Summer Must-Haves

Over the weekend I accepted two last-minute invitations. I was proud of myself, because my son is 10 ½ months old and very mobile, so he is high-maintenance and requires a lot of attention. I realized that I am not even close to prepared for summer and all of the adventures we hope to have as a family. I wanted to compile a Summer Must-Have list for both my son and myself.

For my son:

1. A picnic blanket. I had immediate regret when we showed up for sand volleyball and I realized I brought nothing for my son to sit on. His diaper-changing mat didn’t do much good, since he no longer sits in one place. I have at least four picnic blankets in my downstairs closet, collected over the course of many years from gifts and impulse purchases. At least one will go in the car full-time.

2. Sun protection. I bought Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50. Why? It comes in the biggest bottle, it is the least expensive (at least among the name brands) and it is recommended by pediatricians because it includes zinc oxide. I am also currently deciding on a pattern for a toddler bucket hat and a sun shirt that will match the two pairs of swim trunks we already own.

3. Shoes. He isn’t walking yet, but he is almost there. Since he will be outside more, he needs shoes. I am deciding which pair of water shoes (aqua socks) we will buy thanks to Zulily’s newest sale. I am trying to figure out which ones will go on and stay on.

4. Snacks. Applesauce pouches, Teddy Grahams, yogurt bites, and Baby Mum-mums are my snacks of choice right now. They are portable, do not require refrigeration, and he loves them. I have found the yogurt bites are great for bribery, not only for my son, but for the children of others.

5. Sippy Cup. I will no longer be carting around bottles and formula. I have been on a “perfect sippy” hunt. I have purchased the LollaCup, the Playtex Sipster,the Boon Swig, and the Munchkin Click-Lock insulated. By far, my favorite (at least so far) is the Munchkin. Ben loves drinking from it, it is big enough for him to carry around lots of fluid, and it doesn’t spill. I like the LollaCup, too, but the spills are starting to get out of control.

For me:

1. White wine. Yes, I will be spending the summer with it. I will primarily try as many Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs as I am able for the low, low price of $10. I plan to let Costco be my guide, and I do believe the Kirkland brand will be taking some of my hard-earned money.

2. Anything Maxi. I am going to replace most of my old maxis. They are starting to LOOK old, and they just don’t fit like they used to. I plan to wear them to work, so I will be on the lookout for more appropriate maxis. I also plan to spend a lot of time in maxi skirts. So far I have two, a plain black one and a purple stripped one.

3. Our CSA Share. We purchased a full share of a CSA this year. I am elated. It starts in a few weeks, and I will be scouring Pinterest for both cooked and raw applications for my abundance of vegetables.

4. The Crock Pot. This year will be the first of my adult life where I will have to work in the summer. While I love to cook, I will be damned if I am going to spend my summer nights in the kitchen. I plan to let the Crock Pot do most of the work for me, so I can spend time with my family on evening walks and trips to the park.

5. My Kindle. I have spent the last two summers reading only for graduate school. I am finished with my program, so I finally get to read for myself again. I am in a book club right now, which is perfect because it motivates me to read things I might not otherwise.

6. Sunday night television. Breaking Bad is coming back for its final season, and I am waiting with bated breath. I am anticipating epic things for the end of the series. True Blood will also return, and though I am not the addict I once was, the show still delivers twists and turns that often keep me on the edge of my seat.

-Emily

Summer Beer…. just in time for snow

This beautiful weather we have had lately has REALLY gotten me in the mood for my summer beer selection.  You will learn, quickly, that one thing us fabulous five have in common, is our love for all things related to alcohol.  I won’t go as far as to say that we are alcoholics, but functioning alcoholics is so much different.  (Emily, sorry for the horrid punctuation…. I know you are probably sitting there with a glass of vino right now, just shaking your head at me).  Any hooters, here is a little list of my favorite summer beers, currently. ( I’d like to add that I do not discriminate seasonally with these beers, they just really sound even better when its nice and sunny out.  OH, and ABV is alcohol by volume…. pretty much, how messed up this beer is going to make your world after 3…. or 8.

In no particular, but sort of particular, order…….

1.) Blue Moon Belgian White…. Let’s just get this started right by saying, there is no better beer created…… EVER.  Ladies, I know this also reminds you of better times….. say, Joe’s Place, Pool, Darts, and a little Brade music selection on the good ol “juke box”.  Anyways, this Belgian-style witbier is served best with a big old fat orange slice, (preferably with the juice squeezed in, and the insides thrown out.  Pulp makes me want to stab my own eyeballs out).  Even though I could drink more of these than I’d like to admit, something about all of these microbrew-wheat-fruit beer concoctions makes me also want to stab my eyeballs out from the nasty hangovers, so drinkers, beware.  164 calories per 12 ounce serving, 5.4% ABV.

2.) Leinenkugel Summer Shandy.  This is a delicious combination of lemonade and beer.  Not a really sweet lemonade, however….. whatever it is, its just amazing.  Pretty much anything this company brews can be found in our bar fridge at all times, but especially this one.  No fruit needed in this bad boy. Keep it classy and drink straight out of the can.  130 calories per 12 ounces, 4.2% ABV

3.) Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat.  This beer would probably be number one on my list, if it wasn’t for the outrageous calorie content.  Don’t get me wrong, if you’re just going to be swinging back a beer or two, these are a wonderful choice.  However, if I’m going to be hammering back 7 or 8 of these things with friends around a fire, I might as well save myself what calories I can.  Or at least save them for beer munchies later.  Anyways, this is another one of those orangey-fruity-magnificent beer concoctions, but the best part is the fruity pebble aftertaste.  It doesn’t taste like fruity pebbles…. just the aftertaste, and it’s awesome.  Adding an orange, (again, sans pulpey puke inducing pulp) is always a great idea for me, but this beer is sweet enough it doesn’t need it).  165 calories per 12 ounces and 4.8% ABV.

4.) Bells Oberon.  I can’t say that I am a die hard of this beer, but I know Emily likes it…. and so does the boy toy I cohabitate with.  I definitely like one with dinner or something.  Could add fruit, but it has malt added, so it’s kind of a weird combo for me.  Anyways, most beers by Bells are quite delectable (Pex, insert movie quote here).  Anyways, it’s a wheat style ale, and it’s good.  Check it out.  174 calories per 12 ounces (jeeeeeeez) and 5.8% ABV.

5.) Bud Light Lime…… before all you beer junkies jump down my throat, let me just say this is the only “domestic” beer we keep regularly stocked in this house.  Let alone a Bud product… but its delicious, so judge away.  Its beery, and limey, and sweet, and I love it.  It’s probably the only one of these beers, (besides Summer Shandy), that I can drink when the whole point is to just cut loose.  Perfect example, IOWA TAILGATING!!!!!!! (we are all die hard hawk fans, so if you don’t like it, get out)….. (I’m only kidding all fans are welcome)…..( Ok I’m not kidding…. GTFO).  116 calories per 12 ounces and 4.2% ABV.

 

Understand, I could talk about beer…..(and vodka…. and wine…) for hours, but lets be serious….. no one wants to read a blog post that long.  So judge and comment away my friends! I’d love to hear what other beers people can’t live without.

 

You stay classy San Diego…….

xoxo number 5….. also know as…… Mir 🙂

 

Again, Emily….. sorry about my general grammar and punctuation 🙂