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How to Beat Blue Monday

How to Beat Blue Monday and the Post Holiday Blues!

Have you been feeling lethargic, listless or even gloomy for the past few weeks? The post-holiday blues are a phenomenon that culminates in Blue Monday, the third Monday of January. Also known as the most depressing day of the year. The short days with little sunlight, frigid temperatures and the end of the holidays/festive season begin to kick in. Many have started struggling with New Year’s resolutions while some struggle with debt and credit card bills. Motivation seems to be at an all-time low. 

Whether or not Blue Monday really exists is still up for debate but it is hard to deny it can be a more difficult time for many. If you’re feeling it this season, just know you are not alone! 

Remember to take it day by day. The days are already getting longer and we are seeing more hours of sunshine. Take time daily to centre yourself and see if these tips work for you:

  • Get good sleep! Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. Experts stress the importance of 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Try and get back into a good routine after the hustle and bustle (and gluttony) of the holiday season. If you are having a tough time with sleep, try a light box. See next tip…
  • Invest in a Lightbox. I cannot stress what a game-changer this can be! The effects of using a light box first thing in the morning can be immediate and may boost low mood after only 20 minutes of use. Sunlight is also crucial to our circadian rhythm.
  • Be in nature while moving your body. Getting sunlight before noon can improve mental and physical health. Studies have also found that a mere glimpse of nature from a window can improve overall mood. Take advantage of the healing powers of nature by walking or exercising outside and adding plants/flowers to your indoor spaces. Not to mention taking a quick trip to the woods to reset your mind, body and spirit! See next tip…
  • Plan a trip and have something to look forward to. Take advantage of our reduced winter pricing and get away to the woods! From snowboarding and howling with wolves in Haliburton to hitting the slopes in Calabogie our cabins have every inch of adventure you need to bust out of the blues. Have a winter campfire or just relax in the quiet while enjoying the stillness of the season if that is more your speed. Choose your own adventure!

Resources & Recommendations:
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder by Norman E. Rosenthal

Photo credits: @AlexisCreativeCo & @AlexisOutdoors

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Challenge Yourself to Adventure More in 2023

Challenge Yourself to Adventure More in 2023

This new year, challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone! Adventure more. Seek thrills you never dreamed of. Spend more time connecting with nature while discovering its healing powers.

Whatever your goal, accomplish it with your next CABINSCAPE stay. Read on for our top adventures to cross off your list this season!

CALABOGIE

Did you know our Calabogie cabins live on a ski resort? Calabogie Peaks Resort is the tallest ski hill in Ontario and its amenities and trails are right at your doorstep. This location even includes some of the best hiking in Ontario! Take advantage of the resort’s pond skating rink and nightly bonfires with the purchase of a guest pass. Strap on your snowshoes and discover Eagle’s Nest lookout and the extensive trail network at Manitou Mountain. Spend your evenings reading or playing games from our little cabin library selection.

HALIBURTON

Haliburton Forest is known as Ontario’s wonderland of adventure! Hop on a sled and experience some of the best snowmobiling in North America with perfectly groomed trails and snow-laden pine trees. Howl with wolves at the Wolf Centre where you can get up close and personal with the pack of wolves that live in the forest. Ice fish the extensive lakes available to you. Listen to the stillness at some of our most remote cabin sites here.

LANARK COUNTY

Touted as the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, Lanark County has charming towns to explore and thrilling outdoor activities to experience! The popular town of Perth is a foodie paradise with its delightful and varied offerings. Local trails, parks and conservation areas are nearby or on-site to explore. Each cabin lives in its own unique environment, with trails varying from meandering creek walks to rugged bush walks with lookouts of the Ottawa Valley. Grab your snowshoes and explore them all at your leisure! 

KAWARTHAS

Our Kawarthas cabins are easily accessible all year round (no hike-in required) which makes it a great option for those looking for a less remote but adventure-packed getaway! Hike or snowshoe 4 km of lanes and trails that meander through this expansive re-naturalized property and experience a rich variety of ecosystems, vistas and quarry relics from the past. Bring your ice skates and explore the quarry (when conditions allow). Spend time hunkering down in front of a winter campfire. Cold weather calls for hot comfort food cooked on our stovetop, BBQ or fire. Breathe in the stillness.

Group bookings are available here.

Photo credits
Header: @shotbynomii, Calabogie: Calabogie Peaks, Haliburton: Haliburton Forest

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Candycane Chocolate Chip Pancakes Recipe

Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Pancakes Recipe

After presents, the best reason to wake up on Christmas morning is breakfast! Try this recipe for your holiday morning meal.

Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Pancakes Recipe

All you need (yields 3 medium pancakes):

  • Flourish chocolate chip plant-based protein mix (or any plant-based mix of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup of organic and Vegan Candy canes crushed (I used Yumearth) plus a little extra to use as toppings
  • Organic Maple Syrup for topping (for sugar-free version use Lakanto monk fruit sweetened)
  • 1/2 tbsp Coconut oil or vegan butter to coat pan

Directions:

1. Combine 1/3 cup mix with 1/4 cup non dairy milk. Add in crushed candy canes

2. Pour batter into 3 circles on a medium-hot, lightly oiled pan. Flip once bubbles form and pop(2-3minutes) and cook through (1-2 min)

3. Serve on a plate sprinkled with remaining crushed candy canes and drizzle with maple syrup.


Pictures and recipe by @livewellicious on Instagram (Photographer @mikegentilemedia, Makeup @michelerosebeauty, Hair @salonkink_bystefany)

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Vegan Eggnog Recipe

Vegan Eggnog Recipe

This traditional festive drink has a non-dairy spin! Try this recipe for a Vegan Eggnog during the holidays.

