Interviews

Five Questions With Bianca Olthoff

423 634 Melissa Mayer

Friends! We are so excited to bring to you an amazing Q&A we had the honor of participating in with author and speaker Bianca Olthoff. While we have not met Bianca in person, we feel as though we know her from interview her, reading her new book, and following her on Instagram and that is because she is real and honest in everything she writes and says and THAT, my friends, is a gift and a treasure. Her new book, How To Have Your Life Not Suck: Becoming Today Who You Want To Be Tomorrow, is one of those books that you think about constantly once you start it and one that you tell all your girlfriends about. Bianca is encouraging, inspiring, and convicting; she writes in such a way that makes you want to hit your knees, praying and crying out to God, praising Him for all he has done, and trusting Him for all that He will do. Her words makes you want to stand firm in your faith, obey with endurance, and step out in courage. Keep reading to meet Bianca Olthoff and be inspired to read her incredible book.

TAKE A READ…

Let’s talk about your Instagram. We are loyal followers and your posts always do things: 1) make us LOL so hard and 2) inspire us beyond words, motivating us to fight the good fight and love the Lord with all our hearts. What do you love sharing and interacting with others on your Instagram platform and what has inspired your approach to your IG posts?

First of all, I don’t have followers—I have FRIENDS! I love that we are cyber friends. Secondly, the fact that you laugh at my posts SOLIDIFIED us as forever friends.

But the reason I love social media is that it has really leveled the playing field of communication within social class, nationality, and popularity. Within seconds you can commenting and engaging with a superstar in Brazil by leaving Instagram love, Snapchatting your roommate in the bunk bed next to you, or inspiring someone you’ve never met via Facebook live. Social media has many pitfalls, but there’s a lot of amazing ways to connect, inspire, and be encouraged by new friends we wouldn’t have otherwise met if it wasn’t for the good ol’ world wide web.

For me personally, I  know my online friends don’t really go to church. And if they do, it’s not very consistent. So I  bring church to them! Yes, I post silly things that I love, but I also posts clips of me teaching the Word of God, sharing inspiring quotes, or sharing stories of life transformation. Why? Because we have this awesome tool called the internet and we can make a really big world feel really small if we take time to engage with people.

Tell us about the title of your new book, How To Have Your Life Not Suck: Becoming Today Who You Want To Be Tomorrow. Did it come to you right away or as you started to write? It is an extremely powerful title and fits so well with the content. Did you always intend for it to a guidebook to living one’s best life? Because that is definitely what is was for us when reading!

First of all, can I put y’all in my pocket and pull you out anytime I need encouragement?! All this flattery will get you EVERYWHERE. Just kidding! (Well, half kidding.)

The very first bible study I taught was on the book of Ruth over 15 years ago. I discovered that the Bible was FULL of practical wisdom, truth, and humor that could have me not just survive my quarter-life crisis, but THRIVE in a difficult season. So I guess you can say it was a 15-year process to write this book! But I set out to write a playbook that I wish I had when I was in a really sucky season of life. Being single, moving back home, not working my dream job—those were all very normal struggles, but no one talked to me or mentored me in a way that impacted me.

This is my playbook for women who want to get their life together and a primer for those who want to understand and connect with the next generation.

As we started to read, we couldn’t put the book down! Your vulnerability and willingness to share your story, as well as your strong faith and passion for God’s Word, are so evident in these pages. I am sure there are many, but if there is one thing that you want readers to take away from your book, what would it be?

YES! Without a doubt, I  want people to understand the power of legacy. This isn’t fully obvious in the book of Ruth, but in the New Testament we see that this pagan, barren, widowed Moabite (basically she was HOT MESS EXPRESS) ends up in the lineage of Jesus Christ?! The decisions she made in her everyday effected her tomorrow—she wasn’t living for a good weekend, she was building a good legacy.

If people read one chapter of my book, I would suggest reading the very last chapter. Go ahead! I give you permission. My hope is that people understand that all decisions, all disillusionment, and despair can be redeemed. Because if you are not dead, then God is not done.

Your writing style is the perfect balance of straightforward, tell it like it is, preach it type of wisdom, with a side dose of humor that makes what you say incredibly moving and memorable. Your relationship advice in particular is always spot-on! What is it about single women and the dating world that inspires you to speak into their lives with such Truth and passion? It is such a gift!

