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Free Printable: A Fabric / Laundry Care Symbols Chart

fabric / laundry care symbols guide

Back in 2009, I wrote a post about tableware symbols. I never thought until today to publish one on fabric care symbols. Tired of running to my computer or having to look at other clothes to figure out what a fabric care symbols means, I finally decided to print a laundry care symbols chart. I didn’t do nothing fancy. A standard sheet protector ensures that my chart will stay clean and dry. I’m simply glad that I  just have to open the cabinet on top of my washer to see it.

Since I am probably not alone with this need, here the link where you can download Your Guide to Fabric Care Symbols.


Finding Time to Decorate My Home

Burberry watch

Now that I have set my priorities for the year, I can start to take actions to make it a reality. My first task involves The January Cure from Apartment Therapy. I know me.  If I am not happy with the way my house looks, it will become a distraction. Before I wasted hours talking about what is wrong, become frustrated, I should act now. By getting my home into shape, get it clean, organized and under control right now, I will have no excuses to not concentrate on my plan. And frankly, the idea of the cure energized me. Continue Reading


The Joy of an Uncluttered Home | Getting Ready for the Baby

unclutter your home

unclutter your home

Two weeks ago, I found out what are the must-have items that you need before you deliver your baby. I am amazed by the amount of new things that we need to care, educate and entertain a newborn.

The first thing on my list was to make room. My husband and I sorted and packed all weekend. By splitting the work, we encouraged each other. He did the main floor while I worked mostly upstairs. We separated things into four categories: donation, furniture for sale, recycling and garbage. I tackled a big closet that was filled with things that we do not use anymore. Big closets can be sneaky. I was surprised by how much we hide there over the years. Now, I got the space to hide our photo albums and the beautiful things that should be kept out of reach during my child’s early years. Everything is neatly organized on the shelves. Looking at my well organized storage space makes me feel good.

Uncluttering your home can seem cumbersome to many. But once you see the results, it is worth every minute on it. Getting rid of unnecessary things removes weights from your shoulder. It’s a soothing experience! I know that you are all busy before the Holiday season. But why not take one weekend or a few week nights to gather the things around the house that you do not use anymore and donate them to a local charity. They need more toys, clothes, food and housewares during this time of the year to prepare their Christmas baskets.

As for us, we still have a big way to go until we see the end of the tunnel. We will continue to pack so they can proceed with some renovations all over the home. I wish to do all these little, and not so little, projects before the baby arrives. This is part of child-proofing my home. I will show you the results once everything is done.

Lastly, have a look at these beautiful kitchen linens. After your hard work, you are allow one indulgence.

+ Vintage Kitchen Scale $45 USD at One Sidney Road
+ Kitchen Apron by Studiopatro $68
+ Tea Towel Sets $42 for 2 assorted tea towels at Studiopatro


The Quest for Greener Cleaning Products | Getting Ready for the Baby

As a parent-to-be, I care about providing a safe environment for my baby. This includes my house but also the world I live in. I remember last year when a girlfriend M. adopted the most adorable Vietnamese little girl. Just before her trip to Vietnam to bring her home, M. had her home professionally cleaned by a team who only use green products. It made me think about how harmful regular cleaning products could be for our health and nature.

A few years ago, I switched to a biodegradable multi-purpose cleaner to clean my floor, to do the rough part of cleaning the windows, and to remove dust and dirt around the house. But old habits die hard. I stuck to my regular bathroom cleaners and glass cleaner because they work well. When I got pregnant, I became worried about the fumes produced by the chemicals in the products I used. This told me that it was time to explore what are the more natural alternatives at the stores.

It’s funny how having a baby changes your perspective in all aspects of our life. I think that it forces us to take better care of ourselves, to eat better and to reevaluate how we run our household. As parents-to-be and parents, we want to do the best for our kids.

About our Sponsor: Green Works

A division of Clorox, Green Works describes their line as a range of naturally derived cleaning products. They are made from at least 95% natural ingredients. Green Works make two all-purpose cleaners, one bathroom cleaner, one toilet bowl cleaner, two glass cleaners, laundry products and a dishwashing liquid available in four scents. You will be happy that they contain no phosphorous, no ammonia nor bleach.

