Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Closet Updates

Turns out I really need a new wardrobe.  This is my dream closet below.... someday.  In the meantime, I've begun a ruthless weeding out.  This procedure takes time... lots of inspiration to remind me of what I'm trying to do and then lots of editing over and over until I'm satisfied.  Also, fittings - I'm keeping a large number of clothes that I love that are currently too small for me.  I'll probably get around to recycling these someday but for now I can't part with them.  Thank goodness for spare bedroom closets. 

Next a weeding out of cosmetics, makeup and so on in the bathroom. 

I completed the living room this past long weekend.  Books, Movies, Magazines, Liquor and so on.   Much more room to breath now and even more storage space but it just seems to take me forever to get this done right. 

The next room is one my biggest pockets of resistance.  The spare bedroom (yes that includes the closet).  I use this as a catchall and office so that means filing of 3 years of paperwork as well as sorting through all the miscellaneous stuff I'm not sure what to do with.  This might take a awhile.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Finally it's the Easter Long Weekend

This long weekend felt like it would never, ever get here.  I've actually had to scrape snow off my car this week but I'm spending this weekend finally packing up the last of the winter clothing and breaking out spring outfits - well the one's I can get into anyway.

The recent discovery of a new Faberge egg and one of the original eggs, helped me decide on my theme for this Easter. 

How it ended up over here is a story in itself that we'll probably never know. But welcome back from obscurity.  No matter what you may think of the Romanov Empire, you have to admire the stunningly beautiful and romantic tradition of the Royal Faberge eggs.  Click on the links to find out more about the eggs and their personal history.
The eggs shown are not all of the eggs by any means, just my personal favorites in no particular order.  Enjoy the beauty, the opulence and the craftsmanship.



I love this one and I'm not alone - presented to Prince Albert II in honour of his Silver Jubilee, Princess Grace quickly snapped it up for herself and it sat on the desk of her personal study where it remained until it was inherited by Prince Albert III. 


The little bird on top sings.
The peacock in the tree can be removed and wound up where it struts and fans its feathers.

There are so many more and this site has a great history about each of them.  It's a great read.
But here's the little guy that started the tradition.
And last but not least the last egg before World War I which ended the over-the-top Imperial Eggs.
There were a few others (including one that wasn't completed as Faberge was forced to close it's doors).  Given conditions in Russia during the First World War and after, the eggs were kept patriotic, austere and modest in comparison. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Camille Styles Entertaining

I've always felt this woman has more taste than most people have in their baby finger (certainly more than me) and she should really publish a book.  So I'm delighted to see that she has written just that.  You can pre-order from here.

Congratulations Camille.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Taking a Break Today with the Tiffany's Yellow Diamond

The famous Yellow Tiffany Diamond has had a couple of different settings and my favourite was the "Bird on a Rock".  However, the new setting designed to celebrate the anniversary is quite beautiful as well. 

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond
Previous styles.  One to celebrate the movie Breakfast at Tiffanies, and of course my favourite Bird on a Rock
Apparently there are very few women to ever wear this stone.  Audrey Hepburn was one of them.
The latest look 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

One room down ... too many more to go

Every spring I've given my house a thorough cleaning from top to bottom.... except these last three years when my life spiraled out of control.  After a horrible winter I'm ready to kick it into high gear and get moving on my spring cleaning.  However, I've discovered the hard way that three years can do more damage than I anticipated.  This is going to take longer than I thought.  I've only got one room done.  Granted I'm being very thorough and using the opportunity to really make ruthless decisions about what's going to remain.  That said, I decided that the master bedroom would be my first really big project to tackle since it would include my wardrobe and I would clean everything out and begin moving the spring/summer clothes into the wardrobe and packing up the winter clothes.  I've forced myself to try on every single article of clothing and really judge.  Wow - that turned out to be a major problem.  I've gained far more weight than I realized and found that I will have very little to wear this summer.  So, since a whole new wardrobe is out of the question, there is little option left but to begin a .... "diet".  I hate that word so I'm going with "lifestyle change"... sounds less restricting.  The cupboards, fridge and freezer will be my next move. 

I love these organizers for fruit and eggs and yet I can't find where I got this image from or where I can find these products.  Let me know if you're familiar with them.
Here's a great article from One Good Thing for really giving my fridge a good cleaning.  This is what I'm aiming for.  It appears we have the same refrigerator. 

