Momma Told Me: July 2015

Blog Archive

Be #SkinSmart With Coolibar Protective Outdoor Clothing (Stronger thsn SPF 100!)

***We received product samples to help facilitate this feature. Regardless all photos and thoughts contained below are original and property of Momma Told Me Blog 2015.
Coolibar clothing offers UPF 50+ protection without any suncreen underneath. SPF 100 would be equivalent to a UPF of just 9! For stylish sun protective clothing for the entire family check our Coolibar! #sponsored
Momma Told Me: Watch out for the sun!

In Texas and SoCal, where the majority of our family's located over the Summer, escaping the Summertime heat means seeking shelter in an air conditioned building or finding a body of water to float in. In the past hosting fort building competitions in the living room, or a double feature at the local cinema would suffice to keep the young ones cool and unruly. This year there's a baby at home, and as Nathan's (now 11 months) first Summer wraps we've learned a lot about balancing a family that ranges in age from infant and grade school to nearly teen. You see, they don't warn you but everybody gets a little extra on edge when there's an infant involved, especially when that infant is teething and beginning to walk.
To escape the endless chants of 'Mom, I'm bored,' and the inevitable tension of being confined with one's naked, teething, brother, the family has been packing up a lot and heading to the local public pools. That, combined with an unusual amount of traveling and hotel pools, this Summer means extra consideration is needed for sun safety. You may not have noticed, after all it is quite subtle, but my adorable Nephew is just about one of the most adorable, fair skinned, redheaded babies I've seen this decade. And, while proper suncare is and should be a priority for everyone, little Nathan requires extra monitoring and protection when exposed to the sun for any amount of time.
Coolibar clothing offers UPF 50+ protection without any suncreen underneath. SPF 100 would be equivalent to a UPF of just 9! For stylish sun protective clothing for the entire family check our Coolibar! #sponsored
Not to alarm you but statistics don't lie- The impact a serious sunburn has on one's life is an astounding doubled chance of developing melanoma later in life. Even more frightening is the fact that 22% of humans receive their first serious sunburn within their first year of life, and a whopping 54%, in their second. Worst of all, there is no reason for an infant, or anyone, really, to ever have to suffer the discomfort or risks associated with excessive UV exposure. In fact, Coolibar offers a wide range of stylish UPF protective clothing for children as young as infants, on up. Think you're protecting your child by throwing a t-shirt on them with a splash of sunscreen? All suncare products require reapplication at a suggested rate of every 90 minutes, an the UV filtering capabilities of that tshirt? Less than an SPF 10 sunblock, filtering just 7% of UV exposure to your child's skin.
Coolibar clothing offers UPF 50+ protection without any suncreen underneath. SPF 100 would be equivalent to a UPF of just 9! For stylish sun protective clothing for the entire family check our Coolibar! #sponsored
Coolibar has several full body outfits, sun hats, accessories, and single pieces for toddlers and infants offering UPF 50+ protection that filters as much as 98% of the UV exposure to your child's skin. To give you an idea just how revolutionary that is, a sunscreen with SPF 100 (yes, 100) would be equivalent to the protection of a UPF 9 clothing- and Coolibar materials carry UPF 50+! Even better, you don't have to pull your children away from the water or fun to reapply every few hours- so long as the fabric is covering the skin, the skin is protected!
Coolibar clothing offers UPF 50+ protection without any suncreen underneath. SPF 100 would be equivalent to a UPF of just 9! For stylish sun protective clothing for the entire family check our Coolibar! #sponsored
Nathan is modeling the Coolibar One-Piece Turtle Baby Boy Swimsuit (psst, on sale now!) and matching Beach Bucket hat. The material breathes well and is very soft on baby's skin while the suit's design is intuitive for mom with easy off 'onesie' style snaps. The bucket hat took a little getting used to at first, with the strap under the chin being a bit bothersome, but he's since worn the hat more than anything as he's slowly outgrown the suit (from the beginning of Summer.) We couldn't be more thrilled with the vibrant colors and graphic designs that make it easy to spot Nathan floating in the pool with his big sister, or the amount of coverage the outfit offers from head to toe!

