The best resource for great local shopping!

There is amazing stuff close by – local artisans and independently owned retailers, cool things to do and eat, and great charities to support. It’s good for the economy, the environment and the soul.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Veronica's Sweets

Veronica's Sweets.
Sharlene started Veronica's Sweets after several years of experience in the food industry, specifically creating delicious flavour combinations. Her spiked jams are made in small batches, from fresh ingredients to capture the flavour.  Carefully chosen liquors are then added to create this distinctive product.  Great for your pantry, your cheese plate, or as a gift.

Check out the many flavours on Veronica's Sweets 100 Mile Finds store.  Perfect accent flavours to add for your holiday entertaining.

Monday, December 13, 2010

2 different shopping experiences

Talked to my sister on Saturday afternoon. After trying to find a parking spot for 35 minutes at the mall, she went home. Apparently her family will be getting presents from the convenience store this Christmas (and 100 Mile Finds of course....)
I on the other hand spent the weekend frequenting the many Craft Shows on the 100 Mile Finds Show and Sale page. While we love the idea of customers buying directly from us through the site, we want to see more unique gifts purchased overall, any way that works for you.
I headed downtown (hardly any traffic going that way, btw) to 401 Richmond. Beautiful brick and wood space with crafters interspersed between unique pottery, music and bookstores. Look for the incredible work by Mary Kroetsch - she stitches over antique, computer manipulated photographs, really beautiful.
Kensington Market was a cinch.  Just parked right on College and walked down Augusta.  Blue Banana Market supports both local and imported. Our stockings are now full. Project 165, near the south end of Kensington, is a unique pop-up store with crafted items displayed as a 'life size diorama' - Pabrika pillows are there.
I have seen Yvonne from Torched Studio and pined over the silver ring with the round blue bead three times over the last 2 weeks. I am not convinced that she is not doing some experimental cloning in that jewellery lab of hers. 
Anyway, this last weekend try finishing up your shopping a little differently.  If it isn't on-line and local, visit some of our independent retailers or pop into a craft show.  Did I mention many of them have bake sales too (a ginger cupcake keeps you fortified between places).

Handsome & Lace

Keira Morgan is the creator at Handsome and Lace. Keira brings years of design and sewing experience to her amazing hairbands and accessories. A self described 'crafty' person, Keira sometimes dreams new creations, waking up to sketch or sew in the middle of the night. Keira doesn't "believe in ‘fashion’, as much as (she) believes in the clothing, accessories and personal articles that represents you as an individual".

Vintage inspired designs with a balance of feminine and masculine. For example, the Bow Tie Hairband and the Dickens Tie. Both formal and fun and beautiful crafted.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Teachers gifts? What to get....

Jinja Ninja is a designer customer cookie company! Gotta love that! Beverly has invented the "mookie" aka message cookie.
A mookie is Jinja Ninja’s special creation for your special occasion. It’s a cookie with a message, and there’s a special piece for everyone. Celebrating a special someone, a festive day or a corporate milestone? Treat them to mookie!
They come in ginger and sugar cookies and can be made in ANY design with ANY message and ANY size. You can save 15% on all orders you make on or before December 10th (that's today!)
The mookies range from $3 to $55 and you can pick them up at Dovercourt and Dupont or have them delivered for a fee! Perfect gift for the teachers in your life!
Just in, they are at the Artisan Craft Show this Saturday at 20 Stanley Ave. in Toronto

Spa sisters is a luxury line of oh-so-pretty bath & body products. Talk about someone in your life who deserves some pampering!!  All you have to do is volunteer for one morning in the classroom and you realize that it ain't an easy job!! White Chocolate Mint Tub Truffles! Vanilla Fudge Scrub! Mini Bath Bombs in flavors like Bubble Gum & Key Lime, sure to make their holiday a little bit more relaxing.

Chocolates make another great gift for a teacher. Here are some of our favorites.

Delight  is dedicated to offering our customers an exclusive treat. Our style combines whimsy and decadence along with a creative attention to detail, not to mention a flair for the finest tastes and textures. Our fabulous chocolate is coupled with the decision to support a sustainable form of agriculture as well as the farmers who manage it; yum yum! They are in Junction and also have a second store on Queen W.

SOMA chocolatemaker makes truffles, baicoli, tozetti, baci d'alassio and so much more. Soma has a permanent collection of bars, and also make microbatch bars. They have a fabulous selection of 'elixirs'. There is the collection of chocolate tumbled nuts, fruits, seeds & beans... They are in the Distillery District, why not stop by while you enjoy the Lowe's Toronto Christmas Market?!

What about a gift certificate? Have you thought of organizing a bunch of families together and giving one big gift? I think if you make the suggestion, someone else should step up and organize it, don't you?! A book store, gift store or restaurant are some nice options.

