**I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Banana Boat® Sun Care. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.**
This summer has been off to an awesome start. Besides welcoming Baby Taylor into our family on July 7th, the weather has been absolutely beautiful. I think us Rhode Islanders deserve it because the winter we had was absolutely horrible. However, those days are long passed and we can now enjoy the summer and all that it has to offer. One way we do this is by venturing outside every single day it is sunny. Even with a newborn, I have two other kids who want to go to the beach, the pool, or simply play in our backyard. Due to them constantly being outside, I have to make sure they, along with my husband and I, have the proper sun protection to get us through the summer days.
I decided to list some tips about having proper sun protection to help you all out when you plan your next venture outside!
TIPS FOR SAFE AND PROPER SUN PROTECTION:
1. Make sure kids and adults alike wear clothes that are sun safe. A lot of the kids bathing suits these days have UV protection (Ultraviolet Protection Factor is the ingredient) that can help guard against harmful sun rays. I tend to buy these swim suits and rash guards that offer my kids additional sun protection, as they can spend hours in the brutal sun. Also, it is better if they are fully covered with long sleeve shirts to prevent against accidental burns.
2. If you plan to go to the beach or pool, make sure you seek out the shaded areas. As a mom, I know I want to work on my tan but it is important I make sure we are all sun-safe. I always rent an umbrella when we go to the beach, so we have shade against the sun. There is nothing advantageous about spending hours upon hours in the sun. Make sure you know where the shaded areas areas are and prepare yourself to spend time in the shade.
3. Sunglasses and hats are an absolute must! Even the youngest kids need to wear hats. Here Taylor is at 2 weeks old and I made sure to bring her hat. If I could find sunglasses to fit her, she would be wearing them as well!
4. SUNSCREEN..SUNSCREEN..SUNSCREEN!! I think you get the point- you must wear SUNSCREEN at all times. Make sure you put on sunscreen each morning and continue to re-apply throughout the day. You might think you can’t get a burn by going out later in the day, but you are wrong. Those harmful UV rays are still out and will cause havoc! Even if you are just having your kids play outside for a short period of time, you have to make sure they put on sunscreen.
My sunscreen of choice is Banana Boat for my entire family. They have so many wonderful Banana Boat products including lotions and sprays for my family. As a parent, I love the Banana Boat Protect and Hydrate UVA/UVB Sunscreen and Moisturizer. It contains Aloe Vera and Antioxidants, to provide a lasting moisture and protection against the sun. Best part is the formula is non greasy and water resistant up to 80 minutes. The kids also love the UVA/UVB Protection Spray that offers a Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. We can’t forget that Banana Boat has a Men’s Line, because it is just as important to keep dad or husband’s skin clear of those harmful sun rays.
One of my all time favorite Banana Boat products is the Banana Boat Sport Performance with Powerstay Technology. This is a UVA/UVB protection spray sunscreen that offers protection with SPF 15, 30, 50+, and 100. It provides heavy-duty protection, an ultra-lightweight feel, and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. I am extremely active outdoors and one of my favorite activities in the summer is to get on the tennis courts. This year I am not playing USTA tennis because I just had a baby, but I am still going back to the courts in the scorching heat. I love this sunscreen for the fact that I can stay active and know I am protected against the sun. There is nothing better to be able to sweat but know you are safe from the sun’s rays with the heavy-duty protections sunscreen that allows your skin to breathe with a lightweight feel.
Here is more information about he Banana Boat Sport Performance:
The new Banana Boat Sport Performance Clear UltraMist Sunscreen with Powerstay TechnologyTM,was specifically designed for the sport enthusiast and active individual who doesn’t want to be slowed down while out in the sun. Powerstay TechnologyTM is the brand’s latest innovation, which helps sunscreen stay on strong throughout all outdoor activities. This new formula has been designed to provide better application aesthetics, including a light-weight feel compared to the original formula, as consumers continue to seek products that feel good on their skin.
