Friday, May 12, 2017

Tulip mania...and some "happy" habits.

The local markets are overflowing with buckets and buckets of colourful Tulips.
Priced so low, that they practically hop into my shopping basket...

Even after Tulips have fully blown open they are quite lovely.

One can buys masses of these or settle for a bunch as I have done here.
It depends on your budget, how big your vases may be and how many bouquets you want to display in your home.

Flowers in the home have always been a prominent accent in our home decor.

Personally I feel it essential that one has something of natural beauty in the home
 it helps keep ones spirits up...

it can be a single stem
some woody branches
a fern frond
plants or orchids
a bowl of lemons
pine cones

These natural adornments are particularly helpful for our long rainy winter season.
The season here where sunshine is rationed and the gloom can be oppressing...
for some it is debilitating and depressing.

I look for "guaranteed mood lifters"
 like flowers that add elegance and ambiance.
Scented Candles are another one of my essentials for the home.
They do not need to be the posh Diptyque or Cire Trudon brands
many scented candles are affordable and readily available.

I find that it is the "little things" make our everyday life richer.

linen tea towels
triple milled soaps
quality chocolate
soft cashmere sweaters and wraps
cozy socks
plush robes
a hot cup of coffee
a great fitting pair of jeans
framed family photos
pretty china cups and saucers
emollient hand lotion
bath salts
fluffy white towels

Those are a few of my favourite things...

I also like to keep our home tidy
free of clutter
pleasing to the eye.

I am also a big fan of lists. 
Which help to motivate me and keep me up to date on things that need to get done.

I love using "rolling ball" ink pens 
better still, but more expensive, a beautiful fountain pen.
Writing feels effortless using these inky writing implements.
Great for cards, grocery lists and letters.

I keep stocked in our writing desk a variety of pretty cards and stamps.
I buy them in bulk when they are on sale.
I look for the most attractive stamps from the post office.
Lately they have had floral stamps which are simply lovely.
Why opt for boring when one can have beautiful for the same price?

Friends gave us an arts and crafts copper letter opener one year for Christmas. 
I use it for every bill and letter that we receive...
it slices envelopes open swiftly and evenly
a bit of affordable luxury that I enjoy.

Surrounding oneself with little affordable luxuries
things that make one feel good
are well worth the time and effort it takes.

Getting in tune to what "small things" that you can cultivate...
things that may add to your daily round. 
Those that augment and beautify your environment 
it is an exercise worth the time...
listen to your heart
make notes.

You'll soon discover which things make your heart soar 
household habits that make you smile...
perhaps they will change the way you feel about a chore...
like ironing.

Buying some lavender linen spray
use a pretty floral ironing board pad.

It is so much more satisfying
drinking sparkling water out of a vintage etched goblet.

Imagine how pretty it would be
storing your cosmetics or perfumes on a silver tray.

What do you like?
Do you have any tips for cultivating beauty in your home?

Wishing you a wonderful, rich and bountiful weekend.



  1. I love "pretty." Flowers need not be expensive. I used to buy carnations that lasted for weeks. I love bubble bath and French olive oil soap. My sister makes linen water and puts it in those French lemonade bottles. I keep my ironing supplies in a communal laundry area but no one touches anything because no one irons. I love ironed tea towels and pillow cases. I bought special pens in Paris to write my final exam at the Sorbonne. Life is too short to use scratchy pens. Having lived these months in Mexico, I realize that these are luxury items but they are items that I can enjoy while hopefully recognizing that much of the world has more basic needs. Your blog, with its pretty photos brings me a lot of happiness.

    1. Your suggestions are all lovely Madame...I love these ideas.

  2. You speak my language, Hostess. Such a lovely post and uplifting in a gentle way.

    1. Thank you Pondside...many of us crave creature comforts and enjoy adding a wee bit of affordable luxury in our daily round.

  3. This is lovely.
    If you like tulips, did you see the New York Times article yesterday about "broken" tulips? Really interesting.
    If you want to make your tulips stand up again, poke the stem with a needle, just above the water line. Also, don't put very much water (so you have to keep an eye out, in case it gets low).
    We use our "good" Limoges china every day. In fact, we don't have "everyday" china. Why would you not use the good stuff for yourself, and why clutter the cupboards with something that isn't "good"?

    1. I have not read that article...will see if I can find it online.
      Limoges make such beautiful china...I understand why you opt for it over "everyday" china.

  4. What a lovely post. It's always good to be mindful of the "little luxuries" that brighten our lives.

    1. "Little luxuries" can elevate the ordinary and make us feel elegant...

  5. Like you, I too live in PNW: The constant rain and grey skies can get depressing. I too, must have flowers in my home (flowers must be white only)to cheer-up my spirit. I save nothing for special. I have silver that I use daily. I enjoy your blog, Leslie!!

