Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mid-October Wednesday: Taking Stock of Our Medicine Cabinets

Fall Abundance Wreath, from Williams-Sonoma

We're now halfway through the month. Only a couple more weeks until Halloween!

Have you decorated your home for fall yet? Is there an autumn wreath on your door, a fall welcome mat on the front steps, pumpkins and squash on your mantel or on your front porch? Have you set out orange, cranberry, brown, black or dark green candles around your home?


  • Pay any mid-month bills coming due, as applicable
  • Need to order any stamps online? You'll need them if you pay bills via check still (I do!), and for upcoming holiday cards and newsletters you'll send out.
  • I drove home in a dark rainstorm last night. Do you have a flashlight in your car, tucked into your purse, by your bed, in the garage, and in your kitchen? Do your flashlights have fresh batteries, and have you tested the flashlights at night to be sure they still work? Do you have a flashlight on every floor of your home? In the living room in case the power goes out while you're sitting watching TV? Test ALL of your flashlights tonight in the dark and see if the batteries need replacing. Is the light bright enough to actually see? Can you get ahold of the flashlight easily if it's pitch black in the room?
  • Put out any remaining Halloween or fall decorations you haven't gotten around to yet. I've been too lazy to put out my Halloween lights, but I'll do that tonight, because I do love seeing them in my windows when I drive home.
  • Finalize Thanksgiving travel plans, book your airline tickets if you haven't already, or finish inviting guests if you are hosting. People need to be reassured they have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving. So if you're hosting, please invite people as soon as possible so they can anticipate next month's holiday.
  • Look over the next two weeks. What appointments are coming up? Can you build in time for socializing, but also for alone time? Schedule some quiet nights at home, exercise, make time for nightly walks if the weather is good, reserve special time with your kids, and special time with your significant other?
  • Any mid-week laundry that needs to be done so it doesn't pile up for the weekend?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Medicine Cabinet

Feel Better Soon Medicine Cabinet Gift Set, on Amazon

Let's be sure our medicine cabinets are well stocked for winter colds, flus, upset tummies, headaches and other maladies. Today I'm removing everything from both medicine cabinets in my house, cleaning and dusting the shelves, checking expiration dates, and organizing the medicine. Later today I'll go shopping at a drugstore or Target for things I might need for the upcoming season.

EXPIRATION DATES: I'll carefully check expiration dates and throw out anything that's outdated or expired. I have a hard time "decluttering" when it comes to up-to-date medicines, because I want to be sure I have something on hand to solve every possible problem. But I don't have a problem throwing out anything I'm unsure of the expiration date on!


Do you have headache remedies, sinus remedies, fever remedies, cold/flu medicine (both liquid and capsule form), anti-diarrhea medicine, something for upset stomachs, something for gas and/or acid heartburn, sore throat and cough lozenges, and something just simply for coughs?

Do you have aspirin AND ibuprofen, both Tylenol AND Advil? Any Benadryl on hand in case of allergic reactions? Do you have the good kind of Sudafed if your family tends to get congestion in the ears?

If you have children, do you have children's medicines (or have you read the recent warnings against giving cold medicine to children under 4?) How about Vicks VapoRub? I stock Children's Tylenol, children's cold medicine and children's Benadryl just because my nephews visit so often.

Medicine Cabinet Organizer, from The Container Store


In addition to the medicine cabinet, do you have plenty of Kleenex/Puffs, more than one box? You might have a bad cold, go through a box quickly, and not feel up to going to the store to replenish. Do you have crackers, bouillon cubes, chicken noodle soup (or vegetarian alternative), several kinds of bottled juice, graham crackers, and other foods for sick people? What about jarred lemon juice and whiskey - I swear by hot toddies!

Also, do you have a good supply of hot water bottles/packs, cold packs, bandaids, gauze, and other first aid and comfort supplies?

Just to be well prepared - What if you unfortunately developed an extended period of illness where you and other people in your household weren't able or feeling up to to going to the store? Do you have plenty of toilet paper, pet food, laundry detergent, dish soap and other supplies you might not be able to go out and get for yourself? (Hopefully you have a supportive network of friends who would shop for you in emergencies too!) Let's hope nobody gets sick and you won't need it, but it's better to be prepared.


How well are you stocked when you travel? It seems the older I get, the more "just-in-case" medicine I have to take with me. Airport gift shops nowadays sell convenient little packets of aspirin and Tylenol etc, but hotel gift shops aren't often open during the hours you need them. And I don't always stay in the type of hotel that even has a gift shop. Better to bring a little kit of medicines with you. I put it in my checked luggage so I don't have to hassle with airport security and my carry-on. They're not prescription medications, either, which makes it easy. I almost never need access to medicines in-flight, but I've certainly gotten to my destination and really been glad I had diarrhea medicine or stomachache medicine with me so I didn't have to look for a drugstore in an unfamiliar city.


Do you keep medicines available in your guest bathroom too, so guests don't have to be embarrassed and come ASK you for diarrhea medicine?


Are your medicines stored out of the reach of children and pets?

I expect this sorting project to take less than half an hour tonight, leaving me plenty of time to drive over to my sister's for Family Night Dinner!

LOVELY BLOGS: Drizzle and Dip

This is Sam's recipe, food and travel photography blog. I've been delighting in her recent posts on Easy Butternut Scones with Cheese and Chives, Truffled Mushroom and Taleggio Cheese Toasties, Easy Fridge Pickles, and her Pea and Asparagus Risotto.

LOVELY BOOKS: Costumes of All Nations

This is a really intriguing book from 1888 that you can read online for free. Flip through the pages and check out the beautiful portraits, vintage hairdos, and costumes. (It's interesting that you can only see the top half of the outfits). You can also download this book as a PDF to read on your computer later.

Costumes of All Nations, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY KITCHEN: Freshware Silicon Cake Molds

Lately I've been enjoying using Freshware's silicon molds for my cakes and chocolates. They're so much lighter and easier to drag in and out of my cupboards than my heavy old metal cake pans are. I'm eyeing this cathedral Bundt pan for Christmastime...

Cathedral Bundt Pan by Freshware, on Amazon


All Hail King Whiskey (The Atlantic)

Brown Butter Butternut Squash Spaghetti Bake (The Kitchen Paper)

Caramelized Onion and Spinach Artichoke Quesadillas (Neighbor Food Blog)

Easy Witch's Cauldron From A Yoga Ball (Instructables)

"Fried Chicken" Cookie Pop Cake (Raspberri Cupcakes)

Ghost Lollipop Bouquet (A Beautiful Mess)

Ginger Pumpkin Soup (Handmade Mood)

Halloween Witches Cauldron DIY (Princess Pinky Girl)

Healthy Luscious Potato Leek Soup (Feasting at Home)

Leeks and Lentils Vinaigrette (Bread and Breakfast Blog)

Pear and Ginger Muffins (My Homespun Home)

Portobello "Steak" Strips (Amuse Your Bouche)

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream (Handmade Mood)

Simple Coleslaw (Cookies or Biscuits?)

Sweet Potato and Chicken Enchiladas (Lets Dish Recipes)

Sweet Potato Strata with Smoked Gouda and Leeks (The Muffin Myth)

Three Cheese Calzone Pumpkins (Hungry Happenings)

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