Pumpkin Season Is Near…

PumpkinssThe most glorious season of all is right around the corner folks. Fall aka The Season of Pumpkins is nearly here! I could not be more excited. Bring on the colder weather, big cozy sweaters, boots, leaves, and my personal favourite part of Fall… PUMPKINS. I am obsessed. Aren’t they just the prettiest orange things you ever did see? 😉

Come August, stores will be filled with all things pumpkin related. Pumpkin spice lattes (the ultimate Fall treat!), candles, baked goods, home decor. They have it all. I like to think that Fall has officially arrived when Bath & Body Works release their highly anticipated Fall candles in stores. It seems my wish has came true and Fall has come early this year because Bath & Body Works just released some of their new scents a few days ago! Yup, that’s right. Fall candles are now available at Bath & Body Works and they’ve got some amazing new scents this year. I can’t wait to stock up. It’s not wrong to burn pumpkin candles year round is it?

Here are some lovely pumpkin goodies to get you into the Fall spirit:

Where to buy: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14

Natasha xo

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2015 Preview

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The Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival is back for its 38th year! This weekend from July 17 to the 19th,  VFMF will host artists from around the world. There will be over 60 talented music acts from 15+ countries performing at the beautiful Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver. There are numerous Canadian artists on the roster as well as many new and unknown International artists. You get to discover brand new talent you’ve never heard of before. If you love can’t live without music like us, then that’s one of the reasons to attend this Festival. We always leave with a list of new ‘fave’ artists. We go home shocked that we’ve never heard of them before. We then become like 2 obsessed music junkies researching every single album they’ve ever released and brag to all of our friends that we’ve just discovered the next best bands! Yup… we discovered them. Keeps us amused and happy. Thank you VFMF!

Starting this Friday, Jericho Beach will transform and become a music lovers haven. Every year fans start lining up first thing in the morning to get a perfect spot in front of the main stage. Some have even been known to go the night before and camp out. Die hards!

If you’ve never attended the VFMF before we highly recommend packing up the family (yes, it’s family friendly) or grab a couple friends and check it out! We have been 3 times previously and absolutely love it. It truly is a one of a kind event and embodies the true essence of Summer here in Vancouver. It is such a great opportunity to get outside and admire the absolutely gorgeous beach front and mountain views, eat some amazing food, shop for rare artisan goodies and listen to some fab music. Oh and let’s not forget about the Beer Gardens.

Check out our picks of some of the artists not to be missed performing at this years Folk Fest : 

TPyF66ns_fOdus6GIrzCPMQGV2avhPI4ghXn8zfes7M SAID THE WHALE (BC)

Vancouver based indie rock band Said The Whale have been a Canadian favourite since forming in 2007. Relentless touring paired with a roster of catchy, upbeat, hook-filled songs has kept audiences coming back for more.

Said The Whale have won various accolades including placing second in the Peak Performance Project in 2010 and winning a Juno Award for New Group of the Year in 2011. 4 studio albums in, Said The Whale show no signs of slowing down.

Catch Said The Whale at the VFMF Main Stage on Friday, July 17th6:25 pm

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HAWKSLEY WORKMAN (Ontario)

We are completely stoked to see Hawksley perform this Friday! We have been wanting to see him play forever so we’re really looking forward to that. 

Catch Hawskley Workman at the VFMF Main Stage on Friday, July 17th7:40pm

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Catch Blind Pilot at the VFMF Main Stage on Saturday, July 18th8:40pm

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JASPER SLOAN YIP (BC)

Catch Jasper Sloan Yip at the VFMF Stage 3 on Saturday, July 18th – 12:20pm

JillandMatthewBarberMATTHEW BARBER & JILL BARBER (Ontario/BC)

Catch Matthew & Jill Barber at the VFMF Stage 2 on Saturday, July 18th2:20pm

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MARLON WILLIAMS (New Zealand)

Catch Marlon Williams at the VFMF Stage 1 on Sunday, July 19th2:40pm

 

FULL VFMF 2015 ROSTER:
(more info about each artist can be found here)

