We’ve been slogging through this crazy year for 5 months now people! We deserve a long holiday weekend, and it’s finally here.
Memorial Day will probably look a lot different for most of us this year, but that doesn’t mean we can make the most of it, and turn it into a relaxing, fun and festive weekend. Take a minute to slow down, and let loose a little, even if it’s just in your own backyard. It’s good for the soul.
In this post I’m sharing some inspiration to make the most of this weekend, no matter what your situation or how much social distancing you’ll be doing. From soaking up some sunshine, to breaking out the grill, let’s find ways to celebrate this weekend!
1. Set up a picnic with a nature view (if you can do so safely).
One thing I’m really grateful for in Washington is being able to find so many beautiful places outside to spend a Saturday that are pretty remote, or easy to access while maintaining a lot of social distancing. Sometimes, I literally just pick a spot on the map that’s usually about an hour outside the city…. and we just head off on the adventure. Once we get there, we spread out our huge picnic blanket, let the dogs off their leash, and just hang out all day, reading, snacking, playing frisbee, (and napping 😎). It’s so peaceful, and it always fills me with joy and wonder to take in my environment that way.
If you can, spend a day (or three) outside this weekend, just relaxing. Find a good park, or lakeside, or wherever nature is accessible to you. Maybe that’s your front yard or apartment complex courtyard… and that’s fine too! If you can see the sun… you’re doing it right.
A big ole blanket, your favorite snacks and some good books… that’s really all you need. Set up on a smooth patch of grass (even better if you can find a tree nearby for the shade when you need it) and sprawl out!
2. Get a little wet and wild.
Can’t make it to the beach this year? No worries, you can still have a backyard beach party. Fill up some water balloons or water guns and have the ultimate show down with your partner. Be a kid again and run through the sprinkler. Pick up an inflatable pool from Walmart and live your best life. You can definitely find a reason to break out this season’s new swimsuit.
3. Get out there and grill SOMETHING.
If you have a backyard grill, you better be out there using it! But even if you don’t, throw open the windows, fire up the grill pan or your cast iron skillet on the stovetop and get sizzling. It makes things feel more festive.
Some of my favorite grilling recipes this season include:
- This gorgeous Grilled Steak with Corn Salsa from The Defined Dish
- Also her Easy Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza looks amazing
- My recipe for Honey Sriracha Chicken would work GREAT on the grill. Just brush the remaining sauce on the chicken while it’s grilling instead of pouring it all in a pan.
- This Grilled Corn with Spicy Mayo from Simply Sated
- For a lighter option, this Grilled Salmon with Meyer Lemon Relish from Food & Wine
- Or this delicious looking Margarita Grilled Shrimp from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles
And don’t forget the side options, like this tasty recipes:
- My Bacon Ranch Potato Salad never fails
- If you want more greens, go for my BEST Roasted Broccoli Recipe
- Or this Kale and Cucumber Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing from Food & Wine
4. Make it fresh and seasonal.
One of my favorite ways to embrace any time of year is to eat what’s seasonal. Dig in this weekend with a big salad, or platter of fruit, or kick it up a notch and soak some fruit in vodka, rum or champagne first for a boozy snacks. 😎
Go for Strawberries, cherries, watermelon, pineapple, mangos, zucchini, artichoke, radishes, or rhubarb.
5. Make big batch cocktails, even if it’s just for 1.
It’s a holiday. It’s the weekend. Have a drink, or 3! Make it festive and break out the pitcher for a big batch of sangria or margaritas. You don’t even have to share if you don’t want to (just drink some water too!😂)
Check out my post on 6 spring and summer cocktails, all made with fresh fruit and herbs.
I myself will be sipping on herbal gin lemonades all weekend long.
Here’s some of my other favorite recipes from around the web:
- Bon Appétit’s Salted Watermelon Margarita
- and Camille Styles’ Spicy Grapefruit Margarita
- This beautiful Pink Rosé Sangria, also from Bon Appétit
- How about a Mango Hibiscus Cooler from Food & Wine, perfect for batching
- Or Rachel Hollis’ recipes for delicious Strawberry Piña Coladas
- And you can’t go wrong with this Blackberry Mojito from Delish
6. Keep the party going, even after the sun goes down!
The nighttime air is getting warmer… so make the most of an evening outside this weekend. Hang string lights, or light your backyard torches, and see if you can stargaze or listen to your favorite music. Better yet, make some s’mores! You don’t even need a fire pit for this one. Just build your treats, lay them in a baking dish, and stick them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes (and I mean a few, don’t take your eyes off or you’ll wind up with exploding marshmallows). They should come out gooey and melty and perfect for your backyard (or living room) campout.
Feeling even more ambitious? Get out your projector, hang a sheet, bring out all the pillows, and have an outdoor movie night experience. Just don’t forget the popcorn.
7. Leave the world better than you found it.
There have been some stark headlines about how global lockdowns have had such a positive impact on the environment, almost giving nature a chance to breathe for a second. Let’s allow this moment and time to make us stop and think, become more self aware, and see how we can contribute to our planet’s recovery.
If you make it out this weekend, take all your trash with you… and see if you can clean up any more along the way. Use reusable containers and bags whenever you can. Collect all those beer and wine bottles and recycle them (or use them for fun quirky vases).
8. Show off your favorite summer outfits.
Most of us have shamelessly been living in sweat pants and leggings for months now. Let this festive little weekend be an excuse to pull out your favorite summer staples, including your swimsuit and coverups and feel cute and glamorous this weekend.
9. Get some really good sleep…
If you’ve got a long weekend coming up, take advantage of it! The state of the world right now is affecting everyone in some way, and it’s naturally taking a toll on our stress and energy levels. Give yourself some love, and REST.
10. Embrace gratitude.
Whether it’s the beautiful weather, the company you get to be with, the rad grilled steak tacos you made on the grill, or just a quiet weekend away from your email, find ways to revel in gratitude this weekend. Tell the people in your life you love them, and find the time to appreciate little moments that, at the end of the day, make up the most beautiful memories in life.