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Minor Track Staff

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Food & Drink

Best Toronto Restaurants

The Greater Toronto Area is home to an incredible array of vibrant cultures and personalities. Crossing paths with one another, inhabitants in the area tend to come up with some brilliant culinary experiences. As a result, Toronto is home to a mouth-watering variety of dining experiences. Here are some of the best restaurants in this foodie-friendly city.

JOEY Eaton Centre

This upscale dining brand has begun to unfurl across the country, with its cutting-edge and sophisticated menus making their way across British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, and Ontario. Toronto’s Eaton Centre location offers succulent cuisine in an intimate and exciting atmosphere akin to an upscale lounge or nightclub. The JOEY penchant for fresh, premium quality ingredients handled by an experienced and professional staff makes for an impeccable level of service and food quality. Particular standouts on the menu include the Osaka Style Pressed Salmon Sushi, Hawaiian Tuna Tacos, California Chicken sandwich, Bombay Butter Chicken, Spanish Paella, and Raspberry Butterscotch Budino. JOEY might operate as a chain, but they behave like a quality-centric upstart.

360 Restaurant (CN Tower)

It would be sacrilege to not mention this coveted sky-high dining room, which works overtime to present sumptuous Canadian dishes in unprecedented style. No visit to the CN Tower is complete without indulging in 360’s lunch or dinner menus, offering everything from poached Atlantic lobster and Perth County smoked pork rack chops to specialty Canadian cheeses and locally sourced ingredients. Reservations are usually required to guarantee a seat in this world-renowned rotating observation restaurant, but well worth it.

The Hot House                         

For a dining experience in a slightly lower price range with a multicultural kick, head on over to The Hot House at 35 Church Street. Boasting a comprehensive selection of Canadian, Italian, and other international dishes in a vibrant atmosphere, this restaurant and bar is just a short walk away from the Hockey Hall of Fame and Union Station. Offering a tantalizing range of pizzas, seafood dishes, pastas (including their signature penne), burgers, sandwiches, fresh salads, and specialty cocktails across a variety of unique menus (including their Award Winning Brunch Buffet), you’ll do no wrong with paying a visit to this local much-loved gem. Providing immaculate gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian alternatives, The Hot House is a highly accessible location for those from all walks of life eager for a premium quality experience, complete with prices that continue to bring in new visitors rather than scare them away.

The Carbon Bar

Step into an edgy and thoroughly delightful fusion of industrial and retro style. Located at 99 Queen Street East, The Carbon Bar attracts a more youthful and artsy crowd to its bare brick walls and iron décor. Putting the bombastic, rock/discotheque-inspired interior design aside, this establishment offers a vivacious and equally exciting menu complete with snacks, plates, and platters galore. Wild Shrimp Ceviche, Heirloom Beet Salad, Duck Tacos, Grass Fed Bavette Steak, Octopus A La Plancha, and Blackened Mahi Mahi are just a few of the exotic gastronomic dishes available in addition to a trendy selection of undeniably unique cocktails. Perfect for an edgy night out on the town, The Carbon Bar is a great dining choice with a standard-shaking personality.

Toronto is a city rich in culinary options, and there are simply thousands of wonderful dining venues located in the GTA. While these choices are but a taste of what’s out there (pun intended), they’re great locations to experience some of the city’s most exciting cuisine.

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Home & Garden

Hottest Neighbourhoods in Toronto

Diverse and densely populated, Toronto has developed an interesting collection of unique and vibrant neighbourhoods. Explore this energetic city full of rich and exciting experiences, and you’ll invariably stumble across some of the area’s unique gems. Here is a look at some of Toronto’s most interesting and hottest neighbourhoods.

The Harbourfront

Here, you’re but steps away from mass transit, great shopping, a wide variety of services and entertainment options, and several world-famous landmarks. The Harbourfront is frequented by countless visitors annually, and boasts a fascinating fusion of old-world charm and striking modern accentuation. Facing the shore, you may witness the famous Tall Ship Kajama partaking in her popular pleasure cruises or tourists taking Segway tours along the waterfront. Turning around, you’ll immediately catch the awesome CN Tower, Rogers Centre, and the skyscrapers of downtown. When visiting the Harbourfront, you’re witnessing the heartbeat of Toronto from a waterfront playground. Famous breweries and iconic attractions are a mere stone’s throw away.

