Every year it takes me by surprise. How quickly the anticipation of sun soaked summer days and sultry summer nights, turns into the fall countdown. It’s in these last days of August when my family tries to squeeze in an extra day at the beach, one last drive-in movie, or sleeping in, on what would normally be a “school day”. As thankful as we are for the changing seasons (which always come when we need change the most), the most reluctant farewell is just around the corner. So here are just a few suggestions on preserving summer to make the most out of those precious last days…
- ON THE PORCH. Whether it’s your porch, patio, or even just your front lawn and a couple of folding chairs, nothing says summer like long evenings outdoors. Something about the tinkling of ice in a tall cold glass, bare feet, and just sitting with the ones you love evokes a nostalgia in all of us.
- BY THE FIRE. Nothing brings out the storyteller in us all quite like fire. When the temperature drops, why not gather around the fire pit with family and friends? Whether in your own backyard, or at the beach, this is something people of all ages enjoy. One great thing about San Diego living is, it’s only about a 20-30 minute drive for most of us to get to the coast where you can safely enjoy an enchanting outdoor fire.
- OUT AND ABOUT. With the abundance of Farmer’s Markets in San Diego, and our amazing weather, a day trip to pick up locally grown fruits, veggies, and food items is both fun and convenient. Gather up some ingredients you love, or some you have wanted to treat yourself to like cheeses, honey, olive oils, and fresh flowers, and gather in the kitchen. Whipping up something delicious, healthy, and local, after spending the day outdoors shopping, is a true simple pleasure. Here is a link to San Diego Farmer’s Markets.
The vibe has shifted. Where there once stood a Noble Fir, now lies the dusty trail of pine needles. The Elf on the Shelf has gone back to the North Pole until next year (sighs of relief from parents everywhere) and it’s time to bring order back into the home. Here are 10 ways to get a FRESH START in your home this New Year. Let’s take it room by room:
LIVING AND DINING AREA
• Storage for everything. Use baskets, boxes, trays, buckets, hooks, decorative bowls-whatever you have that will do the job. Things that need a home: remote controls, mail and receipts, magazines, toys, your keys and spare change, glasses, homework assignments-basically if it lives in your home-corral it!
• Replace lightbulbs in lamps and recessed lighting. Clean light fixtures.
• Dust everything. Yes, there is a correct way. Start at the top of the room, and work your way down towards the floor. If you are in a hurry, use the Swiffer duster…it’s a game changer. Then give the floors a good cleaning.
• The Fridge. Before your next grocery run, take five minutes-literally five, and toss expired items. ALL of them. If the funky concoction in the Gladware container is too daunting to clean, by all means you have permission to throw the whole thing away. Then take five more minutes to wipe the inside of your fridge entirely. Take it up a notch and put an open jar or container of coffee beans, or baking soda, in your fridge and freezer to keep it smelling as good as it looks. I can’t begin to describe the satisfaction of a clean fridge.
• Clean under your sink. Again, corral everything-cleaning supplies, sponges, paper towels, put everything into baskets or tubs. Wipe up any spills, crumbs, or goo. I promise this should only take 5-10 minutes.
• Splurge on new trash cans, you deserve it. I am sure they took a beating this year.
• You guessed it-storage under the sink. Hair products in one basket, nail supplies in another, and on you go until everything is in a home. Toss out the used and nearly empty bags and boxes of product. Wipe down under the sink.
• Replace lightbulbs and clean light fixtures.
• Here’s a tip: Linens go on sale in January. Now is the time to replace pillows, sheets, and blankets. If you were thinking of giving your room a facelift-now is the time to do it!
• Rest is important. Creating an environment for rest means making a space that is soothing and free of stressors. Remove everything work related and, you guessed it, everything is placed in a home-dirty laundry, clean laundry in waiting, reading material, the nightstand items-they all get tucked into a basket, tray, or storage container.