We’ve made it through January! Typically dreaded as one of the longest and worst months in Alberta- we’ve just come crashing down from Christmas, struggled to get back to routine, our wallets might be lighter, our skin is dry, there was a new moon and we’ve battled a tremendous cold snap…. SO if you are feeling particularly ragey right now, don’t feel bad! One of the best ways to release this energy and feel a little better (aside from screaming in your pantry with the door closed while you eat hidden chocolate) is to throw axes and smash things! Trust us, we’ve done it and it helps!
The Mamas love local and we hate grocery shopping.
So, when we learned about truLocal at the Edmonton Home and Garden show, we were intrigued!
Upon further investigation we learned that the basic idea is that they source LOCAL meat and deliver it to your door. Yes, it is subscription based BUT you choose your frequency. You can skip boxes – even pause or cancel at any time – no strings!
It was a real treat getting the box and seeing exactly where the items came from in Alberta. For example these DELISH steaks from Fort MacLeod.
Whether we like it or not, winter is here for a few more months. Getting the kids to go outside and play seems like way more work in winter especially when they are little. We’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help you get outside and take advantage of the snowy weather. Who knows… Winter may even become your favourite season!
- Dress for the weather – this means lots of layers especially for little ones. It can also mean spending some extra money on things like really good socks (wool based ones are great for warmth and moisture), boots, and mitts. Yes even for yourself! If you are cold you will not want to be outside. We live in a place where it is winter for half the year – invest in some good winter boots. It is a game changer!
- Sign up for winter activities if your budget allows – If you have put money down on a class, chances are you will show up no matter the weather. Ski lessons, snowshoeing, winter hike tours, and skating are all things you can do as a family.
- Enjoy the darkness – With winter comes shorter days but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. If you live in the city go for a drive to the country and go star gazing. Elk Island National Park, Kananaskis, or really any country road are all great options for star sighting. Don’t want to leave your backyard? Give the kids flashlights and glow sticks to take outside. You’ll have to drag them back in.
- Bring treats – Summer adventures mean ice cream and picnics but you can reward yourself for getting outside in winter too! Get a fancy hot chocolate and go for a walk or instead of finding ice cream, find a new bakery to check out.
- Book a mountain trip – Jasper in January can bring some great hotel deals and if you have a flexible work schedule try booking Jasper or Banff midweek to save some money. Winter doesn’t seem so bad when you are surrounded by Rocky Mountain beauty.
- Make a playdate – Tell the other parent they will be outside so they are dressed appropriately and let the kids build a fort, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman. Playing is more fun with a friend.
- Plan a family toboggan date – Get friends and family together to go tobogganing. Everyone brings their sleds and a thermos of hot drinks and you’re ready. If tobogganing isn’t your thing, find an outdoor rink and have a skating party!
- Use summer toys in winter – Keep the sand toys out to let them build snow-castles and dig with shovels. Bring out bubbles and watch them freeze. Use hula hoops for a winter obstacle course. Just because they are toys marketed to summer activities doesn’t mean they can’t use them year round.
Winter is not going anywhere so you may as well join in. If the kids see you out having fun, they’ll follow suit. And soon enough they will stay outside longer than the time it takes to bundle everyone up. Hopefully.
Experience what all the farm kids know about life on a farm this December 14-15 in southern Alberta.
Alberta Open Farm Days are piloting its first-ever Winter Edition to its extremely popular summer program.
What you need to know
Three farms and a deli (Back to Good for soup & cake on the go) are participating in the winter edition! You may recognize some farms from your travel this summer.
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 weather outside is getting colder and mountains are slowly being capped by snow. The cold weather and extra layers to go outside and explore with kids can be a daunting task. It is not always easy convincing toddlers and preschoolers to keep their mitts on. However, it is worth the struggle. Trust me. The trails turn into a beautiful winter wonderland. For children, this means entering the land of “Frozen”. Hot chocolate by the fireplace is also so much more enjoyable after a day of exploring in the cold. These 4 hikes, located in the Born to be Adventurous “Hiking Guide for Families”, are perfect winter hikes for everyone to enjoy. They are rated for little kids and range from easy to difficult for little feet. This means that toddlers and their grandparents can find a hike to enjoy together this winter.
