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DELISHMAG.COM

*Live like you mean it.

Celebrate 3 No.

ISSUE

WINTER 2010


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) Editor’s Letter

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, DEAR READERS!

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If you’re here reading this page in our Winter, Celebration-themed issue, I must express my gratitude to you for taking the time during what is probably the busiest season of the year. You likely have a to-do list a mile long: cookies to bake, presents to make and wine to mull (I’d recommend starting with the wine). Or, maybe you’re one of those people who has every single thing done, in which case — I was going to call you a rude name, but I think it’s much more productive to invite you (or beg you, same diff) to come over to my house and help me. Please. (And thank you.)

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The stories in this issue celebrate the very best things in life — family, food, traditions, creativity and success. We’ve actually postponed some of our regular columns to make way for all of the holiday-oriented content that we wanted to bring you. I absolutely love December — there is just so much for me to celebrate during this big month. Our son Finn came home from the hospital last year on December 16th, and so this is and will always be a very special date for our family, and one worth celebrating. Then, it’s my birthday. Being born on December 21st means that my birthday often gets squished in with Christmas, but I have decided to look at this as just an extended celebration to get the party

HO HO HO!

started sooner and have it last longer! Finally, we will be moving mid-month as well — into a wonderful community that we have imagined as home since we discovered it some time ago. Christmas in our new place, with family and friends. It honestly doesn’t get any better than that. This month also represents the winding down of another year, and the starting up of a brand new one. Some would say that why and how we measure time is arbitrary, but there’s something to be said for new beginnings… fresh starts. For us here at Delish HQ, that fresh start begins now. We’ve been working our fingers to the bone and pulling some late nights to bring you these 94 pages of goodness. There are kids to love up, husbands to pay attention to, and sewing machines to dust off. Happy Holidays to you and yours, and the deepest wishes for happiness, health and success in 2011. We’ll be right there with you! Live like you mean it,

Tamara

ANNOUNCING THE GREAT BIG GIVEAWAY!

Delish and some of our best friends want to give our readers some presents! To enter, either sign up for the Delish newsletter here or“like” us on Facebook here. (ALL NEWSLETTER RECIPIENTS AND FOLKS CURRENTLY ON OUR FB LIST ARE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED!)

Draws will be made during the holidays, and prizes sent out in the new year — it’ll be like Christmas all over again… Return to the Delish blog and giveaways page to see an updated list of prizes as Santa’s elves get them ready!


delish* magazine

*Live like you mean it.

Celebrate IN EVERY ISSUE

Loves 10 Delish Lovely things that make us squeal a little. to Etsy 11 Heavens Haute Handmade.

of Mouse 12 Word What's on our current must-click lists.

13 A Little Birdy Told Us

These are a few of our favorite(d) tweets.

of the Cloth — Anna Maria Horner 46 Woman Written by: Tamara Komuniecki Inside stories of the men and women behind the fabrics, patterns and books that we love and use.

93 Words of Wisdom

Submitted by: Ben Merriman Sage advice on how to get through this crazy thing called life.

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WINTER 2010

66 FEATURES A Family Worth Celebrating Written by: Catherine Basso I’d like to say mine is just your average family, and, in so many ways we are. But as one of my teenage son’s friends pointed out to me, we are like a family you might see on one of the reality television shows on TLC… and I’m okay with that.

An Irish Christmas Written by: Annora Holland What Christmas is like in my part of the world.

Hooked on Candy Canes Written by: Dawn Mori Handmade candy canes create a magical holiday at two beloved candy stores.

Something for Everyone — The Delish Gift Guide

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LIVE MAKE By-the-Book DIY Written by: Tamara Komuniecki Crack (a book) before crafting…

DIY Project: Tile Coasters

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Written by: Lindsay Wilkes Celebrate the season with festive DIY tile coasters!

DIY Project: Candy Cane Bunting

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Written by: Maggie Brereton This sugary-sweet project is the perfect home decor for the holiday season.

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Written by: Tamara Komuniecki and Cynthia Merriman Naughty or nice, here are gifts for everyone on your list, at all (reasonable to “You really shouldn’t have…” price points.

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GROW Gardening For Your Front Door: Making Fresh Wreaths

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Written by: Stevie Rose How to make a natural wreath that is on point with trends and impressive at any budget.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Foodie/Gardener

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Written by: Jenna Edmiston What to eat to achieve optimal energy this winter season.

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Written by: Cheryl Arkison The winter months still provide some fantastic vegetable options when you strive to eat locally and in season. Celebrate those squashes, root vegetables, and leafy greens this year.

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Written by: Alia Shah Tasting the flavors of the holiday.

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NEST Good to Great Hosting Written by: Tamara Komuniecki Simple steps that go a long way in making your holiday guests feel welcome.

Written by: Kelsey Banfield Warm up your family with this great meal.

Eating for Energy in the Winter

Celebrate Root Veggies and Greens!

SIP Celebrating 2011 with an Adventurous Spirit!

Written by: Stevie Rose Gadgets, craft, and style come together in this list of pefect gifts for the modern gastronome or horticulturist.

TASTE Riffin' in the Kitchen — ­ The Ultimate Winter Lasagna

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READ Cat's Reading Corner Written by: Catherine Basso Book lovers, unite!

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JOURNEY Where in the World is Sarah?

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Written by: Sarah Marchildon Sarah says konnichiwa to an education and adventure in Japan.

WORK Chick Magnate — Not "Just" Eleanor Written by: Tamara Komuniecki The name of her web site (justeleanor.com) makes it sound like super-successful graphic designer Eleanor Grosch is no big deal. Her clients and students would beg to differ.

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CARE GIVE Celebrate Volunteering Written by: Dawn Mori Busy lives and technology change the way we volunteer, but not the reason why.

LOOK SHINE Natural Winter Beauty Secrets Written by: Gillian Young No money left over after your shopping but in desperate need of a beauty fix? Here are five tips for getting back the glow.

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BE BE DELISH! Delish DyVa / Ask the Instigator Written by: Dyana Valentine Professional instigator Dyana Valentine dishes out Delish advice

LET US LOVE WINTER, FOR IT IS THE SPRING OF GENIUS. ~ PIETRO ARETINO

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CO-FOUNDER Tamara Komuniecki DESIGN DIRECTOR/CO-FOUNDER Cynthia Merriman CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cheryl Arkison Catherine Basso Jenna Edmiston Tamara Komuniecki Dawn Mori Dyana Valentine Lindsay Wilkes

Kelsey Banfield Maggie Brereton Annora Holland Cynthia Merriman Stevie Rose Alia Shah Gillian Young

PHOTOGRAPHY Catherine Basso WEB DESIGN Green Couch Designs

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ADVERTISING 778.99MEDIA ads@delishmag.com E-mail: hello@delishmag.com Web site: delishmag.com Twitter: @DelishMag


DELISH IS...

Tamara

KOMUNIECKI / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

A journalist since 1994, Tamara Komuniecki has taken on every kind of story imagineable. Her experiences as a broadcast and print/web journalist include attaching herself to Siberian Huskies while on cross-country skis, covering murders, wars, fires and floods, commandeering a jet, learning to surf, and writing about anti-cellulite running shoes. Media aside, she has also worked as a figure model, a clown at the zoo, a 911 operator, and a production assistant for U2. She considers herself a happy, if imperfect, homemaker and bakes, cooks and quilts with great passion. Her interests include design and architecture, sewing, and her family. Tamara’s personal motto is “Only boring people get bored”, and so she leads her three best guys (husband Konrad, son Finn, and pooch Duane) on all the adventures they can handle.

Cynthia

MERRIMAN / DESIGN DIRECTOR

A lover of all things pretty, Cynthia Merriman is a graphic designer and owner of My Girl Friday Design Company. She has been designing for web and print projects for more than ten years, taking inspiration from the oodles of vintage and retro goodies she loves to surround herself with. When she can squeeze it in, she enjoys baking, reading the occasional novel or sewing an item for a loved one. Mum to three little ones and wife to a wonderful husband, she includes two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and a cat named Zero in the menagerie. She is currently shopping for ‘the’ perfect superpower that will help her combine the pleasures of motherhood and the pressures of owning a flourishing business. For now, however, all she can hope for is that the kids play nicely while Momma gets some work done.


CONTRIBUTORS WE'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF TEAM DELISH, AND OFFICIALLY WELCOME THEM TO THE FAMILY. MAGGIE BRERETON Maggie is a self-taught seamstress who sells beautifully handmade items for children and momma. She is a busy momma to three little ones, three and under, who are her inspiration. She loves all things momma and has had a knack for making things all her life. You can find her unique and one-of-a-kind goods at her etsy shop, SmashedPeasandCarrots.com, and you can read all about her life as a momma as well as many of her sewing and craft tutorials and delicious step-by-step recipes at SmashedPeasandCarrots.blogspot.com.

JENNA EDMISTON Jenna Edmiston is a young mother learning the art of balancing. She loves spending time in the kitchen with her five year old daughter creating healthy, wholesome meals. In between balancing family, work and her personal life, she tries to keep a healthy lifestyle with an open mind and heart. Head over to petitfoodie.com where she shares her thoughts on food, body image and children.

ANNORA HOLLAND Annora Holland comes from Cork, Ireland but after much wandering has found her little piece of heaven on Sydney’s northern beaches. Life in the sun and sand is hard to resist! She grew up with a camera in one hand and a drawing pen in the other and now works as a graphic designer in Sydney. Apart from recently discovering a love for her new sewing machine, she finds endless pleasure in the beaches she lives by, reading, baking (even when it burns!), drawing, painting, photography, typography, and all things paper.

ALIA SHAH Alia’s love affair with food and wine began during her sabbatical in Paris. One of her greatest pleasures in life is sitting around the table with a perfectly aged bottle of red, wonderful food and great company. After receiving her Advanced Diploma from the UK-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust, she began Alia Personal Sommelier. You can learn more about Alia on her website at winebyalia.com.

Thank you MEET OUR OTHER FABULOUS CONTRIBUTORS HERE...


DELISH LOVES Lovely things that make us squeal a little

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1. Want a pair of the bright tights popping up everywhere but wish there was a bit more in the support department? I am loving the new Fall colors of TightEnd Tights from Spanx. The combo of color and control has me jumping (read: struggling, huffing and puffing — but they work!) into my pair of Bordeaux Wine tights every time I have to leave the house stylishly. I wouldn’t mind a rainbow of these lovelies to perk up my wardrobe, AND my tummy and tushy.

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w $26 from spanx.com

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3. At a quick glance, they look like a fairly traditional set of Russian nesting dolls. But look a little closer and you see that they are 100% adorable, useful, and a practical kitchen companion. The M-Cups Measuring Cups by Fred are a set of 6 (1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 2/3 cup, 3/4 cup and 1 full cup), all which nestle together to form one pretty matryoshka. Store them easily in a drawer, or display them proudly on your counter — like I do!

w $9.96 from amazon.com winter 2010

w claudiaalan.com

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2. I was recently introduced to sunglasses from AYA Accessories’ Pacific Northwest Accessory Collection, and love wearing my black Althea frames. At $35, they are an affordable yet sophisticated-looking oversized frame adorned with truly beautiful First Nations artwork by artist Corrine Hunt, co-designer of the 2010 Olympic medals. Partial proceeds from every sale go to the OneXOne First Nations Nutritious Breakfast Program.

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4. I am by no means a seamstress or professional quilter, but I do like to dabble in a project for my family here and there. A new discovery that I wish I had been introduced to many, many pin-pricks-inthe-finger ago, is an absolute must-have for when I sit at the sewing machine! Roxanne's Glue Baste-it is 100% water soluble — you just need the smallest of dots to temporarily baste your fabric, appliqués or bias tape in place, and they will hold firmly until moistened or washed.

w $9.99 from amazon.com


HEAVENS TO ETSY Haute Handmade

EMMA LAMB I’m so into the sweet forever flower garland and petite garland from Edinburgh, Scotland’s EmmaLamb. Perhaps the finest example of her unique crochet styling is showcased in the Aggie decorative crochet floor throw, which is just so incredible. I’d love anything of hers in my home.

w etsy.com/shop/EmmaLamb

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TURKISH BATH

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to pamper myself more — more trips to the spa, and more spa-ing at home. I wouldn’t mind, then, to get an authentic peshtemal (Turkish bath towel) from Istanbul. Hand woven of 100% cotton, it is suitable for use at home, the pool, and the spa. Let the relaxation begin.

w etsy.com/shop/TurkishBath

HEY YO YO My new go-to destination for stocking stuffers, goody bag fillers and all around fun stuff, Hey Yo Yo’s shop is (as her banner says) dime-store delights, fanciful frills and whimsical notions! From classic popcorn boxes, to a pair of vintage deer toppers, this shop really does take the cake for me. etsy.com/shop/HeyYoYo

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PHYDEAUX

I admit that I’m looking forward to winter because then I get to bring out the comfy clothes. Everything in this etsy shop pretty much falls into that category. The Christmas Tree Lights scarf is so lovely and perfect for winter, without relying on the “typical” holiday colors. All the goodies here are original designs, hand-knit using luxury or artisanal fiber.

w etsy.com/shop/Phydeaux


WORD OF MOUSE What’s on our current must-click lists

A Cup of Jo New York-based writer Joanna Goddard’s personal blog is part fashion/part family (she and her husband Alex just welcomed new baby Toby into the fold), and all fabulous. Jo’s recommendations have informed many a purchase of mine, and when I miss a few days of her postings, I’ll relish a visit like catching up with an old friend.

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Great Lake Swimmers I visit here, the site for Canadian folk-rock band Great Lake Swimmers, nearly every day and make sure my speakers are on. A playlist automatically runs when you go to their homepage, and my favorite tunes of theirs (Pulling On A Line, Song For The Angels, and my absolute replay-ten-times-and-daydream-I’m-performing-it-unplugged current favorite Rocky Spine) make great background music for writing, reading, dining… anything. I have four of their albums on my iTunes, but this is a quick and easy way to get it playing on a laptop from anywhere.

w greatlakeswimmers.com Inchmark Brooke Reynolds' blog is stuffed full with inspiration, adorable crafts, kids’ library book reviews, birthday parties... I could go on. A former senior art director for Martha Stewart, she’s also a fabulous book designer. It’s my kind of happy place to spend a quiet afternoon (or even 20 minutes!) at, with a cup of tea!

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Damn You Auto Correct! Ever had one of those moments when — after busily composing a text and sending it off into the world — you realize that autocorrect completely butchered your conversation? Yup. And it can really make you look like a complete nutter at times. This blog features some of the funniest texting mishaps ever. I meant “tweeting,” not “teething” Damn you, autocorrect!

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A LITTLE BIRDY TOLD US These are a few of our favorite(d) Tweets

@karensugarpants: I think now is a good time to remind ourselves to be gentle with one another, please.

@KidGMan: I hate going to mechanics. They siphon out your cash just as quickly as the oil leaks out from the pan #oilchange

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@laurahana: Thought washing the car with the munchkin would be “fun”. That might’ve been the wrong word.

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@simonpegg: Staying in a hotel with glass lifts looking out onto a vast atrium. Whenever I go up to my room I can’t help humming the Superman theme.

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@waitinthevan: Son just told he was bored for the first time ever. It was a good run, guys.

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@HobbyMaster: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

@redheadstepmom: I was hoping my bumper had self-healed over the night, but alas, that’s not the case. Still looks like it’s been in a bar fight.

@pattonoswalt: Got excited when Stephen Tyler sat next to me on the plane & then it turned out to be Janice Dickinson.

Hey there! Find us on Twitter...

