Thursday, July 11, 2013

Packing Light: Beach Trip

Just being honest here... I'm only pretending I'm going on a trip to the beach.  LOL!  As a Floridian, I actually only live a few miles from the beach of the Atlantic coast so it seems a bit silly to me to ever go on vacation there but I know lots of people would love that opportunity!  Above is a picture of the beach closest to my house.  You can see the Saint Augustine lighthouse in the background.  However, last year my hubby was sent to Saint Petersburg Beach for a workshop for his job and I got to go with him.  It was a fun little four day getaway.  So I got to thinking about what sorts of items I would pack if I was going on a similar trip now.  Below is a picture from our hotel room last year in St. Pete.  So pretty!

Today I'm going to share my beach bag with you and what I would normally pack and what I would wear if I was going to be spending the day at the beach or poolside.

This pink and orange beach bag has been with me ever since I first moved to Florida seven years ago.  I actually got it on clearance at Walmart for $3!  There are a few reasons that I like this bag.  It's mesh, which means that if you put a wet beach towel in it, it won't get soggy and gross or end up smelling like mildew.  Also, it tapers at the top and has a velcro closure so your stuff doesn't go falling out everywhere if the bag tips over.  And of course, it's pink and adorable.  Another nice feature is the small inner pocket, which is the perfect size to hold your sunglasses.

Inside the bag, I have all of the essentials for a relaxing day at the beach or pool.

I have my favorite beach towel, a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes, a book, sunglasses and a bottle of water.  I also have a clear plastic makeup bag with some other essentials.

Let's take a closer look at what's in the clear bag.  I have a comb to tame crazy salt water or chlorine hair, a few rubber bands for hair and elastic hair ties as well as bobby pins.  Beach hair can get a little crazy in the wind, especially if it's long so I like having hair accessories that can help tame my hair.  I also have Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 50.  This moisturizer is great if your face is sensitive to SPF and sunscreen like mine is.  I'd rather put this on my face than regular sunscreen.  Next to that, I have a travel size bottle of sport sunscreen.  I usually prefer the spray on kind, but this is what I had on hand.  And finally, I have Blistex lip balm with SPF 30 because I like to keep my lips protected from UV rays too.  I like that the clear makeup bag holds all my little items together so they are easy to find.

And of course, swimwear is an important part of the beach and pool experience.  I've learned from experience that if you're going to the beach and there are any sort of waves, you're going to want to wear a bathing suit that ensures none of your lady parts will be popping out anywhere.  I really love this black halter style bathing suit top because it's cute and flattering but it keeps everything locked and loaded.  No surprises here!  The bathing suit bottom does the trick at the pool but if I was going into the ocean, I would double up with the comfortable and cute swim shorts just to be sure I don't end up mooning the other beach goers.  (Please tell me I'm not the only one who has had this happen or worries about this!)

On to the clothes!  I have had this great kelly green beach dress for several years.  I originally bought it at Bealle's Outlet and I think it was around $10.  It's great because it's easy to slip on over your head for the beach or you can dress it up for a night out too.  It's a little baggy and so it flows beautifully in the ocean breeze and it's short enough to not track sand all through the hemline.  However, I do find it can be a bit shapeless.  I'm wearing it here as a beach cover up but even at the beach I like to feel like I have a waistline.  My solution is cheap and easy: tie a ribbon around your waist.  If you happen to take the ribbon off and lose it, no harm done.  I just tied it here in a bow behind me.  Grab your beach hat and bag and you're ready to go!

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