Recently my daughter told me that I don’t spend enough time with her. (Annnnnnd cue allll the mom guilt). I was having a super busy day after I was gone all weekend in trainings that were 12 hours each day. She was upset because I told her to play with her sister while I got just a bit more work done. The tears started (hers and almost mine).
I have been a stay at home mom since my first was born. All my time was spent with my kids. Allllll my time. My husband worked out of town and I sort of had to put in double parent duty. I have taken them on all the play dates, mommy and baby classes, volunteered at preschools and so on.
Of course, life changes. My husband no longer works his lucrative out of town job, meaning I also work. (By the way, this isn’t a woe is me. I LOVE the work I do). Even, in reality I work mostly from home, but of course computer time at home isn’t the same thing as play with my children. That’s a whole other story and set of mom guilt.
Anyways, back to the tears. I told her “okay how about you and I go on a date?”. We planned a mommy daughter date in two days when I knew I wouldn’t have to rush to get somewhere after. And this was the amazing result.
It was so simple. So perfect.
We went to the library. Free fun. Read some books together, played some games and worked the sign out process together. I happened to loose her Library card and she got to pick out a new one and everything.
Afterwards we went for a sweet hot chocolate date at Second Cup. She got extra whip cream and I couldn’t have cared if it spoiled her dinner. We talked about her favourite subject in school, her friends and they silly things she loves about them. Pondered why strawberries are red and what strange flavours of popcorn we could come up with.
Now because I’m (sort of) smart, earlier that day I took my younger daughter on the exact same date. Same place and everything. So of course there was no fighting over it all.
At first I was hurt and full of guilt by what my oldest had said to me, but in reality it lead us to these wonderful memories. Memories I know I will keep with me forever.
Time with our kids doesn’t have to be big grand gestures or lots of money. All they want is us. Our love and attention. And that’s pretty amazing isn’t it?
The cold weather and the snow are here to stay. Boost your immunity with my favourite natural products!
Before I get to my go- to products let’s talk about a few ways you can boost your immunity without needing to purchase anything.
- Get rest. Our bodies require a little more rest in the cold and dark evenings of the late fall/winter months. When you body gets enough rest it can work on the bacteria/virus that’s attacking your system better.
- Exercise. Move throughout your day, without overdoing it. According to Medline Plus exercise can help flush out bacteria from the lungs and airways.
- Eat Well. This one seems obvious of course, but try to eat balanced meals with nutrients to keep your body running at optimal.
Still feel an itchy throat coming on? Try our my favourite natural immune boosters.
- A probiotic. These are full of good gut bacteria. Studies are starting to show that a lot of our immunity is in our gut flora and if it’s not running at top notch, it compromises our immune systems. I actually tend to switch my brands often on this one. I like switching up the brands and the potency. I recommend getting one from your health food store that needs to be stored in the fridge. The shelf ones don’t work as well. *My opinion*. These refrigerated ones can cost between $40-$70.
- Feel Good Syrup. Locally made in Alberta, this elderberry syrup is a great immune booster. And tastes really good too. 1 tbsp 3/4 times a week to maintain immunity and I use it daily when I feel a little run down to get that extra boost. One bottle is about $20.
- Traditional Medicinals Teas. I like the sampler pack myself but you can buy just the one for sore throats or colds etc. Cost per box is about $9-$16.
- St. Francis Deep Immunity. A very powerful immune boosting product, recommended to me by my Naturopathic Doctor last year when I was in a series of being sick after sick for four straight months. I was better within days!
Last week one of the Alberta Mamas had the flu and two days later I got the same flu. I took all of these four and I never ended up with the fever, extreme chills or any vomiting! Of course everyone reacts differently and make sure to check with your health are provider to see if these may interact with anything you are taking.
Take care and be well!
This weekend coming up is Thanksgiving and I believe we all spend some time showing gratitude to who/what we are thankful for.
My family usually has the tradition of either going around the table and saying what we are grateful for or writing it on a piece of paper and putting it in a hat and each picking one out to say.
However lets go back a week ago.
