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Beyond just being me, I am a wife, mother and entrepreneur constantly on the hunt for new ideas on how to live my best life. Visit me at www.clementsinteriors.com.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Age and the Oscars

I am guilty of planning my evening so I can sit in front of the television, bowl of icecream in hand to watch the annual Oscars show.  I'm likely more known in my house for 'shusshing' my children in an effort to catch every detail of the annual festivities.

In the past, I had an emotional connection to this show.  I tuned in faithfully with my mother and would weep while a shaky first time winner delivered a speech that made the hair on my arms stand on end.  The historic win of Halle Berry and emotional speeches by the likes of Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon would take my breath away in relief that times were changing.  Seeing the "In Memorium" segment gave me pause to think about how time has passed so quickly and with it has taken some of my favorite artists.

Admittedly this year, there were brief moments where I took pride in seeing a Canadian Octogenarian claim a golden statue and an African American woman claim control over her races' history.  However, over the past couple of years I have become increasingly jaded about what I perceive as a show produced so that the top 1% can gather to celebrate themselves.  We are all keenly aware of the names of the A-list stars of the big screen, and heaven knows we're innundated (and at times fascinated) with news of celebrities, the lives they live and the lengths to which they go to appear to keep themselves young and relevant.  This year in particular, these efforts seem to be getting longer in-the-tooth, so to speak. 

Billy Crystal, while talented and funny in his time, simply seemed to be an out-of-place, botoxed host forced into reliving the old days.  Unfortunately he seemed to be caught in the whirlwind attempt to drag from the vaults the once formal, classy event in an effort to breathe gracious life into the show in it's current format, where sadly the artists and the audience are both increasingly jaded.  Cut to the image of a rakish Angelina Jolie all but flashing the audience as she walked across the stage.  What I perceived as a frightening and vanity-filled appearance by this otherwise talented woman made me wonder how members of this influential community focus on body image and scene stealing before seeking to be dignified while aging gracefully.  If the producers of this years show were looking recapture some of the glamour and grandeur of Oscars past, they failed miserably.

Never before have I experienced an Oscar show were the canvas of aging seemed to have such a broad brush stroke, exposing a huge divergence in the manners in which celebrities deal with the inevitabilities of the passing of time.  For me, grace seems to be the element which separates the "Greats" from those merely "Talked About".

Sadly, the Academy producers can't seem to figure out the balance between honouring the past, while not stretching too far back in an effort to drag it into the future.  The show's producers would do well to look to publications like the annual Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue to see how to see how it's done. Perhaps they should look to the iconic images of Annie Leibovitz as inspiration when creating a formula by which they can meld the old and new with class, dignity and style.  Simply making 'old' look 'new' for the sake of television just isn't working anymore.

Cheers!  Janice

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Orphan Master's Son

From the reviews this looks like a heavy book, but I think I might pick it up anyways.  Sounds like it might shed some light on a very mysterious region of the world.



Monday, February 13, 2012

No you can't pick my brain.

Love this article from Forbes.com - it should be read by EVERY self employed person.
Knowing your value is just as important as providing it to your customers.

No you can't pick my brain!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Beef and Black Bean Enchilada Bake recipe - Canadian Living

Haven't tried it yet, but I intend to.  Looks delish!
Beef and Black Bean Enchilada Bake recipe - Canadian Living

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Man's Trash...

I'm struck by an article I found in Canadian Interiors Magazine.

Upon first read, I was impressed by the ingenuity and sheer strength of intent that InterfaceFLOR demonstrates in the pursuit of recycling post consumer waste or in their words "trash-industrial sludge" into a building material that is functional, aesthetically pleasing and best of all, eco-friendly.  My read on the article was initially purely from a designers perspective, and I gave kudos to any company who could recycle waste to make it useful.

As mentioned in my recent column in The Auroran, most of today's consumers are at least moderately concerned about knowingly adding to the problems facing our community landfills, and to that end are generally supportive of any efforts to recycle and reuse any material possible. 

To InterfaceFLOR's credit, they appear to be making every effort to meet their mission of reaching "a zero environmental footprint by 2020."  Moreover, they are "...a great example of how ingeniously this refuse can be reinvented into something highly functional, deceptively luxurious and beautiful..."

