Day 16 & 17 Renovation Adventures: Family is Back Together!

reno 16 17

Something awesome happened yesterday!

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These two crazy kids moved to Florida! Unlike her parents they found a cute apartment that is ready to move in tomorrow. No remodeling for them, they are going to be sleeping in their own bed tomorrow night! I raised a smart one for sure. :-)

I’m also excited that their apartment is right around the corner from our house. We timed it this afternoon and it was less than two minutes from parking space to driveway. Hopefully my son-in-law is as excited about this as I am. :-)

I’m very excited that our daughter and son-in-law have moved to Florida too. When we decided to move to Florida I wasn’t expecting them to move.. Our son-in-law has lived in the same area his whole life so this is a huge sacrifice for him and his family.

I have not-so-secret plans to get his whole family down here permanently in the next few years so everyone can be together.

In other less exciting news our dumpster is gone!

I’m a little sad since it was nice to have a gigantic garbage can in the front yard. However, I’m sure the neighbors are happy to see it go.

The good thing about the dumpster being removed is that it means most of our demo is finished and we are getting closer to putting the house back together.

dumpter_gone

I also realized that our 18 year old had never seen our house without the dumpster!

Yesterday our good friend and amazing electrician came down from Jacksonville to help wire the kitchen.

Remember the ridiculous bundle of wires that was hidden by the soffit? Well my dad wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get those tucked away and still be up to code. In fact, he sat me down and told me that he might have to put in another soffit.

open_soffit

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I knew Russ from Impulse Electric could figure it out so I told my dad we would wait and see what he said.

kitchen_soffit_wires_after

Yay!!!! Tucked away and legit!

I have to recommend Russ at Impulse Electric to anyone in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Ponte Vedra Beach or St. Augustine who needs electric work done. He knows his stuff and is a honest guy. You won’t be disappointed!

What I cannot recommend is sanding walls unless you have no other option. The mess was RIDICULOUS. I spent most of Monday cleaning up the mess from the sanding.

Now if you are going to sand, close off the room and get a respirator, but seriously think twice before doing it.

This was after the first sweep. This photo isn’t blurry- that is all the dust swirling around our house!

dusty_hallway

Cora thought vacuuming was fun so I was more than happy to give her a turn. She chose sunglasses over googles.

cora_vacuum

Since the walls and everything else were covered with dust I used an oxtail brush to clean them off. Well at least that’s what my dad called it. I searched the internet to give you all a link and all I could find was paint brushes and pasta recipes.

I’ll try to find out more tomorrow.

oxtail_brush

We removed the light fixture in the kitchen and the ceiling will need to be cut out. The light had melted the paint. Definitely not good.

We have our holes drilled and wired for our can lights and I’m ordering LED bulbs for them since the lights I purchased have halogen bulbs and those things are ridiculously hot.

light_burned_out

Today we worked more on the walls and had a friend from Vintage Decor come over to get some advice on our wallpaper walls. He recommended either knock down or orange peel.

Knock down is crazy messy and we would need to do the whole house since the current walls have an orange peel texture.

The nice thing about the knock down texture is that it covers everything. We have a dry wall guy coming tomorrow to let us know what he recommends. I actually like the knock down look, but I don’t want to spend money doing the whole house if I can get away with something else.

Another thing our friend mentioned was to paint our ceilings a color other than white. He suggested “mushroom” which helps a house look less broken up by a white ceiling and colored walls.

I’m going to research this more tonight.

backyard_lush

 

I was really glad our friend could stop by because he has spent his entire career helping people decorate and remodel their homes. He loved our house and he said our backyard was amazing. I thought it was a little overgrown but he told us to get the amount of plants we have in our yard put into a yard it would easily be $60-70k!

I about choked when he said that! But it is always good to hear that we are investing in a good house and that all our blood, sweat, and tears will pay off in the end.

I actually love our backyard and am only planning on trimming back some of the plants that are really close to the pool. We have plans to resurface the pool and the deck next year. I try not to get ahead of myself, but I LOVE our yard and it will be exciting to tackle that project next year.

I got all our appliances ordered so I’ll share those with you all tomorrow.

It’s exciting to see everything coming together, but it is also so much work trying to coordinate it all. You definitely save a lot of money being your own contractor, but you need to have time to do it all.

I’ve been saving receipts so hopefully I can post a budget update soon.

Until tomorrow…

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This is part of our ongoing renovation project for our new home in Florida.  Our goal is to be done by Thanksgiving or else.  Follow the daily accounts of our real life during this DIY renovation process here.

  

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Pumpkin Bars – Gluten Free & Vegan

Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan at The Happy Housewife
By contributing writer Tessa

Tis the season for all things pumpkin! My family (especially me) gets giddy with all the orange orbs I am pulling from the garden. You can frequently find cookie sheets full of various pumpkins and winter squashes baking away in my oven this time of year.

Fresh puree is infinitely tastier than any variety you find in a can. It is an extra step, but I liken the difference to a fresh tomato off the garden vine versus a canned tomato—no comparison! In case you’re interested, I wrote a post to help you make your own pumpkin puree and explain that all pumpkins are not created equal.

Here is a quick recipe for pumpkin bars that your family will love! And you, as a mommy, can be happy that a vegetable is lurking within. You can eat it as is or consider some of these fun toppings:

  • whipped cream
  • melted caramel (add some milk to thin it)
  • a scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • cream cheese frosting
  • maple sweetened creme fraiche

Not gluten free? This can be made with regular flour. See the note at the end of the recipe.

Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan at The Happy Housewife

Pumpkin Blondies- Gluten Free & Vegan
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup allowed butter (vegan butter, coconut oil, palm shortening)
  • 1 cup palm sugar, or brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon Nu Naturals Pure White Stevia Powder or ¼ cup additional sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, fresh is best!
  • 3 teaspoons chia meal gelled in ⅓ cup hot water or 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup millet flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (or more!) to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fand grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Beat in pumpkin, vanilla, and chia egg.
  4. With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the the baking soda, guar gum, and sea salt.Continue with the flours.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread into prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Notes
If you don't want a gluten-free bar, you could substitute 1¾ cups flour in place of the gum, rice flour, tapioca flour, millet flour, and potato starch.

A gluten free all-purpose flour can be use although the flavor will change, and some all-purpose mixes do not do well with no eggs.

Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan at The Happy Housewife

You might also like…

 

  

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Dare to Try a New Vegetable

This post is in partnership with the #V8VegOut campaign. All opinions are my own.

IMG_2736

If you are like me you eat the same vegetables day after day, week after week. In fact many of my favorite veggies are on this list of the top ten vegetables consumed in America.

  1. Potatoes
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Onion
  5. Lettuce
  6. Cucumbers
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Carrots
  9. Cabbage
  10. Broccoli

I would argue that potatoes are not really a vegetable but I would be getting off topic. More often than not delicious vegetables are ignored or even forgotten because we’ve never tried them or learned how to prepare them.

For example have you ever heard of a oca? It is similar to a yam and very popular in South America.

What about a romanesco?

romanesco_exotic_vegetables

Photo:aurélien./Flickr

This cauliflower variant is high in vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber.

What about a sunchoke? This vegetable is actually native to North America and can be used as a low-starch substitute for a potato.

You don’t have to travel overseas or consume crazy looking vegetable to try something new. There are many awesome vegetables sitting in the produce section of your local grocery store or farmer’s market just waiting for you to try them.

Most of the time we think we don’t like vegetables because we haven’t had them prepared correctly. For years I thought I didn’t like brussels sprouts, then I had some prepared by my friend Allie and realized I just hadn’t had them prepared the right way.

They are delicious!

Another vegetable I didn’t try until I was older was spaghetti squash. This awesome winter vegetable tastes great as a replacement for spaghetti and if a great gluten free option for dinner.

Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Just last week I learned that the reason I did not like kale was because of the bitter stems, when they are removed kale is delicious in a salad, cooked, or in a smoothie.

58218_4835521320140_1999991950_n

This month I’m daring you to try something new. I noticed that the top ten vegetables were mostly summer vegetables. I’m encouraging you to try something new, perhaps a winter vegetable?

They’re on sale and very fresh this time of year and I’m sure there are a few that haven’t been in your shopping cart this season or maybe ever!

534860_10200354311594625_1390223400_n

If you are unsure of how to prepare a vegetable do a quick google search and I’m sure you’ll find more than enough ideas.

Here’s a list of winter vegetables to help you get started.

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Belgian endive
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cardoons
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chicories
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Tunips

2293-201410020103301452

V8 wants you to share your dare on social media with the hashtag #V8VegOut. V8 wants you to celebrate veggies and join the community here.

If you need veggie inspiration follow V8 on all their social channels.

Next month I’ll be sharing some of the new vegetables we tried and a few tricks to get the kids to try them too!

  

Related Stories

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Dare to Try a New Vegetable

This post is in partnership with the #V8VegOut campaign. All opinions are my own.

IMG_2736

If you are like me you eat the same vegetables day after day, week after week. In fact many of my favorite veggies are on this list of the top ten vegetables consumed in America.

  1. Potatoes
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Onion
  5. Lettuce
  6. Cucumbers
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Carrots
  9. Cabbage
  10. Broccoli

I would argue that potatoes are not really a vegetable but I would be getting off topic. More often than not delicious vegetables are ignored or even forgotten because we’ve never tried them or learned how to prepare them.

For example have you ever heard of a oca? It is similar to a yam and very popular in South America.

What about a romanesco?

romanesco_exotic_vegetables

Photo:aurélien./Flickr

This cauliflower variant is high in vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber.

What about a sunchoke? This vegetable is actually native to North America and can be used as a low-starch substitute for a potato.

You don’t have to travel overseas or consume crazy looking vegetable to try something new. There are many awesome vegetables sitting in the produce section of your local grocery store or farmer’s market just waiting for you to try them.

Most of the time we think we don’t like vegetables because we haven’t had them prepared correctly. For years I thought I didn’t like brussels sprouts, then I had some prepared by my friend Allie and realized I just hadn’t had them prepared the right way.

They are delicious!

Another vegetable I didn’t try until I was older was spaghetti squash. This awesome winter vegetable tastes great as a replacement for spaghetti and if a great gluten free option for dinner.

Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Just last week I learned that the reason I did not like kale was because of the bitter stems, when they are removed kale is delicious in a salad, cooked, or in a smoothie.

58218_4835521320140_1999991950_n

This month I’m daring you to try something new. I noticed that the top ten vegetables were mostly summer vegetables. I’m encouraging you to try something new, perhaps a winter vegetable?

They’re on sale and very fresh this time of year and I’m sure there are a few that haven’t been in your shopping cart this season or maybe ever!

534860_10200354311594625_1390223400_n

If you are unsure of how to prepare a vegetable do a quick google search and I’m sure you’ll find more than enough ideas.

Here’s a list of winter vegetables to help you get started.

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Belgian endive
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cardoons
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chicories
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Tunips

2293-201410020103301452

V8 wants you to share your dare on social media with the hashtag #V8VegOut. V8 wants you to celebrate veggies and join the community here.

If you need veggie inspiration follow V8 on all their social channels.

Next month I’ll be sharing some of the new vegetables we tried and a few tricks to get the kids to try them too!

  

Related Stories

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.