Backyard Summer Fun, Favorite Summer Sandals & the Best Mosquito Repellent

A few weeks ago I shared some cute, white leather sandals I had purchased for around $45. They were so comfortable, I ended up buying them in a neutral/natural color, also.

White leather sandals for summer


I brought the neutral-colored pair along on my trip to Ohio and my daughter-in-law liked them so much, she ordered a pair, as well. She convinced me to also order the brown pair since I just recently purchased a bag in that color. I ended up also ordering a black pair since those should look great with black jeggings.

These sandals are super comfortable and have (for me) the perfect heel height. The price is great for a leather sandal and the studded design feels very Louboutin/Valentino. If you’re in need of a cute, comfy, summer sandal, you’ll find these here: Summer Sandal.

Comfortable Sandals for Summer


For everyday wear around the house and long-distance walking when I travel, these are still my absolute favorite. They go with me on every trip and will definitely accompany me when I head off to England in a few weeks. They were so comfortable and cool in the desert in Egypt.

Silly Camel, Giza Plateau



They are the most comfortable sandals I own and are great for those of us with difficult-to-fit feet since they are so adjustable and so supportive. These are THE sandals I wear when I know I’ll be on my feet all day cooking, cleaning or walking. (You’ll find them available here: Sandals.)

It has been super hot here with temps in the 90’s. That hasn’t stopped my grandsons from wanting to play outside so I decided to order this adorable Rainbow Waterfall to help keep them cool. My youngest grandson (shown below) tried it out first and it was a big hit. They both loved it and ran back and forth, back and forth for about half an hour before tiring out. Bedtime was super easy that night, they were both worn out! HA!

(Rainbow waterfall is available here: Rainbow Waterfall.)

Rainbow Sprinkler, Water Toy for Summer for Kids


The rainbow was such a big hit, I ordered this Dinosaur Pool for some more backyard fun. It arrived a couple of days ago and we’ll be setting it up in the backyard tomorrow for a 4th of July cookout. In addition to the slide, the boys can play ring toss with the rings and toss the colorful balls that came with the pool into the hoop held by the dinosaur.

(Dinosaur Pool is available here: Dinosaur Pool.)Best Play Pool for Toddlers and Young Children


I ordered a few additional play balls…Balls for Kid's Play Pool



…since there are a lot of things they can do with the balls while playing in the pool.ย  (Colorful balls are available here: Colorful Playballs)

Best Pool for Kids


I didn’t want to have to blow up the pool manually so I purchased an electric air pump like the one below at a local store. This one has great reviews and is actually a better price than the one I purchased. This type of pump is also great for blowing up air mattresses. Sooo much easier and way faster!ย  (Pump is available here: Electric Air Pump.)

Best Pump for Blowing Up Kid's Pools, Floats

No More Mosquitos!

Recently, I was shopping in the local Dorothy Lane Market and was looking at the insect repellent. A customer nearby highly recommended this product so I decided to give it a try since it’s all natural. We have really enjoyed using it for the last couple of weeks. It has a light, pleasant smell and it works!

We have all liked it so well, I purchased the larger bottle to have on hand for the rest of the summer. I purchased the small 2-oz size so my son/dil would have something to take along when they go on walks or hiking. They do a lot of hiking during the spring, summer and fall.

If you would like all natural Mosquito/insect repellent that actually works, I can definitely recommend this one. You’ll find it available here: Mosquito Repellent.

Best Child-Safe Mosquito Repellent


By the way, Lowe’s has their bark mulch on sale for just $2 a bag. I put out 10 bags yesterday and I’m off to buy a few more today to finish up the landscaping project I’ve started.

Happy 4th of July to you!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. Is that what happens when you have a daughter-in-law? You do fun girly things and talk each other into buying clothes and stuff? ๐Ÿ˜€ Can’t wait.

    Thanks for the tips. The stuff for the kids is adorable. I bet they love it all.

    Happy 4th, Susan!

    • Yes! We get into trouble together regularly! ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol It is so much fun having someone with whom to talk clothes, shoes and handbags!

  2. Happy Fourth of July,
    Just a note to say how much I enjoy your posts. I appreciate all of the information that is included. I do have a quick question if you don’t mind. I know that you have really enjoyed a hot blow dry brush and some vitamins that you purchased from whole foods. Can you please send me the info on these items? Much appreciated and many thanks. Have a great time in England.

    • Thanks so much, Jackie! Sure, these are the vitamins I take everyday since a BNOTP reader told me about them. I noticed quite a difference in my energy about a month after I started taking them.
      I take just one per day, although I think the instructions say, two per day.

      I typically blow dry my hair with a regular blow dryer, then I use this to style my hair:

      I like the look of this one, though I haven’t tried it. It has great reviews:

  3. Mary from Virginia says

    Thank you for all the good recommendations! What a wonderful grandmother you are! Such great toys for two precious little boys. Hope the mulch goes quickly so you get a turn in the pool.

  4. Donna Pike says

    To be a kid again, with a grandma like you. I can just hear the screams of joy from those two cuties. And doing landscaping in the heat, girl you are incredible and always find some of the greatest things. I hope your daughter in law appreciates you, which I’m sure she does. I admire you so much and you love sharing with us. Thank you, thank you, love you and have a great trip to England and be safe.

    • Awww, thanks Donna! They had a blast today, so much fun!
      They do, they are always so appreciative of anything I do while I’m here. I can’t just sit around, I get too restless, so I’m always looking for a project or something I can work on while here. Fortunately, they like that and appreciate it so it works out great both ways. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks so much, Donna…appreciate your sweet words so much! I’m getting so excited about the England trip, it’s coming up really fast! I can’t wait to share the Cotswolds with you! XXX

  5. would you like to come visit have some yard projects to do….just kidding. I bet they all look forward to having you spend time at their house.
    last year I put down 50 bags of mulch so not much to do this year except to dig up those darn wild onions which I suspect came from the mulch which I got from Menards lumber.

    • lol I tell ya, gardening is awesome exercise! When I get out the last of the bags of mulch today, I will have put out 22 total. 50 is a bunch!!! That’s about how much it takes to fill my beds at home.
      So annoying when you bring the weeds into the bed with the mulch…sorry you’re going through that. I hope this mulch is weed free because we have enough weeds already!

  6. Isnโ€™t Dorothy Lane Market great? They certainly get you when you walk-in and see the those pastries. I usually shop the DLM on Far Hills. I think itโ€™s such a gem of a market I drive 30 minutes to get there!

    Happy 4th

    • It is! I thought I was the only one in the family succumbing to their pastries, desserts and breads but my dil said when her father visits, he heads straight to DLM and brings home a bunch of their baked goods/desserts. I love that store and I normally hate grocery shopping. It’s just such a different experience there. I so wish we had one where I live! The Far Hills location is the one I go to, also. It’s only 2-3 miles away, we’ve actually walked to that area before to eat in the local restaurants. Definitely worth a 30 minute drive! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Gayle Kesinger says

    Susan, mosquitoes don’t bother me but they eat my friends up. I have discovered a product that two of my friends who have used it are swearing by. It is called Bug-Bouncer and can be ordered on line or locally. I was at my wits end because I don’t like my friends to suffer but this stuff seems to really work. Several fragrances, not medicinal.

    • Gayle, the strangest thing, I used to get eat up, but I noticed the first day or two I was here when I wasn’t wearing the repellent, they weren’t biting me like they have in the past. I wonder why? I’ve been wearing the repellent since I found it since I hate getting even one bite if I can avoid it. Thanks for the tip on the bug bouncer…I’ll check it out.

  8. Dorinda Selke says

    Hi Susan – thanks so much for the insect repellent advice. This year my husband and I are being bitten terribly by midges which are nearly impossible to see until you see the hideous bite. It bubbles up like a little blister and it is ten times as itchy as poison ivy. The itching can keep you up at night. I am hoping that this repellent may do the trick. Thanks again. Hugs, Dorinda

    • Ugh, I can’t stand those! I think this repellent will keep them away, as well. Let me know how it works for you, Dorinda!

  9. Susan, you are a grandmother that thinks of everything. Your little guys are going to have a great 4th of July right in their own backyard. The pool idea is so cute! Happy 4th of July!

  10. A HAPPY JULY 4th to you Susan! (Canada just celebrated similar on July 1st.) Love your sandals however never have had much luck with sling backs (with exception if a sport type) as always slip off the heel. That said though; I recently ordered a pair of ‘low’ wedge ankle strap sandals online and considering their price surprisingly were so darn comfortable, ordered two additional pairs in different colours. Isn’t Amazon wonderful? โ˜บ (I have the worse time finding shoes and in the past have wasted mega bucks so to me it was like winning the lotto!) Re the toys for your Grandchildren, I think I’d be tempted to run through that sprinkler myself as looks like loads of fun.
    P.S.: If one takes a supplement of Vitamin E, they will discover it acts as a mosquito repellent for some reason. My Grandfather was a pharmacist and quite the fisherman and he swore by it. Thus when growing up, about a week prior to cottage season we took it and it provided the protection needed for numerous weeks. (That was the days well before repellents and such.)

    • Yay! So close to our celebration here! Hope you had a wonderful one!
      That’s amazing about Vitamin E…never realized it could do that! I know I don’t get bitten near as much now as I used to…wonder if it’s because I started taking a really good multivitamin a year or so ago.

  11. Cyndi Raines says

    What a great pool and rainbow waterfall. With temps that high, I’d be joining them! Lol Tried the new mosquito repellent tonight and it does smell really nice and seemed to work, thank you! Happy 4th! I know tomorrow will be a blast for the boys! Enjoy! โ™ฅ๏ธ

    • lol My dil did! She stretched out in the back pool and the kids played around her…it was so cute! Yay! Glad it worked for you, too. It has worked great for us and we’ve been living the backyard lately!

  12. So fun–you’ve made their backyard a personal summer camp/amusement park extravaganza! Love how close you are with your DiL, and how you get to share and do girly things together. Have a memorable 4th, and safe return.
    Also please share some post-mulch photos so we can oooh and aaaah all your hard work ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Mia, it really looked that way yesterday, even the next door neighbor came over to see it when she heard the boys squealing with joy. I bought a second garden hose and my dil/son put the rainbow where it was over the second half of the larger pool. So the kids were sliding down the slide under a waterfall, then landing under another one. lol My dil put on her bathing suit and got in the back pool and lounged while the kids played around her. I wish I had taken some photos. I hope to get a few photos of them playing in it this weekend.
      I think I’ll finish putting out the mulch today so I’ll be sure to snap some pics! So happy with how it’s looking! Hope you had a wonderful 4th!

  13. Deborah D says

    For outdoor mosquito repellent we use Spartan Mosquito Exterminators. They are fabulous. Made in Mississippi by two brothers from Hattiesburg, Ms. We also use at our Camp on a lake in Louisiana. They clear about an acre. They really work and last for 3 months or longer.

  14. Susan, I think you hit the D-I-L lottery. You two seem to encourage each other when it comes to fashion shopping like two best friends, lol. The mosquito advice was timely, my niece is battling that problem playing outside with her two toddler daughters. I am ordering some today. As always you give me great advice!

  15. Hi, I came back to this post for the link to the Ecco sandals. I got one pair back then, and decided to splurge on another pair this season. (Trellis). Thanks!

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