Archive for January, 2015

Throw a perfect party – without costs and clutter

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

It’s easier than you think.

Celebrating that special event doesn’t have to break the bank or leave you the not-so-proud owner of items you’ll have no use for once the party is over. There is another solution: rent what you need. You’ll wow your guests and save money in the process.

Not sure what can be rented? Here are some ideas to create a party beyond your guests’ wildest expectations.

Create the perfect environment

Many party planners feel constrained by the materials they already own when hosting a party, but the truth is renting opportunities allow you to create an atmosphere limited only by your imagination. If you’re looking to hold your party outside, rent a tent. Your area rental business will have tents available in all shapes, sizes and styles, allowing you to pick the perfect one for your event. Heating and cooling units are also available so your guests will always be comfortable, regardless of weather conditions.

You’ll also be able to rent tables and chairs, saving you from having to try and borrow these items or, worse yet, buying more for this one occasion. It creates a more relaxing atmosphere for your guests and they’ll be able to sit and rest rather than having to stand up throughout the event.

For a more formal affair, your local rental store can also provide linens, table service and stemware to complete your look. This will keep you from having to use disposables or from washing dishes when the event is finished, allowing you to relax and enjoy your company.

Wow them with food

If you’re in charge of planning the party, you’ve probably been nervously pondering what you will do about the food. No other party aspect requires so much work, and often you still find yourself eating leftovers for weeks. But rental stores offer several options that will help you wow your guests and indulge them at the same time.

Keeping foods the perfect temperature is always a challenge when hosting an event, but there are some great options available for rent. An ice table is a great way to keep things chilled in the summer heat, preventing undesirable illness. For hot foods, chafers will keep main dishes hot for hours so guests can eat at their leisure.

When it comes to that main course, grilling allows you to feed a lot of people with minimal prep work. But what if you don’t have a grill? You can always rent one. Many rental facilities offer grills of varying sizes, allowing you the chance to pick the right grill for your event.

Consider renting a popcorn machine for your party. People get hungry at different times and a popcorn machine allows your guests to serve themselves and munch on this delicious snack while they wait for the main course.

Activities for kids of any age

Whether it’s a birthday party, a family reunion or some other gathering, odds are children will be at your party. If your venue lacks the appropriate activities to entertain kids for the long haul, consult your area rental facility for options.

An inflatable bounce house will keep your youngest guests entertained for hours while obstacle courses or laser tag are great options for your teenage guests. And the biggest kids at your event will enjoy a casino night with the games you rented.

If you’re expecting a large number of children at that family reunion, you may also consider renting a helium tank and providing balloons for your younger guests. The kids will be entertained, and you’ll save yourself from being out of breath all afternoon.

Chances are you know what that next once-in-a-lifetime event in your family is. The only question is, how will you celebrate it? Consult your local rental facility or visit for more ideas. You’ll quickly learn that the only limit to planning your next party is your imagination.

5 warning signs of mental illness in children

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

(NC) When your child wakes up feeling out of sorts, you trust yourself to know the difference between a bad day and the latest bug sweeping the school. You’re drawing on a lifetime of learning from other parents, relatives, friends and the media, plus intimate knowledge of your child.

But it’s not so easy to distinguish a possible mental illness from the normal ups and downs of growing up. Suppose your child has trouble making friends. Is he just shy, or could he be suffering from anxiety, the most commonly diagnosed mental illness in young people?

Early intervention can head off needless pain and equip a young person with coping skills that last for a lifetime. But fewer than 10 per cent of kids who need specialized treatment are actually getting it.

According to the 2012 RBCChildren’s Mental Health Parents Poll, many of us take a ‘wait and see’ approach with signs of mental illness. Kelly Hrudey, a former NHL goaltender, has a daughter diagnosed with anxiety disorder – and like 67% of Canadian parents surveyed in the RBC poll Hrudey didn’t know when to take action.

“We noticed changes in our daughter’s behaviour but chalked it up to a ’stage’”, he explained. “I wish I had known the warning signs to look for, so we could have recognized the problem earlier.”

With physical illnesses, you have parental instinct on your side. Mental illness can be harder for parents to determine. Hrudey stresses the importance of knowing the early warning signs of mental illness. Here are five common early warning signs that parents tend to wait before acting on:

• Mood changes/swings: Persistent sadness or withdrawal

• Anxiety: Frequent, prolonged worrying

• Sudden change in grades: Poor concentration can lead to anxiety about going to school or a change in classroom success

• Heightened emotions: Exaggerated fear or anger for seemingly no reason

• Behavioural changes or acting out: Out-of-character changes in behavior or personality

RBC supports a wide-range of programs that help children and youth stay happy and healthy, inside and out. An initiative called the RBC Children’s Mental Health Project funds organizations across Canada to provide trusted resources and programs for parents. More information can be found at

Cows and chickens dominate BC farming

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

(NC) The province’s chicken, turkey, dairy, and egg farmers now account for nearly half of all agriculture output and jobs, says a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Historically, the dairy and poultry sectors have represented about a quarter of all farm output and jobs in B.C.

Total employment in B.C. agriculture fell by 9,400 jobs. In the meantime, dairy and poultry farmers created more than 3,350 jobs during that span, to 31,726, or 45 per cent of total agriculture employment, says the PwC’s study “Economic impact of British Columbia’s dairy, chicken, turkey, hatching egg, and table egg industries.”

The key differentiator is the system of supply management, which oversees all of Canada’s poultry and dairy production. Farmers across the provinces work with government and industry to set output levels to prevent boom-bust price swings and ensure farmers receive fair returns.

“Farming is a tough business because it doesn’t take much over-production to send producer prices crashing, so bumper crops are not always good news,” says Dave Eto, a spokesperson for the B.C. Dairy, Egg, and Poultry Industries. “For more than 40 years, supply management has created a stable environment for farmers, and as the PwC report shows, it has allowed them to invest in jobs while other farming sectors face uncertainty.”

Overall, the dairy and poultry sectors add $1.6 billion directly to B.C.’s GDP and underpin $5.6 billion in total economic activity.

Attention editors: This article is for distribution in British Columbia only.

Good dietary attention will keep you warm

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

(NC)-Although some places in Canada experience a more extreme drop in temperature than others during the winter months, they all have one wintery thing in common: cold. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to help your body’s natural thermometer stay at that optimum level and get you through the frigid winter.

“As Canadians, we are accustomed to our cold winters, but that doesn’t mean they are entirely risk free. The cold can take a more significant toll on very young children and the elderly,” says Helen Sherrard, president of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA). “There are foods and natural health products that some of the oldest cultures in the world have used to maintain a healthy body temperature and they are all very accessible to us.”

The CHFA recommends foods, like garlic and onions and supplements that assist the body with proper blood circulation,. Cook your favourite, hearty meals with magnesium rich ingredients like tomatoes, leafy greens, beans, oats and others, and add ginger and cayenne pepper for a delicious and lasting warm sensation. Complement this diet with a healthy dose of exercise to get your heart pumping and your blood vessels dilating. A great way to do this is to practice Ashtanga yoga, which teaches special breathing techniques to promote internal body heat.

CHFA also recommends that you maintain your health product supplementation routines for an optimally healthy body. Including a daily B vitamin can help increase blood flow and maintain that internal warmth. Make sure to always consult with your health practitioner before making changes to your health routines and visit to find out more about natural health products.