Every Summer has a Story: 2018 Edition

Every Summer has a Story: 2018 Edition | www.sproutingbalance.com | #Toronto #summer #fun #todo #list

School starts again next week and I can’t believe the summer holiday is finished! I worked less this summer and my schedule was better organized to allow more time with my Lil Sprout.

So what did we do aside from some cuddly days at home and backyard days at my parents? A fair amount of paid and free activities were enjoyed as the weeks passed. It is fun to get out and explore the neighbourhoods around us, the city we live in, and other towns and cities nearby.

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Nutritious Litterless Lunch

Nutritious Litterless Lunch | www.sproutingbalance.com | Planetbox - Healthy Lunch - Children

If you have children, the task of making healthy school lunches has reappeared in your daily chores. As parents, it is our job to ensure a balanced lunch of healthy carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fruit is sent to school each day. We also want to make lunches in zero time so a system needs to be in place.

To make our life easier, we are a Planetbox family. What is a Planetbox? It is a stainless-steel food-grade container that is compartmentalized for easy filling and easy eating! [And in case you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post! This is my opinion about how this lunch system works for us.]

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Ideas for Father’s Day 2015

Sprouting Balance on Father's Day 2015

It is Father’s Day this weekend so I’m certain preschools and primary schools across the country have been creating paper ties and clothes peg tie clips. I was not brought up to buy presents on Father’s Day. Now that I have a child of my own, I am encouraging her to be creative and focus on time together. With this in mind, I have created a list of activities that are low cost or free on this Father’s Day weekend.

LOCAL SPROUTS:
Woodbine Park is having the Boom 97.3 Beach BBQ & Brews Festival. We hope to go to this over the weekend to listen to the tunes (The Trews, 54-50, & Big Sugar Reggae Style) and maybe even sample some BBQ. So gather a lawn blanket or some chairs and relax with the family.

SPROUTING CREATIVITY:
This is where your imagination can go out of control. Depending on the age of your children, some of these suggestions will work better than others.

Rock Star for the Day – Create a rider for your dad including everything you think he would demand if he were a star. Think he would only want blue jellybeans and yellow peanut M&Ms? A 6-pack of his favourite brew and chilled pints in the fridge? Now decorate the TV room with everything you listed!

Craft Time! – Card making is always fun with the younger crowd. Here is an example of one we did in 2013 with simple scrapbooking paper and pens. All you do is trace each person’s hand and stack on top of each other. Then between the two hands, create a paper spring so that when you open it up it says: “We love you THIS MUCH!”

Father's Day 2015 handprints

SPROUTING COMMUNITY:
Most people love to eat and love having someone cook for them even more! So if you have a little money to spend, take dad to his favourite restaurant for a meal. If you want to be social but do very little prep, have a potluck with other local dads in your neighbourhood. Or stop by a great local bakery and start the morning off with sugary pastries.

SPROUTING HEALTH & WELLNESS:
Lastly, encourage some time for dad to do something for himself. Perhaps you treat him to a professional shave or a session with the trainer at the gym. Or it might be as simple as showering without someone banging on the bathroom door. Sometimes it’s the little things.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance

Blog Love Friday! 2015 June 12

Blog Love Friday

It is garage sale season where someone else’s junk can become your treasure! Just a reminder to the LOCAL SPROUTS that the Danforth East Community Association is hosting their third annual garage sale this Saturday. It looks like over a 100 homes will be involved with multiple street sales in the works. Happy shopping and happy cleaning out!

GIGGLING TO BALANCE:
The 10 Emotional Stages You Go Through Shopping At Bulk Barn | Narcity
“Because every trail mix should contain 36 ingredients and cost approximately $82.” What a great article tagline! I think every person I know has gone into Bulk Barn with a short list and walked out with a handful of items that they ‘had’ to have. I am guilty of adding British chocolate, new to me gluten-free products and dried fruit.

