Monday, June 9, 2014

Five Summer Projects to Try

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Hi there! Summer is just around the corner and I know that for some of you, summer has already started (lucky ducks). Summer is that time of the year, for students especially, where we just get to enjoy and take a break while still getting a head start on all the things going on in the fall.

I’m particularly excited about this summer as I’ve got lots and lots of plans for it to be essentially the best summer I’ve ever had. A part of those plans are a few projects I’ve been thinking about working on and they certainly aren’t only limited to my life, so I thought I’d share five of them with you guys. Maybe this will inspire you to go out there and do something this summer. I believe that while spontaneity is fun and all, having goals is also really important and helps ensure success.

This post was requested by a really good friend of mine, and I know that she's been waiting patiently for this for a bit now, so this post is dedicated to her. I'm super stoked about this list, so let's get into this!

1. Bedroom D├ęcor: Start a photo wall.

Something like this would be really cute to have in the girls' bedroom for them to hang pics on! :)
Image via Pinterest
I’ve never been one to take a ton of photos everywhere I go of anything and everything that I see, but I do have a good stack of photos that I like to go through sometimes because they make me inexplicably happy. I figured that it would be pointless to keep them all in a stack in a drawer somewhere in my bedroom where I’ll forget about them on occasion or keep them on my computer or phone when I could have them displayed in my room.

That’s why, this summer, I’m going to be printing out all the photos that are still in digital form and I’m going to start a photo wall in my room that I’ll continue to add on to for the next few years.

great idea, wall art moving from one wall to another.
Image via Pinterest
I’ve always been terrified of losing memories and forgetting important events that I know will make me smile, so while writing in a diary daily or whatever can help, it’s not the same as having the photo itself, you know? I’m also doing this to encourage myself to take more photos and document my life a bit more, and I encourage you to do the same. I’m sure this is something that I’ll be able to look at on a bad day that will make me feel better.

Another photo-related project that you can do is gather a few of your closest friends together and start a photo blog. It can obviously be like a private blog because there will probably be lots of personal photos that you may or may not necessarily want floating around, but it would be pretty cool to just post photos of your summer as you go along. This is an especially effective idea if you’re not all going to be in town for the summer and still want to find means to keep in touch and share what’s going on. This project could even lead into the school year if you’re all up for it.

At the end of the summer, you can also print out all of your favourite (or just all the photos) photos from the blog and add them to your photo wall.

DIY Photo Wall-I want to do something like this in our half bath except with quotes from Pintrest!
Image via Pinterest
2. Closet Makeover: The dreaded Clean Out

Great feature for a walk in wardrobe  (MI VESTIDOR - Peeptoes)
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The last thing a closet should be is cluttered and messy and full of crap that you just don’t need. While this might not be the most exciting project, it’s certainly quite an important one. Take some time the first week of summer (unless you’re going somewhere fun) to just clean out your closet.

Next step: invest in velvet (or velvet-esque) hangers. This is a total lifesaver for your clothes because they don’t damage the sleeves and your clothes don’t slip off. You know when you’re trying to hang a shirt up and it just won’t stay on the hanger? Yeah, well, these hangers totally keep those moments in the past. Yes, it’s an investment, but they’re so worth it.

Another thing you can do to your closet is instead of immediately trashing all the stuff you don’t need, DIY them. I cannot stress enough how great DIY-ing can be and how it can add tons of really awesome and unique pieces to your wardrobe.

If a top has gotten too short, shorten it even more and turn it into a crop top. Are there some sleeves bothering you? Hack them off, trim them, embellish them. Does a plain tee suddenly not look that great anymore? Grab a fabric marker, write something fun on it and pass it off as another graphic tee in your collection. There are countless things that you can do to clothes you already own without going out and spending tons of cash on new ones.

3. Self-Discovery: Make goals. (I know, cringe, but don't, it's worth it.)

Image via We Heart It
While summer is a great time to relax and enjoy yourself, it’s also important to remember not to let those precious two months go to waste. I obviously don’t know what your plans are (you are more than welcome to share in the comments – in fact, I’d love that), but without the constant stress of school and expectations and drama, this will give you some time to yourself to just figure yourself out. We’re teenagers, so we’re still finding ourselves and all that mushy crap, and I think the most important thing to “figuring yourself out” is to figure out what you want.

