Spring has arrived! But, we live in the Midwest which means that spring won’t really feel like it’s here for several more weeks. It’s not uncommon for Illinois to get snow in April. This week we may have 70 degree temperatures….and then the forecast has mentioned a chance of snow for the weekend. It’s hard to keep waiting when you are really really ready for sunshine, warmer temperatures, and gardens. I have some suggestions of things that you can do to make your own spring when spring seems so very far away…..
Check out an Indoor Garden!
The spring show at Garfield Park Conservatory is always a great way to gear up for spring sights and smells. This year’s theme “Understory”, has the visitor viewing the plants and flowers that grow beneath the forest canopy. The entire Conservatory has long been a favorite place for our family to escape the cold, rain and/or snow (all of which we might have on the same day in Illinois spring). You can check out the spring show until it closes May 12th.
Start Planning Your Garden!
So many different home improvement stores are full of flowers and plants right now. Lily and I went to Home Depot over the weekend and checked out the many annuals that they have in stock right now. They also had a few perennials. I already have some ideas for my container gardens.
Get outside as often as you can!
When those really nice days arrive, take full advantage of them! Get outside. Go to a playground. The weather can change very quickly so it’s important to take advantage of the sunshine while it’s here. I feel the same way during the summer months. If it’s nice out, we should get outside (for at least some of the day). Save the movie marathons for the rainy days!
Eat Warm Weather Foods!
Sure, I’ll eat ice cream year round. But once the snow has melted, it just seems to taste better. Do you agree? Being able to eat an ice cream cone without my fingers freezing…yea…the ice cream just tastes better. And once the temperatures start to inch above freezing and stay there, that’s when I want one of my favorite warmer weather meals – a Superdawg with everything, onion chips, and a strawberry soda. Yummmmm! Just thinking about it makes me feel a little bit warmer. 🙂
Check out a professional garden!
The Chicago Botanic Garden has a useful chart here that lets you know what will be in bloom and when. Yes, this one is really more for days when it’s a little warmer….and hopefully not snowing. But, this lets you plan for what dates you want to try to check out their gardens. (Especially if you know you really want to see the tulips in bloom!)
If you were lucky enough to check out the orchid show (which sadly has closed already) you were treated to some absolutely beautiful flowers and arrangements. I loved it! It was like a mini tropical vacation! I mean, just look at these flowers! Beautiful!
I am horrible at getting rid of makeup. Until very recently, I had bottles of nail polish that were old, really old, more than a decade old. With nail polish, you can tell pretty easily when it needs to be tossed. You know how old nail polish has a different texture to it? It seems thicker, more clumpy? Well, you know when you see that, that you need to toss it, right? It’s not always that easy to tell when other types of makeup are ready to go. But, I made it a spring cleaning task to go through my makeup bag and toss out stuff that was either 1) too old, 2) broken or almost empty, or 3) a color that I haven’t used in several months, or in some cases – haven’t used ever.
Along with my bag cleaning, I cleaned sponges and brushes. I know that there are pricey cleaning solutions out there for cleaning makeup sponges and brushes. What do I use? Liquid soap. I usually use either a mild liquid hand soap or baby shampoo. So much cheaper than the expensive cleaners and works just as well.
How do you know if your makeup is too old? I found this handy breakdown from Good Housekeeping that goes into detail about many different types of beauty products. That’s what I used as my guideline as I went through my bag……
The results? Yes, I have beautifully clean brushes and sponges…..but now I need to buy a lot of new makeup! Everything in the picture above, I threw away. I tend to hold onto makeup for way longer than I should. And that really doesn’t make sense because I tend to use a few go-to shades. Some of these that I threw out I haven’t used in a long, long time. And mascara? I need to get much better about buying new mascara! Expires after three months?! Oh man. Some of these I’ve had for almost a year! Gross!
We’ve had some rain recently and it has done wonders in our front yard.
The daffodils are pretty much done for the season but the tulips are beautiful, the new irises that we planted last year are coming up nicely, and the phlox looks great. Well, at least the purple phlox looks great. (And is expanding like crazy!)
The phlox plants that I got last year are still looking pretty small but there are several new blooms on each plant. I’m optimistic that these ones will eventually look as great as the purple one. (Pay no attention to the dandelions growing in the middle of the garden…..)
But what I’m most excited about?
Look how tall the peonies are already!!! The peonies are always my favorite.
What’s coming up in your garden?
Yesterday, I was able to do some work outdoors when I got home from work. First off? Sweeping the piles of leaves and sticks that have accumulated on the deck and the driveway. Second step? Time to get out the outdoor furniture!
We have plastic adirondack chairs, a small table and chairs set for the girls, and the outdoor rug. As soon as they come out, it feels like it’s really spring! Pretty soon, it’ll be eating outside weather!
Big girl looked out the window and squealed “You put out the summer stuff!” It’s amazing what a huge difference bringing out the “summer stuff” makes.
You’d think that after years and years of living in Illinois, I would finally understand that spring in Illinois means, well, that not much has changed since winter. Yes, the calendar has changed. Yes, the Cubs are playing again (except not today – so much for a home opener). But, winter has a mind of it’s own in the Midwest. Some years, we get 70 degree temperatures in January. And some years, it’s still snowing in April.
Remember when I shared a post last week about how our flowers were slowly starting to grow? (You can find that post here.) Well, take a look at how our flowers looked this morning……
Yep. It looks like spring has taken a bit of a detour. At least for a few days. The forecast is calling for 70 degree temps by Friday. Let’s keep those fingers crossed!
So, it’s snowing. Yep. Snowing. It seems as though winter did not get the memo that spring had started. Or, maybe spring did not get the email that it was supposed to get started.
But, even with the snow and the cold temperatures….and the lack of anything resembling blue skies….spring is here. And there are noticeable changes if you take the time to look.
Greenery is starting to emerge from the earth. Starting.
I’m hoping that in a few weeks, we’ll be able to enjoy some more colors in addition to the greenery.
Have you seen some signs of spring around your house? Is your garden beginning to emerge?
Oh. My. Goodness.
I am excited about this summer’s flower garden in the front yard. We did so much planting and transplanting last year and I feel that we are finally seeing the beginning of what I have wanted for the front yard.
And, we are going to have peonies! Peonies! Peonies! (I’m excited about the peonies….) 🙂
What’s coming up in your garden?
For this next Peeps taste test, we went for the new filled varieties. I will go ahead and say that I was prepared to not like these at all. A filled Peep? It just sounds kinda gross. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
Now, the girls and I are already fans of the Peeps with the chocolate coating on the bottom. And these two varieties both have that crunchy chocolate part.
The taste? Everyone, including Ryan, liked the Triple Chocolate ones. They are chocolatey but not too chocolatey. And the chocolate filling is actually kind of light.
(please excuse my nails…..I will be repainting them soon…..)
Now, the Vanilla Caramel Brownie ones we were all a little split about. I liked them. I thought that they tasted like some kind of Starbucks Frappuccino that had been solidified into a Peeps shape. Not bad. Big girl liked this one, too. Baby girl and Ryan – not so much.
I don’t really understand the “Brownie” part of the name. But, it’s definitely got a caramel taste and that’s the main taste in the filling.
The verdict? I liked them both. I’m becoming a big fan of the chocolate on the bottom of the Peeps. The crunch is a nice addition to the soft texture of the marshmallow.
I am trying very hard to remain patient…but….I am SO ready for spring! (Honestly, I’m actually SO ready for summer…..) So, I’m growing a bit impatient watching the flowers growing in the front yard.
Come on spring!!
What do you think? A week more until we have blooms? Maybe a couple days?
We had snow this week! Actual snow! And I’m not very happy about it! Now, I am fully aware that we’ve had a very easy winter for the most part. There has been very little snow and the temperatures have been fairly mild. I think that that’s why this week’s snow seems like such a giant leap backward. I thought that we were done with winter. Although, this year, it seems as though we were done with winter in early January……
The front yard is starting to wake up. There is new growth popping up everywhere. We did a lot of work in the front yard last summer. We moved a lot of plants and planted many new ones. I’m excited and anxious to see how all of the new plants do this year.