In-Between Winter And Spring Things!

In-Between Winter And Spring Things!

It’s that ominous time of year in Utah where any real threat of more heavy winter storms isn’t too likely, and yet there’s still a definite cold chill to the air outside, the skies are mostly overcast and gray and everything seems a bit drab from the melting snow and resulting mud and debris exposed underneath…it’s just all rather blah!

Come this time of year, I guess it’s always good to remember that…

In Between Winter And Spring Things!

“No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn!”  Hal Borland

With this thought in mind, I say we should all heed this wise advice…  Spring Quote by Lilly PulitzerBeating The Winter Blah Funk!

Coats vs. Jackets!  I never understood the differentiation when I was growing up and my mom would say, “It’s too cold for a jacket go get your coat!”  To my young mind they were one in the same…both very restrictive to being able to really play outside!  Now I understand…come this time of year, at least for the most part, heavy quilted, “puffer” coats can be set aside and gladly replaced with lighter weight jackets!  Yay!

Marmot Precip jacket.I love the Marmot Precip jacket I purchased for our trip to Germany last fall, and have found it’s the perfect in-between winter and spring jacket, it also comes in a great assortment of bright, spring colors!  (MooseJaw or BackcountryMountain websites often sell them at a discount too!)  

If you want to nix a jacket altogether, I think all the fun sweater coats that are available now are a fun option too.

Mango sweater jacket.

My daughter living in New York introduced me to the unique clothes at Mango stores.  They have some fun sweaters for sale online now.

• Happy Shoes and iTunes!  Perhaps one of the best things about this time of year is that it is finally getting warm up enough to be outdoors on a more regular basis.  So grab that spring jacket, your gym shoes, (you might even want to invest in some new colorful ones) and some upbeat music and get outside.  There seems to be nothing better than going for a brisk walk or run this time of year when the weather is nicer–rather than spending another monotonous hour on a treadmill!

Acics running shoes.

Plus sign.

Old-Dominion record "Meat and Candy"!

Acics footwear is perfect if you like your athletic shoes to have some toe room; and the new “Meat and Candy” record by Old Dominion, is my in-between winter and spring music pick, it’s such a fun, eclectic mix of songs that will have you singing along as you head outside!  

• Delightful Dishes!  I think a fun way to brighten up your in-between winter and spring season is to add a few colorful dishes to your usual place settings.  If you shop around, (another good thing to do this time of year) many kitchen and boutique shops have some fun odds and ends dishes on great clearance sales.Anthropologie bowls.

Anthropology’s clearance section always has a good mix of fun bowls on sale.  I picked up a few to use for new cereal bowls, but I have also seen them used to hold jewelry and plants!  However you to use them, they are sure to give you a much needed color boost right about now!

 Fresh Scents!  I love the saying, “Spring: the music of open windows.”  While it might still be a bit too chilly outside to open up your windows for very long, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump start on some fresh scents of the season…along with a little spring cleaning too!

Mrs. Meyer's all purpose cleaner.

Besides being a great cleaning product, Mrs. Meyer’s lemon cleaner gives your home a subtle, fresh scent that will sing spring to you!  

And while we’re on the subject of lemons…

Luna lemon protein bar.

Luna lemon vanilla protein bars are a perfect treat to help you feel more energized now–it’s like a little spring party in your mouth!

I suppose the best thing to remember during this in-between winter and spring time of year is that if we didn’t have winter, spring might not be so anticipated!

Tulips in winter.

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow!” Proverb

What kinds of things help you beat the in-between winter and spring blah funk?

–Mary

Life Together In A Real Marriage!

Life Together In A Real Marriage!

Love story quote.

As my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary today, I am reminded of a statement in a talk given by Ann Romney at the National Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida in August 2012, when her husband, Mitt Romney, accepted the bid to run for president.  Ann Romney eloquently addressed the criticism that the opposing pundits had made that she and her husband had a “storybook” marriage and were out of touch with the everyday struggles that most Americans faced.

“I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a storybook marriage.  Well, in the story books I read, there were never long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once.  And those story books never seemed to have chapters in them called MS or breast cancer!  A storybook marriage…?  No, not at all.  What Mitt and I have is a real marriage!”  

“In This Together” by Ann Romney

Enjoying The Journey Of A Real Marriage!

Several years ago I framed a quote I love that expresses perfectly the journey of life together in a real marriage!I

Gordon B. hinckley quote.

(Click HERE for free download of this quote.)

I love the rhythm of a marriage that has survived some tough times and has built a formidable stability founded in mutual respect, commitment and perseverance….. but that doesn’t mean we should ever stop trying to do those things that help make our marriages stronger!

