7 Best Tips for Prepping Your Backyard and Patio for the Summer

Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time to expand our living spaces outside. After all, the sun is shining, and the great outdoors are calling!

Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a chic downtown patio, there are several things you can do prep your backyard and patio for the summer.

Here are 7 tips to get you started!

1. Clean Surfaces


No matter what else you do to make your outdoor living space look nice, nothing will help if everything is dirty.

First, give all of the floor surfaces a good sweep. Once that’s done, it’s time to get in there and deep clean. 30-Seconds Outdoor Cleaner is great for cleaning large outdoor spaces, and it’s safe to use on lawns, plants, and fabrics. You can even attach the spray bottle right to a hose and douse all of the concrete, wood, siding, patio furniture, flower pots, and garden boxes if need be. Then just scrub with a brush and rinse.

Voilà! No more winter blahs.

2. Get Your Lawn Ready


Sprucing up the yard is more than just about mowing the grass – take your lawn to the next level with some extra TLC.

  • Aerate: Aeration helps the grass to breathe and also helps the water and nutrients reach the root system. You should aerate your lawn every 1 to 3 years, but high-traffic areas may require more attention. Here are some more aeration tips.
  • Rake: Debris that has accumulated over the winter can block sunlight and prevent water from reaching deep down to the roots of the grass.
  • Fertilize: Do a little research about what kind of grass you have, then fertilize accordingly.
  • Maintain: After checking your lawnmower for sharp blades, appropriate oil level, and properly inflated tires, mow the grass regularly, about once a week. Keep grass cut to a height of about 5 cm, except in the hottest part of the summer, when you should let it grow about 1 cm longer.
  • Water: Watering your lawn slowly allows water to get all the way down to the roots and avoids runoff, so choose a sprinkler that moves in smooth, sweeping motions. Don’t forget to check the water restrictions in your area, and water your yard at night or in the morning before the sun hits it so that the water doesn’t evaporate before it gets into the soil.

3. Prune Trees, Shrubs, and Potted Plants


Pruning dead and excess growth off trees, shrubs, or plants helps the plants grow, and gets rid of harmful insects and rot. Plus, it just looks nicer.

Make sure to also remove any branches hanging over driveways, sidewalks, or paths (these can be a major problem for anyone who has mobility limitations).

If you need a few tools to get started, you can grab heavy-duty pruning tools and protective gloves here. You got this!

4. Let Your Garden Grow


Choose a sunny corner of your yard or patio for a new flower bed, planter box, pot arrangement, or even a few containers for vegetables. Ask at the garden centre which varieties grow best in your region, then select your favourite variety of seasonals and perennials. It’s easier than you think!

Just remember to mind your watering — flowers don’t require as much moisture as vegetables.

If you’re short on space, check out this tutorial to make your own (adorable) shoe organizer herb garden! It works great even on a tiny outdoor balcony and you’ll have fresh, delicious herbs well into the fall.

5. Control Pests


Check your flowers, shrubs, and trees for any creepy crawlies. Remove any larger critters by hand or with a blast of the hose, and use natural pesticide for the rest. Not sure what works best? Here’s a handy guide to garden pests.

If you have some six-legged visitors in your yard that prefer to annoy people instead of plants, stock up on wasp, mosquito, or ant control products. While we share the outdoors with nature’s creatures, we don’t necessarily want any uninvited guests at our next backyard BBQ.

6. Ready, Set, Grill!


Speaking of BBQs, prepping yours is an essential part of preparing your yard for summer.

Luckily, modern grills are easy to clean. Turn your grill on for 10-15 minutes, then allow it to cool for a while before cleaning it with a heat-safe tool. (Wire brushes can be dangerous, so here are some alternative grill cleaning ideas.) And don’t forget to fill up your propane tank — nothing is worse than preparing delicious homemade burgers only to find out there’s not enough fuel to cook them.

We’ve got some great deals on grilling tools and BBQ essentials right here.

7. Sit Back and Relax

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of making your outdoor space beautiful, enjoy the fruits of your labour and relax. You’ve earned it!

Invest in some comfortable, sturdy, weather-resistant furniture to take full advantage of your backyard space.

If you’ve got the room, consider adding an entire dining set. If you have a smaller space, a bistro-sized table and chairs can make even the smallest patios fashionable and a joy to be on! You’ll be surprised how much time you and your family spend out there. Don’t forget to add a shady umbrella for the hot days, and some inviting mood lighting or a home fire-pit to really enjoy your outdoor experience well into the warm, summer evenings.


If your backyard or patio is in need of some upgrades, London Drugs has everything you need to improve and beautify your outdoor space.  Check out our Outdoor Living Event or just stop by and talk to one of our experts about your unique needs. We’d love to see you!


5 Minute Face for Busy Mornings

We’ve all been there: you accidentally hit ‘snooze’ too many times, the morning is extra hectic with the kids, or you’re in a rush to get to an early meeting or class. For busy mornings, having a basic and condensed makeup routine can save you precious time. This 5-minute makeup tutorial with Beauty Expert Samantha St. John will help you get out the door quicker, while also giving you the pick-me-up you need to look wide awake first thing in the morning! Watch the tutorial video here, and learn about each of the time-saving and fatigue-fighting products Samantha is using below!

Products featured in this tutorial:


Clinique Beyond Perfecting Makeup in Alabaster

No time to spot correct with concealer before applying your foundation? Reach for this all-in-one foundation and concealer! The “Magic Wand” applicator allows for easy application.

Or apply using: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and Travel Sponge Case


NYX Professional Makeup Sweet Cheeks Blush in Citrine Rose

A healthy flush of colour to your cheeks can go a long way to looking refreshed in the morning. This blush blends easily, so you can quickly brush on and go.

Apply using: Real Techniques Blush Brush


Wunder2 Wunderbrow in Brunette

This time-saving brow product truly is a wonder. The formula is transfer-proof, budge-proof, waterproof and lasts for up to 3 days. That means some mornings, you’ll be able to skip filling in your brows entirely!

Apply using: Wunder2 Dual Precision Brush


Annabelle Bouncy Single Eyeshadow in Pop the Champagne

These light and shimmery eyeshadows can easily be applied in seconds with just your fingers. Simply apply all over the lid to help make your eyes pop.


NYX Professional Makeup Faux Whites Eye Brightener in Baby Powder

Just apply this eyeliner to the corners of your eyes and the waterline for a quick and easy way to look wide awake in no time!


NYX Professional Makeup On the Rise Volume Liftscara

If a lash lift or extensions aren’t in your budget, no problem. Swipe this ‘Liftscara’ over your lashes in the morning for definition and lift that will make you instantly look alert.


NYX Professional Makeup #thisiseverything Lip Oil in Sheer Berry

Applying your lipstick while running out the door is no easy task. Instead, if you’re tight for time, try this sheer lip oil. It adds a glossy, sheer dose of colour to your lips, and can easily be applied without a mirror.


Want more helpful LDBeauty tips? Head over to our YouTube channel to see more!

Beauty Basics for Back to School

Early mornings, late night study sessions, and hours of homework. Adjusting to your new school routine can really do a number on your skin. As you settle into your busy class schedule, Lifestyle and Beauty Expert Kenzie Tayla is sharing a curated list of must-have beauty products that will help to make school life a little easier – from skincare to manage those pesky breakouts, to makeup that will protect your skin from damaging blue light emitted by your electronic devices! Watch the video to see them all, or simply keep reading below to learn more.

Almay Clear Complexion Blemish Armor

Waking up to a glaring new pimple is not how anyone wants to start their day. Luckily, there’s a spot treatment formulated with maximum level strength salicylic acid that will work to shrink that pimple throughout the day. The Almay Clear Complexion Blemish Armor acts like an invisible “patch” over blemishes, blurring and smoothing the look of them while also drying them out.




