Thursday, May 30, 2019

My Go To Family Friendly Activities

*This post was created in partnership with Fatface Lynnfield, MA. All content was written and created by me but the topic was prompted by my friends at Fatface. We want to show you the coolest family friendly activities in and around the north shore of Massachusetts!

As a mother who spends a lot of time with her kids, it's usually up to me to find things for us to do together, getting out of the house rather than just plopping them in front of the TV, day in and day out. With my oldest finishing up Pre-K in a couple weeks and my youngest hitting his adventurous stride, it'll be up to me to keep this Summer as interesting and fun as possible for them. I've compiled some of my favorite family friendly activities in and around the North Shore of Massachusetts. While this is just my list, you can be sure to check out local moms groups, the North Shore Patches, the Baystate Parent, and your local libraries and parks and rec departments events calendars!

One Stop Properties

The reason we thought to write this article is because I usually visit FatFace at Marketstreet Lynnfield while also doing some shopping and visiting my favorite kid friendly shops and often while attending an event geared towards kids. I can't tell you how amazing it is to stop, park the car one time and get all the things done. Marketstreet Lynnfield has some of my favorite shops (Fatface, Pia, Amazon Books, LOFT, and Whole Foods), great places to grab kids food (Panera, Boloco, Sweetgreen, JP Licks etc) and has a series of events for kids and family that runs all year on their green area. Just this week, I'll be headed to a Wiggle Worms story time with ice cream for the kids with an after party at Fatface. Both the kids and I will love this day spent out at one place!

We love visiting the Stone Zoo so much that we have a Zoo New England Membership! The zoo is convenient to both Boston and North Shore communities so if your kids love animals, this isn't a far trek whatsoever. They've been working on bringing in new exhibits, animals and events throughout the year. It's not a big, grand, over the top zoo but it's accessible, affordable, clean and usually not overly crowded, which is something I steer clear of when attempting activities with just me and the two tornadoes I call sons!

Beach Visits

Singing Beach in Manchester by the Sea is my favorite beach to visit on the North shore though there are plenty of options. With all the beaches, you'll want to do your due diligence as parking, admission and accessibility will be different for all of them. Singing Beach doesn't have consistent parking close to the beach itself (you might luck into street parking) but there is a lot of two within reasonable walking distance so bring the wagon and pull all your gear back and forth for the day! You can check out the beaches that are part of Massachusetts State Parks (like Nahant Beach and the Lynn Seashore), snagging info and parking passes before you go! There are tons of great beaches up and down Massachusetts, there's no need to go to the Cape every time you need some sand and sea.

Additional Outdoor Options

In addition to the beach, we can't forget about state parks and the Mass Audobon! The Mass Audobon has tons of spaces on the Northshore like the Nahant Thicket Wildlife Sanctuary, Marblehead Neck, Endicott Wildlife SanctuaryEastern Point and more! We love exploring the outdoors in places designed to be enjoyed by families. Learning is a bonus as well so anything they glean from visits to the Mass Audobon is like a nice pat on the back to the mom!

Indoor Options

In addition to your local libraries (which is always a great default for my kids), there are some great indoor activities in and around the north shore.  The Children's Piazza in Beverly is a family favorite which provides enclosed fun (key!) with the options to sip some coffee while the kids play. We also, on a whim, stopped in Vinkari Safari in Woburn, which isn't technically the north shore but it offered TONS of space and new and exciting things for the kids to play with. They loved it! We might hit up Kings at Marketstreet this Summer since my kids love Bowling! Finding options on a cold and rainy day is pretty easy, no matter what you like to do with your kids. Salem, MA offers tons of activities, not just around Halloween! Older kids may enjoy the Peabody Essex Museum, though I visited when Teddy was just a baby and was thrilled to find that they had an extremely nice nursing room there which made the whole trip worth it. I totally enjoyed that day! Check out some other options for Northshore fun whether you're looking for a Witch Museum or an indoor waterpark!

Leave me a comment if you are looking for other spots and recommendations! I have a network of Moms that I hang with, whether through friendship, blogging or both... I would gladly tap another mom for advice or recommendations so that we all have the most successful Summer possible! Let me know what you think of my picks and give me your recs, I love trying new things with the kids!

Thanks to Fatface Lynnfield for prompting me to share my favorite family friendly things to do on the north shore!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Lhamour + a Giveaway

*This post was created in partnership with Lhamour. All opinions are 100% my own.

