Pool Bag Essentials

Summer is here, and I’m not going to lie, I basically live my life for it.  Give me all the hot days in the sunshine over snow and freezing cold any day. That probably comes from the many, many hours I lived in a pool growing up.   

5FC2B8BC-5A56-4F5A-A1EB-835A049CBA3FWhen I was little I was all about swim team and the thrill of being a part of the competition and the long meet days of braiding friendship bracelets while waiting for my race.  I also loved the middle school days of fun dips, tanning oil and boy crushes shared between friends on the plasticy lounge chairs.  High school summers I would spend lifeguarding, where I learned to love sitting in the sun for hours on end and just being present.  Even to this day, the smell of chlorine is one of my favorites because it brings with it a flood of memories: fitness, personal growth, chill time, friend time, and freedom of the structure of life to just practice being present.  It’s my oasis. 

We all have pool memories, and with the heat of this season we head to the pool for a little relief and hopefully a good time.  This summer I hope to make some new “pool” memories with my kids, with friends and maybe even just a little time by myself. 

Here are my beach/pool bag essentials this summer:

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Sunglasses – I’m into the Cat Eye frames trend right now. These UV protecting darling lenses were a Target find.  I like the gray tortoise shell coloring.  They bring an easy style upgrade to my pool-hair-don’t-care look.

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Round towel – Everyone needs a pool/beach towel, why not have a little fun with it and make it a round one?  This tropical one is fun but still simple.  This one is microfiber and will absorb water more quickly.  I really like the tassel fringe edges.

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Headphones – I don’t always get to pool time by myself, but when I do I’m all about the podcasts or a good spotify playlist.  

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Book – My summer reading list is growing quickly, which may be a little too zealous.  This “Where’d You Go Bernadette” one has been on my list since this spring.  I hear it is being made into a movie starring Cate Blanchette.   

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Water Bottle – A year ago I got hooked on this water bottle that my sister recommended to me.  I have since bought another. Let’s be honest, I don’t drink near as much water as my mama told me, but this helps.  I love having a straw, for some reason I’m more likely to drink more water if it feels like a to-go cup.  The best part about this water bottle is when  you remove the straw it seals shut, so I can throw it in my purse without any leakage.  It is a must have for me.

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La Croix – These have become my go-to drink.  I am usually a fan of the coconut flavor, but this Kiwi Watermelon makes me feel like I’m summer vibe-ing.  And it goes great in my fancy water bottle.

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Sunscreen – I’m working on being a more responsible individual, and with that comes things like taking care of yourself and avoiding sun damage.  I like that it’s not super oily and I can apply it under my makeup.  Lavender makes me happy.

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Instax Poloroid Camera – My husband gave this to me as a Christmas gift and I have loved taking it for little keepsake photos to hang on the fridge or keep in my wallet.  It makes that little moment with friends or my kids that much more special and memorable.  We like to always take two pics: one to keep and one to give.

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Turban – I wasn’t kidding about my pool hair.  I resemble something somewhere between a wet rat and a drippy mop.  This turban not only covers the hot mess that I am, its super cute and I always get compliments on it. We make these here in our shop and have them in all the colors and many fun, bright prints.  My summer go to is this bright coral twist turban, especially for its full coverage.

I hope your summer pool time is calling.  Grab your favorite goodies and bring on the slower and memorable days of summer!

-Erin

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making summer count

I’ve never been good at time management. The people in my life would probably describe me as a free bird, but with lots of fails I’ve learned to thrive in structure. Carving out time for the things that are important actually creates more freedom for those impromptu and spontaneous moments.

if we fight to own our time, then we will have the freedom to give it away when it matters

Lately I feel like I’ve been flailing. I should be excited that summer is coming and I will be getting more time in with my children but instead I’ve felt an anxiousness. I realized it’s because it’s time to figure out a new schedule and how I hope to manage my time.

My number one goal this summer is slow. I want to be intentional. I want to carve out time to love people well. I feel like time is kind of like money. The way we spend it shows where our heart lies. We spend some, we give some and we save some.

making time to be intentional this summer
These neutral Essie polishes: lady likehaute in the heat are perfect for bare toes this summer!

