• 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!


    • 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.


    • 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


    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.

    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.

    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 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!

    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?

  • Buying a New Refrigerator? Here's How To Choose Your New Favourite Appliance

    How To Home

    Size Matters
    Measure the dimensions of where your new fridge will be placed in your space. It’s recommended that you leave a few inches around ALL sides of the unit to help with air circulation and well, for the doors to open fully so you can get those groceries in without any stress! Also, don’t forget to measure your doorway or any other access points where you’ll be bringing the fridge in. That includes height, width and yes, depth!

    What’s Your Type?
    So many types of fridges and so little time. Double doors, freezers on top, stainless steel, it’s a whirlwind of choice. The main thing to consider, believe it or not, is the freezer placement. You’ll see options with the freezer on top, on the bottom or on the side. All in all, it comes down to preference and how much you use a freezer. Do you freeze things often? Are you averse to bending or crouching to access your frozen goods? Give your fridge a test run in store and if you still can’t decide, the side-by-side freezer option is always a fan favourite!

    Let’s Talk Finish
    In a world where stainless steel has dominated the decorating community, you can still think about what finish fits best in your home. Although they’re sleek to look at, most complaints about stainless steel appliances come from the fact that they show fingerprints more and need special solutions to keep clean. You can also opt to go with a classic white fridge. They’re making a come back to give a minimalist finish to your kitchen. Again, the choice is yours!

    Features, of course!
    The features available in refrigerators these days are…crazy to say the least! Back in the day a fridge that had an ice and water dispenser on the outside was considered luxurious but that’s all in the past now. Through on going technology, you can find fridges with a built in speakers, coffee machines, touch screens, the list goes on and on! Now, you probably don’t need these features (as cool as they are) so sometimes it’s best to stick with the basics. The features you should actually be looking for aren’t the aesthetic ones on the outside but are on the inside. Things like temperature and humidity control buttons and air filtration will help keep your fridge lasting longer and more importantly are essential to keeping your food fresh! After all, the food is the most important!

  • 5 Things You Should Do On Sunday So Monday Morning Can Run Smoothly

    How To

    Ugh…Monday. Since the dawn of time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and cavemen wore suits heading into work every day, Monday has been a day of dread. Actually, the dread sometimes starts on Sunday evenings for some of us. Jokes aside, Monday’s aren’t ideal, especially if you’re in a high stress job or you know your week is going to be challenging. This is why we recommend these 5 things you should do on Sunday to help ease you into Monday. Ugh…Monday.

    Make a list
    That’s right. If you’re not into list making then take this advice as a mental note. Make a to-do list for Monday or the rest of the week, if you’re efficient enough, to help prep your mind for the days ahead. Think about what errands you have to run, pending tasks you have to complete, extra curricular things you have to take the kids to, etc. This way, when you wake up on Monday, you can grab your bag, coffee, sword and shield because you’ll know exactly how to tackle your day!

    Prep, prep, prep
    Meal prep. You may or may not have heard of it. If you’re a parent, you’ve definitely done the Sunday meal prep for the kids but don’t forget to prep for you as well. Take your time and cook a meal that can last longer than just Sunday lunch with the family and then portion it out into containers that you can take to work for lunch. You can also put together an easy breakfast on Sunday night like boiled eggs, fruit and granola or a packet of oats so you can just grab it and head out the door Monday. Of course we always advise that you sit and have a good, hearty breakfast but when it comes to the Monday rush, sometimes it’s inevitable.

    Plan your outfit
    This is really easy and you’d be surprised how much time it saves. Choose what you’re going to wear the night before. Have you ever woken up, realized you had an important meeting that day, wanted to wear your favourite shirt only to realize it’s still in the laundry? (Which is also a good point to add…Do laundry on Sunday!) Now you’re scrambling to find a new outfit and your Monday starts to feel like a whirlwind. Avoid the stress. Lay it out the night before and wake up with ease.

    Organize your bag
    Whether it’s your purse, your workbag or a gym bag, be sure to pack it on Sunday. Organize all your needed files, change of clothes, towels, pairs of shoes on Sunday and leave the bags by the door or foot of your bed so it’s easy to just pick up and head out.

    Do an email check
    Now we’re not saying do work on Sunday -heavens, no- but we are saying that it’s okay to do a quick email check so you don’t have to sift through them on Monday morning. We don’t recommend responding to any messages but just making a mental note or flag the ones you need to attend to as soon as you get in the office. It’s an easy exercise that’ll save you the peace of mind and time on Monday and chances are, you can do it from your phone whilst you’re watching TV and relaxing anyways.

  • Let’s Eat: 6 Tips For Planning Your Next Outdoor Dinner


    Simple table settings
    It’s more than likely that you’re having a low key, outside dinner party so it’s best to keep the table as simple as possible. Let the food be the main attraction and opt for white plates and simple cutlery. You can also skip the centerpieces because the idea is that you want your guests to talk to each other and pass the food with ease…not be looking past a giant vase to see each other.

    Get the lighting right
    Whether it’s stringing soft white, Christmas lights or investing in tea lights or small lamps, make sure that the light you choose gives off an ambient vibe. Tiki torches are also a good option to give off a large amount of light and can be used time and time again for other events!

    Ice is nice
    Make sure that you always have ice on hand in a watertight container. No one likes to eat outside and have to be going inside to top up on ice very 5 minutes. A nice metal bucket is a great thing to keep next to the dinner table.

    Music is key
    So you’re caught up in the food, the lighting, the setting but you’re still missing something. Music! Run an extension cord outside and play something mellow to match the atmosphere. Don’t turn up the volume too much because you still want people to interact without having to raise their voice. If after the meal you want to have a dance session, then you can crank it up!

    Bugs be gone
    Outside dinners mean one thing. Bugs. Always keep bug spray or citronella candles on hand because it’ll be no fun if your guests are biting into dinner and mosquitoes are biting them!

    Using the kitchen
    If you’re strapped for a big table or prefer your food piping hot, then it’s okay to utilize your kitchen. Make it the hub for people to serve themselves and then walk outdoors to sit and eat. Just be sure to keep all condiments and sauces on the table so people don’t have to get up again to dress their salads!

  • DIY Gallery Wall: A Great Way To Show Off Your Photos

    How To Decorating

    If you have a few pieces of art or photos of your family and friends that you want to put on display and you’re up for a simple and colourful DIY home project to tackle this weekend, then a gallery wall is for you! Check out how easy it is here:

    What you’ll need:

    • Damage-free adhesive hooks
    • Pencil
    • A level
    • Framed photos or pieces of art
    • Tape

    What to do:

    Decide on a layout
    Now the layout depends solely on your personal style. Are you more of a straightforward thinker? Then a simple circular arrangement might be for you. Are you more creative? Then you can try a spiral layout like the one below.

    Image via potterybarn


    Lay it out and place the hooks
    An easy trick that you can do, using a pencil and pieces of paper, is cut out the different shapes of your frames and stick them on your wall so you can see clearly where each piece is going. Once you’re satisfied, place your hooks and make sure everything is level! 

    Image via pbfingers


    Hang everything
    Hang your pieces, step back, and admire your reinvented wall! Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours, shapes and placement if you’re planning on creating another gallery wall in your home. Feel free to send us a photo of your DIY gallery wall on our Facebook or Twitter!

    Image via abeautifulmess

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