Lipstick & Learning


Lipstick. High heels. Rainbow eyes.

We have all of these these around our house on a daily basis. It's safe to say that we love experimenting with how we look...I could probably add 100 more photos of the girls with evidence of this.

Playing with make-up empowers them to create their own persona. They are finding out what feels good to them...what makes them feel sassy and fun. It's part of their exploration into art, expression, and self-confidence.

It may seem like all of this "make-upping" is just play. And you would be right! As unschoolers, we live our life as play. Everything we do is changing us, enriching us. We are learning new things about ourselves and the world around us, without textbooks.

What is there to learn from lipstick?

Paris: Bella has been obsessed with Paris for years and years. Whenever we dress up fancy, we end up talking about living in Paris. What does a Paris flat look like? How do you get around in Paris? What else is in France? This leads us to check out books on France. And find websites telling us more about life in Paris. She has an elaborate plan to live in Paris when she turns 18.

Fashion: What kinds of careers could you have in fashion? What does a fashion designer do? What happens during Paris Fashion Week?

Perceptions of others and judgement: How does it feel when other people stare at you because you look different? Is it ok to not look like everyone else?

Careers in art and design: Painting our faces is like painting a canvas! What types of careers are available as a make-up artist? How can you turn your passions into a career?

Sense of self: How does it feel when you dress up and put on make-up? Is it something you would want to do all the time or is it just fun some of the time? What makes you feel the most like "YOU"?

What else do we learn?

Fine motor skills: Eye liner application is no joke people! Emma is still working on this one. ;-)
Cooperation & patience: The girls helped each other and shared their application advice with each other. They waited their turn for their favorite color of eye shadow.
Color exploration & theory: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. What coordinates and contrasts? What two colors mix to make purple? How do different colors make you feel? How do black fingernails look & feel compared to light pink?

And so this is my life. Surrounded by colorful and confident little people. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

(Side note: we love to use raw coconut oil and cotton pads to take all the makeup off. No fancy makeup remover needed!)

Are you interested in reading more about our life as unschoolers?
Click here!

You can also see all of my other posts on unschooling here.

(After I imported my old blog posts, many of the photos are not sized correctly. Please be patient during this transition. I am re-sizing as I can!)



Morning + Art


Oh the magical morning hours. The sun shining in. Little feet pitter pattering around the house. Fire crackling. Backyard bird watching. Steamy oatmeal on the table. *sigh*

Oh wait. Add screaming little girls, snowy dogs running about & eating food off the juice being spilled everywhere, and a baby peeing on the floor. NOW you've got the picture. As I type this, there is a small monkeychild jumping on my back and pulling my hair. In the midst of this chaos, I try to sit myself down at our little art table by the window.

My Bible waits for me there with encouragement and wisdom for the day. My prayer journal is filled with reminders of God's grace and provision. And so before anything else, I try to fill my heart with the words of Jesus. They are a balm that sustains me through these wild days! That...and coffee. Lots of coffee.


This year, in my quest to find the perfect planner, I came across "The Documented Life". It's a group of people who are creating their own planner, and incorporating art journaling into it as well. I am not following all of the prompts, but I love visiting the Facebook group for inspiration. Many of them were using the Moleskin planner, but that was sold out everywhere I looked. I ended up getting a journal from Target and printing out my own calender pages for free. (Check out the Instagram collage she made using Photoshop! Awesome.)

I chose to have a week at a glance on one side, and a blank page on the other side for my to-do lists, menu planning, etc.  It took me forever to get all the pages washi taped, but I love the effect! I'm slowly getting my thoughts and life organized.

art journal 1.JPG

Bella and Lucy work on their art journals as well and Emma throws it down freestyle. Many of you have asked if I guide them in any way...and I really don't. I provide tools for them to explore and create art on their own.

We don't rely heavily on coloring books or craft they really like to just do their own thing. I like to gather art supplies on a regular is a list of our favorites:

  • Watercolor paints (the highest quality I can find...we like Prang)
  • Acrylics (use a flexible cutting board as a will scrape right off when dry)
  • Magazines for cutting (I get them free or at thrift stores for 25 cents each). We look for words that we like or images that speak to our heart.
  • Gesso
  • Washi tape
  • Gel Sticks (excited to try these out...they are on their way)
  • Sharpies...80's Glam Baby!
  • Paper (I grab lots of my paper at thrift stores. And I stock up on watercolor paper when it's on 50% off at Hobby Lobby/Michael's)
  • Bubble wrap. Paint on it and lay it on your page. Makes an awesome background!
  • Spray bottles full of diluted paint. These work great for  a splatter effect or when using stencils.
  • Old books. Rip pages out and use gesso to bring out your magical secret messages (below). You can even art journal IN an old book.

