• 100-Mile Food,  Faith

    Food for Thought: The Spiritual Side to Local Eating

    As time ticks closer towards July and the first day of our year-long local eating challenge, I have wrestled more and more with why we really want to do this challenge. Beyond teaching my girls what it means to appreciate food that is grown in our own backyard, why do we want to embark on this journey? As I’ve researched the changes our family is going to have to make, my eyes have been opened to the accompanying limitations. And believe me, it extends way beyond not being able to eat strawberries in February. This journey will certainly challenge the ethics behind our food choices. But, as a Christian, I believe…

  • 100-Mile Food

    100-Mile Food Journey: The Guidelines (a.k.a. Where the Rubber Meets the Road)

    This is the post where we share the nitty, gritty guidelines for our 100 Mile Food Journey. Ever since I wrote my last blog post, my mind has hurled through a spectrum of emotions – “I can’t wait to start! I want to start today! Look at this really cool food co-op I found! Did you know that peanuts grow locally? Wait…what? No coffee? No chocolate? No beer? WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!?!?”  But  I’m of the mindset that once I’ve publicly announced that I’m going to do something, I’m bloody well going to do something. And while I know we will be bidding adieu to some of our favourites, the excitement far outweighs…

  • 100-Mile Food

    Soil Beneath My Nails

    Even though here in Ontario spring has taken forever to shed it’s winter-y skin, it’s that time of year again. The trees are that vibrant, eye-aching chartreuse green that can only been noticed in May. The soil smells wet and dank after soaking up the snow and torrential April showers. Every breath is full of promise and anticipation. Anyone who knows me well enough will know at this time of the year, it’s likely easier to find me at the greenhouse than anywhere else. My manicure consists of garden soil French tips, and I’m probably wearing my harem pants because they make me feel more like Mother Earth. This time…

  • Family

    Dear Stay-at-Home Mom

    Dear Stay-at-Home Mom, Let’s face it – you live just a little against the norm. You don’t really know where you fit anymore. Somehow, you’ve lost relevance with your friends who don’t have kids. And the friends who do have kids are now back to work after mat leave. You feel startlingly lonely all of a sudden, a little bit insecure, and a lot unsure if you’ve made the right decision or not. I’m writing to let you know that five years into this stay-at-home mom-ness, I still feel that way from time to time. There are days when I doubt my “worth” as an individual because what I do…

  • Simple Living

    A Reintroduction: An Update on My Break-Up with Social Media

    This was the first week in almost two months where I intentionally chose to log into my social media accounts. For the past two months, my life has been much quieter, and I have been much more content with literally everything. Taking a break from social media has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s one I hope I chose to implement each year. Initially, denying myself social media made me a bit edgy. I didn’t realize just how often I would pull out my phone during mundane moments, hoping to be entertained. Waiting for the kids in the bathroom? Let’s check Facebook. Waiting for my…

  • Family

    My 5 Favourite Free Activities to do with Kids in Kitchener-Waterloo

    Now that Zoe is back in school (part-time, so only 2-3 days a week), Elsie and I are in the throes of finding our rhythm again. Elsie is by far my extroverted, social butterfly who is happiest when Big Sis is around. On the days that Zoe is in school, she is a little bit lost without her – more clingy, more demanding and much harder to entertain.  Last year, in order to keep both Elsie and I sane, I ended up scoping out some local kid-friendly places that I kept in constant rotation for the days that Zoe was at school. (The added bonus is that they are ALL…

  • Family

    The Big Question: On Thinking Ahead and Savouring My Last Year Being a Full-Time Stay-at-Home Mom

    For the past five years, I’ve blithely answered, “Oh, I’ll go back to work once both of our kids are in school.” Figuring that that answer bought me oodles of time to figure out my career trajectory before both girls were attending said school. Yet, suddenly, here I am, in the last year before my Baby will trot off to school with Big Sis. In the past week  since school started, I’ve been asked countless times what my plans are for a year from now when Elsie will join Zoe at school. That precarious, uncertain time when those of us who have been full-time, stay-at-home moms are suddenly left adrift,…

  • Family

    Back to School Blues

    How is it that we’re already standing on the threshold of a brand new school year? Somehow I’ve been thrown back into schedules, early mornings, packing lunches, rushing out the door. When I feel like I had just closed the chapter on that routine mere days ago. How did two whole months of summer bliss dissolve in thin air? Summer holidays, as a kid seemed like an endless stretch of hot, hazy sunshiny moments. Summer holidays, as a mom, flew by in a mere blink. It seems like just yesterday that I was fretting about Zoe being finished her first year of school. I was worried about how to keep…

  • Family

    Blood, Sweat and Tears: A Story in which Elsie Bled, I Sweat, and Zoe Cried

    *Just a word of caution – if blood isn’t your thing, this blog post may not be for you. Consider yourself warned.* Last night was the typical after dinner gong show, except that I was doing it alone after a day of looking after four kids. Jeff was working late and wouldn’t be home until long after the girls had gone to bed. As I tiredly washed up the last of the dishes, I heard the typical end-of-the-day-running-out-of-steam bickering between the girls coming from the living room. Zoe was lying innocently enough on the couch, while Elsie made it her personal vendetta to provoke Zoe as much as possible. Amidst…

  • Simple Living

    Living with Anxiety:My Social Media Break-Up

    Instagram, I’m breaking up with you. Facebook? I need some space. Pinterest – this time around, it’s not me actually, it’s you. This social media trifecta has, for quite some time, been my escape, my mind-numbing scrolling past time, often times my inspiration, but more often than not, the root of my discontent. Yes, I’m going to take a hiatus from social media. I feel that this has been a long time coming. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not all anti social media. I have been able to remain connected with people who otherwise may have slipped through the cracks. I’ve been inspired to try different recipes, crafts, designs,…