Thursday, September 30, 2010
Heather has been a busy bee uploading things to our website www.hhlloyd.com including some photos of our fancy new aprons and gloves, which you can view here.
We also have a new line of jams, jellies, syrups and more from the Dark Tickle Company so for all you Newfoundlanders here is your source for products that include the bakeapple (cloudberry), partridgeberry (lingonberry), crowberry, squashberry and wild blueberry.
We are also fully stocked on floursack towels and dishcloths--after the last post we sold out of most colors! We have some beautiful new fall assortments available and, as I mentioned previously, you will love them. Love.
Just hit the floor, some beautiful GORGEOUS new fall scarves and hats. Most of the scarves are only available in singles per color or design, so if you see one you like snatch it up! Today the front cash area was buzzing with ladies trying them on!
We are also excited to start showcasing our Fall Products like apple bakers, apple cider mix and hot dips for entertaining.
Look forward to our Fall Festival which starts Oct 7--more details to come!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Enjoy Your Indoor Tropical Plants this Winter!
In winter, Canadian gardeners focus on indoor tropical plants. This is fortunate for the plants because this is when they most need our attention. Thanks to central heat, the air in our homes is very dry, creating perfect conditions for insects to thrive. Furthermore, the short winter days are hard on any indoor plant that enjoys sunshine.
How to Help Tropical Plants Weather Winter
The short winter days and extreme temperatures encourage indoor “tropical” plants to slow their growth and many enter a period of dormancy. Because indoor plants are not actively growing during the winter, they do not require fertilizer at this time. In many cases, you should also cut back on watering. Check the soil with your finger: only apply water if the top 2” (5 cm) of soil are dry to the touch. Tropical plants are sensitive to cold draughts and should be kept away from frequently used exterior doors. Window sills are often too cold for them. If foliage rests against a window it may show signs of stress over time. The dry heat of home furnaces reduces interior humidity levels and causes plants to dry out quickly. Signs of low humidity stress include brown leaf tips, yellow leaf edges, dropped flower buds and insect problems. A humidifier will help to maintain healthy humidity levels and allow indoor plants to perform much better through the winter.
Keeping Plants Clean Keeps them Healthy
Outdoor plants are cleaned regularly by rain and wind. Indoor plants need us to do the job. Dirty leaves cannot absorb as much sunlight as clean ones, which affects the overall health of the plant. Use Green Earth® plant shine or Green Earth insecticidal soap to improve plant appearance, stimulate growth and help to control insect pests. Moisten a sponge or fabric with the plant shine or insecticidal soap. Support the leaf with one hand and gently wipe the top and bottom of the leaf with the cloth. Keep in mind that most insect problems occur on the bottom side of leaves. Plants with hairy leaves, like African Violets, should not be cleaned with a damp cloth. Use a soft cosmetic brush to dust the leaves.
I give my tropical plants a full shower in the winter. I move them into the bath tub and gently but thoroughly shower the leaves, taking care to make contact with the underside of the leaves.
This is also a great time to “purge” potting soil of insoluble salts. If you have a white or chalk-like deposit on the bottom of the pot or on the surface of the soil, you can cleanse the soil using the laundry tub faucet or your shower to thoroughly soak the soil to flush out toxic salts. Keep soaking the soil until water runs freely from the drainage holes on the bottom of the container. (Put a filter over the drain of your sink to avoid plumbing problems!)
While we may have a long winter ahead of us, there is no reason for gardeners to miss out on their favourite hobby. Not only do tropical plants provide plenty of oxygen and natural humidity, tending them offers a welcome respite from the outdoor temperature and is a reminder of warmer days to come.
How Do You Know When Your Indoor Plants Need Repotting?
You may be tempted to repot houseplants while you are showering them with attention, but I recommend that you do this just before they enter the growing season in February or March. When roots begin to grow out of the bottom of the pot and show themselves at the surface of the soil, it is time to repot into a clean container with a drainage hole, using quality potting mix.
Choose a pot one size larger than the existing container. Water the plant several hours prior to repotting. Support the base of the plant with one hand and turn over the container. Gently pull the pot from the base of the plant. If the roots are circled around the root ball, use a sharp knife to cut into the roots. Make evenly spaced vertical cuts, 2 cm deep, from the top of the root mass to the bottom. This will encourage new root growth and stop the circling roots. Place a Mark’s Choice® Pot Hole disc in the base of the new container. This will ensure that the drainage holes are not clogged by soil over time. Fill the pot with enough potting soil so the root mass is 3 cm below the top edge of the pot. Add potting soil to fill in around the roots, tamp the soil in place with a Home Hardware paint stick and water thoroughly to remove air pockets. If air pockets exist in the soil the roots will dry out.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Dang. It's cold in Lloydminster. So much for our wishes of a warm September! We have a forecasted overnight low of -3 on Friday--brutal!
