sleeping when the baby sleeps.

(The baby? Is three.)

(Still counts.)

Now, full disclosure. This particular time did not exactly turn out the way they have every single time I’ve made them. They were still good but not the finger food, picnic accessible way they usually are. I know what happened, so I’ll make sure it make note of it in the recipe.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars


3/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks.

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Lemon Filling:

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 T flour

1 T lemon zest

1/2 cup lemon juice

Cheesecake Filling:

16 oz cream cheese

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

Sour Cream Layer:

16 oz sour cream

1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you’re planning on serving them as bars, line the pan with parchment paper. If you want to serve it in the pan, just spray with cooking spray.

In a bowl, mix together dry crust ingredients, and cut in cold butter. When it’s the consistancy of crumbs, press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until light brown.


This is where I screwed up. I was rushing to leave the house and took it out too soon. I figured it would be okay since you bake the rest of it. Well, turns out if you rush that part, then the lemon filling soaks into the crust and you get a mess. A tasty mess, but a mess.


See that? That should be darker.

Mix together all of the lemon filling ingredients. Pour into the pan on top of the baked crust, and skim off any bubbles.


Finally, mix together cream cheese and sugar for the cheesecake. When it’s creamy, add in the eggs and beat until smooth.


Smooth over the lemon filling. This is such a weird chemistry thing, but it does separate perfectly during baking.


Bake for 45-60 minutes, until filling is set and beginning to crack.


Mix together sour cream topping and spread over the top. Return to oven and bake for 10-15 more minutes until the topping is set.

Let cool completely before cutting and serving.



My Daily Schedule, According to My Six-Year-Old. And also my thoughts on mercy. 

As told to her grandmother, who is probably calling social services as we speak. 

“Well. First she lets us cuddle in bed with her while she sleeps in the morning. Sometimes she snores a LOT. Then we get up and stay in our pajamas and we eat breakfast and watch TV.

Then we go to Grandma Susan’s and play. Mommy sits on the couch with her coffee and reads.

During the afternoon, Mommy naps EVERY DAY ALL AFTERNOON and I just lay next to her and play on my tablet.

Then Mommy makes dinner and she has wine and after we go to bed she and Daddy watch grownup shows and have more wine. Sometimes they read books together too. ”

*blink* *blink*


Meals? Grocery shopping? Running our household? Laundry? Other chores? FREAKING HOMESCHOOLING? NOT BEING AN ALCOHOLIC WITH A THYROID DISORDER???

Any of that, sweet pea???

Nope. Just a lot of napping and reading and coffee and wine. And the occasional TV show.

Just for comparison’s sake, here’s what she thinks Daddy’s schedule is like:

“Daddy gets up REALLY early, and he goes to work and he works and he works and he works ALL DAY to take care of us. When he gets home, he plays with us ALL night and even helps Mommy make dinner and then he gives us tubbies and puts us to bed. And then he sits down with Mommy.”

Where is Mommy during the tubbies and bedtime? Presumably sitting with my wine and book.

You know what my actual schedule looks like?

“Mommy gets up with Daddy at some ungodly hour and TAKES CARE OF UNGRATEFUL PEOPLE ALL DAY LONG GAAAHHHHHH.”

And yeah, sometimes there is wine. And coffee. And sometimes I even have five minutes to myself when you’re working on the school work that I’ve spent the last WHOLE SUMMER preparing. And then I do read like half a page of a book. I know. SELFISH.

But no. My kid thinks we have magical elves who also do elementary education.


So. I wrote this yesterday in a lull, like I usually do. I was just going to publish it.

But we had a really hard night. We needed to be up with one kid and deal with a lot of stuff and then the other woke up and this all happened at 3:00 so we got like a lovely hour and a half nap before leaving for work/starting the day. And frankly it seemed fitting with the post I had written.

But then I thought of our engaged enrichment day. I know, right? Stay with me. One of the speakers mentioned the exact situation we were in last night just totally in passing, and how honored he felt to be there for his daughter like that becuase while helping her through the night he was able to do something for her that no one else ever could.

As parents, we are so blessed that we are able to be required to take care of our children. They come to us for everything. They don’t understand that they should be grateful that we literally sacrifice ourselves for them, because they’re little and we’re their parents and that’s how it should be.

I was at a meeting last night and we were discussing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and how parents in particular can experience those while parenting literally ALMOST CONSTANTLY and not even notice it becuse most of what we do is SUPER ANNOYING.

But it is filled with grace. It allows us to build a domestic church, and sanctify our homes in a way that no one else has a chance to do. And that’s amazing.

We are so lucky to get to experience mercy and sanctification like that.