Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Hope of an Early Spring

My snowdrops flowers came up in late January, the earliest they've ever appeared in my twelve years of living in this house. Wondering if we're going to have an early spring!


  • Let's get a jump on our Spring Cleaning. Find a quick project you can do now to make your life easier in March when we begin our projects! Sweep a porch or patio, perhaps? Clean your kitchen windows? Rinse, scrub and soak recycling and trash cans throughout your home?
  • Some of my readers are living in snowy conditions right now; others are experiencing a heatwave. If you're lucky enough to get a mild, temperate sunny spring day like I'm enjoying today, make time to go for a walk, sip iced tea in a sunny window with a magazine, or otherwise enjoy your good fortune!
  • How are you doing on any New Year's resolutions you made? Writing, creating your art or crafts, reading more, exercising, going to the gym, eating healthier? Give yourself a little mental checkup on your progress.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Kitchen Touchup

Over my busy weekend (dinner and drinks with a gentleman on Friday; dinner and a movie with relatives on Saturday; and the Northwest Garden Show on Sunday) I let my kitchen deteriorate and become quite messy.

Today I'm going to empty the dishwasher, fill it with a few dishes from the sink, scrub a couple pots and pans, put away my new blender, and take out recycling. Then it's time to sweep, mop, and wipe down counters. I'll light my current favorite lemon-scented candle when I'm done. I'm enjoying today's sunny opportunity to open the kitchen door and let a bit of fresh air in from the yard.

LOVELY BLOGS: Little Sunny Kitchen

Diana's blog presents some intriguing, unusual recipes I haven't often seen on other cooking blogs. I like the uniqueness! Recent recipes include a Russian buckwheat soup, a cute recipe for roasted heart potatoes, a custard apple cream, and something called an Apple Sharlotka. You might also enjoy a quick look at her Guide to Choosing a New Kitchen, should you be so lucky as to have this project in your future.


LOVELY BOOKS: Health and Beauty Hints

This charming 1910 vintage book (written by Margaret Mixter) offers still-useful tips on skin care. There are chapters devoted to facial massage; hair care; shampoos; bleaches and dyes for hair and skin; nails; the complexion in general; wrinkles; beauty preparations you can make at home; caring for your ears, eyes and nose; how to care for your feet and teeth; and how to care for your figure.

Several of the hints you can already guess at - using lemon to bleach skin, using creams to moisturize your face. Still, I found this a fun and useful quick read. I'm inspired to get into my bathroom and beautify myself!

Health and Beauty Hints, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY SHOPS: Boundless Bookbindery

I'm so entranced by these darling cake-shaped blank writing journals! They might be a bit awkward to write long entries in, but what a lovely way to jot down a few notes and thoughts. I really like the idea of using one of these for a wedding guest book or visitors book, too. The shop is based in Austria. Take a look and see if any of the paper confections tempt you too!


LOVELY TV: Just Add Magic

Here's a cute new witchy TV show you can watch for free if you have Amazon Prime. The show is sort of like Charmed for pre-teens, but also intriguing to my middle-aged self too. The show is centered around a magical cookbook and a new young witch who doesn't yet know she is one. Might be nice for some background noise while you're doing projects or crafting.


Just Add Magic on IMDB

Just Add Magic Trailer on YouTube

LOVELY WEBSITES: The Secret Society of Happy People

The founder of this society writes, "Our name refers to most folks’ reluctance to speak out when they have something happy to share. Otherwise, they fear, grumpier people might rain on their parade by making fun of them or questioning their need to express happiness."

She continues on to explain, "The Society believes it’s always OK to share your happiness."

Visit the Society's website to learn about the 31 Types of Happiness, Happiness Happens Day, Month, and Hunt for Happiness Week celebrations, and join other happy people in celebrating life.


The Secret Society of Happy People on Facebook


Blueberry Birthday Pie with Fresh Basil (The Patron Saint of Pie)

Cinnamon Orange and Cardamom Pull-Apart Rolls (Sticky Spatula)

Golden Milk AKA Turmeric Milk (Clean and Delicious)

Honey Lemon Curd (The Whole Smiths)

Lavender Cardamom and Blue Vodka Fizzies (Paticheri.com)

Russian Cream with Berries (Our Best Bites)

Melinda Gates: The Scourge of the Female Time Crunch/Chore Burden (The Atlantic)

Sense and Sensibility and Jane Austen's Accidental Feminists (The Atlantic)

Shakshuka with Herbed Yogurt (The Wayfaring Whisk)

Turn Your Leftover Rice Into a Waffle Because Why Not? (The Huffington Post)

Zucchini Noodles with Saffron Sauce (Shock Munch)

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