Summer Nights…

Leave a comment Standard

As much as I love my kitchen and as relaxing as a soak in my bathtub can be, my bedroom is by far the most sacred room in my place- not only because it’s where I rest my head at night- but because it’s where I go when I want/need to think and contemplate, cuddle my dog, listen to music without disturbing my neighbors, or dance like a fool to my favorite songs (also without disturbing my neighbors,) or write, draw, and have a good cry- or just sit still in the quiet for a while and not do anything. My bedroom is where I go to find moments of peace after a long day at work or when I come back from a trip and am acclimating to being home again (and maybe recovering from jet lag, depending on where I went.)

For that reason, I like to occasionally update my room to keep it looking and feeling fresh. It could be something minor, like rearranging my furniture a bit, lighting a few candles, or hanging up a new picture- to something a little more time-consuming- like putting a new coat of paint on the walls or performing a major clean-out of my old clothes, shoes, bags, etc.

I was recently inspired by the good folks over at Parachute to share what do I do to prepare my bedroom- my sacred space- for the Summer months. Since I’m currently in the middle of a full-blown bedroom renovation (complete with picking out paint swatches,) I had a few tips and tricks for those who might be trying to prep their own bedrooms for this time of year!

For those who aren’t familiar with Parachute, they are a bedding company based out of  Venice Beach that specialize in creating premium-quality and exceptionally comfortable bedding at a reasonable price that won’t break your bank. Their sheet sets and pillowcases are simple, yet beautiful- and made with the utmost care and precision before they’re delivered right to you!

Parachute also gives back in an awesome way- partnering with Nothing But Nets. With every Venice bedding set that the company sells, a bed-net is donated to a person in need in Africa to protect them from Malaria-carrying mosquitoes (because everyone deserves a good, peaceful- and safe night’s sleep.) Customers who don’t purchase a Venice set can also make a donation at checkout to Nothing But Nets if they choose. It’s an incredible cause and Parachute has really impressed me in a lot of ways since I was introduced to them- not just with their earnest (and cute- because we’ve all wanted to find and recreate hotel style bedding at one point or another after a great vacation) story of how they came to be or the quality of their products- but with their charitable endeavors, too.

But I digress! In the Summer, when the New England days are hot and the nights can get really humid- I focus a lot on my bedding and keeping my room as uncluttered and “light” as possible in order to stay de-stressed and cool as a cucumber while the temperatures rise. Throughout the warmer months, I’m a minimalist with my decor. My heavy blankets and flannel sheets get put into storage bins until the Fall, and I like to make sure my room looks and feels spacious- and always smells crisp and clean- so that I’m refreshed every night when I go to bed and every morning when I wake up to take on the day and beat the heat.

I have four must-haves when it comes to my Summer bedroom look and feel:


Clockwise from the left:

– Clean Cotton Sheets: There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning all night and sweating bullets because you’ve forgotten to put away any and all fleece and flannel bedding, Although I do keep a duvet folded up and within reach for those rare but still possible nights when the temperatures in New England drop unexpectedly (usually when in the midst of a tropical storm working it’s way up the coast,) my bedding consists of lightweight cotton sheets and pillowcases which are so comfortable and easy to care for.

I try to keep the colors as basic as I can, too- sticking to white, creams, and light blues- so that the overall look of my room is brighter and more Summery as opposed to the Fall and Winter when I have more forest greens, dark browns, and grays splashed across my bed. (Bedding image via Parachute.)

– A Fresh-Scented Candle: As much as I love my heavier pumpkin spice-scents and dessert-fragranced candles in the colder months- the Spring and Summer is all about fresh citrus, light florals, clean, beachy/ocean scents- and soothing lavender. I love walking into my room and being greeted by crisp notes that make me feel refreshed and invigorated. I typically light candles in my bedroom and let them burn while I’m elsewhere in my place so that the fragrance has a chance to really work it’s way around my room and adjacent hallway- and only blow them out before I leave the building or before I go to bed so that my room always smells good! (Candle image via Parachute.)

– A Small Desk Fan: I need some white noise and total darkness to fall asleep soundly. Leaving a radio or the TV on isn’t an option and those “soothing sounds” recordings aren’t quite enough to help me doze off peacefully- but the whirring of a fan does the trick. Not only is the noise soothing to me (and drowns out the sounds of any birds, insects, or unruly neighbors should I leave my window open at night,) but the air circulation keeps me, my pillowcase, and my sheets cool so that I don’t end up waking up feeling sweaty and gross. (Fan image via Pinterest.)

– Cooling Eye Gel: While not technically considered bedroom decor, I do keep a bottle of cooling eye gel and/or cream on my night table at my bedside during the Summer to dab on under and around my eyes before I go to sleep at night. The gel is cold to the touch and soothing to the delicate eye area, which is refreshing when it’s hot and humid in the evenings. It reduces puffiness and redness (definitely important when the pollen is flying around,) and brightens up my face overnight so that I don’t have to weigh my skin down with a ton of concealer the next morning that’s probably going to melt off in the sun anyway! (Eye Gel image via YesTo)

I also really like that it doesn’t thaw out and leak all over my nice cotton sheets the way some refrigerated eye masks tend to do when left out too long- and it stays in place without staining my pillowcases- unlike those cucumber patches and sticky under-eye peels. I simply tap this on, flip through a book or magazine while lounging in front of my fan while it sinks into my skin, and then get some sleep!

Those are my must-haves when it comes to my bedroom in the Summertime, and have been for years! I’m sure if and when the day ever comes where I’m living in a cozy beach-side bungalow, my routine might change a bit (like substituting the desk fan for the natural sounds of waves crashing against the sand, for example-) but while I’m here in New England- just outside a bustling and hot city- these have worked really well for me!

