With school in session, are important things like forms, documents, and money getting lost in your kid’s backpack? Try creating a ‘post office’ and ‘bank’ to keep supplies safe!
This LD Solutions life hack for your grade-school kids will help your child stay organized and eliminate any crumpled notices or lost money for field trips.
Need other great tips and tricks to make life easier?
Check out more of our helpful LD Solutions Videos on YouTube or here on the London Drugs Blog:
Fall is here! But don’t worry, it’s not all rain and cold weather. Fall is a beautiful season of bounty, and you can make the most of that bounty by taking up your new favourite hobby: canning. That beautiful jam you like? You can make it. Dill pickles? You can make those too. Those cans of tomatoes you buy every other week? Yep, you got it! All you need is a bit of equipment and a bit of know-how. London Drugs has got you covered on both counts.
Canning is really just a way of preserving food. Water bath canning is the easiest way to start: you fill glass jars with the stuff you want to preserve (jams, jellies, pickles, etc.) and boil them in hot water. This kills any bacteria present, removes air from the jar, and seals it to prevent any more bacteria from getting in. Water bath canning only works for high-acid foods like fruit, tomatoes, and pickled things.
If you want to get really fancy and preserve your perfect pumpkin pie filling, you’ll need to upgrade to a pressure canner. But the basic process is to sterilize your jars in boiling water, make your preserves, put those preserves in the jars, put on the lids, and throw them back in boiling water. Easy peasy, right?
We’ve got a complete canning kit that includes the jar lifter, lid lifter, and funnel, as well as 250ml jars, 500ml jars, and even 1L jars for things like pickles and whole tomatoes. If you’re making jam or jelly, you’ll also need pectin.
Once you’ve acquired the equipment, you need to decide what you want to can! In early fall we still have stone fruit like peaches and plums, and lots of tomatoes. Later in the season, root vegetables like carrots and beets can make some excellent pickles. And apples, of course!
If you’ve got a well stocked grocery store that brings in produce from further afield, you can can small batches with basically any type of fruit. We’ve got recipes for strawberry balsamic jam and sour cherry jelly on the blog from earlier this summer. (What’s the difference between jam and jelly, you ask? Jam is made from crushed fruit while jelly is made from fruit juice! The more you know.)
Canning isn’t difficult, but when mistakes are made they can range from something minor like a jam that doesn’t set to something dangerous like food that is unsafe to eat. You may balk at the amount of sugar in some of these recipes, but it’s integral to getting the jelly or jam to set properly, and it helps prevent spoilage.
Boiling time will vary depending on what altitude you’re at. You also can’t reuse the flat part of the two part lid for canning jars; you can reuse the ring, but you need a new lid each time you can. And don’t forget to sterilize your jars before filling them with your preserves!
There are a ton of great websites you can go to for more information and recipes, including the National Center for Home Food Preservation, Food in Jars, and Punk Domestics. Companies that make canning supplies like Bernardin and Ball are also fantastic resources.
Here are a few of our favourite fall recipes. Go ahead and get canning! You can can!
Do you have trouble getting your kids to do their morning tasks, and getting them out the door before school? Here’s one clever (and tasty) trick that makes it fun for kids to complete their morning tasks. This little life hack will have you out the door on time with smiling kids. The answer to disorganized mornings is here!
Need other great tips and tricks to make life easier? Check out more of our helpful LD Solutions Videos on YouTube or individually here on the London Drugs Blog:
For some food lovers, the end of summer means saying goodbye to backyard cookouts and delicious BBQ meals. For others, the cooler fall weather is a welcome excuse to warm up in front of the oven and enjoy a piping hot mug of cocoa after dinner.
Whatever you may prefer, there’s no doubt that the following dessert recipes are bound to inspire you this fall season (and satiate your sweet tooth)! Besides – who can say no to chocolate?
The chocolate chip cookie is beloved for a reason! And because fall is the season where you can finally dust off your cast iron skillet, this cozy take on a household classic provides the perfect dessert option on a chilly evening.
