June 6th, 2017

Sun Care 101: A Parents’ Guide to Sun Safety

It can be time-consuming (and maybe a little annoying) to apply protective sunscreen on you and your family members—especially if these people happen to be squealing kids, just waiting to get outside in the sunshine! We’ve got some great tricks and tips for easy (ish) sun care application that will help keep your family covered. Here’s our guide to sun safety for parents.

Rules for Parents

Plan on five minutes per body

You might be thinking, “That is completely nuts! Sunscreen doesn’t take that long.” You may be right, but many of us groan at the thought of applying sunscreen on our kids because we don’t plan enough time for it. After gathering up all the snacks, water bottles, extra clothes, towels, sand toys, and so on, we’re already leaving an hour later than we wanted to. At this point, we’re often not in a good head space to tackle a rushed sunscreen job, so we either lose our tempers, give up, or decide to apply upon arrival. None of these are ideal.

So, yes, allowing five minutes per person is over-planning, but if you budget this much time there is a better chance you’ll actually leave the house smiling (and maybe even have a toy shovel packed for each kid!).

Apply 20 to 30 minutes before going out

We know: what a pain! But experts say sunscreen takes 20-30 minutes to become effective. Good thing we’ve already budgeted our time at home! Plus, following this rule means slathering on sunscreen away from all of the playground distractions and blowing sand. You may even schedule time between pajamas and getting dressed for the beach–it’s easier to apply sunscreen when kids are changing clothes. Also, remember to reapply regularly, especially after hitting the pool or the ocean for a swim. 

Think of sun protection like you would a car seat

Toddlers cry and fight, but you still buckle them into a car seat (forcibly, if necessary), right? Sun protection is the same: a necessity. It’s not one of those teachable moments where you let your child choose not to wear a raincoat and get uncomfortably wet. One blistery sunburn in childhood can increase the risk of melanoma by 50%. Safety trumps tantrums, and that’s that. 

Tricks for Kids

A quick internet search yields loads of tricks for making sunscreen tolerable for kids. Here are a few of our favourites.

A blogger at Happily Ever Mom lists seven ways to speed up the slather. One of her great methods is to make it into a timed challenge she calls “The Countdown”. The Countdown challenges mom or dad to finish the job before getting to number 10. She advises that parents make sure they are in charge of the counting, so they can stretch the countdown if they need to.

Another good trick is a game called “What’s Missing?” Apply everywhere but the nose, or one arm, and let your kid guess which body part still needs lotion. This gives your child the all-important power to point out mom or dad’s “mistake.”

Alternatively, you could give your child a sponge paintbrush and put her in charge of everyone’s sunscreen, like the girl in this video. It’s messy, but it works. And maybe their enthusiasm will solve this doctor’s number one complaint: that parents don’t apply enough lotion.

Sun Safety while Solo

Remember back before you had kids, when you took a book to the beach, and the biggest problem you faced was trying to put sunscreen on your own back? Simpler times. If your kids hit the pool as soon as you get there, and you don’t have help for your own sun care, we’ve got you covered there too. Here are a few hilarious, but strangely practical tips for applying sunscreen to your own hard-to-reach places. The toilet brush isn’t for everyone, but maybe a spatula or paint roller could do the trick.


As you gear up to take on the summer sun, set challenging, yet realistic goals. Try to finish the application process without losing your temper, and work on getting through a whole summer without a sunburn. You can do this!

Stay safe out there in the sunshine.



June 2nd, 2017

June Book of the Month

 

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
On a foggy summer night, eleven people – ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter – depart Marth’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter, Scott Burroughs, and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a powerful media mogul’s family.
Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusation, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Reviews
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is a page-turner thriller about the crash of a private jet and the subsequent investigation.  Through a series of flashbacks you get to know the backstories of all of the people who were on the flight.  Before the Fall is a fast read and would make an excellent beach read (unless you are going on a private jet sometime in the near future). – Review by Carolynn

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.
Before the Fall is available at London Drugs along with many other great titles and is on sale for the month of June.



May 31st, 2017

How to Make a Grad Survival Kit

You’ve been behind your kid every step of the way, and now it’s time to celebrate their graduation.

They’ve picked out that great outfit, styled their hair, and are ready for the big event, but are you? What if a dress strap breaks in the car on the way to the graduation ceremony? What if those new shoes do what new shoes always do and give them blisters?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s an easy-to-assemble Grad Survival Kit that you can pull together in one trip to your local London Drugs (and while you’re there, why not pick up a grad gift as well!).

Grad Survival Kit - Family Photo

How to Make a Grad Survival Kit

1. Band Aids

New fancy shoes look sharp, but they can also wreak havoc on the wearer. Advise your kid to wear their fancy shoes around the house for a couple of nights before the graduation ceremony (with a big pair of comfy socks on) to help break them in. Bonus! They’ll look ridiculous and you can take pictures of that. The band aids in your Grad Survival Kit will be there as a backup for any blister that threatens to ruin your kid’s day.

2. Safety Pins

The last thing you need is a wardrobe malfunction before your little honour student walks across the stage. A small pack of safety pins will provide the necessary peace of mind on this front.

3. Disposable Camera

Sure, they’ll have their phone with them, but grab a disposable camera too. Encourage them to capture graduation day from their perspective. They’ll appreciate having actual physical prints, and you can turn some of them into awesome keepsakes at the LD Photolab.

4. Tissues

Ok, this one might be as much for you as for them. Graduations are emotional events, and if you need to blubber like the loving parent you are, we support you. Bring an extra pack of tissues to share with the other parents in your row and together you can muffle the sounds of your sobs. Your little one is so grown up!

Grad Survival Kit - Hug from Parents

5. Stain Removal Stick

If you are going out for a celebratory meal before or after the big event, a stain removal stick provides some much-needed insurance against your favourite Italian restaurant and its natural enemy, that crisp white dress shirt.

6. Bobby Pins

Help your grad keep their hair in place for perfect selfies and family portraits with a pack of hair pins. Graduation ceremonies can make for long days, and they’ll want to be looking their finest throughout.

7. Snacks

See note above re: long ceremonies. Snacking sustenance will help keep your entire celebrating party in good spirits until your kid’s name is called. Dried fruit strips, snack mix, or nuts all make for great on-the-go snacks.

We love celebrating milestones like this. It’s a chance to take stock of your accomplishment as parents, grandparents, and champions of your kids. Congratulations to you and to them on their graduation. Here’s to a great day filled with good memories!



May 29th, 2017

London Drugs’ Ultimate Guide to Glamping

Glamping - Tent

Canadians love getting outside, marvelling at our country’s natural beauty, and spending time with family and friends. Camping is probably the best way to do all that at once.

But some of us find less joy in camping’s more challenging aspects like starting fires, sleeping on the ground, and giving up all the comforts of home.

For us? There’s “glamping.”

What is Glamping?

A portmanteau of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping,’ the term “glamping” first gained popularity over the last decade in the United Kingdom, before quickly spreading to North America and beyond. Of course, similar outdoor activities, like luxury safaris, have been popular for over a century. But recently, there has been a clear surge of interest in making camping as elegant an experience as possible.

In its standard definition, glamping involves being in nature within outdoor living in structures that are more stable and permanent than fold-up tents. We’re talking military style canvas tents, yurts, teepees, trailers, or domes. Unlike in folding tents, there is room to stand up and walk in glamping “tents,” and often extra space for beds, chairs, dressers, and more.

Typically, these accommodations are rented nightly, just like hotel rooms. Depending on the operator, glamping getaways offer other comforts like fresh sheets, access to full kitchens or grills, and even prepared meals like at a B&B. Other perks might include private decks, electricity, cable & internet, and activity tours.

Glamping - Spread

BUT…glamping is also a state of mind. You don’t need to stay in a designated glamping area or even in a typical glamping tent in order to “glamp.” All you need is a willingness to up your game and bring some style, refinement, and yes, a touch of opulence, to your camping experience.

This can be achieved in many ways by paying close attention to how you sleep, eat, drink, and play, as well as what you wear and where you stay. We’ve compiled a handy guide to all of it!

Where To Go in Western Canada

For traditional glamping accommodations, there are several fantastic options in Western Canada.

Glamping - Wya Point Resort

Wya Point Resort

In British Columbia, there are the amazing coastal yurts at Wya Point Resort near Uculet; plush ‘tipis‘ in the Monashee at YD Guest Ranch; swanky Airstream trailers at WOODS on Pender Island; and the palatial tenthouse suites (including hydrotherapy tub) at the Sunshine Coast’s Rockwater Secret Cove Resort on the Sunshine coast.

In Alberta, there are the deluxe tipis and trapper’s tents in the Rockies at Sundance Lodges, massive canvas wall tents at Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park, comfort tents with handmade furnishings at Dinosaur Provincial Park, and the unforgettable rustic accommodations at The Nest near Slave Lake.

In Saskatchewan, there are multiple yurting locations near Prince Albert Provincial park and more, while Manitoba boasts provincial parks with nine more divine yurting options.

Glamping - Saskatchewan

Tourism Saskatchewan

Another great option is searching for any provincial or national park offering oTENTiks. These tent-cabin hybrids have sprung up all across Canada in recent years and offer gorgeous glamping potential at very reasonable rates.

But again, glamping is not so much a place as a state of mind. Just remember, wherever you are, roughing it doesn’t need to be rough. Focus on the details, treat yourself to a few finer things, and, overall, just imagine any camping experience more like a retreat than an expedition.

What to Bring Glamping

The short answer is ‘the best.’ For example, instead of just throwing any old clothes in a bag, grab some casual-cool outfits to put you in a glamorous state of mind. Of course, this includes your favourite and most chic outdoor gear, including hats, shorts, and sunglasses. And don’t forget to bring the finest sunscreens and bug repellants. You know, the good stuff.

If you’re bringing your own bedding, try to make it as much like home as possible, with quilts, comforters, and blankets, instead of a simple sleeping bag. Also, do ANYTHING you must to stay off the ground. Whether it’s a cot, hammock, or air mattress, happy glampers have one firm and final rule: no sleeping on hard, uneven ground.

Glamping - Luxury ChairA few other glamping essentials:

High-Capacity Charger: “Getting away from it all” doesn’t mean you need to be fully disconnected. Glamping, after all, is about having the best of all worlds.

“Luxury” Camping Chairs: Let’s face it, glamping is more about sitting in nature, and not so much about tearing up a hiking trail. You’ll want a great camping chair to sit in for hours and watch the world go by.

Shade On-Demand: Once again, when glamping, you want it all.  And that includes sitting in the sun while still being able to escape to the shade. Ah, life’s good.

Glamping - "Cool" CoolerFab Floaties: Floating on a tire’s inner tube, you might have a ball. But you’re definitely not glamping. For that, you’ll need a floaty with sleekness, style, panache, and above all: the ability to recline.

Chic Coolers:  A fully-functional cooler needn’t be an eyesore. We’ve got great options for chic coolers that will keep your food fresh and totally up your campfire style.

What To Eat While Glamping

There is no reason to completely avoid classic camping foods like hot dogs and s’mores while glamping, especially if you’re bringing kids. But! Part of the fun of a proper glamp experience is bringing a touch of elegance to everything you do. And that absolutely extends to the food.

Here are a couple deliciously classy options to get you started. Of course, as with all things, you’ll find many more incredible and ingenious options on Pinterest!

Lemon Chicken & Potatoes in Foil

Glamping - Chicken and Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Full instructions at: DamnDelicious.net

Banana Cheesecake Watermelon “Pizza”

Glamping - Banana Watermelon PizzaINGREDIENTS:

  • 1 round slice of watermelon, about 1 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 ounces vanilla greek yogurt
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)
  • 4-5 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Full instructions at: TheCookieRookie.com

If you have any more questions about glamping, or want to stock up for your next adventure, visit London Drugs in-store and online today.

Happy Glamping, Everyone!



May 27th, 2017

Star Wars TIE Fighter Barbecue – You have to see this!

