Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Until we meet again...

"Your time may come. Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do." J.R.R Tolkien

Hello Friends!
It's been a few weeks since any action here on the blog, and we are sorry to have left you hanging without any explanation. A lot has happened in the last month in our lives and we owe you a little update.

What's New with Miss Charlotte:  It's Softie Season!

Truly Charlotte has taken off for the summer season with the New Art Festival this past weekend. Her softies are all one of a kind and take hours of work to finish. This summer she has a few new friends to add to her growing collection: A woodsman, an owl, a cute pink pig, and a bulldog. If you are looking for a handmade gift check out her etsy shop: here
Truly Charlotte is going to be at a few more festivals in the fall and winter, so be sure to like her facebook page:  here to keep up with all the dates!

What's new with Mademoiselle Leah: She's almost a hair stylist!

Leah has been working all year to get her certification for hair styling. She has one more semester to go, plus a placement and then she's finished!  Way to go Leah!! We are so excited for you!!

What's new with almost Mrs Renee: Engaged!: )

After helping with my brother's wedding, being Maid of Honour for my sister, I can now look forward to being a bride. My heart is so full with all the love that went into the proposal and with the gorgeous sparkly new ring bling on my left hand. God is so good. We are planning a winter woolly wedding just after Christmas and are going to make it the biggest DIY project we have ever done.

With all that being said, we are going to take a mini break from the blog and re evaluate in the fall. We want to live these special moments with our friends and families, not living behind a lens or computer screen. Thank you dear friends for all the supportive words, ideas and of course all the love.
Until we meet again!

"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends." Richard Bach

Friday, 6 June 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Photograph...

You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” 
- Ansel Adams

“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”  
― Henri Cartier Bresson 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


It has been a whirlwind of a week and so today we thought we would take a break and be grateful.
Our next few weekends are full of an ordination, wedding and baptisms, not to mention plenty of family socials : ) In the midst of the busyness however, there is a quiet joy, a spirit of gratefulness that we want to keep with us. Here are a few wise words to carry us all through our eventful June:

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom"  Marcel Proust

"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lost without regret, how to acquire without meanness." George Sand

"Even in the most peaceful surroundings, an angry heart finds quarrel. Even in the most quarrelsome surroundings, the grateful heart finds peace." Doe Zantamanta

 "Nothing can make our life, or the lives of people around us, more beautiful than perpetual kindness" Leo Tolstoy

"Kindness sometimes means not doing something, not making that comment, not noticing that flaw, not assuming the worst about something else" Heather McMillian

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." A.A. Milne

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." Cicero

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless" Mother Teresa

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Our Favourite Lemon Cake with a Twist : )

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you will know that we love lemons: Lemonade, lemon pie, lemon cake mmmm we love using lemons! One of our favourites is a lemon cake which you can find: here  when we posted about homemade buntings.

Leah made the lemon cake the other day, but did so with an added twist:

She added raspberries!

It was brilliant, and the cake was delicious! If you are looking for an easy and tasty cake, this is the one. You could also use blueberries and make it a lemon blueberry cake.

Give it a try and let us know how it works! Enjoy!

Leah's Lemon Cake
adapted from Lighthearted Everyday Cooking
*wheat and dairy free*

You will need:

2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of vegan margarine
2 eggs
1 cup of soya milk
3 cups of spelt flour or flour of choice
2 tsp of baking powder
Grated rind of two lemons
1 cup of raspberries, fresh or frozen


Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup of sugar

How to make it:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350'F and grease a Bundt pan.
Step 2: In a large bowl, sift flour and baking powder together.
Step 3: Mix together sugar and margarine in a large bowl. Beat in eggs and soya milk.
Step 4: Add the flour mixture and mix until combine. Stir in lemon rind and raspberries
Step 5: Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean
Step 6: Prepare glaze while cake is baking, by mixing lemon juice and sugar together.
Step 7: After the cake has come out of the oven, pour the glaze over top of the cake, let is cool and flip.
Step 8: decorate with icing sugar or make your fave icing if you prefer!


