8 On-The-Go Summer Essentials for Moms

For the record, I’m sharing these 8 summer essentials for moms on the go (hey, that’s me) as part of a sponsored post for Poise Microliner through Socialstars. #PoisewithSAM

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So, you’re a mom on the go like me, huh? We’re always heading to the pool, or to the beach, or off on a bike ride, or some other family adventure, especially in the summertime, and it’s important for moms to be prepared for anything, and everything! We need to make sure we have everything the kids need. We need to make sure to have everything the husband needs. Everyone will need to be fed if you’re out all day. But what about mom? We need to be prepared too. And let’s face it, as moms, we have issues. No, I’m not talking emotional scars here. I’m talking “mom” stuff. You know, the stuff that happens to us after we become moms and begin to age a little? Yes, that stuff. It’s not pretty, but it’s a fact of life and when we’re out in the elements, all day long, we need to be prepared. Yes, I do mean the damage the sun can do to our drooping (OK, mine, maybe not yours) faces, and oh heck, I’ll say it, loss of control of some of our functions thanks to the minions. Yes, LBL (light bladder leakage). I’ve already explained that. Being prepared for anything is key!

bike riding, Galveston, family outing, moms, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage

One of my family’s favorite outings is bike riding. It’s a huge deal for us and it’s a full day’s event. We need to be prepared. So while B is prepping our bike, or as I like to call it, #GossettBusComingThrough, I’m prepping everything else inside to ready us for the day. He gets the tools for the actual bike (can’t have a low tire, can’t be without seat adjusters, etc.), but I get our “tools” ready for the day. Here are my top 8 essentials for a great family day of bike-riding fun!

bike riding essentials, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage, Galveston

1. Sunglasses for everyone.

The sun is BRIGHT here, y’all. I mean super bright and all of these blue eyes are very sensitive to the sun. We need sunglasses to keep our eyes safe, free of squinting, and in the cases of my “boys”, no sneezing. Seriously, they both sneeze every time their eyes hit the sun. We can’t have that, so I’m always prepared with sunglasses for all.

#PoisewithSAM, Poise Microliners, LBL, light bladder leakage, bike riding essentials for moms

2. Sunscreen.

Like I said, our sun is bright, and HOT. We need to protect all of our skin all day long with a good sunblock. Bubby and B are fair and Bug and I tan with a quickness. Neither is great for our skin (especially mine because, well…wrinkles), so we need to be prepared. We spray down before we leave, and I bring the spray along to reapply throughout the day.

3. A picnic lunch.

When you ride a bike all day long, you get a little hungry. Even though we just do leisurely bike rides (hey I’m not trying to race or anything), it’s still exercise and we get hungry. Stopping at restaurants along the way can get expensive, so I’m always sure to pack a nice picnic lunch and we plan a family-friendly stop along the way. This week, it was a fun park with a little water splashing action. Sandwiches are always best because you can pack light and everyone feels satisfied.

4. Bottled water.

This is a HUGE deal. You need to stay hydrated in all of that hot summer sun, especially for something like a bike ride. You don’t want anyone getting dehydrated, so tossing some bottled water in that cooler/picnic basket is essential.

5. Bug spray.

Mosquitos are BAD here y’all, and they’re demon mosquitos at that. We spray down before we go, and we’re sure to bring more to reapply as necessary. Seriously, the mosquito should be our national bird. HUGE, I tell ya, just huge, and demonic.

6. Cell phone.

OK, for me, this is a biggy for many reasons. First, you’re out and about and something could happen so you’ll need a charged phone in case you need to make a call (might I also suggest a portable charger just in case?). Second, photo opps of course. You don’t want to lug around your big camera, but you still want to capture those fun moments, right? Last, ummm, how else would I post all of the fun on my social media if I forgot it? Right. Never go anywhere without your cell phone!

Poise, bike riding, Galveston, LBL, light bladder leakage

7. The bike.

Well, you can’t go on a bike ride without the bikes of course. Or in our case, one big, extremely long, bike for the entire family. Once he’s done assembling, and I’m done prepping, we’re ready to go and I know that we’ll all be safe and completely ready for a full day of fun!

