b0006117I usually feel ready for summer at the end of spring. This year, however, summer hit Western Canada like a cargo train: suddenly and vigorously, with no end in sight. After a quick breath of spring, a 29˚C summer was suddenly just here, and I realized that I was completely and totally unprepared for it.

Thankfully, Best Buy had my back. (I owe you one, Best Buy!) These six pieces of summer gear are exactly what you need for a stress-free start to the season, and they take the guesswork out of getting it right. The best part about these picks? They’re all things that you’re going to use on a regular basis.

cloud bubble.jpgI’ll even prove it to you. Close your eyes (or, well, don’t close your eyes, because that’s going to make reading this post really difficult for you) and imagine a picture-perfect summer weekend.

It’s quarter past eight, you’re waking up on a Saturday, and there’s a special someone fiddling around in the kitchen with a pot of coffee already brewing…

You get out of bed, wash your face, set up your iPad, and roll out the mat from your brand new Yoga Essentials Pack for a quick morning yoga session. After twenty, maybe thirty minutes of sun salutations and warrior poses, you’re feeling loose and limber, and you’re thanking your lucky stars that your cat didn’t spend the entire time attempting to hide beneath your belly while also complaining loudly that he hasn’t eaten in basically years, come on, stop doing yoga and come feed me my second breakfast.

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After a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and coffee, you get dressed for the day and get ready to head out to the farmer’s market for a few weekend essentials. You grab your new S.H.I.E.L.D. Snapback to keep the sun out of your face on your way there and throw your wallet, phone, and keys into a super-soft bright summer tote bag. (Or, for the boys, maybe you put your Fossil Omega L-Zip into your back pocket.) The trip to the market is unusually quick, even for a weekend, and you can take your time while you’re there, talking to the vendors and picking the biggest heads of lettuce and reddest tomatoes.

By the time you get back, it’s lunchtime, so you throw together a quick salad and get ready for your afternoon date. (Don’t forget to add some protein to that salad! I’m a sucker for a green leaf lettuce with arugula, salmon, almond slivers, and avocado slices, myself.)

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I’m thinking a hike in the river valley for your Saturday date, but I live in Edmonton–not everyone is so lucky as to live somewhere with a picturesque river splitting your city in two. If you’re on the west coast, maybe you’ll take a walk on the pier; if you’re out east, maybe it’s best if you just take a stroll downtown–too much wilderness is probably bad for you city folk! Either way, you’re happy to have the time to finally go out on a relaxing date, and as you head out the door with a stylish day pack in hand, your sweetheart steals your S.H.I.E.L.D. cap right off of your head.

On your way home from your date (it was a great one, I hear; you petted three dogs and one of them even licked your hand), your phone is dying, so you plug it into the Secur Solar Panel Charger that you had in your bag. Of course, screens are so enormous and energy-consuming nowadays that your phone isn’t the only thing that’s dying, so you charge up your date’s phone when you’re done, and your summer camera once that’s done, too. The Secur can handle it, after all.

Finally, the two of you settle down for dinner, and real life starts to seep back into your fantasy as you hit the dessert course. The kids get home from Grandma and Grandpa’s, maybe, or perhaps your sister calls–I don’t know; it would be weird if I knew exactly what your lives were like.

10422890But as your daydream comes to a close, I can tell you how my perfect summer weekend would end. There aren’t any kids to get home, and my sister never calls unless it’s an emergency; she only ever sends hilarious texts, really. My honey and I will head outdoors to enjoy the imaginary sunset, and we’ll curl up next to a charming patio heater. It’s small enough to fit his downtown lifestyle, which is awesome, but it’s warm enough that we’re not hunched over it or anything, either.

And that’s when the best part about summer weekends sets in, I think. You’ve had this amazing day, and your summer essentials have only helped to simplify it, but the best moment that summer has to offer is when the summer heat finally begins to break. Just like that, it’s like the pressure of the week just lifts, and the world cools off just enough that you can cuddle up to your loved ones (be them pets, family, kids, or partners) and get a great night’s rest. With winter, it’s always cold giving way to even more cold, but I love the cyclical nature of summer: hot, dry days and gorgeous, brisk nights.

What are your essentials for the perfect summer day?