Wednesday, 30 April 2014

DIY Graham Crackers

Growing up we loved having graham crackers for a late snack. There is nothing like a crunchy cracker, melting in your mouth. We also used them in our graham cracker crumb crusts and were sad when we had to say goodbye. We have used GF graham cracker crumbs and have tried the GF graham crackers with our summer S'Mores, but still nothing is like the original.
That all changed when Charlotte and her skilled internet skills discovered a recipe. These crackers are delicious and we can't wait to try them with marshmallows! mmm Summer S'Mores.

Homemade Graham Crackers
(adapted from Gwam Crackers by Isa Chandra) 

You will need:

1 and 3/4 cups of spelt flour
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp of molasses
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of soya milk

How to: 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350'F. Take out a baking sheet and set aside

Step 2: In a large bowl mix spelt flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in oil, molasses and vanilla. Give the liquids a good stir with a whisk and then mix the rest of the ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.

Step 3: Drizzle in the soya milk and use your hands to combine the mixture. Form the dough into a ball.

Step 4: Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on your counter. Place the ball of dough in the center and lay another sheet of parchment paper on top. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle as best you can, approx 1/8 inch thick.

Step 5: Lift up the top layer of parchment paper and using a pizza cutter score the dough into a checkerboard. Place the whole sheet of parchment paper with the scored dough onto a baking sheet and bake for 12- 14 minutes

Step 6: After removing crackers from oven, transfer crackers to counter and if needed score again. There you go!


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

10 tips from what I learned from doing the Oil Cleanse Method

Hello friends! This post is a bit of a long read, but if you have/had skin issues and thought of trying the Oil Cleanse Method, then first read this post.

You might have noticed that there haven't been lots of close up photos on the blog lately. That's for a couple of reasons..first we have all been extremely busy and second I (Renee) have been suffering through one of the worst skin breakout ever. It hasn't been this bad since my teen years. : (

Why is that?

because I decided to be fearless and toss out all my skin care products. I absolutely don't recommend it unless you are brave and can deal with skin break out issues nonchalantly. I tried going completely natural with my skincare regime, using the Oil Cleanse Method, (OCM) honey and natural apple cider based toner.
The OCM method involves mixing oils and massaging/steaming them into your skin. If you are curious check out the link here

 I did it every evening for two months and here's what I learned:

5 Tips from my experience with the OCM 

1. Don't stray from what you know. I have been using the same skin care regime for the past ten years and in a brief moment of insanity thought: my skin's okay let's switch it up! If that thought ever pops into your brain, don't act on it! Stop and think about the consequences, seriously long and hard...and then go talk to your sisters, mother, friend,  before going completely au natural.

2. The OCM method and going natural cost lots of $$ initially and becomes a skin obsessing addiction. I spent hours reading other blogs and learning about the OCM method, adding more and more essences, oils and toners to my online shopping basket. I did a natural homeopathic liver cleanse (it cost $90.00) and took two different kinds of  expensive acne related supplements under my natural path's direction. I read different blogs and was always finding something else I should purchase.

3. Doing the OCM was relaxing, but made my skin worse. Much worse. I knew there was going to be a time of flare up initially, but it was supposed to go away after two weeks. Mine didn't. It got worse. I waited the right amount of days, switched oils and tried again. I researched and ordered more oils. Nothing worked. I used avocado oil, hemp oil, castor oil, made a moisturizer with almond oil, used carrot seed essence and jojoba oil. Breakouts galore popped up and just got worse. I had to admit that while it might work for some, it doesn't for me. Cue the next point which was hard to accept:

4. Going natural isn't for everyone.  I washed my face with just organic honey, sprayed an apple cider toner on my face ( which stank like smelly socks and made the bathroom stink too) and it didn't work. I regret buying all those oils and now am researching how to make soaps with them so they don't go to waste..I needed a good wake up call from my sister Elese who said: "Go back to what you know and stop the granola thing!" Thanks oh wise one : )

5. My skin loves Benzoyl Peroxide (BP) Ten years ago I had a bad flare up with acne and went to the dermatologist. He recommended B.P and said my skin wasn't bad enough for Accutane. I found this website and decided to give it a try. It worked and my skin had stayed clear for ten years. I re-ordered my trust B.P three weeks ago and miracles of miracles-my skin is clearing up.  Seriously if you know what works, keep at it! I have now sworn Leah, Charlotte and Elese to shake me silly when I get another crazy idea like that in my head. I have learned, I have grown and I won't go back. OCM and going natural is for some people, but is not for me. Find what works for your lovely skin and stick with it : )

Let's talk skin care!

