Pop Quiz: What Do You Love About Summer?

Fourth of July Old Hollywood

This past weekend, I found myself at an outdoor bar with the man I’m currently in an ambiguous relationship with…

It was evening, but the sun was still high in the sky and the breeze coming off the East River was just about perfect. “Schooool’s out. For. Summer!” sang Alice Cooper from the overhead speakers. School is not out, I thought. I am an adult and this song does not apply to me.

Still, there’s something delicious about summer. The beginning of June feels like standing on a bluff, gazing out at the wide expanse of relaxation stretching before you. It’s what Jane Austen referred to as “that sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself.”

So, in the spirit of looking forward to stuff, I’d love to hear about the things you’re anticipating. This summer…

– What summer activity are you most excited to do?
– What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
– What’s on your summer reading list?
– What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?

As far as I’m concerned, I can’t get enough of evening walks and am momentarily thrilled by the presence of ice in my matcha. Upstate New York is calling my name. And now that I’ve pillaged my way through all of Killing Eve (and, ah-hem, RHONY is nearing season’s end), I’m desperately in search of new TV recommendations.

How about you? Share your answers in the comments below, so we can all look forward to something together. :)

P.S. How to plan your best vacation, and one thing NOT to do on a plane.

(Photo via of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in Encino, California.)

  1. D says...

    A fun two cents added in here…. if you listen to Pandora check out the station “Family Roadtrip”. I stumbled upon it completely by accident (Alexa totally misunderstood me and formed a station which I’ve been listening to ever since)! Think Otis Redding, The Go-Gos, Van Morrison, The Temptations….the perfect soundtrack to a lazy, glorious, magical summer !

  2. Katherine says...

    Favorite summer TV show: Younger! It’s pure escapism, and every episode leaves you with cliff hanger. You can binge watch on Hulu. :)

    • Lidia says...

      I second Younger too! I wasn’t sure about it at first but I’m sooo glad I gave it a try, I’m obsessed. It’s such a great “sisterhood” show!

    • Brooke says...

      Yes! such a fun show with surprisingly deep little moments about being a women in media, friendship, #metoo, etc! Also The Bold Type is a perfect accompaniment. Even though I’m in my late 30’s watching these gals in their 20’s feels very sisterhood!!

  3. Since 2012 I’ve re read one of my favourite books (One Hundred Years of Solitude) every summer. Every time around a different part sticks. And somehow every year it continues to mesmerize me. As I change relationships, cities, jobs, it takes me back to the exact place I was one, two, six years ago and I find it practically adorable how one part or another made me feel at the time. I think it’s my way of not letting anyone, or anything going on in my life, own my relationship to the novel. It will never be linked to just one time in my life or one person (as many songs, movies, and books are) but rather to myself.

    • Princess Hajjar says...

      love this so much

  4. Carissa says...

    All of these comments gave me an idea…

    Would you PLEASE do a blog post with you and your staffs’ favorite seasonal movies (spring, summer, fall, winter)?

    And then readers could comment on what movies that either:
    – they love to watch each season
    – are set in a particular season
    – remind them of each season

    For example, during the summer we love to watch:
    Endless Summer
    The Parent Trap (both versions)
    Now and Then
    What About Bob?
    Dirty Dancing
    Top Gun
    National Treasure 1&2

    Thanks so much!!!

  5. Alex says...

    Thank you for this post!! We’re about to have our first baby (due June 16th!) so that has dominated my thoughts of summer this year. Planning to spend lots of time with my parents and sisters and the new baby and my husband, and I was just re-reading Cup of Jo’s post on parenting books. I’ve been very anxious (as well as superstitious) up until the last two months or so of pregnancy and have shunned pregnancy/baby books of any kind. On my “to read” list is: The Sleepeasy Solution and Great with Child, both reccos by Joanna. On my “to eat”/to-drink list is: tacos (to be eaten outside), ballpark hotdogs, ROSE and malbec (finally!), peaches and cherries (!!) and blueberry/peach crumble, on my “to do” in Boston list is: many walks with the new beb around the Charles and through the Boston Public Garden, and as many sunsets as we can fit in.

  6. Brooke says...

    What a delicious post…adore!!
    Activities: smell my jasmine, gardenia, and roses in my dear lil garden, swim luxuriously with my Ohana in lakes and pools, lay on a blanket on grass and read, rent bikes and jaunt around Portland, farmers market, sleep under stars, outdoor concerts.
    TV/film: Younger -so fun!! The Bold Type; Oceans 8
    Book: lots of (Mary Oliver) poetry
    Food/bev: iced matcha, fish tacos, corn on the cob with lime, chili and cilantro, sangria, seafood, lavender lilac lattes

  7. Min says...

    I’m looking forward to a hut to hut trip along the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. It’s been so much fun planning and I just can’t wait to hike, SUP, kayak, and One of our traditional hits of the summer is the long awaited arrival of Palisade Peaches. They grow in Northern Colorado and are absolutely luscious! I’m so looking forward to reading Educated. Summer for me is always about slowing down a bit and enjoying the simple things that bring the most pleasure.

  8. I used to love summers as a young one. We lived near Oklahoma City, and we were involved in summer reading programs, day camps, tennis, swimming, and diving lessons, but also had plenty of time to spend time with friends. We usually took a few road trips over the summer and enjoyed time at the lake. Now, I live in Phoenix, where it can reach 110 – 115, and it’s not as great.

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    I work in higher ed, and I teach overload throughout the year. Though I teach in June, I have quite a bit of flexibility. I love taking naps daily, hiking super early in the morning (I live in Phoenix, AZ), the ability to exercise at any time of the day, and catching up on movies.

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    I started watching Dietland, and I want to watch Insecure. I sometimes find reruns on TV, such as The Office or Gilmore Girls.

