You need: • Get the heart pattern (PDF format requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader) • Piece of white polar fleece, 112 x 102 cm (44 x 40 inches) • .60 m blue-and-white cotton check, 115 cm wide • Piece of pink cotton fabric, 80 x 35 cm (31-1/2 x 13-7/8 inches) • .40 m paper-backed lightweight fusible interfacing, 90 cm wide • .40 m white satin ribbon, 4 mm wide • White thread • Dressmaker's chalk pencil
To make: 1. From check and following grain from selvage to selvage, cut four 2 cm (3/4 inch) wide strips, two 110 cm (43-1/4 inches) long and two 100 cm (39-3/8 inches) long.
2. Centre 1 long strip, right side up, along each long edge of fleece, 1 cm from long edge, then fold edge 1 cm over strip and pin. Repeat with short strips and edges. Cut a mitre in fleece at each corner and handstitch in place. Edgestitch 3 layers together along cut edges of fleece, to bind edges of blanket. Fray raw edge of check to within 3 mm (1/8 inch) of each stitch line.
3. From check and following grain, cut eight 22 x 20 cm (8-5/8 x 7-7/8 inches) patches. With chalk pencil and enlarged pattern, trace 8 hearts onto right side of pink fabric, then fuse interfacing to wrong side following manufacturer's instructions. Cut out hearts, centre 1 on right side of each check patch and fuse. With wide, closely spaced machine zigzag, stitch around edge of each heart, to appliqué in place.
4. Pin check patches on blanket as desired. Machine-stitch each 1 cm from edge, then fray raw edge to within 3 mm of stitch line.
5. Cut ribbon into eight 30 cm (11-7/8-inches) lengths; with pin, mark midpoint of each. At pin, hand-stitch 1 ribbon to top V of each heart; tie ribbon into a tiny bow. There's something for everyone, novices and experienced crafters alike, in our newsletter, Get Crafty. Sign up now to get the e-newsletter.
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Colin D. Ford, Artistic and educational director for Kérastase Paris
"The biggest mistake women make is using the incorrect hair-care products for their hair style, which can leave mid-lengths and ends looking dry. A professional consultation will [determine] what hair-care regimen is best."
Hair advice that professionals swear by
Stacey Staley, Founder and creative director of Blonde in Toronto
"Make sure you're rinsing your hair correctly. That means spending between two and three minutes in the shower rinsing both your shampoo and your conditioner. Contrary to popular belief, warm water isbetter for rinsing products. Then, finish with a 60-second cool rinse to add shine."
Hair advice that professionals swear by
Danilo, Global ambassador for Pantene and celebrity stylist
"Hair needs all the help it can get. It needs added moisture, emollients, supportive structures. Treat your hair like you do your skin."
"The tendency to want what we cannot have is universal, but a cut will sit better, last longer and be so much easier to maintain if you work with your hair type instead of fighting against it. With a cut that's customized, getting ready is so much simpler—and prettier."
Hair advice that professionals swear by
Kevin Mancuso, Global creative director for Nexxus
"People with really fine hair and lack of density should consider colouring their hair because they're going to benefit by swelling the hair fibre. If your hair is not damaged, you should consider double process, or single process with your own colour. When you damage the cuticle, you're going to lose some lipids, and that may be good for someone with fine hair looking for volume. Once the hair cuticle is lifted, the hair fibre can look nearly double in size."
Keeping warm doesn't mean sacrificing style—even when it's just your winter hat.
Much like our other winter wear (boots, scarves, jackets), we really need our hats to keep us warm. That's priority number one. But, it helps when our head-topper picks are also stylish. Because when the weather gets cold—we're talking really, really, cold—you can't get away with ditching your tuque to save a good hair day. So you may as well find a tuque you love. One that's cute, trendy and reflects your personal sartorial tastes—and one that also happens to keep you warm.
Here are some of our favourite tuques of the season. Make sure to click through, because a lot of these styles are now on sale!
Your body needs some sugar to function, but Canadians, who consume the equivalent of 26 teaspoons of the sweet stuff every day, are probably overdoing it. We break down what too much sugar does to your body, and how you can cut back.
Good news for those with sweet tooths: Glucose is our main source of fuel, so, yes, we actually do need sugar in our diets. But don't get too excited— they're not all alike.
