fbpx

Inspo

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

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

Virgin River's Jenny Cooper on Juggling Motherhood with Acting by Arianne Granada     You might see her as a familiar face on television. Jenny Cooper has played prominent roles in crowd-favourite shows like Grey's Anatomy, Open Heart, 24, Law and Order True Crime: The Menedez Murders, Scandal, NCIS, and CSI: Miami. Currently, she is starring as Joey Barnes in the Netflix series Virgin River, which is based on the long-running series of novels by New York Times bestseller Robyn Carr. When she's not starring on Virgin River, Jenny Cooper is raising her three kids in Los Angeles with her husband. We had the chance to talk to Jenny about how she balances work and family life, and she gave us some pretty insightful tips for anyone else trying to figure out how to do it all.   Tell us a bit about your character in Virgin River.  Joey is Mel's older, protective sister who, when the series started, seemed like she had it all together and was there mostly to support Mel. But we have seen through subsequent seasons that she was hiding a lot from her sister, including the state of her marriage.    Virgin River has tackled issues like postpartum depression, cancer, sexual assault, pregnancies at an older age, grief, and domestic violence that many women and parents could relate to. Do you think this openness and honesty to real-life situations contributed to the show’s success?     It's so hard to say what contributes to any show's success or failure. In our case, it feels like it was the right show at the right time. There's so much unrest in the world right now, I think our audience wants to believe that a place like Virgin River actually exists, with people who are kind and generous towards one another. And it seems like the larger issues that are tackled in the show work in part because of the beautiful performances of the cast, because of the love people have for these characters, and, as you said, because many of us have experienced these kinds of challenges, so it's always inspiring to see someone work through a dark time and come out on the other side.   Joey is Mel’s sister and go-to person for advice. What can you say about their sisterly love and how do you think they maintain their strong bond despite their distance? I think they have the kind of relationship where they are always at the forefront of each

5 Ways to Have Philly Fun With Your Teen By Rosalind Stefanac   If you’re looking for a walkable American city filled with history, fantastic food and fun, Philadelphia will not disappoint. With some of the most historic sites in U.S. history—and plenty of places to “hang”— Philly proved to be a perfect blend of learning and adventure for a recent weekend with my teenage son.   Where to stay   Stay downtown for easy walking access to a multitude of parks and free historic sites, such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the U.S. Constitution was created), and the infamous Rocky (Balboa) steps and statue (more on that below). We loved the atmosphere at the iconic Notary Hotel, which is located in Philadelphia’s former city hall — a building that dates back to 1926—and features all the modern amenities, including a 24-hour gym and a fully stocked tuck shop for late-night snacking. It’s also a block away from the Reading Terminal Market, a food bazaar sure to please every appetite.   What to eat   You can’t not try a Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia. We walked the aisles of the Reading Terminal Market to find these delicious sandwiches topped with thinly sliced steak, caramelized onion, and melted provolone cheese. With more than 80 other merchants there, we also filled up on soft pretzels, tacos, cannolis, cookies and donuts made fresh before our eyes. Open at 8 a.m., the market is a great place for breakfast too. For a memorable dinner, a Mexican-inspired feast at the funky Condesa was also a big hit with my teen (and me).   What to do   #1: Philly fun at Franklin Square As one of the city’s original open space squares, it centres around a 180-year-old fountain and classic carousel and hosts a variety of events throughout the year. While there we explored the Philadelphia Lantern Festival with more than 30 brilliant displays illuminated by tens of thousands of LED lights and plenty of cool photo ops. #2: Take a segway tour Philly offers some fantastic tours by foot, bike, bus and boat, but we opted to see the city’s most iconic spots via Segway with Philly Tour Hub. Following a brief training session, this mode of transport proved to be an exhilarating way to tour a variety of Philly neighbourhoods. If you’ve never ridden a Segway before, go for the shorter, 60-minute tour to avoid sore legs from all that balancing. #3: Channel the champ Burn off some steam by running

