9 Savvy Summer Solutions

Summer is here so it’s time to get out there and enjoy the hot weather (in some cool summer styles, of course)—and also use some of the extra down time to boost your cooking and entertaining game. Here are a few finds that can help improve life on these fronts.

iRobot Braava Jet 240 (www.iRobot.com) – $199
That dirty kitchen and dining room floor got you down? Check out the iRobot Braava Jet 240–a smart device that’s great for mopping and sweeping in particularly dirty spaces, like kitchens and bathrooms to ensure they are guest-ready. It has three cleaning modes: wet mopping, damp sweeping and dry sweeping. Plus, its square shape and compact size allows it to get into hard-to-reach places, including under and around toilets, into corners, and below cabinets. What’s also pretty cool is that the iRobot Braava Jet remembers obstacles in its path and slows down to gently clean along furniture, walls, and fixtures before returning to its starting point after completing a cleaning run. And, if it encounters a problem it’ll automatically shut off. All you have to do is fill the water reservoir, select the right cleaning pad for the job, press clean and the robot will do the rest! This device is also compatible with the iRobot HOME App via Bluetooth.

iRobot Roomba 980 (www.iRobot.com) – $899
Another great iRobot product that lets you relax while stepping up the cleaning of your kitchen and other areas of your home is the Roomba 980 model. This Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum is capable of cleaning and navigating an entire level of a home (up to 2,000 sq. ft.), seamlessly recharging and resuming as needed until the job is done. With the companion iRobot HOME App, users can view new Clean Map Reports on their phone, which show the dirtiest areas of the home leveraging iRobot’s patented Dirt Detect technology. The Roomba 980 also features Carpet Boost mode, in which the motor will automatically boost its suction power when on carpet and rug, where dirt is harder to reach. At just 3.6 inches tall, the Roomba 980 is designed to clean under beds, sofas, toe kicks, and other hard-to-reach areas. Cliff Detect sensors prevent the robot from falling down stairs or tumbling over drop-offs. The iRobot Roomba 980 vacuum gives you cleaner floors, throughout your entire home, all at the push of a button.

Local Hive by Rice’s Honey (www.LocalHiveHoney.com) – Starting at $6.99
For centuries, honey has been hailed for its many health benefits and Local Hive by Rice’s Honey is a great option, Family run for generations, this company’s natural, raw, unfiltered American honey is thoroughly tested to ensure there are no antibiotics or pesticides. In addition to raw and unfiltered Clover, Wildflower and Amber honey, the company also bottles over 12 local varietals from around the country, and only partners with local beekeepers. The Nor Cal honey, much like its climate, has a flavor that is warm and mild. Besides honey, pollination is the greatest gift bees give. That’s why a portion of all proceeds from every bottle goes toward supporting PACE, a non-profit organization working to protect all pollinators. Local Hive is committed to offering only the best honey, from only the best sources and can be found at leading retailers like Sam’s Club, Walmart and Costco.

True Story Foods (www.TrueStoryFoods.com) – Prices Vary
Summer is a wonderful time for family get-togethers and enjoying the outdoors. But all those summer foods that we grew up with aren’t always healthy. Thankfully True Story makes foods we love in guilt-free form so we feel good partaking—and sharing with our friends and family. Their Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog is made with organic, 100% grass fed beef. These plump, skinless hot dogs pack a wallop of flavor and a smidgen of spice in every juicy bite. The Organic Apple & Wildflower Honey Chicken Sausage is slightly sweet with chunks of tender apple and whispers of wildflower honey. Made the artisan way, True Story takes time crafting their meals and snacks to bring out the natural flavor. Their delicious foods are always gluten free, dairy free, soy free and never use nitrates, nitrites, carrageenan, starch or fillers. True Story Foods partners with farmers who are committed to good farming practices.

