Au Naturel

2014 has inadvertently become the year of the natural beauty regimen in my life. Using oils in my hair turned into making my own lotion which turned into using the oil cleansing method to clean my skin. Natural and homemade beauty products are the bee's knees. Why, might you ask?

From my Insta

1. You can make the products to fit you

I added cinnamon and vanilla to my shea butter lotion. It gives me this subtly warm and inviting smell that is quickly becoming my signature scent.

2. No chemicals

This is self-explanatory, but there are a ton of chemicals in the beauty products that we use. They're harsh on the environment, your skin, and your wallet.

3. Feel luxurious... on a budget

Making homemade beauty products is cost effective, but the experience feels like you treated yourself to a $500 bottle of lotion. Love. it.

If you're curious, here's the recipe for the shea butter lotion that I use and here's Hey Fran Hey's tutorial on the oil cleansing method.

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Creative Retreat

From my Insta
I love school breaks. I've always said that I am more myself in my months away from school. Activities that are normally luxuries, reading for pleasure and even writing on this blog, can become daily occurrences. So far, I've finished the last three books in the Harry Potter series. It's wonderful.

This month is my creative retreat, and some nights I can't sleep because I'm so inspired. How do you rekindle your creativity?

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Confessions of a Chronic Entrepreneur: Part Two

A few days ago, I posted the quote. "Do it with passion or not at all." I always thought that quote was intended to be an encouragement to do everything with passion. It's not; it's telling us to make choices, hard ones, and to ask ourselves, "Can I do this with passion?"

It's tough. After getting my group fitness certification, I immediately wanted to dive into a health coach certification. But the answer to "Can I do this with passion?" was no. For a person who is used to saying yes to as many opportunities as possible, this new mindset is taking some getting used to.
I wrote my first Confessions of a Chronic Entrepreneur post back in April and declared that I would be patient. Eight months later, I'm still taking baby steps toward action. This intentionality has given me time to build something I'm passionate about and time to ask, "Am I doing this with passion?"

So far the answer continues to be yes and as long as that yes stays constant, something new will be coming on March 4, 2015.

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Dancing through the Holidays with eShakti

I love to dress up. You'll rarely find me out of the house in sweats or a t-shirt. So when eShakti offered to let me try out one of their products, I naturally gravitated towards this skirt. The tutu is an homage to my days as a ballerina. As you can see below, it's perfect for twirling. The navy blue is a nice alternative to the typical red and green that we so often see this time of year. 

eShakti is a brand I'd buy from again. They've got fun, feminine, and budget friendly clothing that can be customized. They've got a promotion going on where new customers can register and get a $30 coupon. You can put it towards a holiday outfit that will make you dance just like I did. 

Get 10 percent off until January 10th with the code "liveandmove"

Sweater: Thrifted, originally JCrew, Skirt: eShakti, Boots: Vince Camuto

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P.S. Special shout out to my dad for taking these photos!

Facts About Justice

Fact: There are over 2000 verses in the Bible that talk about poverty and justice.

Fact: The Bible calls Christians to a life of love and justice. This isn't justice the way America's forefathers defined it, and this is not the Hollywood version of love. It's antithetical to our most basic of instincts.  Here's a snapshot:

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Matthew 5:42-44  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...

Fact: If you call yourself a Christian, this world is not your home. 

Phillipians 3:20  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...

Fact: Our mission as Christians is to show God's Kingdom on earth.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Fact: I am angry. I am discouraged, disillusioned, and disheartened. 

These are the facts, and I feel compelled to share them because too many Christians have forgotten them. 

I have seen countless people who call themselves followers of Christ show a lack of compassion so great that I know God must be grieving. My heart grieves with His. And I, a generally optimistic person, am experiencing a cynicism I did not know I was capable of containing. 

Over the past two weeks, I have considered not having children. Moving to another country sounded increasingly appealing. I wanted to remove myself from the situation.

But Jesus.

Jesus did not remove himself. In fact, he moved closer. He ate with sinners. He asked them questions. He called out people who were doing it wrong. 

What we need is the voice of Jesus. 

Pause for a moment. Log out of Twitter. Stop posting Facebook comments, and read the Gospels. 

Observe how Jesus treated those who were different than him. (Hint: It was not by discrediting their concerns.) See how he sought them out. I look at Jesus' interactions and see a man who "left people better than he found them", even when he was rebuking them.

And then I look at the hate, or worse, apathy,  being spewed by members church and I am angry. I would venture to say that it is a righteous anger.

Here's a final fact for you.

Fact: If you are not loving your neighbor, your friend, your enemy, that person of another race, that person you disagree with, you are doing it wrong. If you are not praying for and seeking racial reconciliation in this country and in your own life, you are doing it wrong. If you are calling people, who are made in God's image, animals or any number of dehumanizing phrases, you are doing it wrong. If you are more concerned with discrediting the the opinions and feelings of another person than with loving them as yourself, you are doing it wrong. If you are not concerned about the plight of the oppressed, the poor, and the marginalized, you are doing it wrong.

Those are biblical truths.

This is not about black or white. This is not about whether or not there should have been indictments in the two recent cases. This is about the fact that we live in a fallen world. This is about the fact that we as Christians are reacting to this brokenness in a way that is indistinguishable from non-Christians. We need to do better. To whom much is given, much is required, and we've been given so much as Americans. 

I'm gonna let my man James close this one out:

James 2:14-20 (The Message)

 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

 Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

Seek justice,


God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman

I was never as excited about Advent as I should be. The importance of God becoming man and establishing His kingdom on earth was lost on me. I did the Christmas-y things and then went on about my year, largely unchanged. This season is different.

My mom bought me the Advent devotional  from She Reads Truth. It's full of s truths that are challenging me to explore what having the "Christmas spirit" really means.

Image of "O Come Let Us Adore Him" Advent Books

The devotional has Christmas carols sprinkled throughout and one in particular captured my heart. 

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Savior 
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy

This is my anthem and my prayer during this Christmas season, that I can find rest, comfort, and joy in the beauty of the Gospel. 

What is inspiring you this season?

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Client Spotlight: Academic Studies Abroad

I had a bout of productivity at the end of my summer and created a professional website. I thought about the things I was good at and the things that I enjoyed and found that I love to write and I love to empower others to pursue their dreams. So I put my areas of expertise as content marketing, social media marketing, blogger outreach and brand strategy.

And I waited. For a while, my website was just a pretty landing page. Then I got an email from Lee at Academic Studies Abroad. His business sends students on study abroad adventures around the world and he wanted me to run his social media. 

Academic Studies Abroad is an ideal client. Studying abroad was one of the highlights of my college career, and now I get to create engaging content about travel and adventure. 

My hope is that one day I can build a career out of encouraging and developing entrepreneurs. Until then, I'll happily work with clients on the side.

What steps are you taking towards your dreams?

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