3 Ways to Add Pizazz to Your Bath

1. Essential Oils

Place a drop in each corner of the shower/bath and the steam will carry it through to uplift and calm you. You can also place 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) in your bath water as well.

Some of my favorites:

2. Bath Salts

Making your own bath salt with epsom salt and essential oils is the most beneficial because you’ll know exactly what you’ll be putting in them with the benefits and you can customize it to your needs. Epsom salt baths are essential and help the body detox by removing toxins and replacing it with minerals. Mix 1-2 cups of epsom salt and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s). It would be a good idea to also add a carrier oil like olive oil which also has health benefits and is good for your skin.

3. Bath Bombs

Obviously an easy go-to is just running to your nearest LUSH store, but you can also have fun making your own bath bombs. A Beautiful Mess has a tutorial that you can check out here.

Bonus!

Let’s not forget handmade soaps and delicious smelling body washes which you can find pretty much everywhere, but I’m absolutely loving the ones at Whole Foods right now.

How To Naturally Remove Moles

So you have an unsightly beauty mark that has been bothering you for years and not only is it in the most awkward of places, but who knows if the fate of this little imp is cancerous later on down the line? Instead of getting it surgically removed, you can remove moles and skin tags safely and naturally from the comfort of your own home.

Remember when I said beauty marks find themselves in the most awkward of places? Yes, well, mine happened to be located on the inside of my right boob just high enough that if I were to wear a top that had a lower cut it would smile at the world. It drove me crazy for years. It wasn’t a tiny little thing either. I tried this trick to naturally remove moles and it worked! I was blown away. There’s a scar in place of the mole, but I would take that scar over the mole any day of the week. Plus scars aren’t cancerous and they too can be helped.

What You’ll Need:

What To Do:

  1. Trim the cotton ball/round to make sure it is the same size as the targeted beauty mark you want to remove.
  2. Soak the cotton ball in apple cider vinegar (make sure it’s not dripping, but still is full of ACV)
  3. Use medical tape (medical tape will work better to lock in moisture, but you can also use a band aid) to tape the soaked cotton ball to your mole or skin tag. *Avoid getting ACV on your skin other than the mole or skin tag for prolonged periods of time – for hopefully obvious reasons. You can trim the cotton ball more if needed to manage how much of your skin is getting exposed to the ACV.
  4. Leave for 8-12 hours. I did this at night while I was sleeping so I didn’t have to keep it on during the day and that also allowed it to breathe. I did this repeatedly for about a week until the acid in the ACV ate away at the mole completely.
  5. I used both coconut oil and lavender essential oil to help with the healing process and to make the scarring less prominent.

You’ll notice that the mole (I can’t account for skin tags although I know the ACV will work for them too) will get darker and look worst before it looks better. You may also notice an itchy or tingly feeling and some redness around the mole from the ACV doing its job. It’s perfectly normal and part of the process – just keep chugging along.

Let me know how this works for you!

Embrace Your [True] Value

Whether it’s in the whir of rushing through a crowd of people or it’s in the quiet hum of my own thoughts before I fall asleep at night, there are still times when I get the best of myself – when my mind runs down dark paths of loneliness, doubt, and self-destruction. I wonder if my thoughts are right and if there is a truth to them. It’s the haunting reality that I’m not enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not skinny enough. I don’t work hard enough. That even with my best efforts, they aren’t good enough. That even at the best version of myself it’s still not good enough. And, yes, there is some truth to that. I will never be perfect. Knowing that isn’t the hard part. The hard part is still believing that I can get as close to perfect as possible and being disappointed in myself when I still fall short. This cycle leads me to devaluing myself. It’s not just with my own thoughts, but the ghosts from my past whose whispers still glide past my ears reminding me of their words that made me feel so insecure and sensitive to who I am both inside and out in the first place.

But I’m not the only one. There has to be someone else out there who feels the same way, who fights with her thoughts, and struggles with her self-worth, insecurities, and confidence

  • About 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  • Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks.
  • 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.

Not only am I not the only one, but these feelings and thought process start at a young age. Devaluing one’s self and one’s life can, at an extreme, result in suicide which is the second leading cause of death from 10-24 year olds.

Regardless of your choices, ethnicity, weight, height, success, or even how YOU think or perceive yourself, let me tell you something …

Everyone at one point or another in their life struggles with insecurities, their self-worth, and confidence. That means you’re not alone in this fight. I’m not alone in this fight. But it also means that this is a fight worth battling because if so many people are going through it then we need to find a way to be victorious.

These truths aren’t just ones I have to accept, but ones I HAVE to believe in completely. Someone can tell you something and you can agree with what they have to say, but if you don’t truly believe it then you aren’t going to allow it motivate you to make a change. These are truths that anyone who struggles with self-worth need to not just agree with or accept, but truly believe in order to be victorious in this battle.

Truth #1

I am not perfect and never will be perfect, but my level of perfection is not equivalent to my value. I know this is true because of truth #2.

 “For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day.”

-Galatians 5:17

Truth #2

There is no perfection in humanity which is why it took a man who was 100% human and 100% God and in His sinless and perfect nature was able to take my penalty of death upon himself and give me a life of freedom and redemption. If I were valueless, why would such a man choose to go through unimaginable pain, agony, and eventually die for me? His death gives me value.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

- Romans  8:28

Truth #3

My value is immeasurable as a result of Christ’s act of love. His love was the adoption seal that made me a daughter of the Most High King. By default I’m not just royalty, but a Princess. A Princess’ value is immeasurable.

“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

-2 Corinthians 6:18

Truth #4

I can never be too beautiful or too ugly, too skinny or too fat, too rich or too poor for God because regardless of my imperfection I AM enough. His love is unconditional and His love gives me value.

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:”

-Romans 8:35

 

Truth #5

And even though my beauty does not give me value I can be confident in knowing that I am the most beautiful creature on earth because I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image who has defined beauty Himself. 

I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation!”

-Psalm 139:14

These truths have helped me to realize that my value is not found in my perception of what my value is or even in what other people’s perception of what my value is. My value is based on the truth of Christ. If that weren’t true, I would have no real value, but He is the reason this battle, I personally face and our society faces, can be won and why we can have victory to take back our confidence, laugh at our insecurities, and once and for all embrace our true value. I hope this can be an encouragement to you today. What ways do you overcome your insecurities? What are the truths you believe and live by?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
http://dosomething.org
http://jasonfoundation.com/prp/facts/youth-suicide-statistics/

 

5 Ways to Live Healthier

1. Stay Hydrated

All those smart scientists and health specialists say you should be drinking half of your weight in ounces. There are free apps that you can download to help you keep track of how much you’re drinking and remind you how much more you still need to drink. Pace yourself throughout the day and if you don’t drink very much water as it is then don’t rush into drinking a ton of water super fast. Water will allow your body to detox and you may get a crazy bad headache as a result otherwise. Trust me, lesson learned.

2. Get AT LEAST 8 hours of sleep at night

Have you seen the studies that show what just one night of not getting enough sleep will do to your body? It’s really kind of scary. Sleeping is vital for our body’s natural healing process. We can’t function without it. And they weren’t kidding when they said you need your beauty sleep because just one night without your full 8 will make your eyes look baggier, dark circles will start to form, it will affect your skin, and certainly the way you feel.

3. Vitamins and Minerals

The reason you were sick last week, your hair hasn’t been looking as shiny, and you’ve been feeling kind of down in the dumps could all be because you’re lacking the proper vitamins and minerals in your diet. Create a habit of taking them first thing in the morning before breakfast to get them out of the way.

4. Keep a food and exercise journal

Whether you’re intentionally trying to eat better and exercise or not, keeping track of what you’re doing will help you to be more accountable and aware of what you’re putting in your body and what you’re doing to take care of your body. As a result, this awareness will inspire you to make better choices.

5. Avoid sugars and processed foods

We all know they aren’t good for us, but sometimes it’s just hard not to consume such delicious morsels. Although it’s probably ideal to cut them out completely, I understand the temptation. Try creating a challenge for yourself. After all, we could say everything in moderation, right?

Hope you enjoyed these 5 ways to live healthier. What are some ways you choose to live healthier?

What is Your Eye Shape?

These shadow applications will look best based on your eye shape.

(1: lightest color for highlight, 2: medium color, 3: darkest color for dimension)

Standard

Crease is visibly seen when eyes are open.

Hooded

Crease is hidden when eyes are open due to the overlapping of the upper lid.

Asian

Crease appears absent due to stretching of lid.

Close Set

Eyes appear closer together.

Wide Set

Eyes appear further apart.

Deep Set

Eyes are set back deeper in socket.

 

What is your eye shape? How does the color application for your eye shape compare to what you’ve done previously?

