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social media

Alberta Mamas – One Year Later

Alberta Mamas is ONE! One year ago we had this crazy idea to work with parents around the province to create a resource for families, a place to find hidden gems in Alberta, and a place where people could share their thoughts in a safe place.  But it has become so much more because of all of you.

Alberta Mamas is a community.

We have learned so much from all of YOU! Every contributor post and conversation on social media has shown us that not only do we have way more places to discover in our beautiful province, but also thatAlberta is full of amazing, smart, and funny parents. You have made us giggle with your comments about your kids’ antics, made us feel like we aren’t the only ones dealing with difficult topics, and have offered sage advice when we have needed it.

“At first I loved seeing our passions come together. Passions for community, business and social media. And it’s grown so much more then that. We are all still passionate but it’s been beautiful to know my friends (and community around us) even better. It’s amazing to see the vision we created for community coming together. In a collaborative and inclusive way.” – Jen

We have also learned a lot from each other throughout the past year. It has not been all sunshine and rainbows. The six of us all have strong opinions and personalities which are bound to clash at some point. We can disagree, fight, and push each others buttons like siblings. But in the end we have got each others back 100% no matter what. We hold each other accountable and push each other to be better. We are each others biggest cheerleaders.

“The first thing I thought of when we started this was – yes I get to write stuff! Secondly though, it occurred to me that I would get to WORK with 5 totally different, totally strong inspiring ladies. Like, I have a legit reason to learn, bend the ears of and hang with 5 women I admire on the daily. And then on top of that, we get to read amazing pieces by moms (and sometimes dads) all over Alberta and share them in our “little” community. Makes a gal feel very blessed!” – Chris

When we first started this one of our goals was to give a voice to parents whether they had a blog or not. We have gotten to work with some amazing people and we love hearing their thoughts and opinions.

“I love that we’re creating a community where writers across the province can share their ideas, opinions and writing- whether they have their own established blog or not.” – Kim

We want to thank you all for commenting, liking, writing for us, sharing posts, offering your opinions and more throughout the past twelve months. Each action means so much to us.

We are excited to officially celebrate our first year (details announced soon) because to quote Kim – “Our parties are pretty fun too!”


Who are Alberta Mamas?


Instagram 101

By Brittaney Moore

Facebook has been around for quite some time, something that is fairly new but widely popular is Instagram. Using Instagram for your business seems foreign to most people, but it is a very important tool to have in the toolbox. I can share with you a few tips to help you get an Instagram account up and running.

First off, grab yourself a coffee. Then, you are going to create an Instagram account for your business. This should be done from a mobile device such as your phone or tablet. Ensure that you use a username that matches the username of all your other social media platforms. This will make it easy for people to discover you. *Side tip when it comes to usernames: Make your username memorable, and easily searchable. Keep it short and to the point. If you are looking to change your username on any platform, I recommend seeking help from a Social Media Manager, such as myself, to help alleviate any negative impacts* Once your profile has been created, it is time to design.

  • Profile Picture: Your profile picture should be your brand logo. This makes it easy to discover your business. This should also be the case with all your social media pages. If your logo doesn’t fit within the dimensions, I recommend sending it to your graphic designer and having them send you a social media package. This should include graphics that will fit a number of different social media pages. If you do not have a logo, a professional business headshot would be next appropriate. A selfie should never be used as a profile picture in a business page.
  • Website: You can add a clickable link to your Instagram profile that will lead any viewers straight to your website. You can also use this section to promote any event tickets you may be selling at the time. When your event is over, remember to change it back to your website address to increase website traffic.
  • Bio: Use this section to tell people about what services or products you offer, what types of things they can expect to see from your page, or any branded hashtags you are using or would like people to use. You only have 150 characters, make each one count.
  • Facebook Page: You can directly link your Facebook page to your Instagram account. I never recommend “double dipping”. What that means, is that you have the ability to post everything you post to Instagram automatically to Facebook. “Double dipping”. 2 platforms, 1 post. Don’t do it. Your audience on Facebook and Instagram are looking for different tones.
  • Category: Like your Facebook page, choose this wisely. Choose a category that best represents the products or services that your business offers.
  • Contact Options: Choose how you would like people to contact you. Enter in your email, phone number, and/or location. This will allow followers to contact your company through direct buttons on your Instagram page

Once you have this completed, your Instagram account is ready to go. Before you go on a posting bonanza, set yourself some Instagram goals. Keep in mind this is your business image, choose your posts wisely. If you ever have any questions or would like to know more about posting on Instagram, you know where to find me.

Brittaney is a Mom to an adventurous boy, an espresso addict, and a Social Media Expert helping Mompreneurs across Alberta.

