5 Things This Girl Absolutely Needs for Summer Vacation Comfort

Thank you Rohto Dry-Aid for sponsoring this post.

Going on vacation this spring and summer? Here are 5 items I absolutely can't leave behind when I'm packing for a trip in the warmer weather. #ad #RohtoDryAid  #ByeByeDryEye

Summer life goals – spending lots of time by the beach, whether it’s the beach house in Cape Cod or a local lake.

I live for summer weather. No amount of heat and humidity, however uncomfortable can make me love spring and summer less. I don’t miss winter and I don’t miss the gloomier New England days of early spring – with cold rain, snow, slush and clouds. When spring finally arrives, all I want to do is be outside! The thing is, there are uncomfortable aspects to warmer weather. And I remember the first time I asked my doctor about dry eye. It wasn’t just the warmer seasons, but it was increasing screen time – through TV and the Internet. These days, we rely on our computers for much of our days and weeks.

And sometimes our eyes pay the price.

dry eyes

My dry eyes are so much worse in warmer weather. I’m talking dryness, irritation, grittiness, burning and stinging. Then you factor in windy beaches with sand flying, and it’s enough to make me cry! I love summer so very much but I have to be honest. When I think about my hair whipping around, my skin getting burned, or my eyes irritating me, it’s a deterrent.

I don’t get the carefree feeling I want so badly.

dry eyes

And over the past few years, I’ve switched up my packing. We hit the beach in the summer at Cape Cod, and we hit the beach in the winter at St. Augustine Beach. We know our way around the beach at this point, and I want to know my way around feeling comfortable outdoors on vacation. No cringing or dreading. Only feeling wonderful, comfortable, and RELAXED at one of my favorite places. Here are The 5 Things This Girl Absolutely Needs for Summer Vacation Comfort:

1 – Rohto Dry-Aid. This will be wonderful at relieving your dry eye so you can go back to doing what you love on vacation – whether that’s hiking, sunbathing, swimming, reading, etc. Dry eye can be so difficult, but when you’re on vacation? Not cool at all! That’s why I make it part of my routine. And I realize I’m not always at the beach during the warmer months, but more often than not, I AM near a body of water with a good book. There are beaches in every town around here.

2 – This one might blow your mind. A yoga mat. That’s right. If you use a yoga mat instead of a towel, you can enjoy its cushioned and waterproof comfort. I tried this once by accident and I’ve never looked back since. So. Good.

3 – Bring a DIY facial mist or spray. Here are two to try. You can just spray yourself with mineral water, OR, use green tea steeped in cold water. Put the mixture into some icy water and spray it all over your face and body in the heat.

4 – Sunscreen, of course, but you have choices there. I use a special formula for my face and one for my body too. I usually use a high SPF – like 50. Also, use a lip balm with SPF. Lip burns or sun damage on your lips is no good at all.

5 – Bring a little kit that has all the medications you might need, hair ties and frizz tamer for your hair, aloe for sunburns, and bug spray. I never expect so many bugs to be at the beach, but they are. And some of them BITE!

dry eyes

I’ve had dry eye and its symptoms for as long as I can remember – way before being a parent. They are particularly troubling in warmer weather, and they make me lose some of the momentum and just plain FUN of summer. You know how it is. Spontaneous road trips, impromptu get-togethers and neighborhood BBQs. Birthday parties, date nights and tons of time by the water. That’s why I was happy to talk to my optometrist. Rohto-Dry-Aid is an over-the-counter (OTC) lubricant eye drop that helps relieve dry eye symptoms. For me personally, having dry eye is a huge challenge, especially as a photographer.

I’m supposed to be on my game, and it has honestly ruined events for me.

