11 Hot Tips for a Cool Summer

The first day of Summer is June 21 (which is also the longest day of the year.) No one wants to be unprepared for the summer! Prepare now, and relax later by making sure that you’re ready for the season with these 11 hot tips for a cool Summer!

1. DIY Bug Repellent: Bugs are a major problem for a lot of people in the summer. Instead of spending your summer swatting those annoying little critters, invest a bit of time into creating bug repellent that’s safe for your skin!

Recipe #1-

According to researchers, “nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET—the compound used in most commercial insect repellents.” (This particular recipe is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.)

  • 8 oz apple cider winegar, witch hazel, or vodka OR a dry oil such as jojoba
  • 15 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops citronella oil
  • 15 drops catnip essential oils

Recipe #2-

Avoid this recipe during first three months of pregnancy, but fine after that.  Also, it’s safe for breastfeeding.

  • 8 oz apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka OR a dry oil such as jojoba
  • 40 drops geranium or lemon essential oil

Recipe #3-

Fine for pregnant and breastfeeding moms!

  • 8 oz apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka OR a dry oil such as jojoba
  • 30 drops of peppermint oil (avoid if you have epilepsy or are pregnant)
  • 15 drops lemon oil (or rose geranium oil to repel ticks)


Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and apply liberally. Store in the fridge when not in use. Should last 2-3 months.


2. DIY Weed Killer: Are weeds taking over your garden? With the price of “Roundup” at $15.00, and the harsh chemicals that it comes with, this homemade weed killer is definitely a better option. Plus, it only costs about $4.00 for three gallons, and only requires three common household ingredients!



Fill a spray bottle almost to capacity with vinegar, then add the dish soap and salt. Shake vigorously! Then spray your weeds, and within a few hours you will see them wilt. Within 24 hours, they’re dead! If it doesn’t work fast enough for you, add more salt. This product will kill grass, so be careful!

3. DIY Beach Towel/Tote: This towel tote is perfect for the summer! If you are even a little handy with a sewing machine, this is a great project for you! The instructions on the website are very easy to follow and have very detailed pictures explaining every step.

4. Must Ready Books: The LA-Times has a great list of 2014 Summer books. They have sorted the books by genre and included the price and a short description. These books are perfect for lounging on your porch, laying in a hammock, sun bathing on the beach, floating in the pool, or whatever else you do to relax in the warm weather.

List Here: (http://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-summer-reading-guide-20140529-html…)

5. Safe Sunscreens! Many of the mainstream sunscreen brands contain chemicals that are harmful to the body. Sunscreen ingredients such as oxybenzone, benzophenone, octocrylene, or octylmethoxycinnamate have been shown to increase the risk of skin cancer. This website has compiled a list of top 6 sunscreens that have the safest ingredients, without a harsh price tag. Safe sunscreen is definitely a must this Summer.

1. Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40

  • Price: $12.20 for 3 oz.
  • EGW (Environmental Working Group) rating: 1 (0 best score, 10 worse score)
  • Ingredients: Aqua, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin-E), Ergocalciferol (Vitamin-D), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin-C), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin
  • Description: Enriched with hydresia for ultra-moisturizing water resistant. Fights signs of aging. Gluten free, paraben free, phthalate free, vegan friendly, no animal testing.

2. Loving Naturals Clear Body Sunscren, SPF 30+

  • Price: $21.99 for 4.3 oz.
  • EGW Rating: 1
  • Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Non-Nano Zinc Oxide – 24.7% Ingredients: Grape Seed Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (from Coconut Oil), Organic Beeswax, Stearic Acid (from Palm Oil), Organic Honey, Sea Salt, Purified Water
  • Description: 100% Natural/Organic Ingredients. Broad spectrum protection UVA/UVB. Cruelty free and gluten free. Water resistant.

3. Coral Safe SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

  • Price: $20.90 for 5.4 oz.
  • EGW Rating: 1
  • Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (22.5%), Titanium Dioxide (6%), Deionized Water, Sunflower Oil, Lecithin, Coconut Oil, Glycerine, Xanthan Gum, Green Tea Extract, Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Shea Butter, Eucalyptus Oil
  • Description: All Natural. Biodegradable. Reef friendly with green tea.

4. Raw Elements USA Eco Formula, SPF 30+

  • Price: $18.99 for 3 oz.
  • EGW Rating: 1
  • Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 23%
    Natural Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Green Tea, Organic Black Tea, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, All Natural Mango Butter, Organic Beeswax, All Natural Rosemary Oil Extract, All Natural Vitamin E ***All Ingredients Marked Organic Are USDA Certified Organic.
  • Description: All Natural and free of all the bad stuff, this formula boasts balanced Physical UV protection through our unique Organic Eco-Shield Performance Technology. As a performance driven sunscreen, it is very water resistant beyond 80 minutes, yet so gentle and moisturizing it is perfect for our young ones! Packed with biologically active antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and extracts, it continues protecting our skin long after environmental exposure.

5. ThinkBaby Sunscreen Benefiting Livestrong, SPF 50+

  • Price: $14.65 for 3 oz.
  • EGW Rating: 1
  • Description: Broad spectrum UVA/UBB protection. SPF 50+. Water resistant. No biologically harmful chemicals; No Parabens or PABA. No animal testing. Mineral based sunscreen (active ingredient Zinc Oxide) applies nearly clear and not oily.

6. Badger Baby Sunscreen, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 30+

  • Price: $25.90 for both
  • EGW Rating: 1
  • Ingredients: Active Sunscreen Ingredient: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75% Other Sunscreen Ingredients: *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), CO2Extracts of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Organic Seabuckthorn), and *Calenduls Officinalis (Organic Calendula), *Anthemis Nobilis (Organic Chamomile) Essential Oil, and Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E).
  • Description: Has certified Organic base of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Has the mild scent of Chamomile and Calendula. Water resistant for 40 minutes and biodegradable. Pediatrician tested and approved safe.

Source: (http://www.avocadobarrel.com/beauty-goodness/safe-sunscreen-top-6-picks/)

7. Grill Safety: Many people are under the misconception that grilling is easy: You just light up the grill, open a cold one, slap the meat on the grates, then wait for the magic to happen. Right? …Wrong! Grilling can be dangerous. This website has compiled a list of grilling safety guidelines.

Source: (http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/grilling-…)

  • Clean your grill- The crusted-on, carbonized fat left on your grill should be cleaned off before you heat it up again, otherwise, you could start a huge fire.
  • Grill over a steel, stone, or dirt surface, and make sure there’s a five-foot parameter around the grill. Be sure that the grill isn’t directly next to tree branches, bushes or patio furniture.
  • If you’re grilling with gas, do NOT just turn the gas on without opening the cover… you could start a huge fire; or worse… you could lose an eyebrow!
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, wait until the flames die down to embers. Patience is required when cooking over charcoal: You don’t want to cook over anything more than smoldering coals. If you’re impatient, you could burn your food or start a fire.
  • Wear shoes (other than flip-flops!) while grilling. And, an apron is suggested, too!
  • If you’re doing some late-night grilling in the dark, use a porch light or a headlamp. This allows you to be hands-free, and the ability to see what you’re doing.
  • Turn off your gas grill as soon as you’re done to avoid forgetting!
  • When you’re done with your charcoal grill, wait to clean the coals until the next day to avoid spontaneous fires in the trash. When you are cleaning up the cooled coals, transfer them in a paper bag (like the one they came in!), and throw it out.

For other tips, you can check out the national fire protection association site: http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sh…

8. Porch Swing: This swing is a very basic build, and the website provides thorough instructions with pictures to follow along with. This project is perfect for the summer, and homemade the swing should last a long time!

Instructions: http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2013/06/porch-swing-diy.html

9. DIY Patio Lights: Patios are perfect to hang out on during the warm summer nights– but only if you have patio lights. This website provides a great way to hang lights if you don’t have a tree or other tall objects nearby to string the lights on. All you need is 2 terra cotta pots, wooden posts, quick dry cement, eye hooks, cable ties, potting soil, and plants of choice. For instructions, visit the website and check out the detailed images for the project!

Instructions: (http://likeasaturday.com/2014/04/24/hang-patio-string-lights/)

9. Color Trends: When figuring out what type of patio furniture, towels, pots, etc. to purchase this summer, take a look at these hot (no pun intended) summer colors for 2014! 

10. Summer Holidays: Need an excuse to break out the party hats and confetti? Check out some of these Summer holidays! For a complete list visit: http://www.holidayinsights.com/everyday.htm; there’s basically a holiday for every day!


  • 1 May Day
    • 4 Star Wars Day
    • 5 Cinco De Mayo
    • 11 Mother’s Day (Second Sunday)
    • 24 Victoria Day (Canada)
    • 26 Memorial Day


  • 14 Flag Day
  • 15 Father’s Day (Third Sunday)
  • 19 Juneteenth Day
  • 21 Summer Solstice


  • 1 Canada Day
  • 4 Independence Day
  • 22 Hammock Day


  • 3 National Watermelon Day
  • 10 National S’Mores Day
  • 30 National Marshmallow Toasting Day

11. Summer Fun: Need ideas to fill the warm Summer days with some fun? This list has 100 ideas for the entire family… Print off the list and check off activities as you complete them for a nice Summer Bucket List!