Momma Told Me

Thursday, July 2, 2015

This Summer We #ChooseSkinHealth With Simple Tips For Sensitive Skin!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Neutrogena. I received samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2015.
This Summer #ChooseSkinHealth with Neutrogena, now with 5 Sun Care Products featuring the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. #ad
Momma Told Me: Cover up!

Have you ever heard the expression "You're going to catch your death out there?" It's an adage many of the women in my family have used for generations, but one we most often associate with cold weather and the Winter. As grim as it sounds, you're actually more likely to compromise your health during an unsuspectingly gorgeous day outside, rather than in gloomy weather when you're naturally more aware of the risks. Why? Because 1 in 5 adults will be diagnosed with skin cancer, and an overwhelming number of those cases can be attributed to unprotected UV exposure from the sun. Going outside during the sunny months without your 'coat' of UV protection sunscreen, and proper hydration can be just as dangerous as walking into a snowstorm in a tank top and flip flops.
Having been raised in SoCal, and by Momma herself, I was constantly being educated and reminded about two major 'invisible' health risks, sun exposure and smoke. We'll save the smoking lecture for another day. Today we're going to talk about skin health and your Summer life plans. You see, unless you quite literally live in a rock, or a cave- and yes, even (especially) those who live in continually cold climates such as Alaska, you should be using SPF protection daily. UV rays travel through materials, reflect off surfaces (such as water and snow), and are always present when the sun is out (even if you can't see the sun because of clouds and such.)
In fact, you are being exposed to UV rays even when you are taking shelter in the shade, as shade offers only about 5-7 SPF protection; lower than even the lowest commercial sunscreen, and most tanning lotions. And external factors, such as medications and beauty care products can actually make your skin more absorbent and responsive to the impact of UV rays! That means you may actually be making yourself more susceptible to sun exposure risks AND forgoing any preventative measures like sunscreen, effectively doubling your risk of skin cancer. It may be scary stuff but I'm glad to share that the art of active sun protection doesn't have to be scary.
You may have noticed, through the years, I'm sort of an unofficial brand champion for Neutrogena products. Neutrogena is a brand I've trusted my haircare and skincare routines to for years thanks to their conscious product formulations that are sensitive skin considerate and ingredient intelligent. Their Triple Repair haircare collection single handedly brought my hair back to life after a very unfortunate run-in with professional grade bleach chemicals, and their Cleansing Towelettes consistently remove full face costume makeup without any irritation. So, it's easy to see why I haven't needed any convincing in trusting their sun protection line.
However, if my testimonial isn't quite enough, Neutrogena sun care products now boast another credit, with 5 products recently having received the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance for their extra gentle formulations perfect for eczema prone and sensitive skin. Neutrogena® Pure And Free® Baby Faces Ultra Gentle Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45, Neutrogena® Pure And Free® Baby Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 60, Neutrogena® Pure And Free® Baby Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60, Neutrogena® Sensitive Skin Sunscren Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60, and Neutrogena® Pure And Free® Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 have all recieved this prestigious nod. The formulations and products themselves have not changed, they are just as awesome and gentle on skin as ever, but now are simply recognized for their superior skin protection with gentle application.
You know I, myself, have very fair and sensitive skin (I have to use fragrance free detergents and break out with contact to several common skincare ingredients,) but baby Nathan, 10 months, is exceptionally sensitive with his read hair and fair genes. This Summer he'll be hitting the pool (he really is a little tadpole, and just loves the water) with UV protective swimsuits and Neutrogena® Pure And Free® Baby Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 60. Water resistant and with a suggested 80 minute application life, this simple stick applicator makes SPF protection a breeze on baby's face and ears, and is entirely fragrance free for gentle application. For more tips on simple sun care for infants and children stay up to date with the brand on their Facebook page.
In fact, the Neutrogena sun care lineup has not only traveled up the coast and back on our Road Trip through national parks and along the Pacific Coast beaches, but recently accompanied me to Mudderella NorCal 2015. If there isn't a better test of a suncreen's resiliency than direct sunlight at high noon and consistent exposure to muddy water and make-shift rivers, I don't know what is. Neutrogena®'s Sensitive Skin Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 60 made sure the only discomfort I experienced after this day long event was seriously sore muscles. Though, I do have to warn the product itself is quite thick and requires diligent application- so always enlist the help of a partner to ensure full coverage. Upon first rub in, there was a thin white residue, which made coverage tracking a bit easier.
This Summer #ChooseSkinHealth with Neutrogena, now with 5 Sun Care Products featuring the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. #ad
No matter your skin's complexion or age, it's important to observe safe sun exposure, and proper hydration, throughout the Summer and entire year. Don't let sensitive skin, or eczema, keep you from properly protecting your skin. Choose dermatologist recommended and National Eczema Association accepted Neutrogena® sun care products for easy to wear protection with a powerful punch. You'll find these skin health much haves at national drug and grocery chains near you (I usually grab mine at Walmart and CVS.) Have you used one of the 5 NEA Accepted Products before? Why not help let the world know how simple sun cae can be by leaving a review on one of the seal accepted products product pagesNow, be honest, how often do you apply products with SPF protection?

