How to Have a Grandmacore Summer

From gardens brimming with blooms to the clink of ice in homemade lemonade, this is your guide to a summer filled with old-fashioned joy. A Grandmacore summer isn’t about the latest trends, it’s about rediscovering the old-fashioned pleasures that make summer truly magical.

grandma arranging flowers in a kitchen with blue walls.

Think fresh-cut flowers, the taste of pies cooling on the windowsill, and evenings spent under starlit skies. Even if you can’t do everything on this list, I hope you find a few favorites that speak to you the most.

What We’ll Cover

  • Slow Living: Sitting on the porch, writing letters, watching the stars, and enjoying where you are.
  • Recipes: Pies, jams, side dishes and more to share.
  • Garden Lifestyle: Cut flowers, fresh fruit, and how to enjoy seasonal living even without a garden.
  • Entertaining: Hosting simple, old-fashioned get-togethers.

1. Embrace the Slow Life

When our value often seems measured by our productivity, embracing the slow life feels like a rebellious act. But here’s the thing: life’s richness doesn’t come from how much we can cram into our schedules. It comes from those moments we allow ourselves to just be. Let’s prioritize connection over consumption, being present over being busy. Trust me, your to-do list can wait, but the perfect summer day won’t.

A peaceful watercolor image of a resting yellow Labrador retriever lounging on a porch ledge, framed by white railing and vibrant yellow flowers, evoking a lazy summer day. A peaceful watercolor image of a resting yellow Labrador retriever lounging on a porch ledge, framed by white railing and vibrant yellow flowers, evoking a lazy summer day.

Slowing down isn’t just a nice idea; it’s a practice that we can weave into our daily lives.

  • Start your day without screens: Resist the urge to check your phone first thing in the morning. Instead, spend the first few moments of your day in quiet reflection or with a simple meditation.
  • Create morning rituals: Whether it’s brewing a cup of tea or coffee, journaling, or simply sitting on your porch to greet the day, establish a morning ritual that eases you into the day.
  • Prioritize tasks: Focus on what truly needs to be done today and let go of the rest. This helps reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and allows you to concentrate on one thing at a time.
  • Take regular breaks: Throughout the day, take short breaks to step outside, breathe in fresh air, stretch, or just close your eyes for a few minutes. It’s amazing how just a little pause can refresh your mind.
  • Eat without distractions: Make mealtime a tech-free zone. Eating without the distraction of screens allows you to fully enjoy your food and the company of those around you.

Step outside, feel the sun on your face, and take a deep breath. And as the day winds down, resist the urge to fill every evening with activities.

2. Garden with Love

Gardening stands as the ideal grandmacore hobby for summer. It links us to nature’s rhythms and our ancestors’ wisdom. Gardening slows us down and fills us with the joy of nurturing life.

A picturesque watercolor farm scene showcasing a classic red barn surrounded by a verdant vegetable garden, with the backdrop of a golden field and distant farm structures under a clear sky.

This summer, let’s approach our gardens with love, not as another chore on our list.

Some vintage gardening strategies:

  • Plant heirloom seeds to connect with history and enjoy unique flavors and colors.
  • Use companion planting to support plant growth and pest control naturally.
  • Employ natural pest remedies like neem oil instead of chemicals.
  • Handpick pests from plants to minimize damage without harming the environment.
  • Collect rainwater for irrigation to conserve water and support plant health.
  • Make your own compost to enrich the soil with organic matter.
  • Practice crop rotation to maintain soil health and prevent disease.
  • Use mulch to retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds.
  • Save seeds from your best plants to preserve and pass down plant heritage.
  • Create a habitat for beneficial insects by planting a diversity of flowers and herbs.

3. Enjoy Summer’s Bounty: Jams, Pies, and More

There’s something extra rewarding about doing things the old way in the kitchen. It’s not just about cooking; it’s about the whole experience. Mixing ingredients by hand, the smell of fresh bread baking, or jam cooking on the stove – it feels good. It’s like stepping back in time and connecting with how people used to make food. It’s hands-on, it’s real, and honestly, it makes everything taste better because you made it yourself.

A warm watercolor kitchen scene where the afternoon light casts a glow on a freshly baked pie and a pitcher of lemonade on the countertop, with berries and lemons adding a touch of summer's bounty.

Some great summertime recipes with lots of nostalgia.