Monday, 2 June 2014

Bye-Bye Bugs! DIY Homemade Bug Spray!

If you were to come visit us this weekend in our backyard, you would first notice the gorgeous lilacs and then secondly the large scenic pond. A few years ago our dad painstakingly made a decorative pond in the backyard, and it's just stunning. We look forward to the first day of warmer weather when the pond gets cleaned. It's so lovely to be able to sit outside by the fire and listen to running water. It is one of our favourite  summer pastimes.

There is only one downfall however for having such a lovely pond-mosquitoes. Every year they are a pain and every year we try to fight the battle with citronella candles, lavender essence and lots of layers. This year however Charlotte decided to be proactive and found a recipe to make your own bug spray. It's so easy and is chemical free! Plus it smells great AND keeps those pesky mosquitoes away. The lavender and citronella scents are soft and also perfect for babies.

Give it a try and let us know if it works for you!

Homemade Bug Spray 

You will need:

Citronella and Lavender essential oils
1/2 c. Natural Witch Hazel
1/2 c. Distilled or boiled Water
1/2 tsp.Vegetable glycerin

How to Make It:

Step 1: Fill spray bottle with the distilled or boiled water and add witch hazel
Step 2: Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin
Step 3: Add 40 drops of each essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be.

Voila! How easy is that?

Friday, 30 May 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dr Maya Angelou: a phenomenal woman

Yesterday a great lady passed away. Dr. Maya Angelou died May 28, 2014. She was one whom we loved to quote, loved to listen to and just loved. Period.

Five years ago we discovered her Christmas poem Amazing Peace and together we memorized the stanzas and recited it for our parents, as a Christmas gift. Later on Mother's Day, we found her wonderful poem Phenomenal Woman and all of us girls recited it for our own phenomenal Mama. We love Dr Maya's lyrical voice, her deep wisdom and profound love for God. Last year she was featured on Oprah's Sunday evening show and on it, shared the revelation that changed her life. Check it out here. We have watched that video twice and it moves us to tears. Take a few minutes and listen to one very phenomenal woman.

We have shared a few of her wise words before, but thought today we add a few more.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest."

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her."

"To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane it its perfect power. Or the climbing falling colours of a rainbow."

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."

"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."

and her very last tweet from May 23:

"Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God."

May you, dear Maya Angelou, rest in the eternal hands of the Beloved One.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

the BEST recipe find : ) : )

A little while ago Miss Charlotte found this blog: Fork and Beans and we were over the moon. An entire blog full of vegan and gluten free baking! And the best part is: IT TASTES DELICIOUS! : ) : ) : )
Sometimes vegan and g/f baking doesn't always work out, or we bake it and it tastes grainy, mealy and ends up falling apart. Not the recipes on Fork and Beans! Cara, the talented blogger behind the site, has creatively made some of our favourite recipes vegan and g/f!

On Fork and Beans you can find:

  • Oatmeal Cream Pies
  • Teddy Grahams 
  • Animal Crackers 
  • Girl Guide Cookies 
  • Banana Cream Pie 
...to name only a few. Fork and Beans is a wonderful resource full of tips, helpful hints etc on converting baking to vegan and g/f. Cara also has a great section on gluten-free flours.

Last weekend Miss Charlotte made Gluten-Free Vegan Thin Mints and they were SO tasty! 
These cookies are the perfect combination of chocolate, wafer and minty goodness! It does take a little bit of time to dip the cookies in the chocolate-but do it! 
They taste exactly like a chocolate minty Girl Guide cookie. They only catch is that it is impossible to eat just one...make sure you have someone to share them with, or you might just end up turning into a Cookie Monster..MMMM COOOKIES : ) 

We are so grateful that Charlotte found this wonderful blog! 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Leah's Baby Gift

Leah is the master knitter out of us bunch of girls. She is the knitting pro who can knit a complicated pattern anywhere and not be bothered. We picked Leah up from the bus stop last week and she was standing outside knitting away. And not just knitting a plain old scarf-tucked under her arm was a knitted lace baby sweater. Our mama found this sweater pattern here on the blog  SouleMama and we knew Leah had to make it for our sweet niece.

