The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis
Last month we had the opportunity to revisit an old favorite here on the Island, the Old Westbury Gardens. Just after school let out for good, we kicked off our summer of fun at an event we’d had our eyes on for quite some time, the Find a Flower Fairy midsummer family program. Due to the popularity of the event, advance registration is required and we showed up at our allotted time with our gaggle of littles who were ready to search for the elusive and mysterious garden dwellers.

After parking we headed right to the table set up on the west lawn just past the pond to check in. Now I would be remiss as a fellow parent if I didn’t forewarn you at this point that goodies are for sale here in the form of fairy wings and mini binoculars! Luckily we were able to make it past this point without adding more fairy gear to our collection. But just barely.

When the group was all ready we headed down to the first of many stops along the way. It also just so happened to be my favorite stop of the day! We headed for the colonnade and reflecting pool where musician Johnny Cuomo and his two young sons waited to delight all the participants with soft melodies. He invited everyone to dance along and even gave us all a little background and history on the type of music he was playing. We were then invited to sit under the canopy of the massive tree right next to the colonnade and keep an eye out for possible fairy sightings.

From there our fairy tour guides took us through the rest of the gardens, looking for fairies high up on the trees that line the beautiful west pond and among the lovely full blooms in the rose garden. We even checked out the extraordinarily whimsical and detailed tiny fairy houses along the southern allée that were compromised of twigs and leaves and other little bits of nature- gingerly stepping over the discarded strawberry remnants they love to feast on! Circling back around toward the end of the visit we stopped by the edge of the west pond just past the grand staircase and used mini binoculars to look for fairies on the swan boat out over the water.

When the tour was over and we found ourselves back on the same lawn where we had begun, I thought all the fun was over. Little did I expect the sweet surprise our pickles had in store. Sitting all together in a circle, each child received a little cup of pink lemonade and a delicious cupcake (I had to sneak a bite!) topped with pink frosting before calling it a day and heading home.

This wasn’t our first time at the bucolic Old Westbury Gardens. We’ve spent many a day here exploring, visiting Santa, making crafts, gazing at stars through telescopes in the winter night sky, and even checking out intricately carved pumpkins at the Rise of the Jack O Lanterns event. With a calendar brimming with all sorts of family and children’s events throughout most of the year, however, I know without a doubt that it was certain to be far from our last.

Every single winter, there always comes a moment when the very idea of summer suddenly seems completely inconceivable. It comes out of nowhere too. I’ll simply be going about my wintertime business when- usually on a particularly frigid night- my mind wistfully turns to the glories of summer.

Mulling over these recollections- probably born out of the resentment and bitterness at being simultaneously covered in goosebumps and thermals while my teeth chatter relentlessly- my mind mutinies, staunchly refusing to wrap itself around the very notion that one day, just a few weeks down the line, I could be standing in the very same spot…feeling anything but, well, desperately cold.

But I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work the other way around.

Every summer, all summer, I never stop to recall that mercilessly cold feeling. I couldn’t if I tried. Now as the sun’s heat warms my bare skin, or as I tuck into freshly caught seafood at a waterfront restaurant, pick berries out east with my littles, play with them in the warm tide pools at the beach, and basically undertake any of the myriad things that symbolize summer and embody the very essence of this warm and sunny season we wait all year to enjoy- a cold that cuts through all my layers and shocks me into frumpy submission couldn’t be further from my mind.

And that’s okay with me. Because while winter certainly does have a whole slew of its own perks and pleasures, they are completely different from the full-tilt sensory experience that is summer. This season is so worth the wait, year after wonderful year. So on this year’s Summer Finds 2016 list, you’ll find accessories, garments, and accents aimed at helping you indulge in whatever thrills and diversions life throws at you this season, at milking every drop of fun out of summer. In fact, these summer finds will help ensure that you fully enjoy the very pursuits that- months from now- will seem unbelievable indeed.

 

Seabags Black Kevlar Anchor Tote

You'd be hard-pressed to find a bag out there with more summer sewn into every stitch than the ones produced by Portland, Maine-based Sea Bags. Constructed out of real recycled sails whose days out on the open water are done, each bag is truly unique, retaining a bit of the history and travels of the original sail it is made from. Eco-conscious, all of Sea Bags' materials are as locally sourced as possible from right on the water in Portand to the greater New England area. Skilled artisans then hand splice each of the rope handles and stitch the bags together. Sea Bags' focus is on character and authenticity, not mass-production and fads, making each piece truly a work of art.