Vegan Eggnog Recipe

All you need:

🎄2 cups of oat milk
🎄2 tbsp condensed coconut milk
🎄1/4 cup coconut sugar or 2-4 tbsp of organic maple syrup
🎄1 tbsp arrowroot flour
🎄2 tsp of nutmeg
🎄1 tsp cinnamon 
🎄2 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings/Optional
🎄Cinnamon Sticks
🎄Coconut Cool Whip

Directions:

1. Prep out all ingredients.

2. Whisk: In a large pot on stove, whisk until well combined without heating just yet. Vigorously whisk until there are no clumps of starch.

3. Heat: Turn on the stove to medium-high heat, heat the Eggnog until right before it boils. You should see a few bubbles appear on top. Reduce heat to low, and whisk until it thickens, about 4-5 minutes.

4. Cool: Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully pour into an airtight glass and allow to cool down further until it’s not warm anymore before placing in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours.

5. Enjoy: Serve with vegan Cool Whip, and Cinnamon sticks, sprinkled with extra Cinnamon on top, with or without alcohol!

Alcohol Options: If you like to make this more like a traditional nog, you can add in your preferred alcohol! Many liquors are actually naturally vegan, too. You can use bourbon, dark rum, brandy, or cognac.

BONUS! Pair with your favourite sweet treat or a seasonal charcuterie!

Pictures and recipe by @livewellicious on Instagram (Photographer @mikegentilemedia, Makeup @michelerosebeauty, Hair @salonkink_bystefany)

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Peppermint Hot Cocoa Recipe

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Recipe

Take a bite of the harsh cold weather with a cup of piping hot delicious hot cocoa. Guaranteed to combat the Canadian winters and soothe the soul with each cup. Can be made on a campfire, stovetop or BBQ while enjoying your Cabinscape stay!

The best part of this recipe is that it is completely customizable. You can pick your toppings right down to the kind of milk you prefer. Tastes great with dairy and non-dairy options – coconut milk is my personal favourite. Include the little ones in creating this recipe for some festive family fun!

Peppermint Hot Cocoa

All you need:
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup hot water
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 cups of any kind of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
Your favourite toppings (including but not limited to whipped cream, shaved white or dark chocolate, crushed peppermints, candy cane for a stirrer, marshmallows)
Cabinscape mug – classic camper or ceramic (optional)

Directions:
1. Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir together until mixture boils and cocoa and sugar are dissolved.
2. After stirring continually for 1 minute, stir in the milk. Heat, but do not boil. Remove from the heat, add vanilla and peppermint extract and mix well.
3. Pour into your Cabinscape mug and top it off with your favourites! Serve immediately.

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Give Your Family the Gift of Adventure

Give Your Family the Gift of Adventure

Olivia Murray was voted Vancouver’s Top 30 Mom Bloggers and is a wife, mother, freelance creative director & digital strategist. To follow her journey, find her here.

 It’s an infamous theme, my suggestion to consider experiences over things. It’s right up there next to my “buy better, buy less” preference, discussed many times over the years.

We’ve been gifting the kids experiences for their birthdays for the past few years and try to implement the same mindset when it comes to other holidays, occasions and beyond.

We’ve done many staycations, little getaways and even some major travelling with our eldest but nothing has been quite like our latest experience and stay with family-founded company, Cabinscape.

Cabinscape is a Canadian-owned and operated company, offering eco-conscious cabin stays for those looking to experience intimate, off-grid stays. Locations range from low remoteness (ability to drive-in and near other cabins and/or amenities) to high remoteness (hike-in required, distant from other accommodations, towns and resources). Every one of their micro cabins is custom designed and built with everything you need while prioritizing a minimized footprint.

We opted for a cabin of medium remoteness for our first experience, especially given we would have two small children in tow.

We stayed at the Baylight Cabin, nestled in the forest of Haliburton Highlands. This location has a 300-meter hike-in come the cold season but offers a very quiet stay, tucked amidst the trees and directly on the water of a private lake.


Travelling at the back end of November meant snow was on the ground and the water was partially frozen over, so we didn’t get to make the most of the lake’s beauty or activities (cabin stay comes with a canoe for your use while there) but it still made for an incredibly serene backdrop. Lined with evergreen trees and entirely still, the kids were thrilled to find they could sit and hear the echo of their own voices.

The cabin is equipped with a gas stovetop, full-sized BBQ and fire pit for cooking or making s’mores of course. We did pre-plan simple meals that could be made with minimal effort but also go nicely with a camping-like experience. Due to the time of year, there is no running water at the cabins and so we kept that in mind when it came to cooking as well.

We packed things like soup (that we pre-made) and grilled cheese supplies, eggs with add-ins like mushrooms and tomatoes, as well the obligatory marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and veggie dogs/sausages for a traditional campfire dinner.


This location is truly amazing for anyone who’s a city dweller because the night sky is a serious contrast to that in metro areas – clear with nothing but an array of stars sprinkled across the scene. A beautiful backdrop to roasting marshmallows or having dinner and a drink by the fire.

