On The Go Summer Essentials

On The Go Summer Essentials

The warm weather is here and with it all the adventuring! I recently asked on the blog’s Facebook page what everyone’s go-tos are for heading out for the day to the beach, etc in the Summer and I loved all the responses I received.  Whether you’re packing up for a day at the beach, the park, or a day trip, it helps to be prepared and have as much ready to go as possible and who better to ask than other parents for ideas? I try to keep things like sunscreen, wipes, and towels at the ready, with grab-and-go snacks and water bottles close at hand to make getting the day started as easy as possible, and these were popular choices in the responses. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s worth it to be organized, and there’s a difference between what really needs to come along vs added bonuses that can come along if there’s room (and if we remember them 😉 ).

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See below for ideas to make Summer adventures more fun & organized!

This year, after years of thinking about it, I finally bought a folding wagon to help get everything where we need it to go. Every time I’d see someone with one I’d kick myself for not buying one- especially after many trips to various places carrying everything like a pack mule, arms loaded up with various bags, floaties, snack bags, etc. In the few months we’ve had it, it’s already getting a lot of use and has been well worth the money (I bought mine at Costco, but I’m linking to a similar one in this post). It’s been a lifesaver on more than one occasion, and it’s compact when folded, making it easy for storage and transport. Once you get to your destination just pop it open and load it up! This is definitely something I recommend to make the back and forth from the car a lot easier. Plus if a kid or two gets tired, they can go along for a ride (these also make great portable nap stations!).

Save time: Keep a bag packed with basics like sunscreen and other essentials to grab and go

One thing I’ve learned since becoming a Mom is that being organized and ready ahead of time is a lifesaver. In the Summer I keep a beach bag ready by our front door packed with things like a mini first aid kit (because you know, kids…), sunscreen, towels,  hand sanitizer, and wipes. This is usually the bag I also toss my keys, wallet, and phone into once we get where we’re going, but if you prefer to have a separate bag let’s face it, the cute options are endless (I reaaaaally love this cute one on Amazon or something like this one for a washable option). Mom hack: last Summer I picked up a few hooded towels for about $15 each at Winners and my kids love them. They’re great year-round (think swimming lessons) and perfect for when they want to warm up but not get changed out of their swimsuits. This is the one I bought Liam, but there are plenty of cute options on Amazon like this flamingo hooded towel.

A good picnic blanket or oversize beach towel is a staple for so many Summer activities, plus a good beach/ camping chair so you’re not always sitting on the ground. There are so many pretty options like this one that are washable, but for little ones, this is my favourite. We were given one as a baby shower gift and it gets used all Summer long. I love it because it’s wipable (think: spilled drinks, baby spit up, etc) and washable for more messy adventures; we’ve had ours for 5 years and it’s still going strong.

When it comes to heading out for the day who can go anywhere without snacks?

No matter where we’re going I like to pack a cooler bag full of snacks and drinks to keep the kids happy, and let’s face it, there’s nothing better than a cold drink on a hot beach day (I like to use metal water bottles instead of plastic if I can similar to these S’well bottles to keep drinks cold). And we all know coolers help keep other beverages ice cold for the grown-ups too, if you know what I mean. 😉 I’ll try and prep/ organize as much as I can the night before so all I have to do in the morning is add an ice pack and grab things that need to be kept cool out of the fridge, plus maybe fill a few extra water bottles just in case.

For UV and sun protection, an umbrella or pop-up sun canopy are great to create shade, especially if you’ve got little ones with delicate skin. When it comes to sunscreen, I’ve been trying out a variety of natural ones for the past few Summers and have found these work just as well as the regular ones. Some are harder to rub in/ don’t absorb as well, but other than that I don’t find there’s a difference in coverage (if you’re looking online, both Well.ca and Amazon have a great selection). 

And speaking of sunscreen, does anyone else like to pack theirs in a bag in case of leaks? I’m trying to step away from my old go-to Ziploc bags for a more eco- friendly option, and there seem to be plenty of options out there. A good waterproof bag is perfect to keep things like keys, sunglasses, and cell phones protected from water and sand, but also great for products like sunscreen when you need something leak- proof. 