Cabbagetown

Cabbagetown is a fascinating old-world mingling of family-run businesses, name-brand shops, and plenty of brickwork amidst an idyllic yet exciting atmosphere. Countless annual events and festivals serve as reminders of this neighbourhood’s cultural significance and history — just try to say no to the September Cabbagetown Fall Festival. Running for an entire weekend, it features a parade, historical walking tours, a mini marathon, and a community-wide yard sale. This creative little neighbourhood is perfect for bohemians and old-world admirers alike, and plenty of one-off restaurants and businesses offer an eclectic mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Yorkville

Shopping? Hungry? Bored? Just head over to Yorkville and don’t question it. Often compared to Los Angeles’ iconic Rodeo Drive, this world-famous shopping haven incorporates major retail attractions such as the popular “Mink Mile”, which nearly entirely comprises of prestigious shops, galleries, restaurants, and entertainment venues along a stretch of Bloor Street. Named the seventh most expensive shopping street in the world by Fortune Magazine, expect designer brand stores, exciting sales, and upscale dining options galore. On top of this, you’ll find no shortage of galleries, museums, and cultural exhibitions throughout Yorkville’s gleaming modern structures that mingle harmoniously with Victorian-era majesty. The entire area is an exciting mishmash of styles and passions that just works, though if you leave the prime shopping area consisting of Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Street, you’ll find a more settled and at-ease atmosphere full of sophisticated experiences.

Liberty Village

43 acres of youthful energy awaits you in Liberty Village. Described by many as the quintessential urban core experience, this sprawling community is full of converted Victorian-era buildings and towering modern super structures. Jam-packed with trendy bars, edgy restaurants, and chic contemporary dynamism, the area offers the ultimate “in” atmosphere. Plenty of popular attractions can be found here, including the Molson Amphitheatre, Exhibition Place, and BMO Field. Liberty Village is a fascinating place of gritty urban shock value tinged with everlasting remnants of traditional style.

Over the years, Toronto’s neighbourhoods have evolved into dynamic communities, each offering a wholly unique and equally enthralling experience for visitors and residents alike. There’s a good reason why so many choose to flock here — it’s a city that is fascinating and unquestionably alive.

backyard-deck
Home & Garden

Landscaping Projects to Take Before Fall

Hot humid days and those perfect warm summer evenings are meant to be enjoyed with your family and friends in tow. And there’s no better place to indulge and lounge around in the sunshine than in your own backyard with a few refreshing beverages in hands. But if your yard has been neglected and is less than inviting to hang out in, don’t sweat it! There are simple upgrades that you can perform throughout your backyard setting to spruce it up, add in more seating for your guests and bring back the love. Here are some simple strategies you can use for inspiration for any landscaping projects you’re looking to take on this summer.

Add A Simple Deck

If you’ve always dreamed of stepping out onto a deck, but have written it off as too much of a hassle, think again. If you’re limited on space, or resources, you can still have that dream platform to elevate your designated lounging area. All you need are some basic carpentry tools (or your handy best friend to assist you) and you can create the perfect, simplified deck that can really enhance your outdoor space. There’s are tons of tutorials online that show you what to do, and that it doesn’t have to be a complicated project.

Patio Stones

If a deck isn’t up your alley then patio stones can equally do the trick. Whether you take on this project solo or hire someone to do it, adding patio stones to a section of your yard can also break up the space and add more elements to the setting that will automatically improve the look of the landscape.

Create A Sitting Wall Around Your Garden Bed

Enhancing your backyard and landscape doesn’t mean you need to take on any major u-hauls. Even if you have a small space, focus on ways that you can make that space effective for seating, as well as intimate and attractive. For example, you can create a stone wall to outline your garden beds. This can act as extra space for guests to rest, while elevating the look of your gardens and surrounding area.

Flowers, Flowers And More Flowers

When it comes down to it, even the most neglected landscape can easily be transformed with some added splashes of colour. Got a hideous view? Use tall potted palms or mini evergreens to create a green wall to hide what you don’t want to be seen, and to create a more cozy setting. You can also transform an old wheelbarrow into a garden bed of flowers to add to your patio. Think of ways where plants and a garden bed can enhance your setting.