What I find interesting and perhaps ironic about all efforts made to recycle and reuse post consumer goods is that we find ourselves in 2012 trying to clean up the environmental mess we've created by processing and sanitizing our waste, making it somehow palatable to our sensitive constitutions while many countries (third world or otherwise) are reusing, let's just call it what it isgarbage in ways that most first world countries cannot even imagine.  Around the world and indeed right here in our own backyard, there are communities of people living in it, building their shacks with it, putting their underpaid children to work on piles of it and dare I say, eating it if necessary.

Consider for a moment the often controversial 'dumpster divers.'  According to reports, it's a growing trend in the United States and has for many become an acceptable and economically feasible way to procure food, whether for reasons of necessity or just because the habit of dumping perfectly good food is unreasonable.  By all accounts 'dumpster diving' points a decidedly judgemental finger at our propensity to waste what many find to be food suitable for consumption.  Can you imagine if an educated, gainfully employed but habitual dumpster diver born and raised in our society finds the food we waste palatable, the impact that same "waste" might have in affecting the lives of those in our world who are less fortunate?    

What particularly fascinates me is the wide range of acceptability within communities and across borders regarding product and food quality.  Perhaps if we North American's would widen our quality tolerance for the food, goods and services we purchase, we would find our landfills a little less crowded.

For me, and probably for the movers and shakers at InterfaceFLOR, the phrase "One man's trash is another man's treasure" has never been so telling.



Monday, February 6, 2012

February is the month of LOVE

It’s February, a month that celebrates l’amour! And hand-in-hand with all that is L-O-V-E is the all important ingredient of creating a space that will help spice up your love life.

What do you think when you hear the word sexy? I think of Matthew McConaghy, Will Smith and my husband of course, not always in that order.

But how do you live sexy without packing your things and moving with your besties to New York City? You can start by looking closer to home and checking out the surroundings in your bedroom — the place where you begin and end your day.

‘Sexifying’ Your Bedroom

Who’s kidding who? If done right, the bedroom can be an intrinsically über-sexy space. It’s relaxing, quiet and secretive, a ‘close-the-door-on-the-rat-race-and-noise’ kind of space.

These days ‘sexy’ is an attitude: it’s confident, intelligent and single minded. Most of all, it’s not contrived. Living sexy is a headspace that can be directly affected by your private surroundings. Best of all, it’s guided by individual preferences and moods.

How, then, do you create mood and sexify your space?  Think about the essentials that unconsciously affect your senses: touch, sights, sounds and scents.


Make your private surroundings relaxing and luxurious with materials that feel good to touch. Smooth leather headboards, warm fur throw pillows, soft silks, and not just good — but great — sheets. Go for the Egyptian cotton, 300 thread count or better.


Create a clean, uncluttered space strictly for adults. Banish the kids’ stuff and family photos to other rooms. (Keep a few of only you and your beloved, of course.)


Spin some sexy tunes, some cool R&B or slow and sultry jazz. (Coincidently, this also helps drown out the screaming children on the other side of the door.) Don’t worry about feeling like a geek. Consider a special iPod speaker system in your bedroom or piping music throughout the house.


Lighting candles might sound clichéd, but give it a go. Try scents that remind you of your private time: vanilla, lavender, and — dare I say — chocolate. (I’m not sure if there are chocolate scented candles out there, but if there aren’t, well, someone needs to get on that!)

Sexy Room Styles

Is there just one style of sexy room? No way!

Sexy rooms are as individual as the people who occupy them. Have a look in your wardrobe. What do you wear that makes you feel sexy? Let the things you love in your closet guide you in choosing your room style. In fact, sexy can be masculine or feminine; urban or rustic.

Masculine - Think warm grey flannel, leather throw pillows, pinstripe upholstered armchairs, black lacquered furniture, and a sleek and slim wall mounted T.V.

Feminine – Loosen up with a touch of lace, cashmere throw pillows, mirrored furniture, jeweled lampshades, soft white sheers and comfy chaise lounges. Use lots of throw pillows for ultimate comfort!

Urban – Try a smooth black leather bench at the foot of a clean-lined bed (forget the bed skirt), chairs with cool chrome arms, stiletto legged bedside tables, black and white photographs in black frames and lamps with sleek drum shades. Mixtures of dark woods with light fabrics or leather are very Urban sexy!

Rustic – Unwind in antiqued leather, overstuffed down filled armchairs, soft silk duvets, open hearth wood burning fireplaces, warm woolen blankets and sepia- tone photographs.

Most important of all, make sure your bedroom reflects your sexy self. Décor that mirrors your personality and makes your private space relaxing and serene makes it sexy!

Cheers!  Janice