7 Tips to Surviving the Holidays as a Vegan

7 Tips to Surviving the Holidays as a Vegan

Soooo…you’ve decided to ditch the animal products and rock your plant-powered lifestyle. That’s amazing and incredible and I’m so frigging proud of you! And it’s been going great…but now the holiday season is here. Aaaak!

Thanksgiving…Christmas…New Year’s…

All those food-filled gatherings with friends and family and sometimes those oh-so-triggering relatives. You’ve been able to make it through your regular routine, work days and weekends, but how will you survive the never-ending questions, comments and concerns at your big dinner? Well, I’ve got you covered! Here’s my top tips to not only surviving, but also maybe even enjoying those festive get togethers.

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Surviving Your Family Vacation 101

We just returned from our family vacation and I thought it only fitting to share with you some very important things I learned over the past 5 days. And just for a little back story - for our holiday we decided to take a road trip to Ottawa, ON which is approximately 640 kms from our house with our 2 small children.

1.  Your hotel can make or break your trip.    Trying to get kids to fall a sleep in the same room is next to impossible and if you've shared a room with your kids you know that they are the loudest sleepers on the planet.  So after a little searching I found the Albert at Bay Hotel; essentially like little apartments. And all for the same or less than you would pay for a hotel room! We had a full kitchen, balcony and a living room/dining room and a separate bedroom.

2.  Calculate your travel time wisely.  So when we were younger we would take road trips all over.  And it was quite easy to drive for 10+ hrs without kids.  But this holiday was our first significant road trip with 2 kids in the car.  The girls have always been great in the car, but I was definitely nervous about the 6+ hrs of driving each way.  After over 1500 kms in the car I think it's fair to say that when travelling with small kids you need to add an extra 30% to your estimated driving time.  We stopped twice each way for approximately 45 mins to an hour to stretch, visit a washroom and get the wiggles out.  Use this handy equation to stay sane: Estimated travel time + 30% car-free time = happy travels.

3.  Schedule downtime.  This is a very important vacation must.  We all try to cram in as many sights and sounds and activities as humanly possible into our holidays and I'm no exception.  We were gone each day by about 9am and didn't get back to the hotel till past bedtime just about each night.  The girls were great and were happy to hop from one adventure to the next.  But by about day 2 or 3 I could tell they were tired and on the verge of a melt down. Instead of more sight-seeing we took a drive to the Gatineaus and had a picnic on the beach and spent the afternoon watching the kids play in the sand and splash in the water.  It's imperative the incorporate some chill time with the kids.  We were tired and they were tired and what better way to rejuvenate then with a little nature.

Mosaika at Parliament Hill
4. Skip the souvenirs and stock up on memories.   I've come to the realisation that 'things' don't make you happy.  And really they just take up space and its just more stuff to clean and organise.  So rather then spending money on some terribly over-priced, tacky knick-knack, why not take that money and use it for something you and your kids will really enjoy.  Or even better, save your money and find some really cool FREE events to check out and make some family memories instead. Check out the local tourism sites for local events and festivals and for great coupons!

5.  Enjoy each minute.  We can get wrapped up in schedules and time lines and agendas.  We went on our vacation with nothing scheduled other than our hotel and tickets to the Museum of Civilization.  Each day was a new adventure and we took our time and enjoyed each minute.  If we were having fun we stayed and played; if it wasn't our thing or the kids were not interested we moved on.  We kept it simple and fluid and relished each moment.

NOTE: we’ve added this post to the Sunday Traveler link up extravaganza. Check it out for other travel tales and inspiration.

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Dragonfly Farmstore - a little preview

Going to pick out our 20lb meat share!  Mmmmm!
I'm just too excited and couldn't wait until my post was done.  Here's a couple pictures from our visit to Dragonfly Farmstore to pick up our monthly meat CSA and we got a farm tour to boot!  Full post will be up soon! In the meantime, stop by Dragonfly and show them some love! www.dragonflyfarmstore.ca

Stella talking to the turkeys.  She was so excited when they answered her!

I'm totally in love with this picture!
 I was completely shocked by how friendly and docile the piggies were.  And they didn't smell either.  In fact the entire farm smelled earthy and green.  Our host Cindy said the animals don't smell as they are grass-fed, organic and antibiotic-free.  Amazing!

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A Day in the Life - Adventures of the Slightly Hippie Houswife of Suburbia

It's sharing time!  Each week I will post 'A Day in the Life' moment; a little peek into our Suburban Hippie Homestead.   It's kind of a suburban confessional of sorts.

A little reclusive by nature, I'm using this blog is a means to get me out of my comfort zone and share with you some of the many splendid parts of my life.  It will be a no-holds barred, honest look at friends, family, life, health, happiness and of course me - the Slightly Hippie Housewife of Suburbia.

So sit back and enjoy as I wax poetically about whatever catches my fancy.  It will be open and honest and hopefully entertaining.

Always in Birks,


Tip Tuesdays - hints for being happy, healthy and green!

Each Tuesday I will be sharing a tip with you.  It will be some lovely tidbit of knowledge to help improve your homestead in some way.

From food to gardening; family to health and everything in between.  These will be pieces of info that I have found and used and have improved my life in some way.  (work smarter, not harder....right?)

One of the first things we learn is to share - so please enjoy my weekly tips and share them with your friends.  And of course, I would love to learn more so please share any lovely things you have discovered to keep things happy, healthy and green!

Spread peace and granola.