4 Grad Gift Ideas They'll Love Whether your son or daughter is graduating from high school or university/college, you'll want to mark and celebrate the occasion with the perfect gift! Since we’re all staying close to home these days, here are some great grad gift ideas that your teen and young adult will love and enjoy while at home. 55-inch TCL Roku TV If there’s anything we’re all doing these days, it’s binge-watching our favourite shows. I think your graduate would be thrilled with their own 55-inch TCL Roku TV! It’s super easy to set up. You just create a Roku account and set it up with your Internet and then you have all the popular streaming apps like Netflix, Prime, Disney+ and Crave, etc at your fingertips. It’s powered by the Roku OS system and actually provides access to more than 150,000 movies and TV shows from top free and paid channels, so it is easier than ever to binge-watch your favourites! And, if they’re night owls, they can watch without disturbing you because the Roku mobile app enables you to use private listening when you connect a pair of headphones to your phone! The picture itself is 4K so it’s very crisp and clear and makes binge-watching a picture-perfect experience! $400, roku.com Hamilton Beach DrinkMaster While you’re watching your favourite show, why not enjoy a homemade milkshake?! This DrinkMaster Chrome Classic from Hamilton Beach has a cool, 50s diner vibe that I love and it whips up serious delicious drinks in no time flat. You can make your favourite milkshake, but you can also make smoothies or malts too! It has two speeds and comes with this 28-ounce mixing up, which gives you plenty of room without worrying about it spilling all over.  And it looks neat on your counter too! $70, hamiltonbeach.ca 10.2-inch iPad An iPad is always a great gift, especially for graduates. This is the 10.2-inch iPad and it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family with Facetime and now, of course, Zoom. They can also use it to download their favourite apps, watch TV and movies, listen to music, and even use it as a portable tablet if they’re planning on continuing their studies in the fall. It’s great because you can easily add a Smart Keyboard, Apple Pencil and use your iCloud account to transfer work between a student’s Mac and iPhone. $429+, apple.ca The Knot Dr.

How to Teach Your Teen the Art of Face-to-Face Connections   Here’s a question for you to ponder:  Are we as parents doing all we can to prepare our teens for high school, college or the workplace? Are we doing all we can to best support the next generation so they can function in the best way possible in the real world?  Are we supporting the next generation by way of offering them pivotal life skills?  What I’m talking about is developing face-to-face communication skills, in an age where it is becoming a lost art. We are all experiencing a unique time in history, no doubt about it. We are also searching to create a new sense of normalcy as well.  It’s more about physical distancing than social distancing.  We need to connect and interact socially now more than ever. And when it’s safe to connect face-to-face, that’s even better! Here are some tips on how to teach your teens the art of face-to-face interaction and become better communicators. Have mutually beneficial conversations I will make a basic assumption that we all like to be understood.  One main factor to really understanding someone is by listening.  Some quick tips on how to fully engage are to ask clarifying questions.  It is always OK to ask questions of anyone you are talking with, such as, “I really want to understand your point, would you mind saying it again for me?”  Or perhaps you can ask them to rephrase it in a different way so that you understand.  Instead of offering (pretend) nods of understanding, ask for clarity!  Don’t interrupt, listen more and talk less.  It’s easy to talk. When we talk, we are sharing what we already know, but when you truly listen, you may learn something. One quick tip I’ve used with teens to work on listening skills is creating a for-fun mock TV or radio interview.  I have my clients create a short list of three questions to ask, but I always stress one key point to them.  I emphasize for them to listen to the answers very carefully instead of thinking about the next question to ask on their list.  This small adjustment tends to bring big results.  By doing this, you truly put a focus on actively listening to someone and this small habit can be applied to real-life job interviews. How to have hard conversations Most of us, not just today’s youth, will inevitably need to

