Never thought I’d say this, but I had the best cup of coffee and it wasn’t on the West Coast. Gasp! Shock! Surprise!
Best cuppa joe…..was in Toronto. Really? REALLY…….Probably because the owner, Mike Cullen, is a native Victorian. His shop, Broadview Espresso, is located a few blocks up from Broadview and Danforth.
Funky music, comfortable chairs and a knowledgeable barista. It’s definitely a neighbourhood fixture….local is the mainstay from the (locally roasted) beans to the art that hangs on the walls. I got the sense the place was filled with regulars and it was also baby-friendly…..good thing since I met my girlfriend there with her 8-month old. He really liked the coffee spoons and I think was desperate to get his first taste of coffee – he kept pointing at his mouth as if we should just spoon some in there!
Anyways….if you’re ever in the neighbourhood – look Broadview Espresso up. It’s the best buzz in Toronto.
For more reviews check out Broadview Espresso
When it comes to housecleaning, I’m willing to take advice from anyone – especially Molly Maid. Here are a few dirty little secrets from the famous Canadian-born cleaning service company:
- Sponges are the biggest germ sites, so change regularly or use microfibre cloths that can be tossed in the washer.
- Don’t make your bed!! It is now recommended to air out between the sheets for at least 20 minutes each morning to reduce dampness and attractiveness for dust mites.
- A baking soda and water paste can be used to get mildew off of plastic items in the bathroom such as Rubber Ducky and your shower curtain. Soft items like your loofah should be tossed and replaced regularly.
- Old pet food attracts bugs and vermin so keep Fido’s dining area as clean as yours.
- Door handles, drawer handles, taps, toilet levers, telephone mouthpieces, keyboards and switch plates are all transfer stations for germs. Clean with an all purpose cleaner or disinfectant regularly.
Tantalizing sounds a bit over the top, but it really smells amazing. And 100 percent of the money raised goes to the Staying Alive Foundation, a charity that empowers young people to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS. Nearly half of all new HIV/AIDS cases are among 15–24 year olds so they are launching this campaign with singer Kelly Rowlands to raise awareness among youth.
While some may criticize the practice of partnering charity with consumerism, I think if you are going to buy a lip balm or a T-shirt anyways it doesn’t hurt to contribute to a cause you also want to support. Plus, the lip butter is free of preservatives and includes great stuff like the exotic dragonfruit, organic beeswax and shea butter from Ghana sourced through The Body Shop’s Community Trade Program. So you’re supporting a community abroad at the same time.
Since 2007, MTV and The Body Shop have raised more than $1.6 million for the Staying Alive Foundation, providing grants for youth to influence their peer groups at a grass roots level.
There’s a special place in my heart for HIV/AIDS awareness and it doesn’t hurt that this lip butter feels and smells amazing.
Tantalizing Lip Butter, $8. In stores now.Check out this site to make a safe sex pledge and find out more about the campaign.www.yestosafesex.com
I’ve been going through a paper bag of receipts and forms representing 2008 in preparation for tax time, and in between feelings of boredom (self-explanatory) and amazement (why would I have put those hoop earrings in this mess?) is one of resentment: When did life become about the organization of bits of paper? And when can I dump the stacks of the past?
Which leads me nicely to this week’s Ask an Expert question, generated from Chatelaine’s Money Maven’s forum:
“How long do you need to keep certain financial records (tax returns and supporting documents, credit-card statements, utility bills, investment statements) and what’s the best way to dispose of them?”
Our expert is Christie Henderson, a chartered accountant, certified financial planner, trust and estate practitioner and the managing partner of Henderson Partners in Oakville, Ont., and here’s her advice:
The answer, according to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is 6 years. The books and records should be kept in Canada at your residence or place of business and must be made available to CRA should they ask to see them.
Even though CRA can’t go back and audit your tax return after 6 years – unless they suspect fraud and then everything is fair game – you should keep purchase receipts and investment statements for assets you still own. You may need them should you ever need to make an insurance claim. And you may need proof of an asset’s cost in the future if you sell and the gain or loss must be reported on your tax return.
As the fastest-growing form of fraud, identity theft could result in the destruction of your credit record among other things. We would highly recommend you have your old tax documents shredded once you are no longer required to keep them.
One of my prized possessions is a dinner table chair (sans dinner table), with a lyre-like carving for it’s back, a leopard-print seat and antiqued cherry wood. This chair, which everyone comments on when they see it, cost me about $20 – for the seat fabric and the stain remover. The chair itself was free, because I picked it up off a curb one summer night about 5 years ago.
Yep, I am a former scavenger. In my 20s, while still a grad student (and just after), no discard pile was safe from my prying eyes; I couldn’t walk past a hand-scrawled “Free: Still Works” sign without my heart skipping a beat. Sometimes, as with the chair, my “freecycling” worked brilliantly. Other times, it was sheer ridiculousness: Once I hauled home a ludicrously heavy old solid oak door for six blocks (with an idea to turn it into a desk top) only to discover, two flights of stairs up, that the door wouldn’t fit through the final stairwell to my apartment.
Since the sweaty futility of the door episode, I’ve pretty much stopped foraging. Still, I’m always impressed by how others are travelling deeper into the territory than I ever dared to tread. Salon.com has a profile of Kristan Lawson and Anneli Rufus, a California husband-and-wife team of serious scavengers – they even go dumpster-diving for food. While the thought of picking up baked goods, even if they’re clean, from an industrial trash can makes me queasy, I do like their anti-snobbery philosophy, summed up by Rufus: “There’s a prejudice against frugality, cheapness, everything with the word ‘discount’ in it.”
So, next time you pass an abandoned door on the street, let it go (or go get a car and a measuring tape). But if it’s a chair, you might want to consider what $20 would do for it.