If you’re mulling over your backyard setting and are ready to take on some landscaping projects this summer, remember that it really doesn’t take much to transform your outdoor space. Patio stones, a garden wall, attractive flower beds and strategic vegetation is all that’s needed to spruce up any outdoor space.

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Family

Family-Friendly Activities in Toronto

It seems like in the blink of an eye school’s out and you’re suddenly left scrambling, trying to figure what to do with the kids. The good news is that there are a ton of family-friendly activities in Toronto this summer to partake in that will appease everyone, and keep boredom at bay. Here are some of the top family-friendly activities to check out in Toronto this summer.

Snorkel With Stingrays At Ripley’s Aquarium

Since the Ripley’s Aquarium opened it’s doors in 2013 in Toronto, it’s become one of the most popular attractions throughout the city. And it’s not hard to see why. Beyond the awesome aquarium that you and the kids can enjoy, there are also numerous other family-friendly activities to enjoy that will really crank up the fun factor. Kids that are ages six and up can swim and snorkel with stingrays in Ray Bay, accompanied by a Ripley’s diver. You and the family can have fun getting a behind the scenes tour with some of the stars of the aquarium.

You can check out all the detailed info here: https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/programs/stingray-experience/

Jr. Jays Saturdays

Summer in Toronto means a ball game has to be involved at least once. And with the Jr. Jays program, you can bring the family to any Saturday home game to take in the action while participating in kid-friendly activities while you get to relax and enjoy the action. Kids can win prizes, or even be selected for stadium activities like Jr. Jay Announcer for the bottom half of an inning, or a moment of fame up on the video board, and for fans 14 ages and older, they can run around the bases after the game.

For more information, check out the details here: https://www.mlb.com/bluejays/

FringeKids Club At The Fringe Festival

If you’ve got theatrical lovers in the family then this is the place to check out this summer. The FringeKids Club was created for kid-friendly performances, with plenty of theatre-based activities that they can have fun with. This club is located at the George Ignatieff Theatre where kids can enjoy free activities. You can also catch a FringeKid performance, with this year’s puppet adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the comedy Pirates Don’t Babysit! Shows costs $5 per person.

For more information, check out the site here: https://fringetoronto.com/festivals/kidsfest

Redpath Waterfront Festival

If you’re looking for something unique to check out in celebration of the Canada Day weekend, head over to the Redpath Waterfront Festival. Here you can check out the fleet of tall ships, which includes the largest Viking ship built in modern times.  Aside from deck tours, kids can participate on the free navy-themed obstacle course, and fuel up on some tasty food from local bakers and chefs. There will also be tons of artisanal goods and even a dog show to check out. This is literally the place to be for everyone to enjoy – even your furry loved one. For more information, click here: http://towaterfrontfest.com/

If you’re wondering how to appease the kids this summer, check out some of these awesome family-friendly events that are happening in Toronto this summer.

 

 

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Toronto News

Toronto Events: August 2017

With August comes the incredible heat and equally incredible opportunity to have a fantastic time. Summer has been in full swing, but Toronto is far from out of surprises yet. This month offers a unique blend of exhibitions and cultural celebrations that will surely excite Torontonians and visitors alike.

Rogers Cup Presented By National Bank (August 5-13)

Tennis fans will be undoubtedly captivated by the allure of the Women’s Rogers Cup, held at the Aviva Centre at York University. Tickets start as low as $15, allowing fans of all ages to enjoy days of friendly tournament competition without breaking the bank. Various on-site activities will be held, including autograph sessions and musical entertainment. In addition, visitors can enjoy great meals and beverages from a variety of patios, stadium concessions, and food trucks as well as purchase tennis gear and official Rogers Cup merchandise from various shops. The matches themselves are hugely popular and entertaining, and you’ll surely have an exciting and memorable time on any days you spend at this great event.

Veld Music Festival (August 5-6)

This two-day celebration of Dance Music and Hip-Hop is sure to bring crackling energy and vibrancy. Held at Downsview Park, the Veld Music Festival will offer the combined entertainment value of over 30 internationally renowned acts, and this year will showcase some of the most respected and popular names in electronic music. Performers include Future, Migos, Zedd, Major Lazer, Slander, Pleasurekraft, Claptone, Tïesto, and many more!

Krinos Taste of the Danforth (August 11-13)

Toronto’s 24th Krinos Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street festival, and is a thoroughly immersive summer celebration of all things Greek. Danforth’s incredible selection of multi-ethnic restaurants brings their greatest dishes (and plenty of free samples) to this culinary and cultural street party, which is situated along Danforth Avenue in GreekTown. Culturally inspired activities such as plate-breaking and archery lessons, free Greek musical and cultural performances, and a variety of contests and children’s activities make the Krinos Taste of the Danforth a fun experience for the whole family. Expand your mind and fill your stomach with one of Toronto’s most authentic and entertaining cultural festivals!

Canadian National Exhibition (August 18-September 4)

This is the big one — “The Ex” is roaring back into Toronto for another round of adventures and carnival delights. This iconic end-of-summer celebration boasts a classic midway of thrilling rides, games with colourful and exciting prizes, comedy and animal shows, casino games, international performances, celebrity chef demonstrations, and plenty of shopping opportunities. Concluding with a three-day air show featuring the Canadian Snow Birds, the Canadian National Exhibition is a must-see. Surround yourself with neon-drenched excitement and carnival delights that offer a timeless experience full of magical memories.

Whether it’s live music, sporting thrills, culinary immersion, or carnival magic that you’re after, this August offers some of the most exhilarating and popular events to hit Toronto this year. Make some memories, fill your stomach, expand your mind, and be thoroughly entertained all at the same time!

canada-day-sparklers
Holidays

Canada Day Party Games

Looking to crank up the patriotic fun with some games to go with your Canada Day celebrations? Whether you’ve got kids, teens, adults, or even adults who could qualify as kids, we’ve got some suggestions for you. Here are some Canada Day party games to get your party going for the whole family!

For the Kids

Collective Flag Creations

If you’ve got a party full of kids to keep entertained and pre-occupied, this is a great activity for them to get involved with and explore their craftier side with the Canadian flag. All you need is enough pieces of square white square fabric for each person (or you can just use paper if you prefer). And with a variety of different materials (markers, stickers, glue-on shapes) ask the kids to re-create their version of the Canadian flag and what it means to them. They can draw moose, the maple leaf, even a Beaver Tail – anything to get them thinking about what they love most about Canada. Then put them up somewhere on display for the day.

Canadian Piñata

Who doesn’t love taking a swing at a piñata? Even if this is the only activity you have during your Canada celebration – it’s a winner. Everyone loves to watch as each person takes their turn flailing their arms around in anticipation for the candy. So hop online and check out places that sell them in your area. Or, you can make it a DIY project that you can make with the kids with a Canada theme to go along with. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this one!

Scavenger Hunt

Who says scavenger hunts have to be left for Easter? Kids absolutely love to go on the hunt for little treasures hidden around your yard or home. You can pick up a few items at the dollar store or candies and tell them to start hunting!

For the Grown-ups

Canada Trivia

The grown-ups need a little entertainment too. If you’re looking to test your knowledge of Canadian fun facts and things-that-you-should-know-but-don’t, then Canadian trivia is the perfect game to stimulate your mind while relaxing with a beverage in hand.

Bocci Ball

So this may have Italian roots, but Bocci Ball is a classic that you can’t go wrong with. It celebrates our diversity while getting the grown-ups out of their chairs and into the competition.

Wii Dance Party

Finally, if you have a Wii game system, throwing down a Dance Party addition at your Canada Day party will get both adults and kids pumped up and moving!

Throw some excitement into the mix at your Canada Day celebration this year. These games are guaranteed to crank up the fun factor and get the whole crew having a good time.

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Home & Garden

5 Awesome Basement Renovation Ideas

If the current status of your basement involves cold concrete floors and dark, creepy corners filled with boxes of junk, it can be hard to really see past all of that and imagine it as a whole new space that can actually look cozy and welcoming. The reality is, with a few good renos, you can really utilize that extra room, and provide you and your family with a warm and inviting living space.