What do you think of this list? What did I miss? What would you add? Happy Summer adventuring!

For another fun Summer post, check out this roundup of pool floaties here!

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On The Go Summer Essentials

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a portion from qualifying sales, which help me continue to manage OHP and create more content

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles (Dairy Free) | Recipe

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

These strawberry cheesecake popsicles are a refreshing treat on a hot day! Super simple to make, and just like the desert that inspired them, they are a tasty indulgence. While you can definitely use regular milk and dairy to make these, I opted for a dairy-free version with Nora‘s non- dairy ice cream. If you’ve been looking for some tasty treats without dairy, Nora’s is a delicious option and I’m excited to be teaming up with them over the Summer to share some delicious recipes with you!

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

Love cheesecake (who doesn’t?!)? Then this recipe is for you!

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

This ice cream is plant-based and made from cashews and other simple ingredients. It’s as decadent and delicious as the regular dairy version, but perfect if you’re looking for a plant-based option. You can whip up a small batch is like I did or double this recipe to get a larger batch to serve as a fun dessert after dinner. I discovered Nora’s at this year’s Healthy Family Expo and everyone we’ve shared our ice cream with has loved it as much as we do. When I made these popsicles they got a resounding two thumbs up, so I guess I’ll be making more throughout the Summer! 😉

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups strawberry ice cream (find out where to get Nora’s here)

1 cup non- dairy milk (cashew, almond, or coconut would all work great)

4-5 strawberries, sliced- you can use thawed frozen ones in a pinch

1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

Directions

1. Begin by slicing your strawberries and crushing your graham crackers. Set aside.

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

2. Add ice cream, non- dairy milk and graham crackers into a blender. Pulse until combined.

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

3. Slide strawberry slices down the sides of the popsicle molds and press against the sides. Pour mixture into molds, leaving approx 1/4″ of space at the top. Add popsicle sticks.

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

4. Place in the freezer for approx 4 hours or overnight. When ready, pop out and enjoy!

Enjoy these strawberry cheesecake popsicles all Summer for a delicious dairy-free + plant-based treat!

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

About Nora’s

Nora’s Noon-Dairy ice cream is mixed up in small batches in Vancouver, BC. Available in 4 delicious flavours made with simple, whole foods ingredients. Visit Nora’s Non-Dairy online for a list of retailers + find them on Instagram for updates on new retailers, upcoming events, etc.

Looking for more recipe ideas? Check out OHP’s Recipes page for lots more (including gluten + dairy free)!

Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

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Dairy Free Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles Recipe

Disclosure: I received product to create this recipe. All opinions are my own.

Slow Fashion: 5 Tips for Thrift Shopping

thrift shopping outfit ideas
 
I have loved thrift shopping for as long as I can remember. Some of my favourite pieces have been bought secondhand, and I have found so many amazing deals on great quality pieces and brands simply by going to a secondhand store. I buy for me and the kids and it’s safe to say that they’ve also benefitted from these thrift shopping ways. But today’s post is more for the grown-ups (see this great post over on Jen Pistor for some thrift shopping tips for kids) and even though it’s one of my favourite ways to shop, it’s definitely a good idea to keep a few things in mind when you’re on the hunt.
 

Some of my favourite pieces in my closet are thrift store finds!

 
After many years of thrift shopping under my belt, I thought I’d share a couple of tips and tricks that I have learned. Sustainable and slow fashion is becoming more and more popular as people look to more eco-friendly style options and I thought what better time to talk about thrift shopping then now? In this post, I’m sharing 5 tips to help you make the most of thrift shopping and have the best experience (and most fun) from my 20+ years of thrift store treasure hunting (and yes, I started young lol). Happy thrifting! 
 
thrift shopping outfit ideas

Thrift Shopping Tip #1: Have fun with it!

