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From the Editors

“These Are a Few of Our Favourite Things”

Tis the season and oh how we love the holiday’s at Alberta Mamas. As the song goes, here are a few of our FAVOURITE things.

“Getting a Christmas Tree

from my parents farm” ~ Mama Deanne

The first house you see

decorated, with their lights all aglow. That feeling!

Spotting the PERFECT gift

Maybe it’s not super big, but you know it’s something they will really love.

Cooking the turkey

Making sure you’ve taken it out to thaw, getting all your fruits and veggies and spices prepped for stuffing. And in our house, we also dress it with a little bacon.

Advent calendars

Wether they are home made, store bought, for you or for the kids, I’m almost as excited as the kids to see what they get!

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Elf on the Shelf – Love It Or Send Him Back to the North Pole?

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.

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Five Funk Defying Podcasts

I spend a bit of time in my car, like most moms. Specifically my drive to and from work are my longer jaunts and the perfect opportunity for inspiration. On the way to work, I have my favourite morning show – specifically Crash and Mars on 102.3 Now Radio. On the way home though, I chose from one of my downloaded podcasts. Sometimes I listen while I work out or cleaning around the house. I use Podbean but a lot of people have great podcasts available through their iTunes.

I thought I would share a few of the favourites I’ve listened to lately. They’ve made me feel inspired, teary eyed and/or are just generally uplifting. I’m including the links to the specific podcasts on Apple but you can always just search by the name to find the exact one.

1. Oprah SuperSoul Conversations – Lady Gaga  Heal Through Kindness

Honestly, I had no idea what she’s been through and her approach to life is inspiring.

2. Oprah SuperSoul Conversations – When You Know Better You Do Better

Who hasn’t done something they regret? But this really makes you feel like it’s ok to forgive yourself.

3. Oprah SuperSoul Conversation – Dr. Brené Brown: The Anatomy of Trust

I am still making my way through this one, just started it the other day but you can’t go wrong with Brené!

I am making my way through quite a few of the SuperSoul Conversations cause I just love me some Oprah.

4. Russell Brand Under the Skin VULNERABILITY AND POWER (WITH BRENÉ BROWN)

Yes, yes I do love Brene Brown. And Russell is pretty cool too!

5. RISE Podcase with Rachel Hollis – Making a Big Decision! 

Honestly, when you get to the end of this podcast you’re like – how was something so simple not common sense? Decisions can be stressful and this breaks it down!

Previously I shared podcasts that inspire me as a mom!

I’m always looking for new ways to be inspired or get out of a funk. Have you listened to anything good lately?

Chris is one of the only mama’s with a “day job”. Mom of 2, a 7 & 9 year old, she works as an admin for a locally owned bake shop. She loves cider, hanging out with good people and writing about her feelings. She currently resides in our Capital City, however she grew up on a farm north east of the city and never forgets her farm girl roots.

 

Family Values and Work

Up until 2 weeks ago, my work was full time. 730 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, both kids in Daycare. No flexibility, no leaving early, or even really being able to stay home with the kids if they were sick.

PS – this is not a political opinion post. 

This was a change after having an incredibly flexible, work from home or partial work from home job since my daughter was 1. I started this full time gig just before she turned 9.

I loved my work.

I loved the customers, I loved my co-workers and I loved the daily challenges. I respected and grew to care for the people I worked with. BUT there was certainly “culture shock”.

The kids being in daycare, coming home spouting opinions and “Well, Dayhome Lady says…” 9 hours of my day not seeing them. By the time I got home and made supper, it was pretty much shower and to bed. There was one time my son was a bystander of a fight on the bus, a kids head hit into his mouth knocking one tooth out, and he was bleeding. I wasn’t there at the stop for him. Dayhome was. It broke my heart.

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10 QUESTIONS WITH . . . Tracey McGonigal

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from Tracey McGonigal, the owner and creative force behind Tracey Bakes YEG. She’s also a busy wife and mama with a full-time day job. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram, sharing photos of her breathtaking cakes and cupcakes.

1. How did you begin this journey into the world of cake decorating?

When my daughter Olivia was born, being a first-time mom some days felt so isolating and lonely. While I was over the moon about having a beautiful, healthy baby I wasn’t used to staying home after being part of the workforce for so long. I’ve always liked to bake but this time gave me the chance to really fall in love with it and it was something I got to do for myself.

2. Can you describe your creative process?

I generally like to sketch out most of my cakes beforehand to plan on how I want to tackle it. I like to keep up with what’s trendy while staying true to a particular style on how I like my cakes to look and meeting up with what my client needs. I also love to work with both buttercream and fondant, I like to be versatile so I’m never bored doing the same thing.

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of owning and operating your own business?

Hands down the awe in my clients and how grateful they are when they see their cakes for the first time. Just knowing I had created something to do that makes all the long hours super rewarding.

4. It’s Sunday morning. How is your family spending the day?

My week is always so hectic (I also work as a full time medical office assistant) and Sunday is a chance to catch up on things like laundry or other “fun” house work. Some days we say the hell with it and do none of the above to do something fun out of the house with our daughter.

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Raising Kids That Return Shopping Carts

I was brought up to be aware of how my actions affect others around me. Whether it is with words, actions, or implied – everything we do causes the people around us to react either positively or negatively. As a parent this is a HARD concept to teach especially to young kids. But then I realized one day that it can be simplified in little actions which will grow to bigger actions as they get older.

Which leads me to the shopping cart.

We’ve all seen the abandoned shopping carts in the parking lot but have you ever considered the way those carts left in the middle of the parking lot affects others?

Someone with limited mobility may not be able to park as close as they want to now.

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The Alberta Mamas go Camping with Arrkann Trailer & RV!

Plenty of room for the essentials and more in this fridge!

The Alberta Mamas are always up for an adventure, so when Arrkann Trailer & RV asked if we would be interested in taking some of their trailers camping for the weekend we immediately jumped on the opportunity! Out of the 5 of us, 3 of us camp on the regular, 1 loves to camp when she can and the other is not into camping at all (or so she thought). The trip was an opportunity for us to connect face to face because even though we live in the same city it can be a challenge to get us all together in the same room for a meeting sometimes.

We arrived at the campsite on a Friday to meet the folks from Arrkann Trailer & RV who gave us a rundown of the trailers and their basic features. Immediately we were taken with the automation and ease of use with both models. For the record, we camped in serious luxury. Both trailers (Passport Ultra-Lite 2920 BH and Sprinter 26 RB Campfire Edition) were about 28 feet long with slide outs, full bathrooms with showers, air conditioning, couches, automated awnings and levelling systems as well as sound systems! This was no “roughing it” type of trip, and that suited us just fine.

Image may contain: tree and outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

This levelling system on the Sprinter made set up SO easy. One push of the button on Auto Level and the trailer did the work in under 5 minutes.

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Worry Dolls – What Are They and Why Do You Need To Get Some Right Now?

Lately we’ve been talking about worrying in our house. About how it’s ok to feel worried and how everyone worries about different things but that doesn’t mean that it’s less important.

My one son just tried out for a sports team for the first time and was anxious.

My other son has weekly spelling tests at school that he wants to do well on. And by well he means he wants 100% EVERY time so he works hard at it but he worries.

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