The Mama Bears Summer Finds 2016 Must Have Items Accessories

M Street Artwork Wood & Rope Wall Art

It's hard to pick a favorite from among M Street Artwork's many whimsical designs, which include whales, mermaids, and jellyfish among many others. Nearly all of artist Shannon's wood and rope creations are nautical-themed, a reflection of the casual beach lifestyle that infuses her life and her art. Each one is rugged, handcrafted, and comes ready to hang. She'll even take custom orders if there is a particular element of summer that you'd like to see up on your wall at home.

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne

Subtle and enchanting, the Peony & Blush Suede cologne by Jo Malone is the embodiment of summer. Like its namesake, the scent is beautiful yet delicate with floral hints of peony, jasmine, rose, and gillyflower plus an added burst of red apple. Like all other Jo Malone colognes, this one is amenable to being paired with others in the line to create a custom perfume that is uniquely you- your very own signature summer scent.

The Beach People Oceanic Petite Round Towel

The lovely muted blues, copper, and white and the undulating waves and busy little fish of this "roundie" beach towel by The Beach People make it almost too beautiful to use! Made out of 100% soft cotton and perfectly sized for children at 40 inches across, the Oceanic Petite Roundie towel will quickly become a unique and lovely summer mainstay for your summertime days at the beach, lake, pool, or splash pad.

Swim by Anthropologie Lace Front One Piece Suit

Like everything else from Athropologie, this halter swimsuit is delicate and feminine while also being very unique and stylish, with a beautiful lace neckline detail and gorgeous patterned design. In this case, it is also very functional. This lovely one-piece is constructed out of nylon and spandex and features removable padding. It's good for lazy days on the beach, yes, but truly perfect for all the tubing, jumping, and boarding activities you may want to partake in as well.

The Beach People Leather Carrier

Perfect companion piece to the roundie towel mentioned above, this 100% leather carrier also by The Beach People is a perfect alternative to stuffing your beach bag to the brim or wearing your towel around your shoulders like a scarf. Made out of brown genuine leather with adjustable metal buckles and a detachable and adjustable leather shoulder strap, this simple and functional carrier works well for blankets and yoga mats as well.

Revisions Design Porcelain Berry Basket

You're not doing summer right on Long Island if you aren't berry picking at least once during the season. Storing your fresh fruits in those disposable and flimsy green paper baskets that fall apart whenever they get even a little wet just won't do, however. This ceramic off-white version by RevisionsDesign on Etsy is a perfect alternative! Serving as a handy and perfectly-sized colander as well as a beautifully simple container, you won't be able to resist going on yet another berry-picking session!

SimSisters Pirate Girl Fabric Passport Cover

Travel, travel, travel! One of the best perks of summer. You can stay local or road trip it, sure. But sometimes, leaving on a jet plane is in order. For just those times you may want to store your passport in a quality cover like this striped fabric "Pirate Girl" number by SimSisters on Etsy. A "Pirate Boy" version is also available among other quirky and fun designs. All, however, ensure that all anyone at the airport sees is your sense of adventure, and not the place you call home. Buen viaje!

RiverSong Studios "Sioux" Inspired Teepees

Indulge in a little outdoor adventure with these Sioux-inspired teepees by RiverSong Studios. Featuring Native American wrap styling on genuine 12 ounce 100% cotton canvas and round-milled poplar hardwood poles, RiverSong Studios teepees are nothing if not some of the highest quality teepees around. All teepees arrive fully assembled and neatly hemmed with no seams on the back or side panels. They're perfect indoors or out as well- for indoor sleepovers and shadow puppets, perhaps, or outdoor hideouts and tales by the fire pit.

Wiwiurka Wooden Climber Play Structure

For adventurous littles excited at the prospect of a whole summer outside, keeping their feet on the ground just doesn't seem like an option. Not when there are so many trees to climb, rocks to scale, and monkey bars to master. Indulge your resident little with this awesome kit by Wiwiurka on Etsy. It includes all the sanded, pre-drilled, and finished dowels, rope, detailed instructions, and step-by-step photos you'll need to assemble your backyard monkey bars or climbing tower. A larger version is available for kiddos 3 1/2 years and older. Keep in mind the max weight on this piece is 170 pounds. Safe climbing!

  • I love that anchor tote bag!

    Nellwyn | http://www.thecardinalpress.comReplyCancel

    • The Mama Bears

      Hi hi! Isn’t so unique?? They have a lot of great designs, it was hard to narrow it down, LOL! Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Oh I love that Teepee Playhouse! I saw a DIY pinterest pin of it but I just cannot bring myself to start another project at the moment.

    | yvonnesowell.com |ReplyCancel

    • The Mama Bears

      Yes!! I know what you mean! I’ve seen so many beautiful and unique teepee ideas on Pinterest too. My appetite for DIY’s is definitely bigger than what I can handle, ha! Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel