Summer highlights

This summer went by way too fast! We kicked off the summer with a road trip to Ansley’s baptism in Idaho with a few days in Salt Lake on our way up. We had an awesome staycation in Newport, an anniversary weekend in Seattle and then another road trip to Provo, Utah for Jake’s wedding! We saw the 7 Magic Mountains again, checked out the improved BYU bookstore, looked for Pokemon around campus, had Bam Bams BBQ with the LeSueurs and the Nashes who also happened to be visiting Utah, found some great babysitters for the wedding festivites – which included Bruges waffles, one of my favorite places in Utah!

The kids also took tennis and swim lessons the last half of summer at their future high school (when Tessa was finally potty trained, ha, ha!!!) They are continuing to improve with their swimming and being comfortable in the water. I think they liked tennis?? Maybe a little too early to tell if they’ll play when they’re older but we’ll probably do more lessons next summer!

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7 Tips for Summer Sun Safety

We’ve been enjoying our first summer in Southern California, and especially the days the kids and I spend at the beach! Newport is the closest beach to us and we usually go about once a week for a few hours. I’m excited to share this guest post about sun safety. My favorite tip is the first one, which may seem obvious, but I’m always sure to slather sunscreen on myself and the kids with a combination of both lotion and spray sunscreen.

By Christine H.

It’s summer! And that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the wonderful weather. However, as you spend time splashing in the public pool, picnicking at the beach, and hiking through the mountains, take precautions to protect yourself and your family from the sun.

Here are 7 suggestions that will keep you sun-smart this summer:

  1. Wear sunscreen… daily! If you simply slather on some sunscreen when you go to the beach, you’re not doing enough to protect yourself from the sun. Sun has a major effect on your skin. In the short term, it can lead to heat rash and sunburn. But it has more severe effects over time, and it’s cumulative, as this article warns. Sun exposure leads to prematurely aging skin – wrinkles, and sunspots, and loss of elasticity. Even more dangerous, sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. Some melanoma will be minor and simply require removal. Others can spread to the rest of your body and become life-threatening. Wear sunscreen every day, not just when you’re planning a big event outside and you’re worried about sunburn. You should have a daily face cream that protects against UV rays.
  2. Cover up. Sunscreen can’t do everything. Sometimes the best technique for protecting yourself from the sun is the old-fashioned one. Wear a hat to protect your eyes and face from direct light and glare. Wear longer sleeves to limit your sun exposure. Also remember to seek out shade and bring umbrellas with you for outdoor events. It might seem counterproductive to cover up more when you’re hot, but it can actually protect you from heat stroke and exhaustion.
  3. Guard your eyes. Wearing a hat helps protect your eyes from UV rays, but you’re better off wearing sunglasses to keep your eyes healthy. Much like your skin, your eyes can age prematurely with exposure to sun. UV rays can lead to a higher chance of cataracts and AMD. Not all sunglasses are created equal, so take a close look at your purchases. Do they say that they protect from UVA and UVB rays? If not, they might be even more harmful than not wearing glasses at all, since they encourage your eyes to keep the pupils dilated, which lets in more harmful UV light.
  4. Take precautions when you go camping and hiking too. If you’re in the woods or up in the mountains, you might not feel as hot and so you won’t think as much about how much sun you’re being exposed to. However, you’ll probably get more sun through the day than you usually do during just an hour or two at the pool. So bring sunscreen with you, and be realistic about the effects that the sun is having on you. Seek shade when possible, and drink lots of water. Sun exposure can also create fatigue in your body, which you’ve probably noticed if you’ve ever slept really well the night after a day spent sunbathing. This might be caused by dehydration, and your body working overtime to regulate chemicals and temperature.
  5. Think outdoor events through. Often, fairs, music festivals, and things like amusement parks can cause a lot of health problems because people aren’t thinking about how much sun and heat they’re getting. The crowds can make things even worse, especially if you’re at a music festival or other event where people are in close quarters. So, as you walk into an event, look around and see where the medical tent is. Plan your time under shade. This link has some great suggestions for being safe at an outdoor event.
  6. Be aware of signs of overexposure. Sometimes, exposure to sun isn’t just about your skin and your eyes. Sun exposure can lead to fainting, or heat stroke. So recognize the symptoms and take care of yourself if you start exhibiting some of these problems:
    1. Dizziness
    2. Faintness
    3. Blackout
    4. Headache
    5. Trouble focusing
    6. Spots in your vision
  7. Hydrate more than you think you have to. You may not feel dehydrated while you’re out and about and being busy. But if you’re spending time in direct sunlight, you will get dehydrated. Make a conscious effort to drink water before, during, and after your time outside.

