All Natural Skin Care for Younger Looking Skin

Comment

While I jokingly refer to my bangs as my "natural botox," the truth is I am borderline obsessed (in a totally healthy way, I promise) with finding as many options for "natural botox" as I possibly can when it comes to skin care products. The more I research, the more excited I get, and the more my vanity of goodies grows. 

However, over the last few months, I feel as though I have stumbled upon some true Holy Grail, Ride or Die, age defying gems. I have been one those lucky gals that not only is aging with fine lines and wrinkles BUT have also been battling breakouts like I'm still 13. Not too sure what that's about, and I'm pretty certain it's not fair...but then again, like I tell my kids...What is fair, right?

But, that's okay, because like I said, these products (more specifically, the key ingredients) are changing my life, my fine lines and even my breakouts, and I can't wait to share them all with you!

Acure Argan Unscented Facial Cleansing Wipes: We waste a TON of water washing our faces, and here in California, we simply don't have the water to waste. So I begin my facial routine with the best natural makeup removing wipes I've ever used! Not only are these free from all the toxic junk ingredients but they also are amazing at removing makeup, even stubborn mascara! I take just a few seconds (if I'm wearing makeup, which let's be honest, with 4 kids isn't as often as it used to be), to do a little pre-cleaning before the master cleanse.

Andalou Natural Brightening Cleanser: I'm pretty certain I will never love another cleanser as much as I love this one. Every time I've strayed to test out another, my skin gets mad and life won't settle until I bring this one back into the routine. This cleanser is definitely not boyfriend material, it's marriage material...for life. With meyer lemon, vitamin c and manuka honey, (all holy grail ingredients I die for), this cleanser is the ultimate for brightening, clarity, tone and texture. It's even amazing at keeping breakouts at bay! (manuka honey is incredibly helpful with acne!) I use one pump, day and night, and take my time massaging it into my skin so that I do my best to truly get the most out of the cleansers benefits.

Beauty Shelf Konjac Sponge: After I've cleansed and rinsed, I bring in the finishing cleansing touch. This little facial cleansing sponge is going to be your new BFF, as I honestly don't know how I ever lived without it. Gently exfoliate, detoxify and balance your skin each time you wash and watch your acne, blackheads, rosacea, excema, dermatitis & psoriasis become a thing of the past! {20% coupon: Use the code "KSPONGES'} Plus, they're hearts. How cute is that?

Andalou Natural Brightening Toner: This toner is awesome because it targets hyperpigmentation and UV damage, balances proper Ph levels & removes any last traces of cleanser or makeup.

Andalou Naturals Brightening Serum: Now that I'm cleansed and toned, my skin is primed and ready to soak in the benefits of a vitamin infused serum. This serum, which is a skin care must have, has Vitamin C & Tumeric which work together to tighten, brighten and lighten the skin, making you look younger with every application! While you can use this day or night, I just apply each morning before moisturizer since I have other goodies to play with it night!

Andalou Naturals Daily Defense Day Moisturizer: Perfect for sensitive skin, this lightweight moisturizer has quickly become one of my ultimates. Not only does it battle UV and environmental damage, but it works against fine lines and wrinkles as well. (The sensitive rose line as also to die for!)

Derma Roller (Collagen Induction Therapy): After cleansing at night, about 2 times a week, I have a little session with the Derma Roller. Okay, I'll be honest, this little contraption freaked me out a little when my sister first began telling me about it. But, because we're in the anti-aging obsession together, I knew I needed to give it at least one good shot. Even my husband, when he took one look at all the little needles, immediately followed me to the bathroom to supervise my little research project. But, oh my word. Let me just tell you, one session with the my derma roller, and I was hooked. It absolutely did NOT hurt, and while it does make your skin appear as though you spent all day in the sun for a few hours, I ahve been amazed at how it has worked to fade my sun spots and acne scars in such a short time. This scary looking device is a must have because it reduces and eliminates wrinkles, scars, fine lines, cellulite, stretch marks, and hyper-pigmentation. Plus, it works to increase natural collagen production and skin elasticity, which if you can't tell by now, is exactly what I'm working to do. The experts suggest this practice a few times a week, making sure after each session, you ONLY follow up with products that don't contain parabens or other carcinogenics in the ingredients. (See the next three products for good suggestions!)

