Spring Forward? Or not…

spring weatherIn the Northern Hemisphere, Spring technically begins on March 20th.  In New England,  Spring weather usually begins around the end of April.  Add to this the time change, Spring is a very frustrating for us in the northern climate.  There are several ways I try to counteract the topsy turvy ride that is “Spring” in New England.

It starts out with the first few days of warmth and sunshine (35 degrees of warmth), some time in late March, then wham – here comes the single digits and darker days.  It is now April 3rd and I’m looking out my window at snow squalls and temps in the teens.  At least I know this is a short lived snow and most likely the snow will not stick – too much.

One of my bigger frustrations is how anxious I get to move the winter clothing into noreasterstorage, and get the lighter clothing out of storage.  I appease this with moving the heaviest winter clothing into storage, and appreciating the space I get in my closet and drawers.  The heavy wool sweaters, the turtlenecks and wool pants all get put into space saver bags, then plastic tubs – Yay!  No more turtlenecks for at least six months. This is happiness.

Another way I change things up is with my cosmetics.  Because we still have colder temperatures, I don’t change out cleansers or moisturizers, but I do lighten up the shadows.  I keep the same shade for foundations but start to warm it up with bronzers and warmer blush tones.  I am fortunate to have a neutral skin tone which means I can go more chanel spring 2016cool tone in the Winter, warmer in the Spring and Summer months. This works with the colors in my seasonal wardrobe.  I move the darker shadows into a cosmetic case in a dark space to help keep them from getting corrupted with bactria and daylight.  If you use clean brushes and keep your shadows away from daylight, they will last longer.

Another change, and a very fun change is to go and get spring pedi a mani-pedi and go for the bright colors!  At least on the toes.  Even though I do not get to break out the sandals until May, I enjoy getting that spring time mani-pedi and the bright colors on the toes. It is great to visit with the new polish colors at the salon and it is wonderful to look down at coral sparkles on my toes.

I also change out the seasonal colors on throw pillows in the main room, runners on the tables and other surfaces and bring on the floral and lite scents in the candles.  We use a lot of scented candles in our home, bamboo candlebalsam and cinnamon in the colder months, floral and greener scents in the warmer months.  I love to open the windows as soon as possible so I do not use many candles in the warmer months. The colder temps during our Spring months enable me to burn green and floral scents, bringing the sense of flowers into my home. Bath & Body Works has a lovely selection of candles for every season. Put away Winter, bring on Spring.

The final transition to Spring is to place my order for Rosé wine. Yes, this is one of my favorite activities in March. I get to anticipate the arrival of Rosé wine in April. I try (and yes, this is such a difficult task), to finish up the older (1 or 2 years old) Rosé wine that is left over in the cellar before April to make room for this year’s purchase. I always purchase at least two bottles of Whispering Angel Rosé, and then about 10 bottles of other dry Rosé wine, something of the Pinot Noir whispering-angel-2015variety, Spanish, French or Coastal California in origin. Two of my recent acquisitions are Zum Pinot Noir and Daniel Chotard Sancerre Rosé wine.  Zum is from Germany – who knew?  This is a fun job, searching out Rosé wines to stock my cellar with. I have been purchasing Whispering Angel Rosé wine since 2012, and I’m sorry to say it has almost doubled in price in the last four years. Unfortunately for me, (because of the price) there is no better Rosé wine, in my opinion, on the market. So, I limit myself to two or three bottles per year, can’t cellar a Rosé wine, so no reason to stock up on this. I place an order in March, to be picked up in April. The anticipation of picking up the Rosé wine in April helps get through the colder days in March.

Now that I’ve gotten over the one-hour time change, switched out some of my clothing, lightened up some of my cosmetics, and have placed my Rosé wine order, I’m in a better place to cope with the falling snow that is outside my window, this first week of April.  What do you do to get through the topsy-turvy Spring months?







