November 21st, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook

The days are colder, the nights are longer, and we’ve fallen back, ending Daylight Saving Time. Time to start planning for the holidays! Do you know what gifts you’re going to get for your loved ones this year? We’re here to help.


Throughout November and December, we’ll be posting holiday gift guides for everyone on your list, with a wide range of gift ideas and price points on each. From showstopper items to smaller stocking stuffers, we’ve got you covered.

We’re starting our holiday gift guides with ideas for the home cook in your life. Whether you know an adventurous chef or a young person just learning the basics, you can’t go wrong with kitchen-y gifts. Everyone needs to cook!

Here’s our guide to buying the perfect kitchen goodie for the home cook on your list.

1. Introduce Them to the Joys of the Crock-Pot Life

The Crock-Pot Express 8 in 1 Multicooker is an outstanding gift for the home chef. It’s a convenient way to make delicious, hearty fare that will nourish an entire household. The bonus? It does all the work while you’re out preparing for the holidays or relaxing with a good book. 

 

This particular model is an 8 in 1 wonder appliance, with settings for rice cooking, yogurt making, and more. Include some recipes with your gift so the recipient can get started with it right away–we’ve got a list of 3 sensational crock-pot recipes right here.

[Photo: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

2. Elevate Their Coffee Game

Chances are your foodie friend loves coffee just as much as they do cooking. But do they have all the tools needed to make a truly great cup of coffee? A real chef will appreciate a grinder to grind their own beans to the perfect coarseness for their coffee maker of choice.

Do they need a new coffee maker? Why not a cold brew coffee maker to make delicious cold brew at home! If they love design as well as functionality, this beautiful Bodum pour over coffee maker with a classic cork band will look gorgeous on their shelves. And for those that would prefer to spend their time cooking rather than making coffee, a Keurig K-Cup machine to make the perfect cup every time with no effort on their part. Help them end their dinner parties with just the right amount of coffee, and without stress.

3. Restock with Beautiful Basics

Chances are, the home cook in your life has a solid set of pots, pans, and knives, but those good reliable basics may need some upgrading. Non-stick coating wears off and pans get scratched–it happens to the best of us. This Gotham Steel 10 Piece set is made with stainless steel, and the cooking surface is scratch resistant and oven safe. If your friend is a little more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a good cast iron skillet.

 

Even if they have a good set of kitchen basics, no home cook worth their salt can resist a beautiful new tool that’s good for cooking and serving. Think colourful enameled cast iron dutch ovens, cookware classy enough to go from oven to table, and quintessential white CorningWare dishes.

4. Give a Gaggle of Gadgets

The best part about being a cook is that there’s always a cool new tool to try. Specialized utensils, gadgets designed to make a job easier, or niche appliances would make great gifts for the kitchen connoisseur in your life. Add some tools to their toolbelt!

It can seem overwhelming trying to find something that they don’t already have, but if you pick something related to a recent food trend, you’re generally good to go. Think spiralizers, cupcake carriers, and milk frothers.

Or go the other way, and pick up tools that will always be useful: multi-blade herb scissors, a knife sharpener, or an egg poacher. This knife mat will corral their blades and keep them sharp, while this covered bowl with included serving set is perfect for bringing to parties. No matter who you’re buying for, there’s a gadget out there for them.

For more gift-giving advice for the home cook on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online. We’ll be back next week with a gift guide for kids (and parents). See you then!

See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids (and Parents)

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Techies

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the DIYer

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Music Lovers



November 20th, 2017

Make a Gift Day: Craft Your Own Personalized Holiday Gifts for Loved Ones

Photolab Gift ideas

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s fitting that December 3rd is Make a Gift Day. Let’s think of it as a subtle nudge to get started earlier this year. This unofficial holiday encourages people to hand craft gifts for loved ones. After all, that little bit of effort to personally customize a gift goes a long way to making it special.

Photos are a great way to personalize gifts.  You’ve likely captured hundreds if not thousands of them over the year, so why not put all those memories to good use? Do some digging through your virtual photo albums and see if you can find some gems to work with.

Even if you don’t consider yourself Pinterest-level crafty, our Photolab can help you tap into your creativity and produce personalized photo gifts.

Here are some of our favourite DIY gifts for the holidays:

Photo Mugs

Personalize a mug with a special photo or artwork. It’s an easy, inexpensive gift that shows you put some thought into it. Find step-by-step instructions for adding photos or text to a mug on our Photolab website or at our in-store Photolab kiosks. Photo mugs are available for same day pick-up. If you want to order in time for the holidays, make sure to get your order in by December 24th.

