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When we first moved to Huntington Beach I was the worlds worst beach mom. No, seriously. The first time we went down to the beach with some new friends I was so completely unprepared it was comical. I wore a t-shirt and a maxi skirt, only to arrive and realize every other mom was in her bathing suit, I didn’t bring a lunch, I had one towel, no extra clothing…I didn’t even bring sunscreen. All the other moms had their beach chairs, a umbrellas, giant vats of baby powder, extra towels, extra sunscreen, and perfect little satchels of snacks. You guys, I was so completely clueless.

To make matters worse, my child was the only one to fall in the waves, so after diving in after him I was completely soaked, making my maxi skirt stretch out so drastically it could have fit nicely on Michael Jordan. I walked home from the beach that day in a t-shirt and a (borrowed) towel, with my maxi skirt draped over the stroller, which periodically slipped off and got caught in the stroller wheels. I was starving, exhausted, and embarrassed.

Now a year and a half later, I’m happy to consider myself a pretty adept beach mom.

These are three of our beach essentials that have made a huge difference in our beach experience:

1. Baby Powder

  • That first trip to the beach elicited some crazy stares when I asked why everyone had baby powder. Well it turns out I was the crazy one, cause that stuff is brilliant. Dust some on to your wet sandy children, rub it around, and almost instantly all the water is sucked out of the sand and it just falls off. Now I too carry around a giant vat of it. 

2. Folding Backpack Beach Chair

  • We picked up two of these chairs shortly after the first beach day fiasco, and I can’t live without them. They fold up into a backpack so I can carry them hands free, they have a big pouch on the back to carry all the (sandy) beach toys to and from the beach, and they’re surprisingly comfortable. 

3. Snacks

  • I don’t know what it is about the beach, but the moment we get down there we are all starving — even me. Even if we’ve just had breakfast. I can’t explain it. So I’ve learned to always have a bag of snacks on hand. NatureBox sent us one of their monthly snack boxes and they were absolutely perfect for a day at the beach. Their individual packages were so easy to throw in the beach bag, great for my kids to sit on the beach towel and munch on, they’re healthy (made completely of wholesome and unprocessed ingredients), and they’re super delicious. Unless you’re my baby, who ate nearly the entire bag of Cherry Berry Bonanza by himself, the bags are all full size and have 3-5 servings in them so they last for more than one beach trip. They have 3 different Box options — Deluxe Snacker (5 bags for $19.95), Happy Snacker (10 bags for $29.95), and Smart Snacker (20 bags for $49.95), and you get to choose your snacks each month so you can try all different kinds! Our favorites were the Cherry Berry Bonanza, Everything Bagel Stix, and the Dark Cocoa Almonds. I’m drooling even thinking about them. 
If that face doesn’t convince you that you need to try these snacks, I don’t know what will. 
Today NatureBox is generously giving away 2 six-month Deluxe Snacker subscriptions to 2 lucky readers so you can have some delicious snackies for the beach this summer (or the park, or school, or hidden away in your bedroom so you don’t have to share with your children — I won’t judge)! 
To enter:
  • Visit NatureBox and browse their amazing collection of snacks, then come back here and leave a comment telling me which snack you want to try the most! You must include your email address in your comment to win!
this giveaway is open to US readers only 

And if you can’t wait, get 50% off your first box of any size with code MERRICK (valid only on first month’s box, and only for new customers)!

3 ESSENTIALS FOR A DAY AT THE BEACH WITH KIDS (AND A GIVEAWAY!)

When we first moved to Huntington Beach I was the worlds worst beach mom. No, seriously. The first time we went down to the beach with some new friends I was so completely unprepared it was comical. I wore a t-shirt and a maxi skirt, only to arrive and realize every other mom was in her bathing suit, I didn’t bring a lunch, I had one towel, no extra clothing…I didn’t even bring sunscreen. All the other moms had their beach chairs, a umbrellas, giant vats of baby powder, extra towels, extra sunscreen, and perfect little satchels of snacks. You guys, I was so completely clueless.