Have you tried OCM? What was your experience? Share with us! Did it work? Not work?

Monday, 28 April 2014

Rummage Sale Finds

This past week we spotted a sign. Two words that made our hearts beat with excitement:

Rummage Sale! 

It's beginning again friends and we can't tell you how much we missed a really great rummage sale. This past Saturday we were lucky, because there was not one, but two local churches holding sales! Yahoo! It was our first time going to both and we are so grateful we went. 

Be still our little shopper hearts! It was a blast and we had so much fun. We walked into the first one at Parkdale United Church here in Ottawa and were overwhelmed. There were tables and racks of clothing, a stage full of books and tables of cut lace, doilies, fabric and dishes everywhere. This sale happens twice a year, and if you are in the Ottawa area you should most definitely keep your eyes open for it.  The next one is in the Autumn and we promise to keep you posted about it. 

The second sale was at St Mathias, just down the street. There were books galore, more clothing and lots of jewelry. Our mama found the cutest doily coasters and a pink dress for our sweet baby girl.  St Mathias also has this sale twice a year. We are so grateful we walked in, and love that our money went to a good cause too, as all proceeds went to the two local parishes. 

What else did we find at the rummage sales? 

Embroidered lace handkerchiefs, napkins, tablecloths and place mats


A lovely old platter 

A neat glass vase 

unique pots for our orchids 

a yellow baby girl dress from Eatons 

a Scandinavian wool sweater with the neatest  buttons 

and lots more clothes!  

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

These Busy Spring Days

We hope you are all enjoying your Easter week! These past few days we have been very busy, and so don't have a regular post for you today. Leah has just finished her exams, Charlotte is in the midst of preparing for shows (which we will announce next week) and I am caught up at work with planning a luncheon for 120 people and organizing two weekend trips.  Today we have a few spring pictures, which we hope will inspire you to go and enjoy the beautiful day!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Lovely Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue pie appears in our home only once a year. It is an Easter favourite and usually is our dessert for Easter dinner. This year was a bit different, what with the babies and family changes, and so the classic lemon pie was made on Easter Monday. We like to make a graham wafer crust instead of a pastry crust, but you can use what you like. We find the graham wafer crust a nice alternative and compliments the sugary lemon sweetness perfectly.
While at our local grocery store we found Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Graham wafer crumbs! You can find them here or check them in your local store. : ) We were thrilled because normally we have to find crackers and grind them ourselves. We copied the recipe off of the box and it worked perfectly.

Do you have a favourite pie that appears at Easter? What is it? Share with us, we would love to hear from you!

Lovely Lemon Meringue Pie

You will need:

1, 9 inch baked pie shell of your choice.

For the Filling 

1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar 
6 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp of salt 
2 cups of water
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 tbsp of vegan margarine 
1/2 cup of lemon juice 
1 tbsp grated lemon rind 

For the Meringue 

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
6 tbsp of granulated sugar 

How to make it:


Step 1: In a saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

Step 2:  Reduce heat to medium-low; boil gently for 3 minutes, stirring almost constantly.

Step 3: Remove from heat Whisk a little mixture into egg yolks; whisk back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes (there should be no taste of starch or yolk)

Step 4: Remove from heat, stir in butter, lemon juice and rind. Let cool slightly, about three minutes. Pour into baked pie shells. Let cool slightly while making meringue. 


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350'F

Step 2: In a bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tbsp at a time., until stiff and shiny peaks form. Spread over the pie, making sure to cover the filling right to the crust. Use a knife or spatula to create soft peaks on the pie.

Step 3: Bake for 12-15 minutes, until meringue is nice and golden.

Let pie cool for two hours before serving.

Voila! Enjoy! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Gratitude

It has been quite a joy filled Easter weekend for us Crazy Daisies. Our hearts are bursting with all the excitement and joy. We hope you all have had been celebrating and treating yourselves to Easter chocolates : )

We are grateful for: 

A mama who makes her kiddies Hot Cross Buns every Good Friday, and along with our Dad, delivered them to the new parents. 

We are grateful for: 

A parish community like St Mary's which celebrates the Easter Tridium to the fullest capacity. We all get so excited to ring our bells during the Gloria! It sounds like heaven. 

We are grateful for:

Leah's beautiful violin playing during the Easter vigil. It gave us goosebumps. 

We are grateful for: 

Family. On Sunday our Great- Great- Aunt met her Great, Great, Great niece. : ) It was special to see our 98 year old Auntie kiss the teeny feet of her little niece.  

We are grateful for: 

The Spring weather! It was such a treat to go outside and not wear a coat. Hurray for sunshine! 

We are grateful for: 

Amazing waffles, crepes, ham and scalloped potatoes that our creative and talented parents made. There is nothing like leftovers from such delicious meals! 

We are grateful for: 

Our dedicated Dad who lovingly saved a pew for us at the Easter vigil. He patiently waited for an hour while we got ready. We love you.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter friends!
We hope you have had a joy filled Easter weekend! We are all in chocolate- sugar- comas and so will be back tomorrow with an actual post. : )
We wish you a relaxing day full of leftovers, friends and family.
Hurray for Easter celebrations!

Friday, 18 April 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Peanut Butter Eggs

We believe peanut butter and chocolate are a perfect marriage. They are different but compliment each other so well. If you are one of our regular blog readers you will remember this post here where we made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. We love love love peanut butter and chocolate. : ) : ) and guaranteed when we need a quick chocolate fix, you just might find one of us girls eating a teaspoon of peanut butter and a couple of dark chocolate chips.

It was a very sad day when we had to say goodbye to Reese Peanut Butter Cups because of the dairy issue. Thankfully though there are so many recipes out there and we have a brave Charlotte who is diligent to make them. If you are looking for an alternative to store bought sugary Easter chocolate, try these Peanut Butter Eggs. They are eggcellent! 

Peanut Butter Eggs 

You will need:
  • 2 pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted, natural peanut butter (creamy is best, but crunchy is fine, too)
  • 1 cup (about 8 ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate (non-dairy for vegan)
  • 4 TBS maple syrup
How to make them:

Step 1: Add dates to a food processor and process until only small bits remain. Next add almonds and peanuts to the food processor and mix well. A few chunks is okay

Step 2: Next add peanut butter in 1 Tbsp at a time (8 Tbsp) until the mixture forms a loose dough. Add the maple syrup and mix. If it seems too wet to handle, add more peanuts. If it seems too dry, add more peanut butter. Refrigerate for 5 minutes so that it's easy to handle.

Step 3: Scoop out large rounds of dough – heaping 1 Tbsp – and form into an “egg” shape. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and pop in the freezer to harden for about 20 minutes.

Step 4: In the meantime, melt your dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments. If using the microwave, after every 30 seconds stir the chocolate until  Then work in small batches to coat the eggs. Take just 1 egg out of the freezer at a time for dipping – otherwise they’ll get too soft to dip well.

Step 5: To dip, drop eggs one at a time into the chocolate, flip once, pick up with a fork and gently tap on the rim of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. A little excess is OK. Place back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them  back in the freezer to set.

Step 6: Repeat until all eggs are dipped, re-warming chocolate as needed.
For optimum freshness, store eggs in an air-tight container in the freezer or fridge until serving.


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter Favourites List Part 2

Last year was our first Easter and we shared a few thoughts and ideas of what our family does during this Holy Week in preparation. You can go check out that Easter post here

We thought we would share a few other ideas we have found and loved. 

