Month: June 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Sunscreen Review

Sunscreen. 

Yes, that’s right. It’s officially summer, and that means lots of time outside. And time outside means we need to protect our skin. It is so important to make sure you pick a sunscreen that doesn’t contain all that extra junk and those nasty chemicals

Before I became “crunchy”, this was never on my radar. Even when I started having awful skin reactions. The summer I was pregnant with Little Miss T, our family went to the beach. I applied sunscreen as usual, and was fine…until a day later. I noticed little red, itchy bumps started appearing on my hands, then up my arm and soon almost most of my upper body was covered. And I. was. miserable. 

It went away after about 3 weeks. But not before I went and had a biopsy done at the dermatologist. That came back with no answers as to what caused it. We just chalked it up to one of those weird pregnancy symptoms that some people deal with. 

Later on that same summer, the boys and I visited my parents at their home down the mountain. It’s always sweltering there in the summer, so sunscreen is a must. 

After a few days the tiny bumps came back! I couldn’t believe it, and got so angry and annoyed at the constant itch, that I could not stop the tears from flowing. Then a lightbulb went off. The last time I experienced this was when I used sunscreen. And not the same sunscreen, mind you. But definitely one that you could buy at any old convenience store, Target, or Walmart. 

I started researching and came across the Environmental Working Groups list of safe sunscreen. They also have a list on unsafe sunscreen, by the way…in case you care to take a peek. Just a heads up…I guarantee you have at least one of the unsafe ones in your cabinet as we speak. I did. 

Living in a small town, it was nearly impossible to find some of these safe options.

So Amazon to the rescue! 

I found and purchased the Blue Lizard brand for the kids and myself. (Mountain Man is still set in his ways on his preferred sunscreen, but I’m working on that). I applied it to the kids and (hesitantly) to myself. I was, for good reason, a bit gun shy on the sunscreen front. 

The results? 

LOVE! It didn’t leave a white chalky residue, and soaked into the skin so well. The best part? I have never had an issue since! Well, except one day, when I was in a hurry to get the kids out of the house and to the park on a beautiful day. In my haste, I couldn’t find the new stuff, and grabbed our old sunscreen that I had forgotten to throw away. I thought to myself. One day won’t hurt. I’ll toss it when we get home. 

Wrong. 

I broke out again. But that was the last time. I threw all the old junk away and have never looked back. 

Now, I still use the Blue Lizard for the kids, but I have since branched out to try another brand for myself. I was feeling risky. Plus I have a sweet friend who swears by it, and I trust her brand, so I gave it a shot. 

SUCCESS!

It’s the BeautyCounter sunscreen. And I’m in love. A little bit truly goes a long way, and it also soaked into my skin well, without leaving a weird white layer caked on. Plus, it didn’t leave any greasy residue either. Win-win. 

Now, before I continue, I will give you a disclaimer here. I am in no way affiliated with BeautyCounter, other than I love their products. That’s literally where the train stops my friend. I do not earn any commissions or kick backs from mentioning this brand. If you have never tried their products, I can put you in touch with my amazing friend. She is a rep for BeautyCounter, and is passionate about what she does, and she can help you out! 

And guess what…this sunscreen is also on the approved list from the EWG! Score! 

So what makes this brand so incredible? The first thing I ever learned about them, was their “Never List”. This is the list they came up with on chemicals that will never make an appearance in any of their products. Period. 

So before you grab for your same-ol’ sunscreen, I beg you to just look at the ingredients. See if they made the safe list. If not, I hope you will consider checking out a safer option. Stay safe, friends…and enjoy your summer, chemical-free!! 

Here’s a super helpful read: 8 Little Known Facts About Sunscreens

 

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day!

Now, I get that I may not have a huge male audience, but chances are, if you’re reading this, then you either are a dad, have a dad, or know someone who is a dad. 

I have been fortunate enough to have some great dads in my life.

The first love of my life – my very own dad – has always been there for me and my siblings. No matter how much we screwed up (which was a LOT), he was there. When I was a little girl, I wanted to marry him. He was the most important person in the world to me. We would often go on daddy-daughter dates to Darryl’s, where I would order a big bowl of broccoli and cheese soup and a side of pickles, as we sat in the rustic elevator-turned-booth. He taught me how to drive, and how to shoot a gun. I got my first love of photography from him. He always made sure (and still does) to tell me how beautiful I was. I never once questioned his love for me.

The father he was to me as a child, paved the way and helped shape my mind and heart to know the kind of man I wanted to have in my life, to be the father of my children…

Oh Mountain Man…I have been truly blessed with this man. God knew exactly the type of man I needed to be my partner in this life. A godly man, who loves the Lord and leads his family with strong convictions and gentle hands. A man after God’s own heart. Always putting me and the kids first. No matter what kind of a day he’s had, he still finds the energy to wrestle with the kids on the living room floor, and have tickle wars and bearded-monster chases through the house. He loves unconditionally, teaches our children, and loves them so well. Like a switch, he can go from rough and tumble with the boys, to sweet and gentle with Little Miss T. He encourages them and tells them they can do anything, and he makes sure he tells our girl just how beautiful she is.

He makes my heart swoon, and we never doubt his love for us. Oh, and he has the patience of a saint. 

  

 

  

 

 

My list for incredible dads is long. For that, I am so thankful. 

But there is one Father who is unmatched. 

He is the one who created me…and you. All of us. You can call upon Him anytime day or night. He’s always ready and waiting. His grace is never-ending, his mercy is overflowing, and His love is unconditional. No matter how badly we screw up. Do you hear me on this? There is NOTHING you can do that will make God love you any less. When we screw up, all we have to do is call out to Him. Repent, ask for forgiveness, and when you place your faith and trust in Him…oh boy. Step back and watch Him move in ways you’ve never imagined. 

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

He doesn’t change. Ever. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. No matter what kind of life you have here on Earth…whether you have an earthly father or not. I hope you know that here is a Father in heaven who loves you more than you could ever imagine. He created you. 

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

The same Father who created you and me, loved us all so much, that He sacrificed His one and only Son. Stop and think about that for a minute. As a parent, I cannot even begin to fathom sacrificing ANY of my children…but God. Oh God… He sacrificed his ONLY Son, so that we might all be saved. Christ took our sins upon the cross that day, so that all we have to do is simply believe in Him, and we will be saved. That’s it. Isn’t that amazing?! 

So Happy Father’s Day to all of you amazing dads. And remember, that if your earthy father ever let you down, your heavenly Father never will. THAT is worth celebrating every day! 

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