Survive Summer with My Top Warm-Weather Gear

Summer is here and it's HOT! We all love long days full of summer fun, but all that fun can begin to take its toll after a while. Recently, I stopped by News-3 This Morning to share my favorite products that help make summer a little easier (and safer) for everyone in the family!

Amos in his UV Skinz.

Amos in his UV Skinz.

Summer is synonymous with sunshine. However, the sun can ruin a day of fun with a sunburn, not to mention ruin much more over years of exposure. The founder of UV Skinz Rhonda Sparks learned that tragic lesson when she lost her 32-year-old husband to melanoma. Most national brands have added on swim shirt lines as an afterthought in recent years, but UV Skinz sole focus and passion is providing quality UPF50+ swimwear for the entire family.

Griffin in his reversible bucket hat.

Griffin in his reversible bucket hat.

I absolutely love the kids swim shirts and have been using them since Amos was a baby. I'm also a HUGE fan of the reversible bucket hat, which both of my boys actually LEAVE ON. 

However, my passion for UV Skinz goes beyond my kids because for the last three years I've been wearing swim shirts myself. I'm very pale and burn easy and it just hit me one day... why don't I wear a swim shirt!?!?


All that energy spent seeking shade and reapplying sunscreen is now spent having fun with my family. I simply throw on a swim shirt and a hat and I'm good for the day. We all want to be more present for our children today AND be around longer in the future so throwing on a sun shirt is the least we can do! UV Skinz has a wide variety of styles for both men and women so check it out!

My LEAST favorite part of summer in the south is bugs... well not bugs really... MOSQUITOS. In my crankiest moments, I think mosquitos are proof the universe is fundamentally unfair. Recently, I got tired of all the natural Pinterest-inspired "No, they say this REALLY works!" remedies and decided to do some research on the science of preventing bug bites.

Luckily, one of my favorite sites The Sweethome had already done most of the work for me. 

The most effective mosquito prevention is a simple, five-pronged approach: source reduction, larvicide, repellant for your clothing, repellant for your body and a physical barrier.
— The Sweethome

Repellant for your clothing!?!? Wait, I can simply throw on a shirt and suffer no more! Sign me up! The Sweethome recommended ExOfficio, who sent me a BUGSAWAY® Lumen® to try out.  

The BugsAway Lumen Hoody, featuring Insect Shield®, is constructed with a mesh weave that is ideal for hot days when you need to stay cool and protected. The drawstring hood and thumb loops provide maximum protection from bites. Permethrin, the active ingredient in Insect Shield, is invisible, odorless, and so tightly bonded to the fabric fibers that it retains effective repellency through the life of the garment. It repels mosquitoes (including those carrying West Nile virus and malaria), ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges (no-see-ums). Insect Shield repellent lasts 70 washings.
— ExOfficio

It's life-changing in the same way a sun shirt is. Throw it on and stop worrying about bug bites! 

So, we've protected our skin what about our feet?

No one knows how to protect the feet from summer weather better than those who live in perpetual summer on tropical islands. That's why I love OluKai.

Inspired by the cultural tradition of Aloha, this company takes craftsmanship and comfort very seriously. In the process, they have created the most comfortable flip flop I have ever put on my foot.

The Ono stands up to the water and other tough summer environments while providing comfort and support for those summer walks!

We're heading to the beach next week and there will be LOTS and LOTS of sand play. In past years, I've simply picked up a cheap set of sand toys at the local drugstore and then thrown them away at the end of the trip. However, the shovels and buckets usually can't stand up to the abuse and I hate being so wasteful.

QUUT to the rescue!

Born from thoughtful Belgian design, QUUT beach toys are clever, durable, and adorable. No more cheap shovels that break within minutes. The Scoopi lets kids leverage both their hands and feet to move more sand easily and comes with a detachable sand sifter. The Ballo allows kids to drag heavy buckets on their own without spills. The Triplet is a sand sifter, scraper, AND funnel. 

In other words, none of these toys will be going in the trash after a couple of days in the sand!

Part of having a fun summer as an adult is keeping the kids entertained with cool toys like those from Quut... the OTHER part is keeping yourself entertained with a cold beverage.

So, I started hearing a lot about YETI a couple of months ago. I don't go anywhere during the summer (or really all year long) without a cup of ice water and suddenly all my friends' ice water was encased in these sleek metal cups they claimed never got warm.


These Rambler Tumblers are NO. JOKE.

Made from 18/8 stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation they can keep ice frozen FOR HOURS. No, seriously. This weekend I poured ice water into my YETI Tumbler at around 10:30 pm. I came home. I went to bed. I left my Tumbler in the car until NOON the next day in 100-degree heat. When Nicholas brought the cup inside, it was warm to the touch. 

Inside? ICE CUBES.

Unbelievable. The Rambler Colster is also amzing for those of you looking to keep more than ice water cold!