Pigs are not food....

Two months ago, my youngest child announced to us that she is now a vegetarian. 

This happened to coincide with her age appropriate realization that pork = pig and beef = cow. 

And my girl loves pigs. Like really loves them. Like, has a girl gang with a couple of friends and they call each other, Space Piggy 1, Space Piggy 2, and SpacePiggy 3. AND she spawns and collects all the pigs in Minecraft, AND she has created a whole story world around a family of little pigs that she refers to as Pigibo Jr. and family. 

Oh, and we also finished reading Charlotte's Web and watching the movie right before all of this went down. 

It's not hard to see that Pigs are special to my girl. 

Yes, she even has a pig hat. 

Yes, she even has a pig hat. 

And because I am that parent who believes my kids are actual people, allowed to have their own opinions and thoughts and desires, I respect her wishes in this regard. We have been making the necessary changes to our meal planning and grocery shopping since her big announcement and so far all is going quite smoothly.

To be completely honest, this hasn't been much of a big deal really. As a family, we've been slowly moving away from eating red meat this past year, and we only eat pork sourced from local, free-range, organic farmers. 

AND the thing making my life even easier is our fabulous grocery delivery service, SPUD.ca. They have a handy, dandy section dedicated to simple meal packs and boxes with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options for our family of four. 

I've been letting Seven help me with the weekly "shopping" and she's been picking out one meal pack a week, based on her preferences. We've had a lovely Chickpea and Quinoa salad (which was a miracle, because up until now she had refused to eat both of these things!), our usual tofu stir-fry, and last week she wanted to have the Vegan Finger Food meal

Gardein makes some wonderful vegan options and we've been sampling a lot of them lately in our weekly SPUD order. The Crispy Tenders are a hit with both the vegetarian and the meatatarians in my house, and the Alexia Sweet Potato Fries have been a fave for a while now.

Also, this simple meal is a great one on those hot days. It's quick, easy, and the fresh crisp veggies quench both thirst and hunger. I swear my kids could eat a whole basket of these sweet local grape tomatoes in one sitting!

We do our family meal planning and Spud shopping on Sundays, and I can't wait to see what she is going to choose for us to try next week.

Check out all the different Meal Packs Spud has to offer (not all are vegetarian) and if you decide to give them a try, remember to use the code: CREDM-CHINAA to get $20 off your first order!

*I am a local Spud Ambassador and this post is brought to you by the lovely folks at Spud.ca.
All opinions are my own and those of my picky little eaters!*



Feminist Fare Friday: The Christmas Gift Guide Edition

Everyone's got one.

A Christmas Gift Guide that is.

I've got a few ideas that I hope you'll like, and that may make that someone special on your list very, very happy this coming Christmas morning.

So, without further ado, I am going to don my helper shopping elf hat, put on my sparkly shoes and get to it!

(Disclaimer: I have not received compensation for any of these recommendations, they are simply products/people/companies that I think are awesome.)

1. CanvasPop

CanvasPop is a Canadian company that will take any digital file (Instagram, Facebook photos, or from your camera/computer file) and make it into a brilliant piece of artwork for your walls. Get those great shots off your camera and Instagram feeds and display them on your walls. You can make a collage, do a tryptich of canvases, or think big and do a whole gallery wall or series of canvases. They even include the hanging hardware and those little bumper thingies with all of their canvases (it's the little things that make me such a fan). I have one huge wall in our Natural Urban Home that will soon be covered with 6 new canvases and I can't wait to see how it is going to look when they are all hung! And did I mention that their customer service is beyond exceptional? I had already received 3 of the canvases and while the quality of the printing and craftsmanship was excellent, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the size that I had ordered. I called them to see what could be done and within minutes, I had new proofs to approve, a small charge to my Paypal account and new canvases being reprinted for me, exactly as I want them!

If you use this link to order from CanvasPop you'll get a sweet little discount too!

2. Lostmy.Name

For the past few weeks I have been seeing the Facebook ads for this company popping up all over my timeline. I eventually clicked on it one day and it took me to the website where I discovered these super sweet personalized story books. 

I love that this is a company of dads (and an uncle), that they started this as a DIY project, and that they are making magic and memories for kids all over the world. I have ordered one for my daughter and one for my nephew and can't wait to see the look on their faces when they realize that the books are about them! And bonus feature for bilingual kids, you can also order the books in French, Spanish and Dutch. You've still got a few days to get your order in for Christmas as the cut-off date is December 9th. 

3. Salgado Fenwick

I have been a fan of this local #YEG company for years. They are one of the main reasons I visit our downtown Farmer's Market so often in the summer and because of those visits, The Consort and I have a nice little collection of their wearable art in our wardrobes. The two talented women behind Salgado Fenwick make t-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings and pillows featuring their original hand-drawn artwork. Everything is silkscreened in small batches right here in Edmonton, Alberta and sold online, at craft fairs, and at their newly opened brick and mortar store as well. I love that each season they create a new and limited edition collection and I know that I'll continue to add to ours as the years go by! Local, wearable, art - the trifecta of reasons to shop with them!

I call her Zena, eagle warrior.

