Kate’s Summer Favorites + Giveaway!

CATEGORIES: Gift Guides

So summer is right around the corner–for some of us more than others (my kids are out this week!) Which means that for families, there’s more swimming, popsicles. sleeping in, later nights, grilling, fighting, declarations of “I’m soooooo boooooored!”, and kids asking every 15 minutes if they can have a snack. So while summer is magical and wonderful and it’s amazing to step away from the daily grind for a few months, sometimes you’ve gotta treat yo self. I’ve picked a handful of my favorite summer luxuries and not only am I sharing the things I love, but I’m giving away a box of all these things (plus a few little extra things I love!)

  1. Rodan + Fields Mineral Facial Sunscreen. Full disclosure: I’m not selling this. This isn’t an affiliate link, meaning if you buy it, I don’t get any kind of perk, money, product, anything. I just love it, which was never the plan because I am really not a fan of direct sales. That said, earlier this year, I had tried literally every type of product they make except for Accutane for acne (and I’m in my thirties…I don’t need adult acne in my life) and finally decided to give their Unblemish regimen a shot. It really helped, but I have very sensitive skin and I felt like washing it twice a day with Unblemish was a little too much for it, so I started using the Soothe regimen at night. Between the two of them, it’s slowly been solving my problems.

The Soothe regimen came with a mineral sunscreen, which I didn’t necessarily need because I already had sunscreen in the moisturizer I was using in the morning, but I really love using this during the day (and sunscreen for me is a must–fair skin + fair hair + a family history of skin cancer + a history of burning = no bueno). I hatehatehate just about every facial sunscreen because they feel oily and greasy and make me break out and they stink, but this is none of those things. It’s definitely spendy, but mineral sunscreens just are expensive and this doesn’t cost as much as others I’ve seen.

2. Contigo Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottles. Hi, I’m Kate (“Hi, Kate!”) and I’m a water bottle junkie. I have so many, but Contigo water bottles are consistently my favorite, both for my kids and for me (the self-sealing bottles are a deal breaker.) I love these bottles because a) they keep my drink cold all day, even in the heat, b) they’re a manageable size, c) they’re spill-proof, d) they have a little part that snaps over where you drink so if you toss it in a bag or take it on a hike, it keeps the mouth part covered, e) you can drink with one hand, so it’s perfect for the gym or when you have your hands full, and f) it doesn’t make your water taste like metal (which is usually my problem with stainless steel bottles.) This two-pack is a fantastic deal, way cheaper than buying them individually.

3. Raffaelo Almond Coconut Truffles. So a few weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a box of these and my life has been changed. I’d never had them before, and I’ve got them squirreled away in my cupboards and ration them out like there’s a shortage. The funny thing is that if I were to pick a treat, it probably wouldn’t be white chocolate or almonds or coconut, but the combination of them is a.maz.ing. You can probably find these cheaper in stores (although they can be kind of tricky to find–look with the premium chocolates like the Lindt Truffles)–check Walgreens and CVS (of all places). I’ve also seen them at Target, but at my Target, they’re only packaged in larger boxes with other truffles.

4. Dry shampoo is an essential during the hot summer months and finding the right dry shampoo can be kind of a challenge. I got a sample of Living Proof Dry Shampoo (trial size and full size) in my Ipsy box about a year ago and it quickly became my favorite. Most dry shampoos smell so strong and have kind of a baby powder smell to them, which I’m not super into. I also feel like a lot of times, they’re not doing a whole lot except making my hair smell kind of like a sweaty baby, which is nice on a baby but not so much for me. I love the herb-y smell of Living Proof and yeah, it is strong, but not as strong as others I’ve tried. I also feel like it actually makes my hair less gross. I bought a full-size can of it in November and just barely ran out, so a little goes a long way!

5. The Coco Shea line from Bath and Body Works this year is SO amazing! I’ve been loving Coco Shea Coconut Body Lotion (the cucumber is also fantastic) for my body. Sometimes coconut-scented products take on a weird smell after awhile, but these just smell amazing, start to finish, and aren’t too heavy or too light.

