Friday, September 28, 2012

Trick or Treat! MGA releases spooky new toys in time for Halloween

Novi Stars™ are four alien girls on a galactic mission to meet new friends, try new things and find out what on Earth is going on?!

Alie Lectric™ is extremely bright and lights up in multiple cosmic colors; Una Verse™ is a definite diva with a body filled with glitter and water; Mae Tallick™ is a huge superstar with a metallic body who
speaks cosmic phrases in a robot-like voice; and Ari Roma™ is super sweet with her own bubble-gum scented atmosphere and removable bubble helmet. Each doll comes with a glow-in-the dark doll stand and a package handle that becomes an antenna headband. Suitable for girls six years and older, the suggested retail price is $24.99.

Bratz have finally been reunited with their bewitching long lost cousins, Bratzillaz™. Clobetta Spelletta™ and her pet Barkthalameow™ (her half dog, half cat creation) along with the rest of the girls and their mischievous pets rock wicked glam fashions.  
    They also use supernatural powers to achieve their dreams. With new striking glass eyes, movable joints and spell scrolls, Bratzillaz magic powers are perfect for Halloween play. Suggested retail price: $24.99

Introducing new Lalaloopsy™ characters for the fall: DYNA MIGHT™, a quirky superhero with a pet masked-raccoon; PICKLES BLT™, a roller-skating waitress with a pet hotdog; and SCARLET RIDING HOOD™.

With so many fun personalities, Lalaloopsy dolls are great accessories for any innovative Halloween costume. Suggested retail price: $29.99

To make trick or treating a little brighter, Little Tikes® has created Action Robot Flashlights™. Available as Red-bot, Girl Robot or Swoosh Robot, these flashlights have bendable limbs that let kids get creative in where they wrap them.

They are the perfect companion for the dark night. Suggested retail price: $12.99

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The food of Downton Abbey | Feature articles - ITV Food

The food of Downton Abbey | Feature articles - ITV Food

If you’d like to try your hand at some Edwardian-era cooking, here are three recipes typical of the period...    

Meat pie

4 cups cooked cornmeal

Rice, hominy or mashed potato

1 onion, sliced

2 cups tomato

Half tsp salt and pepper

1 tbsp fat

1lb left over meat, cut into small pieces

Melt fat, add onion and fry until brown. Add the tomato, seasoning and meat and heat through. Grease a baking dish, put in a layer of the cereal or potato, add the meat and gravy and cover with cereal or potato dotted with fat. Bake for half an hour. As made by Ivan Day .

Meatless sausage

1 cup soaked and dried peas, beans, lentils or lima beans

Half cup of dried breadcrumbs

Quarter cup of fat

1 egg

Half tsp salt

1 tsp sage

Mix and shape as sausage. Roll in flour and fry in dripping.

Beef stew

1lb meat from neck, cross ribs, shin or knuckles

1 onion, sliced

Three quarter cup carrots

Half cup turnips

1 cup potatoes

1 tsp salt

Quarter tsp pepper

Half cup flour

1 quart of water

Soak half the meat, cut into small pieces, in the quart of water for one hour. Heat slowly to boiling point. Season the other half of the meat with salt and pepper, roll in flour and brown in 3 tablespoons of fat with the onion. Add to the soaked meat, which has been brought to boiling point. Cook for one hour or until tender. Add the vegetables and flour mixed with half a cup of cold water. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

From Foods That Will Win The War And How To Cook Them by C. Houston Goudiss and Alberta M. Goudiss (1918).

Visit the Downton Abbey website:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Canadians call for better labelling on cleaning products

Survey results show majority of “green” claims aren’t proven

OTTAWA – Most Canadians have no idea what chemicals they’re using to clean their homes on a daily basis, according to results from a David Suzuki Foundation survey released today. The findings revealed that only 42 per cent of cleaning products displayed a full list of ingredients to consumers.

More than 10,500 Canadians participated in the online survey this past spring, providing information for more than 15,000 home cleaning products found in most people’s cupboards. The results from the survey show that Canadians want more information about what’s inside their cleaning products, but details can be hard to find.

“The results show it’s time the Canadian government brought in regulations for better labelling of ingredients found in home cleaning products,” says Lindsay Coulter, the David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green. “We clean to keep our homes safe and healthy, but some of the ingredients in these products are a threat to our health and the environment."

Currently, there are no requirements for manufacturers to disclose all ingredients or warn consumers about chronic health and environmental hazards associated with their products. Some of the chemical ingredients used in cleaning products are associated with cancer, reproductive problems, asthma and other respiratory effects, and allergies. When cleaning products are flushed down the drain, they can also affect aquatic ecosystems.

