Friday, August 27, 2010

Scents of Summer

Persian Lime candle at Williams-Sonoma

Are you fully enjoying the smells you associate with summer? Are your windows open to let in fresh air and breezes - even if you have central air conditioning you'd have to turn off for the day? Even if you have to dust extra long from leaving windows open?

Do you have a large bowl of oranges, limes or lemons on your kitchen counter or dining room table? They won't smell strongly, but they visually remind you of summertime's pleasures.

Wearing your favorite summer perfume, whether it is grapefruit, lavender, marine, cucumber, mango, lime, or coconut-based?

Spray your sheets with a summery sheet spray, if you have one, and spritz your kitchen counters with counter spray. Burn incense, or light your favorite summery home fragrance oil in a diffuser. (Chemically sensitive people are going to want to skip out on my advice!)

And for free, you can enjoy other smells of summer - crank up the lawnmower and mow your grass, light the barbecue, bring fresh cut flowers from your garden into the house, and dry your wet beach towels on a railing in the sun.


Get ready for the weekend. Empty trash cans, fill or empty dishwasher, wipe down kitchen and bathroom sinks, declutter mail table.

Sweep any wood floors in your house. I can do my kitchen/breakfast nook, dining room, and front entryway in less than 2 minutes.

- If you have time tonight, grab a magazine or catalog and read it in a sunny spot, while enjoying iced tea or cold fruit juice.

- Make popsicles using fruit juice

- Wash ice cube trays in dishwasher or hot water and refill with clean cold water, then replace in freezer.

- Are your fans getting dusty? Mine are. I currently have one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in the kitchen. I'm going to grab some wet paper towels and dust them off really quickly. But I won't spend TOO much time, as your life isn't over if your fans have dust on them!


This is something you can do before or after you go out to dinner or your social plans tonight.

Grab a box from your closet, attic, basement, garage, or storage unit if you have one. Remove everything and give all the items a careful, but quick, evaluation. What can you throw away, recycle, give away, sell, or put out to use? What must you keep, or put out where you can see it to remind you to use it more often? Try to get rid of as much clutter as possible. When you're done, recycle or re-use the box, but try not to put it back in the attic, basement or other place it came from.

I'm personally going to sort a box of books and be really tough on myself. If I haven't read the book, I should immediately add it to my bedside table "waiting" pile. If I don't want to read it this week, I should put it in my car and immediately (this weekend) sell it at Half Price Books, donate it to the library, or find a friend who wants it. With books I've already read, do I really need to keep them? Will I really re-read them again? Are they truly treasured books, or am I clinging on to them for some emotional reason and I should let them go? I have WAY too many books, so I am going to have to be firm with myself.

LOVELY BLOGS: Mila's Daydreams

This is one of the most amazing mommy blogs I've seen. Every day during Mila's nap, her mommy arranges her artfully amongst blankets, pillows and props to create an artistic scene. In one, she's riding a horse; in another, she's playing a recorder, accompanied by forest creatures. This blog has thousands of appreciative fans, judging by the 1400 "likes" each post gets on Facebook! I think you'll really enjoy the picture posts here.

LOVELY TV: Leaving Home at 8 Years Old

I am so excited to watch this one-hour documentary tonight. It chronicles the lives of four eight-year-old girls as they enter their first year in a prestigious British boarding academy.

Leaving Home at 8 Years Old, on BBC America


The DIY Home Bar (CHOW)

Eat Up the Last Days of Summer (Epicurious)

Mushroom, Swiss Chard, and Goat Cheese Omelette (CHOW)

The New Coffee Bars: Unplug, Drink, Go (NY Times)

Signature Blends at Tokyo Bars (NY Times)

Watermelon-Chocolate Ice Cream Cupcakes (Cupcake Bakeshop)

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