Kitchen Makeover Complete!

Well I spent practically my entire weekend working on my kitchen, but I'm happy to say that aside from a few tiny touch ups, I managed to get it all done! My Saturday was spent painting up a storm, and yesterday was devoted to cleaning and organizing. It's safe to say that I am extremely happy with the finished product! This will definitely tide me over until I have the extra money to be able to afford new floors and a new counter top.

So without further ado...

After Pictures:

Kitchen Makeover: Part 2

Since I work from 8-5, my little project is having a slow start. I am however making some progress. Still find myself extremely excited and eager to get this paint on the walls though!

Day 2:

Tonight I managed to sand down the spots that I patched up last night, as well as prime those spots so that my walls will be ready for painting Saturday morning. Since that was only about a 15 minute job, I also worked on painting my butcher block cart. I never did anything to this cart since removing it from the box and assembling it after I brought it home from, I figured that since I'm doing a makeover of the rest of the kitchen, I figured this cart could use a makeover as well. Here are the pictures.

My little helper Boo

3X Thursday: Happy Turkey Legs! (To My American Friends)

Well, this week's issue of 3X Thursday isn't exactly geared towards me since I am Canadian. But, I will play along anyway. :)

1. What’s up for Turkey Day this year?
Turkey day for me was back in the middle of October - see my post here. It was a fantastic day though! I cooked up a storm and we just had a great family day.

2. What’s on the menu for Turkey Day?
This years turkey day menu was pretty fabulous. I cooked a delicious bird, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes and squash, while my mom made a dish of sweet potatoes and spinach. All was finished off with a pumpkin cheesecake (my new favourite dessert recipe) and my mom's dutch apple pie. It was amazing.

3. Besides all of the good food, what’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Why?
I think my favourite thing about thanksgiving is having the opportunity to get a lot of the family together. We all live such busy and hectic lives these days and it's so hard to get together - even if some of us live in the same city! Thanksgiving, along with other holidays are so nice as they give us all the opportunity to stop and be with the family we love.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American Friends!!

Call Me Crazy...Time For A Kitchen Makeover!

I'm approaching my 3rd Christmas in my house, and as I started gather up my recipes for my Christmas baking over the weekend, I took a look in my kitchen and decided that I just can't stand this uninspiring place anymore! I've hated my kitchen since I bought the house and have always wanted to re-vamp it, but have just not gotten around to doing anything yet. C and I spent some time over the summer planning what we would love to do with the place, however that plan would cost much more money than we have right now. Since the money isn't there to do the overhaul we'd like, I've decided to do the next best thing - paint. Painting the room in the 2 colours I have chosen should hopefully help brighten up the place and bring some cheer and happiness into the room. I NEED to do this because honestly, I have absolutely 0 desire to do any cooking or baking in there anymore which is not a good thing for me! I love to cook and bake!

So without further ado, this evening I made a trip to Canadian Tire, purchased paint, came home, and began my project. I will document this little solo project of mine for something neat to look back on, and also perhaps for your enjoyment. ;)

Day 1:

Removed all wall plates, sanded down shotty patchwork done by previous owners, washed the walls, and filled in any holes. So basically, these are the BEFORE shots.

Snow. My Love/Hate Relationship

I am sitting here in my lonely little cubicle, looking out to see a grey sky and raindrops trickling down the window. I sigh a little as it is yet another grey and dreary day, but then I find myself pausing for a moment. My eyes wander over to my calendar and I suddenly begin to wonder why I am sighing. Should I not be happy that it's only raining? It is the 25th of November and we have not seen one single snowflake yet this season. Shouldn't I be jumping for joy? Don't I hate snow? least I thought I hated snow...

Last winter had to be the worst winter for snow accumulation since I moved to the GTA from Eastern Ontario. Growing up in Eastern Ontario, the norm for my winters were many dumpings of snow and very cold temperatures that hovered around the -20s and -30s. I was actually surprised when I first moved to the GTA how different the season is around here. Up until last year, the winters around here have been tolerable. We've gotten snow, but not as much as back home so I've been happy. But last year, all hell seemed to break loose in the skies!