But, a good reason to check out one of our newest products, the Sammy Sack.
SammySack is a blanket just for going outside in the stroller. It provides weather protection and durability that other blankets don't. SammySack is ideal for toddler age children. (1 to 3 years of age +/- 6 months) With a SammySack you will not lose a blanket from your stroller again.
The fleece blanket normally used with the stroller had disappeared on a previous walk. Probably it dragged on the ground or got caught in the wheel after Sam's active little legs kicked it loose. The nice soft knit blanket from the crib proved to be no match for the harsh weather that day. Sam passed several other little ones in strollers dealing with the same dilemma; cold, not moving enough to keep warm, blankets blowing off or dragging behind, and lacking protection from the mean weather. That's when Sam's mom realized what he needed. A blanket just for riding in the stroller. Something warm and soft but also resistant to wind and rain. Something simple that won't slide off, blow off, or get kicked off.
We have a bunch of fun colors in stock, check them out near the strollers. You will LOVE.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Leaves: a Great Canadian Gold Mine!
Expert in gardening Home Hardware
tumbling composter 5010-512
If you remember anything about gardening, remember this: Well-fed soil produces the healthiest and best looking plants. Fertile soil will not only lead to vibrant blooms, verdant foliage and an abundance of fruits and vegetables, it will also eliminate the need for pesticides.
All soils benefit from a yearly application of organic matter, otherwise, they will become less fertile over time. I recommend that you add at least 3/4 to 11/2 inches (2 - 4 cm) of new organic material to your garden beds each year, in either spring or fall. Leaves are an excellent choice as they are readily available at this time of year. I add generous quantities of fallen leaves or finished compost — which is the same thing, only cooked longer. Check out the new Mark's Choice® tumbling composter at Home Hardware.
Apply fallen leaves to the surface of your garden soil, four to six inches (10 - 15 cm) deep. I spread leaves as winter mulch around most of my perennials. This insulates the soil and eliminates weeding in early spring. Every fall, I also spread a layer of leaves 2 to 2 1/2 inches (5 - 7 cm) deep over my entire vegetable garden. Come spring, I rototill the leaves into the garden, which adds valuable organic content to the soil.
Large leaves, such as maple and catalpa, can form thick mats, keeping water and air from the soil, and some leaves, such as oak and beech, take a long time to break down. Chopping leaves into small pieces increases air circulation to the soil and speeds up decomposition. To chop leaves, run them through a shredder if you have one, or run over them with a lawn mower. A power mower with a grass catcher makes this task easier, as you can collect the shredded leaves as you go. Make sure that your mower is set at its highest setting, and keep in mind that dry leaves shred more easily.
How to collect seeds and save them properly
This is the best time of the year to collect seeds from your favourite plants. Clean them, sort them and save them for planting next year. For many of the plants in your garden, this is easy and great fun. Annuals that reproduce nicely from seed gathered from your garden include zinnias, many marigolds, portulacas — which self-sows at my place! — cosmos, four o'clock's, euphorbias, some nicotianas, sunflowers and virtually all of the large seeded varieties that are not hybrids. Vegetables that produce well from seed include beans, tomatoes, peas and most large seeded plants. My favourite perennials from garden seed include the native echinacea, some rudbeckia, Russian sage and bee balm.
Seeds from hybridized annuals,vegetables and perennials will not reproduce true in colour or growth habit to their parent plant. However, sometimes the results are interesting!
Collecting, drying and storing garden seeds
- Let them mature. The whole reason – the ONLY reason from the plant point of view – that a plant produces a bloom is to produce seed. And, the only reason that it produces seed is to reproduce. It is a basic law of nature: plants, like animals, have an inherent need to multiply or, at least, to perpetuate the species.
- Remove when dry. After the seeds have dried (and before the birds eat them), remove the seed head (the finished blossom) from the plant and bring it indoors. Remove the seeds from the seed head or pod and place them on a screen or in a ceramic saucer. Do not use a paper towel as they will stick to it.
- Place in a sunny window for seven to 10 days.
- Package up the seeds. Put the seeds in individual envelopes and label them carefully (don't skip this step or you will regret it next season) and place in a tightly sealed jar.
- Store the seeds in a cold cellar or in the veggie crisper in your fridge.
- Most perennial seeds can be stored for a long time in the freezer. I do not recommend this for annual or vegetable seeds. You can experiment with some and you may be surprised at the germination rate of the 'frozen' ones come spring.
MORE IN STORE
- lawn mower with mulch bag 5124-797
- jar 4448-306
- label maker 5474-200
- The Canadian Garden Primer, An Organic Approach 5010-205
Thursday, September 16, 2010
When I make soup in the autumn, I like to make a big batch, so that I have plenty for the next day or for freezing. A hearty soup like this also makes for a great lunch to take to work.
Serves 8 to 10
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated fresh ginger
- 4 tsp (20 mL) garam masala
- 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) celery salt
- 28 oz (796 mL) 1 can pumpkin purée (plain)
- 14 oz (400 mL) 1 can coconut milk
- 4 1/2 (1.125 L) cups chicken stock or water
- salt & pepper
- plain yogurt and toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- In a medium soup pot, add oil, onion and carrot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric and celery salt and sauté one minute more. Stir in the pumpkin purée, coconut milk and chicken stock (or water) and bring to a simmer. Cover and let soup simmer for about 15 minutes, until the carrot is tender. Purée soup in a blender (in batches) or with an immersion blender and return to medium-low heat. Season to taste before serving.
- Serve in bowls and dollop with a spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Remember when I was talking about delux hats? Well, there's a link for that
And how 'bout some new metal art in Home Expressions? There's a link for that too
Going green for your lunch this fall? Check out this link for great reusable containers!
Feeling chilly? Check out the new Warm Buddies (ps--the bear mitts have sold out every year we have had them so get your "paws" on them early! Hahhaa)
Sunday, September 12, 2010
FALL LAWN CARE
After a long summer of mowing, watering and fertilizing your lawn, you may ask yourself if it’s worth the effort. Once you realize that lawns are more than an outdoor carpet between gardens and walkways, but a productive and beautiful part of your landscape, you’ll better understand the many benefits we derive from them:
- A well tended lawn improves curb appeal and can increase the value of a property by 15 to 20 percent.
- Turf serves as a natural air conditioner. On a hot day, compare the difference between standing on pavement and standing on turf. I rest my case.
- Turf traps dust, smoke particles and air born toxins from the air, acting as a filter for the air we breathe.
- Grass plants capture and use greenhouse gases, thereby counteracting climate change. Turf also traps air pollution and generates much of the oxygen we breathe. A 50’ x 50’ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe for one year.
- Grass offers a very efficient and inexpensive control function. Turf intercepts raindrops and filters them through the soil. Turf promotes water “percolation” rather than runoff. Without turf’s water-retention capabilities, urban streams and drainage infrastructure would be overwhelmed.
Source: Canadian Landscape Trades Magazine
Fall is the Best Time of Year to Care for your Lawn
The best time to apply lawn fertilizer is when grass roots are building up natural sugars to store over the long cold Canadian winter. A winterizing fertilizer should contain a moderate level of nitrogen to avoid a surge in growth. High potassium content (the last number in the 3 number analysis) builds a strong root system to help the grass plants survive our winter.
The best time to start a new lawn from seed or to lay sod is in the fall. It’s also the best time to over-seed established lawns to fill in bare patches and thicken your grass. In most parts of Canada the best “grass seed sowing” occurs from mid August through to late September when evening temperatures are lower and the morning dew is heavier. Fall daytime temperatures are also optimum for seed germination.
How to Seed a Lawn:
Preparation is the key to success. Rake the area lightly to remove debris. Add a 1 to 2 cm layer of triple mix to level out low patches in the lawn. Choose the best quality seed for the best result. Rake the seed to smoothly integrate it into the layer of triple mix. Step on the area with a flat-soled shoe to get the seed and soil in firm contact or, for large areas, roll with a lawn roller that is one third full of water. Fertilize with C-I-L® Lawn Starter to encourage rapid root growth. This will help new grass get established more quickly. Water the seeded areas and keep the soil damp until the grass is at least 3 cm high.