Sometimes I will walk into the room and the girls will be busily working on creating something together. Makes my mama heart swoon.


Art journaling is extremely therapeutic and meditative. If you've never tried it, but you are curious...DON'T WAIT! Just get started today. I know it's intimidating to get on Pinterest and see all of the amazing artists out there. But this is your OWN journey. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Use their ideas as a springboard to release your own creative spirit!

To start...

  • Get a journal. Find one with thicker paper. You will appreciate one that lays flat.
  • Get some supplies. They don't need to be fancy. You could totally start with a box of crayons and glue.
  • Get to work. Carve out a tiny piece of your day. Or an entire day. Invite friends over!

I have found that when we have a dedicated art/writing space, we gravitate toward it daily. When it's only temporarily set up on the kitchen table, it becomes a chore to get it all out and it rarely happens. Even if this means that you set up a card table in the corner of your basement with a naked light bulb above it...just do it.

Write prayers. Write dreams. Pour out your heart on the page.

For more inspiration and resources, check out these beauties:

Mandy @ Messy Canvas and another art journal share of Mandy's here
Catina Jane Gray (watch her techniques in this new video!)
Tara shares her journey to art journaling The Art Journaler CommunityArt Journalist (Love these prompts!!)

There are several books that we love:

The Art Journal WorkshopJournal Spilling: Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression

And lastly, here is a post I wrote a few years ago about creating art spaces. Lots of good links!

**some of the links for products are affiliate links to Amazon. When you click them and buy stuff, you are supporting my blog and my little family :) Thank you.

Sharing Knowledge

This is my friend Michelle. I like to call her the "Crazy Goat Lady"...but she is much more than that.

She is a mentor, an encourager, a fellow unschooler. I am so thankful that she and her husband Tim have graciously allowed us to come hang out at their farm and learn. She is so patient with my newbie questions and happily shares her knowledge. All of my goat paparazzi photos have been of  her goats...with a few that will soon be OUR goats!

As we were leaving the farm recently, she brought out a large box of magazines. I'm somewhat of a magazine "enthusiast" so my heart started racing pretty fast at the mere sight of it. Back issues of Mother Earth News, BackHome, Backwoods Home, Home Power, Acres U.S.A., Hobby Farms, Live Free Learn Free (out of print)...pretty much a homesteader's dream box.  So much information to be consumed! *said breathlessly as I throw them all in the air...commence slow motion movie with pages floating down all around me as I spin, backlit by the sunset*.

And perched on the top of them...two dozen eggs from her hens for me to purchase. The happiness never ends!

Apparently it's impossible for me to post a blog without a goat photo. I couldn't help it. She is just too cute.

And now back to your regularly scheduled blogging: I'm a researcher. I LOVE the feeling of new information in my brain! :) It's been quite awhile since so MUCH new info was being introduced on a daily basis. It's gooooooood.

There is nothing that compares to hands-on, face-to-face mentoring...but magazines, books, and websites are great sources of inspiration and info:

Here are a few I like right now:

New Life on a Homestead (having so much fun peeking around this site...lots of archives) Homesteading Today (everything under the sun!) The Goat Spot (for all you crazy goat ladies...) The Chicken Forum (chick chick chick!!)

I kind of feed bad for hoarding all the good chicken, gardening, homesteading, and goat books from the library. Kind of. But obviously not enough to return them yet. Sorry Longmont friends!

Now that I've had a chance to peruse all of these books, I thought I would would compile my favorites in an aStore for you. When you click on these and purchase, I will receive a small part (as an affiliate payment)...and that helps me pay for keeping this blog active. I will keep adding to this list...if you notice that I am missing something amazing...let me know!

ATTENTION! If you are a farmer, a homesteader, or a wannabe...I would LOVE to hear about your real life mentors! People you have walked alongside, whether it be family or friends or teachers...tell me what sparked your passion! Share your story in the comments below! Also, if you are a homesteader interested in guest blogging about your journey, let's talk :)

Please also share your favorite resources for learning about farming (urban or rural) and homesteading. Let the knowledge sharing begin!

*p.s. for those of you wondering if Sara will ever blog about "normal" stuff again...the answer is yes. someday. stay tuned. :)