"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mop Philosophy Monday

 I've been preparing my house for my family who arrive this week from all corners.  I spent an entire morning cleaning all of the baseboards and millwork in the whole house with a soapy mixture: natural glycerin soap, hot water and essential oil of lavender.  It was very soothing work, I recommend.

I did some shopping at my favourite source for "smalls": Ellie's wonderful Paris-based shop Have Some Decorum HOME.
Beautiful brass candle trimmer.
 Her shop is exquisite because Ellie has the best taste in the world... your smalls will arrive perfectly packaged direct from Paris.
Delicate French serving pieces from Have Some Decorum HOME
 We've been driving all over to visit friends at their cottages, there were campfires:
 We had some rain at the cottage which of course carves out time to play Trivial Pursuit 1980's but also creates a magical hour or two afterwards, I love to be out on the dock after the rain:
After The Rain
 Why is it that we experience things like the strange beauty of the ever-changing sky most intensely at places like cottages?
 How do you prepare for family visits?
 I'm focussed on flowers, fresh towels and linens, and of course food.


 I did manage to finish my sports-gear-organizing project and I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.  I bought some of those big totes from Lands End and had them monogrammed accordingly:

 I've got them stored in the open cupboard under the stairs for easy access: grab and go Sporty People!
 Hoping to continue Summer's trend of eating outdoors?  Me too.
 I'm planning to whip up Ina Garten's famous chicken for my family...
 ... but as far as baking I think I'll be headed to Eric the Baker, local source of fabulous French pastries, don't take my word for it, Mimi says so too.
Might have to slip a little something from Eric The Baker in here.  Hehehe.
 The most important visitor this week is my little nephew and he'll have all eyes on him the entire time ... I retrieved some of the Rascal's toys out of storage for this very special occasion:
Tomtem looking a little worse for the wear.
 This version of Mother Goose by Rosemary Wells was hands-down my favourite book for all three of my Rascals.  This is my fourth copy of it, the first three fell apart from constant use, I've read it thousands of times, who else had this edition?
I hope to read it again this week, more than once!
Enjoy your Monday and your week.
xoxDani

39 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! I always stock up on food and g in hard with linen and towels and champagne when my family visit.

    I love Have some decorum blog too and agree Ellie has exquisite taste.

    Please come and clean my filthy dust covered skirting boards.

    Altho it does sound soothing xxx

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    1. FF I would happily pop over to help with those skirting boards and hope it was a day that the Universe directed you to bake.
      Took your advice, I was all about the clean towels! xo

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  2. I think this was one of my favourite mop philosopher posts ever - full of exceptionally good things! Very inspirational. Thank you, Dani!
    I've been sharing some of my son's old toys with my new granddaughter. It is so sweet and nostalgic to see her liking the same things her dad did at her age. I bet your nephew will love those Rascal-tested toys. Off to look for that edition of Mother Goose now ....
    Local Sue

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    1. Hi Sue, he loved the toys and he was so cute tooting around with them, I still haven't put them away!
      I bet you're so happy you saved those toys. xo

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  3. Baseboard scrubbing??? Thank you no Dani. GSL doesn''t need 'housemaid's knee' putting a hitch in his gait. Fo rgot all about that Mother Goose book and that cover does look familiar. Your nephew will be spoiled rotten by all the attention.
    You're quite right about skies at cottages.

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    1. G how else are you going to tackle filth? That book is so exquisite, I adore Rosemary Wells.
      Yes he was spoiled and rightly so he's adorable. xo

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  4. I got all the Bunny Planet books for my little niece, but I don't think her mom shares my exquisite taste in children's literature.

    Skirting boards = baseboards, no? Well, if there's a little crawler in the house, experience tells me that if there's one spot you missed, he'll find his way to it and get dust and grime all over his sweet little pudgy fingers, which he will then go and wipe all over the oldest and fussiest female relative then present.

    On the other hand, if my late MiL or either of her sisters (known in family as Shakespeare's 3 ~itches) were among those present, they'd be standing on tiptoe to check the tops of picture frames.

    I think the idea of the LE totes is absolutely brilliant, and plan to copy it at my first opportunity.

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    1. OMG, another Bunny Planet fan! I've almost never met one!! I used to give them to adults when I was a director. Janet, Queen of the Bunny Planet, we curtsy to you.

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    2. "Here's the day that should have been" OK I'll silence myself now.

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    3. Huge Bunny Planet fan here, all other books paled in comparison!
      Fred I always do forget the tops of picture frames so I'd definitely be caught out on that one. xo

      Lane wasn't that soothing in itself, the calm contemplation of the day that should have been!

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  5. How wonderful to have your family come to visit, Dani! Even though it takes quite a bit of time and energy to prepare for them beforehand, it is truly well worth it in the end, isn't it? I love those delicate French serving pieces...so elegant, and what a lovely touch to add to your table. Tomtem is absolutely adorable, and the signs of wear simply show how much he has been loved! I'm sure your nephew will enjoy him, just as much as your Rascal did! :)

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    1. Melissa we were able to find the tomtem book by Astrid Lindgren too, buried among the children's books I've kept.
      Thanks it was a great visit, I'm happy I cleaned ahead of time because I didn't have any time for it once everyone arrived. :) xo

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  6. Hi Dani, lovely post. I've read that if you wipe your clean baseboards with a dryer sheet afterwards, the dust will stay away for longer. Haven't tried it yet.

    Have a lovely time with your family, especially the new nephew. We will be visiting our niece and her family in NS - she just had a baby boy. But, to be honest, I'm more looking forward to spending time with her 2 1/2 year old - from Facebook I can see that she already has a hilarious personality and says the darndest things!

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    1. Patricia I think little kids say the best things, I had such good conversations with mine when they were little, they are little philosophers, wide-eyed and no screen!
      I hope your trip was wonderful. xo

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  7. Hello Dani,

    Your marathon sessions of reading the same book over and over reminds me of mine with The Carrot Seed, a board book that I practically know word-for-word I read it so much to my daughter.

    Preparing for house guests can be such fun. Enjoy your when they arrive to your spotless house. I'm sure they are all in for a big treat to have you to fuss over them.

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    1. CD the preparations all paid off and then I was able to focus on the cooking, one night we had 25 for dinner, I had help from a friend thank goodness. :) xo
      (I'm going to look for that board book for my nephew, thank you.)

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  8. Sounds like a lovely week ahead!!! I love hosting visitors, it keeps me on my toes and the house gets clean! LOL..... Your post just prompted me to dust off my computer desk. :-)

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    1. Vava it definitely kept me on my toes and then I collapsed for five days! ;) xo

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  9. How do you make cleaning sound so soothing? I almost believed it! hehe

    I love having family and friends over - the ones i like anyway.

    I actually prepare the house for Millie when I babysit her.

    Love those bits you got from HSD! Enjoy your special time with your loved ones xx

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    1. Naomi the best trick is to believe it is soothing not drudgery!
      I can see that you'd prepare for Millie that darling.
      Isn't HSD so excellent, I adore Ellie. xo

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  10. I had a giggle at your 'smalls' - I've always associated the term smalls with underwear. So I was surprised to see the photo of the candle wick trimmer and utensils! They're lovely, Ellie has great taste. Well, I spent last Friday cleaning out one child's bedroom and trust me when I say it wasn't soothing. More dusty and one of those jobs you start and then think "why did I start this" as it looks worse than before you started at various points. Anyway, all clean now and bags of stuff donated or thrown out. It's never-ending with children though…
    Hope you have a wonderful time with your family. My Aunt is the best person to dispense advice on house guests - it's like staying at a B&B. There are piles of the latest decorator magazines in the room, water jug and glass on bedside tables, amazing breakfast spread laid out in the morning, lavender scented sheets and towels. Now I'm thinking I might go and pay her a visit soon, as it does sound nice!

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    1. Heidi I did the same terminology giggle just now!

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    2. Heidi I think you should go visit her soon, that sounds lovely.
      I didn't know smalls could refer to undergarments, how funny!
      It's very difficult to keep on top of the clutter with kids around, it was a constant battle for me. I've had exactly that feeling while cleaning one of their bedrooms too (usually while they were away at summer camp, that was a great time for a major clean-out). xo

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  11. What fun to have a baby visit! We've had lots of company, including 4 and 6 yr olds who helped with the bees and chickens, and they all get some version of blueberry muffins in the morning.

    Great way to corral the sports stuff. We have open cupboards in the mudroom that almost worked. Ski stuff was in the Rossi bags in the closet, but those are hard to see into properly. MLane and I travel by car with LLBean bags, each embroidered with our initials, my favorite way to travel as they always fit one more thing.

