With Christmas right around the corner… there’s no time to stress! The holiday season inspires joy, excitement, and family comfort. What’s not to love about spending quality time with the most important people in your life, sipping warm drinks by the fireplace and decorating your home?
Unfortunately, we can easily find ourselves feeling a little overwhelmed with office parties, gift exchanges, family reunions and our kids’ school events. No matter how many commitments are booked into your calendar, there never seems to be quite enough time to get anything done – let alone finish Christmas shopping!
Thankfully, we have the tech to help make everyone’s life just a little easier – including your own!
Get into the festive spirit this winter and check out the following 7 tech gadgets that are bound to eliminate some of your holiday stress, while also making great gifts for friends, coworkers and family!
A thermostat may seem like a strange gift to pick up for the holidays, but trust us, the Nest Learning Thermostat is well worth it. Particularly useful during the chilly Canadian winters, this remote-controlled tech gadget can be used right from your smartphone, tablet or laptop through WiFi connectivity. With energy-saving options, safety alerts, and automatic adjustments from your personal energy history, just think – no more coming home to a frigid home, and no more waking up in the middle of the night to adjust the heat!
A fantastic option for stocking stuffers, the IQ Keychain Power Bank is a necessity for busy, on-the-go people who use their portable technology on a day-to-day basis. The keychain feature makes this power bank easily accessible and always within reach when in need. For those days where you forget to charge your phone, or your laptop runs out of battery, simply plug into the IQ Keychain without the stress of finding an available power outlet in public.
Opening cans with faulty (and often painful!) can openers can be the bane of your existence, especially when in a hurry and with a hungry family to feed. Another great stocking stuffer option (perhaps for the cook in your life, or for anyone with joint pain) the TouCan Hands Free Can Opener makes opening cans of all shapes and sizes completely effortless. With just a push of the button, anyone can seamlessly prepare their meals, without the mess and frustration.
If you’ve been thinking about picking up a charging pad, now is the time! More than ever, we’re glued to our phones and tablets for personal as well as work use throughout the day, making it easy to run out of battery life. The hassle of finding (let alone de-tangling!) the large amount of mismatched chargers you need could give anyone a headache. Thankfully, the Belkin Wireless Charging Pad provides a quick solution to this everyday stress. After a long day at work, place your smartphone, tablet or powerbank (no need to remove any cases!) within the charging ring, and enjoy the luxury of cordless freedom.
Visiting family or friends over the holidays, and travelling outside of your designated carrier zone? Know anyone who travels frequently overseas, and could benefit from some extra coverage? Look no further! Pick up the AOW Global Data SIM Card for yourself or as a gift and enjoy 4G LTE access to over 90 countries across the globe. Choose from hourly plans, by day, or by storage, and pre-schedule before you leave. The Global Data SIM Card is compatible with any unlocked smartphone, and will not only save you the effort of finding secure WiFi, but allows you to stay connected with loved ones via apps without daunting roaming fees.
If you don’t need one of these in your kitchen cupboard, guaranteed you know someone who does! Just like opening a can, grappling with a tricky cork can result in nicked fingers, compromised wine and most likely a bad mood. Avoid the fuss and save your energy with the London Drugs Rechargeable Wine Opener. This sleek electric opener can be easily recharged when needed, and makes a great gift for any wine connoisseur.
Ordered your Christmas gifts online and anxious for them to be delivered to your door? More often than not, you won’t be home mid-day to receive your parcels. With the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, there’s no need to rush home to see if your packages have arrived! With wide angled HD video and instant alerts straight to your phone, this futuristic doorbell can also act as a security monitor, alerting you of what’s going on outside without having to be at home! Great for families with children, the doorbell also offers a safe way for kids to see who’s at the door without having to answer it.
It’s less than a month until Christmas. Still working on your holiday shopping? We’ve got you covered!
Leading up to December 25, we’re posting holiday gift guides for everyone on your list. We have already shared guides for the home cook, kids (and parents), and techies. Today’s guide is all about the DIYer!
What do you get for someone who likes to make things? Buying a scarf for a knitter or a nice planter for someone who works with ceramics can seem a waste. Instead, give them what they love best—tools or supplies to make something themselves!
Here’s our guide to buying a cool crafty present for the DIYer on your list.
DIYers love new tools. Not only will they expand their range of projects, but new tools are sometimes just inspiring in and of themselves—opening up a whole new world of possibilities.