I’m super excited to give a box of my favorite summer treats away, so if you want a box of all these things, leave a comment telling me the thing you’re most looking forward to this summer! When you comment, make sure you use an email address you check frequently in the email address field (you don’t have to leave it in your comment). The giveaway ends Sunday, May 21st at 10:00 pm Central time and the winner will be announced in my post on Monday, May 22nd. 

Fine print: This giveaway is NOT sponsored, meaning we pay for the cost of the prizes. All opinions are our own. There are some (but not all) affiliate links in this post. Winner must have a US mailing address.

930 comments

  1. I am most looking forward to my oldest being home from college–it has felt strange having a family member missing during the school year!

    1. I’m most looking forward to time with my family, as my husband is a hs math teacher, summers are a precious time for us together. My kids are young and we are expecting our 4th early September, so just sweet time together at the beach and at home over good meals is what I am most excitied for!

  2. This is my first summer as a stay at home mom so I am most excited about being able to spend some quality time with my girls!

  3. Looking forward to taking my children to Europe to visit their cousins, who they miss dearly. Can’t wait to see my sister and catch up on missed time with family!

  4. We just moved into a new house in December, so I’m looking forward to seeing my new home through the spring and summer and being surprised by all the different plants and flowers that spring up. The previous owner was into her flowers, so I’ve already had the fun surprise of EIGHT (yes eight) different colors/varieties of lilacs! I didn’t even know they made that many.

  5. This past year was my first year as a working mom. I get the summer off and can’t wait to just focus on my kiddos and husband.

  6. I am looking most forward to summer for the warm weather. Something about the weather changes your mood entirely. I want you go to the beach for sure and just relax!!! Enjoy your summer everyone!

  7. I can’t wait for slower mornings!! Our family all loves dinner from the grill and mommy loves less kitchen mess. ; )

  8. Looking forward to spending time outdoors after work with my baby and family! Going to the park, taking a walk, playing with bubbles!

  9. Summer for me = fresh veggies & the farmer’s market. YUM. I guess I’m mostly always all about the food…..:)

  10. I am most looking forward to lazy mornings! Not having to herd everyone through the getting-ready process in the morning…can’t wait!

  11. Alllll the things, I LOVE summer! But most notably the break in kids’ activities and schedules AND a couple of fun trips!

  12. I’m really looking forward to hiking and biking and being outside in general. It’s been a long winter here in Utah.

  13. Looking forward to relaxing at the pool with my kiddos. We live in Utah and it’s snowing today!!! Summer can’t come soon enough!!

  14. I’m looking forward to fountain drinks. Been living out of the US and we are back and cold drinks are my very favorite thing.

  15. I’m most looking forward to a break from carpool craziness (“You’re doing it wrong!”) and not having to wake up my five week old to drop off/pick up kids.

  16. I am looking forward to no schedule with my kids, but that is probably what will drive me nuts by July.

  17. I’m looking forward to not worrying if I have lunch box friendly foods and letting my kids forage for food and fend for themselves in the kitchen this summer.

  18. I’m most looking forward to not having to make school lunches every day. Yes, I realize I will still have to feed them in the summer…but by the end of May, I’m so done packing lunch boxes.

  19. My husband is in medical school and this summer he takes his step 2 and begins 4th y at. He made sure to plan easssssyyyyy (relatively speaking, ha!) rotations for summer so we can FINALLY play. I can’t wait πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

  20. Getting outside and being active with the kids. Hiking, biking, swimming, etc… I intend to make the most of this summer!!

  21. I’m looking forward to my husband being home (he’s a school teacher) and doing some remodeling projects on our house!

  22. I’m looking forward to sleeping in until 6 to get to the gym, trips to our family cabin and a trip to the Oregon coast, reading a few good books and chillin’ with my kiddos.

  23. I’m looking forward to playing and reading with my kids. Also, not packing lunches for school every morning!

  24. My family and extended family are biking the Hiawatha trail in northern Idaho. I won’t be biking (had a baby last week) but am looking forward to the road trip from AZ to ID and all the stops planned on the way! My kids are so excited!

  25. I am feeling particularly jazzed about spending long afternoons at our local pond, letting the kids play and being with friends. Having zero schedule and coming and going as we please.

  26. I’m most looking forward to my husband coming home from Afghanistan for the last year and being back together again with my family! It’s been a hard year, but we are almost done! And being able to just sit around a little and not go go go with the craziness of the school year.

  27. I’m looking forward to having this baby! Number 5 for us and it’s so so much more exhausting than the first one.

  28. I’m most looking forward to a summer at the ball park. So excited my boys decided to play this year! I can’t wait!

  29. I’m looking forward to some SUN (It’s snowing out my window right now!) Also, my baby goes to kindergarten this year, so I will be relishing all the quiet and slow summer moments before life gets crazy-town again!!

  30. I am most looking forward to the slower pace of life! Getting to sleep in and not having to have people out the door at a specific time!

  31. Swimming! It gets a million degrees in Vegas so inside or in water is often the only option. πŸ™‚

  32. We have a weeklong camping trip planned in McCall and I can’t wait. Going to the mountains soothes my soul! I love taking long walks, gardening and seeing more of my kids in the summer.

  33. Is it too geeky to say I’m going to the American Library Association annual conference in June and I am stoked? Five nights away from “real life” and America’s Test Kitchen is going to be there!

  34. I am most looking forward to all the “lazy days” of summer! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Yeah right, no lazy days here………our daughter is getting married in July!

  35. I’m looking forward to introducing my baby to all the things I love! Swimming, biking, hiking, riding horses, and just being outside in the sun!

  36. Looking forward to a much more relaxed schedule and being with my kids more! And homemade ice cream and BBQ’s….etc. πŸ˜€

  37. I’m most looking forward to sending my kids to play in the backyard. We bought our first house in December and I have been waiting for SO long to get full use out of our yard. Also, birthday parties, BBQ’s, family reunions and camping!
    P.S. I literally swear by the Living Proof dry shampoo. Unfortunately it’s really expensive (for me, at least) and I have the thickest hair EVER and it doesn’t last me very long so I only buy it to “treat myself” on special occasions like my birthday.

  38. I’m looking forward to adding 2 babies to our family! One is being adopted and the other is due in 10 days!!

  39. I’m most looking forward to having a new baby and not being pregnant. Also, really excited about the no homework!

  40. Looking forward to sleeping in and not making lunches! So I guess you could say I’m lazy πŸ˜‚

  41. We live in a cold, blustery part of the country, but although they are short, we do have the most amazing summers. I just love being outside!

  42. I’m most looking forward to no schedule with my kids. Just playing when we want for however long we want!

  43. I have heard such good things about Rodan products but the direct sales thing has always made me not want to bother. I would love to try this sunscreen as a pale person myself!

  44. Fun giveaway! Looking forward to lazy summer mornings where do don’t have to rush out the door all ready for the day.

  45. I’m looking forward to the time spent with my children and grandchildren. We will be camping, picnicking, fairy and mustache parties, etc. I’m ready to make a summer of memories.

  46. I need everything summer! Picnics at the park, hikes in the mountains, camping with the family, 4th of July, no school, no lessons, no homework. Bring on summer. I am SO ready!

  47. Looking forward to fireflies at dusk, sun during the day, time with kids and a 20th wedding anniversary trip to Switzerland with just my husband!

  48. I’m looking forward to working less and spending time with my boys. And sleeping in. Oh how I love sleeping in.

  49. I’m looking forward to not stressing out about the my son’s online high school classes. It’s been the worst!!

    1. I’m look omg forward to my first summer alone with my husband of 33 plus years. We are now empty nesters except for occasional grandchildren over nights. I hope to try more creative cooking for my husband especially with your wonderful recipes!!

  50. I was going to say “no lunchbox packing” but then remembered my daughters are going to day camp. No weekly reading logs is the second best thing.

