Sharing some of my summer favorites!
Today I’m doing a throwback to my popular monthly favorites videos I used to do. Since summer is officially here, I’m sharing five things I’ve been using and loving this season.
This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.
Thena Intensive Healing Cream
In the summer we show more skin than any other time of the year. From bare feet to bare arms, we are baring a lot! That means we are even more interested in having smooth, hydrated skin. When my son developed really severe eczema 6 months ago, I started looking for answers. Another of my boys has had it since he was an infant, so we’ve tried a lot of things over the years. What works for one wasn’t working for the other, and the search continued.
One of my assistants told me about a cream she uses for her rosacea, so I ordered it, and WOW! Within a couple of days his arms and legs looked so much better, and soon his skin was smooth and soothed! He loves it. As long as he uses it daily, his skin looks great. It can sting a little when you put it on a raw patch, but that goes away quickly as the skin heals.
He used it twice a day at first, but I think he’s using it once a day now (he’s off at camp, so I can’t ask him). And because he’s very private, he doesn’t want me to share any before an afters of his arms or legs.
I asked my assistant for her thoughts on how she uses it for her rosacea, and this is what she shared:
“I use a very small amount at a time, just a dab on my finger (after washing my face and hands – I feel that’s important), and then I apply it to my entire face, usually a dab for my right side, a dab for my left and a dab for my forehead. Massage it in well. It takes about 5-10 minutes to soak in fully, it feels very heavy at first (I almost hated it right off the bat because of that) but once it sets it feels amazing and really is a deep moisturizer.
The shea butter doesn’t feel greasy to me. I’ve put it on without washing my face first and I feel like that was oilier due to my skin and not the lotion. For me it keeps my rosacea at bay and reduces redness. I usually wait a good half hour before adding anything else to my face after that. I use it after I shower, which is morning, afternoon or night depending on the day. If I’m having more of a rosacea flare I’ll use it twice a day, morning and night. I have used it on my elbows/hands before but not often.”
In college I worked at a Brazilian churrascaria, where they bring around all the meats you can eat and carve them onto your plate. During the cold months we were hopping! But once the temperatures raised, it was a ghost town. No one wanted to eat that much meat when it was hot. It felt heavy. Something about summer heat makes us feel even more sensitive to what goes in our stomachs.
I suffer from reflux, and what bothers me in the winter makes me miserable in the summer heat. The symptoms seem to be worse, the racing up and down my throat, the surprise burps, the bloating, the throat clearing, the froggy voice.
Even though I take a supplement for it that helps with all my other meals, one meal was impervious: my daily protein smoothie. I switched from regular milk to almond milk years ago because of it, but it continued to be a problem. Recently I tried oat milk, and my reflux got so much better after switching to it!
I’ve been getting mine from the grocery store, but you can order it online as well.
Ever since I discovered Brooke Castillo’s Life Coach School podcast, I’ve felt so empowered to heal myself on a basic level and be the person I want to be. I shared her podcast with you here [link to previous favorite things video]. I’ve been on a journey ever since, and it will continue for the rest of my life. And still, I’m very wary of self-help books and other unknown sources.
Last summer my friend started talking to me about one such book, and I was like, “How nice. I’m sure it’s lovely.” She knew she was being dismissed, so she sent me some screenshots of a short chapter, and that chapter turned my world upside down. It was so powerful I spend a weekend crying and journaling when I was supposed to be packing and moving!
I ordered the book and left it on my night table because I was drawn to it, yet afraid to open it and myself up again. I’ve read and re-read it in small bits, underlined the most powerful parts, shared it with friends, sent it as gifts. I wish I could sit here and read you all my favorite parts.
It is so unbelievably well-written, powerful, funny, tragic, vulnerable, raw, honest, and hard. Everyone should read this book.
And speaking of books, I’ve been a lifelong bookworm. There is nothing like summer reading on the deck or patio, in the garden, at the beach, or by the pool. I love paper books. A lot. But when I travel, I want to take several books, and since I only pack in a carry on, I don’t have time to bring my library. I also don’t love wrangling them near water and with sunscreen-covered hands. I’ve been using an iPad, but it’s big, heavy, hard to see the screen in the bright sun, allergic to water, and overheats easily.
My husband also has an iPad, so when he bought himself a Kindle Paperwhite, I was confused. He’s very minimalist, so having both was weird for him. He asked if I wanted one too, and I declined. Then when we were at the beach and my iPad overheated and shut down, he lent me his Kindle, and I suddenly understood.
It’s so LIGHT. It’s smaller and fits easily in even my really small bags and easy to hold with one hand. When we took our daughter to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios in Orlando, she was really struggling with the waiting patiently in line for hours at a time part. So on day two, I brought the Kindle and read Harry Potter to her while we waited. It was magical for both of us.
The screen is perfectly visible in the bright, glaring sun, no glare, and all it takes is a tap to turn the page. But my three favorite features are:
- The battery lasts for weeks! How many beach days did I have to stop reading my book because my iPad battery died? The Kindle Paperwhite has 28 hours of battery life with continuous use.
- It doesn’t overheat. Also a huge problem for me at the beach and pool. Mine has shut down several times because of overheating, and always at the best part of the book!
- AND IT’S WATERPROOF!!! Hello, splashing water. I’m not afraid of you. I can read in the tub without fear of ruining paper pages or expensive electronics.
All this Kindle does is books, both reading and audio. There’s no browser, games, video-watching, or anything else, and that’s why we got them for our kids. We limit their access to electronics. As in no TV, tablets or video games except on Saturday morning until we get up (which is tragically early), family movie nights, or they earn it by doing extra chores.
They love to read, though, and many of their books have literally been read to shreds and need replacing. Now they can read on their kindles whenever they and we don’t have to worry about them accessing YouTube, downloading and playing games or movies.
We set up a separate Amazon account for ordering their books because there is no way to filter which books your kids can access. Not all of my books are appropriate for my kids, so that’s how we solved that problem.
They are also far, far less expensive than iPads, and they go on sale for even better deals.
So now that there are 8 of use reading digital books, what is that doing to our budget? Not much. First there is the library, and there are a lot of books you can get digitally through them. They work on the Kindle Paperwhite.
We also joined Kindle Unlimited. We had a free trial to see if we would use it, and the answer is yes. It’s like a paid library where nothing is ever out. For $10 a month, we can have 10 books out at a time. If we want another book, we just have to return one. Even as a family of 8, that works just fine.
I’ve tried other things like this, and the selection never included anything I wanted to read. Kindle Unlimited has never failed to have the book I want. It also works with iPads and iPhones through the Kindle Reading app, which is how I used it before I got my Kindle Paperwhite, as well as Androids. Right now this service is available in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, China, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Australia can sign-up for Kindle Unlimited in their local Amazon marketplace. They do plan to expand this service to other countries.
I hope you are already enjoying your summer and these recommendations help you make the most of the rest of the summer!
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Bonus Reading Recommendations
During my live stream, the comments were flooded with wonderful book suggestions. I knew I was surrounded by great people, and the fact that so many of you are also book worms just further solidifies that! I’ve put together the list with non-affiliate links below in case you are interested.
Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
The Way of Kings series by Brandon Sanderson
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
All the Sharon Kay Penman books
Shogun by James Clavell
Iron King series by Julie Kagawa (but don’t read the last one. It’s terrible)
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Atomic Habits by James Clear
The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs
Claude & Camille by Stephanie Cowell
The Angel of Amsterdam
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver