Goodbye, Winter! Hello, Spring!
It is warm. It is sunny. And it is time for a new batch of favorite things, this time from the month of April. Most of these selections are inspired by details I love about the spring season (shoes, pastels, a closet clean out), and a few of them come from the reality of life (eye care, books, dinner hacks)…which is always the best place to find inspiration!
Superga Sneakers. These are my all-time favorite spring and summer shoe. I usually go through a pair every year, wearing them until they are threadbare and grungy. Yes, you can wash them, which will extend their life, but I tend to tear mine up and love to get a fresh pair when the spring season arrives.
I find them comfortable enough to wear all day, which makes them a great walking shoe when you travel. They go with everything. Seriously, there is not a wrong way to wear them. I wear them with skirts, jeans, white jeans, and this past December, a plaid ruffled taffeta gown and a jean jacket for a dressed-down party look. I slip these on barefoot, or if I’m going to be wearing them all day, I use no-show socks. They are classic without being tired, and they are stylish without being trendy. Add a pair to your closet, and you will never look back!
The Art of Gathering, by Priya Parker. The tagline of this book is, “How we meet, and why it matters.” What Brene Brown did for shame, Pirya Parker is doing for gatherings. She has studied the “science” (if you can call it that) of gatherings, specifically looking at what works, what doesn’t work, and why. All of her findings are included in this book which is a well-written manual for how to make every gathering the best it can possibly be.
From the first page, this book blew my mind. There are so many fantastic considerations she presents, each one purposeful and quite frankly surprising. This book gets to the heart of hospitality, which has little or nothing to do with our assumptions about the subject. Each chapter left me equal parts stunned and inspired.
New Dish Towels. Do you need a quick, easy, delightful gift for yourself or someone you love? May I suggest a new crop of dish towels? One of my favorite ways to bring a touch of beauty into my life is to elevate and give attention to the things that usually aren’t seen as objects of beauty. For example, dish towels.
If you’re like me, my dish towel drawer is a collection of functional yet unattractive towels, in varying degrees of stain and wear, representative of the passing of time. At one point, each towel was cute and new. Now they are a sad group of ugly towels, and I see and touch them every day. Time for a refresh! I recently bought a few new packs of dish towels from Sur La Table, and the pretty pastel stripes brought a breath of beauty and freshness to this part of my kitchen. It’s such an easy lift, an effortless improvement.
Simply Contacts. First, the obvious disclaimer. I am not an eye care professional. Do not trust me with your eye health. If you have eye issues, you should definitely consult with your eye care professional. Moving on.
I have worn glasses since Kindergarten and contacts since the eighth grade. For most of my life, my prescription has not changed, and for all of my life, I have had healthy eyes. And yet, every year, I have to make an appointment to go see an eye doctor so that he or she can renew my prescription so that I can order more contacts so that I can see. It’s necessary, but it is a hassle, and an expensive, time-consuming hassle at that. Enter Simply Contacts.
At Simply Contacts, you take a very basic eye exam on your phone (or desktop computer), send in your current prescription and brand of contact, and they send you new ones. The eye exam is reviewed by a doctor, but the entire “exam” process takes ten minutes on your phone. The approval process takes 48 hours at most. Then, they ship the contacts to you and you’re set for the year. So fast. So cheap. So perfect for someone like me who has healthy eyes but just needs more contacts.
The Omelette Trick. You may have heard me talk about how I like to use a template for meal planning. One of my weekly go-to dinner plans is omelette night. Don’t be scared off by the fancy French word. Omelettes are basically dressed up scrambled eggs. The most difficult part about omelettes (if there is one) is getting all the toppings and ingredients ready. Early on I realized it was wasteful to buy a whole container of mushrooms, a whole pepper, a whole bag of tomatoes, a whole container of bacon (which then had to be cooked!). You really only need a few pieces of each ingredient. My trick? Visit a salad bar. I like the one at Central Market, but any salad bar will do. You can get a few mushrooms, a few slices of pepper, some tomatoes, maybe a couple of black olives, and (the best part) a scoop of cooked bacon. The other day I picked up some roasted cauliflower, raw kale, and Brussels sprouts for an outrageously delicious veggie version. I would never have prepared those ingredients from scratch only to throw them in a pan with eggs. But the salad bar makes the prep work almost nonexistent. This trick will change your dinner (or breakfast) game.
Clear Stackable Sweater Bins.. Vertical space is my love language. I recently did a little fluffing in my closet, moving some sweaters and winter shoes out of the rotation to make way for skirts and sandals. I hate the toppling tower of sweaters and cardigans that pile up on my closet shelf, so I decided to try these clear stackable sweater boxes from Container Store. SO genius. They stack on top of each other and give structure to my shelf. Each one holds either one giant fluffy sweater, or two to four lighter sweaters. I also used a couple to hold swim suits for the summer. My closet now has bins where my sweaters live. They are contained and look beautiful with no threat of spilling over should I decide to grab one from the bottom. The little things make the biggest difference! I love how one simple change can completely reinvent a space and bring a sense of order where there was chaos. (Quick note. The product in the link is a drawer. I purchased an open-style bin, which I cannot find online, but I know they carry in store.)
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