Friday, November 13, 2009

Exactly Why Maintaining Your Home Nicely Can Save Your Bacon

Yesterday I got a real good reminder of why I work to keep my house "ready to go" at all times. I do a little bit of maintenance cleaning and ongoing housekeeping every day (rather than letting things go til the weekend) so that I don't have a big freakout if I have a surprise visitor or if I decide to throw a dinner or cocktail party on just a few hours' notice.

My father came to town on business yesterday. Of course we wanted to meet for lunch while he's in town. But his meetings ran late, so we weren't able to go to lunch together as planned.

I then invited him over for dinner instead. We decided this at 2:30 pm, and he wanted to eat dinner at 5:30 pm. I still had work to do before he got here, and the manicotti I planned to serve him would take forty minutes in the oven. So I was so glad my house was in reasonable shape and wouldn't take much time to get ready to host a father who only rarely gets to visit.

I vacuumed my living and family rooms (they would have needed it even if a visitor wasn't coming over), dusted coffee tables and side tables, put a clean tablecloth on the dining table and set it, emptied trash in the bathroom and hung a fresh guest handtowel, straightened some pillows on the couches, removed hand lotion and a pen from the tray I keep on my downstairs couch, lit a fire in the upstairs fireplace, and spritzed the home with pumpkin-cinnamon home spray. That was it!

I surveyed my home, felt proud of it and good about the way it looked. I then could relax while finishing my work and beginning to cook our dinner.

My coffee table, with just a few magazines, a candy bowl, and some Halloween coasters I need to swap out for Thanksgiving ones

A side table, freshly dusted, with a pincushion house plant, vase of flowers, box of Kleenex, and glass tealight holder

Downstairs couch and two cranberry pillows awaiting a weary traveler

A side table awaits the mug of a hot beverage I'll serve, with more of those Halloween coasters I should have put away last week, a family photo, a decorative squash, and a vase of flowers


- Fill up with gas for your weekend's activities

- Make weekend socialization plans

- Tidy your house before you leave today, so you come home tonight to a relaxing home. Empty/fill dishwasher, wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters, empty trash cans, swap out bathroom hand towels and bath towels if needed, declutter front hallway or stairs as needed, declutter coffee table and dining table if applicable.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Friday Night Fun

Do something fun tonight! There's all weekend left to clean and organize.

LOVELY BLOGS: Gourmet Mom on the Go

I was initially drawn to this blog because of the lovely retro logo, but then I got sucked in by the intriguing recipes and photographs here. This mom cooks with her kids often, blogging about her recipes and how the final products went over with her kids. She also cooks special things for her kids - whimsical, fun, and sometimes gourmet. Recent posts include Halloween bento boxes, mummy and snake suckers for Halloween, strawberry cream cake, and pumpkin mousse. I love that she often includes several photographs of the recipe at various stages - not just the final product like most bloggers do.

LOVELY BOOKS: Little House on the Prairie Thanksgiving

I was curious how Laura Ingalls Wilder described the Ingalls' Thanksgivings. I couldn't remember, and didn't feel like digging through my books. So here's a brief Suite 101 article on the topic - including info on recreating the Ingalls' Thanksgiving meal in modern times.

Thanksgiving Little House Style

LOVELY TELEVISION: Grace Kelly on Turner Classic Movies

This month would have been Grace Kelly's 80th birthday. To commemorate her, Turner Classic Movies is running Grace Kelly movies every Thursday night. Tonight they'll show "Rear Window" and "Dial M for Murder."

Grace Kelly Month

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