Saturday, August 30, 2014

How to get the perfect shave, the Old-School way {Guest Post}

Hello Ashcraft Bunch readers! My name is Elizabeth, and I lead the product design for Mercer + James, a men's grooming and accessories brand that I started with my hubby a couple years back. We have an online shop at, which we started from our home in New York and continue to run together, sharing a collection of things we design ourselves and curate from our travels.
When the opportunity to do a guest post on Kenzie's blog arose, I wanted to figure out something to talk about that would be easy and useful for a lot of people. I decided that I'd keep it simple, and give a quick how-to for the perfect shave, focusing on easy tricks to save time and using natural products(both of which are especially important for those with little ones around!).

1. It starts with a nice, hot shower

For people with very hurried mornings, a leisurely hot shower may sound like a big luxury that just takes too much time. If you can make time for it, though, it will increase the quality of your shave and make it longer lasting because it softens the hair and skin, allowing the blade to cut the hair much farther down.

2. Oil up!

Adding in a proper shaving oil is the truly old-school way to shave; it was used long before modern soaps and gels were in use, and helps protect your skin and let the blade do its work effectively. After your hot shower, massage all-natural shaving oil onto your face and continue without yet rinsing. Our classic shaving oil will not only prep the hair and skin and prevent nicks, but since it's made of natural oils and nothing more, it's a safe product to keep around for those with little kids!

3. Use a fresh, sharp blade

This one seems like "yeah, duh" tip, but a lot of people use the same blade for weeks on end. You don't want your face to look like it went through a meat grinder, all in the name of thrift! If you use plastic cartridge blades, you should be switching them weekly at a minimum, and storing them in a stand that allows them to dry fully (helps put off rusting). Constantly switching out these cartridges can become very costly, though, and they simply aren't as effective on those with coarser hair. If you want to save money and still have a perfectly close shave, try switching to a safety razor. The blades last 2-3 times as long if you rinse them properly and allow them to dry, and come in big packs that cost a fraction of the cost of the plastic cartridge razors. Plus, they look nice!

4. Take your time

Shave as you normally do, but try doing it in a quiet room. Turn off the radio, turn off the faucet. Every face is different, so you should try shaving where you can hear the blade working along the surface of your skin. If you listen and pay attention, you'll quickly notice your own skin and hair's quirks - the spots where it changes direction, gets coarser or thicker, or makes the blade catch. Paying a little attention will get a closer shave now, but will also let you learn your skin and get a better, faster shave in the future.

5. Finish well

Finally, it's all about sticking the landing. Rinse your face and pat it dry with a clean towel; don't scrub. Your skin is sensitive, and scrubbing it now could cause ingrown hairs or other irritation. If you happened to nick yourself, or see any other skin redness or bumps, use an alum block on them. Unlike a lot of aftershaves and other products on the market, this is an all-natural mineral that's been in use to avoid skin infection since Biblical times (that's quite a track record). Again, something safe to keep in your house, which won't be damaging if it rubs off on your shirt ... or your family!
I could certainly go on for pages and pages with my favorite products, tips, and tricks for skin care and shaving, but these are truly the basics for getting the perfect shave. Now go forth, and make over your morning!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Currently {Link-up}

Hi there! Welcome to Currently, where we share with each other what we are Currently up to and let you share your post through the link-up below. We love this link-up, where we can make new friends and build community. Join us.

I am so excited to be co-hosting this week! Join us and let us know what is currently going on in your life! :) 
Thinking about //All of the things I need to be doing to get the store ready for open house.
Reading // The Fault in Our Stars. I haven't see the movie yet-I am one of those "have to read the book before I watch the movie" kind of people. :) It is so good!
Listening to //Matt Wertz
Watching //Once Upon a Time-Zack and I started watching this show last year and we are getting all caught up before this next season starts. Love!
Thankful for //This opportunity to open a store. It has been a dream and I am so excited for all that is to come. 
Enjoying //Watching Paisley play with my childhood toys. The light in her eyes makes me so happy and brings back so many memories.
Photographing //All things Paisley of course. :)
Feeling //Excited about all of the new things that are coming to the store this week! Painting will be finished, floors come Thursday and Friday, and decorating and light fixtures come in next week!
Making me happy //Spending this weekend with my husband, laughing and not having to rush around and be anywhere. This weekend was so needed.
Loving //That football season is just around the corner. Although it will be a looonnngggg season for OSU, I still love cheering on my Cowboys at every home game. Go pokes!