    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    All the single ladies : unmarried women and the rise of an independent nation, Exit West, Call Me By Your Name, and some educational books related to some research.

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    Tomatoes, watermelon, homemade ice cream, s’mores.

    • Lidia says...

      Hi Shannon! I moved to the Phoenix area last year and even though I am slowly learning to love it, I’m sad that summer can no longer be my favorite season due to the extreme heat. I’m hoping I will get used to it one day! For now, I’m looking at the silver lining of having my own pool to cool off!

      Are there any other CoJ followers in the Phoenix area? Would be great to plan a meet up!

  9. Sophie says...

    The new show Safe on Netflix is SO GOOD! I just started…and finished it this week. One of those mysterious thriller style everyone’s a suspect what the heck is happening can’t stop watching kind of shows. Michael C. Hall is great in it but it’s also so hard not to think of him as Dexter. Plus, British accents!!

  10. Growing up near Oklahoma City, my mom made sure we had a fun but not too busy summer. My sister and I took swimming, diving, and tennis lessons. However, we had plenty of time to be lazy and read books, watch movies, and spend time with friends. Our neighborhood had this great path that went behind the houses, so my friends and I would walk halfway to meet each other, then walk to one of our homes. We went to the library each week and participated in summer reading programs. Our extended family lives out of state, so would visit them, along with trips to the lake, and summer road trips.

    Now that I live in Phoenix (I should be used to it now!), I do not love summer so much. I love our winters here though. Even when living in Oklahoma (later Kansas and Texas), I love fall.

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    I work in higher education but also work in healthcare. However, I have more flexible days in the summer, since I do not teach as much. I love taking naps on the daily, staying out later with friends, and working out whenever I want. I am also running in a summer series of 5ks.

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    This is old – Gilmore Girls reruns. I started watching Dietland, and need to watch Insecure.

    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    Exit West, Call Me By Your Name, All the single ladies : unmarried women and the rise of an independent nation., Manhattan Beach, more. I love to read.

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    Tomatoes, watermelon, homemade ice cream, more!

  11. The long days – the sun going down late makes every day feel that much more full. Berries all the time with every meal. Sitting in the grass and reading under a tree. The feeling of the air cooling down at sundown. Ice cream at the beach where the sand is gritty, and the water is somehow both warm and cool, salty and sweet. It all feels dreamy and distant once it’s gone.

  12. Tracy says...

    Free concerts in the park under twinkle lights on a blanket, bike rides to everywhere, coffee in the backyard with the chirping birds, and sipping Montauk watermelon ale. Reading fiction because reality is too much, and watching funny things like Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Arrested Development and all things Tig Notaro.

  13. Arlene Anderson says...

    Looking forward to going to the ocean! We have a beach house and every summer we leave after school gets out and come back home late August. We look forward to seeing family and new summer friends. We are west coasters so the fresh blackberries in our backyard are amazing, as well as days spent watching the eagles swoop out over the ocean. My daughter and son are beachcombers and they love hunting for treasures on the sea shore. We read a summer novel together and spend lazy days going to the local market (with goats on the roof!) to enjoy luscious ice cream:)

    • Melody says...

      goats on the roof?? Where is this magical place?

  14. Kate L. says...

    Living in NYC, we love going to my dad’s cabin upstate. On a dirt road, no internet or cellular service. A big pond for swimming and we hang a trapeze in a tree. I love that I can send my son outside to play and hear him through the screen door.

    Fireflies and frogs.

    Cherry tomatoes off the vine. Peaches definitely. Outdoor eating and drinking of all sorts. Some great ideas here!

    I’m hoping to get through Neurotribes this summer.

    My husband and I discovered Versailles recently. He’s obsessed.

  15. Michelle says...

    Aghhh! Thank you for this post! I am in the middle of chemo for breast cancer and while pre-diagnosis my bffs and I were SO looking forward to a fun summer (no more nursing! Babies are big enough to leave for more than a couple hours!) now it has been filled with dread: mastectomies, radiation, ugh.
    But this post and readers comments were a reminder that it’s the little things people look forward to most! Things I can still do! Eat cherries! Sit on the front porch with my babies, go for a walk in the warm evening. There is still so much to look forward to.
    *Now ladies, please add checking your boobs to your lists! (I’m 39 and never could have imagined this would happen to me.)

    • Celeste says...

      I hope your summer is filled with simple pleasures, that your boobs (or lack thereof) and body and self make a full and easy recovery and that next summer finds you without all of that hanging over your head.

    • Dee says...

      Sending you so much love and strength as you weather this storm!

    • Trish O says...

      Sending you good vibes and lots of hugs on your babies. It is the small things that are the most important

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      So glad this brought you hope for your summer in such am awful situation. Xx

    • sc says...

      i was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (so unexpected too) end of last year and just finished surgery & radiotherapy last last week. five months but so much relief when its all over. this summer feels so new. hope this summer will give you the rejuvenation that your body needs, as well as complete 100% healing. all the best of luck and good vibes to you, michelle!

    • Kate says...

      I’m right there with you with encouraging the boob check! I hope you have the loveliest of summers with your friends and family and that simple pleasures and big love will fill all of the days. <3

  16. Stacie says...

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    We are going to Nova Scotia at the end of the month! We are spending 9 days there and we can’t wait. Also, it will be my first trip on a plane. ? And my daughter who is 17 months will be flying – which is so funny to think she’s flying at 17 months and I’m 29…
    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    Hereditary is supposed to be good – it looks so scary! I just finished The Great British Baking Show and I’m pretty bummed about that. It was the nicest baking show ever and all of the accents are so wonderful!
    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    I have a 17 month old… I don’t really have a “list” right now!
    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    Anything cooked on a grill! A nice margarita or sangria.

