A few years ago, one of the gifts that I gave my husband for Christmas was date nights for a year. I planned and purchased everything we needed for them and even added in cash. Each date night went into an individual envelope, and it was a surprise every month with a fun activity. It doesn’t haven’t to be grandiose by any means but it’s a great way to ensure you’re spending time together.
It’s hard to pick the perfect potluck dish. You want something easy to prep, a dish that will feed a crowd, and something that’s easy to transport.
Don’t worry Mamas, we’ve got you! We’ve partnered with Alberta Turkey and have created the perfect pot luck dish: Turkey Buffalo Mac n Cheese. And the best part? EVERYTHING was made in an Instant Pot because we know you have zero time this time of year. By using the Instant Pot we’ve also cut out on all the dishes you have to do. This is literally a one pot meal!
Narrowing down the perfect gift for your child’s teacher, coach, tutor, or babysitter can seem overwhelming. We polled a group of moms and teachers and found out some of the best gifts you can give this holiday season that won’t break the bank.
- A thoughtful note is at the top of everyone’s list. A personalized thank-you note for your kid’s teacher to show appreciation for their hard work is sure to be well received.
- A favorite for many is sweet treats! Cookies by George or homemade holiday treats; either way, they won’t last until the end of the day.
- A box of quality chocolates or biscuits. A great option if you know of your caregiver’s preferences or dietary restrictions.
- If you’d like to steer away from sweets, fancy crackers with artisanal jams are a great option. You can even pair this gift with a beautiful handcrafted cutting board.
- A Christmas tree ornament. You can get crafty and decorate one with your child or pick one up at most retailers.
- Gift cards are a sure-fire hit! For the coffee lover Tim Hortons, Starbucks, or McDonald’s all offer gift certificate ages of varying denominations. If you’re unsure, we love giving (and receiving!) gift certificates from Chapters Indigo.
- It might be tempting to give a bottle of wine; however, we recommend giving a gift certificate to the liquor store instead. The recipient can choose their favourite alcoholic beverage.
- A personalized gift basket filled with lip balm, hand moisturizer, and hand soaps is useful for nearly everyone.
- Classroom staples such as whiteboard markers, fine writing pens, a beautiful notepad, or colourful sticky notes make great teacher gifts.
- A pair of mittens or a warm scarf are perfect for the teacher who works outdoor duty during lunch and recess.
- An insulated travel mug is perfect for those early morning commutes. If you know the recipient’s tastes, you could add packets of handmade or store-bought hot chocolate.
- A framed handwritten poem from your child to their caregiver. This could be an excerpt from your child’s favorite book or poem your child makes up. You can add a hand-painted and decorated frame to make this an extra special gift.
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.
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!
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.
Ok Mamas. I need your help. The Christmas bug got me early this year! I am usually a “week before Christmas” kind of person.
Maybe it is because I usually do so many Christmas events back to back and I am kind of sick of Christmas by the time November hits. But this year it is more spread out with a trip thrown in there to break things up.
Maybe it’s because we get a real tree and I don’t want to pick up needles for 6 weeks so we put our tree up a week before the big day. But this year we’re still getting a real try eventually and in the mean time we have a small, fake tree downstairs. Those twinkling lights are getting to me in a good way.
Maybe it’s because I am low key jealous of the kids’ advent calendars. Who doesn’t like a toy and a chocolate every morning when they wake up! But this year a friend found me a cheese advent calendar so I will be just as excited as the kids every morning.
Something has happened this year. I am more excited this year than I can remember ever being since it was the Christmas I asked for a doll house and not only did Santa deliver – but it was HUGE and pink and had stairs for my Barbies to go up and down. It was a good Christmas.
So. I need some help.
When do I decorate? How long do you leave it up after Christmas? Do you get sick of it and want to rip it all down by December 14th? Do you put it all out at once or slowly?
Tell this Christmas Grinch all your early decorating/celebrating the season tips please!
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?
We’re done having kids. The boys are now 8 & 11 so we’re out of the baby/toddler/preschooler stage. I have loved every stage but the older they get the more I see a little baby and want to squish their little cheeks and start again. KIDDING. I don’t want to start again. But I need something to keep me company during the day while the boys are in school. Pets are not an option (WAY too much work plus the whole allergy thing) so I’m becoming a Plant Mom.
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.
The day is almost here! The day that your children, if old enough to talk, have probably been going on about incessantly since school started: HALLOWEEN.
This day can cause a lot of stress for parents. There’s just so much excitement, sugar, sensory overload, sugar, late bedtime, sugar, excitement, sugar…. which, for most kids, means eventual overwhelm and meltdown. What I’ve learned in my 6 years as a “Halloween Parent” is that you gotta do you, mama. When I was a new mom there was a post by a mom blogger essentially shaming moms for not trick or treating around their own neighbourhoods…. Obviously that stuck with me because I still remember it. Guess what? Who cares! Forget about what others think you should be doing on Halloween and just do what you think is best for your kid(s) AND your sanity.