In what often feels like an over-complicated life, the season of summer is one that I long for all year.

I realized today (with a little bit of shock) that school ends this week, and we have two prime months to make the most of the wonderful warm days ahead of us. Don’t feel bad if you’re not going on an extravagant summer vacation, there is so much simple summer joy all around.

Here’s some summer joy starters to get you going –

Plant & grow stuff. There is something so fulfilling about tending a garden (or even a small patio pot) that fills the heart all summer long. Much of my soul care right now comes from quiet moments in my small garden. Watering, weeding and then watching things grow and bloom is a simple summer joy that brings so much happiness. Especially when you grow amazing zucchini (which I’m going to try not to be obnoxious and braggy about this year).

Make coffee cold. Start to re-purpose your pot of coffee. I make a full one in the morning, obviously can’t drink it all (usually) then by afternoon it’s time to kick it up. Take what’s left from the morning, add some creamer and ice and stir baby stir! SUMMER COFFEE HERE I COME!!!! Literally, I’m smiling right now thinking about how happy this makes me. Even coffee deserves a summer makeover.

Go to the beach. Who cares if you feel pudgy, or you hate sand in your toes? Just go to the beach. It’s fun and no one actually notices what you look like because they are too busy trying to keep seagulls from eating food from their hands. The beach is bliss, just remember to wear sunscreen.

Hang outdoor lights. There is something magical about sitting outside with lights hanging all around you. This doesn’t have to be expensive, even the dollar store has adorable outdoor lights that you can use to create a pretty nighttime scene. Sunsets and sparkle lights forever.

Take summer drives. No matter where you live, there is beauty around you. We can drive 5 minutes up the escarpment and be immediately transported to what feels like the vineyards of Italy (or so I imagine). In the other direction is the beautiful lake that features temperamental Canadian geese and an amazing view of Toronto. Get out and explore, and find places that make your eyes happy.

Use mason jars. For flowers. Drinks. Bright straws. Yogurt parfaits. Salads. Use them for everything you can because they are ADORABLE. (Yes, I know they were popular like 5 years ago, but I just can’t move on).

Enjoy frozen cold treats. Like seriously, right now almost everywhere there are summer specials on ice cream. 1 dollar cones, 99 cent frosties, tiny cute mini-blizzards. Freezers filled at the grocery store with fruity popsicles. I mean don’t go crazy, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a little inexpensive summer treat!

Love outdoors. Eat outside. Read outside. Work on your computer outside. Get crafty outside. Take a walk outside. Watch a movie outside. Just do all you can to be outside. Because February.

Invest in a good garden hose. My greatest summer fun is spraying my feet. It’s my equivalent of a pool so let me have my weird garden-hose-joy.

Your summer can be filled with beautiful moments.

Those moments are waiting for you.

Don’t make things complicated, embrace the simple summer joy all around you.