Dans le Lakehouse

Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

August 17, 2017

How to Make A Naturally Turquoise Smoothie Bowl

How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie

While others search for the meaning of life, I search for new ways to make my entire life turquoise.  Life is short, I just want to have fun.

After spotting some gorgeous turquoise tinted smoothies on Pinterest my curiosity was piqued, but I'm not a big fan of adding food coloring so I kept my enthusiasm in check - until I realized those turquoise smoothies and smoothie bowls were all natural!  Turns out they get their aqua hue from Blue Majik, an algae powder.

Of course I needed to try this magic blue powder out for myself!

How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie

I did a little experimenting with Blue Majik and realized that the key to getting a turquoise smoothie is to limit the ingredients.  My usual go-to smoothie ingredients (greens, scoop of peanut butter, frozen peaches, chocolate protein powder) turned the smoothie murky.  Blueberries plus Blue Majik made a crazy blue-grey hue that looked kinda like drinking concrete.

To get the best color, I used only white(ish) or clear ingredients: almond milk, vanilla protein powder, sliced banana, ice and Greek yogurt for a creamy and delicious protein shake that tasted great but didn't muddy the color.  A few scroops of Blue Majik created a soft turquoise hue - I have no idea how some people get those VIVID teal smoothies.  That's either a whole bottle of Blue Majik or some generous photo-shopping because this pale turquoise was the richest color I could achieve. 

How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie

I rarely measure a smoothie - I just add my frozen fruit, some peanut butter, some almond milk, some yoghurt (if I have it), some greens and then whirl in my blender until it's the right consistency, adjusting as a I go.  But for this one I put together some super scientific measurements to make two smoothies or smoothie bowls. 

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 2 generous dollops of Greek yogurt
  • A handful of ice cubes
  • 1 cup-ish of almond milk 
  • 1-3 scoops of Blue Majik (the scoop it comes with)
 How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie

Blend until creamy (I used my Magic Bullet for this so it's a magic smoothie through and through, haha).  Smoothie bowls are so good for using up random odds and ends from the fridge and freezer - and pantry!  Along with some fresh fruit, I topped mine with some leftover unsweetened shredded coconut, chocolate granola (purchased in a moment of weakness), and cocoa nibs. 

How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie

So what the heck is Blue Majik?

Blue Majik is an extract of Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina), a natural algae.  Apparently it supports healthy joints and helps prevent inflammation.  It's nutrient dense and so it's all the rage as a superfood.  I'm just in it for the turquoise, if I'm being honest!  

If you're curious about this magic powder, just note that the spirulina I linked to is the exact one I used and it has a blue tint.  There are others that are green, so if you're shopping for this at local health food stores, double check that it's blue.

How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie
How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie

Does Blue Majik Taste Weird?

I read some reviews that said it can taste fishy if used in high doses.  I tested up to three little scoops into a pair of smoothies with no funny taste but that's likely because I use a vanilla flavored protein powder and there was a whole banana in there too.  I don't recommend drinking it in water because then it will really taste gross, but blended into a delicious smoothie you can't taste it at all.

How to Make an All Natural Turquoise Smoothie Bowl  // Blue Majik Mermaid Smoothie

So pretty, right?

We've been enjoying blue smoothies and smoothie bowls lakeside and it just makes me smile to look down at a smoothie that matches the water!  You know I love a good looking smoothie and I'm still really enjoying making these pretty smoothie bowls because they make me slow down and savor.  Now that I've learned the secret to the magic turquoise smoothie, I feel that my smoothie repertoire is complete. 

But I still have lots of magic blue powder left, so I am seriously tempted to add this Blue Majik to everything - turquoise cheesecake, turquoise poppy seed loaf, turquoise icing...  This article has some great ideas.  I can't wait until the next dinner party I host or potluck I'm invited to.  Turquoise everything!!!

August 3, 2017

Say Hello to Hynda!

We welcomed her at the end of June, but I've been too busy chasing this little bunny around to share a post about her.  Meet Hynda, Szuka's new buddy!

Bichon Frise Puppy

For two years I have casually looked for another pup to add to the mix.  Because I have allergies, it really limits my selection to about five breeds.  Because Szuka is kind of iffy with other dogs, we were really worried about bringing home an adult rescue but I kept my eyes peeled anyway.  Around here, there are a lot of Labs, German Shepherds, and Husky mixes all looking for homes, but all of those breeds make me super sick.  I started looking at breed specific rescues across Canada and the US but was turned down because of distance.  Most shelters and rescues wanted people to adopt nearby so they could easily return the pup if need be.  I was kind of surprised at how difficult it was to find a pup to re-home, but I guess that's just the reality of living somewhere kind of far flung.  I almost rescued a feral Komondor but he was mixed with Great Pyrenees (a major allergy maker for me).  When I was in Ottawa I almost found the perfect pup who was desperate for her forever home, but I missed out when a great family scooped her up before I could.  I wish I didn't have allergies because there are a million dogs I would have taken home from our local dog rescues.  I still look every now and then, in case a dog I can handle allergy-wise pops up! 
 Bichon Frise Puppy

Meanwhile, because I've been working more outside the home, Szuka sweetie has been a bit lonely so I started really seriously looking for another dog and finally started considering a puppy as opposed to a rescue.  At the dog park she always favors little dogs and when she meets other white dogs she seems to like them more.  She spends a lot of time looking in the mirror (it's kind of adorable) so I wonder, does she know she's a white fluff-ball?  My boss has four poodles and one of them is white and when Szuka met them, she and the white male poodle started at each other for SO long!

In the end, I found a great couple (registered breeders, no backyard shenanigans and no pet shops) who breed Bichon Frise.  I researched the breeds I don't have reactions to tirelessly and the Bichon seemed like a great fit because it's small but spunky so I figured it could hold its own rough housing with Szuka.  I also read that they don't need to be the dominant dog, which I thought might make for a smoother adjustment.

Bichon Frise Puppy with Komondor
Bichon Frise Puppy with Komondor

We brought her home at the end of June and things have been a bit bumpy.  Szuka HATED her at first but we tried to let her assert her dominance with this little gal (within reason).  Another reason I got a small puppy - and not a full grown feral Komondor - is because I figured that IF growing our four-legged family is impossible, it would be easier to re-home a smaller dog with friends and family as opposed to another massive beast like Szuka (who weighs in at 104 pounds these days).  In the back of my mind, I really worried about how Szuka would adapt but I really thought a buddy would ease her loneliness.

After only a couple of weeks, the girls seemed to be getting along a bit better.  But they still haven't really "clicked".  In between the fighting, they play and chase each other around and they do often lie on the floor together chewing or snacking.  They have cuddled a bit, but it's always Hynda who instigates and Szuka just tolerates.

Bichon Frise Puppy

We've been doing our part to make the pack whole but sometimes I wonder if Szuka wouldn't just be happier being alone again... I just wanted to make my working easier on her, but it's difficult because she's only ever known a reality when I work from home most days.

But maybe it's just an adjustment process because Hynda is waaay less chill as a puppy than Szuka was.  Hynda earned the nickname "Tuna Breath Face Biter" for good reason.  She's been a struggle to crate train and housebreak (good gravy I'm still struggling) and she is teething something fierce.  She's drawn blood from hands after a particular bad sneak attack and she also lunges for my nose and face leaving little tooth marks if I get too close. Szuka was so calm by comparison and had very few accidents indoors (I can count on one hand the number of inside whoopsies her entire life).  The three of us (Hubs, Szuka and I) are all pretty laid back so maybe this energetic nutty ball of energy will need to mellow out before we gel as a pack.  Although I'm also worried because my Mom has been caring for both pups when I'm working long hours and she's expressed some concern about not being able to handle both dogs.

Bichon Frise Puppy

Even though I love this little gal, sometimes I worry that I made a mistake but I'm hoping that over the summer with both Hubs and I taking some holidays, we can get everyone into a good routine.  On the bright size, Hynda is smart and after two days she already learned the command for "come" and she comes running immediately.  Szuka, on the other hand, looks over at me and sighs when I call her name, lol. 

