Mother’s Day Spring Market

Spring Market 2014

Find unique & hand-crafted items made by moms at the Mother’s Day Spring Market.

Join us Saturday, April 4, 11am-3pm at at 5 Ontario St in Orillia. In addition to our Mompreneur Market, guest speaker Dr. Jody Snider, ND, will help us all to learn healthy habits to cope with stress and increase our energy naturally.

Meet the Makers


H&Co logo

H&Co is a small business based in Barrie, specializing in mom and baby fashion. Our signature product is a useful and snazzy bandana bib, and we also offer handmade nursing and teething necklaces, toy straps, mom and baby infinity scarves, soother clips, and stretchy baby hats.

All H&Co products are made with love using 100% cotton prewashed in natural, fragrance-free detergents.

H&Co bib for baby

ARA Gifts

ARA logo

ARA Gifts (representing Angela Ruth Armstrong) first began in the fall of 2010 with a hand-sewn mug cozy. After Angela made one for herself, others began to request orders as well. She decided to explore other items to create and began crocheting cowls with buttons, which also became popular. Angela received a sewing machine and began to sew infinity scarves. These became very popular by word of mouth, so she explored other venues to sell.

Angela is a stay-at-home mom of two children (ages 3 and 5). She loves being able to stay home with them as this small business has enabled her to do. The experience of selling her own creations has been wonderful! She takes great care and enjoyment in each handmade item.

The goal of ARA Gifts is provide unique, creative, hand made and quality items.

ARA Gifts infinity scarf

Junebugs Fashions

Junebugs logo

Josée Chapman is a fun-filled wife, mother of three, will-try-almost-anything-entrepreneur, with a flair for design. She enjoys spending time with family, coffee dates with friends, writing, creating new experiences and finding God’s joy in the everyday moments in life. She carries a strong background in design, having worked in the event industry for over 10 years, with the award winning Rachel. A. Clingen wedding design and Eventure custom environments team.

In the winter of 2011, after the birth of her twin girls, she founded Junebugs Fashions. This was a combination of the desire to provide an income so she could remain at home with her children, and challenge herself in an area outside of the realm of parenting. The inspiration for the name was birthed from the blessing of her three children, all born in the month of June.

Junebugs Fashions explores the realm of all things sewn. Josée enjoys the challenge of new patterns and creating unique designs of her own, working with various forms of textiles. The countless colours, textures and patterns of fabrics, inspire excite and enliven her creativity. Junebugs Fashions products range from nursing covers, crayon wallets, tote bags, clutch purses, fabric cuff bracelets, and aprons. Josée welcomes the opportunity for custom orders, stretching and forcing her to imagine, experiment and have fun.

Josée Chapman endeavors to see Junebugs Fashions continue to flourish into a successful company, that could perhaps provide opportunity for others who would desire to stay at home while raising a family.

Junebugs Nursing Cover

Join us this coming Saturday, April 4th to see great handmade products for Mother’s Day from H&Co, ARA Gifts, Junebug Fashions, and others.

Dry Skin Getting You Down?

Woman in the snow


It’s the same story every winter. I am surprised to see that my skin is peeling. I see skin flakes all over my black socks. (Gross, I know.) Even my eyebrows start flaking, and I have to clean skin off my glasses. You get the sad picture. I look like a face-peeling zombie. I dry up in the winter.

If you are suffering dry winter skin like I am—or, I hope, not quite so much as I am—take a few steps to care for yourself to avoid the worst of it.

Why Is Your Skin Dry Now?

In the winter, the humidity is low outside and even lower inside, if you use dry heat. The normal moisture of your glowing summer skin is being sucked away.

Also, as you get older or as your hormones change, your skin can change. If you have noticed a difference lately, it’s possible this is your new normal.

This is part of the normal cycle of the year.

Steps to Keep Your Skin Moist in the Winter

Remove as little of your own natural skin moisture as possible.

  • Use a mild cleanser. You might want to switch to a milder soap just for winter, if you already have a cleanser that works well for you in the summer.
  • Pat your skin with a towel rather than rubbing.
  • Avoid long exposure to hot water. If you hands are all cracked and dry, use this as a good reason to have a family member help with the dishes.