9 Mother’s Day Gifts She’ll Love So, this is a weird Mother’s Day, right? Instead of brunch out or a big family dinner, you might have to send your love over a Zoom call. The good news? You can still show how much you appreciate and adore Mom with these gifts that can be easily ordered online and delivered straight to her home —and her heart.   Conair Unbound Auto Curler Just because she may not be going out, doesn’t mean she won’t want to look her best. This cordless hair curler creates luxurious curls and beautiful beachy waves anytime, anywhere. It’s rechargeable so Mom can pack it in her purse when she’s finally able to hop a plane and come visit you! $129.99, conaircanada.ca Belif Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask Bring the spa experience home to Mom with this innovative jelly-pudding mask that replenishes and revives dull, dry skin with explosive hydration. She can put her best face forward on Mother’s Day when she wakes up with a radiant and dewy glow, just in time for your family’s Zoom call! $45, sephora.com/ca Quo Beauty Flash Dry Nail Colour Perfect for the DIY mani-pedi, this two-coat, fast dry nail polish is long-wearing and creates a smooth, hard finish on nails. It comes in 30 gorgeous shades. $11, beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca/ Google Nest Hub Max Perfect for the home chef or video call queen, the Google Nest Hub Max is perfect for catching up with the family, finding new recipes or even just displaying family photos. All she has to do to get started is say, “Hey Google.”  $299+, store.google.com/ca/product/google_nest_hub_max  Roku® Streaming Stick™+ Perfect for binge-watching her favourite show, the Roku Streaming Stick sets Mom up for streaming free TV, live news, sports, music, movies and more! She’ll not only love the picture-perfect quality, but she’ll also adore the feature where she can search her show of choice via the voice remote! $70, roku.ca iRobot Braava jet m6 Bid adieu to the mop and broom! This Wi-Fi-connected Braava jet m6 robot mop delivers fresh, clean floors throughout the entire home – learning, mapping, and adapting from room to room. Using Imprint Link Technology, the Braava jet m6 also teams with Roomba s, i and 900 series, and automatically starts mopping after vacuuming is finished. $550, shop.irobot.ca/ Vivier Anti-Aging Program Give Mom the gift of glowing skin with Vivier’s Anti-Aging Program. The program reduces fine lines and wrinkles, aging and expression lines, while at the same time improving your skin’s moisture,

Foster Fail Julie Benz from Foster Boy talks about how the film exposes abuse, corruption in the foster-care system in the U.S. Tell us a little about the movie Foster Boy. Foster Boy is a legal drama about corruption in the for-profit foster care system. It is based on true events. Foster Boy was written by an attorney and is based on his experience as a top litigator in Chicago. How do you think his first-hand knowledge and experience really lends to the credibility of this film? Jay Paul Deratany was able to bring his real-life experience as a top litigator to the page. It adds an incredible richness to the film. As a litigator, he prosecuted numerous child welfare cases against for-profit foster-care companies and won. His screenplay pulls together a number of the cases he has prosecuted in order to tell an extremely compelling story and illuminate the bigger issue of corruption in the for-profit foster-care system. Foster Boy has been described as “Art Activism.” What does that mean to you? Wow. That’s a powerful and accurate description of Foster Boy. To me, ‘Art Activism’ means the ability to inspire change through art. And that’s exactly what this movie does. It holds up a mirror to a very corrupt system in our country and forces you to look at it. It leaves you wanting to make a difference for these innocent children and to fight for reform. Why do you think it’s so important to highlight the abuses within the foster-care system in the U.S.? Foster children are the forgotten children in our country. There are 430,000 children in the foster-care system at any one time. The statistics show that the majority of foster children are abused, neglected and denied basic services.  And over half end up homeless, unemployable or incarcerated after aging out of the foster-care system. What’s your take on for-profit foster care? It doesn’t work. Profits are frequently prioritized over a child’s well-being. These companies are hard to regulate and are not always transparent with their data. It’s heartbreaking because it’s the children that suffer at the hands of these greedy companies. There’s an incentive to make the placements for these kids to intentionally fail so the company can make more money. It’s criminal. You play Pamela Dupree in the movie. Can you tell us about your character? Pamela Dupree is a representation of what it’s like to be a social worker in a for-profit foster-care system. Through

5 Tips to Help Your Teen Learn at Home The shift to remote learning has been a challenge for everyone – teachers, parents and students, alike. No one has mastered it, so don’t be too hard on yourself and expect that you should have this figured out. This might be helpful advice to share with your teen too. Here are five tips to make the transition a little easier on you and your teen: Set a routine and create a plan for success together. It’s important that you and your teen sit down and map out a schedule and goals for learning. Make sure to get their input rather than impose a schedule on them. They are likely already feeling anxious, so this is an opportunity to give them a sense of control over something. Your teen will feel empowered and motivated when they feel they have a voice in the decision-making. Be clear that the schedule can be changed in the future as you both learn more about their school’s approach to remote learning. The environment at home is very different than school, so it may be hard for your teen to get motivated. Help your teen set up a space at home to mimic the school day. Setting up a designated area for learning will help them transition into a mindset for learning. Using a timer like the bell at school can help your teen know when to move on to a different subject or assignment. If your teen struggles with attention, try setting a timer for 15-minute increments (to start) to help them focus. Teach your child how to be an independent learner. Staying focused, organized and on-task are skills that are crucial to be a successful learner remotely. Look at the assignments and schedule online (if their school has switched to distance education) and show them how to create a weekly or monthly calendar for any upcoming deadlines. Discuss how they can break each project down and plan their time accordingly. The calendar is a great guide to create daily to-do lists as well. Encourage your teen to reach out to their teacher if/when they have questions versus you doing it for them. Connect your teen with a tutor online. If the change from parent/child to teacher/student is causing any stress or frustration, sometimes it’s best to call in a third party to support your child with their

