Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring Cleaning: Master Bedroom

I wish I could own this pretty upholstered Laurel bed, but I'm afraid my black dogs and naughty scratching cat would ruin the upholstery!

My bedroom, as you will see from my pics, is in terrible condition. I've been vacationing, then catching up with tons of extra work, so I haven't spent enough time maintaining it. So I've saved this massive spring cleaning project for a Saturday!


  • Clean one shelf, one drawer, or two door shelves in your fridge and in your freezer today. Doing so makes your entire fridge get cleaned out once per month! We can't neglect our weekly chores just because today is a big Spring Cleaning project.
  • Tonight when I get back from dinner I will most likely flop onto the couch, tired from Spring cleaning my bedroom. While I watch the inevitable two or more TV shows this evening, I'm going to work on cleaning out my personal email inbox. Is yours as stuffed with unneeded emails as mine?
  • If you're Spring Cleaning your bedroom today too, be sure to let yourself celebrate your efforts by sleeping in tomorrow!
  • It's the end of the month. Let's take a moment to reflect on our past month. Did we take good care of ourselves? Of our families? Accomplish some goals? Did we read our book club books, write in our journals, give ourselves time to paint or create? Did we work towards living our loveliest lives? What might we change next month?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spring Cleaning the Master Bedroom

I often refer to my kitchen as the heart of my home or the most important room. But now that I think about it, the bedroom is pretty dang important. I sleep and read in here, and (more on this later), do about half my workday in this room.

This is the way my bedroom looks in the late Spring and throughout summer. I have a blue/silver/white flowery bedspread and pillows, and I've taken down my wintertime heavy burgndy velvet curtains and replaced them with shimmery silvery blue curtains. I'm not very good at making my bed, but I admit when it's made nicely I look forward to bedtime more. And naptime!

Most of my master bedroom will be easy to care for today since I've been dusting and decluttering regularly. I recently replaced hideous old mauve 1980s lamps with these inexpensive Home Depot silver ones.

Vacuuming will be tough though. I have one bed, two pet beds, two lamps, two nightstands, a small clock, a bookshelf, a hope chest, a floor lamp, and an office chair and desk in my bedroom. For regular vacuuming, I just lift up the pet beds and vacuum around things, occasionally vacuuming up crumbs from under my office chair. This is Spring Cleaning though, so I want to move all the furniture to vacuum under it and wipe the baseboards behind everything.

Also, I have a big problem area - my hope chest is littered with my current reading list. My current reading list is a bit out of control. There are only three or four books I'm reaching for at bedtime. The rest are some children's books I need to scan and put away elsewhere, or books from the library I'm researching for possible future Lovely Living University classes.

I really should not have a home office in my bedroom. Supposedly one relaxes and sleeps better without thinking about work. Right now though, I sleep just fine (once I drag myself to bed too-late at night). I live alone, so I'm not sharing a bedroom or bothering anybody else with my whirring desktop computer fans. My playroom gets too much use and enjoyment from nieces and nephews, so I'm not ready to turn it into an office; and I love having two guest bedrooms on offer, not just one. For now, I'll leave things be.

After I'm done vacuuming, dusting baseboards and moving furniture back, I'll dust the wooden furniture. This is Spring Cleaning, so I will want to open up the nightstands, hope chest and desk and sort, declutter, and put things away in an organized fashion. I recently tackled the bookcase and sorted, donated, or sold extra books. This will save me time today - just dust it and move on!

Next I'll want to dust the lamps and clock, wipe down wall switches, dust the ceiling for cobwebs, and use wood cleaner on the front and back sides of the bedroom and master bathroom doors. I just recently put up the curtains, so don't need to worry about laundring them, but I'll take a quick moment to wipe and clean the two bedroom windows and their sills.

I'm saving my closet for another day, and counting my vanity area as part of the bathroom.

I expect my project to take nearly two hours because of all the furniture moving.

I'll finish by burning one of my nice Spring candles, relaxing on my nicely made bed, and contemplating any future improvements I might want to make to the room or its furnishings. I still do not own a headboard for this bed, so need to think about budgeting for that. My mattress and box spring are only a year old, so I won't have to worry about replacing them for many years to come. I'm tempted to put another bookcase in the room, to help with my cluttery hope chest situation. Perhaps I'll allow myself to do that someday when I've removed my home office from this area. Meanwhile, my computer desk is big, ugly and clunky, so I might put saving up for a smaller, prettier replacement a priority for this year.

Are you going to sleep in a restful, decluttered, clean and fresh bedroom tonight?

