Monday, October 17, 2011

"Our personal consumer choices have
ecological, social, and spiritual consequences.

It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles."
- David Suzuki

Looking for additional ways to bring environmentally sound products into your home, I came upon the website of David Suzuki, co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, and wanted to share his quote with you.  It was also nice to read that their goals are very similar to that of Sweeping Dimensions'.  Several shared goals are protecting nature, reconnecting with nature, and building our communities.  

If you too share our goals, please take extra care of the products you use to clean your home.  Use products as concentrates (less packaging waste),  use multi-functional products, and products that do not have harmful ingredients.  

As always, we are "making a sweeping effort to make life less stressful."

Monday, October 3, 2011



Attention Current & Potential Small Business Owners!!!  A key to small business success is building relationships, knowledge and support. Join SCORE|Chicago on November 3rd for an opportunity to make new connections, and create new business opportunities.  Take your small business to a new level of success by using SCORE resources and establishing relationships with other small business owners.
DATE:          November 3, 2011
TIME:           5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION:  Grossinger AutoPlex
  1530 N. Dayton  
  Chicago, IL 60642
DONATION: $15.00
If you have any questions, please contact Lari I. Diaz at  
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, September 26, 2011


So, I’m going to take a moment and vent just a tiny bit.  It seems to me that not enough people believe in reciprocity especially when it comes to building relationships whether business or personal.  It’s happened to me, you help out a fellow business owner or friend promote their business and what do you get in return, a cursory “thank you.”  Well, I overheard a conversation recently about just that, someone doing something nice for someone else with nothing in return, and I wondered why reciprocity is not the norm.  Don’t get me wrong we should all do nice things for others without expecting anything in return, but when you’ve given all you can and reciprocity doesn’t exit, seriously, what’s that all about?  Don’t people believe in Karma?

I read in someone’s tweet that this world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity.  Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated.   Something to remember! Done venting. ;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


S. Carol Dougal & Lari I. Diaz

On September 15th, 2011 I had the honor of being one of five panelists for  a WBDC's 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Women's Conference Panel Discussion.  There were about 70 women who attended the "Launching Your Own Business: From Dream to Reality" discussion.  You couldn't be in the room without feeling high levels of positive energy that formed from all of the excitement.  

Lari I. Diaz & Meg Herman
For those of you who may not be familiar with the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC), it is a not-for-profit organization that assists women who are looking to start or grow a business by offering them counseling, education, encouragement and support.  I have been fortunate enough to have met many wonderful women who have come together over a Wisdom, Wine, & Cheese Introduction and Networking Event as well as the JumpStart Series whom I still am in contact with. One of the most inspiring women at WBDC is Ms. Meg Herman, Director of Entrepreneurial Services.  Ms. Herman continues to encourage me to do more, to be more, and to lead by example.  I owe her a huge THANK YOU for giving me support when I needed it most. 

It is no great surprise that there was more than 2000 people (mostly women) at the WBDC's 25th Anniversary Luncheon celebrating all the hard work and passion that both Ms. Hedy Ratner and Ms. Carol Dougal have put into this amazing organization.  Speakers congratulating Ms. Ratner and Ms. Dougal were many including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emmanual.  

Carol Dougal & Hedy Ratner

CONGRATULATIONS Ms. Hedy Ratner & Ms. Carol Dougal!!  The dedication you have placed in the Women's Business Development Center will never be duplicated or forgotten.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Have you ever walked into a home were you felt comfortable and at peace by your surroundings?  Definitely better than being in a home where it feels cold and unwelcoming. I ask because I’ve gone on a quest to find what makes a home comfortable, inviting, and relaxing.  I’m searching for the ultimate gathering place where friends and family feel an unmistakable connection to the home and the people that live there.

