Archive Monthly Archives: January 2019

Charcoal! Who Knew?

People always ask me what my ONE favorite Beautycounter product is and I always tell them, “That’s like asking me which of my children is my favorite! That’s impossible!”  However, I will tell you about a product that makes my list as one of my top “must haves”. It has to be the No. 3 Balancing Face Mask.

This is also one of my favorite products to offer as samples. My girls love to help me get put together the sample bags too. Soon it turns into them playing “mommy” and trying out all of the products! Thankfully, I have confidence knowing that because it’s a Beautycounter product it’s safe for them too! So, here’s why I love the charcoal mask.

This mask is so versatile! When I’m feeling like I need a little relaxing spa moment, this is the first thing I reach for.  I know quite a few people with different skin types that have made this product one of their go-to’s as well. I have fairly normal to dry skin, with relatively minimal issues with breakouts. But, I can definitely tell when it’s looking a little dull and needs a pick me up.

My husband also uses this mask and he feels like it deep cleans his pores, helps with any sporadic breakouts, and cuts down on excessive oil. Men typically have more oily skin than women so that’s another reason why this is a “win” for him too. I also have friends with teenagers that struggle quite a bit with acne that LOVE this mask because it helps minimize those pesky breakouts.

So, what amazing goodness is in this mask you ask?  Well, it contains nutrient-rich kaolin clay that has the very important task of deep cleaning and balancing the skin.  It also absorbs excess oil and draws out impurities.

It also contains activated charcoal that serves to shrink down the appearance of pores. Charcoal? Really? I know, that was my first thought too. Seriously, why would I put that on my face? Well, there’s a very good reason!  Activated charcoal absorbs harmful substances! Yay! It has been used in multiple applications for many years such as eliminating bad breath, relieving digestion issues, and also detoxifying the body from heavy metals.  

One of the other ingredients is salicylic acid which helps slough off dead skin cells making your skin appear brighter and less congested. Who doesn’t want that? The mask also contains peppermint oil which gives it a really refreshing and rejuvenating smell that I absolutely LOVE.

This mask is great to use mine once or twice a week.  Typically I cleanse my skin at night and then apply a thin layer around on my face avoiding the eye and lip area.  Then, I will let it dry for about ten minutes and proceed to walk around the house making funny faces at my kids and husband because it just looks goofy.   After it’s dried completely to the point where I don’t want to move my lips, I rinse it off with warm water.  I like to use my hands and not a washcloth because it’s gentler on my skin.

Once it’s completely rinsed off I like to apply the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil to seal in moisture and brighten my skin. The other thing I love about this mask is the fact that it doesn’t make my skin feel dry. So many other masks I have tried in the past feel incredibly drying.  

And the best part is it doesn’t contain potentially harmful ingredients like PEGs! PEGs are petroleum based compounds commonly found in personal care products and specifically masks.

So here’s a mask that is ok to “hide behind” even if it’s only for ten minutes!

Speak Life

I was reflecting recently on this crazy job called “parenting” that my husband and I have been given, and as our girls grow I have decided that one of my favorite things to do is to speak life into them. I definitely don’t get this whole “parenting thing” right all the time, and I will be the first to admit that. But, I do know how powerful our words can be.

Words have the incredible ability to build up, or tear down.   Your words are a powerful tool that you have, at your disposal, in any given moment.  When it comes to our words, we must “choose wisely”. (Cue the music from the famous scene about the Holy Grail, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.)

I love using words to build up my children and speak life over them.  Some “statements” are easy to say and come out of my mouth very freely.  Here are my top three statements I speak over them, almost daily.

  1. God has a PLAN and PURPOSE for you life.
  2. You are a daughter of KING.
  3. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you.

Do they occasionally roll their eyes and say, “Yea, mom. I know. I know.”  Of course. But, more often they listen. I know that somewhere it’s sinking into their hearts and their heads.  And when difficult times come, or lies from the enemy try to penetrate their thoughts, I know that I have done my best to build a strong foundation of truth in their hearts.  

As I mentioned earlier, some statements are easy to say, but there are others that take a little more effort.  These are the words that you use to break down barriers, or change behaviors. These can be tough.

