Summer Bucketlist

summer legs

Ah summer… So close, yet so far. Winter offers its fair share of splendid treats like warm fires, hot cocoa, snow, and comfy sweaters, but with it also comes terrible driving, freezing rain, and ten layers of clothing when going for a run. I love winter, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about summer that always gets the heart beating faster. Maybe it’s the brighter skies, the sun-kissed, tan skin, the excitement of longer days and warmer nights. It’s magical.

I, as I do every summer, make a bucketlist. My days whizz by and blur together and you don’t want to bundle up in November on that first, cold day and think, “Wow, I wish I had done that. Now it’s too cold…” You want to make the best of everyday, even if you just spend hours under the sun, staring at the clouds passing by. A good quote to remember: “Time you enjoy wasting, is not time wasted.” -John Lennon.

Thank you John Lennon for that wonderful insight that encompasses the spirit of summer so well. Now here are some great ideas to try out this summer before the cold days set in again.

  1. Star-tripping

starry sky

No, not star-gazing, star-tripping. That’s right, it’s just as fun as it sounds, and no, there’s no drugs involved, I promise. All you need is a flashlight, a friend, and the sky. A favorite passtime of mine created from my summer camp which I must pay homage to for this strange tradition; it’s a hilarious and delirious spin on spending the night under the stars. My only warning, if you can’t handle spinning, then it may not be for you. I recommend you be the one to hold the flashlight and record a video of your friend who will be falling on their face. It’s unavoidable. To star-trip, you simply start by pinpointing a star. Look up and focus on that one point and start to spin. Spin, spin, spin! As fast as you can! (Sounds ridiculous yet? Wait. It’s gets better). Spin for about 20-30 seconds, focusing on that star above you, and when time is up, have your friend turn the flashlight onto your eyes. Try to look long and hard at that flashlight. From there, I promise you that up will feel left and down will be somewhere off to the upper right of you. All senses take a hay day. The only hazard I have found from this activity is hitting the ground with my face, so I recommend the “tuck and roll” maneuver. Good luck, be safe, and have fun with this one.

2. Frozen Yogurt Pops (and other tasty treats) via Women’s Day

yogurt pops

One Word: Yum.

3. Make a Summer Playlist

Music makes everything better. Whether you’re into that summer lovin’ country vibe, or want to relax to the lovely ukulele tunes that bring you back to the islands, or get revved up with the newest rave hits, I personally recommend some of these sweet artists. With these songs, I came to be the main DJ at more than one bonfire, so be rest assured, these songs have been tested and approved by yours truly.

  • The Dirty Heads. They rock the PNW rap/reggae vibe with their lyrics and beats. Highly recommend their album “Cabin By the Sea” and “The Sound of Change.” They range from easy ukulele tunes to bass drops.

DH

  • Aviccii. He has hit the top charts more than once and stays consistent for an great party playlist. I love the song “The Nights” as it reminds you to carpe diem.

aviccii

  • Zac Brown Band. Alright, who can sum up summer in one beautiful sound more so than these guys? Especially with Jimmy Buffet, the legend of Margaritaville? That’s right, don’t fight it. No one.

zbb beach

4. Read More Books

Did you know that the average number of books people 16 and older read a year is 6? Only 6? What is this? Off the top of my head I can instantly name 6 must-read novels you must buy. And after you read these 6, go read some more. And more. Keep your mind young, and read.

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (currently reading. It’s emotional, but I can’t put it down).
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler

And after you read these six books currently on the NY-Times Bestseller list, read these awesome tales:

  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (yes..guilty…)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

And and and…the list goes on. I’ll stop myself now before I even mention classics like Harry Potter, Catcher in the Rye, The Things They Carried, The-

I’ll stop.

5. Get That Summer Body

Every year it takes you by surprise. Like animals rising from hibernation, when we take those first, few, hesitant steps into the sunlight after months of hiding away under layers of wool and cotton, staying warm with buttered toast and hot cocoa… and it can a bit humbling. Don’t get left behind and rock these awesome styles this summer with confidence!

  • feelgoodfoodie seems to have quite a few tasty summer treats. See what you can make.

fruit

  • Runner’s World never disappoints with their workouts. Your muscles will hate you for it, I promise.                            Roxy even has great workouts for toning up and working those muscles when you’re not up to running 7 miles at a time.                                                                                                                                                                          Victoria’s Secret workout from pop sugar even leaves you feeling sore, which when the goal is to get in shape, that’s a good thing.

run

If motivation is lagging though, try these little tricks to get you up and moving. I’ve used them myself and they work! All it takes to make it a habit, is to start in the first place.

