Monday, April 26, 2010

I've been doing an experiment some months and I've been loving the results so far!

I have a very dear-to-my-heart friend, Mandi. Go check out her will learn cool crunchy hippy things.

Mandi is a kindred spirit. She also has glowing, radiant, beautiful skin- and striking green eyes (but that is besides the point...back to the skin).

Upon one of our many conversations- me learning and she enlightening me- I asked her what she "washed" her face with.

Much to my surprise, she told me about how she cleanses her face with oil. Gasp!

Instantly my brain thinks through how this would NOT work for me because I have oily acne-prone skin. I would be committing skin suicide if I put oil on my skin, right???

I had bought "oil-free" everything my whole entire life per the costly dermatologists requests.

There lies the problem.

For the majority of my life since I've been old enough to have pimples and bad skin (which most likely dates back to the ripe ole' age of 7.......not really, I tend to exagerate. It just seems that long.) I've struggled with skin issues.

I won't deny that a lot of my skin issues in the past have been hormonally related (PCOS), dietary related (the SAD diet), and an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria in my stomach.

That whole statement above really irks me! What is the first thing a dermatologist prescribes for someone with acne?

Birth control and antibiotics??? Ding, ding, ding! That's right! And then they tell you to lay off the chocolate. Much to my surprise, chocolate was the least of my worries.

Well, I don't know that a dermo can technically "prescribe" birth control, but I know it was suggested that I use it to help with my acne and so I went to the "other" doctor to get on the pill- who highly recommended the pill for acne. Do you see the cycle?

Okay...I need to focus. I can't get into all of that right now because I don't want to bore you to tears with a reaction chain of all-things-wrong.

We're about solutions around here.

A large part of my problem has been what I've put on my skin on a daily basis.

From the

"The reasons we have so much trouble with mainstream skin care products are numerous, but two reasons, in particular, lead the pack. These products strip the oil out of our skin, leaving our largest organ trying to repair itself by replacing the oil stripped away. This leaves us in a cycle of being tight and dry followed by the inevitable oil slick. Each time we strip the oil away, our skin over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating more oil. On top of the drying effects, these products are highly-scented. Fragrance is one of the top skin irritants and strangely enough, even the so-called "unscented" products usually contain fragrance. See for yourself and check the labels. Dry, irritated skin replaced by oily skin, inflamed and trapping debris."

After talking to Mandi and reading that paragraph above, I had a light-bulb moment. I love those!

I had no idea that taking care of my skin could really be this easy.

I'm not claiming that I have perfectly spotless skin, but during "a time" when my skin is usually the looks pretty good I must say.

And on "normal" days, my skin glows like it never has and looks better than it has in years. I do attribute this to the oil since my eating habits have mostly been on track and I've changed my cosmetics over the years.

I really noticed the most improvement when I switched to the Oil Cleansing Method.

I have normally oily skin. When I'm done oil cleansing, my skin feels balanced and soft. Not squeaky clean and not overly oily.

I've noticed a big decrease in blackheads. I can't tell you how many times I've declared war on those suckers.

I cleanse my face with oil at night to wash off my make-up. In the morning when I wake up, I just rinse my face off with water as a good refresher.

Side note.....Another light-bulb moment for me was when I realized that I was washing my face every morning after only sleeping on a newly washed face before I went to bed. How dirty can your face get sleeping??? Not very I don't think.

I will never use soap on my face again. Never! And I will never spend another dime towards expensive cleansers, moisturizers, or toners claiming to be awesome. They are not awesome.

I noticed a HUGE drastic improvement of the "feel" of my skin in just a few days of doing this.

Here is a post on The Oil Cleansing Method website with recipes and information.

Here is a post on Mandi's blog with her great recipe.

I made some modifications for my facial oil based on my skin type. I do have oily skin naturally (my momma says I'll be thankful when I'm older) so I use a little more castor oil than normally balanced skin people should use.

Some people like to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in place of the Sunflower Oil.

But, this is where I like to have a little fun.

The recipe on The Oil Cleansing Method website suggest only Castor Oil, and Sunflower Oil. I suppose you could do that. But, there isn't a whole lot of fun in that now is there?

So, like Mandi, I added Neroli and some essential oils for fragrance. Many many many essential oils are so great for the skin. At the top of the list is orange oil. Not only does it smell scrumptious, it does wonderful things to your skin.

The main thing is to keep it simple and do some experimentation on what works best for your skin.

Try and use medicinal or therapeutic grade (organic is possible) essential oils if you choose to add them.

Before you spend another dime on a bottle of "the next big thing", try going simple and back to basics of skin cleansing. I think we tend to over-complicate things in this world of ours.

