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 Chicken Salad Sandwich

If you love sandwiches, you’ll love this vegan take on the classic chicken 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

New Year’s Giveaway

New Year’s Giveaway – Official Rules

To enter:

Whether your New Year’s resolution is to focus on fitness and nutrition, prioritizing your mental health, or even taking up a new hobby, tell us in the comments below and you could win one 1 of 2 $50 London Drugs gift cards!

Participating and entering in this promotion is considered a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant. It is also an acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

Contest Dates: Jan 1 – 15, 2021

  • No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry per social network per contest. Limit one (1) prize may be won per household.  Entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Time on Jan 15, 2021, 11:59pm PST.  London Drugs is not responsible for entries that become lost or misdirected.
  • Contest is open to all residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba who, as of the date the prize draw is made: (i) have not won a London Drugs contest since Jan 15, 2020; (ii) have reached the age of majority in the province in which they reside as at Jan 1, 2021 (iii) are not employees of London Drugs, their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization (if any), or any family member living with any such employee.
  • The winners will be randomly chosen on the day the contest ends (see dates below) in Vancouver, British Columbia, from all eligible entries received per contest. To win, selected entrants must have correctly answered the skill-testing mathematical question on the entry for on the online entry form and must sign London Drug’s declaration and release confirming compliance with the contest rules and acceptance of the prize(s) as awarded, releasing London Drugs from liability in association with the contest and prize and consenting to the use of their name, photograph, voice and statements for promotional and publicity purposes.
  • There will be 2 (two) prize(s) awarded to 2 (two) winners: each receiving a London Drugs Gift Card valued at $50. Prize(s) must be accepted as awarded, are non-transferable and no substitutions are permitted. London Drugs reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value should any prize become unavailable for any reason. Prize will be awarded at the closest London Drugs location to the winner.

Contests dates: Jan 1 – 15, 2021

Draw Date: 12:00 PM Pacific Time: Jan 18, 2021

  • Selected entrants will be contacted by email, or social network they were drawn from. No correspondence will be entered into except with selected entrants. If the winner does not respond then she/he will be notified for the second time, 3 (three) days after the first notification. If the winner still does not respond within 3 days of the second notification, a new winner will be chosen in the same manner until a winner is successfully contacted.
  • The chances of winning a prize will depend on the number of eligible entries received. Decisions of the judges in respect of all aspects of this contest including, but not limited to, eligibility of entries and correctness of answers given to the skill-testing question, are final.
  • London Drugs, their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization, and their respective agents are not liable to an entrant in any manner relating to the contest or the awarding and use of the prize(s).
  • This contest is subject to all federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations. By entering the entrant consents to the collection of all personal information included on their entry and agrees to the use and disclosure of such information by and between London Drugs and their agents.  The winner(s) also agrees to the collection, use and disclosure of their name, entry, photographs, voice and statements for London Drugs’ publicity purposes without further compensation.  All personal information collected from entrants will be used only for the purposes of administering the contest and for marketing and promotional purposes as contemplated by these rules; under no circumstances will any personal information be sold or rented to third parties.  All personal information collected by London Drugs will be kept in accordance with the privacy policy of London Drugs, which can be viewed at londondrugs.com, and in accordance with all applicable privacy laws.
  • The right is reserved by London Drugs to terminate this contest, in whole or in part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the contest, and/or these rules in any way, should any cause beyond the reasonable control of London Drugs or its agents affect the proper administration thereof.

Statement of Declaration and Release

All selected entrants will be required to sign the Statement of Declaration and Release attached before they can be declared a winner and receive a contest prize.

Pink Chai Living’s Top Gift Ideas That Are Quick Yet Thoughtful

Lifestyle writer and mom, Raj from Pink Chai Living, shares the secret to quick & easy gifts that will help you keep that feeling of connection with loved ones alive this holiday season.

Photo credit: Pink Chai Living

This year, I’ve been a little slow in finding my holiday groove. Two of my favourite parts of Christmas (after the food) are shopping for Christmas gifts and watching the people I love open those gifts. I really pride myself in picking the perfect gift for everyone on my list. In fact, gifts are my love language. Of course, this year, we can’t just go window shopping and wander until we find the perfect present, and we are not going to be able to see our friends and family open their presents live. When I first made my list, I was really struggling. How would I keep my favourite gifting traditions alive in this very different time?

