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Our End of Summer Bucket List

July is coming to close, and that means we have one month left to truly celebrate the spirit of summer. Make the most of the month by creating your very own Summer Bucket List. Not sure where to start? Here is Judee's final days of summer bucket list. 

1. Be Your Own Bartender

In summer, the drinks are sweeter, prettier and more refreshing than any season. Instead of picking up a bottle of rosé at the super market, play bartender for the evening and stir up one of these refreshing libations at your next outdoor soirée. Our favorites include: 

Red Wine Berry Spritzer by Aggie's Kitchen: Turn red wine into a summer evening hit with a splash of berries and sparkling bubbles. 

Skinny Summer Cocktail by Green Moms: This refreshing bubbly berry drink delivers all of the fun with none of the day-after bloat. 

For the kiddos: Blueberry lemonade by Damn Delicious

 

 

2. Plan A Last Minute Vacation

Nothing says summer quite like a last minute trip to a beachy locale. Pick a spot, grab your friends and road trip to one of our favorite summer spots. All you need is your sandals, cover up and swimsuit. Our area favs include:

  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a variety of activities and relaxation for family, couples, friends and more
  • Traverse City, Michigan for endless wineries, breweries and outdoor adventures
  • Mackinac Island for a historical experience and truly slowed down pace of life
  • Grand Marais, Minnesota: for outdoorsy types and artists looking for an eclectic experience in this old fishing village

 

3. Load Up on Summer Fruits

Eating light in the summer is always easy with plenty of fresh fruits in bloom. Eat em' up while you still can and mix it up so you don't get bored of the same old cherries, berries and more. The below recipes are some of our favorites for keeping healthy and wowing at your next backyard BBQ. 

Watermelon Salad with Mint & Lime: Looks deceptively simple, tastes absolutely amazing. This subtle update on the summer classic is that much more refreshing and chic. 

Caramelized Onion-Pear Pizza: This seriously delicious recipe is your new gourmet movie night substitute. The blend of savory onion with juicy pear is to die for, and the healthy ingredients are bonus points. 

4. Watch The Sun Rise, and Set

Is there anything more romantic and inspiring than a sun rise or a sun set? We don't think so. Challenge yourself to peacefully watch both in one day. Rise and shine early and head to the beach or a field to take in the full view. Come back in the evening with a picnic blanket and friends to watch the day come full circle. For sunrise and sunset times, check here

5. Try A New Outdoor Activity

Challenge yourself to try a new outdoor activity that you've always dreamed of doing. The new experience will invigorate your soul and give you a workout to boot. Some of our favorite outdoor summer activities include paddle boarding, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, beach yoga and tubing. Make it a date or go solo. The point is to get outside and perhaps find a new summer hobby that you'll practice for years to come.

And one thing you should do no matter what the season... 

Start a "grateful" journal this summer and keep it up year round. Go buy a beautiful journal that fits your own personality and every single night write down three things that you are grateful for. This practice is highly recommended and will ensure that you count your blessings and never forget all of the beautiful, mundane things that happen each and every day. Some days it will be easy to think of three things, other days it will be tough, but we guarantee it will be worth it. 

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The Importance of Belly Laugh Day

Belly Laugh Day is just around the corner, Jan. 24. Sure, this may seem like a silly made up national holiday, but there is so much unexpected value to be had!

It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and we couldn't agree more. And neither could science. Study upon study shows that laughing has dramatic and lasting health benefits. Think how great a smile makes you feel, then multiply that effect by ten--that is what a good belly laugh does for you.

  • Laughing relieves tension and pressure in the body
  • Laughing boosts your immune system. Seriously, laughing reduces stress hormones and increases infection-fighting antibodies.
  • Laughing triggers endorphins--aka: that happy chemical that gives you that feel good feeling AND has been proven to temporarily relieve pain
  • Laughing burns calories: No, it isn't like a visit to spin class, but hearty laughter over a duration of time is proven to burn calories and strengthen abs muscles.
  • Laughing has actually been linked to a longer live expectancy. 

So, yes, laughter is important. It is a much more uplifting way to improve your health than dieting or pills. So come January 24th find a reason to laugh. Rent that new comedy or schedule lunch with your friend who always cracks the best jokes. Even better, make it your goal to laugh every single day. 

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