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  • leighmcswan

5 of My August Favourites

1. Books

Cheesy summer romances. I can’t say I don’t thoroughly enjoy getting lost in a quick, easy to read, lightheartedly romance novel- I absolutely do. It’s slowly become somewhat of a summer tradition for me now which began a few summers ago but has quickly escalated.

If I could describe my perfect summer day it would involve a book, sunshine, and a warm breeze near some water. The last 3 summers have somewhat flown by in a whirlwind- between selling our home in Newcastle in 2020, to planning our end of summer wedding in 2021 to now, in 2022, renovating our home and preparing for a big life overhaul which was completely unexpected just 9 months ago- more on that later. But regardless, it’s been my mission to squeeze in a few romance novels for the sake of fantasy, relaxation and pure enjoyment.

The kids and I are still in Blue Mountain at the time of writing this and all I did yesterday was consume a novel, The Hating Game, mostly by the waterfront or in a cozy chair.

There’s something cathartic about this phase of parenting, where you can sit on the beach reading while the kids play in the water for hours on end. In the early years, you never feel like you’ll get that freedom again, but then it arrives in a snap and I can promise you that when it arrives, you’ll simultaneously appreciate it and yearn for the early days when you were holding your babies, gliding and dipping their toes into the water for the first time.

My entire summer book list can be found here.

2. Footwear

Over the last year, I’ve become more conscious about the type of footwear I buy for the boys (and by default, myself and Joel). Before the boys were born I owned a pair of Vibram 5-finger barefoot shoes that I used for working out and running in. They did the job, but they certainly weren’t cute. Barefoot shoes, luckily, have come a long way and they come in a wide variety of seasonal options for the entire family.

At the beginning of the summer I bought the kids each a pair of BeLenka barefoot shoes (unfortunately the pair I bought our oldest were too small so we’ll hang on to them until our youngest fits in them). It sparked some interesting and ongoing conversations at the beginning of the purchasing process and even now, a few months in to wearing them.

While in Blue Mountain my youngest threw his foot up onto the table and said, “my toe splay is soooo good” and proceeded to demonstrate how perfectly spaced out and flexible his toes are. Naturally, I sent a quick text to my super crunchy friend and questioned how we arrived to this level of holistic living so quickly. This comment led to an in-depth conversation revolving around anatomy, strength, flexibility, agility and earthing. Yup. I’ve arrived here with my kids and I’m here for it!

BeLenka has free shipping now until August 25th for Canadians on orders over $100. Keep in mind, because it’s a European company, we do get hit with duties but many of their shoes are on sale which helps!

*Fun (scientifically proven) fact about barefoot shoe, according to my son: “they make you run faster, climb higher and make you stronger."

3. Shops

While in Collingwood we stumbled upon the cutest little used and new book store called, Read It Again on Hurontario St.

I get a flutter of excitement any time I enter bookstores, but particularly unique ones that have creaky floors, eccentric people who know each other by name and titles I’ve never seen.

When I first walked in I felt like I was entering a bookstore from 30 years ago. Instantly I felt a sense of calm and solitude sweep over me.

I walked the narrow aisles, looked into the small rooms that housed books by subject and realized I loved this store so much because it was so simple.

There was nothing fancy (at all!) about it. In fact most of the titles were used (swoon) and the storekeeper was having conversations with my kids about books she thought they’d love based on their interests (my oldest picked a book on JFK, my youngest a graphic novel about an investigative alligator).

But it was simple.

The store tags- simple, just an old piece of wood and a sharpie. No computers to search titles, only an employee to guide you.

Nothing could have been a better reminder to get back to basics and remove the over complications we endure daily than a trip into an old bookstore. If you love bookstores, visit this one if you’re in the Collingwood area.

4. Food

There’s a new restaurant opening in Whitby (on Dundas St, west of the 4 corners, on the north side) on Friday (August 19th), called Surf. Joel, the kids and my Mom attended the soft launch and sampled a ton of food. Oh my goodness- it was fantastic. The cocktails were delicious as well. I particularly loved the tostada, jerk brussels and watermelon salad. We’re so excited to have a new, healthy, gluten free place to dine at in Durham!

5. Healthy Living

One of the supplements I’ve been using a few times a day to help remove the constant pollutants that surround us is Touchstone Essentials, Zeolite spray. This spray is easy to use, tasteless and works to remove heavy metals which are linked to weight gain, cancer, Alzheimer's, dementia and parasites.

On top of the heavy metal removal, it will also support your body's natural immunity, restful sleep, sustained energy, clarity and focus by eliminating toxins.

I’m on my 4th month of using it now as part of my daily gentle detox protocol. The kids take it as well too! With everything being sprayed on our food, in our skies and the influx of imported products we use, our toxic load is unsafe, unless we’re doing something to help alleviate the burden.



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