6 Ways to Savour Your Summer Memories

As the days begin to shorten, we become more aware of the fact that summer is starting to wind down. But while summer will inevitably come to an end, you can still relive your summer memories all year round…with the help of your photos! If you’ve been taking snapshots of your best summer moments with your smartphone or camera, it’s a good idea to have a plan for those photos so they don’t end up simply collecting metaphorical dust on a hard drive or your phone. Instead, you can reinforce your summer memories by making those moments into something tangible – like a photo book, a puzzle, or even a blanket!

Here are 6 ways our Photolab can help you savour your summer memories:

1. Staycation Photo Book

This summer has been far different than most. People are spending time closer to home, exploring their own backyard and going hiking, doing local road trips, hitting the beach or just enjoying time at home. It’s been the summer of the staycation. A great way to preserve all of those staycation memories in one place is to create your own photo book.

Printed on high quality photo paper using exceptional inks, our Photolab Technicians review every image and correct as necessary so you know your photo book will be just right. If you have tons of photos to choose from, not to worry! You can add extra pages to any of our photo books to accommodate. While customizing your photo book, you’ll also be able to choose from some great summer-themed templates. Personalize even further with text to help tell the story of your summer adventures.

For ideas on how to capture your summer staycation memories, check out this blog here.

2. Instagram Books

Are all of your best summer photos on Instagram? You can easily share those #Summer2020 memories, straight from Instagram! When you order an Instagram Book through our Photolab, you’ll be able to upload photos directly from your Instagram account. The books are available in 4×4 and 6×6 to best display your square Insta pics. All of our Instagram Books are ready within just 24-72 hours.

3. Puzzles & Playing Cards

With more time being spent a home this year, we’re all looking for new activities to keep us entertained while indoors. You can personalize puzzles and playing cards with your favourite summer photos so can play games with family and roommates while also reliving your summer memories. If you’re looking for a challenge, some of our puzzles have 1000 pieces! They also make a nice gift to include in a care package that you can send to family and friends.

4. Blankets

Wrap yourself in your summer memories by personalizing a photo blanket! Cozy up this fall in a fleece or sherpa blanket with a favourite photo from your summer staycation printed on it – why not send one to the grandparents too? Or add a snapshot to one of our beach blankets and use it to soak in the last days of summer. If you can’t decide on just one photo, you can also choose our blanket collages, which allow you to personalize your blanket with multiple photos!

5. Photo Mugs & Bottles

Reminisce about your summer with every sip! You can personalize your own photo mug or water bottle with a little help from our Photolab. We even have stainless steel tumblers, beer steins, and latte and espresso mugs that you can add your own photo to. Why not customize a mug or bottle for each member in your household, so you’ll never argue over whose is whose again?

If you want one in a flash, our 11oz designer mugs are ready for pick-up in up to 24 hours!

6. Summer Holiday Postcards

You’ve made some great memories this summer, and our personalized postcards make it easy to share them with loved ones! Just pick a size and quantity (you can order individually or in 25-packs), upload a photo, and choose from a wide variety of fun templates. Type your message on the back or add a handwritten note once your postcards are printed; update your friends and family on how you’ve been spending your summer and let them know you’ve been thinking of them. It’s a nice way to keep in touch while also creating a great keepsake.

 

Find even more creative ways to savour your summer memories by checking out our Photolab online, or by downloading the London Drugs Photolab App (available for iOS and Android)!

Playing Safe Outdoors

Heading outside is a great way to cut back the screen time, enjoy the sunshine and get some fresh air. If you’re spending more time outdoors, especially with your kids, it’s a good idea to be prepared. From wearing the right shoes to dealing with insect bites and stings, we’ve outlined below what you can do to make your outdoor time more enjoyable.

