Fall Capsule Wardrobe (For Stay At Home Mamas)

About a week ago (the first day of September to be exact) I woke up to rain, cool temperatures and falling LEAVES.

While it’s not officially autumn according to the seasonal calendar, it’s official IN MY HEART. We still have a few warm days coming but FALL I AM READY FOR YOU.

The pieces in this post can still work even if you aren’t a stay at home mom. If you’re someone who doesn’t need to dress up for a job outside the home but can wear comfy, casual clothing-keep reading!

I’ve stepped up my game, using a clothing styling app called Urstyle. You can select from essentially millions of clothing, shoe and accessory items to create and style a clothing board. It takes a little skill to use the app efficiently but they provide youtube videos to help! You can use the website from your computer (which I prefer) or from the app on your phone.

If you don’t have a capsule wardrobe yet but are interested in putting one together, Urstyle is a fantastic tool to help you do that. Keep in mind (as with the pieces I’m posting) I don’t own these EXACT pieces in the sets I’m sharing. The app links you to buying that item directly. I choose items very similar to what I already own. *Check the bottom of the post for a direct link to the entire wardrobe I assembled for pieces and prices.

I buy almost everything second hand because 1)It’s affordable and 2) It’s sustainable.

Let’s chat FIT. I am 5’1” and around 150 pounds. I carry most of my weight in my belly. I wear leggings pulled up past my belly button and all my jeans have an element of stretch to them. I wear soft, slightly dense materials that hang nicely but don’t overwhelm my body. High waisted pants do not compliment my shape so I wear flowy shirts or sweaters over leggings. If I wear a more fitted top with jeans or leggings, I offset that top with a cropped jacket, something I’ll share an example of below. I can’t rock showing my belly with crop tops and all that, just not my thing.

Let’s jump in and start with BOTTOMS. I own more than what is shown. I own 4 pairs of stretchy black pants/leggings, 2 pairs of grey leggings, 2 pairs of jeans (one skinny fit, one straight leg) and 2 sets of overalls, one light wash and one dark wash. That’s still 10 pieces which I find to be more than enough for me to work with. George brand leggings from Walmart are my favourite leggings right now, not see through but not stifling. My overalls are from Bluenotes (Canada) and my jeans are from Gap.

Can I get a holla for thrifting?! I stick with BASIC colours. I don’t know the exact # of tops that I own currently but I rotate through about 10 of the same tops. If you’re building a capsule wardrobe aim for something similar to the picture. There are 9 tops shown here 7 of which are enough to get you through the week. Start there! For brands I own a lot of Gap, Old Navy and H&M. I find these brands to specifically offer soft materials, a comfy fit and neutral colours.

In Canada where the weather varies, especially during the season of Fall. I don’t like being cold, wet or overly hot so I make sure I have a variety of jackets! Jackets can also be a key item that changes up an outfit. Another reason I like having a few different but functional styles of jackets.

Shoes don’t have to be numerous or complicated. I avoid heels and impractical shoes, especially during the colder months. If you’re a mama, you understand the need for a good slip on tennis shoe. The 3 shoes I wear the most during fall at my Timberland knit sneakers, Naturalizer slip ons and of course, my Blundies! I typically don’t find shoes while thrifting and it’s the one item I don’t mind investing in.

So as a mama of two BABIES I don’t really find accessories practical for my lifestyle right now. I rarely carry a purse and typically carry backpack style diaper bags. Sunglasses, a ball cap, knit cap or scarf would be the other accessories I reach for during fall. I also like a good, giant tote bag! If you are a messy bun wearing type of girl and haven’t tried THIS hat….you should check it out.

Here are some outfits I put together for some ideas! I don’t get too fancy but cute and comfy works well for me!

If you click the picture below of the full capsule wardrobe it will take you to the website with links to all the clothing items.

So there you have it! Whew! A labour of love for you guys. I don’t think of myself as a fashionista or even trendy. I aim for being comfy, cozy and maybe cute sometimes. A capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be difficult to put together but it does take time. I started minimizing my clothing 5 years ago and finally feel like it’s becoming what I’ve wanted. When I realized that I was wearing the same items all the time, it made sense to minimize my clothing. Hopefully I’ve helped you gather some ideas to put together a cute but functional and comfortable fall wardrobe!

Do you work with a capsule wardrobe? What would you call your style? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Advertisements

Summer Capsule Wardrobe For Stay At Home Mamas. (And some thoughts on body image)

It’s the middle of August and dare I say that I’m kinda OVER summer?

I live in Ontario, Canada where our longest season is winter so it almost feels sacrilegious to say this. But deep down inside, I love fall the most of all.

See, I even get a little poetic about it. My heart actually beats a little faster when I think about the season of fall and all that it entails. ESPECIALLY this year as we just bought our first home and we’re moving in, just in time FOR FALL!

Ok, I digress.

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that in terms of clothing, I work with a capsule wardrobe. This means I have minimal pieces that I use in a variety of ways to maximize the clothing I already have. Every item (except my Birks) I share today is completely thrifted.

I already did a Spring Capsule Wardrobe where you can check out here. Spring and Fall are transitional seasons for me, in terms of what I wear. In the fall I’m getting ready for winter so I gradually transition to warmer pieces and in the Spring I’m coming out of heavy, thick and warm pieces as the warmer weather arrives. Summer gets to be all by herself because it’s a fairly distinctive season here.

In the past few years my body has changed, a lot. When I entered my 30’s I noticed that my skin elasticity said, “SEE YA LATER B!”. Currently, I comfortably wear a size 9/10 in bottoms and M/L in tops. I’m currently a stay at home mom full time. I also (TMI) have psoriasis in my thigh/groin area that flares up badly during the summer season, so COMFORT is key with what I wear. I don’t like to sweat more than I have to, have my thighs rub together (no booty shorts!) I don’t like wedgies from tight bottoms (who does?) and I don’t want to feel like my boobs are going to spill out at any given moment.

When I’m building up my wardrobe for the season, I keep things simple. I’m drawn towards neutral colours with maybe one to two prints thrown in. I stick with white, grey, black, browns and burgundy. I choose pieces that are not complicated, fit loosely and (hopefully) flatter my body shape. I rotate through the same 5-10 shirts a week. I have 3 different white tanks, two black tanks, one grey, two prints, and two coloured tanks. I have 4 pairs of shorts I also rotate through.

I like pieces that I’m able to use multiple times during the week because I don’t have a lot of time in the mornings to build an outfit. I’ve learned the art of things like tucking tops in with draw string shorts. Comfy and simple! If you don’t have a pair of Old Navy’s drawstring shorts, you should get yourself some ASAP. MOM uniform!

I keep my shoes simple and honestly, I wear my Birkenstocks 99% of the time. I have two other pairs of dressier summer shoes that I rarely wear because, I just don’t “dress up” that much. The shoes I have are neutral and can go with pretty much anything, which maximizes their usage. I don’t like having sweaty, sore feet so I aim for maximum comfort without looking like an 80 year old grandma wearing loafers. Although, I’ve seen some weird sequin loafers floating around. New fashion trend?

I’ve been challenging myself to branch out and put together outfits that I feel cute in, though still comfortable. My body has changed so much in the past two years that it has been HARD to accept who I see in the mirror sometimes.

Her thighs touch, rub and chafe. Her arms jiggle with cellulite. Her belly folds down in multiple rolls when she sits and sometimes spills over depending on the jeans she’s wearing. But this same body has lovingly carried and grown two babies in less than two years. She’s made milk and dried up milk and done it again. She bears stretch marks as sign of love and change. I’m learning to love her again, you know? She’s always loved me!

I’m learning to be kind to myself and give myself grace after all my body has been through in the recent years. I think our society mixes up “grace” with “excuses.” I have really pushed back against that mentality that motherhood is an excuse to not care about your body or that we use our children as an excuse not to achieve a certain level of fitness or appearance. That simply isn’t true, for me. I recognize that every person is motivated differently to do things with their bodies. Peak fitness might be a motivation for some and watching Netflix during nap time might be another mom’s choice. Whatever our choices, we aren’t lacking.

Do you what you have to (and want to) do, to accept the body that has always loved you, never left you and is still waiting for you.

I hope you enjoy this! I’m no fashionista or photographer. Just a stay at home mom sharing her everyday, normal coffee loving life.

11 Frugal Ways To Cut Back On Living Costs

I have a problem.

It’s called Amazon Prime.

I mean, who doesn’t want 2 day shipping, guaranteed? Well sometimes it’s not guaranteed because we have this thing called WINTER in Canada.

Being able to shop for groceries online and have them delivered to your house sounds pretty amazing, right? I’ve never tried it but I was tempted to when my second baby was born, 7 months ago. When you haven’t showered in 5 days and you’re too tired to even put regular clothing on, having groceries delivered sounds like a dream come true.

