Chris Toplack | Blog
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How to Avoid Impulse Purchases at the Grocery Store

Earlier in the week, I posed the question to some friends, “What is your biggest impulse purchase at the grocery store?” Not surprisingly, salty and sugary snacks were the most popular answers. While it’s not impossible to avoid these unintended purchases, it does take a fair bit of inner strategizing before entering the store.

How does one avoid these impulse purchases? Here are some tips!

Eat before going to the grocery store: Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. You will think more with your stomach than your brain. 

Make a list: Planning purchases in advance will keep the process more organized and will give you a reason not to deviate from the list.  

Go alone: Avoid shopping with someone who might be considered a bad influence on your shopping habits. By grocery shopping alone, you are more likely to remain focused on the task at hand. 

Do your homework: Compare prices between other stores and research the items online. This will provide you with more insight on true bargains and deals. 

Read the labels: Is the bag of chips and the calories that follow really worth it? Ultimately, you are the judge, but first read the nutritional information before making the impulse purchase. 

Additional Information Provided By

















Ways to Extend Your Smartphone Battery

Do you ever look at your phone in the afternoon and notice that you only have 20% battery left? Don’t panic, because here are a few ways to give your battery more life no matter which device you own.

Watch for push notifications.  

Every beep, vibrate and new message on your lock screen will take a serious toll on your battery.

Use ‘airplane mode.’

Airplane mode will prevent your phone from constantly searching for a network. The only downfall is that you cannot make a call while in this mode.

Close your apps.  

Even if you’re not using them, apps will often run in the background. Make sure to close any app you are not presently using.

Lower the brightness

It’s simple, but something we frequently overlook.

Turn off wi-fi

It’s not uncommon that your phone will constantly seek out wi-fi when you’re not connected to wireless internet. This is an instant battery drain.

Keep it cool

It has been proven that batteries use more energy when hot. Experts advise not to carry around a phone in your pocket and to never leave it sitting in direct sunlight. 


Additional Information Provided By Interprep



You Don’t Have To Be Blood To Be Family

Earlier in the week, a close friend of mine ended up moving out West to start a new life with his family. These recent turn of events were quite bittersweet. I was excited for their new beginnings, but disappointed to lose touch with a close friend. We will still communicate through email and Skype, but there will be a noticeable void in both of our lives.  Friends are few and far between but in reality, family members are even fewer.

I began reflecting on all of the amazing people in my life and how I am so fortunate that they love and value me as a human being. I only allow a small number of people into my inner circle, but I consider each and every one of them family. I treasure these relationships and they positively influence my life on a daily basis.

 I don’t associate the word family with blood. I associate the word family with love and trust. These are the same individuals who have stuck by me through the best of times and worst of times. Isn’t that what family is all about? 

I could write a long and detailed blog explaining my philosophy on family and friendship, but that’s not my style. I believe in simplicity and this photograph can sum up my entire blog in 5 simple words.

















Biggest Workplace Time Wasters

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of wasting time at work. Some surf the internet all day, while others simply do everything humanly possible to avoid any form of a work. 

Here are the biggest time wasters from survey of American workers. 

23.4% say socializing with co-workers was their #1 distraction at work.

14% say that talking with co-workers was their #1 time waster.

77% of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work, and for some that means spending up to 2 hours on the site.

Most popular time-wasting websites: Facebook (41%); LinkedIn (37%); Yahoo (31%); Google (28%); Twitter (8%); Pinterest (4%)

64% say they visit non-work related websites every day during work hours.

69% of employed respondents say they’re either actively seeking a new job or open to job offers.

46% reported spending time job hunting during work hours on company computers.

47% say their biggest time-waster is having to attend too many meetings.

4% of those polled said spacing out was their #1 distraction at work.

23% of employees reported wasting time out of boredom.

Can you think of any that you would add to the list?

















The Best Restaurant in London, Ontario

Last fall, I created a YouTube video of my Top 5 Favourite Restaurants in London, Ontario. I’m embarrassed to say that the list is extremely dated and completely inaccurate. Yes, toss that previous list out the window because my new list begins and ends with Shmokey Rob & Sons Southern Eatery.

Click the photo below for my YouTube spotlight on Shmokey’s














The Dawghouse – “A Modern Day Cheers”

A good friend of mine treated me to a belated birthday lunch at Dawghouse on Sunday. The atmosphere was extremely friendly with customers laughing, smiling and conversing with each other. I instantly felt at home. Our waitress was very personable and made our experience even more enjoyable.

I ordered the Marmaduke burger (a 12 oz burger patty topped with cheese, bacon, fried onion rings, and thousand island dressing) along with sweet potato fries on the side. The burger itself was well cooked and massive! As a foodie who often orders sweet potato fries, these were among the best I have tried in recent memory.

The prices are also extremely reasonable as our bill was less than $30. 

Not only will I return to the Dawghouse, but it has instantly become one of my new favourites.


Visit their website for more details!