Monday, October 25, 2010

Last Monday in October

What I'm burning today: Caramel Apple

Daylight Saving Time ends on November 7 this year. Before you go to bed after your Saturday Halloween festivities, turn your clocks back one hour. Now's also the time to replace your smoke detector batteries and flip your mattresses.

Daylight Saving Time


  • Need to buy Halloween candy to give out to trick-or-treaters on Sunday?

  • Finish up your Halloween costume or your children's costumes, if needed

  • Book your travel for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas if you haven't already

  • Need to catch up on laundry you didn't finish over the weekend?


I take fire safety very seriously. I have been in a hotel that was on fire before. Though it was a small fire and I was in no real danger, it's made me extra cautious.

I burn a lot of candles, and I use my fireplace quite often. My stationery merchandise for my business, all made of paper and stored in my garage, would go up in flames if any accident happened. So I have to consciously think every day about minimizing fire risk.

Safety experts always suggest that we test our smoke alarm batteries twice a year, when we change our clocks. They say we should replace them once a year, during the fall clock change. Clock changing time is coming up soon. Let's get our safety related errands done now so we can focus on a fun festive Halloween.

Replace your batteries in your smoke detectors (whether they need it or not) just to be sure you have fresh new ones. Put batteries on your shopping list if you use up your stash during our safety exercise this week.

Empty and clean your dryer lint trap and clean behind the dryer and around the hose if you can. Inspect the hose for wear, and see if you need to have a professional come out to clean the hose. (Chimney sweep companies often offer this as a service they provide as well).

Vacuum or dust all the smoke detectors in your house while you're at it. Is your smoke detector more than seven years old? Pitch it out and get a new one. You can pick one up at RiteAid, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, and even at some grocery stores.

While you're shopping, do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

See if you need to replace your existing fire extinguishers. If you don't have any, now is the time to think about getting one for your kitchen, bedroom hallway, garage, and for each vehicle.

Do you have a flashlight with working batteries next to your bed? Test it tonight in the dark. Can you reach it and turn it on quickly from a lying down position? Is it bright enough?

Do you keep a flashlight in your car? If so, have you tested it in the last week to see if it works?

Spend some time tonight with your family, especially if you have small children, discussing what to do in event of a fire. Practice your fire escape route.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors, at Wikipedia

Fire Safety, at Wikipedia

Fire Safety.Gov

LOVELY BLOGS: Glorious Treats

This blog is by a baker, crafter, photographer mom. I think you'll enjoy looking at her pictures from her recent week in San Francisco, her post on a lady named Maryanne's welcoming fall display, and especially her yummy fall treats recipes.

LOVELY BOOKS: The Home and Its Management

I have been so enjoying looking through this scanned-in 1917 book by Mabel Hyde Kittredge. It's old-fashioned, yet so full of useful and practical tips on homemaking. There is a chapter on the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, bedrooms, plus Home Economics topics including marketing, cooking, foods and their values, division of income, preserving fruits, and taking care of children. The book also includes nearly 300 recipes.

I really like her practical advice on home decor - she encourages keeping it simple, uncluttered, clean and pretty. I giggled though, upon reading her advice to always set the breakfast table with doilies.

The Home and Its Management, at Google Books

LOVELY BOOKS: Robert Sabuda's New Pop-Up Book

Besides collecting Cinderella and some fairy tale books, I collect pop-up books. Not just any pop-up, they have to be fairy related, whimsical or especially colorful and lovely. My favorite pop-up artist is Robert Sabuda. I am so excited for his new book, I am buying it today just to make sure it's under my Christmas tree this year. (Yes, I actually plan to wrap it and gift it to myself on Christmas Eve!)

Beauty and the Beast Pop-Up, at Amazon


Last week was "Time For Us" week, where we pampered ourselves, selfishly did things for ourselves only, neglected big housecleaning projects, read books, did crafts, got manicures, and took long baths.

Now it's time to do a few chores, have a fun Halloween, then get back to work. With November comes removal of Halloween decorations, sprucing up of autumn decor, early Christmas shopping, Thanksgiving planning, and getting the guest room ready for houseguests. Time to start thinking about others again!


Chocolate Cobweb Cupcakes (BBC Food)

Fast and Fearsome Halloween Crafts (Martha Stewart)

Live Fashionably in the Present (Boston Globe)

Madeira Cake (BBC Food)

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes (Stone Gable)

Super Speedy Halloween Treats (Better Homes & Gardens)

Three Perfectly Good Ideas for Pears (Chicago Tribune)

Why Sitting All Day is Slowly Killing You (MSNBC)

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