The Cosmo Girl's Guide to Making the Most of Summer

Summer's almost coming to an end! Here's how to milk it for all it's worth.

Ahhh...summer. The fabulous season when it’s perfectly acceptable to ogle shirtless guys like it’s a sport, wear your bikini day and night, and play even harder than you work. Problem is, these amazing couple of months seem to come and go faster than any other time of the year.

“When we were younger and in school, summer was a guaranteed two and a half-month vacation, which made it feel like it was passing slowly,” says medical psychologist Dan Baker, PhD, founding director of the Life Enhancement Center at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. “But as we age and have more responsibility, we no longer have that luxury of free time, and the season seems to speed by.”

Which is exactly why you have to make the most of summer while it’s here. To do that, you need a clever game plan for cheating the system—that’s where Cosmo comes in. These are our most-inspired suggestions:

HIT A SUNSET HAPPY HOUR

One of the biggest benefits of summer is that the sun doesn’t set until after the workday ends. Use those extra hours to your advantage. Rally a few friends and head to a trendy outdoor bar (go to spot.ph for ideas) early so you have first dibs on a prime table.

Then just sit back, sip a cold drink with some munchies or kinilaw, and take in the setting sun and the happy-go-lucky atmosphere. Bonus: If you’re single, summer happy hours are a hot place to eye some man-candy. And the fact that it tends to be a postwork crowd makes it likely that the dudes actually have jobs.

JUMPSTART SUMMER

When you look the part, you’ll feel the part. Get summer started with an application of self-tanner before the weekend, then brush on a bronzer on cheeks during the day. You’ll look so good, you’ll swing into summer mode ASAP. (Find out how to glow from head to toe)

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BE A PICNIC PARTY EXPERT

Stuck in the city? Catch up with girlfriends or hang out with your beau on a clear, crisp sunny day via a picnic. Pack your sarong, a cooler, and a basket with cheese, fruits, chips, dip, and a bottle of wine. Take your picnic to another level by bringing your digicam and dressing up for a summer “shoot.” The lush greens and the natural lighting make for very flattering pics. You’ll thank yourselves for the memories 10 years from now!

A great place to picnic: UP Diliman on Sundays, when the UP Oval is closed from car traffic. Head to the Amphitheater  (near the Oblation) or the Lagoon where you’ll find plenty of interesting picnic and photo-op spots.

TAKE A WORK BREAK OUTSIDE

If your usual workday routine consists of eating a tuna sandwich at your desk, it’s time to get that butt outside. Walk to a nearby mall, and have lunch at a real resto instead of a fast food place. If you need to, justify it this way: “A change of setting will stimulate new thoughts,” says Stella Resnick, PhD, a clinical psychologist in West Hollywood, California. Or, stash a smaller bag full of pang-“break” props under your desk. As soon as your boss gives you the green light, head to a nearby park (try Greenbelt Park near the Sto. Niño de Paz chapel or the Ortigas Park along Emerald Ave). The essentials: your iPod, a book or magazine, a journal, or sketchpad.

DRINK EVERYTHING ICED

If you’re like most people, you probably chug juice or coffee in the morning before work. Why not make it a little more summery? Brew a pot of coffee at night, then put it in a pitcher in the fridge. When you wake up, pour the chilled coffee over a glass of ice, and voila—you have a tasty libation. For an extra punch, add a shot of vanilla-flavored coffee syrup.

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Tip: To prevent it from getting watery, “freeze coffee in ice cube trays and use them in place of regular ice. They’ll keep your drink cold without diluting it,” says celebrity party planner David Tutera. Or ditch your morning OJ and blend fresh fruit (mangoes, pineapples, and bananas are easy) and ice in a blender to make your own refreshing smoothies.

Drink everything iced

If you’re like most people, you probably chug juice or coffee in the morning before work. Why not make it a little more summery? Brew a pot of coffee at night, then put it in a pitcher in the fridge. When you wake up, pour the chilled coffee over a glass of ice, and voila—you have a tasty libation. For an extra punch, add a shot of vanilla-flavored coffee syrup.

Tip: To prevent it from getting watery, “freeze coffee in ice cube trays and use them in place of regular ice. They’ll keep your drink cold without diluting it,” says celebrity party planner David Tutera. Or ditch your morning OJ and blend fresh fruit (mangoes, pineapples, and bananas are easy) and ice in a blender to make your own refreshing smoothies.

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