Radha Rosehip Seed Oil: In the evening, after I've cleansed and toned, it's time for the most amazing Rosehip Oil. This oil, you guys, is a true gift from Jesus. We all NEED this oil in our lives (along with a good Vitamin C serum), to really see BIG changes in our skin. This non greasy, super light "dry" oil works to make fine lines visibly reduced and will make your skin immediately look brighter and more radiant. This miracle oil is amazing for wrinkles, scars, rashes, acne scars, dry skin, dermatitis, age spots, psoriasis, eczema, hyper-pigmentation, and sun damage, just to name a few. I seriously want to BATHE in this oil.

Palmetto Collagen Booster or Pura D'or Vitamin C: As we age, collagen production slows, which basically just means we get saggier and duller. No bueno. But that's where Vitamin C literally saves the day. By applying topical Vitamin C serums, we can once again stmulate collagen bringing back the light and bring and plump (the good kind) back into our skin. According to Dr. Oz, we can drop a decade (off our skin, not our life...sorry girls) by simply introducing this serum into our skin care routine.

Beenigma: This cream, which is all the rage among beauty YouTubers, lifts, plumps, and reduces fines lines (are we noticing a theme here with these products???. Beenigma is infused with bee venom (so don't use if you're allergic to bees!), manuka honey and shea butter which will not only transform your skin but will also fights our breakouts as well!

Derma Roller (Collagen Induction Therapy): Okay, I'll be honest, this little contraption freaked me out a little when my sister first began telling me about it. But, because we're in the anti-aging obsession together, I knew I needed to give it at least one good shot. Even my husband, when he took one look at all the little needles, immediately followed me to the bathroom to supervise my little research project. But, oh my word. Let me just tell you, one session with the my derma roller, and I was hooked. It absolutely did NOT hurt, and while it does make your skin appear as though you spent all day in the sun for a few hours, I ahve been amazed at how it has worked to fade my sun spots and acne scars in such a short time. This scary looking device is a must have because it reduces and eliminates wrinkles, scars, fine lines, cellulite, stretch marks, and hyper-pigmentation. Plus, it works to increase natural collagen production and skin elasticity, which if you can't tell by now, is exactly what I'm working to do.

Okay, so these are my life changing skin care essentials, what are yours? Get involved!!!

Blessings,

Summer

Summer Saldana

Summer is one of those women who certainly isn’t trying to hide anything — except maybe what is behind her beloved bangs. She is refreshingly open about her mommy meltdowns (she has 2 children, but one is strong willed, so it’s more like 4), her faith, and her obsession with bargain shopping and makeup/skincare hauls. But, whether it’s through writing, speaking, or the missions work her & her family do, Summer’s greatest passion is connecting with others. And she does this by being open and honest, all while trying to find the humor and lesson in it all.

The Wife I Want To Be

Comment

 

Dear Husband,

I want to be her. The woman you deserve. The one who greets you at the door with a smile and a hug and who thanks you for working hard and who offers you a plate of cookies. Who's got supper in the oven and the kids playing nicely and the house clean and tidy. Who asks you about your day, helps you with your coat and listens intently to everything you say. Because you deserve that.

She wouldn't thrust her newborn into your arms and beg you to entertain the boys, the house, disheveled like her hair because she hasn't had time to run a comb let alone wash it, and supper is a frozen pizza, again, because somehow she lost time between trying to do some laundry and soothing a colicky baby and begging the boys to get along, please, while Mommy slowly loses her mind.