So if you’ve been considering remodelling your basement, here are 5 awesome renos ideas that can help inspire you and help you imagine just how amazing that basement can look.

A Giant Playhouse for the Kids

Tight on space for the kids? Sick of tripping over toys? Well, why not turn the basement into a giant play area where they can spend time with their friends and get creative until their hearts are content? It’s the perfect space where you can get creative by installing cozy carpeting, add some fun and colourful furniture to the mix, and wow the kids with an area that’s all for them.

The Ultimate Games Room

Forget the kids – what adult doesn’t dream of having a games room? Create your perfect gaming den for when you have the neighbours or friends over. Begin by planning out what your priorities are – area for the big screen, the darts board, maybe even the pool table – you can customize your space for your own personal style.

The Wine Cellar

So maybe games aren’t your thing, but maybe wine is! Imagine having your friends or family over and asking them to go grab a bottle of wine – from the cellar! Stop dreaming. It’s a lot easier to have than you think. With a few customized shelves, and the perfect design and décor, you can have your very own sultry cellar in the comfort of your basement.

 The Zen Room

Sometimes, all we really need is to have our own peaceful Zen space to relax, mediate or dive into a good book. Although it may be difficult to envision it now, with the right designs and handyman to get the job done, you can have your own peaceful Zen room where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the world whenever you choose.

The Bar

Instead of paying a fortune at the local bar each weekend, turn your basement into the ultimate hotspot for Friday nights with your friends. You can become the cocktail master right in the comfort of home.

So give your basement a chance to shine. If you learn to look past the concrete and boxes, we guarantee once you place your design in the right sets of hands, we’ll create that perfect extra space in your home that you never thought was possible.

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Family, Toronto News

Toronto Events: July 2017

As Canada’s 150th birthday rolls around, Toronto will truly be more alive than ever before. There is a stunning and mind-boggling array of events on offer throughout the month of July, and there’s certainly something on offer for everyone. Rest assured, you won’t be short on fun and exciting experiences.

Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival (July 1-3)

Making full use of the revitalized Queen’s Quay and Waterfront, the Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival offers a dynamic range of interactive on-land activities. Featuring the West Coast Lumberjack Show, exciting entertainment from Rhythm of the Nation, a visit from one of the Royal Canadian Navy’s 440-foot naval frigates, the popular Artisan Market, and yes, the much-discussed visit of the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, the Waterfront neighbourhood is sure to experience a frenzy of delights and exciting activities sure to please all ages. Come and Canuck it up!

Toronto Fringe Festival (July 5-16)

Calling all artists and art-lovers — the annual Toronto Fringe Festival is coming back! Showcasing 160 plays at 35 venues as well as 50 free events at the Fringe Club at Scaddling Court, Ontario’s largest theatre and performance art festival is guaranteed to blow your mind and endlessly inspire. With highly affordable $12 tickets for all fee-based events, Toronto Fringe Festival offers easy and budget-friendly accessibility to cutting-edge indie and grassroots artistic exhibitions for those in need of a heavy dose of vibrant culture.

Honda Indy Toronto (July 14-16)

For a rush of excitement and rip-roaring energy, look no further than the Honda Honda Indy Toronto. Held at Exhibition Place, this automotive celebration offers a vast array of activities including children’s activities such as golfing and face painting, complimentary midway-style snacks, driver autograph sessions, interactive exhibits, live entertainment, vehicle showcases, beer gardens, and plenty more for thrill-seekers in addition to the exhilarating racing itself. Head over for a complimentary cotton candy, snow cone, or popcorn, and partake in the various exciting activities and events Honda Indy Toronto has to offer!

Toronto’s Festival of Beer (July 28-30)

What good is summer without a tall, frosty cold one? Toronto’s Festival of Beer is here to quench the parched and thoroughly entertain the bored. A mouth-watering 418 incredible brews will be on offer from brands of all sizes, as will great food and company. The grilling tent, managed by skilled chefs who are culinary masters, will provide delectable fixings galore, and live bands including Method Man & Redman, Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies, and Sloan round out the exciting entertainment options accompanying spectacular brews. Bring a friend (or a few) over to Exhibition Place, and let your appetites run wild.

