Feb

  • We had decided before Christmas that we wanted to install a water filter that would help reduce/eliminate the heavy chlorine that would often be in our water.  The thought process started with a simple shower-head chlorine filter; but it wasn't too hard to think of other water to filter... so the whole-house filter was the cheaper and biggest bang option.

    The entire project cost was under $215 (not counting my dads consumables like flux, solder, etc...):

    • Princess Auto - Filter housing, chlorine/sediment filter, mounting bracket, pipe cleaner, and shut-off valves ~$172
    • Canadian Tire - copper pipe, caps, elbows, and Tee ~$23
    • Home Depot - 1" to 1/2" reducers (between filter and pipe) and wood to mount the filter on ~$18
    The Before:
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    The After (1 of 2):
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    The After (2 of 2):
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    I certainly won't miss the chlorine smell, and I'm really looking forward too chemical free water for showers/baths, cooking, boiling water for tea, etc...

    Special thanks to my dad for supplying the majority of the know-how, tools, training, and labour!

  • While we were wrestling with different music ideas for our wedding, we had quickly settled on playing light jazz throughout the reception/evening.  We had thought of harpists and other live musicians for our ceremony early on, but had dismissed the idea assuming it to be too expensive for our humble wedding.  Now five weeks before the wedding, we have returned to the harpist idea, and found that (for those we checked out) their prices are actually quite reasonable; circling both sides of $300 for playing a ceremony set.

    Here is the list of the Winnipeg harpists that we considered for our wedding ceremony (prelude through to signing and postlude):

    • Leslie McInnis
      Leslie was the first harpist we found online, and the first to call us back. We really enjoyed the layout of her web-site, listening to her many music samples, and pictures of her beautifully carved harp. However, contacting our harpists with only one month before the ceremony revealed its first feared (yet expected) scheduling conflict, so we had to cross Leslie off our "selection list" as quickly as we had started creating it.
    • Anita Durksen
      Anita contacted us next.  The layout of her website was also very well done, but the samples were a bit more limited compared to the other sites.  What Anita's samples taught us though is that the Paraguayan harp has a distinct sound when compared to "traditional" Concert harps.  This difference didn't sound right for us, but I have no doubt others would select it for their various events.  While Anita has a page devoted to her Repertoire, I would have appreciated an additional category devoted to grouping together wedding song choices.
    • Erica Schultz (who we booked)
      Like many of the good things in life, saving the best for last lead to Erica's introduction.  She also has an easy to navigate web-site, with the only constructive criticisms I have being that her vast Repertoire page would be much easier to read as a bulleted-list then as a paragraph, and I would have loved to see more pictures of her with her harp.  One read through her About page though was all one needed to know that they were dealing with a professional of exceptional experience playing the harp; reinforced by listening to her many samples.  You just knew that her fingers were gliding confidently and effortlessly across her harp strings.  The hardest part now will be picking what songs are played when.

    Hopefully these links and information are helpful to you if you're seeking a harpist in Winnipeg.

    I'll make sure I post updates after we have the opportunity to meet Erica in person, and after the wedding ceremony of course.

  • I went to get my suit measurements taken on January 30th after Giovanni confirmed that the fabric we ordered was delivered from Montreal. Two weeks later I receive a voice message that enough of the suit was assembled for the first (rough) fitting; wow, awesome progress!

    I should have moved quicker when Betty Anne suggested that the glare was pretty bad, but I didn't want to interrupt the master at work as he chalked out the few spots that he wanted to adjust before completing the suits assembly.  These aren't the best quality photo's I've posted, but still wanted to share the incredible progress being made.

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  • My Maxx Collectibles order arrived today, and I figure that means I've recommitted to an old hobby (on hold of course until after the wedding and honeymoon).

    I used to really enjoy assembling, painting, and playing with my Warhammer Fantasy Undead army; but it took the nudging of an old friend and work colleague to re-kindle and solidify these memories, which lead to picking up the Warhammer 40K Necron army shown below.

    I also added some Dollarama shopping for paints and glue, hit Canadian Tire for the primer and putty (green stuff), Walmart for a cheap plastic table I can mess up all I want during painting and assembly, and Fabricland for a self-healing cutting mat.

    What a great way to spend some birthday money!

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  • Our first order from Bulk Apothecary arrived today!  The intention of this order was to set the stage for making our own household cleaning products, shampoo, soap (also to be favors for our wedding guests), body sprays, lotions, lip balms, etc... and containers to hold them in.

    This order consisted of:

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    • Beeswax
    • Black Fine Mist Sprayers and Cobalt Blue Bullet Bottles
    • Borax
    • Castor Oil
    • Cocoa Butter
    • Glycerin
    • Golden Jojoba Oil
    • Kaolin Clay (white)
    • Lime Essential Oil
    • Lip Balm Jars (white, 0.25 oz)
    • Rose Soap Stamp
    • Shea Butter
    • Silicone Rectangle Soap Molds
    • Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
    • Sweet Almond Oil
    • Witch Hazel

    Unfortunately, we had some lessons to learn with this order:

    1. The Bulk Apothecary rep I called questimated that this order may have as many as seven packages.  This deterred me from using Mike's Parcel Pickup who charges $5 USD per package.  As the shipment only came in three boxes, Mike's fees would have been much better.  Oh well, I guess the rep guestimated high, which would be the preferred choice to guestimating low.
    2. UPS offering to broker packages from the US is stupid expensive... like add $50 to $70 dollars on top of your government taxes.  I wished I had known about this and declined their offer to broker the package for me; choosing to self-clear it myself.
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    Picked up the Nom Nom Paleo book at Superstore today after a good friend let me know it was currently on sale.  While I really appreciated recipes like Paleo Mayo and Pho, I was pleasantly surprised by all the kitchen/pantry tips and tricks like freezing ginger! An excellent addition to our ever growing library.

    Read about Michelleon her nomnompaleo.comwebsite; which also includes a wealth of other Paleo information and recipes.

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    Here's a quick bulleted list of Lauren's post over at Empowered Substances:

    1. Slow down on the nuts and seeds
    2. Don’t eat lean protein
    3. Stop drowning your body in water
    4. Don’t cook in chemicals
    5. Eat Enough Carbs

    Thank You for sharing Lauren; an excellent read!

    Update! I've also found some additional posts that support and expand these ideas on Sébastien's informative PaleoLeap.com website:

     

     

  • She bought it second hand from one of her classmates at a workshop she was taking. A little google searching revealed the following claim... Health is daily MOVEMENT, which creates OXYGENATION and DETOXIFICATION. The Original Chi Machine gets your body moving, inside and out.

    Sounds like it's trying to displace what exercise would?  Hmmm... not sure what to think of this new toy.  I guess I'll have to try it and see.

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    I woke up Monday morning to a dead battery in my car.  In hindsight, I realize it had slowly been dying over the past couple weeks... the "turning radio off to conserve battery" every time I shut off the car was saying it loud and clear.

    Luckily my local dealer validated that the battery was faulty and replaced it with a new one the other day... but my Drone didn't fully recover.  I wasn't getting all notifications any more, nor the GPS location updates.

    The dealer was stumped, so I opened a support ticket today with Drone, explained what happened, and they reset something from their end (I think it was the module in my car) which put everything back into working order.

    But I think my support rep has a concern about my install as he stated that...

    If this problem happens again, I would suggest visiting the dealer so they can confirm what port the DroneMobile device is plugged into.

    An important nugget to keep track of moving forward me thinks!

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    Following Michelle's (Nom Nom Paleo) recipe for "hand whisked" Paleo Mayo has had some mixed successes, with the issue being that I'm just not dexterous enough to maintain the whisking.  In the past, I'd also tried and failed using our Vitamix to make other homemade mayo recipes.

    The solution?  Introduce the mayo to our Kitchenaid to do all the whisking!

    Getting a lovely thick Mayo also made a huge difference to the Paleo Ranchdressing recipe we had also tried.  We had found it too thin before, and the mayo thickness was obviously the key.

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    We've been making sauerkraut for quite some time now, but I can honestly say that we don't eat it as often as we could.  Usually due to bad timing/planning... where we eat through our jars before thinking of starting the next batch; and we like to let it ferment for up to eight weeks.  So, too many gaps have been creeping in, which usually leads to a bit of procrastination.

    Our solution was to start a new ferment that doesn't need weeks to mature, and our answer was water kefir.

    I contacted Jody, a local Winnipeger, through Kijiji and picked up my initial batch of water kefir grains!  She had just prepared the brew this morning, so it will need to ferment over the next couple days before I can try it out.

    What out "leaky gut", there's a new probiotic  sheriff in town!

  • Sarah Ballantyne

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    While I still believe that Practical Paleo and The Paleo Solution are essential core reading, over time one comes to realize that if you've been eating according to the "Food Guides"... you likely have an autoimmune condition that would benefit from following this protocol for a period of time before following the general Paleo protocol.

    My wife was the first to read through these books, and you can see her reasons and what she learned in one of our autoimmune posts.

    Sarah Ballantyne is the author of our new autoimmune books and has more information on her Paleo Mom website.

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