Monday, 31 March 2014

Our Funfetti Cupcakes *wheat and dairy free*

Our sister Elese has always been a candy loving girl and we wanted to celebrate this at her recent baby shower. We also wanted to tie in the POP theme with her cupcakes, so we made Funfetti Cupcakes. They are easy, delicious and wheat and dairy free! Time to celebrate!!
If you are looking to replace that Betty Crocker Funfetti cake mix with one that is actually chemical free-this is the recipe. We used our favourite muffin recipe and adapted it to a white cupcake. FYI theses Funfetti Cupcakes are so tasty, it's practically impossible to eat just one.

Funfetti Cupcakes

2 cups of spelt flour
1- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/3 cup of margarine or Earth Balance
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 egg
3/4 soymilk
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of sprinkles, or sugar confetti

How to:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350'F and line a muffin tin with muffin cups
Step 2: Mix together spelt flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Step 3: Using a mixer, blend together margarine and sugar.
Step 4: Add egg to the sugar mixture and beat on medium high for 1 minute
Step 5: Add the soy milk and vanilla and mix well.
Step 6: Add the flour mixture and sprinkles and mix on medium high for another minute.
Step 7: Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.

Voila! Easy right?

We iced ours with our favourite icing which you can find here
We eliminated the nutmeg and added a few more sprinkles just for fun.
Aren't they cute? We think they are the perfect cupcakes for any party.

Friday, 28 March 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Outfitting sweet babies

All of us girls have something handmade from our Mama. Those items are special, made out of love and are keepsakes. We still have the first quilts and baby dolls she made us and keep them safe. We wanted our new babies (soon to be arriving!) to feel all our love and so our hands have been busy. As soon as we found out our sisters were pregnant, the baby hand made-creating began. Since the showers are over now, we can now share what we were working on.
This is what our hands and hearts have been up to...

The ever talented Charlotte made a mixed media art piece for the two babies. She used their ultrasound photos and included a scripture verse for each one.

Charlotte made each little one a pair of linen pants from  here and used a vintage print for the bum. We love, love, love, these pants and can't wait to see them on babies!

Our Mama knit The Five Hour Sweater and matching hat out of a gorgeous stripped cotton blend.

I made three of In Threes Baby Cardigan, out of the same wool as our Mama. If you are looking for

quick and fun patterns, these are the ones. They are fast and fun to make! I actually have another five hour sweater on my needles now..

Each new baby will have their own quilt made from Nana. She makes one of a kind baby quilts, out of super soft flannels. They are stunning!!

Leah knit a gorgeous lace little jacket called Cascade out of soft green cotton.

Thanks for stopping by today, hope it's warmer in your part of the world-it's still very much winter here.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Creamy Artichoke Dip that is Dairy Free!!! : )

How about a happy dance?
You know friends that we love our dips. Ranch dip, humus, ketchup, tartar sauce, bbq sauce etc. We are a dip/sauce family and love finding a new recipe to add to the mix. A few years ago we were asked to cater a party for a dear friend. She wanted to have veggies and dips and so we looked for a few new dips to switch things up a bit. We browsed through the interweb and found one that was an artichoke dip but didn't call for any dairy products. Did we just hit gold? YES!! This is our absolute favorite dip recipe and does not last in our house at all. Serve it with veggies, pita, pumpernickel bread, or crackers. It also makes a great spread for sandwiches.


Creamy Artichoke and Olive Dip 
adapted from Epicurious 

You will need:

one 14 ounce can of whole artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 cup of green olives, pitted and chopped. We have made it with black olives, and it works too. You can use fancy olives or plain ones from the olive deli at the superstore. Just make sure they are pitted. : )


Step 1: In a food processor, blend the artichoke hearts and olive oil until smooth, approx two minutes.
Step 2: Add the garlic and puree for another 30 seconds.
Step 3: Transfer dip to a bowl and add the chopped olives. Mix together. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Voila! How easy is that?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Ready To Pop Shower for Elese!

