Grateful for Summer Fun

Grateful for Summer

Nothing says “summer” like tan shoulders, fireflies, and vacations at the beach. A couple weekends ago, I had a great beach vacation with my college bestie and didn’t even leave the Midwest. Here are a few things I fell in love with while we were gone.

Lombardi Limonata

Lombardi Limonata

Let’s get right to it, shall we? Summer tastes better with something cold, fruity, and alcoholic in your hand, amiright?! Well, this big girl checks all those boxes. I stumbled into the red raspberry limonata in the cooler section of the liquor store because I’m a total sucker for interesting packaging. Come to find out its made in Janesville, so you are totally supporting local. (Though I found it in Michigan. Does that still count?) Reminiscent of our Mike’s Hard Lemonade days, it actually tastes like fruit vs. just sugar, but be prepared… One is all you’ll need to feel like your teeth are wearing sweaters and you WERE MADE TO DANCE!!

Miss Jessie’s Jelly soft Curls

Miss Jessie Curl Cremes

Y’all, we need to have a talk about the haircare aisle at Target. If you know me in real life, you know that my struggle to keep my hair curly is for real. Nothing seemed to work, so I was excited when a friend told me about Miss Jessie’s. I skipped over to my local Target only to find this line in the “multicultural hair” department. What does that even mean? Am I allowed in? Do I look like a schmuck because I’m buying African-American girl hair stuff? Why is every decision a delicate decision these days?? I walked out in a panic and empty-handed.

After a pep talk from the original user (who told me that “multicultural” is a PC term for mixed folks who used to have to decide if they want to use white girl or black girl hair stuff), I tried again. Y’all… I don’t care if your store puts this curling gel in the “only for purple people who grew up on Mars and eat candy bars for breakfast” section and you don’t think you belong, you need to buy it. It is magical! Even with all the rain and humidity we’ve had recently, my hair looks great. The curls are truly soft. Unless I put in way too much product, there is no crunch at all. Love!

New Buffalo, MI

Lake Michigan from New Buffalo, MI

I almost don’t want to tell you where we went on vacation because New Buffalo was so cute and quaint. If more people hear about it, they are bound to get a Piggly Wiggly-esque grocery store and an actual streetlight. But guys, this place was perfect! The previously mentioned BFF lives in Ohio so we looked for some place roughly in the middle. She was also traveling with a family, so a VRBO house was what we needed. We looked at The Dunes in general and ended up in New Buffalo simply because it was the only place we could get into, everything else was booked. (Okay, maybe we aren’t the first to discover the place.)

Anyway, the house was brand new and came with a beautiful neighborhood pool that was close enough our baby monitor worked. There was a brand new library with an amazing toy section and book selection for the kiddos on rainy days, and the beach, well, the beach surprised me. How were we 50 miles from Chicago (and only a small amount of miles away from nasty Gary) and the water was so clear and calm? It was kind of rocky, but Eggroll played in the sand for what felt like hours.

There was a smattering of restaurants and ice cream shops, but we mostly just ate at home. Five kids and two families’ schedules are bound to make that happen. I was down with it though because…

Chocolate Lasagna

Chocolate Lasagna from I Heart Naptime
Photo Credit to I Heart Naptime

Yep. Eating dinner at home meant we needed dessert at home, which meant I needed (NEEDED, I say!) to make this chocolate lasagna dessert. Guys, I try to pretend to eat healthy the majority of the time and usually even my candy-coated desserts are made with found-somewhere-in-nature ingredients I mix by hand. But sometimes you just have to embrace the chocolate pudding, Cool Whip, and Oreo concoctions for what they are. And what they are is GOOD! If you need a last minute idea for a dish to pass for fireworks-watching next week, I strongly recommend this one.

We have more than half of summer left to go, so please share what you’re loving for the rest of us to enjoy. Leave a note in the comments or use #therealgoodlife on Instagram for us to join in the fun.