A Summer Reminder We Simply Can't Afford to Ignore

Mary J. Hawkins is an accomplished editor, writer, and social media enthusiast who has been working in the digital media space since 2009. In a former life, she was the author and owner of The Mommyologist, a humor blog centered around the changes that happen after kids arrive on the scene. She is currently the full-time Senior Editor of Audience Development for CafeMom, and has been a part of their team for the past 5 years. 

Mary also recently launched a lifestyle and travel blog called “Catching the Next Wave,” which centers around the new phase of life she’s navigating as a recently divorced single mom of one charismatic 10-year-old and a pint-sized Shih-Tzu. 

When she manages to find time to detach herself from her laptop, Mary leads an active lifestyle. She has a strong passion for travel and welcomes every opportunity to explore new places and experience new adventures. She is also a huge fan of Pilates and Yoga – though she doesn’t get to class quite as often as she’d like. 

Mary lives in a small town in the middle of Connecticut, though she’d rather live in the city, on the coast, or a combination of both. 

Ahh. Summer. It's the time when we return to the glorious part of the year where backyard cookouts happen every weekend, days are spent enjoying the surf and sand, and life just seems to get so much more relaxed and joyful.

Of course, the season does come with one pretty big drawback -- all that beautiful sunshine has the potential to not only take its toll on our skin in terms of making us look old and washed up, but it also puts us at a much higher risk of developing skin cancer.

According to, half of all adults aged 18 to 29 reported having at least one sunburn in the past year. And sustaining just 5 or more sunburns when you were a kid increases your melanoma risk by 80 percent. (Yes, you read that right. 80 percent.)

Yeah, yeah, you're probably sitting here thinking, "Oh, stop talking already. I always make sure to put on sunscreen before I hit the beach or the pool, so what's the big deal?"

The big deal is that sometimes we don't even realize that we are getting exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays when we're not trying to get our tan on. The simple act of taking the dog for a walk, driving the kids back and forth to camp, or just being outside is enough to put us at risk. Even on cloudy days, the rays can still peek through and get to us, which is why I am absolutely IN LOVE with this amazing new UV detection jewelry that's made by a friend of mine.

M. Mills Co. makes necklaces and pendants too, and they come in a variety of colors. (I have a pink one and a red one.) Ok, let's forget the fact that this stuff is attractive and get back to the UV detection bit. Each piece contains a special UV detection bead, which changes from clear to blue when exposed to the sun. So even on days when you don't think you're at risk, all you have to do is look at your wrist, check your bead, and you'll have an easy, gentle reminder to keep a tube of sunscreen in your purse. Easy-peasy, right?

Now do me a favor and head on over to M. Mills Co's website and check out this cool line. You seriously can't afford NOT to wear one of these things this summer.

*Disclosure -- I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. My friend did not bribe me either. I'm just bragging about her stuff because it's awesome and I dig wearing it -- and I know you will too.