September 22nd, 2016

12 Great Hacks That’ll Change Up Your Laundry Routine

Laundry. It’s unavoidable. But what if we told you that you could save time, money, and prevent wear-and-tear with just a few tricks? That’s right, we’ve got the laundry hacks you’ve been waiting for.

Because everyone’s laundry room is this tidy, right?

Save money

Hanging clothing to dry is the most eco-friendly option.

According to BC Hydro, laundry uses up about 9% of your household energy load. As nearly one tenth of your energy use, it’s worth considering how much electricity you use to keep your family looking spiffy – plus, it could save you real money on your energy bills. Our favourite tricks to save power and money?

 

  • Switch from hot water to cold whenever possible. Obviously your son’s workout gear isn’t the place to cut corners, but for things like towels, bedding, and general clothing, it’ll actually be better for your possessions to wash in cold, as cold water preserves colour and prevents shrinking.
  • Hang dry your laundry. Hang your clothes to dry! Of course tumble dry your towels and sheets, but for most clothing (like knits and silks), it’s recommended to hang dry anyways. Not enough space on your drying rack? We’ve got some options, or you can grab some hangers and dry in your closet.
  • Run full loads. This might seem obvious, but running a small load takes the same amount of electricity and dryer sheets (and if you use Tide Pods or Gain Flings, the same amount of detergent!) as a full load. So don’t run small loads. Sort your laundry by colour (maybe in some cute hampers!), and when the bin fills up, wash it. Last minute requests for a specific pair of jeans can be addressed in an ad hoc manner.

Save time

laundry hacks

Organized bins will make it simple for your family members to sort their laundry – even the little ones! Photo via Just Julie Ann

There are only so many hours in a day, so the less time you have to spend on household chores, the better. Who doesn’t want to save time?  Here are a few time-saving laundry tricks. 
  • Pre-sort your laundry. We mentioned pre-sorting above, but it’s worth repeating. If you have the square footage, set up labelled bins in your laundry room where the family can sort their own clothing. That way, it’ll be easy to pick up a bin, toss them in the machine, and move on with your day.
  • Use a towel to decrease drying times. Did you know adding a dry towel to the dryer will help your clothing dry faster? We wouldn’t recommend using this technique for delicate items, but really, they should be hung anyways. This trick is especially handy for heavy fabrics like cotton and denim.
  • Forget ironing. Use your dryer and a couple ice cubes to de-wrinkle your clothes quickly, leaving you to do more important things – like eating breakfast, taking a shower, or packing your bag.

Save your clothes

A spray bottle is your new secret trick to clean clothes.

There’s more to taking care of your clothes than cold water and gentle cycles. Washing machines and dryers can wreak havoc on your clothing, so try these tips to help extend the life of that favourite dress and perfectly-fitting jeans.
  • Spray your jeans. If you like dark wash jeans, you know how damaging the washing machine can be to the colour. Even if you use vinegar and detergent that  is specialized for dark colours, it’s still tough to keep the colours fresh – that’s why this trick is such a favourite. Mix a 70-30 mixture of vodka and water, and put it in a spray bottle. Flip the garment inside out, spray the garment, and hang it up to dry (preferable in the sunshine). Originally used in theatre costume departments to extend costumes between dry cleanings, the vodka will kill odours and bacteria, and dries odourless.
  • Spin dry your delicates. With delicate clothing, hanging to dry is an obvious – but how to remove excess water from your garments? Wringing them out can be damaging – especially with knits. Try using your salad spinner! Then hang to dry as normal.
  • Hand wash using a colander. Submerging garments in water can pull and twist at the fabric. Instead, grab a colander from the kitchen to use while you rinse detergent from your clothes. Alternatively, you can use the inside section of your salad spinner.
  • Wash clothes inside out, zipped and buttoned. Prevent snags, pulls, and fading by flipping everything inside out and zipping it up before washing. This protects items from the buttons and zippers on other garments!


September 21st, 2016

LD Picks: 6 Surprising Sleep Secrets That Actually Work

For most of us, falling asleep is never as simple as putting head to pillow and shutting our eyes. If you’re in need of a few proven tricks for courting slumber, deep and restful, you’ve come to the right place. Read on!

* * *

Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 Technique

Weil’s technique is simple, takes hardly any time, and can be done anywhere in five steps. Although you can do the exercise in any position, it’s recommended to sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Weil also recommends you place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth, and keeping it there through the entire exercise. Here we go!

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

The most important part of this process is holding your breath for seven seconds. This is because keeping the breath in will allow oxygen to fill your lungs and then circulate throughout the body. It is this that produces a relaxing effect in the body.

