Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Enjoying Autumn and Not Rushing Into Thanksgiving

Festive Autumn Wreath, via Amazon

Let's celebrate autumn (rather than bemoan the evenings getting darker sooner and the rain and cold coming!) Light a fire, make an extra cup of hot tea, cider or coffee (and time to sip and enjoy it).

I'm a little sad Halloween is over, but I can still burrow into a book of dark short stories, watch a scary movie, and nibble on sugary treats. I don't want to rush towards Thanksgiving - it surely will arrive quickly enough on its own. Nor am I doing anything remotely Christmas related - I'll save that for a more wintry day.

Go for a walk (preferably with dogs, if you have any) along leaf-strewn paths. (We've had snow and rain lately, so won't have leaves on our trees much longer here in Seattle!)

Invite friends over to make casseroles, prep a week's food ahead of time, share recipes, and gossip over drinks.

Browse Thanksgiving cooking magazines, autumn home decor catalogs, and your favorite women's magazines.

Set your DVR to record a sappy holiday movie or two and indulge if you can carve out the time!

Write in your journal, paint an autumn-themed painting, or work on other creative crafts that make you happy! Now that we're not living outside savoring the sunshine and all that summer brings, we have time for our book clubs, knitting, crafting, reading, music and other artistic and hobby related pursuits!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Shake out throw rugs and door mats. This time of year they get dirty!
  • Sweep and mop entryway and front porch as needed - my entryway has leaves inside and out right now!
  • Grab a broom and do a quick sweep for spiderwebs in upper corners of all your rooms. Free spiderweb decorations were great at Halloween but not anymore!
  • If you're sending kids to school with a home packed lunch sack tomorrow, throw in some autumn stickers, a special fall treat they might enjoy eating, or a sappy love note. It just takes a moment to set up and hide in their sack!

TODAY'S PROJECT: Preparing the Family Room for Post-Festivity Relaxing

I'm currently couch shopping because unfortunately I've found that my Davis Sofa from Crate and Barrel isn't all that comfortable for long-term TV viewing, slouching and lounging. It works better as an occasional seat for visitors who stay an hour for tea or for a quick visit.

With my busy lifestyle, television addiction, and fuzzy black dogs, I'm sure this room will get messed up again shortly. But tonight, I'm making sure my family room/media room is ready for company. My next party is coming up on Friday, and people will come into this room to help themselves at the bar. I want it to look inviting, clean and tidy, warm and welcoming.

Red Lacquer Serving Tray, on Amazon

Here's my list of tasks for tonight. The good news is the room is small and has been well maintained so this shouldn't take long, AND there's a TV in this room to keep me company while I work. AND, the wine is in here!

  • Dust the TV and sound system with specialty cloths and spray for electronics.
  • Sweep and mop behind the TV stand, because it gets super dusty there.
  • Dust the two framed posters hanging in this room.
  • Dust the mantel, bar, DVD bookcase, TV stand and side table.
  • Wipe down trays on the bar and make sure there are enough wine glasses and cocktail napkins out.
  • Wipe down the tray on the side table, and make sure a box of Kleenex is handy.
  • Vacuum the rug, couch and chair in this room.
  • Launder the pet beds that stay in this room, ready for snoozing doggies to relax on them.
  • Mop the laminate flooring, although it will get muddy again from the dogs' feet in the morning.
  • Tidy away magazines, office supplies, extra remotes, mugs and other clutter from this room.
  • Wash windows, even if they'll be hidden behind my heavy burgundy velvet curtains. Dust windowsills too.
  • Launder my two throws and Febreze pillows and curtains. Refold throws on couch and chair when finished.

See, that seems like a long list but really isn't more than 45 minutes of work once I get started! Do you have anything you might want to attend to in your family room tonight?

