My Lil’ Bean Q&A: Jon Spee of The Local Kitchener

After a brief pause in blog posts we’re back with a bang! We managed to wrangle some time from Jon Spee, an educator, food blogger and homebrew-master. Welcome to the blog, Jon!


Hey Jon, you’re the host of the local blog The Local Kitchener, which has some great recipes and reflections on food. What prompted your interest in growing and preparing food?

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5 Easy Eco-Friendly Baby Shower Ideas

There are lots of great ideas floating around the internet about how to throw the perfect baby shower but something they tend to miss is this: how to have a great party for the mother-to-be AND recognize the importance of the 3 R’s (Reduce, Re-use and Recycle). Like most parties, it can be easier to buy disposable supplies and cheap party favours but at the end of the party you really see the result — from plastics to trash to food waste, the entire party can end up being a total ecological disaster.

So, as most things in life, we are looking for a happy balance between convenience and conscience. And if you really think about it, the future of the baby will see the impact of the environmental decisions we make NOW! So let’s see how these five ideas can have a positive net benefit for the mother and the baby:

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My Lil’ Bean Q&A: Dr. Joanna Thiessen

Gone are the days when the stereotypical doctor with the white coat is the sole authority to decide on every aspect of our health care. We are more likely to see other people in our community with expertise to bridge the gaps in that older system. With doulas, midwives, naturopaths and others, we are fortunate to have the wisdom of people who can care for us in a holistic way. Our guest for today’s blog, Dr. Joanna Thiessen, practices out of her office in Waterloo, Ontario at George Street Naturopathic Medicine.


What inspired you to become a naturopathic doctor?

I grew up being fascinated by and idolizing my grandfather, who was a very skilled internal medicine doctor in Ottawa.  I remember sneaking into his home office to look at his medical equipment, which he kept in this old, leather bag.  My desire to become a doctor began there.  When I was a teenager, my mom got really into “alternative medicine” and started a mail-order herbal remedy business.  Our basement was stocked with bottles of black cohosh and dong quai.  At that time botanical medicines and vitamins weren’t very easy to find in stores, so a mail-order business made sense.  Her work opened my eyes to the idea that there are lots of different types of medicine.  When I was doing my undergrad at the University of Guelph, I stumbled across a course called “Complimentary and Alternative Medicine” and during the semester we had a Naturopathic Doctor come to speak with us.  I had never heard of ND’s until then, and learning about the profession blew my mind!  It was like everything I had ever wanted in a career actually existed!  I was hooked. Read more

How You Can Help New Parents

If it takes a village to raise a child then we can agree that those first few weeks of having a newborn are a great opportunity for us to help new parents. As overjoyed as they are, there’s a good chance your friends are also a little overwhelmed and could really use a hand here and there around the house. Here are a few ways you can take some weight off their shoulders:

  1. Prep Meals

Making dinner with a newborn is not an easy task. Providing meals to the new parents fulfills their most basic need. There are a ton of healthy, organic recipes out there that you can make ahead of time and pop in the freezer for the hungry parents to reheat later in the week. Pinterest is the Holy Grail of weekly meal prep recipes: see some great ideas here. Read more

Comparing Bamboo and Organic Cotton Fabrics

There have been quite a few changes in how we think about organic baby gifts since our parent’s time and one significant change has been around the fabrics used for baby clothing. In the turn towards safer and healthier living parents are more concerned about harmful pesticides and herbicides that are used on the plants that are manufactured into the fabrics for baby clothes. The result of this has been the increasing popularity of organic cotton and, more recently, bamboo baby clothing.  Read more

Being a Conscious Consumer

It is encouraging to see people taking more time and energy to do something that could have a huge impact – aligning their purchasing decisions with their values. To some degree this has been the case for a few generations, such as the Buy American/Canadian movement that promotes purchasing items made in our country to keep alive local companies. So what has changed? Well, quite a bit actually.  Read more

The Virtuous Cycle

Welcome to our store! We are excited to offer you a terrific selection of baby gift baskets that focus on beautiful design and natural products.  We spent a lot of time reviewing organic and natural toys, bibs, burp cloths, soaps and lotions to find the right combinations.

Why gift baskets?  Well, giving and receiving are part of such a powerful and wonderful dynamic. The act of giving comes from a strong feeling of love for another.  The act of receiving is an acknowledgment of the giver and perpetuates a bond between the giver and receiver. But gift giving can also have an impact beyond the giver and receiver:

“If frequent bad deeds trigger social disgust, cynicism, and hostility toward one’s peers, then frequent good deeds may have a type of social undoing effect, raising the level of compassion, love, and harmony in an entire society.” – Jonathan Haidt

So consider all the wonderful gifts you’ve received and then think of someone that might enjoy a gift basket, especially in celebration of a new baby.

Source:Wired to be Inspired