The dymanic duo of energy savings: ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide

by Blogger on ‎04-22-2014 02:14 PM - last edited on ‎04-23-2014 11:30 AM by Editor in Chief

ENERGY_STAR_LOGO.jpgSometimes the small things do make a big difference.

 

The ENERGY STAR program is a perfect example. Combined with the EnerGuide label, you have an easy way to find most energy efficient appliance for your home.

 

Learn what the labels mean and how to read them.

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Shelly’s Friday Favourites – Week Night Pasta Recipes

by Blogger on ‎04-11-2014 10:59 AM - last edited on ‎04-11-2014 04:59 PM by Editor in Chief

pasta_recipes.jpgBusy weeknights and casual weekends – these are the times when pasta recipes really come in handy. Even if you’re watching what you eat, pasta is a great go-to dish for anyone because it’s versatile, easy to prepare, and almost everyone loves it.

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Update your kitchen colors this spring

by Blogger on ‎04-08-2014 06:48 PM - last edited on ‎04-09-2014 08:44 AM by Editor in Chief

aqua-kitchen-with-red.jpgAfter a long, grey winter, I’d say it’s high time we started seeing some color again. You can liven up your house by adding a bunch of tulips or daffodils, change up your throw pillows, or swap out your duvet for something more ‘spring-ish,’ but the single best way to breath life back into a house that’s been asleep for the winter is to update your kitchen colors.

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Shelly’s Friday Favourites – Pasta Salad Recipes

by Blogger on ‎04-04-2014 12:41 PM - last edited on ‎04-04-2014 05:33 PM by Editor in Chief

pasta-salad-recipes.JPGPasta salad – it’s just one of those things that fits in with everything. Summer BBQ in the backyard? Pasta salad goes great with steak, chicken, or veggie burgers. Having a formal dinner for friends? Pasta salad can fit right in with some of the main courses you toil for hours over.  At my house it’s practically expected that I make a side pasta salad for a roast chicken, and I always whip it out for the official Canadian kick off for summer on July 1st.

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Kitchen assistants for a great Easter dinner

by Blogger on ‎03-28-2014 10:54 AM - last edited on ‎04-22-2014 03:51 PM by Editor in Chief

Easter_Dinner.jpgEaster dinner celebrates an important religious holiday but also the end of winter.

 

Whatever your family traditions, Easter dinner is a time to spend with family and friends.

 

Here are some great kitchen assistants to help you prepare your dinner. (Drop some hints with the Easter Bunny for these)

 

Happy Easter!

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Shelly’s Friday Favourites – Potato Salad, macaroni salad and more

by Blogger on ‎03-28-2014 08:59 AM - last edited on ‎04-04-2014 02:32 PM by Editor in Chief

potato_salad.jpgFor many of us, salad is what’s for dinner. It’s not a side dish that goes with something heavier, it’s the actual meal itself. Just start with your basic green leaf, add some protein, toss with dressing and you have an instant, filling dinner.

 

Thankfully having a salad for dinner is not something you can easily get bored of, and that’s because there are so many different types of salads, salad recipes, and salad dressing recipes to try.

 

 

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Spring Cleaning Made Easy

by Blogger on ‎03-26-2014 09:04 PM - last edited on ‎03-27-2014 09:20 AM by Blogger

spring.jpgIt’s officially spring, and that means it’s time to reorganize the closets, get rid of the dust bunnies from beneath the beds, and maybe even wash the windows. That’s right, I’m talking about spring-cleaning. If you’re anything like me, you’re excited about the prospect of spending a weekend cleaning nooks and crannies; if not, don't worry! Best Buy has all the cleaning tools and products you need to make your spring-cleaning as easy and painless as possible.

 

So let’s start with the walls and work our way down! 

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Shelly’s Friday Favourites – Greek Salad Recipes

by Blogger on ‎03-21-2014 11:49 AM - last edited on ‎03-21-2014 03:23 PM by Editor in Chief

 

spicy-greek-chicken-salad.jpgIf you’re thinking spring you’re probably also thinking about eating lighter. Maybe the weather hasn’t got the memo yet, but it’s high time to usher out the hot chocolate and warm cookies for light dishes like Greek salad.

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Is the best juicer for you a slow, high speed or whole food juicer?

by Blogger on ‎03-19-2014 09:35 AM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 01:19 PM by Editor in Chief

best-juicer-for-you.jpgJuicing has been around for a long time, but people really only started to sit up and take notice of it in the past year or two. With the release of documentaries like “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead” and a recommendation by Dr.Oz, juicing is fast becoming a way of life for everyone from young parents trying to incorporate all food groups into the diets of fussy young eaters, athletes who want an all-natural energy boost, or people who just want to have a balanced diet.

