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.
How did I not know this little piece of camping paradise existed right in our own backyard?
The Mamas were very lucky recently. Arrkann RV set us up with some sweet trailers for Glamping right in Edmonton. You can read all about our take on the trailers here – but I digress.
Rainbow Valley Campground boasts 39 15 amp powered sites + 29 natural sites;
And a massive green space WITH a playground.
Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from maternal support practitioner Sarah Wallace. Sarah is a mama to four kids between the ages of three and eight, and since battling postpartum depression, has become passionate about helping other moms navigate the fourth trimester. Currently, she serves the areas of Edmonton, Leduc, and surrounding communities. Connect with Sarah on instagram @sarahwallacedoula, or by visiting her website sarahwallacedoula.com
1. You’ve been very open about your own struggles with postpartum depression. What made you decide to share this experience with others?
When I was first going through postpartum depression, I felt so much shame about it. I didn’t actually realize that I had postpartum depression and just thought I was failing at being a mom. Hearing other’s stories led me to make an appointment where I got diagnosed and that was a game changer for me. I wasn’t failing as a mom – I just needed some help! I share my story in hopes that another parent who is suffering will see that they are not alone and will reach out for help. I also share it because I want to take some of that stigma away so that those struggling don’t feel so much shame for needing some help.
2. Why were you inspired to offer both birth doula support and postpartum doula support?
I have been supporting families for a long time now. Through my work with Momstown as well as my own personal experience, I saw how a positive postpartum experience can really set a family up to succeed. After I had my 2nd and 3rd sons, I found myself floundering and struggling through because I didn’t know how to ask for help and my support network wasn’t always able to help when I did. I knew that I wanted to help families get through the hard bits in the postpartum so that they could feel more confident. I love birth work and seeing folks birth their babies into this world, but there is something special about the relief a new parent feels when you come in and ease some of their burdens for a few hours.
We don’t know about you but we are SO excited for the snow to melt and the reno’s to begin! But we really don’t even have to wait do we? Lots can be done inside while it’s chilly outside!
With big names like Bryan Baeumler hosts of HGTV’s Bryan Inc., plus, with more than 225 exhibitors and a slew of exciting new features, there’s real advice and real inspiration at the Edmonton Renovation Show!
The 2019 Edmonton Renovation Show runs:
Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 12PM – 9PM
Saturday, January 26th, 2019 – 10AM – 9PM
Sunday, January 27th, 2019 10AM – 6PM
Buy your tickets online here or enter to win passes below in our GIVEAWAY! Did you know, Kids 12 & under are free!
Thanks to the Renovation Show we have a four pack of tickets to giveaway! Tickets can be picked up at the show box office and the draw will be Monday, January 21st.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We have been really trying to encourage experience gifts (see a great list of ideas for Experience Gifts here) and this Christmas the Grandparents knocked it out of the park. One set of Grandparents got the kids an Alberta’s History Annual Pass which allows us to visit numerous museums and historical sites across the province. Over the break we already used it twice (once for the Royal Alberta Museum and once for the Royal Tyrrell Museum) making it already pay for itself and it’s only the first month! You can learn more about these passes and buy your own here. It is only $120 for a family pass so if you plan on exploring the province this summer we highly recommend this pass.
The other set of Grandparents found another great gift idea. Subscription boxes. You remember how excited you used to get when mail came? Well these boxes make that happen every month! This year Grandma found Kiwi Co. and signed the boys up for a Kiwi Box (5-8 years old) and a Tinker Box (9-16+). We have received two boxes so far and I am so impressed with the quality.
The meal time struggle is real.
No matter what you make, bake, cook, or blend there is always someone at the table that is less than impressed with what is for supper. And for some reason it is always supper at our house that is the struggle. The boys go through phases of picky eating and being more adventurous it seems which also throws me for a loop. One day they just want plain noodles and chicken fingers and the next they are shocking you and eating a plate of fish (after 10 years of me coaxing, offering, trying, fighting, bribing… you get the idea) and liking it.
So I’ve come up with some tips and tricks that have helped me throughout the years. These may not work for every family but they have definitely helped ours. I’d love to hear your thoughts on meal times and how you make them more manageable too!
I used to go BIG for birthdays. That is actually one of the things Box Social Event Planning did when I started the business. We planned parties for parents that wanted that “Pinterest” party but didn’t have time. We would do such elaborate parties that one time we brought 8 foot trees into a play place to create a perfect Woodland Theme.
But then I stopped. Because I didn’t understand why I was throwing all this time and energy into one day for a little human that wouldn’t even remember it. I still love scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram and seeing beautiful, well curated parties but it just doesn’t work for our family anymore.
I wanted my kids to still have memorable birthdays though. Not something that just blipped by. And then we got the Birthday Banner.
I am not sure when it started but it has become a tradition in our house to hang the Birthday Banner. I remember picking it up at Target (sigh I miss Target even though the Canadian one wasn’t as good as the American one) and hanging it up for one of my kids’ birthdays. It was a September birthday and it was a very busy time for our family between school starting (being married to a teacher in September is not fun) and a busy event schedule for myself. So we threw up the banner and sang Happy Birthday to my youngest around Eggo Waffles topped with whipped cream from a can. Then I brought it out for the next one. Now a few years later it is something my kids love waking up to. It is made out of felt and gets hung in the same spot every time. Sometimes it gets fancy 3M hooks, other times it is held up by green painters tape.
But it is always there.
It took me a while but I have realized that the kids do not care about all the decorations, the cake, the late night party planning. They don’t care whether they have Pinterest worthy handmade cupcakes or a cake bought on the way home from work with a generic “Happy Birthday” on it. They want you to be there. To be present. To sing “Happy Birthday” and watch them blow the candles out not be worried about all the other stuff.
So from now on that is my goal. To be present. And hang the banner every birthday.
Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailsMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.
It’s one of my favourite celebrations – Halloween. Dressing up and candy – what’s not to love? Honestly, I’m not big on the scares though – I had nightmares from The People Under the Stairs – look it up, you’ll probably laugh. Whether you like a good scare or you don’t, it’s always fun to get out there and take in the fun that comes along with the day.
Do you head out and enjoy events around Halloween? Which are your fave?
Here are some great looking events we found in and around Red Deer!
Turkey may be the star of the meal this weekend but we thought we would have some fun and share with you a fun, easy pumpkin spice cocktail to serve your guests!
My husband and I do a thing called Cocktail Monday (you can see some of our ideas by following me on Instagram here or searching the #cocktailMonday hashtag) where each week we take turns making a cocktail. We love how it starts the week with some fun and it has become a great way to connect and hang out just the two of us every week.
August is halfway done which means Farmers Markets (and maybe even your own garden!) are bursting with fresh, delicious produce. But what should you do with all these veggies once you bring them home? We’ve made the easiest salad using all market ingredients with a dressing so easy we guarantee you already have everything you need in your pantry. Not only is this recipe easy, it keeps in the fridge for a while making it the perfect make-ahead meal for BBQ’s, work lunches, and picnics in the park.