Posts in Kijiji Events

Popping The Question? Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy an Engagement Ring

As if finding “The One” wasn’t hard enough, finding THE ring for “The One” can be an even more stressful and confusing ordeal. The thing is, it shouldn’t be! The whole process should be exciting and teach you new things as well as open up the doors to a whole new chapter in your life. To get you prepped and looking forward to the ring finding process, here are 4 areas to take into consideration before you really jump into the search.

Popping the Question? What you need to know before buying a ring

1. The 4 C’s

Jewelers throw around the 4 C’s as if everyone in the world should know what they are, when in truth, most of us who haven’t needed to go diamond shopping before have no idea what a single C is or what the C means.

Without going into every intricate detail, the short version is this: The 4 C’s stand for Carat (the unit in which the weight of the diamond is measured), Clarity (how flawless or devoid of scratches and imperfections the diamond is), Colour (exactly what it sounds like), and Cut (the width and height, as well as the symmetry of all the faces on the diamond).

Each C has its own grades and levels which affect it’s pricing. Obviously the larger the diamond, the more perfect the clarity, the clearer the colour, and the more intricate the cut, the more expensive the diamond is going to be.

When choosing a ring, your budget determines which C’s are your top priorities. For most of us who don’t have a money tree growing in our backyard, it’s helpful to figure out which C matters more to you. This is all based on personal preference as well as the taste of the person you’re buying for. Some people are willing to sacrifice on the size of the diamond if it means the clarity and colour of the diamond are higher whereas others believe size is more important since the naked eye can’t always see the imperfections of a diamond. Then there are those who feel like the cut is the most important since it can make even a smaller diamond seem more brilliant by the way it catches light and sparkles. Ultimately, it really is about personal preference.

2. The Alternatives

We’re raised to believe that THE ring has to be a diamond ring, but we live in an age where there are a lot of other options that are just as, if not more eye catching and beautiful than a diamond. Other than for the purposes of tradition or status, diamond alternatives can make the engagement ring truly unique (not to mention save you quite a bit of money.)

Here are just a few diamond alternatives that are growing in popularity and are definitely worth looking into as part of your options.

  • Moissanite: A lab-made stone that sparkles as well as any diamond and is almost as hard, making it quite durable and worth the money. It is significantly less expensive than a diamond. Where it lacks slightly for some is in colour. Moissanite tends to be less white than a diamond, but they are able to be made in a variety of colours.
  • Asha: Even less expensive than a Moissanite, this diamond alternative made from diamond carbon bonds is a step up from a cubic zirconia (probably the lowest end of the clear coloured diamond alternatives), but quality wise, it does lack in the durability and sparkle department.
  • Precious Stones (Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topaz, amethyst): so much attention is given to diamonds that people forget about how gorgeous and outstanding precious stones can be, especially with a beautiful setting and maybe accent diamonds on the side if you really want there to be diamonds somewhere on the ring. They come in colours that diamonds just can’t replicate, and like the other diamond alternatives we’ve mentioned so far, you’ll be spending far less on a ring with a precious stone versus a classic diamond ring.

 

3. The Options

Just like the stone in THE ring, you have plenty of options when it comes to WHERE to get THE ring. People tend to run straight towards chain jewelry stores found at the nearby mall when they really should be exploring all their options in order to get the best deal.

  • Second-hand rings shouldn’t be overlooked! Although this option requires you to be very careful and to do your research extensively, getting an engagement ring second-hand from sellers on Kijiji can not only save you money, but get you one of a kind or antique rings that just aren’t found in stores.
  • Buying online is also another possible cost-effective option, however, just like with the second-hand ring option, the key to a successful online ring-purchasing experience is asking as many questions as you can, researching the right type of questions to ask, and checking out reviews as well as asking around for people who have used this method.

 

4. The Style

Last but not least, consider the style of the person you’re buying THE ring for. Ask their friends, snoop around their closets, take sneaky pictures of jewelry they already own and use all these clues to find out what type of ring they’re going to gravitate towards. Rings don’t just come in one style- there are modern rings, celebrity imitation rings, vintage-style rings, deco-rings with intricate designs, two-tone rings (mixing metals), or classic rings, to name just a few. Knowing the style of the ring you want is crucial because the way the stone is set, the designs on the band, and the overall look of the stone is based on the style. It’s not only about the stone in the center of the ring.

At the end of the day, The One is going to love whatever you pick because it came from you, but if you’re going to be shelling out a significant amount of money, you’re going to want to think about all your options and really do some thinking and researching before you choose your final ring.

Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

Everyone wants to get away during the summer, but having wee ones in tow can make it significantly harder. What are some strategies to make the process of getting from point A to B more enjoyable when bringing toddlers along for the ride?

How to Travel with Toddlers

During Travel on a Plane: airports and airplanes can bring out bad behavior even in mature adults. For a toddler, it is even more confusing and overwhelming. Build anticipation beforehand by explaining air travel, pointing out planes, or giving them an airplane toy. Once in the airport, give them their own child sized suitcase to pull around to help get rid of some excess energy, and calmly explain in detail what is occurring during security checks. Make sure you have both familiar toys and activities and a new toy to distract them once on the plane. During takeoff and landing, explain the process to help them understand the strange new experience, which may reduce the chance of acting out, and remember to bring something to help with the ear pressure, like a lollipop or a sippy cup. If possible, book only nonstop flights, and try to time it so that their usual nap time occurs while in the sky. If you do have a stop over, use the opportunity to get them to run around as much as possible. If you aren’t bringing a car seat with you, find a car service in advance that will pick you up and drop you off that includes a car seat.

Taking a long Car Trip: plan games, stories, and activities in advance. If only one child is present, consider having an adult sit in the back with them if possible to distract them for at least part of the trip. Plan to make rest stops frequently, and if possible, time them to be in fun places, like a park or green space to run around in. Bring some outdoor toys to amuse them at rest stops, too – maybe a ball, skipping rope, or a frisbee. If you have an iPad or tablet, load it with plenty of kid-friendly apps beforehand that don’t require an internet connection to keep them occupied for longer drive times.

Sleeping Overnight in an Unfamiliar Environment: unfamiliar locations, especially after a long trip can be trying. If planning to stay with family or friends unfamiliar to your child, show them pictures and tell some stories about these individuals beforehand to get them used to the idea. If staying in a hotel, show them pictures of inside the rooms so that it will seem more familiar upon arrival. Try sticking to your usual routine for bedtime as much as possible, as will likely help ease the process (as well as give you more time for some grown up socializing).

What do you do to help ease the stress of travel on young kids? Let us know in the comments!

Categories:Holidays

Different Ways to Celebrate Canada Day

Canada Day is so much more than just a statutory holiday; it is a day we can all come together as “Canucks” and appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and free country. Everyone has their own traditions for the day, and everyone has their own feelings on why Canada is such a great place to call home. If you find yourself at loose ends, here are a few ideas for celebration this July 1:

How are you celebrating Canada Day?

Rent a place in Ottawa for the week. Join the party on Parliament Hill, and meet Canadians from all walks of life.
Get back to Nature. One of the things that sets Canada apart is our vast amount of forests and lakes. Taking a few days to reconnect with the great outdoors is a fun way to remind yourself about one of the things that makes Canada great. If you are a seasoned camper, grab a canoe and portage in the wilderness. If not, you can always rent a camp site and buy some camping gear. If you prefer not to rough it, rent a cottage with friends or family, so you can gather round the campfire, but still have a mattress to sleep on.
Take in the firework displays. Many towns and cities across the country put on quite a show in honour of Canada’s birthday. Go early with a picnic and stake out a good spot for a night of fun on a low budget!
Host a BBQ! Invite neighbours new to the country and old, and show them what living in Canada is all about!

What do you plan to do this Canada Day?

Categories:Holidays

Guide to Camping With Kids

Getting away from the regular day to day grind becomes much more complex when you have young children in tow, but it is no less important. Some parents might shy away from camping, but it can be a great, cost effective option if you want to return to nature for a few days and don’t have the budget to rent a cottage or cabin. If you have the budget to rent or buy an RV or tent trailer, that will make set up much simpler for your family if you have young kids (or even if you don’t). If you enjoy putting up a tent in the woods, you can definitely bring them along for the ride. Here are our tips to ease them into it, and make life easier for yourself in the mean time.Going Camping with Kids this Summer?

