Thursday, March 15, 2012

what's in my cup....

So many drinks and so little time. 
For some reason though the variations are endless, each one has its season in my life.
Right now I am in an Americanized Macchiato mode.
A cup seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg along with a little organic sugar 3 shots of espresso and some frothy milk marking the espresso and perhaps more than marking, latte-esque-ness, in a typical North American milk loving fashion.
A strong coffee flavour softened with milk, a hint of sweetness and spice, perfect for one of those, "I need a hug" kind of mornings".

What's in your cups, friends?
Happy Wednesday!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

recipe card....

I have a thing for nutella.  Perhaps it is because it is made in Canada or perhaps it is just because it is super delicious!  I am hoping in the near future we can make our own nutella but for now I am saving up for a proper food processor that will make it as good as nutella does...
or better! (if that is even feasible)
One of the things we enjoy for a quick breakfast is homemade granola bars with nutella and a nice cup of tea.
A great way to start a day, so I thought I would share its goodness with all of you....


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup raw coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, chocolate chunks and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

a busy week in the burbs...

trimming, mowing, digging, watering, cleaning, feeding, mulching, playing, collecting eggs, dancing,
kissing, eating, weeding, pruning....
alright, excuses aside, here are a few shots of our little farm in the burbs.

Happy Thursday, friends!
What are you all up to?
~dee& little bella

Friday, March 2, 2012

pura vida...

I have been feeling poorly the past couple of days and apologize for not posting until today.  Even with the 'under the weather thing' going on, I have to say I was rather happy to finally have the opportunity to place my art in Charlotte, NC at the lovely, Teresa Hernadez' shop, Pura Vida in the North Davidson Arts District yesterday.
Her shop is utterly beautiful and I was taken back by the feeling of entering a candy shop for the eyes.  
 I wish I had brought my Nikkon but my love kindly took a couple of hipstamatic shots, a little fuzzy but you can get a wee peek at the walls, I hope.
The work I sent over was from two different sets.  One was "mountain dreams" which is a set based on our hopes to eventually live a self sustaining lifestyle in the mountains and the other set is, "barn in the burbs" which speaks to the 'now', where we are working with our local setting and farming in the burbs of Charlotte using our small knowledge of permaculture. 
I think it is a wonderful opportunity to use art to express my thoughts on our farming experiences and new beginnings.  It rung true to my heart when Teresa commented on not living under guilt but rather taking every small opportunity to make a difference in our world.
So a bike ride to work, a re-use of a bag, a tree planted, a new bee box, a DIY project re using something, a bucket of rain water saved....every little thing we do can add up to MUCH!
Which is exactly what I hope to portray in these pieces: the little things we do to work with nature to create our food forest.
Together thoughtful observation has aided us in various ways, like using our fruit trees in our garden beds as shade, their waste as mulch along with their lovely buds for the bees....
I could go on but I hope that my paintings will speak of these culmination of thoughts.

My work is rather happy to be housed at the moment at this lovely little spot in NODA.
If you get the chance to go take a peek, you will love it as I do, I'm sure.

Happy Thursday friends!

Monday, February 27, 2012


Over the Christmas holidays, my parents came to North Carolina for a visit.  We all spent some time up in the mountains near Asheville, NC.  During our stays in Asheville we always enjoy a visit to West Asheville Bakery long ago recommended to us by a friend.  My parents enjoyed this bakery while on this visit.  My mom was especially drawn to a framed poster on the wall was a Syracuse, NY poster on building community.  My mind now keeps recalling little ideas from this poster's text.

Prior to moving to North Carolina, I lived in Vancouver, B.C. in the West Side near UBC where there is a very strong sense of community.  Our family now lives in the small suburban city of Monroe, NC.  It has so much potential with its history, arts, small businesses and lovely architecture.  I have found myself often wondering why it seems so edging on being an amazing place to live but it also seems there is a small barrier to cross to reach that point.  Over the past days my love and I have been thinking of ways in which we could make a difference here.  I think somewhere a long the way Monroe, NC may have lost its luster due to poor economy and a need for some local love.  It's time to build community as others have been starting already, we as a family desire to pour into this city in similar ways and together this small, historical, artsy location will have a strong and healthy community full of diversity and hope.  It would be so incredible if we could individually begin to implement some or all of the suggestions from the poster on building community and see this city thrive and grow.

This is the text from the poster I now intend to purchase and work into our daily lives.  I hope it will impact our city as it has so many others (Including my hometown of Vancouver, BC.):  

How To Build Community

Members SCW Community
Turn off your TV*Leave your house
Know your neighbors
Look up when you are walking
Greet people*Sit on your stoop
Plant Flowers
Use your library*Play together
Buy from local merchants
Share what you have
Help a lost dog
Take children to the park
Garden Together
Support Neighborhood Schools
Fix it even if you didn't break it
Have Pot Lucks*Honor Elders
Pick Up Litter* Read Stories Aloud
Dance in the Street
Talk to the Mail Carrier
Listen to the Birds* Put up a Swing
Help Carry Something Heavy
Barter For Your Goods
Start A Tradition*Ask A Question
Hire Young People for Odd Jobs
Organize a Block Party
Bake Extra and Share
Ask For Help When You Need It
Open Your Shades*Sing Together
Share Your Skills
Take Back the Night
Turn Up The Music
Turn Down The Music
Listen Before You react To Anger
Mediate A Conflict
Seek To Understand
Learn From New And
Uncomfortable Angles
Know That No One is Silent
Though Many Are Not Heard
Work To Change This

(I took these photos in Monroe a while back.)

Happy Monday, friends!
Hoping you enjoy your day and where you live!
If you have any suggestions to add to the list of ways to build community please share with us.
We love hearing from you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

if only...

For a long while we have been collecting coffee/tea house ideas.
We have loved everything from bohemian styled shops to super mod cafes.
So we will more than likely end up with a space that is somewhere in the middle, with clean lines and a design that is simple, fun and homey without clutter, easy to clean and upkeep but without the cold feel of some mod, minimalistic spaces.
This restaurant in West Sussex is close to perfect as perfect can be.
We wouldn't be surprised at all if some of the ideas from Amelie & Friends end up in our coffee/tea house one day.
There is something about white mixed with natural looking wood and Eames-esque furnishings that make us feel at peace.  
And the retro, cute packaging and branding with sweet text makes me swoon.
So for now we will just sigh, plan and dream and perhaps one day we will fly to England and take a peek in person at this cozy little place.
If you are lucky enough to pop over to Amelie & Friends, know that my love and I are quite envious.

(photos via here)

Hoping your Tuesday is full of goodness and that you find a niche or nest locally to enjoy community over a great cup of tea or coffee.