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Your Picky Teen Will Love These 5 Gifts  By Rachel Naud   Tweens and teens can be the toughest people to shop for. Buy something cringey and cute, and you get the eye rolls! But don’t worry, we’ve got a few gift ideas that are sure to please your pickiest people!   For the Film Fanatic Teen Love going to the movies over the holidays? Make teens' stockings more memorable by giving them Cineplex gift cards that they can use either with their parents or with their friends. Spend $50 or more on Cineplex gift cards (either the plastic card or online) and you'll receive a holiday gift bundle with more than $60 worth of coupons for things like free admission, free popcorn, discounted food, free movie ticket upgrades, and more! With this holiday bundle, your teen can also play games, eat, and be entertained at The Rec Room with friends!  The offer is on now and runs until Dec. 31! You can pick it up in theatres, at cineplex.com, or at The Rec Room or therecroom.com   For the Fashionista Teen These stylish Joe Fresh Knits & Jewelry from Shoppers Drug Mart will appeal to any fashionista on your gift list. Changing up your winter wardrobe is always fun, and this season, Ombre All Day is the theme of this stylish and cozy hat and scarf. These cute toques and mittens will make you smile - especially this pom-pom toque! With everything from bracelets and necklaces to earrings, Joe Fresh jewelry has everything your teen could need to celebrate the holidays in style.    For the Skincare-Savvy Teen Everyone wants to look and feel their best—especially our teens—and this Proactiv system will help them put their best face forward this holiday season. It’s an easy 3-step system—you just cleanse, tone and treat! Dermatologists developed the original Proactiv system to treat existing acne and help prevent future breakouts, which is also important. And to make it even easier, you can unlock exclusive savings when you purchase the 3-step system as a subscription including a free gift. To get more info and to buy the system, visit getproactiv.ca.   For the Glamorous Teen Make the perfect holiday-glam look for the glamorous teen on your list with COVERGIRL Exhibitionist Stretch & Strengthen Mascara! It's formulated with Peptides, Biotin and Pro-Vitamin B5 for a lash extension effect that lifts, stretches, and adds volume all day long! With its wavy bristles and wavy design, the brush reaches every lash from

Gift the Unexpected: 3 Unique ‘Gifts for Good’ Ideas that Help Children Worldwide by Fred Witteveen   My family, perhaps like yours, has an annual holiday tradition. Every year, no matter where we are, we make the same Christmas breakfast. We prepare our special crepes, the recipe handwritten on a stained decades-old 3x6 card. As a family, we have moved often and even relocated abroad for a time. Change is a constant for us, but so are those pancakes. My daughter, now 28, grew up on them; I figure she downed hundreds over the years before leaving her now empty-nester parents. As a result of COVID last year, we spent the holidays miles apart in New York and Toronto. Even quarantine could not stop us; we laughed together as we flipped crepes made with our special recipe over Zoom.   Holiday Traditions Children everywhere love traditions (parents, too), and traditions make memories. Celebrating Giving Tuesday (November 29) is a tradition in our family, too. It marks the largest global movement of generosity and signals the start of the holiday season. If you're writing up your family's holiday wish list this year, consider including some 'gifts for good' that will make a lasting difference to vulnerable children worldwide and create a new family tradition. Children Believe is a charity that supports more than 1.2 million children, youth and community members annually. They release their Gifts for Good catalogue every year. It features gifts that can help break the barriers to education that millions of children, particularly girls, endure in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay—countries where Children Believe serves. All 54 gifts featured in the Gifts for Good catalogue will support children and their families to overcome the challenges they face, not only during the holiday season but all year long. Here are three of my favourite picks that I hope might make your family’s list this holiday season, too.   Goats – the Gift Of All Time? Being the GOAT – what younger generations recognize to mean the “Greatest Of All Time” – may be an accolade given to sports stars, but we think real goats are the “Gift Of All Time”. Why? Goats have proven to be useful in developing countries as a source of milk, fertilizer, and income for vulnerable families. Parents can use these funds for their children’s  school fees and supplies. You can help a family for a year by giving a goat ($100 per goat, $250

