April 24th, 2017

7 Reasons To Love Springtime in Canada

Spring in Western Canada is a welcome change from the snow and sleet of the winter months. The days are longer, the weather is warmer and cities brighten with springtime events and activities. Whether you’ve been looking forward to spending time outdoors or discovering new restaurant patios, this is a season for everyone.

1. Take a hike

Image from Go Live Explore

It comes as no surprise that Western Canada is known for having some of the best hiking trails in the nation. With a milder climate and access to ranges like the Rockies, the arrival of spring on the mountains beckons to many avid hikers and trail runners. Of course, the highest peaks are best avoided without appropriate snow gear, but many mountains are perfect for a springtime climb.

Deep Cove in North Vancouver, B.C. is open year-round, while Mt. Seymour is a popular option in late spring because of its breathtaking snow-capped peaks. In Alberta, skip tourist season and have Johnston Canyon to yourself in Banff, or find a trail in family-friendly Kananaskis.

2. Dine on a patio

Image from @jillian.harris

Many restaurants will open their patio doors for covered outdoor dining even during a chilly day. Patio heaters are usually available year-round, but for those lucky enough to experience a warm streak in their city before summer, the availability of patio dining is the perfect reason to socialize or hold a company event. Always call ahead to make sure patios are available, and make reservations if needed!

Choose the best patios in Vancouver, from most dog-friendly, best brunch spots and prime people-watching. In Kelowna, find patios overlooking sprawling vineyards and waterfront views. Keep your eyes out for these Calgary restaurants as soon as the sun comes out, and don’t miss out on Winnipeg’s top rooftop spots.

3. Train for a race

You may have started training for your next marathon in the fall or winter in preparation for spring, which is prime racing season in Western Canada. Whether it’s a marathon or an obstacle course that’s up your alley, there are dozens of races to choose from.

Assemble a team for Tough Mudder in Whistler, participate in the longest running marathon event in Canada at the Calgary Marathon, get colourful at Color Me Rad in Winnipeg, or qualify for Boston at Gopher Attack in Regina.  

4. Hit a hole-in-one

B.C. golf courses can open as early as February. The Okanagan is a beautiful and popular attraction for golf-lovers, and Vancouver Island is also renown for year-round golf due to it’s mild climate. For the rest of Western Canada, golf season starts mid-April, and it’s best to plan ahead if you’re looking for a sweet vacation spot. Saskatchewan is the perfect place to land a hole in one, and Alberta provides spectacular glacial scenery to accompany your swing.

5. Have a mountain adventure

Image from @courtlynf

You don’t have to be a hiking enthusiast to appreciate a day on the mountain. There are endless activities for everyone in the family that will keep you preoccupied once ski season has ended but your favourite walking trails and lakes are not yet accessible.

If you’re looking for a thrill, take a zipline across the peaks of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver before tackling the Grouse Grind in the summer. Love heights, but want to bring the kids? The Grouse skyride is popular at all times of the year, and sports gorgeous views of the mountain and city. In Canmore, try your hand at ice climbing before the season ends, and then take a rock climbing course to use your new skills. For a family day or adventurous date, play paintball or sign up for a high ropes course in North Battleford.  

6. Stroll in a garden

Image from @carlymla

Spring is the season where we’re inspired to rejuvenate our gardens and appreciate new blooms. In Canada, we’re also fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful public gardens and parks.

Take the day to explore some of the 55 acres of the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, or stop to smell the roses at the Rose Garden in Stanley Park in Vancouver. In Lethbridge, get a taste of Japan at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden or explore the botanical garden pyramids in Edmonton at the Muttart Conservatory. See specimens from the 1960s at Patterson Garden Arboretum in Saskatoon, and Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg for its 450 hectares of forest, gardens and conservatory.

7. Escape on a road trip

Image from @bskphoto

For those itching for a quick weekend getaway or spur-of-the-moment day trip, spring is the perfect season to escape from the city. Not too hot and not too cold, many roads are clear of snow and ready to be explored.

