Magisto – Review

Magisto

I love my iPhone. Yes, I have been known to have my “opinions” about technology. Normally, my negative opinions about it relate to advances in war and weaponry and a lack of face to face communications and abuses committed to others via the internet etc…

What I love about technology includes the ability to connect with those far from us and to capture images and share them with loved ones. My latest discovery that I am in love with is the app called Magisto. In fact, my new nickname is “Spielberg”!

Magisto is a free app available on your iPhone (or Android). Magisto allows you to create your own personal one-minute movies. There are two ways to make a movie: either shoot a video from scratch i.e. totally new video footage you take at the time you go into the app OR select footage already on your phone. The free app is limited to shorter videos with limited number of clips allowed. Like most apps, you can upgrade to allow for more images and videos allowed. For this, there is a monthly fee OR a one time fee.

To select footage already on your phone, you simply select a number of photos and short videos from your library. Magisto organizes it for you based on date. So, if you are looking to make a movie of Gramma’s 80th birthday party, you would go to the date of the party and select from there. Once you have selected your images and videos you are ready for the next step. You need to select at least 5 video clips or 15 pictures.

Next step is to go to the Editing Style. Here you select what mood, theme or music you would like to accompany your visuals. Once these are selected, you must title your movie. That’s it!

Once your movie is made, you can save it to your camera roll. You can also share it via text, email, Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and WhatsApp.

The only down-sides to this app are that you cannot select exactly what portions of videos you upload are used. Also, if your picture has multiple people in it, you can’t choose what part of the picture or who is the focus.

Overall, this is a fantastic app. Not only is this a fun thing to create but it is also a way to enhance cherished memories. So now there is no excuse why you, too, can’t be a “film maker”!

Vitamins 101

vitamins

If you are anything like me, walking down the vitamin aisle is a little overwhelming. Between the different types of brands – generic, name brand; doses, forms and combinations, it can be nearly impossible to know what to choose.

So what vitamins, if any, should you take? Well, as with any other health advice out there, there are varying opinions. In this blog, I am going to provide you with what I have learned. However, this is my opinion and I am not a doctor, naturopath, dietician or other health practitioner. I would suggest taking what you read here and consulting your health care professional as they will be aware of all of your other issues, lifestyle and medications that may be a factor in what vitamins or supplements you should or shouldn’t be taking.

Here is what I know or have discovered:

Multivitamin: This is the basic bare minimum of supplements. Most of us do not get all of the nutrients we need in our daily diets for optimal health. This is why a multi is great. Consider it a “top up” to a good overall diet.

Omega Fatty Acids: 3, 6, 9? One? All 3? What does it do? There is varying evidence to support the claim that it can reduce the risk of dementia, useful in the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder, skin disorders and high cholesterol. It may decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, some cancers and rheumatoid arthritis. How much is enough or too much? This is completely dependent on what you are using it for – either prevention/general health or treatment of a condition. Your best bet is to talk to your health practitioner.

Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of Calcium and phosphorus – both needed for healthy bones.   It is an immune system “regulator”. It may reduce your risk of cancer, MS and rheumatoid arthritis in women. It may also help to maintain cognitive function and a healthy body weight.  So how much Vitamin D to take? There is a range recommended for every age and stage in life. Assuming that you don’t receive virtually any Vitamin D from sunshine, most children aged 9 to those 70 years of age should take a minimum 600 IU each day to a maximum 4,000 IU per day. Children in Canada definitely need to ensure that they receive enough. In fact a recent study showed that 80% of elementary school children in Edmonton were Vitamin D deficient.

Calcium: We all know that calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. However it also has been said to increase metabolism, reduce PMS, prevent certain cancers and help your heart. You can get “too much” calcium though so ensure you follow recommended daily intakes. How much? A general recommendation is 1000mg/day. Remember calcium is in many of the foods we eat so be sure to check your labels!

Magnesium. You may not have heard of this one but it has many potential benefits! It may reverse osteoporosis, prevent heart disease, regulate blood pressure, treat migraines, diabetes, insomnia and depression. It also may improve your skin! How much to take? About 300-400mg/day is recommended but again, consult your pro!

These are just a few of the array of vitamins and minerals out there. Hopefully this has shed a bit of light on the subject.

July in the City

summer

Looking for stuff to do this July? I have a list of things to do – either as a break from work or when you are on holidays! This is a condensed list of the overwhelming number of things that are going on in and around Winnipeg in July alone! This is also on top of the ever-popular Bomber and Goldeyes games, Folk Festival, Fringe Festival and Folklorama! For kids, there are a ton of ideas – Children’s Museum, splash pads, water slide parks, neighborhood parks and wading pools, and the “new” Zoo. If you are still looking for more resources, both Travel Manitoba and Tourism Winnipeg are amazing and give tons of information!

