Monday, March 30, 2015

A Gray Hair Product Review! Make-Up and Other Fun, Girlie Things for My Silver Sisters!

** This post contains Amazon affiliate links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!! :) **

Friends! Silver Sisters, not-so-silver sisters and anyone else who has stopped by to read, HELLO!!!!!!  \(^-^)/ I've missed these parts of the internets, and it's good to be back! I'm going to tell you straight-up right now, that in no way is this blog going to become only about products and reviews. I know that life isn't all about having "stuff." It'll stay the same as always with posts about our day-to -day life too. It's just that sometimes talking about "stuff" is fun and I realized that it's been a long time since I did a gray-hair specific post. So, I wanted to work on this one first, and then I have more general life posts to follow!

NONE of the following products that I talk about have been sponsored. I chose them myself, paid for them myself, and these are just my own thoughts on items that I've really liked recently and thought you might enjoy too!

Silver Sisters, are you like me? Always trying to find the "holy grail" of gray hair shampoos? The one that will take away any dull, yellow tones and make your hair bright and shiny? I know that I don't have to apologize to the world for having gray hair, but for right or wrong, I often worry about at least making it look the best it can. Do you worry about your hair looking more polished now, then when you were not gray? At least for me, I think about it sometimes. That's why I spend more energy than before, searching out good products and learning new techniques.

Here are front and back shots of my hair in recent days after using the shampoo and conditioner that I am about to tell you about. I'm glad that I took these pictures to share, but my only regret is that they weren't at times when my hair was 100% styled and combed. I'm just a real person. A mom, a busy lady, so most of the time, my hair looks like this, not perfect. (On the left I had just come in from working outside, shoveling mulch with Jon for several hours. On the right, I kind of had to stop mid-way through styling my hair when Josie seemed to really need to go out for a walk. So, I snapped this pic, put it into a ponytail and went)!

Anyway, the point of these pictures is to show you that the following shampoo and conditioner really took away a large portion of the brassy tones that I tend to get on my ends from heat styling, and products. I imagine if I continue to use this shampoo and conditioner, eventually, they'll get ride of most or all of the yellowing! I was also left with softer, less frizzy hair too. BONUS!

Please allow me to  introduce you to:

1.) A really oddly staged photo.


Basically, I've lost my mind. For me to to purchase three different "non-natural" beauty products, (all which I will tell you about here) is kind of un-heard of for me. At least in the past three, four years or so. When I bought a new shampoo and conditioner set, and started with a new wrinkle cream, and purchased some eyeshadow at Target... I couldn't believe it! The thing is, even though what drives me to seek out "natural", "organic", "eco" products is a personal fear of the synthetic ingredients, I still consider myself a moderate person. And when some of my natural silver shampoos were just not getting the job done, and they cost an arm and a leg, I figured that this was a situation in which I could practice being moderate. I could just use the conventional products SOMETIMES and stop worrying about EVERYTHING always!

Also, by not coloring my hair, I'm already avoiding a ton of monthly synthetics, and it's not like I'm replacing all of my beauty products with new ones. So, for those of you who are cool with conventional products, you probably won't even bat an eyelash at me. For my more natural-minded readers, please excuse me this time. I'm just trying to find a good balance. It's a journey! 

You guys, this stuff is GREAT!!!! I came across it when I was poking around Amazon, looking for a new silver shampoo and conditioner that was highly rated. It's funny because I have heard of the "Jhirmack" name before, but never realized that they made products for gray hair! In fact, they ONLY make products for gray! I had to give them a try, and I'm glad that I did.

My shampoo and conditioner arrived in two days. I couldn't wait to try it. Depending on how my hair looks and how er....lazy I am....I only wash my hair with brightening or bluing shampoo and conditioner about 1-4 times a month. The rest of the time I use my fabulously moisturizing, natural favorite: Renpure Organics Argan Oil Shampoo &  Conditioner .

