Roadtrip 2014: Hello Again Saskatoon.

I’m catching up on posting all of our Roadtrip adventures from the summer. This is shortly after Riding Mountain National Park near Winnipeg, Manitoba, we were there at around the last week of July 2014. After a couple of lovely days at riding Mountain National Park we decided to drive into Saskatoon. JC had never been to Saskatoon, where as I lived there for four years during university. And I tried to like it, even when it was so cold the buses weren’t running, but the university was still open. I liked it, because it was so easy to dislike it. Too easy. Too easy to complain, and too easy to sit at home. And I’m stubborn. I found the things that made me happy. I created the things that made me happy, and to some extent I still feel connected to the city with my work helping out SCAT Street Cat Rescue. I feel protective over Saskatoon, and the Prairies. As someone that’s now an outsider – Saskatoon seems to have only gotten better with time, and in my absence I’ve watched it grow from afar, with new vegan-friendly businesses & restaurants, an active and evolving arts community, and…

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Lazy Vegan Friday. Sweet Earth Seitan Bacon (review)

Sweet Earth Hickory Sage Smoked Seitan

Last month we were in Detroit, and visited their Whole Foods, where we bought a bunch of things unavailable in Canada, and took them back home with us (or snacked on them immediately.) One of those things was Sweet Earth Hickory & Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon. The funny thing about buying this was that the checkout person was super excited about it, said she had never seen it before, and that it looked so good. But then she said something that made us pause and say wait a minute. “I’d eat this, but I’ve given up bacon…” We realized she thought it was an animal product. JC told her… “it’s actually vegan.” And then she was even more excited about it. The style and colour of the package was what initially attracted me to it. It looked like a pretty traditional product, and since it was something I didn’t recognize in the plant-meat section I had to take a closer look. Much later, I remembered that I had seen them at ExpoWest earlier this year where they first launched this product (but I don’t think I sampled any at that time though.) Anyway, fast forward to a few weekends ago when…

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Things I Love Thursday – Community

Things I Love Thursday 2

It’s been a tough week – not so much on me, I’m far removed from it, but it’s still kind of tough to be on the other side of the country. My dad went in for surgery earlier this week, but it sounds like everything is going fine. I’m left thinking about how I’m so far away and how nice it would be to be “home” during this time – where home is with my parents in Edmonton instead of my new home, with my chosen family – JC, Emmie, Kes, Marmo (aka Football), and our ever changing motley crew of foster cats. It would be nice to be able to visit the hospital and chat and annoy my father directly, but conveniently, cell phones are no longer banned in the hospital, or at least not in his ward, so I can call and bother him all I want (so I do). So this Thursday, one of the things I love is Family. My collections of families; genetic, chosen, by-marriage, the digital world of connections, the feline family that has chosen me. I feel lucky to have it all.  Even when I don’t always particularly like them all… I love them all.…

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This month in Toronto Vegan Crowdfunding

CROWEDSDASD

There are 2 Toronto Vegan Businesses looking for support right now. (Are there more? Please let me know.) Nona Vegan Sauces I’ve written about one of them before a whole bunch and my love of their sauces – First of all – Soul to Bowl Sauces is now Nona Vegan Foods The creator and owner of Soul to Bowl, Kailey Gilchrist, is trying to expand her business, increase the shelf-life of her product, while unfortunately also needing to re-brand due to someone else staking claim to the Soul to Bowl name. Sadly, this means there will not be any adorable Nonna cartoons on their labels (at least for now,) but at least there will still be sauce. Personally, I don’t like change, but the new labels are slowly growing on me. But it’s not about me. I’m going to buy it whatever the label says, so if it attracts new people to the product, I’m happy. Besides… don’t judge a sauce by its cover or something. It’s what’s inside that counts, and what’s inside is delicious. Reasons why you should support this campaign: Like I said, the sauces are delicious, you’re supporting a young, Toronto-based entrepreneur, build a business with a wide ranging appeal. It’s not just a…

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Piebird Vegan Farmstay & Cottage

Pie Bird with google plus effects

We spent a technology free(ish) weekend at the PieBird Birdhouse Cottage last weekend. Piebird is a vegan Bed & Breakfast, farmstay, and farm sanctuary in Nipissing, Ontario – now the furthest North in Ontario I’ve been so far. They share their land with cats, chickens, goats, and a couple of turkeys. We had a lovely time. I say technology free(ish) because we still used our phones in airplane mode as cameras, and we were still using things like stoves and fridges. This might not seem like a big deal, but JC and I are attached to our phones, for work and daily life, so around 48 hrs without any internet wasn’t difficult, but it felt noticeable and quite relaxing. On our way north to PieBird, we stopped in Barrie and grabbed a couple of Boon Burgers to go. The cool thing was that I was able to order our meal in the car on the way, without calling, with the boon burger mobile app (available for both iOS and Android). Once we got into Innisfil, I placed our order, the app gave me an estimate of how long it would take, and we drove over, picked up, and were back on our…

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Things I Love Thursday – Something Good.

