So far, this year has been fast and full. February seems like it was ages ago, even though it was just three weeks! Does anyone else feel that way? Anyway, February was a busy month, focused on organizing closets, cupboards, and drawers, which led to doing random projects that have been hanging out on my mental to-do list for ages. It was also a no-spend month, which I’ll share more about later in the post, but I still have lots of fun new things to share with you…
Reading | The Great American House
You know I love a good decorating book and I found a new favorite in the month of February – The Great American House. Oh man, this one is so good if you love classic architecture. It explains how old homes were designed “thin” to allow the light and air to pass through and how many new suburban homes are designed “thick”, creating rooms that get very little sunlight and floorplans that don’t allow for cross ventilation. Those are some of the more practical points of the book, but there is also an abundance of visual inspiration…
The book allows you to tour old homes as well as new homes that were built to look and feel old.
This room was on one of the first pages and I had to stop and admire it corner-to-corner, taking in every detail. I’ve always wanted to have a fireplace in the kitchen and have envisioned something very similar to this…
This book makes me even more excited about the possibility of one day buying and living in an old home. Until then, it provides plenty of inspiration and ideas for the suburban home I live in now.
Following | London.Mudlark Instagram Account Lara Maiklem
One of my Instagram followers shared this account with me, thinking I would like it, and she was right. I fell down the mudlarking rabbit hole! Did you know this was a thing? Licensed mudlarkers can search along the Thames river, scouring the banks at low tide for treasures that have been washed from ancient trash deposits or just tossed in or lost to the river at some point in time. These mudlarkers find roman bone hairpins, the soles of shoes from Tudor-era children, coins from the reign of Edward the I (good-ole-grandfather Longshanks, as I like to call him now), and mustard pots from the 1800s. It’s just crazy the things that are deposited and discovered along the banks.
As someone who loves hunting for shells and shark’s teeth along any beach I visit, I would absolutely love this past-time. I don’t know if a tourist can tag along with a licensed mudlarker, but if that was possible, I would be first in line! Until then, I’ll just follow along with what Lara finds during her trips to the river.
Watching | All Creatures Great & Small
This was just the sweetest show that aired recently on PBS Masterpiece. Not only did I love the setting and the characters, but I adored all of the knitted sweaters, berets, and socks! It’s funny the places that you find unexpected inspiration, but I just loved their “look” and am anxious for the day that I am a more accomplished knitter and can design and make some of my own clothes. I really won’t mind if I look like I walked off the set of this quaint show.
Watching | Miss Scarlet & the Duke
As much as I loved All Creatures Great and Small, I loved Miss Scarlet & the Duke even more. The two leads are wonderful and the series is a nice balance of stand-alone mysteries to solve in each episode with an overarching story that threads it together. I cannot wait for season two to come out. (I won’t be taking fashion inspiration from this show, though!)
Making | Knitting Socks
Well, as I shared in Thursday’s post, knitting is a new favorite past-time. I pull it out almost every time I’m watching TV and then I find it hard to stop! I understand the expression “just one more row” much better now. It’s oddly addicting.
Doing | Organizing
And I thoroughly relished organizing. Some of it was tedious, but the results have been so enjoyable that it was all worth the work. I still have a few places to work on – the entire basement, the laundry room closet (although I’ve picked at that one through February), the boys’ closets, and the garage. It’s really coming along, though, and I feel motivated to continue the work into the spring and summer.
Doing | No Spend
It’s sort of funny to me that not spending money made it to my list of favorite things in February, but it really was a great exercise. I think it was especially powerful to pair it with organizing and purging. As I was handling an excess of stuff, I could clearly see that I wasn’t being as thoughtful and intentional as I could’ve been with my spending. Having the budget to buy something doesn’t mean I should buy something. I have become more of a saver than a spender in recent years, but there is still room for improvement and my no-spend February showed me that.
I have bought some things since then, but it’s always been after leaving it in my cart for a few days to decide if it’s a smart purchase. I think about how I’ll use it and where it will be displayed or stored.
Doing | Connecting with Family
One of my organization spin-offs was putting together Rosa’s Recipes, a Blurb book of my great-grandmother’s hand-written recipes. That project was so rewarding and I loved reconnecting with great-aunts and uncles that I don’t speak with regularly. Not only did we connect about the recipes and photos, but we talked about genealogy. I m going to see them in person in May and I’m looking forward to hearing their stories and learning more about our family.
I know it’s a few weeks away, but what were some of your favorites in February?