  17. Letting the kids stay up late with the sun, evenings at the farm listing to local bands and drinking smuggled in rose and snacking on whatever we could scrounge up in a hurry from the fridge. Oh! and picking blueberries and pulling over for roadside blackberries which we eat while driving.

  18. Alyssa says...

    I love summers – even though I live in Texas and many of our days are plagued by temperatures over 100. I love my early morning walks before it gets too hot, when it still smells like dew on the grass and the honeysuckles perfume the air. I can’t wait to eat fresh tomatoes and peaches, with their juices running all over the place with each slice or bite. However, one of my favorite nostalgic things to make in the summer is tuna salad. It reminds me of when my mom would make us backyard picnics all summer long with tuna salad sandwiches, Lays potato chips and fat green grapes. It was the best. Every summer I have to make it a few times, with plenty of dill pickle relish and a good helping of dijon mustard.

  19. Katie says...

    I live in a college town and its bliiiiss when all the students leave for a few months.
    I’m looking forward to drinking a lot of Negroni on patios, and kayaking down the river with my friends. I also can’t wait for tomato season to hit. I love making gazpacho from market tomatoes, and I really want to try a peach mouse cake from the cover of Martha Stewart mag.
    We are wrapped up in Westworld, and I’m reading heavy books about race. Finishing Go Tell it on the Mountain. It’s beautifully written.
    All good things!

  20. Ummm, just chiming in to say—please come to Upstate NY, Saratoga specifically, and I’ll take you out for a cocktail and a browse at Northshire Bookstore to say thank you for introducing me to the work of Lorrie Moore. It was a life-changing recommendation. At the risk of sounding like an internet nutter, I think we would be friends if we knew each other in real life.

  21. Kim says...

    Planting as many roses as I can fit in my garden
    Watching Broad City
    David Sedaris’ new book Calypso
    Fish tacos and my husband’s homemade wine

  22. I love summer for all of its deliciousness, but the season also makes me particularly nostalgic.

  23. JP says...

    Late night walks are the best thing about summer!
    Looking forward to lots of hikes, lake swimming, iced coffee and a book in the park mornings, and just plain being outside (Seattlite here – We all flock outdoors as soon as June hits).
    Just finished Homegoing and Adrift (I want to move to Tahiti now!), and just started Educated. Also have Veronica on my list.
    Rose and tacos. And ice cream, always ice cream.

  24. Katie says...

    I can’t wait to spend an entire afternoon reading (I’m a teacher so I’ll be off); to swim more days than not, and feel the sun on my shoulders. By August, my sheets always smell like sand and sunscreen. Love that.
    I most look forward to eating insanely good tomatoes when I visit my Mom back home in Nor Cal. A little salt, some olive oil, *maybe* basil & mozzarella. But they’re good enough to eat plain. Always reminds me why they’re technically a fruit. Book wise, I’m looking forward to reading Tara Westover’s memoir, Educated, as well as Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. I’m also determined to tackle Moby Dick for the first time in my life. Whoa. I don’t watch much TV in the summer, but if I do – it’s pure fizz like rom coms or a few comedy series I’m behind on (New Girl, Champions, etc). More than anything else this summer, I look forward to riding bikes with my family. Immediately takes ten years off!

    • Julie Rosene says...

      I loved Modern Lovers. Anything by Emma Straub, really.

  25. Becca Cantrell says...

    I’m a music teacher and feel really lucky that my summers have a completely different pace than the rest of my year. I can travel, take some leisurely days to do nothing, plan for the year ahead, and work on summer projects that fill me up artistically. I live in Seattle and it’s freaking GORGEOUS this time of year; I always say I want to hike more so maybe this summer I’ll actually do it! I just ate the *perfect* peach I bought at Pike’s yesterday and am planning on drinking a ton of iced tea this afternoon while I pack up my classroom :)

  26. Sarah says...

    The rain! When I moved to Albuquerque from San Francisco I thought I was going to die from dry skin. The summer months are locally known as the monsoon season — it’ll rain every afternoon for a few minutes and it’s amazing. Our total annual rainfall is still only 6-8 inches LOL. Every time it rains the whole city becomes super friendly and everyone wants to talk about how exciting it is that it’s raining. I can’t wait for some clouds and the smell of rain.

  27. A says...

    These comments are GOLDEN! So many amazing ideas, and I just love how everyone’s ideas and plans sound so relaxing.

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    To be really and fully present for all the joy this summer. There are SO many plans in a New England summer because everyone is cramming it in, its so easy to get swept up in the busy busy. I’m excited for finding beach time, for sitting under a GIANT floppy hat in the sand and reading. For dancing and celebrating with my friends. For getting back into running along the river in Boston and drinking it all in. Ooh, and planning my wedding!

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    I want to revisit some good indie/art house favorites and drink in the nostalgia.

    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    I haven’t made one yet! I want to make a summer reading list like you used to have in elementary school and see how many books I can knock out. I love a good classic – I’m on the hunt for something I can drink in and be consumed by.

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    GRILLED BREAD [try it!!] . Limoncello Negronis. Every summer salad I can get my hands on! Tuna salad eaten with chips by the beach. Strawberry rhubarb everything.

    • Ally says...

      Not a classic, but you might want to try A Gentleman in Moscow! I fell right into it and didn’t want to come out for a week.

  28. Tshego says...

    Its winter on this side of the world. Today I noticed my reading was a little odd. In the summer I read all these great adult fiction books but now that it’s winter all I want is to cozy up to is domestic thrillers and romance novels.

