I mean, really.
How can I narrow this list down to just 14 items when there are, like, 89?
Because I know you've got sh!t to do, and you don't have time to read a list that long.
So, in the name of brevity, I give you these...
1. BUBBLE MACHINES
How genius is this thing?!? (We have the Gazillion Bubble Ultimate Bubble Typhoon, but the one pictured here is the Gazillion Bubble Machine.) I like them both, but I give our Bubble Typhoon the edge because I think it holds a tad more bubble solution and comes with a tray to trap and hold the excess solution that spills over. But, honestly, I'm all for any contraption that spares me the effort of having to dip a wand into a tiny bottle 97 times...all for my children's amusement.
I can't help myself with these. But, hey, it's better than inhaling a bag of artificial candy -- and cherries are arguably just as sweet. And they are chock-full of antioxidants, so you can't even feel guilty -- I know I didn't when I polished off that bowl on the right as a late-night snack. (The pic on the left is of a cherry tree around the corner from our home.)
3. BIKE RIDES
There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- like the feeling of wind in your face as you cruise your neighborhood (or local bike trail) on the seat of a bicycle. Talk about feeling like a kid again. This year, The Hubs and I bought new bikes and a wagon to hitch to his so that he can pull Thing One and Thing Two. I would ride all evening if I could.
I had actually forgotten how fun this round chunk of plastic could be. The Hubs, the kids, and I form a circle in our yard and simply throw it back and forth to each other -- and it's really, really fun!
5. ICE CREAM
I'm really an ice cream purist: Just give me vanilla soft serve, with cookie dough or Reese's Peanut Buttercup mixed in, and topped with rainbow sprinkles and whipped cream. You can't tell by the pic above, but that's what I'm devouring at a place called Jersey Freeze in The Hub's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey.
Few words are as synonymous with summer as Popsicle. (Especially as far as kids are concerned.)
We are very fortunate to live in an area where playgrounds are aplenty, but we actually only frequent the same three. And it never ceases to amaze me how S and K squeal like little piggies each and every time we pull into the parking lot. They think they are getting the treat...but actually it's me because no feeling compares to seeing my children genuinely happy, particularly over something so simple and innocent.
8. YOGA OUTDOORS
Few things compare to using the earth as your yoga mat. And when your kids want to practice with you, all the better! Here we are in Crab Pose. (And notice that K is keeping the Frisbee nearby.)
9. FARMERS MARKETS
We go to our town's Farmers Market every week -- and it's held at one of the parks we frequent, so that's a bonus. As cliche as it sounds, there's just something about conversing with the farmer who grew the foods that will serve as the staples of our meals for the next seven days.
I think the summertime inherently presents even more opportunities to get out and give of yourself. Maybe it's the warmer weather; maybe it's the fact that a feeling of "holiday" resides in the air; and because of the two aforementioned items, everyone, for the most part seems to be in a better mood than usual. Regardless, all of the above makes volunteering even easier. Every summer The Hubs supports Meet Up and Eat Up, a collaborative movement led by the United Way which ensures that every child has access to nutritious meals 365 days a year, three times a day (top pic). And, of late, the kids and I teach "Mommy and Me" yoga at a nearby learning center (bottom pic.) And we are ALL having a blast!
Anytime I can find elephant ears, jerky mechanical rides, and striped tents in one place, I tend to have a lot of fun. And if I Dora the Explorer is there, then you know it's going to be off the hook.
We walk our neighborhood all year 'round, come sun or snow. And, living in Michigan, we certainly appreciate all four seasons. But summertime walks before K's nap time and again before both kids go to bed for the night are the best.
13. THE FOURTH OF JULY
No matter what religion you adhere to; no matter what ethnicity you are; no matter your political beliefs...if you reside in the United States of America, then you have a reason to celebrate -- and appreciate -- the freedoms found here. Period. Few things present the opportunity to unite us as a nation like the Fourth of July. And I'm not talking about fireworks or barbecue, which, don't get me wrong, are awesome. I am, however, talking about taking a moment to reflect on the sacrifices the men and women (past and present) have made to make this country what it is today. Here's Old Glory hanging from our front porch...
14. THE BEACH
The smell of salt water...the feeling of sand between your toes...the soothing sound of water washing ashore. What's not to like about being at the beach? Okay, sharks. But other than that, I got nothin'.
Alright, so I very well couldn't end this list with 14, and how could sunglasses -- the staple of summer wardrobes everywhere -- not be mentioned? I know people wear them all year because, to be fair, the sun shines all year. But I get the most mileage out of my collection of shades during the warmer months. My (three pair of) Ray Bans are my faves...
We hope you're enjoying summer. We certainly are! In fact, we're about to take off...yes, again. (I know: we just returned from the Jersey Shore.) But, hey, summer here in Michigan goes by in a flash, so we've gotta grab this baby by the horns. So I'm taking another tiny hiatus and will return with a brand spanking new blog post on Monday, August 3. And you won't want to miss this one! It's something everyone can benefit from.
Thank you for reading. <3