Proper footwear

Flip flops and strappy sandals may seem like ideal summer footwear but they can be dangerous on sandy surfaces. Small children have tender soles, which can easily be burned on hot sand. Open-toed or strappy sandals also leave room for small rocks and other sharp objects to enter and cause pain. The ideal shoe is one that protects both the soles and the upper part of the foot from sharp objects such as nails and glass. Non-slip soles are a plus, helping to prevent injuries caused by slipping on rocks that have become slick from water and algae.

Insect stings & bite

If picnicking or barbecuing outdoors, it is best to prepare in advance for insect attacks. Wearing bright clothing is not a good idea as stinging insects are attracted to bright colours (yellow is particularly appealing to bees). Perfume, including that from shampoos, conditioners, hand cream, lip balm etc. is also an attractant.

Always make sure that food items with fruity aromas like jams, jellies, juices, fruit salads, popsicles and sweet barbecue sauces are kept in sealable containers and close them when not being served. Be aware that open beverage cans are traps for inquisitive bees and wasps, which can enter the can and attempt to exit it when someone drinks from it. This can result in painful stings to the lips and inside the mouth. Stings inside the mouth and throat can be extremely dangerous as they can swell and impede swallowing or breathing.

Teach your children to keep still if a stinging insect lands on them and to let an adult do the work of removing it. If anyone in your group is allergic to insect stings, and needs to use an epinephrine autoinjector, be sure to check with them that they are carrying it. The outdoors are a haven for stinging insects during the summer, and medical attention likely won’t be fast enough in the event of anaphylaxis.

Sun safety

Staying safe in the sunshine means being aware of the three most pressing dangers—heatstroke, sunburn and dehydration. Encourage everyone to drink non-alcoholic drinks frequently, water being the beverage of choice. Also be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours and always after swimming. You can read more on the prevention and treatment of heatstroke and dehydration here.

First aid

Planning for a visit to the beach also means making sure you have basic First Aid supplies on hand. Despite the best of intentions, accidents do happen, and it’s wise to be prepared.

Cuts and abrasions:
Use bottled water to rinse off the cut, pat dry with a clean towel or cloth, and apply an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin® to prevent infection, and promote healing.

Apply an adhesive bandage such as Band-Aid® Skin-Flex™, which is designed to move like a second skin; 100 per cent waterproof Water Block™, or children’s bandages—which quickly divert attention away from injuries with their fun kids’ show images.

Insect stings and bites:
Wasps sting and leave, whereas bees leave the stinging organ in the skin, where it continues to emit venom. Quickly remove the stinger with a pair of tweezers, the edge of a credit card or other flat object, or your fingernail. Wash the area with bottled water and soap if you have brought some with you.

Stinging pain and itching frequently accompany bites and stings, so be sure to apply Benadryl® Itch Relief Stick or spray to relieve itch and pain, and protect the skin.

Read other articles in our Spring-Summer 2020 volume of our Bettercare magazine here.

 

10 Ways to Enhance your Outdoor Living

With people spending most of their spring and summer closer to home this year, there is no better time to create an outdoor oasis for you to spend your lazy afternoons in. Make it comforting and inviting with furnishings, outdoor décor and even backyard lighting for those cozy evenings.

BBQ & Outdoor Cooking Essentials

No one can argue that enjoying outdoor BBQs is one of the highlights of warmer weather. The Kenmore Pedestal Grill features 522 sq. in. of cooking space and the generous side shelves fold down for compact storage. This 3-burner patio grill features an electronic ignition for easy lighting, porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grids and a durable porcelain-enameled lid with a stainless steel handle.

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill features sturdy quick-fold legs and 2 wheels for hassle-free setup, take down, and transport. Plus it features an Insta-start ignition button for matchless lighting! (Just make sure to play it safe and picnic or barbecue at home to maintain social distance, until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.) Find these and other BBQ and Outdoor Cooking Essentials here. 

