Thomas & Wanda

"Mr. & Mrs. Fraser Valley"

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Home life is changing, so sound dampening is more important than ever. Life is getting louder inside and around the home. Televisions, home theaters, computers and video games blare from almost every room. Family cell phones ring or buzz, making life loud.
 

Your home's insulation can do more than keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. With the right selection, your insulation can help transform your home into a quiet retreat and sanctuary from the outside world.
 

Sound dampening is becoming a requirement for modern families, so if you have the opportunity to re-insulate your home, sound-proofing insulation is an excellent choice to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. Stone wool insulation, for example, is a top choice for professional recording studios. This material is an excellent acoustic barrier that actually absorbs the sound. For homeowners, retailers point to a performance tested product called, Roxul Safe 'n' Sound mineral wool insulation. It provides higher sound absorption against low frequency (bass) ranges that other types of insulation struggle to block.
 

For the best soundproofing results, install the mineral wool insulation in your home theater, basements, home office, laundry room, furnace room and even the washrooms. Installing mineral wool insulation on the interior walls will control sound, delivering peace and quiet.

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For many people, the shower is an escape from reality ... perhaps the only 'me time' in an otherwise hectic day. But if your current shower isn't living up to your relaxing expectations, it may be time for a facelift.- Don't think you have the time or money? Don't throw in the towel just yet - an improved shower is within your reach. Simply follow these four quick and easy fixes that will make an amazing improvement to the everyday enjoyment of your shower.

Curves ahead

Shower curtains may keep water where it should be, but they also have a tendency to make a shower feel smaller, dark and cramped. An easy solution to this problem is to install a curved shower rod. These unique rods add an elegant and luxurious look to the room while also moving the curtain away from your body, creating a more comfortable experience and adding up to 7 inches of elbow room. --Moen offers a variety of styles, including a double curved shower rod that can be used to separate the decorative curtain from the liner - or to provide an additional bar to hang towels. Whatever curved shower rod you choose, be sure to coordinate the finish to match the rest of your bath fixtures.

Downsize and organize

Fewer people are living alone these days, reports the National Association of Home Builders, which means you likely share your shower with others. A shower shelf is an ideal solution to provide adequate storage and keep everyone's everyday essentials neat and easily within reach. The Moen Home Care Designer Grab Bar with Shelf adds the storage capabilities of a straight or corner shelf with the safety of a grab bar - all with a stylish design in the latest finishes.

Chance of showers

A simple showerhead update can dramatically improve your showering experience. With several styles available, the only difficult part is figuring out which one will suit your needs the best.

Rainshowers - If you're looking for relaxing, full-body coverage, a rainshower is the right choice for you. These showerheads are often larger than their standard counterparts, allowing the user to receive all-over coverage rather than a concentrated spray.

Handheld showers - With a handheld shower you're able to bring the water flow directly to you. This type of shower allows for any family member - no matter the size or age - to safely and easily shower.

Standard showerheads - Standard showerheads are far from basic. With many collections offering multi-function spray settings, it's easy to create a personalized showering experience.

Hang it up

The final step to a fabulous shower experience is to ensure you have a place nearby to hang a warm robe and towel. Adding a robe hook or towel bar just outside the shower is a simple solution that can also add a stylish accent to your bathroom. If you currently have a Moen faucet, be sure to select the matching Moen accessories to ensure complete coordination throughout your bath. Moen also offers several non-matching collections, such as the Parlor Collection, which coordinate with a variety of bath faucet styles.- The Moen Parlor Collection features a unique pullout robe hook, which allows each hook to be used traditionally, or extended to hang multiple items. And, once you've added new accessories, finish off the renovated space with a plush robe and matching towel set.

By following these simple and inexpensive fixes, your shower can become an everyday retreat for relaxation and enjoyment. For more information visit www.moen.com.
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(NC)-A little prep in the morning will a go a long way in creating a flavorful and nutritious family meal that cooks while you are at work. Start with spice-coated chicken and a healthy pantry staple pasta sauce. Let it simmer all day in the slow cooker. Finish it off with rich Greek yogurt and lime at dinner time. This dish can be served over quinoa or basmati rice. This traditionally rich butter chicken dish is slimmed down in sodium and fat while maintaining amazing aromas and flavours.
 

Prep time: 15 minutes
 

Cooking time: 4-6 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on LOW
 

Serves: 6
 

Serving size: 250g

 

Calories per serving: 307
 

Ingredients:
 

• 2 cups (500 mL) Healthy Choice Diced Tomato with Onion and Garlic pasta sauce
 

• 2 tsp. (10 mL) each: ground ginger, curry powder
 

• 1 tsp. (5 mL) each: ground cumin, cinnamon, coriander
 

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cup/375 mL)
 

• 1 ½ lb. (675g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed into 2- inch (5 cm) pieces
 

• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) melted, unsalted butter
 

• 1 tbsp. (15 mL) lime juice
 

• ½ cup (125 mL) 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt, optional
 

• ¼ cup (50 mL) chopped cilantro, to garnish
 

Directions:
 

• In small bowl combine all spices, set aside.
 

