A Gut Healing meal

Technically yesterday was the first day of our challenge, but this will be my first meal post.

I didn't plan my groceries very well, and there's basically nothing left in our fridge. We get our Heliotrope veggie bin on Thursday, so we just had a few random things left from the last one.

For supper I thew together:
- Farm eggs with a neighbour's tomatoes, local garlic and rosemary; topped with leftover homemade salsa verde (Heliotrope tomatillos, cilantro, hot pepper)
- Leftover Lebanese cauliflower (cumin/garlic/lemon juice)
- Home pickled beets and onions
- Heliotrope 'lemon' cucumbers with flower salt

One of the challenge requirements is diversity by eating 30 different types of plant matter every week. Well this meal took care of 10 for the week!


Heal Your Gut Challenge 2014

We are doing another challenge at the gym. Read up on it here.

My dietary goals for this challenge are to cut out goat cheese and sweat treats. I don't think any of the other challenge requirements will give me grief.

Physically, I'd like to see gains in bodyweight movements. I've been focusing on gymnastics this Fall, and shedding a few pounds is a sure way to improve your pull ups and push ups!

I've measured myself up again and pulled my old numbers from way back in summer of '11 (just for "fun"!):

*September 23, 2014*
Bicep: 11 1/4
Bust: 34
Rib cage: 29 1/4
Waist: 27
Hips: 34 1/4
Butt: 38 1/4
Above knee: 16 1/2
Calf: 14 3/4

June 10, 2011
Bicep: 12 1/2
Bust: 34 1/2
Rib cage: 31
Waist: 27 1/4
Hips: 33 1/2
Butt: 38
Above knee: 17 1/2
Calf: 15 1/4

February 16, 2011
All on the left side:
Bicep: 12 1/4
Bust: 36 1/2
Waist: 31 1/2
Hips: 35 1/4
Butt: 40
Above knee: 18
Calf: 12 5/8


new house, new ideas

The original "house ideas" post is no longer valid because I didn't end up closing on that home.
Hence "new house, new ideas".

I still love black & white and want to make my house a canvas to build on, but it is pretty much move-in ready, so all the renos I do will be purely aesthetic.
  • Benjamin Moore Moonlight White (matte): all white walls/ceilings
Benjamin Moore Simply White (satin): white trim/woodwork
  • Benjamin Moore Soot (matte): black walls for accents
  • Benjamin Moore Toucan Black (satin): black stairs what is under the new carpet?
Olympic Knight’s Armor (eggshell): black for bathroom?
  • Benjamin Moore Black Beauty (satin): exterior black trim
Fairly large and nicely done. White and robin's egg, with subway tiles in the bath surround.
Will be perfectly serviceable as-is, although I don't love the "exposed brick" (brick tiles) or the wood cabinets.
  • I'll most likely paint the brick white and the cabinets black and/or white.
  • There is no back splash right now, so this will be my first project! I'm excited to do some tiling.
    • 3 x 6 white porcelain tiles (American Olean)
    • black/grey/charcoal grout

Living room
  •  Modern house number (I just realized that I can get anything I want laser cut at work!!) inspired by these photos.
Modern House Numbers in interior design  Category
I can do anything I want with our laser cutter!!
  •  The brown cedar siding is in good shape, minus a few missing shingles, but I'll probably stain it in 2014 or 2015? I'll have to look into this, but I'm guessing that I'll need an opaque stain that I can colour to my navy blue/grey of choice.
    Something like this Benjamin Moore premium exterior stain or this Olympic stain and sealant in one.
  •  The window frames could use some TLC. The white is peeling in some sections. I might get to that this fall? First step is buying a ladder... Then getting some white paint like Aura exterior in Satin.
  •  There is one MAJOR project that needs to happen... a new roof... The shingles are at least 20 years old and have lived they're life to the fullest.
    One thing I learned from my house inspection is that this type of construction (1 3/4 storey) has poor soffit air circulation. Because a large portion of the roof is actually on the living section (3/4 living, 1/4 attic) it gets very hot and causes the shingles to curl sooner than on an all-attic roof.
    One thing that will help is putting a "whirly- bird" vent instead of the passive vent that I have now.
    Another solution is going with a different type of roofing material that is more durable and less susceptible to heat wear than asphalt shingles.
    Guess what the best material is? Metal! Galvanized steel! (that isn't fake enthousiam, it is by far my favourite roofing material) It costs more - a lot more - but it last 50-70 years, which is twice the time of shingles. And it looks the same on day 1 as on day 18,250.
    The best part is that I much prefer the look of a metal roof over asphalt shingles.
    I know it costs more, but I don't know what that number looks like. I'll book some quotes for when I first get possession and see when I could realistically undertake this project.


New house, new project

If anyone out there actually reads this blog, you may be wondering what ever happened to the new house project.

Well the inspection didn't go as well as planned (much more expensive work to be done than anticipated), but I was still very interested in buying this project home - for the right price.
I went back to the seller with a much lower offer, which he turned down.

So I was back on the market!
My plan was to keep looking for another home, but keep my eye on the Montague project and make my low offer again, after it had been sitting vacant for a good long while.

