With summer right around the corner, my web browsing consists of tabbing between Victoria’s Secret swim (hello, Semi-Annual Sale!), concert tickets and desperate google searches such as (but not limited to) “how to trick people into thinking I’m tan.” In fact, these past couple of months have turned into a massive group text with friends that we’ve began referring to as our summer bucket list. From trying new things like paddle boarding to hitting up Lollapalooza again, our list has met the likes of greedy kids making a scroll of Christmas wishes.
In honor of the best months of the year, I’ve compiled a bucket list of sorts to celebrate happy hours, long days, and firework-filled nights that embody the reckless beauty of a summer spent relishing every incredible moment. You, my reader, are cordially invited (read: triple-dog-dared) to have the best summer of your life via the following:
1. Dinner Club
You know those people that claim “they forgot to eat” because they had a “busy day?” I’m not one of those people. In fact, approximately 92.8% of my day revolves around what I’ll be eating next. My best friends and I have implemented a monthly dinner club to make sure we drag our butts to that spot we’ve been incessantly talking about for months, but never go to. Make it monthly, make it weekly, but make it happen because food + friends + wine = magic.
Need a suggestion for your first Dinner Club? Hands down, head to Adamus. Settled in Jeweler’s Row, it’s the perfect twist of modern meets comfort, with incredible drinks that will keep you chatting and laughing way longer than planned. My recommendation for a drink? Go with their Gem of The Month drink special, where they create a special cocktail resembling the stone of that particular month. I can only speak for April’s, but if that’s any indication of all their cocktails, it was magical and you might never leave. Seriously.
On to the more pressing matter though: food. The menu is perfectly crafted for an eater of any kind: they’ve mastered not only the classics, but also have an assortment of wild and tasty combinations that will spike your curiosity just enough so you’ll order it. And then you’ll fall into a heavenly food coma of happiness with bursts of flavors you never knew existed. I took a chance on their beet tortellini, and I have never been more elated in a decision or in awe of how mind-blowing anything with beets could taste.
Just in case their unique menu didn’t sell you, try their chocolate cake for dessert. I guarantee that alone will make your entire summer.
2. Try a New Workout
My tolerance of reading articles telling me to get “bikini season ready in 4 easy steps,” was exhausted when I read the first headline back in March. There’s been a lot of controversy surfacing recently about womens’ bodies and society’s horrifically stringent beauty standards that we are subjected to every day. I will profusely say that this is not encouraging you to get a body that’s ready to be sprawled across the cover of a magazine, because, personally, no matter how many squats I do, there’s some cellulite that’s just never going away. However, as an endorser of strong and confident woman, I’m all for becoming your best self, and speaking for myself, working out helps me not only look better, but more importantly, feel better.
My dare to you is this: find a workout that kills stress and gives you a boost. My recommendation is Soulcycle. It’s a notoriously challenging and fun class that focuses on taking all of your daily stressors and channels them into pedaling. It’s a hybrid of stadium cycling and yoga, paired with killer playlists, that I cannot get enough of. Whether you’re a beginner, or a pro, the instructors are well versed in their art and will help you in the drop of the hat, leading via example the entire workout. You will walk out of that class with a sweaty face and one seriously happy soul.
3. Invest In Some New Lingerie
Yep, you read right. Confidence shines from the inside out- if you start your day and put on a devastatingly beautiful bra and matching lacy undies, I think it’s pretty difficult not to feel sexy.
Buy something racy and pretty, it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive, but just has to make you feel good. If your wallet is up for the challenge, I hands down recommend Fleur du Mal lingerie. It’s as stunning as it is versatile and will last you literally until you outgrow it. They’re offering 20% off of your first online purchase right now, so whether for a very lucky man, or a day booster for a party of one, invest in something you normally wouldn’t.
4. Do Something Big For Someone Else
Summer is breathe-taking and heart-racing and more fun than any other time, but it’s important to do things for other people. Not only because you get the honor of helping someone in need, but because it’s a way to take a step back and reflect on the things in life that are actually important. Out of all the things on this list, I bet knocking off this one will leave you with the biggest, cheesiest smile.
And (sorry for the shameless plug!), if you’re looking for a way to help someone, help Lux & Concord reach our fundraising goal for the Avon Walk, a 40 mile trek to eradicate Breast Cancer forever. We’re inches away from our goal and could use any help you’re willing to spare (here)!
5. Do One Thing That Scares You
And I don’t mean buy that dress you’ve been ogling for a month even though you’re scared your rent check will bounce. I mean do something that terrifies you, that challenges you, and makes you question your limits. Whether that’s running the marathon (it is for me), trying a new trapeze class or leaving your number for the barista you’ve been crushing on for months, summer’s the time to defy expectations and try something new.
6. Spend Too Much Money On A Pair of Tickets
Disclaimer: I’m not saying take out a loan to get tickets to the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals Playoff tickets here (speaking to myself here), but grab tickets with your boyfriend, or your best friend, and do something unexpected and fun. Chicago has infinite festivals this summer. From a craft beer festival to the gay pride festival, you could go to a different one almost every day of the summer and still miss a few here or there. So grab your friends, grab last minute tickets to the ball game or that concert or even on a plane ride and don’t look back (or at your bank account maybe).