Courtesy of Maureen Reed

Maureen's Mini Mag

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Volume 16 | Number 4


There is a new layer to shopping for furniture these days – a technological layer that is. Many pieces of furniture have tech built in to be even more functional for you. Consider these options the next time you’re looking to replace a piece of living room furniture.

Some couches, loveseats and chairs are now equipped with built in USB ports or even charging stations for your phone or tablet so you’ll never have to search for your charging block again. Add in heated seats and electronic reclining modes and you have the ideal lounging space. Pair your new seat with a high-tech coffee or end table that is complete with power outlets, more charging station options and even cold storage inside to keep your beverages and snacks chilled. Choose a coffee table with LED lights to set the mood to a movie night or just enhance the décor of the room. Not nearly as high tech, but still neat and really functional, are adjustable height coffee tables that can double as a working or eating space if you’re confined to the couch. Search online or at your favourite furniture store for these options and more. The future is now.


INGREDIENTS : 1 pound Italian Sausage ½ small onion diced 3 ounces frozen spinach 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice 8 ounces cream cheese cubed

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 16 ounces frozen tortellini

3 cups chicken broth ¼ cup tomato paste ¼ cup parmesan cheese, optional

DIRECTIONS: 1. Brown sausage and onion until no pink remains. Drain fat. 2. Place all ingredients in a 6 qt slow cooker. 3. Cook 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours on low. Once cooked through, stir until sauce is smooth. 4. Top with parmesan cheese if desired and serve.


American singer-songwriter who has sold over 100 million records worldwide, which makes her one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Her impressive career also includes acting, philanthropy, and owing a number of businesses including the Dollywood theme park.

MATTRESS SHOPPING A good night’s sleep is paramount to our wellbeing. One way to ensure you get a solid, restorative sleep is to invest in the proper mattress. But with so many options on the market, where do you begin? One of the first things you should do is learn about the different types of mattresses: coil, memory foam, water, gel, to name a few. Each type of mattress has pros and cons and may work better for one person than another. Some are recommended for certain people – those who need added support, those who are hot sleepers, etc. While others simply offer a more economical choice. Next, when you are purchasing a mattress, be sure to test it out. Spend at least 10 minutes on it in the store – on your side, on your back and in your usual sleeping position. Also lie on the edge, in the middle and across it to ensure it doesn’t sag in one spot or have varying levels of firmness overall. Furthermore, see if there is an option to take the mattress home and sleep on it for a few nights to determine if it meets your needs. If that’s not possible, check out the company’s return policy

to determine what will happen if you do need a different type of mattress. Bonus tip: unless you’re in a pinch, most mattresses go on sale regularly so choosing the one you want and then paying attention to sales in the future can help ease the financial crunch of a new mattress.


Look up. What do you see? A plain white popcorn ceiling? Chances are you’re one of millions of Canadians who haven’t explored the option of ceiling décor. Designers are calling it the fifth wall in a room and have started to become more and more vocal about sprucing ceilings up. Here are some décor options to consider for your ceiling: Wall paper, or ceiling paper to be more accurate. Apply textured wallpaper to your smooth ceiling in much the same way you would a wall. It can be left its original colour, or painted for a more stunning effect. Or opt for a wallpaper that features a bold pattern or bright colour to enhance an otherwise serene room. Wood planks. These can be applied over a textured ceiling and can be painted or stained to match, or contrast, other woodwork in the room. Choose a lightweight plank and be sure to nail them to

joists. For added interest, angle the planks across the room, make a herringbone pattern or even add a few rows around the room before switching to a typical strip design. Corrugated tin . Using adhesive and screws, you can cover your ceiling with elegant tin ceiling tiles. Use them throughout a room or as a focal point above a dining room table or kitchen island, for example. Fabric . Think of a tent, but in elegant, gauzy fabrics that drape from the center of a room to the walls. Alternatively drape fabric across the ceiling adhering it every few feet with a wooden beam to create a cloud like look. Be sure to choose fabrics that are lightweight and can be stapled to the ceiling.

JOKES Courtesy of

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Canoe. Canoe who? Canoe help me with my homework?

Knock, knock Who’s there? Iva. Iva who? I’ve a sore hand from knocking!

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Adore. Adore who? Adore is between us. Open up!


Unscramble each of the clue words. Take the letters that appear in boxes and unscramble them for the final message. Hint:







Answers: weather storm rain tornado hail mud Final Message: SUMMER


Courtesy of


We all know exercise is great for our physical and mental health, and now that spring is here and the threat of frostbite isn’t as real, it’s a great time to take your workout outdoors. From walking to tossing a frisbee in your local park, the options for outdoor exercise are limitless. Experts even suggest that taking a workout outdoors will encourage you to spend more time being active and you may work harder than you do indoors. One way to bring excitement to your workout is to head to the local playground with your family. Ideally, you can tackle your workout while your children burn their energy for a win-win outing. Here are some things to try out: • Climb the play structures – a rousing game of tag – a great cardio workout. • Swinging on the swings will work wonders for your core and balance. • Head to a bench for some inclined push-ups and then tricep dips to work out your arms and shoulders. • Speed walk or do some walking lunges around the perimeter of the park to up your cardio. • Hold a plank as your child goes up and down the slide. • Walk the balance beam to improve your balance or jump over it for a cardio boost. • The step around the edge of the sandbox is a great place to do step ups. Depending on the layout of the park and the equipment available, there are so many movements you can do that will provide a workout. Let your inner child out and have fun!

MAXIMALIST DESIGN Minimalist design is a popular home décor trend that is categorized by clean lines, solid and muted colours, functional furniture that has a purpose and fits nicely in an open space and has an overall calming aesthetic. But what if you like bold patterns, big furniture pieces, lots of colour and soft, curvy lines? Perhaps maximalist design is more your taste. Making a comeback in houses across the nation, maximalist design trends include lots of bold colours – complementary and contrasting – paired with patterns and textures. Imagine a kitchen with each wall painted a different colour and tied together with a feature wall proudly displaying floral patterned wall paper. The look would be completed with a collection of eclectic mugs from around the world. For furniture, texture and opulent trim make this design really stand out. Think wood trim on chairs reminiscent of the Victorian era, wainscotting and similar woodwork on the walls and cabinets. The best gift you can give is a referral to your friends and family.

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All these elements might seem overwhelming if all used at once, so experts agree when designing a maximalist décor to keep to one or two stand out pieces/areas per room, but otherwise fill the space with things that bring you joy.

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