[More at Dr. Weil.com]

* * *

Trick Yourself

Research conducted on two groups of insomniacs at the University of Glasgow found that reverse psychology can genuinely help people fall asleep.

While one group was left to their own devices, the other was told to stay awake for as long as possible but banned from moving around or watching TV.

Guess who went to sleep fastest?

[More at YouTube]

* * *

Hit the Bottle

hot-water-bottle

No, not the booze bottle. (Drinking alcohol may help you get to sleep, but it’s a central nervous system depressant. When it wears off, you become more alert.) Instead, make sure your bedroom is cool, and then hit that hot water bottle.

Every night, as the body falls asleep and its systems switch to standby, its core temperature drops. Think of it as akin to a car that’s parked on a driveway after long, hot drive. By preparing a cool sleep environment—between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 16 and 20 degrees Celsius—you’ll help your body’s core temperature reduce quickly and naturally, which creates the feeling of drowsiness.

The trick to avoiding a frigid sleep is the water bottle. Placed by your feet, the heat dilates blood vessels in your lower limbs, shifting body heat from the core (where it is while you’re awake) to the extremities (where it is when you’re snoozing happily). Enjoy!

[More at BBC]

* * *

Check Your Alignment

This guy may be goofy, but he makes a strong argument for one of our favourite sleeping positions—on our side, hugging a pillow, a slender bolster between the legs. It’s partly a matter of personal preference, partly a matter of science. The basic idea is, regardless of your sleeping position, you should attempt to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned:

  1. If you sleep on your back, a small pillow under the back of your knees will reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back. The pillow for your head should support your head, the natural curve of your neck, and your shoulders.
  2. Sleeping on your stomach can create stress on the back because the spine can be put out of position. Placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment. If you sleep on your stomach, a pillow for your head should be flat, or sleep without a pillow.
  3. If you sleep on your side, a firm pillow between your knees will prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment and reduce stress on your hips and lower back. Pull your knees up slightly toward your chest. The pillow for your head should keep your spine straight. A rolled towel or small pillow under your waist may also help support your spine.
  4. Insert pillows into gaps between your body and the mattress.
  5. When turning in bed, remember not to twist or bend at the waist but to move your entire body as one unit. Keep your belly pulled in and tightened, and bend your knees toward the chest when you roll.
  6. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned when turning as well as when sleeping.

[More at U of U Health]

* * *

Snack Smart

mozza

You know how sleepy you feel after Thanksgiving dinner, when your belly’s full of turkey? That’s the tryptophan talking—turkey’s rich in it. These six sleep superfoods have way more tryptophan than does turkey. More importantly, they’re easy to consume before bedtime. Who needs Ambien when Mother Nature’s on your side?

  1. Toasted sesame seed bread: Why bother with the toast when you could simply throw back a handful of sesame seeds, you ask? Bread’s carbohydrates increase your blood sugar, causing your body to produce insulin and, afterwards, the calming chemicals serotonin and melatonin—the ultimate drowsy combination.
  2. Raw nuts: Almonds, pistachios, and cashews are very high in tryptophan—their butters are also excellent, just steer away from the heavily salted or sugared. Bonus: Nuts also contain magnesium, a mineral that calms muscles and nerves.
  3. Fresh fish: Fish are dense in tryptophan, in addition to being the best natural source of Omega-3s. Salmon is the champion.
  4. Cherries: Where most soporific foods induce the body to produce melatonin by first introducing tryptophan, cherries leapfrog the first step and give you a straight shot of melatonin. This is rare.
  5. Cow’s milk:  In addition to tryptophan, milk is also high in calcium and magnesium, both known to have a relaxing effect. Milk alone will do the trick, but you’ll boost its effectiveness by taking it with a carb-rich oatmeal, granola, or toast.
  6. Mozzarella cheese: Cheese is generally a bad idea before bedtime—it’ll give you bad dreams. With twice as much tryptophan as turkey, mozzarella is the exception. May we suggest a piece of Silver Hill’s Squirrelly Bread with a single slice of tomato, laid over with fresh buffalo mozza or bocconcini, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a few drops of olive oil, topped with freshly ground black pepper?

[More at London Drugs]

* * *

Power Down

screentime

Sixty minutes before going to bed, turn your back on all electronic screens, media, and work. The time for screens and work is over. Computer screens actually trigger your brain to stay awake; the blue light they emit mimics sunlight (which arouses the brain, instead of relaxing it). Here are a few more tips:

  1. Once work is over, there is nothing you’re going to fix or make better by continuing to think about it. If you’re really struggling to turn off work mode, try writing your thoughts or plans by hand in a journal.
  2. Reading, talking to a partner, and preparing lunch, clothes, etc. for the next day are great ways to get off the screens and start the process of relaxing.
  3. Sleep is not a switch you just turn on. The earlier you start relaxing, the easier it will be to sleep.