The first thing that I noticed with the Jhirmack is that IT DID NOT SMELL STRONGLY like many of the other bluing shampoos. \(^-^)/ WOO HOO! There is nothing worse than a super strong floral scent, covering a chemical smell. I appreciated that Jhirmack had a much lighter, actually nice, powdery, floral scent. It also did not stain my hands purple or blue, so that was good too!

After I got out of the shower, I went through my usual routine which is to apply 
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk  (this always makes my hair so soft) and then Giovanni 2chic Avocado and Olive Oil Ultra-Moist Super Potion which tames my frizz, gives me some shine and protects my hair from heat styling and moisture loss.

I noticed once my hair was dry, that the Jhirmack really helped to make it softer than usual. It felt less "puffy" too, a bit more tame. My hair felt very clean and weightless. I loved this shampoo and conditioner duo and I think you might too! I feel like this is one of the best conventional brands that I've tried.

**As an update/aside, a kind reader commented about the sodium Lauryl sulfate or SLS in Jhirmack. You can read about SLS HERE and HERE and get the facts and information and then make the best decision for you. SLS basically makes things foamy. It's a kind of scrubbing agent and in almost all of our conventional soaps including shampoos, bar soaps, detergents and even sometimes toothpaste. It can be highly irritating and some claim even worse. That's why I said earlier in the post that I must have gone crazy when I bought these less natural products. That said, I firmly believe that life is all about choices and choosing what we believe to be best for ourselves. I debated reviewing non-natural products on the blog, but then realized that because I myself sometimes use conventional products, that including them in my reviews would be representing my truth. So you follow your truth too!**

I knew that I was going to write a post on gray shampoo, but when I was thinking about how I wanted to structure this post, I realized that there were a few more new products in my life. Things that I liked enough that and felt they were worth sharing. They also all have to do with going out into the world with gray hair and wanting to put our most vibrant foot forward!

Until recently my facial routine was pretty simple. I just used a gentle Honey and Milk bar soap from Trader Joe's on my face, and Yes to Blueberries Deep Wrinkle Night Cream in the morning and night for extra moisturizing. During the day I also wear my Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen which is a matte tint and unscented and one of the greatest products on the planet. I swear.

I thought that I was doing enough to combat my first signs of aging. When I decided to go gray, I promised myself that I would do my best to keep my face looking young. You can't beat aging, and that's ok, but if there was anything that I could do within reason to keep a youthful glow to my skin, I would. 

By the way, when I was 33 I started seeing my first lines. They're on my forehead. I mentioned them to my dermatologist, whom I love, and she offered me Botox before a big event! I was like: "Whaaaaaaat?" (In my head). Then I declined. Not that I think so poorly of it, but because I was scared. And because I don't have hundreds of dollars for Botox. I just think this is a funny story. ;)

Anyway, several weeks ago I was speaking with my Mom about my lines and my moisturizer or something like that. She asked me if I had ever used any wrinkle cream with retinol in it and I said: "No."
And that's when things got weird. I swear, I was suddenly transported into a 1950's Pond's Cold Cream commercial.

My Mom: "Honey, have you ever tried a wrinkle cream with retinol?"

Me: "No Mom! You know I only use natural products."

My Mom: "But have you tried "Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Cream? I love it and it works so great."

Me: "But Mom, I don't use products with parabens in them."

My Mom: "The Wrinkle Repair formula without SPF doesn't have parabens."

Me: "Really? But I still feel a little worried."

My Mom: "Honey, this is what Mother's are for. We teach our daughters about wrinkle cream."

That's the part when I was like...."OMG, am I in a commercial from the 1950's??? Then my Mom pulled out two bottles of the wrinkle cream and gave me one. She said you're suppose to see results in one week, so I thought I'd at least try it. Here's the bottom-line:

Maybe I sound crazy, but I just remembered the whole vitamin A and skin cancer debate. READ HERE!  I also just realized that retinol seems to be a form of vitamin A. I only wear this cream at night, but just to be sure, I'm going to talk with my dermatologist when I see her in a couple of weeks.