Discover a hidden hot spring in B.C., or brave the waves in Tofino — Canada’s surfing capital. Take a long weekend off in Alberta and make the drive from Calgary to Lake Louise for prime camping or luxury accommodations. Set up a yurt in a Manitoba provincial park, or rent a camper and find your way to Prince Albert for historic tours. Be sure to map out your route, and pack sunscreen and snacks for whichever spring adventure you choose.   

April 20th, 2017

Bring Back the Pack with Certified Data

London Drugs and Certified Data want you to Bring Back The Pack! As part of our What’s the Green Deal program you can already bring back the packaging from almost anything you purchase from London Drugs. Computers, Televisions, Appliances, Printers, you name it. Bring it back to your local London Drugs and we’ll make sure that it gets handled responsibly, and that includes Styrofoam!

Certified Data has a special offer for everyone buying our desktop computers.

If you bring back the pack from a Certified Data desktop computer in reusable condition we will give you a $10 gift card! The packaging must be in clean, reusable condition. That means no damage and no writing or any other defacements on the box, but as long as it meets that criteria a $10 gift card is yours!

Not only do you get a $10 gift card, you get the satisfaction of knowing that the box you returned will be re-used to protect another Certified Data computer!

This promotion is on now so if you have a Certified Data box in good condition, bring it back to your local London Drugs and be a part of the Green Deal!

Learn more about our Bring Back the Pack! Program and Certified Data towers from these two youtube videos:

Bring Back the Pack

Certified Data Desktops

April 18th, 2017

2 DIY Disposable Camera Projects You Need to Try

Looking for a fun way to document your next vacation? Ditch your digital camera for a disposable one and get crafty with photo prints.

It can be tough to escape our screens, even on vacation. Ditching your digital camera for a disposable camera is a great way to capture your trip sans screen, and the rush of developing your photos once you’ve returned home will help alleviate any post-vacation blues. What the printed product lacks in pixels, it makes up for in a tangible home for your precious memories.

All packed? It’s time to take some snaps with your single use camera!

During your vacation…

Choose a daily photographer

Each day of your trip, assign someone the role of official photographer for your group and a set number of photos to take before the sun goes down. Whether you’re traveling with kids, family, or friends, a variety of viewpoints will make for a fun final product.

Add a pop of colour

Shoot your pictures through tinted sunglasses, coloured glass, or even a pair of pantyhose! For a less dramatic effect, hold a candy wrapper or piece of cellophane in front of the flash and achieve a technicolour tint. Most importantly, have fun and make sure to capture everything you find cool, compelling, or quirky about the trip. The more bizarre, the better!

Once you’ve returned home…

Create a DIY floating photo wall

Looking for an easy way to turn your photos into a gorgeous mobile display? All you need is a hole punch, some string, and a long, slim stick.

1. Start by punching two holes in each picture—one in the centre of the photo near the top, and one at the centre of the photo near the bottom.

2. Cut several segments of string, between 4 and 5 feet long and tie them along the length of the stick. Leave a hands’ length or more between each piece.

3. Once the string is secured to the stick, take a strand and thread the end through the top hole punch of any picture. Shimmy the picture to the top of the string and secure it there with a knot.

4. Then, bring the string around the back of the picture and thread it through the bottom hole punch. Secure the bottom of the photo to the string with another knot.

5. Pick another photo from the pile and repeat steps two and three, attaching your next photo to the string right below the first photo. Two photos down!

6. Continue to attach photos along the length of the string until you hit the end, then move on to the next strand.

7. Once each strand is loaded with photos, you’re ready to put your pièce-de-résistance on display. Cut another length of string and tie each end to an end of the stick. Use this string to hang your floating photo hanger from a nail or hook in the wall for all to see.

Create your own framed collage

Think collages are a kitschy kindergartener craft? Think again! A framed photo collage can be an upscale way to display your favourite photos. For this project, you’ll need a large picture frame, a tube of glue, scissors, a pencil, and a piece of white poster board.

1. Start by cutting the poster board to fit the picture frame.

2. Then, decide on the shape your collage will take—something with a simple silhouette like a heart, martini glass, or palm tree is perfect. Can’t think of a shape? A short word or date is equally eye-catching!