Photo Mugs

Hand Print Mugs

Have the kids create their own handprint artwork on pieces of paper, which can then be digitized using an at-home scanner. Or visit us in the Photolab, where you can use our self-serve scanner, or have one of our LDExperts scan it for you. Then you can upload those digital files to our Photolab site (or use our in-store kiosks) and customize special mugs with that artwork, to be given away as holiday gifts.

Personalized Stockings

If your family does stockings every year, a fun pre-Christmas gift to make would be personalized stockings for everyone. Brand new to our Photolab, we have a selection of different Christmas stocking designs to choose from. Customize one for each member of your family, by choosing a design, selecting a photo of your choice, and adding their name (you want Santa to know who he’s delivering to). Then we’ll do the printing for you.

Personalized Stockings

Photo Ornaments

Photo ornaments are a gift that will show the recipient just how much you care. It’s something that can signify a special moment or milestone in their life, and they can hang it on their Christmas tree year after year.

Our Photolab can help you create your own customized photo ornaments. You pick the design: metal, crystal, ceramic or pewter, in a variety of shapes. Then choose a design template that fits your giftee perfectly. We have everything from baby’s first Christmas to first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. Then, you can add the right photo, and get as creative as you like by editing the colour scheme, text and layout. Knowing you put the time and effort to customize every aspect of the gift will make it that much more meaningful for them.

 

We hope you’re feeling inspired to use your images to make fun and personal gifts that your friends and family are sure to cherish. We have lots more items you can customize. Just check out our Photolab site to see them all, from bobbleheads and crystals, to photobooks and blankets.

Need a hand getting started? LDExperts at many of our Photolabs are hosting workshops throughout December to help you personalize your holiday gifts. For workshop locations and times, click here.

 

Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Sunday, December 24th including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a Photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery.

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greetings Cards…………Sunday, December 17

Creative Products………………………………………………………Sunday, December 17

Crystals…………………………………………………………….……Sunday, December 17

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals………………………………….Wednesday, December 13

Yes Video……………………………………….……………………..Saturday, November 25

 

If you need some help creating your holiday gifts, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



November 15th, 2017

Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas from Blogger Melissa Cartier: Express Books & Book-It Mini Books

Hi everyone, Melissa from Melissa Cartier here again.

My husband and I have a little tradition where our only gifts for each other are meaningful, within a budget we set and must fit in our stockings. I love opening my stocking each year, and some of my favourite memories as a kid was Santa placing my stocking at the foot of my bed for me to find when I woke up. As for buying stocking sized gifts for my husband… it’s a challenge. He’s very practical and doesn’t really like chocolate (we are very different haha).

While looking at the different creative projects on the London Drugs Photolab App (iOS version only), I noticed the Book-It Mini Books. The price easily fit within our set budget and they are small enough to fit in a stocking. Kevin and I have created so many memories with our son this past year that it was so easy to put together a little book of some of our favourites. While I didn’t need the quick timeline, I was really impressed these Book-It Mini Books can be made in 24 hours!

The Book-It Mini Book I made is adorable. I chose the black hard cover, pearl finish paper and a single image on each page. I also chose the centered square image option which I love because it reminds me of a little book of Instagram photos.  It’s going to make a great stocking stuffer but if you’re looking for smaller gifts that are still meaningful the Express Books and Book-It Mini Books are a great option. They are quick, easy to make and budget friendly, so they are perfect for co-workers, your child’s teachers or anyone you’ve travelled with.

I love getting photos developed and putting them into photo albums (with each photo dated, of course) but I could see myself using the Book-It Mini Books as little keep sakes after notable events where we take quite a few photos. Family trips, birthdays or even holidays. I have so many photos from Thomas’ first Christmas that would be so sweet to compile in a Book-It. I know Kevin is going to love finding this little book of memories in his stocking this year!



November 15th, 2017

Holiday Gift Ideas from Blogger Melissa Cartier: Coffeetable Books & Photographic Albums

Hi everyone, Melissa from Melissa Cartier here!

On my blog, I recently shared my process for developing all of my photos quickly and directly from my phone using the London Drugs Photolab App! After hearing how much I love their app, the lovely team from London Drugs asked if I’d like to talk about some of the creative products their Photolab has to offer. The first thought that popped into my mind was trying some of them out by tackling a few names on my Christmas list and I quickly agreed.