I've never had a home with two dogs so I'm all ears for any tips, tricks or training references you suggest!  I've been reading a ton but I am always happy for more resources.  Soon we'll enroll Hynda in obedience but I'd like to get her fully vaccinated first.

They move in such a blur that I mostly just have cell phone snaps of them but I'm going to try to get some better quality pictures of them before Hynda loses her adorable puppy proportions.  Her waddle bum is the funniest!
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July 10, 2017

New Beachy Art for the Office from Minted

New Beach Inspired Art from Minted

I had the absolute pleasure of working with the folks at Minted to bring a little bit of a more beachy feel to the home office.  Last fall I re-decorated my workspace, ditching my beloved DIY treadle sewing machine desk for a more mid-century inspired, walnut waterfall desk for two.  I also added DIY back tab curtains (in the most perfect turquoise tweed), gorgeous new white leather desk chairs and mod task lamps, plus a lovely leafy plant.  Then I shopped the house for the rest of the makeover: my favorite velvet chair (heaved from a trash heap years ago), art by Hubby's grandpa, a sentimental antique trunk, and an old painting I made for a magazine feature.  I loved everything except my painting - which can't hold a candle to Hubby's grandpa's art - but it was just a placeholder until the right piece came along.  

Colorful DIY Abstract
Make this easy DIY art

You might have noticed that I am so slow when it comes to decorating, but I don't like to buy cheap stand-ins or accept comped products that aren't the the right fit.  I prefer taking the time to find the perfect thing.

That's where Minted comes in!

They offered up any artwork of my choosing and I spent an embarrassingly long time pouring over the website, narrowing down my choices.  The amazing selection can be kind of overwhelming, but luckily I had a focus because we had just returned from Punta Cana and I was committed to adding more beachy elements to the lakehouse decor. 

New Beachy Art for the Office from Minted

During my search, I kept coming back to this gorgeous watercolor print of a woman floating lazily in a vintage-style swimsuit.  The piece ("Float" by Betty Hatchett) captured that beachy vibe I was craving while still staying true to my mid-century modern aesthetic.  Plus I think it plays well with the sweeping brushstrokes of the abstract art across the room.  I didn't want anything that would compete too much with Hubby's grandpa's art - I love keeping the focus on those sentimental paintings.

Colorful Abstract Art

"Float" also calls to mind the figures in the mid-century Hungarian posters in the bedroom and also repeats that pop of orange that crops up here and there in my decor (like this photo I took that was turned into a painting). 

New Beachy Art in Lakehouse Office

It's perfect!  I ordered it in a massive 44" by 44", framed in a simple white wood frame (that's made in Italy).  Because it has a lot of negative space, I don't find that it overwhelms the room.  But then, I LOVE big art!

Lake Vibes Art in Lake House Office

It was shipped so securely and quickly.  Of course computer monitors will change colors, but I think the website is a very good representation - I was very happy with my order and it looked exactly how I expected it to look.  That's a tricky thing to nail with online shopping!

Live Love Lake Pillow

I recently picked up a turquoise "LIVE LOVE LAKE" pillow that I just could not resist.  I was shopping for a gift and spotted tables and tables full of turquoise lakehouse decor - it was too much temptation... (here's a similar pillow in green and this lake house pillow is cute too although this bolster is definitely more my color palette).      

New Beachy Art from Minted

There's nothing like a gorgeous piece of art to breathe new life into a space and I've gotten so many compliments on this new piece!  At other times of the year, the sun pours into my office window but right now the office is a bit shady, especially because the leafy trees in the forest behind us fill in, which is lovely, but they obscures the light quite a bit.  I'm happy for this cheery piece of art because it helps brighten up the space and encourages me to hurry up and finish my work so I can get outside and go jump in the lake!

