Travel, Motherhood and A Mad Maids Giveaway

The struggle is REAL: travel, parenthood and a house cleaning giveaway. Photo credit: Pam Loves Pie | Flickr | CC
The struggle is REAL: travel, parenthood and a #YEG house cleaning giveaway. Photo credit: Pam Loves Pie | Flickr | CC

When I used to travel a LOT for work and play, I had a simple rule of thumb: thy shalt not leave a messy house to returnth home to. My house used to be sort of spotless before I trudged away to Fort St. John for work or cavorted away to Mexico City for culture and food.

This little pre-blast off routine helped me avoid trip-ending-comedown – returning to a tidy home was a tiny consolation of saying Hasta Luego to those colourful, mini-umbrella drinks or sweltering safari adventures. Sometimes, I wished I had a cleaning service that could help me out. A company like Alberta-based Mad Maids, who have easy-to-choose pricing that go by house size and type of cleaning (routine, deep or move out).

Now that I’m a mom the work and leisure trips are a bit more dispersed as is the clean-the-house-before-departing routine. Now we’re luck if we can remember to pack our toothbrushes and lock the door on the way out.

Motherhood and the eternal war that is attempting to keep your house clean is a much easier battle thanks to Mad Maids. I love my kid, but these days, the struggle to maintain a clean home is REAL people. He loves to share (throw) everything with gusto on the floor,  ‘clean’ (smear) all glass surfaces with his grubby mitts and drink (spit) his watery juice out of his big boy glass like a wasted college freshmen.  Read more

I Heart YEG Giveaway


This is the third and final instalment of all things Edmonton and awesome this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how I learned to love where I am and the 20+ things that tickle my fancy about this tree-filled, super creative and darn friendly and fun city.

Next week the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival is rolling into Edmonton. There will be over 20 local restaurants offering up delicious bites to pair with some highly sip-able Canadian and International wines and spirits. And to say THANKS to all my readers local and non-local, I’m hosting a little giveaway….More after the jump.  Read more

Motivation Monday: Love Where you Are Edmonton Edition

Edmonton's coffee scene is bar none and one of the first things I learned to love here.
Edmonton’s coffee scene is bar none and one of the first things I learned to love here.

So this week I’m focusing on my new hometown: Edmonton. We had a tumultuous beginning, but I feel like we’re settling into an easy relationship. Moving here last winter was tough – it was bitter cold, we lived outside of town, I felt cut off from the world and didn’t have a community. But now that we’re in the city and steps away from a lot of urban-living aspects plus we have friends (yay!!!). I’m falling deeply in love with Edmonton’s parks, playgrounds, croissants, libraries and people. Edmonton is warming up my cold, increasingly less soggy Westcoast heart (hence: photo above at one of my fave coffee shops, Transcend).

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can,” said tennis great Arthur Ashe. 


This week I’ll be taking you on a bit of a journey through Edmonton and tell you how I’m learning to love ‘Dirt City’. It’s a city of fun festivals, friendly people, a supportive creative scene and endless parks. In a couple of blog posts, Thursday to be exact, I’ll even host a little giveaway for you my dear reader(s) as a way to say thanks

One of my travel writing goals is to attract people here and show them the shiny bits of The Chuck, the spots that they won’t find anywhere else. I hope you’ll accompany me on this ride and see what it’s been like to learn to love where I am.


How did you get that f*#king awesome job Greg and Sarah Greenleese?

Beekeepers Sarah and Greg Greenleese.
Meadow Sweet Apiaries beekeepers Sarah and Greg Greenleese.

Did you know that there are 169 million bees in Alberta and the province produces 40% of Canada’s honey? The Greenleeses do. Greg and Sarah Greenleese are two of Alberta’s 800 beekeepers and are pretty much some of the sweetest conservationists you’ll meet in Alberta (pun fully intended).

When Sarah talks about her bees, her face lights up as though she’s talking about children, a family pet or her husband Greg. When Greg talks about his bees, he has an air of authority, like Peter Mansbridge reporting the nightly news. These folks are serious about their jobs as Meadow Sweet Apiaries co-CEOs, chief honey pullers and environmental advocates.

Just outside of Edmonton in a tiny farming community called Tofield, the Greenleeses don their giant white suits each summer to tend their grist of bees. Late July and all of August is like the Stanley Cup playoffs for them: busy as hell, tiring and often risky. Success isn’t always guranteed. This year has been a good one – they both have been pulling honey overtime to try to get everything packaged and stored to sell for the remainder of the year at Edmonton’s Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market.

If you’ve ever been by Edmonton’s Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market, you’ll see their smiling faces every Saturday. They sell all kinds of honey and honey products, from divine smelling candles, soap and different sized jars of honey plus propolis. Propolis or bee glue is a sticky, waxy brown substance that the bees use to chink the nooks and crannies of their homes and people (since the days of Cleopatra) use as an ancient healing remedy.  What I particularly love most about this super cute due of apiarists is their passion not only for beekeeping but also the environment. I dare you to ask them about dandelion spray or pesticides: both can ream off stats and facts about the ill-effects of wanton pesticide spraying. The bees of central Alberta are lucky to have two such knowledgeable and dedicated advocates.

So this week, I’m super stoked to Anchors+Proteas first ever couple interview about a couple of f*#king awesome jobs?

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