Set Yourself Up for a Super Spring
Ahhh, spring! It’s finally here and with it comes buds on the trees, warmer temps, April showers, and fresh crisp air. It’s lovely to see the crocus erupt from the soil and see our yards slowly change colors from light brown to green.
All this new growth outside often brings about a sense of renewal and desire to uncover some of the grit, grime and the blahs that come with the end of winter. Our instincts lead us to think of spring cleaning, opening the windows and wondering what the best way is to prepare for the warmer months to come.
Many people have their own particular spring-cleaning rituals in place. It’s a great time of year to knock off the dust. But aren’t there other areas of our lives that can use the same attention this spring? I think so! I sought the advice of experts to give us some simple ideas on where to start with spring renewal – with your skin, your yard and garden, your car, and, of course, your house.
I hope these ideas help set you up for a super spring! Here goes:
Prepping Your Skin
Courtney Inman, Licensed Esthetician, Bodies Kneaded
Remember to exfoliate (only once or twice a week). This helps shed off dead skin cells and allows for the growth of new ones.
HYDRATION👏🏼 – moisturize twice a day. I also recommend doing a hydration mask once a week – the Epionce Enrichment Mask is amazing.
Sunscreen DAILY! Just because your moisturizers or make-up say it has SPF, it is not enough to help protect your skin from UV rays, bacteria, or pollution.
Finally, spring is the final season for any last-minute peels you may need! When summer hits, I recommend no peels until it starts cooling down a little down.
Tending to Your Yard and Garden
Amanda (Amy) Templer, St. Charles County (Mo.) master gardener
Even though the weather is still a little chilly in March, there are some valuable things you can start doing now to ensure your yard and garden are ready for the spring season.
Now is the perfect time to apply a crabgrass preventer and preemergent weed control to your lawn and landscape. Weed seeds typically begin germinating when soil temps reach 55 degrees, so get out soon before the weeds get a hold.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to trim back the ornamental grasses before the new growth begins to sprout.
Vegetable gardens should be cleaned out and prepared now for those cool season crops to be planted in cold frames. Think broccoli, cauliflower, onions, leeks, and lettuce. And now is the time to begin seeding tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant indoors under grow lights.
Spend a little time doing an inventory on tools. Sharpen mower blades and pruning tools. Make sure you have everything needed and ready to get you going for a beautiful spring season in the garden.
Caring for Your Car
Peter Samoska, journeyman automotive technician, General Motors
At the change of any season, it’s a good idea to take care of one of our most expensive assets, our vehicles. Peter offers these recommendations for preparing your car for the new season:
With the onset of allergy season, replacing the cabin filter may help you breathe easier. Also consider changing your engine filter.
April showers are just weeks away. Check your wipers (front and rear) and consider replacing them with all-season wipers. Bonus tip: Many auto part stores will put them on for you.
To ensure your oil has not been watered down by winter’s freezing temps and run-off condensation, schedule an oil change this spring.
Before the heat of summer, have a professional check two things … your air conditioning and state of charge on your battery. These inspections are relatively inexpensive and can save you some unexpected misery in 90-degree weather.
The cold temps of winter can reduce tire pressure. Be sure to bring your tire pressure back to your vehicle’s recommended pressure. It will help with fuel economy and your tire’s tread wear.
Straightening Your House
Lori Garvert, professional house cleaner, self-employed
Consider scaling down your closets. It’s a great time of the year to donate old things.
Organizing is a big one – vanities, cabinets – just get rid of clutter.
Clean your windows inside and out during the spring before it is too hot to get a streak-free clean.
Get your carpets and rugs cleaned. They really need it after holidays and being inside all winter.
I love to open windows and really let the fresh air in.
Oh! Take care of your fireplace. Get the nasty ashes out and clean the doors.
No doubt there are other areas of our lives that could use a refresh this spring, but I wanted to offer a few ideas to get you started. Do you have any spring cleaning or organization hacks you’ve perfected over the years? Please share in the comments – we can all use a few tips and tricks to start the season feeling refreshed and ready to go!
Just for fun, because the days of winter’s heavy desserts are in the rearview, I wanted to share a friend’s favorite light and fluffy spring treat. Enjoy Diane’s spring mousse pie – also known as Air Bubbles and Sawdust.
Dr. Diane S., retired community college educator
The colored Jell-O mixture with the chocolate shavings on top is attractive. I think it looks better (less pale) with the chocolate crumb crust rather than the graham cracker crumb crust. The finished dessert is very light from the whipped milk and a bit like mousse because of the Jell-O. My dad always referred to it as “air bubbles and sawdust.”
Air Bubbles and Sawdust (Spring Mousse Pie)
1 small package Jell-O*
1 cup boiling water
13 ounces evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 graham cracker crust*
1. Press graham cracker crust in 9 x 13-inch cake pan.
2. Reserve some crumbs for garnish.
3. Dissolve Jell-O in water and let stand until completely cool, but not set.
4. Whip milk until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar.
5. Pour in Jell-O and stir until blended.
6. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Garnish with crumbs and shaved chocolate.
* Different colors of Jell-O may be used as desired, and an Oreo crumb crust may be substituted for the graham cracker crust.