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Brands that Give Back

Giving back has always been important to Chanel and I. We were raised to offer help to those in need by donating a portion of our earnings or time. It's obvious that we like to shop, and if you can shop while helping people that's even better! We've found a few ethical brands that we really believe in and we're excited to share why!

We have a bit of a unique story and if you’ve been following us a while you may have heard it before but if not, here it is for those of you who are new around here.

We grew up in the beautiful Okanagan, close to the lake, with the belief that somewhere in the deep, unexplored depths lurks the Ogopogo, a mythical lake monster. With a little nudge from our parents, Chanel and I had the bright idea to capitalize on the tourism that doubles the population of our small hometown in the busy summer months. Over many laughs and dinnertime conversations, Ogopogo Poop was born. We packaged and labelled thousands of watermelon jelly beans over the following 7 years and successfully sold our product in more than 35 stores from as far as Osoyoos to Kelowna.

Simply selling our product wasn’t enough for us. From the very start we decided to donate twenty-five percent of our proceeds to various charities. It wasn’t enough for us to blindly write cheques to charities we didn’t know or trust, so we saved our every penny to go to these places and donate not only our money but our time and labour as well.

When I was 11 years old I was standing on top of a garbage dump in the sweltering heat of Puerto Vallarta overlooking the ocean littered with cruise ships, trying to hold my breath from the stench, while trying to comprehend the fact that this is where people live. Not only do they live in these conditions, the garbage is all that they have. It’s their livelihood and their home. It’s safe to say that this moment drastically changed the way that I viewed the world. From then on, we continued selling our product while raising funds and supplies for The Children of the Dump and even revisited them a few years later.

Although the business hasn’t been around for years now, we try our best to keep the social awareness/activism alive in our everyday actions and choices. One of the things we believe to be important is conscious consumerism. Our everyday purchases and decisions add up and can have a drastic impact on the world, which is why we try to shop local and support brands who are doing good things. (Chanel touched on this a little bit in her Poppy Barley post)

Here are a couple brands that I’ve found recently that uphold these values.


Tribe of Lambs
When travelling India, my friend Bobbi discovered that India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. 2.1 million people are living with the virus and approximately 170,000 of these are under the age of 15. Bobbi and her business partner Phil decided to create Tribe of Lambs in order to do something about this!

They spend part of their year in India working with artisans and developing strong relationships to create quality and ethically made jewelry. Their artisans know that their products are directly helping children in their community and are paid fairly to do it. Tribe of Lambs donates 100% of their proceeds to Indian non-government organizations, homes and orphanages who work solely for the care and education of children who are either infected or affected by the HIV virus. Not only are their products trendy and fashionable but they are making a big difference on a global scale.










Milk Jar
I came across Milk Jar when I was browsing in some small local shops. Upon smelling their captivating scents I was instantly drawn in but when I found out what they stood for, I  was hooked.

They are 100% soy candles with a natural wood wick, free of paraffin wax, palm wax and dyes. They don't come with a useless lid that will just end up in the garbage. Not only do they smell great, but they also donate $1 from each purchase to a local charity here in Calgary AND $1 from every returned jar to a featured charity.

I love my bergamot and blood orange!







Give Guatemala
Give Guatemala works closely with local designers and artisans to provide them fair wages and sales of their products. Not only do they enable a sustainable and comfortable life for their workers but they also donate a portion of their wages to local charities.

Pictured here are the Worry Doll Coasters. Traditionally you are to whisper your worries to the dolls, place them under your pillow and sleep your worries away. Each coaster is made with 12 worry dolls, plexiglass and repurposed wood so you can now drink your worries away.







Shop these amazing brands:





I hope you feel inspired to think twice about the brands you support and where you're spending your money. Now, more than ever, we need to promote love and unity! Who knew you could do that with your buying power.

Xo,

Emily

The Ultimate Okanagan Road Trip


We both grew up in the Okanagan (Summerland to be more specific) and we try to visit as much as we possibly can. With both of us living in different provinces, trips home are always extra special. Each time we make the road trip to Summerland it seems like there are always new wineries popping up or new things to try. We've decided to put together a list of our favourite things to do in the Okanagan and along the way.