@DelishMag


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FEATURE

From Wikipedia: In human context, a family (from the Latin: familiare) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity (which refers being from the same kinship), affinity (which refers to a natural attraction of feeling or kinship, a relationship by marriage or common bond), or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Extended from the human “family unit” by affinity, economy, culture, tradition, honor, and friendship are concepts for family that are metaphorical, or that grow increasingly inclusive extending to the nation hood and humanism. The face of the family has changed so much these past few decades. Family is no longer solely defined by the boundaries of marriage, lineage, or co-habitation. Family, for me, has become something so much more — something bigger than I could have ever imagined, something so unexpected. Let’s start at the classic beginning. Boy meets girl, or girl meets boy, depending on whose perspective you are looking from. For now, we will stick to my perspective as I, said girl, am the writer and boy is quite shy and private about it all. (Though, he has graciously agreed to let girl tell our story; our family story.) So the beginning, as I have mentioned, is classic. Boy and girl are both in their very early twenties and em-

bark on a journey of love and relationship. Neither of them are really equipped at this stage, as young people never are, but they go ahead anyway, as young people do. Both bring baggage, both bring their past, both bring their dirty laundry, with hopes that the other might possibly be able to help them clean it. A year and some passes and girl becomes pregnant. Now, the world, as boy and girl know it, changes forever.

b I clearly remember the day I told John that I was pregnant, these are the kinds of days you don’t forget. It was on a pay phone in the mall by my work. (I know, a bit cowardly.) I was young, unsure, scared. I had already known for a couple days, and had it confirmed by my doctor. Now I needed to tell my boyfriend. So I went to the pay phone on my break, put in that quarter and called him. I cried, he was in shock, and everything shifted. Once I knew I was pregnant, the choice was simple. I would have this child. I would hunker down and do it. Once my head was wrapped around it, I knew that this child was meant to be, and I knew that I could and would be the best mom I could be. I began falling in love with the life that grew inside me. For John, as it is for most men even in marriage, it was a bit harder to get his head around. winter 2010

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John and I were still working it out together, but it was on-again/off-again and emotionally taxing for both of us. Both of us were in love with this child, in love with each other, but unable to get the pieces to all fit smoothly. It was about this time that we decided to move in together. This move quickly became the demise of “us". I was determined to make it on my own. Me and Nathen against the world! I soldiered forward and surrounded myself with armor. The next few years were hard ones for John and me — it was a very confusing time. We hurt one another with words and actions, but we still liked each other for the same reasons we always had. We would go to mediation to battle out our custody agreement, and then on break would go for lunch and share a meal and a laugh. Things seemed to get worse before they got better. I even considered taking Nathen and disappearing — this is how desperate our situation felt at times. I tried to hold on to the thought of the person I knew John to be, but it was a dark time in our relationship. When I met Steve, the man who would become my husband, things became even worse.

6 months along and with great expections

I always say to people that John and I battled down into a dark pit. We left no stone unturned… but by doing this, eventually there were no more stones to turn. At that point, there was no more tearing down. We actually got to the point of we had nothing left to do but rebuild.

The next nine months were a tumultuous time in our relationship. We were left to our own devices, trying to navigate a terrain that neither of us seemed quite equipped to trek. We did our best. Sometimes it was pretty, sometimes not so much. It was a tough time, it was an amazing time. January 19, 1994 our son was born. Nathen Richard Stjephan. Truly, one of the best days of my life. I was ready. I had bought into it all; hook, line and sinker. I had never been so in love with another human being as I was with this baby boy. The connection was instant and deep. For John, things were different — and though I do not want to indulge too much, for that is his personal story, I want to say that as a young man who had already been through a lot, his biggest obstacle was the fear of not being enough. This fear was a battle he needed to face. After spending a week or so at my parents’ I took Nathen home to my apartment in Burnaby that I shared with a family friend. I was over the moon and life played out, as it does, so quickly and before I knew it Nathen was turning two.

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A love like no other

This kind of rebuilding takes time. But, I gambled on John’s character. I gambled on the person I knew he was, and the love he had for our son. Shortly after, when Nathen was five years old, Steve and I became serious, and John met the woman who is still his partner, Danika. I attribute a lot of what we have now on these two amazing people — Steve and


When they came it also represented a turning point in our family relationship, and in the end it meant something to all of us. Time became the greatest gift of all. Time allowed us to ebb and flow… growing, shifting and shaping to our new normal, our new family. One particular time that stands out for me was once when John was late in picking Nathen up. I was feeling inconvenienced because I had to drive to a meeting, so I was already annoyed, and then he was late on top of it! Of course I held the anger inside, as Nathen was there, and our exchange was pleasant, and John did apologize for being late. But I drove away spitting-nails-angry. A moment between John and Nathen

Danika. They were key to our healing and moving forward. Both supported a healthy relationship between all of us, both loved Nathen and wanted to do what was best for him. Never underestimate the power of your new spouse.

Then my Spirit quietly asked me why I was so angry with John. She softly pointed out to me that I was so easily angered by what he did and I never really gave him a chance. She told me that I was still holding on to things from the past and as long as I

There were a few key events that caused huge shifts in bringing this family together. One of them was the death of my father from cancer in 1999. Death has a way of changing the steps in your dance. About six months after his passing I went to John, full of emotion and ready to take off the armor. I went to the home that he now shared with Danika, in a few suburbs away from ours, and we walked to the park across the street. To this day I am not even sure of what he heard or didn’t hear, as I cried through the whole confession. I poured everything out: apologies, regrets, my dreams for us, my hopes for our family. I realize now that it wasn’t so much for him as it was for me. This was a point of change for me. I saw that we had a chance to build something out of the ashes, and I wanted to take that chance, and I wanted him to know it. Another huge shift happened when John and Danika were guests at our wedding. Nathen was our motivation for inviting them, and it had a very positive outcome for him. He started to see that it was okay for him to love us all — that if we were okay with each other, then he was okay. March 23, 2002. Steve and I get married and John and Danika attend. A huge shift begins for all of us.

Christmas at Steve's parents' place. Nathen with his first catch.


due to scheduling conflicts. We started doing more family activities together as well — attending Nathen’s events together and even some of our younger son, Aiden’s events. As we did more and more things together our family began to solidify. Even for our friends around us, people started to get used to all of us as a package deal. Steve and my friends’ kids even started calling John John-Dad, the name we use to refer to him. Both Nathen and Aiden have come to us with very interesting questions over the past few years. Nathen once asked, “If Steve is my step-dad does that mean John-Dad is Aiden’s step-dad?” Aiden just asked me the other day, “Is John-Dad my uncle?”. I responded to him with a smile, and said no. He then asked, “Then why do you say that he is our family?” I explained to him, “Family is more than just blood or marriage. Because John-Dad is Nate’s dad, that makes him a part of our family. And because you are Nate’s brother that makes you a part of John-Dad and Danika’s family. So put us all together — we are one big family!”

Nathen's brother, Aiden, finally arrives — a long awaited gift.

did that he would never be able to be redeemed in my eyes. She told me clearly that as long as I continued to carry this anger, we would never have a chance to move forward. That was hard to take, but the words couldn’t have been truer. We all let each other down now and again. I had to look at it as if it was someone else being late and how I would react, and through that exercise I realized that I wasn’t being fair or just in any way. If it had been Steve, my husband, I may have said something, but let it go. It certainly would not have progressed to a place of spitting nails anger. It was another big learning lesson for me that allowed a release to happen in our growing relationship. Eventually John and Danika moved into our suburb and in fact moved just blocks away from us, allowing us to spend a lot more time with each other. We started by having family dinners once a week, missing once in a while

He totally got it. He simply knows nothing else. His favorite place to stay when Steve and I take some alone time is with John and Danika. Yes, it is true. My ex and his wife take care of the son I have with my husband when we go away. It is crazy — we all acknowledge that, but it is also such a blessing! When I asked Nathen about how he felt about his family he asked me, “In comparison to what?” For Nathen, this is the way it is. He knows nothing else.

Danika and me. The only women in this crazy family —we have to stick together!


is now no longer just about Nathen, it has become about Aiden too. It has become about all of us, as one family unit. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but the one thing remains the same — we are family. We are a family worth celebrating.

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Well, at first I was doing it for Nathen. But then after a while it started to be about all of us. Now there is a friendship, a relationship. Besides, John would be lost without me.

John showing his deep love and affection for Steve

Though when he is in trouble, I have heard him say that he wishes we didn’t all get along so well. I can empathize as I am sure having four parents who all work together as a unit, can be a little annoying as a teenager! Nathen is going to be 17 years old in January. If there is one thing that I can feel really proud of as a mom, it is my healed relationship with my son’s father, and the genuine love I feel for both John and Danika. Never could I have imagined life as it is now. Never could I have imagined the full family that I have been given. To me, bigger forces are working here. We are really there for each other, working it out together. It

We're just your average family — really!

Well, to me it is just common sense. Either you learn to get along, and everyone is happy or you don’t get along and everyone is miserable. Doing it this way is so much better, it’s really good! And besides, Steve would be lost without me. Our family is certainly unique. We do have separate lives but they intertwine, and we create love and support. We collaborate with each other, bounce around our thoughts, sound warnings, and celebrate together. This family gives us roots, it feeds us, and gives back… really nice when you consider the alternative! MORE of CATHERINE web: ourperspective.net


FEATURE AN IRISH

Christmas w WRITTEN BY ANNORA HOLLAND

LOCATION:

Cork, Ireland As the trees and decorations go up and the festive jingles seep through the shopping centers, I think about how my Christmas ce l e b ra t i o n s have changed Christmas Eve excitement! (Tracey, 7; Annora, 4) so drastically over the last few years. I have lived in Australia for two and a half years now and sitting here on the scorching beach writing this and my Christmas shopping list, watching the surfers, slapping on the sunscreen and wishing for an ice cream seems a million miles away from my cold, dark, snowy winter Christmas days of Ireland. Now the festive dinner isn’t the familiar roast turkey and trimmings but a seafood barbecue, mulled wine has been replaced as the drink of choice by a welcome ice-cold beer and Christmas day is in the middle of summer, not winter!

In Irish homes, it is tradition for the youngest child in the house to light a candle and place it in the front window of the house and this is kept lit throughout Christmas. It’s a symbolic gesture to offer hospitality and a place of welcome to anyone over the holidays and is said to hearken back to the ancient Christian Christmas Eve when Mary and Joseph could not find any shelter. With Ireland being a historically Catholic country, a lot of our traditions come from those beginnings. After this candle is lit and bedtime approaches, a very important snack is left next to the fireplace for Santa and Rudolph, lest they get hungry on their worldwide travels — a glass of milk and a carrot for Rudolph and some cookies and a Guinness for Santa. They always finished them. I always seemed to be the first to wake up in our house and would quietly crawl to the end of my bed to peek over the end. If he had been, then I would drag my sis-

As a little girl I knew Christmas was coming when my older sister would start examining Christmas adverts for additions to her Santa’s wish list. This was followed by excitement-filled weeks leading up to the big day, making decorations for the tree, going to the city to see the big department store window displays but also the dreaded threats of not getting anything from Santa if I was naughty. For us, Santa came on the night of the 24th sneaking into our bedrooms to leave his pile of presents at the end of our beds. Such excitement on this night, not only about our presents, but if this was going to be the magical night that we would finally get a glimpse of the man in red.

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It's all too much for some! (Annora, 5; Sarah, 2; Tracey, 7; Dad, too tired to answer)


traditional music bands, they go from house to house or have a parade to sing the Wren songs for a contribution that is donated to charity. It’s a little unsure when or how this started but some people theorize that the Wren celebration has descended from Celtic mythology. The origin may be a Samhain or midwinter sacrifice and/or celebration, as Celtic mythology considered the wren a symbol of the past year. I should also mention that a big tradition in Ireland now is the Christmas Day early morning swim. Hundreds of people flock to the cold rainy beaches to brave an icy dip in the ocean — again a way to raise money for charity. I’ll happily contribute, but you are more likely to find me wrapped up in my winter woollies to cheer them on! Not too sure about this guy... (Tracey, 7; Sarah, 2; Annora, 5)

ters from their beds and the Christmas chaos would begin! A few hours later we would be wrapped warmly to go to Christmas Day Mass, which as a young child seemed to just be a nuisance that took away valuable time with our new toys. Then it was home to fix the feast of the year — roast turkey and ham, roast potatoes, veggies, stuffing, gravy and those dreaded Brussels sprouts, all washed down with Christmas pudding for dessert. As in many countries, it is very important for family members to be together for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The 26th of December, commonly known as Boxing Day around the world, is called St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland, Wales and Newfoundland. This is a day for more festivities and visiting with extended family and friends, as well as endless turkey leftovers. This day is also the time for a visit from the Wren boys. This tradition consists of local boys dressing up in masks, straw suits and colorful clothes and, accompanied by

In Ireland, Christmas traditionally ends on January 6th when the tree is taken down and sadly packed away for another year. It is also known (in Cork, the south of Ireland where I live), as Little Christmas or Women’s Christmas and is a day to celebrate the women in the house and give thanks for all they have done, particularly over the holidays. Most women hold parties or go out to celebrate the day with their friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts. Children often buy presents for their mothers and grandmothers… a great day to be pampered! So this year I’m swapping the sunshine and beaches to go home for a real, dark, cozy, turkey-stuffed Irish winter Christmas. I now have a little nephew that I will be spending Christmas with for the first time so I’m excited to start those early magical Christmas mornings again!

Nollaig Shona daoibh go leir! (HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL IN THE IRISH LANGUAGE.)

Cork Spiced Beef

This is a dish that is popular in my part of Ireland — Cork, but isn’t really used around of the rest of the country. It’s very time-consuming so most people buy it from butchers, but it can be quite expensive because of it being labor intensive. It’s traditionally served on St. Stephen's Day (Boxing Day). INGREDIENTS: 6lb sirloin tip or eye of the round, topside or silverside of beef 3 bay leaves, finely chopped 1 tsp powdered mace 6 finely ground cloves 1 large clove of garlic crushed and made into a paste with salt 1 tsp allspice 1 tsp crushed black peppercorns 2 tsp ground ginger 1 Tbsp juniper berries, crushed 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, crushed 2 heaping tsp brown sugar 1/2 cup salt 2 tsp saltpetre 1 bottle Guinness

METHOD: 1. Mix all the flavorings and spices together. 2. Place the beef in a large bowl and rub all over with the spice and flavoring mixture. 3. Cover and refrigerate. 4. Rub in the mixture once or twice a day for a week; turn the beef as you repeat the rubbing-in process. The spices and flavorings will now be mixed with the juices drawn from the beef. 5. Tie up the meat firmly and place in a large pot. Rub in a last teaspoon of ground cloves. 6. Cover with cold water to which a bottle of Guinness has been added. 7. Simmer gently for 6 hours. Allow to cool in the cooking liquid. When cool, remove from the cooking liquid, place on a serving dish and cover with a weighted plate. 8. Refrigerate until serving time. 9. Serve cold, thinly sliced.


HOOKED ON

Candy Canes w WRITTEN BY DAWN MORI


PHOTO BY BREINNE MORASSE

FEATURE

he sights and smells of wintery treats are everywhere during the holidays. Homemade cookies and cakes will always be special but handmade candy canes are simply magical.

same simple pleasures that Walt Disney enjoyed as a boy in Marceline, Missouri.

Every year, two Southern California landmarks create these iconic stripey treats by hand. Logan’s Candies has been making candy canes in downtown Ontario, California, since 1933 and, on a few select days, you can find handmade candy canes on Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. in Anaheim.

The origins of the candy cane can be traced to the late 1600s when a German choirmaster handed out sugar sticks shaped as shepherd’s crooks as a way to keep choir children occupied during long holiday services. Candy canes would make their way to North America in the mid 1800s when a German-Swedish immigrant decorated his holiday tree with paper ornaments and candy canes. These holiday treats would not reach the masses until the 1950s, when the brother-in-law of a local American candy maker invented a machine to produce and package candy canes. Until then, candy canes remained a labor-intensive culinary process, limited to local distribution.

Both places serve as reminders of holiday traditions celebrated with family, friends and neighbors. Kids still press their noses against the window of Logan’s Candies, where owner Jerry Rowley and his staff will make more than 110,000 candy canes this year. “It’s a great time and a busy, busy season for us,” he says with a smile. Disneyland began making candy canes at the Candy Palace on Main Street U.S.A. in 1968, when an effort was made to expand homemade offerings at the Park. These holiday confections bring Disneyland guests the

“Very few places make candy canes by hand,” says Disneyland candy maker Rob McHargue. “The excitement that it generates with the guests is really special. Candy canes are a major show item — this is a lost art.”

