summer essentials

Pool Party

summer essentials One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to lay out by the pool, read a good book, and soak up some Vitamin D.  I keep my pool bag packed with the essentials so that I can grab it and head out in a moment’s notice.

{ONE} Hat.  It always seems that my scalp gets burned along my part but I hate putting sunscreen there because it makes my hair look oily and dirty.  This takes care of that problem, and provides protection for my face too.

{TWO} Water bottle.  Hydroflask water bottles are my absolute favorite.  They keep your liquids cold.  All day.  Even in 90+ degree heat.  I will put water and ice in it at the beginning of the day, and I kid you not, there will still be ice cubes left 12 hours later.

{THREE} Sunglasses.  Enough said.

{FOUR} Lip balm with sunscreen.  I always apply some sort of sunscreen, but somehow I would forget my lips.  I started keeping a lip balm with sunscreen in my bag so that my lips wouldn’t get burned.  I love EOS lip balms, and this particular one has SPF 15.

{FIVE} Earbuds.  Gotta have your summer jams when laying by the pool!

{SIX} Sunscreen. I know this may seem like a “duh” but I was pretty dumb in my youth and often didn’t wear anything or would put on tanning oil with like SPF 4. I know, I know… not smart at all.  However, I’ve gotten to be pretty religious about sunscreen over the last couple of years, but often went for the spray-on kind.  While this is easier when you don’t have someone around to do hard-to-reach areas like your back, I picked up this Coppertone Oil-Free sunscreen a few weeks ago, and I will never go back to spray-on.  This stuff does not make you feel sticky like other sunscreens!

{SEVEN} E-reader.  I love my iPad, but when it comes to reading outside, there is no competition to using an e-ink reader.  And in the e-reader world, Kindle > Nook.  Sorry, Nook fans… ;-)

What are some of your must-haves when going to the pool/beach?

PicMonkey Collage

Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny, Yellow Polka-dot… Tankini?

Last summer, I was rocking wearing bikinis.   This year, I am not feeling very comfortable with my body due to my recent weight gain.  

I don’t want to say that this year I am not wearing one because I don’t have a “bikini body” because, well, you should wear a bikini no matter what size you are if you feel comfortable in one!  I wish I was more confident… I work on this every day, but I’m not there yet.

So anyway, it looks like I will be wearing tankinis/one-pieces as I feel more comfortable in them right now. And hey, I am ok with that because there are some CUTE ones out there this year!


I ordered this one from LOFT a few weeks ago and I LOVE it! The ruffles mask my mid-section, but it’s still super cute on.  To give you a size reference, I ordered a size 10.  I wear size 6-8 pants and am a 36D bra, and this fits comfortably, though a tad snug, but that’s fine with me.  I don’t want to have to worry about it falling down.

I’ve also go my eye on these.  Which ones do you like?

PicMonkey Collage {1} LOFT

{2} Target

{3} LOFT

{4} LOFT

{5} J. Crew

High Five for Friday

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It’s finally Friday and I am linking up with Lauren from  You should definitely check out her blog!

Some highlights from this week are:

1.  Classes are done! There is a week of exams to get through (for the students, not for me), but since I work at a university that means we are VERY close to summer break!

2. I’ve been watching my favorite show, Gilmore Girls, for the umpteenth time.  I  have all 7 seasons on DVD, so started a couple of weeks ago on Season 1, and am on Season 6 now.  I love coming home, crashing on the couch, and watching a couple of episodes to unwind at night.


3.  This article made its way around Facebook this week, and I recommend everyone read it! Let’s just say, I was extrememly convicted by it.  I had never thought of “gluttony” in this way before.

4.  We get to see our best friends this weekend!  Matt and Justine live in Raleigh, so we don’t get to see them very often, so when they come to town, it’s very exciting!  Justine also has a blog so make sure to take a look at it:


The four of us from last summer at a wedding we attended together.

5.  Lastly, I am excited to catch up on some much needed sleep! The last couple of weeks have been very hectic, and this will be one of the few weekends that we can relax and hang out at the house.

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