In the morning, pull up the retractable window and take in the sunrise or crisp morning air over breakfast and a hot cup of your favourite. If you’re early enough and things are quiet, you might even be lucky enough to get a few of the forest’s visitors. It should be mentioned that this is a truly off-grid experience and you truly are a guest of an outdoor environment. Prepare for the possibility of seeing wild animals, big or tiny.

When not stargazing or on the lookout for animals, cabins offer a selection of games and reads for your enjoyment while there. The kids even found a colouring book, so we picked up some pencil crayons in the city (Haliburton) on one of our trips in for extra water and chocolate (a lot of s’mores were made).

*Note: Because water is not running at this time of the year, you’ll need to use bottled or stored water for all your needs: cooking, washing dishes, hygiene purposes, etc. Water is running again following winter.

Depending on your location, I highly suggest finding the nearest city/town to explore on your way to or from, or even during your stay. We loved getting to know a little bit of the area better by visiting various small businesses local to our cabin’s location. The company did a great job of including a list of nearby amenities, towns, and businesses in the welcome and instructional binder. Ours even included a pass for making the most of our time in Haliburton Highland’s, also deemed a “snow dome” and a favourite for those who like to hike, snowshoe, snowmobile and beyond.

We made sure to visit the infamous wolf family during our stay and it was an absolute highlight for the kids – us as well to be honest. I cannot recommend this enough during your stay or on any visit to the area. The wolves are so majestic, we could’ve spectated for hours. It was such a privilege to see them carry on in an environment natural to them and to witness them as a pack. I think we’ll be raving about this one forever.

Many of the experiences on this getaway were far from our norm, both as home or on any of our other stays/road trips and I can’t help but feel like it was so beneficial for the kids. To be out of their comfort zone and learn to navigate while embracing nature was such an experience that we cannot wait to visit another location in another (probably non-cold) season.

On our list for the next visit is one of Cabinscape’s new, Kawartha locations.

I hope you will follow @cabinscape and put it on your list of future considerations. I imagine these cabins as a great option for anything from birthdays to just needing a break, a girls’ trip to an anniversary getaway.

Stay tuned for some video content over on Instagram soon and consider this your reminder to return to slow and simple every so often.

x, Olivia

Our Haliburton Cabins

  • Cove Cabin
    Cove Cabin
    From: $199.00
  • Big Rock Cabin
    Big Rock Cabin
    From: $189.00
  • Willow Cabin
    Willow Cabin
    From: $189.00
  • Kaya Cabin
    Kaya Cabin
    From: $189.00
  • Sage Cabin
    Sage Cabin
    From: $149.00
  • Pine Cabin
    Pine Cabin
    From: $149.00
  • Moss Cabin
    Moss Cabin
    From: $149.00
  • Quasi Cabin
    Quasi Cabin
    From: $199.00
  • Penner Cabin
    Penner Cabin
    From: $191.00
  • Baylight Cabin
    Baylight Cabin
    From: $199.00
  • Bone Cabin
    Bone Cabin
    From: $199.00

Blog & Photo Credits: Olivia Murray
IG @theomedit
Website: www.theomedit.com

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Experience Christmas Movie Magic at These Top 3 Festive Ontario Towns

Experience Christmas Movie Magic at These Top 3 Festive Ontario Towns!

Have you ever wanted to feel like you’re in a Christmas movie? Look no further than these top 3 Ontario towns that will surely get you into the festive spirit. Each town is located near our CABINSCAPE cabins for the ultimate holiday experience!


PERTH

Perth is the picture-perfect holiday scene with heritage buildings, waterfront and over 100 local businesses with decorated storefronts. Take a walk along the Tay River, visiting the classic stone buildings and the iconic Perth Town Hall with dustings of snow. Have a winter picnic at picturesque Stewart Park and take photos crossing the burgundy bridge over the water. The Festival of the Lights takes place until January 2nd at Crystal Palace where you can walk around the exterior glass building at night to see the decorated Christmas trees illuminated from inside.


Perth is also a foodie lovers’ dream with over 23 restaurants of diverse offerings – many of which include festive eats and drinks for the season. For dessert, don’t forget Perth Chocolate Works for one of their famous sweet treats (decorated for the season) including artisan chocolates, barks and bars, and unique confectionery creations! Grab a hot beverage after a cool day roaming around this festive town by following the twinkle lights down the hidden alleyway to the Stella Luna Gelato Café where you’ll be greeted by a lifesize nutcracker guarding the wreath-adorned door.


ALMONTE

This charming small town near our Joni cabin is so magical that it has literally been the set of multiple popular TV Christmas movies! Be the star of your own holiday film by walking around downtown – reminiscent of a small European town with its inviting storefronts and cozy bookstores. There is no shortage of trimmings and twinkly lights here! Visit the Tin Bin Market for home decor – this charming store turns into a holiday shop every year with curated items to make any space feel like a Hallmark movie. For some sweet treats, Baker Bob’s is an Almonte staple. Take advantage of all their seasonal offerings!


Check out Light up the Night on December 2nd for a fun winter event. Enjoy an outdoor concert ending in a fireworks display! Stay for the Almonte Santa Claus parade on December 4th and a Christmas Farmers Market on December 10th.


HUNTSVILLE

Huntsville is a quaint town to visit throughout the year but at Christmas, it becomes a magical winter wonderland! The waterfront boasts a historic downtown with many shops, restaurants, cafes, art galleries and attractions. Start at Muskoka Heritage Place and hop on the Portage Flyer!  This memorable train adorned with thousands of lights will take you along the river where you’ll be greeted at Fairy Lake by Santa himself – and offered some carols, hot chocolate and cookies! 

