The List

17 Summer Must-Haves

By Charlotte on May 23, 2017 2:36 PM

Bring on the heat! With summer almost here, I'm daydreaming about dinner on the patio, Saturdays in the pool and escaping to the beach. 

My favorite season calls for embracing life outdoors and a simpler routine. That's why I'm lovin' these hot beauty and fashion picks. At home or away, they'll help keep you looking and feeling fine without a lot of fuss.

Weekend Warrior

Planning a getaway? Toss what you need for an overnight adventure in this sensational Siesta Key Tote from Soft Surroundings. It'll hold a swimsuit, towel, sundress, pjs, undies, makeup and more. Really!

This huge, handwoven straw carryall has sassy tassels on the handle, a cotton lining and an inside pocket large enough to stash both your cell and sunglasses. Plus, since it folds flat, this easy-to-pack tote makes a great shopping companion for longer trips. ($129.95 at Softsurroundings.com)

A snap at the top of this terrific  tote keeps your treasures secure and the laidback style works everywhere from the city to the seashore.

Tote Bag-550.jpg

Step It Up

To get in shape for summer, Bob and I have been trying to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. That's a breeze when we're taking in the sights somewhere like New York City. We have to work a little harder to achieve our goal at home.

Either way, all that activity means I've gotta have ultra-comfortable footwear like these fun and flirty Arcopédico Stripe slip-ons. Perfect when you're on the go, these travel-ready ballet flats feel light as air. The cushy, removable insole, moisture- and odor-absorbing lining and non-skid, rubber sole keep my feet happy.

These fab Arcopédico Stripe flats combine all-day comfort with stylish rounded toes and an oh-so cute stripe pattern that looks great with jeans, shorts, skirts ... all my summer favs. I may just wear them every day!

Ballet Flats-550.jpgI tried them in classic black and white. Now, I can't wait to get these packable sole mates in beige/white and blue/white. As a bonus, they're vegan friendly - no animal products were used in manufacturing these Portuguese-made winners. No wonder they were rated a #1 comfort must-buy for spring 2017 by Footwear News editors. ($115 at independent shoe retailers throughout the country and arcopedicoshoes.com)

Curl Crush

Summer or fall, fixing my fine, thin hair is a challenge. I have to use a flat iron to smooth my bangs as well as a curling iron for all-over oomph. When traveling, I'm forced to sacrifice one or the other to save space and I never know which one to choose!

But those days are gone thanks to the new CHI Ellipse 3-in-1 Styler. With this fab tool, it's simple to create sleek locks, gorgeous undone waves or to-die-for curls. To go straight, just choose the Smooth option. It heats only the unit's inner plates so you can use it like a flat iron.

Prefer soft waves with body and bounce? Press a switch to lock the plates together and select the Wave option. This converts the multi-purpose tool to a styling wand, heating only the outside of the barrel. Want full-on curls? Unlock the plates and choose the Curl setting to heat both the inner plates and the barrel. Then wrap your hair in-between the plates and around the barrel for long-lasting spirals. Don't you just love having choices?

The multi-talented CHI Ellipse 3-in-1 Styler has an oval-shaped barrel that helps both waves and curls look more natural.

3 in one styler 600.jpgSince the barrel and plates are made from Teflon and Titanium, they prevent frizz, glide through my hair without sticking and leave it feeling nice and healthy. Plus, the very top of the barrel doesn't get hot so you have a place to grab hold and help guide the iron without getting burned. Bonus!

What's more, there's a handy glove included to protect you against burns when using the Wave option. You can adjust the heat up to 410 °F depending on what works best for your hair type. The handle is ultra-slim for easier styling and this do-it-all iron automatically shuts off after one hour. ($109.99 at Loxabeauty.com ) 

Back to the Beach

If you're anything like me, a trip to the beach (make that several) is already on your summer itinerary. Take along the Coola Sport Essential Travel Set and you'll have everything you need to pamper and protect your skin from the sun whether you're walking, swimming or just relaxing by the shore.

This cute, reusable pouch includes four top-rated, luxury and natural suncare essentials, all in TSA-approved, carry-on sizes. Made to nourish your skin with vitamins and age-defying antioxidants, the water-resistant foursome includes:

Sport Sunscreen - Clear, spray-on SPF 50 sun protection in a delicious Guava Mango scent.

Environmental Repair Plus Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion - A light, super-moisturizing cream that softens skin while providing UV protection and sunburn relief.

