Saturday, May 7, 2011

Favorite Things - Backyard

We're in the middle of a backyard renovation and I know it will look fantastic when it's done, but for now, other than the pool, it's pretty barren.  All the shrubs and plantings have been pulled and most of our furniture is on hold since the patio and pool decking is getting a face lift too.

The temps here in Arizona have been going up and our plan tomorrow is to spend the whole day in the pool.  First big pool day of the season! 

So in going with that theme, here is a list of my Favorite Things for the backyard (or patio, deck, front porch...wherever you plan to chill come summer time).

This floatation device has been the best backyard/pool purchase we've ever made for so many reasons...It's made by Stearns (a reputable water safety company) and is Coastguard-approved.  It's the only one I've found that doesn't cause them to immediately face plant in the water when I let go.  I strap them on my two and three year olds and they can float independently in the water rather than me having to hold them.  They jump in with these on and bob right back up with their chests raised.  Makes two-on-one coverage in the pool so much easier and more relaxing!
My kiddos, probably like most, have sensitive skin.  I also want them to be protected from the sun as much as possible, while using as many natural ingredients as possible.  For their face I prefer to use sunscreen stick versions and avoid any tears.  In the past I'd used California Baby brand's stick, but it always seemed too dry and hard when rubbing it on little cheeks.  This stick by Aveeno is a great solution - 100% naturally sourced and waterproof, it's smooth texture and skinny oval shape helps it easily glide on.

Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Sunblock Stick SPF 50
My kids are continually losing sunglasses and most of the inexpensive ones out there have some sort of cartoon or Disney theme.  Nothing wrong with that, but Target's Circo brand wayfarer sunglasses add a little bit of cool and are under $7 each.  My son has the black pair and my daughter has the light pink.  They're pretty sweet.
 Have to admit, I'm not as good about wearing hats as I could or should be, but I do have good intentions.  When it comes to sun-protecting hats, I love San Diego Hat Company.  Great selection and customer service.  Their packaging is such that the hats always arrive in perfect condition - never smushed.

 RHC1052 ( American Baby)CTH3036 (Better Homes&Gardens)
The Tazo Passion iced tea at Starbucks has always been my favorite.  One day it *finally* dawned on me that instead of driving to pay something like $3 for one glass, I could just pick up a box for around $6 at the local grocery store, make 36 glasses and have it in my fridge whenever I want.  My brewing method is not very scientific, I boil some water, add a few tea bags (tie or clip the strings over the outside of the pot), toss in some fresh herbs if I have them (mint and rosemary have been good), let it brew for a bit, pour it in glass pitcher and let it sit in the fridge until cool and then serve over ice cubes.  I don't care for sweetener, but agave necter is a good option if you do.

This little white outdoor table is sweet - perfect spot for iced tea - and could be used indoors too.

Bella Outdoor Iron Table
I totally dig this black and cream striped umbrella...
Auto Tilt Umbrella

Enjoy your time outdoors and Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies out there!

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