Category Archives: Fashion, Beauty & Fitness

How Do We Honor God With Our Bodies?

As I sit down to write this post, I am on day 23 of a 31-day juice fast.

To give you a little background about that — about 6 years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, called Lupus. The medications prescribed to me cause side effects I would rather not live with — immunosuppression that led to things like bronchitis (twice!), strep throat, and shingles, all in the span of about 6 weeks. So I began looking at more natural means to manage my disease and fell upon the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. And in watching it, I learned of the role that diet plays in autoimmune diseases.

It makes sense, of course. Garbage in, garbage out. My diet has not been what it should for much of my life. In addition to Lupus, I have about 80 extra pounds to show for that.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done a long-term fast, so I am aware of the pitfalls, and yet, day 25 of this juice fast finds me a bit weary. I am tempted to quit — to cheat — to go back on my word. Who am I without the sanctity of my word? (And did I mention that I’ve discussed this fast online — both on my blog and in social media. It’s out there y’all — for all to see.)

I spoke these words out loud to my 14-year-old son this week,

 “Maybe I should just eat one meal a day and fast for the other two, or fast on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and eat the other days. I only have a week left. It won’t hurt anything. I have been fasting for 25 days!”

His response:

“Mom, you’re sure trying to find a loophole, aren’t you?”

Why yes son, I am, thankyouverymuch.

There’s not much more humbling than being called out by your child.

I knew what I needed to do to get back on track with my mind and heart in this matter — I needed to reflect on God’s Word.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Corthians 6:19-20)

I love this verse from 1 Corinthians.  It is humbling to realize how true it is. God did not purchase us with gold coins — He did so with the blood of Jesus. We often think of Jesus’s death on the cross as for our eternal salvation alone, for our souls, but He died for all of us — even our physical bodies.

Honoring God with Our Bodies

I find it interesting that the Bible uses the word, temple, to define us. For me, this denotes a holy, worshipful place. Sacred. To be revered.

Our bodies do not belong to us; they belong to Him — to be used for his purpose and His glory. Not taking care of our physical bodies inhibits our service to him, and it must dishonor Him.

Ouch.

It blesses Him when we are honoring our bodies.

And in return, He blesses us.

Juicing is just one way I can take care of my body. There are others:

Sleeping more
Exercising.
Being careful of what I allow to infiltrate my heart and mind
Ensuring that the words coming from my mouth speak Truth, with love

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4: 31-32)

It’s not all about the food we eat. It’s about what we feed our hearts and minds, too.

So I will continue on this journey to reclaim my health — and juicing with be a part of that — no loopholes here. But I can feel my focus shifting.

count it all joy,

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The Beautiful Laugh: 5 Reasons to Indulge in Your Endorphins

the beautiful laugh-tbm

Just recently I listened to a great podcast by Michael Hyatt.  It was on the power of a smile.  His discussion revealed that the up-turned corners of your mouth is one of the first forms of communication we share with other humans.  It went onto detail that our smile {in as much our face} is the beginning point for many relationships.

I resonated so much with his words.  With the spiritual gifts of teaching and exhortation embedded in me, I am hardwired by Him to notice the hope that can transcend from one to another.  There is nothing greater received than the freedom that comes from handing over the opportunity to believe better. This hope is the transference of optimism.  A smile is one greatly underestimated action that can do just this.

But a smile is just the beginning.  Laughter is so much the middle we neglect when it comes to life’s beautiful through the all too often buried and burdened steps on this earth.  We forget to laugh.  We skip over the giggles for the prudence of the present. For checklists marked off and for hustle over heart more times than we moms can count.

Laughter matters.  It’s the action verb of a smile.  It’s critical that women not discount the times we let loose not just for ourselves, but for our family, too. The beautiful?  The really beautiful laugh.  They gut bust and chuckle more for the sake of sanctity. Of serenity. Of sending out Him in those easy times.  As God’s creatures, we are nothing short of beautiful.  It’s important that we do our very best to live that out.

5 reasons

1.  Laughter relieves stress.  

This post is proof that LOLs are so very good agents causing us to let go of the strain and drain of daily life.  Be it family, your job, you location or your finances, laughter can leave you a little more ready and able to face the grind.

2.  Laughter releases endorphins.

If you’ve ever wondered why you feel a complete lift after a fit of laughter, this post will help explain why.  Laughter is just one of God’s natural enhancers of life.

3.  Laughter is exercise.

This post is a bit more proof in the pudding that laughter utilizes calories and increases core strength.  Physical movement is a key factor in a human’s well being.

4.  Laughter is contagious.

This post. Yes.  It’s proven research that when you hear someone else laugh, your brain responds.  And you know what?  People need the prompting.  So often, I have needed to cheerful explosion that was caused by someone else’s giggles.  The best life lived is the one that’s lived together.  Teamwork.  Sisterhood.  Family.

5.  Laughter communicates humanity.

We need reminders that there is no perfection. That all the answers aren’t supposed to be known.  That things break and spills happen.  It’s this equal-ness that laughter does such a wonderful job of transcending.  This post actually documents 5 steps in which you can learn to laugh at your mistakes.

I just recently signed up to Happify.  It’s a super cool resource that helps to set you on a healthy track to gleaning more from a happy life.  It’s free and ultra simple to navigate, too.

Find the beautiful there in yourself.  And make it a point to send it out purposefully.  With a determination to gain great amounts of joy with those you love, those you lead and those who need the beautiful that only you can give them.

Tell me.  What’s got you laughing today?

See you soon!

3 hearts name

4 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Fit

4 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Fit I TheBusyMom.com

Are you struggling with creative ways to stay fit?

Maybe it’s a busy season running after kids, changing diapers, keeping home, homeschooling, or doing homework with the kids. Or maybe you work outside of the home and can’t carve out time for a quick workout.

I think we’ve all been there, or are there. We use those moments of energy throughout the day to tackle our daily responsibilities, often leaving us exhausted even when time does arise!

Here are some tips that have proven to help me stay active, even when life doesn’t allow for a designated workout time.

Get outside with the kids

I see moms at the park hanging out on the bench just watching their kids. More often than not, they are playing on their phone or chatting with another mom. While there is nothing wrong with this, I would encourage you to get in there and play with your kids! You’ll be making some great memories with them but you’ll also get your heart rate up! Climbing up and down a play set is no easy task! Doing that for an hour or two a few times a week is a great workout in itself!

Eat well, track your food intake

While eating well doesn’t equal fit, it does equal a healthy inside. By recharging and fueling our bodies with what it needs, and by not over feeding it – we’ll make it stronger. My Fitness Pal has a great free app and desktop access. You can create a plan and log your food as you go throughout your day.

I also have a FitBit. I can track my steps, calorie’s burned, food log, and so much more! It’s a huge motivator to get outside when I see that I haven’t met my steps goal for the day.

Include the kids

Kids love play. They love competing. Have a couple of afternoons a week where you challenge each other to a workout duel. See who can do the most push-ups in one minute, then see who can do the most sit-ups in one minute, followed by who can do the most squats in a minute. Do that as many times as you can, and as long as you can keep their attention. It’s fun for the kids (and you) plus you’re secretly working out!

Get on the bike

Most kids have bikes already, but sometimes mom doesn’t. You can find really affordable bicycles at Walmart or even on Amazon. Pick one up and go for a fun bike ride with the kids!

When seasons are busy, or life simply doesn’t allow for you to pull away and go somewhere to workout, get creative and bring the workout into your life! The great part about this is that you’ll also be showing your kids that they too can have an active life, just by enjoying it!

Gyms aren’t necessary, at home workouts might not be doable every day if you can’t pull away from the kids, and home gyms may still be in the works, but with a little bit of creativity you can find ways to incorporate some great activates to get that heart rate up!

Have you found a creative way to stay active and fit, even with the kids in tow?

4 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Fit I TheBuysMom.com

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changing hairstyles + fresh starts

shape

Consistency is such a grounding word.  It evokes notions of bills paid in a timely fashion.  Of library books returned 2 weeks late on time.  It thrusts forth this idea that togetherness and order are, in fact, BFFS with good time keeping and practical spending. I imagine them all piled like good little school girls with flannel pajamas under their puffy sleeping bags. Their chitter-chattering is everything overzealous and high pitched while in their laps rest overflowing bowlfuls of popcorn and soda pops with piping straws peeking out the tops.

Parenting is so very pro-consistency, wouldn’t you agree?  Yes, it’s paramount that we stick to your foundations and hold true to our morals and deep rooted beliefs when it comes to child rearing.  Be the slumber party above and own the mess out of transferring steadfastness in living to your baby people. YES.  But when it comes to the locks on your noggin, it is here where I am asking that you opt out of this “c” word.  I am even emphatically imploring your to re-consider the aesthetic locks that flow out of the globe-o-sphere that God did, in fact, entrust your very being.

Consistency with your hair? Let it go, Mama.

hairstyles

{my hair transformations in the past year}

In this world of dimes store shopping, home schooling, toilet cleaning, penny pinching, soccer practice carpooling, laundry folding and mother loving, we Moms shape.  We guide and we grow humans for better and though worse.  We are the backbone of support for our family in more ways than we even realize.

That’s why it’s important to not miss the opportunity to find spontaneity and energy in those easy areas of our lives.  Change is a great spark that so many of us women miss out on because of fear.  We fear a new cut won’t look right. We worry a new hair color will be too risky.  We over use consistency in areas where it’s just not needed and, furthermore, deadening to the awakening our very bodies need.

Sisters, don’t be afraid to change YOUR HAIRSTYLE! In the Meghan-esqued words of my homeboy, John Lennon, “Give peace scissors a chance.”  CUT.  Snip.  TRIM.  Color.  CHANGE.  It’s your dome; it’s not your parenting convictions. Allow the winds of different to tousle your locks with a new vibe.  And trust that you will find ENERGY and a fresh start feeling from using the aesthetics of you.

Consistency.  It counts.  Oh yes it does.  But keeping the same cut and/or color for 15+ years may just be the cinderblock you’ve tied yourself to – all because you’re nervous to try something new.

In the past year I decided to celebrate new ways I could gain strength and energy from the areas in my life where consistency needn’t be a priority.  And the hair department was just the place for me to re-invent myself and practice new all knowing that my outside could create a potential inward revolution when I needed a new twist on life.

I am here to officially report that it grows out.  It grows back.  And best of all, about an inch off of your scalp is all dead hair cells. DEAD.  They always have been and always will be.

CUT.  Snip.  TRIM.  Color.  CHANGE.  It’s your dome; it’s not your parenting convictions.

You can do it!  And you can gain strength from laying fear aside, keeping consistency where it dutifully belongs and leaning less on the aesthetically overrated DEAD HAIR CELLS.

From my mane to yours, 

3 hearts name

 

5 Steps To Establishing An Exercise Routine

move moms

There’s something really great about beginnings.  They have this swift way of coercing our dreams a little more into reality. It’s kinda like those notions just wished up there in our noggin become almost physically tangible right before us.  I think what I love best about beginnings is the opportunity that exists through the unknown.  And opportunity comes to us best when we set no limits to what we can accomplish.

A huge notion so many women toss around in their noggin is the dream of being fit and feeling good. Moms want to look better and/or feel healthy.  And so oftentimes, we are the worst at allowing our dreams of exercise for the hope of a better self exit our noggin.  This dream tosses to and fro just waiting to be touched. Trust me.  I’ve been there.  And I’m here now as proof that using the following these 5 steps to establishing an exercise routine is not only doable, but life changing, too.

I played 2 sports in college.  My life was active.  Moving was a part of me.  Then married life and motherhood happened.  Looooong days at home with little boys and living on a very limited budget left me lacking in all things moving. The only aerobics I received came from chasing my toddler around the house to ensure he didn’t dunk the cat or his baby brother into the toilet. Can anyone relate?

It was Christmas Day of 2007.  Through the sea of wrapping paper shreds and toddler mangled bows, I decided there was a gift under the Christmas tree wrapped just for me.  I had an 11 month old and a 33 month old.  I walked into the kitchen and let my husband know that today was the day I was choosing to open my gift of exercise. With a high-five, “atta, girl” followed by a “ummm, how long you gonna be gone?” he was in full support.  I laced up my shoes and took off.  And I haven’t been still since.

1.

Say it.  Don’t stutter.  Don’t make excuses.  Make it known aloud to yourself, your husband or a good friend.  The first step is making it a priority in your day.  Not just every once in a while.  Telling someone you trust will help keep you accountable.  Especially on the days when you aren’t motivated.

2.

Don’t generalize.  Be very exact about what your exercise plans are for a 7 day week.  In 2007, I began with maintaining my exercise 3 days a week.  I tracked my exercise to be sure I met my goal.  Each year since I increased my exercise amount and times per week.

3.

Tell yourself of the good your gifting your life.  Moving is absolutely wonderful for so many reasons.  It increases blood flow, releases endorphins and elevates your metabolic rate.  One of the things I love to do most when I run is affirm myself in my very moment of movement.  I also have such a beautiful time of worship with the Lord.  I pray.  I cry.  I tell Him my dreams.  I hand over the aches of this world and have worship with Him as I run.  I am in complete unison with Him each time that I move.  Using this time to spend with Him makes exercise even more a priority in my life.

4.

Like I said earlier, we live on a very limited budget.  Remember, I’m the Goodwill hunter!  So my family cannot afford a gym membership.  Thus, I use the outdoors to its fullest.  Not only do I run outside, but I use the nearby state park for hikes with my boys as well as good ole push-ups and sit-ups, planks, squats and leg lifts inside my home.  Don’t limit yourself to the idea that exercise can only happen with a membership.  Change up your routines to keep your body fresh for different ways to move.

5.

Exercising is God’s natural feel good medicine.  Sweat creates optimism. I really believe that.  The more you are proactive in planning and proceeding with your exercise routine, the more you will feel the release and lift He has just for you.  This gift is from Him; enjoy every ounce of what will begin to fill up those empty places that live there inside your noggin. A better diet right along with healthier food choices will fall right into place once these 5 steps are established.

Physically tangible right before us.  Opportunity comes to us best when we set no limits to what we can accomplish.  I know you can do it!  Now open that gift for yourself and MOVE, Moms!

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Shirt or Skirt

skirt vs, shirt title

I will be the first to tell you I love fashion.  Adore it?  Nah.  Completely hooked on the idea that I can play paper dolls in my own closet no matter how old I am?  BINGO!  I am smitten with all things creative.  I find strength in multi-purposing and recycling just the same.  Thus sisters, I am coming at you with a whole new frugal fashion flippity-flip twist.  Skirt vs. shirt?  I’m dying to know your vote!

striped skirt TBM

Budgeting and saving money for things like oh let me see, stinkin’ groceries is sooooo booooring.  I mean I get it.  Children need to eat.  Husbands like full bellies.  Yada. Yada. Yada.  But before you go all “I can’t believe she just said that” on me, hear.me.out.

I feed my people. Totes, I do. I mean, I live in a house FULL of males.  I am taking one for the female team on sooooo many levels, ladies.

But the creative Meg-a-doo just has to eek her ever lovin’ creative out somewhere.  So naturally, I choose fashion.  Oh, and I use the left over mashed potatoes from one meal to make potato soup for the next.  Fist bumps, y’all.

The above outfit is all from Goodwill minus the shoes.  I paid $12.97 for the entire ensemble.  PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE BLACK AND WHITE STRIPED SKIRT. It’s pleated. It was $2.99. {insert drool here}.

And I so enjoy wearing it.  I am all kinds of fanatical about the stripes INSIDE the pleats.  I feel like a twisty-top from yesteryear.  And I might, I just might, spin a lil’ bit just to watch it twirl. Honesty is the best policy even in fashion, girls.  

skirt shirt TBM

And the absolute happy I feel when I wear it can most certainly go one louder.  My fellow paper doll lovers, I just pressed the tabs down ON.MY.CHEST. {total cost for this ensemble: $15.45. Goodwill for jacket and skirt shirt. Old Navy clearance for jeans, Ross clearance for shoes}

Dude, this skirt just became a shirt!  

And just like that I made proverbial potato soup from leftover striped skirt potatoes.  I think as Moms we own this snazzy trick in the overall scheme of life.  We can cope. We can problem solve.  And we can stretch.  That’s the beauty of perspective.  Be it a striped pleated skirt or a bowl of leftovers, the outside-of-the-boxedness that we bring to life is what only helps to encourage fresh looks and blooming there in the budget no matter how strict it may be.

Perspective paper dolls.  Skirt vs. shirt. Life & fashion is so.much.fun!

 

5 Homemade Face Masks For The Busy Mom

5 Homemade Face Masks For The Busy Mom I thebusymom.com

I rarely find the time to get out and treat myself to a spa afternoon. In reality, even if I did find the time I’d probably fill it up thinking about the zillion things I could be doing at home! I just prefer to find ways to relax and spoil myself at home. I guess you could call me a homebody.

Over the last year or so I’ve tried out a few different homemade face masks, and today I’m sharing my favorites! I turn to these all the time and they never fail to impress me! The coolest part is that I can find most of these ingredients in my pantry, so I can do these anytime I want!

I love to start out my spa sessions with a lip and face scrub. For each of these, you only need a few basic ingredients, and if you are missing some you can still make a mask with just a few of the ingredients.

  • Brown Sugar (key, must have ingredient)
  • Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)
  • Vanilla (optional)
  • Honey (optional). Honey is great for so many things – acne, aging, boost in complexion, and clarifying.

My go-to recipes

Recipe #1

  • 1cup of Honey
  • 1cup of Brown Sugar
  • 2tbs of Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)

I prefer using the Coconut Oil and like to use it in its solid state. This way I can mash everything together and it forms a creamy paste. I also store a portion of this batch in my fridge. It makes a lot so feel free to adjust the measurements to make less. You could add a few drops of Vanilla to this too. Vanilla is a great antioxidant!

Recipe #2 (I use this mostly for my lip scrub)

Equal parts of:

  • Brown Sugar and Coconut Oil (I use about a tsp each). You could use Olive oil in place of Coconut Oil.
  • Splash of Vanilla

Mash everything together, store in a container. When you go to use it just dab your finger in the mix and apply to lips in circular motions to exfoliate. You can use this for your face too.

Face Masks

Okay, now that you’ve prepped your face it’s time for a nourishing face mask! Here are 5 face masks for different skin types/purposes.

Grapefruit/Oatmeal Mask (this is a great post winter/winter mask)

  • 1 Red Grapefruit
  • 1 Cup of cooked Oatmeal (great for calming inflammation)
  • 1 Cup of Milk (soothes skin)

Mash up grapefruit, mix all ingredients together, apply to face. Leave on face for 15-20 min. Rinse with warm water and apply your favorite moisturizer as needed.

Blemish Prone or Acne Skin Mask

  • 1 Tsp of Oats (ground it up to make a flour like consistency)
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • A few dashes of salt
  • Warm Water

***If you’re sensitive to Baking Soda you can reduce the quantity and increase the oat quantity accordingly. So if you do ½ tsp of Baking soda you’ll use 1.5 tsp of oats.

Mix all dry ingredients together, add warm water until you reach a pasty consistency. Apply mask, leave on until hardens. Rinse with warm water, apply moisturizer.

Anti-Aging Mask

  • 1 Banana Mashed
  • 4 Tbs of honey
  • 2 Tbs of Water

Blend ingredients together, apply to face. Leave on face for 20-25 min. Wash off and apply moisturizer as needed.

Combination Skin Mask

Combination skin is typically oily in the “T” zone and try around the rest of the face.

  • ½ of a Banana mashed
  • 2 Tbs of Honey
  • 1 Tbs of water

Blend ingredients together, apply to face, leave on face for 20-25 min. Rinse off with warm water and moisturize as needed.

Combination Skin Mask #2

  • 1Tbs of Graham Flour (for absorption and also evens skin tone)
  • 4 drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (nourishes and revitalizes skin)
  • Full Fat Milk  (just enough to form paste)

Apply to face, leave on for 10-20 min. Rinse with water, and apply lotion.

5 Homemade Face Masks  Mother Daughter Date Night I thebusymom.com

Mother Daughter Spa Night

My two girls just LOVE it when we have our Mommy Daughter Date Nights! And of course, one of our favorite things to do is to have a Spa night while watching a fun movie together. If you’d like to keep things super simple, I often use this recipe for my youngest daughter. She tends to have super dry skin and she raves about how good this feels on her skin. I’m sure that has more to do with the excitement of the night, but I’ll take it! :)

Simple Honey Face Mask (Bonus Recipe)

  •  1 Egg (raw)
  • 1 Tbs of Honey

Apply to face, leave on for 15-20 min. Rinse with water.

Do you make any homemade face masks? Let me know what your favorite one is in the comments! If you try one of these let me know too! 

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