http://www.coolibar.com/section/Women/2240.uts
Okay, so you don't have an infant or child at home and you're wondering what this amazing UPV 50+ clothing brand has to offer you. Coolibar makes a complete line of swim and outerwear clothing for men and women, and you'd never know it was so skin friendly! Currently on my personal wish list is the Coastal Mosaic Swim Jacket (2nd from left, above) with it's lovely side gather tassels and plunging neckline. I have been working on a tattoo sleeve on my right arm for a few years and sun protection to my arms is crucial to maintain vibrancy and clarity of the work. I'd love to take a few Coolibar pieces with me on our cruise next month!
Coolibar clothing offers UPF 50+ protection without any suncreen underneath. SPF 100 would be equivalent to a UPF of just 9! For stylish sun protective clothing for the entire family check our Coolibar! #sponsored
I'm sure you've heard about UV protective clothing before- it's not a new concept, but Coolibar IS my favorite brand for stylish and innovative designs and pieces. The colors and prints are constantly evolving and each season brings something new and exciting. We've also found that this revolutionary material also holds up incredibly well though activity and wear with no fading or fraying, making these pieces of clothing worth their weight in gold. Ditch the t-shirt and get real UV protection, with #SkinSmart style, for the entire family! Now, tell the truth, are you guilty of throwing a shirt or other coverup on in hopes it would protect you from the sun? What do you spend the most time doing outdoors?

What Daughter Says: Protect every inch of your skin, not just the parts with sunscreen on. Use UPF clothing with protection that exceeds SPF 100 lotion and won't wash off!

Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California

Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Momma Told Me: Plan less, do more.

As many of you know a girlfriend, JoJo, and I recently made the 6 hour drive up North to participate in the 6 miles mud-run-obstacle-course, Mudderella. For anyone who's ever taken the I-5 up through California you know it's a treacherous 1,300 mile stretch of pretty much straight. Thankfully we were only driving about half of it, each way, but I highly suggest taking a co-pilot because staring at a straight road with nothing but flat land around you for hundreds of miles can take a tole on even the most caffeinated drivers.
So there we were, not-do bright eyed and bushy tailed, at 6:30 in the morning, having just arrived at our hotel at 1 AM, headed to the Solano County Fairgrounds for our event. I'll admit, we were both dreading the trails that lay ahead of us and anticipating the exhausting drive home after. Spirits were low. Then, on the left side of the highway we spot "Jelly Belly Factory 1.5 Miles Ahead." I don't care how old you are, when you drive past a jelly bean factory you best stop and visit! So we resolved to make the 10 minute drive, in a direction opposite from home, after the Mudderella event, to visit this one of a kind tourist attraction.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
I kid you not, every half mile of that mud covered obstacle course either JoJo or I could be hear chanting, 'jelly bean factory, got to make it to the jelly bean factory.' It was our sole motivation through 11 obstacles and 3 hours of rugged hay strewn, muddy, terrain. Of course the one sight event showers were timed to 2 minutes, hardly enough time to properly wash- and we'd already checked out of our hotel hours before, so we arrived at Jelly Belly lane looking like we'd fallen into Willy Wonka's chocolate fountain. But the Jelly Belly Factory just isn't something you miss, folks!
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
For those wondering, or may those who just aren't a Jelly Belly fan (gasp) the Jelly Belly Factory is open 7 days a week with locations in Fairfield, CA and Wisconsin, offering free tastings and guided tours during limited hours. And let's not forget the epic selection of colorful sweets- there's even a chocolate confection counter where over a dozen unique flavors of fudge is fresh made daily, and chocolate honeycomb and bacon calls from behind shiny glass counters! The factories are also home to many large local events such as a classic Hot Rod show and High Five Tour Wounded Warriors stop, on the day of our visit.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.

