Friday, August 15, 2014

The Scents of Summer

Sicilian Tangerine 3 Wick Candle, from Nest

Are you fully taking advantage of and making it possible to indulge in the smells you associate with summer? Do you regularly open your windows to let in fresh air and breezes? Even if you have to dust extra long from leaving windows open, and even if you turn off your air conditioning for an hour as a tradeoff for the fresh air?

Do you have a large, pretty bowl of cherries, oranges, limes or lemons on your kitchen counter or dining room table? They won't smell strongly, but they visually remind you of summertime's pleasures.

Are you wearing your favorite summer perfume, whether it is grapefruit, lavender, marine, cucumber, mango, lime, or coconut-based? I forget to spray mine on every day.

If you aren't fragrance sensitive, spray your sheets with a summery sheet spray, and spritz your kitchen counters with a summery counter spray. (Lavender? Grapefruit?) Burn incense, or light your favorite summer home fragrance oil in a diffuser.

Also, for free, you can enjoy other scents of summer. Crank up the lawnmower and mow your grass, light the barbecue, bring fresh cut flowers from your garden into the house, air your pillows and dry your wet beach towels on a railing in the sun.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Get ready for the weekend. Empty your trash cans, fill or empty your dishwasher, wipe down your kitchen and bathroom sinks, declutter your dining and mail tables as needed.
  • Sweep any wood floors in your house. I can do my kitchen/breakfast nook, dining room, and front entryway in less than 2 minutes.
  • Make time tonight to grab a favorite magazine or catalog and read it in a sunny spot. Pour yourself iced tea or cold fruit juice to enjoy while you read.
  • If you don't have an icemaker in your fridge, how is your supply of ice cubes for the weekend ahead?
  • Are your ceiling or standing fans getting dusty? Mine are. I currently have one in each bedroom, one in the living room, one in the family room and one in the kitchen. I'm going to grab some wet paper towels to dust them off really quickly. But I won't spend TOO much time, as your life isn't ruined if your fans have dust on them!

TODAY'S PROJECT: Box Sorting

Petite Colorwave Smart Store Tote, from The Container Store

Box sorting is an easy project you can do either right before you go out to dinner, or when you get back home. Since I'm a packrat with a garage full of boxes, box sorting is something I try to do at least once a week.

Grab a box from your closet, attic, basement, garage, or storage unit if you have one. Remove everything and give all the items a careful, but quick, evaluation. What can you throw away, recycle, give away, sell, or put out to use? What must you keep? What can you part with? Is there something you can put out where you can see it to remind you to use it more often? Try to get rid of as much clutter as possible. When you're done, recycle or re-use the box, but try not to put it back in the attic, basement or other place it came from. Last week I was able to get three craft boxes sorted into just one craft box - and I'll earmark that for sorting again in December. If I haven't actually done the crafts or used the supplies in the next three months, they have to go.

I think tonight I'll be sorting a box of photo albums. Removing the photos from the old crumbling acidic albums and storing them in a photo box will cut down on the bulk of what I'm storing. I'm hardly going to get rid of any pictures of relatives, but there are stupid useless pictures of trees and unidentifiable canyons and neighbors dogs, etc.

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Belvedere's New Summer Vodka

New for summer from Belvedere - Mango Passion vodka. I'm not a huge fan of the taste of mango so I think I'll pass on this one, but wanted to see if any of you had tried it yet.

Chilled Magazine's Mango Passion Vodka Cocktail Recipes

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Steep Show's Literary and Historical Themed Teas

I haven't tasted these teas yet, but I am delighted by the literary and historical themes to the teas. I want to try this! If it's as tasty as I assume, what wonderful gifts these would be to tuck into literary-minded relatives' Christmas and birthday presents. There's a Mr. Darcy Earl Grey, a Miss Bennet's English Pear, Poe's Midnight Blend Herbal Tea, Whitman's Leaves of Green Tea, and teas based on Marie Antoinette, Mozart, Bach, and Kandinsky. Some of the flavors sound absolutely delicious too - Soothing Almond Rooibos?

Steep Show Tea, on Amazon

LOVELY BLOGS: My House is Cuter Than Yours

Sarah has one child, and enjoys cooking, thrift stores, vintage things, and making crafts. Recent posts include a peek at her thrift store finds, a banana cream cake she made from a vintage recipe, and pics of some adorable crafts she made.

http://myhouseiscuterthanyours.blogspot.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Rose Buds

Here's another delightful vintage book that we can read through the courtesy of the Internet Archive. This one is from 1885. The illustrations are so charming!

Rose Buds, at Internet Archive

LOVELY HOME: Waterscape Hurricanes

These are exactly the colors I love to decorate in for summertime - blues and greens in varying hues. These lovely hurricanes can be used as either vases or votive holders.

Waterscape Hurricanes, at West Elm

LOVELY TV: David Tutera's CELEBrations

I've been enjoying David Tutera's party and wedding planning shows for years, so I'm eager to check out his new celebrity themed party show. I think I'm the wrong demographic for the show though - I don't really care about any of the celebs he's throwing parties with: Lil Kim, Taylor Armstrong, and some "celebs" I've never heard of. Still, I'll give it a chance - I can't pass up the opportunity to see some of David's fun ideas.

David Tutera's Celebrations, on WETV

LOVELY WEBSITES: Chloe Fleury

I'm obsessed with paper art (though I am not very good at making any myself). I love looking at people's paper art creations. Here's Chloe Fleury, a French illustrator who works in prop styling. I thought you'd enjoy browsing her gallery of past creations.

http://www.chloefleury.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Baking with Whole Grains: Peach Ginger Muffins (Annie's Eats)

Blackberry Basil Fizz (The Merry Thought)

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream (The Pig and Thistle)

Cherry Pie Bars (Creative Culinary)

How to Make Ghee (101 Cookbooks)

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)

Kahlua Crunch Balls (Bakers Royale)

Lemon Raspberry Gooey Butter Cake (Foodness Gracious)

Nutella Panini (Love From the Oven)

Potato Salad with Creme Fraiche (Honest Cooking)

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake (Smitten Kitchen)

Shark Marshmallow Pops (The Decorated Cookie Blog)

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar Frosting (Bake at 350)

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