Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tidying Up Outdoors in Winter

Chalkboard Style Valentine Gift Bags, at Paper Source


  • Make meal plans for the week ahead; create grocery list; shop as needed
  • Clean one drawer, one shelf, or two door pockets in both your fridge and your freezer. Doing this faithfully every weekend means your fridge and freezer both get cleaned out every month!
  • Need to do any laundry so you and family members have clean clothes going into the work/school week ahead?
  • I generally wash my sheets and towels on Sundays, then fold them and make beds in between watching Downton Abbey!
  • Have fresh fruits for the week ahead, for snacking and lunch sacks?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Tidying Up Outdoors

This is the dead plant graveyard that currently resides on my back patio. Even though it's a bit cold and rainy today, I've decided to give my dogs some extra outdoor time, bundle up and go out and play with them a bit, then clean up this mess. I'm a bit grumpy about doing this today, as it's 49 degrees. I wish I had been able to tackle this project on Friday when it was 58 degrees and sunny, but alas, I was working.

I'll be taking the dead plants over to the compost pile in a hidden corner of my yard, then rinsing out the plastic plant pots to put in my recycling bin. I'll try, of course, to salvage any plants that might be left alive, but I'm sort of doubting there are many.

Next, I'll sweep the patio, dust and wash the vases and lanterns I keep out here, and try to scrub some of the dead leaves and mold off the deck. It's only going to rain and possibly snow again during the months of February and March, but at least there will be less of an eye sore when I look out my kitchen and dining room windows.

Kaleidoscope Bistro Table, from Pier 1 Imports

I'm bribing myself to perk up my attitude by envisioning the small bistro table I might put out here. During the warmer sunnier months, I eat most of my meals outdoors, but have to trek across the deck and over the grass to my outdoor patio table to do so. I often, due to that, eat breakfast indoors. I bet if I had a cute little bistro table in this sunny spot, I'd eat my yogurt, eggs or cereal out here and enjoy this spot more!

I expect this project to take just a little over half an hour. When I'm finished I'll reward myself with a giant mug of hot tea to warm up! Maybe I'll even upgrade to hot cocoa!

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Thymes' Agave Nectar

This is my favorite revitalizing scent for winter at the moment! I got "Christmased-out" and I'm bored of evergreen, cinnamon or peppermint scents. This one is refreshing and light. The fragrance includes guava, grapefruit, lemon blossom and aloe leaf. I couldn't manufacture an excuse to add the body wash or lotion to my already crowded bathroom, but I did legitimately need a new bar soap for the shower, so splurged on it. The line also includes bubble bath, a candle, cologne, and home fragrance mist.

Agave Nectar, from Thymes


This is a really fun blog! "Culinary creations inspired by books." Some of the recipes here are inspired by cookbooks, but the rest are inspired by novels and fiction. There are also a lot of reading challenges posted here, and you'll learn a lot about current books that just came out.


Banana Raspberry Muffins (Everybody Loves Pretty)

Cheesy Roasted broccoli with Crispy Breadcrumbs (Big Girls Small Kitchen)

Grapefruit Brulee With Black Pepper (Drizzle and Dip)

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette (Cavewoman Cafe)

Italian Eggplant Bake with Cashew Parmesan (Wander Cookie)

Pot Roast Tacos (ChinDeep)

Raspberry and Limoncello Ice Cream (Drizzle and Dip)

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