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
HEAD TO THE BEACH.
I am so anxious to get to the beach soon! According to this article I just saw, going to the beach on a regular basis is actually recommended by neuroscientists because of the many health benefits. I am not one for lying in the sun, but a walk on the beach – sun on my face, sand between my toes, waves lapping up over my feet – that is something that makes me feel recharged and ready to take on the world again.
What if you can’t visit a beach anytime soon? You might want to make yourself one of those mini Zen sand gardens or set up a sand box for the kids and get in there and play too!
If you’re ready to head to the beach, these posts might interest you:
DUST YOURSELF WITH “POWDER” ON A HOT STICKY DAY.
We aren’t having hot, sticky weather yet but I know it’s on its way. I’m ready for it. Now, I know there has been a lot of press about talc and baby powders but what I’ve been using for decades on myself and on my daughter brings no safety warnings with it. You probably already have some in your kitchen too!
Cornstarch!!! When I was in the hospital – a non-air-conditioned hospital – having surgery in the middle of August one year, the nurses would come in each night to give me a sponge bath, back rub, and then a dusting of powder. It was a little piece of heaven. In talking with them, I found out that they only used cornstarch as the powder. It was 100% safe, inexpensive, and they found that it actually did a better job at keeping their patients feeling cool and dry than any talc or baby powder.
I put some into a shaker jar – I actually found a Parmesan cheese shaker at the dollar store that is perfect for this. It looks pretty when displayed in my bathroom or on my bedside table and the cornstarch shakes out perfectly. If you want it scented, you can put some essential oils on a cotton ball and pop it down into the jar for a few days but I just leave my plain.
Oh my lovelies, this is one of the best things about summer to me. Cooking and eating outside. There’s just something positively dreamy about it. Of course, I know a lot of people who grill all year round but that’s just too much for me. I’ll use my indoor grill and then grumble about winter until the spring weather rolls around.
Once it does though – BRING ON THE BBQ! Pretty much the only things I want that aren’t grilled are some pasta and potato salads. Okay, and some fruit too (but I do grill it sometimes as well). Other than that, grill all the things!
Grilling recipes to try:
Easy Grilled Beercan Chicken (note – you don’t have to use beer or a beer can. Ginger ale and other pops or juices will work too).
DONATE TO THE FOOD BANK.
People are hungry all year round. I just learned that there are over 60 homeless camps around the city of London right now. SIXTY. That blew my mind. I’m not naive to the presence of homeless people here. But I suppose I am ignorant to just how widespread the problem is.
I know that many people give during the winter months. We have food drives for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. We collect coats and other warm clothing. But then summer comes along and sometimes we forget that there is still a need. I was happy to see that my city is doing a food drive this week. They make it SO easy. You put out a box or bag of non-perishable food along with your trash and recycling. They pick it up as they come around to collect it and then distribute it for you.
Of course, there are grocery stores and community centers that accept donations as do our local fire stations. And certainly we can head right to the food bank itself. I might just phone them up, see which days they’re needing some help on, and put in a few hours of volunteer work while I drop off my donation.
INDULGE IN SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO EAT
Maybe you don’t buy it often because it’s expensive. For me, that would be Wagyu beef or some of the more exotic fruits. A bottle of truffle oil is costly but it can go a long way to making lots of simple dishes feel more luxurious.
Or perhaps it’s that really decadent treat that you rarely indulge in because it’s just not part of a healthy eating plan (well, I think treats are a part of a healthy eating plan as long as they’re regarded as occasional treats!). Is it cheesecake? Triple chocolate double chunk brownies? French macarons? Homemade bread from that Portuguese bakery around the corner?
Whatever it is that would make your heart sing, taste wise, allow yourself a little indulgence this week. You deserve it!
MAKE SOME SIDEWALK ART.
With your kids or without! It can be so much fun and so freeing to simply create some colorful art on your sidewalk or driveway. Kids LOVE doing this and it’s easy to see why. Depending on your setup, it can be a great way to keep the kids busy too while you’re getting a little yard work done.
Did you know that you can make your own sidewalk chalk? It’s really easy and only takes a few simple supplies.
REFRAME THE FIRST WORDS OF THE DAY.
I try to speak kind words all of the time. I’m human and I don’t always succeed but oh how I try. The thing is, that first thing in the morning, I’m still half asleep and wishing I was back in bed.
Then I read about a superstition that the first words you speak every morning need to be pleasant as this brings good fortune. Have you ever noticed just how practical many superstitions are? This one really got me thinking. How many times did those first words spoken (and the first words heard!!!) set the tone for the day?
I think back to the times when I was rushing around trying to get myself ready for work and my daughter ready for school. She was so hard to get out of bed and then moved like a snail, so it was easy to get frustrated. But sometimes, I was frustrated before I ever even woke her up and I’m sure that came through in my voice and the words I said. It wasn’t “good morning sunshine! Time to get up and have a wonderful day!” as it usually was. It was more along the lines of “Hurry up. We’re going to be late. Get dressed and get moving!”.
It also reminds me of the sticker my aunt and uncle have on their door. It says “20 seconds”. It’s a reminder that when they arrive home from work to take 20 seconds at the doorway to regroup, leave the stress of the work day behind, and enter the house with happy words for their loved ones.
First words. It’s pretty powerful if you think about it. I’ve become MUCH better at leaving the morning grumpies behind in my own bedroom and greeting everyone with a smile. But I still think it’s important to keep reminding myself of all the the “first words” opportunities throughout the day and continue to try to make my words sweet.
What will you do this week to make your days lovely? Find more Why Don’t You? posts here.