Now automated manufacturing produces nearly 1.8 billion candy canes every year, with retail shipments made throughout the world. With that fact in mind, it will not

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PHOTO BY BREINNE MORASSE PHOTO BY BREINNE MORASSE

And indeed they are. Fresh candy canes are a blissful mix of light fresh sugar and strong cool peppermint. Tasting one is an unforgettable delight that will leave you with a new appreciation for the art of candy cane making.

be a surprise to read what makes handmade candy canes, created in small batches, so extraordinary. “Number one, it’s the freshness,” says Logan’s owner Rowley. “If you’re used to store-bought candy canes, when you try a fresh candy cane it’s totally different. The flavors are incredible.”

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It takes Logan’s Candies an hour and a half to make a typical batch of 400 candy canes, using its original 1933 recipe. First, generous amounts of sugar, water, and corn syrup are cooked in a copper kettle over an old fashioned open-flamed stove. About 45 minutes later, the resulting yellowish 20-pound mixture is poured onto a marble slab, then divided in two pieces. Red coloring is kneaded into the smaller three-pound piece, and pure triple-distilled peppermint oil is kneaded into the remaining 17 pounds. Rowley then throws the larger block onto a hook on a wall, pulling it like taffy for four to five minutes. The process requires a bit of strength, and eventually the candy turns a shimmery white. To create Logan’s signature multi-stripe candy canes, the red candy block is cut into two pieces. One piece is stretched to create a five foot long rope, which is then cut into five equal pieces. Each piece is placed next to the other on one side of the white candy block, while the remaining larger red piece is placed on the opposite side of the white block.


It is then up to Rowley and his candy crew to work fast as fast as they can. They pull, stretch and lift the candy, cutting off small sections with a stick. Each piece of candy is rolled for five to ten seconds, then one end is bent into a hook. Candy canes cool within 10 or 15 seconds and can sit upright after five to ten minutes. “We pull it, roll it, bag it. Everything is done by hand,” he says. This labor intensive process almost guarantees that while demand may be high, quantities will be limited. At Disneyland, candy canes will be made on just nine days this holiday season with guest purchases limited to two candy canes per person. Even then there is not a guarantee to the number of pieces available. According to the Disneyland Resort Merchandise team, “Only Mickey Mouse and the candy makers know the [exact] number of candy canes!” These days, third and fourth generation families make a stop at Logan’s part of their holiday tradition. “You walk in here and the store just has that smell of candy canes and chocolate and the store is completely decorated. It just brings back their childhood. Most people who bring their kids were here before as children, and they’re coming for their kids now,” says Rowley.

Handmade candy canes are part of Disneyland’s tradition as well. Disneyland undergoes a sparkling transformation for the holidays with special seasonal versions of It’s A Small World and the Haunted Mansion, a holiday parade down Main Street U.S.A., a 60-foot tall Christmas tree, and a breathtaking illumination of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle complete with a nightly snowfall. One of the most memorable moments, however, may be standing outside the Candy Palace windows, watching candy canes being made from scratch, a tradition that Disneyland Candy Makers believe add “that extra touch of magic” to the holidays. “It’s unique — this is something you are not going to find anywhere else,” says Disneyland candy maker Chris Thompson. “My favorite thing is the amazement of the guests who are watching. Lots of wows!” That excitement is echoed by Logan’s candyman. “Every candy cane is different, like a snowflake,” says Rowley. “I’ve been doing this for 37 years and I’m still amazed at every batch.”

Logan’s Candies

Disneyland

125 W. “B” Street Ontario, CA loganscandies.com

1313 S. Disneyland Drive Anaheim CA disneyland.disney.go.com/events/holidays

Candy Cane Demonstrations are held during the shop’s Family Weeks. Demonstrations are limited to available space. Please show up 15-20 minutes prior demonstrations to ensure availability.

Candy cane production will take place on nine days during Disneyland’s Holidays Season. Dates may shift and candy cane availability cannot be guaranteed. December 11, 13, 17, 21, 24 & 29, 2010

December 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 & 23, 2010 5:30 p.m. / 7:00 p.m. / 8:30 p.m.

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FEATURE

� SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE �

THE DELISH GIFT GUIDE

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w WRITTEN BY TAMARA KOMUNIECKI AND CYNTHIA MERRIMAN

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� UNDER $10 � 1. Save the man in your life the pain and annoyance of ripped-out earphones with the Curvyman™ Cord Organizer from Lee Valley. $3.50 at leevalley.com 2. Pottery Barn’s Monogrammed Pub Beer Mug will make him feel like he’s the owner of his own pub. $7 at potterybarn.com � $11 to $25 � 3. Everything he needs in an emergency can be found in the Survival Kit in a Sardine Can™, from Restoration Hardware. $15 at restorationhardware.com 4. He’ll appreciate the gift of light with this Waterproof Solar Flashlight from the purveyor of all things outdoors, L.L. Bean. $19.95 at llbean.com � $26 to $50 � 5. A great gift for a techie Lego lover — the Zip Zip USB Drive from the Curiosity Shoppe. $32 at curiosityshoppeonline.com 6. Give him this Recipe Cocktail Shaker from Pottery Barn and a bow tie, and let the games begin! $39 at potterybarn.com � $51 to $100 � 7. A heavy duty classic whether he’s on the job site, or just sitting at his desk — the Stanley Lunchbox, with 1.1 quart vacuum bottle. $75 at sundancecatalog.com 8. What’s old is hip again with the Vintage Radio from west elm. $99 at westelm.com � $100+ � 9. The Men’s Transforming Jacket is a jacket, backpack AND pillow, all in one attractive package. $225 at babyandmeboutique.com 10. He’ll stop traffic with a Recycled Street Sign Briefcase. $250 at uncommongoods.com.

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� UNDER $10 � 1. Give the gift of writing, and writing, and writing — the Seven Year Pen might just outlast even the most committed of journalers. $7.50 at delight.com 2. REI’s Life is Good Snuggle Socks are just the thing for chilly days and nights. $10 at rei.com � $11 to $25 � 3. Lotta Jansdotter candles at west elm — soy wax, soft scent and Scandi-inspired, and all under $20! $18 at westelm.com 4. A great gift for someone who really loves her coffee, the Heart Coffee Scoop form beehivekitchenware on etsy. $25 at etsy.com � $26 to $50 � 5. Sweet little stacking dolls are everywhere right now — invite them to a tea party with the Matryoshka Tea for Two Set from Urban Outfitters. $48 at urbanoutfitters.com 6. Support a handcrafter and make a lucky woman very happy with the exquisitely delicate Stepping Stones necklace from eRosasjewelry. $42 at etsy.com � $51 to $100 � 7. Slip a dainty piece of tied and knotted string on her finger with the Held Dear Ring. $58 at anthropologie.com 8. Don’t worry if she’s not a handywoman — just because the cute Striped Tool Box at Wallcandy Arts is a tool box, doesn’t mean she needs to use it for tools! $64 at wallcandyarts.com � $100+ � 9. The Kate Spade Polka Dot Natalie Cosmetic Case is the perfect place to stash her smallest necessities, lotions and potions. $145 at katespade.com 10. Pleasing to the eyes and ears, the colorful Sea Glass Bangle will delight with its beautiful beads and soft jingle-jangle. $150 at uncommongoods.com.

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� UNDER $10 � 1. The Fish Castanet by Plan Toys, available at BabyEarth, will delight little ones with a fun clickety-clack. $4.50 at babyearth.com 2. Fred & Friends Chopstick Kids are entertaining and useful for everyone, and great for teaching beginners. GIRL: $7.99 at kangarooboo.com BOY: $7.99 at kangarooboo.com � $11 to $25 � 3. A great design for adults to admire and kids to enjoy, the Modern-twist Placemat: Day at the Pond from Design Public. $17 at designpublic.com 4. Your little ballerina, space hero, fireman or fairy will absolutely love a Kidorable hanger set. BALLERINA: $20 at kidorable.com SPACE HERO: $20 at kidorable.com � $26 to $50 � 5. If baby boy is still too young to hit the ice, you can at least start getting him ready with Agoo Baby Hockey Huggers. $29 at agoo4u.com 6. Pink Glitter Toms Shoes are just right for the budding Princess or tiny fashionista. $34 at toms.com � $51 to $100 � 7. Modern Nursery’s Pint Size Gamma Food Chain Animals is a funny take on Matryoshka dolls. $50 at modernnursery.com 8. Stuff the Boon Trio Animal Bag from Modern Nursery with all those stuffed animals laying around a kid’s room, and you’ve made a cushy seat for the little one. $99 at modernnursery.com � $100+ � 9. Kangarooboo’s Wooden Trike by PlanToys has the whole retro/mod thing going on, and is just right for a hip kid. $139.99 at kangarooboo.com 10. The Eames Elephant — very expensive but very very cool — and that’s all we can say about that. $345 at babybot.com.

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� UNDER $10 � 1. The Clip On Uglybot will find a comfy home and a purpose in life, holding onto keys or gracing your kid’s backpack. $6 at uglydolls.com 2. Shut off the TV and get their noses away from the videogames with the awesome 52 Boredom Busters for Kids. $6.95 at chroniclebooks.com � $11 to $25 � 3. Send the kids out for adventures of their own, but not without consulting “The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Gross Junior Edition”. $10.99 at chroniclebooks.com 4. Mini iPod Dock Speakers are a great gift for musiclovers — portable, battery-free, and they save eardrums when the volume is up at 11! $19.99 at chapters.indigo.ca � $26 to $50 � 5. If skincare and appearance is becoming important to a young one in your life, the Spacell facial sponge 3 pack from Bliss will introduce a really great way to clean and exfoliate skin. $28 at blissworld.com 6. Vers’ wooden 1E Earphones are like a symphony hall for the ears. $50 at exclusivelyhome.com � $51 to $100 � 7. Perfect, really, for any age, the Bearded Beanie by Taraduff is fun and funny gift for a teenage boy who hasn’t yet sprouted his own facial hair. $55 at etsy.com 8. Wallcandy Arts’ Chalkboard Wall Panels can be stuck anywhere and used for doodles, to-do lists and even “STAY OUT OF MY ROOM!” messages. $58 at wallcandyarts.com � $100+ � 9. Simple Shoes’ Overload Bag is sturdy enough to get through anything, anywhere, from any kid. $100 at simpleshoes.com 10. Help a young one decorate his or her space, with Dwell Studio’s super-cool Squares Dove Grey Sheet Set. $132 at dwellstudio.com.

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of entertainment for the entire family as your big turkey dinner digests. $5.99 at ourgreenhouse.com 2. Say “Merry Christmas, poochy!” with the Orbee-Tuff Bulb chew toy. $8.95 at sitstay.com � $11 to $25 � 3. A wonderful testament to people and the pooches they love – Photobook Dogs features portraits of dogs whose owners took them to a… you guessed it… photobooth! $14.95 at chroniclebooks.com 4. Curiosity didn’t kill THESE cats, it just made them incredibly entertaining — the Curious Cats book is perfect for the feline fan. $16.95 at chroniclebooks.com � $26 to $50 � 5. A lucky pooch will have a comforting and comfortable sleep on a Molly Mutt dog duvet stuffed with his owner’s old clothes and blankets. $38 at mollymutt.com 6. The Marmalade pet care Wall Flower Scratcher can left on the floor or wall-mounted for the kitty who just loves a good scratch. $42 at exclusivelyhome.com � $51 to $100 � 7. The Binky Bird Feeder will help create a whimsical backyard paradise for all kinds of feathered friends, and those who love them. $60 at uncommongoods.com 8. Not only do the Holden Designs Pet Feeders from Design Public look über-cool, but being higher off the ground, they’re also easier for pets to eat from. $94 at designpublic.com � $100+ � 9. For the dog owner that has everything, surprise them with a Custom Dog Portrait from permanentmagenta on etsy. $125 at etsy.com 10. The ModKat Litter Box will delight the kitty cat design aficionado. $185 at exclusivelyhome.com.

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� UNDER $10 � 1. Uncommon Goods’ Emergency Clown Nose — because you never know when you’ll need to get a laugh. $5 at uncommongoods.com 2. The Driinn Mobile Phone Holder is a convenient little helper that will prevent all sorts of problems. $7.33 at amazon.com � $11 to $25 � 3. The stylish Travel Tea Tumbler from Chapters asks — why should coffee drinkers get to have all the fun? $17.99 at chapters.indigo.ca 4. MightyNest’s Glass Water Bottle is best described by what it doesn’t have than what it does: no BPA, phthalate, lead, or PVCs. $20.95 at mightynest.com � $26 to $50 � 5. The Eames House of Cards from the Curiosity Shoppe features images of things that Ray and Charles Eames called the “good stuff” — that they can be stacked, piled and locked for fun makes them even better. $35 at curiosityshoppeonline,com 6. The Gurgle Pot provides a lovely, entertaining soundtrack to accompany the perhaps mundane task of pouring liquid. $40 at gurglepot.com � $51 to $100 � 7. A Pendleton Wool iPad cover from The Good Flock will be a great gift for the techie outdoorsperson in your life. $59 at thegoodflock.com 8. Nau’s Down Scarf will be a welcome giver of warmth to a chilly man or woman this winter, with a bonus — hand warming pockets are hidden at either end. $65 at nau.com � $100+ � 9. America and Canada Embroidered Pillows are the gift that keeps on giving — in the form of comfortable and cool geography lessons. $196 at uncommongoods.com 10. Exclusively Home’s Magno Small radio is perfect for a home with Mad Men/Mid-Century Modern-inspired decor. $200 at exclusivelyhome.com.

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Be sure to come back to this page in every issue of Delish for the MOST delish books on craft, decor and more..

LIVE: MAKE

By-the-book

DIY

Time may well be in short supply during this busy season, but homemade gifts are wonderful to give — to friends, family…and yourself! It’s worth it to dedicate an afternoon or even grab a few minutes here and there at the sewing machine or on a comfy chair with knitting needles or crochet hook in hand. You’ll find great inspiration for projects in the pages of these books.

w WRITTEN BY TAMARA KOMUNIECKI

Warm Knits, Cool Gifts: Celebrate the Love of Knitting & Family with More Than 35 Charming Designs Written by Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter/Potter Craft Another great book by the mother-daughter team who brought us Mother-Daughter Knits, this book provides inspiration for knitting as well as for the giving of knit gifts as a token of love. This passage from the introduction makes me want to get my needles out right now: “I hope you use this book to honor that tradition by busying your hands, delighting your senses and warming your heart.” Beautiful. Standouts for me are the delicate My First Lace Scarf, the cozy-comfy Hooded Scarf, and the hug-in-a-garment Christmas Morning Sweater. $22.99 at randomhouse.com

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$17.15 at chapters.indigo.ca


Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-Off Socks and Gloves Written by Miyako Kanamori/Home If you haven’t discovered Japanese sewing and craft books yet, you owe it to yourself to take a few minutes (or hours) to browse through some. The photography and presentation is stunning, and you’ll want to make just about everything you see… if only you could understand the instructions! The great thing about Sock and Glove is that it’s an English translation of a Japanese book. This book is a few years old, but the 13 delightful projects inside will help to take care of that pile of mismatched socks, gloves and mittens, and help you cross a few lucky recipients off your gift-giving list. $9.84 at amazon.com $11.02 at chapters.indigo.ca

Sew Charming: 40 Simple Sewing and Hand-Printing Projects for Home and Family Written by Cath Derksema and Kirsten Junor/Potter Craft All of us who love to sew for ourselves and our family and friends, pretty much have access to the same fabric — sure, there are a few sources for imported textiles, but they’re so costly you practically hate to cut into them. The authors of this book (Australian designers of the popular fabric line Prints Charming) teach you designing, printing and embellishing, to transform and personalize your fabric… and, it follows, your clothes and quilts and more.

