Hey all! I feel like I have been writing this post forever but have yet to hit publish. This is the story of one of the biggest renos we have completed in our house. This is the main wall in our living room. It originally looked like this.
*cue sad "loser" horn* It was less than impressive and we knew when we bought the house that we would be doing something to this space. We originally planned to put in just a fireplace. A gas one. Which posed a bit of a problem since we dont have gas run to our property. Between the gas company wanting to tear up our front yard, and the gas-fitter wanting an arm and a leg, we decided to go for a built-in electrical fireplace. The hubs and I went back to the drawing board...literally.
One night, as he napped, I drew out what I wanted. Thankfully, the hubs and I are super handy (and I'm lucky to have super handy parents nearby!) that we were able to take this drawing,
and turn it into a reality! In my next post, I will get into the how-tos of building your very own custom built-ins (ikea hacks & Youtube videos!!) but for now, I will leave you with these beautiful finished photos. What kind of renos have you always wanted to do?! Feel free to share your design dreams in the comments!!
Hey all! No, I'm not about to discuss porcine massage techniques will you but I am going to let you in on an inside joke in our house.
The hubs has always said I should sell my spices/sauces/dressings and it has always been something we joked about. We even got to the point where we declared his favourite BBQ rub (this one) the Angry Oinker. It's sweet, with a bit of heat, and it is amazing on pork (ahem: everything!). Plus, it's made with simple ingredients that most of us have stuffed into our pantries! Give it a shot and let me know what you think!!
1/2 cup organic sugar (I used cane, but have used coconut sugar as well)
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp mustard powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp crushed chile flakes
1/8 tsp cinnamon (can omit but just gives an amazing hint of sweetness to the BBQ'd meat!)
1. Measure all spices into a bowl and whisk together to thoroughly combine.
2. Get rubbing....on a butt....a big butt....a pork butt! (Obviously, ya weirdos!).
Holy hell guys, I finally got my poop in a group and the very first home post is happening. I'm disappointed that it took me so long but pretty darn happy that it's finally coming to fruition!
So y'all know that good food is a priority in our house but, I'm a huge DIYer as well! This file cabinet was one of my first projects in our new home.
It all started out with a ratty, old file cabinet that my mom let me have (Mad props to my folks for schlepping this beast down from Northern MB! They're just the best!) I kept seeing cool file cabinet paint jobs on upcycling websites and figured, "I can do that!" The design I chose was basic and pretty handy. I chose to do a basic border with the majority of the file cabinet being chalkboard. That's right folks, you can scribble all over this thing and then wipe it right off and that's a total win in my books! So, how to do it yourself...
First, find yourself an old file cabinet. As mentioned above, I scored this bad boy from my parents. You can also find old file cabinets on Kijiji/Craiglist/Facebook or in thrift stores and they are relatively cheap (or free... I like free!)
Second, pick out your spray paint. You'll need two different colours. I chose the monochromatic look to match the rest of my office but this would be super pretty in coordinating pastels, or even with a metallic accent (BRAINWAVE! - How pretty would rose gold and blush or navy be? If you do it, please comment with a photo!) There are TONS of colours out there, choose what you like! Only rules are, the first paint (The border colour, in my case, white) needs to be a paint + primer. It will help give a good base for the second coat and will help seal any exposed metal. I used this stuff as my base coat.
There are lots of coloured chalkboard paints now, I just didn't have the patience to use a roller. Spray painting is so much easier! You're welcome to give it a shot and see how it turns out but I can't give any tips on that application! This spray paint is so easy to use and goes on really well! I highly recommend!
So, now that you have your file cabinet and your paint, let's gather all your supplies together and get this started!
You will need:
1 file cabinet (duh!)
4 cans of primer paint (first coat - border colour)
4 cans of chalkboard paint (or top colour)
2 plastic drop cloths
220 grit sand paper
1 1/2" painters tape
1. Start by removing the drawers from the file cabinet, removing any hardware(knobs/label holders) and giving the whole shebang a light sanding. Don't forget your mask! Once sanded, wipe down the cabinet and drawers with a damp, lint-free cloth.
2. Working in a well-ventilated area, place your drop cloths down, and arrange your drawers/cabinet so that you can easily access all sides. Shake your spray paint up, according to the directions on the can, and test out the spray (and your technique) on some scrap metal/wood. When spray painting it is best to hold the can 6-8 inches away from the cabinet/drawer, use an even side to side motion, and overlap your spray pattern by at least a 1/3. When coming to an edge, always spray past the edge instead of stopping. This will ensure an even coat and minimize runs. **BIG TIP** It is better to do multiply light coats of paint, than try to sand out drips later.
3. Spray all drawers and cabinet with the paint+primer border colour. For me, this took two coats of spray paint. I let this cure over night.
4. Using your painters tape (you can choose any width you like) tape off a pattern that works for you. I chose a simple border pattern, but you could get really fancy and trying a herringbone or even bust out some stencils. Since mine was also a chalkboard, I wanted maximum writing space, so the border worked fine.
5. Once taped, you can start spraying with your top coat. (Don't forget your mask and drop cloth!) Following the same technique, spray thin, even coats until you have a beautiful matte finish. Allow to dry, remove tape, and "season" (if using chalkboard).
Now go forth and make all the file cabinets in your life beautiful! So easy! You're going to love it!
Yes, I know I have been MIA. If you follow my IG account you know that my absence was based on our life blowing up. We spent most of November renovating our home (our built-in how-to will be up on the home side of this page briefly!). December we were devastated by the loss of our female Newfoundland. She was my baby girl and sort of shut down for a bit....to the point my husband was worried about me. Things are getting better each day but I still can't talk (or think) about her without crying. Annnd.... well lately we have been up to our eyeballs with our newest addition. We now have a new Newfoundland pup. She's a wonderful and exhausting addition! Well that's enough of the updates, we need to talk about these delicious little morsels.
These little kisses can be two things. If you take them out at 90 minutes, they are crisp on the outside with mashmalllow-y inside. If you leave them in for 120 minutes they become like sponge toffee...crisp and melt in your mouth!
I love to serve the softer version with fresh berries and a dollop of fresh cream. The crunchy version is delightful when the bottoms are dipped in dark (or bittersweet) chocolate. To be honest, my husband just pops them in his mouth like candies, so you don't have to get all fancy with them!
Well, let's get these started!!
3 egg whites
3/4 cup coconut sugar (I recommend running this through a food processor. The smaller granules will incorporate easier into your egg whites.)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 200F
2. Whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
3. While beater is running slowly incorporate the sugar. Add 1 tbsp at a time and beat well after each addition!
4. Once you've achieved stiff peaks, add in vanilla, salt, and vinegar. Continue beating until sugar granules are dissolved and egg whites appear glossy.
5. Place egg white mixture into a piping bag with tip of choice (or just cut the corner if you're not too concerned with "perfection").
6. Pipe kisses out on to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in oven for 90-120 minutes.
7. Once done, store in an airtight container in the fridge! Enjoy!
these little babies are pretty self explanatory. They are delicious and free of all the nasty stuff that Reese contains! These little guys are dairy-free and my version is also nut-free!
They have only three ingredients and take barely any time to make so let's get started!!
2 cups Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks
2 tbsp coconut oil
3/4 cup nut butter of your choice. (I use Sunbutter but almond or cashew butter would be amazing in these!)
1. Combine chocolate chunks as coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second burst, stirring in between. Once all melted, set aside.
2. Line small baking sheet with 12 mini cupcake liners. I like silicone ones but the aluminum ones work as well!
3. Pour 1 tbsp of coconut mixture into each cupcake liner and swirl the chocolate so that it goes up the sides of the liner. This will form your cup. Once completed, place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
4. Remove cups from freezer and place 1 tbsp of nut butter in each cup. Dip your fingers in water and pat the nut butter down flat.
5. Top each cup with another tbsp of the chocolate mixture. You may need to spread it around to cover the nut butter.
6. Place in freezer for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from liners and enjoy!!
*These are best stored in the refrigerator!
AHHH! It's my favourite time of year! It's cool, but not cold. There's a earthy smell in the air and ALL of my sweaters are about to be dug out of the closet! Fall is here, yo!
My condolences to all my summer-loving friends, but Fall is just the tits. My dogs are happy and loving life. We sleep like champs and my air conditioner is getting a much needed rest after the gross summer we just had. Plus, there's hushed whispers about the holiday season. We would never act on anything before Remembrance Day (hubby is actively serving), but you bet your ass Christmas talks have already gone on! (Pluuuuuus, I totally just bought a big ass Christmas tree online because, since moving to this house and the mega-high ceilings, our little 7.5 footer just isn't cutting it)
So yah... Coles notes version of this: I love Fall (and Christmas) and it's time to usher in all things Fall. Like soup! I know I posted my vegetable soup recipe last week and it's a gooder, but who doesn't like Italian Wedding Soup. I mean, my Trenton mil spouses know ALL about East Side Mario's and the unlimited soup and salad racket they've got going on. Frick it's good. But the pasta kills me. So me, being me, said "nuts to that" and made it Paleo. And better Annnnnd just plain awesome!
Now, I'm sure my version is a bastardized one, at best. Because any Italian reading this would probably lose their mind at the fact that I eliminated the pasta. But the flavour is bang on, and my little shreds of sweet potato ended up cooking down and are little round flecks that look just like the tiny pasta. Totally planned it that way (not so much, but a happy surprise!).
So let's get this soup started!
1/2lb ground pork
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper.
1. Mix together in a medium sized bowl.
2. Measure out 2 tsp portions and roll into mini meatballs.
3. Set aside until soup is boiling.
1 onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 small sweet potato, shredded
1/4 cup avocado/olive oil
4 cups of chopped fresh kale (or spinach! If you are using frozen, I would cut this in half as it will have already been blanched before freezing)
8 cups chicken stock (bone stock is better!)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
sea salt, to taste
1. Add oil and onions to a large soup/stock pot and saute over medium for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add in garlic, carrots, and celery and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Add in spices, kale and chicken stock.
3. Increase heat to medium-high, add in shredded sweet potato and bring the whole pot to a boil.
4. Once boiling, start to gently stir your pot of soup. While stirring, drop in your mini meatballs.
5. Once all the meatballs, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
6. After the 30 minutes, season with salt (to your taste!!), and enjoy!!
Have you ever had coconut yogurt?? I'm going to go out there and say that store bought may be the most heinous thing I have ever seen. It's grey and gelatinous and just so disgusting!
But homemade. Omg people. It's friggin delicious. And easy peasy! I'm keeping things simple. I've seen a lot of recipe adding agar agar or arrowroot powder. Just don't. Let's ditch the added starches and go for full flavour!
I use the coconut cream from the top of the can. Save the water for smoothies. You can use the whole can but your yogurt is going to end up more like the consistency of kefir. Not what I was after. I want thick, creamy, deliciousness!!
For all intents and purposes, your oven/oven light are going to play the role of an incubator for all those amazing probiotics. We will slightly warm your coconut milk, whisk in your probiotic capsules, and add to sterilized jars! Pop it in the oven and forget about it over night!!
Super easy. Try it out!!
2 cans organic coconut milk, thick cream on top only (reserve the water for smoothies etc)
1 tsp maple strup
2 probiotic capsules, contents only (ditch the capsules!)
1. Turn your oven on to 200F. Leave it for five minutes and then turn it off. We are just preheating to take the chill off. After this, the oven light will be enough heat to maintain a happy growing environment for the probiotics!
2. Add coconut cream and maple syrup to a saucepan. We are going to gently heat over medium-low for a couple minutes. Whisk to combine and remove from heat.
3. Let the coconut cream mixture cool until it is below 100F (~40C- think a little warmer than body temperature).
4. Whisk in the contents of your two probiotic capsules.
5. Transfer this mixture into a pint size sterilized glass jar. (To sterilize the jar you can run it through the dishwasher, pour boiling water into and let it sit for a few minutes, or boil the jars in water.
6. Pop the kid on the jar and place into the oven. Turn on the oven light ONLY! We don't need anymore heat.
7. Leave for 10-12 hours, or up to 24. The longer your leave it, the more tangy it will be. I leave mine for ~ 12 hours.
8. Remove from oven and place into refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours and then use as you would any yogurt! I topped mine with cherries and blueberries! So yummy!!
Note: Your yogurt may separate a bit, just stir it up!
Shut the front door, people!! I'm a goddamn Paleo Wizard! These brownies are ridiculously amazing. They are chewy and fudgy and I'm pretty sure they'd be classified as a sin. Not only will these satisfy everyone's sweet tooth, but they will fool even the biggest Paleo skeptics.
On top of all of that, they are ridiculously easy to make!! Give them a try! You'll love them!
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup of maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
2. Add coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup to a large saucepan. Heat over medium until sugar is dissolved.
3. Turn heat off and add in the chocolate chunks. Stir to melt/combine.
4. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
5. Sift cocoa, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl.
6. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled for ten minutes, grab a spatula and start adding your eggs. Beat in each egg thoroughly before adding the next.
7. Once eggs are incorporated, add in your dry ingredients and stir until combined thoroughly.
8. Pour batter into a parchment-lined 9X13 pan and smooth top. Feel free to sprinkle the top with more chocolate chunks/pecan pieces/walnuts!!
9. Bake for 40-50 minutes until cooked through.
10. Let cool for 20 minutes, and then place in fridge to cool for an hour. Slice and enjoy!!
Hey all! As previously stated, I'm ignoring the grossly warm weather and steamrolling my fam jam's food menu right into Fall. I mean....it's September...Mother Nature has no GD business making it 34 degrees out. So yah...Fall menu.
I like to think I'm a pretty good matchmaker. Even though I've never set anyone up. Or even tried to. But yah, if I wanted to, I would totally rock it. Millionaire Matchmaker better watch her back...I'll take over her show.
Speaking of matchmaking, pumpkin pie please meet streusel muffin. I mean, you've both been dear friends, you're both just the sweetest, and everyone loves you. You'd be perfect together! *Turns on the Barry White, shuts the door, and waits nine months*
Boom! These muffins are born. They are moist and reminiscent of pumpkin pie, with a crunchy streusel topping that is to die for.
Being a nut-free Paleo peep, I thought my streusel days were over. I mean, I could do an almond flour one...but it would only be the one time. And Epi-pens hurt like a mother. And we live far from most hospitals. So....this nut-free Godsend, that I'm dumping into your interweb space, is a phenomenal option.
2/3 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
1 cup nut butter (or in my case Sunflower butter!)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp grass-fed butter (or coconut oil)
1 tsp cinnamon
1. For the streusel, combine the coconut flakes and coconut sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until mixture resembles small oats. Add in butter and pulse until combined. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. In the same food processor bowl, combine all of the muffin ingredients and buzz on high until thoroughly mixed.
4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the muffin batter into a muffin cup-lined muffin pan! (That was a mouthful!)
5. Sprinkle the streusel topping onto each muffin and pop in the oven!
6. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Hot weather be damned! I'm so ready for all things Fall. Sweaters, pumpkin goodies, and deliciously hearty soups. This soup is meat-free but still fills you up! The recipe came about when my hubby asked for "plain vegetable soup". For him, this would mean canned veggie soup (gross!). This turned out so much better and he hoovered it down in minutes! It's perfect for a light supper, or would be an awesome back-to-school Thermos lunch!! Give it a try!
4 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 med-lrg sweet potato, diced small
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 oz. can of tomato paste
sea salt, to taste
8 cups stock (veggie, chicken, or water)
1. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Sauté onions and garlic over translucent.
3. Add in remaining vegetables, tomato paste, spices, and stock.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and season with sea salt.