Johnson’s Baby Contest Happening Right Now!

Contest time!! From now to midnight tomorrow (November 4th EST) I’ll select 3 readers to win a basket of goodies from Johnson’s Baby for just asking a question!

Details: Comment on the HOB Facebook page HERE with a question you have for the Johnson’s Baby R&D team about anything you want to know. Whether it be about products you use, ingredients, or what to look out for when shopping the baby aisle…anything goes! I’ll select 3 people at random to have their questions answered by scientists at Johnson’s and win the baskets. The contest is up now so start thinking about what you’d like to ask and let’s hear it!!

Untitled

A Fan Mail Special PLUS An Apology to My Mom Friends From My Former Child-Free Self

I try not to let it go to my head or anything but I get fan mail. Email technically. Like just last week a sweet reader just sent a note saying she missed HOB and asked me to start blogging consistently again soon. Cute right!? But it didn’t really touch my heart like like gem I woke up to the other day:

“First off, your emoticon should portray your ass being enlarged vs.your head as depicted. Since you had Harper, your ass is competitive with some of the best TVs out there. Just keeps getting wider and wider… You should really revamp your tag line as ghetto face polish representative because that’s about all you are. Now go focus on making your ass smaller.”

I didn’t want to rub it in, the fact that I get fan mail and you don’t, but I do so there!

Awkward transition alert!

How cute are my kids? Answer: Very! October 29th was Everly’s first birthday. Here’s a look at her on her actual birth day a year ago and then on her birthday yesterday! Question: Why don’t they call the moment you’re born your ‘first birthday’ because really it is which actually makes your 1st birthday your second one. Oddly, it’s sort of a day without a name that we just call the ‘day you were born’ or ‘when you arrived.’ Whatever. I need to speed this up so I can get it all out while I’m enjoying a 2 child nap.

IMG_0605

IMG_0604

Aside from learning your child inside and out and being able to predict their next moves as though they were your own, the other interesting thing about being a parent is how you start to understand how crappy you were to your parent friends when you didn’t have kids and they did. Which leads me to my apology to all of my friends who had kids before me and had to endure my crappy, thoughtless behavior. Sorry ladies and thanks for sticking with me.

 

I’m sorry I judged you when you talked about how busy you were. When a non-mom hears a mom talk about being ‘busy’ or ‘tired’ they’re always like, ‘oh me too’ and yes we’re all overworked, under-vacationed,  insomniac zombies who aren’t rested enough to live a normal life. I get it. BUT (and it’s a BIG BUT here), not having kids means having the option to sleep in. You don’t have little people who need you to get your ass up to feed, diaper, and entertain them at inappropriate hours like 6:30am on a Sunday. So I’m sorry for the eye rolls when you said you were tired and I was like, ‘bitch, take a number’ because what I know now is that my (then) life of dog walks, facials, and blogging really wasn’t all that taxing after all.

I’m sorry I told you that your kids were of course welcome to come over too but then secretly wished they’d just go away after about 20 minutes. Of course you welcome kids over too! Bring them along! This will be fun, I love kids!  But then on the inside I was like, children go away so I can have real conversation and actual fun with your parents. It’s crazy now to think about how gracious my friends were who brought their kids over to my house knowing it was so sterile without toys or activities for their kids. I know now how stressful it is to have your kids somewhere that isn’t all that kid-friendly so you have to balance looking like you’re engaged in the adult stuff with entertaining your kids who are understandably bored.

I’m sorry I didn’t actually care about your kids milestones, birthdays, or other achievements. Your kid craps in a toilet now? Yawn! Oh your son won his little league championship? Zzzzz. It’s not that I didn’t care, it’s that I didn’t understand what those things meant for those kids, or my friends, or that family in general. Every child’s accomplishment is actually one for the whole family which is why I even cry at my girl’s birthday parties. I know now what it takes to lift them up to that next level of life no matter how insignificant it seems.

I’m sorry I thought you were the lamest person ever when you planned activities around napping. This is because when you don’t have kids you think about napping in adult terms, like my kids take naps because they’re just bored and dozed off watching football highlights on the couch. I know now that my friends weren’t planning outings around nap time for only the kids, they were also doing it for me. When we’re out and miss naps, Harper acts like a drunk at a bar who’s looking for a fight. I can see her scan the room looking for things to destroy and it’s our fault damn it. I now know that sleep deprivation shuts off what little rational thoughts kids have so napping is the most essential way you can create normal, loving children who are enjoyable to be around.

