Posts Tagged 'Summer fun'

August: The Grand Finale!

August 1, save the best for last! The third act of summer is the grand finale. Instead of lamenting all the things you haven’t crossed off your list yet, start doing them today.

Use one of your many calendars to keep track of your daily “Summer Fun.” Trust me, you will be glad you did when September rolls around!

Need ideas for the next 34 days?

  • Read outside.
  • Flag down the ice cream truck.
  • Stick a beach or bag chair in the back of your car and use it.
  • Find one of the many summer concerts still going on this month.
  • Take a walk around your block before bed and look at the stars.
  • Eat outside once a day.
  • Put air in your bike tires and take off.
  • Visit a farmer’s market.
  • Throw back to the zoo or nature center just like when you were a kid.
  • Use one of the five weekends left in summer to get out of town.
  • Climb into the kiddie pool with your kids.
  • View a sunrise or sunset, both show up in your town every day!
  • Play a board game outside.
  • What would you add?

I know for many of you, the end of this month will bring back- to-school frenzy. It will probably feel that way regardless of how many pencils and rulers you stock-piled, and BTW, as my mom often reminded me:  there is always another sale.

My life coaching advice, if I may, is…Fill yourself up NOW with life-giving pursuits of summer to draw on in the crowded days ahead. Good self-care yields good other-care. Just like at the ATM, you have to put in so you can take out.

I’m choosing to stay in the moment, it is only August, 1/3 of the season we wait all year for still to enjoy. Join me?

Hope for the best,


Six Ways to Still Capture the Essence of Summer*

1054836_flip_flopsDoes it ever seem like the endless summer of childhood and favorite novels can sometimes promise more than deliver?  Fantasies of lying on the beach, fun-filled bike rides and non-stop barbecues, entertain us all winter long, yet by the end of June we’re often still thinking about getting around to our summer plans.    It’s not too late to design a summer structure to take advantage of the best season of all 🙂

Here are 6 steps to fully enjoy the rest of the season.

  1.  Fantasize. Start with a list of all the fun things you’d really like to do the rest of the summer. Don’t worry about how realistic they are, just put them down. Learn to scuba dive, go to a flea market, grow your own cilantro, make a blueberry pie… Add anything you can think of to the list without regard to practicalities.
  2.  Prioritize. What are your top choices? Recognize that it might take a few summers to get in all your great ideas, but what seems the most possible this summer? Take into account your time availability and previous commitments and see where your best pockets of time are to add something.
  3. Pick a theme. Instead of choosing a smattering of activities to enjoy this summer, pick one theme. Would you like this summer full of outdoor concerts or baseball games or neighborhood festivals? How about bike rides or picnics or movies in the park?  Your themed activity gets in place first, then other choices fill in the schedule.
  4. Try something new. How long have you been waiting to try yoga? Wondering how to make homemade salsa? Be able to identify the birds that stop by your yard? By the end of this summer these experiences can happen.
  5.  Stretch yourself.  Does the idea of a summer triathlon entice you?  Ok, me neither but I have friends who love the challenge. How far can you ride your bike?  Can you forget about how cold the water is and just get in?
  6.  Start a summer book club.  Even if you are the only one in it!  Finish the pile on the floor by your bed, stay with one author all summer: classic or contemporary, try a new genre like poetry or biography.

Beach ReadMy Ideal Summer Book Club!

Don’t let this summer be the one that got away!

Hope for the Best,


*Popular re-post.

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Summer!

Today is the first full day of Summer! 

Plenty of time left to make it one of the best and some intentionality goes a long way.

Here are my top ten ways to celebrate summer.    

  • Eat outdoors often.  This includes any meal anywhere you can feel the sun and the breeze.  Breakfast is especially nice.

  • Read a fun book, preferably while sitting outside.  I like to read books with summer themes in the evening and add something by Madeline L’Engel to my morning basket.

  • Listen to live music outside.  Free summer concerts play about every night of the week where I live. Check your local listings.

  • Go the beach/pool/lake and get in the water.  OK, I don’t always get in the water but it sure is memorable when I do!

  • Stop at garage/yard sales.  The ONE item you didn’t know you needed might be waiting to delight you.

  • Take a road trip somewhere. I love to keep on going once we hit the road.  Just a few hours away can feel like another world.

  • Find a festival. Art, neighborhood, ethnic festivals abound every weekend somewhere.

  • Watch a movie outside.  My Dad moon-lighted at the local Drive-In when I was a girl so I have always loved watching movies under the stars.  Check your local park district outdoor movie schedule or bring your laptop outside and watch one in your own yard.

  • Get on your bike. Ride around the block, down the path or to do your errands.  Wear a helmet!

  • Take lots of photos and get them printed.  Summer of 2017 will never come again.


The Real First Day of Summer

Today is one of my many “Favorite Days of the Year”, the day after Memorial Day. Maybe because my birthday heralds the official opening day on June 21, summer stands on my platform for the gold medal year after year.   Visions of lingering days, stacks of novels, endless barbeques, and afternoons at the beach entice us all winter long.  No other three months seem so full of possibilities.

When our four kids were young, we took them out for breakfast the last day of school to the best place in town to plan the months ahead. “What do you want to do this summer?” was the question posed.  Over breakfast, we planned the summer. Each child brainstormed ideas for summer fun including train rides, amusement park trips, major league baseball games, shopping excursions and more. So fun to fantasize the possibilities without the constraint of logistics.

Every item is duly recorded, on a napkin, for future reference. Next we asked them what skills or interests they wanted to work on in the summer and what they assume is a reasonable expectation for chores. We come home to unpack backpacks and plan the first steps towards summer goals.

Now that they’re gone, I am still planning summer, this time for me (and usually Tom.)  Once again, it all seems possible in that moment.  I mark up the Ravinia calendar with lawn concerts I want to go to, pencil in neighborhood festivals, dash to the library with lists of summer reads, cut out new recipes for the grill and try to keep a copy of the best al fresco restaurants in the city in my purse. Like a kid writing a letter to Santa, I want it all!

Just like with my kids, all the plans don’t come to fruition but reaching for more than could fill my days assures that enough will land on the calendar to satisfy my summer longings.

Maybe my exuberance is a throw-back to kidhood when summer really did seem endless… although I think I am having more fun NOW.  Something in the alchemy of the warmth, the light and the melody of the ice cream truck calls my name.  I answer every time.

96 days till Labor Day.  Let the enchantment begin.

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