Tag Archives: summer

Banana Boat Sunscreen

Protect Your Skin During Your #BestSummerEver With Banana Boat Sunscreen + Great Big Family Reunion Sweepstakes!

Banana Boat Disclosure

It’s hot in Atlanta.. 97 degrees hot – and I, for one am a bit tired of it.  We had our backyard ‘renovated’ a few weeks ago so we could enjoy it more while sitting on the back porch but it’s too hot to sit outside for more than 5 minutes at a time.  The kids are having a blast though.   Madelyn and Sebastian are like fish.  They love being in the water whether it’s a lake, beach, pool, or river.  Sebastian is more of a river and lake kind of guy while Madelyn’s a pool and beach girl.   Needless to say we spend a lot of time outdoors, water or not.  They’ve been attending an outdoor nature camp for the past few weeks and you can only imagine how sweaty they get from being out in the heat all day.  I rarely hear a complaint from them come pick up time.  How do they do it?  I’m a cranky mess after being outside for ten minutes, let alone 8 hours!



With summer sun comes summer fun!  Summer is a great time for the whole family to get together and have fun outside no matter if it’s in your backyard or at the beach.   We keep plenty of sunscreen on hand 365 days a year so that when it is super sunny outside or when the kids are going to ge swimming, we have enough to reapply several times throughout the day.

We’ve been using three Banana Boat® products for about a week as we play and work outside.  The kids, being at summer camp around sandy lake shores, used Banana Boat®’s lightweight SunComfort™ Clear UltraMist®Sunscreen which even after applying, sand brushes off the skin easily – almost unheard of after applying sunscreen, and it is water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Banana Boat Sunscreen

I really like Banana Boat’s Sport Performance Lotion Sunscreen with Powerstay Technology.  The lotion’s formula is light-weight, sweat resistant, water resistant (up to 80 minutes), quick absorbing, non-greasy and won’t run in eyes. I sweat like mad when I’m working in the garden and nothing stops me from pulling weeds and trimming bushes quicker than my eyes burning from sunscreen dripping into them.  Powerstay Technology boosts staying power to provide heavy duty protection throughout all outdoor activities in lotion form.

Banana Boat® has reformulated its Dry Oil Clear UltraMist® Sunscreen to now include argan oil –  a product used often on hair and skin.  This unique lightweight dry oil formula goes beyond sun protection, leaving skin feeling silky-smooth and moisturized and delivers one touch spray for quick, easy coverage with a light-weight, non-greasy feel.  

Sunscreen Application & Usage Tips

  • Banana Boat Kids SunscreenApply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to you and your kids’ entire bodies 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Use the type of sunscreen that your child enjoys most.  It’s important to make the process of applying sunscreen easy and enjoyable, not a dreaded task, so if your child prefers a spray sunscreen, stick with Banana Boat’s SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 30 or 50+.  If your child prefers a lotion sunscreen, use Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion.
  • Use sunscreen everyday.  Your child’s skin can be harmed by constant sun exposure, whether or not your child sees or feels a sunburn.
  • Make it a habit to carry sunscreen with you all the time!  I have a sunscreen stick in my purse and I keep sunscreen spray in my car and our pool/beach bag.
  • It is widely thought that if sunscreen is used regularly by children through the age of 18, there would be a 72% reduction in the cases of skin cancer later in life.

My kids are well aware that with the heat and long days of summer sun comes exposure to dangerous UVBs, the burning rays of the sun.   Applying sunscreen is part of our routine, whether it’s 97 degrees or 50 degrees.  You might think that’s strange but protection from sunburn is not the most important reason for wearing sunscreen.  You want to reduce damage from the sun. Your skin can be harmed by constant sun exposure, whether or not you see a burn. Sunburn is an immediate reaction, but damage from the sun occurs over a lifetime.  You don’t want your child either now or as an adult to experience skin cancer.

My daughter experienced melanoma at just five years old.   A tiny mole developed on her upper arm.  The mole got larger and larger so I took her to the pediatrician who immediately referred her to a dermatologist.  The dermatologist told me he needed to do a biopsy right away and I got a phone call a few days later telling me I needed to bring her in that day to have the melanoma removed.  I was beside myself – melanoma on my five year old?  That was a horrible couple of weeks.  She’s fine now and we have since started using sunscreen daily, not just in the summer.

