I have mentioned it once before, we get a few sponsors, but just so you know, we don’t just take anyone that is willing to offer us free stuff. The sponsors that we have are companies that WE have sought out, and have done a lot of research on. When we find a product we like and could see ourselves using, first we hop online and read about the company and see what they are all about, and then I personally contact them to see what we can make work. Not everyone I contact becomes a Sponsor, some companies do not have the means, the time, or the interest to join up with us, but some awesome companies do, and those ones that do we greatly appreciate. We do not feel indebted to these companies to sign away our souls to them and give them “nothing but good” reviews, many of them simply have earned and deserve them, but instead we promise them our honest opinion if they wish to hear our feedback. Here are some of the hand picked products that we have received and why we chose them.

   It wasn’t until I had laser eye surgery that I started to care about what sunglasses I wore. After having invested that much money to be able to see my husband and the world around me properly, I figured my $10 scratched up aviators would no longer do the trick. I needed something that could protect this newfound vision, be practical, and still make me look good (husband edit: that still allow me to look good while wearing glasses!( hope I get brownie points for adding that)). I have gone through many pairs and brands of sunglasses since then, some have failed simply because they didn’t react well to our salty conditions, and others didn’t seem to take the heat very well (I had one brand that actually melted everywhere they were in contact with my skin, and I don’t think I ooze sweaty radioactivity, so it must be the heat). And then we found Peppers. There were three main things that caught our eye about these trend setting sunglasses, the first was the cost. They are affordable, not break-the-bank sunglasses, but rather own-a-few-pairs sunglasses. The second head turner, they are polarized. All of them, affordable and polarized (practical, especially on a sailboat, but I still catch myself thinking that some of my electronics are broken until I remember to remove my sunglasses to see the screen properly. Momentary heart attack). The third jackpot, they come with a lifetime warranty. A lifetime. I don’t have to stress about how they will hold up, the company has our back. These three things put with the fact that their sunglasses look cool as well has us hooked. The only thing that we have learned to watch out for is the sunglasses with the Gasoline Sheen Lenses, you have to be triple careful when wiping them off if you are out on the ocean, they do not like salt water one bit and are very sensitive, we baby ours.

   Keeping the UVs off our skin is an important business of ours and we have an entire shelf dedicated to sunscreens. We each have our favorites, different brands, different SPFs, and for different reasons, but for our girls, it’s the TruKid Natural sunscreen. Arias has sensitive skin when it comes to sunscreens, she has had adverse effects of rashes and pimples, mostly on her cheeks and under her eyes (of course totally visible, and that happened a week before we were set to meet up with family we hadn’t seen in forever, she looked horrid) which is why we are picky about what goes on her, and Ellia’s skin. This natural sunscreen is really great, it is zinc based but does not go on paste-like. It is thicker than other sunscreens but easily rubs in and disappears from sight, but still protecting. The other thing I love about it is that is doesn’t cause those sweat beads that some sunblocks do, when the sweat just accumulates on the skin and sits there, this one lets their skin breathe. Breathability and lack of chemical in this sunscreen means our 3 year old daughter no longer has allergic reactions causing her to look like a hormonal teen. And best of all, it does not sting the eyes. Finally we no longer have to hear the wretched screams when the girls get sunblock runoff dripping into their eyes causing a stinging fit. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about this sunscreen, except that I wish we had gallons of it, can you make that size? (I just pictured myself dipping the girls in vats of this sunscreen and sending them off to the beach to play!)

   We are out a lot, doing everything from beach time, to running errands, to playing on the water, which often means multiple wardrobe changes a day, to suit every situation. Girls4Sports have sent me a pair of capris that are meant to be used in all of the above situations. They were made with me in mind, they look good, dry fast, and can even be worn in the water (for those days that I thought that I wasn’t going to be joining the girls in the water and they manage to convince me to go in anyways). I did notice that they do make that awkward suction feeling when they first get wet and stick to your skin, showing everyone your true contour, which Eben loved, but with a quick pull and adjustment they are back to their relaxed fit, showing off my heiny only to the desired amount. This company also sent Arias a rash guard that has quickly become her number one swimming outfit, and that says a lot coming from her (she owns more bathing suits than anyone on this boat). The rashguard is very cute, fits snug but isn’t too tight around the neck that you feel like your child’s head might implode while you try to fit them in it. This company has us sun protected and ready for everything.

   I used to dislike coffee, never drank it, not even to make it through studying for university exams. Until I started working as a barista in New Zealand. Then my eyes were opened to all the different ways coffee can be made and enjoyed. I inched my way along from chai lattes into the world of caffeine and now it’s a daily ritual. On the boat however there is no room, or power (unless I were to go turn on the generator every morning, half asleep and in my underwear) for an espresso machine. But a french press does just the trick. We now have both a Bodum french press as well as their travel press. One press used to suffice, until my system (mostly my stomach) stopped handling the caffeine so well and I had to switch to decaf (my brain took a hit). Then we were finding ourselves making two presses every morning, one regular and one speedy-free for me, hence the second travel press. The travel press is not designed to be spill-proof, so it’s not a replacement for the canteen that you throw in your purse, but if it’s tightened securely you should be fine to enjoy your morning joe. They are built strong, look cool, and appease our brains in the early hours of every morning. Bodum helps us make it somewhat ok to be alive at 6 am.