I’ve never been super in to the beach. I’m a planner so I have to make sure that we are covered for everything. I need plenty of snacks (my kids totally take after me in that department), plenty of towels, sunscreen, a big hat, a chair, cute towels…The list keeps going which makes the idea of a beach day super overwhelming. Plus I hate coming home and feeling sweaty and dirty. But once I am there, staring out in to the ocean, I really love it. I’m really trying to embrace the beach days this summer and instead of planning on hanging out for hours, we’re going for smaller stretches and everything seems much more manageable. I still have plenty of beach essentials, though. I still probably over pack for the beach but that’s just who I am. I’m so grateful my kids are big enough to finally help carry things!
Beach days are the perfect summer activity. There is always so much action and joy found at the beach. I thought it would be the perfect spot to try out my new camera. I was totally right. You guys! This camera is amazing and every mom should have one! Read on to find out about this rad new 4K technology which means you’ll never miss THE shot!
I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Panasonic. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
I just got a new camera, the Panasonic LUMIX G7. Although I have a large DSLR camera that I shoot all of my blog posts with, I’ve been looking for a lightweight camera to take with me when I travel, attend blog events and when I take my kids out on fun adventures. I was super intrigued by the G7 because it has something called 4K technology. I’m not techy and don’t keep up on advancements in digital video. But this sounded super cool. This is one of the only cameras to have this which means it is on the forefront of modern photography. That’s a really cool thing. The G7 takes short 4K ultra HD videos where you can go back, after the fact, and pull the perfect “moment” from it. By “moment” I mean, 8-megapixel still image. SO COOL! I brought the G7 along with us when we headed to Laguna Beach a few weeks ago. Because the camera was new, I played around a little bit in regular mode. I love this shot. But I probably could have had a better shot had it been in 4K mode. Moms need the 4K option for shooting all their summer fun. Kids rarely sit still and this lets you stress less about getting the perfect shot. This camera would be perfect for sports photos! Aside from the 4K technology this camera is super awesome. It’s compact, lightweight and takes really great pictures! The lens is mirrorless which gives you great quality without the bulk of a standard DSLR. There are several lenses and accessories available for this camera making it customizable to your photography needs. And I’m in love with the touch screen! Being able to touch the screen makes setting the modes super easy but I also love it for selecting the focus area.
The focusing is super fast and the camera seems really smart with its automatic features, like auto tracking and switching between using the camera screen and eye piece. The camera can be used in a fully automatic way or fully manual. And with built-in wifi, it makes it super easy to share these images on social media. The camera works along with the Panasonic Image App for easy viewing of images, social sharing and even remote shutter access (it’s like a remote control!).This is a more close up view of the image directly above. I mean, look at that face! So much emotion. You can’t always catch that with a regular camera. I was able to go through the 4K video footage to get this shot where it looks like he is floating! So fun! I don’t want people to be intimidated by the 4K technology. I have to be honest, it took me a minute to figure it out and get used to how it works. It wasn’t until I got home and was able to review the 4K footage and pull some still shots, that I got just how awesome this is. Before I tried out the 4K settings I shot in regular burst mode.
Burst mode is the closest thing to 4K videos for most cameras. You get a bunch of frames to choose from and you can often find a pretty good shot, like the one above. But this shot is one of my favorites. And it came from 4K footage. Look at that eye contact, look at that joy!
Thank you for supporting the brands, like Panasonic, that let me do what I love like take pictures of my kids!
There are two kinds of beach days for me, one with family and one with friends. They look REALLY different. With my kids, there is sand EVERYWHERE, there are lots of plastic beach toys and bone dry juice boxes littering the horizon. I’m also on constant watch, ready to spring in to action, to save my kids from getting too far out in the water or reaching for the wrong kid’s sand toys. But with friends, now THAT is where I can relax. That is where I can enjoy delightful conversation, probably some good music and perhaps catch up on some reading material. And if we’re lucky, there is a little wine. Here are my essentials for spending a fun afternoon, with friends, at the beach.
At the beach, I may or may not be in my swimsuit depending on the time of day or weather. The beach is sometimes even more fun on a cool, overcast day. But you certainly want to make sure to bring along healthy snacks so that you can still fit in to your swimsuit. Nuts and dried fruit are a great option. They bring the crunch, a little salt and the sweet touch that most of us crave. Similarly, popcorn is my new go to snack and it is easy to transport in a Tiffin type carrier.
Especially if the weather is warm, you want to make sure to stay hydrated with water. I love Boxed Water because there is no plastic and they are good to the environment. They also just look way cooler. Make sure to stay away from sodas that can cause you to feel the bloat. No one needs to look like they are wearing an inner-tube when they aren’t.
Sunscreen and sunglasses are not optional. Pack your favorite pair of sunnies and slather yourself up with your favorite sunscreen BEFORE you leave for the beach. It needs time to penetrate the skin. Make sure to bring it with you and reapply as sunscreen wears off and leaves your skin vulnerable to the sun. Don’t forget to bring a speaker along (and something to play music from like your iPhone or iPod!). I love this one by Nixon because it is sand, water and shock resistant. And if you think you might have a minute, bring a long some magazines to get caught up on. But do not ignore your friends and keep your nose buried in one. You DO want to get invited back for another friend beach day.
