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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

Top 6 Gifts for Dads and Grads by Rachel Naud   It’s a time for celebration! With Father’s Day around the corner and graduations from high school and university approaching, many families will be shopping for that perfect way to gift to mark the occasion. Whether the graduate in your house has hit that milestone or you want to show Dad how much you love him we have some great gift ideas for you.   Gifts for Dads   eBay Refurbished Dads never want us to spend too much for Father’s Day, which is why shopping eBay Refurbished is so perfect! The program has a huge selection of premium brands that Dads love. He can choose from brands like Apple, Bose and Miele—but at a discounted price, which Dads really love! Plus, high quality is guaranteed with rigorous program standards, and all items are backed with 1 or 2-year warranties and eBay’s Money Back Guarantee, so there’s no sacrificing quality or peace of mind for savings.      If your Dad is a tech guy, you can gift him a big-ticket item like this Apple iPad mini for a fraction of the cost. eBay Refurbished is so cool because they now have different condition grades — from Certified Refurbished to Excellent, Very Good and Good — so there are lots of options to fit any budget!   Libman Upright Dustpan and Broom Set If you have a weekend warrior dad who loves to putter in the garage or workshop and keep his domain organized and clean, he’s going to appreciate this.     The Libman Upright Dustpan and Broom Set has a built-in tilt that when opened, locks and leaves open—which means no leaning or bending for Dad. It’s a total back-saver! This is perfect for sweeping up sawdust, dirt and even grass clippings! It’s also a space saver with its built-in clips to keep the set together, which helps keep it all organized and handy! You can pick it up at Home Depot.   Gifts for Grads   Old Spice Reserve Collection If you have a graduate who is sweating the next phase in life, this Old Spice Red Reserve Collection will help guide them to the next phase in life with a boost of confidence. This premium collection — which comes in body wash and deodorant — comes in three new scents: Dynasty, Royalty and Sea Spray. The thing is: if you smell good you feel good, which is going to give you that boost in self-esteem.      Old Spice has a great

6 Reasons to Visit Mexico’s Marvellous Yucatán State By Rosalind Stefanac   A recent trip to Yucatán State proved that there's so much more to Mexico than sandy beaches and ocean views. In fact, venturing inland on the southeastern Yucatán peninsula revealed so many historic gems, along with scenic retreats that offered a blissful escape from crowds and the hustle of everyday life. In planning your next adventure down south with your tween, teen or solo, here are six reasons to put Yucatán on your radar:     Cenotes are so cool These nature-made, deep-water wells (or sinkholes), surrounded by rock formations, date back thousands of years. They're filled with fresh water fed by rain and underground currents. Most of Mexico’s more than 6,000 cenotes can be found in the Yucatán peninsula. At the Zazil Tunich in Valladolid, you descend 20 metres down into a cavern to reach the cenote where you can swim in the refreshing waters (average temperature 75-degrees Fahrenheit). Here you can opt for a guided tour that includes a traditional Mayan purification ceremony. It’s magical!   It’s Taco Tuesday every day!   All that swimming in cenotes is sure to spark your appetite. Luckily Yucatán is home to some of the best tacos on the planet — at least in my opinion. Be sure to try the cochinita pibil (shredded pork shoulder or loin), a popular taco filling in the region. They usually serve it with lettuce, pickled red onion, tomatoes, avocado and habanero chilli. At the Kinich in Isamal, you can even watch the staff hand-roll fresh tortillas before your very eyes. It doesn’t get fresher than this.   You can be one with nature (literally)   At the high-end Oriundo Luxury Nature Villas, which opened this June in Valladolid, every detail in the guest rooms has been designed to harmonize with the surrounding jungle. Not only are the materials all natural but you’ll find trees growing throughout the indoor space, and plenty of windows overlooking the lush green foliage. If you’re on a tighter budget, the area has plenty of haciendas with accommodations surrounded by lovely outdoor spaces ideal for nature exploring.   The architecture is awesome   In Merida, Yucatán’s pedestrian-friendly capital city, you'll find colonial history evident in most of the colourful and lovingly restored mansions, many of which are open to tourists. I took a guided tour of the stunning El Minaret, which was built in 1908, and is also known as the watchtower of Merida’s centre. Aim to be there

