My Pool Essentials

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

It's almost July and I've realized that I haven't gone to the pool once yet this season! So for the past week I've been trying to go, but have had to wait for better weather.  Well, I'm happy to announce that I just got back from my first pool-day today, and I wanted to share with all of you some of my essentials that keep me entertain as I sweat through the summer- poolside edition!

I'll be honest with you, I totally forgot almost all of these today as I ran out the house looking for sunlight. I thought my bag had my headphones (turns out my ottoman had them, instead.), I didn't want a book because I thought I had my headphones (poor fool), and I forgot to put my ice pack in the freezer the night before (because I'm lazy).

I did, however, remember to bring my Teavana travel mug, my purse, and my phone (it's basically another appendage!)-- and I had to go out and buy some sunscreen as my other ones were for ghosties who didn't want to burn, but this apparition wanted to be bacon by the end of the day!

So I'm just going to jump right on in!

1.) Reading articles on how to tan, I actually looked for a sunscreen that had low SPF but still had "broadspectrum" that had both UVB & UVA protection. According to a 2015 Time article most sunscreens don't have UVA protection, which can increase your chances of skin cancer like, UVB does, but is also the reason for aging your skin as it has "more influence in the collagen." So make sure your sunscreens have the words "broadspectrum" labeled on it as it will more likely offer coverage of both rays. The sunscreen I bought, which was the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Clear Spray Sunscreen (what a mouthful...),  had both UVA & UVB coverage and stated "broadspectrum" so I grabbed that.  It actually smells really nice, and it is very light weight. 

2.) In addition to my new sunscreen, I also make sure that if I wear makeup to any outdoor event, my foundation and lipbalm both have SPF in them. My Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation has beautiful coverage and my face never burns :) and my Chapstick Hydration Lock (dual-ended) has SPF 12 in it. The skin on your lips are very thin and always need protection so I love this balm very much!

3.) My new Urban Outfitters Crossbody is my current fave! Its too small to carry all of my pool essentials, obviously, but I love using it to keep my pool pass, keys, ID, and makeup in! It's especially handy when I don't want to carry a beach bag with me when I need to grab some sunscreen at the store ;)

4.) My phone!! I always, always. ALWAYS have my phone on me... Today's idea was that I would catch up on some podcasts. My two current faves are: 
  • Armchair Expert - A podcast by the lovely Dax Shepard who invites guests to join his podcast and just shoot the shit. I love this podcast the most because it just makes the guest so personable and you learn so much about them and it's just all around really funny.
  • The Black Tapes Podcast - "The Black Tapes is a serialized docudrama about one journalist's search for truth, her enigmatic subject's mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both." This podcast is highly addictive and just gives me the creeps.  Its like watching a horror film in your head but without the jump scares. A "ghost story" for the lack of a better term. It's very fun and I can't get enough!
alas, since I had no earphones, I was just stuck taking selfies... TGFS (Thank God For Snapchat!)

5.) Books are another essential to a tanning pool day! Currently I'm reading the second book of Kim Harrison's "The Hollows" series. I love all things witchy and fantasy, but it's hard for me to find a good book with no cheesiness to it. This book has pixies, vampires, demons, and witches, BUT HARDLY ANY OF THE CHEESINESS!! It's beautiful and I love the sass. I highly recommend reading her books! Can't wait to finish this and get to the third!

I'll also admit, I'm not on the third book of Game of Thrones yet! I'm still in the middle of the first book.  It's taken me forever to finish... Confession: I HATE Catelyn Stark! lol. Whenever I get to her chapters of the book, I can't seem to stay focused. The reason why I have the third book pictured instead of the first is really because the first book is so horribly battered and torn up that this book in the series was just what I had on hand that wasn't beaten up to death.

6.) Ice Packs are GREAT to have on hand in the summer time, even if you don't have food. Put a couple of ice packs in a bag and you've got a great cooling station for your phone so it doesn't over-heat while you're listening to podcasts! If you don't have ice packs, or you forget to bring them, simply set your phone under your chair so your shadow or your beach towel shadows over it and keeps it cool! I'm guilty of doing this today! :P

7.) Last, but certainly not least, a well insulated bottle! When our Teavana stores were closing down, I found these pretty travel bottles that let you brew tea on the go! Iced or Hot. WELL IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT THIS BOTTLE IS AMAZINGLY WELL INSULATED!!! Seriously, I left the bottle with ice in it one day in my living room AND THE NEXT DAY THE ICE WAS STILL THERE.  It's beautiful.  So this is perfect for days when you don't want to bring a cooler with you but you still want to stay hydrated.  Today, I bought a Venti Pink Drink from Starbucks and just poured it into my bottle et voila! A pink drink that was perfectly chilled that didn't water down whilst I baked in the sun.  I also set this under my chair to avoid the sun heating up the metal and making it hot.

8.) *Not pictured!* Bathing suits!  This is an obvious one I don't really have to state (or do I?...) but I wanted to include this because IT'S SALE SEASON! And there are some beautiful suits on sale! A few of mine I've gotten this season were half off the original price! I recently bought TWO one piece bathing suits from Aerie that were on sale. They were the first one piece bathing suits that I actually thought were really cute on me, other ones make me look like a 5 year old. I've linked their clearance swimsuits for you to check out!  The bathing suit top I'm wearing in my snapchat photo is from Urban Outfitters. I got it in the spring time so I don't think it's listed anymore but here's a link to one similar to what I'm wearing. My bikini bottoms are always from Target, as I seem to always lose them and need to mix and match with the tops.

There you have it! My Poolside Essentials! I hope these were helpful to some of you! I've forgotten how relaxing the pool is to me.  The background noise of kids splashing water around, lifeguards blowing their whistles for adult swim time, and the smell of sunscreen lofting in the summer breeze, is just such a nostalgic feeling for me. This is my new activity all summer long.  Next time though, I'll for sure to remember to bring everything!! Haha.

What do you guys bring to the pool/beach? Any good reads or podcasts you recommend? Let me know in the comments! <3 

Day trip to Milton, Delaware

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Summer time has officially started and something we decided to do to kick off the season was a trip to Milton, Delaware.  Some would think that that's such a random city to go, Annapolis, Maryland or Washington D.C.? But the beer-enthusiasts would completely understand this decision, because we started Summer 2018 off with a beer tour at one of our favorite craft-beer breweries, Dogfish Head Brewery! We went all in by purchasing a $30/person tour that lasted about 2 hours long, showcasing the many ways they use culinary ingredients in their beer and the process in how they brew it! We tried many different beers plus a taste of their vodka that they would later turn into a delicious mule, which wasn't that bad, actually! It had a nice banana aroma and flavor to it.

So as many of you know, I live in southern Maryland... it was about a two hour drive to get to the brewery and I had to face a fear I wasn't really interested in facing that day.. The Bay Bridge. Now this bridge is about 4 miles long and we had some expected but also unexpectedly bad weather on our way home from Delaware... I'm not going to say that I didn't panic, but let's just say there was  little voice in the backseat of the car saying, "I think we should pull over and wait out the storm" as well as a "Is that a tornado starting?.." 

Anywho, we made it back home in one piece with a fun little memory. Here are some pictures of the day with some cool little spots to checkout if you manage to get to the tour too early and have some times to kill!


Voted Delawares best Doughnut spot, Gooey Donuts delivers a deliciously warm, freshly-fried donut per order! I'm not a cakey doughnut fan, but these were amazing and I'm truly missing the deliciousness.
They also have homemade "cronuts". Best I've ever had, it's so fresh and warm, and you can customize the toppings!
We also wanted to get breakfast for the friend who wasn't too into sweets.  The Suburban Farmhouse Coffee house was a cute 'hipster' coffee shop that offered a selection of breakfast sandwiches and treats! They had some amazing coffee options too, but none of us were feeling coffee that day (Crazy, I know!)
I did manage to grab a "cruffin" a croissant muffin combo. The cafe had three options you could choose from, Sausage and Egg, Tomato Spinach and Feta I believe? and Bacon and Egg.  I wanted the vegetarian option, but they had just sold the last one, so I opted for the bacon and cheddar which was so good! I miss it already... Worth going over a 4 mile long bridge again!

On to Dogfish Head!

    Then we got to the main attraction!

The Dogfish Head Tree house! You could totally tour this after the regular tour- unfortunately we never got the chance to see the inside since it was such a busy day.

They taught us about the 'Persian Lime" which is a dried up lime that spent most it's time out in the sun. It was an ingredient that they add to one of their beers. Our tour guide tossed these limes out to a few and we got to keep it
Our first tasting of the day! 60 minute IPA. Cheers!

Learning about how they made the Palo Santo beer, then a tasting

Next was the distillery part of the tour! We got to a taste of the vodka and then our tour guide made "Milton Mules" which were ginger and delicious. I want another.

Before the tour ended, our tour guide let us collect a Dogfish Head Pint glass as a souvenir and then sign a wooden strip. 

After the tour the guide gave us a card that allowed us to get a tasting of 4 different beers; from left to right:
Dragon + Yum Yums. Romantic Chemistry, Lupu-Luau, & Midas Touch.
All had a unique taste! The midas touch was the most interesting, I think.  A heavy grape after taste ^_^


After our tour and tasting we decided to grab a bite to eat before we headed back home. We found a cajun restaruant called 'Po Boy's Creole & Fresh Catch'
Pictured above was friend crawfish- and also my first time having crawfish .___.
They had all sorts of seafood options for your po'boy! I chose the fried oyster. Even though it only came with four oysters, THEY WERE HUUUUGE!! And super filling! 

I'd also like to take a moment to talk about one of my favorite little towns that had been affected by the storm I spoke a little bit about earlier... Historic Ellicott City has been hit HARD by the flooding of this storm that hit us on Memorial Day Weekend.  Some say its because of climate change, but anyone who has ever been to Ellicott City during heavy rainfall can see that flooding is a big issue here due to over development. Businesses have only recently opened back up from the last major flood back in 2016 and it breaks my heart to see all of the hardwork lost yet again. If you’d like to donate or volunteer to help rebuild Main Street in Historic Ellicott City you can visit here.

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