As the owner of a cleaning service, I have been invited inside many homes, and many of them are indeed comfortable.  Yet, there are but a few that as soon as you enter the front door you forget the outside world.  You believe that you are in a place of wellbeing, security, and belonging.  Where the sounds of the home are minimal and soothing.  Where every piece of furniture and color envelope you as part of them. It’s like being in a space where you feel not like a guest but part of the family. In a book by Richard Webster titled “101 Feng Shui Tips For Your Home,” the author gives us tips on using feng shui to create an environment that allows us to enjoy more harmony, balance, and success in our lives.  I picked out my 7 favorite tips to share with you in that you can too create a comfortable, inviting, and relaxing space in your home. 

  1. Keep your home in the best possible condition.  Keep it clean!  The health of your home relates directly to you, your health, and the health of your family.
  2. Avoid clutter.  Make a concentrated effort to discard anything that you are not using.
  3. Make sure that your front door is as welcoming as possible.  You want people to be encouraged to visit, and by placing flowers on each side of your front entryway you encourage ch’i (the universal life force), and raise the spirits of your visitors.
  4. Your kitchen should have an airy, spacious, and friendly feel no matter how small.  Keep it well stocked with food and you give the impression of abundance. 
  5. Arrange furniture so that people can move freely around a room without feeling as if they are undertaking an obstacle course.
  6. Place mirrors throughout your home.  There isn’t such a thing as too many mirrors just as long as they are kept clean.  Dust and dirt reduce the effectiveness. A mirror in your dining room symbolically doubles the amount of food on the table, and doubles feelings of well-being and enjoyment experienced in this room.
  7. A family pet provides love and happiness ultimately creating harmony and contentment. 

It’s true that today we are more aware of the effects that our environment has upon us.  It, therefore, makes sense to incorporate feng shui in our home.  I for one want to keep my home as a place where I can go to relax, to be in harmony with my environment.  Here’s to my ongoing quest!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Since posting the article "My New Obsession", I've received several inquiries on Tillandsia's.  For this posting, I wanted to write a few fun facts on Tillandsia’s and how they differ from other plants.  I hope this answers many of your questions or curiosities.  ;)
  • Tillandsia's are named after the Swedish physician - Elias Tillands.
  • Tillandsia's are members of the Bromeliad family.
  • They grow on anything, they hang from anything.  
  • They grow upside down, right side up, or sideways.

  • They grow on tree trunks, branches, shrubs, cacti, rocks, and cliff faces.
  • They're root systems function to hold the plant stable, and not to absorb nutrients.
  • There are over 550 different Tillandsia species.
  • There are two major types of Tillandsia's:  those with hard leaves, and those with soft leaves.
  • Some but few are fragrant.
  •  It can take years for them to grow and mature.
  • Sizes vary.  Some are about an inch in height while others grow over 40 inches tall.
  • Flowers tend to be tubular and range in color from purple, blue, white, pink or yellow.
  • Reproduction is by seeds or by offsets called "pups".
  • A single plant could have many "pups".

If you would like more information on Tillandsia’s or would like to make a purchase, send me an email at  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


As much as I hate to admit it, September is here and its time for kids to start school. With the craziness of buying school supplies, meeting teachers, and working a regular job I thought it would be a good idea to share a few tips that may help keep you sane during this busy time.

  1. Make a checklist.  Starting with all of the things that you would like to see cleaned almost immediately.
  2. Organize your cleaning supplies in a caddy.  Carry it with you as you travel from room to room.
  3. Divide and conquer.  Kids are great helpers (well, sometimes a little bribery is needed) and can help picking up books, toys, xbox games.  They can help move small/light furniture in order to vacuum behind them.
  4. Clean from top down.  Dust corners of rooms and work your way down to baseboards.  Dust, cobwebs, and dustbunnies settle downwards, so begin your cleaning by dusting ceiling fans and light fixtures.
  5. Focus on one room at a time.  Taking each room a step at a time keeps you focused on the task at hand. 
Happy Cleaning!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Earlier this year I stumbled upon a unique type of plant that by their shear unique appearances caught my eye.  One of them I bought just because it looked like something you’d find on another planet. Tillandsia’s better know as air plants grow without soil or in typical plant containers and are easy to maintain – a huge plus in my book.  Tillandsia’s absorb moisture and nutrients from the air around them through their leaves and not through their roots, which they use as anchors. Why is this important?  We spend about 90% of our time indoors, and improving the quality of air we breathe should be a priority especially for allergy sufferers. Tillandsia’s help clean the air in our homes and offices.  They are one type of plant that function as efficient air detoxifiers removing toxins from the air.

