Summer Essentials with Think Liz

Today's Summer Essentials is from one of my favorite bloggers, Beth Carroll.  Her blog is full of amazing tutorials, new recipes, book reviews, toddler and mom fun ideas, as well as her own personal journey of faith and life.  It is one of the reasons that I wanted to start a blog- her willingness to share her life and "realness" with us is so inspiring and makes me feel like I am not alone when I want to start a project over a project or something that I have never done. Or when I am struggling with my own faith or am having difficulty sorting my feelings on motherhood, I know she understands and her blog is a safe place.  Oh, and she and her husband are super fun, cool and have been friends with Jeff and his family forever, so that is fun too.  AND she has the cutest little boy Jude!  Ok, I will let her talk now.  Sorry. I get ahead of myself...

Hello Lullaby Lubbock readers! I am so honored that Kristen asked me to do a guest post on my Summer Essentials! My name is Beth Carroll, I live in the fun city of Austin, TX, I am mom to a wild child two year old, Jude and wife to Jason. I blog about sewing, faith, food, design, sustainability, natural living, toddler activities over at my little slice of the web, ThinkLiz. If you couldn't tell from that definition, I am a little bit of a hippie. And I am ok with that. If you are a sewer, it's worth noting that I have compiled tons of free tutorials from across the web and have a few free tutorials of my own over at my blog as well.

I've been thinking on this for awhile trying to pin down what really are my summer essentials. I could talk about food, fashion, fun, practicality, sewing or more so I decided to do a little of everything!

One of the things we can't live without during the summer is sunscreen. I know this is a no brainer, but like I said I am a bit of a hippie and we try the hardest we can to go with all natural sunscreens. I consulted the Environmental Working Group's list of the best non-toxic sunscreens that are on the market today and we are now happily using Episencial Sunny Sunscreen. Episencial’s all-natural skin care was inspired by author Eric Carle’s works, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar but it's not just for kiddos! Of the natural sunscreens we have tried, this one seems to be the easiest to rub in without turning us all white and it doesn't have a weird smell!

And of course, we all know that summer time means showing your little toesies so I love to try to be creative with my natural nail polish. Most recently I was feeling the coral/grey combo and did some stripe action on my toenails. It's not perfect, but I still love seeing them in the grass or in the pool. Something about nail polish just makes me happy.

Grassy Stripy Toes

I also have been loving the combo of bright colors and black and white stripes. Well, really just stripes in general (this, this, this and this). Since I love to sew, I decided to make a little of my own combo. Using this skirt tutorial (I added waistband ties to have a fun bow in the back) and some recycled fabric (like, this stuff is made from milk jugs), I whipped up this little beauty and made my outfit dreams come true! I got lazy and didn't finish the bottle of the skirt but (a) - no one will ever know and (b) this fabric doesn't fray, so I'll get away with it!

Socialite Skirt Socialite Skirt

I have a passion for locally grown organic food. Some of it, I grow in my backyard. Irregardless of where you get your produce, I think that everyone can agree summer corn is the absolute best. So sweet and gosh darn summery! When I saw Gwyneth Paltrow's Corn Vichyssoise (who I may or may not have a little bit of a girl crush on), and received several ears of corn from our Farmhouse Delivery service, I knew this soup was in my future. I know, you're thinking 'Soup, in summer, in Austin, when it's 105 degrees outside?' Oh, my friends, vichyssoises are served cold. Deliciously cold, sweet and refreshing. Try it, you may become a believer in cold soups during the summer.

Corn Vichyssoise

Several other guest bloggers have mentioned their summer essential's drink of choice and I thought I would throw out one of our favorites. We love the fresh taste of mint and because it is in the process of taking over my herb garden, I pull it out and put it in our drinks - lemonade, iced tea, water, or mojitos. Mojitos are definitely our adult beverage of choice when the temperatures are soaring past the 100s!


Popsicles are our summer treat of choice around here because they are a great way to use up fruit that is heading towards overripe. In this instance, I had some local strawberries that were looking a little sad. I simmered them in a little water, a touch of sugar and a splash of lemon (how's that for accuracy in a recipe) and added basil leaves while the mixture was cooling. Remove basil leaves after the mixture has cooled and pour into popsicle molds. Instant gourmet popsicles enjoyed by adults and kiddos alike!

Popsicles! Popsicles! Popsicles! Popsicles! Popsicles! POPSICLE!

If you are a book worm like I am, summer is a great time to get some reading done by the pool. If you are really lucky, you might get to take a vacation where that is all that you do! This summer I have read several great books already - the first of which is actually a trilogy: The Hunger GamesCatching Fire, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I'm a bit geeked out over the whole thing and have been eagerly scouring the web for information about next year's movie. I think you should just read them all but make sure you don't have anything else you need to be doing because you will not be able to put them down. The two other books that I finished were The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (very inspiring) and A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg (very appetite inducing).

Royal Hideaway

That about wraps up my summer essentials! I'm sure there are more, but for the sake of you readers, I will refrain from making this post any longer! Enjoy the heat, enjoy the water, and enjoy your summer!

1 comment:

Lifethrualinds said...

Love this post. Totally makes me want to see some clothes and make popsicles. AND I LOVE the hunger games trilogy too. Just read all 3 on our summer vacation and as soon as I finished book 3 I couldn't stop googling info about the movie too! So fun. Thanks for sharing.

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