05 June 2017

The Netherlands || Amsterdam, The Hague & Keukenhof

Over Mother's Day weekend, my mom and I snuck in a little overnight getaway to the Netherlands! I can't believe it's already been a month since our trip, but I just have to share a few snip-its and photos from the weekend.

Since spring began, I had been hearing rumblings about all of the incredible tulip fields in The Netherlands, specifically Keukenhof.

Oddly enough, making a 4 hour drive to see flower gardens didn't particularly get Kyle and the kids all hot and bothered so mom and I decided to make a "moms only" weekend of it and call it our Mother's Day gifts to ourselves. ;)

We hit the road early Saturday morning which got us to Amsterdam right around lunch time. After a little parking fiasco we wandered in to a little cafe called Koffie & Zo for a quick bite to eat.

Koffie & Zo

After lunch, we spent a couple of hours just wandering the city and taking in the sights. Our experience in Amsterdam can be summed up by a few photos and even fewer words.

amsterdam bicycles
visit amsterdam
a shit pile of tourists
awesome waterfront homes and house boats
amsterdam sex museum
Sex & Weed

Keukenhof is located smack in the middle of two major cities, Amsterdam and The Hague. Neither of us had any real burning desire to spend too much more time in Amsterdam so we decided to get an Airbnb in The Hague instead.

This was our first ever Airbnb experience (a decade late to the party, I know, I know) and it was a good one! We stayed in the coolest little apartment that was styled to the nine's in Scandinavian decor.

cool Airbnb in The Hague
Scandinavian style Airbnb in The Hague

Airbnb in The Hague, Netherlands

Airbnb in The Hague

After we checked in to our Airbnb we headed out for dinner and more exploring down at Scheveningen Beach in The Hague.

food at Scheveningen Beach in The Hague
Scheveningen Beach, The Hague
Scheveningen Beach, The Hague
Scheveningen Beach, The Hague

Sunday we spent all morning at Keukenhof! Seriously, this place is so beautiful that no words or photos could even come close to doing it justice; you just have to be there. Even though we our visit was at the end of the season, the was no shortage of flowers to say the very least. We actually plan on bringing the whole family back next year. The kids would absolutely love running around the gardens and checking everything out. I mean, there were, in addition to the flowers, food trucks, playgrounds, restaurants and a damn petting zoo! This place is just the best.

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof food

Keukenhof with kids
Keukenhof gardens


Keukenhof petting zoo

After Keukenhof we went downtown The Hague for lunch and a little shopping before it was time to hit the road.

The Hague

This trip was so special. I actually can't remember the last time Mom and I spent the weekend together, just the two of us. This trip with my mom is something I will remember for a long time.

08 May 2017

What's the deal with this lip stuff?

Ok. Before I jump into this...  I do not sell LipSense. I do not plan to sell LipSense. However, it seems that many of my friends have made a very different choice and peddle the shit out of some LipSense!

lipsense review

Multi level marketing companies like SeneGence (the brand behind LipSense and various other make up and skin care products) are something I try to avoid like the plague. I've had a bad experience purchasing from one in the past and I generally like to have the freedom to purchase something completely on my own -- no middle man.

However,  one of my particularly sweet, LipSense loving friends, Camille, sent me a starter kit and I quickly found myself completely hooked!

lipsense starter collection

LipSense claims their lip colors wont budge, last anywhere between 4-18 hours and work to restore moisture to your lips. One of the most appealing of their claims is the ability to create your own lip color combo by layering various shades on top of each other. "Custom" sounds pretty big leagues stuff if you ask me. Also, their glosses are supposed to be some of the best, most hydrating, good-for-you glosses in the game!

Big words SeneGence. Big words.

lipsense starter kit

Before Camille sent my starter kit, which includes a liquid lip color of my choice, a gloss and the Oops! Remover, she gave me some personalized advice on choosing a color, plus a clear run down on how to apply this stuff, but I'll get more into that in a second. Of the 36 different liquid lip colors -- I went with Pink Champagne, a beautiful, cool toned pink.

pink champagne lipsense image

Pink Champagne falls right in line with my favorite, go to, everyday lip color. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, it reminds me ALOT of lovesick by Kat Von D!  

how to apply lipsense

You are supposed to apply your well shaken LipSense to clean, dry lips using a layering technique. 

With color on your applicator and beginning at the corner of your mouth, move the wand in one continuous motion across each lip, creating the first layer.

