Friday, 28 June 2013

A Friday Ritual

One photo without explanation. A moment captured- a time to be still, to breathe and remember.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Popcorn as dessert! Hands down YES!

Have you heard of the dessert Muddy Buddies? It's a chocolate, peanut butter, crunch deliciousness that is gluten and dairy free. And you don't have to bake it! Muddy Buddies are the perfect dessert for these hot summer days!

Traditional Muddy Buddies are made with Chex mix cereal, but we switched it up and made it with our favourite natural popcorn. It's crunchy, sweet and so easy! Give it a shot and you will find yourself eating the whole batch!  : )

If popcorn isn't up your alley, you can check out the old fashioned way of making Muddy Buddies  here

Muddy Buddies the Popcorn Style

1 bag of President's Choice Blue Menu Organic Popcorn
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 cups of icing sugar

Step 1: Pop the popcorn and put aside in a large bowl.
Step 2: In a microwavable bowl, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter. Melt in microwave for a minute, remove and stir. If still clumpy put in again for 20 seconds. Keep doing this until mixture is creamy and smooth
Step 3: Add vanilla and stir.
Step 4: Pour the chocolate mixture over the popcorn and stir gently to coat.
Step 5: Pour 1/3 of the popcorn into an extra large ziplock bag and add 1 cup of the icing sugar. Shake gently to cover all the popcorn. Pour onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
Step 6: Repeat with the rest of the popcorn


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Debunking the Modesty and Wholesome words that used to make us...


Growing up whenever we heard the words modesty and wholesomeness, we would think of this:

A girl covered up from head to toe, looking like she came from another time period. A girl wearing frumpy dumpy outfits, who had no life and no friends and never went on any dates. Boring, poor, sad girl. Someone we never wanted to be or look like ever. A girl dressed like our lovely Leah above, clothed from head to toe. (Leah was confident enough to model this major fashion no-no) 

We have learned that this description and interpretation is a LIE : )

Now that it's summer and the weather is hot, it's bikini time which means:  "She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny..." bikinis are everywhere and it can be so hard for a classy lady to find those swimsuits that are tasteful and modest.
Yes modest. Our mama used to ask us: "is that swimsuit modest?" I (renee) used to balk, and did wear bikinis for awhile because I was not convicted in my heart. It wasn't until I was in my mid-twenties that I understood and realized the importance of how what we (as ladies) wear, reflects our own values and opinions of ourselves. If I wanted to dress like a classy and sophisticated lady, then bikinis would just have to go. The lovelies Leah and Charlotte were always stylish teens, and never pushed the whole modesty debate.

Modesty is by the Merriam Webster definition: propriety in dress, speech and conduct.  For us it basically means ladies that classy girls who value the beautiful vessel that they are, should respect and nurture it by dressing appropriately.

We applaud Jessica Rey and her lovely swimwear!!  She recently spoke about the evolution of the swimsuit. At the turn of the century did you know that women used to bathe in horse pulled bath machines, so that they could be completely private and not exposed? We didn't and were shocked by how far we have come. Jessica explains how the creator of the bikini couldn't convince a French model to wear them, and had to pay a French stripper. Her speech is interesting and inspiring.  Jessica Rey's video can be watched again here!

What swimsuits do we like?
It's hard shopping for swimsuits that aren't granny suits, or teeny bikinis. We do find however that sometimes you can score great finds like our one pieces and tankinis.  We found ours at Costco and Winners.. but you can also check out these great websites:
Shabby Apple

Who do we look to for inspiration?

Classy iconic women of style like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.
Both of those stars wore tasteful and modest outfits, and both are still famous today for their influence in fashion. We have learned that the way we dress is an expression of ourselves and how we want to be interpreted. It is an art form, and for us lots of fun : )

“Immodest and attractive is easy. Modest and repulsive is easy too. But modest and attractive is an art form.” Douglas Wilson 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Coconut Ice cream!

