Chai Green Tea Smoothie

Welcome to my 20th blog post!

I had a friend request that I come up with a healthy chai latte recipe. Admittedly, I do not drink chai lattes too often. There are already so many good recipes for a vegan chai latte, so I decided to take the request and adapt it to my own morning routine. *I may decide to come up with my own latte recipe in the future, but I’ll have to think of something creative since it has been done so many times before.

My morning routine consists of vitamins, probiotics, and some kind of smoothie. My smoothie is usually made up of almond milk, maca, and either superfood powder, protein powder, or both. It’s nice to mix things up once in a while, which is why I am so excited to share this recipe.

If you like chai, this is the smoothie recipe for you. I combine chai spices with a matcha tea powder for a refreshing and energizing boost to any morning.

*Continue reading after the recipe to see my coffee hutch repurpose and to learn some new repurposing tips*

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Chai Green Tea Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp Matcha powder
  • 1 tsp Chai spice (Chai spice recipe below)
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp Almond butter or Peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp Agave Nectar

(Additional options: – Vanilla protein Powder – Super green powder – Kale – Ect.)

Chai Spice Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tbsp Ground cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp Nutmeg

*Mix all the spices together and store in a container.

Directions:

Add all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high until homogenous.

Enjoy!

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 A Trash to Treasure Hutch Repurpose

Back in November, my hubby brought home an old hutch for me to repurpose. It was so incredibly thoughtful for so many reasons. I tend to suffer from seasonal depression and keeping my hands busy on this hutch all winter was so helpful for fighting the winter blues. I can’t thank my hubby enough.

Here are the before and after images and the steps I took to give this beautiful piece of furniture life again. I decided to turn it into a beverage hutch… mostly for coffee and tea.

Step one was to detach the hardware and clean up the surfaces. There was also some really gross contact paper from the 1970’s in the drawers.

The next step was to strip off the varnish and the wood stain underneath. I Googled and used Pinterest for the best ways to do this. Most professionals unanimously agree that Citristrip is the best product for stripping varnish (Citristrip did not pay me to advertise their product. This is just my best recommendation.).

Unfortunatly, I discovered a layer of green paint underneath the varnish and stain. Really? Who uses woodstain over paint?! So I had to use the Citristrip a second time. The stripping agent worked very well. I was able to remove all of the layers.

  • Place a tarp on the ground before starting. This process is very messy!
  • Wear protective gloves. You do not want to get this stuff on your hand.
  • Brush a generous layer of Citristrip onto the surface, let it sit for about two hours.
  • Use a putty knife or a scraper to remove the varnish.
  • I also used a small wire brush to remove anything in grooves and cracks.
  • Keep a garbage bag and paper towels handy for clean up

There was a very sticky film left on my hutch after stripping and I couldn’t seem to clean it off with water or sand it down (it would just get caked onto the sand paper). So I went back to Google and found that Denatured Alcohol works very well for cleaning off stripped wood.                                                                         20171219_164759896058920.jpg

– Use gloves, a glass bowl and steel wool

– Wearing the gloves, pour the Denatured Alcohol into the glass bowl.

– Dip the steel wool into the Alcohol, let it soak and then scrub the wood. The alcohol evaporates very quickly but you can always use paper towels to wipe away excess moisture and grime.

*Denatured Alcohol is highly poisonous. Keep away from animals and children. Keep your hands protected.

After the wood is cleaned off, sand down for an extra smooth and clean surface. I used the alcohol again to clean the sawdust off the surface.

Hutch after it's been stripped

After a lot of elbow grease, my hutch was finally ready for it’s makeover. I hit Google again to try to find the best paint for wood furniture repurpose. I really did find THE BEST paint, General Finishes Milk Paint. (General Finishes did not pay for this advertisment. This is just my best recommendation. Although, this paint is so amazing that I would gladly advertise for them if they ever asked.) This paint is smooth and clean. It has the chalky finish of chalk paint, but it goes on more like a stain. I didn’t want to lose that beautiful chalky finish but I wanted to add a protective coat knowing that this hutch would see a lot of activity.  I ordered General Finishes Flat out Flat, another great product! It gives my hutch the protection it needs without taking away from the chalky finish that makes it so beautiful.

