Top 6 Free Wellness Apps

If you’re looking to improve your well-being, there are plenty of free apps that can be used to track your health and fitness. Whether you’re already an athlete, or just want to start taking care of your body, these apps can help you do just that. From an app that will track your habit-building or breaking to an app that will track your sleep, there are plenty of free wellness apps to try out.

Calm

Calm is a meditation and sleep app that is available for both Android and iOS. This app will help you to meditate, gain a healthier mindset, and improve your sleep. By sticking to a regular meditation routine, you’ll be able to start experiencing the benefits of meditation, such as a better focus and a happier mood. 

Headspace

Another meditation and sleep app, Headspace offers mindfulness exercise that is designed to get you into the habit of meditating every day. You can also take up meditation anytime with your Google Assistant, just say ‘Hey Google, Start a Meditation’ and get started right away!

Nike Training Club

This app features guided workouts to help you get in shape while you follow along with your favorite trainers. Users can follow 4-6 week flexible training programs. With access to hundreds of workouts, there is something for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros. Try a yoga class, strength training, or a core workout all in the comfort of your own home.

Daily Yoga

Daily Yoga is a free yoga app that features videos and runs you through your yoga routine.  The app is great for beginners looking to enter the world of yoga. Track your progress and engage with the app’s community to have your questions answered and make new friends.

Habit

Habit is a tracker app that lets you set daily habits and break bad ones. The app will help you build better habits by having you complete your tasks daily and keeping track of your progress. Jot down your thoughts, ideas, and program reminders to help set yourself up for success.

Kitchen Stories

Kitchen Stories is a collection of step-by-step recipes demonstrated on video or in images that will have you cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Recipes are categorized based on occasion, diet, and cuisine.   The app is great for new cooks and experienced ones alike.

Top Classic Books to Read this Fall

Fall is here—the weather is cooling down and the leaves are starting to change color. If you’re bored of the same TV shows and movies, and you’re craving a new book to read, these classic novels and plays will be a refreshing break from the usual. Whether you’re just getting into reading or you’re a seasoned reader, there’s something for everyone in this collection.

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens – If you’re looking for a classic book to read, you can’t go wrong with Great Expectations. In this coming-of-age story, young orphan Pip searches for love and fortune in Victorian England.

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky – This classic novel tells the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student who murders two old women. He then struggles to conceal his crime and overcome his own conscience.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley – A must-read on every book lover’s list, Frankenstein is a Gothic horror that’s a perfect read for the spooky holiday.  In the story, a scientist creates a monster that escapes and threatens society.

The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells – In this science fiction classic, an astronomer discovers a series of Martian attacks on England in this groundbreaking tale of invasion from outer space.

Dracula, Bram Stoker – A horror novel that is also a classic, Dracula tells the story of a vampire who preys upon young women in London.

The Call of the Wild, Jack London – The adventures of a dog named Buck as he leaves his home and becomes a sled dog in the treacherous Yukon during the Gold Rush. 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain – In this classic American novel, young Tom Sawyer gets into trouble with his friends and lovesick Aunt Polly.

Dickens’ Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens – A heartless miser learns a lesson about love and generosity when he encounters four spirits on a Christmas Eve night.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë – The classic English novel about a young woman who defies conventions of her time.

Emma, Jane Austen – The classic English novel about a young woman who is a snob and prefers to arrange her life rather than actually living it.

Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy – A classic tale about a passionate heroine from Thomas Hardy.

The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton – The classic American novel which tells the story of Lily Bart’s struggle for survival in New York society.

Not only will you be able to enjoy these books, but they can also provide inspiration for papers and projects. Or, if reading is not your thing, why not scroll through some real estate listings?

 

Back to School: Easy Lunch Ideas for the Kids

For many of us, back to school means a new beginning. For the children, it means a new class, new friends, and new adventures. So what kind of adventures might those kids have?

Today’s healthy, on-the-go families are pressed for time. With school starting earlier, traffic jams getting worse, and more homework on their plates, many parents don’t have much time to pack even a quick lunch before they head off to work.

The answer to “What’s for lunch?”. For those of you who don’t like to plan ahead, we can recommend DIY Lunchables. Let’s take a look at how to put together a back-to-school lunch that is quick, delicious, and healthy.

How to Put Together the Perfect DIY Lunchable

Remember those yummy little Lunchables you used to love as a kid? They were so easy and convenient. Well, now you can make them yourself with your favorite ingredients! Start by choosing your bread or crackers. Traditional options include English muffins, bagels, pita bread, flatbreads, and others; but don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite breads.

Next, choose your meat or protein source. Packed lunches are a great way to sneak in some extra veggies, so feel free to add cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce leaves, avocado slices, bean sprouts—and if you’re really hungry—a few pieces of cooked chicken, turkey, ham, or beef.

If you’re looking for a protein boost, choose one of the following: cheese sticks, sliced string cheese, cubes of cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, cubes of cold cuts like salami or bologna—add a few olives if you like them! And to finish off your lunch, choose one or two of the following treats: fresh fruit, 100 percent fruit juice boxes—just be sure they are not carbonated—granola bars, dried cereal pieces.

Lastly, add a treat on the side , like a cookie, cupcake or muffin.

Now that you’re an expert at putting together a healthy lunch box for your kid, don’t forget to make one for yourself!

Remember to always eat a well-balanced, nutritious breakfast and lunch. And as for those afternoons when you feel like a snack attack—just remember that a good snack is made up of the following: one serving of fruit or vegetables, one serving from the grain group (bread, cereal, rice, pasta), and one serving from the dairy group.

Looking to relocate this fall? Here are listings available in the Collingwood area.

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Thanksgiving Dishes to Try This Year

Thanksgiving brings with it the opportunity to get together with family and friends. From traditional turkey and stuffing to pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, there are a plethora of dishes to choose from. But how do you know if a recipe is a good idea? Here are a few classic Thanksgiving dishes to try this year.

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad is a classic Thanksgiving dish that can be spruced up in different ways. Ambrosia salad is fruit-based and is topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, and coconut.

  • Butternut Squash and Leek Stuffing: A favorite alternative to traditional stuffing, this recipe is made with leeks and butternut squash.  If you like the taste of sage, this is the recipe for you.
  • Cornbread-Sage Dressing: A cornbread dressing uses ground pork sausage as a base. Diced vegetables and herbs are added to make it spicy.
  • Fennel, Apple, and Celery Root Slaw with Pecans: A fresh salad that incorporates the harvest flavors of fall. The slaw is made from the fennel bulb, celery root, apples, pecans, cider vinegar, olive oil, and cider.
  • Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions: This dish is made with green beans, breadcrumbs, onion soup mix, milk, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, crispy onions, butter crackers, and parsley flakes.
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows: Sweet potatoes are mashed with heavy cream, brown sugar, milk, marshmallows, light corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream: The classic Thanksgiving dessert . This pie is made from pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt, and vanilla extract.
  • Pecan Pie: Another classic Thanksgiving dessert, this pie is made from pecans, salt, light corn syrup, eggs, sugar, white Karo Syrup, vanilla extract, and butter. 
  • Sweet Potato Casserole: This dish is made from sweet potatoes, brown sugar, pecans, evaporated milk, eggs, butter, salt, and vanilla extract.
  • Corn Pudding: This side dish is usually prepared with corn kernels and cream mixed together and baked in a casserole dish.
  • Maple Glazed Acorn Squash: This dish is made from acorn squash, vegetable oil, salt, maple syrup, water, and brown sugar.  
  • Baked Pears with Cinnamon Yogurt Sauce: This dish is prepared from pears, sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, low-fat plain yogurt, and chopped walnuts. 

Apple Cranberry Crisp: This dish is made from apples, cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, allspice, and salt.

All of these dishes sound like something you would be interested in serving at your Thanksgiving dinner—which one sounds the most appetizing to you?

Are you looking for a new property in time to host a Thanksgiving dinner? Check out what listings are available in the Collingwood Area here.

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How to Plan an Outdoor Movie Night

There’s no better way to get in the fall mood than with a good, old-fashioned outdoor movie night. But what do you do if you and your friends want to watch some movies but don’t want to suffer some of the summer heat and humidity created by a huge outdoor screen? Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to create your own cozy fall cinema. If you are planning on having an outdoor movie night with your family, be sure to get all your outdoor equipment out early so you can get things organized before the neighbors get home. Here are some ideas on how to get your outdoor movie night ready.

Find a Good Spot

The main reason people hold outdoor movie nights is because they want to catch the latest summer blockbuster in the great outdoors. This means you’re going to need a big, open area where people can spread out on blankets and sit on chairs without having to worry about projecting an image onto nearby trees or buildings.

Get Enough Blankets for Everyone

Blankets are huge for outdoor movie-watching. You don’t want to be stuck trying to share a single blanket with everyone just so you’re not sitting on the cold ground, and you’ll most likely want an extra one if it’s going to be chilly at night. Make sure you have enough blankets for every movie watcher.

Decide on Proper Seating

No one wants to sit on the ground all night, so you’ll need some sort of seating arrangement for those who don’t want to sit on a blanket. If there’s enough room and no one will be tripping over them, folding chairs are good as they can be laid back on or sat up straight as needed. Otherwise, laying on the ground with some cushions or an air mattress may be the best option. If you have enough room, buying potted seating arrangements or bean bag chairs would work well, too!

Find the Right Movie

There are two ways you can approach this step: either pick something that is family friendly or have the adults watch something a bit more mature while the kids enjoy their own film.

Get the Snacks Ready

If you’re watching a movie with kids, then the snacks are definitely going to be your biggest expense. Plan out what you can make or buy ahead of time and have it ready for when people arrive. There’s classic snacks like popcorn, candy, and soda. And if you want to get a little fancier, you can make caramel apples or set out festive cupcakes for everyone to enjoy.

Looking to relocate to a home with a yard? Check out what properties are available on the market.

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Fall Crafts For Everyone

Fall is upon us, bringing cooler weather, shorter days, and generally crisper times. There are plenty of things to do in the fall, including the best time of the year to shop for a home or to harvest the best apples. Or, if apple picking isn’t your thing, you can join in the fun with one of the following fall crafts. Fall is a great time to get creative. 

Fall Leaf Lanterns

The trees are filled with leaves that are ready to be swept up. The fallen leaves are a great way to make crafts that are fun for the family to enjoy this fall season. Fall leaf lanterns are easy to make with a vessel from the dollar store, pressed leaves, and mod podge. The finished lanterns will give your home that fall-time feel wherever you choose to display them.

Fall Mason Jar Crafts

As the leaves begin to change, your thoughts turn to pint-sized mason jars full of apple cider and dried leaves. A mason jar candle holder can be made by adding a scoop of sand or glass pebbles to the bottom of the jar. Place a votive candle on top and light it up to create an enchanting fall display. Mason jar crafts are popular this time of year for good reason; they make great decorations for your table’s centerpieces or mantels.

Leaf Printed Autumn Banner

A leaf-printed autumn banner can be made with paper, pressed fall leaves, and mod podge. This project looks great on a mantle or hanging in your home attached to rustic twine or burlap ribbon.

Yarn Pumpkins

Make yarn pumpkins by wrapping a balloon in yarn. Glue yarn to the tube for extra hold and then add your pumpkin features such as eyes, nose, and mouth. You can even add petals or leaves if you like. Once your yarn pumpkins are decorated, you can pop the balloon to remove it.

Carve a Real Pumpkin

Once it gets closer to Halloween, you will want to take the time to really make your pumpkin stand out. Carving a real pumpkin is a classic activity for the holiday but you can also use it as a centerpiece by carving out the inside and adding some tea lights to create a spooky ambiance.

What are your favorite fall crafts?

 

The Best Healthy Foods For August

It’s August. Nothing is better, in our opinion, than taking a summer break from the daily grind. It’s a great time to catch up on travel and family, as well as enjoy some downtime on the couch or explore some open houses

In terms of food, there are so many delicious treats that can be consumed in the summer months, and many of them don’t require any cooking at all. The best summer treats don’t have to be high in sugar, fat, or calories at all.

Our collection of the best foods for August is chock full of ingredients that help you cool down from August’s scorching heat. 

Fruits

  • Cantaloupe: These melons are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin C. 
  • Mangos: Similar to cantaloupe, mangoes are a refreshing and tasty way to get more Vitamin C in your diet.
  • Strawberries: You can top off this delicious fruit with honey for a yummy treat that helps you stay cool all summer long. These berries are rich in antioxidants that can fight disease and keep your body strong.
  • Kiwis: Kiwis are full of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Make sure you eat them before they get too soft in the heat.
  • Blackberries: This berry is full of antioxidants that can help your body fight off free radicals that cause cancer.
  • Grapefruit: Grapefruit is low in calories, yet high in nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and pectin.
  • Peaches: This fruit helps to reduce cholesterol because it is low in saturated fat as well as sodium.
  • Apples: Apples can be excellent for your immune system. They can help keep your body healthy during the hot winter months.
  • Cranberries: These are full of antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
  • Avocado: Avocado is a summer favourite and one of the best foods for August because it is full of vitamins C and B that can help to lower high cholesterol. This food has more potassium than a banana and contains oleic acid.