  51. My little girl just turned two, so I am looking forward to enjoying the pool and the great outdoors with her this summer. She will really be able to appreciate it more this year than last and I can’t wait to see what she loves and doesn’t.

  52. I’m most looking forward to the long warm days! (It snowed this morning where I live)
    Also, I have adult acne as well and spironolactone has been amazing for me with literally zero other side effects.

  53. I’m excited to go on a couple of getaway trips with my hubby this summer. Just the of us reconnecting-a much needed thing!

  54. Summer is the best! Looking forward to hiking & lots of swimming with the one son I have left at home. We are gonna party!

  55. I am most looking forward to the end of all this crazy friend drama with the end of the school year.

  56. I’m looking forward to my kids being out of school and not always being in a rush to be somewhere.

  57. Baby #7 arriving in June and having all my kids home to enjoy that all to short newborn stage with me.

  58. My daughter will be graduating from college in a few weeks and my son is getting married next month. Been looking forward to these two occasions for awhile.

  59. I’m most looking forward to a break from remembering all of the school stuff — concert dates, field trips, spirit week, forms, folders, etc.!

  60. I’m so excited to get out of the daily grind of the school year!! And, I’m over the moon that I NEVER have to go through 7th grade again (four times–once for me and three boys!)!!! πŸ˜ƒ

  61. I am hopefully looking forward to sun and time outside with my kids! I has been a long cold winter here and not much warm weather yet!

  62. This will be a new kind of summer for us as our oldest graduated from college and won’t be coming home for the summer. She will be living three hours away so we’re hoping for some fun weekends. Our youngest who is a freshman in college will be home though…yea! This empty nest thing takes some getting used to!

  63. I’m looking forward to lazy mornings where we can sleep in, and Lake days at Lake Tahoe!

  64. Looking forward to the warmth of the sun, evenings with that heavenly summer breeze and some time away with family!

  65. I’m SO looking forward to experience summer through my daughter’s eyes!! She’s finally old enough to start getting excited about and participate in things! I can’t wait to watch her see fireworks for the first time, go swimming, run through the sprinklers, eat shave ice, go camping, etc. Having kids makes everything fun, exciting, and new again!!

  66. Looking forward to no-stress mornings! No prying kids out of bed! No packing lunches! No hustling out the door to catch the bus!

  67. This summer I am looking forward to warmer weather, first off; the winter has been so long I’m also excited about laid back evenings just being able to hang out and enjoy time with family and friends. Perfection!

  68. Looking forward to warm weather, the pool, and family vacations. And not having to bundle up my 2 year old πŸ˜‰

  69. I can’t wait for days at the pool with my kids and girlfriends without the pressure of having to get home to finish up homework.

  70. I need all those things in my life! Especially the truffles! 😊
    The thing I’m looking forward to the most this summer is our family vacation to the beach! A whole week away with nothing but sand and sun! β˜€οΈ

  71. I’m looking forward to getting all moved in to our new house and the 4th of July. I love fireworks and all the festivities.

  72. I am most looking forward to, so many things! Especially sitting in my backyard, enjoying some shaved ice (half tigers blood, half mango with heavy cream drizzled on topπŸ˜‰) with my kids and watching them play.

  73. I’m most looking forward to happy hour! We make a batch of frappes and a batch of koolaid and all our friends and their kids come hang out by the kiddie pool. We do it during witching hour so that when it’s over, everyone goes home to the help of their spouse!

  74. Looking forward to swim days at the community pool, shaved ice, late nights playing night games, sleepovers on the tramp and having my best babysitters home!

  75. I’m looking forward to family day trips! We have a couple of longer vacations planned, but I love taking little mini trips with my family to fun random places. We just moved to Colorado, so we are excited to explore!

  76. I’m looking forward to eating fresh vegetables from my garden, relaxing days with time to read, and time spent at the lake.

  77. This summer I am looking forward to not packing school lunches and not doing homework! We love riding bikes together and working outside in the garden growing things. Happy Summer everyone!!

