My Summer Essentials

Living in the islands of perpetual summer and being fortunate enough to enjoy sunshine around 90% of the year, I have had plenty of time to get my summer wardrobe and summer essentials pretty much sorted. Summer seems to be flying by (June disappeared in the blink of an eye!) but we still have plenty of warm weather left and I wanted to share some of my summer staples with you. From top to toe I’ve got you covered. So, whether you’re going on holiday soon, or just enjoying some warm days in the park in the sunshine, these are a few of my summer favourites! 

 

Summer Essentials - Beach and Holiday Style Post

 

 

1 :: Kimono – 

A great kimono can really elevate that simple shorts and t-shirt outfit. It adds a splash of colour and an additional layer of interest. They’re chic and they keep the sun off your shoulders, win win. They are also great for keeping in your beach bag and throwing over your swimsuit as a cover-up. I favour a bright floral or a leafy palm print. These Amazon kimonos are fantastic for only $15 and come in 26 colours and patterns.

 

2 :: Sunglasses – 

I have to hold my hands up here, I have soooooo many sunglasses! Too many sunglasses, you could say… but I refuse to apologise for it. Against the bright sunshine I am basically blinded as soon as I set foot outside and always have to have a pair on hand. (In my car, in my beach bag, in my hand bag, on the side board, on my dressing table, on the coffee table, on my desk… they are liberally scattered around so that there is always a pair within arms reach!)

Along with my favourite Sojos pair, Amazon have thousands of pretty styles at really affordable prices, many of which are polarized (which is my preference) and still don’t break the bank. I have my eye on this pair to add to my collection, don’t tell the husband… 

 

3 :: Summer & Rose Microfiber Towel – 

Featured in my FabFitFun Summer box (and now available on Amazon.com), I was an instant fan of this lightweight and quick-drying beach towel. I hate carrying home soggy beach towels full of sand after a day by the ocean. This beauty is a great size, a vibrant print, easy to pack and you can just brush the sand right off! A beach day game changer! 

 

4 :: Beach bag – 

I have a number of really cute beach bags, and switch between them regularly, but sadly that still doesn’t stop me constantly looking for new ones! I am a complete sucker for a pom pom or a tassel – which is why I am totally obsessed with this one by Daisy Rose, isn’t it adorable? I love the neutral straw with the brightly colored embroidery and the tassels are to die for. I also love the striped inner pouch and the fact that it has a zip closure to keep all my beaching knick knacks secure. It is on my wishlist!! 

 

5 :: S’well water bottles – 

I have been a big advocate of reusable water bottles for the longest time. But, as the weather warms up, it’s even more important to ensure that you are appropriately hydrated and carrying around one of these full of icy water can help ensure that you won’t get sucked into buying single-use plastic bottles of water when you’re out and about and start to feel that thirst! Keeping your water cold for a whopping 12 + hours, throwing one of these in your beach bag makes life so much easier. S’well does lots of beautiful patterns and colours, but I love my tropical print bottle. 

 

6 :: Reusable straws – 

In my bid to cut down on the amount of plastic I use I have been attempting to ensure that I have reusable alternatives to the common plastic straws when I am out. There are so many available on the market but the two I have tried so far are these beautiful copper ones and this bamboo set. Yes, it’s a little bit more effort to walk with these, and you have to clean them! But plastic straws are so bad for the environment and just so unnecessary! Starbucks hit the news last week as they revealed that they will be phasing out plastic straws and eliminating more than 1 billion straws a year by completely eradicating them from their stores by 2020. I say ‘Bravo!’ to Starbucks and urge you to join in on this initiative! 

 

7 :: Kindle – 

There is no better accompaniment to your beach time or pool time than a really good book. In fact, I have a post on my recommended summer reads that you can check out right here! I have been a kindle convert for some time now (I literally can’t leave home without it) because I love the freedom of having so many books at my fingertips, if I finish one – no problem, I have another just waiting to get started. It’s so freeing taking all those great titles with me in my beach bag without any of the weight of carrying the books. Recently I have been thinking about starting with audible too – might be good for workouts or when you’re lying by the pool just gently snoozing. Have any of you tried it? Audible have an offer at the moment for two free audible books when you sign up for a free 30-day trial, which I might just need to take advantage of. 

