Top 7 Things to Do with Your Baby during the First Year

Ask any parent and they’ll probably tell you that the first year flies by in a flash and you’re celebrating first birthdays in no time. We all mean to stop and smell the roses during that first year, but sometimes it goes by so fast we don’t even realize just how fast until that first year is almost gone. Sometimes a checklist or “To Do” list can be a great way to keep track of important things you want to do with your infant son or daughter before the first birthday arrives.

To help you ensure you capture some of those special moments or take advantage of some fun activities, we’ve compiled this list of things to do during your baby’s first year of life. Feel free to print this out, add this to your Pinterest page, or bookmark it for future use.

1. Take a picture every month with cute onesie stickers.

2. Make keepsake handprint and footprint artwork. They’ll only be this small for so long!

3. Get a photo with Santa Clause at the very least, and maybe with the Easter Bunny, too, if you like.

4. Get a family portrait done or be sure to take family photos around the holidays when everyone is dressed up.

5. Take a few videos of your little one doing something cute. You should also have your video camera or smartphone handy to shoot videos of first time crawling, first steps, laughter, singing, first words, and other important moments.

6. Write down the dates or rough estimates of when your baby met important milestones like laughing, smiling, crawling, sitting unsupported, and of course, first word, and first steps!

7. Make special time to visit grandparents and especially great grandparents. Capture as many generations as you can in a single photo. (And take lots of photos in general!)

These ideas are just some of the sentimental things you should do for memories and good times with your little one. Make sure you do all the day-to-day things as well, like singing, teaching ABC’s and 123’s, visiting friends for play dates, and playing together, among countless other important moments.

Do you have other special things to do in a baby’s first year of life? If so, please share your suggestions in our comments below!

Easter Egg Hunts for Toddlers and Older Babies

baby easter egg huntEaster brings a bunch of fun traditions for little ones, from dyeing eggs to pictures with the Easter bunny, decorating the home with bunnies and baskets, and of course, the annual Easter egg hunt. Even toddlers can participate in an Easter egg hunt, as long as the eggs and prizes are sized appropriately. My daughter is going to be just about 11 months when Easter arrives this year, so I am planning to do a little Easter egg hunt for her. She’s an older baby and I really think she will enjoy crawling around and opening up the eggs if she can figure it out!

Easter egg hunts for toddlers and older babies may be a bit different than your average plastic egg hunt for kids of any age. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan a fun Easter egg hunt for your baby or toddler.

· Be vigilant about choking hazards and include only appropriate prizes in the plastic eggs.

Baby and Toddler Easter Egg Hunt· Still keep a close watch on your baby or toddler, even if you think the prizes are safe.

· Look for jumbo eggs that are way bigger than standard plastic eggs. You can fit much bigger prizes inside these eggs!

· Think about small (but not too small) prizes that you can pop into the eggs to entertain your little one.

· Remember that less is more. At this age, your older infant or toddler will likely be amused and delighted to play this fun egg hunt game with all the bright colors and surprises, but don’t be surprised or disappointed if he or she loses interest before you do.

· Hide the eggs in obvious places where your baby or tot can crawl over and easily get a hold of the plastic egg.

· If your child doesn’t pick up on the purpose of the game right away, help him by opening p one of the plastic Easter eggs to reveal a fun prize! Play with the prize or offer it to your little one to get him excited.

· Even if you don’t have the greatest prizes for your baby, you can still have a lot of fun introducing her to an Easter egg hunt. Make it a fun game, spinning the eggs, dropping them a short distance, or letting them roll down your arm.

· Consider fun and age-appropriate “prizes” inside the eggs, like Puffs (baby cereal pieces), cute animal finger puppets, or little bath toys, for starters. These are my current prizes of choice for our daughter’s first Easter.

In all the excitement of your son’s or daughter’s first Easter egg hunt as a toddler or older infant, don’t forget to snap a few pictures! Have fun playing together and get some good shots of your little sweetie picking up the plastic eggs. (And be sure to send a copy of your favorite photo to all the grandparents or aunts and uncles who couldn’t be there to celebrate with you!)

© Danieldupuis | © Aberenyi | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images, respectively

Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl Review

Bamboobies Nursing CoverI tend to think of myself as more of a modest new mom, keeping breastfeeding as more of a private time between me and my baby. I appreciate the ability to see to her needs when and where she needs me, but I don’t really like to flaunt it or go crazy with everything in plain sight in restaurants or in public. It’s just not my style. I much prefer the comforts of home or a semi-private location like my car, if I get desperate. But that’s just me. To each her own!

