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!
Do you feel like it’s the same old thing every year? Quickly after the beauty of fall fades, the next season creeps in. A season that makes even some of the world’s most resilient animals say… yeah, no, gonna sleep through this one.
I’m talking about winter.
Winter makes us feel the need to bury ourselves under every blanket in the house, turn on the fireplace, and debate whether letting our kids watch TV for the next 5 months straight is reasonable. Anyone with me? I haven’t always been the biggest fan of winter and my fiance is even less impressed with this particular season.
Unfortunately (but also, fortunately), our 5-year-old child tends to set the stage for our daily activities, so… OUTSIDE WE GO! He has truly helped warm my relationship with winter. Greatly. I’ve come to actually love it! So I’m going to spend the next little while trying to convince you, while winter isn’t the easiest season to tolerate, it can be one of the most fun! Believe me?
First, let’s quickly touch on safety. Safety in the outdoors is always important, but I would say it’s the most critical in the winter with all the ice, snow, and darkness (I know… I’m selling it. Please keep reading!). I’ll keep it short. I strongly suggest you check the forecast and overpack with many layers and backups if you’re heading out. If your kiddo is typically unimpressed with the cold weather, bringing hand and foot warmers can help keep them toasty and you happy!
Winter Fun in the Backyard
3 Part Series… Part 2 , Part 1
Part 3: GIVE Skills/technique or appreciation-based praise & AVOID person, looks, or talent-based praise.
I had been called ‘fatty’ by some family members for a large part of my childhood years. I was actually within a healthy weight according to medical standards, but I started to believe deep down, I was ‘too fat’ (aka not good enough.)
But when I hit puberty, my body changed and one day I was suddenly ‘complimented’ by a female member of my extended family who said “Oh wow Ashley. You’re so skinny now. You’ve lost so much weight. You look great.”
I was 12 years old. I was floored. My mind jumped with excitement.
I had never been called ‘skinny’ before! Throughout my formative years I was told I was fat.
So, what happened? I glommed on to this new-found approval, beginning my infatuation with wanting to be skinny so I could retain the approval I was getting… The ‘fatty’ comments I got before were constantly telling me that I was “not good enough.”
Where did this land me?
Although some parts of the province have already *gasp* seen snow there is still time to do some leaf art with the kids. Not only is this easy to do the clean up is minimal! No glitter all over the house with this project.
This is also great activity to get you outside. Not only will you enjoy a walk you will get the opportunity to pause and look closely at different shapes, sizes and textures of the leaves with the kids.
What you need:
- leaves and twigs
- cardstock or other thick paper
- glue (I used a glue gun to make sure it stuck flat but white glue or a glue stick works too)
- On your walk collect different leaves and start thinking about what they could be.
- Arrange the leaves on the paper the way the child wants and glue the leaves and twigs down.
- Draw funny faces, legs, arms and other details on the leaf and around it.
This is one of the easiest fall activities and they make great artwork for the fridge!
Camp Yowochas has been running year-round programs since 1981, and summer camp programs since 1916. But this year, they’re offering something completely new! A way for your kids to get their regular schooling done, but ALSO enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.
In 2019, Camp Yowochas hosted over 8,300 visitors, including summer campers, schools, user groups and employ up to 60 staff members during the high season. Located in Fallis, AB, this year, they are offering Yowochas Learning Academy!
The Yowochas Learning Academy is designed for students who have chosen a distance or virtual learning option with their school division. The Camp Yowochas team will work with the parents of the students to understand and schedule their day to ensure they are meeting all curriculum needs.VLDC is for students who are 5-15 and enrolled in kindergarten to grade 9.
“In a typical year at Camp Yowochas, our staff are busy providing programs for more than 8,000 guests throughout the year. The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything this year, and we worked hard to figure out safe, responsible and meaningful ways to continue to run programs at Camp Yowochas. Through our summer Family Fun Days, Cabins at Yowochas and the Yowochas Learning Academy, we continue to support our community by offering programs that meet their needs in these uncertain times.”
– Terry Kony, Director, Camp Yowochas
Designed With Parents In Mind
As the Alberta Mamas, obviously, we are parents ourselves and we know that we’ve all had to make changes AND choices that have not been easy. Camp Yowochas wants to provide parents with the opportunity to return to work with the peace of mind of knowing their children are safe and progressing in their learning and development.