Bioderma Sebium Global Intense Purifying Care

To avoid future breakouts, consider incorporating Bioderma’s Sebium Global Intense Purifying Care into your skincare routine. The formula acts on both the causes and consequences of pimples and blackheads to eliminate them. It also helps to limit scarring, and can be used under your makeup.





Marcelle Hydractive Anti-Fatigue Eye Contour Gel

Late night study sessions can leave your eyes looking puffy and tired. To give your eyes a pick-me-up, try Marcelle’s Hydractive Anti-Fatigue Eye Contour Gel. The fresh and cooling gel will give your eyes a rested look, reducing the appearance of dark circles. It features an innovative Water Lock™ Complex that is made of 100% natural sugars, reinforcing the skin barrier to lock in moisture and reduce transepidermal water loss.




La Roche-Posay Serozinc Mist

Here’s a secret weapon if you have oily skin! Just spritz your face in the morning with the La Roche-Posay Serozinc Mist, an oil control toner, to help control sebum production and mattify the skin. Keep a 50mL bottle conveniently in your gym bag to remove shine and purify on-the-go after gym class. It’s like oil-blotting papers, but in a can (making it easier to applying over makeup)!




Annabelle Enlighten Loose Finishing Powder

Between checking your phone and doing your homework on the computer, a lot of time is spent staring at screens throughout the day. Unfortunately, the blue light from your digital devices can be damaging to your skin. To help protect your skin from that damaging blue light, look for skincare and makeup products that are blue light-blocking. Annabelle’s Enlighten Loose Finishing Powder not only mattifies the skin and helps to absorb excess sebum, but it also works overtime to protect against blue light from your digital devices!


Want more helpful LDBeauty tips? Head over to our YouTube channel to see more!

The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Need For University Life

University life can be hectic, especially if it’s your first time away from home. Sure, the cafeteria and take-out are quick and convenient, but you can’t survive on mystery meat and instant noodles. Cooking for yourself is healthier, more affordable, and will help keep that overworked brain as sharp as a knife. It also can be a nice change of pace during a busy day. We’ve got some great ideas for kitchen gadgets that will save you space, time and help you avoid cramming too much junk food while cramming for exams.

Mini-Fridge with Style

If you’re living in a residence without a kitchen, a mini-fridge is essential for keeping healthy meals and snacks on-hand. Some campuses allow you to rent one for the year, but if you don’t have that option, why not get a mini-fridge with style? This RCA Retro 3.2cuft fridge has personality and practicality.

Space-Saving Water Pitcher

Hydration is key to staying healthy, so pop a Brita Space Saver Pitcher in that mini-fridge to have great tasting cold water on-hand for whenever you need it. Here’s a What’s the Green Deal? bonus fact: one Brita filter can replace 300 standard plastic water bottles!

Compact Coffee Maker

Now that you’ve got hydration covered, we know you’ll be needing some caffeine for those late-night study sessions and early mornings. Instead of spending all your money at the local café, you can make delicious coffee in your room, and take it on-the-go (bonus points for using a reusable coffee mug!). The Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffee Maker takes up very little counter space and is easy to store. Perfect for your tiny kitchen – or improvised kitchen.

Multitasking Multi Pot

Unfortunately, not all residences allow in-room coffee makers, so you might need to be a little more creative. Some might say a kettle, but an even more versatile option to consider is the Salton Multi Pot -1L. It can boil water, and cook your favourite dishes like pasta, soups, rice and more. Use it to boil water, then you can use the Bodum Brazil French Press to make your coffee. Or if you’re late for class, the Bodum Travel Coffee Press serves as both a French press and travel mug, for that dash to class.


Induction Cooktop

You won’t always have time to cook, but when you do, you can make the most of it with the right appliances. If your place doesn’t have a stove but does have a counter, the Salton Double Induction Cooktop will transform your bite-size kitchen into the hippest little eatery on the block. (Again, be sure to get permission as not all residences allow cooktops in rooms).