Giveaway - Fascinator by KC's Hats

They are all the rage! Everybody wants one, YOU can have one! We are giving away a Fascinator created by the fabulously talented David Dunkley of KC's Hats. This ain't no regular Fascinator ladies, it's top of the line.

David graduated from the George Brown College Millinery program and then headed off to England to study with Ms. Rose Cory the previous Milliner to Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother.

You can enter the give away by doing the following. (Please make sure you leave EACH as a separate comment so that you qualify for all the entries that you are entitled)
  • "Like" us on our Facebook Page (remember to leave a comment below, on the blog, telling us that you've done it)
  • Follow us on Twitter (don't forget to leave a comment, on the blog, telling us you've done so)
  • Subscribe to our newsletter (you guessed it, leave a comment here, on the blog, so we know you've done it) 
  • Share us on Facebook or Retweet us (seriously, you don't know what to do?)
  • If you have done all this already forward the link to your friends! Let us know you've done it by leaving a comment.

  1. Entrants MUST be 18 years or older.
  2. Contest entrants must live within 100 miles of Toronto. Click here and scroll down to find out if you are in the area.
  3. Delivery of prize is limited to shipping within the 100 mile radius as described above.
  4. No purchase is necessary - A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.
  5. The winner will be chosen using, a random number generating website.
  6. Upon determining the winner, we will notify the winner by email. The winner has 72 hours to respond. If we do not hear from the winner at that time, a new winner's name will be drawn.
Entries may be posted between December 9th to December 24th  at noon EDT. The number will correspond to the comment entry and the winner will be notified via email.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Theatre Aquarius A CHRISTMAS CAROL-The musical

It's sort of a family tradition, every year my family, my sister's family and my Mom & Dad get together before Christmas to celebrate the early December birthdays and we see whatever Theatre Aquarius is showing.
I must say, this year I wasn't looking all that forward to it. My Dad passed away this summer and Christmas has lost some of its sparkle for me. But you know what, he started this tradition, and Christmas is a time to celebrate those that are still here and remember those who are gone. Life is to be lived, and live it I will!

I've got to say it was the perfect afternoon. I had my Mom on one side of me and my husband on the other side. The kids were all together in another section, and the play was fantastic! I highly recommend it. We all enjoyed it, ages almost 10 through to 72 years old. It was beautifully acted, the singing was fantastic, the dancing and choreography out of this world and the staging and costumes amazing!
The story was told in such a positive and understanding way. The finale is fantastic too! If you are in Hamilton, it is a must see for the family. If you're farther a field, I would make the effort this year. You will be happy that you did!
It runs until January 2nd.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Great local gifts for the guys!

When I started writing the December 3, 2010 newsletter I thought there was going to have to be a lot of fluff. Susan and I have been so busy working on the various newsletters, trying to get some PR and thinking of crafty ways to get more people to the site I didn't realize how many more amazing vendors we've got on board. Here are a few more cool ideas that you can buy locally.

Here are some more great t-shirt companies that just happen to be local!

Anti-Matter Quasi Science Apparel: Danielle D.  is the "ultimate square girl"  who came up with this ever so cool, yet slightly geeky idea! They offer a basic T, long sleeve, Hoodie and Organic T. They have a great selection brainiac t's for your guy, the coolest as far as I'm concerned is the Binary T! You figure out a phrase and they print the binary code! FYI, and I had to look this up, the binary code is a group of ones and zeros that translate into words by the computer. Just imagine what you could write!!  They also have women's and kiddie sizes.

Ransack the Universe: My husband has the beaver crossing T. He LOVES it! Michelle and the crew opened a store at 1207 Bloor St. W. in the spring. They have their full line of t-shirts, and they carry a whole bunch of other local artists too! Well worth the trip to Bloordale Village.

Coy Clothes: Silk-screened retro advertising art with cheeky text  creating distinctly fun clothing. I have  "He sounds just like Jesus"  It is so much fun to wear! "We drink because we have to!" and "Oh! I do wish he's shut up!" are personal favorites of mine!

More cuff links you say?! 

Danielle Crampsie Designs has some amazing options for the best dressed music lover in your life.
These are her sound wave lapel pin and cuff links.

Not to be outdone by her 'music staff 1' pendant and cuff link combo. Danielle has a fantastic collection of rings, pendants cuff links, bracelets... Her line of music themed pieces is modern with clean lines. She also does custom work, her website is definitely worth taking a look at!

Tamara and Kathryn from Studio 1098 have a great selection of cuff links too! Here's a taste...

Here are the two examples of the wine racks from Urban Tree Salvage. How cool is this?! On their own they each make a great gift, depending on your budget you could add a couple of bottles of your favorite local wine too!

I could go on and on, but I won't, (I already have, haven't I?)! If you are still at a lose as to what to get that special someone on your list, give us a shout! Susan and I pride ourselves on being able to solve any gift giving dilemma, and we can do it locally too! Just drop us a line at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Shannon Conway is the owner and creator of Seraphims. Shannon's crafting skills have turned to quilt making lately. Particularly beautiful quilts for the youngest fans of 100 Mile Finds. 