We wanted to plan a theme for Elese's baby shower, just  to make it a bit different and creative. After scouring Pinterest and reading other blogs, we decided on the theme Ready To Pop. Elese is due in three weeks and is very ready to pop. Here's the break down of what we did to give you some ideas:

For Decorations: 

- Leah is our resident bouquet maker, and so put together lovely flower arrangements. We scattered beautiful bouquets of pinks and creams throughout the house.
- Charlotte made large tissue paper pompoms-our alternative to balloons. She also made teeny tiny pompoms and and we hung them everywhere. We had left over pink bunting from Elese's wedding shower, so we used that instead of streamers.
- To add to the theme we made a bunting with the words: Ready to Pop and draped it across from the table.

For Games:

- We played a combination of old and new games. For old games we played Guess How Big Her Tummy is with squares of t.p. and the Clothespin game-if you cross your legs/arms/hands/feet you loose your clothespin.
- Since the shower was themed Ready to Pop we started off with a balloon game. Our brother and my boyfriend wrote out thirty J names, including Juliette, stuck them inside the balloons and then blew them up. Everyone had to pop their balloon with just their hands, feet etc..the guest who had Juliette won.
- To carry out the theme, we gave Elese a Pop Quiz, and when she had the answer wrong she had to chew a piece of bubble gum.
- We also played Guess the Baby Food and the Price is Right.

For the new Mama:

- Charlotte hand painted a gorgeous baby picture and all the guests stamped their thumbs, creating the balloons.
- Midnight Diaper Advice: We bought a pack of newborn diapers and had the guests write advice for Elese's soon to be midnight diaper changes. It was hilarious reading what some of our friends came up with : )

For Food:

- We like to have our showers/parties from 2-5pm, so it isn't over a large meal. We had the standard cheese, meat, veggie,dips etc but also had the following fun 'Pop' themed items:
- Popcorn buffet table, including little grab bags and Charlotte's homemade pink popcorn
- Cake Pops (we bought ours : )
- Ring Pops
- Pop Rocks
- Bubble Gum
- Lollipops
- Funfetti Pop Rocks Cupcakes

For Prizes: 

- We made treat bags for ladies, with knitted dishcloths, chocolates, gardening seeds, candies and included the following message: If it POPs into your mind, say a prayer for Elese, Shaun and Juliette! .
All in all it was such a fun shower and the most important part was that Elese loved it : ) How cute are those pictures of the future cousins? We can't wait to meet you both sweet babies! 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Babylove for Juliette

This Saturday was the last of the Baby Showers for now : ) With great joy we celebrated the upcoming arrival of our new niece Juliette. We have a few upcoming blog posts with tips, games, recipes etc for planning a shower themed Ready to Pop. Today however we are full of gratitude.

We are grateful for

All the extra help that was offered for throwing this shower. We appreciate our brothers, boyfriend, sister, friends and aunt who all came and helped us out. We couldn't have blown all those balloons, cut strawberries and washed the floors with out. We love you.

We are grateful for

All the ladies who came out despite a snowstorm to support Elese and Juliette! The house was full to the brim of lots of love. Even her mama in law braved the winds and drove a couple of hours to be here for the party.

We are grateful for

The joy. There was so much laughter, smiles and babies! It was such a celebration of life! Our grandmamma giving the answers away to a Pop Quiz, silly faces tasting baby food, writing down funny diaper advice-it was all so much fun.

We are grateful for

Our brother and our Papa who shoveled, moved cars and watched the dogs all day long. Not to mention they put up with a week long of baby shower stuff everywhere. We love you and are grateful for your patience! : )

We are grateful for

Our neighbour/friend/practically family member! who stayed late and did the dishes. It was a small gesture of love and we thank you. It was also great fun to catch up and reminisce.

We are grateful for

Elese and her great trust in us. She gave us free reign to do whatever we liked, had absolutely no expectations and let our little creative hearts go free. We love you and can't wait to meet Juliette!!

Stay tuned this week for much more about the shower.  We had so much fun  and can't wait to share it with you all. PS the cupcakes in the photos are:
Funfetti Cupcakes that are dairy and wheat free. : ) We promise that post will be coming up soon!

