Last week I got excited. I was thinking about my health, and honestly, I tried on a pair of jeans that fit nicely not two months ago. They now wouldn’t go over my hips. This wasn’t a matter of washing machine shrinkage and the timing of New Years was purely coincidence – promise. It had more to do with the brie and crackers I was consuming, pretty much daily.
There’s a tribe for you.
By Kinia Romanowska
People will tell you that a year on maternity leave goes by quickly.
You may have scoffed at the idea, like I did. Especially when you’re sleep-deprived and have not had a shower in a few days!
But time does fly, and it’s never too early to envision a perfect return to work after baby. Did you know that fewer than 4% of new mothers indicated that taking maternity leave had positively impacted their career?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Taking the time to think about what you want is one of the first steps to plan a more positive transition.
Have you considered putting ink to paper and planning what that would look like?
By Mona Ismaeial, photo’s by Mona at Go Nissan North Edmonton.
As a busy work from home mom I definitely Feel the need for family friendly spaces. My son who is just over 2 years old is always in tow. He comes grocery shopping with me, we get oil changes, dr. appointments, meetings and of course out for coffee and meals. For stay-at-home moms, work-from- home moms or just parents who want to take their kids with them rather than leaving them with family friends or a babysitter, there are a few very easy ways businesses can be more welcoming to families.
By Sajida Pellegrini
Buying and Selling real estate is usually a very emotional process. As a REALTOR® I know part of my job is to remain objective and keep my clients on track. This is because people may not be thinking as clearly as they would like to during the process, which can lead to mistakes that can cost them.
Why do people make emotional mistakes in real estate?
Real estate transactions often coincide with important life events both happy and not so happy. For example having a baby can be an amazing joyful experience, however it is often accompanied by many stress factors. Parents are overwhelmed with so many important decisions about the baby, and now have to also think about logistical issues of perhaps needing more living space to raise a family. And can they afford to upgrade to a larger home?
Other emotional life events that often accompany a real estate transaction include divorce, a death in the family or moving to a new city.
We’re now 11 years into social media land and for those of us who became parents around the time Facebook started, our habits have changed, especially when it comes to posting pictures of our kids. Why? Well, for lots of reasons but mostly our awareness around our kids’ digital footprint, but also, for our own privacy.
With all the changes that happen on Facebook, it’s a good idea to go into the settings and make sure that we have opted into the privacy settings that make sense to us and the content that we are posting online. Even if we think our information on Facebook is set to private, it might not be. To be sure that your profile is private from people you don’t know, follow these steps.
(Before we get into the nitty-gritty, the following steps will be done from Facebook on my desktop, and secondly, as you know Facebook changes its layout on a regular basis, so if you’re reading this at a later date, some of the functions might look a little different. )
How to make sure your personal Facebook page is private.
The most effective way to check your privacy
This isn’t the 3 step short-cut that Facebook offers, this takes a little bit longer but is the best way to adjust what content on your personal profile is seen by your friends and “non-friends” on Facebook.
At the very top right of your screen click on the arrow next to the “?” and that will bring down a list of options for you to choose from. Scroll down that list and then click on “Settings.”
Your screen should look like the image below and once you get there click on Privacy (where my green arrow is):
Once you’ve clicked on privacy, this is where you can get nit-picky about who sees your content. You can limit who sees your friend lists, who can look up your phone number, your email address and who can send you friend requests. Edit this as you see fit. I’ve got my settings to friends only for all except “Who can send you friend requests,” I’ve selected “friends of friends” (and then, of course, you’re under no obligation to accept that friend request.
Next head on over to the “Time Line and Tagging” section
This is where you select who can see the content on your Facebook page. This section is for who can tag you in photo’s, who can see photo’s you’ve been tagged in etc.
BUT, the most important part of this page which is kinda hidden is in the REVIEW section.
Look for the second item “Review what other people see on your timeline” and click on “view as” this will show you what your personal profile looks like to people who are not your friends.
