Mar 3, 2015

A little less than two months to go until the 2015 BConnected Conference! I cannot wait to meet up with my fellow bloggers and favourite brands at the Doubletree by Hilton Ottawa-Gatineau for a weekend of fun, learning and networking! 

When you are a new blogger (or maybe even experienced), events like conferences can be daunting - Now's your chance to win your ticket PLUS one for your bestie with the #BConnected2Friends Ticket Giveaway! We want to meet YOU ALL! 

Click the image below to check out the details on how you can win your ticket to the 2015 BConnected Conference! Ends March 16th, 2015!

Congratulations to Craig @BigDaddyKreativ who won February's #Love2BConnected giveaway! 

See you in May! 

Posted in participation with the BConnected Conference Team. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of my own. 

Mar 2, 2015

Don't you just love when simple meal foods are inspired by items you already have in your kitchen? Friday night I decided I wanted to feed the family "Sloppy Joe's". One of their fav's and something we don't have very often, I'd say "once in a blue moon". 

I had hamburger meat that needed cooking and fresh buns. Since the kids were tired of "Pasta Night" this was a simple idea to throw together. The only problem was, no sloppy Joe mix. I did a quick google search and found this recipe.

It doesn't take many ingredients to make these delightful and delicious homemade 'Joes. The only differences between the original recipe I found online and my own is substituting some of the ingredients. 

Instead of Ketchup, I used tomato garlic pasta sauce. Instead of onions and peppers (which I had none of), I used a teaspoon of relish and I added a teaspoon of mustard (which it calls for), just a sprinkle of brown sugar and extra spices like paprika powder, salt, pepper and a dash of Red Hot sauce to taste. If you find this mix too runny, you can add half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Cook your ground beef as usual, lower the temperature to simmer and add in your homemade sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens to your taste. Serve on fresh buns and there you go! Add some cheese and side with a salad to give it that extra something else! 

 Simple, tasty and homemade! 

This recipe is great because you can modify it to however you like with whatever ingredients you have on hand and the best part is, it takes just minutes so perfect quick meal or side for busy families on the go! 

Posted by AME. Modified recipe and photos by AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Feb 26, 2015

The snow is still coming down in piles as we reach the near end of February and already we are thinking about summer time. Thinking in particular about things the kids could do this summer, namely summer camp for our oldest Miss K. 

I attended summer camp when I was growing up, I think I spent about 3 or 4 summers there. I enjoyed it more or less, I remember having a good time and making some good friends. That's the important part, our daughter learning about herself and making friends this summer. 

The first thing we did was ask our daughter. Why? Because she is the one who will be spending time away from the family, on her own for twelve days and we want to make sure she is ready. Last year she was hesitant when we asked her if she would be able to handle herself away from mom and dad for that long a time. She was not ready to leave the nest just yet, it all depends on the child like everything else. 

This year is different, she was asking about it before we even had a chance to ask her. She must get that "planning ahead" thing from her mama. 

There are so many different camps to choose from, depending where you live. Some summer camps can be expensive but if you contact your local community you might be able to find out where you can get and if you are eligible for subsidized camp prices for your kids. 

We have had our eye on a specific camp for a while now, mostly because of location but also because we have heard really good things about it plus it suits our family and child's needs which is important. 

So, why talk about this so early? Because most camps have long lists of children who want to attend and spaces are always limited. Since we already had camp in mind since the year before last, I emailed the camp and requested a sign up form. 

It took a couple of weeks for a reply but our sign up forms should be in the mail any time and we can start the process of filling them out and getting our girl registered for her first summer at camp! 

Wish us luck, I'll need to keep myself together this coming July when she actually leaves for her adventure! Have your kids been to summer camp? 

Posted by AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. 

Feb 25, 2015

A photo posted by Alyssa (@amotherhoodblog) on

Posted by AME. Photo by AME via Instagram. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.

Feb 24, 2015

It was announced that the province of Ontario would roll out a new sex ed curriculum for elementary school students starting in September. This topic actually fits in with my recent post about talking to your tween. 

News articles that highlight some of the topics that will be taught per grade might make you cringe but it may not be such a bad thing. 

For those who are utterly against it, I understand. I have young kids myself. I'm neither here nor there on the subject but something happened recently that really made me want to learn more about this new approach to educating our kids. 

Several weeks ago we dealt with a situation that involved my daughter, a couple of other girls and personal space. For privacy purposes, I won't get into the details but I'm not talking minor stuff. 

