Lifestyle Magazine - Jan/Feb 2023

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RENOS INTERIORS NEW HOMES BEAUTY FASHION FOOD TRAVEL HEALTH AUTO SHOPPING warm up toinwinter cozy comfort home & decor SPECIAL FEATURE Celebrating 24 years UNPACK ONCE, SEE EVERYTHING European river cruising LIGHT AND LIVELY Illumination options UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL Lifestyle Home Show is live
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We’ve spent a lot of time at home in the past few years.

For many homebound Canadians, the pandemic has led to a re-evaluation of our living spaces and what we want out of our homes. After repurposing common spaces to act as virtual classrooms or home offices, many homeowners have opted to make these changes permanent. This trend has resulted in a significant increase in the number of home renovations.

As experienced renovators, this trend is exciting, but it also comes with challenges, as skilled trades workers remain scarce and lingering supply chain issues continue to slow projects.

With all of these factors at play, it’s more important than ever to choose the right partner to lay the groundwork for success, even if your project won’t start for awhile.



When you decide to move forward with a renovation, you want the work to start yesterday. The reality is that many companies continue to grapple with unprecedented demand and complex industry challenges that make project timelines a moving target. Being aware of these factors will help keep expectations in line with reality.


Running into hiccups during a home improvement project is nothing new but having the right partner to help

navigate issues (such as selected materials being discontinued or delays in shipment of key materials) is more important than ever before.

Thoroughly vet prospective partners You’ll be spending a lot of time with your project partner, so it’s important that they are the right fit for you and your family.


• Explore the LHBA Renomark website – a national database of professional contractors (https:// renovators-council)

• Attend the LHBA Lifestyle Home Show from January 27 to 29 (see page 10) and chat with exhibitors

• Take time to understand the experience of each potential partner

• Validate reviews and ask for references

A renovation is an excellent way to make your living spaces more functional. Although we expect residential construction to slow down in the coming months, being aware of these swirling industry realities will hopefully help mitigate disappointment and help you establish the right foundation with the right partner.

When you’re at the Lifestyle Home Show, please stop by the CCR Building booth and say hello!

Wishing you renovation happiness in 2023.

8 Lifestyle January/February 2023 OPEN SINCE 1980 Where solutions
London Home Builders’ Association
come to light.


Lana L. Breier


Jill Ellis-Worthington



Ellen Ashton-Haiste Clare Dear Jill Ellis-Worthington Janis Wallace ACCOUNT MANAGERS

Annette Gent 519-200-0283

Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676 Jan McGrath 519-243-2932


Wendy Reid

AD DESIGN Nancy Greenfield Bill McGrath

PRODUCTION Nancy Greenfield


BAIN IMAGES Richard Bain / Jesse Bellringer


Redding Design Inc.

Lifestyle is published six times a year by 2251632 Ontario Inc. c.o.b. Lifestyle Magazine 108 Tuyll Street, Bayfield N0M 1G0 519-873-0989

Copies are distributed to selected homes, magazine stands and local businesses in London and area.


contents JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2023 10 48 19 24 30 HOMESTYLE 10 We’re back LHBA home show returns 19 Lights on Options and trends 40 Special section Home & Décor 48 A sweet deal Reno
the cake 51 Million dollar baby Luxe home for sale YOURSTYLE 24 Warm up Stay snug this winter TRAVELSTYLE 30 Complete package Tour Europe in style BESTLIFE 35 Attention green thumbs An easier way to buy 36 Happy dry year A healthier way to kick off 2023 BIZLIFE 29 Boutique Firenze 54 Campfire Ninja 55 Maria Bikas January/February 2023 Lifestyle 9 LIFESTYLE
Agreement #41277015 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material. All rights reserved. Printed in Canada.


London's LIFESTYE HOME SHOW welcomes patrons in person

 10 Lifestyle January/February 2023


here’s a buzz among London and region residents, and the organizations that serve them, as the Lifestyle Home Show returns this month to the Western Fair District after an absence due to the pandemic. The 28th iteration, presented by the London Home Builders’ Association, with sponsor Rembrandt Homes, showcases lifestyle and home upgrade products and services offered by businesses from London, Woodstock, Ingersoll, Chatham and beyond.

January/February 2023 Lifestyle 11

From January 27 to 29, the Lifestyle Home Show will take over Western Fair’s Agriplex lobby and event pavilion with more than 600 booths, featuring trending products and services to help make life easier, healthier, more relaxing and more active. “We’re very excited to be having the

show once again back in the public eye,” says Jared Zaifman, Home Builders’ Association CEO. “There’s quite a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from our membership and previous exhibitors, as well as from the community.”

There are also hundreds of experts

with whom attendees can chat about their questions. “We have put together a really great show,” agrees Holly Doty, event manager with Connect Dot Management Inc. She noted that booth space began booking rapidly following the announcement of the live show.

12 Lifestyle January/February 2023 HAPPY NEW EARS 45 York St. - 519.679.9000 1640 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. - 519.472.3648 2090 Dundas St. - 519.659.9989 4333 Colonel Talbot Rd. - 519.652.3575 45 York St. - 519.679.9000 1640 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. - 519.472.3648 2090 Dundas St. - 519.659.9989 4333 Colonel Talbot Rd. - 519.652.3575 photo courtesy of Think Copp’s for all of your decking projects Think Copp’s for all of your decking projects
~ Continued on page 15
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Long-standing exhibitor Copp’s Buildall was one of those early responders. “It’s nice to be able to show our breadth of products to people directly,” says Cheryl Neal, Copp’s marketing manager. “It’s a good place to see a variety of options.” Copp’s will be showcasing outdoor builds with a variety of decking and fencing materials on display. Half of the booth will also be devoted to FloorSource, their flooring company specializing in both commercial and residential products and installation.

Show goers appreciate the opportunity to see what the company has to offer for their specific projects, Neal says. “We’ve seen great interest from people getting back to being in

person and the show offers more of the tangible aspects all in one space, which is really helpful,” Zaifman says. “So, we’re certainly excited to be bringing that back.”

A new element this year is the Road To Green Living, presented by Try Recycling and The Better Bin Company. This area will highlight sustainable and energy efficient technologies and products. “Some of our builder members are working towards greener homes, featuring technologies that are out there today. So, the intent is to showcase companies with products geared towards that green living and energy sustainability and to demonstrate how we can meet those goals,” Zaifman says.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in that,” Doty says. “It’s certainly a strategic part of the LHBA, so it’s a nice inclusion.” It’s also timely from a consumer perspective, she says, with recent occurrences like extreme weather events making people think ‘maybe green is something we should be looking at’.

Also back this year is the ever-popular Boulevard Of Dreams, featuring exhibitors to assist people wanting to upgrade their living spaces and create their dream homes. Everything from spas and hot tubs to major renovation options will be on display.

“Whatever consumers are looking for that has to do with lifestyle indoors and outside, the show is offering it,” Doty says.

LIFESTYLE HOME SHOW ~ Continued from page 12
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The Lifestyle Home Show will take over Western Fair’s Agriplex lobby and event pavilion with more than 600 booths.

Zaifman also notes that this year’s event is shining a spotlight on potential opportunities for anyone investigating a career in the trades.

All those topics and more are supplemented by around five hours of main stage programming each day of the show. Speakers will be offering information on a wealth of topics from green living to the latest trends to opportunities in skilled trades.



New home builders

Heating and air conditioning professionals

Bathroom experts

Cabinet makers

Furniture retailers

Wood furniture designers Landscapers

Pool and spa specialists

Interior designers

Kitchen designers Flooring specialists

Energy efficiency and sustainability experts

Window and door professionals

Insurance and banking experts

Fireplace retailers

Blinds and drapery professionals

Stone suppliers


Lumber suppliers

Water experts

Basement improvement pros

Health and wellness professionals

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE is ourgrowing sales team! If you love sales and would like to join our professional magazine team, please contact Lana Breier for details. 519 873-0989 16 Lifestyle January/February 2023
January/February 2023 Lifestyle 17 Contact Jessica Witka |
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18 Lifestyle January/February 2023 PUZZLED ABOUT YOUR NEW HOME? We see the whole picture. 519.238.8893 For stories, pictures and videos of all our amazing work go to WWW.OKEWOODSMITH.COM We are pleased to announce that we will be sending holiday-inspired gift baskets and restaurant gift certificates to these puzzle solvers• Jim and Deb McCann of Dashwood • Mary Lou Fischer of Grand Bend • L. Munt of Komoka • Sheila Cumberland of London • Anonymous of London Oke Woodsmith Building Systems provides innovative solutions for newly constructed or extensively renovated homes. We thank everyone who participated in the puzzle challenge. We wish you peace and happiness in 2023! Windows & Doors 519-659-3550 SHOWROOM 535 First St., London Mon-Fri 9-5:30; Sat 10-2 • Free in-home quotes VINYL & WOOD WINDOWS DOUBLE & TRIPLE GLAZED STEEL, FIBREGLAS & WOOD DOORS VINYL PATIO DOORS with INTERNAL MINI BLINDS NEW OR REPLACEMENT 30 ® 21556 Richmond Street, Arva | 519.672.9514 facebook | instagram | | @oakandlinenhome YOUR SOURCE FOR French Country Decor Furniture & Home Accents Housewares & Linens Decorating Services










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January/February 2023 Lifestyle 19
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January/February 2023 Lifestyle 23


coats cozycomfort

Put it in neutral – step out in an Alison Sheri taupe or black kneelength cardigan, in viscose blend, worn with an offwhite 100% cotton mock neck. Pull these playful looks together with a matching hat and coordinating scarf. All items available at Studio Style.

With the holidays behind us, it’s time to get serious about winter.

To beat those cold weather blues, the outdoors beckon. But you’ll need the right gear to look great and be warm enough to enjoy your time outside. Designers marry tech fabrics with bright colours and classic shapes to ensure you’ll be as cozy as you are comfortable to play in the snow.

When it’s time to head back to the office, you’ll win the age-old office thermometer up/thermometer down game when you outsmart the competition by wearing cozy sweaters to work. They will brighten up the office while keeping you toasty, especially if you’re the first one to arrive in the morning.

Saturday shopping trip? No problem, you’re ready to go when you pull on a sweater, vest and leggings to be the first one at the store and get those great deals.

24 Lifestyle January/February 2023



Your feet will be ready to take on winter's worst in these Bos & Co. waterproof black and suede boots with lug treads. Winter white is right with this waterproof patent hiking boot from Bos & Co. Boots available at LifeStyles Women’s Wear.



This versatile heathered light denim cowlneck tunic knit works with leggings, jeans or skirts.

RIGHT Layered warmth with a long viscose blend ivory cardigan topping an ivory/dark taupe graphic crew neck. All are Alison Sheri and available at Studio Style.

~ Continued on page 26 January/February 2023 Lifestyle 25 January-February Open Friday-Sunday 11am-5pm 215 Main Street, Port Stanley 519-782-7467 721 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, ON 519-631-3692 SINCE 1988 We have hundreds of beautiful designs to choose from for engagements, anniversaries, Valentines and general expressions of love.
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Gloomy day go away in this hot pink 100 per cent cotton chunky cable knit turtleneck. Alison Sheri sweaters available at Studio Style.

Time for an all-out snowball fight in this Soia & Kyo steel blue down parka, with indigo bib inset from LifeStyles Women's Wear.

Be a power player in this red ombre viscose blend knit pullover. Alison Sheri sweaters available at Studio Style. 26 Lifestyle January/February 2023

All wrapped up and radiant in red. From Hangar9 come the Sminfinity silky turtleneck and bell bottoms, topped with a Sminfinity triangle scarf and worn with Proenza Schouler Glove Boots.

