30 Day Challenge: Making the Most of Summer

The beaches were no competition for your pro-level application of sunscreen—the future versions of ourselves will thank us for avoiding wrinkles, Melanoma, and subsequent misery that follows after sunburn sets in. We loved your posts and seeing all the clever ways you preserved your skin. What did you think of your month of SPF-filled sunshine? Was it difficult to remember re-application? What outdoors activity caught you the most off-guard? We hope you’ll continue to protect your skin even after July ends.

That brings us to our August challenge. Summer is about making the most of the long days and warm nights so even if you’re out doing fun activities, it can feel like you’re moving a million miles an hour. Admittedly, it can take the joy out of the season most meant for leisure. That’s why over the next few weeks we want to hit pause in between all the events we’ve committed to and take time for us to really enjoy the dog days of August. This month we’ve teamed up with Kendall-Jackson, one of our favorite wineries, to challenge you to 30 days of disconnecting, relaxing, and enjoying what’s left of summer.

The first step we plan to take is to disconnect; we reach for our phones by default—it’s our watch, calendar and lifeline across cities, states or even countries. But as much as we love a good scroll through Instagram or Facebook, too much social media can have diminishing returns. Now that you’ve removed yourself from one of the biggest distractions from staying present, what will you do with all that free time? Glad you asked.

  • We love books. Big ones, small ones, and even the artsy magazine ones, (The Gentlewoman or Darling Magazine, anyone?), so we’re all about getting our paperback-on. Settle back in your favorite beach chair and get lost in the words and musings of a great read—we’re digging Where’d You Go Bernadette? right now; or revert back to the classics that helped us shape our youth: Harry Potter— um, we mean Jane Austen.
  • A good glass of wine that’s savored and appreciated for its flavor can make the difference between an ordinary 24 hours and the perfect dose of indulgence. We’re loving the new Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Gris for it’s bright versatility, and of course their Grand Reserve Rosé because everyday is Rosé day as far as we’re concerned. They’re both crisp and refreshing—perfect for a warm summer day—they won’t weigh us down and offer just the right hints of fruit to keep you on your toes.
    • ​You can purchase your own three bottle K-J Summer Wines Pack which includes one 750 ml bottle of each:
      • 2014 Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Gris
      • 2013 Kendall-Jackson AVANT Sauvignon Blanc
      • 2014 Grand Reserve Rosé
  • Curating your wine to pair with a meal can be the ultimate way to indulge without overwhelming your senses or requiring too much work. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
  • We’re big fans of the Baked Tarragon Oil & Lemon Fish with Kale Pesto Quinoa. The bright flavor of the lemon is accented by a refreshing glass of the delicious Pinot Gris, and a simple fish entree can easily become your summer go-to.
  • If seafood isn’t a part of your menu this week, consider the Grilled Stone Fruit Panzanella Salad for amazing eats. A fruit salad for grown-ups that doesn’t require whipped cream or can fruit, but still has enough body to keep you fully satiated. We love a Sauvignon Blanc for this dish because the hints of fig and honeysuckle can encourage the plum and peaches in your salad.
  • Since it’s grilling season, it seems likely that a delicious steak will be on your menu at least once this month, especially when this Steak Salad with Honey Dijion Dressing recipe by Molly Yeh, is so perfect and easy. She paired her steak with a classic Pinot Noir and it’s beyond delicious.
  • Have you been meaning to try out that new fitness class? Try out Class Pass free for two weeks in select cities, and experiment with changing up your routine. Not into being indoors while the weather’s so fine? Consider an activity like paddle boarding, canoeing or dusting off that bike you bought to infuse new life into your workout routine.
  • Nothing beats the serenity of a long bath. In the sprint of our morning (or night) routines, we can forget the bliss that comes from soaking our bones in a bubble bath. There’s something so luxurious about laying back in a tub to let the tiny waves wash over you. And also, how often do you get to play with bubbles anymore?

Summer months don’t pose the automatic reverie that it used to when we were in school, but we shouldn’t let our schedules take away from our abilities to indulge in the simple pleasures that life can afford us. A good meal, a great book, or just an evening to watch the sunset with a glass of wine, we hope you can sit back and soak up the last of the solstice hours. Be sure to share your favorite way to relax throughout the next 30 days by using the #TEG30DayChallenge tag on social media—we’ll be regramming throughout the month!

How do you relax? What is the best way for your mind and body to decompress from your daily stressors? Is summertime leisurely or more stressful for you?

Let us know in the comments below!

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