April 01, 2021
We’ve turned the corner on winter and on many other things as well. April brings a new season, and with it, better news. As the population gets vaccinated, anticipation of joyous, in-person gatherings puts some spring in our bounce. Let’s go!
But as we move forward with that extra-joyous skip in our step, let’s not leave behind the things we’ve learned in a year like no other, a year that was hard in many ways, but also gave us many gifts. Our world got smaller for a while, causing us to look inward and reprioritize, to cherish what really brings us joy.
Let’s hold onto that pared-down sense of the essential and keep refining it. New ways to connect, new ways to show each other how much we care, new ways to be kind to ourselves and those around us, new ways to feel and express gratitude.
As the new season blossoms and we venture out, let’s ground ourselves in those lessons to make each day a story worth telling.
April Design Notes
At partager la joie, April is tulip time! Alone or arranged with other flowers like hydrangeas or daffodils, tulips are stealing all their scenes. Take advantage of those early-budding cherry blossom branches, too—arrange them indoors in tall cylinder vases for a dramatic display.
The planting season is on the horizon. Get a jump-start by planting a kitchen herb garden to add freshness to all your spring recipes.
Spruce your Outdoor Space for Spring
Get ready for one of our favorite dining options—outdoors! Sharing a meal alfresco changes the entire experience. Let your flower arrangements be inspired by the ones in the garden and on the branches overhead, which are changing every day! Depending on your climate it may be a little cool to enjoy outdoor evening dining, but spring can be prime lunch alfresco season if you get sun on a terrace or in the garden. Create your own mini alfresco cafe space to enjoy lunch, brunch, or a morning coffee after an outdoor yoga class or walk with a friend. Don’t forget a few cozy, fluffy throws to keep handy for those moments when spring’s briskness is a little too chilly.
Set a Spring Table
Think simply stated and inviting when choosing your tableware. Mix and match whites with light pastel plates, glasses, and servingware. Choose fresh linen textiles, crisply dignified when ironed and softly rugged when left au naturel, according to the mood you wish to strike. Incorporate texture and dimension with woven charger plates or accent elements. Let nature inspire your table with small potted plants or fresh herbs in our new woven planters or tiny bud vases with spring tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. Create a centerpiece with a container of vibrant green ryegrass to display your children's hand-dyed eggs!
New Spring Product Highlights
Add a bright, clean touch of spring to your home with our Belgian linen and cotton textiles and tableware. Our woven home accessories—planters, candle holders, and bowls—bring eye-catching accents to your centerpieces and arrangements. We have fresh new candle fragrances for your home and bath and we’ve revitalized our skin care and wellness offerings to invigorate you this April. Don’t forget to add spring style to your closet with our chic and effortless new dress collection. Shop here
Easter Eggstravaganza—Host a festive Easter brunch or evening feast! Plan a prep day to dye eggs together for table decorations. Make memories for a lifetime and teach little helpers about nature’s incredible color palette by using natural dyes made from common pantry and grocery items, including onion skins, turmeric, beets, red cabbage, and coffee! Read more Prepare an Easter egg hunt for little (or big) ones for maximum springtime joy. We love filling decorative clear jars with pastel-coated candies, jelly beans, and various chocolate confections. A chocolate bunny adorned with a personalized ribbon for each guest also makes an adorable addition to your holiday table. To plan your brunch or Easter dinner menu, see our epicure for spring ideas.
Host a ‘Spring Has Sprung’ Style Gathering—Sip our Prosecco Spritz with a friend and plan a simple picnic-style menu with family to welcome in the start of spring. Keep your menu simple- small sips and bites like our Truffle Grilled Brie Cheese with Fig and our Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup—a fresh spring twist on the classic soup and sandwich combo! Weather permitting, is it time for the first barbecue of the season? Be inspired to gather small groups to celebrate the season with fun, no-fuss joyful moments together, occasions as impromptu as the sun coming out from behind the clouds.
