Springtime in Canada


Well this year, Spring has sprung at its usual late April -May time and the blossoms on the trees are not disappointing with their beautiful pink and white shades of perfumed petals.

I love this time of year as the tulips reveal their bold colours and the gardens come alive in emerald green hues. The first trees to blossom are the magnificent petaled magnolia trees whose ancient lineage is legendary. Soon after the cherry trees and apple blossoms follow and these are for such a short week or two but so long awaited by us Spring time lovers and the bees and butterflies of course.

Spring time in Canada is such a colourful scent filled short space of time and I am enjoying it even when the rain comes down its still a step closer to warmer days and light filled evenings that we can enjoy.

Here is a list of just a few places in and around Toronto that have splendid trees to see;

1.Niagara on the Lake and the Niagara wine region

2.Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.

3. Botanical Showcase https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/nature-garden/floral-showhouse/

4.High Park and the Nature Centre


Making Scents in December-The truth about Scented Candles

The smell of freshly lit candles often fills the air in the month of December. But did you know that scented candles that are made of paraffin are actually doing more harm than good?

In fact according to the Daily Telegraph in the UK-“A study carried out by Professor Alastair Lewis of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of York found that an ingredient commonly used to give candles their scent mutates into formaldehyde upon contact with the air.” Which is an alarming fact considering that most candles do have some sort of scent included in their ingredients.

According to Treehugger.com “A study at South Carolina State University compared non-scented, non-pigmented, dye-free candles that were made from either a petroleum-based wax or a vegetable-based wax. They concluded that “the vegetable-based candles didn’t produce any potentially harmful pollutants [but] the paraffin candles released unwanted chemicals into the air.” Chemistry professor Ruhullah Massoudi stated,”

“For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma.”

Fortunately, there are much safer alternatives this December, choose a candle with a cotton, hemp or a paper wick and choose a candle made of soy, beeswax or coconut oil. They do offer a warm glow. Last but not least only choose candles that are unscented like the beeswax candles or are scented with natural essential oils and not chemicals.

Lighting candles in December should not come with a high price for our health and now that you have the knowledge to empower your candle purchases you can choose wisely for the air we breathe is really important to our health even more so in the winter months when we are indoors a larger portion of our time than during other seasons.

Wear your Kids Art

Have you ever wanted to wear your kids art because its so lovely? Well now you can with companies like  Art to Charm  and Formia its all possible. Sometimes, I know as a parent that those lovely art papers can get curled up at the edges in a draw or tote box and end up not being seen in their full loveliness. Also over the years a complete lack of space to put all the art work is also a common parents issue. So, the very idea of turning their art into a piece that can be worn that is so very special and unique to every family sounds like a charmed idea to me as a parent.

Elegant-cuff-family-drawing Create-your-own-elegant-cuff-bracelet-and-other-jewelry.png

This one above is from Formia and its really such an original gift idea for the grandparents this could be a really unique gift to give.



The First Frost

wint-e1540330151542.jpgWhat is it about the season of Autumns first frost that has us all getting out our winter wooly sweaters and socks again.  The trees all look like icy wands frozen in the sunlight and the glittery paths and grass are dusted with specs of frozen glittery ice crystals. According to the UK Met office “Frost is normally formed on still, clear and cold nights. The cool air causes water vapour in the air to condense and form droplets on the ground. When the temperature of the ground or surface is below 0 °C the moisture freezes into ice crystals – known as the frost point.”

There are in fact many types of frost that can happen and there are some amazing plants that can tolerate and even tend to benefit from frosts they include the well known brussel sprout, cabbages,turnips and some onions and some grapes for the production of ice wine enjoy a good frost.

So now you have the definition there is still something quite magical, lovely and special about the first frost of the year.


Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves are in prime colourful season at the moment in Canada. Every year hues of gold, carpets of red maple leaves and brilliantly orange leaves fill the garden. We diligently rake the leaves into paper bags and the next morning the garden is full of leaves again its a losing battle in October.

I love the autumn walks where you see one side of a street with red maple leaves and the other side all in yellow, from another variety of tree, it’s like a great leaf colour palette of the natural world.