What We Did On Our Summer Staycation
Nashville is beautiful in the summer. It is sweet-smelling and lush, the air is filled with the sound of cicadas, plumes of smoke pour from the grill, and hardly anyone bothers to wear shoes. It is also hot. So hot that the sidewalks steam after the rain and your popsicle has a lifespan of five minutes or less. Most people stay inside to beat the Southern heat but us Lucketts are not indoor cats. Typically, when Shep gets out of school we embark on some sort of wild, outdoorsy expedition but since we have a new little bird in our nest we’re embracing the “staycation” this year and bringing the adventure straight to our backyard. What it lacks in majestic vistas it makes up for in proximity to indoor plumbing (for me anyways.)
Even on the stickiest summer day, our land is an essential part of our living space and sharing it with our little ones has been so wonderful. Here are a few things we do that help us bring the great outdoors to our urban backyard.
In a perfect world, we would hightail it to the mountains every time the slightest hint of wanderlust crept into view but with busy jobs and even busier babies, it isn’t always an option. Gathering the gear and play pretend however, is!
Shep would probably sleep outside in a tree if we let him but our Coleman tent makes for some pretty sweet digs too. It’s roomy, durable, easy to set up, and quick to tear down.
Now if you’re wondering how to convince a small child to fall asleep amid the outdoorsy excitement with its chorus of crickets and dreamy moonlight, we cannot recommend bribery enough…. but also make sure they have cushy place to sleep, that helps too. We are faithfully devoted to our trusty hiccapop toddler bed for Shep and God’s gift to parents, the DockATot for Delaney. It fits perfectly in her Plum + Sparrow moses basket :)
Ahhhh! The kiddie pool, it’s a quintessential summertime classic. I am told I spent most of my youth in a bathing suit, so it isn’t enormously surprising to see the boy following in my footsteps. He is however, a little wilder in the water than I was. He can literally spend hours out there catching invisible fish and making waves.
Finding swimwear that can keep up with my spirited amphibious toddler has been challenging, but I have been so impressed with Olivia + Ocean’s boys trunks. These beautiful, thoughtfully designed shorts put a smile on both our faces and trust me, there is no amount of splashing that these things can’t take.
If there’s a Southern summertime rite of passage for the under five set, catching fireflies is it. Shep loves bounding after these little light-up critters and I must admit that I’m not immune to their mysterious glowing magic either. All you need is a jar with a few holes in the lid (won’t forget to do that again), a little twilight, and a lot of bug spray.
Yep, bug spray. Sad to say that there will likely be some less-luminescent insect friends along for the ride too so protection is essential. We love Thistle Farms Natural Bug Spray and Candle Combo to keep the buggies away and Clary Collection’s mama made Clary Balm to soothe any bites that do occur.
Happy Hour at Home
Catching bugs and roasting marshmallows can be lovely, but now and then we need a little grown up summer fun too. Mike and I have loved a good happy hour as long as I can remember but early kid bed times and late afternoon fussiness has made clinking glasses after work a little more complicated.
Since we can’t get out as often as we’d like, we get the delicious summertime swill delivered right to us. One of my favorite mamas and wine curators, Tavola’s Robin Riddell Jones, sends a beautifully packaged, carefully selected collection of wine to our door every month through her subscription service, The Spill. I never thought the back patio would be my favorite watering hole, but it totally is.
We have been very curious about cooking around here lately (which is surprising since there hasn’t been a ton of it going on;) Making popsicles has been a great, safe, easy way for this busy mom and her boy to spend some time together in the kitchen when sister is napping. Plus, it produces a healthy, seasonal snack that we can all enjoy.
We’ve experimented with plenty of recipes but this one from our dear Oh Joy! takes the cake (takes the pop?) for simplicity and style.
Also, how cute are these Zoku molds?! When they’re not busy making frozen treats Shep brings these little guys in the bath:)
I hope you all are having the sweetest, silliest summertime adventures with your families! Before we know it, back to school they’ll go!