Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 - Nintendo Wii


I am a bit of a gamer at heart, I love Mario and Zelda games the most. My kids and I enjoy sitting together on our days off and gaming out. Don't get me wrong 75% of my kids play time is outdoors, but when the weather is gross, we are sick or it has gotten dark out and we have time to kill there is always a bit of gaming time.


I love our Wii mini. It was cheaper than regular Wii's with internet capabilities but I don't need that feature so the savings made sense. You can get second hand Wii's for next to nothing these days. Check Castanet if you live in the Okanagan.


One of my favorite games of all time is Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2. They are a blast to play for all ages. I love how unique the gameplay is, your in space collecting stars all over the galaxy. Since your storming around in space gravity is totally out of whack so you have fun figuring out the crazy controls while walking upside down and sideways on the walls and ceilings.


There is all kinds of neat transformations for Mario in Super Mario Galaxy 1 and then in Super Mario Galaxy 2 you get to have Yoshi and he gets to do the transforming and power ups. It is one of the funniest games I have played and I certainly hope Wii sticks around for a while longer.


Giving Assistant Gives Back To You & Charity


You know when you find something online and you really want to buy it but would prefer to get a better deal. You go around googling promo codes to save some cash and can't find anything or any codes you do find won't work? This is extremely frustrating and time consuming. Wouldn't it be nice to get great deals and get paid for shopping? Welcome to Giving Assistant! I was shopping today for some online only Walmart deals and actually got money back for purchasing stuff I was already going to buy in the first place. This is the kind of stuff that Canadians need to get through this economic crumble. It feels so nice to know my hard earned money is actually working in my favor for once. The more stuff you buy online the more money you get back, and since you are going to be shopping for stuff already doesn't this just make sense? So shop your favorite retailers like Kohl's, Sears, Forever 21, and much more!



Summary on Giving Assistant: Giving Assistant mission is to save you more money, so you can better care for your loved ones and support charity PROBLEM: Promo codes rarely work! Process is frustrating SOLUTION: When promo codes don’t work, always get a discount with digital loyalty (ie cashback) Giving Assistant is a free digital loyalty program, over 1,100 largest retailers, avg. of 5% cash reward after each online purchase. How Giving Assistant Works Retailers pay us a commission for purchases originated from our website. Typically a percentage of the sale (avg ~5%). For purchases originated by our members we pay the entire commission as cash back directly and digitally to our members.


For non-member purchases they retain the commission, and make a small donation to Feeding America to give one meal. Members are given the option to automatically donate any % of their cash back to any charity of their choice. Giving Assistant’s Cash Back Promise Double Cash Back, Always. 
We give you 100% of the commission, unlike the other guys with just 50% of the commission. We pay in days direct to your secure debit card. Not months
 waiting for a check in the mail like other cash back sites. 
Sometimes using cash back sites can be a pain if you have to reach a higher threshold to cash out, with Giving Assistant you can cash out at just $5 unlike other sites where the threshold can be as high as $25-50. If you ever have a problem getting your cash back there is an excellent team on hand waiting to help,you will always get results. Saving money and giving to charity is a truly Canadian way of life. Now you can do it all at once and get your shopping done at the same time. Its a trifecta of happiness! Sign up today!


The Health Benefits Of Music For Kids


Music is one of the most joyful events in life. It can make you feel better when your down and out and has so many other benefits. Music has so many health benefits it is amazing:

When I drive with my kids in the vehicle I like to ensure they are listening to music that is suited to their age. They all adore the hot hits on the radio but some of the lyrics can be a bit inappropriate. I love the hot hits on the radio to which is why I am so addicted to Kidz Bop


Kidz Bop has all of today's music sung by the most talented kids I have ever heard. The lyrics have been switched up just a tiny bit to suit kids of all ages. My kids bellow the words with smiles and laughter and I can be sure they aren't singing about topics way beyond their years. 


You can get your copy at any music store, Walmart, iTunes, and much more. It is a great collection your kids will love.

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO JUICE?


Is “juicing” a fad or is it here to stay?  What is most important to know about juicing are provenance, preparation and combinations.  Where is the food item sourced from, who is handling it, how is it processed, and what combinations of food are important medicinally?  There are so many juices out there. Each city has local favorites such as Easy Being Green, Juice Generation, Evolution Fresh, Jugo Fresh, and Blue Print.  Sipping your nutrients has been popular for several years.  And it's no surprise—the “It drink” can provide you with loads of health benefits by upping your intake of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. The problem is, there's a lot of confusion about how to juice.  Dr. Michael Hall is a general practitioner and founder of The Hall Longevity Clinic in Miami Beach.  Dr. Hall cautions that, “One must be savvy and know how to read between the lines at a super market or  juice bar.” Dr. Hall decodes some of the common “juice” terms and points out common mistakes “juicing junkies” make.

“Contains 100% Juice”Everything in the bottle came from fruit or vegetables, but not necessarily the ones front and center on the label. For example, a cranberry juice might have pure cranberry juice diluted with apple or pear juice. This is still considered “100% juice.”

HPP: This stands for high pressure processing and is a non-thermal pasteurization process. This method is used to give juice a longer shelf life by deactivating certain microorganisms and enzymes.

“Raw” 
At the present time, this term is either used to refer to unpasteurized cold-pressed juice that has a shelf life of two to three days or HPP-treated cold-pressed juice with a shelf life of up to 45 days. Check the label to see if and how the juice has been pasteurized.

“Unpasteurized”A very small percentage of commercially sold cold-pressed juice in the United States is unpasteurized, though it is gaining popularity. Imagine the fresh-squeezed apple cider at a local orchard, or premium green juice blends made at popular juice bars like NYC-based Juice Press and Liquiteria. These juices have a shelf life of a mere two to three days and are usually created with organic ingredients, making them about three times more expensive than your average lunchtime juice box. 

“Pasteurized”Usually referring to thermal pasteurization, where a product is heated, pasteurization is used to prevent spoiling and to kill harmful pathogens, like E. coli. In addition to juice, milk, cheese, canned foods, wines and syrups are commonly pasteurized. Some companies use “flash pasteurization,” which supposedly maintains the color and flavor better. HPP is sometimes considered a form of pasteurization, though it does not use heat.

Cold-Pressed: This juice is created with a press and slow pulverizer. Because the process is slow and doesn't cause heat, it helps to preserve enzymes and therefore, important nutrients. This is a popular method used for store-bought juices.

“From Concentrate”Many companies create a shelf-stable pasteurized juice product by extracting water from juice and creating a “concentrated” juice product. To make “reconstituted juice,” either the consumer or the manufacturer will add in water to dilute the concentrated juice before serving.

“Not From Concentrate”Used by numerous brands including Tropicana and Florida’s Natural, this phrase was coined in the 80s to distinguish pasteurized juice from juice made from concentrate. Though no water has been removed from this product, some larger producers strip the juice of oxygen, to keep juice stable while oranges are out of season, which reduces some natural flavoring. Some companies add in proprietary “flavor packs” so the product has the taste and aroma of just-squeezed juice. The FDA does not currently require that companies list flavor packs on a product’s packaging.

Common Juicing Mistakes 
Going All Or Nothing
Some people get so caught up in a new diet trend that they think going to the extreme will provide better, faster results. In reality, that often sets one up for failure. For most of us it's extremely difficult to sustain an all-juice diet for any extended length of time. Dr. Hall says that, “The key is to incorporate juices into your diet without totally replacing your meals. For most people, a breakfast juice is a great place to start.” 

Adding Without Subtracting
Another common mistake is adding juices into your diet without subtracting other foods. Dr. Hall states that, “While juicing does provide antioxidants, it's important to keep in mind that they still have calories. Some are better than others—for instance, green juices tend to have fewer calories and sugar than fruit juices—but if you're adding these to your diet every day, well it adds up. Instead, add a juice to your diet while subtracting another food. But remember, the trick is to incorporate them, not use them to replace meals altogether.” 

Picking the Wrong Produce
The best part of juicing is that each drink you make is hand crafted from the fresh produce you put into it. Unfortunately, this leaves a fair amount of room for error. But this doesn't mean that you should load it up with so many fruits or fruit juices that it tastes like a milkshake from a fast food restaurant. If you find yourself adding entire fruit baskets to your morning drink, it's probably time for a new plan. You might end with so much sugar and calories that it negates the health benefits. Dr. Hall’s tip?  “Make sure your juices follow the 80:20 ratio- 80% greens, 20% fruit. Essentially, the fruit is there to cut the bitter taste, not to dominate your drink.” 


