Monday, September 24, 2012

Readying Your Candles and Fireplace for Autumn

Jonathan Adler 'Destination' Candles, at Macy's

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:

Tupelo Amber Pillar Candles, at Crate and Barrel

  • Have any left-over laundry or vacuuming that didn't get done on the weekend?


  • Need to spend time grooming your pets tonight? Luckily all four of mine (two dogs and two cats) 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

"Spiced Cake" Filled Mosaic Candle, from Pier 1

I'm getting my fireplace ready for the season. We use it almost every night during fall and our long Seattle winter. 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).

The left side of my candle cupboard - the Before picture! I need to rinse and recycle that empty detergent container, but the housekeeping gloves have to stay.

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. Even though nobody but me or my teenager will likely see into the candle cupboard, I like having it neatly organized.

Another "Before" picture - the right side of my candle cupboard

I have a basket for tea lights, a basket for tea light holders, a basket for votives, and a basket for taper candles. It looks like I need a little basket for the seven to ten home fragrance oils. I could just dump them in the basket with the tea lights, but it might be hard to find them when I need them. I'm not sure what I will do with the gigantic box of incense I discovered in my garage. I do burn a stick or two every day but this sure is a lot.

Mexican Pumpkin Votive Candles, from Cost Plus World Market

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

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Pumpkin Pie Vodka

I can think of sooo many uses for this Pumpkin Pie vodka! It's a new flavor offering for fall. I wish they sold a smaller size though - I have a lot of pregnant or nursing friends who can't drink right now, and it might be hard to use up a whole bottle of this flavored vodka before autumn is over and I switch to Christmas holiday themed cocktails.

Pinnacle Vodka, on Facebook

LOVELY BLOGS: The 1940's Experiment

I've been interested lately, due to my own efforts to improve my home economics and food budgeting (now that I'm doing multiple Family Dinners per week for people who don't even live in my house) in World War 2 era rationing and kitchen thriftiness. I was delighted to find this blog today.

Last year Carolyn decided to try losing 100 pounds by living on a World War II ration diet. She's interested in cooking simple healthful food, and "making do or making without." Eleven months in, she's lost an incredible 75 pounds. I don't normally link to weight loss blogs, but I love the intersection here of retro housewifery and modern health efforts.

Check out Carolyn's recreated 100 Wartime Recipes section! There are so many retro recipes here I'd like to try.

http://1940sexperiment.wordpress.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

How Chickpeas Got Their Name (Bon Appetit)

Lasagna: Another Way to Eat Your Vegetables (Bon Appetit)

Make-Ahead Dishes (CHOW)

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes (Bakingdom)

Retro Golden Circle "Coral Reef Pie" (Lucy Violet Vintage)

Whole Grain Yeasted Banana Bread (Chocolate Carrots)

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