More Mom Jean Love: a Little Tight and Just Right this Spring

Spring is often a time of shaking things off and shaking things up. In the Pacific North West, a little spring is finally peeking her cute little face out from the shroud of the long, windy, wet winter. The days are longer. The bird calls are a small chorus. The cherry and salmon berry blossoms are showing off their pink blooms. And I have the equally strong pulls to purge, create and socialize. The last few weekends I’ve been really drawn to listen to all three spring urges, to listen to my intuition.

There was a firemen’s association dinner with a crew of ladies decidedly my senior. There’s been stolen hours in my little basement creative space, working on Oceans of Yarn boho wallhangings. And there’s been a lot of closet cleaning. One of the reasons I can finally clean out my closet is thanks to my mom jean count growing. I did some online perusing the spring denim offers at Mark’s Canada and realized that I’ve tended towards the same styles – indigo, mid rise – for a while. Time for listen to my spring intuition and change things up.

Read more

Tread Lightly on Mama Earth: ways to lower your travel footprint

Tread Lightly on Mama Earth: Ways to Lower your Travel Footprint

Happy Earth Day! Here is a little story about tourism and it’s impacts on the earth… When I used to live in Vancouver, I used to walk the seawall almost daily. In the summer when everyone flocked to English Bay for a day or afternoon at the beach the local public garbage cans along the way would get so full as would Davie and Denman Streets, two arteries leading straight to those glimmering Vancity shores.

I often wondered if everyone brought their own cup or grabbed their own to go containers from home for their delicious Persian Grill schwarma or Hime sushi platter, maybe the cans wouldn’t get so full. Though the beaches are full of both locals and tourists alike from about April to October, in Vancouver, the waste increase just seems huge during those months.

Maybe if we all made one or two little adjustments to the way we travel we could protect Mama Earth from the ill effects of the not-so-green impacts of our collective travel habits. Here are five ways to reduce your impact when you plan your next trip on our truly beautiful Mama Earth.
Read more

How to Dye your Easter Eggs Using Common Kitchen Ingredients

Natural Dyes for your Easter Eggs using common kitchen ingredients

Hands up: who loved dying easter eggs as a kid? Remember the crazy colours your fingers would turn? Or how egg salad was a menu item for what seemed like weeks and weeks afterwards. None of that mattered. For a day or two you would have a collection of Dr. Seuss-coloured Easter eggs that you dyed yourself and then magically the Easter bunny came and hid for you, along with a few cavity-inducing treats. 

Last year, I was obsessed with trying to go au naturel. I had been on a tummeric smoothie kick and decided to try to combine my love of bright yellow with the power of my new wonder-herb obsession. I figured if my turmeric smoothie could stain my white shirts, maybe it could festoon egg shells. I also knew that purple cabbage was also a great natural Easter egg dye candidate. So what did I do? Enlist the help of my super crafty step mama and my other pal Pinterest.

While at my parent’s ranch for a brief visit, my stepmom and I filled every small pot she had with boiling water and various chopped, peeled, ground or grated brightly-coloured, vegetable matter. The result after an impatient three to four hours of egg dunking/soaking? Light coloured, earthy toned Easter eggs.

We tried to imprint the eggs with leaf patters by tying leaves to the eggs with string and wrapping in a layer of cheesecloth. It was kind of a fail, depending on which natural dye we used and the knot tiers tight-knot dying skills. But probably the most fun was the photo shoot and walking around the ranch collecting natural bits for our Easter lunch table decor (and photo shoot). To this day my kid still calls picking lichen, ‘searching for treasure.’ And yes, we have done this more than once (#hippieparenting). 

This year we narrowed down our natural dye adventures due to my significantly smaller pot collection and also left the eggs in their potions for 24 hours. HUGE difference in hue. I’ve included a few tips on the best common kitchen ingredients to use for dying eggs in my humble attempts two years running… Read more

Yo Families! How To Fulfill Wanderlust (And Be Wallet Friendly)

Yo Familes! How to fulfill wanderlust and be wallet friendly
Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

What do you think of when you hear the words: family travel? For me, this phrase used to inspire both hope and fear. Hope for future bouts of wanderlust with family in tow and fear that I couldn’t find trips that were wallet-friendly.

When I heard the term ‘family travel’ before motherhood two visions popped into my mind. Vision number one was of my super-traveller, self-sufficient friend Susie who packed up her 18 month-old (and big pooch Igor)  and drove solo many hours to our annual Tofino girls’ weekend. Her SUV was full of toys, she had all her snacks packed and she even brought a portable enclosed play area (think playpen on steroids). Family vaca vision number two is  of the Griswolds on their chaotic US roadtrip, station wagon packed to the gills and misadventures befalling their every turn.

Given a choice, I’ll choose the Susie situation any time. Planning, snacks and efficiency help make any (family) trip a bit less of a gongshow. Part of my family travel plans these days always include thinking about how I can shave some of the dollars and cents off my trips. Recently, my fellow blogger Sarah from Smile and Conquer asked me to share some of my wallet-friendly, wanderlust tips with her blog readers.

Below you’ll find a couple of tips from the article after the jump. If you want to read the rest be sure to stop by my Smile and Conquer guest post to end up like Susie and her wee one not Clark and the gang…. Read more