Summer Survival: Beach Day Essentials

Every Tuesday during the month of August, I'm teaming up with four other ladies from coast-to-coast to share our strategies for surviving the end of summer. This week, we're each sharing our beach and/or pool essentials. Since I live in San Diego and we're known much more for our beaches than our pools, I'm going to focus a little more on my beach-going staples today!

1. Active Mom Swimwear Favorites:
Swimwear is a no-brainer for the beach or pool, and a bikini style suit is my personal favorite.  But when I'm on mom-duty I like to be on the more conservative side of that style and something that I know will stay put! My go-to in this category are J. Crew bikini tops. I love that they come with Bra Sizing (rather than S/M/L) because I've had much better luck getting a proper fit. They aren't the cheapest option for swimwear, but the fit makes it worth it to me, and they also hold up really well so I don't have to replace them very often.

Bottoms are a little easier to fit for me, so I go for something more affordable like Target. Then I end up mixing and matching my J. Crew top with Target bottoms, like so:
J Crew Bikini Top (Exact Style. Color options vary) | Similar B/W option (from Target)

J Crew Bikini Top (Exact style, color options vary) | Similar Print Bottoms (from Target)

2. Beach Chairs and Umbrellas:
We didn't own any of these items when we moved to San Diego three years ago (as you can imagine, beach-going isn't a big part of the Seattle lifestyle!), and it took some trial and error for us to figure out exactly what we need (or don't) at the beach.
Tommy Bahama Chairs | Tommy Bahama Umbrella (Color Selection Varies)

Umbrella: As much as I love summer and sunshine, I'm not into skin cancer and new wrinkles, so our beach umbrella is a huge help for shade and sun protection. Another thing I like about having an umbrella is that it makes it easier for us to find our home base! Whether I go down to the water or up to the bathrooms, it's easier to come back and find the family by looking for an exact umbrella than by bodies laying on the sand.

Umbrellas all along the beach!

Chairs: We also love these beach chairs because it's more comfortable to sit upright and watch the kids play (or if I'm lucky, do a little reading). I also love that they have a cup holder and cell phone compartment on the arm rest and additional zippered storage at the back of the chair to keep a wallet, keys etc. Plus they fold up and can be worn like a backpack to make it easy (even for my kids) to transport them to and from the car:

On-the-Go: Between the four of us in my family, we can carry all of our stuff to and from the car and beach, but when our kids were smaller and couldn't help with carrying as much, we had to use one of these beach carts:

It was a bit of a hassle to load it in the car and load it up with all of our stuff, but also a necessity if we wanted to have all the chairs, umbrella, sand toys, towels, boogie boards, snacks etc. that we use at the beach!

* * *
As I mentioned in the intro, I'm collaborating with four other bloggers for this summer survival series! So I hope you'll follow through our coast-to-coast blog hop by heading to the Midwest for Carylee's take on this week's theme, or simply use the links above to meet each blogger in this series. 

Before you go, don't forget to check out my MacBook Air + Tory Burch Giveaway, and I'll see you back on Friday for an outfit recap and some recent favorites!

Linking up with:
ErikaAndreaNarci |JoLynne |  Lindsey | Alison



  1. I always have all my beach gear in my trunk, but that beach chair sounds amazing lol. I need one.


  2. What a fun end of summer series! Those chairs are perfect and so handy! I used to buy my suits from JCrew years ago and had forgotten about them. Those bikini tops are so cute!

    Doused In Pink

  3. These are all great beach tips. I really need to invest in chairs that have a cup holder and a net for holding other essentials. The backpack feature is brilliant. We'd use these often although we don't go to the beach very often. We do love to go to music festivals, and we have to bring our own beach chairs to the pool. I think I'm going to order a pair.

  4. Both of the swimsuits are so charming, love a good pop of color! Xx


  5. You are a beach pro! And I love those JCrew tops too! I have a ton of colors!
    Carylee | morepiecesofme.com

  6. You know I'm a beach girl through and through so this was fun to read! I love your bikini! I think every woman dreads buying and trying them on but separates are the way to go. And I agree on having an umbrella at the beach! I get hot so easily and my skin can't take too much sun.

  7. These are great beach essentials! I love the mix and match bikinis! And those chairs are so handy!

  8. Looking forward to this summer series. Man, your beach chair has ALL the bells and whistles! I'll have to check it out; I like how your little essentials can be tucked away (you almost don't need a separate beach bag).

  9. I love your mix + match bikinis, so cute!

  10. I am not going to lie, when I think about summers with kids all I think about is a lot of heat and time in a bathing suit. Neither are favorite activities of mine, ha! I'll have to check out J. Crew suits. I love when you can get an actual size that fits rather than s/m/l. Good idea to buy a color that can work with multiple bottoms.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  11. These are such great tips! I love the beach cart idea! It is super useful :)


    Novelstyle Blog

  12. I did not know that J. Crew sold their bikini tops in bra sizes and I love this! I was going to get a new swimsuit this year and didn't get around to it, so I need to remember this for next year. I also love the idea of getting a less expensive bottom at Target! So fun to mix and match!


  13. Beach chairs are a definite! I love sitting up and "people-watching" at the beach or the waves in the morning before anyone is on the beach.

    Daily Style Finds

  14. those chairs look awesome! we definitely don't have the need for beach stuff here, womp womp. but at home we definitely used huge umbrellas, but i have never seen a cart like that! what a brilliant idea. i will have to check out j crew tops next time i need a new one.. i struggle finding bikini tops, i have such a small chest that they rarely even make them in my size even when they do bra sizes... and the s/m/l never fit right or come in the styles i like.

  15. Those swimsuits are too cute! The beach is always so relaxing and interesting to me!

    Chow Down USA

  16. Fun post! We just recently got umbrellas and I had to hunt down 3 Costco's to get it.


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.


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