Making the Sunscreen Grade: Warding Off Burns Through Labor Day & Beyond

Coppertone in the sand

Samples provided. This article is not intended as medical advice; always consult with a doctor regarding skin care.

Whether you’re headed to the beach, a picnic, or have other big Labor Day plans, you’ve probably remembered to tuck a bottle of sunscreen in your beach bag. But what is your sun care routine like after the heyday of summer, as we transition into back-to-school and beyond? Most people think of sunscreen as something they apply on a hot day, but sun protection is important year-round.

In light of this, Coppertone has released their 2nd annual Making The Sunscreen Grade program, which includes hints, tips, and a downloadable sun care guide. There is a special section dedicated to “Back to School”, which outlines some common things to be aware of regarding sun care at school. This has been an issue in the news recently, as some schools have restrictions on whether students may bring sunscreen or not; the American Academy of Dermatology recently released a statement encouraging schools and summer camps to allow sunscreen without requiring a doctor’s note. There’s a lot to think about on this topic, so it’s good to be proactive and aware.

Personally, my skin burns very easily, and in the last two years I’ve been very careful to slather on more sunscreen than I think I’ll need. Guess what? I’ve stood under some blistering sun and traveled to hot places without sustaining any burns. Yeah! In fact, I’m often the only person in a group to have sunscreen in my purse, and I notice my pals will all say they don’t need any of my sunscreen…then a few hours, they’ll notice their skin starting to turn pink and say, “Hey – do you still have that sunscreen by any chance?”. And I am always eager to share! And in fact, I have quite literally shared my bottles of Coppertone that I’ve written about here on a few occasions.

So, what with all that sunscreen getting used, I was glad to replenish my supply as it began to dwindle after a summer of traveling! Among the samples I received were:

  • Coppertone Sport AccuSpray: I really like the Sport line from Coppertone, and spray sunscreen makes it SO EASY to apply and really saves time!
  • Coppertone ClearlySheer Beach & Pool Spray: This spray is really unique to any sunscreen I’ve ever used because it has a consistency more like a moisturizer than a sticky sunscreen, and it has a really nice fragrance. This is one of my very favorites because I rely on sunscreen so much and it’s usually a little greasy/gross to wear. This one isn’t pictured because I just got through traveling for 3 weeks and it was a staple in my bags during that time…and I’m not sure where it is right now. ;)
  • Coppertone Clearly Sheer For Beach & Pool: Of course, we can’t take large aerosol bottles on planes, so this one will be great to pack in my bags for long trips.
  • Coppertone Clearly Sheer For Sunny Days: And this one is the perfect size to take in my carry-on luggage since it’s 2 oz!

Did you go through a lot of sunscreen over the summer? Are you re-stocking for Fall, too?

Taking The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

My friend Nicole at SAHMReviews nominated me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, to which I said: Challenge accepted. Jai was a good sport and joined in the fun, so we spent our Monday evening dumping cold water on each other in the Oregon fog. The point of this challenge is to raise awareness and funds for ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, by encouraging people to click, watch, laugh, and learn more. Those challenged are asked to make a donation to ALSA.org, which I was glad to do, as the organization has been given a four-star rating by Charity Navigator. You can donate online and learn more by clicking here.

Have any of you been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge?

RhinoShield Screen Protector: Keep Your Phone From Getting Hammered

RhinoShield

RhinoShield Screen Protector provided for review.

I am very, very protective of my iPhone. I guard it carefully because I’m so worried about getting it scratched or worse. But vigilance can only help so much – as careful as I am, I travel with my phone constantly, and one of these days it’s going to flying out of my pocket at the airport or get eaten by an alligator or something. I have a really nice case that Jai got me for Christmas that cushions it nicely, but I’ve been meaning to get a screen cover as well to avoid scratches and help protect it in the event that it falls out of the case or has an accident while I’m charging it.

Enter RhinoShield. This screen guard inspired me to finally get around to this task because their marketing is a little more ingenious than most screen protectors. This is meant to protect your phone from shock in a way that most traditional scratch guards just can’t – watch the video above where they test it out by dropping it on concrete. I was intrigued!

RhinoShield kit

The RhinoShield kit comes with the screen protector, an applicator to smooth it out, and a cleaning cloth with dust removal stickers to clean your phone thoroughly before application.

Applying RhinoShield

After giving my iPhone 4S a thorough clean, Jai and I set about putting the screen guard on. Well, he put it on, I took the photos. ;) The screen protector comes sandwiched between two layers of protective plastic, with markers telling you which side goes down. You line it up to fit the screen, and remove the “Back” piece of plastic so that it will stick. Then you take the thin applicator tool to smooth out any bubbles. It went on pretty well – there’s a teensy tiny bubble on the side that didn’t squeeze out, but it’s not really noticeable.

Once you have the screen protector smoothed out, you remove the top layer labeled “Front” – this makes it so that the RhinoShield screen itself is protected through the whole application process.

iPhone 4S With RhinoShield Screen Protector

And here’s the finished product! I’m quite satisfied with it thus far. It looks like a nice sturdy screen shield, and it has been easy to clean as advertised. Above and beyond that, I can’t attest to its protective powers, because I’m not about to take a hammer to my phone for the sake of this review – sorry about that! ;) But it seems like a no-brainer to me that my phone is more protected now than it was sans screen. As I embark on a week of travels tomorrow, I’m very happy to have some extra protection for my precious phone!

Learn more about RhinoShield by visiting their online store and following them on Twitter and Facebook.

Merrick Flossies: Dental Chews For Doggies

Merrick Flossies

Merrick Flossies provided for review.

Grandma regularly buys dental chews and treats for her dog, Bob, as a way to give him something healthy for his teeth to chew on. I recently brought over a bag of Merrick Flossies, a new-to-me-treat, because I thought this would save her a trip to the store for Bob’s nightly chews! She’s always happy to get new, quality treats for her beloved doggie, and this was no different. She noted that these treats are both grain-free and gluten-free; and beyond that, they are also made in the USA. They looked a little like licorice candy and we all joked that we might have to steal one from Bob and try them ourselves. ;)

Bob gets ready to taste a Flossies treat

It was a beautiful day, so we took Bob down to the beach for a walk. As he ran around and got excited to dig in the sand, we added to his happiness by pulling out a Flossies treat for him. The #1 sign that a dog likes something? When he chomps it down too fast to get a clear photo:

Gulp!

CHOMP! Bob devoured these greedily, and although he made short work of them, it did take a few seconds for him to chew them over – which, for Bob, is pretty good because he can demolish a snack VERY quickly. So I think these will be a great little chewy for his teeth, as well as being obviously tasty gauging from his reaction!

Merrick Flossies are available on Chewy.com in 5 oz bags (8 chews total) for $13.99.

Harry Potter Stars at Red Carpet Preview of Diagon Alley

On June 18, 2014, Harry Potter film stars including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and others attended an exclusive preview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ð Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort.

Yesterday, several of the stars of Harry Potter stopped by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park for the red carpet preview of Diagon Alley – check out these fun pics! You can click on the images to view them full-size.

On June 18, 2014, Harry Potter film stars including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and others attended an exclusive preview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ð Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort.

On June 18, 2014, Harry Potter film stars including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and others attended an exclusive preview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort.

Arriving on a red carpet that stretched from King’s Cross Station to the picturesque ‘London,’ the cast celebrated the announcement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s grand opening date – recently revealed to be July 8, 2014. Robbie Coltrane led event attendees inside the land by ceremoniously tapping the bricks of Diagon Alley – just like Rubeus Hagrid did in the Harry Potter books and films.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life. The new area will double the size of the sweeping land already found at Universal Orlando, expanding the spectacularly themed environment across both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Guests will pass through London and the iconic brick wall archway into Diagon Alley – a bustling, wizarding hub within a Muggle city. Inside the land, guests will enjoy themed shops, dining experiences and the groundbreaking thrill ride – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

On June 18, 2014, Harry Potter film stars including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and others attended an exclusive preview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ð Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort.

Harry Potter News: Webcasts This Week + Interactive Wands

Diagon Alley

There are three different Diagon Alley webcasts this week that Harry Potter fans won’t want to miss, available online at UniversalOrlando.com/DAwebcasts. Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, June 18 at 8 p.m. ~ The Diagon Alley Red Carpet Event

Enjoy interviews with some of your favorite Harry Potter film stars as they arrive for the exclusive red carpet preview event for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Thursday, June 19 at 12 p.m. ~ All Aboard: A Journey on the Hogwarts Express with Oliver and James Phelps

Join James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films) as they take you on a journey aboard the Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade station to King’s Cross Station.

Friday, June 20 at 12 p.m. ~ Behind the Bricks: A Tour of Diagon Alley with Tom Felton and Matthew Lewis

Get a virtual tour of some of the most iconic places within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley with your hosts, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films) and Alan Gilmore (Art Director for the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter).

Another fun announcement today relates to a new interactive experience at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Interactive wands that you can take through the park to perform “Spells”! Just take the map that comes with your wand to find the “Magic” spots throughout both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Click here for more details and a video of the wands in action!