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10 Gift Ideas for the Whole Family The countdown is on! It's less than a week from the big day, and if you're still stuck for ideas, we have plenty to fill their stockings and more! We all know the holidays can get expensive, which is why the first place we go to when doing our holiday shopping is Giant Tiger. It’s not only a one-stop shop for everything holiday but with their everyday low prices, you get great value. We love The Grinch and Giant Tiger has a lot of fun licensed Grinch items. Being a tween and a tween is the perfect time to craft your signature scent and there’s no better place to discover that than Bath & Body Works. They’ll love the new fragrance Cotton Candy Champagne in all these fun forms that they can layer on throughout their day like Shower Gel, Ultra Hydration Body Cream, Fine Fragrance Mist, and Hand Cream. If you want to make a gift memorable for your tween or teen, make it personal. Let’s face it, basically, anything you can put their face on, they’re going to love. We thought it would be fun to get them some gifts they love and need but with a twist so we went online to the Staples Solutionshop and chose from fun gifts. They have so many options for personalized gifts that you can find on staples.ca. For the person on your list who loves to try beauty products, the pink perfect clay mask by Alya will give them that Insta-worthy glow — perfect for those at-home spa days over the holidays. The Pink Perfect mask is specifically formulated with ingredients like Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, and Australian Pink Clay, which works to detoxify and cleanse pores. It’s also an amazing treatment to defend the skin against pollutants, oil, dirt and toxins. When you rinse it off, your skin feels soft and amazing and leaves your complexion bright and glowing – perfect for the holidays! If you have a baker or a home chef on your list, they’re going to need a good pair of beaters for whipping up all those thick batters and sticky icings without clogging. Anyone who has ever tried to get the mashed potatoes free from the beaters by blasting it on high and then getting a hairdo of potatoes will vouch for this. We love these Easy-Clean Beaters from Hamilton Beach. They make light work out

Adolescent Acne: 3 Ways To Talk to Your Teen About Skin Health Teen health is a tough topic that every parent will have to address at one point or another. From sex education to bodily changes, and hormones, talking to your teen about personal health and wellness is paramount. One personal hygiene topic at the forefront of many teens’ and parents’ minds is acne. No teen wants to deal with dreaded breakouts, pimples or skin imperfections, but countless do. If your teen is dealing with acne, it is important for you to do your best to offer support. In order to get that conversation started, here are three ways to better support and talk to your teen to address acne and the importance of skin health. Remind Them They are Not Alone Your teen may feel that they stick out or feel a sense of isolation due to their acne. It is your job to help remind them that they are not alone. Perhaps you yourself had to deal with acne as a teen or have friends whose teens are going through the same thing. Remind your teen that acne is very common and many face a breakout here or there. To help support your child, you can have them connect with other teens who have acne and ask them what tips they have and what is working for them. Your teen will value that they have someone their own age to get advice from. In addition, they can look for inspiration from skin-positive influencers as a positive way to leverage social media, and connect with others that can relate. Help With Stress Management Stress can play a role in teen acne. In a study concerning acne and stress, researchers found teenagers who were under high levels of stress were 23% more likely to have increased acne severity. This is why it is so important to help your teen with stress management. Teens are under a lot of pressure, from school to friends, extracurricular activities and coping with the pandemic. All of this combined can be very overwhelming. Recognizing the signs of stress and managing it can make a big difference in skin health. Have your teen determine ways that can help them when they are under increased stress. Some strategies can be deep breathing, mindfulness or meditation. Encourage A Skin Care Regimen Assist your teen in developing a dedicated skin care routine that can help to

3 Reasons to give the gift of Merrill House If you’ve made your list and checked it twice, a little time away could be the perfect gift for a loved one or — let’s face it — you! After almost two years of vacations to Las Living Room or to St. Porch, a little getaway can go a long way this holiday season. Don’t want to hop a plane? No problem. We have a destination that’s only a few hours’ drive from Toronto that will make you feel like you’re a world away — Merrill House. By Rachel Naud Where Located in picturesque Prince Edward County, Merrill House is situated in Picton, Ontario, just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto. 3 Reasons Why It Makes a Great Gift:   The Design Built in 1878 for Judge Edwards Merrill, The Merrill House is steeped in history and culture. Today, owner and creative director Jordan Martin de Rosales has managed to preserve the authenticity of the property while creating a mix of old and new to create the ultimate destination. Having studied Luxury Brand Management in London, living in Zimbabwe and working for hotel groups in London and Dubai, Martin de Rosales brings his world travels and design aesthetics to the two-acre property and its 14 individually themed guest rooms. For instance, the Owner’s Suite serves up the ultimate accommodation on Merrill’s top floor with sweeping views across Picton, while the Future Room reimagines what the interiors of the future will look like. Throughout the hotel, design elements include wallpaper by William Morris, murals by Fine and Dandy Co, objets d’art by British luxury label House of Hackney and furniture by Spanish designer, Houtique. The property also features a bespoke Indian marquee, complete with a ceiling with hundreds of hand-stitched stars, designed by Martin de Rosales to house Merrill weddings and events. Merill House is also home to art exhibitions including The Indigenous Peoples on the Bay of Quinte, a collaboration with Rebecca Maracle, a fourth generation feathersmith from the Mohawk community. The Amenities For the ultimate experience, The Merrill House offers a mix of amenities — both free and paid — to create the ultimate getaway. Free amenities include: Welcome Photograph: Capture your first Merrill House moments with an old-fashioned Polaroid Pillow-Scenting Service: Test scent domes at check-in and determine the perfect scent for your night’s sleep Gourmet Breakfast: Room rates include a complimentary gourmet breakfast by breakfast Chef Lili Sullivan Indoor and Outdoor Fireplaces: To

