Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Buy Local This Summer

There are many Farmer's Markets and U-Picks in Manitoba.  Make sure to hit them regularly and get good local food and visit local artisan's booths.  Check the left hand side of my blog for some markets and craft fairs listed or check out the government listings on the Markets & U-Picks.  They have a PDF file with information on all Manitoba's Farmer's markets.  If you can't make it to a Farmer's Market for some reason it is still useful to you because they have a page that lists all local food products and where you can buy them.  They also have a helpful section with local restaurants that use local produce, grains, and meat.

Also keep checking back to Cartizan for local craft fairs, markets, and information on living the 100 mile lifestyle this summer and/or fall.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unique Kidz Handmade Baby and Kids Gifts

I really think that Manitoba is the home of every talented Mom alive.  :D  There are so many awesome Moms sewing, knitting, and crocheting away unique and cute baby & kid items.  Maybe it is the long cold winters that drive these ladies to these ancient trades.  Whatever it is I am glad these arts have not died in our modern world.         
Have a look at Unique Kidz.  Unique Kidz has adorable items for your one of a kind little one.  Allison of Unique Kidz also has many beautiful fabric swatches on her Facebook site and is ready to make custom dresses, hats, pacifier clips, and more for your individual little guy or girl.   The first too photos I picked are the cutest little owls.  Owls seem to be the new hot thing with baby bibs, hats, blankets, slings, and now pacifier clips.  I love them.  I especially love her owl baby hat.  ADORABLE!!  Have a peak at her Facebook page for more photos, information, & pricing or email for orders or custom items.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vanilla Bean Cakes

 Marie of Vanilla Bean Cakes contacted me this week and I am sorry I missed her with my Baby Shower series.  She creates beautifully detailed custom wedding cakes, party cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more!  Marie is originally from Victoria, BC and now lives here with her husband and 3 little girls.  She loves what she does, especially meeting new people and collaborating to design an unique cake for their special event.  You have to have a look at her designs on her website:

She also have a facebook page that is updated often:

Vanilla Bean Cakes

Monday, June 21, 2010

Boon Burger Reviews

I have not had the chance to visit Sherbrook Street's Boon Burger, a vegetarian burger joint.  I am vegetarian so look forward to a meal there soon.  A fellow blogger that I follow has reviewed it so I want to post the link here.  Give it a try and let me know how it is.

Check out their website and Facebook site.  Their huge burger menu is on the link page on Facebook.

And another review:

*photos used hear are from their Facebook site and the destination winnipeg review.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Funny Cheese Thing

So my hubby is from a farm in Southern Manitoba and they only eat New Bothwell Mild Cheddar down there.  We often get their fresh mild cheddar when he is in the area and I was just in New Bothwell with friends and bought some cheese squeakers for our trip.  For those who don't know what cheese squeakers are...I am sure that Cheese Squeakers are the freshest tastiest cheddar that you can buy in the entire world.  They squeak on your teeth when you eat them.  Actually, really fresh New Bothwell cheddar will do the same but Squeakers are just handy because they are small curds so no chopping is necessary.

Well...that's the the rest of my story.  ;)  I was at this local market in Vernon and what should I happen upon at the counter where I was paying?  BC's "Cheese Squeakers".  I of course had to pay the hefty $6.50 price tag to give them a try.  They were so not cheese squeakers.  They made the New Bothewell Squeakers taste like they just came from the cow.  They were dry, and did not have that fresh cheese taste. They really had not taste at all.  I have heard that New Bothwell has won awards for many of their cheeses and I have now compared it to BC's squeakers and New Bothwell won hands down.

So give New Bothwell.  They do not allow growth hormones or other crap in the milk they receive.  You can taste the quality.  You can now buy it everywhere in Winnipeg but if you happen to be in Winkler, Altona, Morden, Steinbach, any other Southern town, or of course New Bothwell buy the fresh mild cheddar there or their Squeakers.  New Bothwell cheese tastes so much better there because they get it right off the truck and it doesn't have time to sit since all the Southerners jump all over it as soon as it is unloaded.  Our relatives actually know the days it is dropped off in Winkler and buy it that day for fear it will be gone.  If it is warm on the counter it is the freshest and snatch up all you can before the locals run you out of town.  ;D

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hitting the Road and Buying Local

I have been on a road trip with my family through Alberta and British Columbia over the last week.  It has been fun to be tasting local wears and visiting local farmers markets here.  After the long drive we finally settled in Vernon, BC to visit friends for 5 days and then stay in a wonderful resorty place called The Outback for the rest of our holiday.  I have a full kitchen here so I have tried to pick up nearly all food that is B.C. made.  The growing season is longer here and the air is dry and gets quite hot.  We are missing the main orchard season because I don't really like crowds and 40 degrees.  Even with the orchard season approaching in the distance there has been lots of local food to be had.  We ditched the kids for one day and toured local vineyards and a local goat cheese farm.   Next we shopped at a local orchard & farm, visited a local farmers market, got our bread at a delicious tiny bakery, and the rest at small organic groceries.  We have been eating great and probably 90% of it is BC grown and made.