  78. Looking forward to softball, baseball, my parents visiting and not having to wake my kids every morning at a God-awful hour for school!!!

  79. I’m looking forward to my oldest getting a job, having reading marathon days, and hanging out in the hammock.

  80. I’m excited for my daughter and grandkids to come for a visit from Japan, where they have been living for the past year!!!

  81. NO homework, my kiddos’ birthdays (daughter turns 13! and son turning 9), half-day off on Fridays, sun/warmth, pool, etc. I love summer!!

  82. Late nights and sleeping in! Actually I’ll probably do neither since I’m currently pregnant, but I love the idea of that and lazy summer days.

  83. I am looking forward to swimming a lot! It’s so hot in AZ that really we don’t do much else, but we love swimming!!

  84. I am most looking forward to early morning lessons for my kids. I know that sounds odd but I despise having afternoon or evening appointments. My brain feels like it’s on hold all day waiting for the commitment to be concluded and then after they ar checked off it can return to normal functioning levels. Commitments completed first thing in the morning means I’ve done the “musts” and the rest of the day is FRRRRRRREEEEE!

  85. I’m most excited about not having to wake up super early to get the kids to school! Also, since my oldest can read now I’m going to make it a point to take her to the library every week. Excited to share my favorite pastime with her!

  86. We homeschool, so I’m looking forward to a break from planning lessons. I can’t wait for more spontaneous trips and relaxing days spent outdoors just reading, playing, and exploring with my kiddos, as well!

  87. No schedules!!! And, having my kids home…at least until they start fighting and bickering and well…

  88. I am looking forward to our new house being completed! We have been living in a 1000 square foot house with ONLY ONE BATHROOM for the last 21 years! So yes, I am looking forward to 3 toilets, a GARAGE, a pantry, and just overall room to roam!

  89. I’m looking forward to BBQs, swimming, and experiencing all things summer with my twins who are turning 1 June 26th!

  90. My family and I are taking our first road trip alllllllllll the way to Connecticut to visit family and spend a week on the beach.

  91. I love the heat of the summer. I love the time with my kiddos. I love the sun! I am a sun junkie–but don’t forget the sunscreen

  92. My parents have been out of the country for 3 years and they’re coming home this summer! I can’t wait to see them and to have my whole family in town.

  93. I’m really looking forward to spending some time visiting my parents in my hometown. It’s always peaceful, enjoyable and nostalgic. My summer wouldn’t be complete without it!

  94. I reallyreallyreally hate direct sales, too. But gosh dangit, R+F almost has me convinced I need it in my life. It’s like I’m holding out on principle!

  95. Okay, I live outside of Portland, Oregon, so I realize that predisposes me to rain but this year has been SO BAD and unseasonably cold and I don’t want 90 degree weather but what I’m most looking forward to is the perfect summer stretch of 80-85 degrees when nights don’t go below 70 and all is right in my world (and my power bill). = )

  96. So looking forward to bbq’s and reading some good books! Anticipate spending quality time with my kids as they are growing much too quickly for me to comprehend that someday soon they will be moving away to college.

  97. So looking forward to not packing lunches in the morning for my kids! And just excited freedom from schedules. Summer is the best!!

  98. I’m looking forward to not having to get up super early and letting the kids play as late as they want at night. They think it’s so unfair to have to go to bed when it’s still light outside.

  99. I am looking forward to not waking my kids up at 7am and having a *little* more of a relaxed morning. However, now that they don’t HAVE to get up at 7am, they will most likely get up at that time on their own. You know, like they do on Saturdays and Sundays right now…even though I am DRAGGING them out at that same time Mon-Fri :/

  100. I’m most looking forward the more relaxed schedule! If I don’t get dinner done until 7:30, no big deal😊

  101. I’m looking forward to time by my pool and under my patio cover relaxing and enjoying life.

  102. I’m looking forward to everything non-school related. No getting ready, no signing paperwork, not paying for school lunches, not this after school activity or that.

  103. I’m most looking forward to lots of family time since my husband is a teacher and has the summer off!!!

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