 

Sun safety is important, but so is making the most of your summer. It’s a great season to meet new people, try new things, and have some fun! This article has some great suggestions for things to do to get the most out of your time, whether it’s in the sun or not. So don’t let the warnings scare you away from doing what you want to this summer. Just be smart!7 summer sun safety tips

My favorite beach products here

My favorite way to stay hydrated here

Summer Sunglasses

One thing I rarely ever splurge on are sunglasses. I feel like while there are classic, timeless styles, there are trends every year that I like. Luckily, there are places that make super affordable pairs. The sunglasses may not last more than a few years, but I don’t mind since that style or trend may not be very popular the next year anyway. I currently have like 5 pairs of sunglasses none of which were over $15. I also like having multiple pairs in case we take Dave’s car somewhere I know I’ll have a pair in his car.

I like classic brown tortoise shell glasses, the trendy polarized look, aviators, leopard print and gold frames. I love my most recent pair with pink lens. You can save 10% on any Poppy Apparel item with the code ‘jen10’ (their sunglasses are in the $10-$30 range).

summer sunglasses poppy apparel

summer sunglasses poppy apparel

 

Bright White Memorial Day

I’m thankful today to celebrate and remember those who have died to allow use to enjoy the amazing freedoms of this country. We have many freedoms and rights that citizens of other countries do not have. Sometimes I feel that politics (especially in a two party dominant country) can be divisive so I’m extra grateful we have days like today to remind us that we are all Americans.

Today is celebrated in lots of different ways – the beach, vacations, family time, etc. We don’t have anything special planned today as Dave is going out of town tonight for work in Phoenix. Something I always love about Memorial Day (and the other American holidays) are the flag decorations that dot the neighborhoods and businesses. The Red represents ‘valor’, the White ‘innocence’ and the Blue ‘vigilance, perseverance and justice’.

There’s an old saying that you can’t wear white until after Memorial Day – not sure where this originated or if it’s truly observed! I tend to wear more black and gray but also love white. For a lot of people, Memorial Day also signals the beginning of summer and summer colors. Here are some of my white picks:

WHITE WEAR MEMORIAL DAY

I’m happy to partner again with Smile Brilliant who help you achieve your best smile from the comfort of your home! I first used their custom made teeth whitening trays in December and had a great experience. The whole process is easy to follow and use. Smile Brilliant is offering you $25 your whitening trays with the code: jamtartmd25 . With this code you can receive their teeth whitening system for lightly stained teeth for $104!

You can also win $50 off a teeth whitening kit by entering this Rafflecopter giveaway. Contest ends 6/5/17 and winner must use discount code by 6/23/17.

WHITE WEAR MEMORIAL DAY SMILE BRILLIANT TEETH WHITENING

dress/Birkenstocks/Converse/nail polish/pineapple top

 

 

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How to stay modestly cool

I’ve lived in warm climates and humid climates, but I think Texas is the first really warm AND humid year around place we’ve lived. We moved here in the beginning of the summer and happy to say we’ve survived the heat thus far! I have a good feeling this winter will be really nice compared to our last few winters in Utah.

Besides hanging out in pools and splash pads in the blistering summer, I’ve found a few ways to stay cool while still dressing modestly.

Flowy skirts – although I’m a little short to wear midi skirts, I like them because I’m usually chasing kids around 😉

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Relaxed fit tops – I love this one from Old Navy, was tempted to buy more than one, ha, ha. I especially love it because it DOESN’T require a layering tank underneath!

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Other wish list modest apparel that look awesome for Texas summers:

Flutter Blouse $30

Flor de Luz dress $65

Pom pom blouse $21

Ombre top $24

Scallop top $32

Nantucket top $42

Draped pocket dress $34