11 Useful Things I Picked Up at the [Wo]Man Cave Event That You Need

You never know what you don't know

by: Erica Ehm

11 Useful Things I Picked Up at the [Wo]Man Cave Event That You Need

11 Useful Things I Picked Up at the [Wo]Man Cave Event That You Need

You never know when you'll learn something new that will improve your life. A few weeks ago I was invited to the 2nd annual [Wo]man Cave event for a morning of shopping and shmoozing. Rather than pick up samples, I set out to learn something new from all the vendors. I collected my fave pieces of useful, eclectic information for you to scroll through. 

1. Why is bone broth the latest health craze?

The Healthy Butcher was giving out samples of their bone broth. So what's the big deal? I discovered that bone broth is loaded with collagen as well as minerals, amino acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine. All of which adds up to reducing inflammation, arthritis, or joint pain. It's also great for digestion and healing the "gut" (the intestinal tract) and boosting the immune system. And I thought chicken soup was amazing! 

2. What's the trick to decorating your walls?

Need to pretty up your walls? I'm a fan of Umbra's simple, modern design that's inexpensive and on trend. Sadly, I am not very hip to what's hot, design-wise. If you're like me and want a stylish wall arrangement, the Umbra design team told me to mix frames with other decorative objects such as wall planters, decorative shelves, or even a ladder for a less traditional and more unique “gallery” wall display. Think bronze - apparently it's very in vogue these days. Here's a free, easy-to-follow template to design your walls at home!

3. Why do you need to eat fibre?

Eating fruits and veggies with lots of fibre keeps you regular, lowers your cholesterol, and controls your blood sugar. Many Canadians only get half of the daily fibre they need. Snacks at the [Wo]Man Cave event were provided by Fibre 1 decadent desserts that contain 20% of your daily fibre needs. Cheesecake and brownies that aren't bad for you? I'm in.

4. How do I get someone to follow me on Snapchat?

I was hanging out with Christine Martin from Amidst the Chaos and we were fooling around on Snapchat but we weren't following each other. So Christine showed me how to hold your Snapchat app open over another Snapchat user's app. It scans your user profile and automatically makes you friends. I asked my son to do this with me, but he refuses to connect with me on Snapchat. If you want to be my friend, my user name is Erica.Ehm.

5. What's the secret to renting the best vacation property?

Did you know there is a Canadian alternative to Airbnb called CanadaStays which specializes in cabin, cottage, and chalet rentals? If you're looking to book a property online, here's a little insider information. People who rent their properties through online portals like CanadaStays are cautious about who they allow to stay in their place. So make sure to introduce yourself to the owner when you submit a booking request by adding a message about yourself. Remember, this is typically the owner's second home, vacation home, or a property managed on behalf of an owner, so put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to know about the people renting the property? If you have pets or friends coming up to stay for all or part of the vacation, include this info. Be friendly and personable - it goes a long way to score the right place to stay.

6. Win with Wine and Winning Wine

The DeSerres art store table was covered with products to reconnect with your inner artist using adult colouring books and DIY puzzles. My fave product was DIY wine bags; get your kids to decorate the bags while you drink the wine! That's what I call a win/win situation. 

Speaking of winning wine, I sampled some yummy Cabernet from the Angels Gate Winery who just won best sparkling wine in Canada this week. 

7. Why is this chemical in cleaning products?

Seventh Generation is known for their chemical free household cleaners (and their new hilarious viral video about vaginas), so I took the opportunity to get a quick tutorial about chemicals in household cleaning products. Here's one thing I didn't know: Optical brighteners (Disodium Diaminostilbene Disulfonate) are synthetic chemicals that deposit on our clothes to reflect light, making fabrics appear to glow in the presence of ultraviolet light. They don't get things clean, they're only added to detergents to make us think our laundry is brighter and whiter.

8. Holy Crap! Ovarian Cancer is scary!

5 women die from it every day in Canada. If you think you’ve been screened for ovarian cancer, think again. Ovarian cancer is the most fatal women’s cancer in Canada, yet there is no reliable screening test for this disease. You can get genetic testing since certain genetic mutations have been associated with increased risk for ovarian cancer. However, Canada is the only country in the G7 that doesn’t have legislation in place to protect genetic information from misuse by insurers and employers. In other words, if your genetic tests indicates a risk for this type of cancer, your insurer may no longer cover you. This makes women wary of genetic testing, which could help inform their decisions about preventive action and in some cases treatment. The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act is going before the House of Commons for a second reading this June. If passed, the Act would empower Canadians to learn more about their genes...information that could help save their lives. Write to your MP to ask for their support.

9. When should you buy that new shirt?

Renata Farbman is a stylist by trade. She makes a living taking moms who need new wardrobes out shopping. She gave me some great advice. If you find a piece you love, before you buy it, try picturing at least three different outfits you can pair the item with from your closet. If you can't do this, DO NOT buy the item. Based on her experience, chances are, you will get home and this will be the piece that sits there and collects dust because you have no idea how to wear it.

10. Eat these 3 things to keep your mind sharp

Apparently, there is a direct correlation between what you eat and drink and a healthy brain. JoAnne Korten, Executive Director of the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, made my day with these 3 yummy facts:

  1. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain and sharpens mental focus. 
  2. Coffee reduces Alzheimer-like cognitive impairment. 
  3. Red grapes and red wine prevent memory loss.

You can read more about it in this post: 6 Habits to Improve Your Memory & Boost Your Brain Health.

11. How do you make a difference in the world?

The rise in teenage suicides is frightening. With the constant pressures of social media, the importance of talking becomes even more crucial. The Talk to Me leather cuff and wrap was designed by Tara from Ruby Wow Designs, a mom of teens, to support those suffering with mental health. She was inspired after meeting a group of teens grieving the loss of their friend by suicide. Delisle Youth Services (recently merged with Oolagen) receives $10 from every piece sold to help kids and families get the support they need. Each bracelet is handmade and is one-of-a-kind.