Heading to the airport during this holiday season? Read this! It's estimated that some Canadian airports, such as
Toronto's Pearson International (YYZ), will welcome more than 100,000 travellers through its doors–on a single day–in the lead-up to Christmas. That's a lot of people. That's a lot of potential
stress. Our friends at Pearson share these 10 simple steps to minimize stress and make your airport experience just a little more festive.
Check in online from the comfort of your home before you leave for the airport.
Ensure all travel documents and tickets are in hand before you reach your counter or kiosk.
Be aware of weight and size restrictions for checked baggage and ensure that all checked and carry-on luggage has your name and address on it prior to arriving at the airport.
Before leaving home, verify that your baggage does not contain any restricted items. For a complete up-to-date list of restricted items please visit www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca.
Flag with your airline if you have oversized items to stow, such as strollers and car seats.
Talk to your kids about the airport experience before you leave home, to ensure they are prepared for the experience and know what to do if you become separated.
Take advantage of our Guest Service Representatives. Located throughout the terminals, these airport staff members are happy to help you with any assistance you may need while at the airport.
Keep an eye out for our family washrooms which are designed with to keep your family together while protecting your personal space.
Check TorontoPearson.com [or the web site of your departure airport wherever it may be] for any special events happening at the airport the day of your trip, and plan to stop by to enjoy the festivities.
Give yourself lots of time to enjoy your airport experience. (Compliments of Pearson International Airport)
Dainty and flavourful, everyone loves to indulge in tiny bites of traditional tea sandwiches. Though they appear finicky to make, these tea sandwiches are easy to assemble and entirely make-ahead.
Pinwheel Sandwiches Trim crusts from 5 slices white or whole wheat sandwich loaf, cut Pullman-style. (Ask bakery to cut sandwich loaf horizontally, or Pullman style.) Using rolling pin, flatten slices slightly. Spread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread with filling.
Place 1 asparagus spear (or 2 baby gherkins) along 1 short end of each. Starting at asparagus, roll up tightly without squeezing. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. With serrated knife, trim ends; cut each roll into 6 slices.
Makes 30 pieces. Pinwheel Sandwich recipe: Curried Egg Salad Triangle Sandwiches Spread 16 thin slices whole wheat or white sandwich bread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread filling evenly over 8 of the slices. Top with remaining slices, pressing lightly. Place on rimmed baking sheet and cover with damp tea towel; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Trim off crusts. Cut each sandwich into 4 pieces.
Makes 32 pieces. Triangle Sandwich recipe: Ham Pickle Spread Square Sandwiches Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above except use 8 thin slices white and 8 thin slices whole wheat sandwich bread. Cut each sandwich into quarters.
Makes 32 pieces.Square Sandwich recipe: Pimiento Cheese Spread Finger Sandwiches Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above. Cut each sandwich lengthwise into 4 fingers.
Makes 32 pieces. Finger Sandwich recipe: Tuna Olive Salad
Choose the best-quality bread. Never serve end slices. Freezing bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.
Bread should be lightly buttered no matter what the filling. Butter should be at room temperature before spreading. Sandwiches will not become limp and soggy as readily if you spread butter right to edge of bread.
Cut crusts off bread with long, sharp knife after (not before) assembling sandwiches. This keeps everything neater.
Since tea sandwiches should be delicate, cut each sandwich into thirds or quarters or in half diagonally. Or use cookie cutters to cut into decorative shapes.
1. Skillet Stroganoff Pie
There's no need to choose between shepherd's pie and beef Stroganoff, thanks to this simple skillet dinner, which combines a creamy mushroom-and-beef filling with a smooth, buttery potato topping.
2.Crispy Japanese-Style Pork With Sesame Slaw
This shortcut version of tonkatsu, a crispy pork cutlet that's a favourite in Japan, doesn't require any deep-frying but tastes just as delicious as the traditionally prepared dish. Toasting the panko before breading the pork results in an even golden crust. Serve with a dab of spicy mustard.
3.Stir-Fried Seafood Udon Noodles
For nights when you're low on time, udon noodles are a great ingredient to have on hand because there's no need to boil them in a saucepan; simply separate the noodles by hand, then add them directly to your stir-fry for a one-pan dinner that's ready in no time.
4.One-Pan Jerk Chicken Dinner
Very little prep is needed for this tasty one-dish dinner—simply toss together and bake! We've made our own jerk spice, which will keep for months in a sealed container, but you can also look for a prepared mix in the international section or spice aisle of your grocery store. Serve with our Pineapple Salad.
