What’s Your Intention for the Summer?

By: Jen Shoop

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Good morning! Email subscribers received a special edition Summer Kit this morning with printable intention cards, recipe cards, a summer playlist, shopping roundups, summer finds, and more. I had so much fun compiling this digest, and it left me feeling more prepared and excited for what lays ahead. Subscribe here to receive it in your email.


This year, I’ve organically fallen into a habit of identifying a single-word intention every month or two. I’m not precious or calendared about it, but I’ve found myself intuitively seeking a mantra to repeat in moments of tension or tenebrosity. This year, I’ve focused on words like yutori, flow, space, ease. Between the density of funerals, the loss of our Tilly girl, and recovering from the situation I wrote about earlier this week (not trying to be elliptical, just observing privacy here), I suppose I’ve needed the yardage. I love the visual of “easing my way through things” versus “making my way to the other side” — in the former, I’m gliding through clement waters; in the latter, I’m hurdle-jumping onto pitiless pavement.

The other day, Mr. Magpie and I were walking out of the wine shop together, and the salesclerk called out: “Alright, folks — take it easy.” I thought: amen, sir. That’s just what I’m going to do. Take it easy. You know I can’t resist an easily-forged connection to HRH Mary Oliver, so let me again share her fabulous couplets from the second half of “When I Am Among the Trees”:

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,

“and you too have come into the world to do this,

to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”

A bit longer than my standard one-word formula, but I’d like this summer be about “going easy, and being filled with light.” Looser schedules, lots of outdoor dining, less makeup, more movement.

What about you?

A pretty little summer mood board below…

A few beautiful summer finds…


Some great summer recipes to try…

Summer Couscous Salad

An Easy Summer Icebox Dessert

Linguine and Clams

Mai Tais

A Cocktail for Mezcal Skeptics

Buttermilk Biscuits

Magpie Margaritas

P.S. Imprints of a new lifestyle. (On trading New York’s charms for suburban bliss.)

P.P.S. The sun still rises.

P.P.PS. Getting ready for sunny days ahead.

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17 thoughts on “What’s Your Intention for the Summer?

  1. I’m a little late, but I wanted to say that I adored your Le Summer Kit email! Thank you for such a treat!

  2. Love the idea of setting a seasonal intention! Spring started so unevenly for me, but it has allowed for the deepest introspection of my life and refreshing clarity. As we move to Summer- my favorite stretch of months, my sweet angel, my unfiltered sunshine- my intention is simply for the good to keep getting better Xx

  3. Love love the Juliet Dunn dress! Let us know if you run across the look for less. I also enjoyed the summer email! It was fun to stop and consider how I want summer to look during a very busy May in which I’m keeping my head down and plowing through ALL THE PLANS. It’s hard to envision this summer bc my husband is finishing his mba next month and will be job hunting immediately. So there’s a lot of uncertainty and potential big changes! But I plan to carry on a low-level goal from last summer which is to play more music around the house (I’ve been enjoying the French Riviera playlist, and also recommend summer reggae mix!). Also – getting outside more. Daily walks? So, music and walks is my theme I guess 🙂

  4. I’m setting an intention to very deliberately try to see myself and my interactions at home through the eyes of my kids. Example, i am basically cross-eyed looking at the school schedule in May and i have so many calendar prompts as i’m trying to remember every random thing happening at school each day as we march towards the end of the school year. But my kids? i want them to see a mom who is so excited to send them to school in pajamas (let’s pick them out together, those are such a great choice!) and just delighted to be totally present at the end of year sing-along. I keep reminding myself that this is my kids’ actual life happening, right now, and while the summer schedule of camps from 9-3 stresses me out, i want to see what they see – more time for fun, more time with their family. In tandem, I’m intent this summer on figuring out what i actually want to do with my days. I came across something the other day that said ‘you don’t want to climb the ladder only to realize it was leaning up against the wrong wall.’ so i’m trying really hard to align my actual values as they are now with how i spend my time, rather than chasing the same definition of ambition that i had in my 20s. Add in some SPF, and that’s a full summer 😉 Thanks for the prompt!

    1. These are such gorgeous, and feeling intentions. Thank you so much for sharing — timely for me, as Lan and I were just looking over the summer patchwork of camps, swim lessons, travel, sitters being available and not, and beginning to feel a little sweaty in the palms. I like the idea of looking at this through my children’s eyes and appreciating the time we have together, the adventures and memories, etc. It does sort of feed back into my goal of “taking it easy.” Like, not stressing if everything’s not done perfectly, completely. If we miss a few swim lessons. If I don’t get the blog post done. Etc.

      Thanks for chiming in — now off to be haunted by the visual of climbing a ladder leaning against the wrong wall…!


  5. Your summer email was such a delight to receive and read! Thank you!

    If I had to choose an intention, it would be “presence”. This summer we are taking a big trip to Asia to see my in-laws in India and then my family in the Philippines. My parents are getting older, and although they are blessedly healthy overall my mother had to have a major surgery earlier this year due to a fracture in her thigh (!!!). I want to be fully present with family this summer!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed!

      Love “presence” as a mantra — always something I’m striving for, too.


  6. I don’t have a phrase, but my intention for this summer is redeem last year’s, which was basically ruined by my recovery from two back-to-back surgeries. I had to skip so many of my favorite activities last year – swimming, running, picking fruit, making jam- so my intention for this year is to just enjoy the physical freedom of movement as much as I can.

    1. I’m so sorry this happened, Anna! Two surgeries — what an ordeal to go through! I hope you have a wonderful summer this year!

  7. My phrase is “Ça roule.” As in doing what works, being easygoing, putting aside the big things in favor of small victories, and sometimes literally rolling out the door for a change of scenery. Today was marked by tantrums (jet-lagged toddler adjusting from our US trip) so I literally rolled out, and took both kids to the playground solo for the first time. I’m hoping my summer is full of childhood pleasures and unselfconsciously doing exactly what I like.

    “Take it easy” by The Eagles is one of my touchstones. I’ve heard it playing at key moments in my life and it always lets me trust that everything will be all right.

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