I adore summer. Things slow down for the better, we take the time to relax a little more and that suits me just fine. So in looking ahead and making summer plans, I also put together a list of the 10 things that are a must-do for my happy summer.
1. Go berry picking: I love berry picking — I can’t believe how juicy and sweet the fruit tastes right off the vine. And now my kids love it too so we’re planning many strawberry- and raspberry-picking excursions where we can snack on our tubs of fruit on the drive home, and then turn the rest into jam that we must resist eating by the spoonful. (The fruit never lasts long.)
2. Hit the road: With mini-coolers full of granola bars, cheese strings and apples, and change for Tim Horton’s stops at the ready, we road trip annually to visit friends and family throughout southern Ontario. Noshing on Timbits and seeing the province — what’s not to love?
3. Barbecue: And lots of it. I’m dying to try recipes such as Lemon-Garlic Chicken and The Perfect Burger. And while like many people, I appreciate a juicy barbecued burger or dog, I’m looking forward to grilled vegetable salads, grilled fajitas, barbecued chicken, baked potatoes, grilled salmon and of course, frosty beers to wash it all down.
4. Eat ice cream: Again, lots of it. A new independent ice-cream shop has opened in my hood and er, for the sake of supporting local businesses, our family has vowed to visit there regularly for cones of birthday cake, coconut, watermelon sherbet ice cream and more.
5. Run: With the long days of summer, I can hit the sidewalk in my Asics a little more freely at dusk and avoid the mid-day sun-beating-down-on-my-back runs. I just have to be careful and remind myself to look up so I don’t almost run through a family of racoons crossing the road (as I almost did last summer).
6. Garden: Our first-ever vegetable garden of cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers is freshly planted and I’m excited to get in there and weed it, water it, and make sure it’s getting sun so that I can carry a nice big basket of vegetables to my kitchen.
7. Be a soccer mom: Surprisingly, I kind of love being a soccer mom. While I burst with pride as I watch my little girl on the field turn the ball around in a soccer scrum, I also enjoy catching up with friends and neighbours as we hang out on the sidelines in the lawn chairs we’ve dragged from our car.
8. Watch some blockbusters: While I’ve already seen — and loved! — Bridesmaids, I’m going to wilfully ignore the bad reviews and see Hangover 2 anyway (warning: not a PG trailer!), and line up some other summer flicks including the new X-Men and Green Lantern.
9. Plan day trips: I do like to take a break from life and head out on day trips with the kids — think the Toronto Zoo, some of the more unique parks in Toronto and especially Centreville, where we can always finish the day with a dip in the splash pad. But it’s not all about the kids — lazy afternoon patio lunches and suppers with friends and the hubby are also a highlight of my summer.
10. Watch Big Brother: A true summer-only event. What can I say? I haven’t missed a season yet.
What are you doing this summer to make you happy?
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