A 'Could-Do' List for June and July.

DISCLAIMER: We’re not quite sure where June disappeared to! It’s been a busy one in the shop! There’s been lots of new things arriving: An eagerly awaited summery top up of our favourite MAILEG mice and rabbits (there are teeny tiny beach huts!) and a couple of new additions in the name of not one but TWO new candle brands! The beautiful St Eval dinner candles and scented terracotta herb pot candles made in Cornwall. And the lovely Bous scented candles, wax melts and diffusers all made from essential oils and botanicals and hand-poured down the road in Cockermouth no less! So it’s no wonder that June has pretty much passed us by in the blink of an eye!


We really enjoyed putting together May’s version of this post but since we’re now in full Summer mode up North and the summer holidays are almost upon us; we thought it was time to do a more summery version! Since there’s very little of June left; we’re squashing it in with July. I’m sure it won’t mind one bit!

Now where were we…..


There’s no denying that a to-do list is a good thing. Having a list of all the things you need to achieve or the many things you need to pick up on a shopping trip or at work is pretty handy. It’s particularly satisfying ticking off each ‘thing’ as you complete it too. And knowing what you need to do next without any fuss or faffing. They save a lot of us time because nothing forces you to be more efficient than a straight-forward list of the only things you need to do that day to survive! Heck even if all they do is make sure you don’t forget the milk for your morning brew or a missing ingredient for tea that evening; lists are a thing to be celebrated and something all of us use in some shape or form. If you scribble yours on the back of an envelope; write it neatly and bullet-point it in a journal or even the note section on your phone, we just know we’re not the only ones who’d struggle to make it through the day without one.


But here’s the thing. What if sometimes following a list of what you should do suddenly became more about what you could do instead. Imagine if there were no rules, or restrictions or other more mundane things to hold you back? What could you do?! Maybe next time you have some free time or a day off. Sit and let your imagination run wild and give writing a 'could-do' list a go. It’s more fun than you might think. And there are no major disasters if you don’t get through it all either….


Here are some ideas on what you could do in June and July (instead of just empty the wash basket and finish the ironing etc)…

MAKE THE MOST OF SEASONAL FRUIT AND VEG


Summer is the very best time for eating seasonally because all of a sudden out of the blue, everything is ready all at once! It’s all hands on deck for ways to use up, store and preserve the delicious glut of fruit and vegetables that are around and about come this time of year. There is a LOT of fruit about such as blackberries, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and greengages. Why not try making some delicious Strawberry and Basil scones for a change on the humble traditional scone recipe? They work just as well with a little soft cheese as they do with cream and strawberry jam.



ENJOY THE LONGER, LIGHTER EVENINGS


Summer solstice was on 25th June this year in the UK. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere like us, that’s the day of the year that we’re treated to the most daylight. We’re all very much creatures of habit aren’t we? After supper is finished and the dishes are tidied away, we settle down for the night with a film, book or box-set. Why not make an effort to switch things up and get out for a walk on an evening instead of through the day? The temperature is generally much cooler, it’s a lot quieter and even if you think it’s too late to take a picnic; why not pack a flask of tea and some cake instead?!



SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENTS!


We’ve definitely noticed an influx of new faces popping into the shop: Visitors staying on holiday in the Lakes or just bobbing over the border from Scotland. Also a fair few lucky ducks taking the Settle to Carlisle steam train and stumbling upon our little shop by accident! Now that we can all roam a little more freely and not as many of us are venturing oversees this summer time; it’s the perfect time to give a little bit back to all of the local independent shops, bars and restaurants (like us!), that have had a bit of a wobbly year. July has been crowned #shopindependentmonth in the UK so why not make more of a conscious effort to buy as much as you can from the smaller, independent companies whether that’s online or in person. If you’re planning a day trip, or a few days away in the UK, do your research and make a point of exploring the local independent shops and attractions and not just the bigger ones. Did you know that if every adult spent £1 a day with a small business, it would add on a whopping £12 BILLION to local economies…?!? We’ll just leave that there to sink in….



BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY


Ever so loosely tied to the last point BUT next time you're at a loss and have a few hours spare or HECK maybe you might even like to dedicate a whole day to it. Think about it, when was the last time you viewed your own town or city through the eyes of a tourist?! We can all be guilty of going through the motions and doing the same routes, trips and visiting the same places over and over again. Maybe because it's easy, maybe because it’s familiar. Next time you have some free time, make time to visit the places you usually wouldn’t. Whether that’s something as little as buying your coffee from somewhere else and taking a walk around streets you usually wouldn’t; or taking the time to search for local attractions, exhibitions or markets and making a whole day of it - imagine how nice it could be to try something different?! You might just learn a thing or two while you're at it...



SO there you have it! A ‘COULD-do’ list for the back end of June and July! We could have gone on and on and on because once you start, there are so many things you could do and let's face it; there's no getting away from the fact they're much more interesting than the things you should be doing! Let us know if you try any of the above - better still give us a nudge with your 'Could-Do' list ideas! We're forever on the look out for ways to avoid the boring jobs....


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