Washington On The Brazos

We took the kiddos on an impromptu trip to Washington On the Brazos last Friday. Thursday was Texas Independance Day, but hubs was working. So we took them the next day 🙂 We had been meaning to take them for quite some time as it is a pretty local park. I was really excited as I remeber going there when I was not much older than my son. It is one of the very few memories I have from that age. I loved it so much. And taking my kids here was a huge deal for me!

The park was EMPTY. Which is usually why we opt for weekday trips when we can. They were in the process of setting up the big celebration and reenactment for the weekend, which sadly we couldn’t make. The first stop was the gift shop to get our post card. We get a post card at every park that we go to. I just like them. Then we headed to the living history farm. Here there are costumed staff working the farm. This is the home site of Anson Jones, the last president of Texas. We looked through the house and kitchen and garden. It’s always fun to watch the kids see the difference in how we live now versus how people used to live. Then we headed to the barn. Which is what the kids were dying to see.

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There were two bulls, chickens, and two pigs The kids even got to help collect eggs, which they always love doing. They got to talk with the gentleman there about all kinds of tools, many of which they already knew about, gardening and basic living stuff. I love when they get to show off what they know. We  got to see cotton bales and they got to feel raw cotton for the first time. Which lead to a conversation about the cotton gin and who invented it and what other things he invented. Homeschooling…..always learining something. 16999062_10155190425459756_1248942068165721315_n

Isn’t this guy handsome?

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Meet the most photogenic chicken ever!

We visited Independence Hall and the former townsite. Independence Hall was a big deal for them. They enjoyed seeing where the Texas Decleration of Independce was signed. History takes on a different shape when you get to see where it happened. To stand on the spot where Independence was declared made an impact on them.

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We followed the trail down to where the reenactors where setting up camp. This is where my son got the chance of a lifetime! William learned how to shoot a canon. He found a nice old man, who is a fan of scouting, and he showed him how to use his canon.Now he is sure that we need one. Not gonna happen….

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We headed back inside and let the kids do the scavenger hunt in the visitor center. They got everything correct. Smart kids 🙂 And they learned a lot. We finished up and finally got them back in the car and headed home. But first Dadddy stopped and got them a burger, cause a burger is the perfect end to a super fun field trip!

This is the reason that I buy a state park pass every year. It gives me a perfect chance to take my kids out to learn about the world around them. More than just going for hikes. We have so many places around us where important things happened to our state and nation. I get more out of my pass than what I pay for it, not just money wise, even though it does save us a bunch, but they are getting hands on education and experiences you can’t get from books. For us a pass is wort it. We will also be renewing our national pass as well this year as we plan to hit several national parks on vacation. 🙂

First Hike of March

Hello March! (Although, quite frankley, in Texas it’s been March weather for well over a month.) We welcomed the moth in with our first hike with our dogs! I recently purchased a backpack for my large dog so we could take water and doggie bags with us. The state park requires that you clean up after your dog, so we made sure we had the ability to do so. This bag is really nice, and it was less than $20 on Amazon. I ordered the bag and bowl combo and grand total was $23. So a pretty good deal.  I had the kids do all of their homework and scout work for today, yesterday, so we didn’t have any reason to hurry.

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We got to the forest around 10ish. Before it starts to get too warm. I didn’t want to push the dogs too much as I had no idea how they would even feel about going hiking. Jett, my large dog, is the one tasked with carrying the bag. So we got her strapped in and headed out. For her we had more luck attaching her leash to her collar and not to the backpack, however there is a ring to attach a leash to the bag. She does better attached to the collar. My other dog is a beagle. And she sniffs EVERYTHING. So needless to say, she enjoyed hiking.  Both dogs ended up doing surprisingly well. They didn’t pull or try to run off. We were even able to walk them over the suspension bridge. 16864775_10155183515374756_7836299700786893754_n

We found this guy hanging out on the trail. He was not even a little concerned about us. He wandered off the trail after everyone had a chance to admire him. Look how much pollen is on his shell! If anyone knows what kind of turtle this is, could you let us know? My kids are dying to find out!  Jett wanted to get up close and personal with this guy, she how she is pulling in the next picture?  But I had no idea what she wanted from him so I put myself between the dogs and the turtle and had the kids walk her up the trail a bit. Once passed him, she didn’t even turn back around to look at him.

 

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Bella and Jett.

Over all it was a really nice hike. Lots of birds and butterflys out and about. We took a couple of water breaks which Jett took advantage of but Bella wouldn’t drink anything. We tried to get her to drink, but she just wouldn’t. Everyone came home happy and a little tired! We are looking forward to many more adventures with our doggies now!

 

Recent outings

We recently went on a quick hiking trip. We went to Colorado Bend State Park and Enchanted Rock. None of us had previously been to either of these parks. Colorado Bend had cactus every where! Much to my sons delight, he loves cacti. On the way we stopped at Natural Bridge Caverns.  We really enjoy taking the kids into the caves, they love it!

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So, that’s the natural bridge. The tours were extremely informative, great guides! Very well informed and good with kids. The tour is a little steep, but it is paced easy so that everyone can do it. This is a living cave, which means the formations are still growing. And it is wet. We got lots of cave kisses, a big deal for the kids. Unlike many of the caves that we have previously visited, this cave was quite warm. Most of the ones we have been in have been quite cold. The formations were beautiful and there were lots of pretty pools to see. And, sadly, no bats. Sigh. 🙂 However they did mention the white nose fungus problem and made sure to point people in the right direction for more information. We took two tours, the Discovery and Hidden Passages. Hidden passages is fun because you get to sit in total, absolute darkness. The kind of darkness you can’t adjust to. I have never been in such engulfing darkness. There is lots to do here, it’s almost like a mini theme park. Zip lines and adventure courses run across the park.

 

The first park we hiked was Colorado Bend. We took the Gorman Falls trail and went all the way to the water fall. Be advised, this is a strenuous trail. Mostly at the end. You have to go almost vertically down. My kids are quite adept at hiking and experience, so I was comfortable taking them, but I wouldn’t take other young kids.

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We didn’t build the cairns, but I like to photograph the ones we find. 

The trails are very nice, well maintained, well marked. Cactus is literally EVERYWHERE. It must be beautiful when it is blooming. I would highly recommend that you make sure to take plenty of water if you are hiking this in summer. A large portion of the trail has no trees, and we all know Texas is hot. So take water and some snacks, and take breaks. But the hike is worth it. The falls were beautiful. And there is a nice little place to sit and eat. You can walk up the river a bit as well. A note: there is no cell signal in the park.

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This is our companion this year: meet Vaughn.

Our last stop was Enchanted Rock. We wanted to climb a little, but we ended up just scrambling and running up and down the slopes.

We went up Summit Trail. Holy moley, it was quite steep! And windy! But not undo-able. We made it all the way to the top. The kids first “Summit” (It’s not really a mountain, but it was Summit Trail, so we gave them summit credit). After a few minutes to recover and admire the view, we descended down into Echo Canyon. We hiked into the canyon a bit and then let the kids run loose and climb the rocks. Everyone really enjoyed the rocks. We love places like Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire, and this is a similar landscape. Except you can boulder and scramble with more confidence after the rain since this is granite and the other parks are sandstone. So when we had used half our water we headed back and had lunch. It was really nice out,not hot, and a bit cloudy. So we took our time and ate and walked down by the stream that was nearby. A note: Summit Trail doesn’t allow pets and again there is no cell signal. Lots of kids were running up the trail as well, so it is relatively kid friendly. It is steep so make sure they take a break!  Also, we went during the week, and they were still pretty busy. The park does reach capacity on the weekends, and if they close twice, they are closed for good. So get there early and carpool if you can if you are going on the weekend!

So, that’s about it for our family trip. We did this over three days, so we didn’t get to spend tons of time in each park, but it was worth the drive!

Happy Halloween!

I hope that you all have a fantastic Halloween! Have fun and be safe! I did my first run of skull makeup today on my youngest daughter. I like the end result well enough, but I dislike the white face paint  that I bought for this look. It is really stiff and cracked while I was still applying makeup. But she is happy with it. 14937221_10154785272154756_4802695193091373407_n

We have been so busy it is hard to get anything done. My oldest joined Sea Scouts and my weekends are so packed! We have stuff going on everyday, on top of homeschooling and regular life. There is just not enough time to get everything done! So I am going to  add some pictures of recent fun makeup looks that I have done. Just so you can check it out. 🙂

14702345_10154771514909756_1325036120388668858_nI wore this to my daughters gym on the day that she got to dress up. The girls love to see how I do my makeup each week so I did something special. And had my hair crimped…why be boring?