Downtown Concert Series – this is a free outdoor show every Wednesday at noon in Air Canada Park and Millennium Library Park http://downtownwinnipegbiz.com/

Public Art Bicycle and Walking Tours – learn about the artwork you walk by every day! Maybe you’ve noticed it, maybe you haven’t – with these tours you will get to know where it is, why it’s there, and what it means. Jul 9, 13, 27 http://winnipegarts.ca/wac/news-article/public-art-bicycle-and-walking-tours

Assiniboine Park and the Zoo! http://www.assiniboinepark.ca

Summer Music Series and the Lyric Theatre – spending a warm summer evening at Assiniboine Park listening to the melodies and harmonies from the Lyric Theatre mingle with the rustle of the leaves in the breeze. 8 dates between Jun 30, 2014 and Jul 30, 2014 – 7 – 9 p.m.

Ballet in the Park July 23 – 25, 2014 – 7:30pm – 9:00pm Assiniboine Park Lyric Theatre http://www.rwb.org/balletinthepark

Jazz in the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden – enjoy the very best of jazz in Winnipeg amid blooming flowers, flowing fountains and beautiful works of art Sundays from 3 – 4 p.m.

Red River Co-op Speedway – exciting car races in St. Adolphe every Thursday at 7 pm. http://www.victorylane.mb.ca

Dancing on the Avenue (Corydon) – 7-10 p.m. 8 dates between Jul 4, 2014 and Jul 30, 2014 Many of Winnipeg`s best bands will entertain you and for the children Laughter Without Borders will be there with face painters, balloon makers and your favorite clowns! http://corydonbiz.com/profiles/dancingontheavenue.html

The Forks

Winnipeg Fish Festival – The Forks – July 5, 11 – 4 p.m.a full day of activities, including kids fishing activity stations, main stage fish seminars, fish displays, learn to fish clinics, arts and crafts, fish filleting demonstrations, fly fishing demonstrations and much, much more! http://mwf.mb.ca/wp/2014/06/11/winnipeg-fish-festival-july-5-2014/

The Forks Bridge Party – July 5, 7 pm – 10 pm. Historic Rail Bridge. All day free electronic music event + special multimedia visual performance at night. Bridging Winnipeg’s origins to the future with this special event. https://www.facebook.com/MEMEfest

Roca Raggae Festival – Jul 11, 2014 – Jul 13, 2014 Old Market Square http://www.socareggaefestival.ca/

“Rockin The Red” 2nd Annual Family Festival – July 12 – 13, 2014 – Half Moon Drive In, Lockport – Free weekend for families – activities, concerts and rides! http://www.halfmoondrivein.com/

Manitoba Reptile Exhibit – July 13 – 10 – 5, Victoria Inn and Conference Centre http://www.themrbe.com

Boardwalk Days – Winnipeg Beach – July 18 – 20 – Wonder Shows midway, outdoor craft market, parade and fireworks. http://www.winnipegbeach.ca/

So there you have it! A long list of things going on in and around our great city of Winnipeg! Most are free which is always fabulous! Enjoy!

Role Models

T Box

What is a role model?  What is a good role model?  That second question is really the one that I find myself thinking about.  Most likely by now, you have heard about Miley Cyrus’s ‘performance’ and costume and the MTV Video Awards.  As much as I am not shocked by her lack of clothes and suggestive ‘dancing’, I am disappointed.  I realize that this is a young woman who is obviously trying to express herself, find herself and break away from her Hannah Montana and Disney persona.  I also realize that this is a free world and she can do whatever she wants to as long as she does not break any laws.

I do, however, have a problem with the fact that Miley is showing a complete disregard for her role in the media as a role model.  There are many young girls that have purchased her t-shirts, bed sheets, back packs etc… that are now looking to her to show them how to act and what to “wear next”.  Like it or not, she is a role model.  This is sad.  So, too, is it sad that Justin Bieber is a role model as well.  For a seemingly “nice, unaffected Canadian boy”, he too has disappointed me.  What is wrong with these kids?  I realize that money and fame has skewed their views of what is appropriate behavior and what is not.  However, I think that they do need to “grow up” and realize that they are being watched and followed by millions of young, impressionable kids, tweens and teens.  They should some responsibility for their positions in society; show some humility and some class.

I have two young girls and I fear what and who will be popular when they are in that stage of growing up.  Will the person they idolize be a star that turns into a drug addict? Who knows!

All I can do is try to expose my girls to other kinds of role models and let them try to emulate those whom I think set good examples of what to do in life.

I am not naïve enough to think that I am going to a) stop them from falling in love with the next Justin Bieber or b) not have them watch television or see a magazine with a scantily clad Miley on it.  I do know that I will do what is within my control to balance these with exposure for them to people I think are good role models:  their aggressive, kick-butt, kick-boxing instructor Auntie Trisha, their positive and business saavy Auntie Andrea, their creative and kind cousin Haylee, their generous, thoughtful and stylish Grandma Dianne, their supportive and loving Baba Joanne, their ambitious and talented Auntie Dani, their entertaining and fun-loving Auntie Moe, their smart and athletic cousin Jaimee and their strong and funny Great-Grandma Joyce.

All of these women in my girls’ lives are positive role models in their own ways.  They are all beautiful physically, but they are also beautiful inside – which is what makes them good role models.  They are all strong, smart women that have integrity and lead by example.  These are the women that I want my kids to look up to.  I hope that my plan to have them spend more time with them, and less watching those other “role models” like Justin and Miley, will develop them into becoming good role models to others down the road.