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3 Fresh Spring Mocktails to Enjoy With Your Teen By Nicole Abaca   Spring is here and it's a great time to enjoy a bunch of activities to enjoy with your teens. If you want to stay closer to home, there's nothing better than sipping mocktails on a sunny day in your backyard! Creating mocktails bartender-style with your teen is not only a fun activity but a good opportunity to bond with them. We featured our four favourite recipes to make spring mocktails with your teen! We recommend using pretty glasses, fancy straws and decorations to recreate that “grown-up cocktails” vibe.    Strawberry Slush Out of this world, delicious! Ideal for an outdoor lunch. Ingredients: 1 (16 ounces) pack of frozen whole strawberries. ½ cup water. ¼ cup lime juice. ¼ cup light blue agave nectar (see Tip) ⅛ teaspoon salt. Lime slices for garnish. How to: 1) Add all the strawberries, water, lime juice, agave nectar and blend. 2) Add the ice and blend until it is smooth as you like it. 3) To make it bar-quality, decorate your glass! Wet the rim of each glass with a lime wedge around it and invert the glass to coat the rim with either salt or sugar. Tip - Light blue agave nectar can be found near other sweeteners in the grocery store. - Instead of salt, you can use sugar for the glass rim. Fruity Aqua The perfect one to choose if your teen is inviting friends over. Ingredients: Fresh lemon slices. Fresh lime slices. Fresh orange slices. Cranberries. 2 cups of cranberry juice. 2 cups grape juice. 1 cup orange juice. 1/2 cup lemon juice. 4 cups San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water OR lemon-lime soda. How to: 1) Add the Cranberry juice along with the grape, orange and lemon juice. 2) Once mixed, add the fruit slices. 3) Place the pitch in the fridge and let it chill for 1 hour minimum. 4) Before serving add the sparkling or mineral water. Tips: - You can use a non-alcoholic wine instead of cranberry juice. - If you prefer a sweeter sangría, use soda. If you prefer a less sweet sangria, use sparkling mineral water.   Summer Sunrise This mocktail is the easiest to prepare. You might want to replace your morning orange juice with it. It’s the perfect match for any type of brunch. Ingredients: 4 to 6 ounces of orange juice. 1/2 to 1-ounce grenadine to taste. Orange slice for garnish. How to: 1) Fill a tall glass or a pitcher with big chunks of ice. 2) Add orange juice leaving a little room at the top. 3) Pour grenadine over the juice (slowly). Don’t stir it. It will sink to

5 Easter Brunch Must-Haves Hosting an Easter Brunch is a great alternative to hosting Easter Dinner. If the weather is nice, you can set it up outside and it’s just a more laid-back, casual way of getting together to celebrate. If you’re looking to make your Easter Brunch a sweet event, we have some great ideas. Let’s hop to it!   Evive Nutrition Frozen Fruit Smoothies We love the idea of presenting your guests with a make-your-own smoothie bar. This is especially great if it’s warm enough to set your brunch up outside, so the kids can play and your guests can mingle. We love these Evive Nutrition Frozen Fruit Smoothies because they’re made from organic fruit and vegetables that are flash frozen, so they seal in all the flavours and nutrients. You simply take the wheel, run it under some water to loosen it up, put it in a mason jar or shaker and cover it with whichever liquid you want – almond milk, water or juice. Let it sit and then shake it up! No blender necessary!   Cuisipro Line Cookware What’s an Easter Brunch without some tasty treats? If you want to your teen to spend some time with you — get them baking! To create some tasty treats, look no further than the Cuisipro line. We love this line of cookware – it was originally developed for restaurants so you get restaurant-quality cookware without the high price tag! It’s such an innovative line that offers smart solutions in the kitchen that makes baking and cooking so enjoyable that your teen will actually want to do it with you!   Bimbo Canada It’s a great idea to have an array of breads on the table to satisfy any taste and preference. Our go-to is always bread products from Bimbo Canada, the manufacturer of Dempsters, Stonemill and Villaggio bread. We love the cinnamon raisin bagels from Dempsters and, of course the Villaggio bread makes for amazing French Toast. But another reason why we feel good about putting Bimbo Canada products on our table – they are the first national bread manufacturer in North America to transition to cardboard bread bag clips on all their bread products! The cardboard clips are made from 100% recycled cardboard and are recyclable and compostable in municipal systems in 84 days. It seems like such a small change, but it will reduce our use of single-use plastic by approximately 200 metric tonnes annually,