The sweater is called Springtime for Hollis and you can find it on Ravelry here.

After only a few weeks of knitting, Leah has finished! It's gorgeous! We love the ivory soft wool with blue buttons. It looks very vintage : ) The cream ribbon is leftover from Elese's wedding, so fits perfect for a treasured baby sweater. Leah swears this pattern isn't too hard, and is a great combination of switching, so you are never bored. : )

Isn't it lovely?

Monday, 26 May 2014

with Grateful hearts

We hope you all had a lovely weekend! It is Monday and as you know, not our favourite day of the week. It's hard to be positive about Mondays, and so today we are going to consciously start the week on a good note and count our blessings.


We are grateful for: 

A successful yard sale! We are so thankful that the rain held out and didn't start until exactly when our sale was over. It was great to see people so excited over purchasing our things. It's exactly true, one man's junk is another man's treasure. 

We are grateful for:

The lilacs and the lily of the valley's!! They are in bloom and we LOVE their fragrance. We think they are both the most beautiful of fragrances and are so thankful for a generous neighbour who lets us cut bouquets. 

We are grateful for: 

Sunday afternoon mojitos and a thoughtful brother and sister in law who brought everything for them. It was unexpected and so lovely! Seriously the best mojitos ever! 

We are grateful for: 

All the kind words and support everyone gave us for the Ottawa Race Weekend! A few of us ran Saturday evening and it was so much fun. It was also wonderful coming home to a celebratory dinner and a lovely baby to cuddle. : ) Running, food and family all in one evening : ) 

We are grateful for

The warm weather. This winter taught us to be so appreciative of wearing t-shirts and shorts! And we are grateful for everyday we don't need to bundle up and wear two or three layers of clothing. 

We are grateful for: 

Yard sale finds!  An awesome church yard sale where Charlotte met the sweetest ladies who sold her antique wooden crates. Also she found an antique Quebec spinning wheel from a neighbour's garage sale. 

We are grateful for: 

Adorable babies. It is such a blessing for us to have both of our new babies live in the city. We love them both so much and are so grateful to be aunties.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Quinoa Tabouli

We love quinoa with a passion. It's tasty, delicious and it's gluten free. It's also high in protein and a healthier alternative to rice. Lately we have been lovely black quinoa. It has a bit of a sweeter taste and has a very striking colour. This past weekend we were busy and wanted to make a salad that would be on hand, perfect for last minute lunches and impromptu dinner parties. This delicious quinoa tabouli is the one. Full of lemon, parsley and mint, this salad is perfect for summer. The only time consuming part is the chopping of the veggies, but after that it whips up quick!
The lemony dressing tastes better after the salad has been in the fridge for awhile. Enjoy!

Quinoa Tabouli Salad
serves 6-8
Adapted from the  Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

You will need: 

6 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled.
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
black pepper to taste
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
4 green onions
1 cup of minced parsley
15 fresh mint leaves, minced
2 diced tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced.

How to make it:

1. In a measuring cup mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, salt and sugar. Pour over cooked quinoa and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
2. Add the parsley, mint, tomatoes, red pepper and cucumber, stir together to combine.

There you go! Happy eating!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

words we are loving

It's the middle of the week already! Where did it go? We hope you are all enjoying spring in all its glory. Aren't the cherry and apple trees just lovely? We find on Wednesdays we sometimes are tired and need a little pick me up. Wednesdays can sometimes feel like Mondays. But then we read a super quote and have to print it out. We copy it in our journals, write it on post its and stick it on our fridges. Here's a few that we are loving right now:

"Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. It's a sign that you have a big heart and that you aren't afraid to let others see it. Showing emotions is a sign of strength." Brigette Nicole

"How do you spell 'love'?-Piglet
You don't spell it, you feel it -Pooh" A.A. Milne

"She is delightfully chaotic, a beautiful mess. Loving her is a splendid adventure" Steve Maraboli

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would  hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say...I used everything you gave me." Erma Bombeck

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars" Kahlil Gilbran

"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." Albert Einstein

"The soul should always stand ajar ready to welcome the ecstatic experience." Emily Dickinson

"Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God. " Pope Francis

"There is nothing like staying home for real comfort" Jane Austen

"Real love is demanding. I would fail in my mission if I did not tell you so. Love demands a personal commitment to the will of God." St John Paul II

"We delight in the beauty of a butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." Dr Maya Angelou

Happy Wednesday friends : )

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

R is for Rhubarb...

