Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Cleaning: Freshening Up Bathrooms on the First Day of Spring

Some flowers I picked up to bring some Spring into my living room

It's the first day of Spring, officially finally. It's sure seemed like spring around here lately with our warmer-than-normal weather. Today here in Seattle it's a bit cloudy with some raindrops. Cherry blossoms are falling off my tree at random moments.

I plan to begin my Spring Cleaning today. This year I'm going room by room. Since I want to go out to dinner and a movie tonight, I have to pick a quick chore I can get done early this evening before I go out. I pick: Bathrooms!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

Are these hollyhocks? Stock? I couldn't resist another bouquet or two of Spring flowers for my home.

  • Do you have bags of books or clothing for charity laying around? Put them in your trunk today and drop them off while you're out doing errands. I need to do this too - I keep tripping over a couple bags of donation shoes.
  • Any other errands you can do on your way home from work today? Dry cleaning and Redbox dropoff/pickup, grocery shopping, a visit to the gas station or ATM?
  • If you have time today, can you go for a long walk, if the weather in your area is nice enough, watching for signs of Spring's return to your neighborhood?
  • Here's a suggestion: Invite someone over to Sunday lunch or supper as a short notice kindness.
  • Do a quick wipedown/sanitize of your family's remote controls, video game controls, telephones and cell phones. Those are all things that will probably get a lot of use in the upcoming weekend, am I right?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Bathrooms

Ink Blue Bath Towels, from Cost Plus World Market

Today I am Spring Cleaning my home's three bathrooms. Luckily I have kept them maintained in pretty good shape, and panicking before houseguests stayed in the last couple weekends made me clean them up even more than normal. I shouldn't have to spend too much time Spring Cleaning them today.

I have three toilets to scrub, one bathtub, four sinks and two showers. I'll also sort out three medicine cabinets, three cabinet drawers, and the 4 cupboards under all four sinks. Hrm, this is starting to sound like a bigger project after all. But I think I remember back when I did my fall preparations for guests and holidays, I sorted things out pretty well. I just have to hope I didn't clutter them back up much in the five months since November!

I'll try to make this a more pleasant task by burning my favorite scented candle in each bathroom while I work, and putting on some fun music to listen to. (I'm sort of stuck in the 1980s, I have to admit!)

Regency Bathroom Canister Set, from Z Gallerie

Spring Cleaning bathrooms doesn't just mean cleaning them up really thoroughly and decluttering them. That should actually be on our weekly task lists. Here's the difference: during Spring Cleaning we take care of problems and work to improve things, fix anything broken, and leave our bathrooms in a well maintained state, not just sparkling clean.

This is the time to evaluate your bathrooms from a functional perspective as well as from an aesthetic perspective. Take steps to get rid of that ugly bathroom light fixture that's been bothering you; finally make that call to the plumber to fix an annoying link under one of your sinks. Instead of just dusting off an ugly ancient wooden towel rack and making do with it, we should be actually measuring the rack, then making immediately plans to go to Home Depot over the weekend to buy a new inexpensive, more attractive towel rack.

Now's the time to repaint a bathroom in fresh colors (a chore that would only take one day this weekend); replace cracked bathroom floor tiles; totally replace limp faded old bathroom towels with new ones (something you could do for under $100 easily); and finally replace the rusted old sink or bathtub fixture. Need a new showerhead? This is your perfect weekend to buy a new one, or call a professional to come install one next week for you.

Owls Shower Curtain, on Amazon

Is your shower curtain moldy, limp, and torn at the top in several places? Time to toss it and buy a new one - they're not expensive.

If your goal is to aim for living a lovely life instead of just plodding through life cleaning and making do, then Spring Cleaning your bathrooms, fixing problems you've been living with, sprucing things up, and leaving your bathrooms better than you found them is the way to go. If you don't have the budget for a plumber, new tiles, a new curtain or towels right now, at least put them on a list so you can budget for them in the next six months. A few small things like a new towel rack would cost less than $10 though.

Let's not forget to launder our bathroom towels and rugs if they need it; wipe down our bathroom scales; dust the baseboards and wash down walls; clean and sanitize our emptied bathroom trash cans; wipe down light fixtures and light bulbs; sort out medicine cabinets; and spritz our bathrooms with a lovely home fragrance just as we finish our tasks.

Tonight after our hard work Spring Cleaning, let's make time to treat ourselves. When you return from your evening's entertainment, take an extra long hot bath in your beautiful bathroom and clean tub, use fluffy clean towels to dry yourself off with, and relax with a paperback or magazine while sipping an ice cold bubbly sparkling water (or champagne!) Sound like a good plan?

