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. Simple ideas for lovely days!
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.
Why Don’t You? – Simple Ideas for Lovely Days
Use the good dishes.
I know so many people who save “the good stuff” for special occasions. Why not make today a special day? Instead of grabbing a sandwich and sitting down to have lunch in front of your computer or TV, why not just set the lunch table and make it special, even if you’re dining alone?
Use a pretty plate, cloth napkin, maybe even add something you love (flowers, a cherished piece of memorabilia, a beloved photo) to your place setting. Or tonight, put out the good dishes and dine by candlelight with your family. Even just one simple little touch can make the difference!
Put your tube of hand cream in a cup of hot water.
Pop it in there while you’re doing the dishes or brushing your teeth. By the time you’re done, it will have warmed up and you can give yourself a simple warm hand massage. Very soothing on a cold day (or for people like me with arthritic hands).
Line your dresser drawers.
I like to do this partly for practical reasons. By placing some shelf paper or oil cloth in there, my clothes are better protected from snags. But, there’s also something just a little bit magical about opening up your dresser drawers as you’re getting dressed for the day and seeing a burst of pretty colors and patterns.
It’s just one of those little extras that can brighten up a moment in such a simple way. While you’re at it, if you’re using paper, spray it with one of your favorite fragrances or dab a couple of drops of essential oil on there (rose and lavender are favorites for me in this case). I don’t know that the fragrance will work on the oil cloth but you could pop in an old-fashioned scented sachet instead.
Use your spare change.
Do you save your spare change? I always pop mine into an old peanut butter jar (it’s one of the super cute bear shaped ones from Kraft). Every so often, I will sometimes pull out the change and use it for a little splurge.
I might treat myself to a little something (a new soap from Crabtree and Evelyn, some bright new InkJoy pens, or a new notebook from the dollar store). Or I’ll use it to do something fun with my family. Sometimes we even choose a charity that we’d like to bless and send it to them. In any case, that spare change always feels like a little found gift!
Leave a copy of your favorite book for others to find.
One of my favorite books is The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino. Last year, Amazon had a sale on them for only $1 per copy. I ordered a bunch of them so I could give them out to others. Obviously, you can bless some of your friends with your favorite book but I also took some copies and left them in public places for complete strangers to find and enjoy.
Make a beautiful bookmark to add to the book if you’d like. If you have a favorite passage (or more than one), you could even include a few small pieces of paper pointing those out within the pages of the book. If you’d like to track the book, you can even register it on Bookcrossing.
Add some shallow dishes of water to your heating vents.
My grandma used to do this. She’d fill some saucers or shallow bowls with water and place them on top of the heating vents in the winter. It was a great way to add some more humidity to the dry winter air in her home.
You can kick this up a notch if you’d like and add a drop or two of essential oils to the water too. The heat will help release it into the air for a lovely fragrance throughout the room. Use lavender in your bedroom to help soothe you to sleep at night.
Treat yourself to some French Caretaker’s Cafe au Lait.
I just love this stuff! Make yourself a cafe au lait (or as they called it when I was in England, some milky coffee) in an ovenproof mug or bowl. Top it with 2 slices of buttered bread (I think white bread is best here – I found sourdough delicious). Bake in your oven until you have a crispy golden crust on top. YUM!