$24.99 at randomhouse.com

$19.13 at chapters.indigo.ca

Small Stash Sewing: 24 Projects Using Designer Fat Quarters Written by Melissa Averinos/Published by Wiley Who doesn’t love fat quarters? They’re a great way to pick up just a bit of a fabric you love, and they’re cheap and easy to store. If you’re like me, your fat quarter pile just gets higher while you decide what to do with them. Why not try a couple of the 24 great projects in this book, for yourself or as gifts? Sassy shoelaces for your tween, the Apron for All for your best friend, and the Daydreamer Lap Quilt for me. What? $11.55 at amazon.com $15.19 at chapters.indigo.ca FOLLOW the AUTHOR web: yummygoods.com twitter: @yummygoods


Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts Written by Martha Stewart Living Magazine/Published by Potter Craft This tome from the domestic doyenne herself is aptly named; it is so comprehensive and chock-full of great explanations and projects that there’s no better word for it than encyclopedia. Project patterns and templates are provided on a CD affixed to the inside back cover, and instructions are clear to follow within the book’s pages. Perhaps the only weak point in the book is that projects are not rated by difficulty, but it’s pretty obvious looking through the instructions whether something is for a novice or an expert. Give this as a gift and the recipient could be kept busy until the next holiday season.

The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room Written by Mary Adams/Watson-Guptill I was immediately captivated by the dress on this book’s front cover, as I would just luuurve to wear something that beautiful for a dressy New Year’s Eve party. Inside the book there instructions on how to make that fine frock that I dare say even I could follow, and there are also extra goodies like “Party Tricks: Essential Techniques” — covering things like French seams, piecing, ruffles and more, and “Party Colors: Inspiration and Ideas for Combining and Layering Color” — including how to make color work for you. Sewing one of these per the instructions of the author — couture designer and dressmaker Mary Adams — is the next best thing to actually having one sewn by her. $24.99 at randomhouse.com $18.47 at chapters.indigo.ca

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$23.10 at amazon.com

$28.38 at chapters.indigo.ca


Don’t pay boutique prices— get creative and recycle!

It’s not about how much you spend, but what you can make from the things you find. And now, with FABRIC REMIX, Sandy Stone proves that decorating “scavenger style” is not only eco-friendly, but gorgeous. It has all her stitchery secrets for transforming unexpected materials—like canvas signage!—into one-of-a-kind accessories you’ll love to show off.

$19.95 ($23.95 CAN), in paper

LarkCrafts.com


DIY

LIVE: MAKE Tile Coaster Tutorial w WRITTEN BY LINDSAY WILKES

THERE'S

nothing

better

than a handmade gift for the holidays. These pretty coasters are made from inexpensive tiles from the hardware store, and are embellished with fun, designer

scrapbook

paper.

Make them as a gift or make them for your own home — they’re so easy and cute, it might be difficult to stop at just one set!

SUPPLIES CHECK-LIST 4 square tiles from your local hardware store (4.25" x 4.25") 4 pieces of scrapbook paper (3.75" x 3.75") 4 pieces of felt (3.75" x 3.75") Mod Podge Glue (i.e. Fabri-tac or other strong adhesive) Clear acrylic sealer

1 Gather your supplies. Cut felt and paper into 3.75" x 3.75" squares.

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2

Brush one coat of Mod Podge on tile.

Place one piece of paper on center of tile. Allow to dry.

3

Brush on another coat of Mod Podge on top of paper. Allow to dry 15 minutes and repeat two to three more times. After Mod Podge is dry, take tiles outside and spray with clear acrylic sealer (follow manufacturer’s instructions). The sealer makes these tile coasters water resistant.

4 5 Allow coasters to dry completely. Once dry, glue felt squares to the bottom center of the tile.

Wrap four of these coasters up with some beautiful ribbon and you’ve got a gorgeous handmade gift. If making these for yourself, try using seasonal holiday paper to match the coasters to your holiday decor. And finally, grab yourself a cocktail and toast to a wonderful holiday season! ... For more great DIY projects, creative ideas and delicious recipes, visit Lindsay at The Cottage Home! THECOTTAGEHOME.BLOGSPOT.COM


DIY

LIVE: MAKE Candy Cane Bunting w WRITTEN BY MAGGIE BRERETON

I LOVE the holidays, and decorating my home with my family while sipping on hot chocolate is the perfect start to the season. With winter and snowy weather fast approaching, get into the festive spirit by making this pretty and colorful Candy Cane Bunting to brighten up your home for the holidays.

SUPPLIES CHECK-LIST (6) 3 x 36 inch strips of fabric, three coordinating colors (1) 8 x 36 inch piece of fusible interfacing 2 yards of jumbo ric-rac or wide ribbon in a coordinating color Candy cane template Disappearing ink pen Scissors or rotary cutter and mat Pins, thread and sewing machine Iron and ironing board

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1 Cut two strips of three coordinating fabrics measuring 3 x 36 inches each. These will be sewn together to form your candy cane design.

2

Place two of the strips of fabric (I used a red swirl and a white fabric) with right sides facing each other and sew a straight stitch down the length of one side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

3 With wrong side facing up, spread the fabric open and press the seam towards the darker colored fabric.

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4 Next, take the remaining strip of coordinating fabric (my remaining fabric was a red gingham) and place it right side facing to the right side of the white fabric. Sew a straight stitch down the length of the fabrics with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

5

With wrong side of the fabrics facing up, press the seams toward the darker colored fabric side. Do the above steps to the remaining three strips of coordinating fabric and set aside.

Gift idea

6

FOR A SEWER Fabric Organizers from $6.54 at thefabricorganizer.com

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Take your length of fusible interfacing and, following the package directions, iron it to the wrong side of ONE of your candy cane fabric pieces.


7 Layer the two pieces of candy cane fabrics right sides together, with the fusible interfaced piece facing the bottom. This way you can cut the front and back of the candy canes at the same time.

Take your candy cane template, I just freehanded mine making it 8 inches tall by 5 inches in width, and place it on top of your candy cane fabric at a slight angle to give your candy canes those classic slanted stripes. Trace the candy cane onto your fabric using a disappearing ink pen. Cut each candy cane with a pair of sharp scissors or use your rotary cutter and self-healing mat.

8

9 Grab your jumbo ric rac or ribbon and lay it out on a table so it is not twisted.


10

Starting about 12 inches from the end, place the back of the first candy cane underneath the ric rac and then the front of the candy cane on top of the ric rac, making sure wrong sides of the fabric are facing each other. Pin in place, being sure to catch the ric rac with the pins near the top of the candy cane.

Sew around the entire candy cane using a straight stitch and a 1/4 inch seam allowance. This will allow your candy canes to fray at the edges a bit, giving them a nice vintage feel. Continue placing your candy canes on your ric rac about 4-5 inches apart. Just remember to leave about 12 inches of ric rac at the end for hanging your bunting.

11

That’s it, you now have some sugary-sweet bunting to decorate your home for the holidays. And remember that you can incorporate so many fun fabric colors or even use red and white felt to make this pretty vintage style bunting. Let your imagination run wild! ... For more great DIY projects, festive crafts & yummy recipes, visit Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots! SMASHEDPEASANDCARROTS.BLOGSPOT.COM

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LIVE: MAKE - WOMAN OF THE CLOTH -

Anna Maria Horner w WRITTEN BY TAMARA KOMUNIECKI

There are many reasons to get all fangirly over Anna Maria Horner. First of all, there’s a pretty good possibility that if you love to sew, fabric from one of her collections — from Drawing Room to Innocent Crush, or any of them in between — is in your stash. Second, if you like ultra-feminine clothing and I-musthave-one bags, you’ve probably got one of her popular patterns (like the Study Hall Skirt, Socialite Dress and Multi-Tasker Tote) in your pile. You might also have made a great project from one of her two books, Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing, and Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. Third, you might also be lucky enough to display Horner’s signature style in other products for the home, like pillows, rugs, aprons and towels. Finally — and you might not know this even if you love her fabric, patterns, books or housewares (and you certainly wouldn’t have guessed it, because… how does she find the time?!) — Horner is a mother of six children, ranging in age from 19 years to 18 months. To be where she is in her industry, which is to say, the top, requires hard work, talent, dedication to her art, and a head full of ideas. It also requires extra heaping doses of those things that all working moms struggle with — schedule juggling and multitasking. For Anna, artistic fulfillment and business success goes hand-in-hand with raising a family, and the many hours spent with a baby when one must purposefully slow down the clock, have actually helped her get to where she is.

“I do think that being a creative person, those sort of mundane tasks that you have to involve yourself with just for the care and keeping of your family,” she says, “are really wonderful opportunities to let your mind wander on ideas that you’ve had, and kind of seal up some otherwise jumbled thoughts about one project or another. Or if you’re visually-minded as I happen to be, even visualizations of the things that I want to come together. I can actually make decisions, through folding laundry or nursing or cooking or whatever it might be. I don’t feel like that doesn’t make me wholly present in the moment, or I don’t feel guilty about not completely ingesting Good Night Moon for the seven thousandth time. You can either call it preoccupied or you can call it using your time wisely!” Delish recently sat down for an inspirational chat with Anna Maria Horner, and found out just who and what goes into the impressive artist/author/designer/mother title.


and then having a baby right along with it. I don’t know whose idea that was! It did in the end, end up being this packaged up bottle of a couple of years for me that, having some space between it being finished and now, I can look on very fondly. It was a huge challenge as you might imagine. Q. WHAT IS ONE ESSENTIAL PART OF YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? A. I have so many processes I don’t know if I could pinpoint one sort of mechanism of any one of them that would always have to be present. If they shared anything in common at all, it’s the visualizations of that thing that I’m doing, whether it’s a print or how a sleeve should be sewn onto a shoulder, or how the layout of the web page should be.

Q. YOU HAVE SUCH A RANGE OF PRODUCTS AND THINGS YOU DO — WHAT CAME FIRST? A. As far as the business model that you see now, fabric came first. But predating fabric, I’d been designing small collections of products for companies for a handful of years before I did my first fabric line. Those were mostly small giftware and tabletop items and paper products and things like that, nothing that I would consider really branded under my name, but more like freelance artwork for several companies. At one point I was working with about 24 different companies on various collections of things — nothing as expansive as a line of fabric. But through working on that, kind of that vein, that’s when I was approached by Free Spirit to do a line of fabrics. But then predating all that kind of freelance artwork, my first line of work was my own line of clothing that I did for five years. I think that I’ve never been attracted to the idea to get famous or popular for one specific thing, because I think sometimes that ends up shooting longevity in the foot. It’s sort of like nothing that big really lasts for that long. You can’t always be in the limelight for whatever you’re doing, if you want a company to last for years and to be a brand that you’re proud of, and what you’re working on to be passed down to the rest of your family. Q. HANDMADE BEGINNINGS – I FELT THAT THIS BOOK HELPED ME GET TO KNOW YOU AS A MOTHER AND SOMEONE WHO HAS SUCH A LOVE FOR CHILDREN. WHAT WERE YOU GOING THROUGH WHEN YOU WROTE IT? A. It was a very personal book, one that I felt very close to as I was doing it, kind of intimate — almost too intimate sometimes for me, because I was really going through the motions of expecting and preparing for

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I think it’s really just seeing it in my mind. I get ideas about things and I’ll write down notes but sometimes, and often it’s at an unexpected time, I’ll visualize it. I’ll see a lot more details of it in my mind’s eye. I know that’s a little vague, but the fact of the matter is, every day is a little bit different. It’s all a matter of what I happen to be working on, because it fluctuates between being pretty technical, as far as sewing and writing instructions and those sorts of things, drafting patterns, html for my web site… and then a very small percentage of what I do is sort of free-form creation.


That fabric will be available in Spring, as part of my next collection Loulouthi, which means “flower” in Greek. Q. IS THERE A CERTAIN PERSON THAT YOU KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU DESIGN? A. I definitely do. Sometimes those people are imaginary, but sometimes they’re specific; it’s a person that I know. Sometimes it’s a category of person — what I think that person does and how she looks and what she wears. I think that I have those sorts of muses in mind more when I am arranging color for collections.

Q. WHEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING IN MIND, HOW DO YOU TRANSLATE THAT FROM MIND TO FABRIC, DO YOU GO MOSTLY TO THE COMPUTER OR IS YOUR FIRST TOOL BY HAND? A. It comes in in many different ways, it comes out always the same way. It’s always by hand first, and often times I’m sketching. I get it in my mind and write it out — very often these sketches have lots of words in them. I might write something down, like I have one print that, for lack of a better way to describe it, it’s kind of like plaid jellyfish. It sounds really ugly and disgusting, but I wanted these buoyant forms that felt like flowers that sort of had these spiny ribs going in both direction, which kind of ended up looking like plaid. It was all just because of watching some nature documentary on underwater life. I was so inspired by how this one video scene was of a whole team of jellyfish and it filled the screen like a repeat pattern and it looks like flowers, because they were all so spherical and had centers. It was so floral. I committed it to my mind, just sitting there with the kids one night, watching this and having popcorn. I thought, “Oh I want something sort of transparent but floral and sort of aquatic-like.” I scrolled through all these videos on Netflix trying to find that scene again and I never found it, I could never find the exact frame that I saw. It made me wonder if I imagined it.

This upcoming collection that I have in the Spring, I named each of the three palettes after my three daughters. And I think just so much because I couldn’t stop thinking about my oldest daughter Juliana when I was arranging these colors — sort of moody but cheerful, if that’s possible. It’s a unique group of colors and they just sort of work against each other and work well together too. Because one palette reminded me so much of her, I then used my other two daughters and their personalities and spirit to inspire the next two palettes.


It felt like the right time to do it because I wasn’t forcing that on it, I wasn’t coming up with it because I couldn’t come up with nothing else. Q. IS THERE ONE PLACE YOU TURN TO FOR INSPIRATION OR DO THINGS POP INTO YOUR HEAD ALL THE TIME? A. Really, just taking some time off to sew and make things for myself, I find inspiring. I usually come back around to figuring out what more I want to do, what colors and types of fabrics still aren’t in my stack that I wish I had. The number one thing I learned at school as a Fine Arts student was that if you know what you’re doing you can take one idea and run with it for the rest of your life, if you continue to allow yourself to look at it in a new way. So, with that in mind, I don’t think that I personally need a ton of input. I still feel like my fabric collections are just re-clarifying what I have done previously, or constantly trying to restate what I think is beautiful and it just comes out just a little bit differently every time. Q. WHO WORKING IN TEXTILES TODAY DO YOU ADMIRE? A. There’s really honestly too many to name, but probably if I had a personal favorite it would have to be Denise Schmidt. A lot of that might be because I love her personally. I think that it’s sort of like — it’s hard to buy clothes that you feel you don’t look good in — it’s hard for me to buy fabric that I don’t feel complements mine well. I think that what she does and her scale and her aesthetic and the very deliberate quality that she has about her work is such a kind of contrast to what I do, which is very layered. I physically love what happens when I use her fabric with mine and I love her palettes, I think her palettes also balance my brighter colors as well, so I enjoy working with her fabrics probably than any more designer.

Q. DO YOU SEW PRIMARILY WITH YOUR OWN FABRICS AND WHAT DO YOU MAKE? A. I sew with my fabrics because that’s what’s here and also just out of practicality. I seldom get to make something for myself that doesn’t serve some second purpose of being shown for inspiration or promotion of my goods. But I do love to sew things for my little girls, and I like to make quilts. I’m hoping in the near future to find some time to do personal sewing. It’s just like what everybody else makes; clothing for themselves and their kids, and things for their home. Q. WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR WORK? A. I think it’s sort of the loop of creativity that happens, and the knowledge of things that I’ve spent my time on becoming part of what other people spend their time on and then enjoying for years to come. Because me designing fabric is just the first step in someone else’s creative process, really. And so it’s sort of like getting to be the first step is very exciting. You really feel like — and I know this for a fact because of how I buy fabric — what I get to do gets to be the source of inspiration for someone else. So it’s pretty meaningful to me. There is just the guilty pleasure of getting to draw and color too. The percentage of time where I’m actually doing that is a lot smaller than people might imagine, but that’s just the facts of life when running a business and enabling yourself to do it for a living. There’s just a whole lot of grunt work that goes into it. It’s not pretty.


Q. DO YOU EVER WORRY THAT THE CREATIVE WELL OF IDEAS WILL DRY UP? A. No — that’s the least of my worries! It could be just my mind playing tricks on me because I always have the notion that I don’t have enough time to implement all the ideas that I have. And maybe it’s healthier that way, that I am too busy to implement everything, because I feel like there’s always something there waiting to be done. Maybe if I had nothing but my design work, maybe I would still, like there’s too much empty space there and too few ideas wallowing around and plenty of time. On the days you can’t get to them you feel like you’re kind of chasing after them and trying to do it but on the days when you’ve got the time to do it it’s more like they’re just staring at you. MORE of ANNA web: annamariahorner.blogspotcom


LIVE: GROW

GARDENING FOR YOUR FRONT DOOR:

Wreaths MAKING FRESH

w WRITTEN BY STEVIE ROSE

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EVERY YEAR I like to hang a different wreath

SUPPLIES

A fresh wreath makes for an individual work of art that smells as good as it looks. Florists and garden centers are wonderful places to find one to suit any style but if you are feeling adventurous, a homemade wreath made with garden clippings or purchased greens, can be most gratifying.

