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Holiday Gift Guide for Kids and a Giveaway!

This Christmas is like no other, but that doesn’t mean our kids can’t enjoy some magic this holiday season! Despite the restrictions due to Covid-19, Santa is still planning to bring gifts to all the girls and boys across the world! Didn’t you hear? Santa already received the vaccine! Dr. Anthony Fauci himself travelled to the North Pole to make sure Santa is protected while he, Rudolph and his reindeer deliver presents on Christmas Eve.

Here are the hottest toys this holiday season, and thanks to the lovely toy-makers, I’m giving some away too, thanks to Hasbro! So here’s a holiday gift guide for kids and a giveaway too!

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids and a Giveaway!

 

furReal Mama Josie the Kangaroo

This Mama Josie the Kangaroo interactive pet toy is as loveable as her cute little babies. One baby ‘roo is a boy, the other a girl, and the third one is a surprise! Unbox all 3 for the big gender reveal. Then this loving mama can care for her little ones and play with you, too, responding to touch with 70+ sound-and-motion reactions, including loving sounds (little kisses!), feeding sounds (sometimes a hiccup, too… or a burp).   Mama Josie joins in on the fun too – she can do a hopping dance and play music at the same time.  Ages 4 years & up $89.99 at Toys R Us.

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids - furReal Mama Josie the Kangaroo

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Drizzy Ice Cream Playset

Ahhh playing Play-Doh is always fun when you’re a toddler/pre-schooler. Play-Doh has so many fun sets to choose from, but this one is super fun. Now you can drizzle a crazy candy coating on your Play-Doh ice cream creations! For the first time ever, this toy ice cream set comes with Play-Doh Drizzle compound – a pretend syrup that turns into a pretend candy shell when you drizzle it on top of regular Play-Doh compound. Load Play-Doh and then press the handle to create colorful sundaes and cones. Squeeze some drizzle on top with the two included bottles of Play-Doh Drizzle and add fun Play-Doh sprinkles and candies to decorate for your pretend ice-cream stand.  Great for kids 3 years and up, or just a fun arts and crafts activity $19.99 at Mastermind.

Gift Guide for Kids Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Drizzy Ice Cream

Disney’s Frozen 2 Elsa and Swim and Walk Nokk

Kids and fans who were enamored by the majestic water spirit in the movie can take it home with them in the form of this Disney toy. The Swim and Walk Nokk toy swims when you put it in the water and walks when you put it on land (best on hard, flat surfaces). The Elsa doll fits on the Nokk’s back so they can embark on epic adventures together, wherever your child’s imagination takes them! The Elsa fashion doll has a molded blue bodice with long sleeves and a removable blue skirt.   Ages 3 and up, $99.99 at Chapters Indigo.

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids and a Giveaway! Disney Frozen 2 Elsa and Swim & Walk Nokk

Some more gift ideas for kids!

Marvel Spider-Man and Avengers Bend and Flex Action Figure Toys

Love these fun and flexible action figure toys from Marvel. Kids can bend, flex, pose, and play with their favorite Marvel Super Heroes with these super agile Spider-Man Bend and Flex Figures. These stylized Super Hero action figures have bendable arms and legs that can bend and hold in place for the picture-perfect pose. Collect all the characters inspired by Marvel Universe – with a twist.  Ages 6 and up $12.99 at Canadian Tire.

Gift Guide for Kids Marvel Spider-Man and Avengers Bend and Flex Action Figure Toys

Transformers Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures Trooper Class Bumblebee

Transformers have been around since I was a kid, and they’re one of the best-selling toys of all time!  Transformers are living, human-like robots with the unique ability to turn into vehicles or beasts. Now, the Battle for Cybertron is on and kids can join the heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons with each Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures character.  Will those powers be used to defend Cybertron… or threaten it? With Battle Call Trooper Class figures, kids can lead the charge to action with voice-activated Energon Power lights and attachable Energon Armor.  Ages 6 and Up, $34.99 at Amazon.

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids Transformers Bumblebee  

Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition

He looks like “Baby Yoda,” but this creature is called The Child, and your child can be his “parent”. Touch the top of The Child Animatronic Edition’s head and hear over 25 sound and motion combinations, including happy and excited sounds, giggles, babbles, and more. The Child’s head moves up and down, ears move back and forth, and eyes open and close. Boys and girls ages 4 and up can pretend to harness the power of the Force as The Child toy closes its eyes, raises its arm, and sighs too!  For Ages 4 years & up. $79.99 at Hudson’s Bay.

Gift Guide for Kids Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition

DreamWorks Trolls World Tour Pop-to-Rock Poppy

In the movie Trolls World Tour, Queen Poppy and her friends go on an epic, Trolls-tastic journey to save all music! Now kids can go on their own journey of imagination with DreamWorks Poppy with the DreamWorks Trolls World Tour Pop-to-Rock Poppy Doll. This musical toy has 2 different looks and 2 different sounds–pop and rock. Hand Poppy her ukulele and push the button, and kids will hear a pop version of the song “Trolls Just Want to Have Fun” from the movie. But when they put the rock ‘n roll outfit on Poppy and hand her the electric guitar, they’ll hear a hard rock version of the same song! Kids can pretend that Poppy is performing for her friends and sing along! Ages 4 years & up.  $39.99 at Walmart – on sale for $19

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids DreamWorks Trolls World Tour Pop-to-Rock Poppy

Beyblade Burst Rise Hypersphere Vortex Climb Battle Set

Launch into Beyblade Burst – the competitive battling top system designed for epic head-to-head battle games. With interchangeable components, each spinning top toy unleashes its own skills and thousands of possible combinations. Let it Rip!   Hypersphere Vortex Climb customizable Beystadium consists of 4 sections specially designed for exciting Beyblade Burst battles. Climb up the ramp to speed up your attack in the Battle Axis, then drop in from the top level for head-to-head collisions. Get the drop on your opponents for exciting, high-intensity battles!  Ages 8 and up $79.99 at Chapters Indigo on sale for $54.50

Gift Guide for Kids Beyblade Burst Rise Hypersphere Vortex Climb Battle Set

Clue Liars Edition Board Game

Clue Liars Edition board game means players use Investigation cards (there are 6 Lie cards and 6 Truth cards) to help them figure out who killed Mr. Boddy in the mansion.  Players pick a card and read it out loud, trying to play it cool and convince other players that they’re telling the truth … even if they’re not. If a player suspects they’re lying they can call that player out by hitting the Liar Button. Were they caught lying or were they telling the truth? Either way, an Evidence card is revealed and players move one step closer to cracking the case. When a player is ready to make an accusation, they secretly look at the cards placed inside the case file envelope to reveal Who, What, and Where. A correct accusation wins the game! Ages 8 and up.  $29.99 at Toys R Us.  

