Ania B’s Road to the Junos with London Drugs

Last weekend we were invited to join a group of bloggers to attend the Canadian music awards. We got our first taste for the Junos when they were held in Calgary back in 2016. It was a really great year for Canadian music with performances from the Weekend and Dear Rouge to name a few highlights and it made us hungry for more. To top it off, when the invite comes from one of the event sponsors who also happens to be one of your favourite Canadian brands, you don’t think twice about accepting!

Starting the JUNOs Journey with London Drugs

London Drugs has been part of our journey for many many years now, before the blog even existed, as a destination for all our photo and tech needs. Fun fact: they are one of the few places in all of Canada that still develop film. As a big supporter of Canadian artists, London Drugs has always been one of our top destinations—together and individually for cameras, electronics, and music. I thought it only fitting that the gear we brought with us to the Junos weekend were some of our top essentials we can’t live without while travelling and for experiencing music.

“As a big supporter of Canadian artists, London Drugs has always been one of our top destinations, together, and individually, for cameras, electronics and music.”

 

In-Flight Tech Essentials

The weekend begun with a flight over to Vancouver and since we were already out west it was a quick one hour trip. Of course, no amount of travel is ever complete without a set of headphones—since we’re both on the latest iPhone X, those are always wireless. Over-ear wireless headphones are probably my favourite thing EVER right now. It’s like everything you love about that look without everything you used to dislike about it, i.e. the long cord that always got in your way.

Day One in Vancouver

From the airport we were whisked away to the brand new J.W. Marriott Parq Hotel, conveniently located next door to the arena where the Junos broadcast was going to happen just two days later. Until then we took in local restaurants (hotels own Honey Salt and La Pentola), a standup comedy night at Juno Fest, the Ready Player One activation downtown Vancouver (who went to see it this weekend?!) and even had some time to locate the Tacofino truck parked nearby!

A Platform for Canadian Artists

The Canadian arts are unfortunately cursed by being in such close proximity to the United States and often artists don’t get the credit they deserve because all our attention gets easily redirected to the south of the border. The Junos provide a platform for all Canadian music to find it’s voice and it was a great opportunity to learn more about it, discover the newest and most exciting talent, and reconnect with the ones that we’ve always loved.

“The Junos provide a platform for all Canadian music to find it’s voice and it was a great opportunity to learn more about it, discover the newest and most exciting talent, and reconnect with the ones that we’ve always loved.”

Michael Buble was the host of the evening and the Barenaked Ladies celebrated their induction to the Canadian Hall of Fame by performing their most loved ‘If I had a $1,000,000’ and ‘One Week‘ taking us all the way back to the best of the 90s! We had a chance to walk two red carpets over the course of our visit and experience the live broadcast of the awards themselves, along with being treated like total VIPs with dinners, parties and even a morning yoga session with Lululemon & DJ Felix Cartal (when in Rome)!

Appreciating Canadian Talent

As consumers of popular culture, it should be our responsibility to support local artists. Before he was a mega superstar Justin Bieber was also just a kid whose parents recorded YouTube videos in his home in Ontario. Without the support of their communities, artists are just people with creative hobbies. There is an unfortunate catch-22 associated with having to prove yourself outside of your home before getting the recognition you need to make a name for yourself.

As digital creators, we face this all the time—the understanding of how much work, sweat, and tears goes into making your dreams into reality puts things into perspective. We must appreciate the talents we have right here at home and nurture them so they continue providing us with inspiration and bring pride to the country as a whole, and it totally gives us bragging rights when talking about Canada on a global scale!

Lights! Camera! Junos!

Lights! Camera! Access! That was all I could think of when walking down the red carpet at this year’s Junos. Entertainment and news shows lined the walls of the tent as performers and producers answered questions and flaunted their designer looks. It’s always the biggest treat when you get to get an inside look at how our favourite shows are made.

TV is such a fascinating medium and the more I uncover it the more tangible it becomes. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll find ourselves on an all different side of the camera. Tyler was, of course, on camera duty for the whole thing, snapping photos as we made our way through the crowd, even spotting our fave ladies from the London Drugs team reporting live on all the action (you can see the full report on the London Drugs Twitter & Instagram pages).

Thank you to the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) for hosting such an unforgettable weekend and London Drugs for always being our go-to for all things tech and music! xoxo

Our Junos gear: Defunc over ear bluetooth headphones, Marshall bluetooth portable speaker, Logiix battery pack + cable, Canon DSL 5D mark iv camera, iphone X, Sony a7rii camera, all available at LONDON DRUGS

For more of Ania B’s favourite Vancouver hotspots, visit her Vanouver City Guide and the travel category in the main menu.

Blog courtesy of Ania B

Spring Cleaning Tips for Organizing and Storing Your Photos

March brings the sun, the greenery, and of course the allergies! It reminds us to dust off some of that hibernation clutter that has collected over the last few months. Tis’ the season for spring cleaning!