  29. Alice says...

    This is so much fun- I love seeing how people in different locations are spending their summers!
    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    Hopefully escaping London a bit. I’m excited to spend weekends with friends and family in the countryside, and at the beach. Picnics, and supper in the garden. Beer gardens. And starting a new job in August!!!
    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    Hahaha I’m very ashamed of this, but in the UK, we have this programme called Love Island which is APPALLING and BRILLIANT all at the same time. A group of good looking singletons are put together in a villa in Mallorca with the intention of them all hooking up/ finding relationships/ etc. I IMPLORE you to look it up. I got so sucked in last year, and it’s just started up again and I am loving it already. It screams summer!
    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    I’m off on holiday with my mum in a couple of weeks and need to get some new books. Swing Time by Zadie Smith is one I own but haven’t started, so that’ll be coming, but I think I need another two or three to last me the week!
    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    I’ve been eating absolutely tons of strawberries, cherries and apricots already. But really, I’m just excited to eat loads of ice cream!

    • Madie says...

      Haha this Love Island show sounds like the British version of our Bachelor in Paradise, which takes all the non-winners from the Bachelor and Bachelorette shows and puts them in a villa in Mexico with unlimited alcohol and lots of cameras. It’s a Summer TV staple! My husband refuses to call it anything other than “Skin Island” which I love. :)

  30. Yazi says...

    Lol! I don’t love summer. I much prefer autumn for cool weather and long coats and scarves. That sounds scandelous, doesn’t it?

    • Katie H. says...

      Autumn or spring ALL. THE. WAY. I live in Texas, and it’s too dang hot during the summer months. Though, the traffic is marginally better, which is a nice perk!

  31. Isabelle says...

    The taste of the first local strawberries here in Ontario is one of the best tastes of summer to me. They literally taste like sun in a field. I can’t wait for more: cherries, peaches, corn … I am also excited to hang out at the wading pool in a Muskoka chair (Adirondack chair for you Americans) with my daughter. As for reading, I just picked up Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill and Where the Line Bleeds by Jesmyn Ward which I am excited to read on an upcoming vacation!

  32. Bernadette says...

    have you seen Mozart In The Jungle yet? I loved it (an amazon prime series)…free outdoor music concerts…fresh corn on the cob grown in our backyard garden-picked moments before cooking and eaten with green chili burgers…A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles…dancing aka praying for rain here in northern New Mexico
    Have a wonderful summer my New York sisters!

  33. KIm says...

    LOVE that you watch RHONY. I’m obsessed.

  34. Becca says...

    I’m excited to host neighborhood movie nights in our backyard with root beer floats! And there’s nothing that beats watching my little girl learn how to swim!

  35. Sarah says...

    I just started watching “Felicity” online (on ABC and maybe Hulu)…sweet drama with great flashbacks to the 90s and early 2000s and living in NYC. I’ve seen episodes here and there but never watched the whole thing through.
    Loving evening walks/runs too!

    • Brooke says...

      Felicity!! I have done a whole watch on DVD with my sister and mom and we adore…she’s so poignant and real and dear!

  36. Cait says...

    I’m excited to eat a million watermelons and drink iced pregnancy tea and coffee every day while I try to survive the heat at the park. I want to read some classics, like Anna Karenina, because lately newer novels have had me race through them too fast and neglect normal everyday duties….and watch the new Little Women series or Victoria. And hopefully give my kids a fun, magical summer despite my growing belly and aversion to heat!!

    • Becca Cantrell says...

      No matter where I am or what I’m doing in life, I can *always* re-read Anna Karenina. Such a perfect novel. Good luck staying cool this summer and best wishes for your little one on the way!

  37. Being able to go barefoot everywhere!! Might be helped by living on a beach for the summer haha


  38. Natalie C says...

    These comments are so great!!

    This will be my first summer in NYC so I plan on spending long afternoons in Prospect and going for lots of bike rides. I really want to gather friends for a BYOC (bring your own cheese!) picnic in the park. Maybe play dominos and sip rose.

    I really need more Affogatos in my life. Definitely planning on ordering these wherever they’re available :)

  39. Erin says...

    Summer activity: vacation somewhere with an ocean (midwest resident here!), go for long evening walks (one of my fave things about summer!)
    Books: Currently The Lathe of Heaven, can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet!
    TV shows: Been watching an old one, The Saint, and loving it! Newer ones that I love though: The Good Place, Dear White People, Legion, Atlanta
    Food/drink: grilled pineapple, grilled corn, avocado everything, sparkling lemonade from TJs

  40. Kara says...

    The absolute best part of any year is the arrival of nectarines.

    We are closing on our first house on June 27th, (the one we currently live in; we bought it from our landlords) so that day is going to be for popping champagne and taking crowbars to a (plantless, non-load bearing) trellis wall currently taking up space on our porch. We’ll be replacing it with a porch swing and just thinking about it makes me cry a little.

  41. What could have been a simple post of questions to readers feels so much more fun and exciting thanks to your opening paragraphs! Love your description of “standing on a bluff” – how true! Wish all goes well with your ambiguous relationship!

  42. – What summer activity are you most excited to do? Drive to the beach with my windows open, lay down a mat, open a book, maybe even nap. Swim in the sea! Drinking rose wine in a pub beer garden (or my garden.)

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching? I’ve run out of ideas too. Sweetbitter?

    – What’s on your summer reading list? Future Sex, Swimming Home by Deborah Levy.

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume? Cherries, strawberries, plums, peas straight from the pod. Cherry cider. Drinking a pint standing in the river, watching the fish.

  43. Leigh says...

    Love the ideas in these comments!
    I just had a baby last week so we don’t have big summer plans, just planning to get through the newborn months and also get our 22 month old outside as much as we can. There is also a good chance that we may end up needing to move this summer for my husband’s work – another reason we haven’t made any significant summer plans.
    During my last trimester, however, I was seized with the idea of us having our own Summer 2018 cocktail. A drink to enjoy outside in the evening after surviving another day with a newborn and a toddler, that would be forever reminiscent of this time in our lives. We settled on a vermouth spritz ( easy to make, can keep an open bottle in the fridge long enough for the two of us to finish it, and a not too high alcohol level for me to fit in between breastfeeding sessions once baby and I get a bit of a routine going). We bought a nice bottle of vermouth in my last month of pregnancy and are looking forward to starting our new summer tradition soon!