These cozy blankets are perfect for the car seat or stroller as the weather cools down.  The materials are natural and the designs delightful.
A perfect shower gift, or hey, isn't there another gift giving occasion in December?  Make baby's first Christmas special with a beautiful quilt that can be kept for a lifetime

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jules Mae Clothing

I know we keep bragging about the talent - but we can't help it.  And we aren't stopping today, as we want to introduce you to  Jules Mae Clothing at 100 Mile Finds.  Take a look at this cape - versatile (with belt for those svelte days, without after Christmas dinner), but mostly gorgeous.  Made from an array of reclaimed fabrics, and truly one of a kind.

If you haven't visited the Jules Mae Clothing blog you should - the Moo Moo 100 is a lot of fun  Not that we want to send you away.........

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Local beer - did you know?

I was at the beer store today and found out some interesting info that I wanted to share.

First, my new favorite beer is WIT by Mill St. brewery. If you like Hogarden you'll love WIT! This is just an aside, rather than the story!

We're having some friends over Friday night and I know one of them is a big fan of Stella, so I asked the guy at the cash what a good local replacement would be. He said that any local beer is better than any imported beer because of the perservatives and additives that imported beers have to have in them in order to be able to stay stable on the shelf for a year!  Who knew?!

He also talked about how he used to drink Stella but found out that they use anti-inflamatories in their beer! OMG! He has switched to Old Milwakee in the tall boy cans. Oh I know what you're gonna say, not very local! Not so, apparently beer is one of those products that looks like it's not local when it is, and visa versa. Old Milwaukee is brewed by Sleeman in Guelph. Because Dave is a good friend I am introducing him to Old Milwaukee Tall Boys, I hope he likes it!

So without getting into too much detail, apparently the laws governing Canadian brewed beers are much tougher than that of imported beers so it is more healthy over all to drink local beer! I knew it, it's always better if it's local!

Here's another interesting fact that I didn't know. The Beer Store is owned by breweries! Did you know that? I'm probably the only person who didn't know, it happens! I thought it was like the liquor store and owned by the government!
Anyways forty-nine percent of the company is owned by the Labatt arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev of Belgium; forty-nine percent is owned by Molson Coors Brewing Company which has headquarters in both the United States and Canada; and the remaining two percent is owned by Sleeman Breweries, an arm of Sapporo of Japan.- (I got that last bit from wikipedia, I know I couldn't reference it on a college paper but I figure if I'm quoting the guy at the beer store I should be safe with wikipedia!) The guy at The Beer Store mentioned this, the ownership thing because they are apparently not supposed to recommend different brands, which is totally annoying as far as I'm concerned, aren't they supposed to be the experts!

I will be sharing all this information at our dinner party on Friday evening, I urge you to, too!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Echoes in the Attic

There are bags and then there are BAGS. Shirley talked a while back about the plethora of re-usable bags that are so poorly made that they will be actually taking up more room in a landfill than the demon plastic bag. So it is without guilt (and with pleasure) that we introduce you to Echoes in the Attic, a creative and talented maker of bags for many purposes. These bags are Canadian, hand-made, using one of a kind fabric combinations and eco-consciously created from reclaimed fabrics.
"Our commitment is to transform discarded 'rescued remnants' from post-manufacturing and designer samples into salvage-chic fashion & home accessories. Echoes regularly rescues tons (literally 500 lbs/2 weeks) of landfill-bound fabrics, refashioning and re-offering them back to consumers as gorgeous, re-purposeful designs such as handbags, totes, diaper/laptop bags and beautiful pillows. We then pass on our leftovers to local artists, craftspeople or it is recycled through one of our donor factories".
It's practical, beautiful, re-purposed, so guilt free.- Susan

I was just in Diaper-eez and there was a great selection of bags from Echoes in the Attic. They are also available at Beadle and Grassroots! -Shirley

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Year round Farmers' Markets in Toronto

Oddly enough, one of the hardest things about shopping local can be finding out where local goods are available, especially produce in the Toronto area! We have complied a list of lists, so to speak, of markets that are running year round.

Let us know if any of these entries are out of date or if you have any to add. You can do it through the comments section at the bottom of the post. 
NOW magazine lists the markets by the day.

