What Feels Like Summer to You?

Via: quotespictures.com

Via: quotespictures.com

What have you been up to this summer? Have you gone to the beach? Visited a farmer’s market? Gotten through any summer reads? Met new friends? Spent time with old ones? Gone camping? Tried out new recipes on the grill? Attended a baseball game?

To me, it’s not summer until I’ve spent a solid chunk of days outside–whether that’s by the pool, hiking a trail, eating Sunday brunch on the patio or taking an evening stroll. Beaming sun, a green landscape, piercing blue skies and the thick sound of crickets at night are all inextricably linked to the season, and it wouldn’t be summer for me if I didn’t get a chance to spend all my weekends in the great outdoors.

So, let us know: What feels like summer to you? Are you ready for fresh fall weather or loving the heat?

Protect Your Skin The Stylish Way: Cute Summer Hats!

We all know the importance of a good sunscreen during summer, but what if you want something more? Even the best sunscreens wear off after time and exposure to water and sweat. So why not invest in a cute, stylish hat this summer?

Not only do hats provide a physical barrier, shielding your face and shoulders from harmful rays, they also make a perfect addition to long dresses, casual outfits and swimwear alike. Check out some of our picks for perfect summer headwear.

LiViTY “High Grade Fedora”:  Handmade with sustainable ingredients, this hat is not only functional for a day at the beach, it’s unique and adorable. Bonus: It’s on sale for only $42!

Athleta Poipu Straw Hat: A cute, basic hat with an adjustable wire so you can bend the brim to whatever shape you want! At $29.99, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Justine Hats Wide Brimmed Straw Hat:  Unique, beautiful and classic, this handmade hat is sure to turn heads. While it’s a little pricey at $155, because it’s specially crafted by store owner Justine, you can be sure that you’ll be the only one at the pool with a hat this handsome.

Do you sport hats during the summer? Would you consider wearing any of these? Let us know in the comments!

Have You Completed Your Summer Bucket List?

While the weather may suggest otherwise, the dog days of summer have come and gone, and many kids have retired their swimsuits for back-to-school clothing. With less than a month until the season officially ends, let’s reflect on everything summer of 2012 had to offer: sweltering heat broke records, the presidential campaigns began to dominate the news, and the Summer Olympics captivated our imaginations.

I know I haven’t made it to the pool as many times as I’d like or read as many page-turners as I’d intended, but all in all, the past few months have been filled with enough warm nights around friends, weekend getaways and family cookouts for the summer to be a success in my book. What about everyone else?

Until September 21st, when fall officially begins, are there any last activities you’d like to fit in? Check out the below summer bucket list for inspiration. Happy (almost) September, everyone!

2012 Summer Bucket List (Raleigh-Durham Edition! Explore comparable activities in your area):

Have you…

  • Judged a book by its cover, checked it out from the library – and ended up loving it?
  • Swam the length of the pool in one breath?
  • Tried grilling fruit?
  • Toured a local brewery? Big Boss Brewery recommended!
  • Visited a lake and gone fishing?
  • Caught up with a childhood friend and reminisced about summers past?
  • Built something from scratch (a set of shelves, cupcakes, a website, or whatever else!)?
  • Learned a completely useless fact?
  • Checked out the delicious food from a food truck?
  • Created your own DIY Salt Scrub – and gifted it to friends?
  • Visited a cool museum? NC Museum of Natural Sciences is free!
  • Roadtripped to a new location, however mundane?
  • Enjoyed live music & beautiful weather at a fun outdoor venue?
  • Watched an old movie? Charade is my absolute favorite!
  • Spent an entire day just wasting time?

How To: Beat the Heat Naturally

Depending on where you live, the temperatures lately have ranged from swelteringly hot to downright scorching. Here in Raleigh, the weekend highs soared over the hundred-degree mark, leaving me to soak in the (bath-like) waters of the pool, stopping to occasionally dab the sweat off my brow.

In conditions like this, it seems more or less a fruitless pursuit to apply makeup since it slides off your face with the swiftness of raindrops down your car windshield. You may be tempted to wash your face frequently to rid yourself of excess oil; however, over-washing can actually exacerbate the problem by drying out skin and creating a vicious cycle of oily skin/over-washing/dried-out skin/over-production of oil/oily skin. Is it possible to tame your face in extreme heat and humidity?

Luckily, nature has provided us with ingredients to combat oil gently and effectively without drying and irritating your complexion. Look for the following components in your soap and moisturizer for the summer months ahead:

  • Palm Oil: More than just an everyday vegetable oil, palm oil is rich in the antioxidants vitamin A and E. With natural antibacterial qualities, this oil is able to keep skin lightly moisturized and safe from free radicals that may cause acne.
  • Babassu Oil: Pressed from kernels of a tree in Brazil, this unique oil is soothing, protective and moisturizing. Gentle on skin, it is great for both dry and oily skin since it hydrates without leaving a greasy residue. After application, skin is left with a smooth finish that offers some protection from climate and pollution.
  • Hazelnut Oil: Extremely high in vitamin E, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, hazelnut oil works as an astringent to regulate oil levels on skin. Gently tightening pores, this oil is great for humid weather since it keeps skin moisturized without the oily feel.
  • Sunflower Oil: This oil contains beta-carotene, which is reputed to make skin less sensitive to the sun. It can help neutralize free radicals that penetrate skin leading to sunburn and other types of sun damage. Paired with a healthy dose of sunscreen, sunflower oil can help keep your skin moisturized and protected.
Image

Check out our Indian Summer collection, which is designed specifically to gently combat oil and is perfect for hot, humid weather.