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You Need to Visit These Canadian National Parks

With COVID-19 making travel limited, why not explore our own beautiful country? 2020 is definitely the year for Canadians to explore all of our amazing provinces and territories. The best way to do so is by visiting Canadian National Parks. 

With the Parks Canada Discovery Pass, you’ll have 450 000 km2 of memories to explore. The Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year at over 80 Parks Canada national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas that typically charge a daily entrance fee.  Admission to Parks Canada places for youth 17 and under is free.

Here are my top picks for the Canadian National Parks you need to visit!

You Need to Visit These Canadian National Parks

You Need to Visit These Canadian National Parks | amotherworld | amotherworld.com

Yukon – Kluane National Park

High in the mountains of southwest Yukon is Kluane National Park and Reserve, home to Canada’s highest peak (5,959-metre Mount Logan). Tucked in the southwest corner of the Yukon Territory, 150 km west of Whitehorse, Mount Logan is named after the Yukon’s largest lake, which borders the park.

Here you’ll find vast ice fields, clear lakes, glaciers and spectacular wildlife. The park and park reserve, together with Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Provincial Park, BC, and Glacier Bay/Wrangle-St Elias national parks in Alaska, form the largest international United Nations World Heritage Site in the world covering some 109 000 km2.

Yukon Kluane National Park | You Need to Visit These Canadian National Parks | amotherworldImage by brigachtal from Pixabay

Nahanni National Park, Northwest Territories

Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada protects a portion of the Mackenzie Mountains Natural Region offering visitors a true wilderness experience. A key feature of the park is the Nahanni River, named for the Naha, a tribe of fierce warriors who vanished from the valley.

The park’s sulphur hotsprings, alpine tundra, mountain ranges, and forests of spruce and aspen are home to many species of birds, fish and mammals.  Much of the region was never touched by glaciers and so has evolved differently. The four canyons of the South Nahanni have cliff walls that rise as much as 1500 metres above the river. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the first natural region in the world to be so designated.

 

Yoho National Park, B.C.

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1981, Yoho National Park boasts towering rock walls, spectacular waterfalls and 28 peaks over 3 000 metres in height. The word “Yoho” is a Cree expression of awe and wonder.

Yoho is also a hiker’s dream – the Park has 28 mountain peaks more than 3000 m in height and over 400 km of hiking trails. One of the world’s most important fossil finds, the Burgess Shale, is located here. The Burgess Shale Formation contains the fossilized remains of more than 120 marine animal species dating back 515 million years.

The park has many waterfalls including Laughing Falls, Twin Falls, Wapta Falls and one of Canada’s highest at 254 m (833 ft.), Takakkaw Falls. Silt carried by streams from melting glaciers is responsible for the deep and rich turquoise colour of Emerald Lake and Lake O’Hara.

Jasper National Park, Alberta

The largest of our Canadian Rockies national parks, Jasper covers more than 10,000 sq. km. of mostly untouched alpine wilderness. It is also the world’s second largest dark sky preserve.

The park is a year-round playground – in summer, ride or hike the trail system to see the best of the Athabasca river valley. During the winter months, ski Marmot Basin, 30 minutes from town. Directly north of Banff National Park, Jasper is linked to it via the iconic Icefields Parkway.

Medicine Lake Jasper National Park AlbertaMedicine Lake, Jasper National Park – Image by Dennis Larsen 

Jasper National Park | You Need to Visit These Canadian National Parks | amotherworld.com Banff National Park – Image by med-nunn from Pixabay

Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan

Grasslands National Park is one of the few remaining natural grasslands in North America. Visitors can watch the buffalo roam, the deer and the antelope play. Once near extinction, the plains bison, swift fox and black-footed ferret have been carefully re-introduced to their natural habitat.

Travel back through the layers of history as you step through expanses of dinosaur fossils, traverse First Nations encampments filled with tipi rings and wander the ruins of prairie homesteads.

Manitoba – Riding Mountain

Riding Mountain National Park is an island of wilderness surrounded by a sea of farmland. Riding Mountain is unique in the way that it’s 1 of only 5 national parks that has a resort town site. Wasagaming, located along the shores of Clear Lake, offers a variety of shops, restaurants, beach, golf course, boat rentals and tours. The original Parks Canada Visitor Centre built in the Rustic Design tradition of the 1930’s still stands.

Riding Mountain National Park | You Need to Visit These Canadian National Parks | amotherworld.comImage by Guy Dugas from Pixabay

 

Auyuittuq, Nunavut

Located on eastern Baffin Island, Auyuittuq (pronounced ‘ow-you-we-took’) National Park is the most accessible national park in Nunavut and the most popular. The landscape is 85 percent rock and ice -mountains with vast glaciers and rivers.

Most hikers and skiers follow Akshayuk Pass, a 97 kilometre (60 mile) traditional Inuit travel corridor that traverses the park. It starts at sea level and rises to 420 metres (1,378 ft.) at Summit Lake.

 

Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

Bruce Peninsula National Park is located directly on the Georgian Bay coastline, where cliffs and caves of the Niagara Escarpment create a dramatic setting for photography. Everyone must experience once in their lifetime hiking to the Grotto.  It’s directly along the Bruce Trail that’s a rugged route including natural rock tunnels, arches, a boulder beach with 40-metre-high cliffs.

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Rewind the clocks back 400 million years ago, and this image would look more a prehistoric Great Barrier Reef. I'm consistently fascinated with the geology and history of Bruce Peninsula everytime I visit this national park to hike or backpack. Let me know your favorite national park in the comments, would love to hear your suggestions for where to visit next! . . . Shot with a Canon 6D on a 17-40 f/4 L lens. This image is to be used with permission only . . . #brucepeninsula #parkscanada #ontario #ontariocanada #discoveron #toronto #muskoka #roam247 #backpacking #canoncanada #canon6d #nature #naturephotography #canada #explorecanada #imagesofcanada #sharecangeo #goldenhour #earthpix #natgeo

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Haute-Gorges de-la-Rivière‑Malbaie, Quebec 

The Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie is one of Québec’s most beautiful natural monuments. It was named after a series of valleys cut deep into a range of high mountains.

Mounts Élie and Jérémie and Montagne des Érables dominate Lac Noir, Ruisseau du Pont, and the Malbaie and Martres river valleys. Here visitors will find steep slopes, stunning natural surroundings, and the unusual course of Rivière Malbaie.

Haute-Gorges de-la-Rivière‑Malbaie | amotherworld.com

Image by Steve Deschênes | Sépaq

Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Fundy National Park is New Brunswick’s first national park, created in 1948. Visitors can explore over 120 km (75 mi.) of walking and hiking trails, sparkling waterfalls and crystal-clear streams. Discover the richness of the Acadian forest and learn the secrets of the Bay of Fundy’s giant tides.

There are hundreds of different plant species, including the rare bird’s-eye primrose, found only in Fundy National Park. This flowering plant took root in the area when the glaciers melted back from the coast millions of years ago.

Rent a canoe or kayak and explore beautiful Bennett Lake. While you’re there, have a picnic or go for a swim. Take a guided hike or beach walk, just a few of the many programs offered throughout the summer.

Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

It took Mother Nature 485,000,000 years to mold Gros Morne National Park into the geological and visual wonder we know today. The second largest National Park in eastern Canada, Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site stretching across 1,805 square kilometres of western Newfoundland as part of the towering Long Range Mountains.

Gros Morne is surrounded by seaside communities, forests, freshwater fjords, and striking cliffs and shorelines.  This area is also world-renowned for its complex geology – it was here that geologists proved the theory of plate tectonics. The Tablelands, a mountain of flat-topped rock of a kind usually found only deep in the earth’s mantle, is a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Gros Morne National Park | You Need to Visit These Canadian National Parks | amotherworld.comImage by Felix Dilly from Pixabay

 

 Cape Breton Island National Park, Nova Scotia

The Cape Breton Highlands National Park boasts steep cliffs and deep river canyons bordering the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. The world famous Cabot Trail, with it’s many scenic look-offs and stopping points, weaves through the park. Stop at the Cheticamp Visitor Centre to view activities and exhibits on the landscape and wildlife in the park.

There are 26 hiking and walking trails, six magnificent beaches, 24 stunning look-off points, eight campgrounds, numerous waterfalls, and world class golf at Highlands Links.

Prince Edward Island National Park

Discover the stunning beauty of the Island’s North Shore on the seven supervised beaches and over 50 km of hiking and cycling trails in PEI National Park. Enjoy daily learning programs for all ages and learn about Island culture through music and stories at evening campfires. The National Park also features unique cultural resources, notably Green Gables, part of L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site, and Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site.

In 1998, six kilometres of the Greenwich Peninsula were added to the Park to protect unique dune formations, rare plants and animals, as well as archaeological findings dating back 10,000 years. The largest sand dunes on PEI tower above white-sand beaches to create a stunning backdrop for one of Atlantic Canada’s top trail systems.

Prince Edward Island National Park - Must Visit Canadian National Parks | amotherworld.com

Photo: amotherworld.com

 

 

 

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes that are Gluten and Dairy Free

It’s one of my favourite times of the year, strawberry season! We have quite a few strawberry farms nearby, so I make it a point to visit a local patch and pick some delicious organic strawberries. Of course, strawberry jam is a must! But I also love traditional strawberry shortcake.

Having a gluten and dairy intolerance won’t stop me from baking a strawberry shortcake that I can enjoy too. Here is a fresh strawberry shortcake recipe that’s easy to make, has unrefined sugar, and is gluten and dairy free.

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes that are Gluten and Dairy Free

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour (I use a combination of brown rice, sorghum, almond and tapioca flours)
  • 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon white vinegar, blended
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • Dairy-free whipped cream

Strawberries Ontario

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C), and place rack in center of oven.
  2. Line a 12-serving muffin or cupcake pan with papers
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the almond milk mixture, oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk just until combined.
  5. Spoon batter evenly into muffin or cupcake tins, about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
  7. Wash strawberries, removing the stems. Mash with the back of a fork to release juices. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  8. When ready to serve, cut each shortcake in half horizontally. Spoon strawberry topping on bottom half, add a dollop of whipped cream. Add top-half of shortcake, add more strawberries and whipped cream.

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes that are Gluten and Dairy Free

 

Yield: 12

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes that are Gluten and Dairy Free

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes that are Gluten and Dairy Free

Here is a fresh strawberry shortcake recipe that’s easy to make, has unrefined sugar, and is gluten and dairy free.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon white vinegar, blended
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • Dairy-free whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C), and place rack in center of oven.
  2. Line a 12-serving muffin or cupcake pan with papers.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the almond milk mixture, oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk just until combined.
  5. Spoon batter evenly into muffin or cupcake tins, about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. Wash strawberries, removing the stems. Mash with the back of a fork to release juices. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  8. When ready to serve, cut each shortcake in half horizontally. Spoon strawberry topping on bottom half, add a dollop of whipped cream. Add top-half of shortcake, add more strawberries and whipped cream.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

Here are the Summer Beauty and Style Products You’ll Love

Ahh summer, a favourite season for many of us… the hot sun, lazy days, and frolicking on the beach, hanging by the lake or dipping in the pool. Summer 2020 is not cancelled; there is still much to enjoy, even if it’s in your own backyard! Here are the summer beauty and style products you’ll love right now, and for summers to come.

Summer Beauty and Style Products You’ll Love

Gold Ring and Ear Cuff by AU-Rate NY

Big, bold jewelry is heavy and cumbersome during the summer. Instead, opt for dainty pieces; I absolutely love these gold rings from AU-Rate NY.

Mini Infinity Ring

Just a thin sliver of pure golden infinity.  A carefully designed, sustainably made, 100% recycled gold. I appreciate the price points as well; you can choose from vermeil, 14K or 18K gold. 

AU-Rate gold rings

Bold Ear Cuff

Combining contemporary aesthetics with time-honoured craft, this bold yet simple ear cuff instantly lends edge to your look. CA$‌57

 

The Savanah one-piece by Noa Kai Swimwear

Noa Kai Swimwear is a new online brand owned by Toronto mother-daughter duo Mika and Mari Suyama. Their swimsuits, particularly the one pieces, fit like Spanx! They’re double-lined for ultra control to hold the mama pooch in.

The material of this swimsuit is super soft and high-quality, not your typical swimsuit fabric. The Savanah suit has removable cups as well to give more flexibility. You can tie them up tightly for less cleavage. Noa Kai ships to Canada and the USA for orders over $50.

Summer Essentials The Savanah one-piece by Noa Kai Swimwear

Summer Kimono by Art of Marina

Pair your swimsuit or outfit with a luxurious kimono from the Summer Kimono Collection by Art of Marina.  Art of Marina is a Canadian fashion brand making waves with 100% Mulberry Silk island-vibe kimonos. The designs feature signature hand-painted lush and drippy watercolor prints by designer Marina Billinghurst.  The line is available at select luxury retailers worldwide, as well as online with shipping across North America.

Summer Essentials Art of Marina Kimono

Faceted Watch by Jowissa

Add some elegance to your outfit with a distinct watch from Swiss-made Jowissa. Each watch glass they use is expertly cut to achieve fine facets that catch the light beautifully, much in the same way a diamond performs when it emits a glorious sparkle. Their line of beautiful watches have stunning details that range from pearl dials in shimmering pinks and baby blues, to dials and bands in royal purple, navy blue or a classic high-gloss black with contrasting rose gold.

Summer Essentials Jowissa Watch Facet Watch

Cacia Suede Scalloped Platform Wedge Espadrille by Andre Assous

A summer wardrobe isn’t complete without a pretty espadrille. Andre Assous, founded in in the 1970’s, is credited with introducing the espadrille to the American market. The shoes are still manufactured in the original ateliers in Alicante, Spain, which now produce footwear for Chanel, Prada, and Stella McCartney. The

Cacia Suede Scalloped Platform Wedge Espadrille features the brand’s signature jute platform, and is available in blue, coral or light brandy suede.

This gorgeous line are sold on their own website, on Nordstrom.com, Bloomingdales (in store and online) and in regional specialty stores in the U.S. only. $189

Summer Essentials Cacia Suede Scalloped Platform Wedge Espadrille by Andre Assou

The Suzy dress by Mavi

An easy lightweight shirtdress is a must-have summer wardrobe staple. The Suzy dress by Mavi is made from a super soft, drape Tencel that’s super comfortable. It features a loose drawstring waist, and has a faded, sun-kissed wash.

