It captures your favourite summer memories: summer days spent at camp, the cottage or travelling in the car are wonderful times to remember. And here's a fun way to save those special family memories. Decorate a sturdy little spiral-bound album cover. As the days and weeks go by, fill your album with photographs, notes, maps and other memorabilia. At season's end you'll have a unique conversation piece and keepsake.
You need: • Spiral-bound book, 15 cm (6 in) square, with unlined white-paper pages and matching cover • Road map • Vacation photograph • Small toy plane, boat and/or car • Piece of craft foam, 7.5 cm (3 in) square and 3 mm (1/8 in) thick • Small piece of stiff coloured paper, for label • .40 m twisted rayon cord, 10 mm in diameter (optional) • Dimensional fabric paint • Permanent fine-tip black marker (optional) • Scissors • White craft glue • Glue gun
To make: 1. From map, cut 2 pieces, each 18 x 16.5 cm (7 x 6-1/2 in). With white glue, glue 1 piece to book front, aligning 1 long edge with edges of holes and wrapping other 3 edges to inside and gluing. Repeat for back. If desired, cut cord into 2 equal lengths; glue 1 length along map edge on front with white glue, wrapping ends to inside and gluing. Repeat for back.
2. With paint, retrace your route on map. Let dry.
3. Photocopy printed label onto paper OR write label on with marker. Glue onto front with glue gun.
4. Trim photograph 6.5 cm (2-1/2 in) square; centre and glue onto foam with white glue. Let dry. Arrange foam and toys; glue onto front with glue gun.
Five timeless tricks for pulling off a stress-free, elegant and anything-but-stuffy evening with friends.
Whether you’re an entertaining newbie or a seasoned pro, hosting a dinner party can seem daunting. Follow these tips for planning and executing a seamless soirée your guests will remember for years to come.
1. Know your dietary restrictions. Contact your guests a couple of weeks before the party to inquire about any dietary restrictions before picking the menu. Keep your questions strictly to restrictions rather than likes and dislikes—it’s impossible to please everyone, so your best bet is to keep the main dish neutral (poultry and beef are good choices) and serve the sides family-style so your guests can pick their sides according to their tastes.
2. Keep cutlery simple. Nobody wants to sit down to a meal surrounded by an armoury of cutlery. Make your guests feel more comfortable—and avoid any confusion as to which fork is appropriate to use—by paring down the cutlery, recommends César Mésen, General Manager for Far Niente, a fine dining restaurant in Toronto, Ont. “Only put what you need at the moment on the table,” says Mesen.
3. Start with bubbly. Greet your guests with a glass of Champagne or sparkling wine at the door. It kicks off the fun, celebratory tone for the evening and its crisp, sweet taste and bubbly mouth-feel sets your palate for the meal ahead. Be sure to have sparkling water as well to serve to those who aren’t drinking.
4. Mix formal with casual. The difference between a special dinner party and a simple gathering of friends is in the details. Opt for a white tablecloth for a touch of formality, but arrange wildflowers in unconventional vases, such as Mason jars, at the table to keep it from feeling too stuffy. “Fine dining isn’t dead,” Mesen notes. “Just make it fun.” Mesen recommends spinning some oldies on your sound system to give the room a playful vibe and serve as a fun conversation-starter for your guests.
5. Don’t sweat the starter. Cooking for a crowd can be stressful, so go easy on yourself by skipping the fussy appetizers and serving your guests no-cook cheese andcharcuterie platters instead. Assemble the platters ahead of time, and then simply pull them out of the fridge a few minutes before guests arrive. Bonus: the platters will serve as a gathering point for guests, encouraging them to strike up conversations with people they don’t already know.
Rediscover Ottawa, which walks the line between charming town and cosmopolitan city, with first-class cultural and historic experiences.
Modern digs: Alt Hotel Ottawa Rest your head at the Canadian-owned Alt Hotel in downtown Ottawa, where you can grab snacks (or full meals) in the lobby and keep up your yoga practice with the hotel's new Nama-Stay yoga videos. Bonus: The Alt is eco-friendly, with geothermal energy used for heating and cooling, plus energy-efficient lighting.
Historic haven: The Century House Bed and Breakfast Ottawa With just four rooms, The Century House offers a quaint stay without skimping on modern amenities such as free parking and Wi-Fi. It's known for its gourmet breakfasts (think indulgent waffles or a hearty frittata), served up family-style in the dining room.
Morning munch: Benny's Bistro Hidden behind The French Baker in the ByWard Market, this is a tiny gem that serves some of our all-time favourite brekkies. Order the buckwheat crêpe, which is stuffed with ham and Gruyère and topped with an egg.
Dinner hour: Absinthe Café Stop by this Wellington West hot spot for French-inspired cuisine and a taste of its namesake drink. On Monday nights, there's a special fondue menu; go with friends and order cheese and meat varieties to share, then finish with the Valrhona chocolate fondue for dessert.
Sweet treat: Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen Try small-batch ice creams and ice cream truffles made with Ontario dairy and fresh, sometimes surprising, ingredients, like craft beer or lime leaves.