Depending on the beach and the time of day, wine is a great addition to a great afternoon with friends at the beach. Most beaches where I am from do not allow any glass so Black Box Wines are the perfect option. Lose the bottle and toast your friends with one of their tasty varieties like their new Pinot Noir (notes of fresh berry, rose petals an cocoa!). This 3L box is the equivalent of 4 bottles! So you won’t need to worry about running out AND you can take the rest of the box home with you to finish when you deem fit over the next month. I know what you may be thinking, boxed wine? But as someone who favors twist off bottles (oh the side eyes I’ve gotten when I pull out my screw tops! – which happen to be eco-friendly thankyouverymuch.) boxed wine is a great idea! This packaing is also eco friendlier than regular bottles, they stay fresh for WAY longer and you only need to take one box with you and you have a whole heck of a lot of wine. It just makes sense. AND it tastes good. The Black Box wines are award winning and are a much better value than comparable bottle wine. You guys, I’m dying to taste the Sauvignon Blanc!
Black Box also has 500 mL sized boxes, in 5 varieties, for when you just want to take a few glasses with you. These are perfect for smaller picnics and tailgates.
The only thing as fabulous as enjoying a high quality, award winning box of Black Box Wines is winning a $5,000 shopping spree! “Lose the Bottle” and grab your shopping bag! Enter the sweepstakes by visiting https://www.facebook.com/blackboxwines/
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Black Box Wines. The opinions and text are all mine.
How good does a beach vacation sound right now?! So I’m prepping for a trip to Mexico later this week and you know I had to do a little shopping. And since one of my summer bucket list items is “wear shorts” (you know you are stupid and old if your summer bucket list item has something about wearing shorts…) on it, I thought a beach vacay would be the perfect time to try some out. I picked up those adorable black ruffle shorts (bottom right photo) from Ascot + Hart and can’t wait to wear them! (Dang it! These look like they are all sold out. Check out their other fun short options here!) Of course I need a spray tan first but then I’m going to wear the sh*t out of those shorts. I’m also ellipticizing (I know this isn’t really a thing but if you can Jazzercise I really think you oughta be able to ellipticize) so hopefully my thighs won’t clap together as I wear my shorts around the resort. And I have been making awesome food choices. I see a little bit of a difference in my body and am totally going to stay on this healthy food business until at least my Palm Springs trip in August. Of course I want to continue it after, but I really think I need a weekend where all I eat is cake. I really like cake.
So um, Sharon, how is this post about packing for beach vacations again? Oh right. So another item I picked up for my trip, and summer in general, is this fantastic ruffle bikini top by Roxy. This is perfection for small boobed, birthing hips gals like me. It helps to balance out the silhouette and guess what else? Ain’t nothing going to fall out of anywhere. This would be a great bikini top for playing smashball in the sand (whoa, that sounded so 80’s, right there) or being more active than just lying on your towel. This is going to be my go-to top for swimming with my kids. Why are little hands so grabby? Like, OH NO I think I may be drowning! You know what will save me? My moms triangle top bathing suit! And I’m realizing that this isn’t much of a “how to” post. It’s more of a “you should totally get these items post.”
And the other items in that photo? All wish list items. I keep seeing this round beach towel and it wants to be part of my family. This white Cleobella kimono is perfection (holy crap! This item is no longer available either! Here are some other great kimonos and jackets). I can’t stop dreaming about these Nena and Co. bags. One day I will break down and buy one. The colors make my heart happy! This Tacos and Tequila shirt should be mandatory when even thinking about Mexico. And I’ve seen these rad little booties in action and think they want to be on my feet. I can’t even tell you the last time I wore heels, so these would sort of be like training wheels. That thick heel is right up my alley and I love the color. All I have at the moment are black shoes and that is just too heavy for an easy, breezy oceanfront dinner.
I really like shopping, so I picked out some other things I would want for a beach vacation:
*This post contains affiliate links. Read more about my editorial policies.
A few weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary in Cabo San Lucas. We knew we wanted to go to a beach and it needed to be super easy to get to. A neighbor suggested the Dreams Resort, an all-inclusive destination, and we were sold. The flight was just 2 hours from Orange County, CA and which is the perfect amount of time for a flight for my opinion.
It has been YEARS since I have been to Mexico. Growing up we took a vacation to Baja every summer and the last time I had been to Cabo was in elementary school. Stepping off the plane, in what appeared to be the middle of the desert, I couldn’t help but grab my camera and start taking pictures. Note to self: never do that again. Someone rushed at me immediately to tell me to stop. He was kind of mean. And I instantly started sweating thinking about ending up in Mexican jail. I imagined I wouldn’t find too many margaritas in there. And then there was a baby mouse running around part of the airport. And remind me to do a separate post about how to exit the airport without being harassed by people trying to sell you tours…
This picture does not do the lobby and entryway justice. When you first pull up to the front of the hotel, you see the gorgeous blue water through these enormous arches. This picture above was taken on our way out to go home and it had been dreary and rainy all morning, hence the green astro turf stripe. It made me want to go put a swimsuit on and jump in the ocean.
This was our view. It was AWESOME! The weather was pretty near perfect. Almost every day was warm without being too humid. Except for the day before we went home. I thought I was going to die. It was SO humid and I was SO sweaty and it made me cranky. So we swam up to the bar and that made it better. I didn’t get a good picture of the pool but you can sort of see it through those palm trees above. The pool was HUGE. It had built-in tables and benches, and infinity edge that overlooked the ocean and a nice little swim up bar.