Jou Fixer Upper – Recap Part 2

Another Jou Fixer Upper Update

Jou Fixer Upper Recap Part 2 via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1hg

There’s a lot to catch up with our Jou Fixer Upper and it’s hard to keep up. Our previous recap post focused on the repairs and installation behind the walls. This installment will touch upon our design style, inspiration, and a couple project repairs.

More Of What We’ve Been Up To Since…

Design/Inspiration

Wayne and I share the same aesthetics and design style. I guess you can best describe it as mid-century modern meets Scandinavian with a laid-back vibe. The architecture of our house doesn’t naturally lend itself to mid-century, so we have show our style through furniture and design elements by incorporating clean lines and minimalistic details. Our color palette falls within white, grey, a pop of color, and natural wood elements.

We’re definitely channeling our fave fixer upper couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines!

We’ve been eyeing these Evan Dining Chairs from Room & Board and Wayne wants to make a similar dining table. We’re also currently installing a similar modern base trim throughout the house.

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Jou Fixer Upper – Recap Part 1

Fixer Upper Update

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It’s been a hot minute since we’ve last updated on our fixer upper. We’ve been spending our weekends and weeknights giving it much more than a facelift. In the beginning process, the majority of our time was spent in demo-mode. We had some #demofail, but made some progress with removing the carpet, kitchen appliances, and countertop.

So this is what we’ve been up to since…

We hired licensed professionals to do big projects: asbestos removal, all new repipe/plumbing, all new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), all new windows, installing drywall, and all new main floor tiles and bathroom tiles. It was nice to hire professionals to do these projects because they would finish in a few days to a few weeks. Since the majority of our budget went to those big projects, it leads us to DIY the rest of the projects. And DIY = takes time.

Removing kitchen Soffit

We guess back then it was the style to have a dropped kitchen ceiling for the soffit lighting. We wanted a more open feel, so we raised up the soffit lighting area to be flush with the ceiling.

Jou Fixer Upper Recap via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1gS

Before // The kitchen ceiling soffit is lowered compared to the rest of the kitchen/dining area.

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Jou Fixer Upper Recap via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1gS

After // The kitchen ceiling is now flush with the rest of the room.

Removing Drywall

We call this OCD drywall demo. It took months for us to remove all the drywall from the exterior walls of the house. Removing the drywall from the exterior walls enables us to install insulation and keep our home energy efficient. We also discovered an unexpected surprise: termite damage on some of the wood studs.

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Living Room // OCD drywall removal

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No Bake Hazelnut Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

No Bake Hazelnut Rice Crispy Treats Recipe via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1gp

It doesn’t get easier than this four-ingredient No Bake Hazelnut Rice Crispy Treats dessert. Hazelnut spread is an indulgent addition to this classic kid treat. Perfect for party finger foods, bake sales, or an afternoon pick-me-up.

Rice Crispy Treats always bring me back to my childhood school lunchbox snack and it’s been ages since I’ve had the iconic metallic blue wrapped treat.

Recently, I’ve been on a baking kick and craving this nostalgic dessert. I’m putting a twist to this classic treat by adding my (other) favorite indulgence, hazelnut spread! The one I’ve been loving is Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread*. (Warning: This creamy spread will be your favorite condiment. Think: spread on toast, drizzled on ice cream, dipped with pretzels.)

I find Trader Joe’s carries the most affordable Crisp Rice Cereal and mini marshmallows (seasonal). If you can’t find mini marshmallows, try Whole Foods 365 brand.

No Bake Hazelnut Rice Crispy Treats Recipe via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1gp

No Bake Hazelnut Rice Crispy Treats Recipe via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1gp

No Bake Hazelnut Rice Crispy Treats Recipe via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1gp

FTC: This post is NOT sponsored. (*) denotes item sent to us to try, everything else we’ve purchased ourselves. All opinions are our own.


If you are also a serious snacker and like to be in the know of natural, organic, and healthy products and recipes, let us know with a comment below and subscribe to It’s Jou Life! Enter your e-mail address in the upper right column of the page to stay updated and receive e-mails whenever we post. We don’t share your personal information with anyone.

Print Recipe
No Bake Hazelnut Rice Crispy Treats Recipe
It doesn't get easier than this no bake hazelnut rice crispy treats dessert! Hazelnut spread is an indulgent addition to this classic kid treat. Perfect for party finger foods, bake sales, or an afternoon pick-me-up.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until well-blended and completely melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Add cereal and hazelnut spread. Stir until well coated.
  3. Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13x9 inch pan. Cut into 2x2 inch squares when cool.