Beyond this, I have to say that the fine lines in my forehead have diminished! I feel like my skin is definitely smoother and more even-toned. My skin is clearer. Although, this could be from going vegan for a month and now not eating dairy.....
All-in-all, I like the product a lot. I see a difference, it does what it says! I don't know if I will continue using the product when it runs out, but in an ideal world, I'd like to.

By the way, you can see my skin in the photo below. I didn't erase any lines with editing tools. (Although the lighting is a bit glow-y).  I'll be 38 in June. Not too bad. Thanks wrinkle cream!

This is what happens when you run around multi-tasking. I was cooking dinner and I thought, "Oh! I forgot to take a picture of my make-up for the blog!" I knew that I had to take the photo while there was still sunlight, so I ran upstairs, forgetting to take off my apron. LOL. So just ignore the red and white polk-a-dot fashion.

I wanted to tell you about some of my recent make-up favorites! I have a new lipstick that I just ADORE and a life-changing eyeshadow and a highlighting palette too. Here is the look that I've been wearing lately. I feel like it's light and spring-like and helps to brighten gray hair! Let me tell you how I do it!

Here it is in a nutshell. I'll go quickly over the parts that I've talked about before on the blog. I make sure to start with a clean, moisturized face. Recently my St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub has been a lifesaver. I use it before I wash my face with soap. It exfoliates, getting ride of any dry skin and leaves me with a smooth canvas! It's also sulfate and paraben free. 

Next I apply my  Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen. I love that stuff. Not only does it protect me from the sun, but it dries instantly and leaves my skin super smooth and matte. It really is also a primer! I smooth on a small amount of  jane iredale Glow Time Mineral BB Cream to even out my skin tone, cover minor imperfections and to add a bit more sun protection. I've found that using a foundation brush and a Beauty Blender help me to achieve the most sheer and natural finish. I then dot on my Origins Quick, Hide! Long-Wearing Concealer in light and top that with Origin's All and Nothing Sheer Pressed Powder. Then, I add a bit of countering and color with my Origin's Multi-Grain Pressed Bronzer. (Sweep it below your cheekbones and on the sides of your forehead. I put a bit across the bridge of my nose too). Finally I use and love my Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi Use Blush. This link is to their multi-use stick in the color Starlet and the "Radiant Formula" which is more shimmery than mine. Here in the picture above,  I used their new color "Eros" in their classic formula which is less shimmery. 

Next, for highlight my eyelids, mostly below the brow bone and the tops of my cheek bones, I use my new, super fun Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Custom Nude Palette for Face and Eyes

I love this little box! It's talc-free and paraben free too. I really like the packaging. You open up the back and inside is a small mirror, a spongy eyeshadow applicator and a little cheek brush. This palette is super versatile. You can use any of the twelve, shimmery, natural colors on your lids, but also, the lighter shades double as a highlighter and the darker shades as blush/bronzer. Isn't that fun!? This is a great product. I've used it in so many ways. The mid-tone pinks make the prettiest eyeshadows. In fact, I use them to apply over the following product...........

Ok, this is the last new product that SCARES me (LOL) but that I REALLY like. It's Maybelline's  Eye Studio Color Tattoo Cream Gel Eyeshadow in Inked In Pink . This stuff is AMAZING!!!!! Ok, don't tell me what's in it Maybelline eyeshadow is a beautiful, highly pigmented seashell pink, it stays on ALL DAY LONG until I wash it off, and it's never creased! Everything I dream of in a shadow, minus the synthetic stuff. Still, just wow. Up to you.
So I put my gel eyeshadow on and cover that with one of the mid-tone pinks from my palette above! 

Let's jump to lips for a second because of the photograph below. Ok, ready for MY FAVORITE NEW BEAUTY PRODUCT FOR MARCH!!!!???
Let's hear it for Burt's Bee's Lip Crayon in Hawaiian Smolder!!!!!
ACK! I am CRAZY for this natural lip crayon. I am OBSESSED with this lip crayon!!!!!
I would call this color a "bright rose." Perfect for spring. This lipstick goes on very smoothly. It's opaque, feels exceptionally moisturizing and is the perfect mid-point between matte and shimmer. I just LOVE it! I think Hawaiian Smolder would brighten up the face of most any Silver Sister. This is why I use it for my new make-up look.