The Hot Cross  Buns our Mama makes every single Good Friday. They are delicious and don't last longer than an hour in our home. If you are looking for a great recipe check them out here

DIY Cadbury Cream Eggs that are dairy free! Charlotte made these babies last year and they are sooo good. Yes they are sugary and sweet and not the most healthy, but Easter deserves a little celebration :  )


Here are a few ideas we are loving right now:

Absolutely Adorable Spring Chick Cupcakes we make these for when our Godsons come over, because they are just so cute and perfect for kiddies
Paint Chip Bunny Garland  This looks like such a great and easy project! Now to go scour Home Depot for paint chips.. 
Silk Dyed Eggs A dear friend of our Mama's shared this and we can't wait to try it! Such a great idea!

and if you are looking for some more Easter inspiration, check out and follow us on Pinterest here 

Do you have an Easter favourite craft, recipe or idea? Share with us! We love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

New Life

In our home there has been plenty of new life! Last week was the joyous arrival of the sweet babies. This week it's Easter Sunday. Holding our little sweet babies, made us stop and think about how very special it is to celebrate new life.
So today we are sharing a few thoughts (and photos from our garden!) on the celebration of new life.

Hurray for the coming of Spring and Easter!

"While God, for the most part, allows this cosmos (creation) to work according to the laws of nature, there is never a time when He is not actively involved in every detail of life" Charles R. Swindoll

“Spring drew on...and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” Charlotte Bronte,  Jane Eyre

"Let us ask ourselves: how do I follow Jesus? Jesus speaks in silence in the Mystery of the Eucharist. He reminds us every time that following him means going out of ourselves and not making our life a possession of our own, but rather a gift to him and to others" Pope Francis -Corpus Christi Homily

"If you want a new life, first give praise for having the old one" Stephen Richards

"With the coming of spring, I am calm again." Gustav Mahler

“The moon was obscured by heavy clouds. January was already past the mid-mark and the early delta spring would soon be on them. Already on the night was the faint, fresh smell of buddings and the intimacy that comes from the warm delta air trapped between slumbering earth and lowering clouds.”   Leslie H. Whitten Jr., Moon of the Wolf    

"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on" Carl Sandburg

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." Maria Robinson

"Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring" Neltje Blanchan

Monday, 14 April 2014


During the time we could eat cheese and wheat, our Mama would make us lasagna. It was a special treat and one of our favourite meals. After changing our diets, lasagna was one of the meals that made the goodbye list. It just was one of those dishes that soy cheese didn't work, noodles were tasteless etc.

That all changed a few years ago when we found this amazing cookbook:

and Praise God lasagna was re-introduced into our lives! 

This meal does take time, but is worth the process. If you have sensitive tummies like us, give this recipe a try. It's vegan and gluten free! We have made it a few times now and have added a few changes to simplify the steps. Give it a go and let us know what you think. 

(adapted from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook)
Serves 6-8 people


For the lasagna:
10 cups of your favourite tomato sauce *it seems like a lot, but this lasagna absorbs sauce, so more is key*
2 boxes of brown rice noodles we use these ones here, cooked according to decorations 
2 pounds of spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil 
salt and pepper 

For the Tofu Ricotta: 

2 packages of extra firm tofu (around 1 pound)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt 
4 tablespoons of dried basil 
4 teaspoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast 

For the Almesan (looks like parmesan) 

1/4 cup of slivered almonds 
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest

How to:

Step 1: Prepare the Almesan by combining all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until mixture is tiny crumbs. Set aside. 

Step 2: Prepare the Tofu Ricotta by first mushing the tofu with your hands until it's crumbly. Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt and basil. Mush again with your fingers, this time squeezing it through your fingers. You want it to keep mushing it until it looks like ricotta cheese *approx 2-5 minutes* Add the olive oil and nutritional yeast and stir with a fork, as mixture will be sticky. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Step 3: Preheat oven to 375 'F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water is hot, add the spinach to the pot, in batches of three. Steam it for 30 seconds, quickly remove with a strainer and rinse under cool water to blanch it. When spinach is completely cool, squeeze excess water out using your fingers. Chop spinach coarsely and add olive oil and salt and pepper. 

