City Living: Outdoor Decor

With this summer heat wave upon us, there is nothing we like better than to chill en plein air with a refreshing glass of lemonade (preferably our Lazy Days kind) and a fashion magazine in hand. But it’s hard to imagine your backyard as a summery oasis when you are perched on a rickety plastic patio set. 

In June, King Street East became even more stylish with the opening of the chic casual furniture store, Fiber Living. With the help of owners Ion Nicolae and Michael Guerra, who both hand-pick all pieces in the beautiful shop, you’ll be sitting pretty without breaking the bank. 
One-stop shopping spot for your backyard beautifiers.
Here are the top items we want in our outdoor space:

Outdoor Fireplaces
Summer conjures up memories of crackling fires, camp sing-alongs and gooey s’mores. The fireplaces ($5900) from Magnificô Innovation are a perfect investment piece for your outdoor space in the city. These warming wonders are made in Canada, with sliding doors that open should the need to roast marshmallows arise. Cozy up to your cutie and relive the days of camp flings without battling hours of traffic on Highway 400 (it’s still cheaper than a Muskoka cottage!).
Singing “Kumbaya” never looked so good.

Posh Patio Sets
Canadian summers can be crazy, rainy and windy one moment, sweltering hot the next. Make sure your patio furniture can withstand the elements without cracking or fading. For the style-conscious, function shouldn’t trump fashion. Create a comfy, colourful environment with these simple pieces from Fiber Living’s Viva Designs collection. These patio essentials are made from natural materials and are 100 percent recyclable. When the weather turns chilly, you can also bring these pieces indoors. 
 One-seat lounger ($1950), side table ($450) and two-seat lounger ($2450) are all lounge lizard-approved.

Trendy Lighting 
Large, luxurious backyards are a rarity in the city. If you are lacking the space to add a fireplace or full-fledged patio set, jazz up your (literal) pied-à-terre with these funky light features. Designed by Italy-based Slide Design, these one-of-a-kind globes (from $325 to $1025) create a unique vibe for your balcony.
Lighting features that mimic crystal balls – looks like a fabulous backyard is in your future!

What are your top outdoor decorating tips? Comment below or tweet us @rockitpromo

A visit from Consolidated Credit: Diamonds and debt don’t have to go hand in hand!

Just when we think we have no more holidays to buy for, up pops Valentine’s Day. The idea of using our credit cards or putting out cash for gifts and dates gives us chills. It amost makes us want to do away with Cupid altogether. Luckily, we chatted with Ann Dennis, Communications & Public Relations Manager for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, who gave us awesome tips for keeping our budgets in check. Read on for Ann’s advice.

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Cupid’s arrow is soaring, signaling it’s time to search for the brightest and best Valentine’s Day gift – otherwise known as something very sparkly for someone you love. However, if you haven’t saved enough to pay for that little gem, it could become the cause of unwanted financial stress on your heart and your bank account. 

“Money worries add enough stress on a daily basis. Don’t add to it by buying a Valentine’s gift that leaves you debt-laden,” said Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “One of the keys to financial heart happiness is changing habits and attitudes towards money.”

Like Dustin, an alumnus of Consolidated Credit Counseling Service of Canada’s Debt Management Program, who has a new outlook on spending. “My wife and I are saving for a house this year. To help stay within our budget this Valentines Day, we’re staying home and enjoying a romantic movie night with pizza and wine. The time spent together will far outweigh the value of diamonds!”

Here are a few more ideas that will help take the pressure off your wallet:
Surf the internet, not the stores. There are so many free e-card websites out there with creative cards – you’re bound to find more than one to fit the occasion. In fact, send multiple messages to keep your special someone smiling all day long.
Home is where the heart is. Follow Dustin’s lead: pick up a bottle of wine, order pizza and rent a romantic movie. Or sub in boozy hot chocolate and a roaring fire – whatever it is that takes you and your partner to your happy place! 

Take a walk down memory lane. Celebrate on Sunday, February 13 instead, and spend the day visiting the places in the city where you met, had your first kiss, the coffee shop where you spent hours getting to know each other or took your first walk in the park.

Exchange homemade presents. Receiving a gift that’s homemade and comes from the heart is more meaningful than receiving something store-bought that doesn’t fit right or you don’t really like. 

For more money-saving inspriation, visit Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada’s Facebook page or follow them on Twitter: @debt_free_2day.