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I Quit Makeup. Here's What Happened.

Lifestyle, Natural Living, Health, BlogAmanda Walter | Maple Alps11 Comments

I quit makeup.

Over two years ago.

Now, before you stop reading because you think I’m going  to tell you to stop wearing makeup, I’m not going to do any such thing.

I just felt like writing about my experiences - good and bad - when I stopped wearing makeup. Consider this more a personal reflection, and take from it what you wish!

This girl quit makeup | www.maplealps.com

Why did I do it?

I’ll be honest: I have no radical reason as to why I stopped wearing makeup. I just….decided to one morning. Don’t get me wrong - I really did enjoy wearing it and putting time and effort into my appearance, but when I questioned my motives (and some of the ingredients and testing methods of certain companies), I didn’t like what I was seeing. It was all about me and what people saw when they saw me. I realized that what I looked like shouldn’t matter as much as what my character was - so I took a break. My break has stretched to two years now, and I can’t say that I don’t miss it at times (again, for mostly superficial reasons), but I took some time to reflect on it.

 

It saves me time

I seriously used to be really good at getting up really early in the morning and getting myself together and ready. Over the years, however, it has gotten harder and harder to do that - mainly due to my light sleep and having a husband who goes to bed later than I would prefer. I am still obligated to wake up much earlier than I would like with these circumstances, but when I need the extra ten minutes, I take it. When I don’t need the extra time, it is now used in a much more productive way; I can extend the time for prayer, or eat a slower breakfast. It’s nice to not rush. It’s also nice to not spend so much time in front of the mirror looking goofy.

 

It saves me money

As I was going through the cosmetic aisle the other day, I was shocked to see some of the prices on brands I used to buy regularly. I did some quick math in my head and the number that came up was quite large. Being much more intentional about my money is important, and prioritizing what I spend it on is part of that. I was glad to realize that a large portion I would normally not even think about spending on makeup “essentials” now goes into savings.

 

It saves me stress

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the extra stress. Why should I have to worry about whether my mascara is truly waterproof when it rains, or if my nail polish is chipping in an unattractive manner? I have enough to worry about in a day, so adding on these factors was just making me more of a basket-case than I already am! Honestly, going back to the time thing as well, the stress of running out of time in the morning is too much for my delicate heart.

 

It saves my skin

It is nothing new that a lot of makeup and other toiletries are made with questionable ingredients that harm our bodies. Yes, there are fantastic alternatives I’m sure, but I’ve not explored these [often expensive] alternatives. Honestly, I could do with putting fewer layers of “stuff” on my extremely absorptive skin anyway. I don’t have the best skin, and skipping the chemical-filled cosmetics has improved it so much.

 

My Husband Still Loves Me

Yup.

 

In Conclusion

I never set out to see how long I could go without painting a nail or lining my eye (sounds so weird when I say it that way). I just got fed up and started on a journey I didn’t know I was going on. I doubt that I’ll ever go back, and if I do, I do. For now, I am content with my choice and glad for the extra time, money and peace of mind it contributes to.

 


What do you think about my experience? Experienced anything similar?


 

My Word for 2018

BlogAmanda Walter | Maple Alps6 Comments

If you happen to follow along on Instagram, then you likely remember me posting my word for 2018. I wasn’t planning on sharing it on the blog, but the more I thought about it, the better an idea it seems. Now, blogging is pretty vulnerable. You are basically putting your thoughts, opinions, and ways of life out there for anyone and everyone to read and the world is a scary place! But this also relates to my word this year. Ready? 

My Word for 2018 | www.maplealps.com

Liberation.  

lib·er·a·tion

1) the act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.

2) freedom from limits on thought or behavior.

I know it is sort of a strange word, but do hear me out.

I'm the person who always lets self-consciousness and perfectionism hold me back from doing things. Thing is, I'm also the person who learns well and quickly from mistakes.  So, this year, I'm not holding back. I'll write the horrible blog posts. I'll take the mediocre photos. I'll speak my terrible German. I'll take chances at work. I'll put myself out there. I'll say no. I'll say yes. But I will do it all free from my own selfish inhibitions. I'm tired of not doing things because "it won't be good enough."

Now this is not to say that I will do everything and anything. I still will be intentional in everything I do (and actually, I plan on taking on fewer responsibilities so I can focus on doing them well). But this year, I will be intentional about choosing to do things that will develop my character for good.

2018 is my year. I can feel it. 

 

Do you have a word for 2018?


 

My Top 6 Reads of 2017

BlogAmanda Walter | Maple Alps6 Comments

Affiliate links are used in this post

Since I was a child, I have loved reading. I remember getting so car sick when reading on the road, but taking a book regardless and consuming as much as I could before nausea set in. If it was night, there was less nausea, but less light and I'd wait for the stop lights and street lights to illuminate my page so I could get a few more sentences in (I know I wasn't the only one to do there! Where are my bookworms at??). Unfortunately, over the years the time to sit down with a book has become less. This last year I was a little more intentional about my book reading and then it occurred to me that I've never shared any book recommendations on the blog. I've had several people ask me about some of my favourites, so I decided to change that this year.

