5 Things I Can’t Wait To Do This Summer

Summer Jeans Beach Outfit Chloe Drew “Luxury is anything that feels special. I mean, it can be a moment, it can be a walk on the beach, it could be a kiss from your child, or it could be a beautiful picture frame, a special fragrance.

I think luxury doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive.”

— Aerin Lauder

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Top – Zara || Jeans – J Brand (similar: 1 / 2|| Bag – Chloé Mini ‘Drew’ (budget options: 12) || Sandals – Stuart Weitzman (similar: 1 / 2 / 3|| Sunglasses – Ray-Ban || Bracelet – vintage from my Nana || Lips  YSL in ‘Nude Beige’

Photos courtesy of blogger Heidi

Wow I can’t believe it’s summer in less than a week! Where has this year gone? Luckily summer is the BEST time to be a Chicagoan! As hearty Midwesterners we understand the importance of taking advantage of any and all good weather — the city positively comes to LIFE! Here are the 5 things I’m most looking forward to doing most this summer:

5 Things I Can’t Wait To Do This Summer

1. Patio Dates with Apollo

When I first moved to Chicago after college with my little runt Apollo, I did NOT take advantage of just how many places I could tote him along to. Chicago is such a dog-friendly city! Many — most, even — patios and restaurants have dog-friendly policies! I was shocked when I discovered just how many places you can bring your dog to.

Now that I’ve been here for longer I know better and I take Apollo with me everywhere (though our old man Johnny prefers to stay home). Some patios even offer special dog menus and treats (like freestyle at the Dana Hotel!). I love being able to burn some of Apollo’s endless energy with the wild and entertaining city chaos. He absolutely loves the excitement (and the endless attention he always gets from strangers) and pretty much HAMS IT UP any time he has an audience. Looking for the best spots to bring your pup to this summer? Here’s a great list of some of the city’s most dog-friendly restaurants!

2. Katharine’s Annual Lobster Boil

This may only be the second year we’ve attended but Katharine’s delicious and summery lobster boil is already the party I’m most looking forward to this month! Piles of fresh lobster, corn-on-the-cob, and red potatoes? All smothered in gobs of golden butter? This, my friends, is what summer is ALL about! Combine that with excellent company and an evening drinking rosé under a bright blue sky and I call that a perfect summer moment.

3. Digging My Feet in the Sand at North Avenue Beach

I am forever grateful to live just a short walk from one of Chicago’s best and most popular beaches — North Avenue Beach (and my location for today’s look)! I’ve been coming here every summer since I moved downtown. There are plenty of delicious food stands, tons of great music and activities, and a spectacular lighthouse view that’s especially beautiful at sunrise (where I shot this outfit last summer). But I especially love being able to just dig my feet into the sand and listen to the waves lap up against the shoreline. Most of the year this beach looks more like this so being able to enjoy the sand and sunshine in the summer is such a luxury!

4. Patio Drinking (especially with slushies!)

Chicago has some KILLER patios (Bang Bang Pie, Nico Osteria, The Duck Inn, Sofitel… just to name a few!) and there’s nothing like a stunning happy hour view al fresco to make you appreciate the magic that is summertime. I especially swoon over any spot with rosé slushies (hello, Duck Inn and Expat!) — or any spot I can whip up my own Rosé Slushie Floats at… Because it isn’t summer until you’ve had an alcoholic brain freeze! Amiright?

5. Living On Matcha Power Smoothie Bowls

Next Tuesday I’m getting my wisdom teeth out — [insert terrified emoji here]! So it’ll be soft food and ice cream for days for this foodie! Luckily I practically live on my Matcha Power Smoothie Bowls every summer anyways so hopefully my foodie side will survive the recovery. Smoothie bowls are so easy to make (even on pain-killers!) and so cooling on a hot summer day. I crave these pretty much non-stop, wisdom teeth or no wisdom teeth! So I’m sure I’ll be living off green smoothies constantly. Unless, of course, someone wants to bring me a Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Shake! Hello? Anyone??

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

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  • I’ve been dying to see how these turned out! So gorgeous Ashley! Love the outfit, love the location, love the lighting. That top is seriously so perfect for summer and I love the one you linked just as much. Amazing post!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

  • Sophie

    Love this article Ashley and will be thinking much of you on Tuesday! But everything will be fine…I know it’s hard for the moment to believe it! Take care! xxx

  • I love this list and I can’t wait until the Lobster Boil! Next weekend can’t come soon enough!!
    <3 Katharine

  • Natali

    Super sweet photos, your spirit is enchanting and you’re such a beauty! I’m loving the outfit and also that quote in the beginning of this post is so true and I couldn’t agree more with that. 🙂


  • Wishing that you may do those things! 🙂 Enjoy the summer.

    xo, Monique | itsmonique

  • SarahLagen

    yummm, yes please to all the above (expect getting your wisdom teeth out!) You have a tasty summer ahead! See you this afternoon girl! 🙂

    xo, Sarah

  • Oh I looooooove this! The photos are amazing (and inspiring my next shoot!) and those are the best chicago-y summer things. I’m also super excited to do patio dates with my pup. Zoe loves coming everywhere with me and she’s all about patio dates [mostly because she gets snacks and pets from strangers). expat and the Duck Inn both sound amazing! If you’re looking for someone to accompany you to either of those, Zoe and I definitely volunteer! 😉