Gift Guide for Kids Clue Liars Edition

 

ENTER TO WIN

Enter to win the following toys from Hasbro:

  • Beyblade Burst Rise Hypersphere Vortex Climb Battle Set
  • Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Drizzy Ice Cream Playset 
  • Clue Liars Edition Board Game

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids plus a giveaway

A $190 value! To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter below. Open to Canada only. Contest ends 11:59 p.m., December 31, 2020.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is the Largest One-Stop Shop For All Things Home and Renovations

Like most people, we have been spending most of our time at home thanks to Covid-19. A couple of years ago, we turned our unfinished basement into a usable living/entertaining space, third full bathroom, and storage area. It was a decision made because of the rising home prices in our area; to move to a slightly larger home would mean spending at least $100,000, not including realtor commissions and transfer fees. Staying put in a home and neighbourhood we love made the most sense.

And thankfully, it was completed before the pandemic hit because we needed the extra space! Having two teen boys stomping around the main floor was not conducive to a calm and quiet working and remote learning environment. The boys and their father have taken over the “man cave”, while I’m quite content with my cozy family room/yoga space.

This is the largest one-stop shop for all things home and renovations.

But boy do I wish I knew about Improve Canada then!  This is the largest one-stop shop for all things home and renovations.

Improve Canada is Canada’s largest centre for home improvement, conveniently located in Vaughan off Highways 400 and 407. There are over 350 showrooms to improve your space, including kitchen and bathroom, basement, flooring, tiles, backsplashes, home décor and art, backyard landscaping and pools, custom furniture, general contractors, and interior designers all under one roof.

Best of all, it’s Mike Holmes approved!

This is the largest one-stop shop for all things home and renovations This is the largest one-stop shop for all things home and renovations

Get a personalized visit. 

You can visit and browse at your leisure, but for a more personalized experience, the centre offers booking appointments for you so that you can have the best shopping trip, as well as due to Covid-19 restrictions and for safety purposes. Also, depending on when you are visiting, it’s best to book an appointment to ensure the showrooms are open and not busy with other scheduled visits.

When you call the customer service team, they will ask you questions about your needs and they will set you up with the best experts for your renovation.

There is so much inspiration to be found here! During my trip, I visited several showrooms.

Here are just some of the showrooms at Improve Canada.

This is the largest one-stop shop for all things home and renovations
GT Kitchen & Bath
GT Kitchen at Improve Canada
GT Kitchen & Bath
  Artistic Mosaic at Improve Canada
  Artistic Mosaic
  Artistic Mosaic at Improve Canada
  Artistic Mosaic
Pyramid Contractors at Improve Canada
Pyramid Home Improvement And Renovation
Pyramid Contractors at Improve Canada
Pyramid Home Improvement And Renovation
Glam Décor at Improve Canada
   Glam Décor
Glam Décor at Improve Canada
   Glam Décor
Glam Décor at Improve Canada
   Glam Décor
  Oak & Tenon at Improve Canada
  Oak & Tenon
The House of Interior Design at Improve Canada
The House of Interior Design
The House of Interior Design at Improve Canada
The House of Interior Design
The House of Interior Design
The House of Interior Design

Not Art at Improve Canada

Not Art

Indulgences Art Gallery at Improve Canada
Indulgences Art Gallery
Harmony at Improve Canada
Harmony
Harmony at Improve Canada Canada's Largest Home Improvement Centre
Harmony

Improve Canada home renovation centre

Improve Canada

Azure Design Studio at Improve Canada
Azure Design Studio
Azure Design Studio at Improve Canada
Azure Design Studio
Azure Design Studio at Improve Canada
Azure Design Studio

Bathroom renovation Improve Canada Bathroom renovation Improve Canada

 

Book an appointment.

Improve Canada is located at 7250 Keele Street, Vaughan. Call them to book an appointment at (905) 677-2577. Visit them at Improve Canada – Canada’s LARGEST Home Improvement & Renovation Centre

Spring 2021?

We are looking to renovate our kitchen – hopefully, this coming spring/summer.  Stay tuned for my next post about some of the kitchen ideas and inspiration I received from Improve Canada! 

This is the Largest One-Stop Shop For All Things Home and Renovations | Improve Canada | amotherworld.com

 

This post is proudly sponsored by Improve Canada. As always, the opinion expressed herein are my own.

Holiday Gift Guide for Her – The Weird 2020 Version

 These holidays will be like no other we’ve experience in my lifetime! This will be the first Christmas I’ll be spending without my parents and siblings, nieces and nephews, in-laws and extended family, thanks to COVID. This is the weird 2020 version of the holidays that we haven’t witnessed ever before.

So my husband, boys and I will celebrate this Christmas in our own little bubble at home, and I’m truly thankful for having that. We’re still going to buy gifts, decorate the house, bake Christmas desserts, and a big Christmas feast – but just for the four of us. I’m still planning on making my holiday gift wish list – because moms deserve it!

So here’s a holiday gift guide for her – the weird 2020 version – because there’s never been a weirder year than 2020.

Holiday Gift Guide for Her – The Weird 2020 Version

Sonja Morgan Holiday Dress

Nowhere to go but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up at home for Christmas Eve. Yes, it’s time to get out of those sweats and dress up a little for the holidays. I’ve been cheering on Sonja Morgan as she launched her clothing line on the Real Housewives of New York. Sonja always looks amazing, and some of the outfits she wears are from her own Sonja Morgan line. They’re chic and trendy, and the best part, affordable! I love this Leopard Robe dress, which is perfect for dressing up for your holiday party this year – at home with members of your own household, of course!

