The Summer Essentials

The summer time is officially here! I started my summer pretty early (um, May anyone?) but now it's really time to kick it in gear with summer fun.  To celebrate one of my favorite days of the year, I've put together a list of summer essentials that you just can't live without.

summer escape
1. Sweet and simple sundress and accessories: summer style is my favorite. Light, airy, a bit of sparkle, I feel like I'm glowing no matter what I have on. Though most summer days I'm wearing a pair of jean shorts and a breezy top, I couldn't resist this dress. It has everything I could want in a summer outfit: bright colors, flowy fabric and a bow. Summer style is also easy: throw on a dress and an interesting sandal, a pair of earrings maybe, and you're out the door. I always fall back in love with my closet when summer rolls around.
Stack of books
2. A stack of summer reads: nothing says summer to me like a new book. It's probably because I devour book while sitting at the beach every weekend of the summer. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to live in New Jersey this time of year. I started compiling a list of books I want to check out this summer on my Pinterest and have been having fun checking out other bloggers' lists. I just finished Paris My Sweet and The Magic Room. Have any recommendations?
drink drink drink
3. Sweet drinks to keep you cool: temperatures are definitely on the rise (it's supposed to be in the 90s here today!) and I have only found two ways to stay sane in this heat: head to the beach or drink something cool. Of course you should drink plenty of water in the hot summer months but after hours try a delicious cocktail. I've found plenty of inspiration through Pinterest, naturally. I'm hoping that I'll have a hot summer night to whip up a strawberry riesling slushie or try a beer cocktail for my 25 things before 26 list.
simple guacamole
4. Fresh, delicious eats: you should settle for nothing less than farm fresh in the summer season. I live in the Garden State and take every opportunity to get in season fruits and vegetables like corn, green beans, blueberries, and peaches. Head out to farmer's markets or look for what's fresh at the supermarket. I've been eating lots of salads lately with creamy avocados, black beans, and cilantro. As for cooking, get outside! Fire up the grill if you have one. There's just something so delicious about food from the grill.
navy one one piece
5. Cute swim wear: some days it is simply too hot and all you can think about is a dip in cool waters. That's basically my mindset the entire summer and I start thinking about trips to the beach at the beginning of April. That makes cute swim wear one of most important summer essentials. I'm loving the new retro high-waisted styles coming out and designers have definitely started to produce much cuter one pieces. If you're not feeling great about your body, read up on Amy's self-love summer because summer is not a time to wear lots of layers. Whether you're going to the beach or the lake or lounging poolside, get yourself a cute summer swimsuit!
Vintage photo in Long Bien bridge in Vietnam - via chictopia #Spring
6. A big floppy hat: as I get older, I'm trying to be better at taking care of my skin. I always remember to put on sunscreen but I've also been trying to remember to wear a hat to protect my head and face. There is no shortage of cute floppy hats so there's no excuse not to protect yourself from wrinkles and sun damage!
Handcrafted Wooden Faced Sunglasses Cateye Womens Style // Patchwork // no. 14017. Cool shades: just like a hat protects your face, sunglasses protect your eyes. Plus they make you look cool, duh. I have at least two pairs of sunglasses on me always but you don't have to be quite so fanatical. Find a pair that works for you and has UV protection and you're ready to go.
8. Friends, new and old: summer is the perfect time to connect with people with everyone out and about enjoying the nice weather. Grab your friends for a summer bbq, picnic, or a lazy day by the pool. Meet new people at a music festival or the outdoor patio of your neighborhood bar. Summer is all about friends and fun. Making the most of it all is essential.