It was one of the last warm days here in Edmonton and I had taken my kids to get slurpees. The next day my daughters were asking to get a treat from the store and I told them no. “You got slurpees yesterday”. The reply of “it was only a slurpee and that was yesterday” had me fuming a bit.
I then got to thinking about how to further teach my kids gratitude. I remember growing up and hearing the “there are kids around the world starving and don’t even ave shoes”, but I think that’s not exactly it right?
So I took to Facebook and asked my friends how THEY teach gratitude and some seriously beautiful things came up.
1.Chelsey from Mommy Connections North Edmonton said that her friend has a gratitude jar. They each write one thing they are grateful for that day and that’s how they start dinner time conversation. so sweet.
2. Shawna said “I teach it by living it. I make note out loud of what I am grateful for” Shawna says out loud she will say she is thankful for a great parking spot when they find one to her kids or when they see someone who is ill or injured she says out loud that she is thankful for health.
3. Jenna mentioned she is in the middle of reading a book called Raising Grateful Children in an Entitled World and a part talks about how it is healthy to say no to children especially in the case of it being something they want because everyone else has it . This helps teach them the difference between needs and wants.
4. Michele from Empowered Yoga says she sometimes has gratitude brainstorming sessions before bed with her kids. Bethany said she asks her son every night before bed who/what he is grateful for too.
5. The last one I want to share was a revelation I had while on the phone with my own mother. I called her to ask how she taught us as kids. I am a family of four kids and my parents separated when I was young. We had little money, meaning we didn’t always get things we wanted. I told her that I remember growing up knowing that I didn’t have some things that my friends did. I knew we didn’t exactly have lots of money, but I never felt like we were “without”. I always felt like I had everything I needed and plus some.
*wait a second… someone’s cutting onions…..*
Moving on. She told me that she would explain to us why we didn’t have things. Without the negativity. It wasn’t bad that we didn’t have brand new Nike shoes, we just had different shoes. And for things like Christmas we would circle all our desires in catalogues and she would pick the thing that we would circle like 10 times and talk about a lot and try and get that one particular thing for us. Keeping it special. We didn’t get it all, but she really tried to get one thing that meant a lot to us.
This part in the conversation it dawns on me.
Although we had little money, my mom made sure on Friday nights we spent time together and went to the store to get slurpees. We didn’t get them when it was hot out or we had a bad day, but we knew Friday it was coming. We would look forward to it all week.
That’s it. She kept the treat in having a treat. She showed us the little joys in life are easy to be grateful for. It was never about a comparison of what we have or don’t have that others do or do not. It’s actually about enjoying exactly what we can.
Thank you Mom.
Spinach Strawberry Summer Salad
Say that 5 times fast! This spinach salad is light for those hot summer Alberta days, full of nutrition and super yummy. I can even get my kids to eat it. (As long as I remove the onions of course).
- 3-5 cups of raw washed spinach
- 2 cups of strawberries sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds. Any of your favourite nut would work well here. Walnuts would be a good replacement!
- 1/4 thinly sliced red onion
- 1-2 tbsp of balsamic vinegrette dressing. I’ve also used Catalina style and it’s worked really well.
Toss everything together and enjoy. I like the crispiness you get when it’s eaten right away, but I also like when it’s sat overnight and the onions have softened a bit and the flavours have had a chance to come together as well. Good leftover possibly for an omelette the next morning? (I’d remove the strawberries however ha ha!)
Health benefits of Spinach:
Did you know spinach is high in vitamins and minerals including iron? Having more then 12 different antioxidants it helps neutralize free radicals and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Spinach is great for bone health and reducing cancer risk, making your strong like Popeye!
Health benefits of Strawberries:
High in Vitamin C to boost immunity and since they contain their seeds they have a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids to aid in digestion.
Since strawberries are on the Dirty Dozen list of fruits that have high amount of pesticides use, I recommend buying Organic strawberries.
You can try out some organic strawberries at The Organic Box! Use the code ORGANICBUNCH20 to receive $20 off your order of $50 or more.
About the Author
Jen is a health, fitness and lifestyle blogger over at www.BitchinHousewife.com. She is a yoga teacher and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast.