Friday, December 28, 2012

InviCible Scar Product



For more information:
InviCible Scars
InviCible Scars | Advanced Scar Therapy

Advanced Treatment for Scars and Dark Spots developed by a leading plastic surgeon

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Peppermint Smoothie


Peppermint can reduce headaches and help you feel rejuvenated. And this smoothie makes a tasty alternative to eggnog. Garnish it with a pretty rim of crushed candy cane.

11/2 cups (375 mL) skim milk
11/2 cups (375 mL) low-fat vanilla yogurt 
11/2 cups (375 mL) ice cubes
5 peppermint leaves, torn
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon 
A few drops peppermint extract (optional)
Blend all ingredients and serve in cups garnished with a pretty rim of crushed candy cane.

Serves four.
Per serving: 114 calories, 8 g protein, 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 19 g


Chocolate Almond Smoothie  
http://www.besthealthmag.ca/recipe/chocolate-almond-smoothie

Monday, December 24, 2012

CakeBaker-White Chocolate & Cranberry Fudg

50g (12oz) granulated sugar
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
170ml (6fl oz) can evaporated milk
100g (3½oz) dried sweetened cranberries
300g (10oz) white chocolate, chopped

Cut a piece of baking paper big enough to line a shallow 25x20cm (10x8in) baking tin.







Put the sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a large heavy-based pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. It is a good idea to set a timer for this.

Immediately remove from the heat then add the cranberries and chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt, then quickly stir the mixture and pour straight into the tin. It will thicken immediately.

Spread into the tin and chill for an hour or so until firm. Cut into squares.

Use a piece of card to make a festive box for the fudge. Line with baking parchment, decorate with ribbon, and attach a message.

Recipe shared via Tesco

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Celebrating 100 years, Life Savers?



Remember the Story Book in your stocking. What are some of your other favorite holiday traditions? Enjoy the anniversary story book..

http://www.life-savers.com/anniversary


shared from Kroger












Friday, December 21, 2012

Fruitcake ~ Love it

This yummy fruitcake is packed with colourful dried fruits and nuts. Wrap it up in festive cellophane for a wonderful holiday gift!
Jeweled Fruitcake                                

Ingredients:
1 pkg (510 g) Betty Crocker* SuperMoist French Vanilla, Golden or White Cake Mix
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) dried apricot, halved
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) pitted dates, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) nuts
1/4 cup (50 mL) each, red and green candied pineapple
1/4 cup (50 mL) each, red and green maraschino cherries, drained
Light corn syrup
Easy Glaze (optional)
1 cup (250 mL) Betty Crocker* Creamy Deluxe or Whipped Vanilla or White Frosting
1/4 -1 tsp (2-5 mL) almond extract or vanilla extract





Method:
  • Heat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line one 9x5-inch (2 L) loaf pan or two 8x4-inch (1.5 L) loaf pans with parchment paper. Allow paper to hang over edges slightly for easy pan removal after baking.
  • In large bowl, combine cake mix, softened butter and eggs; beat according to package directions. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold in apricots, pitted dates, nuts, candied pineapple and cherries until fruit is evenly coated with batter.
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan(s), distributing evenly. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes if using 9x5-inch (2 L) or 1 hour and 15 minutes if using two 8x4-inch (1.5 L) loaf pans, or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. If necessary, cover with foil during last 30 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.
  • Remove fruitcake from pan (with parchment paper) to cooling rack. For a glossy top, immediately brush with corn syrup. Allow to cool completely and to become firm before cutting (about 24 hours). Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator no longer than 2 months.
  • Easy Glaze: In small glass bowl or measuring cup, stir together frosting and extract. Microwave on medium power for 30 to 45 seconds or until it is a good consistency for drizzling. Using a spoon, drizzle evenly over the cooled fruitcake(s).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CRANBERRY-ORANGE TEA BREAD


http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/cranberry-orange-tea-bread




Ingredients: 

  • Tea Bread
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cranberries, chopped (fresh or frozen)
  • Orange Glaze (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
Method: 
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom only of an 8x4-inch or 9x5-inch loaf pan or use a non-stick loaf pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine milk, orange juice, melted butter, zest and eggs. Stir to combine well. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently stir in cranberries and mix just until they are evenly distributed. Pour batter (it will be thick) into pan and bake until a knife comes clean from the center, 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size of pan. Loosen sides from pan, remove and let cool completely. 

When cool, prepare glaze, if using. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the orange juice with powdered sugar, adding a little more juice if necessary to obtain a smooth consistency. Drizzle over top of loaf.
Nutritional Info: 
PER SERVING:230 calories (45 from fat)5g total fat2.5g saturated fat45mg cholesterol260mg sodium43g carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber25g sugar)4g protein
Special Diets: 
Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember — we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information. See our Terms of Service.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Skin Care Chronicle: CND Shellac™ ~ Power Nail Polish

Skin Care Chronicle: CND Shellac™ ~ Power Nail Polish: Award-winning CND Shellac™ guarantees brilliant results.  14+ day Wear. Mirror Shine. Zero Dry Time. Really!  CND Shellac™ is the ...



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love

by 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Layered Peppermint Cheesecake


We love this cake for its childlike whimsy, candy crunch, and—hello!—hidden layers of cheesecake.

Ingredients                   


  • Preparation
  • Peppermint Cheesecake Layers:
  • (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • large eggs 
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2/3 cup crushed hard peppermint candies
  • Sour Cream Cake Layers:
  • (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix
  • large eggs 
  • (8-oz.) container sour cream 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • White Chocolate Mousse Frosting:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 2 cups whipping cream 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Garnishes: White chocolate curls, peppermint candies
  1. 1. Prepare Peppermint Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp. butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Add 3 eggs, l at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add flour and next 3 ingredients, beating until blended. Fold in candies. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place cake pans in a large pan; add water to pan to depth of 1 inch.
  2. 2. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely in pans (about 1 hour). Cover cheesecakes (do not remove from pans), and freeze 4 to 6 hours or until frozen solid. Lift frozen cheesecakes from pans, using foil sides as handles. Gently remove foil from cheesecakes. Wrap in plastic wrap, and return to freezer until ready to assemble cake.
  3. 3. Prepare Sour Cream Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat cake mix, next 3 ingredients, and 1/2 cup water at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or just until moistened; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
  4. 4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  5. 5. Prepare White Chocolate Mousse Frosting: Cook 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add morsels; cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), whisking occasionally.
  6. 6. Beat cream and 2 tsp. vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gradually fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream mixture, folding until mixture reaches spreading consistency.
  7. 7. Assemble Cake: Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Top with 1 frozen cheesecake layer. Top with second cake layer and remaining cheesecake layer. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ziti with Butternut Squash Ricotta

Ingredients:


1 small butternut squash

1 medium onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 pound ziti or penne

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (add more if you like)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

With a sharp knife, cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and peel the squash. Cut it into 1-inch sqaures. You’ll have approximately 2 cups of diced squash.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until golden.
As the onion cooks, coarsely chop the diced squash in a food processor. Don’t over process as you don’t want the squash to be pureed. Stir the chopped squash into the skillet. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and sage. Simmer for 8 minutes or until squash is tender but not mushy.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the ziti according to package directions. When it is al dente, drain the ziti.

Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the parsley and ricotta cheese. Mix well.

Add the squash mixture, the 1/2-cup parmesan cheese, and the remaining 1/2-cup chicken broth. Mix well. Spoon into a large serving bowl. Top with additional parmesan cheese before serving, if desired.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Petcurean Holiday Tips

Tips on how to make your holiday party healthy for your pets:


DO: Leave a cute festive note on food tables reminding guests not to share people food with the four legged guests

DON'T: Leave food and drinks on a low table during the party.

DO: Give your pets an early dinner to keep them full during the party and less likely to beg for snacks from your guests

To learn more on how to keep your pet healthy during the holidays and throughout the new year, please visit http://www.petcurean.com/



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Toopy & Binoo Coloring Book


Toopy & Binoo Coloring Book
From Treehouse

Price:CDN$ 9.99


Where to buy

 The large colouring pad for little ones -- 24 beautiful colouring sheets in a 11' x 14'' pad, featuring Toopy and Binoo.


Friday, November 30, 2012

ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT


Available on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 1


Showcasing Exciting Bonus Features Including an All New Coloring App and Interactive Music Videos, The Extraordinary Family Adventure Floats to Blu-ray™ 3D, Blu-ray™ and DVD on December 11

Ahoy, matey! Blue Sky Studios unveils a brand new chapter in one of the most successful film franchises of all time. Bringing together the visually epic and the emotionally powerful, ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT sets sail on Blu-ray™ 3D, Blu-ray™, and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on December 11, just in time for the holidays.

Sub-zero heroes Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon a high-seas adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they try to reunite with their herd. In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.