Barley+ Muesli and Bars (www.BarleyPlus.com.au) – $5.99
Did you know there are different types of fibers to support gut health? Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber are two types that are important for a healthy gut. Barley+ Muesli and Bars, a delicious range of nutritious breakfast, contain these and other various different fiber types important for good gut function.  BARLEYmax is a non-genetically engineered Australian super grain that contains prebiotic dietary fiber to help feed the good gut bacteria found in your stomach. There are three delicious flavors of both the Muesli and Bars. My favorite is the Pink Lady Apple and Macadamia! Barley+ products have been known to aid people with weight loss, gut health, better mental mood, and healthier well-being. Find them in Shaw’s, Wegmans and on Amazon.com.

Peatos (www.Peatos.com) – Starting at $1.29
Snack healthier this season with Peatos, which make a great healthy addition to your summer picnic basket. They’re a new twist on an American classic: yellow cheese-flavored crunchy puffs. But Peatos is a non-GMO option that is higher in fiber and protein, but contains less salt, fat and calories than the leading chip brands along with no artificial colors or flavors. Peatos starts out at an elevated state: replacing the corn base of other corny crunchy cheese puff snacks with a nutrient-dense pulse base. Peatos are a combination of peas, beans and lentils that together create a tasty better-for-you snack. They deliver the “junk food” taste you crave with the nutrition you need and want! Having just launched in March 2018 at the Natural Product Expo, Peatos is a revolution in snacking. To suit any preference, they’re available in a variety of flavors: Classic Cheese, Fiery Hot, Masala and Chili Cheese.

The Suitcase Life Merchandise (www.TheSuitcaseLifeStore.com) – Prices vary starting under $10
Are you a girl who lives for gastro-travel?  Are you a lady who loves adventure and fabulous foodie vacations? Are you a woman with wanderlust in her soul and on her palate? Then check out my own TheSuitcaseLifeStore.com where you’ll find all kinds of chic foodie and travel accessories plus fashion, tech gadgets, office gear and other swag showcasing your joy for food-laden journeying—however near, far, long or short. From mugs and other drinkware, to travel bags and tags to fashion and accessories to mousepads, portable chargers and much in between, The Suitcase Life has you covered in fabulous form! Gadgets and gear from TheSuitcaseLifeStore.com will help you celebrate—and display—your enduring desire to Travel, Explore, Shop, Eat and Repeat!

Triple S Ranch Napa (www.TripleSRanchNapa.com) – Rates vary
Visit the Triple S Ranch in Northern California and be transported back to a time and place when people lived off the land in California’s scenic wine country. A time when buildings and objects were as beautiful as they were functional, and there was freedom to slow down, contemplate and enjoy life. Triple S Ranch is an ideal venue for an event that seeks intimacy and the ultimate eco-luxury experience. Three miles west of Calistoga, this incomparable boutique resort comprises 20 private acres overlooking stunning views of the Napa Valley. The grounds include majestic old growth trees, verandas and patios for outdoor celebrations, and buildings from the 1800s that have been lovingly restored and updated to offer every amenity but without sacrificing old world charm. Fabulous extras include a swimming pool, gym, infinity 25-person hot tub, a restaurant-quality kitchen, outdoor pizza oven, organic gardens and an outdoor fireplace.

MitoQ (www.MitoQ.com) – Prices Vary
MitoQ Limited is a New Zealand-based company that’s introduced MitoQ, the world’s first mitochondria-targeted antioxidant skincare and supplement range now available worldwide.  Mitochondrial health is a new and exciting field of supplementation that has the potential to have a significant impact in the anti-aging, health and well-being markets…and our individual lives. By slowing the gradual damage associated with oxidative stress in your body, MitoQ supports optimal organ function for improved long-term health. Improving mitochondrial performance supports optimal organ health, increases energy output, improves recovery and builds resilience against the free radical damage associated with aging and disease. MitoQ reports that it’s backed by over a decade of independent research, costing $60 million and producing over 200 published papers in respected medical journals.  Without your health you have nothing, so this can help you look after it now so you can benefit up ahead and get the most out of life.


As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided at no cost or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***