What I carry in my summer tote arsenal

Summer vacation is right around the corner.  Emerson and August are already out of school and Buck has 13 days left.  Which means I’m about to officially take on the full time job of “Mommy Activities Director” for the next three months.  I will be questioned about the location of swim goggles.  I will make ice cream that will taste not nearly as good as the kind you buy in the store.  And I will make a daily ritual of mummifying my children in sunscreen.

Some days we will leave the house and not return until evening.  Maybe we’ll go to the city to a museum or maybe we’ll just head to the beach, but the point is we are gone from my central supply closet (our home) all day.  This means that whatever I’m carrying is what we all have.  And I want to carry stuff that we not only need, but that makes me happy.  Because when the activities director is happy, everyone is happy.


Fair Trade Summer Tote — I up the size of my purse during the summer to an almost ridiculous state.  Here’s a great summer tote that’s fair trade, adorable and it’s lined.  (The most important quality in a summer tote for me.)

Rescue Remedy  — Whenever anyone freaks out (mostly me) I always reach for my Rescue Remedy.  It’s made from a flower essence that’s very calming.

Coconut Face Toner — I don’t always lug this around in my tote because it’s kind of heavy, but I always, always, always have it in my car.  It’s a great pick me up.  It’s hydrating.  It’s soothing.  It’s even a mood changer.

Goddess Garden Sunscreen — Don’t put a chemical sunscreen on you or your kids!  Chemical sunscreens are horrible and you don’t want any of that stuff slathered on your largest organ (your skin).  Choose a mineral sunscreen (also known as physical sunscreen) instead.  Goddess Garden is the best sunscreen I’ve ever used.  Yes, it’s a bit harder to rub in — but that’s a good thing.  The zinc oxide in the product is sitting on your skin and bouncing harmful rays off.

Tilley Hat — Okay, so this hat might not be the chicest hat I own, but it’s virtually indestructible, it comes with a lifetime guarantee, it has built in UV protection, it even floats and I can squish it up in my tote and it completely holds it shape.

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream — This is the best face cream I’ve ever used.  I love it so much I was considering doing an entire post about how much I love this face cream.  I use it on my face every morning and night.  I got a second one to carry in my tote for my hands, face and lips when I’m out.  It’s good on everything.  It’s amazing.  I’m not kidding.  This isn’t a sponsored post or anything.  I just love this face cream.

Apples — After years of trial and error, apples are the only snack I carry in my tote.  (Have you ever put a banana in your purse?  It ain’t pretty.)  Sure, if we’re at the beach we’ll have a whole cooler, but for errands, etc., apples are all we need.  As I always tell my kids (much to their annoyance), if you don’t want an apple, you’re probably not that hungry.

Burt’s Bees Cucumber Facial Wipes — I don’t carry diaper wipes anymore because my kids have grown out of the “public shit-storm” phase of childhood.  But I do carry these Burt’s Bees wipes everywhere we go for sticky hands and messes.  They smell wonderful and they’re really gentle.

Collapsible stainless steel cups  — I used to carry everyone’s water bottle around with me, but it got to be so heavy that I got these stainless steel cups instead.  They are the best.  We even use them at restaurants instead of drinking out of a plastic cups.  Just be sure to mark each one with your kid’s names on them.  That’s been a big deal for us… Wait, this one isn’t mine.  You’re drinking out of mine.  I don’t want to drink out of mine because he just drank out of mine!  Once I labeled the cups the arguing stopped.

Ionizing water bottle —  Because of the collapsible drinking cups, I now carry just one water bottle with me.  This water bottle is made from a clay that makes the actual water in the water bottle healthier by adding more ions.  So it’s nice when we’re out and about and we run out of water, I can refill this water bottle with nasty water from a water fountain and it will improve it’s flavor and quality!  It’s like carrying around a little water purifier.

So, that’s my summer tote arsenal.  What do you carry in your arsenal?

Of course that doesn’t include our tote with towels and suits we bring to the pool.. or the tote with pool toys and noodles… or the tote we bring to the beach with beach toys… or the tote with food… or the tote with jackets if it gets cold…

Okay, I’m exhausted.  Is summer over yet?


  • Ginny says:

    Our summer vacation is still a month away, and I have an office job, so I’m not the summer activities director. However, we do go on lots of day trips, so I have a tote for those outings. Necessities: tissues, wipes (I’ll have to try the Burt’s Bees!), chapstick, flashlight, Benadryl stick (for immediate bug bite relief), band aids and little packets of Neosporin, doggie waste bags, hat, water bottle for me and the dog (It’s an Olly Dog bottle), tick key, granola bars or trail mix (I’m going to add apples!) and a tiny fold up kite. If my son is along, he’ll have his pocket knife. If he’s not with us, I’ll take one. We keep sunscreen and bug spray in the car. Okay, I’m ready!!

    • Holly Hester says:

      Wow! That is a great list for adventuring! I’ve never heard of a Benadryl stick. That sounds great for our trip to Florida. Fold up kite. awesome idea. I also carry a knife. I forgot to put that on the list. I’ve never thought of carrying a flashlight before but that’s a great idea too. It sound like you guys go on some great day trips.

  • Great list and that bag is so stinking cute (and affordable)!! In my arsenal I always have chapstick, wipes (for sticky hands), a hair clip because I always get super hot, paper and a pen (distracts the kiddo), and any assortment of snacks including goldfish, fruit snacks and maybe even an apple sauce pouch.

    • Holly Hester says:

      Yes — chapstick is a good one (although I use the Josie Maran for that) and I could definitely add a hair clip! Good thinking. Usually I keep one matchbox car too. For August.

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