100 Mile House (Alberta) ˒ Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson (Ireland / Scotland) ˒ Annie Lou (BC/Ontario) Matthew Barber and Jill Barber (Ontario/BC) ˒ Beans on Toast (UK) ˒ Lurrie Bell (Illinois) ˒ Blind Pilot (Oregon) ˒ Breabach(Scotland) ˒ Basia Bulat (Ontario) ˒ Bustamento (Australia) ˒ Sousou & Maher Cissoko (Senegal/Sweden) ˒ Adam Cohen(Québec) ˒ Diyet (Yukon) ˒ Cecile Doo-Kingue (Québec) ˒ The Down Hill Strugglers (New York) ˒ Frazey Ford (BC) ˒Fortunate Ones (Newfoundland) ˒ La Gallera Social Club (Venezuela) ˒ Mary Gauthier (Tennessee) ˒ Jenn Grant (Nova Scotia) ˒ Ash Grunwald (Australia) ˒ I’m With HerSara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan (USA) ˒ The Jerry Cans(Nunavut) ˒ Angélique Kidjo (Benin/NY) ˒ Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba (Mali) Pokey LaFarge (Missouri) ˒ ˒Sam Lee & Friends (UK)  ˒ The Lowest Pair (Washington State) ˒Lucius (New York) ˒ Rory McLeod (UK) Bongeziwe Mabandla (South Africa) ˒ Mama Kin (Australia) ˒ Matuto (New York) ˒ Melbourne Ska Orchestra (Australia) ˒ Old Man Leudecke (Nova Scotia) ˒ The Once (Newfoundland) ˒ Lindi Ortega (Ontario) ˒ Parsonsfield (Connecticut) ˒ Perch Creek (Australia) Grace Petrie (UK) ˒ Phosphorescent (Georgia/New York) ˒ Les Poules à Colin (Québec) ˒ Rising Appalachia (North Carolina) ˒ The Sadies (Ontario) ˒ Said the Whale (BC) ˒ Scarlett Jane (Ontario) ˒ Shtreiml & Ismail Fencioglu (Québec) ˒ Son Little (Pennsylvania) ˒ Söndörgő (Hungary) ˒ The Strumbellas (Ontario) ˒ Tanga (BC) ˒ Richard Thompson (UK) ˒ Trampled by Turtles (Minnesota) ˒ Ivan Tucakov & Tambura Rasa (BC) ˒ The Wilderness of Manitoba (Ontario) ˒ Marlon Williams (New Zealand) ˒ Hawksley Workman (Ontario) ˒ Jasper Sloan Yip (BC)

TICKETS:
Tickets are available online, at various VFMF outlets (Zulu Records, Red Cat Records, Highlife Records, Ticketzone Box Office) and will also be available at the gate. For full ticket prices/discounted rates, see here.

Adult Weekend Passes – $155 before July 16th or $170 at the gate July 17 – 19th.
One day passes – $55 on Friday, $85 Saturday and Sunday at the gate.

Happy Festival Season!
Natasha & Laura xo

(we did not take or own these photosall images in this post were provided to media by VIFF)

Soirette Macarons & Tea

IMG_2Recently my Dad and I had a father-daughter day and dropped by the beautiful Soirette Macarons & Tea in Vancouver. I’ve been wanting to try out their much talked about macarons for awhile now. When I heard about their seasonal Pumpkin Pie macarons, that just sold the deal and off we went!

Soirette is owned by Pastry Chef Shobna Kannusamy (an alumnus of the Diplome de Pâtisserie program at Le Cordon Bleu). Although Soirette specializes in handmade macarons that are baked on-site, they also serve a wide variety of coffee & teas (including organic) and various other desserts. High Tea is available on Saturday & Sundays ($36 per person).

IMG_8059ffffI really liked the decor and atmosphere of Soirette. The decor is clean, crisp & stylish with light blue walls and white sparkly tables. Definitely would be a great place to have High Tea with the girls!

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The prices are on the higher side but that seems to be the norm for specialty macarons. An assorted box of 12 is $26.50 and a box of 30 is $63.

My Dad and I shared a box of 12 and tried the flavours Raspberry, Pumpkin Pie, Vanilla, Rose, Crème brûlée & Pistachio.
Out of the ones we tried my favourites were Pumpkin Pie (obviously!), Raspberry & Vanilla.

The macarons were absolutely delicious and are some of my favourite macarons that I’ve tasted in Vancouver. The flavours were all really nice and I was glad they were not overly sweet and sugary. They were decently sized and held their shape. No crumbling or falling apart in your hand.

We almost ate the whole box of macarons and had to make a conscious effort to save a few to take home. I think I ended up only coming home with 2! We couldn’t help ourselves – they were so good!