[More at Sleep.org]

* * *

reverse psychology

check-your-alignment

sleepy snacks

sleeping friends

gorilla yawning



September 19th, 2016

Understanding the symptoms of dementia

alzheimers

People with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias experience a range of symptoms. However, every individual is unique. The presence and severity of these symptoms vary greatly from person to person and can also change from day to day. Most symptoms change gradually over the progression of the disease.

Here are some examples of the different types of symptoms that people with dementia tend to experience.

  • Changes in mood (for example, many people with dementia experience depression).
  • Delusions and hallucinations are symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. With delusions or hallucinations, people do not experience things as they really are.
  • Sundowning is a term referring to when someone becomes confused, anxious, aggressive, agitated, or restless later in the day.
  • Responsive behaviours, which may include such things as agitation and aggression. These behaviours can often be particularly challenging for caregivers.
  • Repetitive behaviours, such as repeating the same phrase or action continuously.
  • Wandering and disorientation, which are a concern for many people with dementia and their families. Understanding why they occur and how to minimize them can be helpful.

For more information about these symptoms, please visit http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/bc/Living-with-dementia/Caring-for-someone/Understanding-symptoms and click on the links associated with each symptom to learn more.



September 14th, 2016

Majority of Canadian teachers feel networked devices make it easier for students to learn

Computers, laptops, smartphones and related accessories are a shopping priority for students heading back to school

Digital technology is now integrated into virtually every classroom across the country and that means that even primary school students are using everything from desktop computers to laptops, notebooks, smartphones and digital cameras for learning.

MediaSmarts’ recent “Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III” study found that ninety-seven per cent of Canadian teachers say their school has some kind of networked devices in the classroom and the majority of teachers (79%) agree that networked devices make it easier for students to learn. Teachers are using these devices in their classrooms not only to introduce students to innovative content but also to empower students to make content of their own. Close to 40 per cent of teachers in the study said that they have had students create their own videos.

With the increasing use of technology in the classroom, it comes as no surprise that almost 35 per cent of Canadian students have a computer on their back to school shopping list and 30 per cent are shopping for cell phones, according to a study released last week from Initiative.

READ MORE



September 13th, 2016

The Lifehacks You Need, Courtesy of the LD Solutions Video Series

The #LDSolutions video series offers solutions to everyday problems. You trust London Drugs for tech, pharmacy, cosmetics, insurance, photography, and more – we help solve your everyday problems. Trust us for these life hacks too. 

In a rush with a wrinkled shirt?

All you need is a couple ice cubes and a dryer.

Tried on a ring and now it’s stuck on your finger?

A long piece of floss will handle it.

READ MORE



September 8th, 2016

Stained Nail Beds? We Take Care of That.

Ever stain your cuticles with a dark nail polish? You scrub and scrub, but the colour just won’t come off. We’ve got a handy way to get rid of that staining.

  1. Pull out an all-natural cleaning agent – a lemon!
  2. Squeeze lemon juice onto a cosmetic pad.
  3. Rub your skin where the nail polish has stained it.
  4. Presto! Clean nail and cuticle.

Whew. It’s that easy. No matter how far you paint outside the lines, London Drugs has you covered in store and online.

Check out more LD ‘lifehack’ solutions below:

How to Quickly Smooth a Wrinkled Shirt

7 Tips For Taking Better Smartphone Pictures

Surprising Way to Remove a Stuck-On Ring

How to Remove A Stripped Screw with a Rubber Band



September 6th, 2016

How to Celebrate Grandparents Day

Grandparent's Day London Drugs

We all know Mother’s and Father’s Day, and many countries celebrate Children’s Day, but have you heard of Grandparent’s Day? If not, the good news is you haven’t missed it. In 2016, it’s being celebrated on Sunday, September 11.

Grandparents deserve their own day now more than ever. Studies show an increased number of grandparents are helping the next generation by providing daycare and even foster care. Plus, they are often our best advisors, offering the kind of hard-earned wisdom not found on Wikipedia.

If you’re lucky enough to have a grandparent in your life, you may be wondering how to celebrate Grandparent’s Day. To start: gifts are not usually required–giving presents is kind of a grandparent’s domain, anyway. Instead, the best approach is to simply show you care.

Giving your grandparent a simple call or visit is a great start. Want to make it truly special? Go the extra mile. As Generations United, a major advocate for Grandparent’s Day, puts it: #DoSomethingGrand.

READ MORE



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