Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Getting Our Dining Rooms Ready for the Holidays

Confession time - this is the current state of my dining table! Luckily I'm not hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Besides Thanksgiving, there's a busy season ahead with upcoming parties, gatherings, holidays, visitors, and perhaps (dare I hope?) some impromptu game nights. Let's get our dining rooms ready for the meals and festivities ahead!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Are you attending any plays, musicals, concerts or symphonies this winter? Buy tickets now if you haven't yet.
  • Do you have fresh fruit and the fixings for salad on hand? In the next few days we'll likely get tired of heavy, rich Thanksgiving leftovers and crave fruits and fresh veggies, I bet!
  • Light and enjoy your harvest and autumn scented candles. Time to burn them up so we can switch out for Christmas and winter scents!
  • If you're going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving, write your thank you note today. You can leave it on their mail table or somewhere they can find it after you leave their home at the end of your celebration.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Dining Room

Briar Table Runner, from Crate and Barrel

Let's get our dining rooms ready for the upcoming holiday entertaining season!

As you can see from my picture at the top of this post, my decision to no longer have a home office is sort of backfiring. (I chose to keep a playroom, since I have so many children visiting constantly, and I wanted two guest bedrooms for guests). Stuff has been piling up on the dining table - magazines and things I use for work and research. Time to haul them off, find a corner to store them until I can process them, and maybe rethink having a home office in a corner of one of my guest bedrooms.

Whether or not you are throwing Thanksgiving at your own home, you'll want a lovely, clean, organized, enjoyable dining room to eat dinner in during December, the festive season. You might throw impromptu cocktail or dinner parties, or you might invite friends over for a soup-and-salad meal. Maybe you'll do late-night or rainy-day crafts, or put together puzzles, spread out on your table.

I'll start my 45 minute project today by removing cobwebs from the ceiling and corners, then using the same broom to sweep the floor. Mopping is next. I'll make a cup of tea and drink it while the floor dries.

Next I'll wash my two dining room windows and the glass door that leads to the kitchen - it always gets kid hand prints and dog nose prints on it.

I'll hang freshly cleaned curtains at the windows (I love washable curtains! Curtains get so dusty!)

Next up are my upholstered dining chairs. I vacuum them with the upholstery attachment, then sponge them off. This takes just about 1 minute per chair, and I have six of them.

I'll dust the table, windowsills, and baseboards in this room. I'm going to dust the wood slats on each chair, then dust the outside of the curio cabinet that sits in my dining room. I cleaned out the curio cabinet last month, so it's looking nice.

The Tiffany style pendant chandelier I'm coveting, on Amazon

Don't forget your light fixture or chandelier. Mine is grimy, dusty and needs some light bulbs replaced. Climbing on a chair and dusting this is the most time consuming part of this project today, I think.

When I'm done, I'll put a clean harvest-themed tablecloth on the table. Just a few more days until I'll swap out this tablecloth for a Christmasy one! For table decor, I'll set out a fragranced candle (but that's something I'd want to remove before serving food). I always put fresh flowers on the table, and finish by spritzing the room with an autumn-themed room spray.

LOVELY BLOGS: The Culinary Life

Steph's goals for her blog are to "teach you how to cook, to improve your health alongside your relationship with food, to make sure you enjoy your time in (the) kitchen." This week her posts include how to cook pheasant, sharing her simple chicken stew recipe, and sharing her blackberry pie recipe.

https://www.theculinarylife.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Literary Eats

I love the concept of this book! It's a compilation of recipes by literary greats, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Dickinson, William Faulkner, Harlan Ellison, Ursula Le Guin, Benjamin Franklin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Eudora Welty, and Walt Whitman. I want to try making Louisa May Alcott's "Berry Pudding Without Eggs" and Emily Dickinson's "Black Cake." This might make a wonderful Christmas gift for your foodie bookclub friend.

Literary Eats, on Amazon

LOVELY FOOD: Krusteaz Flatbread Mixes

If you're a regular Lovely Living reader, you know I'm a lazy cook, and perfectly willing to open a box mix so I don't have to measure. I'm pretty excited about these new flatbread mixes from Krusteaz. You can use them to make pizza crust, or just a nice tasty flatbread to dip into good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I'll probably skip the whole wheat one (boring!) and try the garlic & onion mix first.

Flatbread Mixes, at Krusteaz.com

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Asparagus with Tomato and Feta (A Fork in Each Hand)

Bacon Apple Gorgonzola Bites (Sumptuous Spoonfuls)

Chicken Etoufee - Crockpot Edition (Healthy Lifestyle Journey)

Fresh Whole Cranberry Sauce (Delicious on a Dollar)

Iced Oatmeal Cookies (Life Made Simple)

Pork, Sage and Macadamia Bites (Belly Rumbles)

Presence, Gratitude, and Gorgonzola Grapes (French Foodie Baby)

Southern Pecan Pie (Served Up With Love)

Spinach Artichoke Dip Bites (The Gunny Sack)

We Buy An Obscene Amount of Clothes - What it's Doing to Thrift Stores (Huffington Post)


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