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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 29, 2011

Mama Earth Organics Box # 2

The Mama Earth Organics experience continues... Again a reminder email arrived in my in box on Friday with a list of what would be in my box on Monday, and an opportunity to make any changes and/or additions. I left my tote out Monday morning and my box of organic veggies arrived at some point during the afternoon! Since I've never done this before, I wasn't sure what to expect, especially this time of year. I mean how much local produce is available in March? I was worried that we were going to be inundated with the same stuff week after week, and in large quantities! There was no need to worry! Now I've got apples, a rutabaga, some kinda squash, parsnips, some more yummy looking greens, more mushrooms (just enough for 2 servings though, so we're enjoying them without getting sick of them). I almost forgot to mention the carrots, they didn't last very long. My ten year old LOVES carrots that still have the lettuce attached to them! :-) This time some red onions were in the mix too. I usually don't cook with onions as much as I have lately but they really add a fullness of flavour to soups and salads.
One of my favourite things about this experience is that I am discovering new recipes and working with new veggies. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut! This week I'm gonna make a rutabaga soup with apples and onions.
I would definitely recommend Mama Earth Organics if you are trying to buy more local produce and want to experiment with some "new" veggie options!
Bon Apetite!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Is your skin tired of winter too?  Take a trip to the beach with Sheebody.
SheeBody is a fun collection of unique and aromatic body creams, a premium 'feel-good' skin treat.  Sheelagh created Sheebody with the beach in mind - warm, fun, playful and nostalgic.
All of Sheebody's delicious products are made to order, handcrafted in small batches, so you can be assured the product you are receiving is fresh, free from harmful chemicals and lovingly ready for your skin.  Sheebody products are Paraben free, naturally derived and contain no Petroleum products. 
Body creams in 1.5 oz. (Happy Rounds) and 4 oz.(Sweeties) sizes available through 100 Mile Finds.
I am definitely ready for spring, but a little treat for the skin is in order any time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mama Earth Organics - I love it!

Mama Earth Organics is a vendor on our site. Recently they did a FabFind deal and I bought 2 "shares"! My first share arrived on Monday and I love it! LOVE IT!
First they send you an email reminding you that you have a drop off scheduled and giving you a list of what's in your box and the opportunity to make any changes! Very cool!
Then there was a quick knock on the door on Monday afternoon and our Local Basket was there, just like a stork had dropped it off!
The girls were so excited! There was a bunch of stuff I wouldn't ordinarily buy, but so far we are totally on track to eat everything. I'm going to make a beet dish tonight! Yikes! Just so you know, I am a proud beet hater, but there is roasting, garlic and lemon involved in the dish I'm preparing, so keep your fingers crossed. Maybe I'll be a convert!

Not only is there a bunch of yummy fruits and veggies but there is a great newsletter with your invoice and some recipes and some great quotes and anecdotes. They are facebook too! I "liked" em already!

The website is very informative too! They've got options to add to your box, request never sends... They have a whole bunch of other food options too. You can have breads, grains & cereals, coffee & tea, dairy, snacky stuff, spreads & syrups, there are volume buy opportunities too! I know, it's great!

I'm the type of shopper that I go to the grocery store every few days and get what I need. I plan my menus ahead of time and then go get what I want. This whole basket thing puts a completely different spin on it! I just had to get a couple of basics from the store and then went on-line to find some recipes. I made Butternut Squash for the first time, I might add it was pretty fantastic. We had a great salad with fish last night. Everybody has been enjoying apples all week. I made a pico de gallo with the cilantro! Onions are going in everything!
On Monday we have to have our Rubbermaid tote out on the porch by noon and then voila! a stork will drop off another basket full of local, organic produce!

I'll let you know how the beet dish goes and what's in basket #2!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Art That Moves

100 Mile Finds welcomes Art that Moves to our increasingly expanding and fabulous cadre of vendors.
Christine’s visual pieces revolve around the evolution of spirituality, the practice of yoga - and especially women and their diverse manifestations of beauty. Over the years Christine added print-making to her work - creating and working with lino blocks, etchings, and silk screening allowed her to explore graphic images. I was drawn to print making because of it's joyful graphic nature. Christine says, "Printing feels like shorthand. I love how it communicates clearly at our most primitive level."

Christine brings art into your home through her unique prints on pillows featured at 100 Mile Finds.  What a great girlfriend gift.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrating the Irish

The philosophy of 100 Mile Finds embodies community, and reminds me of how pioneer settlements of early Ontario became villages, and often grew into prosperous towns and cities. It was the presence and cooperation of local mills, businessmen, craftsmen, and surrounding farms that allowed this evolution. Farmers no longer had to carry heavy sacks of grain twenty or more miles through the bush to the nearest mill, and could barter butter for bonnets at the general store, or eggs for nails from the blacksmith. Or grain for barrels of whiskey from the local distillery, but that’s another story!