Convenience is what motivates many of us to make the purchases that we do. But you know what isn’t convenient?

Debt.

I think the majority of people my age, that I personally know have some form of debt whether that be student loans, a mortgage or credit card debt. I have mixed feelings about debt. I think it’s inevitable at some point in your life that you will have some form of debt.

I’m all about finding ways to cut down our our expenses as we have financial goals set for our family. Amazon Prime doesn’t align with my goals of being frugal and owning a home one day. Curse you Amazon Prime!

But I want to share ways we cut back on our spending.

  • Limit or eliminate Eating At Restaurants or Takeout : Why does food always taste better when someone else prepares and cooks it? Seriously. It could be a hotdog someone else microwaved and I’m all over it. Buying lunch usually costs $10 plus a $3 coffee a day (or more if you’re fancy) which adds up to $65 a week alone. If you factor in eating dinner out, a few times a week that’s easily another $50 or so. You could be saving $300 (or more) by limiting take out and packing your own meals.
  • Cook More and Buy Less Packaged (and processed) Foods: Sometimes I enjoy cooking but most of the time I only enjoy it if my husband and I are cooking together. One thing I’ve noticed with our grocery bills is the difference in what we spend when we buy less packaged, processed foods. Packaged is easier, no doubt about it! But it’s also more expensive because it’s convenient. I try to set myself up for success with very simple meals because it’s a generally chaotic time of the day. The more you cook, the healthier meals tend to be, as well. We do NOT eat organic, Keto or paleo. We have no allergies. I Have thoughts on the whole organic thing but that is a post for another day! If eating organic is extremely important to you but you have a tight budget then you will have to adjust your spending and other areas so that you can have a more flexible grocery budget
  • Have A Grocery Budget (and stick to it). When Dave and I first married, we spent about $50 in groceries a week, sometimes less. Since then we’ve fluctuated in what we spend on groceries. Recently I’ve reset our weekly budget because it was OUT OF CONTROL and I’m amazed at how little we can spend if we try. I challenge myself to do a few meatless meals a week, cook with all the meat I already have (in the freezer) and get creative with leftovers. Our budget isn’t $50 a week anymore, partly because we have a baby who drinks formula. But with some tweaking here and there we can typically eat within a budget of $65 to $80 right now, including formula.
  • Buy In Bulk. Speaking of Costco! It might be worth it to consider a Sam’s Club or Costco membership. In Canada a Costco (gold) membership costs $60 per year or $5 a month. You could easily split that cost in half and share with someone else in your family or even a friend. It’s easy to overspend at Costco if you don’t plan ahead. We typically purchase diapers, wipes, toilet paper and paper towels at Costco, once a month.
  • Shop Secondhand (especially for kids): I switched over to purchasing second clothing around the time I was getting married. I watched a documentary about the negative impact fast fashion is having on our world, today. It changed the way I went about purchasing most things. 90% of the clothing we wear as a family is second hand. I’m not a name brand person to begin with but surprisingly you can find some great brands when shopping second hand. So my 7 month old is a few pounds behind his 21 month old brother. Buying new clothing for him would be like lighting my money on fire. I have this mentality with all baby gear and things in our home as well. If I can find it second hand and repurpose it (if it needs it) then I’m going to do it. You can read more about my tips on buying second hand here.
cloth diapers
  • Invest in Reusable, Low or Zero Waste Products: We spend less than $60 a month on diapers. That is because we mostly cloth diaper. It’s fortunate for us that currently, the boys wear the same size diaper. My 7 month old and 21 month old wear the same size diaper! One box of Kirkland’s and one box of Huggies overnights gets us through the month, with 2 weeks worth of Kirkland’s leftover. Cloth diapers has saved us SO MUCH! And if you think we spend a ton on hydro/water from washing them all the time, read THIS. I also use reusable sanitary products which you can read more about here. We bring our reusable grocery and produce bags to the store.
