Monday, March 09, 2015

Awaiting Spring and Welcoming Guests

Here's the lovely view out my front window right now: My neighbor's cherry tree in full bloom. I have to admit it can be quite distracting when I'm trying to write. Good problem to have!

I've felt like it was Spring ever since March 1st! We've had unusually warm, sunny days here in Seattle. I know it won't officially be Spring until March 20, but I've still decorated my home for spring, changed the clothing I wear to lighter and more floral colors and prints, and I've begun to change the way I eat. (More salads, fruits and fresh veggies; fewer soups, stews, casseroles and chilis).

I had planned to start my Spring Cleaning on Sunday March 1st, but entertained a houseguest that weekend instead. I have more guests coming, so I plan to start some small Spring Cleaning projects on weeknights this week and do big projects on the weekend. I don't dread Spring Cleaning, and I'm looking forward to refreshing and reinvigorating my home!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

A colorful Spring salad I served on Family Night a couple evenings ago

  • Have you picked up some of Spring's bountiful fruits and veggies yet? Snap peas, perhaps; new potatoes; colorful carrots?
  • Look over the week ahead. Any appointments coming up? Birthdays? Outings?
  • Make menu plans for the week ahead if you haven't yet.
  • If you possibly have any sunshine streaming through some windows, I highly recommend sitting quietly in the window for a few minutes, arms outstretched, taking the sun onto your skin and enjoying the warmth! Some of you readers are still in the land of snowstorms though, so I feel bad sharing my happy sunshine activity I engaged in today!

TODAY'S PROJECT: Cleaning up After Guests

Calvin Klein Bath Towels, at Macy's

I had houseguests this weekend - very tidy ones! They put their water glass in the sink, hung their towels and washcloths they'd used, and remade their beds before leaving. All I have to do to get my guest room ready (I like to keep my guest bedrooms "ready to go" at all times) is to launder their sheets and towels, do another quick dusting of the furniture in the bedroom, air out the room on a sunny day (like today), and dustmop the floor.

I'll replace the towels on their racks once they've been laundered, and I'll sanitize the bathroom for the next guest. This won't take long - something I can do in between commercials and remaking the bed.

I have overnight guests coming to a movie and pizza party on Saturday, and someone is throwing a baby shower at my house later this month, so I need to keep my house well maintained and clean this week. I won't personally mess it up, but I know I will have lots of pet fur to vacuum up as the week goes along!

If you have a guest bedroom, you might peep in tonight to see if it needs tidying. Do the sheets need refreshing (if they've been on the bed collecting dust for a few months since you've washed them?) Otherwise, you have a night off from chores that I don't! :)

LOVELY BLOGS: Retro to Go

You might have noticed that I love retro things very much (perhaps a bit too much?) So of course when I came across this blog I was very excited to delve into its current and past content. They do a lot of blogging here about retro furniture (especially Mid-Century Modern). I really enjoyed the recent post on this pretty Skandi kitchen and homeware collection. Their retro kitchen posts are especially fun to look through.

http://www.retrotogo.com/

Retro To Go on Facebook

LOVELY BOOKS: Les Fleurs Animees

I thought you might enjoy flipping through this gorgeous 1867 French hand-colored antique book. I don't read French very well, but it appears to be a "floral fantasy" type of fashion book. The flowers are depicted as women wearing flower-themed dresses. I don't think they are meant to portray flower fairies, as the women have no wings. It's just a lovely way to spend about 10 minutes while drinking your tea or coffee tonight.

Les Fleurs Animees, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY FOOD: Shamrock Shaped Sugar Cubes

These are just darling. I don't think I'm having a Saint Patrick's Day party, but maybe I'll treat myself to these or give them as a host gift if I attend a St. Patty's Day fete. Check out this seller's other adorable shaped sugar cubes on offer, too.

Shamrock Shaped Sugar Cubes, on Etsy

LOVELY KIDS: AnnLoren's Spring Outfits for Little Girls

I've never heard of this boutique girls' clothing line before, but I really found these spring outfits adorable. So ruffly and colorful! Sadly I don't have a little girl to dress them in. These might not be formal enough for Easter dinner or pictures, but they'd be cute for Sunday brunch or Saturday outings to the zoo or whatnot. Most of these are easy-to-wear pants or shorts sets with little tunic style dresses to go on top of them.

AnnLoren on Amazon.com

LOVELY KIDS: Origami Playhouse Craft

I thought this might be a fun rainy day (or in many of your cases, snowy day!) indoor project for kids. What a neat concept - origami paper furniture you make to play with in your paper dollhouse! It's probably best for older kids who are able to sit still for longer and work gently with their little hands.

Origami Playhouse, on Amazon

LOVELY SHOPS: Cookie Pixie

I am having so much fun looking at these edible pictures you can place on top of cookies before serving or gifting them away! The shop owner gives directions for what size/kind of cookie to bake and how to best place the wafer image on top of your cookie.

There are all sorts of lovely vintage-inspired designs for Easter, Valentine's Day and other holidays. Plus there are wafer papers for vintage cars, flappers, birds and bees, and animals. There's a section for Medieval and Renaissance designs, and a section with cute nursery rhyme and fairy tale wafers.

My favorite item here is the Pride and Prejudice cookie wafers. I'd love to bring these to a book club sometime (even if we weren't reading P&P).

Cookie Pixie, on Etsy

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Beef and Rice Cabbage Rolls Rewind Recipe (Bev Cooks)

Browned Butter Raspberry Pie Blondies (Buns in My Oven)

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce (Healthy Mama Cooks)

Fruit and Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls (Sup Sweetly)

Italian Lemon Almond Cake (Delicious on a Dollar)

Lemon Sponge Cake (Lustrous)

Lemon Sweet Rolls (Love Bakes Good Cakes)

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Cashew Soup (Yankee Kitchen Ninja)


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