LOVELY BLOGS: The Glamorous Housewife

"Rediscovering the lost art of homemaking." I am really enjoying this blog right now! "The Glamorous Housewife seeks to teach women how to be inspired and motivated in their daily lives as proud homemakers by using the best tips and tricks from the past to influence our futures, and we try and do it with a large dose of humor because being a housewife should be fun, not drudgery!" Amen, sister.

According to this blog, the Glamorous Housewife takes pride in her role as CEO of the household; knows routines are the foundation of a well-run household; believes fresh flowers are a necessity; and takes care of herself along with her family.

Recent posts include fashion tips, glamorous recipes, ideas for toddler-friendly parties, ideas for how to add simple glamour to your table, and some lovely crafty DIY tips.

LOVELY BOOKS: The Forest Feast for Kids

As a vegetarian who lives near vast woods and has a foresty area in my backyard, I especially enjoyed "The Forest Feast" cookbook. I'm delighted to get ahold of the sequel, a cookbook that teaches kids how to make easy, kid-friendly foods and throw creative parties. This book celebrates "rustic simplicity." Besides the recipes, there are kitchen safety tips and explanations of culinary terms. The photography is gorgeous, too!

The Forest Feast for Kids, on Amazon

LOVELY BOOKS: The Hostess of To-Day

You already know how I adore these vintage homemaking books. This one was published in 1899. There are chapters on Dinners and Luncheons; 5 O'Clock Functions, Evening Collations (whatever those are!), and Chafing Dish Creations. You'll likely enjoy the charming illustrations that appear now and then. Peeking at the recipes, I find them simple and easy to accomplish. It's fascinating glimpsing into what was thought as nice dinner party fare over 115 years ago!

The Hostess of To-Day, at The Internet Archive


I wanted to show you these odd garden pods. They're quite unusual, and I thought it might be diverting to explore the website a bit. These are very expensive, and I can't imagine why one would want to spend time inside them if you happened to be in a beautiful garden or back yard. Perhaps because of bugs, or if you possessed a severe addiction to modern styles? Let me know what you think of these in the comments below!

Garden Pods, at John

LOVELY MOVIES: Love & Friendship

I'm already in the mood for another Jane Austen movie, so I'm eagerly looking forward to this adaptation of "Lady Susan." It premieres in US theaters on May 13, and stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. Can't wait to see their costumes!

Love & Friendship Trailer, at Apple

Love & Friendship, at IMDB


Little Changes That Will Make You a Happier Person (PopSugar)

Mozzarella Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Roll-Ups (Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)

Our Verdict on "My Street Food Kitchen" (A Cookbook a Month)

Pineapple Cinnamon Margarita (Spicy Southern Kitchen)

Pine Nut Tarte (La Petite Paniere)

Spicy Cucumber Gin and Tonic (Hos Josephine)

Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita (Nutmeg Nanny)

--Copyright 2016 Lovely Living

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring Cleaning: Laundry Room

Water Hyacinth Laundry Hamper, from The Container Store

Tonight I'm going out to dinner. When I get home, I hope to relax with a little binge-watching marathon of Game of Thrones Season 1, thanks to HBO's free Preview Weekend.

I don't want to come home to a chore, but don't want to skip out on my Spring Cleaning, either. So tonight I'll choose an easy room of my house to Spring Clean: My laundry room! It won't take me even a whole hour to finish my project before I leave for dinner.


  • Need to scoop out the litter box? Or is it time to fully empty it into the trash, clean and sanitize the box and start over with fresh litter?
  • Ready and refresh your home for the weekend. Empty trash cans from kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms; take out recycling; empty or fill dishwasher; remove any vases of dead flowers; declutter coffee table and dining table as needed.
  • Need to sort mail or organize your kitchen desk or the space you pay bills on?
  • Finalize your socialization plans for this weekend. You might be able to arrange some short-notice fun for tomorrow or Sunday if you call, text or Facebook your friends now!

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spring Cleaning the Laundry Room

Caldrea "Tangelo Palm Frond" Laundry Detergent, at Citron Shop

The laundry room is a very important part of my house. It enables me to wear clean clothes, bathe and dry myself with clean towels, sleep in refreshing sheets, and remove pet odors from blankets, rugs and other textiles around my home!