Patio Heaters

Warm up on those chillier nights with Bond Steel Gas Firetable or Portable Gas Fire Bowl. The bowl comes with pumice stones, locking lid with carry handle, 10ft propane gas hose with regulator and tank seat. Both are great for marshmallow roasting or adding a relaxing ambiance to your outdoor space. Find these and other outdoor heaters here.

Outdoor Patio Furniture

Make the most of outdoor spaces with a fresh patio set. This Collection Cosetta Patio Set is made of light weight Acacia wood construction and soft comfortable cushions. It’s small enough to fit most patios, while still providing enough room to seat 4 adults. The coffee table offers a sturdy construction with a decorative slat design top and stabilizing cross bar at the bottom. The set includes 2 arm chairs, 1 bench all with cushions and 1 coffee table.

The simple classic design of the Collection Bistro Set features two folding chairs and a Bistro table that also folds. The silver metal construction with black mesh chairs will suit any patio décor.

Create some shade so you can cool off on the hotter days with this 10ft. Bond Offset Umbrella Set. It includes 4-piece base and is available in blue, red or taupe.Customize your outdoor space with these and other patio furniture and accessories here.

Entertaining Décor & Accessories

Express your personal style with our wide selection of tableware and accessories. You’ll be surprised at how many choices there are to fit your patio theme. Plus, with much of our tableware made from durable materials, you’ll have no problem bringing it outdoors. Browse our full selection here.

Garden Tools & Planters


Work on your green thumb with our selection of outdoor planters and gardening tools. Planters and pots are perfect for adding a pop of colour without digging up the backyard. With our large selection of different styles and sizes, we’re sure you’ll find something that fits your outdoor space, regardless of its size. Plus, you can cart along all your gardening tools in this handy folding wagon from our Collection line. Browse our full selection of garden tools and planters here.

Outdoor Accessories


If you want to add a bit of functional style to your outdoor space, check out this Craft Van Cooler from our Collection line. Not only does it add character to your patio, you can also keep all your beverages cold. You can even use it to store other items when you’re not using it as a cooler, to maximize smaller patio spaces. Browse this and other outdoor accessories here.

Sun Care

Regardless of how much time you spend outdoors, make sure you’re well protected from the sun. From lotions and sprays to mineral options, you can find a sunscreen that’s right for you here.

Summer Clothing & Shoes

Whether you’re playing with your kids, doing some gardening or just soaking up a little sun, make sure you’re adequately dressed for the outdoors. We’ve got a selection of sandals, hats and comfortable clothing to help make spending time in your backyard more enjoyable. Explore our full clothing and shoe selection here.

Portable Bluetooth Speakers


Music adds a whole new element to your time outdoors, so why not use a bluetooth speaker to play your favourite tunes outside? The portability makes it convenient to take it anywhere in your patio space. Browse our full selection of bluetooth speakers here.

Outdoor Toys & Fun

If you’re looking to have some fun outside your yard, the Pelican Fazer 100 Kayak is the perfect choice. Built on a twin-arched, multi-chine hull, this sit-in kayak offers great stability and good tracking. It features an adjustable ERGOFORM padded backrest with seat cushion for comfort, a storage hatch with bungee cord to store your gear, a cockpit table, bottle holder, drain plug and carrying handles. Made of RAM-X impact-resistant material, it is built to last. So bring your Fazer 100 with you on your next adventure at the lake and create memorable stories worth sharing with everyone.  Find these and other outdoor toys and fun here.

Fun Ways to Keep Cool

Fun Ways to Keep Cool This Summer

It’s finally here. Summer. The season we’ve waited for all year. Those long, lazy hot weather days we’ve been dreaming about are here, and well, now we’re feeling a little sweaty. And lazy. And we just don’t want to expend a whole lot of energy doing much of anything at all. Much less keeping cool.

But there are so many fun and easy ways to cool down while you chill out this summer. Here a few of our favourite ways to keep cool when the temperature soars.

Play in the Spray

You’ve seen inflatables decorating the neighbourhood during the holidays. Now they’ve found new purpose in the summertime: as sprinklers. That’s right, these inflatable sprinklers aren’t just cute, they’re also functional, and will bring out the play while you get your spray on.