Veggies

  • Onions: Whether raw or cooked, onions are rich in sulfur compounds that can help prevent long-term inflammation throughout the body.
  • Asparagus: This delicious vegetable is a natural diuretic containing fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. 
  • Okra: Okra can be used in soups and stir-frys for a low-calorie, high fiber way to keep you hydrated.
  • Tomatoes: The benefits of tomatoes include antioxidative effects and potential protection from cancer. Eating tomatoes can also help boost the immune system.
  • Soybeans: These are great for cardiovascular health, which is beneficial in helping you fight against heart disease.
  • Broccoli: This vegetable is beneficial in many ways and can help protect you against heart disease as well as some cancers.

Other Healthy Options

  • Peanut Butter: Although peanut butter is high in fat, it has healthy fats that are beneficial for your health.
  • Soy Milk: This milk is lower in calories than whole milk and has no saturated fat. It is also rich in calcium, which can protect you from osteoporosis.
  • Dark Chocolate: This sweet treat does more for your body than just satisfy your craving for sweets. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and has been proven to lower blood pressure.

 

The final stretch of summer can be a great time to get out and enjoy the sunshine and any of the above healthy snacks!

Our Summer Season Bucket List Goals

When the temperature rises, most of us want to be outside. A lot of us think that summer is just about hanging out at the beach or relaxing at the park, but that’s not all there is to it. You could go on a hike, explore the city, learn to cook, play piano, learn to tango, or learn to play the violin. There’s a lot to enjoy in the summer.

For some, it might just be a lazy picnic at the park or a weekend camping trip. For others, it might be a 6-mile hike or a 2-day backpacking trip. But it’s hard to find time to get away when there are so many things that need to be done (and so little time to do them!) 

No matter your age, we can all agree that it’s the ultimate time to spend with friends and family in the summer. From BBQs to the beach, there’s nothing better than going out with your friends and spending the day enjoying the sun and sharing stories. These summer bucket list goals are aimed at taking some pressure off giving you some ideas of things that you can do this summer. Here are our summer bucket list goals!

Go Boating

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than hopping in a boat and floating on the lake. If you’re itching to get out on the water this summer, we have the perfect piece of gear for you: a kayak. Kayaking is a great way to experience the great outdoors, and it’s especially fun when you’re on your own.  Find a friend with a kayak, or rent one or other types of boats at the Living Water Resort & Spa. 

Go On a Hike

Hiking is one of the best activities to enjoy the summer in a healthy way. Many hiking trails are open and accessible to the public, so they don’t require any specific skills or preparation. You can also do hikes with your friends, family, or even a small group. It doesn’t have to be a large group either—a couple of friends or your spouse is all you need. Check out the hiking in Blue Mountain, featuring over 30km of trails.

Picnic at the Park

Invite a friend over, grab some food and beverages and hang out in the park. Set the table on the grass, put out some chairs and blankets. Turn on the tunes and get your friends to help you out by serving the food. Enjoy yourself and the great weather. Find where to have your next picnic in Collingwood here.

Attend a Market

Summer is finally here, and that means one thing: it is time to head out to the market. The market is packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, and even a few surprises. So, why not take advantage of this rare opportunity to try new things you have never tried before? Check out the Vegan Market that happens every Sunday.

 

Summer is hot, so is the real estate market. Check out what properties are available here

 

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Our Favourite August Activities Still Happening This Year

It’s finally time for us to reclaim summer. If you’re like us, you’re looking forward to everything this summer has to offer as live events resume. Whether you’re planning your pool party or going to the beach, you need to experience some of the live activities that are back.  

August is a great month to get out and about with family and friends. We have a special place in our hearts for Collingwood and the surrounding area, and we’re always on the lookout for new things to do. Here’s the collection of our favourite things to do around town in August.

