Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week 9 - 365 Decluttering

This is about decluttering but it is also about rearranging items for display, which is becoming part of a spring cleaning project which I am enjoying as it is being done in little spurts. It is freeing up space in the much used areas and moving stuff to other less used spaces as well.
There is also the decluttering of the mind as well, I have things that need to be done, you know, all that household administrivia.

Sunday Feb 27 - cleaned out 7 more OTC items from the medicine cabinet that were well past their expiry dates. My DH has a penchant for buying these for "just in case". In fact, no sooner had I cleared these out than he came back from the drugstore with a replacement for one of them!

Monday - chopsticks, I know sounds crazy. We had a bunch of them from take-out Chinese food. I do not need these, as I have beautiful ones that I bought in Hong Kong as well as some I bought here in a great grcoery store T & T.

Take-out chopsticks
 Chopsticks bought in Hong Kong
 Pretty chopsticks from T&T
 Messy drawer with chopsticks still not tidied up but at least they ones above are no longer in kitchen drawer and all chopsticks are in the same place.

Tuesday - nothing exciting just an oven mitt and apron - into charity pile.
The bag of birdseed is now in the container that I didn't know what to do with last month.
2 open bottles of dishwashing detergent - kitchen container filled up and remainder combined into 1 bottle

Wednesday - Trivet
Cleaned out some duplicate containers in the fridge

Thursday - Vase - to household items for Craigslist.
Oil dispenser - received as a gift this week but not needed.
Some miscellaneous stuff found in a bathroom drawer.

Friday  - Copies of travel visas - expired not needed. Also some more papers from the filing cabinet were taken into the office for disposal in the secure bins.

Saturday - finally threw out the remaining flowers from Valentine's Day - they really lasted well as I had put them into a smaller vase and then put them on the cold front porch.
The vase they were in went into the box of stuff to be posted on Craigslist.

Saturday - Herbal supplement bought by DH online with an expiry date of September 2009 that was taking up room in the fridge.

Some items to tackle next week are the various throws/blankets that are around or in a closet.
Also in the plan is some of the stuff in the basement including garbage etc.

365 Decluttering - Week 8

Sunday Feb 20 - I spent going through the Photoshop magazines and getting them in order. Then I went through the CDs which came with the magazines and found other photo software CDs and magazines that I didn't know I had so obviously they can go. Then I got down the big box of CDs and cleared that out.
I plan to post these items on Craigslist shortly.

Monday - I am tired of my centrepiece on the dining room table. The candles need replacing. Also it has no meaning for me, it was bought at a big box store.
 I will be adding this to a lot of household articles for Craigslist.

Tuesday - I brought back into work some cables from my old work laptop that no longer fit the new one.

Wednesday - Some things are not quite decluttering but substituting. As part of the cleaning up and out of our current offices on King St I was given a new vase by someone who did not want it. I am replacing my similar sized vase with is one for a couple of reasons, the new one (on the left) was given to me by a close worker and my old one (on the right) is a little "too country" for me. It will go into the lot of household articles I plan to advertise on Craigslist.

Thursday - a decluttering of a different kind. I had purchased Toronto Entertainment Coupon Book as part of a fund raising campaign at work. It covers a large portion of the Greater Toronto Area, and contains coupons for things we would not use. I had a friend, with a small baby, go through the book and help herself to any coupons in her area or of interest to her.

Friday - 2 summer dresses were "rehomed' to a friend.

Saturday-  not much today, old lottery ticket still held up by a magnet on the fridge, that we won a spa kit on before Christmas! And a pair of jeans for the charity pile.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Foodie Fryday - Buffalo

Buffalo has an excellent Taste of Buffalo every year in July.
I love how you can buy tiny samples so you can try more things. They do an incredible job keeping the streets clean, there are hardly any lineups.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toronto Thursday

I work not far from the Fashion District in Toronto. I am trying to find out some history on these but am having a hard time using the right words in a Google search to describe them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday Weddings - Chicago Illinois

I'm not a big fan of attending weddings, but I do love coming across them when we travel.
These were taken in Chicago at Millenium Park.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recipes - Chicken Divan

Another recipe that has been around our family for years, this is even in my sister's handwriting.

