February 2nd, 2018

How to Host a Great Party for the Big Game

The Big Game airs this Sunday February 4 in the afternoon, and while the marquee matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the (heavily favoured) New England Patriots should offer an entertaining diversion, we all know what the true point of hosting a viewing party is all about–having a great time with friends and family. Here’s our guide to hosting a world-class Viewing Party.

Make A Classic Big Game Spread

We all know why people are really gathering together. For the FOOD! Here are four recipes that take classic sports food fare to the next level. Or, get creative and bring your own flavour to the party. Make the following recipes your own!

Slow-Cooker Family-Favourite Chili

Chili is a true American classic, and you can follow this recipe from Betty Crocker, or make it your own by substituting veggie ground round, ground turkey, or extra beans in place of the ground beef. Chili is a great make ahead meal that let’s you put that slow cooker you got for Christmas to good use.

Slow-Cooker Family-Favorite Chili from Betty Crocker

Perfect Nachos

Chips, melty cheese, assorted toppings, mmmmmm. Nachos are another game-day classic. The Guide to Perfect Nachos from Bon Appétit is less a recipe, and more a do’s and don’ts list for making absolutely mouthwatering nachos.

Perfect Nachos from Bon Appétit

 

Guacamole

Have you heard? Avocado sales rise around the time of the Big Game. Really! And we get it: guacamole is delicious, and any excuse to indulge is good by us. Here is a great method from Simply Recipes that looks divine. Don’t forget the tortilla chips!

Guacamole from Simply Recipes

 

Show the Game on a Beautiful Screen, with Great Audio

The Big Game is as good an excuse as any to upgrade your TV. Get the coveted true black screen of an OLED model like this 65 inch OLED UHD HDR TV from Sony. One cool feature is that sound comes to you from the entire screen, meaning you get to be totally immersed in the viewing experience. 

Don’t have a big TV budget right now? No problem! Check out this Samsung 50 inch LED/LCD Smart TV. It’s currently under $600, and a heck of a good deal! Your party goers will be impressed by the crisp picture. 

Help your attendees feel like they are in the stadium with a state-of-the-art sound system that brings the experience to your living room. This LG 320W 2.1-ch Soundbar with Subwoofer is a sleek option.

 

Plan Party Games

Not everyone loves to watch sports. And that’s OK! To ensure that these folks still have fun at your party, plan some fun activities that will help them get invested in the game. A no-money, no-skill-required football pool is a great way to get everyone involved. Provide your guests with fun themed prizes that anyone can enjoy. Sports movies, amazing TV shows about football, or an actual football make great prizes.

Another option for a fun viewing party game is Football Bingo. You can find several good ones online, but we liked the version below and this one from Sunny Day Family. Print out the cards in advance and see who wins!

 

There you have it! Everything you need to host a great viewing party. We’d love to see how you are celebrating the day. Share your party pics with us online at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Happy Footballing!



January 30th, 2018

Valentine’s Day Gifting Ideas: A Guide to Getting Personal

So… you give chocolates every year on Valentine’s Day- that wouldn’t be a problem if half the box wasn’t missing. This year, ditch predictable, and get personal. Contrary to popular belief, the stomach isn’t the only way to someone’s heart. Show your sweetheart how well you know them, or take a couple’s stroll down memory lane.

Whether you’re a seasoned romantic, or feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to spicing up V-Day, the London Drugs Photolab has everything to make this year one you and your partner won’t forget.

 

Fleece Blanket – Personalized with a Heart Photo

You know those photos that warm you from the inside out? Match that feeling from the outside in with fleece lining and a little love. Wrap them up in a moment frozen in time- and give the gift of comfort, in the form of a personalized fleece blanket.

 

Personalized Valentine’s Day Cards

Is any holiday complete without that Hallmark touch? Your relationship is an original. Nothing down any “greetings” aisle could ever really capture the sarcasm, unique brand of humour, and feelings that make you and yours so special. Speak from the heart, or let a photo do the talking for you- the choice is yours! You can fully customize your card with Valentine’s Day-themed templates, text and personal photos.

 

Photo Mugs

They might be a caffeine connoisseur or a tea enthusiast – either way, keep things steamy by gifting them a unique, personalized mug. Pick a size that matches their sipping routine: a 14oz for long days at the office, or an 11oz for lazy Sunday mornings.

 

Aluminum Metal Panels

Make sure your photos withstand the test of time, through even the harshest conditions… just like you two crazy kids! Bright and crisp photos printed on sturdy aluminum metal panels come hang-ready, and are resistant to fading.

 

Heart Puzzles

Spend a little quality time together this Valentine’s Day. A board game for two is unheard of- instead pour a glass of wine, order a pizza and get puzzling! Put together the pieces to recreate an anniversary, vacation or wedding photo. Our heart-shaped puzzle design makes it extra special for the occasion.

 

Photo Books

You two wrote your love story, now tell it with vibrant prints, beautifully bound in a hard or soft cover photo book. At the London Drugs Photolab, we review and correct every image, then print them with exceptional ink on high quality paper. Watch those memories that were once just scattered throughout social media or sitting on your hard drive, come to life.

 

Posters and Collages

Because you just can’t pick one favorite.

Choose the best of the best for a thoughtful photo collage. Liven up any room, and give a heart melting gift of your greatest hits.

 

Break the cycle of giving the same gift, without having to break the bank! All of our Valentine’s Day products are 10% off  (valid February 2nd-7th, 2018) which is just as sweet as the box of chocolate you’ve already eaten half of…

Happy Valentine’s Day!



January 30th, 2018

Don’t Let Your Memories Fade: Preventing Photo Damage

A single photograph is capable of speaking a universally understood language: freezing an exact moment and feeling in time.

That big box full of vintage prints has been passed from generation to generation, but they’re not as vibrant as they once were. Now they live in your attic… how will you continue to preserve them?

Light, heat, and humidity can damage or even destroy what was documented long before the age of memory cards, Instagram and Facebook. If you have photos taken between 1936 and 1990, those are especially in danger of fading. The processing used during that time causes them to degrade faster. Digital restoration is only possible to a certain degree, so preserving those photos should be a top priority.

Digital duplication and restoration is one of the easiest ways to ensure all of your family vacations, birthday parties and anniversaries withstand the test of time. With our Photo Scanning Box, preserving a legacy is a painless, one-step process. Fill the box with up to 800 images and have them returned along with a USB flash drive full of virtual copies, yours to recreate, edit, or redistribute. Back them up on any or all devices at home or work, and never fear another year in a dusty shoebox. Check out more information on our Photo Scanning Box here!

If spider webs aren’t a bother, or if you’re a pro scrap-booker with a glitter glue collection even Martha Stewart would envy, knowing how to protect those hard copy prints is of the utmost importance.

Storing your photos in folders or files meant for archiving is a tried and true solution to keeping your wedding pics crisp. Before moving your prints and Polaroids to their new, and likely, permanent home, wipe the surface of each photo with a clean cloth to remove any residue or dust. Even better, wear a pair of gloves as you handle the photos, to avoid leaving oily residue on your snaps.

Whether you’re planning to store or showcase your photos, there are two things to remember when choosing a spot: the room should be weary of traffic; avoid well-used living areas and hallways, out of harm’s way and greasy fingerprints, and be cautious of the room’s average temperature. Areas that are typically warm with a lot of natural light is a big no-no: big bay windows will wash out color, leaving them dull and muted, and humid attics will crack, ripple, and curl the edges of the photo paper.

For walls that look a little bare, you could also consider putting your memories on full display. Best practice is to showcase them behind framed glass, where smiles stay white, and holiday sweaters will stay a festive shade of traffic stopping red. When you order your next prints from our Photolab, you’ll be able to choose a frame to match. Personalized and protected, your photos will be a lasting statement piece in your home.

Prints on aluminum metal panels are also a great choice. They’re fade resistant and super modern: a look that will liven up any home, and will last for a lifetime.

Photographs tell your story. Let that story be shared and protected for future generations.

 

 



January 30th, 2018

10 Photos That Prove Canada is a Snowy Wonderland

As Canadians, we’re no strangers to snow. LOTS of snow. We’ve even just learned that the most snow on the planet is set to fall on British Columbia this month. We may complain about it, but most of us actually love it. Fact: everything just looks more magical when it’s covered in snow. The feeling is hard to put into words, so let’s allow these gorgeous photos of snow from around the country do the talking for us. Here are 10 photos that prove Canada is totally a snowy wonderland.

1. Dream Cottage

Fernie, BC is one of the snowiest places in Canada, so it’s the perfect location for cat-skiing resort Island Lake Lodge. Their cottage is so cozy, it kind of makes us want to just forego the skiing and get snowed in–on purpose.

2. East Coast Cool

The East Coast certainly gets its share of snowfall too, and the already delightful vistas of Prince Edward Island get even more stunning with a fresh load of the cold stuff.

3. Snow Doggo

Snowy Wonderland

Photo by @mywhiskeygirl on Instagram

Snow sports are serious business in Whistler, and no one knows that better than this proud pooch.

 

4. Winter Sunset

If you’re lucky enough to catch the sunset in Canmore, AB, you’ll be treated to this stunning scene. (At 4:30 in the afternoon.)

 

5. Snow Doggo pt. II

Snowy Wonderland

Photo by @soulinesbackcountry on Instagram

Did you think we could just stop at one dog photo? We couldn’t resist this gorgeous husky pup, basking in her element.

6. Why Stop Now?

Snowy Wonderland

Photo by @cherrycheri_ on Twitter

We have two words for you: WINNIPEG. MANITOBA.

 

7. Meanwhile, In Cape Breton…

Snowy Wonderland

Photo by @burkedc on Twitter

Hey Winnipeg, we’ll see your stop sign and raise you…this road.

 

8. Snow Speeder

Snowy Wonderland

Photo by metronews.ca

Nova Scotia could give lessons on how to make the best of a snow storm. Hang on to your hat, little buddy!

 

9. The Freshest Tracks

All skiers know that first tracks in the powder are the holy grail of the season, and Lake Louise is the perfect place for a powder quest.

10. Strike a Pose

We doubt this majestic Alberta elk knows his photo is being taken, so we’ll just assume that he woke up like this.

 

Did we miss your #BeautifulCanada snow photo? Link to it in the comments so we all can ooh and ahhh!



January 24th, 2018

CES – Final Thoughts

Alright, as of this writing CES 2018 is now in the books, over and everyone has gone back to their homes, and home countries. Alan, Diane, and myself, Ron Fraser have walked a total of 127,000 steps over three days, or about 97 kilometers! We did our best to cover that 2.75 million square feet of display space, but still only a fraction is truly possible to cover in any meaningful way.
So what are the big takeaways, how will this show affect us all going forward? I have a few observations to share on that.

1.Get used to saying “Hi Google” and “Alexa”…a lot. Just about everything that runs on gas, electricity, or batteries will also be driven by voice commands from now on. It is HERE.

2. Flying cars are real. Remember the Jetsons? Well, the Volocoptor is an autonomous flying drone that can take you quickly and safely from point A to point B. Roads are congested? Doesn’t matter.

3. Everything internet connected will talk to everything else you own that is plugged in, or on WiFi. If it doesn’t now, it will, and very soon. As you are driving home, the heat or AC will come on in your home, lights come on as needed, and maybe the oven starts to preheat to prepare to cook the meal that the refrigerator suggested based on the contents in your fridge. Really. I’ve seen that too.

4. Self driving cars as a concept are already real, and driving on their own in several cities the USA today. The new wrinkle there is that these self driving vehicles will also be mobile retail stores, medical clinics, pizza delivery, and anything else that needs goods, or services to be mobile. (Pizza hut has already signed on with Toyota for their autonomous delivery vehicle to start delivery of their food when their “E-Pallette” vehicle is on the roads.

5. A.I. or Artificial Intelligence is being deployed is as many products as possible. Cars will learn how you drive and adjust power output for your habits, homes that heat and cool based on your patterns, music selection that learns what you like and dislike to be more relevant. Electronics that can update themselves when needed, making an item last longer without having to buy a new one.

6. Robots will be everywhere. Most of them, will perform simple tasks like answering questions, giving directions, carrying everyday items, groceries and such to and from your car or home. Some will be companions (like pets, or even partners) Security and such are already compelling uses.

Each year seems to bring us new refinements and more cooperation between product manufacturers to try to convince the consumer into trying their products. If it makes my life easier, simpler, and better, I’m in support of these changes. Let’s see what the next year will bring!

Ron



January 17th, 2018

3 Reasons to Preserve Memories in a Photo Book For Your Kids

 

Hi everyone, Amanda here from The Mommy Mix!

Growing up, my family didn’t take a whole lot of road trips. As a child, this didn’t bother me but as I got older and had a family of my own, I started to think how I wanted things to be different for my boys. I wanted to give them more than just memories of us going to the neighborhood pool or local zoo. I wanted them to experience the different places in this beautiful province we call home. This past summer, my husband suggested we take a few mini road trips to some of the provincial parks he visited as a child and I, of course, thought this was a wonderful idea. So, with no plans as to the exact location our road trips would take us, I grabbed my camera, my husband grabbed the fishing gear (just in case), we packed some road trip snacks and away we went.

As soon as our summer started and the road trips began I knew I wanted the boys to have more than just memories in their heads of our 2017 Summer, I wanted to make them Travel Photo Books from the London Drugs Photolab, not just of our road trips but of our experiences. And here’s why:

THEY WILL APPRECIATE IT

Have you ever sat and watched a child look at a Photographic Album? Even children younger than 2 can sit for hours flipping back and forth from page to page; I swear it’s the only time their attention lasts longer than a minute. And when they’re looking at pictures of themselves or someone they know, the look of “ahh” on their little faces is priceless!

REMINISCING WITH FUTURE GENERATIONS

We’ve all been there before, listening to stories our parents use to tell us about their childhood or the fun places they visited and now we do the same with our children. When it’s their turn to be the storytellers, wouldn’t it be nice if they had photos to show your grandchildren or great-grandchildren? Photo Books are the perfect way to keep memories alive for generations to come!

KIDS OFTEN MISS THE BITS AND PIECES

It’s no surprise that the brain works in mysterious and AMAZING ways! When it comes to remembering a time and place, as well as how we felt, there are so many things that can help without having a visual aid; a scent, the feel of someone’s touch, a song playing on the radio… But, how much of our memory is triggered by these things, especially something that we did during our childhood? Do we remember the little things? The smile on someone we love’s face, the way they used to look… As adults we start to understand and appreciate the value of time, soaking everything in for as long as we can. Children tend to rush through life letting it pass them by and not taking any of it in. Choose a Coffeetable Photo Book with a simple style that matches the memories you’re creating and you can store all the bits and pieces away in a keepsake that will last them a lifetime!

With the help of the London Drugs Photolab, I was able to make a Photo Book with a neutral theme for my boys that displayed the fun we had this summer. Not only could I pick the style but I also had the freedom to pick the layout of each individual sheet, which means I had total control of the amount of photos I used and the text I wanted to leave, in case they needed reminding of where our family was and what we were doing. It was so simple… and the best part is when they’re older they’re going to think I spent hours on it, when in reality it took less than 30 minutes.

MORE WAYS TO PRESERVE WHAT THEY LOVE AS CHILDREN

While we’re talking about the sentimental reasons you should create photo books for your kids, a Recipe Book with their favourites is also a good idea. Let them know in the recipe book how you made their favourite pasta dish or what you put in those muffins that made them taste so good, so they’re prepared to make them when they leave the nest. How else will they know that the secret ingredient for moms is always love?!

For more ways to preserve memories for your kids, check out all the items at the London Drugs Photolab. You can order your very own personalized photo books online, at their in-store kiosks, or even using their London Drugs Photolab App (now available for both iOS and Android!).

 



January 16th, 2018

CES 2018, Friday January 12th

Today was the day we tried to see as many last minute booths and items as we could. We walked another 25, 000 steps and still just scratched the surface.

Relief band was first. An item to put on your wrist like a wristwatch, and it stimulates a nerve in your wrist to prevent, and even negate any nausea you may have for any reason. It was originally used for chemotherapy patients, but it also works for anyone feeling nauseous. A great, drug free solution for everyone.

Las Vegas is a photographer’s dream. So many great spots to practice your art. The Eiffel Tower at Paris was my moment to be inspired today.

Want to learn to play the piano, but think it’s too late? Well, think again. “The One Piano” comes in three different models, and can really help you by prompting you for which keys to play and you follow along. I tried it…..it works! Mr. Stevie Wonder even stopped by Wednesday, and bought one for his daughter!

The ride sharing company “Lyft” was offering free autonomous car rides today at the show. Alan Perry got to take one, and said it was smooth, fast and precise with the driver never touching the wheel once on a predetermined route. Here we go……

So, you have a top line recreation vehicle, with all the best amenities and you are showing it off at CES. What could be better than that? Wait…I know……let’s put a helicopter on top of it! Everything is possible.



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