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My Summer Bucket List: 10 Ways Make The Most Out of The Last Month Of Summer

Ok FOLKS! It's officially past Mid-Summer. Have you done everything you've wanted to do? Swam? Had an ice cold watermelon? Watched your AC break and then have a meltdown (literally) while you wait for a new one for 3 days? I HAVE.

I've compiled a very important list of things YOU NEED TO DO before the solstice is over. There's nothing worse than starting a new season and thinking, OIS*%*$#$T$, I missed it (this happened to me with apple picking last winter. GRRRRR, I"M GETTING APPLE PIE STARTING LIKE NOW).

First things first. It's not too late. August may be tomorrow, but you know what won't be tomorrow? A cold front. Or anything remotely resembling one. In fact, I feel as though people think summer is almost over in August, but if I've learned anything from living in the rotting trash metropolis that is New York City in the summer; it's gonna be a while before I'm cold and things smell better. It's still hot in September, people.

You still have plenty of time to make sure you hit and quit most of this list! Don't miss out, and make sure to add anything that you'll regret not doing this fall (like calling that number, hello summer fling!):

1.Beach Day: Don't live near a beach? I didn't either for most of my life! That helps me appreciate it more, while also being fully aware that there's a beach of SOME kind near almost all of us. Even if it means packing your buds into the car and driving a few hours to a lake, no summer is complete without a trip to the beach (plus, swimming is so good for you, especially in salt water).

Bikini and Top by Yandy, Both in XL. Photo by Isaiah Mays

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2. Pool Party: The beach is amazing! And I think it's always good to be out in nature. But a private pool? Now that's luxury. I rented an house that had a gorgeous pool this summer, and hanging with my girlfriends on the floats while we sipped champagne and snacked? BLISS. Renting a house for a night or two with a group of friends or couples is surprisingly affordable (when you get a group), relaxing, and a great way to spend a weekend (plus you can play your twerk music as loud as you want if you get something out in the country like we did :))

Stephanie and I partyin' :) @Bellabombshel

This pretty lassie @Sophieeturner

3. Outdoor Exercise: Remember last winter when you were yearning for a bit of sunshine and sweat? It's way too hot to work out outside during the middle of the day (which is when I usually do it), but an early morning yoga session outside, or evening bike ride is such a great way to get fresh air and mix up a monotonous routine. Don't let the heat keep you away from too many outdoor activities. After some fresh air and sunshine you'll be more than happy to sit in the AC at work, and trust me, it'll feel even better :)

Wearing Yandy plus size caged gym set in 1X/2X

4. Take A Nighttime Stroll: My friend Tiffany and I went out for dinner one night in my hometown, and given how everything closes at 9PM, the only thing left for us to do that night was to take the pups for a walk. We walked through a park in the darkness and watched the fireflies literally light our way. It was magical. Summer air at night brings back all the nostalgia of being a teenager, and all of the inspiration too. It doesn't help me sleep, because I went home ready to read, write, and create, but man, did I enjoy the feels it gave me. Don't forget the simple basics when you're feeling overworked and cooped up. A 20 minute walk at night can do wonders (take a friend if walking at night makes you nervous).

5. Eat In Season Fruit and Veggies: One word: WATERMELON. Ok two words, fresh tomatoes and sweet corn. Oh wait, three, basil and zucchini and greens from the garden. FINE. SUMMER FOOD IS ALL AMAZING! Have you ever had access to a garden? A CSA? A Farm stand? Fresh food in the summer is unparalleled. Forget the restaurant and go to a farm. Or better yet, grow your own (I miss my garden so much!). There's plenty of veggies you can start this late. And another batch you can start in the fall too. Fresh, local produce is just healthier. And yummier. And cheaper:)

Wearing the Yandy Pedregal One Shoulder One Piece in XL

6. Outdoor Concert: Looking for a free reason to sneak wine in somewhere and enjoy music? Go to an outdoor concert! Almost all small towns to big cities have opportunities for free concerts in local parks every summer. If you happen to be in NYC, you can see huge acts for free in central park, as well as other parks around the city. I went to an all-naked-wanna-be-Shakespeare-play in Prospect Park last summer. It was completely insane. There was vodka. There was a crowd. There was...jiggling. We made unforgettable memories that night, and we did it for the price of a subway swipe. Bonus points if you wear costume to these events.

7. Read a Book Cover to Cover, IN THE AC: A lot of my bucket list involves being outside with my friends. But some days are too hot do do much besides work and exercise in air conditioning. Those lazy summer days are the best ones to finish what you have to do, then turn off your phone, find a comfy place near a vent (snuggle your brother's pup if you're me) and read a book cover to cover. This summer I've re-read The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield, and Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Both are life changing, and both are worth reading again and again. The War Of Art is about how to overcome self sabotage to live our greatest potential. Man's Search For Meaning is how to stay positive and persevere in even the most horrific circumstances. Mr. Frankl is a holocaust survivor. I can't recommend both books enough.

8. Take a Road Trip: I'm really excited about this one. Not only will I be getting out of the city in August (which is when the summer trash smell and steaming subways are at their absolute worst here in New York), but I'll also be taking my guy for a surprise birthday trip. He doesn't know where we're going, so I'm not going to map out the trip I have planned for us this year (he's a voracious reader of this blog after all). Last year at the same time, I took him to Connecticut, to a little cottage in the woods with a pool. We went hiking to a local waterfall, drank champagne by the pool, and went peach picking. It was perfect. I can't wait for this year! I might need to buy some new lingerie, hehe. We'll definitely be spending some time by the pool like:

Wearing Yandy plus size Tatiana monokini in 1X/2X

9. Spend more time with family and friends: I just got back from a work trip to Iowa, and although I was busy for just about every daylight hour, I did something with at least my friends or family (and most days both), every single day. I felt like myself again. I felt younger, and fresher. Some days in NYC I barely speak to another soul and stay holed up in the apartment with my laptop, working away for days. Remember how it felt to get out of school and to get to spend the whole day playing with your friends/siblings/family, etc? I know everyone didn't have a perfect childhood, and I didn't either, especially socially, but Summer days were always pretty amazing when I was little. I think that feeling can be alive in all of us, and we're never too old to play and make a little time for magic, especially when the days are so long.

10. Spend more time in less clothing: My friends. It is TOO. HOT. To be self conscious right now. When I think about how many years I wore long skirts and long baggy pants all summer to cover up my legs, it makes me want to cry! If you're feeling like your "summer body" isn't "ready," take some time to challenge yourself this year. Why don't you think you're ready? Do you know that if you changed your body overnight, you'd find something else to be unsatisfied with? If you were to go to the pool in a swimsuit you love, are you aware that extreme likelihood is that no one will really care what you're wearing, except for maybe you? There's an internal solution for all that we've learned from the outside world.

Even if it means simply spending some time around your house scantily clad and alone; find a way to challenge your ideas of what your "appropriate" summer attire is. Make this year your year! As Ella Fitzgerald would say, it's Too Darn Hot to do ANYTHING. ELSE. #allbodiesarebeachbodies

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