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Jen

In Edmonton on
July 26, 2018

7 Tips For Going To Heritage Days

Tips For Heading To Heritage Days

Heritage Days is easily one of my favourite festivals in Edmonton. I take the kids every year and we have a good time! What’s not to love? Learning about other cultures (from the people who live in our city!), taking in some beautiful performances and of course ALL THE FOOD! There is so much to enjoy we spend all day there, or until the kids have had enough.

The festival runs:

  • Saturday August 4 Noon – 9 pm
  • Sunday August 5 10 am – 9 pm
  • Monday August 6 10 am – 8 pm (7 pm ticket sales end, 8 pm park closes)

 

1.Take public transit. Okay maybe this isn’t a tip since its basically a requirement since there is no parking at the festival. You have the option of Kiss and Ride (someone drops you off) or you can take the bus. ETS costs is $6 round trip for an adult and free for children under 12. You can find full information about shuttles from LRT stations, neighbourhood Festival specific routes and park and ride locations HERE on the City Of Edmonton website.  If you are concerned about your stroller you can actually rent strollers, wagons and wheelchairs there!

2.Wear comfy clothes and shoes. Last year when I took the kids, an app on my phone told me that we walked over 8km! Wear shoes that are comfortable and clothes that you can eat in. Ha ha!

3.How to save some money. Who doesn’t love saving a little bit of cash? You can save a bit on your budget if you go with friends. This way, not only are you getting quality time in, but you can share plates of food to save a bit. Food tickets are $1 each.  You can also buy tickets in advance for a 5% discount at:

  • Servus Credit Unions
  • Save On Food stores
  • Tix on the Square

4. Plan where you want to go. Check out the interactive google map where you can click on each pavillion and it will tell you all about it or you can download the PDF version of the map.

5. Let the kids play. Spend some time in the the Servus Credit Union Tent or the Fly EIA tent where there is fun activities happening. The kids get to play games, colour, make crafts and even win some prizes. It’s a nice break for them to be engaged in play for a moment. There is also the park to play in and activities at some of the pavillions. We learned last year that my oldest is actually really good at the Chinese Singing Bowl!

6. Bring a backpack. I highly recommend a backpack for numerous reasons. First you can put sunscreen and bug spray in there (tip in itself!), you also have a place to put any fun stuff you buy at pavillions and crafts your kids make, all while having your hands free.

7. HAVE FUN! Okay again maybe not a tip, but worthy of noting. There is so much to do and it can be overwhelming. I like to go to a few pavillions and then plan the next year to go to new ones I haven’t gone to before. Attempting to go to them all in one day is a bit much!

The Bitchin' Housewife

In Calgary, Edmonton, Events on
July 5, 2018

Bouncy Castle Run Comes to Edmonton and Calgary

Bouncy Castle Fun Run

What’s more summer then bouncy castles and runs? Putting both together!

The Mega Bounce Fun Run comes to Edmonton July 28th and Calgary August 11th! This run is Canada’s largest all inflatables course!

This fun run is about having a good time (adult or with the kids). There are 10, YES 10 bouncy castle obstacles to go over in this amazing event. Instead of racing for time I would suggest trying to be the slowest possible myself. (More time on the bouncers am I right?)

So grab a friend or spouse for date night, or the kids for something fun to do and enjoy one of the most fun races!

Recommend bringing:

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Playful attitude

Check out the course below and regular asked questions in the FAQ section of their site.

 

In Recipe on
June 28, 2018

5 Favourite Summer Potluck Recipes

Summer Potluck Recipes

Ah the communal potluck. Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or a group camping trip, summer potlucks are great. Everyone pitches in dividing up the workload PLUS you get to try all kind of different things! We picked our top 5 favourite summer potluck recipes for you next get together inspiration!

  1. Pineapple Salsa from BitchinHousewife.com . Fruity with a surprise tang of the balsamic vinegar. Super simple and the flavours get better with time! Whip up some cinnamon sugar chips or great with regular salty tortillas.                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  2. The Best Broccoli Salad You Will Ever Make by JustAnotherEdmontonMommy.com This recipe has been circulating a while with the great debate, Mayo or Miracle Whip? Which side are you on?                                          
  3. Strawberry Cheesecake Icebox Cake from LifeMadeSweeter.com. Who doesnt love a little dessert with their get together? Personally I’m usually the one bringing it! There is NO BAKING. Perfect for those super hot days. I feel like we would make a double batch in this house!                                                                                                            
  4. Veggie Rolls with Cashew Tahini Dip from EatSpinRunRepeat.com Healthy and easy to cut into a lot of rolls. Great for those hot days when lighter food feels a bit better to eat. If you don’t have any nut allergies in your home I love veggie rolls with peanut sauce too!                                                               
  5. Classic Quacamole from… right here on AlbertaMamas.com. This recipe was originally made for Cinco De Mayo, but classic quacamole is good all year round we believe. A personal favourite is to pair with the Tostitos Hint Of Lime Chips! To save on bit on the price of avocados I like to get the big bags from Costco or buy them from a local discount produce store like H&W.                                                                                       

Wherever you are this summer we hope you get to enjoy good food and company!

The Bitchin' Housewife

Jen is a yoga teacher, fitness enthusiast and health blogger over at www.BitchinHousewife.com

In Calgary, Parenting on
May 31, 2018

Hyundai Sante Fe Roadtrip

This weekend two of the Alberta Mamas went on a road trip down to Calgary for some fun in the sun. We teamed up with Spruce Grove Hyundai to take the Sante Fe XL for the ULTIMATE test. A road trip with four kids!

hyundaisantefe

Deanne and I packed up our 4 kids aged 9, 7, 6 and 5 and headed to Calgary’s Calaway Park and then to the Abbey Centre in Blackfalds. This of course meant that we need stuff for walking around the grounds, but also stuff for a day of swimming and such outside.

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In Edmonton, Explore on
May 24, 2018

The Aga Khan Garden Opens In 4 Weeks, And It’s Going To Be Epic

Aga Khan Garden 

Yesterday I was able to attend the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens (formally Devon Botanical Garden) on a field trip with my daughters school, and I got to see the EPIC Aga Khan Garden being finished up. The website says that it is set to open “In 2018”, but as I was talking to our guide she said it is schedule to open in just a small 4 weeks! Leaving us lots of time to visit the beauty in it’s botanical glory over the summer!

Image taken from the University of Alberta Botanical Garden website.

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In Calgary, Health on
May 3, 2018

Calgary Bike Swap THIS Weekend – May 5th

Need a bike? Need an upgrade? Have a bike to get rid of? This weekend is the Bike Swap in Calgary!

It’s bike season finally! Despite the name, it’s not about swapping bikes with others but rather a safe place to buy and sell bikes. You can bring your clean and taken care of bikes to be sold by the Alberta Bike Swap people and/or browse for you own bike.

You can unload your bike or even yous kids bikes. There are some restrictions on selling kids bike however, which you can find all about in their FAQ section. If you have one though that doesn’t meet the requirements and want to donate it, they will gladly take it and donate it to a child in need! They will even take bike parts that will also be donated to community initiatives to help repair bikes int eh communities!

 

When: May 5th 2018

Time: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm (Consigning)

8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Donating bikes)

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm (Purchasing bikes)

Location: City Center Parkade, 340 10 Ave

 

Check out their video of a past swap!

What Your Wife REALLY Wants For Mother’s Day

Mothers Day

Alright people. Mother’s Day is coming May 13th 2018. You are getting your fair warning.

On top of this warning, I’m going to help you out. This is what your wife/partner/spouse REALLY wants for Mother’s Day. I asked my mama friends on Facebook, our contributors and friends in person. ( I happen to also be a Mother of course).

And the theme I have concluded is, we want to feel appreciated and cared for. The way we appreciate and care for others. I don’t need to tell you how hard Moms work. The mental workload, physical workload and social pressures can be seen on our faces most of the time, if not found in multiple blog posts and sappy commercials.

In honesty, we just wanted it to stop. For one hour, one spa treatment, one day or weekend. Many moms joked about just “wanting to be alone” or “doing whatever I want”. And it’s not because we don’t love motherhood. It’s the opposite in fact. We love it so much we give it our all. We worry, cry, hold strong, kiss boo boos, console, laugh and are squishy because we love it just so much.

All we ask, is that we feel someone is doing the same for us. For one hour, one spa treatment, one day or one weekend.

We are all for cute hand made mugs (actually I would really love another) and flowers (they Do brighten the days following our “one special day”), but we NEED time to fill our cups again. Recharge. THAT is what we are really asking for.

A clean house, that we didn’t clean, hear complaining about or have to clean up after tomorrow.

Time alone in the bath without hearing “mommy what are you doing?” through the door.

A trip with or without us planned for something fun with the kids. That we had no hand in figuring out. Then joy of our kids having fun. Without us planning it.

Take the mental workload for a day. We want to step outside of our very big roles and feel safe to unload it onto you.

The mundane tasks, the grand tasks and everything in between.

We don’t need fancy gifts as reminders we are good mothers. We want you to show us that you KNOW we are good mothers. Show us by walking in our shoes.

 

Here are what a few Mom’s have said:

Andrea – “I would love to have my whole house purged and cleaned. And the support to do so.” Kids aged 12, 9, 7, 4.

Allison – “I’d love for my husband and kids to acknowledge the fact that they understand that I am the only reason the house is not falling apart.” Kids aged 9, 7, 4.

Patricia– “Time. Time with my children” 28, 25, 23.

Holly– “I’d like a day where I could do whatever I want. Show up for a homemade meal with cake that I didn’t make.”

Erin – “Hot Coffee and no obligations time to do what I want before family time.” Kids aged 11, 10, 8, 5, 2.