Slowly look through, is this what you want it to look like? If so, you’re off to the races. If not, you need to adjust some settings. It will show all your profile picture updates and the comments underneath your profile photos no matter what privacy setting you have it on. Why is this the most important section? Because you may think that your profile is on lockdown but there may be other things that need adjusting.
Why is this important?
Well, it’s not unless it’s a priority to you. Many people post pictures of their kids for their friends and family to see how the kids have grown but not realizing that yes, your great aunt can see the pictures, but so can anyone with access to Facebook if you don’t change the settings. If this is important to you, then yes, you need to spend the time (about 10 minutes) to check your settings.
Can you do this on your mobile phone?
YES you can! Follow the same procedure as above (Settings and Privacy and then tap on account settings) from there you’ll be taken to screens that are similar to the ones above. Don’t be tempted to do the quick review on the mobile app, scroll down and check all the settings to make sure you are comfortable with who sees your information.
The Alberta Mamas get together once a month to meet and this time we had Simply Supper Fondue! We had so much fun chatting while dipping and tasting all the goodies!
What we loved:
- Super generous meat servings.
- You could tell the meat was marinated and seasoned – so tender!
- The broth was also actually super flavourful too.
- There was 6 of us eating and plenty of everything to go around.
- There was something for everyone with all the variety.
- Everything was pre-portioned and meat was cut into bite sized pieces.
- Dips – so many and so many different flavours to try! Kept it fun!
And as a side note;
- Cheese fondue was good just more like a spinach dip than your traditional cheese fondue.
- We bought a veggie tray to add on even more variety.
The kit we got included Beef Tenderloin, Pork Tenderloin, Chicken and Shrimp, 4 dipping sauces, Spinach & Artichoke Cheese Fondue, Bread, Beef Broth Fondue, apples and potatoes. This Ready to Fondue Package serves 6-8 for $160.
Getting a babysitter is hard enough, never mind on New Years, or really any date night occasion. No prepping involved here – perfect for date night at home! FYI – December 18th is the last day to order if you want a kit in time for New Years Eve.
They have two locations:
Rabbit Hill Road – South Edmonton
Albany Square – North Edmonton
Let us help you make that date night, or get together happen. Enter to WIN!
This post was brought to you by Simply Supper. As always, all opinions stated are my own.
Tis the season to be inspired! Alberta Mamas has put together our 2017 Holiday Guide. Enjoy our suggestions for gift giving, seasonal recipes, holiday experiences, and enjoying the spirit of the season with your family. Check back often as we continue to build on to this guide.
Yes, of course, we want quality time spent with family, to see the excitement in our kid’s eyes, cozying up near a fireplace with some hot chocolate but we’re just going to be honest here.
In the words of Julie Andrews, “These are a few of our favourite things”
- If we are spending money: a Ninja Coffee Bar – I have the blender and I LOVE it. I don’t drink coffee but I could use decaf to make fancy coffee right in my own home!
- The Google Home mini & Chromecast. Play Google Play Playlists & Netflix with just my voice. Find out the temperature or prove my husband wrong about something by using a search engine with just my voice – yes please! Of course, watching Northern Style Exposure use hers on Instastories helped sway me as well!
- Anything David’s Tea. Since quitting caffeine 3 years ago, I’m big on making myself yummy tea lattes. One of my favourite birthday presents last year was their advent calendar but with all the caffeinated teas in there, this year, I’d just love the Caffeine Free Teas Gift Box.
- Diamond earrings. There I said it. This year honestly I don’t want to be all like “don’t worry about getting me something” or “just get me something practical. I’ve wanted small stud diamond earrings for a while, but could never justify buying them for myself. So I want some small simple stud diamonds, like THESE Spence ones.
- A Poppy Barley backpack. Okay, I noticed I may have a tad more expensive taste, but it’s about quality lasting a long time! Again, it’s another thing I just haven’t bought for myself.
- And now to go cheap and simple….. a bathrobe. Seriously, why have I found it so hard to find a good bathrobe? A longer, not crazy thick, but not sooooo thin bathrobe. Like THIS one from Amazon. See not ALL my wants are pricey! (I want grey if you’re reading this Brad….) Ha ha.
