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SUMMER RULES is a series where we ask people to share with us how they’re staying safe and sane during this very different summer season; from mask suggestions to soundtrack selections, we’ll take a peek into how others are making these challenging times work.

Today’s contributor is singer-songwriter Madison Olds; she’s got a brand new bop out, so most definitely check that out below, and then find out what she’s been up to this summer ft. getting outside, snacking on guac, and (of course) hand sanitizing dot com:

How do you usually feel about summer, as a season overall, and how do you feel about THIS summer, by comparison?

Summer to me usually is a time to kick back, relax and enjoy the sun and not much has really changed here! While I personally love the rainy cooler seasons, one of my favorite things is the hot sun on my skin. With lots of light and warmth, summer has always filled me with extra serotonin and overall joy. I guess that’s what I think about first when I think of summer.

What is your summer shaping up to look like?

My summer has turned out to be pretty amazing! I have been able to spend lots of time with my family enjoying the outdoors and soaking in as much sun as possible! I have been trying to find inspiration to write music but with so much going on it’s hard not to get overwhelmed.

Is there anything in particular you’re actually looking forward to this summer?

I was hoping this summer was going to be spent playing lots of shows and seeing as many concerts as possible, but it looks like that’s not going to happen this year. So now, I’m most excited about being able to write some new music for 2021!

What are some of your tips for staying safe and sane right now?

Definitely got my hand sanitizer with me everywhere haha. Apart from washing my hands, wearing my mask and keeping my distance, I have been trying to stay home unless I need to go out. To stay sane, I don’t even know if I know what that feels like haha! I try to get some fresh air and walk my dog as much as possible as well as playing music with my pops!

Go-to summer wellness practice advice? Any spots in particular that have been helping you on that front?

I’m pretty lucky that my parents live close to an amazing hiking trail, so I like to spend a lot of my time there. It’s close enough to the city but feels like a magical forest. Other than getting lots of sun and hiking, there aren’t really any other wellness rituals I practice!

Where did you get your mask from? And what, aside from that, has been your more or less go-to summer uniform?

My mom actually, god send that she is, bought everyone in the family matching masks from a local seamstress haha. Besides the mask, I have a keychain hand sanitizer I take everywhere, some Birkenstock knock off sandals I got in Thailand, and Lulu Lemon shorts.

What (if anything) are you reading right now, and why do you recommend it? (Alternatively, just share a favorite book.)

Kind of nerdy, but I’m reading the Alchemyst by Michael Scott. It’s a bit of a fantasy series based on Nicholas Flamel, a famous French manuscript seller believed to have achieved the stone of immortality. Pretty cool stuff.

Do you have a go-to summer hang-out recipe that still works for a socially distanced gathering? And/or just a favorite general summer recipe that’s still a go-to, even now?

I make a mean guacamole! I start with combining fresh garlic, lime, salt and pepper, cilantro, and some other secret seasonings. I let them vibe out while I cut up onion, peppers, tomatoes, spinach (finely) and avocado. Mix it all up and it’s pretty frickin’ fire on a chip or like a taco.

What about great summer cocktails or mocktail recipes?

I am pretty lazy when it comes to cocktails and honestly love an ice cold can of Nestea Iced tea and a shot of cucumber mint Ketel One vodka. Yummm!

What’s on your summer playlist this year, or are there three songs that are permanent summer favorites for you?

My permanent summer playlist consists of “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles (duh), “Overwhelmed” by Royal and the Serpent and “Girlfriend” by Charlie Puth. I could probably just listen to these three on repeat all summer long.

Where do you wish you COULD GO this summer, if there were no restrictions or safety risks?

My all-time favorite place to visit is London, U.K. I love walking up and down the Thames drinking a few beers and soaking in the many people. Hopefully next summer I can soak up the sun, suck back a pint and wave to the queen.

And is there anywhere you’ve been safely going that you could recommend for people who live nearby? Any day trips or local spots worth mentioning, for example?

I love the lake life and my new fav spot is Kentucky Lake between Merritt B.C. and Kelowna B.C. They have crystal blue water and it basically feels like Hawaii up there! Plus, there is no cell service so I can totally just escape!

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