Saturday, March 3, 2018

Rocky Mountain Soap in Thunder Bay, The Camellia

spring blooms at The Camellia

Hello! We've been enjoying some warm temperatures in Thunder Bay, and who can believe we've made it through the coldest months of the year - January and February! We can't wait until planting season and look forward to when fresh flowers are growing outside.

tin signs at The Camellia

Thinking about making this sign....what a nice addition this would make on a Potting bench.

body butters at The Camellia

Where can you buy #RockyMountainSoap in #ThunderBay? At The Camellia, at 30, Hacquoil Rd. in Slate River, Ontario. 

Rocky Mountain soap at the Camellia, Thunder Bay

A look at their all-natural Soaps drying on a rack in their store in Banff. At The Camellia, we carry some of their soaps, the unscented bar, aloe vera, and goat's milk bars. Our favourite, well, it's hard to pick one, but the aloe Vera is a favourite , it smells lovely, and works for cleaning dirty, greasy hands. Need Rocky Mountain Soap products in Thunder Bay? Buy at The Camellia, Open Wednesday through Sunday.  
The Camellia, 30, Hacquoil Rd. Thunder Bay, On

Monday, February 19, 2018

How to get nothing done on a Sunday and feel ok about's all good. Lazy Sundays.

 pink roses

Sometimes Opa Overmeer gets tired of technology...buying a new gadget and having to spend hours watching You Tube videos on how to use the damn thing. What ever happened to a how-to manual that explained stuff? So he tells himself to stop feeling frustrated, and reminds himself that it's Sunday, it's all good and Life is good. Stop and smell the Roses! Have you ever felt like this? You end up felling so frustrated, you have so little time, and the stupid thing will not work. Or is it that we are stupid, and technology is smarter than we are? 

horses grazing
Beautiful countryside scenes from an October trip to White Oak Lavender Farm. You can buy their Lavender product at the Camellia, at 30, Hacquoil Rd. 

ancient building

Hark back to a simpler time, with one-room, primitive structures. 

spinning wheel

One can imagine spinning wool in this room, on this wooden spinning wheel. 

red wagon parked by barn

Back then, a wagon was a necessity. Imagine having no automobiles, just horsepower.

wooden stairs going up

Stairs were much steeper then, these ones remind Opa Overmeer of the ones in his childhood home in Holland. 

blue check curtains on four poster bed

There would have been no such thing as a lazy Sunday back then, everyone would have gotten dressed in their finest clothes, and marched off to Church. Today, we have so many labour-saving devices that we can lay in bed on a Sunday, and be lazy. Thank goodness! 
Visit us at The Camellia for comfy Bedding, hand-made cushions, and Farmhouse decor. 
The Camellia, 30, Hacquoil Rd. Open Wednesday through Sunday. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

What lens do you choose to see the world through? Celebrate what's Right.

Sometimes we can find ourselves in a funk, especially when you are in the world of Retail. Fixed costs keep going up, competition is increasing, bigger companies are becoming gigantic, and wages keep going up, and ...the list goes on. 

Drop what you're doing, and watch this! 

Celebrate what's right with the world.

napa valley

Beauty is all around us...a vivid Blue sky in Napa Valley. 

street in san jose, ca

A perfectly shaped Royal Palm on Santana's Row, San Jose, California. 

ivy wall florist in thunderbay
Plants are wonderful..trailing Ivy growing along a brick wall. 
So take a moment, and look around you, and see all the beauty of Nature!

Visit The Camellia, at 30/32 Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, On. 
p (807)475-3551

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year 2018! How to keep Drama out of your Life

It's a New Year, hello 2018! Most of us vow to change our lives, to get rid of the nonsense that we don't want. Read the link below if you want to keep Drama out of your Life. 

goals 2018

Some people thrive on having constant Drama in their lives, but most of us want to run away from Drama. Practicing Mindfulness and living in a peaceful environment is something to strive for. 

organization The Camellia

Some of us vow to be better organized in 2018, this magazine from BHG will definitely help you achieve your goal. It's so frustrating to spend hours looking for something and not finding it.  

travelling on road
What plans do you have for 2018? What roads will you travel? 
At this moment, In Thunder Bay, it's very cold, -30C. A whole 60 degrees difference from where I grew up. 
Learning to embrace the cold.... trying to walk outside , no matter how cold. And looking at the good worrying about snakes here!. 
Visit us at The Camellia for Inspiring Home decor, and DIY Classes. And Handmade goods. 
30, Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, On. 
p (807)475-3551

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How to stretch your dollars by Buying secondhand.

buying used goods

Second hand stores are Treasure troves of used items - Furniture, original oil paintings, solid wood furniture and so much more.  Buying used items is  great if you are renting, or starting a new household, or trying to stretch your dollars to buy all the items on your list. 

With Cottage Paint, you can easily paint the item to match your existing decor. Best of all, Cottage Paint does 
not smell, making it ideal to use in January, indoors, no need to sit and wait around for Spring! 

cottage paint at the Camellia Thunder Bay

Head to #theCamellia to buy #CottagePaint in Thunder Bay, and ask about our upcoming Classes. 


Are your cabinets outdated, and you’ve been thinking of painting them, but don’t want all the work of sanding and stripping? Then this is your Workshop ( 2 sessions) , you will be using Serenity Silk paint and Urban paint ( from the Cottage Paint line) on an actual cabinet door. Call us for current dates and times.  Tentative Date: Sun. Jan. 14th. 2018, 1-3p.   $101.70. Class date subject to change. Call 807-475-3551 to register or visit
Have  a Happy New Year, and we will see at our shop at 30, Hacquoil Rd. on Jan. 12th. 2018, when we will be open. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

What to pack if you're Gluten-free and travelling this Christmas.

Does the thought of travelling when you're following a Gluten-free, low carb, and no sugar diet make you want to,  well, NOT Travel? Don't worry, a little prep and you will be on your way, and no, you will not be starving. 
Protein bars are a must, our favourite are QUEST Bars, they taste like a cookie, they are loaded with protein ( 21g) and will tide you over until your next meal. when we were travelling during the Summer in the U.S. Quest bars were available to purchase in Holiday gas stations. 

travelling by ferry

 Travel is very dehydrating, so an empty water bottle that you can refill is a must. The Vera Bradley packsack is my go-to when travelling, it has an outside pocket for your water bottle.  You can refill your water bottle easily once you clear security. 

bags at The Camellia

Before you travel, check to see if there are any grocery stores or Health Food stores at your destination. Gluten-free is more mainstream than before, so you can find gluten-free items in most grocery stores. Salads, fresh veggies and fruit can be found in most Airports. However, it's still not easy when someone sits next to you with a bag of sugary Tim Horton timbits. We are definitely not going to lie and say that going gluten-free is easy. The smell, the rustling of the paper bag, it's all quite annoying. Click on the link below to get more information on what to pack in your gluten-free carry-on.

If you love chocolate, it's best to make your own from raw cocao paste, and then freeze your chocolates. The photos below were taken at a Chocolate-making workshop at Bliss Cafe, taught by Angela Slomke.  .Here is the basic chocolate mixture, to which various flavours and fruits were added. Wish we could replicate the smell of this rich, dark chocolate, so you could sniff the aromas. 

making your own chocolates

chocolate making

Here the mixture is being poured into silicone moulds, then left to harden. Maple syrup or Honey was used as a sweetener. 
Our last trip we were away for almost 3 weeks, so half of the suitcase was filled with food items. After a few trips, you will be more aware of what you need to pack to eat gluten-free, and it will become a lot easier. 
The Holidays are fast approaching, and there's Baking, and yummy desserts, and stuffing, and you have to refuse it, and explain why, and put up with the..."oh, a little bit will not hurt you." So do you walk with your own food, or just avoid breads, croutons, desserts, and anything with milk ( if you're lactose intolerant)...?? What situations have you run into ...? 

meals at Christmas

Hmmm...were those chicken strips dipped in regular flour or did you use Almond flour?  Oh, let the Holiday food dramas begin! For healthy Vegan and Gluten-free cooking in Thunder Bay, visit Bliss Cafe, at 87, Cumberland St. N. p. 807-286-7717.  
Visit the Camellia for unique Hand-made products, Cottage Paint, Rocky Mountain Soap, Lavender and much more. The Camellia, 30 Hacquoil Rd. Thunder Bay, Slate River, On
p -(807)475-3551. Open Wednesday through Sunday. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Your plans for this weekend - the value of doing nothing and taking a break.

It's the weekend! A much-needed break from work, or is it? You walk in the door, and see piles of laundry waiting to be washed. Christmas is 2 weeks away and you have not bought a single present. A Tree? well, Does everyone have to have a Tree? 

christmas tree at the Camellia

Click on this link for help with doing nothing, without feeling guilty.

It goes without saying that the longer we work without taking a break, the more frazzled we become, and the less we accomplish. This leads to increasing frustration...'I've been working at this for so long and I'm still not finished!" It is at the very times we feel that we simply can't take a break, that we really need to go for a walk, and engage in a different activity, even if it's for the next 15 minutes. What do you do when you are totally stressed out? Some of us eat - Chocolate, Muffins, Candy, usually something sweet, and this really does not help. 

It's torture to look at all the beautiful pastries in this photos, especially if you are on a low-carb, gluten-free, no sugar diet. It's also challenging to change your habits. 

bedding store, taking a nap

So what can you do instead? You can take a Nap. South Americans are masters at the Art of Siesta...taken usually after lunch, during the hottest part of the Day. Preferably on Yves de Lorme Bedding, photo above is taken in one of  the Yves de Lorme stores in California. 

walking up steps at Winery

Head outside for a walk - it will be stress-reducing. 

hot chocolate

A hot chocolate break is good for you. 
Another tactic is to break down the household weekly chores into an actionable list with a time frame. Members of your Family  can then  look at the list, and the work gets divided among Family members, to be worked on during the week. This frees up time on the Weekend to do fun activities that you want to do. 

Christmas decor at The Camellia

A great stress-relief technique is to take a Class at the Camellia, and get in touch with your creative side. We have Floral design Classes and wreath-making classes. 

chalky paint at The Camellia

Take a Cottage Paint class and redo Furniture and cabinets in your Home. Our next class is a Kitchen Cabinet workshop in January of 2018.
Check our website at for upcoming classes. 
Visit The Camellia at 30, Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, Thunder Bay, On. 
Open Wednesday through Sunday. 
p (807) 475-3551