    • Anne says...

      This is so adorable and sounds super refreshing. I have an infant and might have to borrow your recipe. Cheers! You sound like a fun mom!

  44. Riley says...

    I have loved reading these comments, and feel so inspired to truly embrace summer this year.

    – We’re going backpacking in the Enchantments (Northern Cascades) in a couple of weeks, and I’m so excited for the stunning views, physical challenge, super long days (we’ll be there for the solstice!) and extended time with friends away from phones. Otherwise… going to our local saltwater pool, working in the vegetable garden, walking to our local movie theater on warm evenings and grabbing fro yo on the way home, and spontaneous dips in the lake.
    – None, really. But after reading all of these comments, I think I need to watch Killing Eve…
    – Anxious to finally work my way through the Mary Karr memoirs that have been on my shelf for far too long.
    – I’ve recently gotten into drinking vermouth on the rocks, and it’s so lovely and herbal, with a little lemon peel. So much corn and tomatoes, obviously. Planning to make so many pies and jams with all of the produce. The Ottolenghi Apricot Lavender cake is my favorite. (

    • Nicole says...

      Riley, I hikes the Enchantments last September. It’s so magical!! Have a the best time!

    • Angele says...

      Making this cake ASAP!

  45. Brooke says...

    Today is so chilly in Toronto, summer can’t come soon enough!

    Activity: I’m looking forward to backcountry camping with my husband. Really craving that peace and quiet.
    TV Shows: hooked on Killing Eve and I’m hoping to finish Chef’s Table.
    Books: Finishing up Pachinko which has been such an engrossing read, in the best way. Plan to read: Exit West (based on COJ recs), An American Marriage, The Language of Flowers and Like a Mother.
    Food & Drink: Rose, always. Aperol Spritz and I’m so excited for local peaches, tomatoes, berries, etc. Summer produce is the best!

  46. Colleen S. says...

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do? Just stay indoors, because in the Sacramento Valley (where I live), it gets up to 113 degrees. It makes me miss living in NH (although I don’t miss the oppressive humidity).

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching? I use summer to do whatever. I actually get impatient for show seasons to end, so that I can watch movies on On Demand or Netflix all I want.

    – What’s on your summer reading list? I don’t have one, I typically read what I have already bought.

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume? Milkshakes and smoothies. I tend to only drink cold beverages during warmer temperatures.

  47. Heidi Hooten says...

    I’m sorry, I stopped dead at “ambiguous relationship.” THAT’S what I want to hear all about!

    • Meghan says...

      Yes to this! :)

  48. Martina says...

    Congratulations! All the best for your pregnancy! Great timing, by the way, being on holiday during the tiring first trimester and back on the job with all the energy of the second :-)))
    Best of wishes from Germany!

  49. Mackenzie says...

    I’m a summer worshipper, too! It’s my first full summer in Denver (moved here from Michigan last August), and it’s already dry and toasty, but I’m loving it. This city has an unexpectedly chill and wide-open vibe with the arrival of warmer weather.
    1. I’m most excited to tackle some more 14ers and hike my little heart out!
    2. I’m in a long-distance relationship, and my boyfriend and I love watching Westworld together/apart. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I choose something big and meaty.
    3. I’m currently reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It is SO GOOD. I try to choose one classic per summer, but my previous choices have been a little dark (The Sound and the Fury, In Cold Blood). Looking forward to choosing something a little on the less soul-crushing side. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott is on deck.
    4. I love grilled food, because I am a human being. Also, Michigan sweet corn, Palisade peaches, cherries, berries, and sungold tomatoes. I live for this season.

    • Abbe says...

      I LOVE Life After Life! Just finished the companion, A God in Ruins.

    • Sara B says...

      Hey, I live in Denver and work downtown…welcome!

    • Min says...

      Come on up to the mountains and you’ll be nice and cool! I live in Vail and the mountains look scenes from The Sound of Music right now. It’s amazing!

  50. gilliian says...

    Drinking Rose, S’Mores, and summer fruit!

  51. Zara says...

    Caroline, check out Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky!

  52. Rhubarb compote. That’s it, that’s what I’ve been waiting for.!

    • Stefanie says...

      Yes to rhubarb! P.S. your woodwork is beautiful :)

  53. TV Show — WESTWORLD

    Books — Everything I’ve been reading has been SO SERIOUS, and with a newborn I’m trying to find something light…but right now I’m reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

    Events — Summer Nights in LA presented by KCRW. My husband and I go to free concerts during the summer, and are now planning on trekking along with our newborn son!

    Brunch — Summer salads, fruits, seafood, along with perfect fruity cocktails

    Other favorite summer activities: BBQing by the pool (we’ve been ALL OVER Beyond Burgers from Whole Foods…highly recommend for those looking to cut back on meat or cut meat out entirely), drive-in movies, beach days, hiking!

  54. Mary says...

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    Watch The World Cup 2018, play outdoor soccer, go on a family vacation to Ocean Beach, NJ to spend time with my parents, day trips to the coast here in the PNW, and playing at the river(s) with my kids and our dog.

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    The Handmaid’s Tale.

    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    I have a list of over 100 books. If you haven’t read books by Jesmyn Ward or Benjamin Alire Saenz, you need to.

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    Mojitos, ceviche, Hermiston watermelon, and Rainer Cherries.

  55. Kris says...

    When summer hits the PNW, everyone comes out of the woodwork. I try to stay active and play outside year round, but man, when it’s warm out, my family lives outside. My daughter takes baths in a bucket in the yard, we eat most meals on our deck, friends/family come over for BBQ’s almost every weekend, sometimes more than once/week, hikes, and lots of weekend trips to mountains/lakes/beaches. By the end of summer my husband is ready for winter so he can rest and hibernate for a bit.

    One thing I’m looking forward to this summer that I haven’t done before: crystal hunting. Apparently it’s a thing around here and I’ve seen pictures of things people have found and I’m excited to go.

    • Sarah says...

      PNW! Yes ma’am! Your summer sounds classic. I’m in Portland and recently small talked with a fresh transplant about the season. He asked where I planned to travel and I almost screamed him home to ATL. You don’t leave the Northwest in the summer, we’ve been waiting for this all year! Welcome to the show!

  56. Amanda says...

    What summer activity are you most excited to do? I’ll be going home to Charleston, SC in one week for a family reunion. But the best part is, we have a dear family friend who is letting us stay at his beach house. So whenever my pushy uncle starts talking about politics, I can wisk myself right away to the beach to ignore it all and watch the tide come in.

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching? So excited to see Ocean’s 8. I don’t care if reviewers thing there’s too much hype for what it is. IT LOOKS FUN and that’s what summer movies are supposed to be! Also, can NOT wait for Sharp Objects on HBO. It was my favorite Gillian Flynn book and Amy Adams is starring and it looks so good.

    – What’s on your summer reading list? Currently reading The Alienist.

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume? Okay, there’s this beach I go to in Chicago that has a little snack shack/restaurant that serves THE BEST nachos I’ve ever eaten. They have vegan chorizo that is amazing and it tastes even better covered in non-vegan nacho cheese :) We call them “beach nachos” and it. is. an. experience. I cannot wait for that little shack to open next week so I can go indulge, then buy a popsicle from the omnipresent overpriced carts that travel up and down the beach.

    • Katie says...

      Hi, what is the little shack/which beach? Is it the Heartland Cafe one? I live in Chicago by the beach in Rogers Park and would love to try it!

    • I also live in Chicago, near the beach in Andersonville, and would love to try beach nachos, if you can share the restaurant name. Thank you!!

    • Amber J says...

      Also need to know!!! My husband and I go to Foster Beach as many Saturdays as we can, and this chorizo sounds amazzzzzzinggggg.

    • Kim says...

      Yes! My daughter lives in Chicago and would love this so please do share! :)

    • Katie says...

      Ok, Chicago ladies, I did some googling and I determined that she must be talking about Nacho Mama’s at Osterman Beach. The nachos are on the menu. And, I assume since it’s after Memorial Day, the cafe is now open! Maybe I’ll check it out this weekend!

    • Thank you, Katie!! Can’t wait to try!!

  57. I’m a High School Counselor so I have 7 weeks off to recharge and renew. I literally just found out last week after 10 months of trying that I am pregnant (I love how I can tell the blog world before I tell my friends because…anonymity) so I am excited to really engage in self care and relaxation. I already signed up for a weekly prenatal yoga class and am traveling to New Mexico for a week with a friend to experience the beauty of the Southwest.

    I totally got into Killing Eve because of you all (a million times thank you!) and also am pumped to watch Season 2 of Riverdale and Queer Eye. I may also binge Breaking Bad since I’ve never seen it and know it’s supposedly one of the best shows of all time, but I am not sure it’s the best binge for an already-anxiety prone pregnant woman.

    In terms of summer reading, I’m looking forward to a combination of some professional development self-selected reads (“Motivational Interviewing for School Counselors”, “The Power of Moments”) and some YA stuff, my guilty pleasure. Check out NPR’s 2017 book concierge if you haven’t already–that’s where I’ve been getting most of my recent reads!

    I can’t wait to make some fancy mocktails…I’m thinking some watermelon, lime, mint type bevs. I can’t lie though, as excited as I am for le bebe, my mouth is watering at all of the mentions of rose wine and cold IPAs outside on a hot day. Cheers to you, ladies!

    • I’m a school counsellor too! What else do you like for professional development? I just finished grad school last year, and am feeling sometimes at a loss that school counselling is full of administrative tasks like timetabling (at least that’s the way in Canada), and sometimes envious of my grad school colleagues that are actually able to have clients and do therapy.

    • Victoria says...

      Creepy and irrelevant but can I ask you both for some career advice?? I’m 24 and lost as to what I want to do for the rest of my life but lately, I’ve been considering school counseling, mental health counseling, or social work. Saw these comments and figured a fellow Cup of Jo-er might have some wisdom!

    • j says...

      @ Victoria: I would strongly recommend shadowing people who are working in the job fields you are interested in. I’m not a social worker but I work very closely with a group of social workers. The vast majority of the day is spent on the phone, dealing with faxes (!), and figuring out insurance. Of course there are different social worker roles but this is what I see day in and day out.

    • Sarah says...

      Victoria, I’m a mental health counselor/therapist! That’s great you’re considering the field! It can be hard but definitely rewarding and fulfilling for the right person. When I was wondering if I should pursue it, the best thing I did was talk to people in the field and also go see a counselor/therapist myself (if you haven’t) to see if I could see myself doing what they did, and of course get to be helped by someone else. Also took some personality tests to see if the strengths/skills needed for counseling matched mine. Feel free to ask any questions!

    • Victoria says...

      Thank you so much for the help Sarah and J! I really appreciate it.

      Sarah, what degree did you go for (if you don’t me asking) and how long/at what age? So sorry for all of the questions!

  58. Joanna says...

    Even though I live in Texas, and summers are hot as Hades down here, I still look forward to it every year! I suffer from always wanting to do ALL of the things, I turn to the No Bummer Summer club ( ) for my summer list to make sure I get in as many activities as possible. It was created in memory of Esme Barrera, and every year her spirit lives on as we all celebrate the summer to the fullest. <3
    Print your list and one for kiddos too!!

