May Goals & A GIVEAWAY!!

Happy May wait er I mean April 22.
I am doing my May Goals today because Sheaffer and I are kicking off our Mother of All Giveaways Week RIGHT NOW.  
We’re starting our fun week with a Barrington Bag giveaway for you and one for your favorite mama (it can be your mama, your best girlfriend, your sister…just any mama!).
Enter the Rafflecopter below and a winner will be selected and announced THIS FRIDAY morning!  One winner will receive a St. Anne tote for her and one for her favorite mama.  
You can personalize these fun bags any way you like!  I have two St. Anne totes that I carry with me all the time.  These bags are great to use instead of a purse, as diaper bags, as gym bags, as office bags…they’re really great!  I’ve been using one as a gym bag  lately and it works like a charm.  And I’m going to use my other one as a pool bag this summer too!  
Sheaffer and I had been busy working on our giveaway when the sweet people at Barrington sent us each a new tote for summer…so, I reached out and asked if they would give one to a reader of ours and they said no…they would give two :).  Thank you Barrington!
If you’re thinking about Mother’s Day gifts, right now Barrington is offering a 10% off code for our readers.  
The code is MAMA10.  
All orders received before April 27 will be shipped out in time for Mother’s Day.  This would make such a special gift for the mamas in your life :).
We just love celebrating mamas around here!  Just wait…more fun coming your way as we celebrate THE MOTHER OF ALL GIVEAWAYS WEEK!  (HUGE prizes ahead!!)
Okay, time for May Goals…but before we get to May…here’s a recap with April
1. Spring Clean: Well, I think I’ve purged everything but our dreaded play room.  I’ve kind of resigned myself to the fact that as long as I have young children, my house will be overrun with little plastic toys.  I went through and cleaned out the kids’ closets and drawers along with mine…but I still need to tackle that darn play room.  I don’t know about you, but my kids are like this…
…this makes me laugh because it’s so true :).
2. Clean up yard and patio: Done!  I’m going to give Andrew like 99% of the credit for this…but it’s done, so that’s all that matters, right?  We pulled our patio furniture and pillows back out, we added more mulch, we cleaned up the tables and washed our cushions…it’s ready for outdoor living!
3. Buy swimsuits: This has been harder than usual this year!  My kiddos start swim lessons on Tuesday, so they need some swimsuits but for some reason, it hasn’t been as easy this year as in years past.  Smith is all taken care of but the girls still need a few.  Let’s all stop and say a prayer for Ashby next week…she loves the tub…but who knows what she’s going to think about the swimming pool…
4. Run outside: Instead of going to the gym on Fridays this month, I’ve been running outside instead.  Our weather in the mornings has been perfect for outdoor exercising.  I’ve been walking Kensington to school and then running after…it has been so nice to be outside!
5. Watch baseball: The Red Sox are back in business….and I haven’t missed a game!  I love, love, love baseball season!!
That’s April…here is May…

I stuck them on my computer screen this month so that I don’t forget any :).
1. Plant a Veggie Garden: I really want to grow some veggies in our backyard.  I bought a book on vegetable growing and asked some of my gardener friends, but I would LOVE any tips you have too!  I’ve grown vegetables in pots before but never in an actual bed…so there is a lot of room for error here, tips appreciated!!  (And just so you know…I live in a very dry and hot climate…so, I need to be able to grow things that thrive in the sun and without a ton of water.)
2. Find a great sunscreen: I need a great waterproof sunscreen for myself and the kiddos this time of year when we’re hanging around the pool all day, every day.  Any suggestions?  Last year, I bought a brand that even after a good shower, still wouldn’t come off…so, this year, I need a better one.  If you prefer a separate one for the face, I’d like to know what that is too!  Help!
3. Get pool bag and summer toys and stuff out: I keep a great big pool bag loaded and ready to go in the closet by the back door all summer long.  This way, when we’re walking out the door, I just grab it and go.  (I’ve posted about my pool bag here.)  At the end of each summer, I empty it out, clean it out and pack it away.  So now, I need to get it out and stock it for summer.  I also need to get the summer yard toys and such down and out for the kids to use outside.
4. Enjoy my last month with Smith: My boy is registered for kindergarten now (insert me sobbing here).  Next month, Kensington will be out for summer break, so I really need to soak up my Smith time.  It’s so hard to believe that my baby boy is about to go to school.  I’m going to sneak in as many hugs, cuddles and kisses as I can this month (and I’m going to try and do some activities during the day that he really enjoys!).

5. Get all camps scheduled: My kiddos love tennis camp and this year, basketball camp.  We’ve done Vacation Bible School in the past too, so I need to figure out if we’re going to do that again or not.  I don’t like them to be too busy but they enjoy a little activity throughout their summer, so I need to get all of that on the calendar and booked.

6. Have fun in Boston: This isn’t really a goal…it’s just something that makes me happy.  This month, I’m heading to Boston to see my Sox play two games…I am so excited!!

There you have it!  A little May on April 22nd!

Dinner on the foodie blog tonight is something so simple and easy that your family should eat tonight!

It’s my Crispy Potatoes and Sausage.  My kiddos could eat this every night for dinner!


And good luck with the giveaway!

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  • Grace April 22, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I love reading about your monthly goals, and sending lots of prayers Ashby's way. I wasn't a water lover at first but now living in San Diego, I go to the beach as much as possible. Enjoy your time with Smith and hope he's doing better with strep. Also sending prayers Andrew's way while he's missioning in Africa. Have an awesome Wednesday Shay!

  • Erika Slaughter April 22, 2015 at 10:11 am

    You are on the ball with your May goals already! My black thumb and I have no advice for your garden. Tab and I tried one year and the rabbits enjoyed all of our hard work. πŸ™

    • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Haha "black thumb" made me chuckle

  • Jen April 22, 2015 at 10:17 am

    AWESOME giveaway!! Hope I win lol.

    You are on the ball with your May goals! Time for me to start thinking about those too… πŸ™‚

    Are you going to do a post on Andrew's trip? I'm so interested in the details! Thanks and have a great Wednesday πŸ™‚

  • Peyton April 22, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I like CeraVe sunscreen for my 2 year old daughter. She has super sensitive skin and this hasn't caused any irritation, etc (. The only place I've found it is Walgreens (spray and lotion form).

  • Beautifully Seaside // Formerly Chic Coastal Living April 22, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I remember when my boys started kinder and how much I missed having all day cuddle sessions. Truthfully, they'll always be your babies, even when they're taller than you some day. Enjoy every minute. XO

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Hi Shay! As for sunscreen, I always, always use dermalogica SPF 50 solar defense booster on my face. I love it because you can add a dab daily to your moisturizer if you want, or when in direct sunlight (like at the pool!) you apply it directly on your face. It feels great on my face, I highly recommend it! The small bottle definitely lasts a while. I'm a bit dermalogica obsessed! πŸ™‚ As for my body, I buy the regular spray can of all different brands, and would love to hear suggestions from others! Happy swimming!
    – Melissa

  • Whitney Plunkett April 22, 2015 at 10:28 am

    What great goals!! You have inspired me to spring clean!! Ahh! I'm a baltimore girl & will be going to see us take on your Sox this wkd! I'll be thinking of you πŸ˜‰

  • Elizabeth April 22, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I just did a lot of research on sunscreen bc I decided we needed to change. I'm scared of all the harsh chemicals in regular sunscreen so I decided to go with a more natural one. I chose blue lizard baby and blue lizard face. I know I will feel a lot better this summer putting a more natural product on my kiddos:)

  • Sarah Kuykendall April 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I am a teacher and your May goals made me even more excited for summer break. I also have a boy starting kinder in the fall-time flies!!

  • Becky April 22, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Love the bag, but I never win anything!

  • Elizabeth April 22, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Last year I began using babyganics brand sunscreen on my kids and I love it! No one got sunburned all summer (we live at the beach and are always outside). I also love that it's not loaded in chemicals. My friend has started selling beauty counter so I bought some of their sunscreen to try but I have also already stocked up on babyganics.

  • Sara Lynn April 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I love that bag, if I win it I am using it as a pool bag.

