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The holidays may look and feel different this year but there are still lots of joyful times to be had. Let’s find our joy in all the ways that are available to us. This is the year to feel grateful for the things we have.
Top of my list is my wonderful son that just graduated university this year. He loves to cook so together we're planning to try some new recipes and some old favourites. We’re going to fill our house with deliciousness like the smell of this yummy Spicy Chai Tea recipe Leah shared with me this year. There will be the smell of potato latkes frying and a rosemary encrusted leg of lamb for Christmas with a pot of delicious Moroccan flavoured lamb soup afterwards.
I generally don’t decorate in a commercial way, mostly I prefer a more natural approach to holiday decorating with 'living' ornaments. Every year, I put together a giant basket of three beautiful shades of poinsettias. This year, I'm loving this completely new mauve shade.
I like to plant at least one amaryllis bulb to watch the marvel of the stem growing in inches each day and buds emerging into spectacular blooms.
Last fall, on a trip to Kelowna, I collected a giant bag of pine cones; and this year I made a wreath with them for my front door. I also have bowls stacked with pine cones around my house. Mixing vintage ornaments from my childhood and natural decorations like this bring me joy. (The vintage skates were my mother's)
I hope you find your own version of joy this season. I can’t leave this note without thanking each and every one of you for your support of my company and other small businesses like us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Happy Holidays and cheers to better times ahead to us all!
This year, more than ever before, it has been an adventure to uncover local treasures, art and greener options. I shop locally as much as possible to support other artisans and small businesses. Here's a list of my favourite finds so you can enjoy them too!
Solasta Chocolate - I first discovered them at my local farmers market. Their mouth-watering flavour combinations are so creative. My favourite is the White Chocolate, Lavender, Lemon and Pink Peppercorn bar. It's amazing chocolate! Their online shop is sold out right now (because it's so good) but look for it where local products are sold.
The Art Way: Studio - Denna Erickson - I discovered Denna's lovely art several years ago at the Eastside Culture Crawl. Everyday, I admire the tranquil painting I purchased from her, it has a unique and ethereal quality that makes her work so special.
Wildcraft Organics - I drink the Tranquility Tea and Calming Comfort Tea at work and enjoyed the Spicy Chai Tea which makes my house smell so good. The customized, organic skincare products are ideal for mature skin (over 50's) and can be personalized with your favourite scents.
Scarlett Ballantyne Designs - One of my long time models also does beautiful watercolour paintings. Her speciality; girlfriend paintings, make the most adorable and memorable gifts.
Butler's Bounty - This creative gal makes jewelry and giftware hand crafted from vintage silver plated flatware. I especially love their stamped butter spreaders. How cool are these?
Happy Hippy Soap Company - I know there are tons of soap companies out there but these are my fave soaps for good reason. Really well made, quality, handmade soaps with great scents. My fav is John Lemon.
All Things Being Eco - This Eco store is all about green living and making small changes with everyday supplies. They carry baby clothes, bedding, clothing, kitchen gadgets and have a great refillable department. The owners are customers of mine too!
Verna Brown Art - Verna paints the most incredible, bright animal paintings, her speciality is Pet Portraits which can be commissioned at any time. Unusual and captivating artwork for pet lovers.
Justine Brooks - I own some beautiful pieces by this artist. She works with silver, gold, and gemstones to make beautiful nature-inspired, geometric and botanical jewelry.
Karen Lorena Parker - A prolific Canadian Artist and Illustrator of
Contemporary realism paintings, illustrations and portraits. Her exquisite work varies widely from landscapes to fashion to florals. She is a talented multi-faceted artist and worth checking out.
It's true what they say. You can help out small businesses without spending any money by 'liking' and commenting with 3 words (or more) on their social media posts or ads on Facebook and Instagram.
THANK-YOU for your support of small and local businesses over big box stores. You are making a difference.