Hand to heaven, I  told Jesus that when I would preach, teach, write, or create, I will NEVER ostracize my single sisters. I love the Church, but it felt like I was less-than, unwanted, or diseased during my single years (I didn’t get married until 30 and instantly inherited two step kids). The enemy will have a field day with our mind if we believe that narrative. So I’m always intentional to include as many voices to the conversation as possible. And dating SUCKS, man. Let’s share wisdom and stories with humility and candor so we can learn how to date well!

Did the story of Ruth always hold a special place in your heart? You weave Ruth and her story so well into your personal stories throughout the book. When did you first realize that God had placed on your heart to write this book and how did Ruth become a central role in it?

I’m a first generation American with a family that wasn’t religious. My parents came to this country with nothing, but chose God to be their God, the United States to be their land, and God’s people to be their people. That was Ruth’s story. Scrappy, hard-working, and not like those in her community, she showed up. Her chutzpa inspired me and I hope everyone who reads this book finds a piece of their story in her story. Redemption isn’t just for the perfect, polished, and pretty. Redemption is for all of us.

follow Bianca on social // buy her book

Talking Courage, Faith, & Family With Jessica Honegger

1024 758 Melissa Mayer

We are so excited to have Jessica Honegger with us today. As the founder of Noonday Collection, author of Imperfect Courage, and wife and mother, Jessica’s schedule is busy, but busy with things that enrich her soul and bring the Lord so much glory! We first heard Jessica’s name through friends who talked about the Noonday jewelry they owned and loved. Then I had the joy of hearing Jessica speak at IF Gathering, and then listened to her episode on a podcast that is close to our hearts- Thriving Beyond Belief! When we got connected to Jessica, we were seriously overjoyed to ask her a few questions about life, courage, jewelry, family, balance, and so much more. Keep reading to get to know Jessica and hear all the goodness she has to share!

-Tell us about the heart behind Noonday! What inspired the company and brand mission?

Before we launched Noonday Collection in 2010, my husband Joe and I were parents to two and decided to grow our family through adoption. We were running a house-flipping business right when the Austin real estate bubble popped (great timing, I know), but Joe and I had made up our minds about adopting. So, we set out to raise funds to bring our Jack home from Rwanda.

A friend of mine connected me with a jewelry maker in Uganda named Jalia. She was also in need of additional income to help support her family, so my friend suggested that I purchase some paper bead necklaces from Jalia and sell them to my friends and family in the U.S. I had no clue where it would lead, but I found myself with a ton of jewelry and decided to invite my girlfriends over to my house. I sold Jalia’s pieces at what ended up being the first-ever Noonday Collection Trunk Show. It’s been almost a decade now, and this little fundraiser of mine has grown into a global business that supports over 4,500 Artisans across the globe. Today, our son Jack is home and kicking a soccer ball like nobody’s business. Jack even considers himself the “true” founder of Noonday!


-What do you love about traveling to other countries and meeting the artisans of Noonday’s items? 

Every time I travel abroad to visit Artisans, I’m reminded of my why. I’m reminded why I do the work that I do, and I’m inspired by the knowledge that we’re really all a lot more alike than we are different. I’ve met hundreds of people around the world whose families have been positively affected thanks to orders from Noonday, and nothing sparks a fire in my belly to keep at it like seeing that impact first-hand.

And then there’s the little things, like Vietnamese coconut coffee and scouring the markets in Delhi. Just last month I was in India with my business partner, Travis Wilson. He knows me well and even brought an empty suitcase along just for me to fill with all the best market goodies!


-What are your dreams for Noonday in the future?

More Ambassadors and more impact. It’s as simple as that. Every time a new Ambassador decides to join our Noonday community, we’re able to widen the marketplace we’ve created in the U.S. for the amazing work that each Artisan Business creates. With more Ambassadors comes more orders, with more orders comes more Artisan partnerships, and with more partnerships comes dignified work for thousands of people in need. Our team of Ambassadors is truly incredible, and I can’t wait to walk with them as they continue being the change they wish to see in the world.

-We love the title of your new book. What does leaving comfort look like to you? 

It’s scary, comforting, and beautiful all at the same time. Whether it’s starting a business or trying the wide-leg pant trend, getting out of your comfort zone is exactly that – uncomfortable. But the fruits of that discomfort are well worth it. Growing our courage muscles is like growing any other muscles—you have to actually use them to make them stronger.