$132 Sonja by Sonja Morgan

Holiday Gift Guide Sonja Morgan dress

Handmade Beaded Bracelet

This past summer, my 13-year-old son wanted to start a business. Of course, I wanted to encourage his entrepreneurial spirit and helped him launch DNNY Co, a bead bracelet company. Together, we’ve created glass bead bracelets, semi-precious gemstone bracelets, letter-name bracelets, and custom bead bracelets, as well as some polymer clay pendants. Ten percent of proceeds are being donated to Sick Kids Foundation!  $10 and up   DNNY (@dnny_co) 

Holiday Gift Guide for HER - beaded bracelets

New York hat & masks

I miss travelling, and one of my favourite cities is New York. But since we can’t travel right now, I can pretend by wearing these awesome face masks and toque by Love NYC Souvenirs. For the past 10 years, the owner has hand-picked the best-selling souvenirs in New York City.  The New York Night Skyline face mask is my fave! And the New York hat is warm enough for cold winter temps!  $16.99 hat   $9.99 mask

  Holiday Gift Guide NY Souvenirs

* M O R E   G I F T    I D E A S    H E R E *

Nixplay Smart Photo Frame 10.1 inch (Wi-Fi)

Since we can’t all be together this holiday, we can still share photos of our loved ones. Nixplay is a smart Wi-Fi digital photo frame is a great gift for new parents, grandparents, newlyweds, college kids or families separated by distance – and Covid. You can share images to your loved ones’ smart frames and invite others to share pictures to your frame. Send unique photos or playlists to separate frames and grow your private family sharing network with smart photo storage.  $179.99 Nixplay.

Holiday Gift Guide for HER - Nixplay Smart Photo Frame

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Mug

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a legal, cultural and feminist icon, fighting for women’s rights during the years she served as a Supreme Court justice in the U.S. Her passing this September was felt by women around the world. This is a must-have for your morning-motivation coffee or tea!  $20.00 DinkusInk.com

Holiday Gift Guide Ruth Bader Ginsburg mug

Handmade Pottery 

This year is also about buying local. So many small businesses are suffering because of lockdowns and closures, while big-box stores continue to get richer. Support a small biz like Love Your Mother Pottery, a family business based in the Toronto area that offers locally sourced, eco-forward products that cater to your everyday sustainable lifestyle.  Sarah is one of the founders of Love Your Mother, and their beautiful pottery is handmade by her grandmother and glazed by her mother!

Each piece is unique and can be used in a variety of different ways. Whether you are looking for a home for your plant, a spot for your jewelry or nicer way to enjoy your tea, these porcelain beauties will brighten up your space and connect you back to the Earth.  Prices vary: Love Your Mother Pottery

Holiday Gift Guide Love Your Mother Boutique

Stephanie Anne McKay Art

Here’s another creative who you should support, Stephanie Anne McKay, a talented fashion artist and illustrator from Montréal, Canada.  Her specialty is watercolour abstract art, but she’s also known for her live sketching abilities for runway shows and events. With her instinctive approach, she can create illustrations on site in five minutes or less!  Her fine art prints of cocktails, fashion, flowers, food and travel, would make a beautiful addition to your home décor.

Starting at $25  StephanieAnne.ca

Holiday Gift Guide for HER - StephanieAnne Fine Art Prints

Holiday Gift Guide for HER - StephanieAnne Fine Art Prints

Capresso Froth Select 

With the winter weather comes outdoor fun and what a better way to warm up afterwards than with a hot chocolate! The Capresso froth Select makes it fun and easy to create your own custom recipes, including flavored hot chocolate, flavored steamers, matcha latte and hot apple cider. There’s a special hot chocolate function that can accommodate chocolate chips and chunks to create frothy hot chocolate.

There are four settings to choose from: cold froth, hot froth, hot milk or hot chocolate. The Capresso comes with two frothing disks and one heating disk, so you can choose and vary milk texture for your cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate, chai lattes, and more.  Visit capressoblog.com for recipes too!  $99 Capresso.

Holiday Gift Guide Capresso Froth Maker

 

Everlasting Evergreen Holiday Gift Set by Dr.’s REMEDY

Add a little sparkle to your self-care routine with this Everlasting Evergreen Holiday Gift Set by Dr.’s REMEDY.
Dr.’s REMEDY is a doctor-formulated vegan nail polish infused with organic, naturally healing ingredients.

Gift set includes:

Empowering Evergreen – a deep forest green
Reliable Rustic Red – an earthy crimson
Sincere Snow – sheer white with a dusting of shimmer
Basic Base Coat – enriches nail health and decreases nail discoloration
Calming Clear-Gel Performing Finish – a high shine top coat with a gel-like finish
Caress Cuticle Oil – hydrates & revives dry, cracked cuticles and can treat fungal infections
Enriched Nail Polish Remover – acetone free and infused with vitamins and proteins
2-Pack Face Masks – breathable and comfortable with a double ply poly fabric

Only $75 RemedyNails.com

Dr Remedy Nails holiday set

Paint by Shadows Art Kits

Not an artist but wanna be? Paint by Shadows Art Kits come with everything you need to paint your version of these beautiful licensed original works of art! There are 24 tubes of quality acrylic paint, three paint brushes, and a woven polyester canvas “shadow” art along with accompanying guide art images and painting instructions. Perfect gift idea for the creative type to do on a snow day.

$45 Paint by Shadows Art Kits.

Holiday Gift Guide Paint by Shadows Art Kits

 

The Karma Collection

The Karma Collection includes personally handmade items for the whole family. Every product is consciously created with love & the intention to support you on a spiritual-emotional level. Karma Herbs – a taste of the Mediterranean, Karma Spice – a taste of India, Karma Chai – a luscious blend of spices & black tea for the kitchen. Mala Bracelets – made with stones that have been blessed & cleansed & Crystal Wrapped Necklaces for males & females of all ages. Lots of variety to choose from or custom made options available for the same price.   KarmaLifestyle.com

Fleece Leggings by Baleaf

Loungewear for the win. Love these brushed micro-grid Fleece lining leggings. They’re comfortable with a side and hidden pocket, 4-way stretch. Pair with the fleece full-zip bodyfit pocketed track jacket with thumbholes and you’re good to go. Only $29.99 each – what a deal! At Baleaf.

Holiday Gift Guide for Her 2020: Baleaf Fleece Leggings and Track Jacket

Fila Watch

Since we seem to now have a lot of extra time on our hands… pun intended… this unisex Fila watch is perfect for the minimalist athleisure-wear enthusiast. Since we’re all pretty much keeping things low-key, the subtle accents of colour make this watch pop. A classic watch to compliment your joggers and hoodie ensemble!  On sale $65 OGWatches.