4. Write Letters and Postcards

Handwritten notes offer a personal touch that digital messages can’t. Writing by hand is intentional and shows effort. It’s personal, with each word reflecting something unique about you. In today’s fast world, it’s a meaningful way to connect.

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  • Daily Journaling: Start or end your day jotting down thoughts in a notebook. It’s a great way to reflect and unwind.
  • To-Do Lists: Write your tasks on paper. Crossing them off manually is surprisingly satisfying.
  • Birthday Cards: Skip the digital wishes. Send a card with a personal note instead.
  • Letters to Friends: Remember how excited you were to get mail that wasn’t a bill? Be the reason someone else feels that joy.
  • Recipe Cards: Share your favorite recipes on handwritten cards. It adds a personal touch that a printed version just can’t.
  • Thank-You Notes: After receiving a gift or a kind gesture, a handwritten thank-you can make all the difference.
  • Random Notes of Appreciation: Leave little notes for your loved ones to find. It’s a small effort that can brighten their day.

Receiving a letter or postcard is like finding a treasure in your mailbox. It’s rare and special.

5. Try Vintage Crafts

It’s about enjoying the process, not just the result. Dive into vintage crafts on lazy afternoons—embroidery, pressing flowers, or knitting. These crafts are simple and soothing, offering a connection to a quieter time.

Embroidery and pressing flowers are rewarding ways to create and preserve. They demand patience but offer beauty and satisfaction.

crinkled paper with pressed f lowers on t op

Here are a few old-school projects to keep you entertained and maybe even teach you a skill or two:

  • Macramé Plant Hangers: Perfect for your summer blooms. It’s like knitting for your plants.
  • Handmade Lace: Try your hand at bobbin lace or crochet lace for tablecloths or doilies.
  • Pressed Flower Art: Use the summer flowers to create beautiful bookmarks or framed art.
  • Tin Can Lanterns: Recycle old tin cans into decorative lanterns for those warm summer nights.
  • Embroidered Summer Tote: Give a plain tote bag a summer vibe with some colorful embroidery.
  • Homemade Candles: Use vintage teacups as molds for unique, scented candles.
  • Crochet or Knit Lightweight Scarves: Perfect for cooler summer evenings or as a stylish accessory.

Ending the summer with a few handmade projects can give you a real sense of accomplishment. Plus, you get to enjoy or gift these unique, personal creations. So, pick a craft, grab some supplies, and make this summer one to remember with your own touch of vintage charm.

6. Enjoy the Outdoors Like Our Grandparents Did

Being outdoors simplifies life. It’s about enjoying simple, timeless activities like picnics and stargazing.

For picnics, think homemade pies, lemonade, and sandwiches without crusts, all in a classic basket. Add a checkered blanket and Mason jars for a retro vibe. It’s about making a meal memorable.

porch with red potted flowers

Stargazing and moonlit walks connect us to something bigger. Away from city lights, the night sky expands above you. These walks are not just for exercise but for feeling part of the wider world.

Here are some vintage-inspired ways to make the most of the great outdoors:

  • Ride a classic bicycle: Find an old-style bike with a basket and take a leisurely ride through the park.
  • Fly a kite: Get a traditional diamond-shaped kite and enjoy the simple thrill of watching it soar.
  • Have a retro picnic: Pack a wicker basket with homemade treats, grab a wool blanket, and find a shady spot under a tree.
  • Go berry picking: Spend an afternoon at a local farm picking berries, then make jam or pie with your bounty.
  • Host an outdoor film night: Set up a projector and white sheet to watch classic films under the stars.
  • Play vintage lawn games: Try your hand at croquet, bocce ball, or horseshoes for some old-school fun.
  • Go on a nature scavenger hunt: Make a list of things to find or see in nature and explore your local area.

These activities are not just pastimes. They’re ways to slow down, appreciate the world, and find deep satisfaction in simplicity.

7. Simple Pleasures and Homespun Fun

Simple fun beats high-tech entertainment. Think board games on a lazy afternoon or relaxing on a porch swing. These moments bring us closer, away from screens, focusing on the here and now.

