Posts tagged ‘spring’

March 20th, 2012

Spring Decor Ideas

Ranunculus Bloom

Rananuculus photograph courtesy of Mr. Phil Price

Hooray for the first day of spring! As gray as it is, the dry streets are heavy with the scent of rain. How happy is that? This time of year I like to take stock of everything in the main living areas to see what I can change or update in the coming weeks to make way for spring and summer living.


Away with the heavy carpets meant for holding boots and wintry debris. Away with the heavy wool throw on the sofa. Away with any indication that winter was ever here!


I want to introduce vibrant energy and at the same time choose items that don’t need a whole lot of upkeep. The back of the house gets pure sun in the summer, presently a thick-slatted blind hangs with a valance I made from fabric bought at Ikea. A new valance in a summery pattern to change the look, is in order this year. The kitchen is very red, as red as red can be, I believe the shade was called ‘Daredevil’ which means I need to find a fabric with a pattern that can stand up to such a bold colour. I might even pair the valance with a sheer curtain to soften the look of the blinds.


As for the back entrance, a small rectangular carpet will do the trick for warmer months. Now, if only I could come up with a solution to deal with all the sand from little shoes which ends up in the porch!


Another way to lighten the mood in your home and incorporate spring decor, is to reposition mirrors to reflect more light. Not all of them, of course, but try moving one and see what happens. Update wintry patterns and cozy prints with airy fabrics you can use in areas around the home. Break out the flowing cotton curtains, linen throw pillows and pack up the wool!


Spring decor would not be complete if you didn’t arm yourself with supplies and develop a game plan for spring cleaning. Depending on your climate, the indoors and the outdoors will need some love, and by love I mean a scrubbing! Windows, screens, door frames, closets and more will do well with a major haul over. With the onset of winter, things tend to accumulate. Now is the time to release them and make way for the new.


Another sure way to introduce spring décor into the home is fresh cut flowers! Whether it be tulips, white lilies, anemones or my absolute favourite ranunculus, fresh flowers add instant spring appeal to any type of décor.

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March 1st, 2012

Broccoli Lentil Salad

I concocted this broccoli lentil salad to welcome March, and encourage it with a little green to tempt the spring. Mixed greens and spinach are my go-to for a quick salad fix, but some days you want a salad with substance. And this salad is exactly that, as broccoli and lentils are both super healthy and packed with vitamins. In like a lion, out like a lamb? I’m not sure yet, although it is colder than it has been of late. Here’s to an early spring!

Make this salad as-is and pack it up for a quick work lunch. You could also make it on the weekend and serve it with bread. I would serve it with bruschetta or crusty baguette and dip. Spinach dip, bean dip, artichoke dip or hummus!


Broccoli Lentil Salad Serves 4:


1 head of broccoli

1 can of lentils

1/4 cup of dried cherries

1/4 cup of chopped green onion

1 carrot shredded

1/4 cup of feta

2 tablespoons of Parmesan


  1. Chop one head of broccoli into 1-inch florets. Boil or steam the florets for 2-3 minutes, until barely tender. Immerse the broccoli in a water bath (to keep the vibrant green hue) and place in bowl.
  2. Rinse lentils and add them to the florets.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into the bowl.


White Wine Vinaigrette:


1/4 cup of white wine vinegar

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Whisk the vinegar and olive oil together until combined. Add cumin, salt and pepper and whisk again.
  2. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.


Enjoy this salad as a main course lunch salad or as a side salad served with chicken or salmon. For a decorative presentation, serve the salad in colourful, halved bell peppers, in a purple cabbage leaf or in vintage dishware. Broccoli lentil salad makes a great potluck dish and is a great salad to take on a picnic.