 

8 :: Bamboo Ark Bag – 

A beautiful and affordable dupe for the Cult Gaia Bag – this has been my favourite purchase of the summer. Available for just $40 and coming in both small and large (mine is a small for reference) this bag is the perfect summer accessory. Sturdy and stylish it goes with every outfit and has been the object of many admiring glances and compliments (even from the boys!). The small is a great size and roomy enough for all my daily essentials (wallet, keys, lipstick, iPhone 7+ and kindle) I just have to stop myself buying the large one as well… 

 

Summers Essentials - Beach and Holiday Style Post

 

9 :: Hat – 

A great sunhat is an absolute must for the summer! Fantastic for keeping the sun off your face and protecting your most delicate skin. (Also a great photo prop in my honest opinion…) I like to keep one in my beach bag just in case. I love all the summer hats with the cute adorable embroidered sayings. I already own this perfect ‘do not disturb’ hat, but there are a couple more that I have my eye on!

 

10 and 11 :: Coola Mineral Sunscreen – 

I shouldn’t need to tell you that spf is so important for the summer months. Regardless of whether you are going to be sunbathing or not, at the very least you need to make sure that the delicate skin on your face and décolletage is protected, even as you go about your errands. I discovered the Coola products a year or so ago and I love their organic formulas. Even better news, the Coola Mineral Sunscreens are also reef safe! I had been researching sunscreens a lot recently with the increasing amount of information coming out about the risk of regular sunscreen to our delicate reef life. Oxybenzone (one of the main active ingredients in the majority of sunscreens) is a major contributor to coral bleaching. Hawaii has lead the way in banning sunscreens containing reef harming ingredients like Oxybenzone and hopefully it won’t be long before other places follow suit. Get ahead of the curve and start looking out for reef-safe sunscreen. I was thrilled to discover that I could still use my favourite brand if I was just a little more selective about which of their products I was using. Also available – this cute 4-piece Coola Mineral Travel Set

 

12 :: Sandals

 Obviously a great pair of sandals is a must for summer weather – a little smarter than flip flops but still super comfortable and practical for sand and cobbles and other holiday terrain. I like a pair with a bit of interest, so these studded beauties are just perfect. I think that they are somewhat reminiscent of the gorgeous Rockstud Valentino sandals, without being an obvious dupe. They have great reviews!

 

13:: Swimsuit – I feel like people are always really surprised to learn that the majority of my swimsuits come from Amazon. Like maybe they hadn’t considered Amazon as a place to shop for swimwear? I own a couple of these Cocoship suits and absolutely love them, they are fantastic quality for the low price and come in a lot of different colours and prints. The high-waist is super flattering and they are surprisingly supportive… giving you the perfect 50’s pin-up figure!  I feel like this pretty blue and red floral one needs to come home with me! 

 

14 :: Denim shorts – 

An absolute summer essential, I virtually live in mine. I love a white pair for a clean and fresh look. Pair with a vest top, a t-shirt, a cami, a tunic or just a bikini top. Super versatile, perfect for pool days, no self-respecting summer wardrobe should be without a pair.

 

15 :: Maxi dress – 

Is there anything more comfortable or flattering when the weather heats up than a loose and flowy maxi dress? Super forgiving, covering a multitude of sins, the maxi dress is a summer wardrobe essential. Amazon.com have some beautiful and affordable beach maxi dresses, which are so easy to wear but still make you look really put together. Perfect for evenings out after a day at the beach, or for summer brunches with friends. I love this tropical and leafy maxi, but it comes in 8 different colours and prints, if this one isn’t for you.

 

 

Amazon Prime Day starts today and there are hundreds of special deals exclusively for Prime subscribers. If you haven’t yet signed up for Amazon Prime you can start a 30-day free trial today.

 

Which would be your picks??

 

This post contains some affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if I have inspired you to click through and make a purchase today. This does not affect the price you pay. As always I have not recommended any items that I do not already own or would not purchase myself. Thank you for supporting thebarefootangel.com

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Friday Favourites – Spartina 449 Edition

Good morning happy, sparkly Friday people!

Bit of a specialized Friday Favourites post for you today. I recently bought another couple of Spartina 449 pieces and have received so many compliments and questions on them that I thought I would showcase what else is on my wishlist.

I would like to preface the post by saying that this post is in no way sponsored and none of the links are affiliate links. I just like to share.

