Learn how to properly de-ice your outdoor steps and walkways.
This winter, transform your outdoor steps and walkway from slippery to safe with these helpful de-icing tips and tricks.
Problem: Icy walkway
1 To remove the bulk of the ice, chip away at it using a long-handled ice chipper. The one you normally use for your car will work just fine. The ice will be thinnest at the edges, so start there, working inward.
2 If any ice is too persistent to loosen with the chipper, melt it using boiled water. Just be sure to have an absorbent rag at the ready to wipe up the water immediately after. The last thing you want is for it to refreeze and add to your workload. Wear thick rubber gloves to avoid scalding your skin.
3 Ultimately, when it comes to ice build-up, the best defence is a good offence. In the future, to prevent snow from melting down and forming into ice, ensure your your walkways are shovelled regularly. To make the work less back-breaking, explore your local hardware store for an ergonomic shovel.
If a bargain-sized bag of ice melter or traction aid is cramping the style of your front entrance, try placing it in an elegant lidded plastic storage bin like the Berkshire from Mayne ( Lowe’s, $178), which looks like an architectural feature. Keep a wood-handled scoop inside it for easy dispensing.
Illustration courtesy of Joanna Kim
Hold the salt
Rock salt has negative environmental and health effects that can’t be ignored. Try these green alternatives for fast slip-proofing.
(From top to bottom)
A volcanic mineral that provides instant grip for your soles, even in freezing rain. Traction aid, EcoTraction, $13.
Pooch-approved and stops new ice from forming for days with an invisible barrier. Safe Paw Ice melter, Pet Valu, $17.
A greener option from a trusted brand. Sifto Safe Step Ice melter, Canadian Tire, $8.
Elegant downloadable labels
If you're like us, you not only own a label maker but you also use any excuse to bust it out. It's time to expand your organizational horizons with these fun label templates that will make keeping your home in order super stylish and clutter-free chic!
HOW TO DOWNLOAD:
1 Click on the image (it will open in a new window).
10 colourful interiors
Hits of coral and blue in this living room have given this builder's home a custom look.
Rich tones in the rug and floral arrangements in this dining room give flavour to the space, while the colourful artwork gives life to the white walls.
Hits of blue everywhere -- from the seating to the rug -- makes this sitting area a perfect fit for its Hamptons seaside home.
This living space is a great example of how you can use several different patterns in a room, but unify them with a similar colour palette.
This dressing area makes a bold statement with vibrant coral walls and bright floral patterns.
An all-white living room is given new life with the addition of vibrant cushions and drapery.
Turn up the sophistication in a feminine boudoir with deep pinks, metallics and soft greys.
Every colour of the rainbow makes up this living room, set against white walls and furniture.
The bed coverings in this small bedroom give some character to classic white bedding.
The richness of the purples, oranges and browns in this office area give the space a vintage feel.
Celebrity chef Mark McEwan is no stranger to dinner parties - both hosting and attending them. Here, he shares his secrets to serving in style.
1 Wine pairings
People get so intimidated when it comes to wine pairings. I'm more liberal. I like a bright white wine like Stoneleigh's Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir is my go-to red. It pairs well with anything: duck, beef, pork - even halibut! My friend put it best: "Do you like the wine? That's great! Drink it!"
2 Hors d'oeuvres
When it comes to hors d'oeuvres, plan for 10 pieces per person for a cocktail party. For a dinner, four will work - you want people to be hungry when they sit down to eat.
3 The main meal
Don't over-complicate the meal. Just pick your main protein - whether it's brined ham or a prime rib roast - and choose a few seasonal sides. Having four items on a plate is plenty.
4 Go stress-free
Don't try to achieve too much, make the menu too elaborate or cook too many dishes. It will get you flustered, and a stressed-out host is fun for no one.
5 Preparation is key
Prepare a menu that can have 90 percent done ahead of time with 10 percent to finish when guests arrive. I think of everything I need and lay it out - serving platters and utensils in the exact places I'll need them, condiments on the table - so I'm not hurriedly searching through drawers when company's over. I prep everything in advance but save one item to finish in front of people. It could be fresh gnocchi (from dough I've already prepared) or a beautiful layered salad.
MARK MCEWAN'S TRUSTY DINNER MENU
Salad: Layer your elements in advance and make a show of tossing them together at the dinner table.
Prime rib: Prep it and all its elements - the side vegetables, the au jus - ahead of time and leave the Yorkshire pudding for last.
Yorkshire pudding: It's a great last-minute dish to make in front of guests.