Shining a Spotlight on Annie Live! Star Celina Smith Celina Smith may only be 12 years old, but she’s had an extensive singing and acting career as Young Nala in the National Tour of Disney’s The Lion King, appears on the mega-hit series, Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan and is set to reprise the role of Annie on Annie Live! We sat down with the Atlanta-born star to chat about growing up on stage. By Rachel Naud You're only 12 years old and have already had such an impressive career, how old were you when you started performing? My parents would say I was born performing but I was probably around 7 years old. I was doing gymnastics, but my parents decided my cartwheels weren’t getting any better and they enrolled my in a performing arts camp, AGI, … and the rest is history! When did you know you wanted to be a performer? I knew I liked performing but I knew I wanted to do it for a living after I booked The Lion King. I think that’s when I realized I could do it professionally. How do you deal with the tough aspects of the business, like rejection? Sometimes it’s hard to deal with rejection, especially when it comes to auditioning because if it’s something I really wanted, it’s a bummer. But I try not to take it personal. What’s meant for me, is meant for me, so maybe that part just wasn’t meant for me. Tell us about what it's like performing on the esteemed Broadway stage? It’s fun and cool to see the lights and the audience’s reaction to the performances. You're starring in Annie Live! What do you love about being Annie? What I love most about being Annie is that she’s so full of hope. I love spreading that kind of message especially after the past year or so. You are working with some of the greats in the biz like Harry Connick Jr. and Nicole Scherzinger. What are they like to work with? Did they give you any advice? I am so excited about the cast of this show. I haven’t met everyone yet but the amount of talent and experience I am going to get to work with is amazing! I cannot wait. How have your parents helped you in your career? My mom and my dad have helped my career by giving up so much so that I can do what I love. My mom toured with me for over

4 Ways to Have Family Fun this Winter It’s cold, it’s dark and we’re all back to navigating work and school, which can make winter seem a whole lot longer. But the fun doesn’t have to stop when the temps start to plummet! A winter advent calendar, full of surprises and activities that the whole family can do together could be just what you need to get through the season, and we have some great ideas! Embrace It This year when the temperature drops, make the decision to embrace winter. Instead of hibernating indoors, start exploring areas around your city that you normally wouldn’t go to. Going on day hikes and getting fresh air is a great way to get invigorated while making fun memories at the same time! Then, after your day exploring, head into the kitchen and cook up some comfort food like beef stew or chili — what’s better than that on a cold day? Get your teen involved, too, because it's very important to teach your teens how to cook. And, if you crank the music and give them a job, it is a great way to get them talking! But remember, after a day of exploring and before you start cooking, don’t forget to wash up, because let’s face it — COVID-19 isn’t over. It’s still vital to keep washing our hands, so why not use a good antibacterial hand soap? Our personal favourite is this limited-edition foaming hand wash from Dial. It's tough on bacteria, while being gentle on our hands. It comes in fun, festive packaging, so it looks nice on your kitchen (and bathroom) counter, but it also smells amazing because it comes in scents like Fireside Crackle, Ice Crystals and Midnight Toast. Dial’s limited-edition, festive body washes also come in three great scents — Glacial Breeze, Sugar Shack and Sugared Plum — making them the perfect stocking stuffer for your family this year! You can pick up all of these holiday-themed items for a limited time at Walmart or Loblaws. Crank the competition Nothing gets you more heated on a cold winter's day than a good ol' fashioned family game night! Nintendo Switch is perfect for family's game night because you can play it at home on the TV, which is great for multi-player games or, of course, you can use it in hand-held mode as well. They also just launched the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, which features a 7-inch