3 Winter Hiking Tips:
Bring along Ice Cleats in the backpack in case the trail gets slippery.
Plan to take a little longer finishing the trail as hiking in the snow can be a little more challenging for kids.
Be prepared and consider using some of these 7 hiking tips for hiking in the winter with kids.
4 Beautiful Winter Hikes for Families around Calgary
Troll Falls is an easy 2.4 km hike with minimal elevation located in the stunning Kananaskis area. In the winter, Troll Falls turns into a natural frozen masterpiece. Use caution when exploring the falls as it is very slippery, and pieces of ice can break off from above. Park at the Troll Falls Day Use area. The trail starts passed the end of the parking lot on the left side.
If the trail is packed down with snow in the winter, then consider bringing a sled to pull the kids when they get tired of hiking. Even though the downhills are not too long or steep, it is best to get off the sled during the downhills to avoid accidently hitting a tree or another hiker.
As the holiday season approaches a favourite activity for many families across Alberta is to check out the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.
This year live entertainment from Dec 5th – 7th will be from Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo and then for the rest of the way it will be Terri Clark! Warm-up around the bonfires while sipping some hot chocolate, and of course seeing all of the beautiful lights that decorate the train cars.
Here is where you can see the Holiday Train for 2019:
|Provost||Field adjacent to railway tracks at 50th Avenue and 46th Street||2019-12-5||5:55 PM||6:00 PM – 6:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Hardisty||East end of CP railway yard, west of Highway 881 overpass||2019-12-5||9:00 PM||9:15 PM – 9:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Camrose||52 Avenue and 50 Street, next to Moose Family Centre||2019-12-6||1:05 PM||1:15 PM – 1:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Wetaskawin||CP ES Building, 4009 50 Street||2019-12-6||3:25 PM||3:30 PM – 4:00 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Ponoka||50th Street and 47 Avenue||2019-12-6||5:00 PM||5:15 PM – 5:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Lacombe||Len Thompson Fish Pond||2019-12-6||6:50 PM||7:00 PM – 7:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|BlackFalds||CP tracks at Greg Street between Broadway Avenue and East Avenue||2019-12-6||8:05 PM||8:15 PM – 8:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Innisfail||52 Avenue and 50 Street crossing||2019-12-7||1:15 PM||1:25 PM – 1:55 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Olds||50th Street Level Crossing||2019-12-7||2:45 PM||3:00 PM – 3:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Didsbury||CP Mainline, 20th Street and 18th Avenue||2019-12-7||4:05 PM||4:15 PM – 4:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Airdrie||Nose Creek Park, Main Street, East side of CP tracks||2019-12-7||5:45 PM||6:00 PM – 6:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Calgary||Anderson C-Train Station – South C-train parking lot||2019-12-8||5:45 PM||6:00 PM – 6:45 PM||Terri Clark|
|Okotoks||Along Dagget Street between Northridge Drive and Veterans||2019-12-10||12:00 PM||12:15 PM – 12:45 PM||Terri Clark|
|Blackie||Across from Post Office at 1201 Railway Avenue||2019-12-10||1:35 PM||1:45 PM – 2:15 PM||Terri Clark|
|Vulcan||CP crossing at 1st Avenue and 2nd Street||2019-12-10||3:15 PM||3:30 PM – 4:00 PM||Terri Clark|
|Lethbridge||2nd Avenue North and 12th Street, behind Save On Foods||2019-12-10||7:00 PM||7:15 PM – 7:45 PM||Terri Clark|
|Fort McLeod||Level Railway Crossing on 5th Avenue||2019-12-11||9:15 AM||9:15 AM – 9:45 AM||Terri Clark|
|Pincher Creek||Mile 61.12 – Railway Crossing Range Road 302 off Highway 3||2019-12-11||10:35 AM||10:45 AM – 11:15 AM||Terri Clark|
|Coleman||South of 17th Avenue between 69th and 70th Street||2019-12-11||12:40 PM||12:45 PM – 1:15 PM||Terri Clark|
Also, don’t forget to bring healthy non-perishable food donations (or cash to donate instead) which will go towards local food banks in your community to help those in need.
For more information or to get live updates you can check out www.cpr.ca