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt April 22, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I have really sensitive skin so I always wear a neutrogena (sp??) sunscreen on my face–I never use the same sunscreen on my body as I do my face. I try to take care of my face a little more πŸ™‚

  • clan mcmillen April 22, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I'll be so interested to read the comments on sunscreen! I'm always on the lookout too. As far as veggies go, this is our second year with a garden and something new I learned is make sure you buy your plants local. Your odds at success are much better with local plants that are climatized to your region than say buying from a random online grower. Happy growing! Nothing tastes better than food you know you've grown yourself!

  • MorganizewithMe April 22, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Love seeing your goals – you keep me inspired. Thanks for the fun giveaway! I vote for Neutrogena for face too, it's great!

  • Narci April 22, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Eek! All of these summer goals! I love it! Hurry up, summer–we are ready for our pool days with the Shulls. πŸ™‚

  • Alissa Gauvin April 22, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Have you tried the Honest sunscreen? Even though it comes out white from the tube, it goes on clear and rubs in SO easily. It does have a slightly greasy texture once it's on the skin, but I think that's what helps it rub in so well and it does not stay greasy for long.

    • Sara April 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      I agree about the Honest Company sunscreen. It is great and they also have a stick formula for the face. Also it gets a great rating on the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen guide. Before you purchase any sunscreen I would check the rating on this website as it will let you know how toxic the formulation is based on ingredients and any known carcinogens it contains. The site is a wealth of information!!

  • Kathleen April 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I'm not a mama but I'm a teacher so I have 19 little ones to take care of everyday and this bag would be perfect for my new teacher bag! How cute!!! I would also love to give one to my oldest sister who is pregnant with her 6th baby!!! Yes, I said 6. All in 7 years! πŸ™‚

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} April 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

    SO EXCITED about the giveaway! Some lady and her mama are going to be thrilled!!!!

  • Chasing Pure Simplicity April 22, 2015 at 11:42 am

    We love Sun Bum at our house! It's broad spectrum and paraben free. We use the lotion on our bodies and the sticks on our faces. Both are oil free, so neither will clog pores. Bonus: it smells like bananas and has a monkey on the package so my kids think it is neat!

    I shy away from sprays because I don't want my kids inhaling the sunscreen, plus I feel lotion provides better coverage. We found our Sun Bum originally at a store near the beach, but I order it from Amazon now. I've also used the Alba brand from Sprouts with good results, but it runs off your face and burns eyes. It's a "body only" sunscreen.

    Good luck and happy almost summer!

  • Liz April 22, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I'm thinking of making a goal list for myself this month too. It serms that when you've got things marked down on a list you're more likely to actually accomplish them. And what a super fab giveaway! I'd love a new go-to bag for summer.

  • Laura April 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

    My favorite sunscreen is Coppertone Sport, the blue bottle. It won't wash off in the pool but washes off just fine in the shower, and it actually works! Spray sunscreens always seem to wash off too easily.

  • Samantha Croteau April 22, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Hi Shay!!! If you are looking for a great restaurant to dine at while in Boston, definitely make a reservation at Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar! Food and drinks are amazing!!! PS….GO SOX! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Have you ever heard of TIZO Facial Sunscreen? The specific one I use is the "Solar Protection Formula TIZO 2 Facial Mineral Fusion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 – For Light Skin Tones" and I bought it from my derm who is very passionate about skincare. This stuff is expensive BUT SO AMAZING. It goes on silky smooth, does not leave a residue, and your make up GLIDES on. I used to use Neutrogena before this and my face always felt slippery and slimy! I feel like the TIZO acts as a foundation primer as well as an amazing sunscreen. What a win win!

  • Suzy April 22, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Shay…if you want to find a good sunscreen check out a youtube beauty guru…she's a little older than you (closer to me) πŸ˜‰ – her channel is hot and flashy – her name is Angie….and she recently did a huge sunscreen video, comparing a variety of different ones, showing how long they last, the best kind not to break you out, etc..

    Thanks, have a great day!

  • Lynn {A Taste of Country} April 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Such cute totes! Thanks for offering this as a giveaway!

  • Leslie April 22, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I would love to surprise my mom with one of these for Mother's Day!

  • thebusybrunette April 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Love your May goals. I surely hope all goes smoothly with swimming lessons and Ashby. In terms of swimsuits, I have to say that I always struggle finding good ones for my son… mostly because he has such a small waist but such looooong legs. And let's not even talk about finding a swimsuit for me. Oh, goodness – do I hate swimsuit shopping!
    Just a quick request… and I don't know if this is even possible… but I actually don't have a Facebook or Instagram account. Is there any way you could do a giveaway with other options as well, like leaving comments? I understand if you can't – just thought I'd ask. Thanks for considering! Hope you have a great day!
    The Busy Brunette

    • Shelby April 22, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      You can enter by putting in your email address:)

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Love the bag giveaway! So fun, and apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that with over 5,000 entries!!! I mean what gal doesn't love a big bag! πŸ™‚
    Over the past 6 months I've decided to live a safer, healthier, toxic free life and I've purged a lot of products in my home. I am in love with Protect All Over SPF 30 by Beautycounter. Beautycounter is a company with a mission and transparency is key. Protect, as well as all of Beautycounter's products are safe and high performing so it's a win win! My college roommate is a consultant, lives in NC, and would love to answer any and all questions you have! Here's the info for Protect Sunscreen…. Thanks for sharing your goals!

  • Dawn D April 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    We did our 1st garden last year and it looked liked a mini jungle by the end of summer. We used gardening soil, mushroom compost, and peat. My husband just mixed it all together and I planted the veggies. My husband got the advice on how much peat and mushroom compost to use from a nice worker in the garden center at Home Depot. We live in the suburbs of Chicago though, so not too sure what soil is best for your weather. We planted strawberries, (my girls loved picking them and eating them!) peppers, cucumbers, squash,(which ended up spreading into our yard, so as good as it was and as much as we had, (I ended up freezing a lot and we ate it all winter) I won't be doing that again,spinach, and eggplant. My girls loved watching the flowers turn into veggies and it was so nice to use fresh produce in our dinners/lunch.

  • Ranisa April 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I wish I wasn't typing this from my phone I might be able to give a better review. Firdt I have had mrlanoma my super great dermatologist told me to search for mineral based sunscreens where the only active ingedients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxside. On his safe list was blue lizard and I loved it as dat ad covering and not getting burned. Second: I follow a melanoma message board and there has been a lot of talk about color science. I have not tried it yet but I am ordering it this week. It is a power. You apply it with a brush. The active ingedients are the two I like and no grease. I think I am in love and I haven't even tried it. I read tgat a little girs a long way.

    Love your goals. ThNks for sharing. I am not correcting my spelling and grammar mistakes ..,. Mych too difficult to do whole blow drying my hair and typing on my phone

  • shellybell April 22, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I have always loved Banana Boat's "tear free/sting free" sunscreen! Comes in a lotion and a spray. The lotion is thick, but does the trick. My boys still ask for it at ages of 16 and 12. It doesn't burn when we reapply, try it out!!!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I'm a dermatologist that reads your blog, and love how you've been so great about sun safety and advocating for mole checks! That said, there is no "waterproof" (forever) sunscreen. The waterproof designation on the bottle means that it stands up to 40 minutes of water immersion (and that's not even with towel drying). The standard is always that you reapply after 2 hours to get the maximum benefit.

    There isn't any specific sunscreen that I recommend to my patients – just make sure it says broad spectrum on the bottle so that both UVA and UVB are covered. The best blockers contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (aka physical rather than chemical blockers) but they tend to leave a white sheen, so it's a tradeoff.

  • Angela Ellingson April 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Great giveaway! So excited for summer!

  • Stacey April 22, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I love your monthly goals too. You remind me that everyday can have a to-do list but it's important to look out at the big picture. The bit picture right now is summer!! πŸ™‚

    I'd love to win a bag and give one to my best friend. She's a mama and a school counselor. She and I both would put them to good use.

  • Jenny Perez April 22, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Where are all the cute little girl swimsuits this year?!? We have tried all of our usual stores without much luck too. Here's hoping gymbo, gap & nordies come out with something cute soon! A girlfriend suggested that Lands End has cute girl swimwear. I was planning to check it out this week. Our favorite sunscreen is neutrogena ultra sheer. It rubs in well, provides great coverage and doesn't leave us sticky. We also like coppertone clearly sheer sunscreen. Many friends swear by Vanicream & blue lizard, but my kids and I seem to be allergic to those. πŸ™ Have a great Wednesday!

