14 Feb

As I was reading this NYTimes article last night on the increasing amounts of dust in the world, I came across a mention of a book by Cheryl Mendelson:

I clicked the link which took me to the book’s Amazon page.  The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with several people mentioning they enjoyed it as bedtime reading.  Hmm.  That piqued my interest.  I am one of those people who does enjoy housework to an extent and the calm, relaxed feeling that a comfortable and clean home brings.  I decided I would really like to get my hands on this book.  The cover was very familiar and I realized that my mother had given it to me years ago when I was living in New York.  Had it survived my most recent book-purgings?  I was very severe with the last one, getting rid of many, many volumes and I knew this was one I hadn’t cracked in years.  So, I wasn’t very hopeful as I went downstairs to look in the bookcase.

Yet there it was, laying peacefully on top of a stack of old Elle Decoration magazines I never will get rid of.  I settled comfortably on the couch for a bit of light reading…

The sections that interested me most were the topics of schedules for housecleaning and the order in which tasks should be completed.  I have my own routines for cleaning and thought it interesting that my days for certain things corresponded quite closely with the suggested routine of the old days.  Mine goes something like this:  Mondays are for a mini cleaning after the weekend and starting the laundry, a task that continues throughout the week, Tuesday is for ironing, Wednesdays I (supposedly) dust, Thursdays I grocery shop, Fridays I clean the house for the weekend and give the floors a more thorough cleaning…in fact I do laundry and vacuum every day; with a toddler around I find that a little at a time works best for me as I never have a spare few hours at a time to clean the house from top to bottom.  And I will admit that I employ a cleaning lady twice a month, a luxury for which I am truly grateful, as she is able to get the whole house clean at one time, and she does the bathrooms.  In between her visits, I try to keep up with daily vacuuming, damp mopping floors once or twice a week as needed, dusting and tidying up.  Let’s not pretend that my house is spotlessly clean, of course, but I’m not embarrassed to have anyone over most of the time.

This book is certainly more relevant to my life now that I’ve had a few more years of experience in keeping my own house, trying out different routines and figuring out what works for me.  It’s an evolving process and I’m glad I picked this book up again because it is inspiring to see where I could improve on a few things (more sweeping and dusting!) or try out some new methods.  I will be putting this book on my bedside table so I can work my way through it and see what new information I can pick up and perhaps even implement.

How about you?  Do you have housekeeping routines, and if so, how have you developed them so that they work for you?

That England feeling…

22 Jun

We just got back from two weeks in England.  We took Noah to meet the family, went to a couple of weddings, and enjoyed summer in the sun.  I think England really is one of the most beautiful places you can be when the sun is shining.  All that rain makes everything so, so lush and green.

the house where we stayed in Norfolk

I think it’s having an effect on me.  My eye keeps catching on all these mad floral designs and I’ve got to have some of it for my casa.

Here’s an inspiration photo I found on flickr:

image by candy rose on flickr

It’s available for purchase in her etsy shop along with many other gorgeous prints.

Also at etsy, I found this Kindle case and some pretty earrings:

kindle case at etsy by seasidesew

rose earrings at etsy loleys

Urban Outfitters has a few lovely floral items right now; here are a few of my favorites:

potpourri duvet cover, $68

floral lace duvet cover, $68

faded rose rug, $18

Natalie Lete’s plate at Anthropologie:

gallery plate by Natalie Lete, $350

Zara Home has some vivid floral items I love:

florencia cushion at zara home

rosal table cloth and napkins at zara home

And for the full English effect, don’t forget the net curtains!  These are a pair I actually like from IKEA:

It’s not interiors, but have you seen Scarlett Johannson’s take on this trend?  Admittedly the woman would look gorgeous wearing an old sack but I think she pulls this look off perfectly.  The first is my favorite but I also love the cool blues and slightly mumsy look of the second photo:

Are you feeling it too?

Tea Towel Source

18 Jun

Psst!  I just have to share this source for stunning tea towels with you!  Tea towels…if you’re a fabric addict like me, I don’t need to tell you that they’re practical, beautiful, and fun.  A sizeable stash is an absolute neccessity.  I picked up a couple on our vacation, but on its first day out my new “wild pigs” tea towel (see below, it’s a gorgeous design!) got a hole burnt in it…

wild pigs

So, I went on a little trawl of the internet and found this incredible shop called To Dry For.  I seriously love almost every single item they have on their site…and they ship anywhere in the world!  Here are a few of my favorites:

allo allo

beach huts

give me sunshine


tea time

kensal green

our house

made in england

Oh how to narrow this selection down…even I don’t need that many new tea towels…and my bank account would definitely agree…

And they ship anywhere in the world!  I can see I will be spending some money here shortly…

Which are your favorites?


24 Mar

I have been wanting to do this for a very long time now…experiments with pencil and watercolor:

A girl with a rather large nose…

Today, a woman with lovely auburn hair:


So much fun!  And as a bonus, can be completed during one baby’s naptime. 🙂

Jonathan Adler Bookends

11 Nov

I’ve been looking for some cute bookends for Noah’s room. He’s at the point where I can’t have books all over the accessible shelves anymore…he goes on a search and destroy mission for anything remotely within reach.

I found these…they are perfect and not expensive.

Picture 53

$12.95 at barnesandnoble.com.  I was able to get an additional 20% off with a coupon for new accounts I found online.  Love a good find like this!

Mimi The Sardine

9 Nov

I’ve been looking into something to put on the floor while Noah eats.  It gets really messy and the floors are constantly sticky, it seems, even though I do wipe them down afterwards.  Maybe this is just another item to have to clean, but I thought I could just carry it to the trash/sink and then rinse it down.

The cutest ones I found are by a company called Mimi The Sardine.  Adorable company name and adorable products!  Just look at these:

Picture 49Jungle Print

Picture 50Propeller Print

Picture 51Flora Pink Print

I love their bibs too.  This Bay Area company uses cute, colorful fabrics sourced in Sweden then covered in an eco-friendly, washable acrylic coating for easy care.  I think the propeller one might be coming to our house soon!

Great for travel too…do any of you use something like this for your messy eaters?

The Charmaine Collection Is in The Shop!

23 Oct

I know you’ve been waiting to see these!

charmaine allThe Charmaine collection, now available in my etsy shop.

I’m off to take little Noah to the pumpkin patch now.  Happy Friday!