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The world is full of contradictions and paradoxes that make the world a complicated but beautiful place. Smoke from the bellows of a power plant next to an ancient lake that continues as far as the eye can see; a quiet mountain tipped with snow as a noisy airplane flies over it, there are many sights that don't often make sense. Sometimes these sights can induce disgust, others pleasure. The latter is the case for Pistil Flowers in downtown Toronto, a somewhat oasis in a concrete jungle. 

Not so long ago, the type of food we ate was based on seasons. Winters were based around root vegetables and hearty carbohydrates, summers were about berries and other juicy fruits. However, now that exporting and the free markets are changing our stores and buying habits, we can find almost any product year round in our local grocery store. Food is such an important part of our existence, and quality should never be jeopardized. The fact that we take it for granted is something that needs to change, and educating our children about the importance of supporting local and ethically produced food is something we can do immediately.

There's a point in the drive down to Niagara-on-the-Lake that seems to perfectly transition the urban to the rural. As the highway melts into the acres of vines and farmland, it is clear that the experience has begun. It's this subtle seam that embroiders the beginnings of a romantic weekend. A trip down to NOTL is always a welcome one, the cohesion of the history, the wine, the food and the ambience can transcend any stressful week at work.

Anyone who has built, designed or created anything in their lives will understand the beauty and the quandary of retrospect. Looking back on a completed job can leave you noticing the things that didn't work out, or the choices that were contentious. Often there are things that I wish had turned out differently, or designs that had to be changed which I wish could have worked out. I never reflect on a finished project with regret, but I from time to time I do regret other aspects of the process.

I'm not one for making resolutions, I can't stand the disappointment when they eventually fizzle out. However, with this step into a new orbit of the sun I want to have a fresh outlook on life. 2016 was busy, work was crazy and the year flashed by with but a few chances to enjoy the small moments.

Everyone makes mistakes. However big or small, we have all been guilty of making a wrong decision or reacting to a situation in an incorrect manner. This is human nature. This is also true for our children; they make bad decisions and err on a regular basis. After all, they are learning the complicated social etiquette which changes for each and every scenario and eventuality. The concepts we have derived as a race over thousands of years is a convoluted web of split second judgment calls which we from time to time may get wrong. So let's admit it, we all make mistakes; it's how we deal with those mistakes that is more important.

With filming schedules, children's schedules, office meetings, and the forever 'dinging' of an email arrival, work can be somewhat of a distraction. The continuous rush and the constant blitz of the working day can often fog my perspective. It can take something out of the extraordinary that swiftly clears the mist and immediately provides a humbling context. One of these moments came along during the filming of Bryan Inc.

As you know I enjoy celebrating local companies that are mindful of the materials and ingredients they use and that are conscious of the impact they have on the world. Recently, I discovered this amazing brand in Oakville, ON that does just that. Maison Apothecare have a range of products that use well-sourced, safe and high quality ingredients. So I contacted them and spoke to the founder, Natacha Rey, who was kind enough to answer some questions. Here they are:

Most of us spend the majority of our hours awake at work. Canada is in the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to paid vacation time, many countries across the world offer many more paid days off, for example in Sweden, France and the United Kingdom, 25 days vacation is often the common practice. Therefore, each vacation day is precious, we have to make the most of them.

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