5 Reasons Why Your Teen Should Get a Summer Job By Ishank Katyal   Getting a summer job is a rite of passage for a lot of teens. It's the stage of life that can bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood. Working is important for your teen, as it gives them real-world experiences that they won't find in the classroom. Beyond some financial independence, there are other benefits for teens when it comes to working. Here are 5 reasons why your teen should get a summer job. 1. Work Ethic Summer jobs help teenagers explore their work habits, goals, and motivation. Apart from that, they also allow them to learn about proper time management and deal with consequences as they move towards adulthood. 2. Responsibility Teens are mostly used to being directed by their parents and teachers, but working alongside their boss and colleagues is different. Summer jobs expose teens to new duties and challenges, which will make them learn the value of income and help them grow into responsible adults. 3. Getting to know themselves Most teens are indecisive about their future careers, but if your teen starts a job outside of their interest, this could serve as an opportunity for them to learn some brand new skills and become more committed to their goals.  4. Self-Esteem Building self-esteem is the most important part of growth. According to American scholar, Jeylan T. Mortimer’s 2005 research paper, high school students who work part-time or full-time jobs have more confidence than those who don’t. These jobs force teens to step out of their comfort zones and test their capabilities to help them to boost their self-esteem.  5. Financial Literacy Having a summer job and earning money can be a golden opportunity to learn personal finance basics. It helps teens learn the value of money and how to distinguish between needs and wants. You can find more advice on how to teach your teen financial literacy here. Tips to Help with the Job Search Job searching can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience for your teen. That is why it’s important for you to guide them to find a suitable summer job by understanding their goals (like saving up for their own car or buying the newest iPhone model). Having such goals will help them focus on their struggle or even know their areas of interest, strengths, and weaknesses.  You can help your teen prepare for the interview by giving them some tips and helping them master

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

10 Last-Minute Mother's Day Gifts Calling all procrastinators, Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Yes, even though it feels like we only just turned our calendars to May, we are approaching Mom’s weekend already. Not sure what to get the amazing women in your life? Read on for some ideas from our last-minute Mother’s Day gift guide that will really make your mom feel special and appreciated on her day this year. SkinGear LED Face Shield Give Mom a glow-up with this LED Face Shield and experience all the benefits that LED light has to offer, right in the comfort of your home. This cordless, hands-free technology is designed with efficiency and convenience in mind. LED light therapy has multiple health benefits and this face shield features three different light modes! BLUE light: to kill bacteria, treat acne and regulate natural oil production. AMBER light: to reduce dark spots, hyperpigmentation and promote even skin tone. RED light: to stimulate collagen and elastin, and to minimize redness and wrinkles. Price: $138.50 on sale Where to Buy: Shop for the LED Face Shield online SkinGear BESO Lip Mask & AMOUR Eye Mask (10 Pack) Introduce Mom to the newest duo to join the SkinGear squad. The Besos Hydra-gel Lip Mask is ultra-hydrating and is infused with nourishing ingredients designed to soften, smooth and restore lips for a visibly plump effect. Pair it with Amour Eye - the ultimate eye treatment! Formulated to instantly refresh the under-eye area, reduce dark circles, and soften fine lines and wrinkles to reveal a luminous youthful glow. Price: $33.74 Where to Buy: Shop SkinGear online Dr Teal’s Melatonin Collection Treat Mom to ultimate relaxation with Dr Teal’s NEW Pure Epsom Salt Melatonin Sleep Soak and Foaming Bath. Infused with beneficial vitamins, minerals, essential oils and Melatonin to restore and rejuvenate both mind and body while promoting a better night’s sleep. Price: $9.99 each Where to Buy: Shoppers Drug Mart BRÜMATE Winesulator Gift Set This is the go-to giftset for wine lovers! Summer weather is approaching and what could be better for your Mom than sipping some wine and relaxing by the pool? Great to travel with to the beach or on camping trips. BRÜMATE’s winesulator holds a full bottle of wine and will keep your Mom’s favourite Pinot Grigio at the right temperature for 24 hours. This giftset comes with two matching Uncork’d XL wine tumblers for easy sharing. With so many different colours and designs to choose from (you can even customize your own giftset!),

