Thursday, December 19, 2013

No More Naughty List | Guest Post by Alexis

As parents, we struggle every day to help our children thrive. To help them grow into independent, empathetic, courageous and thoughtful human beings. And sometimes, its so easy to get wrapped up in something that we lose sight of THAT bigger goal.

My friend Alexis, who happens to be an amazing preschool coordinator and teacher, shared something on Facebook today that touched me. And I think it will touch you too.

The message I took away, was that as parent's we need to do away with things like 'The Naughty List'.
I am so upset right now with the Kid Carson show on Radio Station 104.9. As I listened this morning to 5 year old Annabelle from Langley crying while talking to Santa Claus, my heart broke and my anger grew! 

I am guessing that parents contact the radio station with information so Santa can call their child at 7:15 in the morning. Santa confirms the child is who he is supposed to be talking to. 

Are you Annabelle from Langley, BC, Canada? Do you go to 'name of' school? Do you want a Furby for Christmas? Does Butterscotch ring a bell? 
The child on the other end of the phone is very hesitant (perhaps just waking up?) and her Dad is encouraging her to talk to Santa. As Santa goes along with the questions, I could hear Annabelle realizing that yes, this is Santa! She is getting very excited.

Santa then says, he has bad news for her. Her name is on the Naughty List. 

Do you know what the naughty list is Annabelle? It's the list of children who won't be getting presents this year because they have been naughty. **Annabelle is now crying**But, Annabelle if you tell Santa 2 of the bad things you have done, I can take your name off the naughty list.
Annabelle can't answer, she is crying. Dad with Mom's encouragement in the background are now encouraging her to talk to Santa. "Santa wants to help you...." Since she can't answer, Santa reads off the list...
"You haven't been listening to your Mommy and Daddy, have you? And I see that you use your outdoor voice inside." 
SERIOUSLY!!! THESE ARE NAUGHTY LIST ITEMS? This is 5 year old behaviour especially before Christmas! 

Santa goes on about how he used to use his outdoor voice in the house when he was young. Also talks about how he knows her family just came back from Disneyworld and the Caribbean. By the end of the conversation, 5 year old Annabelle is happy because she might get the toys she asked for.

So, what are my issues with this? Why am I am so upset? Here goes!!

What kind of parent messes with a 5 year old like that? To publicly humiliate their child...and humiliate them for appropriate behaviour

Speaking of the behavior of "not listening," I honestly don't know many children who don't listen. Every child listens. Even children with hearing loss will "listen" in their unique way. What a child may not do is to choose to follow what is being said to them. They may not follow as directed....they may ignore what is being said to them, because they are engaged in something way more important or exciting to them. But trust me, they listen to what is being said. 

And, naughty children get no presents? 

How about the families who don't have money to buy gifts for their children? 
Their children may not get gifts....does that mean they are on the Naughty List? 

By getting a 5 year old to "confess" her naughties to Santa in exchange for gifts is another wrong. Children who actually do things that are truly "naughty" should not be given presents just for telling what they have done. Children quickly learn how to get what they want...."Hmmm, so if I tell someone I did something wrong, I get something good for this...not a bad gig!" This is setting a child up with wrong expectations about life. 

I thought by typing this out, I might be able to let this rest in my heart and in my brain, but I am still frustrated by it. I will NOT be tuning in tomorrow to see how another child can be messed up. (I listened yesterday and was upset with the concept, but today just pissed me off too much, I had to share!)

I am going to go and enjoy my preschool children who will listen to what I say and then do what their bodies tell them to do...not what I do. And, guess what, I wouldn't have it any other way!!

So, do or did or will you be using The Naughty List this year?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monster Cookies for Breakfast | a gluten-free, vegan, soy-free recipe

monster cookies
The first night that I arrived in Kamloops, I had an empty apartment and a NEED to bake. I needed to create something, to feel balanced and normal in the midst of a situation that was anything but. That night I make chocolate chip cookies; they were delicious and I ate them for a week, even when they got crumbly and stale.

Since that first night, I've been cooking, but I haven't really felt the urge to bake again until last night. I found myself leisurely perusing the pages of the few chosen cookbooks that aren't in storage but everything I felt even remotely inspired to make wasn't possible. I'm lacking much of my simple equipment from muffin pans to spatulas and my ingredient list is sparse to say the least.

Before the frustration kicked in however,  I remembered how simple and satisfying my monster cookies are to make and devour. A quick dig through the cupboards and I found all my little bags of goodies that I packed precisely for making these breakfast cookies.

This recipe comes together in a flash, requires only bowls, spoons and measuring cups and its completely customizable to your tastes and what you have on hand in your home.  

It's an adaptation from the ever fabulous Meghan Telpner's Breakfast Cookies that I have tweaked to suit my needs. I change up my add-ins depending on my mood but I always add the hemp hearts. They are a great boost of omega fats that will keep you (and your kids) full and I find when I eat a regular dose hemp hearts, my skin is happier and it plays a role in controlling my eczema. 

RESIST the temptation to add chocolate chips, I always want to, but never do, because I know they don't need them. Substitute what you have in your kitchen and what meets your dietary needs, these cookies will be fine if you use vegetable oil instead of coconut oil, if you don't have pure maple syrup, throw in some honey (that's what I did yesterday) and if you don't keep coconut sugar on hand, try a little bit of brown sugar. These cookies will be a little bit crumbly if you don't use the xantham gum, but I couldn't find mine yesterday and none of my coworkers complained when I brought them to our morning meeting. In fact, more than one of them asked for the recipe.

Be brave, go ahead and experiment a little, these cookies can handle it.

My kids dubbed these MONSTER COOKIES because they are so big and honestly, who doesn't want to eat a giant cookie for breakfast?

Monster Cookies
gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan (can be nut free)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large bowl mix together brown rice flour, xantham gum, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a seperate bowl mix together (or you can blend this to disperse the coconut oil more evenly) coconut oil, chia, coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a third bowl place the oats, quinoa flakes, hemp hearts, almonds, pepitas, cocoa nubs and cranberries and set aside. You don't need to mix this.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and use a wooden spoon to stir thoroughly. This will be thick, do NOT add more fluids.
  6. Add the bowl of oats and add in goodies. Stir, stir, stir. The batter should be thick and a little sticky.
  7. Scoop batter a 1/4 cup at a time and place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press down lightly with the back of a spoon, or use moist hands to shape.
  8. Bake your cookies for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Allow to cool completely (or they will fall apart).
YIELD: 8 monster cookies

Other add-in ideas: goji berries, raisins, chopped dried apricots, sunflower seeds, chopped dates, sesame seeds.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'A Joy to Share' with Kinder and the Children's Miracle Network | #Kindermom

To say life has been busy lately, would be an understatement. Life has been hectic, exciting and full of change, so much so, that I almost forgot to let you know about an exciting campaign that Kinder has embarked on to help us remember to think of others this holiday season.

But I digress, over the past month and a half, we have packed box after box and through the process we've taken the time to explain to Bolt and Simba that we don't need to keep everything.  We explained that they could donate some of their toys for other children to enjoy and they seemed to take pride in placing their old toys in the donate box.  They did get a little crazy at one point and started putting EVERYTHING in the box, only to fish it back out the next day.

In this materialistic world we live in, its important to take the time to teach our children to think of others and I'm excited to tell you about a very fun and easy way to donate $1 to the Children's Miracle Network, from the comfort of your own home, with the help of your children.

Can it get any better than that?

Kinder® has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network's 'A Joy To Share Program'.  Head over to the 'A Joy To Share' on Facebook and they will donate $1 to the Children's Miracle Network when you create a digital greeting card. The program is super easy to use, you can click through options to choose your background, character, greeting and message and of course you can sign it with your own name.  

A Joy to Share is a fun way to teach your kids about giving and you end up with a card to share with all your friends and family.

And if you're looking for delicious morsels for your children's stocking, be sure and check out the Kinder holiday goodies. It's been such a challenge to keep from busting open that giant egg, I do have two children and there's an odd number of treats, no one would ever know!

“Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own”

Sunday, December 1, 2013

#Tassimo Cyber Monday Coupon

I'm curious how many of you are going to be up in the wee hours of the morning this Cyber Monday trying to grab a deal. Last year I searched and searched all weekened, but much to my disappointment, didn't actually find anything I HAD to have.

As you know, I've teamed up with the folks at Tassimo to giveaway a FREE #Tassimo T55 to one lucky reader (you still have time to enter if you haven't already) but they have also given me a coupon code that's only valid on Cyber Monday (December 2nd, 2013).

Enter code TACYMON3 at checkout and take advantage of one of these great offers.

If you already have a Tassimo, SAVE 20% off T Discs (maximum 6 packages)
Save 20% off a Tassimo Machine and get 2 FREE packages of T Discs (maximum 2 brewers)

Unfortunately, this coupon code is valid in the US only on and coupons cannot be combined with other offers. Limit one coupon per customer.