What's a Good First Car for Teens? by Arianne Granada   One of the scariest moments for parents is when their teen gets their first car. The teen years are exciting, but they can also be worrisome for parents as teens are more prone to taking risks. Teens are likely to be more accident-prone due to inexperience, immaturity, and peer pressure. Because of this, many parents may find themselves hesitant or even afraid of letting their teens drive a car without adult supervision. These are natural reactions—but that doesn’t mean you have to surrender trusting them with their first car completely! Parents can help their teens avoid these pitfalls by providing a safe environment for them behind the wheel. If you're looking for a reliable good first car for your teen, we have a roundup of beginner-friendly cars and their remarkable features you and your teen will love.     Mazda3 / Mazda3 Sport Cost: Starting from $23,281 Why your teen will love it: If you're looking for a good first car that offers great bang for your buck, The Mazda3 or Mazda3 Sport is one of our top choices. It exemplifies Mazda’s premium design aesthetic and even won Canadian Car of the Year back in 2020 and 2021. You can get it with a manual transmission, giving young drivers a chance to still learn how to drive manual. DID YOU KNOW: Some studies show manual vehicles are less likely to be stolen—so it’s a natural deterrent for theft! Why you’ll love it: The Mazda3 is designed to keep your teen safe on the road. It has advanced safety features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring. This helps improve visibility and lets your teen know when there is danger nearby.     2022 Hyundai Elantra Cost: Starting from $20,553.35 Why your teen will love it: Your teen will love it because it has a 2.0 Litre tank with great engine power, technology and fuel efficiency in an affordable price range. Why you will love it: If you are looking for a car with a decent price tag, also fuel savings and quality, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra is your car! It will not only offer you a smooth ride but also keep fuel consumption to a minimum.     2022 Mazda MX-5 Cost: Starting from $33,300 Why your teen will love it: A custom Bose sound system for the Mazda MX-5 is the perfect way to make your teen's car their own. The headrest speakers and subwoofer allow them to experience the premium sound system to

Our Top Picks: 5 Summertime Essentials by Rachel Naud   How do you plan on spending your summer? Whether you’re staying close to home, exploring the great outdoors or hosting some summer barbecues, we have some items that will help you survive the year’s hottest season.   Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron If you want to put the magic back into summer for your kids, the Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron is the perfect activity for them. It’s all about potion-making so your kids can take turns being magicians at family barbecues and backyard parties. Let your little star wow the crowd! The toy comes with a spell book, all the magic ingredients and a special wand to mix the potion and make a cute furry friend that comes out of a cloud of real mist — which will be an element of surprise for everyone! The Magic Mixie comes with different modes of play, reacts to your touch and responds to your wand. It even comes with 50+ sounds and reactions so your kids can play with magic over and over again! Beyond Burger Barbecue burger night is definitely a crowd favourite. Just in time for summer BBQ season, Beyond Meat has launched an even juicier version of its game-changing line called Beyond Burger. Available in grocery stores and restaurants across Canada, the Beyond Burger has the meat-like taste, flavour and texture of a real burger. Beyond Burger is made with simple, plant-based ingredients, containing no cholesterol, GMOs, soy or gluten, offering a tasty, better-for-you plant-based protein option perfect for your summer BBQ. It’s such an easy way to incorporate plant-based protein into barbecue night! Coleman Canada If you're hitting the great outdoors, you'll want to invest in some high-quality gear that will last and bring memories for years to come. When it comes to camping equipment, Coleman Canada is a camper’s go-to. They have everything you need to make the most out of summer—whether you’re camping, day-tripping or staycationing in the yard! They're definitely on top of our summertime essentials checklist. Sportflex Backpack Soft Cooler The Sportflex Backpack Soft Cooler has a 4-way stretch pocket at the front to offer maximum storage and easy access to phones, keys and snacks. It comes with padded adjustable shoulder straps and breathable mesh for comfortable carrying. One of its best features is it's insulated to keep food and drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Contigo Tumblers It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day, which makes these re-fillable water bottles

8 Grad Gifts for Her by Arianne Granada   Graduation season is upon us, and just like you, we are on the lookout for the perfect graduation gift.  To your daughter, this ceremony also commemorates her transition toward the next phase of her life. This special milestone encapsulates all your grad’s academic accomplishments in the last four years. Show some appreciation by giving your grad a thoughtful gift that will last a lifetime.  We’ve rounded up eight unique graduation gifts that would make this milestone even more memorable.   $5-$25: Books With summer break coming up, your teen is bound to have a lot of unstructured days—with most of her time spent outdoors. It still won’t hurt to give her something to do during her downtime.    There is no better way to jumpstart a productive summer than by giving a book as a graduation gift for her. One of today’s bestsellers, The Hate U Give, is a page-turning fiction that sheds light on social issues such as racial injustice and police brutality.   $25-$70: Personalized Gifts from Bed, Bath & Beyond Nothing beats a thoughtful gift that comes from the heart. What better way to commemorate your grad's milestone than with a personalized gift? From embroidered names to custom-made frames, go extra with these bespoke gifts from Bed Bath & Beyond.   Personalized Graduation Teddy Bear ($47.99)  This plush teddy bear is an ideal personalized gift for the high school or college graduate. You can have your graduate’s first name and/or class year embroidered in gold thread across the front of the teddy bear’s gown.    "Class Of