With this desire of privacy in mind, I find it beneficial to keep a nursing cover on hand whenever possible in case a spontaneous feeding happened. I recently learned of the Bamboobies brand Chic Nursing Shawl, available in black or purple, which is a fashion statement as much as it is a great modesty accessory for breastfeeding moms. I received my own black Chic Nursing Shawl to try out free of charge for the purpose of this review.

First, the fabric is so soft and comfortable, made from Organic Eco-Soy material. I really enjoy how it hangs and moves easily to suit your needs and baby’s position. I received a size M-L, so it is a bit big for me to wear as a fashion statement. The pictures I’ve seen of other people wearing it that way do look quite nice, as the style resembles more of a shawl than the customary apron style.

I like to tuck the nursing cover inside the diaper bag or in my tote bag when we go anywhere that I might need to nurse the baby on the fly. It is super convenient, well-made, and it looks nice and discrete when in use.

The creator of the Chic Nursing Shawl is Kerry Gilmartin, a mother of three who dreamed up this stylish mommy accessory that serves a great purpose. The fabrics her company, Bamboobies, uses are sustainable and top quality, and she employs local seamstresses in Colorado to assist with production. These purple and black nursing shawls retail for $34.99 and you can find the Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl in more than 300 stores across the globe and online. For more information, check out www.buybamboobies.com.

Forced Air Heating Systems

Honeywell QuietCare HumidifierThe one thing that busy Americans look forward to after a long day at work, school, or at play in the midst of a cold winter’s day, is getting warm and comfortable at home. A home heating system is one of the most expensive appliance systems in your residence, and depending on where you live, it can essentially be the difference between life and death from cold weather exposure. For the most part, it costs more to install and maintain than any other single appliance in your home and will be responsible for the most electric kilowatt usage in the home.

The concept of circulating heated air to warm our living space seems simple enough, but for the 50’s era, it was cutting edge technology. It inadvertently put the steam radiator system and the traditional wood/coal burning fireplace and stoves into hibernation mode, as sales and installations around the country plummeted. The new HVAC forced air heating systems that were being introduced in early 1950 became extremely popular with new concepts and thermostats to control the amount of heat released. For the first time in home heating history, the temperature in various rooms could be separately and accurately adjusted.

Honeywell QuietCare HumidifierAs with most things that are discovered to have the potential to change our lives for the better, we sometimes rush things and don’t truly understand the possible effects on our personal health until time passes and the potential hazards are realized. From the get go, an issue with the needless circulation of micro-orbs and other irritants, allergens, and even carcinogens existed, with the potential to cause many airborne diseases. Pathogens that are believed to possess Legionnaires disease (mainly in the Eastern US), and some airborne and potentially dangerous carcinogens can become trapped within the filtration and circulation of the heat from the air handler, exacerbating breathing problems. People with (COPD) Asthma, Bronchitis, and Emphysema, and other chronic respiratory problems, as well as children, are exceptionally vulnerable to the “dirty” air that is circulated and in some cases recirculated throughout your home. The importance of a filter that could trap the irritants was evident and filter technology advanced.

HVAC systems contain a return air duct system to return the air that is previously heated through the filtration to the air handler for recirculation. Hypoallergenic filters can reduce but won’t eliminate most of the dust and allergens. The possible health issues don’t end with the potential for breathing difficulties, as a number of skin and eye issues directly relate to the heating system in our homes and offices. The Center for Disease Control estimates that nine out of ten cases of contact dermatitis are directly related to heating and air conditioning pollutants exposed to the patient. It is said that we spend at least 21 hours a day indoors in heating and air conditioning controlled environments. It is wreaking havoc on the respiratory and integumentary systems of literally the entire US population. Air and HEPA filters can improve overall conditions and should be checked, cleaned, or replaced periodically to ensure the proper filtration.

Advancements in the HVAC air quality, helping to improve  the effects on the health of the occupants. Research shows that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are effective in the reduction of certain viruses and mold spores that are known to cause illness and disease. Fresh outside air is healthy to breathe because of the direct effects of UV rays, so the idea is to bring UV rays indoors to help control microorganisms in indoor air. With a UV system installed in your HVAC system, the number of airborne bacteria and viruses that cause colds and other illnesses will be reduced as air is circulated through the system. With most people spending 90% of their time indoors, especially in the winter, it is essential to develop efficient heating systems that are easy on the health of the occupants and energy efficient.