Holiday Gift Guide for Her 2020 - Fila Watch

Desalu Skincare 

Desalu Naturals is an all-natural skincare brand of natural oils and body butters sourced from all over Africa, including Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. Desalu prides itself on being able to give back to these communities.

The All Natural Shea Butter With Avocado Oil, Almond Oil & Coconut Oil is made with pure, unrefined shea butter.  $12.99 Desalu.

Holiday Gift Guide Desalu Naturals Shea Butter

Lucite Tray by SmithHonig

Lucite Trays are the perfect accent piece for a coffee table, entryway, or nightstand, and come in a variety of patterns and colours with a global flair.  SmithHonig is a wanderlust-inspired home décor brand founded by designer and colorist, Kellie Smith and Melanie Hönig, a visual artist and photographer. Find unique pieces for your home, including pillows, tabletop linens, hardware, fabrics, tassels, wallpaper, and more in joyful combinations of color, culture, and pattern. $48 each. 

Holiday Git Guide Lucite Tray

 

“Flavorbomb” by Bob Blumer

For the home chef intent on taking their cooking to the next level, Flavorbomb, the new cookbook by Canada’s famed “gastronaut” and Food Network star Bob Blumer, is the perfect rogue guide to help food reach its maximum flavor potential. More than just a collection of recipes, this magnificent hardcover is filled with decades worth of tips, techniques and strategies to help give the reader the courage and confidence to up their game by caramelizing, seasoning with abandon, tasting and adjusting on the fly, while adding finishing touches that make a difference.

Holiday Gift Guide - Flavorbomb cookbook

 

Swoon Skin cleansing kit

The I Heart You Cleansing Kit is a better solution for super sensitive skin and a better option for those looking for the convenience of a disposable makeup wipe without the waste. This kit features everything you need to cleanse your skin, gently exfoliate and remove ALL makeup (even long wearing) using only water! It’s reusable, 100% nontoxic & chemical-free and perfect for at home or on-the-go.  It includes three of our signature ultra-plush heart shaped makeup remover pads, as well as a spa headband and mesh laundry bag for easy washing.  And, at under $25 for the kit, it makes a wonderful gift for the beauty lover or eco-enthusiast on your list! 

Holiday Gift Guide I Heart You Cleansing Kit

H.E.A.L’s Self Care Kit

2020 has been the year for self-care considering everything going on in the world. So this year, promote the gift of self-care, sleep and relaxation with the H.E.A.L’s Self Care Kit . Enjoy a bath or foot soak with OSI Magnesium Bath Flakes For any achy muscles spray the Magnesium Oil directly onto the areas and massage the area gently while soaking. Bodytox Lavender Sleep Patches are a relaxing product designed with organic ingredients to help you relax and ease into a night of rest that is free from disturbances and discomfort. Breath a few more breaths of H.E.A.L’s Lavender Essential Oil. Slip into bed and enjoy your good night’s sleep.

H.E.A.L’s Self Care Kit includes magnesium bath flakes, magnesium oil, lavender sleep patches and lavender essential oil, all for only $21.69.

Holiday Gift Guide HEALS Self Care Kit

 

The Lumi Charge

For the techy gal in your life, the Lumi Charge is a smart LED desk lamp that has multi-functions – a lamp, phone charger, speaker and organizer. It features a built-in LED screen that displays helpful information like the time, date and temperature to keep you on time and prepared for most anything. It also is a wireless phone charger for phones with wireless charging capability. With the built-in motion sensor you never have to worry about running into anything in the dark again. When you enter a dark room a motion sensor will light up to show you the keys to turn on the Lumicharge. $79.99 LumiCharge

Holiday Gift Guide for HER - LumiCharge lamp

Voila Hair Mist

Hair perfume is so popular right now! And no, you can’t use regular perfume in your hair because they’re loaded with alcohol, which can dry your tresses.  Voila Hair Mist is seductive and elegant hair fragrances by famed French perfumer Paul Emilien that captures the essence of femininity with healthy ingredients. Voilà signature hair fragrances are designed specifically for the hair and contain nourishing Vitamin E and Castor Oil that don’t dry out the hair. The five different scents contain nearly 50% less alcohol in every scent as compared to your traditional body perfumes.

Soleil Levant | Sunrise is a lively and floral quintessential flavor fused with an enticing fruity zest is perfect for the free-spirit. Chaleur d’Eté Summer Heat is another popular scent, as is Soir d’ Hiver Winter Night, a floral evening scent.  $56.00 Voila Luxe Beauty.

Holiday Gift Guide Voila Luxe Beauty Soleil Levant

Cashmere Sweater

A cashmere sweater is always a good idea. This Cyprie Cashmere Sweater by Wilfred is kitten-soft and luxurious. It has a slouchy silhouette, drop shoulders and a subtle mock neck. Most importantly, it’s made with made with 100% cashmere from Italy. Grazie!  $168 Aritzia.

 

Meebak skincare

Meebak’s products are made with cica, short for Centella Asiatica, a plant that can restore vitality to skin has made it a leader in skincare trends. Cica can soothe and heal dry, irritated, and damaged skin, but is compatible with all skin types. It can help smoothen skin texture, correct fine lines and wrinkles, and locks in nourishing ingredients with a moisture barrier.

Meebak’s cica cream is a rich anti-aging cream that calms, smooths, and moisturizes with cica’s healing and soothing properties. This brightening serum with cica restores the moisture barrier in dry, irritated skin and infuses essential nutrients deep into its layers. $19.97 each, Meebak.com

Holiday Gift Guide Meebak Cica Serum and Cream

Evil Eye Earrings

I love jewelry with the evil eye. Wearing this protective symbol is for good luck, but also serves as protection from the power of the negative energy. These minimal evil eye earrings are 14k gold plated on 925 Sterling Silver, 925 Sterling Silver, Cubic Zirconia, and in either silver or gold. Bonus – they are sold by a local shop on Etsy. $21 Etsy.