That’s no moon, that’s the Star Wars TIE Fighter Premium 10,000 BTU Portable Propane BBQ! If you just can’t help but embrace your love of Star Wars, this barbecue was designed for you, and I had the pleasure of reviewing it so you can get a better sense of just what it’s like. From the unboxing, to assembly, to putting it through its paces and finally enjoying dinner, it was an experience that had me feeling far more excited than usual for cooking, and rewarded the inner nerd with plenty of Star Wars Easter eggs. It’s also approved by the CSA (Canadian Standards Association), so you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality cooking machine. so, those might not be the droids you’re looking for, but this might be the barbecue you’re searching for instead!

The unboxing itself was quite exciting, as there are plenty of little details included with this barbecue. Lifting it from the box, you can instantly see its charming resemblance to a TIE fighter, with the X-shaped design and metalwork designed to look like the front window of the fighter. The similarities become even more apparent once you hang the side trays in their place – they form the iconic wings of the TIE fighter when flipped down, and provide a sturdy place to do meal prep and organize food once they’re flipped up. The sleek black finish gives it a classic appearance in your back yard, with subtle red accents adding an edgy touch. An imprinted Star Wars logo at the front gives an official nod to the films. The next surprise was the instruction guide, which came sealed in a mysteriously heavy envelope. Opening this envelope revealed not only a set of instruction cards with prints of your favourite Star Wars characters on the back, but a metal engraved collector’s certificate listing the stats of the barbecue. It was an extra-special touch that instilled the inner geek with a sense of nerdy glee. But the details didn’t stop there, there was more to be discovered as we assembled this BBQ.

Set up was simple – the barbecue is mostly assembled straight out of the box. All you have to do to get ready to cook is install the thermometer and front handle by simply screwing them secure with the included tools. Then just slip the dripping collection pan in below and connect the barbecue to your propane source, and you’re ready to go! As you go through this process, you’ll be sure to notice the thermometer. It’s one of the most unique aspects of this model, as it is designed to look like a gauge on an instrument panel. As the needle rises with the temperature, you almost feel as though it could suddenly jump you into hyperdrive.

The outside frame is constructed from cast aluminum for a sleek look and durable design that resists rust and corrosion. The barbecue weighs in at about 20 kilograms (44 pounds), making it a bit heavy, but it is fairly easy to grip and carry when you want to have cookouts while picnicking. It is simple to connect to a standard propane  bottle using the hose included with the barbecue. As always, be sure to check that you have connected them properly with a tight seal that doesn’t leak, and always connect it with the propane tank valve securely closed.

The cooking surface itself is made from strong cast iron and is crafted in the circular geometric shape of the Imperial Crest (come over to the Dark Side…we have steaks!). One of the best surprise highlights of the grill may well be the reverse Star Wars logo in this grill surface. Crank up the heat and lay a steak or burger on top of it, and it grills the logo (facing the right way) right into your meat! (While the Imperial March plays in your head). The 220 square inch surface gives you plenty of space, so you can cook up to eight or nine hamburgers at once, or mix things up like we did, with a steak or two, a few kebabs and some veggies. This makes it ideal for the average-sized family. With 10,000 BTUs of power at hand, it cooks remarkably quickly. Our array of steak, kebabs and tomatoes were ready in under 10 minutes. A handy knob a the side lets you control your heat with ease for nuanced cooking.

Digging into the array of meats and veggies, we were very happy with the results of our cookout. The kebabs were juicy and tender, vegetables had delicious flavour and the steak was, well, anything but Chewie. The fact that everything had cooked so quickly was also a great aspect, as it would have been very easy to keep a steady flow of burgers and hot dogs cooking if we wanted to have a larger cookout with a few friends.

After dinner was done, clean-up was very minimal. The cast iron grill is made up of two pieces, which can be simply lifted out and washed in the sink if needed, but a quick sweep with a wire brush should do for cleaning. The drippings pan below is also easy to remove and wash if needed, though we barely had any drippings either. The two side trays can be removed and washed as well, in case you spilled any food, or can simply be wiped down before setting them to their vertical position for storage.

