Favorite NON-TOXIC Sunscreens.

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Although I should probably be wearing SPF every day of the year, it’s this particular time of year that I’m even more aware of the sunshine and its effect on my skin (and my boys’ skin!) So when it comes to choosing sunscreen, I take some time to consider the ingredients. Why? Because our skin is the largest organ in our body and anything we apply to our skin is immediately absorbed into our bloodstream. Conventional sunscreen is loaded with ingredients that are less than reputable. Did you know that the FDA is calling for sunscreen reform after discovering the way that traditional sunscreens penetrate the skin and potentially cause endocrine disruption and other harm? There are two surefire safe ingredients when it comes to sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), so those are the ones that I hone in on when I purchase!

If you’re confused about which ingredients to look out for, have no fear! I’m here to break down what I’ve learned (but please, know that this is just my research and my discovery - please do your own research, friends! I’m linking to everything in this post so please feel free to check all my sources!)

Okay, there are 2 types of sunscreen on the market- chemical and mineral. Because of the sneaky toxic ingredients that are in chemical sunscreen, I avoid those all together and look for mineral sunscreen.

Active Ingredients

First up, when checking out your sunscreen, make sure to look at the Active Ingredients. On the label, under “active ingredients”, look for:
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR:

  • Titanium Dioxide

  • Zinc oxide

Conventional chemical sunscreens will use chemicals such as the following:
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS TO AVOID:

  • Oxybenzone: detected in nearly every American and found in mother’s milk; this chemical acts like estrogen in the body, alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women.

  • Octinoxate: also detected in mother’s milk, this chemical has hormone-like activity and is associated with reproductive system, thyroid and behavioral alterations in animals.

  • Homosalate: disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone.

  • Octocrylene: relatively high rates of skin allergy

Inactive Ingredients

After looking at the “active ingredients” I also look at the “inactive ingredients” to make sure they are free of harmful chemicals, too. This is where things can often get dicey. You don’t have to be an ingredient guru to make an informed decision here (seriously).

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS TO AVOID:

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Grossed out yet? Me too. But there’s no cause for alarm because I have found SO many great sunscreens that perform well without all the nasty toxic ingredients listed above. I’ve tried a LOT more than what is listed here, but these are the few that made it in the top running.

My Sunscreen Picks

Runner Ups

  • Bare Republic
    You have to check the individual types of sunscreen to make sure the ingredients are as clean as you would like. I like to use the Think Dirty app and the EWG as a resource for this. They also have some wild colors and metallic options which I think would be fun to try, but they aren’t so clean, ingredient-wise.

  • Coola
    Same as the Bare Republic - some of the products are cleaner than others.

  • REN Clean Screen SPF Mineral SPF 30
    Contains fragrance but otherwise has good ingredients.

That’s all I’ve got for you friends! I hope this guide is helpful as you navigate the sunscreen game! Keep in mind that this is simply my own research - PLEASE do your own research and trust your gut instinct when it comes to decisions for yourself and your family! Even though we are more than halfway through summer (say it ain’t so!), we will all be enjoying warm weather (and sun exposure) until basically November down here where I live in Georgia. So our sunscreen isn’t going to get retired for a good long while! Happy summer-ing to you! xx

My Top 50 Favorite Songs to Workout to!

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I love having really upbeat music on my workout playlist. It helps me stay amped up and high-energy while I am moving! I shared in this post about the workout I’ve been doing the past few months which I am still loving. And even though I was longing for a pair of these Beats By Dre, I found the cheapest knock off ever in the dollar section at Target (they’re gone now, but the brand was Vivitar), and they have been doing the trick for me. So here’s the honest truth… when it comes to working out, I would be nothing without my playlist, ha! These songs keep me moving! I keep adding songs to this list, and oftentimes I will remove songs when they just don’t “do it” for me anymore. I love how on Spotify you can share songs and playlists and even follow others’ playlists!