 

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14729169_1589792884660383_6565021628378366988_nBat wing liner. This was really fun to wear. Takes a steady hand and good lung capacity, cause you really need to hold your breath to keep tidy lines! But it was really worth it!

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Working with scar wax. What’s a makeup post with out a little gore?

 

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Candy corn colored makeup.  I love it so much. My favorite look over the last month!

 

 

And some new additions to the family!

14199509_10154624581574756_4846227168153207050_nThis is Sammy. Isn’t she pretty?

 

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This is Henry. He belongs to my youngest daughter. She loves him.

14591752_10154712911284756_3303942860317422241_nAnd this is my newest one. Hubby got her for me. Her name is Janie.

I have an obsession with skulls and this is the best time of year to get them from some place other than Amazon.

 

I recently made the switch to Kat Von D’s foundation. I love a full coverage foundation and I really love this one. It sits on the skin well, it holds up to working out. It didn’t bother my skin any more than I anticipated when changing for one brand to another. And even being full coverage, it doesn’t settle into fine lines. Which for those of us over 20 is a big deal. And one pump is plenty for me. And I like coverage. So all in all I am really happy with the switch.  I do not like the smell, but other than that, I really love it. Oh, and can we take a moment to appreciate the time of year where everyone puts out a black lipstick? #stockupnow.

 

That’s it for now. I will post a little more later in the week. In the mean time, make sure you follow me in IG for makeup post@ @Twisted_Notts.

Thanks for stopping in!

Vacation 2016

We have just returned from our family vacation. Every year we get together with my husbands side of the family and spend a week together. This year we all met up in Arizona. We (my little tribe) had a week before the meet up to travel up there. So we made a huuuge trip of it We went to lots of National Parks, several state parks, and some fun local places. Taking my kids hiking in the beautiful, rocky, mountanious parks was incredible. We took them to Carlsbad Caverns, and walked the great room and got to do what I have waited for…we saw the bat flight. It was incredible. Such a neat thing to stop. I’ve never seen so many bats before!  Sorry, no pictures, so recording or photography of the bats allowed!

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We stopped in Roswell, NM…because, it’s what you do when you travel through NM. Then we drove through the Petrified Forest. We were able to do some hiking, but the weather was crappy. So we did find a spot where touching was allowed and took some pictures with the kids.

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Then Kaibab National forest, and too the Grand Canyon! It was sooo crowded! But we did walk the kids down to the edge and let them look into the canyon. It was something I’d always wanted to do. When we first got there, it was raining and we watched the fog raise from the canyon while we ate.  The only thing I didn’t enjoy was at the North Rim, there is ONE bathroom. Y’all….five people hiking and a huuuuuuge crowd of other people really require more than one potty. Just saying. We drove through the forest twice and never saw the buffalo they said were there..sigh. It was amazing and beautiful. 13872896_10154506904154756_334726694258987757_n13901344_10154506399964756_5845092899338813893_n13907159_10154506399959756_1267147954446600254_n

We headed off to Valley of Fire after this. This park is GORGEOUS! If you have never been…make a trip. Seriously. You won’t regret it. We took the kids way up on the rocks. They enjoy climbing. There was no rain, so the rocks were good to scramble on. They did really well and had so much fun. I love watching them be brave and go up there and feel like they can touch the sky. We spent an entire day there…hiking, climbing, finding the same visitors from our Grand Canyon trip. It was a blast. 13880404_10154509419184756_2982796328024694990_n13892065_10154509418234756_1364179991460202485_n13895354_10154509417624756_8908482893227434929_n13925080_10154509419274756_9029578526643724297_n

( a note on the pic below, I posted it on my IG. We found this in the park, however the Valley of Fire Park service request that people do NOT do this in the park!)

