6 Vegan Recipes for Veganuary

If you’re looking to go vegan, or just explore vegan meal options to incorporate into your diet for Veganuary, we’ve rounded up a few ideas for you, ranging from breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert!

Banana Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

This green smoothie is an easy, delicious breakfast you can quickly whip up in the mornings.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Blend together all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth. Add in more nut milk or water if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
  3. Divide into two glasses and enjoy!

Recipe from Emilie Eats

Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

This simple breakfast is great, as you can prepare the night before. Plus you can change up the flavour combinations to whatever you like!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-5 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or light coconut milk for creamier texture!)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cacao powder (sift first to reduce clumps), maple syrup, ground cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Add a little almond milk at a time and whisk until a paste forms. Add the rest of the almond milk and whisk until smooth.
  2. Add chia seeds and whisk once more to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3-5 hours, or until it has a pudding-like consistency.
  3. Leftovers keep covered in the fridge for 4-5 days, though best when fresh. Serve chilled with whatever toppings you like, such as fruit, nuts or granola.

Recipe from Minimalist Baker

Chickpea Chik’n Salad Sandwich

If you love sandwiches, you’ll love this vegan take on the classic chik’n salad sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas*
  • 1 rib celery
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 4 slices bread
  • Lettuce, spring green mix, or sprouts
  • Hummus, optional

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the celery and the green onions.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a medium bowl, smash the chickpeas with a fork.
  3. Combine the chickpeas with the chopped celery and green onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and celery seed. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on your chickpea brand and taste preferences, and fresh ground pepper to taste. If the salad is dry, add more mayonnaise.
  4. Assemble the chickpea salad sandwich: If desired, spread the bread with hummus (this amps it up a bit but not required). Top the sandwich with lettuce or greens and chickpea spread.

Recipe from A Couple Cooks

Vegan Meatballs & Spaghetti

A delicious savoury dish that makes a great meal option for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients – Meatballs

  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 x 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp brown rice miso
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • spaghetti or soft polenta, to serve

Ingredients – Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • Small pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • ½ small bunch of basil, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Add the dried porcini into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 mins.
  2. Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of olive oil a frying pan. Add the onion and fry over a low heat for 10 mins or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and paprika and cook for 1 min.
  3. Add the black beans and oats into a food processor and blend until you have a chunky, textured mixture. Scoop out the beans into a mixing bowl and stir through the miso, breadcrumbs and cooked onion mix. Strain and finely chop the porcini mushrooms and add those (keep the liquid for soup or risottos). Season and roll into 12 balls and chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry over a low heat for 10 mins or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 min. Stir through the tomatoes and sugar and season to taste. Simmer uncovered for 20 mins.
  5. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil for the meatballs in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the balls and fry for 5 mins until evenly brown. Transfer to a baking tray and put in the oven to cook through for 12 mins.
  6. Add the cooked meatballs to the pan of sauce and toss everything to coat, then scatter with the basil. Serve with spaghetti or soft polenta.

Recipe from BBC Good Food

Amazing Lentil Soup

A slightly spicy, hearty soup that will warm you up on even the coldest nights!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (½ to 1 medium lemon), to taste

Instructions

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  4. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  5. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. (Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)
  6. Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
  7. Serve while hot. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

Recipe from Cookie + Kate

3 Ingredient Vegan Banana Brownies

A super-simple and satisfying take on brownies – Chocolate lovers rejoice!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350-degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas until lump-free.
  3.  Mix in the nut butter, and cocoa powder.
  4. Grease a baking sheet, and evenly distribute the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake 17-20 minutes. Use the toothpick method to determine if they’re done.
  6. Let the brownies chill in the refrigerator for 45-minutes.
  7. Store in the refrigerator for best results.

Recipe by Simply Taralynn

 

Explore of full selection of vegan products for Veganuary here.

13+ Ways to make it Through Hot Summer Nights Without AC

Of course, an air conditioner is one obvious solution to cooling down the inside of your house or apartment on a hot, summer day. But not everyone has an air conditioner (if you’re tempted, we do know where you can get a great one). If AC doesn’t suit you, you’ll need to find a way to survive this summer.

