Scrambling for Spring

I’ve officially pushed back my spring cleaning weekend. The weather is just not cooperating and it seems like it’s too early to change over my closets for warmer weather. But, there’s always a chance it will arrive at any time, with little notice. So now, I have to be  ‘more ready’ to be ready to act quickly. This is worse than waiting for guests to arrive!

Clearing Clutter, Sitting Down

Part 2 of Clearing Clutter Sitting Down. Moving on from electronic cleansing, I hit the bedroom today. Easy stuff first – small piles, noticeable results, sense of accomplishment noted. First task today was cleaning out the makeup basket. Some stuff has been in there way too long and needs to be replaced…especially makeup that’s used around the eyes. Be ruthless here…it could be a health issue. Then, there are things that never lived up to expectations — the sheer tint that wasn’t so much, colors that just didn’t work, goopy mascaras and lipsticks not even worth saving for Halloween. Before you move on, don’t forget to make a list of things that need to be replaced soon. There’s nothing worse than reaching for something that isn’t there anymore.

While most makeup doesn’t have expiration dates, sunscreen does. Check the date. I’ll be honest, I don’t throw expired sunscreen out, but I don’t trust it to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays either. Use it as a hand cream, a foot cream, or rub those dry elbows with it. Everything should be this easy to repurpose.

My manicure basket sits alongside the makeup, and I had five minutes to spare. It was full of thick polishes and colors that were just wrong for me. It’s mostly empty now, awaiting new Spring colors. Essie has a new Cashmere Matte I’ve wanted to try. Now I have the room.

In all, I spent maybe twenty minutes, sitting down, list of things to buy included. Just a bit cleared out today, which didn’t take much time away from being out on a beautiful day. Little by little, things are getting done.

Looking Back

From a blog post written on January 26th, the first big snow of the season….

“There’s nothing more calming for me than the flavors of a big pot of stock wafting throughout the house. Yarn, afternoon nap, good book, Netflix…Bed Camp time. Don’t fight it, don’t let it ruffle your feathers. Give in and just enjoy a relaxing, peaceful day at home.”

At what point in the next few months did I lose the novelty of staying at home and settling in for a bout of snow? Probably about the same time I ran out of room in the freezer for more stock. The last few weeks of winter always seem to be the hardest.

https://bedcamp.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/enjoy-your-snow-day/

Climbing the Walls!

First it was a bad cold that kept me indoors. Now, we’re into the third week of awfully cold weather that limits my time outside. This is really really cold weather…and now more snow is coming. This is far from over.

I’ve stayed indoors and made all the cold weather meals — braises and stews and soups. Hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate. I’ve knit sweaters and hats until my fingers are stiff. Caught up on my reading, made good progress on a pile of magazines and cleaned out a few closets. Binged-watched I don’t know how much TV. Doing laps to the fourth floor to get off the couch. Trying my best to stay hydrated and moisturized and sane. Thankful for FaceTime with friends who don’t want to venture out either.

Thirty-something days until Spring. Hang in there.

T-Time

T-Time. Not the kind you need clubs for. I’m talking about refreshing tea that is flavorful and iced and always seems to be in my hand during  the hot days of summer. We need to drink lots of fluids but water doesn’t satisfy the taste buds. Tea has enormous possibilities, as I’ve learned over the years. Look beyond the household staples and find a good decaffeinated tea to start with and be creative.

To my basic decaf tea, I’ll sometimes add a sprig of fresh rosemary to the brew. It’s savory and holds up to summer meals. Or, for a bit of citrus flavor, instead of adding a lemon or orange slice, I’ll pick a few leaves of lemon verbena – pictured below – from a plant in my courtyard and add it for a subtle bit of flavor. So delicious for a mid-afternoon respite. Mint, rose hips, lavender with chamomile…the choices are endless.IMG_3004

Lately, I’ve been brewing mint tea in bags. What a burst of flavor! This morning, I added green tea to the mint bag. I find green tea a bit bland, but appreciate its healthy attributes. Putting green tea in the mix is like hiding vegetables in the lasagna for the kids! It’s good for you, it’s in there, but it’s overshadowed by the primary flavor.

A good decaffeinated tea with lots of character won’t keep you up at night or dehydrate you and will eliminate or diminish the need for sweeteners. Who needs sugary soft drinks?

When I put the kettle on for my morning coffee, I fill it to the top to have enough boiling water to make the day’s iced tea. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to make it.

Visit your farmers’ market and local tea shops, or grow your own herbs and spices, and open your taste buds to some new and interesting combinations. Enjoy your T-Time. No clubs needed.