Sneak peek at some spring fashion trends

The hottest spring fashion trends have hit the runways.  All we need now is some spring weather to arrive so we can pack away the winter wear and break out the exciting spring fashions!

Fashion tips

Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012 shares with us her “from day to night” spring looks.

Trend Spotlight!

Also look for the “How To Wear It” feature in our spring release of “Your Today” in April.

Great fashion trends explained by designer Margot Allin from Any Direct Flight

Soleil et Jade

A feminine yet cheeky look perfect for Beach living!

Also find exciting spring fashion trends discussed from Luna Clothing in Oshawa

Luna Clothing & Accessories - Oshawa

We’ll take you from the office to date night in a few easy steps!

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Don’t stress over the big spring clean

spring cleaning(NC)—With the arrival of spring it often feels like the house is the dirtiest it’s been all year making the big, spring clean a great way to refresh and renew from top to bottom. From cleaning the most challenging spots, like basements and kitchens, to scrubbing baseboards and convincing the whole family to pitch in, spring cleaning may feel overwhelming at first, but with the right tools and techniques, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

Whether you’re planning on cleaning a little bit every day or dedicating a weekend to cleaning, here are some quick and easy tips that will save time and energy and ensure that you’re not just thinking about cleaning, but actually getting it done:

Tackle one task at a time. It’s easy to get distracted when cleaning and organizing multiple rooms in the house at the same time, so stick to one. This will give you a more immediate sense of satisfaction and get you closer to the end goal.

Clean from top to bottom, literally. To prevent messing up areas that have already been cleaned, clean from the top working your way down. This ensures that all of the dust and dirt that may have fallen on the floor will get cleaned up.

Set up bins for declutteringand label them: Keep, Garbage, Donate. Having a visual representation of what you’re keeping can help you assess the space you need to house the items. If you haven’t used an item in the past year, chances are you can do without it.

Get into those hard to reach spaces. Rely on the help from ingenious little tools. A Swiffer Duster will easily clean behind cabinets, between blinds, and will reach the tiny nooks and crannies around your entertainment unit.

Pay attention to details. Another nifty tool called Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Select-A-Size will get rid of the toughest soils like scuffs, crayon or finger prints from walls. It’s the little details that will make the overall clean look really come together.

More information is available online at http://www.mrclean.ca and http://www.swiffer.ca.

barbarakwrites

By Barbara Kelly

If you are considering buying a bunny as a gift for Easter, best to make it a chocolate or plush one. Unless, of course, you are prepared to make the 10-year commitment to caring for the cute, fuzzy, nose-twitching, hopping kind.

Several times last week my Facebook connections sent me this message, asking me to share it with my social media network. None of them knew that many years ago our family saved a little white ball of Easter gift fluff from a potentially unhappy ending.

That year in early April, shortly after Easter, my husband, son and I were walking our dog Auggie along the banks of a creek in a nearby park. It was early evening and quite chilly, as early Spring days in Toronto are.

We heard some commotion, a man yelling for help, dogs frantically barking. What we saw was a little white…

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Being happy isn’t hard if you try …

happy, life, ups and downs

There are many times in life that we suddenly hit a speed bump and our worlds are turned upside down and we’re sure that bluebird of happiness is never going to find its way back into our lives.

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”  – Anne Frank

 

Let’s look at some ways to turn that frown upside-down.

Sleep – 6 hours and 15 minutes of uninterrupted sleep will make you one of the happy people.  Sleep can be the best medicine for happiness.  Be sure you’re getting enough of it. Read “Are you getting the sleep you deserve” for tips for a better sleep HERE.

Commute time – Studies have shown that if you’re commuting more than 40 minutes a day round trip, you’re more likely to be stressed. Although work is a necessity of life, the longer than commute time, the more unhappy the average person will find themselves being.

Make time for yourself – Women rank high in this category as not making enough time for themselves.  We’re always so busy running households, holding down jobs, caring for our family and friends, we often forget about taking care of us.  Try looking at things from a different perspective: make time for you, so you can stay energized for the rest of the world.  Go to the spa, take a time out for yourself to go for a leisurely walk with your dog, sit down and enjoy a great book, soak in a tub instead of a quick shower, have that coffee date (or wine) with the girls you’ve been putting off.  Make time to recharge yourself every single day.

Be happy

Surround yourself with positive friends – Can you count 10 positive people in your life? Studies have shown that adults who can count 10 positive people in their circle have a greater chance of being happy themselves.  People that thrive on drama and negativity will only serve to suck the happiness right out of you!

Fake it till you shake it – Can’t shake that unhappiness?  Then fake it!  Start with a smile.    Right now .. you can do it … smile.  Psychologists have shown that regardless of your mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.  When you smile, you release endorphins throughout your body, releasing stress and making you feel happier.

Try aromatherapy – aromatherapy can help in so many ways with a pick me up.  Essential oils can be used anywhere easily throughout the day and they help ground and center the body.  Apply oils the bottoms of your feet before leaving for the day, and apply during the day, to wrists or the back of the neck to put that spring back into your step! Read about our aromatherapy tips HERE

Seek medial help – there are times life has just gotten you so down, it’s time to seek a bit of medical help to get your back on track to happy.  Never be afraid to take that extra step and speak to a professional.  We all deserve to be happy – the medical community is well equipped to help you find your way back.

Cry it out – sometimes you just need to let it out, have your moment, stop holding on to the sadness and cry, cry, cry.  You’ll feel better afterwards.  Try it!

I realize it’s not as easy as flipping a switch to be happy, when you’ve been struggling for some time, but it is possible.  Takes steps everyday to be more positive and follow some of our tips and soon you’ll find that bluebird of happiness on your shoulder.

What do you do to maintain happiness in your life? 

 

A sensory experience you won’t forget

Step into Amy’s Place Handmade at Beech & Queen Street in Toronto and your nose will thank you.  If you love those great little shops where sight and smell go into overload on arrival, you’ll want to check out this quaint shop in The Beach neighbourhood.

Amy’s Place Handmade specializes in her handmade 100% soy candles, infused with essential oils and fragrances.  Made in re-purposed tea cups, mason jars, and vintage wall paper wrapped containers, you can’t help but feel you stepped into yesteryear when shopping and browsing here.

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You’ll also find original photos for sale from Amy’s trips around the world, as well as jewellery, bath salts, floral waters, and fun items like the “Boyfriend Pin” (handmade pins to resemble your favourite fella) from other artisans Amy helps promote in her shop.

If you’re more about the “making” and less about the buying “completed”, Amy’s Place Handmade runs periodic workshops, so you can get your learning hat on, roll up your sleeves and find your inner artisan.

Be sure you add Amy’s Place Handmade to your list of “to do’s” next time you’re in The Beach or drop by her Facebook page to find out more about this incredible business.

Irresistible Berry Cobbler

Saturday night ~ what else is a girl to do but experiment in the kitchen?

What you’ll need:

12 oz can of any diet soda / 1 box of white cake mix / (2) 16 oz bags of frozen fruit

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I’ve been wanting to try this recipe out, that is so easy to make and a healthy alternative to Saturday night chip and chocolate snacking.

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Using a 9 x 13 dish, fill the bottom with FROZEN mixed berries

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Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly on top of the berriesImage

Now, at this point, it’s going to become somewhat of a science experiment, but add 12 ounces of a diet soda of your choice to the cake mix.  

It will begin to bubble and fizz, that’s okay.

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Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes at 350Image

Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes

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Let cool, enjoy, then let me know what you think!