11 Father's Day Activities That Are Better Than Gifts

Dads often get the short end of the stick when it comes to gifts. Ties, ugly sweaters, soap on a rope, you name it.

Here are two secrets about Father’s Day presents: first, nobody has ever actually wanted soap on a rope and second, what your father really wants on Sunday, June 15 is the gift of your time. So forget getting him the latest biography by a retired athlete, and make some plans for activities instead.

We’ve got 11 ideas for great ways to spend Father’s Day with your dad. There’s definitely something in this list that will fit his interests, and none of it requires you to remember whether or not you got him a blue tie or red tie last year.

1. Play Golf
Hit the local driving range or play a full 18 holes with Dad this Father's Day. For those of you who are up to it, you can relive your childhood and hit a local mini-golf course for a fun afternoon. The great thing about mini golf is that even the less-than-stellar courses are fun, but that doesn't mean there aren't some impressive options out there.Monster Mini Golf in Edmonton is indoors, so you won’t get rained on, and Dinosaur Adventure Golf in Niagara Falls doesn't skimp on the kitsch.

2. Take Him To A Baseball Game
The Toronto Blue Jays are out of town on Father’s Day, but you could give Dad an early outing and catch them the week before when division rivals the Baltimore Orioles are in town. If you aren't in Toronto, you don’t have to miss out: check out CanAm League teams  or even find a pick-up game at a local park.

3.Have A Meaty Brunch
Brunch is a Mother’s Day classic, but you can do it Dad style too. The Father’s Day brunch at the Gasoline Alley Museum in Calgary features a carving station with Alberta beef and gammon ham. And Toronto restaurant Barque has items like smoked duck pancakes and biscuits with chorizo gravy on its brunch menu. Mmm... meat.

4.Go Hiking 
Wherever you are in the country, there’s somewhere you and Dad can go for a leisurely hike on Father’s Day. Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail links 32 communities in the St. John’s area, and the prairies aren’t known for their hills, but Wanuskewin Heritage Park near Saskatoon has scenic valley hiking that documents the area’s First Nations history.

5.Take Him To A Brewery 
Canada is enjoying a craft beer boom which means there are more options than ever for a brewery visit with Dad. The reasonable fee for tours at Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse supports charity, and Big Rock brewery in Calgary doesn't skimp on the details. If Dad likes wine and beer, there’s this Niagara Falls tour that combines the best of both.

6.When Was The Last Time Dad Went Fishing?
If you live near Vancouver, check out the family fishing day at Rice Lake in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, The event features a salmon barbecue, hatchery tours, and license-free fishing. Of course, anywhere else in Canada you can still grab a rod and spend a day on the water with Dad.

7.Run A Marathon 
Marathon season has begun all over Canada, so there’s sure to be a local run or walk you and Dad can sign up for. And as a bonus, many of them support worthwhile charities that do good work locally and nationally. The Do it for Dads Walk Run is happening in cities across the country, from Victoria to Halifax. And the annualManitoba Marathon in Winnipeg raises money to support people living with intellectual disabilities.

8.Have A Daddy Spa Day 
Men are increasingly visiting spas, and in turn spas are offering more and more services tailored specifically to them. Even if your father has never visited a spa before, we bet he’ll be a convert after a good massage and a sauna session. Try the Moscow massage at the Stillwater at Park Hyatt Toronto, or sit in the baths at the Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain in Ontario.

9.Take Him To A Car Show
If Dad’s a car buff, look for a local auto show that you can visit on Father’s Day. In Ottawa, check out the Father’s Day Car Show at Billings Estate National Historic Site. And the Coastal Cruisers Car Club in Bridgewater, N.S. hosts its annual AutoFest on Father’s Day, featuring vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles.

10. Visit A Classic Barber Shop 
Take Dad for a shave and a haircut — the kind he might remember from his own youth. The return of beards and moustaches means a revival of the classic barber shop. Visit a longstanding institution in your town, still staffed by the same barber who opened it decades ago. If Dad’s a modern fellow, he’ll enjoy something like the classic shave and manicure offered by MANN in Montreal.