3. Sketch the outline of your shape on the white poster board then fill it in with your printed pictures. For the best results, cut your pictures to fit the shape of the collage—round edges, trim corners, cut pictures in two. It’s up to you!

4. Once you’ve figured out the perfect placement for each picture, glue them in place. Lay the poster board down on a flat surface, and let it dry overnight.

5. In the morning, pop it into the picture frame and mount it on a wall. Your personalized collage will serve as a reminder of your vacation every time you walk by.

Heading on a trip? Swing by London Drugs and grab a disposable camera. We’ll be happy to print your pictures once you get home!

April 13th, 2017

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Freshly ground pepper gives this wonderful sweet jam savoury undertones. It adds pizzazz to breads and is great with cheese, especially brie. Or, brush onto chicken or pork for summer barbecues.

3- 3/4 cups (925 ml) crushed strawberries (about 4 pt)
3 tbsp (45 ml) Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
6 -1/2 cups (1625 ml) granulated sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp (1 – 2 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1 pouch BERNARDIN Liquid Pectin

  • Place 7 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
  • Wash, hull and crush strawberries one layer at a time. Measure prepared fruit into a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Stir in vinegar, lemon juice and zest, sugar and pepper. Add 1/2 tsp (2 ml) butter or margarine (to reduce foaming). Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add liquid pectin, squeezing entire contents from pouch. Return to boil; boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam if necessary.
  • Quickly ladle hot jam into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jam.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.

Makes about 7 x 250ml jars

Boiling Water Canner  – Altitude Adjustments
*At altitudes higher
than 1,000 ft
(305 m)
increase processing
time as indicated in chart.
1,001 – 3,000 306 – 915 5 minutes
3,001 – 6,000   916 – 1,830 10 minutes
6,001 – 8,000 1,831 – 2,440 15 minutes
8,001 –10,000 2,441 – 3,050 20 minutes

April 10th, 2017

LD Experts: How to Keep Your Photo Memories Safe With the Photo Scanning Box

LD Experts keep you in the know with what’s new in computers, technology, electronics, photography, and much more.

LD Expert Chris Lyons recently appeared on CTV Morning Live Edmonton’s Tech Talk to demonstrate the power of the Photo Scanning Box at the London Drugs Photolab. Watch the full interview here, or read on for a recap below.

We all have those old family albums full of photographs that we cherish so much — yet only bring out once in a while to look at, and reminisce over. Most of us also have a shoebox in the back of our closet filled to the brim with miscellaneous photos, documents, notes and ticket stubs. These are memories we love and want to keep for a long time. And yet how secure are they?

To guard against the unfortunate case of a fire or an event where these photos may be lost, you’ll certainly want a digital backup plan. At London Drugs, we have an easy solution: the Photo Scanning Box.

You can bring up to 800 photographs and documents (within 8 1/2 x 14 inch dimensions) to your closest Photolab. Yes–up to 800! Within about a week, we’ll digitize your memories and put them all on a USB drive. Peace of mind, so easily achieved.

And once your photos and documents are digitized, they can be edited and restored to pristine condition, to enjoy for years to come. You might also consider transferring the truly special prints onto a canvas print or a mug, using our Photolab services.

Don’t delay! Keep your memories safe for years to come with the Photo Scanning Box.

April 9th, 2017

LD Picks: 10 Easter Dishes the Whole Family Will Love

From low-key brunches to big, sumptuous dinners, Easter meals offer a variety of opportunities to celebrate and relax with your loved ones. Whether you’re hosting a feast or making a dish to contribute, you won’t want to plan your spread without these recipes.

1. Ham and Artichoke Quiche with Mustard-Rye Glaze

Enjoy all of the succulent flavours of an Easter feast with this savoury quiche, perfect for brunch. Chopped artichoke hearts, gruyere cheese, and a nutty crust combine to make what’s sure to become a family favourite.

[Get the recipe from Crumb.]

2. Leg of Lamb with Stuffed Artichokes, Spinach, and Red Pepper

Searching for a triumphant main dish for your dinner? Look no further. This leg of lamb is stuffed with a gorgeous assortment of veggies, and is bound to impress and delight everyone at your table.

