Gardener, giggler, "y'all" user Wii just dance champion. My house is rarely clean, my kids are rarely wearing normal clothes and I am rarely on time. But I have learned there are a lot bigger fish to fry and I am just enjoying every minute of this precious gift called life. Mostly I'm an: Imperfect Person in love with a PERFECT GOD!

Oil Cleansing Method

I feel like I am in on a little secret that no one else knows.  I wash my face with oil.  I know it sounds crazy to wash your face with oil.  But I have done it for almost a year now and it is the BEST and most frugal decision I have ever made for my face.  It is soooo soft, no break outs, no need for moisturizer and it’s crazy cheap. 

I have been washing my face every night with a part olive oil, part castor oil mixture since I heard about it on simple mom almost a year ago.  Now before you click away and think I’m crazy let me state my case. 

Washing your face with oil may sound weird and counteractive especially if you have oily skin but believe it or not oil does not cause acne or make you have an oily face.  Acne is caused by trapped dirt, bacteria and even fungus. 

The truth is oil is our bodies defense layer from dirt and bacteria, when the oil is removed (soaps, body wash etc.) the body reacts by producing MORE oil. 

Here’s a direct quote from

Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanical, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, and acne while leaving your skin balanced and properly moisturized. 

In other words oil is actually a far better cleaner than anything you will find in the drugstore.  It is inexpensive and free of preservatives or weird stuff I can’t pronounce.  Olive oil actually has the same pH as human skin so it is the perfect balancer.  The best part is you don’t need an additional moisturizer!  Your skin is cleaned, nourished, and moisturized in one step.  Making it even MORE frugal, easy, and simple.  LOVE IT!

How to get started:

If your ready to go I suggest choosing a re-purposed container.  I use an empty contact solution bottle which works perfectly. 

For normal skin mix equal parts Extra Virgin olive oil and castor oil.
For oily skin do 3 parts castor oil and one part EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
For dry skin 3 parts EVOO and 1 part castor oil.  This is what i use

It is very hard to mess it up so play around and see what combination works best for you. 

I squeeze (from my re purposed contact solution container) about a dime size amount on my fingers and rub it into my (not wet yet) skin.  It takes my makeup off and everything.   After i have rubbed it in well I then wash my face with water and a warm wet wash cloth.  Repeat a few times if my mascara is being stubborn. That’s it.  My skin is immediately softer.

You can give yourself more of a facial” but rubbing on the oil then placing a warm wash cloth over your face for about a minute or so to steam out all the impurities and dead skin cells. 

I only do this at night.  In the morning I simply splash my face with water to wake up.  But there is no harm in doing it twice a day if you prefer. 

Other beneficial oils 

Castor oil and EVOO are carrier oils, work well, and are the most popular for OCM but other people have found great success with coconut oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, and flaxseed oil, especially if their skin is very oily. I haven’t tried these personally, though.

If your skin is on the dry side, almond oil and evening primrose oil are also good carrier oils.

Tea tree essential oil is a natural antiseptic, and is great for clearing up acne. Try a few drops into your OCM mixture. Only use a few drops — a little goes a long way.

I hope you enjoy your new softer more vibrant skin.  I have never had such great results with any number of cleansers, lotions etc.  The benefits couldn’t be better and price tag is kinda nice too. 

Coconut Oil A miracle food?

Coconut Oil?!!  Isn’t it supposed to be bad for you?

In the 1980’s when we became a “fat free” America where all our foods were low fat or fat free there were lots of negative campaigns about saturated fats.  While saturated fats in excess are indeed not a good idea, We need some saturated fat for healthy biological function.  Recent studies are finding it is far better and in fact beneficial to use coconut oil in cooking and even topically!

You will find more information than you ever wanted here.  But let me hit the highlights.  Coconut oil has been linked to:

  • Raising your HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering risk for heart disease
  • increased immunity.  Even used in treatment for AIDS patients
  • proper digestion and metabolism
  • relief from kidney problems
  • lowering high blood pressure,
  • regulating diabetes
  • lowering risk for cancer
  • increased bone and dental strength


Topically it has proven to be a(n):

  • antioxidant
  • antifungal (Curing athletes foot, even many forms of acne…i know it sound ironic but I’ve tried it and it works.  I’ll do another post on this soon)
  • antibacterial
  • healing (dramatically reduces the appearances of scars and heals bruises faster)
  • benefical to Scalp health (cures dry scalp, dandruff, lice, and lice eggs)
  • Moisturizer (aiding to cure psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and premature Aging)


How can one little coconut be so powerful?  It seems Lauric Acid (also found in breast milk) is one of the main powerful building blocks but mainly it is the unique makeup of the coconut with just the right amount of fats, vitamins and minerals that makes the it so awesome!

Coconut oil has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years. Studies done on tropical diets high in coconut consumption show that these populations are generally in good health, and don’t suffer as much from many of the diseases of modern western nations.

I use cocnut oil in place of oil and butter in cooking in baking.  I also use it topically as a moisturizer for myself and our kids.  I love it!  It is a very frugal choice also to buy one large container of Coconut oil for so many uses!  I don’t have to worry about any weird preservatives (especially a concern in baby lotions) and it couldn’t be a healthier choice.  Simple, Frugal, and Healthy…my favorite combination. 

When buying your Coconut oil there are several things to check for since there are varying qualities.  But you should be safe with a Virgin refined or unrefined oil.  The refined has no coconut flavor which is nice in cooking and it is a little cheaper, the unrefined smells and taste like coconuts and is a little more expensive but has a higher nutrient content. 

We have used both and honestly I like them equally.  I don’t find the coconut flavor too strong even when I use it to make popcorn or fry okra.  But the unrefined is nice to use cosmeticaly and the price is nice. 

After looking on a million different sites I think the best resourse is Mountain Rose herbs.  They sell a very high quality oil in bulk so the price is very good.  My friends and I buy a 5 gallon bucket and divide it up. 

Featured at Sorta Crunchy, the Greenbacks girl, Life renewed, and a Delightful home

What do you think?  Do you use coconut oil?



An unplanned pregnancy and a beautiful story

Today’s post is from guest Alison Westerfield.  Her amazing story of a teen pregnancy, her choice of adoption and how it shaped her life today.  

My name is Alison Westerfield. At 15 years of age, I walked through a crisis pregnancy. I wrestled with issues of having an abortion or keeping the baby. However, abortion was on the forefront of my mind because all I could think was how I had shamed my parents, my family, and myself. I just wanted the problem to go away. I figured that I could get an abortion and no one would ever have to know what I had done. I became a Christian at age 7 and this wasn’t the situation someone who regularly attended church should have gotten herself into. But I knew that I had to reveal my situation to my parents. It was a shock and disappointment to say the least but in my mother and father’s wisdom they decided to take me to a Crisis Pregnancy Center to receive counseling. I thank God everyday for my parents and the counselor who spoke with me. They helped me decide against an abortion. I decided to continue the pregnancy. During the counseling session, adoption was mentioned by the counselor. I immediately told her…that was not something I would do. There was no way I could ever give my child away.

The pregnancy progressed and my parents as well as the counselor reminding me that adoption was an option. The father of the baby had made it clear that there was no future for us, but I still wanted to keep my child. I was convinced by my parents to talk with a lawyer who dealt with closed adoptions. I was given detailed profiles of seven couples who could not have children and desperately wanted them. I began to gather information on the couples by reading profiles. There were letters included in the profiles to birthmothers contemplating placing their children for adoption. After reading all of the couple’s stories and hearing how they could not have children but desperately wanted them that I decided adoption was in the best interest for my baby. I wanted my child to have a mother AND A FATHER that could provide her with opportunities that I as a single teenage mother would have been unable to do. These couples could give her so much more physically, emotionally and spiritually than I could ever hope to provide at sixteen years of age. Before I knew it, I was 8 months pregnant and still had not picked which couple out of the seven that I wanted to raise my child.


I prayed continuously asking God to direct me and to help me make the right decision and still, no answer. Until one night, I was unable to sleep. The discomfort of the pregnancy was taking its toll and something told me to reach under the bed where I kept the profiles of the couples and reread them. I got to couple F and began to read the letter that the young woman had written to me. In it she said, “It seems strange writing a letter to someone I’ve never met, but at the same time I feel that we share a very common bond. That is the love a child. I cannot begin to imagine how it would feel to give up a child. I only know that it would take as much love, if not more, to give a child up than perhaps to receive one. Since we have been seeking to adopt an infant, I have been praying as to whether or not this is what God really wants for us and I believe it is. I’m thinking of you, the birth mother. I am reminded of the story in the Bible where the 2 mothers come before Solomon both claiming to be the mother of an infant. Solomon, in his wisdom, makes the decision to cut the baby in half, to which the birth mother’s response is to willingly release the child to the other woman in order to save its life and thereby reveals that she is the true mother. I sincerely believe that this story applies to you. You have chosen not to abort your child but to give it up in order to save its life. Your child will be brought up in a Christian home with lots of love and attention. Although you carry this child within you, I have also carried it within my heart for many years. God bless you in your decision.”

It was at that moment that I made my decision as to which couple’s home I would place my child.

On October 1st 1989, my child was born, a 7lb 6 oz baby girl. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I spent time holding her in awe of this little miracle that had changed my life so much and was about to change someone else’s life. The lawyer arrived to take my child to her new home. Everyone stood around my bed holding their breath’s as I held her one last time. We prayed over her and then I looked up and said, “It is time for her to go.” Just like that, she was gone.

The years came and went but not a day went by that I didn’t wonder where she was, what she looked like, and how she was doing. I never questioned if she was safe or happy. I knew God watched over her and protected her. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

After graduating from high school, I attended Georgia Southern University  I met Joe, the man I would one day marry. After only a few weeks of dating, I told him about my past. He responded with love and understanding. I knew God had put this man in my life and I knew I would spend the rest of my life with him. After both of us finished college, Joe and I were married. We immersed ourselves in working on our careers and spending time with one another.

One evening, two years into our marriage, the phone rang. It was my mother. She explained to me that the same lawyer who 11 years before had handled the adoption wanted to talk with me. I told her to give him my contact information. He called me later that night and spoke the words I had only dreamed of hearing. “Your daughter would like to meet you.”

I met my daughter and her mother for the 1st time on July 1st, 2000! To be able to see her after all of these years was amazing! There are no words to describe how I was feeling at that moment! What was even harder to grasp, was the willingness of her parents to allow me to be part of her life again. She is almost 21 years old and we continue to stay in contact to this day.

amanda The Lord chose to bring my daughter, Amanda, back into my life for many   reasons. HE proved faithful because I put my faith and trust in HIM so many years ago. HE also knew I would benefit from some closure to that part of my life before Joe and I started a family of our own. Two months after being reunited with Amanda I became pregnant. Bryce, the pride and joy of my life, was born in May of 2001. Now, 9years old, Bryce, is a blessing to both Joe and I. Probably, the most important reason the Lord brought Amanda back into my life is so I could use this wonderful testimony to tell others about HIS love and mercy.

For years I did not share this story with many people for fear of judgment or rejection, but now I have chosen to use my greatest hurt to minister to others that find themselves in the same place that I was so many years ago. After much prayer and consideration, I decided to resign as a teacher because I wanted to spend more time with our now 9 year old son but I also knew God had something else in mind for me. Two weeks after resigning as a teacher for the local school system, the pastor of our church informed me that our local Crisis Pregnancy Center was in need of a director. It was then that I knew what God had in store for the next season of my life, becoming the director of the center.

I pray my past hurt can be used to minister to others.

Thank you Allison!  I love your beautiful story!

My imperfect story


It was my junior year in high school, classes were changing and I was at my locker getting my books.
My locker was right beside “Natalie”. Natalie was the girl who never missed church. She was always very sweet and the only Christian I really knew.

Unbeknownst to her I looked to her as my example of what a Christian looks like. We began talking about our weekend. I was very surprised to hear that Natalie was not the perfect Christian girl I thought she was. She was drinking, sleeping with her boyfriend, and partying just like every other teenager I knew.

If the “church people” do it then it’s okay right?

That was the false idea that sent me down a reckless road during my high school and college days.
With my desire to be accepted coupled with a typical first born people pleaser; it wasn’t long before I was partying and everything else that comes with it. I was popular, I had friends and boyfriends, I was having fun.

I was incomplete.

The parties promised to be “fun” and the guys promised we would be “forever”. The next several years were full of hangovers, hiding, and heartbreak.


I would have NEVER admitted this at the time but I was searching for my happily every after in a guy.  I kept thinking, “this is they guy that will bring me happiness” And everytime the relationship ended I thought, “If only I was prettier, more fun, or said something different.”

I was jumping through hoops trying to be the right girl for all the wrong guys.

This was a big deal guys.  My story is not so different than most girls at that age.  I saw all the Nicholas sparks movies.  A pretty girl, meets Ryan Gosling and they kiss passionately in the rain right after he says “you complete me”….Oh maybe that was Jerry McGuire’s quote but you get the idea.  I was 100% sure a guy would bring me happily ever after.  And I was 100% devastated every time a relationship ended.

My senior year after yet another devastating heartbreak, I threw my hands in the air.  With utter exhaustion and sheer brokenness I had tried everything in my power to find my happily ever after.  I was sure I would be the crazy cat lady at this point (at the ripe old age of 22, good grief why was I in such a rush?)

  • At the age of 22 my friend “Sarah” invited me to a bible study. I still remember clear as day she was sharing with us the story of the woman at the well. She drew a picture of a cup. Saying the woman was desperately trying filling up her “cup” with men.  The cup seemed great and “full” for a moment but what she didn’t realize is her cup had holes at the bottom.  The fullness was only temporary because soon the cup would leak and become empty again.  (Story from John 4)
    That was so me! I thought finding the right guy was what I needed to be full and complete.  But in truth, filling my cup with men only left me filling fulfilled temporarily.   Then she talked about how Jesus promised living eternal water so she would never thirst again!

I didn’t know what eternal water was but i wanted some of it!  I remember praying a very un-fancy but totally genuine prayer that went something like this, “obviously my way looking to be full isn’t working, I’ll try your way.”

I didn’t even know what that meant but God started changing me. He held my hand during the next several fragile weeks. I surrounded myself with people seeking Jesus.   I stopped searching for a boyfriend and start searching to learn more about this Jesus guy who seemed so captivating with his relentless love.  It was downright romantic! 

All of a sudden so many things had lost their appeal.  The guy who was sloppy drunk at the bar trying to pick me up seemed 100 times less attractive.  The God of the universe who gave his life for a selfish party goer like me seemed 100 times more attractive.

My heart was being healed by the great physician. The more I fell in love with my heavenly father the less I needed anything else. I wasn’t longing for something, I had it!

My roommate slipped a note under my door that said, “I just wanted to let you know I see the changes in you and I’m proud of you.”

In retro spec, my searching for guys was because I was not whole.  I was looking to be made whole by another sinful human.  Not even the best husband can do that.  I had to be made whole FIRST in Christ.  Then and ONLY then could I have a healthy romantic relationship.

About a year after becoming a new creation, a baptized new believer, I met this really cute youth pastor and for some reason he seemed to like me too. I had huge issues trying to understand why a youth pastor would want anything to do with me. I tried, in my mind, to push him away because even though I knew I was a new creation to God, how could a human look at me that way? How could this perfect guy want anything to do with someone like me?

This is where I want better for you dear reader, I want you to meet the perfect Jesus seeking guy one day and not have to deal with telling him about your past baggage, scars from old boyfriends, and questionable party tactics.  I want two COMPLETE, and perfectly WHOLE people to seek Jesus until they find each other.

I thought I would find happiness in all the wrong places but when I fell in love with my heavenly Father he blessed me with the most amazing husband I could ever ask for. He models Christ to me on a daily basis and gave me a picture of just how much Jesus loves me. 

Are you filling your “cup” with things that are only temporary?

Let me encourage you, Jesus is truly the only thing that can make you whole. He is so in love with the beautiful perfectly imperfect you. He has a well full of eternal water just waiting to be poured on you,

Will you hold out your cup?



“You know someone needs encouragement if they are breathing.”

Truett Cathy said it best, “You know someone needs encouragement if they are breathing.” 

Everyday we are berated with “you can do better, you can be more attractive, you are not quite good enough.”  But noticeably absent from our culture are the efforts made to appreciate each other. 

Positive Reinforcement is a great way to teach children.  Even train your pet.  And while I’m not trying to get you to “train” anyone to do anything I am saying with all the research that a pat on the back goes along way you would think we would do it more often. 

I think being summoned to the bosses office should at least occasionally be a good thing.  Or taking our kids to the side let them know we noticed how well the were sharing and we are so proud of them.

The forgotten art of handwritten notes is a great way to encourage others.  There is something special about going to the mailbox to find a letter with your name on the outside handwritten.  You know its not a bill, it is someone who took the time to sit down, write something special to YOU, pin down your address, and even found a stamp!  Handwritten sticky notes are also very sweet to leave around the house or to place in a work bag, lunch box etc.  My husband is so sweet about doing this before he leaves on trips.  Sweet little sticky notes to find while he is gone. 

But there is also nothing wrong with sending an uplifting email or facebook message.  I try to be sensitive when i notice a certain person keeps coming to mind.  If I know they are going through a hard time I try to make a POINT (because it has to be intentional) to give them a call or just touch base somehow.  I don’t always do it and I often miss the boat but the times I do get it right it is such a blessing to pass on some encouragement. 

I wonder what our world would look like if we actually told each other how much we appreciate each other and did it often. 

Now if you will excuse me I have a long overdue note to send to a friend. 


Just dive in

dive in

I suppose the “correct” way to do things is to be completely prepared for every and all situations, to read the manual, to go to the class and measure everything out just right.  But in my experience if i did all that i would never accomplish a thing. 

I think inviting people over for dinner is the perfect example.  I know when i have guests in my home i want my home to appear well kept, have the best meal prepared, the children with stain-less shirts and the fine china on the table. 

A dear friend taught me a valuable lesson a few years back.  It was 4:30 in the evening we were on the phone talking about something completely unrelated to dinner and she said, “why don’t you guys come over for dinner?”  She had little time to prepare, no formal dinner plans, and her home had… on the floor!  I don’t remember what we had for dinner i don’t remember the decorations she had in her living room but I do remember I felt so at home.  I had such an enjoyable time and felt so relaxed in her home we have been dear friends ever since.  I find I enjoy being with the friends that don’t care if there is dust on my pictures far more than the friends that silently compete for the finest decorated home.

So the moral of the story is just dive in already! Have a beautifully imperfect dinner date.  They will probably love you for it.  I think Jesus meant it when he said, “come as you are”  No preparation needed.