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I also added a wood stain and stencil to the countertop of the hutch. Click on the picture to read about how to revamp your old tired furniture by adding a fun stencil.

Now for the fun part, embelishments. Copper is very trendy right now and I am all about it, so I went with copper details. Copper ceiling tiles for the backboard as well as copper hindges and knobs!

Lastly I added a decorative molding piece (Found at the craft store) to the center. Then it was finally time to add it to my kitchen.

Completed repurposed hutch

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This has been my biggest repurposing project yet. It came out exactly how I imagined it should look. What a great feeling to put a lot of energy and time into doing something right and have it be a success. I have a lot of ideas for future repurposing projects and now I know how great it can be for dealing with the winter blues!

 

Goulash a perfect winter meal

A handful of really good stew recipes to help get through winter is a must. Goulash is a Hungarian recipe, its strongest flavor is paprika and it is the perfect cozy dinner for these chilly winter nights.

Continue scrolling after the recipe to find my favorite tip for revamping old furniture.

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Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 and 1/2 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cans of kidney beans, drain and rinsed
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 3 TBS of flour
  • 24 ounces of vegetable broth
  • 10 ounces of mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 TBS of paprika
  • 3 TBS of tomato paste
  • 1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • pasta for serving

*Other recommended serving toppings: Hot sauce and/or sour cream

Another great addition to this meal would be my recipe for Irish Soda Bread

Directions:

  1. In a large sauce pot, heat two TBS of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and celery, cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour then toss to coat veggies.
  2. Pour vegetable broth into the pot while stirring. Stir constantly until thick and bubbling.
  3. Next add the kidney beans, chopped mushrooms, paprika, and tomato paste. Set to simmer for 1 hour. After an hour add the chopped red pepper and cook for another twenty minutes.
  4. The last 10 – 15 minutes of the stew simmering, cook the pasta.
  5. When the stew is ready add pasta to the bottom of a bowl then ladle the goulash over top. *I like to add hot sauce to the top of mine for some extra flavor, you can also serve it with dairy-free sour cream. Enjoy!

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How to easily create your own image transfer on furniture

I have been working on a cabinet re-purpose project for a few months now. It is not complete yet, but through the process I learned a creative and easy way to add beautiful transfer prints to furniture that look like something you would over pay for at a home decor store. It turned out so much better than I could have hoped and now I want to stencil everything in my home! It’s so easy, anyone can do it. So here are the steps to revamping your furniture.

  1. Find a image you want to use

I started off by searching transfer prints that I liked on Pinterest. This is the website where I found the free transfer image that I used https://thegraphicsfairy.com/best-printable-transfers-furniture/

Print out the image to the size you want. This may require a little tech knowledge. You can also print the image large so that it prints out on a multiple sheets. if you have a copier at work, maybe you can use the copier to enlarge your image.

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2. Make sure you have the correct size print that you want. Hold it up to the item you’ll be transferring it to. Once your measurements are all sorted, take a oil pastel crayon or piece of chalk (you’ll want it to be colored) and color the back of your print, covering as much of it as possible. I used oil pastel, that’s my strongest recommendation, chalk might be a little messier.

oi pastel on the back of a transfer image

3. Place the print on the item you’re transferring the image to, image side up. Make sure it is exactly where you want it and tape it in down with painters tape to secure it. Once you start transferring the image you do not want it to move.

4. Use a ball point pen to trace over every line on your image. Take a peek under your page every once in a while to make sure it’s transferring properly. After you’ve traced over every image you should have an exact outline of your image.

5. Paint in your image. I recommend using acrylic paint and a thin paint brush. Pick the paint colors you want to use and paint over and in between the lines of your transferred image. Use your original image for referencing.

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Once the paint is dry you may be done, but here’s how I finished off my transfer.

  • After the paint dried I went over the image with a fine sand paper and lightly distressed the image to create a vintage look.
  • I cleaned off the dust from sanding and painted over the image with a high gloss varnish. My image was transferred onto a cabinet top that I expect to see a lot of activity so I gave it 3 coats of varnish.

The cabinet itself is not finished but here is the completed image transfer.