You Are the Sunscreen of My Life, Yeah

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These days one seems to need a PhD to navigate the baby and child bath and “beauty” product aisle. We try to fill our bellies with healthy food while making these monkeys and then we try to fill their bodies with healthy food once they’re on the outside. It seems only natural to continue using healthy products to bathe them, protect them from sun, while doing household chores, and when changing their little tushies.

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I’ve been a fan of Babyganics since my five and a half year old daughter was in diapers (which they sell now too). It’s been fun to watch their product line grow along with her! My gateway product was their phenomenal Foaming Dish Soap. It was the only soap I used for her pacifiers and bottles. This naturally led to my obsession with their Foaming Hand Soap which of course led to my love for their Foaming Shampoo and Bath Wash. Geez, I think I need a foaming products intervention…

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Another favorite product is their All Purpose Surface Wipes which don’t feel gross on your hands (and I HATE wipes that feel gross – you know what I mean). While talking about hands I have to mention their individually wrapped Hand Sanitizing Wipes which have been in any bag I’ve had on my person since 2010. I always keep three with me and they take up virtually no room. Plus unlike using a wipe from a big pack (which I keep in my car), using an individually wrapped wipe makes me feel like I just ate a delicious lobster at a fancy restaurant and they gave me the wipe to clean up.

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But of course I would be remiss to not mention one of the hot button topics of the summer – the toxicity in our sunscreens (and I’m not talking about the now black sheep of the sunscreen market – the spray bottles). While on line to buy – wait for it – sunscreen (I literally couldn’t make that up), I received the Environmental Working Group’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreen and their even scarier Sunscreen Hall of Shame. After reading it I realized this was yet another product I had to stop and think about before grabbing whatever was on sale. So I looked and despite the “natural” product that I was holding, half way down the list was one of the red light ingredients. So what did I do? I put it down and walked out. Apologizing to the annoyed cashier who patiently waited as this neurotic wa-hoo checked her sunscreen ingredients against her phone.

So what did I end up with? Babyganics Mineral Based Suncreen. Safe and effective. My daughter likes how it feels vs. some of the goopier (I was told her prior product was too goopy by her counselor) sunscreens that have a good rating and she loves the design of the bottle. She was excited when I showed it to her and told me a lot of her friends at camp have the same one so we definitely had to write her name on it. I send in the cream to camp and we use the pump spray at home in the morning. I like that one spray per body part covers her completely. SPF’d up in less than 3 minutes and ready to go. It also has the added benefit of bringing back pump hairspray bottle memories having to do with uncontrollable bangs in the mid 90’s.

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Building on their sunscreen franchise – Babyganics is the first company to offer a Moisturizing Daily Lotion with Sunscreen. Just like you use for yourself (hopefully!). What’s even better is a percentage of the sales go to Cookies for Kids Cancer.

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Babyganics is a great company who offers a wide product line of non-harmful products you can trust. If you want to start with just one I recommend the Foaming Shampoo and Bath Wash. It lasts a long time, smells nice, and is something you can feel good about using on your kids.

As we close out the summer and go towards the Fall and cold season, I suggested picking up one of their great Chest Rub‘s too. As you can tell from my prior posts, I like to be prepared. Before we know it the snow will be falling and our kids will be coughing, sigh.

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If all of the above isn’t enough reason to try their products, they are a Long Island based company. Woot!

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Felicitous note – as I was finding these links I noticed most Babyganics products are on sale right now on Amazon! So head on over and stock up for the season!

*Giveaway*! Babyganics is generously giving away a bottle of their fantastic sunscreen to one lucky reader!

To win please comment below: What is the most creative thing you’ve done to protect your kid from the sun?

Winner chosen Monday, August 24th, 2015.

I Come From A Diggerland Down Under. America’s 1st Construction Themed Amusement Park!