In every room I have placed these plants in there is a tranquility that comes over me when I’m there.  Tillandsia’s with their unique shapes and colors offer a spa-like zen that I absolutely love.  Whether it’s the natural elements (wood, rocks, moss, seashells) I arrange them in or the fact that I relax when I’m home, I can’t get enough of them. They look sophisticated, exotic, and very non-traditional.  

If you would like more information on Tillandsia’s or would like to purchase, send me an email at  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011



When my ingenious assistant, Liliana, gave me a gift – a Pilot B2P (Bottle 2 Pen) pen I was a bit glum wishing it were chocolates or a new Kate Spade bag.  A couple days later, I opened the package and started writing with my new B2P.  I love it!  It just glides on paper.  The stylish design had me looking at the packaging for information.  The B2P is the world’s first pen made of 89.9% recycled plastic water bottles.  The design looks like that of a water bottle even the label wrapping around the middle.  Since plastic is made from oil, using recycled plastic contributes to preserving our natural resources.   Totally winning me over as a now frequent buyer of the B2P.  On top of that, it is refillable using even less waste.  As for cost, I was surprised to see that they don’t cost any more than any other Pilot pen. For back to school or anytime during the year grab a stack in different colors.  You’ll not only find, as I did, that they not only write well you’re also helping our environment.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quote of The Day

What would you do today?... If you really weren't afraid?... If you weren't worried?... If you weren't unsure?... What would you do today if you knew you couldn't fail?.

I read this on a facebook site -  "People Who Inspire Us."  Check out his site, some of the quotes really tend to inspire you, and make you think.  

Monday, April 18, 2011


Why is it that when we’re told to do something that will be beneficial to us, and accept it to be true, that oftentimes we choose to avoid it? The voice that only we can hear tells us that we’ll start… someday.  We’re told that by eating lighter portions of our favorite foods and exercising on a regular basis that we’ll lose weight, build stronger muscles and live longer. Countless books are written stating that our financial freedom depends on spending less and saving more.  So, I’m wondering, why are we not following the advice of others and eating healthier, exercising more or saving money?  The answer is simple: Being comfortable in our current lifestyle, and changing the aforementioned habits at a root level means changing our comfort zones and most of us are not ready to do just that.

 Why not?

Uncertainty.  Every day we face uncertainty, uncertainty to move forward because some level of fear of the unknown inhibits us from seeing the bigger picture.  We need to constantly remind ourselves that where we want to be and who we want to become is going to be our reality, so long as we work at making it so.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely hard work and requires a considerable amount of self-discipline but, isn’t that what’s great about creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy and doing the things you really want to do?  Ruben Gonzalez, author of The Courage To Succeed, wrote “every success you’ve ever had or will ever have is the product of your courage to act and the courage to endure.” 

Do you want to watch life go by sitting on the sidelines?  I don’t!  I wasn’t raised to believe that something is too good for me-with that mentality I’ll always find ways not to do my best or quit.  I was raised to reach for the stars, and I know I’ll attain them.  Like I said, it’s tough at times but I imagine what I want and I try to create the lifestyle that looks just like what I’ve imagined; even when it rides up against my current comfort zone. There are things that I want to accomplish and I have already made up my mind that I’m not settling for less.  Why would you?  I want to stay healthy and eat better (a constant challenge) so I get out of bed, caffeine deprived, and drive my sleepy self to the gym.  Not everyday, but I know my ultimate goal and I do what it takes to get it done. 

I wish you the greatest success and hope you look at life in a way that constantly challenges your comfort zone so you can achieve the greatness that life can provide.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I had a great deal of fun being interviewed by Mark Goodman, SCORE Chicago business mentor, on March 17th.  I wanted to provide the link so you can check it out.  SCORE is a non-profit organization that's dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business in the US.  I have the great honor of being a part of SCORE Chicago providing free business counseling, management consulting and really affordable workshops.