"All carbohydrate-containing foods, whether candy, pop, fruit, vegetables or grain products, break down into glucose in our bloodstream," says Patricia Chuey, a Vancouver-based registered dietitian. "But our bodies respond differently when we get sugar from nutrient-dense, fibre-rich foods, eaten as part of a balanced meal that contains protein, compared to 'empty' calories from zero-nutrient, fibre-less foods."
Those carb-heavy, low-nutrient foods cause our blood-sugar, or glucose, levels to spike, triggering the release of insulin in response. One of insulin's jobs is to move glucose from the blood to our liver, muscle and fat cells for storage, and when there's more in our bloodstream than what our bodies need for energy, it can end up as stored fat—"even though fat, per se, wasn't consumed," says Chuey. That's partially why excess sugar consumption is linked to fatty liver disease, as well as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Fibre-rich, nutrient-dense foods, on the other hand, break down more slowly, so they don't cause as much of a blood-sugar spike, or the resulting weight gain.
That doesn't mean you have to skip your favourite sweet indulgences entirely. What we know today is that moderation is key—a little sugar won't hurt you.
But, for the most part, Canadians are not consuming a little sugar. According to Statistics Canada, on average, 22 to 26 percent of our total daily caloric intake consists of sugar. Put another way, that's an average of 110 grams, or 26 teaspoons, per day. And it's not just how much; experts are also concerned about where it comes from.
"Whole foods that are sweet, like fruit, can be good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which can contribute to overall health," says Gita Singh, a research assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Boston's Tufts University.
It's added sugar, regardless of the source, that's the problem. You'll find it in processed foods, such as many breads, soups, salad dressings and pasta sauces. And then there's pop, sports drinks and fruit drinks, which experts collectively refer to as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). These drinks are among the top causes of obesity and its attendant ailments, which include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and other chronic diseases. In fact, Singh coauthored a report published in the medical journal Circulation that estimates SSB consumption is partially responsible for the diabetes-, cancer- and cardiovascular disease–related deaths of 1,600 Canadians each year.
The fact that SSBs are a leading source of excess sugar in our diets is galling but encouraging. That's because the solution is straightforward: Stop, or at least cut back on, drinking them.
Chuey says you can further reduce the added sugar in your diet by avoiding convenience foods that list sugar (or maltose, corn syrup, cane sugar or honey) among the first three ingredients; swap your caramel macchiato for a latte; and top plain yogurt with fresh fruit. The less sugar you consume, the less you'll end up craving.
But when you do indulge, go all in. "Apply the pleasure maximization principle," says Chuey. "Make it really worth it! Not in terms of quantity, but the kind of quality that will really satisfy." So skip the soda fountain. But those homemade cookies? Enjoy!
YOUR BODY ON SUGAR
Click on image for larger view. Illustrations, thenounproject.com.
There are lots of table sugar subs on the market, but how do they stack up, health-wise?
Stevia: Zero calories per teaspoon
Stevia is a zero-calorie, fructosefree option.
Date sugar: 11 calories per teaspoon
Date sugar contains all the fibre and nutrients found in the dried fruit.
Coconut sugar: 15 calories per teaspoon
Made from the sap of coconut-tree flowers, coconut sugar has the same calorie count as table sugar, but it's lower on the glycemic index.
Agave nectar: 15 calories per teaspoon
Agave nectar is about 1 1/2 times sweeter than refined sugar, so you can use less. But it's high in fructose (hello, blood-sugar spikes!).
Whether you're headed for dinner and a movie, an intimate evening meal or a casual hang out, you can't go wrong with a pretty dress on your next date night.
We've all been there. You're headed out for a nice dinner or an event and you feel like you have nothing to wear. Despite a full closet, we're guessing. No judgement—it happens to the best of us. But if there's one thing that beats those nothing-to-wear-blues, it's a new dress.
Especially in the winter—when you’re probably joined at the hip (literally) with your favourite sweatshirt—putting on a dress can do so much to get you out of a style rut. Or it can just get you out of those sweatpants. But either way there’s something to be said for picking up a pretty frock just because. One that makes you feel like your best self. Which is the best way to go into date night if you ask us.
If you’re looking for a shopping excuse, it just so happens that Valentine's Day is around the corner. Perhaps you've got date night plans? Or have an outing planned with some girlfriends? Or maybe you're just looking for an excuse to pick up a pretty new dress. Whatever your retail therapy reasons, we can help. We've gathered the cutest, prettiest and chicest dresses that are perfect for your next... whatever.