[Find the recipe at Dinner with Julie]
Just because camping season is coming to a close doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to s’mores just yet! These pudding cups call for the basics – marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers and some pantry items, and allow you to enjoy a campfire treat in the comfort of your own home.
[Find the recipe at Seasons and Suppers]
Dipped in a luxurious dark chocolate sauce, the crispy cinnamon coating and sweet, soft dough make these churros to die for. A fair favourite that can easily be made at home, there’s no need for a clunky deep fryer if you have a wok on hand!
[Find the recipe at Recipe Tin Eats]
If you haven’t already heard, the pumpkin spice latte (or PSL) has made yet another comeback this fall. And whether you’re on board with the trend or not – we guarantee you’ll love this pumpkin spice hot chocolate recipe!
[Find the recipe at Lemons for Lulu]
Donuts are not only delicious, but they can be a great baking activity that the kids will love. These double chocolate donuts are a quirky (and easy to transport) alternative to birthday cake. If you don’t have a donut pan on hand, simply use a muffin tin!
[Find the recipe at i am a food blog]
Although some may argue that the fall season is too cold for ice cream, we beg to differ. Complete with an Oreo crumb crust and filled with your favourite brand of coffee ice cream, this mud pie is a perfect dish to bring to your next fall potluck!
[Find the recipe at Coco Cake Land]
When you think of a fruit crumble, chocolate doesn’t usually come to mind. This crumble, however, brings the classic flavours of black forest cake into a rich cherry crumble – loaded with fresh Bing cherries and rounded off with a coconut and cocoa topping.
[Find the recipe at Kitchen Heals Soul]
Nothing quite says “fall” like a warm pecan tart fresh out of the oven. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’ve found a recipe that will excite any chocolate lover! A maple pecan filling sits atop dark chocolate for a unique – and tasty – dessert.
[Find the recipe at Salted Plains]
Pain au chocolate – or chocolate croissants – are usually a coffee shop treat. Thankfully, we’ve found a recipe that’s as simple as it is delicious! With only three ingredients: egg, puff pastry and your favourite dark chocolate bar, you can have your *croissant* and eat it too.
[Find the recipe at Simply Beautiful Eating]
Believe it or not – not everyone is a huge fan of dark or milk chocolate. For anyone who can’t eat chocolate, or prefers the taste of white chocolate, we’ve got you covered! This delectable brownie recipe is the perfect balance between rich and fluffy, and can be tweaked to whatever sweetness level you prefer.
[Find the recipe at Simple as That]
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), in partnership with London Drugs, is on a mission to bring suicide prevention training to communities across western Canada. Suicide prevention training isn’t just for professionals. Suicide prevention is everybody’s business.
The most basic premise of suicide prevention is that if we are thinking about suicide ourselves we need to tell someone, and if we are concerned someone else may be thinking about suicide we need to ask them about it, clearly and directly. If they are indeed thinking about suicide, we need to listen carefully for long enough to acquire some understanding of what they are going through and then based on what we’ve learned help them link with supports and resources to keep safe for now.
But all of us worry, “will they be offended if I ask them?” Experts agree that you will not suddenly open someone up to the possibility of suicide as an option by talking about it, but rather will show them you care enough both to notice they are troubled, and to ask. The intention is to open up a dialogue that can lead to the possibility of help. And if they are offended? You might get something back like “Hey things are bad but they aren’t that bad!’, and you can again respond that the ask comes out of noticing they were troubled, and feeling care and concern for them.
CMHA’s vision of mentally healthy people in a healthy society has every community working to become suicide-safe, with many people equipped to step in and offer help to someone who is struggling. We can all be part of making this change happen — and one place to start is to sign up for a safeTALK workshop where you’ll learn what to look for, what to do and how to help. Visit askaboutsuicide.ca to learn more.
Askaboutsuicide.ca was made possible through the generous support of London Drugs. We are grateful to London Drugs for recognizing that suicide is everybody’s business and that we all have a part to play in creating suicide safer communities.
