Lifestyle

How To Use Giving Artfully Kids to Inspire Compassion

How To Use Giving Artfully Kids to Inspire Compassion

While our children are young, we teach them. Some lessons, like first words, seem rather simple. Others, like potty training, are more difficult. Some are less obvious but are still very important. Things like giving, being kind, and helping others. We, of course, teach them through our own actions and through encouragement. Giving Artfully Kids makes these lessons teach kindness through the power of craft.

**Disclaimer: I received a trial subscription for free from Giving Artfully Kids in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, however, are mine and uninfluenced.**

Giving Artfully Kids has a program for everyone.  From the parent to the teacher, their programs are designed and developed with everyone in mind. They can be done one on one with a child or through a group.  The projects can be done by everyone, regardless of skill and age. Plus, they do all the hard work for you. The planning and the research. They provide high-quality lesson plans to help empower and teach our children to make a difference in the world; all while being both fun and creative.

Giving Artfully Kids offers two different packages so there is a package for everyone.

The Basic Membership

The basic membership is designed for anyone who only wants to complete one project a month. Each week a new portion of the lesson is released so it is manageable and not at all overwhelming.

  • Each month, you will receive:
    • Week 1: One crafting-based service learning project for children ages 3-12
    • Week 2: Pillar of Giving Activity
    • Week 3: Article of Video to encourage and engage kids in kindness and giving activities

The Premium Membership

The premium membership, unlike the basic, is perfect for schools, after-school programs, churches or even a family.

  • Month 1 you will receive 8 crafting-based service learning project
  • Every subsequent month, 2 new projects will be released

Both

Regardless of which package you feel works best for you get

  • Instructions for crafting based projects (video instructions for more difficult crafts)
  • Downloadable links for a crafting-based service learning project
  • PDF Downloads and Worksheets to help organize you Giving Artfully Kids programs
  • Giving Artfully Kids Support for questions
  • Age group specific lessons
  • Monthly or yearly subscriptions available.

During our trial, we tried the premium, and we did a variety of activities.  – I am a bad blog mom and I didn’t take any photos. – My kids loved knowing that their crafts were going to help someone or something and both favoured making things for the local animal shelter.

In today’s day of subscription box services, where you get a ton of knick-knack items, this is an incredible alternative. The subscription is all online, and while you have to purchase the supplies needed separately, you only get what you need. Most items can be found at your local dollar store. We completed multiple projects and never spent more than $5 CAD on any, occasionally doing more than one within the same price point.
Whether you are a teacher, a mom, or anything in between, Giving Artfully Kids has a package for you.
How To Use Giving Artfully Kids to Inspire Compassion
How To Use Giving Artfully Kids to Inspire Compassion In Your Kids
Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, Lifestyle Review, 0 comments
Babysitting: When A Dad Has To Do It Alone

Babysitting: When A Dad Has To Do It Alone

As I count down the days to a much anticipated and much overdue girls night out, I prepare myself for the inevitable. The question that makes me cringe. Followed by the statement that makes my blood boil. The question about who is watching the kids. The one about who is babysitting.

Person: “who has the kids?”

Me: “They are at home with their dad.”

Person: “Oh, dad gets to babysit while you go out.”

Me: …

This bothers me, and while the implication that I am shouldn’t get to go out while he stays home is enough; what really gets to me is that dad is babysitting.

I am sorry. He is their father. At no point in their life will he be babysitting them. He is being their parent.

Definition of babysitting

babysitting  to care for children usually during a short absence of the parents;  to give care <babysit for a neighbour’s pets>

IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PARENTS.

Therefore, a parent cannot babysit their own children. This is one of those awful parenting double standards that exist. At no point would someone say, or imply, that I, their mother is babysitting my children. That is simply my job as a mother. I am their caregiver, so why is it that dad isn’t viewed the same way. Especially in this day and age when there are so many stays at home dads, then they are the primary caregivers. Are they still “babysitters” in the eyes of these people?

Moms are moms, dads are dads, and when they are caring for their own children then they aren’t babysitting.

Don’t we moms have to endure mom guilt about having a night out – which they deserve – without the babysitter card getting played? I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Babysitting: When a dad has to do it alone
Babysitting: When A Dad Has To Do It Alone

 

Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 10 comments
For the Painful Days Ahead Due to The Humboldt Broncos Tragedy

For the Painful Days Ahead Due to The Humboldt Broncos Tragedy

It takes just a moment for your life to change forever. When you first watched your child take the ice to play the game we all loved, you would never think that years later, while on the way to pay the game they loved, that their life would tragical come to an end. For 11 players, their head coach, their driver, and their announcer, this is exactly what happened. On April 7, 2018, the Humboldt Broncos were involved in an accident leaving 15 people dead and 14 injured.
 