INSTRUCTIONS

on my front door during the holidays to celebrate the season and welcome my guests with style. I’ve amassed a collection of wreaths to match the holiday season trends of sparkly red berries, Christmas ornaments, peacock feathers, and square-shaped boxwood but my favorites are most certainly natural, fresh wreaths.

Given the current popularity of lateral space gardening, there are supplies available for all sorts of wreath plantings. Evergreen, succulent, moss, and flower wreaths are beautiful micro gardens that will suit amost any style or climate. Care will vary depending on what type of planting you decide on, but many will last for months, if not years, with a couple weekly squirts of a spray bottle.

• • • • • •

evergreen foliage grapevine wreath pruners gloves twine berries, twigs, pinecones, ribbons (optional)

STEP 1:

Gather a variety of foliage, berries, twigs, pinecones, ribbons, and anything else you want to add to your wreath. Some of the evergreen cuttings that work very well are: holly, cedar, cotoneaster, yew, pine, pieris, boxwood, laurel, camellia, fir, cypress, and magnolia. I like to contrast needles with broad leaves, and vary the color, but a wreath made of entirely one type of foliage can be incredibly dramatic. Also, think about tucking in herbs like rosemary, sage, and lavender into the foliage to add a delightful the aroma to the evergreens.

I like to use clippings from my evergreens to make my front door decorations. With a few inexpensive supplies, I’ll end up with a wreath that rivals a $100 florist shop design, and takes me less than 30 minutes. Here’s how:

1


2

STEP 2: Using a grapevine wreath as your base, start by choosing a firm branch with a stem thick enough that it will not bend easily. Add other cuttings of different foliage on top and gather the bunch in your hand. Snip off any long stems.

STEP 3:

Using the twine, wrap around the bunch and the grapevine wreath together a few times until secured. For the first bunch, tie a knot in the twine to hold it in place but do not cut the end of the twine.

3 STEP 4: Gather a second bunch of foliage. Lay this bunch

overlapping the twine securing the first bunch to the wreath. Wrap twine around the base of the new bunch a few times and set down. Continue adding foliage to the wreath by overlapping the previous bunch and securing with twine until there are no more gaps to fill.

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STEP 5:

Secure the final bunch by gently lifting the foliage from the first bunch and tuck the stems under it. Secure with twine and tie off the final bunch with a few knots.


5

are special to you. And hunting for branches, pinecones, and berries can be a fabulous family activity outdoors, which you’ll be reminded of whenever you walk through your front door.

6 STEP 6: Now take a last look at the wreath. You can tuck in a few more greens to even out the design or add a few embellishments such as pinecones (using florist wire to attach them), berries, ribbons, or even ornaments.

STEP 7: Hang and enjoy! The final word on making a perfect wreath: have fun with it! Experimenting with different foliage will allow the wreath to become traditional or modern, contained or wild, themed or everyday. Adding heirloom ornaments or gorgeous ribbons will only add to the beauty of your creation and showcase any holiday items that

TO READ MORE on GARDENING, VISIT ME AT: web: gardentherapy.ca twitter: @garden_therapy

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LIVE: GROW

Holiday Gift Guide

FOR THE FOODIE/GARDENER w WRITTEN BY STEVIE ROSE

SODASTREAM HOME SODA MAKER Do you know someone who loves bubbles but hates waste? The fabulous SodaStream would be the perfect, and unexpected, gift. The SodaStream Fountain Jet Soda Makers let you make soda and sparkling water at home in 30 seconds, with no plastic bottles or cans to recycle — making this an easy choice to replace the weekly non-alcohol six-pack. Here’s the bonus: the culinary possibilities open up an effervescent new world. Ditch the canned cola and add real fruit juice to make a healthful soda. Try a squeeze of lemon or lime, lavender, basil or mint leaves, or vegetables like celery or cucumbers to garnish and flavor. The adventurous can forage for wild berries and make a simple syrup to add complex taste. And you can really pack a punch with an infused vodka like orange-cinnamon or blueberry. The SodaStream is a modern beverage maker that when given as a gift, will add sparkle to the eyes as well as the glass of the lucky recipient.

w Starter kit available from $94.80 at amazon.com

CUISINART ICE-21 ICE CREAM MAKER When the weather outside is frightful, homemade ice cream can be quite delightful. The last thing you may be thinking about is ice cream in the chilly winter months, but I bet the bakers in your life will disagree. Pumpkin pie and fruit cake yearn for a scoop on top and if you haven’t tried eggnog ice cream, you haven’t really lived. The Cusinart ICE-21TQ Frozen YogurtIce Cream & Sorbet Maker is a modern wonder that whips up a creamy delight in just 20 minutes, with no churning or salt needed.

w $49.95 at amazon.com

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FRESHLIFE AUTOMATIC SPROUTER The modern hippy in your life will really dig the modern way to grow healthful greens right on your kitchen counter. No soil required — this carefully controlled climate of the FreshLife Automatic Sprouter will grow wheatgrass, microgreens, and sprouts in just a few days, adding freshness to the winter months.

w $97 at amazon.com

BOGS Mucking around in the well, muck, could use a little pretty, and colorful Bogs boots definitely do the trick. Not too pretty to be practical, the serious gardener will appreciate the features. They are 100% waterproof, made of natural hand-lasted rubber and a four-way stretch outer shell. Plus, watch out snow, these Bogs are perfect for the frozen tundra, being comfort rated from temperate to -40°F.

w $99.95 at amazon.com

HERB PLANTER SET A great gift for chefs, a modern, self-watering herb planter set is a thoughtful gift that says, “Invite me for dinner, I love your cooking!”. Plant a few herb starts from your grocery or garden store or give with some seed packages and potting soil.

w $10.95 at leevalley.com

Great Stocking Stuffers ETHEL GLOVES Tried and true, long-lasting gardening gloves that appeal to the fashionista? Don’t let the pretty florals or cheeky snakeskin print fool you, these babies are brawn and brain. The two-way stretch fabric on Ethel Gloves keeps them comfortable in small, medium, large or kids’ sizes, while features like rubberized grip, extended cuff, and reinforced fingertips are sure to protect your manicure. When you are done in the garden, toss them in the washer and watch that pretty lemon-yellow fleur-de-lis pattern come right back to life.

w $18 at amazon.com

AUTHENTIC HAVEN BRAND MOO POO COMPOST TEA If you have organic fanatics in your home, they’ll appreciate all-natural soil fertilizers in a unique package — a tea bag! Authentic Haven Brand offers a full line of all premium soil conditioner teas made from cow, horse, or alfalfa manure. Simply steep the bag and get an organic batch of fertilizer for your indoor plants, holiday plants and live cut Christmas trees. Bonus, add a bag of Moo Poo to the kids' stockings and watch them squirm. That should be good for a family laugh on Christmas morning!

w 3-pack for $19.95, 9-pack for $28.95 at manuretea.com.

HANDMADE BATH PRODUCTS Buy your loved ones some allnatural handmade bath products or buy a kit and make your own. This Scentimental Creations Tub Fizzer Kit contains all you need to make your own bath bombs from scratch— an easy 30-minute project that will result in awe at your chemistry genius. All ingredients, 5ml pure essential oil blend, herb mixture, mold and complete instructions are included to make a dozen Tub Fizzers.

w $24 at scentimentalcreations.com HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEEDS

With over 600 varieties of heirloom tomatoes on the market, you’ll be sure to find the perfect picks to fill everybody’s stockings. Perhaps someone in your life could use a Peacevine Cherry or Sweetheart Grape? Does Nebraska Wedding, Snow White, or Jersey Devil trigger a memory? Maybe you’ll choose your garden faves like Zapotec Pleated, Yellow Stuffer, or Green Zebra. Whatever the choice, trying something new can be the gift of this gift.

w uppercanadaseeds.ca, westcoastseeds.com, tomatofest.com

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~~~ RIFFIN' IN THE KITCHEN ~~~

Winter Lasagna

The Ultimate

w WRITTEN BY KELSEY BANFIELD

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LIVE: TASTE

there is one dish that sums up winter for me it is lasagna. There is something about the warm-youup-to-the-tips-of-your-toesness about it that fits so perfectly with cold weather. I estimate I make lasagna at least once, if not twice, a month from January through April. My mother was a big lasagna maker when I was little. She always assembled it early in the day when we were napping or building snowmen in the backyard. (She was, obviously, the original Naptime Chef.) Then it would sit in our fridge until she was ready to bake it at dinnertime. I would usually spot the prepped lasagna in the fridge at some point during the day, and then I would cease all snacking until dinner. I wanted to be ready for every cheesy bite.

or for casual gatherings with neighbors. When guests make the long, cold trek to our house they always seem thrilled when I pull the big bubbly casserole out of the oven. It is comfort food at its finest. Every guest piles their plates high with a big stack of beef, noodles and creamy red sauce. I love to serve it with crusty garlic bread and a big green salad — easy sides that require very little preparation. The weathermen in the Northeast are predicting a long, cold winter ahead. As the flakes begin to fall and frost forms on the windowsill I know what I’ll be making. Stirring beef, making the sauce, layering the noodles — I’ll be assembling lasagna and serving it to everyone I know. We’ll all be warm and toasty with our hearty meal and I hope you’ll be, too.

These days I assemble lasagna while my daughter naps, then bake it at dinner. I make it for just our family

Cheesy Beef Lasagna

the beef and sauce together for about 10 minutes, until sauce is slightly thickened.

9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions 10 ounces ground beef 2 teaspoons minced garlic 28 ounces spaghetti sauce 15 ounces ricotta cheese 1 egg, lightly beaten 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, dried and chopped 1 pinch red pepper 1 pinch nutmeg 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, spinach, nutmeg and pepper until completely incorporated.

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

4. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until warm and bubbly. If the cheese begins to brown too much, cover the lasagna with aluminum foil while baking. Serve hot with garlic bread and a great big salad!

2. In a large skillet, cook the beef with the garlic until it is no longer pink. Drain any grease. Add the tomato sauce, reserving 1/2 cup for later. Simmer

3. Spread a small amount of the sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Layer on three of the cooked noodles. Top the noodles with half of the ricotta and half of the beef sauce. Top with a second layer of noodles. Repeat layers of ricotta and beef. Top with remaining three lasagna noodles. Pour the reserved tomato sauce over the top of the noodles and sprinkles with mozzarella cheese.


LIVE: TASTE

EATING FOR ENERGY

IN THE WINTER w WRITTEN BY JENNA EDMISTON

Are you sick and tired of the winter blahs? I don’t know about you, but the second the temperature starts dropping all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a big mug of full fat hot cocoa. Staying motivated to eat healthy through the frigid winter months can be very challenging for everyone. But, keeping up with a healthy regimen even when there’s a blizzard going on outside is crucial for fighting off germs and keeping the weight off.

LEAFY GREENS: A few of the most popular leafy greens include; kale, escarole, spinach, swiss chard and arugula. Loaded with flavor, they are a great source of vitamin C, iron and calcium. Spruce up your soup with a small handful of your favorite green or add some spinach to your next fruit smoothie. I promise greens won’t kill you! They are wonderful once you get your palate acquainted with them.

There can be many obstacles that cause the winter months to be so brutal for our healthy diets. With winter comes holidays and with holidays come many celebrations with enticing, high-fat foods. It is near impossible to avoid all the holiday treats.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: This yummy vegetable often times gets a bad rep for tasting bad. But when seasoned and prepared right they are delicious and a great source of vitamins C and B.

This winter instead of being a couch ornament, feed your body what it needs to be the life of the party, all season long. Here are some foods that will keep going no matter how long your holiday to-do list is.

GRAINS: Whole grains release sugar slowly and steadily give your body energy. Grains contain a ton of vitamin B which is essential for maximizing energy. Next time you are buying bread, make sure you are reaching for the whole grain bread, not nutrient-devoid white breads.

OLD FASHIONED OATS: Oats are a great source of energy. They are packed full of fiber, protein and vitamin E. When you are looking for a warm comforting meal, reach for a big bowl of oatmeal. ORANGES: Oranges are such a great winter fruit. I love their sweetness and they make a great grab-on-the go snack. They are full of iron boosting energy, plus, they are loaded with vitamin C, to ward off any nasty bugs trying to get your immune system down.

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SALMON: Salmon is a wonderful winter food. It is full of vitamin D (the vitamin that makes us happy, literally) and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a great protein source that has high amounts of vitamin B. For the perfect light dinner serve a salad with a small piece of grilled salmon.


LEGUMES: Beans are such a wonderful source of protein. They are budget-friendly and are packed with iron, protein, fiber and vitamin B, and they keep your blood sugar stable. Incorporate beans into your weekday lunch and say goodbye to mood swings, fatigue and nasty afternoon crashes. Be sure to increase your water intake, sleep and exercise during the winter months. Keep coffee, alcohol, white flour and sugar to a minimum. Remember, the

SPRUCED UP BRUSSELS SPROUTS 1.5 C Brussels sprouts 1 T extra virgin olive oil 1/4 C dried cranberries 1/4 C walnuts, chopped 2 t soy sauce 1 t brown sugar 2 T orange juice 1/2 C orange juice Preheat oven 370ºF. Cut Brussels sprouts in half and place on a baking sheet. Combine olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, 2T orange juice. Pour orange juice mixture over Brussels spouts and massage the mixture into the sprouts. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, soak cranberries and walnuts in 1/2 cup orange juice. Remove Brussels spouts from oven. Drain cranberries and walnuts from orange juice. Toss together cranberry mixture with the Brussels sprouts.

PASTA AND BEAN SOUP 2 sticks carrots, chopped 2 celery ribs, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 small onion, chopped 3 C chicken broth 2 C water 1 C small pasta soup, (I used alphabet) 1 can bean of your choice 1/2 C kale, chopped 1/4 t pepper 1/2 t salt In a medium pot sauté carrots, celery, onion for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté for 1 minute longer. Slowly add broth, stir up brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer on medium low for 3-5 minutes. Add water, beans and pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Add salt, pepper and kale 3 minutes before serving. Serve with whole grain bread.

holidays are all about enjoying the season, so why not make the most of them? Give your body the best gift this year: good health and endless energy. MORE of JENNA web: petitfoodie.com


LIVE: TASTE

NOURISHING SEASON OF EATS A

w WRITTEN BY CHERYL ARKISON

THE middle of winter is a serious test to any

devoted locavore. Who am I kidding? It’s a test for anyone, particularly those of us in northern climates. Sure, we can go to the grocery store and get the same tired stalks of broccoli or clump of lifeless cauliflower. We can throw in some potatoes and carrots and call it a day. But, that gets real old, real fast. Visit a farmers market in the winter, however, and it is a different story. That is, if your community is lucky enough to have a winter market. The aisles will likely be full of crafts and easy to navigate because the social shoppers will be home with their broccoli. Hidden among the organic baby clothes, hand knits and goat milk soap will be stacks and stacks of squash, beets, turnips, cabbage, and yes, potatoes and carrots. And if you are really lucky, a good section of winter hardy green stuff like kale, swiss chard, and spinach. Often considered a dead zone for eating, unless you want to survive on pallid and boring imports from South America or New Zealand, January and February in the Northern Hemisphere are actually quite a rich months for eating. We’re coming off the holiday high and rampant excess, but searching for warmth and comfort from our food. The weight and nutrition of winter vegetables easily fits the bill in a way that broccoli can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I like broccoli just fine. But I like a roasted beet or a pile of kale or a smashed squash much better. There is something inherently comforting in the ritual of seasonal eating. Tomatoes taste better in the August sun partly because there is August sun.

