Summer Lovin’

by Gigi Ross on June 13, 2011

There are some bloggers that are just REAL – plain and simple. You read their stuff, and you feel like you’re sitting across the kitchen table from them, chatting over coffee. That’s how I felt about Shell from Things I Can’t Say when I read her for the first time. I’m not alone in this sentiment, I believe, because she has an extremely loyal legion of fans.

Shell is awesome. And I’m delighted to not be just a fan of hers, but a friend as well. I have been wanting to have her guest post at KludgyMom for a really long time, and when I came up with the idea of Summer of Love, it was a perfect fit. So take it away, Shell!

When Gigi asked me to guest post for Summer of Love, I was thrilled. Because you have to love our girl Kludgy Mom. And summer? I love summer.

It means lazy days. Sleeping in, going to the beach, the most relaxed time of the year. Even when I became a “grown up,” summers didn’t change much because I was a teacher and didn’t work in the summers. I did work eight million hours during the school year to make up for it, so I loved my summer break.

But, wait a minute. Now the kids are out for summer. Summer of Love? Summer of annoyance, of long days, of desperately wishing for September is more like it.

And now I’m cranky just thinking about it. So, the best I can do is to tell you things I’m loving about summer. The things that help me get through.

Sundresses – it’s way too hot to have too much fabric touching my skin. But, I’ve also had way too many babies to prance around in tiny clothing. A sundress covers a multitude of sins: no muffin top in sundresses. And because I’m lazy, I love the ease of just tossing on a sundress.  I buy a rainbow of these from Target and Old Navy and have an easy and cheap summer wardrobe.

Summer Make-up – I’m past the age where I don’t need make up. Barefaced me is a little scary.  But, with the summer heat, no one wants to have their face melting off five minutes after walking out the door.  For summer, a tinted moisturizer and a cute lipgloss are all that’s needed. Cover your eyes with sunglasses, and you’re set.

Lemonade – It’s my official drink of summer. Freshly-squeezed. Nothing is more refreshing. Well, until it’s past an acceptable hour to have a more adult beverage. And then I still love lemonade, but with Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka mixed in. Or Mike’s Hard Strawberry Lemonade. Rush out and get some right now. You are welcome.
Puddle Jumpers – We need pool time to cool off in the summer.  But, trying to keep an eye on three little kids is enough to make me want to break out the special lemonade at 10am. If you have a toddler or preschooler who can’t swim, or even one who can, Puddle Jumpers are the best invention ever.  My boys practically learned how to swim with these things on.  And they aren’t going under the water in these. I watch my kids like a hawk at the pool, but these have dropped my anxiety level down several notches.

Vacation Bible School – Even if it’s not the one held at my church. Around here, VBS is usually free or really cheap. So for those times when my monsters make me think These kids need Jesus, they can get some Jesus.  It’’s perfectly okay to send them to 2 or 3(or 4 or…) different VBS programs.

Summer Dinners – When it’s too hot to cook: sandwiches or pasta salad are perfectly acceptable meals. Or burgers on the grill- when my husband won’t let anyone else touch his grill. Eating outside on the picnic table, with paper plates and juice boxes makes for less clean up. Yeah, I know, it’s not environmentally-friendly, but it is good for my sanity. And when all else fails, you can justify ice cream for dinner when it’s hot enough!

The Garden Hose – When my kids are filthy from playing outside or from a beach trip, there’s no reason for them to track that mess into the house. Just hose ‘em down outside- they love it and I love having less of a mess.

What are you loving this summer?

{ 99 comments }

Annie @astonesthrow June 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Love the summer of love idea . . . and Shell.
Hmmmm. Summer … I love being barefoot (I’m a former FL girl.) and I also love my drink of choice this summer. Ready for it? Diet Root beer, whipped cream flavored vodka, and a dollop of whipped cream. It tastes just like a root beer float. Holy yum! The vodka is also yummy with Orange Crush. Then it tastes like a dreamsicle. Even yummier? BLend it with ice in the blender.
Now I am craving one.
:)

By Word of Mouth Musings June 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm

OMGosh, I need to write these down! and I live in FL!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

Oh, I need to try those drinks!!!!

Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. June 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Yes to sundresses (the portion of my closet devoted to such is positively embarrassing), little makeup, lemonade (preferable spiked), VBS (though I taught it last week which ruins all the fun of dropping your kids off for 3 hours) and summer dinners outside!!!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:40 am

One of these days, I’ll probably end up helping with our VBS… but I so look forward to the break!

Missy | The Literal Mom June 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Mike’s Hard Lemonade = Nectar of the Gods.

Right there with you on summer, girl. Soooo good and sooo painful all at the same time. Finding the good helps diminish the 14 hours straight days with kids. Good for you. :)

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

The days do seem sooooo long, don’t they?

Shell June 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Thanks for having me, Gigi! :)

Sharon at Momof6 June 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I LOVE my Mike’s Hard Lemonade (although I am more of a Cranberry Lemonade girl myself)…. the real question is “What time does happy hour begin in the summer”?
Love my Shell and Gigi too!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:41 am

Strawberry is my fav, but I like the cranberry and black cherry, too!

Happy hour is earlier in the summer, I think. 😉

Katie June 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I am in love with skirts and a tank. it is my summer uniform. I bought three of the same skirt (in different colors of course) at GAP at the beginning of summer for this exact reason.

And Mike’s hard lemonade? FOR SURE! I like the Pomegranate flavor!

Summer! Let’s DO THIS!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

Ha! I’ll do that when I find something I love- I have 3 of the same Target sundress in different colors!

I haven’t tried the pomegranate flavor yet! Must fix this.

tracy@sellabitmum June 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Oh I love Shell – and everything about this post. PERFECT! I think I want to live with her for the Summer too so we can shop for cute dresses together.
xoxo

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:43 am

YES. We could go shopping and then have happy hour together. :)

Alison@Mama Wants This June 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I want to spend summers with you Shell! :)

Love the pictures, gorgeous!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:44 am

Thanks, Alison! I swear, my iPhone takes better pics than my camera!

gin June 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I just discovered Shell today and I think she is so awesome; for realsies.
Gigi, you are awesome as well (as usual). I am loving the summer of love series.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:44 am

Aw, thanks!

angela June 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I love Shell!!

That is one fabulous list :) I love sunglasses and easy make-up and puddle jumpers.

Also, I am pretty sure I will love Sweet Tea flavored vodka when I try it.

I think I want to hang out at Shell’s this summer!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:46 am

Yes, sweet tea vodka is awesome! Here’s my tip, though: remember that it’s sweet tea VODKA. Trying to do half lemonade and half Firefly=not a good idea. Oops.

JDaniel4's Mom June 14, 2011 at 6:23 am

JDaniel has a pair of Puddle Jumpers. They really are wonderful and so is Shell.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:47 am

You are so sweet!

Puddle Jumpers are awesome! Really took the stress out of taking all three of mine to the pool by myself.

RoryBore June 14, 2011 at 6:28 am

That is a great summer list! And I have 2 weeks left run out and get me some mama lemonade and some cute sundresses! LOL

For makeup, I usually switch to a mineral powder — it has a natural SPF and doesn’t feel all heavy and goopy on your face. And it really does hide any um, less than perfect mornings resulting from staying up too late drinking lemonade 😉

Shell June 14, 2011 at 6:48 am

I’m always afraid that you’ll be able to see flakes of the mineral stuff. Maybe I need to try it!

Jessica June 14, 2011 at 7:08 am

Sundresses are definitely my summer wardrobe and the hose is great and the only reason my kids are ever allowed to eat popsicles!

Now I will have to try your lemonade mix suggestion, after the kids go to bed of course. 😉

Shell June 14, 2011 at 7:29 am

Oh, yes- definitely the best way to clean up the popsicle mess! And I have my boys eat them with their shirts off.

blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell June 14, 2011 at 7:24 am

Wearing summer dresses and breezy clothing is a wonderful part of summer. I love that! And water play is ESSENTIAL!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 7:29 am

I love that we have a long sundress season down here. :)

Oka June 14, 2011 at 7:24 am

I love being barefoot. Absolutely love it.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

Oh, same here! And same with the kids. I love not having to fuss at them to put on shoes!

Elena June 14, 2011 at 7:25 am

I love eating outside during summer. One of my favorite things. Such easy clean up! Ok, I’ve never heard of puddle jumpers but I need to look into them now since I’ll have two toddlers at the pool. Great guest spot today!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 7:30 am

Oh, then you NEED puddle jumpers!!! Took my stress level way down after we got them.

Darlene June 14, 2011 at 7:29 am

I’ve never worn sundresses, but they always look so cool and comfy. I try to barbeque as much as possible…means I encourage Hubby to do the cooking! Love Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

Love anything that gives hubby the responsibility and not me!

Angie June 14, 2011 at 7:35 am

Summer is awesome (and a little overwhelming with kids!) Love all the reasons Shell loves them. I *so* need to go get myself some sundresses – I realized last week I have none.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:16 am

Sundresses are a must! :)

Kimberly June 14, 2011 at 7:43 am

Oh a garden hose is a mom’s summer best friend..unless the little buggar…and by buggar I mean my husband because he’s a jerk like that…turns it on you.
Oh and I love you Shell.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 7:46 am

Mine has tried that with me, too. He’s learned though. “Fun” like that outside means no “fun” for him inside later. 😉

Jessica June 14, 2011 at 8:16 am

I love taking the kids to the pool in the summer. Always so much fun in the sun and then nap time usually follows which is really great.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

I wish mine would nap! SIGH!

Stephanie June 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

All of this is so true. And I totally want some of those Puddle Jumpers!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

They really are awesome!

heidi @ wonder woman wannabe June 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

i’m with you on ALL counts! 😉

esp. the sundresses and mikes lemonade, since i started having kids i just didn’t feel comfortable in shorts. at 5’5” the longer ‘mom’ length shorts are just not flattering, but there is NO way i’m wearing uber short ones at my age/stage either. so, …skirts and sundresses have taken over my summer wardrobe. they make me feel prettier/more put together without really trying too.

what am i loving about summer? well, since we live in the frozen tundra of the north of minneapolis – i’m loving that the boys can simply play OUTSIDE! serious, they can get completely obsorbed and entertained digging in the dirt and searching for bugs. lovely.

still looking forward to the day that ‘sleeping in’ is in our family vocabulary though. no matter what activity we may do in the evenings that occasionally keep them up later during the summer, the younger kiddos in our home always seem to wake up at the SAME time every day.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

What is with shorts anyway? Either for grandmas or for hoochies. LOL

brittney June 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

Oh yeah sweet southern summertime I love it!!!!
I just saw those puddle jumpers the other day im going to get B some!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

Definitely get them- they make the pool so much less stressful!

A Mommy in the City June 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

I love the fact that I can wear dresses everyday and have my hair in a ponytail all the time because it is too hot to actually do it.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

I wear a ponytail most the year… but summertime does give me a better excuse. 😉

Jenny June 14, 2011 at 8:59 am

Love…love lemonade and could use an “adult” beverage right about now and its only 10am! Why can’t preschool be year round? I kid!
What kind of tinted moisturizer do you use? Thanks!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:22 am

I was just talking to my husband and saying that I thought our kids “needed” summer school. LOL

I use Stila’s tinted. Love it! Though, when I run out, I’m getting Philosophy’s Hope in a Tinted Moisturizer. Their Hope in Jar is my fave moisturizer and they just came out with a tinted one. Haven’t tried it yet b/c I want to use up what I have first.

mommymommymommy June 14, 2011 at 9:30 am

Great post! I can relate to so much of it! I work on the weekend just so I can send my kids to camp. They go to day camp for six weeks or I would lose my mind. I love having them home on the off weeks, but I would be heavily into the special lemonade if they were home all summer!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

Six weeks? I need to do a better job at finding camps here!

Grumpy Grateful Mom June 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

Great list! I think I need to hose my kids down more often! Our house is constantly in a state of sand and mud over the summer.

And I’ve been meaning to get some floaties for awhile. I have extreme pool anxiety with my kids. I’ll try the puddle jumpers. I think you should totally get a cut of the profit.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

I love puddle jumpers so much- I should be their paid spokesperson!

MommaKiss June 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

Boys are SO cute.

Know how I survive summer? Body glide. Yep. It goes on my thighs and prevents chafing on the chubrub.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 10:05 am

LMAO I love you, Mommakiss!

julie gardner June 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

When your kids get older, you’ll appreciate the “no homework/tests/studying” aspect of summer.

And the sleeping in (because middle schoolers sleep late. and/or don’t need you to wake up with them.

Still.

I think sunglasses, sundresses and Mike’s Hard Lemonade should be in every mother’s Summer Survival Kit.

(but can I keep the glasses on inside the house because I didn’t put mascara on today…)

Shell June 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

I can’t wait until mine start sleeping in!

We should market a mom’s Summer Survival Kit! :)

Minivan Mama June 14, 2011 at 10:14 am

Just hand me a hard lemonade and a hose pointed at the kids…I’m happy!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

See? I knew you were my people.

SoberJulie June 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

Love your list, also cucumber body spray (love that scent), really good hair product that smooths out the frizzies, hair clips, a cute wide brimmed hat, my birkenstocks, for the kids crocs (ugly but so easy for them to put on)…my list of essentials go on forever but oh yes summer is so worth it!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

My kids live in crocs. I’ve stopped caring that they are ugly. :)

Kir June 14, 2011 at 11:10 am

We call Puddle Jumpers: Water Wings up north!!! Did you know that??? LOL

and I now have a fancy new sundress for my summer weekends because of YOU!!!!

you always make the best lists! I do hope that your summer is super FUN! *said Elle Woods style*, enjoy your Lemonade, no matter HOW you drink it. 😉

Shell June 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

Even with the thing across the middle, Kir? We call water wings the things just on their arms.

LOL @ Super Fun. I heart Elle Woods.

Jen {at} take2mommy June 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

Shell’s post made me slightly less terrified about the fact that school is over for my kids in 9 days. I just need a bunch of new breezy sundresses and a fridge full of Mike’s lemonade. (FYI, Mike’s limeade is yummy too!)

Shell June 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm

You still have 9 more days? I’m so jealous!

Yes, the limeade is good, but the strawberry lemonade is my fave!

Kristin @ What She Said June 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I just love evenings out on the deck sipping a cold beer or glass of wine, preferably after my child goes to bed so that she’s not climbing all over me like a little monkey.

And this summer, I’ve rather rapidly developed a fondness for weekend afternoons spent out on the deck with my feet in Lil’ Bit’s baby pool while she happily plays.

Our deck is so far getting a lot of use this summer. :)

Shell June 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

That’s a reason why we keep an early bedtime for our kids, even in summer- I need those nights to relax!

Emmy June 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Well see there Shell made summer sound pretty darn good! Love the pictures!! I want to go buy a sundress now.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Yes, go shopping! :)

Mrs4444 June 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

As a teacher, I am loving the extra time to get things done that I normally put off during the school year. My list was really long a week ago and is already much shorter–I’m much more productive at home in the summer.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Summer is so different as a teacher, isn’t it?

Adrienzgirl June 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Summer of annoyance is right Shell! Just wait til your three are my boys’ ages. I may go screaming for the hills. If you see some sad lady running with a bottle of vodka through the hills, it’s probably me. BDC will take care of the baby right?

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Now I’m frightened.

Runnermom-jen June 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Amen to all of the above!! We had ice cream for dinner last week, now that’s all the kids want every night.
P.S. I love Mike’s…in any flavor. :)

Shell June 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Mine, too! It happened once and now they want it all the time.