Using natural or green products does not mean that you can relax on how you store your household cleaning products. As written on the labels, you still have to keep them out of reach of children.

Notice: Green Works asked us if they could sponsor a post in our “Getting Ready for the Baby” series. In return for their sponsorship, we simply mentioned them as the sponsor and wrote a brief description of their product line at the end of the post.


Laundry Room Indulgences Mood Board

Laundry Mood Board

Laundry Mood Board

Laundry might be the least glamourous of household chores. It is even less glamourous if, like me, you’re an apartment dweller without the luxury of an in-suite washer and dryer. In fact, it’s not a backyard or a garden I’m most looking forward to when I become a homeowner: it’s a laundry room.

laundry bins by Steady Sticks

I can’t wait for the day when someone launches a chain of stylish laundromats complete with high-end appliances, a detergent bar, lounge furniture and, of course, wi-fi. Until then, these affordable, yet indulgent, laundry essentials will help make sorting and folding loads a little more bearable.

+ Laundry symbol vinyl wall decals by Studio JK, $15 USD on Etsy
+ Eco-Friendly Eco Friendly Wool Felted Dryer Balls by Clean Sypria, $16 USD for a set of 4
+ Kim likes the lavender scented dryer balls
+ Rowenta’s Pro Master steam iron, $149.99 CAD at Sears
+ For Americans: Rowenta’s DW8080 Pro Master iron $79.99 USD at [affiliate link]
+ Soak Aquae no-rinse fibre care, $16 CAD
+ Steady Sticks laundry powder bin, $24.99


Green Waste Collection in Montreal and Quebec on October 24th, 2010

collecte verte :: green waste collection of electrical or electronic devices and computer equipment

collecte verte :: green waste collection of electrical or electronic devices and computer equipment

If you have obsolete or broken electrical, electronic and computer equipment lying around your house, this Sunday is the time to responsibly get rid of it. In recognition of Quebec Waste Reduction Week, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? teams up with the Centre de formation en entreprise et recuperation (CFER) to stage a large Green Waste Collection. The service is free.

They will take things like blenders, toasters, clock radios, CD players, cameras, computers, printers, fax machines. Get the complete list online. There will be 4 deposit sites in the region of Montreal and one spot in Quebec city. KADISAL and its Montreal facility will dismantle and sort all electrical and electronic devices and computer equipment collected, in addition to taking care of all recycling.

Fall Cleaning

Why not take this opportunity to look at the rest of your home and see if it is time for a little decluttering session. Start with your closets. What did you not wear last summer and last fall? In case you missed it, I talked about the need to declutter your house on this week “Getting Ready for the Baby” post.

+ Collecte Verte


Do you Know Your Tableware Symbols?

symbols for tableware use dishwasher freezer microwave oven

You often see those symbols on plastics. Sadly, it is easy to misinterpret them. It happened to me the other day when I bought the eiPott egg cups. Buying dishwasher safe tableware is a must for me. Therefore, I am a little bit disappointed of my purchase.

People often confuse the cup and fork symbol for the dishwasher safe symbol. The thing is that there is not universally approved symbol for dishwasher safe. The cup and fork means that the material is safe for food use.

It is strange that this area of the food industry has no standards. The use of symbol on products eliminate the need for language translation. Sometimes, the instructions are written on the packaging but not on the item. Do the brands expect us to recall the product care for every item we purchased. In fact, I only bought dishwasher safe tableware to not have to remember which one is safe, which one is not.

I hope this will help you make good purchase decisions.

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Fruits and Passion’s Sale Alert

free cucina scent with sale alert from fruits and passion

Fruits and Passion is having a sale in Canada and the United States. A range of customer’s favorite products is reduced to $15, until quantities last. Plus, you will receive Cucina Fragrant Kitchen Spray 100 ml Sanguinelli Orange and Fennel free with purchase of $45 ($60 if shopping in USA) or more before taxes. About the free Cucina Fragrant Spray, their sale alert email mentioned two more scents. Inquiry since I do not know which offer is valid.

+ Images from Fruits and Passion


Housewares for Fall at Habitat UK

housewares at habitat UK for fall 2009

Every season, I check what is new at Habitat. I still hope for the first North American store. Fun everyday items caught my eye. They are coming later this fall. This post is about laundry, a good cup of coffee and cute serving trays.

