Family

  • Sun Safety Tips

    Summer is all about spending as much time soaking up as many rays as you can before the cold winter arrives. The best way to do that safely is by slathering yourself in the best sunscreen you can find. But there are so many options, it’s hard to know which kind is the best for you and your family.

     

     

    The Facts:

    Let’s start with UV Rays: what exactly are they? UV stands for Ultraviolet radiation, and it’s a part of the “electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. It has wavelengths shorter than visible light, making it invisible to the naked eye” (Skin Cancer Foundation). There are two types of UV rays: A and B. UVA rays are slightly more harmful and can cause skin damage, aging, and cancer. UVB is the shorter wave of the two that also causes skin damage and some skin cancers. Most importantly, UVB is the reason why you get sunburnt. The best way to protect yourself against these rays is by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.

     

    It’s important to choose a sunscreen that has a high SPF and broad-spectrum levels. SPF stands for sun protection factor. The higher the SPF on the bottle sunscreen, the longer the sunscreen blocks the UVB rays and protects your skin from the sun. Broad-spectrum protects from UVA and UVB rays, which helps prevent against sun damage.

     

     

    My Recommendations:

    When choosing a sunscreen, it’s best to check in with yourself first. What is your skin type? What kind of protection do you need? I have sensitive skin and like to use Neutrogena brand sunscreens. Their body sprays have a sheer formula that leaves my skin feeling fresh and not at all greasy. Some of their sunscreens are also waterproof, which makes it perfect for beach days. For the face, I usually stick with them, or I use Aveeno. I like both brands because they are primarily skin care companies, and make sure that their formulas are breathable and healthy.

     

    If you are more athletic (which I am not), I recommend Coppertone sunscreens.  Their SPORT brand is water resistant and stays on through sweat, making it perfect for any heavy-duty athletic activities. It also, like Neutrogena, has a breathable formula that won’t cause breakouts or clog pores.

     

    For kids, I recommend Kiss My Face brands. I used it as a kid and found no issues with it. Their formula is organic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and is safe for all skin types.

     

    Hope these tips suit you well and let you have lots of safe fun in the sun!

    CONTINUE READING

  • Couples Compromise

     

    Some people may think that marriage is a joy ride that you just skate through on the foundation of love. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s more like skating on a natural pond with slushy spots rather than a freshly zambonied rink.

    With that said – here are 5 light-hearted and silly compromises my husband and I have come to terms with in order to limit our “slushy spots”.

    1. TV shows

    My husband and I have a lot in common and we love a lot of the same shows. However, we’re not always gonna love the same exact show. Now, while we do have two TVs, we still prefer to be in the same room. So one of us watches on the TV while the other watches on the iPad with headphones. This works best because we still get to snuggle together!

    1. Football

    This one is a work in progress. We are both very passionate about football and thank goodness we love the same team. But like I said… we are both very passionate about football. The rule of the game is to try to yell as little as possible because we tend to work each other up. I swear –  it’s the refs fault, not ours.

    1. Cleaning

    We each have our own preference when tidying up around the house. I like to pick up after him (strange, I know) and he likes to do the dirty work. And by ‘dirty work’ I mean toilets and by ‘likes’ I mean he does it because I literally dry heave while scrubbing even the cleanest of bathrooms.

    1. Food

    I love spicy food, however, my husband is pretty sensitive to spice. He will actually sweat and breathe like a dragon the minute it enters his mouth. Because of this, we meet in the middle with some type of mild choice, which is usually still too spicy for him and not spicy enough for me. But hey, we all have to make sacrifices.

    1. Shopping

    My husband, like most hubbys, does not like to go shopping for clothes. He doesn’t mind me looking at them, but would much rather have me just take them home instead of trying them on at the store because “I take forever”. So instead of waiting for me to see what fits and what doesn’t, he’d much rather go back to the store later to return the unwanted clothing. This makes zero sense to me, but he prefers it so there ya go.

     

    These are just some little compromises we have made that works best for us and our “pond”!

    What kind of compromises have you made in your relationships? Let me know in the comments!

    CONTINUE READING

  • Easy Camp Lunches for Picky Eaters

    Parents, you know the drill:

    “That looks gross!”

    “That smells gross!”

    “I’m not eating that!”