Juicing (and Storing) in Bulk
It's important to store your produce properly before juicing, but it's also crucial to drink any juice you make at home as soon as possible. Once all of the raw nutrients are exposed to oxygen, they have a tendency to break down. At a maximum, juices should be stored for just a few hours before drinking. After that they lose a huge amount of their nutrients and may cause you to become ill if pathogens grow from oxidation. So, if you want to reap the most benefits, drink up right after you juice up. 

Dr. Michael Hall
Dr. Michael Hall is a Miami Beach, Florida general medical practitioner specializing in longevity, anti-aging, total body wellness and rejuvenation. With over twenty years of experience in medicine; Dr. Hall is a credible resource offering his expertise on a wide array of popular health topics such as: Brain function, organ function, joint and muscle pain, stem cell therapy, tissue repair, testosterone replacement therapy, sexual health, hormonal imbalance, travel illnesses, travel vaccinations, substance abuse treatment, weight loss, skin care and skin rejuvenation.
Dr. Hall’s two-decade medical career includes international volunteer work inspiring him to pursue integrative and functional medicine. In 2007, Dr. Hall established the Hall Longevity Clinic utilizing a combination of modern Western medicine with ancient healing modalities. Dr. Hall explains that his role as a healthcare professional is to "balance the mind, body and soul". 
Dr. Hall is intensely interested in curating the best remedies and procedures aimed at increasing longevity and slowing down the aging process both internally and externally. 

Background and Education: 
Educated in New Orleans, Louisiana, Manhattan and New York, Dr. Hall  studied internal medicine at Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation and ophthalmic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College-The New York Presbyterian Hospital and obtained a degree in health care management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service-New York University. Still seeking further medical education, in 2004 he went on to complete a community and family medicine residency at Truman Medical Center-Lakewood where he became a diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice. To pursue his interest in holistic healing, Dr. Hall completed further training from the Institute of Functional Medicine-University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine.
Volunteerism:
Dr. Hall's approach to life embodies the true essence of achieving balance and good health. Caring for people, he organized relief and aided victims of 2004 Boxing Day tsunami by founding a medical mission in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.

Attention Food Bloggers!


Taste Canada Awards

Taste Canada Awards to honour Canada’s best culinary writers in six categories
Call for Submissions: 2016 Food Blog Category - Starting February 24
Deadline for Book Submissions: February 24

 
Taste Canada Awards (tastecanada.org) invites all Canadian bloggers to submit entries to the 2016 Food Blog Category.

Submissions for the Food Blog Category will open officially on February 24 (visit tastecanada.org for the submissions link which goes live on Feb 24). The deadline for blog submissions is March 24, 2016.
 
Taste Canada will honour two blogs, one in English and one in French, authored by Canadian citizens. Three-person jury panels drawn from Canadian academic, publishing, creative, and institutional fields will review submissions. The shortlist will be announced on September 13th, 2016, and the winners will be revealed at the Taste Canada Awards Gala in the fall of 2016.
 
The Food Blog Category was modified this year to reflect the best Canadian food blogs. Bloggers will submit five posts that best represent their blog as a whole in regards to style, tone and focus. Posts must have been published online in 2015. Submissions can be made by visiting the website, tastecanada.org. The Food Blog Category is sponsored by Canadian Lentils (lentils.ca).
 
Taste Canada Awards promotes and recognizes world-class, Canadian-authored culinary writing. In addition to the Food Blog Category, this year, Taste Canada Awards will honour ten French and English cookbooks in five categories. Categories include: General Cookbooks, Single-Subject Cookbooks, Regional/Cultural Cookbooks, Culinary Narratives, and new this year, Health and Special Diet. The deadline to submit cookbooks is February 24th, 2016. 
 
At the Awards Gala, a national cultural event, Taste Canada will also name the Hall of Fame Award recipient, sponsored by The Culinary Historians of Canada; and winners of Taste Canada Cooks the Books presented and sponsored by the Alberta Canola Producers, a cooking competition that invites Canadian culinary students from across the nation to compete for the title of Canada’s Best New Student Chefs.
 
