Courtesy of Carla Sinclair

KEEPING YOUR HARDWOOD CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL Much like a kitchen reno pays for itself in resale value, so too do hardwood floors. Of course, in order for your hardwood to wow when the day comes to sell, it needs to be taken care of. And the way that your hardwood is finished – not the type of wood – will determine how it should be cleaned. The most common hardwood finish is a polyurethane that is either water based, oil based, acid cured or moisture cured. If your home is older and has hardwood from before 1970, it may have a varnish, wax or shellac finish. No matter the finish – don’t use cleaning products specifically made for vinyl or tile flooring, as they may damage your hardwood. Also, wet mopping is not recommended as standing water can discolour the finish. For polyurethane treated floors, damp mopping is the way to go. Either lightly spray the floor and wipe immediately or wet your mop and wring it out completely. For older, wax or shellac treated hardwood – never mop or wipe with water. Simply vacuum and sweep regularly and enjoy the beauty of your vintage floor!

CARING FOR HOUSEPLANTS IN WINTER Low light, dry air, and plain old forgetfulness are three common causes of a houseplant not making it through winter. Sometimes it feels easier to care for your indoor plant babies when the sun is shining and the weather is warm because they’re just an extension of your outdoor plants. But it’s during the winter that indoor plants need a little extra love and care. Here are four tips for doing just that. • Knowwhich plants go dormant in the winter. If you have a plant that’s typically meant to be outside, it may go dormant when the weather turns. Meanwhile, tropical indoor plants tend to not go into dormancy as long as the conditions they were used to in the summer continue. If you do have plants that go to sleep during the winter, make sure to ease back on the watering. And don’t panic if they stop growing or even lose a few leaves. That’s just nature doing its thing. • Give your plants a shower. Yup – plants need showers too. Especially those with large leaves that collect a lot of dust. Too much dust buildup can actually hamper the plants ability to take in light. If you have plants that are too heavy to move to your tub, periodically wipe their leaves down with a damp cloth. • Move them to a sunnier location. How the sun comes into your home will change during thewintermonths. Some of your plantsmay need to be relocated to a sunnier, warmer spot. Be wary of windowsills though. Depending how well your windows keep out the cold, a sunny sill may look welcoming, but if there’s a draft your plant may not like it there. • Keep them away from radiators and air vents. You may think that plants would like it near a nice warm heater, but most of them don’t. The extra air circulation dries them out quicker and the warmth can be too intense for their roots and leaves.


In honour of Valentine’s Day, here are five jokes about the greatest of all things – love. How did the telephone propose to its girlfriend? He gave her a ring. Knock, knock. Who’s there? Olive. Olive, who? Olive you, and I don’t care who knows it.

Why should you never break up with a goalie? Because he’s a keeper. What did one boat say to the other? Are you up for a little row- mance? Do you have a date for Valentine’s Day? Yes, it is February 14th.

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