To make matters worse, my child was the only one to fall in the waves, so after diving in after him I was completely soaked, making my maxi skirt stretch out so drastically it could have fit nicely on Michael Jordan. I walked home from the beach that day in a t-shirt and a (borrowed) towel, with my maxi skirt draped over the stroller, which periodically slipped off and got caught in the stroller wheels. I was starving, exhausted, and embarrassed.

Now a year and a half later, I’m happy to consider myself a pretty adept beach mom.

These are three of our beach essentials that have made a huge difference in our beach experience:

1. Baby Powder

  • That first trip to the beach elicited some crazy stares when I asked why everyone had baby powder. Well it turns out I was the crazy one, cause that stuff is brilliant. Dust some on to your wet sandy children, rub it around, and almost instantly all the water is sucked out of the sand and it just falls off. Now I too carry around a giant vat of it. 

2. Folding Backpack Beach Chair

  • We picked up two of these chairs shortly after the first beach day fiasco, and I can’t live without them. They fold up into a backpack so I can carry them hands free, they have a big pouch on the back to carry all the (sandy) beach toys to and from the beach, and they’re surprisingly comfortable. 

3. Snacks

  • I don’t know what it is about the beach, but the moment we get down there we are all starving — even me. Even if we’ve just had breakfast. I can’t explain it. So I’ve learned to always have a bag of snacks on hand. NatureBox sent us one of their monthly snack boxes and they were absolutely perfect for a day at the beach. Their individual packages were so easy to throw in the beach bag, great for my kids to sit on the beach towel and munch on, they’re healthy (made completely of wholesome and unprocessed ingredients), and they’re super delicious. Unless you’re my baby, who ate nearly the entire bag of Cherry Berry Bonanza by himself, the bags are all full size and have 3-5 servings in them so they last for more than one beach trip. They have 3 different Box options — Deluxe Snacker (5 bags for $19.95), Happy Snacker (10 bags for $29.95), and Smart Snacker (20 bags for $49.95), and you get to choose your snacks each month so you can try all different kinds! Our favorites were the Cherry Berry Bonanza, Everything Bagel Stix, and the Dark Cocoa Almonds. I’m drooling even thinking about them. 
If that face doesn’t convince you that you need to try these snacks, I don’t know what will. 
Today NatureBox is generously giving away 2 six-month Deluxe Snacker subscriptions to 2 lucky readers so you can have some delicious snackies for the beach this summer (or the park, or school, or hidden away in your bedroom so you don’t have to share with your children — I won’t judge)! 
To enter:
  • Visit NatureBox and browse their amazing collection of snacks, then come back here and leave a comment telling me which snack you want to try the most! You must include your email address in your comment to win!
this giveaway is open to US readers only 

And if you can’t wait, get 50% off your first box of any size with code MERRICK (valid only on first month’s box, and only for new customers)!
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155 Comments

  1. The roasted sea salt chickpeas are calling my name!

  2. Becca says:

    I'm a sucker for any kind of granola! Sunriseview88@gmail.com

  3. Mmm all of them, but probably the country ranch peas or the mango orange fruit chews : ) whatyoumakeitblog@gmail.com

  4. Julia says:

    Dark chocolate berry trail mix! πŸ™‚

  5. jenblazz says:

    I would love to try those mango orange fruit chews. They sound amazing!! And such a bonus that they are soy and dairy free. Jenblazz@gmail.com

  6. mcmtino says:

    Cherry berry bonanza

  7. Yum! Peanut butter nom noms..no wait, everything bagel stix?!
    Recently discovered your blog and LOVE it. Never subscribed to a blog before!

  8. That dark chocolate berry trail mix looks amazing!

    mgibbel at gmail dot com

  9. Lauro says:

    We also currently live by the beach, although we are moving inland in one month and we're pretty sad about it. We love walking to the beach, but I just never know what to do with the stroller once we get there. It doesn't move well on the sand. My solution is to lock it up with a bike lock. What do you do?

  10. Becke says:

    All of the pretzel pops. Yum! becke_lamarche@yahoo.com

  11. Great photos! So cute!
    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  12. zee says:

    Blueberry almond ..look delish..

  13. zee says:

    Blueberry almond ..look delish..