-Has writing a book always been something on your heart? What was the writing process like for you?

I’m not sure I’ve always considered myself to be an author, but I’ve long considered myself a storyteller, and I thought about writing this book for a long time. Imperfect Courage took years to put together, but I just knew that my purpose in life is to catalyze courage in others to help them leave comfort, go scared, and make their own impact footprints in the world! My teammates helped me sort through my thoughts in several brainstorming sessions, and we were making final edits right up until the print deadline! I’m an enneagram 7, so I’m always wanting to add something new—having a hard print deadline was definitely a challenge for me!

-I recently heard you at the IF Gathering say that you try to be fully present at work when you are working and fully present at home when you are home. We LOVE this perspective. How do you practically implement this practice on a day to day basis?

Lately, it’s been unplugging from my phone at various times throughout the day and practicing the art of just being. When I’m in an important meeting, I might leave my phone in my office. And when I’m home, I might even give it to my daughter, Amelie, to make sure I’m not randomly checking my Instagram messages.

But overall, these days I’m practicing the art of slowing down and embracing that “good enough” is actually plenty. With the release of a book last year and lots of international trips this year, it can be hard for me to slow down and be. Taking the time to be present at home with my family for an impromptu dance party or taco night, is often just the antidote I need.

Thank you, Jessica, for taking the time and energy to do this Q&A with us! 

SHOP JESSICA’S BOOK:

Talking Love With Audrey Roloff

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

I am so excited to have a dear friend of mine, Audrey Roloff, featured on LSK today. Auj and her husband, Jeremy, have written a book that everyone should read ASAP! Married, engaged, dating, or single, A Love Letter Life is a read that will speak to everyone’s heart, encouraging all to pursue creatively, date intentionally, and love faithfully. Relationships are such a precious gift from the Lord and we are called to love others as Jesus loves us. We promise you that Audrey and Jeremy’s love story will display God’s love for His children and inspire you to love well, thanks to Jesus’ love for us and how He equips us in relationship.

*Let’s chat about the inspiration behind this book. Was it something that had been on your and Jeremy’s hearts for a while?

AR: I’ve always wanted to write a book, it’s definitely a big God dream for me.  I’ve always loved writing, journaling, blogging and am so passionate about relationships, from dating to marriage. Jeremy and I definitely have a similar heartbeat for relationships and the idea of writing a book as a way to walk alongside others in relationship by encouraging creativity, intentionality, and faithfulness felt really natural and made us both really excited.

*I love the book’s description of “Pursue Creatively, Date Intentionally, and Love Faithfully.” This captures the journey of meeting someone, getting to know them, and loving them like Jesus loves us. From your experience, what would you say is the most important purpose of this process?

AR: To us, pursuit, dating, and loving aren’t so much a process (as in one stops and the other starts), but more so a package deal where all three things are part of the whole love story, from the beginning until forever. Jeremy is still doing all three of these things: pursuing me, dating me, and loving me. Just because we are married, doesn’t mean the pursuing and dating stops! That is what we really hope to convey to couples and individuals, that pursuing creatively, dating intentionally, and loving faithfully are core healthy aspects for a wonderful relationship. As Jeremy says, they are beautiful ingredients for a beautiful love story. The adjectives there are super important, too: creatively, intentionally, and faithfully. This is how our God loves us, so we are to love others in the same way.

*Let’s talk faith! Can you explain your point of view in the importance of being with someone who loves the Lord with all their heart? How big of a part did Jeremy’s love for God have in your attraction, interest, and love for Jeremy? 

AR: Huge part! I had a very high standard for who the person I was going to be with would be. Loving the Lord with their whole heart was a must when it came to a potential relationship. I met Jeremy at a time when he was in a slight season of spiritual complacency, so friendship first for us was definitely the Lord preparing us and protecting us to love one another better. There was no pressure when we were friends before dating and we are both so thankful for that season, because the season of friendship allowed us to follow Jesus so strongly individually, and then come together in a romantic sense and love one another intentionally and purposefully.