About Taste Canada Awards
Taste Canada Awards, a not-for-profit organization founded 19 years ago, is the only award in Canada that recognizes this nation’s abundance of outstanding culinary writers, both English and French. Our mission is to be the authoritative culinary writing award in Canada by showcasing and recognizing the best. Our vision is to promote Canadian-authored culinary writing so it is recognized as world class. Follow us on Twitter @tastecanada

REDUCE THE RISK OF WILDFIRE IN WEST KELOWNA


West Kelowna Fire Rescue is encouraging the residents of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation to join other communities across Canada and participate in local mitigation projects that will help reduce the risk of wildfire on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, May 7, 2016.


By committing a couple of hours, or the entire day, residents can join others throughout the nation to raise community wildfire awareness, help protect homes and neighbourhoods, and work towards becoming a FireSmart community.


Activities can be coordinated by anyone – individuals, groups, or an entire neighbourhood. To find out more information on Wildfire Preparedness Day or for project ideas for your community, visit www.firesmartcanada.ca. Share your community projects with West Kelowna Fire Rescue by contacting, 778-797-3200. To help assist with these projects, up to twenty $500 funding awards have been made available. Apply now until March 12, 2016 for your chance to receive funding for your project.


Natures Path Superfood Puffed Wheat Squares


I have a major sweet tooth and enjoy adding healthy tidbits to my delicious sweets. Natures Path makes it super easy to add super foods to your recipes. Like my puffed wheat squares, not only are they chocolatey and delicious but now have an added kick of goodness from chia, buckwheat and hemp found in Natures Path Qia Superfood cereal.

Superfood Puffed Wheat Squares

  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 cups puffed wheat cereal
  • 1 cup Natures Path Qia Superfood Cereal
1. Add margarine, corn syrup, cocoa, brown sugar to a large pot and bring to a boil. 

2. Bring pot off the heat and add puffed wheat and Qia and slowly mix until cereal is well combined. 

3. Press mixture firmly into a buttered cake pan and let set for an hour. Cut into squares and enjoy. 


Helping the environment one garden at a time!


Canada Blooms highlights the importance of rain gardens and storm water conservation

From the dawn of agriculture, rain has played an essential role in the lives of farmers and gardeners by aiding in the growth of crops and flowers.
Fresh rainwater provides vital nutrients that will ensure the health and longevity of your garden while protecting the environment and this year, visitors to Canada Blooms will learn how simple it is for homeowners to harvest this vital resource and create their very own rain garden.
"Rain gardens are a brilliant concept," says Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. "By creating some small adjustments in your home garden you can not only create a fuller, lush garden, but you will also help improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and ease the strain on our environment."
Rain gardens are natural or man-made rainwater runoffs that allow storm water to be soaked into the ground and plants rather than flowing into storm drains. By diverting the water that would eventually drain out to local rivers, lakes or to the sea, rain gardens help prevent erosion, water pollution and flooding.
Parklane Nurseries, a leader in the rain garden movement, will be on-hand at Canada Blooms, running from March 11th to 20th at Exhibition Place in Toronto, to educated visitors about rain gardens and to help them conceptualize their own rain garden at home.
"Canada Blooms is thrilled to be at the forefront of this important initiative," says Caddo. "We believe in this cause and want to drive awareness to the importance of storm water conservation and highlight how simple it is for people to create their own rain garden space that is both functional and attractive."
For more information or for tickets, please visitcanadablooms.com. Follow Canada Blooms on Twitter@CanadaBlooms and Like it on Facebook.


About Canada Blooms
Canada Blooms is an annual world-class festival that connects people to the joys and benefits of nature through experiences with gardens and flowers by promoting, educating, inspiring and celebrating all aspects of horticulture. Co-locating with the National Home show to create North America's Largest Home and Garden event, Canada Blooms is a not-for-profit organization that gives back to the community throughout the year by funding community garden projects around Ontario, Canada Blooms is also dedicated to providing the community with horticulture expertise, education and resources on an ongoing basis.
Now in its 20th year, Canada Blooms was founded by Landscape Ontario and The Garden Club of Toronto. Each year it is supported by a committed group of partners, sponsors and volunteers.