Last year was definitely the year of the snow. It started falling November first and didn't seem to stop all winter long. The worst part about it to me was the shovelling. You see, I share a driveway with my neighbour, so it only allows me to shovel snow to the one side onto my front lawn. By February this year, my snow banks were over 10ft tall! No joke! The shovelling was getting so hard, that every time it snowed, I'd almost be in tears when I had to shovel in attempt to launch it over the high snow banks.

By this past spring, I had vowed that I officially HATED snow. If Canada had a place where it never snows, I'd want to move there in a heartbeat. Unfortunately though, I'm SOL.

So... since I vowed that I hate snow only 8 months ago, why am I finding myself sighing as I look out into the snowless world that is my work's parking lot?

I was happy when I heard several days ago that Environment Canada announced that we would have a warm winter with not very much snow. Thoughts of the possibility of minimal shovelling this season excited me! So why am I sighing now?

Could I actually still really like snow?

When I really think about it, I actually do think I'd prefer to look out and see a nice white blanket of snow covering the ground and a sky bluer than a robin's egg...rather then a ground covered in mud from the constant rain and a sky so grey that it makes you just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate until spring.

Photo Credit: Sam Javanrouh

The Biggest Winner - Eat and Exercise

I want to bring up this topic today because winter is quickly approaching. The days are getting shorter, we're seeing less daylight, and even I'll admit it, we're starting to hibernate and become lazy. I say lets kick it in the butt ahead of time and get cracking before we get too comfy ;)

The current season of The Biggest Loser is quickly coming to an end. And although I have not made any posts about it, I am indeed watching and loving it just as much as every other season. There is something about this show that I think is so magical. It's so good to see people who, at the beginning of the season are at their all time low, finish off as completely different people! And they accomplish this not by taking strange pills, or practising fad diets like you see advertised on tv. They accomplish this simply by learning to eat right and exercising! Who would've thunk it?!

It really amazes me how so many people seem to fall at the hands of advertising and believe that all the fad diets and pills will actually make them lose weight and be healthy. Yes they might lose weight, but they certainly won't be healthy.

I thank my parents every chance I get for raising me to be healthy and active. Thanks to them, I luckily never had any sort of weight or health issues. They have also given me enough knowledge to continue on the healthy path on my own which I have been able to do for the past 7 years since leaving the 'nest'.

To those who aren't so aware of the simple ways to stay healthy and happy... watch The Biggest Loser. Seriously! Yes, that means 2 hours on your butt in front of the TV, but the things you learn via that show are endless.

...I even let Jillian Michaels kick my butt once a week via her 20-min workout dvd. That woman is even scary via a dvd! It's so worth it though.

Going In The Right Direction

Yesterday proved to be a pretty good day for me in that I managed to make a little step in the right direction finance-wise. I lucked out and happened to be in the right place at the right time.

While un-tacking my horse after a really nice ride, my BO (BO = barn owner) and I had a nice chat. I miss my chats with her as the seem to come by at rare moments, when the barn is empty. I'm actually surprised that no one else came out to ride yesterday morning because it was so nice out! Anyway, back to our chat. She mentioned that one of the other boarders who has been doing the Sunday morning barn chores for the past few weeks has quit already, due to personal reasons. My BO seemed a little bummed out since I think she was finally happy to be getting Sunday mornings off, and wasn't really looking forward to her 7-day-a-week job again. Well I thought about it for well.... ummm... maybe a split second and chimed in "I'll do it!".

