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Summer Essentials

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Now that the summer is upon us, with the trademark humidity and clogged Schuylkill and Garden State Parkway, you must be prepared on how to handle it!

Here are your essential accessories:

Bag- You definitely need a great carryall to put all your summer goodies in. My friend Jen here sported the latest bag from Macy's- in their summer of color series. A sporty summer slouch in bold 70's-inspired hues is a sure bet.

Sunscreen- It's essential to protect yourself from frying. I use Murad, Elemis or Aveeno on my face (as not to clog up the pores and get zits), and they all come in SPF 30 or Summer Fashionhigher. I use Banana Boat oil and lotion on my bod because it protects, moisturizers and smells just like summer should. Remember your ears, the tops of your hands and feet and the back of your neck! We don't want unsightly wrinkles too soon.

Bathing Suit- My friend is wearing a bathing suit from Land's End, where you can get suits either online or at Sears. My suits are a sleek purple swimming Speedo from Modells; and I also wear a Ralph Lauren Polo 2-piece navy blue and white striped tankini that I got at Lord & Taylor.

Summer FashionHeadgear- Support the Phils!! Show your team spirit and proudly wear the red and the white! I also have this great Dave & Buster's ball cap I won on Del Ave a while back, and I am never without it. There are also some very saucy ones with wide brims and cute designs at Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

Sunglasses- I have this great oversized pair from New York's Fashion Week this past February when, at the Betsey Johnson private show, I was handed a wee pink bag with STUFF! In it was a fabu (yeah, I said fabu!) pair of Betsey's glasses. I love them! Protect your eyes - get a good pair to block out harmful rays.

Beach Cover up/Dress- Maxi dresses double as something cute to throw on after a swim. My model's dress is custom-made from Taiwan. Batik scarves also do great as cover ups in a variety of colors.

Towel- I like something soft and absorbent. Places from Saks Fifth Ave all the way to CVS have good towels in many colors and styles- just pick according to your taste and style. I have a big blue towel with a seahorse on it from a Wildwood boardwalk shop. Just perfect for staggering out of the pounding surf and flopping on for a nap on the beach.

Footwear- Sandals and flip-flops are really all you need. I have a pair of black and silver Havaianas.

Food- Got to have some snacks! Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and SmartWater all have a new line of electrolyte-enhanced waters, and believe me after a night of debauchery (take that any way you want!) you'll need the extra oomph!
I also recommend Gardetto's Roasted Garlic Rye Chips, crunchy and salty and yummy-without all that other stuff in the snack mix; this is the good part you always pick out! I also adore POM's new iced coffee. I can only get it when I am in Manhattan, so I hope they start distributing to PA soon (HINT HINT, POM!!!!). I also love Pepperidge Farm's Parmesan Goldfish. Also, really cold grapes, strawberries and cherries are YUMMY!

Music- Plug in your iPod or MP3 and find some tunes to put you into the summer mood. Some of my favorites are: Bon Jovi's Wild in the Streets, No Doubt's Spiderwebs, Chili Pepper's Sir Psycho Sexy, Counting Crows' Einstein on the Beach, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Barenaked Ladies' Old Apartment, and a huge assortment of Sublime.

Books & Magazines- You need something to read! Jen Lancaster's Pretty in Plaid; Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox are good picks. Then there's old reliable: OK, Hello!, In Style, Cosmopolitan- all are gratuitously gossipy and full of fun articles to read!

So there you have it folks- whether you're headed to the shore, the pool or your own backyard, be sure to have the essentials!