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 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

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Crystal Deodorant...say what?

A month ago we blogged about deodorant and asked you what you thought, thanks so much for your feedback and suggestions! We LOVE hearing from you : ) If you missed that post, check it out here

Last week our Mama told us about something she had discovered and now loves:
Crystal Deodorant! It's a hundred percent natural and has no added fragrances, making it hypoallergenic. She has been using it for the past week and loves it. So much so she wants us to share about how it is the best ever in natural deodorants.

We were a bit skeptical, mostly because we don't know what it is and also because crystal deodorant sounds like something those real crunchy granola types use.

What is Crystal Deodorant?

It is a salt crystal that neutralizes the bacteria to prevent body odor.
It is hypoallergenic, gentle, dries instantly, and is: aluminum cholorhydrate free, alimunim zirconium free and pareban free. whew, trying saying that in one try! : )

It is made out of alum, which is a mineral salt and is not a harmful aluminum. If you want to read more about it, check out the website: here
To use the Crystal, all you have to do is wet it, roll the stone under your arms and voila good to go!

In the past, all of us girls have gotten rashes or irritations from one deodorant to the next..and we attribute it to all the fragrances etc that are added. Our poor mama is very sensitive and has gotten irritated underarms from the natural deodorant sweat..not fun and oh so painful!

Which is why she loves the Crystal Deodorant!
She wore it to work on a hot day this past week and it worked! No sweaty armpits, no odor, no uncomfortable rash!! : )

I am off to the store to buy one to try it out, as I am curious...
Has any one else tried this before? Did you like it? Share with us! We love to hear from you. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Surprise Brownies *Vegan and GF*

If you have been reading our blog for awhile, you know that we love our chocolate brownies. We grew up with homemade treats in our lunches and tasty snacks awaiting for us when we got home. Middle -of -the -week- brownies would appear for no reason, other than to make us smile  : )
Our parents have been making our brownie recipe for years and when we changed to spelt they converted to the recipe you can find here
When our Mama recently made the switch to gluten free, she just eliminated sweet treats. It was hard to make the switch and sometimes gluten free baking just doesn't taste so great. It took a little sleuthing to find a recipe that tasted delicious and was both vegan and gluten free-but Super Chef Charlotte did it and made it even better...


These brownies also have a little hidden surprise: not only are they tasty but they are actually good for you! They have a hidden ingredient of pumpkin, which adds fiber and keeps the brownies moist. Give them a try and let us know how it goes! 

So Yummy in your Tummy Brownies  *Gluten and Dairy Free*

You will need:

3/4 cup of brewed coffee, hot
6 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup of cocoa
1/3 cup of vegan margarine
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of gluten free flour of choice * ours is below
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 350'F  and spray an 8'in pan with cooking oil
2. Mix together coffee, chocolate chips, cocoa and margarine in a large bowl and let sit for five minutes.
3. Add the pumpkin puree, sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth
4. In a separate bowl, stir together flour blend, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing or icing : )

*Gluten Free Flour Mix

Makes 3 cups

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups of brown rice flour
3/4 cup of tapioca starch
3/4 cup of potato starch

Once brownies are cooled ice with your favourite icing! Or enjoy them alone : )

Monday, 12 May 2014

A thank you for our Mamas

"To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colours of a rainbow." Dr Maya Angelou


Charlotte found this quote and inscribed on the inside of our Mama's Mother's Day Card. We felt it was the perfect way to sum up the majestic power of all that she is. Beauty, power and grace. We had a very full weekend of lots of love and so want to start the week off with a gratitude list. 

We are grateful for: 

Our Mama's dedication to all of us. She is a master at dividing her attention and making sure ALL of our needs and more are met.  Even though we are are adults and almost adults : ) she doesn't stop. 
We love you. 

We are grateful for: 

All the help in making her day so special! We all took turns chopping veggies, making lemon cakes, mopping floors, buying champagne and flowers..lots of team work and no arguments : ) 

We are grateful for: 

Our Mama's smile. Our Mama has a smile that lights up a room and makes you feel like you are the most important person in the entire world. 

We are grateful for:

Celebrating the first mother's day with our sister and sister in law! It was so special having our Mama, Grandmama, and new Mamas all around the dinner table. Such a celebration of life and love. There was lots of baby cuddles, kisses and smiles. It was a special Sunday dinner memory. 

We are grateful for: 

The SUNSHINE! : ) The warm weather is finally here and we are so grateful. The Magnolia trees are in bloom, the fiddleheads are popping up, and we can walk outside without a jacket!!!! : ) : ) : ) 

We are grateful for: 

The yes that all Mama's gave to life. We wouldn't be here without them and we are thankful. 


What are you grateful for? Share with us! 

Friday, 9 May 2014

A Friday Ritual

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

Happy Friday! :)