Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Remnants of a Lovely Summer

Easing into autumn with Slatkin's new Apple Crumble candle

Today is the first day of high school for my foster daughter. It's still summery here in Seattle; she will most likely wear a t-shirt to school, and not need a coat or umbrella. Just one of the trees along the road has turned orange.

I love autumn dearly, but I'm not ready for it. I want to read outside, picnic outdoors, and walk my dogs in the sunny dog park a few more times. I'm looking forward to lighting fires in my fireplace, but glad for warmth and sunny evenings. I hope to have a few more days to leave windows open to let in fresh air.


  • Look back over your summer. Did you get to do everything you wanted? Did you go berry picking, make lemonade, sit in the sun reading a book, go to a lake or beach, have a picnic in the park, take your dogs to an off-leash park, attend an outdoor concert, go to the farmer's market? Anything summery you can plan to enjoy this next week or so, weather permitting?

  • Our cooking and eating styles will soon change for autumn. There's still time to eat heirloom tomatoes, slice up watermelon, prepare some fabulous summer corn, make a fresh berry pie, serve a summer melon, and drink an ice cold martini on the porch in the evening.

  • Finalize plans for your Labor Day weekend. Going somewhere and need to pack? Having company over and need to grocery shop and clean?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Closet Cleaning

Pick a closet other than your bedroom clothes closet: under the stairs, perhaps, the hall closet, or the guest room closet. Remove everything, sort, declutter, and try to get rid of as much as possible. Give the carpet a quick sweep or vacuum, wipe down any walls as needed, dust off any shelving, then replace your items in an organized manner.

Today I'm doing this with my under-stairs closet. This is where I keep my board games (I already threw away one that's missing too many cards and pieces), outdoor pillows, outdoor umbrellas, tools, blank CDs, cables and gadgets, picnic basket and vacuum.

I'll turn the TV on while I work, and let the dogs play in the fenced backyard while I keep an ear open to any mischief they might get into. This will be a good opportunity to leave the door open and let lots of fresh air (and admittedly a bit of dust) flow into the house.

What closet can you sort tonight after work? I bet you can do it in less than 30 minutes! Try to throw at least four things away (or recycle; donate, etc) if possible!

LOVELY BLOGS: Daily Unadventures in Cooking

Here's a food blog designed for the home cook. It features simple recipes for delicious things such as warm and spicy cashew and tomato soup, banana chocolate chip muffins and a creamed kale side dish. Reading through here really makes me want to get into the kitchen to cook!

LOVELY KIDS: Portobello Road at The Gap

Today I'm enjoying browsing one of the new fall baby clothes lines at The Gap. I really enjoy the mix of warm fall colors (chocolate, cream) with hot pink. (Check out the flower strap ballet flats). I don't have a little one of my own to shop for, but I might have to pick up a pair of polka dot tights and a cardigan for a friend's baby - these are so cute!

Portobello Road Collection, at The Gap


7th Swan's Beautiful Pantry (Canning Across America)

Beat the End-of-Summer Blues - Ice Cream Social (Epicurious)

Celebrating Labor Day (Martha Stewart)

Decorating with Fall Colors (Martha Stewart)

Grilled Peaches and Tomatoes with Whole Grain Pasta (Blue Kitchen)

Preserving Brandied Peaches (Well Preserved)

Restaurants Setting Minute Limits for Dawdling Diners (Today Show)

Dining Aboard the World's Toughest Restaurant (MSNBC)

Marilu Henner's Spicy Tomato Salad (

Packing a Healthy School Lunch (Nutrition/

Spicy Tomato Jam with Peaches (Delicious Days)

10 To-Do's Before School Starts (Single Parents/

The 20 Best Summer Drinks (Food and Wine)

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