My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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the love bus

Good afternoon!  Sit back + relax…this post is packed!

Saturday was quite the day!  Our fridge now lives in the dining room/mock-kitchen, so the floor could be tiled.

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Just wanted to show one of the kitchen cabinets completely finished, except for the door handle.  This is how they will look with the bottom trim piece and two side cover panels.  Lovin’ it!

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You can better see the trim piece here.  This was optional for the cabinets, as were the two side cover panels.  The cover panels give it a nice finished look with the bottom trim piece.  Also, if we ever want to install under cabinet lighting, this will hide the actual lights.

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The pantry cabinet is UP!  The bottom portion has two large drawers, that still need to be put together.  The fridge will fit perfectly in the open space.  I’m excited for the 24” deep cabinet above the fridge.  It’s perfect for large serving plates and things that aren’t used often. 

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Here you can see the cabinets have just the cover panels, but the bottom trim is not on yet, except for the left-most cabinet.  My uncle also finished the bottom cabinets, adding a few filler pieces to cover the odd-sized gaps.  Counters will be installed on Thursday!

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I wanted to keep breakfast light-ish, because a good friend was coming over with an early lunch for us.  I’m starting to experiment with different protein powders, to find one that works best for me.  In the past, I’ve tried many different powders.  I actually really enjoy hemp protein powder and it is extremely environmentally friendly.  It’s very easy to cultivate + takes little water to keep alive.  However, the actual protein count is somewhat low, for a 1/4c serving.  It’s typically around 9-11g.  I’ve heard really good things about Vega products, and Sun Warrior, etc. but I have found that they all sweeten with Stevia, which I despise.  Even in very small amounts, I can detect the strange sweetness and do not like it at all.  I know Sun Warrior’s plain flavor does not contain stevia, but I haven’t found sample packs to try.

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Most plain protein powders are pretty bland/chalky tasting, but that might just have to be the route I take, because they typically don’t have stevia added.  Besides avoiding stevia, I’m also avoiding whey + soy protein.

I’ve been eyeing up this Raw Protein, from Garden of Life, for awhile now.  I decided to splurge for the protein pack to try it out.  I was nervous because it was just the “plain” flavor.

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I blended:

  • 1 packet Raw Protein
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2c water
  • 1/2c 2% milk
  • 1T chia seeds
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 2T raw almonds

After blending until smooth, I let it sit for about 2-3min, which allowed it to thicken from the chia seeds.

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It was a bit gritty, as I find with most protein powders, but it didn’t bother me at all.  I actually LOVED it.  I don’t think the flavor would be as detectable if you added more fruit, or peanut butter, etc, but I was trying to keep this breakfast smaller than usual.  To me, it tasted sort of oatmeal-ish.  The stats + ingredient list for this protein powder are stellar!  This will definitely be on my list as a contender for my go-to protein powder.

1/4c serving = 80 calories + 1g fat + 3g fiber + 17g protein + <1g sugar

It’s made up of a RAW sprouted blend of real organic food.  It includes things like: sprouted brown rice, sprouted amaranth, sprouted millet, sprouted quinoa, sprouted buckwheat, sprouted adzuki beans, sprouted chia seeds, and many more.

I won’t be relying on protein powder in my diet, but I just want one to always have on hand, when I need a little protein boost!  I guzzled this down at about 8:45am and wasn’t hungry until noon, which worked out perfectly with lunch.  I estimated it around 350-400 cals and about 25-27g protein.  I’m hoping to try a few more protein powders, and will keep you posted with my thoughts.

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Back to the house…

My uncle laid the tiles to see how it was going to work.  We bought 18x18” tiles.  They are HUGE and we love them.  They actually make the kitchen look bigger too!  Four full tiles fit across the main kitchen area perfectly. 

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Before I knew it, Maddy had arrived in style.  Check out their fantastic bus!!  Maddy has been away for a few weeks, touring the country, spreading the LOVE.  Somehow, this extremely busy girl had time to drive up to Ft. Collins with a delicious lunch in tow.  Amazing! [You can read more about Maddy + boyfriend Alex, founders of LGF, here!]

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Of course she brought granola as well, and I might just share some with you! [hint hint]

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We chatted away, while Maddy prepared our delicious lunch. 

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spinach + cold quinoa + feta + cucumber + tomatoes + olive oil + balsamic + feta

Perfection!!  This was 100% delicious and 10x better because I didn’t cook it. :)  She also brought us the most delicious truffles, from Whole Foods, for dessert.

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We dined outside, in the gorgeous weather and then said our goodbyes.  Such a lovely visit!

Time to get busy. 

Furniture Project ONE - dresser

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Huge bag of hardware!

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Other furniture we have to put together:

  • 2 nightstands
  • 1 dining room cabinet/armoire
  • 1 desk
  • 1 couch
  • 1 oversized chair

Oh what fun!

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While we built, my uncle tiled.

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The dresser was pretty easy to put together, but just took some time.

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It came together in a few hours, and I can’t wait to fill it.  Up until now, we had a crappy dresser [craigslist buy] that Chris kept all of his tshirts, etc in.  I used this annoying hanging device in the closet for all of my tshirts.  I’m excited to have this dresser that we both get 4 drawers in.  Overflow will go in the old dresser and will be located in the spare bedroom.

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I was on drawer duty!

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Before we knew it, the floor was tiled, the dresser was built, and our fridge was moved to block the kitchen floor.  The tile has to dry for 24hrs before walking on it.  The dogs had already almost destroyed it, when they broke free of the fenced side yard and came barreling in the kitchen, while my uncle was working.  Awesome.  We stacked a few more things in front of the brown box because we were paranoid they would squeeze through when we left the house.  I had visions of returning to the house, only to find the dogs trapped in the kitchen, playing catch with our tiles. 

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Luckily that didn’t happen!

Our counters are being poured today, and I’m going to check it out and snap a few pics!  See ya tomorrow!


Reader Comments (60)

Your house is coming along so quickly I love the white cabinets so bright and cheery! I cant wait to see the finished project... Love garden of life products every one I have tried so far has been pretty good!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkate@ahealthypassion

I just love your fridge. And the nice white cabinets, it's all so bright and clean looking! Mmmm, granola :)

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

your kitchen is looking great! Re: protein powders - do you know about You can customize your own protein powder according to your taste. It's also really cheap compared to other protein powders sold in stores and they have excellent customer service (will let you try a bit for free before you commit to buying a bulk amount, etc.)

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTamar

I think I recognize the dresser... we have the same ones! <3 Ikea

Everything is coming together so well, can't wait to see the tile! And LGF, my absolute favorite GF granola... especially the Cocoa Goodness and Sweet Cranberry Pecan. Now if they could sell it in Canada, I'd be in heaven!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

Everything is looking great! Glad you got to visit with her - tell her I <3 her granola!

I love hemp protein as well but tend to look at it as more of a thickener in yogurts and oatmeal recipes than as a substantial protein source. I don't supplement with protein powder too often, but like to keep some on hand as well just in case, and I find that brown rice protein is pretty versatile and works well as far as 'hold you over until the next meal'-ness is concerned :)

The huge cabinets you have around the fridge area are AWESOME! So cool. Can't wait to see the tile -- I wouldn't have thought to use bigger tiles, especially to achieve the effect of a larger space, but that's brilliant. We are trying to decide on a protein powder right now, so appreciate the review :)

that lunch looks awesome!!!

I have had to put together a dresser before. It was a complete nightmare! I got it finished and it looked great, but I never want to do it again :)

Everything looks great, especially that salad!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAri@ThE DiVa DiSh

Your hourse is coming along so nicely! I can;t wait to see the finished product. :)

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary @ Bites and Bliss

I really enjoy your blog and have never commented before. Your hunt for natural, non-stevia flavored proteins made me sympathize and want to suggest one that my husband and I use. After much hunting for protein powders that do not contain any additives like stevia, soy, etc, we settled on Bluebonnet 100% natural whey protein isolate NATURAL ORIGINAL FLAVOR. The ingredients list is: undenatured whey protein isolate, natural vanilla flavor. If you try another flavor, you will be sorry- only this flavor tastes good. Also, it is pretty pricey, but we order if from our local Spouts or Sunflower market and they give us a discount when we order the 2.2 lb container. Hope this helps.

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

I've never seen that protein powder, though I have used some of their other products.

I kind of want to live on that bus. Or buy my own. Peamobile, here I come!!!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMama Pea

Is that a Hemnes dresser from Ikea? We almost bought that set and now I'm glad we didn't -- I didn't realize that you had to put all of it together. Somehow I thought their bigger pieces of furniture came pre assembled. Yikes!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolly @ The Runny Egg

Wow, really impressed with all the kitchen progress! Are you putting in base boards under the cabinets?

Great to hear all the house and other weekend updates! I'm so excited about all the progress that's been made with the house. What a great team you have :)
SO fun you got to dine with Maddy- i'm extremely jealous :)

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia

mm I need o try some of that raw protein powder

and I hope I get to try some of that granola ;)

I'm officially jealous of your super cook fridge!

I really want to try that raw protein powder, but it's a taaaad pricey. The individual packets I can do! Maybe at Whole Foods?

