‘Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about.John Mayer
It’s summer! Time to share some Eat. Drink. Work. Play. Essentials to ease the long, hot, dog-days of summer!
These must-haves are terrific additions to all elements of your “Life Explored.” From accouterments in your eating and drinking realm, to calming and productive elements for your work world, and fun stuff for your play, these items are sure to energize your life.
The majority of the items I’ve curated for this post hail from small to medium sized businesses. A lot of pride and craftsmanship goes into their offerings, and I can personally vouch for the quality of each item. Most recommendations are moderately priced and easily sourced. [NOTE: Eat. Drink. Work. Play. receives NO sponsorship, endorsement, or financial remuneration from these recommendations. It’s just from me to you for fun!]
Here’s some of what I’m “summer lovin’!”
Homegrown Honey Bottled in elegantly thick Spanish bottles, this Sourwood Honey hails from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Perfect for a hostess gift, as an accompaniment to your morning tea routine, and/or to display with style in your kitchen.
Kitchen Herb Garden
Who doesn’t enjoy fresh herbs in their summer cooking? Mod Sprout provides several stylish and sustainable ways to keep an essential herb garden inside your kitchen or home. Consider it as a great hostess gift for the next time you are invited to dinner. Price: $20.00
Sweet ‘Lil Almonds
Famille Perronneau’s Acacia Honey with Hazelnuts (or Almonds) is the perfect accompaniment to your cheese display. Translated to “French Farm,” their products will add an element of Europe to your recipes, food boards, and kitchen essentials.
This handmade linen napkin in denim will bring calm and fashion to your dining table—inside or out. Made in partnership with Creative Women, a fair trade company partnering with artisans in Ethiopia, Morocco, and Bolivia, these are handmade by women-led small businesses. Feel good about a pretty table setting. Feel better about supporting a small business.
Here’s one of those things you’ll wish you had invented—a reusable canvas casserole tote. How many times have you taken a pie, plate of cookies, appetizers, etc. to a friend’s house and wished you could keep them horizontal and upright when you traveled? Look no further. Made from organic cotton, it’s practical, functional, and machine washable.
Take your food presentations to a new level with these unique food trays. Available in various designs—carrara marble, one-of-a-kind ceramics, or engraved wood—each comes with a powder-coated metal stand. Small and large sizes will ensure you’ll want more than one! And while you’re at it, check out Alison Kent’s full line of beautiful artisan elements.
Beer Can Chic
How about a beer glass that simulates an actual beer can in clear glass with an inverted lip? Chic, yet casual. Cool, yet functional. And affordable enough to purchase a full set for your next party.
Canvas Wine Bag
The next time you give a gift of wine, make it an extra whimsy presentation with these canvas wine bags. It’s a win-win for the recipient—two gifts in one package.
Oregon cherries, kicked up a notch with some Kentucky bourbon, these Bourbon Cocktail Cherries will up-level your whisky cocktails. And they’re so good, you’ll be tempted to taste from the jar before they make it to the cocktail glass.
Cool enough to display. Slim enough to fit inside the refrigerator door. Practical enough with the silicone ring to keep your beverages fresh. Perfect enough for just about any liquid libation. How fun is this vintage carafe?
The Shed in Healdsburg (Sonoma Wine Country) knows a few things about beautiful farming, the truth in flavor, and the joy of serving others with authentic ingredients. Upgrade your cocktail with one of their homemade shrubs in flavors as unique as apricot rosemary and grapefruit mint.
Smoothies to Go
I LOVE this little personal blender. Blend your favorite individual shakes or smoothies in this personal blending jar. Pour in your ingredients, blend it up, put the travel cap on and head to your home office, the gym, or just drink at the kitchen counter. Fast and efficient. Who doesn’t need this?
Next Level Paper
Soolip, in West Hollywood, is “a place where beauty and inspiration are part of every day.” From cards, to handmade wrapping paper sheets, to leather journals and desk accessories, the style and luxury is unparalleled. This journal of recycled paper and cloth waste will bring a sense of mindfulness and calm to your innermost thoughts.
No one can argue that creating a little retreat in our home (or home office) will bring us a sense of calm, health, and happiness. Bring nature into your home with a gift card from Bloomist, where you’ll only find small batched goods crafted in the US. Beauty, calm, and good will collide into your own natural zen retreat.
Be thankful while you work when you light this “Kindfull” Glassybaby votive candle vessel. Each item is handmade in the US and is as unique as you are. There are hundreds of colors to choose from to match your personality, your decor, or your mood. Cost: $55.00 and up
Are you a list maker like me? Instead of virtual sticky notes or random pieces of paper with lists and reminders, download Todoist. It can sync across all of your devices, work offline, and collaborate with others. Relieve some stress with your increased productivity and task management. Ten million people cannot be wrong.
Cost: Free; $39.00 per year for premium
Hold the [Ear]buds!
Every week, I seem to spend 5-10 minutes untangling my ear bud cords. This helps keep them straight and organized. It’s a perfect solution. Oh, and easy to pack away in your purse or laptop bag. Efficiency and practicality are the name of the game!
Laptop sleeves need not be boring black or white standard cases. Bring some flair and and culture with these sleeves from Society6. In partnership with various artists, your sleeve can be personally designed with art, photography, graphic design, architecture, or 1,000+ images. Available in 13″ and 15″ sizes.
Ciao Bella! Brighten your summer with these fashionable open-toed wedge sandals. Custom-made by master Italian craftsmen from pristine Italian leather, you’ll look and feel ultra stylish wearing them with your summer wardrobe. You can have the world at your feet with all of Wisetoes’ fabulous designs!
Cocktail in Style
Bring your quality cocktail or wine to the outdoors in style with this Porter Glass. Crafted from durable, high quality glass and wrapped, they’ll even be perfect for picnics and outdoor concerts too. Available in five colors.
Bring a great “beach read” to your pool or patio. Published last month, and recently optioned into a TV show, All Adults Here, is a fun novel about the lifecycle of a family as kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and the matriarch confronts her legacy.
Cost: $27.00 (hardcover)
Roll with the Zen
Invigorate your mind and senses with this perfect blend of essential oils. Sweet Almond Oil to relieve stress, Black Pepper to detoxify, Eucalyptus to clear the mind. Apply to your wrists or temples at any time of the day. Just roll it on, and you’ll roll with the day with much more zen.
Inhale the calm scent of bourbon and lavender. Exfoliate away your troubles and renew your skin with this invigorating bath scrub. Naturally made by Blackberry Farm, a luxury retreat in Tennessee, this will truly make you say, “Ahhhhhh.” After all, you’re worth it!
Chic Straw Bag
This adorable round palm bag with white and brown leather trim is the perfect summer accessory. Lightweight though crafted in a strong palm weave, the snap top opens to reveal a lined interior. It’s so chic, and you can feel comfortable toting from beach to the city without missing a beat!