Well, I found other houses! Many others! I made another offer (which wasn't' accepted) for a small, funny looking house on Osler Street in General Hospital.
It was very cute, very old, very unique. But, it had no garage and a small-ish lot. So I was not too heart-broken when I didn't get it. (It's still on the market by-the-way)

And then, oh boy, then a house went on the realtor portal (private site before it hits the general public on MLS.ca) at 3pm on July 23. I immediately asked my realtor for an appointment. It looked too good to be true; great location, good size, just the right price, pretty, no stupid renos that can't be undone, etc.
We got there at 6:30, and there had already been 2 showings and 2 more were scheduled after us.
I looked around, I love it, I thought about it for a few hours, and I put an offer in $5,000 above asking. An other offer went in at the same time as mine (hence the $5,000 extra), but they either put weird conditions or a low offer, because I got it!

Yay! I still need to get it inspected and all my financial paperwork done up, but this one is looking good!

Next up, find a roommate.


Inspections, mortgage brokers, cleaners & numbers

I'm now at the part where people tell me all that's wrong with my house... Yippee?!

My realtor recommended:
  • Reiney Walters of Calibre
  • Victor Teece of Expertise Home Inspection
  • Jim Nichols of House Master
And these two for the sewer inspection:
  • Atlas Sewer
  • Barry's
The general inspector will then tell me if anything else needs to be looked at further. Like if he doesn't feel comfortable giving the okay on electrical, he would recommend an electrical contractor to come check things out.
I'm hoping I get good people to look over the house. That they give me a comprehensive list of what needs to be done and when. And maybe even an approximate price tag on all the fixes for me to plan out my spending for the next 25 years...

I'll review the service I get from the inspectors later.

I also have to go back to my mortgage broker (Claire O'Donnell) who I haven't seen since getting pre-approved at the end of April.
She was recommended to me by my lawyer/family friend Glen Dowling.
Claire is great; easy to talk to, smart, friendly, didn't shut the door in my face for showing up single, under 30 and with a 5% down-payment.

The house is a total mess; dirt on the walls, peach pits and cough drops smushed into the blue shag carpet, nails and screws on every surface.
I emailed an ecologically friendly cleaning service in Regina (EcoClean) to see how much it would cost to clean from ceiling to floorboards, in cupboards and closets, windows and walls. I got a quote back for $336 + GST - really?! I thought it would be soooo much more.
Mind you, they haven't seen the house...

My original offer was $19,900 under list price and it was countered with an extra $5,000 - which I accepted, granted they clean the place. I'm not expecting a miracle (hence the cleaning crew I want to hire), but it should be a good start.

to be continued...



Just a dumping ground for house ideas:

This will be the first major project (apart from tearing out carpet) and a total gut & re-do.
I can't decide if I want to go stark and modern or stay true to the era of the house...
Black and white paint:
  • Benjamin Moore Moonlight White (matte): all white walls/ceilings
Benjamin Moore Simply White (satin): white trim/woodwork
  • Benjamin Moore Soot (matte): black walls for accents
  • Benjamin Moore Toucan Black (satin): black doors and stairs if they are wood under the vinyl
Olympic Knight’s Armor (eggshell): black for bathroom?
  • Benjamin Moore Black Beauty (satin): exterior black trim

I don't think I'll need to redo the kitchen right away, but I've always loved apron front sinks or farm sinks (Rohl Shaws Lancaster Apron Front Fireclay Sink)

Good prices on faucets and sinks (fixtureuniverse.com)

Wall-mounted track shelving:
Inspiration (Almost Makes Perfect)
Instructions (This Old House)

So I may have bought a house


I bought my little car exactly one year ago, and last night I put in an offer on a house!

What massive life-changing event will happen to me June 15th, 2014? (don't answer that)

The sellers countered with $5,000 above what I offered, and I accepted conditional to them cleaning, and getting a roof/furnace/house/sewer/gas line inspection done.
Little cottage in a forest
Now my head is spinning with ideas and I need to start documenting or I'll forget all my brilliant plans!

Professional work:
  • Shingles (rotting boards?) and ice-damming prevention
  • Eaves
  • Grate around house and take out tree that's growing in front of living room window
  • Bathroom plumbing/electrical?
  • Moisture-proof subfloor and walls
  • Install new bath + tiles
  • Rip up carpets
  • Pull out the bazillion nails/screws that are all over the walls (FREAKY!) inside/outside/trees/basement
  • Wash walls, ceilings, windows, cupboards, closets, etc. (there are peach pits in the entrance that the selling agent is supposed to take care of)
  • Demo bathroom - I can live with a weird and outdated kitchen (once sanitized), but I can't shower without sandals on in that bathroom...
  • Refinish hard wood? We'll see what it looks like once the carpet comes up
  • Paint EVERYTHING white - I need a blank slate
  • Scrape paint off wood siding/window ledges/soffit
  • Paint wood siding/window ledges/soffit
Stuff to buy:
  • Washer & dryer
  • Fridge? Maybe... depending how old/energy efficient the current one is. And how clean...
  • Windows? When a good sale with financing comes up perhaps