Mavi is a leading, global lifestyle brand with strong denim roots. I still have my pair of Mavi jeans from 20 years ago! Their denim is made of superior quality and the perfect fit.  Find Mavi at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Stitch Fix, Zappos.com, Amazon, Simons, David Jones, P&C and Zalando.com.

Summer Essentials Mavi Tencel Dress

 

Gola Classics Daytona Trainer

As the biggest British sportswear brand of the 60s and 70s, Gola has been associated with sporting legends from the worlds of football, rugby, tennis, athletics and boxing. Today, Gola reflects on its classic British roots in their new collections, focusing on heritage styles and current trends.

The Daytona Trainer will pair with athleisure as well as the Mavi tencel dress. Gola Classics are available on the brand’s website, GolaUSA.com, Nordstrom, Amazon, J.Crew, Free People, Anthropologie, and more. Gola is also sold at Sporting Life and various boutique stores across Canada, listed here.

Gola Classics Daytona

Skin Resource MD Trio

A dermatologist-created skincare line started by Dr. Paul Dean in San Diego, Ca. offers three essential products this summer. The all-natural, non-comedogenic ingredients keep skin radiant and beautiful without harsh chemicals. The products are not tested on animals, and are affordable.

Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum

Hyaluronic acid takes moisture from the atmosphere and absorbs it into your skin so your skin becomes super hydrated. This serum boosts collagen ad keeps skin moist which helps fight anti-aging. Use under your favourite moisturize. $32

Hyaluronic Facial Solar Protector

The Hyaluronic Facial Solar Protector Tinted Moisturizing Sunscreen – SPF44 is a water resistant sunscreen that features a moisturizing base with a sheer, universal tint beneficial for most skin types. It’s light enough to wear alone or under makeup for everyday protection. $28

Baobab Skin Correction Facial Cream

The Baobab Skin Correction Facial Cream is designed for post sun care and a deep moisturizer after a day in the sun. Baobab oil contains high concentrations of Vitamins A, D, E, and F which are key vitamins known for their ability to rejuvenate the skin, lessen the signs of aging, improve uneven skin tone, and reverse sun damage. Baobab is known as the ‘tree of life’ in Africa that heals itself, so imagine what it is doing to your skin!   $49

Summer Must-Haves Skin Resource MD Trio

 

OFRA Cosmetics Inspired Signature Collection

The   Beachside Palette and Getaway Palette are the only eyeshadow shades you need this summer.   

The Beachside Palette of brights and shimmers will have you ready to make a splash this summer. The Getaway Palette featuring golden metallics and warm mattes will have you dreaming of soaking in the sun and breezy temps. $32

 

Also in the Inspired Signature Collection are high-shine lip glosses packed with antioxidants, sun filters, and Jojoba Oil with a yummy scent. Take these high shine lippies everywhere you go to light up your glam over your favorite lipstick or to glide over bare lips.  $15

Summer Essentials OFRA Lip Gloss

OFRA cosmetics is cruelty-free, vegan and made in the USA.

Dosha Mat Acupressure Mat

Acupressure is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment which is similar to massage, acupuncture, and reflexology. Acupressure mats benefit the body by relieving tension, soreness and pain in the back, head, neck, shoulders, hips, feet, and other parts of the body. The Dosha Mat helps massage and stimulate key points in the body, and help promote relaxation and deeper sleep, increases circulation, helps eliminate headaches, help muscles recover faster after exercise, and increase energy levels. 

Each Dosha Mat is carefully handmade using the highest-quality, hypoallergenic natural linen. and contains a removable cushion made of 100% natural coconut fibre. These mats also feature more than 4,500 high-quality acupressure points in the beautiful shape of lotus flowers.

Summer Essentials Dosha Mat

 

Upfront Cosmetics Hair Care

Ditch the plastic shampoo bottles and go eco-friendly with Upfront Cosmetics hair products – in bar form! Each of their shampoo and conditioner bars replace two to three liquid bottles of shampoo and conditioner. And, they are free from sulphates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances.

Upfront Cosmetics is an eco-friendly haircare company that is 100% Vegan and Leaping Bunny certified, and has no plastic packaging.

Summer Must Haves Upfront Cosmetics Shampoo Conditioner Bars

 

KORRES Greek Yoghurt Calming + Cooling Gel

KORRES Greek Yoghurt Calming + Cooling Gel is a cooling and soothing moisturizing gel for face and body that calms and hydrates your skin post-sun or post-workout. Ideal for after-sun exposure, this ultra-cooling gel immediately provides long-lasting relief and comfort to red, irritated, or sunburnt skin. Greek yoghurt works to naturally hydrate and soothe the skin. Real Greek Yoghurt: Delivers a soothing, cooling sensation with a super dose of probiotics to nurture your skin. Available at Sephora. US $26

Summer Essentials KORRES Greek Yoghurt Calming + Cooling Gel

 

 

Honeybunch Naturals  

Honeybunch Naturals offers a variety of Manuka Honey products including natural flavorful lip balms, a relaxing Manuka Honey lavender soap, bath bombs and more. 

Manuka honey offers a variety of antibacterial and antioxidant properties; its potent antimicrobial effect helps the skin to heal. Its amazing ingredients promote healing by encouraging the skin’s natural repair mechanisms to work at their best.

Honeybunch Naturals “Art” Isan Handmade Relax Lavender Soap $8.99

Bee Safe Manuka Honey Lemongrass Hand Sanitizer can clip onto any beach bag or stroller. $2.99

3-Pack Revive Grapefruit Vanilla and Raspberry Lip Balm      $15.99

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🐝 BEE Positive buzz bundle! 🍯Spread a bunch of positivity with this bundle of self love, infused with Manuka honey and ‘positiit🐝’ ! This buzz bundle is just the buzz to bee healthy with the immunity of Manuka honey, and inspire your mind, spreading a message of ‘🐝 positive’ . Indulge your self or send to a friend! 🍯In this buzz bundle you will receive 🍯 1 x Manuka honey artisan grapefruit essential oil soap 🍯 1 x Manuka honey bee safe hand sanitizer 30ml with a stripe the bumble be holder 🍯 1 x Manuka honeycomb color free, fragrance free bath, wrapped into honeycomb 🍯 1 x honeybunch artisan rose soap 🍯 1 x honeybunch vegetable soap 🍯 1 x a little book of positivity affirmation book with adorable quotes and sayings to brighten your day 🍯 1 x honeybunch Manuka honey lip balm 🍯 1 x Whitaker’s Manuka honey and Nelson Pear chocolate bar made in New Zealand. 🍯1 x koala karma positive fun affirmation booklet 🍯 1 x sunshine book mark 📦 packed with positivity and love and every box sold donates to an amazing cause at checkout.

