Ottawa: The Savvy Guide to May

SavvyMom June 21, 2016

Let’s face it, Mother’s Day will probably be lost in a jumble of burnt toast, macaroni crafts and brunches with the in-laws. So we want to give you permission to carve out some guilt-free time for yourself all month long. Enjoy this month’s picks either with your kids or in sweet, sweet solitude.

Get a pedicure
Why? The first pedicure of the season is the only one that’s really essential. If you make the time to pamper your tootsies early on, you’ll be ready sport your favourite sandals as soon as the sun comes out. And if you get to catch up on a juicy novel at the same time, all the better. If you can’t get out to a salon to indulge, our sister site has some tips on how to get the perfect pedi at home.

To the Ottawa Children’s Festival, on May 10-15 at LeBreton Flats Park
Why? Because this is a world-class festival of theatre, music and dance featuring performers from around the world—and it’s all designed just for kids. Enjoy sing-a-longs, puppets, a huge maze, a Mad Hatter tea party, extreme face painting, printing, and more. Good to Know: watch this space for our full festival coverage, coming next week.

One-of-a-kind jewelry
Why? As much as you will LOVE and TREASURE the glitter-covered rigatoni threaded onto a piece of yarn that your child made for you, sometimes it’s nice to have options. Etsy is our number-one stop for locally-made, unique jewelry that’s special in a non-macaroni kind of way. Take a look at this half moon slider necklace or these leaf silhouette drop earrings from Nova Scotia Etsy seller Touch the Dutch.

Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt
This is a touching picture book with beautiful vintage ’70s-style illustrations about friendship, poverty, and hunger. Maddi and Sofia are best friends who play together every day after school. When Sofia finds out that Maddi doesn’t have any food in her fridge, Maddi makes her promise to keep it a secret. In the end, Sofia breaks her promise so her mom can help Maddi and her family, and we all learn how to help hungry children in our own communities.

Why? Raising kids and balancing a budget always go hand-in-hand, especially if you want to splurge on a little treat for yourself this Mother’s Day. The GasBuddy app is available on iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry, so finding deals on gas is easy no matter what phone you have. Using location services or a postal code, GasBuddy will generate a list of current gas prices in your area. You’ll never overpay for gas again

Sign Up Genius
Why? If you never have to navigate another Reply All email thread to settle on a date for an event or a potluck menu it will be too soon. Sign Up Genius to the rescue. You can set up an account and invite people to an event while managing sign ups for time slots, duties, or pot lucks all in one fell swoop. Parties, team snacks, event organizing…the possiblities are endless. The basic free account should be sufficient for most casual needs, but if you have professional event management requirements, there are also monthly subscription levels to choose from.

Bike to work
The mild spring weather is perfect for cycling to work without arriving either drenched in sweat or with icicles hanging from your hair. It’s also good exercise and much easier on Mother Nature than driving. But the best part is actually reclaiming the time you spend commuting for yourself. For those of us who work from home, running errands on a bike, cycling with the kids, or just going out for a mid-day ride are all excellent alternatives.

Cottage snacks
Why? The season of weekend getaways are here. The Victoria Day long weekend is the traditional start of cottage season and you will want to enjoy every minute. And if you don’t have your own cottage, the promise of top-notch treats is an excellent way to nab an invitation to someone else’s. Usher in the tastes of summer with a rustic tomato and bread salad, homemade guacamole, and the easiest-ever sparkling sangria.

Raise money for CHEO by buying a Dairy Queen cake anytime between May 1-8
Why? Because in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, a portion of the profits from every DQ cake sold goes to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, thanks to an initiative called Lindsey’s Cakes for Miracles. So go ahead and wow the kids with an ice cream cake for dessert.

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