~ Continued
January/February 2023 Lifestyle 27
Be seen in the snow in this Soia & Kyo winter bomber in spice from LifeStyles Women’s Wear.
on page 28

You’ll be cute and comfortable in this argyle red/ivory/black mock neck in viscose blend or a black mix/ mini-stripe knit jacket from Alison Sheri. Both would look great worn with a red knit toque. All items are available at Studio Style.


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COZY COMFORT ~ Continued from page 27


International buying trips are on again

When Bettina Weber began importing Italian products for Boutique Firenze, one of her favourite perks of the business was taking buying trips to the country she fell in love with on her first visit. But the COVID pandemic put an abrupt end to those plans. So a call, early last year, from the Italian Trade Agency inviting her to be a guest at the Milan Leather Show was a delightful surprise.

“It was wonderful,” she says of the 15-day trip that allowed her to reconnect with many of her long-time suppliers and also make some new contacts. With news of her imminent arrival came a flood of emails from those suppliers, saying “’We want to see you, take you to dinner.’ They dropped everything. It was great,” she says.

The ability to reconnect with suppliers on a personal level gave Weber a welcome look at emerging trends. “I think customers are going to see some new and exciting products from their favourite vendors,” she says. For instance, Massimo Ravinale of Florence, a longtime supplier of shawls and scarves, has a new line of silk scarves with designs reflecting Florence landmarks. “They are really special, a beautiful series,” she says.

Gloves are the product that started it all. Weber recognized early on that glove stores in Italy carried a range of colours and styles not found in Canada. So she began to offer a wide variety that has continued to grow. She now imports from three leather glove suppliers and one vendor of fabric gloves, all based in Naples. “We can say with assurance that we have the largest selection of Italian gloves – men’s and women’s – in Ontario and perhaps Canada,” she says.

She’s also the only vendor in Canada carrying handmade Murano glass jewellery from Miani in Venice.

While Italian businesses suffered severely during the pandemic, Weber is happy to report most of them have rebounded with a tourism surge in recent months and are busy again.

This, along with her inventory of Canadian giftware, is good news for the store. “Every month this year has been better than last year and that was our best year ever, so it’s very encouraging.”


 FOR MORE INFORMATION • 189 Adelaide Street South, Unit 3 • 519-649-4122 • bizlife
“We can say with assurance that we have the largest selection of Italian gloves –men’s and women’s – in Ontario and perhaps Canada.”
TOP Boutique Firenze owner Bettina Weber is pleased to offer a wide variety of European products. LEFT Weber in Naples with designer Martina Squillace, of Omega Gloves.
January/February 2019 Lifestyle 29


According to the European River Cruising Association, 1.8 million people took one in 2019. What started out as a small part of the travel trade in the 1990s, says Doug Ellison, founder and chairman of Ellison Travel, has turned into a big part of the business.

Ellison has been in the game for 42 years and has taken so many river cruises – both as a traveller and as a guide – that he’s lost count. “I’ve enjoyed every one of them. It’s my favourite holiday,” he says. He says this popularity is due to the variety of experiences offered, whether “you want active or relaxing, enjoy wine, culture and food or history and art.”

For travellers who want to explore several European cities and countries, it’s a great way to do so with many of the headaches taken away: accommodations and transferring from hotel to hotel, booking excursions, food and wine. Those are all included in the price.

“Canadians like all-inclusive pricing,” says Michelle Whalen of Uni-

globe Enterprise Travel, adding that she’s currently booking as many river cruises as ocean cruises post-pandemic, though they tend to be more expensive. “People want a luxury experience. They’ve had their travel plans stalled for a couple of years and are saying: ‘To heck with it, I’m going to do a nice trip.’”

Some may be hesitant to book a river cruise because of low water levels in Europe. On a Scenic Waterways cruise sailing the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest last summer, Gail Ducharme, of Ellison Travel, experienced this firsthand. “We stayed on the ship as a hotel for the first couple of days and took a bus to do our excursions. They

accommodated everyone’s needs and we still saw everything, but they still refunded us each $1,200.”

Popular with an older demographic, many cruise lines offer different levels of excursions. Alice and Daniel Bespolko, 60 and 66 respectively, appreciated being able to see as much as they could without “lifting luggage,” she explains. They loved being on a smaller, uncrowded boat, while exploring the culture and beauty of Europe during “gentle walking tours.”

“We loved seeing the cathedrals in Austria, the wineries in France and the millions of bikes in Amsterdam” adds Alice.

Art, culture, cuisine, active, relaxing – that’s river cruising
Story and photos by Jill Ellis-Worthington
People want a luxury experience. They’ve had their travel plans stalled for a couple of years and are saying:
‘To heck with it, I’m going to do a nice trip.’”
30 Lifestyle January/February 2023

A trip of a lifetime

Sitting in the whirlpool, sipping wine while watching the ruins of castles along the Rhine, vineyards crawling up the hills of the Moselle and villages that each look like the setting of a fairy tale passing by is just one of the pleasures of European River Cruising.

Avalon’s Imagery II makes the sevenday journey through Germany, from Remich to Frankfurt, along the Moselle River through some of the richest grape-growing regions in the world.

Entitled an Active and Discovery cruise, bike tours along the river and through Frankfurt are among the excursions offered, as are hiking amid the vertical vineyards and walks through

the steeply cobblestoned village streets that Louis IV’s army traversed while trying to conquer this area adjacent to France.

A perfectly preserved three-storey Roman building sits next to the grand Electoral Palace in Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Cochem is the setting for the beautifully restored Reichsburg Castle.

