Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend

Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend

When I was a little girl, Memorial Day weekend marked the start of summer for me. School usually got out around Memorial Day, and I had the extra bonus of having a birthday at about the same time, so I loved the end of May…still do! And this year will be no different.

I have written before about how we need to remember the reason we celebrate Memorial Day…to honor those who lost their lives defending the very freedom we enjoy every single day. I have written about how my parents always made sure, when we were gathering with friends and family, that we remembered the meaning behind the day.

Does that mean it can’t be fun too? I like to think those who lost their lives would be happy to see us enjoying the freedom they made possible. We tend to have a pool day at our house. Sometimes we have friends over, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, our daughter invites friends over, and sometimes she goes somewhere else. This year, we will be fortunate to have some houseguests over the holiday weekend, and we are excited to hang out in the pool, cook out, and relax.

In fact, I’m ordering a few things from Amazon to help me be sure we have fun and stay safe at the same time, and if you order today, you can probably get them in time too! Even if you don’t want them for Memorial Day, these items can be great all summer! My new necessities for starting summer with some fun (and safety in mind):

  • Fun Boy Mesh Floats. I love being outdoors, but when it’s really hot, I need to be in the pool. And I don’t mean I need to be floating on top of something. I need to have some of my body actually in the water. These inflatable mesh floats from Funboy are perfect for relaxing and staying cool. Priced at just $39 for a mint colored or yellow one, and the pink ones are $41 each. Or you can get two pink ones or two mint ones for under $67. I just ordered two pink and two mint. They’ll add a little color to the pool and keep us all cool. Of course, on Saturday and Sunday, the weather isn’t likely to be cooperative, but it’s supposed to be pretty warm Monday. Purchase here.
  • Backyard Blast. When our daughter was a little girl, she and her friends loved to set up a Slip n Slide in our yard. They could play for hours. I even participated a few times. Personally, I think sliding water play is fun for all ages, so when I saw this Backyard Blast heavy duty waterslide for adults and teens, well…I had to have it. We haven’t tried it yet, but it’s 75′ long and 12′ wide! Priced at $159, it’s not cheap, but since it’s “heavy duty,” I hope to get lots of fun out of it. It gets good reviews. Purchase here.
  • Nerf Water Products. Nerf is a name we can trust in water toys, but there are so many to choose from! A good SuperSoaker battle is always fun, but Nerf also makes refillable water balloons for younger kids, and even ride-on floats for on-the-water battles! See what they offer here. The possibilities are endless!

  • Fun in the Sun Toys. In fact, there are lots of summer fun toys out there: Bubble machines, bubble wants, reusable water balloons, beach balls, splash pads…fun stuff to keep everyone cool and keep everyone moving! These toys are great for kids of all ages…including those like me who will be turning 56 this weekend! Amazon will ship quick and free if you have an Amazon Prime account. Check them out here.
  • Sunscreen. You have to stay safe in the sun! Sunscreen is essential. There are lots of different brands to choose from. Personally, I prefer Coppertone lotions when I’m going to be outside for a while, because they smell like my childhood. Other times, I like Hawaiian Tropic oils, because we used them when I was a teen, and it reminds me of some happy times. I do not like sprays, because one of the first ingredients listed is often alcohol, so while it’s easy to apply a spray, it actually dries out your skin! Not good. To purchase Coppertone lotions, click here. To purchase Hawaiian Tropic oils with different SPFs, click here. (You might have to scroll down a little.) And remember to protect your lips, which can burn fast. We use Coppertone Sport Lip Balm with SPF 50. Purchase here.
  • Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Products. Don’t forget you’ll need something to soothe your skin after you’ve been in the sun. In our house, we swear by Sun Bum Cooling After Sun Gel. Purchase here. They offer lots of products to choose from: lotions, gels, body butters.

Summer’s almost here! Let’s be ready for some fun! Happy Shopping!

Mom, Let’s Get Ready For the Beach

Mom, let’s get ready for the beach.

Come on, Moms. We know we do everything to prepare for a beach trip. Sure, the hubby fills up the car and loads it, but we do all the preparation. Everybody counts on us, as moms, to be prepared to help everyone have fun and stay safe. Memorial Day is just around the corner (May 29!), so let’s be prepared!

Our little family just returned home from a few days in the Bahamas, so I’m going to share with you some items that made our trip more fun and some things that kept us safe.

