Friday, November 27, 2015

De-Autumning My House

The glass pumpkin I am tempted to buy and put away for next year's autumn decoration

Generally throughout the years I have abstained from putting up any Christmas decorations until December 1st. I've never been one of those people who rush to decorate the tree the morning after Thanksgiving. It's important to me to enjoy each season in its own time and not rush the next. (Also, on the day after Thanksgiving I'm usually busy cleaning up, reheating leftovers, watching movies by the fire in my pajamas, etc).

This year, however, I find myself eager to at least take down my autumn decorations immediately, if not put up my Christmas ones. In October I had a very large formal "magical autumn woodlands" dinner party. I decorated my house for autumn far more than is normal for me to do. Right now I'm definitely tired of the clutter, the orange-and-brown garlands festooned in so many places, the pumpkins tucked into various nooks. I'm tired of smelling pumpkin spice candles, and glad I'm burning up the last of them this morning.

My project today is to de-autumn my house! Follow along with me - I bet more than a few of you Lovely Living readers are decorating for Christmas today too!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Am I the only person who needs to sort out their Tupperware/Reusable Container cupboard after yesterday's feast?
  • I'm bundling up to take my dogs for a walk today. It's pretty cold, but I want to take advantage of our rare November sunshine.
  • Anybody you forgot to call yesterday to wish a happy Thanksgiving? Make some time for catch up phone calls tonight.
  • Need to do any laundry after yesterday's feast? Kitchen towels, tablecloth, napkins, aprons, your clothing you wore to someone's turkey-scented home?
  • Time to pull out warm socks, mittens and gloves so you have them ready for impromptu winter walks.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Removing Autumn Decorations

Autumn Door Wreath, from Simple by Brooke on Etsy

Want to take a peek at my To Do list for today's UnDecorating project?

  • Remove garlands and lights from both fireplace mantels
  • Put edible pumpkins (strewn throughout house) in yard compost bin
  • Find and remove all the non-edible decorative pumpkins from inside the house, front steps, and back porch
  • Remove faux branches and leaves from windowsills, tops of curio cabinets, and tops of bookshelves
  • Pack up and put away any orange, teal, or brown vases, glass home decor objects, etc. as well as any autumn themed or pumpkin type items.
  • Remove orange berry wreath from front door and replace with Christmas wreath.
  • Remove autumn wreaths from both fireplaces; from kitchen; and from living room walls; replace with Christmas ones.
  • Swap out Christmasy red picture frames for the orange and brown ones I've been using currently - update family photos with any newer ones received in the mail recently.
  • Swap out the tablerunners, beaded mats and placemats I use on my coffee tables and end tables for Christmas ones.
  • Exchange fall and autumn brown, green, and orange pillows on sofas, side chairs and couches for Christmas themed ones I have stored under my staircase.
  • Febreze couches and pillows with Christmas scents.
  • Change brown and teal tablecloth out for a festive red one.
  • Burn up the last of the orange and pumpkin candles; set out Christmas scented candles and anything red or green.
  • Swap out brown mosaic glass oil home fragrance warmer for my Christmas one.
  • Lastly - this is the big one - remove all my Halloween and autumn "Christmas" lights from my trees and bushes outdoors. Brr.

What's on your To Do list today?

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Frosted Plum

Frosted Plum is one of The Body Shop's so-called "bridge" scents. It's designed to be a fun fragrance for in between autumn's ever-present pumpkin scents and Christmas's peppermint and cranberry fragrances. The line includes home fragrance oil, lotion and body butter, shower gel, hand cream, and a candle. This is exactly the type of thing I like to gift to people whose birthdays fall between Halloween and Christmas. I bet they get sick of pumpkin and Christmas themed gifts!

Frosted Plum, at The Body Shop

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Caramel Vanilla Tea

Here's a nice tea to serve with dessert after your holiday dinner party or cocktail party. It does have caffeine, so some guests might want to abstain or choose something herbal instead. I like the mild flavor that doesn't compete with your dessert. I also like that it's not pumpkiny or Christmasy - perfect for this pre-Christmas, post-Thanksgiving weekend! It's part of Republic of Tea's "Cuppa Cake Tea" line.

Caramel Vanilla Tea, on Amazon

LOVELY BLOGS: Sweet Phi

Phi blogs from her home in Milwaukee. Her blog focuses on simple, easy step-by-step recipes to make your dinnertime easier. Recent posts I've enjoyed here include her coffee crumble apple pie; Super Easy 5 Ingredient Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie and her Easy Sangria with Secret Ingredient recipe.

Don't miss her section called Five Ingredient Fridays!

http://www.sweetphi.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: The New Christmas Tree

This book of creative Christmas tree decorating ideas just came out in time for the 2015 holiday season. Author Carrie Brown shows us how to reinvent our Christmas trees, incorporate our old heirloom ornaments into the new trees, and dares us to embrace new color palettes. For each of the 24 Christmas tree ideas here, she presents crafts and tips for making the garlands, ornaments, and and toppers.

Not everybody is going to want to completely redo the way they decorate their Christmas trees. But I thought perhaps if any readers put up multiple trees throughout their houses like I do every year, this book might give some nice inspiration for our secondary trees.

The New Christmas Tree, on Amazon

The New Christmas Tree, at Barnes & Noble

LOVELY BOOKS: The Royal Confectioner

Today I'm enjoying browsing this 1874 cookbook on "ornamental confectionery." It's unlikely I will ever attempt (or achieve!) one of these gorgeous creations, but it's sure fun to read about them.

There are chapters on preserving fruits in bottles and bottling fruits; preserving fruit pulps in order to make ices; jellies and jams; compotes; using colored and perfumed sugars; using dried fruits; dessert cakes; "biscottini"; meringes; nougats; and so much more. I'm thrilled to have found this! And grateful it's been scanned in online and that we can read it for free.

The Royal Confectioner, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Apricot Mustard Sausage Rolls (Hungry Girl Por Vida)

Brown Sugar Shortbread (Alexandra Cooks)

Cashew Caramel Shortbread Bars (Bakerita)

Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie (All Roads Lead to the Kitchen)

Cranberry Jam Chicken Salad Sandwich (Mind Over Batter)

Cranberry Meatballs (The Lean Green Bean)

Cranberry Moscow Mule (Edible Crafts)

Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz with Thyme (BonBon Break)

Healthy Thanksgiving Leftovers Salad (Simmer and Boil)

Homemade Christmas Gifts (Hotly Spiced)

Kentucky Bourbon Cranberry Sauce (Jenn's Random Scraps)

Roasted Squash, Pecan and Cranberry Chopped Salad (Bran Appetit)

You Can Make Pie Out of Almost Anything (Munchies.Vice.com)


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