Showcasing the coolest cast of all-time, ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, stars Ray Romano ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge), Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), Queen Latifah (The Secret Life of Bees), Seann William Scott (Planet 51), Josh Peck ("Drake & Josh"), and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead). Joining the familiar Ice Age family for this newest franchise installment are some of the entertainment world’s brightest talents including Jennifer Lopez ("American Idol"), Aziz Ansari ("Parks and Recreation"), Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones"), Wanda Sykes (Monster-in-Law), Heather Morris ("Glee"), and hip hop sensations Nicki Minaj and Drake.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Landscape Design Process



Our design consultation begins with an on-site meeting. Our portfolio of past works is available for your viewing. We will listen to your needs and wants, analyze the existing property conditions and surroundings, and assess the scope of work. A design fee will be quoted and you may proceed to hire Neil Pike Ltd. for landscape design services.

http://www.neilpike.ca/design.html


The design process will begin with site measurements, collection of existing site inventory, and we will take pictures of the house and property. This will assist in the overall concept and development of the landscape design. We will discuss possible design styles and options and try to get a sense of your likes and dislikes.

 You will receive a master plan with all hardscape and plant material labeled. A revision is included if necessary. Once the design is approved, a detailed landscape construction quote and contract will be provided.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Classic Cookie Dough

1 cup 2 sticks Compliments Churned Unsalted Butter Sticks, room temperature 250 mL


1 cup sugar 250 mL

1 tbsp Sensations by Compliments Pure Vanilla Extract 15 mL

1/4 tsp salt 1 mL

1 egg, room temperature

2 1/2 cups Compliments All Purpose Flour 625 mL


MIX

1. Using an electric mixer (stand or hand-held), cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth, about 3 min. Scrape down sides of bowl, add egg and mix well. Scrape down sides of bowl again, slowly add flour and mix until a soft dough forms. Dust hands with flour and, in bowl, knead dough by hand until smooth. Prep different cookies based on instructions on following pages.

CHILL

1. Refrigerate, about 20 min. Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour, place dough in centre, dust top of dough with flour and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough to about a 1/4-in. (5 mm) thickness. Remove top sheet of parchment (use it to line your baking sheet).

SHAPE

1. Cut into 1 x 2-in. (2.5 x 5 cm) bars or use cookie cutters to cut into other fun shapes, then place on prepared cookie sheet, spaced about 1 in. (2.5 cm) apart.

BAKE

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake on middle rack until set, 10 to 12 min. Let cool completely before decorating.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chocolate Sauce


Indulgence of Chocolate!





Nothing seems to beat the luxurious feel, taste and satisfaction chocolate can bring into our lives.
  Stevia and chocolate make a great combination. Follow these tips and recipes to enjoy guilt free seconds of desserts!


  You can replace 1 ounce of baking chocolate in a recipe with 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder & 15 drops of Stevia Max 80 liquid.
  Start off small! Sweetening is sometimes a personal preference. Play around, try new things and end off with what works and tastes best to you

Ingredients:2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 tsp stevia concentrate powder
3/4 water
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp arrowroot
1 TBS water


Instructions:
Dissolve stevia in water and then bring to a boil. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine 1 TBS water and arrowroot. Add to chocolate mixture and heat until thickened.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 slow cooked meals to melt cold Winter day


1. Slow Cooker Chicken n Stuffing Pot Pie

Enjoy a comforting collection of recipes that will warm you up when the cold gets you down.

Hot and hearty! Put a spin on traditional chicken pot pie by using stuffing cubes and by
 preparing it in the slow cooker.  

 Slow Cooker Chicken n Stuffing Pot Pie
                                                             
Ingredients: 
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
6 slices precooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 bag (1-lb size) ready-to-eat-baby-cut carrots, cut in half lengthwise (about 2 cups)
4 medium red potatoes, each cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp (5 mL) dried marjoram leaves
1 can (284 mL/10 FL oz) chicken gravy
1 bag Green Giant* Frozen Cut Green Beans
6 tbsp (90 mL) butter or margarine, melted
4 cups (1 L) herb-seasoned stuffing cubes (from box)

Method:
  • Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook about 3 to 5 minutes, per side until browned.
  • Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place chicken in cooker. Top with bacon, carrots, potatoes, marjoram and gravy.
  • Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.
  • Gently stir thawed green beans into chicken mixture. In medium bowl, mix melted butter and stuffing; spoon over chicken mixture. Increase heat setting to High; cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until green beans are tender.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EPIC Lavender Fest

EPIC Lavender Fest




Victorian High Tea at Serenity Lavender



Come to Serenity Lavender wearing your finest hats and gloves on Saturday, June 23rd from 1-3pm to Serenity Lavender’s Victorian High Tea. Enjoy a delectable array of finger sandwiches, scones, deserts and or course our teas amidst the sereneness of teh lavender blooms. Tickets are $25.00 per person. Seating is limited so call today to reserve your tickets. 519 980-4504

Monday, November 19, 2012

No quick cure for an ailing system

No quick cure for an ailing system





Dr. Peter Lennox and Dr. Sheina Macadam in Vancouver.

