June 19, 2013

Clean Living | Redmond Clay Earhtpaste {Review}

Ok people, its official, I love anything and everything from the Redmond Company. A couple weeks ago I discovered Earthpaste toothpaste and fell in love with it. Then it got even better when I found out there was a whole line of Redmond products! Redmond was sweet enough to send me a box of goodies to try out. 

Redmond is a company who is all about elevating the human experience. Their products are real - meaning they are from nature. From talking to their rep, they are all about wellness, keeping their products simple, clean and of course, real

The first two items I tried were the Earthpaste toothpaste. The flavors are fantastic and I definitely love their lemon flavor.  All of their ingredients are listed and safe to swallow. There is no foaming agents like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or harsh chemicals like titanium dioxide that make the paste white. What you are left with in this toothpaste is all natural ingredients that support a healthy life. After a week of use, I will never go back to "normal" toothpaste again.  My mouth feels much cleaner than with regular toothpaste and I feel better about knowing if I swallow, I'm safe. This is a great product too for families with kids. I would feel good allowing my nieces and nephews using this because they aren't digesting anything that would be harmful to them. 

I tried out their real Sea Salt and was so happy with this product. Their salt is unrefined and full of natural minerals and flavor. Some salts you pick up and see that they have been heat processed and stripped of their natural trace minerals. 

I tried this salt against my normal salt and the flavors didn't even compare! This salt was amazing and so good!

Their seasoning was just as amazing as their real salt. It had rich flavors of garlic, onions and salt. I added it to baked chicken and it made the chicken my new favorite dish!

The Redmond Clay was excellent too. You can use the clay for external use and internal. Add a teaspoon of the clay to your juice or water for daily digestive cleaning or you can do what I did and add it with water to mosquito bites. I am constantly scratching my bug bites and anti -itch cream doesn't ever help. The clay helped sooth my bites and stopped me from scratching and irritating my bites. 

The Redmond Clay is also good for other minor ailment like cuts, bruises, sunburns and acme. 

The last item was the Redmond Clay Facial Mud. This mask was par none. Stephen even got in on the action of a mud facial. I left it on our faces until it hardened (about 30 minutes) and my face felt brand new after washing it off. I did have a slightly red face after, but the label said it was normal and I was fine after a few minutes. I am slightly addicted to this product and will be using it at least twice a week now. 

I loved everything from Redmond and highly recommend you trying out any and all these products. Check out their sites for more information on each product I reviewed. 

Thanks again Redmond for sharing your fabulous real products with me!

Walking in the Light
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June 18, 2013

Dating other couples

Title sound weird? I'm sure it does, but for those of yall married people out there it might ring a bell. I talked last week on why its important to continue dating your spouse, but having other married couple dates can be just as difficult/awful as dating while single. 

When Stephen and I first married, most of our friends were still single. We were adjusting to a new life of married living while our friends were still hanging out all the time and able to do anything at a moments notice. Not so much the case when you get married. We also live far away, so being able to change plans isn't easy for us. Plus, being the only married couple at a hangout just feels wrong. 

We started searching  for other couple to "date" quickly. We found out that it is extremely difficult for couples to mesh well together.  If liked the wife, he didn't like the husband or vise versa. We also didn't want it to be uncomfortable for the husband of one couple to feel weird around the other couples wife. This weirdness is just awful and should be avoided at.all.cost.

We were blessed shortly thereafter with a small group of couples that were perfect for us. The dating stages for some of them lasted a little longer than others, but all in all we are great together. 

We lucked out this time around but we know that it isn't always easy to find good couple friends where both spouses get along with everyone.

I'm sure we will face the horror of having to date other new couples when a couple moves or babies enter the picture, but for now, I am so so so glad to be past the awkward dating stage with them. :)

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June 17, 2013

Coffee & Conversation l What difference I have made in this world

Its MONDAY!!! YAY!! Most people don't cheer for Monday but honestly, this weekend was so hectic that I was longing for the week to begin. 

I am once again linking up with Lauren and Kalyn on their series Coffee & Conversation. 

