Lifestyle Inspiration Roundup | August 2017 Edition

Lifestyle Inspiration Roundup August 2017Welcome August! The time of year that doesn’t feel quite like summer or fall. But it’s always a time of new beginnings when lots of students head off to school to start a new year.

Because of that, this month’s theme is all about becoming organized and efficient, and feeling good while doing it! Whether you’re a student or just someone who could use a little more motivation to get a little more order in your life, now is the time to get started.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you!

Music

 

Music has always been a big motivator for me, and for a lot of people I know! What better way to get yourself organizing than by pumping up the jams? Especially happy songs. The song I’m sharing with you today is one of my favorites for getting in a cheery mood (and in turn helps me get ‘er done!). It’s called Beautiful Day, originally by U2 but this version is by Il Volo. It’s half way between classical and pop music, so I hope you like this interesting take on the music! Just remember, ‘it’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away’.

Atmosphere

August is that time when I like to start transitioning into fall a bit, while leaving a little summer vibe. What does that mean? Bringing in muted colors and changing scents from tropical to more of a fresh smell. Not only will this make your surroundings comfortable and airy, but it will also make a great focus atmosphere. Don’t forget to take this time to through out or donate any clutter or items that you no longer use. Even if you’re not the minimalist type (I’m not either) cleaned up always looks and feels better than cluttered!

Entertainment

 

Need a good laugh during your organization break? Look no further. These guys know how to take organization to the extreme, and be hilarious while doing so.  Enjoy!

Something New

For August I want you to try to learn something new in honor of all the students out there! Maybe learn a new recipe, some new words, or get an entirely new hobby! A hobby I’ve had for a few years now is learning new languages. Guys, I’m learning six languages right now on an app called Duolingo. They make it that easy and that fun. If you’re interested, you can check them out online in the link above or download their app. It’s all free! (Not a sponsor, I just really love them!)

August Challenge

This month, I challenge you to donate everything you don’t need anymore that might benefit somebody else. Not only will this clean up your living area, it’ll help lots of other people t00! Always do what you can with what you have to make this world a better place. Can I get an Amen? Whether it’s a pair of shoes you never really wear, or that gift your relative got you for your last birthday that you pretended you liked, give it to someone who will really enjoy it. Let’s make a difference together!

 

Thanks for joining me for August! Have anything that inspires you? Share in the comments below and I may include them in next month’s September edition!

Did you enjoy this post? Check out my faith inspired version!

The Ultimate Guide To Long And Healthy Hair

Long and Healthy hair tips and tricksHair goals, hair goals everywhere. No matter where we look, we can find something telling us how to get healthy, shiny hair. But the funny things is, we’re told to use bajillions of products for that coveted shine, yet if our hair was truly healthy, we would only need a few things to keep it that way!

As a girl with thick, waist length hair, I know a thing or two about haircare. My desire for long and healthy locks started when I was very little; Jasmine and Pocahontas were my hair role models! So, throughout my life I’ve researched tips and tricks to give me that Disney princess hair.

From all that research, I’ve compiled a list of the tips that have worked for me, and a few promising time-tested techniques that I would like to try in the near future.

Without further ado, here’s my ultimate guide to long and healthy hair!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through a link, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you!

#1 Nutrition and Hydration

Let’s get the basics out of the way, shall we? If you’re body isn’t healthy, you’re hair won’t be healthy. It’s as simple as that. So, eat a well-rounded diet and drink that water! If you don’t feel you’re getting the necessary nutrients from your daily diet (or you have a health problem that makes it difficult), I do recommend taking a high quality multivitamin.

The very best I’ve found is Smarty Pants Women’s Complete vitamins. They contain all of the essentials, plus a few bonuses like fish oil and biotin (both great for your hair!), and they’re free of allergens and fillers. But the best part is, they’re gummies and taste great!

#2 Gentle Products

Always, always get a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates strip your hair (and if you dye, your color too) which isn’t good for your ‘do’. Go for the natural and non-toxic products on the shelves. And remember to get the variety specific to your hair type! If your hair is a bit dry, get a deeply moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. If it’s flat (because thick + long hair = flat roots most of the time) don’t be afraid to try a volumizing products. They’re not only for the thin haired ladies! I’ve tried several brands, some I’ve liked and some I didn’t.

