Bodysuit: Free People (This bodysuit is AWESOME. First, it has snaps underneath so it’s easy to take on and off. Second, the material almost feels like a bathing suit – slick and moisture wicking. I’m wearing a size small and I’m obsessed. One warning though: a regular bra will show because of the square neckline. I just wear a strapless bra with it!) |
Jeans: Madewell (I got these exact jeans last year, but here are this year’s version! I also think that these Everlane jeans feel really similar, they’re just slightly lower in the rise and looser around the ankles.) | Sunglasses: Loft |Bag: c/o Coach (I got this bag years ago, so it’s not available anymore. But I LOVE this similar one!) | Necklace: Vrai & Oro | Shoes: Soludos (One of my favorite purchases of 2019. It’s so nice to wear these when I want a little extra height, but I don’t want to wear heels!)
I’ve been in need of a reset. No, I don’t need a vacation or a major health overhaul… I’ve just realized, when I’m being completely honest, that I haven’t been enjoying myself quite as much as I should recently.
To start, I’m constantly thinking about work. I’ll elaborate more on that later in the post, but it’s been starting to weigh on me more than I’d like. And you all know I’m obsessed with Luna and she’s been making strides recently, but she definitely wreaked havoc on my productivity, my sleep schedule, and my ability to prioritize workouts these past few months. I am my own harshest critic, and recently I’ve felt a bit like I’m failing if content doesn’t do well or I’m not exercising as much as I think I should.
But as I danced in the rain to Rod Tuffcurls at Pride Fest this past Sunday with some of my favorite people, I remembered that there are SO MANY sweet things in life that have absolutely nothing to do with how you look or how work is going or whatever else is on your mind.
“Life is about more than making money and losing weight.”
I also read something recently – I honestly cannot remember where/who wrote it for the life of me – but it said something like “Life is about more than making money and losing weight.” I mean, RIGHT?! That little quote keeps popping into my ear every time I find reasons why I’m not taking good enough care of myself, or doing a good enough job with work, or not being enough of whatever.
So now that Summer has finally made it’s way to Chicago, I thought I’d put together a list of things you can do to make this most of this sunshine-y season. Even if you don’t have the exact same stressors as me, we all have our stuff. Let this be your reminder that life is meant to be enjoyed – and hopefully some of these things can help you reconnect with that!
20 Simple Things To Help You Enjoy Summer More
- Go for a walk when it’s nice outside. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Get out there.
- Spend time by the water – whether it’s along the lakefront trail or somewhere farther away. There’s something so therapeutic about those waves.
- Read a book… and don’t feel like you’re being unproductive while you’re doing it. Enjoy the stillness.
- Open the windows. All of them!!
- Make a playlist, turn it up loud, and DANCE.
- Cook something with seasonal produce… especially if you have a grill! There’s nothing like grilled corn on the cob in the Summer.
- Try meal prepping. Even if it’s just some vegetables and quinoa to add to salad greens to take the stress out of lunches for the work week!
- Enhance your commute with podcasts that are interesting to you – whether it’s educational, political, inspirational… I love the idea of learning something while getting from one place to another.
- Try a free workout class because what have you got to lose? (Bonus points if it’s outside!) Outdoor Voices has been holding a bunch of free classes recently, and Corepower usually does a bunch over the summer, too! I always used to love their classes behind the Chicago History Museum. If you live near the Old Town CPY, I’d ask if they’re doing it again this year! (I also have a code for your first class free at Studio Three; just DM me on Instagram or send me an email if you’re interested in that!)
- Work outside! I know not everyone can do this on a normal work day, but if you have flexibility, or you have work to do on a typical day off, bring that computer outside. It’s such a nice change of pace!
- Focus on what you can control, and let go of the rest. If you subscribe to my emails, you might recognize this as Sunday’s intention for the week… but it’s a good thing to keep in mind all the time. When you get stressed, check in with what’s causing that. Is it something you can work to fix? If not, don’t let it ruin your day.
- Try all the iced beverages, ice creams, and/or fun cocktails this Summer. Preferably on a patio!
- Take a social media detox for a few days.
- Schedule a friend date. Summer weekends can fill up really quickly, so if you’ve been wanting to catch up with someone in your life – get it on the calendar!
- Pick a new neighborhood to explore. Go to a street festival or check out a cool restaurant and then walk around a bit. I’ve lived in Chicago for 7 years now and I’m still discovering new gems here. Get out there!
- Spend some quality time with your family. Call your parents. Go see your Grandparents if they’re still around.
- Go to an outdoor concert. It doesn’t have to be one with expensive tickets. Chicago has a ton of free concerts in the park all summer long.
- Grab a drink at a swanky rooftop bar.
- Play tourist in your own city. Have you ever done the architecture tour in Chicago? If not, add it to your list!
- Check in with yourself – what do you need to feel your best? Is there something small that you could shift to make yourself feel more confident and happy? If the answer is yes, do it.
Since I mentioned it earlier, I figured I might as well pull a veil off and get honest today. WHY NOT?! I know blogging seems way simpler than most other jobs out there (and I’ll be the first to admit that most of you have WAY harder jobs than I do!). But I’ve been thinking about all of the different extensions of Lake Shore Lady literally nonstop recently. I get preoccupied with deadlines (set by me or a brand) or late approvals messing up my editorial calendar and the sponsored/unsponsored ratio I prefer. Plus, it can be super discouraging when something I loved creating and think is really cool or interesting or delicious does well here on the blog but TANKS on Instagram.
It’s no secret that I tend to justify the amount of time, energy and resources I put into all of this by monetizing it… because honestly, not doing that just isn’t sustainable! Trust me, I’ve done this alongside a full time job and it’s really hard to do both and keep up with everything you guys expect from me now.
So if I really want to share a recipe idea, why not work with a brand to bring that to life? Or if you are requesting more outfits, why not reach out to brands that I love to get those clothes comped or that post sponsored? While it would be really awesome if I could dedicate endless hours to this and spend all of my money on clothes, food, photography, etc, without making any of it back… that doesn’t make any business sense and I have bills to pay! Plus, I actually really like working with brands that I love – I think it’s a fun and creative challenge!
But beyond all of that, I’ve simply been struggling with what to share on Instagram besides what promotes blog posts I write. It’s clear that more personal photos (like photos of Adam and I) do better than more planned content on that platform… but do I really have to start taking more selfies?! Or record all my workout classes? Or stop living in the moment as much in my personal life to ensure that I get someone to take a photo of me every day? Is that the answer? In an effort to be more authentic, that can feel less authentic to me sometimes!
I clearly still have a lot to figure out (my Facebook group has given some helpful feedback though. THANK YOU!!!), but here’s what I’ve decided. Instead of stressing myself out about just ONE part of this business, I’m going to focus on tackling this list of 20 things starting now. Whether I document it or not! I’m hoping that gives me the clarity and genuinely happy vibes I need to breathe new life into that platform… without overthinking it anymore 😉
And if you made it through that whole rant, BLESS YOU! 😂
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PS. Have you seen this bodysuit that is also a swimsuit?!