Posts Tagged "Heres"


Bored of your closet? Here’s how to refresh your look in 2020 – National

by BBG Hub

If you started 2020 hoping for a fresh start, you may have thought about buying a whole new wardrobe.

That makes perfect sense, in the opinion of stylist Lisa Kisber.

“One of the ways you can feel fresh … is to take that on with your wardrobe,” she said.

“Obviously, how you dress can affect how you feel.”

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Forget making resolutions ⁠— here’s how to reset the new year

Thankfully, said Kisber, you can refresh your style without spending a dime.

“After the holidays, we’re all sort of on a tight budget, but you still want this sense of renewal,” she said.

Her big idea is to re-purpose your spring and summer clothes for the colder weather.

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Fashion in the (deep) freeze

Fashion in the (deep) freeze

“We’re getting pieces out from your summer wardrobe and trying to winterize them so that you can have that sense of newness without actually having to go out and get a whole new wardrobe,” she said.

An easy way to add more energy to your day-to-day is to incorporate bright colours into your winter outfits.

“People tend to shy away from colour when it comes to winter, but … when it comes to energy, we all have that drain on energy with the long nights and short days,” she said. “It’s one of those times of the year that can just be draining.”

Below, Kisber and stylist Talia Brown Thall share their tips for resetting your closet in 2020.

Don’t spend on trends

Trends come and go, but classics are forever.

This is Kisber’s top piece of advice for refreshing your wardrobe.

“If you’re looking to buy trends, don’t spend a lot of money,” she said. “If you’re looking to buy classic, well-fitting, right-for-your-body pieces, those are the pieces you should invest in.”

The best time to buy things in 2020 — You love to shop, so why not get the best deal?

This is especially true if money is tight, said Kisber.

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Save your money for pieces that “you’re going to be able to wear for years to come,” she said.

“Sometimes people buy trends because everybody’s wearing them, but they don’t necessarily feel great in them … If you are not an animal print person, if it makes you feel funky and weird, why buy animal print?”

Invest in comfort and confidence

Brown Thall, once Meghan Markle’s stylist, says her number one priority is making sure her clients feel confident.

“You want to make sure [your clothes] look fresh, you want to make sure they excite you, you want to make sure it fits and you want to make sure it makes you feel good,” she said.

“If you love what you’re wearing, it speaks volumes to everybody else around you. People can always tell when you’re not comfortable.”

To that end, Brown Thall always suggests the option of tailoring to her clients.

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“Most things can be altered so easily, and it’s cheaper than buying all new,” she said.

“If you love it, you should make it yours again and re-love it.”

Do your research

Climate change is a growing concern for Canadians. When it comes to fashion, so is sustainability.

Kisber recommends that you research a company’s sustainability practices (if there are any) before you commit to shopping with them.

“Why not buy from brands that are doing things that are good for the earth?” she said.

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If sustainability is your top priority, Kisber suggests a low-buy or no-buy year.

“Keep [your shopping] to a minimum or keep it just to really trendy pieces,” she said. “It’s all about finding a balance.”

She also recommends secondhand and thrift shopping as a “great way to make sure we’re not caught feeding the process of manufacturing.”

Interior design trends for 2020

Interior design trends for 2020

Thall Brown agrees.

“I definitely think about all my clothes [before I buy them]. I want to think about it; I want to love it,” she said.

“I’m not saying that you should be adventurous and buy colour … you have to know what you’re comfortable in. If you’re not comfortable with a bright red coat, then don’t buy that.”

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Don’t keep everything

In Thall Brown’s work, she often sees clients keeping clothes that don’t fit simply because they remind them of something else.

“If you want to keep something, I suggest you box those pieces and put them somewhere else for the time being,” she said. “If five years from now, you still haven’t gone back to them, somebody else in the world can really use them.”

“Clothing shouldn’t become so emotional.”

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This year, we’re hoping to take the focus away from making resolutions and put it towards resetting some of the most important parts of our lifestyle: everything from our finances to parenting and more. Each day this week, we will tackle a new topic with the help of the Global News’ ‘The Morning Show.’ Read them all here

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Drinking tonight? Here’s how alcohol could affect your sleep – National

by BBG Hub

If you’re dying for a good night’s sleep, you might want to rethink the glass (or two) of wine you have with dinner.

In a recent survey by Mattress Advisor, 25 per cent of people reported feeling restless and waking up often throughout the night after drinking, 23 per cent reported feeling hot while they slept and 19 per cent reported nausea and vomiting.

What’s more, 55 per cent of respondents said they thought they got a good night’s sleep after drinking, but Susan Bondy, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, said this is likely because of alcohol’s drowsy effect.

Oversleeping can increase your risk of stroke by up to 85 per cent, study says

You might fall asleep quickly, she said, but alcohol can hurt your rest in several ways throughout the night, leaving you grumpy in the morning.

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The actual science behind how alcohol affects your brain is difficult to understand, but Bondy describes alcohol as “one of the messiest psychoactive substances.”

