Fundraiser Spotlight: Bearspaw Preschool Society

Over the years, we’ve had a variety of organizations host a fundraiser with us to assist in generating funds for their cause. We felt it was time to shine the spotlight on some of the amazing people and organizations running a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser.

Bearspaw Preschool Society – located in Calgary, Alberta – has been hosting a successful fundraiser for their not-for-profit organization since 2009. The fundraiser has helped them earn hundreds of dollars over the years to assist with buying supplies and funding day trips for the morning and afternoon programs. Bearspaw Preschool Society runs programs for children ages 3 & 4 and is operated by a five-member executive board; all of which are elected parent volunteers.

Bearspaw thinks that a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser makes the most sense for a preschool, as it’s the first time many kids and parents are coming into a school environment. They believe that ensuring the students’ items are properly labeled and easily identifiable makes life easier for the parents, children and teachers. They also like that they can promote their campaign throughout the year through their community monthly magazine as well as in an introductory letter that each parent receives upon registration.

Their advice to other organizations running a Mabel’s Labels fundraiser is to actively promote it, and remind parents how beneficial labels are for all sorts of school gear.

Do you want to support Bearspaw Preschool Society? Shop for your Mabel’s Labels here.

If you want to sign your preschool up to earn extra funds, visit www.signup.mabelslabels.com

Evaporated Milk? You bet!

Ok, so maybe I am a survivalist preparing for the Zombie apocalypse. And, so what if I still have my Y2K water stored in the basement? You have to have a just-in-case plan! Here’s another great one that I bet you wouldn’t expect…  Evaporated Milk. Yup!

This stuff is shelf-stable for years. Here are some great uses:

  • Use in baking when mixed ½ and ½ with water. It replaces milk in any recipe.
  • Use it for that fussy friend who only likes cream in their coffee and you are a skim milk kind of keeper.
  • It can also go the other way and make a savory cream sauce for pasta or on top of vegetables. Melt 1 tbsp butter, whisk in 1 tbsp flour, add a can of creamy magic and season if and as you wish. Just don’t boil it! Unlike cream, it can’t take the heat.

Still fortified with Vitamin D, it has twice the calcium and protein as regular milk but is less expensive and less perishable.  Honestly, you can’t really go wrong having a couple of cans on hand.  Just be sure you aren’t picking up a can of sweetened condensed milk because that is also made by heating and evaporating milk but it is also laden with sugar.

We can debate the “go dairy free, everyone’s allergic to it” concept and the “calcium isn’t absorbable from dairy” idea later. For now, when you have to make something for dinner and have very little going on in the fridge… Evaporated milk to the rescue!



Spaghetti Squash “Alfredo”
Serves: 4              Takes: 25 minutes

You know you love pasta with cream sauce. Everyone does. But the carbs and calories, oy! This quick dish gives you that deep, warm, creamy pleasure without all the guilt.  It comes together in a snap! Evaporated milk delivers twice the calcium and protein of the same amount of whole milk. It is creamy but much lower in fat and calories.  You can’t lose with this quick weeknight vegetarian meal.  If you don’t have the spaghetti squash, just make pasta and call it a day.

8 ounces  sliced mushroom

1 small  spaghetti squash

1 tablespoon  butter

1 1/2 tablespoons  flour

1 clove  garlic — minced

1 can  evaporated milk

1 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

salt — to taste

pinch  dried chili flakes

1/4  cup  grated parmesan cheese

Pierce squash with a fork and place in microwave on a plate.  Bake for 15-18 minutes until quite soft.

When cooked, slice open carefully to let steam escape.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet; add 1 tsp of butter and quickly brown mushrooms over high heat, set aside.

In the same skillet, turn heat to medium, melt the rest of the butter and whisk in flour, stirring until it bubbles and starts to brown.

Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds and then whisk in evaporated milk. Whisk until it thickens 2-4 minutes over medium- medium high heat. Do not boil!

Scoop out seeds from squash and discard. Pull fibres with a fork and stir into creamy sauce.

Add salt, pepper and chili flakes, top with cheese.

 

About the Author:

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com

The Great Baby Dilemma

The PANK Perspective (Professional Aunt, No Kids) – by Diane Morris

I’m almost 32 and am not a Mom.

I’m a proud Aunt of two boys (4 y/o & 5mths), and I love them more than I thought I could ever love anyone. I love them in a way that is different than how I love my boyfriend, my parents, or their father; who is my brother. The unconditional, twinkle in your eye kind of love I have for them makes me question the unbelievable amount of love parents must have for their own children. If I love my nephews the way that I do, why is it then that I wonder…do I or don’t I become a parent?

My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom until I was about 10. I would walk home from school at lunch to a prepared meal. I’d get help with my homework before Dad came home for dinner. We’d sing songs, make crafts and play games. I looked up to my Mom and told myself that I would be just like her when I was grown. I’d be a Mom.

In my mid-twenties, I met a boy, got engaged and bought a house. We set a date for the wedding and I talked about a honeymoon baby. I wanted to have our first child before I was 30. As our engagement progressed, our relationship digressed. We called off the wedding 2 months before the big day.

For 3 years I was on my own. I started a business. I bought a house. I was an independent woman enjoying the freedom that comes with having responsibilities that only pertain to yourself. Then, I met a boy. My boyfriend and I have known each other for 13 years; I was best friends with his sister in High School. We’ve talked about marriage and kids – but in the same way people talk about what they’d do with their lotto winnings. If we had kids, we’d have to do this. If we had kids, we couldn’t do that. If we had kids, our money would go here, not there. If, if, if…

I’m told I’d be a great Mom. I like children, but I also cringe when I hear a baby crying or a toddler yelling while grocery shopping. I like children, but I love being able to sleep in, have mid-afternoon naps and stay up late indulging in bad tv. I like children, but I like my tidy and organized home, the silence that a new day brings and being able to run errands whenever the mood strikes.

So, I ask myself almost on a daily basis…do I or don’t I become a parent? Some people I know tell me they couldn’t wait to have kids, others tell me that they changed the moment they knew they were pregnant and others say they had no purpose in life before becoming a parent. So, is that it then, I have no purpose until I become a Mom?

Having a child will change my life forever. Will it cause me to give up the things I like? Wreak havoc on my relationship? Cause me to regret taking the leap? Sometimes I think that since I’m not 100% sure if I want children, then that should be my warning sign not to. But, then I’m afraid that if I don’t, I’ll miss out on all of the experiences that come from being a parent. Have I become so set in my ways that I have forgotten the image of my happily-ever-after of a husband and kids, or have I simply changed and am no longer that person?

There’s no ‘right time’ to have a baby – this I have heard many, many times. So, how do you know if you should be a parent or not? Do you just do it and plunge head first into the world of diapers, sleeplessness and vomit and hope for the best? How do you know if you should be a Mom?

The Great Baby Dilemma continues.

 

About the Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diane Morris is a PANK; Professional Aunt, No Kids and works for Mabel’s Labels as the Sales Coordinator. She’s an Aunt to two boys, and an “Auntie” to her boyfriend’s niece and nephew. She’s a sucker for romance, country music and peanut butter.

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