The Heart Truth

February 6th, 2012 | Comments »

This month I decided that we’d do a few blogs all focused around the month of February.  Last week we looked at February’s birthstone and how the hot colour of amethyst is making a splash in 2012.  This week I thought it was fitting to share with you that February is the Heart & Stroke Foundations The Heart Truth month.

The Truth is…


Eat better. Eat different. Move more. Work less. Sleep more. Worry less. Breathe deeper; We often hear these words or phrases from friends, family, health professionals & the media. At every turn, we’re bombarded with advice on how to be healthier and happier. However most of us are too buried under an avalanche of to-do’s to take the time to focus on ourselves.

Putting ourselves last is something we’re quite familiar with. As caregivers women are the ones making sure that kids are fed and curfews are met. That aging parents take their medication and keep their doctor’s appointments. That birthday presents are bought and wrapped and that everyone and everything gets taken care of at any hour–even if our own health suffers.

How often do we hear ourselves say there’s only so many hours in a day? Prioritizing ourselves would be easier if we weren’t always racing from one thing to another.  Work, after school activities, grocery shopping and more. There aren’t enough hours in the day, but we try our best.

It’s time to start putting yourself first!  Perhaps it’s not about crossing every task or item off your list– but putting yourself at the top and working your way down. The rewards are worth it:

  • living long enough to meet the (nice) girl your son finally brings home
  • being there for graduations or weddings
  • having coffee and long walks at the country cottage you’ve always dreamed of
  • watching your new granddaughter wrap her tiny fingers around yours for the very first time

The Truth Is, it’s time to shuffle our priorities so we’re one of them. Heart disease and stroke is the #1 killer of women in Canada – more than all cancers combined. But all that can change if we turn some of that love and attention our own way, and start making ourselves a priority.

What is the Red Dress?

The Red Dress is the official symbol of The Heart Truth campaign. It’s feminine, strong and confident, capturing the spirit of the cause in a symbol that women across Canada can identify with and feel proud of. The Red Dress represents women’s courage and passion and their power for change as they share the truth with others and raise awareness about the importance of heart health.

Women can show their support by purchasing a Red Dress pin, at your local Heart and Stroke Foundation Office. Red Dress pins are striking conversation-starters that help women to share the truth with others. For every pin sold, 100 per cent of net proceeds are contributed to the campaign.

Each year, the Red Dress symbol comes to life on the runway as top Canadian fashion designers create original red dress designs in celebration of women and heart health awareness. The Heart Truth Fashion Show takes place in March. The events are star-studded affairs, with top designers unveiling original red dress creations modeled by some of the country’s most celebrated women.

Know the signs…

Being able to know what the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke are could save your life. Every minute counts during the onset of a heart attack or stroke—the more quickly you receive medical treatment the more likely you are to survive and the better your chances are of a more complete recovery.

Women often experience the same symptoms as men do, but women and men don’t respond to a heart attack in the same ways. Women are less likely to believe they’re having a heart attack, and they are more likely to put off seeking treatment.

Heart Attack Symptoms

  • Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

Stroke Symptoms

  • Weakness: Sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary.
  • Trouble speaking: Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary.
  • Vision problems: Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary.
  • Headache: Sudden severe and unusual headache.
  • Dizziness: Sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs.

Although symptoms are generally the same for men and women, women can sometimes experience symptoms that are less definite, such as chest discomfort rather than pain.  For women, chest pain may not be the first sign of heart trouble. Women have reported experiencing unusual tiredness, trouble sleeping, problems breathing, indigestion, and anxiety up to a month or so before the heart attack.

(Download a wallet card with signs and symptoms & take the Heart & Stroke Foundations quiz and learn about your risks.)

*content courtesy of The Heart & Stroke Foundation

February is all about Amethyst… however 2012 is embracing this colour as well!

January 30th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

February’s birthstone is the Amethyst, which is a purple variety of the mineral quartz.  (although to be amethyst it must be purple , however it can come in many different shades)     

It’s believed that the word amethyst comes from the greek word ‘amethystos’ meaning sober. Amethystos is the god of wine and it was common practice to serve wine in amethyst goblets in belief it would prevent over indulgence.