  • Johnsons April 22, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I really like Sun Bum…especially for sensitive skin πŸ˜‰

  • Katie April 22, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I love the Rodan & Fields Sunscreen- it is super light and not thick when putting on. And it also smells great too! πŸ™‚

  • Sara Fehrenbacher April 22, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Sunscreen: We ALWAYS keep at least two bottles of Coppertone Sport in our boat each summer. We usually keep a higher proof (they have one that is 100 SPF+), and a lower SPF, like 30 or 45. We really like this brand because it doesn't sweat off when you're out in the sun, but it does come of easy with soap and water in the shower. I usually use Clean and Clear Morning Burst face moisturizer every morning and it has a small SPF in it, and then when we get out on the boat, I just put a little Coppertone Sport over it. This works great for us, and we have used it for 3 summers out on our boat now.

    For a vegetable garden: A great trick that my dad uses, and has taught me to use, is if your hubby cuts your grass, ask him to bag it at least once. Spread your cut grass around your plants, and the grass will help hold in moisture, and keep weeds from popping up around your plants. My dad plants several varieties of tomatoes (Grape, Roma, etc.), several varieties of peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, and watermelon. He is a green thumb and can get anything to grow! Keep in mind that we live in Southern IN, so it gets pretty hot and humid here, but not dry like it does in Texas, so I suppose that could make a difference. But anyways, the bagged grass around the plants seems to work really well. Also, we always buy the plants, not seeds. Its much less work, and gives you a little head start. You can usually find vegetable plants at Wal-Mart or a local nursery. Good luck!

    • mariana April 23, 2015 at 3:17 am

      May want to reconsider IF you apply pesticides to the grass. Organic > Intentional Cancer

  • Melissa Boatman April 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Neutrogena Beach Defense is AMAZING!!! Started using it at the beach this spring break and am in love!! Also, try crewcuts for cuts swimsuits, that are adorbs πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I'm just down the road from you (well Flower Mound) and we doing square foot gardening with the kids and so far it has been great! Everything is growing well and the kids love it. I did have to put up some rabbit fencing around my boxes but it wasn't difficult. Check out the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew and get the second edition. Hope you have as much fun with it as we are having!

  • katie l. April 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Love reading your blog. You have a beautiful family.

  • Paige Cowart April 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Shay!!! I love the tote! Thank you so much for offering the give away!!! I love Noodle & Boo sunscreen for my daughter. I have tried many with her sensitive skin & this just meets all my wants & needs in a sunscreen for her! I have even used it myself! I use Elta MD on my face & body, Love your idea of garden wish we could plant one. Where we live the deer would eat it!!

  • Susan C. April 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    I live in Texas too, and my hubby plants a garden every year………I just like to pick it! LOL
    Squash does really good for us, egg plant, jalopeno, and cucumbers tomates, too. we don't have lucky with watermelon. he likes to make little round mounds for his squash not plant in rows it gives them more room to grow. stake your tomotes up early and cucumber too. we do bell peppers but they don't do great for us. I've asked him to plany brussel sprouts and broccoli this year. he also uses a black garden thing to put over the rows it helps keep the weeds out. and it works good. I plant herbs in containers on my back porch they do much better for me there.
    Good LUCK!! I love you blogs! and I love your monthly goals its encouraged me to start writing down my goals this year also! thanks again!!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Sun Bum sunscreen….70 lotion for body and face stick for face! Recommended by a fellow melanoma warrior and it's awesome! Smells good and works better! Available at Ulta, and other places.

  • Kelsey Mann Peacock April 22, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Love those Barrington bags! Thanks for hosting a great giveaway! Looks like the Shull 5 are going to have a fun summer!

  • Melanie Lien April 22, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    My go-to sunscreen that I love and has never failed me is Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen. They literally sale it everywhere Kroger, Target, Walmart, Ulta, etc. So it is super easy to find! It smells great too!

  • Catherine D. April 22, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I am googly eyed over those bags! My mama and I would LOVE one of those babies!