Thrift shopping is totally a treasure hunt- I’m just going to call it what it is ;). Give yourself a little bit of extra time to go through the racks and make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Even though it’s not as simple as finding an item and grabbing your size like in a regular store, a little bit of patience can have a big pay off when you find a hidden treasure. Even if this isn’t your usual style of shopping, try and have fun with it, you never know what you might find!
 

Tip #2: Wear comfortable + simple clothing

To make trying on go by a little quicker, wear something simple like a tank top and leggings that are easy to try clothes on overtop of or are easy for you to take off. Since it can sometimes take a bit longer to find items to try on with thrift shopping, this is a great time saver for the change room.
 
thrift shopping outfit ideas

Tip #3: Be aware of your own limits

What I mean is if you’re not ready to go to the dry cleaner or interested in having to alter a piece/ getting a piece altered, it’s better to leave it for someone else. This is one lesson I’ve learned the hard way over the years when I’ve found something I love and convince myself I will fix that hole or seam, etc. when in reality I get it home and forget about it because it becomes something else on the to-do list. If this is something you don’t mind, then great, bring that beauty home and enjoy! There are definitely pieces that are worth a little bit of extra love and work, but just be prepared that you will have to make that happen. And in case you bring something home and change your mind, it’s a good idea to know the return policy of the thrift store you bought it at.
 

Tip #4: Quality Control

Double check for stains, rips, holes, etc. It can be heartbreaking to find a piece you love and discover that it’s damaged, but better before you buy than when you get home (esp if you’re not so handy with a needle and thread, see tip #3). Oxy Clean and a good wash can go a long way with stains, but if you opt to still buy something with a stain be prepared that it may not come out completely. I’ve gotten lucky with most items I’ve brought home and spot cleaned, but it’s definitely a bit of a gamble.
 
thrift shopping outfit ideas

Tip #5: Don’t buy it just because it’s a good deal

This is one I’ve learned the hard way over the years. Sometimes something isn’t quiiiiiite right, but it’s such a good price you’re tempted. I’ve convinced myself to bring so many pieces home that didn’t fit very well or I a little outside of my regular style but because the price was right and I liked the item enough I didn’t want to leave it behind. But here’s the truth: unless you really love it, it’s probably better to leave it for someone else (this is the hardest part of thrift shopping!). Because let’s be honest: how likely are you to actually wear something once you’ve brought it home if it doesn’t fit properly or you don’t have anything to wear it with?
 
I hope these tips inspire you to give thrift shopping a try! Are you already a thrift shopper? If so, what tips would you add?
Did you enjoy this post? Check out more Style posts here!
 

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Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps | Recipe

Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe Have you been craving a good wrap recently? Packed full of flavour and fresh ingredients, these rainbow veggie and shrimp lettuce wraps won’t disappoint! And instead of reaching for those wheat or corn wraps, why not swap in lettuce for a bit of a healthier version? Top off with some cilantro for a fresh and flavourful meal, perfect for the warmer months ahead! I’m excited to be teaming up again with reebee on this recipe (see the first recipe I teamed up with them on for Slow Cooker Lasagne Soup here!) to help you find everything you need at the best price- yummy food and saving moolah? Sign me up!

These wraps only take a few minutes to make and are loaded with healthy, fresh ingredients.

I enjoyed mine with some crumbled tortilla chips for some extra crunch, and you can also top off with a simple peanut sauce (see below) for a kick of extra flavour. These can be a little messy to eat, so the trick is to use the lettuce leaf to cradle the fillings, or scoop everything to the outer edge of the lettuce leaf and roll in from there. But no matter how you eat them, these lettuce wraps will satisfy- serve as a side dish or make a big batch to serve as a meal on their own. Find the recipe below + how reebee can help you save on your weekly grocery bill + more!

Find everything you need for this recipe (+ more!) for the best price thanks to Reebee!

All you have to do is download the app and enter your location to receive current and upcoming flyers from a variety of stores for your area.  To show you how it works, simply click on the items in the ingredient list below and reebee will do the rest, showing you what ingredients are on sale and where to find the best prices this week. Savings at your fingertips! 

