7 Tips for Radiant Skin

Girls, it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to have a good skin care routine! I like to keep my skin care simple, easy, and natural. I’ve included my favorite skin care products (which is a short list) and basic lifestyle steps to taking good care of your skin. Here are my Top 7:

1. Mask it!

The Queen Helene Mint Face Mask is my all-time favorite. I have tried other masks but none of them come close to this one! I keep it on hand and do a face mask periodically (every few weeks or so). It is inexpensive, has very few ingredients, and it feels absolutely AMAZING to the skin! One tube of this stuff lasts me a long time (and that includes sharing with friends + sisters:). Click the link above to get your own….you’ll be glad you did! (The pic above is from a sista face mask party. We were visiting a friend and trying out a different mask that time, but I like my Queen Helene Mint one better cause it doesn’t clump and the mint is so refreshing. I really need to carry it with me everywhere!:)

2. Slather it!

Try a honey slather. I know, it sounds weird and sticky. And it kinda is, but it’s also super refreshing! I love to do this one especially after Christmas Play time when my face is kinda all stressed out from the overdose of makeup and fake blood and dirt and scrubbing all of it on and off so many times! I just take some honey, slather it one, let it set for 10 minutes or so, and then use a washcloth (wet with warm water) to gently wipe it off.

3. Steam it!

A friend taught me this trick recently when my face was really breaking out, and it does seem to help. Next time you’re in the shower, just stand close to the (very hot) water and let it steam your face. You could probably do this by a sink, too.

4. Sweat it!

Did you know that sweating is so healthy for your skin? I usually come in all red and sweaty after my runs, and it’s a good feeling to know that I’ve just done my skin a favor!

5. Nourish it!

What you eat directly affects your skin. Not only is it super important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, but things like constipation, allergies, and a toxic liver can also contribute to skin issues. It you are having major trouble with eczema, acne, etc, you might try looking into these things!

6. Moisturize it!

It’s pretty important to moisturize your face, even if you feel like your face tends towards to be oily. My face is on the oilier side, but I still find that regular moisturizing helps. I usually moisturize in the evening. I currently use the Burts Bees Aloe and Buttermilk Lotion  alternating with a homemade whipped coconut oil with essential oils (lavender oil is one of the best for skin, plus I love the way it smells! Specifically, it can combat blemishes, heal scarring, reduce acne, and aid sleep.)

7. Sun it!

Sun is super healthy for your skin! Take every chance you have to be out in the sun, preferably with no makeup on. The sun acts as a soothing tonic, and I know my skin feel tighter, dryer (in a good way!), and smoother after being out in the sun.

And that’s it! Do you have any skin care tips not on this list? 

-Allison

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Hard Workin’ Gals: How to Find Your Work (Part 2)

Hey girls! Continuing right along with the topic of young women and their work, I want to talk a little today about how to go about figuring out what work you should do! There are a few things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work.

Is the environment healthy?

This doesn’t mean perfect, but it does mean you need to be wise. Working closely as an assistant or secretary to a man (other than father, brother, or husband) could be asking for trouble. (These situations aren’t always disastrous, but they need to be approached cautiously.)

Does the work keep you from serving others?

There is no cut-and-dried formula for how much time young women should devote to various types of work (including her “paid work”, household chores, church/community projects, etc.) There are also seasons (as I have experienced) where your job may demand the majority of your time and energy, leaving little for family and investing in people.

The key is balance, and evaluating your work on a regular basis in light of how things are fleshing out with other priorities in your life.

In this job, can you become more of the woman God created you to be?

God created us and we should seek, as we work, to develop the things He placed deep within our nature.

I love thinking of my work in this way: In the work I am doing, how can I develop the characteristics God has placed within me as a woman- gracious, nurturing, strong, life giving, feminine, creative, gentle, helpful?

There is so much scope for growth of our character within the context of our work. This is exciting!

For me, it’s about more than just putting in the hours and making the money. I want to do my work not only in a way that honors God, but so that I am living out who He created me to be as a woman. Even though one of my particular “jobs” includes extensive leadership of other people, my goal is to nurture those people as individuals, invest in their lives, and encourage them. In marketing and customer service, I get to exercise creativity in strategizing, learning, implementing new methods and ideas, and interacting with customers.

Do you have a stewardship mentality?

It’s about more than earning money, although that’s part of it. It’s a heart attitude of using the resources of time, talent, and energy as good stewards.

Good stewardship doesn’t happen by default. It takes intentionality. The bad steward buried what he had. The good one put a sound mind and creativity to work and got busy multiplying what he’d been given. Which will you be?

 Which one of these stuck out to you the most? 

love,

Allison

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How I Exercise While Traveling

I have gotten a lot of questions about exercising while traveling.

Today I am going to share with you what I’ve found to be true about exercise and travel.

First of all, if you travel a lot and are struggling to fit in exercise, I’m right with ya! There have been times when I just gave up and said, “It’s too hard to exercise on the road. I will get back into a routine when I get home.” There were all sorts of excuses:

-Exercising on the road is too hard.

-My schedule is different every day.

-There aren’t always good places to workout or run.

-Traveling and exercise just don’t fit together!

-I can get back in shape when I get home.

The problem is, I spend almost half of my life traveling. If I go with the excuses, I automatically will exercise only about half the months of the year. That’s really no way to build good habits, is it?! And it doesn’t make for very effective fitness, either!

I have finally realized that it is possible to exercise on the road.

Yes, some days it is hard. It takes more creativity than at home. It isn’t always convenient, and sometimes it’s very inconvenient. I have to think ahead and plan or it won’t happen.

If you’re trying to make exercise happen while traveling, here are the top tips that have helped me (they could apply for exercise at home, too, for that matter!):

Make it as convenient as possible.

One way I do this is to keep a set of workout clothes hanging up so that I don’t have the excuse of “I can’t get more clothes dirty”. Even if we don’t get to do laundry for more than a week, with rotating my small stock of workout clothes, I won’t run out this way.

Don’t give yourself a choice.  

I have decided that I will exercise no matter how hard or inconvenient it is. If you make it an optional part of your schedule, it won’t happen.

Set goals.

On this trip, my goals look like this: Walk, run or hike 2+ miles three times per week. (I try to do much more than this when possible.) Workout Mon-Sat, at least 300 repetitions of SOMETHING. Some days that might be squats, pushups, crunches, and tricep dips in a church sanctuary. Other days I get out my mat and 10 pound weights and workout for longer beside the bus (sometimes with a family member). Sometimes I do an ab and bodyweight workout in the bus. Yes, IN THE BUS! There isn’t much space, but there is enough.

Look for opportunities for additional exercise.

I usually take Rebecca out to bed directly after the concert, and occasionally we do stretches together. This isn’t my exercise for the day, but just something extra that’s good for me! Sometimes Liz wants to go on a quick run, and I’m in! A walk to a coffee shop (like today) is welcome extra exercise above my goals. I have been known to jump platform steps in the front of churches in time with the music during soundcheck with my mother or sisters. Again, this is just a fun way to fit in some more exercise! 

Welcome accountability.

One trip I set goals and voxed with my future sis-in-law to keep each other accountable. This trip we are doing a family accountability/competition program that is fabulous and fun! While I need to be disciplined to exercise whether or not I am reporting to someone, it is very fun to have an accountability partner, and something that I fully enjoy doing from time to time!

Measure your progress.

Right now (in addition to short workouts), I am doing quite a bit of running, as well as hiking and power walking. I am enjoying keeping track of my total miles and trying to reach certain mile numbers weekly/monthly. It’s kinda like competing against myself! 

For strength work, it could be fun to track how many pushups you can do at the beginning of a trip and see how far you can bump that number. The same goes for lifting weights. If you are just starting to run, track your farthest distance at the beginning of a trip and work at lengthening it. I did that on our winter tour and was thrilled to see the progress! You could also set a goal for increasing your speed. 

Invite others to join you!

The picture at the top of this post is from an amazing 5 mile power walk with my brother’s fiance, Cassidy just the other day. The day after that, I went on a run with my sister, Liz, and a walk later in the day with my little brother, Hudson. This morning my mother and I enjoyed 4 invigorating miles of power walking and sprinting together.

I personally love the quiet time when I exercise by myself, there’s no doubt it’s pretty fun to do it with someone you love spending time with! Especially if you’re struggling to exercise, this can be a great added boost to your morale.

In my family, we’re pretty competitive, so doing wall sits, planks, and other exercises with one or more others is usually a sure way to make us work harder than we would alone!

If you exercise while traveling, what are your tips? If you don’t much but want to start/do more, was this post helpful in giving you ideas for how to make exercise work with traveling?

much love,

Allison

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Hard Workin’ Gals: Should Christian Girls Have Jobs? (Part 1)

I have heard a number of questions from girls about work and money, and I want to address several in this post.

Some are wondering if Christian girls should even have jobs?

If so, what kinds of jobs should they have?

Should they be spending 100% of their time on household and church work, or is it ok to pursue other work, as well?

Is earning and saving money a bad goal?

Is it Biblical to have a job and save money as a young woman?

To start with, there are  a few fundamental truths about work, money, and women that we need to understand:

#1. Work is created by God, and as women, we should thrive upon hard work and productivity.

There is a problem in our generation of laziness and selfishness. Work is often seen as a bad thing, and many, especially in their youth, do everything they can to spend the bulk of their time on “feel good” entertainment and the least amount of time necessary on work.

On the other hand, when women choose “careers”, it is sometimes with selfish motives. We need to get back to the fundamental practicing of good stewardship.

Work is not a bad thing, but neither is it something we do just for ourselves.

God has given each of us the privilege of stewarding the time and talents He has blessed us with. We can waste them, or use them well.

Read Matthew chapter 25 to see how Jesus feels about our use of what He has given us. He obviously want us to multiply it, not go dig a hole and bury it.

Many girls don’t realize the potential they have. Unmarried young women have incredible amounts of time and talent that should be put to use!

There are hundreds of ways to spend this time, but some girls get stuck without a vision or plan.

Some wonder what they should really be doing. Others just go with the flow and don’t give it a second thought.

Today my goal is to encourage you girls to do this:

THINK BIG.

Don’t sit there saying, “I wish I knew what I’m supposed to be doing.” or “I wish I had more money.” or “I don’t think ___ is ever going to happen for me.”

Get a vision, write down some goals + how you are going to achieve those, and go do it!

If you’re wondering if you should have a source of income or not, and if you should really even have “work” goals, I want to encourage you with this:

#2. Earning income and working hard is not only practical, but Biblical.

The Proverbs 31 woman is praised for her virtue, but take a look at her business savvy and income earning, as well.

“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard…..She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and deliverth girdles unto the merchants.” (Prov. 31: 16+24)  

Here was an ambitious, diligent business woman! She clearly took good care of her family, honored and helped her husband, and had some serious business skills to boot! She was productive, and thrived upon serving others and working hard. 

Being business minded is Biblical, and earning money is, too.

I think God smiles to look down and see girls getting creative about using their time and talents TO THE MAX!

He wants us to delight in working hard.

God is a Creator (look at everything He made!) and He wants us to create with our hands (that He formed), and to figure things our with our brains (that He intricately knit together).

Some of you girls are concerned about finding the right work to do. You may be wondering how your work will fit in with a possible future of being a wife and mother (a high calling) and your current job titles as daughter and sister.

#3. It is entirely possible to work hard + earn money while still loving home + family and embracing our femininity.

There are so many opportunities for work that fit beautifully with home and family. Working hard and even earning money does not mean we quit being the nurturing + feminine women God created us to be. 

Earning an income will not somehow turn a girl into a full blown feminist who will struggle to be content with being “just a mom” someday.

I believe that the struggle with contentment now or then is a heart issue, and an identity problem that needs to be dealt with by finding our security, identity, and fulfillment in Christ.

Finding satisfaction in a job well done and money earned is NOT A BAD THING! 

I would argue that earning money and working hard now is actually one way for girls to prepare for the rigors of motherhood.

It is my opinion that the discipline of learning to earn, save, and budget money, as well as the discipline of keeping a demanding yet balanced schedule will make for a more sturdy, capable woman in the long run.

Whether a girl ends up being a single missionary in Africa, a wife and mother, business owner, or a cook at an orphanage, her younger years spent learning discipline and hard work will be a huge asset later on.

(Disclaimer: There some things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work, and not just every job opportunity is a good choice for young women. I will be exploring different ideas for work/earning money in the next post in this series.)

 I look forward to continuing the discussion, and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

-Allison

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The Sandwich Principle: How to Deliver Criticism to Your Siblings in Love

The Sandwhich Principle

A sweet friend shared this with me awhile back, and in light of my recent post about our character as sisters, I wanted to share this amazing idea with ya’ll!

As a sibling, their will be those times when we HAVE to point out things in our siblings lives- weaknesses, something they did wrong, etc. Our hearts are to help them grow.

Sometimes figuring our how to give admonition in a kind way can be tough! Enter The Sandwhich Principle! Here’s the idea:

You need to give a little constructive criticism to a sibling.

Instead of “Hey, Johnny, I need to talk to you. Do you have any idea what you just did (insert whatever mistake or action that needs to be corrected)? Why do you keep doing that? You need to stop and change! That is such a bad habit.”

Try this:

So first you sweetly take the sibling aside (always give criticism in private). You point out something in their life that is sweet + good. It may even be related to the issue at hand. For example, maybe your younger sis is bossing the littles kids around. You say something like, “Hey, I’m really blessed by the time you take with the younger ones! They love when you play with them!”

Then you insert the criticism, “You may not realize it, but you are taking charge and telling them what to do a lot, and being kinda bossy. I know you want to be kind, but sometimes when you treat them this way, it makes them feel sad.”

Top it off with another affirmation such as, “The younger ones look up to you so much! When you are sweet to them, they will want to act the same way.”

See what just happened? You “sandwiched” a criticism in between two sweet affirmations! Your sibling will be much more likely to listen and not be hurt by your instructions when you deliver it in such love!

The formula is:

praise + constructive criticism + praise = instruction/criticism given in an edible way! (We don’t want our siblings gagging on our “help” because it’s so harsh and sour!)

-Allison

ps. the photo above is my sweet sis-in-love to be, Cassidy, and I, with some of her siblings and mine on a lunch/play date at the park this summer. She is actually the wise soul that shared the “Sandwhich Principle” with me awhile back, and I am so grateful for her example in cultivating sweet + affirming relationships with younger siblings.

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