California Baby is one of the purest hair and body care companies out there, but their formula barely lathers. As someone with tons of hair, it’s hard to get it clean with a super low lather shampoo. A clean brand I do like is Everyone; it lathers and the conditioner leaves my hair soft and shiny. However, another super clean brand that I’m really looking forward to trying out is Carina Organics. They have great reviews and it looks very promising! If you’ve tried them out, let me know if you like them!

#3 Moisturize the Ends

It seems that the majority of girls with thick hair have oily hair too. If that’s the case with you, as it is with me, you may have thought your hair was already well-moisturized in the past. However, just because your roots get oily, doesn’t mean that oil gets to the ends of your hair. Moisturized ends are what keeps your hair from being a big frizz ball!

I’ve tried using coconut, castor, argan, and olive oil hair masks, but nothing works as well as applying an oil hair serum to the ends of my hair daily. My favorite brand is Badger hair oil. I soaks into my hair and takes away any brittle or dry feeling that creeps up from time to time.

Another way to make sure the ends of your hair are moisturized is by focusing your conditioner below your roots. After I do that, I leave it in my hair for the rest of my shower and rinse at the very end. I find that this makes my hair a lot softer than if I rinse it out only a minute or two after putting it in.

*Bonus tip: Make sure to brush and detangle your hair before showering so that you don’t have to work through tangles in wet hair; that leads to breakage!

#4 Wash Less Often

Washing everyday if you have shorter hair is probably okay, but when you have longer hair, it dries out because your natural oils don’t get the chance to reach your hair ends. I typically wash every other day, but I’ve recently discovered that brushing your hair with a boar bristle brush is supposed to help you go longer. It works by spreading your natural oils all the way down your hair shaft so that they don’t build up at the roots.

This is something I really want to try because it’s been used by women for hundreds of years! I even recently read an article that told of a woman in either the 1800’s or 1900’s who was dubbed as having the most beautiful hair only used this method to clean her hair. Now I’m not sure if I would go that far, but I would definitely use a boar bristle brush to extend the time between washes.

#5 Style Without Heat

I’ll start by saying that using heat occasionally is totally fine. But try to style without heat as much as possible; we don’t want to be singing our hair! And if you have thick hair, you knkw first hand that heat styling doesn’t always hold very well anyway. I usually take my showers in the evening so that my hair can air dry. This is also helpful if you want to do heatless overnight curls, which requires your hair to be slightly damp. Here’s my absolute favorite heatless curl tutorial!

#6 Protectively Style For Bed

Believe it or not, this tip has been a game-changer for my hair! Either put your hair in a loose bun or braids before going to sleep so that it doesn’t tangle as you toss and turn in bed. Before I started doing this, I would wake up every morning with my hair all knotted together. Then I would try to brush it out, which only lead to hair breaking off and split ends. After I started styling before bed, no more tangles!

#7 Ditch the Chemicals

Not long ago, I was still having my hair dyed a very dark brown at the salon, but recently I found a natural dying method that works well and doubles as a conditioning treatment! It’s a mixture from the company Henna Color Lab. I got mahogany, which was made from a blend of indigo, henna, and other plants. The color turned out beautifully, although I think I’ll need to redo my roots because henna color has to build up to achieve a true dark color.

The best part though, is that my hair has become ridiculously shiny and soft since using this! I’ve tried many sore-bought hair masks and DIY masks in the past, but all of them seriously pale in comparison to this hair dye, for reals. My air has always been on the course side, but this stuff has turned it into the soft hair I’d always dreamed of. You can dye your hair any color except blonde with henna mixtures, because they can’t lighten color.

 

There are many more tips out there, like scalp massage, using silk pillow covers and hot oil treatments, etc. but the above are the only tips that have made a difference for me. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from this hair care guide! Make sure to comment below with any hair advice that has worked for you!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like this one about my secret weapon for acne!

 

Lifestyle Inspiration Roundup | July 2017 Edition

Lifestyle Inspiration Roundup July 2017Welcome to the first edition of the new monthly roundup posts! Each month in these posts, you will find lifestyle inspiration to keep things fresh and fun. And July is just the beginning!

July is the prime of summertime. Chillaxing in the pool, having cookouts, and don’t forget bonfire s’mores! What would make these moments even better? Some good mood music.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through a link, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you!

Music

Even if you don’t like country music, the lyrics and tune of Summer Nights by Rascal Flatts is the perfect summer mood song! Because summer nights are the most magical part of this season. So turn up the volume and get ready to listen to some feel good music!