I'm scouring the web for healthier eating recipes and suggestions so any good ones forward my way, especially lunch ideas for me to take to work.  It's my greatest weakness and usually where all of my previous "life style" diets have gone off course. 
Along with my "life style" diet is a determination to begin a new exercise program.  Not quite sure how that will look yet, but I'm determined to get started.  Here's a good article  from Vickie Archer of French Essence to motivate you.
My complexion is a mess so I'm looking for ways to clean up years of stress lines, sun damage and overall puffiness (and any other aging suggestions - you name it I need it).  Then there's the tanning issue.  My skin is so pale that I glow in the dark.  Sun tanning is now out of the question.  Too many years of baking myself (I know, I didn't listen and I'm paying the price now), so I'm looking for a good self-tanner. 
Then there is my son's bedroom, the crypt as I'm beginning to refer to it.  I literally can't find the floor and many things have simply disappeared in there never to return to the land of the living again.  Time for a really ruthless cleaning out in there.  I may never be heard from again. 
This is just the tip of the iceberg so bare with me and if you have any really good articles, suggestions, etc. for getting organized let me know.  I'm on the hunt.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Cleaning My Life

As previously stated I thought I would check in whenever I had something to say.

I'm in the process of what I've decided to refer to as a thorough Spring cleaning of my entire life.  Sounds daunting.  It is.  But, it's long overdue.  There is one problem - until today it hasn't felt like Spring and I needed motivation and finally found it.  A step-by-step guide to Spring cleaning my home.  This is just the beginning - there is so much to do and it appears that teenagers are allergic to spring cleaning of any kind.