Bernkastel-Kues features charming

 January/February 2023 Lifestyle 31
OPPOSITE PAGE Viewed from the parapet of Reichsburg Castle, the Moselle River winds through the valley’s rich grape-growing region. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Known as the little peaked house, this structure dates back to 1416 and is one of the most photographed buildings along the river. • Reichsburg Castle sits on a hilltop above Cochem. • A tall maypole is the centrepiece of Seligenstadt’s town square. • Cochem is ready to host the annual wine festival in August. • Protected by a wrought iron fence, the Fountain of Justice holds court over the square in Frankfurt’s old town. • Known for its Riesling wines, thousands of acres of vineyard cover the steep banks of the Moselle River.

half-timbered houses that were rebuilt after being bombed during the Second World War. In Koblenz, a thrilling gondola ride takes you up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Don’t miss Rudesheim’s famous coffee, made with locally produced Asbach Uralt brandy.

On-board entertainment is locally sourced, as is the food and wine, with classical and contemporary musical acts. But river cruising isn’t for those looking for a party. After walking, hiking and biking for hours each day, most turn in early to be up bright and early for the excellent and varietal breakfast buffet.

Frankfurt is a fitting end to the experience, with its skyscrapers framing the charming old town. The Gray Line hop-on-hop-off bus provides a whirlwind tour in two hours, giving a taste of what you’ll want to stop and explore on the next loop. And, a rideall-day ticket gets you around town on the city’s efficient transit system.

A side trip to Seligenstadt, lets you ride on the famous autobahn for a few minutes, and reveals ‘stumbling blocks’ on the sidewalks. These are small metal memorials inscribed with the names of Jewish citizens who lived there before perishing in concentration camps.

Back in the city, enjoying a Pilsner in one of the open-air cafés is the perfect exclamation point to the trip of a lifetime. • 1-800-265-7022



 FOR MORE INFORMATION THE FULL MENU ~ Continued from page 31
Enterprise Travel • 519-670-8484
32 Lifestyle January/February 2023
Piloting through the Rhine Gorge and viewing castle ruins is a highlight of many river cruises.
January/February 2023 Lifestyle 33 A Proud Supporter of London's Arts Community! 519-438-2534 Family-owned for over 45 years Visit our new location 371 Horton Street E sarah@framingandart ca Custom Framing Art Glass & Pottery Monthly Artist Exhibitions Art Installation WAREHOUSE 74 1737 RICHMOND ST, LONDON - 519 660-0074
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Atrip to a big box store with their children planted the idea for Plantables, an online source for fruit and vegetable seedlings. Adrian and Jodi Roelands looked at the sad plants offered by the retailer and knew they could provide better options. They already supplied greenhouse growers with high-quality seedlings –why not home gardeners?

In 2018, they launched Plantables, providing organically grown seedlings to get gardeners off to a healthy start. More than 25 fruit, vegetable and herb seedlings are available through their website

Top sellers are cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and basil. From traditional favourites beefsteak tomato and strawberries to trendy kale and red chili pepper, there’s something for everyone’s taste.

Less traditional offerings are also available. Cucamelon is a popular small

melon that tastes like a mix of watermelon and cucumber with a lime twist but is the size of a grape, making it quick to add to salads.

“It’s as easy as buying a shirt,” says Carolyn Bristowe, marketing team, of ordering online. “Go to the site, pick your plants, and we send the plants when you want them.” A handy tool suggests best planting times letting growers plan their garden in the middle of winter. A chart for each seedling indicates growing environment requirements, such as full sun, container

friendly and maturity time.

No matter the size of growing space available, Plantables seedlings can find a home on a patio, a backyard plot or cottage bed. There is also a fundraising program for schools and teams.

With urban gardening and healthy eating on the uptake, the Roelands know there is wide appeal.

“For $4.50 for one plant, you can have oodles of fresh vegetables on your plate every day,” says Bristowe. “Nothing beats the cost of that – it’s priceless.”

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● FOR MORE INFORMATION • PLANTABLES • 5894 Douglas Line, Lambton Shores • 226-777-8797 •


The concept of Dry (or Sober) January started decades ago and gained popularity over the years. Dry February is gaining momentum, too, as many who want to ‘sober up’ like the idea of doing it during the shortest month. Increased alcohol use during the pandemic has been well documented, with folks hunkering down and drowning their sorrows or using the time to hone mixology skills. Now that we are getting back on track, the concept of taking a break from drinking is again on the upswing. Exploirng craft beer and its culture has been a hobby for Dennis Kalichuk over the past few years. He and his wife Becky Matthews like finding new area breweries and tasting their products. The couple looks forward to enjoying a beer or two most evenings of the week and on weekends. A former marathoner, Kalichuk wondered what the effects of nonconsumption would be, so last February he and Matthews became temporary teetotallers. “We decided to take the Dry February Challenge and see how it goes,” he explains. “The first couple of days I looked at the calendar

and it looked like it was going to be a long month, but within three or four days it was fine.”

As a substitute, Kalichuk tried brewing different flavoured teas, and he successfully completed the challenge. Matthews, however, did have a couple of cheat days.

Dean Anderson, a certified addictions counsellor, says that finding a substitute activity to take the place of drinking is a good strategy. Knowing why you drink is the key factor in withdrawal management, he says. “Alcohol provides a basic need in your life, so you have to find out what are the needs that get satisfied when you drink.”

Drinking is often tied to social behaviours. He gives the example of someone who enjoys playing golf followed by a few beers with friends.

Golf is a healthy and beneficial activity, so you don’t want to give up that, but he advises setting your tee time very early in the morning as a way to avoid the pressure of drinking after.

Many use it as a coping mechanism through stress, so he says that finding out what the major stressors are and working around those is important.

“If you’re going to stop drinking for a month and you’re going to sell your house, you should do it a different month because selling your house is very stressful,” Anderson explains.

The benefits of taking a break from alcohol are many, according to James Seabrook, PhD, a professor in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Brescia University College. Better sleep is one of them, along with having

From financial benefits to improved memory to better sleep and overall health, the advantages of alcohol abstinence are many and vary from person to person, says Jamie Seabrook.
bestlife 36 Lifestyle January/February 2023
The benefits of going dry

more vivid dreams and waking up more refreshed. Those who drink every night – even just a couple of glasses of wine or beer – may find it harder to fall asleep at first. Other early symptoms may be irritability or feeling lethargic.

But after a few days of not consuming and not getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, better sleep will be achieved, he says, decreasing the risk of obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

During the second and third weeks of cessation, Seabrook says that a reduction of acid reflux, blood pressure and liver fat, along with improved kidney function can occur.

“Our bodies are really resilient, he says, “so a month of abstention will have good results,” says Seabrook.

Many will substitute water for alcohol and notice better-looking skin because of improved hydration. Skin conditions such as eczema can also improve.

Seabrook adds that there are financial benefits as alcohol is expensive in Ontario.

Weight loss is often a benefit, not only because alcohol and mixers have a lot of calories but also because heavy drinking can prompt you to eat more high-fat and unhealthy foods, especially late at night, he adds.

Such is the case for Susan Bradley, 66, who decided to take a break. She is on Weight Watchers and has a health condition that is aggravated by alcohol. After six weeks of abstention, Bradley lost 12 pounds. “Drinking does make me want to eat more and before you know it, I’m off track,” she says.

Usually drinking a few glasses of wine or beer each week, Bradley says that she doesn’t miss it except when she and husband Rob Pelletier go out for dinner. “We’ve been disciplined to match our alcohol and our meals. A nice meal seems to need a glass of wine to go with it.”

Bradley agrees with Seabrook, saying that she sleeps and feels better since she’s stopped drinking.

Mary Beth Fellner, who is 70 and single, doesn’t feel any different when she takes her annual hiatus from alcohol, which has happened for the last 10 years during Lent. Fellner says her level of use has been up and down over the years. She usually consumes wine each night but is able to quit drinking during the 40 days of Lent without a problem.

As a Catholic, Fellner does this because “you’re supposed to give up something that means something to you for Lent” but takes up drinking after.

“It seems like a fresh start, but I lapse back into old habits like drinking every night,” she says.

Fellner says she doesn’t feel any benefits during the 40-day period. “I still sleep terrible,” she explains, “and not one single pound lost over the 40 days.”

will substitute water for alcohol and notice better-looking skin because of
 January/February 2023 Lifestyle 37 • organizing • downsizing • moving • estate clearing • small-space living Sharon Kish, Professional Organizer 519 857 KISH sharon @
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38 Lifestyle January/February 2023 ARE YOU STRUGGLING with anxiety, depression or trauma? We are here for you 7 days a week! 474 King St. London | 519.619.8801 You are not alone! We offer 25 years of specialized training in leading edge solutions! Individuals, couples, family counselling. Available 7 days a week, daytime and evening appointments. FOR DETAILS CONTACT US AT:, call or visit our website. Stop snoring. Sleep Better! SURGERY FOR SNORING & SLEEP APNEA PHONE: 519.646.6320 FAX: 519.646.6173 | Snoring and Sleep Apnea Surgeries and Procedures: INCLUDING: • Palate surgery • Rhinoplasty • Nasal surgery • Tonsillectomy • Sleep studies Dr. Brian Rotenberg MD, MPH, FRCSC

Because she is concerned about her level of alcohol consumption, Fellner has tried to quit or cut down. “I do stop every year, so I can do it but at other times of the year it’s harder. I think that maybe I’ll just drink on the weekend but then I slip.” She signed up for an app but quickly deleted it. “It was too aggressive for me, with reminders every hour, and I don’t need it in my life.”

Seabrook argues that studies show that people who have support systems – such as quitting with a friend or using one of the available apps – have a higher success rate of reaching their goals to abstain for a certain amount of time.

Naltrexone is a medication that also can help, says Rob Campbell, a retired pharmacist. Requiring a prescription and most effectively used in conjunction with counselling, this medication “works by blocking the receptors in the brain that are responsible for pleasure.”

According to Campbell, “People who want to cut down or control their drinking because they have recognized that alcohol has a detrimental effect on their life can benefit from the use of this medication.”

He adds, “It also works really well for people who have one drink but can’t stop. Maybe they’re able to stop in a controlled setting at home, but if they know that they’re going to be in danger of drinking to excess – like going to a wedding – it helps put a switch on that says ‘I don’t want to finish that bottle of wine or have that extra beer.’”

Most who undertake a period of cessation plan to enjoy having a drink again. Kalichuk, Bradley and Fellner all resumed drinking after experiencing some of the benefits of abstinence.

According to Seabrook, literature shows that the trend toward alcohol abstention and reduction is more prevalent in older adults in a higher socioeconomic status with a higher level of education. Some use the period of abstinence to springboard into being more health conscious by limiting their drinking, often only partaking on weekends. 

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Hayhoe Homes


Making multiple decisions on design elements for a new home can be overwhelming: room colours, flooring, cabinetry, light fixtures and more. To help ease this process, Hayhoe Homes has opened a selection studio displaying myriad choices for its single-family homes.

“Seeing items and finishes installed helps purchasers envision them in their own homes,” says design and marketing supervisor Shale Gauthier. The studio in Tillsonburg is a bright and neutral space where clients can relax and make interior and exterior choices, she says. “We want the purchasers’ ideas and selections to come to life without distraction.

The space is divided into separate rooms, each offering a specific component for the design

Hayhoe Homes has opened a selection studio displaying myriad choices for its single-family homes.

and décor. “It features a multitude of custom elements, such as our brick/stone sideboards and cabinet door display and storage units,” Gauthier says. “A huge working kitchen allows us to effectively display cabinetry and counter colour choices as well as options like pull-out garbage, spice drawers and interior dividers.”

She notes a significant feature that sets the studio apart is a presentation of light fixture options. There are more than 175 on display, wall-mounted or hanging from metal ceiling clouds. All are fully wired and operational.

