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!

Like these ideas? Save them for later!

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


Easy DIY Easter Bunny Bags

Ok, we all know Easter baskets are the classic when it comes to holding all those Easter treats (see this post for more Easter gifting ideas), but how cute are these little bunny bags as a twist on the classic for Easter parties? If you need a last minute idea for when the Easter Bunny comes or want to hand out treats for Easter, these little bunnies take minutes to make and are perfect for popping in all those Easter egg hunt finds or giving away fully loaded with Easter treats. View Post

Easter Baskets + More

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Get ready for Easter with these cute ideas! Countdown the days until the Easter Bunny comes with some fun activities- check out that natural dye kit that comes complete with grass seed (grow the grass to display the finished eggs) for a fun project, play dress up, or enjoy some reading around the theme of Easter (Peter Rabbit is a favourite classic, but there are lots of other books to choose from- see below for some more ideas). Whether you love the classics or want to go for a twist (how cute is that unicorn basket?), there are so many great options out there!  View Post

Healthy Smoothie Recipe Ideas + Giveaway with Love Child Organics

Healthy Smoothie Recipe Ideas

Hands up whose kids pick and choose what they like to eat on the daily? One day they’ll happily snack on apple slices and the next they push them away with a ‘really Mom?’ kind of look. Kids, amiright?! I totally admit I was a picky eater as a kid (sorry Mum and Dad!) and now with my kids I’ve gone from one end of the extreme to the other: I’ve had phases where they’ll try anything I serve them (yessss!!!) to days when everything I put in front of them is pushed away/ spat out/ thrown on the floor, etc.- and everything in between as part of the crazy yo-yo that is feeding children. Ughhhhhh. Somedays I just throw my hands up and ask for a little more patience and ideas for foods they’ll eat. View Post

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. Just remember to look into Central Oregon heating and cooling if you are yet to install a Central Oregon heating and cooling HVAC system. 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. We have a great table and I think it’s such a waste when we don’t use it! You can find similar tables via this link if you also need something sturdy and secure. I promise you’ll love eating outside! The kids come in for nap/bed time dirty, tired, and smelling of the sun and fresh air, it’s great. Sometimes, when the kids are in bed, I come back outside and sit at the table and just enjoy the last sunset. 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. Speaking of the beach, it’s definitely worth checking out https://seasideplanet.com/best-beach-games-families/ for some beach day fun inspiration! 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). As I was saying before about not having anything on your shoulders, you might want to look into getting a strapless bra or two, for those days it should be illegal for it to be that hot.

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?


‘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

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