I am her. That woman with the disheveled hair. And I wonder if I'll ever wear a shirt that doesn't have spit-up on it again. If I'll ever not have a headache again. If I'll ever have time to pour over recipe books or bake you cookies or keep the house clean and tidy for you. If I'll ever greet you at the door with the kind of energy and enthusiasm I used to feel. If I'll ever show you the kind of respect you've earned. 

Because I want to.

And you tell me that's enough.

You tell me this as you take our screaming baby and tell me to go for a run, to get out of the house because "You need some sunshine, Em," you say, and the boys wrap their arms around you as I walk out the door.

And when I get back, you've got the pizza cooked and the table's set and you pull me into your arms and you smell so good, like wood smoke, and you kiss me like I don't have spit-up on my shirt. And you listen to me tell you about my day, you listen like you care, like we haven't been married 12 years and like I didn't forget to ask you about YOUR day. You listen, and you pour me a glass of wine and hand me a plate of pizza.

Maybe it was our rough start. Maybe it was the three years of anorexia and sleepless nights and you wondering if I'd ever eat again and me wondering if I'd ever be full again, but somehow I love you more now than I ever did and I'm full. I'm so very full. 

You're not perfect, and I'm not either, but together we make a broken whole, together we can do it--this life filled with colic and mismatched socks and parents who have cancer and prayers that go unanswered. We can do it, because we need each other. And that's the glue.

That, and lots of forgiveness and bouquets of brightly colored daisies. 

Thank you for loving me.

Here's to the next 12 years--and forever.

Love, Em.

A Fun Summer Bible Study for Kids (& MOMS!)

Comment

Over two years ago my husband launched an incredible resource for families to teach children the Bible. With literally thousands of children going through The Dig: Luke we are so thrilled to FINALLY announce The Dig: Proverbs

And it couldn't of reached completion at a better time! Summer is the perfect time to grab a new study for your child to dig into the Bible. 

Parents and children, join your experienced tour guide Doc on a journey through different books of the Bible!! Our most recent trip is through the book of Proverbs!

The Dig: Proverbs Launch Special

Special Launch Prices for 72 hours only!!! (ends Thursday 11:59pm EST)

Click to purchase The Dig: Proverbs on Kindle for $.99 ($4.99 value)!

 Click to purchase The Dig: Proverbs on Nook for $.99 ($4.99 value)! 

Click to purchase The Dig: Proverbs in paperback for only $7.99 w/free prime shipping ($12.99 value)! 

A typical Dig lesson consists of the following four components:

1. The Map: The Map tells you and your child where you’ll be going in each lesson. It is a short summary of the study ahead.

2. The Dig: The Dig is the main passage you will be studying. Following each passage will be several questions designed to help conversation and understanding. They are meant to be a guide. You can use them or tweak them to help you talk with your children.

3. The Treasure: The Treasure is the big idea of each lesson. In a short statement, it is what you want your child to remember from the passage you studied.

4. The Display: When an archaeologist finds a treasure, they will clean it up and put it on display for everyone to see. This is the basic idea of the Display. It is the application of the Treasure you have found!

Now....

I am even more pumped to announce that I am partnering with my friend Courtney over at Women Living Well, as she takes her community of women through the book of Proverbs!

Here is a pic of me and Courtney this past March at the Hearts at Home conference.

Soooo....MOMS there is something for you too!! Yay!!!

Being in God's word daily will change the entire course of our lives.  

Good Morning Girls provide free weekly resources including the weekly Bible reading plans, discussion and reflection questions, a meditation and memory verse of the week and more!

Their study through the book of Proverbs begins – Monday, June 15th!

Good Morning Girls will provide the accountability you need to soak in God's word daily, grow in your walk with God and live well!

GMG is now launching their brand new resource to accompany the study: The Book of Proverbs: Journal.