Discovering Your Purpose

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I want to talk about purpose today. Discovering the purpose for my life has always been something I’ve wondered, asked, and pursued since I was born. Maybe you too have always wondered,  “What should I do with my life? Why am I here? What is my purpose?”.

Over the last couple years, as I’ve had bills come in and the focus of my life has been on college and a career, I’ve noticed the specific emphasis placed on that in our society. I can’t help but feel like the purpose of my life is to have a “good” job in order to make money so that I can have material possessions and creature comforts. Nothing is wrong with having a good job and a career. In fact, I’m all in support for hard work and diligence. Work is a necessity for the bare minimum of provision. However, a career – making money – can’t be the end all be all of life. A job day in and day out that stresses you, overworks you, and makes you crash as soon as you get home just to fall asleep and have to wake up and continue the cycle another day, is not my idea of what the purpose of life should be like. At least, that’s not what I want the purpose of my life to be. So how do we shape our purpose and what are the boundaries of doing so?

Our Purpose is Dependent on What Defines Us

Regardless of what we want our purpose to look like, our purpose is dependent upon what defines us. Who are you? A mom or dad, wife or husband, brother or sister, son or daughter, friend? Police officer or manager, employee or employer, student or teacher? Whatever defines you, your purpose is to meet the needs of what it is that has given you that title first and foremost for however long you possess it whether you want to or not. Whatever you are be a good one.

I am a believer. This means my purpose is to fulfill God’s will for my life. (John 7:17) Believe it or not, God’s will is not fate or destiny. God’s will is not the bullseye of a target. God’s will is guided by ideas and principles that lead us into an entire field of possibilities. God’s will is anything within the circle of the target.

Such instances where His will is defined:

  • Be joyful in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
  • Never stop communicating with God (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Be thankful no matter what (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Live purely (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
  • Do good: “live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God”  (1 Peter 2:15-16)
  • God’s will for His Son is the same as His will for believers. We are called to love and in doing so sacrifice ourselves – our will/desires – for that of others’ so they can see a picture of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made because of His love for us.

Our Purpose is Found in the Pursuit of Our Passions

We’ve been given gifts and talents. Some can sing others can draw. Maybe you’re just really good at communication or comforting someone in need. My spiritual gifts are exhortation, wisdom, and faith. My physical gifts are writing and photography. These may be God’s gifts to me, but to use them – and use them for God’s glory – is showing my gratitude and giving Him my gifts in return.

Create a Visual

  1. Make a list of your passions, talents, and dreams. What do you enjoy, aspire to do, accomplish, and achieve?
  2. Make a list of your responsibilities based on what defines you. Being a homeowner requires you to pay the mortgage and water bill. Being a mom means taking care of and providing for your children.
  3. Looking at your passions, which ones align with your responsibilities?
  4. Now, set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

-Psalm 138:8

UPDATE your Makeup Bag for Spring


Out with the old and in with the new. As spring sets in, we say goodbye to our deeps and darks and say hello to our pastels and brights. With any season, there comes new trends and styles. This season I present to you this spring’s trends: pops of color, golden girl, and little miss rosy. Here are some of my favorite makeup products that you can add to your makeup bag to update it for spring.

Get that color poppin’!

Trade in your red momentarily for a hot pink or bright fuchsia lip color.

Cobalt blue is the in-color, ladies, and an electric stripe of it on your upper or lower lash line is going to demand everyone’s attention.

Glow Like the Sun

Add golds, bronzes, and browns

Ring Around the Rosy

Add subtle pinks, peaches, and rosy pastels

 

 

Finding Your Face Shape

You might be able to do some guess work based on the face shape’s characteristics, but a helpful technique is taking a dry erase marker and drawing the outline of your face on a mirror. You can then determine what shape is closest to the shape you drew.

Knowing your face shape is helpful for picking out sunglasses, your next hairstyle, and even what jewelry will best compliment your face.

Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

Tip:

Wear a red lipstick that has a cooler tone (blues and purples) to make your teeth appear whiter.

Wearing MK Red Lipstick and MK Sparkle Berry Nourishine Lip Gloss

Why?

Because when teeth “yellow” their color becomes warmer and when you use a lipstick that has a cool tone it will counteract the warm and neutralize the color of your teeth making them appear whiter. By wearing a warm red that has more of an orangey undertone, it will bring out the yellowing of your teeth more.

WEARING MK Really RED LIPSTICK AND MK Rock n’ Red NOURISHINE LIP GLOSS