I live for summer. Unfortunately, the place I live decides to be foggy and dreary in early summer. They call it June Gloom. But it’s more accurately May, June and part or all of July Gloom. I guess that might keep tourists at bay, so they stick with the shorter version. The tradeoff? Pretty much the rest of the year is stunning and when the other parts of the nation are bundling up for fall, we’re having our finest, hottest and sunniest days.
So while most of the US is getting the half-way gone summer blues, I’m just starting to get amped up for summer. I have a few summer beach traditions, that mostly involve food. (Go figure!) But every year, I buy myself a classic book that I’ve either never read or haven’t read since I was very young. I read it only at the beach while laying on my blanket, so it gives me an excuse to just sit there and tune everything out and really read. I also get a new sundress and try to limit myself to just one. And then I get some new sandals and replace my old beach flip flops. I find that a year is pretty much all I can justify and that’s about when they start falling apart or getting too gunky from tar, anyway. So in the spirit of beach supplies, here’s my Martha-y list of must haves. (Only, unlike Martha, they’re not all ridiculously expensive and they aren’t all robin’s egg blue.)
Make Sure You Use Protection – Suncanny Mineral Powder Sunscreen by Colorescience, about $45
I gotta start with the basics. I absolutely hate normal sunscreens. They are messy, they get into my eyes and sting like a hell. And they smell horrible to me. I don’t want to smell like that. I love these powders. They are waterproof and offer a physical barrier of sunscreen that is just the best I’ve ever used. And I use them as makeup. You can put it on light or dark and all you have to do is sweep it on with a brush. It never looks cakey or powdery or chalky and there are a lot of ranges you can use, from totally clear to different skin tone colors. I like All Clear, which has no color and is completely translucent. I use this on myself all over and on my husband too if he lets me near him with it. You really can’t see it on, but it does the trick better than any sunscreen I’ve ever found. It is slightly expensive, but one tube can usually last me four to six months, whereas a cheap drugstore sunscreen in a tube would be gone in one, so it all ends up being the same difference money wise, but better protection.
I love this book and haven’t read it since I was about Scout’s age. What I love about classic books (like Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley, which I read last summer) is that you read them and find that the world isn’t so big, so different of a place as you might imagine. It’s amazing how relevant some of the classics are, particularly the books that were written in just the last century. A lot of the situations the characters find themselves in is shockingly similar and relatable to what we go through and talk about every day. I’m not sure if this is comforting or just a shocking lack of progress, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Summer Frock – Lucky Brand White Cotton Eyelet Dress, about $49
Here is is. My Dress Du Jour. And by that, I mean that I wear this Lucky Brand dress at least three times a week. I can’t even describe how soft the sheer cotton eyelet overlay is on this dress. It feels like a vintage garment, that’s how soft it is. The cotton voile under slip thingie is removable so you can layer it on top of a different color. It makes me sad to say that on me, this dress comes to just above the knee. Sigh. Anyway, go git yerself one of these little numbers. It’s not online anymore, but the stores have a lot left. A friend of mine reports she just got one on sale in store for $49. Honestly, this dress looks and feels like $449.00.
Perfect Summer Sandals, about $15
And what to wear with such a lovely dress? These adorable sandals, of course. I love that effortless Mexican Senorita vibe they have going on and they are actually quite comfortable. They’re from Old Navy and are about $15.00. They come in other colors, but the yellow was my favorite for summer.
Summer Photographic Art, from $39
Maybe you can’t get to the beach this summer? Sad face! This amazing photographer can help transport you to an endless summer of happy memories. I bought this print of Coney Island because I just found it endearing and fun. It looks like a miniature set, but it’s a real photograph. She also has other prints of the beach and beach life in a similar style. I love her work and I like that it’s an affordable addition to your art gallery (or a start to one!)
Behold, Tequila Watermelon. (That’s right!)
Just be careful not to get any on that dress……Viva La Summer!!!!!!