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How to take care of your aging skin

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Mar 31st, 2015

Why do we age and how can we fight it?
The environment: You need to protect your skin with sunscreen. It’ll reduce the chances of you getting dark spots, wrinkles and your skin will be in much better condition.
What is happening to your body internally: If you’re healthy it will seep through to your skin. Medications, genes, sickness, etc. can all impact your skin. Behavioural issues: Are you a smoker? Do you drink a lot? Do you do drugs? If yes, all these decisions will play a part in how your skin looks.

What should you do?
You want to exfoliate your skin. The skin is always producing new skin, so the dead skin needs to come off. Sometimes it doesn’t come off naturally, so you need to use something such as a chemical exfoliant or a manual exfoliant to get rid of that skin. If you have dry skin, you can exfoliate your skin less frequently (about every three days), whereas if you have oily skin, you can exfoliate your skin more frequently (about every two days).
Advance your skin care routine. Add a serum and use products that mimic ingredients that are in your skin such as coenzyme q10 and hyaluronic acid. The coenzyme q10 enegizes the skin to produce new skin and turn it over, and the hyaluronic acid locks the moisture in. Adding a serum into your skincare routine is really easy — it goes right after your toner and before your moisturizer in the morning, and before your night cream before bed.
Eat well. What goes into the body, shows on the skin. Drink water and get your servings of vegetables and fruits!

For more tips from Dino, watch the video below:

 		

Jeanne Beker’s Spring Shopping List

LOULOU | posted Thursday, Mar 26th, 2015

A jean jacket: “A great summer go-to. Team it with a little black dress to give some of the rock-chick edginess, or with a pair of great boyfriend or sexy skinny jeans.”
Jeanne Beker $124.90. Buy online

A great pair of jeans: “Whatever style they are—bell bottoms, skinny legs, stretchy, boyfriend—it’s a perfect pick for getting around every day.”
DG2 by Diane Gilman, $79.90. Buy online

A dress that you love: “Whether that’s a plain, sleeveless number in a nice fabric like ponte that hugs you in all the right places and makes you feel really sexy, or something flowy and romantic and printed, everyone needs at least one new dress for the summer that speaks to the girl in you and lift you right up.”
Eureka by Christos Garkinos $139.90. Buy online

A big, floppy sunhat: “As the weather warms up and the sun starts shining, you definitely want to be protected.”
Jeanne Beker $46. Buy online

Eye-catching shades:  “Every woman needs a great pair of statement sunnies that you’re going to feel really good about wearing.”
Joan Boyce, $59.99. Buy online

A lightweight knit: “Preferably a cardigan. Something that’s going to feel really sumptuous that you’ll be able to mix in a variety of ways.”
Lusso Apparel, $149.90. Buy online

A sexy shoe: “It can be a wedge or something really strappy, as long as it’s a glam one that makes a statement.”
Vince Camuto $175. Buy online

An everyday shoe: “Plain and simple: This one is all about comfort.”
Vince Camuto $130. Buy online 

A bold bauble: “I think a cuff is ultimately empowering, so I’m all about a statement cuff, big bracelet and/or ring. But that’s a personal preference. Some people may prefer a necklace, as long as it really stands out.”
Jeanne Beker $35. Buy online

A printed top or dress: “Choose any feel-good style that’s really going to sing to you.”
Guillaume, $99.90. Buy online

Check out the full gallery at LOULOU

Make tax time less painful with Bruce Sellery’s help

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Mar 24th, 2015

Let’s begin:

Bruce advises everyone to begin with something sweet: a reward. Whether it’s a glass of wine, chocolates or looking at the new pair of shoes you want, start with that because no one loves doing their taxes but keeping a reward in mind (the tax return and what you can put it toward) may help you reach your end goal.

If you have a little bit of lead time, start with the paperwork. Find and divide your forms and receipts such as T4 slips, investment income slips, receipts for your kids’ activities and charitable contributions, your RRSP contribution receipt, etc.

Bruce suggests keeping on top of these receipts throughout the year as they come in. Keep them in a file or even a shoebox; this will definitely pay off when you are tackling your taxes. For example, if you qualify for the maximum deduction for physical activity, it could be worth $1000 — you don’t want to lose out on that!

Should you pay someone to do your taxes for you, or should you do it yourself?

