Book Review: Imagine a Forest

Another possible title for this post could have been “Shout-out Book of the Month: Imagine a Forest”. If y’all follow me on Instagram(which you should be doing by the way) then you saw my post about dabbling into the realm of Folk Art painting. I know, I know I don’t need another hobby. What with writing, knitting, sewing and watercolors, who needs one more art stimulus? Well apparently I do. I keep telling myself that folk art will not just be an excuse I use to buy paints. (Though I did have a ridiculously fun time at Hobby Lobby yesterday arranging my color pallet- look below)

Before we get into discussing the actual book by Dinara Mirtalipova(you should follow her on the gram as well) I thought I would give you my brief reasons, or reason, for choosing folk art as my next creative outlet.

So it basically boils down to the fact that my Mom(my chief inspiration for all things art and creativity) was first hooked on art by taking a folk art class back in her twenties. When I was growing up my Mom had this black, wooden box in which she kept all of her paint supplies(brushes, paints, etc.) On the box were these beautiful, colorful and delicate birds and flowers. This was the box my Mom painted while taking her folk art class. And she has kept it(still has it) through moves and even downsizing into an RV. So she suggested that I look into this style of art. (She’s an enabler what can I say)

A day of research later and I purchased Imagine a Forest on Amazon and eagerly awaited it’s arrival!

This isn’t the first art book I have purchased(and won’t be the last… seeing as how I bought one yesterday) And one thing I am learning about art books is that not all books are created equal. There’s one particular watercolor art book that springs to mind when I write this. The book is great don’t get me wrong- As in there is nothing wrong with it. But it doesn’t inspire my to paint or stretch my wings. It’s just kinda… blah. The author/artist’s tastes run opposite to mine. She is very modern in her style and color pallet, while I am learning I like art inspired by nature and history(shocker) From the colors and tones to the subject matter. Birds, beasts and especially flowers get my creativity juices following.

Naturally(I mean I think you can tell from the title) Dinara is heavily influenced by nature and the fairytale aspect of it. She is just a super captivating artist and her instructions are laid back and allow you a lot of room to improvise. Once I start a project from her book I can’t put the brush down! (Below are a few of my beginner creations- I can’t stress beginner enough)

If you’re wondering what I am painting all my little doodles on(you should follow my Instagram) it’s a wooden box I purchased on Amazon to keep my water paints and brushes in. Like Mother like daughter, what can I say?

A little random right now but I actually have a plan to tell a whole story through the sketches on the box. So they may seem random but by the end they will all be tied together. I think that might be one of the things I love most about folk art, the ability to tell stories and emotions.(Yes I know you can do that with all art, but for some reason folk art is just a more natural way for me to tell stories… I don’t know)

Anyway I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you are inspired to try out folk art yourself. Or maybe if you are already a folk art artist!! Also for you artists if you have any great art related resources(in any medium) please leave below!!

Lots of love,


Beside the Lake

For the next two months the family I work for will be beside a lake, enjoying the sun and the wildlife. It’s a new experience for us all and has been a bit stressful. But now that we have been here a week I’m praying things will settle down.

In approaching this new experience as a nanny I thought I should shed some light on what(if you’re a nanny yourself or considering becoming one) a two month stay at a summer house could look like. I say could since obviously each situation is different. My two month stay in the Wisconsin lake country may look totally different to your four month stay in Europe. But extended vacations like the one I am currently on are often apart of the nanny experience in some way or another. And therefore need to be considered.

A few tips…

Okay let’s just jump into it, shall we? I think if there’s one piece of advise I could offer up for any situation/change in nannyhood it would be this: Go with the flow and don’t feel like you have to do it all!

I am so guilty of this it isn’t even funny. For some reason I think it’s my mission in life to make sure everybody gets from point A to point B all by myself. While I am certainly expected to help(with packing, planning and often driving one of the vehicles) that in no way means I am expected to do it all. It’s my employers vacation after all and not mine. If we’re late and/or forget something(as long as I wasn’t in charge of packing it) that’s not on my shoulders. Does that make sense?

Tip #2 would have to be: Show grace. Everybody is stressed. As I mentioned before this is not only a new experience for me but for my employers as well. So guess what? We have no idea what we’re doing! As I have said in previous posts, normally(not all the time mind you) the stress you are feeling your boss is feeling as well. Not only them but your chargers might be out of sorts too. They’re excited to be on vacation and might be a little high strung and moody until things settle back down. So let’s be patient with one another.

Tip #3: enjoy the adventure! Let’s face it going to a lake house free of charge and being paid to swim and boat and spend all day outside is the equivalent of a dream job. (Though as discussed in this post nannying is not a walk in the park) So let go of the things you can’t control, try your best to be patient with those around you and enjoy the work vacation. Yes it’s stressful, but in the end if it’s your calling count your blessings instead of naming your grievances.

I hope this was informative. As always if you have any questions about nannying leave a comment below or on any of my social accounts. Also for a look at “nannying on vacation” click here.

Lots of love,


Summer Style Review

The family I work for is staying at a lake house this summer. Which basically translates to me being outside and in the water 24/7. Since I will probably be wearing my swimsuit like a second skin for two months I decided I wanted to purchase several sun dresses that I could just drape over my suit and go. Below are my finds!

Embracing My Inner Gypsy…

This gingham pattern day dress is a little more “dressed up” than the other looks below. I purchased it from ModCloth an online boutique, who’s styles are more vintage and feminine. Which is right up my alley. I look forward to purchasing more products from them. This dress is probably my new fav.

This skirt/shirt combo is from Albion Fit and is super casual and comfortable. Perfect for running after kids. And since the skirt is made of that super light, athletic material it cleans very easily.

Probably my favorite purchase is this hula skirt. It is awesome! If I could I would wear it all the time. Since the pattern is so colorful and chaotic it pretty much goes with everything. (I said pretty much)

This blue, silky skirt is super soft. The only downside is it is a little see through. But since I’m wearing it over my suit I don’t really mind.
This dress is to die for! It has two tie strings on both sides so it can either be as loose or form fitting as you desire.

That’s it for now my peeps! If ya need me I’ll be at the lake.

Lots of love,


May 2020 Media Favs

I’m so behind with posts- My apologizes but here is a quick run down of what I have been loving this month.

Tv Shows/Series

  • The Mentalist- Sometimes I do think it’s sad how many TV shows I haven’t seen and other times I don’t. (lol) I very rarely watch a show when it’s coming out because I am too impatient and want the entire story arc right away. I’m a binger. This show has been on my watch list for a long time and I am loving it.
  • Reign– So I’m gonna be honest with this one… I watched two episodes and then could stomach it no longer. While I loved seeing Megan Follows and loved her sarcasm I couldn’t get over the CW cheesiness of it all. Yes I know that’s the appeal of CW shows, but I love historically accurate(both in clothing, costume, speech and events) TV shows. This one is a no from me.


  • The Matrix– Just the first one so far. I have seen the first one before and parts of the second one and I think the ending of the third one. So yeah it’s like watching it for the first tine.
  • SCOOB!- Growing up watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons this movie hit my sister and I all in the feels. Just a cute, heart warming movie about a Shaggy and his Scoob.


  • Summer Feels by Lennon Stella- Probably my go to song for this summer. (Note this song and the next are both from the soundtrack of Scoob)
  • I Fly by Galantis(featuring Faouzia)- I’m so proud of this girl! She has one of my fav voices of all time and I am so glad she has been expanding her music. This is her first song on a feature film and it is so upbeat! Another great summer song.
  • Blinding Lights by The Weekend- Just a fun song to dance and sing to(sorry neighbors) Reminds me of the 80’s or 90’s. I don’t know why.


  • The White Horse King by Benjamin Merkle– Just one book this month, but that’s because I am waiting on a fresh shipment from Amazon. That being said this book is awesome!! If you are even remotely interested in learning about Alfred the Great(shout out to you Last Kingdom fans) then start with this book. Even if you’re not interested read this book! It is so good. Alfred has officially become one of my favorite heroes of history; right up there with King Nebuchadnezzar and Queen Elizabeth. Yes I know these people were not perfect- Not even remotely so- but such fascinating character studies. Seriously Alfred deserves some attention people. He was a really cool guy. Anyway I’ll shut up now.

Anything you have been loving this month?

Lots of love,


My Curly Hair Journey

Both a blessing and a curse is the girl, who has curly hair! (Though I’m sure this can be said of every hair type) It was many years ago- I think I was either 19 or 20- when I finally accepted that my hair was curly and would never be straight. To be exact my hair would be like my mother’s destined to get curlier, darker and thinner. I was to struggle with dry, frizz prone locks that frankly do whatever they want.