Atmosphere

I don’t know about you, but I like to change up my surroundings according to the season. For me, July is all about seashells, flowers, and all an around nautical theme. Blues, greens, and the smell of a sea breeze are my go-tos. Here are some pieces I found that I would so love to have at my house!

Entertainment

I just might feature these guys every month because they absolutely rock! Rhett and Link from Good Mythical Morning, or GMM as their fans the “Mythical Beasts” like to call them, have a knack for making people laugh. They do everything crazy and fun. The video featured above is one of my favorites. It made me laugh so hard that I was sweating!

Try Something New

Each month is an opportunity to try something new and enrich your life in some way. This month, try gardening! It’s a little late in the year for planting most seeds, but you can get a mature plant at your local home garden store. If you’re already gardening (yay for you!) then try out a new plant! Grow some flowers or produce that you can enjoy the fruits of (pun intended) later.

July Challenge

With each roundup post there will also be a monthly challenge issued to help you help make the world a better place! For July, I challenge you to help someone that needs a break to relax! Summer is the time to recuperate, especially for the people that are chronically overworked. So grab whoever that is and take them somewhere fun or relaxing so that they can shake off the day’s worries.

Thanks for being a part of the first monthly inspiration roundup! Share if you enjoyed it and subscribe so you can make sure get next month’s edition. Comment below with any suggestions for August! See you soon!

P.S. Are you a Bible Babe? Check out my monthly Christian inspo roundup!

The Ultimate Guide To Summer Fashion Essentials 2017

summer fashion 2017Ahh summer. The time of blue skies and fireflies. Everything seems to be extra bright and fun this time of year, doesn’t it? This seems to be especially true when it comes to summer fashion!

There’s just so much to choose from: flowy skirts, bathing suits, sandals and more. In a sea of possibilities, I’ve chosen a few of my favorite items to keep in a summer wardrobe. Here’s my ultimate guide to summer fashion essentials…

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, if you click or make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Tops

Let’s start with tops, shall we? When it comes to summer attire, I believe that only two  types of tops are needed: the basic tee, and a dressy blouse. Why? Because a t-shirt can be dressed up or down, and a blouse will come to the rescue when you need (or want) to look extra fancy-shmancy.

Pants

Here’s where a lot more variety comes in to play. Options include a pair of clean, white jeans, blue jeans, denim shorts, patterned shorts, patterned pants, and overalls. Even if you only have two shirts, this will give you twelve different outfits to choose from!

Dresses and Skirts

Now is the time to let your frilly girly side be free! During the summer, you need two types of dresses: the sun dress and the cocktail dress (because, hello wedding season). And for skirts, whip out the maxis and knee length varieties ladies. My personal favorite style for skirts is boho, what about you?

Jackets

What? Jackets in the summer?? Yup. Because sometimes a little chill can come in the evening, and you want to be prepared and stylish, right? Keep on hand a casual jacket, faux leather, and a kimono (is that a jacket? Let’s say yes). This way, you’ll have a covering for any situation.

Beachwear

Yeahhh buddy. Summertime means pools and beaches. And that means we need bathing suits and cover-ups. I like to wear modest bathing suits, and found some really cute choices this season. As for the cover-ups, you can get one that functions like a dress or a skirt, whichever you like!

Exercise Clothing

It really is easier to workout in the summer, when everything is pretty and bright. It’s just motivational! I know that when I’m wearing some nice clothes to exercise in, I’m much more likely to actually get out there. Get yourself a sports bra, some yoga pants, and a breathable tank top or t-shirt, then get moving girl!

Shoes

Yay for shoes! Sandals, flats, heels, and tennis shoes. Summer shoe choices are just awesome. Especially since you get to show off that pedicure you got recently. Let those feet breathe!

Purses

Besides your main purse, look for a clutch and a beach tote. That way you have a bag for functionality, special occasions, and summer outings. My favorite is the beach tote, so much space to carry things in! Anyone else stuff their purse full of unnecessary items for those ‘just in case’ moments, or is that just me?

Accessories

Sunglasses, hats, and scarves, oh my! Accessories are what really spice up an outfit. So put on that big hat, wear those unique sunglasses, and work that lemon-studded scarf. Wear your clothes, don’t let your clothes wear you!

So there you have it, my ultimate guide to summer fashion essentials. But remember, outward beauty isn’t what really counts, it’s who you are on the inside that matters. A great outfit just helps you get people’s attention so that they can get to know the real you. Think of your clothes as a welcome sign, to invite people to meet you.