Pie Bird Soggy Creek Forest

In this week’s TILT, I’m going to skip mentioning autumn. Okay, just once. I like autumn. A lot. I like cold crisp air and crunchy leaves. (okay, that’s still autumn) And hats. And hot rooibos tea. (mostly symptoms of autumn) And all things pumpkin. (fine still autumn) Yesterday evening I had a pot of water with cinnamon bark, anise, cloves, and orange simmering on the stove.  It’s one of those wonderfully powerful combinations of smells that make me feel warm – like a nice fluffy blanket for my olfactory senses. I foresee this happening again. Especially as it gets colder. I love that we spent last weekend at PieBird Vegan Farmstay (a blog post about our time away is coming up tomorrow.) A beautiful technology-free weekend, in colourful Northern Ontario. Plus we got to borrow a cat. And they have a farm sanctuary there. We read so many books. And stepped on so many crunchy leaves in the forest (spoilers: it was perfect.) It sounds like our newest foster cats will get adopted which is nice. It really does get easier to foster over time, because it makes me feel good when our temporary cats find great new forever homes. I’ve…

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Earth Balance Giveaway on Facebook (Canada Only)

Win Me

What I like is sharing vegan food. We’ve been picking up boxes of Earth Balance mac & cheese every-time we have visited the USA, and I want to share it with some other vegan or vegan mac & cheese curious person in Canada. Especially for folks that might not be zipping back and forth between the USA and Canada like we are. The giveaway is entirely on Facebook, and to enter, just comment on this post on Facebook. If you don’t have Facebook, and still want to enter, I’ll add you to the pool of contenders, just sent me an email (but it’s a scavenger hunt – you can find it on my About Me Page). Post by Vegan In Your City.

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Detroit – Brooklyn Street Local

Brooklyn Street Local Vegan Brunch

Friday night JC and I drove down to Detroit this weekend for a quick shopping trip, and a brief getaway from Toronto. Our first stop after a reasonably restful, but also semi-mediocre stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Detroit was Brooklyn Street Local, a diner-y spot with the V word on the menu,  which was a mere 20 minute walk from the hotel. Before we left, I clicked on my ResQwalk App which I’m using to passively raise money for SCAT Street Cat Rescue a cat rescue in Saskatoon that I’m still involved with from afar.  According to the app, the walk from the hotel was a little over 2 km (which didn’t actually matter, since the more I walk with the app on, the more money the rescue can raise.) We got to Brooklyn Street Local, and they were full, but we went up to the hostess and left our name with her. She invited us to grab a coffee outside and wait. The wait seemed to go by quickly, and I’m sure it was aided by their brilliant idea to have an outdoor coffee station for all the folks hanging around waiting for their turn at breakfast. And probably decent…

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Inglis Grain Elevators – Inglis, Manitoba

inglis grain elevators

We took a short detour off our drive to Saskatoon from Riding Mountain National Park to visit Inglis, Manitoba. Why Inglis? Because my non-prairie urban Torontonian husband is fascinated with Grain Elevators, and I’m always pretty excited about National Historic Sites, so it seemed like the perfect stop to visit along the way, it wasn’t that far off the highway, and it’s a very worthwhile piece of history. If you don’t care about grain elevators, best just skip this post, because that’s all I’m going to talk about. I took so many photos and random shots in Inglis and near the elevators, but it’s hard to decide which angle of a Grain Elevator will be particularly compelling.  I find these buildings fascinating, and still historically significant in terms of how people transported, contained, and processed part of their food. If you’re interested, Inglis has an outside walking tour guide available online where you can read through and see the different buildings and their importance. What I found quite interesting about this place, and checking their website, is that you can see the amount of restoration that this town and probably Parks Canada has put into rehabilitating these old grain elevators.…

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Riding Mountain National Park – Manitoba

clear lake riding mountain

After Winnipeg, and before Saskatoon we took a trip to visit Riding Mountain National Park for a few days. It would be the second time we camped so far on our little adventure (the first was at a Michigan State Park,) but it would remain as one of the highlights of the trip. As I reflect on the entire trip through Canada and the USA, I realize that most of my highlights and favourite places  are all in National Parks or places where we had an opportunity to see natural beauty and surprisingly did not generally include all the wonderful food places we visited (although that was nice too.) Loading The adventure continues. Goodbye Winnipeg. On to Riding Mountain National Park. View on Instagram One thing we weren’t ready for – mosquitos. People said there were mosquitos. But we didn’t really believe them until we saw the swarms in person. But that’s not fun. Let’s start at the beginning. We woke up fairly early and started driving westward toward the park. I had booked a nice looking site online, through the parks Canada booking system, in Wasagaming. We had a tent and equipment with us, but I was really tempted…

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