 You don't have to have children, or even a true sweet tooth, to appreciate this free attraction. Stop in to the Jelly Belly diner and grab a bite to refuel on your road trip and take in the marvelous sights such as life-like Jelly Bean portraits of famous American actors and presidents. If you're like my you'll try and guess which flavors were used in the color palette to create these masterpieces, then wonder just how many little candy beans went into 3 x 4 portrait of Ronald Reagan.
Jelly Bean artwork was just the beginning of the sights this candy playground was lined with. We spent about 20 minutes in line for the free tour- though the line was very long and to the door it moved quite fast. Unfortunately, on the weekends the factory is not in operation (something to note if you're planning to take the tour on a weekend) so it didn't feel as thrilling as walking through a factory in motion.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Neon lights, Jelly Bean wallpaper, and jumbo Jelly Beans suspended from the ceiling made visitors gawk and marvel. Feel free to bring your camera, photography is welcome in the lobby, gift shop, grounds, and tour! Upstairs the factory offers wine and Jelly Belly pairings, private rooms for celebrations (apparently baby showers are quite popular at the factory,) and smaller exhibits containing company and product history.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Adjacent to the gift shop you'll find the Sample Bar, which is open to all guests, free of charge. Visitors can stand in line and sample 3 flavors at a time, and unlimited number of times (so long as they are patient enough to stand in line again.) It's a job I think would drive me mad, as each guest gets one bean of each requested flavor, and portioning all those beans must be a real pain! Not all items in the Sample Bar are Jelly Beans, in fact, you'll find all of the bulk candies available for sample including Jordan Almonds, Candy Corn, and (perfect for April Fools) Peas and Carrots.
Pancakes and Maple Syrup Jelly Beans at the Fairfield Jelly Belly Factory.
Naturally one of the best things about visiting the Jelly Belly Factory is trying all the newest, and lesser found, flavors. I bypassed many of the Harry Potter Bertie Bott's flavors- I'm not sure why someone would want a 1/4lb of Vomit flavored beans? Sure the flavors are fun when there's a single mixed into a box at random, but truly, who buys these devious creations? Yes, I was more excited to grab the new Pancakes and Maple Syrup Jelly Beans with adorable syrup jar packaging. Also newer to the flavor lineup were Champagne and Draft Beer.
Speaking of champagne, there were several showcases of styling and inspiration for celebration planning. The wedding case above showed the elegant use of colors to theme and accent everything from candy bars to wedding favors. At the Factory you can hold a party in house or order custom made favors in everything from wine glasses and candy pails to mint tins and tulle. Somehow all I could do was wonder if they had any in house artists that could make a portrait of the bride and groom out of Jelly Beans!
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Of course there is plenty of Jelly Belly merchandise to explore too. From jumbo jelly bean throw pillows to Popsicle molds and keychains, this stop has all your typical tourist gags and more. My suggestion? Skip the merchandise and grab yourself a pound of fresh fudge for just $15- they'll even gift wrap each 1/4lb individually for you! Or you could do like JoJo and just stand there and sample all 12 of the day's varieties. It's okay, at the Jelly Belly Factory, they don't judge! So, with our goodie bags hanging off our arms, and on a newly inspired sugar high, we got back in the car and made the trip home. We may have been stiff and sore, and sunburnt, but we were heroes walking into our homes with those Jelly Belly treats! Have you ever been to a candy or food factory? If so, tell us where we should head next!

What Daughter Says: Always keep your eyes open for unexpected surprises!

RealTimes Turn Into Real Memories- How Do You Share Yours? $300 #Giveaway

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde After All These Years and ModlyChic
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Momma Told Me: Everything I need is right here.

Momma never fussed much over the thought of chronicling her life in pictures. In fact, 99% of the photos I have from my childhood are of me, alone, or with my father- and all of them taken at his or another relative's request. "Everything I need is right here," she'd say as she tapped the side of her head with a warm smile.

