Loving the Arizona summers does not come easily, at least for me. While the rest of the country is basking in glorious weather we're experiencing intense heat that can feel oppressive. But last year I decided that I needed to try harder to embrace desert summers. To do that I set out to make summer cozy. And this year, after reading The Little Book of Hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah"), I've tried to think of what people in northern climates do during the winter and then give it a summer spin.
I made a lot of progress toward finding hygge during the summer when I learned to make grilled fish tacos, spent time outside even when it was really hot, and found an awesome frozen cocktail. Chris really embraces the heat by biking more during the summer than he does the rest of the year!
I love a good challenge. And learning to find coziness here during the toughest part of the year feels like one that's worthwhile. So for the 2017 summer I've brainstormed a list of ways to have a hygge summer in the desert:
+ Sip cold beverages
Whether at home, at work, or on the go, having an icy drink on hand is a simple thing that makes me smile and the heat more bearable. I'd love to make iced coffee and sun tea on weekend afternoons. Last year I liked bringing a jug of iced tea or iced tea-lemonade (both from Trader Joe's) to work for an afternoon pick-me-up. For weekend happy hours frosé will certainly make a (re)appearance and apparently the rosé-aperol spritz is the drink of the summer. I'll RSVP "yes" to that invitation.
+ Whip up summer desserts
Making time to try a new recipe on the weekend is something that fills me up. So giving myself a list of summer deserts to try will give me something to look forward to. I'd love to make strawberry shortcake, coconut cream pie, the blueberry-raspberry pound cake from A Homemade Life that I've had my eye on since reading the book, saltine ice cream sandwiches, and all the popsicles.
+ Wear clothing that can take the heat and sweat
Being hot and sweaty is just inevitable from June through October. Coming to terms with this is a big step toward having a hygge summer (P.S. autocorrect realllly wanted to make that "a hygiene summer" - touché autocorrect). The next step is finding clothing that will stand up to the heat and inevitable sweat (ahem). My new fruit print shirt is a lightweight linen and makes me ridiculously happy because it's so whimsical. It will definitely be in heavy rotation. (I was out to happy hour with girl friends the other night and a waitress came over to compliment my shirt and I was over the moon.) I'd love to add one or two more very lightweight summer shirts to my wardrobe and I'd really love to make them myself. Perhaps this one or this one - ?
I'm also in the market for some summer shorts. I have a pair of denim shorts and two pairs of khaki but I'd love something even more breathable and quick dry. The trouble is finding something that doesn't look too athletic. The Patagonia baggies are almost right. The Trekkie Bermuda from Athleta are a tad longer than I'd like. Any suggestions? Maybe I could make my own summer shorts as well...
+ Find adventure around town + be outside anyway
As a family we can go to an awesome nearby public pool that we just discovered, go on an ice cream or sno-cone date, have dinner under huge shade trees at Joe's Farm Grill, or visit one of the many Valley museums. We even have an annual pass at the Mesa Natural History Museum, which the boys love. I also enjoyed grilling last summer. In the late afternoon our grill area is shaded and if you have an icy beverage in hand it's tolerable.
I'd also love to go on evening walks with neighbor friends or by myself and on early morning runs. This one sounds strange but I might go to a hot yoga class or two. It's weirdly refreshing to come out of a humid, hot yoga class into the dry heat.
+ Small delights
Because it's the little things that can make a difference. A friend who is also planning a hygge summer gifted me her summer staple of rosewater spray that I'll be keeping in my purse. I'm eyeing this adorable Hydroflask "whiskey" cup for keeping my afternoon iced coffee, frosé or beer cold. I'd love to get this backyard splash pad for the boys. We are so lucky that our backyard is fully shaded in the afternoon so if we play in the water it can be pleasant.
+ Get out of town
Chris and I learned out very first summer here - way back in 2008! - that getting out of the heat is essential. This summer I have a lot of fun travel to look forward to like family trips to piney Prescott, Arizona and a long trip to Austin. I'm also going to a writing workshop in San Francisco and to San Diego with my book club! I might also join in on a camping trip with book club girl friends to the Mogollon Rim where the highs will be in the 80s, ahhhhhh.
What would you do to have a hygge summer? Any tips or suggestions for me?
I'm actually starting to feel pretty excited for the summer!