Summer Family Activity Guide

School’s almost out and summer is officially here! Now that the family has more free time, make the best of it with some of these fun outdoor activities. We can’t wait to get outside, catch some rays and, most importantly, spend more time with the family!

Backyard Camping

Don’t have time for a quick weekend getaway? Travel no further than your backyard by setting up a mini campsite. Dust off the sleeping bags, tents and spend the night underneath the stars.

Get the full experience by preparing this campfire favourite: Stuffed & Wrapped Hot Dogs!

Bike Ride & Picnic:

Taking in the scenery is one of the best parts of summer weather! The flowers are in full bloom and the green pastures are truly uplifting. What better way to spend the day with your family then staying active and taking a bike ride in search of the perfect picnic spot (Both Parks Canada and have a great list of biking/hiking trails in several regions across Canada).

Take a break from your exploring and settle down for a simple picnic with this quick and fresh BLT Sandwich recipe.

Neighbourhood Potluck

Just moved in? Looking to get to know your neighbours? Or your neighbours are some of your best friends? There’s always an excuse to host a summer potluck! Assign a dish, send out the invites and make sure to have plenty of outdoor activities for the kids.

Make hosting a breeze by preparing these quick and delicious Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce recipe.

Yard Games

Getting outdoors doesn’t always have to be a long-distance expedition. Get the family outside and active this summer by setting up some lawn game favourites in your yard. Teach your kids the importance of teamwork with a friendly match of badminton, Bocce or Twister – or simply throw the ball or frisbee around!

Hosting people for lawn games? Try out this delicious Mustard-y Sausage Rolls recipe.

What activities does your family love doing during the summer? Share them with us!

How To Live A Balanced & Healthy Lifestyle

Work, family, social life, stress. I get it, life gets busy and it can be hard to stay on track. After a hectic day, it’s so easy to grab fast food, sit on the couch and enjoy TV to wind down. I’m not shaming that or saying it’s the worst thing; but doing it on the regular isn’t going to leave you feeling your best!

We all know healthy eating and staying active is an important part of a balanced lifestyle, but how you treat your mind also plays a role in your overall health & happiness. Over the years, I’ve figured out many tip and tricks to keep myself on track to feeling great!

We’re all human and getting off track happens. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Rather, when you begin to recognize that, start steering yourself back in the right direction. Your body and mind will be thanking you.

12 Ways I Stay Balanced & Healthy:

1. Drink water: I cannot stress how important this is! However, out of everything on this list, it’s the one I also struggle with the most. Recently, I’ve been better at getting in my 8 glasses a day after purchasing a pretty water bottle that I really like drinking out of. There are also apps like Daily Water you can use that will remind you throughout the day.

2. Meal Plan / Prep: Pick a day each week to plan your meals for the week and do a grocery stop. I personally like taking a few hours each Sunday for this. When your kitchen is stocked, you won’t feel the need to pick up unhealthy options as the week gets a little hectic. Find a rotation of simple meals you enjoy and each week prep a few ahead of time so that it’s easy to grab. In the end, this will save you time, money and overall just leave your body feeling way better.

I found tons of simple and delicious recipes from Maple Lodge Farms to help my weekly prep! I personally love making this avo toast with spicy BBQ chicken using Maple Lodge’s Natural From The Farm line – so delish!

3. Shop the outside aisles of the grocery store: If you pay attention to the set-up of a grocery store, all the real food surrounds the outside and the inner aisles is mainly packaged and highly processed foods that contain tons of added oils, artificial flavours, colours and more. Try filling your cart with 80% fruits, vegetables and meat!

4. Stick to workouts you actually enjoy doing: If you get anxiety about the gym, don’t go. Try a class, go for a run outside, walk your dog, hike or even do a home workout! I personally love doing yoga on my own at home. There are so many great free online resources to follow along with on YouTube and Pinterest for any fitness level!

5. Get a smart watch: Honestly, before I got one, I didn’t think I needed it. Now I can’t live without it. They’re very affordable these days and when you begin to see how little steps you really do in a day, it really motivates you to take a lunchtime walk or the stairs instead of the elevator.

6. Find an accountability buddy: Your partner, sibling, roommate, friend, coworker, neighbour, Instagram community, anyone! Get someone who has similar goals as you and will help you stay on track.

7. Be mindful: Don’t worry about what happened last week or what’s coming in the future. Focus on the now because that’s the only thing you can control. Staying present can help improve anxiety, depression, stress, resilience and your overall health. I’m a big fan of meditation, even if it’s for as little as 2 minutes a day. Apps like Calm are great for that. Another simple way to get present is going for a walk and just taking in what is happening now.

8. Breathe: Breathing is so underrated! Feeling stressed, sad or frustrated? Maybe your boss isn’t happy with you or your partner and you just got in a fight. No matter where you are, take a moment to focus on your breathing with 3 deep mindful breaths. It will bring you back to the present moment, help you feel more calm and grounded to handle anything life throws at you.

9. Take time for yourself: Self-care isn’t just a trend, it’ a movement! Set time aside to meditate, read, take a bath, get a massage, give yourself a manicure, listen to music or even watch TV if that’s what you like doing.

10. Find your tribe: Although I already said get an accountability buddy, this is different. Surround yourself with people you lift you up and make you feel good! The people who have the same weird interests as you and never judge your crazy ideas. Don’t have that kind of tribe? Join a club, go to a networking event, find them online. I actually found my tribe and many of my best friends to this day on Instagram!

11. Sleep: I can’t stand when people say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. During sleep, your body works to support functions all throughout your body. A solid night’s sleep will allow you to think clear, keep your immune systems strong and maintain overall good physical health. Allow yourself those 8 hours a night, you deserve it!

12. Treat yo’ self: I don’t believe in “cheat” days or restrictive behaviour (within reason). If you want that glass of wine – have it! You’re out and there’s cake – go for it! I think that being too restrictive is actually unhealthier. Balance is key.

What are your favourite recipes, stress-relievers or tips to stay balanced? Share them with me!

Becka Crowe