I’m sorry I gagged at their messy faces when I was forced to eat a meal around your kids. Well I’m sort of sorry about this one so this one because leaving our girl’s faces painted with food throughout the whole meal isn’t something we do. Wipe as you go, people. It’s easier and it teaches them a skill they’ll need sooner than later so they aren’t the messy-faced kid at school. That said, I literally used to ask for a different table in a restaurant whenever they’d sit us next to a child that looked like they’d eventually be fed something green from a jar. I just couldn’t sit near them. Then I’d be all like- ‘you should have a kid’s section’ and ‘why are kids out in general society anyway?’ Yea, sorry about that.

What I know now is that when you don’t have kids, there really isn’t a way to understand them as completely as when you do. Other people’s lives always look weird from the outside and there’s nothing that looks more strange, confusing, miserable, and confronting like seeing your friends in their new role as a parent. To my child-free friends; sleep in, go out, be reckless, travel, and do it up. As long as you don’t talk about how busy you are…

You Need This Cleanser. Yes, You.

I think I finally have a pretty good idea of how to take care of my skin after all these years of drying the shit out of it then wondering why I don’t have that radiant glow thing going on that we’re all chasing.

It’s as simple as this, are you ready? Exfoliate and soften. That’s it.

By exfoliate I mean manual (like with a scrub or Clarisonic) and chemical (Retin A, or anything to speed up cell renewal), and then soften. I’m saying soften instead of moisturize or hydrate because when I think in terms of hydration the greasy 15 year old in my head says ‘use the oil-free stuff,’ but the 37 year old me is like ‘let’s not go through the trouble of all that Botox and then fry your skin to hell by not nourishing it properly.’ So by thinking about softening over hydrating I can grab whatever makes my skin feel soft with each skincare step I do. For example: This totally amaze balls Ole Henriksen Pure Truth cleanser that I ran out and got as soon as I read about its launch. I’ve always been a fan of a good pre-cleanse (and if you can’t afford to get this, use straight up olive oil on your face and lids every night before your cleanser. It’s life changing) just because of how much cleaner your skin will be if you use something oil-based (oil attracts oil!) to remove makeup and dirt. It’s such a unique consistency- a gel at first that melts right into the skin leaving only a soft slip behind so you can gently massage away makeup. It’s concentrated with oils (olive, almond, rose hip, cherry seed) and vitamins so only a small amount is needed.  Sidebar: if you don’t wear makeup this might be the only cleanser you’d need, but if you do it’s best as a pre-cleanse before your usual cleanser.

In the last few years I’ve started to realize how important it is not to rub the hell out of your eyes. Seeing my clients with droopy lids scares me because other than surgery, there isn’t anything you can do to get that skin firmed up and lifted. This one is worth a look next time you’re in Sephora, it really is something I’d recommend for everyone.

ole henriksen

Alba Botanica Vs Johnson’s Natural Shampoo. Which is the ‘Greenest?’

Johnson's Naturals

As you know by now, I’m an ambassador for Johnson’s Baby which basically means I get access to their line of products to review as well as company info to pass along to y’all. As you also know by now I’m a bit of a hippie. A vegetarian, tree-hugging naturalist at heart who avoids chemicals and toxic crap whenever I can. But, my friends, I still love me some Botox. And my Chanel bag isn’t exactly made from tofu. So as you can see, it’s a balancing act as most things are.

The Johnson’s Baby products sent to me have slowly crept their way into our bathrooms as mainstays we love to use but I’m still careful when it comes to what I use on my now 2 1/2 year old and almost 1 year old girls. I’ve gone back and forth using Johnson’s Natural Baby Shampoo with the sweet smelling Alba Botanica one I pick up at Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods. Even though I like the Johnson’s one better, the bright packaging, fruity fragrance, and assurance by its presence at natural store that it’s a ‘clean’ line encourages me to use it on Harper a few times a week trading off with the non-fragrant, less splashy packaged Johnson’s shampoo. It wasn’t until last week when I saw the backs of the bottles sitting side by side that I noticed the pretty long list of ingredients on the Alba bottle compared to the relatively short list on the Johnson’s one did I even give a thought to which was a greener choice for the girls. So I looked them up on the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database site to see what their safety scores were. I was surprised (and a little pissed) to see that Alba’s score was a 7 out of 10 meaning there are moderate to high concerns for toxicity in their ingredients. Not at all something I would use on my kids not to mention not something I’d expect to see shelved at a natural grocer when I thought they were weeding products like this out for me. Then I checked Johnson’s shampoo and found that their safety scoring was a 3 meaning it had very low concerns about its ingredients.

