• Removing Clutter From Your Home, Room By Room

    How To Home

    Time to throw out the old and bring in the new…energy! Oh clutter, how do you even get so out of hand? Every home has spots that clutter just gravitates towards and eventually, you’re wondering why you even bought that chair in the living room if it’s only going to hold old newspapers? Here are our best ways to remove clutter from your home, room by room, and they don’t even take that much time! Win-win!

    What to toss from the living room:
    The name says it all. Your living room is where your family does the most living and as a result, the most clutter grows. Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Old newspapers or magazines
    • Trinkets that you don’t really like or need
    • Any chipped, broken or faded mementos or vases
    • Framed photos that aren’t relevant anymore
    • Old remotes that are no longer needed
    • Empty candles

    What to toss from the kitchen:
    Oh boy, the kitchen. A hub for all things not needed! Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Plastic containers that have missing tops. (Yes, let them go)
    • Any appliance that’s never used or doesn’t work
    • Food that’s past expiry in the fridge, cupboards or pantry
    • Old cups or mugs that you don’t use
    • Cutlery or pans that have been worn out
    • Old kitchen towels

    What to toss from the closet:
    Your closet can turn into the wardrobe of forgotten things in no time. Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Old pillows that have seen their time
    • Clothes and shoes that you haven’t worn in 6+ months
    • Old or broken bags
    • Any gifts that were given that you never used
    • Sheets that are old

    What to toss from the foyer:
    The entrance to your home accumulates quite a bit of clutter due to the fact that it’s a heavily trafficked area. Here’s what you can go through and toss quickly:

    • Toss out that little bowl that collects old receipts, batteries, hair clips, etc.
    • Keys that are no longer needed
    • Mats that are old and used
    • Broken umbrellas
    • Slippers or shoes that have missing sides or have seen their time
  • 5 Ways To Stay Cool And Sleep On Those Hot Nights

    Lifestyle How To

    Is there anything worse than getting cozy in your bed only to realize it feels less like a cool cloud and more like a clump of foam with heat radiating from it? On those hot nights, how do you stay cool? Stop tossing and turning and check out our 5 ways to stay cool and sleep on those hot nights.

    If you have an AC unit, use it
    Studies have shown that the ideal and recommended temperature for us to sleep in is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius. The cooler the room, the more relaxed your body feels and soon you’ll be entering sleep land.

    Be a smart mattress shopper
    Mattresses are large, dense and great affect the heat levels in your room because of how much they retain during the day. Of course, your skin isn’t having direct contact with your mattress but trust us that heat does seep out and up! Mattresses with latex layers are actually the coolest whilst memory foam is known to stay the hottest so keep that in mind when shopping.

    Pick the right fabric
    Your sheets contribute to trapping a lot of heat from the day so it’s best to invest in sheets made from breathable fabrics like linen or cotton. Cool, comfy and also quite soft!

    Watch your layers
    If you’re used to sleeping with heavy covers like comforters, try just using a sheet with the comforter to the side, just in case you do get chilly or want that extra cushion feeling. When those hot temperatures creep up on your in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll be happy you’re just wrapped up in a thin sheet and not something heavier.

    Find the right pillow
    Your pillow is a huge factor in keeping cool because just like your mattress, they come in a variety of materials. Some run hot and others stay cool…on both sides of the pillow. Look for cotton once again when choosing your pillow. Catch you on the much cooler flip side!

  • Gift Guide: Great Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day

    Family Product

    Firstly, we have to note that everything we suggest in this wonderful gift guide for mom can be found at Courts! Come in and browse items that are sure to make mom say “Wow, thanks!” this Mother’s Day. You’ll have to buy the card though…we haven’t gotten into that market just yet!

    Appliances For All
    Now we’re not saying you have to go out and get your mom a brand new fridge (By all means do if that’s what she really wants. Have you seen our selection?), but we are saying that we supply a wide variety of appliances, small and large! If she loves to bake we’ve got standing mixers, blenders, baking sheets and more. We’ve also got coffee machines and slow cookers so she can perfect her Sunday lunch ox tail! If she’s been talking about wanting a new washing machine, well…you get the gist!


    Some Entertainment
    Don’t think just because she’s a mom that she won’t love to sit back and relax with her favourite show at the end of a long day. Trust us, a brand new TV with a big red bow might be just the thing she wants for Mother’s Day. Good luck taking the remote from her though!


    Ever-Popular Electronics
    Oh kids these days with their phones and their tablets…oh and let’s add moms to that list too! Browse all the latest in tech like tablets, phones, laptops and more and get her something so she can always keep in touch. Trust us, you’ll be receiving a video call more often than you think.


