Sunday, January 31, 2010

Café Dario

It looks like Café Dario will be the first restaurant to be featured here. It is a 4 star restaurant and for supper it offers 5 course meals for $35 a person. They have 5-6 options for appetizers and entrees with a set menu, soup, salad, and dessert.

Café Dario was chosen for my husband's work Christmas supper this year. It was very good but if you have a dietary issue you would have to call ahead so they could do something for you. I am a vegetarian and the person who booked it forgot to mention it at the time of the reservation and other than one appetizer all of the choices were meat. The server was unsure of what there would be for me to eat because it is a set menu. I was sure I would be eating salad and dessert and was a little miffed. They ended up whipping up an entire meal for me. I was impressed with the kitchen staff!!

I see Café Dario as a date place. It is small and cozy and doesn't look like much from the outside. It is definitely the type of place that requires a reservation for supper and I would recommend it for Valentine's. The food is amazing and the Chef is a local favorite!! Online I searched for other reviews and it looks like around 95% of the reviews loved it too and only one reviewer had anything bad to say about it.

A couple people messaged me on Facebook about Cafe Dario:

"I ADORE this tiny, little restaurant, not far from us.

It's called "Cafe Dario."
The owers of "Eat It" recommended it to me.
Michael and I went there on my birthday last year.
The owner was so sweet, totally catered to us. ...
And the food was awesome!!" - Barb

"Ditto on loving Cafe Dario :D awesome place." - Tarana

Marion Warhaft has a good review featured on What's on Winnipeg. It is worth the read.

Café Dario
Open 7 days a week for lunch and supper
1390 Erin St. Winnipeg
(204) 783-2813

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Support Local Farms with Culinary Event

"Feb 19 & 20: Manitoba Food Security's 2010 Getting Vocal, Growing Local conference includes workshops, discussions and displays on sustainable local eating. Held at the University of Winnipeg, events include a Manitoba dinner celebration featuring food from local farms and producers prepared by Manitoba's best chefs, and live entertainment. Conference passes are $115, single-day admission is $40 (Actually...wrong price for the day pass which is $65). 515 Portage Ave, 943-0823 for information." - Ciao! Magazine

They actually have early bird prices ($85/pass) and reduced prices for people who have limited income, students and seniors ($40/pass).

Check out the registration, price information, agenda, and a heck of a lot of other good local food information here:

Love is in the Air

February on Handmade in Manitoba is going to be good loving month. That is, the loving of food and celebrating our local restaurants. I will dedicate each post to a restaurant that serves Manitobans well and adds to the culture that flows all over this beautiful province. I would love if you could help by sending me reviews and/or your favorite local restaurant experiences. I have been around the food circuit in my day but there are so many restaurants I have not had the chance to try and I would hate to miss out on featuring them!! Please stick to LOCAL restaurants and NO chains unless they are marvelous and started here in Manitoba. I will not be featuring any restaurants that I cannot review so if you are a business that wants to be featured here then you must send me a $50 gift card to come and taste your wares. ;) Of course I am kidding. I would love to hear from local restaurateurs too. Send us a paragraph on who you are with any photos you would like in the article.

Thanks everyone! I look forward to this month!

Friday, January 29, 2010

What Do You Choose For Your Baby's Bottom?

I am a mom so it was inevitable that there would be a baby bottom post. There is nothing more adorable than a baby's bottom and in order to keep that baby bottom as lovely as possible, the right diapers need to be used. This post is not for the faint of heart. I promise that the word waste will be used many many times in it. If it will make you feel a little bit better you can use this post as a fantastic drinking game. Every time I mention waste you take a sip. I am sure you will be VERY happy by the end of the read.

