Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A No-Mess Way To Fight Those Rays

For the past couple of weeks, Pudding Pie and her two friends have been enrolled in daily swim lessons. Our mornings are always chaotic and we usually skid into the pool just barely in time for our 10am lesson.

Pre-lesson you'll find me in a mad flap as I wrestle the younger girls into their swim diapers and swimsuits while cajoling/threatening Pudding Pie into hers. Then its on to hunting for everyone's flip-flops, gathering towels, clothes, extra diapers and all the other items that make a pool bag so unreasonably heavy.

I'm usually still trying to get the oblivious Pudding Pie to put on her swimsuit while I'm hustling to make the essential after-swim snack, fill the sippy cups and throw on my own suit.

Once we're poolside, there's no time for applying sunscreen, and the teacher stands, tapping her toes, as she waits for us to get it together so she can start class. Its no fun slathering 'gloopy' sunscreen onto three squirming girls who are itching to get in the water.

Starting last week, our routine has changed a little. I've begun using Shady Day Daily Sun Protection Wipes instead of our usual sunscreen, and the sunscreen application process has become far more pleasant!

I can put on my own sunscreen!

Now, just before we pull out of the drive, I hand each of my diminutive passengers a sun protection wipe and they busy themselves wiping wherever they can on their bodies while I ferry them to the pool. Who would have thought they'd actually enjoying applying sunscreen!

Once we're at the pool, it takes just a few mess-free minutes to finish getting all three girls sunscreened, then its into the pool with no fuss and a far less frazzled mama.

I confess that when I first tried these wipes, I was a little sceptical. I couldn't see how much sunscreen was actually going onto those little faces, so I hesitated and used our regular sunscreen lotion on the kids' faces and the Shady Day sunscreen wipes on my own face and everyone's bodies. I needn't have worried. At the end of our swim lesson, I realised we'd all been equally protected and now we use the wipes and nothing else!

Backed by a team of dermatologists, the hygenic pre-moistened Shady Day wipes contain broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 sunscreen, and are designed for the whole body.

Purchase Shady Day products at these retailers:

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Shady Day and received a sample package of Shady Day Daily Sun Protection Wipes and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Be Proactive In The Fight Against Cervical Cancer

As moms, it is our desire - and our duty - to do all we can to proactively protect our children. Cervical cancer is a serious health threat for women, but it is both preventable and curable if detected early. The National Cancer Institute estimates new cases of cervical cancer in 2010 at 12,200 and deaths from cervical cancer for 2010 at 4,210. Visit for more information.

Knowing that cervical cancer is both preventable and curable, I'll be using every resource available to me to protect Pudding Pie. HPV vaccines are for girls and young women ages 9-26. The vaccines act as powerful tools to help protect against the two types of HPV that are most commonly associated with cervical cancer. When Pudding Pie is the right age, she'll be getting her vaccine.

I have realised that its not enough for me to focus only on protecting Pudding Pie. For my daughter's sake, I have to be my own health advocate, stay proactive, and protect myself too.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide, but the good news is that it is easily preventable because we know its cause, HPV. To protect against cervical cancer, we need routine Pap testing and we also need to ask for the HPV Test.

The Pap Test looks at a sample of cells taken from a woman's cervix for any cell changes or abnormalities. Pap testing should begin at age 21. The HPV Test is conducted from the same sample as the Pap and identifies women with high-risk HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer. When used with a Pap in women 30 and older, the HPV test increases the ability to identify who is at risk of developing cervical cancer.

However, not all doctors automatically use both tests so, moms, if you're 30 or older, ask your doctor for the digene HPV test along with your Pap smear.
  • If both tests come back normal, then the tests don't need to be repeated for 3 years. But remember to return each year for your annual health exam.

  • If one or both tests come back abnormal, this doesn't necessarly mean you have cervical cancer. It simply enables your healthcare provider to monitor you more closely or treat pre-cancerous cells before cervical cancer develops.

  • HPV testing isn't necessary for women younger than 30, because HPV infections in young women usually go away on their own without causing problems. Women under 30 will only have HPV testing if their Pap testing is inconclusive.

