It Snowed a Little Today...

My Car in the Snow
What I came home to...
When I left this morning, there was maybe a couple inches of snow on the ground. It took me a few minutes to clean off my car, and I was on my way.

I spent the day in Grand Rapids, which is about 30 miles from where we live. There was hardly any snow there. But on the way home, the weather changed... At some points during my drive, I couldn't see the car in front of me because the snow was blowing so much.

Then this is what I came home to!  Snow!  UP TO MY KNEES!!!  My little Beetle, which only has 6 inches of clearance off the ground, had to plow through the snow in order to get into our driveway.

As you can see, the snow is VERY deep, almost up to my headlights.

So... I guess, I'm not going anywhere else for a while.

How was your day?

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Flower Cart Watercolor ©2013
Flower Cart, Watercolor by Loribeth Clark
This watercolor was painted specifically with my mom in mind. I took a picture of this cart when my mom and I took a trip to Shipshewana together a few years ago. I took it with the idea I would paint it with acrylics, but then I started sketching it with watercolor pencils just for fun. Then, when I saw how beautiful it turned out, I got out my paintbrushes and water, and went to work turning it into a painting. 

I love using watercolor pencils. I can get so much detail that can't be achieved with watercolor paints. Yet, I still get what I consider the 'romance' of watercolor. You can't get that with any other medium. 

Anyway, I gave this watercolor to my mom this past Christmas, and she loved it. 

The Only tip you need to keep Stainless Steel clean

I've heard it over and over...

"I love my stainless steel appliances, but I hate the fingerprints."
"Stainless steel is so hard to keep clean."
"I would get stainless steel, but I don't want to have to clean it all the time."
"My kids would have fingerprints all over stainless steel appliances."
"Stainless steel appliances always look dirty."

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's heard these things. It's common knowledge that stainless steel is hard to keep clean.


I have stainless steel appliances, and my appliances almost always look clean, and I do not have a problem with fingerprints at all.

Let me repeat that...

My stainless steel appliances never show fingerprints.

Do I have your attention now?  Do you want to know what my secret is?

You are going to be surprised...

I dust my stainless steel appliances with Old English furniture polish, and I don't even do it on a regular basis.

Use Furniture Polish on Stainless Steel
Almond Scented Old English Furniture Polish
I know it sounds odd, but it really does work.  I prefer the Almond scent, so I have to order it on Amazon, but it smells so much better than the scents sold in the stores around here.

You can see my dust rag. I spray the polish on the rag and dust all the stainless steel parts of my appliances. The polish prevents fingerprints. The only time I have to clean my stainless steel is if something spills on it. Then I get the stainless steel cleaner out, get rid of the spill, and then dust it again with furniture polish. The only difference is I actually spray the polish on the appliances after I've cleaned them with stainless steel cleaner.

My Sparkling stainless steel stove and microwave
See how my stainless steel sparkles?
Normally, I just spray the polish on my dust rag. I can't even say I do it on a regular schedule. I did it today, but I think the last time I did it was before Christmas. And, the only reason I did it today, is because I had the polish out to dust our mahogany furniture, not because the appliances needed it.

The polish doesn't leave a greasy film on the appliances, but it does protect them from finger prints. Even around the handles, you never see fingerprints.

My shiny stainless steel refrigerator.
So you do not need to be afraid of Stainless Steel appliances.  They really are not hard to keep looking clean. Use furniture polish on them, any scent and any brand should work, to keep them clean and fingerprint-free.

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Note:  I was not paid for this endorsement of Old English. They do not even know my blog exists. This is just a tip I discovered that keeps Stainless Steel appliances looking fantastic. I shared it because I want you to love your stainless steel as much as I love mine!

Word of the Year 2014

This year, it was not hard to choose a word for my "Word of the Year." Only one word stood out for me, and that word is Focus.  I need to focus. 

Word of the Year "Focus"
I just love the graphic I create for my "Word of the Year"
Last year, my word was "Simplify," and it was perfect. I simplified a lot of things in my life. It took a bit of work to simplify some things, like my kitchen, but the end results were more than worth it. 

I'm not sure how "Focus" is play out this year. I'm not sure if my focus will be on my business, my health, or my relationships. Maybe it will be all of those things, and I'll just need to focus on what I am doing when I am doing it without allowing myself to become distracted. I'm just not sure...

All I know is that "Focus" stood out as my word for this year. It will be interesting to see how it changes things for me.

So, what about you?

Did you choose a word for the year?  Share it in the comments! 

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Happy New Year! Welcome 2014! Big plans!

Happy New Year in Paris!
Celebrating the New Year with hats on sticks.
Not sure why, but, hey... Why not?!
Happy New Year!!!  Is anyone else surprised by how quickly 2013 went by?  I'm astounded! So many things happened last year... I started my selling my art online.  Jim started a new temporary job. We celebrated my Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. My ex-husband died. I reconnected with my Bahamian family. Jim was hired in permanently where he works. We did some major renovations to the kitchen. So many things!

Yes, 2013 was eventful. But, I am really looking forward to less eventful 2014. Although, I imagine it will go by just as fast as the last one.  Isn't it funny how that seems to happen when you get older.  I don't remember the years going by this fast when I was a kid.

Anyway, do have some big plans for this year. Although, I am not making any resolutions. I gave up making them years ago.  In fact, making a resolution not to make resolutions has been the only one I've been able to keep!! I read somewhere that only 18% of the New Year's resolutions made are kept--not a very good percentage.

So, onto my plans! Business-wise, I'm planning to start offering interior design services. It is something I've been doing for family and friends for years, and something I love doing. So I consider it a great compliment that you are also asking me for interior design services. I haven't worked out all the details of what I'm going to offer, but I am working on it, and you'll be the first to know when I'm ready to launch those services.

Recent Watercolor Painting
Watercolor I painted for my mom, and given to her for Christmas.
On the home front, there are several projects I want to tackle this year. The most import one--at least for me--is getting our home office organized and set up for actually doing business out of it. Right now, I do all of my work on our coffee table in the living room. I never feel as though I can step away from it, so having a separate space for living and work, even in the same house, will take a lot of stress off me.

Then, there is the mud room slash laundry room slash utility room that needs to be re-organized and made more efficient. I know Jim would kind of like me to make that one the highest priority. But that one is going to require some building of shelves and some other things. The office isn't going to require any of that, plus making the office an actual working office will allow me to step away from work once in a while. (Can you tell the office is a big one for me?)

And... As you know, I still have big plans for our kitchen. We still have a dishwasher to install and a new cherry countertop. That project will depend on our finances, as it will involve plumbing and some other mechanical and electrical things. It will also involve doing the floors. And doing the floors, means getting rid of the carpet in the living room too!

I don't know how many of those projects will get done.  But this is only the first day of the year, so I still have 364 days to go!

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?

Happy New Year!  Here's to the best year yet!!!

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