Let me just start off with a punch by saying that I am a sweaty gal. I sweat easily, often, and visibly. Those of you who know me know that this is an extreme frustration for me and have seen me pitch a fit when I start to sweat and get uncomfortably hot. I have never had an issue with sweat stains under my armpits – it’s my face, hair, neck, and back. I sweat when I get ready in the mornings, when I get anxious, when I’m running late, when it’s slightly over 70 degrees…it’s my cross to bear. AC and fans are my FRIENDS. All that being said, summer is really tragic for me because I want to be one of those girls that loves summer, but it just isn’t good to me. My fair skin suffers in prolonged heat, I sweat all my sunscreen off and into my eyes, and FORGET wearing any kind of makeup or wearing your hair down, because you’re just going to melt. I tolerate summer because I do love to be outside and do things like go to the beach and the pool, and there are lots of fun activities we can do with Davis – but other than that, I’m vibin’ hard with spring and fall. Tell me I’m not the only one suffering through the muggy months.
In the Raleigh area where I live in NC, it is HOT HOT HOT until well into the fall months. As someone who is truly trying to survive the hot weather months, trust me when I say my recommendations do not come lightly here!
- Portable and rechargeable neck fan: Do I really need to say more? Do yourself a favor.
- Insulated cooler backpack: Definitely a must have! Perfect for the beach, the pool, a hike, picnic, or any outdoor activity! I have three options here because they all look good to me and they all have really great reviews! Option 1 is the TOURIT 30 can insulated backpack with 5 color options. It also has a can opener on the shoulder strap and I just think that’s pretty neat and convenient. Good looking out. Option 2 is the FORICH soft cooler backpack – also with a can opener on the shoulder strap and also in 5 color options. Lastly, the SEEHONOR cooler backpack with 25 can capacity and an attached can opener (comes in 7 colors). Lots of good space, pocket, and color options with all three of these!
- Cooling towels: Say what you will, but these are a must to me! My mom brought these to the beach last year and now I always want to have cooling towels, haha!
- A good, insulated water bottle that holds a lot of water! It might not fit in your car’s cup holder, but I like to have a lot of water just in case, especially in the summer, ESPECIALLY when I’m with Davis or the dogs.
- Collapsible water bottle: I am always traveling with water everywhere I go (see above), but this is so great to scrunch up and throw in a bag so you can get extra water if you need it! I’ve had mine for a few years and it has been through the dishwasher several times with no issues.
- Sunscreen: I did quite a bit of research on reef-safe sunscreens because I love the Neutrogena Beach Defense sunscreen more than anything and I was feeling the angst of having to switch if it wasn’t reef safe. It looks like they have redeveloped their formula to be free of the most dangerous chemical offender, but it does use small amounts of other chemicals known to be harmful to ocean life. I will need some time to get over this devastating blow, but the brands I found to be highly rated, safest, and not a ton of money were Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Sunscreen (also has a face tint and options for kids), Sun Bum mineral sunscreen spray or lotion, and Coppertone Pure & Simple (I haven’t used any of these but I did do the research on them!). All of these come with options for children as well, and were listed on a “best mineral sunscreen” list so I read through all the reviews and these three seemed the best in my opinion. No sunscreen is reef safe but it’s important to me to do the best I can with less harmful substances.
- Workout shorts: I mentioned these in last week’s post but I really like them and they are a NECESSITY for the sweat and heat. I’ll be outside running around with Davis all summer and it will mostly be about movement and comfort for me. These biker shorts have excellent reviews and come in a ton of colors if you’re feeling this trend – I gotta be honest, I’m kinda feeling a pair of biker shorts with cute sneaks and a big ol’ tank top. I might have to hop on this trend. I also recently found 2 pairs of these shorts at Marshall’s and I love them so much. A definite win!
- Loose, swingy, bra friendly tank tops: I love the look of this one and especially love the stripes, but there are only 4 reviews so purchase at your own risk! This one has thousands of reviews and looks really flattering, and I love the button detail on the back! This one is a basic v-neck tank with a chest pocket and small side slits, and this one is a cute waffle knit fabric tank with a knot design that would be so cute with jean shorts or leggings!
- Speaking of jean shorts, these are some that I saw posted by an influencer and I am curious to try them. They are sized from S-XXL and are apparently super stretchy, but they have a button and zip closure so I’m not sure how that works. 16,000+ great reviews, though!
- An easy, basic dress for beach dinners out, drinks with friends, or even a trip to the grocery store: Love that this can be dressed up or down with shoes, jewelry, and accessories. EASY.
- Body Glide for Her: I know people love the Megababe brand, but I’ve never tried it. I love my body glide and I am sticking to it. This absolutely saves my thighs in dresses, shorts, and bathing suits.
- Round retro plastic sunglasses: I mentioned these in another post but they are so cute and affordable for the beach or pool. Several color options and great reviews.
- Patio egg mosquito repellent: I HATE mosquitoes. Andrew’s mom got us one of these and the egg broke when it fell off our outside table. We really like this thing and feel like it really does work, so we need to get a new one!
- All natural insect repellent spray: Safe for the whole family! I have written about this company before and love their products.
