For our family, summer means baseball games, exploring new cities, and living in a tiny apartment. My husband is a professional baseball coach, and from April to August, the kids and I leave our home in Texas to spend the summer wherever he’s coaching that year. This is our third summer in Visalia, California, the “gateway to the Sequoias.”
Visalia can get hot and dusty, but we love being able to escape to the mountains in under an hour, or to the beach in two. As a hub for agriculture, we can always find fresh strawberries, local honey, and the very best garlic.
So far the weather has been gorgeous, but heat is inevitably settling in, so we will be spending most of our time in the pool or in the air-conditioned library (our favorite spot). When the days get long, and the apartment feels even smaller than before, there are a few things that I turn to.
This is what’s saving my life right now.
1. So Delicious Cashew Milk Salted Caramel Cluster Ice Cream – When you’re gluten-free and dairy-free, there aren’t many ice cream options worth buying. This is the very best flavor I’ve found that tastes most like the real thing.
They have a coconut milk line too, but the cashew milk flavors top them all and this one is my favorite. Perfect for the end of a hot day.
2. The Library – I love the library all year long, but in the summer it’s extra special. They have a summer reading program for the kids with incentives and prizes. The a/c is always a bonus. And I get to request and read all the books on my list for free.
3. Erase Your Face makeup removing cloths – I randomly found these while waiting in line at DSW and thought I would give it a try. Amazingly they take off all my makeup, even eyeliner and mascara, with just water. As someone with sensitive skin who is always trying to use less chemicals, these cloths are a dream
4. This Korean Beef BBQ Burrito recipe – I wish I could explain how amazing the combination of flavors in this recipe are. There are very few recipes I make over and over and over but this is one of them. It’s perfect for summer because you’re not heating up the entire kitchen, and it only takes 4 hours in the crockpot.
If you’re running short on time, you can even skip the food-processor part and just dump everything in. I like to make a big batch so we can make burritos and burrito bowls for a few days. Make sure to use all three herbs and the kimchi for maximum flavor. (If you’re not a kimchi fan, try adding thinly sliced cucumbers instead.)
5. CBD oil – I’ve struggled with generalized anxiety all my life, and living in a tiny apartment away from home every summer doesn’t help. As much as possible I try to avoid medication, so I started looking into CBD oil. CBD or Cannabidiol oil is the most prevalent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It’s non-intoxicating and does not produce a buzz or a high because there is no THC present.
Every morning I put a half dropper under my tongue, and when I’m consistently taking it, my anxiety level goes way down. I also use it on my skin when I have dry patches, and have even used it to soothe a bee sting.
If you’re looking into CBD oil make sure to find a company that does 3rd party testing and is transparent about their products.
6. Carly Jean Los Angeles – What can I say about CJLA except that I live in their clothes? Designed for capsule style, everything goes with everything, and 90% of their clothes are made locally in LA.
I love that when I buy from Carly Jean Los Angeles, I’m supporting a woman-owned small business, buying ethically-made affordable clothing, and building a capsule all at the same time. Plus, they show me how to wear everything on their instagram stories, and answer all of my styling and fit questions right away.