In Her Own Sweet Time


In the six years that have passed since the first edition of In Her Own Sweet Time was released by Basic Books, a lot has changed.

In 2009, as one of the pioneers of egg freezing, Lehmann-Haupt went on Good Morning America and declared companies need to pay attention to the changes in women’s lives and better support them by covering this technology on their health plans. Today, delaying marriage and childbirth to invest in one’s career has become the norm, as women edge out men as the new majority in the workplace. To attract and retain top talent, major employers like Facebook, Apple and Google have incorporated egg-freezing coverage into their health benefits packages – and the procedure is no longer considered “experimental” by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

There’s no denying strides have been made. Now, it’s time to reconsider how this generation is faring in the midst of these rapidly shifting social conventions – and what information is readily available to them about their options.

With the mass-market paperback launch of In Her Own Sweet Time’s second edition [Nothing But The Truth Publishing, February 2016], Lehmann-Haupt shares a timely, hopeful, and profoundly honest account of her own efforts to reconcile modern love with modern life.

The new edition of In Her Own Sweet Time has been updated to include the latest in medical, technological, and social science research, and contains new chapters that reveal what happened after Lehmann-Haupt decided to freeze her eggs at thirty-seven. Her daring journey concludes with the birth of her son as a “DIY Mom” – a term the author coined to describe women who choose to have babies on their own.

Told through the lens of Lehmann-Haupt’s personal journey as a thirty-something, In Her Own Sweet Time brings together the voices of multiple women facing the challenge of perfectly orchestrating the timing of their careers, love lives, and that brief, beautiful window wherein their bodies are ready for babies.

With warmth, humor, and a journalist’s eye for the facts, Lehmann-Haupt shines a light on an increasingly common predicament that women in their twenties, thirties, and forties face – and offers a number of solutions to help women free themselves from baby panic, relax, and enjoy their lives.
 “The fact that we don’t have control over the duration of our fertility is frightening, but no matter how scary some information is at first, it’s ultimately liberating to understand our body’s reproductive possibilities, as well as impossibilities,” writes Lehmann-Haupt in In Her Own Sweet Time’s new introduction.

“We have more options than ever,” she continues. “Understanding them can empower us – and, perhaps most importantly, turn panic into peace.”
A refreshing, important and game-changing read that will help women everywhere better understand their options – and make the choices that are right for them, In Her Own Sweet Time explores:

  • The media circus that surrounds “hook-up culture,” the “marriage crunch” and the new “baby panic”
  • What the data says about shifting family structures and how they really affect the children born into them
  • The pros – and yes, cons – of post-35 pregnancy and motherhood
  • Important facts about fertility, egg freezing, and other modern reproductive technologies like the ones used by Fertility Plus
  • The moral and ethical implications of alternatives to making babies “the old-fashioned way”
  • The rising number of DIY moms, and a new kind of fairytale ending that heralds a profound shift in the way we think about forming our families

Rachel has truly opened the door for any woman who wishes to freeze her eggs. Her book shares the true meaning of taking your time. Not only has she encouraged woman to become their own destiny decider she has encouraged businesses to include life changing benefits in their company policies. What an amazing way to make a difference. 


Rachel Lehmann-Haupt is one of America’s premier experts on the future of family life, career timing, and the influence of science and technology on fertility and pregnancy, and is widely credited with coining the phrase ‘DIY Mom.’ An in-demand speaker and journalist, her writing appears regularly in theNew York Times MagazineVogueOGlamourWiredSelf, and more. She graduated with distinction in English literature from Kenyon College, and has a Masters in Journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley (where she apprenticed under Clay Felker, the founder of New York magazine).
In Her Own Sweet Time: Egg Freezing and The New Frontiers of Family will be available via all major online and brick-and-mortar book retailers in paperback and e-book formats as of February 2016.
Find Rachel Lehmann-Haupt on FacebookTwitterGoodreadsShelfariPinterest, and athttp://www.lehmannhaupt.com/  and http://inherownsweetime.com/

