Happy long early weekend, Canada! How will you mark the occasion? As you know, I like to cram as much as possible into my schedule, so I’ve jumped on an opportunity to tour Mexico City for two days.
I’ll have just enough time to throw in a load of laundry before heading to High River for the Little Britches Parade Monday morning. Jet lagged or not, I wouldn’t miss that sweet event (and a Hitchin’ Post shake) for the world.
Here are some inspiring ideas that caught my eye this week:
I wish they had this when I was a student: Removable wallpaper for renters.
Have you read Angelina Jolie’s article in the New York Times about her decision to have a double mastectomy?
Roasted strawberry shortcake shakes. Could these be better than the Hitchin’ Post’s?
Are you a fan of Kate Moss? Check out these stunning snaps by Patrick Demarchelier for British Vogue.
Guess who is the new Kate Moss?
Wow! Netflix accounts for almost a third of all Internet traffic in North American homes.
How to attract birds to your yard.
Easy DIY planters for spring.
A fun outdoor craft for kids.
Now that it’s almost summer, I really want one of these.
10 creative business cards.
And in case you missed it, here’s some events on going around Calgary this weekend.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Feature image via
The May long weekend always presents a bit of a dilemma for our family. Basically, I want to go one way and the huz wants to go another. Fortunately we’re at that stage in our relationship where we relish not being joined at the hip, so we divide and conquer. Typically we spend the first day or two together, then he heads for the hills and I head for my hometown. We regroup Monday night over a girdle-bursting BBQ and everybody’s happy. Here’s a look at what’s shaking just outside of Calgary over the May long weekend:
Little Britches Parade and Rodeo, High River
Admittedly I’m biased, as I think my hometown can do no wrong. But seriously folks, this is the sweetest event you’ll find within an hour’s drive of Calgary. The Little Britches Parade is the real deal – all the marching bands are there, plus the Shriners, and kids are allowed on the street to catch candy tossed off the floats.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Monday, but you’ll want to roll into town around 9:30 to park and get a prime seat curbside. Don’t worry, people won’t be lined up several feet deep like at the Stampede Parade, so you can bring your lawn chairs and blankets.
Afterwards, head to George Lane Park for beef on a bun (so rurally retro!) or follow the locals to the Hitchin’ Post Drive-In for a post-parade HP burger, seasoned fries and ridiculously thick milkshakes. Starting at 1 p.m., little cowpokes aged 6 to 14 years can strut their stuff at the Rodeo Grounds in events like barrel racing and mutton busting. Yee-haw!
Banff Children’s Festival, Banff Centre
The Canmore Children’s Festival isn’t going on over the May long weekend this year, but the town of Banff is ensuring kids don’t miss out on bouncy castles and sugar overloads, by hosting the Banff Children’s Festival.
Held at the Banff Centre on Saturday, May 18, you’ll find loads of performances and amusements laid down for kids aged three to 10. Free activities range from family swimming to story time to gym play areas.
Remember Sharon and Bram? Oh come on, you know you do. Well, they’ll be here giving an afternoon performance as will wacky Flyin’ Bob. And Eric Caryle fans will want to secure tickets for a production by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia of three of his Treasured Stories.
Slush Cup, Sunshine Village
The ski season at Sunshine Village ends with a bang or more like a splat into the icy slush tank for those brave enough. Defying the international definition of ski season, Sunshine stays open until Monday, May 20.
You don’t have to be a daredevil to appreciate the Slush Cup, just a fan of good old fashioned, nonsensical entertainment. When snow and sun meet, the only thing that matters is enjoying yourself. For some that means burgers and beers enjoyed outdoor at Trapper’s Saloon, for others, listening to live bands, and for a hardcore few, getting the last tracks of the season. You’ll find Dan and likely a few of his buddies here and maybe even our daughter. Tiny Tigers Day Care accepts children aged 19 months to six-years, and ski lessons for older kids are available, making the day fun for them and carefree for their parents.
For most the May long weekend celebrates the beginning of summer. For others, it celebrates the end of winter. Which is the bigger party? You tell me. I’d love to hear from you. What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?
Oh, Target. I had such big hopes for you. I’ve worshipped you from afar, spent countless hours drooling over your bounty and have occasionally, ravaged your stock and dragged it home by its hair. So when you came, guns blazing, into my territory, I was excited and nervous.
Would you live up to my high expectations? Would you be able to offer the same lovely, mass-produced goods at affordable prices? Most importantly, would I still be able to kit my kid out in cute outfits for under a twenty?
The answer is both yes and no. We’d been warned to not expect pricing parity by Target execs, but that doesn’t take the sting away. Walking into the store I was delighted to see The One Spot.
But the excitement quickly faded when I noticed all items were $3. I understand the need to take currency fluctuations into account, but we know darn well One Spot items are only a buck a pop south of the border. Even adding in the shipping and taxes doesn’t justify this kind of a price increase in my books.
How Target Hit the Mark
- It’s always refreshing to find new lines and The Nate Berkus Collection was pretty cute. Love that studded pillow.
- Target is tops at merchandizing. The store, is light, bright and clean. Shopping there doesn’t feel gross like it does at other discount department stores. Wandering through their aisles (the ones that are stocked) felt quite pleasant.
- Packaged goods – the kind chock-full of high fructose corn syrup was attractively priced (go figure), as was cereal. If you need to stock up on trans-fat snacks, consider this your Mecca.
