March 21, 2016

6 Ways to Celebrate Spring (Including Springtime Book Recommendations, of Course!)

Inspired by episode 49 of Sorta Awesome, I decided instead of being doom and gloom about how we've been in the high 80s/low 90s since the first week of February (sigh), I'll think of some fun ways to celebrate Spring! Spring is not my favorite, because it means Summer is coming, and because (AH-CHOOOO), I have really terrible seasonal allergies. But, Spring still has its charms, and here are 6 ways I'm celebrating the season.
  1. Exercising. What? Me? I know! But the knowledge that swimsuit season will start in mere weeks is giving me extra incentive. As are Juliet's epic tantrums lately. And the fact that the YMCA offers two free hours of childcare every day... Plus, for a lot of you, it's your first chance to get outside and walk in non-freezing temps!
  2. Smelling Fresh. In related news, I don't want to *smell* like I've just been to the gym though. Luckily in a Birchbox* last month I got a sample of this detangler that (a) smells fantastic (b) really detangles my hair and (c) also makes it magical and glossy. So I'm keeping the sample size one in my gym bag, and I bought a full-size one for myself! 
  3. Reading books set in spring. It's funny because I had kind of a hard time thinking of adult books set during the spring. Apparently authors mostly either go for the vivacity of full summer, or bleak mid-winter? I thought of a few that feel spring-like to me though; even if I'm remembering wrong, and they're actually set at a different time of year.
    • Donna Leon's Acqua Alta. I associate the flooding in this one with springtime rain. Perhaps it's winter rain? Either way, it's a great book, one of the best in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series.
    • Mary Stewart's ThornyholdAll about flowers and herbs, and a surprise inheritance. It also includes a sweet love story, which seems very springy. 
    • Kate Morton's The Forgotten GardenAlso flowery. A darker story, with some disturbing secrets, but still poetic and springlike somehow.
    • Susanna Kearsley's The Rose Garden. Hm. Clearly I just associate books with gardens in them with spring. But this time traveling romance is one of my favorite Kearsley novels.
    • Leslie Meier's The Easter Bunny Murder. I haven't actually read Meier, but her books were quite popular when I worked at Bookmans. And, the cover of this one is very festive!
    • Agatha Christie's The Murder at the Vicarage. Again, I'm probably making gardening associations here, but I reread The Murder at the Vicarage a few years ago, and quite enjoyed it.
  4. Kid books, however, are SUPER easy to come up with. I made a whole list of Easter books here. In addition, for spring books without an Easter/bunny connection, we also love Miss Rumphius, Spring, Bear Wants More, and Amy Loves the Sun.  
  5. Wearing springy clothes. I'm really into maxi skirts lately, and I found some really cute new ones at Target. Plus I got a couple of tank tops on ThredUp, and I'm good to go! I realize this is probably summer attire for most of you, but hey. Just keep my maxi skirt and tank top idea in mind for later.
  6. Eating asparagus. I don't know about your neck of the woods, but asparagus is gloriously cheap here. I've been flash-steaming tons of it, and just eating it as a snack with a little garlic salt on top. But I also HIGHLY recommend this asparagus tart, if you want to be a little fussier. (I'm not actually sure if that's the recipe I used, but the ingredients seem all the same. Pinterest has about a million different variations, and I can't keep track!) I think I'm going to do a variation on that tart for our Easter dinner!

How are YOU celebrating spring?

*PS - if you want to try Birchbox for yourself, I highly recommend it! And if you wouldn't mind signing up via my link; I'll earn some points toward free products. This post also contains some Amazon links - if you buy something via one of my book links (at no additional cost to you), I'll earn a few cents.