Pandemic got you down, too much time on your hands, fed of up Netflix, Crave, Prime and Disney Plus, reading or fed up of cooking? I'm with you (although I'm trying to be creative with my recipes and rewatching the x files on Prime), then let me share some of my blues busters with you! I'd be happy to hear yours too so email me anytime.
Something weekly to look forward to
How to beat the Pandemic Blues
There are two things each Friday that I do to give me something to look forward too. One is after school, Claire and I head to Salute's drive though for a celebratory hot chocolate and cookie as a wahoo we made it through another week. The other is the weekly email from Real Simple - 6 Clever Items to Simplify your life. There's always something interesting that catches my attention from products to apps that sends me down a rabbit hole.....
I remember when I used to write so many more cards, letters, notes to friends and family just to say hi, not just for special occasions. I've started to do this again and I really should make it a weekly practice. It's been especially good for relatives in England who have had it harder than us here. In February I sent postcards that said greetings from Canada that showed toilet paper on a stick - everyone loved it and it prompted emails and phone calls. If you haven't checked out Etsy then you should, so many small businesses that are wonderful and struggling right now.
Here are the card shops on Etsy that I regularly buy from:
- Carolyndraws (toilet paper postcard is found here)
- Wonderpop (best pop up cards)
Compliments, Referrals and Testimonials:
I've found during the pandemic that many places despite being overwhelmed or generally struggling, have been extremely kind and helpful. So for these companies or individuals, I make sure I reach out to them to not only compliment the product or service I've received but refer them to others and offer to write a testimonial. For small businesses this can make all the difference in their day, so give it a try.
When I'm happy I love music, when I'm sad music can help, when I'm in the bath I listen to music, when I walk the dogs (I have a golden retriever and Bernese mountain dog) I listen to music. So I create play lists, for moods or activities, or as I have the Sirius XM app on my phone, I switch between alt nation, 90s, stay home channel and chill if a playlist doesn't cut it! Anyway my point is music helps, so let it soothe you or make you dance those blues away.
Let's talk CSA's
Community Supported Agriculture aka veggie boxes have been increasingly popular over the last few years. Even though I do plant my own veggies, I like to have a back up and what's better than doing that through local farmers. You do need to do some research as they vary per location, delivery options, what's included (some also have eggs) and cost. As my last one is no longer running, I've had to research others. Don't leave it longer than April to reserve yours. My pick for this year is:
This is a new farm to me based in Chelmsford but they have been so great in answering my questions. I chose this one because sometimes my kids are picky - imagine that! It gives me the option to have credits per week that allows me to customize my box and skip a week if on vacation and add my credits to the following week. I just did a half share as this is back up for me but you can do a full share instead. They also offer delivery to some locations.
Leah would have been my second choice. I've used Leah last year for herbs and spinach and she's wonderful. She is now based in the French River area but pick up for the veggie CSA will be bi-weekly at the Thursday Sudbury market. She also offers eggs year round and chickens in July and Oct. I have ordered pre ordered herbs and chicken already.
Planning my vegetable garden:
I'm thankful for having a yard, even though it's small as I find gardening really therapeutic, even though I'm lacking a green thumb. There's something peaceful about going outside early to soak the veggies and flowers before the day gets too warm. Avoiding the mosquitos in the evening is my least favourite though!
Last year my husband built a raised garden bed
and Claire and I planted cucumber, beans, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, kale and tomatoes. Little does he know, the second smaller bed I declined last year, I've changed my mind and think it's a good idea after all for growing beans and peas.
If you grow a vegetable garden, what are your favourite things to grow/do you start them from seed/where do you buy your supplies? I'm always interested to find out. I was lucky enough to have visit a couple of summers ago and see a clients raised vegetable gardens, they had a few and were waist height and were fabulous. I don't have the room for that kind, but I do have a corner space I could utilize and may try upside down hanging tomato plants this year.
I do start some vegetables from seed, although I don't always have luck with them. I got my seeds early as some places have shortages this year. Right now on click fork, they have pre orders for seedlings to be ready last week of May from Three Forks Farms - I've always had good luck from their seedlings so as back up Ive pre ordered lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, jalapeños, and my very favourite delicata squash.
Here's a quick look at companies I've purchased from:
Based in Wolfe Island, Ontario, I've used them for my seeds
for a few years. I've checked (March 2021) and they still have stock, my favourites to grow this year from them are golden beets and Kohlrabi
Based in Northern Ontario, click fork has been my go to for many many years. They have seeds from Three Forks and pre order for seedlings and also seeds from Northern Wildflowers. I'm going to try ground cherries this year along with thimble berry, borage, wild onion and milkweed.
Now based on Manitoulin Island, Peggy and Eric have become friends over the years I've know them. They do extensive research into their seeds and I've had good luck with theirs. Whilst their seedlings are only pre order through click fork, they will mail their seeds to you through their website. Stock is starting to get low (March 2021)
The ever increasing need for Self-Care
Now it's said time and time again that self care is important and I can't agree more, between kids, working from home and a husband in emergency services, carving out a little me time is necessary. It can be simply sitting by the fireplace with my favourite wine (currently Riesling) when my youngest is in bed, having a long hot and I mean hot bath with some candles and my favourite bath products or making sure I schedule massage time. If you need a recommendation please don't hesitate to email me, I have four individuals I would give 5 🌟 to!
Old Soul Soap Company
- Needing a gift or a pick me up for these dark evenings, then head over to their website as their candles won't disappoint I'm thinking of adding a few more to my collection like the fresh coffee and fresh bread candles. For now the Girls Night collection smells amazing, my favourite is Margarita and Pink Champagne. They have also started a a scent that will only be available in that month. For March it is Rosemary & Mint. They have a store in Lively but also offer delivery. My suggestion is to sign up for emails so that you get early access to specials they are doing.
- Pick it up at their store in Hanmer or have it delivered, Old Soul has something for everyone. If you are feeling a little stressed, may I suggest the muscle ease bath soak. Right now to celebrate March, check out the Irish Collection. Keep checking Facebook as she often has deals for her online store, alternatively she also sends these details out by email if you sign up.
- A Ottawa based company that I've adored for years has what feels like luxury bath products. My favourite is the silkiest crush soaks, I can't pick a scent as they are all good. Now for their bath elixirs (aka bubble bath) it's definitely becalm which is earl grey and lavender scented.
A few times a year I get the urge to switch things around the house from artwork to furniture, to paint a room or to do a small renovation. In December we had a new gas fireplace insert installed but had been so busy for work that we are only just getting round to seeing what we should do as a fireplace surround. We also need to paint that room (any colour selections please send my way) and rearrange item, so that will be my spring project along with hopefully a kitchen bench being built by my husband.
I have lots of local artwork in my home but it doesn't stop me from being on the look out for me. So if new artwork would brighten your spirits then check out these artists:
- Julienne is a talented artist whom I have purchased cards and lake prints from in the past. I especially love my Bear Lake Print which is the lake our camp is on. She is always working on something new so keep an eye out.