While at Heritage Place, get tickets to Eclipse “Walk with Light” where participants walk a circular path of light and encounter unique heritage buildings and illuminated soundscapes linked to the seasons of the year, and the cycles of the day and moon. There will be music, spoken words and thousands of interactive lights that will respond to sounds created by the visitors themselves.

Next up is Christmas Tyme, a magical shop for unique gifts, housewares and home decor items and Holiday Spirit all year long. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from shopping, head to Henrietta’s Pine Bakery for some European-inspired sweet treats of the season. Some of our other local fave’s include The Artisan House, 3 Guys And A Stove, Tall Trees Muskoka and Kawartha Dairy (because it’s never too cold for ice cream!).

Finally, visit Santa’s Village theme park all year round for holiday-themed rides and attractions and to meet the big man himself! They have special events throughout the rest of the year leading up to the big day.

Photo credits
2nd image: perth.ca, Perth: @elcyphotos, Julia Weber, @slgelato
Almonte: @cheerfullymade, @aussieadventures.km, @tinbarnmarket, Baker Bob’s
Huntsville: To Do Canada, huntsville.org, @christmastymemuskoka, https://shopmuskoka.com/

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The Power of Gratitude: How Giving Thanks Can Make Us Happier

The Power of Gratitude: How Giving Thanks Can Make Us Happier

As we settle into the season of Thanksgiving, it’s a good time to remind ourselves that giving gratitude throughout the year has enormous benefits for our overall well-being.

Being grateful doesn’t take much energy or time out of your day which makes it an accessible tool for everyone. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a try. Research shows the health benefits of being grateful include:

  • Better relationships – Expressing gratitude makes you less aggressive and enhances your empathy. This leads to more pro-social behaviour and more sensitivity towards others which improves all the relationships in your life (familial, romantic, friendship, etc.).
  • Physical and mental health – Grateful people tend to take better care of their health and are less prone to common aches and pains. Research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. It also aids in recovery from substance misuse and coronary health events.
  • Improved sleep – According to research, spending just 15 minutes a night writing in a gratitude journal reduces blood pressure and enhances the duration and quality of sleep.
  • Increased self-esteem – Gratitude can help you feel better about your circumstances and less resentful of others which can lead to feeling better about yourself.

Now that the extraordinary benefits are clear, how can we get the best results from practicing gratitude? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Write it down – Don’t just say it in your head, the physical record is important so you can continue to reflect. It can be anything from something major that happened or even a small win (example: The colour of the sky during my morning nature walk!).
  2. Be specific – This is the key to gratitude! To be effective, it must be specific. Think of WHY you are grateful for a person, gesture or event that happened. Going into detail about one particular thing you are grateful for is more effective than mentioning a general list of many things.
  3. Make it a daily habit – Commit to a small amount of time spent on this practice every day, even when you are busy (that is when it is most important!). Habits are important to building a healthy routine and getting the most benefits of your time spent in gratitude.

Resources & Recommendations:
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
PositivePsychology.com
5 Minute Journal

Photo credits: @davidsonphotography.inc

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How Nature Can Be a Form of Self Care

Back to Nature: How Nature Can Be a Form of Self-Care

Rebeckah Price is a community builder, yoga practitioner and advocate for promoting inclusion in the wellness industry. She is based in Toronto. To follow her journey, find her here.

I live for moments that take my breath away. I live for moments where I want to soak it all in. Moments for me, make memories. I want to gather as many of these moments and store them in my memory bank. I especially save them for those days when I may not be feeling my best. I can pull from this bank and bring myself back into a space and time where my inhale was longer than my exhale. Being in nature provides me with so many opportunities to have these kinds of moments.

You see, I’m a big chaser of sunrises and sunsets in nature. There is something calming and easeful in being able to be in nature and take in the moments.  As a wellness advocate who promotes more diversity and inclusion in the wellness industry, it is important to me to be in and experience the spaces where I may not traditionally be seen. Outdoor spaces are one such space. When you think of nature, I’m pretty sure a Black woman thriving in the forest is not what comes to the top of your mind. And I’m here to ask why not? 

Research shows that people of colour are far less likely to engage in nature-based outdoor recreation activities, with historic discrimination being a large underlying factor.  In addition to that, research also shows that people of colour were rarely considered to be major stakeholders in outdoor recreation or park-related activities.

I think it is time that we change the narrative of seeing people of colour in outdoor spaces. From a wellness perspective, there are many benefits to being outdoors and being in nature that are of great benefit to our mental, emotional and physical health. There is even a whole modality in therapy that espouses nature as a pathway to supporting our overall wellness called ecotherapy.

Ecotherapy is based on the idea that people are connected to and impacted by the natural environment. It is important to have pathways for communities of colour, communities who have traditionally been marginalized to be able to spend time outdoors in nature so that they can be supported by the mental, physical and emotional health benefits of spending time outdoors. It is also important for communities of colour to see themselves being connected to and a part of the outdoors and nature. 