 

Keep cool in an inflatable kayakGo Boating

A cool sea-breeze may be just the thing you need to cool down, and you can search for the best coastal breezes in your single-seat kayak. Get paddling!

 

 

Keep Cool with a Pool FloatieOr Floating

If the pool is your preference, bring your A-game with a fun and funky floatie for you, or for the whole gang! Splish splash!

 

 

Keep Cool with a Sun UmbrellaMake Some Shade

Sometimes you’ve just got to sit down and relax. But if you want it made in the shade, and your yard has other ideas, you’ll need to create your own little shady spot with a sun umbrella that’ll make lounging a lot less sweaty.

 

 

Keep Your Drinks CoolPack a Cooler

There’s nothing like an ice cold drink on a hot day, but keeping it cool can be a challenge. And going inside for a refill isn’t always feasible, especially if you’re spending the day at the park or the beach. That’s why packing a cooler is essential — whether it’s a single-serving thermal jug or a jumbo cooler on wheels so your friends can join the fun. Just don’t forget the ice packs!

 

Check out our outdoor living guide for more ways to have fun — and keep cool — in the sun.

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

Now that the weather has apologized for what it did to us last winter, 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 Guide or just stop by and talk to one of our experts about your unique needs. We’d love to see you!

 

Top 5 Things You Need to Do Before Summer Ends

What do we love so much about the summertime? Is it the sunshine, the warm breezes, the lazy days spent at the beach or the lake? Whatever it is that you love about the warmer months, when the end of August starts to roll around, you know that the end of summer is fast approaching. You can feel it in that little nip in the air and the darkness rolling in earlier and earlier.

End of Summer Activities London Drugs Blog

Let’s try and capture some of that summer magic before the kids go back to school and we all get back to our routines—and before the rain and snow come back with a vengeance! Here are a few tips on how to make the most of the dog days of summer before the leaves inevitably start to fall.

Invite your friends and neighbours over for a BBQ

Friends BBQ End of Summer Outdoors London Drugs

Nothing defines summer quite like that unmistakable barbecue scent in the air. Before you have to pack up the grill for another year, have one last backyard cookout. Invite your friends and neighbours over, whip up a batch of fruity drinks, and throw some protein on the barbecue. For all your grilling needs, visit any of our locations for a full range of BBQ products.

Enjoy a beautiful sunset (or sunrise!)

Lake Moraine Canada Sunrise Sunset London Drugs

Head to your favourite hilltop, mountain, or body of water to catch an epic sunset. There’s something romantic and whimsical about watching a sunset, whether it’s at the peak of a mountain or with your toes digging in the sand at your favourite beach. If you’re feeling really ambitious, take in a sunrise at dawn. Currently on the west coast, the sun is rising just after 6 a.m. and setting just after 8 p.m., making this the ideal time to catch nature at its most glorious.

Go on a mini vacation

Jumping into Water End of Summer London Drugs Blog

In just a couple of weeks, the summer of 2018 will be but a mere memory. Don’t pack away the sunscreen and picnic blankets just yet! A last-minute mini getaway is a great way to experience a few more adventures. Whether it’s camping or luxury hotels, there are so many fabulous spots to escape to right here in BC. Just make sure to be cautious of wildfires in the province if you’re planning a roadtrip.

Take in a festival or outdoor theatre

Festival PNE Vancouver London Drugs Blog

Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival runs right through to September 22. The spectacular waterfront setting is the perfect way to bid farewell to summer, while you take in Macbeth, Timon of Athens, As You Like It, or Lysistrata. If Shakespeare isn’t really your speed, visit the ever-popular end of summer festival, the PNE, and dance along to the I Love the 90s Tour featuring Salt-N-Pepa, Color Me Badd, and Young MC.

