in exactly 10 days, i'll be headed to the florida gulf coast for our annual family vacation! we’ve taken a family vacation every year as long as i can remember, and it’s a tradition i look forward to year-round! this past october, my parents bought a brand new house, WE bought our first house, and my brother wrapped up his first year living in the big city – we were all feeling like vacation was going to be put on the back burner this year. lo and behold, my dad decided in may that he just couldn’t settle for a beach-less summer, and we all agreed that it’s something we'd rather not miss out on either!

*tip: waiting until the rates drop in mid-august is our go-to saving secret! we might have to fight a hurricane or two, but it’s worth it to save at least 50% on a condo….right?

so since i've obviously got this beach trip on the brain, here are a few essentials that i'm adding to my beach bag this year:


1  |  a monogrammed beach towel: i'm obsessed with this bright and funky ikat print from haymarket designs. pop a monogram on it and it’s that much better, in my opinion! beach towels should be going on sale any day now, if you’re budget saavy like me, score one of those, and drop it by your local monogram shop. you’re likely to score a custom monogrammed towel for under $20!

2  |  an insulated mason jar: i have my trusty tervis prepped and ready for the beach, but this cutie looks like she needs a home too! i would love to make a big batch of cucumber water to sip on all day, and the insulated plastic would make sure that beverage is coooold – a MUST!

3  |  c.wonder tortoise shell sunglasses: traditional tortoise meets glam goddess. these oversized shades would look great on anyone!

4  |  ihome portable speaker: if you invest in anything for the beach, this would be $20 well spent. andrew got one of these portable speakers for christmas this year, and we’ve used it so much! smaller than a coke can, the ihome plugs right up to your cell phone or ipod [using the headphone jack] and pumps out HOURS of music – and high quality sound too! it’s easily re-charged through a usb cord! you can bet this guy will be spending a LOT of time by me!

5  |  vineyard vines gingham whale hat: i love a white ball cap at the beach. there’s just something about a salty ponytail and a baseball hat that makes me feel effortlessly beach-chic. ok, maybe not “chic” maybe just like a college gal again. hah!

6  |  tory burch flip flops: something to slip on, so the sand doesn’t sear the bottoms of your feet. there’s always that 1 time when i attempt to make a mad dash to the pool/trashcan/my towel and end up gracefully skipping leaping in strides like a mad woman across the sand to get there. flip flops, laura – not to be neglected!

7  |  neutrogrena cooling sunscreen: i was immediately intrigued by this when alex blogged about her beach necessities a few weeks back. i'm hoping to score some of this on sale at cvs soon to test it out myself. this might be my first summer ever that getting a black bear tan isn’t a number 1 priority. the older i get, the more i'm thinking about my skin. it’s by no means perfect at this point, but i've gotta keep the good stuff in place! it’s the only skin i've got! this vacation it’s spf 35+ all.week.long.

what are you favorite beach essentials? anything i left off my list?


A.M. said...

Love the cooling spray, but if you plan to be a fishy fishy in the water, go for the Neutrogena Wet Skin--that stuff doesn't come off at all!

Kasey Sutgrey said...

I love those glasses! Have fun on your trip!

Maran (HeyHawleywood) said...

LOVE that towel print!! minus the monogram, but that is just the northerner in me talking :)

Bri Buzali said...

I hope you guys have a GREAT time at the beach! I'm so jealous, I've gone a whole summer without visiting the beach! Soak up the sun and have a drink or two for me! And tell that cutie brother of yours I said hi ;) haha

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

I bought a portable speaker for the beach and it's brilliant!! ALso with the sunscreen mist be sure to rub it in. Otherwise it leaves strange speckles on you and your tan line!

Carolina Charm said...

Love everything about this post. I am definitely going to snag one of those ihome speakers!!!! Great find!

All Things Cherish said...

Love that gingham VV hat! And I highly recommend a mason tumbler. I also survive on Tervis' and picked a couple of the mason tumblers up from Target & DIYed my own monogrammed one just like that one. I use it non-stop!

Makeshift Margaritas said...

Love the hat and the sunglasses! And the beach towel, too! Have the best time!

Madeline {Poppy Style} said...

awesome list! we leave this saturday for the beach and i am so excited!! have fun!

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