5 Tips to Raise a Resilient Teen By June Rousso, Ph.D.   Teens today are faced with so much rapid change along with everyday academic and social demands. All of these demands can be very stressful at times. Our bodies naturally react to stress with a fight, flight or freeze reaction. However, we also can use our thoughts and emotions to develop resilience and better manage stress. This is where resilience comes in. But how to build it? Here are some tips for parents guided by the words of teens themselves from ChildResilient.org, a student-run non-profit organization born out of the pandemic.   Tip #1: Encourage a strong sense of self in your teen. If you have a sense of who you are, you can easily direct yourself towards and away from situations — even toxic ones. As parents, give more choices when you can, and encourage your child not to be influenced by social conformity. While it is natural to want to be liked by others, it's also important to live by your own will. Let them learn to think independently, regardless of the good and bad opinions of others. Help foster resilience as well as build your teen's self-confidence by encouraging this kind of independent thinking.   Tip #2: Don’t dwell on the past, especially the bad life experiences. While you never want to dismiss your child’s feelings, dwelling on the past prevents building up the strength to move forward in life. Children, especially teens, can be so sensitive to how they might have been judged in the past. Past opinions don’t matter and they need to learn to do things for themselves. Strengthen your teen's sense of self by teaching them not to be swayed by public opinion. With ongoing emotional reactions to stress — such as depression and anxiety — it is important to remind your child that these feelings are not all of who they are, which helps to keep your teen resilient.   Tip #3: Explain that making social comparisons is natural, but overdoing it hinders being a resilient teen. When we compare ourselves to others, we usually come out on the short end of the stick or take on an arrogant attitude of feeling better. Communicating that there will always be people with more of something in some way is one message, but teens can also learn that these same people can serve as role models and be inspirational. At the same time, despite the social comparisons,

Paula Jiven Explores Musicality in The Duality in Me By Tanishq Desai     Swedish rising pop sensation, Paula Jiven is kicking the doors down with her radiant creation of original pop music on her debut EP, The Duality In Me, out May 6th. Curating a sonic world that is truly her own, Paula steps out of one phase of life and into another by discovering her sound and sharing the creation process behind songs that she’s been writing since she was 13. Now, the singer/songwriter is ready to reveal her multidimensional musicality to the world with her dreamy pop synth moment.    At the age of 13, you performed at Sweden’s Got Talent and got a Golden Buzzer from the judges. What was the build-up like from the moment a young Paula Jiven picked up a violin on SGT and getting a golden buzzer? “So yes I started playing violin at the age of three, and at that point, it was more so just something for fun. I had so much fun practicing how to play, and ooh I got better, but for many years it was just something that I did like how other kids played football. And I guess at some point it started becoming more of a form of an expression. I started singing as an art form, and by the time I was on Sweden’s Got Talent, I was writing my own songs but I was not ready to release them in any way." "It was so scary, even playing them for my own family. But I did that show because I wanted to get into the music industry and I wanted to be able to build some contacts. Get my name out there and that’s kind of what happened with that golden buzzer. I honestly blacked out when that happened, of course, I was so happy and excited like yeah we finally did that. But usually, on these artistic journeys, it’s not all about the moments, it’s about the build-up to it. When it happened I was just like okay good, that worked out, next step and I think we need to see more of that in the creative industry like I did that. ”   Since then you have been very careful in selecting the writers and producers you work with on your music, is there a specific process that you apply when you pick collaborators for your projects? “Basically, I’ll do sessions. And

3 Ways to Suit Up for Prom 2022 By Arianne Mae Granada Roll up your sleeves and put your dancing shoes on because prom is finally back! It is time to suit up for Prom 2022! (WARNING: Marvel reference ahead!) Still can’t have a sensation of the prom fever? Think of it this way: two years ago, Thanos snapped his fingers and took away the biggest events of your teen’s life — prom night, graduation day and spring break. And in a snap (pun intended!), they’ve all been brought back to life. That is their version of the blip. After 2 years of cancelled plans and dampened expectations, the long-awaited prom season is upon us once again. Prom can be a great opportunity to communicate and help you to connect with your teen. The highly anticipated celebration is set to be welcomed back with doubled excitement and 110 percent energy. Considered a huge milestone in every teen’s life, prom is definitely the special occasion they would invest their time and money on. Whether your teen is a first-time goer, a soon-to-be graduate throwing a “make-up prom,” or a hopeless romantic staging a promposal, it’s important that they put together the perfect ensemble to make it worth remembering. Along with failed dalgona coffee attempts and DIY haircuts, we’re leaving boring prom OOTDs behind in 2020. It’s time to suit up and welcome this year’s prom season with creativity and self-discovery. Whether you prefer an unconventional look over the usual prom dresses, or you want to put on a modern take on a traditional tuxedo, there are endless ways to style a basic suit and tie, and we are here to narrow down your options.  For switching up a classic The Slim-Fit Stretch Peak Lapel Tuxedo is a modern take on a fashion classic that will make anyone stand out at the prom venue. This tailored suit is available in a variety of sizes and is gender-neutral… because there are no rules when it comes to fashion!  For a chill night For a more casual look, this Slim-Fit Stretch Suit is available in five different colours including grey, pink and light blue, delivering versatility and an instant confidence boost.  For an instant upgrade TipTop.ca also offers a range of accessories from bowties to pocket squares in a variety of different colours so you can jazz up your look with a pop of colour. One thing the pandemic has taught teens and young adults alike —

Actor Dan Payne's Judgement-Free Philosophy on Parenting and Mental Health By Tanishq Desai From John Tucker Must Die to Watchmen - Dan Payne has over 100 credits in the form of television features or indie films to his name. Apart from being a full-time husband, father and actor who actively advocates for mental health, the Mulligans heartthrob talks about his upcoming feature film, Corrective Measures, alongside Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker. Tell us about your new movie, Corrective Measures. “Well, it’s a big step up for me! I got to work with a couple of guys that I consider to be legends and icons — Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker — so I did a little happy dance the moment I found out that it was happening. And I also get to play a character that I’m not used to. He’s an ex-military vigilante, which is kind of far away from the loving-nature-doting-husband type of roles that I’ve played! This project is on a way bigger scale too. It’s Fox Tubi’s first original content release and I’m honoured that I get to be a part of it.”   You play Walter Arthur Locke (aka Payback). Tell us about your character and what drew you to him? “So Corrective Measures is a graphic novel turned into a movie and Sean Patrick O'Reilly who directed, wrote and executive produced this did a magical job of making it a fun story and a great ride to be on. My character, Payback, is an ex-military guy, and some things happened to him that put him on a pretty strong vigilante path of revenge. But he ends up in one of the state-of-the-art hidden octane penitentiaries where all the main bad guys of the world get stuck. Now we’ll have to watch the movie to know if he ends up there on purpose but he’s got a pretty strong vendetta against criminals. When a radio magnetic pulse goes out over the world, it gives some people superpowers, kills the rest and some get mutated because of it. But this gives us a little good vs. evil because the good people put their powers to good use and the bad tend to go to evil, which eventually leads them all into this prison so you understand how it can get when there’s a bunch of superheroes and badasses put together. It can get messy.”   Coming back to you working with some icons in this

5 Creative Ways To Spend Time With Mom For Mother’s Day Although one day a year really isn’t enough to honour the person that gave birth to you and raised you, Mother’s Day is a great way to show mom how much you appreciate her. It turns out that finding the best gift for mom is easier than you think! Here are 5 ways to add some laughter, sweetness, and love to your Mother’s Day celebration.   1. Cook for Mom  There truly is nothing like a home-cooked meal by mom and it is time to return the favour. Cook your mom her favourite meal, buy her favourite wine or cocktail and even have siblings or partners act as hostesses and waiters. Give her a 5-star dining experience at home, one she will never forget.  2. Play games to celebrate If food isn’t her thing, then why not liven up the party with some games to keep the crowd engaged and make cherished memories. Ideas like karaoke, mad libs, and bingo are always fun. We all know mom deserves a break from daily chores. You can create your own game like the “Give mom a break” game that you can create for the day. Let mom be the centre of attention by offering to do all household chores. This can be a wonderful way of showing gratitude while mom puts her feet up on her special day. 3. Something sweet for mom Who doesn’t love ice cream, especially from your favourite brand? Skip the flower store and head straight to dessert with the new Tall Stack Cake from Baskin-Robbins Canada. Customize with mom’s favourite cake and ice cream flavour topped with a special message to let her know how much she means to you. 4. Watch a movie together A budget-friendly way to stay in and avoid crowds is to let Mom cuddle up on the couch in her pyjamas! Yes, we're talking about streaming a movie! We all know that the best Mother's Day gift is quality time, so make plans to catch up and then press play on the TV with some of her favourite movie treats.  5. Get pampered At some point on Mother's Day, mom may want some time alone or a chance for a little rest and relaxation. A few ideas include a 60-minute massage to help her unwind, or by bringing her to the hair salon and treating her to a cute new cut and blowout or taking her

7 Tips to Understanding Your Teen By Ishank Katyal Dealing with a teenager has always been the most complicated and challenging part of parenting—the significant change in brains and hormones, not to mention the impulsiveness and emotions that teens build after turning 13. External factors including academic pressure, peer pressure, social media, and many other problems adolescents face every day can affect them both mentally and emotionally and might restrain their relationship with their loved ones.  Here are some of the tips which might help you understand your teen better:   1. Listen to them Your teen will listen to you only when you’re a good listener. It requires a lot of energy and patience, but it is a key tool for improving your relationship with them because it builds trust and helps them gain self-confidence and self-esteem. 2. Avoid asking too many questions Kids become more uncomfortable when you keep asking them questions and it feels like an interrogation rather than a healthy conversation. Ask only those questions which are relevant to the situation, otherwise, they could get irritated and be hesitant to share their problems. 3. Give them space Just like adults, teenagers also need some privacy and space from the people around them. Try to approach them not as a parent, but as an individual and learn to respect their privacy. Avoid barging into their room whenever you please and teach them the value of privacy and personal space. 4. Make sure they’re not addicted to their electronics Do they find it difficult to put their phone down while studying or doing any important work? Try to limit their screen time (no matter how much they fight for it!) to give them a break from social media and the Internet. This helps them to learn to be in the moment and can foster some great conversations. Even a small gesture like putting their phones away and joining you for a walk can go a long way in bolstering their moods.  5. Treat your teen as an individual Yes, they may take after you or your spouse, but your teen is their own person, with their own beliefs and opinions. Letting them express what they think and feel without judgement will help boost their self-esteem while fostering a great relationship. It can also make for some excellent dinner conversation. 6. Be honest with them One of the best things you could do for your teen is to be honest. A positive parent-child