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Shanti Bowl

Add some zen to your summer and experience the benefits of meditation and sound therapy with this gorgeous Tibetan singing bowl. The Shanti Bowl can be used to create positive, uplifting and relaxing sounds which ancient civilizations believed could help cause negative energy to disperse and permit fresh new chi to flow through the home. Tibetan singing bowls are also great aids for at-home meditation and yoga sessions. Ships worldwide from the United States. $74.50 

Copper H20 Water Bottle

Stay cool and hydrated this summer with this stylish, hand-crafted copper water bottle. In addition to the environmental benefits of a reusable water bottle and the aesthetic qualities of this specific bottle, recent studies have shown that copper is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral, which makes copper water bottles ideal for an active lifestyle.

The company which sells this bottle is 100% female-run, Canadian (based in Vancouver, British Columbia) and has a “good karma” program whereby they donate 15% of their profits to non-profit groups that work to supply clean drinking water in developing countries. Available for purchase in both Canada and the USA. $34.50  

Summer Essentials Copper Water Bottle Copper H2O

 

Summer Beauty and Style Products You'll Love | amotherworld.com

Here are the Summer Beauty and Style Products You'll Love | amotherworld.com

How to Talk to Your Kids About Race And Racism

Over the past few weeks, American families have witnessed a historic civil unrest following the brutal police killing of George Floyd (and Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor). The protests that followed quickly spread nationwide and in over 60 countries internationally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.   

If you’ve been watching or listening to the news with your children around, or if your kids are older and on social media, there’s a good chance they’re aware of recent events. Many parents are wondering how to talk to your kids about race and racism, looking for the right words to start the conversations, and how to keep the conversations going. Although it can be a difficult, talking to your kids about race, racism, and prejudice early (and often) is important, especially for parents of non-Black children.

Here are some tips on how to talk to your kids about race and racism, and ways to start – and continue – those conversations.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Race And Racism

When is the right time?

How much you should talk to your children about George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement will depend on your child’s age and developmental readiness, and also on how much your child is asking. “If your 3-year-old hasn’t noticed what’s going on, they probably don’t need you to sit down and explain it to them in detail,” says Dr. Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP, CEO Happiest Baby www.happiestbaby.com. 

 “For kids who are old enough to pick up on the scariness of the situation, it’s important to have direct conversations so that you can help shape that discussion and hear— and calm —their fears.”

Aren’t my kids too young?

Some parents might be afraid that their kids are too young to have these conversations, but they shouldn’t. “I think many parents of white children think they can and should shield their small children from racism that happens in our communities and in the national spotlight,” says Melissa Fore, PhD of Michigan State University’s James Madison College. 

“What these parents need to know is that many Black parents discuss issues of racism with their children out of necessity—it can be a matter of life or death. If Black parents must have conversations with their children about the realities of racism in this country, then white parents should feel morally compelled to talk with their white children as well; indeed, hiding behind the shield of ‘protecting their innocence’ signals a profound indifference to the lives of Black children.”

 

Follow Your Child’s Lead – Younger Kids

So how do you begin the conversation with younger children? Dr. Karp suggests offering your children the opportunity to express what thoughts might be simmering already. “You can start by saying something like, ‘Sweetie you are so good at paying attention and you notice a lot of things. Did you see all the people on the TV who were yelling? I wonder why they are doing that. What did you see or hear? Why do you think they are doing that?’”

Dr. Kim Corson, developmental psychologist and parent coach, says that children begin stereotyping and excluding children from their play groups based upon racial differences as early as preschool. “School-aged children often work through their questions and emotions through play, so pay attention to their play and help teach them through play. They are able to place themselves into other people’s shoes more easily at this age.” 

 “They are also internalizing right vs wrong from parents and other authority figures, so again, remember to model respect, tolerance, and social justice. Help them to learn appropriate language for human differences, to form caring connections with others, to recognize unfairness (and to have language to describe unfairness), and to understand that unfairness hurts. Give them the tools and empowerment to speak up for others and to act against prejudice or discriminatory actions.”

Tweens & Teens

With teens and tweens, they are more in touch with what’s going on in the world thanks to their peers and social media. Because they’re tuned into their surroundings, they’re also more direct with their questions, and so parents can also be more direct with their responses. Parents can start by simply asking them if they’ve seen what’s going on in the news, and how they feel about it.

“Adolescents are often deeply impacted by images in media or other things they see and hear. They want developmentally appropriate ways to move from emotion to action. Teens can understand more complex dialogue, and sometimes that dialogue can get messy,” says Dr. Carson.

“Help them to communicate their feelings effectively, lead them towards research that can help (see resources below), and remember that teens are not just are future–they are our PRESENT. Much like their younger counterparts, they have voices and value and should be given opportunities to help and the tools to be allies.”

 “In addition to talking about George Floyd’s death, you can point out how many people have been working to end racism for a very long time. And, how much progress has been made to make the world fairer and more just. How we are all brothers and sisters and that we must always practice the Golden Rule.” Dr. Karp

Keeping the conversation going and modeling activism.

Talk about race.

Talking to children about racism is important, but also talking about race in your home is important early on. It’s perfectly okay to notice skin colour, cultural differences, and diversity among our communities. Parents are role models to their children; what we say is important, and what we do will have a bigger impact.

“If you only talk about race when there is an instance of violence or upheaval, then children start to think that race is somehow associated with weirdness or awkwardness,” says Fore.  “I am white-identified and I remember one time walking with my daughter, who is mixed-race, and a young girl said, ‘Is she adopted?’ to us.  The mother of this child acted as if her child had physically assaulted us. ‘Stop that!  You don’t say that!’, she said as the girl looked on in confusion. Think too of my daughter, who must have thought there was something totally wrong with the way we looked together. When children, both black and white, ask me this question, I answer them with very plain language and certainly with NO judgement. ‘Her Dad is from Nigeria and has very brown skin and I am light skinned and that is why she looks like a mix of both of us.’”

Look for teachable moments.

Expose your child to different cultural opportunities such as books, films, cultural events, festivals, etc., and discuss the experience afterwards. Also, point out the differences casually and positively.

“When you see other people being good allies, point it out. This is not a big lecture, just some casual comments on things you see people doing in books, on TV, or in real life. Don’t make too big a deal about it. This it works best when you casually notice, “Hmmm. Look at that. See how he helped that man get back up. Hmmm. That looks pretty good. I like that.”  Dr. Karp

Be the example.

Parents are the greatest heroes to their kids, that’s why it’s important to be the example, and make your activism and anti-racism is visible to them.

“Make sure you speak up about racism and injustice around your child. Share stories about times you felt treated unfairly and stories of when you made sure you treated people with care. Let your kid see your activism and get in on the action…whether that looks like helping you make a protest sign or simply watching you fill out a ballot to vote,” says Dr. Karp.

“Broaden their perspectives by providing opportunities for your kids and teens to interact with a diverse peer group. Invite a candid discussion with your family and BIPOC families about racism,” says Dr. Carson.

Expand your book library.

Expand your book library where the main characters have diverse backgrounds. “All young children should also read books with BIPOC as the main characters when racial uplift or struggle is not the main focus of the text,” says Fore. “Too many times we focus on Messianic narratives about MLK Jr. or Rosa Parks and the entirety of black culture exists during the Civil Rights Movement for so many white children.”

See the book lists below.

Watch a movie together.

There are a lot of books and movies that teach about inclusion, diversity, and racism. Watch them together and allow the movie to prompt the conversation.

