Style in the Heat: 5 Tips for Mama + Kids for the Backyard, Beach and Beyond

Welcome to the days of sun, sand, dribbly watermelon and popsicle faces, long warm days, and everything else that comes with Summer. The best. Whether you head to the beach or pool or just hang out in your backyard, these days are meant to be enjoyed and memories made. It isn’t about all the things, it’s about filling up a pool- maybe inflating a floatie or two- and giving the kids a bucket and water as entertainment. Voila, unplugged childhood at it’s best. 

This time of year, I can’t be outside with the kids enough. Grab the swimsuits/ Summer clothes, lob on the sunscreen and (half an hour later some days!) we’re outside for as much of the day as possible. We eat all 3 meals outside if I have it my way and they come in for nap/ bed time dirty, tired, and smelling of the sun and fresh air. I loved the idea of sharing about one of our beach days for this post, but wrangling these two for photos requires more than this mama’s two arms. So I figured a backyard shoot was in order, plus it’s where so much of Summer is spent as a family and I love that this wasn’t a super- styled photo shoot. Just me with the kids hanging out in the backyard getting up to shenanigans; some pretty cute moments were captured that will be getting printed and added to our gallery wall.

I had the chance to team up with a few of my favourite local brands to share some comfortable Summer styles (see some twinning mermaids below) and ideas to get you through the hottest season of the year. What was great about this backyard shoot is it doesn’t get any more laid- back than this. Well, as laid back as it gets with two kids running wild and loose. 😉 But that’s what Summer and childhood is about, and when you’re making memories, there’s nothing better. Comfort goes a long way this time of year and finding quality pieces that stand up to the elements and activities that come with Summer can make getting ready for a day spent outside that much easier. It doesn’t feel like that long ago that there weren’t so many cute choices for boys, but that’s changed in a big way and Liam loved hamming it up for the camera. I hope you like our Summer style picks- we’ve got some talented locals around here and they make it easy to dress for these hot days! All sources provided at the end of this post.

5 Summer Style Tips for Mama + Kids

1. Hats– More than a cute accessory, these help protect from the sun, and there are plenty of options out there for all members of the family. For littles, ones that have a strap for under the chin can help keep them from removing them, but as kids get older those styles can be harder to find. It took some getting used to, but Liam now wears a snap back (this Mahalo one is by Aloha Kai) . Even though this style doesn’t cover the back of the neck, it gives his face good coverage and I load on plenty of sunscreen anyways. Styles with adjustable straps also mean you can get a few seasons out of them and they’re great year- round. I like a variety of styles for myself, but my beach hat of choice this year is anything with a brim while I build up my tan for the season (see this post for a cute beach hat DIY).

   

2. Tops– The classic tee is hard to beat, but tank tops are a versatile option for days when it’s too hot even for a t- shirt and you don’t want anything on your shoulders (you know, those days when it feels too hot to wear anything). Perfect as a quick cover- up at the beach/ pool (buy a size up if you want them less- fitted for this purpose, and get an extra year out of them too) and a comfortable option to prevent chafing from seat belts and car seat straps. They’re a quick/ easy style option that you can throw on with any bottoms and double as great pj tops to wear to bed on hot Summer nights (ie those nights when the kids fall asleep in the car on the way home). 

       

3. Cover ups– Whether you go for a maxi dress, skirt, or another option, a cover- up is a perfect extra layer when you’ve got a beachy breeze or want to layer- up for a Summer picnic. Hooded towels  or over- sized tops are a great option- especially for kids- but if you want something to wear from the beach to the dinner table, something that’s comfortable and easy to slip on are two things I’m looking for. A comfortable top (again with the tank tops!) with a skirt work great and still allows you to move as you chase your monkeys kids around (this bright watermelon one is from Lone Wolf Boutique– see this post for another one of her styles perfect for Summer).