AND....speaking of Silver Sister..... I FINALLY bought my first pack of silver bobby pins!!!! My eyes were like: "BOING!!!" when I saw them in the store. I couldn't believe it! I don't think I've ever seen gray bobby pins in person, as weird as that sounds...

I was walking through a store called "Meijer", on my way to their bird seed department and a detour through beauty.....
They are gorgeous! Half are sparkly silver and half are gray. Both perfect for my hair. I looked everywhere online for these bobby pins for you guys. I'm sorry, they are some kind of mythical Goody product, nowhere to be found. Are they even REAL!? I found them on sale, the last pack on the rack, so maybe this set isn't in production anymore. You can find other Silver Bobby Pins though, and I'll keep you posted if I find these Goody pins again!

Oh, and while we're on the topic of hair, I found this perfect ponytail tutorial and it works! She has several tips on making your ponytail look thick and bouncy and flawless. I had so much fun.

BACK TO MY MAKE-UP LOOK. Sorry! That was a tangent.
Let's see, where was I? Ok, eyes.. So, I put on my gel eyeshadow and then the powder shadow. I fill in my brows with a brow pencil and sometimes a dark brown powder. Next, I line my eyes these days with a really great pencil that I found at Target! It's the Pixi Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pen in No.5 Deep Plum.

This pencil is truly unlike any other I have tried. It glides on like a liquid and gives a very opaque look like a liquid, but it's not! It's actually a super smooth gel and very very easy to apply. The Silky Eye Pen is waterproof too and barely smudges, which is great. It's also paraben, mineral oil and preservative -free. Hypoallergenic as well.

I chose the Deep Plum color because I think it compliments my blue-gray eyes and blends nicely with pink shadow, but still gives a dark and dramatic look. The Silky Eye Pen also comes in more traditional colors like brown and black and fun ones like blue and green.

For my lashes, two coats of Physician's Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara in Black. I've been using this paraben-free, cruelty free, drugstore mascara for a few years now and it's been great! I can't recommend it enough. Physician's Formula makes several different organic mascaras, this is my favorite one.

And there you have it, my make-up look for this spring! :)
One more girlie, fun thing that I wanted to touch on. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with make-up. I wanted to talk about bringing in a hint of color or sparkle with casual jewelry! Sometimes  gray can leave us looking a little washed out or feeling blue. I'm a big believer in having fun with color through make-up and accessories to just brighten our day. It's ok, treat yourself!

I can't tell you how far a little pair of $7.99 earrings from Target can go in making me feel pretty again, after feeling down or like the odd man out with my gray hair . Like these earrings right here!

I haven't bought any jewelry for quite a while and recently decided that it was ok to add a few springy pairs to my slowly growing collection. The above pair were from Target, and the rest were on sale at Kohl's, plus I had a 30% off coupon! I think I only spent $20 on all three pairs, that's half the fun!

I have been dreaming of making a jewelry organizer with Jon. You can see my Pinterest inspiration board of jewelry organizers HERE.  I hope he can make one soon for me, and I'll hang it right on the wall next to my make-up table. :)

In the meantime, after realizing that I could hang my earrings in our lace curtains to take their picture, I then got carried away! I ended up "displaying" most of my collection! Can you tell that I like girlie things?

Then I moved onto the other curtain and "organized" my barrettes and hair pins. The fun thing about all of this is that when I look at my collection, I think of so many family and friends. For example, my Mother-in-law (hi Mom)! gave me several pairs of my earrings. My Dad gave me my favorite rhinestone barrette. And an old college friend from Japan gave me a hair clip that looks like a cherry blossom flower. Just lots of memories from each little trinket. It's amazing how happy these tiny treasures can make me.