  14. I like the sound of that Peanut Butter Nom Nom!

    heidimhopper [at] gmail [dot] com

  15. That baby powder tip is A-Mazing! I don't even have kids and I'm gonna take some with me to the beach next time! Naturebox has way more flavors than I expected. I have to say, those Dark Cocoa Almonds are calling my name!

  16. Kylie Nason says:

    the baked sweet potato fries look so good! kyliedfc@gmail.com

  17. Heidi says:

    Baked sweet potato fries!

    Heidimarkcards @ gmail.com

  18. I really want to try the baked sweet potato fries!

    cconnelly47@yahoo.com

  19. Katy P says:

    I want to try the cranberry almond bites.
    Pacholke21@gmail.com

  20. SJ Rueppel says:

    The sweet blueberry almonds, peppery chickpeas, smoky pumpkin seeds, and definitely the cherry berry bonanza! So many yummy looking snacks!!!

    seizethesparkle@gmail.com

  21. Annika says:

    I'm not entering in the giveaway (I'm from Germany), but I wanted to take the chance to tell you that I really liked this post. it so makes me want to go to the beach right now πŸ˜‰

  22. Becky G says:

    The Carrot Strawbery Fruit Chews look tasty! becky.goerend at gmail

  23. I would love to try the Citrus Chipotle Chickpeas- they sound delicious!

    steviegreekstorck@gmail.com

  24. Sheila says:

    It all looks delicious. Maybe the dried California peaches.
    girlmommy(dot)sheila(at)gmail(dot)com

  25. Mango Orange Fruit Crews…YUMMY

  26. i_singforhim says:

    I would love to try the Sriracha Roasted Cashews or the Sweet Blueberry Almonds! kayleyelrick@gmail.com

  27. It all looks good. The apple pie oat clusters especially. mmcneal4@yahoo.com

  28. Jill says:

    The blueberry almonds sound so interesting!

  29. The Everything Bagel Stix sound delicious, as do the Sour Cream and Onion Almonds!
    Alissa K
    emu1127@yahoo.com

  30. Natalie says:

    Where to begin … I'd definitely go for the salted caramel pretzel pops. And anything with almonds!!

  31. Stephany says:

    cranberry macaroon granola sounds delish! steph8230@hotmail.com

  32. Whitney says:

    Any of the nom noms or figgy bars! Whitneyannparry@gmail.com

  33. Sandcat says:

    Salted caramel pretzel pops sound mighty intriguing.

  34. Katie Hanson says:

    who can choose?! but the blueberry almond looks yummy! kateandoli@gmail.com

  35. The Chipotle Maple Almonds look amazing! lizz.pierson@gmail.com

  36. Lizzy says:

    I would looove to try any of the sticks, but the Sweet Blueberry Almonds look to die for! As a college student and nanny, I am always looking for healthy snacks to eat between classes that I can share with the kids too! πŸ™‚
    lizzyspit@aol.com

  37. joelleseldon says:

    Chipotle Chikpeas! They look so delicious!

  38. I'd like to try the cashew power clusters! samanthaseufert@gmail.com

  39. Roberta says:

    If I had to choose, it would either be the Honey Macadamia Pretzel Pops and the Pistachio Power Crunch

  40. Paige Flamm says:

    PBJ Granola?! Sign me up for some of that! I made need to use the promo code ahead of time!

    paigeflamm@gmail.com

  41. Ummmm, everything looks amazing. I think I would want to try the Country Ranch Peas first!

    robyn.swensen at gmail dot com

  42. Alyssa says:

    Ok I'm hungry now! Want to try those bruschetta pretzel pops!!

  43. Mmm, the sour cream and onion almonds sound delicious! emeraldream@hotmail.com

  44. Teri says:

    Just send me the granola! Thanks for the giveaway.

