Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Preparing Your Fireplace and Candles for Autumn

I'm putting away my hot-pink-and-orange summery hurricanes and replacing them with my brown Pier 1 hurricane candleholders

Tonight I'm planning to light a roaring fire (as opposed to a calmer "cozy" fire). I'm looking forward to sitting in front of it while I do various sorting projects and catch up on the TIVOed shows I missed over Labor Day weekend. I've set aside a couple tasty chews for my dogs to enjoy so they can keep me company without getting themselves in trouble - they're not normally allowed in the upstairs living room.

If it's still nice and warm where you live, make time in your schedule to enjoy the outdoors. Even if it means recording your TV shows or skipping them all together, putting housework off for another day if you have to, or spending less time on the computer tonight. Think of me standing dripping in the rain while waiting for my dogs to do their business outside, wishing I could stretch out and read in the sun instead.


  • Time to wipe down your summer fans and put them away in storage? It's cold enough here I have the heater on already, so away go my fans into the garage until next year.

  • Do quick mid-week vacuuming and mid-week laundry so it doesn't pile up for the weekend.

  • Need to spend time grooming your pets tonight? Luckily all three of mine (two dogs and a cat) enjoy their brushing time, though it makes the puppies a bit too hyper.

  • Do you need to call for your yearly fireplace inspection? Chimney cleaning?

  • Along the same lines, do you need your heater and water heater checked, cleaned, drained, or filter changed?

  • What about your gutters? I can hire someone to do it here for just $100. Well worth it to not risk my life climbing around on ladders!

  • See if you can throw away (or use, give away, recycle) two things you've had laying around for five or six months. I'm donating my nearly-new copy of "The Tipping Point" to the library's book sale drive, and throwing away three rusty Halloween cookie cutters cluttering up my drawer. I have nearly identical cookie cutters to those shapes, so I'll keep the nicer, non-rusty ones.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Fireplace and Candles

I'm getting my fireplace ready for the season. It will definitely get used often! Time to make an appointment with a chimney sweep, clean the fireplace and its glass, and stock up on firewood and the Duraflames I love so much. (I use the Duraflames to help get the real wood started aflame).

This is my "candle cupboard." To prevent candles from cluttering up the rest of the house, I've stored them all here in my downstairs bathroom. Problem is, it's so messy and hard to find things, I don't end up finding the right scent or color of candle I want when I'm looking. So candles go unburned and that makes me sad because I love decorating with candles. Especially in autumn. So today I got motivated to clean up this mess.

Lately I'm into organizing things in baskets, so even though nobody but me will likely see into the candle cupboard, I bought some inexpensive, attractive little baskets for this project. I know to be wary of the trap of "buying more storage container in order to get better organized," but in this case it seemed the perfect solution. I'm probably not ever going to stop buying or burning candles, so as long as I force myself to only buy as many as I can use and enjoy, and only let candles build up in this one cupboard, I should be ok.

Halfway done. I have one basket entirely full of tea lights (you can see that I won't need to buy any more teal tea lights when I pull out my summer decor next year!) My four taper holders stand against the side of the cupboard, and my autumn hand soap is in front ready to go as soon as the one by the sink is used up.

The finished project! It still looks messy, but I can easily find my basket of tapers, the two beaded candle garlands I use in autumn, my wooden incense burner, and the one large candle platter I use under my biggest candle. In front are two sparkly candles I'll put on the mantel and dining table as part of my Christmas decor, as well as a burgundy hurricane I'll use in the upstairs living room for December through March.

I feel so good about finishing this project, and about the eight cruddy old votives I threw away (you can't put that type of glass in the recycling bin here in Seattle). I'm going to easily find some lovely candles to burn tonight when I'm making my house cozy during this rainy day.

LOVELY BLOGS: The Little House in the City

A writer in Brooklyn is fixing up her one bedroom apartment and invites you along into her efforts. Currently posting about homemade iced tea, vegetarian recipes, a boat shaped bathtub, and her hallway closet makeover.

LOVELY FOOD: Moonstruck Chocolates Fall Collection

I'm so excited to see Moonstruck Chocolate's fall and Halloween collection. Their truffles are SO adorable. I didn't expect them to come out with so very many new styles for the season. Besides all the cool Halloween items, I'd like to try the Liquid Caramel collection. I'm actually really relieved they don't take Paypal, as I have money sitting in that account I'd probably blow on these adorable chocolates.


Are You Wasting Money on Brand Names? (Today Show)

Favorite Tailgating Recipes (Martha Stewart)

How to Make Ranch Dressing (CHOW)

How to Volunteer in a Community Garden (Slate)

Rosh Hashanah Recipes and Menus (Epicurious)

Vegetarian Lasagna for Your Next Family Meal (Today Show)

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