Category Archives: Lifestyle

Drugstore Brows | What the heck?


I have been trying to find the best drugstore brow products and am coming up short handed.

Here are the latest contestants, from top to bottom. (All purchased from Target or CVS)


  1. Brow Stylist Definer by L’OREAL – Ultra fine pencil with spool brush – works ok, seems like I have to apply a lot of pressure to get a line drawn, color matching decent, stayed in place most of the day.
  2. Brow Fantasy by Revlon – Weird powder and brow gel with a spool applicator and sponge tip – negative, and that’s all I have to say.
  3. Micro Brow Pencil by NYX –  again, have to apply a ton of pressure to draw lines, it shouldn’t be such a struggle, color matching could be better, stayed in place.
  4. Brow Pencil by Revlon –  It has a thicker angled point brow product and a spool brush on one end, didn’t have to press too hard, stayed well, I didn’t have to use a ton of product, the thickness of it makes it tough to draw hair like lines, seems like it’s better for those who like to use a shading technique.Bottom line:   I’m still searching.  Do not want to spend $21 on a specialty brow product, haven’t found my perfect match on color and although I like to be able to draw a thin line to fill in my brows, I prefer not to have to apply super-human pressure to do so.

    What’s your favorite brow product?

Our Go-To Weekly Meals – When life gets hectic!

White Chicken Chili (without beans) – Just 100% good and quick!  Follow the crock-pot recipe to make it ridiculously easy.  Serve with some tortilla chips or diced avocado. (photo from TheRealFoodRDS)

Taco Tuesday Stuffed Peppers – Not the easiest or quickest but it’s totally worth the work.   Recipe is here.  I love to make these in addition to our regular Taco night menu.  They make perfect leftovers for lunch to-go.  (My photo)

Sheet Pan Dinners – One pan and done.   I love these type of dinners.  Just be sure you have a higher quality sheet pan so it doesn’t warp in the middle of baking.  I typically use Chicken Thighs or Boneless Pork Chops.  Check it out here (photo from TheKitchn)

Spaghetti & The Meatball – Yep you read that right “THE Meatball”, meaning one meatball 🙂  A step up from our typical sketti & frozen meatballs & sauce dish.  We like to follow this recipe from except we double the meat and divide into 8-10 large meatballs.  (photo from HalfBakedHarvest)

Whole30 Style Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Dupe) –  I’ve tried a few different variations and they always turn out super yummy.   Check out the recipe here:   (photo from FarmsteadChic)


MYO Night – also known as Make Your Own and/or Leftover night.  The kids really hate to see this on our meal board.  They eventually figure something out and all is good again in the world.


5 tips – Get your act together!

  1.  Make a list.   Creating a To-Do list with things like Do Laundry or Empty Dishwasher can help you stay focused on what really needs to be done.  As each task is completed draw a line through it.  


2.   Stay positive.  Nobody likes a Negative Nancy.  Thinking positive thoughts actually help us feel better.  Make up a mantra and repeat it in your mind to push the negative ones out.  Think something like this: “I have everything I need to be happy and I am thankful today for_______.” Fill in the blank.  Are you thankful for the sun streaming through your curtains?  Are you thankful for the friend that called to say hello?  Are you thankful you weren’t actually out of toilet paper? 


3. Be aware.  I have preached this before but you should always be aware and observant.  Complacency is not your best friend.  Be aware of yourself, your family, bank account, co-workers, credit score, neighbors, what’s in your refrigerator, etc …. You can’t improve things if you don’t know where you stand.  

4.  Be proactive.  It’s as simple as this: Do the right thing, don’t be jerk to others and don’t treat your body like an out-house.  













5. Finally, there can’t be a true-er phrase when it comes to keeping your act together: Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Give yourself a break if you mess up.  We are not perfect and we are allowed to make mistakes.  Just try to learn from them, “yeah THAT was not my best decision”  and move on.  Do not beat yourself up.  

Local’s Guide to Downtown Pensacola

Downtown Pensacola

There are so many things to do in the Downtown Pensacola area.  I compiled this list based on the places we like to visit and places we would tell our friends and families to go.  If I didn’t include a certain place, it’s because we haven’t been there or haven’t been there enough to give a review.

Let me add, this is a SHORT list of the many places to go and things to do in our town.  I could go on and on.  In an effort to not go on and on I decided to stick to the following for the reasons previously stated.