*You two discuss friendship as the basis for a love relationship a lot in this book which is so amazing. Jeremy puts it so beautifully in the book: “We were careful with one another because we didn’t want to mess it up. The friendship we were nurturing allowed us to build the foundation for a love story without getting lost in a cloud of emotions from physical intimacy.” Yes and amen to that! Can you elaborate on why you and Jeremy felt called to be careful with one another and why you believe this truth to be so key when dating? Immediately it makes me think of Proverbs 4:23- “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”

AR: This goes back to the question above and just how important the friendship season was for us. As I said, it was definitely preparation and protection from God which I am so thankful for. We were careful with one another and took it slow because we didn’t want to mess it up. We both messed up before with previous relationships and we didn’t want to go there. Friendship truly was our solid foundation for our relationship and allowed us to stay grounded and patient as our love story took root and then unfolded.

*When I think of your and Jeremy’s love story, I think of a seed being steadily nourished, growing into a delicate sapling, then strengthening into a blooming, healthy plant; one that is thriving and flourishing as you are nurtured through each other by the fruits of the Holy Spirit. How would you describe thriving and flourishing in marriage? 

AR: Oh man, great question. I would say thriving and flourishing in marriage for Jeremy and I looks like us pursuing one another constantly, pushing one another to follow Jesus steadfastly, connecting with one another regularly, communicating well, and believing that there are always more ways to love and serve one another. Back to your plant reference, plants need different things at different times of the year, so knowing that thriving and flourishing for us is going to look different at different times of the year really brings us peace and keeps us going.

*Last but not least, we gotta hear what it is like to work and write a book with your husband! 

AR: I absolutely love working together with Jeremy and wouldn’t trade it for the world. We get to do life together, completely, and we both love that. Of course we have challenges to work through together and we do that, but it might look different compared to couples who don’t work together. It definitely puts us in a place where we can’t avoid conflict, so we are quick to address it and quick to resolve it! It is such a blessing though to be on mission together and working toward the same goal, it is the best thing for us as a husband and wife team and keeps pushing us to grow, both individually and as a union.

Thanks, Auj! xo

Shop their book, here:

To read more faith posts on LSK, click here, and for more interviews, click here

Five Questions With Christine Caine

578 560 Melissa Mayer

We are beyond excited to have Christine Caine on the blog today. We recently spoke about her book Unexpected on LSK in this post, so it is a major blessing to be featuring five questions with Christine Caine today on the blog. Christine is not just a woman of faith, but she is a woman who is fervently pursuing the life in which the Lord has called her to live as an activist, author, and international speaker. If you attended or watched IF Gathering this past February, you know what I am talking about! Her passion for spreading the Gospel and loving God with all of your heart and mind is truly inspiring. Read the Q&A below to learn more from Christine and definitely read her book!

click to shop:

-Your newest book, Unexpected, has spoken to our to hearts so deeply. What initially prompted you to write about stories of the unexpected happening in peoples lives?

When I first sat down to start writing Unexpected, it was actually headed in a very different direction. But as 2016 rolled on at the time, I saw how shaken our world was by unexpected tragedies and events. Then, the unexpected hit my own life in a whole new way. I share in the book that I stepped off of a boat where I was celebrating my 50th birthday with 150 of my closest friends to discover several missed phone calls and texts from my brother telling me my mother had passed away. That experience of feeling whiplashed by pain in a moment of such joy really defined a new direction for the book.

The result is what I would say is the most personal book Ive written. God took me through my own wilderness season in writing the book. And because of that I think the stories are more than just stories, theyre testimonies of His steady faithfulness even in the most unexpected of circumstances.

-Your vulnerability and the vulnerability of the people you feature in Unexpected is undeniable throughout the book. What is your prayer for opening up in this way?

My prayer is that we will all become prisoners of hope. That we will develop the emotional and spiritual muscles needed to overcome fear with faith. That doesnt mean we deny the reality of pain in our world, but it does mean that we arent defined by it and dont define our lives by it.

-A chapter from your book speaks to the feeling of being in the wilderness and how God works in us during these times to prepare us for the Promised Land in our lives. If you could summarize that amazing chapter into one piece of advice for how to navigate the wilderness seasons we face, what would it be? 

When you find yourself in the wilderness, make Gods promises bigger than your disappointment and heartache. If you give up on His promises, you will give in to disillusionment, cynicism, and bitterness, and you will lose heart.