- Custom lipstick from Creme De La Creme. We got to go a couple of weeks ago to create a lipstick and I came home with the perfect plum for my skin tone. Now I need a perfect red too!
- Cheese from Italian Centre Shop. Preferably the truffle cheese because I am too cheap to buy it the rest of the year.
- And finally a bottle of Cherry Rye from Hansen Distillery to create cocktails with my husband for cocktail Monday.
- Something reliable to make popcorn with. Seriously, the cheap air popper we have spews burning hot seeds all over the kitchen! Don’t even get me started on how much wasted popcorn that is… It’s not over the top at all, but it’s just something that I keep forgetting to buy. I have heard good things about the PowerLix Microwave Popcorn Popper on Amazon.
- An Apple Watch. I am a lover of all things Apple and I really like having something that can sync easily with my phone and help me track my fitness, to do list, weather and so on. I love that you can customize the colour and type of strap with most models too!
- Something pretty from Eliasz and Ella. Everything this local Edmonton Jewelry company designs I love! I can never have too many Bangin’ Bracelets or sparkly studs. Never. Ever.
- Anything from Rocky Mountain Soap Company! Actually, to be more specific I use their day cream and I swear by it and thus go through a lot. I’d like a bucket of that please.
- Oak and Fort has become my new go-to for clothes. I love the clean lines and simple designs that are easy to throw on.
- A phone charger… again… because whoever is eating socks in my house (we only have socks that don’t match) is also eating phone chargers! They’re always missing. Actually is there such a thing as a phone charger that can never be moved from my bedside table. I want that.
- Something like a course weekend course to improve my photography skills as well as a Lowel Ego Light.
- A portable induction cooktop like this Salton one to step up my YouTube video game!
- Renovations – we need new lights in our bathroom because only half turn on, our kitchen needs to be a different colour than red, and we also need a fresh coat of paint in both of our living rooms.
What’s on YOUR list?
This past Thanksgiving holiday Monday, I walked into Home Depot in the morning with my two children and was greeted by two cheery employees. We politely returned the greeting with a warm hello and light conversation. I couldn’t help but feel sad for them: why weren’t they home enjoying Thanksgiving with their families? Was it just the luck of the scheduling draw? As we drove home, I felt even worse. It’s because of people like me that shop on holidays all of the time, that they need to be there. If you know me, you know my mind didn’t stop there. I need to question humanity (seriously…) and why I had such strong feelings on the topic. I know that I can’t be the only one who does this!
I’ve believed for a long time now that society has an addiction to convenience and speediness. We live in a fast-paced world of instant connections and do-now desires through apps like facebook, online shopping, and 24hr hours of operation. It’s not that I can’t adapt to changing times, it’s that I believe we’ve lost an integral part of the balance in our lives. A part that used to force us to make other arrangements and plans, shop ahead of time and spend quality time with others or on our own.
When I was little, I remember on days like Christmas and other big holidays, there was usually one grocery store open and even then, it was only open for certain hours. Granted, I haven’t lived in Edmonton my entire life: maybe small towns are different. Stores like Staples, Winners, certain restaurants, etc… were never open. Those days were like driving through a ghost town to and from family visits. These days, it looks like any regular day with the reverse occurring- most stores are open and it’s odd to see one closed.
I used to refuse to go out on holidays, other than to and from family get-togethers. Now, on days like this past Thanksgiving holiday Monday, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to shop on a holiday. For the most part it’s because I can do so alone! My husband doesn’t get much time away from work and we he has some time off on major holidays and I can run a couple of errands sans child circus in tow I’m like that woman in the Ikea commercial yelling, “Start the car!!!” I’ve given in to the convenience of being able to shop on a holiday because I can shop alone and because of my family’s schedule. Life is so busy for everyone that this is our new reality and I’m an enabler. I personally find this horrifying but it’s the world that we’re living in.
So I’d like to know what other people think! As the Christmas holiday season approaches, what are your thoughts?