Every parent’s worst nightmare.
 
I think about my sons, one who just finished his first year of hockey, so young with so many dreams and my heart aches. For many of them, their hockey careers started much like my sons did this past year. Early morning practice. Road trips. Hot coffee and arena food. With the dream of playing for a team like the Humboldt Broncos in the future.
 
After countless practices and thousands of games, I can only offer this.
 
To the first responders, who worked tirelessly, to save lives. Your strength inspires me.
 
To the driver and passenger. of the other vehicle. Regardless of the cause of the crash – unknown at the time of posting – you are a survivor just like everyone else involved. Know we are thinking of you as well in this painful time. Ask for help when you feel you need it.
 
To the parents, I can not wrap my head around your pain and I pray to God I never have to. But I hope you can take some solace in the knowledge that your son was on his way to do something that he loved. Take strength from those around you.
 
To the players, nobody but you knows what you’ve gone through. Take time to heal. Take time to grieve. Take care of yourself.
 
To the town of Humboldt, unite as a community. Grieve as a community. Heal as a community. The rest of the country is with you.
 
To the hockey community when you take the ice, take the ice for the Humboldt Broncos. Play with everything you have in you. Play the game with all your heart.
 
To Canada, as we as a country recover from this tragedy, hold your loved ones close. As so many families have discovered, your life can change in an instant.
 
From every one of us that has a child in hockey.
That has played hockey
That currently plays hockey.
That has a family member that plays hockey
That coaches hockey.
From every Canadian that is a fan of hockey…
 

We are here for you.

You have our love, our prayers and positive thoughts.

You have us.

Since originally posting, unfortunately, another person has passed away due to their injuries. The death of Dayna Brons brings the total to 16.

 

For the Painful Days Ahead Due to The Humboldt Broncos Tragedy
For the Painful Days Ahead Due to The Humboldt Broncos Tragedy

 

Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 10 comments
A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent

A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent

It’s no surprise that being a parent is a lot of work. Day in and day out you wear a ton of different hats. My job title is official “Mom”, but unofficially, it carries many more job titles than that.

  1. President: My husband might argue this point a little, but even he phones and clears things with me before planning things. I run the household.
  2. Secretary: Yes, I carry both titles. If I don’t make the schedule things just won’t happen.
  3. Chef: Maybe not gourmet, but any day that I don’t cook boxed macaroni and cheese or serve cereal for dinner I am probably winning. 3 kids; 1 who is going through a stage where everything has to be plain, and an adult male under my roof mean it’s hard impossible to please everyone most nights.
  4. Cheerleader: Kids in sports (or any activity) means that I am at EVERY game, and EVERY practice cheering them on and cheering them on loud enough to make sure they hear me. Especially those where my husband isn’t able to because of work. I never want them looking into the stand and wondering who is there for them.  I will always be there.
  5. Housekeeper: Cleaning the entire house every day. Sweeping, mopping, dishes, laundry it literally never ends.
  6. Laundromat attendant: All the laundry, all the time. With only one washing machine. At least I get all the pocket change out of the dryer.
  7. Maid: Different than a housekeeper, I am expected, it would seem anyway, to wait on my children hand and foot.
  8. Janitor: Also different from the housekeeper, I also get to clean up all the spills and messes.
  9. Taxi Driver: I have to drive everyone everywhere, usually with no time to spare.
  10. Judge: When all the little arguments happen, guess who decides who is right.
  11. Referee: Scraps happen, I’m the one who has to climb in the middle, or hopefully diffuse them before they start.
  12. Secret Keeper: While we don’t keep secrets in this house, they have found a loophole when it comes to “surprises”
  13. Personal Assistant: Forgot something? Need something done? Don’t worry mom will get it done.
  14. Teacher: Colours, ABCs, spelling words, all of the above.
  15. Coach: In all things sports. Even if you know next to nothing about them.
  16. Art Critic: Of course that looks like a dinosaur!
  17. Potty Trainer: Two kids down one to go.
  18. Bum Checker: Even though they are potty trained, wiping is still something that needs working on.
  19. Diaper Changer: And counting down!
  20. Search and Rescue: A toy or a blanket always seems to be missing.
  21. Tickler: My boys loved to be tickled
  22. Tickle me Elmo: Who needs the toy when I can tickle mom?
  23. Day Care Provider: Someone has to take care of them.
  24. Government: Someone needs to make the rules.
  25. Police Woman: And then they need to be enforced.
  26. Stylist: No you can’t wear shorts when it’s -30 degrees
  27. Personal Shopper: Groceries, clothes you name it, I buy it
  28. Dentist: Gotta make sure all the teeth are clean.
  29. Breath Smeller: How else am I going to know if they actually brushed their teeth?
  30. Volunteer: Field trips, councils, hot lunches, as often as possible.
  31. Play Date Organizers: Back to that scheduling we talked about.
  32. Event Planner: Birthdays, and holidays.
  33. A Conductor of Sleep Studies: Overnight, in a bed that is far too small
  34. Monster Patrol: Under beds, behinds doors, the works.
  35. Librarian: Complete with storytelling.
  36. Singer: Specialising in nursery rhymes and theme songs.
  37. Doctor: Kisses and cuddles are my specialities.
  38. Paramedic: Breaking out the big guns with fun band-aids when needed.
  39. Nurse: I administer the medicine when they’re sick.
  40. Cuddle Expert: Because sometimes all you need is a good cuddle session.
  41. Speech Therapist:  There are a lot of words to learn how to say properly.
  42. Councillor: For the days when being young is just too much to handle.
  43. Barber: I can’t be the only one who has had to cut their kids’ hair.

