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Nibbling in the garden? Edible flowers abound

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Most anyone who owns a cat can tell you that felines go crazy for flowers. But did you realize that humans also like to nibble on them?

In the popular TV show The Great British Bake Off, contestants have used edible flowers for several seasons.

They look great on cakes, but can be delicious in other ways, too. Perhaps you remember your grandfather sauteing some dandelion leaves in a little olive oil and garlic and serving them with fried eggs, long before it was trendy.

The website The English Garden gave edible flowers a shout-out in an article about new flowering plants for 2019. The post was highlighted by a radiant photo featuring a mix from Thompson and Moran that included calendulas, nasturtiums, dianthus, and violas.

Southern Living Magazine published an article listing the 10 best edible flowers. The list included a bunch of blossoms which taste like cucumbers (and work equally well in salads as in cocktails); hibiscus, whose cranberry-like flavor is great in teas and, again, cocktails; nasturtiums, with a slightly peppery taste much like watercress; and pansies, roses, and violets.

Beware of picking flowers that have been treated with pesticides. If in doubt, wash them in cold water and let dry on a paper towel. And if you are thinking about trying it out, do your research and make sure the flowers you choose are edible — not all of them are.

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How to choose your next range

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Are you thinking about upgrading your stove? If so, here are some things to consider before choosing a new range.

The space you have
If you’re not completely renovating your kitchen, you’ll need to purchase a range that fits into the available space. On the other hand, a renovation means that you have more options. Perhaps a separate cooktop and oven would be a good option? In either case, you need to know how much room you’ll have for your new appliance.

How you’ll use it
Someone who doesn’t cook much may be happy with a basic range, but those who love to create in the kitchen will probably prefer a gas model. Alternatively, a parent may appreciate an induction stove, which works quickly but doesn’t get hot to the touch.

Your kitchen’s style
A sleek, stainless steel range is well suited to a modern kitchen, while a white enamel one complements a more traditional esthetic. If you have the budget for it, you can also order a custom range in a color of your choice.

No matter what type of range you select, be sure to opt for one with an Energy Star label. This certification guarantees that your new cooker is energy efficient and eco-friendly.

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4 fresh ideas for decorating wedding tables

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The centerpieces at your wedding are sure to be the decor that your guests notice the most. Here are four fresh ideas for centerpieces that will make a statement.

1. Potted plants. A welcome change from cut flowers, potted plants can be taken home by guests and enjoyed for years to come. Anything goes, from cute succulents and cactuses to tall orchids and even herbs or flowers that can be transplanted outdoors.

2. Terrariums or lanterns. A geometric glass vase or container will complement almost any type of wedding esthetic. Fill it with moss and cut flowers for a romantic look or sand and seashells for a beachy vibe. Or, substitute the vase with an old lantern if you want to create a more rustic look.

3. Candles. A wedding is the perfect time to indulge in a romantic, candlelit dinner. Tall tapers in a variety of different candleholders are ideal. Or, use candles of varying heights to add visual interest.

4. Suspensions. If the ceiling and venue allow for it, consider hanging your centerpieces from above. Flower arrangements, candles and other items can be hung to add ambiance to the table and will dramatically impact the look of the room as a whole.

No matter what type of centerpiece you choose, make sure it’s not so tall or wide that it gets in the way of conversation around the table.

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The many benefits of visual art

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You don’t have to be an artist to reap the benefits of making and enjoying art. In fact, even small doses can be advantageous. Here’s what you should you know.

A tool for learning
Making art helps learners create different kinds of connections in their brains and increases their ability to think creatively and solve problems. Studies show that those who study art in school tend to enjoy learning more and do better in classes like math, English and science.

A feel-good activity
Art isn’t just for kids. In fact, an increasing number of adults are making art as a way to relieve stress. From filling in adult coloring books and making art journals to completing DIY projects and assembling crafts from a kit, it’s easy to find ways to unleash your creativity.

Indeed, taking a pause to color, paint, draw or sculpt allows you to break away from routine thoughts and the daily pressures of modern living. What’s more, creating art has been shown to release dopamine in the brain, one of the chemicals believed to be responsible for feeling good.

Viewing art is also good for you
Studies indicate that just one hour of looking at art, such as at a museum, can change the way you think and feel. In fact, it’s been shown that those who spend time looking at art are able to think more critically about things and feel more empathy toward other people.

From doodling with a pen to creating a masterpiece with paint and a canvas, making art is good for you. And remember, creativity is a like a muscle: the more you use it, the more powerful it will be.

