Thursday, June 21, 2018

4 Easy Snack Recipes for Fourth of July

Red, White, and Blue Sweet Salsa + Chips

Summertime Watermelon and Feta Guacamole Dip

Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips


Happy first official day of summer! I always start getting pumped for 4th of July on the summer solstice. It's like as soon as the calendar tells me summer is really here, my mind goes right to 4th of July and the nostalgia that comes long with it. We will be in Colorado for the 4th this year, but we usually go to a party here in Chicago, and I'm always in charge of bringing a snack/appetizer (my favorite kind of food!). Today I'm sharing four recipes for the items I most often bring to the party, each of which is perfect for summertime. Click on any of the images of links below them for the full recipes. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Meet Me At Camp

I never went to a real summer camp as a kid, aside from a few day camps. So maybe it's just my subconscious trying to fulfill that part of my childhood I didn't get to experience, but I'm feeling majorly sentimental and inspired by all of this '70s-vibed summer camped themed clothing (all from Camp Collection). I want all of it. (And nope, this isn't a sponsored post. I'm just feeling these clothes, man.)

Did you go to summer camp?


Monday, June 18, 2018

We're Ready For You, Summer Sunshine

This post is in partnership with Aveeno Baby Suncare at Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

After what felt like the longest winter we've ever experienced here in Chicagoland (I mean, it snowed in late April), we are basking in the early summer sunshine like you wouldn't believe. My little ones want to be outside incessantly, and I don't blame them. There is something truly magical about these first days of being able to enjoy the outdoors again. No matter where my kids are - from school to activities to their grandparents' houses to at home - they are outside. And they've been going to their favorite outdoor place of all - the park - almost everyday. It's making all of us incredibly excited for summertime (which officially begins on Thursday!) and all of the adventures we'll get to have in the sun.

All of this early summer outdoor time has also been a great reminder for me to start focusing on suncare for the season and protecting their skin from the sun's harmful ways. Essley had an injury at school a few months ago that left a small scar on her face, and her pediatrician told us that the absolute best thing we could do for it was to use a gentle sunscreen on it like AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 daily. So while sunscreen is already something we've started using for the year, I've really been making a conscious effort lately for each of us to have a bottle on hand at all times. Essley keeps a bottle in her backpack for school and activities, I keep one in the car for playdates and park visits, and we keep bottles at the grandparents' houses too.

When it comes to protecting my babe's skin with sunscreen, there are all sorts of reasons I use AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (beyond just the obvious fact that it was recommended by our pediatrician). First of all it's effective but still natural - with 100% mineral sun blockers and 100% Zinc-Oxide UVA/UVB mineral protection. It's hypoallergenic, free of parabens, phthalates, dyes and fragrance, and given National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance (and as an eczema sufferer myself, this is a big one). It's also tear-free so I don't have to worry when applying it to their faces, and has a gentle, non-whitening formula that applies easily without stinging - which is great when I'm basically having to put it on at the speed of light while they're frantically trying to get to the slide or swings. And I love that it looks in moisture, and has its special ACTIVE NATURALS® Oat formula that soothes and nourishes my little ones' skin rather than irritating us. It's a no brainer for me. As soon as the sunshine hit in April, I stocked up on the twin packs at Walmart (with the $5 savings Ibotta offer, woot!) so we can have them with us no matter where we go.

Knowing my kids' skin is protected every time they're outside now, I feel like I can really sit back and just enjoy watching them have fun in the sun. My husband and I had the best time watching them laugh and chase each other and just be kids at the park the other day, and it led to us sharing some of our own favorite childhood memories of outdoor play time in the summertime. One of my greatest hopes for my kids is that they are able to create the same wonderful childhood memories that we did during this magical time of the year. It's early in the season, but so far, I think they're doing just that.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

6 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Hair and Nails

6 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Hair and Nails
Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. This post is sponsored by Ionicell for Women, but all opinions are my own.

I talk a lot about things I do to take care of my kids around here, but only occasionally do I mention taking care of myself. And this applies to my real life, outside of the blog, as well. I'd venture to say most moms - and women in general - could say the same thing. We tend to take care of others before ourselves, in all aspects of our lives. We are strong, badass babes, but we usually come in at the bottom of our to do lists.

