HAPPY 2021!

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

May 2021 bring you and your family much health, happiness and joy!


Savour The Season Of Warmth And Light

Living with winter is about savoring the warm and cozy aspects of the season. Candles, fairy lights and a roaring fire can do wonders to boost light on short, dark days and (even more important) bolster the spirits. So pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa and get cozy around the fire. Here are some ideas for boosting light, lifting your spirits and creating a magical ambience around the house.

Keep Your Windows Clean

You may be surprised at how much more light comes in through crystal-clear windows. Even if it’s too cold out to get to the exterior side of the windows, cleaning even inside can boost light. And while there’s something to be said for the insulating effects of heavy window treatments, they do nothing when it comes to letting in maximum light on dim winter days — so open the blinds and pull open those drapes!

Line Your Hall With Lanterns

If you have a long hall, why not line it with a row of sturdy lanterns or hurricanes filled with pillar or LED candles?

This would make walking from one room to the next a far more romantic experience.

Have Your Fireplace Ready And Waiting

If you have a working fireplace or wood stove, stock up and get ready with everything you need to light a fire at a moment’s notice.

Chop and stack wood, prepare kindling and get your tools in order. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to have your chimney professionally cleaned. 

Knowing everything is ready to go may nudge you into having a cozy fire more often.

Use String Lights In The Bedroom

Whether you choose plain white twinkle lights or mini paper lanterns on a string, fairy lights bring a magical touch to the winter bedroom.

Drape them from the headboard, hang them vertically from a curtain rod or drape them across the top of the closet. Before bed put out all lights but the twinkle lights and candle, and revel in the ambience.

Enhance The Kitchen With Candles

Kitchen lighting can be a bit sterile — it gets the job done but doesn’t add anything to the mood. Supplement the overheads with a smattering of tea lights or votives on the counters, and I think you’ll find even chopping vegetables or washing up to be a more pleasant undertaking.

As always, keep an eye on burning candles, and never leave them unattended.

Light Candles At Breakfast

Winter mornings can be so dark. Why reserve candles for the dinner table only, when you can benefit from them at all times of day? I find candles have an especially calming effect on children; they’re great for soothing frazzled nerves before a busy school day.

Put Candles Around The Tub

If you don’t normally soak in the tub, make an exception for winter.

Bring in a few candles and place them around the tub, turn down the lights and relax. Repeat at least once a week.

Keep Your Holiday Decorating Simple

I’m not one for going overboard on holiday decor, but a few simple pieces can bring a welcome festive air to the home.

When All Else Fails, Treat Yourself To Color

I am a firm believer in the power of color to uplift the spirits. So if all of the tea lights, fairy lights and cozy nights around the fire aren’t helping you get your groove back, allow me to suggest splurging on something bright and bold instead.


Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year

As 2020 comes to a close we can all breathe a sigh of relief that it is finally over.

With COVID-19 shutting down everything. With new protocols and ways to work and learn, we have all learned a lot this year about how isolation can take a toll.

Yet through all the hardship there has been great kindness. Here on the Sushine Coast the community raised over $30,000 for the Elves Club, which gives out donations to different organization on the Coast in need of help.

The Elphinstone High School Leadership class did a food drive that brought in over 4,500 items and $1,390 in cash. This is double the food that is normally donated and 9 times the amount of money usually donated. With it, over 178 individuals and families in Gibsons were serviced and some also went to the Sechelt and Pender Harbour Food Banks.

The Sunshine Coast Secret Santa helped 46 families in need. This year has been tough, but it shows that when we all pull together we can do great things.

With vaccines on the horizon, hopefully 2021 will be a year of renewal. Renewal of friendships and communities. 


Have a Wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season!

Happy New Year! 

And May 2021 Bring You All Health and Happiness!


How To See The "Christmas Star"

If you get clear weather this week then you’ve hit the celestial jackpot.

Not only is there a meteor shower about to peak, but a great conjunction of planets that hasn’t been seen for 800 years—is now visible. 

Today Monday, December 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer to each other than they have for nearly 400 years. It’s around 800 years since they have been so easily seen.

For the rest of December, they will appear to be super-close in the post-sunset night sky.

It’s called a “great conjunction” because Jupiter and Saturn are the two largest planets in the Solar System, and to the naked eye they’ll look like a single bright star. 

Tonight, December 21, and into the early hours of December 22 the Ursids meteor shower 2020 will also strike. So, if you go out stargazing expect to see a few shooting stars.

How, When and Where To See It

It’s being called the “Christmas Star,” but it is all about planets, not stars. The two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn will look like two bright stars that are almost touching, when seen by the naked eye. 

It will all happen just after sunset in the southwestern sky on December 21, 2020 and will take place low to the horizon. The two planets will sink below the horizon about two hours after sunset so you will need to be quick.

This is a historic sight. That we won’t see again in our lifetime. 

How, When and Where To See The Ursid Meteor Shower

Although you can see shooting stars from the Ursid meteor shower at any time between December 17-26, the peak night is December 21/22, 2020. Midnight will be the best time to get outside looking up. 

Expect to see between 5 and 10 shooting stars per hour if you have a clear, dark sky away from light pollution. Facing generally north is a good idea, though the streaks will appear longer to the east and west and they radiate out from Ursa Minor.

The Ursids meteor shower is the result of dust left in the Solar System in the wake of comet 8P Tuttle, which enters the inner Solar System every 13 years and is due back in August 2021. 

So if you are lucky enough to have clear skies tonight and in the next week get outside and do some star gazing.


It’s winter’s cruellest COVID-19 twist for those with glasses, the endless fogging up of them. Mask-wearing and colder weather will make the fogging up even worse.

Here are some solutions to the problem.


Your warm breath.

When you have a mask on, your breath can only go out the side or straight up behind your glasses. Hot, humid air on cold glasses causes it to fog.

It’s even worse in the winter, when your glasses are extra chilly, leading to even more steam and fog.


The easiest solution is to seal down your mask around your nose or cheeks. Use surgical tape or another bandage that won’t irritate the skin.

You can also opt for a mask that has a wire across the nose, so you can tighten the upper edge, moulding it to your face a bit more, meaning less air can escape. 

While these options work well if you’re keeping your mask on all day, they aren’t the best if it’s coming off and on.


If you’re looking to kick the problem for good, you can invest in a pair of lenses with an anti-fog coating.

But if you’re not ready for a whole new pair of glasses, you can purchase anti-fog sprays and wipes that do the trick.

You wipe them in the morning, and they last for about 24 hours. So it’s a more inexpensive and convenient option.

You should also make sure your glasses are fitted properly and get them adjusted so they sit better on your nose or can go on top of your mask.

Of course, you could also ditch the glasses altogether and switch to contact lenses.


Heard that cleaning your glasses with soap or shaving cream will do the trick? Think again.

Do not put anything on your glasses that is not intended to go on them. It can eat away at the coatings, and your glasses could be ruined.


We’ve yet to hit the coldest days, so the issue of glasses fog will likely get worse as the temperatures fall.

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