Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spring Cleaning, Interrupted

My balcony at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle

I had intended to have all my Spring Cleaning all finished long before the end of April. However, I couldn't resist taking advantage of two opportunities to vacation with loved ones this month. I enjoyed a weekend staycation at a hotel with my boyfriend's mom, and a Spring Break trip to San Diego with cousins and a nephew. On top of that, I traveled for work for half a week. I haven't been home much to complete my self-assigned cleaning projects. I'm going to try to make up for that this weekend and get everything done!


My nephew took this picture of me in front of the Hotel Del Coronado during our San Diego vacation this month.

  • Time to launder pet beds?
  • Let's freshen our cars up a bit as needed. Mine needs a quick vacuuming, a wipe of the dashboard, trash bag emptied, dog water bottles refreshed, extraneous lipsticks removed, and windows wiped.
  • Speaking of cars - is yours due for a service? Mine is 2 months overdue (!) so I need to schedule an appointment for this week.
  • Try to phone an elderly relative this weekend. I try to avoid the hours between 1pm and 4pm as my grampa and great-aunt are usually napping during that time. Sometimes I'll call on Sundays before Game of Thrones, while I'm home doing laundry and chores.
  • Energize yourself with a brisk walk today before getting started cleaning.
  • Plan a special Sunday breakfast for tomorrow. Even if it's just you!
  • Plan a special reward for yourself and any helpers who work hard today helping you Spring Clean. A movie later tonight, root beer floats, perhaps a family game played around your dining table?
  • Start a load of laundry (Blankets and throws? Towels? Cleaning rags?) that can get going while you're working doing other things today.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spring Cleaning the Family Room

Wood for Good Polish, from Method Home

I'm back from my travels and ready to re-tackle Spring Cleaning. Since I have a nice long cloudy Saturday stretching ahead of me, I feel up to tackling the Family Room. I've kept this room fairly well maintained and clean, but it does get a lot of use - this is where the big TV and surround sound system live!

I have several pieces of furniture to move today in order to vacuum under them: A couch, an armchair, a bookshelf that holds my DVDs, the coffee table my TV stands on top of, a side table, and my heavy wooden bar. I think I can scoot all this furniture around by myself.

There are also two dog beds in this room. I'll launder them while I'm cleaning the rest of this room.

I'll move the furniture to dust the walls behind it and mop the laminate flooring underneath it. I'll vacuum and spot clean my couches. I wish it were a dry, warm sunny day so I could air my decorative couch pillows in the sun outside, but alas, it's not.

After I've replaced the furniture and cushions, I'll wash this room's four windows, take down the curtains to send to the dry cleaners, dust baseboards, wipe light switches, dust my lamp fixtures and the overhead lighting, then dust the TV and electronic components.

I've kept up on keeping my DVDs dusted and alphabetized, so it will only take a moment to quickly dust the shelves. I'll dust the red lacquer tray I use as a coffee table to hold remotes and drinks, and I'll wipe down all the remotes with antibacterial wipes.

My last step will be to light my home fragrance oil diffuser to make the room smell lovely. I'll then sit down and take a mental inventory of anything this room might need in the future. Anything I need to improve upon, fix, repair, budget for or add? I think I have several years left on my couches; my curtains are in good shape; my smoke detector is up to date and has fresh batteries. I might want to replace the boring old light and outlet covers sometime this year, and my lacquer tray is getting a little scratched up. I could use some artwork over the mantel (where I hang a wreath at Christmastime) and perhaps artwork to hang over my bar. Other than that I think this room is in good shape.

Tonight I'll be watching a movie in a fresh, clean, warm and cozy little den!

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Harney & Sons Iced Teas

I was pretty excited to find these bottled iced teas yesterday at my local Metropolitan Market. I don't usually purchase bottled iced teas (unless I'm on a road trip or out doing errands) since I make fresh iced tea or sun tea daily. But I was thinking these might be nice to bring on a picnic or serve at one of my fancier backyard garden parties. They're a bit expensive, so I'll consider them a splurge not a necessity. I was delighted to taste the Black Iced Tea this morning and realize it's not very sweet at all. I prefer unsweetened teas. Next up, I'll try their Lemonade to see if it's guestworthy.

Harney & Sons Bottled Iced Teas, at


"Celebrating the warm and cozy since 2009." Laura blogs about home decor from the Ocean State (Rhode Island). Her goal is to "create a cozy, creative, positive corner of the internet." I'm enjoying her past posts on Turkish Tulu rugs, what she loves about her home, and her Etsy and home decor finds. I wish she blogged more frequently!

LOVELY BOOKS: A Flower Wedding

This charming vintage illustrated book was drawn by Walter Crane and published in 1905. You can browse through it online for free. The illustrations are darling!

A Flower Wedding, at The Internet Archive


"60 Ways to Create & Give Joy." Here's the lovely new book by Joy Cho who runs the "Oh Joy!" blog. The book is a "guide to help anyone bring joy and whimsy into their lives with stylish projects, from home decor to food to fashion." This looks like such a fun book - there are recipes for striped cakes, intriguing suggestions for entertaining, inventive gift wrap projects, fashion tips and colorful home decor ideas. I love happy, whimsical books like this!

Oh Joy!, on Amazon

LOVELY KITCHEN: Rectangular Layer Cake Pans

I'm not exactly the best cake froster in the world, so I'm pretty sure any of my attempts to exactly recreate this gorgeous cake shown above would fail. I bet the cake would still look pretty (in its own way) and taste great though.

I'm very tempted to pick up a set of these four rectangular thin cake pans. They'll store easily, and they're well within my budget. With as much cake baking as I did yesterday, I do think I'd find several opportunities to use them each season!

Rectangle Cake Pan Set, from Sur la Table


Beet, Walnut and Honey Dip (Vintage Mixer)

The Best Charcuterie on the planet is 4,770 Feet Above Sea Level (Bon Appetit)

Curried Chicken Salad with Mango (Season With Spice)

Do-It-Yourself Copper Shelves (Vintage Revivals)

How to Make the Best Crispy Cheesy Quesadillas (The Kitchn)

How to Make the World's Greatest Spaghetti and Meatballs (Epicurious)

A Make-Ahead Vegetarian Dinner Party from Ina Garten (The Kitchn)

Orzo Salad with Fava Beans, Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes (Black Girl in Chef's Whites)

Quick Artichoke Asiago Broccoli (Sumptuous Spoonfuls)

Strawberry & Limoncello Rose Sangria (The Kitchn)

12 Vintage Baby Girl Names That Were Originally Nicknames (Huffington Post)

Ways to Use Pomegranates (Love From Berlin)

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