 

Holiday Gift Guide Evil Eye Earrings

 

Crystal Bath Salts Zennboxx

I also love crystals and bath salts, so the crystal-bath therapy by Zennboxx is the perfect metaphysical addition to your self-care regimen. Relax and unwind while tapping into a higher vibration with these herb-infused crystal bath salts. Each formula is infused with organic herb botanicals, therapeutic-grade essential oils and ultra-nourishing sea salts. The company also smudges their batches to ensure that their products are energetically clean!  $40 Zennboxx.

 

Holiday Gift Guide ZenBoxx Rose Quartz Crystal Bath Salts

Feather Cuff

Isabelle Grace Jewelry is all about accessories that are timeless and unique. Each earring, necklace and bracelet is made by hand in their New Bedford, MA studio. There’s no assembly line, no mass production; their designs are made of the best materials and expertly crafted by people who love making beautiful things.

Make a bold statement with this unique feather pattern cuff in brass. $38 Isabelle Grace.

Holiday Gift Guide - Isabelle Grace Feather Cuff

M.A.C Lipstick Set

Love this Sleigh All Day Lipstick Trio from Hudson’s Bay – a $72 value for only $32. Colours are Lady Danger, Velvet Teddy and Chili. Hudson’s Bay exclusive.

Holiday Gift Guide MAC Sleigh All Day
 

Happy Shopping!

*MORE GIFT IDEAS HERE*

Holiday Gift Guide for Her - The Weird 2020 Version - amotherworld.com

 

My Mom’s Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio (Παστίτσιο)

Nothing says a rich dish like a Greek Moussaka or Pastitsio or Παστίτσιο in Greek. Pastitsio is an authentic Greek baked pasta dish with ground meat and béchamel sauce. It’s like a Greek lasagna but with béchamel sauce and thick spaghetti.

Pastitsio has layers of pasta, minced beef, and a creamy béchamel sauce which are baked together to create a rich, velvety dish. This is my mom’s tried and true recipe for rich, authentic Greek Pastisio. Make sure to watch the video below as well! 

Authentic Greek Pastitsio (Παστίτσιο) – Greek “Lasagna”

Ingredients

2 packages of thick, long pasta such as bucatini, or if you can find Greek brand Misko Spaghetti  No. 3 at your local Greek bakery

1 – 1½ cups of Kefalotyri, Kefalograviera, Mizithra or parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 cup milk

Pastitsio Greek Pasta Nea Fytini

Beef Mixture

1/2 kg ground beef (1 1/2 pounds of beef is ideal)

1 large onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil (if meat is extra lean)

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Half a cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

3-4 cloves

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup tomato purée, or 3 medium tomatoes, shredded

1/2 cup water

 

Béchamel

3 cups of milk

6 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons butter, softened (or Nea Fytini, which can be found at your local Greek bakery)

4 eggs

Salt and pepper

Watch my mom make the recipe!

Method:

Sauté the ground beef, onion and garlic in ¼ cup of butter until browned.

Add salt, pepper, parsley and stir for a few minutes.

Add tomato and stir for a few minutes, then the wine.

Cook on medium heat for about an hour, or until sauce is thick and no water remains. When the sauce is cooked, add a a handful of the shredded cheese to the mixture and stir.

At the same time, in a separate pot, boil the water for the pasta with a little salt.

At the same time, prepare the béchamel. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter and flour, salt and pepper until a nice consistency.

Add 3 cups of milk to sauce pan and cook on low heat. Slowly add the flour/butter mixture and stir to remove clumps. Then, add eggs, one by one, stirring well after each addition. Keep stirring on low heat until the sauce thickens.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place back into pot. Add the remaining ¼ cup of butter and mix with the pasta, along with 1 cup of milk, and a handful of the grated cheese.

Once the sauce is cooked, remove the bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Add a handful of the grated cheese and stir.

In a large round roasting pan, add half of the pasta. Then, add a layer of the beef mixture. Add the remaining pasta on top. Then, add the béchamel sauce to the top. Add a little more cheese, and a few pats of butter to the top.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until brown.

 

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

Yield: Large Roasting Pan

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio (Παστίτσιο)

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

Pastitsio is an authentic Greek baked pasta dish with ground meat and béchamel sauce. It's like a Greek lasagna but with béchamel sauce and thick spaghetti.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

Beef Mixture

  • 1/2 kg ground beef (1 1/2 pounds of beef is ideal)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (if beef is extra lean
  • 3 medium tomatoes, shredded, or 1 cup tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 packages of thick, long pasta * see notes below
  • 1 – 1½ cups of Kefalotyri, Kefalograviera, Mizithra or parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 cup milk

Béchamel

  • 3 cups of milk
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened * see notes below
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

    1. Sauté the ground beef until brown. If using extra lean, add some olive oil.
    2. Add onion and garlic, salt and pepper.
    3. Add tomato and 1/2 cup water and stir.
    4. Add cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves, and stir.
    5. Add in the wine, and cook on medium heat for about an hour, or until sauce is thick and no water remains.
    6. Once sauce is cooked, add a handful of the grated cheese to the mixture and stir.
    7. At the same time, in a separate pot, boil the water for the pasta with a little salt.
    8. At the same time, prepare the béchamel. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter and flour, salt and pepper until a nice consistency.
    9. Add 3 cups milk to sauce pan and cook on low heat. Slowly add the flour/butter mixture and stir to remove clumps.
    10. Then, add eggs, one by one, stirring well after each addition. Keep stirring on low heat until the sauce thickens. Add a handful of the cheese and stir.
    11. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place back into pot. Add the remaining ¼ cup of butter and mix with the pasta, along with 1 cup of milk and a handful of the grated cheese.
    12. In a large round roasting pan, add half of the pasta. Then, add a layer of the beef mixture. Add the remaining pasta on top.
    13. Then, add the béchamel sauce to the top. Add a little more cheese to the top, and a few pats of butter to the top.
    14. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until brown.

    Notes

    Try to find Greek brand Misko Spaghetti  No. 3 at your local Greek bakery. If you can't, use bucatini, or something similar - super thick spaghetti.

    You may choose to use Nea Fytini instead of butter, which can be found at your local Greek bakery.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    16

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 541mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g

     

     

    My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio (Παστίτσιο) (1)

    These Are the Cozy Fall Products You’ll Love Right Now

    This fall is unlike any other; thanks to the pandemic, we’re spending more time at home and getting outside for walks as much as possible. So rather than shopping for trendy clothes and glammed up outfits, we’re looking inward into cozy and comfy items for our wardrobe, beauty boxes, and homes.