  • Cut Down On Your Utilities. While utilities is included in the cost of our rent, we try to practice being smart with how/when we use our water and electricity because one day we will pay for these things. Where I live in Canada, they have on and off peak times of hydro/water usage. This means that you are charged more on your usage depending on what time of day/day of the week it is. As much as possible, We try to do laundry, shower and run the dishwasher during off peak times. Even with having cloth diapers to wash, I’m only washing them twice a week. Since my husband is in HVAC, he makes sure that the AC/Furnace are running efficiently. He changes out the filter and we close windows when we are running the air or heat. You could open windows for air circulation during the day, turn off lights when not in use and unplug appliances. Reuse dishwater for watering plants etc.
  • Do It Yourself: I am a HUGE fan of DIY. Most people probably think arts and crafts when it comes to DIY. But DIY can apply to so many things in life. It’s kinda scary how dependant we’ve become on others, to do things for us as a society. I’m wary of paying others to do everything for me. It’s good to have some SKILLS, am I right? I’m not very good with power tools but I’m letting my husband teach me. We’ve made all the decor in our home. I’m taking sewing classes this fall and we grow a garden every year. We learned how to can from my husband’s grandfather and we started experimenting with dehydrating different foods a few summers ago. My husband and I both grew up with fathers who were handy so naturally, it’s simple logic for us to learn to do certain things for ourselves. My husband is also in the trades so he’s extremely skilled with tools. We initially took our oldest son to a hairdresser for his first haircut but going forward, I’ll just cut it with my husband’s clippers. I know someone who does hair out of her apartment so I get my hair done (cut and highlights) at half the cost of what I used to pay in a salon. I LOVE a good shellac pedicure but I have a bag full of nail polish that I can use to paint my toenails for FREE.
  • Take Care Of What You Already Have: You might be wondering how this saves you money? I think it’s pretty simple but if you take good care of what you already own, the chances of it breaking and needing to be replaced are less likely. Inevitably there are things in life that will need replacing. But how much money do we waste because we are careless? My husband is in a field of work that places him inside people’s homes. He has seen everything you can imagine. He said what frustrates him is to see how people do not maintain their homes. A home is easily the largest investment of a person’s life. Why wouldn’t you take care of it? We don’t own a home yet but you can imagine that we’ve learned a lot about what not to do from the things my husband has seen. I think it’s important to note here that not everything can be done yourself. Sometimes you need to hire an expert so you don’t try to fix something way beyond your skill set.
  • Have One Car, Walk or Take Public Transit: Apart from a few months when we first married and then 1.5 years when my husband had a job with a work truck, we’ve only ever had one car. Right now he works really close to home and I am able to walk where I need to. Driving places with two babies kinda gives me anxiety right now so one car works well for us but it’s also a mindset. Do I HAVE to go somewhere every day? I usually spend money if I do. Having one car means you are paying less in terms of gas, insurance and car payment (or even LESS if you owe nothing on your car). It’s not always easy during the winter time to have one car but in the past I have driven my husband to work if I needed the car that day. During the summer I walk everywhere with the boys. We are fortunate to live in an area where parks, community centres and grocery stores are within walking distance. My dad takes public transit EVERY day into the city of San Diego. He enjoys his commute for the most part and it’s saving him a fortune in gas!
  • Live In A Place You Can Afford. This is unique to each family based on location, income and financial responsibilities. We currently rent because it’s what fits our budget at this time while we have other financial obligations to resolve before we can take on the cost of a mortgage. The cost of living is quite high, where we live. It could change at some point but we’ve lived the majority of our marriage in basement apartments and always in a shared dwelling place. This means that to some degree where we’ve lived, we’ve had to share the building with another person or family. Do I always LOVE it? Nope. Is it what works for us? Yes! When I really struggle with my perspective in this area, I try to remember that I get to be home with my babies every day for the next few years or longer. I’m so grateful and I wouldn’t trade that for the world even if it means that owning our own home is awhile away for us.