Please keep in mind that some of these songs have explicit lyrics, so if you are young I would recommend searching for clean & edited versions - most of these versions are clean, because I like to keep things pretty PG here. But not every single song would be considered PG, so just use your discretion and friends, don’t leave this playlist on around your kids!

I love hearing about other songs that people like to work out to! Leave a comment with more recommendations if you have them! xx

My Thoughts on the Postpartum Body and my Fave Workout App.

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So I’m not one of those girls who has a baby, sneezes twice, and immediately loses all the baby weight. My body lovvvves the extra lbs it earned in my pregnancies, and always wants to hold on for dear life to those cherished extras (called love handles for a reason, ladies.)

I’ve truly accepted that I'm never going to look the same as I did before having babies. And I don’t want to or need to. I’m proud that I was able to carry these rather giant babies inside of me, and even though I wince a bit when I see the stretch marks on my belly, the extra skin, the cellulite, ALL THE THINGS, I am trying to re-train how I think about it, because those marks are all part of the precious map my body has journeyed in this season of parenthood. I'm not supposed to look like I'm 18 anymore. And I'm good with that.

All that being said, I am doing my best to keep up with my boys (because they are freakishly strong for being so young), and I do care about how I look (sue me, but I do), so I’ve been working working working on losing the baby weight. I still have a few stubborn lbs that are hanging on for dear life and sure, I could probably starve them off but gosh, that's just not interesting to me. Question for the universe- is it called baby weight if it’s been more than a year? DON’T ANSWER THAT.

This summer I have been disciplined without being particularly militant in my consistency (because there were mojitos to drink and pools to be purveyed), but I have prioritized getting myself to the gym at least 2-3x per week and taking care of this body of mine. It’s up to me to take care of this temple - not my husband, not my kids, not my friends. It’s my job to take care of me so I can live long and prosper and hang out with my great great grandkids when I’ve got good, deep wrinkles and quarters to fill their pockets with. I'm going to be such a weirdo fun granny, can't wait.

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But I'll be honest. I can't always get to the gym. And exercising with my kids is hard. I still do it, because that just life when you're a mom - you have to figure out ways to make it work. So maybe it's not the best work out of my life when I take them on a jog with me (we have to stop A LOT - because they want to run, pick up pebbles, play with bugs, etc.) but it's better than not trying at all. And that's where I'm at. I try my best. However, I've also been using and loving the Sweat app because it’s reminded me of all the exercises that I should *know* to do, but never seem to remember when I’m at the gym on my own. I've done the BBG program and I am currently re-doing it because I want to get stronger and more consistent with it before I move on to the next program (which is BBG Power and it looks hard!) And by the way, this isn’t sponsored or anything, I’m just letting you know that this program has been one of the main things that has really helped me develop a discipline and see ever so small, but present, results. And no one can take that victory away!

If you’re in a similar life stage as me, with little people gathered round your ankles at any given time of the day, I’m just letting you know that you’re not alone! And what works for me, may not work for you at all, but keep trying things that make you happy, that propels you forward, that makes you proud of what you’re working toward! You are so beautiful, and all your intention and effort matters. Because someone has to dole out the quarters 75 years from now. And with a little luck and a lot of hard work and positivity, that’s gonna be ME.

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Outfit Details:
Look 1: Yandy Sports Bra c/o (similar), Yandy Leggings c/o, Nike Flex Sneakers

Look 2: Yandy Tank c/o, Yandy Leggings c/o, Nike Flex Sneakers


I'd love to hear from you mamas - what workouts have worked for you in your postpartum journey?

Exercise Power Hour!

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The weather around here has been whack. It warmed up about a month ago, and then the temperatures decided to plummet back into the 30's like a big fat April Fools trick. It's almost Easter and I fear my grass shall never been green again.

So even though it's been stupid cold (sorry, my New England friends, but seriously, people live in the South to be able to enjoy spring temperatures when it's actually spring, which it is now, so I have no idea what's going on) - but, we've been going outside anyway. Every day after the boys wake up from their afternoon nap, sometime in the 4 o'clock hour, we high tail it outside and move our bodies. I've started calling this exercise power hour, because even though it's not exactly enjoyable temperatures (and my flowers haven't bloomed so there's no yard decor going on), it's still so important to move and play and get some fresh air. For their sanity and mine - cabin fever has gotten real around here these last few weeks and we all need the sunshine, even if it is still bathed in winter's chilly breath.

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I decided to start giving Everett some exercise pointers. I taught him how to do squats, lunges, push ups and planks. And since he loves to run, we sprint in between these sets and really get our blood pumping. And it's been SO much fun! Daxton just toddles around and watches us, but I actually picked him up the other day and squatted with him for extra weight and GOOD LORD. I could only do 3. That kid is hoss.

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My activewear was sent to me by Yandy.com and I chatted about the line over on 5 Minutes for Mom. Check out the post I wrote about why moms should never apologize for living in their activewear! Because for real you guys. It's my mom uniform.

Happy Friday to you, friends! xx

Soccer Mom with a Sweet Tooth.

This post is sponsored by Taste Nirvana and all opinions are my own.

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Is it so bad that on this particular day, I raced my son and didn't let him win?

He's wasn't thrilled about it either. I think he expects adults to let him win at things like racing, but I don't want to coddle him in that way because you guys, he's actually really fast. And I want him to learn how to be a good loser because I know he will win at things in life, too. And it's all about handling victories and losses with equal grace, right?

Or maybe I just get crazy satisfaction out of beating a 3-year old at a sprinting competition. The world will never know...!

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In all seriousness, I really do my best to keep my kids in the healthy eating zone, and as their appetites grow, I'm continuously searching for ideas and ways to nourish them without throwing processed snacks and sugary drinks their way. I've been an avid coconut water drinker for years now, but my kids have never quite gravitated toward the taste. In the past I've hidden that herbal taste in smoothies, especially for Everett, because I want him to experience all the incredible benefits of coconut water, like the mega-hydration, electrolytes and potassium.

Little Tip - As someone who has dealt with dehydration migraines in the past, I've learned that coconut water is my go-to drink if I'm planning to be in the sun or exercising intensely. My favorite beach trip beverage is coconut water on ice with a whole sliced, squeezed lemon. Yummmm.

Since giving Taste Nirvana a try, I am thrilled and so pleased that my kids will actually drink this, too! Taste Nirvana is unique because it is actually made in Thailand from the Nom Ham coconuts (which literally translates to "fragrant water coconuts"), which produces a much sweeter water without the use of added sugars. Which makes my sweet tooth a happy tooth. These coconuts are harvested at their peak, when the water and meat composition are perfectly balanced, and then bottled within hours on the same day of harvest. The pure, flowery-honey taste is so different from conventional coconut waters, and I appreciate how sweet and fresh it is without tasting overly earthy.

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Our family  has been drinking Taste Nirvana lately on and off the soccer field, because it's so great to consume when you need to boost your electrolytes, potassium and hydration, making it the perfect sports drink (straight from the earth!) I will be keeping these in my soccer bag all season long so that my son can boost his energy and quench his thirst without compromising nutrients or taste. I'm used to regular coconut water (because I like to add lemon to it!), but Taste Nirvana has some pretty rad additions to their water - you can drink it with aloe, with coconut meat and even with passionfruit seeds! It's making me feel real exotic... and also like I'm maybe missing out on a much-needed trip to Thailand :)

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We do a lot of "cheers!" with our drinks, and sweet Daxton is beginning to catch on to our little practice... he basically wants to do whatever he sees his big brother doing! I have a feeling soccer is just around the corner for him. Along with some sprinting sessions with mama. Not gonna lie, I'm thinking this kid will be able to beat me soon.

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I'd love to hear from you about how you and your your family stay hydrated during the warmer seasons of the year, especially with exercise, sports and so much time in the sun! Stay tuned for more about this coconut water find - I'm excited to share more about the ways our family is weaving this beverage into our everyday life! And if you're interested in snagging some for yourself, you can shop Taste Nirvana here. Happy hydrating, friends! xx

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