The feel-good factor

Reward, repair, restore – that’s what February means to us. So go on: bring on the ‘good feels’ with products that bring out the best in you. All showcased items hail from independent Ontario traders, so as you share the love with yourself, you’ll be sharing the love with local businesses, right now, when it’s needed most.

by Colin and Justin

Do you feel special? Do you take time to consider how amazing you actually are and then reward yourself by imbuing life with special treats? No? Well you should. These days, more than ever before, the feel-good factor is crucial. As Rupaul says: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Aye, now is the perfect time to celebrate you, to become your best self, ever!

Not to be sniffed at

Did you know the human nose (specifically the nostril) sports around 400 scent receptors? And that they can identify over a trillion smells? Scent can dramatically influence mood, concentration, memory recall and a wide spectrum of emotions, so anything you can do to create “moments” will be rewarding. Try the SUR Cedarwood and Ylang Ylang scented candle by Lohn. Founded in 2018 by Canadians Katerina Juskey and Victoria Mierzwa, Lohn’s candles are handmade outside Toronto. This one, a feast for the nose and a moment of sheer pleasure, boasts cosy cedar notes, fused with the incense-laden vibe of frankincense. In a word? Gorgeous.

$52 | ShopLohn.com

Milk it for what it’s worth

To melt away tensions and prepare you for sleep, there’s little more indulgent than a long deep soak in the tub. Tara Miller, founder of Health Hut (a wellness business started in an old roadside ice cream hut in Muskoka), recommends La Vie Bath Milk Eucalyptus to capture the essence of the “spa at home.” Hey, dim the lights, relax and enjoy the warming scent of eucalyptus oil and the softness of milk on your skin. Prepare to bliss out.

$28 | ShopHealthHut.com

Be cool and comfortable

Slippers just got younger, courtesy of the men’s Scuff Slipper by UGG, in stock at Bigley Shoes in Bobcaygeon. These foot-cosseting beauties are super soft and super chic with an easy slip-on shape and soft wool lining for extra comfort. Being that staying in is the new going out, you really ought to look your best! NB this product was made with the help of HERproject, an initiative that creates partnerships with brands like UGG to empower and educate women in the workplace.

$100 | BigleyShoes.com

Biking in the snow

Mountain biking is a great way to add wellness to your routine. It’s good exercise and provides a chance to explore Cottage Country, not only during summer, but on snowy days, too. So, dress appropriately and get out there. The Trek Marlin 5 – 2022 is a smart rider suitable for everyday adventures, on and off the trail. Featuring a lightweight aluminum frame, internal routing (to protect your cables), a wide range of terrain appropriate gears and powerful hydraulic disc brakes so you can stop safely as and when required.

$869.99 | WildRockBicycles.com

Plain living

Typically, we use 20 per cent of our possessions 80 per cent of the time. To counter this, you mightn’t be surprised to learn of a life movement set up to guide us towards having only things we really need that are both functional and beautiful. This preaching in mind, the Shallow Pasta Bowl is a sure-fire winner: a generously sized vessel (handmade in Dorset, ON) that would look equally good serving up pasta as it would displaying fresh fruit.

$35 | LovePottery.ca

Make time for meditation

It can be difficult to appraise wellbeing, let along embark upon a process of breathing exercises and meditation. However, focus can make it easier and we use a Tibetan Singing Bowl to centre our thoughts and help us concentrate. Singing bowls work by striking gently to produce a resonance that calms the mind and relaxes the body. Great for meditation, sound therapy, yoga or any time you wish to ground body and mind. The four-inch hand hammered brass singing bowl is beautifully tooled in Nepal and comes with a 100 per cent New Zealand wool ring holder and suede covered wood mallet.

$78 | ShopHalfmoon.ca

Showcase your passions

When it comes to home design, it’s rewarding to display only things about which you feel passionate. Avoid the bulk collection aesthetic in favour of having a smaller selection of items that really make your heart sing, and use these items to bring joy on a daily basis. We love vintage cameras for their look and shape, and the idea that they’ve captured good times. Consequently, a collection like the one shown here, from Bobcaygeon style store Douglas + Son, would look totally at home in our cottage.

Prices vary | DouglasAndSon.ca

Cannabis cool

Now that cannabis is legal in Canada, people of all ages – and walks of life – find it helps them relax while easing the pains of every day life. In response to this out-in-the-open attitude, product manufacturers are creating decoratively stylish items designed to enhance the whole experience. The Nomad Quantum Russian hookah is a portable and modern stainless steel device that smokes like a full-size unit. Complete with an unbreakable base, charcoal tongs, a wide tray, a stylish mouthpiece and a high quality silicone hose, it’s user friendly and design forward, in one fell swoop.

$265 | MyHookah.ca

Brighten your mood with colour

Adding colour to your wardrobe can affect mood, making you feel happier and more outgoing. Warm tones, for example, can brighten skin, which may in turn have a positive, mood-changing effect on overall wellbeing. The Zip hoodie in amber by Naked & Famous serves up wonderfully warm (potentially mood changing) colour. Pitched somewhere between orange and yellow, it’s less brashy than its neighbours, yet still instils energy and vibrancy. Made right here in Canada, this is a must have fashion bright for the colder season.

$211 | MuttonheadStore.com

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