It’s hard to pick the perfect potluck dish. You want something easy to prep, a dish that will feed a crowd, and something that’s easy to transport.
Don’t worry Mamas, we’ve got you! We’ve partnered with Alberta Turkey and have created the perfect pot luck dish: Turkey Buffalo Mac n Cheese. And the best part? EVERYTHING was made in an Instant Pot because we know you have zero time this time of year. By using the Instant Pot we’ve also cut out on all the dishes you have to do. This is literally a one pot meal!
It’s Christmas Party Season! We love the holidays and all the opportunities it brings to be with our friends and family and that usually means sharing food together. Although we love attending all the parties we can, sometimes figuring out what dish to bring can be a daunting task especially as our to-do list grows and grows the closer we get to Christmas.
That is why we’re excited to partner with Alberta Turkey to bring you TWO easy, quick and delicious dishes you can enjoy at home or bring as a dish to share with your next party.
Why I Love Elf On The Shelf:
We love when December 1st hits and Elf On The Shelf comes back from the North Pole and here’s why:
- The magic of it all! They think it is real and I love the Christmas magic that happens when they believe.
- Let’s be real – it is a parenting too for the whole month of December. The kids definitely act better when “Jingles The Elf” is watching.
Ok Mamas. I need your help. The Christmas bug got me early this year! I am usually a “week before Christmas” kind of person.
Maybe it is because I usually do so many Christmas events back to back and I am kind of sick of Christmas by the time November hits. But this year it is more spread out with a trip thrown in there to break things up.
Maybe it’s because we get a real tree and I don’t want to pick up needles for 6 weeks so we put our tree up a week before the big day. But this year we’re still getting a real try eventually and in the mean time we have a small, fake tree downstairs. Those twinkling lights are getting to me in a good way.
Maybe it’s because I am low key jealous of the kids’ advent calendars. Who doesn’t like a toy and a chocolate every morning when they wake up! But this year a friend found me a cheese advent calendar so I will be just as excited as the kids every morning.
Something has happened this year. I am more excited this year than I can remember ever being since it was the Christmas I asked for a doll house and not only did Santa deliver – but it was HUGE and pink and had stairs for my Barbies to go up and down. It was a good Christmas.
So. I need some help.
When do I decorate? How long do you leave it up after Christmas? Do you get sick of it and want to rip it all down by December 14th? Do you put it all out at once or slowly?
Tell this Christmas Grinch all your early decorating/celebrating the season tips please!
We’re done having kids. The boys are now 8 & 11 so we’re out of the baby/toddler/preschooler stage. I have loved every stage but the older they get the more I see a little baby and want to squish their little cheeks and start again. KIDDING. I don’t want to start again. But I need something to keep me company during the day while the boys are in school. Pets are not an option (WAY too much work plus the whole allergy thing) so I’m becoming a Plant Mom.
When you search “Self-Care” you are inundated with articles encouraging you to take a trip, book a spa day, or buy yourself an expensive gift. Now that all sounds amazing but not in everyone’s budget.
Self-Care doesn’t have to be expensive.
The point of self-care is to take time for yourself and if you’re spending the whole time thinking about your budget OR you come back from your self-care time stressed about how you are now eating KD for the rest of the month to afford your time away it is not going to work.
So what can you do?
We’ve created a list of easy, effective self-care rituals you can do that are cheap or free! As a bonus we’ve also added a recipe for our favourite DIY Sugar Scrub. This easy, cheap scrub will leave your skin feeling amazing and you will probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already.
Inexpensive Self-Care Ideas:
- Go for a walk and leave your phone at home.
- Take a bath.
- Bake cookies and lick the spoon.
- Pour a glass of wine and binge your favourite Neflix show. We recommend The Good Place for a feel good easy watch.
- Invite some friends over for a clothing swap. (Learn how to host one here.)
- Go for a drive blasting your favourite music. The louder the better.
DIY Sugar Scrub
- 1 cup Sugar (regular white sugar for face/body, brown sugar for a coarser feet/hand scrub)
- 1/2 cup oil (Almond, olive, coconut all work)
- squeeze of a lemon
- lemon zest
- In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and mix until combined. Store in a glass container and use within a month.
That’s it. See told you it was easy 😉
In our house I am not the fun one. I am the one telling them to get dressed, eat their food, stop farting at the table – The classic broken record of a Mom.
But I am working on it.
Part of this process is talking to my husband about it. I needed him to step in and say no sometimes. After hearing me out about it he has been trying to letting me be the one to say yes. I can tell it is hard for him sometimes but he knows what a difference it makes to me to be able to play “nice guy” every once in a while. He is naturally more easy going than I am for a lot of things and I learn so much watching him with the kids.
So here is my goal:
- More ice cream.
- More fort building in the living room.
- More rough play in the house.
- More nerf battles in their underwear.
- Less room cleaning (unless it gets REALLY gross because there’s only so much I can take).
- More painting and playdoh.
- More stopping everything to sit and really listen. No distractions.
- More playing with food and being silly at dinner time.
There’s more to work on but it’s a work in progress. And I can only handle my couch cushions being on the floor more than on the couch for so long.
Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.
One of the things we wanted to do more this summer was to explore different hiking trails. Our kids are getting a bit older (7&11) so going on adventure walks by the campsite isn’t cutting it anymore.
We were in Kananaskis and one of the very helpful park staff members suggested Elbow Lake. If you’re ever in Kananaskis we highly recommend you stop by the information center. It has a pretty good little (FREE) museum and the staff there are fantastic at suggesting things that suit your family.
Far from the touristy mountain spots and cramped campgrounds you typically find near urban areas; Black Nugget Campground is a hidden gem that is perfect for families. Located just over an hour outside Edmonton this campsite has everything you need for a quiet weekend getaway.
This year KidsFringe is in a new(ish) location. KidsFringe has moved to the grounds of the Old Strathcona Community League, which is great because in addition to all of the outdoor programming indoor theatre shows for young audiences are also hosted inside the hall, so its kind of a one stop shop. Parking is made easier because it is further away from the main Fringe area and the crowds are less making it easier for strollers. We always recommend taking public transit though (have you been on the Edmonton Street Car yet this summer?) especially for bigger festivals like Fringe.