Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One

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Decluttering – An Oath to Myself

In pursuit of decluttering for my emotional and physical well-being, I promise myself the following:

-I will no longer be a cardigan collector – I’m not Mr. Rogers – may he rest in peace.

-I will not become a hoodie hoarder – I think I’m pretty safe since I only have 3.  

-I will stop being a sweater sweetheart – how many merino wool v-necks does someone really need?

-I will quit being a top tart cold turkey – unless a really super cute one catches my eye…

-I will not be a skirt chaser.  I have plenty – too much of a good thing is just…well, too much of a good thing.

-I will stop panting after yoga pants.  They aren’t a fashion statement.

-I will not be a purse pusher.  I’m on a major moratorium and haven’t shelled out for a handbag in one year, two months and 13 days – but who is keeping track?  

-I will quit being a shoe sherpa.  I will remember that I only have two feet and  that I can only wear one pair at a time.

Thank you to Amforte66 for all of the kind words and for inspiring this post through a simple comment.  Check out her fabulous blog at  http://amforte66.wordpress.com/ 


Revisiting My Cupboard – Part 2



Another week, another cupboard to clean out.  Today, in between getting ready to go out and coming home, I’ve prepared another donation bag in my quest to declutter my life and transform my health.  If Dr. Oz is wrong about the health benefits of paring down my goods (sounds so retail when I say that)…I’ll be one upset blogger.  I do think he is on to something though.  I think that it’s good for me to do this project for a variety of reasons:

  • It’s therapeutic to do something repetitive and mindless.  
  • It’s giving me a chance to see what I really need to buy for the fall.  I think I got into a rut of buying “basics”.  You can always use an extra black cardigan – right?  Wrong…I have 6 – but that’s not counting the multitude of colours and styles of cardigans that I have.  I have some nice things and more basics than I really need.  It’s time to find a few things that I really love in limited quantities of course
  • The emotional part (or what should be emotional) is that it’s forcing me to get rid of things that I’ve been hanging on to.  The fact is that I’m not going to miss any of these items and once they leave my house, I’ll never think of them again.  I guess that makes me fickle or cold?
  • One person’s trash is somebody else’s treasure.  I purge annually, so this isn’t a new thing for me.  What is new, is how ruthless I am being.  Every item is being considered and things that used to mindlessly make the cut, are now on their way to somebody else’s closet.  I was at a party this weekend, and I bumped into someone that I was thrilled to see.  What made me even happier, was to see her wearing one of my old tops.  I loved that top, but she loved it more, so 6 years ago, I gave it to her along with a few other items.  Usually, I give my clothes to charity, but she asked, to go through my bag, and it’s nice to see something that I used to like wearing make somebody else so happy.

So what’s the tally this week?  Here you go voyeurs:


1 sweater (very pill-y)

1 pair of jeans

2 items in total


1 blouse

1 purse

10 sweaters

12 items in total

Total for the week – 14 items + 1 smelly lipstick that should have made the cut three weeks ago. It STINKS and it was brown.  I was wearing a brown outfit so thought I’d go all matchy-matchy.  It looked like I had dirt on my lips – not a good look for anyone.  It’s now exactly where it belongs – in the trash.  My overall clothing total for the past two weeks is 43 items out of the closet and I still have more to go.  Really, life can’t get any better than this!

Today, I am eternally grateful that I had the ability to let go of a smelly lipstick and the wisdom to know that walking around looking like you just ate a mud-pie is never a good look for anyone.  I’m also grateful that I’ll have the chance to share more wisdom that I learned from the Kardashian’s with you this week so stay tuned!