IMG_8052g434We both ordered vanilla lattes and they were really nummy. It did seem to take awhile for our lattes to be made and we had actually almost finished the whole box of macarons by the time our drinks arrived. However, the lattes were really good. I just wish the latte art was a bit better.

SoiretteMacarons1IMG_8018f66This Pumpkin Pie macaron display was in the front window and I LOVED it. So pretty and festive for Fall! I just wanted to take a bite out of one. 😉

Soirette’s other seasonal macaron flavours include Apple Pie, Black Forest, Carrot Cake, Bananas Foster and Goat Cheese & Green Walnut.

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All in all, Soirette Macarons & Tea is definitely a must-visit if you’re looking for high quality, tasty macarons in Vancouver. My dad and I had a wonderful visit and will definitely be stopping by again! I must have more of those pumpkin macarons… 😉

Soirette Macarons & Tea / 1433 W Pender Street / Vancouver, BC / V6G2S3 / 604 558 3308

Store Hours:
Mon – Wed 10 to 6
Thurs – Fri 10 to 7
Saturday & Sunday – 11 to 6

Have you visited Soirette Macarons & Tea? What is your favourite spot for macarons? Let us know!

Natasha xo

Get Your #CoffeeBuzz On This Holiday!

IMG_8269g52You guys… there are only 77 days left to go until Christmas Day. I can’t believe the most magical time of year is almost here already! Anyone else as excited as I am?

A Christmas song came on my ipod shuffle the other day and surpisingly, I let the whole song play and actually enjoyed it. Than while grocery shopping, we came across Eggnog already out in stores. It’s Christmas time people! (Okay, I know there’s this awesome thing called Halloween happening first, but right after that and on November 1st, it’s basically Christmas time in our house).

We had the pleasure of teaming up with Staples Canada & Keurig for their #CoffeeBuzz campaign and were asked to create a coffee drink. Originally we had planned on using pumpkin (tis’ the season!) but when we came across the eggnog, we decided to just skip right on over Halloween (for now) and head straight to the Christmas drinks!

I don’t know about you but when Christmas rolls around, one of my very favourite drinks is an Eggnog Latte. So lo and behold, I introduce you to Rose & Lea’s Eggnog Latte! We kept the ingredients to a minimum and added no unneccessary sugars. No need to break the bank at coffee shops this Holiday when you can make the same thing at home. :) 

Technically you need a shot of espresso for a drink to be considered a ‘latte’. Therefore, you can either use 2 shots espresso or do what we did and use strong concentrated coffee. We also added a shot of rum to our drinks but that is totally optional and tastes just as good without.

IMG_810ffThe new Keurig 2.0 was just recently released and has many new features that are incomparable to other at-home coffee brewers. My mom and I are both big coffee lovers and have another coffee machine at home as well. However, the new Keurig 2.0 is the first machine that can quickly brew a single cup of coffee or a carafe which allows you to brew 4-5 cups at once! There are plenty of other handy features including customizable drink options (you can pick the size – 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, or 10oz and choose the coffee strength), a 70 oz water reservoir, auto on & off and a colour touch display.

The Keurig 2.0 K400 is beautiful, sleek and modern & is super easy to use. There are a nice variety of different K-Cups available and the fact that you can brew 4-5 cups at once is a major plus.

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There are 250 K-Cup varieties of coffee, tea and other beverages available for Keurig brewers. We used Tully’s Coffee Italian Roast Extra Bold Coffee for our Eggnog Lattes and it was perfect for this recipe.

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Rose & Lea's Eggnog Latte
Serves 1
Delicious, Simple Eggnog Latte.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
4 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
4 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee (or 2 shots espresso)
  2. 1/2 cup eggnog
  3. 1/2 milk
  4. optional: shot of rum!
  5. optional: whipped cream & nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Pour espresso/concentrated coffee into a mug.
  2. Pour eggnog & milk in a seperate mug and heat in microwave for approx. 2 minutes.
  3. (If you prefer your eggnog latte sweeter, add more eggnog as desired).
  4. Add the eggnog mixture to the mug with the coffee & mix.
  5. (Optional: add a shot of rum or top off with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg!)
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/
We had so much fun creating this Eggnog Latte with our new Keurig, that there may or may not be a Pumpkin drink recipe coming soon… stay tuned!

Happy almost Holidays!
Natasha & Laura xo (written by Natasha)