Did I miss anything, is there a summer essential you just can live without? Share in the comments below!

Long Distance Relationship Tips For Christian Couples

Long disttance realationship tips for Christian couplesLong distance relationships are hard.

And when we run into a difficult situation, what do we do in this day and age when we need advice? That’s right, we Google it!

Well after I found myself in an LDR, that’s exactly what I did. And I immediately noticed something: there were little to no tips for Christian LDR couples. Most of the information I found was either totally obvious or completely dirty.

I’ve been long distance for over two years now, so I decided it was time to put that experience to use! I’m going to share with you the things that have been helpful for my relationship. Nothing dirty, and more than the obvious. Now’s the time to send this to your significant other and take notes together! Which leads me to tip #1…

Find projects to work on as a team

You’ll never have a good relationship if you can’t work together, right? Even though you won’t be able to do this in person (duh) it’s still possible. The projects you choose can range from just for fun to serious planning. For example, you could play an internet connected game and work on the same side. Or, you could try something with a little more oomph like starting an online business, even a blog!

Not only will this help you learn to work with your SO, it’ll also give you something to consistently talk about. And with that in mind, let’s move on to tip #2…

 Ask more questions than necessary

The biggest struggle in an LDR is consistently having things to talk about. There are two ways to help with this. First, ask way more questions than you need to about your SO’s day, even if you already know the answer. Second, find plenty of lists with fun and important things to ask each other. Things like would you rather questions and important things to find out if you truly are compatible. Communication is the only thing you really have in a relationship like this, so learn to do it well. Especially for situations like tip #3…

Always clarify

Since texting is generally how most LDR couples communicate, asking questions for clarity is so essential. We all know that misinterpreting a text is very easy to do. So, instead of getting upset and sending a reply that you might regret, make sure that the other person actually meant what you thought they did. And even if you did interpret the message correctly, keep your cool. One of the benefits of texting is being able to take the time to think your reaction through. React with grace!

Give the gift of time and memories

Not being physically in the presence of your significant other is draining. Constantly checking your phone, not being able to even hold their hand, it’s definitely trying at times. That’s why giving as much time as you can spare to making your relationship work is so important. Sure, you’re so tired that you don’t feel like texting back, but it’ll make all the difference if you do.

Giving actual presents is also very important. But know that it doesn’t have to be something you spend money on. Even sending a handwritten letter is a great gesture. Just having a tangible item from your SO is so helpful when you’re missing them. Of course, sending chocolate or flowers is always nice too *ahem*.

Take action to keep Christ at the center

Christian dating couples hear this phrase frequently. Not being together can make it a little more difficult to follow through on this one, but with a little ingenuity, you can do it! The two best things you can do involve prayer and Bible study.

Make sure you’re both praying for each other and for your relationship. Guys, this is vital! Don’t only pray for the other person, pray that your relationship as a whole will honor God. This includes praying for yourself too. For example, pray that God will work through you to help your SO be the best they can be.

And don’t forget the Bible of course! Find a topic or verse you want to study and discuss it together, whether by text, talking on the phone, or using a video chatting service like Skype. Or, you could find a guided devotional to go through with one another.

Have you ever seen what I call the ‘good love triangle’? The first time I saw it, it really stuck with me. The graphic shows even more emphatically the importance, and benefit, of drawing closer to God. When Each of you is doing that, you’ll also be drawing closer to each other!Closer to God, closer to each otherThese tips are based off of the experience of what has worked for my relationship, they’re tried and true! If you’d like more tips, or you have a tip of your own, share in the comments below!

P.S. After searching for a devotional specifically for long distance couples and coming up empty-handed, I began considering writing my own! If you or someone you know would like this, comment below so I can start working on it, woohoo!

Summer Essentials: Natural Beauty Products

There’sSummer essentials natural beauty no time better than summertime to revamp your beauty routine! Our skin and hair can take a beating from the heat and ocean/pool water. It’s also the perfect time to add in some bright pops of color (my summer favorite is peach).

But good quality beauty products don’t have to be full of chemicals and icky fillers. Below is a list of my favorite natural beauty products for some summer fun!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through a link I will receive commission at no extra cost to you!

Luminance Skincare Rosewater

Luminance Skincare is by far my favorite skincare brand, and their rosewater spray is no exception! Made of only rose petals and water (like it should be!) this toner balances the pH of your skin. Not only does it feel wonderful after being in the summer heat, it’s good for you too! And did I mention it smells heavenly?

