Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

Today isn't supposed to be just a day off from work. We should call (not just text) our friends and family members who have been members of the military (even if they haven't been on active duty in war time) and thank them for their service. They'll appreciate it so much.

I'm reading up on the history of Veteran's Day.

I also want to call attention to the beautiful and somber imagery at the Tower of London's Bleeding Poppies ceramic art installation in honor of the WWI anniversary.

  • Are you flying a flag outside your home or apartment today?
  • Have you had your carpets cleaned in the last six months? If not, make an appointment to have your carpets cleaned, or rent a steamer from your local grocery, hardware or Home Depot this weekend. I don't really like to clean my carpets right before the rainy, snowy, muddy season, but I also don't like to invite guests over when I have filthy carpets! Every time I have my carpet cleaned I realize how affordable it is. I have a relatively small cozy house, and lots of wood floors. My three bedrooms, living room and small hallway can be cleaned professionally for around $130. Figuring in the time it takes me to go to the store, rent a steamer, fiddle around with it, get frustrated, and clean my carpets poorly, then return the steamer - I think I'll go with professionals.
  • Check your coat closet, which will likely get a lot of use in the next couple months. Does it need to be tidied up? Has anything fallen to the floor? Can you reach in and immediately locate a coat, gloves, hat, umbrella or boots if needed? Any coats that have migrated elsewhere in the house? They need to be rehung in their proper place in the coat closet. Any coats that are looking dingy or smelling musty? If so, take them to the dry cleaner. Is it time to go coat shopping to replace worn looking coats?
  • Have you had a glass of orange juice lately? If you don't have any orange juice in the house, add that to your shopping list for the week. Or shake things up a bit from your normal routine, and pick up some blood orange or tangerine juice.
  • Write two holiday cards tonight. This is something you can do while watching TV if you have to multitask to get it done. Stamp them and put on your mailing table ready to go out. The more Christmas or Hanukkah cards you write right now, the easier your life will be in mid or late December, if mailing cards is a priority for you. You don't have to mail them right now - no need to rush the holidays before they actually begin.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Sorting Casseroles and Storage Containers

GladWare Entree Containers, on Amazon

With our holiday dinners coming up, we'll want to make sure our casseroles, cake pans, pie pans, and Tupperware, GladWare, Rubbermaid or other plastic containers are accessible and in order. I want to be sure I have inexpensive, recyclable, reusable empty containers I can send leftovers home in for people. If they're inexpensive, I don't have to worry about getting them back.

Tonight I plan to sort out my kitchen cupboard, take inventory of my glass casseroles, and wash any containers that need it if they got dusty. I'll wipe down and dry each shelf before replacing the items.

See if all your food storage containers (Tupperware, Glad, Rubbermaid or other kinds) have matching lids. Throw away or recycle any containers that are stained, melted or gross-looking, or missing lids. I've been able to recycle about six extra mismatched lids tonight already. Match up containers with their lids and store in an organized manner.

If you have more than one or two makeshift money-saving storage containers (ie old butter tubs you've saved) I challenge you to really think about how many you need to keep. Recycle anything you can part with. I've seen so many people's cupboards overflowing and spilling empty butter and sour cream tubs onto the floors when the cupboard is opened. Declutter! Re-watch an old episode of "Hoarders" if you need the inspiration.

Rubbermaid Food Storage Set, on Amazon

If you actually need, and will really truly use, more new food storage containers or casseroles, add them to your weekly grocery shopping list.

LOVELY BLOGS: Sage & Simple

You'll likely enjoy reading the backstory of this blog by a woman who picked up and boldly moved to Denmark. She's recently gotten married. Peek through her past posts on simple living, beautiful things, frugal living, travel, and her life in Denmark. She also lets us glimpse a bit into her love story.


LOVELY BOOKS: Little Princess in the Woods

This charming 1931 book was illustrated by Sibylle v. Olfers. Helen Dean Fish wrote the text of the story. I am having fun today leafing through the online pages, admiring the colorful, beautiful vintage pictures. It's a perfect tale for autumn, and a great way to spend my tea break this afternoon.

Little Princess in the Woods, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY HOME: Mikasa's Cocoa Blossom Dishes

I'm dreaming about having enough storage space for a set of dishes to be used only in autumn. That and the budget to pay for them! These Mikasa "Cocoa Blossom" dishes are microwave and dishwasher friendly, which makes me extra tempted.

Cocoa Blossom Dishes, on Auction Shopaholic

LOVELY SHOPS:Elwood and Eloise

This shop specializes in curating intriguing and darling vintage antiquarian books, many of them children's books. I'm having so much fun browsing their selection! Check out Karen Gets a Fever, Best Little House, King Krakus and the Dragon, and the 1964 Betty Crocker's Parties for Children. As a buyer, I especially appreciate that they've taken the time to include a few scans of the pages on the inside of each book. That really helps me decide on a purchase!

Elwood and Eloise, on Etsy

LOVELY TV: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Revisit your childhood with this 28 minute classic animated video. It's fun to put it on in the background while I'm perusing Thanksgiving recipes.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, on YouTube


Cheesy Manicotti Roll-Ups (Dinner is Served)

Maple Fondant Acorns (Candy/About.com)

Mini Pumpkin Pom-Poms (Family Crafts/About.com)

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel (Taste and Tell Blog)

Portobello Mushrooms with Parmesan and Basil (Williams-Sonoma)

Pumpkin Spice Belgian Waffles (Offbeat and Inspired)

Serving Dishes and Large Company Meals - Countdown to Turkey Day 2014 (Home Ec 101)

Sheng Puerh Tea (Coffee-Tea/About.com)

Shepherd's Pie (Lisa's Dinnertime Dish)

Sweet Buckwheat Braided Bread (Bread Baking/About.com)

Switch Up Your Traditional Turkey (Bon Appetit)

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