We are a single income family and we’ve been a single income family the majority of our marriage. I’m sure someone could say, “Just get a job, Sarah.” Thanks but I already have one. I’m raising my kids! And that’s not to say that a mom who works another job outside the home isn’t raising her kids. But where we live the cost of childcare would make going back to work completely pointless, for what I would earn. One income is what we’ve learned to live on. It takes discipline and perspective to live this way and we aren’t perfect at it. I think it’s taught us a lot about what we need versus what we want. It’s also fast tracking us to resolving financial obligations and having more freedom with our hard earned money!

What are ways that you cut down on the cost of living and save in your home? I’d love to hear from you!

5 Things To Consider Before Committing To Cloth Diapers.

Cloth diapers ya’ll! I still love them (maybe even more) than when I started and that is the truth.

When I started Cloth Diapering, I didn’t know much but I learned along the way. Here are 5 things to consider if you are thinking about doing cloth diapers.

  • Will you buy brand new or pre-loved? There are pros and cons to either. If you buy brand new, the cost is more up front. That is ok if you are committed to the process. I’ve seen many bundles on FB Marketplace where a mama found out cloth diapers were not for her. You won’t get back what you spent up front, if you decide cloth is not for you. Pre-loved diapers are a great way to try things out without spending a ton of money. You can try various styles and brands to figure out what you like. Elastics and velcro tend to need replacing on pre-loved diapers and you typically won’t know the condition they are in until you see them in person.
  • Will you cloth diaper from the day you bring baby home? Remember that newborns typically go through 8-12 diapers a day. This slows down as baby gets older. You will typically wash every 2-3 days. Some choose to wash diapers every day. I personally do not have the time or energy to wash diapers that often. We also share our laundry room with the tenants below us so I try to be as efficient as possible. I’m not perfect but I don’t want to be taking up the machines every day. I now own a large enough stash to put both boys in cloth, that I wash twice a week. Make sure you do your math and have enough diapers, depending how often you wash.
  • Will you use cloth 100% of the time? Doing a combination of cloth and disposable can work really well. I always knew I would be doing disposable at night but early into cloth diapering with my first son, my husband suggested disposables on the weekends as well. It’s a nice break and gives me a chance to wash, dry, sort and fold everything in time for the start of a new week.
  • Do you have the right setup? If you don’t have access to a washer and dryer where you live, that can be complicated. I’m sure you can make it work if you are seriously committed but something to think about. You want to be able to choose how you wash/dry your diapers because it’s important for removing the nasties and making them last longer. You can check out how I store and access my diapers, here.
  • Are You Flexible? What I mean by this, is are you willing to keep going even if it doesn’t feel like it’s something you want to do? Can you give it a good go? There are things about cloth diapers that make them an entirely different animal from disposable. They aren’t convenient in certain ways but if you have an understanding of this before going in, that can help you stick with it. Things like dampness, dealing with the yuckies and such. Just keep these things in mind as you venture forth.

So those are just some thoughts of my own that I’ve compiled in the last 14 months of using cloth diapers. I still love them and I’m going strong.

Do you cloth diaper? What have you found to work for you or not work for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

My Cloth Diaper Setup.

50% of successfully cloth diapering is about your setup. You can love cloth diapers all you want, think they’re super cute and want to save money while making a better environmental choice. Those are great things. But if you aren’t organized you may find cloth to be frustrating very quickly.

I’ve probably revised my cloth diaper setup more times than I count at this point but I have a pretty good system in place now that works for me. I am cloth diapering both my 2 month old and my 16 month old. The setup I’m sharing today is what I have in my toddler’s room. I have the exact same setup just a small, taller dresser in my younger son’s room.

  1. Drawer of pre-stuffed Cloth Diapers.
  2. Drawer of disposables (what we use at night and on weekends)
  3. Wipes, hand sanitizer, baby bum stuff (for cloth and disposables)
  4. Garbage for wipes and disposables. Since we only use a few disposables at a time, this small bin works. It also encourage us to get dirty disposables out of the house. Call me biased but I’ve found disposables to smell far worse than cloth.
  5. These garbage pails with these wet bags are the BEST solution I’ve found for storing dirty diapers during the week. Since my toddler’s #2 is pretty solid at this point, it gets knocked into the toilet and all dirty diapers go in this pail. It seals really well. When it’s time to wash, I just pull the wet bags out and carry them down to the laundry room.

In my bathroom I have a cloth diaper sprayer, a bucket from a hardware store and rubber gloves. For #2’s that aren’t solid, I hold the diaper in the toilet and spray everything off. Flush. Diaper goes into the pail. Breastmilk #2’s can go right into the washing machine as they are water soluble.

That’s it! It’s really pretty simple to have a good setup. It helps to keep things organized and clean. It also is really nice for others who might be babysitting your children that aren’t familiar with using cloth diapers. Wh

Do you cloth diaper? What is your setup like? If you do something different, I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below! Happy Cloth Diapering!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So when you click on a link and purchase something (anything) on Amazon, I make a small commission. Thank you for supporting all the hard work I do here At The Messy Housewife!

My Top 5 Must Haves With 2 Babies Under 2.

EDITED as of May 31, 2019.