January/February 2023 Lifestyle 41 Freehold Townhomes in Tillsonburg & St. Thomas From $525,000 to $615,000 Emma Smith 519.409.1474 Dave Matthews 519.633.9215 TILLSONBURG ST. THOMAS Builder pays 2% commission to Realtors

GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry


A frantic search for just the right shirt or a particular pair of shoes can be an exercise in frustration. The solution is an organized and functional storage space. Enter GCW Kitchens & Cabinetry’s new line of closet systems.

With four tiers of closet designs – from essential to premium customization – GCW offers the right fit for all storage needs, says marketing representative Kimberly Bricker. “We wanted to expand our closet offerings to include styles from entry level to deluxe custom models, something for all tastes and needs. These four lines allow us to create a functional and stunning space that’s uncluttered and has a place for everything.”

The entry level Essential Line offers a simple, yet effective, space with open shelving and hanging options. A step up to the Select Line adds options like jewellery trays or pull-out laundry baskets. The Slim Line has a contemporary European look and flexible designs for multiple applications. And the top-of-the-line Premium Custom offers the ultimate in size and flexibility with the mantra ‘if you can dream it, we can build it.’

These closets can be a worthwhile investment, not just for clothing and accessories but also for the home, Bricker says. She encourages customers to visit one of GCW’s two showrooms to see the impressive selections for themselves. 

42 Lifestyle January/February 2023 #theteamtotrust 519-631-8373 Designed with superior craftsmanship for organized and functional storage spaces GCW Closets & Storage Solutions VISIT OUR NEWLY RENOVATED SHOWROOMS! 3537 White Oak Road, London | 95 South Edgeware Rd, St Thomas

Covers Designer’s Edge


A new era is dawning for automated window coverings. While they have been around for many years, their use has been primarily reserved for higher-end homes and corporate settings. However, new regulations impacting corded coverings has more consumers considering motorizing their shades, shutters and draperies, says Kevin Fellner, president at Covers Designers Edge.

At the same time, he notes, there are many more affordable choices in the marketplace, including good-quality rechargeable options.

Fellner says it’s important to work with experienced professionals who understand the nuances of automated coverings and can provide information for proper wiring and set-up. When considering motorized shades for new construction, begin early. “We

meet new homeowners who think the wiring has been done only to find out it was not done correctly or, in some cases, not done at all.”

While rechargeable options can be a good choice for many applications, he says wiring provides worry-free operation, without the added chore of recharging multiple batteries. And there are restrictive size limits with rechargeable motors, leaving less-than-desirable design choices. “With the extremely large windows in new homes and condos, single motorized shades are more advantageous than multiple smaller shades,” he says. “Determining the design options early allows for the most desirable outcome.”

Covers Designers Edge offers numerous automated solutions, including from Somfy and Powerview by Hunter Douglas. 

January/February 2023 Lifestyle 43 CONSULTATIONS BY APPOINTMENT SHOWROOM • YOUR HOME • VIRTUAL 519-652-0222 OR EMAIL SHOWROOM HOURS M-F 9-5 PowerView® and Somfy Automation experts LONDON NORTH 1950 HYDE PARK RD • 519-660-3661 LONDON SOUTH 297 EXETER RD • 519-652-0222 Hunter Douglas Vignette ® Modern Roman Shades with Duolite ® and PowerView ® Automation YOUR DRAPERY AND SHADE SPECIALIST SINCE 1987

Domus Developments


Compass Point 52-unit condominium development is taking shape at Domus Developments’ Port Stanley Landings. “We are excited to say the first homeowners have moved into this unique community,” says project developer Mike Mescia. “The second construction phase is well underway, and construction of the community pool is on the horizon.”

The homes are themed with deep contrasting colours and materials, tying into the village’s lakeside character. Standard features include vaulted ceilings and gas fireplaces in the great rooms, tray ceilings in the primary bedrooms and oversized rear windows with transoms. These custom details provide an ambiance of space and breathability.

Kitchens showcase solid surface

counters and custom cabinets in a selection of styles and finishes. Main bathrooms have soaker tubs and primary bedroom ensuites have custom tile walk-in showers.

Interiors also include engineered hardwood flooring, carpeting in bedrooms and porcelain tile in the foyer, kitchen, dining room and bathrooms. Lower levels, including roughed-in bathrooms and fullsize windows, may be finished as an upgrade.

Exteriors feature stone on the front and a three-foot stone ledge with Hardie Board horizontal siding around the side and rear. Homeowners enjoy covered front porches and rear paving-stone patios.

Landings is nestled in the northeast sector of this Lake Erie village, on East Street south of Dexter Line. 

44 Lifestyle January/February 2023 Now SelliNg CoNDoS www.portla ND i N g S . C a 519.870.1335 • 3 models to choose from – Bow, Port & Stern • 1250-1325 sq. ft. of living space on the main floor • Vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace, single or double garage • plus many more standard features!

Vranic Homes


The third phase of the Clear Skies neighbourhood is growing in Ilderton, north of London. John Vranic, owner of Vranic Homes, is delighted to continue his involvement in creating this family-friendly community this year. “It’s rewarding when you can build communities for happy clients,” he says, and there’s much to be happy about in this neighbourhood, he believes.

Ilderton itself has plenty of advantages. Its small-town charm and easy access to nature and walking trails, plus taxes 20 per cent less than in the city, are attractive features. Yet, it’s just 10 minutes from north London’s services and retail, dining and entertainment amenities.

Vranic is also proud of his homes. “I build every home as if I was

going to move into it. I don’t cut corners,” he says.