April’s menu is all about zesty, refreshing takes on comforting favorites. Nothing will put spring in your step like starting each day out with an invigorating glass of Green Juice. Easter season couldn’t be complete without a nod to our favorite brunch food of all time, Eggs Benedict, or that Easter family dinner classic, Spiral Ham. Grilled cheese and soup get an up-to-the-minute spring makeover in this month’s recipes. Squash Blossoms are a delicate seasonal showstopper, as are Spring Vegetables to accompany a perfectly roasted chicken. Sweet and tart are in perfect harmony in April’s desserts, whether you make a Lemon Tart or wow them with a Roasted Pineapple.
Refreshing Green Juice: apple, cucumber, kale, celery, parsley, lemon, and ginger
Classic Eggs Benedict
Grilled Cheese with Brie and Fig
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Roasted Chicken with Spring Vegetables
Invigorate Your Mind, Body, and Soul
Spring is the season for new beginnings—Learn something new this month. Start a new book, start learning a new language, take a culinary or art class. Any of these can be done through video tutorials—for maximum accountability and fun, plan some learning or classes with a group of friends. Our make your own pizza and soft pretzel baking from last month or our squash blossoms recipe, featured in April’s epicure, are great places to start. Learning something new, no matter how small, gives a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and joy. And if you choose them right, those new skills could really come in handy!
Outdoor activities and exercise—Take your workout outdoors! Breathe deep that springtime air, warming and floral, yet with undercurrents of friskiness here and there. It’s not summertime yet and there’s no better time to work up a sweat outside.
Why Not Wednesdays—We lead busy lives and have many responsibilities. We tend to put off the activities that bring us joy or schedule them on the weekends, and that’s where Why Not Wednesdays comes in! At partager la joie we’ve been reflecting in recent months on this tendency to postpone and compartmentalize our joyous moments, which diminishes them—and us. How about finding ways to redistribute the things we love, in spontaneous yet deliberate ways, through every day? Remember what we said earlier about making each day a story worth telling? This is a step in that direction.
Why Not Wednesdays can start on a Wednesday or any other ordinary, run-of-the-mill day you please. Consciously choose an activity—or two—that relaxes you, invigorates you, or brings you joy, the kind of activity you’d normally save as a weekend or special-day reward for getting everything done that needs doing. Maybe it’s lunch with a friend. Maybe it’s a half-hour in the middle of the day with your journal or a good book and a mug of your favorite hot drink. Maybe it’s a workout or a soak in your bathtub! The key is not to put it off until “everything else” is done, because guess what: you’ll never be done. Why Not Wednesdays is about living as though today is your reward, your special day—every day. Because why not? You deserve it.
To try it out, start small. Pick one thing to say why not to today. Be spontaneous. What do you really yearn to do that’s small and manageable and will make you feel lovely? Now, set everything else aside for the moment and do that thing. Don’t think about your to-do list. Everything on it can wait while you focus on cultivating your joy. Then, refreshed, you’ll slide back into the business of your day and keep going. That wasn’t such a big deal, was it? Once your mind and body get used to the idea that you don’t have to put off those spontaneous moments of joy until the weekend or beyond, you’ll find it becomes second nature to take a few Why Not Wednesday moments for yourself every day, without even needing to plan them. And you’ll find that this kindness to yourself, this insistence on living in the moment, will do wonders for your productivity and set a positive example for everyone around you to reexamine their own daily priorities.
Whether or not you live in a climate where the old saying April showers bring May flowers is true (you might still be digging out of snowdrifts, or you might have skipped straight to summer!), live this month in the spirit of optimism—the cleansing renewal of this time will bring out the bloom in all of us. Take joy not only in the day-to-day (why not?) but in anticipating what the coming months will bring. You’ll find your joy to be as contagious as any virus—the people around you won’t be able to help but join in it, because joy sparks joy and you’ve got more than enough to share.
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