What Daughter Says: You put on a coat in the Winter, now don't forget to put on some SPF protection in the Summer (and all year, too!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Twists- Road Trip DIY + The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TwizzlersSummer #CollectiveBias All graphics and photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2015.
Stock up on your #TwizzlersSummer snacks at Walmart- they're the perfect low fat snack for sharing, and they don't melt! #ad
Momma Told Me: Sometimes life gets sticky.

You may have noticed- Summer is here.

We're just breaking into July and I'm already exhausted from all of the adventures we've snapped for the scrapbook. Seriously people, 4200+ photos all sitting on my drive waiting to be edited, and I can't even get to them because I'm too busy preparing for the NEXT Summer adventure in NYC in 2 weeks. As you know 2015 is my year of DOING. Were investing in memories, not mementos, and so far the pay off has been monumental, perhaps even life changing.
As an Aunt, I get to have all the fun without most of the worry. When I heard Sabrina, 12, was going up to spend another Summer with her grandmother, in Oregon, I jumped at the chance for a road trip. After all, flying into LAX was no price difference than flying into the Portland area. Even better, I'd have an excuse to visit my own Momma, just an hour away, in Scappoose. I planned this Summer road-trip for months, down to the hour. And, because I am a very serious, hard core, road tripper, I had several staples on my checklist of staples.
Traveling with a tween in a car for any number of days is ballsy. Along with several cases of bottled water, I was sure to pick up some low fat snack options from Walmart. For me Twizzlers Twists and Twizzlers Pull N Peel snacks go way back in the Summer memories vault. Momma and I used to sneak them into the Summer matinee showings, and we always packed them for the road trips to grandpa's boat in Long Beach. As an adult, there's one big twist about Twizzlers Twists and Twizzlers Pull N Peel- they don't melt. This is something I never appreciated before, but high on my selling points today.
Having a snack that didn't melt in the car was crucial, since my air conditioning happened to go on the fritz just after I poured about $1600 into the car for new brakes and tires (a road trip must.) Driving up the coast temperatures were expected to break 100, and some of my followers know I was blessed enough to have a similar temperature- thanks to my battle with the plague. The last thing we needed, while careening down the PCH, were sticky hands or melting snacks! No joke folks, Twizzlers Twists are right up there on my Road Trip Must Haves with the How To Survive A Sharknado Guide and the Instax Mini 8 Polaroid style camera!
Twizzlers Pull N Peel also helped make our trip more fun, in general. Since I was ever so lucky to get sick just days before we hit the road, I was grumpy and pretty much in poor spirits. It's hard not to smile with a Twizzlers Pull N Peel in your hand....the child in me comes out every time as I pull those delicious Strawberry strands apart to tie knots, make shapes, and generally giggle like a school girl at their wiggles and squiggles. It's the perfect snack to pass the time while waiting for, say, your tour group number to be called at a tourist spot.
One of the first places we stopped in at on our trip up the coast was The Mystery Spot, in Santa Cruz, CA. There are a few similar 'gravitational anomalies' throughout the U.S. but the Mystery Spot is one I remember from my own childhood road trips. Best of all, the tour hasn't changed in over 80 years. As it turns out, it was also the cheapest tour ($7 per head) I invested in this vacation and the one Sabrina still raves about most (go figure.)  For those not familiar, The Mystery Spot is a location nestled in the redwood forests where one can watch water seemingly flow upward, walk at an 40 degree angle, and snap a photo standing on the wall of a wood cabin.