10 Ways to Keep Your Teen Safe on Social Media Kids are spending more and more time on social media these days. With that comes potential dangers like cyberbullying, exposure to questionable material and increased screentime. It’s not that social media needs to be off-limits to kids and teenagers, but there definitely needs to be some parental supervision and guidelines set to ensure your kids are staying safe. How can parents best achieve this? Dr. Fumi Stephanie Hancock, PsychDNP, is the CEO of POB Psychiatric Health and a bestselling author of 24 self-help books. She says nowadays in her practice, more parents are expressing concerns to her about the impact of social media on their children’s mental health. So, what can parents do? Dr. Hancock offers these 10 tips. Keep it in Perspective It can be tough for all of us when we compare ourselves to others. This is especially true for children and teens. At this critical and impressionable age, many young people feel devastated because they don’t feel that they measure up with others. Social media can magnify this feeling. Not only are they seeing the wonderful things that people they know are doing, but also seeing kids the same age from around the entire world seemingly living thrilling lives of adventure. Make sure that you help put all of this into perspective. First, everyone is different and individual. You can only be yourself and being yourself is awesome! Second, what you are seeing online is usually not anything like real life. You might be seeing one photo taken completely out of context with filters and maybe even photoshopped backgrounds. An online photo reveals nothing about how happy that person is or what problems they may have. Learn to regard social media as little more than a pleasant distraction, not the standard that everyone should live by. Practice What You Preach If you don’t want your kids to become overly involved with social media, start by setting a good example. Even if you are the last one to know, kids emulate their parents. If they see you on your phone for hours at a time or if you always need to keep your followers up to date on every action you take, don’t be surprised if your children want to follow in your footsteps. Be the Guardian at the Gate Trust is important for families, but there are too many threats online to simply take your children’s word for

How to teach your teen financial literacy at home By Gaurav Kapoor, CEO & Co-founder of Mydoh From an early age, I – and many others like me – have been focused on planning and saving for the future. Yet, we often miss those fundamental learning steps of building the skills needed to manage money confidently, from a young age. I was learning about allowances and money habits at a very young age, so when I entered adulthood, that saving instinct and responsible spending habit was already hard-wired in me. In 2016, I built my first product in personal money management for adults; however, I noticed a foundational gap in financial literacy in teens and youth, due to the lack of education and practice at a younger age. This is what inspired me to create Mydoh, a money management app and Smart Cash Card that helps parents help their kids build good money habits now, that will last a lifetime. Speak their Language To make children and teens understand the meaning of money, we need to find ways to speak their language. For instance, you want to buy a video game for $60, and you earn $15 per hour at your part-time job. The result is that four working hours equate to the cost of the game. This gives teens and children perspective on the value of money and helps them decide whether their desired purchase is truly worth it. What does this do? This helps to create a feeling of independence, confidence and empowerment. There are many ways to help your teen understand the importance of money, and that will build healthy spending and saving habits that can help them meet any short-term gratification and long-term goals. Here are three ways that you can teach your teen all about personal finance in a real and hands-on way: Need vs Want You hear kids and teens say, ‘I need it!’ many times. But the real question is: is it just that they want it?  Need vs want is fundamental to learning about personal finance, especially for children. Needs are the essentials for daily living such as food or shelter. Wants are nice-to-haves, such as a box of cookies or a new PlayStation. Understanding this key difference helps in building a foundation for proper budget management, savings, and overall money sense. You can teach your teen or kids more about this with real-time learnings or using a youth money

Online Resource Helps Parents Talk to Kids about Digital Safety Thorn, a technology non-profit dedicated to defending children from online sexual exploitation, launched Thorn for Parents to help parents have earlier, more frequent and judgment-free conversations with kids about digital safety. The need for these conversations is more critical than ever as kids grow up online, which impacts how they experience transformational phases like puberty and what normative sexual exploration looks like. Thorn’s research shows that digital safety conversations need to start much younger than parents might think, between the ages of seven and nine. Thorn for Parents includes resources, discussion guides, and recommended timelines to help parents address these serious issues in an approachable, digestible, and supportive way. “Kids are growing up online and digital safety is a huge issue. Thorn for Parents will guide parents through these essential conversations by offering topics, conversation starters, timelines and more,” said Thorn Co-Founder Ashton Kutcher. “Developmental behaviours coupled with constant connectivity can be dangerous. We have to educate our kids to keep them safe.” Thorn spent the past three years understanding how kids themselves feel about these issues and what motivates their online behaviors. Thorn developed Thorn for Parents after surveying thousands of youth and parents, and identifying several important findings that all caregivers need to know: Kids report being asked for nudes by strangers online as young as nine years old. Many kids are having online sexual interactions with peers and adults at almost the same rates, and 40% of kids ages 13-17 agreed that “it’s normal for people my age to share nudes with each other.” As many as 1 in 5 nine-to-12-year-olds (26% of girls and 27% of boys) report having had an online sexual interaction where they were asked to send nudes of themselves, “go on cam,” sent sexual messages, or had nudes of an adult or other children shared with them. Online interactions have different boundaries for kids. Children are regularly connecting with people they know only online through mutual friends, shared interests and games — and they don’t consider them strangers. Among kids that had shared nudes, research shows that nearly 40% had shared them with someone they had never met offline. Additionally, 25% of kids report they had experienced a sexual interaction online with someone they believed to be an adult, and these numbers are even higher among vulnerable groups like LGBTQ+ at 32%. Shame is the biggest obstacle to seeking help. Kids are hesitant to disclose online sexual interactions with parents or other trusted adults, especially when the experience was someone they thought was an adult. According to Thorn’s research, while

7 Last-Minute Back-to-School Items They'll Need Whether they’re heading back to class or learning online, every teen and tween likes to have some fresh new gear to start off the school year. From lunchtime must-haves to bedtime routines, we have some suggestions sure to make the grade from elementary school kids to college-bound students. All the Licensed Gear If you want to get your kid really excited about back to school, the best place to head is Toys R Us. They have everything you need to start the year off right, from licensed backpacks, water bottles and lunch boxes to fun school supplies. Grab all these items in-store or online. Suck it up If you love drinking from a straw but hate the sog factor of the paper variety, look no further than The Rice Straw. Perfect for eco-conscious parents and students, alike, this straw is actually made from rice, tapioca and organic dyes. It’s 100% natural and chemical-free. It’s completely bio-degradable, but the best part? It retains its structural integrity for up to three hours! Good To Go If your child is always starving after school, keep these Good to Go Soft-Baked Bars on hand. They have a cake-like texture that kids love, but they are also made with organic ingredients. They’re vegan, gluten-free, peanut-free, kosher and non-GMO Project Verified. They come in double chocolate, vanilla almond or blueberry cashew! Soak the Stress Away Heading back to school this year (especially after a year of being in and out of school) can be a bit stressful and anxiety-filled, which is why this Dr. Teals Melatonin Collection is great for bedtime routines. It’s infused with beneficial vitamins, minerals, essential oils and Melatonin to restore and rejuvenate both mind and body, while promoting a good night’s sleep. Available at Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart. Safely Sanitize For students heading back to class, hand sanitizers are going to be as essential as any supply.  These Spread Love, Not Germs hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works come in a small PocketBac size, perfect for tossing in their backpacks, desks or lockers. They also come with super cute holders so they can toggle their sanitizer to their bag for easy access. Later in the year, they also make for amazing teacher gifts! On-the-Go For university students on the go, Walmart has great value overall for back to school. With this Hamilton Beach mini-blender, university or college students can quickly whip up a breakfast smoothie straight into

9 Ways to Recapture Your Teen Spirit in Niagara Falls, Ontario By Rosalind Stefanac-Skugor It has been a long haul for many teens this past year, stuck indoors with their parents—and vice versa. So, to get my son excited to hang out with his mom outside of the house again, I promised him a mid-week adventure he wouldn’t forget—and Ontario’s Niagara Falls did not disappoint. As someone who has been touring this geological wonder since my own youth, even I was impressed by just how much there is to do at the Falls these days. Here are 9 ways to impress your teen traveller in Niagara Falls and have an epic adventure in the process. Rent an e-bike If the thought of nature hikes has your kids rolling their eyes, consider renting a bike with some horsepower (e-bikes can go up to 32 km/hour) to get them excited about exploring nature. We went to Snap E Bike where owner Michael Lucid gave us a training lesson and equipped us with helmets, maps, snacks and water for the day. When my bike got a flat tire, he was quick to come and meet us with a replacement bike so our sightseeing along the beautiful Niagara River Recreational Trail could continue. Riders must be 16 years of age or older. Make like a drone At 3,500 feet above the Niagara Gorge, the Whirlpool Aero Car —an antique cable car suspended from six sturdy cables—provides some pretty magnificent views of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool. The torrent of river rapids coming down the Gorge from the Horseshoe Falls turns abruptly counterclockwise at this point, creating a must-see natural phenomenon. Face the Falls up close Niagara City Cruises will get you a misty front-row view of the Niagara Gorge, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and awe-inspiring Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Recyclable ponchos are provided for the 20-minute boat ride, but my son picked a perfect spot to soak it all in that got us soaked in the process. We loved it! With reduced capacity onboard, there are plenty of photo ops, provided you don’t mind the mist. Take a journey behind the falls During summer daylight hours, more than 2,800 cubic metres of water crashes down the Falls every second at 65 km/hour. To put that into perspective, the average household uses only 14 cubic meters a month! This self-guided tour took about 30 minutes. To begin, we descended 125 feet by elevator to explore a 130-year-old