How Every Single Thing I Needed to Know in Life I Learned from the Kardashians!

ugly cry face


Image courtesy of faceoffviolation.com

I was thinking about some of Dr. Oz’s meaningful quotes – check some of them out http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/dr-ozs-inspirational-quotes?gallery=true.  While they are wonderful,, they made me ponder while I was sitting on my “what will become of me couch” about who truly inspires me?  Doprah (Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey) are obvious choices…maybe too obvious.  Hillary Clinton is a genius and her husband Bill is no dummy either.  Terry Fox lived a remarkable, but short life, and was my childhood hero but as an adult, I have to get real and admit that any important life lesson that I’ve learned in the past few years, has been from the Kardashian Klan – spelling mistake intended.  Before you guffaw at this apparent shallowness, I have warned you in the past that I am the lowest common denominator when it comes to TV , so why shouldn’t they be the people that I model myself after?  Think I’m off-base?   Think again:

1.  Avoid Ugly Cry Face at All Costs – Kim Kardashian’s own brush with ugly cry face made me realize that a silent, elegant cry is the way to go.  Perhaps just a single, profound tear running down my face so that I can avoid looking like her picture.  The good news for Kim is that pretty soon, if she keeps using Botox, she won’t be able to move her face, so that look, at least for her, will be a thing of the past.

2. Want to be Famous?  Just Put Out…A Sex Tape – For those of you that don’t remember, Kim Kardashian became famous for a sex tape that she made with Ray J.  Her mother, and her manager, Kris Jenner, sending a deal, got Kim a cut of the profits.  Ever since I performed in the Kiwanis Festival of Plays, my mother has dreamed that I would be in pictures. Who am I to not make that dream come true.  Since I love Disney Princesses and a nice tiara, the storyline in my own tapes will be modeled after my favourite characters.  “Cinderfella” is a tale of a princess who only has until midnight to get to the ball….Beauty and the Beast – self explanatory….Snow White and the Seven Dwarves…too creepy for me to touch but aren’t we supposed to call them little people?

3. Have a Positive Body Image – “For me, skinny is just a style of jeans — not a goal.”  Hear hear Kim Kardashian!  I too love my skinny jeans!  That’s what she meant, right?

4. Let People Know Your Limits – When Khloe woke Kim up an hour early, Kim was very clear in her displeasure saying the following: “How f***ing dare you? You’re such an evil b***h. How spiteful and jealous are you? How f***ing dare you, Khloe? You crossed a major line with me. That s*** is not okay. You dumb, evil, little f***ing troll. You have no idea how much I hate you. You’re disgusting.”  From now on, if anyone, and I mean anyone, wakes me up earlier than my alarm, well, then they’ll get the same reception!  You just have to be clear about how you really feel.  

wake me up


image courtesy of Radar Online

5. Everyone Has Their Price – Kim on Britney Spears: “She said she loves me and she loves my butt and how she wants to be my lesbian lover. I mean, what do you say to that other than ‘No thanks’? Actually, maybe I would do it for a million bucks.”  I personally, would eat a bug for a million dollars – like I said, everyone has their price and it’s important to know yours.

6. Don’t Hit on Someone’s Husband or Boyfriend – Khloe told The Insider: “If I even imagined someone talking to my husband too close, I would beat the crap out of them.”  Although she is no longer with Lamar Odom, she has a new beau, French Montana, and I’m sure the same degree of violence would apply.  This really inspired me to remember why I never hit on a taken man – other than the fact that it’s morally wrong of course.  It’s about knowing where you are on the food chain.  At not quite 5’4 on a tall day, and with the strength of a 90 year old lady, I have no prayer of defending myself.  An important life lesson.

This is just the beginning of the life lessons that I’ve learned from the Krazy Kardashian Klan or KKK as I affectionately call them.  More life lessons to come, but for now, how about a moment of gratitude?  Yesterday, I went to a party at my former dance teacher’s house.  It was great catching up with old friends and visiting someone who truly does inspire me with her talent and love for life.  Until next time, I remain…

