Tuesday, January 27, 2009

slm - winter biking*

My dream bike, the Velobris Victoria Classic

Over the last 3 years that we have lived in Toronto, I have become more and more of a biker. I biked a little in Vancouver; the rain and the hills slowed me down. Then Aren and I made a docudrama about bike theft and I started to get more passionate about biking.

This year I have biking alot, including this winter. It's really not so bad once you get started. I find it's not so much about the temperature because once you get going, your body heats up. It's the wind. A layer that stops the icy fingers of windchill is key.

My main problem this year has been my face. It's the only part that exposed and it gets so cold. I have experimented with a face covering made from the neck of a turtleneck sweater and it's pretty good. It's cozy and warm but most of the time, too warm. I am going to look into readymade ones that are thin and wind resistant.

I also got Tretorn Skerry boots this year and it has made a work of difference. Warm and dry feet, hurray!

The other thing that makes winter biking fun for me is going slow. I make sure I have alot of time to get where I am going and then I don't have to stress about being late when I need to ride slow for a 1km because there's ice everywhere.

I think the best thing about winter biking is that it helps combat the winter blahs by being outside in the fresh air and sunshine as well as getting your blood moving.

Here are some useful winter biking links I found:

+ Commuting tips
+ City of Torontowinter bike tips as well as a calendar of winter biking events.
+ User generated tips from Biking Toronto
+ An article from the Montreal Gazette about winter biking.

Let me know if you have any resources or tips.

*I know this feature is supposed to be on Mondays but this week is topsy-turvy so here it is on a Wednesday. Better late than never, I suppose.

look what i got in the mail

From Aren via Tas-ka .

Sunday, January 18, 2009

winter kitchen

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where has the week gone?!? I suppose recovering from illness and the film project Aren and I are working on explains it's disappearance. We are close to the end of the project which feels great. It's been a long one and we are ready to move on.

Some good links:

+ What We Wore. Via, found on Camilla's blog.
+ Straw straw. I was just wondering what people used for straws before plastic when I came across the gold medal entry in Muji's design competition. Check out the other designs as well. When are you coming to Canada, Muji?
+ Glove Works by Paul Villinski. Via...I can't remember.
+ How great are these baskets and bags? Via
+ Have you seen this? A little silly but some delicious combos.
+ A new favorite blog. Very British focused which I love.
+ Making candy. I would love to try some. Next time I'm in New York.

ps. doesn't my carrot look like it needs pants?

Monday, January 12, 2009


+ BackTack
It was so fun! I swapped with Magfly in Norway and it was great getting to know her. Here's what I sent her:
Coffee from Cherry Bomb, homemade grapefruit orangette dipped in chocolate (in brown parchment package) and a Marimekko cup.
Handmade soft trees with some light beading.
Handmade snap coin purse filled with lip balm, mini pencil and notebook.

Here's what Magni sent me:

Delicious homemade red currant jelly (from her garden!), pen from her work, cute clay ladybug, Moleskin notebook in a handmade cover, alpaca yarn, a felted ball necklace, 3 nisses. Not shown, delicious chocolate, pretty fabric candy cones that the chocolates were in and an amazing linen bag.

Cute drawing on envelope.


slm - refill rather than recycle

An easy way to cut down on the amount of packaging in your life is to keep and then refill the original containers when the contents run out. A lot of health food stores, co ops, markets etc have many bulk sections not only for grains and spices but also for household products. I refill our laundry detergent, dishsoap, household cleaner and soap containers at Grassroots, a local store focusing on green products. They have an extensive household section and have just started selling Dr. Bronner's in bulk which makes me super happy.

Big Carrot also sells household and beauty products in bulk (they have lots of shampoo and conditioner). In Vancouver, Sweet Cherubim has a good selection. If you know of any other places, no matter where they are located, leave a comment.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I'm back from a nice but exhausting trip to Vancouver for the holidays. I am a bit under the weather so regular posting will resume next week.