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Lifestyle

In Camping, Explore, Rural Journeys on
August 17, 2019

Campground Review – Black Nugget Lake Campground

Far from the touristy mountain spots and cramped campgrounds you typically find near urban areas; Black Nugget Campground is a hidden gem that is perfect for families. Located just over an hour outside Edmonton this campsite has everything you need for a quiet weekend getaway.

The drive is easy and the kids will have fun looking out the window at passing farms. If you are lucky you will see cows, horses, tractors, beautiful canola fields (depending on the season), grain elevators and more. We suggest stopping in Tofield for a milkshake from Burger Baron on your way out if you are going on Highway 14. Their Vanilla Coke milkshakes are worth the stop!

The campsite has a lot of spots but it does fill up on weekends so if you cannot make it out during the week (which we recommend because it is SO quiet and peaceful) call ahead to make reservations. They do not book online but you can call  (780) 663-2421 to check availability.

The campsite was built after the coal mine in the same location closed down. The lake is long and winds around making it perfect for kayaks, bird watching, and there’s a great little hike around the water perfect for kids. They have a boat launch (for non-powered boats only), picnic shelters/cookhouses, and a sewer dump station for your convenience. There are lots of great fishing spots and some you don’t even have to leave your campsite to get to.

The sites are HUGE and can easily fit more than one trailer or book one of their group sites if you are going with friends or family.

The playground is large and works with both younger and older kids. There is also a basketball net, volleyball court and a large field for games and activities so you will not hear “I’m bored” once.

If you are a golfer right next door to the campsite is a new-ish golf course called Coal Creek Golf Resort. The family that owns the golf course has worked hard in the reclamation project of the original mine site into Coal Creek Golf Resort. The original site has stayed in the same family for three generations and even though the mine has shut down the family has brought the area back to life with this course. You can read more about the golf course and their history HERE.

We highly recommend taking kayaks or canoes out if you can. The lake has so many little spots to explore and the kids loved seeing all the wild life. This would be a bird watchers paradise! We also saw muskrats, a couple of snakes, and even though we didn’t see a coyote we heard them at night!

Overall this is a great little spot that isn’t too expensive, is far enough away from the city to be quiet and peaceful, and has large, beautiful campsites for you to enjoy.

Site Rates (not including GST):

  • No Services: $30.00*
  • Power Only: $36.00*
  • Power, Water, and Sewer: $42.00*
  • Best Average: $20.00*

Planning Your Open Farm Days Adventure

One of our favourite events of the year and, one of the very few that happens across the province is back for its 7th year. Open Farm Days is back with a recond number of farms participating in 2019 and they have their own beer which means there’s a greater chance of a being able to visit many farms near you, AND, the variety of farms is greater.

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In Explore, Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
August 8, 2019

Tips for Surviving Long Haul Flights with Kids

Dreaming of taking trips to incredible destinations? Dreaming of taking your children around the world to experience new cultures and take on new adventures? Having nightmares about the long flights? We have all been there!

From when my children were old enough to have a passport (so basically the first few weeks), my husband and I have been taking our children on trips around the world. Our first long haul trip was with our 6 month old daughter to Turkey. Of Course we were terrified. As new parents and never having travelled with children before we couldn’t even anticipate what it might look like. To make it worse, him and I had this image of exhausted parents not having slept for 24 hours pacing back and forth in airplane consoling a screaming baby in our minds. Our first experience wasn’t too far off from that image to be honest. On the way to Turkey, we had crying, no sleep, we had many many outfit changes and throw up. Lots of throwup! Not a great way to kick off a 2 week vacation. BUT we sat down, and we worked out a great plan for the return, taking into account everything we had experienced. It was almost perfect! We got it all worked out and we were now prepared. Fast forward 6 years and 2 kids later, we have taken many long haul flights including Egypt, Singapore, Indonesia, and The Philippines. 

I want to share with you my tips for taking long haul flights so that you can get past the anxiety of flying with children and start enjoying all the amazing places this world has to offer! 

BABY: 

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Fort Saskatchewan Event – Spark The Energy Credit Union Grand Opening

The first thing I asked myself is – What the heck is Spark The Energy Credit Union?

