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15 Things You Should Do To Make The Most Out Of Summer This Year

15 Things You Should Do To Make The Most Out Of Summer This Year

The summer season is here. Finally, we are able to spend hours outdoors. From sunrise to sunset, we long to be in the fresh air, enjoying the precious sunshine and warmth. Now that Summer is here, let’s make sure we make the very most out of this season. Some people feel as though they have to do extravagant things in order to make the most of the summer, however I will share with you a few things that you can do to make the most out of this summer doing simple everyday things.

1. Watch a sunrise

Sunrise

    One of the most wonderful ways to begin your day, is to watch a sunrise. Yes, the sun rises early and you may have to make special arrangements to actually be on time to see this spectacular show of nature.

    Check out when the sun rises in your area. Grab a coffee (or your favorite morning beverage). Grab a camera or your smart phone. Be ready to experience a magnificent art show in the sky. The reason I suggest this is that there is something so incredible about seeing the beauty of the morning sky painted by the rising of the sun. It gives you an opportunity to see how grand our world is. The vastness of the sky, the morning sun peeking through the horizon, and the parade of color that is exhibited is amazing.

    Something about watching a sunrise aligns me with the complexity and simplicity of life at the same time. If you make the extra preparations to watch a sunrise, your day will begin on a fabulous note.

    2. Be a tourist in your own hometown

    Tourist

      Let’s face it, we live day to day viewing our surroundings with our eyes half shut. Our area is pretty much “old hat.” This summer, I encourage you to take the eyes of a tourist and look at your town and the towns surrounding you, in a fresh way.

      Do a bit of research on what may be available in the area. Have you driven by a certain place time and time again, thinking, I really should check that out? One way to become a tourist in your own area is pretend that you have guests coming and you will need to be their tour guide. Find all the interesting sites and things to do in your area. Make an itinerary for the pretend visit.

      Now go out and enjoy your town. Make new memories while you trek familiar territory.

      3. Fly a Kite

      Kite flying

        Have you ever seen the sheer thrill on a child’s face when they see a kite flying in the air? Learn to enjoy the pleasure that comes from simple fun.

        A sense of freedom overtakes me every time I put my kite up in the skies. From the moment of catching the breeze and releasing it higher and higher into the skies until I reel it back in, I have a childlike abandon. My tensions seem to release whenever I am flying my kite. Time stands still as I gaze upward. I feel emancipated from daily cares. I know it sounds crazy and it is difficult to put into words exactly how it makes me feel but I encourage you to grab a kite, (it doesn’t have to be an expensive one), find a suitable place to fly it, and set yourself free in the wind for a period of time.

        Enjoy the refreshing feeling you get from a timeless activity.

        4. Build a Sandcastle

        Sandcastles

          Live by the seaside, what a wonderful thing! When I am able to sit by the shore, there is a magical feeling inside of me. Feeling the sea breeze, hearing the sounds of the waves crashing, and seeing the immensity of the ocean calms me in ways that nothing else can.

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            Another side to beach-life is to be carefree like a child. Building a sandcastle is a daunting task yet so enjoyable. Hauling the buckets of sand and water to make the castle is just plain ‘ole fun. The joy in watching your castle come to life is priceless.

            I used to think this was just a thing for kids to do; until one day when I joined in. In today’s world,which causes us to be so “busy” most days, a dose of sandcastle building is one of the simple things that can be so enjoyable. Go ahead and try it!

            5. Go for a Nature Walk

            Nature Walk

              So many articles and quotes have been written about the benefits of walking in nature. says,

              “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” –  John Muir

               

              “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

               

              ” An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau

              I agree with these statements wholeheartedly. Spending time walking among nature is a satisfying experience for your soul.

              If you want to make the most of the summer, try adding a nature walk into your schedule. Not only will you be getting great exercise, but also be surrounded by the incredible beauty of nature. When you walk, take the time to be mindful of the moment. Bask in the raw beauty of all that surrounds you. 

              6. Plant a Garden

              Garden

                “The glory of gardening; hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. to nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul,” Alfred Austin

                Imagine your first bite into a vegetable that you just grew in your own garden!  The yummy juices and succulent flavors are indescribable. This is the harvest of your labors.

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                In most things, the best part is the finished product, but in gardening there is joy all along the process; from the planting of the seeds, to seeing the blossoming of the buds, and then the glorious taste of freshness. You don’t have to grow vegetables, you can grow herbs or flowers instead.

                Planning for bursts of color in your garden beds will brighten up each day’s view. The first time I planted a garden, it was so rewarding to look each day at the progress of growth. I could sit for hours just to enjoy the beauty of the blossoms. As the saying goes, life begins in a garden.

                7. Watch Fireworks

                Fireworks

                  Fireworks are fascinating! The colorful display lights up the night sky and the eyes of all those watching. The powerful booming sounds echoing add to the show. Many of the firework shows have displays that are timed to music.

                  Young children have bright eyes and animated expressions on their faces when they see the sky light up. Even if you aren’t a child any longer, fireworks can make you feel like a kid again. I remember seeing fireworks at Disney, as an adult, honestly for a few fleeting moments, I believed in fairy tales!

                  8. Go Camping

                  Camping

                    Camping refreshes the soul. Quality of life is added when we take time away from everyday life to simplify life and unwind in nature. In today’s world we are running full pace living lives of frenzied activity and packed with electronic devices. When is the last time you unplugged and spent time with your family connected to nature?

                    In the quietness of nature, you can clear your mind. Camping exhibits the simplicity of life and all the beauty around us, that so often we take for granted. Waking up to the morning light with the sound of birds and other wildlife starts the day off on a relaxed pace. Spending hours outdoors with the ones you love will bring you life time memories.

                    camping (1)

                      One of my favorite pictures of my dad was taken during a camping trip. Every time I see that photo, I smile and have a special memory of our times together. Spending the evening beside the campfire talking can be just what you need to reconnect with your family. Don’t forget to enjoy the amazing starry skies that are on display once it gets dark.