Spend some: Just like finances, we have to be responsible individuals and do things like pay bills. I feel like “spending time” includes things like jobs, responsibilities, tasks and duties. This is the biggest portion of time in my life –and one I have to be the most structured with.  Just like a budget, I am practicing staying focused at work and giving my best when I’m there. I’m also working on not putting unrealistic expectations on myself when it comes to duties like house chores, meal prep and ALL the Mom things. I feel like if I can set these up in a reasonable space and give myself some grace on not being perfect, it will open up more of the “saving” and “giving” time slots—which I think is where the best of life happens.

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This new jumper I got from Old Navy is so easy to wear and livable.  It’s fun dressed up with these heels or for an everyday mom style with sandals and a turban.

Save some: I think this is where we put priorities: your people.  It’s an investment.  The time I pour into my children or intentionally with just a few people will grow deep rooted relationships. I hope to be purposeful in carving out time to be together, for my husband and kids and my friends. I also think it is so important to make time to recharge.  I hope to do this with by trying to be in the moment, to turn off my phone more, by having quiet porch times journaling and praying, by sipping coffee in the mornings and by taking a few naps.

Give some: With our money, sometimes I will intentionally donate to a cause and other times it’s more impromptu and I come across a homeless man on the corner needing a little help. Whether its committing to serve somewhere long term or an impromptu chance to make a friend a warm meal or lend a stranger your listening ear, I think with time, if I am careful with my “spending” I will create more opportunities to give away to others.

The crazy thing about time is that we all only get 24 hours in a day. No one gets any more or any less. We have to choose how we spend it, I want to be purposeful. The kids and I sat down and wrote out a “Summer Bucket List” in hopes to be purposeful in making memorable moments.

-Erin

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P.S. These are my new favorite sunglasses and I love these modern statement hoop earrings.

Our Trip to Disney

Today is my first day back at work since we left for vacation.  Coming back to real life is rough, amiright?  Especially coming back from a place where literally everything is focused on you forgetting about the actual world you live in so that you focus on all the entertainment in front of you.  Not gonna lie, I love it.

I also love the first day of vacation.  I love taking in all the smells and sights. I love thinking about how we have the next several days to just be together and away from reality.  The second we got to the hotel, we threw our swimsuits on and jumped in the pool.  After the kids got their pajamas on, my parents volunteered to watch them while we went on a double date with my sister and her husband.  Beer and so. many. sweets in Disney Springs.

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The next day,  we hit up Magic Kingdom.  That’s kind of a must for us to do first.  Allll the character meet and greets.  And more sweets.  That evening we headed to my favorite park for sushi in Japan – Epcot.   I love Epcot.  I love getting to walk around the World Showcase and smell the different foods coming from all the different countries.  They do such a good job of letting you feel the vibes of each country.

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The next day was my favorite day this trip – Animal Kingdom.  It started with Mickey Mouse waffles and included spiked chai, a safari, an impromptu dance party in the street, popcorn, rides, and Rainforest Cafe. And, you guessed it, more sweets and character meet and greets.  I started to sort of be over waiting in the lines to meet the characters.  But then I see this face and it’s worth it.

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On the third day, we went to Epcot.  This day was also Nora’s birthday.  We went to a Princess breakfast and strolled around the World Showcase.

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We asked her what she wanted for dinner for her birthday and she said “I want a cheeseburger in Magic Kingdom because it’s magical there.”  Off we went back to Magic Kingdom for a magical cheeseburger (she changed her mind last minute and got magical mac and cheese instead), more sweets, and a firework show.

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Our last day was spent at Hollywood Studios.  It started raining around lunch, so we went back to the hotel, but not before we met Olaf, Princess Sofia and Jeff rode Rockin’ Roller Coaster.

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Disney is one of those trips you have to go into knowing that some parts of it will be stressful.  And we did have some of those moments.  Waiting in lines is hard, crowds are hard, spending $10 on a kids meal is hard.   Other than those things, though, it’s almost magical.   So many memories.  I will be treasuring them and living off of them for a while.

 

-rach