Give Your Space a Spring Facelift

Give Your Space a Spring Facelift

As the spring sun warms the air, it is past time to put away the heavy colors and textures of winter. It’s brighter outside, so it should be brighter inside too. Here are a few tips to bring spring beauty into whatever space you want.

Clean up!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Spring cleaning is essential! While it’s important to disinfect and tidy things, another necessary part of spring cleaning is paring down. Get rid of those gifts you didn’t really want, or that sweater you haven’t worn since 2016, or those tchotchkes you don’t even see anymore but constantly have to dust. My rules of thumb are these: Either you love it, or you need it, or both, or it goes; and, if you haven’t worn/used/read/played with/listened to/watched it in six months, you never will, so out it goes. It’s freeing to get rid of things you don’t love, need, or use. This freedom mimics the freedom you gain in the spring to go outside and enjoy yourself.

Use lighter colors and textures.

I’ll admit it, I love the dark colors of winter, especially maroon and emerald. But when it’s bright and sunny outside, those colors tend to look too heavy and darken a room. Another thing that darkens a room is the textures you use. Velvet and cable knits are some of my favorites, but they are thick and heavy. Try lace, or cotton, or linen, or just lighter weaves, when it comes to pillows and blankets and other things.

Add plants.

Flowers and plants bring life and color to a space. Depending on your resources and allergies (or lack thereof), you may choose fresh or silk flowers. Adding some form of plants or flowers makes your indoor space mimic the outdoors, which brings the outdoors inside.

Open windows.

Finally, it’s lovely enough outside to open the windows, so if you are stuck inside, you can still enjoy the fresh air. Feel the warmth of the sun-filled air, the coolness of the breeze. Smell the flowers giving up their sweetness. Listen to the birds and the dogs and the wind in the trees. Opening your space to these things is another way to bring the outdoors inside. Even just opening the blinds can help, by letting in more sunlight.

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It’s Spring – Get Outside!

It’s Spring – Get Outside!

As you may have noticed from my post on Monday, spring is here, and I’m very excited about it! My favorite thing about spring (besides the flowers, of course) is the lovely weather. The wonderful thing about spring is that all Tiggers’ bottoms are made out of them – no, wait. The wonderful thing about spring is that it’s so warm outside, but there is still a wintery nip in the air that makes the heat bearable. I’ve put together some ideas for you to enjoy the lovely weather outside. Enjoy!

Go for a walk.

As I said before, one of my very favorite things about spring is the flowers. Why not go outside and enjoy the sight and smell of them on a walk in the sunshine? You can take pictures of them, pick a few to brighten your house, or just stop and smell the roses – literally.

Take up gardening.

If you’re like me – a hands-on lover of nature and of flowers and fruits and vegetables – you may (and this includes me) want to take up gardening. Gardening is true, white magic. You care for and love these tiny seeds, and hopefully, with attention and water and sunlight, they become something bigger and beautiful and beneficial. You get the benefit of being outside, exercise, and communing with the earth. Plus, there is a real, tangible reward for your efforts – something many of us don’t necessarily see with our daily accomplishments.

Go strawberry-picking.

There are so many benefits to this! For one, can you say healthy and delicious snack? For another, you earn your food, which is, depending on the farm you choose, organic and untreated. You literally get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and it’s yummy.

Have a picnic.

In my mind there is nothing more romantic than a big, plush outdoor blanket under a tree, in dappled sunlight, with a delectable spread of food and drink to enjoy with family, friends, and/or a significant other. Bring an instrument and have a sing along. If you’re by a body of water, wear your bathing suit and take a dip when it’s too hot in the sun. Or, if you’re alone, bring a book, or take a nap. The possibilities are endless.

Play.

Before you balk at this suggestion, I would like to remind you that all human beings, regardless of age, need to and do play. As adults we typically no longer play make-believe (except for DnD), but we still play. It’s good for us, and actually essential. Grab a frisbee or a ball and toss it around. Play pickup soccer, basketball, volleyball, or softball. Get out your cornhole set, or play water pong (it’s much more sanitary than traditional beer pong). Don’t be afraid of the word “play” – just do it.