So what’s a sweltering Canadian to do during a heat wave? Here are some ways you can cool down your space without an air conditioner.

Fans! Fans! Fans!

Obviously, everyone’s first choice for easy home cooling is a good-quality fan. But did you know that there are optimal ways to set up fans in your home to maximize cooling?

  • The first thing to remember is that fans cool off people, not air, so make sure there is a fan in the room where people are – running a fan in an empty room doesn’t really cool it off.
  • If the air outside your home is cooler than inside, place the fan in front of an open window pointing into the room. If it’s warmer outside than inside, flip the fan around to encourage warm air inside to head outside.
  • Ceiling fans in your home? Lucky you! Make sure they’re spinning counter-clockwise on a higher speed to create a wind-chill effect.
  • If you need that extra dose of chill, kick it old school and put a bowl of ice directly under a fan. The cool air and dampness coming off of the ice will make a difference.
  • Your bathroom exhaust fan can also suck some of the unwanted heat and humidity out of a smaller space, so open the bathroom door and keep that thing going.

Put your windows to work

If you live in a multi-level house, you can hack your windows to get the most out of any outside breezes. To create a cooling pressure current, open the top section of windows on the downwind side of your house, and open the bottom section of windows on the upwind side.

If you live on one floor with windows on both sides, figure out which direction the breeze is blowing, open the windows wide on the downwind side, and close them a bit on the upwind side. Add fans in front of the windows pointing in the direction of the outside breeze. Like this:

Also try hanging a damp bed sheet in front of an open upwind window to increase the cool factor.

Close off unused rooms

If you’re doing your darndest to cool off the room you’re in, make sure to close the doors of the other rooms of the house that you’re not in to maximize your cooling efficiency.

Throw some shade

Up to 30% of unwanted heat comes through your windows, so be sure to close your blinds and curtains during the hot part of the day, especially on south and west-facing windows. If you’re in a house, consider also planting trees near south and west-facing windows to create your own cool shade.

To nude or not to nude

There is a hot debate (pardon the pun) about whether or not sleeping naked actually does keep you cooler. If you want to go in the buff, there is evidence to show that it can keep your body temperature down. But if you sweat a lot, it can actually make you hotter, because natural fabrics draw the sweat away from your body and make you feel more comfortable. It basically comes down to a matter of personal choice, so if you do choose to sleep in clothes on a hot night, go for loose-fitting, natural fabrics, like cotton.

Let the night in

If the air is cooler at night where you live, make the most of it by throwing open every window possible for the entire night, then closing them up when the day starts to get hot. You’ll keep the house cool for at least part of the day by capturing those sweet evening breezes.

Use a hot water bottle

No, don’t put hot water in it, silly. Fill it with water, put it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then put it at the end of the bed to keep your feet cool while you sleep.

Put other weird stuff in the freezer

Your freezer is a strong ally in the battle against overheating. Clear out those freezer-burnt french fries and make room for your pyjamas, socks, t-shirts, pillow cases and bedsheets. Keep them in there until you’re ready to use them for some extra cooling help.

Switch to compact fluorescent lights

CFLs make sense for energy savings and environmental impact, but did you know that old-fashioned incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit? So ditching them will not only save on your energy bill, you’ll also save yourself some unwanted heat.

Stay hydrated

If the weather is unusually hot, make sure to drink more water than usual. You’re likely sweating more, but if you’re not properly hydrated, your body can’t produce the sweat it needs to cool off the surface of the skin, and you’ll be hotter than you need to be. Hydration is especially important at night when you’re trying to get some sleep. Have a small glass of ice cold water right before you go to bed, and keep an insulated bottle of water with ice beside your bed for any late-night sweat sessions.

Bored of drinking all that water? We’ve got some yummy tips to make your plain water more fun.

