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Monday, December 31, 2012

Heading into 2013

Susan and I wish you all the best in 2013! I'm sure some of you have new years resolutions, as do I. I always resolve to get into better shape, eat healthier and of course shop as local as possible!
This year is a bit different for me, I turn 50 in August and I feel like I have a, not so long list, of things I should have done, that if I don't get done now, who knows if it'll ever happen! I'm not thinking about getting to Australia or anything like that, it's little things. I always thought I would be a knitter, I'm not! I finally learned how to knit a few years ago, but I certainly haven't mastered the craft. I always thought I would be a card player too. I know euchre, hearts, and cheat, does that make me a card player? I never learned to surf either! Hmmm... Who knows what 2013 holds for each us. I do know that the now time to take your life by the tail and swing it!
Happy 2013, be safe!

Monday, December 24, 2012


I am lucky enough to be charged with testing worldPRODUCTS and letting you know what I think. Borden Communications gave me a worldPRODUCTS trio which includes a bottle of worldCLEAN, worldPROTECT and worldBELEIVE. I also got to choose my own worldBLEND, I choose worldBLEND 5 worldYUM, their newest blend AND I received a jar of worldREPAIR.

Myself, my 12 year old and 14 year old daughters all suffer from sensitive skin. It shows up for each of us in different ways though. For me my scalp is really sensitive, I spend a fortune buying different shampoos and hair care products always looking for something that works but doesn't cause me to break out in hives. This year my 12 year old started to really break out on her forhead, we finally realized that she was allergic to the shampoo she was using. My 14 year old had perfect skin right up until the time she started using cleansers! Eventually we realized that she also had sensitivities to skin care products. I also get really dry skin on my legs and back and it drives me crazy.
I've found some international brands that work pretty well, but you know me, I'm always on the look out for a local brand that can take care of my needs. If you've got issues like ours you will know how unbelievably expensive it can be. I can't tell you how many barely used shampoos, conditioners, styling products and skin care products we have at our house.You can imagine how excited I was when Megan from Borden Communications asked me if I wanted to try out the worldPRODUCTS!


It really has been worldPRODUCTS to the rescue. First I must say I LOVE the worldYUM scent. I'm one of those people that has to have a shower in the morning to wake up and the worldYUM scent really gets me going! One of the coolest things about the worldPRODUCTS is there isn't separate hair and body products, it's all in one. I've been using the products for several days now and my hair feels great, it styles well. My skin is definitely more hydrated and I can tell you my husband must be thrilled that I'm not begging him to scratch my back in that hard to reach spot! I'm also one of those people that loves to have a bath in the evening. I use the worldPROTECT in the bath and my skin is so much less itchy. I can leave it in my hair as a conditioner and it activates my curls AND I can use it as a make-up remover. I can feel my bathroom getting bigger as I type!
The worldBELIEVE is amazing for chapped lips, hang nails and I've been using it on the 12 year old's forehead and even when I poke her in the eye trying to apply it, it's really helping soothe the agitated skin. I just noticed on the website that it also can be used for your hair to remove static and frizz and add shine! It's in a tiny little jar that could fit into the smallest of purses.Last but not least I want to mention how green these products are. I save this for the end because as far as I'm concerned even though I am always on the lookout for eco-friendly products I don't really care how green a product is unless it is doing the job I bought it for. Having a product have multi-functions not only makes travelling easier it cuts down on packaging and is therefor better for the environment. All the worldPRODUCTS packaging is 100% recyclable. Buying something locally made is better for the environment too. After putting together a blog last week about what ingredients to avoid in everything from cosmetics to seafood, I really believe that to ensure our long term health we have to use products like worldPRODUCTS and I think it's especially important to introduce these products to young woman who are just starting to create a beauty regime for themselves.worldPRODUCTS gets two thumbs up from me! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Xmas Pondering - How to Lower the Bar

Great article in the Globe and Mail by Adriana Barton today about Christmas Dream mythology,

"There’s something about Christmas that makes normally sensible parents go all Martha Stewart, determined to conjure up a magical holiday for their kids....However, setting the bar too high for the “most wonderful time of the year” may be a perfect storm of magical thinking, fear of disappointing loved ones, overindulgence in booze and tight quarters with family members who never did learn to get along.  “Our expectations are unrealistic around family, around the holidays, around what’s going to happen or should happen,” she says. “When we start going down that path, we’re in for trouble" says Renee Trudeau, a life coach based in Austin, Tex."

