Now's a great time to set some goals for the upcoming garden season (and think positively!). Here are mine – hopefully they'll inspire you to lay some plans for your own garden.
Goal #1: Lose the needy plants. In an effort to cut down on pruning, spraying and fertilizing, this year I'm focusing on plants that don't require a lot of attention. Goodbye, hybrid tea roses; hello, coneflowers. Goal #2: Set a budget. Every spring, I jump into the garden centre with my wallet open and no budget. This year I'll invest with a plan in hand – I will not just plunk down my money on the first beautiful flower I see. Goal #3: Build a children's garden. This year I'll give my sons Gavin, 3, and Matheson, almost 1, their own gardens. No rules, just their own personal patches.
Goal #4: Plant herbs and vegetables that I'll use. In the past, I've planted cool new ones, but I never end up using them. This year, it's tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and parsley.
Goal #5: Think long-term. Kids tend to cut in on gardening time – this year, I'm downsizing my annual plantings and installing a few more perennials, which will pay off in the future.
Goal #6: Be creative. I live on a beautiful forested property, but there's an extreme slope at the back. This year, I hope to naturalize the slope and create something out of that unused space.
Goal #7: Purchase plants that fit my criteria: long bloom time or high garden interest factor; disease- and insect- resistant; drought-tolerant; minimal pruning or deadheading necessary. All at a fair price, of course.
Goal #9: Motivate others. Gardening is one of the most rewarding activities, and motivating others to garden helps create pride within communities and beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy.
Goal #10: Nurture my dream: an outdoor kitchen with a lounge area surrounding a wood-burning outdoor fireplace. OK, my budget doesn't allow for it, but my motto? A day without a dream is like a seed without soil!
My goals always seem to grow during the garden season – but I always seem to manage to make at least three of them happen!
This story was originally titled "Goals For My Garden" in the February 2010 issue.
Canadian Living's home and garden director shows off her curves in a body con dress.
Photography by Carlyle Routh. Hair by Jukka/Davines/Plutino Group. Makeup by Jodi Urichuk/Bite Beauty/Plutino Group.
Have you ever flirted with the idea of trying a daring style but weren't quite sure how to pull it off? We found six women who were intrigued by a trend they usually avoid, then we gave them the support and style advice to help them make it their own. Here, Canadian Living's home and garden director, Sarah Gunn, steps out in a body con dress.
Much like Sarah's decor esthetic, sunny hues and pretty pastels are her wardrobe mainstays, along with ladylike fit-and-flare frocks. But there's one item of clothing Sarah has always admired on other women yet hasn't slipped into herself: a body-conscious dress. "I have curves—some in the right places and some not—and I'm not sure how to enhance the good ones and hide the bad ones in a formfitting style," says Sarah.
Karl Lagerfeld dress, $189, thebay.com. Earrings, bracelets, ring and shoes, bananarepublic.ca. Clutch, coach.com.
The first step to feeling confident in a body-hugging dress is a good foundation, a.k.a. undergarments. Sarah donned a Shapeez Tankee slip ($125, shapeez.com), an all-in-one bra, slip and shaper that helps eliminate visible bra lines and back bulges while slimming the waist and the stomach. When it comes to choosing a fitted dress, keep it sophisticated; we selected a style with elbow length sleeves and a high neckline, allowing Sarah's silhouette and her legs to be highlighted. Finally, the dress features black panels on the sides, which ever so slightly cinch the waist, helping to create the illusion of a more defined midriff.
No one wants to feel hangry or get hit with a midday crash—but that doesn't mean you have to visit the office vending machine. Instead, curb hunger pangs with these healthier, expert-approved alternatives.
1. Swap: Microwave popcorn for cauliflower popcorn
Even light microwave popcorn can be loaded with sodium, trans fats (which raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol) and artificial colours and flavours, says Kelowna, B.C.–based registered dietitian Tristaca Curley. Instead, cut a head of cauliflower into bite-size pieces, then roast in the oven with some olive or coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. This low-calorie, folate- and potassium-rich sub is a satisfying twist on that movie-night favourite.
Photography by Angus Fergusson
2. Swap: Store-bought gorp for DIY trail mix
Ready-made trail mixes can be full of sugar and salt, so create your own snack of walnuts (the nut with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids), unsalted sunflower seeds, dried apple bits and unsweetened shredded coconut. Add chocolate chips for an extra hit of sweetness. "For a tart superfood top-up, add golden berries, which resemble golden raisins," says Toronto-based registered nutritionist Joey Shulman. "They're lower in sugar versus other small berries, and they contain linoleic and oleic acids, which help with fat oxidation." Or add resveratrol-rich mulberries for their antioxidant punch.
3. Swap: Potato Chips for kale chips
"Regular chips contain trans fatty acids, the bad fat that can lead to heart disease and elevated cholesterol," says Shulman. "This superfood alternative is loaded with vitamins A, C and K." Tear kale leaves into bite-size pieces (discard thick stems), toss with olive oil and salt, then roast until crisp.
4. Swap: Salted pretzels for roasted chickpeas
Sure, pretzels may be low in fat, but they're loaded with salt and have no real nutritional value, says Curley. For a crunchy alternative, try oven-roasted chickpeas. These legumes are high in fibre, protein and iron, making them an ideal "fill me up" snack. Toss together chickpeas, olive oil, sea salt and your favourite spice (think smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne pepper or garlic powder), then roast until golden brown and crunchy.
