My Makeup *Lingerie*

In My Makeup Lingerie

I'm Nenette, and I'm a girlie girl.

Yes, I admit it.  I love makeup, skincare, smelling good, and looking cute.  And it goes beyond personal hygiene.

I want to look head-turningly good... double-take good... look-up-from-your-phone-for-more-than-a-second good.

But do I always have to slather on makeup to reach that level of hottie hottitude?

I think that depends on the occasion.  Wedding, dance performance, red-carpet premiere of your movie with Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Pratt?... Well, yes, trowel it on, baby!  Get creative.  Mix it up!

But for the daily?  
I'm a busy mom, wife, business owner, and household CEO.  I DON'T HAVE TIME.  (And really, if The Rock isn't filming in town for me to run into, what's the point?!)

I go completely makeup minimalist, and the key to pulling this off is GREAT SKIN.
Over my 4 decades of life, through trial and error, I've learned how to treat my skin to keep it healthy and clear.  When I let my skin breathe, it gets super happy and glows.  Why would I even want to cover that up?!

Now, I don't necessarily want to leave the house completely au naturel.  I'd like some colour, polish, and to look finished.  And since I'm wearing it almost every single day, I want it to be safe because who wants to slather toxic, cancer-causing stuff on their bodies?!

So, for every day, days when I know I'll be sweating my makeup off, or when I'm feeling lazy, I wear what my friend Jen from Mythbuster Beauty calls "makeup lingerie".

What is "makeup lingerie"?
It's the bra and panties of the face.  The foundational stuff.  The bare minimum.  The must-haves.
It's what you would never leave the house without putting on, just in case you run into an old high school rival or the ex who dumped you, or heaven forbid, you get hit by a bus and encounter a supercute First Responder (Hope you have clean underwear on too!).

Here's mine (and what I'm wearing in the pic above):

mascara - Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara (Black)
eye liner - Beautycounter Outline Eye Pencil (Black)
lip sheer - Beautycounter Lip Sheer (Raisin)

Want to wear clean, healthy products too, check out my personal beauty site here.

Okay, now you! :)

How I Created a Tropical Style Garden on the Canadian Prairie

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I'm a tropical girl.  And as a tropical girl, I must have a tropical garden, surrounding a 1-story plantation-style house, in Hawai'i.  Of course.

Well, I don't live in Hawai'i, my house is a 2-story Tudor style stucco'd monstrosity, and I'm in the Great White North that is Zone 3.  That Canadian city that in 2013 was reported to be colder than the surface of Mars?  Yeah, that's this place.

Anyone in their right mind would say "screw it", throw their garden dreams out the window, and plant daisies, tall prairie grass, and purple coneflowers as far as the eye can see... or at least until the edge of their property line.

However, since I'm EXTREMELY stubborn, and not entirely in my right mind, I didn't do any of that.
Instead, ...

Characteristics of a Tropical Garden

... I scoured through some of my old photos from my grandmother's home in The Philippines as well as from the time that I lived in Hawai'i, looking for things that made the background flora different.  Common traits became obvious...

1:  Large leaves
- We don't have the climate for palm trees.  But we have the climate for other larger leaved plants... the larger the leaves, the better.

2:  Large, brightly coloured flowers
- We're talking flowers similar to roses.  Large roundish petals.  Wavy petals.  The showier and more brazen the flowers, the better.  Yes, brazen -- have you seen Bearded Irises?  Hello, slutty flower.
Avoid daisies and the like.  They are too pure and innocent.

3:  Spiky leaves, ferns, and grasses
- When flowers die off, the tropical garden maintains excitement in a different, less suggestive way.  Textures and contrasts on the greenery left behind is just as interesting.

4:  Variegated leaves
- Just step into any gardening store and you'll find a surprising variety of plants with beautiful colours in stripes, streaks, and patches.  My favourite is yellow-green... almost neon.  I also have 3 purple leaved plants in the very front whose name I don't remember, but they're a beautiful contrast to the green.

5:  Dense foliage
- The plants are packed close together.  Super crowded and lush.

Choosing Plants

Next, I consulted the magic knowledge box Google and searched for plants that fit the above description and...

1) Were perennials in Zone 3.
- Annuals need to be shopped for at the beginning of the growing season, and cleaned up or brought into the home afterward.  I don't want to have to spend any money if I don't have to.
Plants magically appear in the Spring?!  Fine by me!  Yay, perennials!

2)  Could thrive in partial shade.

- The 2-story Tudor style stucco'd monstrosity that is my home casts a big shadow on my poor north-facing gardens for a good portion of the day.

3)  Were able to handle dryness.
- I'm a low-maintenance kind of gal.  Sometimes I don't get around to watering.  I've come to accept that.

I found all the plants I needed!  And now my gardening is so simple.

North West Garden

Plants I Used in My Garden

1:  Large leaves...
- Bergenia, Hosta (various)

2:  Large brightly coloured flowers...
- Peony, Daylilies (various), Irises

3:  Spiky leaves and grasses
- Ferns, Irises, Daylilies (various)

4:  Variegated leaves
- Hosta (various), Lemony Lace Elderberry (the yellow-green bush), unnamed purple-leaved plant.

My Garden History

Because sometimes you need to look like a disaster first, here's a peek into what my garden looked like over the years...
I Heart My Frontyard Garden
I Heart My Frontyard Garden June 2008
More Confessions of a Happy Girl 

As you can see, you don't need tropical plants or a tropical climate to have a tropical garden.
Okay, so it's not Hawai'i or the Philippines, but it actually makes me feel like I'm there.
Try it yourself, and share your pics in the comments if you do!

Swish Swish Bish

I dance hiphop, but I'm also in my late 40s.  I could seriously hurt myself.  But I love this choreo by Kyle Hanagami, and I'd love to move like this!  I'm working at it...
I'm fascinated by the difference between how men and women dance the same choreography.

And I love Katy...

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