This post was sponsored by Minted but all thought, opinions, and product selections are my own!
The selection at Minted is incredible, with something for everyone, but it's a touch overwhelming so I'll be doing some round ups of my curated picks in the future.  If you're hunting for art for a space, let me know in the comments and I'll make some suggestions to get those creative juices flowing!
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June 15, 2017

A New Plan for the House Exterior

Over the years, for various reasons, our plans for painting the lakehouse exterior kept getting waylaid but I'm actually kind of grateful because it gave me time to change my mind!  I originally envisioned all-black siding and stonework but then I started to ponder other options - especially after spotting that gorgeous grey structure (pictured above) in a recent enRoute mag.

Jessica Helgerson
Yes, dark charcoal and black houses (like the one above) still get me drooling - especially when paired with a teak or walnut-toned wood.  Sigh.  But honestly, it seems a waste to paint our vinyl siding when it's in such rough shape.  Eventually we decided that perhaps replacing it would be the best option, but quotes for a charcoal grey vinyl siding with a more modern look rang in at about $15,000!  That's why, instead of putting lipstick on a pig - or spending a million dollars are new vinyl - I've been eyeing up my father-in-law's siding, a DIY wood board and batten style that has been allowed to weather beautifully with age.  Between his siding and that grey house in the first photo, we're really toying with the idea DIY wood siding, using a wood that will grey for a beach-appropriate vibe. 

Desire to Inspire
Muller Design Company
Every now and then, though, I find a gorgeous warm wood siding that piques my interest too.

My Domaine
But I love the idea of natural wood for a low maintenance result.  I'm still researching how exactly to install wood siding (although my father-in-law will definitely have some excellent advice).  I've also been considering aesthetic options for installation, because once you decide to DIY it opens up a whole world of cool options.  Every time I see a new idea, I'm convinced that it is the one:

One Kind Design
And yes, every now and then I dream about a house with a turquoise exterior.  But there's always the garage!  It can sport a gorgeous turquoise hue one day...

House of Turquoise
Camille Styles
We were planning to address the house exterior this year but the summer is already whipping by and we really want to spend as much time on the boat as possible, so we're thinking about doing all of the house work we need done next year in one shot: new siding, new roof, new deck stain, so everything is fresh at once. 

It gives me time to change my mind, haha!

Right now I'm leaning toward grey wood siding, a teal stained deck (YES!) and a metal roof - I saw a copper one in town I'm drooling over.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...
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May 26, 2017

Lake Life Lately: Volunteer Fire Fighting

So...I have kind of crazy news:  Hubby and I finally joined the volunteer fire department in our municipality!  We'd been meaning to do this since moving to the lakehouse three years ago but, for some reason or another, we always moved it to the back burner.  We had tons of super good excuses: it was too cold, we weren't in shape, we were too busy, we were too content not being busy...

Finally, we just did it! We actually joined the fire department and the first response team so we'll be called for anything from motor accidents to house fires.  There's extensive training before we can actually become full fledged fire fighters (years) so picture me doing a lot of grunt work for the immediate future.  There is - unsurprisingly - a lot of work involved, including weekly training sessions and then extra training sessions that range from cleaning the fire hall to extracting people from vehicles (scary).  Because Hubby and I work weird shifts we're an excellent asset because we can take calls on 2pm on a Wednesday, when others are working their more typical 9-5 shifts, but it also means we'll miss a lot of training so it might take even longer for us to get fully trained.  My dreams of driving a big ass fire truck are still out of reach!  But I'm really thrilled to be able to give back to my small community in this way.

I'll admit I'm a little terrified, not only because of the fires I'll need to run toward instead of away from, but also of responding to a call where the situation might be a little gruesome.  I have always thought that I not good with blood, but after our tiler cut himself on a chop saw and I needed to drive him to emergency, I realized that I can overcome my natural inclination to toss my cookies at the sight of severed flesh when it's an emergency.  I can be cool and calm (and bomb down country roads like a bat out of hell) when I need to.

So I got this.

I think.

I can't share photos of any fires or other encounters to ensure the privacy of those impacted, so I likely won't be able to share too much of this part of my life but hopefully I can share some fun updates about training.  You'll at least have to see a photo of me all suited up once I finally get some gear.  Right now it's just very uncool coveralls and boots.  But for sure I'll look awesome, like I always do in safety gear (lol)!