For those who are giving the gift of amethyst it is symbolic of protection and the power to overcome difficulty.  It’s said to strengthen the bond in a love relationship.  For years it was a popular choice for anniversary gifts.

The colour of purple that you see in amethyst is traditionally the colour of royalty and amethysts have been used since the beginning of history to adorn the rich and powerful monarchs/rulers.  Purple was reserved for the powerful, with only blue and gold paint valued more highly, (these were the traditional dominant colours of the madonna’s robe, and the golden holy halos. the bystanding kings wore purple, as do monarchs and senior religious figures today.)  It wasn’t until 1856 that purple dye was synthesised, and could be cheaply produced. William Henry Perkins was trying to synthesise quinine, (a medicine for malaria) and accidentally produced the first chemical pigment. It happened to be purple…

Purple will continue to be a strong colour presence in home decor throughout 2012 and the word amethyst will be a word used to describe this purple trend.  There are so many different hues of this colour that you can choose between ‘rich & regal’ and ‘pale & delicate’.

This year you’ll find some great inspiration from rooms such as the above…. you’ll have great colour choices such as PARA’ Vixen (P5094-63), Dark Orchid (P5096-73) or Moulin Rouge (P5097-73) or if you’re looking for perhaps the softer side of what amethyst has to offer then you can try PARA’ Shopoholic (P5100-41D) or Spring Lilac (P5099-34D).  You’ll also see some fabulous accessories and furniture in this great amethyst tone.



So although February is all about the amethyst… looks like you’ll have plenty of amethyst throughout 2012.  Personally I’m also looking forward to the softer shades that will be making their way into our wardrobes this spring/summer.

PARA Paints 2012 Colour Trends

January 23rd, 2012 | Comments »

This year PARA Paints has gone through their archives and taken a few colours from the past to pull together this years trend palette.  They’ve actually broken their colour choices into 4 design palettes; Digital, Rhythm, Urbanage, Inhale. Each palette has a number of colours to choose from, so it really allows you to find something that works with what you have in your space currently as well as your comfort level.

The first palette is one that is alive & playful! Digital is a palette that is charged with modern greys, blacks and reds; but brings a luminous energy that inspires ones creative clarity.  This palette delivers high speed hues that give sharp definition to a room’s style and sense of form and function.

Some of my favourite colours from this palette are: cleopatra P5009-52, sing time P5221-34D & tuxedo P5249-85

The second palette shows us that design trends are as global as commerce and culture. Rhythm gives us a bold and electric collection that show a strong multi cultural influence.  This is hybrid palette, a primal & evocative effect yet with a luxurious regal affair.

A few colours that jump out here are:  saffron P5055-73, lily pads P5043-73D &lustful P5150-85

The third palette; Urbanage is a well-heeled, well honed downtown chic.  City dwellers tastes in colour are more gown up, they speak to sophistication that is posh & polished.  Ambrose Price says ‘A well-designed urban space should reflect the character of the city’, and PARA definitely pulls this through in this palette.

Personally this is my favourite palette, it has bold and strong colours combined with feminine, soft hues to balance the space. It’s the palette that also showcases some of the colours we saw on the runways for spring 2012.  Honestly you can’t go wrong with any of the colours in this palette.

  • leaning tower of pisa P5167-34D
  • soft lavender P5237.34
  • lunch at tiffany’s P5219-24
  • city scape P5219-62
  • tribeca square P5207-34
  • little black dress P5195-85
  • yahoo P5181-24D
  • ravished P5141-85

The final palette is one that showcases how we are naturally drawn to organic textures & comforting earth tones.  Inhale is a palette that shares with us both neutral & soulful, while also providing muted overtones that bathe the room with a measured calm.

Some of my favourite colours from this palette are steamed P5225-34, download P5222-83 & ocean seawall P5201-34


Looking through the palettes and the vibe they provide there really is a little something here for everyone. The main thing to take away is don’t be afraid to try a little colour. Lots to choose from ~ Happy Painting!