TURFMUTT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM CONTEST


TURFMUTT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
EXPANDS WITH NEW MATERIALS AND $5,000 GRANT CONTEST DEVELOPED WITH SCHOLASTIC

Contest for Students at Schools with Grades K-5 Announced, Entry Deadline April 6, 2016

 Learning how to take care of the planet and studying science just got more fun with TurfMutt, an environmental stewardship and education program for kids, teachers and families. TurfMutt announces today its annual “Be a Backyard Superhero” contest, which awards a $5,000 grant to improve two winning schools’ green spaces, and the addition of new in-classroom materials for grades K to 5, including a new digital storybook titled “The West Coast Mission,” an online climate change game, and lesson plans for teachers at scholastic.com/TurfMutt


Created in conjunction with Scholastic, the  global children’s publishing, education and media company, the TurfMutt program helps students in grades K to 5 learn about science and the environment from the perspective of the backyard, community and personal green spaces they enjoy every day. The program also provides students with an understanding of how these green spaces benefit the environment when cared for in a sustainable way.

“With drought ransacking the West and many other parts of the country, understanding how to care for green spaces is more important than ever,” said Kris Kiser, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. “The new digital storybook and climate change game help children understand the importance of taking care of these living landscapes and what they contribute to our communities.”



To inspire kids to apply what they are learning to real life, the “Be a Backyard Superhero” essay contest offers students in grades K through 5 the opportunity to compete for a chance to win a $5,000 grant for a “green space makeover” at their school. Visit www.TurfMutt.com for rules and to obtain entry information.

TurfMutt program materials are free and aligned to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards. Lesson plans for teachers, take home sheets and learning activities are available. The program also offers a website and blog, interactive games and two digital storybooks.

A real-life rescue dog named Lucky is the superhero, TurfMutt. A cartoonized version of Lucky is “pawing it forward” by fighting environmental villains with the help of “The Outdoor Powers,” a band of cartoon superheroes. In the classroom materials, TurfMutt and The Outdoor Powers are on a mission to “Save the Planet One Yard at a Time” and they invite children to join them on their adventures and chip in.

“This unique cartoon-based story-telling format makes science accessible, entertaining and motivating for students and their families,” said Ann Amstutz Hayes, Senior Vice President, Scholastic. "We have created teachable moments that are fun and appealing for kids and encourage them to engage in real-life reading and writing exercises related directly to the green spaces in their community.”

The TurfMutt environmental education program, funded and managed by OPEI’s Research and Education Foundation, has reached 62 million students, teachers and families since 2009.

TurfMutt’s focus on environmental stewardship and best practices for water use and landscape maintenance have been widely accepted among educators, youth and families as well as listed as a resource by the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

About OPEI
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show.  OPEI’s Education & Research Foundation is the creative force behind the environmental education program, TurfMutt.com. OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org

Get Your BBQ Ready for Spring


A few simple steps to enhance its performance and make it last

Winter may have been late arriving this year, but spring is still just around the corner and thoughts are turning to warm afternoons in the backyard grilling juicy steaks, delicious hamburgers or seasonal vegetables.

But you want to make sure you can get the most out of your grill. To make it last and improve its performance, take a few minutes to ensure your grill is clean and ready to go. Your taste buds will thank you!

“Springtime is quickly approaching, but there are a few things you will want to do before you take the cover off and get to cooking your favourite cuts of meat,” says Stephen Schroeter, Senior Vice President of Napoleon. “After a long winter in storage — or a winter where you have been grilling throughout the cold — follow a few simple steps to improve the life and performance of your grill.”.

Here are Steve’s tips for getting your barbecue ready in the spring:

·         Clean the cooking grids and searing plates. Soak the cooking grills in warm water and soap before giving them a good cleaning to get rid of the grease and food crust that has been burnt on. Season them for the coming season and get ready from incredible grilled flavours all summer long. While your searing grids are soaking, remove the heat shields (give them a good scrape as well) so you can run your barbecue brush over the burners. This is also a good time to check your igniter and rear burner to make sure all is in working order.

·         Clean the grease cup. The more you use your grill, the more you will have to clean or replace your grease cup. Before firing up your grill, take out the old and put in the new.

·         Scrape off the grease tray. All the grease and food remnants from past meals collect and char on the grease tray. No need to get out the soap and water for this one, but give it a good scrape with a spatula or putty knife to clean off all the bits.