Do not forget about the awesome sweepstakes that is going on now! Banana Boat sunscreen is teaming up with actress and mother of two, Busy Philipps, to bring moms and their families the tips, tools and fun prizes they need to have the Best Summer Ever! Visit the Banana Boat Facebook Page to learn more about the Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes. You can win some great summer fun prizes, including the grand prize – a family trip to a Treehouse Resort.The Sweepstakes ends on July 31 so you do want to hurry!
I have to confess that when I was pregnant with my first child, for some reason I had McDonald’s Big Mac Cravings all the time. Perhaps that explains my daughter’s love for all things McDonald’s. Then again my son is just as big of a fan, and I wasn’t eating a Big Mac meal on a daily basis for that pregnancy, so go figure! I think my kids have just come to relate a trip to McDonald’s as a visit to a happy place, where the food is yummy, and they can meet up with friends to play. I don’t think they have picked up on how happy the value makes me, but it really does! It is a win-win and we are all satisfied when we go to McDonald’s.
I know I’m not the only mom out there who considers their local McDonald’s to be one of their biggest saviors as a parent. I seriously don’t know what I would do if I could not swing through to feed my kids while rushing them from one activity to the next. To be honest we would probably miss or delay many meals. As parents you know that the last thing you need when you are trying to stick to a busy schedule are hungry kids. Yeah, kids don’t do so well hungry. As a mom, I don’t do so well listening to them whine about starving either. It makes my life so much easier to pick up a couple of Happy Meals along the way to get them fed, and keep them cheery. It is their special treat for the week and they love seeing those golden arches.
There are also those days when we just have to get out of the house. Moms, you know what I mean! You’ve just cleaned up, they are bouncing off the walls, and it’s lunch time. Those are days when we will drive just a tiny bit farther to the McDonald’s branch with the PlayPlace! This has come to be our favorite spot to meet for play-dates, let them get their ya-yas out and have some lunch together. I have also had birthday parties at the McDonald’s PlayPlace, and they have been a total hit. The kids love it, McDonald’s practically does everything for you, and I love the price. It is really tough to beat! When it’s time for a special treat, or to cheer a little sad face up, I know everyone will be excited about (yes, I confess, even me) a trip to McDonald’s.
McDonald’s is a gift to parents everywhere! My kids can each pick their favorites off the menu, and knowing that McDonald’s uses white meat in their Chicken McNuggets, 100% beef in their burgers, real fruit in their smoothies, and in their oatmeal, I know they are eating wholesome food as well. I remember my own mom taking me to McDonald’s and feeling like it was such a treat. It makes me smile that the family tradition has continued, and I’ll let you in on a little secret, it still feels like a treat to me!
“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by McDonald’s via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of McDonald’s.”
*I work with Graco on product reviews. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*
A few months ago Graco sent me the Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing for review. Since Baby Taylor was not born until 2 weeks ago, we were not able to give a full review until we actually tested it out. So, for the past two weeks, we have been using the Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing religiously and we absolutely LOVE it! We have had many swings before (this is my third time around with a newborn) but none quite as neat as the Glider LX!
This is an unique swing that provides a soothing gliding motion for your baby using either plug in cords or batteries. We have been using this glider using the plug in cord, as we use it all time, but it is readily available to use with batteries. It has 2 speed vibration system, depending on how your baby likes it. When we put Baby Taylor in the Graco Glider, she really enjoys it, and then falls asleep peacefully! The soothing motion puts her right to bed, and then once she goes to sleep, mommy/daddy can finally get a good rest, knowing she is safe and comfortable.
Taylor loves it because this glider mimics the cuddling and comforting we do with her nursery glider. The seat on the Glider LX is very plush and roomy, allowing your infant to be comfortable with the removable infant support and vibration. It also features music to keep your baby entertained or soothing music to allow them to sleep. With the Graco Glider LX, you have all the features you want in a swing, but with the gliding motion baby loves!