Help the DIYers in your life build their ultimate tool box with a glue gun, an X-Acto knife, and a screwdriver with multiple bits. These long nose pliers are perfect for making jewelry, and a tape measure will be useful no matter the project. An adjustable wrench means they’ve always got the right size. Scissors are necessary for just about any DIY project. And a multitool means they can carry it all with them and be ready for anything.
It’s not really the right season for gardening, but don’t let that stop you. There are plenty of great presents for DIY plant lovers that you can still find at this time of year, like garden gloves and a gorgeous green watering can. They’ll be great in the spring for outdoor use, but they can be used with indoor plants as well.
We’ve got plenty of great planters that will look lovely on a beautiful plant stand. And this Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners hand soap and hand cream duo will remind your DIYer that you care about them and their well being. No cracked skin here!
Sewing is such a handy skill. Sewers can make clothes, create curtains, upgrade their bed with a new duvet cover, mend fabric, fashion their own duffle bags and totes–the list is almost unending. It’s perfect for upgrading one’s home or wardrobe with big or small projects and is a life skill that everyone should have.
Make sewing easier for your DIY friend with a new sewing machine. If they’ve already got one they love, then think about supplemental sewing tools like a new iron, fabric scissors, a seam ripper, or a hand sewing kit.
Who doesn’t love some delicious homemade jellies and jams? You can certainly make some yourself for excellent Christmas gifts (check out our guide to canning and preserving for tips and recipes!), but for the DIYer on your list, you’ll want to be giving them supplies.
A canning kit complete with a funnel, jar lifter and lid lifter, as well as glass canning jars and lids, is a great gift for someone who’s looking to expand their DIY ways into food preservation (it’s a special order item, so be sure to get this one early!). It’s not just for jam; canning is perfect for pickling too! Preserving food via canning is both a science and an art, which is just what crafty folks love.
For more gift-giving advice for the DIYer on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online. We’ll be back in a few days with a gift guide for music lovers. See you then!
See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Sweater weather, pumpkin spice and family dinners are just a few of the things that make fall one of the best times of the year. The weather may get chillier and the days shorter, but there’s no denying that the fall season inspires a festive vibe and overall cozy feeling inside the home. The following is a list of DIY fall décor ideas that are bound to get you (and your home!) in the mood for fall.
Thanksgiving may have already passed, but there’s always an excuse to throw a dinner party! During the rainy season, it’s easy to entice friends and family to gather for a hot meal. If you’re in a pinch or want to keep it simple, liven up the dining room table with this (pine) fresh take on dinner place cards.
Not ready for Christmas décor yet? A quick and easy decorating tip for the kitchen table or hallway is to use the natural décor around you. In this case, use clean fallen leaves (or pick up fabric leaves at your local craft store) and hang them with string to create a colourful fall garland.
Wreaths are not just for winter! Opt for making your own wreath or purchasing a base at your local dollar store, and add orange fairy lights, plastic fruit and fall flowers. Once December is here, add some fabric ornaments to transition into a holiday look.
What sparks memories of fall more than the smell of freshly baked apple pie and cinnamon? To recreate this scent in your home, take a tall pillar candle with your favourite fall scent, and line with cinnamon sticks. Not only do they smell amazing, but these candles also make a fantastic centrepiece.
Chances are, you have a few wicker baskets stored away in the closet for summer picnics or Easter treats. Make even more use out of them this season, and stack them to create a gorgeous fall centrepiece. Add pinecones, ribbon, and green foliage until you’re decorating in December…then add Christmas bulbs!
For fall inspired decor that can also work year-round, pick out a couple of rustic wooden frames for accompanying prints. These can be of leaves, pressed flowers, photographs or paintings, and can also be used to display kids’ seasonal artwork.
Flowers may not be the most popular gift during the fall season, but that doesn’t mean we have to shy away from plant-based decorations! Recycle the outer shell of a cored pumpkin and plant your own succulent terrarium. Fill with moss and dirt, and display in lieu of a carved pumpkin.
When preparing for the chilly fall and winter months, winterizing your backyard or deck may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is an important step. Before you retreat indoors to cozy up in front of the fireplace with a mug of cocoa, it’s important to remember that your home requires fall maintenance. Here’s what you need to do to winterize your lawn and garden.
By following these outdoor tips, you’ll ensure that come springtime, your backyard, deck or garden will be ready to thrive.
