Spring is here and all seems right with the world again. Today I am baking a cracker crumb asparagus quiche and mixing up a new batch of BrocanteHome recipe cleaning products, ready for a glorious day of polishing and puttering tomorrow before the child filled avalance that is almost a month long Easter break begins... And so here for your pleasure and mine is a list of all new scrumptious puttery treats with which to indulge ourselves...
* Read Violet: A Fairy story, by Caroline Snowden Guild, because it is Springlike and homely and just some kind of childlike wonderful. Between you and me, there were two fairies—one named Love and the other Contentment...
* Keep an eye out for an occasional table for the garden. One that looks pretty and chippy and can be laden with your prettiest watering cans, jam jars for impromptu table displays, and tins full of tiny garden essentials like roses secateurs, plant tags and that essential ball of string. Think of decorating your garden in the same way as you would your living room.
* Make sprinkling a few drops of spring scented aromatherapy oil directly on to your door mat part of your morning routine.
* Buy a teeny tiny bunch of grape hyacinths and keep them in a tea-cup on your bedside. So lovely to open your eyes to a little bit of Spring.
* Set up a Saturday Afternoon Salon for all the harried ladies you know. Invite them over, lay a table with the prettiest Spring cloth you own, serve cucumber sandwiches (salt your cucumber first and it won't go soggy) and pastel coloured macaroons, play something soothing on the iPod, exchange books and ideas, and generally offer you very own darlings a monthly oasis free from football, cricket and all the other joys the warm weather is prone to inflict upon us.
* Buy some willow sticks and help the kids create a willow tee pee on the lawn.
* Dig out all your Springtime aprons and hand-launder them in something deliciously floral, line-dry then spray with a light starch. Nothing gladdens the Spring heart faster than a line full of happy aprons.
* Transform essential ring-binders by backing in brown paper and tying up with vintage lace. Instant transformation!
* Start treasure hunting for a collection of Springtime I Feel Pretty House dresses. Think cheap and cheerful and accessorise with ribbon and button corsages and fitted cardigans. Who needs jeans?
* Ring the changes with a Springtime Pizza. Layer wraps with pesto, feta, olives and rocket and serve with white wine. Delish.
* Start a Summer book. Fill it with plans for a weekend road trip. Meals you plan to cook. Places to visit. Activities for the kids. Work on it daily and promise yourself you won't allow another summer to be lost to over-heating and computer games...
* Exchange your current bookmark for a length of gingham ribbon.
* Add four drops each of eucalyptus, geranium, peppermint and rosemary oil to a morning bath to fight off the sniffly symptoms of a Spring cold.
* Follow this gorgeous tutorial from Happy Clippings to make an Easter Garland. So easy even I can do it...
* Fill the freezer with lemon granita cubes. Create a light sugar syrup and stir in some lemon juice, then freeze in an ice-cube tray ready for the arrival of the first day warm enough to spend in the garden. Then when the time is right, take your cubes out, blend until shredded and serve with a sprig of mint. And there you have it: the taste of Spring...
* Add a few drops of Zoflora Hyacinth disinfectant concentrate to warm water and use it to wash your floors for the sweet smell of Spring throughout the house. My very favourite instant pick me up for the house.
* Walk around the house and make a brand new Springtime Mission List. Things get done when one knows what needs doing!
* Use a vintage toast rack to stash a row of love letters in the bedroom or recipe cards in the kitchen.
* Mix up some rosemary scented salt scrub and decant into a gingham topped jam jar ready for scrubbing the soil of those Springtime gardening hands. Simply mix a few spoons of olive oil into a cup full of sea-salt and add a few drops of rosemary oil to scent and revive. And there you have it: clean hands in a jar.
* Stitch a crocheted runner into a vintage envelope for your oh so modern Kindle. Perfectly pretty at the bedside.
* At the first sign of budding bring branches full of blossom into the house to force and enjoy a little Springtime inside.
* Fill eggshells with soil and sew cress ready for serving with boiled eggs and a little parsley mayo on Easter morning.
* Turn vintage hankies into gorgeous bunting the easy way with this lovely idea from The Mother Huddle.
* Spring is the season when we start to get a little careless around the garden and thieves spot opportunities to take full advantage of our relaxed attitude to our property, so it is well worth taking the time to mark it as ours. Wherever possible scratch your house number and postcode on to gardening tools and furniture. And where that is not possible, order a UV pen and write the same information on to each item. Better safe than sorry!
* Find a place to scrawl this Gustave Flaubert quote... "Love is a springtime plant, that perfumes everything with its hope"
* Seek out a local honey supplier and resolve to take a couple of spoonfuls daily before the Spring trauma that is always hay fever really gets a grip.
* Set the kids up making paper doll chains and have them dress up with vintage fabric scraps. Or else spend a happy half hour decorating them yourself. Sooo pretty!
* Add a little floral delight to a Springtime breakfast with Not Martha's lovely flower shaped pancakes. Serve with greek yoghurt, rose jam and pistachio's for an extra special treat.
* Stitch cushion "sleeves" in contrasting colours or sympathetic colours, for a super-super quick and lovely way to ring the changes around the house. This works scrumptiously well with bark-cloth bands around velvet cushions and vice versa, and best of all it isn't permanent...
Happy Spring Housekeepers!