We attended our first after math of a house fire recently and helped document the damage (yikes!).  It was heartbreaking walking through the burned out house and seeing the damage, but the person in question managed to get out okay, which was a relief. 

Our first act of duty: washing and manhandling the massive hoses.  See?  Grunt work for the newbies! 

And it was immediately apparent that I am going to have to start lifting weights.  Being out of shape was, in actuality, a pretty darn good reason for not joining, haha, but now I have the motivation to remedy that.  Any time I struggle with lifting something and want to call on Hubby for help, I start to chant "FIRE HOSE, FIRE HOSE" to pump myself up.  
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May 24, 2017

12 Summer DIY Projects You HAVE to Make

I was teased with some blisteringly hot days when I was in Ottawa last week, so I'm definitely ready for summer.  Spring is still a little blah and brown here, but I can see little green buds!  I'm looking forward to crystal clear water, brightly colored flowers, and long hot days in light, summery dresses.  To get prepped for the season, I rounded up 12 can't miss summer DIY projects.

A Fun Embroidered Straw Sun Hat:

There are SO many variations of this embroidered straw hat DIY around and each one is really cute.  Use anything from ribbon to embroidery floss or sequins to create a sweet message.  Here's the perfect straw hat - with a wide floppy brim, tons of room for a quippy message! 

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Graphic Beach Towel:

No one will steal your beach towel when it's so personalized!  Or maybe this will be too cute and no one will be able to resist a little thievery.  Either way, it's a snap to make these graphic beach towels: all you need is a solid beach towel (the brighter the better) and some bleach!

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

An Adorable Straw Bag with Pom Poms:

I love the idea of adding some sweet pom poms to an old straw bag to give it a fresh new look for summer.  Pom poms are easy enough to make, but you can also pick them up for pretty cheap!

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Tassel Trimmed Tote:

Pom poms not your thing?  You're going to hate some of these summer crafts because poms poms and summer seem to go hand in hand.  But tassels have just as summery a vibe.  This turquoise straw tote - with it's 60s vibe - is begging for a little tassel action.

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Bug-Deflecting Citronella Candle:

Oh hey, this project looks familiar!  Keep those pesky bugs at bay and keep the party going long after sunset with these pretty DIY citronella candles.  They're easy to make and a clever way to re-use old china or dishes - I scooped this pair from the landfill!

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Pretty Embroidered Fan:

A little embroidered gives a basic straw fan some visual interest and is a fabulously stylish way to keep cool when the temperature sky rockets.

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Sweet Bathing Suit Cover Up:

How sweet is this adorable DIY bathing suit cover up?  I pinned this and totally planned on making this before our trip to Punta Cana but then I got lazy and ordered this cute strapless cover up (it's the BEST) instead.  I might just add pom poms to it for the summer and call it a day.  If you're not lazy like me, this turquoise pom pom trim would be so cute!

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Pom Pom Trimmed Beach Tote:

You know what looks perfect with that pom pom bathing suit cover up?  My easy peasy pom pom trimmed DIY beach tote!  This turquoise jute fabric would look especially summery.

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Chic Straw Clutch:

For those hot summer nights, a cute pom pom trim clutch made from - of all things! - a circular place mat, how clever.

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Pom Pom Trimmed Bikini:

So, is a pom pom trim bikini under a pom pom trim cover up with a pom pom trim beach tote too many pom poms?  I didn't think so either.  You can buy a pre-pommed bikini but it's pretty pricey - it's probably way cheaper to DIY this, plus then you can focus on finding the best fit. 

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Pretty Clothespin Holder:

Now, to hand wash, de-sand, and line dry all of those pom pom pretties: my DIY fabric clothespin holder.  I still love this handy little thing - and what says summer more than line dried clothes?

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

A Pair of Glitter Sunglasses:

The tutorial is a bit more complicated than it might seem at first glance, but it's worth it to get these glittery shades - imagine them sparkle in the sun!  Oooohhhh, aaaaaahhhh.  

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer

What's your favorite summer DIY?  Are you tackling anything beachy, or just excited for those long, warm spray painting days?

12 Perfect DIY Projects for Summer
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