This weeks question was very intriguing and it got me thinking a great deal. 

"What does it mean to you to have made a difference in this world? What are you doing to achieve that change, and how has it been made possible?"

Making a difference in the world. Feels like a loaded question to me, but a very good loaded question. Let me just dive in.

For me to make a difference in this world isn't JUST about going once to feed the homeless or leading a kids camp or donating items to the Salvation Army. These are all incredible things and greatly needed in this world, but for me to make a difference, I must share the good news of the gospel. All these other acts/works come out of knowing the Almighty and his outpouring of love on us to pour onto others. 

Matthew 28:19 " Therefore go and make disciples of  all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

I want to share Christ through my blog, through the relationships I have built in my community and for the prayers that surround those who are called out in the field. Pouring into others lives, investing in them and  sharing the gospel with them is the most important thing we can do. 

Knowing Christ compels me to do works for Him and my work should not be a reflection of me, but Him. 

Coffee & Conversation

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June 14, 2013

My Father on his day

I'm daddy's little girl and I love that role. I have been incredibly blessed by the man whom I call Father and can't imagine my life without him.

He is a solid rock in my life. Never wavering, always speaking with a gentle spirit and encouraging his four children to be Christlike in all we do.

As you know, my Dad lost his father in April. I can't imagine the heart ache he has endured losing his last parent.

Today, I just want to say thank you Dad, for helping mold me into the woman I am today. For all the sacrifices you and Mom have made for us kids, for the unending love you give each of us, and for always encouraging me to be a Godly wife to my husband. I will always be your little angel.

June 13, 2013

Dating your husband

Stephen and I have been married a little over 15 months. I have no clue where the time went but they have been the best 15 months of my life. We have had ups and downs, challenges and triumphs and learned a whole heck of a lot. 

I have  found over this past year that dating my husband is critical for our marriage. I think it will become even more so once our family expands with children. A families foundation is a strong relationship with God and a strong relationship between a man and his wife. When a husband and wife stop dating, the marriage foundation can begin to decay and snowball fast. The Lord created marriage and seems to think its pretty important - so needless to say its probably a good idea to keep checking in for maintenance and dating your spouse.  

There are many ways to date your husband and keep it from getting routine or stale. 

First, life gets insanely busy. Between work, cooking, running errands here and there and life's normal routine, I can be swallowed by my mile long to-do list. Having a date night where we focus on just us and de-stress from life. It does take time, effort and planning, but its a great way to reconnect with my spouse and it lets us each know we are the others top priority. 

My husband still calls me up (usually when he is at work) and asks me out on a date. He lets me know the plan for our date - from letting me know the location, time and night of our date. 

On date nights, its important to get ready without him around me. He doesn't see me at all while I am getting cleaned up and dressed. I let him know when I am completely ready so he sees the finished and polished me, not the normal hair in ponytail, glasses on, no makeup me.  Lets be honest, my husband now sees me in running shorts most days because of my job and that can be a little unappealing.  Its important to me to look good for my husband and he always appreciates and takes notice of my more presentable self. 

Our typical date nights way back when were dinners out and an activity afterward. We recreate the same types of dates we had when we were dating. Its a great time for us to reconnect together and spend time talking and laughing over things. We also have a date night list on our frig of places to go out together. It doesn't always have to be a super creative date, but we do make time to go do something that is just the two of us and the list sometimes helps us have a jumping off place. 

Its also vitally important for us to put away the small distractions. No cell phones being checked, no social media occurring, no TV blaring in the background - just good old fashioned chatting. 

When we spend time quality time together, we learn more about each other. Who we were on our wedding day isn't necessarily the same us we are today. We change and evolve constantly - so a weekly date night is the perfect time to chat about whats going on in his life and him to hear mine. 

Since Stephen and I are still relatively newly weds, our romance hasn't wavered. But, I can imagine after 15 years of marriage, things could get a little stale. It doesn't always have to be grand gestures of a trip to the Maui or an expensive diamond necklace, but writing notes on the bathroom mirror and a back rub is priceless. 