Here we are, a few months postpartum after my second and I’m surviving having two babies who are 14 months apart. Yes, you read that correctly! I share here what our daily routine looks like and I talk about our transition into have 2 under 2 here with a few tips and tricks!

So here are my top MUST HAVES of baby gear to help life go a little smoother when you’ve got 2 babies really close together in age. Many of these things apply to the early weeks and months when life feels like a constant gong show. You need all the help you can get!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So when you click on a link and purchase something (anything) on Amazon, I make a small commission. Thank you for supporting all the hard work I do here At The Messy Housewife!

  • A GREAT camera monitor or two. We have the Levana and the Foscam R2C. Both were gifts that we asked for. We used the Levana with our first up until after we moved his baby brother into his own room. Then we set up the Foscam in big brother’s room. Let’s talk about the Levana. It retails for $129.99 CAD. It’s not cheap but for a baby monitor camera it does exactly what it’s supposed to. You can mount it to the wall and it comes with all the hardware for that. My parents bought us the Foscam RC2 off Amazon for around $60 USD. This camera does not come with a monitor but connects with your wireless internet and you download the APP onto your smartphone. You can then access all the camera’s features through the app.

  • A Swing, bouncy seat or MamaRoo type thing. I have found that my babies benefit from different types of gear. My first son loved the bouncy seat. Both boys also slept in this swing the first couple months of their lives. I scored a MamaRoo secondhand for a great price. Go for second hand or borrow baby gear if you can. The majority of our baby gear is second hand because if one of my kids hates it, I’m not out lots of money. I plan to resell ALL our baby gear when the time comes. Win win!

  • A baby carrier you like. I have 3 different types of baby carriers because it’s nice to try out different ones. I have the boba wrap, the baby bjorn and the Ergo Baby. Neither of my boys seemed to like the wrap style carrier. I’ve found the Bjorn and Ergo to be the easiest ones for me to use.

  • A GOOD double stroller. We’ve gone through 3 strollers to get to the right one. I wanted to reuse the infant carseat we’d had with Hudson as it hadn’t expired yet. I ended up with Phil&Ted’s Sport double for awhile. It’s tandem but stacked. The double kit allows you to put baby on top or bottom/toddler on top or bottom. You also have the option of buying a universal adaptor so that your carseat will click in which was a big draw for me. I scored a used one that came with everything and while I loved this troller my boys eventually did NOT. They didn’t seem to like the tandem aspect of the stroller. I also didn’t like that the brake system on the P&. It was a handbrake like a bike. It hurt my hands and eventually got a little wonky. I just purchased a Contours Options brand new. It’s not as well made or streamline BUT my boys are super happy in it. It gets the job done and I don’t stress.

  1. Baby Gates. I have 3 of these simple, wooden baby gates. They are handy to have! Get some gates, you will thank yourself.

You will figure out what works for you but I know that when I was pregnant with my 2nd son, I was scouring the internet for tips on what made life easier with 2 under 2. I hope some of this helps!

What are some of your must haves with multiple kids in the house? How did you survive those early days? I’d love to hear from you!

Diy Non-Toxic Sunscreen

After a never-ending winter, the beautiful weather has ARRIVED.

One thing I’ve learned about living in south-western Ontario in Canada is to appreciate, relish and make the most of our warm weather season. Fall is still my favorite season here but Summer comes in a quick and close second.

I LOVE Vitamin D. After all, I was a southern California girl for nearly 10 years. It was literally a shock to my system to not have access to the sweet, warm sun for months at time, when I moved here. That being said, when the hot weather and sun makes its appearance here, I am ready! I learned my lesson with NOT protecting myself from the sun, in my college years. I burned so badly one time that I had blisters on my nose and shoulders, a fever and nausea. I had to stay in bed for 2 days and avoid the sun for much longer after that. So, while I may be unconventional in how I approach sun protection-I’m no dummy either!

Sunscreen is important. In my last post where I shared about some of my non-toxic skin care, I touched on sun protection. I take an unconventional approach to the sun in that I don’t slather myself with sunscreen the moment I head outside. Katie over at Wellness Mama shares an approach that I totally agree with. She has a great article on sun protection, facts, information and great DIY recipe that she made herself. Check that out here.

Now, don’t get me wrong-I use sunscreen on myself and my almost 9 month old son but I stay away from the chemical laden stuff on store shelves. I have purchased non-toxic sunscreen and while it’s fantastic quality, the price makes me cringe. I finally bit the bullet and decided to make my own! I researched quite a few recipes and put together one that turned out to be delicious smelling success.

Disclaimer regarding the SPF of these individual ingredients: The levels I listed are a general quote of SPF based on the amount of each ingredient I use. Please read the entire article to get the exact measurements of each ingredient in the recipe. I can’t make any claims as to the total amount of SPF this sunscreen will provide. 

Image-8.png

The ingredients and why I chose them:

  • Coconut Oil-I have a ton of this in my house, always! I use it for anything and everything. It’s the main ingredient in my sunscreen recipe. It’s a natural antioxidant, has SPF 4-5, contains skin nourishing vitamin E, anti-aging and is antimicrobial (anti-fungal). It also smells lovely!
  • Shea Butter (unrefined, organic)-anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and skin smoothing! It blends well with coconut oil. This also has it’s own natural SPF of 4-6.
  • Cocoa Butter(unrefined, organic)-by far my FAVOURITE body butter! I’ve purchased refined cocoa butter before and thought it smelled amazing. Wait until you smell raw, organic cocoa butter! It’s heavenly! It’s moisturizing, anti-aging, great for soothing burns, rashes and other skin irritations .
  • Non-Nano Zinc Oxide-Zinc Oxide is an ingredient found in most sunscreen and diaper rash creams. While regular Zinc oxide is not proven safe to be absorbed into the skin, Non-Nano basically means the size of the powder particles are too big to be absorbed into the skin. This is an important factor if you are wanting to make a safe, natural alternative to regular sunscreen. Make sure to get NON-NANO.
  • Beeswax-Essentially I add the beeswax to make the sunscreen more durable and resistant to water but it also offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well! I have a friend who works with bees and she gets her beeswax from there. If you can get local, raw beeswax-EVEN BETTER!
  • Vanilla Oleoresin Oil-I added this because it smells AMAZING. Vanilla is also soothing, neutralizes free radicals, anti-carcinogenic, and calming. It blends really well with the coconut oil and cocoa butter.
  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil-This has a natural SPF of about 25-50. This oil is packed with amazing-ness! It has antioxidants, Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and so much more.

*Unrefined is another way of saying the ingredient is raw and not chemically processed. Deodorized or refined ingredients are put through a chemical process. While raw might be more expensive, you don’t have to doubt you are getting pure, quality ingredients with raw!

Non-Toxic, DIY Sunscreen Ingredients: (makes 6 ounces)

4 tbsp Coconut Oil

2 tbsp Organic, Unrefined Shea Butter

6 Wafers of Organic, Unrefined Cocoa Butter

1 tbsp of Beeswax Pellets

2 tbsp of Non-Nano Zinc Oxide* ( PLEASE read instructions with this carefully)

10 Drops Vanilla Oleoresin Oil

1 Tsp Red Raspberry Seed Oil

Instructions:

Image-3

Combine coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and beeswax pellets in double boiler (see my makeshift double boiler of a GLASS measuring cup in a pot of water) over medium heat on stove. I’m so fancy!!

Melt everything to a complete oil. Remove from heat. It’s time to add your Zinc but before you do this, cover your face with a scarf or mask as to avoid inhaling the Zinc. IMPORTANT!  Mix in Zinc and allow mixture to cool slightly but don’t allow it to solidify. Mix in vanilla and red raspberry seed oil. The picture below is what everything looked like once mixed together. The black specks are the vanilla oleoresin.

Image-2.png

Pour mixture into desired containers with lids. Allow to cool and solidify. I like to put mine in the refrigerator to speed up the process sometimes!

Image-1

This is what the consistency of mine turned out to look like. A very creamy, smooth consistency that melts into the skin really well. It absorbs into the skin very much like spray on sunscreen. It is not thick and white on the surface of the skin .I used it on my son after his nap and it absorbed so nicely into the skin! He also smelled good enough to eat. Store in a cool, dry place.

Image

No sunscreen ( chemically laden or all natural ) is going to forever shield and protect you from the sun. Be smart about sun exposure but don’t forget you NEED Vitamin D! It’s all a balance. I wear a hat and reapply every few hours if I’m going to be outside for a long time. I reapply sunscreen on my son every 2 hours, keep a hat on him and keep him in the shade as much as I can. I hope you enjoyed making this as much as I did! Do you make your own skincare products? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

***The majority of my ingredients were purchased from Voyageur Soap and Candle. I purchased my Non-Nano Zinc Oxide from Amazon and will link that another time.