Here is a snippet from their About Us Page to give you an idea:

“Originally founded in 1953 as a credit union for employees of Shell Canada.
As the energy industry evolved, so did the credit union. On June 13, 2018, the membership approved to change the name from Shell Employees’ Credit Union to SPARK The Energy Credit Union to signal our opening to the people of the energy industry at large – no matter if you’re an employee, contractor, or consultant.”

They’re not just like any other financial institution – they’re for Albertans, by Albertans and they have the financial products, advice, service, and understanding to help you and your family thrive financially. 

And they’re opening a Credit Union branch in Fort Saskatchewan to do just that! 

The Grand Opening provides you with an opportunity to check it out AND have a little family fun!

DETAILS

When: July 26, 2019; from 10 to 2 pm

What:

  • Special SPARK gift bags for first 50 attendees 
  • Door prizes
  • FREE treats from the Tiny Tim’s mini-donut food trucks
  • Face painting & balloon animals 
  • Mix 107.9 will be live on location 
  • Grand Opening Giveaway of a Family 2019 Seasonal Membership to Jurassic Forest  

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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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5 Reasons We Love The St. Albert Botanic Park

This past weekend we decided to take advantage of the sunshine – it’s few and far between lately! My daughter has become interested in taking photos – especially of flowers – and we had never been to the St. Albert Botanic Garden so that’s where we went!

1. It’s FREE

You park in the lot and it’s right there. There is a gift shop you can peruse if you like but entrance is free.

2. It’s bigger than you expect!

I hadn’t looked up anything more than where it was so when we got there, the entrance gardens were already impressive. But then we kept walking. It’s LONG. There is an entrance park, an East park, a West park and more additional gardens. We stopped along the way so much to take photos we spent almost 2 hrs there.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
July 12, 2019

Hobbies? Ha! What hobbies?

From age 9-16 I was a competitive swimmer for a small summer swim team in Jasper National Park ; the Jasper Red Fins. We were small but mighty and we called ourselves “RED HOT!” WE were very proud. I didn’t actually learn to swim until age 9 but my parents focused on it so much that within months, I had completed all the levels and joined the swim team. Swimming became my life. I wasn’t the fastest swimmer but my technique was good and I loved it! I enjoyed early morning practices and I would even go to the pool to “swim laps” on my own regularly. Our pool had a Kilometer Club and where the goal was to swim 100km in the specified time frame and we got prizes at different milestones.  When I say swimming was my life, I’m not exaggerating! 

After age 16, I started coaching the swim team. First I was an assistant coach then a year or so later, I was the head coach. The team was mine! I was a “take no crap” kind of coach. I was a 6am practice kind of coach. I was a “no junk food or unhealthy food the week before a competition” kind of coach. Like I said, swimming was my life.  I did this until about age 21 when I stopped spending the summers in Jasper.

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In Contests, Lifestyle on
July 11, 2019

*Giveaway* With Simply Supper

Which person are you? The person who meal preps for the week on Sunday or, the person who is now panicking because “what on earth am I going to make”?

I’m perpetually person two. I’m not prepared, I don’t enjoy meal prepping or even cooking. Depending on what is going on at home with kids activities and work, our life can get a little chaotic. This is where Simply Supper has saved my life at least 3-4 times in the last month. Instead of reaching for Skip the Dishes or Papa Johns app, I’ve actually had a homemade meal in my house instead of take-out. When I say it’s been a game changer for this mess of a human (that’s me), it would be an understatement.

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In Lifestyle, Recipe on
July 11, 2019

Canning Party with Bernardin

Growing up I LOVED my moms strawberry freezer jam. I remember getting excited when I saw my Dad bring home cases of strawberries because it meant that we were making jam soon. We would spend hours in the kitchen together washing the jars, mashing the strawberries, stirring in the sugar, and pouring the jam into jars ready to be frozen. All while listening to Sunday morning classics on CFCW because it isn’t canning unless you’re listening to the oldest honky tonk music right?

I loved when our cousins, friends or Grandparents stopped by and were able to help too. Cooking is always better when you’re working in a group!

That is why we were so excited to host a canning party with Bernardin. We wanted to recreate that feeling of friends and family coming together to cook while getting the kids involved.

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