And finally, this is a mirror that my Mom plucked out of storage in her basement. She offered it to me to paint and turn into a jewelry organizer. The mirror is old, and Jon and I love it! even though it could be perfect for my jewelry, I don't think Jon or I could bear to paint over it or remove the mirror. It just might have to hang on our wall as that....a mirror.

Well, the puppy needs a bath, so I'm off! I have a catch-up post that needs to be written and also, I hope to do a spring/summer fashion post again this year. Two of my favorites were having sales, so I jumped! Fresh Produce  was having a sale and I got a hold of a 50% off the SALE price coupon. Crazy, right!? It was awesome. And then today, Boden announced a 40% off sale, so that was fun too. 
Then I will stop shopping for a long time!

So, until next time, wear that silver like a crown!
Lauren :)
Also, what the heck? I just read that we are supposed to get 1-2" of SNOW tonight!!!!?????!!!!!!!? Hurry up and get here warmer weather! This is crazy. Maybe this video of amazing cookie decorating will help. (Her whole page is incredible). 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Getting Ready for Spring!

Dear friends and bloggy readers, I have something that feels a little awkward to tell you, and I hope that you can understand. Although awkward, it is important to me to ALWAYS be transparent and open with you. So, with that, I want to tell you that this post will have some Amazon "affiliated links" to products that I personally love and use and want share with you of my own accord. They are not sponsored in any way.

What has happened is that this week I've decided to try and signed up for Amazon's affiliate program. This means, should you happen to interact with my product links (HONESTLY, ZERO PRESSURE TO DO SO) and purchase that specific product or any other product on Amazon in the following 24 hours, I will receive a small percentage of Amazon's profit as my "referral fee."

The reason that I am doing this is because the blog is my heart and soul, but it has also become like a mini-part-time job over the past ten years, outside of my regular housewife and Mom work. As How Bourgeois has grown in its following and on some of my social media sites, I am spending quite a larger chunk of time trying to compose posts, replying to every email and comment and tending to my social media.  I'm trying Amazon's referral program because I want to keep blogging rather than having to take time away to find other ways to pitch-in, and to justify the time I'd like to put into How Bourgeois!

Here is my promise to you. I promise to never ever EVER link to or promote a product that I do not personally believe in and recommend from experience. Any time that I use an Amazon affiliated link, it will always be organically used, something I want to tell you about, not merely a random product placement. You have my word that I will ALWAYS be upfront and honest with you and will ALWAYS let you know ahead of time when a post has an affiliated link. Integrity and transparency and respect are top on my list, and I wouldn't want it any other way both in my life and on this blog.

I will also keep a permanent disclaimer/disclosure on my "about" page. You can find that HERE.
Thank you friends. I appreciate your readership and understanding so very much. xoxoxoxo

It's just around the corner, I know it! I know!
Sunny days are coming our way. I can smell springtime in the air and it has not come a minute too soon.

There are people who live in far more cold and chilly places than Michigan, but even as recently as last week seeing highs of only 17 degrees and wind chills at SEVEN, I think it's only natural that I'm SO excited for spring to come. Actually, I LOVE the fact that we get all four seasons here, even the cold ones, so I'm thankful to see it all. :)

We still have snow on the ground, but I am anticipating very soon that it will be gone. You never know what you're going to get in March, but by April and May, the temperatures slowly begin to warm.

This year, I am especially anticipating spring and sunshine and warmth outside! The return of clear sidewalks and grass, so that Josie can once again go for longer walks with me and we can all play at the park. This will be my first spring and summer with a dog and I'm excited. In fact, just yesterday Josie and I took our first walk to Noah's school to pick him up at the end of the day. It was FABULOUS. Sun and all the fresh air a person could want.

