Tarah’s Favorite Things – July 2017 – Summer Must Haves

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Summer is finally here!

I love summertime! The heat and humidity around here can be a bit much some days, but I’d take it over a biting cold winter any day. I especially love summer now that I have kids because there are so many outside activities to keep us busy and get us all out of the house. I can start to feel a bit cooped up in the winter when we are stuck in the house all day. Anyway, I am sharing a few of my summer must have items with you today AND a recipe for healthy homemade popsicles. Yum! Okay, here we go…

 

Beachfront Baby Carrier Wrap

I originally bought this to bring on our trip to the beach back in April, and I am so glad I did! I really wanted to take Norrin in the ocean, and it is so much easier to be hands-free while doing so by wearing this Beachfront Baby Wrap (they also make a ring sling version). I was able to take him out in the waves and let him kick his feet in the water and he really loved it. Since we’ve been home, I’ve used it at some of the local splash parks so I can chase Avery around and still keep Norrin with me. I’ve also worn it at the local pool so I can take them both swimming without having to constantly stop Norrin from trying to crawl to the deep end (which he does ALL THE TIME). It comes in a bunch of cute colors, too!

Tarah's Summer Must Haves - Beachfront Baby Carrier
My beach baby!

Our Backyard Garden

I am such an amateur gardener. I honestly have no idea what I am doing, but usually it all works out. Before we had kids, we did start our veggies from seeds one year, but now we just go to the store and buy seedlings and plant them in early May. We try to stick with things that we use a lot of in our cooking, like herbs, peppers, greens, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. This year, we also tried watermelon and cantaloupe and they are doing so well. It is crazy to watch them grow from tiny plants and actually watch the fruit grow every day. I love for Avery (and soon, Norrin) to have this experience, as well, of seeing the plants grow and learning about where our food comes from. Do you have a backyard garden? What are your favorite veggies to grow?

Tarah's Favorite Things - Summer Must Haves
A recent harvest from the garden

LOLL Beach Towel

Oh my gosh, I am obsessed with this thing! I know it is called a beach towel, but it is so much more, and I am so grateful to Lara, the creator, for sending me one to try out. Developed in Australia, the LOLL is a hooded beach towel that you can wear, lie on, or even get changed under (there isn’t always a lot of privacy on the beach). It even has a waterproof pocket to hold your phone and keys. It’s super comfy and comes in a lot of fun prints. I am a sucker for stripes and beachy colors, so I went with the Green Ocean Waves print. I can wear it over my suit when we go to the pool or splash park, so I am basically already wearing my towel and it’s one less thing I have to cram into my already jam-packed beach bag. 🙂 Love it!

Tarah's Favorite Things - Summer Must Haves

Homemade Popsicles

Avery is a popsicle-aholic (is that a thing?). Most of the store-bought brands have a lot of added sugars, which I am totally fine with on occasion. Once summer hits, though, he is asking for them pretty much every single day, so I like to have a healthier option on hand. I’ve been making him popsicles since he was little and I love to play around with different variations. This Strawberry Lemonade  version is a family favorite. It has just a touch of added sweetness from the honey, but is mostly made with fruit and lemonade. We have these really fun monster popsicle molds and love them (similar ones can be found on Amazon). They don’t really look like monsters once you pop out the popsicles, but they are still really cute and they make big popsicles. They aren’t reusable, but we’ve also tried these Ice Pop Bags, which I like for when he is playing outside and wants a snack because they keep the mess somewhat contained. You can get the Cherry Lemonade Popsicle recipe (along with a bunch of others) in my Real Food for Real Families eBook, which is FREE when you sign up for my email list, but I am gonna share it with you here today, too, because you just have to try them. Enjoy! 🙂

Cherry Lemonade Ice Pops

Do you have any summer must have items or activities (especially for kids) that I need to know about? Let me know in the comments!

 

Cherry Lemonade Popsicles

10 hours, 10 minutes

4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: About 8 popsicles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 1 cup unsweetened (or fresh-squeezed) lemonade
  • 1 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until pureed.
  2. Divide mixture evenly between popsicle molds and freeze.
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