Summer Essentials

Wow, is it really already almost Friday? I don’t know about you guys, but this week has flown by. This whole month has really. I mean, it’s already the middle of April. When did that happen? I feel like it was just last week that I was writing about my New Year’s resolutions. Not that I’m complaining – I’m totally cool with the warmer weather! I love winter, but even I was over the cold.

With all of this warm weather happening right now {and with today’s near-80s temps!}, I got inspired to do a post about my summer essentials. I know, I know, it’s still April, but we’re only a couple weeks away from May and for me May = summer. I love trying new things in the summer…seeing all the latest trends is so fun! BUT, I have to have my go-to summer staples. A lot of these products are things I use year-round, but they are especially handy for those warmer days. And here in the midwest, you have to have a few things in your arsenal to battle this crazy heat and humidity!



1. A water bottle // The number one rule of summer is staying hydrated, right? This one’s portable, insulated, and easy to drink out of. Plus, it’s BPA free! This one’s from Target and it’s Flamingo Pink {because pink is my signature color!}.

2. bareMinerals Original Foundation // When it’s already 98 degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is cake my face with a heavy liquid foundation. I’ve used other powder foundations before, but I’ve found that this one is the best {and truly worth the money}. It’s light and stays put even on the sweatiest of days, and it has SPF 15 for a little sun protection. And I love that you can layer it to make it more or less sheer. In the summertime I usually just do one thin dusting to stay as natural as possible. The particular shade I use is Fairly Light, although if I get a tan, I could probably get away with Fairly Medium {pale kid probs}. You can get bareMinerals online or at Sephora.

3. Coconut Oil // Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’re familiar with the coconut oil craze. While I mostly use this stuff to cook, I also love to use it as a moisturizer. All you have to do is rub a little between your hands to soften it up, then apply! Easy peasy. You can use it pretty much everywhere, from your lips to your legs. Plus the light coconut scent screams summer, which I absolutely love! It makes me feel like I’m on a beach. I like Kirkland brand because it’s cold-pressed and certified organic {and inexpensive!}. If you don’t have a Costco membership, you can also find Kirkland brand on Amazon, but you can find other brands of coconut oil just about anywhere these days.

4. Sephora Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer // This is one of those products that I use year-round. I L.O.V.E. this stuff. Other primers seem too creamy or they don’t seem to sink in well enough. This primer is perfectly light, and you can’t even tell you have anything on your face once you rub it in. Even though you don’t want a ton of layers on your face in the summer, I think primer is essential to keep everything in place, even when you sweat. This stuff does just that, but is light enough to feel like you’re not wearing it at all. I even put it on my eyelids to keep eyeliner in place and prevent creases in my eyeshadow. You get this primer at Sephora.

5. Burt’s Bee’s Facial Cleansing Towelettes {Pink Grapefruit} // Let me tell you – these babies do work! The scent is so light and refreshing, and they scrub off dirt, makeup, sweat, sunscreen…all the pore-clogging nasties of summertime. The best part is they don’t leave any residue, so there’s no need to rinse your face after using them. These would even be good for your body on those I-didn’t-sweat-enough-to-take-a-shower days. An added bonus: they’re 99% natural. You can get these at a variety of places, but I usually buy mine at Target.

6. Essie Nail Polish // There’s not much that says summer more than bright pops of color on your nails. I love all Essie polish in general {their colors are fabulous}, but I’m particularly loving their Sunday Funday line. It’s a perfect mix of fun, beachy brights and summer-savvy neutrals. You can buy Essie polish all over the place, including most drugstores, but you can find the whole collection on their website.

7. Sugar Lip Treatment // Not gonna lie, this stuff is a little bit of a splurge for me {I’m cheap, I know}, but it’s totally worth it in my book. I don’t know about you, but I like to keep things simple in the summer, including my makeup. Most of the time I don’t even wear eye shadow or blush – just a little primer, foundation, and mascara…and this stuff. I love their tinted colors because they go on very sheer, so you just get a hint of color, but they also have more vibrant hues to choose from. It’s not sticky at all and it makes your lips feel so soft. Plus, the color surprisingly lasts longer than you’d think. And again, it’s SPF 15, so bonus points for them {I love beauty products that pull double duty!}. For daytime, my favorite color is Rosé – it gives just the tiniest tint of color and looks so natural. For a little more color {I like it for date nights or summer happy hours}, the Plum is a great option. You can also buy these babies at Sephora.

