Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Meeting the Challenge of Returning from a Long Vacation

We walked on this beach every morning, every afternoon, and every evening

I just returned from a ten day vacation to a beach house near Plymouth, Massachusetts. My vacation was a bit longer than normal for me, given the distance involved. It took basically a day to get there (six hour flight, traveling to the airport, waiting at the airport, traveling to hotel from airport, etc) and a day to get back. A week at the beach house, and a day to sightsee in Boston.

I was gone so long, it took two different sets of dog sitters to care for my dogs, cat and home in my absence. We also had really hot weather while I was gone, so my housesitters were kept busy watering my lawns, herb garden, flower garden and vegetable garden. (Boy do I have a lot of thank-you notes to write this week!)

Today I'm struggling to get back on West Coast time, clean up my house (my housesitters tidied up after themselves, but weren't expected to do things like dust or vacuum) unpack, and get back into the rhythms of my life here in Seattle.

I napped every afternoon in this breezy room, listening to the waves crash on the nearby shore, enjoying the smell of the salt air

Want to peek at my to-do list for today and tomorrow?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Returning From Vacation

  • Unpack suitcase, immediately putting cosmetics bag and shampoo/conditioner in bathroom; souvenirs and gifts on mail table for easier distribution this week; and separating clothes into colors/darks for the wash.
  • Launder all clothing I took with me, whether I wore it or not. It was so hot and humid, my clothes got sweaty, and got mixed in with clean clothes. That makes me determined to just wash everything.
  • Clean any shoes I wore to the beach - I thought I knocked all the sand out of them, but no.
  • Return suitcase to bedroom closet where it's stored.
  • Launder pet bedding, which hasn't been done for over 2 weeks.
  • Vacuum entire house.
  • Sort mail and pay bills (a nice project for some relaxing couch time while I catch up on the Olympics and some shows I missed).
  • Toss old food from refrigerator. That potato salad i opened up for a party August 5 is surely a goner by now.
  • Febreze some curtains and carpets in rooms that smell musty now that I'm back. Also - open every window and let today's fresh breezes into the house!
  • Light candles to make my house smell the way I like it.
  • Run water down sinks and flush toilets that guests might not have used. This is to make sure the p-traps didn't evaporate while I was gone, letting odors into my home.
  • Unpack laptop case, put laptop back in office, put away miscellaneous chargers, store laptop case away.
  • Clean out purse of receipts, trash, etc. and refill with items I prefer to carry but didn't want to have on the plane.
  • Sweep front porch and steps and sweep the back deck. These chores help me feel like I'm reclaiming my space.
  • Wipe down outdoor tables so they're ready to be eaten on today!
  • Fold and hang up/put away clean laundry when the machines finish washing and drying cycles.

What do you prioritize when you get home from vacation?

LOVELY BATH & BODY: Fuji Green Tea

New from The Body Shop: Fuji Green Tea, a refreshing seasonal "bridge scent" while we wait for fall fragrances to arrive in the stores! I definitely want to pamper my sun and salt water tortured skin and hair. Beach vacations are great, but can take a toll on your skin! I'll pick up the body scrub and exfoliating soap, but I'll skip the body wash and lotions as I have enough of those. If I had a better bathtub (mine is too small for adults) I'd be sorely tempted by the bath tea! Next time you are at the mall, drop by The Body Shop and let me know what you think of this new fragrance and product line!

Fuji Green Tea, at The Body Shop

LOVELY BLOGS: Lovely Little Kitchen

Julie blogs about the simple, delicious food she serves to her family and friends. Her recipes are mostly categorized under Healthy, Main Dish, Dessert, or Breakfast. Recent posts I've enjoyed include Banana Cake With Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting, Vanilla Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins, and Whole Lemon Pie.

Lovely Little Kitchen on Facebook

LOVELY BOOKS: The Hearthstone

You all know how much I love vintage homemaking books! Here's a scanned old one we can read online for free: The hearthstone; or, Life at home. A household manual. Containing hints and helps for home making; home furnishing; decorations; amusements ... together with a complete cookery book. Laura Carter Holloway wrote it back in 1883. So far "The Library in the Home" is my favorite chapter. "Home is the central point of all happiness," she writes in the preface. "the pivot upon which depends the weal or the woe of families and communities." "Home

Hope you enjoy browsing through this charming antique book!

The Hearthstone, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY BOOKS: Peter Paper Press's Vintage Repro Cookbooks

Aren't these reproductions of vintage cookbooks darling? I've already picked myself up the ABCs of Casseroles for my Kindle. I really want to enhance my repertoire of casseroles for the upcoming holidays and festivities. The next book I'm tempted by is the ABCs of Canapes.

I'm thinking these could make great and fairly inexpensive gifts for your friends who enjoy cooking or vintage topics. Easy to wrap, mail, or perhaps even slip into a large Christmas stocking.

Peter Pauper Press Vintage Editions, on Amazon

LOVELY GARDEN: Petite Greenhouse

I'm dreaming about having a little greenhouse shed like this one in my back yard, perhaps as soon as next year. I'm not a talented enough gardener to warrant going full out on a real greenhouse. I'd like to dip my toes in slowly by trying out this petite greenhouse shed. It would be a learning experience for sure. Imagine serving hothouse tomatoes, or putting fresh flowers on the table (without running to the grocery store) in the middle of winter! I think I'll start a little savings account and throw the occasional $10 or $20 into it towards this dream.

Little Cottage Company's Petite Greenhouse, on Amazon

LOVELY HOME: Mrs. Meyers New Scent for Fall

Today I'm heading to Target to pick up household necessities, and while I'm there I'll make a beeline over to the cleaning aisle to smell the new fragrance from Mrs. Meyers. It's meant to smell like chrysanthemums - a nice fall flower. I won't buy it if I'm not absolutely enthused with it - I still have plenty of their Basil cleaning supplies and soap to get me through another month or two. Since I'm the type of person who likes to switch up my home decor and scents as the seasons change, I really appreciate the way Mrs. Meyers puts out different fragrances and stops stocking unseasonal ones throughout the year.

Mum, at Mrs. Meyers

LOVELY MOVIES: Bridget Jones's Baby

I can't say I'm super excited about the third "Bridget Jones" installment, but then again, it will definitely be a nice pleasant and diverting way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon this fall. Perhaps sandwiched between some lunch and shopping? It will be nice to see Colin Firth again, and who doesn't enjoy a nice eyeful of Patrick Dempsey? However, a reviewer (Jo Piazza) over at Elle is disappointed by the way Bridget seems to have failed to grow up - still.

What do you think? The movie comes out September 16. That's coming up super fast - where is the time going?

Bridget Jones's Baby Official Webpage

Bridget Jones's Baby Official Facebook Page

Bridget Jones's Baby Trailer at Apple

LOVELY TV: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Who else here is super excited about the Gilmore Girls reunion reboot? Beginning November 25, Netflix will offer four mini-movie episodes. Each is set in a different season of the year, beginning with Winter.

We've created a Gilmore Girls Viewing Club over at Lovely Living University if you'd like to join us!

Watch the trailer below:

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, at Netflix


Avocado Aioli (The Kitchy Kitchen)

Cornmeal Fritters Paired with Prosecco (Vancouver Sun)

A Light and Airy Way to Make the Most of All That Zucchini (Washington Post)

Mini Ricotta Doughnuts (Williams-Sonoma)

Slow Cooker Zucchini Lasagna (Slow Cooker Gourmet)

Tarragon Crab Cakes with Aioli (Donna Hay)

Zucchini Breakfast Muffins (Tomato Boots)

--Copyright 2016 Lovely Living

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