5. Slow Cooker Dal
Green lentils hold their shape after hours of cooking, so they're ideal for slow cooker recipes. Partially blending this classic vegetarian curry creates the same thick, velvety texture you'd find a restaurant. Serve with roti or rice.
The kitchen probably has the most traffic in your home, which means it can also be the messiest. Keep your counters and cabinets clutter-free with these clever storage ideas.
1. Looking good
Display your pretty serving pieces on open shelves and use decorative baskets to house the less attractive and infrequently used kitchen necessities (think small appliances and tools).
2. Mix it up
Varied storage keeps items of different sizes in their place: deep drawers for medium-to-large appliances, stacked shelving for wine bottles and shallow drawers for spices.
3. Within reach
Keep the items you need most, such as cereal and snacks, between waist and eye level, and move the rest of the goods up high or down low.
4. All access
A pull-out pantry allows you to see inventory at a glance and helps keep supplies organized so that nothing gets pushed to the back and out of view.
5. Now you see it
Cabinets that are tucked behind a sliding door will provide a functional space-saving solution to a typical pantry. This storage system can be built along an unused wall in a kitchen. Use it to conceal mismatched boxes, jars and canned goods.
The biggest advantage in a kitchen is accessibility, yet the most common blind spots I see are cabinet shelves that are too high and wasted space between shelves. Whether you've just moved in or you've settled into a kitchen, it's worth the time to adjust shelving to fit the contents and to lower shelves so you can reach what you need. After adjusting the height, you can often add an extra shelf to accommodate wide narrow items, like trays.
Self-improvement and self-care are important, but this time of year always brings me back to the focus of my childhood New Year's experiences: my family.
By the time the fireworks crescendoed over Cairo and my 22-month-old-daughter woke up to witness midnight on her second New Year's eve, my mind raced with changes I wanted to make in the year ahead to strengthen my family.
Ringing in the New Year with my sister at a Nile-side café, sharing plates of Arabic mezze such as hummus, baba ghanouj and kebab, was very special. Separated by thousands of kilometers and national borders, I don't get to see my loved ones nearly as often as I'd like and the holidays present a rare opportunity to rekindle the bonds of family.
As we talked—and the clock moved closer to midnight—sharing our plans for the New Year and reminiscing about our childhood, it struck me that the types of resolutions we usually think of around this time of year are foreign to me. Growing up in Kuwait and Gaza, the New Year was a very different affair.
Sure, there were fireworks and parties—but even at their loudest, our celebrations felt quieter, more subdued and grounded. There were no glaring campaigns encouraging you to join a gym, take that dream vacation or switch phone companies. New Year's Eve was another occasion to spend time as a family and connect with those closest to you.
It wasn't until I moved to Europe and eventually came to Canada that I saw the full force of the self-improvement craze as people promised to slim down and tone up, get more sleep and stick to a budget.
Self-improvement and self-care are important—being fulfilled in ourselves empowers us to care for others—but this time of year always brings me back to the focus of my childhood New Year's experiences: my family.
Firstly, I'm committing to use technology to enhance my family's relationships, instead of just to fill time while commuting. I'm going to be present with the people in my life, leaving my phone in the other room to make the most of the time I have with my loved ones over dinner. And for my family we can't share a meal with, I'm going to make sure they're an active presence in my daughter's life through video chats and photos.
Next, my husband and I are committing to volunteering together. Families that are actively engaged in their communities create a generation of change-makers and one of the greatest gifts I can give my daughter is the knowledge that she can have an impact. That starts with modeling behaviour for her now.
Lastly, I'm going to ensure my daughter grows up knowing what it means to be a part of a diverse community that cares for each other. Whenever I travel I'm reminded of how special Canada is, where people from all backgrounds speaking a multitude of languages celebrate cherished cultures side by side. This year my family is going to celebrate the threads that make up our diverse tapestry by sharing meals with our neighbours.
As 2016 drew to a close, headlines around the world declared it the worst year in recent memory: darker; more politically divisive; full of disaster, disease and an uncharacteristically high number of celebrity deaths. We have the potential to make 2017 better—not just for ourselves (when we finally lose that extra five pounds or remember to pack lunches for work) but for our family's and for each other, when we learn about issues together, leave notes of kindness to brighten one another's day, or tell the people in our lives what we're grateful for.
These are simple steps I plan to take for my family but my goal is much larger. I imagine a day, not too far off, when my daughter is a little older and we can talk about the issues and challenges she sees in the world. I want to raise her to care about little injustices and dream of ways she can help because she knows she can have an impact. That starts now, with a strong grounding in our home and our family.