    My youngest used to dust between bannisters and the baseboards to save mummy's back. No more...

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    1. Lane I put the rascals to task whenever possible... 4 and 6 such magic ages. I bet they loved the visit!
      We have so much ski stuff and we've just joined a club again so bring on even more equipment, I'll need some more of those bags! xo

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  12. We had that book too! Loved it. I love a storm at a cottage even more than the sunny days. Cleanses the psychological palate somehow. Enjoy your family visits!

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    1. Jen me too and also it's an excuse to play board games and have snacks. Watching a storm come in on a lake is quite something. xo

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  13. Oh extended family days including still somewhat baby nephew, nicest ever. Wishing you lots of energy and fun. How lovely to have saved toys to bring out, sure rascals will also be amused. LL Bean/ Lands End totes get labelled and used for so many things, no wonder they and all the similar canvas totes have been around for decades.

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    1. GF their usefulness knows no bounds, great for household organization.
      The visit was full of energy and fun and it exceeded our expectations, our nephew is a darling boy, I can't wait until they come back in July! xo

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  14. Oh I hope you enjoy your visits so much, although I know it is a lot of work to get ready for a whole crew. Love your little French tchotchkes.

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    1. Lisa I find the difficult thing the big dinners but I took it one day at a time and it all worked out perfect. My grocery bill was insane though! xo

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  15. Dani I do think we may be related. I have a formidable armada of LL Bean boat and tote bags but still always seem to be 1-5 short. I even have a small one that is the perfect size for one dozen ears of corn. So you're the one who bought those serving utensils. I thought a lot about those. They'd go so well with a set of gold flatware I picked up a month ago.
    I prepare for family visits, and I have many, by first asking them when they'll leave? I don't allow open-ended visits. I then go hard with washing linens and prepping food. I like to cook while they're here but I treat it like a holiday and do basics in advance like chopping veggies, herbs, making pie crusts, starting soup/chili bases and bread doughs. Then it's more a matter of assembly than hours of prep. Also helps keep the kitchen cleaner. I also keep a mental list of errands for people to run. This 1) lets them feel like they're helping 2) gets them the hell out of my way and 3) allows the young ones to get out and listen to their own music and complain about me and 4) fosters more intimate conversations with a less full house. I'm sure your house is such a lovely and warm place to stay! You're a wonderful hostess.

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    1. Stephen Andrew I wish we were related because you would be my favourite cousin!
      Yes it was me hehehe, I can't believe how many things I've lost out on at Ellie's shop, things fly off the shelves in minutes.
      You sound like the absolute perfect host and I like that you don't stand for any nonsense, I have much to learn from you. xo

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  16. Dear Dani.
    How funny! Like Heidi, there I was, expecting to see some very daring French lingerie. (I wondered about the relevance of some of those utensils), I guess home-wares can carry the same amount of excitement for some.
    Only you can clean with such style Dani.. tin buckets and all. I hope you were wearing a very appropriate apron to suit the occasion. The family will love all that you do - I'm sure.
    And those stormy skies are only to be appreciated when amongst the wilderness. I never wonder at their magnificence if at home planning on gardening or with the washing out drying. Too many negative connotations... Enjoy the next few weeks. Helen : )

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    1. Helen I don't enjoy a storm nearly as much though I do try to watch them from my porch at times.
      Yes I think I need a new apron after this summer! :) xo

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  17. Oh your French pieces are truly lovely...as are the wee books and toys.
    We use Lands End totes on the boat for everything...they are made to last and look smart.
    I think I have the same zinc bucket that you use in your home!
    Enjoy your family visitors...
    XO

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    1. Hostess they are terrific for throwing into boats which is why I always use them for going to island cottages, what could be better.
      I hope you are enjoying your boating this summer! xo

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  18. Dani beautiful post!!! Your loving car of your home must show through and what a gift for guests. The monogrammed bags are so smart! I've always wanted to try that chicken recipe ! I have to look for some little treasures from Ellie's shop.. I didn't know about it. Rosemary Well's was a favorite here and I'll never part with all those precious books which were read a million times!! xo Kim

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    1. Kim see we are kindred spirits another RW fan!
      Yes do check out Ellie's shop, I think she'll do another one in September and she has the best eye. xo

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