Summer is officially here in Ottawa and it's sweltering hot. To beat the heat in our old dairy eating days, we would splurge on soft ice cream, Dairy Queen blizzards, fudgesicles, drumsticks etc. Oh how we loved ice cream! Too bad it didn't love us. After awhile we discovered gelato and our new favourite: Coconut Ice Cream!! It is the best alternative and is so good for you too. Now a days we dig out our ice cream maker  and make all sorts of variations of coconut ice cream. : ) Charlotte is our very own Ice Cream Queen and has concocted the best recipe! Who needs D.Q. when you can make the real deal, preservative and chemical free?

Charlotte's Chocolate Cookie's N' Cream

2 cans of coconut milk (full fat)
1/3 cup of real maple syrup
2/3 cup of cocoa
1 tsp of vanilla
 a dash of salt
1 package of Kinnikinnick Chocolate Vanilla Cookies

In a food processor, blend coconut milk, maple syrup, cocoa, vanilla and salt until smooth.
In a ziplock bag, crunch the package of cookie until they are in large chunks.
Take out your ice cream maker and pour your mixture in. Follow the instructions according to you ice cream machine. We blend ours for 40 minutes.
Stir in the chunks of smashed cookies.
After 40 min, put ice cream in freezer as it will be soft.


and if you happen to be in Aylmer Que..check out our new favourite place to eat gelato! It's called Casis and  we thanked God for their opening! Delicious, dairy free sorbets, and homemade creamy gelato. Definitely worth making the drive over to the Belle Provence : )
What keeps you cool during these hot days? Share with us!

Monday, 24 June 2013

How to Rock the Hair Chalk

Ladies have been colouring their hair for decades, from peroxides to hennas, women have been experimenting with colour. You might have noticed a new trend of ladies colouring just a strand of hair bright colours like hot pink, purple and blue. We have been waiting to try it, but not eager enough to try it permanently. We were over the moon excited when we stumbled upon Splat Hair Chalk! It was the perfect answer to our hair prayers. Hair chalk is an easy way to get a pop of fun colour without permanently dying your lovely manes. It is very easy to put on, and looks fabulous in both blondes and brunettes!


Splat Hair Chalk can be found in Shoppers Drugmart for ten dollars. 
We have also heard of a few ladies using art chalk pastels  to colour their hair. While it looks like a great idea, the chalk pastels get everywhere and do dry out your hair.


How do you use the Splat Hair Chalk?

It's so easy!! 
Just rub on gently to the strand of hair and then spray with hairspray. Voila! Just don't go out in the rain, as it washes out with water : )

We love the look of braids with the pop of colour! So much fun! 

Friday, 21 June 2013

A Friday Ritual

One photo without explanation. A moment captured- a time to be still, to breathe and remember.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The garlic is growing! Vegan Scape Pesto Time.

In our family we grew up eating, tasting and smelling like garlic. Good thing we all love it! Growing up we  would go out and ask what that was that food smell? Opps it was us! haha the aroma of garlic is something I think each of us will always associate with home. Especially now that we are growing it.  We are very lucky (and grateful!) for the generosity of friends who let us grow tons of garlic on their beautiful acreage.

Our visits to the farm are a combination of a peaceful retreat to the farming lifestyle, and a reminder to us city girls of the importance of growing our food. We try to go to the farm two to three times a week at the beginning of the Spring, and then as often as we can fit in our schedule. On the most recent trip we were so excited to see that our scapes were ready to harvest : )..which means a very delicious Vegan Scape Pesto! 


Garlic is a rare plant in that it produces two harvests! The first one being scapes. They are the curly flower stems that farmers cut to help the garlic bulb grow. If you don't grow garlic, you can find scapes at most farmer's markets right now. They are only available around the middle of June to beginning of July depending on the garlic growing season. 

What to do with those garlicky scapes?
Turn them into: Super Easy Vegan Scape Pesto! 
adapted from Oh She Glows


2 1/2 cups of scapes cut into 1 inch pieces
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup of toasted sesame seeds (to toast: saute on high in an un greased pan until seeds are golden) 
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Step 1) blend toasted seasame seeds, slivered almonds and nutritional yeast in food processor and set aside.
Step 2) blend scapes and fresh lemon juice.
Step 3) add the toasted sesame seed/almond mixture to scapes alternating with the olive oil. Add ground pepper and salt.  Blend until desried smoothness! 
Makes close to 2 cups. Pesto is fabulous in the fridge for a week. If you still have some left store in the freezer.


Enjoy on pasta, toast, sandwiches, crackers, bread sticks, or on a spoon! 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

to Fishtail or not to Fishtail...that is the question : )

It's the middle of the week and our midweek-hairstyle- fallback is a stylish braid! Hair that is a few days dirty is the best for braids..especially our favourite fishtail braid. If you are involved in the the No Poo Movement this is a great hairstyle to hide those slightly shiny locks.


We love different ways of switching up the fishtails, as they are an easy way of dressing up a french braid. Don't worry if you aren't a pro at braiding, messy braids are in. We actually prefer our braids messier as they look more natural.

Leah is our pro fishtail braider as she can twist that hair into a fishtail in no time. After a few tries you will also see that it really isn't that very hard. We believe in you : )


The Fancier Ponytail 

Step 1: Pull your hair back into a ponytail and secure with an elastic. 

Step 2: Twist a strand of hair around the elastic to hide it. Tuck the end of the strand underneath the hair and secure with a bobby pin. 

Step 3: Now Fishtail it Up! Braid away  : )


Leah likes to pull out some of the braid to make it look more natural and flowy. 
Have fun!


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

TNAF- our lovely weekend at the New Art Festival

"When I say artist I mean the one who is building things...some with a brush-some with a shovel-some choose a pen." Jackson Pollock

We thought since we have spoken so much about the New Art Festival (or TNAF for short) we would share our experience and hopefully introduce you to a few new artists. 

Our weekend weather adventure..
Saturday was the perfect day for an art festival. It was blue skies, sunshine and not an ounce of humidity. TNAF organizes its artists around a picturesque park, with huge maple trees, a fenced in pond, also complete with people fishing and mallard ducks sunning themselves by the tents. The artists set up their displays around and across this beautiful park, and it is the perfect natural setting to display art. Except for Sunday when we woke up to grey skies. It rained, and then rained some more, and then was freezing cold. By noon our mom was becoming a frozen weather forecaster, predicting the millimeters of rainfall and when the degrees of temperature would rise. An hour later we were huddled together using Charlotte's woolly play mats to keep us warm. It was an adventure and Praise God the rain did temper off by the afternoon, exactly at the hour our mom predicted. : ) 

Thankfully on Saturday we managed to snap some pictures and chat with a few artists of whom we would like you to meet...

The Artists 
First is Creations Corteza. The artists Paciano Benitez and Elsa Perez, have created beautiful earrings and pendants out of nature. They use flower petals, leaves, seeds, of all colours, shapes and sizes. This creative duo encapsulate nature in delicate jewelry that is waterproof and lasting. Leah picked a delicate pair of pink petals and they look lovely. :)

Since our dad is a chef and it was Father's Day weekend we were looking for items he might like. Upon our search, we came across Imagine Wood. Simple, beautiful and classic wooden kitchen utensils and cutting boards. Each piece is created out of Rock Maple and is stunning. They have salad spoons, tongs, and even wooden knives. We wished we were a bit richer in our pockets as our dream gift for our dad was a butcher block with steel rods inside. A once in a life time kind of find, one that we might just have to save up for next year. 

Throughout the day on Saturday, our ears kept hearing this enchanting birdsong. While walking through the park we found Harper Pottery and discovered the secret to the becoming the Cat Whisper. It is his fabulous and creative design of ceramic bird whistles. Each one is different in it's ability to create a birdsong. We chatted with Jonathan Harper for a bit and were impressed by the care he gave each whistle. He patiently tests each ceramic whistle before you purchase it, making sure it is just right. Each one is different, some with a loud gurgle, other clear as bells. The first night Charlotte filled her whistle with water and began speaking birdsong, our cat Bee was enthralled and stared at Charlotte like she was from another planet. We loved the ceramic whistle so much we had to go back the next day and buy another one for our brother John. 