So with all that out of the way – here are some of the gorgeous pieces sitting in my cart at the moment! I really feel that their whole style is perfect for island girls, wannabe mermaids or any lady that likes to channel her inner beach babe, with so many nautical and tropical charms and motifs. Have a look and see what you think – 

This Boho Chic Toggle Bracelet comes in both beachy sea foam green and a pretty cream colour way with coral accent beads – $72


I love the pretty tassels on the multi-coloured boho bead wrap bracelet – $46.50 add charms to it like the little ladybird or the turtle on the sea foam green version



I love my ‘Greetings from Hawaii’ charm necklace with the sweetest pineapple and hibiscus charms – but I also have my eye on the O’ahu version with the little turtle, surfboard and anchor… Aloha! $40



How sweet are these adorable sand dollar and starfish earrings – $30 for the set of two. 


I love the pretty turquoise beading on these beaded horseshoe earrings – $26


This beautiful beaded tassel toggle necklace is the perfect way to add a chic touch to your casual bikini and cover-up outfit. A great length too at 36″ – $76 


My Ships Ahoy necklace is a great statement piece with the 34″ chain and the chunky anchor charm – $44.  

I have a couple of items that I’m lusting after which are currently out of stock and I’m keeping my fingers crossed and patiently waiting to see if they come back in… And don’t even get me started on the beautiful range of tunics, handbags and even stationary! They deserve a post of their own!

So there you have it – a few of my favourites – any of them tickling your fancy?

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33 Things

Sunday was my birthday, I turned 30 *ahem* and-a-few-more… and I thought that it was the ideal opportunity to open up and tell you a bit about myself. So here goes nothing!

1. The only perfume I’ll wear is Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Eau de Parfum. I’ve been wearing it for 17 years now and recently massively freaked out when I was struggling to find the EDP any time I passed through duty free (the EDT will do at a push, but it totally doesn’t smell the same…) I have since been reassured that it hasn’t been discontinued (but I’m still tempted to buy in bulk to be on the safe side.) Possibly you could accuse me of being unadventurous and set in my ways, but hey – I likes what I likes.

2. I passed my Grade 8 trumpet exam (but haven’t really played it since – which I’m pretty devastated about) and was a complete band geek at school; big band, orchestra and choir (even though I can barely sing a note…)

3. I suffer from terrible stage fright (which probably contributed to me no longer playing the trumpet) and any kind of performance or public speaking (no matter how informal) leaves me shaking.

4. I’ll eat pretty much anything – with the exception of tripe and baked beans (truly the devil’s creation) and maybe weird crunchy bugs/scorpions (although I’m not completely ruling it out)

5. Following on from point #4 – I am a massive foodie, eating out and cooking (and drinking) are pretty much my favourite things to do and where most of my disposable income goes (read: is the reason that I don’t have any savings).

6. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would probably have to be pasta! No, wait – cheese… No, pasta. Okay – pasta with cheese. Seriously though, creamy, cheesy pasta makes me ridiculously happy, especially when served with a generous dusting of freshly cracked black pepper and a chilled glass of white wine.

7. Still on the food topic – I am totally missing my sweet tooth! Which is fortunate as I already have far too many vices (yes cheese and wine, I’m talking about you… again…)

8. I’m a perfectionist – but to the degree that it hampers me in every day life since I don’t like to try or show anyone something unless I know that I’ll be good at it… I like to be good at things! This is something that I’m trying to work on and any advice is much appreciated.

9. Conversely to point #8, I’m hugely messy. I don’t mean to be, I’d love to be tidier (and my husband would love that too) but I just never seem to have enough time/have too many clothes, handbags, shoes/not enough storage space.

10. I am the typical Taurean – passionately loyal with a love for food and the finer things, creative, reliable, stubborn and utterly bull-headed. Anything you’ve ever read about a Taurus female is likely 110% true for me.

11. I’ve been with my husband for 8-years and married for three – he’s my best friend, my favourite person and there’s no one I would rather be on this crazy adventure with! You can read a little more about us (and see a few wedding pics) here.

12. I’ve been living in the BVI for 10-years, straight out of university. It was the age old story – girl meets boy – boy convinces her to move across the Atlantic – boy breaks up with girl – girl decides to stay anyway because she’d made so many friends… 🙂

13. Speaking of university I studied Italian and spent a year attending L’Universita Di Pisa, living in Tuscany.

14. I’m the biggest wimp. I shut my eyes (and cover my ears) and hide under the dogs during scary movies.

15. Speaking of the dogs – we have 3! My sweet old Roxy girl (who we think is nearly 13 – she was an adult when I got her) and the 70lb wuss that is Oscar. We also recently took on a new rescue Pit-mix that we named Bruno, we think that he is about 2 years old. Sadly he was starving and pretty poorly when we got him but he is getting so much better! You can see more of their Caribbean adventures on my Instagram here.

