September 28th, 2017

Could One Sleep Position Be Better Than Another?

You generally don’t think about how you sleep until you can’t sleep. But not being able to sleep can have adverse affects on life—and sleep position might be a factor.

Sleep Positions - London Drugs Blog

An adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and if you’re not meeting that need, you might want to think about the position you’re sleeping in instead of fruitlessly counting sheep all night.

But is one sleeping position really “better” than another? We delved deep and here’s what we found out about these common ways to get some shut eye and the pros and cons of each position.

Back Sleepers

Pros

Congrats, back sleepers. Sleeping on your back is widely considered to be a good position for your spine and neck, as the back is straight and not bending haphazardly, as with some of the other positions. In fact, the best possible sleeping situation for your spine would be to sleep on your back, but with no pillow. Not that we are suggesting that (it sounds terrible)!

Bonus: there’s also some evidence that sleeping on your back leads to fewer wrinkles! 

Cons

Sleep apnea is so directly linked to sleeping in this position that doctors literally recommend sleeping on your side to combat it. And any snoring associated with sleep apnea, of course, may impact partners or anyone nearby. Studies have also shown that those who sleep on their backs tend to be worse sleepers overall.

Side Sleepers

Pros

A very popular position. Sleeping on one’s left side in particular is good for pregnant women, as well as for those who deal with acid reflux and heartburn, making it easier for people dealing with those conditions to nod off.

Cons

Sleeping on the left side is thought to be hard on the stomach and lungs (it puts pressure on those organs), and, as side sleepers will know well, the chances you come out of the morning with the dreaded dead-arm due to numbness are high. Switching sides can help.

Fetal Position Sleepers

Pros

A slight variation on side sleeping, the fetal position has you curled up with your legs tucked in. This position has some of the same benefits as sleeping on the side: it’s great for those who are pregnant (but not too pregnant!) and for overall blood circulation, and it’s actually more popular than the standard side sleep. It’s also good for snorers.

Cons

Curling up too tightly in this position might become a bad habit as you get older, as it can restrict breathing in your diaphragm. It can also leave you aching in the morning, especially if you have arthritis. If you’re a fetal sleeper, try to straighten out when you can to help ease your breathing.

Stomach Sleepers

Pros

There’s a virtual guarantee that you won’t snore. 

Cons

Sleeping on your stomach can be hard on your back, as it tends to flatten the spine. Stomach sleepers can also strain their necks if the head gets turned to one side all night.

If you are already in the habit of sleeping on your stomach, you might want to try using pillows to train yourself to eventually sleep on your side. Your back and neck will thank you for it.

The Verdict on Sleep Position

The fact of the matter is that people sleep in whatever matter they find the comfiest, and knowing the pros and cons of each position may not change that. But if you’re experiencing aches, back pain, or an angry partner due to your snoring, it might benefit you to try out a different position. Here’s to peaceful nights and restful days. 



September 26th, 2017

A Beginners Guide to Canning and Preserving

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.

Woman In Kitchen Listing Ingredients In Vegetable Preserves

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?

So where do you begin? First, you need some equipment:

  • Large stockpot, deep enough to completely cover your jars
  • Canning jars
  • Canning lids (these will come with jars if you buy a new set!)
  • Jar lifter
  • Lid lifter
  • Funnel

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!

Pickled cucumbers, homemade preserved on wooden table

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.)

Next, as a beginner, follow a recipe!

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!

Bell pepper preserves - London Drugs Blog

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!



September 26th, 2017

Disorganized Mornings? We Take Care of That.

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!

Disorganized mornings? We take care of that.

  1. Grab a few popsicle sticks (treat your kids to one a day before!)
  2. Use classic markers to colour the top of each popsicle stick
  3. Use a sharpie to write different morning tasks on each one
  4. Make bed…Wash face…Brush teeth…anything to encourage them to get ready!
  5. Grab two mason jars–mark one for the to do’s and one for done
  6. Get out the door and off to school!