For many Canadians, road trips remain a staple family holiday year round–and for good reason. Whether it’s for a quick weekend trip to the next town over or an extended cross-country drive, road trips provide a personal and adventurous vacation for even the most urban of travellers.
Revisit your childhood, make new memories and explore all Canada’s vast, rugged outdoors can offer by considering the following stunning road trips.
For those looking for a relaxing getaway and gorgeous scenic drive away from the city, consider heading to the Sunshine Coast in BC. A popular area for many local Vancouverites wanting to get away for the weekend, the Sunshine Coast boasts beautiful seaside cities and is only a couple of hours from downtown Vancouver. Grab a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, and visit attractions like Persephone, Farm Ventures, and more, all along the coast.
If you live on Vancouver Island or are just stopping by for a vacation, all you need is a car, friends, family and a good playlist before setting out on this breathtaking drive. Follow the Trans-Canada Highway along the eastern coast, and cut across Pacific Rim National Park Reserve while passing glistening lakes and rivers. In Tofino, take advantage of Canada’s rare surfing opportunities, embark on a fishing adventure, or explore the area’s many trails and beaches.
Osoyoos is world renowned as one of Canada’s best wine countries, and whether you’re planning to stay awhile or are just stopping through, the city is a summer paradise. A slightly longer road trip (approximately 5.5 hours) will take you across the majestic Kootenays and into the charming community of Kimberley, BC, allowing you to come across spectacular mountain and lake views year round.
For Calgary residents or anyone in the surrounding area seeking a road adventure that’s a little different than the usual visit to Banff National Park, head south into BC with Fernie in mind. Located on Highway 3, Fernie’s mountain backdrop provides the perfect space for avid hikers and trail runners looking to explore new terrain.
Although Saskatchewan is well known for its flat-ness, the prairie province is home to rich Canadian history, and showcases a number of vibrant communities and attractions. Beginning in Regina, make your way to Moosejaw, camp out at Craik & District Regional Park, and follow the Louis Riel Trail to Saskatoon, where you can enjoy the city’s nightlife.
It comes as no surprise that most (if not every) Canadian road trip will have you following–or at least crossing paths with–the famous Trans-Canada Highway. If you don’t have the entire 7800 km trip on your travel bucket list, you may want to consider it as an eye-opening way of seeing all the country has to offer. Before embarking on this epic journey, make sure you plan accordingly–the trip will take you about two weeks from Victoria to St. John’s—if you’re driving about 400 kilometres per day. Now that’s a road trip!
A route less travelled, but well worth the distance, is along Dempster Highway, from Dawson City in the Yukon to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. If you head out in late August, not only can you witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights in a truly unique way, but you’ll also come across the north’s mountain ranges and tundra: a view that most people only get to experience through photographs.
Running for 232 kilometres from Jasper to Banff in Alberta, the Icefields Parkway is a popular road trip set between sweeping meadows, waterfalls, glassy glacial lakes and snow-capped Rockies. While many may choose to hike the 6 kilometres to the Athabasca Glacier, other attractions include Peyto Lake, the Weeping Wall and the Glacier Sky Walk.
The ultimate road trip for foodies, the Gourmet Route in Quebec brings the term “farm to table” to life. A self-guided tour set along the St. Lawrence River, it is known as the first of its kind in the area, with 50+ stops along the way. Get a taste of the region’s culinary traditions (literally), and indulge in as many gourmet tastings as your stomach can handle.
The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia can be completed in five days (although you may want to extend your stay to truly soak up the views), and is a great option for a weeklong road trip. The trail wraps around the north of Cape Breton Island for 298 kilometres and provides unreal coastal hillside views along winding roads reminiscent of Canada’s Scottish and Acadian heritage. Hike through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and sample Atlantic seafood on your way home. Enjoy!
As part of Canada’s 150th anniversary, London Drugs is partnering with agencies across western Canada to help 150 refugee families get on their feet in their new country. The Welcoming 150 program seeks to help by encouraging London Drugs customers to donate items to the families in need.
Many of the families arrived in Canada in the last year or so, and are in the process of learning a new language and joining our country’s workforce. This is one of their extraordinary stories.