Tag Archives: cleaning

New Hair, Hot Soup and Party Lights!

Jennifer Michie Wonton Soup

Yesterday, I pampered myself to a hair cut, mani and pedi.  I work hard for my money and I think that everyone has the right to treat themselves once in awhile.

I have been through a ton of hairdressers since living here and I have finally found the right one! And it isn’t just the hairdresser, it’s the atmosphere as well. My hair salon of choice in London is the Aveda Spa in Covent Garden. I have been going there for over a year now and I always walk away happy. It is an oasis of serenity.

I hadn’t had my hair cut since the beginning of December. Between my work schedule, weekends being pretty busy and my lovely hair stylist being fully booked, it meant I had to wait ’till this Saturday. But it was well worth the wait! I got a lot of hair chopped off and I LOVE IT! I had numerous compliments; one by a complete stranger that passed me on the street, which made my day!

To celebrate the weekend and a new haircut, Mr. Michie took me out on a date. It was so very cold yesterday and all I wanted was some soup, so off to Cha Cha Moon we went. I had a delicious, warming bowl of wonton soup and a glass of their lemon iced tea. Heaven!!

We spent today, re-organizing all the Christmas decorations. I ordered some storage bags and they arrived this week, so we went to work. It was another downsizing exercise, just keeping what we need and donating the rest to charity. The house has been thoroughly Spring cleaned. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. I’ve put out a few of my Copenhagen surprises and a set of very happy party lights are now adorning the mantle.

One bag of unsorted items remains, but it will have to wait until next weekend. It holds the key ingredients to three separate packages that I plan to mail home. Still, I’ve accomplished a lot, so now I’m sitting back with a glass of wine, next to Mr. Michie, staring at our new lights. Here’s to weekends!!

Online Cleaning

Vintage Dish Ad

I feel that it is just as important to re-ogranize your house as it is to re-organize and evaluate your online presence. I have spent a bit of time doing just that throughout December and January. Culling through my Feedbin account and removing blogs that I was no longer reading as well as sites that hadn’t posted anything in over a year.

I have also done the same with my Twitter account. I had over 700 people I was following and I have now reigned that in to just over 300. I’m streamlining. I’m trying to keep things simple in order to be more productive and not have such a digital crowded space. As Martha would say, “It’s a good thing!”

Cleaning House

Jennifer Michie Red House

We spent a part of our weekend cleaning out our bedroom. I know, I know, it’s the old January organizing cliche, but I love cleaning house. We went through the closets, the jumbo sweater and blanket bags and the storage bags underneath our bed which we managed to downsize the sheets and towels that we need to one bag. By the time we were done, we had a giant box, two XL paper bags and two garbage bags worth of items to take to the charity shop.

We are really working on downsizing. It is wonderful! I find it very therapeutic and mentally cleansing. It’s funny, because the things we got rid of you can’t really see, they are behind doors, but yet when we came back in the house, Mr. Michie said it just felt “lighter” in the cottage, and it did.

I love when we declutter and organise. Little by little we have been doing this in the cottage, choosing one area to tackle and working through it. It means our house only has what we need. Everything has a purpose.

Keeping it Clean

Vintage Eureka Ad

Well we spent the weekend, cleaning! I didn’t mind it one bit, there is something very therapeutic in scrubbing and washing and mopping and dusting! And at the end of it, you have a very sparkly, glittering clean home that you can just relax in. Which is just what we did on Saturday night with some Chinese take out, our vintage projection screen set up, candles lit and The Grand Budapest Hotel was our movie of choice.

Yesterday we tackled the pantry and collected another round of goodies to deliver to the charity shop. We are finally moving in to a really good place, where we are truly shedding all the excess. Who needs all that stuff? We don’t! It’s nice to know that someone else can make good use of it!

Listening in the Quiet

Wildflowers

I’ve done a lot of listening these past few days. School is over, no children about, so all is quiet. I have systematically been going through the studios, cleaning up, cleaning out and re-organizing. Through this process I have been plugged in, catching up on podcasts, listening to music, or simply working in silence, very aware of my surroundings.

I have also been using my cleaning time to meditate, focusing on some of my yogi practices. I am finding my quiet at work, now I am looking forward to being able to find it at home. The last few weeks of school always keep our house in a state of flux. It needs a thorough cleaning, more than the spit and polish it has been getting. As long as my kitchen is clean and my bathroom is clean, I can deal with anything else. But I am ready for everything to be in it’s place.

