Bible Study | Why Do We Give Thanks?

Bible Study, Lifestyle

Psalm 28:7

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield; My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I shall thank Him and praise Him.

Flashback to summer 2018, I started working as a preschool teacher with the most vibrant and fiery group of toddlers I’ve ever met. It was my first job after graduating college and I was definitely looking forward to becoming the best teacher ever! Apart from teaching the kids the days of the week or the months and seasons of the year, the head teacher insisted on making it a priority to teach the kids manners. Obviously I could see why that would be an important lesson among others. However, when it came to manners, she would literally stop the entire class for a learning moment to emphasize the importance of a please and thank you.

One evening while supervising a small group of two year olds, one of the other teachers brought in some snacks to share with the kids. They all gathered around the table as she gave each child a cookie and some chips but no one said thank you at first, until she gave the last child his cookie and chips. Finally, someone said thank you and then of course they all chimed in saying “Thank You Miss Lisa” except for one. Since he was known for being defiant and rebellious, initially I didn’t want to force him to say thank you so I asked him, “Aren’t you going to tell Miss Lisa thank you?” He looked at me while nibbling on his cookie and asked “Why?” Keep in mind, this was still during my first month working there and this was a child who didn’t really know me that well either. Apparently he felt comfortable enough to question me, staring right back at me with his big blue eyes.

To be honest with you, that caught me a little off guard so I asked the other kids “Why do we say ‘please’ and ‘thank you?’” They all looked at me puzzled, one kid eventually said “because Miss Gina said so!” I interrupted him by trying to explain that we say ‘thank you’ to show gratitude but then I thought to myself, they’re two, maybe I should make it simpler. I explained to them that Miss Lisa didn’t have to share her snacks and we should be grateful that she thought of us and wanted to share with us. I also asked about how they felt when they randomly got cookies and chips late in the evening, which was quite unusual for their after school routine. One kid said “Happy” another said “Excited” and Henry, staring at me with his big blue eyes said that he felt like singing and dancing!

Have you ever really took into consideration all that God does for us and the role He plays in our lives? Have you ever thought about why we should glorify God, give thanks and sing praises to His name? Of course it’s easy to give thanks when God shows up in our time of need and obviously we’d want to sing and dance like Henry did when God blesses us with our hearts desires. Although, understanding the ultimate reason why we should give thanks to God would definitely strengthen our relationship with Him and give purpose to living a life that glorifies His name. We shouldn’t just give thanks to God because the pastor said so or Mom said so or because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do. Here in Psalm 28:7, David explains that God gives His people strength, protection and help to persevere and that we can all trust that God will always be there for us. I’m certainly guilty of forgetting why and when we should give thanks to God. In the past, I used to only give thanks to God when I’d see His work materialize in my life. But is that truly honoring Him and thanking Him for who He is? Or am I only being thankful because I know what He can do for me? Isn’t it interesting that this scripture says “The Lord IS my strength and my shield” instead of ‘gives me strength’ and ‘gives me a shield?’ As my relationship with God grows, I pray that I learn to appreciate Him more and more and thank Him fervently everyday just because of who He is. That, to me, is the real reason why we should give thanks.

Skin Care | Winter Routine

Fashion, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

PicsArt_01-15-10.21.20I love discovering new skin care tips and ideas so it’s my pleasure to be sharing my affordable winter skin care routine this week in collaboration with one of my favorite beauty bloggers Emily Burns. Her blog emilyburnsmua features make up tips, reviews and tutorials where she inspires her followers’ make up techniques and creativity.

Collab Feature | Emily Burns

Although most of us look forward to the winter season for enjoying the holidays with family and friends and playing in the fluffy snow, for some of us it also means dry, itchy skin, cracked lips and ashy elbows and knees. The crisp winter cold can be so harsh on our skin, that we lose moisture at a much faster rate, leading to the weakening of the protective top layer. It is very important that we take extra care of our skin throughout these cold winter months focusing on ways to help keep our skin moist and protected.

MiraBelle’s Winter Skin Care Routine

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1. St. Ives Apricot Scrub $5.49USD

I absolutely love apricot scrubs. As a kid, I remember seeing my mom using St. Ives Apricot Scrub as part of her night time skin care routine, I guess the apricot doesn’t fall too far from the tree. This blemish control oil free scrub is a great way to exfoliate away dead skin, make up and dirt giving me a deep clean leaving my skin feeling fresh and smooth. This scrub helps treat and prevent my acne and blemishes and it has  also  helped minimize the appearance of pores on my cheeks and nose leaving my skin looking smoother and clearer over time.

2. Proactiv Revitalizing Toner $24.99USD

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be mixing products, but this is one of the few toners that has worked well with my skin. I have tried Neutrogena, Olay and Clean and Clear toners in the past however they didn’t do much for me. After my first 6 weeks of using this proactiv toner I noticed a significant difference in the evenness of my skin and complexion. Fortunately for me, during the winter I rarely break out so I prefer to use toner no more than twice a week to avoid dryness and irritation. On the other hand, during the summer months I would break out almost every day so I would ultimately use it every day as well. 

3. St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer $5.49USD

Oh the woes of combination skin! During the summer my skin would mostly be very oily, especially in my T-zone, but in the winter time, it’s the complete opposite, my T-zone can get very dry and itchy if I don’t moisturize well. I have discovered that although collagen moisturizers are mostly used to help combat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s also a great way to add suppleness and moisture to cracked and dried out winter skin. 

4. Aloe Vera Vaseline $1.49USD

One of my biggest winter skin problems is having dry, chapped and peeling lips. It’s so unattractive and uncomfortable. The top most layer of our skin is called the stratum corneum,  this layer of skin is far thinner on our lips than it is anywhere else on our body. Our lips also don’t have any sebaceous glands to keep our skin stay moisturized, so the only source of moisture is saliva. Thank goodness for the wonders of Vaseline! Any type of petroleum jelly can be used as a great moisturizer to help soothe and protect our precious stratum corneum. My favorite petroleum jelly used to be Vaseline’s cocoa butter jelly but now I’m absolutely loving the fragrance of the hydrating aloe vera version for my lips.

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1. Dove Beauty Cream Bar $1.29USD

I started using dove bar soaps and body washes three years ago and I have not turned back since. They’re so thick, creamy and luxurious. I usually buy the 12 -pack fragrance free bar soaps for sensitive skin for about $9.99USD but I always wanted to try this pink beauty bar version so I bought a single box at the beauty supply store and it works just as well. 

2. Vaseline Pure Baby Petroleum Jelly $5.99USD

Of course I must also use this magical wonder on my body as well. Every morning after my shower and every night before bed I massage Vaseline onto the soles of my feet, my knees, my elbows and my back to keep these areas that are prone to dryness soft and well moisturized. 

3. Lubriderm Daily Moisture $10.99USD

I definitely appreciate the non-greasy thick creaminess of Lubriderm’s lotions that leaves my skin feeling super moist and hydrated. This daily moisture lotion for normal to dry skin is enriched with vitamin B5 and mineral oils which helps naturally restore softness and brightness with every use. 

4. Bath & Body Works Body Lotion $13.50USD

Since I usually prefer to use fragrance free soaps and lotions, I always have scented options on hand for when I choose to indulge in the amazing scents that bath and body works has to offer. This sweet and sensual black current and vanilla lotion from their aromatherapy collection is genuinely therapeutic. I usually use this particular fragranced lotion when I’m having me-time spa days at home and even on special date nights, yes they smell that good.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed outline of my affordable and practical winter skin care routines! Don’t forget, this is a collaboration so go check out Emily’s blog about her skin care routine!

Happy Holidays | Should I Make a Resolution?

Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

 

New Year's resolutions

I hope you guys are ready for it, be on the look out for those “new year, new me” posts on social media! You know how we get around this time. Funny thing is, I was never really the type to take new year resolutions seriously until last new year’s eve. I had only made one resolution last year which was to live a healthier and more social lifestyle. But wait, before you go assuming that I was one of the many who makes it to the gym every day for January and never returns in February, my resolution wasn’t about the gym and exercise. I wanted to break out of my comfort zone. I had planned to dig myself out of this rut of laziness and depression. I wanted to go on hikes, go jogging around the hudson, take a zumba or salsa class and I even bought a bike over the summer. But the ugly truth is my intention was bigger than my dedication. I had the ultimate motive but I lacked motivation. I allowed my energy and drive to be sucked up by school and work which unfortunately left little determination for my resolution to be resolved.

Apparently I was so sure of myself that I made a vision board, so what’s even more disappointing is that I have proof of all the zest and potential I saw in myself and yet when I look in the mirror, I still see the same boring, lame person I was through 2016.

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Not much has changed this past year. I joined a couple clubs at school which I barely participate in, I probably rode my bike three times and the only time I ever jogged was if I was run-walking to catch the bus to work or school.

Well, it’s almost new year’s eve and I’m thinking to myself, “Should I make a resolution?” I think I want to achieve the same goals I set out for myself this past year, yet I need to work on planning realistic ways to execute them. It’s not like I have some unrealistic pipe dream that I couldn’t reach with a ten foot pole. I think a more active and social lifestyle isn’t to much to ask of myself. After all, I am trying this lifestyle blogging thing, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t have a “life” right.

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So here’s the plan, instead of making a vision board with goals I’d want to accomplish over a year, I think setting daily or even weekly goals would be an easier way to achieve my long term ideals. It’s like cross fit trainers who have their WOD–work out of the day plans. Except I’ll have a VOD, vision of the day plan, basically mapping out my daily and weekly short term goals. Seems doable right? And hey, maybe I’ll take a cross fit class just for good measure. Making a lifestyle change is definitely a process that needs time but also consistent effort. I know old habits are hard to change but it’s nothing that some good old planning can’t fix.

Do you have any new year resolutions? If you’re like me, having failed this past year, why not try the same resolutions but find new ways to achieve them? Let not your heart be troubled or discouraged my dear reader, it can be done! I wish you all the best and the most success for the new year.

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