Summer from A to Z

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A: Abroad

Summer is a busy time to travel abroad. If you are visiting a foreign country, make sure to check the travel requirements for your destination, such as visas or ESTA for the USA or eTA for Canada, for example. Also, check that your passport is still valid – it may take up to six weeks to renew it during peak season.

B: Barbecue

Ahh grilling season! We love it because it is easy, outside and you can invite all your friends! In Europe we do not necessarily grill hot dogs and burgers, but in Southern France we love Merguez and lamb chops. Bonus points for grilled veggies or shrimp! This is super easy and you can eat healthier because you don’t have to add tons of sauces or seasoning: a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and spices will suffice.

C: Create

As work slows down for a lot of people during summer – if you work in the service/tourism industry, sorry! – this may be a good time to pick up a creative hobby or start an activity you may have been postponing. So go buy those painting supplies, take that pottery class, or go outside with your camera!

D: Detox

With the heat and the abundance of fresh foods, summer is the perfect time to detox! You can check out Kimberly Snyder’s website for recipes, namely the glowing green smoothie – it gave me (Laura) tons of ideas and even though I do not follow her plan exactly, I find some of her tips really useful.

E: Explore

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In your neighborhood or across the world, take the time to explore your surroundings. It is easier to go on walks when the weather is clement, so take full advantage and check a few items off your bucketlist. Do not have the time or the funds to take that trip to Asia? Check out this neighborhood/small town near you that you always wanted to visit! It is all about the experience!

F: Festival

Summer is peak festival season. Whether it is Lollapalooza (In Chicago or in Paris  among other locations) or the Aix-en-Provence Festival, festivals are everywhere in summer! Make sure you do your research for your area and around your topics of interest. We are sure you will find an event you’ll love to attend!

G: Grandparents

This is a good time to go down memory lane and remember your childhood memories or pay a visit to your grandparents if you are able. A lot of us have happy memories of vacation at our grandparents’ home, and you can check out old pictures, or try an old recipe that will bring your memories back.

H: Hydrate

In this heat, water is essential. A quick reminder that women need to drink at least two liters of water a day, more if you are exercising. For men, it is at least three liters a day. Drink up!

I: Ice-cream

Summer is ice-cream peak season, so indulge! Laura’s favorite store brand is Talenti. The Coconut one is to die for, but all their flavors, from their creamiest to their sherbets are delish! May’s fave is Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough, which she loves to enjoy in front of a good Netflix show.

J: Jungle

Jungle is definitely my  style in terms of home decor this summer (May). I even bought a Banana Tree for my balcony! I like this zen vibe with green vegetation and tropical wood prints, which makes you feel like you are on vacation.  I found many ideas for this style on Pinterest.

K: Kayak

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We just tried kayaking in the Calanques and this is such a wonderful experience, we highy recommend it! If you can’t come to the Calanques, no worries, you should still try kayaking, it is a bit physical but so much fun! And one should always get on some kind of boat in summertime because everything is better by the water!

L: Learn

Even on your downtime you can learn something! Laura likes to use Duolingo to brush up on her languages skills, but you can also learn something totally different, like how to surf for example! The world is your oyster!

M: Morning

I am generally not a morning person (Laura) but in summer I do enjoy to wake up early – well, early enough – before it gets too hot and have breakfast outside on the terrace when I am on vacation at my parents’ in southern France. This makes my day start on the bright side! Try to wake up early in summer, at least once a week, and enjoy the cooler hours of your day!

N: Nature

Take advantage of the heat to spend more time outside and enjoy nature. If you are fortunate enough to live close to nature, enjoy spending time in the country/mountain or by the sea shore. If you cannot leave the city, take a walk in the park relax in the shade and try to escape the city stress.

O: Ocean

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We know not everyone is an ocean lover, but growing up by the Mediterranean definitely makes you a sea person! We could not imagine not spending some time by the sea in summer! Because oceans are vital to our planet, check out this amazing project and get involved if you want to!

P: Pool Party

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Nothing like some pool time, whether you are relaxing with a good book or getting wild at a pool party. Swimming pools are an essential summer staple to stay cool in this crazy heat, and we are definitely taking advantage on our end!

Q: Quiet time 

Make sure you also take some time for yourself this summer, to wind down, stay quiet and yes, do nothing if needed. No need to feel guilty, you need this down time so you are ready for the next season ahead.

R: Rosé wine

I (May) couldn’t imagine a summer without rosé, it’s fresh and tasty and the best partner for all your barbecues! We recommend a rosé from Bandol if you like dry wine, or our latest purchase, Crazy Tropez.

S: Sandals / Shoes

Flaunt your toes this summer with some sandals! Havaianas for the beach, tropeziennes for a classic take on sandals, or wedges for an edgier look, either way, sandals are your summer friends!

T: Treat yourself

Remember to reward yourself at least once a day. Do something that makes you happy!

U: UV Rays

Be mindful of the sun that can do serious damage to your skin, and do not forget to wear sunscreen! This has been said again and agin, but worth repeating because skin damage is irreversible!

V: Vegetables

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Summer is growing season for all the bright and colorful veggies, so take advantage! It is always better to eat seasonal produce, so treat yourself with tons of salads, as raw vegetables are filled with nutrients. Plus, who wants to eat hot and heavy dishes in this weather?

W: Workout

Summer is one of Laura’s favorite seasons to work out because you can change up your routine and try different things. You can go climb a rock face or hike up a river, or you can have an early morning run by the beach. All these things are not so easy to do in Chicago or in the Northeast during winter, so take advantage of summer to stay active and switch it up in spite of the heat!

X: XOXO

This one we are sure everyone will agree on: kiss more and love more this summer! This is the season to get your sexy on!

Y: Yes!

Adopt a positive attitude! Take advantage of the summer to say yes more, say yes to challenges, people and things that make you smile. Actively practice a positive mindset while the sun is shining, so that you can keep it for the long winter months.

Z: Zen

Summer is for me (May) a great time for meditation. Late at night under the summer sky or early in the morning when the city is still asleep, I like to watch a Boho Beautiful meditation video. It helps me recenter the focus on myself, my goals and what I hope to achieve.

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