    Home Sweet Home
    If you want to really impress, get mom something she can show off in her living room. We’ve got lounge sets, coffee tables, recliners and more. Maybe she’s always wanted a patio set? Either way, a piece of furniture that becomes a staple in her home will always remind her of how much you appreciate and love her.

  • How To Plan A Special Mother’s Day Brunch

    How To

    Mother’s Day is around the corner and yes, we totally agree that we shouldn’t just have ONE day to celebrate moms because they are the actual core of the Earth and light of life, but at the same time it’s also nice to show her your appreciation on the day. If you’ve already gotten a gift for her or you’re still searching for something to do on the day (It does fall on a Sunday so it’s perfect for planning something) then check out our tips on how to plan a special Mother’s Day brunch.

    Get the invites going
    Round up your favourite family members and the…mandatory ones and let them know in advance that you’re planning on having a Mother’s Day brunch. If it’s a potluck brunch you want to have, be sure to tell them specifically what they can bring but if it isn’t, go ahead and count how many people are coming so you can make food to suit and have enough chairs.

    Choose a location
    Honestly, the best location to have a Mother’s Day brunch is…at home. Don’t groan just yet. We know that having events at home usually means extra clean up for the host but because it’s for moms, you can make the exception. Having the brunch at home gives it a cozy and relaxed feel that all the guests will enjoy.

    Plan a menu
    A brunch menu might be the most exciting menu to plan because you can mix breakfast and lunch for a great buffet of flavours that everyone will love. Mix up dishes from both meals like adding breakfast eggs with things like quiche, small sandwiches with pasta salad, and of course a lovely dessert. Don’t forget to incorporate mom’s favourite dish!

    Have some drinks
    One of the greatest parts of brunch, depending on if you drink alcohol, is…mimosas. It’s a quintessential drink and can add flair and fun to your get together. Of course you should also plan other drinks for non-alcoholic members.

    Get all the necessities
    Things like plates, cutlery, napkins, cups, and the entire kitchen sink are needed of course. Do a little shopping around and see if you can get matching sets so your brunch can follow an aesthetic or theme! Don’t forget things like extra chairs (for that unexpected Aunt or Uncle) and garbage bins for easy clean up.

    Add the extras
    By extras we mean things to tie the brunch together and give it a little extra life like mom’s favourite flowers as a centerpiece, a small, easy party game to play over the table, a special Mother’s Day sash for her to wear, etc. You choose what extra you want to add and enjoy the day!

  • A Few Tips For Getting Ready For A Charity Walk Or Run

    Lifestyle How To

    At Courts, we work with a lot of charities and we host and attend various events supporting the community and its peers annually. One of the most frequent things we participate in and host are charity walks/runs. Here are some before, during and after tips for getting ready for your next charity walk!

    Before:

    • Take it easy the day before. The most you should do is a light workout or stretching so you don’t feel sluggish or tight.
    • Eat what you would normally eat. The day before is definitely not the time to go out and try that new restaurant your friends have been talking about. Save that for after as a celebration!
    • On the same note, be sure to drink lots of water so your body will be properly hydrated the next day.
    • Don't change your gear. Never, under any circumstances, buy a new pair of shoes before an event.
      Your feet will not be happy in the end because your shoes would not have had the time to be broken in. Trust us, stick with your regular running shoes!
    • Be sure to pack "emergency supplies." Things like band-aids, toilet paper, wipes, etc, are small things you should take with you just in case.
    • Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Your body will need rest and for those of you who get a little anxious before an event, it’ll give you enough time to relax and settle into bed.

    On the day:

    • Eat lightly on the day and it’s best to have a carb heavy meal 2 – 4 hours before the walk.
    • Arrive earlier so you can warm up and get familiar with your surroundings.
    • Walk with your water bottle so you can stay hydrated during the walk. Take a drink every 15 minutes or so.
    • If you’re not an experienced runner or walker, slower is better so you avoid hitting the dreaded “wall” half way into the walk.

    After:

    • If you’ve been running, don't stop immediately when you cross the finish line. Your body will need to cool down so be sure to walk for a few minutes and drink water so your muscles can avoid soreness.
    • Take photos and mingle with everyone! You’ve just accomplished something so you should enjoy it!
  • 3 Ways To Protect Your Eyes In The Tropics

    How To

    When you live in the tropics, you’re surrounded by a lot of natural factors that can damage your eyes such as sunshine, glare, water, etc. As blissful as these things sound –and they are on a nice Sunday afternoon- too much exposure to them without protection can do a good bit of damage to your eyes. Here are some of the ways you can protect your eyes in the tropics!

    The first thing to remember is the sun. As great as vitamin D is for us, we can’t avoid its negative effects in the tropics. The sun emits two types of UV rays; UV-A and UV-B. Over time, the effects of these UV rays can cause a number of eye problems such as cataracts. So let’s break down these rays of sunshine!

    UV-A can hurt your central vision. The part of the retina located at the back of the eye is called the macula and UV-A can damage it significantly.

    UV-B can affect the front part of your eye meaning the cornea and the lens. The front of your eye absorbs the most UV-B rays and these can be more harmful than UV-A rays.

    Who is affected?

    Well that’s a good question. People who work, play, or stay out in the sun for longer periods of time are at greater risk. And yes, this does include children. Also, people who have had cataract surgery or have had retina disorders will also be more sensitive to the rays.

    Other elements we need to protect our eyes from include dirt or grit from the street and water! But we’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s start with how you can begin to protect your eyes from the tropical elements.

    1. Invest in sunglasses

    Make sunglasses your go-to accessory. Put it up there with things to take with you like your phone and your wallet. That’s how important they are. Not to mention, sunglasses look great on everyone! Look for a pair that’s dark and large enough to completely cover your eyes to prevent sunlight from seeping through the sides. Also, a good thing to invest in is polarized sunglass to minimize glare. You can ask your optician about them at your next visit. Lastly, don’t forget about the kids, sunglasses paired with a hat will protect their eyes fully.

    1. Beware of allergies

    In the tropics, beautiful greenery, flora and fauna surround us and essentially what that means is we’re surrounded by allergens. Yep, pollen, dust, dander, fur, the list goes on and on and chances are, you’re affected by these and often have your sinuses acting up. However, your eyes play a large part in this as well. Help to protect them by first investing in medicated eye drops to alleviate any itching and if you wear contacts, any anti-drying eye drop will aid greatly. During the heavily pollinated months, try to wear your glasses more often than your contacts to decrease the risk of eye irritation.

    1. Swim with your sight in mind

    When you live in the tropics, you’re bound to be swimming in a pool or going to the beach. Be sure to wear your sunglasses especially around places like these where the sand and the water can reflect UV rays at a more heightened intensity. When swimming, be sure to NOT wear contact lenses and wear goggles to protect your eyes from the chlorine.

    Remember these tips to start protecting your eyes today and visit your local Courts Optical if you have any further questions!

  • Small Spaces: Making The Most Out Of A Studio Apartment

    How To

    If you’re a student or a bachelor/bachelorette and you recently moved into a small apartment, you might be wondering, “How can I make this space work?” Luckily, small spaces can be easily manipulated to appear larger. All you have to remember is a few tips and of course, bring your creativity. After all, you have to work with what you have! Here are our suggestions on how you can make the most out of a studio apartment.

    Storage is a priority
    When square footage is limited, you absolutely have to incorporate storage solutions and ones that aren’t bulky or too mismatched because chances are, they’ll be in plain sight. Look for various bins or drawers that can easily store all your extra pieces to lessen the amount of clutter in your space.

    Think vertical
    When you have a small space, think higher! By this we mean if you want to buy shelving, look for pieces that are slim and tall. The aim is to reduce the amount of space you would normally take up in width by making up for it by going higher. This rule can also be applied to decorating. If everything is at eye level, then the space will begin to look smaller than it is. Stack or hang things high so the eye is forced to look up, making the room look taller.

    Mirrored spaces
    This is a tip we’ve talked about time and again. Mirrors make your space look larger. There’s really no science behind it. The reflection tricks the eye into thinking the space is bigger than it is! So invest in a great, tall mirror to enhance this effect.

    Colour can help
    Just because the space is small doesn’t mean it has to be dull. Colour can actually bring much needed life and light to the space and make it feel less dreary. Pick a colour scheme and create little pockets of colour around the space and you’ll be surprised how much it helps!

    The small spaces within the small spaces can be used
    Packing your home with things may seem like a counter productive way to make your room look bigger but it can actually make your space feel more homey. If you have a little nook, be sure to put up your favourite piece of art, or that plant you always love. It’ll help make the overall space feel like a home and that will take the attention away from how spatially challenged your new home is!

  • Hop, Hop, Hop! 4 Easter Craft Ideas For The Kids

    DIY Family

    Easter weekend is almost here! Whether you’ll be flying kites, going to church, having an Easter egg hunt or just relaxing on the beach with your family and friends, Easter is truly a wonderful time to get together and celebrate life! If you have kids, you’ll know that Easter is a great time to do small crafts to keep them entertained. Here are 4 easy, Easter craft ideas for the kids to try!

    Envelope bunnies
    This cute idea is really simple and can serve two purposes! One, it’s a cute idea for the kids to get behind and two, they can make a few, fill it with goodies and give it to their friends.

    See how to make it here: http://www.marthastewart.com/269271/envelope-bunnies

    Image via marthastewart

    Easter bunny and chick fingerprints
    It’s finger painting with an Easter theme! This is a cute and really easy idea for the kids! Make card or a greeting to hang in your home!

    See how to make it here: http://blog.chickabug.com/2014/04/easter-bunny-chick-fingerprint-craft.html

    Image via chickabug

    Bunny mask
    An easy bunny mask for the kids to wear all Easter weekend long…well until they get bored of it anyways. This one takes a little more skill so parents feel free to help so the bunny comes out juuuuuust right. All you need are some paper plates, construction paper for the ears nose and whiskers, a marker and of course a stick to hold it all up!

    PinterestImage via Pinterest

    Carrot footprints
    Kids will love this one because it involves putting their hands and feet in paint! A simple footprint and some construction paper and you have yourself a cute Easter carrot that you can keep for years to come!

    See how to make it here: http://onekriegerchick.com/2014/03/31/spring-handprint-art-bunny-carrots/

    Image via OneKriegerChick

  • Essential Things You Should Keep In Your Car

    Lifestyle

    If you’ve been driving for a couple of years, naturally your car becomes your second home. It’s seen the bad times like when you got that flat tire before your job interview and the good times like when went through the drive through and had your dinner in the car with a friend. All in all, because it’s your second home, there are some things you should always keep in your car…just in case!

    Owner’s manual
    It should be in your glove compartment at all times. It’s full of information and images that you’ll need in a car emergency.

    Jumper cables
    What’s worse than having a dead battery? A dead battery with no jumper cables! You can help yourself start your car or help someone else if their battery dies.

    Blanket
    You never know if you’ll have to spend a night in your car or even if you’ll have to drive a friend home after a long night. Either way, a blanket is always comfortable.

    A change of clothes
    It doesn’t have to be a full change of clothes. Maybe an extra shirt or top just in case you spill something, have to change a tire in the rain, etc.

    Flashlight
    It’s one of those things you should have everywhere.

    First aid kit
    Again, in times of emergency, it’s best to be prepared for any and everything!

    Water
    Water is life so it’s best to keep some handy in your car.

    “Emergency money”
    We’re not talking a large amount but some loose change is good to have in your car in case you’re short, need coins, have to tip someone, the list goes on and on.

    Tire changing supplies
    Even if you don’t know how to change a tire, at least you’ll be prepared! A spare tire, tire iron, lug wrench, tire jack and some WD-40 are all you need.

    A car-adapted phone charger
    We live in the digital age so let’s not pretend like it’s not a tragedy when our phone dies. Car chargers = life savers!

    Umbrella
    The trusty umbrella. Always overlooked but always needed!

    Paper towels
    These are one of those things that you will always use. Whether it’s cleaning a spill, wiping your windscreen, cleaning your hands, it’s always good to have a roll in the car.

  • 4 Eating Habits To Help Relieve Or Avoid Migraines

    Lifestyle Personal Care

    To those of you who suffer with migraines…you’re the real MVPs. A migraine is definitely not something to mess with. It’s excruciating pounding, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and even vomiting. However, as many migraine sufferers know, the headache can actually provide warnings in advance through things called auras. A wide range of things can trigger auras but what a lot of people have realized is that migraines can be brought on by how we eat. Here are 4 eating habits to help relieve your migraines.

    Say no to foods with hormones
    It’s hard to be careful with foods that contain hormones because unfortunately, a great amount of the things we consume are packed with them (That’s a totally different blog we’d have to get into). Things like meats–especially beef and dairy products contain hormones so it’s best to try to choose organic, fresh cuts of meat to avoid something called phosphoproteins. It’s a major trigger of migraines and other types of headaches so read your labels and try alternative options if you can.

    Go slow on the cold beverages
    Ever had a brain freeze? It turns out that there is a scientific name for it…”a cold stimulus headache”. Although the majority of the time it just gives a sharp pain right above your nose bridge that can last from 3 – 5 seconds and can be remedied by pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth, some researchers have concluded that brain freezes like these can actually trigger a migraine. Be sure to consume cold things slowly to avoid that sudden change in your body!

    Avoid simple carbs and processed sugar
    Large amounts of simple carbs like white sugar and pasta can cause migraines. Also, sugar is quite the culprit in causing migraines due to reactive hyperglycemia or a spike or plummet in your glucose.  What happens is your blood sugar rises and your body then produces extra insulin to break down the sugar thus causing your blood sugar levels to drop…dramatically! That sudden plummet of blood sugar can lead to headaches.

    Yes to water. No to caffeine.
    Dehydration causes headaches. That’s a no-brainer so not taking in enough water will greatly increase your risk of getting a migraine. However, if you’re a tea or coffee lover, you won’t like this next point. It’s best to avoid drinks like these because they contain a lot of sugar and caffeine, which are definite, without a doubt, triggers of migraines. Sorry!

    With all that said, how do you handle your migraines?

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