Summer has always been my breath of fresh air season. It’s the time of year I feel the most energized. I shower less, I’m outside more than I’m inside and it just feels like you get a lot more bang for your buck in a day. This year, summer looks a little differently. I didn’t get my garden planted because my first trimester fatigue was more real than I imagined it could be. I’ve only been on my road bike once… it did not end well for this preggo. And when you have your own dearly loved, personal space heater inside your belly, summer heat feels more intense than usual. Meaning, this outside-loving girl is inside during the hottest parts of the day.
So I’m on a mission to discover a new kind of summer season. One that still involves breathing from the deepest part of my lungs and soaking in every last ounce of joy from the small things.
Before I start my list, I want to throw in a quick side note. I know, almost every post I write tends to have a side note or disclaimer. This is the highly empathetic and analytical side of me that tends to live way below the surface… bare with me. The things on this list are just things. Yes, they echo creative design, comfort and the tangible goodness that comes from walking this earth in human form. But they will never be more than an echo – a tiny representation of the true and better environment we were created for, heaven.
Side, side note – this is not a sponsored post. Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s do this thing. Here are My Top 10 Summer 2017 Obsessions:
No. 1 | BOBBI BROWN BEACH PERFUME
Imagine mixing a drop of Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, crisp saltwater, ocean breeze, and a light floral scent in a jar. This perfume IS summer. It’s light enough to wear everyday and long lasting enough to cover up that summer musk of sweat and sunbaked skin. A little trick my friend taught me… Sephora is very generous with samples. Go in and tell them you’d like to try out a few fragrances. They will usually give you up to three samples of any perfumes you want! Or if you’re ready to buy it, you can find it at Sephora online here.
No. 2 | MORNING PORCH SESSIONS
What this really equates to is a specific spot in my house I go every day to chill out and talk to God. My porch is nice and cool in the morning and sitting in the fresh air does such good things for my attitude. Even aside from pregnancy hormones, I am a deeply emotional person. Having a physical space to go and process and soak in truth is essential.
No. 3 | GO TO SUMMER STYLE
I could go all summer with basically three outfits: a dress, shorts and a tee, and a swimsuit. What else could you need, right?? I am so obsessed with this shirt and these shoes this summer. They’re incredibly comfortable and both happen to be on sale online at Target right now. I’m partial to the white and orange shirt and the black pair of sandals.
No. 4 | LADY ANTEBELLUM’S NEW ALBUM
I’ll be honest. I tried to find a cooler album to be into. An obscure, indie record that you could never discover on your own that would impress you and make you connect with the artful, moody part of your soul. But this album is just SO. GOOD. It’s that new style of pop country that makes my husband roll his eyes and makes me feel happy and oddly patriotic all at the same time. Just roll the windows down, turn up the volume and tell me if their songs don’t make you feel all kinds of good summer vibes! They’ve even made it easy on you, stream the album for free on Spotify.
No. 5 | FIG & OLIVE KITCHEN SPRAY
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Yes. I am drawn to anything with “fig” in the name. And this kitchen spray was no exception. This is the best kitchen spray I’ve ever smelled in my life and I think it might be the only thing in Anthropologie I can afford. I got the Fig & Olive scent, but they all smell wonderful.
No. 6 | YETI TUMBLER
Hands down the best summer cup I’ve ever owned. I went through a serious Tervis phase, but the Yeti is wayyyy better. It doesn’t condensate and will keep ice for up to SIX HOURS, even in the full sun! It’s perfect for the pool or beach.
No. 7 | PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER
This is not a uniquely summer obsession, but it’s part of my daily summer routine. I bought this planner back in January after a recommendation from a friend and it has truly improved my work flow. It’s perfect for someone who’s brain works in lists and prioritizing. You could even follow their method in a regular journal. Check it out.
No. 8 | PODCASTS
I started listening to podcasts about two years ago when I began working from home. It’s a highly dependable, free coping mechanism for this extrovert who spends most of the day working alone in my home office. The key to really loving podcasts is finding the right one. I usually give a new podcast about five to ten minutes. If I’m not enjoying it by then, I don’t waste my time. No need in adding anything to your life that doesn’t actually add something. Here are some of my favorites that are all very different: Jonathan David & Melissa Helser. Off Camera with Sam Jones. How I Built This. Reply All. Car Talk.
No. 9 | THE MAGNOLIA JOURNAL
Chip and Joanna. I resisted for a while, but I’m a total sucker for the empire of goodness they’ve created – The Magnolia Journal is no different. I haven’t enjoyed reading a magazine this much since I first discovered Real Simple. There are recipes and tips for making life easier, creative seasonal ideas and beautiful photography to sink your eyes into. I purchased one to see if I would like it, and I’m now very tempted to get the subscription.
No. 10 | THESE COSMETICS FROM TARGET
The cosmetics department at Target is killing it this year. I know these technically count as three different things, but they’re so good I couldn’t choose just one. I’m obsessed with the Kristin Ess hair care line. Especially the dry shampoo, beach wave spray, and conditioner. No one likes putting sunscreen on your face every morning, so I always try and use a moisturizer with SPF in the summer. This one from Botanics is my favorite. My sis bought this lip balm and decided she needed a shade lighter, so she gave it to me. I’ve been hooked on it ever since. It smells wonderful and has a subtle tint to it.
Just the exercise of compiling this list brought some joy to my day. It’s amazing what happens when we take a moment to appreciate what we already have that brings us a little joy. Now it’s time to go and make your own obsessions list. It can be one thing or twenty. Just write down what you’re loving in this season. And if you’re up for it, share it with me!
You can find me on Instagram @flowerandfig or via email email@example.com
xo – Bethany
I’ve been mulling this post over and over in my mind for weeks now. Can I be honest with you right off the bat? I’m terrified to let my work self and my mom self collide. I’m terrified to offend you or discourage you, that you might think differently of my work, or judge me as a soon-to-be mother. The role of mom vs/and the role of career is one of the most tender topics women face.
About a year ago, God began nudging me about my relationships with the mothers in my life. I am the oldest child, born fiercely independent with a natural mothering instinct (read bossy, protective, and at times overly nurturing). During my growing up years, I always wound the “mom” of my peer group, with little siblings, neighbors, or friends marching behind me.