If you are unsure whether or not you can handle your taxes on your own, there are three variables you need to consider, Bruce says:

  1. Complexity: Can you handle the work by yourself? Is it too complex?
  2. Competency: Do you have the basic skills to do it?
  3. Enthusiasm: Do you not hate it?

If any of the above is an issue, consider hiring an accountant or using an online tax filing service such as TurboTax. The online services are fairly inexpensive, they prompt you to ask questions, and remind you of the papers you need.

What happens if you don’t do your taxes?

If you’re owed money by the government, you won’t get it. If you have a salaried job and they have been withholding tax at source, you may be eligible for a refund but you won’t receive it. And don’t forget about the credits you may qualify for – if you’re unemployed, on maternity leave, or have kids, you may be in line for a refund. Don’t leave that money on the table!

If you owe money and don’t file, the consequences are significant. If you miss the deadline, April 30, by a day, the government immediately levies a 5% penalty on what you owe, plus an additional 1% every month you are late.

The one exception from the penalty is if you have had a significant life event, for example, if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. If so, you must call the CRA, prove it, and see if you can work something out to avoid the penalty.

What if you haven’t filed your taxes for years?

This is the time to say, “I need help,” and call a professional. They will walk you through exactly what’s required so that you can make a payment.

Indoor science experiments your kids will love

Cityline | posted Thursday, Mar 19th, 2015

DIY edible snow (aka vanilla ice cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup half and half milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 large one gallon Ziploc bag
  • 1 medium Ziploc bag
  • 4 cups of ice
  • 1 cup of salt
  • a kitchen glass

Method:

Place the opened medium Ziploc bag inside the kitchen glass to make it easy to pour the ingredients inside.

Pour in the cup of half and half and add the vanilla extract and sugar.

Seal the medium Ziploc bag, and remove as much air as possible.

Scoop 4 cups of ice into the large Ziploc bag and then add the salt. The salt will help to lower the temperature of the ice faster.

Place the medium Ziploc full of ingredients inside the large bag with ice, remove any excess air and seal tightly.

Shake the large bag for 5 to 10 minutes until the ice cream thickens. Wear gloves as this can get cold on your hands.

Remove the medium bag with the ice cream and rinse with cold water to remove any of the salt from the outside.

Scoop into a bowl and enjoy!

DIY lava lamp

Materials:

  • a medium glass vase or cylinder
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • food colouring
  • Alka Seltzer tablets

Method:

Fill the glass vase with vegetable oil, leaving approximately 3-4 inches at the top.

Pour in the half cup of water.

Add 15-20 drops of food colouring.

Break the Alka Seltzer tablets into quarters and drop them in one at a time.

Voila! You have your very own lava lamp!

DIY volcano

Materials:

  • A deep kitchen casserole dish
  • 2 glass cups
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • Food colouring (optional)

Method for volcano:

Place one glass cup inside the casserole dish to catch the mess.

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda inside the glass.

In the second cup,  add 1/2 a cup of vinegar, and add a few drops of red food colouring to create the colour of lava.

Pour the vinegar into the glass with baking soda.

Watch it erupt!

Magical inflating balloon

Materials:

  • An empty plastic water bottle
  • A 12″ latex balloon
  • A funnel
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Method:

Using the funnel, add the vinegar into the plastic water bottle.

Rinse the funnel with water and pat dry, then place the funnel into the end of the balloon.

Pour the baking soda into the uninflated balloon and remove the funnel.

Carefully place the opening of the balloon over the opening of the water bottle without letting any of the baking soda fall out of the balloon.

When ready, hold the balloon upright allowing all the baking soda to fall into the water bottle and watch the magic begin.

The reaction will cause the balloon to inflate, but not break!

Rainbow flower bouquet

Materials:

  • A bunch of white flowers (6 carnations work well)
  • Red, blue and yellow food colouring
  • 6 glass cups

Method:

Fill each glass cup with water.

Add a few drops of each food colouring bottle into 3 of the cups. Mix the primary colours to make secondary colours for the remaining cups.

Trim the carnation stems on an angle making them short enough to sit well in each cup.

Place a flower in each coloured water cup, and within 24 hours, the food colouring will have transferred into the petals making for a colourful bouquet!

8 things to get rid of at home (you’ll never know they’re gone!)

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Mar 17th, 2015

1. Old Newspapers
That old pile you’ve been hanging on to for keepsake has lost all significance, and would be much more useful as an added source of flames in the fireplace. Want to read an old article? Look it up online – – it’s probably there.

