Tiny Armor...tiny tattoos

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

Tattoos have been a part of human lives/bodies for centuries.  They are marks of honor, sadness, memories, heart aches and breaks, past love, challenges overcome or just because they are pretty or funny.  But what ever the reason tattoos are so alluring we can't get enough of them.  Although we may have made a mistake or 2 in the past with too big or "I am gonna love this forever" tattoos, we still love them and want a million more.  But alas we hold back knowing they are permanent and if not permanent, they are insanely painful to remove and don't always look right once they are gone.

One of my favorite friends to run into, Toby Morse, who is not one to love the delicate tattoos :)

One of my favorite friends to run into, Toby Morse, who is not one to love the delicate tattoos :)

This weekend we decided to the amazing Long Beach boutique, Prism, where they had a vintage clothes pop up and rad tattoo artist named "Hopper" doing dainty, single needle tattoos.  So of course I used any excuse I could to see Mieke and "forced" her to go with me.  How could she resist...shopping and a tattoo date?!?    We both ended up wanting the same one.  A tiny, delicate arrow that meant a lot to us both.  - Arrow- One meaning is "protection from harm" which goes along perfectly with the reason it meant so much to us which was "when something pulls you backwards, shoot forward into the light".  I then read (after we got them) that if two people get arrows together, "their friendship will last a lifetime"  Que the tears


Here are a few tiny tattoos we love by artists we can not get enough of...

Most of the artists whose work is above have a 6 month wait list!  But its so worth it for a good artist, safe and clean place and it gives you ample time to think about it!

  • Dr Woo's work is so detailed so intricate.  Now we would never go to someone simply because they have tattooed celebs but he is so good.
  • Daniel Winter Stone is beyond.  He is based in LA and I actually stalked a lady just to ask her who did her tiny delicate yet perfect stars on her hand.  
  • Sol Tattoo is an artist from South Korea that loves to do tiny perfect cat tattoos in the most gorgeous colors
  • The artists at Bang Bang NYC will blow your mind!

(There are thousands of artists that do insane work...these are a few of our favorites that we drool over daily on Instagram)

What ever you get, just make sure you really want it and the person/shop doing it is licensed, clean, safe and experienced....

What would you get?  Comment below or on Insta!

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Kayla we miss you....

Have you ever had a really good thing going? Like, let's pretend that you are in a relationship and yeah, maybe it's a lot of hard work but the payoff is great? Then all of a sudden you get a little lazy and you stop working as hard and you just let a few days go by without seeing each other and before you know it, it's been months... Or even years! 

That is pretty much what happened with us and the BBG... If you are not familiar with the BBG it's the Bikini Body Guide invented by the beautiful and super hardworking Kayla Itsines. Once we were in a committed relationship with the BBG and then we left it for running errands, doing laundry and drinking rose and pretty much just being busy Mamas! Now we are looking back and realizing we let a good thing go! 

But we are going to try and get back together with our old love... The Bikini Body Guide. 

I mean..... 

I mean..... 

This 24 week workout program that you do on your own is no easy walk in the park... It's freaking hard and if you do it right and you do it consistently your body will transform right before your eyes.

Beautiful, hard work taken from  @kaylaitsines

Beautiful, hard work taken from @kaylaitsines

This isn't an overnight magic trick.... This program is HARD and it requires commitment. But we did it and it worked, never before or after have we been so strong & fit. 

So why did we stop? UGHHHHH kicking ourselves, but sometimes life gets in the way. 

So instead of beating ourselves up, we are going to try our best to recommit to the BBG. 

Because we just want to be our strongest and best versions of ourselves. 

If you are interested in this, join the BBG revolution on Kayla's website. 

XOXO- TWH 

 

 

Thinner & Thinner

There is always a thing or two that women don't really like to talk about, call it superstitious but they give us the heebie-jeebies... Like if we talk about them, suddenly they are going to be real. ... One of these things is hair loss. 

As women get older hormones cause them to start thinning in the one place we don't want to be thinner, our hairlines! 

But did you know that age & hormones aren't the only contributors? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also cause premature hair loss, wearing your hair up in tight top knots and ponytails every day is a HUGE, HUGE contributor & anything that puts your body into shock and stress is a major reason for young healthy women to start losing hair.

So if shock and stress can contribute to hair loss in women and the election was on November 9th, then by our reasoning by March half of the women in America will have thinning hair.   

Lately, we have been more vocal about this problem and as usual, once you open up about what you are going through, you realize you are not alone! So for any of the ladies out there reading this, please know, we've got you! 

