May 1, 2014

10 Things to do in May

It's May! The month of crab apple blossoms, lilacs, prom, mothers, and the return of the BBQ. It's time to celebrate spring in all its glory and to welcome the unofficial start to summer as it comes to a close.

1. Smell the flowers. I have a large lilac bush that sits just outside my living room. I love to open the windows and let their intoxicating scent drift into the room. Lilacs are only around for a short time. A small reminder that you should take the time to smell the flowers while you can.

2. Pack the car. Fill the trunk with a basket or bag containing a Frisbee, a couple of tennis balls, non-perishable snacks, water bottles, a blanket, and whatever else you can think of. The idea is to be ready to pull over wherever you want and have a little fun in the sun.

3. Plant an herb garden. Even if you're not a gardener, trust me, you can do this. Mint will grow anywhere (Keep it contained or it will take over. It's perfect to plant in pots.) Thyme (lemon thyme is a favorite), sage, rosemary, lavender...these are all great starter herbs. And if you like chives, they'll spread and thrive no matter what. Even if you don't have a yard, you can fill containers and place them all around.

4. Create an outdoor room. Whether it's adding to your patio or porch furniture, creating a patio area, or something more involved like building you're own playhouse, you'll want a place you can be just as comfortable outdoors as in. Hang a hammock, set out a rocker, buy new pillows... Think sun and shade. I have strapping on top of my pergola so I get dappled sunshine. Think privacy. It's okay to screen an area. Use fencing, lattice, or a few large bamboo roller blinds for privacy. (Check out this outdoor space.)

5. Spruce up. Touch up the house trim, paint the front or back door, replace dated outdoor fixtures. Fix what needs fixing before the good weather really makes it impossible to concentrate on outdoor chores. Don't procrastinate. You'll enjoy the view from that hammock all the more.

6. Get out the grill. Scrub racks, make sure you have enough charcoal or propane on hand, gather new recipes, and pull out tried and true favorites. Anything can be grilled, even vegetables and fruits. That first meal eaten outdoors is the best.

7. Service your air conditioner. I like the windows wide open too, but allergies keep me from taking advantage of this in every room. Before the hot weather hits, you'll be glad you've replaced the filter and scrubbed all of its nooks and crannies.

8. Cut down TV watching. I'm as guilty as the next person. It's cold, it's raining, how much more cleaning can I actually do indoors(!), but it's time to cut the cord. I go an entire month without television in the summer, sometimes longer. Instead, get ready to spend more nights sitting under the stars and talking, playing board games, reading...anything that doesn't involve the TV or technology. Cut back slowly and you won't miss it.

9. Wear a flirty dress. When's the last time you wore a dress? Well, guess what, no more excuses. Short, long, and everything in between is in this season so there are no excuses. Now go ahead a twirl around. Make the fabric move!

10. Drop by. Now I'm the first to admit that I would never just show up to someone's house without an invite, but I have done the occasional drop by. Drop off dessert, a bouquet of flowers, a potted herb to a neighbor or friend. No need to stay. We've all been pent up in our houses for too long, it's just a nice way to say hello.