Finding Rest during the Holiday Season: Practical Ideas for Peace

November 26, 2014 5 min read

Last week I wrote about a concept of rest as doing good or a sense of satisfied peace. But what about rest in a more practical sense? Like not-going-crazy-from-parties-and-presents-and-planning-and-carols-and-overload rest?

It hardly needs to be pointed out that what brings peace and what gives life in the holiday season varies from person to person.

One of my dear friends lost her mom as a young adult, but a vivid memory was of her mother’s fervent celebration of holidays – high (Christmas, Easter, Birthdays) & low (St Patrick’s Day). For her, creating hoopla and catering to details (gifty, hosty, & otherwise) is a way to enjoy this time & honour her mom.

For me, the idea of taking a “break” to go to a spa sounds like a lot of organization & schedule planning that I would rather spend towards other activities. So, that prospect doesn’t relax me at all, while for others (most?) it would be a delight. On the other hand, hosting a brunch for 40 friends on Christmas Eve is something that brings me a great sense of peace & enjoyment!

So, your “rest” is not necessarily your neighbour’s, but here is a list of ideas for restful inspiration in the upcoming month:

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Halloween Candy & Unethical Chocolate: So… What Should I Buy?

October 24, 2014 3 min read

I’ve heard a bit over the last few years about chocolate being bad.

Not bad for you; not tasting bad (like the girl I saw walking by a chocolate fountain in my old grocery store job, who’s mom was “reminding” her that she “doesn’t like chocolate”: I’m not buying it!); but bad, like BAD for the world and the people in it.

Apparently, the global demand for chocolate – for example, mini chocolate bars like the ones we give out at Halloween – has skyrocketed. And with the desire for lots of chocolate for little money, the result has been bad news. Producers need to cut costs to meet the price demands, which has often resulted in child labour or slavery in West African, cocoa producing countries like Ghana & Côte d'Ivoire.

If you’re like me, you – quite frankly – don’t want to invest your heart in one more sad thing! I mean, children forced to make chocolate... there are no words.

Well, whether you want to find out more about it or not (here is a fantastic article which goes into more depth about the issue), you have an inkling that it is a problem. So, what can you do?

Ideas for Halloween alternatives to mainstream chocolate:

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Clothing Swap with Friends.
Umm, Why Didn’t I Think of That?

October 07, 2014 2 min read

Good Clothes + Free Clothes + Get Rid of Your Old Clothes = WIN!

(I know, I know… no math)

Did I mention that a party is involved?

If it doesn't look like this - you're doing it wrong! Photo: Jane Boles

Last spring, a friend invited me on a Friday night to a clothing swap party at her house. Everyone brought clothes that they hadn’t worn or were ready to part with (all in great condition), laid them around the house, and when everything was set up, the host released the hounds. It was all very casual, very fun, and, did I mention…

BRILLIANT!

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The Male Baker’s I-Love-My-Mom Loaded Scones

May 09, 2013 3 min read


Today I share a guest post from my friend, The Male Baker. Who doesn’t love baked goods, especially when lovingly created by a good-looking, young guy?! Read on for his recipe for lemon scones filled with strawberries & whipped cream (perfect to make for Mom this weekend), or check out his own site full of beautiful photography and delicious recipes!


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Black Friday & the 7-Year Dishwasher

November 23, 2012 2 min read

Recently, my sister-in-law was in the market for a new dishwasher. This shocked me, knowing that they had only moved into their new-build home in 2006. Really? A new dishwasher, already? Come on, I thought. And, as it turned out, so did she. But, the thing just wasn’t working effectively after many repairs, so she had finally embarked on a quest for her next, lifelong, dishwasher.
“Which model should I choose to last, because I don’t want to be back here again any time soon,” she asked the appliance salesperson.
His reply?
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