Summer essentials

It’s official, in just a few short days summer will be upon us. Although the weather may seem like it has already begun, the official first day of summer is June 21st. I happen to love summertime. The smell of grills going, fresh cut grass and the feel of sun-kissed skin…ahhh…nothing better ๐Ÿ™‚ However, a few things I don’t always like about summer is the abundance of bugs that come out of hiding and sunburns. Ok, let me rephrase that, I was being nice. I HATE BUGS!! They can completely ruin a good cookout, campfire, or a day of lounging in the outdoors. In fact there has definitely been a time or two when I have fallen out of my lounge chair trying to defend myself from a bee/wasp/fly dive-bombing me. I think the bugs see this, laugh, and then continue to conspire against me ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, what do we do? We lather on the sunscreen and Off, light the citronella candles and hope for the best. Or many times we avoid such products due to the overload of chemicals that they contain. There is much controversy on the possible harmful additives in sunscreens and bug repellents. Actually, Chris and I have had this debate recently. I promote using sunscreen to avoid sunburns, and in turn, prevent skin cancer. He, on the other hand, says that the chemicals in these products could be just as harmful as the effects of not wearing sunscreen. So is it a lose-lose situation? Well, I have found some alternatives to help with this situation. When in doubt go with all natural products, or better yet, make your own! Below I have listed a recipe for a homemade sunscreen, as well as, a recipe for a bug repellent. This way it turns into a win-win with a product that protects you from harmful UV rays and pestering insects and a chemical-free solution!

Sesame Sunscreen

2 Tbs. coconut oil
1 Tbs. shea butter
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. aloe vera gel
2 tsp. powdered zinc oxide

Place oils and shea butter in a small bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water and heat until the shea butter has melted. Pour into a glass measuring cup and stir in aloe and zinc. Pour into a 2-oz. dark glass jar; store in fridge.

Natural Bug Repellent Spray

3 tsp. lavender water
2 drops sandalwood essential oil
6 drops citronella essential oil
6 drops eucalyptus essential oil

To make lavender water: Pour 1/2 c. boiling water over 1 tsp. lavender flowers. Let steep for half an hour.

To make bug spray: Combine all ingredients and pour into a dark glass spray bottle. Store in a cool, dark place.

Recipes courtesy of Do It Gorgeously

Happy summer ๐Ÿ™‚

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