Inside Trudy’s Beach Bag

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I’m all packed for a day at the beach! Come take a peek inside my beach bag so I can share with you my ten must-have items for a fabulous island day in the sun.


nantucket beach


1.The Nantucket Beach: There’s nothing so beautiful, peaceful, and restorative in all the world as the gorgeous sandy beaches on Nantucket. I’ll never get used to how lucky I am to enjoy such a wonderful spot, even after a lifetime of summers on the island.




2. Sunscreen: The most important thing we need for a day in the sunshine is a good sunscreen. Mine is made without nanoparticles from Nurture My Body. Made in small batches, their 100% organic sunscreens are made with non-nano zinc oxide and they never use any harmful petrochemical sunscreen ingredients. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 10th Annual Guide to Sunscreens has more information on safe sunscreens.


coyuchi beach towel


3. Beach Towel: The beach towel I can’t live without is the organic beach towel from Coyuchi, made of 100% organic cotton, grown and made in Turkey. Coyuchi is part of the 100% Club, a group of 17 brands that exclusively use organic fiber in their cotton products. They also use low-impact dyes and non-chlorine bleach, and never use wrinkle-resistant finishes, which contain formaldehyde.


4. Things to Read: I may need to bring a second beach bag just for my reading material. After a week of busy days, my reading can pile up. Here’s what I can’t do without:

  • The latest copies of The Inquirer and Mirror, where the first page I turn to is Marianne Stanton’s column “Here and There.”



nancy thayer

The Rumor, by Elin Hilderbrand

elin hildenbrand

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

circling the sun

and for my educational reading, Environmental Psychology for Design by Dak Kopec

environmental psychology

5. Snacks:

I pack a jar of my favorite crunchy almond butter with a spoon, and a granny smith apple with a knife. I cut up my apple into slices and spread it with the almond butter for a delicious, healthy mini-meal.

Raw Organic Almond Butter on a Background

6. Water

Because I avoid drinking from plastic, I carry two glass bottles of Mountain Valley Spring Water with me. It’s refreshing and has no potentially harmful chemicals. Plastic is particularly unstable and can release BHA (among other dangerous chemicals) when it gets hot, as is it very likely to do on a sunny day at the beach. Why drink spring water? It’s been filtered by the earth and contains trace minerals the human body needs.



7.A Baseball Cap

A baseball cap is essential to shade my eyes and protect my hair.

baseball cap

8. Doggie Comforts

My three dogs love to come to the beach with me, so I bring what they need for their comfort, too: homemade organic dog biscuits (recipe follows), raised dog beds to keep them off the hot sand, and tennis balls for playtime.

tennis balls


Dog biscuit recipe: Mix together rice flour, olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, eggs, and parmesan cheese. Roll into cigar shapes and bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on their size. I keep them in the freezer, then defrost a few at a time and wrap them in wax paper bags (not plastic!) for transporting to the beach.


9. A Beach Umbrella:

beach umbrella

We need more protection than sunscreen for a day at the beach. Plus with a brightly colored umbrella, you can find your way back after cooling off in the surf.


10. Prosecco and Champagne Glasses

champagne glasses

Once the sun sets, it’s time to break out the Prosecco, and champagne glasses–real ones, because you can’t properly toast the end of a perfect day with anything else.





So Long, Summer


Summer passes so quickly by. Join me for a last look at the season we love!

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Photo courtesy of David Fingerhut

bee at work

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t, they should, for their feet are dusted with the spices from a million flowers.”–Ray Bradbury



“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.” Deb Caletti


relaxation corner with coffee bread and book

“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” Jeannette Walls



“The cure for anything is salt water–tears, sweat or the sea.” Isak Dinesen

© kenneth brizzee

Horned Ghost Crab



“A beach is not only a sweep of sand, but shells of sea creatures, the seaweed, the incongruous objects washed up by the ocean.” Henry Grunwald

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“Hark now, hear the sailors cry, smell the sea and feel the sky…” Van Morrison



So long, Summer. It’s hard to say goodbye but a new season is right around the corner, and there’s always something to look forward to. I have new things to share with you then.  I can’t wait to tell you about them!

The forest in autumn - colorful