As we were shopping for dad, we knew he would love the creative work of this artist at Dog Bite Steel. Jean Pierre Schoss creates art out of recycled steel, used from propane and oil tanks. His designs are so playful! From porcupines, to princess crowns and for our dad, his collection of birds. We found three steel sandpiper birds, and one lonely woodpecker, all perfect for our parent's gardens. Our dream buy of Dog Bite Steel is his collection of acorns. They are stunning!

And of course, our lovely sister Truly Charlotte! She had a successful day Saturday and was thrilled to see so many people come out to her tent. It was pretty neat walking around the festival, seeing children with Truly Charlotte's wares snuggled in their arms.

So there you go, a few new artist friends to check out and meet! Take a minute and have a peek : ) 

Monday, 17 June 2013

we are grateful...

Monday is here..the day after the weekend..a day of fresh starts and for us, a day of reflection. 


We are grateful for...

...A wonderful sunshine filled Saturday at the New Art Festival! The day couldn’t be more perfect :) Blue skies and no humidity! and yes even though it rained all day Sunday, it made us that much more grateful for the beautiful weather the day before. 

We are grateful for...

... Watching a little girl walk away squeezing one of Charly’s Friends with pure joy. (her mom bought her one of the ladies :)

We are grateful for... of a kind ceramic bird whistles that make you the Cat Whispher of the neighbourhood! It was hilarious watching Charlotte tweet away like  robin and have all the neighbour's cats prance in to our backyard and stare at her in awe. 

We are grateful for...

...Chatting with new and old friends. It was so great to see everyone who came out and support Charlotte! (especially neat to see our lovely Art-Teacher-Friend whom we haven’t seen in years,.major blessing!)

We are grateful for...

...Meeting a cutie pie Artist’s Child who visited us throughout the weekend and asked for the stories of all Charly’s Friends : ) Who they were..what were their names, were they boy whales, or girl whales? She kept us smiling and reminded us of the access children have to their huge imagination...time for us to dream of stories of whales named Francis..:)

We are grateful for...

...Leah's delicious Strawberry Shortcake that is wheat and dairy free! It melted in our mouths and made us lick our plates clean : ) 

We are grateful for... much Art in such a scenic park! It is inspiring to see all the talent, commitment and perseverance of the fellow artists. Perhaps after all these years I (Renee) will finally learn to sew.. ; ) 

We are grateful for...

...a big family dinner in our brother and sister-in-law's new and lovely home! It was such a treat to come home from a wet Sunday in the park and know that we didn't have to clean the house, etc. 

We are grateful for...

...Last but not least, our beloved Father. He drove us back and forth to the festivals, sacrificed his Father’s Day and put up with bats of fleece, wool and felted pieces throughout the entire house for the past weeks..we love you and our cup overfills with gratitude for you dad. : ) 

What are you grateful for this Monday morning? 

Friday, 14 June 2013

A Friday Ritual

One photo without explanation. A moment captured- a time to be still, to breathe and remember.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Artist Interview! Featuring Truly Charlotte!!

Charlotte's big art show of the year is coming up this weekend and so we thought we would first:

Invite you to please come and see us if you are in Ottawa!!

Second: Feature a lovely interview about who and what is Truly Charlotte!

So dear sister, lol what is Truly Charlotte?

Charlotte: Truly Charlotte is my brand name for my art business. This is my third year at the New Art Festival, and am so grateful! Truly Charlotte is: True to the environment-as it is eco-friendly, True to Originality- as each one of my creations is one of a kind, and True to myself lol- as each art piece is an extension of my creative self.

When did you start creating art?