Photograph by: Thandi Fletcher , Postmedia News

The ancient Egyptians described it as a "coagulum of black bile" within the breast. In their papyrus writings, dating to 1600 BC, they surmised that getting rid of the excess bile - through surgery, special diets, purging or even attaching leeches to draw out the bad blood - could cure the disease.
In 1889, American surgeon William Halsted, a founder of renowned Baltimore teaching hospital Johns Hopkins, performed the first radical mastectomy on a breast-cancer patient. The disfiguring procedure, which removed the entire breast and pectoral muscle, prevailed as the standard treatment for most of the 20th century.
It wasn't until 1963, with the invention of the silicone gel breast implant, that modern reconstructive techniques emerged.
Over time, breast reconstruction has become less invasive and more refined. With the delicate surgical options that surgeons have at their disposal, women rarely need to live without breasts, if they so choose.
Yet only about one in 10 mastectomy patients in Canada ever undergo reconstruction.
The hurdles women face in getting the surgery are accepted by many as a fact of living in a country with a universal health-care system with its seemingly infinite list of patients and finite pool of resources.
In the last instalment of this series, Canadian plastic surgeons debate solutions for the problems that prevent many women from receiving an important final procedure in their breast cancer treatment.
Ottawa plastic surgeon Dr. Nicolas Guay is a strong proponent of women educating themselves about breast reconstruction to get the most out of the health-care system.
Amid the organized chaos of his office at the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus are four years' worth of documents that make up the Canadian Collaboration on Breast Reconstruction. Guay launched the website last year as a resource for Canadian women seeking information on procedures.
"In the United States, they know how much they're paying on a monthly basis just to receive care and they shop for their options," he said.
But in this country, "patients tend to let themselves be guided by the normal pathway of consultation that their surgeon has," which can mean waiting years before they ever meet a plastic surgeon.
Through the website, women can search a database of Canadian plastic surgeons who offer breast reconstruction. They can narrow the search based on their criteria, be it shortest wait times, language, or type of breast reconstruction offered. When they have the name of a surgeon, they can call to book an appointment, then secure the appropriate referral paperwork from their family doctor or general surgeon.
"The surgeon finder is what's really innovative. Patients have the tools to select who is going to offer them the care instead of passively waiting for their usual pathway."
The impetus behind Guay's website is its collaborative aspect. More than 100 surgeons responded to his request for information, and are listed on the website. The same collaboration is what Guay believes is the solution to changing how the system approaches breast reconstruction.
"I didn't anticipate it being so important to be a spokesperson for my patients, but you do have to," he said. "If we approach our ministries of health with a collaborative decision, a majority decision on how this care should be given in Canada, we are going to have the ear of the public and have the ear of the politicians, and things will change."
Finding the time to advocate, however, is easier said than done.
"That's where I think sometimes we fail as surgeons, in finding innovative ways to approach the administration, to approach the Ministry of Health and tell them in a very diplomatic and polite way ... that we need more resources for this."
While many surgeons are quick to point to more funding as a solution, Winnipeg plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Buchel disagrees.
He said the onus should be on doctors to develop more efficient and cost-effective ways of performing reconstruction with existing resources. The alternative, he said, is leaving the decisions up to the politicians, which would invariably lead to worse care.
In Winnipeg, Buchel has improved efficiency from surgical and administrative standpoints.
"If you were a general surgeon, it might take you an hour and a half to do a mastectomy, and then you could do another case right after that," explained Buchel.
But if a plastic surgeon takes over to begin the reconstruction, which can take up to eight or 10 hours, "then your operating room is down ... and you're not making any money," he said.
Therefore, he introduced a system where plastic surgeons offer their operating room time for immediate breast-reconstruction cases.
"It's about making a very efficient use of the operating room," he said.
Buchel said he has also developed surgical techniques that have increased his operating pace by two or three times. That means he can see more patients, and reduce his backlog of delayed patients.
His increased efficiency impressed the regional health authority, which gave him more operating room time. "We guaranteed that the resources would be used to eliminate a wait-list for any reconstructive surgery."
Buchel has also worked to improve access to reconstruction for Manitoba women. His goal is to ensure all breast cancer patients know about reconstruction before they ever have a mastectomy.
After years of lobbying for change, Buchel said that today any woman diagnosed in Winnipeg is automatically informed of her options for reconstruction.
If a patient wants reconstruction, they see a plastic surgeon for a consultation before their mastectomy, said Buchel. If they are indifferent about reconstruction, they still see a plastic surgeon. Those who are certain they don't want reconstruction don't get a referral.
If the U.S. approach to raising awareness about breast reconstruction is any indicator, the real power to increase surgery rates in Canada lies in the hands of policy-makers.
Some states have passed laws to help bridge the information gap for women undergoing mastectomies.