• Place onion in ceramic insert of slow cooker; add chicken; sprinkle with spices then top with melted butter and Healthy Choice Diced Tomato with Onion and Garlic pasta sauce.
 

• Stir, cover and cook on HIGH 4-6 hours or on LOW 8-10 hours.
 

• Stir in lime juice and yogurt (optional) before serving. Garnish with cilantro.
 

Tip: Make extra of the spice mixture and store for your next "better for you" Butter Chicken.
 

Visit Facebook.com/HealthyChoiceCanada for more recipes and cooking tips.
 

www.newscanada.com

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(BPT) - Railing can upgrade any deck from drab to fab - adding style, as well as safety and support. In fact, it's often the one element that truly sets your outdoor living space apart from others in the neighborhood. Here are five steps to create the perfect perimeter for your deck.

1. Find ideas at your fingertips - From contemporary to classic, you can choose from a multitude of modular railing options in a variety of colors and materials to give your outdoor living space a dose of personality. Use the new Railing Configurator on the Trex Color Visualizer iPad app to experiment with more than 1,200 design combinations. Available for free in the Apple iTunes store, the app allows you to virtually mix and match posts, caps, rails and balusters, as well as change the backdrop to emulate your own outdoor living environment. Save images of your favorite designs and automatically generate a list of materials to make the purchase process easier.

2. Select low maintenance materials - When choosing railing, demand the same durability and high performance that you expect from your decking, so that you'll be able to spend more time relaxing on (rather than maintaining) your outdoor living space. Unlike wood, composite railing won't warp, rot or splinter and never needs sanding, staining or painting - even after years of exposure to the elements. In fact, it washes clean with only soap and water.- -

3. Preserve a picturesque view - Whether your deck looks out over a tranquil lake, a dramatic mountain range or just a meticulously landscaped backyard, the proper railing makes it possible to fully enjoy your vantage point. With its sleek and unobtrusive appearance, Trex Reveal Aluminum Railing maximizes scenic views by spanning long lengths for panoramic sightlines. Available in three neutral colors - charcoal black, bronze and classic white - Trex Reveal can be customized to suit the taste of any homeowner with two baluster options (square and round) and two post choices (aluminum and composite).

-"In addition to highlighting the beauty of your outdoor surroundings, aluminum railing offers unparalleled strength and features a powder coating that resists corrosion and color fading," says Adam Zambanini, vice president of marketing for Trex, the world's largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing. "For ultimate peace of mind, Trex Reveal is also backed by a 25-year limited warranty." For more outdoor living tips and ideas, visit www.trex.com.

4. Look to regional style trends - While personal taste is the biggest influencer when selecting railing for an outdoor living space, many homeowners look to the architectural styles of their particular regions for inspiration. For instance, on the East Coast, traditional colonial style balusters and crown profile railings remain most popular. However, West Coast homeowners tend to prefer sleek and streamlined railing components - including handrails and bottom rails with more contemporary beveled shapes. To learn about trends specific to your area, flip through a locally published home improvement or home decor magazine.--

5. Lighten up - Enhance the beauty of your railing and lengthen the time you can spend enjoying your deck with outdoor lighting that may be installed on rails and post caps. Not only will lighting set the mood for evening cocktail parties and al fresco dinners, but it also will add safety and security. Consider LED dimmable options to maximize energy efficiency.
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(NC)-Minestrone is a thick Italian vegetable soup and is an easy way to feed a gang. Leftovers even taste better the next day. Vary the beans and pasta as desired.
 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
 

4 slices pancetta or bacon, diced 

2 tbsp olive oil (optional) 25mL

2 medium onions, diced 2

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped 2

2 celery stalks, sliced 2

2 garlic cloves, minced 2

10 cups chicken broth 2.5 L

1 can (28oz/796 mL) tomatoes 1

1 cup whole wheat macaroni or shells 250 mL

1 lb sliced mushrooms (about 6 cups/1.5 L)500 g

1 tsp Each dried thyme and basil leaves 5 mL

1 ½ tsp dried oregano 7 mL

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) mixed beans*, 1

drained and rinsed

4 cups torn fresh spinach leaves 1 L

1 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional) 5 mL

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 250 mL

 

In large soup pot cook bacon until fat is rendered (if it is very lean add 1-2 tbsp (15-25 mL) oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add broth, bring to boil and then lower heat; simmer covered for 10-12 minutes or until vegetable are almost tender. Stir in tomatoes, (breaking up with a spoon) macaroni, mushrooms, herbs and beans. Cook covered over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until pasta and mushrooms are cooked. Taste and add hot sauce if desired. Just before serving stir in spinach leaves. Pass Parmesan cheese to sprinkle generously on top.
 

Makes 10 Servings
 

*Mixed beans are a medley of kidney beans, chick peas, romano beans and black eye peas

Variation: Substitute stewed, herbed or diced tomatoes for whole tomatoes.
 

Tips: For easy preparation chop all vegetables in food processor. Make the soup a few days ahead and refrigerate covered or freeze but don't add spinach until it is reheated ready to serve, so that it keeps its colour.
 