To learn more about the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer through HPV screening and Pap testing, visit The site is chock-full of information and includes frequently-asked-questions, patient stories, and tips on deciphering test results. Take a few minutes to test your knowledge of HPV in the Myths vs. Facts Quiz -I was shocked at how uninformed I was!
Follow on Twitter: @HPVinformed
Follow on Facebok:

Be sure to check out these other helpful links on cervical cancer prevention:
The Yellow Umbrella Organization is founded by cervical cancer survivor and "rocker", Christine Baze, who takes her music and story on the road to educate women about cancer prevention. Visit Christine's site to putchase a Yellow Umbrella make-up kit to raise money for cervical cancer prevention.
HealthyWomen is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Recently listed as one of Forbes' top 100 websites for women, has resources on many women's health issues, including comprehensive info on cervical and gynecologic cancers.
The Pearl of Wisdom Campaign To Prevent Cervical Cancer is a gobal partnership to raise awareness of tools for preventing cervical cancer and advocate for making them available to girls and women worldwide. Buy a pin, send an e-card, and download educational materials.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the Qiagen digene HPV Test. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Go Back To School With Eco-Friendly School Supplies

Summer's been a blast but now it is time to start checking things off on those back-to-school shopping lists. I was just talking with a friend who is mom to three school-age girls, and she was bemoaning the endless list of school supplies to be tracked down as her girls prepare themselves for the coming year.

In the rush to get school-ready, we are so caught up in gathering the essentials for our kids, that we can forget about the negative impact all of those school supplies can have on the environment.

Paper Mate has not forgotten and now, to give us an opportunity to be proactive for the environment, Paper Mate has launched a new line of eco-friendly writing utensils, which include biodegradable pens and mechanical pencils. What an awesome idea!

To help demonstrate how products impact our environment, and to witness first-hand how eco-friendly these writing utensils are, we participated in the Plant-A-Pen Challenge. The Challenge was created by Mom Central, in partnership with Paper Mate.

For the challenge, we first separated the components of the pen into the biodegradable and non-biodegradable parts. (The packaging clearly explains which parts of the pen may be returned to the environment, and which may not.)

Next, we planted the biodegradable components of our Paper Mate pen on the edge of a nature reserve next door to our apartment. We marked the spot with our favorite Easter Bunny garden ornament, so we'll know where to go for our check up visits! Assuming all goes as it should, the planted pen will begin to break down over the next few months, and its components will biodegrade back into the soil.

At first, Pudding Pie was perplexed by this activity (she's never helped Mommy plant a pen before...), but now she's excited and she keeps wanting to check on its progress! This is such a great way to show her how something as small as a pen has an effect on our environment, and I confess that I am as excited as Pudding Pie to watch the biodegrading begin!

Pudding Pie marking the spot of our freshly planted pen.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Paper Mate and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Natural Way To Restore a Healthier, Happier Mood

UPDATE: Congratulations to Mary Anne, you have won a 3-month supply of SAM-e Complete, plus a reusable water bottle and a mood journal! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

Life is busy. Those precious hours dedicated to sleep seem short and getting shorter. At the same time, those waking hours don't seem enough to get through the unending list of 'to-do's'. Sometimes, when you're feeling overwhelmed, its hard to keep upbeat and stay on track. I often find myself wishing for my own genie in a bottle to help me attack my more challenging days.

That genie has yet to show up but, lately, I've been feeling a new serenity. I haven't changed much in my daily life, the 'to-do's' are still coming at me thick and fast, but the tasks aren't seeming quite so insurmountable. I attribute this new, more centered attitude to Nature Made SAM-e Complete, a supplement I began taking a little over a week ago.

I've learned that, as we get older, our bodies start making less SAM-e, a naturally occurring compound, which ultimately works to maintain a balanced mood. Nature Made SAM-e Complete is a supplement clinically proven to naturally support a healthy mood. It does this by helping replenish your body's natural levels of SAM-e. For more information on Nature Made SAM-e, visit

Nature Made SAM-e Complete recently launched the "Give a Smile" campaign. They are working with Dream Factory, the second largest children's wish-granting organization in the U.S., to grant the wishes of three children suffering from a critical or chronic illness. Through this campaign, SAM-e will donate to a child's wish for every social action you complete (like uploading an image to their mosaic). The more social actions, the more SAM-e will donate. Click on this link to learn more about how your actions lead to SAM-e donations!

*How would you like to try Nature Made SAM-e yourself? Leave a comment before midnight on Sunday, August 15th and you'll be entered to win a 3-month supply, and a reusable water bottle and a mood journal!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Nature Made and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review.