Forced air systems are found throughout residential and commercial dwellings in the US and are going to be around for several years to come. The best bet for anyone that happens to live indoors and use heat to stay warm, is to learn the best option for your particular heating system. Many kinds of filters can reduce the diverse irritants and spores while UV systems kill virus and mold spores. If humidity is a problem for your home, then you may want to look into a humidifying system to add or reduce humidity to the air. Humidity should be kept below 50% indoors to reduce the mold spores that thrive in humid conditions.

The Honeywell Quiet Care Humidifier as well as many other Honeywell humidifiers and air purifiers are can improve your indoor air quality and your health, and they are easy to find on Amazon.com. The key to having good, clean outdoor air indoors is to learn the best way to clean the air conditioning and heating systems that we depend on to protect and keep our families safe and warm.

How to Make Feeding Your Baby Less Messy, and a Few Tips on Stains

Messy BabyJust when your baby moves from milk or formula only to enjoying some solid foods in the diet, the diaper duty seems to change for the better. Don’t get too excited though. You’ll just find yourself scrubbing something else off of all those little tiny clothes. Baby food gets everywhere, so you may need to get creative with removing stains—or preventing them. Here are a few tips to make feeding the baby less messy when you move to solid foods, resulting in fewer pieces of clothing to scrub each time you do the laundry.

Try these helpful tips to keep the baby food in your child’s mouth and not all over his clothing!

Choose a bib with more coverage. Bibs that fasten with Velcro sometimes have more coverage for the shoulders, minimizing the food mess when baby turns her head.

Choose bibs that wash easily and dry quickly, like waterproof bibs. You don’t want to spend your time scrubbing cloth bibs instead of clothes!

Look for bibs with pockets to help protect your baby’s lap from dropped food or liquid.

Push or roll up your baby’s sleeves to protect the cuffs from inevitably going into baby’s mouth.

Feed smaller bites. Less food on the spoon is more forgiving if your accuracy is a bit off due to a turning head or other sudden movement.

Baby Gear brand and Cutie Pie brand both make baby bibs that have good coverage, a generous pocket, and waterproof material that washes up amazingly well and also dries quickly. I highly recommend these girls’ and boys’ waterproof bibs for babies of all ages but especially for those now enjoying solids. The bibs I purchased have pink puppies and cookies patterns on them, and I love them so much. Amazon shows the Dex Baby Dura Bib Big Mouth as very highly rated for baby feedings as well.

If you do continue to find stains on your little one’s clothes, you can try Dreft stain spray or a gentle mix of dish soap and water to remove most stains. And, if your little one isn’t on solid baby foods yet, you might still be battling with messy diaper explosions. Stains from baby’s number 2 diapers are easily cleaned with Dreft baby stain spray and allowing the stained clothing to sit in the sunlight for a few hours. Try it—you might be surprised!

Put these few tips in practice and you should notice fewer items to scrub when tossing baby clothes in the laundry. If you have additional tips, please share them in our comments below. Good luck!

 

 

Links:

Boy bibs: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GCEMCM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002GCEMCM&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

Girl bibs: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GIUUIQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002GIUUIQ&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009PPBU2S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009PPBU2S&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

Dex:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005M4SKI8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005M4SKI8&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

 

 

 

Rants and Raves – Size Lies

Bikini-sizeAlways petite, I’ve found myself struggling from time to time to find clothing that fits just right. Whether it’s the extreme lengths of jeans that doesn’t quite work for my shorter legs or the fact that bra and panty sets and above all, bikinis, many times come paired with the same size already as a set – Small, Medium, Large, or XL, completely ignoring the fact that just because some women are shorter, slim, or under average in overall size, DOES NOT MEAN that their boobs are microscopic or that they haven’t at least got a few curves of their own.

I may be speaking for myself here, but I’ve noticed this on many occasions over the past decade or so. Maybe not so much now, as my work ethic allows me to bring in enough of an income to buy separates, but for a long time it really annoyed me that one size does not fit all when it comes to pairing up bras and undies or bikini tops and bottoms.

