Sunday 30 June 2019

Canada Day Cocktail

After a hot summer day entertaining kids and basking in the hot summer sun sometimes you just need a cocktail to wind down. This delicious drink is inspired by Canada Day and is absolutely delicious! You can also serve these as virgins and have the kids enjoy a cool drink as well! 

Canada Day Cocktail Recipe
  • Frozen Strawberries 
  • Sprite or 7 up
  • Vodka 
  • Gin
  • Canadian maple leaf candies (optional)
1. Add your frozen berries to a glass. These will keep you cool and add flavour to the drink you can use fresh as well and middle them before adding the rest. 

2. Pour 1 ounce of vodka into the glass and 1 ounce of gin into the glass. Top off the rest of the cup with Sprite, 7-Up or Ginger Ale. 

3. Decorate with Canada day candies, unbrella straws or any other decor that will make these drinks a bit extra! Enjoy all summer long! 

Creating fancy drinks with your kids makes for some pretty awesome memories so whether how pointless this all seems or how time consuming it can be endure it! 

I still remember the very first Shirley Temple I had when I was 8 years old at Swiss Chalet. It was such a simple drink some grenadine and pop with a maraschino cherry and tiny plastic sword but to me it was amazing! 

So just remember that the next time your making fancy drinks for the family, the simplest things can sometimes leave the fondest memories! 

Delicious, Refreshing, Healthy, Pomegranate and Yogurt Popsicles

Summer is here in full force and it’s time for picnics, barbecues and parties. The best way to beat the summer heat is with refreshing and delicious popsicles but nobody wants all the added sugars. These healthy superfood popsicles will cool down the kids and be a nutritious alternative to the other juice pops you find in the stores. 

Pomegranate & Yogurt Popsicles
  • 1 cup strawberry or vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh pomegranate arils 
  • 2 tbsp water

1. Pour the yogurt in a small bowl and mix it with the milk to make it easier to pour. You can use almond or soy milk if you like. 

2. Pour the yogurt mixture into the popsicle molds and set aside. 

3. Pour the pomegranate arils into a blender with the water and combine with water. Blend until the arils have been completely crushed. You may need to add more water if using frozen as they turn into a slush consistency.

4. Strain the pomegranate mix to remove any hard pieces from the arils. You will be left with a beautiful deep red pomegranate juice. 

5. Pour the pomegranate juice into the popsicle molds in top of the yogurt mixture. Take a butter knife and gently swirl the mixtures together just slightly to create a marbled look. 

6. Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight! Serve on a hot summer day and eat as many as you like guilt free!

Saturday 29 June 2019

Easy Canada Day Watermelon and Feta Salad

Are you looking for a patriotic way to celebrate Canada Day but don’t have a lot of time? Make this super easy Canada Day watermelon and Feta salad for your festivities! 

You will need:
  • 1 whole watermelon cubed
  • 1 200 gram tub of feta cubed
  • Fresh basil (optional)
  • Fresh berries (optional)
Simply cube up your watermelon and feta and toss together! Top with freshly chopped basil or fresh berries or eat as is! Simple and delicious! 

You can get fancy like I did and carve a Canadian flag into a piece of rind for decoration as well! 

This recipe can be made a day in advance and can be a real time saver for any barbecue, potluck or party! Happy Canada Day! 

Friday 28 June 2019

6 Things to know about LASIK eye surgery

The most effective treatment for most eye problems is LASIK eye surgery. We will discuss what you should know about lasik eye surgery and its major benefits.  Wearing glasses and contact lenses have been the main methods of treating vision problems. Most people are not aware of new and effective laser treatment for glaucoma and other eye problems. We will discuss some basic things you need to know about LASIK eye surgery. It is safe and anyone can undergo the surgery if they are willing to incur the cost. Most of the special hospitals offering such services are found in India and other Asian countries.

Here are 6 Things to know about LASIK eye surgery;

1.    Success rate

The eye is a sensitive part of the body. Most people will consider the success rate of carrying out eye surgery using lasers first. Research shows that there is a ninety-five percent success rate in LASIK eye surgery treatments. This is according to statistics from data of patients who have successfully undergone LASIK eye surgical treatment.

2.    Insurance cover

Since this is an elective surgery procedure, most insurance companies may not cover it. But you may find out from your medical insurance cover service provider. Before taking an insurance cover, it is a good idea to check for companies that cover such modern treatment procedures.

3.    Who can have LASIK eye surgery

For corrective eye surgery, you should seek medical diagnosis by a professional eye surgeon. If you have a weak cornea or cataracts, your doctor may not recommend the procedure. Due to continuous use of digital devices, many people are developing various eye conditions including short-sightedness. That is why you should visit an eye specialist for review regularly. In case of eye problems, then you can receive early treatment before the condition worsens.

4.    Recovery

After the surgery, you should expect some side effects for the first few days. Most patients report sensitivity to light, having trouble seeing at night, and irritation. Some patients say the eyes feel dry and uncomfortable for the first few days after the surgery. But all these symptoms disappear with time.

5.    Identify a good medical facility

Not all medical facilities have the modern laser equipment required for a successful surgery. Your doctor's experience, complications rate, and professional training will also matter a lot. You should confirm the doctor’s certification, the general reviews of the medical facility, and if they offer aftercare support after the surgery.

6.    Risks

Just like any other surgery, you should also be aware of the risks. If you identify an experienced and professional eye surgeon, you will minimize the risks. Some of the risks include cornea damage, inflammation, and infections. In some cases, one may also experience overcorrection or under correction which leaves you with worse vision problems. But the catch is to ensure that you get such sensitive treatment from professional eye surgeons.  They should also work in a reputable medical facility that practice proper hygiene and caution.

If you are looking for an effective eye treatment procedure, consider LASIK eye surgery. Your doctor should recommend it though. It may be expensive, but it is effective.

Five Ideas for Great Family Gifts

It’s all about the experience.

The trend in gift giving is less “stuff” and more “experiences.” This is especially true if you are purchasing a gift for families. Instead of buying a tie for the dad, a scarf for the mom, a backpack for brother, and a soccer ball for the sister why not purchase a group gift that the whole family can enjoy together? Instead of purchasing matching pajamas for your spouse, kids, and dog, why not buy tickets to a local event and make memories? Instead of spending hours shopping for each person on your list, why not spend minutes at your computer to purchase a large-ticket item that the whole family will enjoy? Read on to discover ideas for great family gifts.

Vacation Gifts

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Are you a grandparent who is trying to figure out what to get for your children and grandchildren? Here’s some friendly advice for you. Your grandchildren do not need another electronic gadget. Their phones do everything for them anyway. Don’t try to pick out clothes for the important people in your life. It’s too difficult to understand individual styles. No one ever really gets excited about receiving a gift card. If you enjoy a large gift budget, why not purchase a vacation gift for the whole family to enjoy?

If you live in the north or the midwestern part of the United States, the best thing in the world to do in February is to get on a plane and fly to somewhere that is green and warm. Make travel easy by purchasing an all-inclusive travel experience. This makes it much easier to pay for and plan. You know that each member of the family will find food and activities that will cater to their individual desires. Everyone would love this gift.

Your shopping can be done in minutes instead of days if you choose to purchase an all-inclusive vacation for the family on your list.

Concert Tickets

If your budget does not allow you to purchase a vacation for the family on your list, consider buying tickets to a local concert that the whole family would like to attend. This may take a little more research than a vacation gift. (Everyone would love to go to the Bahamas, but not every person would like to go to an Imagine Dragons Concert.) Your job would be easier if the entire family enjoyed a specific genre of music. You may consider purchasing tickets for iconic artists that have stood the test of time. Almost everyone would enjoy a Garth Brooks or Paul McCartney concert.

Zoo or Museum Passes

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Does the family you are purchasing gifts for live in an area with great museums or a beautiful zoo? Consider buying year-long passes for those locations. Great children’s museums are popping up all over the country. They offer year-long programming for pre-school and school-aged children. Everyone loves going to the zoo, especially if the zoo houses penguins. Families who are science-oriented would enjoy passes to planetariums or science and industry museums. Check out the art museum and history museums in the area too. As an add-on, consider purchasing gift cards to the museum’s gift shops or tickets that cover special events that they host throughout the year.


Even young people love watching the Food Network. If your family enjoys bonding time while baking, consider purchasing cooking classes that are geared toward the family. Check with your local culinary institute to see what courses would be appropriate for all ages.

If your family enjoys creating art, there are many options of classes available. The whole family could create pottery together. Consider purchasing a painting class for all the members of your family. Board and brush classes are especially popular now.

If your family enjoys sports, you may consider purchasing SCUBA certification classes or a session with a golf pro.