8. Poise Microliners

But I almost forgot about me. About the LBL. Moms always forget to take care of themselves. But this time, I was prepared and I’ve been prepared all summer. Thanks to Poise Microliners, I haven’t had to worry about embarrassments or walks of shame. Just because pooping out 4 kids has done some things to my body that I don’t care to admit all of the time, that doesn’t stop me from having fun. I just plop a microliner in my panties and don’t worry if I can’t quite make it to the next port-o-potty because I know these thin (seriously, you can’t even tell that they’re there) pads will protect me, just in case. If you’d like to try them for yourself, you can. For free!

Galveston, bike riding, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage

Another successful weekend for our family, without incident, and fully prepared. This OCD comes in handy sometimes. Plus it keeps me feeling protected, protective, young, and prepared for anything. Are you ready when you head out of the house this summer? Don’t worry about the little things, and don’t you dare worry about embarrassment just because mommy issues have you wondering if you should stay at home. LBL is a thing, y’all, and you aren’t alone. 1 in 3 women have issues with light bladder leakage. It’s just a thing. Put Poise on your list and you’ll never have to worry again!

Picnics are a snap with Schlitterbahn’s Mom’s Ice Chest Challenge {Avocado Spread Recipe}

Just so you know, I participated in Schlitterbahn’s Mom’s Ice Chest Challenge to facilitate this post. We’re planning a picnic and packing a #BahnCooler. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own.

picnic, Schlitterbahn, Galveston, cooler lunch, family fun
So, hey! We’re going to Schitterbahn! You know what’s cool about that? Well, other than the awesome water rides of course? Schlitterbahn loves families and the proof is in the cooler. Families can save by bringing their own coolers to the park. In fact, it’s encouraged. Combine that with free parking, and it’s the perfect family day of fun!

Bringing in a cooler does more than save money for your family. It lets you take care of those fussy eaters (so yea, Bubby will be eating P,B, & J) so you can stay all day. Packing a cooler with our kids’ favorite foods and drinks means more time enjoying rides and less time in food lines. Plus hello? Money savings!

The thing about Schlitterbahn is, the ticket price is the end of it. No nickel and dime charges. Pay for the tickets, then bring your cooler full of food and drink (no alcohol please and thank you), and parking is free. There’s a huge variety of rides, some wild, some mild  (something for everyone), and there’s plenty of room for you to set up your own picnic.

We’re stoked about going and since it’s been super rainy, yucktastic, and stormy here on the island, we decided to pick out our picnic food ahead of time and practice inside (hey, mom’s trying to entertain the kids here). We had a picnic in the living room and the kids are even more excited for Schlitterbahn Galveston than they were before.

schlitterbahn galveston

If you’re going to Schlitterbahn for a picnic, or anywhere for a picnic for that matter, you need to be prepared. Ready for some tips and tricks? Keep it simple! Sandwiches are the best picnic food. Trust me. Everyone loves a great sandwich, right? Well my family does and it’s the simplest picnic food on the planet. Plus, you can make it even easier by having the right essentials.

picnic basket overhead edit

I found this awesome picnic basket at Target. It’s a basket and a cooler, all rolled into one. This gem makes the picnic complete with the whole picnic atmosphere and it keeps your food on ice until you’re ready to eat. Some fruit (pack those in mason jars the night before), some sandwich meat, some sub rolls, cute bowls for serving, with some matching plates and utensils and you’re ready for anything.

Utensil caddy and container ideas

This cute utensil caddy, plus some sturdy cupcake cups, make for the perfect presentation without a lot of fuss and worry. The fact that they are portable and disposable is just an added bonus.

picnic bright crop text
Throw in some fun drinks, and the most awesome Jimmy John’s knock off avocado sandwich spread, and you WIN! And it’s all so easy. Want to be a hero at your picnic? This is how to roll. Seriously, check out the spread recipe below (and ditch the mayo because…well, gross).

basket plated sandwich bright
Whatever you like on your sandwich, sandwiches are definitely the way to go for picnics. We went with ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and the most amazing spread you’ll ever put in your mouth. If you’re headed to Schlitterban, or anywhere else where a picnic is in order, I encourage you to try this spread, and to use these simple tips for a successful picnic. Nothing really says family time like Schlitterbahn and a picnic.

Jimmy John’s Knock Off Avocado Spread

What you’ll need…

  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1/2 tspn dry mustard

What you’ll do…

  • Blend pepper, onion, garlic, tomato, and dry mustard in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Smash avocado and lime in a bowl with a fork.
  • Hand mix avocado mixture with above blended ingredients.
  • Spread on your sandwich.
  • Enjoy your picnic!

I hope you enjoy MANY family picnics this summer and I encourage you to be prepared. If you live in the area of a Schlitterbahn…GO. It’s like the best family fun anywhere. You can save a LOT of money because they actually encourage you to bring your own cooler and lunch. If you have better ideas than mine for the perfect picnic foods, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

So tell me, who’s going to Schitterbahn? If you don’t live by one, who’s going on a picnic? Picnics are super fun in the summer y’all. If you aren’t going, you’re missing out!

Sometimes I need to turn OFF: I’m Done with Community Living!

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I’m on “go” all the time. I’m social. I have my game face on. There’s nothing fake about it. I love being social. I love that my job is social. I just LOVE to talk actually. My job suits me and “social” is kind of my calling I guess. But, it’s not.

You see, I need down time. I need time to just sit back, relax, and reflect. I don’t need that time often, but I do need it. My job doesn’t allow that down (alone) time and I’m cool with that. I’m GREAT with that. But when do I find that alone time? That down in the depths of NON-social time? I should find it on the weekends when I’m off right? Well, I don’t.

I live in a community. It’s a beautiful community with a lot of amenities. We’ve been living this lifestyle for about 5 years now. At first, until recently, I thought I loved it. I’m social. Of course I love living around 100’s of people. Of course I love community living. Of course I love hanging out with a gazillion people at the pool every weekend. Of course I love bringing my children to the playground where they can’t even move because there are so many other children playing there. Of course I love having people drop by at will to join in our family cook outs. Of course I love being on “go” all the time, 24/7. Of course I do!

OK, I really don’t. I need downtime. I’m tired of community living. I’m tired of stepping out on my back porch to make a phone call to my mom, to pay a bill, to talk to my husband, and knowing that everyone around here knows my business. I’m tired of bumping into people in the hallways, and in the stairwells, when I’m just not in a good mood, and having to smile so they know that I’m friendly. I’m tired of socializing at a pool with a bunch of people that I don’t share much in common with and I wouldn’t chose to socialize with if it weren’t for our common location. I’m tired of  being afraid to have a disagreement with my husband, or with my kids, for fear of what people might think. I’m tired of community living.

Down time. I need it. I want it. I long for it.

I loved this lifestyle for awhile. I really, really did. I love being social. I love having people around. But these people are really around too much. They aren’t just my neighbors. They feel like stalkers because they’re just…there…always.

Community (perhaps commune?) living just is not for me. I’m ready to ditch the closeness. I’m ready to drop the insta-smile on command. I’m ready to turn off my “go face” for a couple of days here and there. Because when I’m “on”, I’m ON. But quite frankly, when I’m ready to turn off, I need to turn OFF. That’s not possible here.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been not as “social” at the pool on the weekends. I just kind of keep to myself and relaxed. Apparently, I’m the community bitch now. So be it. I needed to turn off for a bit. They don’t get it. I’m cool with that. I’m ready to leave commune life. Down time, that’s what I need. Just a little, every once in awhile. DOWN TIME.

We’re looking for a quiet place. My life is busy. My job is social. I’m social. We live in a tourist town, there will always be people to talk to. That’s cool. I’m just longing for a place where I can kick back, and not be social, on the weekends when I want to.

I’m hoping the new neighbors will be social, but not too much. Get me on that? I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, feel free to be social with me. I like it. A lot. Just don’t expect me to be at my best during my down times. We all need them, you know?