Find the beauty around you. Stop. Really see it. Take a photo too. That way, when life has you feeling down, you can scroll your photo gallery to remind yourself that there is beauty around you, even if it's not there right now. I believe in living in the present. However, reminding yourself of the beauty you have seen through photos, allows you be grateful for the past and present while planning for the future. Here's to being grateful. Jo
The Christmas decorations are finally down. I've left lots of little lights up as I find the darkness of winter is so much nicer with lots of mini lights. Some of our holiday highlights included: 🌲A real tree for the first time in 15 years with a holiday forest picnic ready to be enjoyed below it. 🏠A little village by the Eiffel tower 🌲Cute tree decorations such as the Grinch, Harry Potter, Toronto Maple Leaf balls, a fairy frog and a unicorn. I figure if we can believe the Leafs can win, unicorns have a place there too. Bring all the magic to tree. Just a bit more cleaning to do to finish it off. And yes, I did my daily walk. 10 days left with my daughter before she leaves again. Soaking up all the time while she is here.
Walking today in our neighbourhood. We seek out the nature trails and creeks all season long. We love watching how each time you walk you see new things. Like these giant homes being built beside modest homes. I don't really get how a city can approve homes that are almost four stories high next to a two story. The last image in the series shows you the size difference. Even the newly built home that is about 3 stories looks small compared to the latest home being built. What I'm really thinking is, that's way too much house to clean. I'd rather go for a walk than clean. How about you...walk or clean?
A rare totally calm day on Lake Ontario. We walked around old Oakville today. So many stunning homes from 1833 to now. Lots of history down by the lake and by the river. When we were first married, we lived in a small basement apartment in the area. We would walk for hours and dream of one day owning a house. We find when we walk, we start planning new dreams but most importantly, we acknowledge what is in front of us right now. And for that, we are truly grateful.
Our walk today was along the lake. Lake Ontario is finally dropping. The marsh is emptying and the flood waters are receding exposing mud, rocks, logs and debris from a summer and fall of record high water levels. The shore line is very different than in previous years. They are reducing the lake level which then flows into the St Lawence River and as there is little to no ice, it allows the water to then flow to the Atlantic Ocean. This cold still has a tight grip. My daughter, hubby and I have been battling it all holiday. We get a few hours of energy and then rest afterwards. I'm using my energy to walk for 1.5 hours, breath in fresh air and enjoy nature. We have green juice, vitamins, bone broth, soups and lots of veggies to help us get better. Only 13 days more with my daughter before she leaves again so having us all sick is not ideal. I'm doing my best to help her get well so she has energy to see her friends. Here's to being together, using wellness knowledge to fight a cold, spending time in nature, and gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us.
Happy New Year. Each year we do a nature walk on the first day of the year. We love time in nature. It refreshes us, makes us happy and calls the soul. Wishing you all a beautiful 2020. Thanks to @adventureinthebackcountry @mattrowlandson and @seagull_dancefloor for the walk today along the river. I'm so grateful for all the time we have spent together for the last 2 weeks and hope this nasty cold leaves us all soon. Anyone else fighting this cold? Hope you feel better soon too. And if you have the energy, a walk in the woods may help.
Have you been watching the new season of Rotten on Netflix? When you get to the episode on chocolate, you'll thank me. Why? Last night I watched the chocolate episode and I eat chocolate every day. It got me worried. I made a decision back in 2012 to source food that was ethical and sustainable for farmers and the food system. My chocolate of choice is from @chocosoltraders here in Toronto. After watching the show, I sent a message via Instagram and asked @chocosoltraders what their current practices were. It's a good idea to check in and reread labels on your favorites brands. I'm delighted to say that not only does ChocosolTraders still have an ethical and sustainable purpose to their business, it extends right to the farmer. They pay fairly and actually know the farmers and their community. So when you watch Rotten and need your chocolate fix, please support chocolate businesses that make the world better, one chocolate bean at a time. Not an ad.
And just like that, it's snow and less colour. Some people love the pink table and chairs....others don't. When the white and grey of winter comes, that's when I know pink was a great choice. Every season needs colour. Did you get snow this week?
I'm feeling all the summer vibes here in the garden today. I've posted the October garden tour on YouTube. You won't believe how much is still in bloom...even with 2°C nights. By far, the best investments are these @provenwinners Vista Bubblegum Supertunias and the Baby Tut umbrella grass. Check out the video and see the annuals that give you longevity in the garden and make the best value for your dollar. The August tour is almost at 30,000 views. Wowzer! I've put the links in my bio for you. The garden is close to Toronto. Zone 5 using the USDA hardiness zones and 6a/6b, almost 7 using the Canadian zones. Here's to fall colours and blooms in the garden.
Farmer Markets are still in their full glory right now in Southern Ontario. Many of them will be moving indoors in the coming weeks, so be sure ask your favourite farmers where you can find them. We have stopped at the Coburg farmers market several times over the summer. Usually we go to the market in Belleville but decided to try some new experiences. So happy we did. Look at this bounty from @wicklowway_elaina that we took home. It's all organic and comes with an in-person teaching lesson on how to cook or enjoy it. We tried the bitter lettuce in the back row. We charred it and drizzled olive oil, balsamic vinegar salt and pepper. I liked it but my niece was a bit shocked on how bitter it was. We all agreed we should have started with the bitter lettuce instead of playing with shishito peppers where one out of ten is super hot. We were told to start with the bitter first but couldn't resist trying the peppers to see who got the hot ones. I got more than my share of the hot ones. We love trying new food and having our local farmers share their passion with us. There is still time to get to know your farmers and the food they grow for you. Next weekend is often the last outdoor market here in Southern Ontario so google and see if there is one you can attend as the veggies and apples are abundant and super fresh. Here's to our farmers and counrty roads!!!