Friday, March 2, 2012


Use a store bought finial as a doorstop. Add a felt tip to protect your door and paint to match decor.

Create a colorful surprise in your spring drinks by adding fruit, lemon zest or mint leaves to your ice trays.
As we inch towards spring and further away from the cold, dark days of winter I start to get excited about the bright months ahead and the transition from our cocoon-like existence indoors to living and entertaining outside.  Last week was typical of late winter in the northeast; Monday saw temperatures flirting with 65 and Wednesday ended with 6" of snow covering the depressed lawn in front of our house.  Because I love a good snow fall, I took advantage of our surprise storm, lit a fire and jumped on our sofa with the March edition of Martha Stewart Living. I found myself laughing out loud as I read the items on her calendar (something she shares every month in the magazine); "March 1, Clean and paint birdcages for Canaries. March 3, Have lawn mowers serviced, March 19, Have beehives inspected to gauge colony's health and food supply." As I giggled at Ms. Analretentive's ongoing list of high-brow nonsense, I noticed a few frightening similarities to our March To Do list; we, too, have our lawn mowers serviced (something I'd never dreamed of doing when we lived in California), Joe insists we get bees someday and, well, I make a crazy list of home-maintenance tasks too!  While we don't resurface our driveway with fresh, New England gravel once a year (Martha has that planned for March 16), we do several little tasks to keep our humble abode neat and tidy throughout the year.  Here are just a few:
QUICK TIPS: I love using lemons in just about anything, from ice trays to pitchers of water at dinner parties.  They also come in handy with household chores.  To get the nasty grime out of our microwave, I place 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in water and boil it for two minutes in the microwave.  The combination helps stuck on gunk slip right off!  To shine up a stained wooden chopping board, I  sprinkle sugar on a slice of lemon and rub it on the surface.  Let it sit over night and the next day it's just like new! To keep our stainless steel looking shiny and new I use a dab of Olive Oil on a rag, wipe it on (toasters, coffee pots, tea kettles, etc.) and wipe it off with a clean rag.  And to polish my everyday silver I dab a bit of toothpaste (regular, nothing fancy..) on a rag and rub it in.  In just a few seconds my silver shines like the brightest star in the room.