Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday in Autumn


What I'm burning in my home today: Mexican Cocoa home fragrance oil, from The Body Shop

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Maintenance clean one shelf, one drawer or two door pockets on your refrigerator

- Also maintenance clean one shelf in the freezer. I'm adding this to my routine every weekend because my freezer is busier right now, due to pre-holiday celebrations.

- Launder your bedding (and your kids' bedding, if applicable) so you all have fresh sheets to go to sleep in tonight.

- Need to do any Christmas shopping this weekend before the malls get really crazy in the next couple weeks?

- Make a plan for a special breakfast this weekend. Buy a newspaper if you normally don't, and take time to make pancakes, omelettes, fresh (not frozen or boxed) hash browns, crepes, waffles, or other breakfast treats. Treat yourself to a latte or cappuccino if you normally don't.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Major Cleaning of One Room

Pick a large, major room (Living room, bedroom, kitchen, basement? attic? garage?) and do a total overhaul cleaning on it. Decluttering, sorting, dusting, scrubbing, washing, laundering, vacuuming, mopping, light bulb checking, and more.

Start by removing clutter, throwing away anything you can possibly part with, emptying wastebaskets, recycling, and finding some items to put in storage if you can't part with them. Remove any drinking glasses, dishes or any other items that don't belong. Thoroughly clean ceiling fan and light fixtures.

Wash and dust windows, windowsills, trim, closet doors and the room's door. Don't forget to clean the wood at the top of the doorframe, too. Do your curtains need dry cleaning, or your blinds need wiping down? Wash walls, lamps and light fixtures; check to see if you need lightbulbs. Clean baseboards and air vents before you vacuum.

Move furniture to vacuum, sweep or mop under it. If you really are inspired, remove most furniture from the room, vacuum and/or mop. Open drawers on tables and nightstands and sort them before replacing furniture in the room.

If you're deep cleaning a bedroom, don't forget to vacuum the mattress (and flip/rotate if needed). Wash and replace any floor rugs. If it's a bedroom, wash the bed linens (Don't forget to wash the dust ruffle and mattress pad, too!).

Dust furniture and knick-knacks. Replace any decorative candles that are looking discolored or crooked; remove half-burned votives and replace with fresh candles. See if any upholstery needs to be spot cleaned or professionally cleaned. Clean any items that need to be put back on tables, dressers, shelves, etc, and replace them in an orderly manner.

Water houseplants and dispose of any dead or dying ones. If the houseplants are looking dusty, spray them down in the kitchen sink. Polish doorknobs on both sides of the door, and on closets if needed.

Finish by spraying the room with room freshener or a home spray, or by burning a scented candle (while you're still in the room to attend to it). Put fresh flowers on a small table, if this is a room used frequently. The weather's getting colder; does this room have a nice soft throw waiting on a nearby chair? Is there a box of Kleenex accessible?

Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down and relax for a while in your fresh, clean, clutter-free room. (I picked a room with a TV in it so I can enjoy some mind-numbing television today, laugh).


LOVELY MOVIES: The Blind Side

I adore Sandra Bullock, and I'm so excited to see her next movie. "The Blind Side" comes out November 20th. I'm thinking it's a great movie for a Girl's Night Out or to see with my aunt and a couple of her friends. It's so nice to see something available in the theater that isn't a horror movie or something dark and depressing like most of the movies out lately.

http://www.theblindsidemovie.com/


LOVELY MUSIC: Tori Amos - Midwinter Graces

I was so delighted this morning to discover that Tori Amos has come out with a new album, just in time for winter. "Midwinter Graces" consists of twelve songs. Some of them are reinterpretations of holiday songs, and others are new songs written by Tori. The songs include "Star of Wonder," "Silent Night With You," "Coventry Carol," and "Emmanuel." You can preview the songs on her website.

I'm not sure I like all the different things she's thrown into some of the reimagined songs, and the way she's changed them. But I have a feeling they might grow on me since I love her voice so much. I'm definitely picking this up to play in the background at my holiday dinner parties.

http://www.toriamos.com/MidwinterGraces/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Enjoy a Children's Winter Picnic (Times Online)

Fall Decor Crafts (Martha Stewart)

45 Thanksgiving Pie and Tart Recipes (Martha Stewart)

From Farm to Table Thanksgiving Menu (Bon Appetit)

How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays (CHOW)

New Italian Museum Has Eye Towards Art's Future (MSNBC)

Seattle Times Holiday Cooking Tips

Secrets of Good Bread (Washington Times)

Squanto Never Ate Popcorn: An Examination of Thanksgiving Dinner (CHOW)

Thanksgiving for Under $7 a Person (Yahoo! Food)

Souffles That Won't Let You Down (Times Online)

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