DIY Lavender Body Butter

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Last week I shared some of my natural beauty tips as well as my must have beauty products. So I thought that I would also share how to make my DIY body butter that was mentioned. I do not buy lotion or use anything other than Shea butter (or carrier oils) on my skin. So here’s the recipe and of course, you can tweak it to your liking.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of each raw Shea butter and unrefined Coconut oil

1 Tbsp each  Jamaican black Castor oil, Avocado oil, Extra virgin Olive oil

About 7-10 drops of 100% pure Lavender Essential oil 

Directions:

Melt all of the ingredients (accept the essential oil) in a double broiler or in a glass Pyrex boil on top of a medium sized saucepan (with about an inch of boiling water).

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When everything has melted and blended together, turn off the heat and stir in your drops of essential oil(s). When the bowl is cool enough to handle, store in the fridge (or in the freezer if you’re in a hurry!) to solidify for a couple of hours.

When your mixture is solid. Bring it to room temperature. You don’t want it completely soft but you should be able to leave a little finger indent. Then, whip your mixture on high speed until you’ve reached your desired consistency. For me, that’s about 10 minutes.

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Again, you can adjust this recipe to suit your needs. Each and every ingredient in this mixture works wonders for my hair and skin (together and separately). Also, I like a creamy (and slightly oily) body butter because I have thirsty hair and skin. So if you find this recipe a bit too greasy, don’t use as much of the carrier oils or just keep your body butter stored in the fridge. Anyway, I hope you try it. And if you make any homemade hair and body products let me know. I’m looking for a good DIY deep conditioner.

Your sister, Brandi

♥♥ By the way, here’s some relevant posts:

My natural beauty tips for Christian women

Why I don’t wear any makeup or fake hair

How I dress now after my encounter with Jesus

How to choose modest apparel

My Headcovering experience

3 natural beauty tips for Christian women+ my must have natural “beauty” products

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Now if you didn’t know,  I don’t wear any make up or fake hair. I believe all of that stuff is ungodly and you can read more about that here. But just because I don’t wear makeup or dress in certain ways, doesn’t mean that I don’t have or understand the desires we as women have to look and feel pretty.

I never said that holiness equates to homelyness. No, we’re not supposed to obsess over our outward appearances but it is not a sin to look nice or presentable (according to what’s nice and presentable to God of course). So, I just wanted to clarify that and share 3 ways that I personally take care of my physical appearance.

1. By embracing our uniqueness

Let’s face it! We are called to be different. We are God’s very own representatives on the earth and God is HOLY. When you accept that painting your face is not of God and how we are told not to “fashion” ourselves after this world, then the holy Spirit can (and will) begin to direct you on what is and isn’t lovely and/or appropriate for those professing godliness.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)

As individuals,  we also have to accept what we were born with. For instance, I would prefer super long and thick healthy hair but my hair is super thin and currently shoulder length (I’m working on it!) but the point is, we may never have someone else’s skin tone, hair texture, body type etc. So we have to be content with who we are and in what we have.  And if it’s something you can naturally fix like your weight or my hair length then we have to be PATIENT. It didn’t take one day to gain 100 pounds  or to damaged your skin (or in my case hair!). So it’s going to take more than one day, one month or possibly even longer than one year for us to properly heal.

2. Eating well

Now this is also a very important tip. And as Christians, we should understand the concept of “FROM THE INSIDE OUT”. God, in all of His kindness and wisdom provided everything we need (through WATER, and every herb bearing seed and trees) to look and feel good physically. In addition to Genesis,  I know this to be true because I’m a vegetarian (well I guess a “Pescatarian” now because I just introduced salmon into my diet!) and I usually eat my food raw or cook every meal from scratch.  Now I don’t do much physical exercise other than indirectly through household chores, but my husband has been my motivation to start working out.  He looks (and says he feels) SO good just from doing daily push ups and of course, eating well.  If you’re into fitness, I would love to hear what works for you. And if you’re interested in what to eat (or in what I eat) just let me know and I’ll share all of that in an additional post.

3. Using Natural Products

Now this goes hand in hand with number 2 because the products we use on our bodies are just as important as what we’re eating.  I try to just stick with organic products that can also be used to cook with. But of course, just like every other woman I get enticed by lovely smells and by beautiful packaging 🙂 So whenever I do buy commercial products, I just make sure to read all of the ingredients and labels. You will never look and feel your best if you’re continuously dumping poison into your skin and gut.  So I encourage you to just stop and think about that. You may think that someone vain is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen but just wait until they take off all that make up and weave and all of that “trendy” clothing. It’s a deception. They don’t even want to see themselves like that. They might even be a man! It’s all lies and stumbling blocks. Beauty as we know it is NOT of God.