I want to hear from you.  Tell me what you think of the video.  People are right, the camera does put 10 lbs. on you.  :(

This is a recorded interview.  Please do not call the number on the screen.



It has been a great experience in returning to the classroom – this time as a speaker, and not a student.  I was invited to speak to Dr. Roberts’ class at Columbia College on the perils of entrepreneurship and the benefits of utilizing programs that SCORE offers to budding entrepreneurs and those looking to expand an already successful business.  Some of the questions these young learners asked pertained to creating the right business entity, insurance requirements, and applying for a loan.  I was asked questions a little close to home; what is it like working in a family business, what have the challenges I’ve faced.  Somewhat of an irony, is that I’ve had the chance to learn more about what students are concerned with then they probably learned from me.  One thing is for sure, next time, I will bring a glass of milk to Dr. Roberts’ class – sweets are common in his classrooms. 

Monday, February 14, 2011


networking_professionals(5).jpgAre you the type of person who doesn’t believe in the power of networking?  Meeting people you’ve never met can be nerve racking. It’s something like going on a first date. There are butterflies in your stomach, and you find yourself at a loss of words when you meet another for that first time. Think about it.  You plan on going out for an entire week if not an entire month.  You eat right so you look amazing in the “right” outfit you are wearing that is professional yet attention getting; think power suit.  You practice your smile and conversation topics to break the ice.  Your business cards are in the ready for when you meet someone you want to develop a long-term relationship with.  Did this bring a new set of butterflies? So, why network?  Networking can be fun and adventurous if you have the right frame of mind.  It can also be extremely profitable if you spend the time to get to know it. 

You’re entering the room where the networking event is being held.  You suck in your stomach, walk in and now what?  First off, smile.  A smile is contagious and empowering.  You may not believe it, but when you smile you appear to be more confident.  Confidence is a powerful characteristic that people are attracted to and with confidence you are emitting a likeable and approachable you.  When you’re approachable other people do the talking first.  So relax!  Networking isn’t about you.  It’s about listening to the other person.  Listen to where they’re from, what type of business they run, and what brought them to the event.  Most importantly, listen to a way you can be of service to that person.  Of course, you’re going to have to open your mouth and talk about you, but make a point to leave the event knowing more about others. 

Don’t forget to mingle.  You are there to meet not just one but several people so as to build a growing network.   Whether your goal is to find new clients, make a sale, seek a new job or hire a new employee you won’t accomplish it unless you mingle.  If you’re thinking that you’re having a great time with the person you’ve been talking to for the last fifteen minutes and there’s no need to introduce yourself to anyone else, think again.  Hiding behind the idea that you can search the internet for write-ups or reviews to get to know other professionals isn’t enough.  There isn’t an online review that will help you deal with some of life’s minor annoyances or most challenging problems when they present themselves. It’s the “human” network you’re building that can provide role models for you, advise you and comfort you, provide you with financial assistance, or intellectual and social resources.  We need to cultivate good relationships with people who we may call on when we’re in a crunch and need to handle a crisis.

No different from going on a first date, you are going to want to follow-up to say “thank you” for their time.  Instead of sending flowers, you might send a card or an email saying that you enjoyed your conversation and hope to see them again maybe for a cup of coffee at a local coffee house.  Remember one thing, everyone enters that same networking event with butterflies, including the most experienced networker.  It’s the thrill of knowing there are opportunities available to be captured.  Like every first date, once it’s over and you’ve built a connection with someone, you feel like a million bucks.   

