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

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Pure Anada Makeup

Pure Anada Makeup:
Natural makeup made right in my my home province of Manitoba. What is not to love? It’s local. It’s natural. And it’s beautiful! I also have to tell you that the owner, Candace, is an incredible example of a “mompreneur.”
Some of my favourite products? Their mascara and luminous blush.

About: Candace says she was always aware of nutrition and health, thanks to her mother.  She grew up as the kid who brought the “healthy” luncpure anada made in canada makeup wholly canadianh to school. Her mom was ahead of her time when she taught us that “the whiter the bread…the sooner you’re dead”. She knew the importance of what we put in our body.  Suddenly it dawned on her that it must also be important to consider what we put ON our bodies as well. That’s when she began to research some of the ingredients that were in the products she was using as a hairstylist.  She was surprised to know that the cosmetic industry is not highly regulated and that many ingredients are not tested for their long-term safety.  By using a plethora of ingredients in our personal care products, we are simply participating in a giant experiment!  She was not interested in being a part of it any longer.
In 2003 when she had two small children and decided that it was time to live a more holistic lifestyle she changed many household and personal care items to healthier, more environmentally friendly alternatives.  The last products to go were her color cosmetics.  She was accustomed to using high-quality, salon brands and could not find “natural” makeup on the market that met  expectations.  She always had an insatiable desire to “make it myself”.  As  a child, she learned to sew, bake bread, and craft just about anything and everything.  Surely she could make her own makeup!?  She researched the prospect and jumped in with both feet!   She remembers the days when she would tuck the kids into bed, and bring out her stash of ingredients.  She was hooked!   And that is how Pure Anada Cosmetics was born.

Favourite Memory: I have told so many people about this company.  Several years back when studying in Vancouver and visiting natural markets, I would ask if they had had any natural makeup made in Canada, and the sales associate would tell me they had never discovered anything like that. I would always pass on the Pure Anada’s name to an eager associate. And receive this joy of knowing that these small actions of goodwill is what makes our country great.

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 9:40 PM 18 Comments

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New friend in town

 Warm spring greetings. . .yeah it's finally warming up!  

Oh, the hope that fills the soul after a long winter . . .


I want to introduce you to our newest ad: Mashenka Rose; created by Mary Grishchenko in Saskatchewan. Check out her ad on the right side of our home page. 


Mary is passionate about all things homemade! 
She and her wonderful husband, Nikolay, have two young children: Thérèse and Pio, who are the inspiration behind most of her projects! 
Her mom first got her interested in sewing at a young age when she was nine, and helped her start her first quilt. Mary's family teases her about that quilt that took her 11 years to finish! However, she has since developed a true love of sewing and is always working on a new project.
She finds it exciting to  be able to share what she has created with others. 


Mary has a lovely whimsy colleciton on Etsy.  What caught my eye is this re-usable vintage-inspirted burlap banner. So many birthdays to be celebrated, and what a great idea to have something that catches the eye for party after party!

Simplicity. Looks great. Sustainable. Little effort on my part.


Mary also created this bunny for our Easter basket featured on this post.





Have you clicked on our other ads? Check out some great Candian & North American inspirations for this spring!

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 10:25 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Rocky Mountain Soap

Rocky Mountain Soap
We use their “Baby Bear” soap.  I love this for so many reasons.  We found out we were pregnant when travelling through the Rockies. . .the same trip where I also saw a  bear.  So right from the beginning we called our baby, “Baby Bear.”  Well, low and behold, I found a “Baby Bear” soap made by Rocky Mountain Soap; this was appropriate on so many levels: 1) Made of all natural ingredients; 2) Lavender--my favourite smell; and 3) Made in the Canadian Rockies!  We use it for each bath. Word of advice: My little “Baby Bear” wants to warn other little “bears” that while this soap looks tasty, it is not! It’s best to suck on other bath toys:)

About: Rocky Mountain Soap is an eclectic and passionate group of individuals (who at any given moment, might smell collectively like 23 different flavors of soap) living and working in Canmore, Alberta. Rocky Mountain is owned by Cam Baty and Karina Birch, a young couple who have nurtured the company from its days as a 300 square foot shop in Canmore to the now 10 stores and 7000 square foot workshop. Cam and Karina balance running a rapidly growing company with raising three rapidly growing young childrenmade in canada baby bear rocky mountain wholly canadian soap natural.

Favourite Memory: One day when my baby was out for the day at his auntie’s, I missed him so much that I went and got his soap and placed it on my desk so that I could smell him.

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 5:35 PM 6 Comments

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Dutailier Rocker

 Dutailier Classico Comfort Glider
While a great deal of my baby’s nursery furniture was hand-me-down or vintage, there was one item I knew I most likely would buy new--a rocker.  A few moms shared how a comfortable rocker was a must because of the hours and hours spent in it--and turned out to be the best purchase they had made. I took their advice, and wholeheartedly agree. The Dutalier rocker met our specific needs: 1) Leather for easy clean; 2) Rocker & Recliner-- This chair does both! It suits our small nursery where space is at a premium and we couldn’t fit in an ottoman. (There are times I rock my baby, and times I recline with the pop-up foot rest); and 3) Versatility & Extended “Shelf Life” --by that I mean a chair that could, after it is no longer needed in the nursery, be moved to our living room and fit in with the rest of our seating. Imade in canada dutalier wholly canadian rocker glider baby got all of that in this Dutalier Classico Comfort Glider--in chocolate brown leather. It has a timeless style and impeccable comfort.
 Dutailier's upholstered chairs combine an unparalleled level of comfort and timeless styling that is designed to fit perfectly with the decor of a living room, an office or a home theatre. It is the perfect balance between the comfort of a recliner and the comfort of a glider that provides a complete relaxation in any position.

About: Dutailier is a Canadian private family owned company, established more than thirty five years ago, in a small town, St-Pie, Quebec, located 45 minutes from Montreal. They now concentrate all efforts exclusively on glider rocker chairs and have become the expert of that furniture segment. 

Favourite Memory: Oh, so many memories in this chair. But the one that takes the cake? When my baby smiled at me for the first time. It was a cold winter morning--5:30 am to be exact. I was feeding my baby in this Dutalier comfort glider. He was 4 weeks old, and he did what my heart had been yearning for--he gazed into my eyes and smiled. My eyes started tearing. My heart melted. I woke up his papa to tell him--he smiled, he smiled!  Oh, that morning, it was worth getting out of my warm bed to attend my baby. I have not been the same since.

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 5:22 PM 4 Comments

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

La Chaudiere Cheese

 La Chaudière Cheese
 A most recent purchase--Organic Old Cheddar Cheese made in Quebec.  I love old cheese, and this tastes like an artisan cheese all right!  Wow! What a treat. I love it as a side to a slice of toast and strawberry jam.  Would also be incredible on pizza. Not sure if this block will last until we make pizza.  I also purchased the parmesan cheese that I look forward to trying.  Check out all their products.
About: In 1995, when organic products were yet not part of everyday vocabulary, Vianney Choquette was among the first to invest time and money to launch production of organic cheeses made with organic milk from local farms. Since then, all his organic cheeses have been labeled with the Québec Vrai certification seal, thus making available products made with no pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, or chemical or antibiotic additives and ensuring animal well-being and protection of the environment. The cheese factory is regularly inspected by the certifying organization to ensure that organic standards are strictly followed.
wholly canadian cheddar cheese made in canada la chaudierre
Favourite Memory: I cut (only) one slice for my husband and brought it to him--delight washed over his face and he said “Wow!”  I love it when on my Canadian finds delight him too. . .but maybe not too much. I since hid it in the fridge:)

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 5:12 PM 2 Comments

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Household Disinfectant Spray--Wholly Canadian

DIY: Wholly Canadian Household Disinfectant Spray

This homemade disinfectant spray has a story.  When my husband and I were preparing to join our earthly belongings into one household a few weeks prior to marriage, I came across his cleaning products. The contents of his conventional cleaning products were laden with chemicals. In my mind, they had to go. And I proceeded to toss them. “But the smell of pine makes me think it’s clean,” he said.  “Well,” said I, “clean doesn’t have a smell.”  Needless to say the conventional products disappeared somehow. . .

I later came to appreciate that clean is often associated with smell.  So for us, it’s just switching up the source of smell. Instead of it being chemical derived, we use the real-deal. God’s gift to us is bottled as essential oils.  Why not enjoy a smell with cleaning?  Why not enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy? 

My homemade spray has three wholly Canadian essential oils (spruce, fir, and pine), and a lavender tea. Not only are they all naturally antiseptic and anti-fungal, but they also support the respiratory system, i.e. you receive a natural tonic from cleaning, simply from it being sprayed in the air.  Not to mention, lavender is also a relaxant. Yup, that’s a great deal. Your house, health, and pschye are boosted in one simple spray. Did I already say simple? Yes, it’s extremely simple to make.

Here are some benefits (by no means exhaustive) in terms of cleaning:

  • Spruce: anti-infectious, anti-parasitic, stimulates thymus (boosting immune system), and supports the nervous and respiratory system
  • Pine: anti-infectious, anti-fungal, and and antiseptic. Hippocrates (father of western medicine), used it for its benefits to the respiratory system.
  • Fir: antiseptic, and has respiratory benefits
  • Lavender: antiseptic, relaxant

Made in Canada Essential Oils?

Finding made-in-Canada essential oils is another story.  Many essential oils are labelled as “made in Canada,” but if one does further research, one discovers they are simply bottled in Canada. I kept searching for essential oil companies in Canada. When I inquired if they had essential oils made in Canada, they would reply, "yes, all of ours." “No,” I said, “I mean actually distilled in Canada.”  “Oh,” they would say, “yes, we have a few.” I then would ask if they distilled them, they would tell me they got them from another company. If I asked which company, they wouldn’t tell me. It makes sense, because they didn’t want to lose my business.

But I wanted to get to the “root” {pun intended} of it, so I could give credit where credit is due. So after tons of research I finally found an essential oil distillery in Canada . .and what a great find: Alixsir. Located in Quebec, they are both a producer and importer of essential oils. The key, for me, was that they were a producer.

Finally I could make a wholly Canadian, 100% Canadian, disinfectant spray.


  • 1 Part Water or Lavender tea (see instruction below on lavender tea)
  • 1 Part Vinegar (vinegar is another natural antiseptic ingredient whose smell dissipates when it dries)
  • 10 drops of essential oil per cup of solution (approx divide the 10-15 drops between the essential oils you use)
  • Mix well in a bowl
  • Pour solution in a spray bottle (preferably glass).
  • Shake before each use.
  • Store extra solution in a glass jar in a dark closet.    


Why Lavender Tea?

I like using the lavender tea instead of water because lavender is my favourite smell! And I love its healing and antiseptic properties.

Why not just use essential oil of lavender? Good question. Well, you could. But in my case, I wanted to use only wholly Canadian ingredients.  To my knowledge, there is no lavender essential oil that is distilled in Canada.  The reason for that I’m told is that different geographical areas have optimal growing conditions for distilling plants, i.e. you can’t beat the lavender in France, and the roses in the Middle East, etc. So using grown-in Canada lavender buds is my way of living locally and still enjoying the smell & benefits of lavender. I use Bleu Lavande tea, grown in Quebec.

Making Lavender Tea: 

  • For the purpose of this disinfectant, the stronger tea, the better. Adding increased lavender buds per cup will enhance the benefits and aromatheraphy. {smile} 
  • Use a very fine mesh strainer to contain the buds. You do not want particles floating in your solution.
  • Pour boiling water on the buds
  • Steep for desired strength

Uses for the Disinfectant Spray:

  • Bathrooms: sinks, toilet, etc
  • Countertops (test a patch on granite or marble first)
  • Windows--the vinegar ingredient ensures a good clean
  • Room Freshener--spray around the house to neutralize nasty smells
  • Baby puddles on the floor {yup!}
  • Spray around garbage can

A 100% truly Wholly Canadian disinfectant spray. {Clapping}  Yes folks, you can celebrate. Local life is possible!

Regressing back to clean having a smell. . yes, clean, can have a smell. And clean can have so many more benefits, too. Now my husband has his pine smell, and I have lavender. {Joy} 

What are some of your own cleaning tips?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:06 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Baking: No Need for New Year's Resolutions

Christmas Baking that does NOT require New Year's Resolutions

This year I had a toddler to inspire me with my Christmas baking. . . he loves helping me, well, I mean tasting.  We use our Mama's helper stool, and then he "helps" his mama. Every ingredient I pull out, he sweetly says, "Mama, I love honey," or "Mama, I love cocoa," or "Mama, I love butter". . .hoping I will give him a spoon to lick. But our joy was not just in the preparation. . .

We made our Christmas cookies with some neighbors and community members in mind. . . but not just people we knew, we kept in mind the faces of farmers we had never met--both Canadian and farmers in far-away-lands.  All our ingredients were either local or fair-trade. What a delight to think that the joy went further than our eyes could see, further than our tastes could savour, and beyond the gratitude of our loved-ones. 





Here's what we did. . .


Upgraded Egg Nog Cookies: 

We took a simple egg nog recipe  and upgraded it to include some traditional & wholesome ways of preparing food.


"Cow Pies": Unbaked Cookies & Probiotic-infused

  • wholly nourishing organic oatmeal grown by Manitoba farmers: grown by Deruycks (We soaked & dehydrated oatmeal we had prepared earlier--See why  soaking grains is so important to optimize digestion & health, and why some nutrients only become available through this ancient food preparation method) 
  • Camino fair-trade cocoa
  • homemade kefir milk (see how we make kefir milk in this course or order your milk kefir grains here) made from Stoney Brook Creamery unhomogenized milk. . .
    • How's that for adding probiotics in Christmas baking.  Oh, so necesssary to combat all the viruses this winter!
  • raw Manitoba honey by John Russell
  • fair-trade Level Ground coconut oil
  • Canadian processed Nuts To You peanut butter


Sunbutter Thumb Prints

  • organic spelt sourdough (see how to make sourdough baking in this course)
  • homemade organic sunflower butter (We soaked & dehydrated the oats--See why  soaking seeds is so important to optimize digestion & health, and why some nutrients only become available through this ancient food preparation method)
  • homemade strawberry jam from Manitoba strawberries we purchased in summer at Jardin St Leon
  • Luna Farm farm fresh eggs
  • fair-trade Level Ground unrefined sugar


Decadent Fudge: Good-for-you-Fats

  • fair-trade Level Ground coconut oil
  • Canadian processed Nuts To You peanut butter
  • raw Manitoba honey by John Russell
  • Camino fair-trade cocoa
  • sprinkled with wholly prepared nuts: (We soaked & dehydrated the nuts--See why  soaking nuts is so important to optimize digestion & health, and why some nutrients only become available through this ancient food preparation method)

And then we packaged these in some used Christmas tins we picked up a thrift store.

What joy it was to think local, fair-trade, used (tins) for our Christmas Baking . . . (Click here for a post Why this matters)




Intersted in learning more about preparing food in a naturally wholesome manner that will optimize your health for the New Year?  Click here to learn about some of our upcoming courses:


We'll be preparing some festive drinks in our next "Bubbly & Creams" course!


How have you incorporated community into your Christmas traditions? Share with us . . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 11:22 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Past

 Christmas is so filled with consumerism. . .

I keep thinking of ways to keep a simple, yet community-oriented, joy-filled ways of celebrating!

Many parents feel overwhelmed with trying to make thought-full & care-full decisions regarding Christmas gifts.  My encouragement to Canadians is to get curious about the stories behind their purchases with three questions:

  1. Who made it and were they paid a fair-wage?
  2. Where was it made?  (Go beyond the country. . .begin to question the standard of working conditions of where it was made)
  3. Are we consuming or gift-giving from the heart? (i.e. is this just another thing in our already full house?)

