As the weather heats up, so do the gift-giving possibilities. Today’s presents are all inspired by a trip to the beach or a day in the sun, so buckle in and pick your favourites for all those summer birthday occasions.
Welcome to Paradise Tote – $34.99 @ ModCloth
While I’ve got a pretty awesomely designed tote featured later in this post, I couldn’t help but share this bold, oversized-type tote bag that’s simply perfect for running around town with. I always feel a little weird in the summer when I’m skipping about town with a more formal purse; to me, a relaxed canvas bag is great for all those little errands you run on foot: whether it’s a trip to the pool, a visit to the library, an afternoon at the Farmer’s Market, or offering to babysit a friend’s little one for the afternoon, this cute bag signals your state of mind some summertime and is roomy enough to stash your basic essentials. A perfect birthday gift choice for your good friend!
Ice Cold Towels – $24.99+
This, my friends, is pretty ingenious. When you’re sweating buckets, cool off instantly when you wet one of these towels, give it a shake, and press it to your skin. Presto: you’ve got a chilly compress that’ll automatically dip 20 degrees (F) below whatever it is outside. The uses with this one are endless. Gift one to your dad before you spent the day sweltering on the golf course or sitting on a boat. Pack them in your emergency bridal kit for a cooling fix before you strut down the aisle. Stash one in your backpack when you’re hiking or have one at the ready after a hearty jog around the neighbourhood. Really, just about anyone will appreciate a little breath of fresh air with one of these clever towels. Give one as a congrats gift to your brother, best friend, or spouse that’s running a marathon this summer.
Sorbet Collection Mix & Match Swimsuits – From $34.95 a Piece @ La Vie En Rose
Summertime = swimsuit season, and while for some ladies that may make your skin crawl, I have to tell you that La Vie En Rose’s Aqua collection may very well sweep in to save the day. I’m particularly drawn to the sun-drenched shades of their mix & match Sorbet collection, which includes both prints and solids in a rainbow of colours. Whether you’re looking for coverage of a certain area or you want your swim wardrobe to go the extra mile by swapping out pieces with one another, I strongly recommend perusing their collection to find a range of suits to flatter your figure, no matter your shape. They’ve also got some great sales going on (as of me writing this) to help make it extra affordable for you to pick up a few new pieces that all work in harmony together. Give a gift card to a friend that’s just shed some weight or had a new baby and is a little insecure about her tiger stripes – she’ll love you for it!
Le Palais des Thés Iced Teas – $29
Real iced tea is made with well, real tea. And my friends, it doesn’t get much better than refreshing carafe filled with one of Le Palais des Thés Iced Tea blends. This gorgeous gift set contains 4 extra large tea bags of 4 flavours to allow for the lip-smacking flavours to fully unfurl. Plus, the bags come with extra long strings so you can easily pull them out of your pitcher before drinking up. Once you’ve chosen a favourite flavour (I personally adored the The du Hammam’s lush fresh fruit notes), be sure to stock up on a box of your favourites. A fantastic pick for the hostess with the mostest on your gift list.
Ruffle Beach Coverup – $120 @ Dear Frankie
Who says a cover-up has to mimic a muumuu? Not Dear Frankie, that’s for sure. This saucy ruffled cover-up will keep your skimpiest bikinis in check when you stroll along the boardwalk for some ice cream or fries, plus it looks adorable when paired under a denim mini or even over a pair of leggings. Although it doesn’t exactly cover too much up, it provides just that extra bit of coverage when you’re out of the water and laying back on the sand. I love it as a gift for your girlfriend or wife so you can enjoy some eye candy all day long.
Island Shade Shack – $108.99 @ Brookstone
Speaking of covering up, what better way to than with this stylish cabana-esque shade shack? Not only does it look fantastic and provide great sun coverage, it also rolls up into its own carrying case, weighs just 10 lbs for easy trekking to the beach, and promises 30 second set-up with included sand bags for this windy days. The mesh panel in the back allows a gentle breeze to cool you off, and the included pillows make lounging a cinch. Not only is this one fantastic for the beach, consider bringing it along when camping for an instant living space separate from your tent. An awesome anniversary present for your parents or surprise gift for a beach-loving spouse.
