New Series: In My 'Hood | DesignDreams by Anne from Kimberley, British Columbia

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Today I'm excited to share a new series I'm calling In My 'Hood! A few months ago I was thinking of some posts I wanted to write and one of them was to write a post about my cool neighbourhood Mimico which is located along Lake Ontario in the west end of Toronto. As I was thinking about the post, I suddenly wanted to get a glimpse into other neighbourhoods around the country, so I asked a few other bloggers to share their 'hoods with me! 

Up first is a very sweet neighbourhood in Kimberley, BC via Anne Davies from DesignDreams by Anne.  I'll have another few posts to share over the coming weeks including one about my 'hood so check back to read more. 

Take it away Anne!

Welcome to Kimberley, British Columbia!  

My name is Anne and I blog at DesignDreams by Anne where I share my adventures of fixing up my 1930s bungalow.  Today, however, I am sharing where I live and it is one of the most beautiful areas of Canada. Kimberley is located in the southeastern corner of British Columbia, near the Alberta and Montana borders.  It is in a valley between the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Purcell Mountain Range.  We have views like this to enjoy:

and a super cute downtown shopping district known as "the Platzl."  

We have great restaurants and quaint coffee shops:

Over 100 kilometres (62 miles) of trails through old growth forests in town:

A huge creek that flows right through the heart of town:

Lots of local lakes and rivers - fly fishing is very popular out here.  So is whitewater rafting.

We have a nature park fully contained within city limits that covers over 800 hectares (1800 acres).

These are all the reasons why I particularly love living here!  That together with an extremely low crime rate, friendly people and pretty neighbourhoods, Kimberley feels a lot like Mayberry, USA (from the Andy Griffith Show).

This is my neighbourhood (from last fall)

We also have a ski hill inside city limits that is family oriented and has a vertical rise of 2465 ft (751m).  From the end of December to the middle of February, we generally get A LOT OF SNOW.  That's not my favourite thing... Most of the trails around here are used for cross-country skiing during the winter months, so I can literally pack my skis for one block, strap them on and ski to my heart's content for free.  The longest trail in town is plowed on a regular basis, so walking it is possible, too.  We also have a huge Nordic ski area at the ski hill that is groomed and lit for night-time skiing. If you want to ski two hills in the same weekend, you can spend one day at the Kimberley Alpine Resort and head over to the Fernie Alpine Resort which is an hour away and a completely different ski experience.

There's an aquatic centre in the heart of town, two arenas and a beautiful local garden covering 5 hectares that is free to the public.   

Our local campground is a huge draw - the Kimberley Riverside Campground is located on the banks of the St Mary River and is only a few years old.  It has a pool, an 18 hole putting course, loads of campsites for tents and RVs with either full or partial services.  It gets rave reviews from anyone who uses it and people come back year after year.  

Photo by Jarret Bell, Campground Manager
There's a cute little pioneer town about 45 minutes away called Fort Steele Heritage Town that has been around since the Gold Rush days.  It has been maintained in its original state.  There are demonstrations of old time skills as well as hayrides and gold-panning. 

There's an annual rodeo held just south of Kimberley every summer and one of the warmest lakes in British Columbia can be found half an hour away at Wasa.  It's located in a provincial park with camping available. 

There are hot springs an hour and a half north of us in Radium Hot Springs.  Golf courses are all over the place out here.  If you're a golfer, you might recognize the name Les Furber - the designer of several of the local courses.

We're only 3 hours from Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta.  Here are some views from that area:

Hauntingly beautiful, isn't it?  

I hope you've enjoyed this tour of my part of Canada.


PS - Want to feature your neighbourhood? Contact me at lealoulemonade (at)

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover,  she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!

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Our vegetable garden boxes

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mark spent a few hours last weekend and this weekend finishing off our veggie garden boxes. I'm so excited to have these done. I've wanted to plant my own veggies in a box like this for years. We used cedar and plan to give it a simple clear coat so we can keep the colour as long as possible.

It's basically two boxes flanking a funny little box in the middle. Mark just put a few pieces of extra cedar on the front of the middle box to cover it up so we could match it to the other boxes. 

I plan to go this week to Urban Harvest this week to get my plants. I'll plant the regulars like tomatoes, kale, and lettuce and then I'll see what else they have so I can add something a bit different. I can't wait!

Links I clicked this week

Friday, May 15, 2015

coconut milk ice cream
Photo via The Chalkboard

To complement this week's ice cream post, I bring to you some two-ingredient ice cream (and no it doesn't include bananas!). I will definitely be trying this ice cream this summer as soon as the weather gets with the program and remembers that it's supposed to be providing us with warm weather (it's freezing here in Toronto today). Until then, here are the links I clicked this week. And if you're in Canada have a great long weekend!

Video games linked to return of rickets among children

Spring gnocchi with mushrooms and parmesan via Dishing Up Dirt (Love this site!)

The perfect chambray dress DIY

I love these kids' clothes from Lola & Stella

This maple mustard glazed salmon is so good

Schwandt Family Of 12 Boys Welcome 13th Boy (woah!)

