How to unplan your wedding

Katrina Clarke | May 23, 2017 | Toronto Star

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Ashley Aseltine holds her wedding dress, which she purposefully ruined and wore to a Zombie walk. Photo credit: Nick Kozak/Toronto Star)

Ashley Aseltine had the ring on her finger, dress in her closet and “save the date” magnets on friends’ fridges.

But seven months before the big day, she didn’t have a fiancé.

“He ended it,” said Aseltine, 31. “It stung. Everything kind of stung for a really long time.”

The December 2013 split ended their 12-year relationship and year-and-a-half engagement. The next weeks were a painful blur during which Aseltine leaned on family and friends for support. Once they were certain she and her ex wouldn’t proceed with their June nuptials, her dad and uncle broke the news to relatives.

Then she got to work, calling the vendors and notifying friends and tucking the ring and the dress away in corners of her apartment. The $600 silk, floor-length gown wouldn’t resurface until three years later when she would run over it with a car, drench it in fake blood and wear it as a costume for a Halloween Zombie walk.

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Infrared saunas have a celeb cult following, so we got in one to find out why

Katrina Clarke | May 12, 2017 | CBC Life

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(Photo courtesy Halsa spa, Kitsilano)

I’ve lived in Bangkok and sweated through many a hot yoga class. But an infrared sauna kicked my butt. If you’ve heard of infrared saunas, it could be because they’re all the rage with celebrities these days. Jennifer Aniston reportedly has one installed one in her home, Gwyneth Paltrow extolled the benefits of the saunas on her Goop website, and Busy Philipps Instagrammed from one. Continue reading

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Can a pillow fight signs of aging? Experts say it might

Katrina Clarke | May 11, 2017 | CBC Life

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(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

To sleep perchance to rid unsightly wrinkles from your face. That’s not the quote as Shakespeare intended it, but the thought of sleeping away signs of aging is certainly dreamy.

Believe it or not, there are pillows out there claiming to do just that: fight wrinkles and signs of aging as you snooze. The creators say the ergonomically-designed pillows can help reduce wrinkles by helping promote back-sleeping, or, if you sleep on your side, minimize face-to-pillow contact and decrease pressure on the face.

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#BigThighTwitter, the trending hashtag celebrating big thighs

Katrina Clarke | May 8, 2017 | CBC Life

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(Photo via Twitter, @SShyeanneXo)

If you’re wondering why Twitter has been flooded with photos of women flaunting their big thighs lately, look no further. It’s all thanks to #BigThighTwitter, a hashtag that took Twitter by storm in March when women started posting photos of their big thighs to the site.

“So #bigthightwitter is a thing??? My time has come,” tweeted one user alongside a photo of her sweatpant-clad thighs.

“Something I can participate in 🙂 ‪#BigThighTwitter,” wrote another. Continue reading

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Prince George can’t have a best friend – should your child?

Katrina Clarke | April 30, 2017 | CBC Life

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(Photo credit: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

If the future King of England can’t have a best friend, should your child?

Depends on who you ask.

The question comes after news last month that Prince George will attend Thomas’s Battersea prep school in London come September. Everything royal-related seems to make headlines, but this announcement was unique because of a controversial unofficial policy at the school: no best friends.

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Co-parenting after a split: focus on the kids, say experts

Katrina Clarke | April 29, 2017 | CBC Life

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(Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Watching Erin Silver hike along a trail in Arizona with her kids and their dad, it’d be easy to assume they she was a happily married mom.

She’s happy – but divorced from her kids’ dad.

“We realize we have to work together whether we’re married or not,” said Silver, 36, a Toronto-based freelance writer who spent the holiday season with her parents in Arizona. Her ex visited for a few days, staying in a hotel. “Our kids come first.”

Silver and her ex are co-parenting, meaning that despite being divorced, they’re both actively involved in raising their boys. And while it’s not extraordinary for two divorced parents to be raising kids in 2017, amicable co-parenting is still a surprise to some and – no surprise – it requires hard work. Good co-parenting involves drawing clear boundaries with your ex, navigating bringing new partners into the mix and having straightforward talks with your kids, say parenting experts.

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Blood sisters: Do women’s menstrual cycles really sync up?

Katrina Clarke | April 26, 2017 | CBC Life

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Credit: iStock/Getty images

There’s something about menstruation – maybe the universal braving of cramps and bloating – that promotes a feeling of solidarity among women. Perhaps an extension of that is the feeling of closeness between friends who seem to have “synced” their periods – believing that the very fact you’re menstruating simultaneously is because you’ve spent so much time together. But is there truly a possibility you might also be celebrating a biological connection?

It’s called “menstrual synchrony” and according to a 1999 study, 84 per cent of women were aware of it and 70 per cent reported experiencing and enjoying it.

However, experts say it’s likely not a real thing – and new research backs them up.

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Five surprising facts about semen from a men’s health expert

Katrina Clarke | April 24 | CBC Life

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iStock/Getty images

If Something About Mary taught us anything, it’s to keep semen away from your hair.

But aside from its industrial-strength hair gel properties, and its role in pregnancy, what else is there to know about seminal fluid?

To answer every question you’ve ever had about semen, and some you wouldn’t even think to ask, we asked Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, author of The Truth About Men and Sex and founder and director of Men’s Health Boston, and did our own deep-dive into the complex – and sometimes sticky – world of semen.
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Strategy is key if you want your buying ban to really help you save

Katrina Clarke | April 23, 2017 | CBC Life

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Cait Flanders put herself on a shopping ban and saved $17,000 in one year.

“I could look around at my place and see, for whatever reason, I had four bottles of shower gel or three bottles of lotion,” said Flanders, a personal finance blogger based in Squamish, B.C. “We continue to add to those piles when we don’t actually need anything.”

For Flanders, her self-imposed shopping ban was motivated by a desire to save more money and cut back on clutter. But for other people, bans are a way to stop bad spending habits or get out of debt. They can range from small-scale and short-term, such as no take-out coffee for month, to the extreme – no makeup, clothes, shoes and books for years — which Flanders did.

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Are Instagram and Snapchat the new cookbook or mere “cook-tainment”

Katrina Clarke | April 22, 2017 | CBC Life

via @lobosworth/Instagram

On a recent dreary Thursday, I found myself learning how to make a cabbage and ramen noodle salad… from an Instagram story by Lo Bosworth. Yes, she of Laguna Beach fame.

It turns out I’m in good company when it comes to finding recipe inspiration on random celebrity and food blogger social media accounts! Food bloggers say their millennial audiences are increasingly looking to Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat to find recipe inspiration — meaning bloggers are amping up their bite-sized video output on those platforms. Some embrace it, but some still want their engagement (and traffic) on their website, where they make money. Others worry the deceivingly simple clips will end up discouraging amateurs from cooking.

“Four or five years ago, the blog was really the only spot to share what you were making,” said Ethan Adeland, managing director of marketing with Food Bloggers of Canada. “Nowadays, it’s complementary.”

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