Category: cleaning and organizing

is it too soon?

…to be thinking about holiday decorating? I know of those who put their Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving, even their Christmas tree. Me, well, I aim to have the shopping done by T-day, and the cards ready by December 1st. Key word being “try.” If you craft your way through the holiday season, you know it’s not too soon to get started. I discovered these ornaments while searching for instructions to replicate a homemade ornament from my childhood. Aren’t they…
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baby shower: details part 2

Do you love party favors? I do. I love to send guests home with a sweet little memento of the evening, to thank them for joining the celebration. The trick this time was coming up with something that was a) semi-useful, b) semi-thematic), and c) very very budget friendly for our large guest list. Also, I wanted to avoid candy and anything labor intensive like fancy sugar cookies. The final product: little bundles of mulling spices with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, orange…
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baby shower: details part 1

It’s the little touches that make a special occasion feel, well, special. Don’t you think? I really wanted to play up our theme without investing a lot of money on one-time-use decor. So we made use of a pumpkin surplus at the pumpkin patch for polka dot lanterns on the doorstep, a few candles in the serving area, a few flourishes of leaves and berries, and of course the paper buntings I’ve been enjoying since the onset of autumn. Observe:…
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how to: inspiration board {from the archives}.

I decided 2009 was the year for me to have an inspiration board. I’ve seen them all over the place, I love them and I’ve wanted one of my own for a long time now. I’m a fairly crafty person, so I thought I’d just throw some materials together and see what I came up with. I’m really pleased with the result. Materials: Piece of fiberboardHeavy-duty home decorating fabric RibbonQuilt Batting Staple Gun + staplesFirst I bought a piece of…
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feeling festive

Like so many others, I adore autumn time. Everything about it; so many lovely things to embrace. I don’t, however, adore Halloween. It’s ok, and it’s a fun time for kids, but so much about it is kitschy and obnoxious. And have you seen the gobs and gobs of decorations in stores and catalogs? Lots of very adorable and expensive things, but also some kooky stuff. It’s a big deal, commercially. I for one prefer to festoon my home for…
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Lemon Ice Cream

I have something that you absolutely must put on your summer to-do list. And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, add “beg, borrow, or buy an ice cream maker” to your list right before this: MAKE LEMON ICE CREAM. So delicious. So refreshing. So summery. The lemon ice cream recipe that I use is one I found by way of Cafe Johnsonia, who found it by way of Martha Stewart. What I love about it is that it’s…
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hostess with the mostess at the social luxe lounge.

I think I may have mentioned a thing or two about this little party I’m co-hostessing at BlogHer this year, the Social Luxe Lounge. It’s going to be so much fun, I can’t wait for next Thursday to come! One of the hostesses is an obscenely talented woman named Jennifer Sbranti aka Hostess with the Mostess aka graphic design goddess. Not only is she amazing at styling parties, she’s also someone you’d want in your inner sanctum of girlfriends. Here’s…
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gazpacho

If you’ve never tried gazpacho, I recommend you do. It’s a perfect summertime meal: colorful, healthy, light and full of zesty garden goodness. Also great because there is zero cooking involved. Don’t you just dread turning on an oven in the summer months? Perfect for lunch or dinner, could be fun to take to your next cookout, served in clear plastic cups. We like this recipe at our house, a modification of Barefoot Contessa’s famous recipe. Mr. J prefers his…
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completely organic laundry detergent.

Would you like to know what I’m using on vacation to do my laundry, over and over and over again? Soap Nuts. Never heard of them? They’re amazing. Soap Nuts are the actual fruit of trees found in India, Indonesia, and Nepal and they clean your clothes without any preservatives, which is fantastic for a person like me who happens to be allergic to everything known to man. My kids are too, so I’m always on the hunt for detergents…
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