AHHHH summer.  That time when we all relax, enjoy some pool or beach time, and bond as a family over board games and crafts.  Kids entertain themselves with the sprinkler and quarter lemonade stands, while mom can sit on a chaise on the back deck with romance novels until they roll in at dusk.


While we may not have the 1970’s-type summers our moms had with us, there’s a lot to love about a less strict schedule, warm temperatures, and hopefully a vacation or two in the mix.

Next week I’ll be launching a blog series called “Summer Bucket List” of great things to do with teen kids to keep them OFF the screens and engaging with people and the world around them (an annual tradition in the Moxie house), but before I get to that, I thought I’d share some of my very favorite things to protect your skin, entertain you pool or beachside, and look cute while you’re out and about all summer! (but watch my Instagram for any additions during the summer as I find great things to share)

Starting with the photo at the top, this is my FAVORITE bag to carry around shopping and to the pool.  Spartina 449 has the most adorable bags and this CRABBY BAGGY bucket backpack is the tops.  It fits my sunscreen and magazines or the treats I pick up browsing around.  The drawstring backpack feature means it is handsfree too! Himself and the boys gave me this for Mother’s day last year along with the little satellite wristlet to match–the best little surprise to hold a credit card, few dollars, and a lip gloss.

Also shown above is the best new find–Sally Hansen NO LIGHT gel polish!  I love getting a manicure, but this is an easy and long-lasting alternative to salon nails.  I’m on day five wearing Byte Blue (including a lot of cleaning!) and it still looks brand new!

Featured here and in the first photo are my very favorite sun products.  I grew up in a generation of baby-oil wearing sunbathers, but time has shown me the error of my ways.  Beautycounter is an all-natural and super-safe skin care and cosmetics line.  This sunscreen not only blends quickly with no white streaks, but fights free radicals while protecting you from UVA and UVB rays.  Safe enough for babies, but with all you need to keep your skin safe.  I like the body lotion AND the face stick.  You can check out their collection of products HERE.

The summer of 2017 is FULL of sunnies and sun hats too!  The biggest trend I’ve seen in sun hats are the sentiment hats.  These wide-brimmed sun hats keep your face shaded, protect your eyes, and also feature a message to those passing by on the beach. “Do Not Disturb” is just the message I want to share when I’m buried in a book on the beach.A wide selection of sunnies, hats, and even bags, I’ve fallen in love with everything from Ilymix.com. I’ve even secured a 20% discount just for my readers!  Check the link for their huge selection and use code sam_20 at checkout for 20% off!

No matter how diligent we are about covering our heads, hair takes a beating in the summer–sun, salt, and chlorine wreak havoc on all hair, but especially those of us who color our locks.  Enter Marco!  Master colorist, Marco Pelusi, is also a dear friend.  He works with star clients in California and teaches around the globe.  He turned me on to his leave-in conditioner (as well as a whole line of color-protectant shampoos and conditioners) that I completely ADORE!  Just the right amount of conditioner that won’t kill the volume also tames frizz in humidity.  YIPPIE!  I like to put this conditioner on my ends BEFORE a day in the sun some days to let it really protect and condition too.  You can check out Marco’s products HERE.

We’ve saved our hair and skin from the sun, but what about that desired sun-kissed glow?  We all love a bit of bronze, don’t we?  Whether you are super-diligent with SPF, or just very pale (ahem, that’s me!), you may want to add self-tanner to the mix.  A salon spray tan is fantastic, but I keep that up at home with the BEST self-tanner.  I am ridiculously well-versed in these products–from which smell bad, to the best and worst colors–I know more than the average woman.  I discovered Vita Liberata about a year ago.  Organic, all natural, low odor, and a NON orange color!!!  Headquartered in Ireland, I am CERTAIN they developed this with palefaces in mind.  I could do a whole blog (and maybe I will) on their products.  From their 2-3 week tanning mousse to their Self-Tanning mineral bronzer (yes, it really does work for the perfect sun-kissed glow), I couldn’t do summer without it!




FINALLY, we get to our chaise!  Phew!  No trip to beach or pool would be complete without some snacks and things to DO!  I always keep a TON of water on hand to stay hydrated.  My favorite snack to keep on hand for summer outings are DANG! Coconut chips in Salted Cocoa.  I *may* have them on auto ship from amazon by the case.  Check them out HERE 


 AAAANNNNNNDDDD beach ACTIVITIES!  The best time to catch up on some reading and family time!  I typically have two books going at once–one for self-improvement, another just for fun.  Up next is “Healing Maddie Brees” by Rebecca Brewster Stevenson.  The debut novel from this author has met with rave reviews (and she happens to be a friend from high school, too). We always have small card games packed away too.


What are YOUR summer essentials and favorite books?  I would love to hear from you with your summer plans.