We are not alone, these pictures of beautiful celebrities who always look great show you that if a ponytail is pulling your hair too tight, too often then hair loss at the temples is happening to everyone. Thanks to the ponytail, messy bun and topknot trends of our generation, most women are having the issue of what is called Traction Alopecia

So what can we do about it? 

As always our first step is education and research, here is what we found. 

"It's estimated that hair loss affects 1 in 5 women. The most common types of hair loss are telogen effluvium and alopecia areata. Although it's more common than alopecia areata, telogen effluvium is less severe. This occurs when the hair follicles stop growing and lie dormant and fall out within two to three months. Being that telogen effluvium is oftentimes caused by stress, trauma or medications, hair growth is typically restored within 6 to 9 months. On the flip side, alopecia areata occurs when white blood cells attack hair follicles, causing the hair to thin and fall out, usually in patches. This type of hair loss may require treatment as hair may not grow back on its own.

Your hair says a lot about your overall health. When the body goes into crisis mode, hair growth is stunted to redirect energy to other cells throughout the body. So hair loss is oftentimes the first sign of trouble. While age is definitely a factor of hair loss, other factors, such as hormonal imbalance, emotional stress, medications and hair care products can also lead to thinning of the hair and even male pattern baldness. The best way to get to the root of the problem is to determine the underlying cause."

FIND THE CAUSE- 

1. Get checked out by your doctor... Rule out hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and complications with your medications. (Ask your doctor to do a full thyroid panel & check your iron levels) Once you know if your overall health is a contributor you can move on to other questions. 

2. Have you had anything traumatic or shocking happen to you in the last 3-9 months? If you have, your hair loss could be attributed to that. "When the body is in shock it upsets the circulatory system and the essential nutrients that the skin and hair need can be compromised. Hair loss due to physical trauma is not normally permanent and once the body recovers the hair will start to grow back. It can take time, hair can still be lost up to 3 months after the accident. During this time taking care of the hair is important."

3. Are you wearing your hair up every day? Are you a ponytail queen? Do people not recognize you when you wear your hair down? If you are one of these ladies, you know it.  When you wear your hair up in a style that pulls it up to the top of your head with the elastic placed above your ears, you are putting stress on your hair ALL DAY LONG!!!! "A ponytail that pulls all the hair into a tail centered at the crown area ends up resting with the majority of the weight of the hair being placed on the leading edge of the hairline. The tighter the hair is pulled into the ponytail (and more specifically, the tighter the hair is HELD) the more tension is placed on the forward edge of the hairline."

FIND THE SOLUTION- 

1. If your condition is medical then your doctor should help you be able to help you figure a way to balance your hormones or nutrients and that should help your hair get back into the regular growth cycle, this shouldn't be a permanent problem. 

But you can also do these things to help speed up the process: 

(This also stands for the hairloss due to stress & shock) 

Take a hair vitamin, I have one that I swear helped me grow out my pixie haircut and made my hair thicker and stronger. Although my partner Erin will kill me for putting it up on TWH because she hates the packaging & the name... I am putting my word on it that this vitamin, Hairfinity works, packaging be damned! 

 TWH also suggests you give your scalp some extra loving.... The skin needs to be taken care of to encourage the hair follicles to be stimulated. We found this video from Annie Jaffreythat gives you the lowdown on a perfect scalp massage. 

 

Ok ponytail Mamas, Now we need to talk to you. TAKE YOUR PONYTAIL OUT!!!

We aren't trying to make you feel bad because we are in the same boat... So are millions of women. Ballerina's, gymnasts, cheerleaders, swimmers, horseback riders anyone who grew up wearing their hair up in a ponytail or bun most of the time has a long history of thinning at their temples. 

Unfortunately, if this is something you have dealt with over time the hair follicles are probably damaged beyond repair with everyday home remedies. "Traction alopecia causes scarring of the hair follicle. Hair that is lost from permanently scarred follicles will not regrow."

So here are some of your choices. 

1. Cortizone shots - "It can also stimulate hair to grow again in those areas after about four weeks. The injections are repeated every few weeks. Alopecia may return when the injectionsare stopped. Side effects of corticosteroid injections include pain at the injection site and thinning of your skin (atrophy)."

This is a common first step from a lot of Dermatologists but reading on-line, it seems results are mixed. Some are helped by it, some see no results and some even say it seems to have accelerated their hair loss! 

2. Hair transplant- This is only for people suffering from serious extreme Traction Alopecia. If you are considering this treatment make sure you find a reputable doctor and make sure you have seen his work not just in pictures but in real life. Professional doctors are used to these requests and will usually be able to arrange for you to meet a previous patient. 