Taste TO has a list of markets listed by the day and season.
Here is the list of year round markets listed by TFMN

Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers’ Market
873 Dufferin St. (in Dufferin Grove Park)
Thursdays, 3 –7 pm, 
Open all year

Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market
550 Bayview Ave (between Prince Edward Viaduct (Bloor/Danforth) & Pottery Road)
Saturdays, 8 am - 1 pm,
opening May 29, 2010

Montgomery’s Inn Farmers’ Market
4709 Dundas West, Etobicoke Wednesdays, 3-7 pm, July 1 to October 13, 2010
Harvest Tea Oct. 17 with pumpkins and apples
Winter Markets: 2-6 pm on Nov 3, Dec 1(holiday market), Feb 2, Mar 2, Apr 6

St. Lawrence North Farmers’ Market
92 Front Street East (at Jarvis)
Saturdays, 5 am – 5 pm,
Open all year

Sorauren Farmers’ Market
40 Wabash Ave. at Sorauren Mondays, 3-7 pm, May 17 to Oct 25, 2010
Winter Markets weekly in the fieldhouse (except Dec 27 and Jan 3), 4-7 pm 

The Stop’s Green Barn Farmers’ Market
The Green Arts Barn, 601 Christie Ave. (entrance from Wychwood)
Saturdays 8am - noon, year-round

University of Toronto Farmers’ Market
Earth Sciences Building
Wednesdays, 2:30-5:30 

The Village Organic Farmers’ Market at the Toronto Waldorf School
9100 Bathurst
Saturdays, 8:30 am – 1:30 pm, Open all year

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Hip and Handmade - that's how Zippster describes themselves. Purses, pouches, pins, magnets and other small accessories.

I love this magnet collection. For someone who loves to cook - a great gift to hold up artwork or your shopping list on the fridge. Comes in a hinged tin, which can be re-purposed to store your safety pins or elastic bands. Custom orders available, so if you are looking for something original for your company or your organization, Zippster has lots of ideas.

Retro-inspired fabrics or vintage materials are used to make Zippster's coin purses and zippered pouches. Great to keep your purse organized and always fun to look at.

Don't you have some stockings to stuff?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

KC's Hats

I bumped into David at the Runnymede United Church Craft show this past weekend. Not only is he amazingly talented, but he is a great guy!
He creates beautifully handcrafted hats for special occasions, don't worry if you don't have somewhere really special to go,  he makes amazing hats for everyday. I picked one up myself at the show. I'm feelin' pretty cool! Look out for an article about him in the Toronto Star this Thursday!

Founded by Milliner David Dunkly, KC's Hats specializes in top quality millinery.  Each hat is a unique, handmade using time-honoured practices of blocking, forming and embellishment. David graduated from George Brown College Millinery program, and recently completed millinery studies in England with Rose Cory, Milliner to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.  This dedication to craftsmanship is fundamental to David's work. 

His collection of fascinators available through 100 Mile Finds is extraordinary.  Inspired by David's studies in England, these wonderful fascinators are created from the finest hand rolled and shaped sinamay and accented with burnt peacock and hand shaved coque feathers.  We are so thrilled to have David as a part of our site  - we hope you can take the time to look at his amazing work.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nun of a Kind

Shirley and I laughed when we first met the sisters. Handmade, collectible nun dolls, and personalized nun figures and ornaments from Nun of a Kind. Now that is an original idea!

"I am Canadi-nun” is proud of her heritage, and carries her flag to prove it! She is a great gift for native “Canadian” sisters, no matter where they may live now! Once a Canadian “sister”, always a Canadian “sister”….eh? Patriotic and local - truly a 100 Mile Find. The “Nun of a Kind” Collection celebrates the “Sister” in all of us, and is meant as gifts for all of the “sisters” in your life! All the sisters have their own identity ensuring you find one to fit the personality of the recipient.

Proprietor Linda West is in a sea of black and white (and puns all over) right now prepping for the gift giving season. Check these out - they will make you smile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Noisy Butterfly

Love the name of this vendor - just take a moment and imagine a noisy butterfly......I had a little fun with that , it sounded like a helicopter. Anyway, back to our amazing 100 Mile Finds vendor, Noisy Butterfly who "makes the ordinary extraordinary".

For example, check out this gorgeous harmonica pendant. The harmonica measures 1 1/2" in length and has the "Swan Harmonica" logo either side. The harmonica is charmed with a freshwater pearl and a charm with a butterfly on one side and the word "inspired" on the other.

  Or, this Vintage Style Bronze Locket features a beautiful Rare Bermuda Blue Jewels set in brass charm and a single Kishi Pearl. The chain is about 24" long. The pendant can be opened by pressing the knob to reveal the time.

Thank you Noisy Butterfly for sparking our imaginations and for your truly unique creations.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Vintage Paper Parade at 100 mile finds

Sometimes the virtual world feels a little intangible to us here at 100 Mile Finds. We 'virtually' see these amazing products, and keep in touch with our talented vendors primarily through email. We always get inspired when we see our vendors at the Shows and Sales we try to frequent.

All of this is a slow segue into the tangibility and tactileness(if that's a word) of using and sending handwritten notes and cards. With no further adieu, meet Debra Norton of Vintage Paper Parade. Debra's designs have a vintage feel with a modern twist in their clean design.

