Friday, October 24, 2014

Time for Us Week - Let's Pretend

Peacock Fairy Wings, from Elven Creations on Etsy

This weekend it's still "Time for Us" week. We will not be engaging in any sorting, decluttering, cleaning or house projects. We'll just perform the minimal amount of work necessary to keep our kids clean, rested and fed; our pets happy; and our houses from falling apart until Monday when we start our hard work up again.

This is a good time to be firm and stern with your partner, spouse, or children's other parent if applicable. You work really hard to maintain a home and take care of children (especially if you work full time too!) and you need this weekend break to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the upcoming crazy busy holiday season.

Today I'd like to invite you to join a game of "Let's Pretend" with me. See the "Today's Project" section for details.


Brite Swing Lid Cans, at The Container Store

  • Get your home ready for the weekend's fun activities. Empty trash cans, empty or fill dishwasher, sweep or vacuum front hallway; sweep front porch.
  • Need to drop off or return any library books, pick up or drop off dry cleaning, or stop by the store for fresh fruit and bread on the way home?
  • Whisk away soiled hand or bath towels in your bathrooms, swapping them out for clean. A quick swipe to the mirror and counters, replenishing toilet paper and trading out bath mats for clean ones will refresh your bathrooms for the weekend.
  • Need to fill up with gas or stop by an ATM for cash for your weekend splurges?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Let's Pretend

Prismacolor Artists Pencils, on Etsy

I think it's perfectly ok, for one day, to pretend we live a different life than we really do. That doesn't mean we're dissatisfied with the lives we've chosen to build for ourselves. It's just fun to try on a different lifestyle for a moment. Something playful, nothing harmful (don't suddenly become a drinker or smoker if you're not!) Immerse yourself fully in your Lets Pretend chosen project, as much as you can given children, household and family constraints. Try not to rush out and buy too much of anything (if you are spending the day as a Chocolatier, you could run up quite a bill on supplies, for example)

Here's some suggestions on fun ways you might spend your day tomorrow:

A Chocolatier: Spend the day working with your existing chocolate molds and candy molds. Package them up and bring to neighbors and friends.

A Baker: Putter around in your kitchen creating fabulous pastries, cakes, cupcakes, pies, or other goodies. Spend tomorrow dropping them off, nicely boxed, at friends' houses.

An Artist: Put on a smock or old T-shirt and use up some of your existing canvases, pens, papers, watercolors, acrylics, paints and other art supplies. Create something fabulous and display it proudly in your home. Or if things don't go well, it's ok to chuck it in the trash and have a chuckle at yourself.

A writer: Turn off your phones and TV, put on music if it helps you, and glue your behind to a chair. Spend the day writing, whether you are finishing up that short story you started 3 years ago, beginning a new story or novel, sketching out your project for your upcoming NaNoWriMo attempt; jotting down a poem; journaling; blogging; or writing letters.

A Scrapbooker: Finish your scrapbooking projects from past months. If you've started pages on last Christmas, Fourth of July or this summer's vacation, finish them. Sort and organize your scrapbookin supplies (that's always fun) but do try to actually complete something. This may mean taking a break from the phone and Internet today.

A photographer or model: Set up a home studio and take family or friends' portraits, put on fanciful makeup and do self-portraits, or go exploring outside taking autumn photos of things you find beautiful. Experiment with food photography for your blog, if that sounds fun.

A musician: Bring out your guitar, sit at your piano, or haul out an old synthesizer. (Does anyone here still have a piano in their home?) Enjoy playing your music. Maybe you'll feel like writing a new song? Or if your talents run to singing, spend the day singing songs you enjoy, practicing as though you have a concert hall full of adoring fans to perform for tomorrow.

A seamstress: Get out your old sewing machine, scraps of fabric and trimmings, and create something fun. Even if it's just a dress for your daughter's doll, let your creativity out. If you don't like what you make, you can throw it away and just consider the time well spent in enjoyment and practice.

A celebrity: Dress up in something fashionable but not too fancy. (Real celebrities don't walk around the mall wearing ball gowns). Throw on a hat and pair of dark sunglasses, do your nails, then take yourself out to coffee, a cocktail, shopping, or other things you enjoy. Don't try to fool people or impersonate any existing celebrities, just quietly enjoy your day and see if you catch any stares or people pondering who you are.

A kid: Play with your kids' dolls, train set, Legos, or anything else fun that reminds you of your childhood. Don't worry about what your family might think if they catch you! Instead, invite them to join in. I personally love playing with my vintage paper dolls.

A Tarot reader: Dress up in a sparkly gypsy type costume or outfit, just with things you have around the house. Make a big pot of tea and invite friends over to share readings.

A travel agent: Spend the day creating fanciful travel vacations for yourself or pretend clients. Figure out where your client would go, what fabulous hotel they'd stay in, what restaurants they might eat in. Dream, but don't be dissatisfied with any inability to pay for or go on fancy vacations. Not everybody can do that (I sure as heck haven't made it back to London in 20 years!) and it's ok to dream.

What other fun ideas do you have for spending a day pretending?

I realize that my fun "Let's Pretend" day is much easier for me to do than for those of you readers who still have young children at home or husbands/boyfriends who might want some attention this weekend! With my foster kids moved out, I have the luxury of time and privacy to do silly things, like setting up a photo studio in the guest room, doing my makeup and hair crazily, and having a friend come over to share wine and take (clothed, by the way!) pictures of ourselves just for fun. I can make a big mess in the kitchen and nobody will complain.

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Glazed Apple

I'm excited about The Body Shop's new line of bath & body products for fall. There's a body butter, a shower gel, home fragrance oil, hand cream, soap, a lip balm, bath jelly, home fragrance spray, and body polish. How delightful! This will help tide me over until it's Christmastime when I start wearing and using their Cranberry products.

Glazed Apple, at The Body Shop

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Jasmine Pearl Teas

Here's my current favorite brand of loose teas. They come packaged in little paper "tins." I love the flavors, and the sheer variety of teas offered. They have some intriguing things here - Red hot hibiscus, Ruby nectar, Licorice Mint, Dark Forest blend, etc. It's a bit pricy, so I use each infuser twice. (I never mind watered down tea on the second cup!) I'm currently stocking their Puehr, Jasmine Pearls, and English Breakfast. I think I will pick up one tin of their Cranberry Sencha and one of Amaretto Spice to serve for the holidays. I'm eager to try their Blackberry Fig right now too. Oh thank you universe, they take Paypal!

LOVELY BLOGS: Goodie Godmother

Mary blogs about her love of cooking, crafting, and traveling. Her blog is divided into sections for Appetizers & Snacks, Beverages, Salads, Soups & Stews, Breads, Main Dishes, Desserts, and a section on business tips she learned from her time running Goodie Godmother Bakery. She's currently sharing recipes for crockpot apple sauce, Cilantro Lime Aioli, and Rosemary Garlic Oven Roasted Potatoes. Yum!

LOVELY BOOKS: Classic Household Hints

I've been enjoying Susan Waggoner's vintage Christmas how-to books lately. Now I want to check out her household hints book. The household hints (cleaning, organizing, food thrift) are accompanied by charming vintage illustrations from the 1920s through the 1960s. I like to read books like this not only for the information they offer, but I get inspired to clean and organize after reading them. (Or after a "Hoarders" marathon!)

Classic Household Hints, on Amazon

LOVELY HOME: Autumn Harvest Products for Kitchen and Bath

Michel Design Works has a new line of products for autumn: Potholders, oven mitts, bath soap, lotion, kitchen sink soap, wooden trays, cachepots and planters, room spray, placemats and napkins. If you decorated with all these products, it would be a bit much. The pattern is busy, and it could get overwhelming. But having a few of these pretty things in your kitchen or guest bathroom could be quite lovely this fall or Thanksgiving.

Autumn Harvest, at Michel Design Works

Michel Design Works Autumn Harvest on Amazon

LOVELY SHOPS: Tea Collection

I am so enamored with this children's clothing shop right now! They describe it as "globally inspired." It reminds me of a muted down Oilily or a more chic Hanna Andersson - in a good way! My favorite collection here right now is the Alpine Adventure set. Everything is so cute. I can't wait to pick up a couple pieces for two babies I know that will be born after January!


The Best Sour Cream Banana Bread (Neighbor Food Blog)

A Brief History of the Straw (Bon Appetit)

Buckeye Fudge (Damn Delicious)

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake (Damn Delicious)

Healthy Fall Desserts (Better Homes & Gardens)

Moroccan Spiced Lettuce Wraps (Simply Scratch)

October Cookbook of the Month: The Book of Jewish Food (CHOW)

Serving Bite Sized Garlic Bread Will Change the Way You Think About Garlic Bread (Epicurious)

Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Stew (Kitchen Living with Coryanne)

21 Creative Ways to Cook with Root Vegetables (Bon Appetit)

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