For this  Ballerina Diva Hollands , a transplant was the best option. 

For this Ballerina Diva Hollands, a transplant was the best option. 

A new treatment is also on the horizon. 

 – PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy –

PRP starts by drawing blood from the patient. The blood then goes into a machine that separates out the platelets filled with growth factors.

Those growth factor-filled platelets are then injected into the scalp to stimulate new-hair growth, decrease hair loss and make the hair grow thicker.

Producing platelet rich plasma is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

You can get PRP done at a California location called Facile

The number one takeaway we got after all of our research is you can't wear your hair in a high & tight pony all the time. Try styling your hair down or if your need to put it up opt for a low bun or pony at the nape of your neck. If you have to put your hair up to the top of your head, don't wear it like that all day long. Your hair shouldn't hurt when you take it out of a ponytail and if it does your hair was under to much pressure and you may have damaged the front follicles, so massage it till the hair feels normal again. 

Most of all remember you are not alone, we are in this together and more women are dealing with this than you would ever guess. 

XOXO- TWH 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sporty Spice

Lets be honest, more often then not Erin and I are Pumpkin Spice if we are any spice girl.

We like to keep it pretty cozy and even when we get Posh we may still have on leggings. 

But lately we have been hitting up the gym and it feels so good to turn over that Sporty leaf! 

Here are a few things that keep us motivated at the gym. 

1. Spotify- 

If you don't follow us on Spotify, you really should! Not only can you see what we are listening to lately, you can also check out our awesome playlists! We have two "Work Out" mixes, so you can switch it up depending on your mood. We get pretty eclectic with our tastes, so be prepared to bounce from Missy Elliot to Elvis Costello to Lady Leshurr to AC/DC.... And of course No Doubt. 

We seriously could not work out without our music... It's a must. 

2. Work out gear you can wear all day. 

1. Clavin Klein  2. Vintage T-Shirt 3. Mara Hoffman 4. Under Armour 5. Target 6. Under Armour

Lately we have been loving Under Armour and their leggings for workouts. They are high quality and comfortable, plus they have great designs and are about half the price of some other brands. We have also been obsessed with Mara Hoffman sports bras and the classic Calvin Klein ones. 

Usually we wil;l break up our sports look with a vintage T-shirt. It helps us keep feeling like ourselves even with the leggings and sneakers.  

3. Green Juice- 

Having this delicious juice bar right inside my local gym is pretty perfect. Sometimes while on the elliptical i'm already dreaming of a nice cold Indian Summer or a healthy spicy Straight Up. 

Whatever inspires you to be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself embrace it! It's not about fitting into a certain pair of jeans... (Although I have a few I may never be able to wear again) it's about keeping your spirits up and your heart strong. As mamas we have a lot to do and a lot to manage. Exercise helps clear your mind and lets you focus on whats important. 

XOXO- TWH

 

 

 

 

 

California Girls

My husband and I spent hours on end playing at the beach both in California & Massachusetts when we were kids, and now our children do. Truth be told, I kind of love little tan kids running around all summer. Somehow, summer captures for me what being a kid really is. Tan, sandy, salty skin... Popsicles melting down your arm.... laughing and splashing in the waves. The point is, my family will always be a beach family. It's who we are and it is ingrained in our souls. My husband loves to surf and sail, I hope our boys will too.

So, the question for us is never going to be, "Do we go to the beach?", the question is, "How do we do it safely?" 

My little tan babies enjoying the sun and sea last summer. 

My little tan babies enjoying the sun and sea last summer. 

California Girls... And I would imagine girls & boys from sunny locals all over the world, grow up constantly exposed to the sun. And while we may all love being a cute tan Gidget... Most of us  (almost all of us) will end up with some sort of sun damage.  

Of course I use tons of sunblock on my kids all day everyday at the beach or the pool. But I will admit to being guilty of not remembering to put it on their faces every day during the school year.

I mean honestly, if they have all have their homework and have brushed their teeth by the time we scramble out the door in the morning, I feel like I should get a trophy. (Still waiting) 

two freckle faces- post dermatologist for mom

two freckle faces- post dermatologist for mom

But, the other day my son tagged along with me to my Dermatologist appointment and was lucky enough to see his mama get her face frozen and sliced all in the name of hoping to prevent some really scary sun damage... While laying on the table I looked over at my sweet son and his adorable freckles and I thought... UGGGHHHH I am the WORST for not being more diligent about sunblock everyday for my boys. EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

Because I didn't always make the best choices about the sun in my life, now in my 30's I can see the years of sun worshiping starting to take a toll on my skin and I don't want that for my kids. I'm not talking wrinkles although that is a HUGE bummer... I am taking serious stuff, scary stuff that can happen if we don't take care of our skin. 