So upper left photo I took yesterday(2020), upper right I was 15yrs. old(2012 and you can see how much frizz there was, but also how much thicker it was. I did have a perm in it at the time), bottom left was two years ago(2018 or 2019), and then the bottom right is from 2018(and note I had gone over it with a curling tool to try to de-frizz it)

I did a post on my old routine for my curly hair (here) like two almost three years ago. So please note that it is woefully outdated and some of the products I no longer use(Deva and the Sea Salt spray) But the past month or so I have realized that while my old routine was way better for my hair than what I was doing before, it was also far from perfect. My hair would barely last past day two of wash, which for curly hair isn’t good.

Thus I would pull it up in a bun like so… 😩

I don’t mind my curly hair(now) I really like it when it’s not a frizzy, brittle mess. Here are a few things my Mom taught me and that she reminded me about curly hair care.

The Do’s+Don’ts of Curly Hair

  • Set aside your shampoo– Not for always, but since my hair was so dry my Mom suggested only co-washing my hair for a awhile. What is co-wash you ask? It’s basically washing your hair with just conditioner. In fact that’s exactly what it is. Below is my hair after I co-washed it for the first time. The only down side to co-washing is that unless you vigorously massage it into your scalp you can fail to get the dirt out of your hair. Thus using a shampoo for curly hair is required. But if you check out my old routine(linked above) you’ll see that’s what I was doing and it wasn’t working.
No heat tools used. I just let it air dry. It was so freaking soft!!
  • Coconut Oil Mask- Basically I melted two to three tablespoons of coconut oil and then massaged and scrunched it into my hair, pulled it up and slept with it for a night, rinsing it out the next morning. (I did this last week instead of washing my hair. I will probably do a mask of some kind once a month) Below is the result- I don’t have a before picture which I apologize for.
As you can tell it is kinda weighed down by what’s left of the oil in my hair after the rinse out, but I knew my hair was going to suck all that moisture by the next day. And trust me it was so much better than before.
  • Wash Your Hair Once a Week- Or even better every two weeks!(If possible) I knew this but I didn’t follow it like dogma… Now I do. Once a week wash with a mask of some kind every month.

After getting the starting tips from my Mom she told me to look into the curly girl method. As I started researching it I immediately felt overwhelmed: curly hair types, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, low-poo- What the what?!? Thankfully there have been girls before me, who have been on the curly girl method for a few years and are willing to pass on their knowledge. (Though I did order the book by Lorraine Massey to read through it myself and I will pass on what I learn) I have mainly been watching different YouTubers, though my favorite so far has been Hanz Curls. And here’s what I’ve learned so far, definitely taking baby steps…

  • Ditch the Cotton Pillowcases- This came as a total surprise to me, but cotton pillowcases dry out your hair!! No wonder my wash wouldn’t last till the next day. I slept with my hair up, but I’d still end with a dry, knotted patch of hair right at the back of my head. Everything I read and watched was telling me to get a silk or satin pillowcase. But silk pillowcases are pricey. So I opted to tie my silk scarf around my head instead.
How I tie my scarf at night, plus my hair the next day. (The left pic was the day after my coconut oil mask rinse, so you can see how fast my hair sucked up the oil)
  • Applying Water-downed Gel In the Shower- This I got from Hanz Curls and her wash routine video. After doing a low-poo(still trying to figure that out) and applying her conditioner, she applied a lot of gel that she watered down. Then she dried it off with a t-shirt(another thing my Mom told me to start doing since towels dry curly hair out too much) and applied more gel as well as her other leave in products. I gave this a try last wash day(another curly girl term) and that’s when my hair was so freaking soft!!(see pic above of co-wash results)
  • Doing a Curl Refresh In Between Washes- Another thing I didn’t know one could do. But it’s totally acceptable for a curly girl to rinse out her hair with water on day three or so after her wash. Not so it’s soaking wet necessarily, and without using any conditioner or shampoo; but just so your curls get a reset so to speak. This has been a lifesaver for me and has allowed me to stick to the once a week big wash rule.

I obviously I’m just starting this journey into my curly hair and I’m told it takes months to years to get the curly girl method to work wonders on your hair, but I’m willing to do it. Ya know since I’m stuck with curly hair. To all my curly girls out there- please pass on your wisdom to this newbie! I’d really appreciate it.

Lots of love,