Top 5 Summer Must Haves

The first technical day of summer, according to the calendar, is still over a month away, but that means nothing when you live in Florida. It’s basically here already, minus a few degrees. Summer is my favorite time of the year because it always brings back so many good memories, I always feel like I’m in the best moods when it’s Summer, and it’s what I’ve always been most comfortable with. Although I could go on and on and on about items that are essential to have in preparation for Summer, I’ve rounded up my top five to share with you today.
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I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Summer is a good tan. Growing up just a few miles away from white sandy beaches and emerald waters created a huge tan obsession. I was at the beach soaking up the sun every minute that I could. Now that I’m older, I just don’t have that kind of time any more and unfortunately don’t tan as quickly as I used to either. Last year was my first year ever trying out self tanner and it is a total game changer. The St. Moriz Dark Self Tanning Mousse is my favorite and guaranteed to have you looking like you just got back from vacation.
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Nothing goes better with a fresh tan than beautiful white teeth. I’m a total hygiene freak and oral care is definitely included in that. For the past few months, I’ve been using the Smile Brilliant Whitening Trays and I’m really impressed with the results it’s given me. They sent me everything I needed to get started, which included directions, 3 base pastes, 3 catalyst pastes, 4 whitening gels, and 4 desensitizing gels.
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Getting started was super easy, I just mixed together one of the base pastes and one of the catalyst pastes until it was all combined. This part was pretty fun actually because I felt like a kid playing with putty. I put it into the trays they sent to create impressions of my teeth. I was such a baby about it at first because getting impressions before and after my braces was the worst experience for me, but this was a lot different of a consistency and gave me no trouble at all. I mailed them back in the envelope they sent and waited for my custom trays.
It didn’t take long for me to get the trays back and then I started whitening. My biggest concern was that the gel would get on my gums and cause some serious sensitivity, which I’ve had in the past, so I was extremely careful to apply a thin ribbon of gel along the front of the trays. After using the entire system, I’m happy to report that I did not experience one day of sensitivity from this whitening gel.
My teeth were somewhat white to begin with, so I only used this system every other day. I left the whitening gel in for one hour and the desensitizing gel in for 15 minutes. I have used other whitening systems in the past, but still had areas close to my gums that I wanted to be whiter and that’s where I’ve really seen the biggest difference with this.

The only negative thing I have to say is that it’s not the best tasting thing in the world. But other than that, the trays were very comfortable, my teeth are noticeably whiter, and I am beyond happy that I had zero sensitivity.
Dresses are one of my go-to outfits, especially during the Summer. I love that I can just throw on one piece of clothing and run out the door without having to worry about styling anything together. They can be dressed up or you can take a super casual approach while still looking pretty and feminine. I typically pair these with sandals or wedges, but I’m also no stranger to the sundress-Converse look either.
Hats are one of my new biggest obsessions. I used to always be one of those people that wouldn’t wear sunglasses and a hat because I didn’t see the point. But I totally get it now! I realized I still squint my eyes from the sun that comes in through my sunglasses and hats are the perfect solution. Baseball caps are my favorite (with the velcro in the back for my hair, of course), but I also love a bigger beach hat when relaxing poolside.
Whether you’re taking the self tan approach or trying to get some natural sun, you always need to protect your skin. That has been engraved in my brain since I was a child and over the years, I’ve learned what’s most comfortable and really works. The No-Ad brand is my absolute favorite and what I always recommend. It doesn’t have a strong smell, it absorbs really quickly, and it allows your skin to pick up a pretty color while still providing some protection. The Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun Lotion feels amazing and smells even better. It is a little pricey for what you get, but it is way worth it.
Once it starts getting a little warmer outside, I make sure I have all of these items ready to go. Whitening my teeth in the Spring has my smile ready and once or twice a week upkeep is easy. Self tan only takes a few hours once every two weeks. And who couldn’t use a shopping trip for a new sundress??

I hope you found this helpful whether you’re already getting hot weather too or if you’re about to go on vacation yourself. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them for me below. Also, let me know what items are on your Summer must have list!

~Mani Monday~
I have engagement photos coming up this weekend!! As mentioned on Instagram a few times, I’m going for the more natural look. For something soft and feminine that will be just barely noticeable, I chose Sally Hansen’s Shell We Dance. This is one of their Complete Salon Manicure polishes and although that formula isn’t my favorite, I’m obsessed with the brush. I think every nail polish company should have the thicker brush. It makes it so much easier! I did need a full two coats with this, but you could also just do one if you want it to look even more natural.
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What’s on your nails this week?


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