Me and my beauty products, right?  Over the past few years, well, really since I had Wesley, I have been very much into trying all the products, and yes, the products that are handcrafted with natural ingredients, move right up to the top of my list! I was recently introduced to Lhamour, a brand with purpose, social impact and a classy cool look. Like a lot of the indie beauty brands that I love, Lhamour was created out of need for products that were natural and wouldn't cause allergic reactions. Created with 100% natural ingredients sourced in Mongolia, the brand not only supports a team of ladies, they are also focused on giving back to their community.

I was able to try the Cool Breeze Body Oil, the Beeswax Lip Balm, the Healing Salve and the Yak's Milk Soap... what a treat!

So I'll start with the Cool Breeze Body Oil. This is now my go to, post work out shower body oil. Let me just tell you that when I played rugby in college, we might as well have taken out stock in icy hot because boy did those muscles get sore. I swear to you that I feel like this oil does that trick for me these days. After my Monday night bootcamp class, I use this after my shower and my muscles just relax and my body says aaaaah. I wouldn't use this as an everyday body oil as the scent is definitely strong, I suspect that it's the peppermint oil, but this is definitely helpful as I have been working out more!  Main Ingredients: Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, DL-alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

The Beeswax Lip Balm is generously sized and has provided a great all purpose lip moisturizer for our house, meaning that it's great for chapped lips but also just to protect them from the elements. It's just the right amount of functional and a bit fancy. Main Ingredients: Cera Alba (Beeswax), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, DL-alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tallow (Sheep’s tail fat oil), Lanolin.

The Healing Salve is a special little tin of goodness. I was a little put off by the color at first (it's a kind of grey color) but it's so smooth, light and the scent is killer. I'm hiding this from my kids because I will be heartbroken if they did into this and waste even a smidge of this little power house. I have been using on a skin tag and swear that it's softened and just not nearly as noticeable... and since it's mosquito season here, I am keeping on hand as it touts being great for bug bites, and I believe it! Main Ingredients: Rosa Moschata (Rosehip) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Tallow (Beef tallow), Tallow (Sheep’s tail fat oil), Palustris (Pine) Wood Tar, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass) Oil, Activated charcoal.

The Yak's Milk Soap is soft scented and gentle, a perfect little bar of soap that's great for dry, sensitive skin. Main Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Yak milk, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tallow (Beef Tallow), Sodium Hydroxide.

Head over to my Instagram today to enter to win everything that I tried PLUS the Sensitive Skin Body Butter! You'll be in for a treat because this is the ultimate in self care so head over to get in on the action this week! Good luck!

Find Lhamour in the US at Lilly's Bathcarry, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on Youtube!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Kick those Allergies Out with Similasan

*This post was created in partnership with Similasan. Opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much for reading!

Personally, I have never been one to be affected, too much anyway, by allergies. This year though, I was affected, not physically, but through the boys and man who live in my house with me... they have allergies! 😖 Thankfully, Similasan sent some reinforcements just in the nick of time!

The kids and I made the trek from MA to NC and my oldest felt the affect in environment BIG TIME. I have never seen him with such watery, itchy, puffy eyes. The sneezing was epic. The allergies had arrived and were not going anywhere fast. Ugh. Allergies just make life miserable, like "why do we even have noses if we can't breathe out of them?", asks a 4 year old. So our first foray into using Similasan was with their Allergy Eye Relief Drops. Now eye drops are definitely NOT easy to use on my child but we talked about it providing relief and he was eventually on board. I could visibly notice a difference (less watering, less redness and he wasn't constantly rubbing his eyes) and what I love about the Similasan products is that there are no harsh antihistamines or vasoconstrictors. They use natural active ingredients that stimulate the body's natural allergy defenses. I think this is what I love most about the brand, the natural homeopathic ingredients.

The amount of allergy relief options that Similasan offers is really impressive. I know the brand that I can go to when I am looking for Ear Ache Relief, Ear Ringing Remedy, Ear Wax Removal Kit, Dry Eye Easy Mist, Computer Eye Relief, and basically so many different versions of eye and ear relief you think you could need. I can't think of when I would need Stye Eye Relief but I know who I'll go to when I get a stye in my eye... Similasan! Also, I definitely want to check out some of their options for sleep and stress, first aid, and cough and cold

You can find Similasan at lots of different places that you likely shop at! Target, Amazon, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and more so there's no excuse not to give them a try!