Then I had a sort of lightbulb moment. What is it that we are missing the most this holiday season? Connections and rituals. We always go out to see the Christmas lights and do some gift shopping with our friends Johnny & Lisa and their girls every year. We can’t do that, but we can relive memories from the last few years through photos! What could be more thoughtful and personal than the gift of photographs past.

Photo credit: Pink Chai Living

I started with the idea of creating a photo book around just our Christmas traditions with our friends. As I started going through my phone though, there were so many great photos and other annual traditions I remembered, so I decided to create matching Express Books for them and us. Using the London Drugs Photolab website, it took me under an hour to create a personalized memory book that even had space to write text notes. The writer in me loved being able to include notes about our holidays, traditions, and history. I’ve never made a photo book before because it felt like it would be too time consuming. The Express Books are so easy to set-up, and are ready in just a few days, making this the perfect gift idea for friends and family. They are a pretty compact size and would be easy to ship as well.

The Express Books start with 20 pages that have a variety of layouts, and you can add more pages if you need. On the other hand, if you are looking for something smaller, or just a little fun gift for someone, try an Instagram Book. You can upload whatever square photos you like – they don’t actually have to be from Insta, and create a mini memory book. I did a couple from my 40th birthday party, and plan to share them with some girlfriends. Other fun ideas would be a year in review for the grandparents, recapping a special trip with someone, or maybe even a book of random funny photos on your phone.

Photo credit: Pink Chai Living

Once I started playing around with personalized gift options, I realized how convenient it is to do all the ordering through the London Drugs Photolab website, and how many types of options they have for gifts that you can get done pretty quickly. I actually ended up ordering a customized calendar for a photographer friend. We are all so ready for 2020 to be over, why not celebrate the New Year with a personalized calendar?!

Photo credit: Pink Chai Living

When I was wrapping up my order, I happened to notice the personalized mugs in the gift giving options. Obviously, the pink caught my eye, but there are lots of other colour selections also. Can you believe this mug was only $15.99, and it can be ready for pick-up in just 24 hours? So if there is someone on your list that you’ve missed, this is the personalized gift for them. Personally, I decided to treat myself to a little gift and got this favourite family photo added to the mug.

Photo credit: Pink Chai Living

As someone who was a novice at designing photo gifts, I have to say, the whole process of using the London Drugs Photolab’s site, creating the photo books, and even the pick-up was seamless (you can choose between in-store pick-up or even curbside pick-up at some locations). There are so many options for layouts, themes and colours for all the gift options, and I found it easy to create gifts that were personalized for different people on my list. It’s also nice to have a quick turnaround time on so many items. I’ll definitely be turning to photo-based gifts a lot more in the future.

If you haven’t already done all your holiday shopping, get on it! There are 3 ways you can order your holiday gifts from the Photolab: online, in-store using the kiosks, or through the London Drugs Photolab App (available for iOS and Android). To get your gifts in-hand the quickest, make sure to select in-store or curbside pick-up at checkout!

 

 

 

 

This guest post has been sponsored by London Drugs.

The Best Gifts to Give if You Love Taking Photos

Calling all shutterbugs! Is your phone, camera or hard drive overflowing with great photos you’ve taken? If so, you have a very special card up your sleeve when it comes to holiday gifting! We all know the most memorable gifts are ones that we create ourselves. By creating gifts with your photos, you’re able to share something truly unique and 100% personal that you yourself captured. If photography is your passion, we think these gifts are the perfect way to share your craft with the people you love.

The Crafty Photographer

We know it has been hard being apart from loved ones this year. While you might not be able to see each other in person right now, there’s a way to get crafty and use your photos to help family feel closer together: create a hugging pillow!

Snap a photo of yourself or your kids on a neutral background (or if you’ve got some Photoshop skills, take an existing photo and edit out the background). Use a close-up shot of their face, or have them pose with their arms wide, ready for a hug. Then upload your photo to our Photolab and add it to one of our pillow cases. We recommend choosing the photo square or simple heart style. You can also personalize the pillow cases with text, so why not add a personal message like ‘Hug this pillow until you can hug me.’ Once your pillow is ready, send it to grandparents or any loved ones who could use a hug! This would make a great gift well into the New Year.

The Landscape/Wildlife Photographer

If taking photos in the great outdoors is more your speed, gifting your work as a print is a great way to share your passion with family and friends this holiday season. Show off those incredible landscapes you’ve captured or your best wildlife shots! Our glossy and pearl enlargements go all the way up to 44×96 in size, with mounting and laminating options available. Or choose from our selection of fine art prints that are available for last-minute pick-up, including canvas, bamboo, metallic paper and metallic canvas. They make great wall décor for that blank spot in a family member’s home or a friend’s office.

Learn a little more about our fine art prints to see which one is best suited for your images:

Bamboo Prints: Environmentally-friendly, ultra-matte and finely-crafted, Hahnemühle Bamboo is the world’s first Fine Art inkjet paper made from 90% bamboo fibres. It meets the most stringent age resistance requirements, and offers a unique combination of sustainable bamboo fibres, soft surface texture and impressive print quality that will give your photo outstanding expression and soul.

Canvas Prints: Our canvas prints are printed with special pigment, right to the edges of the unframed, premium canvas. You can choose to frame it flat or stretch it yourself! (Note this is not a Canvas Gallery Wrap)

Metallic Prints: These prints have a unique high-gloss pearlescent finish that allows for exceptional image clarity and brilliant colour reproduction.

Metallic Canvas: Our Metallic Canvas will give your images an intense warmth and depth. Through an interplay of transparency, refraction, coating and multiple reflections, you will notice silver-white and metallic reflection effects. (Note this is not a Canvas Gallery Wrap)

Have your image printed as a single print, or split your image up into several prints that can be assembled side-by-side for eye-catching wall décor!

The Family Photographer

You’re the person the family always relies on to get the shot, whether it’s birthdays, holidays or all those special moments in between. With hundreds (if not thousands) of photos of the whole family at your disposal, you’ve got lots to work with to create thoughtful gifts for the holidays!

Each photo you take preserves a special moment in time. Why not give a print of those memories to those who will cherish them most? A selection of your favourite moments captured on camera as glossy or pearl prints, with the perfect frame to match, would make a thoughtful gift. The options are endless but could include anything from family portraits to candids of the kids, or photos of special milestones that happened over the last year. Canvas Gallery Wraps are also a beautiful way to preserve and showcase a special moment in time for your loved ones. The canvases come ready to hang, and you can choose from framed canvases as well for a more finished look.

If picking just a few photos to gift is too hard, then a photo book is the perfect gift to give, and our Express Books, Book-It Mini Books and Instagram Books can be ordered for last-minute pick-up. If Instagram is how you often share your photos, an Instagram Book is a great way to showcase your square Instagram photos offline for people like grandparents who may not see them otherwise. Or choose any of our other photo book options, like our Express Books and Book-It Mini Books, which you can customize with themed templates to pop your photos into.

Need Your Gifts in Time for Christmas? Order Soon!

Before you order your photo gifts, make sure to check our list of holiday cut-off dates for shipping and pick-up to ensure your order will be ready in time for Christmas! We also recommend selecting in-store pick-up or curbside pick-up if you need your gifts quickly, as you can conveniently pick up your order from your local London Drugs.

To start creating gifts with your photos, head over to our Photolab, download our London Drugs Photolab App (available for iOS and Android), or visit our in-store kiosks!

 

Dealing with Stress

Stress is all around us. From annoyances such as sitting in a traffic jam or missing a bus to serious stress-inducers like losing a job or the grave illness of a loved one, we face stressful situations throughout our lives.

When we experience stress, our bodies respond by making hormones that speed up our heart rate, make us breathe more rapidly, and release a burst of energy. This is called the stress response or the fight-or-flight response. It prepared our ancient ancestors to protect themselves when their lives were in danger—for example, from an attack by a wild animal they were trying to kill for food. Today we rarely find ourselves in those types of life-and-death situations on a daily basis, but our bodies still react to stress in the same way. A little stress can help us excel in a sporting event or finish an important project on schedule, but too much stress too often or for too long can have negative effects on our health, causing headaches, back pain, upset stomach, or difficulty sleeping. It can also weaken our immune system, making it harder for us to fight off disease.

