Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Lovely Spring Day

There's something about a sunny spring day that makes me just want to throw open the windows and clean house.

I know, I'm weird.  (We've covered this before, no?)

Today was one of those sunny spring days. I got up to do laundry (my most hated chore) and went out for a couple of runs while the loads were in the washers (shorter, more painful, hilly run) and dryer (longer, more enjoyable run and a stop for La Boulange's amazing cold-brewed iced coffee).

I got home, fetched my clothes from our wretched garage laundry room and put the laundry away. I note this because in more lazy times, piles of clean laundry live on the second sofa in my living room for a while. This is the problem with having two sofas, too many clothes, and no roommates. I still have plenty of outfits to wear and a comfy place to sit and watch tv even when the other comfy place to sit is covered in clean clothes and sheets.

Feeling inspired by my responsible adult laundry effort, I elected to tackle my positively nasty stove, cleaning the grates and everything. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (my all-time favorite cleaning tool) was put down in the process. But now the stove sparkles. 

I made myself lunch, channeling this post. This time I added a new element - anchovies (three of them, mashed up to a paste) - into the butter. The spring radishes really are so mild. I love them.

I tried on and purged a bunch of old clothes from my dresser and closet. I then tackled a project that's been in the hopper for MONTHS - I put up new hooks on the side of my movers-damaged-bookcase-turned-handbag-and-shoe-storage piece, for displaying all the too-long necklaces that just get tangled on top of my dresser, and to get my gym bag off the floor, for once and for all. Victory.

True that, poster. True that.
Also, I just want to give a shout out to the DeKalb T.J. Maxx which is the best, cleanest, most well organized T.J. Maxx in existence. That's where I picked up that cute pillow. I saw an identical pillow months later in a snooty home store in Sonoma for 5x what I paid. Ha. 

After that I showered. Sorry, there's no picture of that. Trust me, it's better for all of us that way.

By the time all that was done, it was time to tackle the fun chore of bill paying. Woohoo! I got a little ambitious after paying bills and tried to rollover my old 401K into my new one but got confused and decided that it would be better if I just had a snack instead. A ripe mango in the fruit colander was calling my name, so I whipped up a mango-strawberry smoothie.

Kate's Mango-Strawberry Smoothie

1 ripe mango, peeled and pitted
8 or so strawberries, washed and trimmed
1 cup Greek yogurt - I usually use 0% because that's what I keep around
1/2 cup milk

Put everything in the blender and blend it. 
The end.

I just started making these recently, and I'm addicted. They are a favorite new weekend treat. I usually do not add any sweetener - I like the wholesomeness of just the fruit (but I do try to wait until the mango is almost too ripe and I select the ripest strawberries in the container).

For serving, I especially love to rinse out my to-go iced coffee cup and straw from the morning's coffee and drink my smoothie out of that. Drinking smoothies out of straws is so much more fun. Actually, drinking anything out of a straw is more fun. Except hot coffee, of course. Also, I'm recycling!

In spite of today's loveliness, the week preceding was kind of a rough one for me, and I determined that flowers were in order. I love late Spring because it means peonies are in season. They are my favorite (alongside my early spring lilacs), and always remind me of our dear neighbor, Jane Beard, who was like another grandmother to me when I was growing up.

Jane practically had an entire field of peonies in her front yard and they always bloomed at the beginning of June, ushering in summers filled with daytime lemonade stands and evening games of hide and seek.

The tricky part about peonies is that they are only available for a very short window in May and June. Their scarcity makes me want them all the more when I see them.

Tulips and roses are fine when you can't get anything truly seasonal, but I really love old school blooms like these peonies that look like they came directly from someone's garden. They are very lightly scented and smell fantastic - such a nice little bonus. 

I also picked up the most perfect notebooks for work at Flax Art and Design. I know this place is a San Francisco institution - I remember getting their catalogs at home when I was young - but somehow in two years I'd never set foot in the store. On a lark, after picking up exciting things like toilet paper and dish detergent at Safeway, I stopped in.

I was in crafty heaven. Flax is amazing. Like Paper Source times 1000. I could spend hours upon hours dreaming up projects there.

The notebooks I picked up at Flax are perfect for work (and I don't use that word lightly to describe objects) because they are:
  • large (all the better to diagram with),
  • spiral bound (so they lay flat - helpful for a left-handed person),
  • thin (so they're lightweight and don't take up much room in the already heavy work bag), 
  • cheap (duh), and
  • pretty! 
I think I am going to start with the robin's egg blue one, although I do love all the colors. I also love the inscription on the front:

"Most advanced quality gives best writing features & gives satisfaction to you."

Indeed, little notebook. Indeed.
I don't know why this picture is formatting vertically. Odd. I suggest turning your computer clockwise 90 degrees.

Happy Spring Day!

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