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:

How to Fix a Cracked Makeup Palette

How to De-Wrinkle a Shirt in a Jiffy

How to Remove a Ring Stuck on Your Finger

How to Easily Remove a Stripped Screw

How to Peel Potatoes without a Peeler

How to Remove Nail Polish from Your Skin

How to Cure Bootflop



September 21st, 2017

Awesome Pop Culture-Inspired Halloween Costumes 2017

It’s time to start planning awesome Halloween costumes for 2017. TV studios have been particularly kind to those who are costume-inclined this year. Check out our list below for 7 Awesome Pop Culture-Inspired Halloween Costumes for 2017. And if you should happen to try any of these, please, please share a photo with us on InstagramFacebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

  1. A Handmaid – The Handmaid’s Tale
    This one is actually easier than you might think. Grab a vibrantly red (but very modest) long dress from a second hand store, and order yourself a bonnet to match. Advanced Handmaid’s can use poster board to create the full bonnet as seen on the iconic show. Here are a few versions of the costume to inspire your rebellion. Blessed be the fruit.

    Halloween Costumes for 2017

    Photo credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu

  2. A Dragon – Game of Thrones
    Are you excited that Winter has finally come? What better way to celebrate than to channel your enthusiasm into an easy dragon costume for Halloween? This great blog has instructions on how to make no-sew dragon wings so that you can take flight against the white walkers or the Lannisters. You may not look as fearsome as Drogon, Rhaegal, or (gulp) Viserion, but you’ll inspire enough awe with how little time it took you to pull together this look. Dracarys!

    Halloween Costumes for 2017

    Photo credit: Brendid

  3. Diana Prince – Wonder Woman
    Flex your amazonian muscles in a Wonder Woman costume this year. This video from Mashable gives a method for a DIY version that isn’t super simple, but doable for those inclined to spend some time with vinyl fabric. You can also do a simple version with a graphic t-shirt and a pair of cuffs (for deflecting bullets, of course). Merciful Minerva!Halloween Costumes for 2017
  4. Redshirt – Star Trek: Discovery
    Gene Roddenberry’s universe is coming back to TV for the first time in 12 years, and we expect to see many a redshirt (or even better Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham) on October 31st. Here’s a super cute version for little kids. Live long and prosper!

    Halloween Costumes for 2017

    Photo credit: Tried and True 

  5. Wrestler – GLOW
    There is never a bad time to bust out truly huge 1980s hair and high-cut leotards. The characters in the Netflix Original show are based on a real group of pretty awesome women, and you can honour them with your Zoya the Destroya costume. Totally rad!Halloween Costumes for 2017
  6. Your Favourite Overwatch Character
    Is someone in your household obsessed with Overwatch? Ours too. This cosplay site offers links to kits that will give you a spot-on look for any of these striking characters (we’re team Symmetra and team Lucio). Certainly the DIY-ers among you can find even more creative ways to channel your favourite warrior. Catch phrase!Halloween Costumes for 2017

 

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on InstagramFacebook, Twitter, or in the comments below. Happy Halloween!



September 20th, 2017

LD Experts: The Best Back To School Tech

The school year is still ramping up, and many students are now realizing they could use some extra tech to help provide an edge in their studies.  

Luckily, London Drugs Tech Expert Julian Sanders recently talked to CTV Morning Live Regina about the best back to school tech for 2017.

Watch the full feature here.

Top Back To School Tech Tips:

A major challenge modern students face is managing their many digital files and documents. One risk is that a precious hard drive could fall and break or become water damaged. For that, a rugged, waterproof hard drive, like this one from Lacie, is a great option.

Just transferring files between devices is another frequent challenge, especially when using iPhones or iPads for school work. A possible solution is the Leef iBridge, a special flash drive available in a variety of storage capacities that lets you transfer to these popular devices with ease.

Another common wishlist capability is to easily create digital copies of printed materials on the go…

For that, a wireless, wifi-enabled scanner such as the IRIScan Anywhere is incredibly handy. You can create digital scans in seconds and the results are much more legible than a photo or photocopy would be. Plus, these scans can be searched and even manipulated digitally. They’re great for research, letting you scan documents to read later or search later. And for scientific papers, you even scan and analyze data tables.

Aside from other staples like tough and affordable laptops and cool new gadgets like handheld printers, there’s a final piece of tech students are just beginning to need this time of year: an electric kettle.

They’re perfect for whipping up a quick oatmeal in the morning or some lunchtime noodles. But they are especially crucial for brewing late-night study fuel in your dorm room.

Have more questions about student tech?

Visit your local London Drugs and ask an LD Expert. And remember, we’re always open 24/7 online.



September 20th, 2017

10 Fall Chocolate Desserts You Need to Eat Now

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.

10 Fall Desserts You Need to Eat Now - London Drugs Blog

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?

1. Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Fall Chocolate Desserts - London Drugs Blog

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]

2. S’mores Chocolate Pudding Jars

Fall Chocolate Desserts - London Drugs Blog

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]

3. Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Churros Chocolate Fall Dessert Recipe - London Drugs Blog

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]

4. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Spice Fall Chocolate Dessert - London Drugs Blog

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]

5. Baked Double Chocolate Donuts

Fall Chocolate Dessert Recipes - London Drugs Blog

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]

6. Coffee Ice Cream Chocolate Mud Pie

Chocolate Mud Pie Dessert Recipe - London Drugs 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]

7. Cherry Chocolate Crumble

Cherry Chocolate Crumble - London Drugs Blog

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]

8. Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Tart

Chocolate Pecan Tart - London Drugs Blog

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]

9. Pain au Chocolat

Pain au Chocolat Recipe - London Drugs Blog

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]

10. Decadent White Chocolate Brownies

White Chocolate Brownies - London Drugs Blog

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]



September 15th, 2017

Prairie Pride: Photos of Canada’s Beloved Plains

Canada’s mountains, oceans, and glaciers get plenty of attention, but is anything grander than our wide open prairies?

Between being able to see for kilometres, the magnificent colours, the rustic buildings, the epic sunsets, and the undulating landscapes…there’s lots to love. And at London Drugs, we adore any chance to pull out our cameras and capture a moment. Maybe even one that’s fit to print.

With that in mind, we present Prairie Pride – a photographic journey of incredible shots of Canada’s great plains.

That waving line where land meets prairie sky, as seen in this shot taken near Winnipeg – we think it’s pure magic.

“Grain Elevators, Mossleigh Alberta” Image by Bernard Spragg (Flickr)

Remnants of the past, like this grain elevator in Alberta, are scattered throughout the Canadian plains. It’s like an expansive, open-air museum.

A post shared by Cole (@percoleator) on

Historic buildings abound throughout Canada’s prairies. But they never cease to inspire and amaze, like this old foundation and barn in Truax, Saskatchewan.

A post shared by Monica (@oggiemonster) on

Everything can seem larger than life in the prairies. The land, the sky, even this enormous Manitoba rainbow.

“The Canadian at Sunrise” Image by Martin Cathrae (Flickr)

With so much to see on Canada’s prairies, one of the best ways to take it all in is on a train. Reserve the Skyline car from VIA Rail for views like this.

“Manitoba Moves You” Image from Vacay.ca

For many Canadians, some of their best and most lasting prairie memories are made while driving the good, old #1 Highway (Trans Canada Highway).

You’ll get even better views of Manitoba, and the rest of the prairies, if you get out of your car and explore.

The prairie moments you might be lucky enough to experience include twilight encounters with history, like this site in Alberta.

Perhaps you’ll find an overwhelming shock of colour, like at this Alberta canola field.

A post shared by Lee Harding (@lee_all_over_sask) on


Or take a walk through the tall grasses of Saskatchewan, like in this Redford field.

Before you head home, revel in the chance to take a moment, lean on an old Manitoba fence, and smell the prairie flowers.

Heading on a trip through the prairies this fall? Share your Prairie Pride pictures with us @LondonDrugs on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to tag #PrairiePride.



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