Classic Face Moisturizer - A powerful combination hydrator and SPF 50 sunscreen ideal for your face. Ultra sheer and hypoallergenic, it's infused with a refreshing white tea scent.

Liplux Original - A full-size, antioxidant- and vitamin-rich lip treatment that moisturizes and protects your smile. It blends SPF 30 sunscreen with hydrating fruit butters that help prevent cracking and dryness.

Lke all Coola products, theSport Essential Travel Set contains 70%+ certified organic ingredients.

kits-organic-sunscreen-suncare-travel-set-sport_600.jpgTaking a dip is encouraged because the sunscreen, facial moisturizer and lip treatment are water resistant for about 80 minutes. ($75 value for $39.99 at Coolasuncare.com)

Time to Shine

You can streamline your summer beauty routine with the new Confidence in Your Glow Palette from IT Cosmetics. This trio of skin-loving powders lets you apply blush, bronzer and highlighter in one simple step. Yes! 

Besides offering beautiful color, the cool, vitamin C-infused threesome contains anti-aging ingredients (think peptides, collagen, hyaluronic acid and more) that help your skin look brighter, smoother and younger instantly. It even aids in minimizing the appearance of pores.

That means getting a summer-perfect glow just got super easy, especially when you pair this talc-free compact with IT's new Heavenly Skin One-Sweep Wonder Brush #705. With this wide profile brush, you can sweep on blush, bronzer and highlighter in one pass for just the right amount of warmth and shine (no glitter or shimmer). I'm wild about the results as well as the set's heavenly orange scent.

This pretty palette comes in three, richly pigmented combos: Instant Natural Glow, Instant Warm Glow and Instant Nude Glow. ($32 at ITcosmetics.com and ULTA.com)

Developed with plastic surgeons, the universal shades in the Confidence in Your Glow Palettes work for all skin types and tones.

Confidence in Your Glow 600.jpgIt's Nature's Way

I adore the long, hot days of summer but chlorine, saltwater, even time in the heat can do a number on your skin. It's only May and mine's already so dry it stings. That's when these nature-inspired treatments from Lavido can be lifesavers:

Facial Serum 162.jpgReplenishing Facial Serum - This hydrating face friend combines vitamins, minerals and plant-based acids with oils from pomegranate seeds, lemon myrtle and mandarin. The dermatologist-tested formula is very concentrated so you only need a few drops to feel a difference. Patting it on my skin morning and evening leaves my face super soft.

Great for Boomer Babes like me, this anti-aging therapy also plumps skin so pesky lines and wrinkles aren't so noticeable.

Thera Intensive Body Cream - This luxe blend of healing lavender, tea tree and black cumin seed oils works quickly to relieve fThera Intensive Body Cream 350.jpglakey, itchy skin. Trust me, mine felt better and more touchable after using this mega moisturizer once. It soothes, protects against the drying effects of the sun and swimming, and restores your skin's natural moisture balance.

Dermatologist-tested, Lavido Thera Intensive Body Cream is clinically shown to relieve redness.

($59 facial serum and $45 body cream at Lavido.com)

Winning Bronze

Sleeveless tops, cold-shoulder styles and summer dresses call for a gorgeous tan. Luckily, you can get brag-worthy results without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays when you choose one of these terrific sunless tanners:

Coola Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist - This 70%+ organic micro mist goes on clear but two to four hours later you'll notice a healthy glow. It dries fast, COOLA Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist (w box).jpgdoesn't look at all orange and the color is light so you don't have to worry so much about overdoing it. Since the antioxidant-rich formula is buildable, you can reapply as needed until you reach the desired shade. There's no unpleasant smell. This tanning champ doesn't streak or transfer to your clothes. And the sun-kissed results last up to three days.  ($46 at Coolasuncare.com) 

Coola Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist is a golden blend of Argan Oil, vitamin C, hibiscus and chamomile extract that gives you a natural-looking radiance.

Skinny Tan Gradual Tanner - Another buildable option, this color-boosting lotion can be used on your face and body. It looks white when applied but develops into a natural-looking tan within five to eight hours. The first try provides a subtle change so it's great for anyone with a fair completion (guilty!). Want to go darker? skinny-tan-gradual-tanner_300.jpgJust continue using this coconut- and caramel-scented tanner. Since it's made with organic oils, it can even sub for your daily moisturizer.