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Amusement parks are a place we go to see our kids have fun. If you’re a big kid like me you can often sneak some fun in for yourself too. I have to say of all the amusement parks I’ve ever been to Diggerland USA – the first construction themed amusement park in the US – was one of the most fun amusement parks I’ve ever visited. Even in the pouring rain.

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If you have a truck obsessed kid like I do – this is the place for you!

Remove your idea of conventional rides and enter the concept of construction vehicles as rides. Yep, that means instead of sitting in a tea cup, you sit in the driver’s seat of a backhoe. And get to drive it! I’m pretty sure I could have gone my entire life without ever driving a backhoe – something I never really put too much thought into before – but you know what? It was awesome! I was giggling like a schoolgirl the whole time. At the end I apologized to the attendant for my embarrassing behavior but he only laughed and said everyone had the same reaction.

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But the fun just starts there – to highlight a few of my favorites, there are mini-excavators turned into amusement park games (no prizes but included with admission!); the Dig-Around – Half Merry-Go-Round, Half Excavator, all Carousel; and my favorite – the Spin Dizzy – a specially designed spinning 3 ton high, torque JCB JS220! I love that they were constructed (too meta?) with the vehicle’s cab as the ride operator’s station!

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My daughter (at 44”) was too short to drive the full scale construction vehicles (a good thing as a five year old driving a huge truck is probably a bad idea) but she was able to join me as I drove them as well as ride all the kid rides. Her absolute favorite was the Mini-Land Rovers. She got to drive – and I mean drive, not on an attached track – herself. I had vivid flashback memories of me as a kid LOVING this exact type of ride and always begging my parents to go again and again. So I let her, because you know, I’m a cool mom.

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My poor son (at under 36”) who loves construction vehicles more than milk was very limited on what he could ride. However once we found the Barrel Train – pulled by a dumper truck that cruised around the park, little “driving” wheel included – he was set. For an hour.

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One of the other things really worth highlighting at Diggerland USA was the staff. Now, I’m an amusement park junkie and can’t think of any park whose staff ever did anything but sit there apathetically pushing a button. At Diggerland USA I said to my husband over & over again “he was so nice, he was so helpful”. I actually asked the head honcho – who was pretty amazing himself, where he found these people. He shared that most were local high school graduates, who worked here as their first job. It was important to the people in charge that their employees were very well trained – not only on their specific job – but on what it means to have a job, laying the groundwork for the tools they need in life wherever their paths take them. Yep, my mouth dropped open. Amazing. He said because the company wanted to invest in them the staff genuinely liked working there. They were happy. And it paid off! 85% of the staff returned this season – which apparently is unheard of in the amusement park industry. Sounds better than your job, right?

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Besides the rides and the construction vehicles to drive there was a stunt show, a really fun gift shop, an arcade, a huge playground (ropes course, rock wall, crazy slide), and of course what park would be complete without a goat cam?!

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Diggerland USA is located behind Sahara Sam’s Oasis Water Park in West Berlin, New Jersey. We visited on the second day of a little family vacation – the day before we were at Sesame Place. It was perfect. We said bye to Elmo and drove about thirty minutes to one of the recommended hotels in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. We had a delicious dinner at Cracker Barrel (mmmmmm!) and went to sleep nice and early. We woke up, stopped at the Lark Voorhees Diner for breakfast (which if you know me and how I feel about diners you can imagine how good it was that I’m even mentioning it) and arrived at Diggerland USA when they opened at 10am. We left at noon. I could have stayed at least another two hours.

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If your kids are really into trucks I highly suggest a visit. Even if your kids aren’t so into trucks I promise they will have a blast. It is so different from any park you will visit this summer. It is definitely worth the new experience! I can’t stop talking about what a nice time we all had.

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*GIVEAWAY*

Diggerland USA has offered to give away a family four-pack of tickets to one lucky reader!

To win – please post in the comment section below:

What’s the biggest or most unique vehicle you’ve ever driven?

Winner will be chosen Saturday, August 8th, 2015.

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