There is no sugar coating it, being a parent is hard work. My job as a mom is ever changing and ever evolving. Would I give up any one of them? Not a chance, they bring be closer to my kids and that makes me a better parent. It is rewarding in a way that you will never be able to explain.

Are there any job titles you feel you carry as a parent?

A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent
A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent

 

Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 9 comments
March Goals – Goal Reset

March Goals – Goal Reset

If you read my last post you know that February was kind of a right off for me. I didn’t do a whole lot, and I certainly didn’t get a lot accomplished. Between repeat migraines and a cold that just wouldn’t go away, I spent a lot of the month doing as little as possible. While I didn’t get everything accomplished I had hoped to when I set my February goals,  I won’t let that discourage me for the rest of the year. March brings spring and with spring brings new beginnings. Goals need to be constantly adjusted and reevaluated.  Not accomplishing them in the time frame I set out to do a goal in does not mean failure, it means adjustment. This is why my February Goals have now become my March Goals.

If you’re looking for fitness goals, they can be found here.

Let’s look into last months goals

Read a book
After successfully meeting Januarys goal of reading a book, I hoped to continue it and I stated Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers. I didn’t quite finish it yet but I hope to get to get it done this week.
 
My February goal was to Stop Procrastinating.
 
Clearly, that didn’t work out, but upon reflection, I realize that it wasn’t entirely realistic. I can not make such a drastic complete life change overnight. So For March, I am adjusting this a little. Okay, a lot.

In March I will stop procrastinating my writing. I will get all my posts for the month written and posted on time. Seems easy enough, but you haven’t seen my schedule. So far I am succeeding so here is to hoping that I can keep up my momentum for the rest of the month.

That’s it for my March goals. Have you set yours for the month yet? If so what are they? What do you think of my goals for the month?

 
March Goals

March Goals

Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 0 comments
February Goals

February Goals

Better late than never right? Maybe these February goals should be to get my posts written and posted when I originally intended to.

January has come and gone, and if you’re with me on this monthly goal setting changed then you know it is time to set your February goals now. Regardless of any potential failure on your January goals, these monthly goals give you the opportunity to reflect tone adjust and reset as necessary. Without some sort of accomplishment, you will always fail. That is why I am always preaching small achievable goals.

If you’re looking for fitness goals, they can be found here.

Let’s look into last months goals

Read a book
Last months I set the goal to read a book. A book that will make me learn something, or a classic. Under the suggestion of a reader, I went with Linda Blair’s book, Birth Order. This book gave me a  surprising outlook on how our birth order influences everything from our personalities to the type of partner we choose and even our careers. I was surprised, that not only do my kids, Levi specifically, matches his “birth order description” almost to a tee; but also that my own personality matches a combination of both middle (which I am) as well as oldest and surprisingly the only. This is probably due to the 7-year age gap between my older brother as well as the fact that I am the only girl in the family.
After successfully meeting this goal, I hope to continue it and I have already started on a second. Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers.
 
I also completed a goal that I didn’t put into writing. I set up my Facebook Page! Please stop by and give it a like!
 
Happy to report that I completed my goals for January; I am now ready to dive into February goals.