I'll share more about the Mystery Spot in a future post but, for now, I'm going to get back to how we put our own twist on road trips. Remember those amazingly delicious, non melting, low fat snacks I was telling you all about? Well, I had the brilliant idea to find a way to mount them to our car's air vent clip in a one of a kind Twizzlers Twists dispenser. This project coast me about $3, and was so simple, Sabrina (12) made her own after watching me make the prototype.
Make this DIY car vent clip snack holder and stock it full of non melting, low fat snacks- lke Twizzlers Twists from Walmart. It's the perfect Summer Road Trip Essential! #ad
To make your own Twizzlers Twists Car Vent Clip Holder you'll need; a tall narrow plastic container, 12 gauge crafting/floral wire, scissors and washi tape. For the container itself you can use a Command brand bath accessory holder or a travel toothbrush holder. In the end I found I liked the travel toothbrush/toothpaste holder best because it allowed me to seal my treats up when not in use, as it came with a lid.
Begin by cutting piece of crafting/floral wire that exceeds the length of your container by 8 inches when doubled in half. Go ahead and bend your wire in half, evenly, as shown above, for this measurement, this will also serve as your bottom 'hook' for the wire holster.
Next turn the containe rover so that you are looking at the wire structure along the back side. Take one of the wire halves sticking up and bend it at a 45 degree angle, approximately at the middle of your container's height. Wrap this wire around the edge of your container, to the front, and loop it back towards the back. Use your thumb as a guide for spacing on your wire 'loops.'
Repeat this process on the opposite side, ensuring that both halves of wire are arranged on the backside of the container and angled to once again face upwards. At this point you should have a loop on the bottom and both sides of your holster, effectively acting as a cradle to your container. Both, cut, ends of the wire should now be facing straight up, along the back of your container.
Bend each cut end of wire down, in half to create your final hooks. These hooks will be bent inward to act as your method for hanging the holder on your car vent. Gently double the wire ends back over each other to provide a stabilizing structure and trim any excess wire, careful not to leave sharp edges.
Stock up on your #TwizzlersSummer snacks at Walmart- they're the perfect low fat snack for sharing, and they don't melt! #ad
Lastly, the fun part- go crazy layering Washi tape in different colors and patterns to decorate your Twizzlers Twists holder and add a little pizazz to your car. This was Sabrina's favorite part and, I dare say, hers turned out even nicer than mine. In fact, we ended up using hers on the road trip, and I've received many compliments from passengers since. People always chuckle at the beginning, but just one Twizzlers Twists and they realize any car trip is just all the more fun when Twizzlers Twists are on board!
Stock up on your #TwizzlersSummer snacks at Walmart- they're the perfect low fat snack for sharing, and they don't melt! #ad
If you're not sure Twizzlers Twists are for you, but curious to experience the Summer's best complimenting, non melting, snack- explore some of the many flavors and varieties at your local Walmart. My personal favorites are the Twizzlers Strawberry Lemon Twists and the Twizzlers Rainbow Twists, but Sabrina argues that Twizzlers Cherry Pull N Peel are the best for flavor and fun. I think the kid in all of us could see how playing with one's food will always win that argument! Which of your Summer adventures could be made more delicious wit Twizzlers Twists and Twizzlers Pull N Peel by your side (or on your dash?)