 

 

4. Swim suits– I don’t think I could write a post on beach/ pool/ Summer style without including this seasonal staple! When it comes to kids, you can find everything from UV- protecting styles to ones that are just plain cute, and everything in between. This is a time of year to have fun outdoors and you want everyone to be comfortable in the heat. Choose options that suit your lifestyle when it comes to shopping for both the kids and your own suits. I can’t resist a cute pair of swim shorts or a bikini for my two, but they also have fuller- coverage UV protecting styles for long days when the sun is scorching hot. And for Moms, I know the swim suit debate is a personal one. I love a 2- piece, but some days a 1- piece is the better choice based on our activities. And if you prefer more coverage there are plenty of stylish 1 and 2- piece suits out there. The 1- piece I’m wearing in this post is from All Twerk and No Pray and it’s my go- to 1- piece (also great paired with a skirt or shorts!). For a fuller- coverage 2- piece style, see this post.

5. Bottoms– When it comes time to pack up and head to the beach, shorts and skirts are essentials, but for cool Summer mornings and evenings, having comfortable pieces that provide more coverage from the shade and breeze are good to keep in mind for everyone. Comfortable leggings for all are a great choice and allow for plenty of running, swimming, and other movement. As the day warms up, simply swap for those shorts/ skirts, or swimsuits. For Moms, they’re a comfortable option that offers more coverage if you don’t love shorts (a capri- style is perfect if you don’t want to wear full- length ones in the heat) and can comfortably slip over a 1- piece or paired with a bikini top. Pick a pair made for yoga/ working out; the material will provide optimal comfort and movement in the heat. Two of my favourite local brands that combine quality, comfort, and style are Inner Fire and Kristina Benson Art (see this post and this post).

So there you have it. A few ideas to help get you and the kids through the Summer in comfort and style, and hopefully some new ideas to arm you for the hot days ahead. I’d love to hear what your essentials are for this time of year and your favourite Summer staples! Like these ideas? Or not? What would you change/ add?

Sources

‘Mahalo’ hat and Snow Cone tank- Aloha Kai | Instagram

‘Mermaid’ tanks- Little + Co | Instagram

Watermelon skirt- Lone Wolf Boutique | Instagram

Photo credit:

Akane Kondo Photo | Instagram

 

Hello SUMMER! {Free Printables}

hello Summer free printables

Let me be the first to say: HAPPY 1ST DAY OF SUMMER! Or as I like to call it, my favourite time of year. 😉 Canada Day is right around the corner and there’s some fun stuff coming to OHP to help celebrate Canada 150, but before we get to that I couldn’t resist posting something to celebrate the switch from Spring to Summer. I’ve got 3 Summer- inspired printables for you to download and print at home to bring the season indoors. All you have to do is pop in a frame or use some washi tape to adhere to a space that needs some brightening up. Pick your favourite or go for all 3 for a cute group. Click the links below to download. WELCOME TO SUMMER! <3 

palm leaves hello Summer free printables

Click to download: Summer Vibes

palm leaves hello Summer free printables

Click to download: Girls Just Wanna Have Sun

palm leaves hello Summer free printables

Click to download: Beach Please

Tip: These prints should fit a standard piece of printer paper with a border around the design when printed. Scale up or down to size the image to fit the frame you want. 50% should be about right for a 4″ * 6″ frame; I went for 60% since I had a matte in the frame I was using.

hello Summer free printables

palm leaves hello Summer free printables

   palm leaves hello Summer free printables  

Don’t have time to download & print now? Pin this post for later!

palm leaves hello Summer free printables

 

Beach Please {Summer Hat DIY}

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat

I never used to be a ‘hat person’. But now I can honestly say I have a little bit of an addiction. And all the cute Summer hats I keep seeing everywhere ain’t helping. I’ve seen a variety of different versions online of big hats with writing on them and kept thinking ‘I can make that’- so I did just that. Hats can get a bit pricey, but I’m happy to say this wide- brimmed cutie cost me less than $10 (the hat I used for this DIY was $5 at IKEA folks!) and is super easy to make. I also love the idea of making a mini version with a kids hat for some cute Summer twinning (if you find one let me know!). Just pick a favourite word or phrase, pick up some thread or twine and glue. It’s. That. Simple. Pair with your favourite swimsuit and sandals for a beachy #ootd! See below for the steps.

Materials

Wide- brimmed hat (I bought mine at IKEA for $5- I also found a similar one on Amazon)

Black embroidery thread or twine (I doubled mine up and twisted it together so the design would show up clearly)

Fine- tipped marker

Hot glue gun

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat supplies

Directions

  1. Start by picking a phrase and writing the letters with the fine- tipped marker on the brim using dots or dashed lines

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

2. Using the glue gun, trace over the letters with hot glue, doing about 2- 3″ at a time so the glue doesn’t cool before you press the embroidery thread onto the design

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

3. Continue until your phrase is finished. For some letters like ‘a’, it might be easier to cut the thread and restart the letter rather than doubling over the thread you’ve already glued down

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial  Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat tutorial

Like it? Pin it!

Summer DIY Beach Please wide brimmed hat

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Natural Sunscreens for the Whole Family

Every Spring as the weather is getting warmer I start to get everything organized for the heat of the Summer- water shoes and sandals, hats, beach essentials, swim suits… and sunscreen. And each year I try to find a natural option that isn’t loaded with chemicals while keeping my family from turning into lobsters (no olive skin/ 5 minutes to bronzed over here, we fair- skinned folks have to build up a tan over a looooong time). There seem to be some general things to look out for, some questionable, and some that you want for sun protection. As I did the research for this post I tried to simplify the information and make recommendations based on what I found* (I’ve also included the sources that I referred to at the end of the post so you can do some research for yourself if you wish). It’s sometimes hard to find quality options in grocery stores, so all of the options below are ones that you can easily find online (you can also find them in natural/ health food stores). See some of the good and bad things to look for in sunscreens and a few suggestions to try this Summer below- just add sun!

 

 

Top to bottom, left to right

Goddess Gardens Organics Baby Sunscreen 

thinksport Kids Sunscreen

Badger Kids Active Sunscreen

Goddess Gardens Organics Natural Sunscreen Spray

Badger Baby Sunscreen

Goddess Gardens Organics Kids Sunscreen

California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen

thinksport Baby Sunscreen 

For more natural sunscreen options available online check out Well.ca and Amazon– if you’re unsure about some of the products you find, Google search them by name and you should be able to find their ingredients listed along with information about how they really measure up (that’s how I discovered one of my old go- tos wasn’t as good as I thought).

One other thing I learned while researching the sunscreens to include in this post: if you like sunscreens in spray form (ie in an aerosol/ pressurized can), look closely at the ingredients, as they may not be cause for concern when applied to the skin, but inhaling them has it’s own set of concerns (this article was informative on this topic). This opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms, so I didn’t include any aerosol suggestions, just a cream that you can spray on without it becoming a mist). 

* Please note that these recommendations are based on research and information I found online. I am not making medical or scientific recommendations, and as with any skincare product if in doubt, apply a small amount to a test area prior to use. 

Sources:

EWG.org: Here and here.

SafeMama.org

WomensHealthMag.com

DavidSuzuki.org

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Splish Splash: 20 of the Best Pool Floaties for Summer

Confession: this post was a lot harder to put together than I thought it would be! There are so many fun pool floaties out there, and it was hard to narrow down choices to include. I’ve rounded up 20 to help make the most of all the hot days spent poolside and at the beach to come from two of my favourite places to shop online: Amazon.ca and Indigo (tip: from May 23- 25 enjoy free shipping when you order online at Indigo). Some of these are more of a splurge than others, but the fun (and photos!) will be worth it. Scroll to the bottom for where to buy info.

Where to Buy

Top to bottom, left to right

Gold Swan | Pink Donut (or here. Also available in brown here)| Pineapple

Watermelon | Rainbow |Popsicle (or get a rainbow version here) | Unicorn

Flamingo | Round Strawberry | Pretzel

PineapplePeacock | Cactus

Lobster Round Rainbow | Round WatermelonLuxe Pink Flamingo 

Cactus Toss GameSwan | Banana

Looking for something to carry all of your Summer essentials to the beach or pool? Check out this round- up 6 beach bags under $30 over on Ava to Zoe!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.