Sunday, November 18, 2012

Spending a Leisurely Sunday Evening at Home

Gingerbread Man Garland Kit, from Paper-Source

Tonight I'm prioritizing downtime and some quiet alone time. (Hopefully I can do this!) I had a couple of opportunities to go out and do things tonight, but I said "no thank you." I know when I need to step back, even from very fun things, to give myself some time and peace.

I'll stay home, tonight, enjoying being in the house I work so hard to make welcoming and comfortable. I'll spend time with my dogs and my teenager, eat leftovers, make a few holiday paper crafts, read my current book ( The Light Between Oceans), and catch up on some shows on my Tivo.


  • Check over your Thanksgiving grocery shopping list, if needed. I shop early for my canned goods, frozen items and baking supplies. This lets me avoid crowded, stressful stores in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. I still have to go to the store tomorrow, of course, to get fresh produce and dairy.

  • When's the last time you defragmented or backed up your computer?

  • Is your anti-virus software up to date?

  • If you enjoy incense or candles, when's the last time you burned some?

  • Need to do any laundry? Pet bedding? Towels? Clothes for everybody to wear this week?

  • If you're taking a car trip for Thanksgiving, start setting aside things you'll need in the car. CDs or Ipod stocked with music for the grownups, toys and car games for the kids, snacks and Wet Wipes for everyone. Blankets, water and emergency gear if you'll be traveling through snowy or icy areas. Pet food if you're bringing your pets.

  • Fridge and freezer maintenance - Clean one drawer, one shelf, or two door pockets in your fridge and your freezer.

  • Create menu plans for the week; plan lunch boxes if any.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Oven and Stove

My dream Bluestar oven

With all the holiday dinners and festive parties coming up, you'll need your oven and stove in peak condition. (If you're going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving, you can still enjoy having a clean stove to use for yourself in the next couple weeks.) I'm staying home tonight to enjoy myself, but I'll do this one project first so I get it out of the way before the workweek starts tomorrow.

Clean your burners, replace aluminum foil if necessary, clean the stovetop, and then work on the inside of your oven. Degrease splatters from the top of the stove and the wall above it. Clean the oven vent too.

Is there a cupboard over your stove that has spatters or oil on it too? Clean your broiler if needed, and anything else oven-related that's not looking shiny clean.

Are you storing bakeware and cookie sheets in your oven instead of in a cupboard? (I am, and I have to pull them out of my way every time). Do any of these need to be washed, or are they ready to be used? Anything oven-related you're not using and can get rid of? Anything you need for the oven that you should put on your shopping list or wish list?

Red Damask Potholder and Oven Mitt, on Amazon

Finish by checking over your oven mitts and potholders. Throw out any that are stained, smell bad or have holes in them. Replacing these will cost just a few dollars, and it's not worth the risk of burning yourself to keep around cruddy old potholders.

Now you're ready to bake and cook for company, parties, your family, or even just conjure up a treat for yourself!

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Sweet Harvest Pumpkin

Though I can't drink it myself, due to my cinnamon allergy, I'm delighted that Celestial Seasonings has come out with this new non-Christmasy holiday tea. I was looking for just the right tea to serve around Thanksgiving, in the days leading up to and after it. This sets exactly the right flavor mood I was hoping for, and complements the foods I'll serve at my dinners.

Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Tea, from Celestial Seasonings


"All things inspired by books." A lovely blog written by two sisters who share a love of literature. Currently the blog is specializing in "Alcott Autumn," featuring the works of Louisa May Alcott. They're creating gratitude pumpkins, a Blessed banner, gift wrapping with tea towels, and creating a pecan wreath. Each crafty post contains a lovely quote from one of Alcott's books (usually Little Women). Such a charming and inspiring blog. I am eager to see what their theme is next month!

LOVELY BOOKS: Cozy Classics

I am so in love with this adorable series of books. These board books for infants feature painstakingly needle felted cloth dolls photographed beautifully in scenes or dioramas. Each page has just one word on it. I'm not too excited about Moby Dick and I think Les Miserables is too dark a subject matter for babies. Hopefully the authors (a set of twin brothers) will come out with lovely and charming titles like "Pride and Prejudice" in the future.

Cozy Classics "Pride and Prejudice," on Amazon


Caramel Turkey Treats (Hungry Happenings)

Eight Best Tips for Prepping Your Silver for the Holidays (The Daily Basics)

Homemade Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce (The Domestic Rebel)

30 Easy Thanksgiving Treats (Sugarkissed)

Teepee Cake Bites (Miss Candiquik)

Thanksgiving 911: Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks and Resources (Love From the Oven)

Turkey Cake Pops (Miss Candiquik)

22 Gratitude Exercises That Will Chaneg Your Life (Daring to Live Fully)

White and Glittery Pumpkin Cake Pops (Beki Cook's Cakes Blog)

Whole Wheat Blackberry Ricotta Scones (101 Cookbooks)


Lori said...

Oh goodness, I need to deal with my oven. Do you have any advice for cleaning the racks? Mine seem to be stained with old grease that I can never seem to scrub off, no matter how much I try. It's an older oven, probably late 80s, and our house was a rental house for years before we bought it, so heaven knows what kind of life it had before us!!

Carrie said...

You know, I don't really know what to tell you about grease on oven racks. I think I don't have to deal with grease that often since 95% of the food cooked at my house is vegetarian. Can you take them out and soak them in something overnight - whether baking soda or some grease fighting chemicals?