Thursday, July 10, 2014

pool day essentials

Are you enjoying your summer as much as I am?!  Despite the heat... I LOVE TEXAS SUMMERS!  Pool time, cooking out, going out on the lake, floating the river, concerts, food trucks... I love it all and can never get enough!  

Today I'm sharing my short-list of necessities for a pool day with your best girlfriend!  Thankfully, my bff has an amazing pool that she shares with me!
1. Cute tote bag- Every girl needs a cute tote!  I especially love straw totes during the summer.  I love that they are a little more sturdy and can stand on their own and it takes more than a quick splash of water to get the tote wet!  This tote is about the same size as a tote purse, which prevents me from packing too many items but leaves me room for more than just a towel.  Here's some super cute totes from Target!

2. A hat- Pick something you don't mind sweating in or if it gets wet or faded.  My favorite hat is a pink Guinness trucker hat that I picked up in college.  I prefer regular caps as opposed to a giant sun hat mostly because they are smaller & easier to pack and you really don't need to worry about smashing them like a straw hat.  Also, I love being able to put my ponytail through the whole in the back of the cap! 

3. Sunscreen- I can not stress this enough!  I think we've all finally come around and gotten over our late 90s / early 2000s obsession with tanning!  ....I know I have!  I've hit the point in my life when yes, I care about aging and possible skin cancer.  So I make sure to have my sunscreen with me at all times. My favorite sunscreen EVER is from Mary Kay.  It's broad spectrum protection that blocks me from getting burned, but still allows me to get some color (I see tan lines!)  I also love that it is non-comedogenic (won't clog your pores) and water-resistant and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes!  Mary Kay Sunscreen comes in SPF 30 or 50 and works better than anything else I've ever used! SHOP IT HERE.  *whatever sunscreen you use, please make sure it is BROAD SPECTRUM protection (blocks both UVA and UVB rays), water-resistant (nothing is completely waterproof; all sunscreens need to be reapplied through the day), suitable for sensitive-skin (so anyone can borrow and use it) and backed by a money-back guarantee (don't worry, Mary Kay is!)  I also recommend sunscreens that you must RUB IN as opposed to spray-on... many spray-on sunscreens contain unnecessary chemicals and alcohol.  Take the time to protect yourself!

4. Lip Protection and After-sun Gel- Again, my favorite products are from Mary Kay.  Don't forget that the pool and sun exposure can also really dry out your lips!  I love the Lip Protector from MK because it provides moisture as well as sun protection!  The Mary Kay After-Sun Replenishing Gel is the best item I've ever found to soothe your skin after a long day of sun!  It feels amazing and will help prevent any pain or peeling from too much sun!  **I recently converted a guy-friend to a believer... he was complaining about a bad burn from a few days prior and as soon as I gave him this gel, he was amazed at the relief he felt!  Again, money-back guarantee!  SHOP the after-sun gel HERE!

5. An old towel and a cheap bandana- hey, we live in Texas, people!! If you think you're not going to sweat A LOT when by the pool or on the lake, you're sadly mistaken.  I like to pack a crappy, old towel that I really don't care what happens to.  That way, I can wipe off my sweat on something besides my cute pool towel (that's for laying out and looking sexy!)  The bandana is another great item to keep handy.  It's big enough to cover your face if you need a little extra shade, you can use it to tie up your hair, or you can get it wet and wrap it around your head or neck to help keep you cool.  I love shopping at Walmart for bandanas because they have a huge variety of cute patterns for about $1 each! 

6. Magazines- this is sort of self-explanatory... ladies like reading material and in the summer, I love catching up on magazines.  I never feel like I have that much time during the rest of the year to sit and read magazines, but in the summer I play catch up.  I love having a Cosmo... truthfully now that I'm married I don't feel weird reading the sex tips! HA! But seriously, I've always loved Cosmopolitan and I make sure to pick it up for a pool day.  I've also been loving Country Living magazine for it's cute DIY ideas, recipes and home decor.  What magazines are you favorites? 

7. A gift for the hostess- my hostess may be my best friend, but I still feel that it is appropriate to bring a little something as a thank you for inviting me over to use her pool!  I'm loving fresh flowers and think that it's the perfect something to give!  You really don't need to spend a lot of money... I've found that wild flowers and things like Gerber Daisies can provide an amazingly pretty pop of color for an affordable price!  Loving these orange beauties that I picked up the other day!  And how cute is it to show up with your summer tote, pull those blooms out and say, "These are for you!"?!  The grocery store will always have a small selection, but checking out more specialty stores like Central Market or Trader Joes will most likely give you the biggest, most affordable selection.  Trader Joes has become my new favorite store since they opened a Fort Worth location! 
A little strategic planning and packing can really make or break your day in the sun!  Do I really need to remind everyone how HOT it is out there??  Pack the sunscreen, pack the after-sun gel, pack the extra clothing and extra towels... it is worth it!  There is nothing more miserable than being in the heat and not having what you need... not to mention how dangerous it is!  

Consider packing your tote bag with these items and just leaving it packed... that way you're ready at a moment's notice and you won't forget anything!  You know, kind of like a pregnant woman has the suitcase all ready! ;-)  Pool and lake opportunities can pop up at any minute here in Texas!  Enjoy the sun!!

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