We don't ever want to stop dating because we went on a couple of dates and we are doing fine. Or because too much is going on, we are stretched too thin with money or whatnot. Dates don't have to be fancy, expensive or elaborate - they just need to be. Married couples need this special time together and it should never stop dating each other. 

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June 12, 2013

Clean Living l Household Products {Guest Post}

Hi everyone, I am Holly and I blog over at The Oklahoma Peppler's. I am so excited to be here today sharing some of my favorite clean living products with you. I was so excited when Clara asked me to host today. I have been slowly easing in to the idea of clean living (I wasn't as brave as Clara, just taking a huge leap into it, and I admire her so much for that) and had a million ideas in my head when Clara asked me to write something. But today, after much thought, I have decided to share some of my favorite products with you.

On my journey through clean living I found the hardest part has been finding products that I love. Friends and fellow bloggers have been great with suggestions and I have tried many new products. However, if there is one thing I don't like it is spending money on a product you think is going to be good only to find you hate it. I hope that today I can help you find at least one new product that is "clean" and you love!

Before I begin, I should say that none of these companies know who I am and all the below products that I use have been purchased by me.


If you haven't heard of Lush, you should certainly go check them out. They make all sorts of great lotions, bath, shower, and body products. One of the awesome things about Lush is that they are very open about what their products are made with. The label's on their bottles are clear, they can even tell you if something is vegan or not. The company also puts a little sticker on each product with a picture of who made it and on what date. So not only do you know that the product is fresh but you know that it was made by a person and not a machine. Right now my two favorite products are their dry shampoo called No Drought and  their Geo Phyzz bath bomb. The dry shampoo has a great smell but in full disclosure, it is a little messy. I recommend using it while still in your PJ's so you don't cover your clothes in white dust.

|JR Watkins|

I am loving JR Watkins hand soap right now. You could say my husband is a bit of a germaphobe. He washes his hands all of the time. He actually had been using hand sanitizer like crazy. I had to do something about it, his hands were getting dried out and I was spending a small fortune on hand sanitizer!

I stumbled across JR Watkins in the grocery store one day and will admit I first picked it up based on its packaging. When I got home I did a little research and the only ingredient that I suppose isn't very clean would be the sulfates. I will let you make your own call on this but I have yet to find a soap that my husband is okay with that doesn't have sulfates. If he doesn't see a lot of suds he doesn't feel like his hands are getting clean and he just resorts back to hand sanitizer.

In the end, JR Watkins hand soap has great scents and they use essential oils for that and I love it. The soap leaves your hands soft and clean as well so you can't really beat that.

|BPA Free Water Bottle|

My husband and I drink A LOT of water and tea. One of the best things I have found since starting our clean eating journey is that a BPA free water bottle is important. We personally like the Camelback brand any kind will do. I have heard a lot of terrible things about water bottles being left in the car on a hot summer day and all the chemicals that leach into your water. Plus this way we spend way less money on something that we can just be getting from our tap or refrigerator filter anyway! Not to mention they come in tons of colors and designs and you can even find ones that will keep your drink cold for up to 6 hours!

Walking in the Light

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June 11, 2013

Why I don't do Ad Spaces & Sponsorship

I've been back and forth of selling ad spaces and sponsorship. I know a ton of blogs out there do this and really enjoy it. I definitely am not trying to persuade you one way or the other, or say that one is right or wrong - this is what I decided was best for me and my blog. 

Months ago, I made the decision that I would not purchase an ad space on anyone's blog. I had quit my job and didn't have as much disposable cash flow as I had previously, so paying $20.00 for one months ad space on a blog was out of the question.  Besides, most everyone's blogs I followed did free swaps, so that worked for me. 

At some point, I had lots of people encouraging me to add my own sponsorship page to help me grow my blog. I felt like to be a "real" blogger, I needed to do this. From the very first moment having the sponsorships and swaps, I disliked it. I felt guilty if I didn't have the time to invest in it and that if I took it off my blog wouldn't be desirable to read or follow. 

After a couple of weeks of contemplation and prayer, I took off the sponsorships and only left the free swap ads. I wasn't having much traffic with it and I was fine with free swaps since people didn't have to pay for it.

Then, just last week, I took swaps off completely too. 

I know many people love these spots and can handle them. Again, I don't mean to be stepping on any toes over this topic but ads on my own personal blog were not for me. I felt like it was taking away what my blog was about and I was getting caught up in a popularity contest. 

I also felt like it  was pulling me away from why I blogged in the first place. With my schedule how it is now, I am hardly ever by a computer and often on have a minute to sit down and my favorite blogs, much less maintaining something that was causing stress. 

I think swaps and sponsorships are great for people wanting to grow their blogs and get great exposure on larger blogger pages. For me though, I was getting caught up in the rat race, forgetting where I wanted to be.

I realize I will never have a massive blog following, or be a blogger everyone knows, but I am okay with that. My goal is to share Christ, my ups and downs of life and marriage and offer encouragement to you. I so appreciate all of my followers and you have given me great happiness. 

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June 10, 2013

Coffee & Conversation l Meaning behind the blog title

Today, I am joining in and linking up with my two Alabama blogger friends Kayln and Lauren  for their Coffee & Conversation series. I loved the question they posed last week and I definitely wanted to answer it. 

What's the meaning behind your blog title and why? Do you believe you've upheld the meaning's purpose?

I chose the name Walking in the Light in 2009 when I first started blogging. I remember thinking it over for a long time, reading tons of scripture and came upon 1 John 1:5 "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

My blog is to be a reflection of a person walking in Christ's love and mercy. As a follower of Christ, I wanted all of my actions and thoughts to reflect being a child of God. 

First, to "walk" is to live life. Its symbolizes progress and growing in maturity. 

"Light" in the bible can be a metaphor for a life of joy, righteousness and understanding  In James 1:17, it is clear that the light comes from the Lord. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."

I desire this blog to be a glimpse of a child of God who is growing in God's holiness and maturing in my faith as I follow Christ. Walking in the light is relinquishing sin by following Christ. 

I want to be like Christ in all that I do , whether I talk about going on  vacation, being a Godly wife, sharing my weekend adventures or cooking meals with you. I am a sinner and fail everyday. I often get sidetracked, but my title reminds me that I was created for one purpose - to give my life for Christ and make disciples of all nations. 

I want my very nature to be like Christ. I know that Jesus is the light in this world and I walk in that light by following His commandment's, living in His will and growing everyday in His grace. 

Coffee & Conversation

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June 7, 2013

blueberries & weddings

Today I am heading home to my parents for one of my college roommates wedding! I love it when one of my friends gets married from college, because its a reunion for all of us to get together, dance and have a great time! 

The bride (pic from Sophomore year of college)

The Broun Girls (our groups nickname named after our dorm. Sophomore year of college). 
We were babies!

 My hubs is staying behind in Birmingham because he is photographing another friends wedding, BUT my good friend Kate is coming down with me to Mobile. I am so glad to  have someone to make the 4 hour trek down with me. :)

This weekend begins blueberry season too, so it wont be a completely relaxing weekend because we need to pick tons of them! Don't worry though, I will eat plenty whilst I pick and it wont make it so tedious. 

I am feeling rather exhausted too from the busy week  and I am still having trouble still with my pinched nerve on my right hand. Hopefully, it will be fine to do a lot of picking tomorrow. 

Have a lovely weekend!

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June 6, 2013

From corporate world to play time

My life has changed dramatically in the past 5 months. My days used to be filled with business attire, meetings, appointments, spreadsheets, phone calls, messaging, and more spreadsheets. 

Now my days consist of sweat clothes, snack times, playgrounds, pools, tea parties, monster truck races, dirty diapers and runny noses. Instead of taking meeting notes, I help use finger paints to create beautiful pictures for mommies. 

I kiss a lot of boo boo's, hug a lot of necks, drink a lot of fake drinks and eat a lot of fake foods. I no longer have to meet deadlines, I no longer have a designated lunch break. I don't sit behind a desk 9 hours a day anymore, I only sit at the library for story time.