16. I’ve never managed not to cry at a wedding… and not polite, pretty, dainty tears! Big, ugly, dribbly crying which is pretty embarrassing when I’m sobbing my way through their vows as a bridesmaid. (Recently this reached new frontiers when one of my best friends sent me the video of her wedding ceremony and I cried my way through that too).

17. I’ve been a bridesmaid 7 times, three times as a child and four times as an adult.

18. Weddings are one of my favourite things and when I finished university being a wedding planner was my chosen career – buuuuut then I moved to an island and got sidetracked…

19. I have a pretty big phobia of sharks – which can limit the amount of fun I have swimming/snorkeling around my tropical island.

20. I have zero hand-eye coordination and can’t play tennis (or any other racket sport) to save my life. I am not good at this.

21. I suffer from chronic resting bitch face – sooooooo many times people have met me and confessed that they thought I hated them or was really grumpy/unfriendly… I’m not, I promise… (except maybe if you wake me) which brings me to…

22. I could sleep professionally – I’m just waiting for it to become an Olympic sport or something that would legitimately pay by the hour… any amount of light, movement, noise or crowd – I can sleep! I am nearly impossible to wake. I am seriously talented at sleeping… zzz

23. I love, love, love to travel – in the last couple of years I’ve finally woken up to the fact that travel is truly the best thing that money can buy. Sadly it doesn’t stop me from buying expensive handbags… but I’ve started prioritizing experiences and trips with my husband.

24. I squirrel away interesting facts and trivia which means that my brain is full of useless information but also means I’m quite good at pub quizzes.

25. I’m fiercely independent and have been since childhood (sorry Mum!) – I can and I will change that tyre (in white jeans and heels, if necessary – yes, that happened) or that fuse, I can (but often forget to) check my oil and I will figure out how to get most everything done (even if it involves a quick Google first) but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a helping hand from time to time.

26. I have terrible taste in television. I’m currently mid-way through a Grey’s Anatomy marathon (it had been 9 years since I had last seen an episode so you can only imagine how many I had to catch up on…) and it is driving my husband mental! (Sorry. Not sorry.) When we first met it took him a couple of years to successfully wean me off KUWTK… and I like to binge watch Come Dine With Me and First Dates until my eyes bleed. I’m fascinated by the dynamics between people and with relationships.

27. I love to people watch! When I lived in Italy one of my favourite past times was grabbing a coffee, sitting in a sunny piazza and watching the world go by. I do it here too, except now it’s a beach bar… I get this habit from my mother!

28. I taught myself basic sign language – including the alphabet and some very random words and phrases… swimming costume, orange juice, umbrella… It’s safe to say I won’t be holding any long conversations any time soon.

29. I’ve been wearing my cat-eye eye makeup (and using the same brand of eyeliner) for half of my life.

30. I’m rose gold obsessed! I think I (and everyone around me) was hoping that it was just a phase… but I’m fairly certain that it’s here to stay… what can I say? I’m just that basic!

31. Professionally I work very hard at taking care of other people’s life admin, their travel, their plans, their renewals, their deadlines. It requires me to be very organised and juggle a lot of different things. Personally I am exceptionally bad at taking care of my own life admin, recently letting my passport expire for an irresponsibly long time, losing my marriage certificate etc… (it’s not actually lost, it’s just in a really, really, really safe place…)

32. I use the phonetic (military) alphabet daily.

33. I have one baby sister, who I adore! I am lucky to have the most wonderful supportive family, who give me both roots and wings. But I do miss them terribly! Though we’re now scattered across the globe (and across many time zones), I know that they’re only a phone call away. Plus, now we have a few exotic places to meet up!

So there you have it – 33 things that you probably didn’t need to know about me! But now you do…

Any little idiosyncrasies that you can share that will make me feel better about being quite so weird?

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Five Friday Favourites – Cinco De Mayo Edition

I love any excuse for a party – and, if I’m being entirely honest, any excuse for tequila, so naturally Cinco De Mayo is one holiday I can totally get on board with! (Although – how is it already May people??)

Celebrating this Mexican theme, here are some of the things putting a big (tequila-fueled) smile on my face this week:

Cacti Phone case from Casetify ($35)


Photo via Casetify

As sturdy as it is cute (and not at all spiky) – I’m loving all the fresh greens and pinks on this iPhone case!