In New York, for example, cancer surgeons are legally bound to discuss breast reconstruction options with patients prior to their mastectomy, even if they have to refer the patient elsewhere for surgery.
Immediate reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy has also increased in the U.S., in part due to a recommendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons in 2001 to incorporate the practice in the treatment of early-stage breast cancer.
Dr. Steven Morris, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Halifax, believes the onus is on Canadian governments to address the problem here as well, not doctors.
"Although we'd like to, we don't have the control of the different pieces of it to fix it. We're just kind of like the guys on the treadmill working."
To accommodate increasing demands for breast reconstruction, Morris said the "the allocation of resources needs to change."
With an aging baby boomer population, Morris is bracing for the "crunch" on health-care funding.
The problem is compounded by patients becoming better informed through the Internet about cutting-edge medical procedures, which also tend to be more expensive, he said.
A common barrier for mastectomy patients is difficulty navigating the health-care system. Seeking a second opinion on reconstruction from a plastic surgeon isn't easy when there is a significant wait time for a consultation.
Dr. Stefan Hofer, chief of plastic surgery at Toronto General Hospital and head of the University Health Network's Breast Restoration Program, said the solution to lengthy wait lists could be a telephone helpline.
In the Netherlands, where Hofer is originally from, if a person is facing a lengthy wait for an operation, they can call a helpline for assistance in finding a surgeon who can perform the procedure sooner.
"So the agency would actually call the office of the doctor ... and they would place people who had excessive wait times," he explained.
A helpline could also prevent Canadian women from seeking surgery in the U.S. when they face excessive wait times in this country, said Hofer.
There are many surgeons in Canada with the skills to perform breast reconstruction who have shorter wait times compared to some highly sought-after surgeons in busy metropolitan areas, he said.
Dr. Blair Mehling, a plastic surgeon in Edmonton, said he finds it mind-boggling just how much breast cancer survivors are willing to put up with in their quest for reconstructive surgery.
"It blows me away the length of time that women will wait just to see me for a consult and then for the surgery," said Mehling, adding that he has had delayed reconstruction patients wait as long as five years for him to operate. "It's not that they're happy about it, but we're very accepting of the flaws in the system."
He said the problem highlights a need for a shift in health-care policy.
In Alberta, he said, trauma cases - patients needing surgical care of physical injuries - appear to take precedence over cancer cases, which sees breast-cancer patients consistently being pushed to the back burner.
"Right now in Alberta, the wait time target to have a patient in for immediate breast reconstruction is three weeks," said Mehling. "Trauma cases are supposed to be in the operating room within a week of us seeing the consult."
In Edmonton, the main problem is a lack of plastic surgeons who offer breast reconstruction, said Mehling. Of those who do, many are expected to work several on-call emergency room shifts per week, which take up a lot of time that could be spent performing reconstructions, he said.
While the "knee-jerk response" would be to hire more plastic surgeons who do breast reconstruction, Mehling said, "you could equally make the argument that we could solve the problem by getting more plastic surgeons that do trauma."
While they are aware health-care funding is tight, plastic surgeons Dr. Peter Lennox and Dr. Sheina Macadam are adamant that more operating room funding is necessary to deal with the heavy breast-reconstruction patient load in Vancouver.
Both said they are struggling to work through a backlog of delayed reconstruction patients who are waiting two to three years for surgery.
"There's a whole bunch of variables in there," he said. "One is getting another surgeon, but you also need the resources to support it, so that's the hard part."
But in a universal health-care system, Lennox said he realizes requesting more resources is not always possible.
Vancouver plastic surgeon Dr. Nancy Van Laeken said she wouldn't be opposed to a two-tier health-care system to better handle the volume of breast reconstruction patients.
Van Laeken has privileges at the Cambie Surgical Centre, a private hospital catering mostly to patients with third-party medical insurance. Although patients can pay for some procedures, breast reconstruction is not offered at this point, she said.
"I'm not sure if this is politically correct for me to say, but it would be nice to know that if that patient wanted to have that surgery done in Canada, that they could call up one of us," Van Laeken said. "There are many aspects of the reconstructive piece that would be considered cosmetic, so it would be more accepting to go ahead and do that here because it is not a purely functional issue."
While he is not opposed to the idea of a two-tiered health-care system in Canada, Winnipeg's Buchel said he strongly disagrees with women paying for reconstruction when they have lost their breasts to cancer.
He reasoned that breast reconstruction is no different than many other "covered" procedures, from cardiac bypass to hip replacement surgery.
"Most of the stuff we do, it's all for quality of life," said Buchel. "You know, you're 65 or 70 years of age, and we're spending $10,000 to $15,000 on these people on new hips for them. Very little of that is survival. That's giving them a quality of life."
Buchel is not opposed to a European-style two-tier system, "where there is a safety net, but everyone has the option of having their own private insurance." But does he ever want to see cancer patients paying out of pocket for their cancer treatment?
"No. Never."