Recently I gathered up a few of my girlfriends and drove 3.5 hours outside of the city so that we all could unwind. This trip was a beautiful form of self-care for us all. There is something magical about watching the people you care about relax and be at ease. Moments like this are essential to our well-being. Spending time in nature provided them with the space to pause, to slow down and just be. I saw them take in subtle moments like noticing the bees on the flowers, admiring the amazing views of the lake, and getting up and having their coffee outside. I saw them hiking and laughing to just simply enjoy the evening breeze. Each of them capturing moments that poured into their well-being, moments to nourish them.

Every night we went to sleep soothed by the natural soundscape of nature and every morning we welcomed the daily reminder that birds brought along with them with the rising sun. We fell into the natural reset that nature provides to our bodies. For a group of Black women, this was especially important, to be grounded, nourished and softened by nature. For this group of Black women, it was healing, healing on an emotional, physical and mental level. It was a gentle reminder that we collectively need more moments like these.

We all know that nature is healing and in a world that keeps us so disconnected, I’m hoping to see a shift towards seeing more people of colour adding soft living in nature to our self-care rituals. There is something very nourishing about being surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. It is grounding and soothing. Soft living is an intentional decision to make choices and decisions that support your well-being and reduce your stress levels. It highlights the basic human right of a life that is deserving of ease and pleasantness. And I personally believe that more people of colour deserve a life of pleasantness and ease. Our collective well-being is dependent on it. I hope to see more representation and inclusion of people of colour in outdoor spaces and nature by brands, and businesses because they see the value in supporting our collective wellbeing.

Why? Because we all need moments that take our breath away… the moments where we get to soak it all in. 

Our Calabogie Cabins

  • Wren Cabin
    Wren Cabin
    From: $179.00
  • Starling Cabin
    Starling Cabin
    From: $179.00
  • Finch Cabin
    Finch Cabin
    From: $179.00

Blog & Photo Credits:
IG @rebeckahprice

Resources:
https://cnr.ncsu.edu/news/2020/12/nature-gap-why-outdoor-spaces-lack-diversity-and-inclusion/
https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/econature-therapy

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Back to Basics: How to Get Back into a Routine

Back to Basics: How To Get Back into a Routine

As the leaves slowly begin to turn, the tinge of autumn wafting in is a gentle reminder for all of us to get back to basics. Oftentimes that means getting back into a healthy routine as the hustle and bustle of summer with its long days and endless adventures begins winding down.

Following a routine has been shown to greatly improve physical and mental health. Here are our top tips on getting back into a routine this season!

Decide what to include in your routine

The most difficult part of starting anything new can often be the beginning. What do I want my optimal routine to look like? Start by thinking of what you already do consistently every day (can be a task as small as brushing your teeth). Then add and prioritize what is most important to you, whether that means adding some alone time, time for exercise, or time to make a healthy home-cooked meal throughout the day. 

If this feels overwhelming, try the practice of habit stacking. Add your new healthy routine tasks or habits to existing tasks or routines you follow every day. Combine your morning coffee with a walk or catch up on the day’s news while brushing your teeth. Setting small attainable goals for yourself will also help keep you on track and motivated!

Write it down

Though it might sound a little too simple, taking time to write out your routine will greatly help you stick to it. Be as detailed as possible to account for your time. Try using a calendar and write your tasks like you would appointments. The act of physically writing tasks down can also be meditative and release anxiety about all the tasks that need to be accomplished. 

Stick with It

We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Although there’s some disagreement on this number, the best way to form healthy habits and follow a routine is to keep at it! Be consistent and try to stick to the same time every day for your tasks. Make sure you are checking in with yourself regularly and tweaking things as needed for greater success. For example, if you find yourself unable to get out of bed every Saturday morning to clean, change your schedule and adjust to what would work better for you.

Make it FUN!

Routine doesn’t have to be BORING! Though daily tasks can seem repetitive, there are ways to shake it up. Find a new workout buddy or an awesome playlist/podcasts to listen to. Add new things you’ve always wanted to try to your day like learning a new skill like the guitar or taking cooking classes.

Always add breaks in your day and take the time to truly reward yourself for sticking to your routine. Add nature breaks as a treat in your day by taking a walk outside, having your morning coffee on y our porch, or break up your busy work month by taking your next CABINSCAPE adventure!


Resources and Recommendations
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear 
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Photo credits: @thematthewlai

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What Do Our Washrooms Look Like?!

What Do Our Washrooms Look Like?!


The most common question we are asked about our off-grid tiny cabins is “what do the bathrooms look like?!” This can be a huge factor in determining whether someone is willing to partake in this particular type of adventure.

As someone who was also nervous about this, I can attest that our bathrooms are comfortable, functional and clean! Definitely better than any camping bathroom experience (and it sure beats going in the woods!).


You may be surprised to know that ALL of our cabins come with an indoor toilet located in a private room INSIDE each cabin. No need to trek outside in inclement weather or bring a flashlight to light your way. These modern waterless composting toilets are operational year-round and require no flush.

But what about smells? Our toilets are equipped with a little built-in toilet fan that is constantly sucking air out of the cabin to keep any smells at bay. Not to worry, toilets are emptied and thoroughly cleaned before your arrival.

What about showers?

Many of our wilderness cabins come equipped with an indoor toilet AND indoor and outdoor shower (showers are typically functional from May 24 weekend to early October – while running water is on for the season). 

If you’ve never experienced showering in a cedar-built shower before, you’re in for a treat! Enjoy a refreshing shower infused with a delicious woodsy cedar scent while using our complimentary eco-friendly Cedar + Sage hair & body products from Oneka. 

