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.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Susan and I went to the Huttonville Antique and Craft show on Sunday. We needed some practice before we hit the One of a Kind Show tomorrow!
As luck would have it Sharlene from Veronica's Sweets was there. It was so great to talk to her and find out just how 'local' her product is. I grabbed a jar of the Red Wine Onion Spiked Jam for us and a jar of the Red Pepper Icewine Jam for our friend visiting from Germany!

Veronica's Sweets specializes in 'Spiked Jams' They are made in small batches, with the freshest of ingredients (of course) and then a liquor is added to create a fantastically distinct product. Sharlene spoke of the one of the liquors coming from, I can't remember his name, but she goes to his house to pick it up! LOVE IT!

Veronica's Sweets are sold at Cheese Shoppe on Locke, 190 Locke St. in Hamilton, at Nature's Corner in Ridgeville, The Irish Shoppe, both of their Keene and Peterborough locations and at the Welland Flower Shop.

There were some other great artisans at the show. Mix it Up! sells spices, dips and seasonings. They are really smart because they sell everything as spice mixtures so they aren't heavy to ship. Sounds like they would do really well on a local shopping website, hmmmm!

I bought a package of their Spicy Caliente Dip! Yummy! I just added it to some sour cream and now I'm munching on veggies feelin' good about life! They also have mixtures for salsa and bruschetta, chili and for dipping oils. I'm gonna try their chili mixture next!

These guys aren't on 100 mile finds, YET, but they really should be, don't you think?

It is absolutely gorgeous out there and it's only going to get better over the next couple of days. I'm heading out to soak up some sunshine!
Have a great day!

Monday, March 29, 2010

100 mile newsletter updates!

In an effort to find out even more about what's going on in the city I've been signing up for newsletters from some of our vendors and other cool organizations that just haven't had time to join us!! It's amazing what is going on out there. Here's a few gems!

This is coming up tomorrow evening, sounds pretty cool!

Want something a little different this Easter? Why not try a mookie from JinjaNinja?

Did you hear that Delight opened a second location? Now not only are they located in the Junction at 3040 Dundas Street West,  but they have a new store at 805 Queen Street West, between Bathurst and Trinity Bellwoods Park. It's going to be a beautiful week, you should check out the new location and then take a walk around the park! Sounds like fun to me!

Need a nice hostess gift for this weekend? Alli's Originals has these great new beaded canape knives. One of those with a local cheese, you've got a great local hostess gift!

Okay this one isn't from a newsletter but how can I talk about  Easter without mentioning these guys?! Looking for a sophisticated, yet chocolately way to say 'Happy Easter'? You need to take a trip down to the Distillery District to SOMA chocolatemakers  They have the Racally Rabbit available in Dark Peruvian  Chocolate 64%, Costa Rican Mild Chocolate 32%, Creamy White Chocolate and Sugar-free Dark Chocolate. OMG, I'm salivating!
They are also offering beautiful handmade chocolate eggs! They are artisan chocolate eggs spray-painted with chocolate nestled on a solid chocolate nest. They also promise that a new, tasty, not yet released SOMA surprise hides within each egg!!! 

Now this sounds like a whole lotta fun!

This is being offered by CaveSprings and Inn on the Twenty.

On Saturday April 17th, join our Winemaker, Angelo Pavan, for an enjoyable and unique weekend as he presents our new vintage wines.

Saturday evening you will be treated to our New Release Tasting complete with hors d'oeuvres, followed by a five-course Winemaker's Dinner served in our intimate Vintners Cellar. Our Executive Chef, Kevin Maniaci, has carefully crafted this menu to pair with each wine and is sure to delight your senses.

Following breakfast on Sunday morning, Angelo will lead you in a private tutored tasting of our very best wines to date and give you the opportunity to purchase back vintage wines from our cellar.

Your choice - take part in the weekend experience or attend the Winemaker's Dinner only

Overnight accommodations package from $228 per person

Release tasting and dinner including wines, $131 per person

*prices do not include applicable taxes and gratuities.