Skinny Tan Gradual Tanner goes on smoothly without any striping effect or weird shading. It also absorbs quickly and won't rub off so you can even wear white. ($29.95 at SkinnyTan.com)

This skin-friendly formula includes a naturally derived tanning agent and Guarana, which helps smooth and firm skin while reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Bronzer_tube_143.jpgSkinny Tan 24-Hour Bronzer - Fear commitment? Skinny Tan's 24-Hour Bronzer provides instant color that lasts only until your next shower. This thick, bronzing lotion works like makeup but can be used on your face and body.

I like saving this tanning hero for special occasions when a dress is required. Then I don't have to worry about my legs looking ghostly white at that June wedding. Like the gradual tanner, the 24-Hour Bronzer has a delicious fragrance. ($19.85 at SkinnyTan.com)

Skinny Tan 24-Hour Bronzer offers beautiful, golden brown color that goes on evenly and stays put till you wash it off.

Sweet Treats

To get the most bang from a sunless tanner, I like to exfoliate before applying color. BVspa's Sugar Scrub offers a yummy way to get the job done.

This first-rate body buffer blends natural softeners such as jojoba, olive and safflower oils with smoothing sugar crystals. Together, they help you scrub away dead skin cells without risking irritation. The highly moisturizing mixture rinses off easily and doesn't feel sticky. This sweet treat perks up my skin and gives it a wholesome glow. Plus, it's mild enough to use every day and works for all skin types.

To extend the benefits, I like using one of these BVspa goodies after showering with the sugar scrub:

Body Lotion - A light, whipped cream packed with natural hydrators like squalane, jojoba oil and sunflower oil. This soothing combination softens and nurtures skin while helping to prevent free radical damage and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

BVSpa Collection 350.jpgBody Butter - A rich, whipped cream that pours on the moisture. In BVspa's most hydrating formula, cocoa butter, Shea butter and essential oils come together to prevent dryness. Yes! Packed with vitamins and skin softeners, this spa-like treatment leaves my body feeling supple, nourished and smooth.

I found using these skin friends to be an especially ahhh-some experience because you can choose from three delicious scents: Pomegranate & Acai Berry, Pink Grapefruit or Lavender & Rosemary. I tried all three and the only problem was selecting a favorite. ($9.99/each for the sugar scrub, body lotion and body butter at H.E.B.)

With the BVspa collection, you can have a spa-like treatment at home. The nourishing formulas heal, sooth and revitalize your skin.

Jungle Gems

After a day soaking up the sun, nothing feels as good as a refreshing shower. I like using a mild, soap-free cleanser like Treets Traditions' Energizing Secrets Shower Gel that doesn't rob my skin of moisture. It blends Amazonian Buriti oil with Passion fruit oil, known to contain vitamins A and C, to sooth and support balanced skin. In addition to nourishing my skin, this jungle gem has gentle suds and a light, clean scent that helps me recharge.

If you're more of a bath person, Treets' Energizing Secrets Bath Fizzers offer a nice, body-smoothing experience. Based on the custom of cleaning and purifying with soda, these bath time buddies combine Amazonian Tamanu oil with Passion fruit oil to soften skin while keeping it naturally balanced. You just drop the fizzer in warm water, relax and enjoy. ($12 shower gel and $14 fizzers at Ulta.com.)

New to the U.S., these bath buddies are part of a complete skincare collection based on tried-and-true Amazon practices for invigorating the senses with fresh fragrances.

collection 578.jpgBug Off

In warm weather, Bob and I spend as much time as possible in our backyard. It's our go-to spot for kicking back on the weekends. There's usually some sort of breeze to cool things off and, with a little help from these Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Lotions, we don't even have to worry about mosquitos. These hypoallergenic creams repel and shield against pesky mosquitoes and other insects while offering SPF 30 sun protection. 

Bug Guard Plus IR3535 Gentle Breeze - This dermatologist-tested bug guard and sunscreen combo is lightly scented with a cool, springtime fragrance.

Bug Guard Plus IR3535 Cool 'n Fabulous Disappearing Color Lotion - Made with the kids and grandkids in mind, this pediatrician-tested formula goes on blue so you can see exactly where it's being applied. That's a huge help because you don't want to miss a spot. Then it disappears once dry.

Enriched with skin-soothing vitamin E and aloe, both products repel virus-carrying mosquitoes, and other insects such as deer ticks, gnats, no-seeums, black flies, sand flies and biting midges.  ($14 on Avon.com and through Avon Representatives)

Both Bug Guard formulas are water-resistant for up to 80 minutes as well as non-greasy, DEET-free and PABA-free.

Avon 2 206.jpgAvon 1 196.jpg

We'd like to shout out a big "Thank You" to the brands in this post for providing free samples for review and testing.

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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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