8. Mossimo Mid-Rise Shorts // Power to the women who can rock those Daisy Dukes, but I am just not one of them. I’m already not a huge fan of wearing shorts because they ride up a lot, so short shorts are out of the question. These shorts from Target are awesome. They give me the perfect amount of length and I love the cuff. Plus the mid-rise cut and dark wash of these flatters anyone with a curvy booty like myself.

9. Old Navy Women’s Active Tank Top // Oh baby. It’s very rare that I find a tank top I like, but these are one of those buy-one-in-every-color tank tops. They’re super lightweight and the fit isn’t skin tight, so they’re perfect even on those muggy 110-degree days. I also love them because they’re super flattering {this coming from the girl who hates wearing tank tops because she thinks they make her arms look big}. They’re a little bit sheer, so they’re perfect for layering over a brightly covered cami, a swimsuit, or a cute crop top. As the name suggests, you can get these at Old Navy.

10. Sunglasses // What would summer be without your sunnies? I lose/break my sunglasses a lot, so I always get a cheap pair and I try not to get too attached. I’m currently loving this style, which you can get at H&M, but I also love sunglasses from Target, JC Penney, Forever21, and TopShop.

11. Sunscreen // Perhaps the most essential thing to a good summer is…sunscreen! While I love the smell of sunscreen {it reminds me of tropical vacations}, I cannot STAND the way it feels on my skin. It’s so greasy and ick and I always feel like I need to take an extra-long shower when I’ve put any on. Not with this stuff! This sunscreen is so light and it soaks in super quick. It’s so not-greasy that I even use it on my face without any worries. I usually use SPF 30, but this particular line goes all the way up to SPF 100. You can get it at any drugstore, but I usually grab it at Target.

12. eos Shave Cream // Last but not least, shaving cream. You can’t rock those cute shorts and tank tops without shaving, am I right? Again, I love this stuff because it pulls double duty. It doesn’t foam like regular shaving cream. It’s literally a cream, which means your legs stay super moisturized after you use it, so there’s no need to use lotion – just shave and go! This is perfect if you’re like me and forget that you need to shave your legs until two minutes before you need to leave! I buy mine at Walgreens, but you can pick it up at any drugstore.

That just about sums up my list of essentials! I’d love to hear what y’all reach for in the summertime, so hit me up in the comments.


Find Your Happy Place

Howdy everyone! TGIF, am I right?! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had one heck of a week…and today was especially stressful. Do you ever have one of those days/weeks where you just want to come home and throw a little fit like a toddler? Um, yeah, I was at that point today.

In the past when I’ve come home after days like today, I didn’t do much to alleviate my stress. I usually come straight home and plop in front of the TV/computer/cell phone just to get my mind off of the stressful day I just had. Most of the time, this serves its purpose of taking my mind off of things for a little bit, but it does nothing to improve my mood. I’m still cranky, I’m still stressed, my shoulders are still tensed up…yeah, it’s not pretty. I almost inevitably end up snapping at hubs at some point. No bueno.

If you read my last post about living life more unplugged, then you may be able to guess where I’m going with this. This year, I’ve been trying to live my life with more intention. I want to be more purposeful and deliberate in the choices I make and the things I do and say. With that being the case, then why on Earth would I come home and do something that doesn’t make me feel any better {and doesn’t make me pleasant to be around}?


I realized that when something bad happens or when I have a stressful day at work, I need a happy place to go to. I think everyone needs a happy place to escape to every once in awhile, and I don’t think you have to be limited to just one happy place. {Example: I LOVE coffee shops…not just for their coffee, but for their atmosphere in general. I’m instantly in a better mood the minute I walk into a cute coffee shop. Maybe that has to do with my unnatural obsession with mugs…but I digress.}

One place that I’m usually most happy is my home, but lately I’ve found that I’m particularly happy when I’m outside on nice days like today. I’m not sure why it took me this long to figure that out, but I think the important part is that you find your ultimate happy place, no matter how long it takes you to find it.


So today, after my incredibly stressful week, instead of coming home and drowning my sorrows with social feeds, I immediately asked hubs if he wanted to take pup on a walk. He obliged and we went on a nice long walk around the neighborhood. I don’t know if it was the kids playing, the freshly cut grass, or the smell of everyone’s flowers, but even the act of taking a few minutes for a walk made me feel a million times better. After that, I headed straight for the hammock, and that’s where I’ve been ever since {yes, I’m blogging from my hammock…be jealous}.

Moral of this story: find your happy place, wherever it may be. It doesn’t matter where it is. As long as it makes you feel more relaxed and at peace with the world around you, then that’s all that matters. I promise it’ll make you feel a whole lot better to have a little spot to retreat to when life gets too overwhelming.