The one- and two-storey homes feature open-concept designs with flexible options. He offers more than 10 floor plans, each named after his contractors and team members, including ‘The Dicola,’ named for drywall contractor Steve Dicola of Dicola Interiors Ltd.; ‘The Avery’ for framer Dan Avery; and ‘The Anicet,’ honouring site supervisor Aniceto Pereira. “We’re focused on appreciating the people who make these homes possible,” Vranic says. More information and plans are available at

“I build every home as if I was going to move into it. I don’t cut corners.”
January/February 2023 Lifestyle 45
John Vranic
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Icing on the cake W

ith real estate sales facing an uncertain marketplace, a London couple who were considering a move reached out to Cara Design & Build looking for some renovation magic. The results more than met their expectations. “We love the property, but the home was older and dated and needed a facelift,” says Rick. “Now the house looks amazing. When people come in, they see a ‘wow’ factor.”

“The whole look is just beautiful,” his wife Cindy agrees.

“It was an aesthetic renovation,” says Jacquie Caranci who operates Cara Design & Build with her husband Stefano. “We worked within the existing footprint. There were no structural changes. It was the epitome of functional design.”

The renovation involved the main floor of the home and two bathrooms, one on the upper floor. Existing flooring throughout was replaced with LVP (luxury vinyl

48 Lifestyle January/February 2023

OPPOSITE PAGE Cool neutral tones of black and white are complemented by hits of brown and beige to warm up this contemporary kitchen redesign. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT A large flat screen TV on the kitchen wall allows the couple to cook and watch cooking shows at the same time. • The custom-made live-edge table provides both visual interest and dinner seating. • Both of the home’s bathrooms received facelifts to make them bright, inviting spaces. • The home’s industrial bistro look is carried through to its sitting area. 

The renovation involved the main floor of the home and two bathrooms, one on the upper floor.
January/February 2023 Lifestyle 49


plank), producing a look of light oak hardwood. New lighting and plumbing fixtures were also installed.

For Cindy and Rick, the piéce de resistance is the brand new kitchen. Casey’s Creative Kitchen’s was contracted to add custom cabinetry, quartz countertops and a central seating island. “We didn’t think we could get an island in there,” Cindy says. “We entertain a lot and now everyone can gather there. It’s a great design.”

The kitchen blends a modern ambiance with some rustic elements. Rick wanted an industrial bistro look. Caranci achieved that with the use of black stainless-steel appliances, to contrast with the white cabinetry, counters and subway tile walls. Open floating shelves were placed above the stove for additional storage. Pendant lights with black matte drums hang from the vaulted ceiling over the island to meld with its black base. These elements are juxtaposed with the natural wood shelving. “I love a white kitchen, but you’ve got to warm it up,” Caranci says.

Adding to that warmth is a dining table of live-edge maple that Rick contracted from S&D Rustic Décor in Belmont. “They do amazing work with wood,” he says. They also made a liveedge coffee table for the living room.

Another kitchen feature that the couple loves is a large-screen television mounted on the wall. “We both like to cook, and we like to watch TV. Now we can cook and eat around the island while watching,” Rick says.

Both bathrooms were given a modern update, with white cabinets and black matte fixtures. Full-size glassed-in showers, with white subway tiling, replaced a small corner shower in one bathroom and a tub in the other. “It’s a simple, clean-cut black and white theme,” Caranci says. The downstairs bath also saw the addition of a needed linen closet.

In all, Rick and Cindy were impressed with both the design and work by Cara Design & Build. “Everyone from Jacquie and Stefano to the tradespeople were professional and very helpful,” Rick says. They are now saving their pennies to bring them back to transform their basement family room.


~ Continued from page 49 ● FOR MORE INFORMATION
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describe luxurious London home

Wide-open sun-drenched spaces contrasting with intimate gathering areas define this southwest London home. “It’s contemporary flair with warmth; this is a combination that doesn’t always mesh but fits together perfectly here,” says John Crosby, sales representative with Royal LePage Triland Realty. He has the two-storey home with three finished levels, which he’s dubbed the Urban Executive, listed at $3.28 million. The open-versus-privacy mixture

is an integral element, says homeowner Marlene*, who designed the home. “We enjoy the openness, but people need to have their own spaces as well.”

The spacious ambiance is evident on entering a two-storey foyer carrying through to the rear dining area. These are complemented by a floating three-level mono-beam staircase, backed by a ledgestone travertine wall from the basement to a secondstorey parapet. A glass-rail catwalk, linking upper-level bedroom wings, overlooks the main floor.

The entry view – stretching from front to back - is impressive, Marlene notes. It’s also designed to capture attention, with accent walls lined by 10-foot vertical oak strips enclosing hidden closets, flanked by a 5.5-by10-foot polished marble panel wall.

A rear family room, adjacent to the dining area, provides a more intimate gathering space and showcases a central waterfall ceiling, with inset oak planking dropping down to an offset fireplace.

The kitchen stretches across the back of the house. Its black-and-

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT The home’s curb appeal is enhanced by stark contrasts: white siding with ledgestone accents, black window cladding and an architectural box-out in black stucco. • The backyard’s centerpiece is a 40-foot saltwater pool. • Lush rear yard lawns, enclosed by an 11-foot hedge, offer a secluded retreat. • The open two-storey entrance foyer features accent walls with linear oak strips flanked by a decorative marble panel. • The three levels are connected by a floating mono-beam staircase, backed by a ledgestone travertine wall.

January/February 2023 Lifestyle 51
52 Lifestyle January/February 2023
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT The entrance to a front office off the foyer is situated between oak-lined accent walls that enclose two hidden closets. • A family room, adjacent to the dining area, showcases an oak-lined waterfall ceiling tray, dropping down to an offset fireplace. • The kitchen, overlooking the rear yard, is anchored by an 11-foot waterfall-edged island and features custom cabinetry. • The primary ensuite bathroom incorporates a glass infinity shower and large soaker tub. • In the primary bedroom, a central fireplace is bracketed by oversized windows to the backyard. 

white palette incorporates an 11-foot island, featuring double waterfall edges, as well as quartz countertops and custom cabinetry by London Kitchen Studio. A large walk-in pantry provides storage.

