Monday, April 2, 2012

kitchen sink wisdom

I'm really happy to share my newest blog - Kitchen Sink Wisdom. It's a blog about home, and food, and living. I like to think of it as an online version of the simplest lifestyle magazine you can imagine - only without the annoying banner ads. Or recipes for cupcakes, next to stern articles about fitness and diet.

And with more soul. For the times when you need it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

where do you go from here?

Hello beautiful person! Thank you for finding this blog. I'm so glad you came.

I am slowly moving all of the original content from this blog to my new blog, here. I hope you'll check it out. It's all about eco-friendly cleaning, organizing, healthy living, art, design and my life.

Peace out.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

using the clothes dryer again

I normally hang all my clothes to dry: It saves energy (dryers are a big energy sucker) and actually helps keep the clothes from wearing out too fast, since the heat and friction of the clothes dryer degrades fibres.

Recently, however, my clothes have been getting really stinky. I first noticed it when I put on a t-shirt for work one day and got a whiff of something akin to old, damp, used lockerroom towels. Not good. Especially on my body, and especially on my way to work.

After some investigation (read: sniffing all my clothes), I concluded that only the most recent wash was smelly. I washed the entire load all over again with borax and vinegar, hoping those eco-friendly deodourizers would do the trick. No such luck. Two days later the drying clothes were still smelly.

So I washed everything one more time with (gulp) a bit of chlorine bleach to kill any germs or mold that were making the clothes smell bad. I hung everything to dry again, and this time all I smelled was the faint, comforting scent of swimming pool. (Which is really not all that comforting, when you stop and think about it; chlorine is toxic in its liquid form, and chlorine bleach fumes are really bad for you.)

The next time I washed a load of clothes, I used a bit of bleach again as a preventive measure. A couple of days later, however, the still-damp clothes stunk just as bad as the first batch. I re-washed the entire load with more bleach, and finally broke down and dried all the clothes in the dryer.

It was a difficult moment for me. When I cast back in my memory, I realized it had been SIX YEARS since I'd last dried my clothes in a dryer. Seriously. I remember because it was the summer of the big blackout (2003), and in the weeks immediately following the blackout I had decided that hanging my clothes to dry would cut down on my family's energy use and contribute towards lessening our burden on the grid.

Above is a picture of my folded laundry after it was done drying. I'm still inexpressably bummed about drying my clothes this way. Plus now all my polyester dress pants are slightly wrinkled. Bleah.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

a little comic relief

I have a problem with corporate marketing companies telling us (women) when, why and how we're supposed to clean. This hilarious video from Sarah Haskins says it best:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

how to buy really green

How do you know if what you're buying is really green or not? My favorite eco-friendly consumer advocate, Debra Lynn Dadd, has written a new book that answers exactly that question. Really Green covers easy green principles that anyone can learn, to help each of us understand the kinds of things that really DO help health and the environment.

It contains all the information you need to be able to tell the difference between products with real environmental and health benefits and those with misleading green hype. In this book, you will learn:

* What "green" really means
* The true foundation for defining green products
* The life cycle of green products
* The eighteen basic principles that define what's green
* The five basic types of green products
* All about green packaging
* Various shades of green products
* The cost of green goods
* How to spot misleading "greenwashing"
* How to change your buying habits to be green

Click on this link to find out more and buy the book today!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

the story of stuff

I gave a talk last night on the subject of green organizing to the North GTA chapter of Professional Organizers in Canada. Today's post was going to be an overview of the points I covered in my talk, but then another organizing colleague of mine sent me a link that takes precedence - and actually explains - even better than I could - some of the ideas I was trying to share last night.

Check out the twenty-minute animated video on this website called The Story of Stuff. It's entertaining and extremely informative. I'll add my own two cents in a day or two...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

i have a new job

This entry was posted simultaneously on three of my blogs: an organized existence, the greener cleaner and the rest of my life.

I just found out today that I have a new full-time job: Artistic Administrator for The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Canada's first professional choir dedicated to performing Afrocentric music of all genres. But through the mysteries of cyber-space management (and the fact that I always save several empty "draft" blog posts in each of my blogs every month), I am not actually writing this post until more than two months later - Sunday, March 16, to be exact.

I didn't write about my new job until now (March) because for most of my first two months on the job I was secretly terrified that I might be fired at any moment. It's not that I was doing a bad job... it's just that I wasn't sure I was doing a really good job. And I wasn't sure if my employer, the Chorale's Artistic Director, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, thought I was doing a good job, either.

Can I say that I LOVE my new job, though? It's been both challenging and rewarding, and is pushing me to grow professionally and personally in so many ways. At the end of every day I am ecstatic that I get to serve the amazing musicians who can do this:

I am inspired and lifted up by this group of people. This is a very special organization that touches so many lives in a very important way.

Brainerd and I were chatting with an arts colleague recently, and this person mentioned that her own organization had gone for several months without hiring someone for a vacant administrative position because they decided they were going to wait for just the right fit. Eventually someone walked through the door with that special aura about them that told our colleague she'd found "the one."

Later that day I asked Brainerd if he had felt the same way when he hired me - expecting him to answer in the negative (which he did). (Can I say that one of the other things I love about my new job is that I feel I can talk freely to Brainerd about almost anything?) The thing is, it wasn't obvious when I was hired that I possessed all the skills and experience needed to do this job well. Brainerd had made a list several months earlier, though - a list of all the qualities that he wanted in his future administrative head. And the longer I'm at this job, the more he is realizing that I have most of those qualities.

How many jobs have you had where you've felt you were the answer to someone's prayer? It's pretty sweet...

I'm still doing organizing and eco-friendly consulting on the side, but I'm pretty selective with the clients I take on now. Feel free to contact me about a project you'd like help with, and if I can't do it myself, I will refer you to someone I can.

(And don't be afraid to hold out for "the one" while you're at it...)