LOVELY BATH AND BODY: Orange Blossom Shower Gel

In spring I really like to use light, fresh fragranced bath and body products, such as lemon, orange, and cherry blossom scents. I particularly enjoy orange blossom, but it can be a tricky scent to get right. Here's one I've enjoyed in the past: shower gel by Les Couvent des Minimes. I've treated myself to a bottle and it should be arriving today! After my Spring Cleaning tonight I will indulge in a long bath using this shower gel. It won't bubble up like bubble bath, but I can lather up right before I hope in the tub for a good soak. Looking forward to it!

Les Couvent des Minimes Orange Blossom Shower Gel, on Amazon

LOVELY BEVERAGES: My New Spring Iced Tea

I'm not a very big fan of guava - in fact, I slightly detest it. So I was surprised that I liked the flavor of this iced tea! I guess maybe the pineapple drowns out the yucky guava taste for me. Anyway, I think this is the perfect iced tea to serve this Spring. Refreshing and fruity!

Pineapple Orange Guava Green Tea, from Republic of Tea

Pineapple Orange Guava Iced Tea, on Amazon

LOVELY BLOGS: My Favorite Aunt

Introducing my new blog! Brand new, with just one post as of this morning. I've been wanting to start this blog for a long time, and only just succumbed to the temptation on Monday. You're welcome to follow along as I develop my voice for the blog and figure out exactly what it is I want to do with it. Mostly I want to share the cool events, activities, ideas and toys I find in my web travels. I'm delighted to be the "favorite aunt" to many nieces, nephews and friends' children. That doesn't just come from handing out candy and buying them milkshakes, it comes from spending quality time with them and actively taking an interest in their lives. But I have to admit I have a very well stocked playroom that keeps them all begging to visit often! I hope you'll stop by from time to time and see what's going on. I intend this to be very different than the wonderful community for aunts, grandmothers and people who love children over at SavvyAuntie.com.

http://www.myfavoriteaunt.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: The Fringe Hours

"Making time for You." There are several "Oh, I'm sooooo busy" complainers in my life that I would like to give a good booksmacking to. That's where you hit them over the head (gently and lovingly) with a book you wish they would read and really spend some soul searching time thinking about. I'm also going to read this book and hopefully absorb some of the lessons within, but I feel like I have a pretty good balance in life and treat myself to downtime often. That's more possible now that I don't have four foster children in my life. I'll never forget those time-crunched evenings when I finally got home at 8:30 pm and realized I had only about 45 minutes before I should be in bed asleep. Sigh.

Anyway, I really love the idea of this book. I hope that people who really need to read it badly will discover it and give themselves permission to reprioritize time and do nice things for themselves more often.

Chapters include Pursuing Balance, Letting Go of Self-Imposed Pressures, Eliminating Guilt and Comparison, Shifting Your Perspective, Identifying How to Care For Yourself, Finding Your Time, Prioritizing Your Activities, Using Your Time Efficiently, Embracing Help, Overcoming Obstacles, Cultivating Community, Finding Rest, Living Well.

I am so tempted to set this as our Book of the Month club pick over at Lovely Living University! Maybe this summer we'll find time - no, make time to read it together?

LOVELY ENTERTAINING: Flower and Leaf Shaped Sugar Cubes

I throw a Spring tea party (or two) every year. I absolutely have to have a couple bowls of these beautiful sugar cubes set out. Maybe for the baby shower (for a baby girl) being thrown at my house next weekend, too! They're from Wishingwell Art on Etsy.

Flower and Leaf Sugar Cubes, on Etsy

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

The Best Bechamel Sauce (Brown Eyed Baker)

Coconut Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Icing (Bake at 350)

Doris Raymond "LA Frock Stars" Interview (Smithsonian Magazine)

Gorgeous Porch Inspiration for Spring (Decorology)

Grassy Green Egg Cups (Aunt Peaches)

The Long Con: A Fake It Till You Make it Guide to Your Best Home Ever, Eventually (Apartment Therapy)

Marbled Espresso Pound Cake (Bakers Royale)

Summer Cucumber Jalapeno Margaritas (Annie's Eats)

The Top Ten Small Streets Worth Visiting (Smithsonian Magazine)

25 Fabulous 1950s Spring Fashions to Inspire Your Wardrobe This Season (Chronically Vintage)


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www.lovely-living.com

Lovely Living University

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