Ready for Summer!

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Eddie eating a pizza

Last Friday, we did our first Pizza and Park night! Normally we do Pizza and Movie night every Friday as a family tradition, but since the weather has turned warm and since we are so close to central park, we thought Pizza + Park night made much more sense. It was a glimpse of what was to come and we couldn’t be more excited. City living is hard because apartments are small and staying cooped up inside gets old real fast. So, once the sun starts shining, we are out the door, hitting up a park or two every day. (This week alone, we’ve already visited 4 different parks!) The water got turned on at the splash pads too, making the heat much more bearable come June, July and August!

We survived one summer in the city and now we are planning on thriving through our next one! City summers are tiring and long, but only because we play hard and enjoy everything we can. 

Since I have received a lot of questions about the products we have been using on instagram stories thus far, I thought it would make sense to write a post about all the things I use and love that make our summer better. We used a lot of this stuff last year, but have purchased some new things I’m excited to try out this year. We LOVE NYC summers so much and are excited to be in a new part of town to explore!

Here are a few photos from our time together Friday night, and then at the bottom are my recommended items.

A bench with stuff on it

Blake posing at the camera
I have no idea what Blake is doing here. Haha!

Kids at a playground

Kids at a playground

Brooke posing for the camera

Brooke wringing out her shirt

Eddie playing on a play structure

Eddie playing on a play structure

Eddie playing on a play structure

Blake playing

Blake playing

Eddie playing

Eddie playing

A playground in the city


Favorite Summer Products

Water-friendly sandals. I love these Natives so much. I first discovered them in Portland about 3 years ago and have been buying them since. I think they are the cutest shoes, and they make great everyday sandals that can go in and out of the water, no problem. They dry quickly and are durable. I get my boys the Jefferson slip-on sneaker in navy, but they have lots of other cute colors and styles too. These are the ones Brooke picked out. (I did get Eddie these other sneakers, also in navy, from Native as well which are pictured above.)

I’ve also purchased some saltwater sandals which are also good water sandals as well, though, look warn after a few dips into the water because they are made of leather. I plan on using them as church shoes for my boys, so, we’re sticking with the Natives for water play.

Blake and Eddie’s Scooters are by Micro Kickboard. I have gotten countless questions about their scooters online because we literally use them every day! Up and down the hall in our apartment and outside to the store, to school or to the park. We ended up getting Blake the cheapest scooter we could find off Amazon last year and already it’s loose and has a few cracks in it. So, after getting Eddie a Micro scooter and realizing how much more durable and well made it was, we ordered one for Blake as well. It has really high reviews on Amazon and so far, we’ve been really pleased with them. Eddie has the ocean blue and Blake has the blue.

Eddie’s helmet is also by Micro and is the cutest thing ever. He refuses to take it off most days.

Because Eddie is a thief and likes to steal other people’s toys I’ve had to get our own soft bouncy balls, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and sand toys. Well, actually, Blake loves playing in the sand and it just makes sense to bring our own.

Sunbum sunscreen! I first discovered this on our trip to Aruba. It worked so well for us that I’m going to be using it all summer on my kids too. And, I don’t know if this is science or Lauren talking, but I think the lotion you rub in is much more effective than the spray.

More often then not, we are bringing lots of snacks and a packed lunch with us and I’ve found a larger, soft sided food cooler works really well for this purpose. (The hard sided ones are harder to store.) The health science nut in me is a little obsessed with keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot to reduce all that bacterial growth. So, yeah…coolers all the way.

My friend, Claudia, told me about these picnic blankets with a waterproof backing that I fell in love with! Super smart and perfect for lunches in the park or laying sleepy kids on cuddled up in their blankets or beach towels.

And since I need to have a way to cart all this stuff from park to park, I have a huge stroller that is like my mini van in the city. It was expensive, but holds so much stuff. I am big puffy heart eyes in love with it.

A few honorable mentions include: bringing cash for any extra items you may need and leaving wallets at home! Carabiner for my keys to latch onto something or someone so I don’t lose them, filled water bottles, sunglasses and hats.

Hope that helps! Have a great day, friends!

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9 Responses
  1. Mary Lotempio

    Thank you again for sharing these precious moments with you and your family. The kids are growing up so fast, it’s a wonderful thing to have photos to bring back these moments. I think Eddie has your eyes, Time really flew here, one day he was that bundle of joy, now he’s this little man. There’s a park here that has that water spout, I’ve passed it in driving by.
    Enjoy your Summer!

  2. This Week at the Brennan's | Lauren's Latest

    […] The weather was pretty good this past week and we’ve been making our way through all the parks in Central Park. We love that there are sand pits in nearly every park! Can’t wait until all the splash pads are all up and running (most of them are, but not from what we’ve found)! See my favorite Summer items for my kiddos here. […]

      1. Andrea

        I do know and love my pizza!!!! It’s delish. I first went there while living in Shanghai…they have one in Hong Kong and we loved it! Have since been to the one in Brooklyn and west side……and wish I lived closer but I live in Phoenix these days!!!

  3. Kim

    This is so great! I was just looking on Amazon for picnic blankets. It’s nice to know that someone recommends the one I was looking at!

  4. Jan

    Thank you for your great posts and sharing your family and adventures with us! We, too, had 3 children, first and second 5 years apart and third one 18 months from second. When I read your posts they take me back to those days and feel all that you share with us on line! I wish for you a wonderful Mother’s Day filled with family and memories for the future!

  5. Deb

    Oh – BTW – i know how you love Pizza and forgot a place to tell you about a great place – Artichoke Basille Pizza is a must ! AND i just found out the guys who own those pizza places – opened a new place – Lions and Tigers and Squares! (Named fter the Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers and Detroit style Square Pizza! ) They are jumping on the latest Pizza craze (Not so much here in Michigan – but it is spreading outside of the City! ) ! Detroit Style pizza !! I think these may be a bit away from you – but if you are feeling adventurous this summer – do try them!