I desperately need the extra cash in my pocket, and after working 40 hours during the week, could not justify going out and getting any other sort of part time work to take up ALL of my time. So... starting a week from Sunday, I now have the job of doing the barn chores. All I will have to do is muck out the stalls every Sunday morning and make sure there is food and water in the empty stalls ready for the horses when they come in. I figure it will probably take me 2 hours and in the end, I will get a killer ab workout, AND I get money taken off my board! Sounds good to me!
....I also happened to be in the right place at the right time when one of the other boarders showed up, while I was riding my third of the morning, and offered me money to clean up her horse's mane. My immediate response out loud to her - "Sure!"... and my immediate response inside my head - "Score!".
Things are definitely going in the right direction now.

3x Thursday: Music Check-In

I'm always trying to think of new ways to express my opinions on certain topics, but sometimes I just find myself having a hard time thinking of topics to talk about. So, I am going to try something out here. Providing I can keep up with this, I think it could be fun. Starting today, every Thursday will now be dubbed "3x Thursday".

The whole purpose of 3x Thursday is to answer 3 random questions about a similar topic. Sounds fun to me! Enjoy the ride.

1. Have you gotten any new music lately? If so, what? If not, why not?

I actually purchased 2 new albums last week. They only cost me $1 thanks to swagbucks!

The first being volume 1 of the soundtrack for the show Glee. I am completely in love with Glee, so it was a given that I'd get the soundtrack. I have had it for over a week now and it has not left the cd player in my car. My singing skills have certainly improved in this time! ;)

The second album I purchased last week is The Swell Season's new release, "Strict Joy". I fell in love with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova about 2 years ago when I came across their movie "Once". This new album has definitely not been a disappointment. These two are just magical together.

2. Have you been to any concerts lately? Are there any coming up that you want to go to?

I unfortunately only got to go to one concert this year due to my lack of funds. However, it just so happens that that one concert was for my favourite band, Our Lady Peace. C and I went to see them at Bluesfest in Ottawa back in July and it is a night that I will never forget. I sadly just had to miss two shows that I would have loved to attend - one being for Pilot Speed, and the other The Swell Season. Here's hoping I'll have more opportunities next year.

3. In your opinion, has 2009 been a decent year for music? Why/why not?

I think that 2009 has been an amazing year for music, for me at least. Of course, the musical highlight of the year was the long awaited new release from Our Lady Peace. I've been waiting for several years for this and "Burn, Burn" did not disappoint me. Other notable releases from this year include new music from Metric, Pilot Speed, and The Swell Season. Can't wait to see what comes out next year!

New SATC Book! .. Well, Sort Of

On a happier note...

I just read on Perez that Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City (my all time FAVOURITE series), is publishing a new book next spring! The book is to be titled "The Carrie Diaries" and will be all about Carrie's high school days.

This news has totally made my day! I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

Getting Something Off My Chest

So I've been feeling pretty low lately. I hate complaining, especially because things are completely out of my control and the main reasoning is out of any one's control. But it does suck.

David from The Rest Is Still Unwritten made a good point on his Sunday post when he recommended that we all just write like no one is reading. Because in all honesty, as a blogger, why should I really care what other people think? I need to write what I'm thinking and feeling in order to portray my utmost honestly. I shouldn't write to try and please people, in attempt to try and gain more readers. I should write because I love to write. I should write from the heart and if something is on my chest, just get it out in the open because I know that deep down I will feel better in the end.

So here goes nothing.

My little rant of the day.... if you can even call it a rant.

As piddly and measly as this sounds, I haven't seen C (despite 2 quick trips to his work to say hi) in over a week. Before that, for the past month or so, I've only gotten to spend time with him a few nights a week and it's really starting to get to me now. I know most couples almost seem to thrive on time apart, but C and I aren't one of those couples. We have been as inseparable as possible since we met just over a year and a half ago. We fully admit to each other that we're 'clingy' and need to be with the other, but we're both like that and it works for us. We are so madly and deeply in love that we just can't justify being apart more than we have to (ie. when I'm at work, or when he is at work or school). He is currently in his final semester of school, and although we've made it through the grind at the end of his two previous semesters with flying colours, this time it's a lot tougher.