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do You Love To Clean? 3 Cleaning Tips That Will Change Your Mind

dusting-furniture.s600x600.jpgCleaning is one of those chores you would love to hate.  You can get dirty and messy during the process but when it’s all done there’s always a huge sigh of relief and a sense of calm. Yes. I am talking about cleaning and it is true that when you walk into a room you just cleaned, sometimes there is no greater sense of tranquility and accomplishment.  Calm surrounds us all when we are in the presence of cleanliness.  We tend to spend more time in these surroundings so it is no wonder that more business is done in a clean office and more people join you for festivities in your home.  I mean, who wants to see cobwebs inconspicuously hiding in ceiling corners, ceiling fans showing bundles of dust on its panels, or finger prints on light switches and door knobs?  The following three tips can make cleaning easier and less time consuming at the end of a busy day. It all begins by clearing out clutter. 

Simple enough, but when we spend a large amount of our time in rooms like the kitchen or our office clutter always accumulates.  This makes cleaning a longer task than it has to. Our first tip is to keep areas clutter free.  For example, excessive paper clutter like mail, homework assignments, or phone messages, should not be on countertops, the dining room table or conference room. Scattered utensils, dishes, and open food containers should always be put away.  Consider removing clothing off exercise machines, toys on  sofas and loveseats, and magazines off of chairs and tables.  These small changes can make a considerable difference to a healthy environment. 

After the pick-up, we can get to the culprit of all cleaning culprits – dust. Cupid did not give us a love affair for these fine, dry particles.  Those who suffer from allergies attest to the difficulties of removing them from surfaces.   By using the proper tools like a treated dust cloth or a microfiber towel to remove dust from all surfaces in your home and office becomes easy and effortless.  Every other day make a point to remove dust from chairs, tables (dining room tables, end tables, coffee tables), and any other horizontal surfaces.   Don’t forget to shake out dust and allergens from the sofa and pillows.  No one likes to bounce on the sofa to have dust bounce right back at us. 

Once the dust is removed, damp wipe with appropriate cleaning liquid and a microfiber towel all horizontal surfaces.   Wiping surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth helps to eliminate germs and allergens not removed by dusting alone.  One last tidbit:  A fresh bundle of flowers makes a lasting impression on your mood and that of your company.  It’s a low cost way to relax and be in the comfort of your environment.  Keep a fresh, vibrant colorful bouquet in the most occupied room.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What we're doing to help the environment!

What does "Green" really mean?  Going green is about embracing the principles of environmental responsibility by making different choices that lessen the negative impact on our environment.  

Several years ago, Sweeping Dimensions introduced its green cleaning program using products that reduce environmental impact and protects the health and safety of our staff and the clients we serve. Quick disclaimer: by implementing this program does not mean that we do not use a few traditional cleaning methods or that they create unsafe/unhealthy conditions.  We have simply taken additional steps towards reducing pollution while continuing to maintain and improve the healthiness, comfort and aesthetics of our clients' homes and businesses.

One of the most significant changes we adopted is the use of microfiber cloths and mops during our cleaning routine.  They are environmentally friendly for many reasons.  First, they are lightweight and can be washed in large quantities, greatly reducing water and energy consumption.  A big plus when the water  and electric bills comes in.  They also take up less physical space reducing both transport costs and storage space.  We have found that there are many other benefits to using microfiber.  They are:
  • Microfiber cloths are hypoallergenic.  Great for those of us who suffer from allergies or asthma.
  • Microfiber cloths are super absorbent.  They absorb over 7 times their weight in water.
  • Microfiber cloths dry in 1/3 the time of ordinary cleaning towels.
  • Microfiber cloths are over 4 times more effective than ordinary cleaning towels.  They clean almost any stain from any surface, are more plush & longer lasting than other cleaning products and contain more than 200,000 fibers per square inch.
  • Microfiber cloths are completely lint free and non-abrasive.
In addition to microfiber, we have also incorporated liquid products as concentrates rather than as ready-to-use mixtures to our green cleaning program.  As a result, we use trigger bottles and pump sprayers - no need for propellants.  In a small way, we help reduce  packaging materials and their potential burden on the environment as well as fuel, vehicle emissions, and other impacts of transportation.

We believe that green cleaning benefits everyone especially those with special needs and sensitivities.  In cases were an individual has allergies or illness we address his/her specific needs and make appropriate changes to products, procedures, and scheduling as necessary.