Amy Foster
March 24, 2014 9:00 am

We love springtime here at the Manor- flowers abound, snap peas are picked fresh and used in our chef’s delicious creations, the sun peaks out every so often and we make the best of those moments by traversing through the English countryside like something out of a Jane Austen novel.

While you probably don’t live in a Manor House (well okay, technically neither do we, it’s all pretend), there are some great ways to get yourself geared up for the change of season, try checking some of these off your list!

  • Buy a new raincoat!
  • Swap out those heavy duty blankets and throws for lighter weight versions.
  • Listen to French music. It always seems so spring-ish to me… Edith Piaf or Carla Bruni work great.
  • Change the wallpaper on your phone, computer or tablet.
  • CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN. There’s a reason they call it spring cleaning. A lot of dust and dirt gets trapped in the house over winter because it can’t really be aired out properly (and in the vents too, always a good idea to get those flushed out). Open the windows, let the outside in and give your house a good once over.
  • In that same vein, go through your closet. Make room for warm weather clothes by being ruthless about what you never wore this winter and what you aren’t likely to wear in the next. Then take all that stuff to your favorite local charity shop.
  • It’s all about lavender. Really, is there any floral scent so closely associated with spring? Try a scented sheet spray, candle or better yet, arrangements of lavender around the house.
  • There are some cool books out there that are evocative of spring, mostly because the characters do so much blossoming. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (old world charm, older characters who do indeed bloom), Beginners Greek (a cute old fashioned love story), When You Reach Me (YA coming of age and young love) and if you’re into cozy mysteries, Susan Wittig Albert writes a great series about a young Beatrix Potter with loads of woodland creatures called the Hill Top Farm series that fit right in with the season.
  • Dance with as little clothing on as your modesty will allow to a guilty pleasure pop song in your kitchen. It’s liberating and kind of heathen-ish. Think of it as your own little fertility ritual. I’m partial to Jason Derulo’s ‘Talk Dirty To Me’. It also has the added bonus of mortifying your teenage kids if you have any.
  • In that same vein, you don’t have to be Christian to get down with the spirit of Easter. Many pagan symbols were borrowed by early Christians (the word Easter itself comes from the Saxon word Eostre, which later will lend itself to estrogen). If you feel like you need to shed your old skin and begin a new chapter, make use of those cute ornamental Easter bunnies and chicks and light a candle to help yourself focus on getting rid of that old baggage and starting fresh.
  • Buy something with flowers on it.
  • Do some work in your garden. If you don’t have a garden, get out into the park. Stick your hands in the dirt. It’s grounding.
  • I love keeping floral arrangements in the house. They look so beautiful on a mantle or dining room table. For me, though, my favorite is just a few small buds and flowers by my bed in the smallest of vases. The smell is divine and it really embodies the season.
  • Springtime is the time for new beginnings. If you have a project or an idea that you’ve been putting off, now is the time to start. The creative seeds that you sow now will blossom into something real and tangible later on. It might take a while, so don’t get discouraged. Be inspired by what’s happening outside your window. That tree exploding with leaves and blossoms wasn’t planted last month.
  • There are certain movies, to me at least, that really bring on the springtime vibe: Emma, Big Fish, Memoirs of A Geisha, The Secret Garden, The Bridge To Terabithia, Spring Breakers (new school) and Spring Break (old school).
  • Check out the birds. Even better, buy a bird feeder. They are fascinating creatures, really, and we often don’t pay attention to them at all. I kind of love the fact that sometimes they just sit around and sing.
  • In the colder months, I get into a terrible habit of binge watching a lot of shows because it’s cold outside and also because I love TV. I make a concerted effort come spring time to minimize my TV watching. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going out, because springtime weather can be pretty miserable, too. Instead, I listen to more podcasts and music and try to socialize a bit more.
  • I love gray. I love black. Seriously. When I look at my yarn stash, it’s depressing! Now that spring has arrived, though, I really do try to include a couple pastels into my ensembles. I don’t know that I can pull off a baby blue sweater – but a lilac scarf or pale pink ballet slippers will often do the trick.
  • Kiss a puppy, snuggle a kitten, but maybe stay away from lamb?
  • They say spring is for lovers. Do you have a crush on someone? Now is the perfect time to see if they feel the same. If they do, fabulous! If not, a sunny day always makes bad news seem less terrible.
  • Go for a picnic!
  • There are loads of Spring inspired cocktails: April Rain, English Rose, Green Lemonade, Yellow Bird. Look online for the recipes and try one out.
  • Candles! Like I said, lavender is always a great go-to. These days, though, you can find candles that smell like freshly cut grass, rainstorms, daffodils, irises and cherry blossoms.
  • Wonder what fruits and vegetables are in season for cooking up some delish recipes? Turnips, beets, carrots, artichokes, lemons, cherries, leeks, lettuce, grapefruits and strawberries are all ready to be plucked fresh from the garden – maybe not our garden, per se…but someone’s!
  • Have kids? Hang out with or take care of kids? Creating a fun springtime scavenger hunt that you can do right around your own neighborhood or local park. Watching kids noticing the change of season makes it all even more wondrous.
  • Did you put your workout clothes in a dark, lonely spot in the back of your closet this winter? Time to get ’em out and get moving. Don’t push it right away if you’ve taken a hiatus. Go for a brisk walk. Take a gentle yoga class. Work your way up to some heavy duty running time. Or, if you’re like me, skip the running altogether. I can’t stand running.
  • Buy a pretty new shade of lipstick – something pink or orange.
  • I switch up perfumes every season. For spring, I like Miss Me by Stella Cadente, L’Artisian Nuit De Tuberose, Pacifica’s Tahitian Gardenia and the powdery freshness of Chloe’s Eau de Perfume.
  • I am not an artist. Really. I cannot paint or sculpt or draw with any kind of skill. Still, I have a sketch book and some cool water color pencils. I find it super relaxing to sketch the trees and flowers blooming outside. I wouldn’t show them to anyone. Ever. But, it’s pretty Zen and more importantly it keeps me mindful of what’s going on out there.
  • Flirt. Not just with people of the opposite sex but with everyone! Come from a place of yes and smile and be open and let everything that’s blossoming outside blossom inside of you. Be the flower.

Featured image via Shutterstock