taking care :: do what you love

We’ve invited you to come alongside of us as Rachel chats about anything and everything *taking care* over the next few weeks. Pour yourself a cup of something and pull up a chair. So happy you are here! What do you love? You know, that wonderful something you do for you that makes your heart sing. That relaxes or energizes you. That makes you smile. That brings you joy.

Maybe it's cooking or swimming or painting. Maybe you love putting a pen to the page or watching old movies with a bowl of popcorn in your lap or soaking in the tub with a candle lit beside you. Perhaps you can't get enough of creating beautiful things or singing or playing the guitar.

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Are you doing what you love enough? If not, carve out time for it! Whether it's 10 minutes or an hour or an evening, take those moments and fill them with what you love.

So click those knitting needles. Stir up that batter. Hike up that hill. Call up your dear friends for a girls' night.

I know firsthand that life can be very busy and full with jobs and children and housework and EVERYTHING, and it can be tricky to try to fit in the fun things. But doing what you enjoy is such a wonderful way to take care and treat yourself well. So let's make it happen!

A Taking Care Challenge For You :: Make a plan! When will you do this thing you love? What day and time? Write it down! Make arrangements (with your hubby or a sitter) if you need to. And then enjoy!

******** Taking care :: a series Taking care :: fill me up, pour me out Taking care :: move Taking care :: skin + hair

 

taking care series :: skin + hair

We've invited you to come alongside of us as Rachel chats about anything and everything *taking care* over the next few weeks. Pour yourself a cup of something and pull up a chair. So happy you are here! I've never been one for lots of beauty products. Oodles of lotions and potions aren't overflowing from my medicine cabinet. I'm a simple girl that way. (My clothes closet, on the other hand, is another story. Yikes!)

But I do want clean, clear skin and healthy, strong hair. I'm now in my thirties and realize as I get older that those two things take effort and consistency. And taking care of my skin and hair helps me to feel beautiful and confident as I care for my family and do my job and spend time with friends.

So let's share some our favorite skin + hair products today!

I'll go first.

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I tend to stick with more simple, natural products that can be used for hands, body, and face - for me and my family. You can always, always find Dr. Bronner's, Kirk's, and Kiss My Face next to our bathroom sink and in the shower. They have subtle but lovely scents, clean well, and are gentle on skin. Win win win in my book!

 

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I'm obsessed and smitten with the magical powers of coconut oil. This jar packs a big, beautiful punch! I use it to remove makeup. I slather it on my hair about once a week as a conditioner and strengthener for my locks.  I take a scoop and rub it into dry skin patches. I whip it and mix it with essential oils for a face moisturizer. Coconut oil! The jack of all trades. Try it and be amazed.

 

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The wonderful Amanda at Diddles Dairy recently gave all the hens of Holy Hen House some of her wonderful handmade goat milk soaps to try. Oh my lands! Not only do they smell glorious, but they leave my skin feeling A++. Bar soaps have forever frustrated me with their messiness and, well, slippery-ness. Is that a word? No? Let's just go with it. Enter in....the loofah pouch! The handmade bar soap plops in the bag and provides all the cleaning power without the mess. I'm.in.love.

One other item I can't live without is my wooden bath brush. I use it about twice a week in the shower to exfoliate my skin. Those few extra minutes under the warm water are a treat and my skin is squeaky clean.

 

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I'm not too picky or committed when it comes to shampoos and conditioners. Right this second we have bottles of Trader Joe's and Kiss My Face and Burt's Bees that our whole family uses. My hair tends to be on the oily side so I try to find products that keep that under control and balanced.

Ok, your turn! What products are a part of your daily routine?? What ones can't you live without?? Any fun beauty tricks you'd like to share?? We'd love for you to share! 

 

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taking care :: a series

Take care! I pen it at the bottom of a handwritten note. I type it in a text to a friend. I smile and say it when I'm parting ways with an acquaintance at the grocery store or hanging up the phone with a loved one. When I write or speak those words, I mean them. My heart wants the people on the receiving end to truly take care of themselves, the best they can.

But when I examine my daily life pressed up against those words, what do I see? Am I taking care? Treating myself well? Living healthfully? Drawing closer to God? Doing what brings me joy? Being the best me I can be?

Honestly, since moving to Michigan over 4 years ago, I failed at times at taking care of myself well. I wasn't exercising as much, eating as healthfully, sleeping enough, being as good about carving out time for things important to me or always making time with God a priority.

I had my reasons. We had moved a new place. I was overwhelmed and sad and lonely. I was a new mom. This truly was a season when I needed to give myself some lack and heaps of grace. But then it took a turn :: I was tired. I was busy. I put others before myself. I was lazy. I was waiting for the perfect time to do this or start that or try this. Read : excuses.

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The stars never aligned. And I rode the excuse train for far too long.

Haven't we all fallen into that trap sometime or another? And haven't we become more discouraged and held onto our excuses more when we look at that gal. The one who ran 4 miles, washed, dried, and folded 2 loads of laundry, read a novel, cooked a healthy breakfast, did a craft project, taught half the alphabet to her fully clothed, smiling children - all before 9 in the AM. All while wearing a fabulous outfit, her hair perfectly styled.

I don't know about you, but I can't measure up to that. I see her and I quit on me.

But I'm not her. (Does she even exist?? If she does, rock on, sister!) I am me. The only me there is and ever will be. And I truly, honestly want to be the very best me. All of me. Inside and out. A switch has flipped and I'm more determined than ever to make this happen.

I'm not striving for perfection here. Perfection is not realistic or attainable. Me and my Type B self are reaching for grace. For calm, for health, for growth.

There's a stirring inside me and I just have to talk about it. With you. And you and you.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to share my heart and thoughts, questions and opinions on taking care. I have a rough draft of an outline and can promise it's going to be a mixed bag of goodness. You can look forward to me chatting your pretty little ears off about everything from sleep and skin, to the spiritual and simple, to soup and sweat.

All the S's will be covered!

I promise other letters will be used, too.

I'm no expert, dears. I'm simply a girl who wants to be the best version of the mind/body/spirit my wonderful God made, on this side of heaven. The One who took the time and the care to knit me together, to create me as His own dear child, is calling me to live a full, beautiful life. Taking care is one of the million ways I can serve my Creator and bring Him glory.

I'm learning that I am an all-around-better wife, mother, friend, Christian, etc. when I pour care into myself. I want to be filled up to the brim with Him so that I can pour more and more into my people. And everyone else in my world and beyond.

So dear ones, will you come with me on this journey? I sure do hope you will. Because we are each unique, special creations, me taking care of me isn't going to fully line up and be exactly the same as you taking care of you. But no matter where you are at in life (mama, college girl, grandmother, etc. etc.), I know we can all learn from each other and grow together.

So join me? Pretty please! With sprinkles on top. This will be WAY more fun if you jump on in. I'l be back soon.

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