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 :)


Anonymous said...

Only passing by, investigating growing out my white hair, noticed you mentioned melasma, which I struggled with....pale skin that got brown spots, also hurt to be in the sun....found out I was niacin deficient, which causes melamsa (also a precursor to pellegra which effected millions of Americans in the past). Took niacin supplements, and my skin instantly felt comfortable, got rid of cold hands and feet, improved mood and metabolism. No more melasma, but still wear sunscreen. Nicotinic acid (niacin) is important for melanin production (and photosynthesis!). Perhaps, there is a genetic link in nicotinic acid absorbtion and early graying. I started graying at 18. The melasma happened during pregnancy, but didn't go away until I took niacin, then faded the spots with retinal or cider vinegar. Niacin saved my life, not only my skin.

Lauren said...

Hi! That's fascinating! Thank you for your comment. I will definitely look into Niacin. I just looked up foods high in niacin, but now I'll investigate perhaps taking a b-complex. Your question about there being a genetic component with early graying, melanoma and niacin absorption is very intriguing. I will ask my doctor as well. Thanks so much, I really really appreciate you sharing!