Every Summer for as long as I can remember, my parents would sign us up for swim lessons at our community pool. And although I wasn’t crazy about taking the actual lessons or having to perform the final swim test, I did love being able to spend the entire day at the pool.
In the morning, my sister and I would pack up our backpacks for the day – a change of clothes, our towels, that special shampoo that would rinse out any sign of chlorine (and practically burn your eyeballs at the same time), sometimes a paper bag lunch, and typically some loose change from my Mom to buy ourselves a treat from the infamous snack truck. Then we would hop on our bikes, leave our quiet little street, and bike our way to the pool.
We cut through some farm fields that had yet to be developed into subdivisions filled with cookie cutter homes, we biked on a narrow dirt path through the woods, we crossed the railroad tracks, passed the library, and then we were there. We would drop our bikes practically anywhere, stuff our backpacks into any open locker, and jump right in.
After what felt like hours in the pool, we would line up at the snack truck, drying off in the sun while trying to decide which sugary treat to purchase. I typically went with a box of Nerds that could be practically drank down (with both sides of the box open I might add), or a big stick of Laffy Taffy that would melt and get gooey in the Summer heat. Treats in our tummies, we’d rinse off the chlorine, change, and then jump back on our bikes, either to make a stop at the library or head straight home.
Yep, those were the days. The days when you didn’t even think that there was any other option other than spending your entire day outside. The days when you could safely bike with your sister to the pool. The days when your biggest concern was if you had enough change to buy the red licorice rope, or if you would have to settle for a box of Runts. The days when Summer was synonymous with being outdoors – swimming, running, eating Fla-Vor-Ice, building forts, creating and imagining – those were definitely the good ol’ days.
Our Summer Essentials.
Bomb Pops were my jam as a kid. And although I know that a popsicle is very much so a treat, GoodPop did manage to create one seriously cleaned up version of my childhood favorite. (And they even have organic Push-Up Pops!)
Anyone else remember putting streaks of neon pink or blue zinc oxide on their noses at the pool? I remember thinking that the lifeguards looked so cool with it on. And so when my Mom picked up a couple of sticks, it was basically the best Summer ever. Luckily for all of us 80’s babies out there, for better or for worse, that stuff still exists.
And speaking of sunscreen, we’ve recently run the gambit for finding the best non-toxic and clean beauty option out there. And we’ve found a clear winner. MyChelle Sun Shield ticks all of the boxes – it’s cruelty free, reef safe, recyclable, and made without gluten, parabens, petroleum, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, ureas, or any artificial fragrances or colors.
Ever since moving to California, I’ve made a point to take my skincare and sun protection routine much more seriously. And so when we saw these amazing sun shades at the beach a few weeks ago, we both immediately knew that we would be needing one!
If you haven’t yet been bit by the rubber Birkenstock bug yet, then you’re missing out. Both Ryan and I held out at first, but really, I can’t imagine life without them. Especially in the Summer. Not only are they comfortable, they’re affordable, and they wash up in a breeze.
I don’t know about you, but I was a jelly sandal kind of kid. And although they most likely lacked any sort of comfort or support, I loved them. As an adult I have way too much awareness surrounding the comfort of my feet to ever consider wearing those again, which is why I’m feeling much more tempted by one of these Sun Jellies totes.
And finally, a really good beach bag. It took us years to find something that we really loved, but we finally did it. We bought this L.L. Bean tote last year to be used both as a travel bag and beach bag. But what we found out, is that it really is the best beach bag ever.