This one I did find from a newsletter, the website doesn't make any mention of it. I think your best bet is to email them at  If you go, you have to do me two favors, well you don't have to, but who knows what will happen to you if you don't!!! 
Tell them how ya' heard about it, and then let us know what you thought about the event. It really seems the least you can do!

Susan and I are off to the One of A Kind Show on Wednesday! Can't wait! 

Friday, March 26, 2010

54th Annual
Saturday March 27 & Sunday March 28, 2010
10am – 4:30pm
Huttonville Community School
2322 Embleton Road
(just west of Mississauga Road)
Brampton, ON
Admission – $4.00/adult
Featuring 120 Jury Selected Ontario Artisans and Antique Dealers
Susan and I are heading off to the Huttonville Craft and Antique Show on Sunday. We're always on the lookout for new  vendors. Wish us luck!
Have a great weekend!

Shopping in the Junction!

This week I ended up getting a chance to check out Black Daffodil in the Junction! You've got to check it out! Cynthia Rea sells her own designs there under the Black Daffodil label and carries a bunch of local and Canadian designers.

When I walked into the store, this hilarious little dog walked up to me and casually put his front paws on my thighs, just a nice little hello!
The merchandise there has a bit of a vintage feel, not too expensive, all of it really cool!

Then you have to head up the street to Trap Door. Another amazing store!

They carry If-Individually fashioned, Beta Clothing, , Plastik Wrap, dirty-little-secret, to name but a few! It was like being in a candy store. I didn't know what to choose. These guys are a little bit more expensive, the clothes they carry can easily carry you from day to evening, beautiful stuff.  I can't believe these stores have been so close by and this is my first time in both of them.

After all that shopping you've got to  head off to Delight to pick up your Easter chocolates, I hear they've got some great new stuff!  Maybe grab a coffee and a treat for yourself? If you need something more substantial why not drop into Rawlicious?

There are a few other 100 Mile Finds Junction destinations:

The Sweet Potato - for local and organic foods
Smash , Simardone and Post and Beam Reclamation - for the home
Pandemonium - for some books and maybe a CD
and of course Wise Daughters for something beautifully crafted.

I love the Junction!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some great new vendors at 100 mile finds!

 Alli's Originals has joined the site! Yeah! I LOVE her stuff! She is from Thornhill and she creates hand stamped sterling silver jewelry. Each piece is customized with names, dates, words, phrases or symbols.

There are bangles with charms, on the right are what she calls 'Janes Charm Necklace' 

Check out the adorable dog tag for the dog that has everything!

She also offers some t-shirts with great sayings like 
"be the change you want to see in the world' - Ghandi  

Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly! 
'Don't Compromise Yourself. You're all you've got - Janis Joplin

My eleven year old daughter keeps talking about good reasons she should be getting an Alli's Original! At least she's not talking about a cell phone!
Have a great, rainy day! Let me know when you see your first crocus!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Food Inc.

I saw Food Inc. last night! Wow! It really is a must see, allot easier to watch than I thought too! I've been waiting for just the right moment to watch it. I really felt I should watch it, but was dreading it all at the same time. It's very well done. Many of the farmers they interview, are amazing characters that give you hope for the future. Each of them so passionate about the work they are/were doing!

To me it is such a statement that we need to buy local! I found it scary, yet empowering! There are things we can do to make a difference. We've just to get out there and do it!

It is so sad that it is cheaper to eat unhealthy food than it is to eat locally made produce. How did we let this happen?!
The living conditions of some of the animals is heart-breaking! There has to be consequences to treating other living beings this way, it can't be good for the meat or dairy they produce. How the government works to protect the big corporation rather than the little guy makes me feel ashamed. Why can't a company simply apologize for letting a little boy die? Why are the farmers so scared to say anything about the deplorable conditions? The movie raises so many questions. Keep in mind that this is a statement on the American food system, but I don't think we can revel in that for too long!

Seriously, go out and rent it and then go grocery shopping!It will be a totally different experience, I'm sure.