Debra's personalized note cards listed on 100 Mile Finds are "simple, stylish personalized cards for your children (or yourself) to write thank you notes to friends and family. This listing is for a set of 10 folded cards and envelopes". A variety of colours available. Just let Debra know what you are interested in.

Don't wait for the next special occasion to run out and buy that card. Stock up in advance so you can send it out on a whim, when those 'real' moments pop up.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Auntie Gin Handmade Knits

Ski passes have been purchased, I had to scrap my windshield this morning - we can light a fire and bring out the basket with the hats and gloves.  There is always room in that basket for one more hat, I think.  Especially when it is as cute and cozy as Auntie Gin's.  Virginia Dineen, sole proprietor of Auntie Gin Handmade Knits works from her home to create each piece.

There are Auntie Gin hats on 100 Mile Finds for all the generations - from babies to adult sizes and they are colourful, comfortable with a hint of nostalgia. This 1920's inspired cloche hat is one of my favourites.

And I know we are looking at the hat in this picture (not that scrumptious baby with the cutest expression in the world...)

Auntie Gin will be at the Farmers Market at the Evergreen Brickworks on Saturday from 9-1pm. See you there!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A FUNdraiser for 'Not far from the tree'

100 mile finds 1st give away ever!

We are giving away a signed copy of Sarah Elton's LOCAVORE!
Contest ends November 19th, 2010

Susan and I were lucky enough to see Sarah Elton speak last Thursday evening. We were so impressed that we wanted to share her book with a lucky someone. She was gracious enough to sign a copy for us! Thus our first ever give away at 100 mile finds!

Click here if you want to read our blog about the evening.

You can enter the give away by doing the following. (Please make sure you leave EACH as a separate comment so that you qualify for all the entries that you are entitled)
  • "Like" us on our Facebook Page (remember to leave a comment below, on the blog, telling us that you've done it)
  • Follow us on Twitter (don't forget to leave a comment, on the blog, telling us you've done so)
  • Subscribe to our newsletter (you guessed it, leave a comment here, on the blog, so we know you've done it) 
  • Share us on Facebook or Retweet us (seriously, you don't know what to do?)

  1. Entrants MUST be 18 years or older.
  2. Contest entrants must live within 100 miles of Toronto. Click here and scroll down to find out if you are in the area.
  3. Delivery of prize is limited to shipping within the 100 mile radius as described above.
  4. No purchase is necessary - A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.
  5. The winner will be chosen using, a random number generating website.
  6. Upon determining the winner, we will notify the winner by email. The winner has 72 hours to respond. If we do not hear from the winner at that time, a new winner's name will be drawn.
Entries may be posted between November 3rd and November 19th at noon EDT. The number will correspond to the comment entry and the winner will be notified via email.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LOCAVORE by Sarah Elton

Last Thursday evening Susan & I were lucky enough to have the privilege of hearing Sarah Elton speak at the Runnymede Library! She is not only the author of LOCAVORE, but she contributes to the CBC Toronto drive home show 'Here and Now', she writes for the Globe & Mail and The Atlantic's Monthly website! She mentioned kids too! Yikes, now that is busy!
Susan and I had just been talking about the book and her radio show and that she was definitely one of our "people" then, voila, I'm at the library, a favorite place of Sarah's too, and I see the poster announcing that she is coming. If you put it out there, the universe snatches it up! It happens time and time again.

Sarah didn't read from her book, instead she shared some of her favorites stories. She told us about Harold and Kathy Steves, and she talked about some her own experiences growing up. Then she opened up the floor to questions. That was when it got really interesting, not that it wasn't fascinating already! She has a great way of keeping the conversation going and inviting people to ask controversial and provocative questions. I learned more about food in general, in that hour and half, than I've known up until now.

Did you know?
  • That Sarah Elton, and those in the know, believe that the first step to developing a sustainable food source in Canada is by developing a locally sustainably meat.This is scary, because we all know how expensive local organic meat is. We have to change the way we eat! It's as simple and complicated as that. Does that mean we all have to eat less, good meat? How do we make local & sustainable meat more accessible?
  • We have to recognize that we have power as consumers. Sarah mentioned time and again how important it is talk to your grocery manager about providing locally sustainable fruit and vegetables. She spoke of talking to the managers of local Farmers' Markets about staying open later so that working folk can get access to them. Right now, whether we like it or not, it is our responsibility to get access to more local, sustainable food. We have to make this happen.

  • Long Distance Organic doesn't have any real value. It needs to be local & sustainable. We have to get fossil fuels out of our food system. The only way to do that is to buy local. She did predicate that she buys local and sustainable first, but will buy long distance organic over long distance non-organic. This is something that happens in February rather than July.

  • Organic produce is not considered nutritionally richer than regular produce. It's the pesticides that are the issue.

  • There is an Organic Dirty Dozen, if you can't afford to buy everything organic, these are the items you should consider
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

    These are the items that are the "safest" to eat
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

  • We really have to change the way we eat, if we want to support a local & sustainable food source. We have to start eating with the seasons.
  • Most of the farmers in Canada are poised to retire, their average age is 56 years old. Interestingly though there are an abundance of young men and women ready to take their places, what we need is land for them to farm.
  • We need to shape food policy! Check out these websites and
Thank you Sarah Elton for an amazing evening! Susan and I were so impressed by everything Sarah shared with us we have bought a copy of her book, she generously signed it for us and now we are going to give it away to a lucky winner of our very first giveaway ever!

Check us out on Face book and Twitter or keep checking back to the blog for all the details.
Enjoy this beautiful day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween at 100 mile finds w/Sweets from the Earth

I did it! I handed out a healthy Halloween treat, and lived to tell the tale! Actually as word got out that we were dishing out cookies from "Sweets from the Earth" we seemed to become a destination stop in the hood! Kids loved getting chocolate chip cookies as a treat! We had our biggest turnout ever!
I think the secret for these guys is to have two campaigns. One geared towards families who battle allergies and sensitivities to food and a second to lucky families like us who just want to eat as healthy as we can! It's an added bonus that we're supporting a local and sustainable food source too! Now that I'm getting to know the folks at Borden Communications + Design, I'm trying to find out more about Fair Trade and how to support that initiative. There is allot going on there, that we need to be think about how to make sure we are leading the lives we want to!
Have a great 1st day of November everyone,

Friday, October 29, 2010

Shirley's excellent adventure

A few months ago Susan and I were lucky enough to get some amazing advice from Lisa Borden at Borden Communications + Design. Borden C+D is this very cool marketing and design firm that is really committed to living a more healthy life and all that, that means. Lisa gave us some really interesting insights on how to improve our business...

Soon after that they put a call-out for people to join "The Borden Team" as a member of the Borden Factor - Spreading the Good Buzz!  Talk about right up my alley! I applied, was accepted and then eagerly awaited my first assignment. A couple of weeks later there was a call out to taste a new local tea, somehow I didn't make the cut, hmph! It hurt, the rejection that is, but I'm tough, I moved on...
Then Alex sent out a call for people to hand out healthy cookies for Halloween! I thought healthy and cookie were mutually exclusive. We try to eat healthy 90% of time, maybe 80%,  so that we can indulge the other 10/20%, I think that is reasonable. Being someone who never turns down a challenge, I accepted the assignment! How bad can it be, right? People might egg your house for handing out toothbrushes, but I'm still handing out a treat, it should be okay!

Step 1: Pick up 100, individually wrapped, chocolate chip cookies from "Sweets from the Earth" a local (yay) bakery that specializes in "healthy" and I mean really healthy baked goods! These cookies are 100% vegan, dairy,egg & nut free, cholesterol and lactose free, with no preservatives, artificial colours or flavors AND they are kosher. Mmmm, that sounds great! Not really! What the heck have I gotten myself into?!

I've got the address, and then make a near fatal mistake by using Google maps ( I do it over and over again, not sure what that is all about) anyways, off I go! I do not know what the heck it wrong with them, they had me looping back (something I HATE doing) through about 1/2 the city. I FINALLY made it to the Borden Communications + Design headquarters and picked up my cookies. After a bit of chit chat they assured me the cookies tasted fantastic, ya ya, what else are they gonna say!

Step 2: Get home! Easy enough, the drive home is about 1/2 as long as the drive there, no looping this time. I'm a bit peckish so I decide to try one! OMG! I mumble with a full mouth, these are fantastic! They are really good! I figure that I better try one more, it's all for team. I was quite hungry when I tried the first cookie so I didn't really get a chance to savour the flavour as much as I should have. This is a big responsibility, that I am taking very seriously!
Step 3: Now this is going to be a real challenge. Not eating all the cookies before I hand any out!! It's only Friday morning and Halloween isn't until Sunday, NIGHT!
Don't worry I've got a plan. Since we don't get a ton of trick or treaters at our house my 9 year old daughter has agreed to provide them as a "healthy treat" at her class Halloween party! She, like me, is a real risk taker and is prepared to take one for the team! I'm so excited! I'm gonna be the Star Mom now! That never happens. Thank you Borden Communications and Sweets from the Earth for making that happen.

I will keep you updated on every step of our amazing adventure! Okay I'm gonna have one more cookie, but that's it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

my kidsquarters

 My husband and I are in the hockey years.  A few years ago an older gentleman at an arena told us about how much he misses carrying his sons' hockey bags to the car, and at the time I found it hard, no impossible to believe as I said no to the junk food at the canteen, for the umpteenth time and felt my back wince as I threw the bag over my shoulder.

