Wednesday, June 01, 2011

First of June

Flowers waiting to be planted in my yard

Because June is the sixth month, I always think of it as the midpoint of the year. It's actually not - today, we're only five months in since the New Year. By July 1st we'll finally have had six months.

Still, I use it as a mental halfway point for things like changing mattresses, updating batteries, reviewing my goals and progress so far, and planning the second half of my year.


  • Look over your calendar for the month, noting birthdays. Send gifts and cards, order flowers, and make any party plans needed.

  • Budget your time and money for the upcoming month.

  • Make doctor, dentist, salon, veterinarian and any other appointments for the month ahead or for July.

  • Need to hand wash any stockings, pantyhose, socks, lingerie or other delicate items?

  • Does your coffee pot need a good soaking in vinegar and a nice scrubbing out with hot water after?

  • Midway through the week, do you have any laundry piling up? A quick load or two tonight can take the laundry pressure off of your upcoming weekend.

  • Make plans for weekend socializing. Summertime can be really busy for people so if you don't invite them with plenty of notice, they might not be able to join you.

TODAY'S PROJECT: MidYear Reflection

Foxglove waiting to be planted in front of my living room window

Think back about the past five months. Have you:

  • Kept your New Year's resolutions?

  • Budgeted well, making inroads on debt, adding to your savings, but also allowing yourself occasional little treats and luxuries?

  • Spent quality time with friends and family?

  • Eaten well and exercised?

  • Spent time reinforcing pets' training?

  • Kept your house well maintained (not just "clean") and orderly?

  • Given to charity since Christmas? Volunteered your time?

  • Written letters, made phone calls and really spent time with friends and family, not just online?

  • Made time for yourself to enjoy your hobbies, writing, journaling, book clubs, etc?

We're not beating ourselves up over the above list, we're reflecting on areas we've done well on and can be proud about. And we'll find things we want to do better on for the second half of the year.

Besides reflecting on the past several months, I'm thinking forward to the next six. How am I going to spend the second half of my year? Where will I travel, what goals will I strive for, and what am I working towards?

Cherry Cotton Kitchen Towels, on Amazon

Inside my house, I am performing some mid-year maintenance tasks as well. It's time to hire a gardener for my initial summer cleanup - this is something I've been budgeting for and saving for. My carpets get cleaned every three months, thanks to having three dogs and a cat.

I rotated and flipped my bedroom mattress and changed batteries in my smoke detector during the spring time change. But other tasks one should do every six months might include:

  • Rotating the guest room mattress

  • Cleaning heater vents and replacing furnace filters

  • Servicing major appliances - cleaning filters and vents on microwave, fridge, oven, etc.

  • Getting your car serviced

  • Throwing out kitchen sponges and scrubbers, starting anew

  • Tossing your 5 worst rags into the cloth recycle in; making your 5 worst kitchen towels into new clean rags; and buying 5 cheerful, colorful inexpensive new kitchen towels.

  • Cleaning dryer vent and hose, even if it means calling a professional.

  • Replace old shelf liners and drawer liners if the papers are getting sticky and icky looking.

  • Does your house need to be painted this year, whether inside or out?

  • Remove storm windows, if any, and get out screens for summertime.

LOVELY BLOGS: Camille Styles

This attractive blog is run by Camille Styles and her team of event planners. Besides intriguing party inspiration type posts, she blogs about her life, food, and travels. Recent posts you might enjoy include Recipe for a Country Picnic, Spring Vegetable Frittata, and Recipe for a Palm Springs Fete. I sure feel like throwing a summer party after browsing through the beautiful photos here.

LOVELY BOOKS: The Book of Awesome

This is a great "bathroom book" or the perfect book to keep in your car for those times you're waiting to pick up kids. "The Book of Awesome" really reminds you of all the simple pleasures of life, things we take for granted.

The usual stereotypical things are here, such as "The smell of cut grass," "dangling your feet in the water," "the smell of gasoline" and "finding money in your old coat pocket." But I love finding things I celebrate in common with the author: "Watching your odometer click over a major milestone;" "Squeezing through a door as it's shutting without touching it;" "The first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter;" and "When the guy at the border doesn't ask any questions."

Leafing through this book reminds me why I'm glad to be alive. I suggest getting a copy of this book from the library, enjoying it and sharing a few pages with friends next time you see them.

The Book of Awesome (Amazon affiliate link)

LOVELY HOME: Jonathan Adler Candles

I'm intrigued by several scents in Jonathan Adler's collection. "Tomato Pop" would be great for a summer kitchen; I can't resist tea-scented candles such as "Earl Grey Pop," and "Watercress Pop" would freshen up my guest bathroom for summertime. There are also candles named for cities - Palm Beach is scented with citrus, white rose petals and lychee; Capri with citrus, moss, musk and wood; Acapulco with pineapple, orange, red currant, blackcurrant, and apple.

Jonathan Adler Candles


As you know, I am addicted to stationery. So I let out a girlie scream today when I just accidentally happened to open the Kate Spade website. (Ok, I was checking to see what color their ring of the month is for June!)

Kate Spade has added several new products to their paper collection, including safari pocket journals, letterpress cards with spades on them, colorful thank-you notes, and expensive purse organizers.

I miss browsing Kate Spade products at the now-closed Crane Stationers at Pacific Place. I probably have a lot more spending money than I would have if they were still open though!

Stationery at Kate Spade


Cantaloupe Carpaccio with Aniseed and Lime (SnailsView)

Cantaloupe Sorbet (Dishes From My Kitchen)

Does Reading Great Books Make You a Better Person? A Jane Austen Education (Salon)

Easy Crusty White Bread (BBC Food)

Honeydew Melon Bellini Recipe (Laylita's Recipes)

Mango Berry Sorbet (Blended Bliss)

Most Excellent Macaroni and Cheese to Feed a Crowd (Worth the Whisk)

Plum Lovin': What to Make With This Seasonal Fruit (Food Network)

Summer Health & Safety Tips (Pediatrics/

Tiny Figures Scale Fantastic Foodscapes (Today Show)

Top 10 Summer Reading Lists for Kids (Children's Books/

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake With Instant Fudge Frosting (Sweetapolita)

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