    These are the cozy fall products you’ll love right now:

    The Cardigan

    Just because you’re working from home, you don’t have to look schleppy. The Cardigan by The Source Apparel is a cozy, comfortable wraparound piece that feels like wearing a blanket, but looks polished enough for a video conference. It’s made of stretch organic cotton twill, so it’s versatile.  Wear with leggings at home, as part of your yoga ensemble, or pair with jeans when going out. The Cardigan is sourced and sewn in Los Angeles, under fair conditions, using eco-friendly practices, and is available in sizes XS-3X.

    Currently available in black, it will also be available in Juniper (olive green) just in time for the holidays.

    $98 The Source Apparel

     

    Comfortable Leggings

    As I mentioned, pair The Cardigan with my favourite leggings by far – 90 Degree by Reflex yoga pants. I’ve tried so many different brands of leggings but these are by far the most comfortable, flattering, AND they don’t ride down! I’m always finding I’m lifting up leggings as they roll down, or start to shift down. But these are the only pair that seem to stay put. Definitely look for the high-waist variety, and I particularly prefer the Hypertek material (82% Nylon 18% Spandex blend).  90 Degree by Reflex, $38.

     

     

    Weighted Blanket

    A weighted blanket produces a sense of comfort much like when you swaddle a baby. The SensaCalm blanket can help you sleep more peacefully, reduces anxiety and stress, eases restlessness. Sensa Calm is American-made. Prices vary, SensaCalm.

    Warm Layers

    I’ve been enjoying daily walks since the pandemic began. With winter coming, I refuse to stop so I’ll need to layer up. The RedHEAT ACTIVE base layer crew top and bottom from KOMBI Canada will keep me warm on my outdoor exercise. This new technical fabric stores and manages body heat for maximum comfort during high intensity activities.  $59.95 each, Kombi Canada.

    Top off with the Camp toque $25.95, and Mittens $29.95

    Sherpa Cozy Slippers 

    And… these cozy wool-blend fabric house socks in Buffalo print with sherpa lining will keep your tootsies warm indoors. Bonus, they have heel grips on the bottom so you don’t slip and slide on hardhood floors! I’ll be living in these all winter. $29.95 ·at KOMBI Canada.

    Nail Polish in Fall Shades

    This year might look different, but painting your nails is one of the few little self-care things you can do at home. Dr.’s REMEDY Enriched Nail Care has a gorgeous line-up of fall shades, including the shade, New Desire Dark Brown.

    There’s comfort in these rich earthy hues by the 10-free formula and the #1 podiatrist recommended brand. It’s formulated with organic ingredients, and without formaldehyde and other chemicals, and paraben free too.  $17.25 Dr.’s Remedy.

     

    Scrunchies

    Who’s bothering to style their hair these days unless for a Zoom call? The top bun is likely the hairstyle trend of 2020 for most moms! Dress up your locks with these stylish and cute scrunchies from Bellefixe, an American hair-accessory company. From headbands to scrunchies and pretty barrettes, these hair accessories are pretty and practical for the cost-conscious fashionista.  Also affordable, all items range between $8 – $18.  www.bellefixe.com

    Envirosax bags

    Ditch the boring reusable bags from the grocery store and opt for these trendy, high-quality reusable bag that can compliment your everyday style. From a grocery shopper bag, traveling bag, beach bag, or just an everyday tote, the Envirosax can fit all. Made from lightweight polyester, these bags are designed to hold more than 44lbs, are water-resistant and folds to 2″. What’s unique to the brand is that they use eco-friendly dyes and printing methods.   $49.99 for a pack of 5 at Envirosax.

    Prana Brush

    As the weather gets colder, we need to keep our skin moisturized. But first, it’s important to exfoliate! Dry brushing has incredible health benefits; it detoxifies the body, improves circulation, eliminates dead skin cells, exfoliates the skin, improves skin tone, aids digestion, reduces and prevents cellulite, and increases energy and well-being. In addition, dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps eliminate toxins and pathogens that can cause inflammation and illness. $44.50 Prana Brush.

    South of France Body Care

    Thanks to “Emily of Paris”, I’m dreaming about France… and while I can’t travel there, I can pretend to be whisked away to the Fresh countryside with hand and body creams from South of France Body Care. Thicker and richer than conventional moisturizing lotions, South of France hand and body creams are absorbed quickly to leave skin silky to the touch.

    Ingredients include Fair Trade Certified organic shea butter and cocoa butter, as well as coconut, sunflower and sweet almond oils. They are certified animal cruelty-free, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan. They are also free of all sulfates, phthalates, paragons, EDTA and colorants. Climbing Wild Rose and Violet Bouquet are pretty scents, not overpowering, and moisturize with a little dab. The Green Tea soap is my favourite scent. $10.99 on Amazon.

     

    Sipology Tea

    Put your feet up with your KOMBI slippers, and cozy loungewear, and have a cup of Sipology tea. Sipology by Steeped Tea is a Canadian owned, family run, quality loose leaf company using only use real, whole ingredients tested for the highest standards: ✓ No artificial flavour ✓ No irradiated ingredients ✓ No artificial colours ✓ No harmful preservatives ✓ No added sugar unless stated ✓ No MSG.  The Earl Grey is delightful!  Visit Sipology with Sarah

     

    These Are the Cozy Fall Products You'll Love Right Now | amotherworld.com

    How to Make Your Own Pennywise Costume

    Pennywise:  Do you want a balloon too, Georgie?

    Georgie: I’m not supposed to take things from strangers.

    IT was one of the most anticipated horror films in 2017, and the highest-grossing horror film ever, not surprisingly.  

    Set in the summer of 1989, the film tells the story of a malevolent shapeshifting creature who takes the appearance of a clown, Pennywise, who begins hunting and eating children. The film is based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King, which was also adapted into a 1990 miniseries.

    So Pennywise continues to be a popular Halloween costume with the film’s sequel, It: Chapter Two in 2019, and it will always be. But to purchase a Pennywise costume is quite expensive, upwards of $150 to achieve the complete look.

    A Pennywise mask alone will run you about $50, and over $150 for a Pennywise costume. But, if you have some time to spare and creativity, you can make your own Pennywise costume. Here’s how to make your own Pennywise Costume.

