Sunday, September 03, 2017

September Begins - Summer Continues

I just updated my late-summer porch and driveway look. I've added pots of pink flowers, a bit of red astilbe to transition into autumn, and pulled some turquoise lanterns into service.

It's a new month! Here in Seattle it still feels like summer, with our unusual 90 degree weather. Still, it's back-to-school time, and all my friends have been in a shopping and sorting frenzy. I'm hanging out in my backyard today, tidying the yard, watering the lawn, babying along some sick herbs, and reading magazines.

In the house, it's time to burn up the last of my summery lavender and rosemary scented candles. It's almost time to get out the pumpkin-scented and apple cider candles I enjoy in autumn.

I seem to be able to keep Astilbe alive better than some of my other flowers, so I'll probably pick up a few more this week

It's also Labor Day Weekend, and many of my friends are out of town, or throwing one last summer barbecue. I've traveled enough this summer, so I'm savoring time at home (and occasional trips to Woodinville wine tasting rooms).

What did you do to enjoy your Labor Day weekend holiday? Are your kids already back in school, or starting this week when the holiday ends? Let me know in the comments section below!


I don't normally decorate my yard with bright vivid pink in early fall or late summer, but I couldn't resist this cheerful huge pot of mums from Costco!

  • Is school starting for your kids on Tuesday? Plan to prepare a special dinner; help them pick out what they're wearing that first day; plan ahead for their lunches (if they don't eat at the school cafeteria).
  • Make meal plans for the week ahead.
  • Is everyone sleeping on clean sheets tonight? I like to do my laundry on quiet Sunday evenings. It's a good chance to catch up on some TV shows I may have missed during the week and still be doing something useful while I watch.
  • Clean one drawer, one shelf, or two door shelves in your fridge and freezer today. Doing this makes sure your fridge and freezer both get completely cleaned out every month (depending on how many shelves you have).
  • Eat some of the last fresh, in-season summer fruit you have access to before we move into enjoying autumn's bounty. Slice up melons, pick and eat strawberries or blackberries, make fresh squeezed lemonade or limeade, and eat some ice cold watermelon.
  • Pay beginning-of-the month bills, rent or mortgage as needed.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Easing Into September

My boyfriend has been away all day on a long hike. I'm planning to light these lanterns so he has a welcoming glow when he returns. (I'll also be sure there's a cold beer ready for him!)

  • Look ahead at your calendar (whether paper or electronic) for the upcoming month. Do you need to schedule any salon/spa, pet grooming, dentist, doctor, optometrist, or other appointments for yourself or any family members?

  • Take note of any upcoming birthdays this month. Get ready to send gifts, cards, flowers, or make phone calls as needed.

  • Make any phone calls or send emails you need in order to catch up and stay connected with family and friends. I'm especially prioritizing people I suspect I didn't speak with in August. Many people might be out busily doing things for Labor Day weekend and not able to take calls. However, we all might have some older family members feeling lonely sitting at home. Bet they'd love a call.

  • Take some time to look over your budget for the month of September. Not just your financial budget (which is very important too) but also your time budget. Do you have time for gardening, pleasurable cooking, reading, homemaking, work, projects, hobbies - but also time for family, friends, pets, and very importantly, yourself? What can you do differently to make sure you're meeting your needs and your family's? Need to cancel any commitments, or say No next time you're asked a favor that will eat up time? 

  • Make time for yourself sometime today outdoors while it's still nice enough weather to enjoy it. Take a longer walk than usual; take some of your summer magazines out on the porch with some iced tea and enjoy them. It's time to finish reading our summer-themed August and September magazines and catalogs. Read and enjoy anything with summer recipes, beach house decoration or island travel themes. Coastal Living, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and summer issues of Good Housekeeping, House & Garden, Oprah, etcetera. I do understand that some of you are still living in very hot weather right now and might not be able to enjoy your outdoors.

LOVELY ACCESSORIES: Kate Spade's Dollface Items

Ha ha, you never can quite guess what whimsical novelty item Kate Spade will come up with next! I'm currently enamored with (though not planning to purchase, given their expense) the new Dollface line of jewelry and accessories. Based on Russian Matryoshka nesting dolls, these items are cheerful, pink and red, colorful and fun. There's a necklace, a clutch bag, earrings, and a darling ring.

If you aren't all dolled out by now, there's also a Matryoshka stacking doll style coin purse.

You might also like to take a look at Kate Spade's Nesting Dolls dress.

Dollface, at Kate

Kate Spade Dollface items on eBay

LOVELY BLOGS: The Fairytale Pretty Picture

I'm enjoying browsing this home decor and lifestyle blog - and learning so much from it! I've especially enjoyed her article on How to Grow Herbs at Home, a topic I'm very interested in (and an activity I'm not very good at yet, judging by my row of dead plants on my deck!) And I really appreciated her article on home lighting since I'm struggling to make my guest bedrooms cozier and make reading books in bed easier for my guests.

I thought you might like reading the fashion & lifestyle and home design posts here!

Fairy Tale Pretty Picture on Facebook

LOVELY BOOKS: At Home at Highclere: Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey

I generally cannot resist books on entertaining. So guess what happened when I discovered this new book by the Countess of Carnarvon! Clicked Buy and ordered it immediately.

I was a huge fan of Downton Abbey, and though I can't entertain in such a high style in my modest suburban home, I still like to know how it's done at Highclere Castle.

The book is separated into four sections, each describing a real life weekend that took place between 1866 and 1936. The historic recipes have been adapted for modern kitchens. Lady Carnarvon also describes and gives recipes for the cocktails served at her own parties. What fun!

At Home at Highclere, on Amazon


I Tried Being a Minimalist - Here Are My Decluttering Regrets (Mind Body Green)

Is Gezellig the New Hygge? (SheKnows)

Salted Dark Chocolate Chip and Roasted Pecan Cookies (Bakers Royale)

Three Ingredient Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies (The Gracious Wife)

2017 Home Trends That Have Real Staying Power (Seattle Times)

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