But the purpose of photos, much like a wedding or funeral, are not so much to memorialize an event or moment for the subject, but to share the memories and stories with those who were not there to experience it for themselves. For grandchildren yet to be born, Prince Charmings yet to ride in on their white horse, and friends yet to be discovered.
Growing up all of the photos taken were intended for relatives. We must've had stock in Kodak and the USPS for all of the money spent developing half blurred disposable camera film and shipping padded envelopes. Growing up, and still living in California, I have family in Massachusetts, Louisiana, Texas, and Oregon. That's a lot of mail miles to log before the internet was really a 'thing!' I remember every Saturday I'd get on the phone and play with the slinky like cord while talking my grandparent's through that week's stack of photos. Of course, they'd already be a few weeks old by the time they were developed and in their hands, but it was the speed of the times. (Pssst, I'm the one with the perm above, that's one memory I might not have minded if it was lost to the steel trap!)
Today everything is instant. Nobody wants to wait for anything and sharing memories must be immediate, or we feel as though they have lost value. And, with digital pictures it seems like we have almost lost sight of what photos are for. We snap pictures of our newest duck lips face, the sandwich we had for lunch, and a piece of link we think looks like JFK, and all of them go out into the world through social media, for anyone to consume. But photos are meant to tell stories. How do you share those stories with the ones you love? It's not always easy to filter what can and can't be seen on social media, and most of the time I've lost a folder by the time I start a new one. I simply take too many photos. Wouldn't it be a shame if these moments, above, were lost in the fold of pictures of ice cream and my cat chasing some lint?
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As you know 2015 has been the year of doing for us. All of our expendable (does anyone ever really have expendable income?) income has been going towards travels and experiences. While, ideally, I'd be sharing these amazing experiences with all my friends and family in real time, because they'd be there, it's simply not possible with my network spread so far across the country. However, I can chronicle my adventures without fear of data hoarding thanks to cloud services like Premium RealTimes. I'm starting with the FREE trial of 25GB premium service and considering upgrading to the unlimited cloud storage down the line.
As you know I recently went up to Oregon to visit Momma and, despite being sick with the plague, made sure I talked her into a rare photo. I can count the photos we've taken together in the past decade on 1 hand, so this is definitely a shot I want to protect with multiple storage formats, and cloud storage is just one of them. If you have small children you are constantly reminded that no day is ever the same and the world constantly keeps turning- but this is equally true in all of our relationships and experiences. Yes, my mother's mind may be like a steel trap, but just think how sad it would be if I could never share those beautiful memories with my own children someday?
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There is no such thing as a useless photo in a day and sage when photos are instant and infinite in production. Don't let a lack of storage stop you from chronicling all of those magical, and even mundane, moments. Who is someone you know who would love to see your photos and stories on RealTimes cloud storage?

What Daughter Says: Don't keep your memories in a steel trap, share them with those who matter most. Use a cloud storage service.
 




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How to Make Your Bathroom Sparkle: D.I.Y. Soap Gems + More!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SaveWithBubbles #CollectiveBias All photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2015.
#SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
Momma Told Me: Scrub until it sparkles!