Overall I was very impressed with this compact Star Wars barbecue. While it’s not the most high-tech barbecue on the market, this little model delivers reliable quality, delicious results  and is packed with attention to the little details. Whether your kids are die-hard Star Wars fans, or you’re indulging in your own fandom, it certainly brings a special aspect to outdoor cooking that will leave you smiling. The best part is, you won’t even have to go to a galaxy far, far away to find one – just check your local London Drugs!



May 26th, 2017

Energy Efficiency Alberta Rebate Program

Save on LED bulbs now. Save on electricity for decades. Upgrade today with instant rebates from Energy Efficiency Alberta at London Drugs!

There’s no question that LED bulbs use less energy, last longer and save you more on electricity. Now, thanks to Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Instant Savings campaign— April 28 until June 11—Albertans can save instantly on these energy-efficient bulbs at London Drugs. Choose from a wide range of LED bulb sizes and formats and save between $3 and $8 on each. Residential customers receive these rebates on up to 25 LED bulbs of each type, so you can upgrade your whole house.

Energy STAR* LEDs and fixtures have an extended lifetime of 25,000 hours or more. They’re also instant-on, don’t contain any mercury, and many are compatible with dimmer switch technology. Click here to see the wide range of bulb sizes and savings available.

And don’t forget, you can bring back old light bulbs right to your local London Drugs for responsible recycling – incandescent, CFL and even fluorescent tubes up to 4 feet long.

Visit greendeal.ca, or just stop by your local London Drugs to find out more.

Shop Now for savings on LED bulbs.



May 18th, 2017

Emergency Preparedness 101: How to Build a Basic Emergency Kit

If an emergency situation developed quickly, would you know what to do? In the event of flooding, a natural disaster, or an earthquake, it’s important to be prepared. Experts agree that you need to be prepared to survive for 72 hours with the possibility of having no water or power.

Key things to have in your emergency kit are:

  1. Water – estimate four litres per person per day for drinking and sanitation.
  2. Food – gather food that won’t spoil such as canned goods, protein energy bars, dried fruits, and meal replacement beverages. Don’t forget to pack the can opener. Include hard candies, chocolate, and gum in your kit as a lift for your senses.
  3. Essentialsflashlights, extra batteries, candles, matches, garbage bags, a blanket, hand sanitizer, whistle, and a small mirror are all must-haves.
  4. First Aid – ensure your first aid kit is up to date and medications have not expired, include gauze, pads and tape along with an assortment of bandages. Include several pairs of disposable latex gloves, face masks, antibacterial hand wash, and a small pair of scissors.
  5. Battery-powered or a wind-up AM/FM radio to keep updated on current conditions.
  6. Seasonal clothing and footwear along with a dust mask in case of poor air quality.
  7. Entertainment – cards or any other board games. Crossword puzzle or pocket book to keep you occupied while waiting for the power to return.
  8. Additional non-essential but important items include duct tape, Swiss army knife, Kleenex, toilet paper, city map, and recent photographs of loved ones in case of separation.

Prepared emergency kits are available from London Drugs, SOS Emergency Response Technologies, and St. John Ambulance, but you can pack your bag to suit your family’s needs. All of these items should be ideally stored in a conveniently located and durable backpack.

During an emergency, if a London Drugs store is able to remain open, we will offer:

  • PharmacyContact us at Customer Service for the latest information on your local store and for any urgent pharmacy inquiries 1-888-991-2299
  • Charging Stations – we will have charging stations available for your electronic devices
  • Supplies and emergency kits – our staff will be happy to help you find an emergency kit or help you to create your own that fits your needs
  • Batteries and Lighting, Candles – we’re here to help with emergency lighting needs from flashlights, batteries to candles
  • Water – It is always important to have an emergency supply of water at the ready
  • Less Urgent Inquiries –  We’ll field any question at ldonline@londondrugs.com

Emergency preparedness is always a good idea. Educate yourself, your family, and your friends on the potential risks, create a plan, and stay prepared for any situation that might arise. 



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