To assemble: Using a 9 x 13 inch deep pan, ladle about 1/2 cup of sauce into the bottom of the pan and layer with 5-6 cooked noodles. Add half of the tofu ricotta mixture, sprinkle of spinach and one third of the sauce. Add another layer of 5-6 noodles, the rest of the ricotta and the rest of the spinach. Add another one third of the sauce. Top with another layer of 5-6 noodles and remaining sauce. Generously sprinkle the Almesan over the lasagna before baking. 
Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, until edges of noodles are browned and sauce is bubbling. 
Let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes or so before serving. 


PS we like to eat it for lunch the next day with ketchup : ) 

Friday, 11 April 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

...Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow

We are over joyed with new life in our family!!
Yesterday we welcomed our beautiful niece Juliette into the world.
We are so proud of our sisters Elese and Veronica; we marvel at their strength!!
We are also so proud of the two strong dads Zach and Shaun. Their loving support to their wives and babies is incredible! :)

We want them to be the ones to share the birth stories and pictures, so sorry friends, no baby photos here.
Also no post today, as we are a bit tired and excited and can't wait to kiss our sweet babies.

Awaiting news at the hospital :)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Dreaming of reading...

We have been day dreaming of spending hours at the cottage reading. Spending all afternoon in an adriondack by the lake with a good book.   : ) Yes it is a few months until summer pleasure reading, and we are definately daydreaming of pleasure reading. With all the excitment of babies we don't have plenty of reading hours these days, but are looking forward to our cottage break in July.
Here are a few books we have added to our daydreaming of summer list:

The Sweetness of a Simple Life by Diana Beresford-Kroeger

We saw this book on our friend Leigh's blog here and after seeing it in lovely photos and searching it Amazon, knew that this is a book we want to read next.

Inside Out Girl by Tish Cohen

We read her novel the Search Angel last summer and loved it! Her writing, her characters, the story!
Cannot wait to read her other novels.


The Amazing Thing About the Way it Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and other things I gave up on.. by Stephanie Pearl McPhee

Stephanie is the writer on the blog the Yarn Harol which you can find here. Her writing is smart, funny and relatable. Even if you aren't a knitter, it's worth checking out. We can't wait to read her new novel which is a collection of short stories.


Our brother John is furiously reading the Percy Jackson series.

He is currently awaiting the arrival of book two, but says if you like mythology you will love this series!
What about you? Any books on your wish list? Share with us : )

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

To sweat or not to sweat..

A few years ago an email went out about how bad antiperspirant is for us, and how it would probably lead to Breast cancer or Alzheimer's. It circled the web, was the topic of conversation and then kind of disappeared.
Is antiperspirant bad for you? Does it lead to cancer?

After searching awhile on the Internet, the answer is no. According to the Web MD site, there is no proven study that directly links antiperspirant to any disease. It does explain that antiperspirant does contain aluminum, which does temporarily plug the sweat ducts and prevents you from sweating. As of today there isn't any proven facts to say that antiperspirant is horrible, but still makes us wonder: Should we really be putting aluminum under our arms?

I (Renee) decided last year to try out aluminum free deodorant, to see if it makes a difference and if it would prevent any smelling. I also thought that if I could do one thing to 'maybe' prevent cancer, then isn't it worth a shot?

but I was worried that I might end up looking like this:


After searching and spending a few dollars, here are the deodorants I tried out:

Kiss My Face

Tom's of Maine

Adidas Aluminium Deodorant

and my favourite so far: Tom's of Maine! I love the scent, it's fresh and it does last all day. You do have to get used to feeling slightly sweaty, but Tom's really does the trick. It was expensive-close to nine dollars, but has the nicest scent and is the softest to use.

The runner up is definitely the Adidas deodorant. It leaves you dry all day and works well even in the summer. I wasn't a huge fan of the scents, but this one is cheaper than Tom's, only around five dollars.

Which one I liked the least:

The Kiss My Face : ( It gave me a rash and irritated my skin. The scent also barely lasted and didn't leave you feeling fresh at all. It was around six dollars.

What about you? Do you use deodorant? Have a favourite? Let us know!