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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

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

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

Back-to-School Top 5 Picks by Rachel Naud It’s that time of year!  Whether you have a middle school, high school, or university student in your house, every student will want some cool essentials to start the back-to-school season off right!   For a Bright and Fun School Year It is hard not to shop at Staples Canada when it comes to back-to-school shopping since they offer many noteworthy products that are not only great for working and learning but are also very fun! With all the tools kids need to work and learn—notebooks, calculators, lunch bags and more—the bright colours make this Pep Rally line a favourite because, let's face it, if your kids love their tools, they will be more excited to learn.   All of these items are available exclusively at Staples stores in Canada, or you can order them online at staples.ca!   For Organizing Toiletries   University students moving into dorms will need some cool bathroom essentials. Bed, Bath & Beyond has everything you need—whether you’re looking for storage solutions or fun décor. Their Simply Essential line has plush towels, flip-flops (a must for any dorm-dweller) and a tote to make storing and carrying their bathroom essentials easy.     You can shop all these items at Bed, Bath & Beyond in-store or online and if you sign up for the Savings Pass, you can get 20% off while earning points towards future purchases! Also, if your child is moving to a different city, you can shop the app or store and use the Pack & Hold program and they’ll have the order ready to pick up near the campus!   For that rewarding study rest     The Endy Weighted Blanket is engineered to promote a sensation of calm and relaxation. This reduces feelings of anxiety, guaranteeing a good night’s rest.  It features a balanced weight that distributes equal pressure across your body. This provides maximum comfort, movement minimization and deeper sleep. Weighing 15 lbs, this personal-sized blanket will envelop you like a warm, soothing hug. This is amazing for power naps and deep sleep, alike!     For a fun, informative, and worry-free academic year     If you’re worried about your teen’s exposure to the Internet, this Fire 7 Kids tablet’s web browser comes with built-in controls designed to help filter out inappropriate sites and let parents add or block specific websites at any time. Your teen can also send announcements and make voice and video calls over wifi to approved contacts with an Alexa-enabled device or app.    For those

John Catucci's Big Food Bucket List By Leigh-Ann Brodber     We show affection in different ways. Whether it’s through our actions, spending time with our loved ones, giving gifts, doing things for those we care about or even through our words. For John Catucci, his love language is food. From hosting shows like Food Network’s series You Gotta Eat Here! and the Big Food Bucket List to preparing meals in his own kitchen for his teens, expressing love through food comes naturally to him.    What’s the best part about hosting a TV food series and how does it differ from doing comedy shows? It’s quite different. When you’re on stage, there’s an immediacy that exists between you and the audience compared to when you’re shooting a TV show. There are a lot of different hands that touch the show before it goes to air so something that might’ve worked at the moment doesn’t necessarily work on TV. I mean, sometimes I’ve eaten food on stage but not to this extent!  I think one of the best parts of the show is meeting people. That’s one of the things I love to do. I love figuring out what makes them tick, how they got into this business and why. One of the main similarities between chefs and people that I’ve interviewed over the years is that food is their love language. To share food with people is everything and it was never about making millions of dollars but more about the relationship and forming a connection.      Which episode would you say that you enjoyed the most? It’s hard to choose just one! There have been so many great experiences, but one of my favourites is when I visited a restaurant called La Palma. It’s an Italian restaurant in Toronto and Chef Craig Harding is an amazing chef. He makes dishes that his mom and grandma taught him.  La Palma is known for its 100-layer lasagne and it’s massive. When I took a bite of it, it brought me back to when I was a kid and tasting my dad’s food that he’d make with love. We had to stop shooting because I started crying. It’s been like 14 years since my dad passed away and his love language was always food. He was an Italian immigrant who worked all the time and had three jobs which meant I only saw him on Sundays. But every Sunday, he would make

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