It is not everyday that a laundry bin made it to At Home with Kim Vallee. Especially, I do not enjoy the laundry duties. I imagine this laundry bin in a kids bathroom. Spinit is a collapsible laundry bin with washing machine print on the front.

geometric and floral pattern mugs for fall 2009 at habitat

When I tell you that I do not like do the laundry it is not exactly true. What I do not like is the folding part. It is always easier with a good cup of coffee. Each of these 3 mug series is available in three complementing patterns.

Habitat is also home decor. They usually carry superb modern vases. Fall proved to be a good crop. I am inspired by the combination of the ORIGAMI collection with large yellow BALTA. POMPEII set of lacquered trays is available in two color schemes.

+ Small black ORIGAMI £31.20
+ Large white ORIGAMI £100
+ BALTA vase £49
+ Spinit £34
+ POMPEII Blue Trays £29.60
+ ADA Candle in a Cup £6
Red HERBERT Mug £6
+ Yellow floral YUTO Mug £6
+ DANI Mug Square pattern £6
+ DANI Mug Circle pattern £6


A Twist on the Personal Concierge Laundry Service with Laundry Locker

laundry locker

I do not often talk about laundry other then how to organize your laundry room but Laundry Locker’s service seems heavenly to me. This is one of many cool business ideas spotted in Springwise.

Your Personal Concierge Laundry Service

Imagine having the freedom to drop off your dirty clothes for dry cleaning or for the wash and fold services 24/7.

Then, imagine not worrying about how and when you get back your clothes. Your clothes are returned the next turnover day. The billing is automatic and you can look at your laundry batches online.

By default, all clothes are cleaned in cold water to reduce shrinking, fading and bleeding which is the way I do it. You can tell them your cleaning preferences (ex: fabric softener, temperatures) on your profile. Since I dislike folding clothes, I wish for this indulgence.

Laundry Locker was founded in 2005 to cater to people who do not wish to deal with the usual business hours of dry cleaners. Their lockers are available in apartment buildings, condos, offices, fitness facilities and other drop-off locations throughout San Francisco. They even offer a home delivery service.

As easy as 1, 2, 3

Here is how the service works:

  1. Put your dirty laundry in any available locker and take the key (returning customers get laundry bags)
  2. You will be notified by SMS and eMail when your laundry is ready for pick up
  3. Return to the same locker where you left your clothes and bring them home

First time users only will need to register to and fill up your profile after they put their dirty laundry in the locker.

I read reviews on the Web and patrons seem delighted by their services. If you are looking for a way to simplify your life or an original gift idea for someone living in San Francisco, a year of Laundry Locker’s services sure beat a day at the spa. This is a part of stylish living on my book.

+ Laundry Locker
Via Springwise


One month of Simple Pleasures

dawn simple pleasures by proctor and gamble

It has been a month now since I put the Dawn Simple Pleasures bottle on the office kitchen. I arrived easily at a consensus.

November 6th, 2007 update:
The basic rules of entertaining still prevail at the office. Covering the lunch time odors becomes an issue for the well-being of employees and to properly greet visitors.

Men and women like the smell of the new air freshener from the Dawn Simple Pleasures bottle. I tested drive Lemon & Tangerine because it appeared to be a no gender scent. I was right.

The only drawback is the strength of the perfume if you use it in a small closed room. Our office kitchen measures 11 by 13 feet. We have the habit to close the door. So on the morning, due to a reduced air circulation, the perfume is too present in the room for my taste. This happens even after a month of usage. If we leave the door open, the problem vanished.

I do not think you need to worry since most home kitchens are partially opened at the least. Leave the bottle over the counter and you will to enjoy its benefits while you are doing the dishes.

November 5th, 2007 update:
I did not remove the sticker on the back of the bottle and I kept the front sticker for when the perfume become too strong. You may want to do the same, especially if you like to bake. Obviously, this product is not for everyone and every situation. But in an office, it is an affordable option to refresh the daily smells from lunch time.

Dawn Simple Pleasures is available in three scents: Lemon & Tangerine, Apple & Pear and Water Lilly & Jasmine.

Learn more: Web site of Dawn Simple Pleasures by Procter & Gamble

+ After-party cleaning tips