Aging Well – In Your Own Home or Care Facility?

Due to the baby boom that happened post World War 11, a new milestone has been reached in North America. The population of people aged 65 or older outnumbers children. And that number is only going to steadily increase, and more than double by the year 2050.

Who should bear the burden of caring for the aging population?

The result is that seniors are putting more pressure on government, health care providers, pharmacies and drug companies.  Younger workers are also feeling the squeeze, with increasing tax dollars going to healthcare spending.

While most baby boomers (those aged 50 to 69) will retire with good health, wealth, and a longer life expectancy, they will need to consider their own needs for care as they age. Many become caregivers of their own parents and learn lessons there.

The question arises, as to where one ideally wants to spend those years as you age. Do we want to live in our own home environment, surrounded by the familiarity of our friends, family, and the comforts and mementos of our lives, or in a clean professionally-managed facility?

On the one hand, you would be dependent on either family members or paid professional caregivers to come into your home. Meals and medications can be delivered. Your home can be outfitted to your physical needs, with handholds, chairlifts, wider door openings, etc.  Any repair or maintenance of your house can be sourced out. This does come at a price, both financially and the toll it would place on family caregivers.  It is not without stress.

The alternative would be living in a senior’s residence. Again, the cost. Caregivers and professionals are close-at-hand, meds are doled out, laundry is done and meals are provided. It sounds ideal, but we have all heard the horror stories, of the neglect, unsavory meals, and rough handling by overworked and ill-tempered nursing assistants.

Your physical and mental state will determine the extent of care you need.  In many cases, it is a personal one. Ultimately, who should bear the cost and the burden of your declining ability to take care of yourself?


Sun Not Setting Yet on CDs

Canadians no doubt know about the fate of HMV, the ubiquitous music chain that reigned coast-to-coast in this country for a number of years. With the decline of physical media sales in the wake of the rising tide of digital downloads, the company accumulated considerable debt. By early 2017, that number had risen to $39 million dollars and the company decided to close up shop. After a massive prolonged blowout of remaining stock (I spent about $300 on Blu-rays and DVDs at my local store), HMV closed its doors.

However, something very interesting and unexpected happened a few weeks before that. Just when the death of HMV seemed to signal a definitive end to physical media, the Sunrise Records chain (which had recovered from its own financial doldrums and recently changed hands) announced that it would be taking over many of the shuttering HMV locations.

The company announced that this was financially feasible, thanks to rising vinyl sales. On the face of it, that sounded like an insane gamble. Surely, while more popular than in a long time, vinyl was almost as much of a niche format as VHS. 500,000 records were sold in Canada in 2016; hardly enough to build a business on.

As it turns out, vinyl is selling at Sunrise, but so are CDs. And not just to the middle-aged people who make up that format’s primary demographic these days. A significant number of millenials are coming into Sunrise and buying physical media: vinyl, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays. A lot of these are not just new releases either. The company reports that many catalog titles have been moving in their locations, an area that new release-obsessed HMV did not exploit to its fullest.

Sunrise is very pleased with how things have been going since the takeover and plan to add another 85 locations to their current crop by year’s end. By employing new approaches and maintaining experienced HMV talent, Sunrise looks to be the surprise Canadian business success of 2017.


Sears Canada in Big Trouble, Closing Stores

For those of a certain age, department stores are a big part of our past as consumers. Need a new shirt, jacket, or dress? Head out to Eaton’s, J.C. Penny, or Sears. Looking for Christmas presents? Head out to the mall and hit the anchor store first.

However, consumer shopping patterns have changed dramatically in recent years. Online shopping has exploded and become popular with virtually every demographic. There is no arguing the convenience of sitting home at your computer comparing styles and prices, making a few clicks of your mouse, and then having the merchandise show up a few days later. It makes shopping for gifts so easy, you might end up buying for more people than usual.

Sears has been struggling for a while now and it was announced the other day that the company was seeking bankruptcy protection. Today, the company made a further statement of their plans, announcing that 59 locations will be closing in Canada, which means the loss of about 2900 jobs. The stores affected will consist of full-line locations, Sears Home stores, Sears Outlet stores and Sears Hometown locations. Closeout sales will also be announced soon.