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Asparagus tastes incredible right out of the field partly because we’re so excited to have something to finally harvest. A roasted squash warms up the house when it bakes and fills our tummy with much needed carbohydrates and vitamins in the cold, dark months. Winter vegetables are not boring — far from it, in fact. They are blank canvases for flavor. Rich and comforting on their own, they are easily elevated with the addition of creative hints like Chinese Five Spice Powder, Smoked Paprika, Moroccan Coriander, or curry. Experiment with your favorite influences. For example, do you love Thai curries? Try cooking some cubed squash in coconut milk with lemongrass and curry paste. Dreaming of a Mexican escape? Slice cabbage thin and toss with limes, chili, garlic, and cumin, with


a shot of tequila. Or go back to the root (pardon the pun) and search out recipes from cold climates to enjoy winter favorites. Red cabbage braised in apple cider and served with sausages and mashed potatoes makes a fine Friday night dinner. Borscht, made with big red beets, is a classic winter soup. Still sticking with my Ukrainian influence, I’ve started adding kale to my bacon and onions topping the classic winter comfort food of pyrohy.

Here are more ideas to make the most of the season in the kitchen, when the weather forces you inside anyway. - Saute kale with bacon and frozen corn for a satisfying side dish. - Substitute blanched swiss chard for spinach in your lasagna.

- Add turnips and squash to your favorite stew recipe. - Roast a few beets, peel and let cool to add to a salad of greens, grapefruit, and feta cheese. Top with pomegranate seeds for more color. - Add parsnips or celery root to your mashed potatoes. - Is risotto on the menu? Stir in some cubed, lightly steamed squash when you add the rice. - Braise cabbage with onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, and orange juice for an exciting side dish for lamb sausages or chicken. Turn on the oven, sharpen your knives, and set to in the kitchen. The act of cooking this winter just got a little bit better — the act of eating divine. MORE of CHERYL web: backseatgourmet.blogspot.com twitter: @cheryl_arkison

- Add a layer of sweet potatoes or thinly sliced squash to scalloped potatoes. - Make a crisp using squash instead of apples for a unique side dish.

KALE CHIPS Serves 2-4 as side dish or snack Kale chips, not potato chips — let’s just get that out of the way — but, these are better! Kale chips have a crunch that disintegrates as soon as you bite into them. They do taste green (which is a good thing) but they also carry the taste of the salt and spices you toss them with as soon as they come out of the oven. If you are a salty snacker, try adding kale chips to your bowl. Ridiculously easy to make, fast, and full of real flavor that you control. This is snacking at its best. 1 bunch kale – purple, green, or lacinato (or a combination) olive oil salt seasonings (smoked paprika, truffle oil, seasoned salts, cumin, black pepper, lime juice, chili powder, Chinese Five Spice Powder…) 1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. 2. Wash and dry the kale very well. Cut out the stiff rib and cut the leaves into 1-2 inch pieces. 3. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the kale with a light drizzle of olive oil. Go easy on the olive oil to have crisper chips.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Give the kale a gentle toss halfway through. 5. Remove from the oven and toss with a generous sprinkle of salt and seasonings of choice. (Smoked Paprika and Chinese Five Spice Powder are our favorites.)


ROASTED SQUASH & BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PANCETTA & MAPLE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE Serves 4-6 as a side dish Roasted vegetables are by far my favorite kind of vegetable. It doesn’t matter the actual type, but I always love them roasted. Potatoes, carrots, beans, tomatoes, and yes, squash and Brussels sprouts. Roasting brings out a food’s natural sweetness. The caramelization that occurs on the outsides, while the insides turn meltingly soft, is incredible. If you’ve got someone who doesn’t like Brussels sprouts, this recipe is likely to convert them. If you want, you can leave them out too and stick with the squash. Or substitute any of your favorite winter vegetables like sweet potatoes, turnips, beets, or carrots. Just watch the roasting times if you swap out vegetables.

OPTIONAL GARNISH: Toasted and chopped hazelnuts

1 medium/large butternut squash 1/4 pound thickly slice pancetta (or substitute thick cut smoked bacon) olive oil 1 lb Brussels sprouts (or 1 stalk, trimmed) 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

5. Roast for 20 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, shaking the pan to toss them with the olive oil as well. Roast for another 15-20 minutes.

VINAIGRETTE 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. 2. Cut the neck off the squash and set aside the bulbous base for another use. Cut the top off. Standing the neck on end, slice off the skin. From top to bottom, cut the flesh into 1" slices. Then cut each slice into strips. Finally, cut the strips into 1" chunks. 3. Cut the pancetta or bacon into thick chunks. 4. On a rimmed baking sheet toss the squash and pancetta with a generous drizzle of olive oil.

6. While the vegetables are roasting, make the vinaigrette. Put all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well. 7. When the vegetables are done, they should be soft and sweet. Put them directly in your serving dish and drizzle with the vinaigrette. (You will have vinaigrette left over, reserve for salads). Top with the chopped rosemary and nuts, if using. Serve immediately.


TURNIP & PEAR SOUP

Serves 4-6

For an entire season and then some, I struggled with getting my entire household to enjoy turnips. I roasted, I barbecued, I mashed, I sweetened, I steamed, I gave up. In the end I blamed the farmer for giving me bad turnips. I know, that’s rather lame of me. This year I vowed to find a way to enjoy them. I’ve actually found two! For one, I add them to stew, alongside my carrots and potatoes. In the second instance, they are the base of this incredibly delicate and nourishing soup. Roasting the turnips first sweetens them a bit. The addition of pear and garnish of bacon elevate the taste. Omit the bacon and use vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian. 6 medium turnips 1 onion olive oil 2 slices bacon (optional) 4-6 cups vegetable stock 2 ripe pears 1/2 cup cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. 2. Peel and chop the turnips into roughly 1" chunks. Peel and cut the onion into quarters. Toss with a generous drizzle of olive oil on a large, rimmed cookie sheet. Toss with a bit of salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes until soft. 3. While the turnips are roasting, heat the stock. Peel and dice the pears. Cook the bacon in a clean frying pan until crispy. Crumble the bacon and set aside. 4. Place vegetables in a large pot with the pears. Add stock, 1 cup at a time and puree with an immersion blender. Alternatively, puree in a large blender, carefully. Add stock until you reach the desired consistency. 5. Just before serving stir in the cream, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with bacon.


LIVE: SIP

w WRITTEN BY ALIA SHAH

In 1688, a near-blind Benedictine monk named Dom Pierre Perignon became the treasurer and cellar master in Hautvilliers Abbey, located in the Champagne region in France. He feared that his pale red wine was becoming no match to the deep-colored red wine being produced in the neighboring region of Burgundy, which was quickly becoming the King’s preference. However, producing light red wine was unavoidable due to the region’s cool climate. During the winter months after an early harvest, the wine was being bottled long before it had reached peak fermentation because the barrels were becoming

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PHOTO BY GEISHABOY500

When I think of the word celebration, the first thing that comes to my mind is the sound of a cork popping and the clinking of flutes overflowing with Champagne. It has toasted billions of special occasions, attended countless parties and shared many special moments between two people. Champagne is a timeless, seasonless and universally-appealing wine associated with joy and festivity. It’s hard to imagine that this renowned sparkling wine was in fact, a mistake! Legend has it that the bubbles so synonymous with celebration were an accidental discovery by Dom Perignon.

too cold. As the warmer spring climate “reawakened” the fermentation process in the bottle, the results were bubbles! Frustrated with this serious defect in the wine, Perignon and his abbey brothers started blending several types of grapes and removing the skins in hopes of altering the wine’s chemistry. So began the art of blending and the first white wine ever produced. Perignon tasted the new lighter bubbly wine he had created and exclaimed, “Come quickly, brothers! I’m tasting stars!”


Sometimes the best outcomes are a result of a little adventure and determination. What now embodies the heart of celebration was nothing more than a mere experiment. This season, I encourage you to be unique and spice up your holiday traditions with new flavors of winter. Be adventurous, because just like Dom Perignon, you never know what you may discover!

Top Five Ideas

to liven up your holiday celebrations 1. Toast the holidays with Champagne.

an equally delicious alternative that would be a hit with any dessert (especially airy, fruit-based ones) is a Moscato d’Asti. With its grapey sweetness, refreshing bubbles and low alcohol content, it is easy to enjoy this wine.

2. Try pairing red wine with your turkey dinner. It is the general consensus that

4. Invite your closest friends over for some festive cocktails. The smell of winter to me

white wine should be paired with your traditional holiday dinner. However, the right bottle of red can offer a wonderfully satisfying experience by bringing out the subtle flavors in both the food and wine. Try pairing your turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce with a fruity Zinfandel from California, a New World Pinot Noir or a Beaujolais Nouveau (a French lightbodied red wine that is released in November after two months of aging). If you are feeling particularly adventurous, match your meal with an Australian dry sparkling Shiraz. It will adapt to each bite and bring out the best in all of your ingredients.

3. Find the perfect pairing for your holiday dessert. Whether you are in need of

livening up your Christmas pudding or want to add a new dimension to this year’s English Trifle, serving it with a special dessert wine will transform the experience. The key to pairing wine with dessert is that the sweetness of the wine must be at least equal to the dish, or else the dessert will seem sour. Pedro Ximenez Sherry (known simply as PX Sherry), Tawny Port, Madeira or an Australian Liqueur Muscat are all rich, raisiny fortified wines that are perfect matches to winter flavors. If you are not a fan of fortified wines,

PHOTO BY GEISHABOY500

There is no better way to start a meal than with a glass of Champagne. Whether you are entertaining a large gathering of friends or starting the evening with your special loved one, serving Champagne as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to hors d’oeuvre puts a sparkle in both your glasses and your smiles! It is incredibly versatile with food and is an especially great match with caviar, smoked salmon, oysters and lobster. When choosing the right bottle, keep your eyes out for the descriptors “Blanc de Blancs” which means that it was made with 100% Chardonnay grapes and will emphasize young, vibrant and crisp flavours; and “Blanc de Noirs” which signifies that is has been made with Pinot Noir grapes and will be fuller-bodied and richer.

is the fresh, familiar scent of a Douglas Fir tree. How about being able to serve this sensory delight in a glass? Kathy Casey, chef/owner of Kathy Casey Food Studios in Seattle has done just that with her Douglas Fir Sparkle Cocktail. The steps are very simple and require few ingredients. Infuse a bottle of gin overnight with a tender piece of Douglas Fir. Before serving, shake the gin with lemon and some simple syrup and top it with a splash of Champagne. Voila, the taste of the holidays in a glass!

5. Give the perfect gift. You don’t have to spend

a fortune to find the perfect gift. Give that special someone a taste of luxury and let them know they are truly unique by giving them an equally unique and rare bottle of BC-made Gin. From Victoria, British Columbia, this gin is handmade with love in small batches using a wood-fired pot still. For $49.99 CDN, Victoria Gin is a delicious spirit that can be shared, celebrated and sipped by the fireplace throughout the winter season. MORE of ALIA web: winebyalia.com twitter: @WineByAlia winter 2010

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LIVE: NEST

Good to Great

HOSTING w DRAWINGS BY TYE GIBSON

w WRITTEN BY TAMARA KOMUNIECKI

In the frenzied rush of cooking, cleaning and general readying of our homes for visitors (either daytime guests or those of the longer term, stay-overnight variety), somehow their needs can actually fall by the wayside. With a bit of planning and effort ahead of time, in just a few simple steps you can proudly move beyond being a good host, to secure the title of Best Host Ever! (But don’t go overboard — you do want your guests to leave eventually, after all.)

Make a list and check it twice. Take a look at your daily routine and try to think back to the last time you traveled and stayed with someone else, or even visited for a day. What sort of items do you commonly forget to pack, in the rush to get out the door? What do you never bring, but always wish you did? Some of the things I might list are: -personal care items like comb, brush and hair dryer -slippers, especially during a cold time of year -lint brush or tape roller, particularly if there is a pet in the household You won’t actually have to spend much money to provide many of these items, and what you do have to

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buy, you can always give for the next guests to use as well. Keep in mind that even gathering up things your guests might need and putting them in a lovely package is a very nice touch, and can actually make the difference between being a good host, and a great one.

Give them a warm welcome. It’s winter and, at least in northern climes, it’s cold out there. Have a basket or box of slippers at the door, and once guests step out of their shoes, they can slip into something warm and welcoming. They’ll feel cared for and right at home, immediately. GOOD HOST You could provide a whole bunch of spa slippers but to me, they’re not as comfy as knit ones on cold floors, and they probably won’t last as long. GREAT HOST If you can knit or crochet, you could always make your own, in a few sizes so that all guests are covered.

w

Simple Crochet, $19.95 at randomhouse.com, feature a pair of easy-to-make slippers.


Extra-warm socks are also a nice option to provide for guests who might only have the coverage of thin tights or even nylon stockings, for a dressy dinner. Let’s be realistic here, once the sun goes down and temperatures plummet, comfort will trump fashion, and no chilly guest will mind that the socks you provide don’t go with her outfit.

w

Toe-UpSocks for Every Body ($22.99 at randomhouse.com) has some really great socks, featuring the toe-up technique.

w

The awesome handknit Cabled SlipperSocks ($18) from knitwit4ever on etsy are also a great option to keep tender tootsies warm and dry. Now, not only feet get cold, so be sure to put the same thought and preparation into throws, quilts, blankets and the like. Perhaps you do not make them part of your decor (displayed on the back of your sofa, or something similar), and so if it’s not easy for a guest to just grab one, make sure your party prep includes bringing out and stacking a few of your favorites for your guests to use as a warm wrap or lap quilt as needed.

Eat, drink and be merry. If you have food sensitivities, are a vegetarian or are the parent of a child with allergies, it will come naturally

to you to ask your guests about their own preferences and needs. But if you’re used to just eating whatever you want without thought or fear, try to put a bit more effort into the meal planning for your guests. Start by sending out a simple email ahead of time, asking about any sensitivities or potential problems. GOOD HOST Provide alternatives to any foods or drinks that are problematic for a guest: soy milk as well as regular cow’s milk, and margarine in addition to butter. GREAT HOST If you will be hosting a vegetarian or someone with an allergy or sensitivities, making sure you have enough for them to eat for any meals they will be spending with you, will go a long way towards making them feel welcome. For a non-meat eater, rather than one dish without meat, have a few different options available. Ask in advance what sort of snacks they enjoy at home, and have these on hand. There’s nothing worse than a hungry guest.

Provide for all their needs. It’s, of course, usually the items that we need the most that we end up forgetting. Making sure you can provide for just about any eventuality or emergency is a thoughtful gesture. GOOD HOST In addition to the towel/hand towel/face cloth stack that you’ll leave for each of your guests, a well-prepared host will have a collection of full or even sample-sized items that might have been forgotten. A small soap, shampoo and conditioner, and toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss combo will be gratefully appreciated when you guest discovers that any of these items were forgotten. GREAT HOST Provide for all of their needs, discreetly, and you might even save your guests some potential embarrassment. A bottle of natural air freshener PooPourri sitting on the back of the toilet or bathroom counter will provide a welcome breath of fresh air for all who need to use the facilities. (This is a great little product that keeps the peace in many a household — in case you’ve never heard of it, it’s a toilet bowl deodorizer that you spray over the toilet water before you go — and it really works!)

w The Poo-Pourri 2-oz. Toilet Spray, $10.50 at amazon.com

A small collection of sanitary products for women, left in the most obvious of places for such items (under the sink or in a drawer in the washroom), can really save a friend or relative in an emergency situation.


