I love summer! Well, if I’m being 100% honest, I love being off from school/work, my kids not having homework, and fun family gatherings celebrating summer…. The heat and humidity that plague those of us in the Southeast thru this season…..? Not so much!
But summer has kind of become synonymous with relaxed and lazy. And you know what? I LOVE that! If there is anything my type A personality needs, it’s a whole season to embrace being laid-back!
So, what this is, is a group of ideas of how to celebrate & enjoy your summer. This is not a “bucket list” to be checked off methodically. I love lists…. When I want to be productive, but that is exactly the opposite of what we are talking about here! These are ideas to embrace the fun, stress-free nature of summer! So, take what you like and leave what you don’t! No pressure! I don’t know about you, but that’s my kind of list!
Laid-Back Summer Meals to Celebrate Summer Flavors
When you are thinking of meal planning thru your summer, think SIMPLE! Summer is a great time for delicious salads. This Asian Wonton Salad is one of my favorites! And this Strawberry Pecan Salad looks fresh & amazing too!
I also love simple sandwiches during the hot months. Maybe keep some turkey bacon cooked to add along with avocado, fresh green leafy lettuce and red onion! No boring sandwiches here! And round it out with fresh seasonal fruit, that is so plentiful now! In our house we really enjoy all of the fruit that is so delicious this time of year!
I love slushies or icees during the hot summer, but I try to avoid them because they have so much sugar! So I have come up with a summer “smoothie” or fruity drink that is a feel-good substitute. You put equal parts watermelon and strawberries (frozen so it will become slushy). Add just enough Sprite or apple juice to allow it to mix well, and blend. This makes a delicious & healthy strawberry slushie!
Grow A Garden Or Visit Your Farmer’s Market
Growing a Garden is great way to celebrate summer! It is also an awesome way to teach your children about how God causes things to grow. I think gardens are rich with spiritual lessons! But not everyone is up for a garden, I know we aren’t this year! So if you are not, you can take your family to visit a farmers’ Market and sample the bounty from other people’s gardens as well as many other homemade treats!
Then, when you get home, you can use all your fresh finds to make a meal filled with all those delicious veggies. One of my favorites is fresh corn on the cob (get the kiddos to help you shuck it), squash or zucchini sauteed in butter, fresh green salad with garden cucumbers and tomatoes, and fresh bread with herbed butter (I LOVE herbed butter!!!).
Laid-Back Activities for the Kids
Summertime is a perfect opportunity for your kids to finally get in some down time that they so desperately need all year long! Invest in some sprinklers, other outdoor summer toys (for my boys, that’s ropes. sticks, & water-guns!), bubbles and popsicles (maybe even some homemade popsicles like these look perfect!). When it gets too hot outside for them, make sure they have some open ended toys, like blocks (we love these) or these costumes to keep them busy!
An outdoor picnic can be an easy-as-you-want-to-make-it and fun outing with the kiddos. You can take your little ones along for berry picking, Another simple family activity is movie night and root beer floats!
Laid-Back Entertaining to Celebrate Summer
Opening your home to friends and family doesn’t have to be stressful! And when you can do most of the cooking on your grill, it isn’t! Grill burgers or chicken with this delicious marinade, add some roasted vegetables (a grill basket is a wonderful investment), a great big salad and some garlic bread. And maybe some Easy Homemade Ice cream for dessert? Yum!!!
Grill, homemade ice cream, fresh veggies, music…. Perfect!
Laid-Back Summer Decorating
Around our house we love to decorate for each season. During the summer (and really any season that I can), I love to have fresh flowers on my table! Last year, I was able to grow some beautiful flowers in my garden, but most of the time I have to resort to the grocery store! But either way, I truly love having fresh flowers in my home!
We also have american flag buntings like these that we leave up on our front porch most of the summer. I also like to decorate my mantle with the season. Check out this awesome roundup of Summer printables. You should also check out this tutorial for an adorable summer sign that would look awesome in your house, I’m sure!
I do a lot of dishes, especially during the summer when everyone is home and eating 3 times a day! Oh, the dishes!!! One little pick-me-up for my kitchen that I really enjoy is some cute, summery dish towels! I usually find mine at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, but here are some that are super cute!
Laid-Back Summer Stay-cations
Plan a few day trips around your area to visit water parks, splash pads, fun sites that your family wants to visit. Try a state park (we have some great ones close) or a nearby amusement park. The Simple Podcast with Tsh Oxenreider has a great episode # 190 about HomeTown Tourism. If your are like most people, you have live around all kinds of amazing things your entire life and never taken the time to appreciate them!
A night at the drive-in movies is the epitome of summer for our family! We have a couple of drive-ins within a 45 minute drive from our house and this is a fun and low stress outing for our whole family. It’s usually the most fun when we drive my husbands truck and throw a bunch of blankets in the bed so the kids can enjoy the movie without having to sit still in a lawn chair. We have even had a birthday party at the drive in once…. talk about an easy peasy party!
Laid-Back Summer Date
My husband and my anniversary is in March. Although we usually do something to celebrate it, we don’t always have a lot of time. However, summer can be a great opportunity to make the time for a real date when you can spend a day (or even stay somewhere overnight) together.
Outdoor Decorating That Celebrates Summer
I am not much of an outside girl during the heat of these summer days, but I do enjoy the evenings! Last summer we got a patio with a pergola and now we can enjoy evenings with our twinkle lights and dinners outside.
There are lots of other fun ways to decorate outside for summer. Hobby Lobby always has lots of signs that I love, I could TOTALLY spend an entire day there! I like to change out my outdoor decorations to be a little more seasonal also!
More Ways To Celebrate Summer
Whatever you do this summer, take some time to just slow down and enjoy this laid-back lazy season. Celebrate summer in a way that is meaningful to you, not just something that somebody else thinks you should do! Here are a few more ideas… and before you start thinking that I’ve created a list for you… IT ISN’T A LIST… only a few more ideas! =) Take what you like, leave what you don’t! See? No pressure!!!