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Fab Holiday Centrepiece

7 Dec

Are you hosting a holiday party and thinking your decor might need that extra touch of Christmas sparkle?  Or perhaps your overly critical in-laws are coming over and you want your house so full of holiday cheer they can’t help be polite (here’s hoping!).  Either way, I’ve  got the solution. Pick up a plain wreath from your local grocer or big box store, borrow some ornaments from your gorgeous Christmas tree and follow the simple steps in my video to create a center-piece that will make your guests think you’re Martha’s second cousin.  Happy Holidays!

To learn more about making holiday wreaths, watch this video!

Show your spirit with a wreath!

7 Dec

Before the constant barrage of holiday music and commercials gets you saying “Bah, humbug!”,  harness your festive spirit and creativity by decorating your own Holiday Wreath.  In this 3 part Holiday Wreath video series, I give you the low-down on

1. Different Wreath Materials… you mean there isn’t just one type of evergreen?
2. Creating a table Center-piece  (in case you mess up the turkey, you will have something else to focus your guests attention on!)
3.  Adding glamour to your front door (your neighbour’s will be green with envy… not really festive spirit but com’on, we don’t decorate just for the in-laws)

First, let’s explore the different types of base materials that can be used to create your wreath.

Tulip Time – Plant bulbs for a Spring surprise!

2 Nov

It may seem odd to be already thinking about Spring but if you love the vibrant fresh colours that bulb flowers deliver, it’s time to plant now!

Here are some quick tulip-planting tips to get your Spring flower display started.

1. Find a sunny spot
Though most bulbs prefer a sunny location, you can still plant them under trees as the bulbs will bloom before the leaves on the trees are fully out.

2. Plant in clusters  for bold effect
To get maximum impact, don’t plant them in a straight line or dot them here and there in the garden. Instead, arrange bulbs in groupings of 5 to 9 or more.

3. Layer-it-on!
Your Spring display will have greater impact if you layer bulbs according to bloom time and depth requirements (sounds complicated, but all bulb packaging clearly identifies both of these important facts).  For example, the same area of soil can hold crocuses in the top 13 cm (five inches), hyacinths at 16 cm (six inches) deep and daffodils and tulips at about 20 cm (eight inches) down.  The result is a full Spring season of blooms fr0m late April to early June.

4. Avoid creating a buffet for local critters! 

Some bulbs, including tulips and crocus are a favourite food for squirrels. Others, such as daffodils, fritillaria, alliums a are not quite as appealing.  If squirrels are a nuisance, put chicken wire over the bulbs. It can be left in place all winter and bulbs bloom right through it in Spring.  Be sure to clean up after planting because the papery bits left on the ground is a signal to critters that there is likely buried treasure nearby.  Also, your can try a dusting of cayenne pepper or blood meal over freshly planted bulbs but don’t be surprised if this doesn’t slow them down – squirrels are crazy-smart and quickly learn from tricks your neighbour’s may have already tried!

5. Spring Maintenance Tips
Let bulb foliage “die back” naturally for six weeks after before cutting back their leaves, because the leaves store food for the following year’s bloom. But, dying foliage can be unsightly so pair bulbs with perennials as their foliage will camouflage the bulb foliage as it dies back.  For example, the purple foliage of these Plum Pudding Coral Bells makes the orange tulips pop!

Orange Tulips contrasted against Purple Coral Bells

Purple tulips with pansies underneath




Spring Cleaning… without the chemicals, it’s possible.

28 Mar

Forget all the premium priced eco-cleaning products. Try some simple at-home solutions and I guarantee you will be impressed with the results.  For example, try my “Super-V” cleaner – 1 part household vinegar, 5 parts tap water.

For 5 other pantry sourced cleaning solutions that won’t leave your home laden in chemicals, skip on over to InHabitat for super easy tips!

If making your products sounds too complicated, then consider trying my fav, iQ Cleaners  which is now available at Wal-Mart & Whole Foods and Loblaws.

Happy Spring Cleaning!