So I am putting extra thought into being out in the sun and about sunscreen this year.  You might recall when I talked about my annoying sun-induced skin issue, Malasma and about sunscreens  last year.  Ugh, the when I spend too much time in the sun, I get small areas of slightly darker skin pigmentation on my forehead and above my lip. They're like tiny sun tans, but you don't want them, especially above your lip because it looks like a MUSTACHE! ACK!!!!  Last year I learned the hard way that I now have malasma above my lip. I went outside in the early spring to do just a little yard work. I wore my giant brimmed SPF 50+ hat and thought that would be enough sun protection, but soon to my horror, when looking in the mirror the next day, I saw what looked like a shadow above my lip. Sigh. Seriously, sigh. It's sooo embarrassing.

Once your darker splotches show up, there is not much that you can do about them until they fade again in the fall and winter. There are a few laser treatments, but they sometimes make things worse. There are some fading creams, but they have potentially severe side effects. My dermatologist felt that my case was mild enough not to take the risks of messing with my face. So, this summer, my goal is to STOP the melasma before it happens! I am wearing sunscreen on my face daily and here I want to tell you about the AMAZNG new facial sunscreen that was recommended to me recently from my GENIUS friend!

My friend is super knowledgeable about all things organic and natural and eco and all of this is awesome and nice to have in a friend. When I mentioned to her over brunch that I was using my Badger sunscreen face stick stick on my face, but that it was just too thick and chalky white sometimes, she recommended her new favorite facial sunscreen: "Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Matte Tint, Unscented."

Instantly intrigued by her glowing review of this product, I just had to jump online and take a look. It turns out that many, many people love their Coola Mineral Sunscreen. It's a physical barrier sunscreen without even a hint of chalkiness. Coola contains many organic, natural ingredients and NO preservatives including parabens! It is slightly less natural than the Badger that I've been using, but I realized that sometimes I just need to calm down, that I'm already cutting out 80% of the chemicals and products that I used before. This sunscreen has something in it that almost feels like a silicon "primer" for makeup too. This makes for a FABULOUS texture, and my make up goes on incredibly smoothly and feels WONDERFUL. So in addition to being completely sheer and protecting you from the sun, you also get the added bonus that Coola helps your makeup go on perfectly. This sunscreen soaks in and dries instantly. There is no oily shine left behind which is amazing! It's water resistant up to 40 minutes and comes with a VERY sheer tint that basically blends into your skin and could be used on most anybody. I am quite fair at the moment and at least on me, it's not too dark.

I paid about $25 for a 1.7 ounce tube which felt quite expensive to me, but I am DESPERATE not to have a  mustache! Since my purchase, it seems as though the price has gone up on Amazon, but I hear it is cheaper to buy Coola online than in the stores. (I think Whole Foods might carry it?) I was worried that I would go through this small tube quickly, but so far, that's not the case! The sunscreen is light and sheer, all you need is a small amount each time you go to use it. I think it'll last a while!Also, THANK YOU Coola, I totally appreciate the "unscented" part!

I only have great things to say about this sunscreen, and no! Again, this is not sponsored AT ALL. This is my real opinion. So if you're in the market for a mineral sunblock, I suggest looking into Coola. I plan to wear mine all spring and summer long.

The second product that I want to talk with you about again (I mentioned it last year) is jane iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream. I'm telling you about it again, 1.) because I am now wearing it daily for additional sun protection and 2.) because it's been such a great product that I wanted to spread the word!

This "BB" cream acts as a sheer to full coverage foundation. It just depends on how much you use, but I've found that it's really easy to apply a very very sheer layer or to create a more opaque look by building layers of the cream. It's quite versatile! I bought it though because it was recommended to me by of same fabulous friend last year when I was searching for a nice facial sunscreen and wanted to also try mineral make-up.  

Glow Time is mineral based, it acts as a sunscreen, foundation, concealer and powder! (Although I do use a little pressed powered on top). It's talc-free, paraben-free, oil and colorant free which is great.

I purchased my Glow Time at Nordstrom's in-house spa. I didn't even know that they sold make up there until my friend told me!  My only regret is that I didn't follow my gut-instinct when the busy spa attendant hurriedly suggested the B5 color for me. (See color swatches at THIS link.) It was dark and windowless inside of the spa and the receptionist was there alone with the phone ringing off the hook, so the whole transaction took just a minute. It was summer, and while  my skin was at it's most tan, I still felt that the B5 was a little dark, a little too yellow also. It was. In the winter I would call my skin quite fair. In the summer I get a bit more color but I don't always make it to a true medium tone. If I were to purchase Glow Time again, I'd get the B3 color for myself, maybe even the B1 for the winter.
The thing is, you can make Glow Time sheer enough, that even if the color is a tiny bit mismatched, you can blend it in.

My only suggestion is that you make sure your skin is well moisturized before you apply Glow Time. Like most foundations, Glow Time can settle into your pores or lines, but not too badly. The benefit that I get from the natural sunscreen is worth it! I use my favorite daily moisturized called Yes to Blueberries Deep Wrinkle Night Cream and it helps my Glow Time go on well.  Even though it's a night cream it's light and so moisturizing, that I use it during the day. I love it! You might want to consider instead though, Jane Iredale's primer. I tried it out at the store. It was made to go under Glow Time and definitely helps to smooth your skin and minimize the look of wrinkles and pores. Her primer is called jane iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener .

And with spring comes fruits and veggies! So many fruits and veggies! 
I just wanted to share with you this green smoothie recipe that I came across on Pinterest. It's from the blog "The Green Forks" and it is DELICIOUS!!!! Laura from The Green Forks came up with this nutritious smoothie that does the double duty of delivering fruit AND lots of greens! Two cups of spinach and 1/2 a cucumber to be exact. It's also vegan, dairy-free. Recipe HERE!

This green smoothie was exceptionally refreshing. I could see waking up with one every morning, it's that good. Super, super filling too. I could barely finish one serving. This makes enough to share with someone you love!

See this sweet, little innocent puppy?

How could she EVER do any wrong you might ask yourself.

Well, she can't. Not really. Except that it's spring and the snow is melting and little Josie is digging and making muddy holes in the yard once again. She's digging and now finding sticks and branches and all kinds of disgusting things in the yard.......... and trying to eat them. She stripped a couple of bushes of their leaves! She started going after my Rhododendron, trying to pluck the leaves off one by one.

So, we're making a change. Jon and I need to purchase 274 feet of some kind of garden fence. Our backyard is a complicated maze of ground cover and patios and pebble paths and a small bit of grass. Josie needs to be kept off the ground cover and away from the bushes. The plan is to fence her away from those places so she just has the grass and the patios, oh and the mini-pool if she wants to swim.

I drew our backyard, and then when Jon came home last night, we spent a half hour measuring. All of the dark green lines = NEED GARDEN FENCE HERE! 

Don't feel bad for Josie, she'll still have a nice lawn (if she doesn't dig it all up) and the ability to still run full circles around the yard.
And even if somehow she does end up stripping all of my Rhododendron of their leaves, how could one be angry at this face for long?

And now let's turn up the sass! (I can't believe that I'm putting this photo on the blog). Ugh. If I have one enemy, it is my thighs. But I'm here to show you how strange and dorky that I looked yesterday on my walk to school in the name of SUN PROTECTION! Now that the sun is starting to shine and it's warming up, I plan to walk to Noah's school and back with the dog as often as I can. You should have seen me on the way home. I looked like a pack mule. Noah's big backpack on my back, my small backpack purse on my front, his winter coat over one arm and all the while attempting to walk a pulling dog. 

So, I know I just got done telling you about my sunscreen and my SPF foundation, but I have one more sun weapon that I use. It is my slightly dorky Coolibar SPF 50+ Women's Sun Shade Visor , cause lord knows I'll do anything to not look like I have a mustache.

It's slightly less dorky. I've had it for three years and it's my go-to sun hat. This one is washable and packable and durable! The pink hat  above is my "sporty" hat, for when I want to wear a ponytail!

Any so my friends, these are my first steps to embracing the coming spring. People are so bright and cheerful around here these days. Even though I go on and on about sun protection, I have to say that a bit of sunshine is good for the soul.

Until next time, get out and enjoy the weather!
Lauren :)