“For younger children, you can pause the TV show or movie and ask guiding questions about what they see and what they think the person should do next, what they would do, what is the right thing to do, etc.,” says Dr. Carson.

“With older teens, you can wait until after the movie since their attention spans are much more developed. You can ask them more abstract and complex questions about how it impacted them, about empathy, and about what it inspires them to do.”

See the film lists below.

Involve kids in helping others.

In terms of modeling, it’s never too early to involve children in ways to help others in the world.  “There are many ways that children can be involved–volunteering, lobbying, letter writing, fundraising, researching, speaking out,” says Dr. Kim Carson.

 

 

Book Lists:

30 books to help you talk to your kids about racism 

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance 

Top 154 Recommended African-American Children’s Books  

5 New Books For Your Teenagers Summer Reading Piles

Books by Black Authors

We Need Diverse Books

Social Justice Books 

Race Conscious 

 

Film Lists:

18 Movies and Documentaries That Confront Race in America

30+ Films You Need to Watch About Race in America

5 Kid-Friendly Movies to Help Build a Conversation About Race and Racism

11 movies that confront American racism

 

How to Talk to Your Kids About Race And Racism | amotherworld.com

Happy First Day of Summer Quotes

Happy First Day of Summer!

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. On the first day of summer, the sun travels the longest path through the sky, and that day has the most daylight.

To celebrate the first day of summer and the summer solstice, here are some happy first day of summer quotes:

Happy First Day of Summer Quotes

I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.  ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Summer’s lease hath all too short a date. ~ William Shakespeare

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. ~ Mark Twain

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain. ~ John Keats.

Because it’s summer and the memories are just waiting to happen.  ~ Unknown.

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside. ~ Maud Hart Lovelace

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~ Wallace Stevens.

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.  ~ Henry James.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. ~ John Steinbeck.

In summer, the song sings itself. ~ William Carlos Williams

 

 Oh, the summer night

Has a smile of light

And she sits on a sapphire throne.

~ Barry Cornwall

 

Do what we can, summer will have its flies. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. By F. Scott Fitzgerald.

There shall be an eternal summer in the grateful heart.  ~ Celia Thaxter

Summer…. Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape. Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

And the summer seems as though it would dream on for ever. ~ Elizabeth von Arnim

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…  ~ Susan Polis Schutz

 

I question not if thrushes sing,

If roses load the air;

Beyond my heart I need not reach

When all is summer there.

~ John Vance Cheney

 

Each fairy breath of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires the blushing rose. ~ Author Unknown

Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat and the poet is only the bemused spectator. ~ Charles Simic

If it could only be like this always—always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe.   ~Evelyn Waugh

Summertime is always the best of what might be.   ~ Charles Bowden

Oh, the summer night, has a smile of light, and she sits on a sapphire throne. ~ Bryan Procter

Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon. ~ C. Day Lewis

A life without love is like a year without summer. ~ Unknown.

Happy First Day of Summer Quotes |amotherworld.com

Lemon Tiramisu with Fresh Lemon Curd and Limoncello

My husband’s favourite dessert is Tiramisu, and it’s one that is often requested no matter what season. Traditional tiramisu is made with ladyfinger cookies dipped in coffee and layered with a mascarpone cheese mix and whipped cream.

This Lemon Tiramisu recipe is a boozy, tart version made with fresh lemon curd and Limoncello. I’ve adapted it from Valerie Bertinelli’s recipe and made some adjustments. Lemon Tiramisu is a perfect dessert for spring and summer with its citrus, tart twist! Here’s my recipe for Lemon Tiramisu with Fresh Lemon Curd and Limoncello.

Lemon Tiramisu with Fresh Lemon Curd and Limoncello

First, you’ll need to prepare the lemon curd. You can buy a jar but this recipe is super easy.

Lemon Curd

¾ cups fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

¾ cups sugar

3 eggs

½ cup unsalted butter, cubed

  • In a small sauce pan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Using a whisk, mix together to melt.
  • Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk, and first bubbles appear, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Lemon Tiramisu Ingredients

2 cups Mascarpone cheese

1.5 cups lemon curd

½ cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

¾ cups Limoncello

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus more for sprinkling on top

1-2 packages of lady fingers – use Forno Bonomi Savoiardi Ladyfingers or Gioia Savoiardi Lady Fingers as these tend to stay together when dipping

Method

  1. Once the lemon curd has cooled, add it along with the mascarpone, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beeat with an electric mixer until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks.
  3. Mix a third of the cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining cream.
  4. Stir together the Limoncello, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a shallow bowl. Working one lady finger at a time, dip into the liquid, turning to coat both sides. Dip longer for more intense flavour; quickly for less, and more cake-like tiramisu. Arrange in an even layer in an 8-inch glass baking dish.
  5. Spread half of the cream mixture over the ladyfingers and smooth evenly.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers and the rest of the cream.
  7. Sprinkle some lemon zest over the top, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least six hours -preferably overnight to allow all ingredients to soak together.
  8. Enjoy!

Lemon Tiramisu Recipe ~ amotherworld.com

Lemon Tiramisu with Fresh Lemon Curd and Limoncello

Lemon Tiramisu recipe

Lemon Tiramisu is a perfect dessert for spring and summer with its citrus, tart twist! 

Prep Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours

Ingredients

Lemon Curd

  • ¾ cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed

Lemon Tiramisu

Instructions

For the Lemon Curd

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Using a whisk, mix together to melt.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk, and first bubbles appear, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

For the Tiramisu

  1. Once the lemon curd has cooled, add it along with the mascarpone, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beeat with an electric mixer until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks.
  3. Mix a third of the cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining cream.
  4. Stir together the Limoncello, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a shallow bowl. Working one lady finger at a time, dip into the liquid, turning to coat both sides. Dip longer for more intense flavour; quickly for less, and more cake-like tiramisu. Arrange in an even layer in an 8-inch glass baking dish.
  5. Spread half of the cream mixture over the ladyfingers and smooth evenly.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers and the rest of the cream.
  7. Sprinkle some lemon zest over the top, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least six hours -preferably overnight to allow all ingredients to soak together.
  8. Enjoy!
Lemon Tiramisu

 

 

This is How One Mom is Struggling with the “New Normal”

Moms, how are you coping and parenting during the Covid-19 quarantine? We’ve had to wear many hats during the pandemic; homeschooler/teacher, mom, referee, coach, therapist, entertainer, chef, along with employee for some, on top of everything else. This is how one mom is struggling with the “new normal”.

Written by Shelly Khushal

I have been struggling. And this is hard for me to say. I am the one that always has it together… the one helps people keep it together… the one that sees the positive in things and fundamentally believes that if something bad happens, it is always for a reason, and that a blessing inevitably follows. You don’t have to buy into this. It is my philosophy and has worked well for me over the course of my life.

So then why am I struggling?

Life as we knew it is no more. And like any loss, there is a mourning or grieving period. Sure, it is sad that I can’t grocery shop like I normally would, or dine at my favourite restaurant or host parties at home. This is one aspect, but it is deeper than this. It is something that has taken me eight weeks at home to fully come to terms with. And that is…

The loss of self.

