Enough with the dying and resurrection already!! This girl is moving on to the superficial…truth be told, I lug my deep thoughts around with me nearly everywhere I go. They’re part of my heart. And the cross? It comes too. Because Uganda changed the way I see it. And now this new interpretation of the cross changes the way I see everything else.
But…today I’m noticing some things around my house I really like right now. Nobody asked. But I thought I’d share anyway. ‘Cause I would want to know what your favorite things are. Like your favorite recipe right now. Or your cute find from T. J Maxx. But here’s what you gotta know about me: I have no problem copying people! So if you don’t want me showing up with the same cute t-shirt, then you might want to keep your treasure a secret. But here’s the thing: I don’t care if you copy me! Good ideas, great style and yummy food ought to be shared in my opinion. Or maybe I’m just not creative enough to be original…
So here are my favorite things this Spring:
1. First up are my linen pants. A good pair of wide leg linen pants can take you all the way into Fall. Wear them with a tee or tank and flip flops for everyday. Or wear them with the same tee or tank, but slip on a fun necklace and a great pair of wedge sandals and you’re read for dinner out. Linen anything wrinkles, but there’s something about casual linen pants that can pull off wrinkly. Most linen pants are not flattering, but if you find some with large pockets on the behind, it helps. Also, buy them a smidge tight because they will certainly stretch out. This particular pair is from Old Navy. They have a knit fold over waistband and they’re super comfy.
2. Speaking of wedge sandals…I finally got some this year. I haven’t even worn them yet but I know I’m going to love them. They are the most comfortable sandal I’ve owned in a long time. Pretty sure it has something to do with this brand — Kork Ease. And something to do with the fact that I’ve been wearing flip flops ever since Africa, and these getting-closer-to-forty feet need a little support. What’s great about wedge sandals is that they make your legs look long and slender — not sure how they do it. Must be magic, but they are flattering on almost anyone I see wearing them.
3. I’ve shared this here before, but my homemade cleaner really is one of my favorite things this time of year. After winter leaves, I love cleaning my windows to notice all the life outside. This cleaner is fabulous on mirrors, counter tops, and toilets too.
Super easy — take an empty bottle and fill it with 1/3 alcohol and 2/3 water and a squirt of Prell shampoo (helps cut grease and fingerprints). If for some reason you find it’s not cleaning your windows and mirrors well, simply increase the amount of alcohol.
4. And since it’s in the picture above, I’ll mention that I love fresh kitchen towels this time of year. A new $5 towel hanging on the oven can add a quick fix of color to your kitchen. T.J Maxx, Marshals, and Tuesday Morning are great places to look for colorful and cute kitchen towels.
5. And now my really favorite thing. Cause it’s food and I love food. This is a super yummy bruschetta recipe. It makes a great lunch, afternoon snack or appetizer for dinner. This will not disappoint your taste buds!
1/2 French Baguette, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 package of grape tomatoes, cut very small
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
a handful of basil leaves, chopped
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Cover the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Heat at medium high. After oil heats up, place as many baguette rounds as possible in the skillet. Cook about 2-3 minutes on eat side. You might have to add more oil after you flip the bread. You want the rounds to toast and get brown around the edges. These are much better than store bought ones!
Chop tomatoes, garlic and basil and combine. Toss in shredded Parmesan. Sprinkle with salt.
To serve, place a spoonful of the tomato topping on each round. If you’re serving this to company, you will want to place the toasted rounds on a plate and the topping in a separate bowl for self serve so the topping doesn’t get the baguette rounds soggy.
6. Updating pictures is a great inexpensive way to freshen up a space! I have enjoyed looking at these on my walls. If you’re like me and you’re deeply influenced by environment, and in particular your physical space, then you know that sometimes you need little quick additions that brighten, soften, warm, cozy, or color an area. Updating pictures in frames is a perfect way to revitalize a room for just a couple dollars, while bringing family memories into your space.
7. Old becoming new again. This little dress is something I found in the Jinja Market in Uganda. It took my nose a long time to brave the odors in that place. But when I finally did, I embarked on many adventures discovering wonderful keepsakes, hand-me-down clothing and memories with Michelle Palmer. I pulled this dress out of a trunk this past week and found joy in the darling homemade design and the memories attached to finding it. Finding something old and making it new again is always a favorite of mine!
8. Organization method. I usually do two really good clean outs a year, one around this time. This year I decided to have a method to the madness of cleaning and organizing. I’ve been focusing on only one room a day. First, I open up drawers and cabinets or closets in that room and start clearing out. I make three piles — throw away, give away, re-sale. I try to be more liberal with what I take out of that room, than with what I keep. I take the give away and re-sale bags and put them immediately into the back of my vehicle. I organize what I’ve decided to keep. I dust. I vacuum. I wash the windows and mirrors in that room. I do a quick wipe of the walls and moldings where fingerprints are obvious. And I nourish any wood with olive oil and call it done.
The bedrooms take the longest to do, but you really only need about 30 minutes to an hour to accomplish a room. With a focused cleaning such as this, it’s easy to enlist the help of the children as well. And it never feels overwhelming. If I have time to accomplish two rooms in one day, great! If not, I feel good about getting done at least one room.
10. A good story. And my favorite one right now is the one God is unfolding for our family. We’re praying and discerning through it and can’t wait to share more as God turns the pages. But there’s another story that captured my heart this week and I want to share it with you. There are some amazing people living out God’s redemptive story. You can read about one here.
Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite things this spring?