  45. Alyssa says:

    Those cashew power clusters look great! alyssa.olsen@gmail.com

  46. Elaine says:

    The PB&J granola sounds great! thelastnovember@gmail.com

  47. Anne Hackett says:

    My girls and I would love the Sea Salt Chickpeas and Sweet Potato fries! Just in time for summer picnics πŸ™‚

  48. Robin says:

    I just kept seeing more and more snacks that looked better and better! Yum! The banana bread granola and dark cocoa almonds look delicious!!

    rg86@nau.edu

  49. Lisa says:

    The honey macadamia nut pretzel bites sound so good!

    Lmmayer (at) outlook (dot) com

  50. the honey macadamia pretzel pops look amazing!

    kelly.holmquist@gmail.com

  51. Any of the mixes with nuts would be a hit in my home, I bet the Pb&J granola wouldn't last long either.
    ltkibbe at yahoo dot com

  52. Lindsey says:

    Wow I did not expect their selection to be so huge! It would be super hard to decide. Apple Pie Oat Clusters, Carrot Strawberry Chews or Salted Caramel Pretzel Pops… Oh my! Lindseyschubert@gmail.com

  53. Judit says:

    The variety is so gorgeous, it's hard to pick only one, but maybe my favorite is pistachio power clusters.
    lantosjudit gmail <.> com

  54. This just made me hungry. I am a snacker for sure! I would want all of the following (HA!): Bruschetta Pretzel Pops, Roasted Sea Salt Chick Peas, Roasted Kettle Kermels, Banana Bread Granola, Toasted Sesame Stix, and Yogurt Dipped Pretzels. I had to stop there to get something to eat!

    kaitlin.rackham@gmail.com

  55. Jenny Ice says:

    They all look good, but we'd have to go with the salt and pepper pumpkin seeds!

    jenniferice at live.com

  56. I would love to try the PB&J Granola

  57. Lynn B says:

    I would love to try the honey macadamia pretzel pops!

  58. Shana says:

    Oh my. That dark chocolate berry trail mix looks amazing. Sounds like the best summer snack!! kennyandshana@gmail.com

  59. Megan says:

    I would love to try the Peanut Butter Nom Noms–anything with peanut butter for me! Thanks for the giveaway! meganwbark@gmail.com

  60. Lindsay says:

    Great tips…I laughed at how much I would have been like you at that first trip to the beach! And thanks for doing a giveaway too. Those Guacamole Bites look pretty good to try!
    ^* I forgot to put my email the first time! Linskitchen@gmail.com πŸ™‚

  61. Mommy B says:

    PB&J Granola. What a genius idea! And thanks for the tips – we're moving to Turkey this summer and will be spending time at the Mediterranean. Stocking up on baby powder for sure!

  62. Unknown says:

    I am such a mindless snacker, this would be perfect for me! I might even be able to get my husband interested in nutritious food with these options! Especially those Salted Caramel Pretzel Pops… rschorse@gmail.com

  63. Mrs. Haynie says:

    Blueberry almonds!

  64. They all sound amazing and as someone who tries to only eat all natural ingredients, I was sold immediately. My eyes looked right to Apple Pie Oat Clusters… Yummmmm. My email is ktemple1984@yahoo.com. Thank you!

  65. I would love to try the cashew power clusters! Yum! tcole726@msn.com

  66. Alicia Smith says:

    The Lemon Meringue Waffles sound delicious. leashamama@gmail.com

  67. JulieEis says:

    The Honey Macadamia Pretzel Pops and Poppy Seed Sticks look yummy. JuliePach@gmail.com

  68. Liese says:

    I've been wanting to try their sweet blueberry almonds since I heard about them on a podcast that they sponsor!

    annaliesefoote at gmail dot com

  69. That is a very tough choice!! Everything looks delish! I guess I would go with the pumpkin praline seeds because that has to be amazing!! Great giveaway! Thanks! yemevoy@sbcglobal.net

  70. flourgirl says:

    Chocolate berry trail mix!!
    Flourgirl4 at gmail (dot)com

  71. hAha says:

    What a fantastic Giveaway and Post! I'm a new beach mom in L.A., it really does takes some figuring! The snack I'd like to try most are those Salted Carmel Pretzel Pops. Though, all their snacks look awesome! email: hansen (dot) hilary (at) gmail (dot) com

  72. Kim says:

    I would like the santa fe corn stix!
    skyejaden at gmail dot com

  73. Meghan says:

    The banana bread granola looks amazing. I want to try it all though.