On the upper level, the primary suite wing includes a bedroom, highlighted by a fireplace that is bracketed by oversized windows to the backyard. It encompasses a walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom with a glassed-in infinity shower and soaker tub. This suite also accesses a covered front terrace, a favourite spot for family relaxation, Marlene says.

Another favoured place in the primary wing, Marlene says, is a media room, with a television and fireplace. These are set in a feature wall, with Picasso tiling, and overlook the main level through a full-height tempered glass wall. “It’s cozy and a great place to get away from the daily hustle and bustle.”

The home’s lower level is ideally suited for a separate multi-generational suite with the three floors connected by both an elevator and stairs. Intergenerational living was definitely top-of-mind for Marlene in creating the design. “With the size of the house, it just made sense,” she says. This level offers an expansive recreation room with a fireplace and a bedroom suite, with ample space for a seating area, as well as a spacious walk-in closet and four-piece bathroom. There is also an additional bedroom or office/den.

Privacy is key in the backyard retreat, bounded by trees and an 11-foot hedge. “I’m astounded by the privacy,” Marlene says. “You are completely enclosed in a secluded space.” Lawns, gardens and patios, including a covered barbecue terrace, surround a central 40-foot saltwater pool and rear cabana with bar seating. The area also includes an outdoor shower, plus pool and storage sheds. 

*Name changed for privacy.




SPACIOUS AND STYLISH ~ Continued from page 52
January/February 2023 Lifestyle 53

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN Campfires for modern families

The roadside sale of firewood has evolved into the creation of a deluxe campfire experience for an Ilderton entrepreneur. Andrea Stuart, owner of Campfire Ninja, is the exclusive dealer in this region for Cowboy Cauldrons, a line of stainless-steel pots for cooking over or containing bonfires.

Stuart had been selling wood left over from heating her home but a trip to the Ottawa Valley, where she encountered a tradition of outdoor community corn roasts, sparked an expansion. She hoped to bring the tradition to southwestern Ontario but discovered the large cast iron pots used to roast the corn weren’t readily available. That led her to the Utah-based Cowboy Cauldrons.

The fire pits, with the pot suspended from a tripod formed by accompanying legs, are available in four sizes, from 24- to 42-inch basins. The pots, which come with grills, can be used for cooking or as a bonfire container. “They’re so versatile. That’s what I love about them,” Stuart says. She has all models set up in an outdoor gallery to demonstrate for customers. “I can light up a fire, and they can experience it. And I wanted them to be able to visualize the sizes.”

The smallest, called The Dude, and the next largest, Urban Cowboy, are popular as the most versatile models. They are easy to transport to the cottage or campground, she says. The largest – Ranch Boss, with its 42-inch diameter pot weighing in at 220 pounds – is attracting commercial buyers, she says, noting they are becoming a trendy addition at Nordic Spas.

Launching the cauldron sales during the pandemic was a bonus for Stuart. “People were looking for ways to get together and finding that spending time outdoors was fun and

healthy,” she says. “Even those who had never had a campfire before were buying fire pits. It’s just so relaxing.”

Prices for the cauldrons range from $1,649 to $5,899. “They are expensive, but they last forever,” Stuart says. “It’s a simple design, nothing to go wrong. And being steel, they don’t crack like the cast iron. It’s really an investment, something that can pass down to kids and grandkids.”


 FOR MORE INFORMATION • 21951 Vanneck Road, Ilderton • 519-614-1924 • bizlife
“It’s a simple design, nothing to go wrong. And being steel, they don’t crack like the cast iron.”
Campfire Ninja offers stainless steel cauldrons in a variety of sizes for outdoor cooking and campfire experiences.
54 Lifestyle January/February 2023

Sleek, clean and healthy are watchwords for hair fashion moving into 2023. “It’s a clean aesthetic with slick minimalistic styling,” says Maria Bikas, owner of Maria Bikas Salon. Included in this year’s offerings is a resurgence of styles from the early 2000s, being dubbed Y2K. It’s a cycle, familiar in the fashion realms, that sees trends repeat every couple of decades melding past and current styles.

Spring and summer will be all about the “clean look,” Bikas says. “This is achievable by simply parting your hair on the side and gel, gel, gel.” And when it comes to parts, deep side versions are set to dominate, shutting down the traditional middle versus side part debate, she adds. She also says that the mullet is poised to make a comeback in 2023.

An emerging trend in the world of colour is the Color.Me Gloss treatment line from Kevin Murphy. Bikas and staff members recently visited Austin, Texas for a Murphy ‘Fast

Forward’ educational seminar, where the treatment was featured.

Bikas has noticed that clients do associate healthy hair with general wellbeing, so this trend makes sense to her. Murphy, an Australian hairstylist and educator, is known for creating products with natural ingredients that keep hair healthy, hydrated and strong. They contain no sulphates or parabens and are vegan and cruelty-free. A colour and treatment in one, the Color.Me line is designed to revitalize and moisturize the hair providing strength that increases with every use.

“This is an innovative, luxurious high shine line,” Bikas says. “It lasts 15 or more washes, restoring colour and making hair thicker and stronger after just one use. And it will get glossier and glossier after each application.” It comes in 30 shades.

Bikas says her staff offers expertise in the range of styles and treatments. They are ready to offer consultations for all needs and wishes.


 FOR MORE INFORMATION • 1673 Richmond Street • 519-850-8383 •
HIGH TIME FOR HIGH GLOSS Treatments that enhance hair
Maria Bikas Salon offers Kevin Murphy Color Gloss in Gloss Me Blonde, Gloss Me Copper and Gloss Me Brunette.
bizlife January/February 2023 Lifestyle 55
Salon owner Maria Bikas.

We’ve got you covered at each stage of life, as you welcome every milestone. Whether you’re searching for your first house, moving up to a larger home, or you’re downsizing, there is a Sifton neighbourhood guaranteed to meet your changing needs.

Start building your dream home today!

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