Other Experiences

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If the family you are purchasing for is multi-aged or have a wide variety of interests, you may consider buying a gift certificate for a unique experience that may be offered in your area. Does your family enjoy thrill seeking? Consider purchasing tickets to zip line. Escape rooms have sprung up across the country and can be a fun outing for teenagers and adults alike. Check online to find ghost tours or food tours that are offered in your area. Your family may enjoy ax throwing or bungee jumping.

When you are purchasing gifts for the entire family, consider purchasing experiences over things. Toys break. Sweaters are lost. Candy is eaten. Memories, though, last a lifetime.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Migration Trends: Kelowna is No. 16 U-Haul Canadian Destination City

Kelowna is the No. 16 Canadian Destination City according to the latest U-Haul migration trends report, rising three spots from its previous ranking.

Kelowna saw a 5 percent year-over-year decrease in one-way U-Haul truck arrivals in 2018, but attracted enough customers to remain one of busiest cities for incoming traffic among do-it-yourself movers.

U-Haul is counting down its top 10 Canadian Destination Cities leading up to “Moving Day” on July 1, one of the busiest dates for residential moves in Canada, and specifically Quebec. The No. 1 destination will be announced June 28 on Twitter @uhaul.

Go to now to view the No. 10 Canadian Destination City as well as Nos. 11-50.

Rankings are based on the total number of arriving one-way U-Haul trucks into a city in the past calendar year. Destination Cities reflect the volume and regularity of DIYmovers coming into a community. They do not account for departing one-way U-Haul trucks, and thus do not necessarily signify growth like U-Haul Growth Cities and Growth States rankings.

U-Haul released its complete Growth States rankings; its top 25 U.S. Growth Cities; and its top 25 Canadian Growth Cities for 2018 in January.

U-Haul is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The geographical coverage from more than 21,000 U-Haul locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck rental transactions that occur annually.

U-Haul Truck Share 24/7® is revolutionizing the moving industry through its more convenient, more secure way to pick up and return a truck. Since 2017, U-Haul live verify technology has allowed customers to conduct transactions entirely on their smartphones at any hour – day or night. There are no membership fees. Create an online account at to start skipping the lines and stop worrying about store hours.

About U-Haul

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 21,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 offers customers secure access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the customer dispatch option on their smartphones and our proprietary live verify technology. Our customers’ patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to 161,000 trucks, 118,000 trailers and 42,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers nearly 632,000 rooms and 55.2 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry, and is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S.

6 Small Business Initiatives That Didn’t Go As Planned (Infographic)

Starting a small business can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up your dreams of growing a business to new heights.

As a small business owner, there are essential elements to keep in mind. From money management to hiring the right people, there’s many decisions involved in keeping your business afloat. However, small setbacks or mistakes are inevitable with a growing business. It’s through the small hiccups that you have an opportunity to reassess what’s working and what’s not. You can then learn how to address challenges that you will inevitably face head-on.

There are plenty of tools to help you tackle potential or current hurdles. Whether it’s networking with local community business groups, scouring the internet for resources, or even reaching out to a mentor. Sometimes, learning from other business owner’s mistakes is the best tool of all.

This is why Valpak interviewed and compiled 6 small business initiatives that didn’t go as planned. It shares candid responses from small business owners across different industries and what they learned along with tips to help you succeed. They cover many areas of business, from building a website to advertising or managing people.


5 Crucial Financial Tips for New Parents

If you've got a brand-new bundle of joy on the way, there are a lot of things you'll need to consider. Aside from choosing a name, decorating a nursery, and deciding what you're going to do about college savings, you'll also need a new budget. 

After all, while the birth of a child is an exhilarating thing, it's important to remember that raising a youngster costs a lot of money - particularly these days as prices for education and healthcare are growing higher. 

While there's no one-size-fits-all strategy to creating the perfect budget as a new parent, there are a few tips you can follow to improve your chances of success. 

1. Identify your Goals

First things first, your financial goals are going to change drastically when you become a parent. With that in mind, you'll need to rethink how you're going to assign your cash. For instance, in the past, you might have put 30% of your income towards things you wanted, like entertainment and extra treats. However, now that you have a child on the way, you might decide to keep only 10% for yourself and put another 20% towards savings and other expenses. 

Whatever you do, make sure that you and your co-parent agree on the goals that you're going to be pursuing. Both parents need to be on the same page for a financial strategy to work. 

2. Create a Budget and Start Tracking your Spending

Once you have your goals in mind, the next step is to create a strategy for how you're going to reach them. This means understanding how much money you have coming into your household and how much you spend each month. Go through your budget carefully and highlight any problem areas that you're going to need to work on in the months to come.

If possible, it's a good idea to start tracking your spending and adjusting your budget as quickly as you can - potentially as soon as you learn that you're pregnant. This will help you to make sure that you're prepared for the day when your new arrival gets here. 

3. Make Every Financial Decision Carefully

If you've ever been impulsive with money in the past, now is the time to start getting control over your spending. This means that you need to think carefully about every purchase you make and how it affects you in the long term. Rather than just taking out a loan when you need it because it comes with an easy application process, make sure that you're getting the deal with the lowest interest rates and fees. 

You can check the price of virtually everything online today, so make sure that you're never paying more than you should be for anything from utilities, to insurance, and even loan repayments. The more cautious you can be with your spending, the better. 

4. Set up an Emergency Savings Account

When you're trying to find the extra cash in your budget to pay for a new baby's needs, it can be difficult to track down additional money for a new savings account too. 

However, disasters can happen at any time in your life. You could lose your job, your baby could need emergency medical care, or you may end up with a suddenly broken down car. The best thing you can do to prepare for the future is to build a reserve of about 3 to 6 months of income. The more emergency cash you have, the better off you'll be if something unpredictable happens in the long term. 

One of the easiest ways to make the most out of your emergency savings is to set up an automatic transfer into a separate savings account every month. This will ensure you don't accidentally spend the money you want to save.


5. Get your Insurance Sorted

Finally, when you're preparing for a new baby, it's easy to get carried away looking at things like room decorations and soft toys. However, for most people, a new baby is also a reminder that it's essential to get their estate in order. Consider buying life insurance, and making sure that you get the right kind of coverage for you and your family. 

Most of the time, you'll be able to find professionals that can give you advice on the kind of insurance you need. However, a general rule of thumb is to look for a payout that's about ten times your yearly income. 

However, you might want to get more coverage than that to account for things like mortgage costs and college funds.

Saturday 22 June 2019

Don’t Let Your Fear Of Flying Ground You This Summer

More Americans will travel the skies this summer than ever before, an aviation trade group said in a recent study. Airlines for America said it expects nearly 260 million travelers will fly U.S. airlines this summer. Even with those statistics, as many as 25 percent of all Americans suffer some nervousness about flying and remain grounded due to fear. The most extreme suffers have a condition called Aviaphobia, where the mere thought of air travel causes them to shudder. How can people break this cycle and see the skies as “friendly?” We turned to NYC Neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez, who discusses what people can do to prepare themselves to fly as well as during flight to prevent anxiety/panic.


How to Ease Your Fears Before Your Book a Ticket

Develop some knowledge of flying- Read a book called, “Ask the Pilot: Everything You Need to Know about Air Travel.” By Patrick Smith. People are afraid when they don’t’ understand what is happening to the plane and why. What do certain noises mean? Why does the wings flap in flight? Can turbulence cause the plane to crash?  What's wind shear - and can it really rip the wings off a plane? How does a plane get off the ground? Why does the plane sometimes bump, jig, and turn at a high angle during climb out? Flying is statistically the safest form of transportation. It is far more mysterious to most than driving a car. By educating yourself through a consumer-friendly book written by a pilot, this will help to ease your fear and take some of your power back.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- This is a form of therapy, also known as (CBT) If you change your thoughts, you can change your response and behavior. Addressing general anxiety can reduce the intensity during triggering moments, like being on a plane. The therapist may suggest exposure therapy, where your first assignment is to drive to the airport and walk into the terminal. The second assignment might be to take the shortest flight possible from your home with a trusted friend or loved one. The third time might involve a longer flight alone until the fear is de-escalated and flying begins to feel “normal.” This type of “practice” is known as exposure therapy.

Attend a Fear of Flying Clinic- There are online courses such as There are also more tactile in-person groups such  Fear of Flying Clinic has provided intensive therapy to familiarize anxious travelers with the airborne experience. Founded in 1976 and based at San Francisco International Airport, Fear of Flying Clinic includes 24 hours of instruction spread over two weekends. It involves a licensed behavioral therapist to teach coping mechanisms, as well as lectures from airline pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and air traffic controllers. Participants also familiarize themselves with the cockpit, control tower, and maintenance facility.



