Old and New Tips for Enjoying Summer

Hello, friends! Summer has rolled in, as it does. I’ve been writing this column for several years and thought it would be fun to look back at what I’d written about in past summers.

There is some good stuff there, so here is a roundup of summer tips, old and new, to inspire a happy, healthy time during our warmest and most plentiful (in terms of both veggies and mosquitos) months.

Eat your vegetables
End-of-June through July is prime time for Texas veggies and fruit. Buy local, hit the farmers markets, and look for restaurants serving seasonal, local fare. That fresh-picked, barely-traveled produce just can’t be beat.

Grill it
It’s too hot to turn on the oven during most of the summer. Toss anything ya got in a little oil and season it up. Grill your veggies, grill your fruit, grill your tofu, grill your boots. Just kidding, don’t grill your boots. Just put them in the closet until fall.

Thwart mosquitos
They win. Always. But, we can keep them at bay a bit. I’ve recently discovered a successful, short-term, natural deterrent. In a jar, add a few drops each of essential oils — garlic, citronella, and eucalyptus — then mix with water. Soak a rag (like a piece of a cut-up cotton T-shirt) in the mix and use the rag to wipe all exposed areas of skin. The rag wiping provides more thorough coverage than a spray, and you can reach into sleeves and under collars and such. After each use, I just hang the rag in a sink, then re-wet each day until the scent is gone, then start over with a soak in the oils. The scent evaporates from my skin after about 15 minutes. This rag method does the trick for the length of time it takes to water my garden or stand over the grill. In the case of a bite, ice ice baby. Ice will take down the swelling, stop the itch, and make the bite disappear.

Use Sunblock
Just like your momma told you — use it! Or, if you are of pale Irish descent like me, avoid prolonged sun exposure. Also, FYI, coconut oil provides a teeny bit of natural sunscreen. We’re only talking maybe SPF 4, so if you aren’t using sunscreen on your arms, neck, etc. in your daily routine, rubbing a little coconut oil in after you shower will help protect your skin a bit. You can grab a jar of unrefined, virgin coconut oil at your local grocery store.

Wishing happy, warm, sunny days to you and yours!

Follow Stephanie’s living well musings and pursuits of happiness at lovageinc.com and on Instagram and Facebook @lovageinc.

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