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Move Over Starbucks – My New Addiction: Matcha

I have a bit of a new obsession.  I’ve known about it for awhile, have enjoyed it in green tea and the occasional Green Teaser smoothie from Nine Fruits in Franklin, TN – but recently my friend and mentor, Suzanne Bowen, creator of the amazing BarreAmped Method (more on that in another post!) got me hooked on pure matcha green tea powder.  Not only does it taste great (with a little bit of organic stevia – otherwise it tastes a little too vegetal for me!), but it is incredibly good for you too.

You’re probably thinking – what the heck is matcha?  Well, it is a finely milled green tea – so fine, it’s a powder.  Where you would normally just ingest the water from green tea, with matcha you are actually ingesting the entire leaf. There are several different ways you can prepare matcha, but the way I’ve been drinking it goes a little something like this:

I purchased my matcha from Teavana – they sell it in 40 gram or 80 gram canisters – and let me tell you, this is one expensive habit!  I also bought their Kierros Glass Matcha Bowl and Perfectea Bamboo Matcha Whisk.  The directions say to use 1 teaspoon of matcha per 8 oz of water (or almond or coconut milk!).

  • Put your scoop of matcha in your matcha bowl
  • Add your liquid (water, coconut milk, almond milk)
  • Using your whisk, briskly whisk the tea and liquid together.  Begin to slowly dissolve the matcha, and then continue whisking back and forth quickly in the middle of the bowl.  Once a light foam has formed, gently lift the whisk from the center of the bowl.

Matcha, Whisk + Matcha Bowl

I have been using 1/2 a teaspoon of matcha to make my supply stretch further

A little clumpy at first!

Whisking to disolve the matcha into the water

Action shot – it’s still swirling!

Pretty green color when it’s all mixed!

Love my Oggi stainless steel canister

A teaspoon of stevia

Since I’ve been craving matcha all day everyday, and if I were to make a new 8 oz cup of it several times a day, I’d be spending more in one day on matcha than I do in an entire month at Starbucks!  I’ve had to get a little bit creative to support my habit.  I pour my 8 oz of matcha that I’ve whisked up into my 32 oz  stainless steel canister (no plastic!), put a teaspoon of stevia in and add enough water to fill up my canister, stir it and I’m good to go!  It’s a little watered down, but it makes it really easy to drink a lot of water throughout the day, and it satisfies my sweet tooth.

In case you didn’t already know how GREAT green tea is for you, here are some bonus benefits of drinking matcha:

  • In terms of its nutritional value and antioxidant content, a single glass of matcha is equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea.
  • It’s a cancer fighter
  • Great for boosting your metabolism and burning fat (and let’s be honest, who couldn’t use that especially right after the holidays!)
  • Boosts energy – and not in that jittery way that caffeine does.  I’ve noticed that since I’ve started drinking it throughout the day that I’m not hitting that 3pm wall where I want to crawl into bed and take a nap.  I have steady energy throughout the day

While trying to expand my matcha knowledge, I stumbled upon this website – Matcha Source, which has a ton of great information about the benefits of matcha and all sorts of fun ways to prepare and use it.  I also noticed some yummy recipes with matcha as an ingredient – I can’t wait to try the matcha tea shortbread cookie recipe!

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Linked up on West Elm!

Slightly giddy to wake up this morning and have an email that we got a link up on West Elm’s Blog – Front & Main!  Kind of made my day!

They linked to our Edison Light Fixture DIY post because we used their awesome industrial pendant as the foundation of our project.

Not a bad way to start out our Sunday!:)

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Decisions, Decisions…Carpet, Wood, Laminate, Vinyl?!

We absolutely despised (hated, abhorred, loathed – pretty much any other synonym of ‘dislike intensely’ that you can think of) the carpet in the living room (and everywhere else in the house).  With all of the foot traffic and having three dogs whom actively participated in the destruction of the carpet, it was just plain nasty.  We should have bought stock in the Rug Doctor because we rented one about every other month in a valiant effort to get the carpets to smell better and look presentable.  We failed miserably.  Every single time.  After a lot of research, trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s and advice from friends and family, we finally came to a decision on what to do about our floors.

Initially, we thought about installing tile in the entire first level of our home – easy to keep clean and looks pretty darn nice.  We came to the conclusion that to install the tile we wanted, it would blow our budget.  Not to mention that when we go to sell this house, potential buyers might not be as thrilled with an entirely tiled home.  Then we’d be faced with having to tear out the tile floors (I shudder at the thought – may you NEVER have to endure the experience of ripping out tile!) and paying to replace them again.

Our next thought was to put in hardwoods.  We both love the wide planked farmhouse type floors.  However, we have dogs.  With long nails.  Who love to run and chase each other in circles, slide into things, stop short and all out tear up the floors.  We have manufactured hardwoods in the foyer, hallway and kitchen area and the dogs have destroyed them.  And with that, we crossed the hardwood option off the list.

So where does that leave us?  Carpet?  NEVER again.  Laminate?  Dogs destroyed that once, who’s to say it won’t happen again.  Vinyl?  UGH, no.  The first thing that comes to mind when I think of vinyl floors are the kitchen and bathroom floors in the townhouse I lived in when I was a kid – the kind that you see rolled up in a huge bolt at the home improvement store that gets cut by the sheet and looks, well, cheap.  When Jake mentioned the vinyl floor option I was adamantly against it.  I passed judgement on the poor vinyl before I even had all my facts.  Lucky for me, my husband is a much better person than I am and he gave vinyl a chance.  He put a few different wood samples in front of me and asked me to choose which I liked the best.  After a few moments of comparing grains, color, texture, I made my selection.  And about fell over when Jake told me I had just chosen a vinyl floor.

There is quite the plethora of ‘wood’ vinyl floors to choose from, and after bringing home about five different boxes of Armstrong Floating Vinyl Planks and Style Selections Luxury Vinyl Planks ( I guess putting the word luxury in front of vinyl softens the blow of ‘vinyl’), laying them all out to compare the colors and textures, we finally settled on the Style Selections Luxury Vinyl Planksin Cherry.

StyleSelections Luxury Vinyl Plank in Cherry

Here is a bit of our reasoning as to why we made the choice we did:

  • The Style Selections Luxury Vinyl Planks are peel and stick and they butt up close to each other, but don’t overlap.  Down the road, should one plank need to be replaced (inevitably one of the dogs, our future children, or even more likely, me, will do something to destroy one of the planks), it’s just a matter of pulling up that single plank and slapping down a new one. The other ones we looked at were also peel and stick, but were overlapping.  Installing would have been easy – fixing a single plank, not so much.
  • Durability played a major role in this decision.  These floors are waterproof – not water resistant – waterPROOF.  Having dogs who have the occasional bladder snafu, children (again, those ones in the future), and in all honesty two clumsy homeowners who are spill prone – having waterproof floors is a lifesaver.  And it doesn’t hurt that these happen to have a lifetime warranty.
  • So ridiculously easy to install.  There will be a more thorough post about the specifics of these floors and how and where they went down in our house!

I can’t believe I was able to write this much about floors.  I really am starting to get boring:)

 

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