I can think of countless of my friends who just don’t know what they want. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing because we’re just indecisive, but even if you don’t know what you want to do with your life at this point (most people don’t), it doesn’t hurt to make small goals and take small steps to achieving some kind of success in your high school career or wherever you are and whatever your next step might be.

So this summer, take some time to just sit down and make some goals for the summer and the upcoming school year. What are you planning to achieve this summer? Happiness? Get a job? What are you planning to achieve next year? What are you looking forward to? What did you or didn’t you do this year that you would like to change in 2014-2015?

All of these goals can start as small things (I’ll do a more in-depth post on this a bit later in the summer if you guys are interested) such as what clubs do you want to join? What class do you want to put more effort in? Just small things like this can help you figure out what you want, which I think is such a huge and important thing to do.

Never too old
Image via We Heart It
4. Altruistic Acts: Do some volunteer work.

It's very true, which is why I volunteer for charity events and I also practice kindness every day!
Image via Pinterest
This sounds totally broad and vague at the moment, but giving back to your community is something that I really believe in. I know that we teenagers have to complete a certain amount of hours just to graduate, but I think it’s super duper important to give back, whether or not you get something in return. I finished my hours a while ago, but I have no intention of not volunteering for the rest of high school.

This summer, apply to volunteer somewhere you’ve always wanted to, like a charity with a mission you really admire or something. I know that there are a few places like some summer camps or hospitals that require you to apply a good few months beforehand (but then that can be a goal for next summer), but try to find somewhere that’s still looking for volunteers. I really want to find a day this summer to go volunteer at the homeless shelter downtown because I’ve gone twice to volunteer there in middle school and really enjoyed my time there. There’s something about doing something good that makes you in turn feel really good afterwards, as well. It’s a win-win situation.

Ten Best Inspirational Quotes for Volunteering - Paperblog
Image via Pinterest
5. Unexpected Kindness: Write letters.

Not Only Photos Set13
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Nowadays, letters have become forgotten in the sea of emails, texts, and social media, but there’s something so special about letters that those digital forms just can’t recreate. They’re just special like that.

Recently, I handwrote my friend a letter and sent it to her and it felt really good. It was a bit exciting and slightly nerve-wracking because there’s still the possibility of it getting lost in the mail, but it’s so worth it. So this summer, take some time to just write a few of your friends some letters. Maybe you’ll write to one friend after spending the day with her and sharing some great memories together. Or maybe you’ll write another friend a letter when they randomly pop into your mind one day and that alone leaves you reminiscing the times you spent together.

Just do something unexpectedly kind, write a letter, and send it because it makes you and the lucky one who receives the letter to feel happy – trust me.

Bonus! Journal everyday.

Alohomora | via Tumblr
Image via We Heart It
Yes, this is a hard feat, but it’ll be so worth it at the end of the summer when you have this notebook full of tales from your epic summer days, and if they weren’t epic, well, you get to read your thought process when you’re extremely bored or something along those lines.

I’d suggest actually writing (like with your hand and a writing utensil) in a journal, but if you prefer doing it on your computer, that’s cool, too. It won’t have the same effect, but it can do a good job of replicating it. So just go out there and do exciting things so you can write about them later. This is also a really good way to motivate yourself to make each day of your summer really fun and worth writing about. I mean, we could all use a bit of motivation, right?

This post ended up being a hell of a lot longer than I had intended it to be (I was looking at maybe 700 words, not 1700…), but I really hope that you took the time to get through it and that it left you with some ideas for how to spend your summer.

Which project idea (or project idea within a project idea) was your favourite? Which one would you try out yourself? What are a few projects you’d like to do this summer? Leave your comments and share your stories below!

Thank you so much for reading!
- J


  1. Aww cute post! I should try all these when I get the spare time.
    Great blog!

    xx Cissy
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    1. Thank you for your sweet compliments! :) - J

  2. Loving these inspirational ideas! I've been wanting to make a photo wall for awhile :) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog btw!! I'll be following along with yours!

    1. You should totally start that photo wall - it's such a great way to decorate your space. And thanks for the follow! - J