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.


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!





the value of a girl

Last night I registered my 5 yr old girl for soccer. I registered her brother too, but for now let's just think about her. She started Kindergarten this past September. Five days a week, for half a day, she is at school, learning, playing, having a healthy snack,and doing a whole lot of other things with a classroom of other girls and boys.  Where we live, school is not a get to do thing, it is a must do thing for all children, whether you do so in the public school system, at a private school or through homeschooling or another alternative learning program. School for our kids, for our girls, is simply a given in our lives.

This is not the case in a lot of other parts of our world. I know that you know this, but think for a minute about your own daughter at 5 or 6 years old and then, instead of sending her to school, think about sending her out to walk MILES every day to get clean water for your family. Think about arranging a marriage for your 11 or 13 year old daughter. Think about there being no time for school in your daughter's day because she is a bonded servant (fancy name for slave) for your rich neighbours. It's all rather unthinkable right?

And yet for many, MANY girls in our world, this is their reality. For millions of girls the world over, education is a privilege - often a hard fought one (think Malala) - not a right. Girls around the world face barriers to education that boys do not. Barriers such as early marriage, gender-based violence, domestic slavery and sex-trafficking. Removing these barriers not only means a better life for these girls, it means a safer and more prosperous world for all. And the solution to removing them is simple: educate girls.

Educated girls stand up for their rights, marry and have children later, educate their own children, and their families and communities thrive. Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation.

GirlRising is a global campaign for girls education. It is a documentary film, it's a movement, it's a powerful teaching tool and it's a call to action for policy makers and educators and change-makers and regular everyday people the world over. GirlRising's mission is to change the way the world values a girl. ALL girls.

The powerful Girl Rising documentary is a feature film about nine girls across the world demonstrating inspiring strength and spirit and who are all fighting in various ways for their voices to be heard, for their education and for a better life for all girls.



Join me and Girl Rising Edmonton on International Women's Day, Saturday, March 8th, 2014 for a special screening of this powerful documentary. Details and tickets can be found here. 

For two of you, I have a t-shirt and 2 ticket combo prize to give away! Comment below and let me know what Girl Rising and educating girls means to you! Winners will be chosen at random on March 5th, 2014.




Rise up les filles!






Time to grow up: My thoughts on urban sprawl

Last night I watched an episode of 'House Hunters' on HGTV Canada. The hunters in question, pregnant with their first child, and living in a 650 sq. foot 1 bedroom apartment, were looking to buy a new home for their growing family. The number one criteria on their house wish list was to stay in the Old Town district of Alexandria, Virginia. They looked at the requisite three properties. The first one was an older home and needed way too much upgrading to be financially viable for them, the second was a completely renovated 900 square foot row house a 10 minute walk from Old Town that was $15,000 above their budget and the third was a beautiful 1900 sq ft home, $30,ooo below budget, with a huge backyard, but 8 miles (~13 km) away from where they wanted to be. After the suspenseful cut and commercial break, my husband and I were somewhat shocked that in the end they chose the second house, paid the full list price for it and gained a mere 250 more square feet of home. They got exactly what they wanted though and that was to be right in the thick of Old Town Alexandria. Able to walk or take public transit to anywhere they needed to be, shop locally, and enjoy their community as the backyard in which they wish raise their child.


We are in the middle of a civic election in my fair city. And this one is kind of a big deal. Our current Mayor is stepping down and not running for re-election and we have a potential for 7 out of 13 councillor positions up for grabs from newbies. It is an interesting time to be an Edmontonian.

Yeah, that's right, I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We have 6-8 months of winter, 2 months of festivals (summer) and a couple of brown months in between. And according to the most recent census (2011), Edmonton is the second fastest growing metropolis in Canada, just slightly behind our neighbours to the south in Calgary.

Our growth is a good thing. It means more people are wanting to come and live and work and raise their families in our city. It means more businesses want to open up shop in our city and bring good people with them. It means that our reputation is growing in a positive way outside of our city boundaries.

And yes, it also means that these same city "boundaries" are being pushed as well to accommodate our growth. I used to be able to tell you what the farthest most neighbourhoods in our city were and could navigate this city that I knew by heart. Now I have no idea where I am going half the time and I have to rely on Siri to tell me where to turn and when I have FINALLY reached my destination . Every day a new development is being advertised, more farmland is being taken over and we are inching closer and closer to our neighbouring cities and towns. Oh, Edmonton is growing alright, kind of like a 50 year old man with a penchant for a daily dose of A&W Teenburgers, we keep growing OUT and having to loosen up our belts more and more.

I think this is a problem for our city. I think that we are being sold a story of "responsible urban planning" by those who have a vested interest in such development. And I believe that the citizens of Edmonton who have bought into the idea that a home is only a home if you have a backyard and that one can only raise a family and live well in the suburbs are starting to feel the sting of these stories. A lack of infrastructure in these fast-tracked developments leaves city planners scrambling to provide decent public transportation to and from these areas, enough schools and community support for all of these new families and an open door policy for big box stores to accommodate the masses, a practice that inevitably drives out more and more locally-owned small businesses.

I also happen to believe there is a better way and I am not the only one. I think it is time for our city to grow UP as well as OUT. I think we need to take a closer look at different ways to create vibrant, new-ish, communities within our current boundaries. I believe that there are a lot more "House Hunters" out there looking for the same kind of live, play, work, raise-my-family-in-my-community-back-yard, that the couple above was looking for and that our city has a huge potential to develop communities like this within our core. The good news is that it is starting to happen already.

I firmly believe that our new mayor and city council need to take a good hard look at our city and really decide what is best for current and future Edmontonians going forward (and not what is in the best interest of the developers who pad their election campaigns). How can we make living in our city's core more appealing to families coming to Edmonton? How do we develop our city so that the only option for family housing is not a cookie cutter box in the suburbs on the outskirts of the city, with one skinny tree on the front yard and an hour long bus ride for junior to get to his/her school? How can we address higher density housing and building family-friendly communities? What about infill development in mature neighbourhoods? These are the kinds of questions that I am wondering about as we head into this election and this next chapter in Edmonton's history. This is the kind of change and leadership I am looking for from my new mayor and city councillors.


Candidates.... who's up for this? Who wants to make Edmonton not only one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, but also one of the SMARTEST growing cities in Canada?

Edmonton. jpg


P.S. Check out my Twitter timeline from earlier this afternoon for a lively discussion of this and other #yegvote concerns from myself and some other concerned citizens. I should really learn how to Storify these things...

P.P.S. Let's all pretend that I published this 30 minutes ago. This is the August 29th #summerblogchallenge post!

Photo Credit: Darren Kirby on Flickr.