The article goes on to talk about how lowering our expectations and prioritizing traditions we actually enjoy might bring us a little peace.  We have lots of avid crafters who enjoy the site - let that be your thing.  But let go of also being the perfect baker, daughter, and Santa's sexy little elf if that is not your schtick.  Here's the top 5 things I can think of that keep me sane:

1. I accept that I will be tired on Christmas Day because I still get excited on Christmas Eve. Oh well, hopefully I have more energy on boxing day
2. No matter who is hosting, help in the kitchen.  It's actually kind of fun to cook with someone else, and there are leftovers the next day, so you will get to sit down.
3. When one of your relatives is getting under your skin, think of the alternative.  It is only 24 hours.
4. Being a teenager at Christmas is hard. They are still mourning the magic of Christmas morning just a few years ago.  And even when your Mom thinks she is buying you cool clothes, she probably isn't. It's hard to fake it.
5. Go for a short walk to clear your head.  It is peaceful outside.

The frenzy is just one more week - you'll get there.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Organic? Sustainable fish? Cosmetic ingredients?

In the spirit of making a list and checking it twice, we've put together a bunch of must-have lists to take shopping with you.
Making an educated decision about what you should be buying for your family has never been more important or confusing than it is now. We've tried to go to reliable sources and gather information that will help you feel more confident about the purchases you are making for your family. Vegetables and fruit, meat, poultry, dairy and seafood. Is there a way to look great without applying harmful ingredients? Can you get your house clean without putting your family's health at risk? How can you shop "Canadian"? We've put together a bunch of lists that you can add to your "list" apps and if, heaven forbid, you're not app savvy, we got a wallet card you can print out! 
Organic: There's the dirty dozen of vegetables there are too many sources to name.If you can only afford or want to buy some organic veggies and fruits these are the ones to buy.

The dirty dozen
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Imported Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
Fooducate a really cool website out of the U.S. shared the Clean 15! Keep in mind that Fooducate is an American website and the food standards there are quite different from ours in Canada. Also bear in mind that many food advocates would not include corn in a list of clean vegetables because of the GMO aka chemical links. So for our purposes it's the clean 14! These are veggies that if you are picking a choosing what to buy organic, these ones don't need to be organic, conventionally farmed is fine, just remember to buy local if at all possible.

The clean fourteen
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Cantelope (USA)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Mushrooms
What about seafood? I've chosen "David Suzuki's Top 10 Sustainable Seafood Picks" as my guide. There's a great pdf that you can download for your fridge. The David Suzuki Foundation website is an amazing resource. I encourage you to check it out. I've also just downloaded the SeaChoice app for my iPhone. I haven't used it yet, but it looks promising.

10 sustainable seafoods
  • Farmed Oysters: Oysters farmed worldwide in suspended culture systems
  • Sablefish: Canadian Pacific or Alaska using trap & bottom longline
  • Swordfish Harpoon: Canadian and US by harppon or with a handline (not a longline)
  • Pacific Cod: Alaska by bottom longline, jig or trap
  • Sardines: Canada & the US Pacific by purse seine
  • Farmed Clams: farmed worldwide or wild, handraked ones from the US
  • Albacore Tuna: caught in Canada and the US Pacific by troll/pole as opposed to longline
  • Dungeness Crab: trap-caught in Canada, California, Oregon & Washington
  • Closed Containment Farmed Salmon: farmed salmon raised in the US using closed containment systems
  • Spot Prawns: Canadian Pacific by trap
For what kind of meat you should be eating I took most of my information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website. To start it's really important to make sure that you are buying Canadian meat. If you can only afford to buy one meat product that is organic, buy organic beef! Chicken, pork and turkey are safe to eat when they are traditionally farmed. Same with dairy. Here's a link to a blog I wrote a little while ago giving you a bit more detail on that.

If you want to make sure you are shopping "Canadian" you should be looking for "Product of Canada" first "Made in Canada"second and "Designed in Canada" third. These are guidelines for food labels and advertising put forth by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to help Canadians have a clear understanding of where the products they are buying are manufactured and produced. The Competition Bureau of Canada is responsible for enforcing the guidelines set out for the labeling and advertising of "non food" products.

Buy "Product of Canada" first, then "Made in Canada" second

I know that I'm also concerned about what cosmetic ingredients I need to stay away from. As my daughters get older and are being introduced to "beauty" products I'm want to make sure that we are making educated choices that won't compromise their health in the long run. I found this amazing site, Gill Deacon wrote a book called There's Lead in Your Lipstick and she also has a wallet card that you can download from her website so that you have the list of ingredients that you want to avoid and a list of companies that she has deemed as "safe". It's amazing to me that it is common knowledge that there are all these ingredients that we shouldn't be using and yet it's really hard to buy products that don't contain them.

