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In Business, Explore, From the Editors on
December 3, 2017

What We Really Want for Xmas

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”


  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


  1. 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!
  2. Cheese from Italian Centre Shop. Preferably the truffle cheese because I am too cheap to buy it the rest of the year.
  3. And finally a bottle of Cherry Rye from Hansen Distillery to create cocktails with my husband for cocktail Monday.


  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3.  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.


  1. Something like a course weekend course to improve my photography skills as well as a Lowel Ego Light.
  2. A portable induction cooktop like this Salton one to step up my YouTube video game!
  3. 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?

In Business, Christmas on
November 19, 2017

Why aren’t stores closed anymore on holidays?

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.   

Mercedes is a mom of two, special needs parent, former junior high school teacher, wine lover, and passionate about supporting local and living an organic lifestyle. Through her blog and social media pages for ‘live it ALL IN’ she talks learning through play, parenting, and everything in between.
Live it ALL IN has two goals:
To help parents and caregivers incorporate a variety of learning and therapy through play styles and creative processes by offering a range of ideas, instructions, and services.

To advocate for special needs and Cerebral Palsy through their families’ experiences with their daughter’s Cerebral Palsy.   Website: , Facebook: , Instagram: ,  ,Twitter:

In Business, Lifestyle, Parenting, Working Mama on
May 27, 2017

How to Keep Your Resume Fresh While Staying At Home

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: or on Facebook: @jbemploymentcoaching

In Business, Health, Lifestyle, Working Mama on
April 29, 2017

5 Scientifically Proven Ways To Achieve Your Goals At Home and Work

Are you struggling to achieve your goals? You’re not alone. The majority of people don’t last long before they stumble, get frustrated, blame themselves or others, make excuses, and then give up. Research shows for successful change you truly have to want to achieve it and also have supporting elements to help the change. 

People fail on their goals because they are missing elements
to support their success, NOT because they’re incapable.

Use these scientifically proven tips to help you achieve your resolution and any goals throughout the year.

  1. When you’re creating your goals, make it positive. Our brains can’t process negative statements very well. Think of when you ask your child to “not spill his milk”… what happens? It spills. It’s because the brain thinks in visuals, not words. It forms a picture related to the statement, which is spill milk, and so the brain gets wired for the opposite of what you want and unintentionally focuses on that outcome. The same is true for “stop smoking”, “lose weight” or “reduce clutter”. The brain is reinforced with “smoking”, “weight” and clutter”.  Reframe it into what you actually want. To breathe clean fresh air and have fresh breath. To be slim and move with ease. To have a home with clear surfaces.
  2. Write it down. The process of writing down what you want creates a physical action that makes the brain remember what you want more than if you just think it. A Goals study done at Dominican University in 2015 showed those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals.Also, keep your goals visible. Post it where you can see it daily. Small visual cues help to remind your brain of what you want and keep you on track.
  3. Know why you want it. It’s important to go even deeper than a surface level goal to achieve resolution success. You need to understand the true reason for wanting to change because that creates the motivation behind the goal. Ask yourself, why do I want this? How is this going to improve my life? How does it positively impact others around me? Who am I when I achieve this?

When you answer these questions you’ll have the motivation behind the change and that will help sustain you. 

  1. Create realistic strategies and timelines that don’t overwhelm. Sometimes we get so excited about our goals that we jump in with lots of changes but then realize we can’t sustain all our strategies long term. It creates overwhelm and then frustration and we quit.

One of the keys to long-term success is taking small actionable steps and doing that one thing for a couple weeks. Then build on it. If you’re looking to eat healthier, start with finding one small change you can make to move forward. Perhaps adding more veggies to meals. Once you’re doing that consistently, then add another small change.

When you make small changes that you can achieve, you have more to celebrate. It creates mini wins that will support you to keep going.

  1. Accountability and having the right support networks helps big time. If you’re serious about achieving your resolution, tell people about your goals and get a partner with a similar goal. Holding each other accountable, as well as cheering them on, helps many people achieve their goals. It’s more fun to do it with a friend… but one that is going to hold you accountable and not let you off the hook.Life and business coaches, personal trainers, nutritionists and other people in a support team are experts in getting results for their clients. They not only have the knowledge, but most have been trained in the psychology of change and habit making. If you’re really committed to making a change, consider hiring an expert to give you the guidance, support, and accountability, especially for those days that you fall off the wagon. They’ll get you back going quickly.

Today is a good day to begin!

The last thought I’d like to leave you with is simply, “today is a good day to begin.” It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday. Forgive yourself and let it go. Refocus on why you want to make the change and start again today.


Jenifer Horvath is the founder of Heart Lifted Coaching. She helps moms reduce their overwhelm, stress and guilt, in order to be happier, calmer and live a more meaningful life. She loves Alberta and has lived in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer. When not hanging out with her family or coaching, you’ll find her having dance parties, reading about brain science, and chugging coffee with friends. Find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Originally written for Edmonton’s Child.