One thing my mom and I had in common was a great love of magazines. She had hers, I had mine, and several of those we had in common! In fact, one of the first things she did when I moved out on my own was get me my own subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.

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I haven’t gotten this issue yet! I can’t wait to read it.

I still love it. You’d think it would make me a better homemaker as well as a better gardener, but … one thing at a time here, folks.

Anyway, spring is a great time to be a subscriber to home and garden magazines because they fill me with blind optimism and encouragement. I was pedaling away on the recumbent bike at the gym yesterday (which was sad, because it was really nice outside and I was stuck inside exercising on a machine) reading Country Living when I came across one of their cover articles: The Ultimate Kitchen Garden.

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If I do plant in my raised bed this year, I’ll be sure to put marigolds around the borders to ward off neighborhood bunnies.

It was a really timely read for me — the warm weather and my upcoming [limited] free time, plus the irresistible nesting urge, have made me really eager to start some plants. And this time I actually am determined to put in the research first! Imagine that. The article gave me a lot of encouragement as well as some good practical tips and resources — just what I need! I came away from the gym with not just the accomplishment of my workout behind me, but also a lot of inspiration.

The other timely read this month came courtesy of Real Simple. I was going to give up my subscription to Real Simple this year because I thought their content had become pretty stale — repeats of organization and money-saving tips every month — but the last several issues have been really good. This month included a long feature on women, work/life balance, time, and happiness. It talked a lot about how women think about and approach their time, including free time, and the effect it has on their overall happiness.

One quote:

Is it any surprise that the time-frazzled woman has become a common archetype, courtesy of literature and Hollywood — ranging from Kate Reddy in I Don’t Know How She Does It to Claire Dunphy on Modern Family?

Becoming one of these archetypal Time-Frazzled Women is something I have actively avoided in my own life, simply because I don’t think it’s necessary to live that way, and continually feeling rushed and overwhelmed doesn’t make me a better person. I think Real Simple as a whole tends to address the Time-Frazzled Woman, so I thought this article was refreshing — a scheduled-to-the-hilt life filled with obligations isn’t the apex of accomplishment and I don’t think it makes very many people happy, satisfied, or peaceful.

Another quote:

The problem, then, is that we can’t always distinguish between what makes us feel in control and what makes us happier. Many of us believe that control will confer joy. But as anyone who has resentfully carried a heavy load can attest, there isn’t always a relationship between those two things.

YES. Now, I could write an entire essay on the truth of the above quote, but now is not the time; I have peas to plant.

This is why I love when my new magazines arrive. What about you? Have you found any timely articles lately?

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