    • gracesface says...

      Joanna – also in Austin and aware of Esme and our tragic loss to our community. But I had never heard of bummer summer club and I love this idea!! Thank you!

    • gilli a treiman says...

      Thank you for the link!!

  59. Nicole says...

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    Girls night dinners on weeknights (feels different during summer for some reason!), Rooftop cocktails, Grilling and spending time in the backyard with my husband, dining al fresco

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    Succession on HBO, Cant stop watching Vicky Christina Barcelona- my favorite summer movie

    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    Option B by Sheryl Sandberg, You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero, Radical Candor by Kim Scott

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    Pesto, grilled corn and ALL THE ROSE AND FROSE

    • kash says...

      Nicole, I am totally with you on the weeknight dinners! I don’t know why it feels different in the summertime, but it really does

  60. kash says...

    what fun comments!!!!

    ok i want to play, too:

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    this is very small and specific, but it’s my top experience in life it truly is–i like when in the summer you are walking home from a night out with friends and the weather is still warm enough late at night that you don’t need a jacket and so you can walk really slowly and enjoy getting home.

    also, i’m very excited for bike rides!

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    hahah THE BACHELORETTE. the best reality TV show of all time. #teamwills

    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    fates & furies by lauren groff, after i read an excellent profile of hers in the nytimes. and also her new one, florida
    bonfire of the vanities, because summer is a great time for me to read a classic in the shade
    flights, by olga tokarczuk, the winner of the man booker this year!
    and (i just finished this one, but it was still on my list) trampoline, by robert gipe (which was great!)

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?

    and also: pink wine with fizzy water mixed in. cold beers with slices of lime pushed down the neck. overly sweet rum punch.

    • Madeline says...

      Walking home on a summer night with friends is the absolute best. There’s a sense of endless possibility. Thanks for posting that!

    • Brooke says...

      Kash ALL THE YES to corn with lime and chili!! I put the same…oh my word my mouth is watering now ?.

  61. Annie G says...

    If you liked Killing Eve, I think you will like Dietland, which just aired on AMC.

  62. V says...

    Ooh I love this question.
    1. Planting a garden. Lovingly tending to it as an amateur gardener, learning patience, humility, troubleshooting, gratitude, keeping a sense of humour, feeling calm in the garden.
    2. Bright mornings. Waking up with the sun before my alarm clock. Cuddling in bed, or slipping out to the couch to sip coffee alone and read.
    3. Festivals. We have lots of neighbourhood festivals in our area; music, food trucks, fresh produce, raffles, community acupuncture, free bike tune-ups, etc. The social vibe of summer.
    4. Fresh and weird ice cream from the local ice cream shop. They make the best ice cream sandwiches (ex. rosemary and sour cherry, drool) and they always have a line, even on a drizzly Sunday night.
    5. Having more energy with the heat and light!

  63. Tracy says...

    First, I love reading everyone’s comments, so thanks for that.
    I’m most looking forward to: 1. Tearing out our front lawn and crappy flower beds and replacing them with a dry creek (to catch what little rain we get here) and native plants, including this beautiful tree:
    2. Seeing The Go-Go’s at the Hollywood Bowl. It’s not summer in L.A. if you don’t go to the Hollywood Bowl (or at least some other outdoor concert.)
    3. Beating the heat later in the summer by going to Monterey for a few days with my extended family.
    4. Wearing shorts and t-shirts exclusively.

    I’ll be watching Queer Eye, So You Think You Can Dance, and the Mister Rodger’s documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor. The world could use as much kindness and beauty as we can find right now.

    I’m re-reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and after that I’ll re-read The Night Circus. They’re both charming, romantic and escapist while still being surprising and creative.

    I’m looking forward to finding the perfect peach and eating it all drippy over the sink. Grillling yakitori and sipping cold sake are also up there.

    • Trish O says...

      Your summer sounds wonderful. Love the idea of your yard revamp. I would really like to do our, too. and the Go-Go’s! So wonderful

    • Anabel says...

      The Night Circus! One of those books I wish I could read again, for the first time.

  64. Kerry says...

    “ambiguous relationship” — *#&$&^%#, yes!

    Please post about this as soon as possible — I think it is so much more prevalent now than anyone realizes, thanks to the ridiculous buffet of humans available via online dating. It’s the FOMO on someone really great, even BETTER than the person right in front of you!

    • Nicole A. says...

      AGREED. This is the dating curse of my generation. It’s horrible.

  65. Alison says...

    I love camping and hiking and hitting the beach with a good book in the Summer! Also drinks on patios and rooftops and grilling in our back patio. AND Outdoor Yoga and running in the mornings before work. I’m headed to Acadia next weekend and am so excited for that! I love lobster rolls (It’s june and I’ve already had 2 this season!), ice cream and watermelon in the Summer. Tonight our book club is meeting over The American Marriage. After that I’m onto The Couple Next Door and North by Scott Jurek. No TV shows right now but really enjoying the comedy specials on Netflix, particularly Tig and John Mulaney. LOVE SUMMER.

  66. Heather says...

    I teach so summer for me means free time, projects to work on at home and best of all – beach vacation!! I live in Georgia so it’s HOT! I don’t have to worry about freezing my butt off in my classroom (it’s cold all year long). It also means I deal with grumpy dear husband – who works out of the house and isn’t used to having us all (me and our two college kids) descend on him in the summer. This summer I am fixing up my “office” or as he puts it – my “she-shed” so I can have some space of my own. It doubles as the guest room but that’s ok – it’s still a space of my own!

    • dd says...

      How lovely that your space is a place for hospitality . . . I would love that for myself.

  67. Katie says...

    I’m from Texas and live on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. Summer here is so hot and humid – you just hunker down and get through it. One day, I hope to live someplace where summer can be celebrated, rather than dreaded.

    • Trish O says...

      I am in Chicago…that is winter for us

    • gracesface says...

      I’m in Texas too and after 5 years I feel this way too. Starting to miss a more mild summer big time…100s is not very fun.

  68. Julia says...

    Sunny pool days with friends + kiddos + getting pizza delivered to our neighborhood pool. Staying up late on weeknights with our toddler, blowing bubbles on our back deck and watching the fireflies emerge in the dusky, sweet, humid air. Cookouts + grilling + the bounty of fresh summer produce, especially juicy Cherokee Purple tomatoes and corn (elotes!!). A week-long family trip to the lake, boating and jumping off the dock into the cool water. Day trips to the beach on the weekends, packing a picnic and sitting under our rainbow-hued umbrella, building sandcastles. Aaaahhhh, SUMMER!!

  69. – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    I am most excited to go to the County Fair with my family this year :) I look forward to the fried food, pulsating music, and eccentric vendors every summer.
    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    Bosch! It is my favorite show hands-down right now. I am also watching Outlander and re-visiting Smallville. I can’t wait for Food Network Star to start this weekend.
    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman (among many others, I am a big reader).
    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    Grilled corn on the cob with feta cheese, mango, watermelon and cherries.

  70. Charlotte K says...

    Pretty much what Clark & Carole are doing in that photo. And by the way if you look at the table in front of them, someone was eating some cake.

  71. Elizabeth says...

    soup of green pea with mint – served cold!

  72. Amber J says...

    Ambiguous relationship. I’m dying. I hope we hear more about this. <3

    – What summer activity are you most excited to do?
    GOING TO THE BEACH. Every Saturday has been too cold so far, but my husband and I are holding our breath for this Saturday — which is also my birthday! Fingers crossed we can finally make use of our new beach lounge chairs.

    – What TV shows or movies are you into watching?
    24! My husband has seen it all and knew I would love it — and I reeeeeeeally do! It doesn't FEEL like summer, per se, but since we're watching it in summer IT WILL FOREVER ACTUALLY BE SUMMER TO ME. Thank you.

    – What’s on your summer reading list?
    I'm on book 3 of 4 of Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals series. I'm in love. Her writing is so understanding, so wise, so raw, so funny, so poignant, so insightful. Also reading On Becoming BabyWise to prepare for the birth of our firstborn — and hopefully get some sleep! :)

    – What summer food (or beverage) can you not wait to consume?
    OOOOOH, good question. I feel like I've been indulging already, wayyyy before summer's actual arrival. I've been making popsicles every other day — just mixing unknowable measurements of various tropical no-sugar-added juices into my popsicle mold — and we each have one an evening. It's become one of my favorite rituals of this warm-weather season — after dinner, we get out our popsicles and watch our show, and don't have to experience the aftermath that would've been brought about by the sugar and dairy of ice cream.


    • I started with A Wrinkle in Time when the movie preview came out (how had I not read it?) and I’ve been DEVOURING Madeline L’engle novels since. I’ve made quite the tour of the young adult sections in our local libraries :) She has a great talk she gave at something called the Veritas Forum before she died, where she gives all sorts of beautiful quotes. Things like, “We need fantasy because theology doesn’t teach us enough about God.” And “We don’t need more facts. We need more possibility.” Love her!

    • Amber J says...

      Amy – YES, YES, YES! I think I watched that same video one evening while cooking dinner. I adore her.

    • Brooke says...

      Hurray for Madeleine L’Engle love here!! She is my most essential reading from childhood and still adore her wise, mystical, funny, vulnerable, Wild stories and essays! Her lesser known books that I love are: The Vicky Austin Series especially Ring of Endless Light; And Both Were Young, Wind in the Door, Many Waters, Walking in Water. Oh man…. so juicy! Now I gotta watch the video y’all recommended :). ✨.

  73. Janine says...

    My first child is due this summer on July 16th, and that’s pretty much all we’ve been thinking about! I keep saying, “This summer, our lives will change forever!”

    It’s weird because I usually make so many plans in the summer, and I’ve been continuing to plan as if we won’t have a newborn, with the outlook that it’ll be easy to incorporate him into everything.

    This is almost definitely the blissfully ignorant planning of someone who doesn’t have kids, but if it all works out, it’ll be an even more fantastic summer!

    • Anna says...

      You’re doing it exactly right! Newborns are so much easier to tote along- no sleep schedules or activities to plan around- just lots of naps and snuggles. Give yourself permission to cancel things if you need to (there may be times where you just want to do as little as possible), but otherwise, pop that baby into a carrier or a stroller and get out there!

      Enjoy your your summer and your little one!

  74. Jorden says...

    As soon as humidity hits Memphis I start counting down the days to our yearly trip to Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama. It’s small and charming; pastel houses and no putting on airs. There is a local seafood shop, so of course we cram in as much gulf seafood as we can in a week. Crab omelettes. Grilled grouper. New Orleans style BBQ shrimp. 31 more days.

  75. Amanda G says...

    The summer activity I’m looking forward to the most is my wedding! 22 days and counting :)

    RBG was at the top of my summer watch list, and I went to see it last week – HIGHLY recommend! Now I’m looking forward to Incredibles 2, Jurassic World, and Ocean’s 8.

    I picked up a few Jodi Picoult books I’d never seen before at a used book store the other day. I already devoured Small Great Things, an interesting and sometimes uncomfortable examination of racism in America. I highly recommend it as well.

    Oh, summer food makes me so happy. Give me alllllll the farmer’s market veggies please. I’ve also unofficially dubbed this Summer of Margs so I have an excuse to try some delicious and unique margarita recipes I’ve been bookmarking over the years but never tried – first on deck are spicy mango jalapeno and coconut blood orange!