Because I have such a long commute, audiobooks have been my constant companion. Driving and reading when one is in the driver's seat is not ideal, so I get a good hour and a half of books read to me each work day. I don't mind. Audiobooks also allow me the freedom to use my eyes on other things, like my crochet projects and the muffins in the oven. 

While I have so many favourites, I decided to only share my top six from the year 2017. I chose six because that was the first number that popped into my head.

Top 6 Reads of 2017 | www.maplealps.com
 

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

 

Okay, yes, this was kind of late and I missed it while it was more trendy, but oh boy was this a good one! I read it way back in February - twice - and I can't even tell you how many people I recommended it to. I even made my poor husband listen to it on audible. But guys. It was great. It confirmed my minimalistic desires and served as a practical tool as I had already been cleaning out all of my things! Life was good, but got even better after this book. (Get your copy here!)

 

2. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

 

Who doesn't love a little bit of Chip and Joanna Gaines? I listened to the audiobook and it was pretty much amazing - mostly because Chip and Jo read it. It made their story come alive, and I came away from it wanting to quit life and start businesses. I didn't, of course, but it was definitely motivating. (Get your copy here)

 

3. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

 

I laughed, I cried, it moved me. Also read by the author, it was the true story of Nabeel Qureshi and his journey to Christianity. Amazing. (Get your copy here!)

 

4. David Livingstone: Africa's Trailblazer by Janet and Geoff Benge

 

Another true story about David Livingstone that I actually read because I was teaching it in school. I think I enjoyed it more than the kiddos did though, and that's why it made it into this list! In case you haven't noticed, I love true stories. There is so much inspiration found in watching the lives of others. (Get your copy here!)

 

5. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work by Timothy Keller

 

If you've ever wondered what the purpose of work is or how you can stay true to your values while advancing in your field of expertise, this is the book for you! Keller offers deep insight and surprising advice and answers relevant questions about our work! By the end of this book, you'll be walking a little taller and striving for excellence, discipline, creativity, integrity and creativity when it comes to your work. (Get your copy here!)

 

6. Love Does: Discover A Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff

 

This book. This book is great. Bob Goff tells unbelievable stories and experiences from his life and you just feel as if you're sitting with him in a coffee shop as shares valuable lessons he's learned in life. I was moved to do things because, well, love does. (Get your copy here!)

 

 

What were some of the best books you read in 2017? I'd love some recommendations!


 

Astra's First Christmas

BlogAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

You can make fun all you want, but naturally, we had to document our cat's (aka child #1) first ever Christmas, right? I've been reeeeeeeeally trying not to spam you too much with her on Instagram, so you get this quick Christmas post instead!

Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com

Time has flown by since we got Astra, but we have enjoyed every minute of it. And in true "new parent" fashion, I present to you: our kitten. She's grown a bit since you last saw her.

Of course, we had to get her an ugly sweater. It's just the thing to do! She still isn't sure how to feel about it, but she handles our craziness very well.

Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com
Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com
Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com

Ain't she cute? I know it. I look forward to her company and cuddles every morning - though I'm not sure what she loves more: me or all the knits in the house!

Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com
Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com
Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com
Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com

I'll spare you from suffering through more pictures....for now. We are just really attached to our little fur baby! Definitely didn't see that one coming :)

Merry Christmas from all of us over here, and a Happy New Year!

Astra's First Christmas | www.maplealps.com
 

Meet Astra

BlogAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

You may have gathered as much on Instagram, but two weeks ago, our family grew by one: my husband and I adopted a sweet kitten!

Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com
Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com

Meet Astra! We chose the name Astra because it means "star," and she is all black and has one small white spot on her belly and one on her throat. 

It became very clear very soon that this little kitten loves to be near her humans. We are constantly having her tangled in our legs as we walk and we wake up to her in our arms in our sleep. When we escape to the bathroom, she's scratching at the door. If she's fast (which she is) she makes it in there before the door can be closed and hangs out on the bath mat. If anyone is in the shower, she'll run between the shower curtain liner and curtain along the edge of the tub in a flash.

Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com
Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com

If I'm working at my desk, she jumps up on my rolling cart and snuggles down for a nap. She is definitely never far from where I am. I had to add a fleece so she would be more comfortable since she insists on being right near me.

Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com

She likes chilling with my husband too and is content just sitting under his chair. It's amazing how laid back she is!

Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com
Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com

She's a seriously curious critter and loves to check out every corner and watches everything we do very intently. We've come to find out that she looooooves knits, and perches herself on every homemade blanket she can find. She even loves my mood blanket, so I naturally had to update the post with some more pictures.

So now you've been introduced to our new sweet kitten. My grandma is still waiting for us to have a child, but she'll have to settle for a great-grandcat for now. We've been told that people with pets live longer, so we have some time now I suppose :P 

Is she not the sweetest?

Meet Astra | www.maplealps.com
 

Do you have a pet? What do you love about it?