7 Day OCM Challenge with Olive + M

Well, most people know by now that I am an Oil Cleansing Method fan. :) If you need a refresher on my experience with it, check it out here and here.

I am super, SUPER happy that I have chosen to do OCM. I love it. My skin isn't perfect... it never will be and it will never be "the pill perfect" either. But, this is the only skin routine that I have seen results. I am not a crunchy person by any means... but it does make me feel a little better knowing that I am not using crazy chemicals on my face. So, there's that!

Let me go over what I do, exactly, every.single.night. My nightly routine isn't just a quick brush my teeth and splash water on my face. No... it's an 11 minute process. Yes, I timed it. Sometimes it's shorter, sometimes longer. But, if I don't do it... I feel WEIRD when going to bed. Something is off, and it takes me a long time to fall asleep.
This is where the magic happens.
And yes, I wear that bandana every time, too.

OCD tendencies, anyone?!

Step one: take eye makeup off with remover pads
Step two: floss/brush teeth
Step three: oil up my face... massage gently all over my face, jawline, etc.
Step four: wet wash cloth with hot water and place over face for a few seconds- enjoy the warmth/mini spa sesh
Step five: wipe oil/makeup/dirt off face- you will see the makeup on your cloth, so you'll need to rinse a few times and wipe again
Step six: scrub with my Clarisonic
Step seven: pat face dry
Step eight: cleanse with witch hazel/toner
(Step nine: now use Olive + M's face oil on the dryer parts of my face)

[In the morning, I use a wash cloth to wipe my face clean while in the shower. I don't use any sort of cleanser or more oil. Then use a bit of oil as a moisturizer, if needed.]

As I explained in my first OCM post, its important to try different combos of oils to see what works for your skin. Different oils do different things and will do different things to your skin as opposed to my skin. Coconut oil has been AMAZING for my skin! But, I have heard it does horrendous things to others.

Coconut Oil. It's my love. No, really. I just love it. It can be used as a moisturizer. It smells heavenly. And you can cook with it, if you want. :)

On February 1, I started using an olive oil blend, however. The very nice Mariska of Olive + M, an olive oil based skin care line, reached out and asked if I would like to give her oils a try*!

I mean... sure!! :)  I am always up for trying something new... and something new that is STILL my beloved OCM?! Yes, please!!

She asked that I do a 7-day challenge with the Cleansing Oil and Face Oil. But, I don't know about you, 7-days is not enough time to see if there was any positive change in my skin. (Although, I bet if I was starting out OCM for the very first time with these oils, I would totally see a change!)  So, I have committed to using O + M for all of February. But, I would still like to show you what my face looked like for the first 7 days, and then I will get my bee-hind together (I hope) to do another post after February is all finished. Which, ya know... isn't too far away. :)

All I did was replace my coconut oil with the O+M Cleansing Oil. It comes in it's own bottle with a PUMP! Genius. I love that. :) I use 5 pumps. 3-4 is recommend, but I have found 5 gets more of my makeup off.

After the Clarisonic, I will use the Face Oil for the dry areas, if needed.

As you can see... there is no dramatic difference. I found that drama came when I first switched to OCM, check those results out here. But, what I can tell is that the redness isn't as pronounced. All of these pics were taken right after I cleaned my face/before bed, so my face is a little irritated looking, perhaps, from the rubbing/wiping.

But! I am hopeful. I am really liking Olive + M. I was a bit nervous because, as coconut oil can do crazy things to some people's skin, so can olive oil. Thankfully, my skin has been doing really well! There are all of these wonderful essential oils perfectly blended in both the Cleansing Oil and Face Oil that make them smell divine! I just love the way they feel on my skin.

Right now, the only thing that I am finding different between the the coconut oil and the olive oil blend, is how effectively is takes my makeup off. I am finding that when I wipe my face with the toner/cotton ball, makeup is still coming off (this is AFTER cleansing with the oil and using the Clarisonic, mind you). I did not notice this much with the coconut oil. I have also noticed that my forehead is having smaller breakouts. Is this perhaps because not all of the makeup is coming off?! I am not too sure.

But, I have only had one or two painful, cystic blemishes!! I even had my period, which is when those suckers appear. Normally I get a bunch around my period, so to only have a couple is awesome!!!

ANYway... enough of that boring stuff. Maybe some of you have been interested in trying OCM?! I'd say... just go for it!! Perhaps using Olive + M?! Well, you are in for a treat!!! The first 10 people to fill out the form below, will receive a sample of the Cleansing Oil and Face oil to try for 7 days! It's free!! No pressure! If you have been curious about OCM, then this may be the perfect time! :) :) The Olive + M team will contact you if you are one of the first 10 people to sign up.

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I Want to Take Olive + M's 7 Day Challenge!

* indicates required

*I received samples of the Cleansing Oil and Face Oil, and a full bottle of the Cleansing Oil for free in return for an honest post about my experience with the oils for 7-days! And, that's what you got!

NAS: Spiritual Writings

What are some of your favorite or go-to books, devotionals or even blogs that help encourage you in your spiritual life?

Hmmm... I wish I had some great resources for you in this area. I love to read, but I don't seem to have any books or anything that I always go back to. Honestly, I am looking forward to seeing what you all have to say about this. I am always looking for new reads. :)

Here are ones that come to mind, though:

  • Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn
  • My Sisters The Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell (I need to read this again. You can read my review here.)
  • Blessed is She - online/email devotional; daily readings and reflection sent to your inbox!
Let's hear what you got! Don't forget to linkup below!

How do you travel as a single lady?! Any tips or tricks you'd like to share? Do you have anything fun planned for this year?

March 3
Dating Fast
We've all heard about them, but have you ever done one? If so, what was your experience? If you haven't, would you consider doing one? Why or why not?

March 10
Encouraging Men
We seem to always have something to say about guys treating us right! ...or, not right! But, what does that mean? Have you ever thought to share those insights so guys have a better idea on what to say/how to act? Well, let's do it! What are some good habits guys can take up when dealing with us ladies?

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We don't have to do it all.

Hello there.

Is this my blog?! It is, right?

Man... these last few weeks have pretty much been a blur. From my birthday, to crazy days at work, to a work conference in Orlando, to young adult group, to other meetings, to baby showers for friends...

to doing laundry, cleaning the house, writing thank you notes, blogging, praying, hanging out with friends...

I felt a little lost. And a whole lot of overwhelmed.

Oh, and I hadn't been to confession for 3 weeks (after going daily- who goes daily besides the Pope?!- weekly for a looooong time!).

I was feeling good!! In the past, this crazy might have made me feel bad and get down on myself. It wasn't like that this time.

It was literally: I am so busy and I don't know how to handle it.

I posted in the Not Alone Series FB group... because we have an awesome community of women... and asked for some much needed prayers. For what? I wasn't sure.

But then... peace. That's what I needed. And, by golly... you all came through! I didn't know that I needed that, but God did. And your prayers worked.

The ever wise and encouraging Cindy, of The Veil of Chastity, reminded me (us)- we don't have to do it all. Some things can wait. And it's ok.

You know that feeling when you hold your breath for a period of time and then you finally take a breath? Yea... when Cindy made that comment, I felt like I could breathe again!

Oh my gosh. She is right. I don't have to do it all. Us single ladies tend to put pressure on ourselves (probably without knowing it) to be able to do all the things. Why? Well, because we don't have a husband or kids to care for. We don't have have the family that needs us. So, why should be complain? We aren't cleaning up the kids messes or making a house a home for our husband. We don't have to keep it together for the sake of our families.

How silly it seems when written out, but how true it is for many of us. We end up having so many things on our schedules because we should have the time do to all of it. After all, we don't have kids begging for food or needed something every second. But, what is that saying about the value we put on our time? The value we put on our friends? Work? The things we love?

Single people's time is just as valuable as the wife and mom and even that Sister in her community. Our lives have value. God wants us to serve Him through everything we are doing, even though there is no husband or kids that make it obvious.

So, all you single ladies (and men!), IT'S OKAY TO NOT DO IT ALL! Breathe. You are doing the best you can. And, that's all there is to it! :)

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Being in my 30s

Haha... I can say that I am in my 30s now, you know! A week into it... and well, I love it! ;)

Life is more... peaceful? Awesome? I am all the more wiser and understand life so much better now.

Turning 30 soon?! Get ready! You.will.love.it.

HA! Ok... just being silly. But! I am feeling really good these days. An inner peace and contentedness that I haven't felt in... a very long time, if ever.  Something has shifted in the last week or so. Was it me turning 30? Being burned by a guy who said he "liked" me... and not really letting it bother me? I'm not too sure. But, whatever the reason... I'm glad it came. I know not everyday will feel like this, maybe not every month! I am ok with that. I am so happy and proud to be entering my 30s on such a great high!

And boy, did I enter my 30s in the best of ways. With great friends. On an island. ON AN ISLAND. Because, I am so blessed and have the best of friends, really.

We went to Captiva Island, FL and stayed at the South Seas Island Resort! For those interested :)

Let's just get to the pics, shall we?!

My parents surprised me with beautiful flowers!
Mart and Steph got everyone adorable koozies!!

Our "villa" was awesome! 3 bed, 3 bath! WITH STAIRS!!!

I have wonderful friends.

How beautiful is she?!

Beautiful scene to wakeup to!

I loved just hanging out with my friends... with no where to be!

Shout-out to Rahki for these awesome mugs!!!
Visit her Esty shop!
Who doesn't like hanging out on their villa balcony looking at the bay?!

So amazing.

Seriously... how am I so lucky to have such wonderful ladies in my life?!

Look who came to visit me?!?!

I was thrilled :)

Me: Zuz, what are you doing?!
Zuzu: I watchin' the television.
Getting ready for dinner!

Orange Crunch Cake... SO AMAZING!

At the Bubble Room for dinner. Such an odd place, but the desserts are FANTASTIC!

I loved waking up and peeking out the window.

Perfect, quiet morning.

Saint Isabella Catholic church.

Friends who pray together, stay together!

Thanks to my mom and dad, we enjoyed a very yummy brunch!
Jennine and I went parasailing!!! It was both thrilling and terrifying, yet FANTASTIC!
Ah! Look how high we were!!
My Aunt sent me balloons... like in a box!! Ha.
Zuz and I are "blowing out the candle"!

This will be a birthday I remember for the rest of my life. My friends spent an entire weekend with me... loving me, celebrating me and just hanging out. I am so very blessed to have all of them in my life. Thank you to Martha for working her pregnant tail off to make the weekend so special. It wouldn't have been the same without your hard work! Thanks to the others for all of your love, prayers, cards, food and drinks! You are the bestest.

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NAS: Qualities in our Husbands

Hello there!! Welcome back to another week of Not Alone Series! :) :)

What are the qualities and characteristics that you are looking for in your future husband? We have talked about what we don't want, but it's good to have an idea of those things that are important to us. Discerning religious life? This applies to communities, as well!

Hola!! Here I am. :)

This particular topic has been on my mind a lot lately. A. Lot. Why?? Not too sure. But, for so long, I couldn't think of things to put on this list. I wasn't sure. I questioned the things that popped in my head. I hesitated to commit to anything for fear of being "picky."

But, as I have gotten to know myself better (more importantly to love myself better), I have become more confident and proud of that person. Of me. With that confidence comes the confidence in what I am looking for. How God is calling me. How I am to best serve Him.

I was chatting with my wonderful (wise and holy) friend, Sarah, recently about discernment (among other things!), and she brought up the importance- and danger- of putting too big an emphasis on "deal breakers." If you cling to those things too much, you might miss something really good. She drove that point home by giving me this image: having open hands (think orans position) allows you to be open to whatever God is calling you to, but it also allows you let go of those things that you don't really need.

So basically it's okay to think about your deal breakers AND those things that will be important for you in your relationships. As Dr. P told me the other day, as well, having an idea of what qualities bring out the best in YOU is what matters. They should be in line with how God is calling you to live your life. If you find that being around negative people brings you down, then why would you settle for that in your husband? You wouldn't. :)  As we continue to pray and learn and grow, we will become more and more confident in the type of person we are called to be with!

Here are a few of the qualities that I am looking for in my hubby:

  • A strong prayer life
  • Holds me accountable in a loving and affirming way
  • Stands up for what he believes
  • Is passionate! Has opinions on things and isn't afraid to voice them!
  • Makes me laugh :)
What are yours?! Did it take you a while to come up with your list? Or have you always known the qualities you were looking for?

Link up below!!

We all have times when we feel alone. What are ways that you combat loneliness? Pray? Join a group? How can we encourage each other to stay positive? 
Thanks to Laura P!

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