Also, have you ever noticed that a lot of stores do the layout of their store racks from S, M, L, XL, and those with two-tier racks often start with small on the top, then medium next to small, then large and XL on the bottom rack. Think about it – if you are selling clothing to a person who is “small” — most times said person is not so well endowed in the height attribute!! So I find myself craning and stretching to reach up to the high racks to get a look at those size small clothing items, which if I owned the store, would very nicely accommodate those of shorter status by sitting on display across racks they could reach.

Well, there’s my soap box for the day. What do you think? Have you ever felt this way about clothing sizes? Sound off in our comments about your own thoughts on the sizing situation!

Must-Have Beauty

If you could only use one cosmetics product for the rest of your life, what would it be? From eyeliner and mascara to pressed powder, concealer, lip balm, and more, we’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to favorite makeup items to consider. Women can find so many modern conveniences in the wide selection of beauty products available to us, from making our lashes longer and more beautiful to adding a pop of color here and there.

Not to mention, we can also enjoy a variety of items that are pleasurable to use on a daily basis for the benefits they provide. Personally, I can’t go a day without some sort of lip balm, ChapStick, or other delightful product that keeps my lips soft, smooth, kissable, and hydrated. I also enjoy the protection from the sun when I choose lip balms with SPF 15 included.

Some of my favorite lip balm products include the Alba lineup with Coconut Creme and Pineapple flavors, and the Blistex Fruit Smoothies collection, featuring a wonderful purple berry lip balm. You can read about some more ChapSticks, Lip Balms, and Lip Glosses to Love if you, too, are a lip product fan above all else.

Although, my lashes aren’t quite as long, dark, or voluminous as I’d like, so I’m not sure I could live without mascara, either. It would really be a toss-up for me and I’m not sure which one I’d pick. I think it’s safe to say these are my two favorite beauty items, so perhaps that is the better question — what is your favorite cosmetics item? Or if you can narrow it down, which one could you never live without?

 

 

Spring Break: What’s HOT and what’s Not-The 2013 Top Spring Break Destinations

Playful Young Beach Couple by KayseyephotoThe end of another long winter is in sight for tens of thousands of college students across the nation and they have one thought on their minds (besides winter finals of course): spring break and the 2013 top spring break destinations! For many students and young adults, it has been a severe winter and a hard semester of classes. The upcoming spring break that many college students feel is their rite of passage, is beginning to spark conversations and frantic Web searches on campuses around the country, as students look for the number one place to be for this year’s spring break extravaganza.

The spring break vacation has evolved over the years to become one of the most profitable weeks of the year for the “chosen” resort communities. Many resorts, hotels, bars and restaurants realize the profits and potential for the future, and have welcomed massive waves of partying teens year after year, so that they strategically gain spring break notoriety, major profits, and a reputation as a desirable spring break destination. Depending on the college/university, most spring break vacation dates are strategically planned and announced well ahead of time, and they range from late February to early April.  For the most part, the 2013 top spring break destinations have stayed consistent over the past five years, according to several popular travel sites.

The number one vacation hot spot for spring breakers this year is projected to be Panama City Beach, Florida, again. To the returning student body, it is apparent why: reasonably priced beach accommodations and a community that caters to the spring breaker. The beach, with sugar white sand and majestic gulf waters, welcomes two million students annually. This beach has hosted many spring break parties for students across the U.S. Many events are planned for 2013 at world-class nightclubs like Club La vela and Spinnakers hosted by MTV. The hospitality services developed by the business community and the beautiful gulf beaches combine to create spring break events that are second to none. This makes it possible to keep the title of the “spring break capital of the world” year after year. The weather is great during spring with an average temperature of 75-78 degrees during March.

About To Jump by Surpasspro If you would prefer to follow the spring stampede of partying students that choose to bypass the “sunshine state” for other great destinations, it will more than likely lead you further south. Cancun, Mexico is traditionally known as a major port of spring break fun for students and is projected to be a 2013 top spring break destination again. Cancun is the spring break partying hotspot of the Yucatan Peninsula and has hosted many spring break events at famous nightclubs and restaurants like The Basic, Pat O’Brien’s, and Dady O’s, among many others. With clubs and beach bars that never close and a minimum drinking age of 18, Cancun is a natural college student magnet. The Mexican culture is vast and apparent with many events planned annually around the Mayan ruins that happen to correspond with many spring break dates for serious students. The average temperature during spring break months in Cancun is 78-80 degrees with a warm southern breeze.

