Bits of Bliss: 10 under $20 (Summertime Staples)

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Here are 10 amazing products that I absolutely LOVE, which have become this years go-to summertime staples in my closet and makeup drawer. I almost didn’t want to write this post, but I felt that it was my duty to share my personal bits bliss with you because keeping them to myself was just unfair and felt a bit selfish of me since they are all so wonderful!

  •  B&W Zig Zag Beach Dress from H&M $12.95 (hm.com)

This dress is an AWESOME summer find! I have fallen in love with it because it is made with a lightweight cotton material so its nice and cool for those scorching summer days. The straps are a bit wider, and it has an asymmetrical hem line so it is a bit longer in the back (great for the ladies with an ample derriere, like myself)  and is a tad bit shorter in the front. Plus it is very versatile as it looks great with heels or with sandals, so it can be either dressed up or down depending on the occasion and your mood. Its even a great cover up to wear to the beach! For around $13 this dress really can’t go wrong!

 

  • Camelbak Groove Water Bottle $19.99 (Target.com)

It is SO IMPORTANT to stay hydrated, especially when the temperature outside is on the rise, and having a portable water bottle is a great way to beat the heat. I especially like the Camelbak Groove, which has a removable filter that sits in the lower part of the straw so you will always have clean drinkable water in your bottle. You can just fill from a tap, and be on your way. But as long as you are staying hydrated, it doesn’t really matter what bottle you are using.

  • woven/straw Fedora $12.99 (Target)

If you are like me (incredibly fair skinned) and tend to burn easily, wearing a hat to protect your skin from the intense summer sun is a MUST! I have an adorable woven Fedora from Target (I got as a birthday present a couple of years ago- Thanks Erin!!) that goes with me pretty much everywhere. Not only is it a great style accessory, it also provides my fair skin a nice cover from the sun. The fedora is such a great hat, it works for pretty much anyone. My hubby even looks great in it!

  • Burts Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum Butter $4.00 (burtsbees.com)

I was skeptical at first to try this lip balm because I am not a huge fan of the original Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. But I can not say enough wonderful things about this lip balm! As soon as you put it on, your lips feel so smooth, silky and supple (unlike the aforementioned lip balm which feels like I’m dragging a peppermint flavored crayon across my lips). It is made with 100% natural ingredients, is hypoallergenic, has no added colors or fragrances and boasts to offer 4 hours of “moisturization”. This is a great product to keep with you when you’ve been out in the sun and your lips feel parched.

  • Ocean Potion Anti Aging (SPF 50) Sunscreen $9.49 (kmart.com)

I have shared this product before in another post, but I feel it is such a spectacular product that it warrants a second mention! I LOVE Ocean Potion Sunscreen products. I have been using them for five or six years now and have yet to be disappointed. Their website boasts that “Ocean Potion contains Solaplex™, which provides reliable, long-lasting protection, and that the brand’s products have received the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal for “safe and effective sun protection.” I can’t think of a better way to keep your skin protected from the suns harmful rays, plus it is PABA-free, Paraben-free and most are Oxybenzone-free!

Non-greasy, rapidly absorbed, Ocean Potion is fortified with Vitamin D3 — indispensable for skin health and a youthful appearance. The skin is the body’s last organ to absorb Vitamin D from food or supplements. Applied topically, however, Vitamin D3 delivers benefits directly to the skin. Ocean Potion also contains Vitamin E to fight free radicals, decrease sun damage, and improve skin texture. Ocean Potion contains Solaplex™, which provides reliable, long-lasting protection. Ocean Potion products incorporate broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Notably, the brand’s products have received the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal for “safe and effective sun protection.”

All Ocean Potion products are PABA-free, Paraben-free and most are Oxybenzone-free.

Ocean Potion products are not tested on animals.

– See more at: http://www.oceanpotion.com/about.html#sthash.KUy22ih7.dpuf

Non-greasy, rapidly absorbed, Ocean Potion is fortified with Vitamin D3 — indispensable for skin health and a youthful appearance. The skin is the body’s last organ to absorb Vitamin D from food or supplements. Applied topically, however, Vitamin D3 delivers benefits directly to the skin. Ocean Potion also contains Vitamin E to fight free radicals, decrease sun damage, and improve skin texture. Ocean Potion contains Solaplex™, which provides reliable, long-lasting protection. Ocean Potion products incorporate broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Notably, the brand’s products have received the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal for “safe and effective sun protection.”

All Ocean Potion products are PABA-free, Paraben-free and most are Oxybenzone-free.

Ocean Potion products are not tested on animals.

– See more at: http://www.oceanpotion.com/about.html#sthash.KUy22ih7.dpuf

Non-greasy, rapidly absorbed, Ocean Potion is fortified with Vitamin D3 — indispensable for skin health and a youthful appearance. The skin is the body’s last organ to absorb Vitamin D from food or supplements. Applied topically, however, Vitamin D3 delivers benefits directly to the skin. Ocean Potion also contains Vitamin E to fight free radicals, decrease sun damage, and improve skin texture. Ocean Potion contains Solaplex™, which provides reliable, long-lasting protection. Ocean Potion products incorporate broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Notably, the brand’s products have received the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal for “safe and effective sun protection.”