Charlotte: I have loved to draw and create art since I was 4, and well maybe before that but I can't remember! I used to carry around sketchbooks and sit and draw the world around me. I recently found one, and realized I enjoyed drawing water coolers and portraits of my sisters! lol I learned how to sew from my mom and that led to my love of fiber art. I also grew to love how art for me is a stress reliever and a creative escape from the routine of life. When I was 15, I began working for Wabi Sabi, a local yarn and fiber store, and learned so much! I was thrown into teaching, and learned a lot of different fiber art methods. I taught children felting classes, adult felting, knitting, crocheting, weaving and spinning. Working at the shop really enhanced and encouraged my love for fiber arts.

Where did the idea for Charly's Friends come from?
(Charly's Friends are her hand sewn, eco friendly stuffies)

Charlotte:  At Wabi Sabi, I was asked to create a small stuffed animal that could be produced in kits. My first one was the Kitty Kat, and it just took off from there. I have all kinds of creatures, from owls to my new Vikings. They are all one of a kind and made with lots of love. : ) I like to look around thrift shops for wool sweaters, blankets, and velvets, and use these to create my gang of friends. hehee. They are all made out of recycled and pre loved fabrics, and stuffed with a 100 percent sheep fleece.

Do you only do fiber arts?

Charlotte: Nope. I enjoy all mediums! Any kinds that involve getting my hands messy and busy! lol I love to face paint for festivals, and was recently at WestFest. I have been face painting there for five years and love it. I also paint and silk screen t-shirts. I use 100 percent cotton t-shirts and create my own designs. Each one is original and a Truly Charlotte one of a kind!

What inspires you?

Charlotte: haha hard to answer, but really it is the world around me. I like to look at nature, my faith and my family. As for artists that inspire me, I like to look at Andy Warhol, Matisse and my number one inspiration is my creative mama and papa! They encourage me beyond my capabilities...brownie points ladies! Take that Renee and Leah : ) haha
Looking forward to seeing you all this weekend at the the New Art Festival! My booth is going to be at
38 Patterson! : )

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Sock Bun Craze

Are you looking for a lovely Summer Hair Updo that requires nothing but a sock?
Try the Sock Bun! You might have noticed many girls with beautifully round buns in their lovely locks. Lovely ballerina buns that look oh so professional. How do they do it? The Sock Bun.

Charlotte loves the Sock Bun and it looks fabulous in her hair.
You can buy the hair donuts, but ladies it's really just not worth it when you can make your own.

How to do the Sock Bun

In the photos you will notice that Charlotte has wet hair, she likes to do the sock bun post coming out of the pool. If you do the sock bun in wet hair and leave it in for awhile, you get lovely Farrah Fawcet waves the next day.

1. Find a mismatched sock and cut the toe off
2. Roll the sock starting from the toe, creating a donut
3. Put your hair in a ponytail
4. Slip your hair through the middle of the donut
5. Take the end of the ponytail and roll it around the edge of the donut. Continue to roll until you have covered the elastic of the ponytail.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Oh to be inspired..lovely quotes

Oh quotes how we love you! Years ago when I was living far away from home, Leah and I started a quote game. The challenge was to post a quote on the other's wall and have them guess who said it. Our game encouraged and fostered our great love for quotes. Share yours in the comment section below! We would love to hear what nuggets of wisdom you have to say. : )

"This is the secret of life: the self lives only by dying, finds its identity (and its happiness) only by self-forgetfulness, self giving, self sacrifice, and agape love." -Dr. Peter Kreeft

"Elegance is the only beauty that never fades." Audrey Hepburn

"Don't forget this: the Lord never gets tired of forgiving, it is we that get tired of asking for forgiveness." Pope Francis

"If you do not live what you believe, you will end up believing what you live." Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." Albert Einstein

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." Thomas Merton

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm hand." Fr. Henri Nouwen

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries." A.A. Milne

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." J.R.R. Tolkien


Monday, 10 June 2013

Delicous Donuts! *Wheat free and Vegan*

Last weekend we had one of those moments in a garage sale that gave us a major thrift shopping high. In the middle of kids books, puzzles and old toys, hid a beautiful large donut pan!!!!!! Charlotte quickly pulled it out and to our delight it only one dollar. We did a little happy dance as these pans are normally around thirty dollars. It was also never used and non stick. After a few high fives we decided it was time to pull out our other mini donut pan and make our favourite, wheat free and vegan donuts.
This recipe is one we love as it is gentle on our tummies and best of all these donut babies are baked.