My hometown of Lindsay was, to a large extent, settled by Irish immigrants in the 1830s -  by that I mean that they had to hack a clearing out of the primeval forests, and struggle to survive in the primitive, inhospitable “backwoods” of Upper Canada. The trees that they cut down were squared into logs and used to build their first homes. House-raising “bees” were common, involving all the neighbours from miles around, who could literally erect a cabin in one day - fueled by free food and whiskey. But even the best of these dwellings were bitterly cold in winter. One “gentlewoman” wrote in a letter home that the temperature in her bedroom was 3 degrees Fahrenheit (-16 C)! Water froze in jugs set in front of fireplaces - which had to be kept burning for cooking throughout the blistering hot and humid summers as well.

But there were also plentiful fish in the lakes and rivers that belonged to no one, unlike in the “Old Country”. Migrating birds were sometimes so thick in the skies that they could be picked off from the settlers’ front steps, and indeed, the passenger pigeon, which once travelled in flocks of up to 2 billion birds, became extinct by 1914. Deer and moose and other wild game were there for the taking, and land was often free to those willing to clear it. For those who had the stamina of mind, body, and spirit to survive, it was indeed a land of opportunity.

You can get a sense of these early communities by visiting living museums Like Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, or Lang Pioneer Village near Peterborough.

You can also travel to the past through the pages of my novel, A Place To Call Home, which is based on the history of Lindsay, and celebrates those intrepid pioneers. Here’s what Writer's Digest Magazine had to say about it:
"A Place To Call Home is a gripping and fascinating saga about an Irish family's immigration to Canada and the building and founding of the [fictional] Ontario town called Launston Mills. Wills masterfully traces the development of the town, told through the eyes of Irish immigrant, Rowena, and her son, Keir. The historical facts were flawlessly researched, but rather than it reading like a series of facts, Wills peopled the book with vivid and very real characters whose experiences captivate the reader. .... An exceptionally well-told story... A Place To Call Home offers a delightful glimpse into Canada's past, told through characters who come to life and jump off the page."

Gabriele Wills also has "The Summer Before the Storm", "Elusive Dawn" and "Moon Hall" available for sale on 100 mile finds in her store Mindshadows

Monday, March 14, 2011

Last minute March Break ideas

Clearly you are home for the break. If the kids aren't in camp the whole week you are going to need something to do, am I right? Here are some great local options that won't break the bank!

First might I suggest you check our blog Tips and Tricks for surviving March Break. There are some great ideas in there. Now moving on to new information.

Did you know that Pioneer Village opens up for March Break? Just found out myself!

You can check out their website for all the details.

Evergreen Brickworks is another great place. There's the Young Welcome Centre, the Don Valley Brick Works Park and they've got different stuff going on at different times.

On Thursday March 17th they are having quite an evening planned. It runs from 6-9pm there will be a rocking skating party, fun food activities, honey-soaked treats, and a screening of the dcoumentary vanishing of the Bees. There will be an expert panel discussion on the issues and how you can get involved. Check out our S&S page for all the details.

Just need a couple of hours taken care of? What about a trip to the Revue Cinema? It's more fun than Cineplex, you feel like you are taking a trip into the past. I always expect to see Ritchie Cunningham and the gang there!

Wise Daughters Craft Market is offering a bunch of different workshops. Stuffies workshop, Tuesday, March 15, 10-12pm, 5+, Sock Creatures workshop, Thursday, March 17, 1-4:30pm, 8+, Learn to Knit, Friday, March 18, 1-4pm, ages 6+.

There are amazing neighbourhoods to explore with the kids too. Check out the "Tips & Tricks for surviving March Break" blog for some ideas on how to spend a day in Roncesvalles, also Leslieville has an amazing array of shops, restaurants and ice cream parlours to discover. Dorly Designs is a personal favourite of ours. They carry lots of local artisans there, including Adornments. Maybe you could squeeze a little shopping in. There are also the murals of Leslieville too. You could drive/walk around looking for all of them.

Hope you have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

l'enveloppe rouge

Fabulous new retailer in Bloor West village that is one-stop shopping for gifts and paper products supporting unique local artists.

From jewellery, mirrors, hooks, shopping totes, aprons and organic cotton bibs made by local artisans, to lovely journals and cards made in Canada, the owners hope that you will enjoy these items as much as she takes  pleasure in finding them.  

Check out these screen printed onesies by local artist Katie Doner and fabulous handmande aprons by former costume designer Bent Needle.

Take a trip to Bloor west, have a coffee at one of the local bakeries, and pop into l'enveloppe rouge.  It's worth the trip.    


I have just about run out of my current batch of moisturizer/toner/everything else and I'm on the hunt for something new. And if you know me, I want it to be local, I didn't have time to order anything (time is the killer of local, which is so weird) so I headed off to Shoppers Drug Mart to see what they had. As luck would have it, Dermaglow was having a promo AND there was a rep on hand to help me out!

