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15 Commandments of summertime

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Here comes the sun

Summertime is upon us and, as they say, the living is easy. To make the most of this sun-drenched season, I've drafted a few guidelines to ensure I don't spend my days stressing over work, weight or anything other than the next item on my bucket list.
Here comes the sun
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I will go to the beach. Often. And I will drop my vanity on the sand alongside my towel — I won't worry about my makeup-free face or what my coif looks like. I will revel in the salty crunch of the ocean in my hair and the feel of the hot sun on my skin.


I will actually wear my bathing suit — without a cover-up or constant nagging from my subconscious about my jiggly bits.


I will pack a truck bed with blankets and pillows and drive to the nearest open field to stargaze. I will tuck myself into the nook of someone special as we peer together at the vast unknown.


I will go camping at least once. I won't complain about the creepy crawly creatures around me or the lack of indoor plumbing (OK, maybe a little about that one). I will embrace the adventure of being outdoors and liberated from the technology that so often consumes me.


I will break out the rock salt and make homemade ice cream with my kids. I'll let them pick their own fixin's, like my mom let me when I was little.


I will go to a water park and, atop an over-inflated inner tube, fly screaming through dark tunnels, explode into a pool and bob like a cork before toppling into the water. I will languidly drift in the lazy river for hours on end, only breaking to reapply my SPF.


I will load my car down with bottled water, trail mix and a bag of clothes and take that road trip I've been talking about since college. I'll while away the miles listening to audio books and mixed CDs, and I'll stop — without stressing about an agenda or schedule — at every odd attraction along the way.


I will build an epic sand castle. I've watched the online tutorials. I've pinned the tips. If you see a giant mermaid of mythical proportions carved in the sand, stop by and say hello... 'cause I totally made it.


I will throw a Fourth of July beer-b-q that would make even George Washington shed a patriotic tear. I will drape anything that isn't moving in red, white and blue bunting, and I'll serve up Americana in the form of slices of apple pie and bottles of craft beer.


I will create the ultimate summer playlist to see me through everything from backyard parties to hazy days mowing the lawn. It will be filled with feel-good anthems spanning all genres, from country crooner Frankie Ballard's "Helluva Life" to Scottish DJ/producer Calvin Harris' "Summer."


I will fall asleep in a hammock, with my nose buried in the dog-eared pages of a beach read. And, no, I won't care if someone catches me lost in an indulgent world woven by Janet Evanovich.


I will go to a baseball game. I will eat a hot dog and drink cheap beer. I will cheer for my team loudly and, perhaps, even slightly obnoxiously. I may even order nachos. Hey, when in Rome, right?


I will buy a puzzle and spend all summer slowly putting it together. I will place it on a table and watch as the hands of family and friends pass over the pieces, searching for the perfect fit.


I will catch fireflies in a mason jar, like a Rockwellian portrait of southern summer that has come to life. I will stand in the hazy glow of flickering insects and marvel at nature's wonder.


I will run through the sprinklers. Or fling myself down a Slip 'N Slide in a tangled splash of tan legs and childlike abandon. I will remember the simply joy of a cooling spray on a humid summer day.

More summer fun

Host an end-of-the-summer bash
Tips to keeping summer loving strong
Prep your yard for summer

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