Inside this journal you will find:

*An explanation of how to use the signature SOAK method of the GMG's

*The GMG Coloring Chart

* The verse of the day each day

* Blank space for S.O.A.K.ing each chapter of the Book of Proverbs

At Good Morning Girls - you are never alone.  Looking for more details?  Visit Courtney over at GoodMorningGirls.org

CLICK here to purchase The Book of Proverbs: Journal and get started!

So won't you and your children join us this summer through the book of Proverbs??

We are so excited!!!

Want all the info on The Dig?? Click here to read all about The Dig for Kids.

Blessings, 

 

 

Ruth Schwenk

Ruth Schwenk is the creator of The Better Mom, and along with her husband, the creator of For the Family. She is a pastor’s wife, mom of four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and dreamer of big dreams. She loves leading, speaking, and blogging. Ruth is the co-author of two forthcoming books with Zondervan. A graduate of The Moody Bible Institute, Ruth and her husband have been serving in local church ministry for nearly fifteen years.

Remembering Memorial Day... When You Almost Forgot

Comment
It's Memorial Day and no matter what you already have planned, it's never too late to honor the men and women who have sacrificed for our country. Teach your children what they can do to encourage our military all year long starting with these seven practical ideas!

Maybe you are reading this on Monday morning and you didn't really plan ahead for Memorial Day...

Or maybe it's Monday night or later in the week and the weekend was packed full of camping, barbecues, friends, family, good food, and you had a great time, but are realizing that you never really honored Memorial Day in the way that you'd intended.

Just know that it's never too late to pause and reflect.
To give thanks both in word and deed.

To remember the men and women who have given so much for--

“God, principle and love of country.”

honor those

7 Ways that You Can Show Support for Those in Our Military Any Day of the Year:

1. Take time to read about the history of Memorial Day.

2. Write a letter of thanks to a local veteran in your church, neighborhood, or community or visit a local VA Hospital with flowers and cards of appreciation.

3.  Make a trip to visit a National Cemetery and place flowers or a flag on the grave of a fallen hero. On this list of national cemeteries you can find your state, choose a cemetery and under it, there should be a list for notable persons with a list of the names of Medal of Honor Recipients.

4. Bring a meal to a family who has a member that is currently deployed or offer to watch children for a husband or wife whose spouse is in active service.

5. Learn about (and then teach your children) proper flag etiquette and why it's important.

6. Send a care package to a soldier, marine, airman, coastguardsman, or sailor through the organization anysoldier.com. 

7. Spend some time praying for the men and women in our military and for their families.

It's never too late to pause--
And remember.

Lest we forget...

Lest we forget

“I don’t have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.” – President Ronald Reagan

With Love,
Kara

Kara Chupp

Kara is 18-years-married to her husband Jason, one of the funniest and most generous people she knows. They have 5 kiddos, 4 here and 1 in Heaven. They also have a muppet-like-mess-of-a-dog Penny, non-breeding Madagascar Hissers (who have had over 100 babies), chickens, fish, and a bearded dragon named William Wallace. Kara writes mostly about family adventures, adoption, grief, Heaven, education, books, and most importantly, clinging to God in everyday life.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan May 24–June 6

Comment

Welcome to The Better Mom Whole Food Meal Plan.

Celebrate this holiday Weekend with our easy and delicious Memorial Day menu that will allow you to spend more time with your friends and family and less time in the kitchen!

Celebrate this holiday Weekend with our easy and delicious Memorial Day menu that will allow you to spend more time with your friends and family and less time in the kitchen!

Our free bi-weekly GF menus open into a convenient pdf that includes links to each of the gluten-free recipes featured making it easy to access them with just a simple click.

Once you click on the graphics below, you can easily save these gluten-free menus to your computer for easy access anytime you need them. Then, simply click on the links within the meal plan pdf to gain instant access to each of the recipes. (Please note: Many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf document. So be sure to save the meal plans to your computer first.)

May 24–30 GF Whole Food Meal Plan

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for May 24–30: (To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf. So save the meal plan to your computer first.)

