happy 4th + beach essentials

Ahhhh, July.  The magical month of summer.  This is not only my birthday month, but my first real break all year from carpooling, track practices, meets, rehearsals, workshops, intensives, and performances.  It feels so good to sleep past 6:00am and not be flooded with texts all day on who/when/where to meet in a rush.

I feel like I should put on this fabulous hat  for the next 27 days, sit back, and completely r-e-l-a-x.  But, oh, I still have a gaggle of kids.  Actually they’re pretty mellow and enjoying their nice break too.   Our house is very chill right now.  Much needed.

do not disturb

This time of year in our town there’s always an outdoor movie, concert, beautiful sunset (check my IG for that), beach activity, or fun outdoor event to spontaneously join.  So I try to have essentials packed up and ready in the car.  Here are a few of my must-haves for our summer days and nights.  Not sponsored, just a 411 on few of my faves.

inspiration cottage style picks

1. Sunscreen – since I don’t wear foundation this time of year (because it literally melts off of my face), my current fave is Olay Total Effects, which feels super soft on my skin.  It can be found anywhere – pretty sure I grabbed mine at Walmart.

Olay Total Effects

2.  For lips, my new favorite is shockingly simple and cheap.  It’s Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Caramel.  Let me tell you this color is so beautiful and natural and stays on forever…I don’t know how?!?  I mean, it stays on better than $50 Chanel lipstick.   To me Caramel has the perfect dash of shimmer and color to compliment sun-kissed cheeks.  I don’t like heavy color on my lips this time of year…it looks too harsh.  I like more of that “summer glow” look for the face.  I can pop some on before a long ballet class and it’s still on after I’ve sweat and danced for two hours.  Again, how??  It’s also the only lip color I can wear that doesn’t make my lips peel (another post entirely).

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 11.00.44 PM

3.  Love a good insulated tote.  Everyone is usually hungry, hot, or thirsty in our car, so I always bring a good bag to fill with ice and drinks/snacks in case we stop somewhere fun.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.33.57 PM

4.  As hot as it is outside, it’s equally freezing inside stores and restaurants.  Sub-arctic AC temps that send a chill right to the bone.  That being said, 99.9% of the time I have a scarf and/or added layer in my bag that I can quickly throw on.  The sales lately are crazy, and I just scored this denim jacket I’m obsessed with (which means I should prob retire my vintage Gap jacket now). I put denim jackets over anything and everything – tanks, shorts, dresses, you name it.  The less “planned” it looks, the more I like it.  Occupational hazard of growing up the 80’s, I guess ; )

jcrew denim jacket

5.  Colorful cabana towels…because we are always near a body of water.  And most of our activities involve parking it and sitting somewhere on the grass or sand.  One thing my car is never missing – a big blanket or a few soft towels.

seaside cabana towels

6.  Also love this super chic navy and white turkish towel, which is a little more of an investment.  It has a terry lining on the reverse side, so soft.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 3.33.17 PM




I always keep a just-in-case pool/beach section in the back of our car filled with essentials like these.  You never know when you might dip your foot in the pool or go for a sunset beach stroll, and you want to be prepared.

I’m sure many of you are traveling to celebrate the holiday with loved ones…some of you I’ve even seen around town!  It’s steaming hot and festive here at the beach, which always great.  There’s a fun feel in the air – everyone’s so excited about fireworks, breezy late nights, and lazy beach days.  I’m taking the week off to enjoy some fun and plan to be back early next week.

Cheers to a safe and happy July 4th week!

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  1. Brinkley says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. Love these timeless essentials. We’re planning to enjoy some sailing in Boston today. Happy Fourth of July!!!

  2. portia says:

    Have a wonderful 4th. Love the turkish towel and Seaside navy tote!

  3. terri l says:

    Enjoy your 4th and thank you for sharing. This 4th is my independence day for blogs where I am eliminating most of my blog feeds except for yours! Love your every post.

  4. Hollande says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your ideas. Happy 4th Seleta. Love you and your style you share so well.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Happy 4th. Yes, I crave the idea or reading your new book. Hope you are working on one. There is nothing you pick out or recommend that I don’t love. You are classic.

  6. Julie says:

    Thank you Seleta. It must be amazing to live with so many activities in your area. You must absolutely love returning to your nest. Happy 4th and thank you for your blog!!!!

  7. Georgiana says:

    Happy 4th. Love your ideas and the blog. I am a loyal reader for 5 years!

  8. Mimi says:

    I have a vintage Calvin Klein denim jacket that I just cannot part with😎 Love the Bees also will need to try this one. Happy 4th to you🇺🇸🎉🍉

  9. Katharina says:

    I somehow have a crush on bed sheets and towels and the towels you picked are really pretty! all stripy :-)

  10. Seleta says:

    Thanks, everyone! And yes, Katharina I have the same crush…it doesn’t ever end!

    Hope you’re enjoying your week!


  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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