Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Free Weekend

Life has been a whirlwind these days, and judging by the looks of everyone else's social calendar, I'm not anything special in that department. This weekend was the first in a long while that I didn't have a looming social engagement, and Jared had time off as well.

I was scheduled to host a birthday party for my running partner-in-crime at my house on Monday and my home looked as though it hadn't been cleaned since the Reagan Administration-which I admit seems impossible since it was just constructed last year. Yes, the dishes get done (when they overflowed the sink) and the floor is routinely swept of large debris, but the fronts of the cabinets were starting to get the telltale streaks of neglect and the sliding glass door looked like it has been given an artful fog treatment from dog noses and boy fingers. It was time to get down to business.

So, what did I do? Ah yes, took on some painting projects. We've had a table outside that I got at a garage sale, but no chairs to accompany it. I had been searching overstock for simple wooden chairs, but they were all still pretty spendy. I decided on Saturday night that I'd finally paint the dresser that's been holding up our cable box in the living room as I've given up on getting the Pottery Barn gem that I so desire anytime in the near future. I had purchased a quart of Behr Premium Plus in Red Chili about 6 months ago and there it sat on the shelf in the garage. Two coats later and some poly-magic (although I'm totally impatient, so my cable box and the PS3 are officially stuck to the top of the dresser. Sah-weet!)

Once I got going, I looked at the sad little IKEA chairs that went with the dining set for our apartment in Massachusetts and a lightbulb went on. I could just use those outside. Yes, they're kind of rickety and cheap, but they're just for outside. I knew I wanted them to be something other than just plain wood (we've got a lot of wood going on in our house, and the exterior is brown, so I wanted to punch it up a little bit). Remember how indecisive I was in my quest for the perfect shades of blue and gold for the bedroom and sitting room? Well, those little paint samples did not go to waste, my friends. Sponge brush in hand, I lightly sanded each chair and then just brushed a pretty rough coat over each chair and then coated them in a Satin Poly made for indoor/outdoor use. Voila! I have a cute outdoor seating area that picks up on the colors in the umbrella from World Market and makes our NEW patio looks so much more inviting! (It's amazing how productive you can be when there are toilets that need a thorough cleaning-boy toilets especially!)

Yes, I said new patio. I nabbed the contractors I saw working on our sidewalks and they gave me a number that sounded good. Two days later; Houston, we have a patio. That means we get to put our grill outside permanently, where it will be tied into the gas line from the house so I can use it all year 'round without replacing propane tanks!

Sunday, I started baking for the party, and doing a half-hearted clean-up of the house. Top to Bottom: Peanut Butter Pretzels dipped in chocolate, Chocolate Candy Corn Cookies and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars-all delish!

I know myself very well, so I knew I'd just mess around until the next day in order to treat my family to the raving loon who always comes out to play when there's a deadline that ends in company looming ahead. The difference is that this time, I actually planned and executed so that I was done several hours before guests arrived. I went to bed last night after the party with the satisfaction that comes only from clean sheets and a sparkling house. Waking up this morning, the first thing I did was make my bed, which always starts the day off on a good note. Then I made my kids make their beds. Dishes were done, beds were made, floor was vacuumed, out the door to school and life is good.

 Having a clean house is really important to me. Clutter makes me feel overwhelmed, and I have enough on my plate to overwhelm me without that adding to it. So, I've decided that it's one thing I can really control (uh-oh, is this how it starts Fancy Nancy?) so I will. H is old enough to get little chores like wiping down light switch plates and door handles once a month, and he actually enjoys making his bed and putting his clothes in the laundry, so I better harness that happiness now, right?In light of this most recent acknowledgment in my own self-enlightenment, I've printed off a chart from IHeart Organizing so that I can better stay on top of household cleaning tasks.

I am still sitting here marveling at how much difference it can make to have just a couple of tasks checked off that ever-growing honey-do house list (Especially when it doesn't cost a dime!) in addition to a clean house, it even spurred me to weed my front bed and plant some daisy starts! What have you tackled on a recent 'free' weekend?

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