Design & Decor Blog

patriotic caesars

It might not be as obvious as hockey or maple syrup, but the savoury caesar is a Canadian staple (we’re averaging about 350 million glass-fulls a year!). So what better bevvy to sip on this Canada Day weekend? Walter, the Canadian-based all-natural craft caesar mix maker, has dreamt up a concoction that takes patriotism to the next level: Playfully named the Johnny Mac (after our first Prime Minister, John A. MacDonald), it’s a little sweet, a little salty and a whole lot of fun. Try it yourself!


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how to wash white sheets without bleach

My friend recently shared her reluctance to buy white bed sheets, saying she loves the crisp, clean look of white bed linens, but feared they’d take on the look of a tattered white t-shirt after a few washes. In light of this conversation, I’m sharing how to wash white sheets (and keep them white) without bleach. Read on to find out more.


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current obsession: australian herbal tea

I’m a coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon kind of gal. Herbal tea. I’d rather not find myself awake at 2 a.m. with a surge of caffeine-induced insomnia. No thank you. Since I’m somewhat of a herbal tea hoarder and Style at Home‘s resident health nut, I was thrilled to discover Australia’s Tea With Me, a collection of organic teas, specially formulated by nutritionists, doctors and herbalists.


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5 favourite cookbooks of the moment

The first half of 2015 has seriously delivered in terms of new cookbook releases. I already have a large collection of cookbooks and I’ve recently added a few new ones to my shelves. Here are the five currently living on my kitchen countertop, getting dog-earred and sauce-stained, along with my go-to recipes from each.


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editor’s pick: cookina mats

June is the height of grilling season and, as I wrote in the June Housekeeping column, diligently cleaning your barbecue grills is key to producing mouth-watering eats – or so I thought. I’m a lover of a juicy shortcut, and Cookina grilling sheets offer just that: The reusable flexible mats can be placed right over the grills and cooked upon up to 550° F.  The grills themselves remain in pristine condition (no need to scrub burnt-on food off with a heavy-duty metal-bristled brush) and there is no issue with juices dripping into the interior of the grill. What’s more, the mats’ non-stick surfaces mean you can skip the cooking oil, and a quick wipe is all it takes to cue up the ‘cue from meats to veggies or fruits without any flavour transfer. They even come with ridges for those all-important grill marks! When you’re done, just wash with dish soap and warm water, dry and roll them up for simple out-of-the-way storage. Happy grilling, everyone!


Have you tried this innovative product? Tell me all about it, and share your results on social media with the hashtag #WhatsOnYourGrill. 


melissa maker’s top 5 laundry don’ts

If you’re as passionate about a clean home as I am and like to spend your free time perusing the internet for new housekeeping tricks, you may have heard of Melissa Maker. The young owner of Canadian cleaning service company Clean My Space dishes her impressive home-keeping know-how in peppy how-to YouTube videos. I had a chance to meet the Tide spokesperson at a recent event, and (after I snapped myself out of my star-struck daze) we got into a heated discussion on efficiently minded laundering. Here are Melissa’s top five laundry don’ts.


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new-use tuesday: sponge

As I wrote in the March 2015 edition of Style at Home‘s Housekeeping column, your kitchen sponge can harbour a ton of bacteria and ought to be disinfected rigorously and regularly. But in addition to some unpleasant surprises it might have in store, the sponge also holds tons of wonderful potential. Here are just a few of its handy alternate uses.

Meridian sponge holder, Umbra.

Meridian sponge holder, Umbra.

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order in the media room

No matter how well decorated, a media room or office loses its style factor once you factor in the colony of tech boxes connected to the TV or computer by a tangle of cords. Whether it’s the cable box or game console, the internet router or an external hard drive, what the tech lover in you craves, the decorator in you hates. That’s why I’m thrilled to have chanced upon HIDEit Mounts. The company makes affordable discreet holders for all those ugly tech accessories that you can mount up and out of the way. Some are made to hide on the wall behind your flatscreen, others can hang off your monitor. All of them solve the issue of unattractive electronics cluttering precious console and desktop space – because after all, those zones are best reserved for the likes of a pretty vase of flowers or a picture frame holding a sentimental snapshot. Am I right?


new-use tuesday: tea

This is the kind of afternoon best spent with a soothing cup of Earl Grey or orange pekoe, so I’m popping in to steep you in a little housekeeping know-how. That’s right, this week’s new-use spotlight is on tea.


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The ultimate wing chair makeover

Do you have a piece of furniture you’ve always coveted? Always longed to be yours? I certainly do.  And one such item recently landed in my possession and I haven’t stopped rubbing my hands together saying, “they’re mine, all mine” with a devious grin since.


This is the story of coveted family furniture and how the beautiful world of social media brought two people back together to help make beautiful things happen.


The item in question is a Wing Chair pair (with ottoman).  Originally purchased in 1975 by my mom and dad, they played a central role in many family events.


Here’s adorable little me celebrating my first birthday on the chairs. How cute was I? And how totally 70’s is that fabric?!!

The original wing chairs with a young @heathernheels via @styleathome

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