What Daughter Says: Keep Summer sweet with non-melting snack options like Twizzlers Twists, and our DIY car vent clip holder.

Monday, June 29, 2015

You Know Bob, Stuart + Kevin, But Can You Find #The7thMinion?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #The7thMinion #CollectiveBias All photos contained below are property of Momma Told Me Blog 2015.
Find #The7thMinion in exclusive marked Family Size General Mills cereal boxes, only at Walmart. Will you find the Prehistoric minion? #ad
Momma Told Me: Eat your breakfast before you play with your toy!

It's hard to imagine a world where a child would have to be talked into eating their breakfast cereal. With colorful shapes, marshmallows, flavors, and mascots, it's a wonder that the cereal box toy ever came to be in the first place. And yet, here it remains, all these years later (103 to be exact,) as one of my favorite 'small things' in life. Yes, tearing open that box of Apple Jacks in 1992 to reveal my shiny Super Mario Land Maze still shines as one of the highlights of my childhood. I quite literally cried when it became wedged between the seats of our family's mini van, effectively lost forever.
After all, what could be more awesome, as a child, than pouring a heaping bowl of your favorite breakfast cereal and watching in wonderment as a tiny trinket plops out? The nostalgia of cereal box prizes and toys has been discussed here many times before. While the 'kids meal' toy notion still goes strong, that of physical toys and trinkets in modern cereal seems to have been replaced by animated mascots and 'send away' or sweepstakes promotions. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was to learn that my favorite animated characters, the Minions, were to bring cereal box toys back with a special General Mills promotion!
And, let me let you in on a little secret, only Walmart has specially marked Family Size boxes of the 7 General Mills cereal varieties containing an exclusive 7th collectible Connect And Collect Minion! It's a great thing some of my favorite cereals, Reese's Puffs, Lucky Charms, and Golden Grahams happen to be on that list- because those Family Size boxes contain up to a whopping 20.5 ounces of cereal (that's over a pound of Lucky Charms, for example!) While you can collect the core 6 Minion Connect and Collect toys, you'll only find that elusive 7th Minion toy on specially marked Family Size boxes of General Mills cereal, at Walmart, so be sure to hurry on in and grab your boxes before the Minions carry them all away!
I'll admit, Minions and cereal are some of my favorite things, so I walked out of my Walmart with 11 boxes of specially marked cereal- that's enough to feed an army, ya'll! I was certain I'd have to force feed myself a bowl with every meal, or host a Summer cereal spritzer (hey, that's not a bad idea) just to discover which Minions cereal box toys I'd actually brought home, but was delighted to discover I could in fact use the boxes as a stockpile. In every box of specially marked Minions toy cereal boxes the toys were individually wrapped and contained outside the actual cereal bag.
I'm not ashamed to admit, shortly after this discovery I slid the bottom of each and every box open and plopped my Minions toy onto the dining table. I am sad to report I have not found the elusive Prehistoric 7th Minion yet, but I did wind up with a set of 6 and some duplicates (not a bad start, I'd say!)  So, while the hunt for #The7thMinion continues, I've found myself getting a little creative with my cereal stockpile. For instance, I've come to enjoy my Golden Grahams in what I call my 'Bello-Berry-Banana Breakfast,' served with fresh blueberries and banana slices, alongside a glass of orange juice.