We hope you all had a lovely weekend, full of sunshine and lots of rest! Yesterday we decided to do something with all the frozen rhubarb in our freezer. We are lucky that our neighbour generously lets us use her rhubarb for our spring baking. We love strawberries and rhubarb and think they are such a great marriage of flavours. After scouring through recipes to find something we could make, we were defeated by all the rhubarb strawberry pies. Sure a pie is great, but let us eat cake any day. Finally we came across a great upside down cake and knew we had to try to make it. The only problem was that the entire recipe was in mls, grams and Celsius..very different than what we are used to making. After tweaking a few thing we came up with this fabulous dessert. It's moist, tasty and perfect for using all that rhubarb! Give it a try and let us know how it works.

Strawberry & Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
adapted from The Hungry Australian

You will need:

For the topping:

3 tbsp of agave syrup, plus another 3 tbsp later
2 tsp of vegan margarine
1 1/12 cups of chopped strawberries
2 cups of chopped rhubarb, approx. 1 cm pieces

For the cake:

9 tbsp. of margarine
2 cups of spelt flour or flour of choice
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of soy milk

How to make it:

For the topping:
1. Preheat oven to 375'F and grease a 9 inch spring form pan.
2. In a small saucepan melt 3 tbsp. of agave syrup and 2 tsp of vegan margarine. Pour the melted syrup into the cake tin and spread it until the bottom is completely covered.
3. Layer the strawberries and rhubarb in the cake tin. Drizzle over remaining 3 tbsp. of agave syrup. Set aside to make the cake

For the cake:

1. Whisk together  flour, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Using a mixer, beat 9 tbsp. of vegan margarine and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
3. Add the vanilla and eggs, one a time, beating the mixture for a minute after each egg.
4. Add half of the flour mixture and milk and beat again for another minute. Repeat with rest of flour and milk. Beat for another 2-3 minutes until cake batter is light and airy.
5. Pour the batter over the fruit mixture and spread evenly.
6. Bake for 15 minutes at 375'F and then turn the oven down to 350'F and bake for 35 more minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. I put a baking sheet on the rack below the cake, in case any drippings happened.
7. Remove the cake and let cool completely. Run a knife around the edge and then gently flip out onto a cake plate.

Voila! Enjoy! Do you have a fave rhubarb dessert? Share with us, we would love to hear from you.

Friday, 16 May 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Victoria Weekend! :)

See you on Tuesday!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Long Weekend Lemonade!

It's the start of the Victoria long weekend and in the midst of making our To-Do-Lists there is one item that tops the chart:
Chillaxing. : )

We do plan on gardening, cooking, spending time with friends etc. but also have a date with our new favourite summer beverage: A chilled glass of freshly squeezed lemonade!
Our mama stopped buying store bought juice years ago and only recently when we had an urge for lemonade, did we buy a few cans of concentrated lemonade. It was so sweet and sugary, and while it was delicious, we thought it could be better. How hard could it be to make a recipe that was sweet but not full of white sugar? Easy if your name is Charlotte : )

The talented Charlotte pulled out our trusty small juicer and made the following:

Freshly Squeezed Lemonade *perfect for those who are cutting out sugar!*

You will need:

4-5 lemons
1/2 cup maple syrup
5 cups of water
raspberries, mint leaves or sparkling water if desired
vodka or your fave booze. 

Squeeze lemons and pour juice into a pitcher. Add maple syrup and water. Stir together.
If you want to make your drink pretty, add a few raspberries and a mint leaf. You can also add sparkling water and alcohol of choice to make it fancy. Voila!

Happy long weekend friends! Hope you all have some chillaxing time : )

"I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade...and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party" Ron White