  • Pick a location close to home. This make it easier to get there with ample time to set up, makes for a more pleasant trip than driving for hours and hours, and provides you with a simplified exit strategy.
  • Set off early so you have plenty of daylight hours to set up camp. Setting up is hard enough in the dark without having to simultaneously feed hungry kids.
  • Find a camp ground that offers bathrooms. If it will be too cold to wash up in a lake, or there won’t be a lake nearby, seek out one with showers or bathing facilities as well.
  • Remember a good first aid kit: bandages, anticeptic, sunscreen, and treatments for common ailments like getting into poison ivy, insect bites and stings. Keep it in one spot, so everyone knows where it is in case of emergency.
  • Pick a camp ground with a grocery store within striking distance if possible. If that is not in the cards, over pack your car, and bring more diapers than you think you will use if your kids are still wearing them.
  • Make sure there are plenty of activities and excursions available nearby. Your kids might not be as attracted to the idea of doing nothing and staring at the scenery as you, so try to have at least one novel excursion or activity per day to keep them occupied.
  • Get the right hiking gear. If one of your kids isn’t old enough to hike on their own, bring either a toddler backpack, infant front carrier/sling, or a snuggly to keep them out of trouble. Make sure whichever one you choose has a good safety harness so you can bend over

What advice would you share with others to make camping with kids fun? Let us know in the comments!

Categories:Go Green!, Holidays

Taking the Mystery Out of Dads: What to Get for Your Dad This Father’s Day

When we were kids, our dad was “our dad”. Not anything else- just our dad. He was the guy who grounded you when you failed your math test, the guy who slipped you some extra cash when you and your friends went to the mall so you could buy something extra for yourself, the guy you called when a spider needed killing or a question needed answering.

Then we grew up and it hit us. “Our dad” might actually be a couple other things too. He might be the man who dreamt of playing lead guitar at a sold out stadium show, or the man who drove up North every Sunday before you were born to go bust out the fishing rod with his buddies, or the man who knows every obscure hockey stat known to man because he’s been following his favourite team for ages.

No matter who your dad is, one thing is certain: our dads all have things they loved and were passionate about before we existed and took over their lives.

As adults, here’s our chance to give back a little piece of themselves they might have put aside to raise us into happy, normal people.

You may know exactly what to get dad this Father’s Day, or you may be one of the many who are stumped. Whether your budget is big or small, here are a few gift ideas and things to consider.

(Now, we know that our dads are too special to pigeonhole indefinitely, but here are 5 common “Dads” that may serve as a good jumping off point when trying to find that perfect way to say, thanks dad.)

The Techy Dad

The Techy Dad probably knows more about the new PS4 or what to look for in a big screen TV than you do. He’s the one who asks you what the specs (specifications) are on the laptop you’re looking at, or the new cellphone you’re thinking of upgrading to. Many dads tend to shy away from splurging on these gadgets themselves though, so Father’s Day would be a great time to spoil them. Keep in mind that buying brand new may not always make sense depending on the gadget you’re looking at. New TVs depreciate in value so quickly and new cell phones often can’t be purchased without renewing a contract, that buying “second-hand” is actually more practical (and what does a techy dad appreciate more than practicality?).

The Outdoorsy Dad

The outdoorsy dad is that all-Canadian guy who taught you how to throw a baseball and forced you to learn how to tie bait to a fishing rod when you were a kid. Showing your appreciation for your outdoorsy dad can range from taking HIM camping or on an adventure in the “wild”- driving him to the destination and handling all the details, or replacing his old golf clubs / tackle box / BBQ grill- (you get the idea.)

The Dependable, Likes His Routine Dad

The dependable dad is likely a guy who appreciates sentimental gifts. He doesn’t need much and he’s pretty happy with everything he already has. This dad is often the hardest to shop for, but that’s what makes him so special. The dependable dad will love gifts that have a personal touch- maybe the first novel you enjoyed together in first edition? Or a re-created childhood picture of you and your siblings in a nice large canvas taken when you’re all adults now? Or search for vintage records, memorabilia, or other niche hobby items that he mentioned loving when he was growing up but put aside as he got older. Anything that shows you’ve been listening to him all these years will really hit home for your dependable dad.

The Cool Dad

The cool dad is the dad your friends all want to hang out with or go to for advice because he just “gets it”. The cool dad has good taste in music, fashion, food, and in general, hasn’t let growing older stop him from keeping up with life’s pleasures. The cool dad will love gifts that bring new experiences. Rent a luxury car for a day, take him out on a yacht, find tickets to an upcoming concert and bring him- the possibilities are pretty vast for the cool dad.

The Beer and Game Day Dad

The beer and game day dad took you to your first professional sports game and you’ll find him on game day/night relaxing with a beer in hand yelling at the TV. The best gift for this dad is tickets to see his favourite team play. Kijiji makes it easy to find the perfect tickets depending on your budget. Season ticket sellers almost always have their tickets posted in the classifieds which provides plenty of seat options for you based on how much you want to spend. Nothing will spell out appreciation to dad quite like watching a game live with a freshly poured beer in hand as he cheers on with the crowd.