Wednesday, February 01, 2012

First Day of February


Meri Meri Valentine's Cupcake Decorating Kit, on Amazon

Happy St. Brigid's Day!

LOVELY HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS AND FUN:

Imbolc - February 1 and 2

Candlemas - February 2

Superbowl Sunday - February 5

Valentine's Day - February 14

President's Day - February 20

Mardi Gras - February 21

Easter - April 8

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

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Need to buy any stamps? Many of us are paying bills online now, but you still need paper stamps to mail attractive handwritten letters and personalized notecards.

  • Review January in your mind. How did you do on your New Year's resolutions (if you made any?) Have you been eating well, exercising, making time for friends and family, spending quality time with your partner, kids and pets? Made time for charity, stuck to your budget, read a book or two you enjoyed, kept up with the news? What will you do differently in February?

  • Look over upcoming birthdays in the month of February. Write cards, arrange to have gifts or flowers sent.

  • Pay bills, mortgage/rent, etc.

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

  • Mid-week laundry done? Do you have clean clothes, empty laundry baskets and a clean, tidy laundry room?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Fireplace


Accent Fireplace Screen, on Amazon

Each winter finds me using my fireplace quite often - probably every night. Not to heat my home, but to make it cozy and cheerful. My foster daughter and I study and eat dinner in our upstairs living room by a cheerful fire. Later in the evening, though the fire is dying by then, I enjoy a cup of chamomile tea in front of the fireplace, pets clustered around me snoozing!

Today my project is to make sure my fireplace and surrounding area are in great condition for my next fire this evening. I'll clean out the ashes, vacuum the carpet around the fireplace, and wash the glass fireplace windows. Next I'll dust off the fireplace tools, and straighten my fire logs as they rest in their holder. I keep a basket of small firestarters and kindling wood next to the fireplace as well, and that will need tidying and vacuuming underneath too. The tiles in front of the fireplace and surrounding the opening need to be wiped down.

Cleaning the glass fireplace windows is the most time consuming part, as they get quite smoky. I have to be quite careful as I recently broke one of the panes of glass during a cleaning. When I'm done washing the windows, 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. I'll take inventory and probably buy some more Duraflames and firewood at Home Depot today during my errands.

I will replace the two burned out burgundy candles on the mantel with two fresh new bright cheery red pillars, for the upcoming Valentine's Day.

Do you have a decorative fireplace screen that needs to be cleaned off as well? I use fireplace screens in the summer or when guests bring their small children over.

LOVELY BLOGS: Anatomy of a Dinner Party


This sophisticated blog covers restaurants, parties, recipes, travel, and fun finds. They're currently blogging about Mardi Gras, setting up the bar for a Superbowl party, and Superbowl decorations. I look forward to seeing their next ideas for celebrations!

http://anatomyofadinnerparty.com/

LOVELY HOME: English Cucumber


I'm freshening my home for Spring with the new English Cucumber products from Williams-Sonoma. The hand soap and hand lotion await guests in my guest bathroom; the dish soap is being put to use in my kitchen already; and I'm enjoying burning the boxed candle in the kitchen while I work. The fragrance makes my home seem crisper and cleaner than it is in reality - nice trick!

English Cucumber Collection, from Williams-Sonoma

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Cheesy Sausage Penne (Cassie Craves)

Easy Weeknight Vegetarian Main Dishes (CHOW)

Five Dollar Dinners - Southern Beans and Rice (The Godless Housewife)

Mardi Gras Around the World (Epicurious)

The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World (Flavorwire)

3 comments :

Jenny said...

Good to hear from you again; I missed reading your blog entries!

Happy St Brigid's Day!! A perfectly symbolic day to clean the fireplace in preparation for spring! Be sure to smooth the ashes out tonight and look for signs of Brigid tomorrow morning!!

subgirl said...

you missed Setsubun and Hinamatsuri... :)

I'm going to At least throw some pistachios out the door since I don't have beans for Mamemake and how awful would it be to eat sushi while facing a particular direction (I keep forgetting which way it is this year) – Eho-Maki.

I missed out on lunar new year and I hate to think I'm paying for it with this strep!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setsubun

I don't deeply believe in the rituals, but I enjoy them and their symbolic meanings. And I honestly need all the luck I can get!!

subgirl said...

and dang I forgot to say rabbit rabbit again yesterday. Oof.