If you weren’t snowed in or hit by the sheer fury of Mother Nature this year with tornadoes and bouts of flooding, then you at least know someone who endured the worst she had to dole out.
But without shadow we wouldn’t know sunshine, so perhaps we take a lesson from the dregs of the off-season to enjoy every shining moment of the most wonderful pool time of year! There are special holidays to be celebrated in the colder months, but we say summer is a season that deserves all the food and drink and friends possible.
Call it living your best life! Instead of just “seizing the day,” how about “seizing the summer” and wringing every drop of bright and beautiful life out of it? Let’s do this thing!
We’ve compiled our favorite ways to embrace this prime outdoor period:
- Take an afternoon to yourself. Plan a vacation day or take a half day off from work. Fix a tray of your favorite snacks and beverage. Turn your phone off or better yet, leave it in the house so you won’t be tempted to escape into the digital world.
Set your little campsite alongside your most comfortable lounger. Slather on some sunscreen and lose yourself in one of the classics you’ve never read. From Business Insider, here’s one of the 100 Books to Read Before You Die lists for inspiration! There are plenty of exceptional new classics like the Pulitzer-winning All the Light We Cannot See that will also transport you. That poolside locale will conjure your relaxation zone. Don’t look at the garden that may need tending or the chairs to be power washed; they’ll be there tomorrow.
If novels aren’t your speed, how about a relaxing yoga session on the soft grass? Or a pair of ear buds and a selection of tracks by your favorite bands? Or perhaps you work on getting your lap count up by taking a dive into the delicious goodness of that refreshing water to get a fitness session in.
Catering to company is one of life’s many pleasures but carving out some “you time” will restore your soul.
- Family Day. You can designate this to just include your immediate family taking the time to reconnect. Whip up your favorite marinade the night before and immerse your chicken or steak to soak it in overnight. Buy or make a hearty side like potato salad. The next day you can have the kids help husk some fresh corn and just throw lunch on the grill. As we’re fond of saying, cell phones and water don’t generally mix, so you can enjoy some tech-free time with your children.
And on to the water events! ActiveKids.com suggests these 10 Fun Pool Games for Kids that everyone can enjoy. Although there are thousands and thousands of inflatable game platforms to buy, to play these you just need some household items, beach balls, and your imagination to have a splashing-good time!
- Beach Ball Race
- Ping-Pong Madness
- Marco Polo (with a Twist!)
- Sharks and Minnows
- Chicken Fight
- What Time is it, Mr. Fox?
- Coins on the Bottom
- Floatie Race
- Air Ball
- Quick Jump Quiz
The key to pulling this off is putting it on the calendar. We are all running with jam-packed schedules where weeks and months slip away. When a day like this is on the calendar, it’s even fun just looking forward to it!
- Host a Grill Off. Generally, people who enjoy the art of grillin’ and chillin’ possess a singular pride about their expertise. Perhaps a sunny Sunday at noon is when you tell the braggarts to BYOT – Bring Your Own Tongs! Invite the neighbors and distribute ballots. You can list categories of food and a rating system of a scale from 1 to 4 stars for aspects like: flavor, innovation, presentation, and doneness. This can be a blind test, so the tasters don’t know who made what. The award could be one of these cool accessories from ApronMen.com.
Select from a wide-ranging list like this 90+ Best Grilling Recipes for All Your Summer Backyard Barbecues. For the non-traditional selection how about something like this Skillet Spinach-Artichoke Dip With Fire-Roasted Bread?
The art of barbecuing is not relegated just to lovers of racks of ribs and burgers. Delish.com offers up these delectable vegetarian recipes entitled 32 Vegetarian Recipes You’ll Actually Want At Your BBQ.
One refreshing dish is called a “panzanella” which is a Tuscan chopped summer salad. With a prep time of 15 minutes and an overall time of less than a half hour, cubes of bread are tossed in delicious olive oil and toasted in a large skillet. The dressing is a combo of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and honey. Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, a garlic clove, and fresh basil combine for a tasty mélange with a satisfying crunch! (They suggest using different colored cherry tomatoes to add more visual appeal.)
- Institute a Game Night. Your couple friends are likely sitting home in front of the TV just like you guys. Make every third Saturday a fierce competition that will get everyone up off their couches and gathered around your pool to faceoff. This can be a no-fuss event with your guests bringing dishes or appetizers. If no one has any games they particularly like, here’s a solid list from Fatherly.com that recommends some amazing games for game night! It includes the 2019 Toy of the Year Award Winner: Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game that spotlights Disney’s best-loved villains.
And for those of us STILL mourning the loss of HBO’s GoT is A Game of Thrones Board Game – Second Edition where players get to “Take control of one of the Great Houses of Westeros in the wake of King Robert’s death and set out to dominate the most castles over the course of ten turns.” On this games list there is something for everyone!
- Throw the Biggest Pool Party Anyone Has Ever Seen. This is your time to shine. Don’t wait until summer’s end. Go for it! Because you’ll want your guests to enjoy your pool, make it a crazy hat party, or a talent show, or just a karaoke contest. Go old school frat party and ice up a keg. Decorate like there’s no tomorrow! Even cater it if you want to. Or better yet, hire a company that will host your BBQ from cook to cleanup, so you don’t have to do anything but celebrate life with friends and family… and win that karaoke contest!
As home improvement financing experts since 1979, we’ve been the means behind many a backyard blowout!
At Lyon Financial we love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.