Hey Guys! Happy summer! Question... do you remember when the anticipation of summer was heavily tied to a three-month vacation between grades in school? I was reminiscing about this the other day with a friend, and I realized that "grown" people typically only look forward to summer for the warm weather and perhaps a good trip to the beach before Labor Day weekend is over. For myself, I'm afraid, summer is now only a season... nothing in particular to look forward to besides the same or similar daily grind in which I partake during any other season. BUT I thought that for this summer I might find something to lift my spirits a bit, you know, something a little more inspirational. I wanted to make sure that I not only enjoyed my summer, but also challenged myself to step a bit outside of my daily grownup monotony. That's when I decided to try a Summer Bucket List!

So for those who don't know, I'm an avid list maker. I find that making lists for items that are constantly swimming around in my head really helps to reduce my anxiety. Therefore I always try to keep a notebook nearby where I can release my thoughts, to-do lists, and reminders. When I decided to create a Summer Bucket List, I wanted it to be a bit different from the normal to-do lists that I generally make for myself. That's where my rules come in! 

Rule #1   
Each item has to require some above average effort on my part, but not so much effort that I put it off or avoid it. 

Rule #2
Stretch myself to be creative and to include a few things that I've been wanting to do all year, but haven't made time for.

Rule #3
Focus each item around having fun and really enjoying my summer. No weight loss or workout goals, no new habit formations, no chores.

So without further adieu, here she goes!!!

Chic Little Me 
Summer Bucket List

1. Finish a book
I'm totally a serial reader! What's that you ask? Well, I buy books, start reading them, and never finish. Not that they aren't interesting, it's just that I find other things to do that I deem are more important. This summer, I am determined to get all the way through at least one entire book that I started months (or maybe even a year) ago. Currently I'm working on finishing this one

2. Bake a cake
Okay, the thought of baking totally intimidates me. Sure, I can cook (Thank God for Blue Apron) but baking is such a science, and the fear of possibly doing something wrong cripples me with fear. I figure I can start with something as simple as a box mix, and work my way up from there. I'm looking to this post for some guidance. 

3. Make a charcuterie board
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love a good charcuterie board. Each board is an opportunity to try something new, so I'm super excited about the idea of experimenting with different layout and ingredients. Check out my current charcuterie board mentor here.  

4. Entertain on our deck
Due to all the rain we've had this year, our poor little deck has gone completely unused all year. Since we bought our place 3 years ago, I have dreamed of a big umbrella over our sectional, coupled with good friends and cocktails. The foundation is down, I just need to finish it up. This summer I totally want to make it happen.

5. Take a weekend trip
There's nothing like a quick weekend trip to make you feel energized. It would be nice to incorporate more than one into my summer. I'm thinking at least one on my own, and perhaps one with the hubs!

6. Make a new cocktail
I make a good Bloody Mary, and a decent Moscow Mule, however that's where my drink mixing skills end. This summer I want to make (and hopefully perfect) one new cocktail. I've even started a board for some inspiration. What's your go-to cocktail? Help a sister out! 

7. Host a brunch
I've been wanting to host a bagel brunch all year. I'm hoping that I can get myself together and execute a super cute brunch that I'll be proud of. My friends and I have been joking around about a bagel brunch... I just need to get things swingin'! 

8. Craft something
Do you have a Pintrest board with inspirational DIYs too, or is that just me? Within the next few months I actually plan to make something crafty. I've been pinning stuff for years, but in true fashion I have yet to take the plunge and create something. I'm not 100% sure what I want to do yet, but I really want to get out of the habit of consuming more content than I create. Hopefully this exercise will be a good catalyst.

9. Plant an herb garden
I've wanted to do this forever! I'll admit that I've been a little overwhelmed by the thought of creating a container garden... but this summer I'll find out once and for all. A dear friend actually gave me a great hanging bag planter that I really want to put to good use. 

10. Take Chips to a dogpark
We've had Chips (our cute, little Terrier Blend) for 3 years. Can you believe she's never been to a dog park? I know, what kind of Millennials are we??? I'm really excited for Fetch opening in Atlanta soon. Have you heard of it? 

11. Take photos with my DSLR
This is another thing that I want to nudge myself to do because I've generally been intimated by it. This summer I want to take more photos with my camera (a Sony A37) to simply practice, and feel more comfortable with my camera. It always seems like such a hassle when I can just use my phone, but I'm planning to not let fear deter me. 

12. Finish a house project
I have a lot of small house projects that would be wonderful if completed... pictures that have been leaning up against the wall, a mirror for the powder bath, curtains I bought for the living and dining room. All I need is a little shot of energy to finish them up. One of these small projects are going to get done before the summer is over!

13. Have a mental health day
In college Brandon and I would periodically have what we lovingly referred to as "mental health days". On these days we would sleep in, stay in bed, lunch and munch, nap,watch movies / tv, and not be responsible for a single bit of adulthood - working, cooking, cleaning, working out, studying, laundry, errands etc. It's truly been a long time since I've enjoyed a day like this without all of the guilt of a to-do list hanging over my head. This summer I'm prescribing myself one of these days. Hopefully I can sit still long enough! 

14. Develop a new skill
Lately I have really been focused on continuing education. I have a few in mind for my career development, as well as a few for my creative and social development. I'll let you know where I land!

15. Host friends for dinner
Nothing is more gratifying to me than hosting friends in my home. I've wanted to do it all year long, but the thought of planning and executing a dinner (because I am so particular, and therefore SO EXTRA) is always a deterrent. I want to get a simple routine down so that I can feel like good about having friends over without the stress that I create around it. I'll let you know how it goes. If I'm lucky, maybe this will happen more than once! 

16. Binge watch a new show
I'm not what I would consider a big tv watcher. My tv roster simply consists of The Walking Dead, The Handsmaid Tale (which is sooooo good), Black Mirror, Westworld, Insecure, Atlanta and Queer Eye. So I like drama, but a witty, progressive, heart-felt comedy is also my jam. Long story short, I'm taking suggestions. :)

17. Perform a random act of kindness
This one warms my heart. There is always room for kindness... we just have to seize the opportunity when it presents itself. I really want to do something nice for a stranger, a family member, friends, my co-workers, etc. Sometimes something small can make a big impact. I already have a few ideas on how I want to approach this. I'm excited to see how it goes. Perhaps this can even turn into a monthly thing!

18. Attend a festival

Nothing says summer like a fun festival! I especially like the kind that are about eating and socializing versus the type with tents where you're simply walking around and being convinced to purchase things. What can I say? This girl likes to eat and drink! Luckily Atlanta offers lots of festivals over the summer, and all I have to do narrow my focus to the one I think will be the most fun!

Did you know that technically summer is over on September 22? How is it that I never knew this? So I'm going to aim for the actual end of summer for the completion of my list. Who knows? If it goes well, maybe I'll start a Fall Bucket List immediately after! :)

So what's on your summer to-do list? Anything exciting? Do tell! I'd love to hear all about it!