DIY After Sun Spray + Weekend Recap

Monday, July 27, 2015

As I write this post, I am currently feeling the effects of too much time spent in the sun. At almost 21 years of age, I have never had a bad sun burn..... ever..... until now. My shoulders, back, and thighs hurt when I stretch, roll over in bed, and even when clothing touches them. Who knew sun burn was so miserable? I now sincerely feel for all of my fair skinned friends who have ever suffered such a thing. 

Despite the current state of my skin, the weekend has been great. I have spent some time with family, and celebrated the engagement of a sweet friend. Now, I am milking my sun burned skin for all it is worth. I even scored an iced coffee hand made by my hubby who makes the best Vietnamese coffee ever! Coffee heals burned skin, right??

Before I even made it home from the lake, I started brainstorming what kind of remedy I would create for myself. I decided on an after sun spray to soothe my skin. Made with fresh aleo vera gel and essential oils, it is the perfect solution!

1 fresh aloe plant leaf (I bought mine in the produce section at Kroger)
Spray bottle
15 drops lavender essential oil
15 drops frankincense essential oil
8 drops peppermint essential oil 
Sharp knife

You will first start by preparing the aloe leaf. I followed these instructions on how to harvest and store the aloe leaf. Once you have harvested your aloe, Cut off about a 3" by 3" portion of the aloe leaf and place inside of a blender. (At this point, your aloe leaf should be only the translucent center.) Add 1/3 cup of water, and the essential oils. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and the aloe leaf is liquid. Transfer to a small spray bottle, and spray onto affected area. Next, eat ice cream, whine a lot, and stay in pajamas until healed. 

I am loving this recipe for my sun burn, and I hope you enjoy it, too!

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5 Signs That You Married a Hippie

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Is your van older than both you and your husband? Well... you might have married a hippie. When Gabe takes me on rides in his beloved 1984 Dodge, I feel like I am in a time warp. The music he plays doesn't help. If you see a van that makes you want to lock your kids up in your house for a week at our local community center, have no fear. That is just my husband.

Another red flag that made me wonder about my husband is his taste in clothing. He once found a fringe leather jacket at a flea market that he told me he wanted to buy for his brother. I have no problem with his brother looking like a homeless man, so I made no objections. That is until he immediately wanted to wear his new jacket everywhere... in public... around people.

And no hippie would be complete without vowing to name their child after mother nature. My husband in particular wants to name our first son after a type of tree. I am just warning you guys now so you can be prepared.

His Instagram also looks like he is employed by the National Geographic. Never mind getting pictures of humans when there is a pretty frog nearby.

Last, but not least, you might have married a hippie if you own more camping gear than furniture. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones. My bed may not have a headboard, but you can bet that I have the best sleeping bag selection out of all of my friends. I am one lucky lady!

In all seriousness, I love my husband's free spirit! Instead of finding value in material things, he reminds me how to appreciate a crisp autumn night in a tent, and an afternoon spent in a hammock in the trees. Life is so much more fun that way.

7 Ways to Start Your Day

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Many years ago, (okay, so like, three years ago) I was a morning person. I hopped out of bed as soon as my alarm sounded at exactly 6:05 in the morning because 6:00 a.m. was too early, and 6:15 was too late. (Welcome to the mind of a weirdo, you're welcome.) Getting out of bed was easy for me when I knew that I needed to be somewhere. As the years went on, and technology advanced, it became so easy to hit the snooze button on my touchscreen phone. Once I started snoozing, there was no turning back.

Fast forward to my first year of college, and I didn't even set my alarm to go off until 7:15 for my 8:00 class. I said, "Goodbye," to any kind of morning ritual and, "Hello," to sleepy eyes and yesterday's mascara for class. Now I am still trying to break that habit to be productive with my mornings. Here are 10 ways you should be starting your day to promote happiness, health, and productivity throughout your day. 

1. Pray. I like to start every morning in prayer to set my mind straight for the day. I have been using the journal pictured above made by Katie at KATIE MICHELLE DESIGNS to keep track of prayer requests and praises to the Lord. It never hurts to start your day with a little something pretty like a hand lettered journal for your thoughts, and this one is perfect!

2. Drink a glass of lemon water upon waking. Drinking lemon water as soon as you get up in the morning has so many benefits including a kick start to your metabolism and fresh and bright skin! Do yourself a favor, and drink up!

3. Set your alarm for the same time every day. By waking up and actually getting up at the same time everyday, you will train your body to get in the habit of that schedule. You will wake up much easier when you do not hit the snooze button and sleep in every other day.

4. Eat breakfast. I have always been a breakfast eater. I know some people have trouble eating in the morning, but if nothing else, grab a piece of fruit in the morning. Eating in the morning also helps boost your metabolism and give you energy for the day.

5. Make your bed. Something inside me happens when I choose to make my bed. It's like my mind is saying, "Yes, you are productive. You are an adult. Your house is going to be so clean today, and you are going to do great things!" Okay, so maybe I am a bit dramatic, but making my bed really does put me in a much better mood for the day. 

