The Summer Guide to Getting Outside

A Summer Guide to Getting Outside | Live. Work. Play. #LiveLifeFair | Ten Thousand VillagesI live for summer. No shoes, cold beverages, camping trips, and awkward tan-lines. I love it all! This time of year, I find myself making any excuse to be outside. I’ll sip my morning cup of coffee on the back porch as I mentally catalog my tasks for the day and I’ll spend hours tending our tomato plants, despite the fact that I hate eating them. I’ll even walk to the mailbox on the corner to send a card, instead of just putting it in my box for the mail carrier to pick up. Rainy day? No problem. Going for a run during a summer shower is one of my favorite ways to end a day. Believe me, puddle jumping is much more fun as an adult.

After long days of working behind a desk, the last thing I want to do is spend my evenings and weekends indoors. I want to soak up every ounce of sunshine and happiness I can and take advantage of that care-free feeling you only get outside before the seasons change. So let’s kick off our shoes and make the most of our summer and live, work, and play outdoors!

Live

Did you have a stressful day and all you want to do is stretch out and relax? Nothing beats a hammock under a shady tree for some serious peace and quiet. Bring a beverage, some pillows, and set your phone on silent. This time is yours to rest your eyes or finish that book you’ve been neglecting. Whatever your weekday wind-down routine is, take it outside and take advantage of all the fresh air and your momentary freedom from responsibility.

If you love eating and entertaining outside, but have a tiny yard and no deck, don’t despair! They say necessity is the mother of all invention, and since some yards don’t have enough extra room to justify a full-time picnic table, the pallet picnic was born.

Stack two or three pallets up to act as a low table, hide the rough edges with a table cloth, and scatter blankets and pillows around for some bohemian inspired seating.

Dress it up with candles or flowers if it’s a date night, or use it as an outdoor craft table for the kids. Either way, it’s unique and fun and easy to remove when you want to use your limited space for other activities.

Work

Whether you work from home, or it’s that one dreaded day of the month when you catch up on your budget and bills, take it outside. Crunching numbers is so much more tolerable when you can feel the warm breeze on your face. Transform your porch or favorite shady spot into an office by simply bringing out a chair, a small table, and anything else you need to get the job done.

Pro tip:  If you have a stack of documents, bring a paperweight! Nothing ruins your work flow like chasing papers around the yard.

Play

Turn off the TV, put the phone away, and give your tablet a rest. Remember how much fun you had playing outside as a kid? Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t still be barefoot and fancy-free in the backyard! Set aside time for a family night or invite your friends over for snacks and games. It’s easy and fun!

Put an outdoor twist on an old classic. Paint a grid on a log or piece of wood and use stones as your X’s and O’s.

Set up some baskets or buckets on opposite sides of the yard, split up in teams, and see who has the best aim. When your aim is true, remove the basket. The first team with no baskets remaining wins!

Grab some sunscreen and head outdoors this summer!

Make the most of the fresh air and sunshine, because life is better when it’s lived outside.

 

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Valentina

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Valentina lives in Lancaster, PA where she runs slowly, hikes often, and excitedly points out historical landmarks to friends and family. She is fond of curry and guacamole, and insists that vanilla ice cream is a waste of time and calories. Val is convinced that the greatest feeling in the world is stepping off a plane in a new place, and is a passionate believer that all the best days include books, baking, border collies, and bagpipes.

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