Out of the ER: From Grey's to Reindeer Games Homecoming Sarah Drew Talks About Her New Holiday Movie and Her Family's Favourite Traditions by Arianne Granada   Making her mark by playing iconic characters like Dr. April Kepner from Grey’s Anatomy and Sarah Brown from Amber Brown, Sarah Drew is set to make her writing debut with the upcoming Holiday rom-com Reindeer Games Homecoming as part of her two-picture deal with Lifetime. We sat down with Drew to talk about how she navigates motherhood and parenting while being a full-time actress, director, producer, and writer.     Your new show Amber Brown has recently premiered on Apple TV+, can you tell us more about your role? I play Amber’s Mom, Sarah. She loves her daughter so much and is trying hard to navigate the giant changes in their lives with grace and kindness. Sarah creates healthy boundaries for Amber and is committed to repairing when there is a rupture in the relationship. Sarah is also coming into her own. She’s in therapy, learning how to identify and pursue her own desires while also parenting well. It’s fun to see both Sarah and Amber navigate these changes together.   How similar or how different is Sarah Drew to Sarah Brown? I’m very similar to Sarah for all of the reasons I mentioned above. I’m always thinking about my kids. I believe in setting good boundaries. I’m committed to raising kind and brave kiddos and part of that comes with moments when they don’t like me very much. Like Sarah Brown, trust is absolutely essential to our family dynamic. We have a rule in our home that we never go to bed angry. We must make peace before saying goodnight.    What is your favourite part about filming for Amber Brown? I loved the community that we built. I loved the brilliant words that Bonnie Hunt gave us to say, and how playful the set was. It was also a joy to watch Carsyn grow and blossom into a truly brilliant artist on set!     How has being a real-life mom affected how you played your roles? I’m more selective about the jobs I take. Every job takes me away from my kids — sometimes out of the country even. I think about the fact that they will probably watch all of my work at some point, so I am sure that I’m making art that I’m proud of and that I’ll be proud to share with them. It

4 Fun Winter Advent Calendar Ideas for the Family by Rachel Naud   The cold, dreary days of winter may be coming soon, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Here are some ideas for your family's winter advent calendar that will keep you and yours entertained!   Guides for Managing Finances With the holidays coming up—and the cost of everything going up—now is a good time to have a talk with your teen about finances. Have a teen that is at that age where they don’t have a job but seems to have expensive taste? Teach them about financial literacy and how to manage their money!      The SideKick Mastercard from Hero Financials is a reliable tool that helps tweens and teens understand and manage money efficiently and effectively. No need to set your kids up with a new bank account, you just sign up at herofinancials.com and you can load money on it and use the budgeting tool to divide the money between pre-created categories: general, living expenses, eating out, travel, shopping, and fun which will help your kids budget for what is most important to them. There’s actually a cash-back promotion on the site right now (sign up for Hero's annual plan and get $50 cash back plus a free upgrade after your first load!), which is super cool and the card can be used anywhere a prepaid Mastercard is accepted–in-store or online.   Hot Meals for Cozy Nights Is there anything better than cooking a delicious, hot meal on a cold, snowy night? Here’s an idea: get your teen involved and celebrate Pizza Fridays! It's so easy to make, and when you use good-quality ingredients, it makes for a great pizza!      To make the sauce, use Mutti tomatoes—it’s fresh just like a summer tomato, even though outside the snow may be flying! Made with 100% Italian tomatoes, this sauce makes for a simple, yet absolutely delicious meal. Fun fact! Some tomatoes are better for certain recipes and to pick the best one for your recipe, Mutti has come up with a handy guide to bring your recipe to the next level—check it out on muttipolpa.ca.      Games for Game Nights When the weather turns cold, don’t you just like to heat up the competition with a family game night? Your family will absolutely love the Nintendo Switch OLED Model because it has a 7-inch screen and the colours and graphics are even more vibrant. With the Mario Kart 8

The College Tour is About to Make Your Life a Whole Lot Easier By Samantha Jonas-Hain     As a mom of high schoolers, I know how stressful the college search can be. Aside from the emotional aspect (let’s face it, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that bedtime stories and snuggles are things of the past), there is so much of this next chapter that is unknown. How can we as parents make sure that our kids are making informed, well-thought-out choices about college, and setting themselves up for success?   Fortunately, The College Tour has come to the rescue! It is a groundbreaking TV series that travels to colleges and universities, bringing the story of each school to life through the lens of its students. The show streams on Amazon Prime and all episodes are available for free on their website. The College Tour is leveling the playing field by enabling students from all over the world to check out schools without having to spend the time or money to travel there. The show has filmed at over 80 colleges and universities so far, but really, when it comes to The College Tour, the TV show is just the beginning.   The College Tour website is a comprehensive tool for parents, students, and educators to gather information that will help students make smart decisions based off of what’s truly best for them. They offer free classes for international students, first-generation students, majors, and a core class that breaks down the four pillars to look for in a school, in addition to digital series, like Ask Admissions, blogs, and more.   With so much information, available for free, here are some tips on how to get the most out of The College Tour.     Go broad Don’t just watch episodes of The College Tour about schools already on your radar, use this as an opportunity to expand your universe. There are so many incredible schools out there that might be an even better fit, you just don’t know it yet. The show allows you to explore regions, and campuses that otherwise were inaccessible.    Take the classes Online classes are not just useful to students, but also to parents who want to learn more about today's college landscape. The first-generation class is especially useful for parents who didn’t attend college, giving them tools to help their children in their search.    Let them do the asking for you The College Tour has multiple digital series where

