Summer is here, and the following list offers an abundance of ways to enjoy time spent inside, outside, at home, and on vacation!
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
What’s more fun than a sprinkler? How about one that looks like a turtle and has spinning tubes that move in wild directions? This Rotating Turtle Sprinkler with Swing Tube costs $12.99 and is an easy, fun, and silly way to up your sprinkler game. Perfect for playdates and backyard fun anytime!
On your way outside, throw on these water-proof but always stylish crocs! This year, Emily’s 4-year-old daughter is rockin’ the platform crocs (which are also available in adult sizes for those looking for an extra boost!). People frequently ask where we found them, and of course there’s always room for charms. She likes the faux gummy bears in a variety of colors, while her 6-year old brother prefers the sports-theme charm pack.
Nothing puts a damper on dining al fresco like lots of mosquito bites! (Who else is a magnet for them?) Ann heard about the Thermacell Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller and Glow Light, saw the long list of positive reviews, and bought one. It’s early in the season, but so far, it seems to be helping. Retailing for $49.99, the unit is scent-free and provides a 20-foot zone of mosquito protection with a 9-hour battery life.
Going on vacation is an exciting thought, but will your tomato plants wither while you’re gone? Recommended by a friend, the Oya system can help. When filled with water, moisture slowly seeps through the walls of the pot and waters plants at the roots. Once established, the plant roots grow towards the water source, and they can draw exactly the amount of water they need. The clever item retails for $44.95.
FAVORITES FROM DETAILS in LANCASTER!
We love local businesses, and Details always has great seasonal and holiday items. (For non-locals, items can be ordered online and the store will ship.) What caught our eye for this summer?
If your family members are into gaming, this chess and backgammon-themed interactive towel from SUNNYLiFE is the perfect addition to the beach bag this summer. For $22.50 you get a beach towel and game pieces to boot!
Ann and her family have been playing Five Crowns, a $10 card game suitable for ages 8+ and is similar to rummy but with cards instead of tiles.
When they downsized recently, Ann’s parents purchased this Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill from Lowe’s – it’s also available on Amazon for $259. The grill is lightweight, packable, and designed for table top use, although Ann’s parents purchased the optional stand. They love it, and we think blue is a fun color, but there are other color options. Easy to use, easy to clean, and the grill doesn’t take up too much space.
A chopped salad offers a crisp, refreshing, no-cook summer meal option, and you can make it more fun with this Vollrath 5-Quart Economy Mixing Bowl for $21 and Nish Salad Chopper for $16. Ann made this salad recently, adding cooked chicken and avocado for extra fill factor, and tossing it with Favorite Peanut Dressing for a flavor-packed, Asian-inspired meal.
For a protein boost, single-serve packets from Earth Fed Muscle are convenient, especially when on the go or traveling. Each packet contains 25 grams of whey protein isolate, which comes from grass fed cows, and are available in a variety of flavors. The single-serve packs are also ideal for those who use protein powder infrequently and don’t want a large tub, or if you’d like to sample a new flavor (like peanut butter or mocha) before investing in the bigger container.
While shopping for wine last year, a knowledgeable employee sang the praises of Quadrum boxed wines, adding that each box (about $23 at Wegmans) contains the equivalent of four standard bottles, and once opened, will keep in the fridge for 6 to 8 weeks.
Perfect for parties or sipping one glass at a time over many weeks. Clever packaging accounts for the long lifespan: the wine is contained in a plastic bladder fitted with an air-tight valve, which emerges from a protective corrugated box. The slim box stores efficiently in the refrigerator and doesn’t drip.
Ann has purchased the red and white wine blends, pictured below, and the reviews have been stellar. The red is a blend of 80% Cencibel and 20% Garnacha and offers notes of red raspberries and strawberries. The white, a mix of 70% Verdejo and 30% Sauvignon Blanc, carries hints of honeydew, white peach, and grapefruit.
Both are balanced – neither too sweet nor too dry – and are versatile enough to complement a wide range of food, from marinated chicken and tacos to charcuterie boards. Great for using in a refreshing sangria too.
FUN FOODIE READ
For kids who are curious about food and where names of various foods come from, Can I Eat That? by food critic Joshua David Stein is a great place to explore an unexpected set of food facts in a humorous way. For kids who aren’t as adventurous, it’s a great way to open up dialogue about food in a silly way (“do eggs grow on eggplants?”). And for those who are more food curious (“can you eat sea urchin?”), this is a great way to get excited and stretch their worldly food muscles. Emily highly recommends it!
💛Please let us know below – and share with fellow readers – what are your favorite things this summer?