It’s here! Summer is here! And like every summer before it, I know it’s going to fly by. This year I’m ensuring I don’t miss any of the things I really want to do, and I’m making slowing down, relaxing, and having fun priorities 1, 2, and 3. And I’m writing them down so I don’t forget.
Here it is: The Everygirl’s 2017 Summer Bucket List.
1. Invest in the perfect summer sandal
I get it. I’ve been lured in by the bargain bin before. I see a cute pair of sandals or flip flops marked down 90% and grab them; fast forward 24 hours and either they’re broken or my feet are blistered. But not this summer!
This year I’m making it a goal to invest in a quality pair of sandals that will not only take me from morning to night but are actually comfortable. The brand I’m relying on is Nisolo, which has a style for every one: the everyday woven flat, the chic minimalist slip-on sandal (shown above), and the classic ankle strap wedge. The best part is each style can be dressed up or down to be worn to any occasion. (And they’re an ethical company doing a lot of good around the world, so, win win.) A wise investment if we do say so ourselves.
2. See a movie in the park.
This is one of those things I think I’m going to do every week, all summer long, and then September rolls around and I haven’t gone once. I see this is offered in every city, not just Chicago, and there are usually multiple locations at which to partake, so no excuses. I’m determined to go to at least one movie in the park. Box of wine, blankets, and all.
3. Go to an amusement park.
I love roller coasters. Talk about the quickest fix to clear your mind and feel a rush of excitement! I don’t know about you, but I laugh the entire. time. I’m on a roller coaster. All 34 seconds of it. And it’s been far too long since I’ve gone on one! It’s on the list.
4. Take a weekend road trip to somewhere new.
A lot of people have their go-to getaway spots. A friend’s cabin, a favorite beach town, grandma’s house out in the country. And there’s no arguing in the pleasantness of familiarity. But this summer, I advise we all dedicate a weekend to exploring some place you’ve never been. Near or far. Pack the car, grab a map, and hit the road with a bit of adventure in your heart. See where it takes you.
5. Watch an afternoon storm come through.
And I mean watch it. From start to finish.
Growing up in the Midwest, I’ve grown accustomed to storms that roll through and put on a show like they’ve got something to prove. I used to sit with my mom on our screened in porch and take them in. They’re bizarrely calming. I recommend wrapping yourself in a blanket and taking it in, coffee or wine in hand, ideally on a covered porch if you have one (a room with a large window will also do).
6. Swim in a natural body of water.
As soon as I jump in a lake, I’m transported to a simpler time. “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies plays in my head, and it’s like I’m in my own movie. You know, like Now and Then or Stand by Me or Camp Nowhere. Just me? I urge everyone to spend an afternoon cooling off in a lake, river, or ocean instead of the local pool.
7. Grow an herb garden.
I just did this and it’s basically the greatest decision I ever made. I’m encouraging everyone I know to make one. They’re so easy and cheap and fruitful! Truly. No more wasting the unused herbs you bought at the store because grocers sell way too many for any one recipe. There’s something so fulfilling about reaching for a few fresh herbs off your balcony or garden to use in a summer recipe (or cocktail). I have basil and rosemary for cooking, mint for mojitos, and lavender for DIY beauty projects (added bonus: apparently lavender keeps bugs away!).
8. Attend an outdoor concert.
Concerts outside are 100% better than concerts indoors. Something about the energy of the crowd changes as it goes from dusk to darkness. I especially love sitting on the lawn of an outdoor amphitheater and befriending fellow concertgoers around me, bonding over favorite songs and overpriced beer. I’m making sure to add at least one show to my summer calendar.
9. Nap outside.
In a park, on the beach, in a hammock under a shady tree. Every weekend. Bonus points for having a dog by your side.
10. Have a late night picnic under the stars.
A picnic is an obvious summer thing to do. But a nighttime picnic isn’t talked about as much. Switch up the sandwiches for charcuterie, light some candles, and sit back and look at the stars. Sounds magical.