Lifestyle

Everything you need to do this summer

Our guide for new-season events, buys and resolutions that’ll give your summer next-level newness…

woman dancing

*Last year you… read Grace: A Memoir by US Vogue’s Grace Coddington.*

*This year you’ll... adorn your bed-side table with the new book by Alexa Chung, It ($29.99, Penguin).*

The model, style icon, muse, sometime DJ and all-round Girl Wonderful has finally penned a tome we can park on our coffee tables. Filled with personal writings, drawings and photographs, It shares Alexa’s thoughts on life and love. More importantly it divulges how she puts an outfit together and decides what to wear each day. It’s high on our wishlist. Add it to cart now, or leave your BF not-so-subtle hints you’d like it under the tree.

BONUS: Also add Anjelica Huston’s new memoir, A Story Lately Told ($29.99, Simon & Schuster, out December 1), to your beach reading list. It’s packed full of tales of life in ’60s London hanging with the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac, modelling in ’70s NYC, and more Hollywood anecdotes starring the likes of Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty than you can shake an Oscar at.

*Last year you… told yourself you’d get “in shape” for summer.*

*This year you’ll... tell yourself you’re ready for the beach just as you are.*

Because it’s high time we addressed the fact only one in five of us is happy with our weight, and 90 percent of young Aussie women have dieted at least once. Say what?! This needs to change.

As Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy says, “Even when someone gets to look like she should be so proud of herself, instead she’s like, ‘I could be another three pounds less; I could be a little taller and have bigger lips.’ Where does it end? You just have to say, ‘It’s pretty damn good. I’m right here at the moment, and I’m OK with it.’” Three cheers for that, Melissa.

Debbie Spellman of detoxyourmind.com.au adds, “You really become your thoughts; and your thoughts turn into actions, decisions, behaviours. So, it’s important to capture your thoughts before they control you.” Let’s all get this into our heads: we look good today. Like, I-might-date-me good.

*Last year you… sweated your balls off on a gigantic field, all for music.*

*This year you’ll... buy tix to the inaugural Festival of Small Halls to indulge in an evening of acoustic awesomeness.*

Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter Rose Cousins will be hitting the dusty road with Melbourne’s Bob Dylan-esque crooner Jordie Lane. The pair will play in 18 tiny, treasured community halls in NSW and Queensland, starting off with St Martin’s Parish Hall in Mullumbimby this November 23.

BONUS: If you’re a fan of larger venues, the last stop on the tour happens to be the Woodford Folk Festival (Dec 27 to Jan 1). It’s the world’s second largest folk festival (after Glastonbury), and this year’s line-up includes Beth Orton, Matt Corby and Clare Bowditch.

*Last year you… got hooked on Instagram.*

*This year you’ll... disconnect from all things tech now and again.*

Enjoy the IRL emotional connections and experiences that being present in the moment offers. Unplugging is the new staying-in-touch, and we’re more eager to take a break from social media than ever. Which is just as well: a recent study involving 2000 women revealed that social media makes us less honest and more vain (there are now more than 90 million selfies on Instagram). Almost a quarter of women have also admitted they have missed important moments in real time ’cos they were too busy trying to record them, and 51 percent said social media has not changed their life for the better.

Taking time out and focusing on play can reduce stress, boost creativity and improve problem-solving abilities. So come on, who else is up for building a cushion fort?

*Last year you… hung out in a wine region (or possibly just had a few glasses of vino with your flatties at home – which, PS, is totally awesome).*

*This year you’ll… hang out in a wine region with Alicia Keys and John Legend.*

Yep, the lady who loves herself a bit of New York City will be bringing her Set The World On Fire tour here this December, hitting the Yarra Valley’s Rochford Winery on Dec 7 and the Hunter Valley’s Hope Estate Winery on Dec 14. Special guest star John Legend is the cherry on top of an already very sweet cupcake.

BONUS: Not so much into the wine regions but digging us with the Keys vibe? Don’t worry, there’s no need to skip on your R’n’B dose: the tour also hits arenas in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.