  • Snorkel gear. In our family, snorkel gear is a must for any beach vacation. My husband checks a whole separate bag on airlines with our snorkel gear! If your family doesn’t snorkel, maybe they should try it. It’s a fun activity that can be enjoyed by almost anyone who can swim. Obviously, for little kids, you be the judge of their ability…maybe even use life preservers. To see my favorite snorkel gear, click here. Or to shop other snorkel gear on Amazon, click here.
  • Shark Banz. Afraid of sharks when you’re in the water? Try wearing Shark Banz, a magnetic shark repellant band that you wear on an ankle, a wrist, or both, if you want extra protection (like me)! I have watched videos in which it appears they work at repelling sharks. Our family uses them for peace of mind, because I am terrified of sharks. They’re not cheap, but we consider it money well spent. Purchase them here.
  • OFF! or other insect repellent. Warm climates breed biting insects. I never go to the beach area or an island without insect repellent. I don’t usually have to use it during the day, but if I want to sit outdoors for dinner or just for stargazing at night, I definitely need insect repellent. When traveling by plane, I like to take OFF! Deep Woods Wipes, because they won’t leak all over my suitcase. They contain DEET, the main ingredient for repelling serious insects. Purchase them here. For car trips, I don’t mind taking aerosol cans of OFF! Deep Woods, which you can purchase here.
  • SkyGuide app. If you’re visiting a big resort, the night sky might not be so visible, but at quieter beach areas, the night sky can be amazing! If you have the SkyGuide app on your phone, you can spot constellations, planets, and even passing satellites.
  • First aid kit. You never know when you’ll need items from a First Aid kit, but on vacation, we all tend to spend more time outsdoors, and it seems things always happen. You can purchase a first aid kit from Amazon here. Personally, I always add stomach meds, pain meds, and anything else I can think of!
  • Reef Water Vista Sandal. These are super cute beach sandals, and they come in lots of colors. They’re $60, but they get great reviews. Purchase here.
  • Water shoes or Crocs. There are lots of options for water shoes! Check out some on Amazon here. They can totally save your balance and your feet on rocks and in the water. Lots of people love Crocs for water shoes too. Crocs aren’t just the old-style Crocs anymore…they have slides, all-terrain sandals, platform sandals and slides, and more! Order from Amazon Prime and get free shipping. See Crocs on Amazon here.
  • Sunscreen. Every beach vacation needs sunscreen. We like to have different types with us. When I want more coverage, I go with Coppertone, because it smells like childhood, but I never use the sprays…the alcohol in them dries out my skin. Check their lotions here. I also love Sun Bum lotions. See them here. But an old-school favorite is Hawaiian Tropic oils, because they make my skin feel good, and I love the aroma too. See their oils here.
  • Aloe/after sun. Gotta have these for those days we get too much sun. It has happened to the best of us. There are lots of different brands. I prefer Sun Bum or Hawaiian Tropic, but see lots of offerings at Amazon here.
  • Jellyfish Sting Relief. If you’re in any danger of encountering jellyfish, having a sting relief kit can be a big help! Get one from Amazon here.

Those are just a few of my tips for having a fun and safe beach vacation. Enjoy the summer safely!

Wishing Summer Would Last?

Tonight I walked into my local Bath and Body Works for the first time in a while. My daughter was obsessed with this store for a few years. She loved their hand sanitizers, shower gels, and fragrance mists. Eventually, I started to like the fragrance mists as well, because I am not a big fan of perfume or cologne. When you have migraines, strong smells are not your friend. I ran out of my favorite fragrance mist today, so I ran to Bath and Body Works after I dropped off my daughter at a party.

When I walked into the store, a very pleasant saleslady greeted me, and as I stopped to take a whiff of a Pumpkin/Waffle scented candle, she asked, “Are you ready for fall?” What? Just sniffing a pumpkin/waffle candle makes me ready for fall? Of course I’m not ready for fall! I don’t even want school to start!

Instead, I just said, “Not just yet. I wish summer could last a little longer.”

The fragrance I usually use is Vanilla Bean scented, but after that exchange about fall, I was looking for something more summery, and boy, did I ever find it! I actually found a fragrance mist called At The Beach! Could it be more perfect? I picked up the sample bottle and sprayed some on my arm. Ahhhh….the scent of suntan lotion and sea mist! I picked up a bottle, and then I picked up another. Then I picked up some At The Beach Body Cream. Even though summer has to end, it doesn’t mean I have to stop smelling like summer! I’m walking around smelling like the beach! If you’d like to smell like the beach or purchase candles that smell like the beach, you can go to Bath and Body Works by clicking here.

Of course, I picked up some of my favorite Vanilla Bean fragrance as well, but I will put off using that for as long as I can.

In the past, I’ve extended summer for myself by using tanning oil or suntan lotion as moisturizers. If you’ve ever walked into a meeting I was attending and thought you smelled Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil, you probably did. I’ve been known to moisturize my skin with it. Nothing takes me back to high school like the aroma of Hawaiian Tropic. Or sometimes, I will use Coppertone Tanning Lotion, which immediately takes me back to my childhood and makes me think of the old ad…you know, the one in which the puppy is tugging on the little girl’s swimsuit. I actually had a beach towel with that ad on it when I was younger. You can purchase the oil and lotion in Target, Walmart, or most any drugstore.

This next summer-extending product is not something that smells like the beach, but it does taste a little like sunshine: Chick-Fil-A’s White Peach Tea Lemonade. What says summer more than lemonade? White Peach Tea Lemonade…that’s what. I happened upon this recently when I zipped through the drive thru of a Chick-Fil-A. I was waiting in the line and saw an ad on the menu board for this special tea, so I decided to try it. Normally, I don’t drink my calories, but I drank them that afternoon, and it was worth it. It has been added to the menu permanently after being tested in various markets. I know in November when I need to think of summer, I’ll turn into my neighborhood Chick-Fil-A.

Chick-Fil-A-White-Peach-Tea-Lemonade

Even after school starts, I’ll be dragging summer out a little longer in other ways too. I’m growing corn and tomatoes in my backyard, and right now, it’s looking like the corn will be ready to harvest around Labor Day. Maybe I’ll be able to talk my husband into grilling some hamburgers to go with our fresh, homegrown, sweet corn. And we’ll put some of the tomato slices on our burgers. My first tomato harvest wasn’t so good earlier this summer, so I’m hoping these late ones will be better. My sunflowers are just about to bloom, so they’ll be pretty for a few more weeks too. It could all make for a lovely Labor Day, which happens to be my mother’s birthday…our first without her. She would be proud.

Labor Day weekend also marks the beginning of college football season, so that’s something to look forward to.

I plan to smell like summer while drinking my iced tea till at least November. Maybe then I’ll light a pumpkin/waffle candle, but I will still be dreaming of summer while I sip my White Peach Tea Lemonade.