10 ways to make life lovely

Saviour the simple things in life. Here is an inspiring list of ideas:

Make elderflower cordial

Elderflower is in abundance at this time of the year. It can be found in hedgerows, roadsides or in gardens. Why not make this thirst-quenching countryside cordial, perfect for long summer evenings? It’s very simple to make and can be mixed with tonic water, lemonade or in cocktails. Serve with ice and a pretty paper straw.

Stay in an historic building

Planning a trip? Why not stay in a historical place full of history and atmosphere? Ranging from picturesque cottages to spectacular castles, the Landmark Trust is devoted to restoring buildings that are in danger returning them to their full glory. Visit Landmark Trust for more information.

Visit a farm

There is something quite pleasant and heart-warming when seeing the farm during spring/summer and the Mothers and babies bask in the warmth of the sun. With the huge increase of supermarkets, farms have taken a blow so help support your local farm by purchasing their produce. These can be anything from homemade jams to fresh eggs. Our local farm produces the creamiest ice cream using fresh cream – you can imagine the difficulty choosing a flavour!

Start a herb garden or herb window box

Adding fresh home-grown herbs to dishes is not only delightfully appetizing but it is inexpensive. I have a small plot in Meadow Gate where I grow herbs including basil, lavender, rosemary and camomile. If you don’t have the space, a small window box will do and during summer the sweet aromas from the herbs will breeze through into your home like a wonderful rustic aromatherapy.

Organise your pantry

A well organised pantry is a happy pantry (I am sure someone has said that somewhere…) but the point I am making is that it can be frustrating when you cannot find what you are looking for in your pantry. Once clean and sorted, get creative with pretty labels – use chalkboard paint and write on the contents, use kilner jars or print off labels from the internet.

Create your own stationery

Instead of sending that text, why not write it down on some lovely homemade stationery? Places such as Hobby Craft and The Works sell wonderful items to decorate your letter set with. From ribbons and stamps to buttons and stickers there is so much to choose from to make your own homemade stationery.

Try up-cycling

Give an old piece of furniture a new lease of life by upcycling it. This could be an item in your bedroom or living room or even a carboot find! There are many tutorials for up-cycling but I find the best way is to let your creative juices flow and work with what you’ve got.

Visit a country show

If you have never been before, I strongly encourage you to visit. Usually a day or 2-day pass, there is everything you could imagine from stalls to horse trials and baking competitions to crafting creations. Many are held during the summer, but you can find out from your local library or tourist information.

Listen to nature

The National Trust and the British Library have teamed up to create the first ever coastal sound map. Record and share your favourite sounds of the shore and help build a soundscape. Download the app to record and share with the ‘Sounds of our Shores.’ It could be anything from footsteps in the sand to waves crashing against the rocks. For more information visit The National Trust website.

Go cycling down country lanes

Cycling has many health benefits but when was the last time you got off the beaten track and went down that pretty country lane you always stared at on the way to work? Take the time to go cycling and admire the beautiful idyllic countryside.

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