Managing stress

The first step in controlling stress is to determine what is causing the stress in our lives and looking for ways to reduce it. We’ll never get rid of all of our stresses; some stress is a fact of life, so the next step is to learn healthy ways of managing the stress to reduce its harmful effects.
Some of the things that can help fight the effects of stress include:
• Eating a healthy diet
• Getting regular physical activity
• Doing something you enjoy, such as spending time on a hobby, watching a movie, or listening to calming music
• Keeping a journal and recording what makes you feel stressed and what relaxes you
• Expressing your feelings to someone you trust—a family member, friend, or professional counsellor
• Learning relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques

There is no single relaxation technique that is right for everyone. You may have to try several until you find what works best for you. Here are some common ones:
• Concentrate on your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths and turn your mind away from what is causing your stress. Feel the air entering and exiting your body in a controlled manner. This can be particularly helpful for some people, but it may not be appropriate for those with respiratory problems or heart failure.
• Try silently repeating a short phrase or prayer while focusing on your breathing. This may be particularly helpful for people who feel connected to a religion or spiritual path.
• After a few minutes of focusing on your deep breathing, direct your attention to one part of your body and mentally release any tension you feel there. Once you have released the tension from that spot, focus on another part of your body. Continue the exercise until you have released the tension from your whole body.
• Imagine a soothing scene, place, or experience that has personal meaning for you. Relax and enjoy the serenity this vision brings.
• Focus on the moment. Sit comfortably and turn your attention to that very moment in time. Don’t let your thoughts drift to the past or the present. Live in the now, even if only for a little while.
• Try yoga, tai chi, or another of the ancient arts that combine rhythmic breathing with a series of physical positions or flowing movements.
• To get the most benefit from relaxation techniques, combine them with other positive coping methods such as positive thinking, finding things to laugh about, getting enough sleep, and reaching out for support from family and friends.

Toy & Game Gift Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner! With all the toy options out there, you may be wondering what in the world to get the kids on your list. We’ve compiled some of the hottest toys and games to help make your life easier! From STEM toys that sneak in a bit of educational learning, game room essentials like tabletop air hockey for the competitive kids, and wacky multi-player games that bring on a lot of laughs, these toy options are sure to entertain for hours of fun!

The Upside Down Challenge Game (for ages 8+)

In the Upside Down Challenge Game, players compete to do challenges like giving high-fives, writing their name, and catching a crumpled up ball of paper, all while their vision is flipped upside down, while wearing the upside down goggles. Even the simplest tasks become difficult when the world is flipped upside down! The game contains 1 pair of upside down goggles, 25 challenge cards, 5 create your own challenge cards, instruction sheet, and 1 pad of paper to draw on. You can even play friends on Zoom, provided that each person has their own Upside Down Challenge Game!

Chow Crown (for ages 8+)

Get the family laughing together with the Hasbro Chow Crown Game. The musical electronic crown in this game is fitted with six forks, and once it’s on the player’s head, the participant has to grab as many bits of food as possible without using their hands. Once the music stops and the crown stops spinning, it’s the next person’s turn. This Hasbro Chow Crown game is also an ideal way to introduce unfamiliar healthy foods to kids who are reluctant eaters.

Throw Throw Burrito (for ages 7+)

Throw Throw Burrito is what you get when you cross a card game with dodgeball. Try to collect matching sets of cards faster than your opponents while simultaneously ducking, dodging, and throwing squishy airborne burritos at one another! The cards you collect earn points, but getting hit by flying burritos loses them. Make sure you clear some space at home to play (and put away any breakable ornaments and antiques!)

National Geographic STEM (for ages 4+)

Your kids can become a shark scientist with the National Geographic Shark Tooth Dig Kit STEM Toy! Using the kit, they can identify teeth from the Sand tiger, Otodus, and Crow sharks and learn awesome shark facts with the included learning guide. Plus, they can dig and discover 3 real shark tooth fossils, each from a different shark species. This kit also makes a great homeschool lesson!

If your child is not into sharks, there is also the Break Open 2 Geodes STEM Kit. Geodes are naturally forming volcanic rocks that contain amazing crystal formations inside. The kit includes geodes that can be cracked open to discover beautiful minerals. Kids love these treasure-filled rocks, as it encourages an appreciation of nature and geology in your child with this extraordinary science kit. Plus, they can learn all about geodes and minerals with the full-color educational learning guide included.

Find our full selection of STEM and STEAM toys here.

Electronic Arcade Basketball (for ages 6+)

Race against the shot clock with Ambassador Electronic Arcade Basketball. Two baskets let you challenge friends to one-on-one competitions, and the electronic scoreboard keeps track of your points. The spring-powered basketball launcher makes it easy to take multiple shots in seconds. A loud buzzer lets you know when each round is over so you can bask in each victory. This Ambassador Electronic Basketball Arcade Game boasts a compact size for convenient tabletop placement. The game also features a large LED scoreboard display with countdown timer and buzzer, spring-loaded shooters, automatic point counter and cool sound effects!

Ambassador Tabletop Air Hockey and Football (for ages 6+)

Bring the fun of the arcade home with Ambassador Tabletop Air Hockey. The compact size fits neatly on a dining room table or coffee table, and the simple setup snaps into place for effortless assembly. Scoreboards on both sides let you keep track of goals throughout each match. This Ambassador wood tabletop air hockey game uses AA batteries to power the airflow, so there’s no need for power cords or a nearby wall outlet.

There is also Ambassador Tabletop Football. Traditional hand grips let you control the action for perfect goals, and the manual scoreboard makes it easy to declare a victor. A snap-together design makes assembly a quick, simple task. Colourful players and a bright green field add extra fun to each match. Both of these games make excellent addition to your family room, game room or basement!

Hauck Speedster Go Cart (for ages 4-8)

The Speedster Pedal Go Cart is the ultimate gift for the energetic kid on your list, as it encourages physical activity, builds strength, endurance and co-ordination. Along with the durable features and sporty design, the Hauck Speedster Pedal Go Cart gives an authentic driving experience and lets the driver control the pedal speed. The Speedster’s quick response and sharp handling will excite young racers. Features include sporty graphics on the front fairing, an adjustable bucket seat, four spoke rims with 10″ EVA wheels, a 3-point steering wheel, double touch Handbrake and a steel tube powder coated frame.

Craftsman Deluxe Game House (for ages 6+)

Have a board game lover in the family? They will love the Merchant Ambassador Craftsman Deluxe Game House! The convertible design lets you test your skills at chess, checkers, backgammon, mancala and six other iconic board games. Dice, ball markers and other playing pieces provide everything you need to set up each game, and the mahogany wood finish gives this set traditional beauty. Packaged with instructions, this Merchant Ambassador Craftsman Deluxe Game House makes it easy to master each board.

MD Sports Table Tennis & Air Hockey Table

For the older kids and teens on your Christmas list, the MD Sports Table Tennis is an awesome choice. It is an official tournament size table, measuring at 9 x 5ft, has durable 15mm thick playfield for consistent ball bounce, a sturdy 35mm diameter arch style legs with stability panel and lockable casters, and 35mm oversized apron with protective corner caps for additional support. Plus, it conveniently folds for single play mode and compact storage.

You also can’t go wrong with the MD Sports Air Hockey Table. This table contains a sleek overhead scoreboard with arcade sound effects, a reinforced frame construction for improved durability and stability, 120V AC Motor for strong and consistent air flow and has adjustable leg levelers for perfectly balanced play surface. It also includes two pushers and two pucks.

Squishmallows (great for all ages!)

Squishmallows are the softest, cutest, cuddliest plush around! They have a super soft, marshmallow-like texture and make great couch companions, and bedtime buddies. With a variety of characters, youngsters (and even adults!) can collect them, as each Squishmallow has its own unique name and storyline to add to the fun.

We hope this guide of toys and games was helpful in in giving you ideas for a holiday gift for the kids (or kids-at-heart-) on your list! Be sure to also check out our Christmas Toy Event, on until Dec 24, 2020.

Don’t forget you can order online and pick-up in store, or choose curbside or front door pickup at select locations.

Memorable Family Gift Ideas Curated by Puns and Little Ones

Creative and punny mom of two, Jen from Puns and Little Ones, is here to share some of her favourite photo gift ideas for this year.

Photo credit: @punsandlittleones

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m all about the holiday season. Come Nov. 1, I switch from pumpkins to Christmas trees – I’m a sucker for a theme. My favourite thing to do is come up with fun photo ideas featuring my two little boys, Aiden and Carter. I’ve turned them into snowman cookies, created Christmas scenes, dressed them up as reindeer – the list goes on.