Mother’s Day Gift Ideas…

mothers-day-gifts Mother’s Day is not that far away, just a few weeks.  This year it is May 10th.  Every one of us, at one time in our life, had or has a mother.  If you are fortunate enough to still have yours, then please remember her on this day.  A Mother will teach us everything, except how to live without them.

Most of the women that I know do not want elaborate gifts from their children, they just want to be acknowledged and perhaps appreciated on this day.  Well, they would like to be acknowledged and appreciated every day but that is not being realistic.  Life is not like that.  But it is nice to have one special day where thanks-mom-1your child says “hey – thanks mom!”.

So, how do you convey your feelings of appreciation and thanks?  A card is always nice and thoughtful.  Flowers are good but they are getting very expensive for a week of enjoyment, and, because Mother’s Day is in May, many have flowers easily accessible  – she can go out into her yard and pick them.   I do send my mother flowers – but not on Mother’s Day.  I send my mother flowers when she’s not expecting them and if I know she is having a special event at her home or if she’s just feeling a bit blue.  I usually send flowers in late October or January when they are not growing outside her window.  What I prefer to give my mother for Mother’s Day is something small, something that she would not purchase for herself, and something that will give her enjoyment.

chanel saga  If you know your mother needs a new toaster or blender, then by all means, that’s something   she would need, want and enjoy, but if she doesn’t need a new toaster or blender, give her something that may be a new experience for her such as a gift certificate to a spa or a brow appointment, haircut or mani/pedi.  I know my mother would never purchase a Chanel lipstick for herself.  Not sure why, her budget is more than capable of handling such a purchase, but I know she has never purchased one in her life, which is why I buy one or two every year for her.  She loves the Chanel lippie I get her but when it’s gone, she never gets another one.  Mothers can be odd in this way.

When purchasing a certificate for a spa treatment or mani/pedi or hair appointment, try to add  spain the cost of the tip.  This makes it easier for everyone, especially if your mother is new to something like this.  If you think your mother would be hesitant to use the certificate for a spa treatment, if possible, go with her.  This will make it even more special for her.  I know my mother would never go by herself.  I’m not sure she would want to go even with me which is why I’ve never given her a certificate for a spa treatment.  I have purchased certificates for a mani/pedi at the salon near her house where she has had her nails done.  She loves the certificate, she said it is a a treat to not have to pay, she hands over the certificate and it’s covered.

jo malone lip  One item that is always loved, especially if your mom is a child of the 1950’s – 60’s era is the Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner This Lip conditioner has a taste and fragrance that reminds me of the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz in the Summer.  It is a bit Coppertone-esk.  And it is a really good lip balm.  The cost is $25 and the presentation is amazing.  This is most likely something your mother would not purchase for herself but every time she uses it, she will thank you.

Wine is always a nice gift if your mom drinks wine.  A rosé would be a lovely choice.whispering angel  Why not be an angel and gift the Whispering Angel?  Or, I found a very tasty rosé last Saturday from a winery  in Washington State called Syncline Winery.  The rosé from Syncline Winery is made of 43% Cinsault/ 32% Grenache/ 25% Mourvedre.  It is a crisp, dry rosé. The color is a striking pale pink with aromas and flavors of strawberries and  synclinemelon skin.  Very nice.  If you are gifting wine, try to think outside the box (pun intended) and get something in the varietal that mom likes but from a different winery, something she has not tried before but you know she will like.

Music is another idea.  The gift of music lives on forever.  You’ll need to know if your mother listens to music on a MP3, CD Player or even a cassette or vinyl.  One year I made my mom a mixed CD because she has a CD Player that she listens to in her kitchen/living area.  She’s not a MP3 user (too bad).  It was a fun project and her first mixed CD.  jimmy buffet

Whatever it is that you choose to gift to your mother, she will surely love it.  The act of the connection and the thought you put into the gift is what really counts.

Happy Mother’s Day to all women who are caretakers of others!