Open Farm Days is an annual favourite for many connecting Albertans to their food sources: farmers. For some (myself included) we are generations removed from the family farm, and I have absolutely zero clue about farms, animals, electric fences (they’re a thing), and how they get cows to move to a new pasture. It’s completely mind-boggling to me.
Last week we were invited to Metis Crossing which is Alberta’s first major Metis Cultural Interpretive destination. Located about 1.5 hours North East of Edmonton by the Town of Smoky Lake, it is an easy day trip through some beautiful country.
With Covid cases rising we are on the lookout for more things to do with the kids that create a sense of “normal” for them without risking being exposed. We were reassured by the Metis Crossing staff that protocols have been put into place to still get the experience you want with the safety you need. Plus, with all of this online learning from home, the trip is kind of like a field trip!
UPick season is here!
We are all feeling it – the need to “get out” but the worry of too many people, not enough distance…it can make anyone want to stay at home. After being cooped up for too long, we decided to get out of the city for the day and go pick some Haskaps at Rosy Farm’s UPick for a fun treat, some fresh country air, and a whole lotta Blue Skies.
For those that are wondering “what the heck is a Haskap?” prepare to have your mind (and tastebuds) blown.
We left our bubble for the first time since March 14th, when COVID-19 shut Alberta down, to Banff last weekend. While we were anxious about filling the streets of the Bow Valley and hopefully, not adding to a problem of overcrowded streets, we really (really) needed to leave town and have a change of scenery. What better scenery than Banff?
Updated July 2020
There is almost nothing better than a road trip, with the exception of going on a road trip and making a pit stop to see that world’s largest honeybee or a real-life UFO landing pad.
In honour of all things weird, here’s our ultimate list of all things roadside in Alberta.
Planing a trip to see the “Worlds Largest” in N.E. Alberta, see our tip and our trip here.
Pancake breakfasts are one of the staples when it comes to Stampede, and this year while things may look a lot different the pancakes will still be served at the BMO Kids’ Day Pancake Drive-thru event.
BMO Kids’ Day Pancake Drive-thru
On July 8th you and your family are invited to enjoy a pancake drive-thru at Stampede Park. Taking place from 9 am-4 pm, attending the BMO Kids’ Day Pancake Drive-thru is FREE for everyone, however advanced registration is required. (Register here)
The pancake breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, syrup, and juice and will be served in a clamshell container. For the health and safety of everyone any other forms of transportation such as bikes, walk-up, scooters etc. will not be permitted and once you receive your breakfast, you will need to vacate Stampede Park and enjoy your pancakes either at home or an alternate location.
Stampede Park is located at 1410 Olympic Way Southeast. For more details visit calgarystampede.com
By Ashley Anjlien Kumar, The Confidence Coach
In Part 1 of this 3-part series, I described some of the behaviours a child might exhibit if they have perfectionist tendencies. To refresh your memory, check out the post here. Not only will this help a child with perfectionism, but it can prevent it from developing in the first place.
PART 2: CELEBRATE MISTAKES
Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to prevent our kids from making mistakes? As kids we were always cautioned against making mistakes, right? So why do I want to celebrate my kids mistakes?
I hear kids all the time, especially in a dance class or sports, “I hope I don’t make a mistake” or “I hope I don’t get it wrong.” They hope they don’t make a mistake because they view the mistake as a diminishment of who they are. That somehow, they aren’t good enough. Many kids, by age 5 or 6 years old, are already determining their self-worth by their mistakes.
In my family, similar to many conservative traditional families, making mistakes was not okay. You did not make mistakes. Mistakes meant punishments.
Spring in Alberta means lilacs. Those fragrant little flowers start popping out in June and it seems like everywhere you walk you can smell them. Unfortunately the season is way too short. That is why we want to help you preserve the smell of Spring with this beautiful, easy recipe for Lilac Sugar.
Lilac Sugar can be used to replace regular sugar in cookies, biscuits, scones, tea, cocktails, salad dressing, marinades and more. Wherever a hint of floral, fragrance could be used to elevate your dish! The taste is not over powering but if you want just a bit you can always mix in half lilac and half regular sugar.
This will keep in the pantry for months so make a big batch (the recipe below is easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled depending on how many lilacs you can find!) and enjoy the smell of fresh, beautiful lilacs until they come back next year.
Lilac Sugar Recipe
1/4 cup Lilacs
3/4 cups Sugar
Step 1 – Pick the flowers you want to sugar. When you are using flowers for baking and cooking make sure you collect the flowers from an area you are familiar with so you know if they have been sprayed with any chemicals or toxins.
Step 2 – Pick off the flower parts from the stem trying to remove as much green stem as possible. If a little gets into the sugar it is OK but for looks you basically want just the flower. They are very easy to pull off with your fingers. Avoid using scissors as it will bruise the petals releasing the fragrance before you want to. If you can do this step outside it is best as tiny bugs and twigs will come out.
Step 3 – Rinse and wash the flowers to remove any other unwanted bugs, leaves, or twigs. Shake the flowers under a gentle stream of water to keep the flowers intact.
Step 4 – Spread the flowers evenly on a tea towel to dry for at least an hour. You want the flowers to have no excess water on the petals or your sugar will clump.
Step 5 – Once the flowers are dry layer the flowers and the sugar into a mason jar. Don’t worry about even layers as you will be shaking the jar over the next few days. Make sure to leave a few centimetres of room at the top of the jar to allow for movement when shaking.
Step 6 – Shake the contents of the jar every day for a week. I usually put the jar by the coffee maker to remind me to shake it every morning. As you go about your day if you walk past the jar give it a little shake too. The more you shake the more the flavours and fragrances come out. This is a great job for kids!
Step 7 – Once a week passes the sugar is ready! You can sift the sugar to remove the flowers and leave just the flavoured sugar or leave them in. They are edible and make a beautiful addition when you use the sugar.
As we spend more time at home and try to not run to the store for every little thing, I am finding that we are trying to use what we already have on hand. Or, make what we need from things we have here. OR, just make things because we have nothing else to do! For my son’s Art Week at school we were given some projects to create at home. One of the projects was window painting with homemade paint. I wanted to share it here because it’s quick, fun and cleans up easily!
- Liquid Dish Soap
- Warm Water
- Food Colouring
Mix equal parts of flour, soap and warm water in a large bowl. We used 1/2 a cup of each, but depending on how much paint you’d like you can adjust. Use a whisk to ensure that all the flour is mixed in. Find some small bowls and add the uncoloured paint to them. We used old plastic applesauce containers that I keep in the craft supplies. Use food colouring to create your own custom colours of paint! A while back at the grocery store I found these Neon food colours, they created some really pretty shades.
We painted on the window at our front door with a variety of brush types. Any mistakes we made were easily wiped away with a wet cloth. We also tried the paint on paper and canvas, with success!
What homemade projects have you been enjoying with the kids? Let us know!
By Ashley Anjlien Kumar, The Confidence Coach
Does your child get down on herself? Is she hard on herself? A ‘perfectionist’ child?
Some parents have reached out to me to ask what they can do to help their child who they believe has perfectionist tendencies. As someone who grew up with a mother with perfectionist tendencies, I picked up those qualities too in many ways. It isn’t easy going into the adult world expecting and wanting things to be perfect from the start, and then realizing there will be many roadblocks, ‘plan B’s’ – which a perfectionist mostly hates, and even failures. — What? Failure? Aarrgh (running in the opposite direction…Right?)
I’ve been working on those tendencies since I was 19 years old and have worked to diminish the effects of these habits on my life. There are adults in their 60’s now trying to unravel their perfectionist habits so they can learn to enjoy life more. This is isn’t easy as we get older, so the sooner we start with young kids, the better off they will be in the long run.
There isn’t one single answer that will ‘fit’ each child because each child is unique. But here are some ways to help your child that will benefit her regardless, and will help to increase the connection in your relationship.
First, what are some signs of a perfectionist child?
- Gives up easily after only 1 or 2 attempts of something,
- Unable to overcome mistakes,
- Has difficulty managing change,
- Self-critical, self-conscious, or easily embarrassed,
- Sensitive to criticism even if it’s constructive,
- Anxiety about making mistakes,
- Procrastinates or avoids challenging tasks,
- Tendency to stay in comfort zone,
- Emotionally and socially inhibited,
- Critical of others,
- Difficulty decision making…
These are just a few.
So what can you do?