Monday, April 07, 2014

Lovely Living Returns

Mrs. Meyers' Bluebell Counter Spray

With my last foster child moved out, I live alone again and find myself finally with a bit of spare quiet time again. I'm hoping to bring back Lovely Living - I want to document my efforts to redecorate and maintain my home in a lovely manner, plus share with you the parties I'm throwing this year and the activities my three nephews and I are enjoying this summer. Let's share our Spring Cleaning efforts together and make our lives lovelier!


  • Make menu plan for the week ahead; create grocery list

  • Need to do any hand washing of laundry? Stockings, Spanx, fragile lingerie or other linens? In the evenings, once a week, I like to set things in the sink for a nice soak. Then I go scrub them together, rinse them and hang them to dry during a commercial.
  • Will you be sleeping in a freshly laundered nightgown or pajamas tonight?
  • Try to toss out one tired old T-shirt tonight. This will make room in your dresser for something lovely. I bet we all have five or six ratty old T-shirts we could get rid of if we were determined enough!
  • When you get home from work today, take three or four quick minutes to slice fresh fruit. Leave it out on the counter for yourself and your family to enjoy tonight, either before or after dinner.
  • It only takes about 3 minutes to stir a box mix of muffins or banana bread, 10 seconds to pop it into the oven, 10 seconds to take them out when done, and a couple minutes to clean up and recycle the box. Have you baked fresh muffins for your family lately?

LOVELY BLOGS: A Garden for the House

This blog contains Kevin Lee Jacobs' home and garden inspiration, cooking tips and recipes, flower arranging guide and household tips. Recently he's posting about the best lemon tart in the world; sharing pics from his early April garden tour; sharing his list of April garden chores and sharing the recipe for a fougasse aux herbs de Provence he recently baked.


I just added Courtney Dial Whitmore's beautiful "Frostings" book to my cookbook collection. While I'm not much of a cake baker and wouldn't attempt the glorious cake on the cover, it does inspire me to flip through the pages and swoon over the delightful cake pictures.

LOVELY FRAGRANCE: Jo Malone's City Rain

I'm so tempted by the new spring fragrances from Jo Malone. I might splurge on one as my birthday present to myself - they're quite expensive, so I'll go visit in person to see if I enjoy White Jasmine & Mint better or Wisteria & Violet.

Jo Malone City Rain at Nordstrom.

LOVELY SHOPS: Miniature Waldorf Dolls

These adorable soft felt Waldorf dolls are sold in the Gigi in Stitches Etsy store. I'm tempted to pick up a couple of colorful ones to surprise friends' young children with, to celebrate Spring. Don't miss the Strawberry doll and the Daisy Doll.


I've already begun my Spring Cleaning, thanks to throwing a massive Spring party last weekend that made me panick and do a major cleanup. However, there's no shortage of projects to do around here to keep my home lovely, fresh and clean. Today I'm taking time off work to mow my lawn and that of my out-of-town neighbor. Today's rare 68 degree warm Seattle weather is something I don't want to waste. I can make up my work tomorrow when it's raining again!

If you have any yard work, gardening, patio tidying or houseplant watering to do, how about get started today? Spring Cleaning isn't just about the inside of our homes - it involves our gardens, yards, patios and entryways too!


On Tuesday I plan to tackle my master bathroom. The guest bathrooms are in great shape due to the scrubbings I gave them before and after my party. The Master bathroom, hidden from visitors' prying eyes, is a terrible mess. I want it to be lovely for my cousin who will be staying over to dogsit for me during Spring Break. Here's my list - does your Master Bathroom need a touchup?

  • Scrub shower and tile floor

  • Scrub toilet

  • Windex mirror

  • Sort and organize medicine cabinet

  • Dust wood cabinets

  • Wash and replace bath towels and floor mat; switch out to clean ones the evening before my cousin arrives.

  • Finish by burning up the last of a Pine Balsam candle leftover from Christmas, to freshen the bathroom.

Apricot Almond Coconut Snacks (Pint Sized Baker)

Florentine Cookies (Sweetapolita)

Hand Pies for Easter (The Bearfoot Baker)

Hot Cross Bun Eclairs (Raspberri Cupcakes)

Peeps Recipes and Ideas (Love From the Oven)

Three Bean Chili (Smitten Kitchen)

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