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3 entries from December 2013

December Nights Call for Holiday Lights

One of my favourite holiday memories as a child involved holiday lights. One evening every December, my parents would bundle my brother and me into the car, take us for hot chocolate and then cruise on over to Edmonton's Candy Cane Lane to look at all the lights.

We'd sit with our noses pressed up against the window of our 1984 Plymouth Reliant, getting all sugared up and pointing out all the cool displays. It was magical.

Holiday "light-seeing" is a tradition all over Canada. Here just a few of the light-seeing opportunities across the country:

The Halifax Chronicle Herald is building a user-generated map of places to go "light-seeing" in the province.

In Quebec, the Quebec City Lights Festival gets underway December 21st.

Here's a list of holiday light displays in Ottawa, complete with interactive map.

Continue reading "December Nights Call for Holiday Lights " »

Getting the Right Service for Your Vehicle

Mechanic checking tires
Photo: iStockphoto

We were headed out to the movies the other day when we noticed our vehicle, Chloe, was making some unusual "vroom vroom" noises. Since she was due for scheduled maintenance anyhow, we took her in for a check up.

It turns out Chloe had blown a gasket - a term which I had only ever heard before in cartoons. A blown gasket is no joke - left untreated, it can seriously damage the engine and lead to expensive repairs. It's a good thing we took her in; because they caught it early, the cost of repair was very reasonable and she's back to purring like the kitten she is.

Naturally, Chloe's blown gasket got me thinking about the importance of regular vehicle maintenance. As we've written before, taking your car in for regular tune-ups is important. Staying on top of regular maintenance helps keep your car running smoothly, is better for the environment and helps you maintain the value of your vehicle. But a lot of people don't take their cars in for regular maintenance. Why? Because they're not car experts, they feel intimidated at the garage and they don't want to pay for services they don't need.

How can you be confident that you're getting the right service for your vehicle? Here are a few tips:

Continue reading "Getting the Right Service for Your Vehicle" »

Holiday Gifts for the Young Drivers on Your List

Cleaning snow off her new car

Buying for the teens and young adults on your list can be a challenge - their likes and dislikes can be mercurial. Didn't they LOVE this band last week? What do you mean this new coat I just bought you isn't "Instagrammable"? And what about Twilight? Is that...still a thing?

Fortunately, if the youngsters on your list have started driving, a whole realm of gifting possibilities has just opened up to you.

Here are a few gift ideas for the young drivers on your list:

Seat covers. Whether your teen is proudly driving a clunker or tooling around in a newer vehicle, new seat covers are a great way for them to personalize their rides. Seat covers come in plenty of crazy styles these days, from rugged camouflage to Hello Kitty.

Car locator. If your teen is prone to losing things, this might be the gift for them. Wired into your young driver's car, a car locator device can help them with everything from finding their car in a crowded parking lot to tracking their car down if it gets stolen.

Continue reading "Holiday Gifts for the Young Drivers on Your List" »