Inspired by one of my favorite blogs Brocante Home (who was in turn inspired by a feature in Harper’s Bazaar written by Diana Vreeland), Why Don’t You is a week’s worth of ideas for adding a little something special to your life. Pick and choose what sparks your interest and fits into your schedule. Or use these simple ideas for special days as inspiration for coming up with your own ideas.
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Why Don’t You – Simple Ideas for Special Days
Most of these ideas should take very little time or effort, but they can make a big difference in adding a little spark of joy to your day!
Send someone a hand-written note.
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. – William Arthur Ward.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. Recognizing the good in our lives can bring us peace, hope, and joy. Sharing that gratitude with someone else is an amazing gift to both people.
In this day and age of so much online communication, sending and receiving a hand-written note has become something special. It’s such a simple way of letting someone know that you’re thinking of them and who wouldn’t love that?
Display some cherished photos in your home.
Back up the photos from your phone. You never know when something could go wrong with your phone and you might lose them! Now, choose 3 of them and have them printed out so you can display them. Because of our electronic devices, we don’t tend to print and display our photos as much as we used to.
Hanging some up where you can see them every day is a great way to add joy to your living (or working) space. And what better way to keep your priorities in check than to see what’s most important to you each time you look up?
Drink warm milk with honey before bed.
The reasons as to why drinking warm milk before bedtime can help us sleep are up for debate. Some say it’s because milk contains tryptophan – the same amino-acid found in turkey which has been found to be part of the reason for the post-holiday meal sleepiness. But when studies were done on the effects of milk on sleep, there was no correlation found.
Still, sitting down sipping a warm beverage in the evening can in itself feel very soothing and relaxing. There may be a bit of a placebo effect going on here too based on the belief that it will help us sleep. Either way, it’s a lovely little ritual that can help you wind down and get to sleep!
Just sit. Whether for 10 minutes or half an hour, just take some time to do nothing. If that’s difficult for you, focus on your breath. Take some deep breaths in and out. Feel them entering and exiting your body. Listen to the sound of it. Studies have shown that even just one deep breath in and out can start lowering stress levels!
If you can do nothing outside, even better. Enjoy the fresh air. Look around and just take in the sights. Are there birds or other wildlife about? Get lost in observing their movements. Don’t force it. Let your brain go where it wants and give it some space to simply let go.
You may find this hard at first. Our brains have been conditioned to rush about in different directions all at once. Even if you can’t stop all those thoughts from rushing in, your body will thank you for the break before you jump back in to all the tasks of the day.
Have breakfast in bed.
Of course, it’s always a treat when someone else brings you breakfast in bed! Fixing it for yourself and then enjoying a leisurely breakfast in bed can still be a lovely little indulgence.
Simplify it by preparing the night before. Set up a beautiful tray complete with your prettiest dishes, cloth napkin, fresh flowers (or a lovely potted succulent – even a beautiful silk flower in a bud vase will do), and a quote/affirmation to kick off your day. You can add any non-perishables to the tray too – dry cereal, seasonings, honey and so on.
Then prep any of the other foods as much as possible. If I’m planning to have an omelet, I’ll chop up the fillings and put them in little bowls in the fridge to make it as easy as I can. Make some overnight oats in a jar. Prep all of the ingredients for a beautiful fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait so all you have to do in the morning is assemble.
Enjoy your breakfast in bed with a movie, a book you’ve been wanting to read, the New York Times crossword puzzle, or just sit back and focus on your meal.
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Use a lip scrub.
Oh dear readers, do your lips get dry, flaky, and chapped in winter too? If I don’t take care of mine properly, before I know it, they’ll be cracked and bleeding. So, once or twice a week, I use a lip scrub. It gets rid of the dead skin cells and makes your lips oh so soft.
Lush Cosmetics makes a really great lip scrub. It’s gentle but effective and like all Lush products, it is handmade, with no animal testing. Ingredients are 100% vegetarian and ethically sourced. I’ve tried multiple brands of lip scrubs and this one is my favorite.
For a simple solution, you can also whip up some DIY lip scrub at home. You probably even have the ingredients needed to make a basic one on hand already.
If your scrub isn’t sticking well to your lips in order to exfoliate them properly, start with some lip balm. Apply the lip scrub using small circular motions. Leave it on your lips for 1-2 minutes. Use a warm damp washcloth to gently remove the lip scrub. I sometimes follow up with a little splash of warm water to my lips to get those last traces.
In between scrubs, keep your lips moisturized with a good lip balm. I also apply coconut oil to mine right before bed.
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Make your own hummus.
It’s really not hard to do but the difference in taste between homemade hummus and store-bought makes it worth making your own. It’s a healthy lunch or snack option that you can customize to your preferences (try some hummus with beet or sweet potato – my favorites!). You can even keep the ingredients on hand so you can whip up a batch any time you feel like it!
What lovely moment will you add to your life this week?
For more ideas, check out the previous Why Don’t You posts here.