The best part of the Glider is how the frame design uses 40 percent less space than the other leading swings. It fits very nicely in the corner of our room and does not take up a lot of space like other gliders and swings, I have had in the past. The space saver on this Glider is a huge advantage over other products I have seen on the market.
The Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing has been a lifesaver for us for the newborn stage and I know it will be a wonderful Glider for us for quite a few months. It retails for $139.99 and is available at Walmart, Babies R’ Us, Target, and Amazon to name a few!
Win it: One winner will receive the above Gliding Swing. This giveaway is run via rafflecopter so click read more to see the actual giveaway. The only mandatory entry is to tell me why you want to win this giveaway in the comment section proceeding the post. While the other entries are optional, I highly suggest filling out the other entries to increase your chances of winning. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*This is a sponsored post. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*
Jigsaw Informatics has a great new visual messaging app called ZapVM! This app lets parents easily record and share precious family moments, serve a friendly reminder for children to do their chores or even to introduce a new babysitter to the home and kids. One is able to create and share video messages by combining photos, voice, graphics and touchscreen gestures in realtime, using the app, which is now available in the iTunes App Store.
ZapVM allows iOS users to create and share visual messages for social and business use, simply and immediately. Using ZapVM is intuitive and familiar since it is similar to swiping through one’s photos while telling a story. To use ZapVM, consumers simply select up to 10 photos from the device’s photo library or from the in-app camera function and arrange them. ZapVM also includes extensive graphics tools, stickers, captions and other features that enable users to modify or customize their images without leaving the app. PowerPoint slides may also be imported into ZapVM as JPEGs or PNGs and used accordingly.
Users, in realtime, record their visual message by swiping through their photos using familiar gestures like double-tap and pinch zoom and two-finger drag while narrating their message to add perfectly synchronized, personal voiceovers to each image and gesture. ZapVM also features a unique “live pointer” that lets users highlight objects within their photos while recording.
Once the recording is completed, ZapVM employs unique, patent-pending Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) based rendering that combines the images, graphics, voice and gestures into a single, concise MP4 Zap Video message up to 90 seconds in duration that clearly conveys context and emotion—an often-challenging feat in a text-driven world.
I love this app for parenting because it changes how you communicate with your kids, family members and friends. Give praise or direction with unique clarity that comes from the combination of images, voice, annotations, emotion, context and immediacy that Zap Videos provide.
Now they want you to try ZapVM app and be entered to win amazing prices! I decided to use the ZapVM app to showcase to my babysitter how my husband and I put the kids to bed. It was really fun to create the video and best of all, it was saved for her, just in case she forgets for future use. Using this app to create my instructions to put the kids to bed, allowed me to talk and showcase our routine without leaving anything out.
You can now try doing your own ZapVM video and be entered to win some amazing prices in the ZapVM Family Contest!
**“Use ZapVM To Change How You Communicate With Your Family” Summer 2014 Contest invites you to win prizes by showing how ZapVM can improve communications with your family (and friends, etc.) by employing the unique clarity ZapVM provides by combining your images, voice, annotations, emotion, context and immediacy into a Zap Video. In addition to submitting Zap Videos to the contest, we also invite to display them on your own social media channels. If you do, please use the tags #zapvm, @zapvm and #chyc to associate your posts with ours.**
Here are some of the great prizes you could win:
i) The “First Prize Winner” from each contest will receive a gift card worth $150 USD.
ii) The “Second Prize Winner” from each contest will receive a gift card worth $100 USD.
iii) The “Third Prize Winner” from each contest will receive a gift card worth $50 USD
One Entrant from Jigsaw will also select a single “Grand Prize Winner” from all the Entries and will award the Entrant an additional $350 Gift Card.
Additional information about this contest:
Taxes on the Gift Cards are the sole responsibility of the Entrant. Jigsaw will NOT file Form 1099s for these winners, since the prize value is under $600 per http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099msc.pdf.
- Entrants who create Zap Videos and submit them via email (as directed) and post them on the ZapVM Facebook Page will be receive a t-shirt by mail and if their Zap Video is selected by Jigsaw to be shown on the ZapVM Facebook Page.
- ALL Entrants who create Zap Videos and submit them via email as directed will have their videos shown on a Jigsaw or ZapVM website. Entrants whose Zap Videos are featured on the front page of the zapvm.com or jigsaw.info will also receive a t-shirt by mail.
Be sure to check out ZapVM for other great Zap videos today!
**I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Discover Boating. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.**
Last month, I told you all that I am an ambassador for Discover Boating, which has been a big honor since I absolutely love being on the New England waters in the summer months. There is nothing quite as beautiful as sailing on my home state of Rhode Island waters in the summer months. While the winter might not be the greatest in these parts of town, nothing beats our summers and part of the charm is getting on a boat and sailing away on our beautiful waters. Some of our key water landmarks include Block Island, Narragansett Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, and Newport to name a few.
This summer, my family and I headed down to Newport to our favorite landmark, Castle Hill Inn. This is a hotel that overlooks the Newport Bay and we just enjoyed watching all the boats sailing by us, including the water skiers, jet skiers, and yachts to name a few. While I wanted to take out a boat, at the time of our visit, I was 38 weeks pregnant, so my husband mentioned we could just watch the beauty of the boats and then when I was no longer pregnant, we can rent our own boat to take out! We are a huge boating family and spend much of our summer on boats, so it was hard to just watch the beauty of boats without going on one, but I knew this was necessary.
Watching the boats sailing by, got me thinking about some of my most favorite memories on the water including taking the Teralani 2 out in Maui, Hawaii for a personalized scuba diving tour of the waters. This is a memory that will stay with me forever since it was just so gorgeous watching the sea life in Maui and being able to dive off the boat to see some of the most amazing fish I have ever encountered.
It also made me realize how much I missed jet skiing and how I could not wait to get back on jet skis! We have jet skied all over including Hawaii, US, Thailand, and in Europe. Next summer, we plan to buy jet skis and make a family trip out of it.
Over Independence Day, we were planning to go on a boating excursion to see the Fireworks but alas, Baby Taylor decided to make her appearance shortly after. So, next weekend, my entire family is going on our friend’s boat and we are sailing from our city’s bay to Newport. It is about an hour boat ride and the kids, and I, are just so excited! It has been a while since the kids have been on a boat and they have a little countdown sheet, where/when we are going to go sailing. I can’t wait to feel the wind blowing in our face and the excitement over seeing the kids enjoy our boating adventure. This is the fabulous boat we are going to be sailing on:
Summer boating is by far our favorite pastime to do! There is nothing like taking a sailboat out on the water, enjoying good food on the boat, and most of all great company. Everyone of our friends love boating (we are New Englanders so it is in our blood) so I see many adventures on the water for years to come. One activity I definitely want to try on the water is taking the boat out and doing some fishing off of it. I eat so much seafood, it would be fun to try to catch my own!
If you are a boating fan like I am, DiscoverBoating.com has great resources and educational tools for boaters of all levels! Discover Boating is your all inclusive website to finding your perfect boat, buying a boat, finding a marina to set sail our of or dock your boat, owning/operating a boat and so much more! While I simply love all the useful information on the Discover Boating site, I really love the boat selector tool. We spend so much time renting boats and using other people’s boats, that I think it would be very useful to buy our own boat. This might not come for another year or two, but this is a great resource.
They also have some great youth boating programs where I can teach my kids the way of the water and get them involved in boating. My daughter is almost 6 now, so it is a perfect age to start getting her involved and show her the ways of the water. Along with other great tools, I like the Spousal Conversion Kit to get your significant other involved with boating.
If you have not checked out the Stories of Discovery section, do so now. Here you will find documentary-style videos featuring real boaters (including country music star, Jake Owen) and their personal stories of how boating impacts their lives. One of the most touching videos was Good Run, about a man’s life journey by boat. You are forewarned to have tissues available while viewing it. It is absolutely beautiful!
Do you love boating??