4. BroBrick Soap

Last weekend I attended the Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair and stumbled upon these soaps. The Consort is a notoriously hard man to buy for, as he is always saying things like, "I don't need anything" and "Don't worry about me"... Why doesn't he understand that I LIKE TO GIVE GIFTS! Anywho.... the one thing he does like is soap, nice smelling, manly soap. And you can't get any more manly then these BROBRICKS. With names like Cedar & Beer, Barber Shop, and Leather Scrub and a tag line that says "Smack the Filth Off!", you really can't go wrong putting a few of these in your man-dude's stocking this year!

BroBrick Soaps

5. One Red Bead

My friend Mandy is an inspiration to me and many others as well. She is also one of the driving forces behind the India Nepal Yoga Project, a grassroots organization that is working to heal the wounds of trafficked girls and women in that part of the world. One of the missions of the INYP is to assist in the creation of sustainable means for the financial future of those effected by trafficking and HIV/AIDS. On her most recent trip in Nepal, Mandy had a dream one night about one red balloon. The next day, after some brainstorming with the INYP group and the residents of an HIV/Aids hospice, they came up with the idea that blossomed into ONE RED BEAD. 

One Red Bead

The red tibetan healing bead is crafted from yak bone and is representative of the precious girl, affected by the devastation that is human trafficking and HIV/AIDS. Not only do the women feel a sense of pride and purpose in hand-crafting these wonderful bracelets, but the bracelet itself offers awareness, hope and support. 100% of the profit from the sale of these bracelets goes directly to help those living with HIV/AIDS and girls rescued from trafficking. This is the kind of giving that truly makes Christmas wonderful. Give a beautiful gift to someone you love and give the gift of hope to a girl or woman a world away. Order HERE. 

There you have it folks.

The 2014 Stay at Home Feminist Christmas Gift Guide!

Now, go get that shopping done so that everything arrives in time.

Merry, Happy!


how to make grocery shopping fun.

This post is brought to you by SPUD.CA


When my kids were babies, I used to love grocery shopping. It was one of the things that got me (and my babies) out of the house and into pants other than ones of the yoga variety and the world of grown ups, and in line at the in-store coffee shop. And, I'll admit it, accomplishing this feat with babies in tow, used to make me feel like a super woman.

And then there were the times, when The Consort and I would finally get the babies to sleep and I would do the grocery shopping after 9 PM. I tell you, that is like the Golden Hour of grocery shopping. Barely anyone around, shelves getting restocked for the next day and again, the in-store coffee shop. I would leisurely walk every single aisle of the store, sipping my frothy latte, looking at new products, reading all the labels and squeezing all the melons. The soft hum of the store freezers was the background music to this idyllic scene and I swear customer service is at an all-time high at that hour as well.

Fast forward a few years and many more pounds of children to cart around and it gets a bit more complicated. Grocery shopping with toddlers and preschoolers involves multiple snacks, an iPad, the must-bring-toy-of-the-day and various other things that there is no room for in the cart. And yet, it can be done, with similar Super Woman-y feelings about it. You can luck out and get the ginormous cart that looks like a giant green toy car and this will entertain and contain the little buggers while you "drive" them around, picking up your cargo load of Bear Paws, mini carrots and cheese strings, so that you'll be stocked up on snacks for the next shopping trip. And of course, evening grocery shopping is still an option. A peaceful, get me out of the house, BY MYSELF, with no one touching me, hour or more of the weirdest self-care ever!

And now? Now I don't like the grocery shopping so much. And I know that this is going to come off as very #firstworldproblem-y, but it is what it is. Grocery shoping is just not as much fun anymore. Or, perhaps, I have simply figured out much better ways to administer my self-care, that I can now see through the facade that grocery shopping provided in those early, half-delirious with sleep-deprivation years.  Oh sure, I can still handle the big Costco trip once a month to get all the things that cost too much or are not available elsewhere, but the weekly stuff? With all the activities that make up our days now between school, work and extracurricular stuff, at this point, I just want someone else to do the groceries thing.

Enter SPUD.ca.

Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD) opened it's doors in Edmonton in September, 2014 and is delivering local and organic groceries to doorsteps throughout the city. Conveniently coinciding with the arrival of chillier temperatures and the closures of the summer farmers’ markets, the warehouse is now operating as the fourth SPUD office in Western Canada, enabling Edmontonians to stay connected to local producers and farmers, as well as the best in organic and sustainable groceries, all year long.

With over 1800 items including meat, dairy, grocery, produce, health, home and beauty, in SPUD’s online catalogue, diversity and convenience are what sets it apart. Ordering groceries from SPUD comes free of contracts or commitments, has a lower minimum order and later order cutoff time than other services, and does not require deposits on delivery boxes/bins.

A few weeks ago, we received a couple of boxes from SPUD delivered right to our front door. Eggs, bread, fresh organic apples and a great salad. All things that we needed and that I didn't have to leave the house to go get. The cute little pumpkin was a nice touch too and the kids loved it the most and proceeded to decorate it for our Halloween centrepiece.

SPUD Groceries

Our fridge is getting a little low on a few things this week, it's cold outside, and I have a lot of writing to do to catch up on my missed days for #nablopomo. Time for shopping is just not in the cards for me this week, so I am going to be putting in my first official order. If you think you want to give it a try too, use the following promo code to receive $40 worth of groceries when you spend $20. Feel free to share it with friends too - the promo code is: EDMSAVE and it is good until November 30th.

And with that my friends, grocery shopping is fun again!

Thanks again to SPUD for the great intro to their service and the yummy produce - although I am still trying to figure out what to do with the beets!