Springtime Reflections

Springtime Reflections

I love spring; it’s my favorite season. It’s beautiful, colorful, scented, and hopeful. The feeling that the air is warming, the sight of the lengthening days, affects us all. Spring fever is a reality. Mother Nature is reinventing herself, and as tenants of her domain, we wish to do the same.

Spring is a time of year (rivaled only by autumn) when the weather and temperature are pleasant, for the vast majority of days. Spring has something autumn does not: hope and promise. Autumn is the time of year where the Earth takes off her makeup, takes a shower, and gets into bed, leaving us with her often-cruel younger cousin, winter. Spring is the awakening of the Earth, and the time during which she gets ready for the day, which stretches before her full of possibility.

Spring cleaning is an excellent practice for starting fresh. It’s good to get all the dirt, dust, and general grime out of the house when winter is over. But don’t stop there – clean your car, or downsize your wardrobe, or throw out the things you kept because they might be important and turned out not to be. Doing a deep clean before the real heat sets in will allow you more freedom, because all the cleaning to be done for the rest of the season won’t have to be as in-depth.

Spring is a wonderful time of year, especially for those of us without allergies. If you are one of the fortunate allergy-free population, take advantage of the warmer weather to enter the domain from which you were barred for so many months: the outdoors. Feel the warmth of the sun with the lingering chill of winter in the air. Smell the grass being cut and the flowers in the breeze and the oncoming rain. Look at the growing verdancy, the blossoming colors, the little animals tentatively leaving their holes to go about their business. Take pictures. Touch flower petals. Breathe. Enjoy.

Monthly Goals for April

Monthly Goals for April

Hello! It appears another month has begun, and you know what that means. It’s time for the monthly goals for April!

I don’t know that this is a goal, per se, because the tickets are already bought, but I’m going to Portland, OR the last weekend in April to visit the boyfriend! I’m so excited; I’ve never been further west than Houston, and that only happened last Christmas. I love traveling, exploring new places, and learning new things. If you have any recommendations of things to do, see, eat, or drink in Portland, please leave a comment down below!

In the last week of March I lost four pounds. I don’t know if that was because I’d been bedridden from a bout of bronchitis where I didn’t eat very much, but I’m happy about it and proud of it. I’d like to lose two pounds a week this month. I’ve been eating like crap in the recent past, and I’ve been noticing the difference in how I feel. It isn’t worth it, and I have to remember that.

I want to look at my phone less, pay more attention, listen better, and read more paper books. My phone and laptop are crutches I use to escape being social, and I need to realize that not only do people like me, they want to hear what I have to say. I like to be listened and paid attention to, so I’d like to do the same for the other people in my life.

These are a few of my April goals. Hopefully I meet them. If not, I’ll try not to beat myself up about it. Happy spring!

Small-Town Spring Break

Small-Town Spring Break

I’m sitting in a cute little place called Cafe Chocolate in downtown Lititz. I’m writing, and I’m happy. I’m seriously toying with the idea of interior design, but I know I have to finish this English degree before I do anything else.

It’s slower here; I know that goes without saying, but it’s nice not to be in a huge rush all the time. Even just being at home in D.C., everything must happen quickly: getting where you need to go, getting what you need to get, etc. At home, everything, including my life, seems to need to happen quickly. I need my degree yesterday and I need a full-time job today and I need to be married and soon there need to be babies and BOY! – It is exhausting.

I think I’d like smaller-town life. As a lifelong city kid, I don’t know that I could stay forever in a completely rural area, but Lancaster is utterly charming to me. You get all the benefits of living rurally, with a city nearby that is just big enough to satisfy most cravings. Food, nightlife, proximity to bigger cities – you name it, Lancaster has at least one.

I’m also, dare I say it, happy to be out of the South. It’s different up here. The South is so full of those old-fashioned rules and niceties – sir and ma’am and miss, an in-depth conversation with the waiter, small talk – and while those are nice up here, they’re not necessary or expected. It makes me look very good when I am in a place where my Southern manners are unexpected but usually welcome.

I know that part of my contentment here is the knowledge that my love will come home at the end of the day, and that I have no obligations, as it is spring break. There’s also the fact that the days are lengthening, and the air is warming. I love spring the most of any season. It is rebirth; it is beauty and youth and goodness. I’m going to enjoy it.