My regular readers know- cleaning the bathroom was my first official chore. Because of Momma's compromised immune system (or at least that was her story) I began scrubbing sinks and toilets at a very early age. This is also how I learned that bubbles are your best friend when cleaning. Much like  great toothpaste helping to knock away tough plaque with rich minty suds, the powerful bubbling foam of Disinfectant Scrubbing Bubbles® Bathroom Cleaner was an essential part of cleaning our family's bathroom. I can still remember the fresh lemon scent and the pride I'd take in watching that porcelain sparkle; mainly because I still trust and use Scrubbing Bubbles® products in our home, today.
#SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
Of course, when you're loyal to a brand, it can be tough to stay on budget. Great name brand products often mean name brand prices, but you don't have to compromise when you shop at Dollar General. There really are few stores like Dollar General, with over 11k store locations, nationwide, full of the most popular brands at the best everyday prices. And, not only does Dollar General carry your must have products and brands all year round, while accepting manufacturer's coupons, but they also offer in-house promotions to lower the price on everyday deals.
Use a funky piece of statement home decor to liven up your restroom. Even an elephant's trunk will double as a toilet paper holder! #SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
Now through August 2nd, 2015, you can take advantage of the following Scrubbing Bubbles® deals when you visit the Dollar General Coupon Center:
  • $0.50 off any Scrubbing Bubbles® Bath Product
  • $1 off any Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Gel Product
  • $0.50 off any Scrubbing Bubbles® All Purpose Cleaner 
In addition, July 26th, 2015 through August 9th, 2015 you'll enjoy additional price drops on these Scrubbing Bubbles® favorites; Scrubbing Bubbles® Mega Shower Foamer $3.50 (usually $4), Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Gel $3.50 (Usually $4), and Scrubbing Bubbles® Drop Ins $2.50 (Usually $3).
#SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
In fact, Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel is one of my favorite products for a fuss free sparkling bathroom. Available in Glade® inspired fragrances such as Rain Shower, this product features an easy apply gel stamp and 6 uses. Simply press down on the stamp button until the next notch clicks into place, while pressing the stamp against the wall of your toilet bowl, and release a gel drop that will freshen your toilet bowl for up to 3 weeks. Every time you flush you'll be freshening your air and helping to clean your toilet, without ever really getting your hands dirty. Now that's what I call cleaning genius!
While I was at Dollar General I also picked up some bars of soap at a great price. I'd always wanted to try carving Soap Gems for our guest bathroom and thought this would be the perfect way to add a little extra sparkle for just a few dollars. While any soaps will do, consider that clear, or translucent colored, soaps will allow for the best light flow, and glycerin based soaps will cut the easiest. Of course, this project should always be done with strong lighting, on a cutting board, by adults only!
Carve glycerin soaps into gems for an instant sparkle in that guest bathroom! #SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
 Start by cutting your soaps into various simple shapes. Gemstones come in all shapes and sizes, so don't over think this part. A few trapezoids, diamond shaped, and even lopsided rectangles, will do. With your soap shape securely on the cutting board cut the corners off at varied angles and placements. Once you have achieved a shape that pleases you carefully take the knife and whittle along the fine edges to add additional depth. There is no right or wrong in gem-shaping, and the leftover pieces can easily be melted back down in a microwave safe bowl and poured into a heatproof mold- so don't worry about waste!
Carve glycerin soaps into gems for an instant sparkle in that guest bathroom! #SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
Hand-carved soap gemstones can be a fun and relaxing project, and a great way to repurpose those old decorative soaps you've had hanging around for a while. If you don't have translucent bars on hand, don't worry, other soaps make perfectly gorgeous rocks and geodes too! Soap gems are also the perfect 1-2 use soaps for heavy traffic bathrooms and entertaining events!
A lot of times at stores such as Dollar General I see affordable mesh bins and baskets for home office organization. As affordable as they may be, I like to add a little extra sparkle. Recently I found a mini mesh basket that just so happened to have a larger waste-basket that matched. I bought the set knowing immediately that I would use the smaller one for a toothbrush holder and the larger one for our new bathroom waste-bin. The idea to dress up these mesh bins can be adapted in multiple ways to fit your color and decor. Use wide ribbon or yarn on waste-baskets, and small, narrow, ribbon and a needle on finer mesh such as this desktop bin/cup.
While your inspiration for decoration will match your tastes, and your bathroom, I stuck with the theme of sparkling and choose a starburst pattern I could easily alternate. We recently re-did our bathroom with a red, black, and grey European influence, so I stuck with the color palette for this project. As a general tip, start by threading from the inside out, and choose a central notch in the mesh as your repetitive feeding point. This will also help hide the knot you will inevitably tie in the back to secure your design.
Simple stitch pattern GIF for decorating your mesh wastebasket. #SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
For this simple starburst design I began with the center burst and brought my ribbon back down about halfway, through the middle notch, out from the inside of the bin. Each time I looped the ribbon back across the front I pulled the ribbon tight, through to the back, and brought it back out to the front through the central notch. For the red starburst I passed through the center notch 5 times. Of course really any design you can imagine could be woven into a mesh bin like this, and there are hundreds of patterns you could easily adapt to the project, online.
Dress up a mesh wastebasket for a fashionable toothbrush holder or bathroom trash can. #SaveWithBubbles and make your bathroom sparkle for a few dollars with Dollar General, Scrubbing Bubbles®, and these simple DIY tips. #ad
When it comes to making my bathroom sparkle I trust Scrubbing Bubbles® for the toughest stains and least glamorous jobs. Not only do their products continue to clean after I'm done, but they also make the cleaning process faster and more pleasant through powerful bubbles and fresh fragrances. Best of all, I can help my bathroom sparkle without watching my wallet dwindle when I pick up my favorite name brands at amazing deals, thanks to Dollar General. I've shared some of my favorite tips to add sparkle to your bathroom- what's one of yours?

What Daughter Says: I enjoy my sparkles with a little less elbow grease and a lot more pizazz!