Marc Jacobs Sunshine Editions – $75 – $85 @ The Bay, Sears, Holt Renfrew, Sephora, Murale, etc.
I’ve said it before and I’ll mention it again – I’m very much a fan of revisiting your beauty routine as the seasons change. In the summer, it’s all about lightening up your scent to something bright and light, just like the sunshine and fresh air you’re enjoying outdoors. Luckily many perfumers release limited-edition reinventions of their scents to match the warmer weather, like Marc Jacobs’ new spins on his beloved Daisy and Oh Lola! fragrances. For fans of his 2007 classic ‘Daisy’, you can indulge in either the regular Sunshine Edition (filled with fruity notes of Lychee, Guava, and Apricot Skin) or the new Sunshine Eau So Fresh (with suitably pink notes like Strawberry, Apple Blossom, Pink Grapefruit and Rose). If you’re more of a fan of Marc’s oh-so-adorable Oh Lola! scent, the new Sunsheer Edition is a lighter take with juicy Raspberry and Pear coupled with girly Vanilla, Tonka Bean and Magnolia. A perfect pick for any gal pal celebrating a milestone birthday.
Shake Tote Bag – $89.99 @ Quirky
Every gal I know has a designated beach bag – after all, who wants sand granules sticking to their lip gloss or that delectable croissant you stuff into your purse, well after you’ve hit the shore? Quirky however, has come up with an ingenious solution that makes your beach bag extremely versatile, to the point where you may be able to turf your regular purse all summer long. The Shake Women’s Tote features a reversible flap that can either conceal or reveal the bag’s mesh bottom. When you’re done after a day on the sand, simply shake the bag free from any crusties and be on your merry way. To the unassuming eye, it’ll look like a sleek oversized bag. To you however, it’s a lifesaver that’ll eviscerate sand from all your everyday goods. Not in the market for a new tote? The Shake line includes bags of all sizes - from a cute little clutch for those weddings by the shore to a men’s tote and kid’s bag so your whole family can shake off the sand.
Put The Love In The Coconut Beach Towel – $79 @ Castle
If you really want to make a statement on the sand, this vibrant and adorable beach towel from Australian shop Castle is completely worth the price. This limited-edition beach accessory is reminiscent of designer Rachel Castle’s beautiful and eye-popping line-up of linens, cushions, and other decor items, only it’s meant to be seen by the world at large. If you and your spouse are taking a sojourn somewhere beachy this year, surprise them by tucking this into their suitcase for a special treat upon arrival.
Kiss My Face Sun Care Collection – $14.99 – $16.99 (also available at Well.ca)
Here’s a tricky conundrum for you – we all know that excessive exposure to the sun is bad for us, so we slather on sunscreen. But most sunscreens actually contain pretty harsh chemicals that are easily absorbed into our skin (especially when sweat glands open up in the hot weather). Luckily some brands are taking note and coming up with safer, smarter solutions. Kiss My Face has launched two new sunscreens in Canada this year that have made the EWG’s list of just 184 sunscreens that meet their criteria for a healthy sun protector. The water-resistant adult formula provides SPF 40, all-natural mineral protection including the ingredient hydresia, to help moisturize as it protects, even for sensitive skin. The kid-friendly option is free from all kinds of nasty stuff – like phthalates, fragrances, and animal ingredients – and uses Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to block out the sun’s rays, while soothing natural butters keep your skin happy and nourished. Buy them for every mom on the block – or every friend you’re hitting the waves with – and be hailed as a local hero in no time.
Cool news kids! I’ve got a fun little gift set to give away – one winner is going to score a $100 gift basket of products from Kiss My Face to protect your skin, a $25 gift card to La Vie En Rose to kickstart your swimsuit shopping, some Ice Cold Towels to cool you off during sweltering afternoons, and a Quirky Shake Tote to carry all your goodies. Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment by July 16th with your favourite featured beachy gift idea + who you’d gift it to (yourself counts!)
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around July 17th to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Pin for more chances to win! There are 10 summertime gift ideas featured in this post. Pin as many as you like and earn a bonus entry for each pin (for up to 10 in total) – just leave a link to your Pin(s) below.