Retail has declined dramatically in recent years and, unfortunately, there is reason to expect that this trend will continue, which means more store closures and more job losses.

I like department stores because I enjoy browsing. I also prefer to try clothes on before I buy. Yes, you can know your general size, but the only way to know just how nice the clothes look on you is to get in them. You can do that at home, but who wants to take the trouble to send things back?

Do you still use department stores like Sears? Click the comment button and let us know! The closing of big chains like Sears will also undoubtedly have a negative affect on the malls that host them.

A Sears distribution centre in Montreal. By –, CC BY-SA 2.0,


How Important is Sleep?

We have all heard that it is important to get a good night’s sleep. Chances are you have heard this ever since you were a child. But why it is important? Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few reasons.

Here are some of the many reasons why it is important to get a good night’s sleep:

  • Lower calorie intake. It’s a pretty simple equation: if you are tired and low on energy, you will rely more on fuel to get you through the day. In many cases, that fuel will be junk food filled with sugar. A diet like this will eventually take a toll on you.
  • Be more decisive and creative. You have probably heard the phrase “let me sleep on it.” Resting your mind gives you a new and sharper perspective when it comes to making up your mind. It can also heighten your creativity.
  • Less stress. When you are feeling your best, you probably also feel more in control. Being tired makes you feel off and less able to deal with life’s challenges, and that can cause you to become stressed out.
  • Live a safer life. A well-rested person is more focused and has better concentration. Consequently, they are less likely to cause or otherwise become involved in accidents.
  • You will be healthier overall. Insufficient sleep can make you more vulnerable to a number of health issues, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.
  • More energy. This one is a no-brainer, but that extra energy will be especially important to you if you are trying to lose weight or preparing for a presentation.
  • Less depression. Studies have shown that the less sleep you get, the more likely you are to develop depression. Being fully awake and energetic makes life seem more do-able and fun, so you are less likely to be sad.


Working Remotely—Here to Stay or Passing Trend?

The office worker of 2017 no longer requires an office. A laptop, access to cloud software, and secure high-speed internet connection, and you’re good to go.

There are a good number of jobs that can never be done remotely.  You can’t treat a medical emergency or work on engineering equipment away from the factory floor, or a hospital with state of the art diagnostic equipment.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, the way for employers to attract new talent from the millennial pool is by allowing them to work from home.

James Costa, founder of Phuse, a digital design agency in Toronto, has never met some of his 12 employees. Costa uses instant messaging, video chat platforms such as Skype, and project management software to keep in touch with his staff,

“We’re not spending $24,000 a year on office space. We get to choose the best people from anywhere in the world. And I get to spend so much time with my son,” Costa enthuses from his home office. “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made”.

The modern open office plan is not for everyone

Many companies are moving towards open-concept spaces and clusters of tables for work stations.  Gone are the cubicles and personal offices. The open office was sold as, a means to encourage interaction and collaboration, in the hopes of fostering new ideas. An innovation “think tank” if you will.

However, for many, that is not the case. It may even result in the opposite effect with people being afraid to interrupt their co-workers or have a conversation when others are listening. The reality is that for many it has become a stressful place, full of distractions, and numerous interruptions to concentration, and with all the charm of a high-school cafeteria, with just about as much useful work being done.

Considering working from home?

Here are some jobs that can be done remotely:

  • Customer service reps
  • Recruitment researchers
  • Administrative support workers: bookkeepers, financial clerks,
  • Graphic designers
  • IT professionals
  • Translators and interpreters
  • Public relations professionals
  • Online instructors and tutors

Benefits of working from home:

  • More flexibility on daily schedule, work hours
  • Feeling more productive in an environment you have set up and decorated to your own preferences
  • Many workers working remotely feel more engaged.
  • No parking fees, no daily commute, and associated costs: gas, vehicle maintenance or owning a vehicle at all.
  • No geographical restrictions as to where or for whom you can work

Downside of working from home

You may:

  • miss out on stimulation that an office environment can provide
  • begin to feel “stale”, need to schedule trips out of the house
  • find that family and friends don’t take your work seriously because you do it from home.
  • gain weight due to the proximity of the fridge!
  • deal with other noise distractions like construction, noisy neighbors, attention-seeking friends, pets and other family members who don’t understand that you are working



How Are You Observing Canada 150?

