“Every year it’s the same thing. I promise myself summer is not going to fly by. I promise I’ll slow down and take deeper breaths. I’ll eat fresh foods I buy at the farmer’s market and taking my kids to get ice cream in the evenings. I’ll take long walks and be outside more. I’ll have fun. I’ll relax. I’ll inhale. And every year I realize I’m not in school. I don’t get summers off. Last night I lay in bed until 2 am, agonizing over a story idea that’s not coming together. It made me anxious and frustrated and all I could think of was “it’s summer…” So even though I’m working, I’ve got this summer state of mind… and I’m determined to check some things off of my summer bucket list (which is very much a work in progress…) simple things that would make true adventurers roll their eyes, but that fill my soul with good things.” – Courtney Walsh
Do you ever set out to do something great with your day, or maybe even just your free hour or two, and suddenly find you’ve spend over half that time staring at stranger’s Facebook profile or watch cat videos? Our phones have that strange power to draw us in and take us on rabbit trails. Many of us have visions of summer as a time to be outside, relaxing with family or going on adventures. And then the summer seems to slip by without any of those dreams being realized. It’s not too late to jump into your summer bucket list! Here are 16 ideas that are far better than staring at your phone.
- Go on a road trip.
- Spend a day at the pool.
- Create a peaceful spot in your own backyard.
- Plant flowers.
- Visit a farmer’s market.
- Read a book or two per month.
- Unplug every Saturday.
- Grow your own food.
- Go tent camping in the backyard.
- Host a neighborhood party.
- Make s’mores.
- Gaze at the stars.
- Try a new recipe.
- Set up a movie theater in your backyard.
- Go to a concert in the park.
- Go berry picking.
If you’d like, download this free image to keep these ideas on hand and check them off as you go! Click the image to download or click HERE.
Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh
After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.
Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.