Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Green is the new Black!

If you haven't heard Green is the new black! From your clothes to your home decor you just can't go wrong with the colour Green. Yes, this is a 2009 trend colour but a colour that you want to show off. With the Green movement becoming popular then ever, people are showing off how Green they are, plastering hybrid on their cars, showing off their Green appliances, drinking out of steel or hard plastic water bottles, and now even eating Green. I love that people are becoming passionate about this movement and trend, but as we all know trends fade. Is being Green a trend that will go out of style?
This Green movement has cost millions, with companies changing how their clothes are made, changing the materials that are used in furniture and even the packaging on products has been reevaluated. Now you are thinking oh big deal companies changed some of their ingredients which goes into their products, but what you don't understand is the time and energy spent on testing these products to prove that they are Green or more eco-friendly. The man power and studies it took to be able to label a product or process as Green certified, is over whelming to me. Discovering that wood manufactures have to store FSC approved woods (an eco-friendly process) in a different location then the rest of the woods due to off-gassing lurking in the air and contaminating the FSC approved woods. This is just one example on how companies have had to adjust and accommodate this so called trend, however to the companies that have spent money on this would not call it a 2009 trend but believe that this is the way of the world now. Which I am very happy to hear. This is one trend that we don't want to go out of style. As the days go by I find there is even more Green products arriving and with that said I think we are going to have this Green trend around for a while! Maybe Kermit the Frog isn't the only one that can say it isn't easy being green!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Have you heard about this 100mile Diet?!

In 2005, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon performed a one-year experiment of only eating locally grown produce. This 100-Mile diet experiment became bigger then they ever could have predicted, inspiring thousands! From individuals to entire communities. This 100 mile diet made people aware of what they were buying and where it was from, getting to know the seasons and understanding the risk to our health and to the environment. "Locally raised and produced food has been called “the new organic" — better tasting, better for the environment, better for local economies, and better for your health. From reviving the family farm to reconnecting." The 100 mile diet creates a whole new meaning to buying locally, because you only eat food which has be produced or grown in a 100-mile radius.
Now that must of be hard to find what to eat?
"We walked into the diet cold turkey for a full year, and it was hard. For example, we live on the West Coast, so it took us seven months to find a rogue local farmer who actually grows wheat. Meanwhile, we ate an unbelievable number of potatoes. Doing the diet the hard way taught us a lot about the current food system, but it is not for everybody. A more realistic approach is to plan a single, totally 100-mile meal with friends or family, and see where you want to go from there."

What do you eat then because I am sure it would become boring? "At first, yes. As we found more and more local food sources, though, our meals became more interesting than ever before. Farmers and farmers’ markets introduced us to foods and flavors we’d never tried before. We discovered the seasons, and the micro-seasons, and the micro-micro-seasons. What’s available is always changing."

What did you miss the most? "Every region has foods that are hard - or impossible - to find. We went without wheat for seven months. We missed pasta. We missed bread. We missed pancakes. Then we found our wheat farmer, and we pigged out."

The 100 mile diet is about eating locally for Global change. This lowers the carbon footprint, supports our local economics and frankly makes you a healthier/smarter person due to no pesticides in your foods and the knowledge you have to obtain to stick to this diet. I don't think this would be an easy process but even if all of us try to have one meal a day using the 100 mile radius rule, just think how quick a wave would begin and a powerful movement will be born and awakened! Let me know if anyone has done this and how they did, spread the word this is a fabulous concept!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Friday, April 10, 2009

H&H favourite Canadian Design Blogs!

Check it out! House & Home magazine shared with us their favourite Canadian Design Blogs!

Kim Johnson, Ottawa. "Total looks from the world's top designers."


Marie-Eve Best, Montreal. "Tips and trends for dressing, dining and decorating."


Arren Williams, Toronto. " An insider's look at the Canadian design scene."
Jan Halvarson, B.C. " A mostly Canadian marketplace of fine design."
Blogs are becoming a huge part of peoples lives and daily routine. Such a huge part that newspapers and other print material companies are suffering. Due to readers now turning to the web as a quick resource for great information on any specific topic of interest. The web allows them to collect information whenever they want and on whatever they want. There is so much information out there and it seems that print material just isn't cutting it anymore for our busy lives. Blogs are becoming more popular then ever due to this trend. There are new Blogs popping up every where, and I would love to know the Blogs that you are checking out??
You can never have to much information :)
Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 Home Improvement Tax Break- How does it Work?

Canadian Budget offers a tax break for Home Improvements in the year of 2009. So get your cheque book out, the tax man is helping with the bill!! If you have been thinking about refurbishing your kitchen or putting in an extra bathroom, etc and etc, this may be the year to achieve those home improvement projects that you have always wanted to tackle, because the tax man is helping out. Now how does this credit work? how to I apply? what items fall under this home improvement credit? So many questions regarding this program and so many of us can't seem to get answers. Well I found the information you need to get started and to educate yourself on this program. This is a program that you don't want to miss out on, lets be real its not very often that the Government actually gives back to us, so lets take advantage of it if we can!
The Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) is a non-refundable tax credit for work performed or goods acquired in respect of an eligible dwelling.
What does that mean, eligible dwelling?
"An eligible dwelling is a housing unit that is eligible to be an individuals principal residence or that of one or more of their family members, at any time between January 27, 2009 and February 1, 2010. In general, a housing unit is considered eligible to be an individuals principal residence where it is owned by the individual and ordinarily inhabited by the individual, the individuals spouse or common-law partner, or their children. This means that any dwelling that you own and use personally could qualify, including your home or your cottage. "
What is the eligibility period?
"The credit will be based on eligible expenditures for work performed or goods acquired after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010. Expenditures incurred pursuant to an agreement that was entered into before January 28, 2009, will not be eligible for the credit."
Who will be eligible for the credit?
"Eligibility for the HRTC will be family based. A family will generally be considered to consist of an individual or an individual and his or her spouse or common-law partner, including children who will be under 18 years of age, at the end of 2009. A family will be allowed a single credit that may be shared within the family.
If two or more families share the ownership of an eligible dwelling, each family will be eligible for their own separate credit (i.e. each up to $1,350) that will be calculated on their respective eligible expenditures. "
How will the credit be calculated?
"The credit will only be available for the 2009 tax year and applies to eligible expenditures of more than $1,000, but not more than $10,000, resulting in a maximum credit of $1,350 ($9,000 x 15%)."
What are eligible expenditures?
"To be eligible, expenditures incurred in relation to a renovation or alteration to an eligible dwelling (or the land that forms part of the eligible dwelling) must be of an enduring nature and integral to the dwelling, and includes the cost of labour and professional services, building materials, fixtures, rentals, and permits. Eligible expenditures must be supported by acceptable documentation."
Renovating a kitchen, bathroom or basement
New carpet or hardwood floors
Building an addition, garage, deck, garden/storage shed, fence
Re-shingling a roof
A new furnace, woodstove, boiler, fireplace, water softener or water heater
A new driveway or resurfacing a driveway
Painting of interior or exterior of a house
Window coverings directly attached to the window frame and whose removal would alter the nature of the dwelling
Laying new sod
Swimming Pools (Permanent - in ground and above ground)
Fixtures – lights, fans, etc.
Associated costs such as permits, professional services, equipment rentals and incidental expenses.
How will I claim the HRTC?
"A new line will be incorporated in the 2009 personal income tax return to allow you to claim the credit."
For more information on this Tax Credit please visit : http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhmrnvtn-eng.html#q1

If anyone has more information on this topic please let us know!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!


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