11.Spice Things Up In The Kitchen 
If you have a local college that offers a cooking program, it probably also has one-day classes or workshops that can be taken by non-students. Many chefs and restaurants also offer cooking classes —check out Cook Culture in Victoria or Mengrai Gourmet Thai in Toronto are good examples.


Culled from Huffington Post Canada June 2014

Creating a Spring Cleaning Basket for Your Clients

Ahhh spring! The time of renewal and the time when so many people are thinking “spring cleaning”. This includes your clients.

This is also the time of year when more people are participating in diet cleanses and detoxes then any other time AND when they’re also looking around their homes getting ready to a do a deep clean there as well. Think these things are unrelated? Think again!

In traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the season for cleansing… so it only makes sense that our attention and mindset are fixed there. As a business owner, fortune 500 company or even wellness practitioner, it’s smart to take advantage of this momentum and support your clients by offering tips, suggestions, or even samples of foods and habits that can nourish them the most.

Food samples are such an easy way to introduce something new to a client – they’re far more likely to try new recipes, explore things like tongue scraping and body brushing if you give them a head start! If you’re not offering samples to your clients, then you should! This is a missed opportunity to really engage with them!

In my work with health coaches, I love to offer ideas and suggestions of product samples to give clients to help them ease into making safer, non-toxic choices in their kitchens. Searching for safe, toxic free kitchen items, from dish soap, to water bottles, can sometimes be too much for clients. Solution? Give them some instead! Not only does these make them more open to talking further about chemical toxins in the home, it’s shows them that you’re committed to helping them transition to the healthiest life possible!

Here are a few gift basket ideas - all under $50!


Gift Basket 1

Set of 12 Glass Mason Jars – less than $15!
Better Life ‘Dish It Out’ Unscented Dish Soap – $7
Stainless Steel Strainer  – $15


Gift Basket 2

LunchSkins Snack Bags – $8
Reusable Bamboo Utensil Set – $13
Glass Water Bottle – $13


Article culled from Lara Adler 2013

Comfort & Encourage with the Gift of a Plant

The tradition of sending plants and flowers to offer a word of thankfulness, sympathy, or celebratory praise has been around for years. However, plants are longer lasting than flowers, so the message is given again and again. The natural attractiveness of plants creates a gift that is memorable and appreciated, making them perfect gifts if you want to inspire, comfort, encourage, or praise a loved one or friend with a simple gesture that offers a great deal of meaning.

Green plants are attractive and make nice choices as gifts. They take less work to care for them properly since you never need to trim spent flowers. Green plants are hearty and thrive in a variety of light conditions. Flowering plants offer a welcoming touch of color, even if they are a bit more work to keep them blooming.

If you are looking for plants to send the message of comfort to someone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one, you should choose one of the following: 
Anemone - sincerity 
Basil - good wishes 
Holly - hope 
Lady's mantle - comfort 
Red poppy - consolation
If you want to offer a sign of your affection and thoughts of a speedy recovery to a friend or loved one going through adifficult illness, you can send one of the following types of plants: 
Aloe - protection and healing 
Cactus - endurance 
Carnations (red) - sympathy 
Chrysanthemum - hope 
Edelweiss - courage 
Fern - sincerity 
Peony - healing 
When you believe that you should help to boost self confidence in another person by offering a message designed toinspire and encourage, you can send: 
Angelica - inspiration 
Bells of Ireland - good luck 
Forsythia - anticipation 
Freesia - spirited emotion 
Gladiolus - strength of character 
Goldenrod - encouragement 
Larkspur - beautiful spirit 
Wisteria - steadfastness 
If your friendship with another individual is going through a rough patch and you are searching for ways to help you inimproving your relationship, bring one of the following meaningful plants: 
Arborvitae - unchanging friendship 
Oak-leaved geranium - true friendship 
Daffodils - special regard 
Hyacinth - constancy of love and regard 
Ivy - friendship 
Morning glory - affection 
White tulips - forgiveness 
Zinnia - thoughts of friends who have been absent 
For celebratory events such as a graduation, career advancement, or recognition of someone's special achievement, each of the following plants provides a good choice:
Amaryllis - pride 
Bronze-colored chrysanthemums - excitement 
Ginger - pride 
Gladiolus - strength in character
Heather (white) - success 
Iris - Inspiration 
Marigold - desire for wealth 
Stephanotis - good luck
Culled from My Well Being Presented by Humana

How to Buy the Perfect Gift for Anyone

It's no wonder online shopping is growing at a phenomenal rate every year. But with so much to choose from, how do you buy the perfect gift for someone?