I am very much against the disgusting mess our landfills have become and would prefer to keep trees trees so this post is all about local cloth diaper makers and distributors. Some of these people sell diapers not manufactured here in the prairies but I am featuring them anyways because so many people buy online and I'd like Manitoban's getting your money instead! ;)

I titled this post What Do You CHOOSE For Your Baby's Bottom because it is a choice....I have heard all sorts of excuses why people do not use cloth diapers and they are all ridiculous. First off....price. When I got my diaper selection for my first child I bought 1/2 of the high priced first rate diapers and 1/2 cotton hand made ones from MCC. You can get diapers of all price ranges so that is a terrible excuse. At the low price point there are prefolds for a couple dollars each and cotton or fleece handmade diapers at all the second hand stores for maybe 25 cents. Then there are the mid range box store brands which typically are worst than the home made ones and then there are the diapers with the gold lining and all the bells and whistles. These diapers can be as much as $30 each. I know that may sound a little extravagant to wrap around a bottom but you often get what you pay for. I think I spent somewhere around $400 to get started and probably another $200-$300 after selling 1/2 of the ones I originally bought because I found new favorites. I ended up buying the high end, gold lined, bells and whistles diapers for around $700. I found some used and that helped. In the end, I am not buying thousands of disposables over and over for years so it has been a smart investment....and like I could easily go with the 25 cent MCC specials and you would be in very good shape.

The second thing that bugs me about exclusive disposable diaper users is how they comment over and over about how much work cloth diapers are. Hmmmm. First off, it is worth the little bit of extra work to keep the waste heading to the water treatment centers rather then the landfills. Secondly, it is so much cleaner to me. Disposable diaper users typically just toss the dirty waste filled diapers into some kind of diaper gene thing and they sit there getting ripe until garbage day. They also throw them in other people's garbages & leave them in public washrooms. Cloth diaper users get in the habit of dumping the waste, i have a very handy sprayer on my toilet so I don't need to get anywhere near the smellies, and enclosing the diapers in a cloth wet bag that can be put right into the wash with the diapers. There are no diapers being left all over the place and everything is safely stowed away until wash day.

That is my WHY! Now that I have lectured and possibly grossed you out learning all about WASTE! Then I shouldn't WASTE anymore of your time and get to the WHERE.

There are fabulous diaper manufacturers and distributors here. Like I said above, skip the box stores for their brands. They typically leak and don't allow for proper air circulation...the days of plastic pants are over. Keep the vinyl on the turntables. ;) (Sorry...Old DJ joke). I would like to encourage you to take a peak at these websites and learn all about what is available here. I assure you that every good diaper brand is here. If you have any questions about them it would be a great idea to contact the distributor because all these people know their stuff. If I have missed anyone please post a comment or email me at and I will make the additions.

Mother2Mother:,, 204-228-3273 (Website Under Construction:
- Fuzzibunz

A Tall Giraffe:
- Sustainablebabyish wool and cloth diapers, Winnipeg's AMP, Grobaby, Kissaluvs, Antibacterial pail liners, wipes, diaper sprayer, and more.

Blossom & Bean:
- Fattycakes fitted, pocket, and all in one (AIO) cloth diapers, Motherese Diapers and covers

AMP Diapers: 1650 St James street, Winnipeg,
- Winnipeg manufactured AMP pocket, one size, all in two diapers, swimming diapers, flats, and inserts, Stay Dry AIO, Bummis, Hemp Fitted diapers, and more.

Baby Booty Cloth Diaper Shop:
187 8th Street South, Winkler, 204-325-9366,
- Canadian made diapers such as Mother-ease diapers and covers, Bummis prefolds and covers, Snappis, Monkey Doodlez, & local made diaper wet bags

Bloomies Diapers:
- bamboo fitted, prefolds and doublers, pail liners, and travel wet bags

The Diaper Nest,
- Rump.A.Rooz,
Apple Cheeks, & Happy Heinys

Tiny Tree Hugger:
- Apple Cheeks, Baby Kangas, babyburrito, BerryPlush, DryBees, FuzziBunz, Happy Heinys, Jamtots, Knickernappies, & Thirsties

Cloth Diaper Mom:
- BumGenius, GroBaby, Imse Vimse, Thirsties, Econobum,
DryBees, Happy Heinys, Knickernappies, Baby Kangas, Rocky Mountain Diapers, and more

Baby Green Sprout:
- BumGenius, Dri-Stuff, Bamboozle, Bummis, Indisposables, swimmers,

Canada's Diaper Ladies:
- Boobles Bottoms

Little Green Viking:
- wool soakers

Nursery Notions:
- Winnipeg made cloth diapers, liners, cloths, and inserts

Other Manitoba shops that sell cloth diapers:

Baby Bin:

Child's Place:

Humbolts Legacy: 887 Westminster Ave Winnipeg


Diaper Services:

Tender Touch Diaper Service: 1619 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg, (204) 338-8622

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wild Wind Naturals

It must be the snow coming down or that Valentine's Day is just around the corner but all I can think about are hot baths and nourishing my body inside and out. Another natural bath and body company has risen from the prairie dust. Originally from Manitoba, Wild Wind Naturals started up in B.C. and they sell their Earth inspired products across B.C. They have come back to roost in Silo, Manitoba anxious to get their name out.

Similar to my previous feature, Wild Wind Naturals has an amazingly large product line for the whole family including:

• Soap
• Bath
• Body Butter
• Body Mist
• Face and Skin Care
• Lip Butter
• Massage Oils
• Salves and Lotions
• Essential Oil Roll-Ons

"I started this business almost four years ago in BC, making soap and bath bombs. I heard about some ingredients used as preservatives in toothpaste - and I was shocked to find out all the different chemicals that are present in all the products we as consumers use. The business has since morphed into an entity all it's own to include all sorts of bath and body care items. Our salve is particularly popular, and has solved many a skin issue from rashes to eczema that steroid creme couldn't get rid of. The ingredients we use are natural, paraben free and free of chemical foaming agents and surfactants. Our belief is that by using chemical free* products on our bodies and in our environments, our children will be healthier, our environments safer, and our pets happier. Our minds and bodies will be free from preservatives and additives that research is now linking to cancer and dis-ease. Our goal is to be healthier and do what we can to be as close to Nature as possible, all the while, enjoying the wonderful gifts Earth has provided us."

Currently, in Manitoba, Wild Wind Naturals can be purchased online, are available for home shopping parties, and soon will be available at Lady of the Lake & Absolute Design in Brandon. Keep an eye out in Winnipeg too because they are hunting for the perfect places to sell their Earth inspired products. I will update here once I here of their new locations. Now you can find them online:

Wild Wind Naturals
Using Earth's Gifts to heal the Mind, Body and Spirit

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just The Goods

I cannot stand over processed products. It is a pet peeve of mine. I don't get why we can't live on less. I feel like I am a magnet for crafters that have the same ideals. I am sure this the reason they are making their own food, soaps, or body products instead of buying the store brands.

Milena of Just The Goods found me here and sent me a lovely bag of bath samples to try. There is not much that I like more than a nice deep bath in my claw foot tub, candles, and a movie on my lap top. Before I had children I had been to a couple spas for treatments. My favorite treatment is the exfoliation salt scrubs. Well, Just The Goods makes their own with a twist...fresh oils, sea salt, essential oils blended to create delicious bath cocktails. I guess they have a love for good body products and liquor. ;)

I will keep this G-rated. :D I balanced on the edge of my tub watching Dexter and scrubbed away all my stress. The scent was Gin and Tonic (Lime & Juniper). I figure since I can't drink for another few months I can smell like I do. ;) I fell asleep so peacefully and the next day I still felt amazing. My skin so soft. Milena also dropped off some Zoom Zoom Bath Salts (Peppermint, Juniper, and Rosemary) and Pink Grapefruit and Black Pepper Whipped Bath Butter. I am now a Just The Goods fan for life. I already have gift ideas for friends and will be buying my bath products from them from now on.

I am cutting and pasting some great details from their websites but you should take a peak yourself. Just The Goods has an amazing line of vegan toothpastes, shaving solids, lip balm, whipped body butters & foot butters, toners, washes, massage oils, and everything for an awesome bath. All of their products are professionally made and packaged. They have some sexy Valentine's Day products available and another half a dozen new products that will be released soon. Here's content from the Just The Goods websites:

"Every day indulgences shouldn’t cost the earth or our health. It is affordable to look and feel great without unnecessary exposure to petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances, dyes and flavours. Everything we make features “just the goods” and nothing else. Most of our items are made without animal-derived ingredients and we are striving toward a 100% vegan selection.

And what’s the point of wasteful packaging, anyway? Most of our products come in re-useable canning jars and the price for these items includes a $1.50 refundable deposit that you can use toward your next purchase.
To facilitate shipping and to support different types of products (i.e. lotions, toners, lip balm, etc.) we also offer products in re-useable HDPE plastic bottles, which is considered one of the safest forms of plastics.
Since we’re small and local, we’re happy to offer custom blending services. Do you have a unique fragrance or flavour combination in mind? Ask us about it — we’ll see what we can do!"

"Snow is melting and layers of clothing are coming off! Is it gettin’ hot in here, or are thoughts of Valentine’s Day beginning to enter our minds?
Love your lovers, your friends, and yourself with earth and body-friendly treats from Just the Goods!
In addition to our regular line of products including kiss enticing lip balms and shaving solids, we are also pleased to feature limited edition aphrodisiac blends of…
- Massage oil
  • spicy nights: cinnamon, ylang ylang + sweet orange essential oil
  • steamy dreamy: lavender + ylang ylang essential oil
  • classic romance: rose absolute
  • playful: clove essential oil + vanilla absolute
  • magic potion: neroli + sandalwood essential oil with jasmine + rose absolute (add $2.00)*
- Body butter
  • spicy nights: cinnamon, ylang ylang + sweet orange essential oil
  • classic romance: rose absolute
  • playful: clove essential oil + vanilla absolute
  • lavender, bergamot + ylang ylang
- Bath salts
  • steamy dreamy: lavender + ylang ylang essential oil
  • classic romance: rose absolute
  • magic potion: neroli + sandalwood essential oil with jasmine + rose absolute (add $2.00)
- Bath melts
  • romantic (rosewood, patchouli, ylang ylang essential oil)
- Sugar scrub
  • spicy nights: cinnamon, ylang ylang + sweet orange essential oil
  • classic romance: rose absolute
  • playful (clove essential oil + vanilla absolute and vanilla extract)
- Roll-on fragrance
  • neroli + ylang ylang essential oil
  • sandalwood essential oil & jasmine absolute
  • spicy nights: cinnamon, ylang ylang + sweet orange essential oil
  • steamy dreamy: lavender + ylang ylang essential oil
  • classic romance: rose absolute
  • playful: clove essential oil + vanilla absolute
  • magic potion: neroli + sandalwood essential oil with jasmine + rose absolute (add $1.00)*
We’re taking advance orders for Valentine’s Day to ensure we can make and provide everyone’s first choice of items. Interested in gift baskets? Contact us for details!"

Take a look at their numerous online sites and pick out your favorite body products. The prices are awesome and they have sample packs if you want to try a variety. They are a heck of a lot better than the bath shops....even everyone's favorite (for some reason) Bath & Body. They are made from simple, natural ingredients but the end product is far from simple.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I found Secret Garden Soap Company

Way way back at the start of this blog adventure I wrote about Jennifer from Secret Garden Soap Company. I had come across her table at the Assiniboia Downs Farmers Market this fall. The only problem I had was that I couldn't find her anywhere online or being sold at any shops so it was kind of a dead end.

While, Jennifer found me here. The reason I couldn't find her was because Secret Garden Soap does not exist anymore. She is now North Country Soapworks and her soaps & other bath products can be purchased online. It seems that her business started because of her daughter's eczema. I know what it is like because I suffer from it as well. It is really hard to find the balance between a soap that is mild enough for sensitive skin and can still work on man sweat (husband, not me). I have cut & paste her company description off her site. Make sure to check out her soaps especially if you have skin allergies.

"North Country Soapworks is a Manitoba home based business committed to producing the finest quality handmade soaps. We make all of our soaps in small batches using the cold process method to ensure quality and freshness. All of our soaps are measured, mixed, poured, cut and packaged by hand . We use only the finest quality oils such as coconut, olive, palm, soybean, cocoa butter, almond oil, as well as essential oils and fragrance oils. We strive to use minimal packaging, are environmentally friendly, and use no animal byproducts with the exception of goat milk in our soaps.

I began making soaps in an effort to relieve the eczema that my daughter had been experiencing since "babyhood". I began with a basic goat milk soap, and after continued use, the results were amazing ! What I learned was that she didn't have eczema at all, but rather a reaction to the harsh detergents and fillers found in even the most "gentle" commercially made soaps. After using our handmade soaps, her sensitivities disappeared and she has had no problems with skin sensitivities since.
Since then, we've been experimenting with different scents, colors, and botanicals to produce a variety of handmade natural soaps that appeal to a wide variety of individuals. We have a lot of fun with our creations and no batch is ever exactly the same.

