Sunday, March 9, 2014

Housework - Make Way for Spring

Spring cleaning isn't something I would say I look forward to, but I love throwing things away. For a Virgo like me, clutter is not a friend of mine. When I was a kid, there would be times I would literally get out of bed in the middle of the night to clean my room. I've relaxed a little since then, but not much.

When you leave in a small space, clutter free living is essential. How much smaller does a space look when there are magazines stacked everywhere, receipts crumpled on a table, or just loose change finding its way to every surface of the apartment?

Spring cleaning gives you a chance to get rid of what is of no use to you anymore. This is a very basic part of feng shui or so I've read in Real Simple magazine. If it's broken, get rid of it. If you can't remember the last time you used it, maybe throw it away. I also don't need the user manual to my floor fan or my remote control. I'm pretty sure that I know how both of those work now. 

My bedspread used to be brown with a cool texture to it. When I bought it nearly six years ago, I thought brown looked elegant, simple, and chic. Over time, the brown changed to just looking dull. For a fresh start, I chose this: 

The gray, mint green, and white is a perfect combination for spring and makes the whole room feel lighter. The colors give off a soothing vibe. The bed in a bag even came with its own decorative pillows for a complete bed makeover. I also bought some new, fresh scents to match the good juju of my room. Even when I text the bf asking if he was down with the pattern, he responded with a response that included an exclamation mark! A pretty big deal in the code of guy text language.

In the winter, I like warm, vanilla flavors so it seems like there are always cookies baking. But for spring, I love ocean and clean scents. 

Both candles are from Bath & Body Works and I got them on sale 2 for $22 with an additional 25% off! Bath & Body Works does an excellent job at its packaging, and the smell is exactly what I was looking for. Beach Cabana is described as fragrant, sweet jasmine, orange blossom, and a hint of white fluffy towels. The Oceanside scent is a blend of sun-ripened citrus, juicy melon, and refreshing ocean air. Now don't you want some of that?!

The weather has definitely been warmer with the windows wide open and my neighbors odd outside conversations pouring through. Wasn't it just last week San Diego was experiencing the rain that was meant to end the world? It was a welcome, wet time that was a good excuse to be cozy inside with a good book and homemade chili. 

The beauty about making chili is that it's not exactly the same every time. When I made my latest batch, I just grabbed everything I had in the cabinets and poured it in. Three key ingredients that it made it oh-so-delicious: caramelized onions, cinnamon, and hot sauce! I have to admit, it was pretty darn tasty - maybe my best yet!

Courtney's Chili Recipe
  • 1 lb. ground beef - crumbled and browned
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans of water
  • Leftover rice (obviously, you don't have to add this, but I had some in the fridge)

All seasonings I say use to your taste. I like mine a little on the spicier side, so as little or as much as you want is how much you should add. How's that for measurements.
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Hot sauce
Start by caramelizing the onion and then add the ground beef to brown. Add all the other ingredients together with the onion and ground beef in one big pot. Don't drain the juices from the beans or tomatoes, add them in. Let everything simmer together to let the flavors combine. Serve with crackers, cheese, or whatever else you want. I also ate mine leftover on top of a baked potato topped with cottage cheese. Sounds strange, but don't knock it 'til you try it.

So that's what's been going on at my home lately. Homebody tendencies and changes all under one tiny roof. When you make chores like cleaning and cooking fun, it doesn't seem like something you have to dread. 

And when you live in San Diego, winter barely feels like a blip on the radar. Even so, I'm looking forward to spring!

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