Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thank Yourself Today


Sometimes a girl needs to treat herself to a new lipstick - so I did! This is "Calypso Glaze," from Bobbi Brown's "Metallic" lip shade collection.

Let's face it. Most of the time, mothering and homemaking is pretty much a thankless job. Even if you have the world's most unselfish children, and a tender, communicative, appreciative husband, you just aren't going to hear "thank you" as often as you deserve it.

After you serve them a particularly delicious meal, you might hear kind words about your cooking, or a thank you for the tasty food. Once or twice in your marriage your husband might let you know how much he appreciates coming home to a clean house, or always having clean laundry to wear. Or if you're lucky someday you might overhear him telling someone how lucky he is to come home to a comfortable, well appointed house he can be proud of.

But there are so many little things you do every day that nobody but you probably notices. The windows are always clean, because well, you clean them every month. The bathrooms never look dirty - did little magical elves come in last night and scrub the toilets? Wow, there's always lots of good things to eat in the pantry - some invisible person must have gone to the store and made thoughtful selections. And do you think anybody but you will notice that recently all the lightswitches in the house were defingerprinted, and if you run your hand along the top of the wood trim over your doorway, it won't come away dusty?

Go ahead today and give yourself some mental pats on the back for your hard work. (Quietly, no muttering under your breath!) Walk through a room you've worked on lately that you're proud of. Sit in one of your cozy, restful rooms. Open your linen cupboard and look at your carefully arranged stacks; peek in your well-organized pantry and admire your food stocks. Peep into your children's rooms (only if they're clean though) to see the safe haven you're providing for them. Put your feet up for a few moments, relax with tea and a magazine or catalog, and honor yourself and your home efforts.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Empty or fill dishwasher if needed

- Sock sorting day! Grab a sock drawer that needs it and start sorting. If the drawer belongs to someone else other than an infant, give that drawer to that person and race them with your own. Resign and give up any mismatched socks to the rag bin; your family likely has more than enough matching pairs to get you all through the next couple years.

- Fridge and freezer maintenance: Clean one drawer, one shelf or two door shelves thoroughly.

- Are you hosting an Oscars party next weekend? If so, have you sent out invites, done your cleaning and planning, made your lists?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Guest Room Checkup

Remember how hard we worked back in November to get our guest rooms ready for the holidays? Well that was over three months ago, and my guest room is a bit dirty and messy again.

I have an overnight guest coming next week, so tonight I'm busy tidying the guest room. I'm washing windows, laundering the curtains, dusting the nightstand, dusting the lamp (and bulb), making sure there is a coaster for a glass of water, putting out a fresh box of Kleenex, dusting the baseboards, vacuuming, laundering the sheets and bedding (they're dusty from sitting out for over a month unused), removing two stacks of books that "wandered" in here and cluttered up the floor, and removing my folded-up porta-Crib to a closet where it belongs.

I'm finishing by spraying a citrus scented room spray to freshen the room.


LOVELY BLOGS: Peacock Feathers

This is a home decor/fashion finds blog with lots of inspirational eye candy to look at. Currently it features a post on decorating with "Crazy Color," an Anthropologie circus-themed fashion shoot, and some lovely wallpaper from Nina Campbell.

http://peacockfeatherevents.blogspot.com/

LOVELY HOMEKEEPING: Refrigerator Cleaning

I just wanted to point out this very fascinating Wall Street Journal article called "Why Won't Anyone Clean the Refrigerator?"

Besides an interesting look at the steps refrigerator manufacturers take to improve cleanliness and air flow, the article points out that most Americans only clean their fridges twice a year. Here at Lovely Living, we clean our refrigerators every month. We accomplish this easily, by taking just a few minutes each Sunday to tidy one shelf or one drawer.

Check out the article and see what you think. I'd love to hear your comments in the comment section below!

LOVELY POETRY: Vagabond's House

Today I'm enjoying the poem " Vagabond's House, by Don Blanding.

When I have a house . . . as I sometime may . . .
I'll suit my fancy in every way.
I'll fill it with things that have caught my eye
In drifting from Iceland to Molokai.
It won't be correct or in period style,
But . . . oh, I've thought for a long, long while
Of all the corners and all the nooks,
Of all the bookshelves and all the books,
The great big table, the deep soft chairs,
And the Chinese rug at the foot of the stairs...