  74. Kelsi says:

    I would love to try the lemon tea biscuits. Also, your story was hilarious πŸ™‚ kelsi.leavitt@gmail.com

  75. Sara C. Walk says:

    the PB&J granola (which sounds AH-mazing!) or the carrot and strawberry fruit chews…I can't decide. Iv'e never heard of nature box I'm excited πŸ˜‰

  76. Lisa says:

    All the fruit chews look so yummy and i bet my kids would love them, too! Lisaboshell@gmail.com

  77. Jessica says:

    I would love to try the granny smith apples, I'm obsessed with dried apples right now! Thanks! jessung3 at gmail dot com

  78. My friend brought these to church and we all nommed on a bunch of packages. I didn't get to try the Salted Carmel Pretzel Pops though–those look delicious!

    Also, I LOOOOOOVE those beach chairs. We got them from Costco (not as cute as your striped one though!) and that pillow is a dream. I don't know about yours, but ours have a mini cooler pack attached to the back too, which is so fun to tuck away snacks to keep them cold!

  79. Allison says:

    Dark chocolate berry trail mix!
    Allison.vandusen@gmail.com

  80. My two boys would love these! The dried apples & of course the chic berry trail mix sound so yummy!
    jessica10e@hotmail.com

  81. Rachel says:

    Those salted caramel pretzel pops – yes, please!!
    obrien.rachelmarie@gmail.com

  82. Melissa says:

    Sweet blueberry almonds! They sound so good.

    meliss_f@yahoo.com

  83. Amber Arnold says:

    The apple pie oat clusters sound really good!

  84. Cassie says:

    The Carrot Strawberry fruit chews and their baked sweet potato fries (because I love experimenting with sweet potatoes).
    See Cassie Run @ Gmail . Com

  85. ana615 says:

    I'd love to try the Sriracha Roasted Cashews
    latina40299@gmail.com

  86. AfterGirl says:

    Roasted kettle corn! Yum…

  87. wtiger9 says:

    The Chili Munch Mix looks good, but I really want to sty the Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Pumpkin Seeds.
    wtiger9 at bellsouth dot net

  88. Tracy says:

    Blueberry Almond bites, please!
    tracysoule@gmail.com

  89. Mango orange fruit chews! Coachgarvey at gmail dot com

  90. Tara says:

    I want to try the poppy seed sticks!

  91. i absolutely LOVE naturebox!!! such delicious treats! i am expecting my first any day this week and would love to have snacks ready to go! the Salted Carmel Pretzel Pops sound heavenly!!! crossing my fingers!

    calliecockrell@gmail.com

  92. AubreyLaine says:

    The Honey Macadamia Pretzel Pops sound great πŸ™‚
    alaine74014 at gmail dot com

  93. Domanique says:

    The Salted Caramel Pretzel bites look divine! We're moving to DC next week and I imagine adding some healthy snacks to my diaper bag will be a glorious addition to cheerios for me and the lil guy, and maybe the hubs πŸ˜‰

  94. I would love to try the vanilla macaron granola and the everything bagel sticks. I don't have kids, but my hubby and I sure love snacks and are always looking for delicious and healthy ones! Caitlinlassley@gmail.com

  95. Andrea says:

    Banana Bread Granola is what sounds great right now! emailandreataylor@gmail.com

  96. chalayn says:

    Tough choice! Maybe the Mango Almond Bites or the Smoky BBQ Peas.

  97. Miranda Ward says:

    I think the Yogurt Dipped Pretzels

    freebiegoddess03@aol.com

  98. Nerdy Gal says:

    I always wondered who Duck resembled πŸ™‚ Now I can see you in Duck as well πŸ˜€ I believe you have very strong genes – both Peanut and Duck resemble here !!!

  99. Ohh those cashew power clusters look AMAZING. mysticgypsy128@gmail.com

  100. TanyaK says:

    either the sweet blueberry almonds or the umami almonds – both sound delish! tanyakanner @ gmail.com

  101. Ashley Hayne says:

    I'm on a low sugar diet so I love that you can have no sugar added treats sent to your door!