We take part in many Farmers Markets in the summer months, and craft sales during the months leading up to the holiday season, and our feedback has been very positive with many repeat individual and business customers. But, don't take our word for it....let our products speak for themselves! Try some today!"

original post on Jennifer's soap

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010. Will it be all that different from 2009?

What are Your Local Resolutions? It doesn't have to be some gigantic change in your life. Everything counts. I have a few resolutions that involve my community.

For 1. I plan to zone out all groceries and eventually aim to buy only organic and natural foods. I will eat local whenever possible and will learn to extend summer produce into the winter. I will be shopping nearly exclusively at Eat It because the staff are amazing, prices are good, and they know their shit. I hear left right and center about how organic food is too expensive. I want to prove all you unbelievers wrong. When you head to Superstore, Walmart, Cosco, and all the other huge box stores you have so much marketing thrown at you. You head with your list of 10 items and leave with a cart full. These stores pay people a ton of money to make you spend your money there. When I shop at Eat It I leave spending the exact amount of money that I thought I would. It is actually kind of eerie. I don't know how it works but if I have $120 in my wallet and that is all, it will come to $118.50. I watch nervously as they swipe everything fearing that it will go over my budgeted money and it never does. The reason is because I buy what I need there. Eat It isn't like the big grocer demons. They have what you need and none of the junk.

Another good thing about organic food which I am sure that the owners of these establishments don't want me to discuss is that the processed and impulse items are too expensive to buy. ;) I rarely get pressured into buying a $12 small pizza or a $10 box of icecream. It costs enough money that it pushes me to make my own from scratch. If I do buy an impulse item it is a real treat and I cherish it like it is gold. Can you say that about your crappy rising crust pizza or grocery processed fish sticks? I have certain items that I share with no one. I hide my Greens & Blacks Butterscotch Chocolate in my freezer and I steal a couple squares from it a day until I sadly throw the empty wrapper into the recycling.

So, I guess I should get back to the plan....I am very good with the whole mind wandering....heck...I wish I had that chocolate right now. Ugh! at a small local grocery exclusively will make me think about my meal planning more and I will be cutting down on the expensive items like dairy, meat (for my man), and snack items. You really can get more for your money at the box stores....more crap I mean of course. I think my hubby will have the hardest time with this so I have to ensure that there is lots of easy snacks for him around so he doesn't panic and head to the closest junk food stop.

I believe that I will spend less money while eating organic and supporting my community. By shopping at Eat It I will not only be supporting them but local farmers, bakers, and candlestick makers. I read a lot of Mother Goose with my daughter but Eat It does actually sell local made candles so the reference is fine. ;)

Ok, 2, I would like to try to buy more gifts locally. I did pretty good at Christmas. Not all items were locally made but they were bought at small local stores and away from the Box Stores. I know that there are items that cannot be made in Manitoba but just by stepping into the smaller local shops to purchase the items helps our community and keeps our money here.

3, I want to visit some of the farms where I locally purchase meat, dairy, grains, vegetables, etc. I want to go and see how my food is made and I would like to share the information found here of course.

Lastly, 4, I would like to continue to pump everyone up to our local talent here in Manitoba by continuing to feature and review local artisans, artists, businesses, & restaurants. I will keep on passing any information I find about local craft fairs, awesome community garage sales, and other community supporting events to you.

Please email me anything you think can't be missed to

Thanks for reading my posts and please continue to check back now and then. I promise that there will be some great people featured here. You should not have to shop at stores that are so large that you cannot see the 4 walls that surround you. Shop local and make a difference to your community. Support stores like Eat It, Humbolts Legacy, Tall Grass Prairie, and all the other amazing local stores that care about their community, the environment, and helping to keep our bodies healthy.

I hope 2010 is the year that the box stores get kicked out of Manitoba because of my blog and it's readers. Ha Ha! I am not smoking anything over here....I am just having fun. It has only been a couple months since I started it and I have 250-400 visitors a week reading up on what our community has to offer. I don't see why by the end of 2010 I can't have everyone reading it. How many people are there in Manitoba 700,000? least those with internet access. ;) I really should go to bed. My brain is getting a little out of whack over here. Again, thanks for reading my dribble.

Please let us know what your local resolutions are. Post a comment for the world to see.