Pinterest roundup: Hoppy Easter!

It's Monday, and that means we're sharing some of our favourite things from our Pinterest boards. Since Easter is right around the corner we thought it'd be fun to share a few ideas to celebrate the season:

Are you following Capital Parent on Pinterest? Follow us for family crafts, great kid-friendly activities, recipes and more. You can read all of our past Pinterest round-ups right here.

Parenting blogs we love: Healthy Mumma!

Meet Shauna Ironside of Healthy Mumma. Photo courtesy of Andrew Geddes, Union Eleven Photographers.   

Meet Shauna Ironside of Healthy Mumma. Photo courtesy of Andrew Geddes, Union Eleven Photographers.   

By Lynn Jatania

Shauna Ironside understands. She knows that when you become a parent, your own needs often go on the back burner – who has time to worry about health and fitness when you’re barely getting three hours of sleep a night and busy monitoring the food intake and bowel movements of several other small bodies? But at her blog, Healthy Mumma, Shauna has tons of great advice and tips for working a little (low pressure!) healthful living into your busy life. 

Health and wellness is always at the forefront of Shauna’s mind, as her day jobs include athletic therapist and osteopath. But her blog isn’t cold and clinical – it’s personal, warm, and gently encouraging. Expecting your first baby? Shauna’s got the goods on all the equipment, training, and personal support you’ll need – be sure to read her essential guide to breastfeeding prep. Just gave birth? She’s got a series on dealing with post-partum incontinence – frank advice that you won’t find many other mommies talking about. And we just love her ideas on using kiddie toys for exercise – fun, funny, and easy enough that parents at any stage will be encouraged to get down on the floor and get a little active. 

Her best inspiration, however, comes from her personal experience with her own baby boy, who recently turned a year old. She admits it’s hard to fit workouts into her schedule, to get enough rest, and to actually sit at the table to eat. But she still tries to carve out a little time for herself – both for her own sake and that of her son. It’s a place we’ve all been, and with Shauna leading the way, maybe we’ll all climb our way back to being Healthy Mummas.

Notable Quote 

I know my body needs more. My sanity needs more. The last few months I’ve been feeling kinda Blah - with a capital b. I think it has been a combination of not eating well enough, shifting hormones as B started nursing less, and the dark winter days, but I know that my lack of exercise has also played a role. 

This time last year and into the spring, I was doing a heck of a lot more than I am now. I was committed to my three swim sessions and a postnatal fitness class once or twice a week. I even got in a run every now and then. And in the lovelier, warmer weather, I walked daily with B. Everywhere. I’d walk while he napped in the buggy. I’d walk to visit my parents. I’d walk to and from exercise class. I walked and walked. And walked some more. 

To be fair to myself, life was a little different back then. B was smaller, more portable, less mobile and could sleep anywhere – like through an entire exercise class. And I wasn’t working like I am now. So there are some big changes that I’d say have legitimately conflicted with my exercise regime, but this is not an excuse for the measly two hours (max) that I am getting in these days. 

It’s time to get real. 

Read the rest of this post - and more - at Healthy Mumma

 

"Green up" your child's next birthday party!

By Gwen Leron

Birthday parties are an exciting event in a child’s life. They are turning a year older, they get to celebrate with friends and family, and open presents. These are the things that come to mind when we think about birthday parties, but have you thought about the waste they leave behind? With Earth Day coming up this month, this is a great time to contemplate how we plan our children’s birthday parties and maybe find a way to work in some options that minimize waste. 

When it comes to planning an eco-friendly birthday, one may assume that it’s difficult and expensive, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With a little creative thinking, you can put together a greener party that will involve less trash at the end of the day and save money too. Having your children involved in the planning will also make them more receptive to some of the ideas involved. Here are four ideas to get you started:

Send eco-friendly invitations

Nowadays, there’s no pressing need for paper invitations that will be thrown in the recycling once the information has been recorded. Paper is nice, but you can opt for sending invites online with evite.com or punchbowl.com.

Buy reusable decorations and party dishes

Party decor can be used over and over again and will save you money in the long run. Google “DIY eco party decor,” for some great project ideas such as fabric buntings and cloth party napkins you can decorate yourself with fabric paint. If you are not the DIY type, a great source for eco-party decorations and tableware is greenplanetparties.com.

Go gift-free! 

