01 November 2010

Today's special is....

Lately, I've been thinking about how to make everyday things special. Not how to escape my routines, but how to renew them. Rather than simply putting up with all the day's normal activities, I want to see past their routineness and draw out to the possibilities of beauty and joy inherent to them.

These are just a few random ideas. I am always looking for more.


Layer yogurt, fruit, and granola in a tall glass instead of just mixing it all together in a bowl. Inspired by the breakfast parfaits at my favorite local coffee shop, Chestnut Hill Cafe. (All their food is wonderful, by the way, but of course the breakfast offerings get my vote.)

Listen to quality music throughout the day. I'd much rather wash windows accompanied by Michael Buble or David Crowder Band than by silence. And it only takes a few seconds to stick in a CD, or to pull up Pandora or Grooveshark.

Use glass storage instead of plastic. And this suggestion has nothing to do with the toxins-in-plastic issue. Purely for aesthetics, store roasted tomatoes, homemade salsa, and yogurt in pasta sauce jars; hummus and vegetable dip in candle jars; dried fruit, vanilla sugar, and granola in large apothecary jars. (Use Goo Gone to clean the labels off those empty jars first.)

Stick some flowers in a vase, and put them on the kitchen windowsill or the coffee table or the bathroom counter. Seriously, flowers do so much for a room and for your mood. Bonus points: put the flowers in something interesting, like a wine bottle with a pretty label.

Drop a few mint leaves and lime wedges (or cucumber slices) into your water bottle.

When you have an option (and you usually do), choose pretty colors for tools and appliances. I love my apple green Kitchen-Aid, sherbet orange spatulas, bright red vacuum cleaner, and rainbow of sponges. Now, colors are really important to me, so this might not affect you as much-- but I know that seeing a brilliant blue instead of boring beige really injects some happiness into my day!

Open the windows, especially if you live in the country! A fresh breeze and "outside noises" are such great additions to an otherwise dull afternoon. If I'm stuck in the house grading essays or folding laundry, it's so nice to hear something from outdoors and feel as if I'm part of a larger world than my computer and laundry basket. :)

And don't forget to cut your sandwich into triangles.


  1. Absolutely! I've been trying to make sure that even though I'm a student, I'm also able to make James's and my house beautiful and livable every day. Music helps so much, just as you said. James and I also go through boxes of candles monthly. Stephen Ford's mother gave us a set of crystal candlesticks, wisely saying "you cannot have romance without candlesticks!". They also help the house smell better!

  2. About the sandwich bit, Jill at the sandwich line always cuts my sandwiches into triangles. That's love, if ever there was any. :)

  3. I agree! I love colors too, and I also reuse glass bottles (sometimes I buy them based on the bottle, not the contents).
    I had to reduce the candles since I have littles around, but as they get older, I've been burning more.

  4. Great thoughts, Rebekah! One of my favorite ways to make a day special, however, is a little simpler - finding a family member for a hug during an unexpected moment in the day. :-)

    I so enjoy your blog!