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15 Things On My Own Summer Shopping List

Because if my kids get to have the best summer ever, then so do I.

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In every one of my mom groups for the past week — from the local Facebook ones where people panic about grocery prices to the moms I chat with at soccer practice — summer has been on the brain. We talk about summer camps, about summer vacations, about how we’re going to entertain these kids all summer long — but rarely do we talk about how we feel about summer. Not how we feel about lathering our kids in sunscreen or figuring out pool-side lunches to keep babies from getting hangry — but how we actually feel about the season. What are we doing to prep for our own enjoyment this summer? How are we going to take care of ourselves amidst all of *waves arms around* this?

For starters: we’re going to buy ourselves some mom summer necessities. And I don’t just mean like sunscreen (although you do need that, please buy some), but things that are going to make your life a little bit easier (because kids) and be things you still enjoy and want to have in your life. There is no frivolous purchase here, and while you’re buying everyone’s swimsuits and summer reading books, it’s important to take care of yourself.

And one other summer tip: use Klarna. I always feel like summer is going to be a more chill time for my wallet, but between the ice cream visits and the beach trips and all those snacks, things can add up quick. Use the Klarna app to pop these things into your cart and then choose the pay-in-four option to help ease the burden of summer necessities out a little bit. It is my number one mom hack, and I use Klarna for everything from buying snacks for the PTA movie night to the birthday party supplies I need for my kids. (You can even set yourself a budget in the app!)

Now get your lemonade, sit in some sunshine, and start your own prepwork for the Best! Summer! Ever! (For you. Your kids are more than fine.)


This Hammock for Sittervising

Surely you’ve heard of the notion of “sittervising” from Susie Allison of The Busy Toddler, right? Basically, it’s the act of sitting and supervising your kids as they play with their own stuff, and this summer, I’m doing it all from my hammock. The Yellow Leaf vista (a portable hammock stand) and the hammock chair are so perfect for relaxing — I’ve sat in many hammocks that have made me feel uncomfortable and like I’d topple at any minute, but you know those baby wraps for parents to carry their babies around? That’s basically what this hammock feels like. Except you are the baby.


This Old Navy Bodysuit

If the word “bodysuit” conjures images of being in third grade and trying to snap your crotch back together in a panic after nearly peeing yourself on the playground: relax. Also, this bodysuit isn’t one of those terrifying compression ones on Instagram ads either. From Old Navy, I’ve been living in this tie-strap tank bodysuit for a solid month. I’ve bought one in every color, and I pair them with jeans, shorts, skirts, everything. The cut is so nice, the tie-straps give a nice detail, and they look great with everything. I’m also a bigger gal and feel totally supported in this while still being able to breathe. Bonus: I just tug it down to pee like a romper instead of trying to snap it again. (Also, there are two sets of snaps to make it looser or tighter!)


The Best All-Day Lip Stain

I’ve tried a lot of lipsticks and lip stains, but this Covergirl Outlast vegan lip stain is, hands down, the best. When I tell you it stays on all day, I mean it, and it lasts through sweaty soccer mornings, lunches, naps on the couch after your kids have made you play hard for four hours — it’s the best. I also love this particular color, and because it’s a stain, I’ve found that I can make it darker or lighter depending on how much I apply, so it’s a really versatile piece of makeup to have on hand. I don’t do a lot of makeup in the summer, but I always carry this around. It’s so bright and fun!


This Shapewear Swimsuit

I love a good swimsuit, and by good, I mean it has to hit this criteria: it holds everything in while I play chicken and sharks and minnows and marco polo in the pool with my kids, it doesn’t ride up my butt, and it’s cute. It shouldn’t be that hard to find a swimsuit that hits all of those points, but it often is, and that’s why I’m ready to live in the STYLEST DreamSculpt colorblock square neck one-piece. It’s a mouthful to say, but this gorgeous swimsuit has a great neckline (that works well for big or small chests), and fits nice and snug with some compression. It’s like shapewear, but not super restrictive, and it’s nice to feel all held in and supported while you’re doing the hard work of water play.


These Adult Jelly Shoes

I want to make very few decisions during the summer. I want a basic outfit of an easy cotton dress or skirt and the same sandals so I can just go out and enjoy things without thinking about it — and that’s why I want a pair of these possession glitter sandals. They are exactly like the jelly sandals you had as a kid, but without all the pinching and heel blisters. They come in a ton of colors, and are also perfect for running around with kids. These will easily work from the splash pad (they can get wet!) to the library to backyard barbecues. What more could you want?


This Perfectly-Sized Pressure Washer

No matter how equal of a household you have, it’s easy to see why the jokes about kids only wanting mom or dads getting a whole day to do chores/run errands uninterrupted exist. The only time I can get a solid break from my girls — where they don’t interrupt me for snacks or drinks or walk right past their father to ask me a question — is if I’m outside doing something. And that’s why pressure washing is my new hobby and I’m gifting myself the RYOBI 1800 PSI corded electric pressure washerT. It’s the perfect size for doing everything from brick pathways and porch steps to planters, outdoor toys, and even my kids’ plastic ride-on cars. Whenever I want a productive summer break, I’m heading outside to blast all the grime off the plastic playhouses in the yard.


This Ninja Airfryer

Summer is coming and I live in the south — I refuse to heat up my entire house for these picky kids’ chicken nuggets. I also, personally, would like to have a bunch of crispy protein ready for my own lunches so I don’t have to think about anything but the pool and the sun, and that’s where the Ninja DoubleStack XL 2-Basket Air Fryer comes in handy. I can literally cook entirely separate meals in this bad boy and as a person with a slightly smaller kitchen than most Instagram foodies, this appliance is perfect. It doesn’t take up too much space on my counter, and I can easily cook my kids’ favorite snacks and whatever I want to eat. This is the summer of mom.