Curious about the bathroom set-up in a particular cabin? You can find all this information in our ‘THIS CABIN INCLUDES’ section on each cabin page on our website (when you scroll beneath the gallery of images).

What’s the bathroom set-up in your tents?

Our tents use the same compostable toilet as our cabins but in a shared outdoor comfort area. Tent guests also have access to outdoor showers with HOT water. Our showers also include Cedar + Sage biodegradable shampoo, body wash and conditioner. Scope out the pics below!

All in all, your off-grid wilderness adventure provides a comfortable bathroom experience that doesn’t stink!

Photo credits: IG @vanhallawild

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Pet-friendly Tiny Cabin Adventures

Pet-friendly Tiny Cabin Adventures!

With pet-friendly accommodations spread out across four regions in Ontario, one of our most common inquiries is about activities that include furry friends. Everything is more fun with a pup! Here are our top recommendations for pet adventures during your tiny cabin stay.

HALIBURTON

With over 400km of all-season hiking and cycling trails, our Cabinscape cabins in Haliburton Forest are perfect for an adventure with your pup. Your dog will love to explore the trails, lakes, roads and public swimming areas on site with you. Depending on their age and fitness level, choose easy, flat walks to more advanced routes.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, visit the Boshkung Smokehouse Restaurant at Haliburton Forest Base Camp. Dogs are welcome in the outside dining area. 

If adventuring off-site, visit Boshkung Brewing Co and Haliburton Brewery too! Dogs are welcome at the breweries and outdoor areas. Afterall, dogs and beer make a good pair! 

Every Saturday, guests can visit the farmers market in Minden where dogs are welcome. There is always a vendor that has delicious dried meats, but also farm fresh bones, pig ears, and other natural treats for pups! 

Book a pet-friendly cabin in Haliburton: Penner, Big Rock, Cove, Moss, Baylight, Quasi, Pine, Jade, Ivy and Sage cabins.

CALABOGIE

Our cabins in Calabogie are located on the trailhead for a fascinating network of trails that cross over thousands of acres of Crown Land with some of the best hiking in Ontario. Pop a leash on your furry friend to explore pristine pine forests, paddle picturesque waters and find hidden lookouts. 

Cabinscape guests are permitted to use Calabogie Peaks Resorts amenities including public beach and outdoor spaces where pets are welcome!

Pop by Calabogie Brewing for a pint and a snack with your pup pal after a big day of adventure! 

Book Wren and Finch cabins in Calabogie for a pet-friendly escape.
*NEW: Up to two pups permitted at Wren cabin!


LANARK COUNTY

Lanark County rests at the heart of the Ottawa Valley with charming towns to explore and thrilling outdoor activities which make it an ideal escape with your pup. ALL of our six cabins in Lanark County are pet-friendly! Our cabins are placed in beautiful, rugged and private properties with meandering creeks, bustling rivers and beautiful lakes – a dream for any household pet. 

Experience the Rideau Valley Conservation land at our Mica and Rhya cabins, the Fall River at our Juniper cabin and the Tay-Havelock rail trail on-site at our Ember cabin. This is a perfect trail for dogs that love to fetch as there is lots of space to run and only light foot traffic.

For pup-friendly eats and treats, visit the Cardinal Cafe in Sharbot Lake for some homemade puppy treats and yummy snacks for humans too! Coutts Coffee Roastery & Cafe in Perth allows pups on their patios to go with their artisanal coffee and baked goods. CC’s on the Rideau is a beautiful spot right on the water for lunch and dinner where pets are permitted. 

Visit Ember, Juniper, Mica, Rhya, Joni and Mason cabins in Lanark County.

KAWARTHAS

Our Kawarthas location is the newest that has opened to pups! Meander through the 10km of on-site trails through the meadows with your pup. Take a day trip to Fenelon Falls where pups are permitted on the patio at Murphy’s Lockside Pub & Patio. Nearby Balsam Lake Provincial Park has a dog beach and some really beautiful trails to explore together. 

Due to the safety risks at our Kawarthas site including deep water and steep cliffs, we suggest keeping your dog leashed on-site. 

Book Stonecrop Cabin, Bluebell Cabin, Buttercup Cabin & Senna Tent and Cicily Tent in Kawarthas for a pet-friendly getaway.


Photo Credits:
Main Header: @heyhollychase
Header #2:  @mumfordthetoller
Haliburton Image: @wynniethedingo
Calabogie Image: @thematthewlai
Lanark Image: @archerthefrenchie
Gallery Images: @caredunton, @theemightyquinn, @pennynpanda, @chrisandnicole__

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Call Me Mother Nature: Pride 2022

Call Me Mother Nature: Pride 2022


The connection between the LGBTQ2S community and nature is rooted in history.

It’s Pride month in Ontario, and for the first time in two years, we’re able to celebrate with one another in person, in ways that for some may seem like a distant memory from “the before times” (2019 calling), with parades, parties and close proximity body contact. 

Pride as an event is a real moment for us to connect with one another, to take up space and celebrate the strength, diversity and power of the queer community. It’s so important to so many of us that we are able to come together and unite, but with all the festivities and socializing it can be easy to get caught up and find yourself a little run down and burnt out. Just as important is taking time to connect with yourself and those closest to you, and what better place to do just that than wrapped in the restorative arms of mother nature herself.

