Nicole’s Favourite Things: Summertastic!

When we were in Maui, the boys wrote in their journals every day, in order to show their class when they got back.  Mark’s was ridiculously and tediously detailed (“Mom, do you remember what I had for breakfast yesterday?”), while Jake’s simply wrote out the major activities of the day.  In other words, the majority of his daily journal entries read as follows:

I went to the beach in the morning.  I went to the pool
 in the afternoon.  I ate ice cream.  It was good.
Not, perhaps, riveting, but accurate.  This is what blogging feels like in the summer sometimes, like a mix between some kind of glorified scrapbook of activities – SUMMERTASTIC! captions, along with photos of us at the pool, again, or at the zoo, one more time, everyone smiling and sunshiney – and a tedious listing of details about how I made ginger cookies out of beans.  
By the way, the bean-based cookies are pretty fabulous. 

I’ve been thinking for a while about writing posts about things I love, in a non-sponsored way.  I thought it could be like a meme for bloggers, and a fun discussion in the comments about products, fashion, and food that we love.  In the theme of SUMMERTASTIC, I propose the first of such posts be My Favourite Things, The Summer Edition.  Care to join me?   It will be like the O List, but without the bazillion dollars and free stuff.

Nicole’s Favourite Things – Summer Edition
Favourite Summer Beauty Products
My hair, since I started Operation Grow It Out, and also since I’m getting old and have been colouring it for so many years I barely remember what it was like before, is QUITE dry and brittle.  In the summer, I like to walk around hatless, all footloose and fancy free, and my poor, processed hair takes a beating from the sun.  I love Herbal Essences “Hello Hydration”.  I buy it in humongous jugs from Costco, and it works much better than any super-expensive “hydrating” salon product I’ve ever tried.  Once I accidentally bought the 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, and it wasn’t until I noticed I had the softest hair ever that I realized I was double-conditioning.

Giant jugs.  Hehehe.
Just because I walk around hatless does not mean I am all casual about sun damage.  I wear sunscreen year-round, but I really pile it on in the summer.  I like Neutrogena’s Ultra-Sheer Water Light face sunscreen – it’s even good for those of us who are still considered “acne-prone” decades after our teen years.  You know those people who say things like “I don’t know HOW I got sunburned, I put on sunscreen.”?  I am not one of those people.  Here’s the trick: put sunscreen on after your shower, naked, in front of a mirror.  It’s the only way.  I use Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Body Mist to spray my back and shoulders, since I tend to wear tank tops that expose a lot of skin in those areas.  Then I use Hawaiian Tropic on the reachable parts of my body.  It smells so nice and summery, I think.  For the rainy days in which there is no sunshine – like yesterday! – I love Bath and Body Works Body Lotion in Forever Sunshine.  Get it?  I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day…

Speaking of cloudy days, how about a body wash that practically FORCES you to have a Happy Time?  I use body wash instead of shaving gel, because it seems to work better and leave my skin more hydrated.  I read this manifesto about not shaving the other day and embracing my natural self, but my natural self is a yeti, or at the very least, a fair-skinned, dark haired lassie who belongs – apparently – in the Highlands, and my body seems to think that growing hair will keep me warm and comfortable.  Long story short, I shave/wax a lot, and this body wash is marvelous as a shaving aid.

You’re going to be happy, dammit!

Favourite Summer Fashion

I wear a lot of tank tops, and my favourites are those with shelf bras.  So I can be braless!  But not in an alarming, scare-the-neighbours, depressingly deflated hippie-chick sort of way.  But these tanks – from Lululemon – keep everything in, the straps don’t slip, and they are long enough for my liking.  They are a bit pricey, but I have tanks that I bought five years ago that are still in mint condition after much washing and wearing.  The caveat here is to purchase in a colour that I don’t tire of (black).

See?  Braless, and yet…not.

It’s no secret that I hate shorts.  I loathe them.  For years, when my varicose veins were rivaling those of bedridden senior citizens, I wore nothing except capri pants in the summer.  This summer, now that my scars are (mostly) healed, I am rediscovering my love of skirts.  Skirts are so cool and fun in the summer, but I also like to not be concerned that I am going to obscenely flash someone at the playground, or that I can sit crosslegged without my children requiring therapy.  Check this out! 

It’s a skirt (please ignore my apparently filthy mirror)
But it has SHORTS built in underneath!  It’s a miracle of skirt engineering.

Favourite Summer Food

My very favourite snack in the summer:

Delicious summer berries!  I try to eat berries until I’m sick of them, because, well, ’tis the season, but I never, ever get sick of them.  I used to eat them with vanilla yogurt, but sadly dairy products are causing me to break out like an extraordinarily awkward teenage boy, and so I just eat them as-is.  I add a little sugar and I barely miss the yogurt. 

My favourite summer meals:

Thai noodle salad!  I created this recipe!  It’s pretty yummy and I crave it all the time.  Recipe is here.  My other favourite is actually a year-round favourite, but it really is better in summer, what with seasonal veggies and it being a cold salad: GREEK SALAD (recipe here).  Feta is my concession to dairy consumption.  Maybe goats are better than cows in the whole dairy department?  I don’t know.  All I know is I don’t want to imagine life without feta.  I can’t.  I won’t!

Now it’s your turn: tell me, dear readers, what are your favourite things in the summer?  Share in the comments, or share on your blog, if you’re a blogger.  I chose fashion, beauty, and food, but that could be because I’m shallow.  You can choose any category.  Make yourself feel like Oprah at Christmastime!  Tell me all.  xoxo


  1. I like/need waterproof mascara in the summer and waterproof eyeliner. MAC makes this great liner that is almost a khol liner at first, and gives you a minute or two to mess with it and then it sets.

    I HAVE to have my hair up when it is 100 degrees and 97% humidity. I have super thick shoulder length hair. Those claw clips in various sizes save me. Also Sephora has hair-colored non=elastic hair elastics (maybe they are silicone? I dunno) that dont tug or break your hair. YAY.

    I need a good hat, though.

  2. My favourite summer accessory is a scowl. Or at least that’s what it feels like since I’m not coping very well with this heat wave and I’m very cranky AND I have a summer cold AND my boobs are too big for any of those cute built-in shelf bra tank tops. WAAAAAAAH!!!!

    But looking at your jugs did make me smile, and I’m craving some berries and those salads look nice AND I just shaved my legs and my lady garden because I too am descended of yeti stock and now I’m thinking that maybe I should try some of that body wash.

    Also I like summertime liquor. I’m having some right now. Believe it or not.

  3. I barely fit into a B cup so heck yes I am not wearing one. Whoever came up with that invention should be kissed.
    And I love that Nivea soap. LOVe.

  4. Ooo I so love eating fresh berries over the summer. I usually add whipped cream to mine.

  5. My giant cans won’t fit into those shelf-bra things either. My favourite part of every day is the moment when I unhook the ladies and let ’em live free.

    I gorge myself on fresh berries this time of year. Just as they are, or with greek yogurt and a little honey. YUM.

    Nothing beats a cold beer on the deck just as the sun is setting.

    And I get to the ocean as often as I can. It’s my happy place. Plus it’s usually a good five degrees cooler at the coast.

  6. I love the sun, fresh produce from the farmer’s market, the pool, and my garden in the summer months. Oh, and tan lines and flip flops.

  7. you should try fekkai glossing cream. it’s a leave-in conditioner, and it’s the best product ever. it has saved my dry hair. it’s expensive, but you need only a very little, so not really that expensive.

    you’re welcome.

  8. BusyMomofTwins says

    LOVE this idea Nicole! I will definitely feature it in my blog sometime. My favorite summer thing is my contacts and my sunglasses. I wear glasses pretty much every other part of the year. But nothing says summer to me more than contacts and my sunglasses.

  9. BusyMomofTwins says

    I finally got around to posting my list of favorite summer things. Not sure it is as informative as yours, but it’s there. Thanks for the idea.

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