Top Chef Canada's Contestants on Cooking Up Their Careers If life in quarantine has you flipping channels in a neverending search to find something suitable to watch with your teen, you can now put the remote safely down for at least an hour a week. Food Network Canada's Top Chef Canada Season 8 has just started wherein 12 chefs from every corner of the country compete in the most prestigious cooking competition in the country, battling it out for the biggest prize in Top Chef Canada history and the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef. Yes, they're in for a wild ride but we wanted to talk to the competitors about their lives BEFORE Top Chef. They were open and honest about their journeys that led them to the kitchen (they weren't all as smooth as butter), the importance of family support (one contestant's father STILL won't tell people his son is a chef) and their advice for teens looking to start a life in the kitchen. Adrian Forte When did you know you wanted to be a chef? I was always cooking as a teenager, but I decided to pursue cooking professionally the summer before Grade 12. I had realized I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete and I was already extremely passionate about all things food. I enjoyed being in the kitchen, so I thought to myself, “why wouldn’t I want to do this all the time?” What did your family say when you chose a career in the culinary arts, which can mean a lot of long nights and tough work? I come from a whole bloodline of chefs. My mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles all spent some time in the kitchen. My grandmother had seven children and it was a rite of passage in our household for every one of her kids to learn the craft. The tradition has been passed down for generations, so when I decided to pursue cooking professionally, my entire family was ecstatic about my career choice and they continue to support me. What do you wish you knew back then that you know now? Nothing. I believe life is a lesson and experience is the teacher (it’s sort of my mantra). I’ve always learned from my failures and mistakes, and I apply what I’ve learned to the next situation, endeavor or business venture. I’m a firm believer in trial by fire or sink or swim. Trials and tribulations develop

Parenting Expert Alyson Schafer's Best Tips on Living with Teens During COVID-19 We’re all in this crazy COVID-19 era together and for those of us with tweens and teens, it can be especially hard. Fights over time spent on devices and arguments over the importance of social distancing can be on the daily. Our teens are staying up late and sleeping till noon and it’s driving us crazy! Take a deep breath, parents. This is a crazy time for us all —especially for tweens and teens who may not understand or appreciate the seriousness of this virus. That’s why we chatted with parenting expert, Alyson Schafer, to get her best advice on living with teens during this time of social distancing and quarantine. How can we motivate our teens to get off their devices and do something — anything! —without having to nag them all the time and start an argument? Coach don’t manage: Teens do not respond well to orders or directives.  Instead, you want to have a discussion about how they would like to see the next few weeks and months unfolding.  What makes a good day? What do they want to accomplish? How do they want to feel? What does a balanced day mean to them? These are curiosity questions that make them think.  Then you could ask them what they might do to accomplish this? Ask them if they need any help from you.  At the end of the day/week, you can review how the day went and how they felt about it. Ask what would they would like to do tomorrow to move closer to their goals? Let them know what your expectations are for them, that may include some chores to help out, their presence at mealtimes and some time spent on a family activity (bike ride/card game). Keep inviting (not nagging) your teen to join you when you are doing an activity and let them know you enjoy their company whenever they do show up and participate. Brainstorm with your teen over things they enjoyed doing on the last family holiday together. Do you have any suggestions for activities to keep tweens/teens busy throughout the day, while still social distancing? Every teen has their own unique interests; your job as a parent is to look for those interests and talents and then assist and inspire them to elevate it to the next level.  If they like cooking, can they

