Add pattern to your floor without breaking the bank.
A rug can help define a space, ground a room and add much-needed colour and pattern, but they can be super expensive! So, we went on a search for fabulous but frugal rugs. With many budget-friendly options, these websites prove you don't have to empty your wallet to add some patterned goodness to your floors.
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel has a sophisticated selection of rugs in a variety of patterns and colours. Afraid to order a rug online? Order a 12 inch by 12 inch swatch to try before you buy.
Our top pick: Olin grey striped dhurrie rug
West Elm’s offerings (in mostly muted tones) include a stunning selection of custom rugs. Want to see how the rug will look in a styled space? Click on the #mywestelm photos below the main rug images to see photos shared by West Elm shoppers.
Our top pick: Ashik wool rug.
This online-only shop has a huge selection of over 10, 000 rugs in endless shapes, sizes and patterns. With free shipping over $75 and an excellent return policy, you don’t have to fret over making the wrong choice!
Our top pick: Zanzibar multi area rug
Land of Nod
If you are in the market for a rug for a child’s bedroom, playroom or family room, Land of Nod has your floor covered. Their selection of colourful, geometric and neutral floor coverings means there is something for everyone. You can order a small swatch to test a rug’s colours and pattern at home.
Our top pick: blue indoor and outdoor rug
They are known for their on-trend selection of geometric and kilim rugs in the prettiest selection of colours. Make sure you check back often for new styles.
Our pick: Pala textured loop rug
This site has over 200, 000 rugs in stock, with 75% off retail prices! Every rug includes free shipping and a 30 day return policy.
Our pick: Monaco rug (available in 10 colours)
Between 3 and 8% of women have PMDD, a severe form of PMS with depression-like symptoms.
"For the three days leading up to my period, I was suicidal, anxious and irritable. I'd have fits of rage; I felt unglued. Then, I'd get my period and I'd be fine," says Jennifer, who asked us not to use her last name. Her psychotherapist suggested PMDD two years ago as a possible cause for her mood swings.
PMDD is like PMS's bigger, badder sister. It's another way of saying very severe PMS, says Dr. Samantha Saffy, a psychiatrist in Vancouver. In order to get a PMDD diagnosis, you need to experience the disorder's depression-like symptoms—mood swings, irritability, anger, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia and a decreased interest in usual activities—more months than not. They should occur in the week leading up to menses, then improve after your period starts.
It can be difficult to get a diagnosis. Jennifer had been to three physicians with no luck. But just knowing PMDD exists might be helpful. "Often, being aware of your condition through education can help ease symptoms," says Dr. Tanya Tulipan, a psychiatrist specializing in reproductive mental health in Halifax. "If you know that certain days of the month will be more challenging for you, you can plan around them to minimize stress. Healthy habits such as getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthily are known to ease symptoms, too." Cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness can also help, but "if none of these strategies works, your family doctor can suggest an antidepressant that you can take continuously or even just for the week that you have your symptoms," says Dr. Tulipan.
All you need is time and patience to make the perfect caramelized onions. Here's how.
Golden and sweet, yet super savoury, caramelized onions add depth of flavour to so many dishes. They make the best pizza, burger and sandwich toppers and turn plain old cooked pasta or potatoes into gourmet dishes.
And guess what? They're really easy to make! You'll need a large skillet, some onions, a pat of butter, a pinch of salt, and some time. It's a long process (40 to 50 minutes), but absolutely worth the wait. Time and patience means no scorched onions and the ultimate in flavour and texture. Here's how:
First, choose the right skillet. For best results, use a large heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless steel skillet. If the skillet is too small the onions are crowded and will steam instead of caramelize, meaning the process takes more time. A nonstick skillet will work if that's all you've got, but you won't get the same sticky bits (called the fond in chef speak) on the bottom of the skillet that really add flavour.
Slice the onions. Trim the stem and root ends of the onions and peel away the skin. Slice the onion, lengthwise, thinly (about 1/4 inch or just less). You can use 1 to 4 onions in a large skillet. More onions will take longer to caramelize and fewer onions will take less time, simply keep your eye on the skillet depending on how many you start with. Yellow cooking onions are the most common and versatile onion to use for caramelizing. However, you can use any onion each with subtly different flavours and colours, experiment to find your favourite.
Melt butter (about 1 tbsp) in skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions when the butter stops bubbling and stir a few times to coat the onions. Cook over medium heat (reduce to medium low if the onions start to look or smell like they're burning), stirring once every 5 minutes or so, until the onions are ultra tender, a rich golden colour and have a delightful sweetness. At 10 minutes the onions are still plump and mostly white with just a few golden edges. At 20 minutes look for the onions beginning to shrink, become a little sticky and deepen in colour. At 30 minutes you'll see that the onions are a deeper, richer colour, have really started to shrink and become almost jam-like. The bits are beginning to stick to the bottom, use your spoon or spatula to scrape them up when you stir. At 40 minutes, taste the onions and check the colour. You're looking for meltingly tender onions with a rich golden hue and a sweet taste. Add a few more minutes (up to 10) depending on where they're at now. Note all the bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet in the photo below. These are good!
Deglaze the skillet and season the onions. To deglaze means to add liquid (you can use water, wine or vinegar, about 1/4 cup) to the skillet and stir for a minute or two in order to scrape up all the delicious bits (fond) that are stuck to the bottom of the skillet. The liquid will bubble up and steam, releasing those nuggets of flavour. Often in cooking, we are fearful of things stuck to the bottom of the pan, but unless it's scorched and totally black, this is where the true flavour lies. Once deglazed, stir in a pinch of salt, taste and add more as needed.
Let the onions cool. Then use as you desire. It's a good idea to make a large batch. Simply thaw before using. These are great to have on hand for quick pizza toppings or to stir into an easy pasta dish.
For more cooking tips, visit our Cooking School channel.
This decade-by-decadge guide to menstruation covers irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, sudden pain and all the other issues that can pop up as we age.
Until Sarah turned 38, her Aunt Flo was nothing but predictable; she showed up every 27 to 29 days, accompanied only by a tinge of lower-back pain. There would be a slightly heavier flow on days 1 and 2, and no symptoms at all by Day 6. Then, one month, all hell broke loose. "Suddenly, my period was extremely heavy and clumpy," says Sarah. "I was changing a pad and a super-absorbent tampon every 10 minutes. It was like a murder scene." It wasn't just the amount of blood that threw both Sarah and her cycle for a loop; new symptoms surfaced over the next few months. "My whole midsection and vagina hurt. Plus, I had an overall sick feeling. I was in so much pain."
Though Sarah initially thought this was just her period changing with age, after about six months, when the excessive bleeding had become a regular occurrence, she made an appointment with her doctor. And it's a good thing she did. As it turned out, she had two uterine polyps, small tissue growths that are attached to the inner wall of the uterus and extend into the uterine cavity. Following two years of unpredictable flow, clotting and pain, Sarah's doctor performed an endometrial ablation and removed her polyps for testing—and her monthly visitor relented.
We'd bet there isn't a woman out there who hasn't been bugged, caught off guard or inconvenienced by her period. "Women just don't know a lot about their periods," adds Dr. Ashley Waddington, an obstetrician-gynecologist and assistant professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. "We get a lot of questions from patients about what's happening and what will happen in years to come." Here's a decade-by-decade breakdown of what you need to know.
By this point, you've probably had your period for almost two decades, and, unless you've been pregnant, it likely hasn't changed much since your late teens. A typical cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days, counting from the first day of your period up to (but not including) the first day of your next period.
That cycle is made up of two phases: The follicular phase starts on the first day of your cycle and lasts until ovulation day, when the luteal phase, which begins once the ovary releases an egg, takes over. Because the luteal phase almost always lasts about 14 days, you can estimate the date of your last ovulation by counting backward from the end of your cycle. For example, if your cycle was 30 days, you likely ovulated on Day 16.
