Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Top 10 tips for downsizing

I found this while sipping the first cup of coffee and skimming news sites this morning (okay, MSN has news and celebrity gossip...)

"Cut out the unnecessary before you move to a smaller home."

Good tips.  I chuckled though when they suggested to start three months before your move.  I guess that's good advice if it's just you and your own baggage. 

Details at: 
http://yourmoney.ca/real_estate/top_10_tips_for_downsizing/0c91c32c  which eventually leads to the source article at http://www.styleathome.com/homes/real-estate/top-10-tips-for-downsizing/a/308

I am giving our household more than twelve months due to other commitments and projects on the go.  One young person has one more year of university (insert glowing pride :-) here).  The others are still working out their paths. 

I find it interesting as we go through the seasons, identifying things that we don't use (umm, treadmill, de-humidifier anyone?) and things we likely won't use or need after our move (snow shovels, gardening shovels, rakes, buckets, etc.). 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

theoretical physics

Prof. Stephen Hawking will visit the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, ON, this summer to conduct scientific research and participate in a televised outreach event.

I plan to watch at least one of the events. It will be a good distraction from the mundane.   

Special televised lecture on TVO airs Sunday, June 20 2010 at 8:00PM

I find this stuff incredibly interesting.  I sure hope they have sub-titles or a lay-speak interpreter ;-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Proliferation of Personal Care Products

When you share two bathrooms with three young people, you're going to see an increased variety of toiletries / personal care products.  It's a challenging task, organizing bottles and containers on limited counter space or assigning them to baskets and boxes.  One person has been asked to keep her items in her room.

We use many different kinds of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, deodorants, etc..   Of course, if certain people (a-hem) would just agree to get a hair cut, they wouldn't need all those special conditioners and de-tanglers.  Nice try Mom...

Then there are those sample packs of lotions or shampoos included in magazines or  wrapped in with other products.  I haven't even used some that have been stashed for years.  I assume that they have either degraded or fermented by now. 

In addition to the growing clutter, another concern I have is the safety of ingredients contained in personal care products.  I don't know enough about them.  I can't even pronounce half of the words!   I just participated in David Suzuki Foundation’s very first survey of toxic ingredients in the personal care products used by Canadians.  Two products I pulled from our bathroom had two or three of the ingredients listed as harmful chemicals.  I couldn't even read the tiny text for ingredients on the other three items. 

I encourage family and friends to take ten minutes to do the survey before the end of June and to write to the Health Minister as recommended by the DSF.

The wallet-sized shopper's guide they offer on the site lists a "dirty dozen" chemicals to avoid when shopping for cosmetics. The DSF encourages Canadians to use it to check the ingredient list on personal care products before making a purchase.  That's fine, dandy and handy BUT if only I could read the tiny print on some of those labels!  It's almost as bad as some food products.  That's another story for another day...

Go well...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Scientific theories on the allure of blondes

Thanks to Carl at True North Perspective for picking up on this ;-)

Why do men find blonde women so very attractive?

by Carole Jahme who has a master's degree in evolutionary psychology and is the author of Beauty and the Beast: Woman, Ape and Evolution

 "..before bottles of hydrogen peroxide became available, blonde hair in females could be interpreted as an honest signal of youth and therefore reproductive fitness."

"For a female to choose a blond male he must be able to deliver resources (mammoth), as his blond hair alone is not enough to turn her on."   Yeah... For me, the attraction might be older, richer, balding men ;-)


Brag is not a four letter word

BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It
By Peggy Klaus

I learned about this book through a recent IT World Canada article, Self promotion: Learn the right way to brag.  From reading the article and the book page, I can safely conclude that the advice could apply to business people, managers, average workers (like me!), writers and other artists. 

Quoting the book's web page: "... in today's competitive business world, bragging is a necessity - not a choice. Remaining quiet about yourself or, worse, downplaying your successes leads to being underappreciated, or even allowing others to take credit for your achievements." 

"People either avoid bragging at all costs because they don't know how to do it gracefully, or they attempt to sell themselves like a PowerPoint presentation, making those on the receiving end want to hide," Klaus writes. Filled with personal and professional self-promotion dilemmas and solutions, BRAG! teaches readers how to put their best foot forward - while keeping it out of their mouths!"
"The truth is, brag is not a four letter word."

I'm going to add this to my reading list.  It may come in handy after I get that pretentious novel published :-) 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I think I can relate with the recent Quirky B creation called "Meltdown".  

This is coming from someone attempting to balance home, work and personal goals.  Challenged and frustrated middle-aged mom with lackadaisical teenage boys.  Argh!  

Thanks for the tour yesterday, Shannon. (and for listening to me rant...)