Thursday, April 01, 2010

Beginning of April

My birthday month begins! I'm already celebrating - lunch out with a girlfriend, an 11:30 AM Cosmo, and a red velvet cupcake for dessert. Next we go get manicures and pedicures!


- Pay beginning-of-month bills, rent/mortgage, etc.

- Need to make any dentist, doctor, veterinarian or salon appointments for your family this month?

- Plan menus for the week and create your grocery shopping list.

- Look over your calendar for the next two weeks, checking for upcoming birthdays. Plan gifts, write and address cards.

- Plan to plant some flowers this year? Pick up some flower seeds at the grocery store if you haven't yet already.

- Does your coffeemaker get used a lot? Is it time to run a cycle of white vinegar through it, then another cycle of hot water, to clean it out a bit?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spring Cleaning The Living Room

Today I'm overhauling my upstairs living room. I'm hosting a baby shower on Saturday, and I've hauled extra couches and chairs into that room. The upstairs living room is not quite a "formal" living room but is a bit nicer than our more lived-in, smaller family room. I have a big bay window that lets in lots of light, so on weekends we often read magazines in this room. During the week, this is where I eat my lunch or watch Oprah if I'm taking a break. At dinner parties, I serve appetizers and drinks in here in front of the fireplace. There's a television, but it's small and doesn't get used much - maybe once in a while when someone wants to watch something different from what we're watching on the bigger TV downstairs.

In this room, there's a lot of space to spread out, so sometimes in the afternoons I will sort merchandise or photograph items for my eBay store. When company comes over, this is where we sit to chat.

I had the carpets cleaned in this room recently, so all the furniture was moved just a couple weeks ago. Therefore, I will skip moving the furniture to vacuum under it. I still have a lot of work to do in here though! There's one puppy accident that needs to be cleaned up better, too. Ugh.

This room normally contains a couch, two armchairs, two bookcases, a curio cabinet, a coffee table, a standing lamp, a table the TV sits on, and a side table. There's also a wood-burning fireplace that will need my attention yet again, though I cleaned it out a couple weeks ago. We just keep enjoying our fires!

I'll vacuum the upholstery, dust the wood on the armchairs, dust the fireplace mantel and the wood railings in the room, dust the baseboards, dust the lamp (and remove accumulated bugs from it, yuck!) and dust the side table and coffee table.

I'll handwash and air dry the pink-and[purple colored placemat that's sitting on the coffee table, as well as the matching placemat on the side table. I need to dust the picture frame and crackle glass candleholder that are the only decorative elements on the side table.

I will dust the bookcases, but won't do a major reorganization project on them for a while yet. So I'll mostly just be dusting around the books.

The curio cabinet will need to have everything removed and washed - my goblets look dusty, and they need to be ready to go at all times in case I throw an impromptu cocktail party. There are also glass doors and shelves that need to be cleaned. Then the curio cabinet's wood will need dusting.

Next, two of the walls in the room have grubby handprints from children and pawprints from cats, so they need washing.

The curtains need to be taken down and dry cleaned, but I won't have time to do that before the party. As you can imagine, my windows badly need washing inside and out. Besides the usual accumulation of grime, they now have puppy nose prints near the bottom of each window.

Candied Fruit Home Perfume, by L'Occitane

I'll finish by vacuuming the room thoroughly with my Dyson, fluffing the pillows on the couches, and spraying the room with my "Candied Fruit" home fragrance spray.

Tonight will find me with my fuzzy-stockinged feet up on the coffee table, fire burning in the newly cleaned fireplace, glass of wine in front of me and a good book in my hands - enjoying a quiet night at home in my lovely, clean living room, and looking forward to my birthday celebrations tomorrow.

LOVELY BOOKS: Anthropologie's Canvas Bound Books

Check out the new collection of canvas bound books that Anthropologie is carrying. For vegetarians like me who prefer not to use leather, they're a great way to dress up a bookshelf. Recycle favorite worn-out ripped up paperbacks with these long-lasting more-decorative copies of your favorites.

Their collection includes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Jane Austen's Emma, Treasure Island, The Odyssey, and Lady Chatterley's Lover.

LOVELY CANDLES: Illume Lawn Candles

For summer, Illume just debuted their new Lawn Candles. I love the idea! Perfect for outdoor entertaining. The scents come in pineapple (not my favorite), refreshing Rain, and my favorite, Cassis.

LOVELY FOOD: Chocolate Cheerios

I never thought I'd see the day: Chocolate Cheerios? I think it's a fabulous marketing idea. While I don't normally buy sugary cereals for my kids, if I was going to, it would definitely be Cheerios. I'm eager to try this - it's on my grocery list! I'm concerned about all the corn syrup in the ingredients though - their other sugary cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios does not use corn syrup.


Lately I'm really enjoying this reality show. Top bosses pretend to be regular workers and spend a day doing really hard minimum wage jobs. They work side by side with their employees, unbeknown to the workers. At the end of each show, of course, the boss reveals their true identity, and lets the workers know how much they are appreciated. (I'd love to see more promotions or raises handed out at the end, though!)

Bosses featured in episodes so far have included White Castle, 7-Eleven, Churchhill Downs, and Roto-Rooter.

I think it's really important for all of us to look outside ourselves and our own jobs and really think about how much harder other people have it than we do. I can't complain about my computer-related eye strain when I watch these episodes with people standing on their feet all day and dealing with annoying customers in person!


Cold Asparagus With Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette (Seattle Times)

Delicious Passover Desserts (Epicurious)

Easter Recipes, at Razzle Dazzle Recipes

14 Ways to Make Veggies Less Boring (MSNBC)

Growing Your Own Horseradish (NY Times)

In E-Book Era, You Can't Even Judge a Book By Its Cover (NY Times)

Keep Your Financial Records No Longer Than You Need To (NY Times)

Meatless Meals for Good Friday (Today Show)

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