That said, I've been working a lot in 2018 to change this. I've posted a few times about different efforts I'm making to remember that I'm important too. The most recent of these efforts has to do with my appearance - specifically my hair and nails. My hair and nails have majorly suffered since becoming a mom a few years ago. My hair changed after becoming pregnant for the first time, and started breaking and falling out more frequently. And taking care of little kids is a surefire way to make sure your nails are consistently broken. I decided it was time to do something to improve the health of my hair and nails, and my skin while I was at it. And it's been working. More than anything, when I look good, I feel good. I think most of us would agree, so today I thought I'd share the things I've been doing, in case you'd like to take better care of your hair, skin, and nails as well.

6 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Hair and Nails

1. Stay moisturized. Keeping both my hair and nails moisturized with a good quality oil (I use argan, but coconut oil works well too, especially on cuticles) seems to make a big difference in how healthy they look. I apply it to both my hands and my hair when they're damp, which helps with absorption.

2. Eat blueberries. Blueberries are full of antioxidants (more than all other fruits!), which help protect cells against free radical damage - including in hair and nails. I've been freezing them, which makes for the most delicious (and convenient) dessert.

6 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Hair and Nails
6 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Hair and Nails

3. Take Ionicell for Women.

This has been the easiest and most effective step I've taken to improve the quality of my hair, nails, and skin. For the past few weeks, I've been taking this dietary supplement once or twice a day, everyday, after meals. IoniCell for Women by Mineral BioSciences is specially formulated and clinically proven to help our bodies generate collagen, rehydrate cells (for healthier skin!), protect cells, and improve their performance. The capsules are easy to swallow, and absorb quickly, and I've really started to see results. My nails are visibly stronger (and the longest they been in years!), which makes sense, since Ionicell for Women specifically helps to strengthen, protect, and nourish nails. Ionicell for Women may also improve hair appearance and luster (for all hair types!), and I believe it - my hair seems to be thicker and shinier, and doesn't seem to be breaking as easily. My four year old daughter even told me I look like Rapunzel (I'll take it), and is constantly asking to braid my hair. It also helps stimulate collagen for healthier skin, which is a huge bonus! IoniCell for Women contains something very cool called Ioniplex, which is a fulvic ionic mineral that contains from 65 to 72 essential macro and trace minerals. This combination of fulvic acid and minerals in an ionic form is super powerful, with all sorts of beneficial effects. So in addition to potentially making your hair, nail, and skin look great, it protects against cellular damage (which is a major cause of aging!), provides nutrients to each cell for energy production, enhances nutrient absorption, and helps neutralize free radicals. It genuinely affects changes in appearance at the cellular level, and enhances beauty from deep within. Pretty great, right? If you're looking to improve the quality and condition of your nails, hair, and skin, I definitely recommend giving it a try.

6 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Hair and Nails

4. Use a nail strengthening polish. Even if my nails are bare and I don't have time to paint them, I try to keep them covered with a coat of nail strengthener. It only takes a couple of minutes, and it really does seem to help prevent breakage.

5. Eat Greek yogurt. I'm a vegetarian, so I sometimes don't consume as much protein as I need. Nails are made out of protein, and getting enough will help strengthen them. (It's good for your hair too!). Greek yogurt is full of protein, and easy to incorporate into your diet. I eat it plain, but also in smoothies, with cereal, and as a sauce (it's so good on tacos!).

6. Trim regularly. Did anyone else grow up with a parent or grandparent telling you that getting your hair trimmed makes it grow faster? While that's not technically true, keeping the ends of hair healthy and free from split ends - through regular trims - will help prevent breakage. And I have found the same to be true for my nails. If I trim them occasionally, they tend to break less and therefore grow longer more quickly.

6 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Hair and Nails

As I said earlier, when I look good, I feel good. I also feel emotionally and mentally at my best when I know I'm making the effort to take care of my appearance. And knowing that even simple, easy steps likes these can make a profound difference in the state of my nails and hair motivates me to continue to take care of them - and my whole self, too.

Do you have any tips or tricks for healthy nails and hair? Have any of your tried Ionicell for Women yet?