A Thick Healthy Lawn is your Best Defense Against Weeds
I am frequently asked how to control lawn weeds in the absence of chemical weed killers. The answer is simple — over seed your lawn to thicken it and crowd weeds out of existence. Also be sure to raise your lawn mower up to 21/2 or 3 inches (7 to 9 cm.).
- C-I-L Golfgreen™ Fall Lawn Fertilizer 5024-163/172
- C-I-L Golfgreen™ Lawn Starter 2 kg 5025-233, 7 kg 5024-617
- C-I-L Golfgreen™ Grass Seed 1 kg 5065-158
- C-I-L Golfgreen™ Quickstart Grass Seed 1.5 kg 5065-608, Shade 1.5 kg 5065-617 Sun 1.5 kg 5065-626
- Home Gardener® Multi-blend garden soil 30L 5053-452
MORE IN STORE
- Mark’s Choice® lawn rake 5060-356
- lawn roller 5150-793/800/828
- Mark’s Choice® hose and spray nozzles 5038-319, 5042-661
- Mark’s Choice® rainforest sprinkler 5071-040
- Mark’s Choice® push reel mower 5122-395
- Yardman gas mower 5124-559
- Mark's Choice® Deluxe 12 ft. Tree Pruner 5067-312
- Mark's Choice® Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Lopper 5067-965
- Trail Blazer Professional Xtend-A™-Pole 1610-147/149
- Fiskars® Carabiner Sliding Saw 5064-340
- Fiskars® Multi-Snip Pruner 5068-110
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I forgot to mention our Knitwits kids hats, mitts and purses. These sold out last year (twice!) so get them while they are hot. A variety of fun animals in cotton or wool versions. Check them out in the baby department.
We also have the new Fall delux hats available near Personal Expressions. We had a million mixups with our spring/summer order so missed out on those beauties this year (but I do intend to have them next year!) But do not fret! Plenty of fall hats to be hat for these blustery days and some totally fun and wild winter ones on the way too (we are talking huge, fur lined, ear flap hats--limited quantities, only for the fashion forward and/or very cold!)
AND, coming soon, the very popular, (also sold out twice last year) hand-crafted children's sweaters! Each purchase supports the education of a child in Ecuador. The sweaters are made from a wool/cotton blend which makes them very warm and also machine washable in cold water!
AAAANNNNNDDDDD stay tuned for a special Baby event, coming soon!
We've got so many new arrivals in baby I don't know where to start!
First off, we have expanded our selection of Alex products, including a whole bunch of new bath toys, pretend play and these great finger crayons. Hannah LOVES these crayons--the shape is fun and stackable, and you can also wear them on your fingers like finger puppets. We have them in the original plain design and also these fun ones with animal faces.
Also new are Skidders.
Skidders were designed with infants in mind. The outsole is rubber so the child can have better traction when learning to stand and walk. The upper material is knit (like a sock) so the foot can breath. It is lightweight, machine washable and comes in a variety of designs that can match with any outfit. The best feature is that it can be used indoors and outdoors.
And the highly anticipated City Select Stroller from Baby Jogger has landed at Home Hardware in Lloydminster! This thing is the bee's knees, the cat's meow and mommy and daddy's best friend. Click here to go to the page and watch the video of this puppy in action, it's amazing.
Most parents I know start off with a very popular and widely available travel system that includes an infant carseat (we started off with this, too). And, most parents I know that started with this system have upgraded to a new stroller either because they had baby #2 or because the original stroller wore out or didn't suit their needs or flat out broke, with a wheel running off down the street.
While these strollers may be a bigger investment initially, in the long run they are far better, especially the City Select since you can start out with it set up for one child then convert it for room for the second.
Baby Jogger strollers have a wide range of available accessories including trays, belly bars and parent consoles with built in mp3 players (sweet).
The run down on the City Select is:
For Parents on the Grow
The City Select offers parents the unique opportunity to customize their stroller into 16 different combinations to suit their family needs.
- Patented Quick-Fold Technology - allows you to fold your stroller in one simple step
- Innovative multi-functional design allows you to select your seating arrangement up to 16 unique combinations (with double conversion kits – sold separately)
- Hand operated parking brake
- 12" forever-air rear and 8" lightweight front wheels with front wheel suspension and sealed ball bearings
- Swivel front wheels lock into place for long distance strolling
- Multi-position seat recline for passenger comfort
- Multi-position sun canopy with peek-a-boo window and adjustable head height
- Adjustable 5-point safety harness with shoulder pads and buckle cover
- Multi-position foot well tilt adds leg support for smaller children
- Telescoping handlebar with wipe clean grip
- Seat back storage compartment and large under seat basket
- Secure fold latch to keep stroller folded for transportation or storage
- 45 lb. per seat weight capacity
Stay tuned for...
