The Rothman Ice Rink at City Hall

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From now until February 26th, everyone can experience the transformation that Dilworth Park undergoes to become the local winter wonderland known as the Rothman Ice Rink.

Enjoy ice skating with friends under the glow of the city lights, and warm up in the Rothman Cabin located at the top of the rink with a delicious hot chocolate in the heated tent. Relax after an entertaining skate in front of the historic City Hall with seasonal cocktails, craft beers, and warm and delectable foods like poutine and chili, courtesy of Air Grille by Brûlée Catering.

City Hall is a quick 20 minute drive from Siena Place and you won’t find an attraction like this one for another year! Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 10 and under, and skate rentals are an additional $10.


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Easy Kitchen Storage Ideas

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Kitchens are a busy area in the house and can be hard to keep organized with all the food and supplies you store there! Here are some easy kitchen storage ideas to get the best use out of your space:

  1. Use magazine files to keep water bottles in a reachable place without them getting caught up in other kitchen supplies in a drawer or cabinet. Stack one on top of the other in the hard cover files for grab and go accessibility.
  2. Baskets can help organize anything from fruit to utensils to cleaning supplies. Hang  baskets above a sink using a metal rod or adhesive hooks for easy access. Wired baskets allow you to see what your grabbing so you don’t have to dig through everything to get what you need, or remember which items are in which basket.
  3. Store lose Tupperware lids in a wall file to avoid a mess of plastic containers. Hang the wall file on the inside of a cabinet wall, or wherever you feel it can be reached easily, with hooks to separate the lids from the bases and have less trouble finding it all in the future.
  4. Create a pot rack with S hooks. They can be hung from the wall, a ventilation hood above the stove, if you have one, or there are racks you can buy. With this, you can display your cooking pieces in style and they are much easier to find and grab then if they were all in a drawer together.
  5. Organize your cleaning supplies with an over the door metal caddy. A good place for this is the cabinet door below your sink, where they will be ready to use and very easy to access. You can use it to hold bottles of suppers, sponges, gloves, scrubbers, etc.

There are tons of innovative and easy ways to make your kitchen run smoothly. Don’t ever be unorganized again and use this simple tips for all of your kitchen storage!


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10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home

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The idea of living a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. They have considered the benefits of owning fewer possessions: less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for their greatest passions. They are ready to declutter but some get quickly tripped up by the very next question… where in the world do I begin?

Consider this list of 10 creative ways to declutter your home:

1. Give yourself 5 solid minutes. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits recommends 18 different 5-minute decluttering tips. Pick one today that sounds appealing. Or better yet, pick a random number 1-18, read the specific tip, and commit 5 minutes to completing it.

2. Give away one item each day. Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she has experienced quite a transformation simply reducing her stuff one day at a time.

3. Fill one trash bag. Early in our journey towards simplicity, one of my favorite decluttering techniques was to grab a simple large trash bag and see how quickly I could fill it. While much of what I collected was trash, this could also be used to fill a bag for Goodwill.

4. Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. While this idea didn’t originate with Oprah, she was the one to help give it notoriety. To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. This experiment could also be applied to a number of clutter areas in your home (cleaners, toys, linens, tools, hobbies and craft items).

5. Make a list. Dana Byers recommends creating a list of places/areas in your home to declutter beginning with the easiest… which doesn’t sound all that creative until she adds this note, “When you’re done with one area, STOP.” This list could be made as easy or difficult as you desire based upon what areas of your home make up the list (drawers/closets/rooms). And could easily fit into any schedule.

6. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house. On more than one occasion, this challenge actually became a quick competition between my wife and me… and your kids don’t have to be too old to participate as well.

7. Change your perspective. Unclutterer offers a powerful approach to decluttering when they offer a number of strategies to help you change your perspective and begin to notice some clutter you may have missed. Among their ideas: take photos of your house, invite over a toddler, or ask the boss to meet in your office. With all of the examples, the hope is to cause you to see your home in a new light.

8. Experiment with numbers. For example, Courtney Carver invented Project 333 to challenge people to wear only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. If 33 articles of clothing seems too little, adjust the rules as you need by picking a new number. The important thing is to challenge yourself to live with less and see what you learn from the experiment.

9. Use your imagination. Psychology Today recommends using your imagination to help declutter objects that may seem difficult to remove. Try asking yourself unique questions like, “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?” These creative techniques may prove to be very helpful for some with difficulties removing unneeded clutter.

10. The Four-Box Method. As we first set out on our journey to minimalism, this was the technique most often used in our home. As I set out to declutter an area, I brought four boxes: trash, give away, keep, or relocate. Each item in every room was placed into one of the four categories. No item was passed over. Each was considered individually. Some projects took an hour… others took days or weeks. But the technique and principles remained the same.

No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it be one of these ten or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step with excitement behind it. There is a beautiful world of freedom and fresh breath hiding behind that clutter. How you remove it is up to you.


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