Nanaimo Bound Early on a Saturday

Road tripping to VIU Nanaimo Campus

Leo the Blogging Cur Sleeping In
Leo took advantage by jumping into a warm bed

Early this morning we set out on a road trip to the Vancouver Island University Nanaimo campus.

VeeBeeArts needed a lift to her Bachelor of Arts program interview and the time had come for some grad shopping to be done.

A lot of yawning was going on as we got ready to head out around seven am. And, of course we did our best not to disturb Leo the sleeping brindle beauty.

When I stumbled out the door still half asleep, I was grateful I’d remembered to wear my sunglasses. It was surprisingly chilly but the sun was out in full force. The sky was cloudless and a pretty energising shade of blue.

After a few sips of coffee and soaking up some dazzling early morning rays, I was wide awake and ready to roll on down the highway.

Take a TON of Pictures In and Around Nanaimo

My plan was to walk around the campus taking pictures while we waited. But, it was so windy and cold that idea didn’t pan out so well. So, I headed back to the car where I enjoyed doing a little passenger seat photography instead.

After a positive interview, and some successful grad shopping it was still early, leaving us time to explore Nanaimo.

But first, we decided to seek out the Taco Revolution food truck.

You might be wondering why we’d be looking for them in that neck of the woods.  Well, that’s because I was taking taking side view mirror pictures and I spotted them behind us. So, VeeBeeArts checked their Instagram and ironically they were set up nearby at an Earth Day celebration.

I was able to take even more Nanaimo road trip pictures. Some of which I’ll share with you tomorrow on Instagram. Also, I’ll be adding more pictures and some videos to the blog over the next couple of days.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend! And, remember…..when you shop locally owned you are supporting your neighbours, your friends and your community.

Shop Cowichan Challenge #ILoveCowichan

Duncan Farmers Market A Bustling With Activity

Forget Green Acres….The Duncan Farmers Market is the Place to be!

Duncan Farmers Market Stage
Live Entertainment at the Duncan Farmers Market

I absolutely enjoy our little excursions to the Saturday Duncan Farmers Market in the town square.

Of course I’m there to support local business and to buy safer healthier food for my family.

But, the big draw for me is….

Quite simply put, I LOVE to MINGLE. I take pleasure in meeting new people. Everyone has a story, and I’m always keen to listen.

The atmosphere at the Duncan Farmers Market is the perfect blend of excitement and entertainment. There’s always a crowd that’s just right. Not so many people that you can’t move but enough people to make it feel like a celebration of sorts.

Plus, as a bonus we get a little exercise walking around the market.Dogs of Duncan Socializing

If you’re a dog lover what more can I say except WOW! I get such a kick out of watching the dogs socialize while their people stand around talking.

Robert likes to stop for doggy kisses along the way 😉

There are three Duncan Farmers Market sessions:

Winter – January to March (12 weeks) 10am-2pm Spring & Summer – April to October (30 weeks) 9am-2pm Fall – November to December (8 weeks) 10am-2pm

There is such an amazing cultural array at the Duncan Farmers Market. So many people with interesting stories to share about places I’ll more than likely never see. It’s almost as if they take me on a journey with them as they weave their tales. Bonus! There is a fun variety of cooked foods.


Ed's Soup Shack + One of my favourites is Ed’s Soup Shack. They hand mix a line of dry soups (no msg!) The mixes come with everything you need. All you add is the meat and liquid. Karen & Ed Graves are great people that produce an exemplary and healthy line of products. Bonus, at a buck a bowl (or less) it makes economic sense too. I’ve discovered that you can make a whole heck of a lot more than just soup using their mixes.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you drop in at the Saturday Duncan Farmers Market. You won’t regret it. Oh, and make sure you get there early enough so as to enjoy a sample of whatever soup Ed’s got cooking up.

Please share your market stories and pictures in the comments.

Take care, Shelley

PS- Thank you! With every dollar you spend at a #Cowichan independent business, you help make our local economy stronger. With every person you tell about it…you’re kicking it up a notch.

Click for a list of Market vendors 

Roast Vegetables Are Yummy

Roast Vegetables Rock

I love veggies especially roast vegetables! There I said it, and I’m not ashamed 😏 It’s not just because they’re healthy, but they’re also delicious!

I didn’t make it to the Duncan Farmers Market this week so I’m running low on fresh veggies. Guess I’ll be heading to the Old Farm Market tomorrow morning to stock up. In the meantime for supper I had carrots, yams and white potatoes to work with. Perfect for roasting!

Roast Vegetables Recipe

4 yams
6 russet potatoes
4 large carrots

XXX Tex Mex
Holy Smokes
Lemon Pepper
Ground Cardamon
Fine White Pepper

Grape seed oil or other oil of your choosing
Grated Parmesan optional

Peel wash & dice the carrots, yams and potatoes.

The size I cut the vegetables into depends on how quickly I want them cooked. In this case I’m aiming for about 30 minutes, so I cut diced them on the smaller size. Same goes for the oven temperature. I want them super crispy fast so I’ve set it a 450. My preference is 350 for 60 minutes. The longer the veggies roast, the more flavour enriched they become.

If they don’t crisp to my liking, I switch to broil for the last 5 minutes. Every oven is different. Mine kind of sucks. Bottom line adjust temp and time to the crispness of your liking.

Time to Spice the Veggies

I tossed the vegetables in a large metal bowl with grape seed oil so that they were fully coated.

Before I go any further I feel I should warn you that unless I’m following a recipe I rarely measure spices. So you’ll only be getting pinches of this or a smatterings of that from me when I’m describing my vegetable cooking adventures.

Now, where was I? Right…

Then I generously covered the veggies with XXX Tex Mex by triple smoke and mixed them well. Using spice shakers I added a very light dusting of Sutton Creek’s holy smokes, lemon pepper and dash of organic cardamon and fine white pepper. I mixed the vegetables and spices for a couple minutes and added the Parmesan.

I poured the vegetables onto a greased tray and popped it into my preheated 450 degree oven. At the 30 minute mark they were perfect, with no need to broil. The roasted vegetables were perfectly crisp. Just the way I like them.

Exploring Cowichan is Fun Fun Fun

Exploring Cowichan!

Have you ever noticed just how quickly time flies? Especially when we are having so much fun out exploring Cowichan.

Exploring Cowichan Mobile This I Love Cowichan blog post is going to be a tad all over the place. It’s been so long since I’ve written. Boy oh boy do I have pictures to share and stories to tell, but this post is about getting the words flowing again.

Been busy out and about taking pictures, visiting new businesses, celebrating community events, standing in support of community causes and exploring Cowichan.

If you’re new to, you will notice that our Cowichan explorations are a tad different from others…hiking isn’t quite one of our family things. Sometimes, walking is not an option but we find a way to explore regardless.

We Love Exploring Cowichan Businesses

Visiting with and getting to know people is my thing. Supporting Cowichan businesses is a cause near and dear to my heart and has been since 2009. Sure, it’s a little bit selfish, I want the Cowichan Valley to thrive so that my children will make their lives in or around it, then my grandchildren after that.  I want my neighbours and friends to live comfortably while doing what they love locally.

Playing tourist in our valley is fun and there is always someplace beautiful to experience for the first time. So, I have fun visiting touristy spots and getting to know Cowichan entrepreneurs. As a family we attend as many community events as we possibly can.

Life has been such a whirlwind, it’s hard to keep up. Wow! So many things happening in the valley. Some good, some not so good but through it all I have seen the citizens of the Cowichan Valley stand together in support of one another. That is exactly the kind of thing that makes me LOVE COWICHAN so much.

Please like & follow and do share your comments, suggestions, pictures, videos and stories. If you have a Cowichan Valley business, please give us a shout so we can shout it out 😉

The plan is to get back to blogging weekly; but you know it’s SUMMER, right? Ahhh the sweet sweltering summertime season when there is so much happening and so much exploring to do in the Cowichan Valley it’ll make your head spin.

We’re very active posting everything Cowichan Valley on social media.

Exploring Cowichan on Social Media

Follow us on social media….did I mention that I love socializing? Don’t care if this sounds corny but when people take the time to comment and share with our social media accounts it really does make my day.

Have a Cowichan Valley business, or know someone who does?  Shout it out to us so that we can help spread the word. If you use #iLoveCowichan in your posts we will find them, and repost them. Know about an upcoming Cowichan Valley event? Let us know about it and we’ll help get the word out. If you’re not sure how to do any of that social media tagging stuff, feel free to get in touch.

We support Cowichan Valley owned businesses and have a fun time shouting them on Social Media.