That. Would. Be. Awesome! And this protein powder rocks, FYI.

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Glad to see your kitchen renos are coming along! Looking good! Glad you sourced a tasty raw vegan protein, in a sample packet to boot ;)! What about a plain pea protein? ..pea protein has a pretty good taste, free of stevia and sweetener. Just a thought!

Kristen from Kristen's Raw has done some great reviews of the different protein powders available. Here is a link, though she has talked about it many times:

I recently got some protein powder from TrueProtein (via Mama Pea's suggestion) and it is PHENOMENAL! I got a custom mix ( with 50% rice protein and 50% pea protein (both non-GMO). The flavor I got was Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and it is delicious. You can also get any of the flavors with or without stevia/sweetener. It's not organic, unfortunately, but it is probably the best protein powder I've tried and very affordable. I sound like I work for them, haha. I promise I don't!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJust Audrey

Loving your Fridge!!! Thing's are starting to look like an end can be in sight!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDestini

I love seeing all of this progress you guys have made. It looks awesome so far!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa

It's so fun to see everything come together in the house! Those cabinets do look great!

Thanks for your thoughts on that protein powder. I actually saw it today when I was in Whole Foods. I've been considering trying protein powder out since, as a college student, my busy schedule isn't always going to leave room for extra snacking, and I'll need my meals to hold me over. I'll definitely have to check it out!

I love the color of your tiel. It's beautiful!!!

Your kitchen is looking great so far!

Oh, love their bus! ;) What a great brand she has built. So impressive!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterImwaytoobusy

love the love bus. and your white vita! never saw a white one before other than on their ads. very cool you have one!

i went to a photography workshop and posted about it..i think you would have loved it! I thought of you when i was there :)

not going to lie, i'm cringing a little at these pics while reminiscing back to when we flipped our kitchen, the fridge was in our living room and the vita was on a cardboard box on the will so LOVE it when it's all done!!!!!
Love love grown foods-so jealous!!!!

I think you should try the sun warrior plain...I have the vanilla and absolutely love it. I don't find it grainy what so ever and it is so neutral that I just mix it with water and guzzle it down. I got my sample by contacting the company via email telling them I was shopping for a protein powder and was wondering if they had samples. In a quick response they asked me what flavor I would like and promptly sent it out. I also got a sample of their ormus greens ever. Tastes like peppermint tea!

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

So excited everything is coming together so quickly for you. Love the dresser you picked out :)

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I love cold quinoa salads! That combo sounds divine :)

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmma (Namaste Everyday)

The kroger by my house just started selling the Love Grown Foods brand. I have my eye on the cranberry pecan!
Your fridge/box dog blocker made me laugh, we have to do the same thing right now for my dog Maya. Otherwise, she gets into the office and lives up to her troublemaking reputation.

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSam

The kitchen is really coming together! It looks great. I've heard a lot about Love Grown lately...sounds like some good stuff!

That's so cool that Maddy came to you with the Love Grown bus and all of those delicious foods! Kinda reminds of when Mama Pea was discussing the weinermobile, haha!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina

How awesome! Love Grown is so awesome, and Maddy is pretty rad -- I'm jealous you got a Love Bus visit!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren @ spiced plate

Everything is coming together! I love it! Props to your uncle too...we just retiled out kitchen floor outselves and that is no joke!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

We have that same dresser! Your house is coming along so well. I can't wait to see snaps of the poured counter top.

That bus rocks. I'd totally travel all over in it. As long as I had an unlimited supply of granola :)

Oh my gosh!! I watched my uncle do it and I have no clue how you would do it on your own...did you guys rent the tools?? It looked quite intense, even for someone with a lot of experience!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes, she is amazing!!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You can't go wrong with any of the flavors!!! Ugh...those dogs ;)

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Awesome!! I was going to contact them and see if they have samples. Thanks for letting me know they were cool with it!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha...yes, can't wait!!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It was my grandpa's and is probably 5+ years old? My grandma gave it to me when he passed away. He was 93 and quite the health nut!! :)

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

No kidding...mad impressive!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks Chelsey!!!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You're welcome! If you can get a magic bullet [or knock off] that is a great option for making smoothies in a dorm room, or just without having to buy a large blender!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Awesome...thanks!! I must have missed that suggestion from MP!!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

The packets make it even more expensive!! I did find them at WF...but if you're looking to get the whole container, it's cheaper online.

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes...base boards for sure!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

yes it is!! And yes, you have to put ALL ikea furniture matter the size. I put ALL of our kitchen cabinets together, even the 88" tall pantry cabinet!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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