What I took away from this film is that for those of us who can afford it, it is our responsibility to buy locally grown/manufactured foods, there are allot of people out there who don't have that option. On  a purely selfish note, when the whole American food industry collapses, and apparently it will,  we need to have small, independent growers alive and well so we all have something to eat! If we support them now, they will support us now and later! These are our peeps, we want to support them anyways, this is just another good reason why!

Now off to the Farmer's Markets everyone! Check those labels people! We've got a job to do!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Check out our shows and sales page!

There is lots going on in the neighborhood! Finally everyone is starting to come out of their winter hibernations! The One of A Kind Show is coming up, that is always a huge show with tons of local vendors but there are so many great little shows and events that you shouldn't miss!

Ransack the Universe are these great little t-shirt creators that have just opened at storefront at 1207 Bloor St. W. They carry, of course, their own stuff, but that of other artisans too, like fellow vendor Kaotic Ekko's Curiosities "If you've ever wondered what would happen if Willy Wonka shacked up with your Grandma in a basement apartment...come visit us!" LOVE IT!

Well, they are holding an Indie Craft Fair! Here's the blurb...

Ransack the Universe presents:
An Indie Craft Fair
Like cool and unique stuff? Need an antidote to mass-produced disposable culture? Craft curious? Here's your chance to experiment in a comfortable and familiar atmosphere -- a bar!
We've rounded up a posse of crafters, makers, and artists of all kinds as they emerge from their winter cocoons to offer what they've been squirreled away creating.
Saturday April 10th
@ The Garrison (1197 Dundas St. West)
Free Admission
Multiple vendors offering groovy & creative gifts.
Featuring arts and crafts, clothing, baked goods, and a bunch of other items that sparkle and smell nice!
See you there!?
Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My local adventures!

I'm spending March Break up in the Collingwood area and loving, among other things, how they celebrate everything local! I've made a bunch of great finds.

Let me start with Budda Dog! I'd heard of these guys,they are 'local champions' that hale from Prince Edward County. They also have a location not far from where I live in TO. Sadly, I haven't had the chance to go in!  Finally the perfect opportunity! Its raining, (so we're running errands instead of skiing), and now we're looking for somewhere to eat lunch.

Found it!!

You walk into this great space in Collingwood, right across the street from the Loblaws. There is a bar where you order your hot dogs, it is lined with old ski tips. Perfect for the area! On the wall behind the bar there are the details about what to do.  It's easy. You start with a budda dog (right now you have the option to choose between beef and pork), did you know that March 1st was National Pork Day? Donna knew, now we know!

Then you add a local cheese, Donna explains where each cheese comes from, then a sauce, one of the sauces we chose, was made by the lady who works at the gas station down the street, if that doesn't deserve a "Love it!" I don't know what does. Did I mention the buns are from the Thornbury bakery? They are whole wheat and a trade marked recipe. They are really yummy, it ain't easy to get my 11 year old to eats buns, especially if they are whole wheat, no problem today though! The girls then picked a drink from a selection of Pop Shoppe pops, remember them?! The Eddie Shack commercials, it brings back the old days. They had healthy stuff to drink too, but we didn't want to overdo it!

Although we didn't try any of these, there are salads, Buddha bowls of soups and chilis available and a selection of yummy tarts and cupcakes! Okay we tried the cupcakes, they were amazing!

There are several seating options, we chose the comfy loveseat and chair area right near where they keep all the Buddha Dog apparel, seriously, who doesn't need a Buddha Dog hat? The walls of the restaurant are lined with chalk boards that have a map of the area with a whole bunch of great local finds listed!

The whole time we were enjoying our dogs Donna let everyone who came in know about this or that great local find! It was the most satisfying lunch I'd had in a long time!

I've got to get out and enjoy this sunshine! Have a great day, wherever you are!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Congratulations to KC's hats!

David Dunkley of KC's Hats has been chosen as a winner of the 2009 Hatty Award!

This award represents " the leading international honor for the top headwear industry stars that have created the greatest impact and reached the highest acheivements in the previous year."  Not too shabby!!!