I am starting to see that it is all finite though, and am feeling sentimental already about this time.  The years are fleeting.....but before I go completely maudlin, there is a reason for this long preamble.  When I saw these Stickheads hats, sold on 100 Mile Finds by my kidsquarters, I couldn't help smile.  What 'rink rat' wouldn't love them?
And there are T-shirts and merchandise to personalize with a full range of activities.  And don't forget the babies - they get their own customized blanket, a fabulous keepsake.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lets talk about Delicious - Cocoa Mosaic

  I went to Paris with a couple of friends a few years ago and fell in love with the macaroon.  Not the kind of love you would move mountains for, but significant love. When we came home I searched for a macaroon to send to my friend who organized the trip and it was no easy task.  Well, the search is over.  Cocoa Mosaic has macaroons, as well as truffles and caramelized chocolate almonds, all of the delicious variety.

Each handmade chocolate is made from the finest all natural ingredients without any preservatives.  Create your own personalized chocolates (you choose the design, flavour and packaging) allowing you to express yourself with chocolate, for that special gift.  What a perfect personalized corporate gift.
One drawback is that the lack of preservatives means they need to be eaten fresh - sad that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spa Sisters

Spa Sisters designs a luxury line of oh-so-pretty bath & body products that are made with pure and natural ingredients. From luxurious soufflé scrubs to lip butters, whipped body meringues to cocoa butter tub truffles, they pamper the hippest mamas and youngest babes.
Products are hip and swanky looking, but still great for your skin and our environment!

Who doesn't love a nice hot bath - especially now that the weather is cooling off.  Make your soak sweet with Spa Sisters 'Tub Truffles'.

Great for your skin, and no calories.  Or try a Mini Bath Bomb. Effervescent and skin softening (with olive and avocado oils).

Take a deep breath, and hop in. - Susan

I ordered some mini bombs, they arrived yesterday, can't wait to use them!! - Shirley

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Read for the Cure

Last night Susan, my Mom and I headed off to the Read for the Cure event. It was amazing! The tickets were $85 and they include copies of the 3 books that are featured at the event, and some yummy munchies, wine tastings and a fabulous evening among friends, soon to be friends, a great bunch of women for sure.

In 2005, members of a local book club faced several devastating diagnoses of cancer either personally or with parents and husbands. Humbled by what they were facing, and vowing to take charge when they felt like they had no control, they put their own spin on raising funds to help fight cancer. They weren't runners, they didn't want to walk for a cure, they wanted to read! Thus Read for the Cure was born!  Random House jumped on board and there has been no stopping them. The first event raised over $20,000 and last year over $70,000 was raised. You go girls!

At the Arcadian Court, in the Simpson's Tower downtown, a perfect room for this event, with it's high ceilings, huge crystal chandeliers and Romanesque pillars, Read for the Cure was hosted by the hilarious Carol Off. Catherine Gildiner authour of After the Falls started the evening off regaling us with priceless stories of her childhood and reminded an audience of mostly mothers, that our children pulling away from us as tweens & teens was actually good, it meant there wasn't a Norman Bates in the bunch!  Next up was Annabel Lyon, writer of The Golden Mean. Quiet spoken, strong and self effacing, she shared her passion for history and story telling in such an inviting way that I can't wait to read her book. Finally, Linden MacIntyre, husband of Carol Off, spoke eloquently about the book The Bishop's Man. He shared some quiet moments from his past, how he came to write the book, and what he had wanted it to say by writing it.
All in all, a fantastic evening! There is one more Read for the Cure event this year, on November 30th at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. If you have the chance I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Halloween is so 'scarily' close - scary decorations are popping up all over the neighbourhood.  We thought we had better remind you to pick up your Spooky Cards (perfect for that Halloween party invite) or your loot bag chocolates from Muffymade.

Meredith from Muffymade  has been designing and making cards for her family and friends since she first fell in love with Crayola. Her skills have definitely improved over the years and she has been able to create a collection of cards with sparkle, style and sass.
We'll be reminding you again of Muffymade with more special occasion products as they come up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fancy Pants Kids

It is the month for dressing up.  I love Halloween!  I am one of those people who has more Halloween decorations than Christmas decorations - and the less tasteful the better.  The great thing is, they are usually up and down within a week, and hopefully there is no snow to scrape off to put them away.

We highlighted this vendor in our Halloween newsletter, but one last reminder before the big day.  Fancy Pants Kids specializes in the design and construction of quality dramatic play garments for children.  These garments go beyond Halloween, and will be used by your kids all year long for dress up fun.  Durable, washable, fabulous and local.  Go have some fun!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Local Cosmetic companies at 100 mile finds

I hope you are visiting from our newsletter! If not, you should sign up and tell everyone you know that they should sign up too! Who doesn't want to know about all the great things available at 100 mile finds? If you want to receive our blog via email, let us know, we would be happy to oblige!

