3 Fun Lists To Share

Hello blog friends! How are you doing? I hope all is well with you. Come on in to my blog space so we can have a coffee or tea and catch up since I last shared my imaginary fishing expedition with you.

If we were having coffee, I’d say that I hope you like lists. I use them to capture key points when they’re still fresh in my mind and I can expand them into more details later. I have three fun lists to share in this post: The Extras, Mind Exercises, and Summer Fun. Feel free to read all three, or skip to the list that may be of interest to you.

The Extras

Orange flowers.

My first list is the extras that make my ordinary days extra-ordinary. They bring me many smiles this week:

  • Chats with my family members online.
  • Chats with my girlfriends by phone.
  • Chat with my neighbour: in-person, outdoors, and 2 metres apart.
  • Blue skies and sunshine all week long, high 30C on summer solstice.
  • Booked and anticipating a kayak outing next week.
  • Home-baked banana blueberry loaf: My new baking success.
  • New books from the library.
  • New sightings of urban wildlife: Birds, toads, and river otter pups.
  • Outdoor walks in the sunshine.
  • Scents of lilacs, roses, and blends of other flowers.

I’m grateful that my family and friends are all well. To date, no one in my social circle is sickened by the COVID-19 virus. Summer is officially here and nature continues to show off her seasonal beauty that makes my time outdoors wonderful.

10 Fun Mind Exercises

My second list shows ten fun exercises that I do to keep my brain sharp. The 6th Wellness Weekend link-up of 2020 is on today. The optional prompt for June is Mind Exercises. Please join in on the fun. All links are at the bottom of this post.

When we’re young, most of us are not concerned about our health. As we age, we know we need to do something to stay healthy. I assume that my blog readers all know we need to take care of our mind (the brain), just like any other part of the body.

When it comes to brain health, I refer to the Alzheimer Society Canada web site. It has plenty of helpful information and resources such as: A page on brain health, a printable brochure titled Heads Up for Healthier Brain, and a short video on “What can you do to keep your brain healthy?”.

I do several fun mind exercises on a regular basis and try new things to keep my brain as healthy as possible as I age. I also try to eat healthy, stay socially active, get enough sleep, and go for my regular health check-ups.

Here’s my list of 10 Fun Mind Exercises:

  • Bake a new recipe: Baking uses a number of senses: smell, touch, sight, and taste, which all involve different parts of the brain.
  • Do math in my head without the aid of calculator, or pencil and paper.
  • Do physical exercises that involve switching sides, counting steps, sets, repetitions, and focusing on different muscle groups.
  • Learn foreign languages: French and Spanish. The listening and hearing involved stimulates the brain, and more efforts required to differentiate the two similar languages.
  • Learn new skills: Baking, blogging, learning a new 20-minute dance workout with various dance moves, and photography.
  • Meditate: Of all the mental exercises, meditation may be the most challenging. It takes practice to quiet our mind.
  • Play with words: Write blog posts, play word games or Scrabble.
  • Practice yoga: Many yoga poses require focus and good co-ordination of mind and body.
  • Read widely, study directions, and maps.
  • Test my recall: Make a list, memorize it, recall it an hour or so later to see how many items I can recall.

My Summer 2020 Fun List

My blogger friend, Leslie at Once Upon A Time Happily Ever After, has invited me and other bloggers to join in her Summer Fun List link-up so the third and last list in this post is my Summer 2020 Fun List.

My Summer 2020 Fun List

My Summer 2020 Fun List focuses on summer in the city. It has a number of outdoor activities that take advantage of the warm weather and the natural amenities by Lake Ontario. These activities are inexpensive and require minimal preparation on my part.

Here’s my list of 10 Summer Fun Activities:

  • Eat a lot of summer fruits.
  • Enjoy ice cream.
  • Explore local gardens or parks.
  • Go cycling on the waterfront trail.
  • Have a picnic by the lake.
  • Look for wildlife in the city.
  • Paddle within Toronto Islands.
  • Read light novels.
  • Relax at a lake beach.
  • Walk on the boardwalk.

I hope to share some of these activities with my family and friends as the government eases restrictions on social gatherings, and to check off all ten items on my summer fun list in the next thirteen weeks, before the first day of Autumn hits.

