Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leisurely Tuesday Evening at Home


I'm thinking this Laura Mercier pistachio collection will make a great hostess gift when I stay overnight with family over the holidays.

Tonight I'm enforcing some quiet time and alone time. I had a couple opportunities to go out and do things tonight, but I said no. I enjoyed going to Jazz Alley last night. Tonight I'll stay home, spend time with my dogs, eat leftovers, read my current book, and catch up on some shows on my Tivo. By myself and loving my "me time."

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Check over your Thanksgiving grocery shopping list, if needed. I shop early for my canned goods, frozen items and baking supplies. This lets me avoid crowded, stressful stores in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. I still have to go to the store, of course, to get fresh produce and dairy.

  • When's the last time you defragmented or backed up your computer?

  • Is your anti-virus software up to date?

  • If you enjoy incense or candles, when's the last time you burned some?

  • Need to do any laundry? Pet bedding? Towels? Clothes for everybody to wear this week?

  • If you're taking a car trip for Thanksgiving, start setting aside things you'll need in the car. CDs or Ipod stocked with music for the grownups, toys and car games for the kids, snacks and Wet Wipes for everyone. Blankets, water and emergency gear if you'll be traveling through snowy or icy areas. Pet food if you're bringing your pets.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Oven and Stove


Jessie Steele Cupcake Oven Mitts, at Amazon

With holiday dinners and festive parties coming up, you need your oven and stove in peak condition. (If you're going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving, you can still enjoy having a clean stove to use for yourself in the next couple weeks.)

Clean your burners, replace aluminum foil if necessary, clean the stovetop, and then work on the inside of your oven. Degrease splatters from the top of the stove and the wall above it. Clean the oven vent too.

Is there a cupboard over your stove that has spatters or oil on it too? Clean your broiler if needed, and anything else oven-related that's not looking shiny clean.

Are you storing bakeware and cookie sheets in your oven instead of in a cupboard? (I am, and I have to pull them out of my way every time). Do any of these need to be washed, or are they ready to be used? Anything oven-related you're not using and can get rid of? Anything you need for the oven that you should put on your shopping list or wish list?

Finish by checking over your oven mitts and potholders. Throw out any that are stained, smell bad or have holes in them. Replacing these will barely cost a few dollars, and it's not worth the risk of burning yourself in a hole to keep around cruddy old potholders.

Now you're ready to bake and cook for company, parties, your family, or even just a treat for yourself!

LOVELY BLOGS: Gingerbread Fun


I'm a little obsessed with gingerbread houses (though I rarely make them, and I can't even eat gingerbread due to my allergies). They're just so cute! So I was delighted to discover this "Gingerbread house finds" blog. She's currently pointing out some adorable Paper Source gingerbread greeting card kits, a Hanukkah gingerbread house, a virtual gingerbread house, and Baskin-Robbins "Gingerbread Man" ice cream flavor.

LOVELY FOOD: Monsieur Biscuit


I saw an advertisement for these adorable cookies in Marie Claire Idees, the French home decor magazine. These are so cute, I want to spend some web surfing time tonight trying to figure out if any shops have imported them to America yet or not. This would make such a nice present for my nieces.

http://www.gingerbreadfun.com/

LOVELY ORGANIZATION:


I try to avoid using "organization" as an excuse to buy more things - things I then have to make room for, dust, and take care of. But these Container Store footlockers are so pretty, I'm awfully tempted to use one or two to store my keepsakes and paper letters from friends. Those items are currently in boring white plastic bins. Hrm.

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

A Conversation With Ina Garten (Epicurious)

Fall Kids' Party Ideas (Peppers and Pollywogs)

Hot Boozy Drinks (CHOW)

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