The end of summer is always bittersweet — we’ll miss long, lazy days but are looking forward to back-to-school, cooler weather, productive schedules, and all the festivities of the fall season. We’re making the most of these last weeks of summer by doing all of the things we won’t be able to do once Labor Day has come and gone. Read on below and be sure to soak up summer while you can!

stylish weekend reading

Read (and Finish) A Book

Whether you are packing for an end of summer trip or enjoying downtime at home, starting and finishing a book feels like an essential summer achievement. Maybe this was ingrained in us from early days of school summer reading lists. For ideas of what to read, check out Domino’s latest book recommendations list and our previous HoH book club recs. My personal favorite reads this summer have been The Light We Lost (I stayed up and finished this one in 24 hours), The Tea Planter’s Wife (favorite book I have read in a long time – I started this one on our way to Rhode Island and all I wanted to do was stay in the room and finish it!) and the uber popular Where The Crawdads Sing. All MUST reads.

Pick Up Fresh Produce from the Farmer’s Market

In our opinion, summer is meant for eating fresh fruits and veggies and grilling outside with friends. Head to your local farmer’s market to pick up seasonal produce – be sure to print our summer grocery list first! – and try out one of Bon Appétit’s 89 favorite grilling recipes.  Locally, the Memorial Farmer’s Market is a fun Saturday activity with your family. They have live music, fresh brewed coffee and breakfast burritos while you shop. My boys also love the fresh squeezed lemonade and watermelon popsicles!

Caroline switches to the Serta iComfort mattress | HOUSE of HARPER

Embrace an Early Bedtime

As soon as school starts and fall is in full swing, our calendars always fill up with kids’ extra curricular activities and work happy hours. While we love being social, we are all about these slow summer evenings when we are in bed by 9:30 p.m. with a book. These last days of summer we’re saying no to social plans and yes to cozy evenings in with the whole family.

Ease into Your Mornings

We love that everything in the summer seems less urgent, including or morning routines. Instead of racing out the door for an early carpool line, we’re taking advantage of slower days by easing into the morning with a cup of coffee, quiet time for prayer / meditation, and a healthy breakfast.  This also includes lots of extra snuggles, lounging in our pj’s a little too long and morning cartoons for the boys.

Work Out During the Day

While our inbox isn’t quite as full as usual, we’re booking late morning / midday workout classes and tennis lessons. This workout break during the day feels like a luxury rather than a dreaded to-do, and makes us feel healthier and less guilty about after dinner ice cream. 🙂 I started wearing my apple watch again and can’t believe how much it has me motivated to close all my rings on a daily basis. Anyone else find this so motivating?! I am following my family and friends and when I see they got in a workout it pushes me to take Rosie on that evening walk or chase behind the boys on their scooters. 😉

Host a Girls’ Night

With everyone traveling and on different schedules in the summer, it’s nice to host a dinner so that everyone can catch up before the back to school hustle. Summer entertaining always feels more laid back, so don’t sweat a perfect tablescape, just pour rosé and keep the food and decor simple. Besides, good friends don’t care what about the details. It’s all about the conversation.

Get to the Beach!

If you live close to the ocean, make a point to get to the beach! In Houston people don’t get too excited about Galveston, but it’s still refreshing to lounge by the ocean for a day even if it’s not the whitest sand or bluest water in the world. You can’t beat an easy one hour day trip and young kids certainly won’t know the difference. Pack up the car and get your toes in the sand and take in the sound of the waves crashing one last time!

Binge-Watch a Netflix Show

Is it just me or do you feel less guilty taking in a guilty pleasure in the summer? I have taken more of a ‘vacation’ from blogging this summer than I even planned, but it has been so nice to relax my personal expectations and goals for HoH to take for family and travel and yes – Netflix! I recommend Season 3 of Stranger Things, if you haven’t already. (Also, we are HUGE documentary fans over here – check out this list if you haven’t already.)