The mistake most people make is buying something that they like instead of thinking hard about the interests of the person they are buying for. Admit it; you have probably done this before.


If you want to buy the perfect gift for your recipient, take the time to learn about the interests of that person even if it's something you don't particularly enjoy.


Once you know their interests, you can shop smarter and have a much better chance of getting that perfect gift with the thought that says: I picked this gift only for you.


If you are shopping for a gift for your sweetheart or partner, just apply the same rule. Try to focus on their interests. Remember, it's not what you want; it's what your partner wants that matters.


Listen close to your conversations then casually ask questions to get more specifics. You'll get clues about gifts they desire.


Once you apply this new method of gift shopping, your partner or sweetheart will end up with the perfect gift and you will be surprised by the response you receive.


But what about buying a gift for the person who has everything? Here are a few ideas that work well for that problem.


Gift Baskets make wonderful gifts for the person who has everything and are available for everyone and every occasion. Again the rule here is look for one that is themed toward your recipient's interests.


Gift baskets come in every theme imaginable and can be tailored to suit the particular occasion or interest perfectly.


They are filled with lots of small presents for the gift recipient making them an excellent value. They come in a variety of price ranges, so they are an ideal gift for any budget.


Another gift idea for the person who has everything is a gift certificate. Gift certificates are convenient and easy to redeem. But don't think a gift certificate is a quick solution or an easy way out because it isn't.


If you purchase a gift certificate from a store that offers gifts related toward your recipient's interests you may be doing them a huge favor. Not only do they get a great gift that interests them but they can choose something that they will actually use and enjoy.


As you can see, it's not difficult to find the perfect gift for anyone. It just takes taking a little extra time to learn about the interests of the recipient. But the result is worth it because it will produce the perfect gift that anyone will be absolutely delighted to receive.

About The Author, Gary Gresham
Gary Gresham is the webmaster for http://www.1stopshoppingonline.com 






What Do You Bring Your Thanksgiving Dinner Host?

Being the host for Thanksgiving dinner is no small undertaking – it takes a lot of thought, preparation, and sometimes a good chunk of money. If you're not immediate family or close extended family, I think it's nice to bring a small gift that either helps the host with the dinner, or is something special for him or her.

There's a lot of things to consider – do you have to travel a long distance to for Thanksgiving, and if so, will you have access to your own transportation when you're there? And do you ask the host what you should bring, or do you surprise them with something? The obvious answers that I can think of for gifts are a good bottle of wine or flowers, but something more creative would also be nice.

Do you give your Thanksgiving host a gift? And if so – do you have any good ideas outside of wine or flowers?  Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your suggestions,



Article culled from www.thekitchn.com, author Ariel Knutson

5 Things to Know Before You Buy that Wedding Gift

 Don't know what to give the bride and groom? Cash or a gift? A selection off their registry or something more personal? And better yet - how much do you spend?  At every wedding you attend as a guest, you're inevitably faced with the age-old question: What should you give?

To get some answers, The Knot partnered with a leading gift registry and polled a resounding 15,000 brides and newly married ladies to find out what they really wanted as nuptial presents. The result? These are the top five things you need to keep top of mind for giving wedding gifts they're sure to LOVE and KEEP.

1. Buy From Their Registry

Don't get too creative: Nearly 85% of brides want you to select a wedding gift from their pre-approved registry list, and 98% have at least one registry list, either in a store or on the web.

Look online to see where the couple is registered as 4 in 10 couples have a wedding website that links to their online registry. Many retailers make shopping more convenient by allowing guests to access registries online, or you can just head to the store to purchase in person. The couple set up the registry for a reason, and if you stick to it, you can't possibly go wrong!