Things you may not know!
  • did you know Dermaglow is from Woodbridge?
  • did you know that their sunscreen is one of the few major brands that is paraban free?
  • check out their website, at the bottom is a "Free Samples" tab. You can get a 20% discount off your next Dermaglow purchase, they have a newsletter and Face Book & Twitter. FB&T are great for getting info on deals and promos. I've signed up for everything, so if you follow 100milefinds on FB&T I will let you know about any deals. To be honest though, not a lot of companies keep their websites up-to-date and are often occasional at best when posting on FB&T. I'm noticing flurries of posts with long periods of inactivity in between, it seems to be pretty standard throughout any of the bigger companies. We'll see how Dermaglow does.
  • Also Shoppers Drug Mart does a lot of promos with them, so following them on FB&T could save you a buck or two, too! Getting in the cosmeticians "book" as a Dermaglow customer will ensure getting updates on promos too.
So here are my "issues" I have dark circles and bags under my eyes and I want to stop aging! At the very least slow the process down! My concern is not so much wrinkles as my skin isn't as firm as I would like it to be. I'm also one of those people that prides herself on how fast I can get ready in the morning so I don't want a million products. Oh yea, and I'm cheap! Good luck Dermaglow rep, may God be with you!

I was in Owen Sound when I made the purchase and I'm so sorry I didn't get the Dermaglow reps name. She was amazing! She was passionate about the products and really made sure that she was addressing the issues I was concerned about. So here is what I ended up with, the roller thingy aka "Triple Action Eye Lift", Advanced Wrinkle Therapy, Hydration Fix Serum, and a 70 sunscreen for my face. I've been using the products for a week (haven't tried the sunscreen yet, if all goes well I will have it on my face on Saturday!) and here are the results I've seen. First I love that roller thingy for under your eyes. It feels great in the morning it's cool, so it really wakes up your eyes and it plumps up your eye area. I LOVE that, 'cause I need plumping! The Advanced Wrinkle Therapy has an almost chocolatey smell when you apply it. You just need a tiny bit. I'm using that as my moisturizer in conjunction with the Hydration Fix Serum. It is amazing! It makes your skin feel dewy without looking wet. I hate when skin looks wet, too me that means sweaty and that is not the look I'm going for! The sunscreen promises not to be sheer and non-greasy, God I hope so!

They have a new "Anti Gravity Cream" that's what I'll be buying next with my 20% discount!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Some great local finds in the Meaford area - EcoInhabit: Earth Inspired Living

    For the last several years my family and I have rented a beautiful farmhouse just outside of Meaford. Usually we head up on a Friday night, ski all day Saturday and all day Sunday and then head back to Toronto. This year, not sure what happened, but we are taking a much more leisurely approach. We may not be getting us much exercise but we are making some great local finds!

    There has been this one place that both, Mr. X (code word for 'my husband') and I have been dying to go into but have always had the kids with us (and knew, from past experience, that, that could totally take all the fun out of it!) Finally we had the opportunity!

    EcoInhabit: Earth Inspired Living is on Hwy. 26, this side of Meaford. It is housed in a beautifully restored barn visable from the highway. Once you get inside it is a big airy space with lots of "earth friendly and socially sustainable products for building, you, and your home". They carry Mini Mioche, Cate & Levi, to name but a few of the local companies and there is everything from Baby gear to paint and furniture.
    If you are looking for eco-friendly and sustainable products these folks can help you. One of the links on their website, it's under the News & Media tab is a summer eco tour. It lists several destinations in that area that have met the owners strict criteria to be dubbed "eco-friendly" if you are in the area it certainly gives you some great options to visit.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Alchemy Design Studio

    Alchemy Design Studio offers beautiful, handcrafted sterling silver jewellery.  According to Alchemy, "we work to transform found, vintage and repurposed items, as well as leather, gemstones, and Swarovski Crystals into wearable art."
    Alchemy's designs are clean and modern, yet somehow they incorporate details that make the pieces so unique.  This featured 'pinky' ring is matte sterling silver and available through 100 mile finds.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Picture it Picture Books

    A gift that any child would love, and you can feel great about?  That's right - those concepts are not mutually exclusive.  Picture it Picture Books is an amazing idea and local creation from creators Alicia and Leanne.  Picture it Picture books are the only book series that children illustrate themselves.
    "We write the stories and leave out the illustrations, giving children a chance to set their imaginations free. Our books focus on the environment, social responsibility, positive human interaction and creativity".

     For example, Goodnight Dreams features a girl named Katie who has never had a dream - and she is on a mission to find out how. 
    You could have your child illustrate a book for their friend's birthday for a truly unique gift.  Or see how your children come up with different ideas for the same story.
    There are several titles available through 100 Mile Finds - and the price is right too, $8 before shipping!