1 bunch broccoli - I typically use fresh, but you could use frozen.

2 cups cooked, chicken - I have also done this with fresh chicken, whatever I have on land. I use chicken thighs and just cut them up.

2 cans cream of chicken soup - click here if you want to make your own. OR use a cup of sour cream to replace any cream of soup can.

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. lemon juice

about 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

You could brown chicken pieces (boneless or bone-in) but I don't bother.

Put the chicken in the bottom of a crockpot or casserole dish, if you’re baking it in an oven. Layer the broccoli on top of the chicken. Stir together the soup, mayo and lemon juice. Spread this mixture over the broccoli. Top with the cheese. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so. Or cook in a crockpot on low for 4-5 hours.

I do this in the oven as a quick meal.

Thirsty Tuesday - Kelley's Island, Ohio

Love this label!

And check out the beers made at Kelleys Islands Brewery, below is their description of their home crafted beers.

Summer Haze: "Attention lite beer lovers, the wait is over." Finally, a handcrafted beer is available for the lighter palette...

Anglers Ale: "Tighten your lines, Anglers." This is one brew worth reeling in. A Standard English Bitters, which possesses a medium body, dark copper in color and thick creamy head. Mild and pale ale malts blended with wheat and then dry hopped.

Dawg Bizkit Brown: a classic brown American. Full body taste, thick head and lightly hopped for a smooth semi-dry finish. Unique combination of roasted barley, chocolate, and crystal malts. Our most requested ale. It ain't for poodles!!

Island Devil: Our devilish brew is a Classic Double Belgian Style Ale...A sipping beer with unmistakable aromatic characters of spiced plums, German hops and Trappist yeast. Dark copper color, smooth body and creamy head is achieved with crystal malts and brewers sugar. Alcohol content is twice as much as most, 8.5% - a professionals-only recommendation.

Gale Force Ale: "Batten down the hatches, hops-lovers!" Find a safe harbor to anchor. You're about to enjoy the best "India Pale Ale" on the Great Lakes...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday's Motels - Buffalo

I have a fascination with old motels found along back roads in America. These are disappearing quickly as the chains buy up prime property and also as people look for more modern accomodation. I snap pictures of them whenever I can, but it can be hard from a moving car! They sometimes have the cutest names, unlike the generic corpoate names most have nowadays.
These were taken around Buffalo, NY. There's a couple that have two shots as we were lost and turned around so I managed a better shot in some cases.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Recipes - Hummingbird Cake

I was in Atlanta on business a couple of years ago and tried this cake in a restaurant. It was the best. Since then I've made it several times using this recipe.

Hummingbird Cake


• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 large eggs, beaten
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• 2 cups chopped bananas
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1 (16 ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs, and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.

(Do not beat) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9" round cakepans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top.

Store in refrigerator.

365 Decluttering - Week 7

Sunday Feb 13 - Since the power went out I decluttered my bureau drawers and put a pile of stuff into the charity pile and a couple of things in the garbage.

Also threw out 3 cans from kitchen cupboard that had expired.

Monday - went to $ store to get some more small containers to finish off the spices cleanup. Finished product:

Tuesday - A couple of silhouettes done of us in Guilin China showing the Elephant Trunk behind us. These were to go a while ago but they kept sitting on the desk for a while before they made it into the garbage.

Here is a photo of the man creating them.

And a picture of Elephant Trunk Hill

Wednesday - an OLD address book.

Thursday - the hood from my old winter coat which went into the charity bags last month.

Friday -Nothing done at home but have been helping declutter the office for our move!

Saturday - Finally found a frame to replace the frame on a photo of my parents. It was an old cheap frame, it just dawned on me that it really should go!