Photo courtesy of Karma Brown Credits: Photo courtesy of Karma Brown
|This story was originally titled "The Naked Truth" in the August 2014 issue. |
Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!
©iStockphoto.com/slidezero_com Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/slidezero_com
Learn how feng shui techniques can declutter your home and create positive space in your life.
Do you want to bring happiness, good fortune and wellness into your life this year? Turn to the positive energies of feng shui as your guide. The ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment can help spruce up your home and simultaneously create balance and joy.
Bridget Saraka, the Saskatoon-based owner of Feng Shui by Bridget, says the practice offers life-changing benefits. "Feng shui is about creating a space that's not only pleasing to your eye, but also pleasing to all your senses, so that your home supports and enriches your life," she says. "How we live has a profound impact on what our experiences will be. When you apply feng shui principles to your home, you can attract a great new year."
If your home is cluttered, dimly lit and has poorly arranged furniture, feng shui principles state that your life will be filled with obstacles and present few opportunities for growth. As a result, your job, relationships, finances and health can become stagnant. By making a few small changes, you can revitalize your space and your life. Here are six simple tips to get started:
1. Make your front door visible to receive blessings
In feng shui, a hard-to-read house number or a blocked walkway to a door will prevent positive energy from entering the home. "Have an address that's easy to see from the street and a path from your front door into your home that isn't cluttered with obstacles," says Saraka. "If the universe can't find you, how can fortunate blessings find you?"
2. Add colour for good health
Taupes and other neutral colours are popular in home decor, but they might contribute to low moods and energy levels during Canada's long, dark winters. "They're the wrong colour palate for Canadians because many of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder," says Saraka. From a feng shui perspective, these colours absorb the winter light, leaving Canadians feeling depressed and directionless.
To boost health and energy, start by painting your walls. "Choose a colour that's warm yet still reflects light – soft yellows, soft greens – colours that give a feeling of the sun and nature," says Saraka. "Green makes all colours pop, plus it's about life, vitality, growth and new vibrations." If you can't afford to paint, use colourful accessories—accent pillows, throws, live flowers, lighting in dark corners—to ignite powerful energy shifts in your home. "It's the easiest and most affordable way to do it," says Saraka.
3. Edit your belongings
Clear the bad vibes that accompany clutter. "Go through your home with a keen eye to what no longer serves you. If you haven't worn or used it within a year, donate it," says Saraka. "If it's broken and you're not going to repair it, remove it from the space. This editing practice opens up your home so you have room to experience a new chapter." Items that hold upsetting memories should be removed, too.
4. Let indoor plants and water bring prosperity
¨Want to attract wealth this year? Bring plants and a water fountain into your home. "Jade plants and fountains are symbols that represent wealth and finance in feng shui," says Saraka. Your health may also benefit from plants and flowers inside the home. "They purify the air," says Saraka, "And as you nurture the plant, you're nurturing yourself."
5. Position furniture for safety
If you don't feel safe and comfortable in your home, your furniture placement might be to blame. "Feng shui is first and foremost about comfort and safety," says Saraka. "Make sure that the largest piece of furniture in any room is in a position where you can see the door. If the sofa or head of the bed is against the same wall as the door, you can't see who is coming in. This creates a sense of vulnerability."
6. Use essential oils to attain happiness
Essential oils can help clear negative energy and add happy vibes to your home. "Put distilled water in a spritzer bottle, add three to six droplets of oil, and then spritz the air," says Saraka. If someone has been ill, Saraka recommends a blend of frankincense and cinnamon. ¨"To infuse a space with joy, use rose and orange essential oils. Rose is about love. Orange is about joy. So you're infusing joyful love into your space." Essential oils can be purchased from most health-food stores.
For more feng shui tips, check out how you can declutter your car.
Photo courtesy of Davina Choy Credits: Photo courtesy of Davina Choy
Roast Turkey With Nutty Stuffing</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson/TC Media Credits: Roast Turkey With Nutty Stuffing</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson/TC Media
1. Remember to thaw: If the turkey is frozen, it will take at least a few days to thaw in the fridge. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.
2. Use a large roasting pan: The roasting pan should be large enough that the turkey does not touch the sides and ideally should have a few inches of room around it.
This helps for better air flow and even cooking. Just make sure the pan (and turkey) actually fits in your oven.
3. Don't stuff: Filling the turkey cavity with stuffing increases the cooking time, which can lead to a dryer bird. Besides, my favourite part of the stuffing is the crispy bits, which you can only get if the stuffing bakes separate from the bird.
Pop the "stuffing" into a casserole dish and into the oven while the turkey is resting. Click here for downloadable information on turkey roasting times.
4. Don't tie your turkey: Tying the turkey is just a waste of your valuable time.
Tying the legs together (or going all out and trussing the whole bird – tying snugly with kitchen twine so the wings and legs stay close to the body) does make for a nice presentation, but it increases cooking time. We suggest leaving the legs as is, and tucking the wings under the breast so they don't burn.
5. 325°F all the way: 325°F is the perfect temperature for roasting a turkey. It's not too hot that the bird will burn before it's done, and not too cool that the turkey takes forever. Some recipes start at a higher temperature and then reduce to 300 or 325°F, but if you don't get the timing right, the turkey might get too dark.
Cooking at 325°F the whole time yields a nicely browned and still juicy turkey.
6. Baste often: Basting the turkey while roasting helps to develop a nice overall colour as well as keeps it juicy. We recommend basting every 30 or 45 minutes. Use a turkey baster to suck of the juices from the pan (or use a pastry brush or spoon) and drizzle the juices over the top of the turkey. Sometimes the juices can accumulate in the cavity of the turkey. Carefully tip the turkey so the juices run out and there is something to baste with.
7. Tent with foil: If the turkey is getting too browned before it's cooked, cover loosely with a piece of foil. This will limit the browning while the turkey continues cooking.
8. Use a thermometer: Just because the turkey looks cooked, doesn't mean it is cooked. The only way of ensuring it's done is to use a thermometer. We like a digital instant-read thermometer because it gives the most accurate reading. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, if it reads 170°F, then the bird is cooked.
9. Let it rest: Once the turkey comes out of the oven, let it rest on the counter, loosely covered in foil for at least 30 minutes. This will let the juices redistribute and cool the turkey down a bit so it is not too hot to eat. Also, this gives to time to finish the side dishes and make the gravy. Just be sure to add the resting to the total time and time everything accordingly.
10. Carve in the kitchen: Although a beautifully presented bird brought to the dining table is the idealized picture of Thanksgiving, I always carve the turkey in the kitchen. Carving a turkey can be a messy job. Doing it in the kitchen means less mess, and less stress at the dining table. Start by removing the legs and thighs (remove the bone and cut up the thigh meat), cut away each breast from the bone and slice.
Check out these tips on how to have the best Thanksgiving ever.