by Meaghan Branham

Every afternoon is interrupted by a casual torrential downpour, the mosquitoes are unpacking their bags for their seasonal stay, and at last count I have already lost three lip balms and one lipstick to the “my car becomes an inferno around 3 pm and now everything is melting” dilemma that plagues me every year. It all adds up to one thing: we are in the trenches of a Florida summer (also that maybe I should stop leaving makeup in my cup holder). Luckily, this also means beach days, cuter clothes, iced coffee, and road trips, so hope prevails. As someone who has weathered 23 of these seasons, I have come to count on a few things, both for the home and otherwise, to get me through the next three months. 

At Home


Around this time of year my survival instinct kicks in and most of my choices begin to be driven by one motivation: staying cool. In order to lessen the risk of spontaneous combustion, I make sure to switch to lighter fabrics.  Linen sheets and curtains not only look breezy and effortless, they allow for more airflow and wick away moisture to keep you cool and dry. Bamboo sheets are also a viable option if you prefer a night’s sleep that doesn’t remind you of a sweat lodge. 


It’s no secret that your sense of smell is the one most closely associated with memory recall, and the scents of summer are especially transporting. Candles, room sprays and diffusers that evoke classic summer scents can conjure the best memories of days on the beach and nights on the front porch. My favorite is honeysuckle, but everything from sea salt and fresh linen, to citrus or coconut, to the smokier smell of a fire pit, might be just what you need to feel like you’re on a getaway. 


A vase of pretty flowers is a given around this time of year, but the plants you choose can have an effect on your state of mind in more ways than one. Fresh eucalyptus leaves hung in the shower, where the steam can activate the oils, creates a relaxing and spa-like atmosphere. Planting herbs like basil, oregano and rosemary this time of year is a fragrant, decorative and practical way to add life to a garden or kitchen window.   

On the Patio:

We all long for a backyard oasis, but I know I don’t have the time (or talent) to undertake a full landscaping job. Something simple, like adding a hammock, or a cute patio set coupled with strategically strung fairy lights or lanterns can do the job in a pinch.

The Little Things

A little personalized fan placed on your desk or countertop gives you a little extra protection from the sweltering heat.  

A cute water bottle looks great anywhere you take it and will make it easier to remember to stay hydrated.