Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Lovely Sunday in Autumn

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Maintenance clean one shelf, one drawer or two door pockets in your refrigerator and in your freezer. This will help keep our fridges and freezers ready for Thanksgiving foods! I have an inexpensive refrigerator and freezer outside in my garage too, so I'm actually doing TWO fridge shelves and TWO freezer shelves today.
  • Launder your bedding (and your kids' bedding, if applicable) so you all have fresh sheets to sleep on tonight (unless you do your bedding on a different day of the week).
  • Need to do any Christmas shopping this weekend before the malls get really crazy in the next couple weeks?
  • Make a plan for a special breakfast this upcoming weekend. Buy a paper newspaper if you normally don't, or stop by the library to pick up a local events calendar paper. Pull out a couple magazines you've been wanting to browse. Take extra time to make pancakes, omelettes, fresh (not frozen or boxed) hash browns, crepes, waffles, or other breakfast treats. Treat yourself to a latte or cappuccino if you normally don't. Enjoy a leisurely morning eating your tasty breakfast, reading the paper and magazines, even though you'll have a bit of a kitchen mess to clean up!
  • Have you baked an apple pie yet this autumn?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Major Cleaning of One Room

Plum Bergamot Clove Limited Edition Holiday Countertop Spray, from Caldrea

Pick a large, major room in your home that needs cleaning really badly. Is it perhaps your living room, your master bedroom, the kitchen, the basement? Attic? Garage? Bathroom or two? Mine is definitely the bathrooms - I need to thoroughly clean all three.

Do a total overhaul cleaning on your chosen room today. Decluttering, sorting, dusting, scrubbing, washing, laundering, vacuuming, mopping, light bulb checking, deodorizing, and more. Dust the door/s, wipe down light fixtures and light switches, and don't forget to dust the baseboards and windowsills.

BEGIN:

Walk into the room and pretend you're seeing it through someone else's eyes (a relative, your boss, your best friend, a home decor magazine stylist, a realtor, Oprah or Martha Stewart, your mother-in-law, or whatever helps motivate you!)

Put on music and make yourself a nice beverage. Light incense if you like. Let's make this a pleasant task.

Start by removing clutter. Throw away or put into the charity bin or recycling bin anything you can possibly part with. Next, empty wastebaskets, recycling, and find some items to put in storage if you can't part with them. Remove any drinking glasses, dishes or any other items that don't belong. Do you have too much furniture in this room? Too many things on the walls? Too many kitschy knickknacks?

WASH:

Thoroughly clean ceiling fan and light fixtures, then lamps. Wash and dust windows, windowsills, trim, closet doors and the room's door (on both sides). Don't forget to clean the wood at the top of the doorframe, too. Do your curtains need dry cleaning, or your blinds need wiping down? Wash walls. Check to see if you need lightbulbs. Clean baseboards and air vents before you vacuum.

VACUUM:

Move furniture to vacuum, sweep or mop under it. If you really are inspired or have strong helpers, remove most furniture from the room before you vacuum and/or mop. Open drawers on tables and nightstands and sort them before replacing furniture in the room.

If you're deep cleaning a bedroom, don't forget to vacuum the mattress (and flip/rotate if needed).

Wash and replace any floor rugs. If it's a bedroom, wash the bed linens (Don't forget to wash the dust ruffle and mattress pad, too!).

DUST:

Endust Dust Cloths, on Amazon

Dust your furniture and any knick-knacks. Replace any decorative candles that are looking discolored or crooked; remove half-burned votives and replace with fresh candles. See if any upholstery needs to be spot cleaned or professionally cleaned (I have a couch with far too many pet hairs and pet stains to handle by myself!) Clean any items that need to be put back on tables, dressers, shelves, etc, and replace them in an orderly manner.

Water houseplants and dispose of any dead or dying ones. If the houseplants are looking dusty, spray them down in the kitchen sink. (This is a great time to get rid of any tacky fake plants!) Polish doorknobs on both sides of the door, and on closets if needed.

FINISH:

Finish by spraying the room with your current favorite room freshener or a home spray. Or by burning a scented candle (while you're still in the room to attend to it). My current favorite home fragrance oil is The Body Shop's Frosted Cranberry. I'll burn some in my fragrance diffuser in this room.

Put fresh flowers on a small table, if this is a room used frequently.

The weather's getting much colder - does this room have a nice soft throw waiting on a nearby chair? Is there a box of Kleenex accessible? A nearby trash can for convenience?

Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down and relax for a while in your fresh, clean, clutter-free room.

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Shiseido's Translucent Soap

I am so excited to gift this new limited edition translucent soap to a couple stepsisters and female friends this holiday season! I'll probably gift the red one, but it also comes in green. I'll of course want to smell it before committing to buy it. I like that it is quite possibly "lightly scented" so it's not overwhelming.

Honey Cake Red, at Sephora

LOVELY BLOGS: Awful Library Books

I'm really conscious about not posting any sites that make fun of anybody or anything here - that's not very Lovely. However, this entertaining site from a couple of professional librarians is just too fun to browse through. You also can learn a lot about history just from some of the weird old books they find to weed out. The post categories here are hilarious: They include Animal Love, Bleeding Edge, But it's Historical!, Celebrity Fun, Condition/Processing Fail, Feeling Good, For the Kids, Friday Fiction, Getting Crafty, Living the Good Life, Looking Good, Parent Trap, Practical Librarian, Spanning the Globe, The Unexplained and Just Plain Crazy, Vice Patrol, Working 9-5, and You Ate What? You can also learn a lot about how libraries work and how librarians decide which books to buy, keep, and get rid of. I'll bet you get sucked into spending way more time browsing this blog than you expected to!

http://awfullibrarybooks.net/

LOVELY FOOD: Barilla's Regional Specialty Pastas

I eat way too much pasta, and should probably cut back. But I've been really enjoying trying these new regional pastas. Only one chain grocery store near me carries them - Fred Meyer. I've tried the Bucatini, Casarecce (my favorite so far) and the Spaghetti alla Chitarra so far. I've had to do some research to figure out which kind of pasta sauce works best with these. And I can report that they all taste excellent with a glass of Merlot and a side of garlic toast!

Collezione, at Barilla

LOVELY FOOD: Autumn Velvet Cake Mix

I don't know why, but I am totally giggling at the picture of this two-colored autumn velvet cake. It just delights me! I can't wait to make it. I'm sure it won't turn out as pretty as the one baked and photographed by professionals, but I'm sure it will taste good. The two mixes are "brown velvet" and "orange velvet." I'm still chuckling.

Autumn Velvet Cake, from Duncan Hines, on Amazon

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Free Christmas Gift List Printable (Joyful Homemaking)

Gruyere and Green Olive Rolls (Joy the Baker)

Homemade Ketchup (The Handy Homemaker)

Kabocha Sage Creme Fraiche Pappardelle (Two Red Bowls)

Mini One-Bowl Yellow Cake with Malted Chocolate Frosting (The Cake Merchant)

No Bake Cranberry Cheesecakes (My Baking Addiction)

Pretzel Parker House Rolls (Smitten Kitchen)

Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta (Traditional Cooking School)

Turkey Pot Pie (Miz Helen's Country Cottage)

What is it Like to Be a Full-Time Homemaker? (Apartment Therapy)


--Copyright 2014 Lovely Living

www.lovely-living.com

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