Badger Hair Oil


My hair tends to get dry on the ends during the summer months, and this hair oil has been a tremendous help in combatting that. It’s packed full of nourishing oils like the infamous argan oil, and my mane seems to just drink it right up! I’m left with shiny, oh so soft locks. Be careful though, a little goes a long way.

Peppermint Oil Spray


I don’t know about you, but I can get overheated pretty easily. A while ago, I tried putting peppermint oil on my skin and neck after hearing it was helpful for bringing a fever down. I figured, if it works for fevers, it has to work for plain ole heat and I put it on undiluted. And oh boy did it ever! I had put on too much and it gave me the chills for an hour or so, not even a blanket could warm me up! That’s why you should learn from my mistakes and dilute in a nice spray bottle for easier application.

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish


Good lookin’ nails can pull any outfit together. But all of those chemicals in different polishes (like formaldehyde, eek!) make me a little nervous! That’s why I was so excited when I found this nail polish in my local Whole Foods. While it’s free of all those scary fillers, it says on just as well, if not better, than normal polish! Like I said, I love peach colors for summer, especially in nail polish.

EO Deodorant


I’ve tried several brands of natural deodorant before settling on this one. It actually works! At least for me, I know that everyone’s body works differently when it comes to alternative products. That being said, I highly recommend  that you give it a try! My favorite scent is the vetiver version, I love me some vetiver.

Gabriel Cosmetics Blush


Oh Gabriel Cosmetics, let me count the ways. If you haven’t already tried this nontoxic and gluten free (yay) makeup company, or their other more sparkly line, ZuZu Luxe, put it on your to-do list. Then, move it to your to-done list because seriously. Great staying power, beautiful colors (hello again, peach), and a wide variety to choose from. To compliment your summer glow, I suggest you try some of their blush, it’s my go-to!

Persian Garden Perfume


Natural perfumes are kind of hard to come by, especially ones that don’t smell just plain funky or much too ordinary (has anyone else realized that orange seems to be a pervasive scent in natural beauty products?). This perfume is the ultimate exception. Rich, exotic, and with a slight quality that I can only describe as mysterious, I think Persian Garden is my new signature scent.

 

So there you have it, my summer natural beauty essentials. But of course, don’t forget to wear sunscreen! I didn’t include any on this list because I have yet to fin a natural one that I like. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

What’s your natural beauty essential for summer? Tell us in the comments below! And don’t forget share and subscribe for more natural beauty and summer fun!

The Three Teas You Need To Have On Hand At All Times

Tea is totes amazingPeppermint Tea, chamomile tea, ginger tea

I absolutely love tea! Anyone else? Whether you’ve been drinking tea for ages, or you’re new to this wonderful world of flavor, I’m going to tell you the three teas that you should always have around. Why? Well…

Tea can offer medicinal properties

Did you know that drinking tea can give you health benefits and help you feel better? In a world where so many health trends are a hoax, it’s refreshing to have something on hand that actually does what it’s supposed to. Now, many times people will claim that a specific tea is a cure-all. Don’t you just strongly dislike when someone gets your hopes up by exaggerating what a product can do? Me too, that’s why I’m only going to tell you the benefits I can personally vouch for. I’ve had the most success with three specific teas:

*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase trough these links I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you!

Peppermint

Headaches, tummy trouble, and cold/sinus/breathing problems. Peppermint is supposedly a painkiller and I’ve experienced this first hand. Drinking it will often take away a minor headache. When my stomach is upset or my digestive system is having a fit, peppermint tea calms everything down. And last but not least, that menthol quality that the tea possesses gives me great relief when I’m having any sort of respiratory issue.

 Chamomile

Heartburn and stress relief. I have had terrible heartburn for a few years, and very few things took it away. Chamomile was a game-changer! Almost every time I drink it, the burn disappears, I highly recommend it. This tea is also tremendously helpful for those stressful times in life. After those first few sips, I always feel remarkably calmer.

Ginger

Nausea, dizziness, and cramping. Ginger tea is probably the tea I drink the most often. It settles my stomach when it’s feeling uneasy, so I always take it with me during car rides (if you suffer from carsickness, give it a go! Peppermint tea is helpful for this as well, try both a see which works better for you!). I’ve also suffered from dizziness and vertigo in my day, and ginger somehow slows the spinning. There are several studies that I’ve seen that prove ginger is helpful for motion sickness, even a test on the amazing show Mythbusters! The last benefit I’ve experienced from ginger tea is pain and cramp relief. Some people say their relief lasts for hour, but mine is usually for 30 minutes. Anything is better than nothing when something hurts!