Rainbow Vegetable and Shrimp Lettuce Wraps recipe with reebee

Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Makes 4 wraps

Ingredients

1 cup fresh shrimp, peeled

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp ginger, crushed

1 mango, diced

1 avocado, diced

1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 lime

green leaf lettuce– 1 leaf per wrap

fresh cilantro to garnish

salt and pepper to taste

Optional:

crushed tortilla chips to sprinkle on wraps

1 tbsp sesame oil + 1/4 cup peanut butter to drizzle on top 

Directions

  1. Start by heating some oil in a pan on medium heat. In a bowl, mix the garlic, ginger, and juice of 1/4 of the lime with the shrimp; season with salt and pepper as desired. Cook the shrimp and set aside. Rinse and pat dry the lettuce leaves, set aside.

Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe

2. In another bowl, combine the mango, avocado, bell pepper, and red onion with a squeeze of lime juice. Set aside. Chop the cilantro. 

Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe

3. Optional: if making the peanut sauce, combine the sesame oil and peanut butter in a pot on low heat until combined. Pour into a jug to drizzle over the wraps.

4. To assemble the wraps, scoop the mango and veggie mix onto the lettuce leaves followed by a few of the shrimp. Drizzle with peanut sauce (if using) and top with cilantro and crumbled tortilla chips. Serve and enjoy!

Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe

 Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe  Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe Rainbow Vegetable + Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Like this recipe? Check out my other recipe with reebee for Slow Cooker Lasagne Soup here!

Want to try reebee with your family? Download the app today!

About reebee

Reebee puts finding the best price for everything your family needs right at your fingertips. Simply download the app and enter your area to find the best prices on everything from groceries to appliances, seasonal items, and more. reebee features flyers from favourite stores including Costco, Superstore, Walmart, Canadian Tire, just to name a few.

Features include:

  • Search option to help you quickly find exactly what you’re looking for and compare prices
  • Shopping list- stay organized and create lists within the app to keep track of what you need
  • Sync Reebee across devices for seamless use for everyone in the family

For more information about Reebee and how it works, visit the reebee website and find them on social media: Facebook| Instagram

reebee is available for through the App Store and Google Play.

Rainbow Vegetable and Shrimp Lettuce Wrap Recipe with reebee

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Rainbow Vegetable and Shrimp Lettuce Wraps recipe

Pool Floaties 2019 Edition

Pool floaties 2019 Pool floaties 2019

Summer is right around the corner and let’s face it, what’s Summer without a trip to the beach, pool, or lake? I’m starting to think about what to do, where to go, and if we need to pick up anything along the way and with lots of water activities and camping on my ever- growing Sumer bucket list I can’t resist eyeing up all the cute pool floaties out there. A few years back I shared some favourites- see that post here– and it got a lot of love so I thought I’d share another round up since they seem to get more fun every year!

While most of these are for the grown-ups and big kids, there are a few for the littles in the family as well (that watermelon pool and rainbow ring!). Some of these are a bit of a splurge, but most of them are pretty budget- friendly and a perfect addition to your Summer bucket list. A few Summers ago we picked up a giant swan and it’s been a hit with the kids, but I definitely found a few more putting together this post that I’d love to have for the Summer (that monstera leaf and double hearts!). Here’s to a fun Summer, even if it’s still a few months away! 😉

Where to Buy

Top to bottom, left to right

Shooting Star | Ice Cream Cone | Monstera Leaf

Pink Glitter Ring | Diamond Ring 

Watermelon Pool | Toucan (or check out this cute kiddie toucan)

Mermaid Tail (find a kiddie mermaid tail here) | Double Hearts

Shark | Rainbow Cloud | Jelly Fish 

Heart | Avocado | Baby Rainbow Ring

Angel WIngs | Peacock

For other fun pool floaties, check out Indigo and Amazon

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a portion from qualifying sales, which help me continue to manage OHP and create more content

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