The Essentials of Summer

Today’s post is in collaboration with SmartBuyGlasses, TOMY, and Arabella Baby. Some affiliate links are included.

No doubt this summer will be different.

We’ve postponed a national park trip and the kids are lamenting canceled camps. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have fun! It’s just going to be a different sort of fun. A calmer one, a less scheduled one.

As much as I feel like the summer is lost (drama queen much?), I’m also confident that we’ll gain a lot from our less busy summer. Without a big trip and weeks of camps we’ll be adventuring close to home – the backyard, our favorite trail, and the local beach (spaced out, of course!), gardening, baking, sleeping in/staying up late, and so many Pinterest projects thanks to Jemma’s new found skill of searching and pinning on my account. See? Ample opportunity for precious memories with my favorite people. A good summer indeed.

Since we’re all in the same boat with this different kind of summer I wanted to share a handful of our family’s summer essentials for the coming, quiet, but still lovely days ahead. Bring on the summer 2020 adventures!


I wear sunglasses year round #blueeyeproblems, but this year I’ve got a peppy pair of new sunnies from SmartBuyGlasses just for the summertime! SmartBuyGlasses has more than 180 designer eyewear brands and over 80,000 pairs of both sunglasses and eyeglasses. They’ve made buying glasses online so fun and easy thanks to their Virtual Try-On Tool and if you’re in the market for regular glasses you can utilize the Lens Scanner App to scan your current glasses and confirm your prescription. SmartBuyGlasses offers free shipping, 100 day returns, and a best price guarantee. I’m pretty smitten with my pair of hot pink Kate Spade Julianna and Jemma can’t wait to inherit them!

New Books

Are you ready to get your read on this summer? We sure are! Problem is, our library is still on lockdown :( We’ve remedied our thirst for new books with Book Outlet though. Such amazing deals there from publisher overstock! Plus, right now you can stack $10 off a $25 purchase and their 15% off everything sale. Search their new arrivals section, your kid’s favorite topics (try snakes, princesses, Star Wars, etc.) Noel Streatfeild for the gorgeous, new cover shoe book series, and the cookbook assortment for some summer food inspiration.

Boon Snug Sippy Lids

I’ve done away with almost all sippy cups in favor of versatile lids like the Boon SNUG SPOUT since they can stretch onto any cup! These are seriously genius! Perfect for at home and on the go. They wash (dishwasher top rack) and wear great! Highly recommend!

Outdoor Mat

Our JJ Cole Watermelon Outdoor Mat has already seen some action at the drive-in and a picnic at the beach! It’s the perfect, compact mat, folds easy, and wipes down even easier. Plus, Jem can’t get enough of the watermelon pattern … so summery and truly safe for real watermelon drips!

Finger Foods Placemat

As we slowly widen our circle I’m so excited that we’ll get to spend some time with my little niece this summer. She is deep into exploring new foods and when she comes to visit I know she’ll love trying all the fares of our summer garden on The First Years Finger Foods Placemat. Come on, sweet girl, our strawberries are almost ready for you!

Stocked Car Caddy

Arabella Baby has thought of it all with their “I Want It All” Bundle! It is always my goal to be able to jump in the car and head out quickly so I like to keep a caddy in the trunk stocked with staples that we might need when out and about — a change of clothes and a towel (for when Reid walks straight into the water #beentheredonethat), swaddles for blocking the sun, snacks, wipes, and more. I love Arabella Baby’s caddy especially; it is the perfect size and super sturdy! Just what every mama needs stocked and ready to go in her car.

Bumps ‘n Bruises Ointment Stick

It wouldn’t be summer without a tumble or two, right? For years I’ve sworn by Hyland’s Bumps ‘n Bruises Ointment Stick … it’s A+ and so worth having one at home and one in your bag when out and about with the kids.

Popperton Boxy Backpack

Even though Eli is potty trained, I haven’t quite been able to downsize my mom bag. It seems I’ve exchanged diapering things for more snacks, clothing layers, sunscreen, water bottles … all times four! This crew of kids require a lot when we go out! Hence, I still need a big bag and the Popperton Boxy Backpack from JJ Cole is pretty perfect thanks to all the pockets and wipeable exterior AND interior.

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