2. Fridge Pin-ups
Last week’s grocery list, a printed recipe you tried last month, and an interesting article you found last year can all be taken down now. If you haven’t given it second thought in over 6 months, it’s time to clean up that fridge décor.

3. Ancient Electronics
Remote controls, flip-phone chargers, cords, monitors, and more. You’ve since upgraded and might think you’re being organized by leaving them in a box in the basement. You’re really just inviting extra, unwanted clutter. Electronics don’t need to be dumped in the trash…they can be recycled! Take 20 minutes of research to find an organization that works for you. Here’s one to get you started.

4. Outdated office supplies
Since moving over to laptop work, you’ve significantly cut down on traditional office supplies. That hasn’t changed the fact that pens, markers, highlighters and old (used) notebooks are still sprawled all over your house, dusting away. In fact, you could probably find at least 25 dried up pens lying around the house right now if you tried.

5. Old Mugs
Past jobs, gifts, and flash sales have left you with an over abundance of coffee and tea mugs that are now being crammed into every drawer, shelf, and crevice of your kitchen. Which ones are our go-to’s? Keep those. Toss the rest.

6. Bedding and beyond
If your linens are still comprised of old duvets from sleepover camp, college dorms, twin bedding that no longer has a twin bed, or some version of all of these…you know the drill.

7. Tupperware Plastic
Tupperware tends to build up in the kitchen like it’s nobody’s business. Rule of thumb: invest in a fresh supply every couple of years. As for the old ones? No need to be hanging out in a drawer for fun. Image:

8. Expired Food
Need we expand? Get rid of it!

This March on Chatelaine.com we’re launching the Clutter Cure Challenge. Sign up to the Chatelaine newsletter for updates. 

Six tips to help you stay on top of your email

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Mar 12th, 2015

1. Separate business and pleasure
I have three different email accounts: Work, personal Gmail for friends and a third I share with my husband (it’s where we keep our family calendar to manage appointments and travel plans). Without having different inboxes I’d find it hard to keep track of who I’ve responded to and who I haven’t.

2. Try face time
If an email thread becomes too long, includes too many people or is delivering bad news, it’s probably not the right medium. This is the moment to get up from your desk or pick up the phone and actually have a conversation.

3. Weed out the clutter
I get over 100 emails a day so I have to have a system. When my inbox is full of unread messages, the first thing I do is delete or archive the ones I don’t need to read — I can usually tell from the subject line. The second step is to prioritize (star or label) the most important ones, then deal with them.

4. Email etiquette
Emails should be short and punchy, not essays. I often use bullets, or I bold key messages to make it clear what the purpose of the email is. Also, I don’t care how short it is — that’s no excuse for sloppy grammar, spelling, salutations or language.

5. Stop the deluge!
I regularly take a few moments to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. Simple, I know, but it really makes a difference. I’ve also found that the less email I send the less I receive.

6. Schedule screen time
Every Friday I sit down with my assistant to look at the week ahead and prioritize my time. Then we slot in blocks of work time. I use it to catch up on my emails. When I’m with my family I make sure I spend real time with my children instead of being distracted by my phone. The same goes for my team. We’ve developed a culture of not sending work-related emails on weekends unless it’s incredibly urgent.

Spring clean and organize your home in 31 days

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Mar 10th, 2015

Are you ready? We are! We’re excited to kick off our second Clutter Cure challenge this Sunday. We hope you follow along as we clean and organize our way through the month of March. Spring is the perfect time to get your home in order, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and how to stay motivated — but don’t worry, we’re here to help make the task a lot easier.

Each week, we’ll tackle a room with a couple of easy-to-do tasks and one big assignment. It’s up to you when you tackle each project. For some, it might be easier to do it on the day assigned, but for others, doing it all on the weekend might make more sense. Either way, by the end of the month your home will be clean and inviting and you’ll be ready to take on the new season!

The first assignment starts Tuesday, March 3, but this Sunday is all about planning the month ahead. Here are some tips to help get you started:

1. Before you start any project take some before and after photos so you can see your progress. Feel free to share them with us on Pinterest and Twitter with #cluttercure so we can keep each other motivated!

2. Don’t try to do it all at once! The idea behind the Clutter Cure is to tackle one space at a time. Make sure you complete each task before moving on to the next challenge.

3. Make a list of all the specific areas of your home that drive you crazy. Start at the front door and walk through your home noting any trouble spots; Maybe it’s overflowing shoes at the front door, a burnt-out bulb in the kitchen or a piece of artwork that has never made it onto a wall. Do not attempt to fix these problems. Sunday is just about taking stock. Assessing your home is the first step in getting organized!

4. Next, choose the five projects that will make the biggest difference in your home. Block off some time each Sunday to tackle one of these projects. They can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be. And if we happen to address one of your trouble spots during the week, bonus for you!

5. Remember to do work at your own pace. Take a break when you need to, or if you’re feeling ambitious, move an extra task onto your list.

Week by week we’re here to help you. In just 31 days, your home will be like new — just in time to get your hands dirty with spring gardening!

10 ways to survive a winter weekend trapped indoors

Lora Grady | posted Thursday, Mar 5th, 2015

Two weekends ago, on a particularly frigid Saturday night, I found myself trapped inside my 460-square-foot apartment. I had somehow managed to jam the lock on my door, and the locksmith wasn’t answering his phone, so I had no idea how long my isolation would last. If a fire had broken out, I would have been pretty screwed, but I was also pleased to have such a solid excuse to cancel plans and stay in. (As luck would have it, I had just returned from the grocery store with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.) Here are 10 tips that carried me through my weekend of apartment solitude. (Ed. note: You can also employ these tips when you actually have the ability to go outside, but just don’t want to.)

1. Dance around partially (or fully) naked.
Hands down, the best part of living alone is the opportunity to dance in the nude whenever you feel like it. It’s a surprisingly good workout, and it feels pretty liberating. As for the soundtrack, you can’t go wrong with Songza. My top three favourite playlists (in descending order) are: Mom-Jean JamsGirls’ Night In and What Would Beyoncé Do?

2. Cook an almost-effortless hot meal.
My slow cooker is easily my most-cherished kitchen appliance, and it proves especially useful during the winter when you’re craving warm, hearty dishes. This steel-cut oatmeal is the best breakfast for a cold morning, and it keeps for almost a week. My go-to weekend dinner is Moroccan Vegetable Stew — full of fragrant spices, winter veggies and quick couscous, this dish is the perfect stew for a sit-in.

3. Skype your Mom.
Or your best friend. Anyone who can remind you that you are not, in fact, the last person on Earth. Snapchat is also a fun way to keep in touch with other snowed-in friends. Document your stir-craziness and share it with close pals.

4. Escape to the beach. In your mind.
A spur-of-the-moment, two-day trip to the Caribbean isn’t exactly in most single girls’ budgets. These lageritasare easy to whip up, and conjure up memories of sun-soaked patios.

5. Make an epic (and easy) snack.
Some triple- (now quadruple-) tested crunchy munchies from the Chatelaine archives: five-minute microwave potato chips, sweet-and-salty chocolate-covered chipsBrussels sprout crisps and crispy chickpeas.

6. Get your binge-watch on.
Being a bit of a television connoisseur, my interests run the gamut from prime-time soap operas (Empire) to buddy comedies (Broad City) to historical dramas (Downton Abbey). Dim the lights and settle down for somesolid screen time. Tip: Poll friends and coworkers on what they’re currently watching — it’s always fun to have someone to dissect episodes with.

7. Give yourself a manicure.
Multi-task during your TV marathon by treating your tips to a fresh coat of polish. Get a professional look withthese three steps courtesy of an actual aesthetician.

8. Build a fort.
Lora here with a message from your childhood: forts are awesome. I was inspired by my best friend, who regularly sends me Snapchats from her inside her son’s blanket creations. Flank your couch with pillows, drape a blanket across the top, grab your laptop and snacks and lounge like a kid while you can.

9. Clean out your makeup bag.
Take a half-hour to organize your medicine cabinet and cosmetic bags, toss out old mascaras and powders, and take stock of any repeat products — like the three red lipsticks in your purse. Hang onto any duplicates for a product swap with friends another weekend. Feeling ambitious? Tackle your closet.

10. Do a 10-minute workout.
After all that slow-cooking and snacking, you’ll need to get up and get your blood pumping. I love doing this low-impact yoga routine before bed. If you need a boost (and tip number one isn’t your thing), these cardio movesare a great bet.

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