8-in-1 Multicooker

Can’t have a cooktop? A multi-cooker pot can give you a ton of options for cooking in your little home. With the Crock Pot Express 8-in-1 multicooker, you can whip up soups, stews, chilli, rice, steamed vegetables, mac & cheese, pulled pork, oatmeal, fruit cobbler, butter chicken, enchiladas – even cheesecake! With one of these on your counter, you’ll be the Gordon Ramsay of your floor.

Handy Blender & Dicer

Another multi-tasking must-have for a small space is the Magic Bullet. This little wonder gadget can chop, mix, blend, whip, grind, and more- all in just 10 seconds or less. You’ll be able to put together the fastest, tastiest meals ever, as well as super quick and healthy smoothies for quick breakfasts and impromptu study sessions with friends. Another specialized dicer is the Farberware Pro Rice’n’Slice. This handy tool spares you from having cauliflower pieces all over your dorm while dicing cauliflower rice. Its convenient function allows for quick and easy dicing of veggies, and it doesn’t need electricity in case there is no plug within reach.

Healthy Popcorn Popper

Speaking of studying, you’re going to need snacks. And lots of them. Instead of reaching for the aforementioned chips, make sure to stock your room with healthy snacks that you won’t regret eating while you’re nose is in a textbook. Popcorn is a fun study food, but packaged microwave popcorn can be full of fat and oil, so keep it light with the FlavorQuik Microwave Popcorn Popper. Its unique shape uses steam heat instead of oil or butter to give you a healthier snack in just minutes, and it’s collapsible, so it’s easy to store.

Mistake-Proof Cooking Thermometer

Never cooked before? Fret not! The Accutemp Instant read thermometer will ensure your food is always cooked just right. Its digital interface and fold-up design make it simple and compact, taking the guesswork out of cooking.

As you prepare to tackle another year of hard work, great friends and fun adventures, hopefully these kitchen gadgets will make busy campus life a breeze.

Canadian Scholarships: How Students and Parents Can Access Thousands

Here are grants, funds, bursaries, and scholarships to apply for before heading back to school. Plus, a chance to win one of two $5,000 education funds from London Drugs!

Hey parents and students! We know heading back to school can be an expensive time of year. From school supplies and groceries, from tech to tuition, education isn’t cheap. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, rest assured you’re not alone.

Luckily, thousands of dollars are up for grabs through education grants, bursaries, awards, funds and scholarships. We’ve rounded up a bunch of them here to put on your radar before heading back to school. Just keep an eye on the deadlines!

Canada Learning Bond

As part of the Canada Learning Bond, the Government of Canada deposits up to $2,000 into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to help you save for your child’s education after high school. The Government offers a one-time initial $500 contribution when an RESP is opened, and a child may also quality for an additional $100 per year until they turn 15 years old, up to $2,000. Through this learning bond, the Government will add money to the RESP for the eligible child every year, even if you don’t add any money. The money added to the child’s RESP will grow tax free until it is used for education expenses like: apprenticeship programs, CEGEPs, colleges, trade schools, or universities.

Find full details including eligibility requirements here.

Canada Education Savings Grant

Through the Canada Education Savings Grant, the Government adds money to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to help save for a child’s post-secondary education. Payment of the CESG is dependent on contributions made into the RESP. Each year, the CESG provides 20 cents on every dollar contributed, up to a maximum of $500, on an annual RESP contribution of $2,500. Money in an RESP can be used to pay pay for full-time or part-time studies at: apprenticeship programs, CEGEPs, trade schools, colleges, or universities.

Find full details including eligibility requirements here.

London Drugs Education Fund

London Drugs is offering a chance to win one of two $5,000 CND Education Funds*. Purchase any qualifying 3M or Sistema product in our London Drugs’ Back to School flyer, online or in-store between August 16 to September 11, 2019. Submit your proof of purchase on our contest page to be entered for your chance to win.

For full terms and conditions, click here.

