The switch to Daylight Savings time is upon us again, and as of 2 am this 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?
I 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.
A 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.
Like 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!
Don’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.
Baby, 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.
Ok 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.
It’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.
byShelly_Wutke01-24-201410:24 AM - edited 01-24-201410:25 AM
I 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.
Who 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.
on 01-10-201401:23 PM - last edited on 01-10-201404:35 PM by BBYMartin
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.
With 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.
A 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.’
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.
Calling 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.
When 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.
Every 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.
Are 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.
Other 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?
byShelly_Wutke12-17-201310:27 AM - edited 12-17-201310:27 AM
Neither 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.
Have you ever wondered how the Holidays are celebrated in a different country? Although we always spend our Christmas close to home, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to hop on a plane and immerse myself in another culture in December. After all, that would be the best time to really see, smell, and taste all of the different goodies that are truly authentic to the places they come from.
Man caves were a big trend in 2013, but if you really think about it, they’ve been around for a long, long time. I’ve seen pictures of a room my Dad had in the early 1970’s that had dark wood paneling, orange shag carpet, and a bar in the corner. He might have called it a den or maybe even ‘the bar,’ but the humble origins of the man cave most likely came from these retro rooms.
Our grocery stores may be filled with rows of baby food claiming to be the best for baby but that's mostly a myth. Most nutritionists and paediatricians agree that homemade baby food is still the healthiest choice you can make.
Many commercial brands either water down their products or use cheap thickening agents such a cornstarch or refined white flour – not good for your baby’s delicate digestion.
Invest in the right equipment for the perfect baby food maker and making your own will be a snap. You’ll be giving baby a healthy start to life plus saving tons of money.
In much the same way there are foodies who appreciate a good gourmet meal, there are coffee lovers who love a freshly roasted brew. Those of us who have lurked around the coffee shop long enough to know the difference between a bean that’s just been roasted and one that has sat, sad and lonely in a non-vacuum sealed bag, really do appreciate the time and effort baristas go through to make a great latte. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to recreate that same coffee magic at home.
Tis the season to go to parties! Holiday gatherings are one of the best parts of the festive season – fun, food, friends, and family are just a few of the things I look forward to every year when it’s Holiday times again, and you can always guarantee a relaxing time when you join in. But even if it’s relaxing for those attending, you often forget about all of the work that goes into the party on behalf of the hostess.
People on the Prairies tend to talk a lot about how cold it is out, and because it can often dip below -40 on any given winter day, I’d say they have the right to. But when someone asks me now what I think of the Saskatchewan/Manitoba region, I look back on living there for 18 years and I can’t help but think it was warm.
No, I’m not talking about outside. Unless you’ve lived in a place where the wind-chill was a common problem and you’ve never experienced what it feels like for your calves to freeze to your jeans, you don’t know cold. I’m talking about the people – they were warm, friendly, and very welcoming. I also think ‘warm’ when I think about my Grandma’s kitchen and everything we baked together on those cold winter days.
When I was first moved out and was setting up my kitchen, it wasn’t that important to me how an appliance looked as much as it was that it did the job it was supposed to. You could call that mindset striving for functional and hoping for the best.
Fast forward to now and you could say my tastes have evolved. When it comes to kitchen appliances, how they work ranks right up there in importance with how they complement the kitchen. Same old, same old white has been replaced by black, fiery red, and lime green, because I want an appliance that I look forward to seeing in my kitchen every day, not one I want to tuck away in the cupboard.
In the grand scheme of things, cleaning doesn’t rank right up there on my list of fun things to do every day. I realize it must be done, but I’ve struggled with fitting it in to my already crazy busy schedule. I’ve often thought how nice it would be if someone else would just jump in, know exactly what I need clean, and keep it that way for me.
That's where robots come in. I had the opportunity to try out two of the Neato Robotics robot vacuums. They’re really easy to use and they really do keep your floors clean for you.
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