Friday, August 31, 2012

August Comes to a Gentle Close


Green Tea and Lemon Candle, from The Body Shop

August is over, but that doesn't mean summer is gone. Here in Seattle, it's pleasant - maybe not sunny, but dry and in the low 70's. I'm so hoping we have a relatively sunny and warm September and October like we did last year.

Look back over your last three months. Have you fully enjoyed your summer? Did you grasp every opportunity to go outside, savor sunshine, eat outdoors, picnic, attend outdoor concerts, go to an outdoor movie, hike, camp, and spend time in your garden if those are things you enjoy doing?

Did you live a lovely life? I hope so!

If not, you can put some thought and soul searching into what to do differently next year. How will you maximize your happiness and your enjoyment of summer next time around? How will you prioritize your time and resources to take advantage of the warm sunny months?

Not everything is under our control, but we can make some choices every day to live a lovely life.

Tomorrow I'll look ahead at the month of September and also into the upcoming wonderful autumn and holiday season. I'll anticipate, plan, and dream.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Fill up with gas for the weekend if you haven't already.

  • Need to run the dishwasher - or unload it?

  • Run through your house quickly whisking it into shape for the weekend. Empty trash and recycling; remove drinking glasses, dead flowers, empty Kleenex boxes, magazines and newspapers from living rooms; wipe down kitchen sink and counters; refill toilet paper holders as needed; sweep kitchen and entryway; shake out throw rugs.

  • Need to do any special grocery shopping for back-to-school meals or for Labor Day weekend?

  • Take inventory of your basics. Do you have lightbulbs, matches, garbage bags, toilet paper, Ziplock bags, tape, paper plates, Kleenex and paper towels? Add anything needed to your shopping list.

  • Need to return any library books?

  • Toss out or recycle any old magazines that are from before June and probably won't get read. (This is a particular challenge for me since I'm a convicted magazine hoarder!)

TODAY'S PROJECT: Maintenance Organization


Bold Boxes, at The Container Store

I'll do just a short quick project today after getting my home ready for the weekend. Then I can go out and enjoy this summer evening.

Pick a drawer, cabinet, shelf, closet or cupboard and remove everything. Clean and dust, sort and throw things away, then replace items in an organized manner. Add to your charity or recycling pile if possible. (I'm choosing one of my bathroom cabinets, which has gotten out of hand lately. It's where I store toilet paper, sunscreen, lotions, a hair dryer, candles, feminine supplies, and my humidifier.) It won't take too long to do this very needed sorting and organizing project, then I can go play!

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Ravissant at L'Occitane


I'm eager to use up (and enjoy) my existing two shower gels that I alternate between every day. Then I can treat myself to L'Occitane's new fragrance, Ravissant. I went down in person to smell it because L'Occitane's scents are hit and miss for me. I either love them immensely or can't stand them. This one has bergamot, Damascene rose, and citrus notes. So refreshing! I'll probably pick up the shower gel but not the lotion, as I already have plenty of lotion to get me through September.

Ravissant, at L'Occitane

LOVELY BLOGS: Yesterday on Tuesday


A pretty, upbeat, colorful blog on crafts, recipes, style, and vintage finds. So much fun stuff to look at here! I've enjoyed her recent posts on autumn banners (the kind you hang around your home, not the kind for websites!); an apple stamped pencil pouch craft; and some inspiring blog-party type "craft soirees" including this lovely one: "Greens and Blues." I can tell I'll be coming back here a lot when I need a little visual pick-me-up.

http://www.yesterdayontuesday.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Happier at Home


I am so excited to read the sequel to The Happiness Project. This followup is titled Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. This time, Gretchen is focusing on her home: making it a calming, energizing place that makes her feel safe. She focused on possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood during a September-May school year, and encouraged her family to adopt and attempt some resolutions too. I can't wait to read this!

Happier at Home, $15.58 on Amazon

LOVELY DISHES: Diane von Furstenberg's Twirl


Repeat after me: "I don't need any more dishes. I don't need any more dishes." Boy, I'm sorely tempted by these. I have some vintage 1960s amethyst glass that's in a similar swirl shape, though I probably wouldn't want to combine the two types on the same table. Still, I often set my table with black and purple dishes and tablecloths, so I'm eyeing this drinkware as a possibility for the future. I'd have to give up a different set of dishes to make room in the cabinets for these though. (They also come in a lovely blue and a hideous 1970s amber).

Diane von Furstenberg Twirl Drinkware, at Bloomingdale's

LOVELY ENTERTAINMENT: How to Train Your Dragon Live


I have three little foster boys who loved the movie How to Train Your Dragon sooo much. I think they'd definitely enjoy seeing this live spectacle. It will be in our area around December 7. I think I'll save up for tickets and make it a priority in my December schedule to attend this with them. I just hope all the noise and commotion of the dragons isn't too scary for the seven year old!

http://www.dreamworksdragonslive.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Squash Softies Puffball Crafts, at Spoonful

Chocolate Caramel Sweet Rolls (Lady Behind the Curtain)

A Richer Life by Seeing the Glass Half Full (NY Times)

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