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Packing a Cooler for Baseball + Homemade Bug Repellent

cooler packed with healthy make ahead snacks for sports

The spring soccer season is over and tryouts for the 2015-16 season are in the books. Unfortunately we don’t get a break from sports just yet… We still have just over a month of baseball and softball to go, which means pretty much all of our weekday evenings will be spent at the baseball fields, along with at least a double header on the weekends for my oldest boys.

About two years ago, our concession stand started taking debit and credit cards, and I have to say this has been a mixed blessing. On one hand, it’s a lifesaver when we accidentally leave our kids’ water bottles behind or need to grab a Gatorade on a hot day. But it also leads to a lot of whining from bored siblings that want candy, chips or ice cream.

Saying no was a whole lot simpler and easier when I could just tell them that I was out of cash, you know?

Packing A Cooler For Baseball

So this year we figured we’d pre-empt the daily drain on our account by being proactive. We sat the kids down before the season even started to go over our ground rules for concession stand purchases. Basically, they will be very few and far between. Instead, I asked them to help me make a list of some healthy snacks that we can pack in a cooler to take to games with us, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were genuinely excited about the idea.

Many of the same snacks that we typically pack for road trips were among their requests, in addition to bottled water and frozen yogurt tubes. For now I’m just buying Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers yogurt tubes, but I picked up some popsicle molds similar to these to try making our own. Dividing and packing everything up in Ziploc bags saves space and makes them easier to find.

Cooler With Storage In Lid

I’m so in love with this Igloo Quantum cooler that I found at Walmart — well, as in love as one can be with a cooler. It’s the perfect size for light snacks and bottled water, plus it has some really nifty features, like a lockable lid.

I especially love the in-lid storage compartment that holds my phone and car keys securely. Even tall bottles fit upright, and it has two self-draining cup holders in the lid, making it an excellent little side table next to my folding chair.

Of course, if you need a cooler that’s larger or smaller, Walmart has you covered with coolers to fit all needs.

Homemade Bug Repellent

You’ll also always find a bottle of my favorite homemade bug repellent tucked in our cooler. While it doesn’t need refrigeration, it provides a cool and refreshing pick-me-up while keeping away those pesky insects that plague our baseball fields.

Made with Nature’s Bounty Earthly Elements essential oils, this all natural bug repellent is an excellent alternative to store bought sprays — although I’m pleased to see some all natural options available in stores now, as well.

Homemade Bug Repellent

Homemade Bug Repellent

Yield: 1 (4-oz.) bottle
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Keep pesky insects at bay with this easy all-natural homemade bug repellent made with distilled water, witch hazel, and a combination of insect repelling essential oils!




  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a 4-oz. glass spray bottle, and shake well to combine. I like this set of glass spray bottles because they come with labels and a funnel.
  2. Spray liberally over exposed skin and/or clothing to repel insects. Reapply every 2 hours or as needed.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #unsophisticook!

I do recommend using a glass spray bottle for homemade bug repellent due to the fact that some essential oils have properties that will break down plastics over time. However, I’m a little concerned about breakage, so I plan to remedy this by wrapping the bottle in some colorful Duck tape to protect it.

What are the essentials that you pack in your summer cooler?

Simple Fresh Corn Salad with Blueberries {Delicious Summer Side!}
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Sorayah Ramsarran

Saturday 9th of September 2017

Can I use this for my 11 month baby

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Sunday 10th of September 2017

Sorayah, I would not recommend this combination of essential oils for infants. Instead, I would try a mixture of lavender and citronella oils.


Sunday 28th of May 2017

How does this work against mosquitoes? I've heard to use lemongrass but I'm afraid it'd ruin this lovely combo.

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Monday 29th of May 2017

Hi Jodi! I don't seem to attract many mosquitos, but it's helped my kids quite a bit. You an actually buy lemongrass essential oil, though, and it would be a great substitute for the eucalyptus. Or you could also try adding a few drops of citronella essential oil.


Sunday 21st of August 2016

Sounds like a great home made recipe for repellent. I will try. However, you have a typo above. You forgot the T in Witch Hazel. LOL.

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Sunday 21st of August 2016

LOL, thanks! I can't believe that's gone unnoticed for this long.