Nutritional Information:Per Serving Calories: 224 Protein : 13.4 g Fat: 7.8 g Carbohydrates: 24.9 g Dietary Fibre: 5.3 g
 

For more delicious recipe ideas visit Mushrooms Canada at www.mushrooms.ca.

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(BPT) - It's the do-it-yourself dream: deciding on the perfect DIY project just as the weekend finally arrives. All the supplies have been purchased and you're ready to dive right in. However, the enthusiastic start of the project doesn't always end in completion.

"Knocking out a big home improvement or do-it-yourself project in one weekend can be a rewarding task, but it is also challenging and can be taxing on your knees, feet and back when standing in the same position for several hours," says Mark Clement, home improvement expert and co-host of the national radio show MyFixitUpLife.

Whether you are woodworking at your workbench or staining a piece of furniture in the garage, Clement offers these tips to make the most of your DIY weekend projects while also feeling comfortable enough to successfully finish them:

Focus on form and technique. When learning a new technique, go slowly, step by step, until you've mastered it. Allow your body to become accustomed to the various motions required. Moving efficiently is one of the best ways to avoid injury.

Stay hydrated. Make it a priority to drink at least 125 ounces of cold water each day. Staying hydrated is important when exerting DIY energy, especially in the summer heat. So whether you're digging up the garden, roofing the shed, or wrenching in a no-AC garage, keep a water bottle or sports drink close by.

Create a comfortable workspace. Be conscious of how long you are standing in the same spot working on your project and how your back feels. To relieve pressure and soreness on feet, knees and back, use a durable mat like the Stanley Utility Mat that is engineered with an optimal balance of cushion and support.

Dress appropriately. Flip-flops and sandals do not offer the balance, protection and support that a sturdy closed-toe shoe or work boot does while tackling home improvement projects. Even if you have the grace of a ballerina in the workshop or yard, it is remarkably easy to drop things on your feet and it only takes a small distraction to create a big problem.

Know your limits. When you only have a weekend to finish a big project, you might be feeling the pressure. Before the project even starts, accept that it may not all go according to plan. Plan for a few different scenarios and remember that you can always ask for help.

Have a first aid kit. Even if you are being extremely cautious, accidents can happen and it's best to be prepared. Keep a first aid kit with all the essentials (antibiotic ointment, bandages, burn cream, etc.) near you at all times and seek professional medical help if necessary.

For more information about the Stanley Utility Mat, visit homedepot.com and to tune into MyFixitUpLife visit http://myfixituplife.com/DIY/.
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If you are unsatisfied with the space in your kitchen, but need lots of room in the fridge, you should consider counter depth refrigerators. This kind of appliance does not stick out any farther than your kitchen cabinets, which means that it takes up less room than a traditional fridge. However, it is often a bit taller than most refrigerators so that you do not lose much space when it comes to storing your food. Think about the details to consider before you start browsing counter depth refrigerators.

This kind of fridge usually has different measurements than most types, as it usually sticks out into the walkway a few inches less than most, but is a few inches taller. This means that you need an appropriately high ceiling in order to fit this fridge into your home, so be sure that you measure the height as well as the depth. Of course, you should also consider the width like you would before buying any fridge, but the width of most counter depth refrigerators is typically the same as other types.

If you want to add style to your kitchen while adding space, you should consider counter depth refrigerators that blend into the cabinetry. If you go this route, you will need a custom fridge company, but the results are often worth it since having matching cabinets and appliances is certainly unique. Keep in mind that many of the popular counter depth refrigerators on the market come in the French door style, adding to the classy appearance that most homeowners crave.

Of course, you can expect to pay a little more for this kind of fridge than most others, as the style is unique and up-to-date. Consider how important your kitchen's image is to you. If you rarely use it or show it off and want to save money, you might be better off sticking to traditional top freezer or side-by-side styles. However, homeowners who spend a lot of time in their kitchen and enjoy showing it off to guests will likely find this a worthy investment in their home.

Counter depth refrigerators are not for everyone, and if this style does not appeal to you, remember that there are several other types of fridges on the market. Before you browse counter depth refrigerators, you should first decide if this is the style you really want and can afford. The next step is to measure your kitchen and make sure that it will fit, and then determine whether you want a counter depth fridge from the store or from a custom refrigerator builder. Thinking about these details first can ensure that you are satisfied with this major purchase.

by: Heather Mills 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7259.shtml 
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We are thrilled to say we have just SOLD a property at 118 1760 SOUTHMERE CRES in Surrey.
YOUR WAIT IS OVER!! You'll love this incredible corner unit with private patio setting! WOW! 1023 sq. ft! 2 Bedrooms! 1 1/2 Baths! Spacious Living Room with walk-out to the private 'park-like' patio setting! "Open Plan" Dining - makes it perfect for Entertaining! Spacious Master bedroom with lots of cupboards plus bonus 2 pce Ensuite! 2nd bedroom also a good size! Situated in one of South Surrey's most sought after areas! Walking distance to Semiahmoo Mall! Schools, Parks ..... Building has been pro-active! Don't Wait! You'll LOVE IT!!
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