In general, menstruation lasts four to seven days. But don't worry if that number fluctuates somewhat, says Dr. Melissa Mirosh, an ob-gyn in Saskatoon. You're still in the normal range if, one month, your period arrives on Day 26 and lasts for five days, and, next month, it doesn't come until Day 31 and it lasts for seven days. But if the duration of your period or cycle varies more drastically, there could be a problem. "The concern is that, if the cycle isn't normal, it could be because of an underlying medical issue or it could affect fertility potential," says Dr. Suzanne Wong, an ob-gyn at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto.
Prepare for: Pregnancy
Women who have irregular periods and are trying to conceive can have a rough go of it. "Predicting ovulation becomes harder when cycles are irregular, which makes achieving pregnancy more difficult," says Dr. Wong. Pregnancy can also affect what happens with your period postpartum. "After having a baby, when your hormones are still getting back to their usual routine, it can be quite normal to have chaotic cycles for six to 12 months," says Dr. Waddington.
Most women who breastfeed will resume menstruating six to nine months after delivery; those who don't may ovulate as early as three weeks after delivery and menstruate five weeks postpartum. "This is important to consider if you're resuming sexual activity, because you can get pregnant quite soon after delivery," says Dr. Waddington. And about that post-pregnancy period: There's no way to tell if it will be heavier or lighter than before, but many women who experienced excruciating cramps prepregnancy find that the pain has subsided, perhaps thanks to stretching of the uterus during those nine months.
"Between the late teens and the age of 40, women tend to get into a rhythm with their period; it comes in regular intervals, lasts about the same duration and has the same volume of blood, except perhaps in the years around pregnancies," says Dr. Mirosh. "But from about 40, things may get irregular."
Say hello to perimenopause, the seven- to 10-year stretch leading up to menopause. It usually kicks in at about age 45, though, in rare instances, it can start as early as 35 or not taper off until 59. "That's when the brakes come off and chaos occurs," says Dr. Jerilynn Prior, a professor of endocrinology and metabolism at The University of British Columbia and the founder and scientific director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research in Vancouver. "Because estrogen levels are higher, it's a time of great unpredictability." Cue mood swings, heavy flow (in 25 percent of women), hot flashes and night sweats (in about 80 percent), shorter or longer cycles, skipped periods, sore breasts, low libido, insomnia, painful cramps and changes to skin, hair or weight. It's a misconception that these symptoms indicate you're in the throes of menopause; they're actually signs of perimenopause.
Prepare for: Heavy Flow
According to Dr. Prior, heavy bleeding is so common in perimenopause that it's often one of the first symptoms a woman will notice. But what's considered too heavy? "The definition of abnormal uterine bleeding is based on when a patient says there's too much blood," says Dr. Mirosh. Red flags (pardon the pun) include excessive clotting or cramping, accidents where blood soaks through to your clothing and simply feeling like your period is interfering with your life.
Heavy bleeding may be just that, or it might be a sign of another medical condition. Dr. Mirosh says one of the first signs of thyroid disease can be a change in menstrual flow. Uterine polyps or fibroids, usually benign growths that develop in or on the uterus, are other potential culprits. And, as a patient creeps toward 50, Dr. Mirosh begins to worry about endometrial cancer, which can also bring with it increased flow or clotting.
If you're like the average Canadian woman, you'll have your last period when you're 52. Whenever it happens, you won't actually know that you've been through menopause (which means the end of menstruation, when the ovaries run out of eggs and your body produces lower levels of estrogen and progesterone) until a year after the last time you menstruate. "It's a retroactive diagnosis," says Dr. Wong. "A woman who hasn't had a period in 12 months, who's been to her doctor to make sure there is no underlying cause for the missed periods (other than hormonal reasons) and whose period doesn't come back has gone through menopause."
Prepare for: Menopause
While many women find that their periods gradually taper off, some have a regular cycle right up until their last period, then never have one again, says Dr. Waddington. And though women will experience the most upheaval during perimenopause, most will also have at least some symptoms—such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes and insomnia—in menopause. But for many women, menopause can be a relief. "You no longer have to deal with the heavy flow," says Dr. Prior. "Bloating, swelling, breast tenderness and other high-estrogen symptoms come to an end."