Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
...a breath of fresh air for those with a heart for local /fair-trade living, & inspiration for those intrigued...
                                     

Wholly Canadian Blog

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrate Good Things

This week we celebrate two months of Wholly Canadian! Wow.

It's been an incredible ride connecting with local & fair-trade companies.

Wholly Canadian exists to champion local & fair-trade companies, and we're doing exactly that. 

We've got an incredible offer for Canadian product companies for our "Best Shopping" directory. . .keep reading!



In just two months we've had 4,114 unique users, and 20,479 pageviews--from every province & territory in Canada! It would seem Canadians are really interested in whole-life local & fair-trade living!

Here's some of what has made Wholly Canadian great, according to our followers:

Favourite things

 

Celebration!

To celebrate two months on the 10 month, we're giving away. . .

10 FREE "Best Shopping" listings

to any Canadian and/or fair-trade product companies that resonate with localism and fair-trade principles.


Christmas is coming. This is a great time to join the list that Canadians have been craving. . .an easy directory for local & fair-trade shopping!


Local and/or Fair-trade companies:

To receive this offer, all you have to do is comment on this blog today, listing your company and website, and we'll get in touch with you!

-your listing will be listed complementary until Feb 1, 2015! No strings attached!

-if you see more than 10 companies that have commented, please still enter your company name just in case they do not qualify or send us their info. . .


Followers:

Do you want your favourite company to be listed on our "Best Shopping" directory?  Send them this blog post link and have them comment. Act fast!

10 FREE listings being given away today for our "Best Shopping" directory to the first 10 companies that respond.

Go ahead, let's celebrate local living today. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 11:23 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sweet Pea

Peapod Creations sent me some products to review. But before I share about my experience, let me tell you a bit about this Peapod Creations.

I asked them some questions so you could see what makes them a Canadian company to take note of:

What products do you provide?
Our products include the CuddlyWrap™, wrap-style baby carrier in 100% certified organic cotton and The Baby Essentials set (1 double-sided blanket and 2 double-sided burp cloths) also manufactured in 100% certified organic cotton.


Baby Essentials Photo
 
What's your mission?
Our Company’s mission is to provide top quality products that support close nurturing family ties starting with fulfilling the basic need of a newborn to be held in close contact with a parent which in turn facilitates parental/newborn bonding.


CuddlyWrap Photo
 

Why should Canadians buy from your company? What makes you unique compared to your competitors?

Canadians should buy from our company for a number of reasons:

  • Winnipeg-made: With the exception of growing and spinning the organic cotton, all the production and manufacturing of the CuddlyWrap and Baby Essentials set and all packaging is done in Canada and mostly, within Winnipeg.
  • Design & Fabric: Our fabric sets us apart from other wrap-style carriers as does the design of the CuddlyWrap: it’s length, width, the weight and one way stretch of the fabric and the tapered ends. Also, the 100% certified organic cotton is consistently of top quality, making our fabric incredibly soft and durable. 
  • Quality Control: Because our products are manufactured locally and the packaging and shipping is done by us, we have excellent quality control too. 
  • Boost to our Economy: Peapod Creations has been supporting the Canadian and local economy since 2004.
  • Instructions: From the very beginning, Peapod Creations has invested in providing instructions and packaging based on the recognition of learning styles and respect for the importance of language. We were the first North American baby carrier manufacturer to have all our instruction materials – printed and available on the internet – in all three of the major languages of North America: English, French and Spanish.

 



Where can Canadians purchase your product?
We have both in-person and online retailers across Canada and the list can be accessed on our webpage. Because we believe in the importance of supporting our retailers and their local economy, we do not sell direct to consumers.

 


 

What did you choose Wholly Canadian to feature your product?
We chose Wholly Canadian to feature our products in order to support connections among people who share our commitment to Canadian made products, fair trade, reducing the carbon footprint, protecting the environment and contributing to local economies and charities.



 

What does local living mean to you?
As a business, local living to us means working with small independent retailers rather than getting into the big box stores with our products; shopping local independent retailers as much as possible rather than going online to find less expensive options; buying business supplies/services (for example, trade show materials; website development; graphic design; office furniture) locally or Canadian wherever possible.

 
CuddlyWrap Photo

 

When I visit a shop, I usually ask for Canadian-made products. Inevitably, many a sales associate tells me, everything is made in _____. Not true, I say!

Peapod Creations is an example of quality Canadian-made products.  Lead by a group of four Winnipeg women, these ladies do Canada proud!



