Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rainy Springtime Tuesday

A vase of flowers I brought into my light filled upstairs living room

After a week of extremely warm, sunshiny days, it's almost nice to have a rainy morning. I've lit the fireplace and made hot tea to keep me cozy while I do my computer work today.

Do you live in an area experiencing nice warm sunny weather right now? If you have a patio, sunny front steps, a porch, a nearby park or a back yard, I highly recommend eating outdoors as often as you can.


  • Look over your calendar for the next week or more, all the way through the end of the month. Any upcoming birthdays, appointments, meetings, doctor visits? Have you booked time for Family Night, time for you to spend with your girl friends, time to spend with just your spouse/partner, quality time with your kids, and some alone time with just you?

  • Need to shake out any throw rugs or doormats at the entryways to your home? In my house, with two dogs, two cats and multiple children, this is a daily task.

  • Any light bulbs that have burned out? Changing them takes just a couple of moments. Need to stock up on bulbs? Add bulbs in the correct sizes to your shopping list.

  • Is your home stocked with clean clothes, clean towels, and clean sheets on the beds? If not, time to do laundry tonight!


Open your drawer where you keep small kitchen gadgets (cutters, peelers, squeezers, etc). Close your eyes and (carefully, so as not to cut yourself) take one out of the drawer. Ask yourself "When is the last time I or someone in my home used this particular gadget?" If it's honestly been used in the last week or two, great, put it away. If you can't remember using it, now's the time to make a plan to use it in the next day or two, or else immediately put it into your donation bin. Then it will be ready to give away to charity at your next dropoff. (Promise yourself not to reneg and pull it out of the donation bin to put back in your kitchen).

Strawberry Huller and Knife, from Sur la Table

If you can't bear to part with the gadget, make a promise to go to the store tomorrow, buy whatever food that gadget is made to work with, and actually use the gadget tomorrow evening.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Cupboard, Cabinet or Drawer Sorting

Cameron Bookcase, from Pottery Barn Kids

Here's a perfect quick weeknight project: Sort out a drawer, a cupboard, a bookshelf full of cubbies, or a whole chest if you have time. This is something easy to do after dinner and when the kids are in bed. You can watch TV or listen to music while you work.

As you sort, ask yourself a few questions about each item:

  • When is the last time I used this item?

  • Can I envision a need for this item in the next 2 months?

  • Is the object useful or beautiful?

  • Am I hoarding this object against a nonexistent need? Am I keeping it because it is a symbol of an unrealistic fantasy? (Ie, my cupcake decorating supplies, which rarely get used)

  • Am I only keeping this because I feel guilty for spending money on it, or worried it will go to waste if I get rid of it?

Get rid of (throw away, give away, donate, recycle) anything you possibly can. Keep things that are lovely or you that you will truly use in the next couple months (aside from holiday-related items).

Editing your possessions like this simplifies your life. You have less clutter to stress you out, fewer things to dust or maintain, less items to worry about, and you will more easily be able to find the items you actually need and use.

Organize what's left and put it back neatly in your drawer or cupboard. If you have time, dust the piece of furniture, the dresser drawer or cupboard before you go to bed. You're now the proud owner of yet another piece of well organized home furnishings!

LOVELY BLOGS: Retro Renovation

Exploring this home design blog is super fun. The blog's focus is on decorating your mid-century ranch house, your Cape Cod home, colonial home or modern home in vintage style. There are so many helpful articles here, including how to strip paint from your kitchen cabinets to return them to their original 1950s wood; creating a romantic retro bedroom focus wall; a link to her new blog about loving knotty pine; and tons of posts on sourcing furnishings, paints, and supplies.

If you're interested in the topic, expect to spend quite a bit of time enjoying this blog!


LOVELY SHOPS: Cocktail Vibe

As someone who frequently throws parties (especially cocktail parties), I'm really digging this specialty niche store. It sells everything you need for hip, chic cocktail entertaining. The Urban Rescue Kit, shown above, would make a great Father's Day gift, depending on your dad's personality.

Cocktail Vibe sells ice buckets, all shapes and sizes and purposes in cocktail glassware, shakers and bar gear. They also sell some tablewares and decorative accessories to help your party have the right atmosphere.



Cheddar Onion Quick Bread (Baking Bites)

Spring Goat Cheese Risotto (Cake, Batter and Bowl

10 Spicy Snacks (CHOW)

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