The beauty of our great province of Alberta is most evident in the diversity and uniqueness of Albertans. Albertans come from all corners of the Earth. They come from different cultural and religious backgrounds.
On April 13th, over 115,000 Muslim Albertans will be observing the Holy Month of Ramadan. This is a month of heightened spirituality which includes prayer, reading Qur’an, fasting, and giving charity. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dusk to dawn. A total of about 19 hours. This means Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, intimacy, and worldly desires during those hours. Also, Muslims are expected to control their tempers and behaviors.
If you want to be a good Ally, Ramadan is a great time to start. As you can imagine, fasting such long hours can take a toll on your co-workers. Although they will do their best to maintain their work, their energy, and their friendly personality they may need a little support from you. So how can you support your Muslim Coworkers? Here are some pointers to help you out.
Cold War Bunker Hike in Canmore Alberta
Hiking with kids is always… interesting. I find that if I can entice mine with an end goal to hike to they do MUCH better. Usually we try to find a hike with water (lakes, rivers, waterfalls, etc) to get to but this time we wanted something different so we tried the Cold War Bunker Hike just East of Canmore.
When you tell the kids there is an old abandoned cave to explore at the end of the hike they move FAST!
Apparently this was built during the Cold War to house important documents for the Canadian Government in case of disaster. Construction for this project started in 1969 but ended before it was completed. At this time we can’t find any information on why they stopped construction.
The caves go further back than we expected so we highly recommend bringing a couple of flashlights to explore. We used our cell phone lights but having flashlights would have been better.
This trail is easy to do and can be done in all seasons. It is a 4km hike with slight elevation at the end but I would say it is a relatively easy hike for most families. You can see more details on the hike on AllTrails here.
To get to the trailhead:
- Park in the Heart Creek Trail parking lot.
- There are two parking areas once you turn off the highway. Park in the West one.
- At the far West side of the parking lot you’ll see a sign about bears. You found the trail!
In June 2020, I found myself pregnant with my second child. I rolled my eyes at becoming a part of the now famous “Covid-baby club.” It’s a popular club for a reason and I was now a happy member. We had just recently and successfully hosted our 8th annual SkirtsAfire Festival in March, about a week before the lockdowns began. I remember enjoying the spring and the start of summer, feeling optimistic that in a month or two, things would return to normal and we would all get back to our festival city as planned. Then slowly but surely, things started getting postponed, then canceled, and our case numbers took a sharp turn for the worse. Through it all, as I grew this baby mostly isolated to my home, we planned for SkirtsAfire 2021: a return to indoor in-person performances in a safe way.
Having a baby in a pandemic is different. This baby will be welcomed into the world with masks and the strong scent of hand sanitizer and the rough touch of overly-washed chapped hands. No gatherings of friends and family to hold and kiss the fresh being that just entered the world. Instead, there will be more screen time than I’d like to admit my newborn will have, more time spent with me on my phone texting and emailing pictures and updates, more time spent alone, just our small family. I think of my friends who have had babies in 2020 who have no family in the city, most out of the country even, who have had no relatives allowed to visit and have no known date in the future they’ll get to meet the new addition. My sisters live in Hong Kong and I don’t know when they will get to meet their new nephew. Things I never thought I’d need to feel sad about before.
SkirtsAfire in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse and daring”. Things are a little different this year, but it will still be 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!
We have taken in their 2017 through 2020 MainStage Productions as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. This year they will be bringing the heart of SkirtsAfire into your home! Check out SkirtsAfire’s engaging online content as well as outdoor offerings, where you can expect a covid-safe trip around Old Strathcona experiencing art, design, and music.
You may be getting real sick and tired of staring at your family at home by this point of Covid Winter in Alberta… The struggle is real and movie nights are getting old. We decided to mix it up a bit and try ice fishing! Last year my kiddo and I went ice fishing with my brother and let me tell you, my then 7 year old thought it was the coolest thing! He has been begging to do it again, but with Covid restrictions and not having the proper equipment ourselves, we just hadn’t been able.
Then I got the idea of renting an ice fishing shack from an ad I scrolled past one day on Instagram. Perfect!
Hey Alberta, it’s flipping COLD! And with COVID there is no escaping the frigid temperatures so I need to come clean.
I’ve become a binger. There is nothing I like better than escaping into someone else’s made up, or in the case of reality TV, escalated DRAMA. I thought I would share with you what I have been enjoying and maybe, you’d like to share as well!
By myself mindless escape
Bridgerton – I’m a crazy fanatic for the age this is set in. With the music and the naughty bits, it’s just divine. I’ve heard people say it didn’t live up to their expectations – so, go into it with only escape in mind.
Selling Sunset – I might have a small girl crush on Chrishell. It’s like a mix of the best real estate shows you’ve watched with the drama of Housewives.
Emily In Paris – Again, not the most titillating of story twists, but hey, it’s in PARIS.
Bling Empire – Have you watched Crazy Rich Asians? This one is just fun!
I wondered if it was worth writing about a year with COVID-19. It has taken over our lives and has dictated our activities. I’ve also thought about how different we are from the start of the pandemic in 2020. The uncertainty and nervousness from March 2020, to now – freezing in Alberta February, 2021. Almost a year later from our initial lockdown and still no parties, sleepovers, no kids sports, no boozy girl nights (we could gather outside but -25 isn’t my jam).
The global pandemic didn’t stop our life, but it was the year we did a LOT less.
Fewer gathering, fewer people, fewer parties, and instead of the big family reunion this summer, we did day trips in Alberta. More family time, more time alone, more time realizing I’m a terrible baker. More gardening, more time in a hammock. More ordering in from restaurants and giving into buying from Amazon.
I’m just going to get right to the point with this one because there is nothing worse than clicking on a recipe link and having to read through 7 paragraphs about how you organize your kitchen and are using new spoons now and then oh ya and here is the tiny little recipe at the very bottom. We know you’re here for the chocolate and bacon.
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 10 oz skor bits
- 1/2 cup bacon chopped finely
- Chocolate chips or baking chocolate to drizzle over
- Cream sugar and butter together in an electric mixer.
- Add vanilla and eggs and whip together on medium high speed for at least 5 minutes. It seems long but spending the time now to fully whip together these ingredients will make for a softer, fluffier, and chewier cookie.
- In a separate bowl add all dry ingredients including skor bits and bacon. If you choose to add chocolate chips instead of drizzling chocolate at the end (saves some time!) add these now as well.
- Mix until just blended. DO NOT OVER MIX THIS PART.
- Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or less. The less you cook them the chewier they get.
- Drizzle chocolate over top.
- Hide half of them in a container so the kids can’t find and eat them all. Parenting during a pandemic is hard. You deserve to have cookies you don’t have to share.
Hey, 2020 – Burn Baby Burn!
Just kidding of course, but if you have space to safely do a ritual burning of your 2020 agenda as suggested by the Wall Street Journal, we are not going to judge.
Let’s talk New Year’s Eve with the family. Your household family of course I mean, this being COVID times.
What can you do to make it special and fun for everyone?
We have a few thoughts!
KID-FRIENDLY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES – a recent post, from one of our amazing contributors has some great ideas to get out and about!