ORGANIZING OUR ROOTS:
14 Ingenious Ways to Keep Your Home Clean & Organized | SparkPeople
A great list of ideas that people use to help keep their homes clean & organized. I use several of these tricks myself … and I know that there are several that I should be using more often! One of my favourites: “Keep Pictures not Stuff”.

SPROUTING CREATIVITY:
10 Tips to Add Personality of a Rental | A Beautiful Mess
Have you ever wondered what makes a house a home? I believe you need to add your personality to a space whether you are in your ‘forever home’ or only living there a short period of time. When you come home at the end of the day, you want to relax in your space. A Beautiful Mess reviews some wonderful ways to add personality while still appeasing a landlord.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance

Blog Love Friday! 2015 May 22

Blog Love Friday

It is difficult posting a blog when the internet decides to be patchy. In this technology driven age, we expect everything to run smoothly all of the time. It doesn’t. Sometimes the best thing to do is to unplug and do something else.

SPROUTING COMMUNITY:
3 Steps Anyone Can Take to Reduce Water Consumption | Food 52
Lack of water is a much greater problem than the internet running smoothly. Many people think of it as a third world problem but North America has shortages too. No matter where you live, do your part and save some ‘liquid gold’.

FEELING OFF-BALANCE:
Food Adventures from the Road to the Carolinas | A Natural Disaster
This is a lovely summary of the ‘Continental Breakfast’ and the various additives you consume from the prepared spread. We have also struggled with eating healthy when the choices are white flour waffles and maple ‘flavoured’ syrup. Recently, we started using Homeaway.com and choosing to stay at a home instead of a hotel. It gives us the opportunity to make our own meals and enjoy a more healthful start to our day.

GIGGLING TO BALANCE:
An Open Letter to Aspiring Exercisers Who Parent Young Children | Parent Co.
Oh did I love this post. Written by a writer that gave lots of ‘how-to’ exercise advice pre-children and now fully understands that having a child is exercise itself.

LOCAL SPROUTS:
For those with young children, you may appreciate taking a Wee Hands Sign Language session of classes. It can help you with the awkward stage where your child doesn’t have the ability to speak but knows what they want. Being able to teach a few simple signs (e.g. milk, more, etc.) to your baby can make a less stressful household. It is also another way to meet local families with children of similar ages. My husband did it with our daughter when he was on parental leave and enjoyed the experience. There is a session starting June 1, 2015 at Silly Goose Kids. The Wee Hands link above takes you directly to the registration page.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance

Blog Love Friday! 2015 May 15

Blog Love Friday

This is for the LOCAL SPROUTS … its back!!! What am I so excited about? This Sunday is the start of the Leslieville Farmers Market season. Yippie! We spend most Sundays at this Market in the Jonathan Ashbridge Park. Our favourites: Kai of City Gourmet, the lovely family of Bizjak Farms, and my daughter’s favourite, the Waffle Bar. These are three stands that we purchase from nearly every week. Yum Yum. I’m so happy that our Sunday community activity is back. Drop by & bring a blanket for a picnic. Enjoy the food, set the Little Sprouts free in the playground and relax.

SPROUTING HEALTH & WELLNESS
4 Big Myths About Organic Food | Eating Made Easy
I like going to the Leslieville Farmers Market because it links the community with (as their site states) “local environmentally responsible food producers”. It takes a long time (and money) to gain organic status, so a farm may be following organic practices but are not officially certified. Amelia of Eating Made Easy reviews some of the big myths about organic food. She has spent years educating herself about nutrition and is passionate about feeding her family in a healthy way.

LITTLE SPROUTS & SPROUTING COMMUNITY
5 Nerdy But Cool Free Things To Do on the Long Weekend | Global News
I am certain that there are many people out there that are excited this is a long weekend. Global News shared five activities that families can participate in … and the best part is they are all free.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

In the comments, please share articles that you read this week that helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance