Surprising Beauty Products (a few of my favorite things)

Pamcookingspray.com
Pamcookingspray.com

You don’t have to go far to find the secret for beautiful nails and skin… just walk into your kitchen! I love the old Pam Secret.

Part 1: Spray on top of a thin coat of nail polish for a perfect, shiny finish. The accelerant in the bottle (found in any spray bottle of any product) will speed up the polish dry time to about two minutes (just make sure your polish isn’t too thick).

Part 2: Spray a light coat over your legs fresh out of the shower and rub it in. You’ll have the perfect summer sheen! ($3)

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Speaking of summer sheen, I’ve sworn off tanning beds. I’m always on the lookout for the perfect sunless tanning product.

I am almost ashamed to say I got this one from my mom (shout out!), and it is amazing. No orange. No streaking. Instant glow and peaks a few hours later, darkening for days (put it on every third day or so). Cheap! ($7)

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I keep coming back to Crest white strips for teeth… after trying just about everything out there at one time or another. Using it consistently for the allotted time, the results last longer than any other product I’ve tried. Also love their whitening rinse.

Your turn… what are a few of your favorite products?

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Stay tuned for more beauty products/fashion shots from more authors, in our Ugly Duckling Transformation Series! (We can call it that because we’re referring to ourselves. ;))

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Life’s Lonelier on the Lake

bucketlist (1)It’s been three years now, and I can still remember the day I told Ethan I’d found where we WERE GOING to live.

“There’s one street [in this idyllic small town],” I said, “and the houses are in shambles on that road. I’m pretty sure we could [sell our firstborn to] live here, and also there’s water.”

(That last line was all it took to convince the world kayaking king we could call this small southern town home.)

I’m not sure what it was about this place. Maybe it was the crime rate (which I actually knew nothing about at the time-but soon learned when my cell phone was lifted off the sidewalk that the police took the time for a twelve hour manhunt to retrieve it. That preschool kid will never get off his Big Wheel to pick up toys off the sidewalk again.)

Maybe it was the way we could walk to church, or school, or market. The way strangers waved hello, genuinely smiled, were completely charming, somehow without meddling in your life.

Maybe it was the way new friendships were forged over losses, and fears, and 1 a.m. wakeup calls when your water breaks and you need someone to make sure your oldest doesn’t stick a knife in an electric outlet.

I handpicked this place. I love this place. And I love these people.

So why is my heart longing for somewhere else?

I’ve been asking myself this a lot lately, about my longing for somewhere else. I think it must be a mixture of homesickness for family, roots, the place where I grew up.

But it’s also a mixture of just being a little mom-weary. Chronic illness takes its toll, no matter how beautiful your surroundings are or how supportive your friends are.

Sometimes, even when you’re too old to say it out loud… it’s true that there’s no place like home.

How to Shop for Your Kids’ Christmas Presents

14976328_10154696771657556_6468493716713906075_oWe do it honest lazy around here. The kid doesn’t believe in Santa.

I asked for a list. Turns out she doesn’t want much.

#herowncastle #aflyingunicorn

What do your kids want this year?

You are Strong

on-a-budget

I live in the south where sometimes people break into random conversations with strangers.

(We do that here. It’s called “being polite”. For introverts, it’s called “being assaulted”.)

It can happen anywhere, any time, and recently it happened to me.

A stranger asked me what I do, and I said, I write books for teenagers. How ironic, she said, because she teaches school to teenagers.

There was that awkward silence that happens when you’ve been assaulted, and so I blurted, “What do you want to pass on to your students most?”

And she said, “Respect. There’s so little of it these days.”

Then she got on her phone and cussed out her husband for being late to pick her up.

(True story.)

That wasn’t the only assault that happened that day. A few minutes later I stared at a TV screen and heard another stranger say, “Do you see those two lines right there? YOU’RE HAVING ANOTHER GIRL!”

And my husband’s eyes got big and my three-year-old shouted “NO!” and I thought Heavens To Leah, what are we going to do?

Don’t get me wrong, I am crazy about girls. I am one. I wrote a book for some. Because hey, I navigated some strange teenage years while trying to figure out the most important thing, which was, ironically, what that school teacher said I needed most—respect.

For myself.

bekahhamrickmartin-com-1

Let me tell ya, sometimes when you have two X chromosomes, you’re going to get the wrong message. You have to coach yourself that you can do anything a man can do. That you are gifted and talented and intelligent. That beauty is overrated.

And so as I stared at that giant television screen with no penis staring back at me I thought, how in the world am I going to teach TWO innocent little girls what I struggled for so many years to figure out? I mean, I could hand them this newspaper column, but somehow that lacked the motherly touch.

And then, out of the panicked silence, my inner voice reminded me… you have to learn to respect yourself. Again.

So here I am, and this is my declaration: I refuse to yell at myself inwardly for not being “man enough”. I refuse to tip-toe toward my dreams while thinking I can’t accomplish what’s in my heart. I refuse to sit by while others do what I have always wanted to do.

And I refuse to forget that part of what I’ve always wanted to do is love two little girls—little girls who are relying heavily on me to show them what respect really is.

New Release!

9780310749691_imageWe’ve had our own brand of crazy over here at the Martin house (more on that soon), but I wanted to make sure you know about this–

I feel super blessed to have shared my thoughts in the study notes for this Bible! Have you picked up your copy? Not for my sake, but because Zondervan has just done an awesome job compiling so many useful tools in this version.

Pick it up for your group or for yourself today!