If you don’t enjoy the taste of straight ginger tea, I recommend the ginger blend from Yogi teas. It contains other wonderful ingredients like lemongrass and licorice root!

My favorite tea add-ins

Raw honey. If you’re anything like me, then you need your tea sweetened. But put down that sugar! Raw honey is the best way to add some sweetness to your drink. Some say it has health benefits as well, but I haven’t personally experienced any major changes from it.

Collagen Powder. This is one of my favorite things to add to any hot beverage. I especially like to put it in my tea when I’m taking it on the go. Since collagen provides protein, it helps keep my blood sugar stable when I don’t have access to food in the moment!

Bonus tip!

Each of the above mentioned teas are also great for your skin! If I feel like my skin needs a pick-me-up, I’ll take my tea bag (after it’s been used) and rub it on my face. I can specifically recall one time when I rubbed a ginger tea bag on my face while I was struggling with some acne, and the next day the spots were smaller. Try it out! P.S. if you struggle with acne too, take a look at my single ingredient acne fighting weapon!

 

What are your must have teas? How do they help you? Share in the comments below. And don’t forget to pin, share, and subscribe!

 

Being The Skinny Girl: Skinny-Shaming Is Real

Being the skinny girl, the reality of skinny shamingI’ve been skinny most of my life. But a few years ago, I became even thinner due to illness. Since then, I’ve struggled to gain back the weight that I had lost. At five feet two inches, my weight hovers around 95 pounds, I usually have to get belts from the children’s section. Until this happened to me, I never realized that skinny shaming existed.

Most people don’t realize what they’re doing when they skinny shame someone (although some do, personally I experienced people spreading rumors that I had become anorexic). Phrases like ‘You’re a twig’, ‘You have no butt’, and ‘You’re so lucky to be skinny, I wish I was your size’ can actually be hurtful. Why is that you ask?

Today’s culture is plastered with phrases like ‘real women have curves’. So am I not a real woman? When there are campaigns for women to accept that their bodies are beautiful, they show pictures of women who have a little extra weight, rarely, if ever, showing an underweight woman. Do I not need encouragement to accept my body?

Not only are skinny girls excluded from ‘everyone is beautiful’ campaigns, but we are often judged for looking the way we do. People assume that we starve ourselves, or that we must exercise excessively. They assume that we don’t enjoy eating and that we look down upon those that do.

Things like this couldn’t be farther from the truth. I love eating. But my body loses weight much more easily than it gains. I don’t starve myself or excessively exercise (in fact, I rarely workout consistently). I simply have a medical problem that makes it hard for me to be at a healthy weight. Yet most people don’t bother to think there’s anything behind what meets the eye.

That’s exactly where all of these believing you’re beautiful campaigns started: trying to overcome the judgement of others. Well, I have something to say to everyone:

We are all beautiful. Thick and thin, tall and short. All of us, every single one, possesses beauty. We need so badly to stop looking to others for our validation and accept it for the truth that it is.

Now that that’s out of the way, I also need to point out that working to achieve your desired body proportions (within reason of course) doesn’t mean that you haven’t accepted yourself. It just means that you want to make something great even greater!

In my life, this means that I’m actively taking steps to get to a health weight.

I’m focusing on fueling my body.

Increasing my calories is the only weight to put on some pounds, but I’m making sure that they’re healthy calories.  Organic fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed meats all frequent my plate.

I’m exercising the right way for my body type.

Since weight gain is the goal, I make sure to stay away from cardio (unless it’s walking). Instead, I do muscle building exercises to help put on muscle weight. Things like squats and lunges are the way to go.

I make it fun.

I think we can all agree that things that aren’t fun to do, are a whole lot harder to stick with, am I right? So if I need to eat more food even though I’m stuffed, I try to make it something I like eating. If I need to make myself exercise, I do it to some awesome music or while watching my favorite shows.

I’m going to say it one more time so that you remember, okay?

We are all beautiful.

Tell me how you’re doing with believing you’re beautiful, let’s support each other in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

If you want to know more about inner beauty, read this post. Don’t forget to pin or tweet and spread the ‘beautiful’ word!