May 31–June 6 GF Whole Food Meal Plan

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for May 31–June 6: (To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf. So save the meal plan to your computer first.)

In addition to the gluten-free meal plans above, we're pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans:
• Meal plan template PDF 

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal Planning. My hope is that this will be a great resource and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

6 Ways Your Children can Serve 'The Least of These'

Comment
How do we teach our children to love as Jesus loved? We show them. In the way we care for them, and in the way we care for those without honor, without resources, and often without hope. Here are six ways to love on those who are hurting together as a family.

As moms there are many things we want our children to know, but as a mom for 25 years now (and my youngest still only four years old) I find as the years past my priorities for my kids focus more on Jesus' priorities. And what was one of those priorities at the top of the list? Caring for “the least of these.” More than anything Jesus wants us to care for those without honor, without resources, and often without hope. When we do this for your children, we are training them to love as Jesus loved.

As Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 (ESV): "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” 

So how can we train our children to serve the least of these? Here are six ways. 

  1. Create toiletry kits for the homeless. Have you ever had an awkward moment when you're stopped at a stoplight and there's a homeless person standing a few feet away? Instead of looking away or fiddling with your stereo, use that time to offer a toiletry kit. Have your children help you put together kits in gallon zipper bags and keep them in your car. Things to include: soap, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, chapstick, hand wipes, and fingernail clippers. You can also include a bottle of water and a few granola or snack bars. Your children can also write out Scripture verses to tuck inside.
  2. Pull weeds and do yard work for an elderly neighbor. Do you have someone in your neighborhood or your church who could use a helping hand? Take an afternoon or even a full day to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Bring your own tools and supplies. Even young kids can pull weeds or pick up trash.
  3. Host a shoe-cutting party for Sole Hope: Sole Hope helps African children live lives free from jiggers, which infect and deform their feet. Instead of just buying and providing shoes, Sole Hope also helps African men and women by teaching them a trade: how to make shoes. Older children can invite friends to work together to help underprivileged children get shoes. Included in kit from Sole Hope are patterns for the shoes. With old jeans, willing volunteers, and a small donation, children can do their part in put shoes on the feet of kids who have none. 
  4. Create art work and take it to a senior care facility. My kids love to share their art with others, and senior care facilities are the perfect places to share it. Elderly people are some of the loneliest in our country. They love to have visitors and know people are still thinking about them. It's a win-win for artistic kids and for elderly people who will treasure the art. 
  5. Cook a meal and deliver to a foster family. Foster parents take in children who have been removed from their parents' care due to no fault of their own. When foster children first join a home the whole family is disrupted, and it takes a while to find a new normal. By providing a meal you are giving foster parents one less thing to think about. Then parents can provide for the additional needs of foster children.
  6. Deliver diapers and baby items to a young mom. (And maybe a book, too!) Teen moms face the same challenges as every mother, but they often don't have the same resources. Teen moms chose LIFE for their children, and they can use love, support, and encouragement. By supporting a teen mom we are NOT encouraging teen pregnancy. Instead, it's a reminder to our children that all life is important. When we love teen moms, we're loving as Jesus would. Buying diapers, wipes, and other physical items is a huge blessing to any mother, especially to young moms.

And consider also offering a copy of Teen Mom: You're Stronger Than You Think. This is a book that speaks to the unique needs of young mothers. It's a book that offers hope and reminds young moms God will always be there during all their parenting challenges. Also, here's a video that can help you understand the challenges of being a young mom so you and your children will know how to better serve.

I hope you and your children will pick one of these ways to serve. But don't stop there. Consider your family, your gifts, and “the least of these” near to you. Then let God lead you in service in unique ways. As you do, your children will come to understand God's heart. They'll also see that they CAN make a difference in someone else's life … for God's glory!

If you want more ideas on how to get your kids to volunteer here's another article I've written for you. 

Blessings,

Tricia Goyer, TriciaGoyer.com

Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published fifty books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. She was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.