Summer is (basically) upon us (wishful thinking?) and I'm looking forward to chilling out, so I thought I would give myself a break from revision and write a list of things to do this summer that will make you smile.
Picnics are one of the most quintessential British summertime activities - but for a reason. Grab a blanket, lots of food, and some friends, and find a field to sit in for the afternoon. Take along your iPod and some speakers and play some card games. Zoella has a great post on a picnic party here - the food looks delicious!.
2) Beach day
Obvious, but one of the best things to do on a warm summer's day is to sit on a beach, with the sea nearby to paddle in when you get too hot. Plus if you don't live close to the seaside then the road trip there is half of the fun! I'd love to visit Brighton at some point; it looks gorgeous.
3) Cocktail masterclass
Get some friends over for one afternoon/evening, sit out in the garden, and make up some cocktails.
4) Go back to your childhood
One of my favourite days from a couple of summers ago was sitting in a vacant field with friends, chatting. I ended up doing some cartwheels, handstands, dancing, and running around with a football - it was exhilarating and made me feel so good.
5) Afternoon tea
Make your own afternoon tea - bake a few different cakes and get some tea (or champagne!) to go with them. Present nicely on a cake stand and you have the perfect Instagram opportunity.
There's something so relaxing about sitting outside and focusing on the world around you. This summer try and take 5-10 minutes each day to quietly meditate, whether in your bedroom or on a beach in Bali.
7) Music festival
Listening to music is many peoples' favourite pastime, so a music festival is a perfect event to do this, while socialising with your friends and dancing the night away. If you don't have £150 to shell out for Glastonbury or V, there are plenty of free festivals around the UK, such as LIMF (Liverpool International Music Festival) from 21st-24th July, which is Europe's biggest free music event. Acts such as Sigma, Wretch 32 and The Wombats are in the line up this year - I went last summer and really enjoyed it (posts here and here).
I love lying out in the dark on a summer's night, stargazing. It's really relaxing and really inspires me - plus it's something you can do on your own or with other people.
9) Blow bubbles
I know one point was going back to your childhood by doing cartwheels, but why not blow bubbles too?! This used to bring myself and my sister so much joy when we were younger, and I don't see why the novelty would have worn off.
So you haven't done your summer properly unless you've had at least one barbecue (even if it was on the wettest day of July and you had to huddle in your shed to eat your food). Food always tastes so much better when it's been barbecued. You could even have a little garden party and invite friends and family to dress up a little.
There are so many beautiful things around during the summer that can be photographed, such as flowers and wildlife. Even portrait photography is so much better when the sun is shining.
12) Strawberry picking
I used to love going to a strawberry farm in the summertime to pick strawberries. Eating half of the ones you pick is all part of the fun.
13) Open air cinema
Go to a drive-in cinema or an open air cinema. Liverpool has loads on during the summer.
14) Jump through a sprinkler
Again, something that my sister and I would do when we were younger - put the sprinkler on in the garden and run through it as fast as we could. We would be soaked by the end of it, but really happy.
15) Sleep with your window open
So simple, but being able to sleep next to an open window makes me feel really happy and relaxed.
16) Slip and slide
Right, I feel like this post should be called '18 things to do this summer that will take you back to your childhood'! Do you remember making a slip and slide in your garden when you were younger? We used to get a sheet, make it damp, put loads of washing up liquid on it, and launch ourselves onto it so that we would slide all the way to the bottom. I think it would be absolutely hilarious to do this as a 'grown up'!
17) Hire a bouncy castle
One of the most fun ways to spend an afternoon. Perfect for a summer birthday.
18) Go on holiday
The most obvious thing on this list, but you don't have to go abroad to go on holiday. Take a weekend break in a city somewhere in the UK, or spend a week by the British seaside. There are some beautiful places in Britain that I still haven't been to, and would love to visit during the summer. Less travel time = less stress = more relaxing!
Make today so awesome, yesterday gets jealous.