Do you have any bedroom essentials in the Summer? Any rituals? I’d love to hear them!


My Summer Essentials.

Leave a comment Standard


At the moment it’s raining and a little chilly where I live, but despite the gloomy weather that rolled in earlier this afternoon, Summer is in the air and I couldn’t be more excited. I love spending hours at the ocean (year-round, but Summertime means I don’t risk getting hypothermia while I do it.) I love BBQs, bonfires, late night ice cream shop trips with friends, and being able to comfortably wear shorts and sandals.

Inspired by the season, I put together a small list of things I never leave home without during the hottest months of the year.

1. SPF. SPF. SPF. SPF. DEAR GOD, SPF: This will always be #1 on my list. I’m fair-skinned. Tanning is not an option for me. About two or three years ago, I had gone to the beach in the morning with some friends and we ended up staying well into the afternoon. I had applied minimal sunscreen, but amid swimming in the water, sleeping on the sand, and enjoying a picnic, I had moronically forgotten to re-apply. The resulting sunburn and sunstroke, both of which kept me out of work and bedridden for nearly a week, was one of the most painful things I’d ever experienced- and no amount of bronze glow or tan lines were worth it. The excruciating pain aside, there’s also the risk of skin cancer- and it can all easily be avoided by using adequate amounts of sunscreen.

Always remember to wear SPF on exposed skin (and not just in the Summer!) Make sure that it hasn’t expired (I replace mine every year), and re-apply it liberally and often. I personally prefer high-level protection aerosol/spray SPFs, since they make getting hard to reach areas like my back a lot easier, and the brand is entirely up to you depending on price point, fragrance, ingredients, and how much coverage you want.

Sun safety is the key essential in the Summertime.



2. A bright (REALLY bright) moisturizing lip balm: Matte lipsticks are too heavy in high temperatures, and lip glosses, although nice and lightweight, don’t give me the same hydration that lip balm does. I love the practicality of balms- you get moisturized lips with a nice pop of color, and in the Summer- the brighter the hue, the better. I’ve grown quite fond of my “Woppin’ Watermelon” chubby stick from Clinique, a bright pink that really stands out without looking like it’s caked on. The best thing about this balm is that it’s eye-catching enough where I can keep the rest of my makeup minimal, which is always nice on the hotter days when I want to take it easy on my face and not wear a lot of product.



3. A tropical-toned manicure: I always feel a little bit of glee when I’m busily typing something up at work, and then glance down to see a beautiful polish on my tips. It’s a small comfort to me. In the Fall and Winter, I usually stick to darker shades, but in the Spring. and especially the Summer- it’s a free-for-all of bright colors and wild designs. I decided to kick off  this season by busting out an old favorite lacquer, “Orange Fizz” by Chanel. The color, a beautiful coral-orange, is flattering to almost any skin tone, and matches my Summer wardrobe so, so well.

4. A fresh fragrance: One of my favorite Summer scents (and it has been for years)  is the original “Glow” by Jennifer Lopez. A clean-smelling floral-grapefruit blend, I always carried the perfume in my purse until Autumn rolled around and it was time to switch over to the more potent scents for the colder weather.

Despite my love and devotion to “Glow”, I do believe it’s important to mix things up a bit now and then so you don’t get bored. I’ve gone from “Glow” to spritzing on Estée Lauder’s “Bronze Goddess” (a more suntan lotion, beachy scent), to loving Bath & Body Works’ “Coconut Lime Breeze” body spray. I try to stick to fresh, crisp citrus fragrances in the Summer. Aromatherapy works for me, and if I can’t quite get to a tropical paradise as often as I’d like, at least I can smell like I have.

And if perfumes aren’t your thing- there’s always candles to liven up your home. I’m a big fan of lighting Yankee Candle’s “Fresh Cut Grass” and “Lemon” candles at the same time. It makes my place smell so fresh.


5. Salt spray: Getting my hair to look beach-kissed and wavy is a challenge in itself, but find the right salt spray, and my curls look relaxed, loose, and soft. This Bumble & Bumble “Surf Spray” has worked pretty well for me, but there’s also some great tutorials out there (like THIS ONE from Wellness Mama that my lovely Imogen linked me to, or THIS ONE from PINKSOFOXY) for DIY surf sprays for half the cost of store-bought ones. The sprays are probably the most effortless thing ever to apply- just spray into damp hair and go- and even though they have salt in them, there’s also other ingredients that will prevent your hair from drying out. This is my favorite hair style for the Summer, not only because of it’s simplicity, which comes in handy when I’m on the go- but also because on those days where I’m working and can’t make it down to the boardwalk, my hair still looks like I’ve spent the afternoon frolicking in the waves.

6. An awesome soundtrack: What’s Summer without good music? I recently joined 8Tracks, an online mixtape service, and created the above playlist featuring some ska, some punk, a little reggae, and a pinch of indie rock & pop to give me something to bounce along to during my drives along the coast and the weekend bonfires. Give it a listen, and be sure to share your own!

“Summer Essentials” not pictured: An oversized floppy straw hat to protect my scalp from the sun, $5 flip-flops, iced green tea lemonade, a cute and comfortable bikini (or one piece, depending on what kind of mood I’m in), a chilled eye mask to wear at night in front of the air conditioner/fan, a “getaway” kit that includes a map, a flashlight, and a first aid kit for any impromptu road trips or camping adventures, a good Summertime movie (“Stand By Me”, “Now and Then”, “The Seven Year Itch”, etc.), a pair of cat-eye sunglasses, bug spray, some extra change in case an ice cream truck rolls through the neighborbood (Choco Tacos!), a decent frozen margarita recipe, and a s’mores kit.

What are some of your “Summer Essentials?”