In My Element...Life in the Garden

Just a few images that bring a smile to my face...

Does anyone happen to know what the second fern up is called? It has taken over a shady corner and is stunning.

Snapped these after the rain...
I have been on a cleaning binge, as our house has become a pit of clutter during the last 2 weeks of school.

Kitchen done..playroom done...sunporch almost done...

Happy Sunday Afternoon.


Keep Your Family's Skin Safe

I have always been proactive when it comes to using products I feel are safe for my family. From food to sunscreen, we spend a lot of time and effort making good choices. LONG before our daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, our kids were reading labels for added colors, artificial flavors, and artificial sweeteners.

I have had true concerns about our sunscreen for a couple of years. We always used Water Babies on our fair skinned children. I would slather them down each morning in the summer...and also included water shirts in their wardrobe for a bit more coverage.

Late last summer I did a bit of investigating and changed to Jason sunscreen. It had great reviews, better ingredients...and smells AMAZING! I also picked up a tube of Badger...also highly reviewed, but a little more difficult to apply because it doesn't really rub in. It is not meant to be absorbed, but to act as a barrier. I guess that's one of the most important things I learned through my research, sunscreen is absorbed by the skin and often contains harmful chemicals, sunblock on the other hand, sits on the skin, acting as more of a physical barrier.

Recently I came across EWG, a site that allows you to enter the name of a cosmetic, skin care item, shampoo, sunscreen, etc...and then rates its safety. I used this site to choose sunscreens for my 12 and 7 year olds.

First I picked Jason Sunbrella Mineral Sunblock as our everyday lotion.
Next I picked a stick for my kids to carry with them everyday to apply to their faces in a pinch. My daughter carried one to school this year and applied it quickly before recess. I chose Adorable Baby Clear Sunscreen Stick. SPF 30. They LOVE the clear idea...no Casper impersonations.
I bought the Adorable Baby right on their site, and searched around a bit for the Jason. I know Whole Foods carries it, but I wanted to buy three tubes...so search around for a good price.

I hope this helps make your search a little easier. We want the best for our kids, and I know you want the best for yours as well.

(Please note these are just my opinions.)


Frye Boots and Such....

I know it's summer and all, but for some reason I'm craving these awesome Frye Shirley Harness Boots. They're a bit above the old budget...but I'll keep watching for them.

We are off to Waltham, MA (about an hr. and 15 min away) for a Celiac Nutrition appointment....

Probably stop here and there along the way.

Stay tuned for lots more posts now that I am on summer vacation!!!! YAhoooooooo


Vitalicious is Fab!

Have you tried VitaTops? I have found them to be a quick, convenient breakfast on my way to work. My 12 year old son also enjoys the convenience of making his own breakfast...which in this case doesn't require a lot of energy...

No artificial additives or preservatives...a definite selling point for me. (You keep them in the freezer for freshness...and then leave on the counter overnight to unthaw, microwave, or even toast lightly!)

My favorite flavor is the Deep Chocolate. It is fudgy and moist...100 calories, 9 grams of fiber, and 26 carbs.

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip has my 2 favorite flavors combined, and makes a sweet 100 calorie snack.

Chocolate Mint has a fudgy cool mint flavor...nice with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. (wink wink)

Banana Nut reminds me of my mom's banana nut bread growing up...awesome with a glass of cold milk.

Some other awesome flavors are: Raisin Bran,Golden Corn (hubby's fav), Banana Fudge, Cran Bran, and several sugar free varieties as well.

There are always fabulous deals on the Vitalicious website. If you sign up for emails, you will get sale updates. You can order single boxes, cases, and even get gift memberships!

I love the fact that the website also tells me I can walk off a single Muffin Top in 15 minutes! Not bad at all.

Vitalicious also sells VitaBuns, VitaMuffins, VitaBrownies, VitaMixes, VitaSandwiches, etc...

Check back often to see the daily specials.


Lots to Tell

Hi everyone. First off, sorry I have been gone so long. Life has been incredibly hectic. I have tried to read when possible....but no time to comment or post. I will try to be better.

Our family cat passed away last night. Maggie was 18 years old. Amazing. She was a great companion. We are feeling the loss and emptiness. I got her as a kitten my first year teaching. I was just a baby...26 years old. Now this is my 19th year teaching and I'm 45...so yes, we have been together a while. It's an odd feeling. I keep looking for her...she is resting peacefully in our flower garden. Love you Mags.

Secondly, we have been VERY busy constructing, carrying, leveling, filling, and planting. Our new raised bed garden is on its way! We shoveled organic soil for 3 days! I'll post more photos as it progresses.

And yes...finally spring. Many of you know it was a long time coming. Once the cold faded, it rained for 2 weeks. Now 80's and 90's. Where did spring go?

Looking forward to taking the day of tomorrow to go on a farm field trip on the Cape with my 7 year old. Can't wait. Looks amazing.

Only a couple of weeks left of the school year and then I"ll have time to blog!
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