2. K.E.B.B Gifts are a Must

K.E.B.B. stands for kitchen, entertaining, bed and bath! Unlike years past, today's couples want modern twists on the traditional wedding gifts, even though some of the most coveted gifts still hail from the kitchen, dining, bedding, and bath departments. Give them gifts that'll create a spa-like, hotel environment every morning when they wake up like a set of super-soft pillows, a thick down blanket, and a pair of high thread-count hotel towels?

In terms of entertaining, everyday affairs are big for brides, so consider giving a set dishes and stainless flatware that can multitask -- and either be dressed up for a dinner party or down for a backyard barbecue.

3. Spend What You Can Afford

 While it's a bad idea to use the price-per-plate as a measure for how much you should spend on the wedding gift -- you wouldn't give your best friend a less expensive gift just because she was having a more casual affair. Spend what you think is appropriate to your relationship to the couple, and also consider what's reasonable in your city and for your personal budget. The following are just guidelines, not set in stone. 

  • Coworker and/or a distant family friend or relative: $50-$75
  • Relative or friend: $75-$100
  • Close relative or close friend: $100-$150
  • Urbanite: $150-200+

4. Give a Big Group Gift

I like this one. Married couples who took our survey said that their favorite gifts were big-ticket items purchased by a group of their friends, and that makes sense: They would most likely never be able to afford those luxuries on their own. If the couple has registered for an item that's out of range for just one person to afford, ask some other guests to chip in with you. It's also a great idea for the bridal party to band together and buy the couple the item of their dreams.

5. Buy it Within Two Months

Two out of three newlywed couples polled told us they still haven't received all of their wedding gifts, which left us wondering -- what ever happened to the longstanding one-year rule? With the convenience of online buying and shipping, there's little excuse for such a delay -- try to send your gift within a reasonable amount of time, say 2-3 months of the wedding. Also if you can send the gift straight to their new abode, that would be much better than bringing it to the wedding. The bride and groom won't want to lug it around. Having it shipped directly to them will make things easier for everyone!



Choc Full of Goodness: Health Benefits of Milk Chocolate

The news has left chocoholics drooling over their squares of Dairy Milk: scientists have found that tucking into as much as two bars of chocolate a day may actually be good for us. A 12-year study of the snacking habits of 21,000 people showed that regularly indulging in chocolate can cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

What’s more, it’s not just bitter Bournville that has a positive effect on health. A humble bar of milk chocolate, researchers say, can be just as good for the heart.

Far from being a guilty pleasure, the sweet treat is something of a superfood, with effects ranging from boosting memory to hydrating skin. Here’s our guide to the many startling health benefits of chocolate.



The latest study, from the universities of Aberdeen, Manchester, Cambridge and East Anglia, found that people who eat up to 100g of chocolate a day are 11 per cent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problem than people who eat none at all.

The reason for this is flavonoids — a type of antioxidant found in chocolate, tea and red wine, which can help stimulate blood flow by mopping up damaging substances called free radicals, which can cause disease.

Professor Phyo Myint, clinical chair in old age medicine at the University of Aberdeen and one of the study’s authors, says: ‘We observed the association between the habitual consumption of chocolate linked to a reduction in incidence of stroke and cardiovascular disease.



Chocolate is one of the richest natural sources of magnesium, a mineral essential for brain health, and also contains caffeine (around 43mg per 100g of dark chocolate). Eating just a small amount — one or two squares a day — can help boost concentration and alertness. 



One study, published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2009, found that phenolics, another naturally occurring antioxidant found in chocolate, boosted the immune system.

The presence of epicatechin also activates the body’s natural detoxification process, helping to rid us of coughs and colds.


- Slows the signs of aging

- Stops Tooth Decay

- Lowers Blood Pressure

- Reduces stress

- Makes us Smarter

You get the Picture!

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3127347/Choc-goodness-scientists-prove-milk-chocolate-s-good-heart-s-not-good-news-s-boosts-brain-libido-figure.html#ixzz3h5zdmT8F