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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!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mad with Rapture Studio

Mad with Rapture Studio is a destination at 100 Mile Finds if you are looking for vivid, inspired paintings. The artist is Patti Agapi of Orillia Ontario. Patti creates contemporary abstract mixed media and collage art. Each piece is unique.

Patti is a self-taught & ever-evolving Canadian Artist. According to Patti, "I like to consider each of my works as an echo - a recording of the often obsessive internal paradoxes that haunt me - the little and big questions, every wave of thought accumulating in subtle layers of ideas and epiphanies ...
I work mostly in acrylics and mixed media, experimently lately with collage. My techniques vary depending on many factors - my moods, the seasons, what materials lay on hand. I focus on the "process" and strive to create and express the on-going dialogue that flows throughout my body".

Thanks for the insight Patti. We always want to hear a bit about the person and the story behind our fabulous finds.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sponge Flower Creations

 Sponge Flower Creations is a new vendor at 100 Mile Finds. Deirdre creates pendants, magnets, key chains, or cuff links using images photographed from any kind of drawing, painting, or other media. Think of using your child's artwork - how much would they love that? How much would Grama or Grandpa love that?! What about a new twist on a locket? So not only are you having a piece custom made, but someone you love may be a part of the creation. Custom work is so much more fun than buying one of 1 million off the shelf. This is truly unique.

Deirdre also welcomes fundraiser and bulk order. Perfect for a kids' sports team fundraiser - maybe use the team logo?
Dierdre has also depicted images from her personal photography collection that are available for sale. Check them out, they are amazing!

Either way, you can purchase directly through their 100 Mile Finds store. Gift certificates are also available, you could send one to one of you favorite little people and ask them to create something unforgettable for you. Talk about making gift giving (and receiving) easy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear Sukie

We met Kristy Boucher of Dear Sukie at the Purple Thumb last year when they were having their Saturday morning craft shows. I have had one of her wallets in my purse ever since! In fact, it is where I keep my 100 Mile Finds cards.

All the Dear Sukie wallets are handmade from a selection of patterned papers which are ordered in small amounts, so once a pattern is gone it usually does not return. That makes them very unique! You definitely won't see anyone else with the exact same Dear Sukie wallet as you. On the 100 Mile Find Dear Sukie page, you can link to a page full of photos of various papers used to create the wallets.

A great gift for a teen - you know you are starting to think about gift giving....

Friday, October 1, 2010

THE REFINERY at 100 mile finds

The Refinery is a creative image consulting company, I didn't even know such a thing existed! 

Their mission is "to help real woman find clothing and accessories that enhance their personal style and are practical for their daily lives!" LOVE IT!

I'm feeling giddy as I research this, it sounds like so much fun! If you want to start small you could order a "Shop Your Closet" package for $120. Together you and the Refinery, shop your closet and assemble up to 30 chic new outfits FROM CLOTHES YOU ALREADY HAVE! sorry I didn't mean to shout. The outfits will be designed to fit your current lifestyle (I still have a ton of stuff in my closet that worked in my 'life before children' lifestyle, not so good now!) They offer tips on your own personal style and how to make old stuff feel new again.

What about a "Private Group Boutique Shopping Tour" The Refinery will totally customize it for you. As you can imagine they would know all the cool stores and boutiques out there and it's always good to shop with an expert, they know where all the deals are too! Group sizes are 2-6, at a total of $350, additional ladies are $50,  can you say "girls day out"?

Now if those two options don't peak your interest, what about the "Seasonal Style Update" The Refinery will come in, go through your closet with you, find out what works, what you need to update your look, shop with your for those pieces AND design up to 30 'go-to' outfits. I know, how cool is that?! For a mere $500!

Gentleman, this sounds like a great gift! Ladies, why not treat yourselves!?
Happy shopping...