Simple Summer Luxuries

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: May 26, 2010

flip flopsThe long, leisurely days of summer already feel pretty fleeting. Make the most out of the remaining summer before you are left wondering, “Where have all the days gone?” Jot down all of the activities, day trips and general summer fun you want to have and don’t forget to revel in some of the simple pleasures of the season. A few fresh ideas to get you started:

Bask in Summer Reading
Think: romance novels; travel memoirs; suspenseful thrillers, etc.

Stash those long, serious, door-stopper books on the shelf for the cold, winter months. Pick up a light, frivolous beach read instead. Oh, and definitely spend less time at the computer this summer. Need some inspired ideas for your next water-warped novel?

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Savor a Summer Staycation
Think: quiet, restful, family-oriented activities, etc.

Oftentimes, people who travel for vacations far away miss the opportunities they have close to home. The new trend is to stick close to home and take day trips from home to local area attractions. Keep your wallet and the environment green this year by enjoying the community around you. Consider a staycation and see what your local area has to offer.

  • Visit a local farm and see where your local food is grown. Farm Visit can locate a farm near you. Go blueberry picking, stroll through the apple orchards or picnic at a local strawberry farm.
  • Take a class and learn how to paint; cook seasonal produce; raise bees, etc.
  • Local volunteer opportunities are a great way to be active in your community during your staycation. Participate in a local festival, work on a construction crew for Habitat for Humanity, help restore a local park, etc. Become part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s United We Serve program, a nationwide summer of service initiative that will run until September.

Turn Off the Oven
Think: refreshing; local ingredients; cooling recipes; colorful veggies and fruits, etc.

Save the casseroles and lasagnas for winter and give your oven a rest. Get outside and fire up the grill instead. Keep it healthy and avoid heavy, rich meats. Try to keep it vegetarian, or expand your taste buds by experimenting with some light, vibrant fish recipes.

For grilling fish, choose ones that hold together and work well on the grill like salmon, swordfish, tuna, halibut and shrimp. Your grill needs to be clean, hot and well-oiled. Make sure you liberally oil the fish before placing it on the grill to make sure it doesn’t stick. Use tongs, a wide spatula or fish spatula to turn. Use simple, fresh ingredients and you’ll keep palettes and tummies deliciously satiated.

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Shower in the Smells of Summer
Think: Lavender, mint, chamomile, lemon, etc.

Summer tends to relax and revive my senses, especially when it comes to the olfactory’s. There’s nothing quite like the calming aromas of an herb garden in the middle of summer. From the sweetness of basil to the bitterness of lemon balm, the fragrances range from light to strong. Whether you prefer herbal or floral scents, use them to kick back and relax this summer. Soak in a tranquil, refreshing, cooling bath with light scents of essential oils. No time for a bath? Try aromatherapy balls made for the shower.

And, let us not forget the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy this summer. It may aid in relaxation, stress reduction and boost energy level. First, consult with your healthcare provider to find out if aromatherapy is safe for you. If it is, make an appointment with a trained aroma therapist. This is important advice as some oils can have side effects if not taken correctly. You can also purchase a scented candle and have the same benefits of aromatherapy.

Making the Most of Your Summer
Think: Long days, hydrate, play, etc.

Despite the sunny weather, July is supposedly the grumpiest month for Britons. Seventy eight percent of respondents of a recent survey of 6,000 adults admitted they were moodier in July than any other month. Losing sleep and overly charged tempers due to the heat can make life challenging both at work and home. Having fun can be challenging during record breaking temperatures! Summer is the season to take time to play in the dirt- garden, walk, be outside but how can you when you feel like you’re walking in an inferno?!

Wait until the evening to go outside. Summer days are long and it doesn’t really get dark in most parts of the country until 9:30 at night. Eat a light, early dinner then you will have all evening to play! Or, alternatively, use your mornings wisely before it heats up outside. Water the garden or take a stroll and enjoy the cooler morning air before it heats up to the blazing firestorm during the afternoon.

Remember to hydrate. For every pound lost in sweat, you need to replenish with 16 ounces of fluid. The best time to consume fluids is before you are thirsty. By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Water or sports drinks are best.

Whatever your method, get out there and enjoy it before you have to start digging the wool sweaters out of the mothballs. By that time, you’ll be wishing it were summer again.