Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren’t Reading

Top Ten-Summer

Since the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish who host the weekly Top Ten Tuesday event are still currently on hiatus from Top Ten Tuesday, I’m continuing with my own unofficial TTT theme this week although I did scour the TTT archives for ideas. I wanted to go with a summery theme since we are smack in the middle of summer but change things up a little and do a theme that wasn’t bookish! So my theme this week is my Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren’t Reading!

  1. Have Friends and Family Over for  Cookouts: There are two things I love most about summer: being surrounded by my family and friends making memories and making sure they are well fed since I love to cook and love to eat good food! I love to have a group of friends and what few family members who live close over and have a big cookout in the backyard with lots of really good food, some summery drinks, and fun. The younger kids will play or swim, the adults will eat, talk, have a couple of drinks, and sit outside around the fire pit and under the fairy lights that I have strung along the deck. We all laugh and have a great time making memories just like my family did in the summer when I was growing up.
  2. Hang Out by the Pool:  I’m very lucky that we have a pool in our backyard, so I can swim, which is great exercise for people with fibromyalgia, or just sit out by the pool and watch my kids, well my daughter swim, whenever I want. An almost 17-year-old and almost 19-year-old do not need supervising in the pool! But it’s a lot of fun when the four of us are out there and the boys are playing with their sister, who they adore and she worships them.  I admit that I love to spend lazy summer days sitting by the pool reading but since we have reached triple digit temps, I’m in the pool!! I’m not going to melt, and I love the feel of the water and being with the kids. Even more, I love moonlight swims when it is just me and my hubby!!
  3. Make Homemade Ice Cream: I’m an admitted ice creamaholic! I could eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream every day…..yummy! But nothing can beat fresh, homemade ice cream! Not only does it taste better but the memories of making ice cream with your kids are priceless! I remember making homemade ice cream at my grandparent’s house with my cousins, and that is a memory I especially cherish now they are both no longer alive. Even today, nothing tastes as good to me as my granddaddy’s  homemade peach ice cream!
  4. Sit on My Front Porch and Drink Homemade Lemonade (or iced coffee): I love iced drinks but am strange and will only drink them in hot weather unless its sweet tea with lemon..yes, I’m a southern girl alright! So it’s a really good thing that it starts getting warm in NC in early to mid-April and it lasts through mid-October or later! I love making and drinking homemade lemonade during the summer and especially like to try new recipes for different flavors: peach lemonade, blackberry lemonade, pomegranate lemonade, of course, strawberry lemonade, and so far this year my favorite, watermelon lemonade! And I’m an iced coffee junkie, so I constantly have a container of cold brew coffee being made and another one in the fridge at all times! I could drink it all day with cream and some vanilla syrup or hazelnut syrup depending on my mood! But the best place to drink my favorite iced drink is sitting in the rockers on my front porch with either my hubby, a friend, a favorite neighbor, or by all by myself contemplating life.
  5. Attend Lots of Outdoor Concerts and Movies Under the Stars: I’m very lucky that the Raleigh, NC area has a lot of outdoor concerts at places like the NC Museum of Art, the symphony, and the amphitheater. One of my favorite concerts recently was the symphony doing The Music of U2 with a rock band-it was a fantastic experience!  Then a summer night watching a movie sitting on a blanket under the stars is a lot of fun for all of us and great memories, at least I hope, for the kids although the boys are getting too old anymore for the movie since they both have jobs and girlfriends this summer….
  6. Stargaze on a Nice Summer Night: This has always been something I have loved to do during summer since my boys were little, and it’s just something we’ve always continued. We grab a big blanket or even a blow up mattress (and yes, I have fallen asleep stargazing 🙂 ) on a cloudless night and spread it in the grass and just lie back and stare at the stars. I can still only find the Big and Little Dipper, but I have fun trying!
  7. Catch Lightning Bugs in a Jar with My Daughter: I used to love, love catching lightning bugs when I was little, and I always knew summer was here when dusk was suddenly dotted with the flicker of lightning bugs flying through the air. It is just as fun now as it was then to see who can see the first lightning bug of the night, and I love to watch my daughter, and sometimes my boys, run around and put them in a mason jar (with holes in the lid, of course). After watching them light up the night sky awhile, we always let them fly home for the night 🙂
  8. Spend a Lazy Day In My Backyard Hammock: My hammock at home doesn’t have as great a view as the one at my beach house, but there are also no risks of an alligator swimming close to my toes either!! Just three rowdy kids 6 feet away in the pool! Still, it’s under my beautiful crepe myrtle, so that is a nice, shady spot. And although I do like to read there a lot, it’s also a perfect spot for a nap when it’s not 100 degrees outside!
  9. Have a Neighborhood Potluck Picnic: I am very lucky to live in an awesome town and in a fantastic neighborhood with wonderful neighbors, and a couple of times during the summer the neighbors on my street and the culdesac beside it get together and plan a potluck. Everyone is invited, and it generally ends up being a potluck for the entire neighborhood community. We all put our grills in front of our houses and grill burgers, hot dogs, chicken, or whatever, and everyone makes a couple of potluck dishes or desserts. Then we just go around and fill our plates with whatever looks good! It really invites a sense of community for the neighborhood and community for our town. I know that I can count on my neighbor next door or 10 doors down. It’s a really fun time! The adults talk, gossip, and eat, and all the kids just play way into the night.
  10. Visit the Local Farmer’s Market: I am in love with the Farmer’s Market all year round, but there is nothing like going to it during the summer! All those fresh vegetables and fruit! It smells so good! I have a thing for food, good food, really good food, and cooking with freshly grown fruits and vegetables make me a happy woman! Plus, there are fresh cheeses and homemade jams made from those fresh fruits! And the freshly baked loaves of bread with fresh butter! Oh my goodness! Now I’m starving…..