Gratefully yours,



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Revisiting Meditation


Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

By the end of January, the first month of my blog, I realized that I’d have to at least try meditation.  Dr. Oz recommends it as a healthy way to de-stress, and you know I’m all about what Dr. Oz tells me to do.  Well, I won’t be cooking with coconut oil – because it’s not healthy, but I have been doing my best this year to follow him down that yellow brick road.  I finally worked up to trying meditation for the first time in my life in April.  I blogged about it for the full 21 days of Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s (affectionately known as Doprah to me) Meditation experience.  If you recall, I loved listening to Deepak and sometimes even Oprah, but mediation proved very difficult for me.  My mind wanders too much…I worry too much that I’m turning into one of those people that I regularly make fun of, sometimes to their faces…and most of all, the perfectionist in me was worried the whole time about “doing it right and write”.  Right in the sense that I was going to be a great at finding my inner Om, but really it was more like a big Um  to me.  The other part of “doing it write” was that I had to do each mediation twice. Once to do the actual meditation and once to transcribe it for you.

I liked listening to Doprah enough to do it again, but I’m still not very good at the whole thing.  I signed up for their latest meditative exercise – “Expanding Your Happiness”.  This time, I decided not to blog about it except for one or two “revisits”. Every night at bedtime (still too late to be Oz approved), I bust out my iPad and listen to that day’s musings.  Every day like clock work, as soon as Deepak  – we are on a first name basis – signals it’s time to begin the meditation, I’m out like a light until he comes back on to signal that our time’s up.  It’s like the  best nap this almost reformed insomniac has ever had!  The only problem is that I’m missing out on the important part of the practice – meditating.  Maybe the whole point of it this time is just to take what I like from the whole thing and stop stressing over not doing it the right way.  I think I came to the same conclusion when I finished the first experience.

Tonight, I’ll be sleeping through – I mean doing a meditation about feeling hope.  It’s very timely since it’s all feeling a little overwhelming right now.  I don’t lack hope -and I’m pretty sure that things will get better.  Having hope has gotten me through quite a few crises these last few years.  Right now, I just need a little reminder from Deepak that every cloud has a silver lining, it’s always darkest before the dawn and all dogs go to heaven (just checking to see if you were paying attention).  I do have a lot to be grateful for.  Monday, for example was  a good day.  I got a free coffee at McD’s – the best coffee in Toronto as far as this tea drinker is concerned.  I bumped into my former cube neighbour at the office on my way into work yesterday (after she called “Schneidy” about 27 times to get my attention).  She made me laugh and reminded me of how glad I am to have her back even if she doesn’t sit next to me anymore.  I had a new employee start who seems lovely. I got to watch Bachelor in Paradise and make fun of my niece for being pretentious.  Last but not least, I had a fun idea for a post that I think will teach us all some important life lessons…sort of like what we learned from darling Gwyneth Paltrow – just a reminder in case you missed some of my thoughts on the lady : ) https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/plop/ and  https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/plop-part-deux-dos-due-zwei-twee/ 

Even though I’m feeling a little run down, I’m still…

Gratefully yours,



Trash or Treasure – The Decluttering Continues

I don’t know about you, but following Dr. Oz’s advice can be a make work project.  Yesterday, I wasn’t meeting my friend until 8:30, so that gave me an entire day, and no excuse, to not spend a few hours decluttering.  Again, my goal is to have everything that I own or operate decluttered by December 31st – no ifs, ands or buts.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t finish early and my competitive nature makes me want to finish early. This weekend’s project was to complete 2 sets of clothing cupboards in my pursuit of decluttering my life to transform my health.  I have to admit, it was therapeutic, idle hands being the devil’s playthings and all : )  Truthfully, though, I actually enjoyed going through my things.  One of the rules that the experts on Dr. Oz said that you should get rid of anything that you haven’t used in a year.  I have a different philosophy when it comes to clothes though.  It’s more the “Oh seriously, I love that top – I should really wear it more often.”  I forgot some of what I own, found some old favourites and made a vow to shop my closet more.  That didn’t mean that everything got a pass though.  Au (and oh) contraire!   I did take some advice, and created a keep, toss and donate pile for my clothes.  The cupboards held my workout clothes and all of my summer tops.  It took about 3 hours, but they were emptied, sorted, tossed, packed up (for donation) or folded and arranged by type and colour back in the cupboard (the Type A in me likes my things a certain way).