BC Training and Education Savings Grant

Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan (CST) is encouraging BC families to start planning and saving early for their child’s post-secondary education or training programs, with the BC Training and Education Savings Grant. As part of the grant, the BC government will deposit a one-time $1,200 grant into the RESPs of eligible children when they turn six years old. There is no requirement for parents to match contributions or make additional contributions. Children must be born on or after January 1, 2006 to be eligible for this grant.

Find details including eligibility requirements here.

Student Aid BC Grants

Student Aid BC offers a wide variety of different grants and scholarships to students. There are BC access grants for deaf students and those with permanent disabilities, as well as completion grants for graduates and more. They are also a great resource for other bursaries and scholarships, such as the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society Programs and Young Futures Education Fund.

To see their full list of resources and grants, click here.

Alberta Student Aid

The Government of Alberta offers various scholarships and awards to recognize student accomplishments, contributions and achievements. Plus, there are over 900 scholarships, financial awards and tuition grants available for registered Alberta apprentices, occupational trainees and students of pre-employment programs.

For more information on eligibility and application deadlines, click here.

Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students

The Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students is meant to help support students who are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at a designated post-secondary institution, whose family qualifies as low or middle-income. To be eligible the student must apply and qualify for student financial assistance. Students can receive up to $3,000 per eight-month school year (up to $375 per month of study), for each year of undergraduate studies as long as they continue to qualify.

Find details including eligibility requirements here.

Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students

Available to low-income students enrolled in a part-time program at a designated post-secondary institution, the Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students may provide students with up to $1,800 each school year. As long as they still qualify, they can receive this grant for each year of studies, including undergraduate and graduate levels. To be eligible, students must apply and qualify for part-time student financial assistance.

Find details including eligibility requirements here.

Suncare and Bronzing Tips for Summer

Summer is here, and the sun is out! That means it’s time to up your sun protection game. After all, the sun’s UV rays can be harmful to your skin. If you’re still craving that golden glow though, we’ve got you covered. Beauty Expert Bree from The Urban Umbrella has curated a list of suncare and bronzing must-haves from London Drugs that will give you a sunkissed look without the sun damage.

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

We know tanning in the sun isn’t good for us. Luckily, St. Tropez has mastered the perfect sunless tan to give you that golden glow you’ve been longing for! In fact, St. Tropez is Bree’s go-to self-tanner. Their Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse has the most delightfully tropical scent, and goes on clear, so there’s no need to rinse off. Plus, the formula is vegan-friendly! Try Bree’s application tip: exfoliate your skin 24 hours before applying the mousse for best results.

Biotherm Aqua Gelée Autobronzante Face Self-Tanning Serum

To give your face a truly glam glow, Biotherm’s Face Self-Tanning Serum is a must-try! Not only does it give you a natural-looking tan, but the mother-of-pearl in the serum also illuminates the skin beautifully.

Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 40

Protecting your face from harmful UVA and UVB rays starts with a good facial cream in your daily routine. Clinique’s Super City Block Face Protector has a high level of sun protection (SPF 40), and yet is sheer and weightless on the skin. If you have oily or break-out prone skin, no problem. The formula is also oil-free and fragrance-free. It makes a great under-makeup primer, or simply wear on its own.

Andalou Naturals Vitamin C BB Beauty Balm Sheer Tint SPF 30

If you’re not already wearing one year-round, consider swapping out your usual BB cream or foundation for one with an SPF – like the Andalou Naturals Vitamin C Beauty Balm. This formula has a sheer tint to help camouflage imperfections, while also packing an SPF of 30 to help protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

Emani Perfecting Bronzer

To look like a bronzed babe without the sun damage, a good bronzer is key. The natural mineral Perfecting Bronzer in Copacabana from Emani has the perfect combo of both matte and shimmer in one compact. It’s also a 100% vegan formula!

Burt’s Bees All Aglow Bronzer Stick

Finish off that sun-kissed glow with another great natural product. Burt’s Bees All Aglow Bronzer Stick is 100% natural, and has a hydrating core made of coconut oil. Just dab on the tops of your cheekbones and blend for a bronzed shimmer that enhances your skin’s natural sheen.