How did your week go? What fun mind exercises do you do? What’s on your summer fun list? I’d love to hear your comments.

I’m linking up this post to Wellness Weekends 2020, Summer 2020 Fun List, and other link-ups as listed here.

Copyright © 2023 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

75 thoughts on “3 Fun Lists To Share

  1. Sagittarius Viking June 21, 2020 / 6:27 am

    Thank you for these inspiring lists Natalie 🙂 I’d say that my summer list, for the next 6 weeks of my staycation is to;

    Spend quality time with my daughter, really listening to her
    Sleep enough
    Go for walks
    Swim in the lake
    Learn more about gardening via Youtube
    Attend to my garden
    Eat ice cream
    Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables
    Take pictures that makes me and others happy
    Pick blueberries and lingonberries
    Blog/read inspiring blogs

    I hope that you are having a wonderful, wonderful weekend my friend ❤


    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 10:12 am

      Hi Maria, I love your summer list. When you pick lingonberries, please share the photos on your blog. I miss that from Sweden. Have a wonderful week ahead! I know both of us will enjoy every minute of summer from our corner of the world.


  2. Jill Weatherholt June 21, 2020 / 6:31 am

    Great lists, Natalie! I’ve always been a list maker. I get a lot of satisfaction checking things off as I accomplish the task. I love that bicycle! Since I have a book due at the end of August, my summer fun might have to wait a bit. Have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 10:17 am

      Jill, I so admire your focus and commitment to write your books. I hope the writing flows easily between now and August for you. Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean June 21, 2020 / 6:39 am

    Wonderful lists. Like you I do math in my head, too– hoping to keep my mind alert. I keep lists in my head out of necessity. I also memorize poems and say them out loud to myself as a way of keeping my mind clicking. I used to study maps, but got away from that for some reason. Thanks for the reminder to get back to doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 10:20 am

      Thank you, Ally, for your visit and comment. I’m in awe that you memorize poems. I haven’t tried that yet. Thanks for giving me a new idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Suzanne@PictureRetirement June 21, 2020 / 8:28 am

    Hi Natalie, now that restrictions are easing, we are planning a little get-a-way for early July, and I am playing golf again. Even if I add nothing more to my summer fun list, this will do nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 10:27 am

      Planning a get-away sounds exciting, Suzanne. The planning and anticipating is half the fun. My province is still under emergency orders so I’m having fun close to home for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Joanne June 21, 2020 / 8:50 am

    Wonderful lists– every single one of them! I like to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things but never really thougth about the brain boosting benefits of doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 10:29 am

      Thank you, Joanne, for linking up with me on this Wellness Weekend. Trying new things is good for our brain health and makes life interesting. Have a great week ahead!


  6. dprastka June 21, 2020 / 9:19 am

    Awesome blog post and the lists are GREAT! I do think we need to exercise our brains as we age and there are things on your list that are so easy to do and fun! Thank you for sharing, very inspiring! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 10:35 am

      Thank you, Diana, for your encouraging words. Our health is essential to enjoy life so I try to take care of my health the best I can. Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. trentpmcd June 21, 2020 / 1:57 pm

    Good lists. I do have to say, though, that “river otter pups” makes me a little jelous 😉 lol. I’m sure they are cute and I hope you have photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 3:12 pm

      The river otter pups are playful, and swim very fast. I wasn’t able to get a good photo from where I was. Hopefully next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. sixlittlehearts June 21, 2020 / 5:33 pm

    Lovely list! I am doing many of your suggestions in lock down, only it’s freezing cold here in Melbourne!
    Love the flowers, I miss them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 6:52 pm

      Thank you, Jody, for your visit and comment. I hope it warms up a bit for you in Melbourne. We have heat warning here this weekend, high about 32C and sunny. From Tuesday on, it should be back to normal temperatures. Have a good week!


  9. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid June 21, 2020 / 7:39 pm

    I love a good list situation and I will try and tick off a few of your fun mind exercises! Of course, it’s winter here but we are still enjoying the easing of restrictions! I’m looking forward to celebrating in Christmas in July and taking a few mini road trips – I’ve missed my adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 8:25 pm

      Hi Sammie, Mini road trips sound exciting and fun. We’re still under emergency orders with many restrictions so I’m staying close to home for now. Look forward to hearing about your adventures.


  10. msomerville2014 June 21, 2020 / 7:39 pm

    I love all of your lists. I am a list maker, but my lists are usually things I do not want to forget to do the next day (I keep a note pad on my night stand for just such a purpose) and things I need to get at the store. Maybe I need to start a fun list! Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 8:28 pm

      Hi Michele, I think a fun list keeps things more balanced for us, not just to-do list or reminders. I look forward to hearing about your fun list.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Debbie June 21, 2020 / 8:00 pm

    I always enjoy a good list Natalie!! Your lists are useful and fun, thanks for the ideas. I must say outdoor walks in the sunshine is one of my favourite activities, even if it’s only winter sunshine 🙂 #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 8:35 pm

      Hi Debbie, Outdoor walks in the sunshine is one of my favourite activities, too. There is always something to see and walking clears my mind to make room for new ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Retirement Reflections June 21, 2020 / 8:27 pm

    Hi, Natalie – With the exception of “Paddle within Toronto Islands” (which I would love to do) our summer fun lists are the same. I look forward to reading more about your summer adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 8:40 pm

      OMG Donna, I wish we lived in the same town to share these fun activities. I look forward to reading more about your summer adventures and seeing your photos. BC natural scenery is amazing.


  13. Deborah June 21, 2020 / 9:16 pm

    Oh good idea Natalie. I might put together a list of ‘things I’d like to do this winter’. I keep looking at people going away for weekends or out on hikes and feel envious it’s not me. I might not be able to afford a weekend away / mini break but I can certain take myself out of town on a hike and plan some other exciting activities. Thanks for the suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 21, 2020 / 9:49 pm

      You’re welcome, Deb. My city and province are still under emergency orders atm. Some inter-provincial travel restrictions and quarantine requirements still exist in Canada so I’m staying close to home for now. I feel like I’m doing summer camp in the city 🙂


  14. Erica/Erika June 21, 2020 / 10:06 pm

    Natalie, A very creative play on words. The scents of flowers is always a good reminder to pay attention to all of our senses. I believe your brain is very healthy, Natalie. You engage in many diverse activities every week. You are right how yoga is much more than just physical exercise. If I recall, “ice cream” is something you and I have in common. Good, quality ice cream is definitely my guilty pleasure. Some of the restrictions are easing here. I think the bubble has gone from 6 to 10 people. I am still keeping to only my children and their families. I see a best girlfriend, although we social distance with our walks. We are staying very cautious around here. A wonderful post, Natalie! Always nice to catch up with you.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 9:58 am

      Erica/ Erika, Glad to hear you’ve been able to see your children, their families and your best girl friend. I’m staying cautious, too. Other than one meeting with my sister outdoors, staying 2m apart and bringing our own coffee, and one chat with my neighbour, also outdoors, standing at least 2m apart, I keep in touch with my family and friends by phone or online. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com June 21, 2020 / 10:30 pm

    What a fun post. Great idea to combine the two. I am going to want to know more about the dance routine you are going to learn. I have wanted to learn line dancing for years.
    It seems that things are opening up more there than here in Texas. We would not yet be able to enjoy the city parks, or go to a beach. We had about a week when masks weren’t mandatory and then they amended things and they are mandatory again. One step forward…

    Would enjoy seeing pics of your banana bread…and having the recipe so I can try it myself. My MIL has a very good banana bread recipe that I made recently but the bread didn’t rise well. Maybe because of the altitude here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 10:18 am

      Hi Leslie, I’ve been doing Chloe Bent’s 20-minute Dance Cardio workout on Fridays, just to try something new and fun. It’s on YouTube which also has many other dance videos.

      The city parks in Toronto stay open throughout the pandemic although the facilities like gym equipment, playground, washrooms, etc were closed. Our social distancing rules only ease recently, to allow up to 10 people max, to be together while staying at least 2m (6 ft) apart. It used to be max 5 people unless they live in the same household. I go to the parks or beach at non-peak times so no crowd, plus the warm weather just started in June. From March to May, it was nice but not warm enough for t-shirts or shorts so the beach goers were not out then.

