If you’ve been out of the country or locked in a closet or somehow not tapped into the Worldwide Bloodstream (see video below), you might not be aware that I recently put my house on the market. It’s been a challenging process — clearing out all our clutter, sprucing the place up and keeping it clean all the time. I also picked an interesting time to undertake this endeavor with all four children home for the summer and about 13 pounds of sand that makes its way onto the mudroom floor every day, courtesy of my 12yo son’s bathing suit.
But by far the biggest challenge I’ve faced these last few weeks is keeping the place smelling fresh and not like a fraternity house. The last thing I want is a prospective buyer to walk through the front door and get a big whiff of freshly cooked porkroll or the dump someone just took in the powder room. So I’ve instilled some basic rules for the children, like NO COOKING and NO POOPING DOWNSTAIRS.
These edicts have been met with varying success.
The other preventative measure I took was loading up on products that might mask the stink of adolescent boy that sometimes hangs in the air here. The stink of teen spirit.
I am a firm believer that sometimes, more is more, and thus use the products liberally, often and simultaneously.
- The number one thing I am totally obsessed with are these candles — in particular the beach sage flavor but I also love the apple slice variety upstairs in my bathroom — that I used to load up on at Target until I saw they started carrying them at our nearby Harmon. I really think you are going to thank me.
- When my neighbors pulled up stakes and moved to Hong Kong last year, I made out like a bandit when — in an effort to get all of their stuff out of the house for renters to move in — they just started dropping bags of things off at my door. Trader Joe’s chips. Band Aids. Cotton balls. Good stuff. One of the items buried in one of the bags was this room freshener spray from Alex & Ani. I mean, who knew they sold that stuff there too but apparently they do. When I know someone is coming to check out the house, I start running from room to room squirting the stuff into the air.
- When I went to Hong Kong last spring (seriously), we made our way to the Captain’s Bar for cocktails one Friday night and it was swanky, to say the least. In fact, as soon as we stepped into the hotel we were enveloped in this citrusy, floral scent that they apparently pump through the place through a diffuser and it smells divine. So when my girlfriend came home to New Jersey for the summer, she brought me a bottle of the spray, which I also run around squirting throughout the house when things are smelling a little stale. Now if someone would just make me a proper Old Fashioned, it would be like being back at the Captain’s Bar.
- Speaking of bars and drinking in general, I’d like to suggest what you adopt as your go-to summer drink before it’s too late. It’s a Mexican Mule and you get yourself someone ginger beer (like the type they sell at Trader Joe’s) and mix in your favorite tequila and perhaps some seltzer/club soda to lighten it just a bit. I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed a few of these this summer. And speaking of tequila, life has gotten much easier for my Hong Kong pal who used to spike her tequila by letting it marinate in a mason jar with a couple of jalepeno peppers to spice up her famous margaritas. But we recently discovered at our favorite local bottle shop that some evil genius has invented already bottled spicy tequila and it is delish.
- Finally, I had some time on my hands this week and revisited Broad City, which I binged on while sick this winter. I can’t even. And this clip in particular totally nails what it’s like living with Millenials who stop mid-conversation to stare at their phone and start to laugh. Annoying.
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