Freeze your snacks

The key to staying cool without outside help is chilling your insides. Eating and drinking cold things doesn’t just taste good, it helps reduce your body temperature. And it doesn’t just have to be ice cream! Here are some ideas for healthy and simple bedtime snacks you can try this summer:

    • Watermelon wedges – simply cut up a watermelon, put the wedges in a container in the freezer for a couple of hours, and let thaw for 5 min before eating
  • Blueberries – thaw for 5 min before eating. Also nice in yogurt or ice water.
  • Grapes – same as above. Are you seeing a pattern?
  • Banana “Ice Cream” – peel and freeze ripe bananas, then simply blend and serve in a bowl.
  • Yogurt – open individual yogurt cups, add a paper straw or popsicle stick and freeze for super simple frozen yogurt pops.
  • Juice pops – add 100% pure fruit juice to frozen pop moulds.

Hit the showers

A cool shower anytime of the day will do wonders to beat the heat. If the heat is keeping you awake at night, stop the insanity, hop out of bed and treat yourself to a 5-minute mini-shower, then hop back into bed. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get comfortable.

Wet your bed

…but not in the way you think. Before you hit the hay, dampen your sheets with a spray bottle of cool water. You could even add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to the bottle for an aromatherapy boost! You’ll thank us in the morning.


Have you got any hacks for beating the heat that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Summer Adventure Must-Haves

With summer quickly approaching, are you ready for your next adventure? From watersports to camping essentials, we have a wide range of items to help get you on your way.

Camping

If you’re planning to get out in the woods and have a fun filled camping adventure, make sure you’re equipped! You’ll want to make sure you have the flannel lined Collection by London Drugs sleeping bag to keep toasty at night. Available in a variety of colours, so you’re sure to find one that suits your personality.

If you are in need of shelter, we have tent options small and large. If you’re looking for a compact tent, the Coleman Sundome 3-person tent is a quick 10 minute setup with room for 3. If you’re heading out with the whole family, the Coleman Iron Peak 8-person tent with screen room is what you need. The screen room ensures the mosquitos don’t flood in while you’re taking off your boots, and with room for 8, it’s spacious interior ensures the family has all the space it needs. Comes complete with room divider so you can divide the interior for extra privacy.

Portable Dining

If your adventure plan includes dining along the way, or at your destination, the Collection by London Drugs folding table with 4 chairs is the go-to portable dining set. (It can also double as a cooking surface!) Great for spots without a picnic table, this table and chairs conveniently packs up into itself, with the chairs tucked away within. Great for camping trips, family gatherings at the beach, or sunny afternoons in the park! Don’t forget to bring along a cooler to keep your food and beverages cool.

Water Activities

Spending some time on the water on a hot summer day is both a fun time, and a great way to cool off. From paddleboards to kayaks, we have a variety of ways for you to get out on the water. Consider adding extra excitement to camping trips with a Zray paddleboard. The fixed central fins make it easy to maneuver on the water, and the EVA foam deck pad boasts a nonslip surface for secure foot placement. A 142kg weight capacity makes this paddleboard ideal for carrying a pet or supplies on your journey.

If you’re planning on bringing a towel, change of clothes, or camera, the Collection by London Drugs Dry Bags are a must-have. Available in 2 sizes and various colours, they’re great to make sure your belongings stay dry from splashes or unexpected swimming trips.

 

Electric Bikes

An electric bike is a great way to explore any landscape, urban or rural. The electric battery helps power uphill climbs, making sure you can relax and enjoy the adventure. The GoCity line of electric bikes have different options depending on your needs. The Go City PLUG foldable electric bike has a powerful 350W motor, can go up to 28km/h, while keeping power consumption low. The Go CIty Foldable E-bike has a 500W motor, with built in USB that supports charging on the go. With a 30km range, you can get around the city with ease. The Go City Plug Plus also has a 500W motor, and a 6 speed drive train, making it ideal for hilly areas. It’s bigger wheels also perform well when out of the city on non paved surfaces.