How Vivier Helped My Skin Win the War Against Winter By Rachel Naud   Ok, ladies. It’s time for some real talk. Middle age + Rosacea + Dry Winter Conditions does not a good complexion make. “Mom, what’s wrong with your face?” It became a question I heard more than once from my teenaged son. Maybe I was just avoiding mirrors or maybe I was just in denial — isn’t everyone blotchy after a shower? — but my skin was red, blotchy and dehydrated, and not just after my daily shower, but well into the day and even into the evening hours. And, if it was windy outside? Forget about it. I would break out in full-out hives. So, obviously, this wasn’t going to do. Yes, I work from home 90 per cent of the time and can hide behind the safety of my four walls, but as the editor of this publication, I often go on TV. And there’s nothing private about that. Basically, my skin was waging a war with winter and the season was kicking my butt – and my face. So, when I got the chance to try these products from Vivier Skin Care, I jumped at the chance. What I received: Ultimage The website vows you’ll look up to five years younger in 30 days by using this product. The hyaluronic acid (something we lose with age) in this smooth gel regulates water content, elasticity and distributes nutrients. It hydrates your skin, allowing it to appear smoother and more radiant. Ultimage also includes neuropeptides, which smooths and softens skin, while reducing the depth of wrinkles and fine lines. GrenzCine Serum I have tried this serum before and it didn’t disappoint the second time around. I would recommend this serum to any woman in her 40s as it’s the first multi-layer and multi-function slow-release anti-aging line that results in beautiful, more luminous, plumper and healthier-looking skin. This serum is a combination of Vivier’s patented pharmaceutical-grade vitamin C and its Polyamine-DAB to create an antioxidant-rich and anti-aging treatment. It’s perfect for thinner skin that needs a dose of hydration and a boost in luminosity, texture and elasticity.  C E Peptides Vitamin C isn’t just for keeping colds at bay. Turns out, it’s super good for your skin, and this serum contains the highest grade of vitamin C that is readily available. It not only protects your skin against harmful radicals, but it prevents future skin damage. It’s known to fade brown spots

Real Talk with ABC's A Million Little Things' star Lizzy Greene By Rachel Naud Lizzy Greene, 16, plays Sophie on the ABC hit show, A Million Little Things. The show, currently in its second season, deals with some very grown-up themes including suicide and depression.  We sat down with Greene to talk about her character, Sophie, and why she thinks A Million Little Things is a show every parent should watch with their teen.  A Million Little Things has quickly become a fan favourite! Did you expect the show to take off like it did? Yes and no! I definitely thought it was a super special show because of how it tackled such harsh and difficult topics with so much humanity and respect, but I also didn't expect to get such amazing fan feedback. It makes me and the entire cast and crew so happy to read stories from viewers about how our show has helped them overcome and gather strength to talk about their own struggles. How do you like filming in Vancouver? Have you found some cool spots you like to visit in the city? Most definitely. The city is filled with beautiful attractions and many cute little nooks to relax in during off days. I really love to go to the Vancouver Art Museum, and look at the new exhibits every few months. And I also love to study in one of my favourite spots, The Wedgewood Hotel restaurant. The piano is always playing, and the entire environment makes you feel like you've gone back in time. It’s very relaxing, and an easy place to relax and work on scenes. Why do you think A Million Little Things is so important today, as it openly talks about depression and suicide? I think it’s really important because any talk about mental illness helps break the stigma. Our show is a story of a modern family of friends who is hit with a bombshell they never saw coming, the suicide of one of their close friends. This story is really important because it shows just how common it is for the signs of depression to go unnoticed — until it’s too late. What else I think is really incredible is we have had two stories of suicide on the show thus far, one that was too late, and one that was caught just in time. It shows that not everything is inevitable, all you have to do

I Found Porn on my Teen’s Phone and Handled it All Wrong I made a deal with my 13-year-old son. He could have Instagram but ONLY if it was also attached to my phone so I could see what he was sending and receiving. Yes, his account was private, but having his profile on my phone also allowed me to keep tabs on randos trying to add him or inappropriate accounts sending him messages. At times, having his account on my phone was overwhelming. Do you know how many messages teens send per day?! But, still, having access to the messages-by-the-minute gave me peace of mind that he was being safe online and acting appropriately with his friends online. One day, in one of his group chats with three other boys in his class, in the middle of their conversation about basketball and the Playstation game du jour, there it was. A screenshot from PornHub! One of his buddies had sent it in between “Do we have pool tomorrow?” and “Want to play basketball after school?” I’m pretty sure when I saw the picture, I gasped out loud. I was shocked and disgusted. Who was this punk sending naked pictures of women in, may I add, unattainable positions? My knee-jerk reaction was to shut the whole thing down. That’s it. I was going to delete his social media account, take away his iPad, buy him a fleecy onesie and force him to watch the Disney Channel with me 24/7. And then I noticed something else a bit disturbing. A seemingly non-reaction from my son. Had he seen this stuff before? Why wasn’t he as shocked as I was that his friend had sent this image over. He didn’t even acknowledge the image, which I saw as maybe good and bad. Good that he didn’t want to bring focus to it in their conversation and bad because…. why wasn’t he surprised?! So, I handed the message over to my husband because I just thought ‘he’s a guy and he could give me a penis-centric POV.’ Was this just a case of boys being boys? My husband tried to reassure me that it was just a normal part of boyhood and told tales of him sneaking Playboys under his mattress or something similar in his teenage years. So, for the next couple of days, I decided to bury my head in the sand and pretend like nothing happened as I