“Some drugs interact with very specific neurotransmitter receptor sites and very specific systems,” she said. “Alcohol actually interacts with a ton of them, so it’s very difficult to … predict exactly what the effects will be in a specific person.”

Dry January trend sparks nationwide discussions around effects of harmful alcohol consumption

Dry January trend sparks nationwide discussions around effects of harmful alcohol consumption

How drinking affects your sleep will also depend on your tolerance and the dosage. Alcohol could have a stimulating effect on one person, and a sedating effect on another, Bondy said.

Here are all the ways alcohol can negatively impact your trip to dreamland tonight.

Drinking will make your sleep worse

Drinking in large quantities before bed will undoubtedly cause you issues later in the night.

It will affect your “sleep architecture,” which is what Bondy calls the time you spend in deep sleep versus the time you spend in light or dreaming sleep.

“The proportions of time change,” she said. “You spend a lot more time in light sleep and then you slightly wake up and you’re aware of being awake. It’s related to insomnia.”

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It will also reduce the quality of your sleep.

“At the end of the night, you haven’t had a deep sleep, which restores brain function, solidifies your memory [and more],” said Bondy.

Alcohol has also been proven to affect different hormones, like melatonin, which is “well understood to be related to constituting the circadian rhythm, and alcohol has an adverse effect on melatonin levels,” she said.

“People are not well advised to use alcohol as a remedy for mood, for sleep or for anything else, because it’s probably going to have counter-intuitive effects.”

How it affects your body

Ashley Little is a sleep content specialist at Mattress Advisor and one of the lead authors of the survey.

In her research, she found that there are lots of physiological ways alcohol can contribute to a worse sleep.

In a normal sleep cycle, over the night, you’re going into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep about every 90 minutes and you’re cycling through all the sleep stages naturally, in a healthy way,” she said.

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“When you drink alcohol, you’re getting less REM sleep in the first few sleep cycles, so it’s actually suppressing the amount of time you’re spending in REM.”

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Then, later in the night, your body tries to compensate for that, which can cause a lot of disruption.

“Another thing is people have to pee more when they drink before they go to bed, so you’re waking up having to make a bathroom run,” she said.

There are no ‘quick fixes’

Whether you’re bracing for a hangover or hoping to cancel out the beer you had while watching the game, no amount of water or greasy food will reverse the damage done.

“There really is no quick fix,” said Bondy.

It doesn’t even matter if you try to space out your drinks over the night — it’s your blood alcohol level that matters.

Restless leg syndrome linked to higher risk of self-harm, suicide

“It goes away gradually, and during that time, you have very severe irritant chemicals in your system,” she said.

“Adding water lightly dilutes the alcohol content, but it doesn’t actually remove [or] reduce the number of molecules of alcohol in systems that have to be dealt with.”

Some people take pain relievers in anticipation of a midnight headache, but Bondy advises against this.

“Many of those interact very badly with alcohol.”

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Yes, your poops are different on your period. Here’s why – National

by BBG Hub

Periods can cause cramping, mood swings and acne, but they can also wreak havoc on your digestive system.

“Period poops,” as they are often called, refer to bowel movements that coincide with the start of your period. They typically differ from your regular poops and are often looser and more frequent, or diarrhea.

According to Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Women’s College Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, hormones are largely to blame.

“Some of the same hormones that cause cramps and inflammation also lead to some of the bowel changes,” Kirkham explained.

READ MORE: What are fibroids? Here’s what women need to know

During your period, prostaglandins — a group of hormones — cause uterine muscle contractions, or cramps. Kirkham says prostaglandins can also cause contractions in the intestines.

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“When you have excessive bowel cramps, you can also have diarrhea,” she said.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms can also affect your bathroom schedule, Kirkham said. If you experience higher levels of anxiety around your period, for example, the hormones related to stress can cause bowel movement changes.

Loose poops are only one menstrual-related digestive change; many women experience constipation before they bleed.

What are menstrual cups?

What are menstrual cups?

Kirkham says there’s an increase in progesterone just before periods begin, which is the hormone that thins the uterine lining.

“It also causes some of our other PMS symptoms, like mood symptoms and acne. It can cause some constipation as well,” she said.

How to manage period poops

There are some over-the-counter ways to deal with digestive changes, Kirkham said.

These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen.

“Even before you see the menstrual blood, if you start to have cramps, you can start taking those medications,” Kirkham said.

READ MORE: A heavy period isn’t always normal — it could be a sign of a bleeding disorder

The doctor also stresses that a balanced, healthy diet rich with fruits and vegetables is key, as is exercise.

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“Then there’s also all of the menstrual management medications we use, such as birth control pills, patches and the ring,” she said. “Those both decrease period cramps and period flow… and will also help with the symptoms.”

When to see a doctor

While period poops may be normal, you should seek medical counsel if you experience any changes, including blood in your stool or rectal or anal pain.

These may be symptoms of other issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids or endometriosis, said Kirkham.