If you enjoy poetry, take a look at the rest of the poem. It's a long description of the author's dream house. How does yours differ, and what homemaking touches from the poem really speak to you?


LOVELY TV: Cyndi Lauper on Celebrity Apprentice

I don't have a lot of time to sit around watching reality TV shows, but in this case I'm going to be tempted to make some time. I can't resist the idea of watching Cyndi Lauper and Sharon Osbourne face off in the boardroom. Plus I just want to see what Cyndi is going to be wearing every episode! Perhaps I can do my laundry, manicures, vacuuming and bill paying during episodes so I'm not just wasting time sitting there gawking uselessly.

http://www.nbc.com/the-apprentice

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Academy Awards Cocktail Party (CHOW)

Fig Mustard Recipe (CHOW)

Hot, Spicy Dishes for Cold Days (Martha Stewart)

The Key to Cooking for Vegetarians (Oprah.com)

Oscar-Inspired Movie Menus (Epicurious)

Warm Up With Chili (Rachael Ray)

Monday, February 01, 2010

First Day of February


Starting off the new month with a new lovely, fresh-smelling hand soap for the bathrooms: Method Home's Water Flower

LOVELY HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS:

Imbolc - February 1

Candlemas/Brigid's Day - February 2

Superbowl Sunday - February 7

Chinese New Year - February 14

Valentine's Day - February 14

President's Day - February 15

Mardi Gras - February 16

Easter - April 4

Which holidays and celebrations are you looking forward to taking part in? Are you hosting any parties or events?

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Look over upcoming birthdays in the next month. Write cards, arrange to have gifts or flowers sent.

- Pay bills, mortgage/rent, etc.

- Make upcoming dentist, doctor, veterinarian, and salon appointments for the month for yourself and family members.

- Make menu plans for the week, and create grocery list.

- Laundry done so you're going into the workweek with clean clothes, empty laundry baskets and a clean, tidy laundry room? Sleeping on fresh clean sheets tonight?


Burgundy pillar candles, at Cost Plus World Market

TODAY'S PROJECT: Fireplace

As it's winter, I'm using my fireplace quite often. Not to heat my home, but to make it cozy and cheerful. Especially when my college student comes home on the bus from a long 7am-8pm day. I like to have a warm fire lit and candles burning when she arrives home in the dark.

So today my project is to clean out the ashes, vacuum the carpet around the fireplace, and wash the glass fireplace windows. The windows is the most time consuming part, as they get quite smoky. When I'm done washing them, I'll load wood into the fire ready to light later tonight. Next I'll replenish the wood, kindling and matches I keep next to the fireplace, from their storage place in the garage.
I will replace the burned out candle on the mantel with a fresh new one (a deep burgundy red, for the upcoming Valentine's Day) waiting to light when it gets dark tonight.


LOVELY BLOGS: Chocablog

Watching a TV show about chocolate last night made me start craving it, and this blog I'm exploring only makes it worse! Currently featuring reviews of Singaporean nut and rice crisps, Romany Creams from South Africa, the Soma Chocolatemaker Exploration Box, and Ballantyne Exotics Luscious Berries. My morning oatmeal is suddenly seeming quite inadequate and boring!

http://www.chocablog.com/


LOVELY TELEVISION: Little Chocolatiers

I just checked this show out last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm fascinated by chocolate making anyways, and the "little people" who run this chocolate shop are fun, nice people. Upcoming shows will feature them creating a life-size pool table made of chocolate, a chocolate flower garden, a game of Russian Roulette featuring chocolate chili peppers, a log cabin made of chocolate, and other creations.

Little Chocolatiers, at TLC

The Little Chocolatiers, on Facebook

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

In Uncertain Times, Growing Your Own Food is Fashionable Again (Seattle Times)

Mix & Mingle: A Valentine's Party for Singles (Epicurious)

New Orleans Sweets (Epicurious)

Snacks: A Whole New World of Treats (Boston Globe)

Super Bowl Snacks (CHOW)