  • Molly Middleton April 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I'm headed to Boston next weekend with my dad to see our beloved Sox play the Yanks. I. AM. SO. EXCITED. Especially for them to win πŸ˜‰
    Happy May! I mean, April!!!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Love reading about your goals! Thanks for this giveaway….I would love to win!!

  • Unknown April 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    We love colorscience powder sunscreen. All natural mineral powder, waterproof and perfect for squirmy kids. Perfect to throw in your bag and great for over makeup. One tube lasts about 3 months.

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Hey Shay!
    I work for a dermatology office and Elta MD is by far a family favorite. They have different ones for face, body, and aerosol bottles. You name it! Patients are always very happy with their purchase!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Neutrogena sunscreen is great and the face version is by far my favorite!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I'm a baseball loving mama too with a soon to be kindergarten boy! As a long time SF Giants fan it was really hard to see our Pablo Sandoval join the Red Sox. Hope you are loving him the same way his SF Giants fans always did. He is amazing!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Great post! πŸ™‚ As for sunscreen, I like he pink Coppertone spray bottle. It's 50 spf and it's made for babies (even better, protects the sensitive skin!) I've used this, well, since I was a baby! It's the pink bottle with a little girl and a dog on it. πŸ™‚

  • mandyjacks April 22, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I have searched for a sunscreen for my face for YEARS and just last summer I found the one. It's the Loreal Sublime sunscreen (liquid silk formulation but they have lotion, too). It is water proof but does come off eventually. It's PERFECT and never breaks me out. I fell for some Skinceuticals hype and purchased their tinted sunscreen and I absolutely hate it. The Loreal is much better.

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I think you have a friend that sells Rodan+Fields, right? Their Body Sunscreen is THE BOMB! Goes on and absorbs like a lotion, doesn't stink, etc. LOVE that stuff!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    We use Banana Boat for sunscreen.
    We did our first garden last year…. green beans were our best & favorite producer…planting TONS of beans this year. We did corn & just before it was ready we had a storm go through & blow all our stalks over..such a bummer!!!
    We also have raspberry plants we transplanted from my gram's house!!!
    Love the bag….hmmm not sure who I'd give the other too!!! LOL!!!

  • Kaylee Steiner April 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    So melanoma runs in my family due to a gene called the p16 gene. My dad has it and so my whole family was in a study at the University of Utah that has been studying my family for generations because of this gene. I found out I have the gene from the study, and they told us that the best kind of sunscreen is one that has titanium oxide and/or zinc oxide in it. When it has one or both of those in it what it does is reflects the sun off of your skin so the uv rays never touch your skin, while other sunscreens have chemicals in them that absorb the uv rays. Any sunscreen is better than none, but they told us this is the best. Banana Boat had a special kind called natural reflect that was in a green container, and it had both in there, but it was really hard to get all the way rubbed in and my kids would be screaming within seconds, so I decided I would just get their normal baby kind the next year for them and it turns out that their normal baby kind also had it in there. It is a bit harder to get rubbed in, but for me knowing I have a MUCH higher chance of getting melanoma in my life (70% chance vs. those who don't have the gene who have a 1-2% chance) it is worth it even though I don't like it at all, and my kids have a 50/50 chance of having the gene too, so it's worth it to me to have them have it on even though I hate putting it on them. I know you have skin cancer problems, so I thought I"d mention it. πŸ™‚

  • Kerry Dorman April 22, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    So excited for your bag giveaway! I love their bags as much as I love my Jon Hart!
    My go to sunscreen for my face is Kiehls… other than that it's either Honest or Neutrogena (anything with helioplex is supposed to be the best). After reading all of the great comments, I may have to check out Sun Bum!

  • Shannon McCarthy April 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I highly recommend Coola sunscreen! I love their spray & lotion for body and then the Matte Tint for face!

  • Karen S. April 22, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    The Honest sunscreen is great!! Costco has a double pack! Do you ever shop at Costco? Love that place…..those bags are fabulous ~ thx

  • Julia April 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    We use Nature's gate, aqua sunscreen 50spf. I also have a pool, and we go through a bottle of this in about a month! I've tried lots of others, and found this one to be awesome! Really holds up but washes in a shower.

