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A mixed list of good stuff with a Canadian connection…
On My Bookshelf
Two of the most compelling books I’ve read are by Canadian authors about women who led incredible lives:
Robert Hough’s “The Final Confession of Mabel Stark” is a rich and absorbing novelization of Mabel Stark’s life. Her journey took her from teen wife to mental institution patient to burlesque dancer, and to tiger training golden girl of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at the height of her career.
Lawrence Hill’s “The Book of Negroes” opens with Aminata Diallo being abducted in Sierre Leone and enslaved in South Carolina. The novel chronicles her life and her fight for freedom.
These are beautifully written books with bold and memorable characters.
In My Closet
I wear all my pieces from Aritizia on repeat. They marry good quality and design; are versatile and easy to wear (office, vacation, errands) and I always feel great in them. Aritzia pieces currently in my closet: Babaton Randy blouse; black leather leggings; the white Montana blouse; Babaton Peyton blouse in houndstooth; bodysuits in nude and black; brown Tna Avoriaz parker and the grey Wilfred Cocoon coat (both have seen me through several Canadian winters).
I did a lot of my Christmas shopping online last year and quite a bit of it from simons.ca. Give their story a read – they have been around since 1840! I love their selection of clothing, accessories, and home wares. I bought a couple of things for myself too – this chevron tablecloth by Samantha Pynn and these super cosy jacquard pajamas:
There was a mix-up in one of my orders from Simons but I called them and everything was rectified within the week (including the delivery of the correct items). The customer service I received was very good – friendly, professional, and prompt.
I bought these Boot Rescue wipes from Nine West on a whim. I started out with the 15 pack of wipes but sadly, the tab lost it’s stickiness so they dried out. I have switched to the individually wrapped wipes and keep them in our front porch closet and in my handbag. They are so handy to give your shoes a quick clean up. Their usefulness is not limited to boots or winter – I have been using them on my white loafers to ward off Popsicle stains since the start of the soccer season.
In My Bathroom
I have been using the Hylamide C25 vitamin C serum from Deciem, the abnormal beauty company, for the last few months. This was my first foray into Vitamin C and I selected it because it is stabilized Vitamin C and because of the affordable price point. I use it daily followed by a moisturizer with SPF. My skin is quite shiny after application but once everything is absorbed, within 10 minutes, the shine disappears. I am about 3/4 of a way through the bottle and I’ve noticed that my skin looks smoother, the tone is more even.
In My Kitchen
Precidio Design Inc.’s Drink in the Box is leak proof, durable, compact, dishwasher safe, and my kids love drinking out of them. We have four of the 8 oz. size and use them multiple times a week. I like them so much, I bought one for myself. For a complete review and list of stockists, click: Drink in the Box blog post.
Gourmet du Village make such delicious dips. My top two are the baked dips, Parmesan & Artichoke and the Cheddar & Bacon. They make lovely host/hostess gifts. An excellent accompaniment for these dips are the Neal Brothers’ blue corn with flax tortilla chips – they are beautiful and so flavourful. Should you be lucky enough to have any leftover dip, it is so good on a hot baked potato (yellow-fleshed or sweet). They are also great for stuffing portobello mushrooms or in a tortilla wrap with roasted peppers, aubergine, and zucchini.
One of the very few sandwiches my oldest daughter will eat is peanut butter. She will be starting school in September and her school is peanut-free. We have been trying out Wowbutter as an alternative and it has received approval all around.
I grew up in South Africa in the ’80s and ’90s. English Muffins were not part of our breakfast landscape so I may have a deeper appreciation for them than the average person. I love the way butter, jam, syrup, and peanut butter pools in the nooks and crannies of a toasty English Muffin. I have sampled many an English Muffin and they are not all created equal. My favourite is made by Oakrun Farm Bakery. Staying with the breakfast theme, onto bagels. Before moving to Canada, I never gave bagels much thought. I had heard people rave about the “Montreal bagels” (i.e. St. Viateur and Fairmount. Lesser known, but also worth mentioning are those from Veer Bagel). Before I tasted one, I thought “How good can a bagel be?” and the answer is: good – really, really good.
What’s on your list of good stuff with a Canadian connection?