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Shelly's Friday Favourites - Quinoa Salad Recipes everyone will love

by Blogger on ‎03-14-2014 01:01 PM - last edited on ‎03-20-2014 08:30 AM by Editor in Chief

Quinoa-salad.jpgWhere I grew up, we didn’t have ‘food trends.’ Everything we ate was simple, basic, and comfortable – from roast beef and mashed potatoes to chili and mashed potatoes. If we were going to spice things up, maybe we’d have spaghetti or pizza.

 

So imagine my surprise when the person who did all of the cooking during my formative years, the woman who actually served me lasagna and mashed potatoes (I’m not joking), called me up and started talking to me about quinoa. And she wasn’t just calling for a definition of what quinoa is either - she was talking about her long list of personal quinoa salad recipes. I almost dropped the phone in shock. After all, quinoa doesn’t include ground beef or mashed potatoes in the ingredient list, so this was quite a detour.

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Shelly’s Friday Favourites – Survive Daylight Savings Time

by Blogger on ‎03-07-2014 12:58 PM - last edited on ‎03-14-2014 11:13 AM by Editor in Chief

Daylight-Saving-Time.jpgThe switch to Daylight Savings time is upon us again, and as of 2 am Sunday, March 9th, we’ll be springing forward by 60 minutes. Not all of Canada participates in the Daylight Savings ritual, with Saskatchewan being the main exception as they observe Central Standard Time all year round.

 

Some people don't notice the switch all that much, others will flat out tell you 'It sucks.' It doesn't matter which camp you're in, because it's coming whether we like it or not. So how do you survive the transition to Daylight Saving time?

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make-cinnabon-at-home.jpgI love to eat in restaurants, and I seem to love to eat in them more in the winter months when the weather is gloomy. There is always tons of cozy, comfort food choices on the menu, and spending a few hours out of the house can really brighten up a chilly day.

 

But what do you do when you’ve got a craving for something you’ve only had off a menu but don’t have the option of going out?  That’s where copykat recipes come in.

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February is Bedroom Month - Create a Great Kid's Bedroom

by Blogger on ‎02-20-2014 01:03 PM - last edited on ‎02-20-2014 05:34 PM by Editor in Chief

Loft-Girls.jpgA child’s bedroom is much more than just a place to sleep after a long day of school and play. It’s a place where imaginations grow. It’s a place to do homework, slay dragons, and dress teddy bears. It’s where games are played, sleepovers are hosted, and books are read. It’s a child’s own little haven in a grown-up world. So it goes without saying that making this space as awesome as possible for the mini-me in your life is pretty important. But where to start? Here are some tips and ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

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Choosing an Espresso Machine – What You Need to Know

by Blogger on ‎02-15-2014 05:39 PM - last edited on ‎02-19-2014 03:14 PM by Editor in Chief

cup.jpgLike millions of other Canadians, I’m a huge fan of coffee. During the week, I tend to stick to my medium roast blend, brewed at home and then toted to the office in one of my many coffee tumblers, but on the weekends I skip the home brew in favour of a fancier caffeinated beverage prepared by the talented baristas at my local coffee shop.

 

Recently, however, I sat down and added up how much I spend on these fancy caffeinated concoctions on a monthly basis and realized that it was time to invest in my very own espresso machine. The problem? I knew nothing about espresso machines, so I did some research. Here are some of my findings that may come in handy should you choose to become an at-home barista yourself! 

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Shelly’s Friday Favourites - Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Night In

by Blogger on ‎02-14-2014 10:26 AM - last edited on ‎02-17-2014 03:45 PM by Editor in Chief

strawberries.jpgDon’t get me wrong, I like going out for dinner just as much as the next girl. But when it comes to Valentine’s Day, heading out to a busy restaurant isn’t my idea of a good time. Not only are they usually expensive, the atmosphere can be a little stressful with the crowds.

 

This Valentine’s Day why not do something a little different – stay in, prepare a good meal, and enjoy the peace and quiet. And guys, if you’re doing the cooking, you’ll score major points with your Valentine this year.

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Shelly’s Friday Favourites – Canadian comfort food

by Blogger on ‎02-07-2014 01:03 PM - last edited on ‎02-07-2014 01:31 PM by Editor in Chief

winter-comfort-food.jpgBaby, it’s cold outside! Whether you’re on the East Coast, West Coast, or somewhere in the middle, the temperatures are dipping into the polar zone and thoughts are turning to warm fires, hot chocolate, and bundling up.

 

But there’s one thing that can take the edge off the chill outside, and that’s comfort food! What is comfort food exactly? I think it means something different to whoever is eating it. For some a certain dish brings back sentimental feelings or a sense of nostalgia, for others comfort food is a go-to dish they make when they’re feeling under the weather, have had a bad day, or want a pick-me-up in the middle of a busy winter week.

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Review: The Dyson DC62 Animal Stick Vacuum and the Dyson DC61 Animal Handheld Vacuum

by Blogger on ‎02-02-2014 08:39 PM - last edited on ‎02-03-2014 02:36 PM by Editor in Chief

Dyson-DC62-Animal-Floor.jpgOk I’ll admit it – I’m a huge fan of vacuums. One thing I’ve discovered as I’ve grown older and wiser? There is no replacement for a good vacuum. They’re absolutely essential when it comes to cleaning up spot messes left by children and pets, and they’re great for giving your home an over-all clean on a day-to-day basis.

 

Because I’ve been around the block a time or two and had at least a dozen different vacuums, I feel like I’m qualified to be extremely impressed with the latest models out of Dyson – the Dyson DC62 Animal and the Dyson DC61 Animal. Not only are they cordless vacuums, they have 3 times the suction of any other cordless vacuum available.

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Shelly's Friday Favourites - Go green with Vegetable Smoothies

by Blogger on ‎01-31-2014 01:27 PM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 01:42 PM by Editor in Chief

vegetable-fruit-smoothies.jpgIt’s no surprise people can’t seem to squeeze in their recommended daily fruit & vegetable intakes – busy lives mean dinner on the go, and dinner on the go doesn’t often include one vegetable let alone three. And no, in most circles, french fries are not considered a serving of vegetables.

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Kick start your weekend with breakfast smoothies and juices

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2014 10:24 AM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 01:13 PM by Editor in Chief

breakfast-smoothies.jpgI watched ‘Fat, sick, and Nearly Dead’ the other day. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from it. I really thought it was something similar to the ‘SuperSize Me’ documentary that had everyone running away from McDonalds.

 

Turns out, I couldn’t have watched a more timely documentary. This month on Shelly’s Friday Favourites I’ve been talking about smoothies and juicing, and I don’t think you could find more information about the health benefits of juicing anywhere else. I’ve been researching the topic and looking at recipes all month, but that documentary really demonstrated how you could turn your life around with juicing.

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Shelly's Friday Favourites - Make the best fruit smoothies, right at home

by Blogger on ‎01-17-2014 03:33 PM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 01:45 PM by Editor in Chief

best-fruit-smoothies.jpgWho doesn’t love a smoothie? You see them everywhere you look these days – at the local food court of the mall, in the drive through as a ‘healthy’ option for lunch or breakfast, and on the menu at your favourite restaurant. But those types of smoothies don’t a really smoothie make if you know what I mean.

 

Most smoothies on menus have a load of sugar, frozen yogurt or ice cream, and practically no fresh fruit at all. You can add an extra shot of wheatgrass or kale, but that will probably end up being the most nutritious thing in the entire drink.

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CES 2014: New Innovative Gadgets that are Weird and Wonderful

by Blogger on ‎01-10-2014 01:23 PM - last edited on ‎01-10-2014 04:35 PM by Editor in Chief

Weird #2.jpeg

This year’s CES is over today and it has been a great showcase for TV, Smartphone, tablet, computer, and a myriad of other technologies. With all this technology, the irony is that Apple did not launch anything, Google was not exhibiting, and Microsoft can’t be found on the show room floor either. Although these heavy hitters aren’t there, a lot of other major players did use the opportunity to introduce new product lines. CES is also a great opportunity to launch novelty products and prototypes of all sorts. I found some over-the-top innovations and have to wonder if they will ever trickle down to the everyday consumer.

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Shelly's Friday Favourites - How to make a smoothie

by Blogger on ‎01-10-2014 01:21 PM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 02:06 PM by Editor in Chief

green-smoothie.jpgWith juice bars popping up on almost as many corners as coffee shops, there aren’t many people who haven’t at least heard of smoothies. In our busy world, where sometimes it can be hard to even get to eat 3 meals a day, getting the required amount of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis is almost as impossible as getting 8 hours of sleep a night.

 

But to stay healthy, it’s important to at least attempt to meet the food group requirements, and there’s no better way to do that than to grab your blender, add a bunch of fruit and veggies, and drink a portion of your daily requirements in one sitting.

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Whip up delicious desserts with BlendTec Blenders

by Blogger on ‎01-06-2014 04:57 PM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 02:01 PM by Editor in Chief

BlendTec-Designer-Series-Blender.jpgA friend of mine received a BlendTec blender for Christmas this year, and after going over to her place and seeing it on the counter, I had to ask her if she had any idea of all the cool things that this particular blender could do.  After all, BlendTek blenders are known as the ‘blenders that takes blending more seriously.’

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Shelly's Friday Favourites - Ready, set, juice!

by Blogger on ‎01-03-2014 02:34 PM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 01:51 PM by Editor in Chief

juicing.jpg

I think the saddest part of the Holidays being over isn’t packing up the Christmas tree and decorations – it’s the packing up of the cookies, candy, and all of the fattening goodies to make way for healthier food on our shelves. December is definitely one of those times when people overindulge, and when January comes flying in fast and furious, it’s time to get serious about leading a healthy lifestyle again. If you’re looking for a great way to give you a kick-start, look no further than juicing.

 

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Blendtec Blenders Do Healthy Soup Recipes Too!

by Blogger on ‎12-30-2013 03:41 PM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 01:59 PM by Editor in Chief

blend.jpgCalling a Blendtec Blender a “blender” is somewhat of a misnomer. While it’s true that it can blend and puree like nobody’s business, it can also knead dough, make ice cream, juice whole fruits, and even grind meat and coffee beans to perfection, which is all pretty impressive for one machine. But wait, there’s more! The Blendtec Designer Series can also turn whole vegetables into warm healthy soup in minutes. That’s right. Prepare your favourite healthy soup recipes right in a blender.

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This New Year, resolve to learn how to cook

by Blogger on ‎12-30-2013 08:52 AM - last edited on ‎12-30-2013 02:10 PM by Editor in Chief

learn-to-bake.jpgWhen it comes to cooking, it’s the little things that really make something you ‘threw together’ taste good. I’ll admit I skimp on things like spices, extra steps, and extra cleanup just because I’m pressed for time, but this is the year I’ve sworn to change all that. I’ll also admit that my family will probably eyeball me a little when I get busy in the kitchen because the last culinary masterpiece I tried required substituting ground turkey for ground beef in one of their favourite dishes.

 

They were not impressed. Clearly I need some help in this area.

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Blendtec Blenders Make Healthy Smoothies a Breeze

by Blogger on ‎12-23-2013 11:53 AM - last edited on ‎04-02-2014 01:56 PM by Editor in Chief

Blendtec.jpgEvery year around this time, I, like so many others, start thinking about my New Years resolutions. Not surprisingly, they typically revolve around ways in which I can (and should) be more healthy. This year, the plan is to get to the gym more, cut back on adult grape juice, and jump on the smoothie bandwagon.

 

I’ve long known the health benefits that come from starting every day with a nutrient and antioxidant rich smoothie, but every time I try to whip something together, my blender falls short. That’s where Blendtec Designer Series Blenders come in.

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Shelly's Friday Favourites - Christmas cookies loved around the world

by Blogger on ‎12-20-2013 02:41 PM - last edited on ‎12-23-2013 11:11 AM by Editor in Chief

christmas-cookies.jpgAre you tired of sugar cookies yet? Does the idea of one more piece of shortbread make your stomach lurch? Do you get a headache at the thought of consuming yet another snickerdoodle? If so, you might just be suffering from Christmas cookie overload.

 

But don’t worry, help is here – when you’re tired of the same old, same old treats on the table, you need to try something different. And by different I mean from an entirely different country.

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Do you do fondue?

by Blogger on ‎12-19-2013 05:11 PM - last edited on ‎12-23-2013 03:19 PM by Editor in Chief

cheese fondue.jpgOther than Christmas day, how often do you plan a big sit down meal during the Holidays? Because Holiday eating usually involves big buffet tables, dozens of appies, or snacks to tide you over during another weekend of parties, what do you do when you want to have a bunch of people over but you don’t want to put on a huge spread?

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Tis the season to decorate with Wilton

by Blogger ‎12-17-2013 10:27 AM - edited ‎12-17-2013 10:27 AM

santacookies.jpgNeither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor lack of time or lack of presents purchased will keep me from decorating goodies during the Holidays.  Ask any ‘foodie’ or baking enthusiast what keeps them sane during this crazy season? They’ll probably tell you that baking and decorating can actually bring a bit of calm into a busy day. That’s because when you’re decorating, it’s not work – it’s fun.

 

Like every artist who has a tool kit of paintbrushes, pots of colour, and different cool tools to bring whatever you’re creating to life, bakers/decorators have tool kits too. And when it comes to tool kits, you just can’t find a better set up to help create beautiful cupcakes, cookies, and candy than Wilton.

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