  • Jenelle April 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    I have had 2 surgeries for melanoma removal and obsessively researched sunscreen after my first one for a sunscreen I could wear everyday on my face and body. I tried a few but my favorite by far is Eltamd. I have a separate one for face and body. This company also has a great rating by EWG. Important if you are wearing everyday that you are not putting lots of chemicals on. For my kids I love Babyganics mineral based sunscreen spray. Hope this helps! Would love to hear if you try any other sunscreens and love them.

  • Jenny April 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I recently purchased Coola brand sunscreen for my face and I'm kind of obsessed. It isn't the thick/white kind that won't rub in and never washes off. It almost feels more like a gel and has a great cucumber scent. I ordered off Amazon but they sell it everyone. I'm still on the hunt for a great body sunscreen. I use Babyganics on my kids. It is super thick and white, but it was the only brand I found that didn't irritate my son's face, and he's never gotten a sunburn with it. He has red hair and fair skin so sun protection is super important!

  • Shelby April 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Would love a Shade of Shay when you get all your gardening tips figured out!:)

  • Leslie LauBach April 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I've heard really great things about sun bum and I am going to try that–available at ultra & amazon.

  • Caitlin Williams April 22, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    What a fun giveaway! Would love to share with my mama! Have fun in Boston! πŸ™‚

  • Bailey Morris April 22, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    I'm not sure about for the body, but I've been using zinc oxide for my face for the past few summers. I'm Irish through and through. this stuff is great — I haven't been burned since! It burns if it gets in the eyes, so it might not be great for the littles, but I really like it. it doesn't irritate my skin & doesn't look too greasy, either!

  • Anonymous April 22, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    With fair skin and several basal and squamous cell skin cancer spots removed over the years, I have done my fair share of research on sunscreens. My dermatologist recommended Elta MD, and it is by far the best sunscreen I have used. Its pricey but totally worth it to protect your skin.

  • skmanning April 22, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    For sunscreen you might check out this site: There is so much junk in sunscreen that it is hard to tell if it helps or hurts.

  • Michelle April 22, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Let's win this! πŸ™‚ if I won I'd give the other to my mom!

  • Laura Youker April 22, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    I have used Neutrogena sunscreen on my face for a couple years and I have not gotten burned (and I burn easily). I use both the Age Shield Face Lotion and the Clear Face, sometimes my Target only has one in stock so I buy whichever they have and both work equally well. I love that it protects really well and doesn't make you break out. My sister started using it on her kids too and it has worked just as well on them. For body sunscreen I use either Coppertone or Banana Boat. I always use the lotion and not the spray, I have found that I am more apt to burn with the spray.

  • Melody April 22, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Would love to win the tote!

  • Jenna April 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Please report back on the sunscreen find!

  • Amy Nikolopoulos April 22, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Look in to the the Juice Plus Tower Garden! A new and easier way of gardening and fun for the kids πŸ™‚

  • Kim Taylor April 22, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I bought a St Anne tote earlier this year and LOVE LOVE LOVE it and would love to win another one for myself and my best girlfriend, Debbie!

  • Niki Edwards April 23, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Oh how Id love to win that bag! I could find so many ways to one to use. I would definitely share one with my mom!

  • Erin Harrison April 23, 2015 at 2:09 am

    I love your sweet family and following your blog. I am crazy about the company Beautycounter. Their mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. Their sunscreen is my favorite because it works and it is safe. Let me know if you would like a sample and I will send it to you!

  • Brooke Hiles April 23, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Would love to win the bag for me and my co-worker and mom to be Tara!!

  • Becky Griffith April 23, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Thanks for the awesome give away and your encouraging posts!! I love barrington!

  • mariana April 23, 2015 at 3:35 am

    I love reading everyone's comments, great post! I did a google search for you, 'vegetables to grow in Texas', and came upon this:

    A site like is a good place to purchase seeds. Stores usually only have a couple varieties on display and may not carry quite what your family is looking for when it comes to onions, cucumbers, hot peppers, squash, eggplant, etc.

    Up in the Midwest we have cabbage worms up here – that eat lettuce leaves, broccoli leaves, brussels sprout leaves, etc. They suck! I am unsure of bugs that hang around gardens in Texas, so thought I'd share that we were advised to purchase some garden netting at Home Depot (or local garden store) to be placed over the plants (and staked down into the soil) to prevent these bugs from getting in. They are little stinkers and will not be eating our produce again this year!!

    Best of luck! Gardening is SO much fun – for the whole family!

  • Pigtails and Pink Polka-Dots April 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I have had Melanoma along with many other pre cancer spots…I feel your skin anxiety! I came across my favorite sunscreen after I was given a sample from my dermatologist. It is called Blue Lizard and it is from Australia. The easiest way to get it is from Amazon or their website. They have separate ones for face, sensitive skin and even for kids. I can't say enough great things about it! It really is worth trying!

  • Anonymous April 23, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    That bag would be awesome for this summer. I would share with my BFF mama friend.

  • Allison April 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Hey Shay! We recently put in a pool and I too have been on a mad hunt for good sunscreen. I found on Amazon where you can buy a GALLON of sunscreen with a pump—typically it's sold to construction workers or life guards. Anyways I've been reading up on it and it sounds like a good buy & convenient to have out all summer long–not only for my family but for visitors too. We are a family of 6 so buying in bulk is always a win for us!! As for my face I use R&F sunscreen–love it and it doesn't make me break out.

  • Anna S. April 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    While you're in Boston you should check out Assembly Row– it's a new outlet mall (amazing Loft outlet!) and it also has Legoland that I bet Smith would love!

  • Ann Marie April 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    That bag is SO cute! I'm going to have to snatch it up for summer fun! (or win it!) PS- running outside is the best, right?! ENJOY your little man!!

  • Emily Dunham April 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    The best suncreen I have used is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch. I use the lotion for my face and spray for the body. Good luck!

  • Anonymous April 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    My dermatologist said to use any sunscreen with zinc oxide. Unfortunately this isn't my kids favorite because it doesn't come off as easily, but it definitely works. He told me to not even bother to buy other sunscreens. Just thought I would pass this info along. Come to find out, it is harder to find sunscreens with this than you think. Thanks for sharing moments of your life with us. Enjoy! ~Alicia, AZ

  • Anonymous April 23, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Shay, I have been reading your blog for the past two years but I have never posted before  I am blessed to be a mom of 4 wonderful kiddos, I work as a flight attendant and I recently started my own business with Arbonne. When you asked for sunscreen recommendations I wanted to speak up. This issue if very near and dear to my heart since I’ve had several family members diagnosed with cancer in the past few years. Arbonne just released a brand new mineral sunscreen line of products last week! Mineral sunscreen provides a physical barrier to the sun's rays instead of allowing the body to absorb them like chemical sunscreen does! If you are interested in reading a bit more about me or our products follow the link below.
    I live in Ontario, Canada and we woke up to snow and -3 degrees Celsius this morning, aaggghhh!! I’m sure the sun will arrive sometime soon and I can’t wait for it to finally warm up!!
    Thank you for sharing your family, your stories and recipes and your love for Jesus with us!! I look forward to your blog posts every day 

  • Erin Clow April 23, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Arbonne has a brand new ee formulated sunscreen. It's a mineral one so it's completely chemical free and creates a physical barrier to protect you and your family from the sun's harmful rays but rubs in easily and smells great. It's called Liquid Sunshine πŸ™‚ If you or anyone else is interested you can check out my website

  • Anonymous April 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Ultrasun, a swiss brand! The best, stays on all day, even after swimming.

  • Anonymous April 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Two great top-rated Environmental Working Group sunscreens: (I agree with others who say to check the EWG site for safe cosmetics, especially if you're putting sunscreen on frequently)

    Babytime by Episencial Sunny Sunscreen

    Badger Balm Sunscreens (they have several)


  • Anonymous April 26, 2015 at 4:01 am

    as a pharmacist, i agree with the dermatologist above. i do like checking out the EWG website as well (although i do feel any sunscreen is better than NONE). i like neutrogena pure & free brand, skinceuticals (esp the tinted one and eye cream for the face during the summer), and beautycounter. i'm always on the hunt for the best formula! i prefer to use the physical barrier sunscreens on my family, but it can be trial and error finding one you like. Heather

  • Kerry Forristall April 26, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Love that you love the Red Sox (I've got the game on now!). I'm also going to a game in May. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a "Shay Sighting"! Have a blast in my hometown!