Last Friday was the first day of summer, and I am psyched! Summer is my favorite season (followed closely by fall), and I am very excited to enjoy some warm weather! So far our Northwest summer weather has been a little neurotic….Friday started off gloomy, Saturday was warm and beautiful, and for the last few days we’ve had intermixed sun, wind, and heavy rainstorms. Happily, the forecast shows that the rain should dry up by the weekend, to be replaced by beautiful, warm sunny days.
Now that it’s summer, a lot of bloggers I follow have been sharing some of their favorite summer items, which got me thinking about my own. Here are some of my go-to must-haves. Feel free to comment and tell me some of yours!
I’m extremely fair-skinned, and after my dad was diagnosed with skin cancer a few years ago, I am very adamant about protecting my skin from warm summer rays. I steer clear of tanning beds, and when I go out in the sun I protect myself with sunscreen. Because I burn so easily, I’ve tried a LOT of different sunscreen products over the years, and have different brands at home in my bathroom, in my purse, and even in my car. My current favorite is Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Clear Mist Spray, which I picked up for a relatively cheap $7.99 at Target. It’s SPF 30 (the lowest SPF I will use) and because it’s a spray-on sunscreen, it can be applied quickly and without making my hands greasy. Bonus: it smells wonderful!
A Good Book
I’m currently compiling titles for a summer reading list, but to start you off with a good beach (or backyard) read, here’s one from last summer that I just could not put down.
Summerland, written by Elin Hildebrand, begins as a graduation-night celebration with a bonfire at the beach, as is local Nantucket tradition. But the story quickly shifts as a horrific car crash leaves a teenage girl dead, her brother gravely injured, and her friends and family struggling to cope with what’s happened. As summer progresses, the community struggles to understand the events leading up to the accident and move through the emotional aftermath. While the book sounds as if it would be depressing, it’s more of a beautiful tragedy, and the plot twists kept me hooked til the end. Even though the ending was fantastic, I really didn’t want the story to end, I was so wrapped up in it. I’ll definitely be re-reading it this summer.
A Nice Cold Treat
I love ice cream in the summer! To me, nothing tastes better on a hot afternoon than an ice cream cone. I’m always looking for healthier alternatives to my favorite junk foods, and Skinny Cow’s new, limited edition cherry chocolate cones do the trick nicely. They remind me of the Drumsticks my mom and I used to eat together in the summertime, and at only 150 calories and 3 grams of fat, I can enjoy them guilt-free!
Now that warm weather is here, I can wear sandals! To get my feet sandal-ready, I indulge in a pedicure at Best Nails, which is my favorite salon in Marysville (for my So Cal friends, my go-to favorite in Apple Valley was Euphoria Salon). At both places, a pedicure is a relaxing experience – you sit in a massage chair while the tech attends to your toes and then you get a foot and leg massage, which is by far my favorite part. After the massage, they apply polish to your toes in your selected color. I always leave feeling refreshed and relaxed. A classic pedicure will run you $20 ($22 at Euphoria), which to me is well worth it for pretty feet!
The Perfect Tank Top
The photo above is not really the best picture of me, but I’m sharing it anyway because in it I’m wearing the black tank top that I practically lived in on nice days last summer. I picked it up at Old Navy because it was cheap and I wanted something to wear when I visited family in California, knowing the weather would be hot. I loved the shirt so much that a couple weekends ago, I decided to go back to Old Navy and see if I could find another one. I was not disappointed…Old Navy’s Perfect Tanks were available in tons of colors and even in stripe patterns. I bought a total of seven, which can be worn on their own or layered (I like to layer a solid colored tank under a striped one). The tanks are normally sold for $8.50 apiece, but the weekend that I went shopping they were fifty percent off! And once the weather cools down, these tanks are great for layering under button-down shirts or hoodies.