5 Signs of Teen Burnout by Carol Bunting   We all want our teens to succeed in school, but putting them under too much pressure can lead to stress and anxiety. There's a risk of burnout if teens do too much at once—juggling studies, friends, family time, hobbies and chores. If you're worried about your teen's well-being, look out for these five signs of teen burnout.     They're not taking part in their hobbies Hobbies help teens take breaks from their studies and unwind with fun activities. They also often help them to socialize if they're group-based hobbies, and they can offer a creative or physical outlet for letting go of emotions and burning off stress. If your teen is neglecting their usual hobbies, they may be overworked and unable to balance school and fun. They might also not have enough mental energy to devote to hobbies because school consumes most of their time.   They're irritable It's common for teens to lash out or get frustrated with those around them because their moods can fluctuate as a result of their developing brains. However, stress compounds irritability, and if you notice the issue gets worse when there's a lot going on at school, your teen could be experiencing burnout. Perhaps they're irritable because they don't feel they're performing well enough, or because they're concerned about disappointing you.     They aren't eating properly Stress and anxiety can impact appetite. For some, it causes undereating and cravings for sugar and junk food. A change in eating habits could indicate that your teenager is struggling with their workload. It may be particularly obvious that stress is affecting their appetite if there's a pattern in their eating habits. For example, if they don't eat their dinner during the week but tend to eat well at the weekends, they could be feeling extra anxious on school days.   They isolate themselves Due to their irritability and desire for independence, teens spend more time alone in their rooms. However, if they suddenly start spending more time than usual isolated from others, especially if they're also avoiding spending time with their friends, this could be a sign that they're struggling.     They have insomnia Symptoms of burnout include insomnia. Your mind is so busy worrying that you can't switch off and rest. Teens have different body clocks than adults and tend to stay up late, but if the late nights are lasting right until morning every night, there could be something else going on. Look for

Kara Alloway: More Than a Real Housewife of Toronto By Arianne Granada   Known as the feisty fashionista in Slice’s Real Housewives of Toronto, we sat down with Kara Alloway to learn more about her family life, her philanthropic side, and how she enacts changes for the world in her own way.     It's been five years since The Real Housewives of Toronto aired, how has your life changed from that point in time?  Incredibly, drastically so. Where do I begin?  Before the show even started, I never really wanted to be on reality television. I wanted to produce reality television. I have a background in journalism, so I see myself as a storyteller. So, before the show, I was in touch with a production company with plans to produce a reality show about charity events. Being involved in that world made me think it would make great organic content for a reality TV show, so I contacted the producers. There was a lot of back and forth until they said “Look, you should do Real Housewives of Toronto! It could be a sizzle reel or your show, you can do a spin-off.” But I never actually wanted to be on it.  Immediately after I came to LA, I was very fortunate and grateful to have tons of acquaintances who connected me with the right people to produce reality television. I jumped right in and I now have three-week projects in development. After RHOT, my world just changed dramatically. I think the show served such a great purpose in helping me get very specific about what I wanted to do, what I saw as my purpose in this world, and where I wanted to go.   Have you kept in touch with the ladies from the show?  You know I get asked that a lot and the thing about that is, it was a really unique situation.  I never really knew any of them beforehand. One of them was an acquaintance of a third party and that was actually how she came on the show. I was working with production and they had the entire cast but they still needed one more person. So I said, “I know this individual and she has a huge personality so, in that sense, she might be a good candidate for reality television.” And then, sure enough, they ended up casting her on the show. She ended up being my nemesis, but it was great casting,

6 Spooky Halloween Activities Around Toronto by Arianne Granada   October is filled with fun and frights! So, if you are a parent wanting to bring your teens out on Halloween, there are plenty of options to choose from. We've rounded up the best ways to celebrate this spooky season in Toronto. From scary rides to haunted tours, we've got something for every type of horror fan out there!   Halloween Haunt in Canada's Wonderland In Canada's Wonderland, you can face your fears and experience Halloween in all its glory. Be amazed by the horrors, thrills, and monster encounters that await you in Halloween Haunt. Get ready for some of the scariest mazes and haunted attractions. Also, the live entertainment will give you an unforgettable experience, and if that’s not enough, check out some of their dark rides!     Legends of Horror in Casa Loma With the spooky season upon us, Casa Loma is offering two exciting events for you and your teen. In Legends of Horror, Casa Loma's grounds will be transformed into an immersive theatrical experience. Taking the form of a parade theatre presentation, the audience will walk through a trail of 2 km beginning in Casa Loma's lower gardens and winding through the castle's tunnels and darkest spaces that have never been open to the public before.     The castle's winding gardens transform into a storybook setting through theatrically designed sets, lighting, projections and professional actors. You will walk through their impressive sets in gardens and chambers beneath the castle, seeing different characters as you move to the next scene. The audience is immersed in the story, making you a part of the set. In collaboration with Secret City Adventures, Zombie Apocalypse is a new immersive experience. in Casa Loma. One of Toronto's biggest zombie-themed haunted houses, you will enter the world of the fictional pharmaceutical company, Biolux, with their new wonder drug, the Biolux Serum, which turns subjects into contagious zombies. Inside their Biolux showrooms, you'll discover gruesome secrets and experiments made by their scientists. You can also explore their survivor camps where you'll find those struggling to battle against the zombie apocalypse.   Ghost Walks Exhibition Place Join Exhibition Place's Ghost Walks if you like the idea of ghost walks but don't want to go alone. Together with After Dark Tours' Steve Collie, you'll walk through a haunted past on these two-hour tours. Exhibition Place harbours a few well-guarded secrets only known to staff who work the late shift. Historically, the grounds hosted

