Pet friendly outdoor space makes pawfect gardening

Pet friendly gardening

Pet friendly gardening

(NC)—With sweet summer in our midst, it’s time to gear up the green thumb and get gardening. This season keep your pet in mind while planting your garden and create a truly enjoyable outdoor oasis that’s also safe for your four legged friend. Clarine Lee-Macaraig, an eco-expert with Evergreen – a national organization committed to building sustainable green cities – offers the following tips for passionate pet owners to take action in their own backyards and beyond:

Planting Prowess – Choosing the right plants is key to a safe garden. Avoid Lily of the Valley, Yew, Rhododendron, Oleander, Azaleas, Foxglove and Deadly Nightshade, which can be just as toxic to humans as pets. If you prefer a green space to garden beds, consider white clover seeds instead of grass seeds. White clover is more tolerant of dog and cat urine. And it can grow in shade, sun and it fixes nitrogen back into your soil!

Roaming Rover – Know your pet’s personality and design accordingly. For an energetic pup create a raised garden, which can protect some of your prized plants , keep your pet safe and keep help your pet stay. Raised garden beds are also good solutions to pets that are chewers. Be sure to allow plenty of space for your pet to run in and don’t forget a shaded area under which they can enjoy some rest and relaxation.

Safe solutions – Keeping it organic is the safest way to garden for everyone in the family. Avoid pesticides and fertilizers, which can be dangerous for four legged family members. Because pets regularly clean themselves the chemicals can irritate and harm a cat or dog. Know your pet! If your pet is sensitive and has allergies even natural or organic pest and weed controls can aggravate them. Try companion planting for the best pest control!

Rein it in – Be sure to keep your pets (cats and dogs) leashed when walking on unknown trails to protect plant life and wildlife in forests and wetlands. Remember that cats can be wildlife conscious too by wearing a leash and collar bell to alert and protect birds and other wildlife.

Lee-Macaraig points out that since Purina is committed to enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them, Evergreen has partnered with them to support local green space restoration initiatives across Canada. As part of the initiative pet owners have a chance to win a pet-friendly backyard makeover. Little acts can make a big difference, so to learn how you can win one of three backyard makeovers, and help Purina support Evergreen’s Stewardship and Restoration program, visit

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Why every Mother needs a time out

Mom's Time Out!

Mom’s Time Out!


(NC)—Mothers are so busy taking care of everyone else, they often put themselves last on the list. If you are a busy mom, here are some simple ideas to nurture and pamper yourself and keep that inner spark glowing:


Diet and Exercise: Women who eat right and get enough sleep usually experience greater levels of energy, lower levels of stress, and increased self-esteem. In fact, some forms of exercise can be fun to do with children too, so everyone can benefit.

Home Spa: A woman deserves to be pampered, but she doesn’t always have the time or budget to get away for some spa time. Why not turn your bathroom into a home spa tohelp you enjoy the relaxation and beauty benefits of a sublime soak.

Pursue Hobbies: A few hours of pure creative engagement apart from the family (think art class, photography, or a pottery workshop) can recharge your batteries.

Volunteer: Volunteering is another way to nurture your interests and connect with other people. This is especially important for stay-at-home moms. Find a cause you’re passionate about, or get involved with a local organization like Christian Children’s Fund of Canada ( and help improve the lives of children and mothers living in poverty around the world.

Build Your Support Network: Who’s on your speed dial? Develop a set of close connections you can depend on in a pinch, and vice versa.

Most professionals agree that it’s important for mothers to aim for balance in their lives. Taking care of yourself, for example, will not only give you time away from your loved ones to reflect and appreciate, but will add vitality and reduce stress. Your entire family will benefit.

Get your greens with this spinach and yogurt dip

Spinach & Yogurt Dip

Spinach & Yogurt Dip

(NC)—The best moments in life happen when you bring the right mix of ingredients together. A warm summer day, the people you love, and delicious food is a recipe for a good time.

For your next picnic or barbeque do the same: bring some nutritious ingredients together to make a tasty crowd pleasing dip. This Classic Spinach Dip with Greek Yogurt is courtesy of the Hellmann’s Mayonnaise recipe collection:

Classic Spinach Dip with Greek Yogurt

Makes 4 cups

Prep Time: 10 Minutes


• 1 package (300 g) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry

• 1 container (500 g) nonfat plain Greek yogurt

• 1 cup Hellmann’s 1/2 the Fat mayonnaise-type dressing

• 1 package Knorr Vegetable Dry Soup Mix

• 1 can (227 mL) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)

• 3 green onions, chopped


• Combine mayonnaise dressing, soup mix and all ingredients in medium bowl. Chill, if desired. Serve with your favorite dippers.

Did you know?

Mayonnaise is better for you than you might think. Good fats like omega-3 help our bodies to absorb a range of vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. Vegetable omega-3 fats are an essential part of a healthy balanced diet because our bodies do not naturally produce them. So we have to eat them daily, through foods like canola and flax seed oil, walnuts, or mayonnaise.

Hellmann’s is celebrating 100 years of helping families Bring Out the Best. Visit for more delicious recipe ideas.

A step back in time with the Beach Guild of Fine Art

Rosemarie Dickob

Rosemarie Dickob

In 1994, a group of seven Beach artists got together to create the beach Guild of Fine Art in order to support each other as artists, to promote the appreciation of art in the community and to encourage the establishment of a permanent home of  art and cultural activities at the Gardener’s Cottage in Kew Gardens.  Today the Guild is a familiar image in the Beach Art Scene.

The Beaches Lions Club has been their patron since 1995, and since then their Annual Members Show, Art Down by the Bay, and their meetings and workshops are held at the Lions Clubhouse on Ashbridges Bay.


With the invaluable support of former City Councillor, Sandra Bussin, and the Toronto Parks Department; their goals for the Gardener’s Cottage began to be realized in 2002 with a Guild Christmas Show held at the very much “in need of repair” building.  The first “Small Paintings for Small Spaces” event began in May 2003.  The Beaches Rotary Club stepped in to lead the refurbishment process and supported this new role for the Gardener’s Cottage.

Today, you’ll find many cultural events and art shows held at the Cottage and The Beach Guild of Fine Art welcomes many more to come in the future.

Join the 10th annual Guild’s “Small Paintings for Small Spaces” event:

Gardeners Cottage (Kew Gardens)

Set Up – May 17th – 4-8

Show May 18th, 19th, & 20th from 10 – 5


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Denise Angus
Founder / Your Today Publications
Your Today ~ Durham / Your Today ~ East Of
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” ~ Stephen R Covey


My late night chat with Mayor Rob Ford, who tells me how politics works – UPDATED

Just when one thinks Rob Ford can’t sink any lower … he does!

Last Sunday, on his weekly radio program, Toronto’s mayor offered to generously to sit down with women – over coffee even – and “explain how politics works” to us. A lot of people were astounded and offended by this. I decided to take him up on his offer. I called him and left a voicemail, only leaving my first name and my cell.

Now, I don’t really need any help, politically speaking. I’ve worked on the campaigns of impressive women and I’ve worked on campaigns with impressive women, so I kinda know how this whole politics thing works. But what I really wanted to know was why Ford felt that he – a man – should be giving lessons to us about politics. That’s what I really wanted to ask him.

He called me back last night, very late. (Nobody calls me that late except for my kids and they…

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