I wish I could say that I look like this right now, BUT I DO NOT. 
The past 3 years have really take their toll and I'm feeling it.  Trying to get motivated is a nightmare for me right now.  But this list I found on-line has finally got me moving.  As this checklist is available for free online from The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking - a mother of six children I might add.  I'm putting this up.  That way I can check it when I'm out looking for organizational things I'm going to need.
  1. Dust lighting fixtures.
  2. Wash walls and trim
  3. Wash doors, knobs and switch plates.
  4. Wash bench or other furnishings.  Launder bench cushion, if applicable.
  5. Empty out coat closet.  Wash walls and floor, if needed.  Sort items as you return them to the closet.  Store out of season items, donate unneeded items. 
  6. Clean or replace entry mat.
  7. Sweep and scrub floors.  
  8. Reseal grout lines, if necessary.
  1. Open windows
  2. Dust furniture.
  3. For each drawer: remove items, wash drawer, place items back neatly.  Donate Items you no longer need. 
  4.  Remove everything from closets. Sweep and wash closet floor. Put everything back neatly.  Donate items you no longer need.  Try not to store things on closet floor.
  5. Move Bed.  Sort and put away anything that was under bed.  Sweep or vacuum under bed.  Try not to store things under bed.
  6. Put bed back.  Freshen mattress by sprinkling with baking soda, letting sit briefly, and the vacuuming it up.
  7. Launder bedding and curtains.  Wash pillows and duvet in hot water.  Air out mattress pad, if you have one.
  8. Dust lights. Clean lamp shades.
  9. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  10. Wash switch plates.  Wash walls and trim as needed.
  11. Wash mirrors or dust art.
  12. Wash doors and doorknobs.
  13. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  14. Sweep and wash floor or vacuum.
  1. Open windows
  2. Empty all cabinets and vanity.  Wash inside, replace items neatly.  Discard expired medications and cosmetics.
  3. Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
  4. Clean tub. Wax if necessary. Clean drain.
  5. Clean toilet, inside and out.  Remove seat and clean around seat bolts.
  6. Clean sink and drain.
  7. Shine faucets.
  8. Clean mirror and frame .
  9. Dust light fixtures. 
  10. Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
  11. Wash switch plates.  wash walls and trim.  Wash doors and door knobs.
  12. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  13.  Sweep and wash floors.  
  14. Reseal grout lines if necessary. 
  1. Open windows.
  2. Remove and clean window coverings.  Click here for instructions on cleaning mini blinds.
  3. For each cabinet or drawer: Remove items, wipe out drawer, place items back neatly.  Donate unneeded items.
  4. Wash and sanitize cutting boards
  5. Sharpen knives
  6. Wash cabinet doors and knobs
  7. Clean and organize pantry.  Check food expiry dates.
  8. Clean oven.
  9. Clean stove top.  Remove elements and drip bowls, if applicable, wash and put back.
  10. Clean and organize fridge and freezer.  Defrost freezer, if necessary.  Check food expiry dates.
  11. Clean under fridge and stove.
  12. Vacuum refrigerator coils.
  13. Clean microwave.
  14. Clean crumbs out of toaster.
  15. Clean and descale kettle.
  16. Wipe down any other counter appliances
  17. wash counters and back splash.
  18. Wash and shine sink.  Shine faucet. Clean drain.
  19. Clean Dishwasher.
  20. Dust light fixtures.
  21. Wash windows and window sills.  Remove window screens and wash.
  22. Wash switch plates.  
  23. Wash walls and trim as needed.
  24. Wash doors and door knobs.
  25. Wash floor registers and other vent covers
  26. Sweep and wash floor.  
  27. Reseal grout lines, if necessary.
  1. Open windows.
  2. Wash curtains.
  3. Wipe down table and chairs.
  4. Wipe down or dust other furnishing.
  5. Clean chair pads, if applicable.
  6. Polish table, if necessary
  7. Create a pretty spring vignette on table!
  8. Dust any displayed china or serving dishes.
  9. Launder table linens.
  10. Shine silverware.
  11. Dust art.
  12. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  13. Wash switch plates
  14. Wash walls and trim.
  15. Wash doors and door knobs
  16. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  17. Clean floors.
  1. Open windows.
  2. Vacuum sofas.
  3. Spot clean sofas, if applicable.
  4. Launder throw pillows and blankets.
  5. Dust shelves, furniture and decor.
  6. Clean lamps and lampshades.
  7. Wash windows and window sills.
  8. Take out and wash window screens.
  9. Clean television screen.
  10. Carefully dust electronics.
  11. Tidy electronics wires.  Tuck nicely out of sight.  Label them, if practical.
  12. Sort through music and DVD collections.  Purge things that no longer suit your families interests.  Organize what is left in an attractive manner.
  13. Sort books and magazines.  Donate or recycle ones that no longer suit your families interests.
  14. Wash hard plastic children's toys with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry.  Launder stuffed toys.  Donate or store toys that your children have grown too old for.
  15. Wash switch plates.
  16. Wash walls and trim as needed.
  17. Wash doors and knobs.
  18. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  19. Clean floors.
  1. Open windows.
  2. Wash windows and window sills.
  3. Take out and wash window screens.
  4. Wash cabinet doors.
  5. Wash inside cabinets.
  6. Wash laundry sink.  Shine faucet.  Clean drains.
  7. Wash outside of washer and dryer.
  8. Wash inside of washing machine.
  9. Wash lint trap with soap and water to remove filmy build-up from laundry soaps and dryer sheets. Let air dry thoroughly before putting back in place.
  10. Wash switch plates.
  11. Wash walls and trim.
  12. Wash doors and door knobs.
  13. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  14. sweep and wash floors. 
  15. Reseal grout lines, if applicable. 
  1. sweep/vacuum stairs
  2. Spot clean walls.
  3. Wipe down handrail.
  4. Dust art and light fixtures.
  1. Sweep porches and walkway.
  2. Wash thresholds.
  3. Wash exterior doors.  Give front door a fresh coat of paint, if necessary.
  4. Clean or replace welcome mat.
  5. Wash siding.

  • Clean blades of ceiling fans.
  • Sort through and organize family photographs (digitally or into albums).
  • Sort and clean any extra zones such as linen closets, utility closets and office spaces.

As you can see - with this list as my guide I'm going to be busy for awhile.  Really busy.  Ok - really, really, really busy.  See you again soon - I hope.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Time

Yet another major life altering event took place today and it's time to do some re-evaluating of my life.  Every thing in my life.  I've recently weeded out the imagery files on my computer 2.5 gig worth.  Unbelievable and that's the images that I kept and doesn't include the ones I deleted.  In other words more than necessary.   With all the changes that have been taking place in my life for the past two years and all the changes that are coming I realize that I need time to really sit down and take a good look at my life and figure out what is working and what isn't working anymore.  The clearing out of all the clutter in my life is long overdue.  Being cooped up this winter has made me realize that some drastic changes are necessary and this means my total focus.

