Can you see Canada in places it shouldn’t be?

toronto(NC) You probably know that in many movies, Canadian locations serve as stand-ins for American ones. But these examples may surprise you:


Could it be that a movie named after ‘the Windy City’ was actually shot in Canada? Better believe it. Chicago, the 2002 Oscar-winning musical was shot mostly in Toronto, in some of the city’s period buildings. It makes sense. The two cities share similar architecture and follow a similar urban-sprawl pattern due to the lakes surrounding them.

Detroit Rock City

This rock ‘n’ roll cult favourite was filmed almost entirely in Ontario, despite being set in Detroit. Lucky KISS fans from Hamilton were cast as extras in the movie’s concert scene and got to watch KISS play live at Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum.

Seven Years in Tibet

The glorious opening shots, supposedly of the Himalayas, were shot on Mount Waddington in British Columbia. To prepare themselves for the shoot, lead actors Brad Pitt and David Thewlis underwent intensive mountain-climbing training to conquer Western Canada’s most popular peak.

“The diversity of scenery in Canada, from the natural environment to the colourful cities, makes it a great backdrop for blockbuster films,” says Kate Brennan, senior communications manager for Redbox, a leading name in new release movie rentals. “It really shows the transformative power of movies, giving you a glimpse of a world that may be closer than you realize.”

Brennan points out that for a low cost, the Redbox service offers a wide range of new-release DVDs and Blu-ray discs, featuring the most popular celebrities and characters. It’s also the best option for Canadians to view new release movies, not available on Netflix or any other streaming services on the market. You can reserve them online at, or make a selection in the kiosk at your favourite retailer.

What movies do you know are impersonated by Canada?


Make a New Year’s resolution to stay safe online

(NC) This is the time of year when we take stock of the year that was – and then make our resolutions for the year to come. When it comes to new technology and using the Internet, here are two easy resolutions you can make right now:

1. Think before I app. 2. Keep a clean machine.

Just like resolutions to improve our daily diet or to add more exercise, both resolutions aim at improving the quality of your life. The following ‘cyber safe’ resolutions, for example, could have an impact on your personal identity, on your online accounts, and they could even affect your financial activities:


Keep a clean machine

• Make sure the software is up to date and use the most recent versions of your mobile operating system, security software, apps and Web browsers. Resolving to do these simple things is among the best defenses against malware, viruses and other online threats.


• Protect your personal information: Check privacy settings on your online accounts. Use strong passwords, and be careful of what you share online including your name, location, and other personal details like where you go to school or your age.

• Secure your device: Use a passcode to lock your smartphone or tablet.

Think before you app

• Before you download it, understand what information the app would access and share like your location, your contacts, social networking profiles, etc. Always download apps from trusted sources.

• Back it up: Sync your contacts, photos, videos and other mobile device data with another device or ‘cloud’ service on a weekly basis.

Making these resolutions will help to keep you safe online. More information can be found at

Your Essential New Year’s Eve Style Guide


(NC) There’s a lot of pressure on New Year’s Eve: the party you’ll attend, the food you’ll serve, the person you’ll kiss. But with Canadian style expert Janette Ewen’s quick guide, you’ll be able to cross ‘what to wear’ right off the stress list.

Sequins and sparkles

Some things are simply meant to be: chocolate and peanut butter, Brad and Angelina, sequins and New Year’s Eve. It’s a classic choice that never disappoints. There are very few occasions in a girl’s life when a midnight-blue sequined mini-skirt or a silver-flecked blouse are appropriate, but December 31st sure is one. “Pair your sparkly showstopper with a black leather legging or a pair of neutral pumps,” recommends Ewen. “Don’t forget to add a stack of crystal-embellished sterling silver rings from Pandora for extra sparkle.”

Dramatic hues

If sparkles aren’t your thing, opt for rich hues and unexpected combinations. Emerald green is festive and complementary for a variety of skin tones and hair colours; choose an A-line dress in this hue and be prepared for compliments all night. You could also opt to marry cotton candy pink trousers with a deep maroon blouse for a seriously fashion-forward look, or mix-and-match shades of blue with sterling silver accessories. “A powder blue coat over an ultramarine dress finished with Pandora’s sterling silver Shimmering Lace earrings will have you partying into the wee hours with ease,” notes Ewen.

Pattern play

You’re a neutrals diehard and proud of it. No problem! Punch up your NYE look with pops of surprising patterns. Invest in a leopard print clutch with gold hardware or a stylish plaid scarf. “Or, if you’re feeling particularly daring,” adds Ewen. “Spring for a polka-dot pumps or zebra-print booties to really boost your little black dress ensemble.”

Entertain like a pro with no-fuss flair

(NC) Every great party starts in the kitchen says television personality, Jillian Harris.

“My job is to help Canadians fall back in love with their homes, which often includes updates to the heart of that home—the kitchen,” says Harris, a well-known foodie, designer, and co-host of Love it or List it Vancouver. “This is especially important with all the entertaining on our shoulders during the holidays. Start the update by looking for ways to maximize your kitchen space with the latest innovative appliances. For example, the totally unique Door-in-Door refrigerator (by LG) is a key player in any kitchen – and at any party. It keeps food fresher longer and it can also double as a help-yourself wet bar. This newest appliance technology will make any party host fall back in love with entertaining at home.”

For no-fail, no-fuss entertaining, take a look at a few more Jillian Harris tips:

• Lead with fresh food and be prepared with no-cook options. People popping by unexpectedly? No problem. Have a selection of pre-made options on-hand. Charcuterie is one option that is easy to save, can be thrown together quickly, and looks fabulous when presented on a serving plank.

• Invite guests to help themselves. Let your appliances take all the hard work out of entertaining. The fascinating third door in the Door-in-Door refrigerator, for example, not only gives you quick and easy access to the foods you use most, but for parties it can also be stylishly staged with an assortment of beverages. Move the food into the back compartment (behind a separate door) and fill the front section with neat rows of wine bottles, mini glass pop bottles, mini sparking waters and beer. Not only does it look great, it encourages guests to help themselves.

• Sweeten the party with mini desserts. Jillian loves to create her signature no-bake apple pie in advance – and store the treat cold until ready to serve. The individual portion-size looks great and allows you to save the rest for your next batch of visitors.

• Presentation makes all the difference. From colourful plates to festive napkins, set a cheerful tone with hand-crafted, seasonal centrepieces. Add an elegant twist to dress-up your table décor by using spray paint.


Beautiful Lashes Without Extentions

Who knew magic came in 2 tubes!?

Or as I call it, unicorns and fairies, jumping over rainbows and sprinkling lash love inside each tube.

Probably the greatest invention for make up loving ladies like myself.  And if you’re not into make up *gasp*, just having beautiful lashes can truly make all the difference in your day (I bet you’ll get a few extra smiles from strangers you meet) as it frames your true beauty!  Even on my blah days, a coat of mascara and a nice lip gloss make me feel ready to take on the world.

Did you know, mascara originated to ward off evil spirits and ill-wishers around 4000 BC?  Egyptian men and women, lined their eyes with kohl and used the mascara to deepen their lashes as eyes were believed to be the windows to the soul.  Concealing them would ward off any evil spirits and bad energy.

Through Egypt’s influence, kohl usage persisted in the subsequent Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, kohl fell into disuse on the European continent, where it had been considered solely a cosmetic; conversely, it continued to be widely used in the Middle East for religious purposes

Mascara became a beauty product in Victorian times, as these ladies were quite the beauty divas! Mixing ashes and elderberry, Victorian ladies created their own mascara concoctions.

Fast forward to 2012 – and Younique introduces their 3D Fiber Lash Mascara!

Now, understand, this is coming from me, a 45 year old Granny, that went through a breast cancer conundrum which changes everything in your body, including the lashes you once had as a blossoming teenager and young adult. Age, health, the environment, life style – call it whatever you’d like, but I had very scarce lashes, even with my expensive department store mascara (bummer).

It's hard being me without beautiful lashes!

It’s hard being me without beautiful lashes!


I had a friend, selling mascara in Hawaii.  Being the good, supportive friend I am, I supported her mascara business and bought one <inside praying, but not expecting any mascara miracle, because I’m a born skeptic>.  You see, we’re a family without lashes! Even my precious pet kid Mattie is lashless!  Seems to be our fate.

Mattie the Min Pin & doggy extraordinaire.

Mattie the Min Pin & doggy extraordinaire.


Let me fast, fast, forward …. 3D Fiber Lash Mascara by Younique arrives and I fall-in-LOVE!  What’s not to love about this product?

3 simple steps – Transplanting Gel / Natural Fibers / Transplanting Gel to help create the appearance of incredible thickness and volume to your existing lashes. Your lashes transform into something you have only dreamed of (even for us lash challenged folk)! The 3D Fiber Lashes are water resistant but easily wash off with warm water and your favourite facial cleanser or check out my DIY make-up remover.

You can't deny, one simple coat is a huge difference, imagine 3!

You can’t deny, one simple coat is a huge difference, imagine 3!


Now, if only I had this magic in a mascara bottle when I had to pose for pictures in meeting my all time crush Jim Cuddy  … duh dum dum dum

Don’t delay – get your 3D Fiber Lash Mascara today >> HERE <<  because I deem this a Product HIT!

Today I’m signing off …. lash beautiful Granny! ❤