About Us

Welcome to our blog!

We’re Mary and Sharon, a couple of cousins who became best pals, and we’re brimming with so many ideas that we decided it might be fun to share some of them.  Not that we have all the answers, or that all our ideas will be great ones . . . but we’re enjoying our journey.

And here’s our wish for youThat through our blog you might stumble onto a good idea here, or maybe an occasional nugget of wisdom there, but that most of all, you will find true joy on your journey.


We’re blogging to celebrate life.

Making your journey joyful will be one of the main goals of our blog.

We hope you’ll drop in often!


What’s in it for you?

This is a lifestyle blog, so you’ll find terrific recipes, fashion-on-a-budget tips, and ideas for freshening up (and de-cluttering) your home.  As a professional interior designer, Mary offers insight for body, soul and spirit. As a freelance writer, Sharon writes stories that touch the heart.



 There were more people in my first college class than there were in the whole town where I grew    up. Before I moved to the Big City to try to get an education, I lived in a small village in northern Minnesota—                population: 350.  In fact, my younger brother’s whole high school graduating class could fit into a phone booth.  But    hardly anybody knows what a phone booth is anymore so that distinction doesn’t count for much.  Even though I          now have some education and have traveled in 32 foreign countries, I still have freckles.  When my husband-to-be and I were dating, he teased me about the great alliterative name he could give me.  As you can see, it turned out to be a pretty good selling point.  My name is (now) Sharon Sheppard.  But you can think of me as The Country Cousin.


Sharon Sheppard is a freelance writer who has published hundreds of articles on a variety of topics, including abortion, adoption, blended families, creativity, eating disorders, family heritage, homeschooling, infertility, and marriage, to name a few.

She speaks on campuses and at retreats, and is a speaker on marriage topics for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).

In addition to speaking, she makes it a habit to listen.  Her psychotherapist daughter says, “Mom does the same thing I do, only I get paid for it.”



I’m a farm girl gone city!  As my husband Don used to say, “Those are the worst kind!”  He was teasing (at least I hope he was!), but there is an outside chance that there’s some truth to it.  I pinch a dime and throw $100 bills around with ease!  (That is, when I can get my hands on bills that size.)

I’ve got 23 grandkids, and I am the queen of “care packages.” I’m also the queen of five-ingredients-or-less recipes.  And I particularly love the challenge of creating gourmet meals from simple recipes.  So be on the lookout for some of those.

My grandson Brad, who is now a young adult, has been encouraging me to tell him stories from my life.  So stay tuned for some of those, and you can judge for yourself whether my journey has been based on wise or unwise choices.

So even though I was raised on the farm, I’m a city girl at heart.  My name is Mary Zigan, but you can think of me as The City Cousin.


Mary Zigan is founder of Free to Be Fit™, a support group for men and women like herself who are in addiction recovery.  She is also a teacher of ecumenical Bible studies, including GodChicks™.

Her creative eye for beauty and her commonsense approach to living have helped her build a successful 30+ year career as a freelance interior designer.