Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Enjoying Surprisingly Hot Weather

A colorful pot of flowers I bought to bring cheer to my back deck

This week Seattle has been surprised with beautiful sunny weather in the 80s. I'm making the most of it - I threw a backyard hot dog barbecue (tofu dogs for me!) for family on Monday; working on my laptop outside in my "outdoor office" in the evenings; getting some gardening done in the mornings before it gets too hot; and going on a long walk into town for dinner tonight with a friend. Tomorrow evening I'm looking forward to just spending time in my backyard with my dogs and a book. Soon enough the May and June rains will return, greening up my yard and making sure my lawnmower gets used often.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Take time to drink your morning tea (or coffee) out of a beautiful teacup instead of just slopping it into a big stained mug. Use and enjoy your beautiful things.
  • We're mid-week. Do you have a load of laundry that needs to be done? (And folded and put away?)

  • Another mid-week project I like to be sure to do is vacuuming my house. (Two dogs, one cat, three nephews run around here!)

  • Do you have a pile of miscellaneous things piled on your mail table, desk, coffee table, or stairs? If so, bring the things up or downstairs as needed; put any outgoing items that need to be dropped off into your car (library books? rental DVDs? friends' belongings? recycling?) and declutter desk as needed.

  • Need to water any houseplants?

  • Take your vitamins and cut up some fresh fruit to put out for your family to enjoy.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Kitchen Bookcase

My project tonight shouldn't take more than about thirty-five or forty minutes. I'm going to remove all the vases from the top of my cookbook bookshelf, then remove every book. I'll dust the books, dust the shelves, and replace the cookbooks in an organized manner. I'll have to control myself to not linger over revisiting every fabulous book in my collection. I have a long walk to go on tonight, and I need to get started. I don't dare leave this project for when I get back from walking in the heat - I'll be tired and likely flop down on the couch to catch up with the shows I've DVRed this week.

I intend to set out just one cookbook though, selecting a recipe to try making over the weekend. I need to use and enjoy my cookbooks, not just have them on shelves collecting dust.

THURSDAY'S PROJECT: Breakfast Nook

Tomorrow before I go out to enjoy my sunny backyard, I'll work on tidying my breakfast nook. This will finish up Spring Cleaning for my kitchen. My breakfast nook contains a love seat, two armchairs, a side table and a footstool, plus four windows. It won't take much time at all today to vacuum and Febreeze the couch cushions, dust the furniture, mop the floor, and wash the windows. There's a throw rug that I need to take outside, shake and beat the dust out of, then hang to air in the sun. I'll wipe down the baseboards too, and shine the heating vent. Also, I suspect I will need to wipe down the walls. All in all, I don't expect this project to take more than an hour - a perfect worknight project.

To make my chore more pleasant, I'll play music in the nearby living room, and light the new Pomelo Lime candle I picked up at Target yesterday.

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Desiree Vodka

I haven't tasted any of these dessert-themed vodkas yet. So far I'm intrigued by the packaging and flavor selections. There is a high potential for these to taste really overly sweet or kind of gross, but I am to find out! The flavors include Cake, Brownie Batter, Red Velvet Cake, and Creme Brulee. These might be nice for a girls weekend or bachelorette party.

http://www.desireevodka.com/

LOVELY BLOGS: The Geeky Hostess

This blog combines two things I'm passionate about: geeky stuff and entertaining! The blog just celebrated its fourth anniversary. Check out recent posts on a nerdy tea company, Star Wars themed measuring cups, cupcakes that use Nerd candies, and Game of Thrones drinks that use Jagermeister.

http://www.geekyhostess.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: A Flower Wedding

This darling 1905 book was illustrated by Walter Crane. I thought you'd enjoy turning the pages and admiring the flower illustrations and fashions depicted here. My favorite dress is on page 16. Drop a comment if you enjoy seeing antique books like this here at Lovely Living!

A Flower Wedding, at Archive.Org

LOVELY FASHION: Ann Taylor Events Collection

Ann Taylor has come out with a line of special occasion dresses. I'm excited (although her clothing is usually too tightly tailored to work well for me now that I'm plump). There's nothing drop dead fabulous here, but everything is classic, attractive, and well made. This might be a good place to find a dress for attending a wedding, going out to a special dinner, or picking up an all purpose classy cocktail dress. The collection includes some dressy handbags and some costume jewelry.

Events Collection at Ann Taylor

LOVELY HOME: IKEA Lantern

I thought this was a darling little lantern for Spring. You can use it with a tealight or a votive. Set it on a table, or hang it from a hook. (Don't forget to blow it out before leaving that part of your house though!)

Gottgora Lantern, at IKEA

LOVELY KIDS: Tree House Bed

I had fun today daydreaming about having this cool tree house bed in my house for visiting nephews to enjoy on a sleepover. The reality is my guest bedroom ceilings aren't big enough to accomodate this, nor are the bedrooms big enough, and I can't spend this much $ on furniture. But the pictures of the treehouse beds are really fun to look at!

Tree Fort Bed, at Pottery Barn Kids

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Amish Creamed Corn Casserole (Just a Pinch)

Brigadeiros: Brazilian Fudge Balls (Stylish Cuisine)

Bacon and Cashew Bourbon Caramel Corn (Brown Eyed Baker)

Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (Love From the Oven)

Red Velvet Cake: From Gimmick to American Classic (NY Times)

Strawberry Cheesecake with Speculoos Crust (Raspberri Cupcakes)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars (Smitten Kitchen)

Strawberry Shortbread Bars (Pint Sized Baker)

10 Best Things to Christen Your Grill With on Memorial Day (Houston Press)

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