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. Wow! It’s like it was 2015 only yesterday, but that is soooo 2 years ago.

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 www.ILoveCowichan.ca, 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.

2017 has been such a whirlwind, it’s hard to keep up. I can’t believe we’re more than half way done the year. Wow! So many things have happened this year. 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 www.iLoveCowichan.ca 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.

Hoping to get blog posts up to date with stories from 2015 & 2016 throughout the summer so that it’s all caught up by Fall.

In the meantime, 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.

 

 

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Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

post it notes ideasToo Many Great Cowichan People to Blog About

You ever have so many ideas flying around inside your head that you just can’t grab onto one long enough to jot it down? Happens to me constantly, kind of like a bunch of pop ups going off when you’re visiting a website. It pops up, then poof it’s gone and replaced by a new one.  I suppose the idea isn’t really gone, it has joined all the others spiraling around in a whirlpool of incredible ideas, things to do and solutions to problems.

There’s this bunch of post its fluttering around, and I can’t quite grab onto one.

Well here goes, I’m picking one now…

Hats off to HATS Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store
Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Hats off to the volunteers of the Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store for all that they do out of the goodness of their hearts. Such lovely people, and such a lovely example of community supporting community.

Every season I buy a few of these for the kids.  They make great gift decorations at Christmas too. Perfect for sending one little “kiss”.

Anyway when we were at the cash I reached for the Easter Bunny kisses and commented about how cute they are. That I really enjoy how they have them decorated for each holiday/season.

HATS Thrift Store Duncan BC
Made by Linda

Just so happens that the lady who makes them was working the cash. It was such a pleasure finally meeting her.  I really enjoyed hearing the enthusiasm as she explained how she makes them. They’re a lot of work. One time they sold 1000 of them! Wow! Talk about supporting your local hospital.

Volunteers HATS
Linda & Marjorie

Was great to visit with the two of you. You both have Winningest Smiles for sure 😉

The Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store opened at 79 Station Street Duncan, BC in May 2008. Wow! Doesn’t seem like that long ago! It’s popularity and success has made it possible for the Auxiliary to purchase many more items for the hospital and Cairnsmore place. HATS was able to donate over $259,000.00 in their first four years of business.

This my friend, is yet another reason why #iLoveCowichan; the generosity of people in our community.

None of this would be possible without the hard work of volunteers and the generous donations from Cowichan Valley citizens.

To those of you that volunteer for and to those who make donations to the Cowichan Auxiliary Thrift Store thank you all so very much!

Take care,

Shelley

PS- Things will be settling back down into a bit of a routine…hope to be writing more frequently again.

Random Chatter; I am all over the place

Randomly Speaking…

So busy, so many things to write about and yet here it is a month later. Wow! Where does the time go?

Guess I’ll try a quick recap of fall so far. Short n’ sweet…chuckle chuckle.

Random visit to SPCA leads to true loveBeen visiting the Duncan SPCA for cuddles. Fell in love with three little Boxer dogs Gizmo, Sonic & Edith. Was bittersweet watching Gizmo leave with her new family, the lucky girl. Edith has a forever home she’s going to…again I’m happy for her but man oh man am I going to miss snuggling with her.

A German Shephard arrived last week while I was there. He is really such a good boy. I watched him walking on a leash, he loved it. He was originally a rescue. He’s been well cared for. Hasn’t done anything wrong to be at the SPCA, he’s only there because of a change in family circumstances. Hope someone snatches him up soon. Wish I could take him home.

Princess saying adopt me please during my last random visit I play with the cats too. This is Princess. She lures you into the room, and then does her best to keep you from leaving. Well, from leaving without her that is. Such a sweetie!

I really appreciate the incredible effort that has gone into housing the cats and dogs as comfortably as possible. They may be waiting for their furever homes, but at least they get to be comfy in the meantime. Good luck Princess….cheers to never seeing you again. Hoping you’re all set with a new family the next time I pop in for a visit.

How’s this for a random? You know all those “how to” videos on youtube? Seems the people who post them, are experts at what they do. Well, at least that’s my take on the situation. I try, but to date nothing has been as easy to do as they show in the videos. Nothing until this that is! Turning tomatoes into a yummy simple sauce really works! I mean, ok so the guy in the original video did a better job than I did but it worked!

Have I mentioned that I simply adore #Tweeting? Well I do. I like having fun with it. Come to think of it, I really enjoy the randomness of tweets. They are all over the place, and that’s what makes tweeting fun. Here are a couple of random faves in the last few days….

If you’re on Twitter please follow us, we almost always follow back. There are a few rare exceptions, but ahem…I won’t get into that here 😉 Know what I love about rainy, damp, cold days? Making soup, taking pictures and baking. Recently Added more soup recipes…even more coming soon.

Here’s something random….how about participating in a simple soup poll just for fun? Comment with your answer….Chicken Noodle or Cream of Mushroom? Or click on the Twitter poll. So far (when I wrote this) it’s running 50/50. Not what I expected. Curious to see the end results.  

Hmmm guess this turned out to be a bunch of random things, rather than a recap. I like blogging random things, it’s more like a true to life conversation (remember those?) I suppose that’s enough rambling for now.

Take care! Shelley

PS- Don’t forget to Shop Local support your neighbours, your friends and your community.  Please partake in the Shop Local Challenge.

 

Shop Cowichan Challenge

First a great big friendly shout out to some wonderful local businesses; then onto the Shop Cowichan Challenge…

These are your neighbours and your friends. They help ensure we have a strong local economy. They do their part, now let’s do ours! Please shop Cowichan.

Soulful Memories

Duncan Showroom

Russell Farms Market

The Tin Cup Coffee & Expresso Bar 277 Canada Avenue, Duncan BC 250-597-3738

The Tin Cup Canada Ave. Duncan BC CowichanshoplocalchallengeTheTinCup2

The list is just getting started, so keep an eye out. It will be updated regularly here on the blog.

Each time we add to our shop Cowichan list, we’ll do a shout out on Twitter and on Facebook.

Be sure to like & follow (one or the other or better even; both)

www.Twitter.com/ILoveCowichanCA                   www.facebook.com/ILoveCowichan

The Shop Cowichan Challenge

Shop Cowichan Challenge Part 1

Please drop into and drop a little cash at a #Cowichan place of business that you’ve never been to before. A locally owned store, food producer, coffee shop or restaurant. Hire a local service provider. Support a local artisan; check out a farm or farmer’s market. In other words shop someplace in the #CowichanValley that you’ve never shopped before. Try someplace new. Give a local business a shot at earning your loyalty.

Shop Cowichan Challenge Part 2

Now that you’ve had a wonderful customer experience someplace locally owned…tell two people about it. They’ve earned it, give them a shout out to people you know. It’s a great way to support business growth in your community AND help your friends start having some wonderful customer experiences of their own.

Shop Cowichan Bonus

Tell us about your great local customer experience(s) and we will shout it from the tallest mountain. Well, not really a mountain but we will shout it out on the World Wide Web which happens to be wayyyyy more effective anyway 😉

Shop Cowichan Challenge #ILoveCowichanThank you! With every nickel you spend when you shop Cowichan, you help make our local economy stronger. With every person you tell about it…you’re kicking it up another notch.

Take care, Shelley

PS- If you have a Cowichan business, project, cause, news whatever it may be please let me know so that I can check it out…then I’ll tell 2000 friends about it. I’m totally serious, I kid you not.

Community Supporting Community

Me thinking about what I want to do with my life ; aha moment communityA few years ago I started trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. After much deliberation I made my decision. I know this is going to sound cliché but I decided that I want to make a difference. There you go I said it! A difference…

A tad too tired these days to take on the world.  Besides, I brought my girls up so that they’ll take care of that. So I narrowed it down a bit.

I want to make a difference locally. I can make a difference in our Community!

First step was tweaking our family buying habits so that we were spending more in our community. Especially when it comes to our food, shopping local means eating fresh. Eating fresh is eating healthy. Buying local means supporting our local economy and that’s what I call an all around win. Done; check.

Next I started preaching what I was practicing to anybody and everybody in our community. Some people roll their eyes. Most people though, they get it.  That gives me hope, and so I share my opinion every chance that I get.

“It takes a community to support a strong local economy” tweets @shoplocally. One determined citizen can help make that happen. Talking just happens to be my forté.

I call it spreading some #BuyLocalLove. It’s simple really. Come together as a community; ensure a healthy local economy.

I’m studying Social Media so that I can shout it out to even more people. Why do I say studying instead of studied? It’s a never ending process. Social Media changes daily. There is ALWAYS something new to learn. Which, I just happen to love doing.

That brings me to my own personal mission statement…

Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth to help our community sustain a healthy local economy.

Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth to help our community sustain a healthy local economy.
#BuyLocalLove

Well, that’s it for now because I simply must get back to spreading the #BuyLocalLove. Then I’ll try to figure out the implications of the latest “potential” changes happening over on Facebook.

Take care,

Shelley

www.ILoveCowichan.ca

Cowichan summer of 2015 pics…

PS- If you have a Cowichan business, project, cause, news whatever it may be please let me know so that I can share with our community

e-mail: shelley@ILoveCowichan.ca

Twitter: @ILoveCowichanCA

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ILoveCowichan

Newly launched…

Instagram: ILoveCowichanDotCA

Pinterest: ILoveCowichan

Mission Totally Possible

I am on a mission, well two actually.

I am on a mission. Well maybe it’s two actually.

As a citizen of our beautiful valley I have decided it’s a mission of mine to Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth. As a mother; an aunt; a wife I am on a mission to Support the Well Being of My Family.

Turns out my missions align perfectly. In fact, they might actually be one after all. To keep my family and my community happy, healthy and thriving. How you ask? Keep it local; keep it fresh.

Make if your mission to buy local; buy fresh
COWICHAN GREEN COMMUNITY BUY LOCAL! BUY FRESH! ONLINE MAP

Shopping locally; buying fresh ensures my family eats healthy. At the same time I’m supporting my community by spending money with local businesses, markets and farms.

I am introducing my daughters and my niece to our Valley’s many hidden treasures. They in turn are taking their friends. I am teaching this generation to support the Cowichan Valley’s economy by spending money here. To purchase from independently locally owned businesses whenever possible.

I buy the occasional treat but my focus is on food for the family. Teens are the ones with disposable income. They have money to spend. My daughters now routinely bring friends to Downtown Duncan to shop. They lunch and snack at local restaurants more frequently than fast food.

Silver lining is that when they eat locally, they’re usually eating healthier foods. Not saying that’s why they do it, but it just so happens to be true.

Even the candy they buy is healthier (www.rembrandtschocolates.com).


Don’t tell them this but they are also getting more exercise by walking to Downtown Duncan.

One of the ways I’m supporting Cowichan Valley business growth is through social media. I’m proud to tweet local  . I want a Twitter feed jam-packed with everything Cowichan Valley. To follow people from and to be followed by people of the valley.

I’ve hit a bit of a snag. There are not as many local businesses Tweeting as I’d hoped. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times…“Twitter? Oh we don’t need that. We’re local only.” If you have a business, yes; yes you do. Won’t let that slow me down. That’s my mission for another day 🙂

Yesterday we went and got a bunch of fresh, local produce. Today we’re having fun partaking in the 4th Annual Cowichan Eat Local Challenge. Thank you Transition Cowichan and Cowichan Green Community!

I am happy spreading the “shop local” message. I am happy helping Cowichan Valley businesses grow. I will continue to shout it out loud; I will continue to shout it over the Internet…

Shop local…make it YOUR MISSION to support your community, your neighbours & your friends! Pretty please 😉

Hope you’re getting out and about enjoying the incredible Valley weather (and all the nummy fresh produce). Take care!

Shelley

 

Fun Making Videos About Cowichan

Wanted to share these videos about Cowichan…

Been having fun out and about around the Cowichan Valley enjoying the tremendous sunshine with Robert and the girls.  My intentions are always good, we take a TON of pictures and I plan to write about it all…then life gets in the way or we’re off exploring and taking more pics before I get around to it.

So I thought it might be fun to put together some videos comprised of the pictures.

Robert & I went and checked out the art show at Cowichan Valley Secondary. I am so glad that we did. I was in awe of the tremendous amount of talent (so was he). I don’t think either of us expected to be as blown away as we were.

Each time we go to market we chat, we learn, we sample and we pick up goodies for home. We also pick up business cards, flyers and take a bunch of pictures. Here’s a video from our last outing (May 2015) to the Saturday Duncan Farmer’s Market.

While I was on youtube uploading these videos, I came across two really great videos about Cowichan that I’d like to share…
Introduction to Providence Farm; Providence Farm, a Therapeutic Community

I am proud to call these people my Cowichan Valley neighbours.

Once Upon a Day in Cowichan

This video about Cowichan, the music, the scenery is all absolutely stunning.

A Cross Story Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island BC

I enjoyed and appreciated being taken along on this particular journey up the mountain.

 

Shop Local Buy Locally support local business your neighbours your friends your community about Cowichan Valley Economy BoomingHope you’re all getting to enjoy our wonderful weather. I’m off to pick some of my home grown strawberries. Who would ever have thunk it? Me digging in the dirt voluntarily…If nothing else, I’ve certainly learned in life to never say never because you just never know what the future holds.

Hope you enjoyed these videos about Cowichan. Take care!

Shelley

PS- Remember to shop local…support your community, your neighbours & your friends.