Queer connection to nature is in our gay DNA. The original rainbow pride flag, first raised in San Fransico in 1978, was designed by artist and activist Gilbert Baker as “a natural flag” that “comes from the sky.” The flag’s orange stripe represents healing, the yellow sunlight, and the green… nature. It makes sense, then, that some of North America’s most historic and iconic queer spaces are themselves situated in or around nature. Provincetown, Fire Island and, here in Ontario, Hanlan’s Point, all have a history of offering sanctuary for LGBTQ2S people to gather and feel safe, nestled in the natural world. 

In Canada, we’re privileged to live amongst some of the world’s most breathtaking natural landscapes, many of which are only a short drive from our most densely populated urban centres. These natural spaces have plenty to offer, from recreation to beauty, adventure to education; but perhaps the most significant offering the natural world can provide is the opportunity for us to balance out our frequently (or for some consistently) hectic queer lives with some much needed “me time.” 

For some, connecting with themselves and with nature can be just as fulfilling and empowering as connecting on the dancefloor. A restorative immersion into the natural world – even for just a couple of days – can help us recover from stress or excessive Pride partying, can allow us to unplug and take a break from socials and screen time, and can provide a calming space for us to reconnect with ourselves and our identity as queer individuals.

Those less inclined to get outside in more remote landscapes may be missing out on the healing power of nature, which can help us to find balance, inspiration and even community. For anyone new to or inexperienced with camping or outdoor adventure, rentals like those offered by Cabinscape can offer an easy-going entry point with many of the comforts of home – and some extra special comforts as well (heated outdoor showers anyone?*). Go alone or with a partner for full relaxation mode, or if you’re into groups, go big and celebrate with several of your nearest and dearest. 

Whatever your colour of the rainbow, this Pride month and the summer to follow, take time to get out and get green… and orange, and yellow

*heated outdoor showers available at select cabins during summer months only.

Written by Bill Alexander
Location: Bone cabin, Haliburton
Images: Bill Alexander & Brian Wilson
Flag Image: Weho Times (Photo by James McNamara, courtesy of Paul Langlotz)

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Grilled Veggie Skewers Recipe

Grilled Veggie Skewers Recipe

Nothing is better than a tasty, healthy fireside meal! Try these Grilled Veggie Skewers on the campfire at your next Cabinscape adventure. Great compliment as a side dish or a whole vegetarian/vegan meal. Customize your skewers by trying your favourite veggies. You can also use the BBQ or stovetop if a campfire is not readily available. Cut the veggies before you go if you won’t have a cutting board handy.

Grilled Veggie Skewers

All you need (2 servings):

2 Bell peppers: red, yellow, orange [Qty 2 of each bell peppers]
2 Zucchini
2 Large red onion
Mushrooms [227 g of small mushrooms]
1 garlic – minced
Cilantro – minced
Ground black pepper
Salt
1/3 Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Directions:

1. Soak at least 12 skewers in water for approximately 15 minutes. 

  • This will allow the moisture from the skewers to evaporate before the wood starts to burn
  • Please note that the total number of skewers will depend on the size of your vegetables


2. Chop all the vegetables so are approximately equal in size and shape.

  • Peel the red onion, slice it in half and chop each half into thirds
  • Chop each bell peppers into 1-inch by 1-inch
  • Slice the zucchini into rounds
  • Slice the mushrooms into 1-inch by 1-inch


3. Prepare the garlic herb sauce in a bowl.

  • Add 1/3 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Add ¼ of balsamic vinegar
  • Add the minced garlic
  • Add the minced cilantro
  • Add a pinch of salt 
  • Add the ground black pepper

4. Whisk together for about 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Depending on your preference, you can brush your veggie skewers with the garlic herb sauce before placing them on the grill OR brush the veggie skewers with the garlic herb sauce when they are on the grill.

5. Once your veggie skewers are prepared. Start your campfire.
Make sure the firewood is placed flat in the fire pit
so you can place the grill easily.

6. Add the veggie skewers on the grill for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Since this is a campfire, the veggie skewers will soften and brown quicker. 

7. Remove the veggie skewers and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

Pictures and recipe by @foodtraveleisure on Instagram

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Shakshuka Recipe

Shakshuka Recipe

With main ingredients including eggs and tomato, this meal can be served at any time of the day. Easy to make on a campfire or stovetop. You can measure out the spices so you have the exact amount ready on the go. Enjoy Shakshuka at your next Cabinscape getaway!

Shakshuka Recipe

All you need:

1 medium-sized onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Olive oil
1 large red bell pepper (chopped)
1 can of crushed tomatoes (About 800 g)
1 can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Chilli flakes (Spice is optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt
Ground black pepper
6 eggs
Cilantro (chopped for garnish)
Feta cheese (crumbled)
Pita bread (Optional)

Directions:

1. Add olive oil to a pan. Wait about 2-3 minutes until heated and
add diced onions. Wait roughly 5 minutes until soft.

2. Add minced garlic and wait 2-3 minutes until brown,
then add chopped red bell pepper. Wait roughly
5 minutes until pepper softens.

3. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 can
of crushed tomato to your mixture.

4. Stir continuously for about 10-15 minutes. Take a spoon and
create empty pockets of space. Place cracked open eggs
in the pockets.

5. Wait 10-15 minutes, add cilantro for garnish and crumbled feta cheese.

6. Serve with pita bread and ENJOY!

BONUS! Summer Spritz Recipe

All you need:

3 oz Aperol
3 oz Prosecco
1 oz club soda
Orange (sliced)
Ice

Directions:

1. Add ice to a wine glass. Pour approximately 3 oz of Aperol.
Fill about one-third of the wine glass. Then add 3 oz of Prosecco.

