Moving Gently into the Refreshing Days of May

May 01, 2024

Moving Gently into the Refreshing Days of May

As May arrives, we welcome the gentle feeling of pleasant weather, wrapping up a school year and looking forward to spending more time outdoors as we spruce up our outdoor oases and gardens with new plantings. It’s the season for spring picnics and dining en plein air. May ushers in a sense of calm but also spirited anticipation of all the joyful celebrations of the warm months to come.

May is for Mindfulness 

Have you ever remarked how much happier people seem when the weather is nice? Much has been written on just this topic. Sunshine, temperate weather, time spent outdoors, and even proximity to water have all been linked to how “happy” individuals rate themselves as being. (For further reading on this fascinating subject and how current research dovetails with our lifelong love of the seashore, we recommend Blue Mind: The surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do, by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols.) 

We have also read that spending too much time each day on social media and watching the news may increase feelings of anxiety. (Here’s an excellent roundup on the current studies on this topic.) There’s no better way to combat media overload and boost our mind’s natural balance than shutting off our devices and getting outside as the weather improves.  

We’ve been thinking a lot about what contributes to feelings of stress and what contributes to feelings of happiness, and we’d like to share some of our insights. There are many varying factors that contribute to the way we feel, including individual lifestyles, but in general there are habits we can develop that will lead us to feel more well-being in our daily lives. 

Mindfulness and self-care are foremost in the list of ways we can cultivate happiness. While mindfulness is something we like to make part of our daily practice, we look to this month as an opportunity to revisit our routines being that May is recognized nationally as Mental Health Awareness Month. For more information on resources available for mental health, visit Also for mindfulness coaching, workshops, and retreat opportunities, we recommend checking out Whatever your interest level or needs may be, make May a moment to create some healthy mindfulness habits. Schedule time for yourself, either alone or by reaching out to a friend or family member you enjoy spending time with. Take time to journal about anything that might be on your mind—it’s amazing what a helpful tool self-expression can be. Set aside some time for physical activity and also for quiet mindfulness, which might include meditation, yoga, and/or breathing exercises. Take a break from screen time and social media. Taking time out to read a good book, take a walk or any other activity you find relaxing in nature can change your whole day. Nurture yourself and encourage others around you to do the same. Supporting each other with the goal of leading a healthy lifestyle in mind is a wonderful way to build a kind, caring community.

May Days to Remember

Cinco de Mayo—Stock up on limes and invite a few friends to enjoy a fiesta al fresco! Gather around and make a pitcher of our fresh margaritas and our tasty avocado and tomato salsa with chips… or make it a cooking class and learn how to make churros together. If you’re celebrating with kids, make or buy a piñata and fill it with candies and other fun small party favors.

Kentucky Derby—Who’s to say the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” doesn’t make a fine occasion to gather for a boisterous apéro? This year’s race falls on the evening of Saturday May 4, so strew a few red roses in anticipation of the winner, invite some friends and take a look at our May Epicure for our mint julep recipe as well as fun ideas for small bites or light dinner fare. 

A Day for Mom—Although we are grateful for our moms everyday, Sunday May 12th in the US is Mother's Day.  It’s the official day to express our appreciation for the special moms in our lives. We all know and have been loved and influenced by a mother—or several, between our moms, grandmothers, that special aunt… Maybe you’re even a mother yourself. Most of us have a handful of beloved “mom” figures, including teachers, mentors, older friends, and in-laws, that we can also honor on this special day for the many gifts they’ve given us. Maybe some of the moms you hold in your heart are no longer with you, which may make this day bittersweet. If so, Mother’s Day is a good day to celebrate the lasting love they have given to you—a time when we honor all moms and reach out to let them know how much we cherish all these special women, and the ways they have shaped our lives.  

Memorial Day—Falling this year on the 27th of May, this is a day of patriotic gratitude when we honor the sacrifices made for us by generations of servicemen and women. It also anchors the weekend known as the unofficial start of summer. Plan a picnic at home, the beach, or wherever your destinations may bring you. Drape your table in red, white, and blue, and add flags to your outdoor space. If you’re planning an evening meal, the sky will provide the stars to your stripes… just add sparklers and s’mores by the fire! Wow your guests with our recipe for homemade pickles—so simple, fresh, and delicious. Fresh-squeezed lemonade with mint sprigs from the garden is always a refreshing delight to accompany the first barbecue of the season. 

Summer Bucket List

Make Room for New Moments—May is about bringing in a sense of calm and refreshing our daily lives, so how about starting some new spring traditions? Although we find comfort in routine, it’s quite invigorating to make room for new experiences. Be creative! As you probably have noticed, we love to make an event of the sunset. Sunset soirées can be as simple as sharing apéritifs with those special someone(s) and toasting the beautiful wonders of nature, or as elaborate as hosting a themed gathering with friends or planning a golden hour excursion. Maybe it’s time to visit a new destination or learn something new together. It’s all about connecting and making time for each other, whatever the activity. 

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we love spontaneity, but we also believe a little planning on our part is the best way to make sure these joyful moments happen! So with summer just around the corner, now is the perfect moment to set your sights on things you’d like to do in the coming season. We’ve created a bucket list to inspire you. Feel free to use it as it is or expand and personalize it.