Ninety-nine per cent of participants want companies to be required to come clean on what’s inside their products. Survey results also show there is a need for more clarification of what constitutes a “green” or eco-friendly cleaning product. Seventy per cent of products entered contained some kind of claim to being “green” compared to just 47 per cent that displayed some kind of eco-certification.

“There are third-body eco-certifications in Canada that help consumers recognize eco-friendly choices,” says Coulter. “But one of the best ways to ensure your home is both clea and healthy is to use simple and inexpensive, yet effective, homemade cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.”
To see what a “good” cleaning product label should look like and read more survey findings visit

-For more information, contact:
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green, 604-732-4228 ext. 1264

Leanne Clare, Communications Specialist, 613-594-5410
Quotes from survey participants:
“I had no idea that conventional cleaners weren't obliged to list their ingredients, from now on I'll be reading the labels.” ~ Jasmine
“I want to know that what I'm using to clean is completely safe. I think as consumers we have the right to know what we are buying.” ~ Angela

“I've switched to green cleaners and I love them! They work perfectly well, and are much better for us and for the environment.” ~ Samantha

Monday, September 24, 2012

INSPIRE US’ AND SHOOT outside the box for your chance to be on ours

- Canadians invited to capture Canada’s beauty for a chance to win $1,500 and have their photo on millions of ROYALE facial tissue boxes across the country -

Whether it’s a beautiful sunrise or the perfect bloom, stunning architecture or nature at its best, Canada is a land with awe inspiring views and vistas. If you are an aspiring shutterbug who has captured something truly inspiring ROYALE wants to see it! The ROYALE Inspire Us Photo Challenge is on now and invites all Canadians to submit their photos to become the inspiration for the 2013 ROYALE Inspire Us Collection. New this year, ROYALE is also encouraging Canadian post-secondary students in art and photography programs to participate. The winning photos will be seen on millions of tissue boxes to be sold across Canada.
Since 2009, ROYALE has brought remarkable images into the homes of Canadians by inviting amateur and professional photographers to submit their most inspiring photos to be voted on by the members of the Moment with ROYALE Community. Winning photos become the inspiration for the ROYALE Inspire Us tissue box collection. Alongside an open call to all Canadians, this year ROYALE has opened a special student category and invited Canadian post-secondary art and photography students to submit their creative talents for a chance to win $1,500 and national recognition for their photo. Last year more than 9,400 photos were submitted, from nature and flowers to iconic Canadian scenery.

“All it takes is a Smartphone and the right opportunity to capture an inspiring moment on camera. And, the ROYALE Inspire US Photo Challenge lets anyone, anywhere define what that moment is,” says Gary MacIntosh, Director of Marketing, ROYALE Canada. “We continue to be astounded by the breathtaking photographs submitted by Canadians across the country and can’t wait to see the entries this year.”

ROYALE Inspire Us Photo Challenge

The ROYALE Inspire Us Photo Challenge encourages Canadians from coast to coast to submit their most inspiring photos at until October 2, 2012 from which the selection committee will choose forty finalists. From November 29 to December 21, 2012, members of the Moment with ROYALE Community will then have the opportunity to vote online until the winning photos have been chosen. The six photos to receive the most votes, combined with one photo chosen by the selection committee, will become part of the 2013 ROYALE Inspire Us Collection and be awarded $1,500.

To become a member of the Moment with ROYALE Community and have a chance to vote, simply visit to sign-up.

ROYALE Inspire Us Student Photo Challenge

New this year, ROYALE is looking for current full or part-time students enrolled in an arts or photography program at post-secondary institutions within Canada to submit an inspiring photo now until November 16, 2012. The selection committee will choose the winning submission to be featured on a facial tissue box for the 2013 ROYALE Inspire Us Collection. The winning student will also be awarded $1,500.

“We are excited to welcome aspiring photographers and artists into the contest and to give them the opportunity to have their work profiled across Canada,” says MacIntosh. “Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting out, have a high-tech camera or a camera on your mobile phone, we encourage all Canadians to enter.”
Submissions can be photographs, photographs of illustrations or photographs of any other work of art that inspires you or would inspire other Canadians. All submissions will be judged based on criteria such as originality, how the photograph will inspire Canadians and how it could be used as inspiration for an original facial tissue box design. Winners will be announced in January 2013.


