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Just because you’ve got a teeny balcony or patio space doesn’t mean you have to miss out on gardening this summer. Teeny gardens are the way to go! Bring some food and colour to your balcony, window, or little gardening space.

Flower box with lots of yellow and green

My parents always planted and managed a big garden, including vegetables, roses, carnations, and several of my favourites…Lily of the Valley, lavender, and mint. When Dad got older, he set up a self-watering system of planters using recycled cloth bags and eavestrough so that he could continue to garden but not spend so much time on his knees. It was very effective, though still required lots of room. The next step was to reduce the garden in size and have everything contained in a teeny space.

I too am adjusting to teeny gardening this year, and there are oodles of ants, ticks, and other creepy crawlies right outside our door. We’ve placed some lavender pots out there, and a boundary of mint since both of them are a deterrent  to what’s walking around the yard. Unlike marigolds, however, I can harvest the lavender for sachets and use the mint in several different recipes!

peppermint plant

On wandering around the garden centre last weekend, there were some beautiful pots and planters and so I was looking to see what’s available this year for small spaces. I love the little mixed window boxes that have four or six herbs in them. They range in size from about 16 inches to 24 inches wide and they’ll produce a nice crop of greens through the summer, for about $20 or less.

The flower boxes and baskets are looking fabulous, and I see that they are going on sale this weekend so now is a great time to get a show of colour, for a bargain!

Flower box with lots of yellow and green

I noticed a couple of neighbours have started some vertical gardening with tall structures that you can insert plants directly. You can grow herbs, greens, and strawberries effectively this way. And, if you want to grow in the winter, you can use this idea with some special lighting to grow greens all year long.

Different varieties of lettuce and greens in one planter

You can set up a vertical garden by leaning an old pallet against an outside wall and hanging plants off it, or getting hooks from the garden centre to hang from your railing. Don’t forget to check out your local Dollar Store either – something they have all kinds of hooks, pots, and stuff that can be repurposed.

Air plants are trendy right now. These succulent plants can be popped into a vessel or can rest on top of an old brick and need next to no attention. Spritz them with water as directed, and they will last for ages.

If you’d like to get some help organizing a new home or somewhere you already live, with or without a teeny garden, we help with that! Fill out the contact form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

There’s a royal wedding this weekend! Are you going to watch it? Will you wake up in the wee hours to catch it live on television, or go watch it at a local hot spot while enjoying ceremonial tea and biscuits? What about those of you who’ve taken a holiday to be part of that kind of energy?

coffee and blueberry scones with blueberry sauce drizzle

There aren’t as many royal watchers in Canada as there used to be, but it seems that having the wedding on a Saturday morning could just catch the attention of a lot more people than had it been held during the week. This is a sign of how Prince Harry and Meghan will buck the trends, since royal weddings are usually held on a Friday.

Speaking of Ms. Markle have you noticed how nice her skin is? Apparently she is very diligent about following a skin care routine, and when she was filming the show Suits, her stylist said that she took good care of her skin, and visited the salon regularly to help keep her skin in beautiful condition.

As I age, I’m looking for ways to keep my skin healthy, and to stop the onslaught of wrinkles. I know, I earned them…but that doesn’t mean I want all of them!

I did some digging around and discovered that Queen Elizabeth is a big fan of Elizabeth Arden (they’ve held a Royal Warrant for 55 years), and she uses their moisturizer as well as their Bold Red lipstick. I don’t typically wear red lipstick, I’m more of a hide in the background lip gloss person, though I got a sample of Maybelline’s On Fire Red recently and I like it. It’s a red I can wear, and I just might put it on Saturday morning while I enjoy the show.

Lipsticks that range in colour from pink to nearly black

When Kate Middleton got married, there was lots of chatter about how she did her own makeup for her wedding. She apparently loves natural skincare products, and uses a face cloth to remove her makeup. The cloth is nothing fancy – just a cotton, terry looped cloth you can pick up for $2. That’s the type of cloth I use, too, so I must be on to something, right?

stack of face cloths of various colours

It’s not necessary to fill your entire bathroom with buckets of skincare products, at least not once you find the ones you like. And, if you’re tripping over all kinds of extra pots and jars in the loo, it’s possible some of them are out of date. If there is no expiry date listed on the container, open the lid and give it a smell. If it smells different than it did when you bought it, it’s time to throw it out.

I once helped a friend downsize and organize her makeup. She had 32 bottles of red nail polish (all different shades and finishes, but they were all red) and 20 red lipsticks. There were plenty of other colours too! When we finished the project she stood back and sighed with relief that she was able to sit down at her dressing table and knew exactly where everything was, and that the things she used regularly were within reach. We celebrated this win with big cups of tea, and lunch.

How About You?

What’s the state of your makeup products or that bathroom cabinet? If you need some help getting things organized, you know we do that, right? Contact us and let’s get your home ready to host a royal party!

It’s Mental Health Awareness month, and to celebrate we’re taking a look at some women who are great examples of staying healthy, happy, and productive well into their third act.

Remember that great Ted Talk from Jane Fonda where she shares Life’s Third Act? You can check it out here  https://www.ted.com/talks/jane_fonda_life_s_third_act . Jane Fonda’s had a great career, been applauded for outstanding work, and has revived her career after retiring more than once. Some people want to retire at 65, and lots of people don’t like the idea at all. Jane Fonda’s in the latter group.

Picture of a movie reel, popcorn, soda

Dame Helen Mirren has had a great career on stage and in film, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either. She turns 73 this year and has six projects currently in production. In addition to playing a queen six times in her career, she played a tough retired spy in RED and RED2, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a feeling that her role in Retired Extremely Dangerous is as close as she will voluntarily get to retiring.

Speaking of women who don’t show signs of slowing down, Dame Judi Dench turns 83 this year. Judi she has played the complicated M since the 1990s in the James Bond movie empire, in between many fascinating roles. Like Helen Mirren, Judi also has several movies in the works presently, and she reportedly likes to do embroidery to fill long stretches of waiting on movie sets. She makes intricate, elegant pieces, and finishes them with the rudest of phrases and cuss words before giving them as gifts!

What things are you doing to stop yourself from retiring or taking a back seat to life? Jane, Helen, and Judi have all had long, successful careers and continue to have fun, contribute, and work. They don’t show signs of stopping.

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If you’d like to get some help with downsizing, organizing, or relocating so you can spend more time doing things you love, give us a call. We love to help people! Contact us here!

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