This post is sponsored by Breyers, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s that time of the year again. Last week, Mazzy, Harlow and I packed up all our summer stuff and moved to our house on Long Island for two months. Mike will be commuting back and forth on the weekends. I asked the girls what they were most excited about for the summer. Mazzy said, “the pool and the beach!” Harlow said, “Ice Cream Day at camp!” They were such simple answers, it inspired me to list all the simple summer pleasures our family enjoys, including a late afternoon ice cream cone filled with Breyers Natural Vanilla.
22 Simple Reasons I’m Excited for Summer
1) The Pool
Yep, Mazzy was right. The pool is an exciting thing, especially since we have one in our backyard. I’ve always been more of a pool fan than a beach fan, since I hate when sand gets in the house. Plus, pool floats mean you don’t even have to get wet to join in the fun. Well, until someone topples you over.
2) Concerts in the Park
There’s the Central Park variety and then there’s the concerts in our local park on Long Island which is much more kid-friendly, because you aren’t afraid of losing your child in the crowd. Nothing is better than meeting up with a bunch of moms, a bottle of wine and a blanket, and then letting your kids dance around to the music until the sun goes down.
I’m one of those weird people who prefer layers to sundresses but there is nothing I like more than an open-toed shoe. Flip-flops, wedges, strappy sandals— I like them all as long as I can wiggle my toes.
4) Mike’s garden
Last year, Mike built an enclosed garden at our house (to keep the deer from eating everything) and planted this summer’s fruits and vegetables a few weekends ago. We’ve got eggplant, string beans, tomatoes, red peppers and more. There’s already strawberries coming in! Plus, there is nothing better than sending the girls out with a bowl to pick fresh basil and mint.
5) Vanilla Ice Cream
We’re an ice cream family, as most of my readers now know. We eat ice cream almost every night, all year long. During the day sometimes too. And apparently, Harlow eats it on Ice Cream Day at camp. In the summer, my favorite flavor is without question vanilla. This summer, I’m especially loving Breyers® Natural Vanilla, which is made with simple ingredients— fresh cream, sugar and milk. It’s a great base for a sundae and the only way to top off a pie, but my favorite way to eat it is plain. Cup or cone, vanilla ice cream is perfect all on its own.
6) The Beach
Yeah, I know I said I liked the pool better, but I still love the beach. I actually like it less for swimming in the middle of the day and more for walking along the beach as the sun goes down. Gray cloudy days are great for the beach too. Dinner picnics are awesome on the beach. Just don’t tell me you’re burying me in wet sand on a 90 degree day.
7) Outdoor Showers
Speaking of sand and the beach, the best way to get that stuff off before you walk in my house is with an outdoor shower that Mike installed last year. It’s also the first place we got Mazzy to take a shower. It’s so much better to make the kids go directly from the pool or the beach to the outdoor shower, than to deal with bathing them later. Plus, I love to shower outdoors too. There’s something about a hot shower in the cool air that is particularly invigorating.
8) Local Farm stands
We’ve got a few local farm stands in our area and one is right on my route home from Mazzy and Harlow’s camp. I love going in there, seeing what’s fresh and cooking it up that night. I’m joking. I don’t cook anything. I give that fresh corn to Mike.
I love watermelon. End of story.
10) Working at Seri’s
During the summer, I often set up shop at Seri’s house during the day, which becomes both the Mommy Shorts and Little Miss Party headquarters. You can’t really argue with working outside by the pool, especially when Seri walks over and hands you a glass of…
Yep. Working alongside Seri is the best.
12) Rompers and Sundresses
I find putting together outfits for my extremely opinionated little girls pretty frustrating. And if I leave them to their own devices, they put together some terrible looking outfits. That’s why summer is amazing because most of the things they wear are ONE PIECE. No matching necessary.
13) Summer Sunsets
It kind of sucks when you tell your kids to go to bed at 8pm and they’re like, “But, Mom! It’s still light outside!” On the plus side, when you let them stay up, you see some pretty fantastic sunsets together.
14) Summer salads
I love a good salad. Especially when you add in those farm fresh ingredients and herbs from our garden. Not to mention, fruits that are only in season during the summer like peaches. A peach, pistachio and goat cheese salad is my personal favorite.
15) Our balcony
Our balcony in the city has been under scaffolding for over a year but just a few weeks ago, it all came down and we got to go outside again! We’ve got a pretty incredible view from up there and using our balcony makes our small Manhattan apartment bearable again. We even got a new table and chairs.
16) Mike on the grill
Mike is the cook in our house but he always gets particularly inspired when he can use the grill. Last summer, I figured out that cooking on the grill is pretty easy, so maybe I’ll test my barbecuing chops this summer too.
17) Boat rides
Our house is on a creek, but it’s too shallow to actually dock a boat. We do, however, own a boat slip at the end of our block that came with our house. We don’t own a boat though (nor do we want to), so when we first moved in, it became Mike’s mission to make friends with a person who has a boat and needed to dock it somewhere. As luck would have it, our friends got a house nearby last year and the first time we went over, we saw a boat parked in their driveway with a tarp over it. “Hey! Do you guys want somewhere to park your boat????” They said “yes” and now we have access to boat. WOOT!
18) The hammock
There was an old hammock hanging behind two dead trees when we purchased the house. My dad sat on it and it broke right off. He felt terrible and bought us a brand new hammock. Now we’ve got a place to relax, a place to swing all together as a family and a running joke whenever my dad comes over— DON’T SIT ON THE HAMMOCK, POPPY!!!
19) The Screened-in porch
Our screened-in porch is one of my favorite rooms in the house. It’s the room that sold me on purchasing the house actually. It’s got an excellent view of the creek and feels really secluded. We put a game table in there and a glider that can seat the whole family. It’s the best place to read, plus it’s a really special place to read books before bedtime.
20) Lemonade stands
Last year, Mazzy and Harlow made their first lemonade stand. We bought the ingredients, made our own lemonade, made signs and then set up outside Grammy’s condo and made a killing. Well, that’s if you consider $11 a killing.
21) Harlow in sunglasses
I mean, the girl just knows how to rock a pair of shades.
22) No homework
This was our first year that Mazzy actually had homework, so I could not be more thrilled that for the next two months, I don’t have to argue with her over whether or not she is going to do it. Plus, this means I also don’t have to threaten to take away her ice cream.
What simple summer pleasures are you looking forward to?