·         Check for leaks. Inspect your hose and fittings to ensure everything is in order and that there are no leaks. Do a soap test to be safe: in a spray bottle or small bowl, mix one part water to one part dish soap. Apply the mixture (spritz it or apply with a small brush) to all fittings. Make sure your lid is open and all the control knobs are turned off. Turn on your gas – any growing bubbles are a sign of a leak that needs to be addressed.
Napoleon has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 Best Managed Companies, an annual distinction sponsored by CIBC World Markets, Deloitte, The National Post, Queen’s School of Business and CEO Forum. For more information, please visit www.napoleonproducts.com. Follow Napoleon on Twitter @Follow_Napoleon and Like it Facebook.



About the Napoleon Group of Companies:
It all began in 1976 when a small steel fabrication business launched by Wolfgang Schroeter started manufacturing steel railings in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. At that time, no one could imagine the incredible future that lay ahead for Wolf Steel Ltd. and eventually Napoleon® Fireplaces and Napoleon®Gourmet Grills.

Since the first wood stove rolled off the production line more than 35 years ago, WolfSteel’s commitment was to be distinctive and successful in everything they do. Napoleon’s commitment to producing quality products combined with honest, reliable service has proven to be successful framework to ensuring the continued rapid growth of the company. Napoleon® is an ISO9001 - 2008 registered company and now operates with 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing space and employs more than 1,000 associates.

Napoleon® is North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of quality wood and gas fireplaces (inserts and stoves), gourmet gas and charcoal grills, outdoor living products and a complete line of Heating & Cooling equipment. Napoleon has been named one of Canada’s Top 50 Best Managed Companies, an annual distinction sponsored by CIBC World Markets, Deloitte, The National Post, Queen’s School of Business and CEO Forum.

When Should You Get a New Roof or Repair a Leak?

Determining a roof covering leak (failure) is fairly easy. You may see staining on your ceiling near drywall joints. As water travels it seeks the easiest way out. The weakest point in a drywall panelled ceiling is where sheets of drywall meet. To join the sheets, drywall mud is applied and sanded off to a smooth finish. When water penetrates through a drywall joint the stain starts as a circle shape and then progresses to a linear shape. Longer stains are an indicator of severity. 
Your roof is expected to fulfill various functions for extended periods under extremely harsh and uncontrollable conditions. Changes in the performance of this roof is directly related to the initial design, the degradation mechanism(s) taking place, as well as the intensity, frequency, and fluctuations of applied loads. Remaining service life isn’t always a function of age.
Estimating the general reliable service life of all types of roof coverings is pretty straightforward. Predicting exactly when a roof failure may take place is virtually impossible, and usually roof failure is noticed after it is well underway. The probability of failure of an aging roof system increases as the covering progressively ages.
Here are some tips to help you determine when a new roof covering may be in your future:
Roof age
Determining the age of your roof covering may be as easy as determining the age of your home. Another way is to look back at old receipts. The age of a roof covering is a commonly used tool to determine reliable service life prediction. It stands to reason that the probability of failure increases with age of the roof covering. Most asphalt shingle roof coverings in our area have reliable life expectancies of 25 to 30 years (or the published warrantied life). 
Curling and buckling shingles
Curling and buckling shingles is another sign that the roof covering is aging. 
Roof valleys
If you are experiencing accelerated deterioration in your roof valleys, it’s likely because of moisture retention. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters, so if the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks.
Missing shingles
This is another sign that your roof could be failing. When portions of your roof covering are missing, the chance of leaking increases dramatically.
Shingle granules in the gutters
Asphalt shingles have a protective coating of granules. Check in your gutters for granule buildup, as roof coverings tend to shed more granules toward the end of their reliable service life. You can also look at the covering from a distance for inconsistent or darker colour patterning. 
Don’t let cosmetic deterioration to be the sole determining factor. Just because something is old, it doesn’t mean that it’s not good. Just ask anyone over 50 years of age.

Original story from www.castanet.net 

Make Great Summer Memories

It’s drawing to a close after two months of nothing but children all up in your space! Parents everywhere are thrilled September is just aro...