5. Swap: Cheese crackers for a seaweed snack
Most crackers are processed carbs laden with artificial colours, preservatives and other additives. "In their place, top a sheet of nori with some canned tuna, smoked salmon or a meat alternative, like grilled tofu," says Curley. The seaweed is super satisfying and guilt-free: There are only five calories per sheet. Plus, sea vegetables are full of vitamins A and C, calcium, iodine (essential for metabolism) and iron.
6. Swap: Chocolate pudding for avocado and cocoa pudding
Chocolate puddings can be drowning in high-fructose corn syrup. For a healthier treat, mash an avocado, then stir in two tablespoons each of cocoa powder and hemp seeds and a quarter cup of honey, says Curley. This pudding is low in sugar and a great source of monounsaturated fats, vitamin C and fibre.
7. Swap: Granola bars for energy balls
Granola bars can contain as much sugar, fat and refined carbs as a chocolate bar. "Instead, stir together a cup of oatmeal with half a cup each of nut butter, hemp seeds and dried fruit," says Curley. Maple syrup or honey will help it stick together. This homemade option is high in fibre and protein, low in sugar and free of additives.
8. Swap: Chips and dip for hummus and carrot or zucchini coins
Processed foods like chips can raise blood sugar, triggering a release in insulin, which then lowers blood sugar. In the short term, these highs and lows actually increase cravings; in the long run, they can lead to weight gain. Try this clever swap from Curley. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice carrots or zucchini into coins. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then bake until golden brown and crisp. Serve with a side of hummus. (Brownie points if it's homemade!)
9. Swap: Banana chips for a loaded banana
This snack is often coated in sugar and deep-fried to give it crunch, so choose a fresh banana, which is glycemic index–friendly, suggests Curley. (Foods with a low-GI value are digested more slowly, so they won't cause a spike in blood sugar.) Top the banana with two tablespoons of your favourite nut butter, then roll it in hemp seeds. "You'll get a slow, steady rise in your blood sugar, so you'll feel full for longer," says Curley. Plus, this satisfying switch-up delivers potassium, protein, iron and omega-3s.
10. Swap: Chocolate-covered almonds for apple rings with nut butter
Almonds are a great snack, but when they're coated with chocolate, they turn into a treat. For a healthier option, slice a cored apple into rings. Top each slice with natural peanut, cashew or almond butter and sprinkle with hemp seeds, which are a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. "Apples are loaded with fibre and vitamin C," says Shulman. "Look for unprocessed nut butters; they're rich in good fats, which contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and monounsaturated fats."
Want to make
perfect, crispy bacon every time with little mess? Try cooking it in the
oven! I always use this method when I am cooking bacon for more than 2 people. It is
less messy than cooking on the stovetop, you can cook a whole package at a time with no grease spattering everywhere. It requires
little attention, which gives you time to prepare the other elements of the meal (
pancakes perhaps?). Also, the bacon comes out
perfectly cooked (and flat) and delicious every time.
To cook bacon in the oven, first line a
baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Arrange bacon slices on parchment,
overlapping if desired.
(Side note: the bacon will cook a little faster and require no separating if the slices are not overlapping, but one Chef I worked for instructed me to overlap the slices with the meatier side on the bottom so that the fattier side covers the meat and "protects it" during cooking - not sure if this is true, but you can fit more on a tray if the slices are overlapping.) Cook in a 400°F (200°C) oven for
about 20 minutes, separating with tongs if needed, until bacon is golden-brown. Timing will depend on the thickness of your bacon and how crispy you like it.
Remove bacon to paper-lined platter to drain. Enjoy your perfectly cooked bacon in these recipes...
Bacon and Onion Cheese BallsChard and Apple Salad with Bacon VinaigrettePhotography by Leah Kuhne
Bridging the gap between Parliament and fashion, UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be the first British head of state to be featured within the pages of the U.S. edition of Vogue.
Who says Americans have all the fun? Following in the footsteps of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, British Prime Minister Theresa May will be featured in the April issue of U.S. Vogue and–politics aside–we can't wait to see the glossy spread.
Shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, and accompanied by an interview, the photoshoot reportedly took place at May's official country residence, Chequers, according to the Telegraph. While the UK's only other female leader, Margaret Thatcher, posed for British Vogue several times during her tenure, May will be pioneering the trans-Atlantic jump.
Vogue has increasingly become more political and may be looking for another female political head to rally behind, after they formally backed–for the first time in history–U.S. candidate Hillary Clinton. The exclusive may also come in handy with presenting a more personable image, suggests a source for TheSun, for her official visit with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in May.
Since stepping into office six months ago after the historic and polarizing Brexit vote, May has been regarded for her love of fashion–notably for head-turning footwear. She even listed a lifetime's subscription to Vogue magazine as her luxury item when she appeared on a BBC radio show, according to the Independent. Proving that being a woman in high-political office and great style are not mutually exclusive, May has said, “I like clothes and I like shoes. One of the challenges for women in the workplace is to be ourselves, and I say you can be clever and like clothes. You can have a career and like clothes.”
Not everyone is applauding the fashion move. The criticism has been heavy on social media, where people are labelling the Vogue appearance as trivial, particularly in the midst of a still very sensitive fallout from the summer Brexit vote.