Friday Favorites: Skin Care Edition

My skin has been though the ringer! From hormones imbalances, to bad products, and eating poorly in the past…my skin has not seen good days in a long time.

BUT IT IS FINALLY GETTING BETTER!!

Cleaning up my diet and healing candida was one of the first things I had to do. The hormones are slowly getting back in check and that is helping out as well. Lastly is healing my gut. It will take some time but my skin is showing that it is starting to heal.

In addition to healing the inside, I found a new esthetician that has been so helpful in repairing my skin. She picked some products for me and it has breathed life back into my skin! I absolutely LOVE these products!

*If you need help picking out products, message or call Holly Tanella at BOHO Med Spa. She is able to do virtual skin consults (which I did a couple months ago because of quarantine), and is offering some great discounts for new clients.

**I am not a retailer of these products, nor have I been paid for my honest review of these products. I simply want to share because if you have had ANY of the skin issues I have had over the last few years, you know the pain! It is not fun to have hormonal breakouts and scarring. This system has worked wonders for me and I just want to share the love to others.

With all of that said, here are my favorite beauty products and my current skin routine:

Micro-Exfoliating Honey Cleanser

This cleanser washes ALL my makeup off at the end of the day. It has microbes made of natural beeswax that gently cleanse and exfoliate while absorbing excess oil. It is fragrance-free and sulfate-free!

Amandola Milk Cleanser

I use this cleanser in the morning and it smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so soft! It is make of milk protein, vitamins, natural essences of plants, oat and wheat gluten, which all help to retain moisture and naturally brighten the skin. Its great for hyper-pigmentation and aged skin…which I have both!

Nighttime Repair

After cleansing and applying my serums, I use this antioxidant lotion to moisturize. It has an ultra-stable form of Vitamin C and an anti-aging complex which helps rejuvenate skin cells, awaken dull, tired skin and optimizes circadian rhythms. It also contains a moderate level of Vitamin A to promote cell turnover and increases skin strength.

Daytime Control

This light moisturizing lotion contains antimicrobial peptides with a tripeptide that reinforces the skin’s natural defense mechanism. It also contains lignans and phytosterols, which help to control and reduce oil production, as well as breakouts, while botanical extracts soothe and smooth the skin.

Vitamin C Reversal Serum

The Vitamin C Reversal Serum is amazing! It contains the most stable and active form of Vitamin C, which brightens and increases the firm look of skin while neutralizing free radicals. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and this serum also contains hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 to hydrate and smooth skin. It is perfect for me because I am in need of rebuilding and restructuring the connective tissues.

Need help figuring out what your skin needs?

BOHO Med Spa offers virtual consults, so give Holly a call and she can get help ya’ out!

If you want to learn more about Circadia and the science behind their products, head over to their website and read up about circadian rhythms and the skin. It really is worth a read!

Cheers to healthy, glowing, happy skin!

Thanks so much, Holly!! My skin, and myself, are so appreciative of all your help!

What products do you love?

Comment below and don’t forget to click that subscribe button! Have a fabulous weekend!


What’s Up Wednesday

Whoop whoooop! It’s Wednesday, y’all! And the LAST ONE OF MAY!!! How did that happen?!?

The last Wednesday of the month, Mix and Match Mama hosts a link-up party, where everyone shares what is going on in their lives. It’s a little food, a little family, a little what we’re doing, a little what we’re watching and a little bit of everything else, all in one post.

So without further ado…

WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:

If you missed my ‘What We’re Eating This Week’ post, you can read it here.

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

VBS

It’s that time of year when VBS is so close, the excitement starts to build, and the final preparations are being made. I am so sad that we won’t have VBS this year. With Covid-19, our church has had to cancel and reschedule a lot of events. They are doing a fantastic job in keeping all of us connected but I will miss the kids, volunteers, staff, and the joy that only VBS can bring. Last year was so much fun and both the boys loved every minute of it!

WHAT I’M LOVING:

I’m loving our boat! I know many of you already know this, but going out on the lake is such a calming, relaxing day away. When we go out, the boys enjoy jumping in and swimming, tubing, and eating…and eating…and more eating! Haha! It is just so calming to listen to nature and be surrounded by water.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Well, not much! It feels like Groundhog Day over here…clean, cook, school, cook again, clean again, laundry, etc.

I did, however, get my hair done this past Saturday and boy did I need it! My roots were all the way back to my ponytail! So glad to have a fresh cut and color and feel back to normal.

