Is your sex life pretty vanilla? Have you been in a sexual slump? Here’s the good news: It’s never too late to get that playfulness back in the bedroom. We spoke to Jenna Wells, owner of toywithme.com, a site that reviews sex toys of every kind, to tell us about her personal favourite pleasurable playthings on the market. Here are her top picks.
Trojan has dubbed this one their "most powerful vibrator yet." Its four variable speed settings gives users more control. The compact design allows for individual or partner use, and it’s highly intuitive for direct clitoral contact. "What I like about this is that it’s sold at drug stores, so if you don’t feel comfortable going into a sex store or visiting a sex toy site, you can subtly pick this up while picking up your kids prescriptions!" says Wells. $24.99 available at mass and drug retailers or at www.trojanvibrations.ca.
Developed by two women, Eva is the most highly funded adult product in the history of online crowdfunding. "It has modern, sleek packaging, it comes in pretty colors, has a smooth silicone design, and is rechargeable via wall outlet or USB. Plus, it is effective," Wells says. "The surface is smooth silicone, the wings soft and flexible and the button is easy to find and push, even with lube-covered hands." It's hands-free and allows you added stimulation without having to worry about manoeuvring the tool. $105, available at dameproducts.com.
The palm-sized pod features two super-thin, super-flexible wings that surround a firm "pleasure dome." The design is meant to appeal to women and men, and be used on any body part you please. With four different vibration patterns and five speeds, a powerful motor, simple controls and a waterproof housing, it has a lot going for it. "It's surprisingly quiet. Really, really quiet. Bonus points for discretion here," says Wells. $196, available at jimmyjane.com.
The idea behind the We-Vibe 4 Plus is simple: You can control your vibe via an app on your smartphone. Or your partner can use his or her smartphone to control the vibe, says Wells. "You both need to be running the app, so your partner can't suddenly hijack your vibe without your knowledge." Her favourite feature? The fact that you can wear the vibe during sex. "Since most women can't orgasm from vaginal penetration alone, having a hands-free vibe is the perfect way to ensure you're satisfied." $180, available at goodforher.com.
IDA is a couple's massager, it's worn by a woman, and it's one of the first toys to be made with the new Sensemotion technology, meaning you don't have to push buttons to control it (you can move and shake the remote to create different patterns and power of vibrations). $259, available at lelo.com.
This attachment fits over the head of your electric toothbrush and transforms it into a discreet but powerful external vibrator. A bit invasive for our liking, but if subtlety is what you're going for (and you don't want your kids coming across something more aggressive when they open your night table drawer), this is for you. $76, available at amazon.ca.
Refresh your wall workout wardrobe with these editor-approved picks, all for $100 or less.
1. Support system
Sports bra, $17, marshalls.ca.
2. On the dot
Tank top, $18, marshalls.ca.
3. Back to black
Three-quarter-length tights, $55, adidas.ca.
4. Cool kicks
Running shoes, $98, skechers.com.
5. Hot mesh
Leggings with mesh panels, $20, marshalls.ca.
6. Layer up
Zip-up jacket, $50, marshalls.ca.
Serve this saucy pulled pork as sandwiches: piled high on buns, with bowls of garnishes, such as pickled jalapeños, sour cream, shredded cheese and thinly shredded red cabbage (or better yet, red cabbage slaw), and let guests build their own sandwiches.
This recipe can easily be left to simmer away in a slow cooker for eight hours before adding the chicken. It yields a large quantity of sauce that freezes well if you're feeding a smaller group. Serve over hot steamed basmati rice.
This roast, inspired by a classic Belgian stew, is juicy and tender over mashed potatoes, and the leftovers make the ultimate hot sandwich. Cook the bacon and onion mixture the night before so it's ready to add to the slow cooker in the morning without a lot of fuss.
This beanless regional specialty is a point of pride in Cincinnati, where fierce loyalty divides the city over which restaurant serves the best version. Cooked low and slow, with the distinguishing flavours of cinnamon and cocoa, the meaty, saucy chili is served over spaghetti.
This mild, sweet curry has all the comforting flavours of a curry without too much spice, making it a great choice for the entire family. Serve over steamed rice or with warmed naan bread.
You won't believe how tasty and easy it is to make this classic dish in your slow cooker. A piping bag - or plastic bag - makes easy work of stuffing the manicotti. Serve with a tossed salad and garlic bread for an easy family-style dinner.
A brisket needs to be cooked slowly, so using a slow cooker makes perfect sense. Ensure tender slices by cutting the brisket thinly across the grain.
Inspired by Portuguese caldo verde, this hearty, richly flavoured soup is a yummy way to use up an entire bunch of kale in one go. It freezes well, so leftovers make quick and easy lunches all week. The soup thickens as it stands; thin with water and adjust the seasonings as desired when you reheat it.
My mother, Shu-Lai Fong, makes famous pressure-cooked black bean spareribs. They're the inspiration for this recipe, which is just as delicious but uses a slow cooker. You'll find bite-size bone-in pork spareribs at most Asian grocery stores, or you can order them at your butcher's counter.
This hearty sauce is best served over a short pasta with lots of nooks and crannies it can tuck into and cling to. This ragu also makes a delicious lasagna filling when layered with sheets of fresh pasta and ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Cost: $2.15/cup
There are few things more comforting than a bowl of rich, creamy seafood chowder. Sweet, licorice-like fennel naturally complements the seafood. Serve with oyster crackers or crusty bread and a simple green salad for a complete meal.
Chorizo sausage and flavourful spices make this chili a real treat to come home to. Stirring in chopped herbs at the end adds a welcome touch of freshness.
Slow-cooked then quickly finished on the grill, sweet and sticky glazed ribs are guaranteed to impress your guests. Pork side ribs are also called St. Louis–style ribs, but back ribs are equally delicious.
Finally a flavourful risotto that doesn't need any stirring! Dried mushrooms work perfectly to create an earthy aroma, we've used dried porcinis here as they're readily available, but any dried mushroom will do. Hearty pot barley makes adds a healthful twist and doesn't become overly mushy - even after 8 hours.
Sweet honey and tender shallots mellow the typically strong flavour of lamb shoulder. Serve with roasted potatoes and steamed greens for a complete meal.
We've swapped beef broth for chicken broth and onions for tender leeks but kept all the flavour in this lighter version of classic French onion soup. When you get home, just toast the baguette, broil the cheese and enjoy!
This veggie-loaded chili is so hearty that even meat lovers will ask for seconds. To freeze it, cook as directed, but don't add the mushrooms. Cook them separately and add to the chili after reheating it. Serve with crusty bread to soak up every bit of sauce.
Inspired by the traditional Mexican tacos served with spicy thin pork slices and pineapple, this slow cooker version features pork shoulder broken into tender bite size chunks. If you don't want to serve these as tacos, try serving the pork on top of steamed white rice instead.
This all-in-one meal is a roast version of classic beef and barley soup. The barley thickens the cooking liquid to make a delicious gravy.
Using stewing beef instead of ground meat adds delicious bulk to this otherwise classic chili. Serve as is or use it as a topping for baked potatoes.
<p>Canadian Living, April 2016</p>
Looking to give your beauty and style a wee bit of a refresh, but don't know where to start? We want YOU to apply to Canadian Living's winter makeover series.
We're gearing up to shoot a winter series of makeovers in Toronto, which will appear in the magazine over a handful of issues—likely February, March and April—and are looking for four candidates (two women and a couple) to get a transformative makeover.
This makeover includes a wardrobe from Bayview Village (you'll get to keep the outfit you wear for the photo shoot), makeup, skin treatment, hair cut and colour, manicure—the whole deal. It will culminate in a photo shoot that will appear in the pages of our magazine. We're looking for two women and one couple ages 28 to 60.
The process will happen over a few days, firstly the morning of October 21 (clothing at Bayview Village), October 24th (hair cut and colour at a downtown salon) and the shoot day (makeup, hair styling and manicure) on October 26th. *We'll try and pepper in the skin treatments on the 21st and 24th. Otherwise, maybe a few on the 25th—TBD.
If you're keen, we'll need a few things:
• A current snapshot of your face (hair down, wearing your usual makeup)
• Reasons why you feel you need a makeover. What about yourself would you like to refresh?
• A current full-body snapshot that shows off your style (whatever that may be)
• A willingness to participate for about 2 days in total: half day for the salon (salon has not been determined, however it will be downtown Toronto), 1-2 hours for a skin treatment, one hour of wardrobe consultation and 3-4 hours for the photo shoot.
• And most of all, please only apply if you are interested in a big change—you need to be OK with handing over creative control to our very capable hands. We're going to be working with some of the best beauty and fashion talent in Canada. We're not going to give you a pixie cut and dye your hair platinum blonde, promise. We're going to enhance your natural beauty and ever so slightly push you out of your comfort zone.
Applicants can email our Fashion & Beauty director at email@example.com. We're hoping to narrow down our three lucky ladies (and hopefully one guy!) within the next two to three weeks.