You are invited to a birthday party on July 1st…you and about 36 million other people. Yes, July 1st is Canada’s birthday, but this year is an extra special one. The old girl is turning 150 years old and we have to say, she’s looking pretty good for her age!

There are many activities planned from coast-to-coast, so chances are you will be able to find many things to do right in your own community. Festivities of this sort serve several important purposes. Cultural pockets of Canada you may not be familiar with can appear front and centre, showing off what makes them unique and valuable to our nation. You can also learn about important parts of the country’s history, try new foods, and meet many new and interesting people.

This is also a perfect time to celebrate everything that makes Canada so great. While there are still issues to deal with, Canada remains one of the most progressive countries in the world, having legalized gay marriage more than a decade ago. We have also produced many extremely talented writers, artists, performers, and musicians. Canada also boasts some of the most amazing cities in the world (Toronto was voted the 4th most attractive on the planet) along with incredible natural wonders like Niagara Falls and the Canadian Rockies that tourists from all over the world come to see.

We have a low crime rate, good relationships with many other nations, an ample supply of clean water, our unemployment rate is lower than many other countries, our health care system is admired in many parts of the globe, and we’re a great place to grow up and grow old in.

We’re also very polite. But you probably already knew that.

Take the time to celebrate your home and native land this July 1st! By Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 – Own work, GFDL,


5 Steps to a Super Clean Fridge

You open your fridge one day and you’re confronted with a disgusting odor, not to mention that you can’t find the jar that you’re looking for. Time to give it a super clean out!

You can get your fridge looking and smelling fantastic in a few quick steps!  Make your fridge the kitchen showpiece it’s meant to be!  All you need is vinegar, baking soda, baby oil, and some microfiber cloths.

  1. The first thing to do is to turn off your fridge and remove all the items inside. This is when you can toss anything that is past its fresh peak, and
  2. Dump the contents of any containers of leftovers, that have started to grow fuzzy things, and are morphing into some unknown shape!
  3. Take out all the shelves and bins. Fill a bathtub with 6 to 8 “ of warm water with ½ cup of baking soda.  Soak everything for about 15 minutes. Then, rinse and dry.
  4. Dissolve 2 tbsp of baking soda in 4 cups of warm water. Take a microfiber cloth and wipe the interior of the fridge. Looking better already, right?
  5. Wipe the exterior of the fridge as well, paying particular attention to the door gasket. Clean the grime buildup between the folds of the door gasket.  Use a cloth wrapped around the blade of a kitchen knife to get in between the layers. Stainless doors get a special treatment with a microfiber cloth spritzed with one part vinegar to 2 parts water. Then, remove the streaks with a little baby oil on another microfiber cloth. Flip the cloth over and polish to a nice shine!

Now don’t wait too long before the next cleaning. Once a month is all it takes to keep your fridge looking and smelling fresh and clean!  No more cringing when your mother-in-law comes to visit. And just think what a pleasure it will be to put your groceries away, plus the next search for that recipe ingredient will be a lot easier. Who knew that a simple fridge clean out could have such an effect!


12 Steps to a Stress-free Move

Near the top of everyone’s list of least favorite things to do, is moving. Whether it is a move across the street, to the other end of the same city or across countries or even continents, the misery is the same.

Are you suffering from pre-moving day stress?

Luckily, there are some ways to make this trek with all your worldly belongings a little less painful.

