What’s in my Beach Bag?

Guys, I live near a beach so I got this one down pat. (Ok so it’s not the ocean-only a lake- but it’s still pretty close.) I can’t get enough of the fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up indoors all winter, and apparently people around here feel the same way, because in the summer this place gets packed.

Lucky for me and my dog, we’ve lived here long enough that we know all the best places to steal a quiet moment to contemplate the water, listen to music, read a book, or simply enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin.

Here’s some of what I take along to make the experience enjoyable:

  1. A large towel to sit on, although you may want to bring a second one in case you decide to go swimming.
  2. I read somewhere once that the majority of the skin’s aging process is largely attributed to sun damage so I never leave the house without sunscreen. Vanity aside, there’s also a history of skin cancer in my family which is exacerbated by my pale, pale skin.
  3. As such, my line of defense also includes a large floppy hat and sunglasses, although the glasses are mostly so I don’t get recognized. (Kidding!)
  4. Hydration is important so I always have two reusable water bottles; one for me and one for my dog.
  5. I practically never leave the house without a book, and if I’m going to the beach it’s almost certainly a guarantee. (I blog about what I’m reading all the time here, if you’re interested.)
  6. I have a little emergency kit that goes everywhere with me in my purse- I just pop it into whatever bag I happen to be carrying that day.
  7. As mentioned in this post, I’m kind of a grazer when it comes to eating, so I usually stash a granola bar or a piece of fruit in case I get too much sun, or feel like my blood sugar is too low.
  8. My beauty routine doesn’t involve too many lotions or potions, but I do enjoy indulging in a face misting spray to throw into my beach bag. It’s good for setting make-up on sweaty skin, a light cleanse after going swimming, or simply helps to cool you off after sitting out in the sun.

I keep my beach bag pretty simple- it’s hard to relax and enjoy yourself if you’ve brought too much to carry, or you constantly have to rummage around to find things.

Of course, depending on your lifestyle the contents of your bag may look a little bit different than mine. Maybe you’ve got some sand toys in there if you’ve got little kids in tow, or maybe you’ve got lots of food and drink for a picnic with friends.

Some of the stuff on my list may change if I have my dog with me. In that case, I’ll bring her water bottle (see above) as well as some treats and maybe a ball or a Frisbee to play with. Honestly, she’s pretty into hanging out on a towel with me which makes her a total beach bum.

The best part of my list, in my opinion, is the fact that I haven’t included any electronics and I don’t really plan to. I’m so attached to my phone that I’ve taken to not bringing it with me on my dog walks so I can enjoy the experience more. I might bring it along with me if I’m planning to meet up with friends and I need to be reachable; other than that, I prefer keeping my beach visits blissfully phone-free.

After all, what’s the point in staring at a screen when you’ve got that beautiful summer weather to breathe in and enjoy all around you?


I want to know what’s in your beach bag! Are the contents sweet and simple like mine, or do you really go on a big adventure when you make a beach trip? Have you even been to a beach? Let me know! I’m looking forward to your answers below, or in my inbox at keepingbusyb@gmail.com.

For more tip on having more summer fun, I’ve got some ideas here. (As if you needed advice on how to have fun, right?!)


100s Day

Did you ever have this in school? On the 100th day of the school year, we were asked to bring in 100 of something in order to show our collections with the class. Most kids brought things that were easy to carry, to things that were easy to amass- like clothes pegs, or craft feathers, or playing cards. My mom used to draw me pictures of elaborate ballgowns of the Disney princess variety so I could color them in. I actually brought in 100 of these one year for 100s day. I think my teacher must have thought I was some kind of coloring maniac (I was!) and that my mom was similarly nuts about drawing (she was!)

I share this story today because this marks my 100th post on Keeping Busy with B since I started the blog back in 2011. It definitely wasn’t my first blogging venture but it’s definitely been my longest, and one of the best blogging experiences I’ve had so far. So I thought I’d share with you today a fun a little by-the-numbers post. I think you’ll find it’s really telling about me!

Number of baked goods featuring chocolate: 10

(Not pictured: Chocolate Brownies, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Chocolate and Pear Muffins and Vegan Brownies.)

I may or may not like chocolate the most out of all of the flavors. Don’t tell the other recipes.

Number of books that have been on my bookshelf (at least, since I started blogging about my bookshelf): 34

I wrote here about how I’ve been trying for the past couple of years to reclaim one of my favorite hobbies by setting myself goals on Goodreads and since publishing that post I’m pleased to announce that I’m ahead of schedule! (If you’re a reader too I highly recommend you sign-up if you haven’t already and then we can be friends. I’m not getting paid to ask you. I actually just want to be book buddies.) Also, sometimes I review books that I read which I talk about more in-depth here.

Number of times I’ve used flowers to showcase my baking: 5.

Can you tell that I like flowers (and that I like to pretend I have a little bit of a green thumb)? You can find where I get my flower inspiration from here and here, and read about my porch and my best tips for getting your outdoors ready for spring here. Mostly I’m just obsessed with spring. And writing spring stories. I even write about spring when it’s fall. With all of this talk of spring you’d think I was born under a maypole, but I’m actually a summer baby. (Shhh!)

While we’re talking about hidden motifs, have you noticed the number of rainbows in my blog? 6.

And the number of hearts? I count 4.

I love being creative when I bake or include photography for the blog, mainly because I don’t really like myself in pictures. You may think I’m trying to be mysterious not using my full name or showing my face, but honestly- most people close to me call me B. Also, sometimes I do make an appearance on my blog.

Number of disembodied limbs of mine that have made it to the blog: 2.

And finally…

Number of posts my dog has written: 1.


Number of recipes she and I have collaborated on: 0. (This is probably a good thing.)

Thanks so much for all of your continued love and support of my blog, you guys. I couldn’t have done it without you! Here’s to the first 100 posts- can’t wait to publish at least a few hundred more.

Love, B