Acapulco, Mexico in the years past was a major spring break contender and was ranked by students as number one year after year until interest turned to a more reasonably priced excursion in Cancun. With the national and global economy looking promising for the year ahead, it is expected that Acapulco will return to the list of top spring break destinations in the world. It is expected that the “pricier” upscale destinations like Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas, as well as Daytona and South Beach in Miami, Florida will see record numbers again, beginning this year especially. No matter what choice you make, you can usually find deals and packages offered by many of the resorts and hotels at all the hottest places to be. Regardless, the hard-working college students that will lead our nation one day will continue to flock to their favorite “hot spots” for spring break, in turn bringing major financial reward to the communities that strive to be one of the 2013 top spring break destinations.

 

 

Images available from StockFreeImages.

Spring Break Destinations for Adults: 2013

Family Walking on Beach by IcholakovAfter months of shoveling snow and wearing long underwear, people around the country are looking forward to the big thaw of spring and a break that isn’t focused on college mascots and underage drinking, but on enjoying time with family and a spring break vacation they will remember. A huge market awaits families wanting to experience the perfect spring break vacation without the partying students that are traditionally found at many of the well-known college hot spots. The best advice to avoid finding yourselves in the middle of a raging college party is to know the places to avoid during your family’s spring break vacation. College students are understandably drawn to the warmer climates and beach communities in places like Panama City Beach (Florida), Daytona Beach, Miami’s South Beach, and Cancun, to mention a few. Even though they are all great places to visit, they will undoubtedly be overrun with college students this spring.

The number one family destination for a spring break to remember is awarded to the southern city of Orlando, Florida according to several of the leading travel sites. Early Spanish explorers called Orlando “The city beautiful” and it is home to Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios, and Sea World Orlando, just to name a few of its attractions. The largest inland Florida city, Orlando attracts 15 million tourists annually, of which an estimated one third visit during spring break. The Universal Studios Orlando Mardi Gras celebration begins the second week of February and is a major attraction for the many spring break families that are wishing to experience Mardi Gras celebrations without the partying and burlesque type festivities that are often found in New Orleans. Other nearby Florida attractions are plentiful; it would take more than a week to see them all. Many of the area’s famous beaches are nearby as well, but if avoiding the college crowds is on your agenda, then the beach visit should wait until later in the summer. Planning ahead can give you the advantage of saving money while still giving your family the trip of a lifetime.

Vacation Fun by Sunshine_angelBut if your family is determined to get in the warm water this spring, think about some alternatives to the “party” beaches. Consider an unforgettable and magical spring break of a lifetime to the lost city of Atlantis. That’s right, Atlantis: an all-inclusive resort located on Paradise Island, minutes from Nassau, but far from the interest of the partying student body found at the popular spring break beach resorts at Bootie Bay and Freeport on the Grand Bahamas Island. Plan a trip to swim with the bottlenose dolphins or explore the underwater playground or activity arcade. You’ll find something for all ages and interests to learn and explore in Atlantis. It is a bit pricier than some choices, but many deals and specials are available to make it possible for your family to experience an unforgettable spring break in a magical setting.

If the winter hasn’t been cold and snowy enough for you, then hitting the slopes is still a possibility at some of the nation’s best ski resorts. Several ski resorts will remain open well into April, weather permitting. The slopes at Aspens Highland and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado will remain open and many resorts at Lake Tahoe are scheduled to remain open through April 2013 as well. Many spring break packages are available for families and groups. Ski resorts in the eastern U.S. are expected to remain open throughout April 2013, weather permitting, as well. From the ski lodges at Maggie Valley, NC, to the natural base slopes at Winter Place, WV, lifts will be running and family specials will be plentiful throughout spring break.

Early spring is a unique time of year to plan a vacation for your family. The ski resorts are still producing snow and fun while the theme parks in Florida are warm, but not as hot and humid as later in the year. The travel packages are plentiful and cheaper than usual for spring break as well. No matter what you decide to do with your family, and no matter what their interests are, spending the time together is the best investment you will ever make.

 

 

Images available from StockFreeImages.