“If you’ve got more pain, more than just a change in [bowel movement] texture or bleeding, those should definitely be checked out.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Going on vacation? Here’s how to prep your home – National

by BBG Hub

People tend to spend a lot of time planning their holiday travel but not a lot preparing for their return home. But returning to a mess — minor bummers like an empty fridge or stinking garbage can, or major problems like frozen pipes — can make it difficult to savour the good times you had while away.

Some simple pre-departure tasks are crucial to a happy homecoming. These include: tidying up, putting your mail on hold, stocking up on frozen or non-perishable food (or scheduling a grocery delivery for when you get home), unplugging appliances, turning off the water supply, putting fresh sheets on the beds and giving a spare key to a friend.

“It’s awful to come home to a cold and messy home,” says Amy Panos, home editor of Better Homes and Gardens.

READ MORE: Skip sidewalk salt, up the insulation and other expert tips for winter

“It’s definitely worth it to clean up before you go. Think about what you want to come home to …. Take out the trash, and if there’s food in the fridge or on the counter that will spoil before you get back, get rid of it.”

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Jacqui Gifford, editor-in-chief of Travel and Leisure, says she travels about once a month and has set routines before each trip.

Here are some tips from the experts:

Tidy up: Take out the trash and dispose of perishable foods, Panos says. Make sure your home looks neat and welcoming.

Make it welcoming: Make sure you have groceries on hand to make an easy meal when you return, says Gifford, who suggests things like frozen foods or pasta with sauce as easy fixes for the travel-weary and hungry.

Panos says it’s also nice to have freshly made beds waiting for you when you get home.

Preparing your home for the holidays

Preparing your home for the holidays

Safeguard your home: Program your lights to turn on and off at regular intervals. Have your mail and subscriptions placed on hold so things don’t accumulate at your front door, tipping off potential thieves that you’re away. Reinforce sliding glass doors, lock all doors and windows and leave your car in the driveway, Panos and Gifford say.

You might consider waiting until you’re home to post your travel pictures on social media so you’re not advertising to the world that you’re away and your home is empty, Gifford says. Letting your neighbours know that you’ll be away is also a good idea, says Panos, so they can keep an eye on things while you’re gone.

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Shut things down: Turn off the main water switch if you’ve got finicky plumbing, says Gifford, and put together a checklist of things that need to be turned off or unplugged. Set your thermostat lower before you go and, if possible, program it to heat up again right before you get back, suggests Panos.

“The last thing I do before heading out the door is to unplug all my electric items,” Gifford says.

READ MORE: Flocks of ‘snowbirds’ escape Canada each winter. Here’s how to join them

“It’s good for your pocketbook because it saves energy and can save your electrical items in case there’s a power surge. It’s also good for the environment.”

Leave a key: Give a spare key to a friend or neighbour, in case you realize on your way to the airport that you forgot to turn something off or need something checked on, Gifford says.

Consider extra security measures: In addition to the more basic pre-departure steps, there are other precautions to consider.

“Make sure your itinerary is left with a friend or neighbour not going on the trip so someone knows where you are in the world and how to reach you. It’s also a good idea to leave a copy of your passport and credit cards with a family member and also bring a copy with you that you can keep separately from your documents in case they’re stolen,” Gifford says.

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If you travel frequently with children or someone with health issues, supplemental travel insurance may be a good idea, she says.

“One in 30 trips ends in a medical emergency and, particularly if you travel a lot, that extra sense of security is worth it.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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It’s flu season. Here’s how to keep coworkers’ germs at bay – National

by BBG Hub

Flu season has arrived.

An estimated 12,200 Canadians end up hospitalized due to the flu each year, Health Canada reports, and the virus also causes around 3,500 deaths annually.

Because the flu virus, or influenza, is primarily spread through droplets made when coughing or sneezing, workplaces can be hotbeds for transmission.

So how can you prevent yourself from catching the flu at work? Here, doctors share their advice.

Get the flu shot

Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, stresses the importance of the flu shot.

READ MORE: Here’s what to expect from this year’s flu season

Khan, who is also the CEO of BlueDot, an infectious disease prevention tool, says Canadians should get their flu vaccine annually.

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“It’s not 100 per cent perfect in preventing influenza, but it’s roughly going to cut your odds of getting a flu in half,” Khan said.

“It is important for people to be aware that it is their best chance at reducing their risk of getting the flu.”

Khan points out that the flu shot not only protects you, it also helps prevent spreading the virus to those who are at high risk of catching the flu.

Tips to Beat the Cold and Flu

Tips to Beat the Cold and Flu

This includes seniors, those with compromised immune systems, young children and pregnant women. For at-risk populations, the flu can lead to serious complications and even death.

“Even if employees are young, healthy and don’t have risk factors for severe consequences from influenza, simply getting the vaccine means they’re less likely to become sick and pass the virus on to someone else in their work environment,” Khan said.

Practice handwashing

Dr. Ian Gemmill, a Kingston, Ont.-based public health consultant and former chair of Immunize Canada, says that because influenza is spread from person to person, it’s important for people to frequently wash their hands.

READ MORE: 4 in 10 Canadians say they won’t get the flu shot this year, poll finds

Health Canada points out the incubation period of the flu can range from one to four days, meaning people can spread the virus before they even realize they’re sick.