    First, you’ll need to find a white shirt and pants/leggings. You can find a plain white button shirt at a thrift store, or at Old Navy for about $15 and white leggings for $5.

    Then, you’ll need to take a trip to the dollar store and buy an inexpensive orange wig, a bald cap (or find one at Amazon like this one), hot glue, coffee filters, and some red yarn. 

    What you need to make your own Pennywise costume

    Then, the work begins!  Fold the coffee filters into fours so that they resemble a ruffle neck. You can do the same for the shoulders, and waistline as well. Use hot-glue to adhere to the shirt and leggings.

    DIY Coffee Filter Neckline for Pennywise Costume

    Make your own Pennywise costume

    After applying the coffee filters but before adding the pop-poms, you can spray paint the costume with metallic silver paint to better resemble Pennywise’s costume from the 2017 film, or leave as is in white.

    Here’s how to make the pom-poms:

     

    With the orange wig, transfer the hair to the bald cap using hot glue to glue pieces onto the bald cap. Or, you could also buy an orange wig and trim the hair into Pennywise’s hairline. You may still wish to wear the bald cap along with the wig in order to have a high hairline. 

    For the face, you can skip the cheap Halloween makeup and use a pale foundation and/or light powder to cover the face, and a red lip liner or lipstick to paint the rest of the face, including the marks on his face and lips.

    What do you think of this make-your-own DIY Pennywise costume?

    Make Your Own Pennywise Costume

    Make Your Own Pennywise Costume

    How to Make Your Own Pennywise Costume

     

    How to Make Your Own Freddy Krueger Costume

    Year after year, Halloween is an exciting holiday in our household. When else can you load up on sugary treats and dress up as your favourite character?

    Since my kids were little, deciding on Halloween costumes is the highlight of autumn. We start thinking about what to dress up as for Halloween as soon as school begins in September!

    There is no doubt that your little goblins and ghouls are excited to dress up as a Marvel superhero or, for older kids, a villain or frightening figure from a favourite Horror film. The truth is, many of the popular costumes are expensive to be worn likely only once.

    My son is a horror film buff, and loves to dress up as classic fil villains such as Michael Myers, Joker, and Freddy Krueger.  A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of most popular Halloween movies ever made. Even today, Wes Craven’s horror film is a cult favorite, spawning a franchise of sequels, a TV series and a movie remake.

    Freddy Krueger is a serial killer with a burnt face, and wears a glove armed with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, still gives fans nightmares.  He still remains one of the most infamous villains in movie history – and a popular Halloween costume.

    If one of your kids prefers to dress up to scare his/her friends and is asking to dress up as Freddy Krueger, you’ll be likely surprised to discover the hefty price tag that goes along with a store-bought costume.

    A Freddy Krueger sweater alone will run you $50. That doesn’t include the mask or the hand, mask or hat.

    Instead, you can check thrift stores for a plain red crewneck sweater or long-sleeve tee, or purchase this sweater for $9 at Wordans, or $15 at Old Navy. Then, use fabric paint in green to paint the stripes; I bought green acrylic craft paint from the dollar store.

    First, I taped the stripes on the sweater. Then I placed cardboard inside the two layers of the sweater so the paint wouldn’t bleed through. Paint the stripes, and allow to dry. I only painted the front of the sweater, not the back.

    How to make your own Freddy Krueger Costume | amotherworld.com

    For the hand, you can purchase one on Amazon for about $16. Or instead, you can pick up a pair of brown gloves from the dollar store, four plastic knives and some paint. Using sandpaper, dull out the sharp part of the plastic knives. If you can find silver plastic knives, even better – if not, paint them silver.

    For the mask, if you can find one for a good deal at a Halloween store or online, go for it! But for a less expensive option, you can use an old red tube of lipstick to paint burn marks. Buy a top hat from the dollar store and the costumer is complete!e

    How to make your own Freddy Krueger Costume

    How to make your own Freddy Krueger Costume

     

     

    How to Make Refreshing Instant Fruit Sorbet

    Forget the packaged ice cream and sorbets at the grocery store – you can make instant fruit sorbets at home with a Vitamix. Instant frozen blender treats are so easy to make without having to wait, or bring out the ice-cream maker. You also don’t need to make sugary syrup either; the sweetness comes from the frozen fruit! 

    It’s always a good idea to have several kinds of mixed frozen fruit in the freezer for smoothies, including frozen berries, peaches, mango, and pineapple. I also peel and freeze ripened bananas to have ready just for smoothies and sorbets.

    Perfect for breakfast, or a snack on the go; after a workout, or even as a late-night “treat”, this instant fruit sorbet recipe is quick and easy, nutritious and delicious. The best way to blend the fruit as smoothly as possible is with the Vitamix – use the Personal Cup for this recipe, or double or triple the batch using the large pitcher.

    Here’s what you need to make instant fruit sorbet:

    Instant Fruit Sorbet Recipe

    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup orange juice

    1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)

    1 frozen banana

    2 cups frozen fruit – strawberries, mixed berries, peaches, mango or pineapple

    1 scoop of your favourite protein powder (optional)

    Method:

    Add ingredients to Vitamix and blend until well combined. If you prefer a bit thicker, add a little more frozen fruit.

    Scoop into bowls and enjoy!

    If you prefer the sorbet to be a bit harder, you can freeze the mixture into a container. If you plan on doing this, freeze the container before putting the sorbet inside as it will freeze quicker and be less icy.

    Makes 1-2 servings.

    Enjoy!

    How to Make Refreshing Instant Fruit Sorbet in the Vitamix - amotherworld.com

    How to Make Refreshing Instant Fruit Sorbet in the Vitamix - amotherworld.com

    Yield: 1-2 servings

    How to Make Refreshing Instant Fruit Sorbet

    How to Make Refreshing Instant Fruit Sorbet in the Vitamix - amotherworld.com

    Forget the packaged ice cream and sorbets at the grocery store – you can make instant fruit sorbets at home with a Vitamix.

    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
    • 1 frozen banana
    • 2 cups frozen fruit – strawberries, mixed berries, peaches, mango or pineapple
    • 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Add ingredients to Vitamix and blend until well combined. If you prefer a bit thicker, add a little more frozen fruit.
    2. Scoop into bowls and enjoy!

    Notes

    If you prefer the sorbet to be a bit harder, you can freeze the mixture into a container. If you plan on doing this, freeze the container before putting the sorbet inside as it will freeze quicker and be less icy.

    How to Make Refreshing Instant Fruit Sorbet in the Vitamix - amotherworld.com

     

    Make Special Memories When the Kids Are Young Now

    I read a post somewhere (and I wish I could find it to reference) where a Dad told his wife that the kids won’t remember all the things they did when they were young. They’ll be too young to remember but at least Mom and Dad will remember the memories they built together as a family.

    But guess what?

    They DO remember. Kids do remember making memories when they’re young.

    They remember the bouncy rhymes you sang when they were light enough to sit on your lap.

    They remember the Criss-Cross Applesauce sensation on their backs when their hands were smaller than yours.

    They remember their favourite lovies they would never leave home without, like my son’s red block and horse flashcard (that I kept for him).

    They remember the talking toy their late grandfather gifted when they were just babies (that blows me away).

    They remember their favourite shows they watched as little kids like Wonder Pets and In the Night Garden.

    They remember the colourful kids-sized table in the kitchen corner where they’d sit together and have a snack.

    They remember the first time they rode their bikes without training wheels as you watched, cheering them on.

    They remember the sounds of the ice cream truck hitting the neighbourhood and the screaming with joy as they ran to get their favourite rocket pop.

    They remember when you held them tightly in the ocean playing ring around the rosey.

    They remember giggling, “higher!” each time you pushed them on the swings just a little harder.

    They remember that you played I Spy in the car rides on summer long weekend road trips.

    They remember fall apple picking, getting lost in corn mazes, and going on hayrides.

    They remember the Halloween party you threw with all the cool decorations and the costumes you handmade for them.

    They remember your loud cheers when they scored their first goal.

    They remember when you stood up in the auditorium and clapped your hands like a hysterical woman applauding for their performance at the school assembly.

    They remember the trips you took to the beach, and falling asleep in the car on the way home with chocolate ice cream smeared all over their faces.

    Don’t underestimate how the love you share with your children can form early memories that will stay imprinted in their mind. The time you spent together and the love you gave them is what they will always remember.

     

    Make Special Memories When the Kids Are Young Now | amotherworld.com

    More Women are Quitting Jobs They Love to Homeschool Their Children

    Alycia King has a 10-year-old son entering grade 5 this upcoming school year. She also has worked as a nature educator in a children’s nature program for the past 5 years.

    But like many others, King, 28, was laid off in March. This July, the Ottawa mom had to decide whether she’d be returning to work in September. At the time, Ontario’s plan was leaning towards a hybrid model, which meant King felt she would need to quit her job as she assumed children would split their learning time at school, as well as at home.

    “It was a very difficult decision, I loved my job,” King says. “At the time, I made the decision based on a false guess that schools would be resuming part-time. But as the plan for full-time school came out I have been feeling more and more confident with my decision.”

    The pandemic has forced women to reconsider how to balance their careers and families. Now that elementary-aged children will be going back to school in class full-time with full-size classes, many parents are opting to keep their kids learning remotely from home, or in learning pods. That means, more women are quitting the jobs they love to homeschool their children.

    King’s son struggles with reading and writing. She fears that schools, whether online or virtual, will not be able to provide the same level of support to their students this year compared to previous years. She’s also worried about keeping her family healthy.

    “Our other major concern was health; my son usually requires a puffer in the winter and will have a cough from fall through spring. My husband has asthma as well and doesn’t do well with the regular flu.”

    Tovah Lalla of Windsor decided to quit her job as a massage therapist to take care of her 5-year-old. Her decision came after the Ontario government announced that elementary class sizes would remain the same, and not be reduced to a maximum of 15 students as recommended by the Hospital for Sick Children’s Guidance for School Reopening.

    “I have a 5 year old. I know they can’t socially distance because they are small and don’t understand,” says Lalla.  “Also, we have several vulnerable family members we would like to visit for the holidays. If we are exposed, we won’t be able to visit with them. So we are limiting our exposure as best as we can.”

    Lalla, 39, felt the pressure of balancing her career and family life too much to sustain.

    “I’ve found it too difficult to spend my day home-schooling my son, maintaining my home, and then going to work for 4-6 hours, then coming home and caring for my family. My mental state could not handle burning the candle at both ends like that.”

    King recognizes that she is in a privileged position to make that decision, but it wasn’t always so. She was a single mother and worked 2-3 jobs while in school and taking care of her son.

    “If this pandemic had hit a few years ago, I would be putting my son on that yellow bus. Heck, I would have given my 2 months’ notice and searched for a cheaper place because the average child gets sick 5-6 times a year and with strict protocols surrounding COVID, I would have been taking too many sick days to afford rent. I’m grateful to now be in a position where I have options and can choose the ideal one for me.”

    Like many parents, opting to quit their full-time careers to stay home to take care of children, will be a financial challenge.

     “With good budgeting, we could cope on one income… but it’s still a big hit compared to a steady income, especially considering the fact that any small virus and my husband will be unable to go to work,” King says.

    Lalla and her family feel privileged that they are able to budget and live on one income.

    “My husband and I are in a financial situation where we can afford to live on his income (which is mostly what I did when I was in mat leave), so it made the most sense that I would exit the working world to focus on making sure my family is thriving.”

    Despite the fact that many fathers are also quitting their jobs to take care of their families, women still bear the brunt of housework and child care responsibilities. Women shouldering the burden of childcare more likely to “fall out” of the labour force, according to an RBC Economics report.

    The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse women’s earnings and economic opportunities, widening gender gaps that persist despite 30 years of progress. That statement was recently made by the IMF International Monetary Fund

    But King isn’t worried about re-entering the workforce. “I don’t have a plan for next year when my son returns to school (I hope?), but having a plan in this era seems silly. I’ve had dozens of plans over the last few months and there are so many moving parts that the plan usually changes within the week. I plan on homeschooling and going with the flow until we get to calm waters.”

    Lalla isn’t concerned about jumping back into her work once things settle down either.

    “Massage therapy is something many people really need, even if they don’t know that they need it. I’ve been a massage therapist for 12 years this year. My clients will always find their way back. And if they don’t, I’ll get new ones.”

    “We all have choices we need to make. My family will always come first.”

     

    More Women are Quitting Jobs They Love to Homeschool Their Children

    Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash