How to Whiten Your Teeth with ARC Smile

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ARC. All opinions are 100% mine.

A beautiful smile has the ability to brighten any room and draw others in. A smile can make others feel at ease, welcomed, and loved. It can create an atmosphere of warmth and kindness. One thing I’ve always tried to do is take good care of my smile-from regular brushing, flossing, and dentist visits-but also keeping my smile white no matter how much black coffee or red wine I drink (because we all know I love wine and coffee!).

Never having had my teeth professionally whitened, I knew I wanted to find a solution that actually works. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using my ARC Smile Whitening Pen from Target and it’s been so convenient and easy to use!

Ingredients that work

The scientists behind ARC Smile wanted to create a product that stood for confidence without the nonsense of products that claimed to whiten teeth-but didn’t actually work. That’s why they only use ingredients that are clinically proven to whiten teeth and remove surface stains.

How I’ve been Using it

I have been using the ARC Smile Whitening Pen twice a day-once in the morning and then again in the evening. It is so simple because you just easily brush it on your teeth, let it dry for 60 seconds, and then avoid eating or drinking for just one hour afterward. It is easy to just incorporate into your daily brushing routine and see your smile transformed. Furthermore, it hasn’t hurt or irritated my teeth at all-just brightened up my smile!

ARC Smile also has white strips that are easily applied for thirty minutes. The last five minutes you use the ARC Blue Light and then remove the white strips to reveal your whiter smile!

Every smile has a story- and ARC Smile has created a product that is building confidence in others by brightening smiles everywhere. A smile has the ability to transform a day. So share your smile with others! One of my favorite quotes is that if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. I would love to know-what is the story behind your smile? Tell me in the comments! You can get ARC at Target and begin transforming your smile now!

Waterl<ss: My Secret to Going a Week Without Washing My Hair

Waterl<ss: My Secret to Going a Week Without Washing My Hair

This post is sponsored by Waterl<ss.

If you are anything like me, then you dread washing your hair because you know a long, damaging session with the blow dryer looms before you.

I’ve tried many a hair product to maximize the time between washes, but I haven’t found one that compares to Waterl<ss. If you’re not familiar with Waterl<ss, it’s a hair care company based out of Cape Town, South Africa created by a small group of scientists who wanted to create non-wash products that actually work. They put the products to the test during the water crisis in early 2018! I love partnering with brands that have awesome principals, and Waterl<ss celebrates diversity with lines for all different hair types. They are also passionate about water conservation! Their three-step system to maximizing the time between washes is so effective because it makes your hair look, feel, and even smell fresh-like you washed your hair that day. They want your hair to look just as good on day three as it does on day one. You know me, I go 4, sometimes even a full week without washing my hair. I do it using Waterl<ss’ full regimen of products. Also-think about this-the less you wash your hair, the less damaging heat you put on it. I am convinced this has helped my hair grow so long and healthy.

Making your hair look clean

Waterl<ss’ first step is their dry shampoo. Their No Residue dry shampoo stands out above the rest because there is no residue. You know how some dry shampoos leave your hair looking grey or chalky? Waterl<ss has absolutely zero of that. My roots are a light brown/dark blonde and so I am always cognizant of that-I mean who wants to walk around with grey roots?! Waterl<ss has solved this problem and simply leaves your roots looking clean.

Making your hair feel clean

You know that feeling after you deep condition your hair? The ends are soft and smooth. It’s hard to get that feeling without actually deep conditioning your hair. I know usually around day 2-3 of me forgoing washing my hair the ends begin to get a little brittle. But Waterl<ss has developed such a great solution to that! Their Weightless Smooth dry conditioner leaves your hair shiny, smooth, and soft-feeling like you just deep conditioned it. I always apply the dry conditioner to the mid shaft of the hair down to the ends, avoiding my roots or places near the top of my scalp.

Making your hair smell clean

Your girl loves to work out. I work out every single day. I also love hiking and pretty much doing anything active. But I don’t want to have to wash my hair every single time I work out-if I did that I would be spending an hour a day blow drying-nobody’s got time for that! Waterl<ss’ third and final step is their hair fragrance. This makes your hair smell fresh and clean without being overly “perfumey.”

Waterl<ss’ system has completely transformed how much heat I use on my hair and how often I need to wash it. Their products are so effective and thoughtful. I love being able to go hiking or work out knowing I can go without having to wash my hair afterwards. Their three-step system has perfected making your hair look, feel, and smell so fresh and clean!

The Waterl<ss Collection is available online at Target!

For the Girl Who Doesn’t Know Her Calling

For the Girl Who Doesn’t Know Her Calling
The wind gently pushed back her auburn hair as she gazed out over the hill country. She felt deep longing well up inside her-a desire to run, to be free, to see the world, to get away from the monotony of her 9-5.

She just wanted to go.

To impact others and do something big-something that mattered.

Frustration ebbed at her core- why hadn’t God revealed His plan for her? Shouldn’t she know what she wants to do with her life? At 25, shouldn’t she know her calling?

Deep inside all of us, we have a need to impact others-to make a difference. We all want to matter. Sometimes it is so frustrating to feel like we don’t know or understand God’s plan for our lives. Trusting Him can be difficult. Handing control over to Him can be one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. I mean we’re boss babes, right? We fix our problems. So completely relinquishing that power and control to the Lord can feel impossible, it can even make you feel sick to your stomach. Last year I remember not knowing at all what God’s plan held in store for me and I am still learning. I remember praying everyday that He would reveal His will for my life. I’ve come up with a few tips and things to remember as you are soul-searching and asking God for guidance.

  1. IF GOD IS YOUR #1, YOU CANNOT LOSE

If the Lord is at the root of your being-your guiding force in your life, you cannot lose. Remember Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?

Who can stand against the Creator of the Universe? Oh yeah and don’t forget-He is your Father.
God is for you.
He loves you, He is fighting for you.

Psalm 18:32-33 says,
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.”
God enables you.
He allows you to stand before His presence in confidence. Keep the Lord where He belongs-as the priority of your life and you simply cannot lose.

2. WAIT ON THE LORD

Today I was reading my Bible and I stumbled upon Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Sometimes God wants us to wait.
With our culture (and myself tbh) that probably doesn’t sit too well. I mean we live for instant gratification-we can see what all our friends are doing instantly on IG, be entertained instantly on TikTok, or if we’re hungry we just drive through Chick Fil A (AKA the Lawd’s chicken). So God telling us to wait seems contrary to what is ingrained within us. But through waiting-God is perfecting us-He is building trust within us and building our patience. When we wait on the Lord and seek Him that is making us grow increasingly more Christlike. And that is the ultimate goal- to resemble our Lord more and more as each day passes.

3. PRAY

If you are frustrated-tell that to God. He wants to hear about your sadness and annoyances. He wants to know.
He wants to know everything.
Remember Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” We have a God who is alive and active, He wants to hear your prayers. He isn’t passive eating bonbons in heaven, out of touch and uncaring. I know it can feel like that sometimes, I’ll be the first to admit it. But remember He died and defeated death just to know you. In Philippians 4:7 God reminds us,
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Talk to God.
If you don’t have time-make time. Lately I have been setting five alarms and getting up extra early because it is literally the only time of the day I can find for the Lord.

You always make time for the things that matter to you, you wouldn’t ignore your BFF or your bf. You make time for those you love-including God.

Waiting on the Lord and wanting him to reveal His plan for your life is difficult. It takes trusting in the Lord and allowing him to work in His own timing. Focusing your heart on Him through prayer and making sure that He is Lord of your life is the best way to let him open your heart and reveal to you what His plan for you is. Remember Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Trust in Him and lean into His perfect strength, because when we are weak, He is strong.

-Rach

10 Qualities of Godly Friend

10 Qualities of  Godly Friend
Friendships are one of the many beautiful gifts God has given us. Friends can bring us closer to God and have the capacity to change us, positively or negatively. Sometimes it is difficult to find good friends who will stay by your side.

 

Personally, I have experienced friendship on the widest spectrum. I have had friends who have loved me unconditionally like Christ and I have had friends who have thrown away our friendship. Difficulties in friendships can be heartbreaking. I encourage you to be the kind of friend you would want to have. It is important as Christians to honor God through these relationships. Here are ten points to consider in your friendships. I encourage you to examine these points in your life to ensure that you are being a godly friend and that your friends have these essential qualities.

 

A good friend…

 

1.IS ENCOURAGING

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” That is the kind of friend Christ calls you to be! You should rejoice when your friend receives an award or recognition. You should encourage her to grow in her relationship with Christ. Being encouraging does not mean sugar coating everything, but remaining positive, even when the situation may seem bleak.

2. IS A TRUTH SPEAKER

A godly friend speaks truth into your life, even when it is difficult to hear. A true friend loves you and genuinely wants the best for you. They will tell you both the good and the bad. She will tell you when she feels that you are walking away from the Lord or if she feels that you have been walking closer with God. She will speak God’s Truth into your life daily.

3. SAYS THINGS IN LOVE

This one goes hand-in-hand with the point above. If you feel that God is calling you to speak a tough truth into a friend’s life, you must say it in love. Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and should be exercised throughout a Christian’s life. Speaking a hard truth in gentleness and kindness can strengthen a friendship rather than hurt it.

4. PRAYS FOR YOU

A true and godly friend prays with you and for you. We all go through difficult phases in life and a true friend recognizes the need for a prayerful community and asks how she can pray on your behalf. My close friends and I meet once a week to share our walk with the Lord and even share how we have struggled in our spiritual walk. Having that kind of support and accountability is essential. Sharing your prayers and struggles with your friends is liberating.

5. IS THOUGHTFUL

A good friend thinks of others before herself (Philippians 2:3). She thinks about how she can serve others and encourage others in their walk with the Lord. She remembers birthdays and special days in her friends lives. She is intentional with her friendships and know their purpose is to honor God.

6. IS SECURE IN HER IDENTITY

A good friend recognizes her immeasurable worth in Christ. She is secure in her identity as a daughter of the Most High. She also knows that is your identity as well. That’s why she doesn’t get jealous when you succeed, instead she is the one in the crowd cheering the loudest for you.

7. IS LOYAL

A godly friend sticks by your side even when times are tough. She stands up for you when she needs to and always speaks positively of you. She knows that “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45) and she only uses her words to build you and others up.

8. FORGIVES

We have all fallen short of God’s grace and are going to make mistakes. It is crucial to be able to forgive a friend when she has wronged you. Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” I am so thankful to have had godly friends who have forgiven me when I have wronged them. God calls us to forgive. Don’t confuse this with justifying an abusive friendship. Although you must forgive them, you do not have to remain in a harmful relationship.

9. IS A PEACEMAKER

A good friend cultivates peace in her relationships. She doesn’t revel in drama or discord. She seeks peace and harmony. Matthew 5:9 states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” She doesn’t look to create unnecessary drama and is happiest when people feel included and loved.

10. BRINGS OUT YOUR BEST

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Friendships are supposed to strengthen your walk with the Lord. A good friend helps you be the best version of yourself. It is also your responsibility as a godly friend to come along side your friends and encourage them.

Being a good friend can be difficult. The secret of being a good friend is to abide in Christ. Remember the purpose of friendship: to honor God. Be the kind of friend God wants you to be. Seek God with all your heart and He will give you the power to be a good friend. Love others the way that Christ loves you and you will become the best friend a girl could ask for.

Love ya,

Rachel

Three Ways to Overcome a Break Up

Three Ways to Overcome a Break Up
Do we ever actually break up with people? After a breakup, we remain Snapchat buddies and Instagram followers; but the position changes. You go from once knowing every intimate hope and dream of another person to suddenly watching their lives through a frosted glass.

 

The conversations stop and you go from being someone’s main confidant to an outsider. Someone who isn’t welcome anymore. This transition can be devastating, life-changing, and confusing. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to be best friends with someone, then the next day you don’t matter. Having gone through some gnarly break-ups, I want to share with you how I have not only survived them, but grown through the miserable process. God CAN and WILL use break-ups to grow you and teach you how to be more Christlike; you just have to be willing to allow Him.

1. GOD IS YOUR REFUGE

I wish I could show you my prayers from a break-up I went through a while ago. I remember praying the same prayer over and over again from Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
I literally prayed this nonstop.
I prayed this in the car, I prayed this in the morning, I prayed this on my pink moped driving to class.
This prayer sustained me.
This prayer comforted me.
Take refuge in your Father during this time. He is the only one who can make you get through this. Alcohol won’t help. Going out won’t help. Those things numb you.
God saves you.
He rescues you.

2. SINGLENESS CAN BE A BLESSING

So many girls want a relationship so badly. We want to share our feelings, passions, and love with another person. God made humans to be relational. That’s a natural, God-inspired desire. It’s not bad, unless it consumes you and comes before God. Also, relationships don’t have to be romantic. You can grow spiritually through friendships. God uses different seasons in our lives to stretch and grow us. Over the past 6 months, I have grown more spiritually than I ever have before. And I know a large reason is because I have been single. For once, I haven’t had a man competing for my attention with the Lord.
Singleness can be huge blessing.
Accept that season in your life and see what God does with it. He has a plan we can’t always comprehend. But remember, God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according His purpose (Romans 8:28).

3. DON’T CONTACT HIM

After a break-up, you need time to recover. I know it is so tempting to call/text/tweet/instagram/snapchat/viber (WHATEVER) him. Just don’t do it. Once you break-up, let it sit. Go be with friends who love you and will encourage you to seek the Lord’s face during this time. Seek God’s presence, don’t run to another guy either. You need to be okay with yourself without a man. I know it’s hard to not contact him-he was your best friend right? You are used to sharing your feelings with him. It seems natural. But remember, he is not that person to you anymore. The relationship has changed and the sooner you understand that, the better. Contacting him will not do you any good, it’ll end up hurting you more. If he refuses to stop contacting you, after you’ve told him multiple times to stop, then block him. If you ended it with him and he can’t respect your decision-that significantly shows how much he respects you. A guy must respect that you have choice in the relationship.

Break-ups suck. They can be some of the most awful, heart-breaking, and devastating times of your life. Whenever you go through a breakup, remember to seek God as your refuge. Pray that prayer from Psalm 18:2 all the time. Write it out and put it on your mirror and memorize it. Lean into God’s Truth that you are His daughter and He loves you immeasurably and walk with that confidence and knowledge at the forefront your mind. Remember, God’s love defines you, not a guy’s affection.
You are a daughter of the Creator of the Universe.
That’s who you are.
That is power. 
God is watching out for you. He has the perfect man chosen for you who will love you and help you walk closer to the Lord. God closes doors for a reason, and it is always because there is a better one He is wanting you to walk through once you are ready. Allow Him to work in your heart and make you into the woman that He has empowered and called you to be-with or without a man.