Where to Dine:  All are locally owned

Wine Bar Palafox – Happy Hour every day 11-6, extensive wine list, full bar, nice menu.  Great for a quick bite before a show at the Seanger or Vinyl, date night or girls night out.

Global Grill – Upscale dining, known for tapas, martinis and exceptional service. Reservations suggested

Nom Sushi – Must try the Tuna Tacos and Ramen Bowl, you’re welcome.  Small space, with sushi bar seating.

Pensacola Fish House – One of the restaurants in Great Southern Group on the Gulf Coast,  known for Grits Ya Ya.  Great place for families!

Iron –  Exquisite menu, exceptional service.  Reservations are a must!

Carmen’s Lunch Bar –  Kale Salad and Chicken Salad are my absolute favorite, served with a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio.  Small venue, limited seating & hours.

Union Public House – delicious cocktails and fabulous menu

George’s Artisan Bakery & Bistro – Champagne Pop? Yes!  Brunch is sooo good!

Dharma Blue – Divine Sushi menu, Backdown Roll, just get it.  Small menu full of delicious entrees and salads.  The Pear salad and pan fried oysters appetizer is my fave!

Lucy’s on the Square – Located by historic Seville Square.  Flatbreads and nachos are so good!  They serve a good selection of local beers and have a nice wine list.

Five Sisters Blues Cafe – Can you say authentic southern comfort food?  Fried Chicken, fried okra and the most delicious collard greens you’ll put in your mouth.
Sunday Jazz brunch = Live Jazz Trio, Bloody Marys and Chicken & Waffles, yum.  Good spot for families.

Where to Stay:  It’s tough to recommend places to stay in your home town since typically we stay at our house, haha.  However, we have had the opportunity to stay in or have heard first person reviews from friends that have stayed in the following hotels/bed & breakfasts.  For families, you can check VRBO.  With that said if you are traveling here you’ll prob want to stay on Pensacola Beach and those tips will require a separate post.

New World Landing InnPensacola Grand Hotel , The Lee House

What to see & do:  Some of these spots will take you away from Downtown but worth the drive! Historical fact: Pensacola was first settled in 1559.  If you enjoy history, you’re gonna be entertained. 

Historic Tour – Check in with the Pensacola Historical Society for the tour schedule.  If you visit during October, the haunted tour is a must!

Palafox Market – Saturday morning only, stroll through the vendors and who knows what you’ll find.

St Micheal’s Cemetery, Pensacola Art Museum, Pensacola Little Theater, several parks

Pensacola Maritime Park & Blue Wahoo Stadium – see a ball game & explore the park

Naval Aviation Museum – Free admission, you’ll spend the day!  Located on Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Blue Angel Shows – If you are lucky enough to be in the area for this air show you will continue to return.  Simply amazing!  These pilots fly all over the country but the “Home” shows are typically in July & November.

Pensacola Lighthouse – climb to the top and enjoy the view!  We had so much fun exploring the grounds of this historic spot.

Ft Barancas – Also located on NAS, You could easily visit the Fort and the Lighthouse after the Aviation Museum if you plan it right.

TT Wentworth Museum – located in Downtown Pensacola and full of artifacts and info about the city.  Perfect for a rainy day. See if you can find the petrified cat. :/

Vinyl Music Hall – We have seen soooooo many shows here.  Drvin’ & Cryin’, The Revivalists, Fleetwood Mac Cover Band, Guns & Roses Cover Band… It’s your typical standing room only venue with a swanky bar in the back called 5 1/2 (five and a half).  You can access the bar from Garden St as well if Vinyl isn’t open.

Pensacola Seanger Theater – We have also seen an array of shows here! Pensacola Children’s Chorus performances,  Grace Potter, Jerry Seinfeld, BB King, Robert Cray… recently Tedeschi Trucks Band.  I hear the White Tie Rock Ensemble is fantastic!
Little fact:  In 2017, I danced (more like frantically trying to remember the steps with the rest of the group) on the Seanger stage for a Dancing with The Stars style event to raise funds for a local charity!  yep!

Shopping – Downtown Pensacola and surrounding areas are full of boutiques ranging from upscale to second hand.  Palafox street is lined with a majority of shops of all types.  Check out this article on Visit Pensacola to find out more.