I encourage you too stick local wherever you end up.  If the food does not have to travel thousands of miles to get to you there tends to be less chemicals on them and they arrive at the store or market beautifully fresh and tasty.  I also came across a local Vernon seamstress who makes amazing clothes, specializing in urban wear and active wear.  Have a look at her website.  We also ate at an AWESOME little restaurant in Vernon called Little Tex. 

I would love to post about your local encounters in not so local destinations.  Please email me your stories at

** the photos are all taken by our Vernon friends Nadine and Jason.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I come and I go but I am not dead

Hi All
I just wanted to let you all know that I will be here and there for the next few months traveling and out at the lake so if this blog is silent now and then it isn't dead.  I also feel there is less time in the day for computer time when it is nice and sunny!  I am sure you all know how that is.  I will be visiting the Farmers Markets so I hope to have new artisans to share.  Feel free to email me if there is anyone out there that I have missed or if there is something going on I should let my readers know.

Thanks and have a great summer everyone!!  Enjoy the access to local foods and local fairs.  Pick up a CSA Farm Share for an abundance of local yummies.  Visit your neighborhood's street parties and get to know neighbors that you haven't met yet.  Drive out to other Manitoban cities' or towns' festival. There is lots of local fun to be had here!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

#10 Local Baby Shower Gift: Gifts for Mom

Ok...last but not least....I hope.  ;-)  Sorry for the delay but it required a lot of researching.

I have found that baby showers have evolved.  Gifts made specifically for the new mom are now popping up all over.  One thing I know is that the baby will never go unclothed or fed but sometimes mom may.  I think giving a little attention to the new mom will do wonders for her self esteem and life outlook.  I have heard from many loving husbands, including mine, that if mom is happy then everyone is happy. 

To those who have not had babies yet you may not understand the changes that happen to mom when the new baby comes.  Your identity changes, your body changes, and your life is thrown into a blender and mixed and mixed and mixed.  It is a crazy time for mom and she is often overlooked because this beautiful baby is the center of attention.  I have some ideas to help mom feel more loved, organized, and womanly.

1.  To show the new mom that she too can be the center of your attention:  a gift of indulgent pampering is needed.  There are ideas here that could be given from any loved one, her partner, loving family member, or friend.  Even a group of her co-workers can go in together on a day of pampering.

- Some local spas for day treatments: (Urban Oasis Mineral Spa)
Strada Personal Spa 445 Stradbrook Avenue, Winnipeg, (204) 953-3620
Tracy's Day Spa Challenger Crescent, Winkler, (204) 362-8481
Juste Le Sucre Main Street, Steinbach, (204) 320-2522
Sandals Day Spa, 70 Westdale St, Steinbach (204) 392-6873

- Other Pampering Products:
Spa Gift Baskets from one of our local Bath & Body Artisans:

Heat therapy bag -

2. One thing that normally falls apart with a new baby is the balance in the home:  a great shower gift can be something that helps organize the day to day of the new family.  It can include purchasing a service for the new mom like a diaper service or house cleaner or items to help de-clutter mom's brain, house, and new baby items.

- A gift I like to give new parents is a basket of delicious fresh food or a home made meal.  I know it is hard to stay nourished when the baby arrives so it is our responsibility as friends and family to keep the family going. ;)  If I can't make a meal than my favorite basket is a mix of a couple local businesses.   Organic fresh fruit, Organic snap peas & baby carrots, organic dried fruit snacks, & organic granola bars from Eat It.  Then off to Deluca's for a loaf of rosemary ciabatta bread & a wedge of gouda or havarti....maybe try a brick of local made New Bothwell mild cheddar.  Delicious cheese crouissants & a healthy loaf of Whole Wheat Multigrain Bread from Tall Grass Prairie.  Lastly, the punch...something sweet and sinful.  Pop into Morden's Chocolate, High Tea Bakery, or any of the other sweet local bakeries or chocolatiers to sneak a little treat into the basket for Mom.

- A Few Environmentally Friendlier House Cleaners:
Shelbyclean - (204)792-2705 -

- Personal Chef: Peppercorn & Co - I have seen Chef Cindy work and the meals she has made.  She is dependable and always goes the extra mile to ensure her clients are impressed.

"A Personal Chef service is exactly that... a personal chef service. With the freshest ingredients your personal chef prepares custom designed menus and meals fresh or for freezing and refridgeration and can delivery them to your door. By your preference, your chef is also available to prepare your food in your home as well, and can shop, prepare and clean up on site."

