Summer Essentials

My favorite thing about summer is being outside.  Whether it’s at the beach or just laying by our pool, summer sunshine is what I live for!  So you can imagine my extreme disappointment, frustration, anger, and overall general feeling of a dismal existence that I have right now because every day of my summer vacation so far has been RAINY!  Like, raging winds, torrential downpours, thunder, lighting and all that jazz.

So today, in order to take my mind off yet another afternoon of doing absolutely nothing but smooshing my face against the window and declaring, “I think it’s letting up!” for the 1,000th time, I am going to share my top summer essentials that I have recently added to our summer stock.

  1. Beach cup holders ($22 for a pack of four) – I love these!  They are so bright and cheerful!  Chris bought them for me for Mother’s Day, but I have quickly discovered that they are awesome for the whole family.  Plus, they are sturdy, dishwasher safe plastic.  I keep them in my beach bag and then just chunk them in the dishwasher when we get home.  Super easy.

61ZuRercczL._SL1500_2. Coleman Beach Ground Mat ($20.64) – I love this chair!  It is perfect when I go to the beach by myself with the kids because it folds up to about the size of a large beach towel and has straps that make carrying it a breeze.  I also love it because it is polyester and completely water proof.  Whenever it gets too sandy, I just take it out to the water and stick the whole thing in to rinse it off.  Plus, the storage on the back of the chair is really helpful for the kiddos.  Personally, I like sitting in the sand, so the fact that this chair lets me do that comfortably is my favorite feature.  If you’re not a sand-sitter, you might want to try my other favorite beach chair…

61nRFRJnYkL._SL1500_3. Rio 5-position Classic Lay Flat Beach Chair ($35.89) – Rio is a long-trusted beach chair brand.  I’ve had several of their chairs before and they are all super comfy and come is some really cute prints.  Chris just got me one that is teal striped with a big pink flamingo on it, but I can’t find that image online to show you.  If you’re in need of a chair, this one holds up well (though they usually only last me about one summer because we go so often).

81jPyfuNLeL._SL1500_4. BigMouth, Inc, Gigantic Donut Pool Float ($19.99) – One of our family’s favorite things to do at the beach is float around.  I love this particular float because it’s big enough that one of the kids can get in it with me (usually always Gracie!).  We have spent many, many beach hours floating around in this float.  And it gets even more use in our pool!

81n+jehtcFL._SL1500_5. Intext Folding Inflatable Lounge Water Chair ($16.29) – I love this float so much that we have TWO of them.  In the pool, it is an awesome lounger because it keeps you completely out of the water and some days I just don’t want to get in the water!  But the kids love it because it folds into a chair.  I think you are supposed to use the chair OUT of the water, but the kids like to try to sit on it in the pool.  It’s a great float and a steal at $16!

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615jbSNghUL._SL1500_6. Fit & Fresh Kids’ Reusable Bento Box with Removable Ice Packs ($9.99) – This isn’t the brand that I have (I can’t find it online), but we have these exact boxes for lunches when we go to the beach.  I like them because I can pack the kids a full lunch in an individual box that doesn’t take up much space.  I just give them their box when they are ready and they have everything they need for lunch.  I especially like these boxes because they come with removable ice packs that attach to the lids.  This saves so much cooler space because the ice packs are inside the lunch boxes, and it keeps their lunches much colder than they would be just sitting in the cooler.

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7. SySrion Mesh Beach Bag ($11.59) – This is a new edition to my beach collection this summer and I can already tell it’s going to become a favorite.  We are keeping the kids beach toys in this bag this year and I love it.  It’s lightweight and sturdy at the same time.  Plus, it folds down really small for storage when we aren’t using it, and that saves me space in my closets – always a win!

71P2uH0irRL._SL1500_8. Goldhorse Camping Lantern and Bluetooth Speaker ($18.99) – We actually got this speaker for camping, but I have moved it into my beach bag this summer and am getting so much more use out of it.  It is a great little speaker that is easy to use with a long-lasting battery life (I only have to charge it after about every other beach trip).  When it is only in the speaker and not extended up into the lantern, it is really small and fits perfectly in the pocket of my beach bag.  When we take it camping, we put it in the top of our tent and use it as a lantern.  I also use it around the house sometimes, too.  Can’t recommend this one enough.

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Well, now.  I feel a little more beachy after all that.  And… oh, look!… Could it be?… Is that some sunshine in the clouds?…  I think it’s letting up!!!!

No, wait.

Nevermind.

Back to napping and dreaming of sunshine.

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For more summer tips, tricks and products, check out my post, How to Pack for the Beach (June, 2016).

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