The singer-songwriter and philanthropist comes clean on her ten-year job as a housekeeper, why she finds cleaning therapeutic, when she taught her daughter to do laundry and why she has teamed up with Tide purclean to launch its new eco-friendly detergent.
Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado grew up in the family business—the cleaning business. “I come from a housekeeping background. My mom ran a laundry and cleaning company, and from a young age, I would go along with her to help out on odd jobs,” says Furtado. For the Grammy-award winner, lending a hand with the housekeeping turned into her first decade-long job. “I was a professional housekeeper at a hotel for 10 years in Vancouver,” says Furtado.
So, when Tide approached Furtado to help launch purclean—their first bio-based detergent (65% of the ingredients are made using renewable energy sources, such as plants)—the decision was an easy one. This more eco-friendly option is also hypoallergenic, free of dyes, chlorine and phosphates, and is produced in an environmentally-friendly manufacturing site.
Along with using a more sustainable detergent, Furtado limits the amount of loads she does per week and uses energy-saving cold water. “Every little bit counts: I drive a hybrid car so I only have to fill up on gas once a month. I make my own cleaning products with vinegar and water. When I’m spring cleaning or moving, I donate everything from faucets and cabinets to furniture to Habitat for Humanity so they can reuse them instead of putting them in a landfill,” says Furtado.
Furtado taught her daughter, Nevis, who is now 13-years-old, how to do laundry when she was 10-years-old. “At the time, she was saving up to buy an iPad, so Furtado gave her a list of chores to do, including laundry, to save enough money for the big purchase. “I felt I was teaching her a really valuable skill that she’ll use into adulthood, but she already mastered it at a young age. She’s really good at folding, too,” says Furtado.
Along with raising a teenage daughter and managing a successful music career (she has sold 16 million albums), she is committed to her environmental and humanitarian philanthropic work. This year, she helped host We Day, an event that empowers kids to contribute to positive changes in their communities, as well as acknowledging many who do. She also remains very close to the organization, Free The Children—she has helped raise $1 million dollars for a new all-girls school in Narok in rural Kenya. This Christmas, Nelly will visit the girls at the school.
In March 2018, Furtado will release her seventh album, The Ride. Most of the songs were written outside the studio while doing other things, such as laundry or in a car ride in Kenya during one of her Free The Children missions.
These days, when she’s not travelling, Furtado continues to clean her own house as she finds it puts her in a meditative mood, giving her the opportunity to focus on her music. “It’s part of who I am,” says Furtado.
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Cherry Icebox Cookies
Any of these traditional cookies are sure to be a hit at your cookie exchange.
These red and green-speckled cookies are the perfect way to spread the festive spirit.
Get the recipe: Cherry Icebox Cookies
Everyone loves chewy toffee and melted chocolate. Mixing the two into a net little shortbread cup is a brilliant way to unite these two decadent treats.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cups
Canada, meet your new favourite cookie.
Get the recipe: Maple Shortbread
Eggnog is a rich indulgence, and these cookies live up to the name.
Get the recipe: Iced Eggnog Cookies
The holidays wouldn't be complete without sweet, buttery shortbread, so we've perfected a classic.
Get the recipe: The Ultimate Shortbread Cookies
Buttery shortbread gets a warm hug from spiced gingerbread dough in this mash-up of two favourite holiday cookies.
Get the recipe: Two-Tone gingerbread and shortbread cookies
Tested Till Perfect.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread Cookies
Rich dark chocolate and fragrant orange zest make these cookies ultra-sophisticated.
Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate, Orange and Cardamon Icebox cookies
Sweet chocolate chips and crunchy toffee bits give these buttery cookies a festive touch.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cookies
Easy to make and undeniably popular, thumbprint cookies are the perfect no-fuss holiday sweet.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
These cookies may look intricate, but they couldn't be simpler to make.
Get the recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Icebox Cookies
Cinnamon and sugar make these cookies smell like everyone's favourite holiday breakfast.
Get the recipe: Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Use this classic ginger cookie dough to create four deliciously different ginger cookies.