I shall have a few days to myself soon and I plan to work through the cottage, like I am working through the studios, systematically, carefully, with love and listening in the quiet.

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Re-Organizing

Plastic Couch Cover

We have spent the weekend doing a spot of spring cleaning. The cottage isn’t quite finished, but we have made a big dent. There is something so satisfying about cleaning up, cleaning out and getting rid of things. However, I always feel the same way, once I work on truly cleaning a space, I almost can’t bring myself to use that area or make a mess in it where it has just been thoroughly gutted and cleaned. I’m not quite to the point of plastic couch covers, a house is supposed to be enjoyed after all, but it is nice to see the space you worked so hard to clean and organize stay that way, at least for five minutes.

We made three runs to the charity shop yesterday and will have more to make next weekend as we have gotten rid of more books, cds, dvds and other odds and ends. Some corners of the cottage look a bit bare now and I actually like it. We are just working on sections; one at a time. We picked what we wanted to focus on and then worked through that. That way the task isn’t as daunting and we stay on course. Streamlining is a good thing, every now and then!

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Cleaning

Snow White Cleaning Company

I love this image. I wish I could throw open my windows, stick my head out, purse my lips into a whistle and have a herd of animals come and clean for me! We seem to spend half of every school break really attacking the cottage. Yesterday we cleaned all of upstairs. Dusting everything in sight, going through all of the closets and reorganizing clothes, gathering a collection to take the the charity shop and putting up a few of our heavier sweaters, because in this weather we don’t seem to really need them.

We scrubbed, mopped and polished our way out of the bathroom as well. We did all of this while also tackling “Mount Laundry”. We have almost defeated it! Now, don’t ask me why, but as we move closer to a school holiday, you would think that things would become a little less chaotic. In fact it is the exact opposite. The closer we get the busier, crazier, more late nights we have than ever before, so everything in the house just seems to pile up.

The upstairs of the cottage is entirely clean, now the downstairs needs a good once over. So, I suppose that is my day laid out for me already as I did attempt to whistle out the window this morning with no luck! I guess the woodland cleaning company is on holiday as well!

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The Washing Machine Blues

Whirlpool Surgomatic Washing Machine Ad

I’ve got the blues, the washing machine blues that is! Our machine stopped working last weekend, and a repairman came this week and he “thought” he fixed it. However, after my first load of laundry in 6 days was done yesterday we realized he didn’t fix it, so unlike the lady above, I am not really smiling.

We had wet clothes hanging in every available doorway and on every available space. Looks like a trip to the old laundromat for us this weekend! Because “Mount Laundry” is getting bigger by the day!

The First Day of December

Jennifer Michie Advent 2013

I have a pumpkin pie in the oven, bread torn and drying out, ready to be turned into stuffing, Christmas music playing and I am cleaning the house and beginning to put away Fall in preparation for decorating for Christmas.

This afternoon we will celebrate Thanksgiving. We are a few days late, but it still counts!

I can’t believe that today marks the first day of Advent and the first day of December. Where has this year gone? It seems to have vanished with a blink of an eye! We are trying to keep things a bit more simplified this year. We even bought a chocolate Advent calendar instead of using Eglantine.

Which doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but it is for me. I love Christmas! Our house is usually decorated within every square inch of itself. However, I don’t think it will be that way this year. I love my new job, but it is keeping me very occupied. So something’s gotta give somewhere and that means that this year we are keeping the house decorating elegant yet simple.

Snickerdoodles

We tried a new pizza place down the street on Friday night, it was delicious! A great date night treat! Stone baked pizzas, that were fresh, with homemade, locally sourced and organic ingredients and some items imported directly from Italy.

The dough was so thin and crispy, it was the perfect size! It was so good that after a full day on Saturday, getting up before 6am and running around all day and doing some serious gardening we went back for dinner. Mr. Michie picked up a pizza for himself and some lasagna and a salad for me.

We planted flowers this weekend, washed the outside windows and cleaned everything up. I am trying to fight off a bad sinus infection, so Mr. Michie took care of me for the better part of the weekend. We made a pot roast with lots of veggies and served it over a saffron infused risotto for Sunday dinner, it was heavenly.

We also made some snickerdoodles to snack on. Happiness is a snickerdoodle!