All Ocean Potion products are PABA-free, Paraben-free and most are Oxybenzone-free.

Ocean Potion products are not tested on animals.

– See more at: http://www.oceanpotion.com/about.html#sthash.KUy22ih7.dpuf

Non-greasy, rapidly absorbed, Ocean Potion is fortified with Vitamin D3 — indispensable for skin health and a youthful appearance. The skin is the body’s last organ to absorb Vitamin D from food or supplements. Applied topically, however, Vitamin D3 delivers benefits directly to the skin. Ocean Potion also contains Vitamin E to fight free radicals, decrease sun damage, and improve skin texture. Ocean Potion contains Solaplex™, which provides reliable, long-lasting protection. Ocean Potion products incorporate broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Notably, the brand’s products have received the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal for “safe and effective sun protection.”

All Ocean Potion products are PABA-free, Paraben-free and most are Oxybenzone-free.

Ocean Potion products are not tested on animals.

– See more at: http://www.oceanpotion.com/about.html#sthash.KUy22ih7.dpuf

  • Essie Nail Polish in Turquiose & Caicos $8.59 (Target.com)

Another one of my favorite ways to treat myself  during the hot summer months is to give my feet a little attention and TLC. When you wear sandals every day, your feet can get all dry and flaky. Now while I can’t always (actually, make that never) make it to a salon to get a relaxing mani/pedi, I can certainly find the time to give myself a quick one at home after the kiddo has gone to bed. Ill soak my tired tootsies in a DIY sea salt, lemon & mint foot soak for about 10 mins, and then change my polish color. I LOVE this turquoise/green polish that Essie offers because it reminds me of the ocean sparkling on a distant tropical beach in paradise. Nothing says “summer” to me more than relaxing to those peaceful azure ocean waves splashing against the shore.

  • Purpose Moisturizer SPF 15 (with UVA/UVB) $9.99 (ulta.com)

Hydration is huge for me this year. I’ll admit that I am not a “spring chicken” anymore, and since I had my son my skin is just not the same. This year in particular my skin is very dry, and also very sensitive. That is why I am loving this moisturizer that a friend introduced me to. I had been trying all different kinds of moisturizers that were for anti-aging and acne (both of which I’m struggling with now- WTH body!?), but I could never find one that was right for me. I really enjoy that this specific moisturizer is great for sensitive skin, and is not super thick, plus it offers SPF 15.

Mascara always gives me trouble, and honestly I wish I had never started wearing it in the first place. BUT, I like the way it looks. There in lies my conundrum! Most of the mascaras out there make my eyes feel itchy, even the “sensitive” brands. I have tried the more expensive ones and the dirt cheap ones, and the one that stands out for me has been Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash Mascara. While it still does affect my eyes, the difference for me is that I can wear it all day and hardly have any issues. I just can’t wear it EVERY day for weeks on end. I also like it because it doesn’t make my lashes clump together, and it doesn’t flake off and get in my eyes (the biggest problem with most mascaras that I’ve tried). It is also very flexible and my lashes feel soft, and it doesn’t smudge easily. Just remember to take it off at the end of the day!

  • “Divergent” Book Series by Veronica Roth (A good read=Priceless!) (amazon.com)

I love reading a good book and getting swept away in a story. “Meeting” the new characters is almost as enjoyable for me as making a new friend. Every year I make myself a book list, but until recently I had been so busy that I would never get through a book. Or I would be reading three books at once, because one book just wasn’t holding my attention. So, it has been a while since I enjoyed a fiction book like I have enjoyed the “Divergent” trilogy. Each book is around $10 each. I honestly think the last book series that kept my attention, and I thoroughly enjoyed were the Harry Potter books. I don’t want to give away much, but I suggest adding the Divergent series to your Summer Reading List!

  • Garnier Fructis Style “Wonder Waves” $3.33 (walmart.com)

I have been using this product for YEARS now, and I absolutely adore it for those days when showering is not an option (yay motherhood!). I love that I can just dampen my hair and spray it in and scrunch away, and my hair is instantly transformed from disheveled bedhead to beachy chic in a matter of minutes, and I don’t have to pull out my flat iron OR hide my greasy mop under my baseball hat! PLUS, if you want those intentional messy/sexy Victoria’s Secret beach waves a la Blake Lively, this will help you achieve that!

 


 **Disclaimer: Bliss & Honeysuckles is in no way affiliated with any of the companies, people, or products mentioned in this blog post. I do not receive any monetary compensation writing reviews of the aforementioned products. I like to share my opinions on great products, and things I have found to be worth spending my money on. I want to share what has excited me and worked well, AND have not broken the bank with with you because I find it beneficial when others do the same!**


Until next time…

Saw It, Pinned It, Did It! : DIY Foaming Hand Soap

I think I am about to blow your mind! At least I hope I am.