Your turn. Link up your Currently post below. Please comment on the blog post directly before yours to help support and get to know each other. If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Little Girls

There is something about being a parent to a little girl. Such a special bond we have with Paisley Allyn.

 This weekend I took a step back and just watched. Watched her eat, think, breath, laugh, play, listen, sleep, yes throw a fit, and cry. Her sweet spirit reflects through her eyes, her silly side with a giggle and dimple in her right cheek, her pouty lip when she is in trouble or upset. Oh, how I never want to forget these tiny slivers of her childhood. Those images that I pray will be imprinted in my mind for eternity. This stage goes too fast but it is such a blessing to watch her grow up into a sweet little girl and eventually, a woman.

If you read this someday, Paisley, I pray that you know how special you are. That your Daddy and I try our best to soak up every little special moment of you. We cherish you more than you know. We love you more than we could ever express. There is nothing that we wouldn't do for you and we hope you know that we do all things in love to raise you to the best of our ability.

We want you to know that YOU are a daughter of the one true KING. There is no other way. He made you special. You have a purpose in this world and no matter how difficult it may seem to find it, it is there. It is beautiful, and do not ever stray from it. Lay your treasures up in Heaven baby girl. This world is not permanent, thank you Jesus. I just know that you will do wonderful things. You are beautiful and so, so loved. I am so thankful for the time we have been given to be your parents.
"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quite spirit, which is so precious to God." 1 Peter 3:3-4

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lavender & Linen {Review + Giveaway}

 Good morning friends! I am overjoyed to introduce you to one of  my favorite shops. :) Kendra has become a dear friend to me and I just love her to pieces! Kendra and her mother are the duo behind Lavender + Linen. If I had the option, everyone of their items would be in my home. The quality is absolutely amazing and I even have a piece that will be displayed in my new office that I will share at a later date. Their style of products fits my personality to a T and will be a frequent shopping place for me. :)

A little about L +L:
"Hi there! I'm Kendra and I partner with my mom, Launa, over at Lavender & Linen! Our little business was born out of a desire to put our love of crafting to good use and to also have a way to make a little extra money from home as wives. We began with a small etsy shop and are now so blessed to have a real website plus a small space inside a local antique/repurpose shop! We carry anything from vintage inspired children's clothing, sweet baby items, home decor to coffee kits and mason jar cups! We hope you'll stop by our Facebook page, Instagram, and website to get to know us a little!"
As you all know, mason jars are my love language. From canning, decorating, to tea drinking, mason jars are used throughout our home. I am IN LOVE with their cozys. I chose this one because I love the song and the whimsical floral print is beautiful!
 It easily wraps around and buttons, fitting snugly around your mason jar.
I am so excited to also announce that Lavender & Linen Mason Jar Cozys will be sold in my new boutique, Farm Girl. :) 

If you are looking for a great gift, or a little something for you, 
I highly recommend L & L. 

Kendra is giving away this headband to one lucky winner:
Enter the rafflecopter below to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck to all entrants and a big thank you to Kendra for sharing on the blog! :) 

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Paisley!!!

How in the world do I already have a 2 1/2 year old??? 
Babies don't keep.

I soak in your caring heart, endless hugs, giggles, and love
for all things Papaw, horses, tractor, and Rapunzel. :)
We love you so much Paisley Allyn! 
You make our lives so full and our hearts so warm.
On to the threenager. :)