January 22, 2015

Top 5 Summer Essentials for 2015

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive samples of three of the listed products for purposes of the review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

I am a summer girl to my core.  And what a summer it has been!  I can't remember weather as stunning as this since I was a little girl.  And from what I can see we have many more weeks of this glorious heat and sunshine stretching out ahead of us.  Fingers crossed!

My little family enjoyed three blissful weeks together over the Christmas holidays full of endless swimming, beach visits, barbecues and day trip adventures.  There were certainly a few stand out products that made life a little easier and more enjoyable during this time.  I've compiled a list of my top 5 summer essentials - the stand out products that I just loved using over our summer break.

Hammamas Turkish Towels

This is most certainly one very "clever cotton towel"!  With all the time we spent at the beach, in the pool (one day we all went in the pool six times!) plus all of my husbands surf trips, it's fair to say we got through a fair amount of towels.  I'd seen Turkish Towels trending a lot online so I jumped at the chance to try the Hammamas Turkish Towels.  We all loved them from the first time we used them!  Made from the highest quality Turkish cotton, Hammamas Turkish Towels are similar in style to a sarong but slightly thicker - although you can certainly use them as a sarong!  I just love this Hammamas lifestyle shot!

They are super soft but more you use and wash them the softer they become.  I found them brilliant for gently brushing sand away from the delicate folds of our children's skin.  Their unique weave means that they are very absorbent but they also dry incredibly quickly too.  They are lightweight and fold up compactly making them so easy to unobtrusively pop in your bag and carry around.  We ended up buying a few extras to leave in the boot of my car for impromptu picnics (they make a great picnic rug) and beach visits.  My girls also liked to use them to snuggle in to them on the way home from a long day playing at the beach.  Not only are they fabulous around the pool or at the beach but they are brilliant for camping and boating where space is at a premium, absorbency essential and drying time minimal.  They come in an amazing range of colours plus the come in adult and kids sizes too so there is a Hammamas for everyone.  I really can't recommend this versatile product enough.

If you're thinking of trying these amazing Turkish towels out, make sure you keep you eyes out for the premium quality Hammamas.  The adult size retails for $45.00 and you can purchase them online at Hammamas NZ.

I'd been on the hunt for a new sunscreen for quite some time.  In the past I've been a big fan of the aerosol sunscreens as they were so convenient - easy to apply and they seemed to give great coverage.  But they were totally ruining my girls clothes.  No matter which brand I tried they would permanently stain everything yellow (the same way that some deodorants do - it must be an aerosol issue).  Plus I was wanting to make a move away from all those nasty chemicals - cue Skinnies Sungel!

Skinnies contains no nasties - no parabens, preservatives, emulsifiers, fragrances or perfumes, alcohol and it’s GMO free.  Phew!  But what sets them apart from all the other sunscreens is that Skinnies contains no water (most sunscreens contain as much as 50% to 70% water) meaning one application will last you all day.  Yip, that's right!  All day!  No reapplication needed!  It's a huge comfort to me knowing that my girls will be protected all day long at Kindergarten.  No water also means that Skinnies is concentrated so a little goes a very long way.  A pea sized blob is all you need to cover your face, neck and ears.  It goes on silky smooth (you almost don't feel like your rubbing in anything at all) and is non greasy which is a huge plus for me.  I grew up in the 80's when you just didn't get burnt and sunscreen was almost unheard of so I really struggle with those heavy oily lotions.  Skinnies was designed in New Zealand and is manufactured in Australia so you can be sure that it has been tested in some of the harshest sun conditions in the world.  A 100ml tube of Skinnies retails for $34.95 and is available nationwide at a range of quality stockists.

I have very thick long blonde hair which spends most of it's time tied in a messy bun on top of my head.  It's dry, knotty and in a bad way from all the chlorine, sand, salt and sunshine it gets exposed to.  On my quest for a product that would hydrate, detangle and smooth my tresses I came across the OGX range.  When I read "transform dry, parched hair" and "drench your dehydrated strands" I purchased it on the spot and I am oh so glad that I did!

The shampoo lathers up rich and creamy - you can literally feel your hair drinking it in.  But it was the conditioner which really impressed me.  I tend to use twice as much conditioner as shampoo as my hair gets so tangled but using a very minimal amount of OGX the knots practically slid right out by themselves.  My hair is left feeling totally silky smooth.  The roots are full of volume and the ends are hydrated and soft.  OGX is also sulphate free, gluten free and not tested on animals.  There are quite a few ranges within the brand.  I've tried the aragon oil of morocco range, macadamia oil range and am now sampling the coconut water range - which is fitting seeing how much I love coconut water in my green smoothies.  OGX has completely saved my hair this summer and I am so impressed by this range.  Shampoo RRP$18.99, Condition RRP$18.99 and Hydrating Oil RRP$20.20.  Available from Life and Unichem Pharmacies.

Not only does my hair get dehydrated in this glorious summer weather, but my skin does too.  Again, the chlorine, sand, salt and sunshine suck the moisture out of us leaving our skin dull and dry.  You can only moisturise so much before action needs to be taken to remove those dead skin cells and bring your skin back to life.  My sister gave me a sachet of Frank Coffee Scrub and I've never looked back!  Frank Coffee Scrubs target dry skin as well as cellulite, stretch marks, eczema, psoriasis, acne and scarring with a completely natural combination of roasted and ground robusta coffee beans, brown sugar, sea salt and cold pressed sweet almond oil.  Frank Scrubs are never tested on animals!  This amazing scrub completely sloughed away any and all dry and dead skin leaving my skin feeling bright, sssooo smooth and incredibly soft.  You can buy Frank Scrubs online here.  They cost AU$14.95 per sachet from which you should get at least 6+ applications plus AU$4.50 for postage or free if you purchase two sachets.

And finally, one for the kids...

We don't usually take too many toys to the beach.  I tend to find most kids make their own fun exploring their natural surroundings.  But there is a fabulous range from Melissa & Doug called Sunny Patch Sand Play which my girls love!

The first two designs - an ice cream set and a baking set - are essentially modelled around the classic bucket and spade but have been turned into something far more creative.


The second two designs expand on the baking theme - cupcakes and cookies.

They are all made from very sturdy moulded plastic which shows no signs of fading or breaking despite these toys having been put their paces over the past three years.  They still look as good as the day we purchased them.  My girls and I can highly recommend this creative range of beach toys.  For stockist information contact Childs Play.

So there you have it - my top 5 summer essentials for 2015.  There is still a lot of summer ahead of us so you might to give one (or some) of them a try!  Well, hold tight - we have a fabulous giveaway to announce in a few days time.

What about you?  What have you tried and loved this summer? x


  1. all of these sound great! Skinnies is my favourite summer product :)


  2. Hi Penny, thanks again for another awesome giveaway. If I had to pick just one summer essential it would have to be the Skinfood Mud Masque. It's seriously awesome for my combo skin on these long summer days. xx

  3. My feet suffer badly over Summer but this year i have discovered Burt's Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion which has been a godsend for my sore,dry feet. So refreshing and does a great job at leaving them smoothe. Smells great too!

  4. I've loved my Hammamas towel this summer! Looks like the next thing on my to try list is the Skinnies Sungel - seems like it could be the perfect solution for forgetful people like me who are terrible at reapplying!Great list - thanks for sharing! :)

  5. OGX sounds like exactly what my hair needs! Thanks 4 awesome giveaway :-)