Mi Casa Es Su Casa Cacti (downloadable) print from Etsy ($5.50)


Photo via PrintableBeautyArt

Continuing with the Cacti – this adorable (and super affordable print) would look gorgeous in my beach apartment.

(I’m actually in the process of updating our living room with lots of leaf prints and succulents so this little guy will fit in perfectly!)

Spicy jalapeño and watermelon margarita recipe.

Photo via Spicy Southern Kitchen

I adore a good margarita – they are one of my absolute faves and when I came across this recipe from spicysouthernkitchen.com I knew that I would absolutely be making them this weekend!! I’ve been infusing my tequila already…

Chili, Margarita, Cactus and Avocado pool floats from Amazon.com (from $12.75)

Photo via Swimline

The craze for oversized novelty pool floats shows no sign of abating and I, for one, am thrilled! My giant flamingo float (Flossie) is looking a bit lonely – so I might be in the market for a couple more…

Chili Dark Chocolate from Amazon.com ($7.95)


Rich, sweet and just a teeny bit devilish – this organic Mexican-style chili dark chocolate by Taza will leave a tingle on your tongue and is perfect for a sweet treat after dinner, maybe paired with a strong cup of Mexican coffee.

What are your plans for the weekend? Any Cinco De Mayo festivities tonight? I think I’m going to indulge with a little taco binge and a few margaritas (it is Friday after all!)

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Gain A ‘Scents’ of the BVI with EC Soap Co.

Way back at Christmas time (in one of my early posts) I wrote a gift guide for island girls that included my favourite local soap store, the EC Soap Co. They make such beautiful and unusual items that are just perfect for gifting.

Photo via EC Soap Co. 

All of their products are handmade here in the BVI with all natural, raw materials harvested from around the Territory, working with local farmers to source the freshest, organic ingredients.

EC Soap Co. soap bars often feature natural exfoliants to gently buff and polish your skin – like the dried ginger pulp in their summery ‘Ginger Island’ soap, or the ground mint leaves in the refreshing ‘Minty Rose’.

Photo via EC Soap Co.

Along with the gorgeous handmade soaps with their unusual colours, textures and scents they also stock lotions, balms and bath salts.


Photo via EC Soap Co.

I’m thrilled to announce that their new website is up and running and that with it comes international shipping!

Even better, from now until Mother’s Day they are offering 20% off with the code mothersday17!!

So, what are you waiting for?




In celebration of the new website and their soon-to-be global soap domination. I sat down with the owner Alex Durante (one of my favourite Caribbean entrepreneurs) to find out a bit more about what she’s been up to and why her products are so special:


Photo: Alexandra Durante via EC Soap Co. 

TBA: Alex, What made you want to start your own business and why did you decide on soaps?

ECSCo: I always like a challenge and it seemed that putting my creative skills to good use in the business world was a great idea to start. The British Virgin Islands have tons of untapped resources and soap was a great market to get into because we have access to raw materials from local farmers and we are turning our products into brilliant forms of art by using different scents and colorings to create intricate designs.

TBA: What is the best thing about being your own boss? And the biggest downside?

ECSCo: The best thing is that I can create my own future and decide as to where I want/need my company to go. The biggest downside would definitely be the day to day determination to succeed, even on that particular day you aren’t succeeding. You always have to be positive, even when you know that you feel differently.


Photo: EC Soap Co. Team via EC Soap Co.

Creativity obviously runs in the family as her father (pictured with her here) is renowned local artist Lutia Durante.

TBA: Do you have any regrets or anything that you would have done differently?

ECSCo: I should have branded EC Soap Co. sooner, but hey, we are on this earth to learn and grow right?

TBA: Where do you see your business going from here? What’s next for EC Soap Co.?

ECSCo: I desperately want EC Soap Co. to start exporting on a massive scale. We would be the first to export in such numbers thus supporting the economy as well as the people that live here. I also see us eventually being a 95% locally made company (5% being imported packaging) with local ingredients all being grown here.

TBA: If you weren’t killing it with your own business – what would you have wanted to do?

ECSCo: I honestly can’t answer that question! Ha ha. I’d probably be working on charter boats? I love people and being around them so I can’t fathom sitting behind a computer all day. It would definitely be service orientated.

So get gifting ladies – to your mamma, or even to yourselves, you deserve it!

www.ecsoapco.com +1 (284) 346 1023

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