Wednesday, May 27, 2015:

Self Tanner WITH SPF?!? Genius!

I am a habitual sunscreen user but in the summer months when I use a bit more self tanner, adding another lotion often times creates a streaky tan.

Last night I was trying to figure out a solution- sun screen first?  Tanner first?  Wait 20 minutes before applying the next lotion...

And finally thought of it- sunless tanner WITH SPF!!  I'm trying Australian Gold with SPF 30!  How perfect?!  

Stay tuned for feedback!!
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Thursday, May 21, 2015:

Dare you to DIY!

I am moderately crafty.  Add kids into the mix and I am zero crafty.  BUT, if there is a swing set and playground, well...I can squeak out some crafty.

The stark white gallery picture frames I had on my stairway wall were bothering me.  They were too uniform.  So I took to pinterest and did some pinsearch to find the best way to distress these frames.

After a few different attempts, I ultimately ended up doing this...

Step One:
Sand down the current frames (I ambitiously tried to do this by hand but surrendered to power tools when I realized it would take WAY too long to do all of them.  I used a power sander and was done in 20 mins!).



I actually sort of like the simply sanded look, to be honest.  But I had already purchased spray paint and really just wanted to try and use it!

Step Two:
Apply vaseline on a few areas of the sanded frame- this protects those areas from spray paint so you can wipe away the color to give it a more distressed look.

Step Three:
I did one layer of a teakey teal color- Catalina Mist

Step Four:
And the next layer was a Metallic Gold

Step Five:
I allowed the paint to dry for two hours before taking a damp paper towel and vigorously wiping away the areas that had the vaseline on them.  Note the varying degrees of "distress".  The more vaseline the more "chipping".

Very little distressing

Moderate Distressing

 Very Distressed 

FINAL LOOK:  Clearly we are missing the pictures but overall I like this look much more than the plain, uniform white I had going on before- I might even leave some frames empty....  Need to add a few more goodies to my gallery wall.  Next stop, ETSY!

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Off Genre Post- Home DIY

Just a quick sneak peak of a little afternoon project we've been working on!

More details to come!
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Thursday, May 14, 2015:

Fun Little Sneak Peek!

I'm a bit behind on the vlog element to my blog but there is a great reason!  I really wanted to spruce up the look and feel of my videos to offer a more tailored look to you guys!  Still working to update all existing videos (and produce more!!!), but here is a sneak peek!!  Hope you enjoy!


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Tuesday, May 12, 2015:

Love This...Sunscreen To Go!!

So my purse is a bottomless pit of lip gloss and crumbled gold fish.  I shove everything I could possibly need in there- squeeze packs for the kids, hand lotion for me, dental floss for my husband :)  I even carry around sunscreen for when I forget to apply it at home.

As you can imagine, my purse is cumbersome and bulky.

My new discovery is CVS Pharmacy's Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen (I picked this up in the sample aisle- unfortunately, it does not appear to be available online).  Would you look at that packaging!!  Drops so easily into my bag and with the click top, it closely securely so I don't have to worry about any leaking (the same cannot be said for my children's squeeze packs).

Love this and I offer up an audible "thank you" to CVS every time I realize I need to reapply while out and about!
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Monday, May 11, 2015:

Caveman Skincare....NO THANKS!

I recently stumbled across an old blog post from XO Jane about a Caveman Skincare Routine.  I am all about going the natural route in terms of diet and exercise- our primitive ancestors were on to something!  But for a skincare routine?  Well, let's just say that not a bit of me envies the complexion of a caveman!

In short, the regimen includes 60 days of non-skincare- no water, soap, toners, creams, etc.  I am all about a skin detox, but not putting on protective creams seems a bit negligent in my book!

According to the author, she noticed a first.  But it was all down hill from there!

So, the truth is, we need to maintain our skin just like we would our home.  If you are looking for healthy skin, it's essential to restore, protect, and prevent skin damage from environmental stressors.

Consider this your friendly PSA against the Cavemen Skincare Routine :)

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015:

How's Your Morning Going?

Talk to me a bit about the nutritional value of a McDonald's Hashbrown wrapper...
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Sunday, May 3, 2015:

Summer Sun Protection for the Kids!

I focus a lot on personal skincare, an interest that likely started as a child while I'd watch my mom slather on sunscreen and experiment with the latest topical skin creams!  My father was a big proponent of skin protection- often covering us with t-shirts and blankets after we had fallen asleep baking in the sun.  I didn't appreciate this as a teenager- I always wanted to return from family trips with the deepest, darkest tan- a major accomplishment for this fair-skined Irish girl!

But now that I am a parent, I certainly appreciate their sun protection precautions and I find myself wondering what else I can do to protect my sons from the damaging effects of the sun.

Avoiding the sun is tough for us.  Once the summer hits, we are outside ALL.THE.TIME.  After doing some pediatric sun protection research, here's my list of the Top Sun Protection Tips for Kids.

Sunscreen- No brainer here!  I use an aerosol spray on their bodies like Neutrogena's Wet Skin Kids (Broad Spectrum SPF 70+).  Broad Spectrum is essential to protect from both the UVA and UVB rays that can cause sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer.  When it comes to getting their faces, I use Aveeno's Baby Natural Protection Stick SPF 50- The stick is easier to roll over their face and I don't worry about the spray getting into their eyes.  

Full Coverage Rash Guards and Bathing Suits- I am constantly outside with my kids once the summer rolls around.  Even if we aren't at the pool, full coverage rash guards and bathing suits give me the peace of mind I crave while chasing my crazy kids around outside in the sun.  Covering a lot of skin helps me by allowing me to focus on hands and faces when it comes to applying sunscreen!  Even if their is no water in sight, I still like to use these swim outfits because I know I am offering them the best sun protection!  Check out Coolibar's selection of baby and youth swimwear- love this brand!

Hats- When my kids were very young, it was next to impossible to get them to keep a hat on.  Fortunately, my almost four year old loves a good baseball cap!  And since the little guy wants to do whatever his big brother does, I can finally secure a hat to their heads and know that they are getting some sun protection!  Ideally I'd like a full rim of at least 4", but I'll take the bill of a baseball cap if it means that they are getting some shade and protection!

Sun Glasses- I don't think many kids are concerned about squinting and premature wrinkles but protecting their eyes and the sensitive eye area is super important for these little guys!  Did you know that you can actually sun burn your eyes?!  Super painful!  Look for polarized sunglasses, like Babiators, as these cut down on the glare!

Zinc Oxide- Do you remember when all of the lifeguards on the beach used to wear this?!  I thought it was so cool.  Can we please bring this back?  And if I'm using my kids as sun protection influencers, than I will definitely be slathering on some Zinka this summer!  

Hydrate!- So this is less skincare and more overall hot summer healthcare!  During those long and hot summer days when we are out from nine am to dinner time, my kids burn a lot of energy!!  I love these bottles from Contigo- I fill them mostly with ice, top it off with water, and they sip them throughout the day!  Summer hydration is essential!

What am I missing?  Any other good summer sun protection tips for the kiddos?!
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Sun Protection for the Spring Fling!

We just got back from a wonderful outdoor carnival, the local "Spring Fling"!  The weather could not be more perfect- sunny with a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky!

I love the fresh air, being outside, and getting some exercise while walking down the crowded streets of the fair!

But a big part of me was looking to dodge the super sunny spots by navigating strollers, balloons and carnival blow up toys into the shady spots!  I can't always avoid the sun (and I don't really want to all the time- we need that Vit D!), so I was glad that I had slathered up the kids and myself with a good SPF (broad spectrum is key!).

As a reminder, here's a great slideshow with essential sun protection tips!  And as another shout out to one of my favorite sun protection brands (especially for the kiddos!), Coolibar, note slide #10- "Sun Protective Clothing"!

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