In 2013 was my first year with a baby, and like many parents, I can testify to the pleasure of shopping for babies! But I wanted baby's first Christmas not only be a blessing to him, but to the community around him. At that time, he had no toy box and only a few crib toys.  I knew that in the coming months he would be ready for play.

I'm a vintage-loving mama, and early fall last year I purchased the Golden Book's "Baby Christmas." Spending many hours in the rocker with my baby gave me a great deal of time to think. . .and I began to think about the lovely toys that the baby in this book got for Christmas. My initial thought was to see if I could mimic the gifts in this book. As I let this thought ruminate within me, I had another idea stir inside me. . .Why not re-make this book with my baby? But not just re-make it--but doing so in a paradigm of goodwill. I remember being so excited about it that night, I could hardly sleep.

I had no idea at the time how much effort and time it would require. . .but I sure had a joyous time doing it. The joy was fitting his gifts in the a paradigm of goodwill.

All the gifts he received for the "Baby's Christmas" book project,  fit into three categories:

  1. Locally-made/ North American-made gifts
  2. Second-hand/used gifts
  3. Gifts he already owned (Yup, I re-gave him gifts that already sat in his nursery. . .) {grin}

Let me take you on a visual-read of some of the pages of this book. . .hopefully encouraging you to think about upcoming purchases in a paradigm of goodwill.




The Christmas-tree page was the most fun to replicate. . .the tree is so full of such amazing details!

. . .vintage lights, glass candy canes, my sister's home-made baked gingerbread cookies, I located vintage glass German glass churches, my sister and I strung the popcorn {and lost a needle--ouch!}, vintage nativity set from my mother-in-law, second-hand star that I painted gold, wool felted snowmen from babazoobee in Ontario, and tree from our local Ron Paul Garden Centre.





I purchased a used, vintage music-box from Switzerland. . one that plays the same lullabye as in the book. This is one of the most treasured gifts. . .so simple and so sweet.

We crank out the tune every night for baby. It's his cue that's it's bedtime. As soon as he hears the music, he turns on his side and sucks his fingers. It melts my heart every night.  Many times I tear up soaking in the sacredness of the moment. As I watch him, all tucked in, my mama's-heart wrenches a bit because this day in baby's life is over. . . for as the familiar poem says, "babies don't keep."

This is the one gift that mama will keep for herself. . .I imagine myself one day as an old granny still cranking out the lullabye on the music box, wistfully wishing these memories back. Mary, the mother of the Christ-child, was said to "ponder these things in her heart." Maybe she had a tune in her heart as well. . .




"A little drum to beat upon. . ." 

Found this second-hand as well.




"A kiddie car that steers. . ."

Made in Ontario, Canada by Thorpe Toys




A ball to roll along the floor. . .

I wanted an identical ball, so I chose British Columbia Splat and Co to make an identical ball for baby with a jingle bell in the centre!




"A picture book. . . "

With some extensive searching I found the identical "Baby's Mother's Goose" Golden Book. . .it turns out that it is one of my baby's favourite books now. He loves the nursery rhymes. As it is a 1968 used edition, I have to keep the book out of his reach, as he really wants to love on the book! The illustrated pictures of the children in the book are so precious!

"A rocking horse. . ."

Granny had previously purchased him a used rocking-horse. . .so we gave it to him again!

I found a used vintage bouncy seat we used as a prop for the picture. . .it was a great deal of fun re-creating this picture at Granny's house with the garland, nativity set, and stocking.

"A shovel and a pail. . ."

A used vintage shovel & pail that was made in the USA.




"A little boat for baby dear to sail. . ." 

Hailing from Alberta, I purchased this boat from Jacob's Wooden Toys. We had to do many baths to take this pic, as we were on a real beet-eating streak, and the water was always pink. Finally, I cut out the beets!




"A milk truck. . ."

Undoubtedly one of his favourite toys! I found a used milk truck, and oh, what fun! We just have to make sure he does not chew on the milk bottles (they were already pre-chewed by a previous baby!) because vintage paint is generally not safe for babies.


Now's a good time to talk about his outfit. Traditionally baby wore diaper shirts and diaper pants. I had one made by one of my favourite baby clothing shops: Mabel Retro from British Columbia. I'm thinking about getting some red Christmas pajamas from there for this Christmas. So cute!


"And a train. . ." 

He already had this train sitting in his nursery. Prior to his birth, I found this used vintage train stamped as "H L Wooden Toy Company." Wonder if they are still around?    I think "Lil' Engine" was the second word he understood, as when he was just a wee baby, everytime we would enter his nursery, I would always roll it back and forth on his shelf and say "Lil' Engine." This, too, is one of his favourite toys. We are currently reading about "The Little Engine that could" and just took a ride on a steam engine in Assiniboine Park!




"Where will baby keep the toys. . .?"




"And that's where Baby puts the toys at the end of every day. . ." 

I didn't have a budget for a toybox. So we re-created one with one of our already-owned vintage wooden creates, painted it red, and put some castor wheels on it. I figued it would be easier to clean if it wheeled around. And true encough, now at 18 months, he's starting to clean up his toys when we make a game of it {I'm trying to make this his job!} 

The little red toy box was Papa's project, and he did a fantastic job. . .albeit we had to borrow our neighbour's drill when we couldn't find ours on Christmas Eve. . .oh, the pressure on Christmas Eve!

This is how he learned to walk. . .by pushing his toy cart around the house. It's proved to be a multi-functional toy. When we arrive home, the first thing he does is look for for his toy cart, and takes it for a spin!




We even re-created this picture at Granny's house. . .I had a wool red duster coaster made for me by a local seamstress with a vintage pattern.



Christmas 2013. Oh, what fun, we had. . .Again, just a sample of some of the pages from The Golden Book: "Baby's Christmas."

What amazes me is how much joy local & re-used gifts can offer.  While many people are not in the same baby-stage, I provide these examples to serve as a catalyst to get your creative juices going. . .How can a spirit of goodwill inform your purchases this year?

You see this paradigm isn't just for babies.  When you think about the conventional gifts that most babies receive, they're "cheap" imports that still cost a pretty penny. To purchase gifts in a paradigm of goodwill requires curiousity--no matter what stage of you life you are in!

Start thinking about local, fair-trade, used, etc. . . (Click here for a post on Why.)


Again, my challenge to Canadians is to get curious about the stories behind their purchases with three questions:

  1. Who made it and were they paid a fair-wage?
  2. Where was it made?  (Go beyond the country. . .begin to question the standard of working conditions of where it was made)
  3. Are we consuming or gift-giving from the heart? (i.e. is this just another thing in our already full house?)

It always breaks my heart thinking about the countless children involved in child-labour to produce toys, candy, and food for North American children (and adults). . .

This post is itended to be an encouragment for artisans, parents, and the average Canadian . . .We hope you are inspired to give Christmas gifts in a true spirit of "peace and goodwill to all." Gifts are meant to bless more than just than the receiver. . .how will you make your gifts a blessing to community?

Wholly Canadian wants to challenge all Canadians this coming Christmas in their shopping!

What are ways that you celebrate Christmas?


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Smythe - Blazer


I love a solid coloured blazer that functions as a staple in my wardrobe—an item I can use for professional or casual occasions. My navy Smythe blazer with its classic gold buttons functions as just that, as I can wear it over a dress or pair it with jeans. Coincidentally, (or perhaps not!) the Duchess of Cambridge owns this same Canadian-made blazer and has worn it on numerous occasions. She beautifully models the versatility of this blazer on different outings.

About: Smythe is known for their flawless tailored look and distinct traditional tailoring.  The contemporary, flawlessly-tailored jackets and coats feature nostalgic colors, textures and prints that are distinct in their traditional menswear tailoring details.This artful tailoring and sartorial fit made Smythe an instant success when the label launched in 2004. Smythe's made-in-Canada jackets and coats are iconic silhouettes that are novel yet versatile.

Favourite Memory:  One glorious fall day, meeting with some business contacts, and wearing this blazer to the meeting. It felt so right. The sky was a bright blue, the leaves shades of a neutral scottish plaid with streaks of red, and the air had that harvest smell. It wasn't hot; it wasn't cold--it was that perfect blazer weather on a perfect autumn day. I remember just breathing it all in. I just love it when my attire cohabitates with nature!


Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 2:30 PM 6 Comments

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Green Beaver

Green Beaver

One of my long-time favourites!  Their peppermint toothpaste is a staple in our home. Made of all natural ingredients, with a refreshing taste, it’s a sure winner!

About: A family company in Ontario, inspired by their baby, decided to make personal care products that were chemical free.They offer a wide array of products.  Check them out!

{Favourite} Memory:  More of a memory than a favourite one. I usually travel with a small bottle of powder toothpaste that is already packed for convenience.  On one trip, my husband asked me,  “Where is our toothpaste? I handed him this small bottle of toothpaste powder. “That’s not toothpaste,” he said.  Clearly someone is used to the very best of the best!  Since then, he  always packs the Green Beaver toothpaste for every trip. And I always chide him for not putting it back in the vanity cabinet when we get home. It’s our marital cycle of toothpaste woes.


Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 1:06 PM 6 Comments

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Shepherd's Dream

Shepherd’s Dream:
Wool products made in Canada are definitely some of my favs. The quality products made by Shepherd’s Dream, in my home province of MB, are no exception.  We love their products. I did a garage sale one year so I could purchase their king size wool duvet. No regrets! We have their pillows, and my baby has the complete baby ensemble  (wool mattress, mattress protector, duvet, duvet cover, and puddle pad). I really recommend their puddle pad for every baby--it’s great to travel with to protect against leaks when you’re laying your baby in someone else’s bed. And the great thing is that baby always smells his home when you lay down that puddle pad under him.  It’s a great baby gift! I worked so hard on extra jobs and saved for many months to make this baby ensemble possible, and now my baby sleeps like a little lamb. Quality usually is an investment.

About: Janet & Tim, are the faces of Shepherd’s Dream North. My husband and I spent a night at their home to try out their mattress--what a lovely time we had together.  I loved the tour of the facility and hearing the story of their company in the warmth of their woodsy home in rural Manitoba.  They produce some of the finest natural wool bedding available in Canada. Because one third of your life is spent in bed, they believe it is crucial that it be clean and free of all harmful chemicals and synthetic materials. Conventional mattresses can contain polyurethanes, flame retardants, formaldehyde and other toxic substances linked to serious health problems.  They offer a natural bed that is good for people and the planet. Some of the benefits of wool bedding? Relieving back pain, and arthritis, breathable, naturally flame resistant, and naturally hypoallergenic 

made in canada wool bedding natural wholly canadianFavourite Memory:  When my husband was getting acquainted with this company after hearing me talk about it so much, he once accidentally referred to it as “Sheep Dreams” instead of “Shepherd’s Dreams.” It made me laugh! So cute.  Now we often refer to it as “Sheep-sy” Dreams” referring back to the joke.  Every night when my baby goes to bed I toss his Shepherd’s Dream wool duvet over him, pull it down with sudden a tug, so it snuggled under his arm just right, and say, “Sheep-sy Dream, Woosh!”  He giggles, turns over to his side, then closes his eyes and sucks his fingers. Love it!

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 8:25 AM 8 Comments

Thursday, July 16, 2015

DIY: Diaper Spray made with Canadian Love

So we're in baby mode at our house (read about our baby-love here), and of course with all that baby-love comes that dirty business of diapers.  

My baby is currently three weeks old, and we're back to using cloth diapers. (See why we cloth diaper here).  And if you already cloth diaper and are laundering diapers anyway, you may as well use cloth wipes which work best with a diaper spray solution.  So this morning I concocted a diaper spray that I am so excited to share.

This diaper spray is easy to make!

By the way, even if you don't cloth diaper, you can still use this spray with cloth wipes. Start with what is manageable for you. Not to mention, that using cloth wipes is so much more effective in clean-up than using disposable wipes which often just don't have the pick-me up of cloth fibre. . .and simply wipe the "mess" around.


  • 2 cups tea--chamomile or lavender and/or both:
    • 1 cup chamomile tea--I used Manitoba-grown Blue Lagoon organic chamomile tea
    • 1 cup lavender tea--I used Quebec-grown Bleu Lavande tea
      • read about why I use lavender tea instead of lavender essential oil here
  • 1 Tb. raw honey--I used Manitoba-made John Russell honey
  • 2 Tb. Canadian-grown oil--I used Manitoba Harvest hemp oil
  • 2 Tb. castile soap--I used Canadian-made Green Beaver castile soap that is made with locally harvest organic sunflower oil instead of imported olive oil
  • 4-8 drops of naturally antiseptic essential oil--I used Quebec-grown & distilled Aliksir Poplar Balsam essential oil.
    • read about my journey with discovering true Canadian-made essential oils here



1. Make the two cups of tea. Steep for desired strength. I used one TB of loose tea, or 1 tea bag per cup.

2. Allow the tea to cool slightly. While still warm (but not hot) add the honey.  You don't want heat to destroy the raw enzymes of the honey & the beneficial components of the essential oil.

3. Once the honey is dissolved you can add the remainder of the ingredients. Stir. Pour in a spray bottle (preferably glass).

4. Use this spray with resuable cloth wipes.  Shake well before each use.

Makes 2 cups. Store in dark glass bottle away from the sun.


What makes this Diaper Spray so Canadian-esque & Special:

  • Healthy bums make happy babies!
    • This diaper spray is free of  harmful ingredients & preservatives found in diaper wipes. Have you ever read the ingredients used in disposable wipes? Crazy!  Note: if you can't pronounce the words you probably shouldn't be putting on your baby.
    • Beneficial ingredients to promote healing--ingredients that are read-able & familiar! Feel good everytime you spray your baby's bottom. Not only does this diaper spray clean that bottom, but it also encourages healing:
      • Hemp oil--contains fatty acids that nourish & moisterize the skin
      • Lavender--naturally antiseptic with antifungal properties; speeds up healing
      • Chamomile--effective in soothing skin and is an anti-oxidant. Both lavender & chamomile are used to treat eczema
      • Honey--naturally antiseptic and loaded with enzymes and nutrients
  • It's a sustainable approach for living.  Instead of buying box after box of diaper wipes which end up in the landfill, simply use this spray with cloth wipes.
  • Saves $$$. Yup, that's important when living with a tight budget.
  • It boasts only local/Canadian ingredients--one component of our proposal for Wholly Canadian living.  Supporting Canadian farmers & Canadian business is possible even in the nursery {grin}.




For an all-purpose Canadian household disinfectant spray check out this recipe. Very handy for cleaning those nursery "spills" & "sprays."

If you missed our previous posts about what we packed in our baby bag to get ready for the baby, and how we prepared our nursery--make sure to check it out!

And our course if you know of a baby on the way or have a baby in your life, make sure to check out "Canada's BEST Baby Registry"--for gifts filled with true love that are either made locally or fair-trade.


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 5:57 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


A naturally-made chocolate treat that is made in Canada. Yes, I’ll take it!  Cocomira has a simple philosophy. Take the very best ingredients, treat them with great care and create a chocolate confection that tastes decadently wonderful. They pride themselves in using all natural ingredients: the finest nuts, chocolate and coffee beans from around the world to craft our exquisite Cocomira buttercrunches: Hazelnut Crunch, Maple Crunch, Dark Chocolate Crunch, Pistachio Crunch and Mocha Latte Crunch. My favourite is the Dark Chocolate Crunch.

About: Cocomira’s founder, Anna Janes, spent many years making chocolates for family and friends. Little did she realize, stirring all those pots of toffee, that she was creating the nucleus of her own business in the process. When people began asking her where they could buy her confections, she realized she had a winning product on her hands which changed her life forever.

made in canada cocomirea natural chocolate wholly canadianFavourite Memory: Sending a box of this chocolate (a.k.a. love) to a friend in Edmonton who I hadn’t heard from for a while. I knew this would get her attention!  She eats gluten free and loves treats. . . and sure enough, she responded with great affection to tell me she promptly consumed all the contents. 

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 8:16 AM 12 Comments

Wednesday, July 01, 2015



Say goodbye to plastic wrap and tin foil forever and store your food naturally with this food storage flats. Made from all natural hemp, cotton, beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil, these flats are designed to help you store your food in a more eco-friendly manner. The design of the flats make them easy to mold and shape to cover a variety of containers and items. Wrap up cheeses and produce, cover plates of leftovers or bowls of batters and mixes when you're baking just by using the pressure and warmth of your hands. Abeego flats easily mold to the shape you need them to for a liquid- and air-resistant seal. Plus, unlike traditional wrap materials, Abeego flats can be reused. Just hand wash in cold water with a mild, biodegradable soap and air dry.

About: Founded by a couple in Victoria, BC, and driven by common sense and a persistent desire to help people change the way they think abeego made in canada plastic storage wrap eco friendly natural wholly canadianabout their food, they focused on providing a versatile material that can be used multiple times, in many ways, for varying degrees of food storage. Something that you can feel good about whole-heartedly. Besides, they say, plastic film has only existed for 50-odd years. The human race has been storing food for ages.

Favourite Memory:  I love the smell of beeswax. I repeat, I love the smell of beeswax. I will often pick up a beeswax candle, and just sniff {I might need help}. Since acquiring the abeego flat storage wraps, I can do this in my kitchen!  When ready to use them, I usually take a second {or two} and bring it up to my nose to breathe in that earthy yet heavenly scent.  Some of my containers have their own lids, and sometimes I still use the abeego flat wrap just because I enjoy the experience so much. They do require a bit more effort, but for a holistic experience like this, I’ll do it:)

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 8:03 AM 5 Comments

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Filsinger's Apple Cider Vinegar

Filsinger’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

I was so delighted when I found this apple cider vinegar a few years ago, for several reasons: 1) Comes in a glass (most apple cider available comes in plastic, which will definitely, given it is a ferment, leach); 2) Raw & organic; and 3) Made in Canada. It nearly made me sing. I love it when I find something that satisfies all the criteria on my wish list! Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries to help with a variety of ailments because of its naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic properties. I use it for salad dressings, soaking beans, and in replacement for hair conditioner.

Aboutmade in canada apple cider vinegar filsinger organic natural wholly canadian: At Filsinger Organic Foods, our ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is made with Locally grown, Certified Organic Apples. Our Vinegar is aged in oak without the use of any additives or preservatives. The finished product is unpasteurized, so it remains wholesome, raw and contains mother of vinegar. Located in Ontario, Filsinger Farms is proud to be a uniquely Canadian Organic Company and urges you to make our Organic Apple Cider Vinegar your local and organic vinegar of choice.
Maybe one day I will be able to attend their Apple Blossom Festival . . .

Favourite Memory: When my baby started food, every very few days I soaked a bowl full of beans with a couple of TB of Filsinger’s’ Apple Cider Vinegar.  Doing so, removes the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that cause gas, and make it more difficult for the minerals to be absorbed in your body. See our helpful resource chart on this, and learn how to soak grains.  I have to say I had such joy in this regular routine. It’s simple, it’s cost-efficient, it’s healthy, it’s local, and so much more sustainable than buying canned beans or baby food. What a joy  to provide for my family from my kitchen.

Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:54 AM 18 Comments

Friday, June 19, 2015

Baby Bag Packed: Wholly Canadian Excitement

We're getting excited to meet Baby #2. . . any day now!

Recently we've shared how we:

As many a mama knows, there's a lot of prep work that goes into preparing for baby. One of those is preparing the "hospital" bag.

Here are some Wholly Canadian treasures packed in this mama's bag.


1. "Gift" from baby to toddler

. . . a quiet activity for a little guy who loves cars, made by Market Eighty Nine in Manitoba. I let our little guy already play with it a few times, so that when baby officially "gives" it to him, he has reference for it and already loves it {smile}.


2. "Gift" from toddler to baby

. . . our well-loved Ringley rattle ball. I've been telling our little guy how he will shake this for the baby so the baby won't cry. {here's hoping}  We wrote about Ringley here; they are also listed on our online Canada's BEST Baby Registry.

Image result for ringley ball


3. Used/Pre-loved Clothing. . .Re-using is a key tenet of Wholly Canadian

  • take-home outfit that my husband wore--for boy or girl
  • vintage Eaton's shawl blanket
  • vintage baby girl bonnet & cardigan I purchased at a thrift store
  • and a boy bonnet/cap that my late-mother used for my brother when he was a baby

 It's great incorporating something from each of our families . . .



4. Pre-loved case

I just picked up this week at the Old Revial Company in Winnipeg; it's a Samsonite case vintage 1962 and made in Canada!


I am using this as my essential oil's case for my diffuser and oils.


5. Made-in-Canada Snacks:

Image result for bushman bar canada

Image result for gorp bar

Image result for solberry bar


Each one of these nutrition bars has a fantastic and enjoyable Canadian story . . . check out their websites!


6. Homemade Snacks

  • homemade chicken broth

Image result for broth jar gem

Image result for camino bittersweet chocolate


  • wild MB blueberry & hemp muffins

. . . blueberries I froze from Jardins St-Leon last summer, and hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds

Hemp Hearts - 56g



  • homemade strawberry water kefir (probiotic bubbly drink). . . learn how to make it here, or get a kefir culture here


7. Mama's Beauty Bag

. . . okay I know I won't look like the Duchess of Cambridge after birth, but I have a few items Canadian-made beauty items packed for some pictures of posterity {grin}

  • Pure Anada lip gloss for pictures {smile}--read more about why we love them here

Image result for pure anada lip gloss

Image result for river city herbals lip balm


  • Stylish Mode headband to keep my hair back: read more about why we love them here

Wide Navy Polka Dot Headband

  • Pure Hazelwood necklace for anti-inflammatory relief: read more about why we love them here


We'll keep you posted with our news. . .

What do you think it will be? A boy or a girl?



Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:00 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Soon-to-arrive Wholly Canadian Baby

 In just a few days we're expecting baby #2 . . . and it has been such a joy to do a "baby journey" in a #madeincanada community.

I thought I would briefly write about some of the baby delights in our nursery {grin}  Just recently we launched an online on our webpage with Canada's BEST Baby Registry. Have you seen it yet?  It's a compilation of incredible baby items. This is what Canadian parents have been waiting for!

But back to our nursery. ..As always, we have tried to incoroporate three of our major tenets:

  1. Shop Canadian-made . . .actively loving your fellow Canadian citizen/ "neighbour"
  2. Shop fair-trade . . .supporting your international "neighbour"
  3. Shop vintage/re-purposed/pre-loved. . . purposing to care for Creation and live sustainably.

See why a nursery filled with a true love for our neighbours mattersAs most Canadian parents, we have done this on a tight budget. We have purchased wisely & minimally. A small house requires intentionality.

So here's 1) what is new in our nursery, here's what is on a 2) "dream list," and here's what our nursery 3) currently holds.

New (Old) Finds: What's New in our Nursery

Our nursery will house two little "bears" soon . . . and so making space in a small space takes some forethought. We're trying to take advantage of vertical space, because, well there is so little horizontal space!

I purchasd some authentic antique hooks from Old Revival House in Winnipeg--to hang up towels, diaper covers, etc.  These four hooks make such a difference for us!


I also found a used/pre-loved handcrafted vertical organizer that I am using to store shoes. . .


And finally a little welcome for our soon-to-arrive bundle . . . some prairie daisies from mama's garden in a vintage bootie vase I found at a thrift store. This perennial daisy plant is originally from the homestead where my father grew up . . . so it makes for a rich rooted welcome. {smile}


Here's what is on our "dream list". . .


Layette & Clothing:



For Mama:


Bunny-Rabbit organic baby blanket Natural and Eco Friendly Teething and Nursing Necklace - Maple Yang Rainbow wooden stacker, wooden toy by Atelier Cheval de bois
Papoumpapoum bunny rabbit blanket Painted Turtle teething necklace  Atelier Cheval de bois rainbow wood stacker

As we don't know if we're having a boy or a girl (the old fashioned way), it gives way to some extra anticipation. . .

If we have a girl:


If we have a boy:


 Organic Cotton Bloomer with Ruffle Bum shown in Avnee Gray and Avnee Green ballet flats / frosted pink leather  Baby Blue Seersucker Shortall Set | Boys Spring Outfit | 2 Piece Set
.OM Home bloomers Ulla & Viggo ballet flats  Mabel Retro shortall set

 Our Current Nursery

Baby "Equipment"

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used



Carseat Accessories

Playful Peanut

  • carseat canopy--see here



C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Wraps & Carriers:  

Peapod Creations



Bedding & Sleep Sacks

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Mattress & Duvet

Shepherd's Dream

Sleep Sacks




Clothing & Footwear

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Layette & Accessories



  • change table, bassinett sheet, & playpen sheets

Itty Bitty Baby

  • sleep sacks & sleepers
Clothing & Accessories 

Mabel Retro

  • diaper shirt set, pajamas--see here




  • wool slippers--see here

ulla & viggo

  • moccasins

Soft Sole Baby Shoes

  • leather shoes


  • Sun Protection

No Zone

  • one-piece sun suit
  • Jackets & Snowsuits

Canada Goose

  • snow suit (we purchased thesed used)


Diapering & Bathing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used


Spa Baby

  • bath tub








Playful Peanut

  • wet bags--see here


Feeding & Nursing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

High Chairs/ Boosters


  • high chair

Mally Bibs

  • baby & toddler leather bib--see pic here
Nursing Accessories 

Mayukori Nursing Pillow

  • buckwheat filled pillow

Peapod Creations

  • Infinity nursing scarf


Health & Skincare

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Lotions, Balms, SPF & Soaps


  • See what we've used here

Mama Pacha

  • See what we've used here

Rocky Mountain

  • See what we've used here


  • Push ointment
Homeopathic Medicine & Accessories

Kid's 0-9

  • teething, fever, cold homeopathic remedies

Suro Elderberry Syrup

  • See what we've used here

St Francis Herb Farm

  • See what we've used here

Pure Hazelwood

  • See what we've used here




C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Dryer Balls

Splat & Co

  • see here for why

Nature Clean

  • see why we like them


Maternity & Nursing Wear

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used


Carry Maternity (their in-house brand)

  • dress

Make My Belly Fit

  • zipper extension
Second-hand wear Lots of used maternity wear


Nursery Furniture

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used



  • see why we chose this rocker
Buying used in this category is also an excellent choice. . .We did a lot of that.


Nursery Organization

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Baskets Ten Thousand Villages F



C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Teething toys Ringley C
Puppets & Dolls Ten Thousand Villages F
Wooden Doll House

Jacob's Wooden Toys

Wooden Toys    

Thorpe Toys


Purchasing used toys is a great way to save $, as well as purchase items that are no longer made; we purchased many unique used wooden toys for our little one.

See this post for Christmas baby gift ideas




Wool & Sheepskin Products

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Egli Sheep farm C
Wonderful World of Sheepskin C
Check out our blog post on baby wool items: "I love Ewe, Baby"  



What memories do you have of your nursery?

I have found this simple paradigm of love (local, used, and fair-trade) makes such an impact! And brings such joy to your nursery. During the endless hours of sitting in the nursery comforting and feeding a little one, allowing one's eyes to survey the impact of choices . . . one discovers a unique delight that comes only from thinking about others.

Preparing for baby is one of the most precious seasons of life. . .thus, being rooted in a shopping paradigm of goodwill for one's "neighbour" would seem to be a natural outflow of the love & joy of the season.  As Canadian mamas and papas prepare for their little one, they can be actively sharing love for their "neighbour" with some simple intentionality.


Stay tuned for our baby news. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:32 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Headbands: Style yourself Canadian-Made

So excited to share about the Canadian-made headbands that I received from Stylish Mode.

Solid Headbands


Ever felt that your hair needs some flair (rhyming, I know), and want your outfit to be a hit? {grin}  I do! This is how I discovered Stylish Mode.

I was looking for three things in my headband:

  1. Canadian-made. Most headbands purchased on the market are imports, but not these!
  2. Headbands with a flair; something unique
  3. Custom-made. My head size needs a headband with a bit of alteration.

Well, I found all three "must-haves" in Stylish Mode, and they sent me a few different styles:


Mustard Yellow Headband



Wide Navy Polka Dot Headband


Scarf  Headband for Women - Blue

I have immensely enjoyed wearing my headbands. The reason for my initial interest was that I wanted a pretty headband for my upcoming baby #2's arrival . . . to both keep my hair out of my eyes, and for pictures. I love associating memories with something specially chosen; I'm sure I will treasure this headband for many years to come.

My husband also commented on my headband, and told me he would love to see me get a navy polka dot dress. I was surprisingly amused. I had no idea the fabric would strike him like that! {grin}


Stylish Mode also makes the following:

Turban Hats for Women



Beaded Headband



Winter Headband


Rebecca, owner of Stylish Mode, has a passion for creativity. She started Stylish Mode back in 2007 when she was on the hunt for the perfect headband, and ended up sewing her own.

Rebecca believes that headbands don't just hold your hair back, they add that pretty feminine compliment to our outfits that make us unique. It's about wearing the best quality headbands around, standing out like a well made suit. It's about creating your own personal sense of style, that make those around you smile and say "hi".

Headbands for Women

Back in 2009 Rebecca was honored to have had her handmade keychains featured in Woman's World magazine.

She has a love for all things colorful, fabrics with retro prints and flowers, and is a self-proclaimed animal print addict. Have a look through the shop, you'll see these themes carry on over into the handmade headbands available on the site.

Colorful Headbands

Looking for some Canadian-made inspiration for your attire?

Check out Stylish Mode!

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:08 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pure Hazelwood: Styl'n Relief

Such a joy to promote a natural Canadian-made product that is effectively relieving pain around the world. . .

World Leader of the Hazelwood Market

Have you heard of Pure Hazelwood? You may remember that they were listed on our Canada's Best Baby Registry List . . . in the "Health" section.

Before we share why we enjoy this product, join a conversation we had with them. . .

My family has been using the syrup for a number of years, but before we share why we love them, join us in a conversation we had with them. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Suro%5FElderberry%5FSyrup%3A%5FGet%5FNaturally%5FWell#sthash.52sQq5Nx.dpuf
My family has been using the syrup for a number of years, but before we share why we love them, join us in a conversation we had with them. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Suro%5FElderberry%5FSyrup%3A%5FGet%5FNaturally%5FWell#sthash.52sQq5Nx.dpuf

What products do you provide?

My family has been using the syrup for a number of years, but before we share why we love them, join us in a conversation we had with them. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Suro%5FElderberry%5FSyrup%3A%5FGet%5FNaturally%5FWell#sthash.0ndIeS3f.dpuf

We have been a world leader for more than 17 years and a pioneer of scientific research on hazelwood; Pure Hazelwood has developed a wide range of 100% natural products, made of hazel from the Canadian boreal forest, for the whole family.

Hazelwood is now known to have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, and we offer high quality products and a guaranty of satisfaction for our customers.

Thousands of testimonials from satisfied customers demonstrate the effects of hazelwood, as a natural solution, to help release symptoms related to inflammation such as: skin problems, joint pain, heart burn, baby teething pain, and more.


What's your mission?

Becoming the best company for customers, employees, investors, business partners and for the communities in which we live and work.

At Pure Hazelwood, we work to offer innovative products and services of superior quality. Our mission is to improve the daily lives of our customers and to provide them with quality, safety and efficiency for their wellness.

Why should Canadians buy from your company?

We go the extra mile to exceed the expectations of our customers and to establish long-term business relationships. We provide a high performance, rewarding and encouraging work environment where people want to develop, and we also display ethical and socially responsible behaviors.

Our values embody our desired attitudes and how we interact with our clients and colleagues. These values are the foundation of our identity.

  • Respect: We respect our customers, our employees, the nature and our primary resource (hazelwood), our business partners and our community.
  • Honesty and Integrity: Integrity guides our choices and actions. At Pure Hazelwood, honesty and integrity are the fundamental values that must dictate our professional and personal lives.
  • Quality: Quality is deeply rooted into our activities, our practices and our methods. Our confidence is a credit to the quality of our products.
  • Passion: The strength of commitment. Passion provides us the will to create innovative solutions to summon up the enthusiasm to achieve our goals and our customers’ expectations.


Where can Canadians purchase your product?

Canadians can visit our website to find the closest store near them or they can call our customer service to have more information if they need it.

  • Toll Free: 1.866.535.0148

Why did you choose Wholly Canadian to feature your product?

We choose Wholly Canadian to feature our products because we believe in local buying and we believe the most important is to support the local industry before thinking about developing new market out of the borders. We also believe in the strength that people can have together and not alone only.

Baby hazelwood necklaces

What does local living mean to you?

This means to do daily efforts to buy as much as possible from local companies and to choose local when the choice can be available.

Product Review:

Pure Hazelwood sent us two products to review:

1. Child: Baltic amber & hazelwood teething necklace


2. Adult: Freshwater pearls & hazelwood necklace



My two-year old has been wearing his "shiny" as he calls it . . . and is currently pushing through his two-year old molars.  So far he has coasted through teething, that is until his two-year old molars . . . he's been a bit more tempermental and clingy than usual. I've heard from other mamas that while the molars are some of the last teeth, they are by no means the least in terms of trouble. So what perfect timing when we were sent this hazelwood necklace.

Read our testimonials

Made with 100 % natural hazel wood from the Canadian boreal forest and genuine Baltic amber beads, this necklace is a must for all little ones. The hazelwood has anti-inflammatory effects because it is rich in polyphenols--meaning many antioxidants.  This gives a teething little one relief, and of course, the mama relief!

The necklace for the little guys also have a safe screw clasp.

While it is easy to purchase off-the-counter medications for teething, why not reach something that no side-effects? Why not turn to a natural remedy that has helped people for centuries

Does your little one need some anti-inflammatory relief?

Do you know of a little one teething?

Do you need some relief?  Don't just stop with getting a hazelwood necklace for your little one, make sure you're sporting your own.

If you're not into wearing a necklace, Pure Hazelwood suggests the hazelwood double bracelet or anklet, with an amount of wood pieces similar to our necklace. Treaded onto sturdy elastic wire, it is a favorite of clients that have difficulty manipulating a fastening or that want to be able to put on and take off their jewelry quickly.


At the time of writing this I am pregnant, and I have been going to the chiropractor every week during the last month . . . until I started wearing this necklace.  I now just completed a 2.5 week stretch without back pain & chiropractic treatment.  That's huge!  The impact is not only financial, but relieves a busy mama's schedule.  While I'm sure there are a number of factors, I have no doubt that the anti-inflammatory effect of this necklace has been a contributing factor. I am so very grateful!

Another thing that I really appreciate as local-loving mama is that the ”hazel tree” is indigenous to Quebec--the province where these necklaces originate. This shrub is also widely spread throughout Canada, especially in the Eastern regions where it is plentiful such as the Saguenay, Gaspésie and New Brunswick areas.

So not only is this product Canadian-made, it is also Canadian-grown!

Wisely harvesting our own resources is something Canadians can proudly celebrate in this product.

De la forêt jusqu'à vous

Are you ready for some local goodness & relief? Contact Pure Hazelwood today!


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:17 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Birthday Party with a Local Flair: I Cho Cho Choose You

Wholly Canadian's little guy. . .just turned two. A birthday party was in order.

Theme of the Party? Trains (He's enamoroued with trains).

Underpinnings of the Party? Simplicity & a local flair

This party would not induce Pinterest envy; and that's fine with me {smile}. But it brought tons of joy.


So here are some ideas for those wanting to add some simple local flair to their birthday parties.

1. Food:

I made pizza buns. I mixed local meat with italian sauce and local cheese. I served it on some homemade buns made with local grains. Voila! A very tasty and healthy entree.

I purchased my meat from All Natural Meats in Manitoba using their elk garlic sausage & pepperoni. Delicious!

Choosing natural meat is critical for children's development . . .so it's a worthy investment.

All Natural Meats. Buy Local. Buy Fresh. Buy All Natural Meats.


2. Cake:

I made a cake with Canadian-made, Comensoli's gluten-free cake mix . . . a delicious cake that just happens to be gluten-free!  This was the first cake (of many to come) that I decorated without help from my sister. . . and I really enjoyed the challenge!  There's something about creativity under pressure. . .{grin}




3. Party Favours

Simplicity often means less is more. I didn't want to go to the dollar store and buy a loot bag brimming with cheap stuff, so we simply gave away two items.

a) Sugar Cookies made with nut flour and sweetened with Canadian maple sugar:

b) And train crayonsCrazy 4 Crayons sponsored this giveaway which proved to be a big hit! Hailing from Calgary, Trish Skinner, makes crayons in so many creative shapes and moulds, e.g. owls, dinasours, princesses, mermaids, animals, vehicles, castles, sea shells, robots, etc.

Obviously we chose the train crayon!  These crayons are a great idea, as they are both pragmatic and fun.  Parents appreciate a party favour that does not clutter the house. 

Check her out for your next party! Crazy 4 Crayons



4. Simple games:

We played simple games like running and crawling races (treats at the finish line helped the little guys understand the goal), duck duck goose (okay that was a bit complicated for 2-year-olds who couldn't understand why they had suddenly get up and run the opposite direction), and sang some action songs.

While waiting for the pizza buns we read the classic story "The Little Engine that Could"




5. Second-hand outfit:

I found a pair of pinstripe engineer ovealls on ebay that suited their second owner.  Buying used is one of Wholly Canadians' core tenets.


6. Nap time!

So after the games, eats, and gifts it was nap time--for all involved! 


7. Birthday Gifts:

In addition to some generous gifts from his friends, our little guy received two gifts at home:


1. "Helper Stool"

I had this stool custom made to fit our (okay, my) needs. We have a small pedestal sink in our bathroom, so it was getting difficult to lift him up to wash his hands. I wanted a safe stool that he could climb, and that was easy for me to move.

I had the handles on this stool custom-made at my height (yup, this pregnant mama deserves some perks), and the stool has castors (wheels) at the back which are activated when the stool is tipped. This makes for easy moving.

We purchased this stool from Ed Hiebert in Winnipeg who can be reached via email.



I also had this stool made at only 12" inches in width, because we have a small house, and I wanted it take the least amount of real estate.

This little guy loves his stool!  If I tell him it's time to wash his hands, he gets excited and always says "With stool?" "Yes," mama says, "with stool." And then he carefully climbs up by himself (he's a cautious guy) and says "Oh do" which means "I do." "Yes," mama says "you do." 

The last few weeks he's been my "helper" in the kitchen. It allows me time to make meals and have him feel a part of this prep. His prep, however, is mostly playing with toothpicks and trying to get them back in their container. It works for me!


2. Kid's Table made of Barnwood!

The second gift he received is also a pragmatic gift, but a great deal of fun!  Created by and sponsored by Prairie Barnwood, this kid's table has become invaluable for our little home.  I wanted a small table that would function as a daily snack table, extra table when friends come over, and a craft table. The drawer (which is accessed on both sides of the table) is mama's secret weapon for a quick clean-up.  It hosts a variety of treasured items and crafts.


Made in Morden, MB with Canadian-made barnwood, this table is a wonderful addition to our little home. The workmanship is top-notch.

It is displayed with two second-hand stools (one of which used to be a Mennonite milking stool that I found on kijiji, and the other at a thrift store).

Looking for some unique but sturdy furniture filled with goodwill? Check out Prairie Barnwood, and start drooling.

We've featured them previously and you can read about it here. . .

Why Local?

Why employ a community-orientation in your birthday parties?

    • It's intentional: many of the ingredients and items used to celebrate this birthday were  local, fair-trade, or used . . .few good things of life are accidental. I'm always reminded that acts of goodwill and kindness are intentional. . .and this is a "life message" I want to pass on to our little guy.
    • It Brings Joy! The party was rooted in community & goodwill. . . rather than buying what is "cheapest for me," it thinks "we". . . giving way to a true joy
    • It's a part of being in a story. . .Life is a story. It's a chain of moments that create a "life story." How is your "story" being told?  We've read countless stories to our little guy, but I want him to grow up remembering he's part of an incredible story. . .


For a good resource on why this matters see "Why Localism"

What birthday party gifts and ideas have you implemented that are full of goodwill?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 8:34 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Best Canadian Baby Registry List . . . True Love

There are only a few times in life where a person has to engage in a major shopping spree to prepare for another stage of life. . .and one of those is having a baby!

Go straight to Baby Registry Categories . . .

So often Canadian parents are relying on imported goods to set up their nursery, not because they necessarily desire that, but just because these goods are so accessible. 

Photo credit: www.catephotography.com

Questions Canadian parents have:

  • Where do I find Canadian-made products?
  • I'm on a tight budget, won't it cost more?
  • I don't know have extra time to do research, can you help me out?


Wholly Canadian wants to help Canadian parents out by preparing a list that incorporates three of our major tenets:

  1. Shop Canadian-made . . .actively loving your fellow Canadian citizen/ "neighbour"
  2. Shop fair-trade . . .supporting your international "neighbour"
  3. Shop vintage/re-purposed/pre-loved. . . purposing to care for Creation and live sustainably.


This simple paradigm of love makes such an impact! And brings such joy to your nursery. During the endless hours of sitting in the nursery comforting and feeding your little one, let your eyes survey the impact of your choices. . .and discover a unique delight that comes from thinking about others.
Preparing for baby is one of the most precious seasons of life. . .thus, being rooted in a shopping paradigm of goodwill for one's "neighbour" would seem to be a natural outflow of the love & joy of the season.  As Canadian mamas and papas prepare for their little one, they can be actively sharing love for their "neighbour" (whether it be a fellow Canadian citizen, an international worker, or else caring for creation by buying used) with some simple intentionality.

Categories:"Best Canadian Baby Registry"

Click on any category




Nursery Furniture

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used


(rockers, cribs, bassinets, dressers, etc)

Dutailier C
Monte C
Natart Juvenile C
Buying used in this category is also an excellent choice. . .



Canadian-made: (Dutailier rocker that we love, Shepherd's Dream bedding & mattress that creates an ideal place to count sheep, and home-made curtains); and Second-hand items (crib, mobile, little chair, corner shelf, re-purposed TV Tray made into a laundry hamper, artwork)

Canadian-made: (Kushies change-table cover); and Second-hand items (re-purposed dresser, bookcase, wall shelf)

Second-hand chandelier


C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Teething toys Ringley C
Painted Turtle C
Puppets & Dolls Ten Thousand Villages F
  Papoum C
Wooden Doll House Jacob's Wooden Toys C
Wooden Toys L'Atelier Cheval de Bois C
Thorpe Toys C

Purchasing used toys is a great way to save $, as well as purchase items that are no longer made; we purchased many unique used wooden toys for our little one.

See this post for Christmas baby gift ideas



Enjoying used toys, and riding his Canadian-made Thorpe Toys kiddie car

Clothing & Footwear

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Layette & Accessories


Kushies C
Itty Bitty Baby C
OM Home C
glo F
Glup C
Clothing & Accessories  Small Potatoes C
Mabel Retro C



Padraig C
ulla & viggo C
Soft Sole Baby Shoes C
Mini Toes C
Kamik (toddler boots) C


  • Sun Protection
No Zone C
  • Mittens
mimiTENS C
  • Jackets & Snowsuits
Canada Goose C

Buying used in this category makes so much sense; we've frequented consignment, thrift stores, garage sales, etc to keep up with our growing little one!



Vintage sweater I found in the thrift store, and vintage shoes my baby wore North American home-made outfit
Sporting vintage second-hand clothing 
Canadian-made Mable Retro PJs
North American home-made outfit

Bedding & Sleep Sacks

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Linens & Blankets Kushies C
Dream Designs C
OM Home C
Sweet Kyla C
Mattress & Duvet Shepherd's Dream C
Sleep Sacks Gurumama C
Kangapouch C


Diapering & Bathing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Bathtub Spa Baby C
Diapers AMP C
Mother-ease C
Bummis C
Kushies C
Monkey Doodlez C
Apple Cheeks C
Boobles Bottoms C
Funky Fluff C
Ella Bella Bum C
Peepooie C
Maple Bean C
Jack Be Thimble C



Elari Diaper Wallets C
Playful Peanut C
Colibri C
Buying used in this category is a great way to save money.  U


Diaper Stash with pre-owned & Canadian-made diapers

See why we cloth diaper in this post

Baby "Equipment"

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Carseat Clek C
Carseat Accessories Playful Peanut C
Saucers/Playpens/Strollers/Swings, etc Has anyone discovered these items made in Canada? U


 Used saucer that came in handy when mama gardened

Feeding & Nursing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

High Chairs/ Boosters Monte C
Bibs Mally Bibs C
Nursing Accessories  Mayukori Nursing Pillow C
Kushies C
Nneka Nursing Pillow C
Sweet Sparrow Design C


baby eating rice for the first time

In his used high chair; sporting his Canadian-made Mally Bib

Baby Health & Skincare

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Lotions, Balms, SPF & Soaps Dimpleskins C
Mama Pacha Tags used and repurposed  Canadian-made  fair-trade  baby 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Top 14 Valentine Ideas. . . Loaded with Love & Goodwill

"How do I love thee . . . let me count the ways . . ."

Or at least let me show you ways of displaying love. . . But not any kind of love.

Let me show you a way towards a love that is enveloped with goodwill . . . a love that is deeply rooted in action, a love that says "I love my neighbour as myself," a love that includes community (versus what is cheapest for me).

All these carefully picked Valentine gift ideas are loaded with love because they are either:


Wow, now that's active, true love!

So without further adieu, let's begin. May these ideas be a catalyst of love. . .

1. Organic Fair-trade Hot Chocolate: Camino

Organic Dark Hot Chocolate

Ah yes, let's start with chocolate. Chocolate stirs up passion. . .ensure your passion is interwoven with goodwill by purchasing fair-trade chocolate. This organic fair-trade hot chocolate can be purchased at a variety mainstream supermarkets as well as Ten Thousand Villages.

Guaranteed to satisfy the most intense chocolate needs, Camino Dark Hot Chocolate offers a smooth, rich chocolatey taste with just a hint of sweetness. Made with Fair Trade and organic cocoa from the Dominican Republic and organic sugar from Paraguay, this luxury beverage is both GMO-free and certified Kosher.



2. Splat & Co: Valentine's-themed dryer balls

Free dryer ball scent, Valentine's special, set of three wool dryer balls with free vanilla scent,100% Canadian wool dryer balls

Here's a gift for the sentimental pragmatic in your life! Valentine's-themed dryer balls.

Splat & Co has a Valentine's day special:  one set of red dryer balls with a free 10ml bottle of vanilla essential oil.

The locally-sourced wool on these dryer balls is sure to set this gift apart from the typical imported gifts.  Feel great giving a set of three Canadian wool dryer balls, handmade with  approximately 50 grams of durable wool... that will last for years.

See why Wholly Canadian loves Splat & Co dryer balls.

3. Naosap Wild Rice

Oooh la la! A gift for the gourmet in your life. . .or else for one who loves eating gourmet: Canadian-grown organic wild rice.

See why Wholly Canadian loves Naosap and our recipe for a "Wholly Canadian meets fair-trade" recipe of gourmet wild rice burgers! These burgers sizzle with local & international goodwill!

This gift nourishes the inside, and is surprisingly an incredible source of protein. 

We just made some wild rice organic pancakes infused with local raspberries and laden with butter and local birch syrup.  Yum!  See the recipe we adapted here.

Display your love to your sweetheart by supporting local farmers.



4. Heirloom Heritage Flowers: Heritage Harvest Seed

Instead of purchasing  cut flowers (that are definitely not local given our winter season!), give your sweetheart some flowers that will bloom for years. . .in fact they they can become part of your family's heritage. Purchase some heirloom flower seeds. While they may not be blooming now. . .spring is, finger's crossed, just a few months away. Oh, joy! 

Here are some of my heirloom favourites: morning glory (don't you just love the name?), heirloom poppies (some of whose seeds you can use for baking), heirloom sunflowers (nothing says "You are my sunshine" quite the same way), heirloom sweetpeas (aww, imagine how your sweetheart would be be impressed with the promise of the sweet fragrance of sweetpea flowers), and heirloom Sweet William flowers (I've got a very special reason why I love these. . see pic here.)

This Valentine's season, support this local business located in Carmen, MB that is dedicated to saving rare and endangered heirlooms vegetables and flowers. Also see why Wholly Canadian believes in seed saving.

Heirloom Flower - Morning Glory 'President Tyler' Heirloom Flower - Poppy 'Giganteum' Heirloom Flower - Sunflower 'Arikara' Heirloom Flower - Sweet Pea 'Grandiflora Mix'



5. Prairie Barnwood

Sustainably-sourced, locally-made furniture says love!  Imagine giving a gift with such a rich story.

Elias table

Who wouldn't enjoy giving the gift of a barnwood table over which to enjoy a romantic meal? 

Here are some other alternatives that are more moderately priced but spell sustainable luxury: end tables, bar stools, and benches.

Made in Morden, MB, Prairie-Barnwood is one of the leading Canadian producers of barnwood furniture.


6. Icelandic Wool Socks

Okay, nothing says love like warm feet! I love warm feet! The Canadian-made Icelandic wool socks are available from Egli's Sheepfarm. I've written about my favourite Egli's product in October's "Top Ten."  Egli Sheep Farm was also mentioned in the "I love Ewe, Baby" blog post.

These socks would pair well over skinny jeans and worn with muk luks or ankle boots. They are available in both men's and women's sizes.



7. Pure Cashmere Lace Scarf: Mountain Masche

Pure Cashmere Lace Scarf / Shawl for women This Canadian-designed and handknit lace scarf is light yet cosily warm, perfect for the lady in mind who takes pleasure in owning a special and unique piece in her wardrobe that cannot be found everywhere.

A double and two individual leaf panels travel along the length of the scarf, broken up by small cables.
The colour is a broken white; the natural creamy colour of the cashmere goat. No aggressive chemical dye products were used which makes this scarf ideal for those who are sensitive to itchy and prickly wool.

This is a gift that supports a local artisan, while keeping your loved one warm and uniquely stylish.

Read about Mountain Masche in the "I love Ewe, Baby" blog post.

8. Vintage Jewellery: Pre-loved!

The best places to find vintage jewelry for your special-someone is your local antique store, kijiji, etsy, or thrift stores. Say "I love you" with a piece that has a story. . .it glimmers all the more!  New is not always better. Love with a pre-loved gift!




9. Green Beaver Castile Soap

Castile soap is a lovely but pragmatic gift--a techique passed down from the ancients.


Green Beaver's soap bar is an authentic Castile-type soap, made from the traditional method of using plant oils. They chose to make their Castile soaps using locally harvested organic sunflower seed oil instead of the olive oil that is traditionally used in Castile soap recipes.

Sunflower oil is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and carotenoids, and we blend it with coconut oil for a gentle, silky lather that leaves your skin feeling fresh and soft. It’s so pure, you can use it to bathe in lakes and rivers! Also see their Liquid Castile Soap.

Give a gift that supports Canadian farming industry and artisans. . .

See our favourite Green Beaver product here in our September's "Top Ten.


10. Canadian-made Clothing

Womens dresses cotton dress waisted dress short sleeves belt  AH13RMC-Tissé

Why not support a Canadian seamstress or tailor when saying "I love you?"

Check out this cotton dress by Eve Lavoie of Montreal.

This dress makes me swoon. The 1950's flair of simple elegance makes this dress a versatile choice.

Browse through local boutiques to find "Made in Canada" clothing, or else use the refined search in Etsy. 


11.  Wool Filled Pillow for Heavenly Sleep: Shepherd's Dream

 This company has been one of my favourites for a while, and I wrote about them in September's "Top Ten" products when I shared one of my favourite memories. You can also read about them in the "I love Ewe, Baby" blog post.

Standard Sleep Pillow

My family sleeps on wool pillows (I use both their pillow and neck roll) because, wool:

  • Helps relieve back pains, arthritis pain, and painful pressure points
  • Biodegradable and healthy for the planet
  • Completely breathable
  • Warms without overheating, never clammy
  • Naturally flame resistant and safe for kids
  • Naturally hypoallergenic & dust mite resistant

Shepherd’s Dream produces the finest natural wool bedding available in Canada. They are committed to healthy sleep; they offer all the ingredients to create a breathable, supportive sleep system.

Say "I love you" with a pillow that will help the body regenerate each night, while also giving a gift that supports a Canadian business that uses sustainably sourced materials.


12. Constance Popp Chocolate

Of course we have to add some more chocolate to the mix. What's Valentine's Day without chocolate. . .oh, chocolate. I love chocolate.

Who is your favourite local chocolatier? My husband has repeatedly turned to Constance Popp (when purchasing his sweetheart a gift!)--Constance Popp is known for her fresh premium chocolates made with whole ingredients, and without artificial ingredients and preservatives.

award-winning-manitobar-chocolate-barTwo of my favourites from this local chocolatier is the Manitobabar: cut into the shape of the Province of Manitoba. Ingredients include Manitoba Harvest hemp seed, Ecofarm sunflower seeds, John Russell lemon honey, Manitoba Flax. Delicious and a source of omega-6 omega-3 and fiber!  Crunchy chocolate goodness for a local-lover!

And one of their chocolate bon bons: the Manitoba red beet with pepper, caraway seed and sea salt.  Unique-pairing of ingredients make for an unusually mouth-savouring experience.



13. Traditional Foods Course: A Gift of Health

Does living well resonate with your new year goals? Are you or your loved ones interested in regaining health and whole eating?

This is a gift that is an incredible investment!

Check out Wholly Canadian's courses:



  • Searching for ways to live healthier? 
  • Interested in a cleaner diet to boost your immune system?  
  • Interested in weight management?
  • Check out our courses!


14. Pure Anada Lip Gloss: Kiss worthy!

Give a locally-made gift that is naturally good for all involved. . .a natural lip gloss! Made of natural oils, plant waxes and shea butter, Pure Anada's gloss will not only protect your lips, it will heal them too!

No sticky silicones here! It is said the average woman consumes over 5 pounds of lipgloss in their lifetime!  Make sure yours is edible.

Pure Anada liquid glosses are highly pigmented. A small amount goes a long way! You’ll love their creamy consistency.

Many of the shades coordinate with a matching lipstick.  This makes it great for layering gloss on top of lipstick for long lasting wear and high shine. I recommend the "Morden's blush" colour for a lipgloss that works with both cool and warm skintones.

Made in Morden, MB., this company has made an impression nation-wide.  See our favourite Pure Anada product here in our September's "Top Ten."


Interested in showing love with an act of service?

Make a drink fuelled with love & goodwill! Try this local & fair-trade exotic passionate Valentine's drink. . .serve this strawberry margarita! (using Level Ground Trading dried fruit)

sed Level Ground Trading exotic dried fruit purchased - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/food/recipes/view-recipe.cfm?Title=Passionate_Strawberry_Smoothie#sthash.oo0qnolh.dpuf



Make this amazing fair-trade chocolate bark (Level Ground Trading & Camino)

When Wholly Canadian husband asked what I wanted for Valentine's Day. . .I told him him to peruse this blog post for ideas! {grin}

What do you think he should purchase?

What would you love to give? What would you love to receive?



Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Oh, that is so Crafty

Here's a throw-back to craft season. . .a post that has been in my heart for a while. Even though it was a few months ago (Scattered Seeds Market held annually in MB), the delights I witnessed deserve some attention!

Not to mention that January is a month where we are lulled into "ennui"--the French term for doldrums, so it's ever so important to find some excitement!

Hope you get as excited about these incredible Canadian-finds as I do:

SOL Designs

These unique purses, made in Manitoba, are anything but ordinary. Sol Desharnais is an artist and craftsman who recently returned to his home town of St-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba after a decade living in France. Sol is a contemporary artist and designer of fashion, interiors and sets. His latest collection, "Around the Clock" makes use of wood, wool felt and leather in stunning and improbable combinations.

I enjoyed talking to Sol about his products and his use of natural materials, and how he sourced them. Beauty and functionality wrapped up in one bag!

Solberry Sea buckthorn

Here's a couple that is passionate about health and what they do! Have you heard of Sea buckthorn? Sea buckthorn is a hardy, thorny shrub that bears small orange/yellow/red fruit that has an explosion of nutrients.  It has been referred to as the “most nutritionally complete food on the world.” Sea buckthorn is a powerful antioxidant, full of essential fatty acids and an unique array of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids and plant sterols. This berry delivers a rare Omega 7 (palmetoleic acid) fatty acid in the highest concentration in the plant world.

Several years ago, I tried their puree. I love the tart taste of this puree, which also happens to have an incredible nurtrional profile. At the market, I tried their nutrition bar. It has probably got to be the best granola bar I have tried. . .and the ingredients are ever so pure. I also purchased their seabuckthorn herbal tea leaf that has been a wonderful tonic for me in pregnancy.

Pressed Wishes. . .The Art of Preserving Nature

My home is ever so simple, and the walls are wishing for "pressed wishes". . .

For some time I have admired the work of Melissa & James Puchinger of B.C. who combine a passion for nature, gardening and woodworking by creating unique pieces of affordable Canadian Handcrafted framed art.
Their botanicals are grown on their 2-acre woodland gardens and also harvested from the surrounding mountianous landscape.

Of particular interest are their pieces that boast Canada's great red maple leaf. . .oh, so simply patriotic.



Redd Line Jewellery

Based in Winnipeg, Redd Line creates traditional as well as contemporary designs with precious metals. Most of my earrings are from Redd Line.http://www.reddlinejewellery.com/gold%20jewellery/images/10kt%20%20gold%20tree%20pendant%203d.jpg

Redd Line Jewellery  is always a big hit at the market.  I appreciate their natural motif in their jewellery; they are well known for their tree of life jewellery.

I decided to recycle some sentimental gold jewellery I was no longer wearing into some beautiful gold oak leaf earrings. They melted the gold for me, and fashioned some beautiful earrings that will always remind me of my first home with my husband. . . old oak trees that annually create a bountiful harvest for our squirrely neighbours.  My earrings are similar to this but in gold. I picked up the finished product at the market, and have been thrilled wearing them.

I've also picked up silver oak leaf earrings as a gift for a friend. They make a fabulous gift!


Purely Gorgeous

Natural makeup made in Manitoba! Rebecca, from Purely Gorgeous created a line of makeup with ingredients that are good for the skin and the environment, and a line women would love. The phrase “beauty with a conscience” became the focus.

This was my first time meeting Rebecca. I was taken by her enthusiasm as well as the flattering hues of makeup she was wearing. I purchased her bronze mascara. If you've ever researched the ingredients in conventional makeup, you'll know why natural makeup is such a delightful find.  Check out her line!

Mama Pacha

I've been a fan of Mama Pacha ever since last summer when I purchased some mosquito repellant that is safe and works! I purchased their joint and muscle salve which is very effective in relieving pain from arthritis, rheumatism, fibromyalgia, and well as muscle and joint pain. After standing at this market sale for a few hours, and carrying bags, I was glad to have purchased it!  

I'm also a big fan of their deodorantMama Pacha is dedicated to making all-natural herbal products free of chemicals and petroleum.  Their "shoo fly" repellant is also one of our favourites. 

Mama Pacha is passionate about helping individuals and families make the switch from harmful conventional products to locally made herbal products that are safe for the whole family.

Raven Creek Farms. . .Candles

This market is where I anually purchase my beeswax candles. I wrote about them for the Some of our Raven Creek Farms candles, including the cutesy beehive ..."Top Ten" of January

It has been such a pleasure getting to know this genuinely friendly couple over the years; their products (candles, skincare, and honey) are simply splendid--and price-point most reasonable. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/top-ten/wholly-canadian-top-products.cfm?month=January&year=2015#Raven%20Creek%20Farm%20Candles

I love the smell of beeswax. Sometimes I just hold a candle up to my nose, and simply breathe in the aroma for pleasure and relaxation.  I'm very careful to only burn high quality candles in my home that don't contain toxins. It has been such a pleasure getting to know this genuinely friendly couple over the years; their products (candles, skincare, and honey) are simply splendid--and price-point most reasonable.

Michaud Toys

The games made my Michaud Toys combines two of my loves: wooden toys/games and Canadian-made.  What beatuiful work!  Seriously amazing. I have yet to own one of their games, but I'm dreaming. Rooted in the tradition of fine woodworking, the Michaud Family (mom, dad and their three sons) continue the legacy of four generations of fine craftsmanship, Since their humble beginnings in rural Saskatchewan (1984), they have dedicated their lives towards a process of continuous creativity.   

Using only the best available hardwoods, they hope these heirloom pieces will bring much joy and laughter to all.


Sly Scarf

Dark Coral Pink Circle Scarf with pattern, Infinity Scarf, Circle Scarf, Eternity Scarf, Loop Scarf, Tube Scarf, Halo Scarf

I love the smell of beeswax. Sometimes I just hold a candle up to my nose, and simply breathe in the aroma for pleasure and relaxation.  I'm very careful to only burn high quality candles in my home that don't contain toxins.  - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/top-ten/wholly-canadian-top-products.cfm?month=January&year=2015#Raven%20Creek%20Farm%20CandlesIf you could pick one item from this list, what Canadian-made item would suit your fancy?

I have a thing for scarves. But ever since I've tried to limit my purchases to fair-trade or Canadian-made, my choices are certainly limited. That is why Sly Scarf is such find! I purchased a cream coloured lace scarf that I can wear four different ways. . .I love the vintage flair of my scarf.

Sly Scarf's objective is to find the most wearable fabrics at a reasonable cost. They try to buy local when possible. All of the crocheted items are made with a special family stitch that they have created to make their scarves distinctly 'Sly'. All the scarves are made in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Barbara & Cecile handbags

Canadian-made bags are hard to find.  That why I had to stop at this booth to ascertain if they were authentically made in Canada. Yup, they are! Barbara & Cecile Handbags strive to create classic styles for the modern woman.  An alternative to mass production, only high quality leathers and hardware are used to create lasting and timeless pieces.  Thoughtful to the last detail, the printed textiles that line most of the handbags are designed by Monica Jones using her own watercolour paintings.  By handcrafting the Barbara & Cecile line in small batches in her Winnipeg MB Canada studio, Monica ensures that each handbag is made with utmost care and attention to detail.

I don't own one, but I've got eye on one: The Gold Rush-Petal to the Metal Clutch. It's simple elegance makes me swoon.

Carber Maple Syrup

I'm taken by maple syrup. . . real Canadian maple syrup. That is what more than four generations of the Carbonneau family make. They have lived and worked in Coaticook, a lovely area of the Eastern Townships. Year after year, faithful to their cherished local traditions, they have refined their exquisite maple syrup, endowing it with a truly matchless flavour.

I had such a wonderful chat with Rachel, the daughter, about maple syrup and how they extract it. I love stories behind products. It's beyond wonderful to see Canadian family business passed down generations.

TinHouse Designs: I love art with stories. . .and I love vintage. So Tinhouse Designs is a natural love. TinHouse refurbishes and frames each piece of tin as a representation of 1800's interior design, depicting the simplicity of the art and metalwork of the era. Tyler, the man behind TinHouse, has always had a passion for finding art in the ordinary. 1 Panel Small Square with Classic Black Frame  Born and raised in Russell, MB, he grew up seeing the old farm houses and businesses in the area grow empty and fall apart.

Tyler realized that there are many people that would love to hold on to a piece of their rural history. He tried several ideas before settling on framed pieces of tin with the history researched and posted on the back.

“It’s a great way to have some art with a story that is relevant to the owner,” says Tyler. “We all have a stake in the stories of the men and women that settled this country. This is a small way to salute those that have made Canada what it is today.”

Why support local artisans? Why is this "the Canadian thing" to do? Click here.

It matters! It mattters where you put your money. These small local markets and craft sales encourgage Canadians to put their money where their mouth is. . .

These are only a few vendors of many that I visited that day at the Scattered Seeds market. . .there was so much more!

If you could have any of these Canadian-crafted items, what would you pick? What suits your fancy?

Leave a comment for your fellow readers!







Tags Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 0 Comments

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Love Ewe, Baby

Babies and Wool. . .some of my favourite things! I hope "ewe" love them, too!

Since my recent announcement, my mind is in Baby gear and I thought I might post some of my favourite baby Canadian-made wool products.

Shepherd's Dream: Baby Bedding

My baby has the complete baby ensemble  (wool mattress, mattress protector, duvet, duvet cover, and puddle pad). There's sbaby beddinguch a peace knowing my baby is sleeping on a mattress without toxins. I worked so hard on extra jobs and saved for many months to make this baby ensemble possible, and now my baby sleeps like a little lamb.

I really recommend their puddle pad for every baby--it’s great to travel with to protect against leaks, especially. you’re laying your baby in someone else’s bed. And the great thing is that baby always smells his home when you lay down that puddle pad under him.  It’s a great baby gift!

This company has been one of my favourites for a while, and I wrote about them in September's "Top Ten" products, sharing one of my favourite memories. . ."When my husband was getting acquainted with this company after hearing me talk about it so much, he once accidentally referred to it as “Sheep Dreams” instead of “Shepherd’s Dreams.” It made me laugh! So cute.  Now we often refer to it as “Sheep-sy” Dreams” referring back to the joke.  Every night when my baby goes to bed I toss his Shepherd’s Dream wool duvet over him, pull it down with sudden a tug, so it snuggled under his arm just right, and say, “Sheep-sy Dream, Woosh!”  He giggles, turns over to his side, then closes his eyes and sucks his fingers. Love it!"


Purely Bev Creations--Cardigan & Hat

I asked Purely Bev Creations to crotchet a baby blue merino wool hat & cardigan. My little munchkin wore this for over 12 months.  It was one of our favourites.

It was a pleasure supporting a local artisan, as well as dressing my baby in something unique. He got so many compliments on his outfit.

Papa with his helper




As written about in October's "Top Ten": As I type this, baby is marching around the house in his padraig slippers.  We received his first pair as a baby gift, and ever since then we've purchased subsequent sizes. They are so comfortable, warm for our Canadian winters, and simply adorable. Now I'm dreaming about an adult pair for this mama. . .did you know they make adult sizes?
Cream StripeAbout: Helen, the founder, made her first pair of slippers for her young son in the winter of 1977; they had a hand cut sheepskin sole and a crocheted upper made with hand spun raw wool. .  the slipper line and the company have grown and evolved.

Favourite Memory: At my baby's first baby shower. I had him wrapped up in a shawl, and he was wearing this tiny cream "baby sack" that had a bit of a draw-string at the bottom. . .and when people unraveled his blanket, to behold the little bundle, out peeked these newborn cream padraig slippers. It melted hearts.  I will never forget that memory


Hand-woven Wool Blanket

I received a small hand-woven baby blanket as a baby-gift from our neighbour made by artisan Susan Styrchak. I've never received anything woven on a loom before; so it's quite a unique gift. We put this blanket in baby's crib as an extra cuddle blanket. We call it "Biscuit" blanket, because our neighbour has a cat named "Biscuit."


Sleep Sacks:

1. gurumama.

The first sleepsack we owned was an organic one from gurumama. Gurumama made January's "Top Ten" list: Keeping baby warm during Manitoba winter nights is one of this mama's top priorities. This is why I rely on Manitoba-made organic wool sleep sacks. I appreciate the inverted zipper, natural fibre of wool that wicks away moisture, and organic quality of this sleep sack. And love that it is made locally! We have used the larger size for two winters now.

I wrote about my favourite memory: "When Gramps saw Wholly Canadian baby wearing his sleep sack, he immediately called him "SweePea"--after the baby in Popeye cartoon.  It stuck, because now that our baby walks/waddles in his sleep sack to choose his bedtime story from the nursery bookcase, we laugh because he is literally "sweeping" the floor."

2. I also had my seamstress make another one from a vintage wool blanket. This incorporates one of Wholly Canadian's tenets: buying used/re-purposing.


Wool diaper inserts

I  find that we (i.e. my baby) need a ton of absorbancy for those long nights; hence wool diaper inserts. I've had my seamstress cut some wool inserts (from an old wool blanket). We layer these under a cotton or hemp insert.  I've also cut some inserts out from old wool/cashmere sweaters (without any hem). Wool is extremely absorbant and thus makes for a great addition for a night-time diaper combo.



Wool Diaper Covers

I'm a big believer in using natural fibre for diapering. . .plastic on a baby's bottom doesn't sound like a healthy recipe to me.  (I wrote about about why we cloth diaper here.) This is why I purchased wool diaper covers made by Jill Zurzolo. She uses thrifted or recycled wool to make some rather fetch diaper covers!  I've purchased mine in a gender-netural fashionable plaid.  I love these covers, because they are have the same style of snaps (that allow for growth) and fit like other snap diaper covers that allow versatility in one's choice of diapers: insert or fitted diaper.

My Diaper Model showcasing his wool diaper cover from different angles


I've got seven of them, and after each use I aerate them outside (cold or hot weather) to let Mother Nature kiss them with her fresh touch.  After rotating through the stash, I handwash them once a month, following basic wool wash directions--using lanolin to naturally "waterproof." 

For some reason I actually really enjoy washing them; this simple yet deliberate activity always makes me pause (more so than a great deal of other baby-related tasks), and give thanks for both my baby and the privilege of using such simple and basic skills and materials. It's part of the simple life for me.

Jill doesn't have anything in her Etsy shop at this point, but you can contact her through Etsy for custom orders.

The Wonderful World of Sheepskin

Mittens--Yeah they come on a string! I cannot tell you how much this means to a parent who is in a rush. One less thing for which to look!

Made right here in Winnipeg, MB--it's a thrill to wear local products!



I wrote about Egli's Sheep Farm (my polar mitts) in October when they made the "Top Ten."  Elgi sheep farm is tucked away in western Ontario and manufacture most of their products directly on their farm.  Here is a baby product that we have enjoyed:

Egli sheep farm is tucked away in western Ontario, and manufactures their products directly on their farm. They also have an animal park. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/top-ten/wholly-canadian-top-products.cfm?month=October&year=2014#Egli%27s%20Sheep%20Farm%20-%20Polar%20Mitts


  • Lambskin--We received this as a baby gift from my sister, and it has become part of our living room. Wholly Canadian baby loves cuddling with it, and I enjoyed sitting him up against this sheepskin for his monthly (1-12 month) photos that I would take in the same spot each month; it created a wonderful backdrop. I also used this for baby's tummy-time when he was younger.


No longer available:



On my dream list. . .

1. Egli wool bodysuit

2. Egli pom pom icetrooper hat




3. Hand-knit merion grizzly bear cardigan by Vancouver based, Mountain Masche

4. Wool-knit cowichan style sweater by saintpierre in Alberta

As you can tell I've got a thing for "bear" clothing. Ever since we were pregnant, we called our baby "Baby Bear". Now as he is growing he has been promoted to "Little Bear."

Mountain Masche saintpierre

So how's that for a lot of baby-loving wool items?

Which one resonates with "ewe?"

Favourite Memory:  When my husband was getting acquainted with this company after hearing me talk about it so much, he once accidentally referred to it as “Sheep Dreams” instead of “Shepherd’s Dreams.” It made me laugh! So cute.  Now we often refer to it as “Sheep-sy” Dreams” referring back to the joke.  Every night when my baby goes to bed I toss his Shepherd’s Dream wool duvet over him, pull it down with sudden a tug, so it snuggled under his arm just right, and say, “Sheep-sy Dream, Woosh!”  He giggles, turns over to his side, then closes his eyes and sucks his fingers. Love it! - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Shepherd%27s%5FDream#sthash.1s7nam5j.dpuf
my baby has the complete baby ensemble  (wool mattress, mattress protector, duvet, duvet cover, and puddle pad). I really recommend their puddle pad for every baby--it’s great to travel with to protect against leaks when you’re laying your baby in someone else’s bed. And the great thing is that baby always smells his home when you lay down that puddle pad under him.  It’s a great baby gift! I worked so hard on extra jobs and saved for many months to make this baby ensemble possible, and now my baby sleeps like a little lamb. Quality usually is an investment. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Shepherd%27s%5FDream#sthash.fI1VVKp5.dpuf
Tags Canadian-made  baby 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ewe will love these Dryer Balls: Splat & Co

I had the privilege of doing a product review for Splat & Co.'s dryer balls. I've owned plastic dryer balls (the ones that bounce like a loud drum in your dryer) for many years. . . well that has now changed.

But before I write my review, let me tell you why this Canadian-company (Kewlowna B.C. ), Splat & Co is so special.

I asked them a series of questions:

What products do you provide?
We are hand crafters of various wearable items and lifestyle accessories in primarily natural wool fibers.. warm, appealing but slightly edgy items that go with many different styles and have longevity built in.

What's your mission?
Our mission is to promote natural fibers and their benefits to a wider audience. As well as promote sustainability and local production.

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

  • We support Canadian-business ourselves! Being proud Canadians, we feel it only fitting to support other Canadian industries for our supplies. In such we source our wool for both our dryer balls and knitwear from an Alberta family run mill who in turn get their wool from western Canadian farmers. So when you buy our products you not only get a 100% Canadian product you are supporting the farmer,the mill, and the maker all within your country and local economy.
  • Quality: Our products strive to meet many key qualities such as performance, longevity, sustainability, and environmental standings.
  • Unique: As for our uniqueness, that is in part due to our funky style that blends a little bit of "punk" attitude with a natural sustainable product thus we are cute but edgy, with a long life span- all to make our wearables more than just awesome to own and use.


Where can Canadians purchase your product?

  • - www.splatandco.com
  • -www.etsy.com/shop/SplatAndCo
  • -Scallywags, Kelowna B.C
  • -Mission Trading Company,Kelowna B.C
  • -Funktional,Kelowna B.C
  • - The Blue Frog, Penticton B.C
  • -Anna's Vitamins Plus, Vernon B.C
  • -Grassroots Health Hut, Armstrong B.C
  • -The Coral Barn, Round Hill Ab
  • - Wild Things Baby, Calgary Ab


Why did you choose Wholly Canadian to feature your product?

We love what Wholly Canadian stands for. We would love to see more people shopping and producing locally.

What does local living mean to you?
Living local, to us, is being tuned in to the various aspects of your community and lifestyle that more closely approximates the dream held within your head and/ or heart.


Product Review

Why I recommend Splat & Co.'s dryer balls:

  • They're quiet. I cannot tell you how crazy it is that we co-existed (for years!) with our plastic dryer balls that were extremely noisy. We live in a small old house, and the thumping would sometimes wake sleeping members--or else we timed our dryer schedule around naps and sleep times. Sometimes I would tell myself to think of that loud thumping as as a lullabye. . . .and trick myself. Ha! No more.
  • The dryer balls are made of all natural fibres. I'm not a fan of plastic, so it's kind of ironic that I was putting plastic in a heat source . It feels wonderful to have something naturally sourced in my dryer.
  • They save $$$. By lifting the wet clothes, it reduces the dyer time. Love it!
  • It reduces cling. The wool dryer balls naturally separate clothing.
  • Sustainable choice; no dryer sheets and toxins.
  • Pairs well with essential oils!  Splat & Co sent me natural lavendar; what a luxury to have lavender-scented laundry:)
  • They've got the cutest motifs. I'm in love with wool and all things "sheep-sy". . .so I loved the sheep motif on my dryer balls.  But did you know they've got different animals, colours for special occassions, or undyed natural balls.
  • They have a dual function. . .they double up as toys!  My one year old baby loves these! He thinks they're his toys. . .and says "Baaa" when he sees them.. . And what a wonderful natural toy. Right now I can only find two of my dryer balls. . .I dare say the underbelly of my couch needs a tidy {grin}
  • I also appreciate that this company does custom orders. I first got to know them when I asked them to make a custom wool ball with a jingle bell in the ball for baby's first Christmas. . .You can read about it here; they created an identical ball to the one in vintage Golden Book "Baby's Christmas."
  • Finally, this company impresses me because of their varied products. I'm drooling over their chunky merino baby leg warmers and wool cowls. Dreaming. . .

Chunky knit wool leg warmers, 100% Canadian Merino wool baby/toddler leg warmers.Chunky Knit Ombré wool cowl, 100% Canadian merino wool cowl!Adult size chunky knit cowl


Have you used wool dryer balls? 


If you have tried them, what do you like about them?

If you have not tried wool dryer balls, what feature would make you try Splat & Co. dryer balls?


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 1 Comments

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



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. . .


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

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Wheels on Bus go. . .to the Farm!

Last week Friday was one of those days that made me so proud not only to be Canadian, but a Manitoban.

I travelled with Food Matters Manitoba, on a bus tour to visit two local farms. Food Matters is a registered charity that partners with northerners, newcomers, farmers and families to harvest, prepare and share good food. They engage Manitobans towards healthy, fair, and sustainable food for all.

Firstly, we visited Blue Lagoon organic farm. They grow a variety of organic fruits, herbs and vegetables, as well as raise pastured poultry.

When we first got off the bus, we were greeted by Lori Ann, the lady of the farm. My first impression of her was that she belonged in a children's story book. . . her bubbly personality and the kindest big blue eyes were akin to the grandmas you read about in storybooks!  We rode about on a hay wagon taking in the sights of their farm in a drizzle of rain (good thing I was wearing my Canadian-made Taiga rain jacket to keep me dry) and observed the vast efforts this farm took to upkeep.

I especially enjoyed seeing the turkeys and chickens that are moved about in their mobile cages everyday onto fresh alfafa.   Overall, I was overwhelmed with the amount of efforts this family puts into keeping this farm going. . .sun up to sun down. I'm sure if you calculated a farmer's wages per hour, it would be mere coins. When I asked her what got her up in the mornings, ie. why do this?. . .she responded with a story of when she used to teach school (it didn't surprise me she used to be a school teacher), and seeing the types of food children had in their lunches. . . and knowing she wanted to make a difference in the type of food that was available in our province.  Once again, I am convinced that passion (not monetary) is the fuel for a lot of our small and or/organic Canadian farms.

That day I tasted my first patty pan squash from Blue Lagoon organic farm, and loved it! A few weeks ago, I purchased their homegrown chamomile tea at a local farmer's market to make some homemade diaper spray for baby's bum. . .stay tuned for upcoming recipe {grin}

I previously wrote about asking the right questions, i.e.

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

The farmers on this tour exemplified that. . .

Then our bus took us to Zinn Farms. They specialize in pastured pork, poultry, rabbits, and goat meat.  And we sure got a whiff of farm-life. Wow! It's ever so healthy to be reminded of what farm-life is all about. {grin}

I've become accustomed to thinking of beef and chickens on the pasture, but never thought of pigs out on the pasture.  But of course, it make sense. Wild pigs naturally graze in the forest. This extra effort (of pasturing) is what sets this farm apart from other pork farmers--delivering quality meat the way nature intended it.

Free-range pigs at Zinn Farms

They gave us a sample taste of some of their sausages, and to say it simply, they are mouth-watering. I'm not sure I have ever had such a good breakfast sausage before. The hot italian, and souvlaki sausages were right up there too.  So I bought some of each {smile}.  My family enjoyed the breakfast sausages this last Sunday brunch, and tonight I put souvlaki sausages in broth with fresh garden carrots for a quick soup.  And served it with homemade sourdough crackers.  A nutrient-dense meal undergirded with localism and goodwill. It can't get any better than that.

Local organic spelt grain made into homemade sourdough crackers. Want to learn how to make traditional foods like these crackers. See this course coming to Winnipeg!

Why buy local?  Why take efforts in supporting these farmers?

Well, there are so many reasons. I wrote about some here. This farm tour simply solidified my passion for supporting local. We all win when we purchase from our "neighbours." And as I've mentioned previously, this paradigm is rooted {pun intended!}in goodwill that gives life to joy.

A few other hightlights of the day were meeting fellow Manitobans on the bus tour, who represent microcosms of goodwill that make our province great!

  • I met Kalynn Spain, from Small Farms Manitoba--who helped organize the farm tour. Small Farms Manitoba is an online space for farmers who consider themselves to be underrepresented by provincial commodity groups--featuring a farm directory that creates a synergistic provincial energy.  Looking for local vegetables or meat grown in Manitoba? Use her directory to help you locate it from a farm near you! Kalynn, a young female farmer herself, farms her own chickens and pigs and is quite simply an inspirational model for women.
  • Laurel Gardiner, acting chair of Food Matters. What a wonderful conversation we had over sausage! It's amazing what good food does. I loved hearing about her new grandaughter and the blessing she is to her family. I also found out that she is a cousin to Tracy, owner and farmer of Naosap Wild Organic Rice, who recently collaborated with Wholly Canadian by sponsoring our wild rice extravaganza giveaway. Check it out here!
  • Kreesta Doucette, exective director of Food Matters, whose gentle spirit and strong leadership were so evident in her speech. I didn't get to chat much with her, but if the bus tour exemplifies what Food Matters is doing, I say a job well done!
  • Anna Levin, who works with North End Cooking Classes, an extension of Food Matters, provides cooking classes to North End youth. It was such a joy meeting Anna and hearing about what she and her fellow colleague, Lissie, are doing within our city.
  • And of course, enjoying this bus tour with my friend, Lynne. . .a type of friend that everyone needs when beginning new ventures. . .

The whole day was a narrative of re-shaping Manitoba stories through food. . .

See our Wholly Canadian page for permanent links to Food Matters & Small Farms Manitoba.

As our tour ended, I told Kalynn, wouldn't it be great to have an organized farmer's market on wheels. . . It's great to support farmer's markets and enjoy the visual and tasty delights that fill our senses while meeting the faces of the farmers most often hidden from us when we purchase food. But it's quite another thing to purchase food straight from a farm. It provides a well-rounded sensory experience and appreciation that is second to none. But that's not all. It was a huge blessing for the farmers we visited. Instead of hauling their produce within their limited time & financial constraints, we came to them. . .

So as our Manitoba garden markets wrap up for yet another season, here's to enjoying and dreaming about real food and real farms all winter long. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 42 Comments

Monday, September 22, 2014

Celebration & Best Shopping

Today we celebrate one month 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.  See our blog posts that share this journey.

Canadian-made kiddie car by Thorpe & North American-made blocks

In just one month we've had 1,634 unique users, and 9,319  sessions. 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

Ingriguing thing (as stated by our followers)


To celebrate our one month anniversary on the 22nd, we're giving away. . .

22 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 the end of the year! No strings attached!

-if you see more than 22 companies that have commented, please still enter your company name just in case they do not qualify or send us their info. . .


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!

22 FREE listings being given away today to the first 22 companies that respond.

Go ahead, let's celebrate local & fair-trade today. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:00 AM 24 Comments

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tell us your favourite local company

The Craft Sale Season is upon us. Which ones will you be visiting this season? The craft sale season connects beautifully with Wholly Canadian's Christmas Challenge. 

This year, I've decided to buy three gifts for baby and keep it simple. . .


1. Local/Canadian-made gift

2. Fair-trade gift

3. Second-hand/ Re-purposed gift


The great thing is that this paradigm fits every age.

Three gifts. Simple.


Want to join me in this? We're calling it the Wholly Canadian Christmas Challenge.


See us on twitter and join our hashtag: #WhollyCanadianChristmasChallenge


Last year I did a blend of used and local gifts via a remake of  The Golden's Book: "Baby's Christmas. You can read more aobut it here.



While many people are not in the same baby-stage, I posted this as a catalyst to get  creative juices going. . .


How can a spirit of goodwill inform your purchases this year? You see this paradigm isn't just for babies. See Why



To purchase gifts in a paradigm of goodwill requires curiousity--no matter what stage of life you are in.

 Again, my challenge to Canadians is to get curious about the stories behind their purchases.

What do you suggest Wholly Canadian gives baby and husband for Christmas 2014?

Go ahead and do some publicity for your favourite local or fair-trade business by answering this question.  Make their day!


Wholly Canadian followers love learning about new products.  To make ethical shopping easier, we just launched our "Best Shopping" directory! 

Do you know a local business that would benefit from this?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 58 Comments

Monday, September 15, 2014

Christmas Present

Last week I posted about "Christmas Past." I posted about the joy that local & re-used gifts can offer via a remake of The Golden Book's: "Baby Christmas."

While many people are not in the same baby-stage, I posted this as a catalyst to get  creative juices going. . .

How can a spirit of goodwill inform your purchases this year? You see this paradigm isn't just for babies. See Why

To purchase gifts in a paradigm of goodwill requires curiousity--no matter what stage of you life you are in!

 Again, my challenge to Canadians is to get curious about the stories behind their purchases. It's heart-wrenching thinking about the countless children involved in child-labour to produce toys, candy, and food for North American children (and adults).

This Christmas ask three questions:


  1. Who made it, and were they paid a fair-wage?
  2. Where was it made?  (Go beyond the country. . .begin to question the standard of working conditions of where it was made)
  3. Are we consuming or gift-giving from the heart? (i.e. is this just another thing in our already full house?)


Moving from Christmas Past to. . .Christmas Present

This year, I've decided to buy three gifts for baby and keep it simple. . .

1. Local/Canadian-made gift

2. Fair-trade gift

3. Second-hand/ Re-purposed gift


The great thing is that this paradigm fits every age!

Three gifts. Simple.

Want to join me in this? We're calling it the Wholly Canadian Christmas Challenge.

See us on twitter and join our hashtag: #WhollyCanadianChristmasChallenge

Also, give us suggestions as to what Wholly Canadian's baby should get for Christmas 2014.

Our followers love learning about new products!  To make ethical shopping easier, we just launched our "Best Shopping" directory! 

Do you know a local business that would benefit from this?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nice! It's Sweet Rice for Canadian Babies

As per historical tradition, we waited until after a year to introduce our baby to grains. 

Historically babies refrained from grains until at least a year (note: molars can be an indication of readiness for grains) because babies do not have  sufficient digestive enzymes to digest grain. The enzyme, amylase, necessary to digest grains, is generally produced after a baby is a year old. Historically, babies were not fed grains until at least a year, despite ancient people's lack of knowledge about this enzyme. Talk about intuitive wisdom! Yet it's interesting how current North American conventional practice encourages grain as baby's first food, and ironically, many adults then suffer with irritable gut issues later on in life.

Read more about preparing grains and the gut issues that surround improperly prepared grains

Organic sourdough spelt bread.  Gentle on baby's tummy. Gentle on mama & papa's tummies.

At 18 months we started baby on his first grains. We started him out with mama's sourdough spelt bread and sourdough granola. He is loving it! Of course, like all kids, he liked to lick mama's homemade jam off of the toast. {It made me giggle} Then he started biting into the bread, and devoured his first slice.

sourdough granola spelt

Organic sourdough granola (spelt & oat) ready to serve! So nourishable and easy to digest.

After his introduction to spelt sourdough,  I decided it's now time for rice. But not just any rice! Canadian-grown rice. For serveral years, we have been patronizing Naosap Harvest organic wild rice. They are on the edge of the Canadian Shield, surrounded by boreal forest.  Naosap's organic wild rice is grown in the pristine, isolated lakes of northern Manitoba, Canada.   So of course, his first rice had to be Manitoba rice. I love re-thinking of rice as Canadian. Yes, rice does grow in Canada!
I decided to make his first dish a treat. In fact, it's a treat for the whole family!

A wild rice dish laden with a "clotted-honey" cream. . .and topped with fruit and a dash of fair-trade cinnamon. Yum! And it's a super nutritious dish laden with antioxidants, probiotics, protein, minerals, etc!



  • Wild Canadian rice
  • Organic cream--as close as you can get to real cream the way nature delivers it.
  • Milk kefir grain
  • Raw honey--always wait until baby is a year to introduce raw honey
  • Fruit--Canadian-grown, fresh or frozen
  • Fair-trade cinnamon


Step 1: Wholesome Preparation 

1. Soak wild rice with water & apple cider vinegar. Click here for a guide.

2. Culture your cream with a milk keifr grain for 24-24 hours. (Note, you cannot use a water kefir grain for this.) Cream is already heavenly. Now add probiotic strains to it, and you've got a match made in heaven!

Step 2: Putting it together

1. Cook your soaked rice according to grower's instructions--you will need 20% less cooking time and less water

2. Strain the milk kefir grain from the now "clotted" cream

3. Blend in some raw honey into the cream--per taste.

4. Generously top the rice dish with the "honey-clotted" cream.

5. Add some seasonal or frozen fruit.

6 Sprinke some fair-trade cinnamon on top


I used:

Care to learn more about traditional foods?

Want to deliciously eat your way to health?

  • Interested in learning more about sourdough?  Want to turn grains from a foe into a friend! Want to lower your gluten intake? Check out these learning opportunities!

Register soon!

baby eating rice for the first time

18 months. Eating rice (Naosap Harvest wild rice grown in Manitoba) for the first time. . .and loved it!

Baby eating his Wholly Canadian rice-dish using his Mally Bib in his second-hand high chair. We love this made-in-Canada bib for so many reasons . . . especially the pocket. I put pieces of dried fruit in it as treats. That little extra time it takes in digging out his treat, gives mama few extra minutes.  It's to the point now that when I put on his bib, he immediately checks the pocket, hoping against all hope that there might be a treat! {It always makes me giggle}

We chose the bear bib, because right from pregnancy, we always called him "Baby Bear."  So here's to "Baby Bear" enjoying his first rice. . .


What's your favourite traditinally-prepared dish?  Let us know!

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 1 Comments

Monday, September 08, 2014

A Business Card that Blooms Local Style

Wildflowers & Business cards. . .Intertwine

This is the third week since the launch of Wholly Canadian, and I just received my newly-purchased business cards! It feels so wonderfully official. . .

I wanted a business card that "felt" made-in-Canada, and I found one!

I didn't have to look far. . .for quite some time I've been intrigued by Botanical Paperworks. Located in the exchange district of Winnipeg, they are a leading producer of eco-friendly paper products that grow when planted. They manufacture and design stationery, invitations, wedding favors, and corporate & promotional products made from paper embedded with seeds. When planted, the seed paper grows into wildflowers or a variety of culinary herbs.

Wholly Canadian's mantra is whole-life local living. . and Botanical Paperworks is so local and whole-life! Love it. 

At the bottom of each business card it states: "Plant this and wildflowers will grow."

My business cards were designed and printed by Shippam & Associates Inc. in Winnipeg. They provided excellent customer service, and of course they have no idea that I am blogging about this. {I love surprising companies}

Now I'm dreaming about a Christmas card on Botanical Paperworks embedded seed paper. . .Recently, I began asking people what they do with all their Christmas cards and Christmas photos. (You see, I used to put them in my photo albums, but then my albums started taking up way too much space in our tiny house).  Believe it or not, most people say they tossed them.  So much effort goes into these cards, and after they're viewed for a period of time, they're tossed. Yup, your picture in the garbage.

So, this is why I've been thinking about employing a more sustainable approach that is both 100% biodegradable and plant-able.

What do you think?

What do you do for Christmas cards?


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 4 Comments

Friday, September 05, 2014

Preserve & Serve--Local Style

This year I've had the most joyous time putting away preserves! Care to know why?

I'm employing the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation/ culturing. No canner. No heat. No sweat!

I just simply place my veggies in a jar with whey & salt. I let them cutlure for a period of time, and then place them in a fridge or cold room. Simply put, this is traditional food. . .this is the way my great grandmother would have preserved her food prior to modern conveniences.

Traditional Foods are becoming a part of my rhythm. Are you interested in learning more about Traditonal Foods?

made in canada cucumbers

These jars of pickles tell a story. . .through two aspects of Wholly Canadian's shopping paradigm of goodwill:


Firstly, local. My garden: heirloom cucs, onions, cabbage leaf to hold the cucs down, and oak-leaf to keep the cucs naturally crisp.  Garden marketJardins St-Leon Gardens--I purchased some cucs, dill, and garlic at this local garden market. 

(Side note: anyone know if one can obtain mustard seed grown in Canada?) 

cucumbers made in canada


Secondly, used. All my canning jars are from MCC thrift shops. All my jars are made in Canada.  Canada no longer makes glass jars, so these vintage jars are are a real keeper. Instead of using the rust-prone snap lids, I use the original glass tops along with the rubber rings. While the first objective of preserving food is to nourish my family during the long winter months, I also am so amazed how much I enjoy the beauty of preserves. During these last 24 hours I have marveled over and over again at God's gracious bounty towards us when I look at the simple beauty on my kitchen counter.


Lacto-fermented veggies are not only a simple way of preserving food, but is also nutrient-dense compared to canning.  Did you know that canning destroys the nutrients in food, whereas culturing food increases enzymes? You are eating live food! But not just live, but also rich in probiotics--the kind of stuff that makes your gut healthy! And a healthy gut belongs to a healthy person!