- A great and colorful bag for all your gear! Waterproof, hand woven bags made from partially recycled plastic. I love my dia tote and it holds a ton! I love that I can see everything in it at once and that the top flaps close and snap to secure everything inside. LOVE the pom pom! If you need a seriously extra huge bag, this Scout one is amazing; my friend Emily has been eyeing them for her summer needs!
For the littles in your life:
- Clip on stroller fan (rechargeable): We used this all summer long last year. Perfect for the stroller, at the beach, at the pool, hanging out at hot baseball games or other sporting events, walks in the neighborhood, you name it. This thing comes with us wherever we go.
- A baby Yeti water bottle! Keep that drink COLD during the hot months!
- Supportive, breathable sandals that protect little toes: I may be a fuddy duddy, but I’m really serious about toddler toe safety, haha! There are so many cute shoes out there for little feet, but I’ve recently been following some pediatric accounts that talk about safe shoes, and they all say the plastic ones are a no-go. Davis has a pair we LOVE that my mom got him and I can’t find them ANYWHERE. This is another option in some larger sizes, a “dressier” option for boys, and one that comes in several color choices for boys or girls.
- Magnet mini doodle and soft busy board bag, busy board backpack, or buckle, tie, zip busy board: Great activities for road trips or chill out time under the shade when you’re taking a break from the hot sun! I love the backpack because it can also hold important items and can just be thrown in the wash!
- Baby Bum SPF 50 mineral sunscreen lotion, sunscreen spray, and face stick: We used the Aveeno baby sunscreen for Davis last summer, but I’m excited to try this one for this summer. We have always used the Baby Bum face stick and have loved it. I asked my mom friends, and apparently no matter what brand you use, it all leaves a white cast and it’s all pretty crappy to rub in…I think that’s just the nature of mineral and baby sunscreen. But I have a lot of close friends who love this brand for their littles.
- Portable chair for sitting AND eating: Nice option for both, and easy to take with you anywhere you go! We love our Bumbo seat, but this is nice as Davis is getting a little older and might like more of a “big boy” chair.
- A wagon with a canopy! Gotta have a wagon. We were lucky enough to be gifted a really nice Radio Flyer wagon from our neighbors and I feel like I won the lottery! Perfect for ANY outdoor activity with children or pets, including the beach! A place to store your stuff, give shade, hold drinks, carry your kids, and go over the tricky terrain that a stroller might not do well on.
- Outdoor turtle sprinkler: Now this is just easy, cheap, and good clean fun! In my cart.
- Water table: We have this one and got it for Christmas. Davis loves this thing!
- Splash pad: Another fun water option if you don’t have access to a pool! This one is a best seller, affordable, and has thousands of great reviews.
- Basic inflatable kiddie pool: What’s cool about this is you can buy a bunch of ball pit balls to fill this up when you’re not using it for water! Lots of people also get this iconic Little Tikes red and blue slide to slide into the balls or pool. Target has tons of really fun and cute options, and some that will fit the whole family!
- Hipsterkid polarized sunglasses with strap: These are size 0-2 and 3-6 years old. Davis won’t wear his sunglasses, but I always make sure we have them and always give it a try! Maybe at the beach this summer. People also love Babiators and they have such cute options and shapes, too!
- Popsicle molds!
- A good hat: We have loved this one for Davis.
- Anti-UV tent & sun shade with mesh panel: LOVE that this has the mesh doors that can be tied to the side or put down while baby/toddler naps and no bugs or bees can get in!
- BUBBLES AND BALLS. These entertain Davis for hours! There are all kinds of options for this.
For the pets!
- A travel water bottle: We have a bottle with a plastic bowl on top of it, and the water squirts up into it, but Bruno is the only one of our dogs who will drink out of it. Nala and Oliver will not even touch it! So something like this one would be great for our three dogs, and I also love this one for shorter outside activities because it also comes with the collapsible cup and waste bag dispenser!
- Dog travel bag for supplies: This would probably be good for cats or other small animals, too. I am LOVING this idea and when I saw it online I couldn’t believe I don’t already have something like this for when we travel with the dogs. It just MAKES SENSE. This is not just for summer, but I wanted to include it because it’s a great find!
- Shade and heat control: I love this little cooling cot with a removable canopy for shade! And this little dog cube shade is perfect for summer travel, the beach, a boat, etc. or just being outside for a long time in the sun.
- Travel dog bed: This one has wonderful reviews and looks like a little sleeping bag! Washable, durable, and can fit in a carrying bag.
I asked my girlfriends what their summer must haves were, and one that stuck out with me was my friend Emily who said her family always does a summer bucket list. I love this idea! Making a list with your family/partner/kids about what all you’d like to accomplish or experience over the summer. Emily mentioned things like staying in PJs all day, feeding the ducks at a lake, going to a local homemade ice cream shop, having a movie day, walking at the NC Art Museum, etc. Easy to make the list, and it gives a lot for everyone to look forward to! No matter what items you choose for your summer must have list, sunshine is heading your way if it isn’t already here. We are already seeing temps in the 90s where I am…help!
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