Friday Favorites by Kristin, Summer Edition

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Now that the kids are finally out of school, it’s time to shift into summer mode. Even though it will be a shorter “off season” for us this year, we are definitely looking forward to the break. The following is a list of my favorites that will help make the most of the summer.

Popsicles

popsicles are a favorite in the summer

Nothing says summer quite like popsicles. While the gold standard around here is certainly Mempops, it’s nice to have an option to make our favorites from the convenience of your own home. Enter the IKEA CHOSIGT ice pop maker. It may have entered our house as an impulse buy, but we definitely get a lot of use out of this popsicle mold. Ringing up at under $2, you can’t beat the price. We keep it simple around here, most often making lemonade popsicles (literally pouring lemonade into the mold and freezing it), but we have also used watermelon juice/pulp and even Gatorade. Fancy!

Rash Guards

woman wearing a rash guard

We love to soak up the summer sun and spend as much time outdoors as the heat and humidity allow…but for my fair-skinned family, all that vitamin D often comes at a price. Since I am notorious for forgetting to reapply sunscreen (and honestly feel ambivalent about using it in the first place), I try to always put my kids in rash guards to prevent–or at least lessen–sunburns. Well, it took me 39 years to figure out that I, too, could and should wear sleeves in the pool. I’m sure there are lots of options out there, but I’m a sucker for a sale and just ordered this Land’s End crew neck long sleeve rash guard. As someone who can literally feel myself getting sunburned, it is so nice to know that I can spend hours in the water and not look like a lobster afterward. A couple of tips: definitely wear a swimsuit or bikini top underneath for added coverage, and if you do go the Land’s End route, use their True Fit option, as I ended up getting a different size than I would have expected.

Shampoo Bar

shampoo bars are some of our favorites

I have never been one to wash my hair daily, but after baby #3 and being locked down for months, that shifted into a once-a-week routine for me. Turns out, my hair (usually) looks just fine and seems healthier for it. A friend tipped me off on shampoo bars, and now that I’ve tried it, I don’t plan to turn back. I have been using this Buff City Soap shampoo bar (one of our favorites) and love the scent and lack of harsh chemicals. Plus, there is no pesky plastic bottle to have to recycle. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get the lather I’ve been accustomed to, but I have been pleasantly surprised in that regard as well. If there are any other shampoo bar fans out there, I’d love some tips on where to find a conditioner bar!

Flip Flops

flip flops are summer favorites

Flip flops (or thongs if you’re as old as I am) are the official footwear of summer. While there is certainly a time and place for those cheapo $2 sandals, the best flip flops I have ever had are these LL Bean Original Maine Isle flip flops. I splurged on a pair about twelve or thirteen years ago, and now, over a decade later, they are still in excellent shape. They are not all curled around my feet like the kind you get after a pedicure, and they actually have tread on the bottom, so I’m not going to slip poolside. Plus, they look a little dressier and can be paired with anything from jeans to a sundress.

Farmers Markets

Farmer's Market graphic

While many farmers markets are open year-round, summer is most definitely their time to shine. Bursting with color from fresh produce, flowers, soap, and more, the market is a happy place for my family on Saturday mornings. Plus, there is nothing like the taste of farm fresh tomatoes or strawberries…they blow the ordinary grocery store produce out of the water. We typically hit up the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market since that one is our favorite (not only because it is the closest), but there are so many options around town. When we want to make an adventure out of it, we will head to the Memphis Farmers Market downtown, a trip that would not be complete without a breakfast burrito from the Fuel food truck.

 

We are now officially ready to embrace this new season with all of our favorites. Bring on the summer fun!

 

 

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Originally from Kansas City, Kristin met her husband, a Seattle native, in Germany. The military brought them to Memphis, and they chose to stay after transitioning to Reserve duty. While it is hard to be away from family, they love this city so much that they bought a house in Midtown where they are raising two spunky daughters, E (May 2013) and L (January 2016), and a curious son E (November 2019). Kristin considers herself to be primarily a stay-at-home mom, but she occasionally escapes the shenanigans to teach college-level writing classes. If she had any spare time, she’d spend it curled up with a good book in a blissful state of hygge. Her family is happiest when on an adventure, especially camping, riding bikes, or enjoying all Memphis has to offer.

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