Sunday, September 02, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Relaxation

My dog Edgar relaxing in Puget Sound at the dog beach yesterday


  • Fridge and freezer maintenance - Clean one drawer, one shelf, or two door shelves in your fridge and freezer. Doing this once a week means your entire fridge and freezer gets cleaned out every single month.

  • Create menus for the upcoming week; write your grocery list

  • Are you going to sleep on clean sheets tonight? I am!

  • This weekend is a great time to call relatives you haven't talked to in a while and chat.

  • Sweep your front entry, porch or front patio - the entrance to your home. This quick 1 minute job really makes a difference to the way your home looks and feels. Don't forget to move your doormat and sweep under it too!


It gets worse before it gets better! Moving all my outdoor furniture so I can mow, then water my lawn. I'm trying to green things up before this weekend's festivities.

Today I'm hosting a small party for my boys, my teenager, another mom and her kids. We'll play in my back yard, take the kids on a hike through the forest near my house, play with our dogs, pick plums off my trees, eat dinner, and roast marshmallows over my fire pit.

We're keeping an eye on the weather though - this is Seattle, after all. We have a backup plan involving movies, Lego and board games for indoor fun, just in case.

To get ready for my party, I need to mow, tidy up the garden, get out my outdoor melamine dishes, wipe down my table and side table, sweep and tidy my outdoor seating area, and freshen the candles. I don't need to do much food prep other than setting out chips and dips and maybe baking an appetizer really quickly.

The "after" picture. My table is ready to host a meal; the dogs' swimming pool has fresh water; and the fire pit awaits our marshmallow bonfire later.

Now that my yard is ready to go, I have some downtime I can use to just relax in my yard with dogs and a book while I wait for guests to arrive later this afternoon.

A comfy outdoor wicker chair awaits me and the book I'm currently reading.

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Spiced Chestnut

I was trying to ease into fall and not rush things. But then I smelled this wonderful new autumn fragrance, and swooned. I have more than enough hand lotion right now, but I suspect when I come close to using up my current dish soap, I'll pick up the Spiced Chestnut dish soap. I'm sure I'll be tempted by the hand soap too - we go through a lot of it, and I like that it's not anti-bacterial. (We try to not over do it on anti-bacterial stuff).

Spiced Chestnut, at Williams-Sonoma

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Caramel Apple Rooibos

I was just thinking it was time to stock up on some autumn flavored teas. I'm learning to like rooibos, and I bet the infusion of some apple and caramel flavors will help me ease into it. I'm also planning to pick up some pumpkin spice black tea although I can't drink any myself due to my cinnamon allergy.

Caramel Apple Rooibos Tea, at Crate and Barrel

Caramel Apple Red Tea, at Republic of Tea

LOVELY BOOKS: Cupcakes and Cashmere

I can hardly ever resist a book about party planning and entertaining. Especially not when it's written by the author of a blog I've enjoyed for years! Besides DIY projects and party throwing tips, the book includes seasonal recipes, home organization, and beauty tips. I think I am going to make room on my bookshelf for this one! It just came out in early August.

Cupcakes and Cashmere, on Amazon

Cupcakes and Cashmere Blog

LOVELY BLOGS: Time Machine to the Twenties

This blogger, Mandy, writes about vintage food, fashion, homemaking, crafts, schooling, personality, fitness and beauty. Currently posting about Muppets latch hook kits; a gorgeous Edith Head peacock costume; and the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death.

Mandy's Pinterest


Bic "Lady Pens" Unleash Amazon Snarkfest (Washington Post)

Coconut Corn Salad (101 Cookbooks)

English Plum and Soured Cream Flan (Delia Online)

On the Farmers Market Frontier, It's Not Just About Profit (NPR Food)

Seasonal Foods and Planning (Seattle Times)

The Well Decorated Dorm Room: Leaving Home, But None of Its Comforts (NY Times)

Why You Should Make Tomato Sauce Out of Garden Tomatoes, Not Canned Tomatoes (Slate)

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