Always Wear Sunscreen

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Oh sure! It looks all friendly and happy with its toasty rays and snazzy shades, but trust me there’s a burning desire to fry your skin lurking just under those fiery smiling lips.

I just committed a drive-by sunscreening at Thing 2’s school. I’m guilty as charged, but I’m not sorry.

The UV Report is “High” today and in the confusion of the morning rush to make it to the bus on time, Thing 2 – who will spend an hour outside during high noon – did not get her sunscreen. Aack!

What’s an easily scorched, SPF MUD wearing, mother of Celtic heritage to do?

Well, first I consulted social media, because TWEEPS!

Then, I called school to make sure it was okay to pop by, then I brushed my teeth and grabbed my Kinesys and fled.

Because skin is our largest organ and we don’t have a spare.

Summer is coming’ in, but fast.*

Don’t be fooled by our hazy Maritime mornings, either. Those hazy** days can be the worst offenders for sun damage.

My best advice?

Always wear sunscreen.

Och!

 

So, do you have a favourite brand of sunscreen? Do you have a way to remember to apply it – even during the crazy-busy morning rush? What’s your secret to keeping your skin safe?

*Bonus: Natalie Cole because I love her and I used her Daddy’s lyric – and often do!

**BONUS Bonus of Nat King Cole because I said “hazy” and well… just listen.

Happy Easter!

Good afternoon from beautiful, sunny Bedford, Nova Scotia!

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It has been a kooky week and I have been feeling positively mute.

Positively mute.

That is to say, I had nothing nice to say, so I was saying nothing. (It’s in the manifesto, so…)

It was for the best, really.

 

Now, here we are a full week later and I can honestly say that even though some things are still “kooky” I feel much better now.

It’s Easter! It’s Spring! It’s sunny! The world is filled with newfound joy that comes each year on this day. The Easter Bunny found us and brought lots of nice chocolate for Thing 1 & Thing 2, some fun and unique old fashioned candy treats and a few new sunny weather items. There’s nothing like some new sidewalk chalk, sunglasses and a fedora to make everything right in the world of a child. (and a parent*… seriously.. gleefully happy with the fedoras!)

All day I have had a song in my head. It’s my happy, springtime, hopeful song. May I share?

Okay. First though, you should know that these lyrics have been ingrained in my brain since I was about 12 (Thing 1’s age!) and the reason I know them is because I was blessed to have an amazing, smart, funny, excellent, musically talented, music teacher, choir director (and later, English Lit. teacher (See? Awesome, right?), but I digress..) when I was a kid!

 

Isn’t it reassuring? Watching the buds appear?

Isn’t it great? Spring to await!

Watchin’ the landscape rejuvenate! Oh,

Doesn’t it lift your spirit? Doesn’t make you glad?

Isn’t it keen? Viewin’ the scene!

Watchin’ the grass turn green!

The winter’s gone now and the snow!

Seeds burstin’ below!

Cold’s over at last!

And everything’s starting to grow!

Doesn’t it make you happy? Doesn’t it make you see?
Part of the plan, given to man,
ever since time began?

But nevertheless, I can confess, just between you and me,
That it’s good to see it happening, so nice to see it happening
So great to see it happening

Anew! Anew!
And reassuring toooooo!

 

Easter, always seems to bring with it the exact kind of weather Easter deserves. It comes just in the nick of time after a long winter and this year, quite frankly,  a rather sketchy start to spring.

Today was a great day to be outside, so after all the Easter Bunny shenanigans and a nice brunch, that is exactly where we went. We headed to one of our favourite local parks, near the water, and played, walked, wandered, explored, enjoyed nature, collected shells and rocks, took pictures and made friends with a snail!

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Despite the earlier stresses of the week, I had a great time. I really am a nature baby. I need it. So do my Thing 1 and Thing 2. I would argue so do *all* of you, too, if pressed. I will try not to be too bossy, though, and just strongly suggest that if you missed an outing today you have a shot at another tomorrow. (Don’t make me come over there. Go outside and play!)

 

And reassuring, toooo!

Yes.