Good night, sleep tight. In an effort to keep your guests comfortable once they’ve hit the sack, provide a collection of pillows of varying softness, and have a few extras with pillowcases easily accessible. Stack them on a dresser or chair, or even pile a few extras on the bed so no-one has to go looking for them in the wee hours of the morn. Also provide an extra blanket or quilt — draped over the foot of the bed, one is lovely for decor as well as taking care of those this-isn’t-my-house-so-Ican’t-turn-up-the-heat-in-the-middle-of-thenight chills. Extra-special step: Spray pillows with a slumber-inducing spritz of a lavender essential oil mixture and leave it on the bedside table for your guests to enjoy.

w Aura Cacia Mist — Lavender,

4 fl.oz spray, $5.10 on amazon.com

Quench their nighttime thirst with a full water carafe and a glass for each guest. This cute Glass Water Bottle looks just like a plastic one but is much more eco-friendly.

w Small $14.99 and large $26.99

at chapters.indigo.ca

It used to be that to provide your guests with music for their stay, you’d have guess their musical tastes and provide a CD player and stacks of CDs. Almost everyone travels with an iPod these days, and a small set of iPod speakers will allow them to listen to their own favorite music whenever they like. The Card Speaker from Gent Supply Co. is a low profile, high quality speaker that won’t interfere with decor or take up much precious space in your guest room.

w $72.50 at gentsupplyco.com

Finally, prevent that worst of nighttime injuries, the dreaded stubbed toe, with the portable Oxo Candela Glow Rechargeable Lights. These lights turn on when removed from their base and provide a nice, warm glow to light the way in unfamiliar surroundings.

w

Set of 2, $44.50 on amazon.com

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Rise and shine! GOOD HOST Waking before everyone else and laying out a simple collection of yogurts, a variety of cereals and granola, and some fruit, along with bowls, plates, cutlery and napkins arranged on the counter offers your guests the opportunity to eat whenever they get up. GREAT HOST The best way to make your guests feel really welcome is to make them feel special. After all, it IS a special occasion to have them over. Putting the effort into a warm breakfast will definitely move you from the good to the great column. This recipe takes a bit more preparation and work than your average, run of the mill French Toast. It’s not that it’s a particularly laborious process, but since you have to prepare it the night before, it requires extra effort. After a nice dinner and a few glasses of wine, preparing breakfast might be the last thing on your mind, but making it the night before, I’ve found, is one of the things that makes it so memorable. Let them know what you’re whipping up, and build the anticipation. With this recipe, the results are definitely worth it.


Baked French Toast Preparation: 10 minutes Soaking time: overnight Baking time: 13 minutes at 475°F Serves: 4 INGREDIENTS 8 slices (1-inch thick) French bread 3 eggs 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar 1/2 tsp each cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla and salt 1 cup milk 2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted PREPARATION In a mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Mix until smooth. Gradually beat in milk. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place bread into egg mixture. Turn slices over. Arrange in baking dish. Cover. Refrigerate overnight. About 30 minutes before baking, turn slices to soak other sides. In a second 9 x13-inch baking dish, pour half the melted butter. Arrange bread in pan. Drizzle with remaining butter. Bake at 475°F for 8 minutes. Turn slices. Bake 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. Serve.

An attitude of gratitude wins. It’s not always easy to have guests in your space. It’s not a cakewalk being the guest, either. If you make it through the visit with your friendship intact (and you know we’re not kidding here!), let them know that you enjoyed yourself and appreciated the time together. winter 2010

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CAt'S

LIVE: READ

C G O N R i N D ER •• A E •• R w WRITTEN BY CATHERINE BASSO

In keeping with the theme of this edition of Delish, I want to celebrate books that are old and new, so have I chosen two books from the past and two more recent books. Each one has a different view of celebration to offer, and all of these books has had an impact on me. I hope they do the same for you.

The Shack by William Paul Young My feature book celebrates the freedom found in discovery, and moving on from tragedy. After blowing his very life apart and then going through almost ten years of rebuilding it, the wife of author William Paul Young suggested that he write a book for their children so that they would be able to understand him better. Young had written and shared his words as gifts and mementos throughout his life, but never dreamed of having any of his work published — and this project was no different. Calling the book The Shack, Young simply wrote about his life in metaphorical form and had a handful of copies printed at Kinko’s. He then gave each of his six children a copy, handed some out to close friends, and that was it…or so he thought. A couple of his friends whom he had given copies to, felt the book was worth publishing and in the end convinced Young to do just that. I had the great pleasure of meeting Young, and hearing him speak in a debate forum at Regency College at the University of British Columbia. His book had caused quite a stir in some religious communities and as the book’s popularity rose, so did the debates and opinions about Young and his book. The Shack has over ten million copies in print and has been at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for 70 weeks. This success came to be via word of mouth and with the help of a $300 website. Though The Shack is fiction, it is a metaphor of Young’s life. In his speech at Regency he said that he wrote his pain into the book and though the main character is

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not him, there are emotions that this character goes through that mirror what Young, himself, has gone through.


The Shack is a gripping story about Mack, a grieving father and husband, who lost his youngest child to the hand of a serial child abductor. The last piece of physical evidence was found in an old abandoned shack, deep in the woods. The book opens with Mack at home alone in a winter storm, as his wife and kids have gone away for the weekend. He decides to leave the comfort of his warm home to face the storm as he goes to check the mailbox at the end of the driveway. There he finds something he never expected — a invitation from God to meet him at the shack.

“A few turns later he stumbled out of the woods and into a clearing. At the far side and down the slope he saw it again — the shack. He stood, staring at it, his stomach a ball of motion and turmoil. On the surface it seemed that nothing had changed other than the winter’s stripping of the deciduous trees and the white shroud of snow that blanketed the surroundings. The shack itself looked dead and empty, but as he stared it seemed for a moment to transform into an evil face, twisted in some demonic grimace, looking straight back at him and daring him to approach. Ignoring the rising panic he was feeling, Mack walked with resolve down the last hundred yards and up onto the porch.” (PG 77)

“Mackenzie, It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. - Papa” (PG 16)

Mack takes God (or Papa, as Mack refers to him) up on the invite and embarks on the journey back to the shack — back to the place when The Great Sadness over took his life. He drives up to the shack and relives all the emotions of those days when his daughter was taken.

Mack does indeed meet “Papa” at the shack, but the meeting is like nothing Mack could have anticipated. This meeting would challenge him to re-think everything that has made him who he is, up to this point of his life, including how he has viewed himself, forgiveness, redemption, and God.

I have to be honest and let you know that this part of Mack’s journey is gut-wrenching… but I promise that if you push through to the other side, you will be greatly rewarded. Hiking into the woods to the shack, he questions his sanity, but still forges on.

$16.49 at amazon.com $12.15 at chapters.indigo.ca

Gift idea

FOR A READER Cozy Knit Reading Socks

CAT’S CELEBRATION PICKS FOR WINTER

$24.99 at chapters.indigo.ca

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Momma Zen – Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller “At the moment of giving birth to a child, is the mother separate from the child? You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child.”- Dogen Zenji, Mountains and Waters Sutra This quote opens up the next book I want to talk about. If it resonates with you — or even if it does not but you are interested in finding out what it means, this is the book for you! Momma Zen is a refreshing read that celebrates motherhood without the standard rules of what to expect. Author Karen Maezen Miller has a way of releasing mothers of the rules that end up making them not trust their own instincts as mothers, and encourages them to follow those instincts. She offers a spiritual approach alongside a humorous approach to motherhood, by sharing her own raw journey of being a first time mom. Worth picking it up, whatever stage you are at. $10.85 at amazon.com $5.99 at chapters.indigo.ca

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CAT’S CELEBRATION PICKS FOR WINTER

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant Considered historical fiction, this book celebrates women, their relationships with each other and their commitment to connection. The Red Tent was first published in 1997 and has remained a favorite among women of all ages. Set in the Old Testament times, The Red Tent is the story of a young girl named Dinah and her journey to womanhood as she is reared by her mother and aunts in a tribal setting. We follow Dinah’s loves, losses and life as an aging woman, as she reveals to us what really matters to a woman’s heart. This is the kind of book that makes you feel proud to be a woman.

$10.20 at amazon.com $12.88 at chapters.indigo.ca

Roots – The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley This epic novel celebrates a people and a rich history. It was first published in condensed form in 1974 for Reader’s Digest. Two years later it was published in full, and would go on to achieve great acclaim. Alex Haley writes in the dedication that this book wasn’t planned. It was birthed out of twelve years of Haley researching and writing about his family history reaching back to his great great great great grandfather who was abducted from a village in Gambia in 1767, and brought over from Africa on a slave ship. This is an impactful read, and is as relevant today as it was when it first came out in print.

$11.53 at amazon.com

$16.34 at chapters.indigo.ca

I would love to hear from YOU. Let me know what you’re reading these days and if any of these books were impactful, or not, to you. Until next time, find yourself some time to read. Love and light, Cat

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WORK: CHICK MAGNATE

NOT "JUST"

Eleanor w WRITTEN BY TAMARA KOMUNIECKI

Superstar graphic designer Eleanor Grosch’s delightfully whimsical designs can be seen on products ranging from shoes to skateboard decks, from band posters to art prints, from greeting cards to t-shirts for the San Diego Zoo, and more. Yet despite recognition, respect, an enviable roster of clients and an impressive portfolio, she still has to hustle for freelance work every day like the students she teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Eleanor started out just like those very kids she’s charged with helping today; not knowing exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up — i.e. graduated from school — which, in this case, was the University of South Florida (USF). “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and I was kind of a little clueless,” she says, “which I feel like is so many people out of college. That’s very normal.” She had chosen USF so she could stay close to her beloved family, despite the fact that she had achieved the

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grades and SAT score to earn a full scholarship to any school in the state, and even though they didn’t offer an Illustration program, which was her intended path of study (choosing a Fine Arts degree instead). Fresh out of school, she ended up deciding to teach part-time and in her off time, put together posters for bands, just for the love of design. Opportunities came to share her work at poster conferences that accompanied music shows like SXSW, and it was one of these that led to her big break – being discovered by Nylon Magazine, and featured in their music issue. The story focused on women doing poster


Eleanor explains: “When I was a kid I really, really, really loved birds. A lot of kids went through stages of being a little bit obsessive about memorizing things, whether it was about cars or clothing designers. Mine was birds. I was a little ten-year-old when I was going into the library to the adult section to look at bird reference books to memorize the kinds of birds in the area, in the state, in the country, and in different parts of the world. I was a little ornithologist at the time, loving birds and wanting to watch them all the time, thinking I might even become one — I could maybe fly if I studied it hard enough.” Her parents encouraged their daughter’s interest in the natural world, but she remembers that her mother wasn’t sure she could get anywhere with her favorite subject matter. “I remember my mom always saying ‘You could be an artist, but why don’t you try drawing people? Be a caricature artist or something.’ And I just felt like, oh I would not want that. If I’m going to draw, it’s going to be animals. We laugh about that now, how it kind of paid off in the end. At the time she was thinking I would not work; there were no artists that specialize in animals.” art and once it was published, the big names came calling. Eleanor, at age 25, was offered and took a job with Keds shoes — a stint that would last two years. She says that was the perfect way to start her career. “It was crazy!”, she enthuses. “I’d love a break like that now. It launched and allowed me to get access to other jobs like that. That was the height — I’m hoping to get back there at some point.” Throughout her work from back then to present day, one of the strongest themes or moods evoked is a genuine curiosity about and love of animals. The roots for this reverence for nature started growing way back in the early years of her life.

While her days as a freelance designer might not be typical, she does have a routine that helps her even when there is no client work, to continue to exercise her artistic muscle and be productive. “I’ll get up at 8:00 and I’ll have breakfast with my brother. I’ll try to do something active or go out with a friend for coffee and I’ll ride my bike there just to get my mind clear and then come back. I’ll usually sketch on the computer and draw either a pattern that I’m working on, or a new art print series that I want to do. I’ll work maybe three or four hours, then I’ll have lunch. I’ll go back to work in the evening for another three or four hours. It’s usually a six to eight hour day. It depends. Sometimes it’s an hour and sometimes it’s twelve hours.”


What happens with the finished product can take a few paths. When she doesn’t have any client work, Eleanor will make art prints and get caught up on screenprinting. Prints and products like mugs, t-shirts, greeting cards and more are for sale on her web site. Eleanor says it’s important that when there are no freelance gigs bringing money in, to take the opportunity get some valuable networking done and look for the next project, rather than take a real break. “I tell people I’m always on vacation and never on vacation. Always working and never having to work. It’s kind of a weird mix. You just kind of flow with it, and you have to have a lot of irons in the fire. Any design jobs that come my way, illustration jobs that come my way, logo jobs — I’m open to anything. I feel like when work comes it’s important not to turn it down as long as you can manage it.” She preaches what she practices, to her students. “I tell them if you’re trying to do work for a living, you’ve got to have all sorts of things going. If you believe in yourself, you kind of have to have ridiculously high selfesteem. You’ll get rejected. I tell my students, for every job I get, I’ve been rejected for five. Keep going, do not give up. If you think you have something to say, you have to keep out there and believe in it.” The stress that comes with looking for work during

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lean times is mitigated a bit for Eleanor by having this part-time but steady teaching work, and she says it’s pretty much an evensteven deal, where she gets as many rewards from the interaction with the students as they get from her. “I basically provide a critical eye for them in a nurturing environment and I LOVE it,” she says. “At the beginning of the day I’m so pumped to see what they’ve done this week. I try to be as honest as possible while still being kind, which is kind of a hard thing but yet it’s best for them, so I don’t want to lie to them and tell them that it’s good if it’s not. I think they appreciate that. They respect me and respect my feedback. I also get to stay up-to-date on what new, up and coming illustrators are doing. I love that.” Through her career highs and lows, busy times and free time, one thing remains the same: the love of her art. “I’m happy to do it just alone on the couch,” she says. “It’s what I do when nobody’s watching. I would draw animals when nobody is watching. I would make time for it because that’s what I really love.” That we get to share in it, and bring these works of art into our homes, is just a bonus. MORE of ELEANOR web: justeleanor.com twitter: @eleanorgrosch


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LOOK: SHINE

NATURAL WINTER

Beauty Secrets w WRITTEN BY GILLIAN YOUNG

SUMMERTIME

is long gone, and with it I’ve lost my tan, my glowing complexion and the right to drink margaritas at four in the afternoon. But all is not lost. With winter comes cozy nights by the fire, Irish coffee, Mariah Carey singing Christmas carols and some simple ways to keep my skin looking good. I don’t have money to spend on Crème de la Mer or other fancy facial products, so I’ve come up with a few ways to keep my skin looking its best on harsh winter days.

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TOP

5 T1PS

SKIN BRUSH Skin brushing is a great way to get your skin glowing. Dry brushing has being used for centuries in Europe to massage the lymphatic system and get rid of toxins. Fast food, air pollution, stress and bad habits can increase the amount of toxins in the body, and leave our skin looking dull and dry. So scrub out those toxins and get glowing!

LEMON WATER

Coconut Kale Chips with Pumpkin Seeds

Lemon water is not only a great way to hydrate your body first thing in the day, but it also detoxifies your liver and jump starts your digestive system. Good digestion equals good skin!

bunch of kale pumpkin seeds pink sea salt coconut oil

COCONUT OIL

Spread out your ingredients on a baking sheet and coat them with coconut oil (olive oil also works).

Coconut oil is an amazing natural moisturizer that you can rub all over your body, your face, and even your lips. It even doubles as a massage oil, and trust me, you’ll be smelling so good with this spread all over you, it won’t be hard to get a massage.

Bake until nice and crispy and enjoy!

GREENS Greens, what’re those? I only speak eggnog latte and sugar cookie come December. It’s easy to forget about your greens in the cold winter months when all you want is a mug of hot chocolate and warm cookie right out of the oven. But, greens are full of fiber and keep our skin vibrant and alive. So sneak some spinach into your pasta sauce, put some kale in your stew, or try my delicious kale chip recipe for a crunchy treat!