--I am still waiting on our Fall Babylegs catalog but have had a peek at the new designs and they are awesome--there are so many new ones this fall it will be hard to pick!
--New shipment of baby books including halloween titles
--New baby body products from Gaia--coming soon.
Proudly Australian made, our skin care products are tailored for sensitive skin, combining natural and certified organic oils and extracts all chosen for their abilities to be gently cleansing, moisturising and soothing. Our sensational scents are blended using pure essential oils, mostly certified organic, selected to provide you with the most gorgeous aromas to indulge your senses and benefit your skin.Our products are free from:
- artificial fragrance
- petrochemicals and mineral oils
- lanolin and phthalates
- soap, sulphates and other drying agents in our cleansers
- paraben preservatives and propylene glycol
- and other commonly used ingredients that can be irritating or drying to skinIt is not just what we put in, but what we leave out that makes the difference!
(my personal fave!)
Monk’s blend is medium bodied and flavorful with piquant Ceylon character. Blended with natural flavor oils of vanilla and grenadine, which impart a smooth and unique heavenly flavor. Monk’s blend is certainly a ‘mysterious’ blend despite being a delicious mixture of grenadine and vanilla. Perhaps first created by Tibetan monks – infused with universal life energy, this tea is a perfect all day treat; sweet and toasty with a touch of dryness and a subtle bouquet. Originally, it is believed that this blend was developed by monks to support their life’s desires, especially the work that they did all by hand. Tea is an item that these monks considered good for the soul. Franciscan monks used to drink this tea to keep them awake during long periods of meditation. It is fair to say that this is an ancient and harmonious blend, as it is also used by Buddhist and Taoist monks.
Enjoy a cup of loose leaf tea freshly brewed for you!!!
Special Tea of the Month price
SKU: HOTL (single serving)
**Note: Although the description implies the tea is sweet, it isn't really. It is a very subtle sweetness that just enhances the tea--a delish black tea in my book!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
This incredibly fragrant stew can also be prepared on the stove in a soup pot. Simply add an additional 11/2 cups (375 mL) of chicken stock to the recipe and simmer over medium-low heat for 11/2 to 2 hours.
Serves 4 to 6
MOROCCAN SPICE BLEND:
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
- 1 tsp (5 mL) sweet paprika
- 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
- 28 oz (796 mL) 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken stock
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lemon, cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) raisins
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 2 lb (900 g) 1 chicken, cut into pieces (leave bones in)
- 19 oz (540 mL) 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
- For the spice blend, stir all of the spices together and set aside, or store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, onion, carrots, parsnip, lemon, raisins, honey and bay leaves to the slow cooker and stir. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Toss the cut up chicken with the Moroccan Spice Blend to coat. Sear the chicken pieces until nicely browned and then add them to the slow cooker. Spoon a little of the vegetable mixture over top of the chicken then cook, covered, for 21/2 to 3 hours on the high setting or 5 to 6 hours on the low setting. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken (at the centre of the largest piece) reaches 180°F (82°C). Approximately 30 minutes before the dish is done, add chickpeas and cauliflower. Remove lemon wedges and bay leaves, then season to taste and serve. If you wish to thicken the sauce, whisk in 11/2 tbsp (22 mL) cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp (30 mL) cold water and stir until a simmer is returned.
- Plating suggestion: Serve this stew in a bowl over cooked couscous and sprinkle with toasted, sliced almonds.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
A great gingerbread recipe makes for a great tea time snack, or even as a plated dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Makes 1 8-inch (20 cm) square pan cut into 16 squares
BAKING SPICE BLEND:
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
- 6 tbsp (90 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) fancy molasses
- 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
- 1 2/3 cups (400 mL) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp (4 mL) baking powder
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) hot water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dark chocolate chips
- For baking spice blend, stir all of the spices together and set aside, or store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in molasses and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the Baking Spice Blend. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the hot water then add in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake to room temperature, and then slice and serve.
- Gingerbread keeps for up to 5 days in an airtight container or frozen for 2 months.
**This recipe uses chocolate chips. When I bake it, I will omit them for my mother and let you know how it turns out!