#BestDayEver : A Home Cooked Meal at Canuck Place

Canuck Place #BestDayEver

At three months old, Kaitlin Sidhu was diagnosed with semilobal holoprosencephaly, a rare brain malformation that can result in muscle spasms, seizures, and deformities. On the heels of this devastating news was a cancer diagnosis, which meant baby Kaitlin spent most of the first three years of her life in hospital.

A devastating experience for any family. Parents, Amanda and Robert thought they’d exhausted their medical avenues. But then, they were introduced Dr. Hal Siden and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. “He came into the room, looked Kaitlin over and listened to everything she’d been through. He had some ideas of what we could do to reduce her pain and symptoms and we felt so relived there were options out there,” said mom, Amanda.

But, becoming part of Canuck Place was scary, “because it’s a hospice,” said Amanda. “Most people think ‘end of life.’” But that wasn’t Kaitlin’s case. Canuck Place could offer Kaitlin help with pain and symptom management and could provide her parents with much-needed respite.

“The best memory and feeling I have from my first experience with Canuck Place is that very first day we walked through the doors. It was an instant sense of relief. We were surrounded by a huge team who were there to look after our little girl, and our family.”

Like any home, the kitchen is central to Canuck Place. After months of eating hospital cafeteria food and pre-made Safeway meals the Sidhus were ready for some Canuck Place TLC. “I remember that first night we stayed at Canuck Place. It was amazing the spread that the kitchen and the chefs made for us.”

Kaitlin and her family’s first stay at Canuck Place was for six weeks. They never once worried about how to get breakfast, lunch or dinner. All those details were taken care of so that the family could focus on helping Kaitlin.

“I remember having a really bad day. A staff member knocked on my door with a full plate of my favourite cookies and it just made my day. It was amazing!”

Without Canuck Place in their lives, Amanda says her family may have fallen apart. Kaitlin had spent so much time in a hospital and Canuck Place was where the family could reunite and share time and space together. “Canuck Place saved our family, for sure.”

Something as small as a home-cooked meal can nourish the spirit. When was the last time you let someone do something special for you?

London Drugs is proud to be supporting Canuck Place by providing meals for the residents and families at the hospice. You can support Canuck Place families by visiting your local London Drugs* store and providing a donation during the month of July. 

*BC Locations only.

7 All-time Best Holiday Movies Families Love

For parents, the list of holiday preparations is brutally long—from shopping and baking to tree-trimming and hall-decking. Phew! By the time we’re done, many of us are longing to don the PJs and curl up with the kids in the TV’s warm glow—to laugh, or even shed a sentimental tear. Here are seven of the best holiday movies, old and new, that never fail to bring the jolly. Sit back and pass the popcorn!

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Elf (2003)

elf-2003-poster-artwork-will-ferrell-amy-sedaris-zooey-deschanel-small

A modern classic, Elf is pure goofy fun. It features six-foot-three comic weapon Will Ferrell donning yellow tights and a pointy chapeau to play Buddy the elf. Buddy, as a wee babe, escapes from his orphanage crib, crawling into Santa’s sack—only to find himself at the North Pole, where he grows up believing himself (despite his size) to be an elf.

Farrell’s brilliant physical comedy is squared off against straight man James Caan, who plays his long-lost dad. Elf is warm-hearted, laugh-out-loud funny for kids and adults alike. By film’s end, we bet you’ll catch yourself humming along to a carol or two.

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

What list could be complete without the Grinch? We will forever recommend the original version, and not only for the song by Thurl Ravenscroft. The animated version—based on the 1956 book by Dr. Seuss and narrated by the legendary Boris Karloff—takes just 26 minutes to tell the story of a very grumpy green man who learns to love instead of hate. The 2000 remake, starring Jim Carrey in the title role, is good, but not quite as kid-friendly as the original.

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A Christmas Carol (1951)

A Christmas CarolSome will disagree, but for us, only the Alistair Sim version of this classic will do. Sim plays miserly businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, whose heart—like the Grinch’s—is several sizes too small.

Proof: He overworks and underpays his clerk, Bob Cratchett, paying no mind to the spiralling health of Cratchett’s son, Tiny Tim. The film’s moral lesson arrives with some supernatural help. Scrooge is visited, on Christmas Eve, by a series of ghosts who scare him silly and give him one last chance to change his life—and he takes it. God bless us, every one.

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The Original Christmas Classics

HolidayMovies_OriginalChristmasClassics_P_newThis is a fantastic collection for grounding kids in traditional Christmas lore while allowing grownups a nostalgic backward glance. It includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman, and Frosty Returns. The story of Frosty, of course, is the one that brings a friendly snowman to life with that old silk hat. It’s a delight, too, to hear Jimmy Durante’s distinctive 1969 narration.

Rudolph, with Burl Ives as the narrator/snowman, is a holiday staple, showing that with a bit of luck and the help of friends—like Hermey the aspiring dentist, rip-roaring Yukon Cornelius, and of course, Bumble—outsiders can find their way.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town is a kind of Christmas 101 for kids, explaining where Santa got his name, why he lives at the North Pole, and the finer points of gift-giving and reindeer flight—all while reminding us that Santa will never give up on us, no matter what. We need these reminders occasionally.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The_nightmare_before_christmas_posterThis Tim Burton-directed film may not (yet) make the list of Christmas classics, but it’s a worthy picture with charm to spare. Burton’s peculiar style is likely to delight kids who appreciate the unusual—those, say, who prefer Halloween spookiness to Christmas sweetness.

