How to celebrate the summer early

by Nina de Haan

Hey now, we’ve got to make it rain somehow, is how the Red Hot Chili Peppers try to convince us in The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie (2011). But how catchy that song may be, it’s hard to sell such a policy. In the Netherlands we are currently enjoying the first actual sunshine of the year and I don’t think anyone feels like performing a rain dance at this point. Like a wise man, wearing shades with no sun to be seen, once said: ‘you’ve got to force the sun to shine.’ Now I don’t think the atmosphere cared about him wearing shades, but he is kind of right. Embrace the summer!

Zara TRF March 2012 lookbook

I don’t think it’ll help to pretend the winter doesn’t exist and just keep on celebrating summer all year long, but there’s nothing wrong with starting early! Things you can do to already get the summer feeling:

~ Listen to your light, cheerful, summerly music. Last summer I was a big fan of Crystal Fighters’ Plage and it’s been on speakers again, on repeat. With 133 plays it’s the most played song in my iTunes library. It reminds me of a very special day on the -indeed- beach. Want more suggestions? There’s plenty of playlists to be found on the web, for example on 8tracks and check back here, for I will be posting a playlist soon (although I doubt it can compete with those on 8tracks).

~ Dress in light, cheerful and summerly colors! You can easily start wearing your summer clothing, you just have to layer a bit more. Isn’t that what fashion is about? We probably shouldn’t overdo this clothing thing, though. I am currently experiencing that tights just aren’t enough this time of the year. Also: check out new collections online! The sunny pictures can already make me feel warm inside. Actually, the Zara TRF lookbook inspired me to write this post.

~ When the sun is shining: get out there! You better start tanning early, while you don’t have to use the protection yet. Good things to kick off with are taking a walk (on the beach, perhaps?) or if you take it seriously: go jogging. Sounds healthy, doesn’t it? My first time jogging still has to come, but I am tempted already so that’s a start. They say that for jogging the music you listen to can really make a difference, so that might be something to pay attention to on forehand, if you didn’t already of course. You can also go strolling through the main street in search for your new summer outfits. Some find that a sport too.

~ Don’t feel like going out yet? Host your typical outdoors activity in your living room! Possibilities are limited, but here’s one: Saskia and I once had a picnic at a friend’s house while it was raining outside. We’ve been sitting on a blanket on the ground and believe it or not, I would totally do it again. (You may want to add pillows to sit on. Add some tea too and you got yourself a high tea. Now isn’t that summerly?)

~ Be careful with starting on summerly food. There are no true numbers of the impact a product has on the environment so it’s hard to know what’s best, but for example: eating strawberries during the winter can’t be good. That is, living in the Netherlands. Here are no strawberries to be found so they have to come a long way (or grown in heated green houses), which means pollution and all. You can start making smoothies though! No fresh fruit in your neighborhood? Use vegetables instead! The green smoothie is widely praised on the internet. Google ‘green smoothie’ for more on this. (I haven’t tried it, but today I found out the blender we’ve been wanting to buy has arrived in our kitchen. The opportunities!)

~ Why not paint your nails in bright colors? Neons, pastels, glitters… there’s a lot to choose from! (Pollution it’ll be…)

~ Did you start making plans for your summer holidays? That’s something to take the winter of your mind. If it isn’t about traveling, you can start dreaming about the one day trips to festivals, the beach, amusement parks, fairs, markets, visiting friends, having breakfast, lunch and dinner in the open air… I am not good at this, but there should be plenty possibilities and you can start sorting them out already.

~ You want your garden to look fabulous, don’t you? Find out what flowers you want and sow them at the right time. While you’re at it, what about growing strawberries and cherry tomatoes? If you live in the Netherlands: go pick up your grow set, consisting of two pots, seeds for both strawberries and cherry tomatoes (also another duo available) and crappy loam, at your local Action store for about 79 ct. Extra directions: sow early, a small amount of seeds (they are cheap, but do they work!) and use better loam than the stuff included. Also: the plants will outgrow the pots.

Well, that’s it! There must be more ideas for early summer celebrations, but I suppose this is enough for now. What do you think? Are you planning your picnic already? Anyway, if you’re done with the cold: hold on, it won’t take much longer, for spring and even summer is on its way!