Jennifer, Andrea, Shirley and Deb Phillips
(daughter, daughter, Mom and daughter-in-law)

Product Review:

1. CuddlyWrap:

I hadn't worn my baby in a wrap since he was 6 months old. So when Peapod Creations asked me to try out their CuddlyWrap for my 19 month old I was surprised.  For some reason I thought I needed a structured carrier when he was heavier. . .or at least that is what my original wrap indicated--that a heavier baby is not suitable.  Well, Mom & owner, Shirley Phillips, set me straight! When I asked why I could wear a toddler in this wrap, and not my original wrap, she said it's because of their type of fabric: it's a one-way stretch fabric and has no elastic in it. That made sense to me. And it felt right. The first time we went for a walk with our CuddlyWrap, my husband commented how well our son seemed placed.

When Shirley arrived to deliver the products, baby woke up from his nap right on cue, and we did an immediate wrap.  She said something that has resonated with me ever since. While wearing baby, I was intuitively rocking back and forth and rubbing his back while chatting, and she noted that. She said, do you see what you're doing?  There's something about wearing our babies that gives us such an organic connection with them. That thought made me smile then, and still makes me smile. There is indeed something very special about wearing a baby in a cloth wrap.

I also appreciate the tapered ends. My original wrap had blunt ends, making for a bulky waist.

I still need a mirror when placing a bigger baby in the wrap. . . I guess I need more practice. I wrapped baby when shopping last week, and I think I amused a few folk.  This is why I keep the cloth wrap with me at home.  I like it for home use, or for short walks in the neighbourhood. I have found that there's a different connection when wearing a baby in a wrap versus pushing him for a stroller ride.


2. Baby Essential Set:

This organic blanket and burp cloth set is buttery soft. I love the little pocket in the blanket to hold a tissue, soother, or teething ring. Very pragmatic! The burb cloths are beautifully designed in their shape to stay in place on the shoulder.

Baby Essentials Photo

 

Are you expecting a baby? Know someone who is? Ensure this little one has a Canadian-made CuddlyWrap & Baby Essentials set.

Your baby deserves the best! Choose Canadian!


What's your favourite aspect about this Canadian Company?

Firstly, their products are made in Canada! People often say, everything is made in _____.  Nope, not true! Our country can boast of quality Canadian-made products! - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Giveaways/peapod.cfm#sthash.JA4lmgxH.dpuf
Firstly, their products are made in Canada! People often say, everything is made in _____.  Nope, not true! Our country can boast of quality Canadian-made products! - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Giveaways/peapod.cfm#sthash.JA4lmgxH.dpuf
Firstly, their products are made in Canada! People often say, everything is made in _____.  Nope, not true! Our country can boast of quality Canadian-made products! - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Giveaways/peapod.cfm#sthash.JA4lmgxH.dpuf
Firstly, their products are made in Canada! People often say, everything is made in _____.  Nope, not true! Our country can boast of quality Canadian-made products! - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Giveaways/peapod.cfm#sthash.JA4lmgxH.dpuf
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 12:00 AM 31 Comments

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Cream always Rises to the Top

The last few years I've been on a quest for wholly natural food. Real food. . .

  • food like my grandparents produced on their farm
  • food that comes from animals that lived in a natural habitat suitable to Canadian weather just like my grandparents would have given them. . .outside in the summer, inside in the winter
  • food that comes from animals that ate real food themselves. . .food that is historically rooted in tradition (GMO free & checmical-free)

 

You see, I'm not after an (organic) label, I'm after wholly natural food

Can you see the difference in colour between these two whipped creams? Neither have any sweetener in them; they were simply whipped.  One is from coventional cows that lived inside a barn; and one from pastured cows that grazed outside this summer. Which appeals to you? Snow-white cream? Or buttery-yellow cream?


But now most wholly natural food is labelled as organic.

While a great deal of conventional food is GMO and chemical-laden--not because any organization is aiming to feed Canadians this, but because consumers are demanding cheap food. . .food that is cost-efficient, travel-friendly, has prolonged shelf-life, etc. This is why I am now buying a great deal of organic--I just want wholly natural food. I want real food.


Don't ask why wholly natural food is so expensive, ask why cheap food is so cheap. . .

I want my apples to rot on the shelf after a few weeks versus GMO fish-infused apples with pro-longed shelf-life & reduced Vit C. I want food that encourages bio-diversity. I want food that comes from seeds that are naturally derived. I want food that doesn't put farm workers at risk--chemicals that have poison signs and are sprayed on food seems like a strange practice.


 

Harmony Organic cream:  We purchase this at Organza Market in Winnipeg because it is: 1)Canadian, 2)un-homogenized, 3)and grass-fed in season (I don't know of any dairy company that can boast these three for their cream). And the colour, oh, the colour it is such a rich buttery-yellow.  Note: This cream is nearly 3x the price of conventional cream; which is why we budget accordingly, and savour every spoon.

I'm particularly after grass-fed meat, dairy, and meat. Why?

Because of Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is found in animal products, as opposed to K1 which is found in leafy greens. But here's the clincher. The eggs, dairy, and meat we consume only contain natural Vitamin K2 when it is . . . you guessed it . . . grass-fed (or pastured).


"Grass-fed" or "pastured" isn't a sought-after label of some idealistic dream. . .eating grass-fed products is critical for normal health.

However ever since the 1940s, farmers realized that livestock could be cheaply fed a diet of grains fortified with synthetic vitamins A and D, and could thus survive without ever having to see the sunlight.

Weston A Price Foundation, an educational organization committed to ancient wisdom in food and farming, states that vitamin K2 is synthesized from the chlorophyll ingested by cows, chickens, or pigs when grazing in lush green pastures. This means that they must be in the sunshine to get it! When animals are left confined to dark spaces without movement and fed processed grains, there is little chance for K2 to be created.

Why the concern about Vitamin K2?  Well, research indicates that Vitamin K is vital:

  • for the utilization of minerals,
  • protects against tooth decay,
  • supports growth and development,
  • is involved in normal reproduction,
  • protects against calcification of the arteries leading to heart disease,
  • and is a major component of the brain.
  • Vitamin K2 works synergistically with the two other “fat-soluble activators” that Price studied, vitamins A and D. Vitamins A and D signal to the cells to produce certain proteins and vitamin K then activates these proteins.

Got children? Vitamin K2 is esesntial for normal bone & neurological growth! Grass-fed animal products should not be luxury foods. . .they weren't for my farming grandparents.


So which cream appeals to you? The conventional cream? Or the grass-fed cream?

 

Look for the words "pastured" or "grass-fed."

Labels that say cage-free or free-range are not sufficient. These labels cannot be correlated with grass-fed/pastured, thereby, Vitamin K2.

For example, eggs that come from a carton that state their chickens are solely fed a vegetarian diet, don't get my purchase. Why? Because chickens are not naturally vegetarian. Chickens, like many other birds, when living in their natural habitat eat mice, insects, etc. "Cage-free" eggs come from chickens that while they live free of a cage, are contained indoors year-round and fed a vegetarian diet--and then are marketed as a "natural" choice. Indoors means no Vitamin K2.

My Manitoba supplier of free-range pastured eggs? Check them out: Luna Field Farm.

As Canadians we're also fortunate, that Canada Organic has standards that mandate farmers to pasture their animals seasonally, in order to receive their organic certification.

I have also found many farmers that are not organically certified, but have similar high standards of pasturing their animals. The key it to get curious; and contact the farmer!


My grandparents on the farm would't have labelled real food as organic; they simply practiced traditional wisdom.

Cultured cream, a type of clotted cream. Served on a brownie made of fair-trade chocolate, and Manitoba oats, pastured eggs, & honey.


But grass-fed cream & milk is not where the goodness stops in our home. . .we culture our cream. Using dairy kefir grains, we culture sour cream, sweetened clotted cream, and kefir cheese.

All of these creams and cheeses are laden with probiotics--the good bacteria that lines your gut and builds up your defenses against flues and diseases.

A healthy gut belongs to a healthy person.

So get your gut healthy!

A healthy gut also aids in weight management.


Wild rice burger on traditional sourdough bread laden with traditional kefir cheese


Interested in taking a course on cultured creams and cheeses? See our upcoming class in Winnipeg.

Want to give your family an immune boost? 

Interested in making rich creams and cheeses that are full of probiotics right in your kitchen?

Want to get the synergestic benefit of cultured food rich and real ingredients rich in Vitamin K.

Register nowSpace is limited.

 

 

Which cream appeals to you?

As they say, the cream always rises to the top. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:54 AM 38 Comments

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

In Other October News. . .Top Ten & Bubbly Drinks

Here's an October update. . .

The much anticipated Top Ten monthly products for October has just been posted.  Yeah! 

We've written about some of Canada's treasures. . .Hope you enjoy!

In other news. . .we've got two spots left for our "Bubbly drinks & creams" course that is happening tomorrow night (Thursday) in Winnipeg. 

 

BEAT THE SUGAR CRAZE! Sweet cool drinks are a must all year-round!  Is your family reaching for drinks laden with sugar (frozen drink concentrates, powder drinks, soda, and even just plain 100% juice?)  All of these are chalk-full of sugar!  And sugar lowers the immune system. So what do you do? It’s easy!

Take this bubbly course and learn to make homemade soda drinks & creams fit for the whole family (my 1-year old baby is a huge fan!). Not only will you be beating the sugar craze, but providing drinks that are full of probiotics (healthy bacteria)!  It’s a well know fact that a healthy gut means a healthy person. And a healthy gut aids weight management.