Getting married is a lot like getting into a tub of hot water, when you get used to it, it ain’t so hot!”  Minnie Pearl 

I had to chuckle when I came across an old 1959 Reader’s Digest article my mother had saved on making marriages happier and more exciting!

What A Husband Can Do:

  1. Bring her flowers while she can still smell them.
  2. Even if you’ve been married a long time, compliment her cooking.
  3. Ask your wife’s advice on business problems and sometimes take it.
  4. Learn some new jokes for the sake of your wife, who has heard the old ones too often.
  5. Acknowledge her hard work as much as you do your own.
  6. Surprise your wife with kind gestures for no reason.

What A Wife Can Do:

  1. Don’t tell him your problems until you’ve fed him.
  2. Don’t shush your husband if he sings at parties or acts the clown.
  3. Don’t ever borrow his razor.
  4. Show some measure of excitement when your husband gets home.
  5. Remember the things you said and did to land him and try them again.
  6. Don’t give him surprise parties.

What You Both Can Do:

  1. Occasionally, treat each other as if you’re meeting for the first time.
  2. Stop keeping up with the Joneses.
  3. Avoid getting mad at the same time.
  4. Don’t sacrifice all your fun today for what you think may be security tomorrow.
  5. Switch off the TV and talk.
  6. Build each other up in public.  Don’t try to compete.

Seems like pretty sage advice that can apply to our marriages today, even if it is a little tongue in cheek!

Thoughts About Real Marriages!

I asked some of my friends and family members to share their thoughts on what seemed to make their real marriages work…

He goes in for a hug when I’m doing the ugly cry, instead of running away.

♥ He doesn’t ask why things seem so hectic when he gets home, he rolls up his sleeves and asks how he can help!

♥ She always compliments me on something she thinks I’ve done great that day!

♥ We make goals, then research articles and find pictures on how we can work together to accomplish them.  

♥ I try to do things she hates doing the most, and she does some of the things I dislike doing.

He makes a special effort to dress nice when we go out for a date night.

I understand that most days it’s not about me and try to truly love selflessly!

…one of my very favorite thoughts on a real marriage came from a good doctor friend of mine…

♥ She shows love in kind, subtle ways when I’m distracted and least deserve it.

I may be a bit of a romantic, but I’m so glad that one of the important things my real marriage has taught me is that…

Love quote.

I would love for you to share some of the things that make your real marriage special!

–Mary

Hello February! 5 Ways To Have A Lovable Month!

Hello February

I don’t know about you, but with all the snowy weather and gray skies of January, I welcome February with open arms!  At the very least, planning some fun Valentine activities has the potential for sparking a festive spirit of love this month!

5 Ways To Have A Lovable Month!

1.  Set the mood!

Valentine's Day decorations.

While we don’t often decorate for other holidays like we do for Christmas, a few fun love reminders scattered around the house can’t help but set the mood for a more loving month!  I got these letters from Pier 1 Imports and glued them on a glittered background before putting them in an old frame I dug out of storage!

2.  Make plans!

3H1A6207-1_original

(#Plan journal via A Beautiful Mess)

The notion that we have to plan for love doesn’t often fit our romantic fantasies…but planning for a really important aspect of our lives, when we’re busy with so many other things, is simply a reality for most of us if we want to keep those love vibes going strong!  Penciling in a fun breakfast date or an hour at the bowling alley after work–or any other activity that creates a break from our usual routine and helps us focus on our loved ones for a while, is definitely worth the effort!

3.  Get inspired!

Hallmark movie, "TheWishList!"

(via Hallmark channel’s “The Wish List” with Jennifer Esposito and David Sutcliffe)   

Sometimes we just have to find some inspiration to help reignite those feelings we had when we first fell in love!  Perhaps watching a “sappy” love story or reading a good book together, even attending a fun marriage workshop, will help remind us of those quirky things we love most about our spouses!  I also think it’s fun to ask friends and family members what they do to get their romantic cupid on!

4.  Show everyday love!

Love quote.

As much as we might love the grand overtures of romance on occasion, it’s often the little day to day acts of love that seem to have the biggest impact in our lives!  Being on the giving and receiving end of a loving smile, a warm hug, a sincere compliment, a handwritten note, kind encouragement, or thoughtful service will not only help us make showing love a daily habit, but we will likely find ourselves looking forward to sharing love more and more each day!

5.  Be good to yourself!

Be good to yourself!

(via Manicure Station)

It goes without saying, that as women, we often take care of others needs before our own–but doing a few little things for ourselves is a sure way to guarantee that we’ll be better prepared to approach our daily responsibilities with more love!

Perhaps Mark Twain had the best insight on love…

Mark Twain quote on love.

I hope everyone has a fabulous February and that Valentine’s Day is just one of many wonderful days this month for you! 

What kinds of things do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day and those you love?

–Mary