A sweet idea for a pillow

Ice cream treats

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mark and I tell the kids stories every night and almost always they want to hear stories about ice cream. Leo wants a story about eating so much mint chocolate chip ice cream he throws up in a pool (no idea) and Mila wants to hear about Hello Kitty cookies and ice cream. It's a full time job this ice cream storytelling thing.

Here are some of my ice cream faves on Etsy that I'm sure would pass the Leo + Mila test.

Ice cream print via Old English Company 

Slip cast faceted geo ice cream bowl via Bean and Bailey

Ice cream cone serving tray via  JT Woodworks

Ice cream water colour art via Water Color Paperie 

Rainbow polka dots ice cream cups via The Bakers Confections

Mint chocolate chip ice cream digital paper via Tracy Gurley Designs 
Play food ice cream set via House Mountain Natural 
Mi piace gelato by Anek

Interview with Krista Hare of Essential Whole Health

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My interview this month is a special one for me (not that the other ones weren't special!!): It's with my cousin Krista! Krista and I go way back to when she was one year old and I was born and when we were kids we were inseparable. I have fond memories of playing with Krista and our sisters in their back yard or having sleep overs on the floor in the living room. Krista and I grew a bit apart over the years but in the past few years we've gotten to know each other once again and realized we still have so much in common. I wanted to interview Krista because she has gone through some major life-changing events over the past 10 years which have led her to her current passion: alternative healing & health. I'll let her share more with you in the interview below.

Tell me about Krista Hare. What do you love to do, hate to do, wish you could do?

I love to spend time with my son. He’s a compassionate kid and his sense of humour is getting wittier every day. He’s in the double-digits now, and I realize how quickly time flies. It seems like yesterday that he blessed my life and started me on this amazing journey of motherhood! Now, he’s almost as tall as me!

Next to that, I love being outside…by the water, in the woods, camping…any thing that brings me outside with Mother Nature.

What do I hate to do? House clean. I’d rather be outside - or doing ANYTHING other than house cleaning. I try to like it…but I don’t. On a positive note… since I’ve started using Young Living’s line of all-natural Thieves cleaners, now at least my nose enjoys cleaning. ;)

I wish I could travel more. I have so many amazing destinations on my bucket list - places that I want to experience with my son. I’m from a small town and am fascinated by the cultures in different parts of the world. It’s my dream to see various parts of the world, learn their culture, taste their food, breathe their air and see their sights.

How did you become interested in essential oils and whole health in general?

Being a mom was something that I always dreamt about. I loved kids and knew that I was going to love being a mom. When I was diagnosed with postpartum depression after my son was born, it didn’t seem possible. I was put on anti-depressants and experienced a bizarre balance between the darkest days that I’ve ever seen and the incredible feeling of falling love with my new baby. I knew there needed to be a way that I could alter my emotional health without the use of drugs, so I dove into the field of alternative healing with the goal of removing the medication from my healing regimen.

I overhauled my diet, learned meditation, practiced mindfulness, learned yoga and stopped watching the news (it’s way too disturbing). I made a decision to surround myself with books, music and people that would raise me up. When I started to “see the light at the end of the tunnel”, I went on a yoga retreat, where I practiced yoga twice a day and learned about Ayurveda.

As part of the Ayurveda course at the ashram, I started to learn about essential oils. When I got home, I started looking for a company that creates essential oils that don’t have chemicals and additives. When I found Young Living Essential Oils and learned about the company and the integrity that they stand upon, I knew it was something that I needed to share. Young Living has a Seed to Seal guarantee and the only thing in the bottle is what comes from the plant.

The more I learn about essential oils and the many ways they can be used for health and wellness, the more I want to share them with everyone I know.

How has it changed your life for the better?

I’m not the same person that I was 10 years ago. I have a different perspective on life and believe in the importance of having a well-rounded approach to health. I’m raising my son to be aware of his health and how it affects his body, mind and spirit. Using essential oils in our daily health regime has allowed us to remove even more toxins from our medicine cabinet (deodorant, burn cream, cough syrup, cleaning supplies, bug repellent and sun screen).

I’ve heard wonderful testimonials about the experiences that people have had once they’ve started using Young Living Essential Oils and the improvements in their wellness have been incredible. I love the feeling that I am able to provide tools for people to help them improve their wellness and the wellness of their families. The fact that I’m getting paid to do it is a bonus…I love this work!

Tell me about your business Essential Whole Health. What do you provide for people outside of offering essential oils?

I chose the name Essential Whole Health because it reflects my belief that our optimal health is comprised of our environment, the friends we have, the conversations we have, the thoughts we think and what we put in - and on - our bodies. At the moment, my business is based primarily around the oils. I teach classes about essential oils, sell the oils and offer Raindrop Technique with the oils.

Raindrop Therapy includes specific techniques, energy work, and aromatherapy. Using a sequence of antimicrobial and therapeutic grade essential oils (made from parts of flowers, herbs, shrubs) designed to reduce inflammation and eliminate viral/bacterial toxins; they are dropped directly onto the spine like raindrops. Then, they are lightly worked into the vertabrae. It’s ideal for improving circulation and immune function and enhancing overall physical balance and emotional health. Mind, body and spirit are enhanced by this procedure and the immune system is elevated. It leaves people feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

What is your vision for this business?

I’m studying to become an Ayurvedic Practitioner and my vision is to turn Essential Whole Health into an online space for wellness information, as well as an avenue to purchase Young Living Essential Oils, learn about how Ayurveda can improve their health and book online or in-person consultations to improve health and wellness.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. The experiences that I have had with my health have given me the drive to help others achieve their best self naturally.

Favourite oil?

I have three. My favourite first-aid oil is Lavender. It was the first essential oil that I had personal experience with. At first, all I knew of lavender was its benefits for relaxation, but as I grew to become familiar with therapeutic-grade essential oils and the broader range of benefits, I realized how versatile Lavender is. I’ve used it on burns (only therapeutic-grade essential oils - as others can make the burn worse), rashes, bug bites, tense shoulders and in the bath. It’s my go-to for a lot of different things!

My second faves are Clary Sage and Ylang Ylang. These are always in my purse and I wear them as a perfume. Clary Sage has phytoestrogen and is reported as being helpful with feminine hormonal support (can’t we all use a little balance in our lives?). Ylang Ylang has a light, flowery scent that is calming, relaxing and offers support with emotional balancing.

What are you passionate about?

Life. My journey has been about focusing on how to push through tough stuff and find ways to make every day brighter. Life is too short to do anything but try to make the best of every moment.

Favourite thing to eat?

My favourite thing to eat is not something I should eat very often…so I’ll give you two favourites: Cheesecake. Cheesecake is the one thing that I would eat everyday if its health benefits were as wonderful as its taste. But…unfortunately that is not the case. So…my favourite body-does-me-good food is a giant bowl of baby spinach with hemp oil, pureed garlic, salt, pepper and lemon essential oil. I could eat it three meals a day.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

That’s a tough one. There are so many places I’d like to travel and yet some of my happiest moments are by the St. Lawrence River or on a hiking trail near my house.

In terms of destinations, I’d pick Hawaii, but there are many places I’d like to see. My reason for building a business is to have the freedom (and money) to take my son on volunteer vacations. I want to show him the world, while letting him experience the side of life that doesn’t show up in a travel brochure. One of the first volunteer vacations we will do is a place where he can teach underprivileged kids how to play one of his favourite sports - hockey or soccer. We’ll go wherever there is a need and an opportunity.

Thanks Krista! For more information on Krista visit her website here and Facebook page here.

Links I clicked this week + Anniversary Edition

Friday, May 08, 2015

It's my anniversary today! Yes one week exactly after my birthday and the same weekend as Mother's Day (are we ever good at planning ;)). So I thought I would share a photo from our wedding to commemorate. We've been married seven years this year and it has been an awesome ride (in a red Bianchini ;)). I'm truly blessed to have this amazing man in my life. Tonight we are celebrating as all married couples should: at Leo's movie night at school ha! I think watching The Lego Movie will bring back all sorts of memories from our wedding day....

And now to the links I clicked this week:

Mmm Shaved Asparagus Pizza from Smitten Kitchen

An essential oils cough medicine alternative

Two-ingredient cookies from Pure Ella

Six words that are guaranteed to end picky eating

I'm loving Sam Pynn's Open House Overhauls

I'm in love with the Fresh Dress from Mini Mioche

Fact-checking 10 claims made by parents against the Ontario sex-ed curriculum

We're considering this Cape Cod siding for our house

I found these cards for cancer patients super helpful

This experiment shows what happens to your body when everything you eat is organic

Have a great weekend y'all!

Modern bird feeders + houses

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


We added a couple bird feeders to the back yard a few weeks ago and it's amazing to see what birds are coming by to eat. I thought it would be fun for just the kids, but we're really into it too. We have some regulars like finches, black birds, cardinals and even a blue jay or two. My goal this summer is to create a little oasis for our bird family so they keep coming back.

When I was looking around for bird feeders this week on Etsy I was happy to see there are a bunch of different styles these days so you can get one or two to match the style of your house. While I was perusing I couldn't help but think of the birds creating their own little communities and having conversations about their homes. They be sipping nectar and snacking on seeds while they gossiped about their neighbours' homes. Actually I guess they'd simply be tweeting...

Links I clicked this week

Friday, May 01, 2015

Photo via Creative Union Design

Morning! It's my birthday today yay! I'm off to lunch with my bestie and then Mark and I are heading to this cool film festival with some good friends. Looking forward to the day! Have a great weekend y'all!

PS: Here are the links I clicked this week!

How to cook steel cut oats in 30 minutes (I don't remember clicking on this one - I think it was Mark! ;))

Clean eating crock pot recipes

Top 50 vegan blogs - yum! 

Food Photography School. This is now on my list of things I want to do!

Love this cute chalkboard wedding photo prop!

A Couple Cooks. Another yummy food blog to follow!

I chose this invitation for my sister's shower. Love the colours!

The top 30 Italian restaurants in Toronto by neighbourhood

Why you only need 37 items in your closet

The Impact Of A Positive Response

Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures
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