No matter how you choose to adventure this summer, we have you covered. With sun care, snacks, drinks, cameras, camping accessories and much more, all available in one place, you’ll want to stop by before you hit the road.
Happy adventuring!

 

Everything You Need to Celebrate Graduation (and Thank Your Teachers!)

As the school year comes to a close, we celebrate the accomplishments of those students who are reaching that special graduation milestone, as well as the hard work and dedication of the teachers who have been on the frontlines, supporting their students’ learning throughout all the challenges this past year has presented. While the celebrations may be smaller (and in many cases virtual), there are still lots of ways to celebrate the end of the school year and make it a fun and memorable one for both grads and teachers alike.

Everything You Need for Graduation Celebrations

Graduation announcement cards: With many graduation celebrations being held virtually this year, having a physical keepsake to hold onto is even more important. Grad announcement cards from our Photolab can be customized with your graduation details and photos so you can share the exciting news with family and friends. If you’re putting the cards in envelopes to send off by mail, adding a few prints of your graduation photos is a great idea too! Grandparents and other family members will love that they’ll have something to add to their photo albums, frames and scrapbooks. Note that our single-sided photo cards, folded cards, and double-sided cards all come with envelopes included with your order.

Invitations for grad celebrations: Whether you’re hosting a virtual or drive-by graduation celebration, we can help you create the perfect invitation for your guests. Just personalize one of our graduation invitation templates with some photos and your celebration details, and we’ll do the rest. For drive-by graduation celebrations, don’t forget to include the address, and for a virtual party, why not add a QR code as the photo to make it extra easy for guests to join your video chat link? There are lots of free QR code generators available online!

Grad shout-out banners: A great way to dress up your yard for a drive-by grad celebration, or to give a fun shout-out to a graduate while driving by, is with a custom banner! Our banners can be made with brass or nickel grommets so you can easily hang them in place, whether on your garage door or on the side of your car. Just customize our “Class of” banner with the year and photos of the graduate.

Grad-themed face masks: This year, grad garb not only includes a cap and gown but a face mask too. You can show your “Class of 2022” pride with your own unique face mask – just choose a size and upload your design (a photo of your class mascot, for instance) to our Photolab and add any text you like as well. Why not order a few for your fellow classmates too?

Proud parent t-shirts: If you fully embrace embarrassing your kids, then an ‘I’m the proud parent of a 2021 grad’ t-shirt is right up your alley! Our Photolab can help you customize a t-shirt with your graduate’s face on it, as well as any message of your choosing. It’ll make for a great surprise and a good laugh!

Gifts to Congratulate 2021 Graduates

Congratulations cards: A personalized graduation card is a thoughtful way to send your congratulations to graduates of all ages (putting a little cash inside couldn’t hurt either!). With grads unable to celebrate with all of their friends and family together this year, a custom card can go a long way to making them feel their graduation day is still special. Here are a few things worth including in your card:

  • Give them a big ‘congratulations!’ on achieving this life milestone
  • Tell them how proud you are of their accomplishments (could be school-related or extracurriculars)
  • Share some words of wisdom (could be a piece of advice on school, career, or just life in general)
  • Wish them all the best in their future endeavours (you can get specific if you know what their plans are for school/career)

Commemorative grad mug: Gift them a keepsake they’ll be able to use at home or take with them to college! Our Photolab has graduation-themed templates so you can personalized a mug for them with photos and even a special congratulations message.

Tech must-haves: If your graduate will be pursuing further education, gifting them a tech gadget as a graduation gift is a great way to help them start off on the right foot. We have a large selection of laptops and tablets for their computing needs, and the latest mobile phones so they can keep in touch from college! A camera, whether it’s a point-and-shoot, DSLR, or instant camera, also makes a thoughtful gift – it’s a way for them to capture all the memories to come in their next phase of life. Fitness watches, including the Apple Watch, and gaming equipment like headphones and consoles would also be well-received rewards for all of their hard work hitting the books over the last year.

Milestone photo book: A photo book is a great gift for graduates to give to their friends and fellow grads. Fill it with your favourite photos from school together, showcasing all of the memories and milestones you’ve shared. Or choose one of our graduation-themed templates and fill a photo book with graduation snapshots, like photos from a drive-by grad celebration, that you can then gift to the graduate!

Gifts to Thank Your Teachers

There is no doubt that teachers have played an even more significant role in students’ lives this past year, so a thoughtful gesture of thanks will undoubtedly be appreciated even more as this school year comes to an end. Here are a few ideas for items to include in a Thank You gift for your teacher:

Personalized thank you teacher card: Put a smile on your teacher’s face on the last day of class with a card you’ve made just for them. Simply add a photo to one of our school-themed card templates (we suggest the Class Time Stars and School Icons themes), and include a message to thank them for all the hard work they’ve done this past year.

‘Treat Yourself’ gift card: A gift card is a nice way to add a little extra gratitude to your thank you card. We have a large selection of gift cards available, from London Drugs gift cards (if they’re a big London Drugs fan, they’ll love that!), to iTunes and Starbucks gift cards and more. We’re sure you’ll be able to find one that matches their interests.

Best teacher button: Nothing says #1 teacher…like a #1 teacher button! You can personalize a button with a photo and text of your choice to show your teacher appreciation. If you’re looking for a gift for a young child’s teacher, why not have them draw a special ‘World’s Best Teacher’ design for the button? Our Take and Create Books, which have colouring templates for our 3” buttons inside, are a great way to create a gift using your child’s artwork. Just simply pick up a book from your local London Drugs Photolab or download from our Photolab online and print! Then just scan and upload to our Photolab online or bring the book back to us in-store.

Relaxing diffuser: After a tough year, gifting your teacher a little bit of R&R will surely be appreciated. Choose from a selection of Collection by London Drugs aromatherapy diffusers, like this beautiful diffuser in copper, or this diffuser with a White Wisp design – both also feature calming light effects. Don’t forget to include a bottle of essential oil as well, so they can start using it right away!

Custom teacher mug: Mugs are a gift that is definitely synonymous with teachers. But how to make yours stand out? Make it one-of-a-kind! Add your own personalized ‘Thank You’ on one of our Photolab’s mugs, and even include a photo. It won’t be hard for them to find their mug in the staff room anymore!

 

A big congratulations to all of the graduates of the Class of 2022. We wish you and your teachers a great summer break!

Tools and Tricks to Help You With Tax Season

Tax season comes around like clockwork every year, yet we always feel caught off guard. Having the right tools and knowing a few key tips will make it almost painless. We can help ensure you have the most up-to-date tax tools to get the job done. Not to mention treats to fuel those late-night tax prep sessions.

Tax Tools and Tricks

Essential Tax Tools

For most people, filing with DIY software is a good, economical option. Most individuals and small businesses will want a software program like Intuit’s TurboTax — the most popular tax filing software in Canada. The program is easy to navigate — just answer the questions and plug in your numbers.

When you’re done, the software double-checks for errors and offers advice to maximize your refund options. It’s also Netfile-friendly if you’re submitting your return electronically with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), so any refund you’re entitled to will get back to you quickly.

Choose the Right Version of TurboTax

TurboTax offers a variety of versions catering specifically to different financial scenarios. If you are filing for:

  • An individual, family, or student (up to eight returns), choose TurboTax Standard ($34.99).
  • Someone who needs to work on a Mac, Chromebook, or tablet (up to eight returns), choose TurboTax Online Edition ($34.99).
  • Someone who has investments such as stocks and bonds or rental property (up to 12 returns), choose TurboTax Premier ($74.99).
  • Someone who has personal or self-employment income, choose TurboTax Home and Business, which will offer advice on how to claim and maximize self-employment deductions and eligible business expenses ($119.99).

Make Copies of Your Return

Once you’ve completed the process, make sure you’ve got backups. Keep copies of everything, paper and digital, for six years.

A USB drive might suffice, but for larger or multiple files a portable hard drive is ideal.

If you prefer to keep printed copies, a basic Laser Printer is great for personal use, though you may want to upgrade to an all-in-one printer with a built-in fax if you have a home office or personal business.

You can’t go wrong with traditional office printer paper but if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, try Sugar Sheet copy paper, made from 100% sugar cane pulp.

Don’t Forget the 2022 Tax Deadline

April 30 is the deadline to file your taxes, but aim to submit earlier to give yourself time to track down any missing information.

If you are filing electronically, make sure your program is updated, since changes to tax codes and credits happen every year.

And when your tax return comes in (fingers crossed), treat yourself for a job well-done at londondrugs.com.

Easy Homemade Valentine’s Day Treats

If you’re looking for fun activities to do with the kids on Valentine’s Day, we’ve curated a few recipes you can try out to create love-themed treats! They’re easy to make and only require a few ingredients each. Keep reading below to learn how you can whip up these delicious delights while keeping the little ones entertained.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 bags of popcorn
  • 1 package of cinnamon hearts candies
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup butter

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the cinnamon hearts, corn syrup and butter. Next, place the popcorn on a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle cinnamon syrup overtop. Bake for 30 mins at 250 degrees until the candy sets. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bag of mini pretzels
  • 1 package of Hershey’s chocolate kisses
  • 1 package of Valentine’s Day candy of your choice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 230 degrees. Place pretzels on a baking sheet and top each one with a chocolate kiss. Bake for 5 minutes or until the kisses have melted slightly. Remove from the oven, then top each kiss with a candy heart. Let cool and enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 3-4 bars of white chocolate
  • 1 bar of milk or dark chocolate
  • A variety of nuts of your choice (we recommend pistachios)
  • 1 package of Valentine’s Day candy of your choice
  • Dried fruit of your choice (we recommend dried strawberries)

Directions:

Break apart the chocolate and in separate bowls, melt the white and dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time until it is melted completely. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spread the melted white chocolate evenly, and aim for 1/4 thickness. Sprinkle your toppings (candies, nuts, dried fruit) and press in slightly with fingers. Next, drizzle the dark chocolate overtop with a spoon. Let set in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then break apart into chunks. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • Dried fruit of your choice (we recommend dried strawberries)
  • Nuts of choice (we like almonds and peanuts!)
  • Healthy Crunch Dark Chocolate Superfoods Real Cherry

Directions:

Perhaps the easiest recipe of all, as this only requires mixing together all of the ingredients. Smaller children will appreciate being able to help out. Remember, you can customize this to meet a variety of dietary preferences.

We hope these easy-peasy treat recipes are a hit in the kitchen, and most importantly, you create some fun memories creating them with the kids this Valentine’s Day! You can find most of these featured ingredients in-store and online at londondrugs.com or explore our full Valentine’s Day selection here.

Share the Love With One of a Kind Custom Photo Gifts

After another year where most have gone long stretches without seeing loved ones, it has made us truly appreciate how important the presence of partners, friends, parents, grandparents and other family members are in our lives. This Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to not only celebrate romantic relationships, but your relationships with all loved ones, and remind them how much they mean to you.

With the help of our Photolab, you can create thoughtful and personalized Valentine’s Day gifts to share with each and every person you care most about. Add some love to a custom card, a heart-shaped puzzle, or even a photo book full of special memories. Just remember to plan ahead and order soon, so you can ensure the gifts you have put care and thought into creating arrive to your loved ones in time for February 14th.

In case you need a little help getting started, here are some easy ways to create gifts made with love, for all of the people you love.

For Your Partner

Putting a little thought and a lot of love into creating something just for your partner will certainly be appreciated. And a good place to start is with a personalized Valentine’s Day card! Nothing says Valentine’s Day 2022 like a card personalized to say ‘If we can live together in quarantine, we can do anything’. Or tailor your card to whatever else you want to say. If you’ve been apart this year, you can make your message focused on what you miss most about them. Our cards are fully customizable, so you can add a sweet photo of the two of you and the perfect personal message that speaks to your relationship. Make it funny or make it sentimental, the choice is yours!

