My Top 5 Summer Essentials

I love reading top picks, wish lists and guide type posts but I actually hardly ever write one myself, so for a change I’ve decided to write one too.

Looking at the calendar summer might not be here for another few weeks but looking at the weather… it is definitely here, it has arrived and it is time to get ready.

I spent my morning today wondering around a couple of car boot sales and I have to admit I wasn’t prepared… I came back home all hot and sweaty with a burnt neck and in desperate need of a glass of water… as I said I wasn’t ready… Well, it is time to get ready as it looks like this lovely sunshine and high temperatures will stay with us for a while.

So here you go, my top 5 summer essentials:

My Top 5 Summer EssentialsA pair of comfy shoes

By now you most likely all know about my shoes addiction so it would be very weird to have any sort of list without shoes featured at the top of it… but to the point… summer + sun = adventure; adventure most likely equal walking, which means that a comfy pair of breathable shoes is a must. So what can be better than a suede leather pair of fab looking sandals like the ones from Merrell?

A pair of proper sunglasses

As lovely and pleasant as bright sun is, it is most definitely not ideal for our eyes. A pair of proper sunglasses is a must have! I say proper because I really do not mean ones that are just a fashion statement, which look cool and you buy them mostly for theirs look; I mean sunglasses which actually have some real UV filter and will protect your eyes.

A tube of a sun cream

I don’t know about you but I burn very quickly (I guess this is what you get when you are as white as they come). Even today, after just a few hours out and about this morning in the sun my neck is now totally burnt and it resembles a well-cooked lobster 🙁 Good sun cream with the correct level of UV filter is a necessity. It is much easier to put sun cream on now than try to “cure” sunburn later.

A lip balm

Ok, this one has nothing to do with vanity or looks, believe me. I am talking about clear lip balm to protect my lips from drying out. For me a strong sun is even more deadly to my lips than a harsh winter wind and low temperatures. So again a must have during the summer months and ideally with UV protection and at least SPF30.

A water bottle

I, like most people, hardly ever drink enough water. Mark always has to remind me to drink some, but as always to no effect. Then I discovered that if I use a water bottle and carry it with me I actually drink far more. It is extremely important to stay well hydrated both in the coldness of winter as well as during these summer months and inevitable high temperatures which will lead to dehydration. So due to this Health & Safety issue I will take a bottle of water as my 5th and final choice.

So, this is it… my top 5 summer essentials 😉

What’s on your summer must have list?

*Post contains PR samples

Oh, yeah… I almost died this morning

One of the beautiful things about blogging when you are finally established are the wonderful moments of synchronicity that can come to you, a few weeks ago I had just a moment, let me explain.

A while ago I was contacted by GlassesShop as to whether I would like some sunglasses to review… meh I thought, sunglasses are the sort of thing we find and misplace on a regular basis but at the end of the day they are something that we reach for in summer time almost without thinking kind of like wellington boots on a wet winter walk. As you can probably tell I was leaning towards a pass on this opportunity… until…

My Mark works in London on a 24/7 shift pattern and often his hours result in him having to go to London in the early hours of the morning and as such he ends up joining a gazillion other commuters on the motorway also trying to get to work and then invariably he ends up meeting the same people trying to get home in the evening. In a car it usually ends up being a very long slow and frustrating experience for him, so he bought himself another motorbike and bless him he is smiling again… until…

So one night as we sat there eating our dinner swopping stories about our day he regaled his adventures from the morning ride to work. The panic set in from his opening statement which he casually throw into the conversation as “oh, yeah… I almost died this morning...” He seemed oblivious to the effect that statements like this can have on someone who loves him, to him it was ok because he didn’t.

Evidently has he was whizzing along, promising me faithfully he wasn’t speeding, everything was wonderful, the day was beginning and it was mild and dry. The bike was singing to him and the warmth of the engine tickled his knees it was a perfect day for a bike ride… and then that “until” I keep mentioning happened… he went around a corner on one of the many country lanes that surround our little village and met the sun. Daybreak had arrived and the sun not hindered by any clouds shone with all its might straight into his helmet and blinded him momentarily. Momentarily is all that is required for him to be unable to see the way ahead and suddenly he is off the road and on the grass verge. Now due to self-declared “leet skillz” he saved himself from an early grave or at least a visit to A&E and regained contact with the tarmac. I just sat there with the fork half way to my mouth, which now seemed to refuse to shut much like my two big saucer shaped eyes as a told the story. No longer hungry, when he had finished his story I put my fork down, made my excuses and said “back in a minute I just need to check something on the blog… be right back…” The grunt let me know it was ok, the penny had dropped, the synchronicity was evident, and I needed them sunglasses!

So now I needed to pick a pair to review. As they are going onto a biker who wears a full face helmet there are several considerations to take into account. The lenses can’t be too big as they won’t fit into the helmet. The frame can’t be made from metal as they will get bent out of shape as he puts them on and takes them off. They need to be soft and bendy so anything with a hard plastic is also out. The frame also needs to be rubberised to aid general comfort levels as they will be squashed into the side of his head by the tight fitting helmet. The lens also can’t be too dark because although this would save him from the suns glare it would just mean he doesn’t see where he is going when he enters a tunnel, just as big a problem in my opinion. The lenses also need to be tough as a stone pebble travelling at 70mph in one direction hitting a lens travelling at 70 mph in the other direction results in a 140mph collision, I also don’t want him blinded, and it does happen look at how many windscreens have chips in them from this happening, a whole industry sprung up from this minor accident! Finally I had to consider the scratch resistance capabilities of the lens as they are in for some abuse being exposed to the elements at 70mph!

So I didn’t want much from my humble sunglasses as I looked through the offerings to pick a pair 😉

I finally picked a perfect pair of sunglasses – a Dolores in brown, they met my shopping criteria and I also thought Mark would love the funky edgy design. So email sent, order placed I sat back and waited as my life saving business deal came to fruition.

Dolores in brown by GlassesShop1. Dolores in brown by GlassesShop 2. Dolores in brown by GlassesShop 3. Dolores in brown by GlassesShop 4. Dolores in brown by GlassesShop 5. Dolores in brown by GlassesShop 6. Dolores in brown by GlassesShopWhen they arrived Mark loved them. He said they are just perfect for what he needed and that he can now once again whizz around the corner without that fear of being blinded by the sun.

Now, I sleep better at night.