My kick-off to summer, while filled with plenty of fun, has also been fairly hectic. Summer vacation started off for me--just two weeks ago today--with a long stint of solo-parenting during my daughters' first week off from school, as Christopher traveled for a work trip. Since then there's been--among many other things--an out-of-town book reading that took most of an entire day, major storms and flooding, and then, this past Saturday, Christopher's second century (100-mile) bike race (which meant him being gone all day again).
All this chaos and craziness has meant that I've been even more thankful than usual for my various mama essentials--the little luxuries that make summer stay-at-home mama life a bit prettier, comfier, and easier to manage, even on those days you're parenting solo or the rain is coming down in sheets while the kiddos fuss about wanting to go to the pool and you've got approximately 30 seconds to think of some brilliant way to keep them busy for the next four hours.
So if you, like me, are feeling a little rough around the edges these days, get yourself into the shade or AC, grab an iced coffee, and check out my list of summer faves, below. I guarantee, these items will make your days better. Even if your days, like mine, are already pretty awesome come summertime.
(None of these companies has reimbursed me in any way for endorsing their products, by the way.)
photo courtesy kerastase-usa.com
*Kerastase Crystalliste Lumiere Liquide Luminous Perfecting Essence For Dry Lengths or Ends. Stay with me here. This stuff is expensive--but worth it beyond your wildest dreams if you have long, summer-dry hair like mine. Just a drop or two of this apparently magical oil, massaged into the bottoms of your locks, will leave you with the silkiest, softest, glowiest strands you've ever seen--think Blake Lively in Gossip Girl--even if you spend your days frying your hair in the sun and heat at the pool with your kiddos. Look for deals on Amazon or sale prices elsewhere online. A bottle will last you a really, really long time.
photo courtesy evolutionofsmooth.com
*eos lip balm spheres. There's nothing like the hot days of summer to leave you with dry, sun-parched lips. But have you noticed how your usual tube of lip balm always seems to go missing in the bottom of your handbag? Switch over to these irresistible, candy-hued globes for easy-to-spot assistance when your smile needs smoothing. They're so cute you'll be tempted to kiss them. Or eat them. Or just buy one of every color, like I have.
photo courtesy target.com
photos courtesy garnierusa.com
*Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage Daily Moisture Lotion and Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. If you're a stay-at-home mom of young children during the summer, it's pretty much a given that you're going to spend a lot of time in the sun. It just is. Between the pool, the park, the backyard, the playground, the picnics, the bike rides, the stroller walks, the little-kid soccer and baseball practices, the swimming lessons, and everything in between--well, it all adds up to mega sun exposure. Trust me, these two products are your friends. Your best friends. Stock up. Unless you want to look like a leathery, sun-spotted lizard by the time your kids hit middle school. Which reminds me...
photo courtesy target.com
*A cute wide-brimmed sunhat is also your friend. And this one, by Merona from Target, is both retro-glamorous and functional: it's large enough for even my mammoth head. Plus you can stuff it in your beach bag and it pops right back into shape. Seriously, pair this hat with some large dark shades and you'll be the chicest mom at the baby pool. Which brings me to...
*Glamorous, big sunglasses. I realize that Wayfarers and other more moderately-sized shades are back in style too, but for complete crow's feet-prevention and eye coverage, there's nothing like the oversized sunglasses that still populate the drugstore racks and magazine pages. Go for the biggies for the best sun protection, and you'll look like a Hollywood mama: ageless, but not in that creepy, overly-Botoxed way.
photo courtesy neutrogena.com
*Kids' wet skin sunscreen spray. It goes without saying that, as a summer mom, you're going to spend half your time applying sunscreen to your kids' slippery, wriggly bodies. Make it easy on yourself and get the kind in the easy-spray bottle, that you can zap straight onto wet skin when it's time to re-coat during swim breaks. Then use it for yourself, too. Every two hours, people!
That should get you started. I've got a few more summer essentials, but maybe we'll save those for July. Right now I've got kiddos to get to summer gymnastics, then the library, then the supermarket, then the pool. You know how it is.
Have fun, mamas! And let me know if you have any other summer must-haves for moms I should know about!