Graffiti Bridge – a Pensacola Landmark also known as the 17th Ave trestle, this concrete bridge was built waaaay back for the CSX train.  Police tolerate graffiti on the bridge, giving its name.  Ever changing, the painted on graffiti has been estimated to be 3 inches thick!  You might want to pull over in the boat launch parking lot to get a good look.

Breweries:  I never knew we had such great brewers crafting micro brews.   These places are a nice pit stop between shopping and/or exploring the Downtown area.
Pensacola Bay Brewery ,  Perfect Plain,  Gulf Coast Brewery 

Nightlife:  Where to go for an after dinner drink, hear some live music or satisfy your dancing mood

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar – Think of a 1920’s Speakeasy complete with bartenders in leather aprons….. These guys and gals know the “brown stuff”.  This is where you go when you want a fancy cocktail made with love!

World of Beer – pretty much sums it up, Blend Lounge is in the back if you want more of a full bar experience with thumping music.  Taco Agave is also in this establishment with a small fresh mexican style menu and an array of margaritas – Strawberry Jalapeno is yum!

Seville Quarter – can’t decide weather you want to bust a move in da club or  groove to a cover band belting out ballads or watch dueling piano show or play pool or visit the saloon bar where there’s no telling what band will be on for the evening.  Maybe you just want to chill in the courtyard or end of the alley and listen to some reggae.  Seville Quarter has 7 rooms of fun, seriously.  You could spend all evening here and not get bored.  Seville also has a wine shop and restaurant serving lunch dinner and Sunday Brunch.

Fish House Deck – usually a band during some nights of the week and on the weekends on the outside deck.  Check the calendar to be sure especially in the off-season months.  Wednesday is ladies night on the Deck and ladies drinks are $2!

There ya have it!  My rundown of the places I’d recommend to my family and friends.  I hope this is helpful in planning your trip to Pensacola and I hope you have a good experience in your your visit.   Thanks so much for visiting my blog.
We love to travel and also love a stay-cation from time to time.  You can read about some of our other trips like New Orleans and Breckenridge here and here.
What would you recommend if friends were coming to your hometown?




Pink, Mauve and Florals | My top picks for Spring

February means Spring is almost here!!!

Well, kinda.  To get to Spring weather….. crisp mornings and low humidity…. we have to get through February and March.  These can be the coldest months in the NW Florida Panhandle.   We don’t get to experience a lot of seasons.  A cold front here and there and sometimes if we are really lucky the temps will drop into the “possible snow” zone.  This is usually accompanied with school closures, mass hysteria at the grocery and everyone discussing how crazy it is that we could possibly get snow!   I agree but since it’s happened a few times over the last two months I’m more like eh, schools are gonna close and lets build a fire.  haha

I digress…. what Spring means to me is a chance to wear something different!!!

I’m sure there are plenty agreeing with me.  Thick bulky sweaters, dark colors, weather-proof boots and big jackets take a back seat!  There’s something NEW coming to town…… Neutrals, light fabrics, floral patterns, shoes that don’t cover your entire foot and most of your leg…. YES!

I’ve put together some of the items I have my eye on for Spring.  Taking in the feels of Valentine’s Day everything pink is catching my eye.  Some are already in my closet and some are sitting in the online shopping cart waiting for a sale 🙂
*Please don’t pay full price for anything unless its an emergency or you know it NEVER goes on sale*

Spring TopsBP the Perfect Checkered Button Down @ Nordstrom
BP Peplum Tee @ Nordstrom
Lush Perfect Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic @ Nordstrom
Floral Long Sleeve Dress @ Target
Chenille Flare Sleeve Open Cardigan @ Loft

Spring ShoesBP Maddy Mule
Jeffery Campbell Rosealee Bootie
Adidas Gazelle Sneaker
Sam Edelman Arielle Ankle Strap Sandal
(for a chunky heel option look for the Yaro Ankle Strap Sandal)
BP Sky Wedge
All of these beauties can be found at Nordstrom.  *wait for a sale though!


Spring BottomsMoon River Pleat Blanket Stitch Shorts @ Nordstrom
Slim Cuff pants @ Loft
AG The Legging ankle length @ Nordstrom
Modern Destructed white jeans @ Loft
Embroidered Mesh Midi Skirt @ Target
Flouncy Floral Skirt @ Loft

So there ya have it!   The super cute items that have been catching my eye lately.   What I like most is that all of these items could be worn from work to play to date night.   The other thing I like is that each of these retailers have sales ALL THE TIME!  I shop online and put things in my cart then I check back every couple days.  Or I’ll get an email regarding a sale and Boom!  I click click click and reap the rewards 🙂

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!  Please share with your friends!!

*I did not include direct links so there is no confusion over affiliate links.  I have not been compensated or given free products for this post or my ideas.  It’s 100% all my thoughts and personal opinions.



Hair Day! What I’m loving right now…

img_0587I have used just about every hair product under the sun!
Being in my mid-forties (ugh) has given plenty of time to experiment.   I have been on a quest to acheive the look I want with-out damaging my hair and with-out spending a fortune or loads of time.  If you know me, I’ll throw my hair in a top knot in a hot second if I feel so inclined.  I want to extend the time between shampoos.  I don’t want to spend 30 minutes drying and styling my hair every other morning.  #worldproblems

What’s my hair type?
My hair is fine (likes to frizz in our lovely mostly humid weather), I bleach and color my hair regularly… Well, my hair stylist bleaches and colors. haha!
I haven’t personally bleached my hair since I was 14.  It was called “frosting” back then and I have vivid memories of my mom and I taking turns wearing the plastic cap with holes and pulling our hair through with a little metal hook that came with the store bought kit.  Hello 1987!!  Does this bring back any memories for you?  I’m so grateful for foiling!item_XL_23379107_33292421

My hair tends to get oily at the crown and I typically cannot go more than two days with-out washing.  Dry shampoo you say? No ma’am.  It weighs down my hair and makes it look like I need a shower even more so.   I really envy the girls who say “by Friday I’m 80% dry shampoo” while fluffing their perfect hair.
Wash your hair at night, girl! Negative, I cannot sleep on wet hair.  I’ll wake up with a really crazy frizzy situation!
Gel is crunchy, mousse is heavy, hair spray… just no.
Washing and blow drying my hair three times a week at least then using a flat iron and/or curling iron makes it dry and damaged at the ends.

Alrighty, enough about my hair…. I think you get the picture and my struggles.

Here are my needs:

#1: I do NOT want to feel anything in my hair.
#2: I want to be able to get more days between washings.
#3: I will not pay a crazy amount for a product that is literally going down the drain.  Been there, done that, over it.

Here’s my latest greatest repurchase:   OGX Biotin & Collagen

OGX Biotin & Collagen
It smells amazing and feels nourishing the second it hits my scalp.  I swear my hair has more body after using this line for a couple of months.

Their thermal protection treatment feels weightless.  I use about a nickel size amount and work it into my damp hair starting in the middle and finishing up on the roots.  Moroccan Argan Oil goes into my ends and I’m ready to blow dry.

OGX Moroccan Argan Oil
Thermal 2


I’ll section my hair and use a paddle brush once I’ve gotten most of the moisture out.
I have a Moroccan Oil Flat Iron and and old curling iron (I can’t remember the name of) to finish out my hair depending on what I want to do with it.  Since I’m usually in a hurry, running the flat iron through seems to be just fine. (I section my hair for this too)  Typically on the second day I’ll curl.  But low and behold – since using the thermal protection treatment I can get through a third day!!!!!!  Hallelujah!!!  Praise be!!
I know you get my excitement on this.

So there ya have it!  My go-to hair products.  I may grab another shampoo out of this line to alternate (because I’ve heard that’s a good thing) maybe the Coconut Oil one?

Have you tried any products from this line?  What are your thoughts?



Breckenridge for a Florida family of Seven!

As our kids are getting older, and time together to make memories is becoming few and far between, we decided to take a big family trip to Breckenridge, Colorado in March 2017.
This was a huge deal!  Mostly because we are a family of SEVEN – and traveling gets expensive for us!  First and foremost I will say this:  We would not have been able to take our family on this trip if it hadn’t been for the “miles and points” we accumulated over a long period of time!  Just about 50% of our expenses were covered because of those miles and points.  Score!

This was Ethan’s first plane ride and his excitement shows!!  We flew into Denver and stayed the night before we headed to Breck.  We also stayed the night before our flight back to Pensacola at the end of our trip.  I recommend this 100%!  It gives you the opportunity to enjoy a full day instead of cutting things short.

After a two hour shuttle ride across the Continental Divide and some amazing scenery we arrived in Breckenridge!