Use natural moisturizers.

I’ve written before about the ingredients to look for and avoid in moisturizing cosmetics.

  • If the lotion you have been using feels waxy or greasy, switch. The same moisturizers that work for me might not work well for you if we have different type of skin and we’re dealing with different weather.
  • One of my favorite lotion tips: apply body lotion when your skin is still slightly damp.

Make it easy to remember.

When do you think about how dry your skin is? If just before you go to bed, put lotion on your nightstand. I think about it during homeschool, while my children are reading and my hands are idle. I look at them and feel how dry they are, so I reach for the lotion that I keep on the table next to where I sit. Wherever you are most likely to have the thought and the time, keep your lotion there.

Use heavy duty treatment when your daily routine isn’t enough.

Every few days, I just have to use oil on my face. I use mild facial cleanser then oil. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to cover one’s face with oil, but it is the only way I can keep my skin from peeling.

When I was growing up, at night my mother would cover my hands in lotion and put cotton socks over my hands to keep the lotion from rubbing off. It worked, but I have managed to avoid this by using lotion daily, morning and night.

How heavy your treatment needs to be depends on how bad your problem is.

Either avoid wind and water or create a barrier.

Wind won’t just kiss your face—it will bite your face and suck out the moisture. Hot water will remove natural oils and leave your skin tight and uncomfortable until it cracks or peels.

Sound bad? Just create a barrier. Wear a mask when you are out in the wind. Don’t use hot water to wash your face. So simple!

You won’t just avoid one winter of tight, dry skin. You will avoid premature aging caused by overexposure to the elements.

If you are more hearty than I am, I’m very happy for you. My very pale, very sensitive skin just can’t handle the outdoors in winter without a lot of help, so avoidance is my first line of defense.

What Moisturizers Do We Use?

Anointment petit fours soap

Our favorites are two made in Canada brands: Anointment and Cocoon Apothecary. staff members love Anointment skin care products like the handmade soap, lip balm, and ointment. If you haven’t tried it before, start with the gift set of mini soaps, Anointment Petit Fours, to find a scent that you will enjoy.

I am still in love with Cocoon Apothecary. I use Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream when I’m going out. It is thick and rich without being greasy or leaving any kind of film. It absorbs into my skin really well. When I’m staying in, I use Rosehip Oil Facial Serum, which is a golden oil that definitely does not work into the skin all of the way. I rub it in some then let it work its way in over the day. I also use Magic Bean Body Lotion (which smells like sweet cocoa) for my hands and body.

My husband uses a heavy duty hemp lotion on this hands in the winter because his normally soft skin just dries and cracks, leaving his knuckles looking like he’s just been punching trees for sport. I find the lotion too strong and too thick for me, but he is very happy with it. You might need more than one solution for your family.

When I was in bootmaking school, working hard with my hands all day, cutting myself accidentally and often, and washing my hands over and over, my teacher had all of the students rub tea tree oil on our hands at the end of each day. That was my introduction to tea tree oil. I was amazed how quickly my cuts healed. If your hands are so dry that they are cracked or bleeding, tea tree oil or a moisturizer with tea tree oil can help speed the healing process.

Bundle up out there so the wind can’t whip you around.

Image ©  |

5 Holiday Gifts Made in Canada

Ringley Organic Teething Toys


When you want to buy your gifts close to home, we can help you find a big selection of natural toys and other gifts made in Canada. These are a few of our favorites at

Organic Teething Toys
Handmade in Toronto, Canada

Ringley natural baby toy made in Canada

Ringley teething toys for babies are made in Canada with untreated Canadian maple and 100% organic terrycloth. You know when babies are teething they look for textures that feel right. The smooth, natural wood and the nubby terrycloth give variety. Your baby can easily hold on to the ring while gnawing away to soothe sore gums. Ringley baby toys are among our best sellers.

Wee Urban Organic Cotton Sleep Sacs
Made in Canada

Wee Urban cotton baby sleeping bag

Wee Urban Baby Sleep Bags solve the problem of babies kicking off covers because the covers move with the baby, keeping baby warm all night. Easy zip opening for quick nighttime diaper changes. Made with soft certified organic cotton and bamboo viscose fleece. The sleep bag made with cute prints is also Made in Canada.

Anointment Natural Skin Care
Handmade in Canada

Anointment natural skin care for babies balmAnointment makes a full line of natural skin care products for pregnancy, baby, and for parents. Anointment uses food-grade ingredients and healing herbs, so you know their salves, oils, and soaps are safe for the whole family. Check out the gorgeous shaving set for Dad. And, the chocolate mint lip balm is a perfect stocking stuffer. Smells so nice! Anointment natural skin care for adults and for babies.

Padraig Wool Slippers for the Whole Family
Handmade in Canada

Padraig handmade wool slippers for the family

Padraig slippers are soft and breathable—a perfect shoe for tiny, developing baby feet. Each pair is handmade with 100% natural wool. Durable leather sole makes these non-slip. We like these slippers so much, that we carry them in sizes for the whole family. You can get a matching set for Christmas morning.

Natural Wooden Rattles
Handmade in Canada

Natural wood baby rattle made in Canada

This elegantly shaped woode rattle contrasts maple and walnut woods for a striped effect. All safe and natural wood oiled with hemp or flax. Each rattle is handcrafted by a family in their home workshop in Southern Ontario. They use wood from a local, family-owned sawmill that has been responsibly managing lumber for 50 years. A beautiful toy all around. This is an heirloom for a baby on your list.

Holiday gifts made in Canada

Visit for more holiday gift ideas. Look for the tiny maple leaf logo to find products Made in Canada.

Made with Love: Mompreneur Market

Mompreneur Market


Looking for unique or handmade gift items for someone special on your list? Join us at in Orillia for holiday shopping and to support local mompreneurs on Saturday, December 7th.

There will be a silent Auction with proceeds going to the Greenhaven Women’s Shelter in Orillia.

Meet the Makers

Before you come to the store, meet the small businesses whose products will be featured at the market on Saturday.

Snappy Snacks

Snappy Snacks lactation cookies

Snappy Snacks began out of love and a desire to help women enjoy breastfeeding. When you are stressed out, and it’s a struggle, it’s hard to see the joy that it can become. Snappy Snack’s line of Lactation Snacks wants to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. By naturally increasing your milk supply with our Snappy Snacks, you save the cost of formula top-ups, skip the bitter teas, and don’t have to gag down bowls of oatmeal and handfuls of pills. Plus, your baby gets all the great health benefits of only drinking breastmilk.

Snappy Snacks cookies are based on five lactogenic super foods: Oats, Ginger, Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and Fenugreek. They aim to make all their products healthier than the average baked treat, easy to use, and highly effective. Snappy Snacks are a delicious treat for moms to enjoy and babies to grow on. So sit back, relax, and have a cookie!

Follow Snappy Snacks on Facebook.


H&Co handmade in Ontario

H&Co specializes in handmade goods for babies and moms. Their signature product is the bandana bib, which they initially developed as a stylish solution for their own drooling babies. Next thing they knew, they had other parents asking for bibs for their little ones, and H&Co was born.

H&Co also makes for moms to wear wood bead and fabric necklaces that are safe for busy and teething babies who want to grab at and chew on mama’s jewelry. Their products are 100% cotton, pre-washed in natural detergent, and handmade in Barrie.

Follow H&Co on Facebook and Instagram.

Gypsy Rose Naturals and More

Gypsy Rose Naturals is a small, home-based business started as one of the owners looked for soap that did not dry the skin but would be good for her granddaughter’s
excema. After much research and recipe testing, they came up with a line of soaps, bath bombs, bath salts, and foot scrubs, all made with natural materials and scents.

For more information, call Sherry Way at 1-705-345-6691

Gluten Free Goodies

Gluten-free Ontario

After being diagnosed with food allergies 3 years ago, the owner of Gluten Free Goodies looked at the store for safe food. She found there wasn’t much available, and anything she found was very expensive. She had always been a baker before, so she figured she could probably learn how to bake gluten- and dairy-free. After about 6 months of friends and family telling her it was the best they ever had and she should sell my baking, she took her baked goods to the Orillia Farmer’s Market, where she has been selling for 1.5 years.

Follow Gluten Free Goodies on Facebook.

Check back for more profiles of local mompreneurs, and we will see you at the store in Orillia on Saturday, December 7th.

Wild Gardens for Busy Parents: Winter Sleep

I trimmed back my wild garden

Think you don’t have time for a garden? You and other busy parents have time for a wild, unruly garden. See how my garden grew from March through December in the progress photos at the bottom of this post.

I am no gardener. If I can do it, you can, too.

December Harvest

Last week, we finally made our now-ripened green tomatoes into a lovely putanesca sauce. Out of frame, we also had a stray pumpkin grow where we carved the pumpkin last year, so we had pumpkin soup from our garden for U.S. Thanksgiving this week. My husband has also been drinking the beer he brewed from our own hops. This morning I chewed on mint and fennel that is still growing. We did have a December harvest.

As we trimmed back the vines, we found a lone hop cone that had escaped harvest. Remember the hops? My brilliant plan was to plant something my husband really cared about so that he would do the gardening. It worked! He definitely cared about the garden, and he certainly did most of the work.

Lone Hop Cone

Total Cost for the Year

Total for November – $0
Total for October – $0
Total for September – $3.00 (stakes)
Total for August – $0 (nada!)
Total for July – $3.00 (supports)
Total for June – $16.50 (plants)
Total for May – $34.00 (manure, top soil, peat moss)
Total for April – $18.00 (hops)
Total cost for the year = $74.50

Total Time for the Year

This month we did have to spend some time trimming the garden back. I put it off and put it off (in the spirit of wild gardening, of course). Finally, after two snows, I did it this morning because I knew I needed to photograph it.

The hops are cut back to the base; raspberries and blackberries cut back to the main stems; grapes were trimmed just a little, since next year’s crop will grow on this year’s vines; tomato monsters tamed (with a few stray tomatoes left in their place to see if they will grow next year); and the kale left where it was. It was green still, so I couldn’t bring myself to cut it down. We also have mint still growing as well as some confused fennel and flower bulbs peeking out to see if it’s spring.

Total for December – 30 minutes
Total for November – seconds
Total for October - 10 minutes
Total for September – 20 minutes
Total for August – 30 minutes
Total for July – 10 minutes
Total for June – 90 minutes
Total for May – 2 hours 20 minutes
Total for April – 6 hours 20 minutes
Total for March – 45 minutes
Total time for the year = 12.5 hours

We wanted to spend no more than 30 minutes per month on the garden. We had to put in a full Saturday up front to get rid of an old dying bush and build a raised bed, then we spent a morning shopping and planting. With that out of the way, we averaged less than 30 minutes per month, including harvest but not including gazing in awe.

You Can Garden!

I have learned a few lessons in this experiment.

Nurture at least a little. The line between wild gardening and failure due to neglect is thin. We played on that line, but our garden still grew beautifully.

Stay accountable. Feeling attached to the long-term growth of the hops was the motivating factor for us (along with me knowing I needed to photograph progress each month). If the garden itself isn’t enough, see if your children will keep you focused on the garden or commit to photograph and share it like I did.

Take baby steps. Most of the parents Nature Mom and I know aspire to grow food in their own gardens, but they believe they don’t have time. I just want you to know that you can grow a garden with very little time. Take baby steps toward that big, gorgeous garden. Plant one plant; add another plant the next year. Your garden will grow in time, and you really can create that big, beautiful garden you dream of. I started this way, and this year we had almost two dozen fruits, herbs, greens, squashes, and other plants we harvested from 3-foot deep beds lining our house and sidewalk. We have a very small yard, but it has been easier every year to make it bloom.

Good luck. Spend the next few months dreaming of the plants you will grow.

Our Wall of Green

My garden through the year

Progress in the Cultivated Raised Bed

Full year of our raised bed