Of course the excitement of the upcoming Minions film, July 10th, and the collectible Minions cereal box toys had also inspired me to create something whimsical and nostalgic of my own. Every proper cereal fan knows one doesn't have to have milk to enjoy their favorite cereal. In fact, more often than not, I munch on my cereal straight from the box, so this 1 In A Minion Munch was the perfect gift idea for some of my fellow Minion fans- and it just so happens I had a few extra Collect and Connect Minions to gift with it!
There's really no right or wrong when it comes to making Minion Munch- you could use a puppy chow mix technique and melt some sugar with juice and food color, then toss your munch contents in powdered sugar, or simply drizzle your mix with melted chocolate melts. For our base I used popcorn and Cheerios, with a few graham teddy bears for Minion Bob.
Using some black and silver pipe cleaners and extra large googly eyes I made Minion goggles, though you could also draw the eyes and goggles directly onto your cellophane/snack baggie as well. Be careful if you use a chocolate for your colored snack mix portion, as it will tend to melt in the bag if handled too much and leave the end product looking a little muddy. It took some experimenting on my part, but nobody's perfect- and I certainly am not, so you can see I experienced a little of this melting making our Minion baggies.
I sealed the Minion munch bags with a yellow ribbon tie and designated 2 to a box for my gifting presentation. Each box got at least one of my duplicate Connect and Collect Minions cereal box toys. I tied the bottom of the gift boxes with an adorable denim ribbon I'd found at the craft store, which reminded me of the Minion's overalls, and titled the top '1 In A Minion,' making them suitable for gifting to just about anyone for any occasion. Of course what they should have read was: "I bought too much cereal trying to collect the 7th Minion, please enjoy some of my leftovers."
Make 1 In A Minion Munch care packs with your favorite cereal and Connect and Collect cereal box toy Minions! Find #The7thMinion in exclusive marked Family Size General Mills cereal boxes, only at Walmart. Will you find the Prehistoric minion? #ad
Naturally, one of these 1 In A Minion boxes is making it's way to my favorite Minion, Sabrina, in the Minions Care Package I featured in yesterdays post. I'm also sending one to Momma and will be passing a few out to my friends at the bowling alley tomorrow night. They might not all be as excited about the upcoming Minions movie as I am, but who can keep a frowny face when there's delicious cereal involved?
Find #The7thMinion in exclusive marked Family Size General Mills cereal boxes, only at Walmart. Will you find the Prehistoric minion? #ad
Of course, you could just do as Sabrina suggests and begin eating cereal for dinner once a week to help curb the cereal influx from your 7th Minion hunt. It's okay, I won't judge- but I WILL be quite jealous if you post that Instagram photo with the elusive Prehistoric 7th Minion! Now, tell me, do you remember cereal box prizes from your childhood? What was your favorite cereal box toy discovery?

