The countdown has begun! Only one more week until the ‘official’ start to spring, and although here in Colorado, we may still get four more snow storms. I for one, need that marker for my sanity. I am 100% ready for all the spring things; sunshine, happy colors, blossoms and rolled down windows! Calling for another 5 favorite things blog!
With the onset of spring, and it being women’s history month, I think it’s apt to share a few good reads by strong and funny women. Plus lots of self care, a little indulgent shopping, and, maybe some ways to refresh this spring. And of course, Easter is coming up and that in itself signifies renewal!
Things like switching my closet over, clearing out our very messy garage, and planning for our summer vacation have been dominating my thoughts these days. I’ve also read some wonderful books and articles recently,. Many of which have 1) reminded me of the strength of women. And 2) reminded me that it’s ok to slow down and take care of ME.
One of the most joyful ways I know to celebrate yourself, is to hop outside and take some photos with your favorite people! I just received some lovely photos back from a talented friend and photographer Stephanie Marilee. They are to help me refresh my website and Instagram. Shortly, I’ll be scheduling our annual family photos to coincide with our summer vacation too with a photographer I love in Italy. If you too are hoping to make some memories with your family this spring. Then, feel free to get in touch to schedule a session as things start blooming- I’d love to capture you! Also check out all the other fun things you can do here in the Denver area with your family this spring!
I am looking forward myself to a spring break trip with roommate #1 (that’s Stefan) to NYC. Let me know if you have any recommendations for us- while roommate’s #2 & 3 stay with their grandmother!
Now, on to my 5 favorite things!
Spring Refresh: Mind, Body & Home
I have been loving discovering some new-to-me blogs like the Everygirl, Camille Styles and Cup of Jo. All for great lifestyle tips, style finds, and generally interesting tidbits! With renewal on the mind and attempts for heading into spring with positivity, I’m enjoying this list of 50 positive affirmations to tell yourself. They go well with trying to be mindful of habits of ‘the happiest women‘. Although this is a New Years resolution post, there’s quite a lot of good suggestions here if there’s a specific area you want to focus on improving.
I’ve never been great at being mindful, or finding fascination in the everyday. But it’s never to late to try, right? There are some great suggestions on the list that are calming but not just sitting still saying ‘ohhhmmmm.’
I love these fun Bucket List ideas for this month! And there’s some really lovely ways to ‘romanticize’ your spring too. Yes please to joy jars, pulling a ‘Miley’ and buying yourself flowers, and I am totally going to start looking for hearts everywhere!
Now that you’ve got yourself in check, how about the house? Spring is the perfect time to do a closet clean out, and I’m sure the garage could use a little attention. (Mine can!) I am going to use Martha’s tips here to help. Maybe the house in general could use a spring cleaning, or at least little organizing at minimum. If you end up with any items after getting everything cleaned out that aren’t worthy of donating, don’t trash them! Do the earth a favor and sign up for a service like Happy Beetle (local to Denver) or Ridwell. They’ll help sustainably re-use and recycle lots of different items you are ready to part with! Hence why they made it into my 5 favorite things!
I’m enjoying reading so much this year, but like anything, not every book is a winner. I don’t want to simply list and recommend every book I’ve read, just because I read it. Since I writing last month’s post, I’ve ticked at least 6 (plus 2 others I couldn’t even finish) off my list. But I’m only sharing those I truly loved. Below are two favorites and a list of hopefuls for the future!
I’ll Show Myself Out – Essays on Midlife and Motherhood by Jessi Klein. This was a riotously funny, and a wholly accurate collection of essays on the aforementioned topics. She addresses that feeling we don’t love to admit about how you can often feel so lost in motherhood (and middle age). It resonated deeply- and I think it’s one I will revisit (and recommend to others) often.
How Far The Light Reaches- A life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler. This is a beautifully woven collection of essays, each telling about an intriguing sea creature, as well as the author themself. It features winding tales of sea life, climate change, and stories of self discovery and survival- both of the sea creature and the authors own.
Books I am in the middle of reading but enjoying are: Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change by Angela Garbes and This is Not my Memoir by André Gregory. I’ll let you know my thoughts next month when I share my 5 favorite things again!
Next on the list
With Women’s History Month in mind, I am loving this list of 20 books about Women in History, and have added some to my GoodReads list. Here are a few other books on my ‘to read’ list with strong female characters. Lone Woman by Victor LaValle (mentioned this one last month but it hasn’t come up yet on my library holds!), Well Behaved Wives by Amy Sue Nathan, The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell and Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay.
As always – I would love to connect with you on Goodreads and see what you are reading too!
It’s been nice to have a few days that don’t require a coat recently! Its a season of transition, and the weather tends to change from day to day. I love this sunshine-y fleece from Marine Layer – a warm layer for those chilly mornings and evenings, but with enough spring color to put a smile on your face! Throw on this pullover for an afternoon walk – I love the extra long sleeves- and choose from 6 colors! Underneath wear one of these super affordable and mega comfortable bralettes at Target, or brami’s (what the heck is a brami, I don’t even know?!)
All of the above would pair perfectly with these ‘On The Road’ pants, or a pair of leggings, and I shared these a few months ago, but I still love these leggings from Aerie, they are seriously the best! They are soft, but never sag, they have a cell phone pocket, are high waisted, but not to my boobs. Love them!
So far we’ve been keeping it casual, but if you have a reason to dress things up this month, Anthro has been offering up the prettiest spring dresses. Have a wedding, fancy concert or gala to attend? Take a peak at this gorgeous peach floral dress, or this beautiful sage green floral applique dress. And my good friend Lori just posted these super modern, minimalistic and stunning ‘Petaloid’ earrings that look like a single flower petal- I snatched up a pair in gold right away! You should too! They will by in my 5 favorite things for a while, because they are that good!
What do you do on Easter? How do you celebrate? Our family isn’t religiously affiliated, but we enjoy the themes of growth and renewal, and with two young kids it’s hard to ignore the Easter Bunny, egg hunts and a chance to color eggs. Besides, with 9 egg laying hens in our backyard, it’s pretty much Easter every day!
On the actual Holiday, we love hosting friends for a festive lunch, an egg hunt for the kids, and a craft or cookie decorating session. This year when friends come over we might level up with a few ideas from this list – I’m loving the egg toss and adult egg hunt ideas! The boys and I start dying eggs well in advance. (Check out the last link for lots of ideas- I love the printed eggs using old paper napkins!) With our flock producing eggs in shades of white, brown, blue and green, it’s always fun to see how the colors turn out, but if you aren’t as familiar with multi-colored eggs as we are- here’s a little info so oyu can add it to your 5 favorite things!
Is that elusive bunny making a stop at your house? Here’s a fascinating look at Easter baskets over the last 100 years!
Easter isn’t complete without a delicious spread and it HAS to included deviled eggs, and my personal favorite variation are these toasted siracha sesame deviled eggs. I am wanting to try this spring pasta salad with lemon, artichokes and olives; a perfect start to the season! Dessert is the main event- and this is a great list. Half Baked Harvest has some beautiful double strawberry sugar cookies that might be perfect for the table too! Oh and want to make it fancy, try folding your napkins into bunnies!
It’s not always easy to find time to cook, is it? In this season of life, when kids have activities 6 out of 7 days a week, and work/life balance is a mythical beast, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time and motivation to cook a homemade meal. It just doesn’t always happen. When it does though, it should be something everyone enjoys! I always love trying new recipes, but coming back to flavors we love is a good way to be sure everyone is happy. In honesty, we don’t eat much seafood in our house, none of use have much of a taste for it despite best efforts. So that’s while you’ll always see a gap in any seafood based recipes on my blog! They just don’t make it to my 5 favorite things!
My husband has been in love with the Pasta Queen’s creamy lemon spaghetti recipe (in love with the recipe or her…?) and has made it 3 times in the last month I think. We have her cookbook and are loving all the pasta recipes! HBH’s Hot honey chicken was delish, and though I have shared it before, we definitely made our favorite HBH spicy chicken katsu ramen within the last month. Another repost we just made last night is Real Simple’s turkey burgers with lime mayo– so simple yet so good! (I never make the potatoes- I just serve a side salad!)
Soon I want to try these banh mi bowls as well as these sheet pan chicken poblano fajita bowls. Also maybe these pesto chicken tazitki wraps and this basil parmesan pasta with chicken, prosciutto and arugula. I think these gochujang noodles sound good too!
I have a few new cookbooks on my ‘want to buy’ list- namely this Old World Italian: Recipes and Secrets from Our Travels in Italy: A Cookbook by Mimi Thorisson and Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman. Do you have either? What do you think?
Until Next Month…
I hope you’ll shower your self in self care, find a new ritual, book or recipe, or try one of this month’s favorite things. I look forward to sharing more of my 5 favorite things with you in April! Until then, check out my post on how to capture some spring memories with your family and perhaps consider getting a photo session on the books this spring!
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