My (Chlorinated) Swimming Pool Essentials

Summer is on it's way, and we have signed Rowan up for swimming lessons. In the very recent past, Rowan would have never set foot in any body of water crying every time he was near a pool or the ocean. He has had a few lessons, and things are looking good. However, one of my main concerns, is his exposure to chlorine. I was not able to find a salt water pool for Rowan's lesson, so he will be in a chlorine pool each week.

I recently started reading up on the effects of chlorinated pools. There is a lot  information out there, about it's negative effects, especially for young children and babies. For instance, here in an article from Healthy Child Healthy World it refers to "A 2006 Belgian study showed that use of indoor chlorine pools especially by children younger than 7 promotes the development of childhood asthma." In another article here, chlorine exposure is linked to certain types of cancer and heart disease, not cool.

After studying around, I found a lot of helpful information about what I can do to reduce the effects of this chlorine exposure. Here is a little list of some things I will be trying:


Slather coconut oil on before each lesson. The coconut oil acts as an additional barrier on you and your child's skin.

Vitamin C is excellent at neutralizing chlorine, as well as, boosting your immune system. In addition to using it topically, make sure you eat a lot Vitamin C rich foods (strawberries!) are a part of your summer diet.

You can purchase swim spray, but it is so simple (and inexpensive!) to make. After the pool, spray Vitamin C Spray all over body and hair then shower as usual. You can also add Vitamin C to coconut oil if you prefer.

Vitman C Spray Recipe
1 teaspoon Vitamin C crystals
2 cups of water

Rinsing off before entering the pool helps by cleaning off sweat, dirt and any products which can have a negative reaction when it come into contact with chlorine. This article states that "Our bodies contain residue from consumer products. When the chemicals used to disinfect the pool mix with organic matter (sweat, hair, urine) or nitrogen rich substances (found in consumer products) it can create a more toxic agent." And of course, shower immediately after swimming.

Have a good weekend and enjoy the pool!

Lunchbox Notes

kids school lunch

Preschooler lunch note ideas

On the days that Rowan is in school, I put a little love note in his lunchbox. It is a ritual suggested to me by his school, and I am happy for it. I am sure it will become uncool to him as he gets older, but for now, he enjoys his lunch basket surprises.

I am also quite addicted to the ritual of sitting down, gathering the colored pencils, and creating these notes. These evening moments of coloring are quite meditative too. I find myself getting lost in the process, and feeling truly in the moment. It's a shame that as we get older we toss aside these activities we did on a daily basis as children. Coloring should not be reserved just for the under 12 set. So in that vain, I have created these printables that you can color then slip into your child's lunch.

Tide Pool Container Fairy Garden


Since moving to San Diego, we have become great fans of tide pools here. The hours we spend on the beach remind me of my childhood in Southern Florida searching the white sand beaches of Sanibel Island in search of shells and sea glass. Rowan and I spent a lovely late afternoon wandering the tide pools of Carlsbad here in San Diego.

Tide pools are rocky areas on the oceans coast that at low tide act as habitats for small sea creatures like sea urchins, sea anemones and hermits crabs. Low tide reveals a wonderland of sea life and shells plus along with its warm shallow waters, it is a refreshing playland for my 4 year old. Rowan has been quite afraid of the rough, waves of Southern Califonia, but at low tide that all changes and he is happy and delighted.

We brought home some shells and sand from the beach and made little container gardens with them. A great way to reflect on the day and learn about the things we had found.


Tide Pool Container Fairy Garden

Glass container

Arrange all of your sea treasures in a glass jar. Create a bottom layer of sand. Then add your largest rocks along the bottom or back of the jar for height. Sprinkle small shells as your last layer.

DIY // Easter Thaumatropes (Spinning Toy) w/ Printable

Thaumatropes  are such a fun, easy craft that seem like magic every time you make them. They were a popular toy in the 19th century; the most common was the image of a bird in a cage. After making one ourselves for the first time using watercolor paints, we decided to do it again for Easter.  

I made these fun Easter bunny Thaumatropes, and think they would make a sweet craft for Easter morning or a fun addition to your Easter basket. Give them a try! 

Easter Thaumatropes

What you need:
Sticks (a straw or pencil will work)
Download printable here

Print out the download. For the watercolor Thaumatrope: Using paint balloons on the circle with the two rules. For both, using a scissors trim the two circle images. tape your stick to the back of one of the circles. Then line up and add glue to the other circle and stick together. Let dry.

Happy Easter!

Some Great Easter DIYs Worth Trying

Spring is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. When we were on the east coast, it meant that (finally!) winter was ending, and to my memory, Easter was always a bright, crisp spring day. The daffodils start to peak out and some of our early blooming trees would be showing off their colors, a great reason to celebrate. Even though I am in Southern California, I still have that feeling of a new start and the flowers here are gorgeous. I am getting inspired by so many whimsical Easter eggs ideas, I am seeing. They are definitely getting me in the mood for the holiday.

The charming and contented Easter eggs (above) from Flax and Twine  (here and here) would make any lunch table special. 

These bright, bold pineapple Easter eggs from Studio DIY are definitive proof that simplest ideas are just the best. I would love to see a bowl of these on my spring table.

And how sweet is this bowling set from La Maison De Lou Lou. A great activity for the kids on Easter morning.

Check out this thoughtful little pair from ConfettiSunshine. Her idea of pre-dipping the eggs and letting the kids fill in the animal designs is inspired. 

These beautiful, natural eggs from Kaley Ann are lovely and a great alternative if you only have the brown eggs around. 

Happy Spring!

Lavender Playdough


Making this playdough is a lot simpler that you would think. The only ingredient you may not already have is cream of tartar, but everything else is most likely in your pantry. Rowan loved all the stirring and kneading and mess making. The subtle scent of this beautiful play dough is a beautiful touch, and I found myself working the dough, and enjoying the relaxing benefits of it's scent. Let's face, it we could all use a little relaxation wherever we can get it. This is a great way to sneak in a little spa therapy while hanging out with your kids.

Lavender Playdough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup hot water
Food coloring
Lavender Essential Oil

Mix all of the dry ingredients along with vegetable oil in a bowl. Slowly add warm water and stir until mixtures forms a playdough like dough. Add more water if dough is too dry. Fold in food coloring to achieve desired color. Add about 10 drops or more of Lavender Essential Oil until you enjoy the scent. I highly recommend adding other favorite scents if you prefer.

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