Poom – “To pee in peace. Without interruption.” Kids aged 7, 5, 2.

Alli – “I’d love a day to myself, no kids needing me for something. A day where I could go get pampered and then enjoy a quiet meal that I didn’t have to cook.” Kids aged 2 and 1.

Jenn– “Time alone! An overnight stay in a hotel, spa day, just some me time!” Kid aged 4.

Among these requests a lot of Moms asked for family photos, family rings, family necklaces. So all these request to me say. “I want some time to myself, reminders of my family, because this is the best job in the world and it will all make me better at it.”

 

And ahem, in case anyone is wondering. My ideal day would go as follows:

Wake up whenever I want. (which is usually before anyone else). Have coffee. When the kids wake up they wake up my husband before even coming downstairs. 

Breakfast is made for me. Pancakes or french toast.

House is cleaned while I bathe. 

My husband takes the kids out for lunch and something fun all afternoon. While I literally do whatever I want.

Meet them at families hosue or restaurant for dinner with all family to celebrate our mom and all moms in the family.

Family snuggle time on the couch.

Watch a sappy movie with wine after the kids are in bed. Sleep. The end.

We all just wanted to feel fulfilled, appreciated and respected. That’s it.

Save your money.

Give us time.

The Bitchin' Housewife

Jen is a yoga teacher, fitness enthusiast and health blogger over at www.BitchinHousewife.com

In Health, Parenting, Uncategorized on
April 5, 2018

The Benefit of Health Benefits

Health Benefits

In today’s new economic world where there are more and more people working from home, doing contract work and basically overall entrepreneurs, work health benefits is the one thing I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about lately. So we teamed up with Alberta Blue Cross to chat about the benefits of benefits and shopping for them.

2.5 years ago my husband lost his long time stable job. A story many of us went through this past recession. Many people lost their jobs and in turn lost their benefits. Some maybe even noticed, but personally I used them a lot! I got massages and saw my chiropractor regularly. As well as saw a physiotherapist after injuring my shoulder! My kids went through a few month spurt there of sickness after sickness requiring antibiotics and other medicines as well.

Since then, my husband went back to work after 9 months of being off, for about 4 months. The business we had created in the time he was off from his job had started to take off and our family made the decision that entrepreneurship would be our full time life.

Between his business and my contract work, we no longer had any employer health benefits.

Sound familiar?

 

We saught out some advice from Blue Cross under their Individuals and Families plan.  We were able to pick out a plan that worked for our budgets and projected needs.

Getting benefits was really important to me, not only to get some help with dental cost, but as an assurance that I needed to take care of myself.

If you’ve read any of my other posts or know me, you will know that I am all about self care. Taking care of ourselves, helps us take care of others (family, friends and so on), but also keeps us healthy in more ways than one. When we take the time to make sure we are healthy we are:

  • More efficient
  • Boosting energy
  • Helping with sleep
  • Combating and preventing future disease
  • and my personal favourite, we are generally happier!

 

If you are shopping around for benefits for your entrepreneur/working from home/contract life, or maybe you need top up from a spouses plan you can Contact Blue Cross and they will get back to you pretty quickly!

 

The Bitchin' Housewife

Jen is a yoga teacher, fitness enthusiast and health blogger over at www.BitchinHousewife.com

In Edmonton, Parenting, Uncategorized on
March 23, 2018

Free Spring Break Library Fun at Edmonton Public Library

Spring Break Library Fun

It’s the Friday before Spring Break and some of us (maybe less organized parents) are scrambling to figure out how to entertain our kids for the week off!

I know there are a lot of wonderful camps, (which are likely full) or sometimes it’s just not in our budgets to take them. Luckily for us, the Edmonton Public Library has FREE programs running and they are pretty fun.

 

Earlier this week we checked out the Riverbend location for Lego At The Library. It was actually pretty neat since A) I didn’t have to find Lego all over my house and B) the kids started building and playing with other kids and some of the stuff they came up with was better that I could have imagined.

 

These programs run pretty regularly but during Spring Break there are even more programs. Some are in house run, such as the Lego being put out and some are even having outside people come in and demonstrate, like magicians!

So DON’T FRET if you haven’t made Spring Break plans yet. Or if you are more of the “let’s see what happens type”. You can check out all the events, by location on the Edmonton Public Library Website

I really like that you can search by location, but also when you pull up a program it tells you what age range it’s good for and the type of learning involved like Science, Music or Computers etc.

Additionally, if your kids are a little bit older (or in my case have been into the Library SEVERAL times, I feel comfortable allowing them to play in the program or check out the on location computers to play with while I browse and read some books for myself. We have spent hours at the Library at a time.

I even wrote a blog post on Taking My daughters on Dates and that we went to the Library and had a treat afterwards. Seriously the Library is one of our favorite places.

Will you be checking out the Library? What are some of you favourite sources of Free Fun?

The Bitchin' Housewife

Jen is a yoga teacher, fitness enthusiast and health blogger over at www.BitchinHousewife.com