- A gift to help her organize her life could be:

1&8: purses and diaper bags -
2&5: wipes cases & change mat -
3: wet bag -
4&9: diaper/wipe bag & nursing cover -
6. diaper bag/purse -
7: diaper bag/tote -
8&10: nursing cover & clip -


3. Mommy & Baby exercise or other fun class for 2 is great to help with bonding:  there are a few ideas below to consider.

- She can boogie with baby at a Salsa Baby Classes or Zumba Babies & Moms.  Or she can stretch and relax with babe at Mom & Me Yoga Classes

4. Mom's also love having bragging rights: a nice album or photo frame will be cherished.  I find most baby frames are very baby so what do you do with the frames once the kiddo has got out of the baby stage? You are not going to want teddy bear frames all over once the the nursery is done.  Here are some more long lasting ideas.

1&2: brag book (and diaper cake at top of page) -
3&4: hand painted frames -

5. The last thing that goes down the drain when you become a new mom is the feeling of being a sensual, beautiful, woman:  when a woman becomes "mom" the individual is lost for a while.  This can be a frustrating thing for her and her loving partner and normally it is the last thing a mom will ask help with.  Here are a few ideas to help mom get her groove back.  Partners, this can do wonders for a ramping up a lacking sex life too. ;)

- Spa treatments,  pedicures, and massages can make Mom feel beautiful.  Look above at the pampering Mom section for local spas.  The classics like chocolates or flowers is always nice to up spirits.  A partner can give Mom a couple hours away to relax with a spa treatment, massage, to take a yoga class, or meet a friend for a quiet meal at a local bistro.  Some local favorites are: Chocolatier Constance Popp, Beyond Flowers, Inferno Bistro, Fresh Bistro, Eat Bistro, Yoga Centre, or Yoga North.

- If money is tight nice massages from her partner can do wonders for her achy tired body & spirit.  Look back at the previous post about local bath & body artisans for a aromatherapy massage oil. 

I hope this gives you some good ideas so you can skip the box stores and keep your money in Manitoba.  There is so many amazing local artisans and shops here that can give you a creative show stopping gift.

Sharing Craft Event with Fellow Winnipeg Etsians!

I just got this from Winnipeg Etsy Street Team.  It looks like fun.

"Wednesday Jun 16 2010 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Travel Alcove

The Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library invite all crafters - the veteran and beginner - to drop in between 7:00-9:00 pm in this casual and creative environment where you are encouraged to share your craft challenges and joys with skilled crafters from MCML.

This is a special session dedicated to the art of jewelry making featuring Rebecca Hadfield and her creatively recycled and whimsical creations, environmentally friendly jewelry courtesy of Periwinkle Design's Ruth Schulz Smith, Studio Lune’s own Melanie Welsey who is known for jewelry made of everything from beads & charms to leather, and leather and feather creations from Sigourney Burnell.

MCML is dedicated to the study, preservation and an understanding of craft and to the promotion of the work of craft artists. Sharing Craft has become a great way to meet those goals."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In Plain View Artist Studio Tours June 5th & 6th

I did a post on the In Plain View Artist Studio Tours over the Winter and I have just been reminded that it is happening again this weekend.  Have a look at the website for details of artists and artisans participating in the tour.  Below is a description of the tours taken from the In Plain View website.  This will be a fun weekend.  I hope that many of you go out and see the talent we have in Winnipeg.

"In Plain View Artists Studio Tours

Welcome to Winnipeg's 2009-2010
Self-Guided Artists Studio Tours

Tour Dates and Times

Visit Winnipeg artists in their studios on the weekends of November 7 - 8 and December 5 - 6, 2009 and June 5 - 6, 2010.
Studios will be open from 12 noon to 5 pm for all tour dates.

Self-Guided Tour

Take a self-guided tour and visit artists in their studio environments and view original art in the setting in which it has been created. Get in your car, join a group of friends, or do a walking tour of the areas listed on the map. You will be able to meet and chat with artists and see the working spaces of both established and emerging artists, from basements to self contained studios. You will also have the opportunity to visit galleries in the city who promote and show the work of local artists.

These tours are free of charge. Local artists offer you a peek into their world, where you will experience art in many media - paintings, ceramics, sculpture, watercolour, printmaking, glass art, jewellery-making, wearable art and more.

An abundance of creative, original artworks will be on exhibit for show and for sale. Many artists also accept private commissions. Please note that some studios do not accept credit card payments, but cheques and cash are widely received.

We will be offering tour-goers a chance to draw for a $100 gift certificate for each of these tours. For details, click on the 'draw' link at the top right of this page.

Tour brochures are available and can be obtained at the Explore Manitoba Centre at The Forks (adjacent to the Johnston Terminal) and at Destination Winnipeg, 259 Portage Avenue (204-943-1970) and at the studios and galleries listed in this brochure."