Lists: Five Must-Haves To Kick Off Summer

It’s here!  Memorial Day Weekend begins on Friday, and I consider that to be the unofficial start to summer!  Living in New England, the warm weather is something I cherish after months of snow, sleet, and frigid temperatures.  I spent a day this past week boxing up sweaters, corduroys, and boots.  In their place, I stocked drawers with tees, shorts, and sun dresses.  This week, I will be doing a little shopping for some summer must-haves.  Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Really good sunscreen.


I’m very careful about applying sunscreen because we all have very fair skin.  I also care a lot about safety, so now that we are through the toddler years, I’m vowing to not use spray anymore.  Most, if not all, are extremely toxic.  All of the brands I love and use come from the Environmental Working Group website.  They rate the safety of different products, and reveal the ingredients.  It’s a great resource, and if you haven’t visited the site, here is the address:

2.  A really cute pair of flip flops (or three!).

I live in flip-flops all summer, and comfort is key. I have a pair of Reefs that I love.  They are the Fanning style, so I think I will just replace them with a fresh pair.  I’ve tried so many different brands of flip-flops, but most of them make my feet ache.


If you have a good local surf or swim shop, you can likely find these there.  Otherwise, try the Reef website:

I have found Reefs to last longer than other brands as well.

And, for something stylish, I’m set on these.  I just need to choose the color!


They are so cute.  I love that I can dress them up or down.  Who doesn’t want half of the goodies on her website?

Also, I know people love FitFlops:  It looks like they have really expanded their selection this year.  These are really cute:


3.  A great pedicure!


Boy, do my feet need a good clean-up after months in socks!  Typically, I frantically pick out my color while the woman is standing there waiting to wash my feet.  This time, I’m going to peruse the website of my favorite brand, Essie: and actually find a couple of colors I am excited about before I show up for my appointment.  I always choose pink, but perhaps it’s time to shake things up?

4.  New swimsuits for my kids!



Suits don’t last more than one summer these days, so it’s time to pick them out for this season.  I usually splurge on one  suit per child and then buy a second suit at either Costco (they have great Speedo suits for girls) TJ Maxx, or Marshalls.  All typically have a nice selection with great deals on the prices.

Here are my favorite swimsuit sites…

Garnett Hill:  For girls, check out the adorable bikinis this year.

Vineyard Vines:  Yes, I am guilty of splurging on these suits for my son.  I just cannot resist the patterns.

Boden USA:  I’m NOT a fan of the girls swimsuits because they are more of a cotton blend then spandex, but I love the boy designs.

5.  A cute beach tote!


For years, I’ve used my old stand-by, the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote and I’m just tired of it.  These Scout bags are fabulous though, and many of my friends have them and love them.  They are lightweight and can be easily wiped down (a key feature if you have young kids!).  This one is the Original Deano, and retails for $37.50.  It comes in many different patterns, and all are adorable.  Check out their site to shop online or to find a retailer near you:

Bring on summer!




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