    Being a picky eater is a natural part of childhood; most people outgrow it, but at this moment in your kid’s life, it’s the most important thing in the world. You’ve learned to control it – at home, at school, at a restaurant; but now – it’s the summer, which means one thing: camps are starting.

    Summer camps are a blessing, it lets kids be active, and you finally have time to get what you need to get done. But when dealing with a picky eater, you’ve entered a whole other world. During the school months, it’s easier. You’re dealing with a climate controlled atmosphere, and you have more leeway to pack foods that need to withstand the cold. But at a camp, you don’t know what you’re getting. It’s very likely that the only temperature controlled unit your child is getting is the tiny ice pack that you placed in the lunch box.

    So here you are,  panicking about what to feed your picky eater in a climate you can’t control.

    Here are some tips that will help you and your child have a happy and productive summer:

    1) Set up a no-no list:

    Sit down with your kid and together, the two of you can plan out lunches that they will enjoy, and that their friends will be envious of.

    2) Contact the camp:

    By doing this, you’ll be able to find out what foods aren’t allowed due to allergy restrictions, and what the camp does with the lunches (I went to a summer camp that would collect the lunch bags at the beginning of the day, and store them in a giant refrigerator until lunchtime).

    3). Try to change it up:

    Sure, peanut butter and jelly every day would be super easy. Unfortunately, pallets change, and sometimes eating the same thing for lunch every day can become routine and a chore. Try to come up with a lunch of the week. Each week of the camp there’s something different to eat. This will keep your child’s interest and enthusiasm up, and it won’t add any additional pressure on you to keep buying new lunch ingredients every day.

    4) Follow the camp’s policies:

    If there’s a no nut rule, stick with it; you don’t want to put the other campers in danger or get your kid in trouble for breaking the rule. If climate control is an issue, try adapting the lunches to stick with it. Pasta salads with oil-based dressings are a great solution, they can easily adapt to any type of temperature. Same with bean salads, hummus, veggies, and some deli meats and cheeses (from Stretcher.com). Always make sure to throw an ice pack inside the bag for extra coldness.

    5) Involve your camper:

    Have them make the lunches with you! It’s a great bonding activity, it will save time, and it will show your picky eater exactly what is going into their food (from Stretcher.com).

    Summer should be a low-stress time in you and your child’s life. Camps are great fun, and a great way to make sure that your kids are being active during the summer. You want your child to have the best time, don’t let their pickiness get in the way of the best summer ever!

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • Mental Health Mindfulness

    Mental Health Awareness

    As May comes to an end, so does Mental Health Awareness Month.

    It makes me sad to think that people might stop talking about this just because Mental Health Awareness Month is over, which is why I chose today to write this post. I would like to keep this conversation going even after today, after this month, after this year.

    In Case You Didn’t Know –

    According to Nami.org, 90% of those who die from suicide suffer from mental illness – suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States – it is the number one leading cause of disability worldwide.

    And…

    56% of American adults who suffer from mental health disorders do not seek help.

    Why?

    One word – Stigma.

    Stigma is a negative stereotype associated with mental illness.

    People are afraid to admit that they suffer from bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, etc. because they fear for the judgement that follows.

    Mindfulness

    However, with mindfulness we can beat the stigma.

    According to dictionary.com, mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

    Basically being aware of your own thoughts as well as the feelings of other people.

    If you suffer from mental illness, I implore you to be mindful enough to look to friends, family or physicians for help.

    • Don’t be afraid to seek advice. Your true friends, family and especially qualified Doctors will never judge you.

    If you know someone who is suffering, I implore you to be mindful enough to ask them how they are doing.

    • Pay attention to their symptoms. Sometimes you don’t need words because being there and showing that you care is enough. Sometimes it may be more extreme, and you might need to take action to get them help.

    If you know someone who is struggling to help another who is suffering, I implore you to be mindful enough to lend a hand.

    • Listen to what they are going through and know that more than just the mentally ill person is affected by mental illness.

     

    Lastly, let this be life-long. Not just one year, one month or one day.

    We have to be more mindful of ourselves and others. We must be.

     

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    1-800-273-8255

     

    I ask you: how can you be more mindful with Mental Health Awareness?

    Let’s keep the conversation going!

    CONTINUE READING