Friday is here! If you had a short week because of the holiday on Monday, I’m hoping the extra time off has allowed you to feel rested and relaxed heading into this weekend. We had a bit of a hiccup with an ice storm this week, so we all had an extra day at home. The sudden change in plans and almost a full day without power left us a bit discombobulated, but we managed to regain our footing and I think we’re going to end the week on a productive and satisfying note.
One of the next spaces I have my eye on for a few updates is the dining room. I really enjoy the process of going back over a room and adding another layer of updates to bring it closer to the vision for it that I have in my head. Not everything sticks every time, but I find with each pass, there are a few things that I end up loving and wanting to keep in the space permanently. Just as mentioned recently with my little mudroom refresh. I’m starting to think about doing just a few little things in here because so many things will absolutely be staying: The 150-year-old dining set, the armoire Chris built so many years ago in our first townhouse that I still love, the ginger jar lamps that Chris’ mom gave me that she bought the year he was born that are just so “me”. I am thinking that a few new things are in order though: A new rug (considering maybe this one or this one?), a slightly more substantial version of basically the same classic light fixture, maybe a new lamp for the corner where I’ve been meaning to add one for the last 10 years, and some paint for my favorite little $20 thrift store dresser in the corner. Just a few little things to make it feel even more like home. 🙂
My new favorite layer of home decor. I’m now firmly in my soft jazz era, I think. I’ve always been a “silence is golden” kind of person and stay away from radios and playlists because I find them really distracting when I’m trying to think, but recently I just decided that I really don’t have to put on whatever music is popular or be at the mercy of whatever they decide to play on the radio. I’m allowed to have just exactly what I want to hear in the background of my home playing and nothing else and it’s really been a fun new “decorating” tool to play with with. It’s almost like when I discovered home scents and how they can really play a part in influencing the atmosphere and overall “vibe” of your home. I’ve been having fun testing out different very low-key instrumental music playlists on Spotify and I have to say that it just makes my home even more welcoming. I love to walk into a room and hear just a few faint piano notes as I pass through. Even Jack has commented “You know, I think I really like this jazz thing.” 🙂 It’s just a nice way to elevate the everyday. I won’t win any points for the coolest musical choices ever at the end of the year when everyone’s sharing their “Spotify Wrapped” data, but I’m just enjoying it thoroughly.
Like so many other people, I always find myself going back and forth between times where I read quite a bit, and other times where I hardly read at all. When I’m not reading, I really miss it. The problem is that since I enjoy it so much, it often feels like a frivolous waste of time and I get caught up feeling like I should be doing something “more productive”. I get in a situation where I feel guilty for reading and guilty for not reading because reading is good for you. So, my most recent reading strategy has been this, and I thought I’d share because it’s working well: My goal is to just pick up a book once a day. Just pick it up any book off the shelf, flip it open and read a little bit. It can be for 30 seconds or it can be for 30 minutes, but I always find that it feels like valuable time and I really get something out of it. It can be a cookbook or a book about gardening or home decor, or it can be a novel. I’ll just open it and start reading wherever I feel like it. Recently I found myself reading Jane Austen’s Emma, and then I found myself continuing to read it, but if one day I feel like reading something else our of the blue, that’s fine too. My point is this: Any reading is good reading and there are no rules about where and how you read, or even which pages in a book you read first. Anyway, try it out if you’re struggling to get back into reading for one reason or another.
We’re a “chore” family now. I’ve never really given my kids formal chores. I’ve always just mostly asked them to do things or help with things as needed and that way they’ve seemed to have positive feelings towards all different types of “jobs” around the house because it feels like they’re helping out, rather than being punished. This approach has just seemed to foster a bit more of a sense of curiosity towards housework in general, which I think is a good outlook to have as you get older and move towards having a home of your own and being responsible for these things. Recently though, Jack has been asking if he could do some chores around the house to earn a bit of money, so I’ve been making him some little weekly chore lists and he completes the items on the list daily. And I have to say it’s been so great. I actually do notice a difference in having a little extra help with certain things around the house, and things little things that have been bugging me (smudges on glass doors, little bits of cat food on the kitchen floor) are magically taken care of. I think we’re on about week six now and we’re still going strong. He says it’s fun and he actually feels like it gives him something to do when he’s bored. A few people have asked me to share our weekly lists over on stories on Instagram, so I’ve been trying to do that. Follow along over there if you’re curious about what kinds of things we’ve been doing.