Find her on Facebook: MooreMediaManagement, 

Instagram:@mooremediamanagement,  @captamericasmom,

and on her website

Bringing Mindfulness to your Digital World

Meditate in the mountains

Mindfulness. The word itself brings a calming sense of comfort. But what does it really mean? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis. In every day terminology, you can think of it as noticing what you are noticing without judgement.

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Technology is just a Tool

By Alisa Taylor

Wayne Gretzky scored 50 goals in 39 games using a wooden stick. He was the best hockey player because of his skills, not because of the equipment he used. In order to achieve greatness, we need to hone our skills and commit to the goal. The tools we use to succeed facilitate that journey, but do not guarantee achievement.

If I want to become a faster runner, my new shoes and cute running shorts may motivate me to get outside, but will not get my legs moving faster. I need to put those shoes to the pavement and make some tracks. And I cannot just run once nor can I run 3 times a day everyday. Neither situation will get me the results I desire.

The same can be said for technology. If a child is given a device, their intelligence level does not suddenly increase. Downloading Minecraft or Tynker won’t turn them into architectural or coding geniuses, but perhaps it will get their attention and peak their curiosity.

Devices are tools and when used appropriately, act as a gateway into a world of creativity. They can open a door into endless learning possibilities and ignite that passion for exploring further. But, those tools, the devices, must be managed by parents. Children are not capable of navigating and managing technology on their own and rely upon their parents for guidance. It is no longer an option for parents to hand over the iPad and turn their heads the other way. By doing so, the child is unknowingly up against some dangerous vulnerabilities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consistent time limits placed on media for kids aged 6 and older. In addition, ensuring media is not replacing adequate sleep, physical activity and other healthy behaviours. So, if a child is spending endless hours on their iPad, is that the fault of the iPad? The iPad is the tool. It must be managed appropriately. Establishing time limits, ensuring age appropriate content and demonstrating good technology habits are parents’ responsibilities.

When managed appropriately, technology can spark an interest in creating and learning new content and ideas. Kids are comfortable with technology and so may appear to be capable of managing it themselves. However, if parents are providing the technology, they must also provide guidance and support. Empower your kids to access that world of creativity and watch the excitement as they conquer something new.

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” – Bill Gates

Alisa is a former Criminal Intelligence Analyst and has worked in law enforcement for the last 15 years. She is passionate about keeping kids safe and kind online and ensuring they thrive in our digital world. When Alisa isn’t online, you might spot her in the YEG river valley with her dogs, husband, and daughter or escaping the city for a weekend of camping.  You can follow Alisa on her blog The Lotus Pageas well as on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Ground Rules for Kids Receiving their First Phone

By Alisa Taylor

Back to School brings new backpacks, paper, pens and electronic devices. Many kids will be receiving their first phone this school season and eagerly connecting with their friends after an exciting summer. Before parents provide their children with a device that can connect them to millions of people, it is important to lay some ground rules. Keeping your child safe online is not a one-size-fits-all approach and every family needs to do what works best for their circumstances. But, there are some basic guidelines that are important when allowing your child to first connect to the online world:

  1. Keep private information private. Birthdays, full names, addresses, phone numbers, even email addresses can lead to identity theft and fraud. Children are especially susceptible to identity theft because years can go by before the crime is actually discovered.
  2. Do not share your location. Social media and other location-based apps allow users to share their exact whereabouts. When kids do get their first phone, they are likely at an age when parents can leave them at home alone for a short time. Kids do not need to broadcast where they live, go to school and spend their time to the wrong people.
  3. Only allow people you know to friend/follow you. When your child receives a friend or follow request on social media, if they don’t know the person in real life, they should not accept the request online.
  4. Use privacy settings. Ensure accounts are set to private instead of open to the public. Some social media platforms default settings are public, so when creating a new profile, ensure your child’s profile is private and is not available for everyone to view.
  5. Be Kind. With the ability to be anonymous online, kids may feel braver to make a comment online they wouldn’t normally make in real life. Mean and hurtful comments have far reaching effects and if taken too far, can lead to criminal charges. Ensure your kids know that remarks made online should always be respectful and kind.

This last one is for parents! Stay involved. Once you hand over that device, you must stay involved and show genuine interest in your child’s online activities. Studies show that by establishing rules with respect to web activity, kids are less likely to engage in risky online behaviour. Keep those conversations going about what apps, games and social media they are interested in. Support your child as they explore the digital world and enable them to learn, create, and connect safely online.

