Thoughts for Thursday: Getting Organized

Hi Friends! Welcome back to another Thoughts for Thursday!  Remember you can write about anything you want, just grab the button and link up below.

Today is all about organization!  Since returning from vacation I am on an organizing streak.  As most of you know we moved out of our house for a little over 5 months for our kitchen renovation to be completed.   Since moving back in we have been slowly getting unpacked and organized.  As much as I hated the process of packing everything up for storage or moving it to the townhouse with us it has been so good for purging and decluttering.  It's amazing how much junk can just sit around in closets or boxes for months or even years if you let it.

So now that we are back home and approaching the two year anniversary of living in this house I figured it was time to really start decluttering and getting organized.

My first spot to tackle is our new open pantry.  It's a mudroom/pantry combination so while it's not right out in the open it's still a spot that most people can see when they're in our home.  The only thing separating it from our kitchen is a pocket door, which we rarely keep closed.

Here is the pantry when we first moved in:

Here is our pantry now:

While it doesn't look awful, it is still cluttered and disorganized.  We also have all our cable and internet boxes on the top shelf so I need to figure out what to do with those, in addition to the random toilet paper in here (Kyle did that) that needs to move to the linen closet and a whole box of baking supplies I haven't even unpacked yet.  I don't need this to be Pinterest perfect but I do what it to feel less chaotic.  

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Houzz over the last few weeks trying to come up with a solution to make this pretty and functional.   It took a lot of measuring, planning, and reading reviews (I'm a review junkie) and I have my first phase of organization ready to put in place.  Here is what I've purchased to get started and then I'll see how it looks from here:

1. OXO Good Grips 3.4 quart Pop Container- I bought this container to store angel hair pasta.  This is Kyle's favorite and we always have 3 or 4 boxes on hand so I knew this would be the best for it.  

2. OXO Good Grips 3 piece Pop Round Canister- I bought these to store flour and sugar and I'll probably use the biggest one for snacks.  I haven't decided for sure yet but that's what I'm leaning towards.

3. Target Threshold Seagrass Small Basket- these have been awesome!! We already have five of these in our pantry and they have been great for holding snacks- goldfish, chips, crackers, apple sauces etc. I like that they keep the snacks hidden but are short enough so I can still see the tops of snacks so I can easily pull it out to get what I'm looking for.

4. OXO Good Grips Pop Cereal Dispenser- We always have at least two if not three cereals on hand for breakfast and snacks for the kids.  Since the kids are always pulling them out I feel like they're never shut properly and going stale faster than they should.  I'm hoping these will help with that!

5. Native Spring Chalkboard Labels- Lastly I bought these labels off Amazon with this chalk pen.  I'm planning to label the canisters and all the baskets to help keep it organized.

All of my stuff arrived yesterday so today during nap time it's operation get organized! Once I get all of this in place I will evaluate what else I think we need and what our next steps should be.  I'm excited to have the pantry a little less chaotic and a little more organized.  I promise to share the final product once we get it complete.

If you have any organization tips, tricks, or must haves please let me know!

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Thoughts for Thursday: Vacation Time and Blogging

Happy Thursday from Florida Friends!  I hope you all have been having a great week so far. We are down in Rosemary/Seacrest Beach area of Florida this week for a vacation with my side of the family.  After coming down here for my mom's birthday last May we had to come back. Since I'm on vacation I wanted to pop in and say hi and share a few pictures from our trip.

First I wanted to share details on this cover up and bathing suit since so many of you asked me about it after I posted it on instastories yesterday.

The cover up is from Shopbop and is still available, you can find it here.  There is also a cheaper version of it for only $24.99 here!! I have not tried the less expensive version so I can't speak for the quality but it's a steal.  
My one piece is Trina Turk from last summer but it's her cross back one piece style and it is the BEST!! I have bought this the last two seasons and just ordered her new one for this year, which you can find here and here.  

We had dinner at George's and it was just as good as we remember from last year. George's is in Alys Beach which is another beach with gorgeous architecture and only a five minute walk from our house in Seacrest. 

Annie from Home of Malones came to visit up with her two adorable kids Brody and Madelyn.  This is the second year she's come to visit us and I'm so happy that blogging has brought us together and we've gotten to meet in real life. This is one of the reasons I just cannot quit this blog, I have made so many wonderful "friends" through this community and feel so special about the ones I've gotten to meet in real life. Annie is just as sweet, fun, and down to earth as she seems on her blog and the kids had so much fun together! It seems like we're old friends who've known each other forever instead of people who just met on the internet 3 years ago.

I promise I will be back next Thursday with a full recap of our trip!  Have a great weekend friends!

Grab the button below and link up to Annie and Julie and Natalie on your Thoughts for Thursday post.
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Skin Cancer Update, Awareness, and Sun Protection

If you all are new here or haven't read for awhile back in January 2017 I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my upper forehead, you can read more here.  I had planned to talk about it more on the blog but life got in the way and while the surgery and recovery were easy, having a scar on my forehead has been a little harder for me than I predicted it would be.

While the basal cell they removed from my face was only about 2 centimeters in size my scar is about 1.5 inches, which doesn't sound like a lot until it's on your face.  This is all strictly from a cosmetic stand point, I know I'm so lucky it wasn't worse but it's been hard trying to figure out how to cover up the scar and at the same time accept it for what it is without judging my own appearance.  

I felt like at this point I was probably in the clear and didn't really see any spots or moles that I thought looked suspicious.  Then last week I went to my annual skin scan with my dermatologist, I will now go every 6 months for awhile, and she found another spot on the side of my nose that she thinks looks suspicious.  She biopsied it and I'm praying that it's nothing.  She said she's hoping it is too, but she wants to be extra cautious right now.   