Shiseido UV Lip Color Splash Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Don’t forget to protect your pout! The Shiseido UV Lip Color Splash is a lip balm packed with broad spectrum SPF 30 to help shield your lips from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Unlike some high-SPF lip products, it’s formulated with Clear Defense Technology, so it won’t turn white on your lips. It comes in a variety of subtle shades: Miami Pink, Nairobi Orange, Tahiti Blue and Uluru Red. Once you get out in the sun, you’ll really see the colour pop – under light, the glow becomes brighter and creates fresher looking lips!


Looking for more helpful beauty tips from our LDBeauty experts? Head over to our YouTube channel for tons of tutorials.

Sun Safety Tips to Know Before You Head Outside this Summer

Now that summer is officially here, you may be tempted to hit the pool, beach or a patio to soak up some of that summer sun. Before you do though, it’s important to make sure you’re protected from the sun’s harmful rays. In the video below, Patient Care Pharmacist Mike Athanassakis shares some helpful tips for sun safety and care, including why tanning really isn’t good for you, and how much sunscreen you should be applying.

Sun Safety Tips to Follow

Everyone needs to be proactive about protecting themselves from sun damage, by wearing sun-shielding clothing and sunglasses in addition to being cautious about the length of time spent in the sun, with frequent reapplications of sunscreen.

If your sunscreen is a cream, lotion, or gel, use at least 2 tablespoons of product. Regardless of what type you use, even a stick or a spray, make sure you apply sunscreen evenly to all areas of exposed skin. And apply a lip balm with sunscreen on your lips, too. Sunscreen naturally rubs off through perspiration and activity, so reapply at least every 3 to 4 hours, and after 40 minutes if you’ve been in the water.

In addition, try to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm. The UV index in Canada can be 3 or higher during those times – the higher the index, the higher the risk of sun damage.

While applying sunscreen and staying out of the sun during peak times is a good start, there are several factors that still may be keeping you from adequately protecting yourself from severe sunburns or rashes, including sun-sensitizing medications, and inferior sunscreen products.

Misleading High SPF Values

SPF 50 Sunscreen

It’s not enough to simply be applying sunscreen. You should consider the efficacy of the sunscreen products you choose.

Two-thirds of sunscreen products offer inferior protection or contain worrisome ingredients, according to researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Their research found that claims of high SPF values are on the rise and can mislead people into thinking they are entirely protected from sunburns and long-term skin damage.

Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. However, don’t let a very high SPF value fool you – the SPF value on product labels only indicates the level of UVB protection, so it’s critical that you also look for the label ‘broad spectrum’. That will ensure you are protected from both harmful UVA and UVB rays. And look for the label ‘water resistant’.

Sunscreens with broad spectrum protection help prevent sunburns which can result from ultraviolet B rays, as well as shield the skin from possible melanoma and skin ageing which can result from ultraviolet A rays.

Sun-Sensitizing Medications

There are other factors to consider as well, like prescription medications, which can put you at high risk of sunburns or rashes while you’re out enjoying the sun.

Commonly-used prescription medications – including antibiotics such as tetracycline and ciprofloxacin, sulfa-containing drugs in some diabetes and heart medications, and acne treatments such as Accutane and Retin-A –can make the skin more vulnerable to sunlight, increasing the risk of sunburn, and in some cases, make the skin photosensitive. This photosensitivity can cause photoallergic or phototoxic reactions to the sun’s UV rays, in the form of painful and itchy rashes, or even blisters and sunburns.

Check with your pharmacist to find out if any of your medications could make your skin more prone to damage with increased exposure to the sun. If your pharmacist determines your medications are sun-sensitizing, they can provide advice to reduce your likelihood of a reaction.

Discover London Drugs’ wide range of suncare products online, or visit your local London Drugs to talk to a pharmacist about how to best protect yourself from the sun this summer.

Next Page »