Jennifer Lavallee is a professional freelance writer. She is a regular contributor to the Morinville News and to magazines published in Alberta. Jennifer is the co-creator of Third Verb, a writing workshop business in Edmonton. She lives with her three kids, husband and a wiener dog named Bruce in a town just outside the city.
Girls who learn from an early age the importance of leadership and self-confidence will be better equipped to grow into women who can go out and conquer the world. As parents, guardians and family members of girls, we can all help by being positive role models in their lives. Here are some local programs that can help us as we encourage our girls to learn valuable leadership skills and solidify inner confidence.
To some, there are few things as exciting as a room full of empty notebooks. Beautiful notecards and correspondence is also equally alluring. It feels like you’re indulging in something quite special when you write out a note on a gorgeous card, designed on exquisite card stock. Throw into the mix a classic fountain pen and you’ve found yourself in a stationery-lovers paradise.
Our lovable, four-legged friends make life so enjoyable. Dogs greet us with wagging tails and goofy grins. They’re always willing to snuggle and binge watch some Netflix with us (dog-breath and all). No matter what, our puppy-pals are there for us and, in return, they deserve the best. Browse these Edmonton dog trainers to find one that’s just right for your perfect pooch. [Image credit: iStock.com/Halfpoint]
Who doesn’t like banana bread? Eating banana bread is the equivalent of a getting food hug – it’s comforting and familiar and, in most cases, you’re always up for more. There are a lot of ways to prepare this classic comfort food and, whether you like yours warm with butter, full of chocolate chips or with a respectable amount of nuts, it’s all good.
Éclairs are delicious – flakey pastry overflowing with a decadent creamy centre and topped with indulgent chocolate. These beautiful French pastries can be made in a classic style or prepared with a twist, served up using gourmet toppings and interesting, flavourful fillings. Whether you’re picking up a platter for baby shower or buying a bite-sized indulgence to enjoy with coffee, éclairs are always yummy.
The nerd movement is upon us, and it is awesome. People are standing up and embracing their inner-geek, finally feeling comfortable as they rejoice in all that is nerd worthy. Experiences are out there for those waiting to get their nerd on in the Edmonton region, whether it’s buying comic books or collectables, riding a Segway, building some Star Wars Lego, or just laying it down in a serious game of Dungeons and Dragons.
American Girl Dolls, Maplelea Girls, Jersey Girl Dolls, Our Generation Dolls … whatever name they go by, they all have one thing in common – they’re 18” dolls that kids can’t get enough of. These realistic-looking toys have grown in popularity, and it’s no surprise why: They promote imagination, teach kids about different cultures and periods of history, and offer accessories to play with, making for endless hours of fun.
A couch is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your home. It’s where you sit to visit with friends, binge-watch Netflix and take Sunday afternoon naps. A good couch will set a stylish tone in your sitting room and could potentially be part of your decor for many years. When you’re buying a couch look for good construction, upholstery material you can maintain and something that is sized nicely to match your room.
More and more, people want to know: Where is my food coming from? Farm-to-fork culture is about making more informed choices about what we’re consuming. In Edmonton, it’s becoming easier to interact with local producers and build something that’s been largely missing on the food scene for some time - an authentic relationship with those who have dedicated themselves to providing our communities with local, quality food.
St. Albert used to be the smaller kid-brother to the big City of Edmonton. But now, with more than 60,000 residents, St. Albert is clearly coming into its own. It’s becoming bigger, better, and a really great place to catch a bite to eat. As the population grows, so has the number of wonderful restaurants in the area, offering customers a variety of gourmet dishes and culinary experiences.
When I was a kid, if you were lucky enough to have a birthday party somewhere other than at home, there was only one option - McDonalds. Today, things have definitely changed. A whole world of fun is out there, even in just north Edmonton and St. Albert alone. These party-perfect places are ready to host a memorable experience for your kids on their special occasions, while making you look like a veteran party planner.
Selecting a gift for someone can be a real challenge. Usually, as the gift-giver, either you have an obvious gift in mind, or no clue whatsoever. Buying for a teacher (or coach, instructor, bus driver, et cetera) can be particularly puzzling because, while you do know them, maybe you don’t know them well enough to know what they’d like or use in their daily lives. These shops have perfect gifts for those special teachers.
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