Monday, March 01, 2010

First of March


What I'm burning for Spring: Nectarine Mint candle from Bath & Body Works

It's a new month!

Look back over February. Did you accomplish things you meant to do? Were you able to make and keep important appointments (doctors, veterinarians, etc?) Paid mindful attention to any New Year's resolutions you made, and tried to work towards those goals? Stayed within your budget?

Did you make time for yourself to relax, or did you fill your life with dramas, unnecessary projects, over-scheduled events and things you allowed yourself to be volunteered for? Did you have time for yourself, time for family, and time for your friends?

Have you been taking your vitamins and exercising like you should? Are you making time to write in your journals, create your crafts, paint your paintings, putter with your houseplants, or create other things you enjoy?

We're not beating ourselves up over missed opportunities and unaccomplished goals. We're just staying conscious of how we're spending our time. I'll just promise myself I'll do better next month - or pat myself on the back if I've been doing well.

Look for ways to meet your personal goals in March, while still giving yourself time and room to relax and be with friends and family. What fun things do you want to do this month? Throwing any parties (Easter, tea parties, St. Patrick's Day?) Can you throw them without stressing yourself out?

Taking your kids somewhere for Spring Break? If not, how are you going to entertain them for that week or two?

For me, I'm back from months of family stress and drama. Four funerals and a wedding. Two new puppies join me as I return. My store's been closed for 2 months out of the last 3. I've missed my friends, and several Family Nights in a row have gone uncelebrated.

It's time to get back to work maintaining my home and rebuilding my life.


LOVELY HOLIDAYS:

March is National Women's History Month

March 17: St. Patrick's Day

March 20: First Day of Spring/Vernal Equinox

March 30: Passover

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Make menu plans for the week; create or add to your grocery list.

- Breeze through the house picking up any spare utensils and drinking glasses, return to kitchen.

- Look over the next month - any upcoming birthdays or events you need to send gifts or cards for? Budget your time, see what appointments you need to make for the upcoming month, and talk to family members about anything that needs to be put on your family calendar.

- Any items waiting on the stairs to be carried up or down and put away? Anything left by the front door that needs to go out? (Dry cleaning, rental DVDs, mail, items to return to friends?) If applicable, put things in the car so you'll remember to drop them off tomorrow on your way to or from work, or during your regular errands.

- Give yourself a manicure if needed, before the week starts. Don't wear polish? Just work on cleaning up your nails and making them look healthy, clean and pretty.

- Sniff your family members' current winter jackets. Any jackets need to be laundered or dry cleaned? What coat will you or your family wear while their main coat is being cleaned?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Walls

I'm going to start my Spring Cleaning off gently, since I'm just now returning home with a lot of loose ends to catch up on.

Today I'll begin by washing down all the walls in my house. I'm not going to cover absolutely every painted surface with my little wet washcloths: I'll concentrate on problem areas. Walls near my light switches are very dirty and fingerprinty, as are walls next to where someone sleeps in their bed. A few high-up corners need to be dusted with a dry mop for spiderwebs. All three of my bathrooms need every surface wiped down and probably sanitized too.

There's also a living room wall that has grimy footprints where my cat, Tyler, jumps on it to climb onto the bookcase every day. Looking at this closely, I think it's time to repaint that wall - which likely means a repaint of the entire living room so it matches. I've lived here six years, so it's time for a repaint anyways. I'll probably wait a month until I can have the doors and windows open to get rid of the strong paint smells. Hopefully I can interest my teenagers in earning extra money to get this chore done for me!

I also need to work on some candle smudge marks above both mantels, underneath the paintings which hang over each mantel. Also, there are grubby marks on most of the walls where my door handles hit them when the door is opened.

I expect this project to take three to four hours today. I'll put on music to listen to as I work, and when I'm in a room with a television, I'll entertain myself with Season 2 of "Party of Five."


My cleaning supplies are as simple as a washcloth, some orange spray for tough spots, and a fresh Mr. Eraser.


LOVELY MUSIC: Peter Gabriel

I'm really curious to hear Peter Gabriel's new album: Scratch My Back. I'd describe it as an album of cover tunes, but the official idea is to "reinterpret" songs by other artists. The album is performed only with Peter Gabriel's voice and orchestral instruments. I need something nice and low key to listen to around the house, and I'm thinking this just may fit the bill.

The songs covered include Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today," Regina Spektor's "Apres Moi," "The Boy in the Bubble" by Paul Simon, and David Bowie's "Heroes."

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Eight Ingenious Travel Innovations (Conde Nast Traveler)

Jean-Georges' Traditional Fondue (Today Show)

Latest Spring Makeup Trends (Handbag)

The Luxury of Roughing It (Time)

Quick and Easy Organizing Tips (Good Housekeeping)

San Francisco: Decoding Shabu Shabu (Newsweek)

Soups to Warm Up Your World (Early Show)

Spring Break With Kids (CNN Travel)

10 Fast Snacks for Drop-In Guests (Seattle Times)

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