MUST HAVES: OUTDOOR SUMMERTIME ESSENTIALS

We've rounded past the longest day of the year...which means summer is officially here! And we get a nice long weekend to enjoy it! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, summers in Chicago are the BEST. The entire city flocks outside, and you begin to realize how much amazing green space there is between the concrete jungle. Just stop by the Green City Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning and you'll wonder where on earth all the strollers, dogs, and Lululemon gear had been hiding all winter.

Park Blanket Picnic

The beach is a summer highlight for sure, but personally I'm a bigger fan of time in the park. This park blanket will go down as one of the best Amazon purchases I've ever made. At 70 by 80 inches, it's plenty big for two people, and the water resistant backing means we don't have to think twice about where we decide to post up for the afternoon. The whole thing folds up with its own handy carrying strap. Easy peasy.

I've loaded up my Kindle for all this time outdoors, and Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner currently has me hooked. I'm looking for more book suggestions...what are some of your top summer reads? Let me know in the comments below!

SHOP PARK TIME ESSENTIALS:

And, of course, all the green space isn't just for sitting around. I've been trying desperately to get myself back into a regular fitness routine. I'm a big fan of Pure Barre and recently survived my first Platform class. If you haven't tried it yet, it's a cardio-charged version of the barre class you already love. Be prepared to sweat...a lot! And remember to bring water with you! You may want to bring a towel too. I brought my s'well bottle along and drank the entire thing mid-class. It's expensive for a water bottle, but it keeps things cold for 24 hours (or hot for 12 hours), and it really does what it claims. Water that stays cold an hour into a steamy workout is a lifesaver.

However, with the weather as nice as it's been, I want to get myself up and moving outside too. My fitbit needs some steps! Fitness brand TKO recently sent over one of their running belts to try out, and I can already tell that it's going to come in super handy this summer. I just never know what to do with all my things while I'm out for a run (ok, really when I'm out for a two-minute jog followed by a long walk, let's call it what it is). With two stretchy pockets, this belt has plenty of room for all the essentials. It also seems to stay put very well, which is something my previous running belt did not do. A workout wardrobe malfunction is not something anyone needs!

So get out there and enjoy the long weekend. Happy weekend, everyone!

SHOP OUTDOOR WORKOUT ESSENTIALS:

Running belt c/o TKO. This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own. I would never suggest a product that I wouldn't want to buy myself :)
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