It starts with the dreaded junk drawer and ends with moving around the furniture, but somewhere in between, you’ll find that ever-growing collection of family portraits and candids in boxes or old photo albums, and like the bedroom Feng Shui, they could probably use a little TLC.

Spring cleaning, organizing and maintaining your treasured snapshots is as easy as pie—with only a few steps to a lifetime of crisp (and easy to find) images.

Back-up and Digitize

The easiest way of ensuring your photos really last, is by simply scanning and backing them up to a disk, hard-drive or USB. The Seagate 1.5TB Expansion Portable Hard Drive is a great option; it has drag and drop file saving right out of the box, and lots of room to store your photos. Running the risk of your memories cracking or becoming discoloured becomes virtually impossible- and clutter free!

Make this process even more efficient with our Photo Scanning Box – preserving childhood memories or historic family images has never been easier. Fill the FREE photo box (found in-store or online) with up to 800 photos or documents, return the box to a London Drugs Photolab, prepay and our LDExperts will do the rest. They’ll digitize your keepsakes at high resolution, then return the hard copies to you, along with a USB drive full of all those photos you hold dear.

Once you have those digital copies, you’ll want to make sure they’re backed up safely. To avoid losing all your precious photos due to a fire or flood, power surge or hard drive failure, it’s best to use the 3-2-1 back up rule.

This means that you should have:

  • 3 copies of your digital photos
  • Stored on 2 different media or devices
  • With 1 copy located off-site.

For example, you could store your photos on two hard drives and on the cloud (a service like iCloud), and take one of those hard drives and store it at your parents’ home. That way, even in the worst case scenario that one or even two of your storage methods fail, you’ll still have a failsafe copy.

Organize and Store Safely

Of course, after making digital copies, you’ll need somewhere to store the originals – it’s important to take necessary precautions in order to avoid misplacement or damage, and it helps to keep them organized.

Suggested items before beginning any photo organizing project include:

  • Cotton gloves: Oily residue naturally found on your fingertips can lead to deteriorating your photos. Avoid this by handling documents with a pair of gloves.
  • Soft lead pencil: Including the date, year, or name on the back of a photo is a must when organizing your photos, because you’re not always going to remember if you took that photo in ’86 or ’87, or who that person third from the left is. Make sure you’re using a pencil that isn’t permanent so it doesn’t harm or indent the photo—never use a pen!
  • Photo-safe storage box: A good quality storage box with labelled index cards can make a world of difference, in the event that you’re looking for a specific photo. It sure beats rifling through old shoeboxes and drawers!

Obey the Two-Second Rule

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is all while going through old photos is to obey the two-second rule.

It’s okay to take a walk down memory lane—but it’s important to prioritize your time. Spring cleaning doesn’t need to take the entire season. When cleaning and organizing your old photographs, remember not to linger longer than two seconds before determining its place. You’ll have plenty to enjoy them after they’re organized!

Want to discover more of what your Nikon DSLR can do?

London Drugs and Nikon are teaming up to share DSLR tips and tricks via Facebook Live. Tune in to learn about using physical controls, reading the light, sharing to social media and more.

Join the conversation by subscribing to live notifications and tuning in on Wednesday, March 21 at 12pm PST.

Plus, enter for a chance to win a $100 London Drugs gift card! Every question entered before the event, and during the Facebook Live event will be entered into the draw for a $100 Gift Card. No purchase necessary.

Nikon DSLR – $100 LD Gift Card Contest

Terms & Conditions

To enter: Log on to Facebook.com and either sign in if you are already a registered user or create an account. Then comment during the Facebook Live on the London Drugs Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LondonDrugs in the form of posting a question or comment on the live event. You will be automatically entered into the Contest. Only one entry per Facebook account is permitted during the Contest Period.

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 March 21 2017; (ii) have reached the age of majority in the province in which they reside as of March 21, 2018; (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.

No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry per person. Entries must be received no later than 12:30 PM Pacific Time on March 21, 2018. London Drugs is not responsible for entries that become lost or misdirected.

One (1) winner will be randomly chosen on the day the contest ends (see dates below) in Vancouver, British Columbia, from all eligible entries received. To win, selected entrants must correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question and must sign London Drugs’ 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 one (1) prize of one $100 London Drugs gift card. See details and contest date below. Prize must be accepted as awarded, is non-transferable and no substitutions are permitted. Prize will be awarded at the closest London Drugs location to contest winners.

Contest date – 9AM, March 7, 2018 until 12:30PM. March 21, 2018

Draw date – Thursday, March 22, 2018

Only one prize may be won by any one person and household. In the event that any selected entrant incorrectly answers the skill-testing question or is otherwise unwilling or unable to comply in full with these rules, a new entry will be drawn.

Selected winner will be contacted through Facebook messenger. No correspondence will be entered into except with selected entrants. If the winners do not respond then they will be notified for the second time, 3 (three) days after the first notification. If the winners still do 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 and 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, an independent judging organization, 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 www.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.

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!

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.

 

 

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

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!).

 

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