You probably find that there are a few things you carry around with you everywhere you go, and that these things change as the seasons change. (Rereading that sentence, I’m even telling MYSELF, “Duh, Jen — way to state the obvious!”) What I’m talking about here is those frequently used items that are kind of a surprise: ones you knew you’d use every now and then, but that end up getting catapulted straight to your daily entourage, rarely leaving your side.
Today I’m sharing four — well, actually five — items that I’ve been using nonstop so far this summer. Best of all, all of these items can be snagged for under $50!
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1. That Palm Tote (Target, $44)
Oh, my, gosh — if there is one thing I’ve had at my side (literally, and I don’t mean literally in the inaccurate slang way; I mean it the way any self-respecting English teacher does: LITERALLY) every time I leave the homestead, it is THIS bag. You may have noticed palm leaf prints are everywhere right now, and this bag nails that trend while at the same time being an absolutely amazing tote. It’s just the right size for all of your stuff (I can fit items #2, #3, and #4 in here along with my wallet and all of my other typical can’t-leave-home-without-them items), it has a cute tassel, it’s durable and easy to wipe clean, and at $44 it won’t break the bank. This one’s no longer available, but here are a few similar ones: Francesca’s, Dillard’s, Amazon.
2. Yeti 20-oz Tumbler in Seafoam
I had no idea until I used a Yeti tumbler just how much better they are than any other water bottle, coffee mug, or thermos-type cooler or tumbler that exists. I drink lots and lots of water, so that means carrying it around with me. I used to use a water bottle, but when I’m outside a lot on hot summer days, my water got hot lightning fast, especially if I had to leave it in the car for any amount of time. Since I got this Yeti, that is no longer an issue. I don’t even have to put ice in the water (I prefer it cool, not cold) and it stays the same temperature for hours and hours and hours, even when sitting in the sun.
Oh, and you may have noticed the lid I’m using isn’t the standard clear plastic Yeti lid. I bought a Yeti Rambler MagSlider lid and I’m so glad I did! The regular Yeti lids have the hole for sipping and it’s always open. The MagSlider lid uses magnet technology to close that little portal so you don’t have to worry about bugs flying in. Probably the main reason for it is to protect against splashes and spills, but the bug thing is a pretty big perk in my book. The MagSlider lids go for $9.99.
3. Steve Madden Fedora with Sprinkle Beads
I was really hesitant to get this…I haven’t been a “hat person” since junior high when everyone was wearing Michael Jackson-style fedoras (along with the band-type jackets and one glove!). I don’t even wear ball caps on bad hair days — I usually just let all that bad hair hang out however it wants to. That or put it up. I digress. Anyway, I got this hat because it was light, crushable/packable, and I really liked the beads. I’m kind of into multicolored beaded accessories right now as you may have noticed from recent outfit posts. It looks really good with casual summer outfits of all kinds. It has a small brim, but it’s enough to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Surprisingly, I have become a hat person lately! I’ve worn it to lots of the kids’ outdoor events, picnics, walking the dog, running errands, and I’ve even worn it mowing. The hat is somewhat stretchy, so you can pull it on lower and it won’t blow off in the wind. Here’s a photo of it on my head, although I think it looks better with my hair in a low ponytail and with some fun earrings.
4. Bridgeless Sunnies
I haven’t bought new sunnies in a loooooong time. My previous pair were wood print plastic wayfarer-style cheapos from Target, and I’ve had them for about 5 years now. I still like them, so they’re still hanging out in the car, but I picked up these cuties for $15 at an AE store at a mall one sunny day a month ago when I had left my old standbys at home by mistake. Turns out, I haven’t worn those old standbys since. These are on sale at AE.com right now for $11.96, several dollars less than I paid for mine. Update: These are no longer available. Here are some similar ones: AEO, Walmart, Amazon.
I didn’t include these slides in the main photo for this post because, well, they were on my feet when I took the photo. Most days I wear these comfy, cushy slides from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning until they’re swinging back into bed at night. Of course they don’t go with dressier outfits, but for to and from working out, swim team practices and meets, errands, and everything in between, they’re it. If you’ve never tried Oofos flip flops or slides before, then you don’t know just how comfortable they are. They’re like walking on a big cushy, slightly bouncy foam/rubber mat all day long, only better because they’re ergonomically designed to help your feet recover after workouts and running. Not sure they’re meant as an all-day affair, but that’s how I roll. I get the slide version rather than the flip flop version because I like to wear them around the house with socks in the winter, and I’ve never been able to get used to the whole socks-with-flip-flops thing (although I know I could get a pair of ToeSox, but I don’t own any…yet). Seriously, the first time I stepped into a pair of Oofos, the clouds parted and the angels began to sing. You should try some. One thing, though — don’t know if it’s just my feet, but I have tried the regular (unisex) slides and these Oolala Women’s Sport Slides. The Oolalas are “women’s,” not unisex, and they fit my feet a LOT better.
Just look at the level of thick, squishy goodness in the forefoot area of these babies! Heavenly. They may look a little Croc-like, but they’re flexible and spongy-rubbery, not hard and plasticky. No comparison whatsoever to the reptilian water shoes or their counterparts. They’re not even on the same plane. Not that I’m anti-Croc…my kids love wearing them and if I were going to wade around in a leaky boat or a rocky beach, I’d be all over them. These are just so much more comfortable, and they really do make your poor, tired feet feel energized and recovered after tough workouts. And really all day long, I guess. 🙂
I stepped out of these cushy Oofos for a quick photo of all of the summer staples together in one shot. Didn’t want them to feel left out or anything.
So there you have it! These five summer staples have been going with me nonstop for the past few weeks. Love it when you find things that really work for your lifestyle and everyday needs. For me, at least, that’s not typically something that happens every day.
What are your summer favorites?