So sadly there just isn't going to be time for blogging anymore - or at least not for quite a while.  I might pop in once in a while to throw something up that matters to me, but for now I need to take a break and focus on what's currently very important to me.
I've enjoyed the blogging experience immensely, the contacts I've made and the many things I've learned.  It's been very rewarding, but I don't seem to have anything new to say.  The more successful blogs have original content to add, but I'm just not there yet and don't have the time to promote this blog which was more of a personal repository for the many images and my thoughts than anything else. 

I won't disappear forever, but for now a break is necessary.  Check in once in awhile - you never know I may go in a whole new direction, or just find something new that interests me and find the time to post, but until then all I can say is thank you and hopefully see you later....

A Serene Life For Me

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Princess Margaret Showhouse by Brian Gluckenstein

OK - I'm probably the last person to blog about this house, but I've only just found my images - amazing what you find when you're weeding through things.  Including my very, very large selection of images.  At any rate, I love this home and the colour palette.  These are my colours lately for everything from clothes to décor.  I just find it soothing - and in this very sophisticated.  See for yourself.

This house design was used once before by the Princess Margaret foundation but with a completely different look inside. 

Located in Oakville, Ontario (like all the homes so far). 
I love this picture gallery hallway.
Love the pictures on the shelves to the left. 

The hallway and dining area.  Those dining chairs.... I would love those.

Love the big window and the dark grey painted interior of the cupboards.

The Library is a double height library - an idea he must have gotten from his own home.
Such an elegant home.
House & Home for a tour with Brian himself.
Brian Gluckenstein is like the Canadian version of Ralph Lauren.  Well without the fashion part.  Still he's all life style home décor and boy do I have a thing for his products and home designs.  I haven't seen one I didn't like yet.  There are so many rooms I didn't showcase so check out the link above for more images.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Case in Point

As mentioned Kate Winslet became their spokesperson a few years later.  She's never looked better and I love these ads. 

And she's got curves and a couple of kids.  Good choice.  She looks stunning as you can see.
Just out of curiosity I decided to check out the 2014 Advertising campaign online.  Looks like their going in a new direction again.  St. John's you need a new spokesperson and fast.  This branding works for you as it draws our attention and an admiration for the clothes and designs. 
There now that it's off my chest I'll get back to my "Get it Together" campaign.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's time to give Angelina Jolie a break...

I was recently looking for an image and came across some old images of Angelina Jolie modeling for St. John's.  Part of my cleanup and clearing out effort.

At any rate, let's get this out of the way first.  I like Jennifer Aniston (always have) but I've always felt that Angelina Jolie got a bum deal when the marriage ended.  Let's be honest here, it was Brad Pitt in the marriage and Brad Pitt who strayed.  I've always felt he got off too easily as everyone wanted to blame the vixen Angelina.  Now, Angelina was a great actress but a bit too weird and edgy for my liking.  That changed when she adopted her son Maddox and even more when she hooked up with Brad.  (If anything nowadays she appears to be the conservative, classic dresser and Brad looks like an unmade blanket - no offense Brad). 

By the way, Angelina clearly has curves, but she also appears to have a fast metabolism.  My son is the same way and he eats non-stop to keep a decent weight.  I have the grocery bills to prove it. 
However, I digress....  This is about the St. John's advertisements that she did when she was their spokesperson.  I'll be honest I had never even heard of St. John's (or didn't pay them much attention) until Angelina became their spokesperson.  I loved the black and white ads and saw the brand as sexy, elegant and stylish.  So you can imagine how surprised I was when it was announced that they were dropping her as their spokesperson.  "She was overshadowing the brand."  "They were going in a new direction, away from actresses and blonds...".   They moved onto a new edgy image.  Ok everyone has the right to change their look.  So you can imagine my continued surprise when they moved on to Kate Winslet a few years later.  Hmmmm - Academy Award Winning Actress, Blond. 

At any rate, I'm posting the images again and just had to get that off my chest.  It's been years since her affair with Brad.  Six kids later and their still together and still very much in love and clearly committed to one another and their kids.  So let's just move on and give the woman a break.  She's a good actress, clearly a good director and screen writer and humanitarian and from all appearances a great mother.   She has my admiration for those characteristics.

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