One person on my list that I have a really tough time buying for is my Dad. His Christmas list every year is black socks and golf balls. I wish I was kidding. While I don’t mind working from a Christmas list I can’t say I’m eager to buy him black socks every year. Besides, isn’t the best part of Christmas shopping finding thoughtful gifts that have meaning behind them? One of my favourite gifts to get for my dad is a framed photo. Two years ago it was a photo from my wedding and last Christmas it was a photo of him and my son.

After scrolling through all of the creative products I could make in the London Drugs Photolab App (how fun would it be to make a recipe book or a book of Instagram photos for a gift?), I settled on a Coffeetable Photo Book. I loved the traditional look of the Photographic Albums as well. It didn’t take me long to create a quality book full of our favourite memories from this past year all from photos on my phone. I really liked that I could choose a layout for each page and while I had the option of including text, for this book I wanted more of a picture book feel. I chose a 10×8 muslin cloth book with a window for this project, but on my next one I think I’ll get a custom photo cover because those look really impressive

If you have a photographer, or just someone in your life who is sentimental like I am, these photo books are both fantastic gift options.

My Coffeetable Photo Book was ready in 5 days and I’m so happy with how it turned out! The quality of the pages didn’t disappoint, and I know my Dad is going to love flipping through all of the memories our family has created this year.



October 5th, 2017

4 Thoughtful Thanksgiving Host Gift Ideas

Hosting a group of people for Thanksgiving is a lot of work, and while many hosts are happy to spend the occasion with friends and family, they deserve a hearty thank you for their efforts. Show your appreciation for a Thanksgiving meal by bringing a thoughtful host gift. We’ve got 4 Thanksgiving Host Gift ideas to start with. Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Sandwich Fixin’s

Gourmet Turkey Sandwich - Thanksgiving Host Ideas London Drugs Blog

If the host of your Thanksgiving is particular about their dinner, then why not bring food for the next day? This is especially nice if you’re staying with your hosts – it’s the type of thing one might overlook in the uber focused prep shopping. Put together a nice collection of the makings for turkey sandwiches. A nice loaf of bread (or two!), a quality jar of mayo, and some nice lettuce is plenty – but if you want to turn it up a notch, consider this gourmet turkey sandwich recipe. Cream cheese, sprouts, and sunflower seeds? Sound delicious, and super thoughtful.

Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast - Thanksgiving Host Ideas London Drugs

Breakfast for the next day is probably the last thing on your host’s mind, so we love the idea of prepping it for them. This apple pie overnight french toast is ideal because it can be prepped in advance and takes no work the next day. Use a disposable tin foil pan to make cleanup a snap! Just make sure your host will have space in their fridge for the pans – or take responsibility for some creative rearranging.

Homemade goods

Homemade Salsa - Thanksgiving Host Ideas London Drugs Blog

If you’re crafty in the kitchen, it’s always a good idea to bring homemade goods as a hostess gift. Whether it’s pickles, salsa, or jam, it is a lovely gesture to bring a non-perishable homemade gift. With this and the chocolates listed below, it’s important to stress that the items are a gift – so there’s no need for them to share with their guests.

Chocolates – homemade or not

Slow Cooker Fudge - London Drugs Blog

No time to cook or can? No problem. This simple fudge recipe is a literal “set it and forget it” slow cooker recipe. All you need is milk chocolate chips, whipping cream, honey, white chocolate chips, and a bit of vanilla and sea salt, and a few hours for the chocolate to cook and cool. But if you don’t have time? No problem. Check out our extensive chocolate selection in store or online.



June 15th, 2017

Fun Things to Do with Dad on Father’s Day

Moms sometimes get most of the credit for raising their kids, but Dads are important too. As Father’s Day approaches, we wanted to share some ideas for spending time with Pops on his special day and throughout the summer. Time to give your best guy some recognition.

Father Son Grandson for Father's Day London Drugs

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June 12th, 2017

5 Ways to Show Dad You Love Him This Father’s Day

Dads of all kinds have been there for us, from our first bike ride without training wheels to when they shed a tear at our high school graduation. After all the birthdays, soccer practices, and comforting hugs, we’re all grown up—but our dads get to still play a huge part in our lives, especially as we have kids of our own.

Daughter with Dad on Father's Day London Drugs Photolab

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