    1. I love white flowers too but I also adore colourful daffodils, roses, and tulips.
      Using what you have make total sense to me...why hide things away for a rainy day?
      Your silver is just one example of how you add some elegance to your daily round.

  6. I love quiet places. My garden for example,
    on a sunny afternoon, all by myself.
    When I'm indoors I love to open as many windows
    and doors as possible to feel the fresh breeze.
    I have many things once owned by my Grandmother.
    Silver, linens, dishes, etc.
    I love to use them and keep them out
    where I can see and appreciate them daily.
    I also love sweets and good coffee.
    And tea when the weather is cold. And warm socks.

    1. Warm socks...oh yes we must be cozy!
      Such lovely thoughts on what keep you content.

  7. I love this post! Thank you for reminding us that it is easy to find beauty everywhere.

    1. I used to rush though things and forgot to observe the details...
      once I slowed down and took notice life got "richer."

  8. Lovely! A home without flowers isn't a home! I am lucky that we have a profusion of wild flowers here in spring so I take my secateurs when walking our little dog. However, I am careful only to take one or two at a time. I was mortified when I picked some in Brittany recently only to be confronted with a sign in the car park politely asking people not to pick flowers!

    Yes, 'TasteofFrance' a handy little tip. I try and use everything too - after finding so many unused presents and stuff in my Mum's things when she passed away I determined not to save stuff for 'best' anymore.

    Best wishes.

    1. I have never thought to take my secateurs on a walk! We have pretty native plants in our local parks but they are protected...we have flowers in our garden and the markets offer cheap and cheerful bunches of flowers that are in season.

  9. What a beautiful post! I was happily taking notes while I read it. Your posts are "guaranteed mood lifters"!

    I use a beautiful bright pink Leuchtturm 1917 Journal. Lovely Washi tape and pen inks in my favourite colours adorn it. I use it for daily and weekly spreads (like the bullet journalists do) and for information and lists.

    I make handmade cards to send to friends.

    I have pretty journals on various topics I am interested in and for "Morning Pages" (an idea from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron).

    I like your idea of affordable luxuries. They truly make us smile each time we see them.

    Here's to a sunny day.
    Honey Bee

    1. You mention Judith Cameron's book...I have heard of it but have yet to read it. I will add it to my book list..
      Your Journal must be quite lovely Honey Bee...
      I'd love to see how you add colour and decorate your entires.

  10. A life without beauty is not worth living in my opinion. It is not difficult to highlight beauty even simple and free things if one is penniless, as I have been. It is good training for discovery of real beauty and pleasures. Don't get depressed and blind to beauty.

    1. Free things from Nature are abundant and fun to gather...
      I collect beach glass and love finding heart shaped rocks.
      Plants can look so cheerful growing in tin cans with bright many ideas out there to economize while still adding beauty.

  11. Oh this was lovely. Great comments from your readers as well. So many "kindred spirits" out there. ~Mary

    1. are quite right...many kindred spirits!

  12. Just need to add this, I too would love to
    have flowers and/or plants in my home.
    However, my (indoor) cat will not allow it.
    He eats any and all plant material and
    makes a terrible mess while doing it.

    1. Our indoor cats must be supervised when we have vases of flowers in the house! I do not leave them out at night but pop them in a cupboard.

  13. May I echo Mary's comment, it is wonderful to know there are so many kindred spirits out there!! I cherish using pretty china (most of which I inherited from my dear Mother and treasured family members. I always have fresh flowers in my home because they lift my spirits...there is nothing like a pot of daffodils in the mid of January to make your heart sing!

    1. The daffodils bring a little bit of sunshine with their yellow flowers and they bloom at a time when we are tired of the winter weather.

  14. A great post, Leslie! I agree with 99% of what you list, but only disagree (and this is simply personal preference) on scented candles, which I'm not that keen on, but I do love a nice room spray, but not one from the supermarket, I love those from as they are not made from synthetic products. I love flowers, triple milled soap, perfume, and I would add books (of course!) and home-style magazines such as The English Home. I am most certainly for cultivating beauty around the home in the flowers I choose, even having posies in the shower room and kitchen, changing ornaments in summer and winter (more clear glass in summer, more copper lustre in winter), having lovely white bed linen and, more recently adding some pretty new pillow cases with dark pink scalloped edges. But the most important thing in the home is love both of the inhabitants and the items in it.
    Margaret P

    1. I visited that website and they have such lovely looking soaps and candles. I can see why you like it so much! Thank you for sharing it with us.
      Your comment about love of the inhabitants and items within the home is a very astute observation and one would start with that and build next with the fripperies.

  15. Lovely post! This is how I try to live, although reading this over reminds me that I've been too busy lately, and need to re-establish some of these routines.