Join Pumpkin King Jack Skellington as he tries to ‘share the joy of Christmas’—infused with perhaps a dollop too much oddity. The Nightmare Before Christmas may look scary, but it’s not. It’s suspenseful, imaginative, visually sumptuous, and warm-hearted.

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A Christmas Story (1983)

HolidayMovies_AChristmasStory_P_newWhile too sophisticated for toddlers, A Christmas Story will appeal to younger and older kids—with plenty of amusing moments for Mom and Dad. It’s Christmas in the 1940s, and nine-year-old Ralphie is pining for an official Daisy Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action BB Gun for Christmas. (That’s right, the one with the compass in the stock.)

But Ralphie’s mother dashes his dreams: the rifle is a no-go. “You’ll shoot your eye out” becomes a family refrain, leaving Ralphie despondent and struggling to make sense of Christmas, his more than slightly askew family, and life in general.

Ralphie, played by Peter Billingsley (who appears briefly in Elf), carries the film with cheer, persistence and vivid imagination, giving us a window onto what Roger Ebert called the “small but perfect moments” of a child’s life.

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

its a wonderful lifeThis classic is forever listed as a holiday favourite, owing chiefly to the likable and heartfelt performance of Jimmy Stewart. He plays George Bailey, an ambitious young man who defers his dream of leaving Bedford Falls in favour of doing the right thing—again and again.

When Bailey doubts himself, he receives encouragement from an angel in training, a good turn he later reciprocates. It’s a Wonderful Life is sweet, never saccharine, and argues strongly that, ultimately, kindness and goodness matter most.

 


Did we miss any? What’s your favourite Christmas movie? Tell us in the comments!

You Need These 5 Kitchen Appliances for Hassle-Free Family Dinners

Excess kitchen equipment can take up valuable cupboard or counter space, but there are a number of amazing kitchen tools that are worth the extra real estate. We’re highlighting five kitchen appliances here that will make family dinners easier, as well as fantastic recipes for you to use with them. Bon appetit!

Family Dinners - London Drugs Blog

Wok

The wok isn’t your typical frying pan. It’s a particular type of round-bottom cookware that can be used to stew, braise, poach, boil, steam, pan fry, deep fry, and stir fry. It’s almost a pot and a pan in one dish, but the distinct shape makes it easy to toss food around with a spatula and it heats better than a flat pan. It’s simply the best tool for stir-fries, which make super quick weekday meals.

Bok Choy Stir Fry - London Drugs Blog

Recipes to try:

Indoor Grill

Indoor grills bring the flavour of the summer inside, all year long. Instead of struggling with coals or barbecuing in the rain in the fall, turn on your indoor grill. It has a more even cooking temperature than an outdoor grill and is dead simple to use. Everything tastes better grilled.

Thai Chicken Skewers - London Drugs

Recipes to try:

Rice Cooker

The rice cooker sounds like it’s only good for one thing–cooking rice–but it’s far more versatile than it seems. You can also use it to make curry, oatmeal, soup, polenta, and tons more. Surprising, but delicious! We’ve listed recipes here that go beyond the classic use, although rice cookers do make cooking a side of grains pretty darn simple as well.

Yellow Split Pea Dal - London Drugs

Recipes to try:

Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are for the perfect tool for someone who wants a meal ready to go by the time they get home. Prep in the morning, set it, and forget it. You’ll come home after a long day with your house smelling amazing and dinner waiting.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon - London Drugs

Recipes to try:

Multi-Cooker

If your kitchen space is truly at a minimum, don’t fret. The Instant Pot is an amazing kitchen appliance that basically combines many features from the previous tools into one: it’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and more. It even makes yogurt! And it uses much less energy than many stoves. Easy, simple, and environmentally friendly.

Pressure Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas - London Drugs Blog

Recipes to try:

For more Instant Pot recipes, check out our 6 Sensational Recipes for the Instant Pot post!

Do you love your Instant Pot or your rice cooker? Find all of these kitchen appliances at your local London Drugs in-store or online.

Disorganized Mornings? We Take Care of That.

Do you have trouble getting your kids to do their morning tasks, and getting them out the door before school? Here’s one clever (and tasty) trick that makes it fun for kids to complete their morning tasks. This little life hack will have you out the door on time with smiling kids. The answer to disorganized mornings is here!

Disorganized mornings? We take care of that.

  1. Grab a few popsicle sticks (treat your kids to one a day before!)
  2. Use classic markers to colour the top of each popsicle stick
  3. Use a sharpie to write different morning tasks on each one
  4. Make bed…Wash face…Brush teeth…anything to encourage them to get ready!
  5. Grab two mason jars–mark one for the to do’s and one for done
  6. Get out the door and off to school!

Need other great tips and tricks to make life easier? Check out more of our helpful LD Solutions Videos on YouTube or individually here on the London Drugs Blog: