Get a New Look for Summer – Divine Beauty Tips Unveiled

This is it…the secret vault of mommy makeovers. I’ve unknowingly been working on this for years, sporadically, and with research in the form of frumpy, fried phone calls (sometimes tears) and over coffee with my yaya sisterhood of girlfriends.

In some of my most vulnerable, under slept, sleepy eyed, maternity clothes don’t fit…nor do any in my closet, roots grown out, pasty skin that hasn’t seen the sun in months (amplifying stretch marks and veins), splotchy, discolored skin ON MY FACE that appeared just as the mysterious line on my tummy went away, ahhhhh, and in my “who’s body is this anyway” moments, I’ve been rescued by my girlfriends.

And with my self-esteem dragging and my hormones off the charts, how thankful I was to have friends by my side!

Note to readers (aka my MHM siterhood): some of these beauty tips are well-kept family secrets and have not been shared publicly in generations – or ever. I share only in an attempt to help my fellow sisters in their own struggle to feel like the woman they were…and will be again…once the hormones fade and the self-esteem finds it way back to where it rightfully should be!

Use them wisely 😉

Lori’s Luscious Lips – With a fabulous gift of gloss, this girlfriend gave me the key to a fast, fresh look. Choose a color in your tones, a viscosity that fits your fancy, and something with a dash of sparkle. Bargain shop and keep them in your car, purse and jacket pocket. $1 Mini Gloss, Sally Beauty Supply. $7.50ish for a larger sparkle gloss, Victoria Secret or Bath & Body Works.

Amanda’s Sun Kissed Skin – It’s important to avoid the sun’s harmful rays, and with the newest findings on the dangers of tanning beds, sunless tan lotion is looking better and better. Amanda prefers the one-application towelettes, but in my experience, lotions not only last longer but also don’t turn my hands orange. Important tips: Exfoliate and shave first; dry off completely; apply thick lotion to hands, bottoms of feet, and small amounts to knees and elbows before application. Wash hands immediately following application, but reapply some regular lotion and blend into wrists (to avoid the distinct line of tanned arms and washed hands, which makes for a good laugh.) $9.99  L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning.

Jody’s Fresh Do – Jody and I have teamed up in the past to touch up our highlights for spring. Kits with caps work well for an all over highlight, but when time is valuable, a few foils work too (and cost a bit less.) You can use regular aluminum foil for this! Add golden touches to the areas you prefer by choosing small strands (larger for a dramatic look.) Apply the color to the strands of hair and fold into the foil to keep the bleach away from the rest of your hair. Follow directions carefully and research the best color for your hair. Approximately $13, L’Oreal Frost & Design Kit (one kit will foil two or more friends – depending on the number of foils used.) Even grocery stores carry it!

Jordyn’s Gorgeous Eyes – After a long night of feedings, monsters in the closet, and other mommy nightshift duties, hide your tired eyes with these simple tips…add a little sparkle to your eye lid near the lash line and on the inside corner: $ 17 Urban Decay Eye shadow (try Midnight Cowgirl, Sephora. Finish with waterproof mascara – use with an eyelash curler for volume: $6 Colossal Volum’ Express by Maybelline.

Debbie Lynn’s Flawless Skin – Choosing a good foundation and powder can help hide blemished and discolored skin, but before you apply your makeup, try this cream, which is surprisingly effective on uneven pigment caused by changing hormones: $3.99 Palmer’s Skin Success Eventone Fade Cream, Walgreens.

Gloria’s Curves – A little extra baby weight can be quickly managed with the use of a body shaper. There are a variety of styles to boost, tuck, and squeeze all the right parts…perfect for form fitting dresses. Prices range from $20 on up.

Melissa’s Fashion – It doesn’t have to cost a lot to look fabulous. Mix, match and bargain hunt! You can even organize a clothing swap with several friends for some freebies. Determine a clothing budget based on price-per-wear. A pricey pair of jeans may be only $.50 per wear, while a mid-priced, trendy top may be several dollars per wear if it goes out of style quickly. It feels great to have clothes that fit well and look great…especially if it doesn’t break the bank.

Kristen’s Flaire – An outfit can be reworn several times and look completely different with the right flare. Kristen recommends adding a large belt to an oversized shirt, coordinating a patterned scarf with an otherwise ordinary outfit or adding a layer to change the look. She finds amazing jewelry on the cheap and believes that at least one item should speak loudly. $5 earrings and bargain jewelry, Forever 21.

Bonnie’s Polished Look – For a sophisticated, together look (even when it’s anything but, ha!) add a quick final touch. Nail polish is a good way to freshen up for a special event and can be accomplished quickly. Choose a couple of pretty colors and keep them on hand. Travel with a bon bon and you can just touch-up as it chips and wears away. Choose a shimmering color for summer, and try to think outside the box and select something bold to brighten your look. $1 (or under) Bon Bons, Wal-Mart.

Cheryl’s Bright Smile – A sunshiny smile is a comforting gift to others, and it feels good to know you’re smile is bright. Bleaching systems can be costly – and even painful – but there are ways to whiten your teeth at home. Try a bit of salt and baking soda on a toothbrush. Avoid the gums, as the abrasiveness can cause them to erode. A swish with hydrogen peroxide can also whiten, but be careful…you don’t want to wash away your good bacteria or you just might end up with a case of black hairy tongue – can we say moderation? Yikes! $ Pennies!

“Of all the secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood the most divine was humor.” ~Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood


Epicurean Democracy for Kids’ Health

Destination Hotel & Resorts (DH & R) rounded up some of the country’s most delicious, healthy recipes for kids and then asked local children to cast their vote to choose the one to be added to the menu. The winning recipe receives a feature on the Kid’s Cafe Menu at every DH&R property PLUS a trip for a family of four to any full-service DH&R hotel!

In total, 75 recipes were submitted, 11,120 votes were cast and three recipes made it to the final round. So, here’s what the kids tasted:

1. PB&B Wrap (Going Bananas)
2. Multigrain Mac & Cheese
3. Funky Monkey French Toast
Honorable mention: Berry Delicious Cobbler

Tasting the foods was a hit, as you can imagine, but the lesson I was excited about was the voting process. It was Silas and Noelle’s first exposure to democracy and what it means to cast a vote. I explained the process several times, and at first, the kids were hoping that they could win, so it took some additional conversation to explain how the finalists were previously chosen and that they were playing a very important role even though they weren’t up for the prize.

I’m not sure that they entirely understood, but they were thrilled to give an opinion none the less and took themselves very seriously – I was proud of them!

So, after tallying the votes, the judges announced the winning recipe.

And the recipe with the most votes was…

Multigrain Mac & Cheese
By Lorin Cook

1 (8oz) package of elbow muligrain pasta
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons whole wheat bread flour
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups good quality cheddar cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup Cornflake Crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Cook package of macaroni in salted water for 10 minutes and drain. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan melt butter
4. Mix flour with salt and pepper and add it to the melted butter. Wisk until blended
5. Mix milk and 1/2 & 1/2 and pour that into saucepan, stirring constantly.
6. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 2 minutes . Keep stirring!!
7. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 7 minutes more. Keep stirring!!
8. Add shredded cheddar cheese and simmer a few more minutes until cheese melts.
9. Turn off the flame
10. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with cheese mixture
11. Spray baking dish with non stick spray and transfer macaroni to dish.
12. Sprinkle with Cornflake Crumbs
13. Bake 20 minutes until the top is bubbling and golden.

For a list of all finalist recipes, visit this link:

The Easter Story

Bible Verses About Easter

Major Sections Of The Bible That Tell The Easter Story

  • Matthew 28:1-20
  • Mark 16:1-19
  • Luke 24:1-53
  • John 20:1 – 22:25

Easter Bible Verses From Luke 24:1-12 ESV

(1) But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. (2) And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, (3) but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (4) While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. (5) And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? (6) He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, (7) that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (8) And they remembered his words, (9) and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. (10) Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, (11) but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. (12) But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

Read more at:

Easter Photos at Great Prices

For some families, it’s a tradition to have Easter portraits taken and send them out to grandparents, and if you’ve spent some time making a pillowcase Easter Dress for your daughter, you can take the opportunity to capture it…and then let her run around in the dirt hunting for easter eggs.  Our daughter doesn’t keep her clothes clean for very long, and I’m not even sure that we’ll convince her to wear the dress, ha!

So, you may be thinking that it’s just not in the budget this year to have professional photos.  Well, I want to share some of my favorite deals with you:

Portrait Innovations $9.95 includes a full package…but no photo cd. Pictures are printed in 30 minutes which is awesome if you’ve waited till the last minute.

Target Portrait Studio – $7.99 package (with coupon) + free 8×10 or $3.99 portrait sheets.

Sears Portrait Studio – $7.99 package (with coupon) + free portrait collage.

Check out the packages to see what best fits your needs.  No sitting fees apply to any of these offers.  Additional sheets may be at a price worth passing up 😉 Find a great photographer – skills vary.

Some places apply the special to the first acceptable pose, while others take several shots and let you choose.  The most challenging part of this whole process is being able to say no to the other adorable photos of your kiddos (but if you say no, you can afford to come back.)

We have some fabulously imperfect photos from over the years, and that is why I love these deals – no stress.  Because it’s affordable, I’m ok with a goofy photo shoot – we’ll just try again next time, right?  We have one of my daughter (the only shot she smiled in that day) with a teddy bear’s leg in the corner – the photographer was working hard to get a smile.  We have one of my son as a baby wearing a large glob of spit up on his shirt, but he looks darn cute otherwise!  Moms know that sometimes we just do what we have to, and I haven’t had a single grandparent complain yet (well, not to me anyway!)