Cleansing your skin can really be as simple as using two ingredients (or 4 in my case) and not a list of ingredients the length of your hand with a million words you've never heard of claiming to do things they were never intended to do in the first place.

If you give this a whirl or have used it, give me a shout out and let me know!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ruthie and the sink bath::::: 11 months

My sweet Ruthie Claire is 11 months old today.

I still can’t believe in one month she will be ONE!

I’m really digging the sink baths after messy meals these days. It’s so easy. I seriously thought I’d never be a sink bath kind of momma (you know… because of the germs), but it sure is looking that way.

I can do dishes, clean the highchair out, sweep the floor, and bathe my baby at the same time. How efficient is that?

I give my sink a good scrub down before I put my little one in it. And before you start lecturing me about the sink being dirtier than the toilet, I’m not scared. Poop is my life.

And besides, I’ve never even understood how a sink could possibly be dirtier than the toilet.

Back to Ruthie. She is as sweet as can be in every sense of the word. Her sisters are smitten over her. Her daddy and I adore her and love to sit and talk about how wonderful she is.

She is clapping. Saying “momma” “dada” “tae tae (KK)” “ni ni (night night) “da (dog)” and “ni (no)”. Ruthie is sorta kinda crawling… the girl some love. She has two older siblings who do EVERYTHING for her. And she is eating everything in sight. I haven’t found one thing that she doesn’t eat. We are still nursing. But, I think she is starting to taper off big time on her feedings since she has developed an insane appetite.

Here are some sink bath photos!

Leave a comment if you’ve ever bathed your children in the sink!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bluebonnets:::::The Keepers

Because the post below is freaking me out on a whole new level, I now bring you, "the Keepers."

Score! I love this one of all three girls.

Little Miss Ruthie....

Minus Laney Rae....she wasn't feeling this at all.

My fun one!

And THIS is totally her smile and the way I think of her.

So sweet of these two!

Watch out Little House on the Prairie. Ha!

She has got this down!

And this!

And she is just herself. No matter what.

Ruthie sitting in a suitcase.

So sweet!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bluebonnet Bloopers::::Installment Uno

***can i just say upfront how annoyed I am with the font situation in this post??? but, since i've been working on it for 4 DAYS now, i'm surrendering to it being all out of whack.***

We live in one of the most beautiful parts of Texas this time of year.

Everything is green. Blankets of colors paint the rolling pastures.

It would only seem reasonable that I would try and capture a photo of my beauties in the bluebonnets along with the other 90 million tourists that brave the trip here.

Let me just say here that I’m honestly not a fan of bluebonnet pics. I have yet to find a way to be creative (with 3 kiddos) and not make them look entirely cheesy. I'm sure there are ways (and I've seen them), but I'm not really feeling the creative juices when I'm trying to capture just ONE picture of my girls in the bluebonnets. I'll take a "sit and smile squinty-eyed" photo any day.

I set out for what I thought might be an easy and almost nostalgic photo session. The weather was perfect. I even planned ahead and borrowed a stinkin' awesome baby carriage from THIS dear lady (thanks Aunt Berte!!!).

The girls wore the most precious smocked dresses from Aunt Debbie for Easter. I wanted to get a photo of them in their dresses in the bluebonnets with a prop. That was the goal! Seems easy enough.

Remember the Victorian Era?

Most of the children in Victorian photos are sitting stone-faced still.

I know that they didn’t have Benadryl back in the day. Honestly, how on earth did they do this?

Did they bribe them with Figgie pudding?

Did they even smile in those days? Was the goal for them NOT to smile?

“Sorry Jim Dandy. The kids smiled. We need a re-do.”

Okay sorry. That photo is now starting to depress me. I'm getting a little to carried away here.

There were three adults present- my sister and friend Robyn. Surely if a man (assuming the Victorian photographer was a man) with a big non-mobile camera hiding under a curtain can make these children all sit still, surely I can pull it off in the digital mobile age.

We were quite the sight lugging our old antiques through the pastures. We had an old baby carriage and an old suitcase. If there would have been a steamer train present, you might have confused us with regular ole' Victorian travelers about to go visit our dear Aunt Rodie to tell her that the old gray goose was dead. For sure.

At one point, we noticed that a couple photographing their dogs were having much better success than we were having.

And there were several people just taking pics of the flowers. Why didn't I think of that one?

Here is a series of photos I shot of the girls in all of their glory.

These are SOOC and required no editing. Because why even bother with that? These won’t be making the cut….that’s for sure.

The first shot: Laney Rae was extremely upset because she didn't get to hold the handle of the stroller. Off she goes.....arms crossed and everything. KK scooted over from holding the handle bar in order to make peace with Rae Rae. But, it was too late. This momma just kept shooting.