Here is a tally of what was tossed:

-2 hoodies

-4 tops

-2 exercise pants

-1 pair of dress pants

-1 skirt

-1 pair of track pants

Total – 11 pieces of clothing

The proof is in the picture (not pudding, I don’t eat in my room – it grosses me out).

clothes trash

 Now for the donation pile – I’m giving away:

-3 casual shirts

-12 tops

-2 sweaters

-and a partridge in a pear tree (just a little joke to see if you were paying attention)

Total – 17 pieces of clothing

Declutter 2

Altogether, 28 pieces of clothing are leaving my closets forever.  Number of items that I’ll truly miss – 1 – a top that I loved with a giant hole in it,  I won’t be tempted to wear it, because there is no need to look like moths have invaded my home.   I’ll keep you posted on my progress every week.  Meanwhile, tomorrow, it’s back to reporting on the sheep that I’m supposed to be counting.  

Just a little note on gratitude.  Today, I’m grateful that I had a productive weekend.  Boring, I know, but there was some fun mixed in.  Sometimes, working on an achievable goal is worth  being grateful for.  I’d love to hear what some of your goals are for the rest of 2014 – just let me know and for that, I’ll be… 

Gratefully yours,


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Sleepy Head Revisited/For the Love of the Snuggie


The sun going down used to be a bit of a stressful for me. I knew on some level, that in a few hours, I’d be tossing and turning in bed and Mr. Sandman wouldn’t be sending me a dream.  Way back in January, when my blog was still in it’s infancy, just a cute little baby blog, insomnia was a huge issue for me.  Today, a mere 8 months later, I have fewer problems getting shut eye. The seven hours, that my mentor, the good Dr. Oz recommends still isn’t happening, but falling asleep is not a huge issue for me, even during really stressful times which used to keep me wide awake.  

What do I owe this to?  Is it the two brazil nuts that I still eat daily and that some people make fun of me for, because it’s never 3 nuts, never one, exactly two?  Laugh all you want, but it’s the small changes that have helped me get at least 5 hours a night – often more.  Could it be the fact that I’m eating magnesium rich foods every day because Dr. Oz said that it was better to get magnesium through food rather than a supplement?  Maybe.  Here is a reminder from a past entry in case you want to see a list of the foods that are good sources of the mineral https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/01/ Ithink the answer is the fact that I’ve been more MINDFUL.  I’ve used that word quite a bit in the last 8 months.  I have to think about the changes that I’ve wanted to make in order to commit to them.  

One of the things that I do to this day:  

-Sleep in a cool room.  I used to hate it, Now, I grab my Snuggie and bundle up.  Before you haters laugh at me, I’m a proud owner of two of these miracle blankies (sorry, my inner 3 year old just came out for a visit).  They are warm, and keep me as snuggie as a buggie in a ruggie.  If you aren’t familiar with these miraculous blankets with sleeves, check out the picture below and for heaven’s sake get yourself one or two of these gems.  I recommend the deluxe Snuggie for the living room – it’s made with more plush materials so it’s more formal AND has a pocket for your remote control.  Could life get any better?  


Image courtesy of As Seen On TV

YES it can – I didn’t know that these were options!


Image courtesy of mysnuggiestore.com

Life just got better!  I love the variety of Snuggies that are now available.  I may have to continue this tomorrow – I’m seriously considering the “Female Evening Gown”.  

Again laugh all you want, but today, I’m grateful for my Snuggies.  They help me bear the wintry temperature of my room and help me get a good night’s sleep.  To be continued…and until then, I am,

Gratefully (and Snuggie-ly) yours,



Yes…I’m Going There



Image courtesy of idolol.com – quote Robin William.

Today, I’m starting with the negative and moving back to the positive.  I didn’t want to write a post about Robin Williams on the day that he died, in fact, I debated whether it was in good taste to write about it at all.  I hate being a band wagon jumper and I also didn’t want to exploit a tragedy.  I, like many people, was a fan of his.  “Mork and Mindy” was one of my favourite shows when I was growing up (Laverne and Shirley and Gilligan’s Island were also tops).  I always had a soft spot for Robin Williams.  As I grew up, I loved him in movies like “Aladdin”, “Good Will Hunting”, “The Fisher King” and “Dead Poet’s Society”.  I was not a fan of his stand up specials – they were a little too vulgar for my lady-like ears, but watching him on talk shows was amazing.  Like many people, he suffered from depression.  The saddest thing to me about this whole thing, is that a man who was laughing on the outside, was so desperately sad on the inside.  Dr. Oz posted the following on Facebook:

“The tragic death of Robin Williams has opened up a very necessary dialogue about depression. It’s important to remember that depression is not a mindset or attitude; it is a serious disorder, and like any other, it must be properly treated. If you or someone you know is struggling with this, know that there is always help available. I’ve added some resources here:

Info on Mental Health Professionals: http://bit.ly/1kEbZAR
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visithttp://bit.ly/1lYmABO“.  

Well said Dr. Oz!

I’ve written about depression before – https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/moody-blues/.  My views haven’t changed since February.  Depression is a disease and people can’t “just get over it”.  We need to be more understanding of it.  We need to be more accepting of it.  We need to help take the stigma away so that people can openly talk about it.  The very people who mock it, probably suffer from it or another type of mental illness.  Did you hear about how Robin Williams’ daughter was bullied on Twitter?  The only person who would do that to someone, in their time of grief, is someone who is very sick.  The fact that someone killed themselves isn’t a joke, it’s a tragedy, but it’s also an opportunity to think about what we can do to potentially help another person who may be suffering.

Today, I’m grateful for many things.  I’ m grateful that I got to see my niece yesterday – that’s always a treat for me.  I’m grateful that today was a better day than yesterday.  I’m grateful that, for the most part, I am happy and even if it takes me time, I can eventually see that the glass is half full.  I’m grateful that I got to indulge in some retail therapy with a friend today.  I’m grateful that one of my dearest friends in the world knows me so well, and always knows the right thing to say and do.  I’m grateful to you all for reading and I’ll continue to be…

Gratefully yours,

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Re-Evaluation: And So It Begins

make up



I’m in the middle of cleaning my bathroom – living the dream, I tell you!  Even though I’m giving myself until the end of the year to take Dr. Oz’s advice and improve my emotional and physical health by decluttering, I decided that I should kill 2 birds with one stone and go through all of my make up and packaged goods to see what I could get rid of.  The photo above shows what was tossed.  Did I really need an eye shadow with a price tag on it?  Nope – that just shows how old it is.  Those creamy eye shadow crayons that are pretty but I hate wearing? Nope.  How about gold lip gloss?  Um…let me think about that…I’m not going on Solid Gold or Electric Circus (a little throw-back for my readers) anytime soon, so NOPE.  Stinky Goth lipstick?  Seriously, me a Goth? Not likely so NOPE, I don’t need it or want it.  How about lipstick that makes me look like I’ve eaten a powdered doughnut without my hands?  C’mon, guess what the answer to that one is.  If you guessed NOPE you are right, but try eating that doughnut without your hands to see what I mean.  When I see girls walking around with pale, chalky lipstick I have to stop myself from taking a photo, blacking out their eyes and submitting it to Glamour magazine as a fashion don’t.  

As I was cleaning out some of my stuff – there would have been more, but I purged last year – I started thinking…and that’s a dangerous thing.  I don’t know what Dr. Oz has to say about this, and I’ll have to look it up, but I thought about what it would be like if we could purge things that just made us feel bad in general – feelings, worries, stress…Wouldn’t it be nice if we could or even do it for someone else?  