2. Add 1 oz of club soda or Sprite (this step is optional to make the drink less bitter – don’t skip if you like a sweeter taste)

3. Add a slice of orange. Enjoy!

Pictures and recipe by @foodtraveleisure on Instagram

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French Toast Recipe

French Toast Recipe

During your Cabinscape getaway, you’ll wake up in the wilderness with the sounds of nature. Compliment the peaceful morning wakeups with a delicious breakfast like this French Toast recipe! Can be made on the campfire or on our cabin stovetops. Pair it with coffee or your favourite morning beverage.

French Toast Recipe

All you need:

2 large eggs
2/3 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
¼ Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Butter
6 slices of white bread
Vegetable oil
Maple Syrup
Blueberries (or your choice of preferred berries/fruit)

Directions:

1. Add the following ingredients to a bowl:

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Artificial Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • Pinch of Salt

2. Continuously mix the ingredients.

3. Heat up a frying pan (on medium heat) and
add oil and butter. Wait a few minutes for the butter
to melt.

4. Take one slice of bread at a time and soak it into your mix.

5. Add the soaked slice to the pan and flip accordingly until each side is brown.

6. Serve onto a plate and add Maple syrup, butter, and blueberries. Enjoy!

Pictures and recipe by @foodtraveleisure on Instagram

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Staycation Tax Credit

How to Use Your Staycation Tax Credit

Did you know the Ontario Government is giving your family up to $2,000 in a Staycation Tax Credit to travel locally?

Now is the perfect time to plan the tiny cabin adventure of your dreams!

Our HST number is 717259097RT0001.

The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit aims to encourage Ontarians to discover their province and help local businesses recover from the global pandemic. A stay at Cabinscape between January 1st and December 31st, 2022 is eligible for the tax credit (if you live in Ontario).

The program will provide a 20% tax refund for accommodation expenses of up to $2,000 for spouses, common-law partners, or eligible children or $1,000 for individuals. That equates to a $400 / $200 tax credit applied to your 2022 income tax return.

How can you claim your tax credit? Your tax credit is claimed on your 2022 Personal Income Tax submission. You must keep your Cabinscape order confirmation (receipt) from your booking to submit with your taxes.

Take advantage of your tax credit at one of our 30+ cabins in Ontario scattered across the Kawarthas, Muskoka, Haliburton, Lanark County and Calabogie regions – many cabins are lakefront and pet/family-friendly. Our ecologically-sound accommodations focus on wilderness adventures and provide guests an opportunity to disconnect in nature.

We look forward to hosting you and your family for a year-round staycation experience! 

Our HST Number is 717259097RT0001.

Photo Credits:
Main Header – IG @vareels
Cabin Image – IG: @denimshoots
Third Image –  IG: @explorewithkress

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Things to bring

Your Cabinscape Essential Packing List 

How to prepare for a tiny cabin adventure?

Sometimes the most difficult part of taking a trip is knowing what to pack. At Cabinscape, we make the process of packing for your adventure as simple as possible.

Read on for our essential packing list for your tiny cabin travels!


THINGS TO BRING:


Your favourite food & drink

Our tiny cabins in the woods come equipped with everything you’ll need to prepare your own home-cooked meals. All kitchens include a gas stovetop, mini-fridge, stovetop toaster, kettle and french press. There’s also a propane BBQ and fire pit outside available for year-round use.

No need to bring any cookware. We provide all the essentials – cutlery, cups, plates, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and some handy extras like a corkscrew and can opener.

We also provide food basics like tea, coffee, sugar, flour, salt, pepper and olive oil. All you need to bring is your favourite food and drink!

If you’re feeling fancy, consider adding-on one of our locally-crafted food kits to your stay.

Bedding

Did you know an average washing cycle of 10 kg consumes at least 50 litres of water and about 1.2 kWh of electricity? As a low-impact, off-grid and ecologically-sound cabin, we ask guests to bring their own towels, sheets, pillows, pillowcases and blankets.

Flashlight or headlamp

Our cabins are located in off-the-beaten-path locations with little to no artificial light. While cabins are outfitted with indoor and outdoor solar-powered lights, bringing an extra flashlight or headlamp can really come in handy – especially when building a fire or navigating our property at night.

Firewood

A cabin getaway isn’t complete without a campfire. Firewood can be purchased at most local gas stations and grocery stores en route. We provide an axe at all our cabins; guests are welcome to collect and chop any deadwood lying around.

Lighters

Lighters are a camping staple and useful for starting campfires, gas stovetops, and providing light when needed! We keep lighters on hand in our cabins but sometimes these little guys go missing. To be safe, bring your own fire starter.

Bug repellent

Depending on the season, you’re bound to encounter bugs of all sorts in the wilderness. Guests should come prepared with bug spray and proper protective attire.

Practical clothing

Good hiking boots and warm clothing are essential for a Canadian winter but consider warm clothing for summer trips, too. Be sure to bring some warmer items like comfy sweaters, socks, hats and slippers – you’ll be thankful you did.

In need of essential cozy cabin attire? Consider sporting one of our Cabinscape hoodies and toques for your stay!


Photo Credits:
First & Last – IG @vanhallawild  
Fire photo -IG @deanheliotis