With all the effort I put into holiday photos, you would think I would be on top of gifts early as well. Wrong – usually that part just sneaks up on me somehow. But not this year! I wanted to beat the rush, skip crowded malls and leave plenty of time for packages to arrive. For our extended family, we decided to order personalized keepsakes from the London Drugs Photolab. They create truly unique and thoughtful gifts that I knew my family members would love.

With social distancing, it’s been tough to go without seeing our extended family who live in other provinces. We were hoping to visit my in-laws in Nova Scotia at Christmas, but that isn’t looking likely. So even though we can’t be there in person, we wanted to make our gifts special. For a few years, I’ve created photobooks and canvases as presents for family members – whenever I’m stuck for ideas, I try to come up with something personal to give them.

I used the Photolab a few months ago to make a custom face mask for Aiden to wear when he went to school, so I knew the quality of their personalized gifts would be good. Side note – I love the cute Christmas masks, like Rudolf the Reindeer or their Christmas sweater pattern. I think I might end up buying some matching ones for a Christmas photo. These would be a great gift too, but you would need to give it early so they could be worn the whole holiday season!

We did a family photoshoot in the fall, so I knew exactly which photos I wanted to use for our holiday presents. The Photolab website is so easy to use – you can choose any photo and text, and within a matter of minutes you can customize the product that you want.

Personalized Puzzles

Photo credit: @punsandlittleones

This was my favourite gift that we ordered – a 114-piece heart puzzle with a matching tin for storage. I wanted it to be something the kids could do with their grandparents, as well as for them to display in their home – that’s why we chose the one with the matching tin. I’m going to create an Instagram photo with this one, incorporating the Instagram double-tap heart – keep your eye out for it soon over on @PunsAndLittleOnes!

Photo credit: @punsandlittleones

This turned out so cute and I feel like it will be a great keepsake. My boys loved putting together a puzzle with their own faces on it – when Carter saw it coming together, he yelled, “It’s me and Aiden!” I can’t wait until they can actually put together the puzzle with their grandparents in person.

Did you know that there has been a major resurgence in popularity of puzzles this year, with everyone spending more time at home? It’s the perfect cold winter day activity. The Photolab also has 1,000 piece puzzles available for true puzzle lovers – and we are very tempted to order again and get the customized playing cards, which are great stocking stuffers too.

Photo coffee mugs

Photo credit: @punsandlittleones

Can you ever have too many coffee mugs? I don’t think so. The London Drugs Photolab has many different styles available, as well as a wide variety of holiday and winter themes. These can all be personalized with photos and text. With our mug, I went for an 11 oz designer mug with a single photo on it. I love the two-tone style, with blue on the inside.

These can be ready for pickup in up to 24 hours. They’re also dishwasher and microwave-safe. And at a price point of $15.99 per designer mug, these are super affordable and a thoughtful gift for just about anyone on your list.

Custom water bottles

Photo credit: @punsandlittleones

We ordered a sports water bottle for Aiden to take to school – he’s so excited to show it off to his friends. The Photolab even has stainless steel tumblers, beer steins, and latte and espresso mugs that you can add your own photo to. I think we might order a few more of these water bottles for everyone in the house – that way, Carter can have his own too.

Other creative gift ideas

These were just a few of the customized photo gifts you can order from the London Drugs Photolab. Here are a few others that might be perfect for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list:

  • Photo calendars. They have a small one perfect for your desktop, or a year-at-a-glance style calendar for a wall in your home or office.
  • Personalized Christmas tree ornaments. They have so many to choose from, like beautiful wood ornaments, crystal, metal and ball ornaments. They can be customized with a photo, message or date.
  • Cozy photo blankets. You can either customize these with one photo or a collage, and they come in cozy textures like Sherpa and fleece. These days, I’m always wrapped up in a blanket, even during the day while I’m working from home at my desk. I know I would love a gift like this!
  • Personalized key chains. This creative gift idea would make a great stocking stuffer, and your loved ones can carry around photos of the family anywhere.

How to quickly & easily order your holiday gifts

Although we ordered online, there are three ways you can order holiday gifts from the Photolab:

When ordering, you’ll have the option to either have your order delivered conveniently to your door, or easily pick up your order in-store at your closest London Drugs. Many of their stores also have the option of curbside pick-up. If you select delivery or are planning to mail packages, remember to place your order soon!

 

 

 

This guest post has been sponsored by London Drugs.

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