I cannot believe that school has been out for almost a month already. I am solar-powered, so summer is my jam, but it seems to disappear faster than an ice cube here in Phoenix. I am trying to savor every last bit of this glorious, albeit HOT, time of year. These six little things are helping by bringing a healthy dose of joy my way:
1. Mango Chips
I found these babies at my local Costco, and could not resist picking up a bag. Dried mangoes are one of my favorite snacks, but they are loaded with added sugar. The older I get, the more I prefer less sweetness. I will call that a blessing. 🙂
The great thing about these little chips is that they do not contain added sugar. The ingredient list is short and recognizable (my favorite kind of list): mangoes and oil.
They are naturally sweet, crispy and delicious! Since I am (mostly) trying to avoid snacking, I like to add them to granola for breakfast or throw a few on the top of my yogurt to add a little crunch. The problem is that I can eat a ton without even thinking if I am not careful, but they are relatively healthy, so I try not to worry too much. If you can’t find them at Costco, you can pick up a bag here.
2. Chobani “A Hint of flavor” yogurt
Greek yogurt has been my go-to for years because of the lower sugar and higher protein contents. Almost every day, I eat a serving for either breakfast or lunch. I usually add some fresh fruit, either pecans or granola, and sometimes a sprinkling of coconut. It makes for a quick, delicious, and filling meal.
Chobani has been my brand of choice, but lately, their fruit-on-the-bottom and blended varieties have both started tasting too sweet. Sometimes, I opt for plain and add just enough honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup to make the tartness palatable, topping it with a sprinkle of cinnamon for good measure.
A couple of weeks ago, however, I discovered Chobani “A hint of flavor” yogurt, and could not pass it up. The sugar content is about half of what is in the standard varieties (8 gm instead of 15 gm), most of it coming from lactose and the actual fruit, which is perfect for my taste. With a variety of flavors to choose from, it has become a fast favorite. It is not quite sweet enough for my kids, which is alright because they leave it for me. 😉
3. Sun Bum Sunscreen
We are a family of fair-skinned people who burn easily in the sun, which means we go through a ton of sunscreen. We gave up on the spray years ago when a dermatologist told us it didn’t protect as well as lotion. Plus, it is expensive, stains white clothing yellow and, if there is any breeze at all, sprays everywhere but on your skin.
We have tried a lot of different varieties over the years, and Sun Bum is my favorite.
Not only does it smell divine and rub in easily, but it is also hypoallergenic, paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, PABA free, oil-free, and reef-safe. I’m not super crunchy, but all those things make me feel pretty good about putting this product on my skin. It’s a winner! I usually buy mine at Target, but you can probably find it most places where sunscreen is sold, including Amazon.
4. Levi’s Denizen Modern Slim Cuffed Jeans
I hate shopping for pants because I can never find anything that fits properly. I have a major problem with gapping waistbands and/or sagging crotches because my waist is significantly smaller than my hips.
I tried on a pair of Levi’s Denizen jeans when I was at Target a couple of weeks ago (I am at that place WAY too often…), and they fit perfectly. They are slim fit but have plenty of stretch, which means that they are comfy for jeans. Plus, the waistband does not gap at all, which is magical. Because they are so stretchy, I can get away with throwing them in the dryer, which I never do with other jeans because of shrinkage. That combination of goodness has pretty much made my whole summer.
I wear these babies at least a couple of times a week. I bought them in medium blue and distressed white but ended up cutting the white pair into shorts after one washing. The ripped knee wasn’t as much my style as I thought it would be (#callmeconservative). I LOVE the look of the cut-offs with raw edges, though, so I’m still thrilled with that purchase.
You can also buy them as Bermuda shorts and skip the cutting if you’d prefer. The fit is the same, and I love the longer length. If you struggle with gapping waistbands as I do, give them a try! For less than $30, you can’t go wrong.
5. DM Fashion Swimwear
For the past several years, I have purchased a swimsuit from DM Fashion. It has taken the headache out of shopping for swimwear. All of their suits offer excellent coverage, and they are so stinkin’ cute! Not only that, but the quality is fantastic. Mine usually last for at least two years of fairly frequent summer wear.
This year, I bought this burgundy embroidered beauty, and I love it! I also still wear this one that I purchased last year. (See pictures below) And my daughter, who wanted a little looser fit, chose this one, and it is super cute on her.
6. Silly Vacation Pictures
My family just returned from a quick weekend trip to San Diego. Spending two days sitting on the beach is my idea of a perfect vacation.
I love to take jumping pictures, and could not resist shooting one on the beach. The kids are used to this drill, so I got a great one of them on the first try:
Greg and I, on the other hand, are not quite so skilled. One of the kids shot a burst of 14 photos for us (Bless you, iPhone, for having that option), and I laughed so hard when I saw them, mostly because of our facial expressions. I chose my nine favorites to give you an idea of our jumping finesse:
Every time I need a good laugh, I pull up these pictures and flip through them. Maybe we are too old for this whole jumping charade, but I’m not willing to let it go just yet because JOY is written all over these photos. And also a tiny bit of strain in our faces. 🙂
There you have it, friends, my list of current summer joys. What are you loving this summer? Let me know in the comments section.