We just returned from a few days away on vacation. It was so, so good.
A group of us camped and boated in eastern Washington at a lake called Banks Lake.
I mean, how pretty is that?!
One thing I love about Washington is that you just drive a few hours east across the Cascade Mountains and you get to a totally different climate from our mild Seattle weather. In Eastern Washington, the temperatures in the summer are always high, the air is dry and the lakes are warm. We don’t like to leave the state during the summer because it truly is the best time to live in the Pacific Northwest so we take advantage of staying close to home to get the best of the west side and a few weeks of the east side, too.
On our 4 hour drive over the mountains, Ryan and I passed the time by asking conversation starter questions. One of them was: What is your happy place?
You know what I really, really love? Being on a boat. That is my happy place. Or at least one of them :)
That’s not me skiing – it’s my friend Erica. She’s kinda awesome. And look at that water!
I’m not much of a skiier or wakeboarder, but I do love inner-tubbing and I’m quite good at sitting on the boat and cheering everyone on. One of my favorite things about this mini vacation (besides the boat and warm water and friends) was that there was very limited cell reception and practically no internet connection. It meant I just ignored my phone for 5 days and fully enjoyed the moment. It also meant I rarely had my phone with me which meant very few photos were taken. But, hey, we were present, engaged, relaxed and having fun with our kids and friends. And that is just what a vacation should be.
While away, I was thinking there were a few things I brought with us that were extra wonderful. And, of course, I have to share!
First up, mascara.
I have long lashes, but they are super light and I look about 12 years old if my eyes are completely makeup-free. When we’re out on the boat or swimming, it’s tricky to find a mascara that doesn’t rub off and leave black streaks down your face. For several years, I wore lash extensions and that solved the water+mascara problem. But it’s been a few years since I’ve had those lashes (and I sort of miss them) so thankfully I’ve found a mascara that totally works in the water.
It’s this L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Mascara. You first brush on this white formula, let it dry and then coat with black. The white acts like tubes that make your lashes look extra long and the mascara stays on until you soak your lashes with warm water. I swam all day and the mascara stayed put. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Second, this cup.
Ryan thought I was crazy to spend $29.99 on an insulated cup, but I used it all day everyday and think it is the greatest thing. I chose the olive green color because I’m super in to all shades of green right now and I love that ice stayed cold all day even out in the hot sun.
Third, let’s talk about this spray bronzing sunscreen.
To be fair, I didn’t actually bring this with me but a friend had it in her beach bag and let me try it and I liked how it smelled, how it looked and how it protected. So if you are pale-skinned like me, this is a nice way to add a little bit of color while still offering sun protection.
Next up, this life-saving lotion.
Okay, I know this one is totally boring, but it is essential for my kids’ skin during the summer. My two youngest, especially, have very sensitive skin that dries out quickly and they both have pretty bad flair ups of eczema and we’ve never been able to get to the bottom of what causes it. We have tried a million different lotions, soaps, baths, vitamins and the one thing that seems to work for both of them is this ointment. It doesn’t sting and they don’t cry when I put it on them (which is a big win). I like this version with the sponge applicator so you don’t have to get your hands all greasy. It’s messy, but it works for cracked, dry, irritated skin and I’m glad I remembered to throw it in at the last minute because it was well used every night on vacation!
Last one: these flip flops.
I basically live in these slim flip flops by Haviana all summer long. They are comfortable, easy to throw on and indestructible. I packed three pairs of sandals for this trip and only wore these :)
Hooray for vacations and hooray for little things like flip flops and sunscreen and a really great cup that make us happy.
Have you found any products lately you’re excited about? Please share!