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The government agency adds that people can pass on influenza up to five days after they first experience symptoms.

Gemmill adds that on top of direct contact, the flu virus can survive on surfaces for roughly a day. This means that common objects, like bathroom door handles or telephones, can transmit the influenza virus to your hands.

Why pregnant women should get the flu and whooping cough vaccine

Why pregnant women should get the flu and whooping cough vaccine

If you touch a contaminated surface then touch your face, for example, you can contract the flu.

“I cannot emphasize handwashing enough,” Gemmill said.

Encourage employers to be part of flu prevention

One way Gemmill says workplaces can promote flu prevention is by offering employees free on-site flu shots. In certain workplaces, having the virus go around can lead to severe consequences.

READ MORE: Australia is having a terrible flu season. Here’s why that matters for Canada

“You don’t want to have a fire department or a police department basically wiped out for a week or two,” he said.

Gemmill points out that not all workplaces have paid sick days, meaning certain employees may be inclined to come into work even if they’re sick.

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To combat this, Gemmill says workplaces should work towards having policies that protect wage loss in the case of illness.

“To have some of those policies in place to allow people to stay at home, get better and not infect other people, it will really help employers keep a healthy workplace,” he said.

Stay home when you’re sick

One of the challenges in North American workplaces is the idea that employees always need come into work, Khan said.

Calgary mother shares survival story after the flu forced her into a coma

Calgary mother shares survival story after the flu forced her into a coma

But if you suspect you have the flu, it’s better for your health and productivity to stay out of the office.

“If you are sick, you should simply be staying at home and resting so that you can actually recover as quickly as possible and not expose other people in the workplace,” Khan said.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Flocks of ‘snowbirds’ escape Canada each winter. Here’s how to join them – National

by BBG Hub

Brenda, 68, and her husband Mitch, 69, started leaving Canada for the winter months when they both retired five years ago.

(Global News has agreed to withhold their last name to protect their privacy.)

“As you get older, the winter is more difficult,” said Brenda. Most of her social circle leaves Canada for at least a portion of the winter season.

At first, the Toronto couple went south to Florida. The sunny state appealed to them because of its reputation as a hot-spot for Canadian retirees (roughly 3.5 million Canadians visited Florida in 2017), and it was an easy location for their kids to join them for a portion of their trip.

READ MORE: ‘Playing with fire’: What to know if you’re getting on a flight with cannabis

“We also know (a few people) who also go west to Victoria, where the weather isn’t necessarily as bad,” she said.

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“We don’t want to sit in the sun at our age, we just want to get away from the cold.”

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But this year, the two decided they weren’t comfortable going to the U.S. because of “the current political climate.”

Instead, the couple will fly to the south of Spain for four weeks in March. Ultimately, Brenda says it doesn’t really matter where they go — they’re excited to get away from the stress of what’s sure to be a cold and snowy Canadian winter.

A third of Canadians not prepared for winter emergency

A third of Canadians not prepared for winter emergency

Brenda and Mitch aren’t alone — thousands of Canadians identify as “snowbirds,” leaving the country during colder months in search of warmer weather.

In fact, the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) — a not-for-profit group that advocates for the rights and privileges of Canadians travelling outside of Canada — has more than 110,000 members. The CSA also helps couples like Brenda and Mitch navigate the many rules they need to follow if they want to leave the country for a prolonged period of time, including property estate taxes, permitted length of travel, health care and more.

Things to think about before becoming a ‘snowbird’

Natalie Preddie is a Canadian travel expert and writer. Here, she breaks down the things you need to think about if you want to leave Canada for the winter months.

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For starters, there are very specific rules about how long you can spend in another country as a guest, as well as how long you’re allowed to live outside of Canada as a Canadian.

“In the (United States), you can be there for 180 days over a 12-month period before you need a visa,” Preddie explains.

READ MORE: Canadians cities where people feel the most (and least) safe: poll

That means you can stay in Florida or any other American state for six months before “heavy penalties” (like double taxation) kick in.

“You also need to check how long you can be out of province,” said Preddie. Leaving for longer than is allowed can result in unwanted interruptions to your health care.

The specific rules will vary across each province and territory, so you should check with your health-care provider before you leave.

Metro Vancouver accountant says he’s looked at the financial impact of birth tourism in Canada

Metro Vancouver accountant says he’s looked at the financial impact of birth tourism in Canada

“You probably also want to get a physical, just to make sure that you’re aware of any medical issues that may arise (while you’re gone), she said. “Then make sure you’ve got travel insurance that will cover (them).”

If you need to take daily medications, you can also discuss with your doctor the different ways to renew your prescription so you don’t run out while you’re away.

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“Make sure things like your driver’s licence … and your passport aren’t going to expire while you’re gone,” Preddie said. “You probably want to let your bank know that you’re leaving as well, so they don’t think your cards have been stolen.”

How to protect your house while you’re gone

Preddie encourages all long-term travellers to have a friend or family member visit their house or apartment “every so often” to make sure everything is okay.

