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Spring clean and organize your home in 31 days

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Mar 10th, 2015

Are you ready? We are! We’re excited to kick off our second Clutter Cure challenge this Sunday. We hope you follow along as we clean and organize our way through the month of March. Spring is the perfect time to get your home in order, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and how to stay motivated — but don’t worry, we’re here to help make the task a lot easier.

Each week, we’ll tackle a room with a couple of easy-to-do tasks and one big assignment. It’s up to you when you tackle each project. For some, it might be easier to do it on the day assigned, but for others, doing it all on the weekend might make more sense. Either way, by the end of the month your home will be clean and inviting and you’ll be ready to take on the new season!

The first assignment starts Tuesday, March 3, but this Sunday is all about planning the month ahead. Here are some tips to help get you started:

1. Before you start any project take some before and after photos so you can see your progress. Feel free to share them with us on Pinterest and Twitter with #cluttercure so we can keep each other motivated!

2. Don’t try to do it all at once! The idea behind the Clutter Cure is to tackle one space at a time. Make sure you complete each task before moving on to the next challenge.

3. Make a list of all the specific areas of your home that drive you crazy. Start at the front door and walk through your home noting any trouble spots; Maybe it’s overflowing shoes at the front door, a burnt-out bulb in the kitchen or a piece of artwork that has never made it onto a wall. Do not attempt to fix these problems. Sunday is just about taking stock. Assessing your home is the first step in getting organized!

4. Next, choose the five projects that will make the biggest difference in your home. Block off some time each Sunday to tackle one of these projects. They can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be. And if we happen to address one of your trouble spots during the week, bonus for you!

5. Remember to do work at your own pace. Take a break when you need to, or if you’re feeling ambitious, move an extra task onto your list.

Week by week we’re here to help you. In just 31 days, your home will be like new — just in time to get your hands dirty with spring gardening!

LIVE COVERAGE: Apple Watch expected to be unveiled

Mike Yawney | posted Monday, Mar 9th, 2015

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Could it be? Is the Apple Watch finally here?

The technology company is holding a media event on Monday in San Francisco.

CityNews technology specialist Mike Yawney is in San Francisco for the announcement. Follow his live coverage below starting at noon Eastern.

Apple will offer a live video stream of the keynote address.

The company is expected to reveal new details about the much-anticipated device.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • Available in three models, including one encased in 18-karat gold
  • Comes with multiple wristband options
  • Needs an an iPhone to connect to the Internet
  • Cost at least US$349

Apple has not yet announced the exact price or release date.

This is the company’s first new product category since its 2010 iPad.

Week of Mar. 9, 2015

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Mar 8th, 2015

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Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Now on tour with Ariana Grande, band Rixton will be here on Monday to perform!

On Thursday, style icon Jeanne Beker is here to promote her new show on The Shopping Channel, Style Matters.

To end off the week on Friday we will chat about March Break travel tips.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

5 Things to do this weekend: International Women’s Day, vintage clothes, and a bike show

Sarah-Joyce Battersby | posted Saturday, Mar 7th, 2015

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Bodies of Light: In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Tangled Art + Disability charity is presenting a day of discussion and short films created by women with disabilities. Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave. Saturday, panel discussions 3:30-5 p.m., film screenings 6-8 p.m. Panel discussions: free; Film screenings: $10 general admission, $5 for people with disabilities, free for personal support workers. tangledarts.org

Origami world record attempt: The University of Toronto origami club is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest display of origami flowers, with donations going to the Canadian Cancer Society. Medical Science Building, 1 King College Circle. Friday, 12-4 p.m. Free. utfold.com

Toronto Vintage Clothing Show: Browse the racks for unique finds at the largest vintage clothing show in Canada. Major vintage retailers, including the Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, will be on hand. Queen Elizabeth Building, 190 Princes’ Blvd. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10. torontovintageclothingshow.ca

Toronto International Bike Show: It may not feel like it right now, but cycling season is on its way. Get a peek at the latest rides and maybe score some deals the semi-annual show. Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place, 210 Princes’ Blvd. Friday 12-9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $10-$40. bicycleshowtoronto.com

International Women’s Day: Women and supporters of women will gather Saturday to celebrate International Women’s Day with a rally, march, and fair. OISE Building, 252 Bloor St. W. Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. Free. iwdtoronto.ca

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca or submit it online atCityNews.ca680News.com and via our iPhone and iPad apps.

Clocks spring forward on Sunday, spring 2 weeks away

Jaime Pulfer | posted Friday, Mar 6th, 2015

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The clocks spring forward to Daylight Saving Time this weekend, while the thermometer jumps to more spring-like temperatures.

Clocks move ahead one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday.

For many people, the time change means that they feel tired, but there are things you can do to help ease the transition:

  • Before going to bed try to avoid spending time on electronic devices
  • Don’t have a big meal or caffeine and avoid alcohol
  • Don’t take a nap during the day
  • Do some exercise
  • Keep to your usual nighttime ritual

And one other thing to remember: this is also the time of year when you should change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

680News meteorologist Jill Taylor said spring is creeping in and pulling the GTA out of the deep freeze.

“It could hit 2 C by the time we get to Sunday, and early next week, looking at temperatures near 4 C or even 5 C,” Taylor said.

However, Taylor said the region could see some snow this weekend.

On Friday, Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning for Dufferin, York, Durham, Innisfil, Barrie, Orillia, Peterborough, and Kawartha Lakes.

But, think warm thoughts as spring officially arrives in exactly two weeks, on March 20 at 6:45 p.m.

And, the Toronto Blue Jays season opener is exactly a month away. The team takes on the Yankees in New York on April 6.

5 things you didn’t know about Shania Twain

Lucy Robert | posted Friday, Mar 6th, 2015

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  1. Born Eileen Edwards, Shania Twain changed her name to Shania meaning ‘On My Way’ in Ojibwa.
  2. Shania wrote her first song at the young age of 10-years-old. The song was titled “Mama Won’t you Come Out to Play” and was written about Shania’s relationship with her mother.
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  3. Though Shania has not been to space, her songs sure have! Shania’s song UP! was used as a wake up call in space for Canadian astronaut Dave Williams in 2007.
  4. Shania’s album, Come on Over has sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
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  5. Though Shania hasn’t been touring, she sure has been busy this past year with daily shows at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
    Check out a preview of the show:

10 ways to survive a winter weekend trapped indoors

Lora Grady | posted Thursday, Mar 5th, 2015

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Two weekends ago, on a particularly frigid Saturday night, I found myself trapped inside my 460-square-foot apartment. I had somehow managed to jam the lock on my door, and the locksmith wasn’t answering his phone, so I had no idea how long my isolation would last. If a fire had broken out, I would have been pretty screwed, but I was also pleased to have such a solid excuse to cancel plans and stay in. (As luck would have it, I had just returned from the grocery store with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.) Here are 10 tips that carried me through my weekend of apartment solitude. (Ed. note: You can also employ these tips when you actually have the ability to go outside, but just don’t want to.)

1. Dance around partially (or fully) naked.
Hands down, the best part of living alone is the opportunity to dance in the nude whenever you feel like it. It’s a surprisingly good workout, and it feels pretty liberating. As for the soundtrack, you can’t go wrong with Songza. My top three favourite playlists (in descending order) are: Mom-Jean JamsGirls’ Night In and What Would Beyoncé Do?

2. Cook an almost-effortless hot meal.
My slow cooker is easily my most-cherished kitchen appliance, and it proves especially useful during the winter when you’re craving warm, hearty dishes. This steel-cut oatmeal is the best breakfast for a cold morning, and it keeps for almost a week. My go-to weekend dinner is Moroccan Vegetable Stew — full of fragrant spices, winter veggies and quick couscous, this dish is the perfect stew for a sit-in.

3. Skype your Mom.
Or your best friend. Anyone who can remind you that you are not, in fact, the last person on Earth. Snapchat is also a fun way to keep in touch with other snowed-in friends. Document your stir-craziness and share it with close pals.

4. Escape to the beach. In your mind.
A spur-of-the-moment, two-day trip to the Caribbean isn’t exactly in most single girls’ budgets. These lageritasare easy to whip up, and conjure up memories of sun-soaked patios.

5. Make an epic (and easy) snack.
Some triple- (now quadruple-) tested crunchy munchies from the Chatelaine archives: five-minute microwave potato chips, sweet-and-salty chocolate-covered chipsBrussels sprout crisps and crispy chickpeas.

6. Get your binge-watch on.
Being a bit of a television connoisseur, my interests run the gamut from prime-time soap operas (Empire) to buddy comedies (Broad City) to historical dramas (Downton Abbey). Dim the lights and settle down for somesolid screen time. Tip: Poll friends and coworkers on what they’re currently watching — it’s always fun to have someone to dissect episodes with.

7. Give yourself a manicure.
Multi-task during your TV marathon by treating your tips to a fresh coat of polish. Get a professional look withthese three steps courtesy of an actual aesthetician.

8. Build a fort.
Lora here with a message from your childhood: forts are awesome. I was inspired by my best friend, who regularly sends me Snapchats from her inside her son’s blanket creations. Flank your couch with pillows, drape a blanket across the top, grab your laptop and snacks and lounge like a kid while you can.

9. Clean out your makeup bag.
Take a half-hour to organize your medicine cabinet and cosmetic bags, toss out old mascaras and powders, and take stock of any repeat products — like the three red lipsticks in your purse. Hang onto any duplicates for a product swap with friends another weekend. Feeling ambitious? Tackle your closet.

10. Do a 10-minute workout.
After all that slow-cooking and snacking, you’ll need to get up and get your blood pumping. I love doing this low-impact yoga routine before bed. If you need a boost (and tip number one isn’t your thing), these cardio movesare a great bet.

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