Even if you are short on time, or are heading on an early fall vacation, the one thing you can do to prepare for the season is to keep your deck, gutters, and lawn clear of fallen leaves. They may look beautiful at first, but if you leave them on the ground for too long—especially in wet weather—they can rot, cause mould and moss growth, and damage wooden decks. Clean out your gutters and downspouts as well, as clogged leaves can cause ice dams once the temperature drops. You may want to invest in a gutter screen just to be safe. If you do only one thing on this list, this should be it.
If you have a garden and are keen to keep it in good shape for the spring, it’s incredibly important to pick over and pull out plants and flowers that are no longer productive. The same goes for any fruits or vegetables that aren’t in harvest or have been leftover from last season. Rake up all debris (this can easily be done while you’re clearing out leaves) and add to the compost bin. Don’t forget to trim dead tree branches and shrubs, and while you’re at it, clean your flowerbeds and mulch— you’ll need them in shape to help protect your next crop!
While you’re already up on the roof clearing out the gutters, take a look around and make sure there is no roof damage. The last thing you need this season is a dripping ceiling! Inspect for loose or missing shingles, and if you have a deck, make sure the gutter doesn’t empty onto its foundation. If you want to go the extra mile, inspect your driveway for cracks and seal them with driveway filler, and then check your windows to make sure they don’t need extra caulking. Making sure your home is as snug as a bug in a rug will help you save $$ on heat and electricity.
Tighten any loose screws, replace nails, and fill any cracks or loose boards on the deck or patio. If your region is anticipating heavy rain or snowfall in the coming months, plan ahead and consider creating a rainscape below your gutters to redirect any overflow. Use rocks as a channel guard underneath to protect your flowerbeds, driveway or deck from damage.
It may come as a surprise, but fall is actually one of the best times of year to plant spring-blooming bulbs in certain cold-weather areas. Simply plant them in containers just as you would do in the ground, in odd-numbered groups of 5-9. Choosing containers with good longevity (think ceramic or plastic) will protect your plants from freezing and moisture. Tulip bulbs are a favourite that can be transplanted around the garden in the spring. Trees and evergreen shrubs can also be planted during the cooler season, and you’ll have a great head start to the growing season when spring comes.
There are a number of measures you can take to protect your garden and plants over the winter months. This includes deadheading potted plants and making sure they get plenty of water before bringing them inside, as well as covering flowerbeds with mulch for protection against frost. You can also leave some seeds out for the birds to ensure your garden gets some attention over the winter, and to promote your next bloom.
The last thing you want when opening up your patio or deck in the spring is to find rusted or damaged patio furniture that you have to replace. If you plan ahead and store, cover, and clean all hard surfaces before the first frost, you’ll having nothing to worry about. Even if patio furniture is powder-coated, it can pay to take extra precaution by cleaning and covering aluminum metals with automotive wax. Plastic furniture and fabrics do need to be brought indoors, and while wood-based and wicker furniture will probably need oiling or painting touch-ups, covering with a tarp will protect them from most elements. The same goes for covering any exposed air conditioners, and other lawn equipment.
Don’t miss out on the most fun part of winterizing your deck—the decorating! Once you’ve cleaned, inspected and winterized the backyard and taken care of all the logistics, it’s time to get creative. Whether you string fairy lights around windows and doors, or display multi-coloured pumpkins, cornstalks, and pinecones along the staircase, there are endless patio designs available to inspire you.
We are well into #PSL season, as you’ve probably gathered from your Instagram feed. (That’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season, for you non-coffee drinkers.) Luckily for foodies, there is so much more to this versatile autumn gourd than just coffee shops and Thanksgiving pie, so we’ve put together some of our favourite pumpkin recipes to help you celebrate everyone’s favourite fall flavour.
This hearty, savoury dish has a surprising hint of sweetness from the pumpkin that will warm up any cool fall night. Double the recipe and save for a freezer full of leftovers to enjoy throughout the season—it’s no secret that chili is always better the next day (or week, or month). Don’t forget the chipotle sour cream!
Pumpkin for breakfast? Of course! Inspired by traditional Indian cooking, these healthy and simple pancakes are also known as besan ka puda. Ingredients can be substituted to make custom flavours, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. Perfect for getting you out of that breakfast rut.
Even the people who aren’t into the whole #PSL thing will find it hard to pass up a nice, hot bowl of velvety, spiced pumpkin soup. Top with pecans or goat cheese, throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and a cable knit sweater, and you’ll be a Pinterest board come to life. A fall classic.
Got a craving for a creamy pasta dish, but trying to cut down on the fat? We’ve got you covered. The richness of the pumpkin in this recipe takes the place of the loads of cheese traditionally found in a baked pasta dish. Comfort food level: EXPERT.
Pumpkin and curry go together like a pile of leaves and a jumping toddler. Skip the take-out and instead whip up this spicy crowd-pleaser, even if you’re short on time. You can pour this delicious concoction over your favourite rice, vegetables, or tofu, or whichever combination of the three satisfies your current craving.
We hope you hung on to the innards of your jack-o’-lantern, because these crunchy snacks are a fall must-have. Packed with iron, magnesium, fibre, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, protein, and tryptophan (which can boost your mood and help you sleep), vegans and vegetarians have been using pumpkin seeds for years as a natural source of nutrients. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours: soy sauce, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg – time to get creative!
Yes, it sounds strange on paper, but we promise this will be on your top 10 list of best pizza EVER. Mild and creamy havarti cheese is the perfect flavour accompaniment with the veggies in this dish, and a fun change from mozzarella. Don’t skip the sweetened onions step—they’re the secret ingredient that will put this dish over the top into OMG territory. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will be instantly addicted, and gluten-free foodies can use their favourite GF crust.
Looking for an alternative to your pre-packaged veggie burger option? Try these quick and healthy pumpkin patties. Spices can be dialed up or down to your preference, and toppings are open to creative interpretation. Don’t get boxed in by the bun—these baked, crunchy beauties can also be tucked into a super-healthy lettuce wrap or crumbled on salads. They also freeze nicely, so they can be made ahead of time. Future you will heartily thank present you.
Who doesn’t love a trip to the Cheesecake Factory during a visit south of the border? Well, someone did us all a favour and broke down their creamy, decadent pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and now we’re here to share it with you. (Yeah, you’re welcome.) Next to the prevalent pie, this modern classic is a fall dessert staple. Pro tip: replace white sugar with brown sugar for a deeper, richer taste.
Tuck into these perfectly pleasing pumpkin recipes and enjoy all that fall has to offer. Happy eating!
We love to partake in the old-fashioned holiday traditions: singing carols around the piano, putting out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, turkey and pie with the family. These days, the holidays aren’t complete without a few modern traditions as well, and any self-respecting gift-giver is sure to check out Oprah’s annual Favorite Things list before hitting the shops.
The venerable lifestyle guru has been sharing her Christmas Wish list with us for the last 22 years, and whenever a product is chosen as an Oprah favourite, it automatically becomes the hottest item of the season. This year’s list is a veritable avalanche of must-haves and fun luxuries (in fact, it’s her biggest list to date) and we are thrilled to announce that three of the items included on this prestigious list can be found at London Drugs!
Here are three of Oprah’s Favorite Things that you can pick up at your nearest London Drugs location or at londondrugs.com – for your gift list, or yourself.
These luxurious slipper socks are made with the softest, fluffiest most comfortable lining, guaranteed to wrap your precious feet in warmth and comfort. PUDUS silicone grippers provide special anti-slip traction for your safety and comfort. Available in a wide range of colours and patterns.
Oprah says: “I put on these cozy sock slippers for the Favorite Things shoot, and I loved them! So will anyone you give them to, from toddlers to grandmas.”
The Cuisinart® AirFryer Convection Oven is a premium full-size toaster oven with a built-in air fryer. That means it not only bakes, broils, and toasts, it also lets you air-fry right inside the oven. Air frying, which uses powerful ultra-hot air, is a healthier way to prepare delicious fried favourites, from wings to fries to shrimp to a full-size chicken. And since toaster ovens stay on the countertop, this fryer doesn’t have to move back and forth, from cupboard to counter.
Oprah says: “A toaster oven that bakes, broils, toasts, and has a built-in air fryer? What else can you ask for?”
This Ferrari of electric toothbrushes has a Deep Clean mode for an invigorating clean, and the AdaptiveClean and DiamondClean brush heads provide 10x more plaque removal vs. a manual toothbrush for healthier gums and whiter teeth in just two weeks. Comes with a handy Charger Glass – simply place your Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush in the glass to charge. The Charging Travel Case charges via USB or wall outlet, which allows you to take your DiamondClean anywhere and everywhere.
Oprah says: “The first Sonicare made the list 20 years ago, and it’s only gotten better—literally one of my favourite things that I use twice a day. This year’s version is a smart toothbrush with an app that gives feedback on brushing habits, four super effective brush heads for different cleaning modes, and sensors to adjust intensity or tell you if you missed a spot. Trust me, you’ll look for excuses to brush.”