“Have someone you trust come in and check on the property,” she said. “Get your mail forwarded … and hire someone to clear the snow while you’re gone.”

READ MORE: Don’t skip out on travel vaccinations — they could save your life

She recommends unplugging all electronics in your house, as well as shutting off the water and clearing your kitchen of any “perishable foods.”

“Have an emergency contact list that you can give the set person who’s going to check in on your home,” she said. “If anything happens, they have people to reach out to.”

While you’re gone, Preddie says updating your emergency contact list as to your whereabouts can be helpful, too — especially if the area you’re travelling to is experiencing extreme weather.

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READ MORE: Canadians heading to Europe will soon face more travel restrictions — here’s what to know

“That way, everyone back home knows that you’re safe and sound,” she said.

Finally, prevent home break-ins by installing an alarm system and arming your property before you leave. (Make sure the person minding your property knows the code).

Ways to save money

Between flights, accommodations, eating out and activities, long vacations can quickly put a strain on your wallet.

According to money and travel expert Barry Choi, there are simple ways to save some money and still enjoy yourself.

To start, Choi’s rule of thumb is booking your trip at least “one season ahead.”

Edmonton couple wins vacation after toddler orders pay-per-view movie

Edmonton couple wins vacation after toddler orders pay-per-view movie

“If you’re thinking of travelling in January, February or March, you should be booking your ticket now,” he said.

Consider travelling to a destination with multiple airports so you have more airline options, too.

“Depending on where you’re staying, you could fly into one airport and drive (to your destination),” Choi told Global News.

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“You might ask, ‘why am I doing all that?’ Well, consider if you have a family of four. If a different airline saves you $150 per ticket, it might be worth it.”

Choi also suggests renting spaces with a kitchen. That way, you can save money by grocery shopping and cooking for yourself, instead of going to restaurants.

READ MORE: When Mother Nature ruins your holiday travel plans, here’s what to do

“The most obvious thing is to make sure you’ve got a credit card that doesn’t charge transaction fees,” he said.

If you’re travelling for a longer period of time, consider opening a bank account in the country you’re visiting.

“If you just want to exchange money, it may be beneficial to exchange a large sum of money in one go, as opposed to smaller amounts multiple times,” Choi said. This will help you avoid paying the exchange fee multiple times.

He also recommends researching various travel credit cards for saving opportunities. Several will offer deals on things like seat bookings, vacation packages and even checked baggage.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Own a house with your partner? Here’s what happens if you break up – National

by BBG Hub

The last thing you expect when you buy a home with your long-term partner is to break-up shortly after.

But that’s exactly what happened to Nora, who asked Global News to change her name for privacy reasons.

Nora and her boyfriend dated for about three years before they decided to buy a house together in an Ontario suburb.

At the time, she was given financial advice to put the home in her name because she was earning more money while her partner was finishing school. Nora also took advantage of the government’s first-time homebuyers tax credit.

READ MORE: ‘Normalize it’: How to discuss adoption, donor conception with your child

Only a year after living in the home together, Nora and her boyfriend split. They didn’t have any formal agreement about their property and who would be responsible for paying what.

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Their mortgage was in Nora’s name, and the couple had another personal loan, too.

“I ended up getting a lawyer because I was very unsure [of my rights] and it was a ton of money we were talking about,” Nora said.

“She unfortunately advised me that he could get up and walk away if he really wanted to, and I would have to take him to court to try and get the money that he owed,” she said.

Must-have tips for first time home buyers

Must-have tips for first time home buyers

Thankfully, Nora and her ex-boyfriend came to an agreement through her lawyer. The pair decided they would sell the house, and he would be responsible for his half of their outstanding debt.

“I was, in all honesty, very lucky, but it was incredibly stressful,” said Nora.

“I had no idea the sort of risk I took.”

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The importance of a cohabitation agreement

Nora’s experience is not that uncommon. More Canadians are in common-law relationships today than in the past, data shows, and many are buying homes together.

More than one-fifth of all couples — 21 per cent — were living common law in 2016, according to Statistics Canada. This is a big jump from about 6 per cent in 1981.

READ MORE: More millennials are signing prenups — and experts say that’s a good thing

What’s more, the government agency says many adults now choose to live common law before marriage. The latest available data found that 39 per cent of married 25- to 64-year-olds lived common law with their current spouse before getting married.

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But common-law partners don’t have the same rights married couples do, and many don’t understand the risks of buying a home together, says Diana Isaac, a family lawyer at Toronto’s Shulman Law Firm.

In Ontario where Isaac practices, common-law couples do not have any automatic rights to property like married couples do. This means if a couple lives together but their home is only in one person’s name, as in Nora’s case, a cohabitation agreement is important.

A cohabitation agreement is essentially a contract that outlines how a couple will deal with assets like property and spousal support should they break-up or one person dies, Issac says. It helps prevent future legal issues, and clearly outlines who owns what.

Denmark’s new divorce laws mean couples have to wait before splitting

Denmark’s new divorce laws mean couples have to wait before splitting

These agreements are especially vital if property is only in one person’s name (i.e. “on title”) but both parties put money into it. Cohabitation agreements are also valuable when one partner moves into another person’s house, and begins contributing to the household.

