Summer. Just saying the word makes me happy, and reminds me of home. I grew up in Colombia, on the coast, just minutes from the beach, which means that being warm and bathed in sunshine is my favorite way to be – I could spend all day on the sand! Somehow, I’ve wound up settling in the freezing North East, and while I’ve come to love it, I find myself feeling inevitably revitalized and energized by the longer, warmer days of late spring and early summer. As the sluggishness of winter fades away, I find myself making To Do lists and plans for all of the ideas I have for ways to celebrate the change of season.
Here’s a list I put together of ten things I’m planning on doing before May runs out, so that I’m fully prepared for a busy, gorgeous summer on our Vermont farm. It’s a list to tackle on the weekends, when the sun shines I can find some time for myself while the kids are entertained by the trampoline for hours on end.
Love some of these ideas? Be sure to share them!
1. Greet Saturday mornings with a sweet, energizing treat…
I’m not usually a coffee drinker, but I found this recipe on howsweeteats.com and thought I’d give it a try – see the recipe here. I adore it! We grow mint in our garden, so it’s perfect for late-summer when I only have to step outside to harvest a little bit. I love the flavor combination of mint and coffee, and it gets me energized for the day. With this recipe, I usually replace the sugar with some Vermont honey.
2. Get inspired by a new book –
I just finished reading Mary Randolph Carter’s new book, Never Stop to Think… Do I Have a Place for This? She is a decorating genius! Carter is a good friend of mine and has been by my side through all of my decorating projects – as you may know, I am addicted to antiquing – and she has actually included my home in this book of hers, as an example of how to make lots of quirky stuff look amazing in any space. The book is now front and center on our coffee table, and has me full of ideas for small redecorating projects for this summer.
3. Make a habit out of these amazing healthy snack recipes…
I recently discovered the world of Youtube recipe tutorials, and I’m smitten. Here is a collection of healthy snack ideas that I love, by Holistic Habits, and here is another one for a Chia Seed Raspberry Jam that I’m sure my kids will love.
4. A nourishing, softening hot oil hair treatment
This is especially great for anyone who gets their hair highlighted or color treated, to keep it in fabulous shape. I recently went a little bit blonder, so I’ve been working to keep my hair in great shape for the summertime with oil treatments – here is a new one that I love.
Warm up about 5 pumps of our Revitalizing Body Oil and two tablespoons of coconut oil in a small sauce pan on the stove. Let it slightly cool. To prep your hair, use a wide tooth comb and brush through from root to end. This gets out any tangles before to make application quick and easy. Make sure the oil mixture isn’t too hot (you want it to be warm) and, using your hands, apply the oil treatment from root to end. Apply all over and massage into scalp. You can also use a paint brush, the ones that are used to dye hair. I say the oilier the better! Then it’s time to wrap your hair up in a clip and towel and leave the treatment in for at-least an hour 1/2. You can use a shower cap to keep everything in place. Rinse out the treatment in the shower and shampoo and repeat. If you have shorter hair, downsize the amount of oil you’ll use and focus the application on where the most damage is… for most people, that is the ends.
5. An at-home DIY facial with an herbal tea steamer treatment
This is something I like to do after a long week of traveling, or at the change of a season, to give my skin a completely fresh start. I’ve discovered that it really helps improve the effectiveness of my skincare products, and it improves my skin’s overall glow.
First, pick up some dried herbs at the grocery store (pulling apart tea bags works too)- I like to use chamomile, lemon balm, borage and rose. Set a pot of water on the stove to boil; when it gets close to boiling, apply your favorite purifying or detox mask to your skin (I use our Resurfacing Mask, or raw honey). Once the is sufficiently hot and steaming, turn the heat off and add your dried herbs. Then, remove the pot from the heat, and – while being careful not to touch the pot – lean your head over the pot and drape a towel over your head to trap the air. Feel the hot steam warm the skin and open your pores – the dried herbs are releasing healing and aromatic benefits as well. Stay this way until the water has cooled. Rinse your Mask off – and luxuriate in how renewed your skin feels!
6. Craft the perfect menu for dinner gatherings at the farm
I’ve always loved the process of flipping through cookbooks and making a list of recipes I’d like to try. I love that the summer is the perfect time to host guests for big dinner gatherings on our farm, usually outside in the late evening, which means I get to put my recipe lists to the test! Crafting the perfect menu is no easy trick, but turn to one of my healthy-lifestyle inspirations, Goop – and I never go wrong. Here is a salmon and crispy coconut kale recipe I am curious to try…this quinoa rigatone with artichoke recipe looks amazing as well! And how about this lemon-lime-thyme cocktail on the side? Divine! (Photo credit: Goop.com)
7. Spruce up the indoors with DIY decorating projects (that are fun for the kids!)
What better way to spend a rainy spring day than crafting? I love creating colorful, whimsical things for the house – like these DIY coffee filter garlands (in such cute colors!), and these gold-painted oyster shells for delicate jewelry-holders.
8. Plan out our vegetable garden
What to grow, and where? The seasonal debate begins. Our garden is used to grow a number of our own herbal and floral ingredients that we use in our skincare, but we also have a section for fresh veggies for our family, as well. This year, the list includes: lettuce, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, Sungold cherry tomatoes, potatoes, a few spicy pepper plants, strawberries, summer squash, kale and broccoli. Are we missing anything?
9. Make a playlist of all the new music I’m loving
And share it on Spotify. Guess what – this is one I’ve already done! Listen to it here: Sounds Like Spring — and, be sure to Follow our Spotify, so you can always stay updated on what we’re listening to!
10. Organize my sunny-weather shoe collection…
I’m so glad the season of fuzzy insulated boots is over – it’s time to bring out all of my favorite flats! Toms are my favorite for on-the-farm, but for trips to New York, I like to indulge in Charlotte Olympia’s amazing designs… see my favorite summer buys on Pinterest!
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.