Friday, November 30, 2012

November Ends: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Whimsy Collection Holiday Decor, at Z Gallerie

Today November ends. December begins, with its month full of wintry cold, dark nights, seasonal holidays, festive parties, fancy dinners, and family gatherings.

Let's make sure to have some fun tonight or this weekend before the crowds completely make restaurants and malls unbearable. We can enjoy ourselves just a bit before we get wrapped up (so to speak) in holiday preparations and all the busy times ahead.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Look over your past month. Did you achieve goals you set for yourself? Your goals might have included NaNoWriMo, personal growth, healthy eating, housekeeping, budgeting, crafting, cooking, socializing, de-cluttering, family time, book-reading, journaling?
  • Need to pay any end-of-the-month bills?
  • Make a meal that cleverly helps you use up your last remaining leftover groceries from Thanksgiving. Not leftover turkey and mashed potatoes from your meal last week - those should already have been eating up or thrown out. I'm thinking of things you bought for Thanksgiving but never opened or served. We have a box of stuffing mix and an opened can of jellied cranberry sauce that I'd like to use up, for example.
  • If you're wearing slippers at night a lot, do you need to launder them? They can get sweaty and a bit smelly. How about your family members' slippers? How is everybody doing on clean warm fuzzy socks for night time?
  • Put away any remaining autumn crafts or crafting supplies. It's time to switch to winter holiday season crafts.
  • Need to visit an ATM for cash, fill up with gas, stop by a Redbox for movies for the weekend?
  • Try, tonight, to remove two items from your bathroom counter and store them somewhere else (or get rid of them entirely!)
  • Finalize your weekend socializing plans with friends.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Pick-A-Spot Cleaning

Christmas Tree Throw Pillow, from Land of Nod

Tonight's a busy worknight in my house, despite it being Friday evening. (This time of year is pretty busy for eBay and Etsy sellers). I don't want to start a big house cleaning project, so I'm going to pick the very worst spot of my house and work on improving it.

Right now the worst spot is my upstairs living room. I really wouldn't feel comfortable hosting guests in there right now, should the mood strike to throw an impromptu dinner party. I dusted last night while I was putting up some Christmas decorations, but that's not enough to save this room yet.

The carpet, filthy from muddy dog feet and hairy dogs laying on it all the time, needs to be vacuumed and spot cleaned. A little furry white dog has been sitting all over the couch and armchairs, so I need to vacuum the upholstery. I need to change a light bulb, water and tidy my houseplants, and take a couple drinking glasses to the kitchen. I have a huge stack of magazines I need to read (or give up on and recycle).

Finally, the placemats I have on the side tables and coffee tables need to be laundered and put away - I'll be getting out Christmasy ones tomorrow anyway.

What's the worst room in your house, and what things could you do to help spiff it up?

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride

I've finally found a holiday-themed tea I can drink! This caffeine-free tea contains no cinnamon or ginger (which I'm allergic to). I am so stocking up on this for winter!

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, at Celestial Seasonings

LOVELY BLOGS: Yet Another Period Drama Blog

Amelia ("Miss Dashwood") loves period dramas and all things Jane Austen. This December, she's throwing a month-long Wives and Daughters Read-Along. Sounds like fun! Currently there's a nice guest post up that's a Tribute to British Television; several posts on the upcoming "Les Miserables" film, and posts on classic books.

http://miss-dashwood.blogspot.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Christmas Tablescape: A Cozy Woodland Setting (Between Naps on the Porch)

Cranberry Sorbet (Tide and Thyme)

Feta and Thyme Soda Bread (The Little Loaf)

How to Remove Melted Microfiber from a Smooth Top Stove (Home Ec 101)

Lemon Rose Loaf (Dough Puncher)

Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes with Raspberry Butter Cream (Mini Baker)

Lychee, Rose and Raspberry Ishapan Marshmallows (Raspberri Cupcakes)

Nutella Cherry Hazelnut Fudge (Annie's Eats)

Printable Paper Miniature Church and Village (Miniatures/About.com)

25 Days of Christmas Fun: Homemade Scented Snowman Playdoh (Sugar Aunts)

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies (Two Peas and Their Pod)

Whole Wheat Walnut Cocoa Brownies (The Perfect Pantry)

Winter Salads: Honey Roasted Root Vegetable and Arugula Salad (Romancing the Bee)

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