About Jaimie

Jaimie, an American ex-pat living in chilly Montreal, is a single, work-at-home mom to a preschooler and a kindergartener. When she’s not busy building her freelance editing and writing career or making messes with her kids, she blogs about her adventures in creating a simple, creative, sustainable life for her family at Two Chicks and a Hen.

Giving back: four ways for children to be charitable this holiday season

The following is by contributor Jaimie.

Whew–the holiday season is well upon us and seems to have crept in out of nowhere.  Or is it just that way for me?  No matter what your belief system, it’s easy to get caught up in the gifts, treats, decorations, and family rituals and overlook those less fortunate.  This holiday season, let’s work hard to give our children positive opportunities to be compassionate and focus on something other than sugar and flashy new toys.

Need some concrete ways for how to get your children thinking about giving?  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

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Sunday feast: our new weekly ritual

The following is by contributor Jaimie of Two Chicks and a Hen.

Over the summer, I let our meal planning routines slide.  There were trips, food-laden events, picnics, and hot days that simply didn’t inspire me to cook.  Now that we’re back into the school year routine, I’m working more, and my eldest has homework for the first time, so I needed to rethink our meal planning, cooking, and eating schedules.

I love cooking, but when I’m under pressure and have a ton to think about and do, it can sometimes feel like a chore.  I re-evaluated my approach and discovered several things:

1. Last school year I put too much pressure on myself to serve a brand-new homemade meal every night.  I would plan a full, from-scratch meal for every dinner, but I wouldn’t always manage to actually cook them because life sometimes gets too busy.  I decided to stop feeling guilty about that and instead embrace a more simplified approach.   And we always have leftovers anyway; most recipes are not designed for one adult and two small children.

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The Magic Bucket: Simple Ways to Incorporate Thematic Fun

The following was written by contributor Jaimie  of Two Chicks and a Hen.

WWhen my older daughter went to all-day kindergarten this year and my younger daughter started a small part-time preschool, I found that between balancing work, school commitments, home responsibilities, and everything else, I was generally more tired and distracted than I’d like.  When we’d have a window of time to do something fun, or when the kiddos needed a little prodding to find something to do, I’d sometimes come up short.  I needed some more tricks to keep in my back pocket.

At the store one day, I came across a cute steel bucket and wondered what purpose we could find for it.  Inspiration struck, and the Magic Bucket was born.

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Five Lessons from a TV-Free Household

The following is by contributor Jaimie of Two Chicks and a Hen.

When Kara suggested I write about our experience as a TV-free household, I was hesitant.  TV time for kids is one of those hot-button issues that can divide mothers or, at the very least, induce guilt in all of us–those with and without TVs.  But I”m not here to tell you that you should throw out your TV.  I”m not even here to tell you why we don”t have one; you”ve heard all the reasons before and, like me, you”ve made the choice you feel is best for your family.

Instead, I”m here to give you a little glimpse into our TV-free lives by sharing with you some lessons I”ve learned on our journey.

Five Lessons from a TV-Free Household

1. I”ve found that it”s easier to have my children watch no TV at all than it is is to allow TV sometimes.  I know the conventional wisdom says “everything in moderation,” and that some people have success limiting TV to 1/2 hour a day, or only on the weekends, or some other system.  I tried something similar and found it very challenging.  For the first few years of their lives, I didn”t show my children anything on screens, ever.

Then, from late winter of 2011 to late winter of 2012, I allowed my children one half-hour show per week, usually an episode of Little Bear or something similar on Netflix.  While my girls certainly enjoyed this 1/2 hour, I did not find it to be worth the struggles that ensued.  The begging I endured for “just one more show, for special!” and the complaints of “but we didn”t watch a show today!” (even though a show was only allowed once a week) were too much for me.
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Kids in the Kitchen: Part Two

The following post is by contributor Jaimie of Two Chicks and a Hen

Last week I wrote about why I believe  cooking with our kids is important.  Many of you responded, and some of you listed even more reasons to bring kids into the kitchen.

7 Tips for Successful Cooking With Kids

Today I’d like to share some tips for how to successfully cook with kids.  If your small children have never cooked with you before, you might not all collaborate on a massive Thanksgiving meal the first time you cook together.  Start small, and you’ll  find that shared food prep becomes second nature before too long.

Until then, try these tips for making the experience smoother:

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