How I stay (relatively) sane

Oprah says your house should rise up to greet you. Most of the time my house smacks me in the face. The floors are littered with toys that crunch underfoot in the night, the dining room table strewn with school notices, artwork and bills, the walls and doors sullied with fingerprints and and “washable” crayons that didn’t quite wash off. It’s not that we don’t clean — sometimes we’ll scrub ’til the house sparkles — but that we live. And more often than not, living is messy.

It’s taken me a long time to accept and I don’t even fully, but I have found some ways to keep my sanity. Namely, by tidying the areas where I spend most of my time. For me that’s the kitchen (the sunniest spot in the house) and a corner of the living room by the front window where I curl up to blog and read and try to come up with clever things to tweet on Twitter.

chair looking down

I’ve got just enough room on the table (a Target find, surprise surprise) for a giant cup of tea and a stack of books and magazines to inspire. (I’ve just finished All My Puny Sorrows to review for Brazenwoman.)

books

Our poor old chairs have taken a beating over the past couple of years. Eventually I’d like to replace them, maybe with something like these. And replace the throw with one that matches the couch. But it’s plenty cozy for now. And most importantly, it’s mine.

Do you have a corner or a room to call all your own? How do you use it? What makes it special?

Cheap thrills

I do loves me some raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens but these are a few of my favourite things: pink carnations, Coco & Lulu nail polish in “Riviera” and a pretty box to hold my decorative ribbon.

And they’re all under $10!

cheapthrillscollage

The carnations go in my grocery cart once or twice a month. Eight to ten flowers for $6 and they last a good 10 days. I keep ’em in one big bunch on the kitchen island or break them up into bud vases around the house like the magazines do and they make the rooms feel much more sunny. (And me too.)

Coco & Lulu’s polish looks brilliant with just one coat and the colour’s so versatile it’s practically a neutral! It’ll last you forever and it’s just $8.50.

The box is a cheery swap-out from the shoe boxes and random plastic containers I use to corral my wrapping and craft supplies. It makes me smile every time I see it. A cheap thrill for $6!

What are some of your favourite things under $10?

Flowers: Loblaws. Polish: Chapters. Box, vase and wrapping paper: Target.

Sneaker weather

How great does it feel to shed those heavy winter coats and boots for sneakers and light jackets or sweaters?

theirs and mine shoes 1 (2)

We’re tuning up our bikes, pulling out the sidewalk chalk and raking up the leaves that have been hiding under the snow all winter.

theirs and mine shoes 2

We’re long overdue for sunshine and more playtime outdoors.

What will you do now that Spring is finally here?

On the to-do list

One of our projects this weekend is to put this rug down in the kids’ room. We have to take all the books off the bookshelves, unbolt them from the wall and lift the bunk bed, so it’s no wonder we’ve been putting it off for a few weeks.

It’s 8 x 10 indoor-outdoor rug from Target (no surprise there!), on sale a few weeks ago for just $100. It’ll cover all but a few inches all around.

carpetbefunky.jpg

And soon all but a few inches will be covered with toys and books and papers and lord knows what else.

 

Hers and mine

I am dying over the fresh new flats for Spring, especially anything in silver and gold.

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My daughter’s at this stage where she loves dressing the same as me, so I was delighted when I found two pairs that are nearly identical.

Hers: Old Navy. Mine: Target.

We’ll wear them around the house until it’s nice enough to wear them outside.

What’s on your wishlist for Spring?

Makeup must-haves

I love trying makeup products, and two of these are magical miracle-workers.

makeup favs

“They’re Real!” mascara by Benefit will give you the longest, thickest lashes you’ve ever had. I’ve been using it since I saw it rated #1 by Chatelaine readers a few years ago.

The makeup remover and the lip gloss were in a makeup bag a girlfriend gave me for Christmas and the remover has been such a lifesaver! I’d always used baby oil to take off my mascara but it had been irritating my eyes. Lancôme’s BI-FACIL double-action eye makeup remover is wonderfully gentle and effective.

Lancôme’s Juicy Tubes lip gloss has great shine and just a hint of colour, which I like. And it’s not too sticky, as so many glosses are.
Other favourites: The Body Shop’s tea tree concealer; CoverGirl cheekers blush in iced cappuccino; and Marcelle hypo-allergenic liquid eyeliner pen in very black.

What are the must-haves in your makeup bag?