      I’ll share the banana blueberry loaf recipe in my June wrap-up post. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!


  16. leannelc June 21, 2020 / 11:18 pm

    Hi Natalie – great lists and I like how they overlap with each other (which shows that they’re things you enjoy and will accomplish). I haven’t got any lists going atm but I do have a few regular items that get checked off each week as we head into Winter here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 10:29 am

      Hi Leanne, The main thing for me is to enjoy each day and feel satisfied with how I spent my days. I think you’ve found what works well for you, too.


      • leannelc June 24, 2020 / 12:08 am

        Hi Natalie – just back for #MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM x

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie June 24, 2020 / 9:03 am

          Thank you, Leanne. Have a wonderful week!


    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 10:35 am

      Spring will come, Sanch. I read about the ease of restrictions in Australia. We’re still under emergency orders atm. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week!


  17. Frank Hubeny June 22, 2020 / 11:24 am

    The first photo was amazing with the bright orange flowers contrasting with the dark green leaves, black fence and shadow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 12:12 pm

      Thank you, Frank. I think those are orange ranunculus flowers. I saw some creamy white ranunculus, too. They’re very pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Laurie June 22, 2020 / 3:18 pm

    I am a list-maker myself, so I loved reading yours. I have been trying to do some mental exercises too. I have found that I like Sudoku puzzles. they help keep my brain sharp (I hope!) And YES!!! to all of the delicious summertime fuits now available. I have been bingeing on strawberries, next are cherries, then I will switch to peaches and melons. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 3:54 pm

      Sudoku puzzles are great brain exercises. Fruits taste much better in the summer. I like the same fruits. Watermelon is my summer staple plus ice cream 🙂


  19. Jo June 22, 2020 / 6:26 pm

    Fabulous lists – I love your extras. I’m with you on how meditation is challenging – I really have issues sticking to a practice…which tells me that it’s something that I probably need to build into my day. Likewise yoga…I keep saying that I need to do it…I keep saying…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 8:14 pm

      Thank you, Jo. Glad you liked my lists. I haven’t figured out how to fit everything I like to do in a day or a week yet. First world problems I know.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. 3sistersabroad June 22, 2020 / 6:37 pm

    Love lists and especially yours. When its sunny or not raining I love to walk along the beach with my dogs… its a grounding for me and makes me feel all is right with the world. (its not but thats ok) I often make lists for shopping and leave them at home lol. I have been perfecting making focaccia and bread rolls and cooking chocolate chia cakes…gluten free paleo…Today I can head back to the gym after 3 months of the lockdown. time to get that cake and bread off my tummy and legs lol..#senisal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 22, 2020 / 8:30 pm

      Bree, I like your word “grounding”. It’s a very good description. Your baking and cooking sound awesome. I’m at beginner level for baking. Stay safe and have fun at the gym.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Christie Hawkes June 23, 2020 / 8:26 am

    So many great ideas for the summer, Natalie. I like that yoga and meditation are included in mind exercises. I’ve never thought of them that way, but they definitely are. Eat a lot of fresh fruit and enjoy ice cream are high on my list. Also, I definitely want to get out on some hikes. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Happy summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 23, 2020 / 9:24 am

      Thank you, Christie, for your kind comment. Peaches, watermelon and ice cream all symbolize summer to me. Happy summer to you, too!


  22. Lydia C. lee June 23, 2020 / 5:38 pm

    I like to do games – like Car Rush (probably not called that) or this colour pattern puzzle one…for the mind. COVID seems to have really mucked my brain around…focus is an issue! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 23, 2020 / 6:40 pm

      I’ve heard many people find it difficult to focus and read during COVID-19. I hope things will settle down and be stable.


  23. Michele @michelevosberg.com June 23, 2020 / 8:41 pm

    I am also a list maker. I am struck by how many of the things on your list are simple pleasures. I’m finding much joy this summer is simply being outside- for a walk, to sit on the patio with a glass of wine, to watch the hummingbirds at the feeder. After being stuck indoors for much of this pandemic, being outside is a joy. I am looking forward to kayaking soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 23, 2020 / 8:50 pm

      I agree with you, Michele, that being outside is a joy. Sipping a glass of wine on the patio or watching the hummingbirds sound relaxing and beautiful to me.


