30 November 2010

Another new month begins

{ via weheartit }

Tomorrow begins the month of December. How did November pass so quickly? Perhaps it's because I longed for Thanksgiving dinner most of my November days. It was worth it.

Now off to December... the month of crazy holiday shopping, beautiful light displays, making oodles of cookies, and finding my winter boots for slushing around outside.

I love the holiday season. I love the holiday cheer and Christmas songs. I love the smell of evergreen {I grew up on fields of evergreen trees}. I love candles and cozy things.

I'm in the process of collecting DIY holiday decor for Christmas. In the meantime, there is a collection of DIY wreaths on my design blog, Sweet Little Thrills, for you to look at.

22 November 2010

Homemade holiday gift projects

I'm beginning to contemplate which projects to undertake in making homemade holiday gifts. There are thousands of ideas out there, but of course, I want to choose useful and uncomplicated projects. Some of my favorites are:
1) Bath Fizzies from Martha Stewart 

2) Mulled cider sachets from Real Simple

3. Herb-infused oil from Budget Fashionista

If I made these, I would definitely have to make extra for myself. I'm being ambitious to think I will actually work on three separate holiday gift projects, but in case I do, these are by far the ones I'd pick. I love the idea of the holidays being a bit homemade, whether its your dinner, gifts, or decor.

17 November 2010

Safe oven cleaning mixtures

A close friend recently asked for tips on cleaning her oven, and to be honest, I couldn't name the last time that I actually cleaned my own oven. After a few spills and bubbly casseroles, I found it to be necessary. I've done my research on safe oven cleaning methods and found many mixtures that you can make with products you probably already have. I've still been on my chemical-free cleaning kick (I'm going to be positive and say I won't ever go back to bottled chemical cleaners) so the natural ingredients were important to me.

Depending on your supply of home products and the dirtiness of your oven, you can choose the cleaning mixture that suits you.

- 5 tbsp. baking soda
- 3 drops hand soap or liquid dish soap
- 4 tbsp. white vinegar

Mix above ingredients until they form a thick paste. Apply paste to inside of oven and scrub with sponge. Wipe clean and rinse thoroughly.

Use equal amounts of lemon juice and salt. Apply paste to stubborn stains and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. Scrub with brush and wipe clean.

- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup water

Make a paste and apply it to the inside of the oven. Close door and heat oven to 500 degrees for 60 minutes. Turn off oven and allow to cool. Wipe debris from oven using a moist sponge. Rinse well.

- By heating your oven to 200 degrees and then shutting off the heat source and spraying/wiping the oven cavity with cleaning solution, you'll get a head start on hard-to-remove stains and problem areas. The heat will help the cleaner penetrate the oven cavity and make your job easier.
- You can guarantee you've removed all cleansers from the oven by rinsing with vinegar and water.

{ Image credit: Good Housekeeping }

16 November 2010

Tips to make your holiday easier

I admit that I've been a bit neglectful of my dear Lovely Wife Life blog the past month {and I'm sorry}. Our design company, Wibu Design, not only moved our office, but we also added an intern to our team! As things begin to settle back down, I have many ideas for holiday tips and crafts that might ease your seasonal stress.

Since Thanksgiving is only a little over a week away {yeesh!}, here are some great links to get you started on your holiday meal, decorating, and even cleanup:
- Common Thanksgiving problems solved!
- Pick and choose recipes from these Thanksgiving menus
- Autumn centerpiece ideas
- Set a fun holiday kids table
- Post party cleanup tips
- Too many leftovers? Try these recipes

{ Image credit: Martha Stewart }

04 November 2010

Comfort food warms the soul

 The forecast for tonight and leading into this weekend is.... wet snow. Eesh! As soon as I heard that, I started a crockpot of applesauce {same recipe as previously posted with the addition of 1 tsp. lemon juice}. For this weekend, I am already thinking of chili.

Comfort food is one of the inescapable aspects of cold weather. It goes with winter the way grilling goes with summer. I've always looked forward to my mom's amazing chicken pot pie & meatloaf, and my dad's pot roast & chicken georgio (named after himself). Now in my own kitchen, I'm starting to realize which recipes are always successful and tend to be crowd-pleasers. Go figure that they are mainly comfort foods. Fine by me.

What is your favorite comfort food? What recipe do you go back to time and time again?

{ Image credit: Cookin' Canuck }

01 November 2010

Happy November sweet friends

First day of November. NOVEMBER. In a blink of an eye, it will be Thanksgiving. I'm ready {and waiting} for the delicious food... but not as ready for the snow that typically accompanies the holiday. After bundling up for trick-or-treating last night, I realized it was time to pull out the winter outerwear and retire my autumn jacket.

I have an unexplained and unnecessary love for coats. My hubby likes to point out that our coat closet is about 90% mine, 5% his, and 5% peanut. I shrug my shoulders, smile, and respond, "They are different lengths and warmth levels. I need them." I have to pat myself on the back for not purchasing any new coats this year {however a gorgeous peach-colored velvet blazer was bought for me by my lovely mother}... but this fact doesn't keep me from admiring coats all over the internet.

Cute & affordable winter picks for women:

{Hooded wool blend toggle jacket also from Old Navy}

{Tweedle dee coat from Ruche}

And of course a few choices for the rest of the family...

{If you noticed reoccurring coats from Old Navy, it is because that place has some great styles for amazing prices! It's become one of our go-to stores for family shopping.}