That’s why I love that Rohto Dry-Aid brings fast-acting, long-lasting relief for dry, irritated eyes due to overuse of digital devices, environmental conditions like arid or windy weather, extended use of contact lenses, laser eye surgery, or hormonal changes. Also, it’s clinically shown to improve key symptoms of dry eye disease – like dryness, irritation, grittiness, burning, and stinging – without making your vision blurry, and you don’t have to continually re-apply Rohto Dry-Aid.

It contains a unique formula that cools and soothes burning, stinging eyes instantly and offers consistent and continuous dry eye relief, comfort, and protection throughout the day.

dry eyes

Optometrist Dr. Susan Resnick has tips to help relieve dry eye symptoms. She said that whether you’re experiencing discomfort or redness, it’s important to treat the underlying dryness that’s causing your symptoms. Rohto Dry-Aid over-the-counter eye drops are a first line of therapy to minimize dryness and provide relief from dry eye symptoms. She also suggests getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. A balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids will also help restore moisture.

Always remember to remove your contact lenses before applying Rohto Dry-Aid, and wait at least 15 minutes before re-inserting them. Check out Rohto Dry-Aid’s product page here, and also read more about eye drops here.

Visit the Rohto website here for a $2 off coupon!

dry eyes

What do you do for dry eyes? And what to you pack for vacation comfort?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Stunning Watermelon Whoopie Pies

These Watermelon Whoopie Pies are stunning, and are the perfect summer treat for ANY occasion. Think summer dessert, think summer party, & think watermelon!

I don’t even really know what to say, other than this: Watermelon Whoopie Pies.

Stunning ones too! Whoopie pies will always make me think of my baker friend, Jennie. She shared a video on Facebook years ago of her then toddler asking for “More whoopie pies.” He was sounding out his words so beautifully because he really wanted whoopie pies! “Mo’ whoopie pies!” Whoopie pies also make me think of my friend, Matt, because one day we got up before dawn to drive to Vermont.. just to drive to Vermont. We had partied hard the night before (which in both of our cases just requires hardcore talking and staying up late while everyone else dabbles in other things) and I was so tired I could barely drive. I was 20-something, though. Nothing could stop me from driving to Vermont and seeing lots of cows.

We got incredible peanut butter chocolate whoopie pies from a roadstand gas station type thing. Exquisite and messy.

I’ll be back to the blog late tonight or early tomorrow for Finish the Sentence Friday. That’s right. Finishing up my blog game strong! Oh, and there will be some awesome bug spray tips thrown in the mix too. For now, it’s all about the recipe:

Watermelon Whoopie Pies:


For the cakes:
1 stick butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 drop violet gel food coloring
3 drops red gel food coloring
3 drops Kelly green gel food coloring
Black frosting, for decorating

For the filling:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract

Yields: 8-10 whoopie pies

whoopie pies


1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 – With an electric mixer, start beating your butter, sugar, egg and vanilla on medium speed. Gradually increase to high until creamy.

3 – In a medium-sized bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients. In thirds, add them to your wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.

4 – Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, divide the batter into 2 bowls. Color each one – one bowl of batter will be the red and purple, the other green.

5 – Use frosting bags to pipe each colored batter onto your lined baking sheet, about 2 inches in diameter. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

6 – Prepare your buttercream by beating butter, sugar, milk and vanilla on medium speed. Gradually increase the speed to high. The buttercream is ready once it forms stiff peaks.

7 – Assemble by spreading the buttercream on the bottom of one green cake. Sandwich the buttercream by placing a pink cake on top. Decorate with black frosting by drawing out “watermelon seeds” on the pink side of the whoopie pie.

These Watermelon Whoopie Pies are stunning, and are the perfect summer treat for ANY occasion. Think summer dessert, think summer party, & think watermelon!

These Watermelon Whoopie Pies are stunning, and are the perfect summer treat for ANY occasion. Think summer dessert, think summer party, & think watermelon!

How badly do you want to make these?

These Watermelon Whoopie Pies are stunning, and are the perfect summer treat for ANY occasion. Think summer dessert, think summer party, & think watermelon!