LOVELY BATH & BODY: The Body Shop's Vanilla Pumpkin Products

Halloween is over, but I'm still in the mood for pumpkin scented things. I'm delighted that The Body Shop's Vanilla Pumpkin line isn't too spicy smelling - the vanilla softens it and tones it down. The line includes a body butter (indispensable, if you ask me), a hand lotion, and a shower gel. I love the little hint of maple in each product, too! Wish they made a shampoo and conditioner in this line!

Vanilla Pumpkin, at The Body Shop

LOVELY BLOGS: Tinned Tomatoes

I'm also Scottish (in heritage, not nationality!) and also vegetarian, so I thought I should check out this blog by a Scottish vegetarian!

Jacqueline lives in Scotland with her vegan husband and little boy. She challenges herself to learn to cook more adventurously.

I bet I could get my meat-eating boyfriend to try Vegan Sausage Birra since it has beer in it! I'm not personally adventurous enough to try Vegan Beetroot and Vanilla Sorbet, plus it's too cold here in Seattle to be eating any sorbet right now. Haven't you always been curious to find out if there's any such thing as a Veggie haggis? And check out her delicious looking Vegan roast vegetable pesto and cream cheese pizza. Except I'm confused why the word "Vegan" is in the title of the post when the recipe calls for real cream cheese.

Anyway, I bet you'll like her friendly and clear writing and beautiful food photography!

http://www.tinnedtomatoes.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Kindness - The Little Thing That Matters Most

I love happy little actionable, motivational books like this. The one problem I have with them is that the people in your life (toxic, selfish, self-absorbed, etc) that really need to read a book like this, never will. (Heavy sigh).

Anyway, the book suggests 52 things you can do to spread kindness. I'm sure it would do all of us good to read it, get ideas, and have kindness more in the forefront of all of our minds. It might prompt interesting dinner table conversations with your middle schoolers and teenagers once a week at your family dinner, perhaps.

The author, Jamie Thurston, set up a website called 52 Lives with the idea of helping change someone's life every week of the year. You can read about it here, and read an interview with her here.

Kindness: The Little Thing That Matters Most, on Amazon

LOVELY CHILDREN: Vevian Shoes

I happened across this London-based shoe company and fell in love with their darling shoes for babies and children. My favorite pair is the pink metallic "George" shoes. But I'm also faint with adoration for their red holiday shoes: Maria for girls and Matthew for boys. There are also some unique designs I haven't seen on children's shoes elsewhere, such as the Cree style.

Alas, my nieces and nephews have grown so much, I have no babies to shop for here!

You can learn more about the shoes and their designer here.

http://www.vevian.co.uk/

LOVELY JEWELRY: Lydia Courteille

I wanted to introduce you this incredible French jewelry designer. I've been exploring her collections tonight, stunned and amazed by her fanciful, whimsical, distinctive jewelry creations. I love looking at these, even though I cannot afford them.

Browse through "Amazonia," "Queen of Sheba," "Rainbow Warrior Prophecy," "Deep Sea," "Scarlet Empress," and "Homage to Surrealism." Let me know which collection is your favorite, in our comments area below here at Lovely Living! (I'm having a hard time choosing a favorite, but I suppose it's "Scarlet Empress.")

https://www.lydiacourteille.com/en/collections

Lydia Courteille on Facebook

Lydia Courteille on Instagram

Lydia Courteille on Twitter

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Apple Cider Roasted Carrots with Plums (The Food Charlatan)

Autumn Harvest Pizza (Strawberry Blondie Kitchen)

Cherry Crumble Pie (Little Sweet Baker)

Fall Panzanella Salad (Two Peas and Their Pod)

Homemade Skillet Green Bean Casserole (Laughing Spatula)

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta (We Are Not Martha)

Easiest All Butter Pie Crust (Something Swanky)

Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes (Top With Cinnamon)

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole Recipe (Crunchy Creamy Sweet)

Sweet Yeast Rolls with Whipped Pumpkin Butter (Certified Pastry Aficionado)

White Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles (Sally's Baking Addiction)


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