Making the most of summer.

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. No more snow to shovel, soggy mittens, windburned cheeks…Now is the time to pull out the grill, shuck some corn, make sun tea and run around barefoot in the yard (yes, even if you are an adult). Summertime is nature’s reward for making it through another cold and wet winter and it’s the time to celebrate her rich bounty with some outdoor living!

Here are some great ideas to make the most of summertime outdoor living

  1. Hang a hammock. There is no better way to take advantage of those early evening cooler temperatures than by laying in a hammock under a tree.
  2. Throw up a tent in your backyard. Camping out in the backyard doesn’t just have to be for kids.
  3. Turn off the air conditioner and bring the sounds of the outdoors in–fall asleep to the sounds of crickets and cicadas.
  4. Make sun tea! Iced tea never tasted so good!
  5. Eat your meals outside–whether you cook outside or inside–enjoy the soft summer breezes and feel the grass between your toes while you eat.
  6. For that matter, do your food prep outside and cook outdoors for true outdoor living. That’s less mess in your kitchen and it won’t heat up the house. By the way, here’s a great IKEA hack for making your own outdoor gas stove.
  7. If you don’t have a chiminea, get one. A chiminea is a freestanding clay or cast iron oven for use outdoors. It’s great for helping to keep bugs away and who doesn’t love sitting outside around a campfire?
  8. Speaking of bugs, whip up a batch of homemade bug spray for you and your yard. Protect yourself without the use of nasty chemicals!
  9. Plant trees. Do some research on what are the best and fastest-growing shade trees for your area–down the road you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  10. Forage! There may be all sort of edibles in your yard. Dandelions, wild sorrel, wild plantain and wild onions are commonly found in most yards. Do your research though and consider doing edible walks with experts before attempting foraging on your own.
  11. Build an outdoor solar shower to clean up after working in the garden and/or to cool off.
  12. Ever have problems with bees flying into your drink? Use a straw and an upside down cupcake liner to keep nosy pests out.
  13. Are you old enough to remember going to the drive-in every summer? Bring back the nostalgia by creating your own outdoor theatre in your backyard. All you need is a white sheet and a projector.
  14. We all know that the key to outdoor living is the adult beverages. Make sure to create a fabulous outdoor bar/beverage station and you won’t have any trouble convincing your friends to hang out with you in the backyard.  
  15. Lighting is key too. Whether you hang up strings of lights or make lanterns from old mason jars, you must have light at night to keep walkways lit and safe.
  16. Outdoor games and sport are a must too. Keep the crochet set at the ready or add a badminton net.
  17. For instant peace and serenity, add wind chimes. There’s not much else better than lazing around and listening to wind chimes on a summer afternoon–of course, it also doesn’t hurt if there’s a glass of ice cold lemonade in your hand too!

Image: bubbabyte