The Best of Summer || Sunday Swoon

The summer solstice is officially upon us!  We ushered in the warm weather with a trip to the beach and I found it fitting to share a few of my new favorite summer products.  Although I’m technically breaking the “Sunday Swoon” rules with only one product geared towards kids – it’s nice to switch the focus to the mamas for a change!

the best summer products1. MD Complete by Dr. Brian Zelickson: I’m pretty fanatic about summer sun protection.  After years of abusing my skin as a teenager, I’m prone to sun-spots.  MD Complete Youthful Skin Sun Shield has become my everyday defense and provides Broad Spectrum SPF 50 coverage without the greasy feel of most facial sunscreens.  Its affordable price of $24.00 makes it a must have for summer.

2.  MADE unique fair trade jewelry: Jewelry has the ability to complete a summer style and I’m a huge fan of  MADE’s hand crafted jewelry comprised of recycled or sustainable raw materials, sourced from local, independent retailers.  Best of all, these purchases empower, as MADE invests in their employees.  Their workshop in Kenya, founded in 2005, employees the talent and skills of artisans in Kenya, whilst providing a safe working environment, long-term job security and training.  MADE is rooted in creating sustainable jobs, teaching new skills and empowering developing communities in Kenya through the production of beautiful and unique accessories.

3. Miraclesuit: And introduction to Miraclesuit swimsuits by Momtrends and The Moms changed my preconceived notions of the brand.  The flattering styles created with innovative Maritex fabric are slimming and stylish in a full range of sizes.

4. Modify watches:  These cool interchangeable, modular watches are the perfect summer accessory. With over 3,000 possible combinations of mix-and-match straps and faces, these colorful timepieces are fun and affordable.  I happen to love the Snow Cones Watch with a Seafoam Green Strap from the latest summer collection.

5. Herban Essentials: I’m newly obsessed with essential oil towelettes from Herban Essentials. The refreshing, cool and invigorating towelettes are made with the highest quality, 100%  pure, therapeutic grade, steam distilled or cold pressed essential oils.  Available in Orange, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint and Eucalyptus – these towelettes have been amazing when I’m fighting a migraine or feeling nauseous on the subway.  They are also the perfect beach refresher!

6. MelanSol Sunscreen: When it comes to my children and sunscreen, I don’t compromise on safety.  The kids have been wearing  MelanSol Natural Baby Sunscreen – a non-toxic sunscreen that doesn’t rely on chemicals of any kind to protect little one’s skin.  MelanSol Baby Sunscreen uses an innovative combination of bio-active antioxidants to boost baby’s ability to neutralize free radical damage responsible for sunburn, early skin aging and non-melanoma skin cancer later in life.

7. Kryolan Lip N’ Cheek: This water resistant cream colors the lips and cheek with a smooth touch. I have been wearing the natural lotus color which makes for quick and convenient summer touch-ups.

8. My Cabana Boy Spray Applicator: If you’re an aerosol sunscreen user this product will be a game changer.  It’s the first product designed to effectively spray the back and hard to reach places without the assistance of another person!  Just remember to keep those sunscreen sprays away from the kiddos as they have been proven to be harmful if inhaled.

9. Zoya Nail Polish: These long wearing, toxin-free nail polishes come in over 300 ” big 5 free” & vegan friendly shades.  The pink-glittery Harper shade is fun for summer.

Be sure to visit the other Sunday Swoon sites and link up your post below!

Sunday Swoon Header-v2The Staten Island Family // Complicated Mama // Stroller In The City // Lady And The Blog // Mom Generations // Marino Bambinos

Special thank to Caravan Stylist StudioMomtrends and The Moms  for introducing me to some of the above products.  Although samples were provided, opinions, as always are my own.


Valentine’s Ready

Motherhood continually proves that the little things bring joy.  Fleeting moments of in-my-face wake-up smiles and handmade “Valetimes” tucked under pillows will perpetually make my heart melt.  As will those stolen moments of time to reconnect with my husband.  Even if our special date night doesn’t coincide with the standard love day.

photo 4

I’m a big believer in doing little things to make myself feel good.  Presenting my best self on the outside can help transform my attitude when inward stressors are present.  I’ll never believe that a woman’s self worth can be found in a make-up isle, but I will continue to covet my magic wands of mascara and the pop of color (and spirit lifting!) that the perfect lippy can bring.

I recently tested out NEUTROGENA’s® MoistureSmooth Color Stick and Healthy Volume® Mascara, and they’ve helped me achieve that put-together glam feeling, for a quick run to school pick-up or a special date sans kiddos.

The HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® program is offering great printable coupons (including $1 off any NEUTROGENA® Cosmetics product), tips, tools and much more.  Significant savings can be found on the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® website this month and by signing up for extra-sweet HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® coupons and offers.

Happy Love Day everyone!

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. As always, opinions are all my own.


Skyn Iceland Skincare at Henri Bendel

In many ways, I’m a former beauty junky.  The interest is still there, however, I don’t spend as much time caring for myself as I would like to.  Now that my children are getting older, I’m trying  to remember to give back to myself and rejuvenate – at home and elsewhere.

Last month, I attended an event hosted by Lara of Pretty Connected which focused on slowing down and cooling down with Skyn Iceland at Henri Bendel.  The private event room was transformed into a relaxing space with tranquil beauty treatments and healthy treats.

With Christine of Tineey and Jill of Glamamom

With Christine of Tineey and Jill of Glamamom

I first discovered Skyn Iceland during my first pregnancy when I searched for quality products that were paraben-free and natural.  I had the chance to speak with founder Sarah Kugelman about her product inspiration drawn from her travels in Iceland and her dedication to keeping her products completely safe.

Skyn Iceland Skincare Henri Bendel

I’ve since tested out the above products, and they have added a soothing element to my (typically rushed) at home regime.  The Glacial Cleansing Cloths have been a perfect post spinning class refresher and the Antidote Cooling Daily Lotion feels heavenly and smells divine.  I’ve been spritzing myself  throughout the day with the Arctic Face Mist and I’m able to create a spa-like experience at home with the Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels.

I’ve definitely spent time thinking about the ways in which stress may manifest itself in my body – and I’m working on improving my self care.  I’m glad that I had the chance to meet with the one skincare line specifically formulated to address the damaging effects of stress on the skin.


Mama Beauty {Sponsored}

Motherhood has proven to be a transformative experience.  In many ways, I have never felt more feminine and powerful as a women.  Growing, birthing and sustaining life gave me a new perspective on my own femininity, body image and capabilities.  I love taking care of myself when I have the chance too.  I also hoard an arsenal of wondrous beauty products.  Yet, most of the time I feel as if I am living in a strange dichotomy of sloppy or glamorized.  On many days, my beauty regime includes a toothbrush, a swipe of my coveted concealer, a messy bun and a mad dash to get my kiddos in a stroller and on a buggy board so I can sprint (yes sprint) to get my daughter to school on time.  But sometimes,  I have the chance to get done up and I love creating a smoking eye, grabbing some fun jewels and going out.

Now that we are all getting adequate sleep (and I’m not getting any younger), I’m working on incorporating more of a beauty regime back into my life.  Taking a shower without little people flinging toys in my space or begging me to get out is a luxury these days. Yet if I can manage to sneak in an uninterrupted shower and add a nice body scrub- my day is transformed!  It’s the little things that make me feel great.  Like, the ombre glitter nail stickers that I took time to put on last week and the much needed hair cut I squeezed in after realizing that my straggly strands had reached Cousin Itt proportions.  It’s amazing how a deep conditioner and a body moisturizer with a hint of self tanner can help me feel better about myself.  I’m promising to add more dimensions to my at home mama beauty and incorporate a mild facial scrub or an at-home peel every now and then.  I also want to work on my smile and test out Crest 3D White Strips.

I teach my daughter that true beauty comes from within – and it does.  And when I take care of myself in ways that make me feel good, I’m a better person for myself and my entire family.

For all my lovelies who live near Kroger brand stores (Caroline, this one’s for you!), now’s a perfect time to stock up on your favorite beauty items.  Download a digital coupon for a different product each day straight to your shopper card at the Cart Buster site for great deals on your favorite products at the Kroger Co. Family of Stores!

I was selected for participation in this sponsored campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.