The kids involved were not educated about personal space, about how other people's bodies are not theirs to touch and that those type of acts are not a joke. Had they "known better" would they have done it? They knew about the acts they were committing but had no idea about them at the same time. That's scary. My daughter wasn't harmed because she knew how to say NO when she felt even the slightest bit threatened or uncomfortable in a situation. 

My daughter is educated by means of open-ended conversation. We have never hidden anything from her and have always had talks about different subjects as the questions came in, according to what her young mind could handle. We do/plan to do the same with her younger brother and sister. I am happy she knew enough to get help and tell an adult about what happened.

My point is not all families are the same, not all families have these talks and not all kids are as educated as others on the subject. For those parents who have it covered, excellent! That is what we need to be, the primary guidance in our children's lives, the ones they turn to with the hard questions we try our best to answer for them. 

Not all parents are the same. Some may be uncomfortable having those kinds of chats, I don't know. I'm not here to judge any other parent, I have no time for that. I'm just saying the parenting world is a very diverse one and this could be a step in making the future a safer place. 

Times have obviously changed. There are more issues than when we were our kids ages. There was no cell phones and no texting. There was no Internet and these days, you know as well as I do how much access young kids have. Not all young kids, maybe not even yours but enough to need to give this class a serious upgrade into the new age.

Having the option to have it taught in school would be a better approach though. Everyone has their own reasons for the decisions they make for their families and that should be respected. If you feel more comfortable having your child learn it in school, great. If not, you should have the option to opt out in my opinion. 

Are you for these new changes? Against? Have your say in the comments! 

Posted by AME. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. Image free from morguefile.

Feb 17, 2015

It's hard to believe my oldest daughter is going to be 11 years old this summer. Oh how much she has changed from being a little girl to...wait for it...a full-fledged Tween!

We always say "they grow up so fast" and honestly they do. She has been been going through changes in every way from physically to emotionally. These are fragile times when you sometimes don't know what to say to your tween or how they may react. 

I wasn't even sure at first how to approach such a delicate subject without embarrassing her or making her uncomfortable. I know schools cover this subject somewhat but as a parent it's our duty to talk to our kids no matter what the subject. It won't be the last conversation like this. 

Give them their space, let them ask the questions, answer them and you too will get an some insight into their tween world. The best thing you can do is talk to them and listen to them.

You don't have to be an expert to answer questions. I'm no expert but I am a mom of girls and I am a woman. Talking to my daughter isn't as hard as my mind can make it out to be sometimes. Luckily at this stage my daughter is still very open with me. 

She had no fear asking me about the changes in her body and why she feels how she feels inside. We have had discussions about many a topic including the dreaded period. Not always the most comfortable topic but it is a fact of life. Luckily we will be well stocked up with Always when that time comes. 

These are not exactly subjects I was prepared for on the surface but I answered her questions to the best of my ability and to her maturity level. I feel the more she understands, the less she will feel she is that "different" because as much as a tween/teen can feel different (didn't we all?), they are really all just the same in many ways. 

That my friends, is the best thing we can do. Be open and honest with our teens. Be there for them and if you don't know the answer, talk to a professional like a doctor, nurse or counsellor who can explain it if that's what makes you comfortable. Do what works for you and your tween or teen. 

As a woman, I want my girls to grow to be strong and powerful in their own rights. I will always let them know not to be ashamed about how they look and who they are. They are beautiful. They are tough. They are unique and they do everything "Like a Girl" just how they should.

If you need some good advice about talking to your tween or teen about puberty and more, here are some great conversation starters courtesy of P&G Everyday! 

Posted by AME in participation with the #PGMom program. Products and perks are obtained as part of this affiliation. Comments and opinions are those of the author. 

Feb 14, 2015

Roses are red, violets are blue
Happy Valentines Day to you! 

Valentine's Day is a traditional day to celebrate love and those you love. When you have a family, it goes beyond celebrating you and your lover. It goes beyond the heart shaped box of chocolates and flowers.

For those with families like ours it might be heart shaped pancakes and home made cards but it's family love. It's the kind of love you know you can count on, the kind that's unconditional. We show our love every day, Valentine's Day is just a fun perk. 

Maybe you don't celebrate Valentine's Day and that's fine! Just remember to always show you care, even if it's lending a helping hand or an ear to listen. You never know when your small gesture may brighten somebody else's day. 

No matter what you do today, enjoy it with those you love and above all - have fun and be kind today and everyday!