But anyway, that’s a whole’nother post. I  hope that you’ve enjoyed this one, and I want you all  to know that embracing (godly) femininity isn’t a crime, It’s a must!

With nothing but love, Brandi

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Now I literally just “woke up like this” (clear skin)

 

♥♥Here’s a list of my favorite, must  have products

Skincare:

African black soap and Shea Moisture’s Olive oil and Marula baby wash

My DIY Lavender body butter and my DIY Peppermint (or lemon) sugar scrub
Raw Shea butter
Unrefined Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Extra virgin Olive oil
Sweet almond oil
Castor oil
Vitamin E oil or capsules

Essential oils (100% pure essential oils can be expensive so I am slowly but surely building my collection. I have a few essential oils mainly for DIY household cleaning products but the ones I often use for bath and body are Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Peppermint.)

Hair care:

I am currently using ( and loving!) Shea moisture products on my hair.  I definitely plan on making my own but for now it’s just trail and error. I  also use some of the oils on my hair that were mentioned above.

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♥♥Side note: If you’re interested, I also blogged on how I dress and How To choose modest apparel!

My Breastfeeding tips for first time nursing mothers

Being a mother definitely marks a new chapter in a woman’s life no matter how many times she may find herself with child. And for me, this time around has been very different because it is my first time breastfeeding.

I have been exclusively breastfeeding our baby girl Lauren for the past 10 months and have been wanting to give other first time nursing mothers a “head’s up”.  So keep in mind that this is just information on how to get started.  If you would like me to share more things on breastfeeding like how I pump or  increase (and decrease!) my milk supply, my nursing diet etc. then just let me know and I’ll make additional parts to this post. But in the meantime let’s get started!

Now the first thing that I would recommend for those of you who are new to breastfeeding is Google. Yes, do your research and get familiar with breasts.

I read COUNTLESS books and articles while I was pregnant. I even watched (way too many!) youtube videos. Some of them were of animals! Now of course you don’t have to be that extreme but I would definitely encourage you to research the process and to examine yourself. The more comfortable (and knowledgeable) you are with your breasts the easier it will be learning how to breastfeed, especially from other people.

And speaking of other people,
Read blogs and talk to other women with experience.

Don’t get me wrong, “professional” opinions are okay but you want to get advice from people who are actually experiencing (or have experienced) what you will be. No shade but I prefer someone who could offer me a little more than book reports and word of mouth. But to each her own. If you are the type to get peace of mind from consulting with professionals, just make sure you’re getting help from EXPERIENCED doctors or nurses who are (or at least want to be!) mothers. And if you have friends or family members who have breastfed then that’s even better. I didn’t have anyone so I asked to have a lactation consultant come and talk to me during our stay at the hospital. She was very helpful. She helped me get through the first couple of days because the nurses were making my experience VERY stressful. Which leads me into the next tip..

Relax and get to know your OWN baby. Always remember that everything isn’t for everybody.

Like I mentioned before, researching is a good thing but setting laws and standards isn’t. Allow yourself time to grow. Especially at the hospital. Your baby is not only new to breastfeeding but to BREATHING in general. Be patient and gentle. Don’t let anyone, not even the doctors ruin  your experience.  For what it’s worth, a lot of the videos I watched on latching were useless. At least for me and my baby.  And that’s the thing, you’ll learn what works best for you and your baby. Each and every family is different so don’t take everything to heart.

And speaking of the heart, Guard it!

We live in a very perverted generation where women think there’s strength in being masculine. Embrace your true femininity. There is nothing more beautiful than a submissive wife and selfless mother. You have to be encouraged because the majority of women will have that “I don’t know how you do it” attitude. Especially selfish mothers or women without children! Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Even if that means telling your husband that you don’t want any visitors until you guys figure some things out.

Get a manual breast pump

This will be your best friend. Especially if you have a fast let down or an over supply of milk like I did. Trust me,  get one while you’re pregnant and bring it to the hospital with you. And while you’re at it,  grab a few nipple shields too!

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The Lactation consultant at the hospital gave me this manual breast pump and some nipple shields. To this day, I have only used this pump. She doesn’t know how much of a blessing she has been!

Don’t buy into the hype

Now I have to throw this out there because there is nothing wrong with formula feeding! I didn’t breastfeed any of my older children and you wouldn’t know the difference (as far as development goes). Going forward my husband and I just decided to breastfeed because it’s natural and I am embracing godly femininity. Yes, I know that the food industry isn’t trust worthy but what I’m saying is, is just feed the baby.  Don’t let pride and/or idolatry creep up in it.

And last but not least, don’t give up! Just pray.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the things I learned in the beginning were not even applicable until I was about 3 or 4 months in. That’s why we’re repeatedly told not to give up. Especially not within the first 3 months. It really does get easier. I wanted to give up SO many times. So ultimately, my advice to you would be not to give up when it gets tough, just PRAY! That is what has helped me the most.  At the end of the day, no one can help you more with this than God. And not only because He’s GOD but because breastfeeding was all His idea!! He strategically designed our bodies to give (and to receive) His provision. So ask Him to help you and your baby do all that He had originally intended.

So yeah,  I hope that this post helps! And I would love to hear all about your breastfeeding experiences or aspirations!

Group hug!!

Brandi

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Me nursing Lauren❤

How to choose Modest apparel

For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4. NET)

If you haven’t read my post on how I dress as a Christian woman then you should also check that out because this post is just going to be about how to choose modest apparel.

Now, I know that there are a lot of “white washed” women out here but that doesn’t justify vanity or lack of discretion. Because either way,  a woman who is truly holy and God fearing will not present her body in a provocative (or worldly) manner.

Generally speaking , the outward appearance really is a reflection of the sanctification process that’s taking place within. I am a witness to this! I started dressing different because my MIND changed about what I used to believe was cute or appropriate for godly women. This is just one of the ways we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Only then can we truly tell whether we are dressing appropriately or not.

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

It’s like how is it that we think that we’re so set apart when we look (and behave!) just like the women of the secular world. It’s because we’re deceived! And I remember being in that place, not even considering the fact that my clothes didn’t match my profession (which was that I was a Christian woman who knew God). Looking back I can admit that I was all talk. Obviously, I did not know God or have His spirit because if I did, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable dressing raunchy and provocative.

But again, this post isn’t about the way I dress. I believe that we need to leave our own personal convictions (or decisions) out of the equation lest we cause division. Therefore, I’m just giving you some things to consider in general as you get dressed as a “Kingdom Ambassador”.

Because that’s the thing,  if anything, we are to be exalting God, not our clothing! If you are still trying to express yourself through “fashion” then you are still a little immature. And that just real.  That immodest heart (and mindset!) is all about emulating others and worshiping Self. It’s about drawing attention from men (and other women!) to your body and sexuality.  It is about trying to be beautiful and desirable when you are should be continuously dying to yourself (your will and desires). On the contrary, true Modesty is about humbling ourselves and exalting God. It’s about honoring our body (which is God’s temple), other people (especially other people’s marriages and children) and the scriptures. I can still be feminine without being vain or inappropriate. In fact, godly femininity doesn’t even require all of that.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

If I really want to dress Modesty then the Bible tells me exactly how to do that. We are even told what to “put on” spiritually!

  • This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-20)
  • Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)
  • Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Colossians 3:12-14)

So after we start there, we can began to assess whether or not our physical clothing is appropriate.  You may even find yourself  shopping at different places then you would normally. I am 5’9 and I weight about 135 pounds so right now, in the current state of this world, the only place I can find modest apparel for my body type is at the goodwill.

Eventually I plan on making my own clothes but for now this is where I shop and STILL I have to check myself. When choosing the right apparel it can be very helpful to ask yourself things like:

Why do I like this shirt, skirt or dress (etc.)?

Am I at peace with it or am I indecisive?

Does this cost too much?

Do I find self worth or value in designer items? Do labels puff me up? Would I feel some type of way wearing cheap or resale clothes?

What type of people usually wear these prints or trends (etc)? Am I emulating celebrities or will I be associated with ungodly groups of people?

Am I seeking the admiration or approval of men (and women!) or am I seeking the approval of God?

Do (or will) I look like I have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ wearing this or would people assume that I am living the American dream or the night life?

Is this clothing too tight or see through in the natural light??

Are areas close to my private parts (thighs, stomach, cleavage etc.) exposed? Are my private areas showing? Would they show if I  bend/ lean over,  sit down, reach up etc.??

Do I feel sexy or fierce wearing this? Do I feel socially (economically) puffed up wearing this?

Do I get fashion inspiration from celebrities or from other people on social media who don’t know or love God?

These are just some things to think about. We should be asking ourselves these kinds of questions because not only are we to abstain from the appearance of evil but because Modesty is an attitude. So is my attitude concerning the way I dress selfish and prideful? or am I thinking of others?? And if the process has just begun, am I willing to let go of all my favorite clothes that do not glorify God because I love Him more than anything and I understand that I am not my own!?

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

So, now that we know that we are to dress with humility in a respectable manner not being inconsiderate or flashy, we do not seek to draw attention to ourselves knowing that our true beauty and identity comes from our godly character in Christ Jesus. I love you all my precious sisters and if you are able to, please share your transformation pictures and/or stories with us!

With nothing but love,

Brandi