The snow was beautiful and captivating, the kids had such a good time playing in it I could hardly get their attention for this picture.  Poor Ethan is soaked from being bombarded with snowballs from the older brothers.

We checked into the Grand Timber Lodge, dropped our bags and headed to the town to find some lunch.  We chose Grand Timber because of its location to the Town and to the nearest lift area, Beaver Run at Peak 9.  Grand Timber is listed as a “ski-in/ski-out” lodge.  In certain areas of the resort I could see an experienced skier taking advantage of this.  For snowboarders, definitely…. new skiers – leave your skis at the rental shop and take the path to the sidewalk.  Otherwise you’re carrying your skis for a 5-10 minute walk…. in ski boots.  You can always wait for the free shuttle.   For a large family who’s condo is already full of everyone’s ski jackets, etc…. leave skis at the rental shop for sure!


I prefered walking to see the sights… I didn’t realize how much downhill walking we would encounter!  Definitely taking the free shuttle back to the Lodge.

The Town of Breckenridge is adorable!  It’s buzzing with life.  Restaurants and shops line every block of this circa 1800’s Victorian village.  We settled in at a burger place and plotted our next move, Ski Rental and grocery shopping!!

img_6493 We planned to cook breakfast every morning and 3 dinners, lunch would be found on the mountain – expensive, yes but we balanced it by not going out for every meal.  We bought snacks and drinks that could easily travel on the mountain.

Kids went back to lodge and we hit the grocery and wine store.  I love that you can call the shuttle to pick you up from the store.   Carrying all that crap to the room was a huge challenge.  A luggage cart would have been a good idea but none could be found.


While we fixed dinner, the kids went exploring.

A snow man was the priority for these Florida kiddos.   Just look at the eyelashes!  So cute!

A shoe was lost during this adventure…… seriously!  I wonder how many shoes they find on the property when the snow melts – haha



Look at that view!!


The next morning we suited up and ventured out around 9AM. With just a short walk to the Beaver Run Resort area, picked up our equipment and were on the lift in no time.

We made a plan up Peak 9, after dropping 3 of the boys at snowboarding school,  had lunch mountain side and made our way back around 3PM to meet up with the kids finishing up their lessons.


Ethan was stoked!!   We was ready to tackle the mountain!   So ready in fact that he jumped on the BIG lift BY HIMSELF!  The plan was that he was supposed to get on the shorter lift and I would wait for him at the base.  This is NOT what happened.   I was kinda freaking out.  Thankfully Scott was able to hop on the lift within seconds of the last run.  (The lifts close at 4PM)

Waiting for them seemed like an eternity.  Finally they arrived together.  Whew!!  We had a serious talk about NOT going by yourself and I got the typical “I’m fine, mom!” with the accompanying eye-rolling tweens do so well.  ugh.

The evening was relaxing and we talked about day #2 Plan and navigating to Peak 8!  Maybe you remember this clip….. a snowboarder filmed a moose running behind her!! It went viral a week before our trip.  So amazing!  Would we be on the same run with a moose?!?!?!

The next morning we lost two of he kids.   Not really “lost them” but one decided snowboarding wasn’t for him and Ethan fell and hurt his wrist… on the first run.  Poor guy.  We walked down to the base and after assessing his wrist he decided to walk back to the room and hang out with his older brother for the day…. another great reason we chose a the nearby lodge.

Onward and upward for the remaining 5 ……


If you’ve been in the snow, you know that sound….. It brings back great memories of gliding down the mountain.   Ahhhh.

The next two days went pretty much the same.  Planning our trek up, lunch stop, back up, final stop.  Peak 7 was probably our favorite.  You have to do some serious planning to get there.  but absolutely worth it!



On our last day we let the kids sleep in while we went in search of the best Bloody Mary in Breckenridge!  We found it, along with the famous Crepe a la Cart food truck…. yum!

Best Bloody Mary award goes to:


Angels Hollow!  A Bloody with so many extras they give you a plate.  I heard about this work of art libation online.  The description read “…topped with an army man because they couldn’t add a kitchen sink”,  I concur!  Time to head back up to the Lodge to collect the kids and pack up.  We had time for lunch and a little shopping before our shuttle to Denver arrived.


Our 2017 Breckenridge memories will last forever!!

What BIG trips have you been on lately?  Will you go back or try somewhere new?