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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 we’re joined by Seint Monet (Colleen O’Donnell), who just released her dreamy debut single “Bloom” this morning! Check out the track below, find out what she’s been up to this unusual summer (fruit salads, Woo Woos, book clubs and more have been key), and stay tuned for her debut EP release in September!

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

Summer is a great time for me. Since I’m still in school, having a few months off gives me time to recharge. Even though this summer is obviously very different than any other, I’ve been trying to do the same things I usually would; writing and recording, exercising, spending time with family, etc.

 What is your summer shaping up to look like?

Making and releasing music! My first single comes out August 7th and the EP will be released late September. I’ll also be writing for my first full album.

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

I’m excited to finally be releasing music. The team and I have been working endlessly to create the best music and visuals. It’s been a LONG time coming.

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

Well, for starters, wearing a mask not only keeps you safe but the people around you! It’s important to be mindful of what is expected of you in your community during this time. Also, frequently washing your hands, which is really something you should be doing anyway!

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

Getting outside can make all the difference. Sometimes fresh air is all you need to reset. Nashville is full of beautiful parks that are great for taking some time to yourself outside. Meditation is also extremely important to me. I like listening to manifestation meditations on YouTube to keep me calm and centered on my goals.

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

I get my masks from Walgreens. They have boxes of 25 masks, super convenient. I wouldn’t say I have a go-to summer uniform. If I’m at home, I usually wear a t-shirt and sweatpants. If I’m going out, I like to change it up and experiment with different looks.

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

My best friend and I actually just started our own book club. We’re very big on work ethic and manifestation, so we usually choose books that are about that. We just finished reading “It’s All In Your Head” by Russ. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is really serious about the work they’re pursuing. 

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?

Honestly, it really depends on what mood I’m in. Fruit salad is always great, especially in the summer. I feel like anything that you can make a large quantity of is good for any type of gathering. My mom also makes this amazing taco dip that I could eat every day. I’m still trying to make it as good as her.

What about a great summer cocktail or mocktail recipe?

Huge cocktail fan here. If we’re talking something fancy, my dad and I have been on a Woo Woo kick lately. It consists of vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. We’ve also been enjoying margs, especially Costco’s Golden Margarita. Otherwise, champagne with fresh strawberries is a drink I can never get sick of.

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

Oh man, this is always a difficult question for me. Whenever I’m listening to my playlists, a song will come on and I’m like “this song is amazing!” and then the next song will come on and I’m like “oh wait, THIS is it.” I’ll basically have that reaction for every song. I guess if I had to choose, I would say in this very moment, my three picks are “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” by Caroline Polachek, “3 AM” by HAIM, and “The Weight” by Aretha Franklin.

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

I had plans to travel to LA a few times this summer for work. Definitely sad that I had to postpone those trips. Other than that, I had nothing else planned. If COVID wasn’t happening (but the flight prices were still as cheap as they are now), I would love to go to Amsterdam. It’s a dream of mine.

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?

My favorite thing about Nashville is the coffee shops. At the moment, there are some that have strictly outdoor seating and others that have socially-distanced indoor seating. My go-to right now is Three Brothers Coffee on West End. The employees are super fun and the coffee is great. It’s a great atmosphere for when you want to do work outside your home. For tourists, I would recommend stopping at LA Jackson on top of The Thompson in the Gulch. It’s my favorite rooftop bar that has an amazing view of Nashville.