For most kids, gifts may be a tough thing to give up, but with some explanation, many will understand and even come to appreciate the reasoning behind the no-gift decision. A good compromise might be to only have gifts from family and no gifts from friends. Another option is to ask invitees for a donation to a charity or cause near and dear to your family’s heart. Echoage.com is an earth-friendly, charity-based party planning service that is worth checking out.

Opt for eco-friendly loot bags (or don’t have goodie bags at all)

The kids really won’t miss loot bags, but if they are really important to you, consider giving earth-friendly items such as healthy homemade treats, seeds they can plant at home, or an eco-craft that was the result of a party activity.

Instead of loot bags, how about sending each child home with a cupcake or healthy homemade treat? Here's a recipe we love from our Pinterest page

 

Would you like to win tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters?

Everyone's favourite basketball team is coming to Ottawa for ONE SHOW only on Sunday, April 6 at 2:00 p.m.!

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters will take fan interaction to a new level when the 2014 ’Fans Rule” World Tour comes to Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre. Online voting is now open at harlemglobetrotters.com/rule, and all fans can choose which new game-changing rules they want to see in their hometown.

The Globetrotters were the first organization in sports and entertainment to let fans vote on rules when the team introduced the concept last year. Since the fan response was so overwhelming, the team is doing it again – but with a major twist.

The 2014 online ballot includes three never-before-seen revolutionary rules:

Hot Hand Jersey – Both teams will have a ’Hot Hand Jersey” they can pass among each other. The player who is wearing this jersey will receive double the points on each basket he/she makes.

Make or Miss – The quarter begins with only two players on the court for each team. When a team scores, a teammate may enter the game. When they miss, the player missing the shot must leave the court, leaving his or her teammates shorthanded.

Trick Shot Challenge – Via three challenge flags per team, each coach can challenge the other team to make a trick shot. If the team makes the trick shot, they earn five points. If they miss, the other team receives five points.

We have four tickets to give away to the Ottawa game. Interested? Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, and remember, the more actions you take, the better your odds are at winning. Good luck! 

p.s. Please make sure you are free to attend the game before entering. The winner will have to pick up their tickets at the Great RIver Media office (250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500) by 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Kidsfest is right around the corner!

Who: YOU and your family
What: Kidsfest Ottawa
Where: EY Centre, big and stroller friendly!
When: April 5 and 6, 2014
Why: Because there's a lot to see and do! Kratts Brothers, Mike the Knight, Ray's Reptiles, Junkyard Symphony, Funatorium Explorium, and more. You can plan your visit around the main stage schedule if you like. Peek at the exhibitor list to see who else will be there.

Have you bought your tickets yet? If you buy them online you can use promocode CPSOCIAL2014 for a limited time, but you can also buy them in person at the EY Centre on the day of your visit. Any questions? Let us know.

Pinterest roundup: fun ideas for April Fool's

It's Monday! And that means we're sharing some of our favourite things from our Pinterest boards. April Fool's is right around the corner. Are you ready? If not, we have a few easy pranks you can do that won't scar your children for life. Better yet, consider this a good opportunity to team up with the kids and get dad! 

Are you following Capital Parent on Pinterest yet? Follow us for family crafts, great kid-friendly activities, recipes and more. You can read all of our past Pinterest round-ups right here.

Earth Hour 2014

Earth Hour is taking place on March 29 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. It's a great opportunity to teach our kids about the impact of energy conversation on our planet, and it can also be a whole lot of fun.

Consider:

  • Powering down your computers and devices as well as turning off the lights. You'll be amazed at how quiet the house is, and completely free of distractions.
  • Playing board games by candlelight. Just make sure the candles are out of reach of little hands.
  • Going for a walk around the neighbourhood in the dark. You can make lanterns to bring with you too. (Just plan to make them earlier in the day.) 
  • If the quiet is too much to handle, dig out your transistor or wind-up radio. (You should have one of these onhand for emergencies anyway!) 
  • Doing some stargazing at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. For more details check out their event calendar

What are you doing for Earth Hour? We'd love to hear your ideas!

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Melanie C., who won our Kidsfest ticket giveaway! Woot! We are so excited for you Melanie! There is a lot of great stuff planned: Kratts Brothers, Mike the Knight, Little Ray's Reptiles, Funatorium Explorium, and more! 

Please note, for a limited time you can buy tickets online (and save $3/adult admission) using the promo code CPSOCIAL2014. We are looking forward to seeing you there!