During the months between my surgery and skin scan in April my Dad was diagnosed with two superficial melanomas, thankfully God is good, and they were right on the surface and easily removed with surgery but now he realizes he needs to be a lot more diligent too.   

So at the moment skin cancer is in the forefront of my family's brain. We are leaving on a family trip to Florida on Saturday and the amount of skin screen, hats, and rash guards coming with us this year is comical.  We are all taking this very seriously.  Skin cancer is no joke, and I don't want any of us to have to feel the affects of having a more serious version.  If you didn't know already May is melanoma and skin cancer awareness month.

Here are some statistics that always stand out to me from the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
Since my diagnosis I've done a lot of research for cute sun protection clothing items for my whole family, along with sunscreen that is both safe and protective so I've rounded up my favorites below.  

1. Elta MD daily sunscreen-  I just started using this daily face sunscreen as a recommendation from my dermatologist.  It has a zinc oxide base so it's a physical sunscreen barrier which is preferred and all the reviews say that it rubs in well and doesn't make people break out.  So far I agree and felt like it sunk into my skin right away but I'm only on day 2 so I will keep you posted and let you know how it works/makes my skin feel after continued use.  I opted for the tinted version, which I think will be great for summer but I will probably use the regular not tinted in the winter since it's darker than my skin complexion.

2. Coola Spray Sunscreen and Vanicream-  these are two more of my favorite sunscreens for myself and Kyle.  The Coola spray is a go-to for putting on quickly with the kids but I try to slather the Vanicream on myself when I know I'll be outside for extended periods of time.  It's taken me sometime to get used to the initial white tint of zinc oxide sunscreens but I'm find that most of them do blend in with thorough application and waiting 10-15 minutes.

3. Rashguards-  I am new to wearing rash guards so when I started to look I didn't really know where to begin. Most of them are pretty pricey but I know they are worth it for the sun protection!  Most of the ones you can find on the market are of bathing suit material and have a UPF protection of around 50.  I found this adorable striped on at Lands End of all places when I was busy looking for some for the kids and it was only $30!   The next cute option I found was Cabana Life.  This brand is new to me but all their swim wear and clothing has UPF 50 in it!! I am so impressed with this company that I  can see myself giving them lots of business through the years.

4. Cover-ups-  This striped tassel one is one of my favorites and yes I know the back is open but I love having an option that covers up a lot of my body but is still fun and cute without making me look frumpy.  I also really love this option and this one too.

5. Hats- Hats!!! I cannot stress hats enough and I will be the first to tell you it's taken me a long time to like wear hats.  It's hard to find cute ones that aren't too big or floppy.  This first J.Crew hat is just too cute to pass up and I like that the brim gives some coverage but isn't too big.  This second one was my go-to hat last year.  The Cappelli face saver hat has the big brim of a sun hat but only in the front so you can easily sit back in a chair or lay on a towel with it.  It was also very easy to run around with the kids in since there wasn't big sides blocking my view that I had to keep adjusting.  Last but not least is the good old baseball cap.  I love my Vineyard Vines ones for the colors and comfort that I keep coming back to them year after year.  I usually by mine at the outlet by our house but I'm pretty Kyle and I each have a total of 6 of them in varying colors.

6. Nike Men's Hydro Shirt UPF 40-  When I started looking for rash guards for myself I looked for some options for Kyle too. He is even more fair skinned than me so I really wanted to find something for him but I knew he would be picky.  He didn't want it to be a tight rash guard that you would use for surfing but he didn't want it to look too bulky either.  Enter this great short sleeve sport shirt for men. I just found this while searching online and it's exactly what he was looking for.   I picked one up for my dad and brother in law too just in case.

7. Land's End Kids Rash Guards-  These are my absolute favorite rash guards for the kids! They are available in long sleeve and short sleeve in a variety of colors but I always opt for the long sleeve.  Even though it gets super hot and humid where we live my kids are in the water 90% of the time we're at the pool or beach so I know they don't get too hot in these shirts and since sunscreen doesn't last forever and toddlers are hard to keep still to put sunscreen on anyway I like this added layer of protection.

8. Hats for the kids-  I love, love, love these Hanna Andersson swimmy hats for the kids.  They are made of bathing suit material so they can get wet and dry quickly.  My kids have never once complained about them.  I was worried hat Miller might be too old to wear them this summer but he already willingly put one on at my parents house last weekend so I'm thinking I'll get another summer out of him.  When we're not in the water I always have the kids wear baseball caps.  I got these navy blue ones from J.Crew this spring and so far they've been great. The have an adjustable back to loosen or tighten them which has worked well for us.

9. Babyganics Sunscreen and Think Baby Sunscreen- these are my two go-to sunscreens for the kids. I switch back and forth just depending on the day or our activities for the day.  I have found that the spray top of the Babyganics comes in handy when I have anxious toddlers who don't want to sit still, and don't worry it's not an aerosol spray it's the same exact consistency just a little easier to get out of the bottle.

What are some ways you use promote sun protection for your family?  What's your favorite sunscreen for kids?  Do you have a daily face sunscreen you love? 

*This post is in no way sponsored this is just a cause that is near and dear to my heart right now and so preventable that I want to give it as much awareness as possible!!*

Grab the button below and link up to Annie and Julie and Natalie on your Thoughts for Thursday 
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones @eastcoastnat and @bormandcoblog.
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