I was out with a very good friend last night.  I’m not going to reveal names but she knows who she is.  Let me tell you a little about her.  I’ve been friends with her for years – I think we met in 1995. She is funny, organized, talented and a great listener.  She’s always up for trying new things and overall, she’s one of my favourite people.  I know that she’s going through a bit of a rough patch right now, trying to find the right job and dealing with some life and wallet changing experiences.  I wish I could de-clutter the bad for her.  She is, without a doubt, one of the smartest people that I know.  She can learn anything that she puts her mind to.  I just hope, that in all of this, she doesn’t lose sight of the fact that she’s special and has friends that are there for her, like she was for them.  That’s all my friend.

I’m grateful today for many things.  I got a chance to see my good friend yesterday, I’m getting to hang out with my frousins tonight and get to spend the day with my two sisters and the world’s best Mummy tomorrow.  Not a bad weekend.  So now I’m off, to clean my toilet – it keeps me humble : )  and…

Gratefully yours,



To Clutter is Human – To De-Clutter is Divine



This whole month is about re-evaluation of my year of living the Dr. Oz way.  It doesn’t just mean that I’m going to revisit everything that I have done to date, but I have to revisit everything down to my belongings both in my home, office and yes, even in cyber-space.  So why the picture of Grimace?  It’s not just shades of blog entries past, it’s something that I have to remove from my hard drive.  I realized that I don’t need to “hoard” Grimace anymore.  If I need him again, I can find him right where I found him before – Google!  Until then, he needs to be deleted.

Everyone has clutter.  I don’t care how organized you are – we all get attached to different things or hang on to things long past when we should.  I thought of decluttering today when I FINALLY threw out a lipstick that I’ve been hanging onto for an embarrassing number of years.  That’s right, years.  Never mind that I have two other lipsticks almost identical in colour…never mind that it had that gross, past its prime lipstick smell…never mind that I rarely wear it (probably because it stinks).  I was going to use that sucker until it was finished.  Today, as I reached to put it on for the first time in a year, I said, “What are you?  An idiot?  Do you want your lips to stink?  Put on a nice, fresh lipstick and toss this.”  I listened to my inner voice, and now that lipstick is exactly where it belongs.  In a landfill somewhere.  Just joking environmentalists.  Seriously, it got me thinking about what else I am hanging onto, and it made me realize that I need to purge – weekly – everything from my clothing, to my make up to my email and social media accounts.  OK, and, a few photos from my Greek sister from another mister helped inspire me.  She is in the process of decluttering too.

Today, I purged my Twitter account.  I hate Twitter, but for now, it’s a necessary evil.  I don’t need to follow so many different people, places and things, so today, I un-followed a whopping 30 accounts.  You stopped following me, well, I stopped following you.  I don’t remember why I followed you in the first place, well, bye-bye.  I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a start.  I can’t touch facebook – who wants the nasty note – “Why did you un-friend me?” I can, however, spend a little time on my Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail accounts (yes, I need all of them) and delete some emails there too.  Cyber clutter is just as taxing.

According to an April episode of The Dr. Oz Show, if you declutter your life, you can transform your health.  Plus, if you are physically cluttered, you are emotionally cluttered.  Since this year is all about my health, it’s time for me to say out with the old.  The expert in the show said to do this slowly – so I will.  It’s not a race.  My goal, though, is by the end of this year, to have my physical space at home, in the office and yes, even in cyber-space free of the things that I no longer need.  Check out the video from the show to find out more http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/new-rules-declutter-your-life-and-transform-your-health?video_id=3449815213001

Today, I am grateful that I chose to blog instead of watching “Dating Naked”.  I’ve admitted to you before that I’m the lowest common denominator when it comes to TV.  It was a hard-fought battle, but I chose quality over the ridiculous.  In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever watch it.  Thanks to you, my standards are improving.  Until next time, I remain,

Gratefully yours,