Here’s what I found below from the EWG site.

Johnson’s Natural Baby Shampoo $5

Ingredients 14 total:

Water, Decyl Glucoside, Cocoglycerides, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide

Get the full EWG report HERE

johnsons naturals

Alba Hawaiian Shampoo Body Builder in Mango $10

Ingredients 39 total:

Aqua (Water), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract(1), Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract(1), Laminaria Digitata Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract(1), Yeast Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract(1), Ascorbic Acid, Babassu Oil Polyglyceryl-4 Esters, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Seedcake, Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sodium Sulfate, Tocopherol, Alcohol(1), Benzoic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum).

Get the full EWG report HERE

alba

One thing that throws me off every time is looking at the ingredients and seeing fruit names versus ‘chemical’ names so I always just assume that when I can pronounce the ingredients they’re safer, but you’ll never see a fruit name on a Johnson’s label because they use what’s called INCI labeling. It’s a type of uniformly recognized scientific names for ingredients, like the gold standard for labeling- and essentially the equivalent of calling someone James instead of Jimmy. Even if they’re using Vitamin E, it would be listed as its ‘formal name’ tocopherol so their ingredients will always look foreign and scary unless you know that Decyl Glucoside is just a harmless kind of soap used in a bunch of shampoos and body washes.

Lesson learned! I won’t assume something on the shelves of a Whole Foods is a cleaner product than something at Target and I’ll continue to research the products I bring into my home instead of being swayed by fancy packaging or a hefty price tag.

Kiehl’s Super Multi Corrective Eye Opening Serum

Kiehl’s has finally convinced me that their eye creams are as good or better than the higher priced ones I’ve been buying for years. Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado ($28) has been my go-to because I’m seeing fewer fine lines thanks to the targeted, intense hydration. Then a few months ago they sent over their Super Multi Corrective Eye Opening Serum, a more deluxe solution for those needing firming and lifting as well as softening which helps makeup to glide right over. It feels so light because the Sodium Hyaluronate in it creates a weightless film of hydration on the skin. That combined with the illuminating minerals make it a perfect daytime solution to get your eyes looking brighter and more awake.

The efficacy of their line has me looking into their Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution serum that comes with a 28 day money back guarantee if it doesn’t work. I still can’t seem to find a really targeted serum for my melasma and dark spots that doesn’t have hydraquinone or isn’t part of some expensive skincare system. $50 and a guarantee doesn’t sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Kiehls-Super-Multi-Corrective-Eye-Opening-Serum-Bottle

2 Amazing Uses For Baking Soda

After seeing a zillion pins touting the amazing results of a DIY Baking Soda face scrub, I finally gave it a try. Most people mix it with coconut oil which is good for dry skin, but I used olive oil which is what I use for a pre-cleanse because I know it won’t break me out. There’s something about the super fine grit that’s so reminiscent of a high-end scrub, effective but not scratchy or harsh. Its natural brightening abilities give an instant result so my skin looks really fresh and feels so soft. Mix it into either oil until you form a paste and scrub it for several minutes. I pre-mixed a batch and put it into an empty jar to leave in the shower replacing the expensive ones that probably don’t work as well anyway.

DIY scrub

THEN! I spotted another baking soda-related miracle DIY concoction but this one is for laundry stains. It’s seriously the ULTIMATE in getting pretty much anything out, even old stains- the kind you’d otherwise toss a shirt out for having. It took out some crazy stain Harper managed to get on her PJ’s months back even though I’d washed and dried them numerous times since. I mix Dawn (important to use Dawn specifically because of how it cuts food grease), peroxide, and baking soda together. there might be a formula for how much of each but I just throw it all in. I squirt on a generous amount and scrub it in and watch the stains literally disappear even before getting them into the washer. It’s crazy. THIS blog post details a full play by play if you’re into reading about that sorta thing. Throw out that Shout or whatever gross chemical-bomb you have now and just make a batch of this to store in your laundry room. You’ll love it.

DIY