Happy donut eating!

Our favourite Donuts
adapted from Vegan YumYum

Preheat oven to 350'F

Dry Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of Spelt flour
1/2 cup of Sugar
1 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
1/4 tsp of Salt
1/4 tsp of fresh Nutmeg
1/4 tsp of Cinnamon

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Now in a small saucepan combine the following:

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup of Soymilk
1/2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Egg Replacer for 1 Egg
4 Tbsp of Vegan Margarine, or Earth Balance

Cook over medium low heat and mix until the Vegan Margarine is melted. Watch the mixture and make sure it doesn't get hot. You should be able to stick your finger in the mixture and it should be warm.

When the dough is warm, add the dry to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. It should be a soft dough.

Scoop dough into your ungreased lovely donut pan and bake for 12 minutes. Your tester should come out nice and clean. Invert the donut pan over a cooling rack to release donuts. Allow to cool before decorating.

Now if you feel like adding some delicious toppings we suggest:

1/2 Cup of sifted Icing Sugar
1 Tbsp of Soymilk
1/2 cup of sprinkles

Whisk soymilk and icing sugar together. Dip the donut in the glaze and then dip in the sprinkles. Transfer to a wire rack

To make a chocolaty glaze, add 4 Tbsp of sifted cocoa to the glaze.


Friday, 7 June 2013

A Friday Ritual

One photo without explanation. A moment captured- a time to be still, to breathe and remember.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Fantastic summer fashion..not strap-tastic!

Today we want to share our tips on how to dress fantastic this summer... and not strap-tastic! 
What is strap-tastic? When a lovely lady attempts to cover up by wearing multiple layers of tank modeled by Leah below..


Ah summer! The time of hot sunshiney days, blues skies and of course less clothing. It can be overwhelming for a classy girl to try to dress modestly in a land of tank tops, bra-straps, and booty shorts. Especially if you have a concerned mama like ours who reminds us if our skirts are too short or if our shirts are too low. Our mama has taught us that you don’t need to dress in hootchy booty shorts or cleavage baring tees, to earn respect. Sing it girls: R-E-S-P-E-C-T : ) lol respect comes from the classy loving lady inside us all. 
How does a girl look fantastic and not strap-tastic? 
Here’s a few fashion ideas that we like to follow during the summer:

Tip #1: Tank tops as a base layer! Only one of course : ) Tank tops are a perfect way to bring those tops up to a respectful area and lengthen tees that are too short. 

Tip #2: Loose linen t-shirts! They are our number one favourite piece of summer clothing. We find ours at Zaras and wait until they go on sale. Watch for it..they usually have a summer sale in July/August and the linen shirts are $10.00 instead of $40.00! We have these linen shirts in all sizes, as on hot days the less stuck to you, the better! These shirts are an investment piece to your wardrobe and come in all colours and patterns. Also they are made out of linen. The most breathable, natural summer fabric. Enough said : ) 

Tip #3: Skirts! All three of us wear skirts different ways. We find skirts a nice option to wear instead of shorts. Charlotte likes to wear high waist, A line skirts that hit above the knee. Leah likes to wear all lengths of skirts. : ) She has them in maxi length, mid calf and above the knee. Her height and body shape allow all skirts to look great.  As for me, I like loose flowy skirts, and wear them higher too like Charlotte. I also love jean skirts and wear them all summer long. 

Tip #4: Pick shorts and skirts that pass your finger tips! An easy way to see if your shorts and skirts hit a classy length, is to rest your arms in a natural state and see where your finger tips fall. 


Tip #5: Accessorize! Summer is the best time to pull out lots of jewelry. If you are sporting a neutral outfit like Charlotte’s linen t-shirt and shorts, dress it up with accessories. A basic outfit is like a blank canvas for fun necklaces, bangles and earrings. 

Be creative, have fun and stay fantastic  all you classy ladies!