  1. Sort all your stuff. It’s truly amazing what we can collect over time. And depending on the size of our families, these items can quickly multiply. This is the perfect time to get rid of extra clutter. It’s time to be ruthless and clean out your closets, drawers, and sheds. How many vases do you really need? Is it worthwhile to hang on to those books you’ll never read again? And maybe it’s time to part with that coat you haven’t worn in 4 years. It’s important to cut down on the items you’ll be moving, so be strong and donate, sell or trash. Sort by category and keep like items together, such as gardening tools, seasonal décor, books and documents, toiletries. It’ll make the packing and most importantly, the unpacking, a lot easier.
  2. Plan the Moving Day A day mid-week and not at month’s end will make it easier to line up movers. Everyone seems to move at month’s end and movers book up quickly.  Makes some calls to compare rates. It’s also a good idea to check any recommendations or references they may provide. If you are relying on family and friends, the more hands the better! Don’t forget to reward them with a meal such as pizza and drinks, half way through the loading to keep everyone fueled and hydrated.
  3. Create a master Moving List  There are so many things to consider when you are moving, beyond the actual packing, that it’s easy to miss something. It’s a good idea to set up a timeline where you can check off what’s done, and easily see what still needs doing. Items to include: Set Yard Sale Date (if having one), which leads to cleaning and pricing items, obtaining signs and tables, and advertising; arranging for utility hook-ups, and notification of move out day; change of address at Post Office, and setting aside time to purchase any items needed before moving into the new home.
  4. Pack a Moving Day Box Fill a clear tote with items that you might need right away when you get to your new home.  For example, you could include items such as paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning cloths, soaps, garbage bags and cleaning products.
  5. Pack an overnight bag Include a change of clothing, PJs and any toiletries or meds that you will need.
  6. Set aside a pail full of leaning supplies to have handy when you arrive in the new home. You’ll want to clean the bathrooms and wipe out drawers, cupboards, and closets before putting things in place.
  7. Label Boxes Keep similar items together in a box and label each box with a general description of the contents.  Use clear tape to tape the boxes shut.  It’s easier to stack closed boxes. Also, add a strip of colored tape on the top left corner of the box to indicate the room, or floor of the house it should go to when unloaded. You could differentiate between essential or non-essential items. It may seem obvious, but heavy items should go in the smaller boxes and keep the larger boxes for the lighter things.
  8. Use clear plastic bags for soft items, such as cushions, blankets, and comforters. Ziploc bags are great for keeping smaller items together.
  9. Take pictures of any electronic hookups, garden beds or furniture or picture arrangements that you want to duplicate.
  10. Buy minimal food At least 2 weeks before you move, decrease the amount of perishable food that you are buying to minimize what you’ll have to throw out before you move. Clean/defrost the fridge at least 2 days before you move.
  11. When loading the truck it’s a good idea to load the heavy furniture in first. It’s super handy to rent a dolly for moving day. It’s great for the really heavy items like appliances, but also for piling on a large group of boxes and moving them in one trip.
  12. Book a Sitter for the day or even overnight if you can. Moving day can be upsetting and dangerous for kids and pets, so arrange to have them off-site in a safe environment during the move.

8-Year-Old ‘Kidpreneur’ Launches Step Stools for Kids

8 year old Canadian “Kidprenuer” has launched his business creating one of a kind step-stools that are nontoxic and sustainable. If you thought that was good, hes donating $10 of each purchase to help the families affected by childhood cancer.

Owen’s company Nice Bench Co, started when he decided to make and paint his little sister a bench. His grandparents and aunts loved the bench so much that it fueled Owen to make more. He built 12 more from scrap wood on Christmas day!

The Nice Bench Co Step Stools - Donates for Childhood Cancer Causes

The wood for the benches at Nice Bench Co comes to them in air-dried rough-hewn planks harvested from a neighbors private sustainable Forrest in Novar, Ontario, Canada.Owen’s dad cuts the planks to size before Owen planes, routers and assembles with a drill, screws and glue. The detail-oriented young CEO then glues wooden plugs to cover each of the screw holes. Each “nice bench”, as Owen calls them, is then sanded and finished with biodegradable, zero VOC milk paint. Canadian manufacturer Homestead House Paint Co. generously donates some of the milk paint for Owen’s kidpreneur enterprise. Owen gives each bench another careful sanding before sealing with Homestead House Paint Co.’s hemp oil or bees wax. The standard color palette was selected by Owen and his mother, who oversees production and quality. Owen’s older brother gives the final look over before signing off.