  102. Meg S says:

    I would be all over those poppyseed sticks!

    mysecretagentloverman at gmail dot com

  103. shelly says:

    I'd love to try the cranberry almond bites. cltrash at ymail dot com

  104. karen says:

    The baked sweet potato fries sound great! Such adorable pictures!
    Karenyuan at gmail.com

  105. Audrey says:

    Wow, there's a lot to choose from! The cheddar sourdough pretzels look pretty good!

  106. micaiahelyse says:

    I've been wanting to try the honey crunch crisps! πŸ™‚ themickeyness (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks!

  107. Karen says:

    Peanut butter nom noms or dark chocolate berry trail mix, so hungry now πŸ™‚
    Karen.hillukka@gmail.com

  108. Sean C says:

    I'd love to try out the Bruschetta Pretzel Pops. They sound delicious!

    connsean@yahoo.com

  109. Alina Conn says:

    The Cranberry Almond Bites are making me hungry.

    apicazo@umich.edu

  110. alisquire says:

    The Honey Macadamia Pretzel Pops sound yummy!

  111. Megan says:

    Healthy fruit snacks?! I must eat them!

    mrsmeganswenson at gmail dot com

  112. Megan says:

    Healthy fruit snacks?! I must eat them!

    mrsmeganswenson at gmail dot com

  113. Katie says:

    Dark Cocoa Almonds sound amazing!

    kmitch98 at gmail dot com

  114. Ali Kusilek says:

    Mmmm, mango orange chews sound delicious!!
    Awhickus@gmail

  115. Mhmmm deffianlty the sweet blueberry almonds or honey macadamia pretzel pops they all sound amazing would love to try!!

    ishanaingram@yahoo.com

  116. Jenna says:

    salted caramel pretzel pops

  117. Bookworm1919 says:

    Peanut Butter Nom Noms look so good (and the name cracks me up)!
    snookphelia (at) hotmail (dot) com

  118. I'm very curious about the chipotle mango almonds!

    Occasionallyaj@gmail.com

  119. The figgy bars! Sounds like a good alternative to my guilty pleasure fig newtons. πŸ™‚
    amanda.nelson128@gmail.com

  120. Rona Li says:

    I think my little girl will love the PB&J Granola. teachlovecraft@gmail.com

  121. Caroline says:

    I would love to try the bruschetta pretzel bites! ctyler009@gmail.com

  122. Leah says:

    Bruschetta pretzel pops for sure!
    natgreen85@gmail.com

  123. This post was super helpful. My sister wanted these beach chairs for her birthday and (living in a colder climate) I had no idea where to buy them. And the baby powder trick is great – I will definitely be throwing in a bottle of that with her gift. Thanks for sharing!

  124. Kelsey H says:

    As a self-diagnosed peanut butter addict I'd LOVE to try the Peanut Butter Nom Nom's πŸ™‚ hisekke@mail.uc.edu

  125. Jessica says:

    I would love to try their seaweed rice pops!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  126. Salted Carmel Pretzel pops for sure! Also the strawberry carrot fruit chews. My 4 year old would love them! Thanks for the baby powder trick! ginnifers@hotmail.com

  127. Sofia Ferber says:

    Too many to choose just one….the minute I got to the "sweet" section I was drooling. That being said, the French Toast granola looks awesome!
    Sofia spfpfc@gmail.com

  128. Danielle K says:

    The baked sweet potato fries sound yum πŸ™‚

    danielleaknapp at gmail dot com

  129. amanda says:

    salted caramel pretzel pops? what! bench.amanda@gmail.com

  130. grace says:

    I was going to say the sunshine chips, but then I saw the bruschetta pretzel pops! My sister would love the coffee kettle popcorn!
    twinart at juno dot com

  131. roasted sea salt chickpeas! Yum!

    lisagjacobsen@gmail.com

  132. David says:

    Great choices! Apart from refreshment, I always make sure to pack some toys for my kids to keep them busy while we relax. By the way, NatureBox is my son's favorite snacks too!

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