Sunday, May 20, 2012

May: A Month of Tranquility

Upon looking up the word tranquility, one will discover that the word is synonymous with calmness. According to Buddhist texts, it is linked with a connection to the natural environment.

Because of the gorgeous weather we have been experiencing here in Kingston, I have been reaping the benefits by traveling everywhere by bike. I'm kicking myself for spending any money at all on a monthly bus pass :( Biking has got to be one of my favourite things. For one, you can get everywhere 4 times faster than walking. It's also an awesome workout! While Kingston as a city is pretty flat, there are occasional hills which definitely get your heart rate going and lungs working. My body is in a way built for biking. I've always had thunder thighs and using my legs so often has only built more muscle and toned my legs. I've been biking to and from work, doing groceries and sporadically visiting the boyfriend who doesn't have his license either. Biking also runs on fat and saves you money, and parking is a non-issue. The only real downside to biking is that miserable weather can make for one miserable bike ride. I've been taking advantage of this mode of transportation to explore Kingston and take piles of pictures.

All this additional time outside has tanned my legs and arms a little and I have a smattering more freckles on my arms and face. I have decided that I would like to work towards biking a marathon (well the distance of a marathon aka 42km ) around Kingston over the course of the summer. I've been making a lot of goals...this one will be a fitness/personal goal.

I'm moving to my new apartment in just under two weeks, and I will be starting the purge and packing process tomorrow on my day off from work. I have a pile of stuff to throw out and a bunch of clothes to donate. I figure the more I can get rid of, the less I have to move. I'm super stoked about the new place.

It's also been a month today since the bf and I have been together. I know a month isn't much of a milestone...but damn it went by fast. He's a doll and because he's a tennis player...I have learned far more about the ATP circuit than I thought I would. I've also decided to start doing a fantasy tennis pool as well, although based on my luck with the recent NHL hockey pool I did at work...I clearly suck at picking winning teams. Every single one of the teams I picked got ousted in the first round except for the New Jersey Devils.

I'm very happy with where life is headed and living in the present. There is so much to look forward to in the upcoming months, which has left me with a feeling of peace and contentment (gosh that sounds so corny:S). I'm just blissed out and so grateful for everything that has happened/ come my way in the last little while.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My favourite things ....continued, part 4

As an educated and relatively health-conscious individual, I like knowing what I'm putting in my body - both internally (food) and externally (body products, soaps, shampoos, etc). I, like millions of others around the world, shower, moisturize and primp. But how many people actually know what they are putting in their bodies? Skin is the largest organ of the body. Anything that is applied externally gets absorbed into the skin and as a result into the bloodstream. As a general rule, if you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin. I find it ironic when body lotions and various other body products carry the disclaimer "For external use only" when it winds up getting absorbed internally anyways.

Back in the Roman Empire, bathers would slather themselves in olive oil and then scrape it off. They didn't use soaps. It amazes me the amount of chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients in cosmetics, lotions and even hair spray today. Like what is "PEG-2 STEARATE" or "PG-PROPYL SILANETRIOL" or better yet "DIHYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUMCHLORIDE"? It really is mind blowing how these products have managed to get approval to sell in supermarkets and drug stores across the world. And you wonder why rates of cancer have spiked over the last several decades - look at the amount of toxins we are exposing ourselves to on a daily basis.

It is difficult to find any shampoo, laundry detergent, or soap that doesn't contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). This is the ingredient that causes the lather that most of us are accustomed to. It is also however a carcinogen, hormone alterer and causes ulcers, skin irritation, decrease in male fertility and PMS symptoms, just to name a few.

At P'lovers (the organic/environmental store in downtown Kingston I blogged about a few months ago), I discovered a local and healthy alternative to the perfume laden and chemical filled products at Loblaws. Shiva's Delight is the brainchild of Casey Boyce, a young mother in Kingston. In her home, she manufactures and mixes soaps, body butters, body oils and serums, all with natural ingredients which are filled with good things for your skin. And imagine this - all the ingredients you can pronounce! From Olive Oil, to Shea Butter, to Sunflower Seed Oil all her products are chocked full of natural moisturizers and no foreign ingredients. I personally have purchased the Tangerine Chocolate Body Butter (the only thing that worked on my peeling and calloused feet), The Exotic Lime Body Oil (makes a great massage oil, or after shaving), and a bar of Chocolate Swirl Soap. They not only smell good...they do good for your skin. While shopping around her home, she also threw in a couple of Bath Bombs for showing her a couple of receipts from P'lovers and a free sample of Bog Mud Facial Wash.

As expected, Shiva's Delight is slightly more expensive than the products you would find in a Wal-Mart. But they are nothing ridiculous. I bought the Tangerine Chocolate Body Butter before Christmas for 15$ and I still have more than half of it left. Did I mention it smells like Terry's Chocolate Oranges? It's a small price to pay, knowing I'm not filling my body with unneeded toxins.

In addition to all of the wonderful bath and body products, she also has a large selection of beautiful sterling silver and costume jewellery. While she does have all of her products at her home, the general population can find her products at P'lovers (123 Princess Street) as well. Feel free to check out her website:

For those of you in Kingston, or who will be in Kingston on a weekend should check out the local Farmer's Market at the Memorial Center. Shiva's Delight, and dozens of other local vendors will be there with their natural products and produce. On Facebook: