Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Preparing for Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Sponges, from Ocelo, on Amazon

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Look over your list of upcoming birthdays this month. Write cards some evening this week, and mail them ahead of time to anybody with a birthday in the upcoming week. For further-out birthdays, order flowers, and prepare to send gifts if you're planning to.
  • Do you need to make any doctor, dentist, vet, haircut or salon appointments for yourself or family members?
  • Is it time to lube and oil your car or take it in for other maintenance tasks?
  • Are you attending any plays, musicals, concerts or symphonies this spring? Buy tickets now if you haven't yet. I am still upset that I missed "Beauty and the Beast" the musical because I forgot to buy tickets a couple months beforehand!
  • Taking your kids somewhere for Spring Break? If so, do you have your travel planned, tickets purchased, pet sitting arrangements made? Or if you aren't traveling, what's your plan for entertaining your kids (or having them babysat) for that week? Time to make some plans!
  • Take some time to look over your budget for the next couple of weeks. Need to budget for any birthday parties, an Easter brunch or party, or St. Patrick's Day festivities? Don't just write out your financial budget (which is very important too) but take a look at your time budget. Do you have time for gardening, homemaking, book reading, crafting if you do that sort of thing, work, projects - but also time for family, friends, pets, and very importantly, yourself?

TODAY's PROJECT: Getting Ready to Spring Clean

Ginger Pomelo Countertop Spray, from Caldrea

Today I'm hauling out all my cleaning products from my cupboards (children don't live here so I can keep chemicals under bathroom sinks, but I still have childproof openers on the cupboards anyway). I'll take stock of what I have - what do I need to buy, and what do I have too much of? Why do I have three bottles of Windex - does that mean I've been buying too much Windex, forgetting I have it already? Or does it mean I haven't been cleaning my windows often enough? I suspect I need more wood/laminate floor cleaner, and I bet before I look in my laundry room that I have more than enough bathroom cleaning products.

I'll also get out my cleaning supplies - rags, which I have plenty of; a broom; the vacuum; the dusting brush I use on bookshelves; and the long extension pole I use to dust high surfaces. I don't use a mop or Swiffer any more - I just kneel on the floor with rags and a bucket. I know I don't need any kitchen sponges, but I suspect I need a new bathroom scrubber or two.

I'll take some time to organize my thoughts and make a plan for tackling Spring Cleaning. I don't want it to be a huge overwhelming stressful chore. I'm happy with myself for keeping up with my regular home cleaning and maintenance so Spring Cleaning shouldn't be too time consuming. Mostly I just need to get some help with moving heavy furniture to dust behind it, vacuum under it, clean the walls behind it, etc. I'm definitely dreading moving the refrigerator and oven - last summer when we moved them for the painters, we found several dead mice. Ugh!

Usually when I Spring Clean I have done related projects, one per evening. For example, one night I cleaned and polished all the wooden doors in my house; the next day I washed all the windows; the next day I cleaned all the baseboards; on the weekend I cleaned all the light fixtures. This year I want to approach this differently. I'll try doing one major room cleaning at a time. I'll do easy rooms like a bathroom or an already-pretty-clean guest room on weeknights/worknights. I'll save big projects like the kitchen, my master bedroom closet, the messy playroom, and the garage for weekend projects.

What's your plan for your own Spring Cleaning this year?

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Jiva Cubes

I'm not a big fan of coffee, but I'm intrigued by these Jiva Cubes. Drop them in a mug, stir in hot milk or hot water, and you're good to go. They seem really convenient and not very messy. They're vegan and gluten-free, as you'd expect a bunch of ground up coffee beans to be. They're already sweetened (with cane sugar), too. Flavors include mocha, French vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, hot chocolate, and classic. These might be a nice gift for someone you know is facing a huge Spring Cleaning chore!

Jiva Cubes, on Amazon

LOVELY BLOGS: The Gunny Sack

Tonia's blog is full of recipes I'd actually really like to try making - and recipes I think I could succeed at. Some of the blogs I run into have far too fancy, difficult foods. I'm up for a challenge, but my real life busy schedule makes it hard to experiment. Recent posts include oven roasted pork chops, a refreshing looking citrus salad, a lovely Easter cake, and a recipe for slow cooker blueberry bread pudding.

She also offers a section on Mason jar gift suggestions - nice things you can cook or tuck away into a Mason jar and then gift away. There's also a nice crafts tutorials section. Overall a nice pleasant blog to look through and learn from.

http://www.thegunnysack.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: The Cottage Kitchen

This nice old antique cookbook doesn't offer illustrations, but I'm loving reading about the recipes people cooked back in 1883. I'm browsing through blanc mange, "pic-nic dishes," puddings, porridges, griddle-cakes, jams and marmalades, cheese dishes, and "fruits, stewed and baked."

The author also included several helpful "familiar talks," including one on table manners, one on flies, one on soups and stock pots, and one on "maids of all work."

I love these old cookbooks you can read for free online! Take a peek and see if you enjoy this one too.

The Cottage Kitchen, on Archive.Org

LOVELY FOOD: Vosges' Easter Chocolates

I'm having a hard time deciding which lovely box of delicious Vosges chocolates I might want to gift to a certain family member's household this Easter. I'll probably go with the Easter egg-shaped box, but I bet they'd also enjoy eating the peanut butter eggs too.

Easter Chocolates and Gifts, at Vosges Chocolate

LOVELY SHOPS: Colette Bream

Colette Bream creates lovely soft pillows and housewares from Scottish Lambswool. I adore her house-shaped pillows. There are also some cute animal-shaped toys here as well. Check it out!

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

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Beet Panna Cotta and Meyer Lemon Mousse (Bon Appetit)

Cheerful and Charming Butterfly Baby Shoes for Spring (Auction Shopaholic)

Cup of Cocoa Cake Pops (Bakerella)

Family Easter Brunch Ideas (Amy's Party Ideas)


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www.lovely-living.com

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