Posts tagged Advice
As seen in Spring 2013 edition of Walmart Live Better magazine, available FREE from your local Walmart Supercentre.
But if you’re looking to boost the quality of your family photos, a “real” camera is the way to go. With dozens of different kinds of cameras on the market today, though, it’s easy to get lost in the photography aisles. So here are tips for finding the perfect camera to fit your lifestyle, budget and picture-taking needs.
Choosing the right camera for you
Do you want to keep a small camera in your handbag so it’s at the ready for your kids’ next adorable moment? Look at point-and-shoot models like the Nikon COOLPIX L610 ($208). These foolproof cameras allow you to capture higher-quality images while letting you explore your photographic creativity.
If you’re a budding photographer looking for something more high-end, try out a DSLR camera like the Canon Rebel T2i ($536). This style of camera is the kind professionals use, and they are typically larger, heavier and pricier.
Or does your photographic style fall somewhere in the middle? Mirrorless cameras (also called micro 4/3 cameras) offer many of the features seen in DSLRs, but they’re less expensive and more compact.
Making your snaps look professional
Sure, taking a picture is as easy as pushing a button, but if you want quality photos you’ll be proud to display, take a quick minute to set up each shot before you snap. Where is the light coming from? You never want to take a photo with a sunny window in the background – your kids and their puppy will appear as faceless silhouettes. Instead, find natural light and use it to your advantage – place your subjects so they’re facing the light, and turn off your flash. For best results, take pictures at eye level with your subjects, rather than looking down or up at them. If you’re trying to capture snaps of your busy toddler, get down to her level, and use a tripod if you need help to keep the camera steady.
Using special settings
With digital photography, you can take as many pictures as you want without wasting film – all you need is a good-sized memory card. Many cameras allow you to set a continuous shooting mode where you can hold down the shutter button to capture multiple images – perfect when you’re shooting hockey games or dance recitals (you can always delete any bad shots). Flip through your camera’s manual and you’ll find many modes to suit your needs. Experiment with them!
Sharing and saving
You’ve taken thousands of priceless photos on your digital camera…. Now what? You’ll probably want to upload them for safe storage, print some hard copies as keepsakes, as well as share them with friends and family on your favourite social media networks. Secure Ditigal, or SD, cards let you upload securely to the web. The 32GB Lexar High Speed SD card ($36.98) slides right into your camera’s SD memory card slots and can be programmed to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Once connected, the card will automatically set your privacy settings and send photos to your predetermined social media sites.
A high-quality memory card is an easy way to minimize the chance of losing your precious photos and corrupting files. Depending on how much you plan on spending, you can purchase a variety of “class cards.” As a rule of thumb, the higher the class, the higher the quality of the memory card. If you are simply capturing photos, a low- to mid-class memory card will do. If you are also capturing hours of HD video alongside photos on a digital camera, invest in a higher-quality memory card that will allow you to record video at a much higher speed.
Creating backup copies is the best way to preserve your photo memories. Walmart PhotoCentre offers secure, free storage of your digital images. So if you lose your computer, or your hard drive gets fried, your photos will still be safe. Plus, you can access your photos anytime through your mobile phone using the free app.
Get in the picture, mom!
Flip through your photo albums or digital files and you’ll probably notice there aren’t too many shots of you with the family – the photographer misses out on being in the picture. To put yourself in more pics, we recommend a GorillaPod by Joby ($51). It’s a tripod with flexible legs that bend around any object and adjust to any height you need, while keeping your camera steady. Set a self- timer, then jump into the picture.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, skip the box of chocolates and consider a personalized gift from the Walmart PhotoCentre that will let the moms in your life know you’re thinking about them on their special day. The best part? Many gifts (including mugs and photo canvases) can be printed in an hour.
There’s an app for that!
Using the Walmart Photo Prints app (available for iOS devices), you can order your favourite photos for print and pickup from the comfort of your smartphone via your Walmart PhotoCentre account – perfect if you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas.
Repost from Walmart Live Better magazine
With the tax season well underway, people are asking more questions than ever about their personal finances. Thankfully, there are many tools online that’ll put you in the right direction and offer some really helpful suggestions.
Take a look at a few great choices below:
Mint, www.mint.com, FREE
If you are looking to start tracking personal budgets so you can hit financial goals, Mint is the solution for you. The beauty of this free website is that it brings in all of the finances from multiple bank institutions so you can have a general overview of where your money is going.
Mint can automatically categorize your spending so you can see how much of your income is going towards bills, rent, food, restaurants, etc., and you can set your monthly budgets accordingly.
This application, available for iOS devices, is great if you’re looking for an easy-to-use mortgage calculator. If you’re a potential new homebuyer, this will give you a helpful snapshot as to a payment schedules.
With this tool, you can calculate your total monthly home cost, the variable and/or fixed payment rates and frequencies, including Canadian-specific factors like premiums, land transfer fees, first-time buyer rebates, local maps, and more.
This app is about as precise as an estimate is going to get. The numbers are easily manipulated with a visually friendly slider to adjust the values and calculated results. Calculations are tested and verified with some of Canada’s largest banks, and provides a good benchmark estimate of the payments to Canada’s lenders.
moneyStrands, iOS, FREE
moneyStrands is the app for you if you want to get your bills in check. Using their bill tracker, you can view all reoccurring bills and colour-code them to indicate the urgency of payments.
Debt management is a cinch. Their debt-to-income widget will assist in calculating whether your bills will outweigh your income. It’s easy to setup, free to use, and your content is secure with bank-level encryption on all information.
TurboTax Online, www.turbotax.ca, FREE to use; $17.99 for standard NETFILE
Filing taxes yourself is simple to do with this software-free solution. Its smart wizard will take you from start to finish, including direct and secure NETFILE to the Canadian Revenue Agency.
If you have a question, no problem! There’s a live forum with frequently asked questions for you to reference, including determining what is eligible for a deduction.
TurboTax’s Deduction Toolbox will help you find every possible savings for your return—over 400 of them in their A-to-Z list. TurboTax takes you through a personal profile, which will help them determine what you’ll be able to deduct from your income.
SnapTax by TurboTax, iOS, FREE to use; $9.99 for NETFILE
If you have generic and simple taxes to file, SnapTax by TurboTax is literally as easy as 1-2-3.
This app—yes, I said app—is for Canadians who have an iPhone, don’t have children or dependants, are under the age of 65, have RRSPs, charitable donations, and/or student tax deductions to claim.
Simply snap a photo of your T4 slip, answer a few questions, pay and NETFILE your taxes securely—all from the comfort of your smartphone. It really doesn’t get easier than that.
Take a look and try out the above apps and websites. How do they work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The great folks at TurboTax and Winston Sih Media want to help you get your taxes done on time! We are giving away FIVE copies of TurboTax Online Standard Edition to five lucky readers.
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Here are four easy and helpful ways to find serenity and sanity during this busy time of year.
Plan events in advance:
The longer you procrastinate and let your list grow, the more stress you are building for yourself. To minimize that, schedule the extra time to plan your events and holiday shopping. Prioritize and figure out what needs to be done straight away, versus things that can be done a couple weeks down the road.
Delegate tasks to family members:
Spread out your must-do tasks on a calendar and split what up needs to get done between your spouses, or even your kids! That way, you’ll get more done – minimizing the stress you put on yourself.
Accept that traditions can change:
While traditions are important, realize that things can change, too. Don’t be afraid to shy away from the same-old and start new traditions, particularly if they better fit your family’s lifestyle and dynamic. Whether that’s changing the food you serve, or when and where you have the big family gathering, be sure that everyone enjoys themselves – including yourself.
Set aside time for yourself:
This would have to be the most important tip – block out time for yourself. The holiday season means you are constantly on the move, so it’s crucial you find a moment to stop, reflect on what the holidays mean to you, and give yourself a chance to relax. Perhaps treat yourself to dinner at your favourite restaurant, or pamper yourself with a day at the spa. As insignificant as these indulgences may sound, they’re really helpful in boosting your mood come holiday time.
Holiday online shopping tips: Episode as seen on Cityline – December 3, 2012.
As always, you can re-watch previous episodes of Cityline on Citytv.com, or via the Citytv Video iPad/iPhone app! Cityline airs 9 a.m./3 p.m. ET on Citytv in Toronto. Check Citytv.com for air times in your city.
Toys R Us
Play-Doh Candy Cyclone
BR Monogram Sequin Top Sheath
Men’s snowboard combo (Burton board, boots, bindings)
This time of year is full of tempting food at the office, indulging potluck parties, and family get-togethers. Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds, or maintain a healthy lifestyle, here are a few tips to not overdo it during this holiday season.
1) First (and most important) suggestion: be realistic. Avoid starting a diet near the holidays as you are most likely setting yourself up for failure. Instead, set a realistic goal, and maintain that weight.
2) Hors d’oeuvres are delicious, but be picky and choose a few favourite snacks and eat them with moderation, versus eating one of everything on the table. The calories, fat, and sugar all add up.
3) Just because there are more dinner parties around the holidays, don’t starve yourself. Starving yourself often leads to binge eating – which can do you more harm than good.
4) Beat the bulge and avoid drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine, as well as fruits that are acidic in nature.
5) Portion control – be realistic about sizing. Most importantly with a buffet table, resist the temptation to eat everything. Eat the things you want most, and remember to eat in moderation.
6) Pace yourself. Often, people are eating so much that the stomach doesn’t have enough time to catch up and digest the food. The key is to eat slower so that you can savour the food while allowing your body the chance to tell you that you’re full.
7) If you are bringing a dish to a potluck party, set an example and bring a healthy dish. Your host will appreciate that you’re offering a healthy option to their guests.
8) Keep exercising. Even if finding time is difficult, find a way to incorporate it in your daily routine during the holidays. Yoga is great source of staying physically active and is a big stress reliever.
9) If you (or your party guests) suffer from certain health conditions like celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, look online as there are a variety of helpful recipes and resources for hosting those living gluten-free.
10) And lastly, enjoy yourself! These are suggested tips and will differ from person to person. It’s important to take the time and plan out your ultimate goals before heading into the holiday season. Remember that you can enjoy all of your favourite foods without overeating.
What tips do you have when it comes to not overdoing it come holiday time? Share them in the comments below!