Turning 20 and Facing Change

Turning 20Today, I turn 20 years old (not including time in my mama’s belly of course). A new decade full of change has begun. And I’ll be honest with you, I’m pretty darn scared.

I remember when I turned 10, it occurred to me all of the changes that were going to happen in the next decade: high school, graduation, maybe my first romantic relationship. This was the decade when I would grow up.

But now that I’m 20, I’ve realized just how much change could come my way. Marriage, kids, maybe even a big move are all on the table. Those are some seriously life-altering nuggets!

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of excitement that comes with this. I mean come on, wedding dress shopping and fluffy babies? That’s totally something to love!

I still have my reservations, but this line of thinking definitely helps.

Maybe you’re facing a decade change too. And maybe, like me, you’re freaking out a little.

I’m going to let you in on the secret of how I deal with imposing change: I list all of the exciting things that could happen to me. Once I see all of the possibilities before me, I will potentially become giddy. How many adventures that could happen!

It’s a bit like trying a new food. Think about it, say you didn’t know what a marshmallow was and someone set one in front of you to try. If you ate it, it could taste absolutely horrible, or unbelievably scrumptious. Thank goodness that people were willing to try them, because I would say marshmallows are just short of a blessing to our existence. And maybe the change that’s facing you could also turn out that awesome (even though marshmallows are a tough act to follow).

I want you to try this exercise with me, whether a birthday is coming or you’re simply facing a big change. Just to give you some inspiration, here’s my list:

  1. Getting married to the guy I’m meant to be with

  2. Traveling the world

  3. Having a couple of kids

  4. Finding out my purpose and living it

  5. Changing the world for the better

  6. Reaching goals I’ve had for a long time

  7. Setting new goals to reach for

  8. Making new life-long friends

  9. Developing new talents

  10. Moving to a new area and making a home

  11. And faith (for you Christian ladies!): growing so much closer to God.

These are just a few examples of the adventures that could be coming my way, and seeing that helps me to overcome the fear that accompanied my newest chapter in life. I’m excited to find out what’s ahead!

What big change are you facing? What are some exciting things that could be coming your way? Share in the comments below!

The Best (and most surprising) Natural Ingredient to Heal Acne

An all natural DIY acne treatment with basil essential oilYou know what it feels like. Waking up to a perfectly good day, and the next thing you know, the mirror reveals a new addition to your face: the infamous zit. You groan at the thought of a week of this zit staring back at you. You’ve tried  everything but nothing ever seems to work.

Because you can’t just sit by and do nothing, you smear every anti-acne product that you have on your face. Once that doesn’t work, you try Pinterest suggestions for treating acne, yet none of them work.

Does this sound like you? I know that’s what I felt like.

Maybe there’s a way to change that.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you!

I finally found a DIY, completely natural acne remedy! And guess what? It’s just one simple ingredient. When it worked, I was so surprised. Just to make sure it wasn’t a coincidence, I tried it for a week straight.

The results were amazing. 

What is this miracle ingredient you ask? Basil essential oil. Yup, that’s right.

I had tried so many things before, but this worked best out of them all. Rubbing alcohol, apple cider vinegar, honey and cinnamon, baking soda, even toothpaste. 

I had also tried several essential oils, like lemon, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus to no avail. But basil, that was different.

I would apply it to any spots I had at night, after putting on my moisturizer. The next day, the redness was almost gone, and only a small mark was left!

Some mornings, the spot wouldn’t be entirely gone, but at the very least it would be less red than the night before. I have to say, whenever I use it, the next morning I will excitedly go to the nearest mirror to gaze upon the wonderful lack of zit. Three cheers for basil!

Personally, I currently get my essential oils from a company cabasi; essential oil from Eden's Gardenlled Eden’s Garden. I have never been disappointed with the quality of their products. They have very high standards, but are not an MLM company which makes them more affordable!

Organic, 100% therapeutic grade, natively sourced, and third-party tested for quality. The only thing that Eden’s Garden doesn’t have that brands like Young Living and DoTerra have is the “edible” label. However, Eden’s Garden actually says that you can take their oils internally under the direction of a licensed aromatherapist or physician. I have personally used a few of their oils in cooking with no negative side effects!

I’m excited for you to try this out for yourself. If you find that it does work for you (I really believe it will!) make sure to spread the word and help other people be acne free!

What natural acne treatments have you tried? Which worked and which didn’t? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to subscribe for more natural living tips!