Monday, March 28, 2011

Last Week of March


  • Make menu plans for the week and create your grocery shopping list

  • Choose an evening or two to stay at home, an evening to invite friends or family over, and an evening or two to go out if possible. A balanced social life is a happy social life.

  • Go for a walk around your neighborhood looking for evidence of spring. Don't forget to take your camera with you!

  • Speaking of cameras, have you had professional Easter portraits taken of your children? Whether you take them to see the Easter Bunny at the mall, drop into a Wal-Mart photo booth or take them to a professional photographer, please consider making this a priority. It's a gift to your children's grandparents, yourself, and your children's future adult selves.

  • Speaking of Easter photos, do you have your children's Easter outfits purchased yet?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spring Cleaning the Master Bedroom

Today I'm focusing on cleaning my bedroom, returning it to a haven of relaxation, rest, and coziness. I'm not just cleaning, I'm creating my nest, my safe space, my reading nook, my costume drama watching room, my space to give myself manicures and sugar scrubs and beauty treatments.

Want to peek at my to-do list?

  • Move all furniture (some with help from roommate), then vacuum under it.

  • Replace furniture, dusting each piece as I go.

  • Take down curtains and drop them off at dry cleaner. Remind self not to walk around naked in front of the bedroom windows tonight and tomorrow.

  • Wash windows, paying special attention to the window jams

  • Clean light fixtures, inspect for damaged cords.

  • Wipe down baseboards, light switches and electric outlets.

  • Dust television, sanitize phone.

  • Clean floor heat register with Brasso.

  • Wash walls.

  • Sort out nightstands, keeping only what's necessary and used often.

  • Sort bookshelf and the pile of books and stationery next to the bed.

  • Flip and rotate mattress.

  • Launder dust ruffle, mattress pad, duvet and cover, as well as sheets.

  • Inspect pillows for soil and comfort level. With new pillows as low as $15 at Costco, I'm throwing out old pillows every 3 years, and replacing the ones in my bedroom every 1 year. I'll convert my current pillows to guest room pillows and throw out my 3 year old guest room pillows.

  • Make a list of anything that needs to be repaired - mouldings, baseboards, walls, door, drawer handles, book shelves, etc. Put this on to-do list for the handyman.

  • Finish by spritzing the room with my favorite Candied Fruit home spray.

LOVELY BLOGS: The Pictorial Arts

Next time you have a half hour early in the morning to linger over your tea, or a bit of time after dinner, or a lazy Sunday afternoon, wander over to this lovely vintage illustrations blog. Thomas finds fascinating and beautiful old illustrations from children's books, comic books, and vintage prints. He also posts the occasional painting he finds interesting. There's so much to look at here, I know I'll be back often, reading his blog with a smile on my face.

LOVELY MOVIES: Born to Be Wild 3D

My nephews are eagerly anticipating this nature documentary. It follows orphaned elephants and orangutans, as well as the humans who care for them. I'm glad to see the boys so excited about a movie that's not animated and not about violence! We'll definitely go to the Pacific Science Center IMAX to see this!

Born to be Wild Trailer, at Apple

LOVELY OUTDOORS: New Outdoor Furniture by MacKenzie-Childs

I love looking at MacKenzie-Childs' whimsical furniture and home decor. It doesn't fit into my decorating scheme, so I've never bought any. I am still delighted, however, to see their new line of outdoor furniture at Neiman Marcus. Very refreshing to see something besides the usual canvas, hideous florals, stripes and Sunbrella on outdoor furniture. The collection is called "Flower Market." It would terrify me to actually put any of these pieces in my backyard where birds could fly over to poop on them, dogs could bite the legs and my cat could get his hair all over them. I'll have to just dream as I look at these beautiful pictures.

MacKenzie-Childs Outdoor Furniture, at Neiman Marcus

LOVELY SHOPS: Favor-Makers

It was the adorable striped carnival circus tent that first caught my eye. Then the cute teapot favor boxes made me stop what I was doing to spend a bit of time oohing and aahing over the lovely favor boxes here. I don't think favor boxes should be used only at weddings. I like to give them away full of chocolates at the end of a dinner party, and I use them at baby showers too. The favor boxes are sold via the Favormakers Etsy store.

You can also browse their Flickr stream to see their clever modern oven, retro oven gift boxes, and the penguin favor box. I haven't been this excited about an Etsy store in I don't how long!


I just discovered this fabulous magazine-style food website. They cover recipes, wine, beer, and travel. I am so impressed by the professionalism and interesting articles here, that I'm adding it to Lovely Living's sidebar right now! Current articles that may interest you include black olive focaccia, banana cinnamon pancakes, and a travel article on Restaurant Week in the Netherlands.


Cake Batter Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples (Authentic Suburban Gourmet)

Crispy Ravioli with Tomato Salsa (Donna Hay)

Homemade Limoncello (Sugarlaws)

New Wife, New Kitchen (ShelterPop)

Whole Wheat Zucchini Carrot Cake (Joy in My Kitchen)

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