Friday Favorites by Anna Claire

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As life slowly but surely starts to feel somewhat normal again despite the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve learned to seek out joy in what I can control. Summer has always been a fun season, especially with a kiddo, and I’m determined to enjoy Summer 2021 as much as possible, while still staying safe. (Thank you, vaccines, for already making this summer better than the last!)

Here are five of my favorite things in time for summer. Happy Friday!

 

Friday favorites

“Raya and the Last Dragon”

I know it may seem like I’m hopping on the bandwagon, but the latest animated movie to be featured on Disney+ is a HIT! “Raya and the Last Dragon” is centered on family, belief in others (including dragons), trust, and mending broken relationships. This film beautifully represents Southeastern Asian culture as Raya, the protagonist and newest bad a** Disney princess, embarks on an epic adventure to save the world from the soul-sucking Druun and bring back everyone who has been turned to stone — dragons and people alike — with the help of a few unlikely allies.

This movie is the perfect family film for summer. Curl up on the couch with a big bowl or popcorn, or set up your own outdoor screening to entertain friends and family.

'Raya and the Last Dragon' summer movie

Toddler Gymnastics

This, by far, has been my favorite summer activity (and probably my son’s, too). Every Monday, we attend a mommy-and-me toddler gymnastics class. My son gets to jump and bounce, run and hop, summersault, and walk the beam to his heart’s content. And just in time for naptime! I work from home, and my son goes to Parents Day Out three days a week in the summer, so tiring him out on the days he’s home is crucial for me getting anything done. Plus, it’s so much fun!

toddler gymnastics

Summer Pool Membership

Another guaranteed way to tucker out my rambunctious 2.5-year-old is a couple hours spent at the pool. He took swim lessons for the first time last year, but it’s safe to say we’ll be starting from square one this summer. He has mastered blowing bubbles and kicking his legs, but unfortunately for this weary mama, he is much more interested in the water this year. As a former lifeguard, water safety instructor, and swim team coach, I am determined to teach my child how to swim, but I’m not above making him sport a Coast Guard-approved life jacket at the pool.

All this time in the sun and water tires my kid out. Like, out out. Like, banshee-screams-when-we-leave-but-passes-out-as-soon-as-I-start-the-car-to-go-home out. Fifteen minutes and a quick trip through the drive-thru later, and we’re home in time for him to nap for a couple hours while I work. That’s a success in my book!

summer fun in the pool

How do you like to tire out your toddlers? The Zoo, Botanic Gardens, Children’s Museum, local parks and playgrounds? We’d love to know!

Moms-Only Staycation

I don’t know why I didn’t do this the last three summers my son has been earthside, but man am I excited to get out of the house for a moms-only staycation here in Memphis with some friends and fellow mamas! We’re looking forward to chilling poolside with a cold drink and a good book, eating out at a fancy restaurant, spending the night in a cute hotel, and enjoying some time away from our lovely partners and children. (Hallelujah!)

drinks on girls night

Sunscreen

As mamas, we’re constantly protecting our children from harmful UV rays with hats, sunscreen, and rashguards. But, like so many things, we don’t always prioritize our own skincare needs. It’s imperative that we wear sunscreen every day that we know we’ll be outside, especially face sunscreen. It doesn’t help that we’ve been inside for the last year and a half thanks to COVID-19. Our poor skin isn’t use to the sun!

As a redhead, I cannot implore all of you enough — regardless of your race or ethnicity — to protect your skin while at the pool, beach, park, playground, in the backyard, or even just running errands. And don’t forget to moisturize and hydrate!

wear sunscreen in the summer

 

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Anna Claire is a native Alabamian who now calls Memphis home, along with her husband, Nate; Caleb (December 2018); and two pups, Milo and Libby. She’s a proud Auburn University alumna with a B.A. in journalism (War Eagle!) who has worked for a variety of B2B/B2C magazine publishers and a corporate content marketing team, before becoming an East Memphis SAHM. Her son is her greatest joy and proudest accomplishment, and she is so thankful to spend her days keeping up with him. She’s a self-proclaimed word nerd who loves a good em dash — when used properly. She enjoys iced coffees, late-summer days at the beach, and quality time spent with family and friends. She’s never met a stranger, so don’t hesitate to say hi if you see her around town!

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