 

Here’s what you will learn using all fair-trade and local ingredients:

 

  • water kefir flavoured with fruit (sparkling drink)
  • dairy kefir drink
  • kombucha
  • cultured cream
  • kefir cheese

 

 

 

 

Wild rice burger on traditional sourdough bread laden with traditional kefir cheese flavoured with garlic & basil. We'll learn how to make this kefir cheese in class.


Two Spots Left. Act now to get yours!

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Crafter, oh Crafter, Make Me a Craft

I had the privilege of attending the Etsy craft sale in Manitoba. . .I got there 5 minutes after the start time, and there was already a line-up! Wow, what a turn-out. 

I am reminded, once again, how Canadians are eager to invest their dollars in supporting local artisans.

I didn't get a chance to visit all the artisans {it was really difficult to walk at times!}, but here are some that I did visit. . .

Come with me on a viritual tour. . .


Flatlander's Soap Co.Lime & Lavender Handmade Soap - Medium

I purchased some lavender soap. I love lavender, and this looked like a solid soap that would last for a while. . .

I met Doug who told me how he handcrafted their wooden soap dishes.



Colour AddictionCircus Tent

Amazing tents for creative play. I love this red and white, but Cindy, the artisan of this company, also displayed her creativity in some of her more bohemian-styled tents! Definitely a work of art.


HBC: Vintage Photo PillowThreadxTwill

I met Brynn, who told me about how she was able to put these vintage photos on fabric pillow covers. I loved the local Manitoba images.  I also appreciate the many hours of labour that go into something like this. . .It looks simple as a consumer, but so much sweat goes into producing a finished product produced by some already very busy mamas!



Nancy Blokland Pottery

Dinnerware 4 piece place settings in Northern Lights Pottery wedding gift

Loved Nancy's Northern Lights colour and pattern.  The name suited the colour very well.


Ulla + Viggo

This little booth had the mamas swooning. They hit a sweet spot by re-thinking baby footwear. There were no characters on these baby leather footwear. . .no, it was a classy kind of chic.  It's so hard to get locally-made and classy baby boy items at a craft sale, as girls definitley have it hand's down. But they made this really cute pair of leather boots without the fringes that simply looked classy! (Too bad I don't have a pic of them)


Prairie ThreadsRainforest Large Round Coiled Basket / Bowl / Pot by PrairieThreads
These eco-friendly coiled baskets use up bits and pieces of leftover fabric.  To make each one, Laura wraps strips of fabric around cording, then coils it and stitches it together, shaping the basket as she goes.

I like this concept for organizing nursery toys, as coiled baskets are amazingly lightweight but very sturdy, holding their shape while being flexible at the same time.


Marbled Leaves Quilt Gender Neutral Any Size Made to Order Pick your own FabricLittle Feather Designs

I fell in love with Deanne's baby quilts. . .she had a couple with vintage prints on them. A great addition for a nursery!




We Are Bound TogetherOak Book, Remember When...Pyrography

I was most impressed by the craftsmanship by Andrea, a book artist, who puts crafty into craft! Each book is bound with linen thread using the coptic stitch which creates a braid down the spine. The wood used for this journal was from scraps of leftover wood from a friends workshop.

Script is burned onto the wood using a method called pyrography. Wood is sanded smooth and protected with a light coating of Danish Oil. As well she hand-tears all the paper for a whimsy edging!


GlamHerBands Maternity Sash Belt, Bridesmaid Belt, Bridal Belt Rhinestone Crystal AppliqueGlam Her Bands


Stephanie, the artisan of Glam Her Bands, modeled her hand-made glam belts beautifully. . .wearing a simple pink tee, she looked like one of the most elegant pregnant mamas I have seen!  She said these bands look great on any figure. Wear it as a maternity belt, bridesmaid belt, or everyday belt! Stretchy ribbon means a comfortable fit! Elastic ribbon is accented with a beautiful rhinestone appliqué.


 

 

Hoshii Designs

Beautiful handcrafted bags and more. Deborah does a fantastic job in these evening clutches. . .so incredible that they are made locally!




Jessica Hodgson

What caught my eye when viewing Jessica's ceramics, was a beautiful collander.  So beautiful you can wash fruit in it, and serve it in the same dish.  I also enjoyed hearing about her ceramic knitting bowl which was grandma-inspired!


Anita Rex DesignsBurlap Wreath, Christmas Burlap Wreath, Red and Grey and Chevron Burap Wreath, Bubble Wreath, Holiday Wreath

I purchased this wreath for the upcoming Christmas season. I'm not a big fan of synthetic wreaths produced from petrochemicals. . .which is why this resusable natural-material wreath really strikes my fancy. . .featuring red burlap, light grey burlap and grey and white chevron burlap.



If you could pick any product from any of these artisans, what would you pick?

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 9:54 AM 47 Comments