As your child gets older and more independent, the summer break takes on a whole different vibe. Your now-teenager has successfully navigated middle school, some of high school, and possibly even completed Drivers’ Ed (eek!) At this point, they’re likely pretty entrenched in their daily routine: getting to class, completing assignments, attending practice, and (hopefully) doing their chores. And then summer arrives and it all falls apart. Your once busy teenager suddenly has hours and hours of time to play with and no direction creating a situation that can quickly escalate out of moms control—so here are some summer tips for moms with teens to help nip it in the bud right from the start.
When we think about nourishment, most people know how to balance a good meal and many can also afford a few spinach leaves here and there. BUT… there are millions of people all over the world who can’t. Pacific Foods has always been one of the most socially-conscious companies in Canada. Their employees volunteer hundreds of hours, they have a zero-waste target that has almost been reached, and the company has always followed sustainable practices to ensure kinder treatment of people, animals, and the planet. They also just treated the public and a local charity to a fun and nutritious pop-up. The Pacific Tasting Kitchen was a public “soup-kitchen” in Yaletown, where for every sample of mouth-watering soup given out, another sample was donated to The Dugout, a local soup kitchen in the YVR Downtown Eastside. The charity provides a free soup breakfast every morning to 200+ people in the neighborhood. I feel so very lucky.
Diala’s Kitchen is one of my favourite new food blog obsessions and after getting gluttonous on the (terrible, curse on whoever invented this) “Eat What You Want Day” with a bowl of popcorn to carry me through from breakfast to lunch, an inhaled curry pad thai for dinner, and half a huge bag of dark choc almonds to follow—let’s just say that I woke up this morning hungover, overcome with guilt, and looking to redeem myself.
Diala to the rescue with a dish that’s fresh, healthy, totally yummy, and makes me feel like I might not have to wear a T-shirt over my swimsuit during baby swimming lessons this summer.
The next worst thing to not being invited to holiday parties is what blasted hostess gift to bring. Have no fear. Whether you have been invited to a Nova Scotian kitchen party or high-end dinner soiree, we have a few ideas. A few of the links contain an affiliate link, but this just means if you click it and then shop around, it supports the site and our team so we can keep everything running smoothly. So what happened last night, like the website crashing because we have so much content we ran out of space and the host wanted $1200 extra, doesn’t happen. But we’re back up!!! (If you are seeing this) and encourage you to check out all of the other guides at the bottom of this post. xx
Single-use plastic is a huge issue in our society, and we have all grown up with the convenience it provides. Unfortunately, our environment, oceans and animals are being adversely affected by its disposal. Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. This amount will increase 10x by 2020. Looking around my house, it feels next to impossible to eliminate all plastic, but every solution has a beginning. I am choosing to begin with trying to reduce single-use plastics like straws, bags and water bottles.
Kids making cards themselves is not only thrilling for Mom, but the hands-on approach helps their self-esteem, forces them to consider their connection with their mother, and prompts gratitude. (This one is always nice – especially once they hit the tween years!!)
Moms prefer cards truly from the heart and you truly don’t need fancy, expensive tools. Simple scissors, paper, odds and ends from the house certainly work wonders. You can even make glue out of flour and water if that is hard to come by! Remember that imperfection and authenticity are better than perfection. Relax and have fun with your designs – Moms can look at these throughout the year whenever they are feeling unloved and having bad mornings. And of course, if all else fails, make her a DIY Mother’s Day Card promising a simple car wash and make a note to do something kind at least once a week!
I love Marvel movies, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards, but in a world where every day brings a new natural disaster, cultural conflict, or some other heartache, it can be hard to find entertainment aimed at adults that doesn’t push the emotions to the extreme.
So a smart, grown-up, comedy aimed at women who have been around the block a time or two (or three)? I’m on board, basking in the warm glow and loving the refreshing breeze.
Though I adore an old-fashioned letterpress invitation sent through the mail, with busy lives and hundreds of birthday and holiday parties, online invites have become the trend. I was gifted a signed first edition of Emily Post’s Everyday Etiquette from my Great Aunt, yet there is no chapter on the etiquette of online invitations! One of the great benefits, besides being thrifty, is that digital invites are great for the environment and are becoming more and more accepted. But what are some of the do’s and don’ts?
Nature-deficit disorder, as coined by American author Richard Louv, should be adopted as a scientific term. Research shows spending time outside delivers mental and physical health benefits, makes people feel more relaxed, less stressed, more invigorated and gives them a break from the pressures in their daily lives. Despite 55% of Canadians believing that nature relaxes them, a full 56% of Canadians feel they don’t get enough outdoor time. Ugh. Sure, we can blame technology, full calendars, or gross weather. But in the end, I would go even further. I believe that we not only have a tendency to place a higher value on structured activities as opposed to free play. But I also think that we avoid the unknown. A minute-by-minute schedule is comforting, somehow, and once it’s all done, we feel accomplished and successful. Going off to search for a four leaf clover that may never materialize is comparatively frightening. Without teaching or kids to venture into the unknown, however – without the safety net of the construct of a video game or piano lesson – we are failing them. Ourselves too.
We may have mommy-brain about almost everything else, but the one thing we all know is how we like our coffee.
My personal go-to has been a K-cup of an insanely dark roast cut with half and half. There is something to be said for fast, easy, eye-opening caffeine consumption that even my kid can make. (Yes, I’ve taught my oldest how to set the coffee maker and how many splashes of cream to add for it to get to just the color mommy likes.) That convenience comes at a high cost however, with a large amount of waste I’ve never felt great about.