As promised, here are a few of the amazing local options available if you want to pamper & primp

Dalish cosmetics is the first vendor on our list. We met Melanie last year at a Pop Up show at the Burroughs's building. She has created this amazing line of cosmetics. Her line is all about looking fabulous in 5 minutes! She is 100% Canadian made and sources locally and is PETA approved! Her full set gift pack would be amazing in your gym bag or purse! My personal favorite is her eyeshadow, that doubles as lip gloss! I know, how great is that!

Cake Beauty is another great local story. Heather started Cake Beauty in her kitchen years ago. Sonia swears by her All Purpose Treatment Balms, my girls LOVE her Milkmade  Body Frothing Bath & Shower Cream. They come out of the tub smelling sooo yummy! My personal favorite is the Highlight Luminous Body Lotion, it makes me all soft and sparkly. They do amazing promos all the time, follow us on Facebook and we will keep you posted!

Pink Beauty April Jacob's is all about simple effortless beauty! Her philosophy is to create versatile beauty products which allow women to go from everyday to glamorous with minimal effort. Sounds good to me! To be honest I haven't had a chance to try anything from Pink Beauty. If any of you beauty officianodos have, tell us what you think!

I can not forget Mereadesso Inc.! I LOVE their stuff, love it! Essentially they have three products. Face + Neck Toning Gel, Face + Neck Cleanser and Beautiful Body Balm. I use their Face + Neck Toning Gel, it is amazing! It takes care of the moisturizer, toner, serum, primer, day cream, night cream and eye cream! It's the only cream in my regime! They claim that the longer you use the product the less you will need, it's true!

Have a great weekend everyone! If you know of any other great local products, cosmetic related or otherwise, we would love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pabrika Handmade

Cheryl Mendoza of Toronto is the crafter behind Pabrika Handmade. Cheryl creates pillows and jewellery.

Pabrika Handmade was started in late 2008 as a creative outlet from Cheryl's job as an engineer. Growing up crafting things of all sorts, starting the shop seemed inevitable. "Thanks to the incredible patience of my friends and family, who were (and still are) the guinea pigs for my handmade inventions, I perfected the construction of the ultimate throw pillow, with the signature Pabrika Handmade tie ribbons on the back. And with no real business plan, and the vague idea that "there should be a store that sells pillows of all sorts, sizes, colours, and shapes", Pabrika Handmade was born". Cheryl sells the pillow case, it saves on shipping costs. It's a great way to make a quick change to the look of a room. One of her many beautiful creations ia an amazing ring bearer pillows for the bride and groom to-be.

Cheryl also creates beautiful beaded jewellery too, featuring Swarovski crystals. Pictured here is the Kathryn necklace. This is truly a fun necklace, with five magenta Swarovski crystal beads (measuring 6mm) free to move about within the wrapped wire ball pendant. $20

Congratulations Cheryl, you truly are another 100 Mile Find!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Bruce and I headed off to Soupalicious this Saturday. I've never been before, I know they have an event like this in Hamilton that my parents have attended, my Dad was a bit of a soup officianado! They had had a blast, we had some wiggle room on Saturday, so off we went!

It was in the building just north of the Direct Energy building at the Ex. I love that area, it's like a little community unto itself! It seems so underutilized though. Every time I end up in there I try and think up a reason why I should be holding some kind of event! There was a Marlies game going on, and I'm sure so much more! Parking was $13 for eternity, so we were able to pass on our ticket to someone else, that feels so neighbourly! I love doing that! Don't tell the green P people though, I'm pretty sure they would frown upon it!

It was great to see the ladies from Hall's Kitchen there, and Cowbell restaurant too. We met a ton of potential vendors that I can't wait to get on the site. Marben restaurant was there and Veritas too! There are a ton of small local operations making fantastic soups available for sale.

100 mile finds is different things to different people. I mention this only because as far as restaurants go there are a ton of local directories that do a great job of letting the public know about what is out there. We list a few of the real pioneers and champions of local food, because really, they are our kind of people and we think they will appeal to our customer. Food is hard to sell on-line, it is heavy, therefor expensive to ship  and  often perishable, and they can be heat sensitive.  That is why having a local site is so great. You can see what is available locally AND the vendors can offer pick up, let the customer know shows that they are attending and list stores where there wares can be purchased. Really more of a directory than an on-line store in the case of many food vendors. We are all about letting the local customer know what is available. Enough about that!

The 'piece de resistance" as far as I was concerned, other than all the fabulous soup, of course,  was the taste test down by Local Food Plus. They made two soups with the identical recipe, one organic and locally sourced and the other from lands far away! The second you brought the local soup up to your mouth you could smell the pears, the other one, nothing, nadda, zip, zilch. I knew the local soup would win, but I had no idea how profound the difference would be!

I can not neglect to mention the butter tarts by Marty's World. OMG! The pastry was perfectly crumbly and the filling, not too sugary, but sugary enough! What a great way to finish off Soupalicious!

Have a great short week everyone!

Blog Archive