This is because if a couple splits, each person keeps whatever they technically own — including property.

“If the person is not on title and they have contributed to the home, the title would take precedence,” explained Isaac.

“The individual that is not on title would have to prove their contributions by way of a trust claim in order to have an equitable interest, which becomes very complicated and very costly.”

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In cases like Nora’s, if she and her boyfriend didn’t come to a post-split agreement, she would have been on the hook for the house, Isaac said.

READ MORE: Canadians fear debt almost as much as they fear death

“When that mortgage statement comes through and your name is on there, you’re responsible for it.”

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Laws vary across Canada for common-law spouses

Common law legislation varies from province to province. In Ontario, couples are considered common law if they’ve lived together for three years or more. If they have a child together, a couple becomes common law sooner.

In B.C., couples are considered common law if they’ve shared a home in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years, or they’ve lived together under two years but have a child together.

Money 123: the drawbacks of home equity lines of credit

Money 123: the drawbacks of home equity lines of credit

The Civil Code of Quebec currently does not recognize common-law couples (or “de facto spouses” as they’re called in the province). In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Quebec does not have to give common-law spouses the same rights as married couples.

In 2018, efforts were put forward to change Quebec’s legislation regarding common-law couples.

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In Manitoba, all laws in the province governing property rights of married couples are applicable to common-law partners who have been living together in “a conjugal relationship for at least three years.” Common-law couples can also register their relationship at the Vital Statistics Agency.

It is important couples understand the laws in their province so they can make informed decisions. Isaac suggests couples talk to a lawyer to draft cohabitation agreements prior to moving in together.

READ MORE: ‘The current system is broken’: changes coming to Sask. divorce and separation laws

Nora wishes she knew about Ontario’s laws earlier. She wants unmarried partners to know it’s important both parties protect themselves if they’re going to put money into property together.

If her ex didn’t agree to cover his half of their home, it would have been up to her to figure it out.

“When it was deemed that there was no way this relationship was going to be salvageable … I had no interest staying in [the house],” she said.

“It just had too many bad memories.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Hiring a babysitter? Here’s how much you should pay them – National

by BBG Hub

When Lauren Bondar and her husband have work commitments or want to go out on a Saturday night out, the first thing on their minds is finding someone to take care of their children.

Bondar, a public relations worker at a Toronto-based firm, has a 20-month-old daughter and three-year-old son, so leaving the kids at home alone is not an option.

The options — namely nannies or babysitters — have different pros and cons. Most nannies will have set rates and no wiggle room for negotiating, says Bondar, while babysitters or teens open to minding children are more likely to be willing to haggle.

READ MORE: Parents feel squeezed by child-care costs. Here’s where they want help

Bondar finds nannies typically charge between $15 and $18 per hour of care. Teens, who often ask their parents for advice about rates, will cost you anywhere from $12 to $15 an hour.

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If either a babysitter or a nanny asks you to propose a rate, Bondar recommends considering the minimum wage and asking around for suggestions. There are babysitting and mom Facebook groups, where people trade advice or you can ask other mothers you know, but Bondar warns that the goal shouldn’t be to find the cheapest option.

“You don’t want to undercut people who are helping you look after your children because I don’t think that fosters a long-term reciprocal relationship,” she says.

The going rate for babysitters climbing to minimum wage and beyond

The going rate for babysitters climbing to minimum wage and beyond

Deciding what to pay your babysitter and nanny doesn’t just depend on their level of experience. The length of time you’ll need child-care for, the time of day and how many kids should be part of the calculation.

Bondar says having two children instead of one doesn’t mean that she typically pays more because she is often leaving the children in the evening, when they will be in bed and hopefully asleep for most of the time.

Even daytime gigs where the kids will be taken out somewhere don’t often vary in price, she says.”In the summer, we had one of my son’s camp counsellors, who was a teenager, come take him out for the morning with another friend of his, who also went to camp,” Bondar recalls.

READ MORE: ‘Babysitting while Black’: Woman calls police on man looking after white children

“I didn’t ask her rate, but we offered her $20 an hour, and had two almost four-year-olds with her. She seemed thrilled by that and it seemed fair knowing she had two kids.”

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Bondar says she doesn’t tip her babysitters, but finds other ways to ensure they understand how grateful she and her husband are for their service. “If we were to get home at 10:30 at night, we pay them until 11,” she says.

Actions like that can go a long way during the holiday season, Friday nights or on weekends, when the demand for sitters and nannies is higher and babysitters could have several families calling looking for help.

Winning the Canadian female vote – Part 2: Child care

Winning the Canadian female vote – Part 2: Child care

“You want to treat the person fairly from the onset, so if you call them and you are in a pinch, when you need them last minute, they’re more inclined to help you,” says Bondar.

If you’re relying on family to mind your children, you can often find yourself in a position of not knowing whether you should pay them or not.

Bondar says she doesn’t pay her father-in-law when he watches the kids, but would fork over money for family members that aren’t grandparents. “I don’t have a little cousin in town, but if I did I would absolutely pay like $15, like I would for a teenager,” she says.

“I’m sure they would insist not to, but I would want to order them dinner or give them a bit of money because they are helping you out.”

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© 2019 The Canadian Press

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Here’s when to change your clock for Daylight Saving Time — and why we ‘fall back’ – National

by BBG Hub

Most Canadians will likely welcome an extra hour of sleep in early November as clocks “fall back” with the end of Daylight Saving Time.

The time change will happen at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, at which point clocks will change to 1 a.m. That means the day will last 25 hours.

The shift means it will be darker for longer in the morning, but the sun will be out “later” in the evening.

Nine things you didn’t know about Daylight Saving Time around the world

Daylight Saving Time has been used in Canada for over a century despite complaints that it’s inconvenient. There are also contradictory claims about whether or not it helps save energy.

The controversial practice was widely adopted in Europe and North America during the First World War as a supposed fuel-saving measure. Modern critics argue that it doesn’t accomplish that goal anymore, because most power grids have become more efficient since the 1910s.

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It’s also just a pain to adapt to a time shift in the middle of a chilly autumn.

Various Canadian provinces and U.S. states have flirted with the notion of getting rid of Daylight Saving Time altogether, but it currently remains a part of most Canadians’ lives.

Huge majority of British Columbians want Daylight Saving Time permanent

Huge majority of British Columbians want Daylight Saving Time permanent

Some communities across the country have opted not to participate in the time-shifting practice, including most of Saskatchewan and several towns in B.C., Ontario and Quebec.

New legislation coming to keep B.C.’s clocks fixed, but seasonal time changes not yet over

The European Union has also voted to scrap Daylight Saving Time by 2021.

The extra hour of sleep doesn’t come free, though: You’ll have to “give back” that time when Daylight Saving Time returns on Sunday, March 8, 2020.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Parents feel squeezed by child-care costs. Here’s where they want help – National

by BBG Hub

Steve, 32, knows all about the struggle to find affordable, high-quality child care.

The new father lives in Ottawa with his wife and 11-month-old son. Until recently, both of them worked full time, Steve in marketing and his wife in child care. (Global News has agreed to withhold the family’s last name to protect anonymity.)

Things drastically changed when Steve’s wife had to leave her job because they couldn’t afford daycare, and the irony of the situation isn’t lost on the young parents.

READ MORE: Paid leave, tax credits, more benefits — What the parties are promising parents

“Child care in Ontario is so expensive … with how little she makes teaching 10 other kids, it made more sense for her to stay home with our son than to go back to work,” Steve told Global News.

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It would have cost the young couple more to pay for daycare while earning dual incomes than it did for Steve’s wife to remain on maternity leave.

Cameras in daycares: pros and cons

Cameras in daycares: pros and cons

Steve works a typical Monday-to-Friday workweek, but his wife had shifts that changed all the time. For this reason, he says their “ideal” child-care program would prioritize flexible hours.

“Our ideal program would have hours that reflect a typical workday [and] costs that would allow the daycare workers to earn a decent wage.”

Unfortunately, Steve’s experience isn’t the exception — for most Canadian parents, it’s the rule.

Lindsay Williams and her partner live in Toronto with their two kids, aged five and 10 months. She’s currently on maternity leave but she worries what will happen when she needs to go back to work soon.

READ MORE: 66% of pregnant women not getting major recommended vaccines — CDC

She’s started the daycare search, but it’s tough to find somewhere that checks all of her boxes.

“We both work full time [so] we need an extended day spot for my five-year-old and an infant spot for my 10-month-old. We need care Monday to Friday,” she told Global News.

“Preferably, we’re looking for care close to our home or close to my work … [and] we’re looking for a clean, safe environment with a registered early childhood educator. We’re [also] looking for centre-based care with play-based learning.”

Do kids need preschool? Early childhood education professor weighs in

Do kids need preschool? Early childhood education professor weighs in

Williams placed her first child on daycare wait lists when she was pregnant, but she still had to wait 17 months before securing a spot.

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“I had to harass daycare [centres] by calling them non-stop,” she said. When she finally found a spot, she was forced to end her maternity leave two months early in order to qualify for the centre.

Williams took the spot because it was the only one she could find, but the service has been less than ideal.

READ MORE: How to talk to kids about climate change without scaring them

“The timing of daycare for my son has always been a struggle with my work hours … I’ve had to pay people to take him to daycare or pick him up on top of paying the daycare fees,” she said.

The “ridiculously high” cost of care has also been a struggle for Williams and her husband.

“To send both our sons to daycare — if we find a spot — we calculated that we would be paying $2,600 a month. At that point, is it even worth me going back to work?” Williams said.

HIV prenatal care home aims to keep mothers and babies together

HIV prenatal care home aims to keep mothers and babies together

“We would struggle financially on my partner’s earnings as he’s a contractor … his work is up and down and his hours vary. I would lose my career — something I worked so hard for — my paycheque, my adult interaction.”

Williams is looking for affordability and accessibility, but it’s also important that her children are well taken care of.

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“We’re leaving our sons with strangers for the majority of the day,” she said.

About 60 per cent of Canadian children under the age of six received some form of child care from January to March 2019, a recent Statistics Canada survey found. That’s nearly 1.4 million children in just three months.

According to child-care experts, the care services available aren’t good enough to handle this many children across the country. There’s a lack of options, and when care is available, it’s typically a massive monthly expense.

To improve child care for Canadian families, experts say there needs to be more of a focus on three main principles: making child care affordable, accessible and high quality.

Affordability is most important

Unfortunately, the high cost of care is a major issue for parents, and the price tag varies widely across the country.

According to Statistics Canada, the average monthly cost of full-time care in 2011 ranged from $152 in Quebec to $677 in Ontario, and that’s not even 10 years ago.

(Editor’s note: When Global News asked Twitter users if they had this problem, the response was overwhelming. Read some of their stories below.)

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Sharon Gregson, a spokesperson for the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC, joined the fight for more affordable child care when she became a single mom of four children in the early 1990s.

“I needed affordable child care to go back to university [and] to work,” she said.

She quickly realized good quality, affordable and accessible child-care centres were few and far between.

“There are a few basic tenets that are true of all quality child-care systems: they are affordable — or even free — for families, educators have good levels of education and are well-paid, and they’re publicly funded.”

High child-care costs can impact all aspects of how a family lives, Gregson said — from how they eat to the kinds of extracurricular activities they can access and everything in between.

READ MORE: Unemployment is low. The economy is growing. Why do Canadians feel like they can’t get ahead?

For Diana Sarosi, Ottawa manager of policy and advocacy for OXFAM Canada, affordable child care is actually a women’s rights issue.

“Care responsibilities are a huge barrier to women’s economic equality,” she said. “[Women] often have to make tough choices when it comes to working or caring for children … this still disproportionately falls to women.

“Women do double the amount of unpaid care work that men do.”

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For Sarosi, it’s critical to provide better child-care options so that women don’t have to make these difficult sacrifices.

Accessibility is critical

Right now, finding daycare with flexible hours close to your home or work is an extremely difficult task.

Sarosi believes making child care in Canada more universal would be one way to make this process easier.

New report looks at value of real-life friendships

New report looks at value of real-life friendships

“This doesn’t mean that in every municipality, the exact same program needs to be in place … It means that everyone who wants child care has access to child care,” she said.

“In municipalities, there are different needs. [Child care] has to be tailored to those specific needs.”

For Morna Ballantyne, executive director of Child Care Now, making child care affordable and accessible can be made possible by creating a publicly owned and operated system.

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“The current situation is that child care is really left to … what we call ‘the market,’” she said. “The child care that’s available is available because individuals or organizations — it could be for-profit or not-for-profit, like a church — decide to set up a child-care service.”

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There are some government stipulations regarding how these businesses are allowed to run — like limits to how many children they’re allowed to care for at once — but the service isn’t publicly delivered or publicly funded, and that concerns Ballantyne.

“People set up shop in a variety of ways, and then parents have to go and find those services and pay money,” she said. “Some parents will get some assistance from the government, depending on where they live, but the service itself isn’t 100 per cent funded by the government.”

Voter trust low among party leaders

Voter trust low among party leaders

Ballantyne believes this can lead to widely varied costs across the country and unregulated, inconsistent services.

“We have a situation now where there are lots of communities that are being under-serviced. When there’s limited supply, it tends to be those with the highest income levels who are serviced,” she said. “With a publicly managed system, we can manage the supply and demand.”

High-quality care must be a priority

While affordability and accessibility are certainly necessary, Don Giesbrecht, CEO of the Canadian Child Care Federation, believes high-quality child care is equally as important.

“This isn’t just about throwing money at [the problem].”

High-quality child care can be “really beneficial for young children in terms of their development,” he said. “The first five years of [life] are the most important years in human development.”

Research bears this out. According to a 2010 study, good-quality child care can have a positive impact on peer socialization, and it can help prepare young kids for school.

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READ MORE: Climate change emerges as one of the top ballot-box issues among voters — Ipsos poll

Geisbrecht said high-quality childhood educators are needed to create strong curriculum and pedagogy for young children, but “recruiting and retaining” continues to be one of the long-standing issues in this sector.

This is due, in part, to low wages.

“It’s not just about compensation, but that is a primary motivator,” Giesbrecht said.

Ballantyne agrees.

“You want to make sure the caregivers are qualified … that they’ve actually had training in early childhood education,” she said. “You also want to make sure that there’s not high staff turnover because we know that really impacts the quality of care.

“For all of that, you need to pay sufficiently high wages to attract people into the sector and to keep them there.”

Will childcare costs in the GTA ever come down?

Will childcare costs in the GTA ever come down?

Ultimately, it all comes back to funding.

“We want public funding, public management and planning … so that these three things can happen simultaneously: the number of spaces can be expanded, the quality can be assured to be good and … the fees are actually affordable,” said Ballantyne.

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“You can’t do one without the other.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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