                      9. Go to an Outdoor Concert

                      Outdoor Concert

                        “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Plato

                        Lucky for me and my family, we have a few places in our area that offer free outdoor concerts in the summer. Of course, not everyone knows about them. I stumbled on them years back. When my daughters were young, it was traditional that we went to a beach concert every Thursday evening.  It was so fun to hear the music and see the kids dancing and playing around in the sand. This is a family friendly event and it doesn’t even cost anything! I am happy to say that now my daughters and I are bringing my grandchildren to this event! We look forward to it each week.

                        The kids have a blast, as well as the adults. Check out what is in your area. Outdoor summer concerts are quite popular now and many towns and cities are having them.

                        10. Go to a Sporting Event

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                        Outdoor Sporting

                          Take me out to the ball game! Take me out to the crowd! Can you hear that song playing in the back of your memories? Family ties are strengthened whenever you go to an event of some type. Memories are made that last a lifetime.

                          It can get costly if you go to the major sporting events, however, there are many local teams that play in the summer. Search around and find a game or two that you can go to with your family. Outdoor car tracks, tennis, softball, volleyball, soccer, and baseball are just some of the outdoor sporting events available.

                          I recently had so much fun with my 4 grandchildren at a car race. We would pick out a car we would want to win. Every time that car came around the track we would cheer and scream. Even my 2 year-old grandson got into the action. I laughed so hard at the expressions on everyone’s face. What a great time had by all!

                          11. Spend Time with Family and Friends

                          Friends and Family

                            The best way to make the most out of this summer is simply to spend quality time with your family and friends. Summer is an awesome time to “make memories” that will last a lifetime. During the summer, the days are longer; allowing us more time to be outdoors.

                            Make sure to schedule times together with the ones you want to be with. Often times, we say we want to do “such and such” with someone and before we realize it the days have come and gone without even getting together.

                            Make family dates throughout the summer. Dedicate a special day of the week that you meet up with them and spend time doing something special. Maybe have a cookout once a week, or go for an evening walk together, or have a movie night. If you plan these events, you will be sure to be able to spend special times together.

                            12. Take Photos

                            Photos

                              “Every photo you take communicates something about a moment in time- a brief slice of time of where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing.” Kevin Systrom

                              I overheard a young lady saying she needed to get a new phone because her pictures were full on her phone. I had to chuckle to myself. I guess she hadn’t learned how to save and remove her photos. I also thought to myself, wow, she has taken a lot of photos and made a lot of memories.

                              It is always good to remember the special moments we make each day. How much better when we can have that memory in a photo!

                              So many hours have gone by just looking at pictures we have taken.  Remember when… Oh I remember this day and place….. Laughter fills the air as we sit and giggle over funny expressions, old hairdos, out-of-style glasses and so much more.

                              Summer is an awesome time to take photos! Now with smartphones it is so much easier than ever to smile, snap and click!

                              13. Star Gaze

                              Stargaze

                                “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” Vincent Van Gogh

                                I don’t know all the scientific names and locations of stars and planets in the sky, but I don’t let that get in the way of stargazing.  I love gazing into the skies above me and seeing the magnificent display of stars. Laying on a blanket under a starry sky isn’t just romantic, it is also very relaxing. Hot summer nights offer us the opportunity to do this.

                                If you live in or around a city, you may want to find a location that offers a darker sky for better viewing. Another excellent tip: download an app on your phone that will tell you exactly what you are viewing. There are many different apps for you to choose from. It is really cool to actually begin to learn the constellations and where they are in the night sky. Enjoy the vastness of the skies.

                                14. Host an Outdoor Costume Party

                                Costume Party

                                  Costume parties are so much fun.  Most of the time we are limited to wearing costumes just for Halloween. I suggest hosting a summer outdoor themed Costume Party.

                                  Invite a bunch of your family and friends to a Luau Party,  a pirate party,  a princess party, a superhero party or plan your own costume themed party. Along with being able to wear a costume, you will be able to enjoy fresh air and games and some party themed food too.

                                  Every now and then I will do some internet browsing for fun parties to plan. The list is endless. I am certain that you can find one that suits your party needs this summer.

                                  15. Travel As Much As Possible

                                  Travel

                                    “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine

                                    I know as soon as the word “travel” is mentioned, many of us have ideas of far away exotic places. While it is awesome to be able to visit those places, sometimes it doesn’t fit into our plans or budget.

                                    Travelling obviously will take more time, money and planning than the other activities. I have found that there are some trips that you can find, with some research, that are not overly costly. I think of travel as a form of investment. Travelling is an education. The more places you are able to visit, the more knowledge of the world you acquire.

                                    No matter where you go, there is a learning experience waiting for you. Stretching our minds through travel is a wonderful thing. The world is a big place; try to take in as many places as you possibly can.

                                    This summer, no matter where you are or what you are doing, I wish you  sunshine, love and laughter.

                                    Featured photo credit: Close up portrait of happy smiling couple in love laying in wood white floor. Wearing retro clothes and sunglasses. Reflection of palm trees in glasses. via shutterstock.com

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                                    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                                    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                                    1. Nuts

                                    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                    2. Blueberries

                                    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                    3. Tomatoes

                                    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                    4. Broccoli

                                    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                    6. Soy

                                    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                    7. Dark Chocolate

                                    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                                    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                                    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                    10. Gingko Biloba

                                    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                                    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                                    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                    11. Green and Black Tea

                                    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                    12. Sage and Rosemary

                                    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                    More About Boosting Brain Power

                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                    Reference

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