Summer Essentials with Lindsey from Toby the Dog Blog

Lindsey from Toby the Dog Blog is my fantastic cousin and our first guest post over here at LL.  We are super excited that she is helping us out with our Summer Essentials and I know hers are gonna be fantastic.  She is fun, beautiful, always creative, artistic and organized.  She always makes me laugh and really gives the best gifts.  She is SO thoughtful, kind and loved by everyone.  She is always hosting everyone she meets at her house, feeding them, loving on them and making them feel welcome.  She really has an amazing gift of hospitality.  love her. She is one of my all time favorite people and I feel so thankful to call her my cousin and friend.   She has been living in Hawaii for the last year, so I know she will have some fantastic summer/hot weather/beachy ideas. So, without further ado, here is Lins with her awesome Summer Essentials.

Toby the Dog and Lindsey Stop By

Hello LL readers!  Big thank you to Kristen and Allison for inviting me to guest post!!  So who am I, besides a lucky relative of the Barstad fam??  I am a dog mom.  I have no human children, but Toby is definitely my child. Toby loves to walk, wear sweaters, and eat breakfast.  We live in Hilo, Hawaii, (with bf Andrew) but will soon be moving back home to Austin, Texas. 
So what are our summer necessities, you ask?  I would love to give you a long list of fashionista-esque summer pictures and links, but I'm not even going to pretend that I know anything about that.  Instead I'll just tell you my favorite things for summer.

My first summer obsession that I think everyone needs: a waterproof camera.  But how does one pick?  Well I happen to agree very much with this list.  I personally use a Canon G12 with an Underwater housing.  I know we are over the "twist twist twist- click!" disposable thing, but underwater pictures are so fun and they snag memories that aren't usually captured!  Here are some of my favorites so far this summer:
I hear it's already getting hot hot hot on the mainland.  What better way could you cool down that with a fruity adult beverage??  But no one wants a drink that leaves them with a headache and a sugar rush.  The solution? Infuse your own beverages!  There are a million different combinations and any liquor will do, but once you are done it's taste is exquisite and requires little to no mixers.  My example will be with pineapples and vodka.  If you are lucky enough to have absent neighbors with tons of pineapple plants waiting to be snatched, use those.  Here are the ones that we stole:
If you don't have neighbor pineapples to thieve, buy some!  Just make sure they are ultra ripe and sweet.  The big ones look the most appealing, but, trust me, the small organic ones will please both your taste buds and mother earth.
Now chop it up!  It doesn't have to be fancy- just chopped into nice one inch chunks.
Now get a jar, and make sure it's glass.  Those adorable Mason Jars are great, but I'm using an ex-fruit juice jar.  Toss in enough pineapple (or whatever fruit/veg you choose) to fill up the bottom of the jar.
Now seal up the jug(s) and set them aside (inside the fridge is great if you have room).  Be sure to give em a shake every two or three days.  I keep mine in the refrigerator door so they get a little stir every time the fridge is opened (and you can only imagine how frequently that is).  The longer you let them sit, the stronger the flavor will be.  A week is enough but you can even leave them a month.  When the time comes to imbibe: chill, strain, pour- enjoy!  You will have a fruity summer beverage without any headaches or extra calories!  And get as creative as you can- mango tequila margaritas anyone??
Moving on!  Popsicles are an obsession of mine and nothing is better on a hot day.  I have even taken to making my own out of fruit juice and a dab of cool whip... oh yes, i said cool whip.  Toby is also a fan of the popsicle and never misses an opportunity to beg for a lick.
I usually give in...
Hows about some summer shades??  I love sunglasses.  I love an occasional splurge on some fancy ones, I love finding unique vintage sunglasses, and I LOVE buying tons of five dollar pairs from the drug store!  Toby doesn't appreciate them as much as I do, but he cooperates as long as treats have been promised.
So two things on my list are alcohol.  Is this a bad sign??  You be the judge...  Either way, I must include the new Skinny Girl Margaritas.  That girl from the Real Housewives started this line.  Though I am in no way a fan of the show or the insane women that it features, I am a huge fan of Bethenny Frankel's idea of a Marg!  It is made with natural flavors and each serving only has 100 calories.  No need for mixing, shaking, or measuring- just pour over ice (salting the glass is optional) and drink up!
All this talk of cocktails brings me to my next summer necessity:  Coconut Juice!  Apparently I do nothing in the summer but drink things...  The great thing about this is how rehydrating it is.  Some people don't like it, but if you can develop a taste for this super water, drink up!  It is full of potassium, electrolytes, and countless other nutrients.  This is especially great if you had one too many of the previous thing on my list...  Is it good for dogs?  I have no clue.  But Toby is obsessed.  I always pour the last sip in his water bowl (or just toss him the can) and let him rehydrate his little furry self.
Picnik collage
Next in line to beat the heat... how 'bout a classic summer cut??  Off with the t-shirt.
Toby's haircuts double as a weight loss plan.  He shrinks!  (this is him contemplating the best place to bury those scissors).
So human readers, try something new!  I had to promise my hair stylist  many years ago that I would never cut bangs again, but you should definitely give it a shot...  Toby did.
Despite my fashion inadequacies, Toby and I love to shop.  We especially love to shop for summer clothes, and nothing screams summer more than this tiny seersucker jacket!  You can find it at Rover's  etsy shop.  Mark my words, this will soon be a staple in Toby's wardrobe, and we can only hope he looks as smashing in it as this pup.
This next thing might actually be my ultimate favorite on the list:  bon appetit magazine!  They have literally endless ideas, tips, and creative ways to inspire the reader/chef.  This issue even has an article on infusing liquor (but I promise I didn't steal the idea).  And I secretly wish I was Gweneth Paltrow, so.....  
I will conclude my list with a summer event that is near and dear to my heart: Hot Sauce Festival!!  Every August (yes, August) Austin Tx holds the annual Hot Sauce Fest.  This year is their 21st and I can't wait.  I personally have little to no heat tolerance but I do my best to hang with the tough guys.  Andrew (my other half) as well as my cousin, Kristen, are hot sauce addicts.  They can eat pepper after pepper and claim that it isn't painful.  I will probably die without ever eating a Habenero or a Ghost Pepper, while it is a near daily part of Andrew's diet.
It seems crazy to hold Hot Sauce Fest in one of the hottest parts of the country in the hottest month of the year- but any spice lover will tell you- there is no such thing as 'too much heat'...
Picnik collage
These pictures came from here and you should definitely try to join me at the festival this August!