Denise Keller, Publisher of Hat Life explains "The Hatty Awards have served to intensify the spotlight on the headwear industry in a manner that not only honors individual contributions, but draws international attention to the exciting developments occurring in this extremely dynamic fashion segment,"

These awards were given out to 30 headwear designers and business  from all over the world. David was one of three Canadians recognized.

If you are into hats go to,  they have an Annual Hat Life Book. It's 380 pages of headware articles, resources and photos from every that is headwear!

Don't forget to reset your clocks! We have sprung forward! 

1 day of March break officially behind us, 8 to go!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Coy Clothes at 100 mile finds

Here is a great find! 
Coy Clothes is this amazing little t-shirt company based out of Toronto. 

They pair silk-screened retro advertising art with cheeky text. They have great t's for him, for her, and the kids! They also make great use of old patches everything from uniform nametags to law enforcement badges.

Here's a few of my favs.

 Have a great March Break everyone! Life is good!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sprockets film festival is coming to town!

The Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children is an amazing week long event. An initiative of TIFF, it gives kids (and their parents and teachers) the chance to learn about different cultural perspectives from around the world. There is everything from public programming for 3 year olds to week long school programs for kids in grades one through 12. This is a chance to see the best of Canadian and international films for children and youth, often the only opportunity we will get.

As usual the girls and I will join friends of ours for a full day of film viewing. Half the fun is going through the line up and finding out what there is to see! First we pick all the movies we want to see, then we see when they are on and on which days, then we co-ordinate movie choices to maximize viewing without over doing it! No easy task, that's for sure!

There are a ton of Canadian films this year!  They have a program called Canadian Shorts featuring, as you may have guessed, a selection of short film by Canadians.

Because I'm a Girl
Simonee Chichester / Torey Kohara & Jon Weinman
A compelling documentary that celebrates "it only takes one girl to change the world"

Jump Cuts is an outstanding selection of short films created by young people. It is the best work by Ontario youths, grades 3-12.

Reel Injun: Using film clips and interviewing filmmakers, actors and scholars, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explores the portrayal of Native peoples across more than a century of cinema in this insightful and highly entertaining documentary.

Often there are stars and directors from the Canadian films there to talk to the audience. This can be a really great experience for kids and adults alike.

There are incredible hands-on workshops too! How about Guerrilla Filmmaking with Jared Raab?

Once again, feelin' pretty lucky to living in TO!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tree tapping update and Enfleurage Organics

Tree Tapping Update March 8, 2010: There's really not much to it. All we have done is empty the pop bottles of sap into juice containers and put them in the freezer. For some reason William is offering up allot more sap than Billy Bob Bo-Jack, and neither one of them have offered up much in the last 24 hours. Could it be the balmy weather? Don't know.

I don't think the pioneers lead very exciting lives. If one wanted to describe something as boring back in the day, you could well have chosen the phrase "like watching sap drip". That's only me though, the girls are fascinated by the whole process, they can't wait to get home and empty the bottles, record the data and see who's tap has produced more sap! I wonder how long that's going to last?!?!

We've made another great 100 mile find:  Enfleurage Organics is a funky little soap company based out of Oakville. A big hit of theirs is a bamboo charcoal soap which is naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

Face Works is their #1 selling soap. It cleans off the makeup, moisturizes and cleanses the skin all at once! You can use it all over your body too! You can find it at LaDolce Vita Spa on Kerr St. in Oakville. For all you dog lovers out there, they also carry a gluten free dog soap! Love it!

What a gorgeous day in TO, make sure you get out there and enjoy this beautiful day! What about a drive to Oakville to pick up some soap? Hmmmm

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tree tapping tutorial

The lovely ladies from Not far from the Tree came by last night to set us up as tree tappers!I don't know how the pioneers did it, we had a a cordless drill, should have had a hammer but the butt of a cordless drill works just fine too! We had two plastic taps, the only thing old time about this operation was the string!

We've got 2 taps, we've named them, William and Billy Bob Bo-Jack. The girls named them, not me!
I can see Billy Bob Bo-Jack from where I'm sitting and he's about 1/3 full already! We are to empty them 3 times a day, at noon, 5pm, and 10pm. All we have to do is empty the pop bottles into jugs and stick them in the freezer. We have a log to keep, but other than that it seems pretty straight forward. I think I'm gonna need some more used plastic pop bottles and orange juice jugs though.