MUST DO ACTIVITIES IN THE OKANAGAN

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1. Wine Tour


If you've been following us for a while, you know that wine is sort of our thing. We have had the opportunity to get to know quite a few of the great Okanagan wineries and each offers a unique experience. Our goal for every visit home is to try a new winery. We have a list of favourites for each area which we'll need to cover in a completely different post, but a few of our must-tries are Dirty Laundry (fun & saucy atmosphere), Joie (delicious rose), Church and State (beautiful tasting room and views) and Covert Farms (lots of fun activities for the whole family).

2. Farmers Market


We love to shop. That also includes farmer's markets! They are a great way to check out local artisanal products and fresh food. Emily has also fallen in love with baking and using local ingredients helps to make the final product even more delicious. If you haven't seen her amazing strawberry rhubarb pie recipe, check it out here. The Penticton farmer's market is one of our favourites. It's every Saturday morning until the end of October.

3. Beach or Boat Day


We are lake girls at heart and love a good beach day. If you can get on a boat to explore the Okanagan lake, the views are even better! There's something about near the water that is so relaxing. Our favourite beaches are all on the south end of the Okanagan lake and include Powell beach, Skaha beach and Okanagan beach.

4. Kangaroo Farm


If you're an animal lover check out the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Lake Country. The farm is a family non-commercial farm and offers a loving home for different kangaroo species, sugar gliders, goats, pigs and even a capybara. It's a pretty fun petting zoo experience and you can even snuggle with the baby joey's if you're lucky!

5. Othello Tunnels


The last time I visited the Hope Othello tunnels was back in elementary school. On my most recent trip back to Vancouver we decided to make the stopover and take in the sights. The tunnels and bridges were once old train passageways and are an easy walk. There are beautiful rivers that roar under the bridges and the water is crystal blue. If you're coming from Vancouver I highly recommend making the extra stop!

Additional Tips


  • If you're looking to visit wineries during your trip, a great time to go is in the Spring or the Fall. This way you avoid the busy tourist season!
  • If you're looking for accommodations I would highly suggest the Summerland Waterfront Resort. It's quiet and right on the water. A few other places to stay that we recommend are: The many great Airbnb's and the abundance of campgrounds.
  • There are many great ski resorts to see during the winter! Big White, Apex and Silver Star are some awesome spots!


Have you visited the Okanagan valley before? Let us know what your favourite activity is in the Okanagan in the comments below!

The Internet's 3 Best Kale Recipes

Image courtesy of Cup of Jo

Having recently become a vegetarian, I've found myself being a lot more mindful of what I put in my body. I often question if I am getting all the proper nutrients that I need. I find myself on Pinterest all too often, checking out the latest kitchen trends and healthy recipes.

I keep finding myself coming back to kale. Not only is it so good for you, when it's cooked properly it can be so tasty!! Here are a few of my favourite kale recipes I've tested and loved from Pinterest.

Image courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny










1. Roasted Chick Pea Kale Salad by Eat Yourself Skinny

Ok... wow! This salad is literally the best salad I've ever had! The heartiness of the kale pairs with the citrus in the dressing perfectly. I added some sunflower seeds and dried cranberries for a touch of sweet/savoury


* I would recommend whipping up some extra dressing, it's THAT good! *











Image courtesy of Naturally Ella 







2. Turmeric Rice with sautéed onions, coconut kale and pistachios by Naturally Ella

I've been on the turmeric train lately! Not only does it help prevent cancer by fighting free radicals to help maintain healthy cells, it acts as a liver cleanser (for those who, like me, can drink a little too much wine sometimes) and it even promotes beautiful, healthy skin to name just a few.

I was so excited to try this recipe and it was so tasty! The coconut kale blends perfectly with the turmeric rice topped with the crunch of the cashews and coconut. I cooked my kale a little longer than Ella recommends and added some steamed broccoli on top!



Image courtesy of A cup of Jo








3. Goat Cheese, Kale, Caramelized Onion Fettuccine by Amy Chaplin's At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen 

As a child, I remember I really didn't like goat cheese. HOW? It's so good! And this pasta, delicious! I found this recipe featured on A Cup of Jo and there's no wonder why it's getting so much hype. It looks amazing and tastes just as good! I think I literally had 3 helpings. I would highly recommend checking out the recipe here.










I hope you all get to try out a new recipe and find something that you really like! I know these have become staples in our home. Leave a comment and let us know how you did with these recipes OR if you have another kale recipe you'd recommend! 

Xo Emily

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe






It's still rhubarb season here in Alberta and if you've read our Strawberry Rhubarb Frosé post you know how much I love rhubarb. So naturally, I was excited to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie to commemorate the ending of the rhubarb season here.









As usual, I started out my pie by preparing my Shirriff pie crust. 


 Confession: I've actually never made a pie crust from scratch, I just don't have time and I'm kind of intimidated by the whole idea. This Shirriff alternative is so tasty and really easy so I always find my way back to it. It saves soooo much time! All you have to do is add butter and water. It's easy as pie 😉




I started by mixing the filling; rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, cornstarch, orange juice, salt and vanilla. It looked so good already, I had a nibble and fed my boyfriends daughter her first piece of rhubarb dipped in a little sugar. She was hooked. 
If someone had told me pie making was so easy I would've started ages ago! Simply add your toppings into the crust with some added crumbled butter and you're almost all set. I made my pie lattice and weaved it onto my pie. Just like in my blueberry sour cream pie recipe I used my plastic ruler to cut right though the dough and my cuts were straight and even every time. 
All that's left is to brush it with your egg mixture, sprinkle with your pie sugar and bake! 





Walking through New York in Poppy Barley



A few weeks ago I went to a pop-up shop event for Poppy Barley. I fell in love with a pair of red slingback sandals as soon as I walked in the door. Any shopaholic can relate, it was love at first sight and I immediately knew I needed these in my life. Prior to the Poppy Barley event, I was actually on the hunt for a comfortable yet stylish pair of shoes for an upcoming New York trip. I knew I would be spending quite a bit of time running from meeting to meeting. I'm happy to say that these shoes not only saved my feet but also added a lovely pop of colour to my outfits!

I'm excited to have partnered with Poppy Barley for this post and can't wait to share more about this amazing Canadian brand and how our values align.






Being in the "big apple" I felt the pressure to dress to impress, especially since I was meeting with influencers and media during our visit. I personally don't wear a lot of color, so these shoes were a step out of my comfort zone. There is something about cherry red that I've recently become obsessed with. I'm starting to embrace adding color to my outfits and I actually found these shoes surprisingly easy to pair with my wardrobe!










Over the last few years, I have become much more aware of how the fashion industry works, especially fast fashion. It has become important to me to know that what I'm wearing is ethically sourced and produced. These shoes are not only ultra comfortable, but they are produced in a small factory in Mexico that Poppy Barley works very closely with. They ensure that their workers get paid a fair wage, have health care and undergo ongoing training to further their skills. How amazing is that?!











While in New York I opted to use the subway as much as possible and avoided grabbing a taxi or an Uber unless absolutely necessary. Poppy Barley avoids using air freight whenever possible to cut down on carbon emissions and encourages their staff to bike, use public transit or walk to work at least 25% of the time.


Lastly, I felt sexy and sophisticated while walking around the city in these red slingback sandals. Poppy Barley was founded by two total girl bosses and sisters, which makes this brand really hit home for me. My sister and I have been entrepreneurs since a very young age and we love supporting women who are following their dreams.


The red slingback sandals that I'm wearing are actually on sale right now! They also come in other colors. Go check them out and all of the other great shoes that Poppy Barley has available.


Outfit Details
Shoes: Poppy Barley
Glasses: Clearly.ca
Watch: JORD

xo Chanel.

Time Flies with Jord Watches


It feels like yesterday that I was walking down the aisle to marry my best friend. My Husband and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary this week! It has been such a crazy two years and I wanted to share something that is super special, including a giveaway for a gorgeous wooden watch at the end of this post.





For our honeymoon, we decided to choose a random place on the map. After much deliberation, we ended up going to Malta! Malta is a small country in the middle of the Mediterranean ocean with colourful old buildings and crystal clear water. We spent our days in tiny cafes drinking lattes, exploring the narrow cobblestone streets and basking in the heat.







During our trip, we decided we wanted to bring home a souvenir that would remind us of the time we spent together in Malta. We didn't want to get a tacky tourist souvenir, but something more sentimental. One afternoon while exploring and shopping, I found a beautiful watch. I couldn't leave the country without it.
I guess you can say that watches to me are an important reminder of where I've been and where I'm going. I recently received a watch from JORD wood watches and I'm in love with it! Two years after I found my watch in Malta I have a new watch to add to my collection.



I'm wearing the Frankie watch in zebrawood and navy. I love that it's made of natural materials and I can pair it easily with my outfits. Luckily for you, I'm giving away $100 so you can get one of your own. Even if you don't win you'll get a code for $25 just for entering the contest. 
The giveaway will close 08/20/2017 at 11:59pm.



Shop my look:




This post was sponsored by JORD watches, but all opinions and stories are my own.

The Best Summer Frosé Recipe




Frosé, the it-drink of the summer. First Cactus Club launched theirs, then Joey and then many other restaurants were trying their hands at their own version of the ever popular summer sipper. Here I wanted to show you just how easy it is to make your own version of this tasty cocktail and even sweeten it up a little with a homemade rhubarb vanilla syrup. 






I found some fresh rhubarb at the grocery store and was instantly taken back in time to memories of cutting rhubarb stalks from my Grandma's garden, racing up to the kitchen to dip it in some sugar and savouring every last bite of it's tart goodness. 








I was so excited to make this rhubarb into a sweet syrup with fresh vanilla bean to add into my frosé! It was really easy and you'll be left with some sweet rhubarb jam for the next day's french toast or oatmeal.




**Not pictured here is the rosé I had carefully poured into ice cube trays the night before to freeze. This is a must and is key to having a frozen slushy bevy that doesn't get watered down by ice** 





I used Carlo Rossi's rosé for wine. It was inexpensive, tasty and got the job done! Next, I added everything into my very vintage Value Village blender, gave it a blend and it's done! Because of the alcohol in the wine it doesn't fully freeze so you're left with the perfect slushy consistency.  


I picked up some edible flowers at my local farmers market to make them look as good as they taste! Feel free to garnish them how you'd like, a simple lemon rind from the left over lemon works nicely too. 


If you don't have time or the means to make the syrup, your frosé will still be tasty without it. Simply add your frozen rosé and lemon juice to your blender, blend and serve. 


Check us out on Pinterest :)


All opinions and photos are our own!





What I Wore - Saturday Brunch in Aritzia


I went for brunch with my blogger friend Ana last weekend. We have the best conversations that usually consist of the latest Instagram tips & tricks, current events in the influencer world and a bit of gossip. It's hard to not get swept up in the blogosphere and I often feel overwhelmed by all of the things I should be doing. It can be a challenge to remain unfazed by all of the potential hurdles and lack of growth. I've needed to take a step back and remember why I started blogging in the first place. The three main things that keep me going are my love for the blogging community, writing and connecting with others.

With that being said, Ana took some great photos of me after our delicious brunch at Heirloom in my new Aritzia cropped tee. I've become obsessed with it! It's from the Wilfred Free line and is super soft with a fun waist cinching twist on the front. I've been having a lot of fun playing with different styles recently and I'm loving pairing denim on denim and throwing in a bit of 70's flair, hence the old man aviator glasses.


The perfect white tee can be dressed up or down, I think that's why I love them so much. They are super versatile and this style in particular still allows me to feel feminine and show off my curves.













I love vintage styles that have been reworked to look modern. I'm obsessed with this bleached out jean jacket that I picked up at Tiger Alley while visiting in the Okanagan. 






Get the look:

Get the t-shirt I'm wearing here: Aritzia Subah Tee

How do you feel about certain styles making a comeback? I'm personally a huge fan of retro and vintage. Tell me what you think in the comments!

xx Chanel