Here's Gill's current list of toxins to avoid.

Benzoic acid
coal tar
cocamide DeA
Diazolidinyl urea
FD & c
FD & c (colour + number)
mercuric oxide
mineral oil
Peg (1,4) lauryl ether
Placental extract
Polyethylene glycol (Peg)
Polypropylene glycol (PPg)
Propyl ester
Silcone-derived emollients
Sodium laurel sulfate (SlS)
Sodium laureth sulfate

Cleaning products is another category you need to make sure is green. Here's the list of dangerous ingredients to look out for. This is one of many lists available, it is from I wanted to introduce you to a bunch of different sites, but I gotta say the David Suzuki site has the best lists I could find. Some other great sites to check out are and

Household cleaning ingredients to avoid
*Poison, corrosive and Irritant are words to look for.
*2-Butozyethanol also known as 2-BE, butyl cellosolve
*Coal tar dyes
*MEA (monoethanalomine), DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine)
*Nonylphenol ethaxylates (NPEs)
*Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats)
*Silica powder
*Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate
*Sodium hydroxide (lye or caustic soda
*Trisodium nitrilotriacetate

Send us an email at and we'll send you the word doc to create your very own wallet card to slip in your wallet. If you print it, then flip it and print it again you've got 2 double sided cards, one for you and one for your best friend!  If you've got an iPhone/Smart phone with a "note" app you can copy and paste these lists for easy reference.
If you know of any other great sites leave it in our comments box and we'll update the blog.
Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

aoid jewellery

Still thinking about that perfect gift for that special someone?  Prefer to not get into a fistfight in the mall parking lost?  New vendor aoid jewellery may have just what you are looking for.  Pieces made with sterling silver (.925), 10-24K gold, authentic and natural gems, Swarovski crystals, pearls, and a variety of other high quality materials.
For example, this Lapis Lazuli and Chrysocolla gemstone, with sterling silver edging comes on a  22”(56cm) chain - just $32.  Historically, Lapis Lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs in Egypt, and powdered lapis was used as eyeshadow by Cleopatra.

Or for your sweet, this pendant called 'Wrapped Around My Heart' is made with sterling silver wire, on an 18" (46 cm) Sterling Silver chain for $24.

Each piece locally and lovingly made.  Welcome to 100 Mile Finds aoid jewellery!

Monday, December 10, 2012

More mall-less shopping

Had a great time yesterday popping into the Wandering Winter show at the Gladstone, Artscape's Xmas market at Wychwood Barn and the 401 Richmond St. show.  Lots of great new artists, and several 100 Mile Finds vendors showcasing their wares.  I am always so impressed at both the products and the thoughtful displays that vendors dream up.  Can't wait to invite more of them onto the site and introduce you to them.
So, if the stress of the mall is not your thing, try taking the street car across Queen West.  There are loads of independent retailers selling locally made artisanal items. The Drake General Store is a great spot to find that hard-to-buy-for present (there's a warehouse sale too at 442 Dufferin St., Unit 1 until Dec. 16).  Made you Look showcases very talented local jewellers, and Fresh Collective has a great pool of locally designed fashion.
There are quite a few pop up shops too, if you can take an afternoon to stroll, I am convinced that your shopping will soon be done.  And imagine - you get fresh air and exercise too. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bark'n Up the Green Tree

OK, as a relatively new dog owner, I find myself eating crow as we add Buddy to our Xmas list.   I am sure Buddy would prefer to be the one eating that crow, but instead I find myself looking for something a little less smelly to give to her as a Xmas treat.
New 100 Mile Finds vendor Bark'n Up the Green Tree has lots of ideas for your furry four pawed friend. 
Bark'n Up The Green Tree was founded to provide a healthy/green alternative for pets and pet owners.  Their full product lines include:
The Barkery, consisting of dog treats that are all natural, free of preservatives, dyes, fillers, and needlessly added sugar and salt.  "At first glance our treats look like human food (so careful when there are toddlers and teenage boys around).  We offer delightful cookies, muffins, pup cakes, and wheat free treats"
Earth Mother and Sweet Pea collections offer apparel, toys & beds. 
Earth Mother offers eco-friendly beds, leashes, collars, sweaters & toys hand-crafted from up-cycled & re-purposed materials.
 Sweet Pea products are fun, colourful and full of energy. Hand-crafted with new fabrics & findings into bandanas & fancy collars.