New House-Cleaning Tip: Invite People Over!

So here’s a new house-cleaning tip I stumbled across a few years ago: Invite about 10-12 people over for a dinner party.

Suddenly, you’ll be able to do 100 basic housecleaning tasks in half the time. All those cobwebs, lingering D.I.Y. projects, messy corners, socks in the couch cushions, and more will be DONE!

I had a dinner party for eight the other night — the book club girls — and I never finished so many projects so fast in my life. It sure beat having them arrive while I still had paint brushes on the floor (D.I.Y. Project 420 — repainting the powder room), the pedestal out from under the sink (D.I.Y. Project 421 — fix the pedestal sink from having the tile raised from under it years ago), wrenches on the tile, cobwebs in the volume ceilings, dust around the tops of the kitchen cabinets, etc. I have to give Superman and family HUGE credit for helping me out, which my guest blogger Mr. Lanius so wisely pointed out here.

And now, although the party is long done, we still have a clean house, to boot!

Here’s how the dinner party table came out. I love dinner parties! Love sitting around the table and having interesting conversations with small groups of people.


How about you? Are you a dinner-party-type person or a lots-of-mingling-cocktail-party type?

Guest Post: From ‘Mr. Lanious’

By Guest Blogger “Mr. Lanious”

DSC_0905Hey guys im convincing my mom to let me own a blog, but she said i must do something to show her my mad skills. So my first post is about my mom’s book club! We had to prepare for the WHOLE day. it’s a good exuse for cleaning even the parts nobody looks at! What a wonderful day! (2) My football team just became 5 and 0! After playing hard teams we pulled it off! My team is the only undefeated in the leage! Anyways,wish me luck! (3) My birthday is this month!!!! its double digits!!! Thats right, I’m turning 10! Thanks all for taking the time to read my blog. I will be updating. Feel free to coment by replying and giving me some ideas to post bye bye

(4) Im sorry guys. I forgot to say welcome to California to my uncle! He is a great uncle, and I love him. (5) As I am writing it is 11:11 and in 49 minuets im am going to be 10! I am going to Disneyland! You guys don’t have to buy me anything though because my birthday wish is to get a blog, and have it as big as my mom’s blog. (6) By the way, check out Know The Score. It is my brother’s blog. Also check out Mizwrite wich is my mom’s blog. Dont forget Mr. Lanious!! (7) I’m starting a Tip O’ The Day! For today’s Tip O’ The Day, DONT DO DRUGS!  bye!!!

“Mr. Lanious” lives in Southern California with his brother, sister, mom and dad, and pet rabbit named Petey (who is really his sister’s rabbit, but he takes care of him a lot). You can see his work in various school notebooks and on the walls of his 5th grade classroom. He is currently working on his new blog and on a short story called “The Pirates of Washington D.C.”

Traditions: Saturday Salsa

DSC_0822It’s a bunch of tomato-y goodness: peppers, onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, serranos, cilantro. …

But it’s more than all that.

It’s tradition.

It’s fall, it’s football, it’s baseball, it’s beat-up-coffeetable, it’s watching TV from the floor, it’s Sunday brunches, it’s gold bowl, it’s Saturdays, it’s Sundays.

It’s Superman’s salsa.

He’s been making this concoction since we got married or so. He started putting it together himself, then kept adding and refining until he got it just right – just the right number of Serrano chilis, just the right amount of El Pato tomato sauce. And now it’s perfect.

He makes it every “big game day.” So he’s been making it a lot lately (as our Angels are in the playoffs, our UCLA is playing again, and pro football is back on every Sunday).

He gets up on Saturday mornings, throws on some shorts, runs across the street to the supermarket and gets a million of those little vegetable baggies and fills them up with all the secret ingredients. The supermarket checkout lady knows him, and knows he’s the guy who buys tomatillos, because no one else is sure what tomatillos are used for. Continue reading

‘Because I’ll Have To Buy Forks’ and Other Teen Worries

So my son has this little group of friends – very cool teens, girls and boys, all smart and funny and college-bound and trying to change the world and at the same time hoping they don’t have to.

I often get a glimpse of their world when my son tells me stories at the dinner table. He’ll tell a conversation they had at the lake, or something someone said when they went to a dance after the football game, or something someone said on a date. One of the lines that has stuck with me – because I found it so sweet and so profound at the same time – was from one of his female friends (we’ll call her “Shelby”).

As my son and Shelby and a handful of their other friends were sitting around on a picnic table, contemplating their futures, she said that maybe she wasn’t so ready to grow up: “Because we’ll have to go grocery shopping … and then … buy forks and stuff,” she reasoned. Continue reading