Okay, new strategy re-group. You both get to do the "pushing" from both ends. Brilliant! Let's give that a whirl. This could work.

It did in fact work well enough for one shot (you just need one), but then Laney Rae had a new idea.....

To march herself up to the foreground......

and plop herself down. She is pretty thrilled with this decision, but Kaylyn is not. Zoom in and take a look at that face.

Or this one....sheesh.

We did get some definite "keepers". I just thought this little series was funny and worth sharing. All jokes aside, my girls really were troopers. I was the doof wad that decided to have a picnic before hand to get them comfortable with their surroundings and feed them Cheetos- the bad kind- IN WHITE CLOTHING. Not smart and definite rookie bluebonnet picture mistake.

But, I had a smile on my face throughout {{mostly}}. I did say "are you kidding me??" lots of times.

I went into with the mindset that it may not workout and be the day for me to get the "perfect" bluebonnet picture of ALL three together. With children- sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

The "keepers" post coming soon!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Around the house:::: Nap Time

There is something a bit magical about nap time.

The box fans booming.

All of the lights are turned off and blinds closed shut.

There is an unspoken need to walk on tip toes. Our floors in this old farmhouse creak anyways.

Today the oldest decided she needed a nap too. Triple bonus.

The coffee pot is brewing. The worship music is playing.

I've got a laundry situation just waiting to be tackled.

While they sleep, this momma will be conquering laundry. And it's no small task.

But, there is still a certain giddiness because it is nap time, after all.

As I look around at much work that needs to be done by yours truly, I am overcome with thankfulness for this life the Lord has chosen for me and take delight in the things He has laid out before me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Abel & Sarah Katherine::::::e-session

I know I've said here before that I'm no longer "doing" the photography thing- or at least building and growing a photography business.

But, I could not pass up the opportunity to photograph and participate in such a sweet couple's special day. Here is a link to their sweet blog.

Sarah Katherine's family is super special to our family and go to church with us. And in the process of meeting and getting to know Abel, we cannot be more thrilled that the Lord has chosen to knit their hearts together.

They are beyond sweet to one another and already "get it". Sarah has such an amazing heart ready to serve and love her man. Abel's heart is to lovingly lead and guide his woman. The beauty of Christ shines in these two.

So, when they asked me to photograph their special day I said,"of course."

We headed to downtown Brenham for their engagement session and it didn't disappoint. Downtown Brenham is perfection to photograph in. I've shot there so many times, but each time we go exploring during a photo session, we discover a new spot.

Abel loves working on cars and has the mind of an engineer. So, I'm hoping that the shots with old cars and trucks look extra groovy in their home.

On a photography related note, I'm in LOVE with THIS lens. I've been renting it from THIS company and can't seem to part with it. has excellent customer service and make it super easy to get your hands on some of the most fab lenses around. I'm one that likes to try it before I buy it. I've been super impressed with them and highly recommend using them!

I shot this entire engagement session on this lens because I love it so much and its consistency is the bomb.

The majority of these images are SOOC (straight out of the camera). Who can beat that??

Here are some of my favs from my engagement session with Abel and Sarah Katherine. Enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

You know you live on a farm when.....

This post was inspired by the previous post below upon discovering a rooster feather in our sweet baby girl's crack.

At the time, I just chuckled about it and went about my business visiting with good friends.

But, I quickly realized that some funny, sweet, incredible, and unpredictable events have transpired since we've moved to the farm.

You know you live on a farm when.....

(1) you go to wipe the hiney of your two year old and there is a rooster feather in her crack. Gag! This is the only item on the list that a picture will not be present. Thank the Lord!

(2) you use guinea fowl as your alarm system.....and truly take them seriously when they go off.

(3) you brood baby chicks under your family nativity scene on Christmas and it doesn't bother you one bit. The "not bothering" part is when I finally realized that I'm an official farmer's wife tried and true.

(4) the sight of your man getting out of the tractor makes your heart do funny things. If PW can talk about how fine her man is with his wrangler wearing self, so can I.

I simply adore this man.

(5) your idea of FUN is blasting gophers out of their holes with the Rodenator. The name says it all doesn’t it? And it is indeed fun.

(6) you regret taking photos of your kiddos eating dirt even still after 2 years later…should’ve thrown that lesson in there with “Never eat snow on a farm.”

(7) having a car seat in your ATV just seems normal and somewhat safer than the alternative….because babies are suppose to ride in ATVs in the first place. For the record, we are NOT rednecks. There is a difference between farmers and rednecks.

(8) you wake up and the first thing you experience is your daddy guttin' a hog in a tree. Well, I guess this might disprove #7 just a tad.

(9) you have a real live “Charolette’s Web” happening in your barn minus the word-spelling.

(10) a rooster tries to jack your Honda civic.