That concludes my list.  Thanks for reading!  We would love for you to stop by Toby the Dog Blog anytime!!

Lots of Aloha from my island to yours!

Thanks Lins!! Love you so much and totally joining you guys at the hot sauce fest this year.  Are you kidding me??! That is my dream day.  Thanks so much!!!
And twin party pics coming asap...


lins said...

hahahaha kristen- your words at the top are adorable and so sweet! i love you tons and tons! i'm laughing though because i had intended the parentheses with a link inside to mean- you link the word before the word "link" hahaha. but thats cool! THANKS for hosting toby and i!! LOVE!

Misty said...

Oh I loved the post today & can't wait to make some strawberry/blueberry adult drinks for the 4th! What a darling dog!! I wish we didn't live so far from this hot sauce festival! That would be Right up my husbands alley!! If you guys watch man v food check it out tonight! Joe Momma's pizza is our favorite place to go & they are featured tonight serving an 'incinerator' pizza! Hopefully ill catch a glimpse of myself in the background :) this is still one of my favorite blogs to read! Kristin & Allison are so inspiring and make life much more fun for my 2 year old bc they give me so many great ideas to copy! Yay for summer :)

Natalie said...

My friend and I took our kids to the waterpark today and were just talking about water proof cameras! I am def going out and getting one now! Thanks for the recommendations!!!
Love the post!! Summer is my most fav time of year!!

Carrie said...

ooh thanks for the heads up on the hot sauce fest. we will be there for sure.

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