5 Ways to Get Your Teen Off Their Screens By Rayyan El-Baf Do you have bored teenagers roaming around the house? Without other activities like sports and clubs that normally keep them busy, their go-to boredom beater is probably being on their phones or playing video games. And, let’s be honest, we are likely on our phones more than we should be ourselves, simply because we are bored too. So what else can teenagers do to beat those boredom blues? For some inspiration, here are five activities that your teens (and you) can enjoy without looking at a screen. Learn a new Skill Teenagers typically run on a very specific schedule between school, extracurriculars, homework, socializing and hobbies. Amid the heavy schedule of their lives, it may be difficult for teens to engage in current or new hobbies. The pandemic and lockdowns have given everyone a lot of newfound free time; so why not learn a new skill? Hobbies that don’t include screen time could vary from painting, drawing, learning how to play an instrument, knitting, cooking, or learning a new language. Learning a new skill is a great way to engage your teens’ minds while stuck at home. Complete a puzzle Puzzles are great for the sake of passing time. Lockdowns may make the day seem laboriously long and completing a puzzle is a great way to make time fly and activate your critical thinking skills. These puzzles can be done individually or together as a family if you want to make a day out of it. Family members can also complete different puzzles and then compare them after completion. Puzzles can vary from classic 1000-piece jigsaw-themed puzzles or Rubik’s puzzles. Get Moving If you have access to a front yard or a backyard, this is an excellent opportunity for teens to get exercise with outdoor sports and activities. Shooting basketballs or kicking a soccer ball is a fun activity to get their bodies moving. Other sports such as football and softball can be played among siblings or between parent and teen. If your teen doesn’t feel like exerting themselves, why not do some chalk art on the pavement! Family Games Being in lockdowns creates a strong sense of loneliness and isolation. Engaging as a family to play board games, card games, and other family games is a fun way to pass time, socialize, and curb the cycle of isolation. You can engage in classic card games and other

Foster Fail Julie Benz from Foster Boy talks about how the film exposes abuse, corruption in the foster-care system in the U.S. Tell us a little about the movie Foster Boy. Foster Boy is a legal drama about corruption in the for-profit foster care system. It is based on true events. Foster Boy was written by an attorney and is based on his experience as a top litigator in Chicago. How do you think his first-hand knowledge and experience really lends to the credibility of this film? Jay Paul Deratany was able to bring his real-life experience as a top litigator to the page. It adds an incredible richness to the film. As a litigator, he prosecuted numerous child welfare cases against for-profit foster-care companies and won. His screenplay pulls together a number of the cases he has prosecuted in order to tell an extremely compelling story and illuminate the bigger issue of corruption in the for-profit foster-care system. Foster Boy has been described as “Art Activism.” What does that mean to you? Wow. That’s a powerful and accurate description of Foster Boy. To me, ‘Art Activism’ means the ability to inspire change through art. And that’s exactly what this movie does. It holds up a mirror to a very corrupt system in our country and forces you to look at it. It leaves you wanting to make a difference for these innocent children and to fight for reform. Why do you think it’s so important to highlight the abuses within the foster-care system in the U.S.? Foster children are the forgotten children in our country. There are 430,000 children in the foster-care system at any one time. The statistics show that the majority of foster children are abused, neglected and denied basic services.  And over half end up homeless, unemployable or incarcerated after aging out of the foster-care system. What’s your take on for-profit foster care? It doesn’t work. Profits are frequently prioritized over a child’s well-being. These companies are hard to regulate and are not always transparent with their data. It’s heartbreaking because it’s the children that suffer at the hands of these greedy companies. There’s an incentive to make the placements for these kids to intentionally fail so the company can make more money. It’s criminal. You play Pamela Dupree in the movie. Can you tell us about your character? Pamela Dupree is a representation of what it’s like to be a social worker in a for-profit foster-care system. Through

Carlos Bustamante's 5 Truths About Hollywood As a reporter on ET Canada, Carlos Bustamante is used to life in the spotlight. He’s had a front row seat to the glam life of Hollywood and has witnessed first-hand the making of stardom. That’s why he knows all too well that fame is not as simple as it seems. Behind every success story is not only years of struggle, but a team of people to manage everything from hair, makeup and publicity to being responsible for what comes next. What else he sees? Hollywood life is not all it’s cracked up to be, which is something he thinks every star-struck teen needs to understand. We sat down with Bustamante to chat about the realities of Hollywood and fame, and the messages he wants every teen to know. By Rachel Naud   Your kids are still young but if they become interested in Hollywood glam, what will you tell them? They’ll understand how unreal a lot of what they see is. I have friends that are makeup artists and publicists that work with actors. There is a community of people that make a famous person famous. They will understand that. If they become obsessed with fame or want people to know who they are, they will understand that there is work that goes into becoming a top-rated movie star. You don’t just wake up one day and have someone discover you. More often than not, it comes from years of hard work, whether you want to be an actor or a musician. Behind every success story is one about a person working for decades before a big break finally came along and 100 more people that never got their big break. The main lesson I want them to learn is that if they choose a career that might end up in fame, their main focus should be their love for their craft. Because if they don’t have that, they’ll never be happy trying to make it. How do you think Instagram and other social media feeds have influenced the desire to be famous? I think social media has made fame accessible. Anyone can pick up a phone and record themselves. The possibility becomes so much closer to home. You don’t have to live in L.A. to make it big. But they still have to understand that the YouTubers who have the highest followers or have endorsement deals work every single day,

My Favourite Shops to Find Fun Gifts for Teens By Rachel Naud   When Interac challenged me to shop local, it was a challenge I gladly accepted! Part of the reason I love living in Toronto is the array of independent shops and boutiques in every area. When searching for some fun gifts for teens, I certainly didn't have to travel far! Here are some of my favourite spots where I discovered fun finds and gift ideas. Yellow House Gallery & Framing This contemporary art gallery and custom framing shop in the Upper Beaches of Toronto showcases local, regional and international emerging artists and focuses on original works and limited edition prints. I picked up a super cool graffiti-inspired custom painting, perfect for any teen! (Or myself, really!) Tertulia This independent coffee shop is new to the Riverside area. Inside, the vibe is quaint and contemporary. I went for the gourmet chocolates and caramels but I stayed for the London Fog! Best in the city! The Nooks Located in Toronto’s East End on “The Danny,” The Nooks sells hand-crafted and curated gifts, made by local artisans. The perfect place to get that one-of-a-kind gift! I found some cool necklaces! Good Neighbour This funky find is a one-stop shop for everyone on your list. This little house turned gift emporium serves up everything from house & home and bath & body items to men’s and women’s clothing and winter accessories. iQLiving Located in the heart of Greektown, I adore the kitchen accessories and cookware in this shop, especially the Orla Kiely line. It’s got a retro vibe that I love!

  Teenagers are the most misunderstood age group. They are often perceived as lazy, unintelligent, disrespectful, and hard to understand. There are plenty of things that parents can take into account when speaking with their teen. Acting like the boss of every conversation can drive a teen away from being honest and open about their ideas. This can disable the parent’s goal of understanding. Maybe even learn about the adult they are blossoming into. It’s important to listen in order to understand what’s on your teen’s mind. You might be surprised what you will hear. 1. Teens want to strive for a better future The present is dealing with a lot more difficult issues around the world. Most teens want to get involved in creating change in the topics they are passionate about. But, keep in mind that every teen has a different way on how they will get their point across — whether it’s through protest, an art or a speech. There are many ways to create a powerful statement. Good change is incredibly important for the future ahead. Remember encouragement is a plus for your teen and they are more likely to try with the support of family and friends they can trust. 2. Some teens suffer from mental illness Back in the older generation, mental illnesses were seen as excuses or made-up nonsense. However, those are false statements. Mental illness affects everyone, especially teens. The struggles of dealing with mental illness can make everyday things difficult to get through; it can be something as simple as communicating with another person or finishing a small task in class. It’s difficult to breathe when your mind is constantly nagging at you and telling you things about yourself that cause you to feel terrible. It’s important to know that your teen is really trying but might be afraid to ask for help. Make sure if you notice anything wrong, you let them know you’re there to help. 3. Teens are sensitive for a reason Unfortunately, as much as we don’t want to admit, prejudice is still around. Anyone of colour, sexuality and mental or physical disability can relate. Verbal and physical attacks can hurt. Teens understand this well and want to speak out about it. Problem with that is they are labeled as oversensitive. The issues such as prejudice should not be taken lightly. These issues being fought for the way they are shows that teens care