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The next stop is actually my favorite place on the entire planet. We went back to Red Rock Canyon. My husband took me here a little over a year ago. I love it here. My soul just feels at rest here. I took the kids to stand on my favorite place in the park. It was incredible. I took a moment to just reflect and be there. It was really hot. Which makes for really hot rocks, which are hard to scramble on. But we got a fair amount in. My oldest saw a desert fox…lucky. We hiked until we just couldn’t, then we went through the rest of the scenic drive.  I loved it. And to share it with my kids was incredible. 13892090_10154512333039756_1464041062462689689_n

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We also went to the Shelby museum, the boys LOOOVED it. My son was over the moon to see all those fancy cars. We finally headed to the house where we were staying with our family. It was super to see everyone again. We went hiking at some of the local parks, Pinnacle Peak, and Camelback Mountain. That was a tough hike, rated extremely difficult. We took six kids, three adults up. Made it just shy of the top when a few kids ran out of water. Still worth it. We went to a Ghost town ( GoldField) , rode the train and had ice cream. It was a really neat stop. We got to see a working gold mine shaft.  Went to a local train museum, twice, and rode the train twice. WHOOHOO. And then…Out of Africa. The whole family got together and caravaned down there.  We got to hold a GIANT snake. Reticulated python. She was so pretty! All of my kiddos got to hold or pet her. We saw tigers play in the water, lions hanging out on top of their houses, a bear (my son is a bear cub, so that was a big deal for him) .

So that is the bulk of our trip…. It was a great time.  The kids took all the Jr. Rangers programs at the parks. They enjoyed that very much. I am so proud of them for getting it done.  I hope that you enjoyed reading about our trip. I seriously encourage you to plan a trip to your local parks on your next trip.

A whole bunch of updates!

I know what you are all thinking, “WHERE have you been?” We have had so much going on right now, but I wanted to update before we go on vacation! There has been so much, but I am only going to drop a brief explanation and PICS for you all!

FIRST…we wen to Space City Comic Con. Which was a BLAST. The kids had a great time and the girls enjoyed wearing their splicer outfits for the first time. We met several actors that I admire, being a long time Trekkie meeting Michael Dorn was a treat! I know there was drama around the con, but we still had a great time! AND we got a picture with Gigi Edgley! So awesome. She was super nice and took several photos with us.

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We met Gigi Edgley!

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Family Photo! Provided by  the Houston Press.

THEN we spent two and a half crazy weeks building a new cosplay. We built Krieg from Borderlands 2. It was a lot of work, but in the end it came out really well. We debuted this at ComicPalooza and it was a hit! CP is our favorite event of the year. We got to meet up with the local Borderlands cosplay group and hang out with some friends of ours. It was a blast. We always enjoy CP and this year was super fun!

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After CP we went to a smaller local event, Re:Play XPO. Again meeting with some of our Borderlands friends! We competed in the cosplay contest as a family and won a new sewing pattern! Which I will be messing around with post vacay. Post contest, the Borderfam went out and got tacos…cause that’s what we do on Pandora….  All in all, it was a really fun event and we all had a super fun time.

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Family Photo at Re:Play XPO

So we have been busy! Between all the events, working, and getting ready for an epic road trip, I haven’t had time to do much else….except Pokemon Go….just sayin.  So after vacay I will be putting together a few Halloween looks, and offering up makeup services for Halloween and the rest of the holiday season. sohappy

So that’s it for the quick updates. Hope you enjoyed reading about our fun trips! If you have any ideas for Halloween make up, drop a comment! I am always looking for fun ideas!

Tip Tuesday

Hey everyone! It’s Tuesday!

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This weeks tip is pretty short and sweet, but a lot of people don’t do it, and it will make a difference in the way your foundation looks and holds. Before you use your foundation, shake it up. Really well. I turn mine upside down and shake. If you are using a dropper style foundation, like this..079d48625960a7cf300cc8d8b8434f8c

With these you want to take the dropper top off and empty the dropper into the bottle. Then put the top back on and shake. This keeps the foundation pigment mixed and you won’t have the old stuff still sitting in the dropper. It won’t get mixed up this way. This makes sure you get even color coverage. No splotchy spots! Shake your primer and moisturizers as well to keep everything evenly distributed in the product.

Sorry I didn’t post on Monday…I have something special coming and I am waiting to do the next Makeup Monday on that! I am super excited to show you what my husband got me!