Get the recipe: Basic Ginger Cookie Dough
Coarse sugar coats these delightful cookies, giving them an icy glow.
Get the recipe: Chewy Ginger Sparkles
Similar to French shortbread cookies called sables, these treats have a slightly sandy texture and rich flavour.
Get the recipe: Double Chocolate Icebox Cookies
Pick out one of these international cookie recipes to make for this year's cookie exchange.
Snowy white cookies, double-rolled in icing sugar, melt in your mouth and, if you don't watch out, will deliciously dust your holiday outfit.
Get the recipe: Walnut White Chocolate Snowball Cookies
These beautiful cookies make for an elegant holiday gift. Bake them in small batches, keeping a watchful eye so they don't brown too quickly. To achieve the delicate curved shape, drape the cookies over a rolling pin while still warm.
Get the recipe: Crispy Maple Coconut Tuiles
Crystallized ginger and shredded coconut add a delightful twist to this traditional Jewish cookie. The savoury cream cheese dough complements the sweet jam filling, which caramelizes nicely as the pastries bake.
Get the recipe: Ginger and Coconut Rugelach
These crescent-shaped cookies of German origin are elegant with a drizzle of chocolate. Or dip half in chocolate or dust with icing sugar.
Get the recipe: Butterhorns
The special press needed to shape these unique cookies is easily found in kitchenware stores. You'll want to lightly grease it before using to prevent sticking. Give this Italian cookie recipe a try at your next family get-together.
Get the recipe: Pizzelle
These chewy cookies, with their spicy dough and brandy-tinged filling, are fun and impressive. Use the lightest-coloured figs you can find.
Get the recipe: Fig Pinwheels
These fragrantly spiced cookies originatefrom Holland, where they are enjoyed at the feast of Sinterklaas (S. Nicholas, a Dutch holiday character).
Get the recipe: Spiced Speculaas
These white cookies are truly pop-in-your-mouth delicious. If you like, roll them in more icing sugar for a thicker coat.
Get the recipe: Snowball Cookies
Traditionally served during the holidays and Chinese New Year, these crumbly melt-in-your-mouth cookies have three layers of almond flavour. Ground almonds add a hint of crunch, almond extract lends a sweet aroma and whole almonds make for a pretty garnish.
Get the recipe: Chinese Almond Cookies
Each of these almond shortbreads is studded with a whole clove, a symbol of the Magi's gift of spices to the Christ Child. Kourambiedes are served in the Greek community not only at Christmas, but also christenings, weddings, name days — in fact, at all festive occasions.
Get the recipe: Kourambiedes
These jam-filled sandwich cookies are based on one of Austria's most famous desserts, the Linzertorte. For soft, chewy cookies, assemble a day in advance. For crispier cookies, sandwich the same day as serving.
Get the recipe: Linzer Cookies
Rugalahs are one of the most requested Hanukkah cookies, now popular year-round. When the nut and fruit crescents bake, they ooze ever so slightly, and this rich filling gets crisp and caramel-like around the crescents.
Get the recipe: Rugalahs
This traditional Jewish holiday cookie gets a flavour makeover with the addition of chocolate malt and almonds.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Malted Rugalach
Get the recipe: Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
These tender, shortbread-like dulce de leche--filled sandwich cookies are popular in South and Central America.
Get the recipe: Mini Alfajores
Melted chocolate transforms classic madeleines into a truly exquisite treat. For the best texture, enjoy them the same day they're made.Get the recipe: Chocolate Almond Madeleines
These crispy cookies are far easier to make than you might think, thanks to our simple shaping trick (hint: it involves the rim of a glass!). Write your own personalized messages on notepaper and fold them into the cookies for a heartwarming end to a festive meal.
Get the recipe: Festive Fortune Cookies
These sweet and buttery cake-like cookies have slightly crisp outsides and perfectly tender centres. You'll find madeleine pans—the seashell-shaped moulds that give these French treats their signature shape—in specialty baking stores.
Get the recipe: Orange Blossom Madeleines