What Daughter Says: Now that I'm an adult I can finally play with the toy while I eat my cereal, and there's no shame in that!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sending Smiles With A Minions Care Package + Paying It Forward With $.49 Cards

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendSmiles #CollectiveBias All photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me 2015.
Grandma Told Me: Say it with a Hallmark.

Here on the blog we've talked often about the special place Hallmark Greeting Cards hold in my heart. While I grew up in a technological boom, where home PCs were just beginning to become the norm, and 'cell phones' were a thing of Sci-Fi fiction, the size of briefcases, paper sentiments always especially stood out. My German immigrant grandmother believed not any greeting card would do, and that only the gold crown seal of a Hallmark greeting card could properly define milestones and occasions. As young as 5, she taught me to flip a card over, in search of that famous crown trademark.
This is something I took to heart when I later began making my own handmade line of cards 'Jenmark,' for friends and family, as a tween. But it wasn't the brand that made Hallmark special, it was the commitment to offering originally unique sentiments and cards for just about any occasion. There really isn't much of anything you can't say with a Hallmark card, and chances are there are things you should be saying with one, you don't even know there's a card for. In today's digital and instant age, I find it important to continue to connect with family and loved ones through physical mementos of greeting cards. One of my preferred ways to do this is with a care package.
As most of you know Sabrina, 12, is spending the Summer with her grandmother in Oregon, as she typically does. I knew back in May I'd be sending her a care package, but the U.S. post office prohibits sending live animals Priority Mail, so I also knew I'd have to get a little creative. While we had a lot of wonderful adventures on our road trip up North, there is one Summer 2015 event we won't be able to celebrate together- the Minions film release. So, when I came across the new range of Hallmark Minions cards at my local Walmart I knew I had the perfect box in mind.
While you'll find several hilarious sound enhanced greeting cards with the Minions on them, I was especially attracted to the range of kids birthday and everyday greetings with clip on plush characters. These greeting cards were gifts in themselves with collectible Minions clips perfect for backpack pulls or Summer luggage tags. Naturally, I wanted to collect and send them all, but I had to save a few designs for Sabrina's birthday this Fall. Momma, however, will be getting one for her birthday in August.
Inspired by the unique Minions Hallmark cards I set out to make something Minions of my own. After all, no care package is complete without something handmade. And, because I see Minions everywhere (I might be a little obsessed) I had spotted some perfectly oval lip balms I knew would transition into the most adorable Minions!
By inter-mixing the caps for the Lemon Drop lip balms and Blueberry lip balms I immediately had the perfect canvas for all of my favorite Minions, Stuart, Dave, and Bob. With a few Sharpies, and a steady hand, I went to work drawing faces on these round balms. My first few were more of experiments than anything, they were cute, but not a graphical as the finished trio (seen above.) I also made sure to include a movie theater gift card inside Sabrina's Minions Hallmark card, so she could see the film up in Oregon while she's with her grandmother.
#SendSmiles with new Hallmark Minions greeting cards at Walmart, make a Minions care package for your loved ones today! Featured are DIY Minions lip balms. #ad
I've got to say, I'm a bit sad we can't Skype and watch the movie together (theaters tend to frown on using cell phones during movies, ya know?) but I know the Minion spirit will continue on through the Summer with the amazing assortment of Minion themed goods I packed away. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg on licensed merchandise to get Minion-fied, just think like a Minion! Anything banana is fair game when it comes to Minion gifting so why not attach a bag of banana candies, a banana coin purse, or petty much anything banana to your Hallmark Minions greeting card! My personal favorite find? A Banana peel smart phone holder by Fred!
Of course, while you're at Walmart, you'll want to stock up on some of the fun and colorful designs in the everyday value collection of Hallmark cards. Just look for the 'Value' card callers to find quality greeting cards as low as $.49 everyday! We always have a box of these on hand, as I like to pull them out at the most unexpected situations. There are few days a greeting card can't immediately brighten one's day!
You don't have to break the bank to #SendSmiles- Pay It Forward with $.49 VALUE Hallmark cards from Walmart. Simple dollar bill origami will help brighten a strangers day, why not offer a coffee on you, with a greting card smile? #ad
In fact, if you're the sort who loves to 'Pay it Forward' by buying the car behind you a coffee at Starbucks, you'll love the idea of improving someone's mood with an affordable $.49 Hallmark greeting card. Want to take it a little further? Use some simple dollar bill origami to fold a single or five dollar bill into a fun shape and stash it in the card with a message of encouragement like, 'Go ahead, get the Large,' 'Spring for something special on a stranger,' or 'Sharing a smile with a stranger.' Don't know what to say? Let the fun and funny Hallmark Value cards say it for you then place one on a stranger's windshield, in a random book at the book store, or on the purse of an unsuspecting stranger at the checkout line.
DIY Minions Lip Balms- Make a Minions Care Package for your loved ones today with exclusive Minions Hallmark merchandise at Walmart! #ad
Life goes too fast not to stop and connect with your fellow humans- let Hallmark help you connect with unique greeting cards and inspired sentiments. Whether you have a fellow Minion fanatic in need of the perfect birthday card, or are simply looking to say hello to an old friend, Hallmark at Walmart can help you connect. Emails, text messages, and phone calls all fade away, but (take it from the girl with every greeting card ever given to her in a cardboard box) physical sentiments will never fade. Like the ideas featured in this post? Follow Hallmark on Facebook for more creative ways to connect! What occasions do you have coming up that could be amplified with a Hallmark card?

What Daughter Says: Generations of our family have trusted the gold crown to capture and celebrate countless occasions. Long live the art of the greeting card.