Have fun in the sun safely this March break

Have fun in the sun safely this March breakWith time off around the corner, it’s time to think of sun care. Whether you’re headed down south or planning a staycation, you need to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. In fact, both snow and water can reflect UV rays, making your skin even more susceptible to sun damage. Whether you’re on a ski hill or on a beach, here are a few tips to keep your skin healthy.

Apply sunscreen daily. Choose one with a minimum SPF of 30 to help prevent skin damage due to gradual exposure to the sun. Even if your makeup or skincare contains SPF, opt for a product that is exclusively sunscreen, as the skincare or makeup ingredients dilute the protection.

Use a different sunscreen on your face. Formulas designed for your face and ones made for your body are different in texture and how they perform on the skin. Compared with body sun care, face care products are generally thinner, less greasy and look for ones that are non-comedogenic, as they’re less likely to cause breakouts and sit better under makeup.

Choose between mineral and chemical formulas. Mineral and chemical sunscreens act differently on the skin, so it’s important to know what works for you. Mineral sunscreen is longer-lasting, ideal for sensitive skin and have a better shelf life. However, it is thicker in texture, making it more difficult to blend, and it has a white cast. Chemical sunscreen is thinner in texture and easy to blend, and less product is needed. On the other hand, it tends to be pore-clogging and can irritate sensitive skin.

Choose an appropriate SPF. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF 15 blocks around 93 per cent of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks around 97 per cent, while SPF 50 blocks around 98. The difference in protection is minimal, but that small percentage can add up over a lifetime. Also, you cannot layer SPF for greater protection. You are only as protected as the highest SPF number you put on. For example, an SPF 10 and an SPF 20 do not equal SPF 30.

Understanding your sun care needs and the best products to meet them can be difficult. Head to a local pharmacy like Shoppers Drug Mart to speak with a pharmacist and beauty expert to make sure you’re protected.


Should you rent or buy a house for your student?

Should you rent or buy a house for your student?With high school students across the country deciding on their post-secondary education right now, where they will live while at school should play an important part in the decision. Given that more than two-thirds of post-secondary students plan to live away from home during their studies and parents often foot the bill, have you considered how much it will cost?

While many rent, some parents opt to invest by purchasing a home for their kids to live in while away. But when does this option make sense? According to Nicole Wells, vice-president of home equity finance at RBC, there are five questions you should ask yourself when deciding.

1. What is the market is like? The conversation will be different depending where the school is located. In a more urban market, prices may be high compared to smaller towns, where you might find a better deal. Is the market volatile or stable? Do your research first.

2. Do I want to be a landlord? If you’ll be renting to your kid’s roommates as well, make sure you look into the logistics and legalities of being a landlord. Are you prepared to handle the maintenance on the house? What if someone doesn’t pay their rent on time?

3. When do I plan to sell? Will you sell as soon as your child finishes school, or continue to rent it out? You may get more value by holding on to it as a rental unit. Being a university town, there likely won’t be a shortage of renters.

4. Who will benefit? Is this a short term play, or are you planning ahead for other siblings that might go to the same school? Think about holding onto the property for longer to gain more value and plan ahead.

5. Have I run the numbers? Calculate the break-even point and when you would see profit. Don’t forget to include “extras” such as maintenance, repairs, taxes and insurance. You also need to put yourself first and ensure you aren’t drawing on retirement savings that might put your future in jeopardy.

Find more information online at rbc.com/home.


Kids still living at home? Help them take the next step.

BetwKids still living at home? Help them take the next step.een a competitive economy and an expensive housing market, today’s young people are staying in the nest longer than ever before. In fact, more than a third of Canadian young adults live with their parents rather than alone or with a spouse or partner in their own household.

While this trend can offer certain benefits to parents and kids living under the same roof, there are positive ways you can encourage your children to take the next step in their lives and careers. Here are some ideas for parents of kids in post-secondary and beyond.

Create a realistic plan. Work together to set key goals and milestones that are achievable. For example, if their goal is to find a job, strategize on how to get the ball rolling. Career counselling available on campus or information interviews with professionals in their field are great places to start. If your son or daughter is hoping to move out, help him or her establish a budget and find ways to meet it. Even while still in university or college, a part-time job or on-campus research position can help.

Set clear house rules. You want to be your children’s parent, not their roommate. Set boundaries and responsibilities that help them understand exactly what goes into running a household, which will prepare them for when they do leave the nest. Decide who will purchase the groceries each week, set curfews and quiet hours, and establish what they need to do to contribute to certain expenses such as the Internet bill. Beyond doing their own laundry, make sure your kids are contributing to chores that benefit everyone in the household, like preparing dinner, shoveling snow or making repairs.

Encourage a working holiday or internship. Travelling and working abroad can help your child become more independent and confident while gaining international work experience that can be very valuable when they come back and start job hunting. A great resource to obtain work permits quicker and easier is International Experience Canada, a government program that allows youth ages 18 to 35 to travel and work abroad for up to two years in one of more than 30 partner countries and territories.

Find more information on work and travel abroad at Canada.ca/IEC.


Holiday ideas for quality time at home

Holiday ideas for quality time at homeThe holidays are a joyful time to share with family and loved ones. Open your home as well as your heart, and bring everyone together to celebrate around your home theatre this holiday season:

Blast from the past. Having everyone together for the holidays is the perfect time to take a stroll down memory lane. Work with your family to create a video slideshow of all your favourite photos from over the years and pair it with some holiday tunes. You’ll be sure to dig up some heartfelt and hilarious moments to cherish.

The full package. Why not pack in as many fun filled memories as you can? Whether you and your friends are hanging out listening and singing along to Christmas carols or watching your favourite Christmas special, LG Ultra Slim Sound Bar is designed to pair beautifully with your TV – and its slim design won’t distract from your holiday décor. The expansive and precise audio will complement your holiday festivities, by bringing sounds to life.

Celebrate family. After all the dancing, singing and merriment, it’s time for you and your family to take it easy and connect with those that mean the most to you. Bring family from all over the world into your living room! Video chat with them straight from your TV, and raise a glass of eggnog to family this holiday season.

Find all the latest home theatre technology at www.lg.ca.


How to get your home holiday-ready

How to get your home holiday-readyPrep your home for a flurry of activity with these simple steps.

1. Incorporate magical seasonal scents. Fill your space with holiday-scented aromas from candles, or simmer your own potpourri with ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, pine or bitter orange.

2. Build a fire to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Keep fuzzy blankets and pillows on hand for both decoration and functionality and bring out a board game for a little entertainment. If you need extra warmth, cozy up in a Denver Hayes fleece robe from Mark’s and make some hot chocolate.

3. Be the best host and stock up on supplies that guests will use if they stop by. Essentials include towels, sheets, pillows and shower supplies. Make sure you keep these items accessible close to where guests are staying.

4. Make a grand entrance. Welcome your guests at the door with a fresh wreath and add holiday touches such as an entrance table with lighted tinsel trees, candles and ornaments. These details make a great first impression.

5. Don’t forget to make space in your home. Clear out your closet to make room for the influx of coats and winter boots and make space in your fridge and freezer for leftover food and beverages. Adding extra storage space will help keep you organized.


The 10 best toys to give this Christmas season

The 10 best toys to give this Christmas seasonThe must-have toys for 2017 include something for every age and stage, and at every budget. Whether you’ve got a builder, adventure-seeker or curious preschooler on your list, there’s a toy for every child.

It’s also easier than ever to shop for toys, with some retail stores offering in-store, online and app options.

“We take the guesswork out of finding the hottest toys at the lowest prices,” said Sarah Dennie, director of customer marketing at Walmart Canada. “Our Toy Academy team listens, analyzes and tracks all the toy data, ratings and reviews online. We use this information to create top toy lists so our customers can easily find the perfect gifts for their kids.”

The best toys guaranteed to put a smile on little faces this year include:

For one- to three-year-olds: The Think & Learn Teach n’ Tag Movi is an adorable mini robot that encourages preschoolers to get moving while simultaneously teaching them to follow directions.

For three- to five-year-olds: Children will serve up creativity and imagination with the Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck — its blend of kitchen and vehicle play will keep preschoolers engaged for hours. Inspired by the hit television series, the PJ Masks Deluxe Headquarters playset, another great toy, is a double-sided playset filled with stimulating kid-powered features. Finally, the Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower and the Paw Patrol Sea Patroller both offer hours of exciting rescue missions for kids who love the popular television show.

For five- to eight-year-olds: The FurReal Roarin’ Tyler Tiger is an interactive pet that reacts to sound and touch with over 100 responses. And for those who crave action, the Hot Wheels Ballistik Racer is a super-fast remote-control car with endless stunt and trick possibilities.

For eight- to 10-year-olds: The Nerf Modulus Regulator with three firing modes keeps kids’ active while fuelling their desire for adventure.

For kids 12 years old and up: It’s all about crazy cool gadgets, and the Propel Maximum X01 Micro Drone is just that. This drone encourages technical skills for the future while also offering hours of fun. For those who enjoy mind games, Hearing Things gets players to wear speech-cancelling electronic headphones and guess what they think a teammate is saying by reading their lips.

Find the best toys for all budgets at Walmart.ca/ToyAcademy