#AuthenticLiving – Natural Summer Toner


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the summer season is the one time of year that can sometimes play havoc on my oily sensitive skin, so having a good toner on hand can be very helpful in my experience. because of my recent healthier natural living overhaul, i'm more particular now that much of what i put on my skin should be from natural sources. in fact, i believe that some of the best items can be made a home like this simple skin toner.

All natural Skin Toner & Cleanser
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 drops of essential oil (i like using a spearmint, lavender or lemon in the summer)
mix all the ingredients together and store in a glass container in a cool dark space. for best use i recommend using it a few minutes after face washing. you can also consider storing the mixture in a small spray bottle in the fridge to mist on face throughout the day to help cool you down during the summer. 

*Helpful Hint - Apple Cider Vinegar offers great health benefits. i even take a Tsp a day in the morning to help with good digestion and improve my skin from the inside out!

Wise Wednesday


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an oldie but a goodie quote. this one is especially hard for me, i'm a holder on'er. 
time to try harder at being ok with letting things go.
i think this is a lesson i'll always be learning.

Scenes from the Staycation Vacation


{ weekends are infinetly better when they start with organic coffee and Wychwood Market }

{ brunch dates at Pain Perdu for pain due chocolate and lattes }
{ pool time all the time - true to my Pisces nature }
{ professional taste tester in the making as you can see,
New Liefmans Beer, Aperol sprtiz on the patio and the all time summer mint chocolate chip classic }
{ a visit to the new Ripley's Aquarium Toronto for the Mr's birthday celebration kick off }

one has to be careful about vacationing this hard, because dang, a girl could get used to this! 
i think i've got this staycation thing down pat.

See more pics on my Instagram @Oomphlove

A Seasonal Canning Calendar


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this year i've done a much better job at getting myself way more organized for the current canning season. sometimes i swear i was born in the wrong era, because i relish and look forward to these old traditions. the feeling of accomplishment i get when i pack up fresh jars of jam or salsa into my cellar pantry space, the smell of cooking and the excitement for fresh ripe fruit in the middle of winter – nothing beats it.

i've only been really going hard at canning for a few years now, but i've learned a lot between when i started and now (with my fair share of mistakes too!). this year i got a good jump start on some varieties of jams already, and have taken the time to learn about what seasons are best time for what produce. i spent the last few years searching on the inter-webs for sample canning calendars, but sadly to no avail,  so this year I nipped that need in the butt and created my own seasonal canning calendar.

while it may not hit everything that you could possibly can in peak season, i've made sure to hit the highlights and the things i see as being the most popular items to consume!

**charted based on your average growing season in Ontario, Canada 

i hope this visual resource will give you a month-to-month guide to canning season considerations. there are so many options and ideas for things you can make and then store to enjoy through the winter months.  i've included a number of links below to some of my favourite recipes and helpful tips and resources for anyone looking to give this a shot, or just try a new take on an old recipe this time around.

Jam & Jelly
Resource Guides & Getting Started

Buying & Wearing a Pair of Birkenstocks


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i have been a long time lover of the Birkenstock sandal. while they might not be everyone's taste in shoe style, they sure speak to the little granola lady in me. in all the years i've watched my good friends own and rave about these sandals, i've been hesitant to buy a pair for the fear of "the foot mold" process that i've understood can be a little painful to get through. i also have to admit that i didn't know anything about the purchasing process or how to find the perfect fit. well this summer i bit the bullet and finally bought my first pair, and i can tell you, i'm in serious heaven.

the most important thing to know is that Birkenstocks are designed to help contour to your foot. The bumps and grooves you see help to promote proper food health and prevent your foots natural desire to flatten over time without support. they also reinforce knee care being made of cork, and help with foot grip and circulation in your legs.

 if you are a newbie like me when it comes to buying Birkenstocks, here are a few things you need to know:
  1. make sure to buy from a reputable dealer, there are lots of fakes out there so make sure you are getting the real ones.
  2. know your exact shoe size as Birkenstocks need to be a perfect fit, if not ask a sales assistant to measure your foot
  3. Birkenstocks come in a regular or narrow fit. if you don't have issues with shoes fitting or if you tend to have a wider foot, you're a regular fit.
  4. open up all the buckles and then place your foot in the shoe, now do up the buckles starting at your toes. this step can make a big different in the fit and feel when trying them on, so be sure not to skip it when deciding how you like them
  5. these sandals should push you back on your heels to promote good posture, so pay attention to see if that is happening when you try them on.
  6. i  highly suggest wearing them around your home for an hour at a time to help break them in and get your feet accustomed.
  7. most people i have spoken too say that it takes 1-2 weeks of wear before you notice them mold to your feet, so be patient.
i'm so happy with my new white pair and that i'm pretty certain i will be buying another pair in the very near future! my very happy feet have found their sole mate.



it's time for vacation! this week i am taking a much needed tech break just for a few days. time to recharge and unplug, away from the office, my iPhone, computer, laptop, facebook, three twitter accounts. all the things i'm almost embarrassed to say that i get way overly stuck too on a day-to-day basis.  as much as i love all these things, i know it's important for health and even my creativity to remove all the buzzing and dings and enjoy the quiet and the outdoors.  so cheers to a week of yoga, coffee, naps, sunshine, swimming and picnics. hope you all have a fab week! Brb! 

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