Mid-Summer Relaxation

I think it’s safe to say we’ve passed the “mid-summer” point now that Labor Day weekend is on the horizon. In any case, Alex and I are coming off of a quiet, relaxing weekend at home. We’ve both been pretty exhausted with everything we’ve had going on lately so it was perfect to get to wake up in our own bed on Saturday¬†and Sunday and not have an agenda whatsoever!

{lunch making station... it has been weeks since I've taken the time on a Sunday to get Alex's lunches prepped for the week!}

{lunch making station… it has been weeks since I’ve taken the time on a Sunday to get Alex’s lunches prepped for the week!}

We did some cleaning around the house – nothing monumental, but we spruced up the carpet and rugs with our carpet cleaner. The victory round went to the new Bona “mop” though – holy, holy cow – our floors have never been cleaner since we moved in {and probably not before that!}. Previously we had used the Swiffer Wet Jet, which we thought did an okay job. Now the Bona puts the Swiffer to shame. I highly recommend it for cleaning wood or tile floors!!!

{Alex's lunches are the talk of the table :) }

{Alex’s lunches are the talk of the table ūüôā }

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In other news, the weather has been really nice for the last week, but the temps are on their way back up.¬†Both Alex and I are beyond ready for fall. We’re expecting to have a pretty nice fall here in the Pacific Northwest, but I am longing for cooler temps so we can park it in front of the fire with a big juicy bottle of red wine, a hearty dinner and leg warmers and/or slippers. And apple cider. And pumpkin bread. And soup. And the list goes on…

{homemade pickles!}

{homemade pickles!}

My half marathon training is going really well! I did a six mile run last week¬†{without walking!} and am coming up on my seven mile run this week. If I make it past six miles, that’s my “furthest distance I’ve ever run” mark. My race is quite hilly so I’ve been mixing in hilly runs once a week in addition to a long run and another shorter run. So far I am feeling great… Now I just need to double last week’s run in four weeks and I’ll be golden…

{slow and steady, but ready to keep running!}

{slow and steady, but ready to keep running!}

One of the themes of my summer has been mole removal. I have been blessed with many, many moles all over my body, and unfortunately a handful of them are ones I really don’t want to¬†stick around, so I’ve had several doctors appointments throughout the summer to work on removing them. One of them; however, turned out to be pretty severely “precancerous” and required the doctor to go back and take out a 5mm section around the mole to ensure all of the cells were removed {which they were}. That was a bit more dramatic in the recovery.

{my stitches... I ended up finding out that I am allergic to the adhesive in one of the bandages I was using and it caused a really awful rash all over my arm! That was by far the worst part of the whole ordeal.}

{my stitches… I ended up finding out that I am allergic to the adhesive in one of the bandages I was using and it caused a really awful rash all over my arm! That was by far the worst part of the whole ordeal.}

As a result of the mole removal and “precancerous” diagnosis I have been educating myself on a few things, namely sunscreen and natural products. I essentially never wore sunscreen until July this year because I almost never get sunburned and I had heard mixed things about sunscreen giving you cancer, so it seemed like a lose-lose to me. Now I know that you need sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, which in themselves can cause cancer, and I know that it’s important to look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the “sunscreen” ingredients to avoid getting cancer from wearing sunscreen. Oye ve.¬†Thanks to my new super helpful friends at¬†EWG¬†I am now a more informed sunscreen, household products and skincare consumer.

{my scar is healing REALLY well! I've been using shea butter to help with the process...}

{my scar is healing REALLY well! I’ve been using shea butter to help with the process…}

Presently, I am feeling duped by the “big” cosmetics, cleaning and skin care industries. I’ve been extremely cautious of what I eat for several years now, but I almost feel like this is a more challenging issue to tackle than food. I had previously purchased big name products and am now horrified to read about the harmful effects of some¬†ingredients lurking in them.

I know a lot of this issue is fear mongering and this industry’s¬†own marketing, but at the same time I think there is a lot of sense in seeking out more natural, non-toxic products. I mean, our skin is a living, breathing part of our body – whatever we put on it gets absorbed inside our bodies. I’d rather avoid getting cancer if I can help it.

That said, I’m in the process of a major overhaul of all of the products I put on my body and use at home. I purchased new reusable glass containers {instead of plastic}, we’ve got a new line of dishwasher and laundry detergent, I have new face and body wash, sunscreen, face lotion, body¬†lotion and deodorant. Next up: shampoo and hair products and a final cleanse {heehee} of any nasty cleaning products that weren’t replaced a while back. Amazon, Mighty Nest and The Honest Company have been very helpful in my shopping… It’s a really big undertaking, but I think it’s worth it.

Now that I’m off my soapbox, I’ve got another relaxing evening and stunning sunset to go enjoy ūüôā