What are your favorite summertime things to do besides reading?? I’d love to hear about it!! 🙂


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60 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren’t Reading

  1. Ahh! Yes – the lazy days on the hammock is TOTALLY me! Unfortunately, I don’t have a hammock, but when I’m at home with my parents for the weekend I lay in the backyard literally all day and drink my favorite iced lemon black tea!
    Omg – You make ice cream?? So lucky – I remember trying this when I was in elementary school, but the results weren’t the best. Your granddaddy’s peach ice cream sounds heavenly just about now (lol it’s 9 am here).
    Great Top 10 by the way, I just may try this one two and link it back to your page if that’s alright 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t a hammock the best?? I could be in one all day if it isn’t too hot like today…. it’s in the 90s.

      We have an electric ice cream maker from Pampered Chef or I’m sure it would suck!! It’s super easy. We used to have the old fashioned kind that needed rock salt and you had to crank it until it was done but way too much work!! Doesn’t it sound heavenly!! Oh I could eat ice cream for breakfast, lol!

      I found the theme in the Broke and Bookish archives if you want to pingback to them? I did just in case but sure you can link back to my page too!! 😊❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your house and deck and hammock all sound so cosy. I am picturing a Nicholas Sparks novel in my mind already though I know he concentrates on South Carolina. But my husband, who studied in Wake Forest University and lived in Winston-Salem, talks so fondly of his time there that I feel a kind of kinship with your part of the country. Those activities in summer do sound so idyllic and it is great that your kids do not snap each other’s heads off. My mother used to have to deal with a boy and a girl who would fight like little ninjas till she would give up and say, ‘Take two cricket bats and finish each other off.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Actually, the majority of Sparks’s books take place in the NC coastal region; we North Carolinians like to claim Spark’s as our own since he lives here and is often seen in the Raleigh area flying in and out for book tours, etc. I met him on one occasion, and he’s a very nice gentleman. NC also has a fabulous Nicholas Sparks tour down at the coast that takes 3 days where you get to visit about 6 or 7 of the coastal cities he uses as locales in his novels and many of the real locations he puts in the stories. It’s actually a lot of fun! My friend and I did it when we did a girl’s weekend to Wilmington a couple of years ago.

      We do have a cozy house, so we are lucky in that! I love our summer activities, but I love fall even more since NC summers are brutal. You can’t always do the things you want since it might be 90 degrees still at 8 pm..yuck!

      We are 1 hr 30 min from Winston-Salem, so the area is so similar! I had no idea your husband went to school here! It is such a lovely part of the country. Wake Forest is a great school too although I will always be a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill girl!