This July, Torontonians and visitors alike will have a huge selection of exciting experiences readily available throughout the weeks to come. Indulge in guilty pleasures and soak up some of the fascinating culture coming your way this summer! In Toronto, the possibilities are endless.

man-cleans-roof-gutters
Home & Garden

Spring Cleaning Roof Checklist

When spring cleaning, be sure to not forget to give your roof a little attention and elbow grease. Properly maintaining your roof will allow it to last for several years, minimizing the need for repairs later on. Here is a checklist of some key roof cleaning chores to carry out every spring.

Inspect Your Shingles, and Wash off Mildew

Keeping a close eye on the condition of your roofing shingles is absolutely crucial, as ignoring them will drastically weaken the structural integrity of your roof over time, exposing your home to leaks and other problems. Check for missing shingles and replace them immediately should you find any. Also, don’t forget to address cracked, peeling, bent, or cupping shingles as soon as possible, as they will cause all sorts of internal damage if left unattended.

Also be sure to wash off any mould or mildew that has gathered, as leaving it to fester will create all sorts of frustrations and expensive problems later on. To protect your home, it’s important to thoroughly spray any evidence of mildew or mould off and away from your roof.

Clean Gutters and Clear Debris

Left untreated, clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your roof and home over time. Cleaning out leaves and other debris will prevent your gutters from being overwhelmed by water accumulation, which will protect your roof and foundation from water damage typically associated with an ineffective gutter system.

Also, it is imperative that you address any overhanging threats to the overall health of your roof, such as heavy branches or loose pieces of metal and brick from neighbouring buildings. Anything that falls onto your roof can easily puncture it, resulting in leaks and all of the damages and problems associated with them. Also be sure to remove any debris that has gathered on your roof, inspecting for damage at all times.

Inspect Chimney and Flashing

Chimney flashing is what seals around your chimney to maintain a snug fit, and ignoring open spaces that appear invites all sorts of pests and leakages into your roof and home. It is common for flashing to pull away from the chimney over the years, so be sure to apply what is normally an easy fix to keep everything clean and exposure-free.

When performed every spring, these cleaning duties will make it easier than ever to keep your roof and home dry, pest-free, and fully insulated. If you’re ever unsure of what to do or require assistance, don’t hesitate to contact a roofing professional to make sure your roof is in good shape and prevent future problems!

family-plays-carpet
Home & Garden

Nice Furniture and Children Under The Same Roof

Are you starting to wonder if you can maintain nice furniture under the same roof as your children? Well, you can! It can be hard to imagine for some, but there are ways you can keep your furniture free from damage and pesky stains while in the presence of your kids. Here we look at a couple ways you can protect your favourite items and keep your kids safe at the same time.

Washable Slip Covers

Slip covers really were designed for families. Your fancy decorative couch can be just as nice with an elegant slip cover. There are so many different styles and colours to choose from, you are sure to find one that you love. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the spills or stains. You can easily throw it into the laundry and have it come out looking brand new.

Buy Fabrics that are Easy to Clean

If you’re not keen on slip covers, you can also focus on selecting furniture, such as couches and chairs, that have material that’s stain resistant and easy to clean. That way you can have some peace of mind knowing that when spills or dirty hand prints land on your couch, a simple wipe will get them out.

Consider Leather Furniture

If you’re a fan of leather, then consider this when furniture shopping! Leather is much easier to maintain than other materials. You can easily clean it, plus, leather actually looks better as it gets used and worn in.

Add a Rug Pad

If you have new and lush carpet you would prefer to keep looking as elegant as when you bought it, try using a thick rug pad made for protecting your carpet. These can protect you carpet, while minimizing any tripping hazards.

Closed Cabinets

Closed cabinets can help keep your beautiful wine glasses and delicate dining ware safe. There are many cabinet designs that don’t come with handles. Instead you need to press on the top corners in order to open them. This can be a great addition to your décor and a good way to childproof items from your toddlers.

Any parent can tell you that with kids, accidents just seem to happen out of nowhere. But it is possible to furnish your home nicely while having kids. You just need to be selective so that when something does spill on your new couch, at least you know that you can handle it without having to begin shopping for a new one.