Do one thing you wouldn’t do in the winter

Sailing End of Summer Sailboat London Drugs

As the seasons change, there are certain activities we ruefully wave goodbye to. Whatever it is for you, fit it in as much as you can. Sailing, hiking, taking a dip in an outdoor pool, enjoying a live baseball game, or roasting marshmallows for s’mores on the barbecue, this is it! Summer is almost over and it’ll be a long time before we see live fireworks or swim in a lake again, so let’s make the most of it.


London Drugs is your one stop shop for all things summer. Pop in to pick up everything you’ll need for your last summer barbecue or road trip.

5 Great Summer Getaways from Vancouver

Summer Travel from Vancouver London Drugs Blog

When we’re already surrounded by so much natural beauty, it’s easy to forget that there are other amazing places to explore outside of Vancouver. And they’re not far away! At London Drugs, we’re proud of our Canadian roots and we love discovering new places to travel—right here in our beautiful country. So, if summertime has you feeling like it’s time to pack up the car and hit the road, here are some great ideas for local travel this summer.

Yoho National Park, BC

760 km from Vancouver

Emerald Lake Yoho National Park London Drugs

Cruise the Trans Canada Highway to the spectacular Yoho National Park, located on the western side of the Rocky Mountains, in eastern BC. Named for a Cree expression of awe and wonder, Yoho has an abundance of natural beauty including waterfalls, 400 km of trails, crystal clear lakes, and four campgrounds. Train buffs can watch trains entering the spiral tunnels near Kicking Horse Pass.

Nelson, BC

650 km from Vancouver

Nelson BC Getaway London Drugs

Known as the “Queen City” of the Kootenays, Nelson is a rare gem. It has maintained its heritage feel while still providing plenty for visitors to do. It has more restaurants per capita than Manhattan or San Francisco, so it’s a foodie’s paradise. Wander around the downtown core and take in the restaurant scene or one of the many coffee houses or breweries. If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, Nelson also boasts impressive river rafting or kayaking on Kootenay Lake, as well as ziplining over the Kokanee Creek Canyon.

The Okanagan Valley

400 km from Vancouver

Okanagan Lake BC Roadtrip Vancouver London Drugs

Known for its sunny and dry climate, the Okanagan Valley provides a stunning backdrop for boating, water sports, golfing, and wine tasting. This region has long been a summer playground for visitors from Vancouver and Alberta alike. Whether you’re exploring the many vineyards in Kelowna, the desert oasis in Osoyoos, golfing in Penticton, or boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, there’s always something to do in the Okanagan Valley.

Pemberton, BC

158 km from Vancouver

Pemberton BC Joffre Lake Getaway from Vancouver London Drugs

Most of us think of Whistler when we think of a quick getaway close to Vancouver. But just 20km north of Whistler is Pemberton, a quieter option which also has a lot to offer. There’s hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, golfing, and fishing, to name a few. With plenty of lakes in the area, water sports are popular and visitors can enjoy white water rafting, kayaking, and jet boat tours. Pemberton is also an agri-tourism hot spot and features u-pick farms, a distillery tour, bustling farmers markets, and the slow food cycle every Sunday in the summer.

Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville, BC

115 km from Vancouver

Parksville BC Vancouver Getaway London Drugs

Located in the 347-hectare park near Parksville, Rathtrevor Beach is surrounded by Douglas Firs. It’s perfect for exploring the wooded trails as you make your way to this wide sandy beach. At low tide, the ocean recedes one-kilometre into the Strait of Georgia, providing lots of space to enjoy the sand and surf. This spot is ideal for lovers of wildlife and many varieties of birdlife, including eagles, hawks and owls. It’s also home to the Rathtrevor Beach Nature House. You will need to ferry to Nanaimo and then drive to Parksville to access Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.


Whatever sort of summer getaway you are after, there’s plenty to offer right here in our Canadian backyard. Wherever you go, London Drugs is your first stop for local Canadian products. Happy travels!

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