For a person who is highly independent, and whose identity is based on this autonomy, it is hard to come to terms with the lack of freedom: the freedom of personal space, the fact that there is no clear delineation between private and public, between home and work. This for me has been most challenging.

Up until a few weeks ago, I worked outside the home. I would (unconsciously) put my ‘worker’ hat on and engage in the social aspects of the work environment: attend committee meetings that challenged me, chat with co-workers, take walks with friends etc.

And when the day would end, I would switch to ‘mommy/wife’ mode. That clear distinction of roles and spaces provided me the fuel to be able to tackle the magnitude of things required of me. I was a better parent for it.

Now here we are – working from home, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning – all in the same place – with no separation…

No separation of the physical OR the mental.

While coping with the challenges of the world, the restrictions, the social distancing, we are also faced with this loss of self. And this is not something openly talked about. It seems selfish to think of ourselves in this way – we are busy worrying about our jobs, our kids, our bills, our health, the health of our aging parents. And these are all important. These are necessary. But our individual health and well-being is equally important.

A friend recently said, “I am taking it day by day”. We really have no choice in this matter now do we? We have to take it day by day. For a planner, this is hard…not impossible, but it does require some hard work.

It’s a juggling act.

Every day we are faced with challenges – challenge to meet the demands of work, challenge to meet the demands of educating our kids in a meaningful way, challenge of keeping our children’s minds full of curiosity and their hearts full of hope, and the greatest challenge (in my opinion), challenge of not letting our kids OR our spirits diminish. No pressure there. It is a juggling act, which for some can be hard if you don’t know how to juggle; and for others, hard if you’ve never dropped a ball.

We have heard repeatedly recently, that ‘we are all in this together’. We truly are. We have all come together to experience this global life altering experience. We may be experiencing it differently, but we are all impacted.

There is no one universal way of feeling or coping. Some of us have strong coping methods. Some of us have supportive families to lean on. Some of us are connected to faith groups who keep us connected and engaged. I am grateful I can check off all three of these boxes. This does not mean I don’t hurt or worry. I am figuring out what the ‘new normal’ looks like for me. I am trying to navigate myself in this new way of life.

Through all this, I have learned many things, but one thing I want to share is: we must give ourselves the space to grieve and the compassion to not be okay. It is okay, to not be okay.

 

Here is a list of resources for vulnerable populations in York Region:

List of Resources for York Region

 

Shelly Khushal has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & History, and a Masters in Environmental Studies (Microfinance). She is a human rights advocate, author of 2 books, former United Nations Policy intern and is passionate about world issues and children. Shelly@Khushal.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is How One Mom is Struggling with "New Normal"

How to Keep Your Mental Health in Awesome Check

After Covid-19 is all over, we will never want to hear the words “unprecedented” and “social distancing” ever again! But in the meantime, we are still living in strange times, and the longer we are in self-isolation/lockdown, the more difficult it becomes to our mental health.

Here are some things that will help keep your mental health in awesome check.

NOTE: Please do keep in mind that it’s important to have realistic expectations. Not every day will be a good day, and not everyone will feel they have the energy to use this time to be productive – and that’s okay! You don’t have to come out of this pandemic having written a novel, learned a new language or taken an online university course! There is no need to push yourself to do any of these things, but adding some structure and things-to-do to your day can help tremendously.

How to Keep Your Mental Health in Awesome Check

Stick to a routine.

Try to stick to a regular schedule when possible, even if it’s during the week only. Maintaining structure and routine may be helpful especially during a time when everything feels out of control. You don’t have to follow a strict hourly schedule but setting blocks of time for certain tasks can help make you feel better.

“Many people think that completely free, unstructured time sounds like paradise, but the reality is that the boundaries around our lives help us function most effectively. If every regular task (e.g., meals, showers, brushing your teeth, when to work, when to go to sleep) suddenly becomes something you need to think about or make a choice about, it can be very draining,” says Jon Reeves, clinical psychologist in Seattle, WA. “Having a fence around a playground actually helps kids play more freely, because they know where they can and can’t go. We adults aren’t so different. This may be especially true for mothers trying to make choices for their kids too.”

Get enough sleep.

It may be tempting to stay up late watching movies every night and sleeping in. But try to maintain a regular sleep schedule as you would pre-Covid 19. “Working toward going to bed at the same time you would when kids were going to school and the life we were accustomed to, is a great way to get back to some form of normalcy,” says Bill Fish, Managing Editor of SleepFoundation.org.

“Each adult needs between seven and nine hours of quality sleep on a nightly basis, and our bodies crave consistency. Each of us are equipped with a 24 hour internal body clock known as our circadian rhythm. It tells us when to rest and when to be alert, but it demands a routine.”

Get dressed.

Yes it’s tempting to stay in pajamas all day, and there are some days that you absolutely should and will. But for the most part, try to get up, shower and get dressed as you normally would pre-pandemic. Dr. Michael Carollo, PsyD Psychological Fellow & Outpatient Therapist in Manhattan warns not to neglect Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). “It’s so easy to become lax around our basic hygiene when we don’t have the social pressure that comes with leaving our homes. While this can be okay for a random day off (think snow day), given the current plan to remain at home for extended periods, it’s important to be intentional about ADLs. This means continuing to complete basic hygiene tasks such as waking up at your usual time, showering and changing clothes daily.”

The simple act of washing your face and brushing your teeth, and putting one some clothes will help to give you purpose. It’s quite amazing how little things like putting on makeup and doing your hair can impact our mood.

Eat well.

Stress eating is likely at an all-time high but try not to throw self-discipline out the window. Indulge once in a while but avoid over-indulging all the time. The last thing you want is to develop bad eating habits and feel crappy once the lockdown is lifted. “Steer clear of sugary drinks, sugary foods, and too much caffeine. Fluctuations in blood sugar and adrenaline can add to a sense of anxiety,” says Dr. Carla Manly, Clinical Psychologist and author of Joy from Fear.

Go for a walk every day.

If you are concerned of physical distancing, go out earlier in the morning or later in the evening. Find less-travelled streets or open trails to walk through; spending even 20 minutes on nature walk can offer so many benefits. I find my neighbourhood’s side streets are best because I can easily move onto the curbside if someone is using the sidewalk.

Take up yoga.

The daily practice of yoga and meditation are beneficial to keeping your mind and body centered. Yes, regular exercise such as jogging, home workout videos and other physical workouts are great to keep the body moving. But yoga and meditation benefits also help ease stress, reduce anxiety too.

“Mindfulness meditation has been repeatedly shown to lead to stress reduction and long-term mental health benefits, so use your extra free time as an opportunity to start or refine your mindfulness practice,” says Dr. Patricia Celan, a Psychiatry resident at Dalhousie University in Canada.

Focus on self-care.

Take some time to be gentle and pamper yourself by taking naps, watching movies, reading books, and taking long baths. “Now is NOT the time to scrimp on little luxuries that make you feel great. Soothing essential oils such as lavender are wonderful for calming frayed nerves. And upbeat, citrusy essential oils are wonderful mood boosters,” says Dr. Manley.

“Try bubble baths, reading books you’ve been putting off, download a couple meditation/mindfulness apps, and listen to your favourite music,” says Celan.