      Hahaha! My kids are not always perfect!! I will say that since there is a 10 and 12 year age difference between my boys and Kayley that they treat her like a princess 90% of the time, but they can get annoyed with her too. Not too often. But my 16 yr old and 18 yr old will snap at each other on occasion. They used to be worse than they are now, but I have never had to tell them what your mom did, lol. I usually just had to give them the look of death. And taking their cell phone or Xbox away always works nicely too….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh pardon my mistake! I always thought the other way about the locales. See I find Sparks too mushy for my sensibilities – though once upon a time I liked reading chicklit and romances by the dozen – but I cannot be induced to keep sobbing. If you know what I mean. But at the same time I love watching his films just because he does such justice to the places he bases his stories in.

        Yet to meet him would be an experience alright!

        My husband laughed when I told him about the North Carolina-Chapel Hill girl in you 😀 I have no idea of course about such talk. But I shall say I am sure you have reason enough 😉

        I would love to be part of this tour that you kindly tip me about. I shall include it in my trip when I am in NC. Sounds rather beautiful and dreamy if you get to visit such stunning places on a trip. And you live in the heart of it! Sigh.

        The power of being modern. They own cell phones and Xboxes. When I was young, my mother would just ground me and there went my session of badminton with my childhood friend and neighbour! 😉


      2. No, you are fine!! If you didn’t live in NC, you probably wouldn’t know! I’m not big on chicklit or romance either unless I’ve read a lot of suspense and thrillers and need a quick change of pace. Then I will reach for Sparks although I haven’t read all of his or his newest. I’m a huge crier, so I do know what you mean! The movies make me bawl too and even my husband will watch them!

        I knew your husband would understand! In NC there is a big rivalry during basketball season between Wake Forest, UNC, and Duke. And I’m a UNC graduate so that’s something you sort of always carry with you. We are strange here in the south, lol.

        You should definitely do the tour when you visit NC. Our coast is quite beautiful ❤

        I know! When they were little it was easier since they had no gadgets! I sent them to their rooms like I do their sister. It’s much harder to punish a 16 and 18 yr old..and the 18 yr old really can’t be punished since he’s an adult, lol. He just respects me enough to do what I ask 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It is great to change up genres. I mean thrillers in a row could bit get to you! I change it up with light reads too.

        I bawl so easily btw that my husband often stares at me aghast 😛

        More power to the UNC and Wake Forest boys and girls 😉 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, I start to feel like I’m getting down and depressed with all that murder after awhile. Anything light cleanses the palate!

        Ha! So do I! I’m a huge crier, lol. I cry reading greeting cards and watching commercials. My husband also stares at me and he tells me to pull myself together 🙂

        Hehe, college sports in the South is an insane thing. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Stargazing and catching lightning bugs (we call them fireflies, but I’m sure they’re the same thing!) brings back sooo many memories! As kids we were out for hours, staring at the sky, catching fireflies and roasting marshmallows on the campfire.

    Great Top 10! I love hanging out by the pool, too! I love converting my deck into an outdoor office 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are!! My husband calls them fireflies!! He’s from San Diego not a southerner like me, lol! Oh, yes the kids love to roast marshmallows too!! Aren’t those the best memories!!

      Yes!! It’s great to be able to sit at the pool and work! I plan on teaching by the pool this semester since it won’t get cold until the beginning of October, lol!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True!! I have my reputation as a bad ass to uphold, lol. Nah, they love me anyway because I’m fair and fun and always give help. But if you don’t ask me, I can’t help you. And you have to earn the grade…I don’t ever give it. 🙄😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s so funny how some words are regional. My kids will alternate between firefly and lightening bug since that’s what they hear us both say, and I even say fireflies sometime after 20 years of hearing my hubby say it. What an interesting study; I’d love to do something like that!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. They all sound very relaxing and great!! There are hardly any house (apart from super rich families) that has a pool in the back yard in Japan, especially where I’m living, I can only imagine how relaxing and refreshing it is to swim or watch your kids swim whenever you feel like 🙂 Hammock… aww, I really want to experience sleep in a hammock. I don’t like summer (as you know) but reading your post makes me feel I wouldn’t mind experience summers in the US once at least.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I started taking pictures with my grandma’s old Canon when I was 18, so I had no idea what I was doing, lol. Now I just use my cell phone and the better my cell phone has gotten over the years apparently so has my picture taking although no one will give me a real camera anymore to take pictures at important events. I seem to miss things or point and shoot at walls and feet, lol. I’m technologically challenged except when it comes to my computer and my cell phone, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks!! I could eat ice cream all the time, lol! Actually I just did a little bit ago…peanut butter with Reese Cups in a chocolate ice cream cone! It was yummy if you like peanut butter, lol!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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