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.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar is Back

I'm a big fan of the Oscars but when they started going for a younger audience I found myself not even bothering to watch.  Apparently from the reviews I didn't miss much.  However, this year since I like Ellen DeGeneres I figured I would tune in.  Actually my son was the one who really wanted to watch the Oscars figuring it should be a good one with Ellen as the host. (So much for going for the youth audience - even my teenager prefers the Oscars without the need for hosts to get raunchy.) 

I wasn't disappointed.  The best Oscars I've seen in a long time and the fashions were stunning this year.  They appear to have really pulled out the stops.  And it was probably the best Oscar I've seen in years with Ellen being herself - complete with ordering in pizza - which the stars ate, passing the hat for money to give the delivery person - brought out on stage.  And popping up out of nowhere in the audience to announce the show.  It was completely unpredictable and fun. 

My favourite moment however was this.  So Ellen and so fun.

Ellen broke twitter with her impromptu photos.  You'll probably be able to see the others on her show as she took a few, but this was hilarious.  It started with Meryl Streep and went from there.  Everyone appeared to being have a great time and that's what makes the Oscar's a great show.
Great job Ellen.  I hope the Oscar committees have learned from this experience.  You made the Oscar's fun again. 
The actual shot twitter shot. 
But back to the red carpet fashions.... 
Brad and Angelina - both big winners tonight.  Angelina with a Honorary Oscar for her humanitarian work and Brad for Best Picture - 12 Years a Slave.
Lupita Nyongo - winner for best actress
Matthew McConaughey - winner for best actor and his lovely wife - what a pretty colour on her.
Amy Adams - wow - Bill Murray said it best so I won't comment.

Jessica Biel - this dress just shimmered with so many colours in the lights.

Jennifer Garner - sparkling on her own without Ben.

Emma Watson - this dress was so beautiful on her - she's become such a stunning woman.
Charlize Theron - Wow - She rarely goes wrong and this dress was just amazing.

Jennifer Lawrence - a showstopper in red.  Even my son commented on this dress.  I think he's got a bit of a crush anyway - although he'll never admit to watching the Hunger Games movies - he's too cool for that.

Kate Hudson - when she came out to present they showed her mother Goldie Hawn who was awed by how stunning her daughter looked.  Mama's very proud.

Kerry Washington - Glowing in her lavender gown and pregnancy. 

Naomi Watts - Such a lovely shimmering dress.
And saving one of the best for last - Sandra Bullock - simple, elegant and a great person and actress.
I won't even get into the jewelry worn tonight.  A king's ransom sparkling in the lights.  Serious bling everywhere. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet with Natalie Portman

While I'm trying to sort through my house and put things in order, I've got to admit that I'm desperate for spring.  Anything - even some small sign of hope would be great right about now.  This winter has me feeling like a hermit and I know there are plenty of others who feel the same.  So I'm taking a quick break to indulge myself because a person can only clean out closets for so long. 

This caught my eye and I'm dying to try it - the timing couldn't be more perfect since anything even hinting at spring seems like heaven right now.  The power of scent is a huge part of this and for me this new perfume looks like the a good one to try.  The advertising images of Natalie Portman for the campaign are stunning.  Enjoy a little taste of spring.

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