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.
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.
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?
Coffee Grounds – Repurposing for Masks and More!
One of my favourite things to do is to use things I have around the house for multiple purposes. Almost everything has multiple purposes – Pinterest is an AMAZING example/rabbit hole of this – so when you are done with your coffee for its initial intended energizing properties, what else can it do for you?
I absolutely love this face mask for many reasons – coffee has potent antioxidant properties that can help protect your skin from sun damage, temporarily firm up the skin, and overall promote good skin health. All you need are a few things from the pantry, some used coffee grounds, and some self-care time. It’s also a great gift to mix up and pop in a self-care basket for a friend or a special mom in your life!
- ½ Cup used coffee grounds (cooled)
- ½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder (organic if possible)
- 1 Cup Whole Milk or Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice (fresh, not the fake stuff/If you have dry skin, substitute with Olive Oil or Almond Oil)
- 1 Tbsp of Honey (for oily or acne prone skin, use additional lemon juice instead of honey)
- A bowl
Mix the coffee grounds and cocoa powder together in the bowl. Add milk and stir into a paste – use less if you want a thicker paste. Add in the lemon juice and honey, stir until you get the consistency you want – spreadable and thick but not overly gloopy or runny. Add more milk if it’s too thick, add more coffee grounds if it’s too thin. Apply to a clean, freshly washed face and allow to sit and dry for up to 20 mins. Rinse, dry, and moisturize as usual!
You can do this mask once a week (it’s especially great because of the firming properties before an event – when we get to go to them again) and you can keep the leftover mixture in an air-tight container in the fridge for about a week (smell it first – it’s the milk that will go off) – if you have any leftover, that is! It also makes an amazing scrub in the shower to help exfoliate, remove dirt, and dead skin cells on both your face and body.
Benefits of a Coffee Mask:
- Coffee beans reduce redness and inflammation and can reduce the look of under-eye circles because it helps circulate blood flow.
- Cocoa powder is high in sulfur, which helps fight acne. It’s also an amazing antioxidant!
- Milk helps with hydration and that healthy “Glow”
- Lemon Juice helps brighten, tighten and lighten with the power of Vitamin C
- Honey is super moisturizing and the natural wax allows the skin to retain that hydration!
Keep those grounds!
Coffee grounds are so multi-purpose. I usually keep them both wet (for masks, scrubs and gardening/indoor plants) and dry (just leave in a bowl and stir every so often to dry it out, for an easy mosquito repellant). Here are some more tips!
How to Use in your Garden
Mix wet/cooled coffee grounds in with your compost, organic materials, or into soil that needs a little extra acidity, like strawberries, radishes, peppers, parsley and sweet potatoes. A little in with your tomatoes is great too (as well as crushed eggshells) – just work about ¼ of a cup into the soil. If you have pets that might eat it, use less and really work it in so you don’t end up with over-caffeinated puppers.
And those lemons that you juiced? Use the shells for easy seed starters – Just remove all the pulp from inside with a spoon, cut the bottom a bit so it stands up (but doesn’t make a hole), place in a tray (I love reusing berry containers for this purpose) fill with potting soil and add your seeds! When it’s time to add them to the garden, just poke a hole in the bottom, pop them into the holes and cover with dirt – it’s quick, easy + compostable!
For Mosquitoes/bugs – Burn those coffee grounds!
- Start with DRY, used coffee grounds.
- Place the grounds in a bowl or on a flat surface outside.
- Burn the grounds like you would incense.
- Choose a spot upwind for best results.
- Keep away from places pets/children might hit or step on them.
- Set up a few throughout your yard to maximize the effect!
As we learn to do more with less, and realize that many of the things we thought we needed… aren’t so necessary at all.. As we go back to nature and reusing and repurposing as alternatives for the things we can’t get as easily – not only are we returning to an all-natural way of life, but we are giving the earth a chance to heal.
Jeanie is a Mom, Master Aromatherapist and the Owner of WildRose Perfumery, where each scent is carefully blended and hand-crafted. Each creation is made specifically for you based on your personal tastes, with care and attention to every detail, with organic, natural materials and pure Essential Oils. Jeanie also hosts other local makers on her website!
Negativity and fear seem to be a daily fixture in society right now.
I know I have had many sleepless nights and tumultuous days worrying about everything that is beyond my control. In order to maintain sanity I have chosen to focus on what we still have, and some positive changes amongst all of this crazy Covid-19 chaos. Last night as my husband and I curled up with our glass of wine to watch the last episode of Tiger King, it dawned on me that this was the first Netflix series we had been able to watch in its entirety since the birth of our first daughter seven years ago! We have a million series we want to watch, but never the time to sit down and binge. This hiatus has allowed us the gift of trashy television viewing without guilt! So here are a few more silver linings I’ve been able to identify amongst one of the larger storm clouds of our lives.
#1 The excuse to wear crap clothing
For reasons unbeknownst to everyone, including myself, I have saved much of my childrens’ hole-y, ripped and slightly stained clothing. This is perfect, because now we can save our nicer and more socially acceptable wardrobes for the return to normalcy. As for now, its shredded leggings and mismatched socks all the way!
There has been a lot of talk about supporting local as we deal with Covid-19. Local restaurants, food suppliers, and local stores.
One area that hasn’t been talked about as much is supporting local authors. Yes, we can all support local bookshops easily now but what about the local authors that write the books?
These are some of my favourite easy to grow perennials for zone 3a (Edmonton).
By Judith, Juicy Green Mom
I’ve lived in Edmonton my whole life and grew up with summer memories of sitting in a cherry tree and picking raspberries in my backyard. As an adult, I’ve begun to appreciate the joys of a beautiful garden. Because I’m also a bit of a lazy gardener, I love planting perennials that will come back year after year.
Annabelle Hydrangeas (feature photo)
Hydrangeas are my absolute favourite flowers, I even had them in my wedding bouquets. When I got the opportunity to landscape my backyard from scratch, I knew I wanted some kind of hydrangeas. I had Annabelle hydrangeas put into a raised bed and they have been producing beautiful round white bouquets of blooms for me for 10 years. They do well in sun to part shade with plenty of water.
Yesterday the team at Fueling Brains reached out to Alberta Mamas about the platform they’ve launched in Calgary. You can check it out at www.FuelingBrains.com.
It’s an online tool for educators and parents, meant to support early childhood learning of your kids. They’ve been working in the child care space for nearly a decade as Kids U and they’ve put together a toolbox of activities and parenting resources based on the work of their educators and researchers.