Stop Procrastinating

If we look at the fact that this post is already 4 days late, you will see not only have I already failed this goal, but I have also every reason to set it. I should possibly set my goal to be to limit my procrastination, but I am going to attempt to stop it all together. This should, in theory, allow me to finish everything I want and need to do, and give me the same amount of, if not more, time afterwards to do what I please to do. This should also allow me to enjoy this time even more than normal because I will have a sense of accomplishment having completed all my so-called tasks.

That’s it for my February goals. Have you set yours for the month yet? If so what are they? What do you think of my goals for the month?

 
Set your February goals
Set your February goals
Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 0 comments
Sometimes I Struggle #BellLetsTalk A Look into an Anxious Mind

Sometimes I Struggle #BellLetsTalk A Look into an Anxious Mind

Sometimes I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Not because I didn’t get enough sleep, but because I can’t bear to think about what the day might bring.

Sometimes I struggle with getting dressed. Not because I am in pain, but because I can’t be bothered to care.

Sometimes I struggle with being a mom. Not because  I don’t love my kids, but because being a parent is HARD.

Sometimes I struggle with driving my son to school. Not because I don’t want him to go to school, but because I am sure I will get into a car accident.

Sometimes I struggle with grocery shopping. Not because we don’t have the money, but because there are too many people at the store.

Sometimes I struggle with being a good housekeeper. Not because I don’t want a clean house, but because there is not enough time in the day.

Sometimes I struggle with being active. Not because I am lazy, but because I just can’t be bothered.

Sometimes I struggle with being a good friend. Not because I don’t want to see my friends, but because I don’t want to see anyone.

Sometimes I struggle with driving my son to nursery school. Not because he shouldn’t go, but because I might have to interact with people.

Sometimes I struggle with taking my baby for his checkups. Not because I think he doesn’t need them, but because they might ask me how I am.

Sometimes I struggle with being a good wife. Not because I don’t love my husband, but because I am already so frustrated with the rest of the day.

Sometimes I struggle with cooking dinner. Not because I’m not hungry, but because the kids probably won’t eat it anyways.

Sometimes I struggle with going to sleep. Not because I am not tired, but because the weight of the day plagues me.

 

Sometimes I get out of bed, get dressed, drive my son to school, do the grocery shopping, play with my kids, clean my house, work out, visit with my friends, take my son to nursery school, take my baby to his checkups, great my husband with a kiss, cook dinner, and have an early bedtime. 

But sometimes I struggle. 

January 31, 2018, is Bell Lets Talk day. For every applicable text, mobile and long distance call, tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Bell Let’s Talk Day video view on social media, use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter, Bell will donate 5¢ to Canadian mental health initiatives. Let’s work together to create a stigma-free Canada! But more than just today let us work towards a world where it is easier to talk every day. If you or someone you know needs help, please get it.

On January 25, 2017, Bell raised more than $6.1 Million Dollars in support of Mental Health Awareness.

 

This post originaly was written In January 2017.
Sometimes I Struggle #BellLetsTalk A Look into an Anxious Mind

 

Sometimes I Struggle #BellLetsTalk A Look into an Anxious Mind
Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 7 comments
Everything you need to know to banish winter blues.

Everything you need to know to banish winter blues.

January. Despite the fact that it brings my birthday, the word itself almost makes me shiver. January statically is one of the most depressing months of the year. Deep in the middle of the winter. One of the coldest months we endure. At least here in Alberta anyways. If you get the winter blues you’re not alone.

Have you started to feel like nothing is going to get you out of bed in the mornings, and already planning tomorrow nap? Here are some ways to help to lift your spirits on those winter blues.

Let Some Light In

Winter brings shorter days and longer nights. Open the blinds and let some light in. Sit closer to the window to get an extra dose of sunlight. If that doesn’t work, consider a light box, an artificial sun, to give your body the sunlight it is craving.

Crank It Up

Ever just listen to a song and immediately feel your mood boost? It works in the winter too. Turn up some tunes, and maybe have a little dance party. Get a little of this and the next one all in one go.

Work It Out

You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Inside, outside, in a gym, or at home. Wherever, whenever you can get it in. It can give your body the boost that it needs to keep going.

Plan A Vacation

Even the simple act of planning a vacation can boost my spirits. Of course, actually taking the vacation helps, but even if you can go away; pick up some travel brochures and dream away.

Help Someone

Big or small helping someone makes you feel good about yourself and helps boost your mood.

Get Outside

Easier said than done, I know. Especially when the winter temperatures dip well below freezing. Stepping outside even for a brief walk can bring a new alertness, and focus on your day.

 

Doing even one of these can help. Make an effort to do one or more of these each and every day and with any luck, you’ll be moving away from Winter blues and into Spring showers sooner than you know. Do you have anything you do when you feel the winter blues coming on?

 

Everything you need to know to banish winter blues.
Everything you need to know to banish winter blues.
Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 0 comments
January Goals

January Goals

With school returning today, it became clear that I must also return to reality. No more will there be sleeping in and staying up late. Back to regularly scheduled programming, for a couple of weeks until I fly off to Maui anyways. January brings a not only a new month but also, a new year. With a new year comes new goals. Not a new me, but a time to refocus on, and reaffirm what your goals are for the upcoming year. However, I believe that new years resolutions are bound to fail so I will only make one this year. To make monthly goals.

The first Monday of the month, pending holidays and other lifelong distractions, will be the day in which I make my monthly personal goals. As this is the first Monday, that is not right in the middle of a school break and is not also a holiday here we are.

If you’re looking for fitness goals, they can be found here.

For January I thought it best to start off small. It’s quite a busy month for our upcoming holidays, school, and hockey and just life in general. I don’t want to set myself up to fail.

Read a book

This might sound relatively simple because I’ve already finished one book and I’m on to a second, but those are easy to read novels. But, when I say read I book I’m talking about a classic or educational novel. Last year I read 25 books, only one of those was something that actually made me think. I love to lose myself in a novel, usually with a glass of wine in a bath, but I also love to read books that I can talk about and learn from. Last year I read a book by Graham Hancock and loved it.

I’m not sure which yet so if you have any suggestions I am happy to hear them. I’d also love to hear your New Years goals.

January goals

January goals

Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 8 comments
Holiday Gift Guide Round-Up

Holiday Gift Guide Round-Up

All links have been shared with permission from the authors.

If you’re anything like me, you just realized Christmas is less than a week away. I feel like it really snuck up on me this year. Maybe it is because school goes right until the 22nd, maybe because of the complete lack of snow. Maybe, I’m just not really feeling it this year. Regardless of the reason I, or even you, seemed to let the month of December slip right past you don’t worry; I am here to help. I have compiled a list of some of the best Gift Guide to help you with any last minute gift shopping that you have to do. Find some incredible gift ideas, and show some love to some fellow Canadian Bloggers.

While you’re here looking for gift suggestions, check out my review of the Jord Watch.

FAMILY

Loving Littles Blog – HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Raising Memories – 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway for Families and Kids!

Suburban Tourist – LOVE IT Holiday Gifts for Parents and Kids

There’s a Shoe For That – Family Gift Guide [Under $35]

GROWN-UPS

Allergy Girl Eats – Chique Gifts for an Allergy Adult

Girl In Betsey – GIFT GUIDE FOR THE BEAUTY BUFF

Halitrax – Quintessential Feminist Gift Guide

Raising Memories – 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Moms!

The Hunter and Gathered – Holiday Hostess Gifts (that aren’t flowers, wine or chocolates!)

Mom Eh – Unique & Practical Gifts For New Parents

The Professional Mom Project – Best Gifts for Working Moms

Hodge:Podge – Holiday Gift Guide for the Kids

Parenting From The Heart – Best Play-Based Learning Toy Ideas for STEM Learning

Raising Memories – The Ultimate List of 100 Non-Toy Gift Ideas

STOCKING STUFFERS

Girl Living Life – 15 Must-Have Stocking Stuffers for Her

Mom Eh – Non-Candy Stocking Stuffers For Toddlers

Put the Kettle On – 40+ THOUGHTFUL STOCKING STUFFERS FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

AKA Design – Gift Guide Archives

Avenue 24 – Where To Get Your Beauty Fix In Toronto!

Carmy – GIFT GUIDE FOR THE HOME COOK

Carmy – HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE FITNESS LOVER

Joyce of Cooking – Joyce of Cooking Holiday Gift Guide – For all the Foodies in your Life!

Living Local – 18 Gift Ideas for the Adventurer on Your List

Mint Candy Designs – HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Mom Eh – Christmas Gag Gifts

Mom Eh – Gifts For People Who Are Always Cold

Momjo’s Holiday Guide to Gifting: Momjo Holiday Hamper

Mommy Dearest – GROWNUP HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Mumfectio – 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Naturally Cracked – 2017 Holiday Gift Guides

Paw’s Dot Calm – Holiday Pet Gift Guide

Pausitive Living – HGG 2017

Satisfy Her Soul – Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Solo Mom Takes Flight – Incredible Gifts That Give Back

There’s a Shoe For That – All the Gift Guides

Wandering Gaels – GIFTS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO TRAVEL

Writing On Air – The Best Gifts for Writers

 

Holiday Gift Guide Round-Up

 

Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 6 comments