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/quick+cure+ailing+system/7509170/story.html#ixzz2CbFDd9Vo

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Body Shop Canada ~ 40% Off Sitewide




The Body Shop® offers a full assortment of naturally-inspired products, including bath & body, men's and women's skincare, and creative gift ideas for a variety of occasions. They also offer classic and unique fragrances, home fragrances, makeup, and accessories.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Anatomist's Wife


Lady Darby Mystery series - by Anna Lee

Monday, November 12, 2012

Don’t let your family history languish as JPEGs this holiday season


Don’t let your family history languish as JPEGs this holiday season
One quarter of Canadians never download photos;
yet most wish they had more photo albums



Toronto, ON  – We’re taking more photos than ever with our digital devices but what are we doing with all these images?  A recent survey by Blurb Canada[1] revealed that more than 90 per cent of Canadians believe that photo books and albums are important ways of preserving family memories yet a full quarter of those respondents admit to never downloading images from their devices.

Downloading images doesn’t necessarily help preserve them, because 19 per cent of survey respondents reported that they lost digital photos of children’s birthdays or holidays because of computer problems or lost memory cards.

“Creating a physical keepsake gives you a different sense of permanence,” said Robin Goldberg, SVP of International for Blurb.  “Taking a collection of your images, stories, recipes and other content and creating a physical book makes something you can treasure yourself or easily gift to family and friends.  And, with Blurb’s platform, another copy is always easily accessible if you ever want or need one.  Complement that with the available ebook offering and you have the best of all options for preserving your family history.”

The Blurb survey revealed that Canadians feel strongly about family photo history:

·         87 per cent cherish family albums
·         If their homes were burning and loved ones safe, 54 per cent would choose to rescue photo albums; before computers (43 per cent); jewelry (26 per cent) and mobile phones (16 per cent)
·         53 per cent wish they had more family photo albums to share with their children
·         59 per cent of Canadians would like to receive photo books as gifts for any occasion

Photo and family history books

The upcoming holiday season is the perfect time to create personalized gifts and preserve your family's memories.   Collect old photos, stories, and scanned hand-written letters and create a Family history book with Blurb, a creative publishing platform that lets you design, publish and share professional-quality books starting at just $4.95.


[1] Zoomerang national online survey of 1,000 Canadians, conducted September 14, 2012. 

About Blurb®

Blurb® is a creative publishing and marketing platform that unleashes the creative genius inside everyone. Blurb’s platform makes it easy to design, publish, market and sell professional-quality print and ebooks. Blurb’s bookstore and online marketing tools enable customers to market and sell their books, and keep 100% of their profit. Blurb’s social and community features allow customers to create and share Blurb books across social channels with ease.

Eileen Gittins founded Blurb in 2005. In 2011, Blurb shipped nearly 2 million books to 70 countries and territories. Blurb authors used the company’s Set Your Price program to earn more than $1 million in profits on books sales approaching 100K print and ebooks. Blurb is based in San Francisco with offices in London. For more info, visit www.blurb.comwww.blurb.com.