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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

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

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

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