I am constantly on my toes, chasing after an infant or 4 year old. I'm ready to take a nap at 1:00 but ready to do all the madness all over again tomorrow.

I'm no longer in corporate America and now just Mrs. Clara who comes to play.

I love my job and grateful The Lord has allowed me to be a a stay a stay at home wife and nanny.

I don't miss the corporate world one bit and love being able to help out my sweet families. Isn't life to be enjoyed anyway?

I am forever grateful to my husband as well. He is encouraging, supportive and
Loving in my new role. I don't think he minds my happier demeanor too and the fact that the house is always cleaned before he gets home.

I hope and pray that I am lucky enough to be a Mom one day, but until then, I think I've got a pretty awesome gig helping other moms and dads out.

June 5, 2013

Clean Living | Homemade hard lotion & lip balm {DIY}

Welcome back to my Clean Living series. I've been posting so far about ways we have switched to clean eating, but today I'm going to share with you a clean living body product made by yours truly. 
I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago a picture of my own homemade lip balm and hard lotion. From that picture,  I got so many emails and messages about how to make these items. Well, you're in luck because today I'm sharing them with you. 
How did I start making my own lotion?
When the hubs and I traveled to Maui in March, I had a prescription patch to help me not get motion sick. I wore a  tiny band-aid like patch on my neck that provided 3 days worth of medication to cover sickness.  I then started thinking about all the products I put on my skin daily, lotion being a major item I use. I also found out that everyone's skin absorbs 64% of whatever you place on it.  
Thoroughly freaked out, I began researching clean products that were chemical free and safe to put on my skin. I came across hard lotion bars and knew I wanted to make these. I am addicted to lotion and always have a tube with me. Hard lotion is great for tough, dry skin. My husband has very sensitive skin so we have to be careful with what we use. I've also come across many friends and family members who struggle with eczema who cant find a lotion that helps their skin.
Since we started clean eating and the entire clean living process, I have wanted to switch over to more natural and simpler body products and lotion was the first place I started. 

I use only 4 ingredients in my lotion and 3 in my lip balm. 
The lotion bar consists of Shea butter or cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil and vitamin e oil. 
I ordered all my grandaunts from Bulk Apothecary. I used a double boiler and added 1 cup of beeswax, Shea butter and coconut oil together and melted down. Once it was melted, I pulled off the heat and added 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin e oil (just so the bar stays together better). I put into a mold I bought from Hobby Lobby and let it dry. Depending of the season, you can add more beeswax to make it harder for summer or add more coconut oil to make it softer during the winter. 

Once your bar is made, pack it in a tin or wrap in paper to keep from getting everywhere. 
All you have to do to use is rub the bar in your hands and your natural body heat with warm enough of the lotion off to use.  

The bars are fantastic because they transport easily and last a long time. The size bar I made should last up to a year! Its also nice to know exactly what is in your beauty product instead of a 15 ingredient list that you have no clue what any of it is, besides water!

After the bar, I used the same ingredients (minus the vitamin e oil) and made lip balm tins. 

These babies are awesome and I have at least 2 tins with me all the time.

They are easy to make and wonderful to use. If you don't want to make your own, email me at clarasschoen@gmail.com and you can buy them from me. 
This lotion bar is an easy and quick way to begin switching over your bathroom products to clean living. 
Walking in the Light

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June 3, 2013

My weekend with a brother

I had a blast this past weekend! One of my older brothers is in town visiting and I love having him here! I have two awesome brothers and The one visiting, Nathan, is just 13 months older than me. We get along really well and have always been close.

This past weekend, we hung out, watched movies, visited my sisters family and played some old school Nintendo 64 games.

I plan to take him around Birmingham today and show him the town. He has visited numerous times, but never really toured the city. I guess after 4 years of me living here it's time to show him my home.

Other than that, I've got some serious pain in my right hand making it very difficult to type/move/pick things up. I think I've possibly pinched a nerve, so I'm going to try and give my pathetic hand as much rest as possible. I've never injured anything before so I feel a bit like a baby with a cramping hand. Hopefully it will heal soon.

Hope your weekend was great and the start to your week!

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