Missed the Bull’s Eye
- Lots of shelves were either cleaned out by zealous shoppers or perhaps the store hasn’t received all their stock yet.
- The toy section wasn’t that large, which might disappoint some, however, I was pleased to see several educational toys dotting the shelves.
- There’s far too many rubberneckers getting in the way of serious shoppers. But don’t worry, soon they’ll go back to Walmart.
- I expected to see more product selection, especially in the food aisles. I was really hankering for some authentic Mexican and the Giada De Laurentiis line, but nada.
As much as I once longed for Target in Canada, I now wish it wasn’t here. What I really want is US Target in Canada – their products, their pricing. But the biggest bummer? Now everybody’s going to know exactly where I get Eve’s cute frocks and how much I pay for them.
Have you been to Target yet? What do you think of this new department store in Canada?
Happy early Mother’s Day, everyone! I’ve been giving a bit of thought to what I’d really like this weekend to look like.
I never seem to have enough time to putter, so cruising through Pinterest on Saturday morning (after sleeping in, of course) is top of my list.
On Sunday, I just might drop off Eve at Ivivva Athletica in Chinook Centre for a free beginner dance class from 10am-11am. They switch up the style of dance every week (this week it’s yoga), and kids from 3 to 15 years are welcome. Hmmm…. what might a mother do with an hour to herself in the mall? Target, is that you I hear calling me?
One thing I’m not a fan of is Mother’s Day brunch. But cocktails and cake? Giddy up! Calgary’s CHARCUT Roast House is serving up “Mumsy” – a champagne and Calvados cocktail sweetened with sugar diamonds. They’re also offering post-dessert bonbons neatly wrapped as a take-away gift just for Mom. Better get on making that reservation…
Here are some other fun links if you’re in the mood to putter, like me.
Fun read: How I became a Hipster
A great gift for friends moving house.
Healthy and Delicious: Baked oatmeal with berries and lentils. Kid’s (and husbands) won’t notice the lentils. Promise!
Ways to think of time differently.
Do you need a #hashtag banner? Doesn’t everyone?
A must watch for grocery shoppers. Warning: You’ll never pick up certain yogurts again…
I just heard about little Max, who’s dying of cancer in Texas. He’s too ill to fulfill his wish of travelling to Paris, so his parents are trying to send the world to him. They’re encouraging people to send postcards from where they live, so Max can travel vicariously through our lives. More details here.
What makes an ideal Mother’s Day for you?
Tom Cochrane says, Life is a Highway, but I doubt he drove it all night long with whiny wee-ones. We all know the best road trips are the ones where we cruise wherever inspiration strikes. Nowadays, I consider myself lucky if nobody yaks in the car. But exhausting days crammed in close quarters aren’t inevitable. Use this road trip checklist before you take it to the street on the upcoming May long weekend.
- Tune up: What’s worse than being stuck in a vehicle with whiny kids? Being stuck in a one-horse town waiting for the mechanic to open. Take the car in for a tune up and be sure you’ve done this maintenance prior to hitting the road.
- Have realistic expectations: You know your kids, so plan accordingly. For some, that might mean stopping every hour for a few minutes. For others, an unlimited supply of valium (for the co-pilot, of course), seems to do the trick.
- Share the planning: When you involve kids in the planning process, they feel like they have some some control over what’s happening during the day. Give the kids part of each day to organize, and let them know how long you’re going to be in the car, so they can bring what’s needed to keep themselves occupied.
- Be prepared: Make like a Girl Guide and have back ups like cards or new magazines for the car ride, and alternative itineraries for your destination.
- Pit Stops: Know when you’re going stop and make a rule that at scheduled bathroom breaks, everyone needs to try going (even if they don’t feel like it). Look for green spaces online, like parks and elementary schools, to burn off the steam instead of the side of the highway.
- Be flexible: Ignore Rule 5 if everyone is sleeping. When that blessed event occurs, power on. Just be prepared to make an impromptu stop after they’re awake.
- Music: If you’re not keen to listen to the Wiggles for eights hours, decide as a family in advance who gets to play DJ, or if you’ll take turns.
- Food: Who wants to waste time eating at sketchy roadside restaurants? Stopping is for burning off energy, not getting food poisoning. Keep a cooler in the car with lunches, snacks and cool drinks. Try to keep food healthy to avoid sugar rushes, but dole out little rewards that last long – like a piece of licorice or a sucker.
- Packing: Besides time passers, be sure to stash a hacky sack or soccer ball to get kids moving and deep breathing during rest stops. It’s also wise to have a complete change of clothes in resealable bag for when accidents happen.
- Entertainment: Consider making a surprise bag with dollar store trinkets for each child. Inexpensive items like new crayons, etch-a-sketch and silly putty might not last long, but keep kids amused. Keep baby’s curiosity going by popping their soothers into containers like a gift box or tupperware. Cookie sheets fit across car seats, and the rim prevents crayons from falling off the end (plus magnets stick well to them).
Keep in mind, the worst part of the drive is usually the last few hours in the car. Best to save electronics for when nobody’s fresh anymore.
‘Be ready for crying, fussing and whining, and purposefully ignore about 80% of it,” recommends Calgary Pediatric Behavioral Specialist, Kitty Raymond. “Children tend to either work those things out, give up or fall asleep.”
And if you’re really dreading the whole ordeal, check out the trailer for National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Have you ever taken a long road trip with kids? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please let me know your tips.
Feature image via.