Back to School Tips: Internet Safety for Kids by Myla Pilao Now that the fall has sprung, children of all ages have returned to school for the new year. The use of digital technology and the Internet is a normal part of life for children now, at home — but increasingly in school as well. And while long-term trends had already formed, the COVID-19 pandemic saw such changes go into overdrive, with children across Canada spending an average of six hours a day of screen time every day, and some children even spending up to 13 hours per day on screens.     Life in front of a screen According to a recent survey, two-thirds of parents allow their children to use the Internet independently, and over 70 percent have admitted to their children engaging in risky online behaviour. With the increasing daily use of digital technology, it's critical for parents to integrate digital literacy and cyber hygiene into their child’s learning process. The Internet is a powerful tool offering a multitude of positive benefits, but it also has its risks. It is up to individuals to practice safe browsing habits that protect them and their families from malicious actors. This will enable them to enjoy all the positive opportunities that the Internet has to offer. To help improve kids’ safety and awareness online, Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity solutions company, launched the Cyber Academy, which offers 7–10-year-olds a series of video-based lessons and learning materials designed to upgrade children’s digital literacy skills in a way that’s meaningful and engaging. The Cyber Academy consists of Internet safety lessons that focus on passwords, two-factor authentication, security and privacy among others. These free 10-15 minute lessons can be delivered on-demand and are available to teachers in the classroom or a guardian at home. This tool is also available in eleven different languages including Czech, Deutsch, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Chinese and Arabic. Trend Micro’s Myla Pilao, Director of Technology Marketing and an avid advocate for the safety of children online, has shared a few tips for parents to keep in mind:   Have conversations about online safety in today’s digital world Encourage your kids to ask questions. Make them feel safe to share if someone or something online makes them feel uncomfortable   Practice Digital Empathy teaching kids to be kind to others online and offline is essential. Respecting others’ boundaries and privacy will make them recognize when someone is trespassing on theirs.   Teach children about privacy and password

Back-to-School Survival Kit by Rachel Naud   It's back-to-school time!  Teens everywhere may be dreading the start of another year, but we've got some good news: it's easier than ever to make your teen's back-to-school experience enjoyable! Check out our list of essential items that will help make the transition into the new school year easier for both you and them.   For Taking Notes   Remember during university days and not wanting to write or jot notes in your textbooks so you could keep them pristine and sell them afterwards? Post-it® Notes are perfect for this job! They are handy for making study notes as well as jotting down quick ideas and tasks to help keep you organized.     These Post-it® Super Sticky Notes have two times the sticking power compared to the original Post-it® Notes. They’ll not only stick to most flat surfaces but also come off easily and cleanly! And, of course, who doesn’t love the fun new colours they’ve launched this year?    For Scratch-Free Dorm Rooms     If you have a university student moving into a dorm, they’ll want to keep Scotch® Wall-Safe Tape on hand. In most dorms, you're not allowed to nail anything to the walls. This tape is ideal for displaying posters, photos, and more. As an added bonus, Scotch® Magic™ Tape is invisible, which makes it perfect for school projects, crafts, or simply mending torn pages!    For Managing Finances   Does your teen have expensive taste and you want to teach them how to effectively manage their money? Get them started with Hero Financials and teach them financial literacy. It’s a reliable tool that helps tweens and teens understand and manage money efficiently and effectively. Your kids don't need a new bank account! Just sign up at herofinancials.com, and you can load money on it and use a variety of features, including a budgeting tool, recurring allowances, and block lists, to help them budget for what matters most to them. It comes with a physical SideKick Mastercard, which can be used anywhere a prepaid Mastercard is accepted in-store or online. Hero has some incentives going on at the moment for new signups, so make sure to visit Hero Financials to check it out.     For Easy Organization     Want to teach your teen the art of time management? The Echo Show 15 has widgets that are Alexa-powered to help keep your teen on track with shared calendars, personal sticky notes, to-do lists, shopping lists, and assigned reminders. Not only that, but they