Thursday, May 06, 2010

Getting Ready for Summer

Sea Life Tray, $14.95 at Z Gallerie

It doesn't feel much like summer this week - Seattle is 55 and cloudy today - but I know it's coming. I'm eager to wear flowery sundresses, traipse about in pink or silver sandals, sit in the sun reading magazines, and serve dinners on my porch. I miss the sound of sprinklers watering my yard, and I won't mind hearing the excited shouts of noisy neighborhood children playing late into the evening.

This week I'll be putting away the last of my winter and spring items - spring colored pillows, heavy velvet curtains, extra heavy blankets, and sweaters. I'll be getting out the blue, green, orange and yellow dishes and placemats I stored away carefully at the end of summer last year. Away go my pink and purple candles, and out come my blue, yellow and orange ones.

Once I have everything out, I can take a quick inventory to see if I need anything new this year. Maybe I'll treat myself to a quick trip through some fun stores. Target has their summer stuff out in many of their stores now, though I haven't really liked what I've seen so far. Pier 1 is always a good source for inexpensive summer decor, and Crate and Barrel usually manages every year to have a tempting, colorful selection.


  • Need to stop at the grocery store on the way home tonight? What does your grocery list have on it?

  • Done paying all the beginning-of-month bills and mailing them off?

  • All set to go for Mother's Day?

  • Freshen up a bathroom. Do a whole cleaning if you have a lot of time; otherwise just spiff up the mirror, fixture and sink, swish your scrubber around the toilet, and swap out the bath and hand towels for clean, fresh ones.

  • Plan Memorial Day weekend/summer travel and book tickets, if you haven't already

  • Schedule camp, classes or summer activities for your kids, if you haven't already

  • If it's warm enough out, go for a brisk 20 minute walk tonight, preferably with another family member or a roommate.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Summer Readiness

Get out your beach towels, bug spray, sunscreen, outdoor decor, citronella candles, patio table/chairs, outdoor dishes, grills, picnic baskets, umbrellas, ice chests, and anything else you'll use in warmer weather. Wash everything off that needs it, and launder towels so they're fresh. Scrub your grill (or get a man to do it!) so it's ready for use on the next warm day.

If you're lucky enough to have a pool, now's the time to get it cleaned out and ready to go. Same for pool toys - examine for wear and tear - and lifejackets.

Take inventory of your sunscreen. Keep in mind sunscreen becomes less effective after a couple years, and can go rancid. See if it still looks and smells ok. Add sunscreen to your shopping list for this week if you are running low. I try to keep some in my car just in case we forget to bring some on the way to a beach or a hike. Be sure you have a variety of SPFs, and sunscreen formulated for children and babies, as well. You should also have enough for summer guests. I have guests coming who prefer 30 SPF and guests coming who plan to tan and will need 8 SPF tanning lotion.

I always pick up some aloe vera or after-sun spray too in case someone doesn't take good care of themselves and gets burned.

Put up summer patio light strings, if you use any. Next time it's possibly warm enough, sit out on your porch in the evening enjoying a beverage and some music.

I'm excited for warmer weather. I love falling asleep to the noise of my whirring bedroom fan, sucking in fresh air from my open bedroom windows.

LOVELY BLOGS: Little/Big Magazine

This is a design-oriented blog with a shop component to it. It focuses on interesting design for children's products. There are sections on eating/drinking, toys, furniture, art and design, books, and interiors. If you are interested in design, you'll probably find a lot of interesting things to look at here.

LOVELY DISHES: Strawberry Plate

I try not to have kitschy dishes sitting around in my kitchen, but I almost can't resist this cute strawberry plate from Pier 1 Imports.

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