For almost 50 years ROYALE has been a fixture in Canadian bathrooms. Today, that tradition continues throughout the entire home, as ROYALE is Canada’s only consumer household paper brand that markets a full line of products including bathroom tissue, facial tissue, paper towels, and napkins. The entire ROYALE Family of products is made by Irving Tissue, a proudly Canadian company committed to producing quality tissue products through responsible forest management.
Learn more at

Friday, September 21, 2012


Although progress has been made, Greek quality foods do not have a vast presence on the shelves of international supermarkets and delicatessen shops, something that the Food Experts of I.C.B. Services Ltd wish to improve.

Food Experts and food inspectors, I.C.B. Services Ltd (, have very recently announced their engagement in food distribution through the creation of their Freshline Gourmet brand ( Freshline Gourmet offers a special selection of authentic Greek foods of uncompromised quality at a great value for money to supermarkets and delicatessens across Europe. Since the launch of I.C.B. Services Ltd in 2008, it has audited and certified hundreds of food producers from different regions of Greece. With its engagement in food distribution in late 2011, the company is in a unique position to guarantee the highest quality of the products it finally chooses to distribute, simply because its food inspectors have srutinely inspected themselves each of their collaborating producers who comply to the strictest food quality standards.

Andri Andreou, Managing Director of I.C.B. Services Ltd, said, “We are very excited to bring health and longevity to family tables, by providing them with some of the highest quality foods Greece has to offer. We feel confident that our new venture will prove to be an overwhelming success.”

Since 2008, I.C.B. Services Ltd have established themselves as key players in the field of food inspections, certifications and auditing in Greece. Roaming agreements have been set up with many food producers from different regions of Greece. The combination of their great passion for authentic quality greek foods together with the wide ranging experiences acquired through the inspections and certifications of producers of the finest foods from various regions of Greece, persuaded them in December of 2011 to engage in food distribution under the brand “Freshline Gourmet”.

The company's Extra Virgin Olive Oil of extremely low acidity (commonly below 0.2% at harvest) is already present in UK Delicatessens, while very soon European delis and supermarkets will enjoy Freshline Gourmet's Limited Edition Extra Virgin Olive Oils with Pure Natural Herbs or Fruits, Pure Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Pomace Oil, a selection of Greek Wines as well as their various types of Olives & Olive Pastes,. As customer demand for certain products increases, Freshline Gourmet will keep expanding its product range to better fulfill the needs of its customers. As the company grows, it forms new partnerships with the best small producers of various carefully selected greek natural foods, also enhancing the country's export activity in these very difficult economic times.

These small producers of genuine products (some even home made), find a way to export their products through Freshline Gourmet, taking advantage of the knowledge and guidance they provide, while at the same time assuring their customers on the authenticity, quality, origin, taste, nutritional value and last but not least the food safety of the products they sell.
Freshline Gourmet is more than just another Food brand, Freshline Gourmet is giving the chance to the customer and consumer to be able to enjoy unique authentic premium quality greek foods until recently enjoyed only by very few priviledged Greek families, and of course at certified quality and very competitive prices.

For additional information, contact:
Dennis Koutoudis, Marketing Manager
Freshline Gourmet
Telephone: 00357 22007895
Mobile: 0030-6944015092

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fried Asian Cucumber Crinkles

1 Asian cucumber, cut into slices

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sugar

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying

Cut the cucumber into slices. Place the cucumber chips into a small bowl, and pour the soy sauce over them, tossing to coat. Set aside. In a shallow dish; mix the flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, sugar, and pepper. Dip the cucumber slices into the flour and toss, making sure the slices are evenly coated. Heat the oil in a small skillet, over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, gently place some of the cucumber slices into the oil. Don't crowd the pan with too many. Fry for about one minute, then use some tongs to flip the slices over. Cook the second side for about another minute. Keep an eye on them making sure not to let them burn. They will cook very quickly. Put the fried cucumber slices on a plate lined with paper towels, and let drain. Fry the remaining cucumber slices, then let drain.
 Sprinkle with a little bit of seasoned salt and sugar. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fast-fix Caprese pizza toast

Preparation time 10 minutes

This is an open-faced sandwich version of the famous Italian Caprese salad with sliced tomatoes, bocconcini and fresh basil.