Begin a new activity or revive an old hobby.

While we feel a sense of loss and lack of control during these times, find something that you CAN control. Organize your office, clean out closets, deep-clean the house. “Focus on the things you can control in your life at this time, rather than obsessing about the uncontrollable state of the pandemic. For example, focus on your hobbies or exercise that you can do at home,” says Celan.

You may not have the energy to find something new to enjoy but now would be an opportune time to pick up the guitar, paint on canvas, or garden. Find something that you enjoy, whether it’s a physical activity or a creative outlet; it will help keep you occupied and your mind distracted and engaged.

“Make consistent, concerted efforts to take up old hobbies that you have not had the time to do in years. This can help you to feel productive, engaged, artistic, and happy. Activities could include painting, knitting, reading, musical instruments, baking/cooking, jewelry making,” says Alexandra Grundleger, PhD, psychologist at Grundlegertherapy.com.

I found the physical act of painting walls to be soothing; plus two weeks of small home renovations lasted a few weeks, keeping my mind occupied and physically moving.

Do things with your family.

Try to take advantage of the positives of being home with family by doing activities you would not otherwise be able to do if you were working outside the home. “Encourage the family to take small hikes in the woods together, do art projects together, plant flowers, watch movies–anything that gets the family together increasing endorphins and positive emotions,” says Grundleger.

Keep in touch with friends.

Now is the time to stay in touch with your family and friends. Pick up the phone, or do a video call via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime so that you can see each other as well. Connect with others to support one another. Your kids already have this skill down pat! They’ve been having virtual playdates with friends on SnapChat and TikTok; ask them for help to set you up on your device, if you’re not sure how.

“People are scared, bored, lonely, and stressed out as a result of nationwide closures, social-distancing measures, grief, and even job loss, so people are struggling with their mental health at unprecedented rates. Staying connected to your friends and family not only helps you, but it will help others as well,” says Dr. Brian Wind Ph.D., co-chair of the American Psychological Association, and Chief Clinical Executive at JourneyPure.

“When we are engaged with our loved ones and are encouraging healthy relationships, we tend to be happier and more fulfilled ourselves. Staying in constant contact with your support group will help hold you accountable, provide an outlet to discuss challenging emotions with, and keep you grounded during this time.”

Hug your kids.

Physical touch including hugging and cuddling can boost overall health, reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Plus, who doesn’t love snuggles with loved ones?

Be kind and gentle to yourself and others.

Being cooped up indoors for the most part can cause anyone – including your children – to feel irritable and short-fused. Be kind to yourself and your family members during this time, and take deep breaths before you feel you’re going to become snappy. Reeves suggests that you over-communicate with those who are closest to you.

“Ask them what they need, share what you need, and remain open to new information. One of your kids may really need time with you one hour and want to completely avoid you the next. You might need time hugging your kids or shutting them out behind a locked door! Pay attention and communicate. Use this weird time as an opportunity to develop self-monitoring and communication among you, your family, and whoever else you find yourself quarantined with.”

Limit social media.

Don’t keep the radio or TV on in the background all day. Check the news once or twice a day to get the latest update. Watching CNN or CBC all day long is only going to make you feel worse as the news is regurgitated to fill the time. Instead, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit on how much you’ll consume.

“Most of the population is likely reading too much of the news right now, and that contributes to anxiety. Remind yourself that you cannot control what is going on and you can’t change anything by obsessing, so block out all sources of news until a particular time every day or every other day, and plan to de-stress afterwards with something calming like a movie, music, or meditation,” says Celan. “You can be responsible and keep up to date with the news without allowing this pandemic rule your life with the constant bombardment of updates.”

Dr. Manly suggests watching the news in the morning, and not in the evening, as the news can trigger stress and increase anxiety and you wouldn’t want that to interrupt your sleep. “When possible, obtain your news from the radio or in print due to the less explosive, less emotionally triggering aspects of written or audio-only news.”

Also, be mindful of where you’re getting your news from. “Choose your news provider carefully, taking care to select a news service that tends to be less reactive and more pragmatic in nature,” says Dr. Manly.

Practice Gratitude.

Every morning before you get out of bed, give thanks to three things that you’re grateful for. I tend to thank even the act of waking up and being alive as the first thing. I then thank the universe and/or God for my health, my family and their health.

Pay attention to the things in your life that are good. “The truth is, there are still a lot of things that are going pretty well. For most of us, our feet are still working, our eyes are still working, we can walk and talk. We have food in the refrigerator, a roof over our heads, and shoes on our feet,” says Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C of Baltimore Therapy Center.

“We can choose to focus on what’s going wrong, or we can choose to focus on what’s going right. Try it out – spend a few minutes a day thinking about how great it is to have feet. You may find you feel a little bit better. Keep yourself sane by focusing on the good in your life.”

Practicing gratitude can also help us shift our emotions from the negative that we know is happening around us, to the positive that is present in our current bubble. “Gratitude helps us to build resilience and improve our health as well,” says Rachel Eddins, Licensed Professional Counselor/Therapist.

Notice the good in the world.

While much of the world right now is negative and frightening, there are also so much good! Focus on the stories of people who are helping, donating, and supporting others in tremendous ways. If you’re able, curate your social media feed so that you’re following good news stories. Counter-balance the negative stories with ones that are filled with love, charity and hope.

Help if you can.

If you’re feeling helpless in your current situation, find little ways to give back to others. Participate in applauding medical workers with your neighbours, make a Thank You sign for your front yard, learn how to sew masks, check in on your friends and elderly family members, shop locally, and order take-out from your favourite family restaurant. These little things can make a big impact to others, and to your own mental health.

“Send care packages. Write handwritten letters. Send food to a loved one’s house,” says Nicole Arzt, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, serves on the advisory board for Family Enthusiast.  “Research continues to highlight that volunteering/giving back helps people feel happier – and it can make them less depressed and anxious overall.”

Reach out to a professional.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and depression, reach out to a professional. Many mental health providers have the ability connect with their clients via telephone or video chat. Call your family doctor and ask for a referral.

How to Keep Your Mental Health in Awesome Check | amotherworld.com

If You Love Mini Eggs, You’ll Love These Colorful Cookies

If you love Mini Eggs, you’ll love these colorful Mini Eggs Cookies for Easter. We go crazy for the delicious candy-coated Cadbury Mini Eggs, so much so that you’ll debate whether to use them for making cookies. But these mini egg cookies are so beautiful and colorful for your Easter tablescape, it’s worth buying extra to use in this Mini Eggs Cookie recipe.

Mini Eggs Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups Cadbury Mini Eggs

Mini Eggs Cookies

Method

In a stand mixer, cream together butter and shortening. Add sugars gradually, creaming well. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Then, blend into creamed mixture.

Take half of the Mini Eggs and put into a plastic bag. Using a meat tenderizer, crush the eggs slightly. Add to the mixture and stir by hand. Chill the dough for a few minute.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease baking sheets. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful. Add 3 Mini Eggs to each cookie, pressing down slightly.

Bake for about 8 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy!