  • A motivation board. It helps to surround yourself by your goals.

motivation board

  • New gear. My new Garmin Forerunner 15 and Roxy leggings got me out the door more than once, because hey, you bought it – you might as well use it.

nike pink

  • Last but not least, the best way to complete your summer body, is happiness. That’s a given.

confidence

6. New Bikini

Because why not? It’s a new year. Time for a new bikini. You can never have enough! Try these awesome sites:

For now, that’s just the start! Summer may be a few months out, but it’s coming back around that corner, and I just can’t wait.

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Life’s Remedies and Why We Need More of Them

city

Things we need more of in this world:

Bubble baths.

Fruity-smelling lotion.

Hugs.

Sleeping in.

Good, long, runs (debatable at times).

Kisses.

Gratitude.

And less of:

Anger.

Hate.

Prejudice.

Poverty.

Reruns of reality shows featuring pregnant teens.

When it comes to curing the world of these social problems, it can be a bit overwhelming when you look at the big picture. As I begin to narrow my search for colleges, future careers, and grow into my “adult” shoes, I feel the looming fear in the back of my mind, always whispering, “You are just one out of 8 billion.” Take into account the other time consuming factors of making money, working, and surviving school, and sometimes the thought of fighting the world’s injustices gets pushed down the priority ladder. Just leave it to those that have time, right? I would love to have the time and resources to save every homeless child, but this damn AP Stats homework…hm. Slightly depressing? Yes. Luckily, the other side of my conscience fights the opposing side and pipes up when Ms. Debbie Downer tries to get me down with the thoughts of the real world. Why can’t I make a difference? Why can’t any of us make a difference? It’s so simple when you pick it apart. Small actions add up. They become habits. Habits become your actions. Your actions define your character.

Say hello to that janitor you pass by every morning before work. Say thank you for everything you receive, whether it’s another piece of busywork homework, and appreciate that your teachers show up everyday, despite their obstacles, on time and ready to help you grow and become a better person. The world is full of good people, but is it full of good people that just don’t recognize their good-doings?

I remember walking down the sidewalk after a particularly horrible day at work. Things were looking down for the most part, and I was about ready to quit as I was feeling unappreciated and just downright wrong. I passed a man, scraggly beard, missing teeth and no shirt, and dismissed his call as a jibe I should ignore. I kept walking despite his protests, but then the words he was saying began to materialize into more than just the insults I expected. He was telling me to smile. He told me to hold my chin up. I, caught quite off guard by this apparently homeless man, didn’t know what to say. He asked me how my day was, and if I had rescued anyone (I’m a lifeguard), and I hesistantly said “no…”

He looked at me then, looked me in the eyes, and with true empathy, he wished me a good day.

“I bet you had more of an impact than you know. God bless.”

And he was gone.

To this day I remember that man and everyday I think of him, wishing I could thank him. His words kept me going. His unexpected kindness struck a chord within me. You can make a difference in the world through small actions because those actions add up. Everyday, if you affect just one person, that’s one more person in the world who will remember you. You don’t know the effect you have on people. So my recipe to life? Kind words. Voluntary help. Strive to make a difference in the world by making a difference with the people around you. We need more people like that.

One small step for the author. One giant leap for the otherwise technology-disabled nimbat.

Here we go.

Fasten your seatbelts, keep hands and other movable limbs inside the ride at all times and prepare for the most enlightening and thrilling literary experience of your life.

Ok, maybe not, but hey, I’m pretty excited. Post #1! The birth of a new blog in the internet world. Perfect and new and ready to take the first steps. One problem though. Many actually, if you take into account my complete lack of knowledge for anything business or technology related. URL? HTMI? PDSJWH? WWJD? Too many letters and too many buttons, hence why this blog will be a work in progress. But hey, I have a blog. Step one – check. I feel I need to learn how to run a blog somehow, for some reason. Call it my mid-life, teenage crisis as 18 going on 40. I’m about to step into this world. My wings are itching to fly and I’m peeking over the nest, but boy, I am pretty high up, so this blog, much like the other whimsical passing ideas in my mind, was born. But, I took it a step further. The first of many. It’s a safety check, the “dipping my toes in the water first” type of experience to see if somehow I can start something new and build off of it from the intangible ramblings of my mind. I started it and sat down, brows furrowed in frustration, and eyes glazed over, jumbled from the foreign language spoken in computer code and text staring back at me. But I started it and here I am, and here you are, hopefully, the first of many reading this. The blog will change and evolve as my skills with advertising, running a small business, and figuring out computer layout will develop. Stick with it. I will, and maybe, as I spread my wings, or take the leap into the water, this blog will actually become something.

So I’d say that encompasses a fairly decent idea of my excited trepidation to start something new. Now how to end it? Why not with… oh, yes, another idea. I like it. I learn something new everyday so as I do, I will pass on my knowledge to you. Today’s fun fact, the conclusion of the first entry of my first blog, is: a zooxanthellae is a photosynthetic creature that supplies at least 90% of corals’ energy.

Boom. Think about that.