  24. csuhpat1 June 23, 2020 / 9:03 pm

    Great lists there. Very nice. I think I might be stealing a few off your list. Thanks for sharing it. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 23, 2020 / 9:22 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I’m glad you found my summer fun list useful. Enjoy summer!


  25. BoomingOn June 23, 2020 / 9:46 pm

    Thanks for these ideas for keeping our minds active. It’s so important to do, and it’s equally important to do a range of different things as well as new things to keep different parts of the brain active. It’s also emerging in research that mind activities in conjunction with exercise is particularly good, like dancing as you mention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2020 / 9:25 am

      I agree it’s so important to keep our minds active. Our brain is a muscle and it needs exercises to stay in good shape as we age. Thank you, Christine, for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Denyse Whelan June 24, 2020 / 4:58 am

    A very refreshing read. I do a lot of different things for brain health…and I think blogging is one!! I also like to interact with educators via twitter and help others with head and neck cancer support. I get outside every day, even with it being winter, because that helps me see the ‘wider and brighter world’ out there!

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek and I look forward to seeing you again next Monday when the optional prompt is 26/51 Best Time Of Day. 29.6.2020 Take care, Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2020 / 9:28 am

      Denyse, It’s fantastic that you’re already doing many different things for brain health. Thank you for hosting LTW. I look forward to seeing you again next Monday. Have a wonderful week!


  27. Anne Fraser @theplatinumline.blog June 24, 2020 / 3:44 pm

    I love your lists especially the fun activities. It sounds as though you will have a great summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2020 / 4:04 pm

      Thank you, Anne, for your comment. I look forward to enjoying this summer. I hope you’re enjoying the season, too.


    • Natalie June 24, 2020 / 9:13 pm

      Thanks, Leanne. Glad you liked my list. Every small bit of joy adds to a big amount of joy. Have a wonderful week!


  28. Min @ Write of the Middle June 24, 2020 / 8:53 pm

    I always enjoy your posts Natalie as they’re always so uplifting and positive. I love all your lists here with only one exception – ‘toads’. I have a phobia about toads. I had a bad experience once. I think I blogged about it once but it was years ago on my old blog that no longer exists. Enjoy the rest of your week! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2020 / 9:15 pm

      Min, now I’m curious about your toad phobia. Glad you liked the rest of my lists 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!


  29. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 June 25, 2020 / 4:55 am

    Natalie you are always such a ray of sunshine to me each week. I enjoy your posts and love the lists idea. Thank you for your positive outlook on life which certainly inspires me each week. Great as always to have you link up at #MLSTL. Have a beautiful week. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 25, 2020 / 9:42 am

      Thank you, Sue, for your kind comment and for hosting MTSTL each week. I enjoy sharing our ideas and positive thinking. Have a wonderful week!


  30. dawnkinster June 29, 2020 / 9:46 am

    Are those orange flowers peonies? I saw yellow ones a couple weeks ago, had never seen that color before, and for sure have not seen orange! Or….are they something else?

    Good idea to make lists of things to do. I did that in January, fun things to do this year, but it’s been short circuited by the virus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 29, 2020 / 2:16 pm

      Dawn, I think those are orange ranunculus flowers. I saw some creamy white ranunculus, too. They are a lot smaller than peonies but also have many layers of petals and very pretty to see. Our summer goes by fast so I plan for some fun and continue to stay safe with hand washing, physical/ social distancing, and wearing mask. Thank you for stopping by. Have a good week!


    • Natalie June 29, 2020 / 2:16 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. Glad to share some ideas with you. Have a good week and take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Lauren Becker July 22, 2020 / 8:53 am

    I love your fun list! Having a picnic is something that I would also like to do sometime soon – when it’s not so hot out! lol


    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie July 22, 2020 / 9:04 am

      Thank you, Lauren, for your comment. We had a picnic by the lake under tree shades and with a light breeze it was quite nice. Have a wonderful week!


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