Monday, February 29, 2016

Leaping Into March

Today I've reminded myself to stop and take time to use and enjoy some of my beautiful things. Rather than slopping a tea bag into a microwaved, chipped old mug for my breakfast tea today, I've taken the time to brew a proper cup. I'm drinking my tea out of this charming antique tea cup (I believe it was my best friend's Aunt Edith's tea cup, a sentimental gift passed on to me years ago).

I also need to use and enjoy my cuter clothing more often. I'm vowing to wear something cute - a flowery skirt, perhaps, when I pick up my nephew to take him to karate. I will stop goofing around on the Internet and actually take time to put on makeup and some pretty earrings. I don't want to be "that crazy aunt" who picks him up looking messy or disheveled!

Are you using and enjoying your most beautiful possessions? Or are they gathering dust while you use boring, washable blankets, dishes, towels or clothing instead? Let's appreciate what we have, take good care of our lovely possessions, and add beauty to our lives wherever possible. Even if we're risking breaking something precious (like this irreplaceable great-aunt's tea cup), it's worth enjoying our things rather than letting them waste away in cupboards.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • It's the end of the month. Look over your calendar, journal and memories from February. Did you accomplish (or attempt) your goals for the month? Have you kept up with your New Year's resolutions, whatever they were? Made time for friends and family, taken care of yourself too? Worked on your hobbies a bit? Read and stayed informed via books, newspapers/news websites, magazines?
  • Pay any end-of-the-month bills and get a jump on next month's bill paying.
  • Create menu plan for the week if you haven't already.
  • Any pet bowls need to be washed and sanitized? Pet bedding need to be vacuumed or laundered?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Decorating for Spring

I'm tempted to get this Spring and Easter table runner for my dining table or entryway mail table. So pretty!

I'm still decorating for Spring, though lightly. I don't want a bunch of clutter and kitsch for this season. I just want some pretty, refreshing colors to help through the gray rainy days ahead in March.

I'm setting out pink and yellow candles, a few vases of cheerful flowers throughout the house, and replacing heavy beaded placemats on my side tables with soft colorful pastel fabric ones. In my bathrooms, I've removed the Valentine's themed hand towels and swapped them out for pink, lavender and yellow towels for Spring.

I'll do a bit of dusting and straightening as I go along, but mostly I'll enjoy a light decorating project today rather than a housecleaning one.

Tomorrow I plan to begin my Spring Cleaning. Are you with me?

LOVELY BLOGS: Little House in the Suburbs

Lately I've been reading more gardening how-to blogs, as I'm trying to do better with my flower and vegetable gardening this summer. So I was excited to find this blog, which covers DIY topics, crafting, recipes, tips on simplifying your life, and tons of advice on beginner gardening. I've enjoyed recent posts including Garden Shape Up: Carrot and Stick; Kids and Chickens; and their recipe for Persimmon Pecan Cranberry Muffins. Take a look around and see what you think of this handy blog!

http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: BabyLit's Les Miserables

I'm a huge fan of BabyLit's board books, so I can hardly wait to add "Les Miserables" to my collection when it comes out tomorrow. It's by "Little Master Hugo," naturally. It's a French primer that introduces your baby to ten French words and phrases, with the characteristic adorable illustration style BabyLit is known for. So cute!

Les Miserables by BabyLit, on Amazon

Les Miserables by BabyLit, at Barnes & Noble

LOVELY BOOKS: Echoes From Storyland

Here's a charming vintage book from the late 1800s, available to read for free over at The Internet Archive. The stories include Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Story of Robinson Crusoe, and one I've never heard of before, "Pauline and the Matches and the Envious Minnie." There are also a few Mother Goose nursery rhymes. I find the illustrations quite amusing and thought you might too!

Echoes From Storyland, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY FOOD: Easter Egg Shaped Petits Fours

If I have occasion to send a special gift this Spring, I may be tempted to send these Easter Egg petit fours. I love how they look, and what a cute riff on the traditional dessert. I think someone would enjoy opening these up. No idea how they taste - I haven't tried any!

Easter Egg Petit Fours, at Williams Sonoma

LOVELY KITCHEN: Sur la Table's Bee Collection

I wanted to show you these lovely bee and honey-themed items for Spring. They don't go with my own kitchen's theme at all, but I know a lot of people love to collect bee items. Especially in Spring! The collection, new this year from Sur la Table, features salt and pepper shakers, aprons, canisters, a butter dish and spoon rest, and even a cute little bee salt cellar. There are also coordinating kitchen towels, oven mitts, pot holders and napkins. I also see a few baking related items, such as a beehive cakelet pan. For the table, there are bee themed glasses, goblets, and bowls. Take a look and enjoy browsing through this spring-themed assortment!

Bee Collection, at Sur la Table

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Almond, Ricotta and Polenta Cake (Bon Appetempt)

Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta Cheese Pockets (Italian Food Forever)

Balsamic Strawberry Wonton Bites (Sweet Peas and Saffron)

Castagnole: Chestnut and Apple Fritters (Domenica Cooks)

Cream of Peas and Carrots Soup (Vessy's Day)

Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake Bread (Maebells)

Simple Burst Tomato and Ricotta Toast (Sarcastic Cooking)

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (The Suburban Soapbox)

Spinach Ricotta Cheesy Chicken (Life at the Quarry)

Spring Desserts Made With Pie Filling (Old Fashioned Homemaking)

Strawberry Ginger Pie (Baking My Way Through Germany)

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes (The Starving Chef)

Things I Took for Granted Today (Campari and Sofa)

Whole Wheat Ricotta Cake (Hey Cakes)


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