All the latest and greatest products

Breastlight Is Awesome June 25, 2009

Filed under: Consumer Goods — shinypackages @ 4:27 pm
Tags: , ,

BreastlightThere have been some spectacular inventions in my time. Cellular telephones, shelf stable milk, DNA fingerprinting and the Internet. I count the Breastlight among them.

This handheld device really struck a chord when it landed on my desk. About three years ago, doctors found a nasty little lump in my mom’s breast. The next few months were the scariest our incredibly tight-knit family has ever experienced. Thanks to some excellent medical treatment and the unfaltering bravery of my mom (and her trusty sidekick—my dad), my mom is cancer-free and doing fine.

Needless to say, all the gals in my family are serious when it comes to breast health. We do self-exams and have mammograms. Breastlight is one more line of defense for us, and besides, it’s kinda fun to see your boob glow in the dark.

Here’s how it works. Go into a dark room. Turn on the Breastlight. The bright lights won’t kick in until you press the device against the underside of your breast. But when you do, you’ll see a maze of veins and dots against a red background. My husband walked into our room while I was testing the Breastlight and uttered only one word—JACK O’LANTERN!

Breastlight lets you get familiar with your breasts. A couple of weeks ago at the cottage, my mom, sister-in-law and I passed it around. It was amazing to see how difference our breasts where from each other. A large vein here, a series of small dots there.

If you see something that doesn’t look quite right, like a shadowy area, veins that are darker than the others or a dark pinpoint, make an appointment with your doctor. Keep in mind that Breastlight doesn’t get you off the hook for regular visits to the doc or mammograms, it’s simply another way for you to keep on top of things.

For more info visit

Breastlight is available from Rexall Pharma Plus for about $150.


FIT IN 15: Day 7 June 24, 2009

Filed under: — shinypackages @ 7:48 am



WIN AN IPOD SHUFFLE! POST a comment about the fun, weird, creative, energetic, over-the-top, easy, relaxing or strange way you spent 15 minutes being active today.


That’s the topic of today’s blog post. I’m saying it for all to hear—chores count as exercise! Some people are of the mind that you have to stop everything, lace on your best sneakers, fill your water bottle, find your MP3 player and then start your exercise. That’s all well and good if you have the time, but if you don’t, I suggest killing two birds with one stone. Combine chores and exercise.

Yesterday, for example, I had to take my screaming yellow Aztek to the day spa for some TLC. It’s a fair hike from the repair shop to my office but I made sure to wear sensible shoes on this day. My early morning walk through downtown Winnipeg showed me all the new shops and cafes that had opened up over the last year or so. It made the 25 minutes fly by. And just to show I am really committed, I walked back to the repair shop at the end of the day to get my wheels.

So if you have chores to do, make them a little tougher and get your exercise. Make those three trips up and down the stairs with full laundry baskets one right after the other. Do some yoga in the kitchen while your dishes are soaking. Use those garbage bags are dumbbells on the way to the trash bins. I don’t suggest running on the spot while you’re waiting in line at the ATM, but I have seen it done.



FIT IN 15: Day 6 June 23, 2009

Filed under: — shinypackages @ 9:42 am

map-linkWIN AN IPOD SHUFFLE! POST a comment about the fun, weird, creative, energetic, over-the-top, easy, relaxing or strange way you spent 15 minutes being active today.


That’s the topic of today’s blog post. Last night was another gorgeous evening in Winnipeg so a family walk was in order. Actually, the boys rode bikes and I walked, but we all met up at St. John’s Park, a lush, historic swatch of green snugged up against the mighty Red River.

North of the park, a handful of anglers watched the tips of their rods, outfitted will bells, hoping a nasty catfish would take hold. Inside the park, dads pushed their little girls even higher on the swing set amid shrieks that begged both ‘higher’ and ‘stop’. At the south end of the park, strategy played out on the bowling green as seniors plotted their next toss.

Thank goodness for these city green spaces, I say.

The trails that run through St. John’s Park are part of a larger circuit called the TransCanada Trail. You can find out more about it at I’m pretty sure your city has a network of trails too. Go explore!



FIT IN15: Day 4 and 5 June 22, 2009

Filed under: — shinypackages @ 10:24 am
Sunrise on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg.

Sunrise on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg.


That’s the topic of today’s blog post. It took me a very long time to come to the realization that I had an aversion to exercising indoors. It was a lesson that cost me nearly $1,000. How did that happen, you ask. Well, over the course of my life I’ve purchased three gym memberships, each costing a little more than $300. If I amortized the number of times I actually went to these gyms (and one was two blocks away from my house), each gym visit cost me about $112.

With that expensive lesson in hand, I now know that my exercising must be done in the great outdoors. Yes, I know we have winter and it can be nasty but I truly prefer the ice-pellet blasts on a Sunday morning at -30C while playing sponge hockey to 45 minutes inside a gym. Just can’t do it. But let’s talk about summer.

This weekend was spent at the cottage and the excuses for not getting moving get pretty thin. Going for a walk along the lake is almost as mandatory as brushing your teeth, but a helluva lot more enjoyable. Even if you’re not at the lake, a stroll around your neighbourhood lets you find out what your neighbours have been up to in the yard improvement department.

WIN AN IPOD SHUFFLE! POST a comment about the fun, weird, creative, energetic, over-the-top, easy, relaxing or strange way you spent 15 minutes being active today.

SATURDAY’S 15: That walk along the lakeshore on Saturday morning was nothing short of inspiring. I stepped it up on the way back and even got a little sweat going.

SUNDAY’S 15: The photo you see on this post features sunrise on Lake Winnipeg. On the longest day of the year, it happens around 5:15 am. I was still sleeping. But I did get up a couple of hours later, walk to a secluded spot on the lake, traverse a ankle-wrenching arrangement of limestone and granite boulders and do a little fitting on a peninsula of rock that reaches out into the lake. I caught two white bass and one sauger. Then I did 15 minutes of yoga on the rocks. I’m sure the pilot of the Cessna that cruised overhead thought I had my shoe stuck in the rocks and was frantically trying to free myself.



INVEST 15 MINUTES TO WIN! June 19, 2009

Filed under: — shinypackages @ 2:17 pm


What would you do to win and iPod Shuffle? That’s what I want to know. Follow me at AND YOU COULD WIN A SHUFFLE!

It’s all part of, a new effort being launched by the Canadian Chiropractic Association to get folks moving. And all it takes in 15 minutes a day!

If I can devote a quarter of an hour to moving my bones, so can you. Here’s what you need to do.

POST a comment about the fun, weird, creative, energetic, over-the-top, easy, relaxing or strange way you spent 15 minutes being active today.THAT’S IT!

You should also visit and sign up. This nice Website will send you words of encouragement about getting active. The contest ends June 24 at midnight and I STRONGLY suggest you do your 15 minutes each day for one week (because that’s what I will be doing). You only have to post one comment to qualify for the contest but please keep sharing your ideas if you feel inclined.

WATCH ME DO IT! Visit daily to see how I spent my 15 minutes being active. I can’t say its always going to be inspirations but I’ll try to keep you entertained.



FIT IN 15: Day 2 June 18, 2009

Filed under: — shinypackages @ 9:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

spa_massage_mastheadSELF LOVE

That’s the topic of today’s blog post. Now get your mind out of the gutter. So what am I talking about? To put it simply, it’s about loving yourself enough to take care of yourself.

If you read yesterday’s post you’ll know I had a little bit of surgery a week ago. I seem to have picked up a nasty kink in my neck and shoulders along the way. So I went searching for some therapeutic massage.

Luckily, I only had to walk 50 steps down the hallway of my work building. There I found Roxanne of Balance Massage. Of course I know Roxanne. We chat all the time in the hallway. But I’ve never been a client. Now I am.

I told Roxy about the giant knot in my neck and how I was starting to run out of Rub A535. She made me do a few exercises that definitely pointed to some muscle problems. Then she gave me an hour-long massage. And she showed me a few yoga-type stretches that I could do on my own to get rid of some of the stress that I’ve been carrying around in my shoulders and back.

After my massage, I got thinking about how I take care of myself. Evidently, not very well. So I made another appointment with Roxy for next week. And I’m going to visit her on a monthly basis. That’s my idea of self love.

Just to refresh your memory, I’ve committed to a week of Follow me for the next few days and let me know how you spend your 15 minutes of activity by posting it to comments. You could win an iPod Shuffle.

TODAY’S 15: Egad, I’ve become a mall walker! I had a good deal of Father’s Day shopping to do tonight so I headed for the mall. I strapped on my bag and did two complete laps of the mall without stopping (20 minutes). Then I went back and picked up the items that went streaking by me during my power walk. Fun, active and productive!



FIT IN 15: Day 1 June 17, 2009

Filed under: — shinypackages @ 9:08 pm
I've combined my photography hobby with my 15 minutes of activity. Strap on the camera and go for a boot!

I've combined my photography hobby with my 15 minutes of activity. Strap on the camera and go for a boot!


That’s the topic of today’s blog post. Below is a list of excuses I could have used to get out of my 15 minutes of activity today. Let me know if any of them look familiar.

1. I’m tired.

2. I really should help with the homework.

3. Dishes need doing.

4. I have some work to catch up on.

5. I had surgery 6 days ago.

6. I should clean out the back room.

7. I need to go to the grocery store.

8. My neck is sore.

9. I’ll start tomorrow.

10. I have a hang nail on my baby toe.

Everything on this list is true. I could have opted out tonight. But I didn’t. And ya know what? I’m glad! Today is Day 1 of my challenge. I’ve promised (myself) to do at least 15 minutes of activity every day. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I did in fact have a wee bit of surgery six days ago. I also spent the winter complaining about my ailments, opting out of my usual walking routine, watching Ice Road Truckers instead and consequently gaining 15 pounds.

It’s time for all of that to go away now.

So I’ve jumped on this bandwagon. Follow me for the next seven days and let me know how you spend your 15 minutes of activity by posting it to comments. You could win an iPod Shuffle.

TODAY’S 15: I started slow with a stroll around the neighbourhood. All those blooming lilacs lured me from one block to the next. Fifteen minutes went by in a snap so I continued on my way for another block. Fresh air, saying hi to the neighbours—a great start.