What’s new chez nous: loving these last weeks of autumn

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I love this interval between Thanksgiving and the second week of December. It’s already beginning to feel festive. But with Hanukkah coming a bit later this year, the holiday rush hasn’t yet kicked in, so there’s a bit of breathing room to just enjoy it.

Colorful fall leaves on the ground.

The weather’s been fall-delightful: chilly at night, mild during the day. What little fall color we get in our part of Southern California comes mostly from non-native Liquidambar trees. I’m so glad I decided to plant one some 20 years ago to replace a pine that had succumbed to bark beetle. Those colors just make my heart sing.

The light is just gorgeous this time of year too.

Enjoying the best at home

I’ve never been a super domestic type. My focus has always been more on outside world: work, travel, style. But lately I’ve been casting my eye about and thinking the ol’ homestead could use a bit of sprucing up. We’ve been living with the same (mostly inherited) furniture for well over a decade now, and it’s feeling a bit tired and drab. I may get serious about some re-decorating next year.

In the meantime, one small step. As I was emptying the dishwasher yesterday, I thought, why do we keep using this “meh” set of stainless when we have 3 beautiful sets of silverware inherited from various grandparents just sitting in cabinets? So I pulled out the set that was easiest to get to, and decided to swap it out with the stainless.

It’s one of my Grandmother’s sets, and probably close to 100 years old. Some of the pieces were pretty tarnished, so I decided to try the easy tarnish removal method I’ve been reading about for years.

Easy method to remove tarnish from silver flatware

Trying the aluminum foil method to remove tarnish from silver. Before, antique silver pieces, some with considerable tarnish.

Above, some of the most tarnished pieces. (There were about six different sizes of tongs in with the serving pieces; other than sugar cubes or ice cubes, I’m not at all certain what they were all used for.)

This method is easy:

  • line a glass pan with foil, lay out the silver pieces
  • boil enough water to cover the pieces
  • add 1/2 cup baking soda to the hot water (careful, it foams up!)
  • pour over the silver and let sit for a few minutes
  • some pieces take longer than others, remove each once the tarnish seems to be gone
  • rinse well

It works like a charm!

Antique silver pieces after removing tarnish. Bright and ready to use!

Some of the pieces had to “bathe” a little longer, and I hit a couple of the more stubborn spots with silver polish afterward, but I’m happy with the result and that I didn’t have to spend all day polishing.

The best way to keep your silver bright and tarnish-free is to USE it, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Do you have a favorite method for cleaning silver?

From the sales…

I didn’t buy much during the Black Friday sales this year, and a couple of the pieces I did buy are already sold out. (Though they may be re-stocked, will keep an eye open.) I ordered this puffer jacket during the “early bird” part of the sale, received it on Friday, and have been wearing it out to walk the dog the last couple of nights. It’s warm but not too warm for our coolest weather, and I LOVE this green!

It’s 50% off plus an additional 10% with code CYBER. There are a few other colors, though this one currently has the most size availability. I purchased the leopard print cashmere sweater a few weeks ago, and now that it’s cooler have been wearing it quite often. It’s currently 44% off + additional 10% with code CYBER. And it’s still available in sizes XX-Small to XX-Large (I’m wearing Small in both the jacket and sweater.)

The jeans (rag & bone “dre” in Julienne) are 30% off. These run large; I’m wearing size 26.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

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