MommyLisa June 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Hubs LOVES the sweet tea vodka/lemonade. My SIL calls them a John Daley. 😉

Shell June 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Oh, I didn’t know it had a name! :)

Natalie June 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Me and the hose have become very good friends over the last few years! Between the kids picking fruit off the trees, berries off the vines, ice creams, juice, and dirt, they are FILTHY at the end of the day. The hose takes care of it all in a snap 😉

I’m a HUGE fan of the maxi dresses…you don’t even have to shave your legs to wear them – LOVE THAT!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Nat, I hadn’t thought of that. Must go find maxi dress. Now.

Ma what's for dinner June 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Firefly sweet tea vodka??? Shell’s been holding out on me! Have to try that! Oh god, is it terrible that in this awesome summer post that was the thing I singled in on??? First step is admitting you have a problem right?

shell June 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Oh, Alex, of course you pick that out. You always were my blog twin!

Far From Perfect MaMMa June 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm

So glad I found you thanks to Things I Can’t say! Summer… Colorado Summers are FAR different than my California Summers. Oh…how I miss those early mornings on the beach. *sigh*. It is only now that I really think about summer as my little Pule is just 15 months. Your seasons look very different have a child. We have already pulled out the pool for her. We adore Ice cream so this is a must-always-be-stocked item in the freezer. This summer I am looking most forward to sitting on my newly planted sod. Hoping this becomes my Pule’s favorite hang out. Will see. No AC here so being outside is a must. No ocean breeze here.

Shell June 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm

No AC? Oh, girl!!!!

Lourie June 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I love the beach. I love ice cream. I love crystal light. I love open windows at night(when it’s not 90) Summer for me does not have to be complex. Simple is good. If it’s too hot…crank up the AC and let the babysitter (tv) entertain! hahaha. I love Shell. She is awesome!

Shell June 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Love open windows at night- that kind of weather doesn’t last long here, though. It’s so HOT.

val June 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm

What an awesome post!!

The Flying Chalupa June 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I absolutely loved this post and now I really want a spiked lemonade. Note to self – must look into puddle jumpers. And also? Shell has the most adorable children ever.

Shell June 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

You do need the lemonade! And the puddle jumpers help so much.

It’s a good thing my kids are cute- or I would have sold them to the gypsies by now.

Kim June 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Stopping by to read Shell’s guest post. Awesome list. Thanks for introducing me to a new blog (just what I needed :P). I am off to look around this blog now. :)

Shell June 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Kim, you didn’t know Gigi? You’ll love her!

Stephanie @ The Blue Zoo June 15, 2011 at 2:40 am

I love all that stuff too!

Especially that Mikes Lemonade, so glad Shell told me about it!! But I have to be careful not to drink it too fast, I get tipsy quick,. lol

Shell June 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm

It is easy to drink quickly- though I call BS on the tipsy thing. I’ve seen you drink, Steph.

Renee June 15, 2011 at 9:34 am

I have to agree with all of these…well, except maybe the lemonade. I’m not a fan. BUT! The adult version of lemonade, I’d be willing to try thar.

Sending the kids out to catch fireflies (or lighten’ bugs as we call them in the mid-west) is also one of my favorite summer activities.

Shell June 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

It’s SO good! You’ll love it. Well, once you have that baby and can drink again. 😉

There are NO lighten’ bugs here! My husband didn’t know what I was talking about!

Sherri June 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I love sundresses and lemonade…spiked or not, depending on the time of day!

Sometimes time of day doesn’t matter…

And get those kids some Jesus as often as you can! Heck, it’s free!

Shell June 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Free Jesus. Yes, that is what my kids need!

Morgan B. June 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Summer dinners are my favorite! Thanks for the tip about the puddle jumpers. My three year old can’t swim and I hate taking her to the pool. It freaks me out.

Tina @ Life Without Pink June 16, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I love eating dinners outside…kids love playing in btw eating and I can relax not caring if food is dropped or that they are making a complete mess :)

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