Overhauling our Newsletter – and Free Jar Labels!

It had been a long night.  I had been out of the house for almost 18 hours and Dana and I were returning from one of our events.  We had a good time at the event and visited with a few friends, traded laughs and memories.  And, while we thoroughly enjoyed the evening, we had put almost 10 hours into organizing an event where four friends showed up.

Overhauling our Newsletter   and Free Jar Labels!

Then Dana asked me one of the toughest questions she’s ever asked;

If this wasn’t our event, would you go?

My heart sunk a little.  I’m never disappointed to hang out with friends; but there’s easier way to hang out with them than to arrange an event.  I didn’t have to answer the question, I knew the answer was no. [Read more...]

Joel Speaking At Imaginate (Tomorrow Evening in Port Hope, Ontario)

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be speaking at an amazing event tomorrow evening.  It’s a benefit for the Green Wood Coalition; the evening will be combination of speeches, music and art.

Joel Speaking At Imaginate (Tomorrow Evening in Port Hope, Ontario) speeches [Read more...]

Why Host a Food Event/ Pop-up

Tonight marks the third year we’ve been running HomeEc (in different formats) and the fourth year of hosting food events.  We’ve run more than 30 of them and I feel like there’s so much more to learn about running them.

For the last few days I’ve found myself reflecting on the last few years of events and rather than try to sound like an expert on how to run them (I’m not), I thought I’d offer 5 reasons why I enjoy organizing these.  If you’re thinking about trying to throw an event like this and aren’t sure why, maybe this will help motivate you (or help you decide it’s not for you):

  1. Make friends and meet neat people.
    This is by far the number one most compelling reason to get involved with hosting events like these.  If you don’t like meeting strangers, it’s going to be tough to motivate yourself to pull it off.  HomeEc has brought a lot of great people into our lives and is a driving reason on why we continue to do it.
  2. Help others out; in our case this means small businesses.
    It’s a lot of fun to work with others and work with businesses that support our community.  If you can get others involved your event will always be better than what you can do on your own.
  3. To have fun.
    Planning, organizing, marketing, sharing and attending the event have to be fun.  There’s far more to the event than the few hours it consumes – if you enjoy all that other ‘stuff’, you’re well on your way to enjoying the actual event.
  4. To help build other projects.
    I’d be lying to say that HomeEc was just for fun.  There’s a certain amount of self-service involved as the events bolster the blog and vice versa.  We also use it as a platform to try to help others build their projects and get involved.
  5. To see others have fun.
    This is actually my biggest motivator.  I really enjoy having the chance to see people having fun and meeting one another at our events.  It reminds me that the city isn’t as cold as the weather and there’s a certain magic to see strangers coming together over food and drink.

We can share some lessons learned on how to organize these things if anyone is interested but my main piece of advice will always be the same: know why you’re doing it and the rest is just the details.

The Pleasures of our Kitchen

When it comes to writing, I’m generally pretty practical.  I like to share ideas, recipes, tips and tricks that other can use in their kitchen – and love learning from them as well.  I generally avoid the noun-filled flowery posts that describe our life and day-to-day experience.  I have no problems with that style of writing; it’s just something I generally avoid.

But there’s always room for exceptions!  From time-to-time I like to share peaks into our kitchen.  I’m not sure they’re of interest to anyone at all but I’ll admit that my real pleasure from these posts is having the chance to look back at them years later.  This is our sixth year of sharing our thoughts 5-7 times a week and the volumes contained in the archive allow an honest look into my personal history.  I’m proud of much of it, cringe at some of it and almost all of it makes me laugh or smile.

The Pleasures of our Kitchen [Read more...]

New Year, New Shelf – An Update on The WellPreserved Kitchen

We’ve been talking about adding a new shelving unit to our kitchen for years.  We even had the unit picked out; we just hadn’t committed to it.  That changed on the weekend; and our kitchen feels like an entirely new place!

New Year, New Shelf   An Update on The WellPreserved Kitchen kitchen great wall of preserves [Read more...]

Happy New Years! Reflections on an 8-Course Homemade Meal

Another New Year, another big meal!

Over the last 5 (or so) years, we’ve hosted friends for New Years.  Everyone throws money-in-a-hat and I cook a meal with the best ingredients we can get our hands on.  I love the chance to push my cooking skills and it gives me a great chance to learn how far (or not-so-far) my cooking skills have progressed in a year.

This was the second consecutive year that our friend Rob allowed us to use his coffee shop (F’Coffee) which makes the evening so much easier to pull off.  We’re very thankful to get to use the space!

Happy New Years! Reflections on an 8 Course Homemade Meal New Years [Read more...]

WellPreserved – 5 Years and Counting

It’s hard to believe that today marks the end of 5 years of WellPreserved (tomorrow is our official ‘birthday’ and the start of year 6)!

Thank you for reading, sharing and participating!

WellPreserved   5 Years and Counting December [Read more...]

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Although we recognize that not all of our readers celebrate Christmas, we wish those who do the Merriest of the Christmas Season (and the best of the New Year to everyone)!

We are thankful to be surrounded by friends and family whom we adore and fortunate to have food, cheer and spirit(s) to share with all this time of year.  I wish the same for each of you!

Happy Holidays to you and yours – we hope you have a wonderful day and a great end of the year!

Asking for 30 Seconds of Help From… You!

We usually use this space to share – today I want to try something different and I need your help.

You know what we write about, you know what you like to read.

Help me answer a simple question:

What types of things would you like to see in our weekly newsletter?  What content should go there as opposed to here?

I'd love to see the first idea or two that comes to mind in the comments below...

Updates to Well Preserved

What’s new on WellPreserved?  These days the answer is “a whole lot…”  We’ve quietly made a lot of changes in the last 10 days and wanted to walk you through them today – the majority are new tools to help you find content you’re looking for.

The first change is minor, though overdue – we have a new about page and remembered to add photos of ourselves (we are a little camera-shy!).  Writing an ‘about page’ is the trickiest of tasks; thank you to those on Twitter and Facebook who gave us some input and helped us update ‘who we are.’

Updates to Well Preserved Updates to Well Preserved [Read more...]