I'm feelin' very granola, living off the land like this!
Have a great day!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not far from the tree

Not far from the Tree is an organization that offers a residential fruit-picking program. Seriously!

They help residential fruit tree owners (who knew that could be a label?!)make use of the abundance of fruit that their trees offer by dispatching teams of volunteers to harvest it for them. 1/3 of the fruit goes to the owners,1/3 goes to the volunteers for their labour and the final third is distributed (by bike or cart, of course) to community organizations in the neighbourhood who can make good use of the fresh fruit.Once again, I have to say, how great is that?!

Susan stumbled across these guys, and I kinda gave her a hard time about it, sorry Susan, you were right, as usual! Sometimes I'm not as granola as I should be.  Anyways...

In 2008 they picked over 3,000 lbs of fruit in Toronto Ward 21, that is a heck of allot fruit people. As I read their blog I discovered that were looking for trees to tap. We have a tree, a maple tree. So I sent off an email to see if we qualified.
Great news, we have a Norway Maple, and it's tapable! Now we are just waiting for the people from 'Not far from the Tree' to give us our tapping tutorial and we are on our way. I feel like I should be wearing calico and serviceable footwear and a bonnet. Somebody call Laura Ingall's and let her know what's going on!

I will keep you all posted on every phase of this exciting adventure! I know you can't wait for the next installment
Enjoy the great weather and the PA day tomorrow,

Thank you, Canada!

I am always a proud Canadian, sometimes more proud than others. This makes me feel like not only a proud Canadian but a proud citizen of the world!
This is from the NBC Olympic anchorman:

Leaving behind a thank-you note
Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor

After tonight's broadcast and after looting our hotel mini-bars, we're going to try to brave the blizzard and fly east to home and hearth, and to do laundry well into next week.? Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.

Thank you, Canada:

For being such good hosts.

For your unfailing courtesy.

For your (mostly) beautiful weather.

For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.

For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents.
For your unique TV commercials -- for companies like Tim Hortons -- which made us laugh and cry.

For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.

For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games -- you've made wearing your name a cool thing to do.

For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.

For not honking your horns. I didn't hear one car horn in 15 days -- which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting.

For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.

For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.

For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary.

For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one.

For always saying nice things about the United States...when you know we're listening.

For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.

                For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.

Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

me to we style - another great local find!

Me to We style is an amazing new social enterprise. They are a clothing manufacturer that specializes in t-shirts, hoodies and yoga wear type clothing. They are committed to providing ethically manufactured, quality apparel for the socially-conscious consumer. Their products are domestically produced, sweatshop-free and made using certified organic cotton and viscose from bamboo. If that isn't enough, 50% of the profits goes to their charity partner, Free The Children.
You can buy directly from them on-line for your own personal use or as a fabulous gift! They have some great designs...

"it's your resolution - look good doing it" For $75. the yoga package includes a super soft Caribbean Tank Top in asphalt, and the popular Lamu Yoga Pant in black. Start stretching ladies!

They also do wholesale and custom work! Need a corporate t-shirt? Me to We Style is the official provider of apparel for the 2010 JUNO Awards, how cool is that? How great would it be if our kids school t-shirts were provided by Me to We Style? Pretty Great! Spread the word people, spread the word!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jinja Ninja custom cookies joins

Jinja Ninja is this amazing little cookie company in Toronto. Beverly Horii an architect/interior designer is the brains behind this designer cookie company. Creator of the mookie, "a special creation for your special occasion. It's a cookie with a message, and there's a special piece for everyone."

What a great way to say thank you for a job well done! The large mookies are wrapped in cellophane and placed in a box for shipping. Smaller mookies come with a backboard and are sealed in a cello bag. Cookies can be shipped anywhere in Canada or you can pick up your order from their premises.

 What an amazing idea for a bridal or baby shower! What about a new take on a wedding cake?! Yummy!
This is an amazing idea for birthdays too! They are almost too pretty to eat, almost!