Tonight I'll make sure my laundry room is tidy, organized, and well maintained. I am not strong enough to pull out the washer and dryer to sweep or mop under them by myself, so that will have to wait a couple weeks. Meanwhile, here's a list of my tasks for tonight's project:

  • Wipe down walls and light switch, dust ceiling fan
  • Wipe the top and front of washer and dryer
  • Wash the window and dust windowsill
  • Sort and organize my laundry detergents and the toilet paper and paper towels I store in here
  • Get rid of unused laundry items (starch spray I never use, etc)
  • Remove cleaning products from the cupboard; sort and organize; dust cupboard inside and out; replace supplies in an organized manner
  • Schedule a cleaning of my dryer vent and hose - I haven't done this for a few years, and a professional company doesn't cost much. Cheaper than losing my house to a dryer fire!
  • Wipe off the top of the pet food storage container I keep in this room.
  • Refold and organize the towels and rags I keep in this room for cleaning supplies. I have plenty of towels and rags, so should discard the five worst so my laundry room doesn't get cluttered.
  • Mop the laminate flooring in laundry room.
  • Dust both sides of the wooden door leading into the laundry room, and dust the frame.
  • Fold and put away a load of towels that's been sitting on top of the dryer for a couple of days.

I'm trying to look ahead to the future in each room I'm cleaning this Spring Cleaning cycle. What might need to be replaced in a few years? My washer and dryer work just fine right now, but are already 14 years old. I need to start a small budget to save for their replacements which I might need several years down the road. The shelving and cupboard in here are fine, and the baseboards look nice, but I'm noticing some painting issues. When I had almost my entire house repainted inside and out two years ago, I stupidly had them skip the laundry room. I might put it on a list of rooms that need repainting two or three years from now. Another thing to save up for!

On Sunday when I'm watching the season premiere of Game of Thrones and doing laundry, I'll have a nice clean and organized space to work in!

Do you need to Spring Clean your laundry room? What difficulties might you run into? What would you want to prioritize?

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Deep Eddy's Peach Vodka

I'm excited to try Deep Eddy's new peach flavored vodka. I think it will be perfect for serving at my outdoor parties in summertime. I'd probably put it in 7-up or in tonic, with a couple fresh peach slices and mint leaves in each glass. I'm sure it would taste nice as a near-frozen shot, or sipped cold, too!

Deep Eddy Peach Vodka

LOVELY BLOGS: A Working Pantry

The main focus of A Working Pantry is building, using and maintaining a well-stocked pantry. She also writes about frugality. The author grew up helping with the animals on a farm, assisting with the family's large gardens, and learning from her mother and grandmother how to can and preserve foods.

Recent posts include making her own potpourri; propagating fig trees; and there are several posts about her Pantry Challenges.

LOVELY BOOKS: Housekeeping for Little Girls

Here's a 1912 book that provides an intriguing peek at early 20th century attempts to educate girls on the care of a home. (I'm fairly certain no little girl at the time dove into this book eagerly!)

Chapters include "A Well Kept Home," "A Dainty Living-Room," "An Attractive Upstairs," "Law and Order in the Kitchen," and "Holiday Preparations." The second half of the book deals with food preparation, planning economical meals, and the chemistry of cleaning.

I might not read this cover to cover, but I'll spend a bit of time tonight enjoying browsing through the antique pages here. What do you think of this book?

Housekeeping for Little Girls, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY DISHES: Crate and Barrel's Silly Tiki Dishes

These new tiki themed appetizer plates make me chuckle. I thought the whole tiki craze was over as of, say, 2005. Apparently Crate and Barrel thinks it's time to dip a toe into the tiki waters again. Even though I don't personally decorate with tiki themed items, I wanted to show you in case you got a giggle out of these too. Perhaps you know someone who still has a thatched tiki-style bar in their backyard who might appreciate your gift of a few fun plates.

Tiki Plates, at Crate and Barrel


BBQ Cauliflower Pizza (The Toasted Pine Nut)

The Best Time of Day to Complete Your To-Do List (Time)

Blood Orange Mojito (Homemade Interest)

Blueberry Rhubarb Cardamom Crunch Bars (Kellie's Food to Glow)

Chickpeas and Mustard Leaves Curry (The Spice Adventuress)

Creamy Three Cheese Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas (Host the Toast)

Grilled Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Pie (Therese Elgquist)

How to Add Year-Round Colour to Your Food Garden (Rose Hips and Rhubarb)

How to Break Free of Chasing Perfection (Best Friends for Frosting)

Masala Chai, Raspberry and Pistachio Layer Cake (Lili's Cakes)

Mexican Quinoa Salad (Never Homemaker)

Pappardelle Pasta with Burnt Butter and Mushroom Sauce (Cooking from the Heart)

Pea Parmesan Risotto (Nutmeg Nanny)

Raspberry Rose Margaritas (Freutcake)

Road Trip Essentials (Successful Homemakers)

Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Pepper Salad (Boastful Food)

Spiced Cauliflower with Peas (Milk and Bun)

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks (The Happier Homemaker)

The Ultimate Grilled Portobello Burger (The Roasted Root)

You Can Drink Rose Wine from a Can This Summer (Time)

--Copyright 2016 Lovely Living