 

So, tell me, how was your day? Do you celebrate Easter? Are you celebrating Passover? Are you happy it’s spring and the weather is finally starting to show it?

 

 

*The Easter Bunny was very kind, as he is every year, and brought one small, very good quality, dark chocolate bunny, each to Daddy-O & me**.

**This year the ol’ EB also got wise and brought some special, high protein, healthy snacks for me. Go, EB! You rock!

“Isn’t It Reassuring?” Words & music by Natalie Sleeth

March Breakin’!

We worked so hard. We studied and tried our best. We did our homework and learned lots of new stuff. We woke up on Mondays and went out bravely into the cold even though there were some days when it was physically painful to do so. We had our hair brushed and braided. We were on time for band. We made healthy lunches (or, at the very least, interesting ones). We suffered through cold and flu season and survived. We finally made it! Yippity biscuits! It’s March Break!

*blink blink*

Now what?

March Break Mug

Monday morning coffee in a customizable mug. LEGO! (Bonus: Math book)

Well, first of all a healthy dose of relaxation is in order. That is what the weekend is for, in my not so humble opinion, and we relaxed as much as we could knowing we didn’t have the same obligations we usually do, to be up and at ’em, come Monday. There is something so glorious about the Sunday before March Break “officially” starts. We were mellow. There was no acute case of the “Sunday Stresses”. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell you.

Yesterday was great! We had a day free of scheduling and just relaxed and spent time together as a family. We played an epic game of LEGO Champion, had a simple lunch,  went outside into the sun (and cold!) to play at a local park close to the water (well, it’s still ice actually, but I digress..) – we even invented a new game while we were there! Then we went grocery shopping (Yes all four of us! Crazy, I know, but it works for us.) for the week and came home to prepare dinner. We really kept it simple because everyone needs to minimize stress, not just the “students”.

After dinner there was time to do whatever we wanted on our own before we all got jammified and ready to watch our feature presentation. Thing 1 had some CPU time with Daddy-O, Thing 2 watched a TV show and made more Rainbow Loom creations, and I went to my happy place. Yup. Social Media. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. I even perused Linked In. (WOT!) It was wonderful!

Then we all piled into the big bed to watch our movie. It was one of our favourites. We used a randomizer app – just for fun – to choose between “A Bug’s Life” and “Enchanted”. “Enchanted” won. Yay! Silly technology FTW! The movie was great, as usual. The Princess saves the Prince and they all live happily ever ever after.

Now it is Monday. March Break has officially begun, and we, like many families are looking forward to five days of freedom and some frugal fun!

So, without further ado (Hah! That’s totally further ado, isn’t it?!), here are some ideas for free, frugal, or relatively inexpensive fun, for the coming week.

From Monday to Thursday of each week Video Difference allows families to borrow two DVDs gratis.

Of course you know we are readers and we love the library. There are special events planned for each day of the March Break at Halifax Public Libraries branches all over HRM.

Chapters Indigo also has a free special activity for children in store every day this week.

All week long from Monday to Friday Cineplex has a March Break promotion called Toonie Matinees.

With many fun museums to choose from, in and around Halifax, there is plenty of entertainment and even a bit of education (Awww. Mo-OOmm!) to be had by just picking one and going for it!

I think we might choose to spend some of our March Break budget on something grody! The Discovery Centre has “Animal Grossology” as its feature exhibit. Ewww!

As always, we will go out and play as often as we can this week – even if it is a bit chillier than we would like – because playing is simply the best way to get exercise and have fun together as a family. Getting outside into the sun is good for everyone!

Hopefully, we can swing a play date or two and maybe even meet up at one of the special events mentioned above with some good friends.

How will you be spending your week? Will you have lots of time with your children? Does this fact frighten you.. or is it business as usual? Are you on a beach vacation? (What?! And you didn’t invite *me*?! *harumphs*)

I’d love to know what you will be doing and what kinds of activities your family enjoys during these long school breaks. I hope you will share some of your fun ideas with me by leaving a comment. Let me know if you decide to take in any of these cool activity suggestions! I’d love to hear what you think!

Happy March Break, everyone!