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Which kind of food should I choose for my pet?

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When choosing the right food for your cat or dog, base your decision on the animal’s age, weight, breed and lifestyle. A kitten and an adult cat, or a Chihuahua and a Labrador, don’t have the same nutritional needs. If your pet is overweight, choose food that will allow it to regain a healthy weight.

It can also help to talk to your veterinarian in order to make an informed choice. He or she will be able to recommend a good-quality product containing the right proportions of all the essential nutrients your four-legged friend needs. Just because a product’s packaging lists various nutrients, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are present in sufficient quantities; some products contain a lot more grains than meat. Lastly, keep in mind that the more costly canned pet foods don’t necessarily have all the healthy nutrients your pet needs. Ask your veterinarian for more detailed information.

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5 types of summer camps your kids will love

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There’s more than one type of summer camp for kids. If you’re looking for one for your children, here are five types that may pique their interest.

1. Traditional. If your children like spending time outdoors, they’ll love a traditional summer camp. They’ll spend their time swimming, canoeing, camping, hiking and more.

2. Historical. Kids that are fascinated by history will enjoy a camp where they can dress up in historical clothes and learn about how people lived before the advent of modern conveniences. Whether they’re interested in the Middle Ages or the Victorian Era, your child is sure to learn a lot.

3. Language. Let your child become immersed in learning another language by sending them to a language camp. They’ll acquire a valuable life skill while having fun and making new friends.

4. Farm life. Kids that love animals and nature will enjoy spending their time learning how a farm works. Not only will they spend their time caring for farm animals, but they’ll also learn about agriculture and how to maintain a vegetable garden.

5. Academic. There are a variety of learning camps for kids. Whether your young academic wants to immerse themselves in a particular topic (there are camps devoted to coding, robotics, science, engineering, writing and more) or explore a range of subjects, there’s a camp that’s right for them.

No matter what kind of summer camp you choose to send your children to, they’re sure to create meaningful memories and make lifelong friends.

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Things to consider before building a garage

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If you don’t have a garage, but are thinking about building one, here are some things to consider.

Zoning laws
Before you begin your project, check with your municipality. Many towns and cities have regulations concerning the size and placement of garages.

Attached vs. detached
Some homeowners appreciate parking in an attached garage that leads directly into their house, especially in inclement weather. Others, however, prefer not to distract from the look of their home and opt instead for a detached garage.

Function
Are you planning on simply parking in the garage, or will it also be used as storage? Or, perhaps you want to use the space as a workshop, gym or office? Regardless, make sure to plan accordingly in terms of insulation, lighting and other features.

Ventilation
If you’re planning on parking your car or storing paint and other toxic substances in your garage, a proper ventilation system ensures that the air remains safe to breathe.

No matter what type of garage you build, be sure to hire reputable contractors. In particular, garage door installation can be dangerous and should be done by an expert.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
18
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 18 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, February 4 – Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! After[...]
Feb
19
Wed
8:45 am Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Feb 19 @ 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now (RON) together with Skyline Middle School to host its 1st annual Career Day, “Passport to Success.” Joining with area business leaders, Warren County Public School, as we come together to empower our[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 19 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
2:00 pm Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Feb 19 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
All are invited to the Rotary Club of the Shenandoah Valley (The Area ONE|ders) blood drive on Wednesday, February 19th, from 2pm-7pm, at the Front Royal United Methodist Church (1 W. Main St. Front Royal)[...]
Feb
20
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 20 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Feb
21
Fri
9:00 am Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Feb 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Are you considering independent, corporate, or social entrepreneurship, or being groomed to take over a family business? Then, this workshop is for you! Topics to be covered: Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur The Importance of[...]
Feb
22
Sat
11:00 am Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars is a special needs art discovery program. This program is for ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 22. Participants should have a caregiver or attendant present in the program.
1:00 pm Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Stop by Petco located at 2580 S Pleasant Valley Rd. on Saturday, February 22, between 1 and 4 PM. Meet the amazing Petco adoption team from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke, learn more about[...]
1:00 pm Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Moving Mindfully: Finding and keeping your footing @ Ruby Yoga
Join Ruby Yoga and Deborah Romero of Optimal Posture LLC for a series of workshops on moving more mindfully through life using the principles of yoga and the Alexander Technique. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 25,[...]
2:00 pm Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Local magician Kevin Owens will entertain the whole family with his amazing magic show, which always includes audience participation and lots of laughter!