July 30-August 2: Toronto Food Truck Festival

The annual Toronto Food Truck Festival is one of Canada’s best food truck events, and it is back for its 10th year this August. The festival is about more than just food, and so this year’s event will feature live music, a beer garden, and a kids zone. The highlight of the menu, however, is the food trucks, which will be on display at Woodbine Park. Last year’s trucks included such Toronto favourites as The Poutinerie (poutine), El Pollo Loco (Mexican street food), and Hot Indian Curry (Indian street food).

August 1-8: Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of a surge, with the team playing their best baseball in years. The team is showing signs that they have the confidence to make a serious run for the playoffs — a lot to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. Check them out on various dates this August at the Rogers Centre.

July 17-August 21: Theatre of the Shadows

Here’s a great idea: an outdoor classical theatre festival featuring female playwrights. Better yet, it’s all going to be performed in one of the best locations for outdoor theatre — the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan. The featured play is called the Unplugging. The showrunners have partnered with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to present in a responsible outdoor and in-person setting for smaller audiences. 

The Vegan Market

Every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm, Collingwood hosts a vegan market at the beautiful shores of Georgian Bay. You can meet and socialize with like-minded people at the market, learn about the local vegan community, and purchase all kinds of vegan products, from vegan baked goods to vegan homemade jam and vegan soaps. The market features vegan food and products from local mainly vendors. The market is a great way to experience the vegan lifestyle as well as support the Collingwood community.

 

Collingwood is a charming community filled with independent shops, restaurants, and businesses. A great place to live if you are looking to live in the downtown area with close proximity to healthcare and public transportation. As open houses resume, this August will be the perfect time to check out properties on the market in the Collingwood area. 

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Rainy Day Activities in the Area

Do you feel like there isn’t much to do because of the rain? You’re not alone. It’s normally hard to think up what to do when it’s raining, and it can be hard to keep yourself from doing the same old thing. However, things aren’t as bad as they seem. There are plenty of things to do even when it’s a rainy summer day—from painting to grabbing a cocktail!

Collingwood Museum

The museum is located at the replica of the 1873 Railway Station. It’s a self-guided facility, so you will have to venture your way around. Don’t worry, though, staff are present to answer your questions! Check out the website to see what current programs are running before attending. The admission fee is by donation.

 

Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts

It’s always enjoyable to peruse down aisles of art. Located in downtown Collingwood, the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts boasts the town’s best local talent. The Foundation aims to promote the arts by supporting local artists and providing them with resources. They regularly showcase art shoes and programs. 

 

Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen 

There’s nothing like a good beer at the end of a long day to escape the rain. It’s the best way to spend time with friends and family and give you that perfect sense of relaxation. Whether you’re there with a beer in hand or sitting with some locally sourced snacks, the Northwinds always have the ability to make you feel at home. 

 

The Candy Factory 

Made on-site, the candy factory boasts all sorts of sugary goodies, from chocolate to old-fashioned humbugs. Watch the candy makers at the factory make treats in person. This tour of the factory holds the secrets of how to make candy the right way!

 

Living Shore Spa

When it’s not the warmest day of the year, there is no better way to spend it than by getting pampered at a local spa. Not only will you enjoy a relaxing massage, but you’ll also feel totally rejuvenated afterwards, ready and raring to face whatever life throws at you. Living Shore also offers facial treatments, nail treatments, body treatments, and salon services. 

 

Seeing what’s on the real estate market is yet another rainy day activity. Check out some real estate properties here

 

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Collingwood Olive Oil Co. 

Curious about trying different olive oils? Collingwood Olive Oil Co. carries them like never before. Head to the tasting bar to sample over 45 different flavours of international oils. Of course, they also have an array of balsamic vinegar. 

 

Georgian Bowl

Rainy days are a great choice for bowling. The weather and the activity itself can help you blow off steam and get you to chill out. Those who enjoy playing sports like bowling can find it’s the perfect way to get in some exercise. Bowling can be a fun way to spend a rainy day, spending quality time with loved ones and friends. The Georgian Bowl offers 12 lanes of 5 pin bowling, 18-hole mini-golf, pool tables, and more games.

 

Crock A Doodle Studio

Sometimes there is no better way to spend a rainy day than a pottery studio. No matter what you’ve been up to, taking a few hours to paint a ceramic mug or plate can be a soothing and rejuvenating experience. The studio is located right in the Blue Mountain Village.