Monday, June 22, 2009

Ode to the cooler

Hullo hullo everyone! First of all, thanks so much for the comments on my first posting!! What a testimony to my sister that so many of you came over from her blog to say hello. I'm blessed to have her and am so happy to share her!

So I've been thinking about this blog and wondering what the next posting should be about....stories, tips, tricks, useful things, inspiring quotes, etc. etc. etc. and I KEEP coming back to my darned cooler. Really? YEP! Apparently I'm in a relationship with my soft-sided cooler and want to introduce you to each other (please don't tell my Person of Importance about this relationship...not sure if he can take the competetion).
When you think about it, how can one NOT be drawn to a cooler. I've grown to think of him as my little buddy and best friend. Always there when I need him, soft and malleable so he's flexible in tight situations, cleans up very well, waits patiently as I try to stuff him full of nonsense that we probably won't use......but he doesn't mind. Aaah, I'm in love!

If you don't have a collapsible cooler yet I most adamantly suggest that you invest in one. Ours is from Lands End and has an insert that you can remove and wipe down, flipping it inside out to get to those hard to reach creases. You know what I'm talking about, those creases on the inside of fabric coolers that end up with streaks of mildew? Not so, this one! We've even taken it to the beach and it still looks brand new. The removable liner has mesh pockets on three sides so you can store your different heavier items (cans of coke equals lots of needed caffeine, if you please) and not worry about your sandwiches getting mushy from the jostling. It also has a shoulder strap - this is KEY, especially since it's soft-sided.

I do suggest that you also invest in some really good cooling elements. Our is igloo and the perfect size to slip in one of the pockets or nestle on the bottom. I also grab a few bottles of water from our stash and throw them into the freezer the night before. They do double-duty as a cooling element that also keeps you hydrated. There's also a great flex cooling element called Cryopak, made by a company of the same name. Super cool little buggers that you can cut down to your preferred size.

Some tips on foodstuff that transport nicely:
carrots and cherry tomatoes
sandwiches (just wrap in paper towel and then a plastic baggy, it stays a bit fresher this way)
cans of soda (also do double duty to keep the rest of the food cool if you put them in cold)
string cheese
peant butter (I use almond butter or cashew butter in the tiny Glad tuperware-type containers, available in any grocery store)
all kinds of cookies (very important sustenance)
- really, anything that you normally give your kiddos to munch on during the day will keep great in a cooler. Bananas are ok but tend to get a little brown from the cold and close-quarters. If it's not too hot, just bring the bananas out solo. If it is hot....leave 'em behind.

I've taken this little guy everywhere. It really works for the kiddos because there's always something to munch on and share with others. It's also a great way to meet people! There will always be a few kids around who are hungry and hoping for a munchy. I've met so many other moms this way, especially at places like a lacrosse game (watching my Person of Importance play). The moms loved it! Addy ended up sitting next to a new "friend", watching the portable DVD player with both of them going to town on some carrots and a nectarine. Good times.

The key though is remembering to remove the insert and washing it thoroughly as soon as you get home. I know it's a pain but if you do it, it will last for a while.
Lands End Item #34614-9AL9
It's the larger size that has the removable innards.

Hope I didn't bore you all to tears with this seemingly mundane post. I just wanted to share something that I've found to be a "go-to" item of life!
Keep sending me your blog links, I love to check them all out!
PS. pics coming soon!


  1. Great post! You're so witty, I can't get enough. I don't have a cooler, and seriously, now I don't know how I have lived without one. On my way to the Lands End website...

    XOXOXOXO times a billion!

  2. I have a soft cooler and love it! They are perfect for packing too! BTW, I also found you from your sister! Welcome to blogging!!

  3. Fun post and good to know! I need one for our trip to the beach! Just came over from your sister's blog and love reading!

  4. we could have used that on our trip this week. I will still have to check it out for later. Thanks!

  5. Great post, I need a cooler for the beach so I'll look into this!

  6. HI!!!! Thanks soooo much for being my first follower!!!! YOU have totally made my day!!

  7. just found your blog via pockets of pink
    new follower!!! :) Love your blog already!

  8. What a great and informative post! Sometimes it's the little, seemingly mundane things that actually make a big difference in our everyday lives. Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog ... I'm excited to keep reading yours! :)

  9. ummm.. yip! Your getting the hang of it! Post about anything and everything! :) Your great!
    Your cooler is very adorable xoxoox


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