Since my last post of "Things I'm Loving Lately" was so popular I thought maybe it would be fun to continue sharing with you all some more new items I have been really loving.
This chocolate!!! One of the main reasons I am loving the Alter Eco chocolate bars is because of low amount of ingredients in each bar. You can purchase these at Whole Foods or Bulk Barn. I keep them kicking around and sometimes will break 1 or 2 small pieces off and bring it to work. The Mint one is by far my favourite.
A paleo friendly dessert that I have become in love with and so simple to make:
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tsp maple syrup
Whip the coconut milk and add the maple syrup. You can also add some frozen raspberries to this or skip the maple syrup all together.
Heat the coconut oil in a small pan and add the shredded coconut. Once it starts browning add the maple syrup. The maple syrup gives the coconut a special crunch and sweetness.
1 cup fresh blueberries or 1 banana. (OR BOTH) :)
Put the berries in a small bowl and top with coconut milk whip, then top with toasted coconut.
I took a small shopping trip on Valentine's Day as I needed something from Sephora and popped into Zara. I normally don't find anything but the second I saw this vest I knew I had to have it!
A "Love Day" gift to myself! My favourite part is all of the small leather details.
I was on the hunt for a nice throw/blanket. My sister came across Cambie Design and picked up the one below for me.They currently have no stock on the website but new product will be coming in shortly in the mean time you can just follow them on Instagram @cambiedesign. Make sure you check them out and they are Canadian!
I absolutely love this blanket. It's light but warm. We use it all year. In the winter I sometimes bring it with my in the car when I am driving and in the summer it's perfect for those chilly nights outside. I plan on buying a second one when the Forever Home is done because you can never have enough of these lying around.
I joined MyFitnessPal!! Now I know everybody knows about this website and if you don't and are looking to track your food intake this website is great! I signed up to myfitnesspal last year but was not impressed with some of the functionalities with saving your food and changing your portion sizes but I am pretty sure they have issued some upgrades because I found that using the app on my iPad was much easier this go around.
My eating habits have changes drastically in the last 3 weeks. When I first started I could not believe the amount of food I was eating during the day. I would love to build my friend list on here because I feel that it keeps you more accountable! So if you are just joining or are a member already send me a quick email with your contact information and I will add you as a friend!
A day trip to Buffalo always involves grocery shopping. You can't go wrong with the products available and the prices!
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - $5.99 (In Canada the one I purchase is $10.49 and the jar has less)
Coconut Cream $1.49 (A good quality coconut milk in Canada is $3.49)
Coconut Water - $2.99 (Ummmmmmmmm WHAT THE HELL - in Canada it is between $4.99 & $6.99)
Organic Gluten Free Chicken Broth - $1.99 (In Canada I can pay up to $4.99-$5.99 for this)
The other products I don't think are even available in Canada: Chobani Almond Coco Loco - these are so tasty! This one is Almond + Coconut and I scored them on sale at Target for $1.00
Larabar ALT Chocolate Chip Macaroon - pretty sure these are not available in Canada. I don't eat powerbar/granola bars too often anymore but when I do I always stick with Larabar.
Angie's BOOM Chicka Pop - White Cheddar - I know BOOM Chicka pop has become more available in Canada but I am not sure I have seen the White Cheddar flavour anywhere.
Peeled Snacks - All gluten free - Peeled snacks are available but not the new clusters! These are so tasty!
That's the amount of time that we have not worked on the Forever Home. It feels like time is passing and the Forever Home is just standing still.
It's been tough for us to cope with this nasty weather and yes we fully understand that we cannot do anything about this but owning two homes is taking a toll on us. We need to get our feet moving, dig deep and find the motivation to go and work.
Everything is 100 times harder when you have to do pre-prep work to actually work.
Shovel the additions out for an hour
Layer on the extra clothing
Work in big winter gloves that make it hard to carry wood
Stand on ladders that are barely safe due to snow and ice below
Deal with a runny nose
Shovel one driveway, snow blow the second driveway
Split wood for the fireplace
Fix the car, fix the car, fix the car(don't ask, we are pretty sure my car has put a spell on me)
This list can go on and on and on.............................
I suppose I need to look at the positive side - the insulation is sitting in the basement ready to go
To leave you on a positive note I came across this quote and had to share since "it was rather beautiful"
I kid....I am not loving the snow although some of the views in our area are very pretty when we have large snow falls. I shoveled our driveway over the weekend - twice - it's a 150 ft driveway. Don't ask how I felt when I was done.
We did nothing on the Forever Home because the snow wrecked havoc on us as well as my car is not being so friendly.
Two things that I have been really loving lately are these Paleo Muffins derived from a cookbook called "Make Ahead Paleo" by Tammy Credicott. Let me tell if you, if you are trying to go this route this cookbook is amazing!
In the cookbook they are called "Breakfast Muffins" but I would think Carrot Muffins suite better to how many carrots I choose to use.
1/2 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
4 medium carrots
I blended the wet ingredients in my Vitamix and combined the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. You can also just shred the carrots and add them to the wet ingredients. Mix everything together and pour into muffin pan. Bake for 35 min at 350C This recipes yields 13 muffins. I also added unsweetened shredded coconut on the top. Below is the calorie count. I'm pretty sure if you wanted these to have less sugar you could lower the amount of maple syrup and add 6-10 drops of stevia.
The calorie count website is great because if you are creating your own recipes it really helps you determine what to change in the recipe. You can save your recipes and create your own using the Recipe Analyzer under Tools.
Have you tried green smoothies/juices? Your answer is probably yes and you also probably looked at 5 million different combinations and possibly gave up unless you are not like me and were able to create your own mixture.
I finally came across this website Blender Babes and the options they had were amazing. OK maybe I tried 1 or 2 that were horrible but when they had the 3 day detox and 21 day challenge it really opened up my frame of thinking for what could and should go together in a juice.
Based on this recipe I now drink the below juice EVERYDAY as part of my lunch.
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
3 cups spinach
1 tsp ginger
Blend together (if using a standard blender you may have to blend for a longer period)
Here is the thing - this needs to be COLD! Do not attempt to drink this when it's luke warm or even slighly cold. I like my drink ICE Cold. Once I get to work I stick it in the fridge and give it a good shake before I drink it.
Calorie Count (yes there is lots of natural sugars in here, if you are looking to cut down the sugar you can use 1/2 apple maybe??) But check out the iron count!!!
Serving Size 1Serving
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories from Fat 12
Saturated Fat 0.5g2%
Dietary Fiber 11.2g45%
Vitamin A 172% · Vitamin C 141%
Calcium 18% · Iron 37%
There you have it!!!! Hope you enjoyed a few things I am loving lately and have time to check out these sites! Any paleo recipes or new juicing sites that you might have?? Please share below!
I would like to just complain about how horrible that was but I am too excited to share with you the big changes we made in the Forever Home. Too many low beams and walls was making this place look so dark. So we contacted the engineer and decided to change some of the beam heights.
Let me remind you and take you back into the time warp for a second.
Before anything was touched.
Removing the walls and checking what is load bearing.
New extended beam & the post in which we thought we were going to leave.
Let's play a game - can you see what's missing in this mess??????
The post is gone!! Go back look at the time warp and now this!
NOW FOR SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT HOME RENO'S
When ripping the walls apart the post on the right has the height of all of the family members (only 1 owner ever lived here) We installed a new post added our heights and also added the old families heights.
The aftermath - the mess - we accept free labour if anybody wants to come over and help clean up.
Tell me, what do you think of the "Forever Home" changes so far???????
If you missed it you need to go back to last week's Friday Dreaming - Kindness post and take a look at a few fellow bloggers who made an impact towards myself when I first started out this little old blog of mine.
Let me tell you, I could probably write a "Friday Dreaming - Kindness" post every Friday because of the number of individuals who have impacted me in a KIND way.
But I am focusing on the first bloggers that I came across and how they helped me to continue on with this journey of writing my own personal online diary as I like to call it.
Alexsandra from Realty Queen - I mean this girl is not just a realty queen, she is a renovating queen as well! She has a list of homes on her blog that she has flipped and sold. I came across her blog early on in my blogging days and instantly loved her style. Most times when you come across somebody who is really great at something and you are just starting out you would think might be a little snobby. Not this girl. She was always so KIND to me. Whenever I needed an opinion on something she would come up with some ideas right away. Go follow her right now! Oh and if you actually need a Realtor I suggest give her a call.
Thalita from The Learner Observer - Let me tell you a story about this KIND lady. I met Thalita later on my blogging life. Again through twitter - and started following her journey. When I met her for the first time at Blogpodium I was shy and at that time figured she probably totally forgot who I was and what my blog was about. (I pretty much assumed most of that day that nobody knew who I was, therefore refused to give out business cards for fear of that look in somebody face - like who are you??) So I didn't take the opportunity to chat with her more. But she had this radiant smile and just seemed so genuinely friendly. Then we ran into each other at the Princess Margaret House. Yup - she was still the same person! Bubbly and funny that kind of person you know being friends with would be awesome. (OK, im sort of sounding like a creeper here, but there is a story to this) We pretty much follow the same people on twitter and have some many chats and laughs as well as follow each others blogs. One particular day we both joked about how much fun it would be to attend the Chapters Spring Preview event. Well guess what - Thalita got an invite!!!! Pretty awesome eh! It's gets better she could bring a friend and she decided to bring ME! WHAT - she could have asked anybody, a family member, a close friend. BUT nope she knew that I had really really wanted to go and asked me. No more words are needed that should be enough to help you understand what a KIND person she is.
I hope you have a chance to go and follow these ladies!
Before I end this note there are a few other fellow blogging buddies that I just love the follow along and pretty much keep me laughing on our social media platforms so take a second and check out their pretty little spaces on this world wide web of ours.
Alex from Northstory - she's pretty much famous, created an awesome facebook group for us ladies to share ideas and her blog is full of fun craft ideas with a touch of genuine words.
Amy from Love on Sunday - I could just stare at her header on her blog all day, I love the simplicity of it. Check out her amazing design ideas.
Julia from Home on 129Acres - ummmmm the name of her blog says it all - 129 acres!!! Now that is awesome. They have a pond that is a skating rink in the winter and tractor with a name. Just for those reasons you should follow her.
Cate from Cate Moore - if you are not into following blogs at least go follow her on twitter because her 140 word statements are moving - so that along with her blog just makes you instantly in a happy place all day.
So there you have it....do you have anybody you want to share about??? Please leave a comment below I would love to hear about somebody that maybe I need to be following!
Have a great weekend and be sure to check back on Monday - BIG things happened this week at the "Forever Home"
The entrance to the "Forever Home" was probably one of my biggest hates of the house when we purchased it. Imagine walking into the house with no where to place your shoes or coat and walk straight into the kitchen. As well the stairs to the basement were immediately to the left of the door.
There was no grand feature because at that time the focus was on the front of the house which had a 1/2 wrap porch and sliding doors that allowed you a beautiful view of the front yard.
This had to change. We knew right away that an addition would have to be done to create a more welcoming entrance and more space for important storage areas such as a bench with coat hangers, proper closet, powder room, a place to move the stairs, and storage for fire wood.
Here is how the entrance looked when we purchased the "Forever Home"
The main entrance is that door on the side of the house.
This is the view once you enter the door, to the very right of the picture you can see the door handle of the door to outside. The other door is the powder room and right across the powder room are the stairs.
As explained above imagine walking in kitchen, dining room, powder room, stairs all in reach of each other.
Basically a home owners nightmare.
When we were designing the main entrance addition we went through many different layouts.
First we had no plans to move the stairs and the room was only going to be around 200 sq ft. The door would have been removed but not enlarged.
Second layout we decided to enlarge the space so that it did not look off set to the master bedroom addition, so we created a larger 420 sq. ft area but because the master bedroom was going to be 560 sq ft. we decided on a 6 ft over hang to equalize the roof line. Still no plan to move the stairs.
Third, once we realized how much room we had the decision to move the stairs was easy. We spoke with the engineer in how we could break a portion of the wall in the basement and support the upper wall with an extra beam. When pouring the cement for the entrance addition we also added a stair shaft.
The fourth and final layout was that we decided to double the open door space between the the addition and the new house. Again, we consulted with engineer and he advised which extra support would be needed to tear down an extra portion of the wall and create more of an opening.
With the fourth layout we have now moved the stairs completely out of view when you enter. The powder room will no longer be beside the kitchen. Tons of storage space. We also decided to remove the upper glass on the peak of the entrance and leave that all open to the new entrance.
Over the weekend we finished supporting the over hang by putting up the remaining rafters on the peak (just Branko and I did this) I might have cried a little holding the ladder that Branko was standing on. The remaining plywood was also put up to finally close the entire space.
Here is a view of how it currently stands:
I cannot wait for this room to be fully closed in. The stairs will not be moved for at least another month but having the plywood up really gives us a nice feel for the size of this room!
Have you built anything this weekend? Any tips for us on that over hang? We are still deciding if we want pillars and what sort of porch we will build here.