This Travel Journal

My two older girls and I have a trip planned, and I have a few fun little summer outings to take my girls on — and I want us to document them. They don’t have to be big trips to be worthy of writing about in this Papier Travel Journal. I’ve always had the idea of keeping travel journals and having my girls write in their own, but it immediately felt overwhelming to manage, so I’m going with one travel journal for all of us (and since only 3/4 of us can write anyway, it makes sense). We can share our favorite parts of our days out, the funny stories we want to remember, and make a perfect little memory book of the summer they were all 9-almost-10, 5, and 2.


This Laundry Scent Booster

Look, nobody wants to fuss with laundry during the summer, but at some point, everyone’s going to need new pool towels. I find that the heat of summer mixed with all the wetness of sweaty clothes and towels and swimsuits can make everything in the house smell a little... musty. Even the blankets on the couch need extra washes thanks to everyone coming inside to curl up with a movie after digging in the sunny mud for two hours. Enter this sun-drenched linen fragrance booster from Bath & Body Works. Everyone has a lot of feelings about scents, but if you want your clothes and items you wash this summer to smell like they just dried on a clothes line in the middle of Florence, Italy, this is the bottle you want. And one bottle will last you forever — it doesn’t take much — and the scent fills your whole house. It’s so good.


These Comfy Activewear Shorts

I love some activewear, but in the summer, I need less leggings and more shorts. But I want shorts that fit and that don’t ride up and that go with everything from an oversized sweatshirt when my husband turns the A/C up so high I feel like Oliver Twist to the sweaty tank top I’m going to wear on our walk to the pool. Like so many things on this list, I need practicality, but I need to look cute, and that’s where these AVI Baker shorts come in. At 6”, these shorts are intended for pickleball courts, but trust me when I tell you they’re perfect for any activity. They fit nice and snug without compressing the heck out of my midsection, and the length is a nice one for chasing after kids and working out. I also love the pocket on the side for my phone, and there’s also an inverted pocket for balls if you are planning on wearing these out to the pickleball court. The material is also nice and stretchy, but has that cooling technology to keep you from dying in the middle of the Target parking lot when your kid has a tantrum about a slip-and-slide. They are so good.


These Ready-To-Drink Jim Beam Coolers

There are so many delicious cocktails I want to make all summer long, but when I want to throw a few things in the pool bag or have a date night with my husband and our neighbors out on the deck, I want something easy that tastes like summer. The Jim Beam Kentucky Coolers variety pack comes with different flavors of both the spiked lemonade and spiked punch for an extremely delicious slurp of straight summer. These are pretty light and refreshing without being too sweet (the worst out in the sun), and I’m especially looking forward to trying the peach and orange flavors.


The Best Water Cup

I know, water cups are having a moment, and I’ve tried them all. But aside from the cups I received in the hospital when I gave birth to my kids, the Hydro Flask All-Around Travel Tumbler is the best. The. Best. Let me explain: the straw is nice and solid on the bottom half, but the top is silicone and can bend, which makes such a difference when hydrating on the go. The tumbler itself is also solid and can sit up well in the middle of the soccer field and still fit in my stroller cup holder. I live in Georgia and have left this thing full of ice cold water in the car for an hour while I grocery shop and can still hear the ice clinking in it when I get back to the car. But the absolute best part? It doesn’t leak. My kids knock it over 800 times a day and not a drop has ever come out. This tumbler is the exact reason I’ll be hydrated all summer long.


The Cutest Packing Cubes

Along with the travel journal, one of the things I’m most excited about for all of our summer adventures is the Itzy Ritzy packing cubes. These things are not only adorable and perfectly sized, but my kids love packing their things into them to get organized. I can tell them one is for jammies or swimsuits or whatever and then it’s so easy for them to grab it right out of the bag when it’s time to use the contents. We use these outside of travel, too, and shove them into pool bags, one in the car full of sunscreen and bug spray, sleepovers with the cousins — they go everywhere. And they keep me from losing my mind.


The Best Tiny Diaper Bag

My youngest is 2 and still in diapers, but taking the huge diaper bag is my least favorite thing these days. But this Sidekick Bag from No Reception Club? Saving all my summer bag woes. I prefer running right out the door without anything extra, and this bag is literally a whole diaper changing bag in a tiny hip pack. It fits inside diapers, a pack of wipes, and a changing mat, and it’s cute. Remember: this is the summer where we actually like the things we’re using all summer. And I really like this one.


The Most Delicious Canned Mocktail

If you’re not a fan of alcohol or, like me, you like a crisp refreshing mocktail when you’re poolside and need to have your wits about you with the kids, you need the new Waterloo Mocktails. We drink a lot of sparkling water in our house and Waterloo is always one of the elite ones, so these limited edition summer flavors are so good. There’s All Day Rosé, Pi-ño Colada, and Mojito Mocktail. And if you’re thinking these are just going to taste like fruit or flavors you’ve already tried, you’re wrong. The Mojito Mocktail isn’t just a lime sparkling water — it has that tingly splash of flavor that is so reminiscent of rum, you’ll be checking the can twice. My favorite is the Pi-ño Colada which is heavy with both the pineapple and coconut and tastes like a treat.

This is my summer and I’m 100% leaning hard into the things that make my life easier and that I enjoy. I urge you to do the same!