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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.
Celebrating beauty at every age Credits: Alvaro Goveia
"I took all the things I love and made a career with them."
At age 46, Natalina dared to follow her heart and opened an Italian cooking school. She was inspired by her grandmother, mother, and aunts cooking together over the years and by her experience living in Italy and learning about authentic Italian cuisine. Five years later, she runs a successful business and doing what she loves.
Although she wouldn't change a thing when it comes to her professional life, she does change her beauty routine every season, especially as we move from summer into fall. Watch the video for Natalina's full beauty routine and to learn more about her inspiring story.
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Photography by Del Mahabadi
Foraging is a something that many know about, but few know how to do it. Chef Michael Hunter shares his best tips on foraging and how to get started.
It seems fitting with a name like Michael Hunter that this Toronto-based chef grew up on a horse farm in Caledon. His passion for foraging was ignited after a chef he was working with came in with a handful of morels he found one day. "It's just kind of like a food treasure hunt. Once you get hooked, it's kind of like an obsession, " says Hunter.
Hunter, who has worked in kitchens since the age of 13, is currently chef and co-owner of the Toronto-based Antler Kitchen & Bar, which opened in Oct 2015. Hunter describes his cuisine as Canadian with a focus on wild food. "We aim to define Canadian cuisine, so we want to use regional ingredients and embrace Ontario as much as possible", he says. Wild game cannot be sold in Ontario restaurants, so Hunter points out that the offerings at Antler are all sourced from farms. To intrigue restaurant goers, who he believes are more adventurous than ever, Antler's inventive menu includes deer rack served on top of a stew made of the neck meat, rabbit pappardelle and eclectic snack items like Jamaican venison patties, wild boar gyoza and duck heart yakitori.
When he's not at the restaurant, you'll find this avid forager and hunter "playing in the woods" in Caledon, making maple syrup, hunting and foraging for morel mushrooms (his personal favourite), wild leeks and fiddleheads, as well as experimenting with new ingredients, like squirrel.
What's next for Hunter? He's heading off to a hunting camp deep in the Mississippi wilderness and he'll be headlining What's Cooking Bracebridge by embarking on a foraging hike and expedition and preparing a special dinner hosted by Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro's. It's clear that this hunter likes to be in his element.
4 things to consider before you start foraging:
1) Know what you're looking for
Always consult a reputable guide such as the Audubon Society's guide to mushrooms and plants. Stay away from any mushrooms or plants that have deadly poisonous look-a-likes.
2) Start small
Forage only things that can easily be identified – and that do not have poisonous look-a-likes - like fiddleheads and mint.
3) Think about ethical foraging
Some plants don't grow back the following year if you harvest the entire batch. Avoid over-harvesting by reading about the plants that you're foraging.
4) Be respectful
No one wants to come across strangers harvesting on their property without permission, so always ask before start to forage.
Spice Ash Crusted Venison Chop Del Mahabadi
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