Here’s the truth about moms and Mother’s Day. We actually love the crafts the kids bring home from school. Breakfast in bed is great, but sleeping in is better. And more than anything, we really just want some quiet time to ourselves. We get it. So this month’s guide is all about finding ways to indulge in some ‘me time’ while making the most of the time we do spend with our families. And since we believe in celebrating Mother’s Day all month long, you can go ahead and get started right away.
Plan a girls’ night out
Why? A night out on the town with good friends is probably the number one thing moms don’t get enough of. Even just one night of connecting with old friends can be completely restorative when you’re feeling burnt out. (A weekend away is even better if you can swing it.) And the only thing you should be making for this occasion is reservations!
To the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, on May 29-June 4
Why? Arguably the biggest kids’ event of the entire year, this family favourite festival is sure to bring out your playful and creative side with its many stimulating activities and performances from around the globe: circus skills, origami, bicycle spin-art and Fred Penner live—just to name a few.
Pineapples for the patio
Why? Because we deserve to have an outdoor space that’s more than just a play area or bike storage zone for the kids. Pineapples are our favourite summer motif and it’s easy to sneak their fun vibe into any space. We’ve seen pineapples on outdoor throw cushions, (we love this one and this one), tea light holders, planters, ice cube trays, and even inflatable pool tubes. No matter your budget or whether you’re decking out a large backyard or small balcony, pick up something fun and decorative just for yourself.
I Spy Nature Walk
Why? This is the best time of year to get outside as a family. Everything is just starting to bloom and there’s lots to see, but the heat and the bugs haven’t set in yet. We love the idea of bringing the traditional I Spy game out on a nature walk because it ensure that everybody (kids and grown-ups alike) take the time to really look around and appreciate their surroundings. You know how it works. Someone says, ‘I spy with my little eye something that is…’, and then everyone takes turns trying to guess what it is.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This best-selling young adult thriller is having a moment right now with the release of the Netflix original series based on the book. But if you haven’t started watching the series yet (and even if you have), the book is well worth the read first. It’s a dark trek into the psyche of a teen girl who committed suicide and left behind cassette tapes charting her state of mind and blaming 13 people for her demise. It’s completely absorbing and captivating, and very controversial. Several school boards have banned it, so for better or for worse it’s probably already on your tween’s radar. Talking about the book could be an excellent way to open up a conversation about the complexity of mental health.
Why? Because if you’re going to be preparing countless meals a week, you might as well be proud of them. This free photo app (iOS and Android) is designed to optimize the snaps you take of your food and make them look mouth-wateringly good. With 24 filters recommended for anything from ice cream to BBQ, it’s never been easier to impress your foodie friends with your Instagram game. (Hey, someone should be excited about your cooking, and we know it’s not the kids.) Just promise us one thing: make sure you also give this app a test drive at a restaurant this month, too.
Why? Looking for some help around the house? Well, there’s a website for that. This online service matches fully-insured, experienced house cleaners in your area with dirty homes that need cleaning. You can book, reschedule and make payments online for a variety of cleaning services, including a recurring house cleaning, a one-time clean, window washing, and much more starting at $25 per hour.
Sign up for a CSA
Why? One of the best ways to support local farms and put quality, locally-grown produce on your table is by subscribing to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food box. First you need to find a participating farm that delivers to your area. There are some farms across Canada plotted on this map. You pay a lump sum at the beginning of the growing season which helps to support that farm and receive weekly deliveries of freshly picked, peak produce for much less than you’d pay at the farmers’ market.
Why? We’re still waiting for local produce to become available, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait for spring flavours. Pesto is a fresh, warm weather favourite that’s easier to whiz up than you think. Check out these instructions for making pesto out of any combination of greens and nuts, plus garlic and parmesan. (It’s true! It doesn’t have to be basil and pine nuts all the time.) Then go ahead and use it up in your favourite dishes. We like it with this yummy pasta, on pizza and even in this chicken curry crockpot recipe.
Raise funds and awareness for charities like Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and YMCA’S of Vancouver by participating in the BMO Vancouver Marathon Kids’ Run on Saturday, May 6 at 11 am
Why? This family-friendly race through scenic Stanley Park is a great opportunity to get out and be active while supporting numerous good causes. Good to know: register online ASAP as space is limited.