Sunday Showcase - H2O

You can tell I live in the desert because right now my posts are sun and summer focused. However, this post is relevant all year (and really, so I the sunscreen post).

Water is important. Here in the desert it is vital and we so easily forget this fact.

During the summer months we hear so many ‘rescue hiker’ stories where they just weren’t’ carrying enough eater. They could have easily hiked out of the area they were in, if they had only had enough water (you would be shocked at how many people take off on a hike with a small 12oz bottle of water in the middle of July when the temps will hit 110-117 degrees).

Now, I will be honest…I haven’t always had a great track record of drinking water. I feel like it is just too plain, and I used to think it was just too much work to give it any kind of flavor.

I was wrong. And yes, it burns my finger a little to type that “w” word!

Two years ago I was working crazy hours and feeling horrid. I decided I would make an effort to start drinking more water, especially at work. I got a U of A Tervis Tumbler (I now have 3 of these tumblers, in different designs, and I would easily take 2 or 3 more!) and made the decision that I would drink at least 3 of them throughout the day.  To make the water more palatable for me (and insure that I kept drinking the water), I would slice lemons or oranges up at the beginning of the week and put them in to snack sized baggies, then I would take a baggie to work so I could add the fruit to my water.

I stuck to it and found, after about 3 weeks, if I drank any less than those 3 tumblers full I would feel icky…truly sick to my stomach. Now, if you know me well, you know that I would do almost anything to not have nausea! Thus, I kept on drinking the water. It did make me pee more - but I started to look at that as a blessing because those potty breaks became moments to take a break (too much information? so sorry...no, no I'm not!)

Once I left work and started working from home I was able to be a little more creative with my water combos. I even decided to grow some of the herbs myself – it’s kinda fun to go out to the porch to pick fresh mint and basil.

I thought I would share a few of them here for you. I still make a gallon of infused water each morning and continue to fill the pitcher up as I empty it each day. Then I start fresh the next morning. I don’t have photos for all of these, but you will get the idea. If you want to mix it up a little (sometimes I need some bubbles) I will do the same fruit combos in a glass and pour Pellegrino over it.

Try some…I think you will like them (and as an FYI – I was doing the lemon water long before all the celebs made it “in style” in the past few months!)

Ginger Pear

Basil Cucumber Lemon

Lemon Ginger

Strawberry Mint

Strawberry Kiwi

Lemon Lime

Orange Mint

Blueberry Lemon Mint

Raspberry Lemon

Melon Cucumber

Pomegranate Orange

Are you getting your water intake every day!?

Sunday Showcase - Sum-sum SUMMA TIME! Protect Yourself!

If you meet me you will find out, in short order, that I am one of the rare people who enjoy the 110 degree weather here in the desert during the summer. You will also quickly find out that I love the sun, the pool and generally being the human version of a lizard – soaking it all up!

Of course, growing up in the 70s and 80s here in the desert, I did a lot of things to get tan skin and blonder hair. While I never resorted to Crisco as a tanning agent (I have heard awful horror stories about people being burned so badly using this method), I was a baby oil girl. Most summer days I would head out to the back yard with a large glass of tea, baby oil from top to bottom and lemon juice on my hair. I’m one of those people who gets dark quickly and in my youth, the darker I could get, and in the fastest amount of time, made me very happy.

Most of the years I did not burn…but that doesn’t really matter when it comes to sun damage. I did have a few really bad burns when I was younger. One I vividly remember was the summer after my junior year in high school and I went to the Salt River with some friend who had just graduated. We stayed on that river all day long – and I was the fairest of the bunch. Our only SF factor that day was an SPF15. It did nothing for me. I came home with a horrible sunburn, sun poisoning and 2nd degree burns on my legs (the markings of which still show up after I have been in the hot tub.).

These days I’m a little more rigid with my skin care when it comes to being outdoors. I wear sunscreen with at least an SPF30 broad spectrum…everywhere, every day. I think I put sunscreen on top of sunscreen when you look at my face: primer, make up and powder. I don’t care – you can’t be too safe. I am even particular about my sunglasses and make certain they are the best for protection (given that I’m not in prescription sunglasses, I can thank my eye doctor for making certain my tinting is always correct - and Juicy Couture for some rockin' frames!).

All of that being said, and given the fact that the pool here at the Mac Abode has already been christened for the season, I thought I would devote today’s Sunday Showcase to my favorite Summer Sunscreen products. After all – the stack of beach towels has come out of winter storage and is set up by the sliding glass door (and will be for the next 6 months so anyone who is ready to swim can grab one on their way out to the pool!) along with bottles of sunscreen!

Like I said, my makeup has an SPF of 20 and my primer has a 15. I am careful to wear a floppy hat in the pool just to give extra protection to my face (my fingers are crossed that there will be an amazing hat released on April 19 with the new Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collection! I'm so excited for this line - it SCREAMS StacyMac!). Since I have sensitive skin I have to be careful of what I put on my face – or we have a big problem.

Every day the first thing that I put on when I jump out of the shower is Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch SPF30. It has a great smell – not too overwhelming and it dissipates fairly quickly. The great thing about this sunscreen is that it isn’t heavy or greasy…that is important to me. I can actually put this on my face and not have too much of a problem with oil – but I try not to do that too often unless I don’t intend on going anywhere away from home that day. It is a good daily sunscreen that I used for general protection when I’m not in the pool.

One problem I fight with seasonally, and especially when I am in the pool so much, is dry skin. I try to keep lotion on them all of the time, but see the aforementioned line about me being the human equivalent of a lizard – this goes for the scaly skin too! To fight that, I will often spray on the dry oil from Hawaiian Tropic. The SPF12 in this does nothing for protection, but the oil helps to add more moisture to my skin than the Sheer Touch alone. Fair warning, make certain it is completely soaked in before putting on a chiffon or silk piece of clothing…trust me on this one! FYI, like I said, I suffer this issue seasonally and the winter months are no exception (I'm in the water these months as well, I spend a lot of time in the hot tub at night). Because of this, I stock up on the dry oil at the end of the summer so that I have it during the winter months!

Ok…let’s talk about pool time. I am a Banana Boat girl. I don’t know what it is about their sunscreen, but I am a fan of all of them when it comes to getting wet or spending hours in/around the pool. I mean, when I say I love the pool, it’s not a joke. I plan my days to read out there, nap out there (or at least start a nap…then head inside to fall asleep in the cold, air conditioned house!)…I LOVE MY POOL! Well, Banana Boat just came out with a new sunscreen this season. It is called SunComfort and I have only used it once…but it will be my go to sunscreen for being in the water. Yes, I have an SPF50 and try not to go less than that for water. Reapplying is the key as well. The thing I loved about this spray is that I didn’t feel dried out after using it. That, in my book, is priceless! Additionally, I was able to spray some of this on my finger tips and rub it on my scalp where my part line is...it did not make my hair too greasy - a plus when you have a mop on your head!

Last, but not least, after I come inside and get rinsed off, I like to put on n after sun product. Of course it is from Hawaiian Tropic. Their Silk Hydration lotion is DA BOMB! It smells yummy and feels amazing. I go through this like water and haven’t bought a new bottle yet so I had to resort to the travel size in my bag for the photo!

My final words to you – please don’t skimp on sun protection. Skin cancer is horrible and it can easily be prevented with all sorts of products that are out there today. The key is consistency and reapplication. And protect your kiddos too!

Until next week…