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F&S Notes

Selections: Teacher Appreciation

Selections: Teacher Appreciation

Thanking teachers at the holidays is often an overlooked opportunity to show our appreciation. Many of us have great intentions, but get overwhelmed with the season’s busy-ness; running out to grab teacher gifts the night before. Teacher, Mother, and fellow small business owner Phaedra has compiled her top F&S handmade items that show thanks to the hard working teachers that love and care for our children daily.

Phaedra Crosby has worked for several years as a teacher both in the ECE and in the Grade School. She now works as a substitute teacher, while raising her 4 children and running her small soap business 'Queen of Cups' in Guelph, Ontario.

From Phaedra;

‘Teaching is a labour of love and not for the faint of heart. The teachers in our lives work extremely hard and long hours to prepare lessons, prepare the classrooms and spend hours a day with our children. Despite the long hours and dedication teachers are generally quite under compensated. This is why it's so meaningful and important to show them some love and appreciation during the holidays. It means a lot to them to receive unique, nourishing and practical gifts. I have chosen some products from Food and Shelter that I think teachers would appreciate. 

The Pot Cover is a lovely touch to any room that has plants. This is a useful and long lasting gift that the teacher will look at and use daily. 

Herbal bath salts: let's be honest teachers are some of the hardest working people. Anything that will give them a reason to run a hot bath and relax would be a welcome nudge for any hard working teacher.

Candles: you can never have too many candles in my opinion. Clean and pure beeswax candles are such a treat, they not only purify the air but they leave a sweet honey aroma behind as well. The warm ambience is a nice touch and can feel really meaningful and nourishing during the dark months.

Sugar scrub: I'm personally a big fan of scrubs, they actually relieve a lot of tension in the body just by activating the skin. Scrubs also exfoliate while hydrating the skin. A fun, feel good self care product that one may not think to buy for themselves but certainly is a nice gift to receive.

Honey and Maple Syrup: this is a good, practical gift that is healthy and delicious. I've never heard of anyone who didn't like honey or maple syrup! It's a versatile and safe option too if you don't know the distinct likes or dislikes of a certain teacher.

Firestarters: this is a cute, unique little gift that could just make a teacher's life a little more easy. It's nice to have some things on hand that bring more ease to our lives.  Starting a fire can be hit or miss and I certainly would appreciate this little helper of a gift.’

Thank you Phaedra for helping make our gift giving easier, more personal and meaningful for the special teachers and caregivers in our lives.

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Selections: Mother's Love

Selections: Mother's Love

The first of our Selections series, where we ask Canadians for their personal favourite handmade goods.

Mother’s Day is May 14th. We love any holiday that celebrates important people in our lives, and mother figures are top of the list. They are hard working women that deserve thoughtful gestures of appreciation and thanks.

To help out your gifting, we asked two special mother’s for their most loved F&S items. Mary and Lynn, are loving caregivers, master cooks, and advocates for handmade quality. Their top picks have been well used and tested in their busy households.



Mary; a mother to four, mother-in-law to four, and grandmother to six. Her nest is rarely empty. Mary has been deemed the ‘Martha Stewart of Town’; always thinking of others while baking and cooking meals from the garden, knitting and quilting heirloom goods with personal details, and always being open to drop in visits, calls, and silly FaceTime babysitting.

From Mary;

‘I don’t think you can ever go wrong with beeswax tea lights. Anything that cleans the air, while creating ambience goes in my shopping cart!

I also love the glass carafes. It started with one and it looks so pretty when entertaining, that I added another to the table. It is a nice way for guests to help themselves to water throughout the meal, without the weight of a big heavy pitcher. I have one at either end of the table and somebody always comments on how pretty, yet practical, they are.

The small smoke/amber vases are another favourite. They are nice for that pretty little twig or flower that begs to be brought inside, even dandelions look whimsical in these vases.

I also love my handwoven rug, if for no other reason than it feels great on my toes when I get out of bed, as long as the cat hasn’t had a wrestling match with the rug in the night. Must be the wool smell, but the cat behaves likes she found a patch of pure catnip, and in spite of her play the rug still looks like new!

Honey nothing beats the flavour of Food & Shelter’s raw honey! 

Last, but certainly not least is the Farm to Table Bag. It packs so well at the grocery store and saves me multiple trips into the house after I’ve shopped.



Mom of two young and busy kids, Lynn brings her enthusiastic Camp Councillor energy to every aspect of mothering. Hosting spontaneous crafting parties with countless kids from the street, Lynn provides fun entertainment, and delicious food to anyone who walks in her door. She mastered the art of keeping little ones engaged during the long lock down days by making her home a place of comfort, adventure and joy.

From Lynn;

Positive/Negative Mugs- I don't know what it is about this mug... but it's the one I reach for EVERY morning for my first coffee of the day. If it's dirty and in the dishwasher, I am actually disappointed. (It's not as though I don't have an entire cupboard full of other perfectly fine mugs!) I have also gifted these mugs and have had reports back with the same sentiment. We can't pinpoint it- they're just the PERFECT mug.

Full Time Bag (being restocked soon)- I use this bag ALL the time. When I take my son to the doctor, I stuff that thing to the brim with food and entertainment, and I absolutely love it. It's also my go-to bag for weekend getaways. I love the exterior pockets, and the divider in the middle. For a fairly disorganized person such as myself, it somehow makes me feel like I actually have my act together. (Hah!)

Cross Back Apron- The kids and I love to bake together, and even though I'm usually just wearing a sweatshirt or fleece, this apron always comes out, and makes it feel like the whole event is just that much more special. I feel like I'm slipping into a pretty dress when I put this apron on- I love it so, so much.

Craft Beer Glass- Honestly, we don't have any of these, but I want one, as we do love beer, but it also looks like it could double as an ideal smoothie glass. Bookend your day with a variety of beverages in this glass! It's beautiful.

"The Way Home" print and "Neighbours" print- I love hanging prints like these ones in our powder room, which is exactly where "The Way Home" is currently hanging. The colours are so gorgeous, and could work in so many rooms in our house. The "Neighbours" print I also love, and gifted to our two neighbours last year for Christmas, as it felt eerily similar to our actual houses side by side. Our copy is hanging in our living room, and I love that they also have theirs on display. Whether your house actually looks like the ones in the print or not, it just seems like the perfect thing to gift a neighbour. It would also make a lovely housewarming gift!



Thank you Mary and Lynn for sharing with us, but more so for, all your love, care and patience as mothers.


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