Our disappointment and heartache threaten to derail us every day. They can so easily distract us and shift our focus from Gods power at work in our lives to their destruction in our lives. What we chose to do with that disappointment and heartache will determine our destiny. Take hold of the promise that Gods power is bigger than any disappointment or heartache. And remember that the wilderness is a place to pass through, not a place to stay and set up camp.

-God is using you in such an incredible, bold, impactful way. You write in the book that you got where you are now by taking the long way and not being tempted to take a shortcut in the past- even if you might not have been where you expected to be by that time. When it comes to patience and trusting that the Lords steps are the right steps for us, what is your biggest piece of advice for readers? 

Put your trust in Gods plan into practice by embracing the place you are in today with passion and faithfulness. Focus more on becoming the person God designed you to be than on doing the things God designed you to do. He cares most about our hearts and souls, we should too. Remember that the long way around is where we build the muscles – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually – that are required for the next step in our journey.

-You reference Scripture often in your book to support the stories that you share. Can you share with us now a passage from the Bible that you hold on closely to when facing unexpected times in life? 

One of my favorite Scriptures of all is Ephesians 3:20 which says, Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.Those words give me so much hope in the unexpected times because it reminds me that following Gods plan instead of my own is a grand adventure that will far exceed my dreams in the end no matter how rough and painful it may get in the middle.


feature image via Christine Caine’s Instagram // second image via IF Gathering’s Instagram 

Q&A with goop’s senior beauty editor

1024 780 Melissa Mayer

We are thrilled to introduce you to Megan O’Neill- goop’s senior beauty editor. We are forever goop fans here at LSK. We are signed up for their emails, follow them on all social, check their site regularly, and always look to them for wellness lifestyle tips, healthy recipes, and clean, toxin-free beauty product recommendations.  Megan has a column called Megan Tries It, where she tries new products and then gives goop readers the 411 on them. Read the Q&A to get to know Megan as we pick her brain on all things clean beauty and healthy living!

-It is no secret that we are goop super fans! Can you share a little bit about work life @ goop?

The vibe here really thrills me; it’s laid back yet hyper-focused. We produce a ton of content—really informed, smart, engaging, thoughtful content—and so a tremendous amount of work goes into creating it and getting it into shape and making sure everything is meticulously researched. I love that we don’t just fling things up onto the Internet. So yes, work life at goop is definitely rigorous, but the flip side of late nights are the office Transcendental Meditation sessions or that Susan Miller—she’s a beyond-legit astrologist—will come read us our horoscopes for an hour one day. And there’s also humor. We all get stressed, but it’s definitely a team that likes to laugh and so there’s a lot of jokes and asides and silliness throughout the day.

-We are loving your Megan Tries It column- you have tried a lot! To-date, what is your favorite wellness practice that you have tried for the column?

Thank you so much! I really enjoy writing Megan Tries It—and trying all manner of things. God, so many things I’ve fallen in love with but there’s a sleep potion that really is just next level. It’s called Sleep Inner Beauty Powder and it’s from this Australian brand The Beauty Chef. It’s a powder made of turmeric and natural sedatives like sour cherry, passionflower and lemon balm-and it’s the most soothing, soul-warming, incredibly tasty before-bed drink!! You dump the powder into warm almond milk, add honey, and omg—it puts me into a coma. My husband is an insomniac, a bad one, and even he says it’s helped him relax and ease that racing mind of his.

Something I’ve tried that I loved that was a little more out there was a chakra healing crystal treatment. I lay sprawled on a massage table, bathed in lights beamed through crystals suspended over me. The point was to balance and stimulate my chakras, which can get out of whack from things like stress or too much sitting. I am absolutely down to try anything that may help me feel more soothed throughout the day. Why on earth not? And I can attest that it is soothing and fantastical to be bathed in crystal light.

-Have you always been interested in mindfulness, self care, and overall well-being? Share a little bit about your wellness journey.

I have! My mom has always been someone who chose natural remedies over store-bought over-the-counter things. She’s someone who’s been juicing for something like 40 years, long before it was cool. When my older brother was little, my mom has his bottle filled with sea kelp, and there was no having refined sugar for him. She had bone broth simmering frequently. We drank castor oil when we needed a “clean out,” which is something I think she grew up doing in Jamaica, where she’s from. She relaxed a little by the time I came around and I was allowed to have Doritos and Gushers and awesome kid snacks because total deprivation is definitely not the way. But we never took aspirin or Tylenol for headaches. If I had a headache my mom would say, “Just sit quietly, and it will pass” or “Drink some water.” It made me furious that I couldn’t just take a Tylenol, for God’s sake! But now that’s my mentality, too.

-What are your 3 must-have skincare items?

Vintner’s Daughter is the most beautiful, healing face oil that makes my skin so insanely glowy. It’s a blend of nourishing essential oils like hazelnut, bergamot, evening primrose, sea buckthorn…it feels stupendous on your skin, too. I’ll never not use it. Then I’m also in love with the Replenishing Night Cream from goop. It’s rich and intensely hydrating, and I smooth it on before plane rides, and it really holds up against the stale air plane air. I’m always preposterously dewy when I disembark. I definitely wear it during the day, too, when it’s frigid out. And I’ve just discovered the Essential Serum from Modicum. It’s filled with antioxidants, sea buckthorn, black cumin, and helichrysum oils. (It’s called a serum but it feels like a luxurious face oil and hydrates like one, too.) Helichrysum is an ingredient I hunt for in skincare, it’s so therapeutic and it smells herbaceous and heavenly. I massage the Modicum serum into my face before Vintner’s some mornings, and it just supercharges things and makes my glow last all day.

-Is your  daily beauty routine simple or complex? Give us some details!

I relish it my routine. And it’s not just a routine, it’s a soothing ritual that makes me feel prepared and put together and calm and beautiful. In the morning, I wash my face—I’m into the cleansing balm from goop and the Black Mint Cleanser from Odacite—then I press in my oils (Vintner’s always; or Modicum first and then Vintner’s). I choose my outfit and during that time all the goodness in the face oils seep into my skin. Then I smooth on SPF—loving Vive Sana Serum Crema right now; it’s zinc and if your skin is dark like mine, you need just a little, not a lot, or else it doesn’t melt in as invisibly.) And then I glutinously pump Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence on top for the prettiest, verging-on-sweaty sheen. That is my vibe right there.

-What is on your radar when it comes to wellness trends? What is looking like “the wellness practice” of 2018 from your perspective?

The thing about wellness is it’s not trendy—it’s boundless, and you write your own rules, and that’s the beauty of it. Wellness is cooking your own food and being in charge of what you’re putting into your body that way. Or it’s walking aimlessly after a long day of being hunched over your computer to clear your head. Or it’s dabbing essential oils at your temples before bed or sipping a cozy sleepy powder drink. I just started using goop’s rose quartz roller in the mornings and after long plane rides to LA because it truly wakes my skin up and feels like a massage. It’s an ancient Chinese skincare tool—you roll the beautifully smooth rose quartz across your cheeks, forehead, chin, under-eye area. I swear you look better and your skin more vibrant immediately after.

-Besides goop of course, where do you find toxin-free, clean living inspiration, information, plus tips and tricks? Any favorite blogs or Instagram influencers that you follow?

My mom is definitely my greatest, most authentic wellness inspiration. And I love going to Integral Yoga Natural Foods and Apothecary on 13th street and seeing what tinctures and potions and coconut-sugar snacks they have. Sauntering down the aisles and peering into the nut bins there always inspires me. And there are always a lot of great looking people shopping in there, who I think might be ancient but look smooth and shiny and spry. That place makes me want to live a long, healthy life.

-Are you an essential oils fan? If so, how do you incorporate them in your daily life?

I go for essential oils before I go for fragrance. Most mornings I dab either frankincense or lemon essential oil on my wrists and behind my ears. Lemon is incredible, and studies show citrus scents help wake up your mind.

-If you had to name your top 5 favorite clean beauty/skincare brands, what would they be at the moment?

goop, Vintner’s Daughter, de Mamiel (face, body, and aromatherapy oils that are chanted over and energetically charged that make your skin look fantastic), Sangra de Fruta (their body serums and creams are to die for), Balmyard (the blackberry cheek and lip tint—gorgeous).

-What does living a clean lifestyle mean to you? Can you describe the peace of mind and/or joy that using safe products brings you?

I just want to feel fantastic and age gracefully. I rarely get sick—I really take pains to eat wholesomely and take care of myself, and I think that has a lot to do with it—but I did get sick maybe a year ago with a mild flu, and it freaked me out. I lay on the couch for two days and had no energy and it felt like a death sentence to not be able to move and gallivant and cook and laugh. It occurred to me that maybe that’s what being old and decrepit is like. And old and decrepit do not go hand in hand. I think maybe they used to. I want to be old and vibrant, and I think that’s attainable if I care about what I eat and what goes onto my skin. I feel beautiful knowing that what I’m eating and slathering on is pure and mindfully sourced. And it feels incredible to feel beautiful.

Q&A With Branch Basics’ Founders: Part Three

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

Happy Wednesday, friends! Today we are continuing our Q&A series with the three founders of Branch Basics and we are so excited to introduce you to Marilee! Marilee is Allison’s aunt and is a wellness/nutritionist guru! You probably remember Marilee’s name in both Allison’s Q&A and Kelly’s Q&A. Read the Q&A with Marilee below to get to know her + learn even more about Branch Basics, the toxin-free, totally safe, and completely pure home cleaning solution that we love. Also, they are kindly offering a promo code for LSK readers…use code LSK20 for 20% off at branchbasics.com! 


We have heard so much about you in Allison & Kelly’s Q&As! What originally inspired you to become so knowledgeable and passionate about holistic living and toxin-free products?

In my twenties I was faced with the fact that I needed a kidney transplant and would never have children. I never had the transplant, had a child and recovered from many lifelong chronic health issues just through the study of using food as medicine which resulted in a radical diet change from the Standard American Diet to eating only nutrient dense real organic food.

Later, I had a severely chemically injured 10 year old child that we were told would never recover and would be a bubble boy for the rest of his life, but he did in fact recover and the steps we had to take for him to completely heal revealed just how much having products and materials with harmful chemicals in our homes impacts our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Our lives were transformed with the application of just getting back to basics – eating real food and creating a healthy home.

It seems like you played a pretty large role in Allison’s journey through turning around her PCOS. What was that like for you, guiding her through that time, as her aunt?

It was such an honor and privilege to spend that couple of months with Allison as I had missed much of her growing up years since we had been so isolated from family during the time my son was recovering from chemical injury. Getting to really know her and watch her heal and recover during that time and after she left my home was like seeing my own daughter emerge healthy and strong with her own precious baby. I cherish the relationship I have with Allison now (niece – like a daughter, friend, and business partner) and it wouldn’t have happened had we not all faced major health challenges.    

We of course know how important our diets are for our overall health, but what is your #1 bit of advice when it comes to eating healthy?

Plain and simple. Get back to basics and eat only the organic real food that God created for us!

We love Branch Basics’ REVIEW, REMOVE, REPLACE process for beginning the journey of removing toxin-free products from one’s home. Can you briefly share why removing toxin-free products from our homes is so crucial?

Our home should be a safe haven, a place of refuge and regeneration that is free from contaminants and elements that harm our health. Overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that the air within our homes is polluted and that illness caused by exposure to these pollutants is a serious threat to our health.   Research has shown that many of these chemicals in our homes can cause symptoms in every organ, disrupt the endocrine system leading to breast and prostate cancer, endometriosis, fibroid tumors, ovarian cysts, loss of sex drive and fertility and can damage brain chemistry leading to hyperactivity, learning disabilities, depression, and even mental illness. They can also accumulate in the organs, triggering cancers of the liver, lung, colon, thyroid, etc.

Creating a healthy home by eliminating these poisons can save money that might otherwise be spent on doctor visits, medication, and missed workdays.  A chemical free-living area enables our bodies to use its energy for rejuvenation and healing instead of detoxifying chemicals. Removing this immune stress gives the body the power, and literally the breathing room to maintain health or to recover and heal!

What has been the most joyful part of this Branch Basics journey for you?

Having the opportunity to work with our team and share information that is life changing to many people with ears to hear!

What is your dream for the future of Branch Basics?

We want to create an army of people who are eating real food and have created truly healthy homes so that the healthcare crisis we are facing in America can be turned around.  We would also like to have a Branch Basics Healing Center/Resort where people could come and experience the “transforming power of pure” – stay in a facility built with non-toxic materials where no harmful chemicals are used, eat real food, use safe products we would furnish, and wear clothes we would provide to ensure that everyone would not be exposed to residues of toxic laundry products. This would provide participants at our center a fast track to healing that would motivate them to go home and apply what they learned just as Allison and Kelly experienced at my home.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!