  • Interested in adding some traditional food skills in your diet?
  • Care to unearth some practices your great-grandmother would have used in her kitchen? 
  •        Want to deliciously eat your way to healthy?

Right now Wholly Canadian is offering two traditional-food courses

1) bubbly drinks and creams for the whole family; and 
2) sourdough: goodness gracious grains!

Space is limited, so make sure to register soon!

made in canada cucumbers


Back to Jardin St-Leon Gardens. . .

The customer service their is top notch. Each person (and I've been there countless times), is so friendly, and they look like you are doing them a favour if you have a question! I always drive away amazed because we live in a day and age when pleasant customer-service is the exception. I recently took my father there,  and he was of course  pleasantly rewarded with many friendly youthful smiles and chit chat. He really hit it off with a young male personnel when discussing apple pastries. {It made me giggle}.

I just bought a case of peaches from Jardin St-Leon Gardens that I want to put into the freezer--but only after blanching the peaches. My mother-in-law is going to come over and show her tried-and-true method of blanching peaches. A few years back, I put peaches in the freezer without blanching and without a syrup. I thought this treatment was for those who wanted extra work. Ha! Mush in the freezer. . 

Well, I was deciding how many peaches to purchase while talking with a few Jardin St-Leon employees, and a young gal really impressed me with her customer service by offering me a variety of options for pick-up, ordering organic, etc. As she rung me through, she chatted with my baby in the cart, and then offered to help me to my car with my purchases. I asked her what her name was, and she said, Jen. So Jen, here's to you!

Update: Here's a pic of the peaches. . .blanched and in a light honey syrup ready for the freezer!

What's the name of your favourite garden market?

Posted by Proof Reader at 7:00 AM 13 Comments

Friday, August 29, 2014

Front Porch Song: Feed the Birds

My front window has a story . .. Come on and grab a chair, neighbour, and listen in!

A few months ago my Aunt Sara (whom I was named after in my middle name), and former school teacher, encouraged me to set up some bird feeders for my baby to watch. I loved the idea. . .and the challenge. My mind immediately began spinning. . .how can I make this project full of shalom? I knew this would be a worthy project, because it is year-round and not just a summer venture.

Remember Wholly Canadian’s shopping paradigm of goodwill? Well, I incorporated it, and excited to share how. . .

Buying Local - Canadian:

I was so pleased to find many of the items on my wish-list made in Canada. And immensely enjoyed the journey of locating them.

  • Braecrest Design birdhouse. . . I got a Braecrest birdfeeder to match my house’s green shingles.
    • These artisans, from Winnipeg, came to deliver it to me personally at no extra charge. What incredible, friendly service. And they have no idea I am blogging about them. I love that. . .when people deliver good service without knowledge that they will receive public praise.

  • Three-arm garden hanger--sold by Lee Valley Tools
    • Made in Canada, I like that this hanger has multiple hook options. Also, very elegant.
    • I have to say I have simply enjoyed the customer service at Lee Valley Tools. Such friendly people with all kinds of tidbits to share.  It actually feels like a neighbourhood. The one man I met (who wasn’t helping me directly) just started chatting, telling me about this pony of his in the Maritimes, that escaped his pen, and ate from his bird feeder. He looked like “Heidi’s” grandpa with his long grey beard. I found out that he's into wood crafting.  {It made me smile} Another woman told me about her challenge with squirrels, and soon there were a few employees all gathered giving me tips. (I had not idea at the time what a challenge squirrels would be--but more on that later). It was like a conversation over coffee.
  • Victorian Scroll Wall Bracket--to hang my hummingbird feeder

    • I purchased this at Lee Valley Tools. I appreciate their emphasis on retailing so many made-in-Canada products.This bracket is made of strong cast aluminum--tough but still light.  And I love its traditional flair.

Buying used/ upcycling:

  • Vintage Canning Jar Feeder:
    • This upcycled bird feeder I found on Etsy. It’s main component is a canning jar. It amused me, because I am known for all my vintage canning jars. It's a great example of re-purposing.
    • This one happens to be the most popular feeder at this time. . .


Buying Fair-Trade:

  • Coconut bird feeder:
    • I bought this tear drop bird-feeder from Ten Thousand Villages. Crafted from a coconut shell--it not only is upcycled but pays fair wages to the artisan--love this double whammy of goodwill!

Curiosity and goodwill go hand-in-hand. People always say, everything is made in _____. Here's just one project that paints a different picture. 

Get curious--get curious about the journey behind your projects. Quick purchases are inherently connected with consumerism. And consumerism is about "me" not about "we." Give a fair trade to those around you--whether local or international. Get curious! Delight in purchases of goodwill!

Also check out Ten Thousand Village's plant & garden tools. We love our terracotta plant watering sticks.


Now about the squirrels (as promised). . .we live in a nutty neighbourhood with many of these squirrelly critters, due to the old oak trees that surround us.   First I thought, being new to bird feeding, surely they won’t crawl up this tiny pole. . .yup, they did. And managed to clear the entire buffet. They tipped over every bird feeder except the squirrel-proof coconut feeder.  My baby was supposed to learn about birds, not squirrels! But that’s not all, they left a huge mess on the ground by tipping the feeders. . .and then the seeds started sprouting in my flowerbed, and making tons of work! For a day or two, we watched their antics, and I tried to make this educational. We are currently reading about Peter Rabbit and his friends, and so I pointed out “Squirrel Nutkin” and taught my baby the sign for squirrel. But these antics only amuse to a certain point, and then, you’re fed up (no pun intended).

So, I went back to Lee Valley and bought the squirrel baffle (made in the USA).  The squirrels were baffled--temporarily. They had a new scheme. They climbed up the post of our front porch and made a giant leap above the baffle, grabbing any feeder they could.  What a mess! The seeds flew--and the plants grew. (I was more shocked than amused at this point)

So, after several days of watching this new escapade, we moved the hanger further away from the porch. I didn’t want it too far so it was out of sight, and didn’t want it too near the neighbouring tree as another means to the feeder, and of course not near the porch post. It was a delicate balance.

It worked. And now I was highly amused. The squirrels stood on my front porch post and tried to psych themselves up. . .they would twitch their tails, do a little dance, do the hokey pokey and turn themselves around, all the while imagining the delicacies awaiting them. . .But they couldn’t bring themselves to jump!  Have you ever been in that same position? “Any moment now, any moment now, I will jump . . .” You tell yourself to move, and nothing happens! Ah yes, did I already say, I was amused?  I had outsmarted them--and it felt good. Temporarily.

Then one morning I saw a squirrel (I have no idea if this is the same squirrel. . .I’m no expert on identifying squirrels), on one of my feeders--making a huge mess. I charged out yelling--and this squirrel leaped for his life. I was in disbelief.  I watched out my window to see how this occurred. How had they out-squirreled me again? What I observed, minutes later, did amuse me. Their tenacity and agility is second to none. I saw a squirrel gather speed, run straight under the baffle (I thought he --or was it a she--would get a concussion), and then at the last second reach out one of his arms around the baffle (a really, really long reach), and with just a single claw, extend his arm far enough around to hang on the weave of my coconut bird feeder by what appeared to be a mere thread. And then in a second he was next to his favourite feeder--the wooden house--tipping it upside down.  I was in disbelief--baffled actually. The squirrel baffle was baffling me.  This trick was no accident--it was mindful intentionality exemplified.

But I was not done. I would not to be outsmarted. I had come too far. It was time for me to be intentional. My baby was going to watch birds! I moved the bird feeders around, so that the squirrels could not latch on to the weave of the coconut feeder.I put the coconut feeder on the highest hook. And it has worked--so far.  But I’m sure they’re devising a new scheme. But in the meantime, my baby and I are watching birds. I often face his highchair towards the window so he can watch . . . and then I sign bird for him, and a feeling of deep contentment washes over me. The joy of this project has been hard-earned. . .so much that I can nearly break into song: “Feed the birds, tuppence a bag. . .” (Mary Poppins)

The view from inside. . .

But this mama thinks this view is so much better!

Do you feed the birds?

Do you a have story?  A song?

How have you incorporated any of Wholly Canadian’s paradigm of goodwill into a project? Leave a comment and share!

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 4:53 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Babies made in Canada

Babies made in Canada ought to be wearing made in Canada clothing, right? 

I find babies the easiest of all people to clothe in Canadian-made clothing. But I know as my baby grows, it will become increasingly more difficult. There isn't a great deal out there for older children in terms of Canadian made clothing. Now that's an untapped niche. . .{hint, hint entrepreneurial spirits reading this}.

But for now I delight in dressing him, as outlined in my Shopping Paradigm of Goodwill, in made-in-Canada clothing, second-hand clothing, or clothing ethically-made overseas.

To celebrate Canadian-made clothing for babies, I thought we would do a giveaway:

It's an HBC striped onesie made in Canada. It has a "Shared "tag.  Note: Not all HBC wear is made in Canada, but the ones with the "Shared" tag are made in Canada. "Shared" is an in-house brand of Drake General Store in Toronto. Drake General Store collobarted with the Hudson's Bay Company on a number of items.

Size 18-24 months. 100% cotton.

When I purchased one for my baby, I decided to also purchase an extra one as a giveaway for another baby out there.

Do you have a baby this size? Or will be soon? Need a classic, gender-neutral baby gift?

This onesie/romper is great for the fall. . . sporting the natural hue of autumn colours. Long pants easily fit over it for cooler days, and it's a classic for layering underneath a cardigan. Would make a great autumn photo!

Sporting all Canadian wear: My baby wearing his made-in-Canada romper, and his well-worn made-in-Canada Mini-Toes fisherman sandals I purchased for him earlier this spring.

Like his shoes? Check out Mini-Toes!

Enter here for the baby romper giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tags baby  Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 5 Comments

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why We Cloth Diaper

He's responsible for this! Yup, this little baby, who we affectionately call "stinker" some of the time, is responsible for the contents of this  laundry line!  But at least there's a story of goodwill here. The diapers on this line include two aspects of Wholly Canadian’s Shopping Paradigm of Goodwill: 1)Buying Local, and 2) Buying used/re-purposing


1. Local/Canadian:

2. Second-hand/Re-purposing:

  • I've purchased used organic prefold diapers
  • Wool inserts (I purchased a vintage wool blanket on kijiji for $5, and had it re-purposed into inserts)

But that's not where the goodwill stops. Shopping locally and buying used is great. But there's more good news on this laundry line! Wholly Canadian is all about whole-life local living. . .

Why we cloth diaper. . .

People choose to cloth diaper for a variety of reasons.

Here are some of mine:

  • Healthy baby’s bottom: our baby has never had diaper rash. We've chosen natural fibre diapers for our babies (cotton, hemp, bamboo, and wool).  Would you want plastic tight wrapped around your bottom? That's essentially what disposables are. It's quite unnatural, really. No wonder rashes, and other ailments develop.  Baby's bottoms needs to breathe! If there is any area that needs breathable fabric--it's their bottom! It always amazes me when parents who cloth diaper choose synthetic fabrics (fleece, mircofibre, etc).  Synthetic fibres (made of petrochemicals) are akin to wrapping plastic around the bottom. So here's to natural fibre!
  • Sustainability: As a farmer’s daughter I have a heightened appreciation of land.  I understand land is a fixed resource. One cannot reproduce more land.  Water, on the other hand, is a perpetual gift (where I live). Even though I pay for it--it's a renewable resource. Thus, it’s a simple choice.  One professor of mine once shared that there is no “away.” When you “throw away” --there is no “away.”  When we travel, we use non-bleached disposables--and each time I dispose of the soiled diaper, I am reminded of the preciousnesses of land and that there is no “away.”
  • Cost: yup, we’ve saved a ton of $. I rarely need to go down that baby aisle.  I’ve got my own baby aisle blowing in the wind. {Giggle}
  • Simplicity: I blogged earlier about the tension between convenience and simplicity. Cloth diapering is the way of the simple life. It is not convenient. It is simple.

Why I hang dry the diapers in summer:

  • It keeps the diapers white:  The sun is a natural whitener for those stains.
  • It keeps the diapers fresh: We've never had yeast in our diapers.  The sun is a natural disinfectant, and boy do the diapers ever need a freshening after a long Manitoba winter!
  • It keeps the diapers in optimal condition. Dryers make the diapers soft, but they also destroy them--slowly and gradually.  What do you think all that lint is in your dryer? Yup, that's the fabric being gradually worn down. Dryers weaken the fabric's fibres, and if there's any item in our household that needs to retain all its strength and fibres for optimal absorbency, well, it's the diapers!  That's why, in winter, we also hang-dry most of them inside.
  • It keeps me in tune with nature: We wash and hang the diapers in summer based on weather. "Today is a sunny day--so, let’s make the most of it!" "It’s going to rain the next few days--let’s see how far we can make these diapers stretch!" {wink}  We work with nature. There is an understanding of cyclical pattern nature gives of work and rest. I can keep abreast the weather by simply looking at my smartphone. Our ancestors did it with merely their intuition and intelligence.  This is a lost skill indeed. . .
    • Just recently I saw dark clouds gather, and heard some distant rumblings. As I had nearly-dry diapers on the line, I looked at the weather on my smartphone to ascertain my next actions. It stated sunny skies all day.  Well, I thought, the storm must just be passing by.  The skies got darker, and the thunder rolled. My intuition (or just common sense at that point) told me it was going to rain and get the diapers off the line. Maybe, I thought, I looked at the wrong city. So I checked the weather report again.  Sunny skies it said--for Winnipeg. I made a split-second decision to believe the technological report.  A minute later the nearly-dry diapers on the line received a heavy 5-min soaking--I considered it a free second rinse.  The freshly rinsed diapers then proceeded to to dry in the sun. . .again. {smile}
  • Sustainability: The sun is a gracious gift, and renewable. Unlike running water (which is also renewable), I don't pay for the sun! But I do pay to run my dryer.  But more than cost-efficient, it's a way of living sustainably and living in tandem with the bounty around us.
  • Simplicity: As I mentioned with the reasons I cloth diaper, the reason I hang out diapers in summer, is that it is the way of the simple life. It is not covenient. It is simple. Do you know the difference? I find myself yearning for simplicity more and more . . .
  • Smiles: My neighbour told me this May (after a really long winter), I know spring has arrived because I see diapers on your line. Yup, we air out all our dirty I mean, clean laundry for our neighbours. . .and I get many a smile.  My dad told me recently that’s how it used to be. You would see a laundry line of diapers and know that family had a baby--and smile. Just the thought of babies make people smile. Sure, go ahead and smile at the thought. . .
  • The Joy of Living in the Footsteps of Those Before Us: What a joy it is to hang diapers. Hanging laundry is one of my favourite chores. It always reminds me of my late mother who hung her laundry out in summer. . .and in a way is a keeping of tradition with my mother, my grandmother, my great-mother, etc. My mother never got to see me as a mama. . .I sure wish she could see this laundry line of diapers now {Tears}.

And here’s a rather organic opportunity to thank my husband who is a vital member of "Team Diaper." He washes them once every 4-5 days, daily brings down the soiled diaper pail to the basement, and then sets us up with a fresh diaper pail (water, vinegar, borax, and a couple drops of essential oil) every day.  Did I already mention, daily? And never complains. And when he’s home, we take turns changing diapers (or we employ "paper, rock, scissors"). The reason I mention this is because he is not as passionate about the reasons behind this as I am.  A few months ago I asked him, so if you don’t feel so strongly about it, why do it? He said something that caught me off guard: “I do it for you.” {Heart melting}

If you have a baby, do you cloth diaper?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 4:12 AM 2 Comments