If you are looking for an incredible hair stylist in the Plano, Frisco, North Dallas area, go see my girl Kortnee! She is fabulous!!

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Stephen going back to his office.

He is currently working in our guest bedroom because it is the quietest spot in the house…and it has a lock on the door! We moved the bed around and made a bit more space for him…and now he has an office window!

I am really enjoying having him work from home and I will miss him so much when he is gone all day.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

Writing a few different books and articles…and always folding laundry!

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

School to finally be OVER!! Tomorrow is officially the last day of school and we are ready to close the door on this elearning adventure. We have no idea what things will look like this fall, but trust that God will lead and guide us for what may come next.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

World of Dance is finally BACK!! I LOVE this show!! It came on last night and it did not disappoint! I love watching all the new dances, locking and isolating is my favorite, but I love all types and thoroughly amazed by the talent! The ONLY thing that bothered me was the new stage – they moved from a round stage surrounded by people cheering them on, to a warehouse. The judges were lined up and it felt a lot like American Idol (which, don’t hate me…I don’t like American Idol. There. I’ve said it.). The contestants had to get at least 2 yeses to move on, or given an opportunity to come back to try again, or given a no. Then they went out into the hallway to meet with a new version of Ryan Seacrest to reflect on the performance and how they’re feeling. Even though I am disappointed with this set (hopefully it is just temporary!), I LOVE the dancers and was still smiling every minute of it!

Every Wednesday you will find us watching The Challenge. It is one of our favorites and we look forward to watching it every week. It’s kind of like Big Brother with the politicking, but then there are serious endurance, physical, and mental challenges.

In addition to The Challenge, I am watching all the girly drama shows (currently The Real Housewives of New York and Beverly Hills; waiting for Dallas, Orange County, and New Jersey to come back on.), and watching Schitt’s Creek (very funny and short episodes, which is nice for a change). We are trying to take a break from the series and watch movies at night.

Speaking of seres…I just finished Dead to Me and oh my goodness!! It was so good!! Left us watchers on a cliffhanger and I am now anxiously waiting for the next season. Have you watched it yet??

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

If you missed my Friday Favorites last week, I shared some of my favorite podcasts. You can read what I am listening to here.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Did you see the necklace I am wearing in this pic from above?

Stephen got me this ADORABLE choker for Mother’s Day and it is my new favorite! It is perfect for stacking or wearing on its own. I love it!

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

We are going to take family pictures Saturday and more than likely we will go on the boat Sunday.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Swim lessons!!

Our water baby last summer at Hawaiian Falls

Clark is signed up for another round of swim lessons with our AMAZING swim instructor and I cannot wait to watch this water baby grow and learning more!

And visiting family!

We are going to Green Acres to visit our parents/grandparents and spend a few days picking blueberries, eating s’mores, driving golf carts and chuck wagons, and running off some serious quarantine energy!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW:

We are looking forward to loading up the boat and taking the whole family to Arkansas! We are still trying to figure out where we want to go, either the Ozark’s, Lake Hamilton, or Lake Ouachita. Once we know where, we will book a VRBO and enjoy a week on the lake and hitting up some nature trails! This chapel is definitely on the must-see list!

Any suggestions of where to go or what to see would be greatly appreciated!!

Well, that’s it for today!

Have a blessed rest of the week and come back on Friday to read my next Friday Favorites…it’s all about skincare!!


Memorial Day Sales

First and foremost, thank you to all the men and women who fought and died for our freedom. We are a military family: our Grandpa Greci was a Navy man, my Uncle Darrell fought in Dessert Storm, our Uncle Mario was a Green Beret, and the list goes on. Our hearts go out to the families who have lost veterans and we are so thankful to those who have served and are currently serving. Bless you.

It seems like every holiday is marked by big sales, and today is no exception! Below you will find some sales to places that I personally love. Happy shopping!


Old Navy – 50% off all shorts, swim, tees, and tanks

Aerie – Buy 1 get 1 FREE all bikini tops & bottoms

Coconut Bowls – 20% off – use code ‘memorialday’

Gap – 50% off everything (use code ‘warm’) + extra 10% off (code ‘sunny’) + free shipping over $25

Target – up to 25% off furniture and home items + 50% off bedding

Sephora – up to 50% off

BOHO Med Spa – 50% off Flower Power Package hydrafacial, dermaplaning, and LED light treatment) + free at-home facial kit on orders over $75

Carters – 50-70% off entire site and store

Tone It Up – Lauren’s favorite workout app – 20% off sitewide (code ‘MEM2020’) + up to 50% off app subscription with code ‘APPVIP50’

Lowes – 40% off appliances + more!

Academy – up to 50% off swimwear, floats starting at $5.99, sandals and water shoes starting at $7.99 + more!

Vital Proteins – 25% off your first order

Pure Vida – jewelry and accessories – 40% off everything!

Get Off Your Acid – Lauren’s favorite is the Alkamind – 20% off orders over $99 with code ‘neverforget’ – use this link and also get $10 off!

Check back in Wednesday for my What’s Up Wednesday post – where I share a little bit of what I’m loving, what I’m dreading, and more!


Happy Memorial Day!

This week we are still working on some leftovers from last week and the meals this week will give us a few leftover days…which I love! This week I’m completely relying on my go-to cookbooks so I don’t have any specific recipes to share…but I will next week so stay tuned! Also, read through to the end for a special discount happening today only for one of my favorite kitchen items!!

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

MONDAY

BLTA Burger with Grilled Corn on the Cob

We are grilling these delicious grass-fed burgers, topped with BLTA salsa (bacon, tomatoes, avocados) and lettuce. This recipe is from Danielle Walker’s cookbook, Celebrations, page 172.

We are serving this with a side of grilled corn on the cob, which the boys LOVE. I can’t have corn because of my diet, so I will grill some asparagus and serve my burger on butter lettuce.

For dessert, we are having this gorgeous berry tart with vanilla bean custard.

This is also in Danielle Walker’s Celebrations cookbook, page 178.

TUESDAY

Leftovers!!

WEDNESDAY

Chicken Piccata with Artichokes and Spinach

This is one of my favorite easy chicken dinners (another Danielle Walker win! This one is from Eat What You Love). The boys will eat the chicken…if they have some Chick-Fil-A sauce to dip it in! Haha! That’s with every chicken meal! 😉

This is a one-pan dish that is perfect alone, but I will also give my boys a side of veggies (like bell pepper and hummus) and some fruit. I will still give them a little bit of the spinach and artichokes, but not much, as they don’t eat it but we have a rule that you must try everything and I don’t make separate meals.

THURSDAY

Another leftover day! We will probably still have some chicken leftover and maybe a burger, so this will be a hodgepodge kinda night.

FRIDAY

Sheet-Pan Steak Fajitas

We love fajitas around here! I love to make my own guacamole, pico, and pineapple salsa to top the fajitas. This dish (Danielle Walker, Eat What You Love, pg. 223) is a one-pan dish, which are always my favorite type of meal! This recipes calls for flank steak, onions, bell peppers, and she also has a recipe for homemade guacamole. I usually just wing-it when it comes to my guac (a whole guacamole, a handful diced red onion, a little garlic powder (’cause thats your business! – anyone know this reference?!?), cilantro, a few diced cherry tomatoes, and mix).

I will eat my fajitas served in butter lettuce and the boys will have theirs in tortillas.

Since we had a lot of meat this week, the weekend will be more plant-based. I am thinking this Black Bean Tortilla Soup will be a hit!

What are you planning on eating this week? Comment below!

For Memorial Day, one of my favorite kitchen items to serve Acai bowls in, Coconut Bowls, is having a 20% off sale today!!

Click here to shop and use code ‘memorialday‘ at checkout to save 20%!

Sale ends tonight at 11:59 PST.

Don’t forget to come back Wednesday for another special link-up post: What’s Up Wednesday! Have a blessed Memorial Day, y’all!


Friday Favorites…Podcast Edition!

I LOVE listening to podcasts! I listen when I am driving, working out, and sometimes when I am cooking. I have a few that I listen to but these are just some of my favorite podcasts.

Happy Friday!

RISEN MOTHERHOOD

Risen Motherhood is by far one of my favorites! The episodes are shorter than other products, which is perfect when you have little ones running around. Emily and Laura give useful, encouraging hope for every mom in every stage of motherhood. They occasionally interview other Christian women who give such wonderful advice that is so uplifting.

You can read more about Emily and Laura and find recent podcasts here.

WELLNESS MAMA

I love the Wellness Mama and when I heard she had a podcast, I was instantly hooked! As someone who is dealing with health issues, I love listening to Katie Wells and her interviews with other health professionals and practitioners. She discusses topics from autoimmune issues, beauty, natural remedies, recipes, and more!

You can listen here!

DON’T MOM ALONE

The Don’t Mom Alone Podcast with Heather MacFadyen is so refreshing! Her website states it best:

“Moms comment that the podcast is helping change their motherhood, that they are refined instead of broken. One mom wrote, “You helped me feel like I can do better, but all my efforts matter.” Listen along. Instead of drowning, allow us to remind you that you don’t mom alone!”

Some of her recent podcasts include interview with Paul David Tripp, Ian Cron, Troy Simons, Jenny Allen, Beth Moore, and the list goes on!

Go take a listen here.

THE RON BURGUNDY PODCAST

One of these things is not like the other! Haha!

The Ron Burgundy Podcast is just funny. Light, hilarious, and 30 mins of straight humor. If you loved Anchorman (and who doesn’t!), you’ll love this podcast! Will Ferrell reprises his role as Ron Burgundy in these hilarious podcasts. Thankfully there are bleeps for those inappropriate words that Ron typically uses. So sit back, get your scotch and dumbbells, and laugh away!

Listen to the podcast here.

What are your favorite podcasts? Share below!

Till next time, friends!


I Am Not Alone

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” 
1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)

Searching and searching for something to watch on TV while my youngest napped, frantically trying to find reprieve from the day of giving and giving, just for the brief moment of quiet time…Netflix, nothing. E!…nothing. Bravo…nothing. Ok, ok, I hear you, Lord. I turned on Right Now Media and watched a Bible study led by Jennie Allen of If: Gathering. She, along with three other incredible Godly women, sat in the midst of the dramatic backdrop of Israel, right where Jesus taught, ministered, fed, and healed many. Bianca Olthoff led this video session about Jesus healing the demon-possessed man in Mark chapter 5, verses 1-20. I had heard this story many times, but today, it hit me different.

“They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him.Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs.And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. (Mark 5: 1-20 ESV)

No one had the strength to subdue him. This man, often bound and tied down, was so possessed, so consumed, that he would cut himself with stones, was crying out, living amongst the tombs, half naked, loud, and unclean. However, even though he was possessed and lost all control, he saw Jesus. He saw Jesus coming and he ran to him. He asked Jesus to help him, and Jesus, with just a few words, ordered the demons to come out of the man. The people of the city then saw the man that was possessed, sitting, calm, clothed, peaceful. What a difference! The man begged to go with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go and tell what the Lord has done. 

Go and tell.

Simple words, but hard to do sometimes. For me, going and telling means I need to set aside my shame, fear, doubts, insecurities.

But the great commission is just that, to go and tell.

God works in our lives and sometimes we do not even see it. Like when we are stuck in traffic and agitated that we were late. I believe that God is using moments like those to mold us. Or to save us. I remember taking my toddler to preschool one day and we were running a little behind. Sure enough, as we approached the only train tracks in the area, a train goes by and we are stuck at the blinking wooden blockades halting us in our tracks. As soon as the train went by and the arms went up allowing us to continue, I rushed on to our church to drop my oldest son off at preschool. After kissing him goodbye and giving hugs, I scooped up my baby and headed back to the car. I got our littlest strapped in and we headed back to the house. Less than a mile away from our church headed home, an accident happened just seconds before we got there. A car got severely rear-ended and the police weren’t even there yet. Immediately I was brought to tears. I thanked God over and over for protecting us and pausing us at that railroad tracks. If we hadn’t been held up, we would’ve left church and headed home a couple minutes earlier and that could have been us in the accident. I was humbled. I was thanking God for using that one moment to protect us. 

So why is it important to share our stories? Why is it important to point our lives to God and show what He has done in our lives? 

Everyone has a past. Everyone has a story. Everyone’s story is unique and God has shaped us and molded us and is guiding us to be more like Him. 

The devil doesn’t want us to share our testimonies. I remember being in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting and we were given time to share our testimonies. After sharing mine, the ladies at my table were so sweet and told me that I had an incredible testimony and life story. To me, it doesn’t seem that great. Nothing special. But that is the devil working to keep us quiet. 

The pain I have endured losing my mother at a young age, or watching my child struggle to breath with RSV and pneumonia, or learning that I was a product of artificial insemination from a donor and one day finding blood siblings, to health battles, to guiding us to our home that ultimately led us to our church, where I was later baptized and accepted Christ into my heart…God has used it ALL to mold me and shape me and to use my voice and my story to lead others to Him.