Friday, 21 March 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Homemade Body Butter

This winter we find our skin has been taking quite a toll. Do you suffer from dry winter killing skin? We definitely do and combat it with a fierce weapon: Homemade Shea Butter! Our Mama was the one who decided enough was enough with buying expensive lotions. Shea butter is one of our favourites, but is always on the pricey side. Plus there are so many other ingredients in those lotions we just can't pronounce.

After perusing the web, our Mama found this interesting blog: Rawmazing and loved her recipe for body butter. All you need to make creamy, smooth body butter is:

Organic Shea Butter ( solid)

Coconut Oil (solid)

Almond Oil (liquid)

A few tips when making the Body Butter:

1. These oils are just a suggestion. You can use whatever oils you wish, just remember this important ratio:
75% solid to 25% liquid.

2. Chilling is important. We made our body butter and found it didn't whip very well, so we stuck back in the freezer for 20 minutes. It whipped up perfectly afterwards.

3. It doesn't get moldy :) There isn't any water in this recipe, so as long as you keep it in a cool place it can last a few months. It doesn't have to go in the fridge.

Check out the full recipe to make the body butter here! We can't wait to experiment with fragrances. So long store bought body butter!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Interviews with the bestest of men

For our Men...

Happy Feast of St. Joseph! If you have been one of our blog readers you will know by now that we are Catholic and that we celebrate our feasts : ) We love St Joseph and love that he is our nation's patron saint. Last year we asked our guys to help us with some fashion tips and you can find that post: here
This year again we are dedicating this post to our men. We sat down with four of them over the weekend and asked them a few questions.
Here's what they had to say about manliness, challenges and being heroes : )

Our Favourite Brother In Law Shaun:

Who do you look up to as a man role model?
1. St Maximilian Kolbe, Pope Francis and Blessed JPII, Matt Fradd
What advice would you tell your younger self if you could?
2.Choose friends wisely because the company you keep is the who you become.
Pick three words to describe Manliness
3. Sacrifice. Empathy. Humility.
What is your biggest challenge of being a man today?
4. As a high school teacher, teaching young men today the value of loving women rather than using them.
And for fun fill in the blanks:
I am Sir Gawain the Brave and I slayed the Five Headed Winter with the sun's rays and rescued the poor Canadians north of the border.

Our Stylish and Adventurous Brother John:

Who do you look up to as a man role model?
1. Fr Bob Bedard, my brothers, my dad
What advice would you tell your younger self if you could?
2. Can I give advice to my three year old self? : )
Pick three words to describe Manliness:
3. Courage. Strength, Risk taker
What is your biggest challenge of being a man today?
4. Dealing with sisters : ) being chivalrous with women and turning the other cheek. Dealing with pride.
And for fun fill in the blanks:
5. I am Sir Maximus of the Sword of Fire Clan and I slayed the Beast of Pride and the Knight of Darkness with my golden bow and muscles of iron and I rescued all the imprisoned Timinski's.

Renee's: Always Has Something Funny to Say Boyfriend Greg:

Who do you look up to as a man role model?
1. My dad. Always led by example and had patience to never give up on me, and raise me the right way. Very dedicated to everything that went into being a father.
What advice would you tell your younger self if you could?
2. Use your time wisely and take the time to do things-even if you're tired or low on energy. You'll thank yourself in the long run.
Pick three words to describe Manliness
3. Honour. Responsibility. Humility
What is your biggest challenge of being a man today?
4.Trying to get myself into a career that's rewarding, stable and in my career path, but one that also allows for work-life balance when married life and fatherhood comes.
And for fun fill in the blanks:
5. I am Sir Circumference the Knight of the Round Table and I slayed the pi with a tangent and rescued the surface area.

Our Taller and Stronger than All of Us Brother Zach

Who do you look up to as a man role model?
1. Christ and His Passion, Dad, St Joseph
What advice would you tell your younger self if you could?
2. Encourage and Affirm him, give him courage, build his confidence, tell him that he is loved.
Pick three words to describe Manliness
3. Courage. Selflessness. Sacrifice
What is your biggest challenge of being a man today?
4. Living in a world where men are told to step back and be passive, instead of being leaders and taking the reigns.
And for fun fill in the blanks:
5. I am Zac the Brave and I slayed myself with sacrifice and rescued my vocation as a husband.