As for a gift, love is often compared to a jigsaw puzzle, so why not make your own heart-shaped puzzle for your partner for Valentine’s Day? You can spend quality time piecing it together, revealing a special photo of the two of you. Once you’re done, you’ll have a beautiful keepsake that you can frame, or store in a matching tin (if you choose our 114-piece heart puzzle with matching tin).

If something jewelry-related is more your speed, consider gifting them a special locket with meaningful photos inside. We can print locket photos in circle, heart, oval or square shapes, and each locket print is a 4”x6” print with 44 different sizes from 1”x1” down to 0.2”x0.2”, so you can find the perfect one to match your chosen locket.

For Your Parents

If you miss being able to give your family members a hug, you’re not alone. We have had to get creative with ways to keep the connection alive with parents and family members during these times, from drive-by birthday parades to video calls. Show your parents some extra love this Valentine’s Day by creating something unique: a special photo book curated with your favourite moments as a family! Include photos from the last few years, or dust off your shoeboxes full of old photos to find some real gems to share (our Scanning Box Service can help you digitize your old photos and slides).

While we have Valentine’s Day-themed templates you can use to customize your photo book, we also have plenty of other themes if you’re looking for something a little more family-oriented. The books are printed on high quality photo paper and can be customized with linen and leather covers, soft covers and photo covers so you can create a truly special keepsake for your family. While you may not be able to connect with them in person, putting together a one-of-a-kind gift like this will help you show them they are in your heart.

For Your Grandparents

Social distancing measures, especially in care homes, have made isolation a reality for many seniors during the past year. Sending a card or gift their way on Valentine’s Day is a small way you can help stay connected with them, especially if it’s followed up with a virtual chat!

Create something truly touching – a gift that’s personalized just for them. Even better, create something that doubles as an activity! Our puzzles can feature a photo of your choosing, and our customizable text feature allows you to write a special message that lets them know how much you miss them. Photos of their grandkids are a sure bet. Or try digging up an old photo of your grandparents as a young couple so they can reminisce about Valentine’s Days past.

Photo blankets and pillow cases are also thoughtful ways to share special memories that your grandparents can cozy up with! A small gift this Valentine’s Day can go a long way to making grandparents feel loved and reminds them they haven’t been forgotten.

For Your Friends

With trips postponed and catch-ups relegated to virtual meet-ups, maintaining a feeling of connection with friends during the past year has been difficult for many. This Valentine’s Day, show your friends how much your time spent together means to you by surprising them with your favourite memories with them. Our square, compact Instagram Books are a thoughtful way to compile all your favourite moments and remind them you’re looking forward to creating more memories together soon. Include photos from past trips and experiences together, or if you’ve been friends for a long time, you could also include some throwback photos (cue the dated hairstyles and questionable fashion choices) that are sure to put a smile on their face.

Our personalized Valentine’s Day cards are also a great way to send a personal message to your friends. Create a card that perfectly reflects your friendship, from choosing the right design template to customizing with photos, and adding a message telling them just how much their friendship means to you.

For Your Furry BFF

With work-from-home becoming the norm this past year, many of us have spent far more time around our pets than usual. Why not show a little extra appreciation for your furry friend on Valentine’s Day, with a gift that says ‘thanks for putting up with me being home all the time’? A personalized pet tag in the shape of a heart would certainly be appropriate! You can customize with a flattering photo of your pet, and even add text to the front and back so you can include their name as well as contact information in case they ever get lost. If you’re looking for more ways to treat your pet on Valentine’s Day, check out this blog.

We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration to create gifts made with love for your loved ones. You can see our full selection of unique and thoughtful gifts from our Photolab here, and conveniently order online, at our in-store kiosks or using our London Drugs Photolab App (available for iOS and Android). If you can’t drop off your gifts to loved ones locally, not to worry, our Photolab ships anywhere in Canada, so you can send your personalized gifts directly to them! Just make sure to order early so your gifts arrive to them in time for Valentine’s Day.

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