Ways to Refresh for Spring

It’s the that time of year where we all get the itch to press restart. You know, the second attempt after the new year (no judgment here!). With organization and decluttering on our minds (thanks to the lovely Marie Kondo), I thought what better time to share my tips for ways to refresh and renew your home for spring!


Refresh

The first thing I do when getting my home spring ready is swap out all the winter themed scents. The apple pie and bonfire candles get stored away for next year, and out come the floral and fresh linen scents that make us feel like warm weather is near.  This year, I’m trying something new and opting out of using candles. Instead I’m using high quality diffusers. My absolute favourite - West Coast by Vancouver Candle Co.  

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Add some greenery! Did you know some indoor house plants can actually improve the air quality in your home? Plants like the split leaf Monstera (philodendron family) actually do more than just look pretty. They are always working to actually detoxify the air in your home.

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One of my favourite parts about getting my home spring ready is stripping all the linens, slip covers, and curtains, and taking them for dry cleaning. It’s like jumping into fresh hotel bed sheets the first night you check in. I mean, is there anything more satisfying?


Declutter

I’m a firm believer that everything needs to have a place in your home. It keeps not only your home tidy and organized but also helps to keep your mind clear too. I didn’t realize until moving that I had A LOT of stuff. I was definitely guilty of the “one day I’ll use it” saying. Since then, I make it a habit to go through our things every season and donate, toss, or recycle any items we are not using. The best method I have found for this is taking everything out of its spot and going through the items one by one. Deciding what you use most and what has really just been collecting dust. Whether it be the kitchen cabinets, your makeup drawer, or your closet.

When going through your makeup and toiletries, keep in mind expiry dates, brushes and tools that are worn out, as well as products you may not have liked but have been holding on to. For clothing, part with items that are ill-fitting and/or worn out, in addition to items you never seem to wear.


Organize

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Once you have decluttered, the fun really begins. But before you go out and buy a ton of dividers and containers, measure your spaces first!  Measure drawer openings and cupboard heights to make sure you maximize your storage potential.  My favourite places to shop for storage solutions are Ikea, the dollar store, Home Sense, and Amazon. For food storage solutions, Williams Food Equipment and Gourmet Warehouse

Do you have any refresh rituals? Share them along with what you’re doing to refresh and renew your home this spring by tagging @ohsomona

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

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As seen in The Drive Magazine

I absolutely love Gingerbread Cookies around this time of year. They bring up nostalgic memories as soon as you take your first bite. My own memory was growing up in my parents’ bakery, constantly stealing the smartie buttons and then quickly hiding away to enjoy them before anyone noticed! Looking back, I’m sure they were on to me. It was one of many great memories from my childhood that I can’t help but celebrate every holiday season, and It makes me so happy to be sharing my recipe with you.

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To start you will need:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses

  • 1 large egg

  • sprinkles and royal icing for decorating

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg; set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until well combined and smooth. Add in your molasses and egg.

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With the mixer on low speed, add your flour mixture; mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap and pat into a square. Be sure it is wrapped well. If the flour is preventing the plastic wrap from sticking, add a second layer. Once your dough is wrapped, place it in the fridge for 1.5 hours

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then divide your dough into two pieces. This way one is continuing to chill while you work with the other. The firmer the dough, the easier it will be to work with.

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Roll out your first half of dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Begin to cut your gingerbread shapes with your chosen cookie cutter. I used a 5-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter and was able to get a dozen cookies. You can use any cookie cutter you prefer, just keep in mind if it is smaller to decrease your cooking time, likewise if the cookie is larger.

Carefully lift your cut cookie shapes and place them 1 inch apart on lined baking sheets, then place in the freezer for 20 min. Repeat, with your second refrigerated piece of dough.

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Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Once your cookies have completely cooled, you can begin to decorate! You can also store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days if you choose to decorate them another day-or have a super awesome cookie decorating party.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. If you have a gingerbread memory, I want to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below :).

Print

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 8 minutes

Chilling Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Total Time 2 hours 18 minutes

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups Flour

  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda

  • 1/4 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter room temperature

  • 1/3 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

  • 1/3 cup Unsulfured Molasses

  • 1 Large Egg

  • Sprinkles and Icing for Decorating if desired

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg; set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until well combined and smooth. Add in your molasses and egg. 

  2. With the mixer on low speed, add your flour mixture; mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap and pat into a square. Be sure it is wrapped well.  If the flour is preventing the plastic wrap from sticking, add a second layer. Once your dough is wrapped, place it in the fridge for 1.5 hours

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then divide your dough into two pieces.  This way one is continuing to chill while you work with the other. The firmer the dough, the easier it will be to work with.

  4. Roll out your first half of dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Begin to cut your gingerbread shapes with your chosen cookie cutter.  I used a 5-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter and was able to get a dozen cookies.  You can use any cookie cutter you prefer, just keep in mind if it is smaller to decrease your cooking time, likewise if the cookie is larger. Carefully lift your cut cookie shapes and place them 1 inch apart on lined baking sheets, then place in the freezer for 20 min.  Repeat, with your second refrigerated piece of dough.

  5. Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Once your cookies have completely cooled, you can begin to decorate! You can also store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days if you choose to decorate them another day-or have a super awesome cookie decorating party.