As I have mentioned before, I love Pinterest and am always looking for fun, easy DIY projects that help us save a few pennies here and there since we are currently a one income family. I recently pinned a tutorial on how to make your own “Foaming Hand Soap” and I was just astounded at how well this turned out. As a mom of a toddler, we go through bottles of the stuff so fast! Each time I make a Target run, I would inevitably buy a bottle or two of our (formerly) go-to brand: “Method Foaming Hand Soap” in Sweetwater, which typically costs around $2.99 per bottle (each bottle lasts us about 3 weeks give or take).

I had never really thought about it much, but I was spending A LOT on hand soap. SO, when I found out that I can make my own foaming hand soap with my favorite brand (Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap, which is Alcohol-Free, DMDM Hydantoin-Free, Contains No Aluminum Chlorohydrate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Dye-Free, Paraben-Free, and costs about 3.99 per bottle), I was so excited to give it a try. I am terrible at math, but my mommy logic brain realized that this hand soap was now going to last us a REALLY long time! Score!

I HIGHLY recommend that you try this your self! It is so ridiculously easy, and will save you so much money in the long run! (Think of all the shoes you can buy with the money you saved!)

What you need:

  • Your favorite liquid hand soap (non-creamy versions foam best), I used Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap in Geranium
  • A Tablespoon
  • A Foaming Hand Soap bottle (I just re-used the Method bottles we already had)
  • water

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Directions:

  1. Firstly, if you are re-using a bottle make sure to rinse it out until the water runs clear and no soapy bubbles are left.
  2. Next, measure out 3 tablespoons of your preferred hand soap, and pour into the bottom of empty soap dispenser.
  3. Gently fill bottle 3/4 of the way up with water, and gently swirl around to mix soap and water together (DON’T SHAKE UP!).
  4. Put lid back on and use as normal. Ta Da!! So EASY!

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*Just a thought*

Since I had my son, I absolutely hate not being able to pronounce ingredients found in my food and home products, so I have been buying “organic” and lots of fresh foods. It seems so unnatural to wash my hands with products that contain stuff like Triclosan (tri-cla-What?), which is one of the more harmful ingredients found in anti-bacterial soaps today. It has been shown to be a thyroid and hormone disruptor even in just small doses. It has also been found to encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics. “Studies have increasingly linked triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarban), to a range of adverse health and environmental effects from skin irritation, endocrine disruption, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, to the contamination of water and its negative impact on fragile aquatic ecosystems.” (beyondpesticides.org)

I bring this up because I want to also keep my son safe and healthy, and in making my own hand soap (without all the crazy anti-bacterial ingredients) I am encouraging healthy habits without possible side effects, and I encourage the same of you as well! Just something to think about.

 

Until next time…

Summer 2014 Bucket List

Summer is officially upon us, and I am so thrilled! I don’t prefer the blazing hot summer heat, but I absolutely love spending time with my beautiful little family. My hubby is on summer break (Hooray for his job in Education!!), so that means we get to spend summers together, just me, the kiddo, and him! It’s doubly wonderful for me being a Stay-At-Home-Mom because I am able to get some much needed “Mommy Time” to do things that I am not typically able to do during the school year (Thanks Sweetheart!!!).

The past few summers have been incredibly hectic for us, and this summer is offering us some peaceful quiet, and plenty of free days to do with as we want, which is great! Since we don’t have any pressing matters to attend to, and we finished our “heavy/big” traveling early, we have concocted a “Summer 2014 Bucket List” (see below). I was inspired by my friend Becky over at Star Wars Wife, as well as The Happy Family Movement’s  2014 “Summer Bucket List Challenge”.

There are SO many things we wanted to add to our bucket list, but whittled it down to our top 25 things that we felt were essential to-do’s for this summer. Not all of the activities are big adventures, some of them are just simple and delightful in their own way. I felt if we had a list of heavy traveling or large scale activities it would make the summer seem overly chaotic, and that is what we are trying to avoid. We also decided that if we don’t get to do everything on the list, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Really these activities are meant to keep us from getting overly lazy this summer. So if we miss a few, that’s okay! I definitely DO NOT want it to feel like a chore list that must get done before summer is over. This year, summer is about relaxing and taking a reprieve from the chaos the past few years has brought, as well as growing closer as a family and focusing on strengthening our faith. So without further ado, our 2014 Summer Bucket List:

 

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We have already been busy checking a handful of these off of our list, and I will share them in my next posts along with pictures! I’m super excited to share, and we have already had so much fun!

I’d LOVE to hear about your Summer Bucket List, or what you have planned for this summer! And by all means, if you want to “steal” a few of my ideas GO FOR IT!

~Until next time…


 

HFM