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Kick Off Summer with Beach Essentials

After a loooooong winter (did we ever think it would end?), summer is finally here. Well, unofficially anyway. Here at the Jersey shore, Memorial Day weekend signals the start of summer. And here at Pieces of a Mom, we are kicking it off by sharing a few beach essentials. Whether you are making a day of it or just hitting the beach for an hour, these are must-haves for your trip.

Turkish Towels - If you don't have a Turkish towel, now is the time to buy one. Imagine a day when it is scorching hot, and you want something cool for lounging on the beach. A Turkish towel is your answer. They are lightweight and refreshing and are incredibly versatile. Not only can they be used as towels, you can use it as a sarong or a shawl.

Sunglasses - Sunnies are a definite must for the beach. Protect your eyes from that blazing sun with a chic pair of sunglasses. I recently bought a pair of Ray Ban Aviators, and I am loving them. However, I'm not going to retire my cheap sunnies any time soon. They are the perfect way to change up my look and accessorize my beach wear.

Beach/Pool Coverup - I have a slight obsession with beach coverups. With so many different styles and colors, it's hard not to want to collect them. My favorite cover ups are those that can take you from beach to boardwalk. Whether you are leaving the beach to head out to lunch, dinner, or cocktails, you want to be able to do it seamlessly, and the right cover up will allow you to do it.

Sunscreen - Nothing puts a damper on a great beach day more than a sunburn. Protect yourself with a long wearing sunblock with at least a 30 SPF. I love Sun Bum (I used it non-stop when we went to Captiva, Florida). Sun Bum comes in tons of varieties and has an amazing scent. Get yourself some.

Beach Tote - You are going to need someplace to stow all your beach stuff, and a roomy tote is the perfect choice. This one isn't too beachy, so it's perfect if you plan to continue the party beyond the beach at, perhaps, a boardwalk bar.

Bathing Suit - Obviously, you'll need this one. Make sure it's a suit that you are comfortable wearing and that fits well. Not too small and not too large. You don't want to spend your time fidgeting with a suit that is ill-fitting.

Lip Balm with SPF - Just as we protect our skin, our lips deserve the same TLC when we are in the sun. I bought this balm from Shiseido last summer, and it is FABULOUS! It's not cheap as far as lip balms go, but trust me on this one. You want this in your beach tote.

Beach Hat - Not only is a beach hat stylish and a great accessory to your outfit, but it is functional too. In addition to shielding your face from the sun, it also serves to protect your hair. Since I have highlights, I rely on a hat to keep the sun from destroying my color.

Sandals - Yeah, bare feet are pretty much the sign of the ultimate beachcomber, but seriously, in the dead of summer, do you really want to be prancing around on boiling sand and concrete with nothing on your feet? I didn't think so. An inexpensive pair of sandals will serve you well.

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