I am NOT perfect. I do NOT know it all. I am constantly learning and struggling and lack confidence in sharing the Word. But I am learning that it doesn’t matter. I can share my story and point to God and He will do the rest. It is not up to me. It is up to Him. 

I pray that wherever you are today, that you know you are loved. You are redeemed. You are forgiven. You are perfect in God’s eyes and He created you for a purpose and a plan and you are loved.

So why share my story? I often asked myself this question. Then a sweet friend stated, “If it points just one person to Jesus, isn’t it worth it?” 

Yes. Jesus is worth it. Jesus is my Savior and my Redeemer and my Father. My journey to overcome the sting of death, the release of fear, and knowing that I am not alone in my story. I am a sinner. But I am loved and forgiven by a Father who unconditionally loves me. And loves you, too. I am brought to tears thinking how forgiving our Father is, one who gives us chance after chance to be faithful and yet everyday I fail and he still loves me. He still forgives me. His own son died on the cross for me. For you. I am so humbled and in awe. 

And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.”

So feel free to go and share! I will be sharing my testimony occasionally on Lifestyle with Lauren, but I am also writing it all down for future writing endeavors. I pray that though my sharing, you will feel safe to share as well.

If you don’t know Jesus and want to learn more, I am always here to talk. Feel free to message me anytime.

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Happy Memorial Day!

This week we are still working on some leftovers from last week and the meals this week will give us a few leftover days…which I love! This week I’m completely relying on my go-to cookbooks so I don’t have any specific recipes to share…but I will next week so stay tuned! Also, read through to … Read More

Friday Favorites…Podcast Edition!

I LOVE listening to podcasts! I listen when I am driving, working out, and sometimes when I am cooking. I have a few that I listen to but these are just some of my favorite podcasts. Happy Friday! RISEN MOTHERHOOD Risen Motherhood is by far one of my favorites! The episodes are shorter than other … Read More

I Am Not Alone

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.”  1 Peter 3:15 (NLT) Searching and searching for something to watch on TV while my youngest napped, frantically trying to find reprieve from the day of giving and giving, … Read More


Delicious Sugar-Free Fat Bombs

These fat bombs are DA’ BOMB! Haha! No, seriously, they are the perfect sweet treat but also pack a protein punch!

All you need is carob powder, coconut oil, almond butter, collagen peptides, and salt.

I love using carob powder for many reasons! First and foremost, it is allowed on the candida diet. Secondly, it is naturally sweet and has many health benefits, including that it is low in fat and sodium, contains calcium but no oxalates, it’s high in fiber, naturally gluten-free and caffeine-free, and is a rich source of polyphenol antioxidants. Another BIG plus for those who suffer from migraines, carob does not contain tyramine. Healthline.com states that Tyramime is a byproduct of tyrosine, an amino acid. Foods that contain tyramine may trigger migraine headaches, and chocolate contains tyramine. Carob, however, does not contain tyramine and is considered safe to eat if you get migraines. Also, fun fact…carob powder is Fido-friendly. It doesn’t contain high levels of theobromine, a compound that is toxic to dogs and cats in large quantities. Win win!

Sugar-Free Fat Bombs (Candida-friendly, Keto, No Bake)

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (pure almond butter – no added sugar)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • Stevia to taste, if needed (I find carob powder to be enough sweetness)
  • Walnuts, quartered

Instructions

Mix all ingredients (except walnuts) together until smooth. Pour into silicone ice cube trays (I like these ones) and top with 1/4 walnut. Freeze. Pop out and eat when you need to cure that sweet tooth!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag #lifestylewithlauren on Instagram!

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Delicious Sugar-Free Fat Bombs

These fat bombs are DA’ BOMB! Haha! No, seriously, they are the perfect sweet treat but also pack a protein punch! All you need is carob powder, coconut oil, almond butter, collagen peptides, and salt. I love using carob powder for many reasons! First and foremost, it is allowed on the candida diet. Secondly, it … Read More

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! Every Friday I will be linking up with Shay Shull of Mix and Match Mama and sharing all my recent fav finds! Today, it is quite the mix, from food to music to sunscreen! If you blogged about your favorite things, make sure to link up with Mix and Match Mama and … Read More

My Top 4 Favorite Cookbooks

I have been battling systemic candida since November 2019. My diet is very strict and doesn’t allow much wiggle room. I have been living a gluten-free lifestyle for many years, however, trying to kill off candida takes more than abstaining from gluten. Since November of 2019, I have also cut dairy, caffeine, sugar (even from … Read More