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Alberta Mamas

In Lifestyle, Parenting on
October 18, 2020

Leaf Art

Although some parts of the province have already *gasp* seen snow there is still time to do some leaf art with the kids. Not only is this easy to do the clean up is minimal! No glitter all over the house with this project.

This is also great activity to get you outside. Not only will you enjoy a walk you will get the opportunity to pause and look closely at different shapes, sizes and textures of the leaves with the kids.

What you need:

  • leaves and twigs
  • cardstock or other thick paper
  • glue (I used a glue gun to make sure it stuck flat but white glue or a glue stick works too)
  • sharpies
  1. On your walk collect different leaves and start thinking about what they could be.
  2. Arrange the leaves on the paper the way the child wants and glue the leaves and twigs down.
  3. Draw funny faces, legs, arms and other details on the leaf and around it.

This is one of the easiest fall activities and they make great artwork for the fridge!

In Edmonton, Explore on
August 25, 2020

Light The Midway with Fort Edmonton Park

Growing up in a small town outside of Edmonton there was always one field trip we looked forward to the most – Fort Edmonton Park.

It was always in June close to the end of the school year when we packed into school buses with our pockets full of change to spend at the candy store. I still can’t walk into the park without thinking about those raspberry and lemon hard candies that came in the little brown paper bag. Even though the candy store was definitely the highlight when I was 10, I still credit Fort Edmonton Park and the way their incredible interpreters brought Canadian history to life for my love of the past.

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In Central Alberta, Explore, Rural Journeys on
July 27, 2020

Top Ten Tips for Visiting Metis Crossing

Metis Crossing

Last week we were invited to Metis Crossing which is Alberta’s first major Metis Cultural Interpretive destination. Located about 1.5 hours North East of Edmonton by the Town of Smoky Lake, it is an easy day trip through some beautiful country.

With Covid cases rising we are on the lookout for more things to do with the kids that create a sense of “normal” for them without risking being exposed. We were reassured by the Metis Crossing staff that protocols have been put into place to still get the experience you want with the safety you need. Plus, with all of this online learning from home, the trip is kind of like a field trip!

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Ultimate List of Alberta Roadside Attractions

Updated July 2020

There is almost nothing better than a road trip, with the exception of going on a road trip and making a pit stop to see that world’s largest honeybee or a real-life UFO landing pad.

In honour of all things weird, here’s our ultimate list of all things roadside in Alberta.

Planing a trip to see the “Worlds Largest” in N.E. Alberta, see our tip and our trip here.

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In Recipe on
June 17, 2020

Lilac Sugar Recipe

Spring in Alberta means lilacs. Those fragrant little flowers start popping out in June and it seems like everywhere you walk you can smell them. Unfortunately the season is way too short. That is why we want to help you preserve the smell of Spring with this beautiful, easy recipe for Lilac Sugar.

Lilac Sugar can be used to replace regular sugar in cookies, biscuits, scones, tea, cocktails, salad dressing, marinades and more. Wherever a hint of floral, fragrance could be used to elevate your dish! The taste is not over powering but if you want just a bit you can always mix in half lilac and half regular sugar.

This will keep in the pantry for months so make a big batch (the recipe below is easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled depending on how many lilacs you can find!) and enjoy the smell of fresh, beautiful lilacs until they come back next year.

Lilac Sugar Recipe

1/4 cup Lilacs

3/4 cups Sugar

Step 1 – Pick the flowers you want to sugar. When you are using flowers for baking and cooking make sure you collect the flowers from an area you are familiar with so you know if they have been sprayed with any chemicals or toxins.

Step 2 – Pick off the flower parts from the stem trying to remove as much green stem as possible. If a little gets into the sugar it is OK but for looks you basically want just the flower. They are very easy to pull off with your fingers. Avoid using scissors as it will bruise the petals releasing the fragrance before you want to. If you can do this step outside it is best as tiny bugs and twigs will come out.

Step 3 – Rinse and wash the flowers to remove any other unwanted bugs, leaves, or twigs. Shake the flowers under a gentle stream of water to keep the flowers intact.

Step 4 – Spread the flowers evenly on a tea towel to dry for at least an hour. You want the flowers to have no excess water on the petals or your sugar will clump.

Step 5 – Once the flowers are dry layer the flowers and the sugar into a mason jar. Don’t worry about even layers as you will be shaking the jar over the next few days. Make sure to leave a few centimetres of room at the top of the jar to allow for movement when shaking.

Step 6 – Shake the contents of the jar every day for a week. I usually put the jar by the coffee maker to remind me to shake it every morning. As you go about your day if you walk past the jar give it a little shake too. The more you shake the more the flavours and fragrances come out. This is a great job for kids!

Step 7 – Once a week passes the sugar is ready! You can sift the sugar to remove the flowers and leave just the flavoured sugar or leave them in. They are edible and make a beautiful addition when you use the sugar.

Dear Easter Bunny: It’s OK If You Want To Half-Ass It This Year

It’s a weird time. Days are blending together, time doesn’t matter, putting on real pants has gone by the wayside, and for most kids the severity of the situation has probably sunk in. They are missing friends and family, their activities, and the freedom to play in the park. Parents are struggling with working from home, layoffs, teaching their children, and more.

This isn’t easy.

So we wanted to write to the Easter Bunny and let him know that it’s OK to chill a bit this year.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
February 21, 2020

Unpopular Opinion – I Let My Kids Stay Home From School When They’re Not Sick

My kids are 8 & 11 and are in Grade 3 & 6. Just like us sometimes they need a break. So I let them stay home from school even when they’re not sick.

We don’t over schedule (as much as we can with two active kids) but sometimes life piles up. Big family changes, busy weekends, changes in school, and growth spurts sometimes all pile up in one messy ball of emotion and they get to a point where they just cannot function.

So they get to stay home. No questions asked.

I will say that this does not happen often. We trust them to make a judgement call when they need it and this power has yet to be abused. So far in this school year the youngest has taken one day and the oldest has taken two. They are rarely sick (knock on wood) and although we travel occasionally they don’t often have to miss a ton of school.

I can usually tell as soon as they wake up that they are going to use the “free pass” that day. Sometimes they will wake up, start playing into it and talking about staying home but 99% of the time they perk up, eat their breakfast and continue on with their day. But the other 1%? They tell me they just need a day.

A day to stay in bed. Read. Build Lego while listening to their podcasts. Watch their favourite cartoons. Cuddle.

I know the privilege I have to be able to work from home and adjust to their needs. I am grateful I have kids who do not take advantage of this. I get that this will not work for every family.

But for us this works. And as they grow up and become adults I hope that they learn that it’s OK to take a day to recharge.

 

 

Box Social Event Planning

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