INFRARED SAUNA Infrared saunas are great for winter because they can help you fight the flu, but also help you to sweat toxins and burn calories. They’ll help keep your skin soft, clear and radiant in the dead of winter. MORE of GILLIAN web: gillianyoung.com twitter: @gyoungwoman

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GO: JOURNEY

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS SARAH? W WRITTEN BY SARAH MARCHILDON NAME: Sarah Marchildon AGE: 30-something HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ontario, Canada CURRENT LOCATION: Kyoto, Japan WHY ARE YOU THERE, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE, AND HOW LONG WILL YOU STAY? I am currently living in Kyoto, Japan. I’m doing a master’s degree in environmental management at Kyoto University. I’ve been living in Kyoto since October 2008. I’m on an all-expensespaid scholarship and my only responsibility for the first year was to study Japanese. So I studied Japanese five days a week, four hours a day, for one year. And I can still barely speak the language! If all goes well, I will graduate in March 2012. I have a little over one year to go. WHAT DO YOUR DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES CONSIST OF? Since April, I’ve been a full-time master’s student. Coming back to school after having been in the working world for a while has been

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WHAT HAS LIVING IN THIS NEW PLACE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT: A) THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE? There is a lot about Japan that I really like. And a lot about Japan that I don’t really like. But I think that’s true of any country you live in. Living here has taught me how important communication is for me. I feel a little lost in Kyoto sometimes, simply because of the language barrier. I can’t read a newspaper or a local website, for example. And because of that, I don’t have a real sense of what’s going on in the community. Everyone is wonderfully friendly and kind but I feel like my identity here is tied up with being an outsider and I simply can’t seem to untangle myself from that. I have learned that a sense of community is really important for me. I didn’t know that before. I need to feel like I belong. And that I know what’s going on and that I can get involved in something.

a bit of an adjustment. I have classes everyday (luckily most of them are in English) and I usually am up late at night working on essays, assignments and presentations. I started drinking coffee again, after my first all-nighter in a really long time! If I have time, I spend the weekends hiking in the mountains near Kyoto. The hiking out here may not be as spectacularly beautiful as it is in B.C. but the trails are endless and they are all easily accessible by bus or train. My friends here are from all over the world, which is nice. After we all go our separate ways, I will have a place to stay in every corner of the world!

B) THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAME FROM? I have always appreciated Canada but living away from it for a while really deepens that appreciation. I love how multi-cultural our big cities are. I love that we have wild spaces and places. I even love how politically correct we are. I miss snowstorms and Tim Hortons — even better if I can fit both into the same day. Canada is not perfect, but it comes pretty close. C) YOURSELF? I’m not sure how to answer this one. I think I have learned that I can be brave and fearless. That I am open to adventure and am calm under pressure. That if you put a challenge in front of me, I will tackle it head-on. But I’ve learned that I also crave comfort and predictability. It would be nice to go to a coffee shop and order in English,


you know? I think I have learned that I can do almost anything I put my mind to. Except speak fluent Japanese.

few cats in it. I’d like to live near my family. And I’d like a future that continues to be filled with adventure and challenges, big and small. A simple life is a good life.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT? I don’t know where I’m going next and I’m totally okay with that. I just want to focus on finishing my master’s degree. What happens beyond that is not something I’m worried about now! I am confident that everything will work out okay in the end.

MORE of SARAH web:sarahmarchildon.blogspot.com

WHAT ARE YOUR LARGER GOALS, PASSIONS AND PLANS — PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY? I think happiness for me is doing work that I love and feel makes a positive contribution to the world. For me, that will ideally involve something to do with protecting the environment. I also want to live in a place where I feel a strong sense of community and belonging. The kind of place with easy access to good bread, cheese and chocolate. I’m not sure I see marriage or children in my future but I’m not closing the door on it either. It’s just never been a priority. I would like a future with a


CARE: NURTURE

THE CHANGING WAY WE

VOLUNTEER w WRITTEN BY DAWN MORI On a recent sunny Southern California morning, the volunteer crew at the Pier to Pier Friendship Walk had jumped into action. They staffed backpack booths, held aloft finish lines, and handed out medals. It was an event which drew more than 4,000 participants, each of whom walked the two miles from the Manhattan Beach pier to the Hermosa Beach pier then back again, raising more than $380,000 for local South Bay schools. But, you did not have to be there to know what some of these volunteers were doing. Teens from the Volunteer Center Youth Coalition, part of The Volunteer Center of South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach, not only gave their time, they instinctively shared their experience with their peers. They posted photos online in a virtual, real time play-by-play of what it was like to volunteer at the event. “We noticed that a lot of the teens were putting on their Facebook page what they were doing at that moment, such as ‘I’m at the backpack table and I just saw my teacher,’” says Katie Kang, The Volunteer Center’s Youth Programs Coordinator. “They were posting pictures of themselves volunteering as it is happened.

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They were able to show, ‘Hey look, here I am. Look what I’m doing, I’m making a difference.’ And they posted it right from their phones.” These young people are part of an estimated 62 million Americans and 12.5 million Canadians who choose to volunteer their time and energy with non-profit organizations and community groups every year. While the causes these volunteers support are still as important and worthwhile as ever, how volunteers donate their time and the ways in which they communicate their volunteer experiences are changing before our eyes.

It is a difference that begins right from the start. “There has been a fundamental shift in how people discover volunteer opportunities,” says Robert J. Rosenthal, Director of Communications for VolunteerMatch, the San Francisco-based organization which offers a variety of national online services to promote volunteering and civic engagement. “It still is primarily word of mouth, but now the second most popular way to search for [volunteer opportunities] is online. What we find is that by having so much


choice, volunteers can now explore causes and roles that they previously might not have been able to — it’s a marketplace approach that puts supply and demand into the same place, and non-profits win by finding more new volunteers. We continue to explore how new technologies (Web 2.0, social media, micro-blogging, APIs, virtual maps) can be useful for connecting good people with good causes,” he says. Since 1998, VolunteerMatch has made more than 5.1 million volunteer referrals and currently lists more than 58,000 volunteer opportunities across America from nearly 75,000 participating organizations. Online volunteer databases are only one of many areas that have evolved. “There have been some pretty significant changes over the years,” says Ruth MacKenzie, President & CEO of Volunteer Canada, the national non-profit organization that was founded nearly 35 years ago. Volunteer Canada leads the country’s volunteerism and civic participation efforts and works with regional volunteer centers, community and national organizations, as well as businesses to coordinate philanthropic efforts. “A couple that I would touch on relate to a greater recognition of voluntary [non-profit] organizations doing important, essential work in our communities and greater recognition of the role of volunteers in those organizations — how they would not be able to do their work or achieve their missions if it wasn’t for volunteers,” she says. MacKenzie noted that nowadays, volunteering is more often seen as important, valid and valued work and less as something that people do to fill their time. In both Canada and the U.S., a renewed focus on volunteering has led to more people, many with busy schedules of their own, who wish to contribute or strengthen specific talents with organizations that support causes close to their hearts. In response, more and more organizations have restructured volunteer positions to accommodate volunteers with specific skills and busy lives. It has lead to what MacKenzie refers to as ‘episodic volunteering’ or volunteering for shorter, specific periods of time, rather than the traditional structure of a single volunteer filling a position for months or years. Episodic volunteering is now the most popular category of volunteer involvement and allows multitasking volunteers to give their time with more than one organization and support more than one cause. The changing infrastructure of volunteering also has led to the development of professional volunteer management positions, much like Kang’s role with The Volunteer Center. These professionals recruit, interview, train, engage and motivate volunteers and

are now widely acknowledged as key staff positions within non-profit organizations. In return, formalizing volunteering has allowed organizations to better utilize individual volunteer talents. Alongside fundraising and event-based opportunities, volunteers also can be found donating their time and expertise in rapidly growing areas such as social media outreach, web design, graphic design, and new media marketing. Successfully adjusting to these organizational changes is where groups such as VolunteerMatch have made the greatest impact. “The biggest change has been the recognition that our focus should really be oriented to the needs of nonprofits, and not volunteers per se,” says Rosenthal. “By staying focused on directing resources to help nonprofits, we create a relationship that encourages them to use our site and post their opportunities. That participation is what ultimately brings the volunteer audiences. Together with non-profits, if we build it, the volunteers will come.” And indeed, volunteers continue to come, and they continue to contribute in communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. National Volunteer Week will be celebrated in both countries from April 10-16, 2011 and Volunteer Canada in particular is planning an all-out celebration. “Canadians have a rich history of volunteering and community involvement. Volunteers are on the front lines of all of our community services — community health care, heritage and arts, maintenance of green space, disaster relief, volunteer firefighting, minor sports — the list is endless,” praises MacKenzie. “Volunteers are coaches, mentors, advocates, activists, champions, administrative staff, board members, disaster relief workers, firefighters and so much more,” she says. Boomers and seniors are two key demographics who can be found among these volunteer ranks and for whom giving back is becoming more and more of a priority. The former are beginning to retire from the work force and have considerable skills to offer their communities. Seniors always have embraced volunteering as part of a full and active life, and some are even venturing out online, communicating in a way they never would have imagined before. However, the most compelling difference in how we give back may be seen in our newest volunteers. As part of their role as volunteers, they simply use the technology that will forever be associated with their generation to share their enthusiasm for doing good work and helping those in need.

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“I believe that specifically this generation — because they have this notion that they really can make a difference — they are going to be life-long volunteers,” says Kang of the young people who use a virtual medium to inspire others to make a real difference. “Teens tend to volunteer together with their friends. And if they find out you’re on Facebook, then it’s, ‘let me ‘Friend’ you on Facebook — and hey, where else do you volunteer?’ It is something very organic for them, what they are doing as a volunteer and to communicate that on their Facebook page.”

The SEAMEDANCE Ballroom Dance program gives participants a chance to renew and rebuild and reexperience health and well-being on a personal level within the community they choose to live in. Many participants have shared it helps them reconnect with the joy of life and to feel renewed and reconnected to others after the heavy experience of military service. In 2011 the program is being expanded to include community public service providers and first responders who so often experience operational stress while serving in their communities.

But while every generation volunteers in their own way, the very reason they do so in the first place remains the same. “Volunteering can be a very powerful experience — to have an opportunity to give back to and be a part of your community can be very empowering,” says MacKenzie. “Most people would say that through volunteering, they get much more than they give. We all have our notions of the kind of community we want to live in…volunteering gives you an opportunity to be part of creating that.”

NAME: Lexi Later AGE: 18 WHERE DO YOU VOLUNTEER?: Volunteer Center Youth

Coalition (VCYC), a program of The Volunteer Center of the South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach, based in Torrance, California, The Friendship Circle, and the California Association of Student Councils (CASC).

WHAT DO YOU DO THERE?:

I’m the Vice President of Programming for the VCYC, a volunteer with The Friendship Circle, and the Elementary Programs Director with the CASC.

NAME: Marina D. Eddy AGE: 55 WHERE DO YOU VOLUNTEER?:

I OttawaDanceSport in Ottawa, Canada.

volunteer

at

WHAT DO YOU DO THERE?:

I created, designed and implemented a community services transitional bridge program using ballroom dance for returning military vets and their spouses called SEAMEDANCE. I work with the OttawaDanceSport instructor, studio instructors, and participants helping them to recover from operational stress injury by assisting them to reintegrate and transition back into community and civilian life using the ballroom dance programming.

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER?:

I volunteer my time because it is my way of giving back to those who have served to protect my freedom and democracy — as well as [because] it uses all of my skills facilitating a community-level healing process in a community-based program. I am a mental health practitioner and social worker by training and giving back to the community is just what I am about. By volunteering this way, I am able to actively give back in service to the larger community and contribute to the health and well-being of a community.

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VCYC puts on one event a month in 15 different area high schools. I’m the chair of all events, looking over all logistics and being the point of contact. I’ve been the Vice President of Programming since June and have served on the VCYC board for the last two years. My favorite event was for our Global Youth Service Day last May. It was the first event I chaired. We put on a literacy fair for children at a learning center in Torrance. There were booths, each with a theme based on a book, and activities for kids.

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER?:

I have been blessed to be part of a family who has always been well off and I volunteer because I am not naive to the fact that not everyone has been as lucky as I am. The biggest thing about volunteering is to try it once and do something that are you are passionate about. There are so many different organizations that can help you volunteer where you are interested. Once you find your niche, you will fall in love [with volunteering]. Putting a smile on someone’s face is the most priceless experience.


BE DELISH! DELISH DYVA

ASK THE INSTIGATOR w WRITTEN BY DYANA VALENTINE

Dear DyVa: What is the correct protocol for gift giving for your in-laws? Should I be expected to buy his whole family each a Christmas gift or just his mom or no one? What about if they give me a gift and I am empty-handed!? It sounds like this is a new blended family, so consider establishing new traditions. Discuss it with your partner (and for the advanced crew: discuss this as a group and decide) and decide, together, how you want to express your shared values, with joy and without fear or guilt. I’m a big fan of hand or homemade gifts for households that I’m going to visit. Wrap a plate of your specialrecipe cookies, or wrap them individually so your host family can share the gifts over the holiday season.

Is it OK not to send Christmas cards, or even Christmas emails?

The brochure version of holidays usually includes the concepts of joy, celebration and love, but the small print reads guilt, obligation and conformity. What do you say we bust up these ideas and instigate some new traditions? Here are some instigational Q&A, a story and a permission slip to get the ball rolling.

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Good gravy, YES, it is more than okay to never send another holiday or annual card, newsletter or email. Correspondence cooties are contagious. If you are only sending a gift or letter out of obligation, then obligation is what gets sent. Clear your energy and clear those cooties. Send the best thought, intention or wish instead. The universe will thank you.

How can you convince family that when you say you don’t want presents, you really DON’T want presents? Ohhh, this is a juicy one. Here’s the deal: a gift is something voluntarily offered without expectation or compensation. It does not mean that you have to like it, keep it or reciprocate. Just because you didn’t want it, doesn’t mean you can make them not want to give it. Now, if you aren’t getting the gifts you want, then create a wish list or make suggestions of the gifts you would love to get. If you don’t want to have that kind of relationship with them, then you have the choice to tell


your family that that’s how you feel when you get an unsolicited gift OR you can go even bolder and return it to them stating your beliefs and taking a stand for your boundaries.

HERE’S MY WHAT MATTERS MOST PERMISSION SLIP In service to What Matters Most this holiday season, I give you permission to:

The worst part of Christmas is having to talk to my family on the phone. How do I say that I don’t want to talk to them without it ending up in one of “those” situations? Ugh! I can imagine you jumping every time the phone rings! I feel your pain. I wonder what it would be like if you recorded a video greeting to everyone, sent it out the week before (on your own terms, and your own time)? I give you permission to say you will be on “retreat” during the holidays and not available by phone. Or, if your energy is clean and loving, then make the call on your own time, leave voicemails (at a time when that can all be genuine), and simply do not pick up the phone. Deciding for yourself how you want to spend your holiday ahead of time is so powerful. Imagine what the time between now and the holiday will feel if you take action on this today!

* Never send another card or e-mail out of obligation; * Create your own traditions such as a low or no-cost gift exchange, choosing a family charity to donate to; * keep your celebrations cooty-free, even when that means spending time with your chosen family and not your family of origin; * to re-gift, return or refuse gifts that you don’t want; AND * commit to making your holidays about recuperation, joy, celebration and love.

*

As I researched this column, a friend shared a great real-life story of setting holiday boundaries and creating new traditions. “The holidays got out of control a few years back. Our immediate family had grown to 35 people and despite several conversations and brainstorming sessions, the majority refused to draw names or set spending limits on gifts. Our nuclear family budget was over $2000 that year. So, one year, I said NO. I made photos of my son (the only grandchild that year) and told them we sent a $500 gift to a family in Iraq that was so poor they could not even eat every day. Everything flipped the next year. We had found what mattered most: being together and celebrating our lives.”

*

Another Delish devotee and her husband contributed this story about using holiday time as a business opportunity (whaaat?!): “We decided see the holidays in a whole new light — a business opportunity. Since American Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Europe, we beefed up our marketing there and lo and behold, we are busier during this month than we are at any other month in the year.” Talk about a whole new way to look at holidays. Wow. I’m impressed. What would you do if you looked at the holidays as an opportunity instead of an obligation?

I BELIEVE IN YOU!

Dyana Valentine (AKA the Delish DyVa) is a professional instigator. She asks (and answers) the tough questions that help you move through your personal and professional life with aplomb. Find more instigational goodness at dyanavalentine.com, and follow Dyana on Twitter (@DyanaValentine)!


MARKETPLACE


CARE: BE

Words

OF

Wisdom PHOTO BY JILLIAN KIRBY

w WRITTEN BY CYNTHIA MERRIMAN

You haven’t lived until you have

Have any Words of Wisdom you'd like to share? We want to hear from you!

fed a monkey. BEN MERRIMAN, AGE 3


'TIL NEXT TIME... l our next issue l

MARCH

*

GROW

Delish Magazine — CELEBRATE Winter 2010  

Delish is all about traditional values in a modern mindset. We’re about the revival of the domestic arts, in the current context. Our mandat...

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