Spring: C'est Bon Gourmet Food Tours Take a guided walking and tasting tour of one of Ottawa's famed foodie neighbourhoods: the ByWard Market, Wellington Street, Preston Street (Little Italy), the Glebe or Chinatown.
Summer: Yowttawa This outdoor music fest will celebrate the country's 150th anniversary with performances by Canadian artists, plus contributions by other international artists.
Fall: The Canada Science and Technology Museum After $80.5 million in renos, the museum will reopen in November, just in time for its 50th anniversary of celebrating Canadian innovations, such as a prototype of the world's first pacemaker and a cobalt-60 therapy machine from the '50s—at the time, a revolutionary new way to deliver radiation to cancer patients.
Winter:Nordik Spa-Nature Spend a day rotating between the spa's seven outdoor baths and eight saunas. Book a massage for ultimate R&R.
WHAT'S CLOSE BY? If you have the time to range farther afield, here are three other spots to see in Ontario.
2 1/2 hours away: Thousand Islands A pretty archipelago with ton of history (it was once pirate territory!), this region is now an ideal spot to go boating, hiking and exploring historic castles.
3 hours away: Prince Edward County Visit a few of the dozens of artist studios and galleries in the region, where you can even take an art class—in between wine tastings, of course.
OTTAWA THE GREAT To celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial—the 150th anniversary of Confederation—Ottawa is leading the charge with a full year of awe-inspiring events. Here's a small sampling of what's on in our nation's capital.
March 3 and 4: Red Bull Crashed Ice Watch downhill skaters race to the finish line on a huge track that runs along the locks of the Rideau Canal— which will be the final leg of the 2016–17 ice cross downhill championship.
May 20 to Sept. 4: Inspiration Village Located in the historic ByWard Market, Inspiration Village will pay tribute to our provinces and territories, while also showcasing special exhibits and performing-arts events.
All summer long: Kontinuum, an "underground multimedia experience" Though the Confederation Line of Ottawa's Light Rail Transit won't open until 2018, one underground station will be transformed into a futuristic world by a 10-weeklong multimedia presentation.
Nov. 26: The 105th Grey Cup This year, Canada's capital will host the CFL's annual championship game.
Ignite 150: In a series of 17 stunts spaced throughout the year—from yoga on a barge accompanied by a live orchestra to gourmet dining at a table suspended nearly 50 metres in the air—Ottawa will delight visitors and residents with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Ottawa Welcomes the world: Ottawa's many embassies and high commissions will be given the opportunity to take over Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building with multicultural celebrations including food, art and music.
Agri 150: More than 20 unique one-day outdoor events in 2017 will showcase Ottawa's food and drink, such as the Wine and Words Tour, which will take participants to local wineries to sample wine and cheese, with a local author to tell stories at each stop.
With our country's 150th birthday around the corner, Ottawa will be pulling out all the stops when it comes to entertaining, enlightening and engaging Canadians. We can’t wait to take part in all the amazing events scheduled throughout the year.
New and improved products from some of your favourite hair brands are hitting shelves this season.
The hair-care aisle is chock full of potions promising miracles, but we're after products that actually work—with the science and research to back them up.
SIZE DOES MATTER
Half of the global population experiences dandruff, but women seem to be slacking. "A far smaller proportion of women [to men] take proper care of their scalp," says Phil Marchant, the principal scientist for Head & Shoulders. "Many women think antidandruff products only fight dandruff or are too harsh." Over the past few years, Head & Shoulders' team of scientists has been working to change this mindset. A combination of zinc pyrithione and zinc carbonate is the brand's dandruff-fighting duo. Product developers swapped the shampoo's former particle size of zinc with micronized zinc (commonly used in facial sunscreens), reducing its size eight times over. "The smaller particle deposits more effectively and efficiently into the harder-to-reach areas on the scalp," says Marchant. This helps banish dandruff while also giving a better lather and allowing shampoo to rinse away more easily.
Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo and Conditioner, $6, walmart.ca.
NEW AND IMPROVED
"If it's not broke, don't fix it" was Herbal Essences unofficial motto for more than 45 years. Now, the brand known for unforgettable scents and kooky commercials is introducing a new line that marries the best of nature with science, thanks to a new technology called Bio:renew. The complex includes aloe to heal, sea kelp to nourish, bamboo to strengthen and, at its core, histidine, an amino acid and antioxidant. "When you go outside or colour or wash your hair, you're exposing it to free radicals," says Rachel Zipperian, principal scientist for Herbal Essences. "Once free radicals get into the hair, they try to associate themselves with damage sites. The vulnerable parts get free-radical buildup, which accelerates damage, and you end up with lifeless hair." Zipperian explains that antioxidants track free radicals and "take them out" so they're no longer active. The new collection comes in a range of indulgent scents.
Clay's purifying properties are well known to skin-care aficionados, and now your hair can benefit from them, too. L'Oréal's latest hair-care release—available in shampoo, conditioner and a preshampoo mask—tackles greasy roots and dry ends with a combo of kaolinite, argilane and montmorillonite clays, helping balance hair from root to tip. Expect fresh, soft strands for up to 72 hours.
L'Oréal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Treatment, $8.50, lorealparis.ca.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT
Take a walk down the shampoo aisle and you'll spot products that seem—dare we say it?—delicious. Hair-care brands are increasingly turning to fruit, vegetables and other plants for their nutritional benefits. Products containing yucca and goji berry, black sesame and grapefruit, and quinoa husk and honey take the guesswork our of reading ingredients labels and leave your hair with a yummy scent to boot.
The new hair-brightening spray from L'Anza uses optical refraction technology, which relfects pigments within the inner cortex of the haqir cuticle to intensify hair colour. Color Illuminator doesn't deposit new colour; instead, it magnifies preexisting pigments that are concealed by the hair's cutcle layer. The result: instantly brighter hair in the short term, and long term, strong and healthy hair nourished with UV protectors, which prevent fading.
L'Anza Color Illuminator Hair Brightening Spray, $35, lanza.com.
It's not just skin care that's ditching chemicals in favour of all-natural ingredients. Rocky Mountain Soap Co. has taken this trend to hair care too. The Canadian company's packaging, ingredients and even store design benefit from an attention to environmentally conscious detail. "I see us heading into a societal shift, defined by simplicity and authenticity, where green choices are the new expectation," says co-owner Karina Birch.
Sugary drinks contain a lot of empty calories and have been linked to numerous health issues. Learn how to kick these drinks to the curb with five healthy alternatives.
Trading in your sugary chai latte for a chai tea made with steamed milk may seem like the end of the world. But, changing your diet can be easier – and yummier - than you think.
"The number one source of added sugar in our diet is from sugar-sweetened beverages," says Amanda Nash, a registered dietitian with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Sugary drinks include things such as iced flavoured coffees, sports drinks, pop and fruit juice.
One problem with sugary drinks is that they don't leave you feeling as full as solid foods do– even if they both have the same amount of calories. After drinking a sugary drink, even though you might have consumed hundreds of calories, you're still hungry and you will continue to eat as if you'd consumed nothing at all. "That's really how sugar-sweetened beverages can add to extra caloric intake," says Nash.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that your total intake of added sugars does not exceed ten percent of your total daily calories (and ideally five percent). "To put that into perspective, ten percent for the average person eating a 2000-calorie diet would be 48 grams," explains Nash. This may seem like a lot but one can of pop usually has about 35 grams of added sugar.
"Use almond or coconut milk blended with one cup of berries or other frozen fruit per serving," suggests Sara Jafari, a registered dietitian based in Toronto. Check the label to make sure the coconut or almond milk is unsweetened – most have added sugar.
2. Homemade iced tea
Leave the sugar-sweetened iced tea on the shelves. "Brew a naturally sweet tea like apple cinnamon tea, mint tea or berry tea," says Nash. Leave the tea bags in and let it chill in the fridge overnight. You could even make a fizzy iced tea by adding soda water to your homemade iced tea.
3. Carbonated water
If you love drinking pop, then carbonated water is a great option for you. Nash suggests livening up your water by adding lemon, lime, grapefruit, fresh berries, mint or herbs. Even a splash of fruit juice will help to minimize your sugar intake.
4. Chocolate and white milk combo
Although plain milk or a milk alternative, like soy, almond or coconut milk, should always be the first choice, some people can't escape their sweet tooth. If you really like flavoured beverages, fill a glass with half chocolate milk and half white milk. Plain milk contains important vitamins and minerals. It also leaves you feeling full!
5. Herbal tea
If you want a delicious hot drink, then herbal tea is the way to go. Teas can be sugary beverages, depending on how you prepare them, so make sure you take it plain. You'll find adding extra sugar isn't necessary because it already has a sweet flavour. With no added sugar, it can be a healthy way to satisfy your craving for a hot beverage. Some great herbal tea options are ginger, dandelion, hibiscus and rooibos.
Tips on sweeteners:
• Alternatives: Try sweetening your tea with raw honey or stevia. Flavouring your coffee with cinnamon is also a great alternative to adding sugar.
• Use sparingly: Nash suggests limiting the amount of sweeteners you add to your food and beverages. Over time you will adapt to natural flavours and enjoy beverages without added sweetness.
• Ditch diet drinks: "Diet" drinks and drinks made with artificial sweeteners are good for providing a sweet flavour without calories. But, artificial sweeteners can be tricky. Jafari explains that sometimes, artificial sweeteners can come from natural sources, such as herbs – but, they can also be derived from sugar itself! These drinks also do not offer any nutritional or health benefits.
Tips on label reading:
• Be aware of health halos: Jafari explains that lots of drinks like vitamin enriched water and coconut water are advertised as being healthy when in fact they contain added sugar. Be wary of these and coconut water because it naturally contains a lot of sugar.
• Be cautious of the word "original": Almond and coconut milk are often labeled as "original," so people think nothing has been added to them. But, these "original" drinks usually have added sugar - look for the word "unsweetened."
• Watch out for hidden sugars: Sugar can be listed in the ingredients under many different names. Nash says anything that ends in "ose," such as glucose, sucrose or dextrose, is sugar. Maple syrup and corn syrup are also different types of sugar.