Like any phobia, a fear of flying is rooted in your subconscious. You may have had a traumatic experience, watched a plane crash or saw a movie that disturbed you.  Whatever the cause, your mind is trying to protect you. It thinks that flying is dangerous. Thus, fear is created to warn you away from flying. To conquer your fear, you must address it. Hypnosis finds out what triggers that fear in your subconscious. Over time, a hypnotist helps to reprogram the mind so that you are no longer afraid. Your mind relearns positive truths about flying. As a result, you can escape from your long-held fear.


Monitor Your Media Intake

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning: Avoid airplane disaster movies, news coverage of plane crashes, or other scary media images. Remember that the vast majority of flights arrive safely, but only the problem flights make the news. Don’t let that skew your impressions of flying.


How to Avoid Anxiety and Panic When Are Airborne

Talk to the Senior Flight Attendant Before you Board- Ask to board early by telling the gate attendant that you suffer from fear of flying and wish to talk to the flight attendant in the pre-boarding phase. They are accustomed to dealing with nervous fliers. Explain your fears to him/her. Perhaps it is take off that concerns you the most, or maybe it turbulence or landing. Tell them your seat number and ask if they could come and check on you during the inflight times that are most concerning to you. If you are traveling alone and your seatmate seems friendly, perhaps you could ask them to engage you in conversation during take-off to keep your mind off things during this phase of the flight. Strangers can be surprisingly nice inflight.

 Bring an Inflight “Tool Kit” Distraction is key to staying out of fear/panic. In your carry- on, pack crossword puzzles, coloring books, download books or movies that are “light.” Do not watch or read anything that includes topics of murder, terrorists, plane crashes, fires, death, or anything that can trigger fear. Anything you are reading or listening to, or watching should conjure pleasant thoughts.

Brain games are great because they keep your mind occupied, and that is the goal. The last thing you want is to be clutching your seat handles waiting for every little air pocket.  While you are at it, skip the inflight coffee or Diet Coke. The last thing you need is caffeine to make you jittery.


 Progressive Muscle Relaxation- In progressive muscle relaxation, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out. You work on your muscle groups in a specific order. When your body is physically relaxed, you cannot feel anxious. Practicing progressive muscle relaxation for a few weeks will help you get better at this skill, and in time, you will be able to use this method to relieve stress. You can use an audio recording to help you focus on each muscle group, or you can learn the order of muscle groups and do the exercises from memory. Choose a place where you won't be interrupted and where you can lie down on your back and stretch out comfortably, such as a carpeted floor. Breathe in, and tense the first muscle group (hard but not to the point of pain or cramping) for 4 to 10 seconds.


 Benzodiazepines- If your fear is really intense and you have discussed this with your psychiatrist, they might feel it appropriate to prescribe you a low dose of a benzodiazepine such as Klonopin or Ativan which work very quickly to calm intense anxiety or panic. These medications are habit forming, so it is best to use them only in extreme situations of panic when you are faced with a phobic situation. Remember not to mix them with alcohol. Sometimes just knowing they are there as a "rescue" can make the phobic person feel better.


About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is an NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz. Connect with her via Instagram @drsanamhafeez or


Inspirational Wallpapers for Happy Thoughts

It happens to all of us—we’re having a great day and then one small inconvenience comes along and totally ruins it. It can be hard to stay positive all the time, but the benefits of positive thinking can really turn our day around.

When it comes to working toward a goal or finishing a project, everyone has a different way to stay motivated. Some people like to get moving and take a walk while others prefer to spend some time with themselves and journal. No matter how you like to refresh, listen to what your mind and body need and take the time to recharge.

Since most of us spend time at a computer or at least always have our phones next to us, a simple way to stay positive and motivated is to change your wallpaper to something that inspires you. To give you a little inspiration, check out these wallpapers created by Mint for a little dose of happiness throughout your day.

Positivity Wallpapers

Take a deep breath, write down some things you are grateful for and look to these inspirational quotes to guide your day. Spruce up your workstation or phone background with something that makes your day a little brighter.

Healthy Wallpapers

If you want to live a healthier lifestyle and just need some gentle reminders throughout the day, set one of these fitness goal wallpapers as your background and stay focused on your goals.

Success Wallpapers

Got a project on your plate? Sprinkle some motivation into your workday with a little extra inspiration. These quotes on success and passion will give you the little push you need to keep going.