Courtesy of Phyllis Nichyporuk


In anticipation of all the delicious items you’ll be growing in your garden this year, why not put out a bountiful salad bar for dinner tonight? You’ll love it because it’s easy and healthy, and your kids will love it because they get to assemble their meal themselves. The key is to offer a wide assortment of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and protein as well as a couple of simple homemade dressings for a fully customizable meal that will make your taste buds sing and your body say thank you. Here is an example of what to set out, but feel free to let your inner chef run wild!

Veggies: Red leaf lettuce Spinach Sliced cucumber Diced peppers Shredded carrot Fruits: Sliced strawberries Sliced oranges Sliced apples Pomegranate seeds Dried cranberries

Nuts and Seeds: Sliced almonds Chopped walnuts Pumpkin seeds Chia seeds Hemp hearts Protein: Cooked chicken Cooked tuna Chickpeas Black beans Shredded cheese

Salad Dressings: Lemon Balsamic Dill (equal parts balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and water with a pinch of fresh or dried dill on top) Creamy Cucumber (1/4 of a cucumber, 2 tbsps mayo, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, then blend before adding a dash of chives or parsley)

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THREESIGNSAFIXER-UPPER ISN’TWORTHTHEEFFORT Everyone loves a good deal and those of us with a DIY spirit dream of buying a neglected home and fixing it up ourselves. But sometimes a good deal really isn’t good at all. Here are three ways to tell if you need to take a pass on a fixer-upper. 1. There are a lot of things you can overlook – paint colours, outdated cabinets, but if the house has an awkward floor plan you may want to keep looking. Completely reworking a layout is incredibly costly, and walls in strange places may point to bigger problems such as structural issues. 2. If the price isn’t exceptionally low, chances are it isn’t worth it. Repairs and upgrades are expensive and paying too much for a fixer-upper in the first place won’t leave much wiggle room in the budget when things inevitably cost more than expected. 3. Even if the home is a great price, make sure the reason isn’t because it’s located in an undesirable area. It would be a shame to fix up a house and then be unable to sell it because other houses in the area are too derelict or amenities are too far away.

THEGREENWAYTOCLEANYOURHOME When it comes to making more environmentally friendly choices, greening your cleaning routine is one of the simplest – and most cost effective – ways to go. Homemade cleaners are easy to whip up and can be made out of inexpensive household items like vinegar. For an effective all-purpose cleaner, mix two cups of water and half a cup of vinegar with ten to twenty drops of your favourite essential oil. Vinegar is a natural antifungal that will kill germs and bacteria and essential oils such as lavender are proven relaxants. Another tip is to avoid cleaning with products such as paper towels and disposable mop heads. Try reusable cloths and an old-fashioned fibre headed mop instead.

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