  • Visit a new destination. Maybe someplace you’ve always wanted to go, or maybe something that’s just caught your imagination.
  • Spend time with family and friends. Marking your calendar is the best way to make sure this happens, but don't overschedule and remember to leave room for impromptu gatherings.
  • Spend time by the sea (or in the forest or in the mountains—wherever your happy place might be.)
  • Leave time for outdoor activities like daily walks, swimming, nature hikes, bike riding, etc.
  • Plant a garden—anywhere from a few planted pots on a patio or in a windowsill garden to a container of cooking herbs, beautiful flower boxes, or a full-on vegetable garden.
  • Make outdoor dining a regular part of your menu—plan picnics away from home and enjoy your own outdoor space to the fullest!
  • Take time to journal. 
  • Make a summer reading list. At plj we have found that the best book recommendations come from our friends, and we suggest keeping a running list of favorites. Feeling ambitious? Share the summer book joy by creating a shared list or a book club with friends who love to read. Tag us on IG to share your reading list with our community.

Curating a Spring Home


Design Notes

Now that spring is in full swing, we’re bursting with blooms of all kinds… At partager la joie, we’re in love with lilacs! In New England and in many other climates as well, these delicate blooms in shades of purple and white are an iconic hallmark of this month, and fresh-cut lilacs in a dramatic vessel bring pure spring joy. Spring is also the perfect time to take advantage of the many blooms in your outdoor space—late spring tulips popping up, blossom-covered branches—and to create beautiful outdoor planters and gardens. Come shop our handcrafted woven containers and baskets to style your warm-weather space. 

Create an outdoor oasis. Once you have your space spring spruced and furniture in place, it’s time to add the details to your design—our favorite part! Start with spring plants—plan a visit to a local nursery to choose some favorites for your outdoor containers. It’s purely a matter of taste, but at plj we love to create a color theme. For us, it’s lots of fragrant greens with hints of white and purple flowers. Think about the scents of the season and place these aromatic plants near your doors to enjoy often as you pass by them or nestle a beautifully filled vessel in your lounge space. We love to style clusters of florals in various containers so we can move them depending how we’re using our space. One important thing to consider is the care and maintenance involved with plants so know your limits and have some helpers if needed :) Cultivating some type of a garden is a wonderful way to spend more time in nature and creates an opportunity for a peaceful mindfulness practice. Not to mention the way it beautifies your outdoor space and creates a welcoming environment to share with others. We love it!

It’s time to set your outdoor table—Bring on the picnics, barbecues, and plein-air apéros with family and friends. We love outdoor gatherings because they make even the simplest event feel festive and special. Now that your outdoor space is ready, this is a great time to organize and gather all your outdoor accessories— throw blankets, table linens, vases, tableware, lanterns—so taking dining outdoors is both elegant and effortless. Lighten up your tableware: think linens that are easy to care for, seasonal table decor, woven accents, scented candles.  Check out our new home finds to help you style an oasis that is all your own. Shop Home Collection

Be sure to follow us on IG for all of the seasonally inspired table settings and outdoor design ideas we’re so excited to share with you as we move right into summer. Looking for curated inspiration ideas for hosting your summer events? Get in touch here and schedule an Inspiration Workshop designed just for you.

And with fairer weather upon us, we’re sharing our picnic essentials list, so you’re packed and ready to enjoy May’s picture-perfect days at a moment’s notice:

  • large basket
  • blanket
  • durable tableware (plates, napkins, beverage glasses, linens, serving utensils and cutlery)
  • serving tray/baskets
  • cheese/cutting board, knife, bottle opener
  • cooler
  • garbage bags, hand sanitizer, paper towels
  • flashlight, bug repellant
  • sweaters, wrap and extra blankets for those chilly spring days
  • favorite game(s) 
  • bluetooth speaker
  • lanterns, candles for ambiance
  • comfy lawn pillows or folding chairs (optional)
  • a small table (optional)

Our Spring Essentials 

We have curated some exciting new finds for our spring and summer collections in Style, Home, and Wellness. In Style we’ve stocked cute kaftans, flowy cotton beach pants and shorts, gauzy tops, woven totes, and travel accessories—everything you need to get your vacation/relaxation mood on! In Home we’ve sourced fresh cotton patterned linens, new woven table accessories and planters, olive wood servingware, lightweight throws, and new fragrant candles for all your seasonal gatherings. In Wellness, check out our popular new sleep essentials, eye pillows with lavender, cleansing bars, agave cloths, hydrating foot balms, hydrating mists, beauty elixirs, lavender sheets and pillow spray, and so much more. Stop by anytime and shop partager la joie.

Spring Epicure

We’re in the mood for light and bright cuisine that boasts seasonal flavors this month. Our simple scones are a sweet must for a Mother’s Day brunch or tea—easy to make, yet slightly decadent. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with our classic margaritas, sheet pan fajitas, and our homemade avocado and tomato salsa. We've gathered plenty of spring inspiration to pack for a picnic or enjoy dining in your outdoor oasis. See our Epicure here

Lemon Herb Parmesan Pasta 

Raspberry Bread Pudding

Coconut-lime Chicken with Crunchy Slaw

Sheet Pan Fajitas 

Simply Sweet Scones

Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Burrata

Avocado and Tomato Salsa 

Homemade Pickles

No-mayo Potato Salad

Simple Fresh Tomato Pizza

Fresh Margarita

Mint Julep

Roasted Shrimp Boil

Seafood Paella

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Let May Flower Fully

As we welcome the gentle days of May, let’s savor the refreshing spring feeling it brings us and celebrate our joyful occasions ahead with gratitude. Let’s look at the longer days and abundance of blossoms as a moment to focus our spirit on appreciating life—nature, ourselves and the connection we have with our loved ones. With balance in mind and the season in full bloom, take comfort in the calm and move forward with renewed energy.

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