 

ChapStick Cupcake Creations Product Review – Velvet Cupcake and Cake Batter Lip Balm

Chapstick Cupcake CreationsAnyone who knows me or reads my articles knows how obsessed I am with lip balms, lip glosses, and ChapStick style products for lips. I love the flavors and how soft and kissable your lips remain after product use. I am always on the lookout for new flavors, with some of my all-time favorites being raspberry, coconut, strawberry kiwi, and chocolate varieties. In case you haven’t heard—or even if you have; it’s well worth repeating—ChapStick brings two delectable new flavors to its offerings: Velvet Cupcake and Cake Batter, in its Cupcake Creations product line.

I received two sample ChapSticks in each flavor, as well as a gourmet cupcake mix and cute party supplies to tie it all together. (If only my daughter were a year older – I am sure she would love to have a little birthday party for one of her stuffed animals!) [FTC disclaimer – While I am thrilled to be able to partner with ChapStick to get my hands on these yummy lip goodies right away, my review is what it is, my honest feelings about the product. Don’t think I’m swayed by the special delivery! ]

That being said, I am so excited about these new flavors! I have always loved baked goods, and who doesn’t love cupcakes?! What I think I love most is that ChapStick acknowledges that not all people are vanilla cake fans or chocolate cake fans (or Red Velvet, etc.), but these yummy lip balms cater to both the vanilla and the chocolate camps. The Velvet Cupcake is by far my favorite, purely because I love chocolate and anything similar to it. I think the flavor and fragrance really do capture the essence of a red velvet cake or cupcake, so if you love these, don’t miss out on this new ChapStick!

The Cake Batter flavor is also delicious, and sure to be a big hit for vanilla fans and anyone who enjoys a little cake batter flavoring. (Who can wait all that time for the cake to bake, anyway!?) Those who simply enjoy all things vanilla will also appreciate this lip balm and its delightful and realistic scent and flavor. It reminds me of a Tahitian Vanilla candle I have just about burned to the bottom due to its lovely, aromatic fragrance.

Like all ChapStick products, these sweet flavors moisten our lips and keep them feeling soft and smooth. After using either flavor, my lips feel hydrated and glossy—such a great feeling, especially this time of year. I like to reapply whenever I think of it, so I always keep one or the other in my pocket and my purse. These sweet lip treats are too good to keep all to yourself, and so I actually shared my second set with my mom. These lip balms come in packaging that features a little gift tag design on the back, making them easily giftable or a great accent to a wrapped package.

Velvet Cupcake and Cake Batter are both limited edition flavors, so be sure to get yours before they run their course. The Cupcake Creations collection launched February 1, 2013 and should be available until approximately March 31, 2013. This collection sells exclusively at CVS, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens stores across the country.

 

For more information, please check out:

ChapStick® Website http://www.chapstick.com

ChapStick® Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ChapStick

 

“The ChapStick® product, information and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.”

Hairstyles of the 1930’s

Glamour With Feathers by RgbspaceJean Harlow, a famous actress of the era known as the blonde bombshell, played the leading actress in a romantic comedy rightfully named, “Platinum Blonde” in 1932. Little did she know that she was shaping the 30’s hairstyles, as men and women around the nation were going wild for her “bleached-blonde hair.”  Apparently not for the same reasons, women around the nation began dying their hair with peroxide and the men surely didn’t seem to object.  Although the platinum-blonde look was not for everybody, it created the bleaching era, which would lead to many distinct new hairstyles and colors for the new decade.

In the 1920s the popular “bob” gave hairstylists a short-lived, new beginning for their businesses. The naturally short nature of the bob cut or style required frequent trimming to maintain the proper appearance and shape. Therefore, it was crucial for the “bobbed” women to visit the salon way more often than before. Due to the worsening economic state of our nation at that time, the bob lost popularity in the early 1930s, “cutting in” a new era of longer, more traditional styles that were less expensive, but yet very attractive. However, unwilling to surrender the “hair freedom” they had gained in the 20’s, women remained loyal to their own hair salons.

Hair care innovations of the time were rapidly coming of age. Women with longer haircuts could opt to pull their hair back into a low bun. Achieving this look is pretty simple, just by combing your hair straight back from the face, and gathering most of the hair into a ponytail and wrapping it around either side to form a bun.

The 30’s hairstyle would benefit from advancements in many areas of hair care including hair products and hair styles. Shampoos for various hair types and textures weren’t available previously, but now they were beginning to be introduced to the public at an alarming rate. Major advancements in technology occurred with the invention of various hair-styling tools like the curling iron and additions to the permanent wave machine. Fashionable hairstyles in the ’30s would prove to survive longer than the short bob cut of the previous decade, so up-dos became popular.