Baking Time 12 minutes        
Makes 8 slices

Submit Ingredients 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped fresh basil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil

pinches of salt and pepper

1 thick focaccia loaf

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated mozzarella

6 large balls bocconcini

5 plum tomatoes

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bratz® dolls go bald to support kids battling illnesses

MGA Entertainment launches True Hope Bratz® at Toys“R”Us, Canada, pledging to donate a portion of every doll sold to Starlight Children's Foundation

TORONTO – Bald is beautiful. MGA Entertainment Canada will launch a new range of hairless Bratz® dolls this summer at Toys“R”Us, Canada to support children dealing with hair loss due to illnesses such as cancer and alopecia, donating a portion of every sale to Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Under the banner True Hope Bratz®, MGA will release hairless versions of its hit dolls Cloe™, Yasmin™ and Cameron™, who will each come with one hat, a second outfit and a beaded bracelet. The True Hope Bratz collection will be available for pre-sale online exclusively at from June 1 to mid-July, and will be available at all Toys“R”Us stores in Canada in mid-July.

MGA and Toys“R”Us, Canada will each donate $1 to Starlight Children’s Foundation for every True Hope Bratz doll sold online and in stores, in an effort to back the Canadian charity’s ongoing support of children with life-threatening illnesses like cancer or cronic diseases like alopecia that cause hair loss.

The announcement comes amidst a growing social media movement that calls for toymakers to create hairless dolls to emotionally comfort young girls and boys who suffer from, or have watched a family member suffer from, hair loss due to cancer treatments and other conditions.
“At MGA, our number one priority is to help kids have fun just being kids,” says Diane Goveia-Gordon, President of MGA Entertainment Canada. “We hope children and their families battling serious illnesses will find strength and inspiration from the new True Hope Bratz collection. Partnering with Starlight Children’s Foundation and Toys“R”Us, together we will work hard to bring more smiles, laughter and hope into the lives of children.”
MGA will also donate True Hope Bratz dolls to young patients in major children’s hospitals in Canada later this year.

“Toys“R”Us is proud to be the first retail destination in Canada for the True Hope Bratz dolls, which reflect the same courage and strength demonstrated by the thousands of Canadian children who are living with illnesses today,” says Kevin Macnab, President, Toys“R”Us, Canada. “As a long-time partner of Starlight Children’s Foundation, we are proud to partner with MGA Entertainment to help continue to support Canadian families and raise money to help in the fight against pediatric cancer and other illnesses that cause hair loss.”

Starlight Children's Foundation Canada is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses by providing entertainment, education and family activities that help them cope with the pain, fear and isolation of prolonged illness.

“At Starlight Children's Foundation, our mission is to foster a sense of normalcy into the lives of young patients and their families,” says Christopher Barry, President of Starlight Children's Foundation Canada. “True Hope Bratz are unique toys that will help bring inspiration, confidence and strength to young girls dealing with hair loss.”

MGA Entertainment, Inc.

MGA Entertainment, a consumer entertainment products company headquartered in Van Nuys, California, manufactures innovative lines of proprietary and licensed products including toys and games, dolls, consumer electronics, home décor, stationery and sporting goods. The MGA family includes award-winning brands such as Little Tikes®, Lalaloopsy™, Bratz®, Moxie Girlz™, BFC, Ink.™, Rescue Pets® and Zapf Creation®. For more information please visit:
Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada

When a child or teenager has a serious medical condition, everyone in the family is affected. For over 20 years, Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada has been dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. Starlight’s programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Through a network of chapters and offices, Starlight provides ongoing support to children, parents and siblings in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with an array of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings. Programs are also delivered internationally through affiliates in Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information about Starlight, visit

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Neil E. Pike Limited, Landscape Architects & Contractors

When choosing the plant material that will thrive on your property, consideration must be given to light conditions that may vary throughout the site.
For heavy shade, Astilbes, Coral Bells, Ferns and Hostas will flourish while Lilacs, Weigela, Russian Sage and Purple Coneflower prefer sunny areas. Perennials are very hardy and will come back every year but they have a limited flowering time. When a perennial is not flowering, you can enjoy them for their
foliage, form and texture.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Splurge or steal: Single sole pump

The trend: Single sole pump

Wave bye-bye to your summer sandals and slip on the IT shoe for fall: The single sole pump.

The sleek shape of this uber-feminine heel helps lengthen the leg (what more could a girl want?) and the simple yet sexy silhouette with a pointy finish gives a stylish kick to any outfit in your closet — day or night.

Save up for some swanky Jimmy Choos or steal this sweet look on the cheap.

Splurge or steal: Single sole pump |

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blueberry Tart

Rustic Blueberry Tart

1 cup butter, room temprature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Blueberry Topping

4 cups blueberries

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp lemon juice