Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Last Week of February

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Let's start off our day by finding two things to throw away. Recycle magazines that have sat unread on your coffee table for more than a couple weeks? Old cosmetics? A mismatched sock you despair of ever finding the mate to? A pair of pantyhose you've been hanging onto despite a rip or tear? A chipped plate or bowl from your kitchen cupboard?
  • The end of the month is nearing. Time to pay bills before the first of the month rolls around, check over your calendar and to-do lists to see if you have anything to complete before March begins.
  • Take inventory of your firewood, fireplace matches, and kindling supplies. It's still cold at night in many parts of our country - would your family members like to come home to a cheerful, cozy fire tonight?
  • Reach out to any distant relatives you haven't managed to make time to talk to this month.
  • How are your supplies of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider mix and other warm wintry beverages? I find myself drinking a bit of iced tea during the day, then switching back to hot beverages at night.
  • Are you hosting any upcoming parties or festivities? A dinner party, cocktail party, tea party, Easter party, child's birthday party maybe? If so, make your life easier by beginning to write down some notes and lists, get some inspiration from Pinterest, and start to get your party organized!

TODAY'S PROJECT: Chargers and Remotes

Acrylic Charging Station Organizer, from The Container Store

I have a busy workday today, and will probably be working all night after dinnertime. So my project today has to be a small, yet useful one. (I don't do projects just to stay busy, but must keep on top of my household by doing a little bit of a project every day).

As I was getting ready to meet a friend's new baby at a ladies' lunch today, I struggled to find the charger for my camera. I'd hate to miss an opportunity to photograph this lovely two week old baby, and I am fairly sure my camera's battery is running low. This inspires me to embark on a charger locating and electronics charging session tonight. I know for certain I have multiple old unidentifiable chargers laying around, for cell phones and cameras I stopped using eight or nine years ago. Time to organize my existing chargers, see if I can figure out what to do with old chargers (sell on eBay, donate to Goodwill if they take them, or just plain dispose of). I'll charge up my phone, Kindles, and cameras tonight.

I'm going to put on a coat and run out to my car to organize and take inventory of the chargers I keep in there. I have a USB charger for the front seat and one for whoever is in the back seat. I used to have a universal charger with attachments for other types of phones, but I think it broke and I threw it away. Recently a friend was unable to charge his iPhone in my car, and I have enough friends with iPhones I might pick up an inexpensive charger to keep in my glove box for them.

I also want to take a few minutes to get rid of some of the six or seven extraneous remote controls I have laying around. A couple are backups for my two Tivo boxes, but the rest are most likely for DVD players and TVs I got rid of long ago. I'll try to sell them on eBay (not to make a couple bucks but to help out someone looking for a rare "antique" charger) or do whatever it takes to get the remote clutter out of my living room and off of my coffee table. I bet if I look behind both of my televisions, I'll find two or three old useless remotes hidden back there, too.

Tonight when I take my weary body to bed, I'll have my Kindle charged up all nice and ready to go for my evening reading!

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Strawberry Basil Green Iced Tea

Here's another lovely spring-themed iced tea I'm excited to serve, as the weather in Seattle slowly gets warmer. (Currently we're in the mid-50s on most days). I might experiment with slicing up fresh or even frozen strawberries to float in the pitcher of tea.

Strawberry Basil Green Tea, at Republic of Tea

Republic of Tea's Strawberry Basil Green Tea, on Amazon

LOVELY BLOGS: The Crumby Cupcake

Erica blogs from her home in Florida. Besides her delicious looking recipes, you can follow her Fabulous Friday posts, and check up on her Hump Day Happenings linkups. Recently she's posting about Sweet Potato Noodle Tomato Mushroom Alfredo, sipping a blood orange moscato margarita, and sharing the recipe for sesame ginger pork stir fry.

http://thecrumbycupcake.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Mrs. Beeton's Household Management

I've blogged about this wonderful vintage 1907 book before, but wanted to share two new links for it. I'm enjoying browsing through the Internet Archive's vintage copy - they've included all 2200 pages as well as scanned the gorgeous color plates. For more than casual browsing, the MrsBeeton.com website is a better way to get right to the heart of the recipes and household management tips. My favorite chapter is "Dinners and Dining."

Mrs. Beeton's Household Management on Archive.org

Mrs. Beeton.com

LOVELY FOOD: Retro Radio Amaretti

Sucker for retro packaging that I am, I'm sorely tempted to give this retro radio tin as a gift - to myself! I'll try to control myself, and keep this in mind as a gift for friends who share my love of retro things. The cookies inside are amaretti - they taste like almonds.

Retro Radio Tin, at Dean & Deluca

LOVELY FOOD: Sweet Cakes Truffle Collection

I feel like it's a bit too early for Easter-themed chocolates (Easter is on Sunday April 5). So if I have any birthday gifts or hostess gifts to pick up in the next couple weeks, this assortment of cake-themed truffles might fit the bill. The flavors include Red Velvet Raspberry Truffle, Yellow Cake Huckleberry Truffle and Cheesecake Strawberry Truffle.

Sweet Cakes Truffles, at Moonstruck Chocolate

LOVELY KIDS: Spring Dresses

I wanted to share these lovely spring baby dresses I bumped into during my web wanderings. I don't feel they're fancy enough for proper Easter dresses, but they're cute for Spring. Maybe for a tea party, attending a birthday party, or a weekend brunch? The Peter Pan collar dress is my favorite. There's also a cute all-in-one ruffled outfit that isn't a dress.

Baby Girl Spring Dresses, from Pumpkin Patch

LOVELY KIDS: Sound of Music Paper Dolls

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of The Sound of Music film, here are some cute paper dolls based on the film. You might be able to print them out and cut them for your kids to play with. I just spent a lovely couple minutes looking over the paper doll costumes.

Sound of Music Paper Dolls, on Picasa

LOVELY MOVIES: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I usually am not a fan of sequels, but I can hardly express how excited I am for this one! There can't be too much Judi Dench or Maggie Smith in my life. This is the perfect movie to take your mom, aunt, or mother-in-law to (or a group of younger ladies who appreciate good films!) The film comes to theaters on March 6.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer, on Apple

LOVELY SHOPS: Little Literary Classics

This cute Etsy shop is based in Tucson, Arizona. The shop owner creates darling soft "quiet books" used to help keep babies occupied and amused during church, at restaurants, etc.

She bases the books on literary classics, including Jane Austen's Emma, Little Women, Beowulf and Around the World in 80 Days. The illustrations inside are so charming!

The shop also offers cloth dolls based on the literary characters, prints of her illustrations, and literary-themed clothes for babies.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleLiterary

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Amish Recipe: Dutch Baby Oven Pancake with Blood Oranges (Lavender and Lovage)

Baked Halibut with Sweet Potato Gratin (Honest Cooking)

Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Risotto (Fancy Edibles)

Blood Orange Margaritas (Edible Perspective)

Blood Orange Mimosa (Bakeaholic Mama)

Blood Orange Sidecar Cocktail (Lovely Indeed)

Blueberry Coconut Cheesecake Parfaits (Lemon Tree Dwelling)

Cauliflower Soup with Chunky Potatoes and Ham (Cooks with Cocktails)

Kitchen Storage and Organization (Thrifty Decor Chick)

Golden Cauliflower Gratin with Capers (Williams-Sonoma Taste Blog)

Maple Walnut Blondies (The Spiffy Cookie)

Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread (Olive Oil and Lemons)

Red Chile and Cheese Enchiladas (Perpetually Hungry Blog)

Top 5 Costume Designers Who Haven't Won an Oscar Yet (Frock Flicks)


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