One of my challenges, being a mother of young daughters, is dinnertime.  I have one daughter that tends to be a “picky eater”, and one that is only slightly adventurous when it comes to trying new cuisine.  I refuse to be a short-order cook, so usually, what’s for dinner is what’s for dinner. Unfortunately, this isn’t always received with open arms and eager forks, so oftentimes a small battle ensues.  

When we sit down to the table, and I see their deflated faces and hear their grumbles over the veggie laden casserole I just spent all afternoon slaving over, my blood begins to boil.  The devil on my shoulder wants to scream, “Stop being a picky eater”! But, guess what? If you tell your child they are a picky eater, then they will probably be a picky eater! They will believe what you say, and you begin to unintentionally reinforce their behavior. Those words become seeded in their heart, and they become what you say they are.

So instead of using negative words to reinforce unwanted behaviors, I started using positive words like, “You’re a LEARNING EATER.”  Then we explain what a learning eater is, and how learning eaters try everything and learn to eventually like new foods.

Learning eaters have fun experimenting with ingredients and trying things NOT on the children’s menu at restaurants.  And sure enough, the girls are becoming more adventurous and starting to believe that they are truly “learning eaters.”

This works for so many other instances too.  If you tell your child they are impossible, naughty, driving you crazy, (fill in the blank), then that is quite possibly what they will begin to believe, and live up to.  During these times it is that much more important to speak the positive behavior over them.

When siblings are arguing and stealing each other’s toys, (I’ve NEVER experienced this. Only read about it. Kidding.) remind them that they are KIND, THOUGHTFUL, FORGIVING, and great at SHARING.  Begin each statement with, “You.” “Suzie, you are such a great sister. You are loving, kind, and so good at sharing your dolls with Katie.” Even if you feel that what you’re saying is so far from reality, keep saying it!  Eventually, your child will believe you, and those words will become a part of their identity.

My youngest daughter struggled early on with learning to read.  My oldest picked it up incredibly fast, and honestly, I was a little nervous about whether or not my youngest was going to be a successful reader.  She knew she was struggling, and would fight me when I tried to work with her. I could tell she didn’t want to fail. She was also comparing herself to her sister’s success, and was seeing the lack of her own successes.  

I began telling her, “Katherine, you are a READER.”  I repeated this phrase over and over, even when her reply was, “No, I’m not.”  When talking with friends or family members I would let her hear me say, “Katherine is a reader.”  And slowly, she started to warm up to the idea of spending a little more time breaking down words with me.  

Over a period of a few months, she had a breakthrough.  One night I was reading a small chapter book to her before bed, and I stopped.  I looked at her, and said, “Katherine, you can read this book.” She gingerly took it out of my hands and began to read.  Doggone it, she did it!

She began to read that book with a fluency that I had never heard before. I had to help her with a few harder words, but the look of sheer surprise and delight on her face was priceless.  She jumped down, book in hand, and ran to her bedroom. Needless to say, she has been devouring books ever since, and is officially the family bookworm.

The power of words.

Be careful how you choose your words, and SPEAK LIFE into those sweet little souls. When you do, be ready to watch them bloom.

Walking Through the Desert

My husband took this picture of me years ago in the Egyptian Sahara Desert not long after he and I were married. It is still one of my favorite pictures because it symbolizes so many things for me. Especially as we leave 2018 and toward a new year.

Reflecting on this photo again makes me think how a new year is often a time to look forward. It also gives me a sense of excitement for what the next year has in store. However, sometimes it’s easy to look back and wish for a previous “life”. Or, maybe it’s an old, and comfortable routine you used to know. Maybe because it was easier, without major challenge or struggle.

But, I believe that God brings us into new seasons of our lives for a reason. Often times, these seasons are meant to teach us, grow us, and protect us. Even difficult seasons can bring us more into His fulfillment of the glorious plan He has for each and every one of us.

Even the Israelites, a people that God brought out of slavery in Egypt, had to to wander in a difficult desert before being shown the Promised Land.

Sometimes He takes us out of “comfortable” situations to challenge and teach us. And ultimately He allows us to go through difficulties to strengthen our resolve and show us how to fully trust Him. It’s during these times that we often see His incredible miracles manifested in our lives.

I felt like someone needed to hear that today. If you’re feeling like “going back” to a way of life you knew, but in your heart know it isn’t where God is calling you to be now, stop. Let yourself trust Him and keep putting one foot in front of the other. The road may feel long, but He will never leave you. 

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” 

Exodus 14:13