Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Readying Your Fireplace and Candles for Autumn


Pink Pomegranate Pagoda Candle, from Seda France

Tonight I'm planning to clean out my wood burning fireplace so it's ready to use on chilly nights. It's still too hot in the evening here to even think about burning fires, but at least my fireplace will be ready to go.

If it's still nice and warm where you live, make time in your schedule to enjoy the outdoors. Even if it means recording your TV shows or skipping them all together, putting housework off for another day if you have to, or spending less time on the computer tonight.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Do quick mid-week vacuuming and mid-week laundry so it doesn't pile up for the weekend.

  • Need to spend time grooming your pets tonight? Luckily all three of mine (two dogs and a cat) enjoy their brushing time, though it makes the dogs a bit too hyper.

  • Do you need to call for your yearly fireplace inspection? Chimney cleaning?

  • Along the same lines, do you need your heater and water heater checked, cleaned, drained, or filter changed?

  • See if you can throw away (or use, give away, recycle) two things you've had laying around for five or six months. If you haven't used them (or read that book; worn that blouse; read that magazine) by now you probably aren't going to..

TODAY'S PROJECT: Fireplace and Candles


Honey Cider Filled Candle, at Pier 1

I'm getting my fireplace ready for the season. It will definitely get used often! Time to make an appointment with a chimney sweep, clean the fireplace and its glass, and stock up on firewood and the Duraflames I love so much. (I use the Duraflames to help get the real wood started aflame).

I'm also sorting my "candle cupboard." To prevent candles from cluttering up the rest of the house, I've stored them all in my downstairs bathroom. Lately I'm into organizing things in baskets, so even though nobody but me will likely see into the candle cupboard, I bought some inexpensive, attractive little baskets for this project. I know to be wary of the trap of "buying more storage container in order to get better organized," but in this case it seemed the perfect solution.


Harvest Pumpkin Candle Tin, at Crate and Barrel

I have a basket of tea lights, a basket of tea light holders, a basket of votives, a basket for taper candles, and a few leftover candles from summer.

Several of my votive holders need to have wax cleaned out of them. I shouldn't put them away like that - I wish I had taken the time to put away clean holders.

I'm probably not ever going to stop buying or burning candles, so as long as I force myself to only buy as many as I can use and enjoy, and only let candles build up in this one cupboard, I should be ok.

Tonight my teenager and my roommate will come home to candles burning merrily in the living room and kitchen, scenting our home with pumpkin, cranberry and baking smells.

LOVELY BLOGS: Bake at 350


Primarily a cookie decorating blog, Bake at 350 does also offer a few other types of recipes as well. But it's the stunning cookies and step-by-step photographs that will bring you back time and again. Check out the adorable little blue houses, autumn-themed acorns and leaves, and pink Posie cakes.

This is a great blog to visit when you're planning your Halloween and Christmas cookies.

http://www.bakeat350.blogspot.com/

LOVELY FOOD: Fall Caramels


I'm eager to try the new fall caramels from Moonstruck. They're at my local Whole Foods. I think they're cute, but the green one looks a little icky. Still, I think they'll come in handy for bringing as hostess gifts to the dinner parties I'm sure I will attend this autumn.

Fall Caramel Collection, at Moonstruck Chocolates

LOVELY TV: The Cupcake Girls


This show on the WE network features Heather and Lori, two friends who started a cupcake business. The show follows their efforts to run a successful cupcake bakery.

Aside from mouthwatering shots of cupcakes, you might enjoy the business aspects of the show too. Running a cupcake shop is a nice fantasy to indulge in now and then - this show brings the fantasy back down to earth.

The Cupcake Girls

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

After-School Snacks (Martha Stewart)

Cooking With Apples (Epicurious)

A Dining Room Trades in a Punchy Yellow for a Cool, Moody Gray (CasaSugar)

Edamame Succotash (Pot, Meet Kettle)

Four Shelter Bloggers Style Bloomingdale's Windows (Apartment Therapy)

Garden Update: Late Summer Purple (Erica Mulherin)

Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids Lunch Boxes (CHOW)

How to Make Bagels: A User's Manual (Epicurious)

Nordic Ware Tiered Cakelet Pan Reviewed (Baking Bites)

Peach and Strawberry Cobbler (Baking Bites)

Salty Sweet Pretzel Treats (Love From the Oven)

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