Summer Essentials: AKA What I Always Have in My Car or Purse

You know the deal. You’re a mama. And this means you may have given up altogether on having a nice purse for yourself. You are so busy carting around things your kids might need that a small suitcase with 360-wheel access seems like a good idea or you’ve just started using the diaper as your purse. Been there done that.


Fear not. It doesn’t have to be like this. Your purse or car need not be taken over by the fickle and ever-changing needs of your tiny charges. We have some survival tips to help you keep it all in check.

When it comes to summer I have a short list of things I absolutely must have accessible when I’m out with the kids. It just makes life easier, helps me feel more prepared, and when the unexpected happens, I feel less thrown for a loop with these essentials nearby.

  1. First things first. Summers are hot in Winnipeg. Since my kids were wee I have always kept a canvas bag (don’t ask why it’s canvas, it just is. Likely because of all the conferences I attend) with swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, and non-perishable (or non-meltable) granola bars in the hatch of my SUV. When you’re out running errands with the kids and the mercury is rising, sometimes you just have to hit a splashpad or pool before the kids (and you) lose their marbles. And there is nothing worse than being invited to an impromptu pool party and NOT having the proper gear on you. This proactive canvas bag filled with summer must-haves solves THAT. Yay!
  2. Youngblood Luminous Crème Blush
    This one is for me. I like summer glow. Especially on my cheeks. But make-up in the heat of summer can be a challenge. This is why I love cream blush for the season. To prevent the cakiness that can occur with powdered blush may I suggest switching it with a cream? The cream-textured blush from Youngblood combines a shimmering glow with sheer, long-wearing colour that is perfect for outlasting the summer sizzle. The oil free formula even contains Vitamins C and E, Allantoin and Jojoba Esters that blend together to moisturize and protect the skin. ($32.00 at
  3. Sunscreen for the kids and you.
    Finding the right sunscreen for the kids is key. My kids are always in and out of the water, playing in the sand, or on a play structure. So you need to find one that is great for a variety of activities and non-sticky. I love the spray option. I know there are some concerns about the spray but I’ve always taught my kids to face away from the body part I’m spraying and sprayed in well-ventilated area (ie. outdoors). My go-to pick for sunscreen for the kids is Neutrogena.
    When it comes to my skincare in the sun, I’ve noticed more spots than I’m comfortable with. For years, I tried to wear make-up with at least a 30 SPF but outside of Clinique I couldn’t really find what I was looking for until this year. I finally discovered Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Sunscreen. This product comes with Helioplex technology provides high, photostable UV protection from the sun. This broad-spectrum sunscreen defends skin against both UVA and UVB rays. And it’s easy to wear under make-up which I really appreciate. Both products are available at London Drugs stores or
  4. In-car entertainment: Not what you’re thinking
    The days of playing punch-buggy no-return are clearly long gone. Kids have tablets and devices to distract them from the long ride to the cottage or cross-country trek. But what about in the city? I don’t like it when my kids play with electronics the whole time, so we came up with this quick fix after #LipOff2015 in May where the judges used whiteboards to score the competitors. After the event, those whiteboards were re-purposed so my kids could now draw in the car. We take some paper towels along (in that famous canvas bag) for erasing and hit the road! The whiteboards now live in the back hatch and the kids LOVE using them as we drive around the city.

Enjoy these last few weeks of summer before school starts and here’s to summer essentials that come to the rescue.



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