DIY Nautical Lamp- Pottery Barn Copycat

copycat

Part of Callum’s room make over was his bedside lamp. His current lamp was from Toy Story and it was just not going to fit in with the new nautical theme.

I found this lamp from Pottery Barn that I thought would be perfect.

pottery barn light

It came with a price tag of over $350.00. That includes the base, lamp shade and shipping.

I was totally unwilling to spend that so I set about creating my own version using rope that I found at Michaels Craft Store for $5.00, a new lamp shade from Ikea for $10.00 and the current lamp base which cost $10.00 when we bought it a year ago.

I had no idea how to make a monkey’s fist knot so I watched a variety of You tube videos until I found one that was easy to follow. You can find the video here.

Once I had figured out how to make the knot I had to come up with a way to get it on to the lamp base. As you can see I couldn’t just make a hole in the knot and slide it over the top of the light.

So I figured that if I cut the ball in half and then glued it together then tied the knot around it I might have a chance at success.

I wish I had taken pictures of the process but unfortunately I wasn’t able to since the knot tying takes two hands.

Here is the finished product.

Callum thinks it is very cool and it only took about 10 minutes to make.

I am also quite happy with it. It turned out really well and costs way less than the Pottery Barn version.

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Shamrock Shake

shake

I must admit I have never had a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds

I am intrigued by the cult like following that they have but I know I will never ever order one.

In the spirit of St.Patrick’s day I made a healthier version and it is pretty darn good. I have no idea if it tastes anything like the McDonalds version but it is minty and creamy and Callum likes it so it must be good.

You will need:

1 Avocado

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp. honey (more if you like it sweeter)

1 tsp peppermint extract (more if you like it super minty)

1 cup  vanilla almond or coconut milk

1 cup ice

Put all of your ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

IMG_2131 (2)

I needed a little extra kick so I added some chocolate chips to mine and blended it again. It was super delicious. Added bonus everything in it is good for you. Pretty sure that you won’t find any nutritional value in the ones McDonalds is serving.

Happy St.Patrick’s Day!

 

 

Money Saving Tips

canadian-money

 I am a huge fan of saving money!!!

Every week I sit down with my flyers and plot out my weekly meal plan around the sales.

I also price match like it is going out of style.

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of it because they think it takes up too much time or  because they have been caught behind a person in line that is scattered and needs to explain everything to the cashier which wastes everyone’s time and causes tempers to flare,so they don’t want to be a part of it.

Yes it does take time to go through flyers, but only around 20 minutes.

As for the people who take FOREVER in line. Well, they just need to be more organized when they get to the cash.

I also like to take advantage of coupons while price matching. I seriously understand what the people on Extreme Couponing feel when I have priced matched shampoo down from $8.00 to $2.00 and I have a $1.50 off coupon.

Over the years I have saved countless dollars through price matching and couponing. The saved money allows our family to go on vacations, do renovations to the house and go out for weekly family dinners without ever having to tap into our savings.

Couponing in Canada is not like what you see on tv. There aren’t copious amounts of coupons showing up on our doorstep and our grocery stores don’t offer many coupons.

There are however plenty of websites where you can access printable coupons.

Here are some of my favourites

www.smartcanucks.ca

www.mrsjanuary.com

www.pgeveryday.ca

www.websaver.ca

www.save.ca

www.SmartSource.ca

For organic food and natural cleaning supplies I like these sites

www.thehealthyshopper.ca

www.simplyfrugal.ca

For the world of retail you can’t go wrong with www.retailmenot.ca. It is the best! It connects to thousands of stores websites and tells you the deals that they currently have and any online coupons that you can use.

Finally my number one favourite is my PC Plus Points card through The Real Canadian Superstore and Zehrs. Over the last year I have gotten over $600 in free groceries. All you need to do is load your offers (ie. 200 points for every dollar spent on apples) to your phone and then shop. Every 1000 points is equivalent to $1.00. It’s free to sign up and the app is free as well. Why wouldn’t you sign up?

If anyone has couponing sites that they use or any other strategies to save money please leave them in the comments section.

Happy shopping!

 

 

Blueberry Breakfast Buns

buns

 

It is day 3 of our no sugar challenge and we are doing surprisingly well.

Monday was a bit rough before and after school but that could have been due to the fact that the kids were tired because of the time change.

So far they haven’t asked for anything sugary which is good, but Callum did tell me that this was “the dumbest dumb thing ever”.

I think he may have been going through sugar  withdrawal at that moment.

Personally I am enjoying it. My skin looks better already and I don’t feel like a bloated beast that wants to snack 24/7.

The kids have been in great moods and we haven’t had any major breakdowns about going to school or crying for candy or treats after school. They have adjusted really well.

It definitely takes a little extra time in the kitchen because we aren’t eating anything that is premade.

Mornings seem to be the hardest. Grabbing a bowl of Lucky Charms was the go to here but not anymore. Now it is scrambled eggs, or Greek yogurt with fruit.

This morning I made the kids blueberry breakfast buns as a treat. They are super filling, delicious, and as a bonus for some, they are vegan.

Blueberry Breakfast Buns

1 cup + 1 tbsp. oat flour*

1 cup whole wheat flour **

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp. honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup non dairy milk (you can use vanilla flavoured if you like)

1 tbsp. flax meal ***

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 canola oil

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

* Oat flour is just oats that have been ground up in the food processor

** You can use spelt flour instead of whole wheat. If you use spelt flour you will need to add an additional 3 tbsp. to your batter.

*** Flax meal is ground flax seeds.

Preheat your oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix all your dry ingredients except for the flax meal

Add the flax to your non dairy milk and let sit for 1 minute

Add your wet ingredients to the dry mix

Stir until just combined

Add blueberries

Scoop large spoonfuls (I use an ice cream scoop) on to a lined baking sheet

Bake for 20-23 minutes or until they are golden brown and set in the centre

Let cool before you attempt to eat as they are VERY hot

I make the mix the night before and toss it in the fridge. I add the blueberries in the morning. It just makes life easier.

These buns are a tasty way to start the morning. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

 

 

 

1 week no sugar challenge

keep-calm-and-dont-eat-sweets

My name is Sarah and I am a sugar addict.

Actually I am an all around junk food addict. I am not picky. If it is deep fried, full of sugar, or comes from a fast food place then it is the food for me.

When I was younger I could get away with eating two Big Macs a day but that is no longer the case. One fast food hamburger and I can feel my thighs growing and my belly bulging.

Unfortunately I have passed my love of sugary and fatty food on to my kids. I swear I see horns grow out of Callum’s head when I say no to him having candy.

I can see that I have turned my kid’s into addicts too and it needs to stop.

This week we are doing a no sugar challenge.

No one is happy about it.

I had to bribe them with a gift card to Chapters if they complete the week.

So starting today there is no more Lucky Charms for breakfast (I’m actually the offender for this), no cookies in the kid’s lunch and no mindless snacking on whatever candy or chocolate that might be hanging around the house.

I’m taking this week as an opportunity to show my kid’s that you can have healthy food and it can still taste good.

Last week we made chocolate chia pudding and it was delicious. I got the recipe from The Detoxinista

chocolate-chia-pudding

Today I am making Raspberry Lemon Chia pudding for dessert tonight.

Lemon-Raspberry-Chia-Pudding

You may have noticed that the recipes call for honey and thought “wait a minute, isn’t honey a type of sugar?” It is a natural sugar so I am okay with it. We are just trying to get off the processed stuff.

I really am looking forward to feeling better and getting this sugar monkey off my back. I know it won’t be easy but it needs to be done. Not just for my health but for my entire family.