He's been working part-time at a grocery store since February to help out with his bills and such. Up until October, things were ok and manageable. He'd get every 2nd or 3rd weekend off meaning we'd get our time together and all was good. All was good up until Halloween time that is. C asked his boss 3 weeks prior to Halloween for the weekend off so we could partake in some cool holiday activities. 3 days before, his boss wrote on the calendar at work - "Not Possible". From that moment on, it seemed as though his boss had completely turned on him and decided to do no more favours. Ever since then, C has worked every Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. Basically, when I've been off work, he's been working. On top of this, he is in his last weeks of his program and the work is piled right up on him causing lots of stress for him on top of having it be extremely time consuming for him. It sucks.

I really know I should not be complaining, because the job is temporary and it's just to get him through school. He is literally in the final stretch now of school and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The light being him finally being done school, and being able to get a job which will give him the money to finally move in and allow us to really start our life together. You see! It's a REALLY good light at the end of that tunnel. much as I tell myself it's almost over, and it's not his fault, or any one's fault at that, I still find myself completely bummed out and very low. I'm just seriously missing my soul mate and my best friend and am at the point where I don't know what to do with myself without him! I can only clean my house so many times! lol

Here's hoping the next 3 weeks go by quickly.

There. Phew! Off my chest.

A Review: The Book of Negroes

Wow. Where do I even begin?

I didn't know what to expect when I purchased "The Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill. I had some free money for amazon to purchase a book (thanks to swagbucks), saw that this book received some great reviews, so I figured - why not! Now that I have read this book, and wished it was 3 times longer at the moment when I read the last word, I know that buying this book was totally worth it.

Lawrence Hill did an absolutely outstanding job telling the tale of Aminata Diallo who was abducted from her village in Africa at the age of 11 by slave traders. The book follows Aminata throughout her ups and downs from the time of her abduction, to her last days. Hill's amazing use of fiction alongside history just had me totally and completely immersed in Aminata's story from the first word, right to the last and I really honestly wished he would have kept on writing!

An amazing book indeed, and definitely one that will be added to my must-read list for all other book worms out there!

Let's Talk About Hot Dogs!

Yes, you read correctly. I said hot dogs!

Seriously though, what is it about hot dogs that makes them so delicious?? (I will respond to that myself by saying that was a rhetorical question. I really don't want to know what is in those juicy little tubes of meat.)
Imagine it is a hot and sunny summer day. You're having a back yard bbq with friends and family. Since it a big bbq, you couldn't afford to buy steaks for everything, so you serve the next best thing .. hot dogs! Your face lights up as that perfectly grilled dog is placed in your bun and you slather it in your favourite toppings. (My favourites are ketchup and mustard.) You take that first bite and as that delicious, juicy flavour surrounds the inside of your mouth, it is like you are taken away for a moment; perhaps to a moment in your childhood, or any particularly happy moment. It's like you're in your very own hot dog bliss.

I don't think I've ever met a person who was not fed a lot of hot dogs when they were a kid. Hot dogs are an affordable meal for parents to feed their kids, and to be even more direct about the whole thing, kids LOVE hot dogs! I have a cousin who would eat nothing but hot dogs for several years when he was young! Almost everyone loved hot dogs when they were young, and I really believe that they are one of only a few childhood staples that so many of us adults still love to this day!

C and I both still adore hot dogs. He loves them so much he can eat almost a whole pack at once! Whenever we are stuck with what to have for supper, we look at each other and laugh while saying ummmm.. hot dogs? I almost get embarrassed when I decide to make them for supper because there's 0 effort involved. But when it comes down to it, I really shouldn't feel any embarrassment what-so-ever because they're too damn delicious!

And don't even get me started on street meat. Oh my.. whoever invented selling hot dogs on a cart in the streets of big cities (or at select Canadian Tire stores) is/was a GENIUS!!! Without question, if I am out walking in a big city and am hungry, where do I usually go? Not to a fancy restaurant, or to a fail safe fast-food joint. I go and get street meat!! (yes, that is me below enjoying some street meat in Ottawa)

I think the hot dog will forever be on my list of favourite foods. It's simple, affordable, and so gosh darn good!

Lest We Forget

At 11:00am today, the 11th day, of the 11th month, all Canadians will take a moment and remember. We will remember all of the amazing people who fought for our country in order to allow us to live in a land of freedom and peace. We will wear our poppies proudly above our hearts, and remember.

I feel very lucky to have met a very amazing man around this time last year. He was a veteran of the 2nd world war and was C's grandfather. We unfortunately lost him this past March; he was in his early 90s. I will be thinking of all the veterans today, but most of all, C's grandfather will hold a special place in my heart on this special day.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Worried Over Christmas

Lately I've been having a lot of trouble focusing. Let it be at work, or home. I've noticed that even my riding hasn't been top notch the last little while. My mind has been racing in attempt to figure out the cause of this and I think I finally know why. Or maybe I should say, I've finally been able to find it in myself to admit why.

My name is Laura.

It is coming close to holiday season, and...

I am in debt.

Like major debt.

I have been in debt for a while now, (as in more than my car and mortgage) but I was managing. Things only really seemed to get worse when Piper got sick. It was such an emotional time for me not only just because my pet was REALLY sick, but also because in order to make him better, I had to dig my hole deeper and deeper.

Now I'm not looking for any kind of pity party here. I'm just using this blog of mine to vent a bit while thinking via typing as to what I'm going to do to fix this. I've been on my own in this big house for almost three years now and although it's been tough, I've been managing. I only have a few more months to go until C hopefully finds his dream job and can move in, so I know I will manage until then. It's just extra hard right now because we're creeping up on holiday time. I love Christmas time! I love decorating my house and giving my loved ones amazing gifts!

Rewind 2 years, right about this time of year... I'm single, working on getting over the devastating end to my engagement, wondering what my first Christmas would be like alone in my first home. It was at that time that no matter what, I was going to make sure I was going to have a fantastic Christmas. I would decorate my house as much as I wanted, however I wanted, and not let anything get me down. I've spent two Christmas' in my house so far and loved having my own tree and decorations. I'm kind of getting down on myself right now because due to the fact that I am in some major debt, I've actually been having thoughts that I might not be able to get my Christmas tree this year!

I've had a real Christmas tree every single year since I was born and it's actually killing me a bit inside to think that it just might not happen this year. I realized today that I just might have to improvise, but deep down am hoping that I can really do it. Perhaps I'll be able to find a little evergreen in a pot that I can decorate and then attempt to keep alive long enough to plant in my yard next year? Or maybe I'll luck out and find a real one for REAL cheap somewhere? (It cost me $40 last year! Ouch.) It's actually scaring me because this Christmas might actually really be different. I know it's just a tree, and family and friends should be what matters during the holidays, but there's definitely still that little girl inside of me that NEEDS my tree!

On the positive side of things, I've decided that I'm going to try and use my craftiness to make some very affordable gifts for my loved ones. I've been having fun searching the web to try and figure out what to make this year. Hopefully everyone loves the finished products!
For interest sake, here's my very first Christmas tree from my very first Christmas, in my very first, very own home. :)

Thank You Piper

It appears as though today is just one of those days...

After having a very busy weekend filled with lots of yard work fun, I decided to get organized for bed about a half hour early last night. I proceeded with my usual bedtime routine of brushing my teeth, washing my face, feeding the cats, shutting my curtains, and turning on my alarm. Well... so I thought.

I had an amazing sleep with no tossing and turning, or having to wake up to empty my damn bladder in the middle of the night. Piper started bugging me a bit in the early hours of the morning - something he's taken to since he had his operation and I decided to let him sleep with me - but it was a usual morning. Until Piper really started bugging me! Usually he just lays on my shoulder, or my chest, or back - depending how I am laying, all while purring his brains out in attempt to wake me up so that I will go and feed him. This morning though, he suddenly started going nuts playing on my chest! Pulling at my blankets and everything! I got mad at him for a second for waking me like that until I uncovered my clock to find the time showing 6:45!!!!! My alarm usually goes off at 6:15! Apparantly, although I thought I set it, I didn't.

Needless to say, my morning was pretty rushed as I tried to shower, get dressed, make and eat breakfast, feed the cats and clean their litter all in less than an hr! Thankfully Piper knew that I had to get up and did his darndest to make sure I did!

Isn't it amazing how animals just know things? Piper knew that I needed to get up at that exact time to be able to make it to work! I thanked him all morning at home and will thank him publicly now --- thank you Piper!!!
***...for those readers interested, Piper has recovered 100% from his surgery and acts younger now than he has in a few years! So glad my little guy is back to normal now! :)

Cleaning Green

I think it's safe to say that we as a species (well most of us at least) have finally come to term with the fact that we have been slowly killing our planet over the years and that the time has come to really step up and do what we can to save the planet we have left.
I have always seen myself as someone who was conscious about the environment and how I went about my day-to-day life. I turn of lights when I need to, use a thermostat in my home, limit my water usage, embrace my local recycling/composting program and really just try not to waste anything. The one area where my attempts at being greener lacked has been in the cleaning department.
To be completely honest, I've never been an advocate for "green" products. I'm not sure if it's the mentality that was enforced on us growing up, but I really never believed that a green product could actually clean like the normal fail-safe brands out there. Due to this thinking that I admit to having, I decided to jump at the opportunity to sign up to test a new line of natural laundry detergent from Clorox® Green Works™.
I was only hoping for a coupon to give it a shot, but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that I was one of 50 Canadian bloggers chosen by to participate in a word of mouth campaign to promote this new product!

Last Friday, a box showed up at my office with some wonderful goodies inside! Along with these goodies, I received some instructions. The first being to try these Green Works™ products myself and share my opinion on this blog. And the second being to SHARE Green Works™ with some friends and get their input. Sounds easy enough, right?

So let's get down to business. :)

Since my box of goodies showed up at my office, and due to the fact that I couldn't contain my excitement, my co-workers got curious. So.. I started off this little project my sharing samples and FPCs (FPC = free product coupon) for Green Works™ natural laundry detergent with my co-workers. I gave them their own little project to test out the detergent over the next few days and report back on this blog post on their thoughts on the product. Can't wait to hear from you all!

I wanted to share more! So I then decided to hold a little contest on one of my favourite message boards, Smart Canucks! I made a post calling out to all Smart Canucks readers saying that I would send out an FPC for Green Works™ to the first 8 people who posted a picture of their dirty laundry! It made for a super fun afternoon and 8 people did actually post pictures of their laundry pile! I mailed the 8 participants their FPC yesterday in hopes that they test out the product and report back here with their thoughts! Click HERE to check out all the fun we had!!
Now that I had completed one of my tasks by sharing the majority of the coupons and samples I was given, I figured I better try this stuff out for myself! And that's what I did on the weekend! Here's what I thought of it:

Again, I can't say again how excited I was to have been picked to do this. I have contemplated trying out green laundry detergent, but when I really thought about it, I came to the conclusion of - how is something green going to clean something so grimy as my horse's dirty saddle pads? So... this past weekend, I put it to the test on all of my laundry, including a load of dirty horse items. And you know what? IT ACTUALLY WORKED!!! Seriously, I was shocked! A laundry product that is 95% natural actually cleaned horse laundry! To those of you who might be reading this and thinking - well what's so special about horse laundry? Well do I have an eye opener for you! You see, miss Chelsea, my lovely horse, despite having "Lady" in her registered name, believes that it is most comfortable sleeping in her poop! Poop mixed in with dirt from rolling outside, mixed with sweat from our workouts = some pretty dirty saddle pads. And Green Works™ Natural Laundry detergent actually cleaned them! This is a big plus in my books.

Putting horse laundry aside, all of my clothes and towels now have an AMAZING lemony fresh scent that can almost be compared with the likes of Gain! Gain's scent is pretty special, but I think that since Green Works™ is 95% natural, I think it has managed to inch just above Gain for my overall new favourite detergent. I have actually found a green detergent that does the job, smells great, AND is good for our environment! A+ in my books!

I was also lucky enough to receive a bottle of Clorox® Green Works™ natural all-purpose cleaner to try. It couldn't have come at a better time because I was in need of a new bottle of all-purpose cleaner and I had a *big* cleaning job to do. I'm almost embarrassed to say, but before this weekend, my fridge was pretty nasty. Like beyond gross. It was full of rotting food, had stains all over, and stank. I contemplated taking a picture to post on here, but it's embarrassing enough telling you all about that situation now! Needless to say, I was eager to give this natural cleaner a try.

Well, Clorox® Green Works™ managed to surprise me yet again! After completely emptying my fridge I sprayed this natural cleaner all over. I couldn't believe how easy it was to clean! There was honestly huge brown piles of rotting stuff on the shelves... stuff that had been so long that it sort of dried on the shelves - gross, I know! Well this cleaner took it off in one easy wipe! My fridge now smells great, and looks great too! My boyfriend said it looked like new!

After completing my fridge clean-up, I have come to the conclusion that if this cleaner, that is made of natural ingredients can clean nasty, brown fridge sludge, I don't think there's anything it can't clean! Another A+ in my books!

All in all, I was extremely impressed with the Clorox® Green Works™ products I received. Both the detergent and all-purpose cleaner did their jobs by cleaning how they were supposed to clean, and all why being natural, *and* smelling great!!!

If you've been contemplating going green with your cleaning supplies, I highly recommend that you try out this brand. I don't think you'll be disappointed!

***UPDATE!! To those of you who have sampled this detergent, please take a moment to fill out a small survey conducted by Matchstick by clicking HERE !! For every completed survey they receive, Matchstick will be making a $2 donation to The Redwood, a family support shelter that offers assistance to those less fortunate ( Thanks!

The Decline of Halloween?

Is it just me? Or does it seem like the whole essence of Halloween has been diminishing over the past couple of years? It just doesn't seem to be as big of a deal anymore. Not like when I was a kid.

Back in September, C and I were really excited for Halloween. I even made this post showing my excitement. You see, Halloween is C's most favourite holiday and we were planning on going all out this year with some amazing costumes. That was until his boss had to step in and ruin everything for us. C booked off the weekend about 3 weeks and only last week he was told that it was not possible for him to have the time off. To make things worse, out of the 3 possible shifts on Saturday, his boss put him on to work until close. So, due to his boss, any possible Halloween plans for us were thrown out the door. I carved my pumpkins and brought them to my parents house where I hung out for the night in hopes of seeing many cool costumes on the kids that came by.

But here's the kicker! My parents live in a pretty large subdivision and they only had maybe 30 trick-or-treaters! Upon speaking to everyone in my office, it was the same at their houses as well. My office is full of candy right now because there were no kids out trick-or-treating to get it! Where were all the kids?

In my first year in my house, I received over 100 kids. Last year, the numbers dropped drastically and I got maybe 30-40. And this year, even lower. What ever happened to kids making such a big deal about trick-or-treating? What are they doing instead? Are parents keeping them in for some reason? In attempt to protect them from something?

It's just such a shame that a holiday that seemed so BIG when I was a kid has diminished so much over the past few years. I can only hope that the holiday doesn't completely decline by the time I have kids!