The Nice Bench Co was launched on Facebook in April 2017, and the first sale was celebrate 20 days later. Since then Owen has run out of wood twice. He has been able to donate $150.00 in gas cards to The Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer (NOFCC), helping to offset travel expenses for Northern families traveling to and from The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

When Owen is asked about his goals for the business, he simply says “I want to be on the ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and start a charity to help children with cancer”.

Owen’s benches are handmade and a one-of-a-kind 100% Product of Canada.

Childhood cancer research is severely underfunded, with only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget spent on children’s cancer research in the U.S., and just 3% in Canada. Owen hopes he can help change those stats and bring greater awareness to childhood cancer.




Disney Dedicates Pandora a New Land of Experiences at Animal Kingdom

Park goers and Disney fans everywhere got a grand preview of Disney’s new Pandora land during their dedication ceremonies for the media. Disney’s Animal Kingdom unveiled a “world out of this world,” complete with massive mountains floating in the sky, rain forests pulsing light.

When it opens to the public on May 27, Pandora – The World of Avatar will transform and transport Walt Disney World guests to a new land 4.4 light years away from Earth.

Inspired by the blockbuster motion picture AVATAR from filmmaker James Cameron, the new 12-acre land immerses guests in the world of Pandora after the generation that lived through the human-Na’vi conflict in the film.

The world came to life with the collaboration of two master story tellers, Disney joined with Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment in a staggering multi-year project to bring the mythical world of Pandora to life. While Pandora land was inspired by Cameron’s film, it was not envisioned as an extension of the film.

“It’s not the movie AVATAR that we are portraying,” said Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “It is the planet Pandora where you can come, you can visit, and have your own unique adventure. Rather than reliving the adventures of characters from the film, you’re going to come to the planet where those things happened — and have your own set of adventures you can own.”

The land is complete with two extraordinary attractions; Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. There is also a refreshments area, the  Satu’ii Canteen where guests can recharge after or during their adventures.


Makeup Geek Launches new In The Nude line

Everyone wants to achieve the perfect “natural look” to extenuate their best features.  It is always difficult to find the perfect lips, bronzer and eye shadow to create the perfect natural look.

Makeup Geek has launched a new line #InTheNudeLine to encourage women to love the skin their in. They will be previewing their new line at the PHAMExpo in June. If your not attending the expo the products will be available June 15th on when the collection officially launches.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming line :

Bronze Luster: Makeup Geek has used silky mineral pigments and pear powder to give your skin a beautiful glow. They are available in three shades :   

  1. Sun-Kissed – for fair skin tones
  2. Tawny – for medium skin tones
  3. Burnished – for deep skin tones

IN THE NUDE Eye shadow Pallet : This is a skin tone based eye shadows, it pair five of their most popular shimmering shades and four new matte colors:

  1. So Pale
  2. Buffed
  3. Creased
  4. Dark Roast

You can complete your look with Beach Bunny or Jetsetter from Makeup Geek’s Plush Lip Collection and their highlighter powders including :

  1. Luster – Soft Rose Champagne
  2. Daybreak – Soft Peachy Tan
  3. Ignite – Rich Copper







Stars “Flash” at Cannes

DERMAFLASH caused a huge frenzy at this year’s Cannes Film Festival as it was all that makeup artists could rave about. Celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo dubbed the DERMAFLASH as his wand. 

“DERMAFLASH is the perfect prep for all skin tones. It makes the skin look luminous and fresh and red carpet ready every single time,” said Oquendo. DERMAFLASH reveals instantly smooth radiant camera-ready skin and is the ultimate step to create a perfect base for flawless makeup application. 

Elsa Hosk, DERMAFLASH, dermaflash, cannes, film festival, cannes film festival, skin, dermaplaning

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Founded by Dara Levy in 2015, the DERMAFLASH removes dead skin cells, built up debris on the skin’s surface and gets rid of peach fuzz, all in one swift motion. It uses a “subtle sonic vibration and proprietary Edge to remove the oldest layer of dead skin cells and built-up debris while painlessly sweeping  away unwanted vellus hair.” The device offers results immediately. 

DERMAFLASH is available to purchase at, and retailers including, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, QVC,,,,, and