Little Mieke growing up in the sun. Note the lotion. 

Little Mieke growing up in the sun. Note the lotion. 

For all of us that grew up in the sun... Here are a few things for all of us to think about. 

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are less serious types and make up 95% of all skin cancers. Also referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers, they are highly curable when treated early.

Melanoma, made up of abnormal skin pigment cells called melanocytes, is the most serious form of skin cancer and causes 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Left untreated, it can spread to other organs and is difficult to control. (From MedicineNet.com) 

So lets break down those three types of skin cancer so that we can get a clear picture of what each one would mean to us. 

1. Basal cell carcinoma- This is the most common type of skin cancer... With more then 2 million cases being diagnosed in America each year. 

This skin cancer usually develops on skin that gets sun exposure, such as on the head, neck, and back of the hands. BCC is especially common on the face, often forming on the nose. It is possible to get BCC on any part of the body, including the trunk, legs, and arms. Oh and don't forget the ears! Our ears get sun all the time and we often forget to put sun block on them. 

You may be familiar with this type of skin cancer because Hugh Jackman has been working to draw public attention to BCC and raise awareness since he has had to have numerous spots removed. 

Another scary aspect of BCC is that they are very hard to see and so you can miss discovering it for quite a while. 

2.  Squamous cell carcinoma- With 700,000 cases a year in the States, SCC is the second most common skin cancer. This is a cancer that develops in the thin, flat squamous cells that make up the outer layer of the skin. SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed.

This skin cancer tends to develop on skin that has been exposed to the sun for years. It is most frequently seen on sun-exposed areas, such as the head, neck, and back of the hands. Women frequently get SCC on their lower legs. 

It is possible to get SCC on any part of the body, including the inside of the mouth, lips, and genitals. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is usually not life-threatening, though it can be aggressive in some cases. Untreated, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.

3. Melanoma - The most serious type of skin cancer, develops in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. Melanoma can also form in your eyes and, rarely, in internal organs, such as your intestines.

Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That's why it's so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately.

The exact cause of all melanomas isn't clear, but exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps and beds increases your risk of developing melanoma. Limiting your exposure to UV radiation can help reduce your risk of melanoma.

SOOO after reading all that information  the take away is that prolonged exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer, but UV light from tanning beds is just as harmful. So tan from a can it will have to be if you want to stay gold. 

Thank heavens for huge Lifeguard hats

Thank heavens for huge Lifeguard hats

We all need to really think about what we are doing to our bodies. 

We need to be diligent about our hats, glasses and rash guards. We need to limit our hours of exposure and set up camp under umbrellas at the beach. We need to be diligent about applying sunscreen to ourselves and our kids... I know sometimes we are so rushed to get the kids covered we forget ourselves and our partners. 

Looks like all of us Gidgets have to take a cue from Larue! Did you know there is a right way to apply sunscreen and a wrong way? Here are the rules from the American Academy of Dermatology. 

Follow these tips from dermatologists when applying sunscreen:

  1. Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Follow these helpful tips when selecting a sunscreen.

  2. Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.

  3. Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.

  4. Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.

  5. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating. People who get sunburned usually didn't use enough sunscreen, didn't reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product. Your skin is exposed to the sun's harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen.

Here are some amazing tips from Things We Heart on what brands of Sunscreens we recommend

What to look for-  You want a Physical Sunscreen and not a Chemical one.  Look for Zinc and/or Titanium Dioxide only in the list of active ingredients.  Physical sunscreens (100% mineral based) actually block the suns harmful rays, while a Chemical one absorbs the rays and chemically alter them.  The chemicals also mimic hormones in your bodies and can disrupt growth, metabolism and reproduction

Exposure to sunlight during the winter months puts you at the same risk as exposure during the summertime. So it is important to remember to put sunblock on our kids faces every single day.. Because those cute sweet freckles today are tomorrows headache for your kids. 

Most importantly, and we can not stress this enough, is to find a Dermatologist that you trust and have regular checkups. 

Did you know you should be giving yourself and your kids a skin check every month? That way you are aware of when things are changing or becoming worrisome.

Here is how you do it! 

If you have made it to the end of this, thank you for reading we know it was a lot of information, but we feel it is so important to raise awareness about skin cancer and sun damage. Both of us have had to have little weird spots snipped off and so many of our friends these days are talking about it and going through the same experience. If you grew up in the sun and are now paying the price, rest assured, you are not alone. 

XOXO- TWH