A surprising new look that came about around the early 1930’s is the finger wave. Finger waves are incredibly difficult to create outside the salon. They are created literally by hand with each curly strand being sculpted by wrapping the hair around the finger while curling. It may sound incredibly easy, but many hairdressers today cannot do them. Creating finger waves is a highly skilled practical craft and having this “old Hollywood glamour hair” process done to your hair is time consuming and a little more expensive. If you want to try something different or perhaps start your own trend, it is best to seek out hairstylists or salons that specialize in old Hollywood hairstyles. They will surely make you feel as glamorous as a 1930’s Hollywood starlet.

Image made available by StockFreeImages.

 

Aquaphor Products for Adults and Babies to Ward off Winter Skin

Aquaphor Advanced TherapyWhen the weather turns cold, I find myself battling dry skin with the best of them. My poor hands crack and become so sore, probably a result of washing the dishes every day and not applying enough moisturizer. This winter greeted me with especially bad dry skin, leaving my hands dull and even a bit whiter than usual, especially in the creases between fingers. Thankfully, with enough trial and error I have found a few products that really work for me and my dry winter skin!

My former colleague and friend first introduced me to Eucerin Calming Crème Daily Moisturizer, which I’ve loved ever since. This is your basic skin cream that really does seem to hydrate the skin for longer than average. When our daughter was born last year, our friends introduced us to Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy for babies, also from Eucerin. We’ve really enjoyed this product as it seems to have an almost-instant effect on tiny scratches and other irritations. A little bit really goes a long way, and the product smoothes on effortlessly, moisturizing and bringing the skin relief.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment can treat diaper rash, minor cuts, scrapes, burns, chapped or cracked skin and lips, chafed skin, and also protects from the winter’s harsh drying conditions. This baby healing ointment contains Petrolatum, mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol, panthenol, glycerin, and bisabolol. A 3 oz. container will last you nearly an eternity unless you douse your entire baby in this special restoring cream.

Lip Repair + ProtectI received a generous shipment of two of these baby healing ointments from Aquaphor, along with baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo, and of course, two grown-up Aquaphor products for me to enjoy. I am thrilled to share that Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy (for adults) also offers great benefits to adult skin. As I mentioned, my hands become extremely dry this time of year. I have recently begun using the healing ointment to treat the dry patches and even a few cracked skin spots. The ointment instantly coats my skin and brings me relief from the dry winter conditions.

I find that I have a bit of a personal aversion to the texture of petrolatum-based products, so I actually follow up my application of the healing ointment with the previously mentioned Eucerin Calming Crème. It adds a nice dose of moisture to my entire hands while the rich and emollient Aquaphor Healing Ointment cares for my dry spots and cracked skin. In my experience with winter skin, I find that the rich, emollient products containing petrolatum, urea, and similar ingredients tend to have the biggest impact on healing and hydrating the skin. I know not everyone minds the waxy texture, so the product in and of itself is perfect! I honestly think I just like for my hands to soak up as much lotion as possible, so applying both really works well for me.

I can’t recommend this healing ointment enough, and if you need an everyday lotion, I highly recommend the Calming Crème as well. I bought mine at CVS, but you can get a bottle of these products at your favorite pharmacy, superstore, or online at Amazon and similar retailers.

I also received a tube of Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect and for me it is love at first application. This lip treatment goes on creamy and smooth, quickly protecting and repairing any cracks, chapped areas, and dry spots on your lips. I love how the feeling lasts, too. It isn’t like standard lip balm products where you have to reapply every five minutes to feel it is working. This lip treatment and repair cream offers immediate relief and I can only imagine it would be my go-to product for sunburned lips or windburn as well. This lip repair cream is designed for severely dry lips and it’s easy to see why, from your very first time using it.

While I don’t think there’s a real taste, it has a pleasant, neutral presence on the lips. Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect also contains broad spectrum SPF 30, to protect you whether you are at the beach or on the ski slopes. Make sure to apply it 15 minutes before sun exposure for best results, and also reapply every two hours or after swimming or perspiring. This lip treatment is fragrance free and designed for sensitive skin. I look forward to a winter (and spring, and summer, and fall…) of more comfortable, kissable lips, thanks to this rich and hydrating repair cream from Aquaphor.

If you liked these products, stay tuned for another review featuring Aquaphor’s baby shampoo!