Who can believe the DC weather right now? This is the quintessential spring / early summer climate that we long for at this time of year (especially after all of the rain we have experienced of late). Right now the weather is perfect for those end of school-year events and graduations, for saying goodbye to school related friends, and “hello” to slightly less structured time. It can be liberating and exhilarating, and it’s a great time to reflect on what you want your summer to be like.
As the summer season launches, the team at Hysteria is focusing on being healthier: taking care of ourselves, and our loved ones. The #reinvention theme we’ve been talking about in recent months speaks to the renewal of our business, and also quite literally to the way in which we are working on renewing ourselves; inside and out.
Renewing Yourself Can Spark Joy
This healthier lifestyle practice takes form in “sparking joy” (a la best seller: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondō). The concept applies in our closets and in yours with the selections that we’re constantly adding to our inventory, and to the closet cleaning that we’ve been doing in our own homes (actually, maybe just me in this case). Renewal also takes form in getting on the elliptical (Suzanne) while catching up on the morning news (versus plopping down on the sofa), succumbing to the fitness tracker craze (Suzanne and I both), and logging many hours celebrating our kids’ past school year and major milestones (Suzanne, Juliet, Kim...and me); all while dreaming about hitting our favorite vacation spots over the summer.
If you are contemplating summer and #renewal as we are, here are a few tips to help you enjoy all that summer has to offer whilst you’re still making plans:
Five Ways to Experience Summer #Renewal
1. Hit the Open Road
Let's be honest, we all love vacation, but we don't always have the time or the budget to get away. If you want to get out of town (even for just a few days) without spending big bucks on airfare or too many hours on the road, check out these 12 DC area driving-distance destinations (from 1 hour to 4 hours drive) recently noted by the Washington Post - “D.C. getaway guide: 12 drivable weekend trips”
2. Get Outside & Catch Some Fireflies
There’s something kind of magical about seeing fireflies in the summer evening dusk, so why not indulge the kid in you by experiencing the simple pleasure of a summer evening chasing the glowing light of fireflies... you could perhaps enjoy this experience with some juicy chilled watermelon and maybe a nice pink sparkling rosé? Here’s the skinny from REALSIMPLE Magazine on fireflies and 20 more of the “Best Ways to Enjoy Summer"
3. Sample the Many Frozen Delights in DC
If you’re like us, you may remember having a banana split or hot fudge sundae (with a cherry on top!) from DC's famous ice cream institution Gifford’s, and you’ve dreamed about ice cream ever since. Whether you have that memory or not, surely we all love frozen confections - particularly in the summer, and you can find some great ones in the Washington Post’s recent list citing: “The essential guide to ice cream and frozen desserts around Washington”
4. Learn Something New
It’s incredibly soul satisfying to pick up a new skill, and area parks are chock-full of activities, classes, events and tours that will help you expand your horizons. Have you dreamed of learning to garden, to paint, study photography…? Well, on the Fairfax County Partakes site (for example), we found interesting classes and adventures galore! How about an “All About Bats Campfire”? Sounds scary AND fun!
5. Gin Things Up
Suzanne is quick to say that gin seems to always be her go-to liquor during the warmer months of summer. Her latest twist on a traditional gin & tonic is to add fresh cucumber seeded and diced or simply sliced; and with fresh basil or mint leaves (torn) in each glass. This is especially refreshing when dinning al fresco, and can be the perfect aperitif to accompany your favorite dish.
And Suzanne also recommends these gin based "boozy" popsicles from popular blogger Tracy Benjamin aka Tracy Shutterbean. As Tracy said, "How could you go wrong with cucumber, ginger beer, lime and gin??! Dust off your popsicle molds and get at it!"
CUCUMBER GINGER GIN POPSICLES (makes 8)
- 1 large cucumber, peeled with seeds removed
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 oz. simple syrup
- 2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
- 1 cup Reed’s ginger beer
In a blender combine cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup and gin blend until mixture is smooth. Add ginger beer and blend for 5 seconds to incorporated. Fill the ice pop molds with the cucumber gin mixture about 3/4 full. Place molds in the freezer for about an hour and then put the ice pop sticks in the mold. Freeze for 12 hours to guarantee popsicles have set before serving.
Hopefully these suggestions and linked articles are helpful toward getting you thinking about making the most of your summer. We hope it's a great one for you!
Cheers & Happy Summer!