Alisa is a former Criminal Intelligence Analyst and has worked in law enforcement for the last 15 years. She is passionate about keeping kids safe and kind online and ensuring they thrive in our digital world. When Alisa isn’t online, you might spot her in the YEG river valley with her dogs, husband, and daughter or escaping the city for a weekend of camping.  You can follow Alisa on her blog The Lotus Pageas well as on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

How Kindness Leads to Happier Healthier Kids

By Alisa Taylor

It seems so simple. Just be kind to each other. Mean comments online have far-reaching effects and can be devastating for our kids. What starts off as something meant to be funny or a joke, can quickly escalate into something embarrassing or hurtful. A child’s fragile self-esteem can be shattered in one disparaging remark or one unassuming photo. With so many kids fuelling their confidence through their online personas and the reliance upon “hearts” and “likes” for self-preservation, it is not a surprise that self-esteem is falling. In a recent UK study, researchers found that just 33% of 14 and 15 year old girls felt good about themselves. Researchers suggested that the decline in girls’ self esteem was linked to their online activity.

With the ability to share messages and pictures now, cyberbullying, hurtful comments and the pressure to “act” a certain way online is a new dimension our kids have to navigate. These online pressures spill into real life for them. As parents, we didn’t have this online world to navigate growing up. The mean words ended at the school yard or in a note we could tear up and throw away. They didn’t follow us home and spread to our safe places. But there is something we can encourage and model for our kids that will not only contribute to a healthier and safer environment both online and offline, but will also improve their well being. Kindness.

Random acts of kindness are scientifically shown to help us lead longer, happier, more energetic lives. That feeling we get after performing a kind act or doing a good deed is often referred to as the ‘Helper’s High’. The term was coined by Allan Luks and is described as “the powerful physical feelings people experience when directly helping others”.

Acts of kindness contribute to the release of the hormone oxytocin which plays a role in lowering blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health. Oxytocin also assists in reducing inflammation, which contributes to the aging process. In a study in the Journal of Social Psychology, a group of participants who performed a daily act of kindness for 10 days reported a higher boost of happiness compared to the group who did not. And possibly the best side effect of kindness? The fact that it is contagious.

One kind, thoughtful comment or gesture has a ripple effect that can positively influence the recipient, those who witness the act as well as the kindness provider. Those feel-good emotions that are stimulated, tend to reinforce the power of a good deed and motivates us to keep it going.

Our kids don’t have to be friends with everyone they meet or talk to online, but we can encourage them to be kind to everyone. The spread of mean messages can be prevented by a movement towards kindness and the upward spiral that follows. Encourage your kids to choose kindness and they will live a happier, healthier life because of it.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   – Maya Angelou

Alisa is a former Criminal Intelligence Analyst and has worked in law enforcement for the last 15 years. She is passionate about keeping kids safe and kind online and ensuring they thrive in our digital world. When Alisa isn’t online, you might spot her in the YEG river valley with her dogs, husband, and daughter or escaping the city for a weekend of camping.  You can follow Alisa on her blog The Lotus Page as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Social Media Stress & A Break

Social Media is one of those catch 22’s. It’ great for connecting with friends, businesses or clients. On the other hand, constantly being fed other people’s information, thoughts and highlight reels is just plain exhausting. Sometimes we don’t know the difference between our own thoughts and the opinions of others around us.

I found myself a few days just plain burnt out from social media and decided to take a break for a few days. *Insert loud gasp from all bloggers and social media people*. I took all apps off my phone and never checked in on my laptop. I’ve done this before during teacher trainings and it felt really good. This time I backed off from some work and extra things in my life in conjunction with my social media spring detox.

At first I will admit it’s sort of odd. It’s kind of like you don’t know what to do with your hands or time. Then I realized I could maybe spend some time on other things I actually enjoy. For example, I LOVE baking, but find I never have the time anymore. So my kids and I made banana bread. I actually paid attention to the Netflix I was watching too! I even read some of a book I’ve been working on reading for about 2 months.

The point isn’t what you do, but that you take the break. Social media of all kinds can be bombarding on our stress levels. On my personal blog I wrote a blog post about Self Care and Taking A Simple Bath. In the post I talk about NOT being on our phones, because in reality when you are soaking in the tub and checking Facebook are you actually relaxed? Not usually. We might log on to relax at the end of our day and then scroll to find Aunt so and so or that girl you’ve hated since the 5th grade but still added her as a friend has done YET AGAIN another annoying thing!

Soooooooooo we aren’t really relaxing are we? Comparing our lives to people’s highlight reels. So take a break. Back off for a few days. I promise you wont miss much. I came back to over 120 notifications on Facebook alone after two days and honestly I missed NOTHING. None of it was important! My banana bread however, was ridiculously yummy.



Jen The Bitchin’ Housewife

No More Pictures Mom: Handling kids’ online identity

It all started when I got a digital camera. It was a small Canon Elf and it was magic. I took many (many … many) pictures with that camera. Honestly, do you remember what it was like to go from having to figure out getting the film into a camera and then the cost of printing to the unadulterated joy of being able to take as many pictures as you wanted?

No longer did you have to worry whether you’d need to load another film after 24 pictures, and no longer did you worry about taking out a loan to pay for the printing. You’d just download your 1,000 pictures and mass email them to everyone you knew. Blessed times. Read more