Sunday, December 05, 2010

Holiday Shopping

Vanilla Bean Noel Lotion, at Bath & Body Works


  • If you've been wrapping gifts, see if you need to reorganize your gift wrapping box or your gift wrap station. Throw out those little odds and ends of paper you save "just in case I have to wrap something small." Odds are you won't actually ever find anything to wrap in those. Remember not to burn wrapping paper in the fireplace (though it's sorely tempting). The chemicals produced by burning wrapping paper can produce toxic fumes, and burning paper can ride up your chimney and catch the roof on fire. Organize your bows and ribbons. Put everything away if you are done wrapping for the year (lucky you!)

  • Fill up with gas for your workweek ahead, if needed.

  • Fridge and freezer maintenance: Clean one drawer, one shelf, or two door shelves in your fridge and in your freezer.

  • Make menu plans and create grocery list for the week ahead.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Quick De-Clutter, Then Shopping

I'm gifting several family members one of these Satsumo Bath Bombs from Lush

Tidy up for the week ahead. Empty trash, take out recycling, freshen bathrooms, change bedding, sweep the front entryway, and do a miraculously quick cleanup on the kitchen.

Have any dead flowers or houseplants to throw out? Can you squeak $8 out of your budget for fresh grocery store flowers for your home this week?

Spend just a little time in every room whipping things into shape. In bathrooms, swish toilets, wipe mirrors and sinks, empty garbage, refill toilet paper roll if needed, and replace hand towels with clean ones.

In bedrooms, strip beds and wash sheets if needed, remove empty drinking glasses, tidy up clutter, dust nightstands, and remake beds. Need to vacuum?

In the kitchen, put dishes in the dishwasher as needed, scrub your sink, wipe down the microwave, fridge and counters, empty trash, sweep floor if needed.

In your living room, pick up newspapers and magazines, dust the TV and the stand it sits on, remove empty dishes and glasses, straighten pillows and refold throws. Sweep out fireplace (a task that should take no more than five minutes) and wash down the hearth.

Vacuum a room or two if you have time and energy and if they need it.

Finish by spritzing with holiday scented room spray, then go have a glass of water to replenish your fluids after you expended so much energy making your home lovely.

After I'm done tidying today, I'm going Christmas shopping for my last two or three gifts. Later I'll join friends for dinner. We've chosen a restaurant that's nowhere near a mall, hoping to avoid crowds.


I am so tempted to try out one of these hand-cranked washing machines! I often wish I could do just a very tiny gentle load - a few pairs of panties, a couple soiled baby onesies or bibs, or just two washcloths and a hand towel, for example. I wouldn't waste water and electricity in my regular sized washer for such small loads. It's affordable enough, I think I will buy it and do some experiments!

WonderWash, at Simply Good Stuff


What a fun website! People upload their pictures of parties they've thrown recently. You can vicariously snoop through them and possibly pick up some inspiring ideas for your next party.

Also, the Catch my Party blog has fabulous pictures of parties and inspiring ideas, such as Wintery Blue Holiday Parties.


Butterscotch Scotch Eggnog (NY Times)

80 Homemade Gifts for Her (Martha Stewart)

For Every Holiday Party, the Right Drink (NY Times)

Sparkling Cocktails for the Holidays (CHOW)

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