Child melanoma photo

I am not trying to scare you into using sunscreen but I want you to see the reality of skin cancer.  My daughter’s pediatrician couldn’t confirm that the melanoma was a result of too much exposure to UV rays – we’ve always used sunscreen and often wear sunhats and UV protective clothing, but no one is immune to skin cancer.  Not even children.  Lessen the chances that your child will experience something like what my daughter did by applying sunscreen everyday.

Enough of the serious stuff!

We took a road trip to (HOT!) Washington D.C. at the beginning of the summer to see my husband’s brother and wife and we’re travelling to the beaches of North Carolina when the kids are out of summer camp.   We’re staying at a beach house with two of my Aunts, two cousins, three of my cousins kids, and my mom, and of course my kids and my husband!  It’s going to be a full house and we’re already stocking up on games, beach toys, and sunscreen for our great big family reunion!  It’s so important to spend time with family, no matter how far away they live, so start searching for the perfect destination for your next family get together!

Speaking of..

Enter to WIN a Banana Boat® Great Big Family Reunion!

Banana Boat® Great Big Family Reunion offers summer fun in the sun adventures for the whole family.  While you’re on the website, you can enter a sweepstakes that offers the chance for one lucky family to win a reunion for up to 50 of their family members and friends. Participants can also spin the Wheel of Fun for exciting activities to entertain their families all summer long!  The sweepstakes ends July 5, 2015.

The Banana Boat® Great Big Family Reunion wants to give one lucky family a reunion for up to 50 of their family members and friends! Participants can also spin the Wheel of Fun for exciting activities to entertain their families all summer long! All you have to do is select up to 50 people via email or Facebook to join your reunion party for a a chance to win!


Right here on TheMommyInsider.com, you can enter to win one of five $30 Banana Boat® Prize Packs including Banana Boat® koosie, key chain, draw string backpack and three sunscreen products!

Banana Boat “Great Big Family Reunion” Sweepstakes


Learn more about Banana Boat®


Bikes for kids learning to ride a bicycle

4 Kid’s Bikes for Kids Learning to Ride + 7 Bike Safety Tips

Learning to ride a bike is an essential part of childhood for most kids.  For some kids learning to ride a bike is a breeze and for others, like my second child, learning to ride a bike isn’t easy at all.   If there’s one thing I’ve learned when shopping for bikes for my kids, it’s that there are a lot of different bicycle options for kids.

Below are some great bicycle options for kids learning to ride a bike  along with tips on making the bike-riding experience fun and safe for kids.

Bikes for kids learning to ride a bicycle

1 – The Radio Flyer EZ Fold Stroll ‘N Trike is helpful for you and your toddler. It is designed to fold quickly and can be pushed with its unique handle. It also offers a canopy, 3-point harness, back seat and foot rest. It is made to accommodate kids at up to 5 years.
• $139 at Radio Flyer

2 – The Y-Volution YBike Balance Bike, available in blue, green, pink and orange, is made for kids aged 2 to 4 years. For those just starting out it offers a great way to learn balance and coordination. The wheels are designed to offer a large turning circle without falling and to reduce the chances of running over their feet.
• $58-79 on Amazon.com

3 – For a lightweight and portable option the Smart Gear Kid’s Wooden Balance Bike features its own carrying handle. It is made to assist in adapting to a 2-wheel bicycle.
• Approximately $75 on Amazon.com

4 – The durable Novara Firefly 12” Bike features removable training wheels, back pedal brakes and a full-length chain guard. For the adventurous biker the handlebar is made in a BMX style and comes with a bag and cheerful bell.
• $139 at REI and REI.com

Provide your child with the right bicycle for their age, height, and skill level, and they will get fresh air and exercise and possibly even make new friends to ride bikes with!

Safety Tips For New Bicycle Riders

  • Always wear a helmet: The first step to bicycle safety is to keep a helmet securely attached at all times to protect the head in the event of a fall or collision.  I point out to my kids that professional riders (bicycle, skateboard, etc) wear helmets and I think that helps them realize that ‘the cool kids wear a helmet’, even though some of their friends don’t.
  • Check your child’s bike for loose components: Before your child gets on their bike, make sure each part is securely bolted or screwed in place to prevent loosening that could result in accidents or injury.
  • Check the brakes: Before letting your child ride away, make sure the brakes work properly so he or she can quickly stop as necessary.
  • Check tires: Don’t forget to check your child’s bicycle tires for proper pressure. Tires that are too full or tight may suddenly burst while riding and those that are not fully inflated may affect your child’s ability to steer.
  • Wear bright clothes: Wearing bright clothes makes your child more noticeable to passing motorists.
  • Ride in a safe area: For kids learning to ride a bike, stability is key. Keep them in a flat open area preferably away from the road.
  • Learn hand signals: When your child must ride their bike on the street, knowing and using hand signals helps motorists know which way your child plans to take go to avoid guessing or accidents.

Enjoy the adventure that is teaching your child to ride a bike!

– Alicia



5 Patterned Sunglasses From $5 to $435 That Will Spice Up Your Summer Style

I have worn the same two pairs of sunglasses for years; Tory Burch sunglasses and Versace sunglasses with a cute little gold ribbon on each side which is totally not my style usually but the ribbon is small and just cute!  I was really upset when I saw that my Tory Burch sunglasses had scratches on the lenses so I did what I do and started a search for sunglasses online.

During my search for sunglasses I was reminded that not all sunglasses are alike.  Sunglasses come in different styles, colors, and shapes.   From leopard print to brightly colored flowers to polka dots, and even camouflage, despite how small sunglasses are, they sure can pack a punch of pattern!  I might expect camouflage from a pair of sunglasses in the sporting section at Walmart but I was surprised to see Tory Burch offering a sleek pair of what looks like camouflage sunglasses (#2 below).   I’m not brave enough to wear anything  camouflage or better yet, camouflage just isn’t my thing.

Here are five patterned sunglasses that will spice up your summer wardrobe!

patterned designer sunglasses

1 – Bottega Veneta 195/S / $435 at Zappos.com

2 – Tory Burch TY7054 / $205 at Zappos.com

3 – Prada Sunglasses, PR 29PS / $310 at Macys.com

4 – Mossimo® Cateye Sunglasses – Tortoise / $16.99 at Target

5 – Tortoise Square Sunglasses / Ready for it? $5.80 at Forever21.  You read that right. 🙂

If you want to splurge on a pair of sunglasses I suggest you go to your local eyewear boutique and spend time trying several pairs on. Consider the nosebridge, color, fit, and shape when shopping for sunglasses.  While it might be fun to own a pair of leopard print or polka dot sunglasses, I think I’d rather spend money on a more basic looking pair that I feel comfortable wearing with any outfit and in any situation.   I’d rather pay a lot for a good pair of sunglasses I will wear for years than a little for a pair of sunglasses that will last a few months because they are flimsy.  Do you agree?   My daughter on the other hand… she’s all about the print!  It seems like leopard print sunglasses will always be trendy but what about aviators?  A post for another day I guess.

Do you wear sunglasses with a pattern or do you stick to plain, one color sunglasses?  Do you have a favorite brand of sunglasses?





Keep Your Feet Cool and Cute In These 5 Breathable Ballet Flats

Summer is quickly approaching and that means it’s time for sandals and flats.  I love ballet flats.  Ballet flats have been my go-to shoe for about three years and I don’t know how my feet survived 30-something years in something other than ballet flats or wedge sandals during the summer.  Actually, I do.  I wore either my black or tan pair of Earth mary janes for years and I still love them but they’re too hot to wear in the summer and maybe they are a little worn out.  Ballet flats come in a lot of styles and colors.  Some have bows, some are quilted and some are embellished with studs! I’ll show you some of my favorite embellished ballet flats another day. 🙂

Below are five pairs of breathable ballet flats.  These flats either have a breathable lining and/or insole.  You can feel confident that your feet won’t sweat in these shoes this summer.  I hate summer foot sweat which is why I also wear wedge sandals in the summer.

