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The Art of Having Fun

Shades of Gray: My Summer Bucket List

See Gray's Summer Bucket List

Summer is all about having fun and trying things that take you a little bit out of your comfort zone. And this summer I plan on taking full advantage of that. Too many summers pass where I wish I had tried some new things when I had a little extra free time, and then I regret missing out on opportunities that could have been a lot of fun. So this year I decided to get a head start by putting together a list of activities that I can check off over the next three months, resulting in none other than my Summer Bucket List! I can’t wait to share these ideas with you guys. Hopefully they will give me the motivation to try something new this summer, and give you some ideas too… Enjoy!

1. Take a Break from Social Media

 I think we are all guilty of spending a little too much time on social media… I mean, who doesn’t these days? Our lives are constantly being shared online, and I love that I can connect with friends and family. But sometimes it’s refreshing to take a step back, and give real life some TLC. Besides, there’s something truly freeing about doing something fun and just keeping the memory to yourself and who you spend it with, instead of sharing it with the whole world. I love the feeling of doing something solely out of the joy of doing it, and this summer I plan on taking a few days to unplug and enjoy life sans cell phone.

2. Try a new art medium.

I love being creative and artistic in my career, but often don’t get to venture outside of photography. And although taking photographs may be my strong suit, I would love to try another art form and see if I have a hand at it! Plus, there are so many options. Maybe I’ll try ceramics, or drawing, or even take a painting class… So hard to choose! Maybe I’ll end up trying them all…

3. Throw a dart on a map and take a trip there.

Another perk of my job is being able to travel so much and to such amazing places. However, there is still so much of the world left to explore! I think it’s also good to let go of the reigns every once in a while, and leave your options completely open. When I was thinking about how to do this, I thought it would be such a fun (and kind of crazy) idea to just throw a dart on a map, and then take a trip there! This opens up so many possibilities to see somewhere new, and maybe even discover a new favorite vacation spot that’s a hidden gem.  

Gray's Summer Bucket List: Host a Dinner Party for Friends

4. Host a formal dinner party for friends.

I’m talking all dressed up, sparkling crystal glassware, four-course meal type of dinner party. I think in some cases our generation has lost the appreciation for a refined and elegant dinner at home, and the idea of celebrating friends with a classy dinner party seems to be a must, at least once in your life. If you want to go the whole nine yards, take the time to send invitations in the mail ahead of time and even outline a dress code to make it a formal occasion!

5. Write a letter to someone important to me.

In an age that is so focused on digital communication, handwritten letters seem to be a dying art. The good news is, that makes it even more meaningful when you take the time to put your thoughts down on paper. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or your significant other, take a moment to write down how much you appreciate them and leave it for them to find. There’s no better way to make someone you love feel special, and I for one definitely plan on making this a habit this season.

Gray's Summer Bucket List: Write a Letter

6. Build something from scratch.

Isn’t it so satisfying to see the finished product of something you built with your own hands? This is obviously not going to be easy for everyone (and until I try it I have no idea how good or bad I will be at it either!), but that’s the beauty of it. When you start from scratch, using whatever materials you’re drawn to, it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.

7. Host an outdoor movie night.

Okay so this might not be a completely new thing for me, but what can I say, it’s one of my favorites! I had an outdoor movie night as part of my 30th birthday party, and it was so much fun that I would love to make it a regular tradition. Especially now that the weather is warmer, there’s no better way to soak up the summer than a cozy movie night with friends in the backyard. I also love this activity because it feels so laidback, but still allows you to put something together that will be memorable for your friends. You can’t go wrong.

8. Learn how to shuck an oyster.

This one is a little more unique but how fun would it be to learn? I love seafood, but I’m often not the one preparing it. It’s time to buckle down and really leanr how to shuck an oyster (and if you have fellow seafood loving friends it might really impress them). Or, if you’re already an oyster expert, why not host an entire clambake? The idea of a clambake just seems to embody a perfectly East Coast summer vibe, and is the perfect excuse to have some friends over to enjoy good food and good company.

9. Head to a summer baseball game.

Doesn’t a baseball game just scream American summer? Peanuts and crackerjacks, baseball caps, and cheering for the home team—going to a baseball game in your hometown is a no-brainer for a summer evening activity. Whether you’re a real baseball buff or a newbie to the sport, it’s easy enough to understand for all levels of sports fans, and is really just a fun way to spend the evening out in the warm weather. Gray's Summer Bucket List: Create a House Cocktail

10. Create a summertime house cocktail.

Spending time with friends seems to be a theme of summer, and this one falls right under that category. I love the idea of having a house cocktail recipe to serve up for summer happy hours with friends. Complete it with seasonal flavors and a way to garnish it that is unique to you, and there you have it! Your friends won’t be able to get enough. There are endless possibilities for ways to make the most of your summer, and this list only scratches the surface. But I hope that as the weeks go by, I embrace the spontaneity of summer, and don’t hesitate to try something new each day. I can’t wait for you to try some of these things with me, and hope they inspire you as much as they are inspiring me. Time to get started!

Xx Gray

Photos: @graymalinpersonal on Instagram, Gray Malin
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