If You Love Mini Eggs, You'll Love These Colorful Cookies | amotherworld.com

Mini Eggs Cookies

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cookies, Easter cookies, Mini Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups Cadbury Mini Eggs

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer, cream together butter and shortening.
  • Add sugars gradually, creaming well.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Then, blend into creamed mixture.
  • Take half of the Mini Eggs and put into a plastic bag. Using a meat tenderizer, crush the eggs slightly. Add to the mixture and stir by hand.
  • Chill the dough for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease baking sheets. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful. Add 3 Mini Eggs to each cookie, pressing down slightly.
  • Bake for about 8 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

125+ Free and Useful Educational Websites for All Kids

While our kids are out of school and staying home during this unprecedented time, there are many online educational resources for kids to continue learning as much as possible. Here are 125+ free and useful educational websites for kids to keep them learning and entertained.

125+ Free and Useful Educational Websites for Kids

Math

  1. Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry at MathScore.
  2. Interactive elementary – grade 6 math
  3. Math Games, Logic Puzzles and Brain Builders at MathBuilders.
  4. Motivate 1st to 8th-grade students to learn and practice math at Prodigy.
  5. Math and language games at Arcademics.
  6. Free printable K-8 Reading and Math printable worksheets.
  7. Math and logic problems grade 1 – 12.
  8. Great Minds Math on the go.
  9. Fun math and reading games at Abcya.com. 

Literacy

  1. Scholastic Learn at Home.
  2. Fave kids books read by famous people – Story Online
  3. Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions. Common Lit.
  4. Grammar practice for middle grades – Classroom Cereal
  5. Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 – SquigglePark.com
  6. Brainbox Games is your hub for educational technology.
  7. An online curriculum that builds better writers.
  8. Teaches students how to write a paragraph through an interactive online tutorial. 
  9. Into the Book for reading comprehension.
  10. News and more for kids at Youngzine.
  11. Work on the 8 parts of speech at Grammaropolis.
  12. ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12.
  13. Phonics worksheets for kids at Fun Fonix.
  14. Free stories online ages 3-12.
  15. Randomly generates 356,300,262,144 story starters.
  16. National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first-grade students. Read along!

Arts

  1. National Gallery of Art offers computer-based activities in art and art history.
  2. Crafts and educational activities at Education.com.
  3. Crafts, activities, printables at AllKidsNetwork.
  4. Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities at HighlightsKids.
  5. Art games, investigations and printables at Artsology.
  6. Courses and games for ear training and music theory.
  7. Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
  8. Play instruments online including virtual guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos.
  9. Chrome Music Lab is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments.
  10. Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators.
  11. Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design.

Science

  1. Space science for kids at NASA.
  2. Activities, animations, projects, simulations, videos at American Association of Chemistry Teachers.
  3. Science simulations, scientist profiles, and other digital resources for middle school science and high school biology.
  4. Collisions helps high school students visualize and interact with chemistry concepts through fun and challenging games.
  5. Empowering students to be authentic science problem solvers at Tyto Online.
  6. 3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects at Instructables. 
  7. Coding for ages 4-10.
  8. Science Journal for Kids and Teens.
  9. Homeschool science resources and printables.
  10. This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.
  11. K-5th Science lessons.
  12. K-12 STEM at Concord.  
  13. Innerbody teaches the internal mechanics of the amazing human body.
  14. Learn computer science and coding K-12.
  15. Science and math labs, simulations and videos.
  16. 80+ do at-home science activities at Elemental Science.
  17. Learn physics online at Positive Physics.
  18. Learn physics online at Physics Classroom.
  19. Science experiments that you can do at home.
  20. STEM Activities for Kids at Science Buddies.
  21. Everything needed to learn computer programming the fun way! Ages 5+
  22. Learn all about the periodic table. 

Geography/Travel

  1. Test kids’ geography skills. Using images from Google’s Street View, it puts players in the middle of the street and asks them to figure out where they are. GeoGuessr.com
  2. Free videos from around the world from grade 3-12 at Project Explorer.
  3. 35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world at Country Reports.
  4. Tour the Louvre virtually.
  5. Tour the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums virtually.
  6. Take an inside tour of the MET museum.
  7. Take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China.
  8. This educational website hosted by the Smithsonian Museum takes a deep dive into ocean life.
  9. Tour the British Museum.
  10. Tour Yellowstone National Park.
  11. Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.
  12. Learn all about earthquakes. 
  13. Farmer’s Almanac for kids! Learn about weather, moon phases and more.
  14. Interactive video earth science-based curriculum supplement.

 

Animals

  1. Tour Canadian farms virtually.
  2. Play games and learn all about animals at SwitchZoo.
  3. Explore space, science and learn all about animals at National Geographic Kids.
  4. Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
  5. Watch live Alaskan Wildlife cams.
  6. San Diego Zoo Kids.
  7. All about Birds.

History

  1. Games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time at BBC Kids.
  2. Kids encyclopedia. 
  3. Canada’s History.
  4. Online history classes for all ages preteen through adults.
  5. Allows students to type in any city, state, or country to view an archive of historical photographs and other documents at What Was There.
  6. Learn about the U.S. government at Ben’s Guide.
  7. An interactive way to learn American history. 

Languages

  1. Learn French at DinoLingo.
  2. Resources for Spanish practice.
  3. Chinese learning activities.
  4. Music Based Spanish Learning
  5. Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin at Conjuguemos. 

 

Young kids

  1. Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing at Scholastic.
  2. Phonics skills at Starfall.com.
  3. Play with fave show characters and learn too at PBS kids.
  4. Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss.
  5. Free Printables for PreK-Grade 2.
  6. A large selection of fun songs to help teach preschool and kindergarten students.
  7. Online digital colouring pages.
  8. Free printables library with activities for children 0-6 at Little Spark Company.
  9. Phonics and learning to read at Reading Eggs. 
  10. PreK-5 games for all subjects at Turtle Diary.
  11. Quick and easy at-home projects curated for kids 2 and up.
  12. Resources, tools, ideas, and activities geared toward the healthy development of kids OT Toolbox.
  13. Education for kids all topics at Ducksters.com.
  14. Education for kids 3-11 at Oxford Owl. 

 

Full learning websites K-12

  1. PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials at PBS Learning.
  2. Quizlet is a student and teacher online community for every subject.
  3. Science, Math and Social Studies. 
  4. 2,500+ online courses from top institutions.
  5. Free and fun digital education for children.
  6. Printable worksheets and activities for kids.
  7. Online education program for kids through high school at Khan Academy.
  8. 7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas at HippoCampus.
  9. Educational digital games K-12.
  10. Daily lessons and educational activities that kids can do on their own.
  11. Digital learning content for preschool through high school.
  12. Test Prep for SAT, ACT, etc.
  13. Free homeschool materials covering phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography.
  14. BrainPOP is offering free access during school closures.

 

Fun games & activities for kids

  1. Wonderopolis is a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages.
  2. Tons and tons and tons of games some learning some just fun at Crazy Games.
  3. Learn how to type!
  4. Funbrain offers hundreds of games, books, comics, and videos that develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy.
  5. Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills.
  6. Online  jigsaw puzzles where you can set the pieces from 6-1000+
  7. Knowledge Kids games.

Happy learning!

125+ Free and Useful Educational Websites for All Kids | amotherworld