Here are a few ideas to bring a touch of the past into your present:

  • Playing cards by lamplight: Gather friends or family for a game of cards, the old-fashioned way.
  • Listening to vinyl records: Dust off that record player and enjoy the rich, warm sounds of vinyl.
  • Handwriting letters to friends: Take pen to paper and write a heartfelt note.
  • Watching old movies on a projector: Create your own backyard cinema with classic films.
  • Making homemade lemonade: Squeeze some lemons, add sugar, and enjoy the taste of summer.
  • Stargazing with a telescope: Explore the night sky just like astronomers of the past.
  • Sewing or knitting by hand: Start a project like a quilt or a scarf, stitch by stitch.

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Embracing these vintage-inspired simple pleasures can transform an ordinary day into something memorable. So, why not choose one to try this week? You might just find a new favorite way to unwind.

8. Host a Summer Party Like Grandma

Hosting is about making people feel at home and creating a space where everyone feels valued. In today’s fast world, taking time to enjoy friends and family is essential. It’s about connections and memories.

For a grandmacore-themed summer party, consider:

  • Use mismatched vintage plates and lace tablecloths.
  • Serve homemade lemonade and iced tea.
  • Play old-fashioned lawn games like croquet.
  • Enjoy live acoustic music or classic tunes.

The key to being a great host is welcoming and appreciating each guest. Remember, it’s about being present. Spend time with your guests, listen, and ensure everyone feels included. Good hosting is about love and connection, creating a relaxed and joyful atmosphere.

More Resources

Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a great place to start for heirloom vegetable seeds, offering a wide selection that’s open-pollinated, non-GMO, and untreated.

For vintage crafts like embroidery, pressing flowers, or knitting, consider exploring local craft stores or online tutorials on YouTube for inspiration and step-by-step guides. Pinterest is also a treasure trove of ideas for projects ranging from macramé plant hangers to handmade lace.

Companion planting, natural pest remedies, and making your own compost are key components of a grandmacore garden. One of my favorite gardening books, complete with notes about the author’s grandma, is Old Time Gardening Wisdom.

For those interested in stargazing, Sky & Telescope provides guides on what to look for in the night sky, including moon phases, visible planets, and constellations, perfect for planning your moonlit walks and stargazing nights.

Making Grandmacore Your Own

Making grandmacore your own isn’t about ditching all things modern; it’s about mixing old-school charm with today’s world. It’s finding joy in simple things, like reading a real book or writing a letter by hand. You get to pick what parts of grandmacore fit into your life, making it a personal blend of past and present.

Integrating grandmacore into modern life is easier than you might think. Start small: plant some herbs, cook a meal from scratch, or choose board games over binge-watching. It’s about adding warmth and connection to our daily routines, making space for what truly matters.

A grandmacore summer can change how we see the world. It’s about making memories and starting traditions that stick, like that yearly picnic or making jam from scratch.

Have a beautiful summer ❤️.

pretty porch with cat.
How to Have a Grandmacore Summer

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7 Comments

  1. I think the activities can be adapted for weather or if you live in the suburbs or city or in an apartment. I live in a small house in the suburbs with my husband, with a small front yard and small back yard. We have a small front porch and a back deck. We are in a heat wave and can’t do outdoor things much. No pool. lol. We could do an indoor picnic, certainly make tea and lemonade, get an ice cream maker and make ice cream, bake delicious things, do crafts if we want, and pursue several summer things in what you listed. We could bring some of the outdoor things inside until the heat wave ends. I have about 50 houseplants to bring nature near indoors, and that honestly helps keeping greenery around when the weather doesn’t cooperate with the desire to go outdoors.

  2. Hi,lovely ideas to keep us grand mothers busy.I a. looking after my dad and away from my children and grand children.You have so many great ideas that I plan to do with dad but sending post cards and writing more letters will be on my agenda .Thank you for reminding us how precious our time is …

  3. GrandmaCore is the very thing I’ve been looking for. I’ve looked for a way to combine.modern life with my much slower paced earlier life. This sounds like just the thing.

  4. This was a great post, and I already embrace most of the Grandmacore lifestyle. I really am amazed with the beautiful watercolor paintings. Did you do them? Do you sell prints? My 13 year old yellow lab “Junior” passed about 3 weeks ago and the lab on the porch looks just like him. I would love to have a print of that beautiful painting for my home. Thanks again for the lovely post. Hoping to hear that you sell prints. Take care.
    Michelle in VA

    1. hi michelle! i make them using AI, if you can believe it! you are more than welcome to copy or save any of them to your computer, from there you can uplod them to a service like shutterfly that can print them.the resolution is not great so i wouldn’t recommend enlarging it too much