 With your lips apart, wait a few seconds for the first layer to dry then repeat step 1 two more times.

 ** Make sure you are moving the wand across your lips in the same direction you did for the first layer. 

After the third layer has completely dried, apply your gloss. 

Bam! Done. Crushed it.

pink champagne lipsense on fair skin

PS. You can comb through images of all 36 colors on various skin tones here or just consult the Pinterest which is chalk full of LipSense pics and ideas.

At this point, I've been using my starter collection and LipSense lipcolor EXCLUSIVELY for over a month and feel ready to spill... 

Is it worth the hype? What's the deal?

The "exfoliation process" is no joke. Apparently there is some magic sauce in LipSense that sloughs off alllllll of the dead skin and years of bull shit lip product build up from your lips -- a cool but lengthy process. Nearly three weeks after beginning to use LipSense (they certainly make you work for that longwear-ability) my lips finally started to improve and now feel absolutely amazing -- smooth, hydrated and healthy.

4-18 hours? Seriously?

During those first couple of weeks when my lips were falling off my face, I was lucky to hit that 4 hour mark without needing to touch up. But now, I have to deliberately take my LipSense off at the end of the day because it's still going so strong -- and with only a gloss reapply or two to speak of.

Worth the price tag?

FYI the lip color costs $25 and the glosses cost $20.

But the answer to this question is a ground ball. YES! Cost per use is pennies on the dollar compared to even the cheapest of drugstore lipsticks. Seriously, think about it. You reapply your Cover Girl lipstick 5ish times per day to your 1 LipSense application... A tube of LipSense is said to last you six months easy!


Your cost per use will be even less because Camille has offered Marry Mint readers 10% off any purchase from her shop Ash Beauty Boutique!

Update*** She is also running a Mother's Day sale that gets you 15% off any lip color!

lipsense starter collection promo code

I think LipSense is definitely something worth trying if you haven't already.

I have already purchased two more glosses AND the lip volumizer.  #byedollars

Have you used LipSense? What colors or color combinations are your favorites? Looking to add to my shopping list... ;)

01 May 2017

New Groove?

All of my people (and dogs) are finally on the same continent AND we have officially moved into our new home in Wiesbaden, Germany!

The kids and I left the states ahead of Kyle and sent our household goods at that time as well. Kyle and the dogs toughed it out by camping in our empty house in Arizona in the name of not having to wait on our stuff on the Germany side of this move. It worked out perfectly because our household goods were delivered the same day we signed for housing. 

By the way, we signed for an APARTMENT. An apartment in a stairwell. … !!! I mean, I know this is Europe and apartment living is more commonplace here but hot damn - talk about an adjustment! In the past year we have gone from owning a home on a half acre in Alaska, to a townhouse, then a small house in the desert of Arizona and now an apartment in Germany! Sheesh!

But we did get an apartment on the first floor and there is not one bit of carpeting in the entire place, so I’m calling it an overall win. ;) Oh and houseplants! Germans love them some houseplants and I hopped right on that train. Decorating? So easy and so done with a shit pile of random, difficult to kill plants!  -- Shout out to Mama Nature! … and Pinterest.

I would go as far as to say that we are “settled”, but because our car isn’t here yet, I just can’t. I mean, we are settled enough to feel awkward about not having any friends yet or our usual activities so that’s as good an indicator of settled-ness as anything, right? Ugh, it’s times like this when being an introvert can be annoying. Making friends is so much work!

We have Mallory on the wait-list to attend German Kindergarten in the fall and she is SO excited. Side note: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but in a former life (aka through college) I spoke a decent amount of German. It certainly ain’t pretty but the skill hasn’t diminished toooo much. Anyway, Kyle and I both agreed that Mallory (and Mike) are at the perfect age for the immersion/sink or swim approach to foreign language. Shit, for Michael German may very well become is first language because who knows what that boy is saying right now?! 

Regardless, we are all looking forward to the new opportunities “school” will bring.

The spring fests have started and we have a few trips on the books for May so be on the lookout for Euro/redhead/toddler/cliche photo-spam.

Alright, I’m going to wrap it up. Wish me luck as I venture into the world of small talk and trying to be social.


PS. Did you this years' sun safety kit from Sephora!?  I'm not so patiently waiting on mine... That same order may or may not have the Casey Holmes/Smashbox palette in it too!

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