[Get the recipe from Canadian Living.]

3. Easter Egg Bread

What’s Easter without some thematically adorable treats? This Easter Egg bread is not only seasonally appropriate, but is bread-making-beginner-friendly.

[Get the recipe from Simple Bites.]

4. Rosemary Goat Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

What’s more reminiscent of spring than fresh herbs? This scalloped potato dish is covered in a rich and creamy sauce, and topped with fresh rosemary. It’s the perfect accompaniment for any Easter dinner.

[Get the recipe from the Little Potato Company.]

5. English Pea Salad Recipe

Even if you’re not a huge fan of peas, this salad is dressed up with so much flavour that you’ll never notice you’re eating your greens. Prepare it the day before to save time and let the veggies marinate in the dressing.

[Get the recipe from Country Living.]

6. Sour Cream and Bacon Deviled Eggs

No Easter spread can be considered complete without a tasty egg dish. These aren’t your standard deviled eggs, either. A rich sour cream and bacon filling will make this a fast favourite.

[Get the recipe from The Food Network.]

7. Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto

Roasted carrots are the perfect side dish for any Easter feast. If you love buying them with the tops still on but don’t have a resident pet bunny to eat them for you, you can turn them into a tangy pesto with this simple recipe.

[Get the recipe from Vega.]

8. Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs with Dilled Orzo

If you don’t feel like having a big to-do so that you can enjoy more time relaxing with your family, this is the perfect dinner recipe. You need only eight ingredients, fresh herbs for garnish, and you’re set!

[Get the recipe from Family Bites.]

9. Baked Ham With Orange & Brown Sugar Glaze

This succulent ham recipe includes a how-to to make your own simple (yet so delicious) glaze out of aromatic cloves and citrus flavours. If you’re planning on cooking a ham for your Easter dinner, you’ll absolutely want to give this a try.

[Get the recipe from Cookin’ Canuck.]

10. Put an Egg on it: Easy Easter Cake

This decadently adorable dessert will put the Easter bunny to shame. If dessert is your domain, this is for you (and it will look great on your Pinterest board, too!).

[Get the recipe at Coco Cake Land.]


April 3rd, 2017

April Book of the Month

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Travel writer Lo Blacklock’s latest assignment is tantalizing: write a story about the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship Aurora. The promise of clear skies, calm waters, and a small list of well-heeled guests awaits. How could she say no?
As the voyage sets out, it is everything Lo could hope for. The ten cabins are plush and the guests are elegant. Soon, though, frigid winds lash the deck while dark clouds conspire overhead. Then Lo is awakened to something out of a nightmare – a sickening splash and a woman’s body disappearing beneath the waves. But the passengers and crew remain accounted for, and nobody admits to having seen this woman on board.
Lo knows something has gone horrifyingly wrong. But who was the woman in cabin 10? And why will no one believe what Lo saw?
With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense thriller in The Woman in Cabin 10.

Murder mystery thriller set on a small high end cruise ship on its introductory Scandanavian cruise for press and investors.  Fast paced and keeps you guessing as to what really happened.  Ending seems rushed or poorly edited but still a good read. – Review by Carolynn

The Woman in Cabin 10 kept me flipping pages so I could get to the finale of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a passenger on the luxury ship, The Aurora Borealis. Although it does start off a bit slow, the beginning uses traumatic experiences of the main character and journalist Lo Blacklock, and incorporates them into the twists and turns of her quest to uncover the truth. In addition, an array of supporting characters each with a strange past leaves the reader suspicious, curious and wondering if Lo is going a bit crazy herself. The setting of a cruise ship in the midst of the Norwegian fjords, isolated and disconnected from the main world adds to the dark plot. It was a great “who done it?” type story that keeps you on your toes. – Review by Samantha

Book of the Month
Every month we will be featuring a new book to be showcased in our Book of the Month. Staff members and friends will be reading the book and posting their reviews. We’d love to hear what you thought of these books as well. Post your comments and let us know.

The Woman in Cabin 10 is available at London Drugs along with many other great titles and is on sale for the month of April.

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