I have a had a serious case of cabin fever later, right on time for the end of winter and beginning of spring. I’ve never been the best about getting outside during the winter months, but lately I’ve found myself really looking forward to our annual March break yurt trip and have really been craving a day spent outside. I think I may be coming around and starting to love these chilly early spring days where the grass is just starting to turn green here and there as the snow clear, but the breeze still makes your cheeks rosy. For us, finding a good early spring “outside day” is all about the wind, so if you happen to get a calm day, you need to act on it. We had a very sunny, calm, but still cool day recently and we were actually able to get out to the lake for a walk and then out in the garden and do quite a bit of cleanup, as well as repair the grape support that was blown down in a storm earlier this winter. Let me tell you: It absolutely revived me. There’s just something about digging in the dirt that you can’t beat. I’m already so looking forward to gardening season this year and I found myself searching for gardening tools to upgrade my little misfit collection later that night. Of course, a classic Haws watering can has always been on my list, and I think this year might be the year that I upgrade my old plastic one that I mostly use outside. This watering lance is beautiful too. Really the stuff that gardening dreams are made of. This set of Burgon and Ball gardening tools also caught my eye.
NEWS AND FINDS
-This end-of-February/beginning-of-March time of year is a great, quiet time to slow down and work on some of those things that you’ve been meaning to do around the house, but maybe aren’t quite sure how to. Here are some past posts that will walk you through some easy tasks that will give you a little sense of accomplishment and maybe even a boost of motivation.
- How to Clean an Iron
- How to Clean Your Range Hood Filter (my favorite!)
- How to Fix Stretched Succulents
- Everything You Need to Know Before Installing 12×24 Tile
- How to Clean Tarnished Silver Naturally
- How to Clean Your Gas Stove
-This phone harness is the smartest little gadget that I never knew I needed until now. I heard it mentioned as great for when you’re on the ski lift and you want to take your phone out of your pocket, but worry about dropping it. I immediately thought of this summer when we were in Smithers, BC hiking up mountains and standing on the edges of river rapids and wanting to take photos of everything.
-I’ve committed myself to wearing sunscreen, at least on my face, every day and I’m doing a pretty great job so far! I ordered this great, basic cap from lululemon for this spring and summer to keep the sun protection going and for those days when my favorite white cap is just too white. I find myself researching every little thing heavily before I buy it these days in an attempt not to bring in more clutter that won’t be used, so I looked at tons of photos of people in this cap and it seems to be a great design that actually looks good on pretty much everyone! A good, everyday cap is so hard to find.
-Loved these baskets I got for the mudroom so much that I ordered four more for the back hall. Timeless baskets for life.
–Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia is delightful. Every time I turn quickly and smell it on myself, I just feel like it smells like happiness, and pears of course, which are very similar scents in my mind. I’m obviously a big scent person, but some perfumes can give me a headache after awhile, but I’ve been sticking to this daily since ordering it and no headaches, just joy. 🙂
-Now is the time to think about your outdoor spaces! Our all-weather Adirondack chairs are finally back in stock, but it seems like they’ve just completely given up on trying to get the white back online again. These are the best no-maintenance chairs at a price that’s hard to beat. We’ve had them for two years now and we love them. I love the “Weathered Wood” color they have right now as well as the black. You can read my full review of these chairs here, if you’d like to take a closer look.
-This week’s reader favorites: Our new mudroom runner (it’s washable!), this black block print pillow from Etsy that I have I the living room, my favorite tiny side table, Our living room rug (also washable, of course), my seeded glass bottle lamp that I just added to the mudroom console table.
MORE RECENT POSTS
- Vanilla Lavender Shortbread Cookies
- Timeless Farmhouse Mudroom Refresh
- How to Harvest Maple Syrup From Your Maple Trees
- The Best Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
- Affordable, Classic Coffee Tables for Your Timeless Living Room
- Five Things on a Friday 2/3/23
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