I’ve shown you ballet flats for little girls, now it’s time to show you breathable ballet flats for women.

Breathable ballet flats

1 – Hush Puppies Chaste Ballet – Hush Puppies are a tried and true shoe brand.  The breathable lining and a cushioned insole are sure to keep your feet comfy and cool this summer.

2 – Patagonia Maha Breathe – I love the Atoll Aqua color as shown above, but these flats are available in 6 colors in case you’re not fond of aqua shoes.

3 – J. Crew Quorra Ballet Flats – Look close and you’ll see Xs and Os on these sunwashed aqua ballet flats.  I think this color is really pretty but if aqua shoes don’t excite you you’ll be happy to know that these J. Crew ballet flats are available in four other colors.

4 – UGG Kellis Crystal – These flats don’t necessarily look breathable but from what I’ve read the breathable leather lining helps fight overheating feet and if these flats are true to the UGG brand they are very comfortable.

5 – Reebok ‘True Studio’ Ballet Flat – While these aren’t my favorite color, they look comfortable and definitely breathable.  These ballet flats are probably best for yoga or around the house.

Talk to us!

Do you have a favorite pair of ballet flats?  What do you look for when shopping for flats?  Do you consider breathability when shoe shopping or is style more important?

5 Rolling Travel Bags for Kids

5 Little Kid Rolling Travel Bags

With summer break comes summer travel.  For families with multiple children, or any children for that matter, it’s nearly impossible for parents to help roll a child’s luggage through the airport when they have their own luggage to carry. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy a travel bag or carry-on luggage made specifically for a child or something that is small and lightweight, at least. Things like luggage height, handle extension, wheels, and pockets should be taken into consideration when shopping for kids luggage.

7 things to consider when shopping for children’s luggage:

  • Does the bag have wheels?  Your child is likely not going to want to carry luggage through an airport or even to and from the car.  Luggage with wheels will help everyone stay happy!
  • Does the luggage handle extend?
  • Does the bag or luggage have multiple carry options such as rolling and backpack style?
  • What is the weight of the bag?
  • Is it small enough to fit under a seat on the plain or in an overhead bin?
  • If possible, find out what the weight limit is for the bag.  The maximum weight limit for a carry-on is around 40 pounds but many airlines only accept bags around 20 pounds so be sure to check before buying for a trip when you’ll be flying.
  • Does it have exterior pockets?  Exterior pockets are good for things like iPods, chargers, crayons, and a water bottle.  It’s nice to have quick access to these items while traveling.

These five rolling travel / carry-on size bags are perfect for jet-setting kids!


5 Rolling Travel Bags for Kids

  • 1 – Kids Travel Zone blue rolling carry-on – $44.99 at Kids Travel Zone
    This cute carry-on bag has wheels and can be monogrammed with your child’s name and an image!  It is available in 5 colors including blue and pink.
    Size: 17″ x 12.5″ x 5.75″


  • 2 – Terrance Trunki by Melissa & Doug – $40
    Designed to beat the boredom suffered by traveling tots, Trunki is a hand-luggage sized ride-on suitcase.
    Size: Trunki is 18.2 x 8.5 x 12.8 inches


  • 3 – Fairfax Aegean Blue Luggage – $89.50 at Pottery Barn Kids
    This adorable luggage can be monogrammed with your child’s name and has heavy-duty metal handles and tough nylon zippers which will help it last for years.
    Size: 13″ wide x 7.5″ deep x 17″ high


  • 4 – Navy and Aqua Rolling Luggage – $49.99 at Lillian Vernon
    This rolling suitcase is great for the gadget loving child.  Chargers and devices can be stored in the side pockets while larger items fit in the main compartment.  Can be embroidered with up to 12 characters.
    Size: 5″ x 12″ x 16″ H.


  • 5 – Solid FeatherLight™ Wheeled Large Backpack – $89.99 at LandsEnd.com
    This lightweight backpack has inline skate wheels that roll smoothly and has adjustable sternum straps to keep the bag in place on the shoulders and support the back.
    Size: 19 1/2″Hx13″Wx8″D

Does your child have a travel bag of their own or does he/she use one of your old carry-on bags?