Monday, March 15, 2010

Mid-March, Springtime

The cherry tree in my front yard. I do my work in the upstairs living room in the morning so I can enjoy the view.


- Make menu plans and create grocery list for the week

- It's the middle of the month. Have you called your mom/dad/grandmother/etc yet this month?

- Any appointments you need to make in the next 2 weeks? Any birthday gifts you need to send out, or cards to mail?

- Laundry done, folded and put away?

- Kitchen clean and ready to go for breakfast tomorrow?

- Pet food bowls clean, and pet bedding laundered? How's your inventory of pet food?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spring Cleaning - Kitchen

Today I'm doing a thorough cleaning on my kitchen. Rather than my daily "buff and puff," I'm doing a very complete all over cleaning and reorganizing. It shouldn't be too bad since I was careful to do a good job back in October when I prepared for fall entertaining.

I will be scrubbing the refrigerator and stove/oven, and moving them to clean behind them. This is something I only do twice a year. The refrigerator is on wheels so I can move it myself, but the oven I'll need help with.

Next I'll mop the floors. I'll take a lunch break in another room while the floors dry. I'll launder the blue floor mat I keep by the back door.

I will remove every dish from every cupboard, clean the inside of the cupboards, dust the outside of the cupboards, wash any dusty dishes, and replace the dishes in an organized fashion. I'll be removing silverware and utensils from their drawers, and wiping down the drawers.

I've already cleaned out the junk I keep under the sink (trash bags, empty plastic bags that need to be recycled, cleaning products, old gloves). I just need to scrub and sanitize the kitchen trash can.

I will be removing every item from the counters, then scrubbing and sanitizing the counters. I will really be putting thought into what I'm putting back onto the counters. I'd much rather have things out of sight, hidden away in a cupboard. Do I use my rice cooker every day ? No, but maybe every other day. So it can stay, but my panini grill we use just once a week needs to be removed and put into a cupboard.

As I'm putting things back in cupboards, I'll be seriously evaluating if I need to keep each item. Clutter removal is always a high priority. On the other hand, I'm not trying to live a simplistic life either. I'm a hostess and enjoy frequent entertaining, so I do need all those wineglasses and serving pieces. Still, as you go to put things away, ask yourself when is the last time you used that particular dish, utensil or appliance. Are you really going to use it in the next six months? In the next year? If not, sell it, recycle it, give it away, or toss it out.

I'll also be looking to see if I need anything new for the kitchen. What should I be saving up for in the next few months? I'll be checking out how my kitchen curtains, towels and other linens are holding up. I'm pretty sure I don't need any more new kitchen gadgets, appliances or tools, however.

Making sure my work environment is pleasant, I'll turn on the Food Network on the little television I put into the kitchen last month. I'll burn incense, and enjoy a big hot steaming mug of English Breakfast tea while I work. The door will be open to the patio - it's a bit chilly, but I'll be moving around a lot and I'll love the fresh air.

I'll finish by lighting a lemon scented candle. Tonight I'll be cooking dinner in a sparkling clean kitchen!

LOVELY FRAGRANCES: Escada's "Marine Groove"

Every summer I treat myself to a bottle of Escada's limited edition seasonal fragrance. I've loved all of them but one (Moon Sparkle). They make me feel young, pretty and summery. So I'm excited to check out this season's "Marine Groove." It's scented with passionfruit, red currant berry, grapefruit, peony, jasmine, and white cedarwood. I will allow myself to purchase this (assuming I enjoy the scent) because I haven't bought myself perfume in many months, and I've been remembering to wear and enjoy a perfume almost every day.


St. Patrick's Day Recipes (Martha Stewart)

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