Happy Feast of Joseph to you all! Have some fun and interview the men in your life. Give them some love too. : )

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Joy in the midst of Winter

It's freezing today. Really Winter are you still here? We try to think of warmer months and sunshine, but it's hard. So hard when the thermostat reads -30 C and there is snow everywhere..sigh. We find it so easy to muck in the dark of negative thoughts. Today instead of griping and moaning, we are going to consciously try to be grateful. So join us friends as we sip our warm mugs of tea and try to think good thoughts.

We are grateful for: 

The warmth of the sun. Even though it's cold, when we stand in the sunshine we can feel the warmth. It's coming, yes it's coming!

We are grateful for: 

Delicious homemade sandwiches at the Yellow Canoe in Merrickville! Charlotte had a pulled pork with delicious chutney and I had a grilled eggplant with sprouts, both served on Gluten Free Bread that was TASTY! It  was so fun to go to Merrickville and eat yummy food that wasn't crazy expensive or disgusting.

We are grateful for:

Saturday evenings without any plans. It is so relaxing to not make plans and do all the little projects we have pinned, discussed and printed out.

We are grateful for:

A hairstylist that lives in our home. We know we have said it before, but we are saying it again. We are grateful that Leah is in the 'know' in the hair world and helps us with all our hair woes.

We are grateful for:

The men in our lives. Our brothers, dad, brother in law, boyfriend and of course our priests. You inspire us to be better women, to love more, serve more and give more.

We are grateful for: 

The joy of knitting for babies. There is nothing like the joy of finishing a completed project! Baby knitting is adorable and quick to take off the needles. We can't wait to see our little nieces or nephews in their knitted woolies.

Monday, 17 March 2014

St Patty's Day Treasure Apples

Happy St Patty's Day friends!!

We hope you are all  enjoying this celebration today, wearing plenty of green and feasting on Shepherd's Pie and Guinness. : ) We are Irish on our dad's side and by Irish only a teeny tiny fraction of our background. 1/16 actually. We identify ourselves as Canadian, through and through. Our ancestors come from all over the globe: We are: *breathe please*: Native American, French, Austrian, Scottish, Irish and possibly Ukrainian. On our dad's side we have a Ukrainian Bishop and a Pirate, and on our Mama's: a Native American beauty, who was brave enough to leave her tribe, village and family and marry a Frenchman. We love her and are grateful. But today, we are Irish. We celebrate our Irish ancestors the McAllisters who lived through the potato famine and thankfully came to Canada. Time to pull out all the green clothing and be merry!

We were trying to figure out a green recipe to share with you all today and couldn't get over the amount of green food dye that was used. It was the talented Charlotte who came up with:

St Patty's Day Treasure Apples! 

They are baked green apples with a hidden treasure inside: yummy pie filling! If you are looking for a fun green alternative to all that food dye out there, give these a shot. They are quick, easy and delicious!


For the Apples:
4 green apples that are flat enough to stand upright, plus 1 chopped peeled apple for the filling.
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of brown sugar
juice of half a lemon

For the Topping:
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of spelt flour
1/3 cup of oats
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3 tbsp of soft margarine

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375'F. With a melon ball scoop, empty out the inside of  the 4 apples. Put the inside filling in a bowl.
Step 2: Place the hollowed out apples in a 8'x8'pan. If you have a mini spray bottle, pour the lemon juice inside and spritz the cored apples.
Step 3: Take the apple filling and add the extra chopped apple. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix together. Fill the hollowed out apples with the pie filling.


Step 1: In a mixing bowl add: brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Step 2: Add the margarine and blend with a fork or your clean fingers.
Step 3: Using your fingers, mold the topping over the filled apples.
Step 4: Cover the bottom of the 8'x8' pan with water or juice. We used diluted apple cider.
Step 5: Bake for 30 minutes.

and look even our little Ginger got into the green fever. Isn't she cute?

Enjoy! Happy St Patty's Day!