6. Spend some time looking at your planner. Your planner is going to do no good sitting on your side table collecting dust. Open it up, and remind yourself what you need to get done today. It will help refresh your memory and save you from forgetting something important. 

7. Roll on the "Stress Away". I have a roller bottle of Stress Away essential oil by Young Living diluted in grape seed oil that makes the perfect perfume. Not only does it smell great, but it is free of harsh chemicals that many perfumes are laced with and promotes a stress-free attitude for your day!

Learning to get out of bed and make daily habits is a hard thing to do, but it is so worth it! Try waking up a little early this week, and see what it does for you. 

Do you have any morning rituals that you go through everyday? Let me know in the comments below!

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What My Attitude Toward My Husband Says About My Attitude Toward God

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

When I was in high school, I can remember the boys in the youth group snickering when the pastor mentioned anything on the topic of a wife's submission. They would glance at the girls next to them and nudge their arms to make sure we were all paying attention. Of course, we all rolled our eyes and quietly stomped on their toes when the pastor wasn't looking. Thank the Lord that we are no longer in high school - for many reasons!

It is time for us to realize that submissive is not a bad thing. Often times, we look at submissiveness as a weakness, but in reality,  it is the exact opposite. Submitting to your husband actually shows a strengthened and thriving relationship with the Lord, not weakness. You might be thinking, "Okay, Tifani, I understand the Bible tells me to submit to my husband, but why?  How is that a reflection of my faith?"

The other day, I was sitting in the living room writing a blog post when Gabe peeked out of the bedroom with a dirty shirt in hand. He proceeded to ask me if I could toss the shirt in the washer. Seeing as how we were both an equal distance from the washer, I blurted out the response, "You can do that, babe." Of course, he didn't mind throwing the shirt in the wash himself and did so without complaining. My point? I failed the test. God handed me a simple way to be obedient and submissive to the husband he has given me, and I chose to disobey.

If I cannot sacrifice a second of my time to do a chore for my husband when he asks, what will I do when the Lord asks me to do something hard? If he asks me to move across and ocean and minister to the lost, will my response be, "You can find someone else who lives closer to do that, Lord." I mean, I can't even walk 15 feet across my house for my husband when he calls, so why on earth would I sell all of my possessions and travel across the world to live in a grass hut when the Lord calls?

As wives, we are to be a picture of the church of Christ. Whether or not we chose to submit to our husbands in all that they ask of us is a direct reflection of how we will react to the Lord. Do you want to do big things for the Lord? Then start by doing the small things for your husband.

What They Forgot to Tell You About Your First Year of Marriage

Monday, July 13, 2015

Prior to our wedding day, Gabe and I had dated for over four years. We pushed through two long years of long distance dating followed by another year of still living and hour away from each other (Many people would also call this long distance, but when you have dated across an ocean, a one hour drive does not qualify as long distance.) We spent hours on the phone calling and texting each other. We Skyped like pros, and when we actually got to see each other in person, we did not take that time for granted. 

Dating long distance will really make you grateful for the time you spend together. When we finally found ourselves on the same college campus, we spent every spare moment together. We knew everything about each other, and there were no surprises (so we thought). When we decided to get married, I did not think many things would change. Needless to say, I was not prepared for all that came along with marriage.

1. You will be very easily annoyed. During the beginning of our marriage, I honestly began to hate the way Gabe chewed his food! It took me weeks to get over this stupid annoyance, but eventually, it did pass. Gabe also got annoyed at me for things like the way I squeezed toothpaste out of the tube. Apparently there is a right and a wrong way to do this!

2. Cooking every night is not as fun as you think. Before getting married, I thought that I loved cooking! I began stock piling recipes in hopes of cooking delicious, five-star meals every night. Little did I know how taxing cooking can be after a long day of classes and work. I am trying my best to learn to love it, but it is definitely not as easy as I thought!

3. The world does not revolve around you. As a single, college student, I would have told you that I did not think that the world revolved around me.... But then I got married. I soon realized how selfish of a person I was. All my life, all I ever had to worry about was myself. Transitioning into a marriage where another person's needs go before your own is a tricky thing to do. 

4. You will pick up a lot of underwear off of the floor. Unfortunately it will be your husband's clothes, not yours. My sweet sweet hubby is still learning where our laundry basket is located!

5. Some of your favorite memories will be lazy nights at home with your husband. My husband is honestly my best friend. Before marriage, couple spend a lot of time going on dates and entertaining each other, but one of the best parts about marriage is learning to have fun together at all times. 

6. Making traditions isn't easy. Trying to make traditions for your new family is a very hard thing to do. I really struggled with making our first holidays special and fun for the two of us. Normally those things are already laid out by your parents, but when you get married, it is all up to you. 

The first year of marriage is a huge adventure! You will laugh, shed tears, and want to break each other's neck yet still come out of it loving each other more than when you started. I have learned so much about how to love my husband this year, and I pray that I will only get better at it with time. 

5 Tips To Make Your Wedding More Fun

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I am not a party-goer. My idea of a party is having girls over for facials and brownies. If I am feeling extra spontaneous, I may get crazy and throw in a little Taylor Swift background music! On your average night, you can find us in our sweats binge watching Grey's Anatomy only to retire to bed at an early hour like the elderly people we truly are. We don't mind the quiet, and we certainly do not dance. Let me repeat that... We do NOT dance!

Being lame and very, very uncoordinated, we quickly learned that a hopping dance party was not the type of wedding reception the best suited us. We would have been like the awkward Jr. High couple that hadn't quite figured out how to bust a move at the school dance. Needless to say, we decided not to hire a DJ for our wedding. Back to the drawing board we went. Over the wedding planning months, I began to learn how to make a wedding fun for us.

The first tip to making a wedding fun is to get your guests involved. Guests will have much more fun if they feel like they are a crucial part of your big day. There are so many creative ways to do this. Creative wedding hashtags are not only a great way to document your wedding on social media, but they are also great for entertaining your guests. We all love a good #WeddingSelfie and it is an easy and inexpensive way to get your guests involved.

It is also important to be a little silly. For us, this came in the form of a photo booth. Photo booths are a wonderful way to let guests know that they can let go and have a little fun. We made a point to hop in our photo booth for some quick pics, and many of our guests did the same! Other ideas to liven up your wedding could be a fun choreographed dance with your bridal party or new hubs. 

Plan for fun food. Let's be honest, food pleases people. A reception full of raging, hungry guests is not the recipe for an enjoyable wedding. it is important to plan some kind of food for your guests, but it is also important to be creative with your food choices. Our S'mores Bar gave guests a fun activity and a delicious snack all in one!

Delegate the responsibilities to many different people. Planning a wedding is hard, but doing all the behind-the-scenes work can be just as hard- if not harder! If all of the responsibilities are given to just one or two people, the wedding will end up being more stress than fun for them. Be sure to split up the jobs between more people to make you wedding go much smoother. 

Go out in style. Picking a creative way to end the night will give guests one last fun experience before the night ends. From sparklers to confetti to floating lanterns, the possibilities are endless! Have fun and be creative!

Make memories, have fun, and if dancing is your thing, then dance the night away! Your wedding is all about celebrating you and your husband, so you get to call the shots.

Shout out to Courtney Yarberry for the great wedding photos!

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Why I Stopped Washing My Face

Monday, July 6, 2015

As a young teenager, I rarely had acne. Each year, however, my skin got worse and worse. Soon, my skin started developing breakouts that were very hard for me to get rid of. By the time I got to college, my skin was breaking out regularly, and I have battled hard against adult acne. I have tried many products through the years to cure those pesky little pimples, but most of them left my skin extremely dry and flaky.

Eventually, I decided to try the Mario Badescu line of products. Finally, I had found natural beauty products that cleaned my skin without over drying. There was only one problem. I was still getting breakouts! Washing my face twice a day was still not helping. So I stopped.

I wear makeup, so obviously I could not go to sleep every night with a full face of makeup, so I decided to give the oil cleansing method a try.

Cleaning your face with oil seems pretty counter productive, but trust me; it works! The mixture of oils that I use leave my skin clean, healthy, and relatively breakout free. I will never spend money on expensive facial cleansing products again.

Olive Oil
Grape Seed Oil (you can also substitute for a different astringent oil like jojoba)
Essential Oils

I used Frankincense, Tea Tree, and Lavender essential oils.

To prepare your oils, you want to start with glass container that is easy to pour from or has a pump. If you have very dry skin, you will want to fill the container about 2/3 full of olive oil. The more oily skin type you have, the less olive oil you will want to use.

Next, fill the container with your astringent oil of choice. Then you can add 10-15 drops of each essential oil. Shake well, and it is ready to use!

When you are ready to begin cleaning your face, you will need a gentle wash cloth. Turn the water faucet on and allow the water to get hot. Pour or pump a quarter sized amount of your oil mixture into your palm and rub your hands together to warm up the oil. Then, rub your oily hands onto your face massaging the oils on your skin. Run the wash cloth under the hot water, ring out excess water, and place the cloth over your face. Allow the hot cloth to sit on your face for 15 seconds before wiping the oil off of your face. The hot water allows your pores to open up for the oil to cleanse. Run the cloth under the hot water again, and allow it to sit on your face one more time before wiping off the last of the oil. All done!!

Cleansing your face with oil is a strange concept, but there is a reason why it works so well. When we use soapy face washes laced with harsh chemicals on our skin, we are stripping the skin of its natural oils. Your skin, in return, begins to overproduce oils which then clog our pores and lead to break outs. The same goes for our hair. Chances are that if you wash your hair everyday, your scalp is overproducing oils and leading to hair that gets oily quicker.

The OCM is a cleansing routine that is easily adjusted for different skin types. Try out different combinations until you find one that works best for your skin. If you have tried the OCM or plan on trying it, let me know how it goes in the comment section below!

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