Spring flowers in Minnesota don’t become a reality until mid to late May. Although garden plants are popping and the grass is greening up nicely, we’re missing the cherry blossoms that are so beautiful and prevalent this time of year in others areas of the country. I’ve lived here my whole life and know this to be the case, but I’ve been keenly aware of it lately, especially when looking for a budding backdrop for this floral dress. Although this isn’t a dress that I would normally choose (I generally lean toward bolder colors and prints, like the one here), it’s been nice to have a cute, dainty option for spring holidays and events.
Ann Taylor dress | Kate Spade earrings (my new favorite!) and clutch (old, similar here and love this one) | Banana Republic shoes (love this strappy version here)| Michael Kors watch | Madewell bracelet |Tiffany & Co. sunglasses
Now that it’s spring, my attention turns to casual, easy entertaining. While searching for the tea towel that I framed for last week’s DIY/Décor post, I couldn’t help but be tempted to update my tired towels in my kitchen. The colors are so fresh and fun – why does it seem to be more pleasant to do kitchen tasks with good looking items? To get more than one use from these fun towels, I decided to use them as placemats and napkins for a Mother’s Day picnic. Note that I’m not talking about the meal on the actual holiday – I’m referring to something you host for your girlfriends on a separate day to give them something we all want and appreciate – some time together without the duties of motherhood underfoot (whether that’s laundry, toys or the children themselves). To make it special, yet casual, I put dish towels, fruit jars and fruit jar rings to work. Fold the dish towels in a pleated fan fashion (just like you did in grade school) and pull through a small fruit jar ring ,available at most grocery markets. For a cute serving idea, pack a yummy chicken salad in wide mouth pint size fruit jars and cover each with a lid and ring to make ahead for easy serving. Use coordinating towels folded in half for place mats. Invite your friends to take the placemats home as a small gift. Serve with croissants and juicy red grapes. To play off a casual picnic theme, I used a galvanized tiered serving piece to house the croissants, napkins, and utensils (also in a fruit jar) with a few fresh flowers. It also served as a lovely centerpiece.
Cute dishtowels from Anthrpologie in packs of three here, here and here. .
Our kids are great sleepers and Ella, in particular, is a champion napper. There are a number of fabulous benefits of this but there is one drawback, which is glaring on a sunny warm weekend day – being trapped at the house (and for the most part, inside) with the older sibling while the younger one takes a three, sometimes four, hour snooze. But I refuse to compromise the nap schedule – always have. Trevor was busy taking care of some things during this past Sunday afternoon, so I wanted to find something that Taylor and I could do together inside when we put Ella down for her nap. I had an idea for a DIY project I would like to do at the cabin with sailing/signal flags, and hoped that he would enjoy picking out ones he liked and then would help me paint the designs on paper. He was thrilled to learn that each flag represented a letter, and quickly determined he wanted six flags – one for each letter in his name. He loved the idea of the flags (not so much of the paining after a little while – see “Reality Check” below) but decided that he’d prefer to draw the flags with markers. He then hatched a plan whereby he made flags for each of us (“D” for daddy and “M” for mommy, “E” for Ella and “T” for Taylor), found sticks in the yard to attach to the flags, and devised an Olympic competition for us all to have once Ella got up from her nap. What started as a personal craft project led to the perfect imaginative play day for Taylor and a fun activity for the whole family. The best part? Seeing Taylor so proud of his idea and its execution. After Ella got upset during the first race (she, like her mommy, doesn’t like to lose) he would race several more, letting her pull ahead and win just at the end.
Taylor picking out the flags he wanted to paint.