Why are we as a society being given the opportunity to shop? Are stores open on holidays because of customer demand? Why the heck are stores like Michaels open until midnight some nights prior to Christmas? Midnight! Why?! Do employees want to work holidays? Are stores afraid of the potential income loss of being closed when competitors are open? Are we such a culturally diverse society now that in order to respect everyone’s religions and beliefs that businesses need to be open 24-7 to prevent offending someone? OR have we just lost the value and meaning of holidays and what it means to have to be present in other ways in our holidays.
By Jennifer Begin
Like many women, I spent my 20s working my way up invisible ladders and procrastinating my way through university so when I went on maternity leave at thirty I felt a little lost. I had spent more than a decade padding my resume to ensure I stayed relevant in my profession and didn’t want to lose my competitive edge being away from the workforce. Since being a mother has been the most challenging and rewarding role I have undertaken in my life, I was shocked that my newfound ability to function on 2 hours of broken sleep or change a diaper in the dark without waking the newborn were not skills I could add to my resume!
So what can we add to those resumes while we are home with our children?
Thankfully, LOTS! You just need to get creative!
Compared to what you may have heard, experience is experience regardless if it is paid, it’s all in how you format your resume. By using a header like “Relevant Experience” you can list volunteer experiences as well as paid positions.
If your child will be attending a preschool or playschool you will most likely be required to sign up for a volunteer position so use that opportunity to learn a new skill or add to an existing one.
If you want to ensure you stay current in your industry seek volunteer opportunities that could use your expertise. If you are an Office Manager, see if an animal shelter needs a part-time receptionist on Saturdays.
If you are a hairstylist, look up local outreach programs that you could give haircuts to their clients.
The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination and Google skills!
Go Back To School
When I say go back to school I don’t just mean your typical 2 or 4 year university program. There are lots of options to advance your education that don’t have to cost a small fortune or take years to complete.
Most universities and colleges offer their courses online now as a way to appeal to the busy adult who has a family or career. If you ever visit a college or university campus you may be surprised to see that the average student looks more like you than you thought!
I went back to school to complete my Human Resources diploma while raising my two kids and MacEwan offered enough of my classes online that I was able to stay in school through my entire second pregnancy.
Take Your Kids To Work (Every)Day
Another way to add work experience to your resume is to find a part time job that allows you to bring your kids with you! A lot of gym facilities that offer childminding services also allow their employees to bring their own children to work. When my maternity leave was ending after I had my son I worked part time at World Health Edmonton in their childminding center and was able to bring my son and eventually my daughter as well. A bonus was I was able to nurse my daughter while still making a little extra income for the home!
Attend Workshops & Networking Events
Depending on your profession before kids, there may be opportunities for you to have a night out to network with your peers. Since I work in HR there are several workshops, mixers, and conferences I can attend to stay current on changes in the field and ensure I am still making important contacts for future opportunities.
Being a mother can be all consuming and at the end of the day I know it can feel like all you want to do is put on sweats and watch Netflix but you’d be surprised how nice it feels to dress up a little and chat with others who share your passions. These events can be beneficial in helping you keep those pre-kid passions alive since we know how easy it can be to put our goals on the back burner while tending to our busy families.
Work from Home
While quickly becoming a very popular choice among mothers today, this option is not for the faint of heart! With the rise in childcare expenses and the reality of extended time away from my kids, I chose to work from home. Do you love making clothes for your children? Are you a wizard at creating artwork for your walls? Are family and friends always asking for haircuts or your babysitting services? There’s potential for a business there!
If you would rather partner with an existing company but still crave the flexibility of entrepreneurship, there are lots of direct-to-consumer opportunities that offer a variety of perks and commissions.
Ultimately, whatever you chose to do to keep your resume fresh and current, make sure you have a clear message. While it’s great to have a ton of experience, you’d be viewed more valuable to a potential employer later on if they can see your career goals in resume form with progressive experience that told a clear narrative.
Jennifer Begin is a mom of two toddlers living in Edmonton, Alberta. She is the owner of JB Employment Coaching & has spent more than a decade recruiting, training, and coaching individuals. For help with resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn Profiles, and more visit: www.jbemploymentcoaching.com or on Facebook: @jbemploymentcoaching