The ultimate guide to my favorite birthday freebies 2018

Celebrate with loads of birthday freebies

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Birthdays are synonymous with party gatherings, being one year wiser, and of course, free stuff! The cherry on top is celebrating with birthday freebies from your favorite dining and shopping establishments. I can’t believe I scored a free brow wax sculpting service, a free Sugarfish sushi meal, a free 18″ pizza, free beauty goodies, (lots) of desserts, and many more.

As always, I love sharing good deals and freebie offers I discover. Here’s my ultimate guide to my favorite birthday freebies this year.

Please note: Each rewards program is different and usually in order to qualify, you must sign up for their rewards program at least 30 days before your birthday. Check their terms and conditions for more information.

My favorite birthday freebies picks

Clothing

Anthropologie | Receive a 15% off coupon by email to use during your birthday month on any one purchase, even on sale items. Free to sign-up for their Anthro Perks Loyalty Program. These coupons are hard to come by!

Madewell | Receive an email for $25 off your next purchase when you join their Madewell Insider loyalty program. Free to sign-up.

Beauty

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Hourglass Abbot Kinney Flagship Store | Complimentary brow sculpting service when I joined their loyalty program at a special event I attended at their Abbot Kinney Flagship Store in Venice. I received a personal consultation on my best brow shape along with a professional brow sculpting. It was my first time getting my brows waxed and it was painless and made such clean lines.

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Sephora | Free choice of Caudalie or Tarte when you become a Beauty Insider. Free to sign-up.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Ulta | Receive a beauty goodie when you join their Ultamate Rewards Program. Free to sign-up. I received the Cranberry & Pomegranate Lip Oil & Mask. The beauty gift may change from each store.

Dining & treats

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Baskins Robbins | Free one scoop (2.5 oz) or one 3 oz soft serve swirl when you join their The Scoop program. Free to sign-up.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Chick-fil-A | Get a special birthday offer when you join their Chick-fil-A One rewards program. Free to sign-up. Note: The freebies are at the discretion of the franchise owner, so check with your local store for details. In the past, I’ve received a free cookie or free soft serve cone.

Denny’s | Free Grand Slam breakfast meal. No sign-up required. Must show ID.

Godiva | $10 gift card to use during your birthday month when you register for their Godiva Rewards Club. Free to sign-up.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria | Free 18″ traditional pizza of your choice when you join their eFamily e-newsletter. Value up to $21, so you can upgrade and pay the difference. Free to sign-up. Dine-in only.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

The Habit Burger Grill | Free Charburger with Cheese when you join their CharClub. Free to sign-up.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

IKEA | Free Meatball Entree Meal with dessert (Almond Cake or DAIM cake) from the IKEA Restaurant and a $15 off your total purchase (no min purchase required!) when you join their IKEA Family program. I chose their Swedish Meatball and the Daim Cake. This was my first time dining at IKEA. (What have I been doing with my life?) That Daim Cake–chocolate cake with crunch caramel–is heavenly. Free to sign-up.

Pinkberry | Free small Pinkberry with toppings when you join their Pinkcard Loyalty program. Free to sign-up.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Sprinkles | Free choice of cupcake when you join their Sprinkles Perks Rewards Program. Free to sign-up.

Starbucks | Free Birthday Reward (usually a beverage or treat) when you join their Starbucks Rewards program. Free to sign-up. To qualify you must join 30 days before your birthday.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Souplantation | Free lunch or dinner dine-in meal (or to-go combo #2) and 20% off the entire check for the rest of your group when you join their Club Veg program. Free to sign-up.

Sugarfish | Free Trust Me or Trust Me Lite (value $32) on your birthday when you dine in twice before your birthday. To receive a birthday Trust Me meal, each registered guest needs to check in using Sugarfish check-in card on at least two separate occasions and at least 24 hours before his or her birthday. CHECK-IN MUST BE MADE ON SITE during your visit. I advise using the same e-mail address when completing the check-in card because that is how they keep track and send you e-mail confirmations. Must dine-in on your exact birth date. More details here.

Birthday freebies via It's Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Yo

Veggie Grill | $5 off any item from the core and seasonal menu when you join their VG Loyalty Program. Free to sign-up.

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Yogurtland | Free 3 oz of froyo and toppings when you join their Real Rewards Card program. Free to sign-up.

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Do you like free stuff? Share with us your fabulous bargains with a comment below and subscribe to It’s Jou Life! Enter your e-mail address in the upper right column of the page to stay updated and receive e-mails whenever we post. We don’t share your personal information with anyone.

Demo day part 3 // Kitchen edition & challenges we faced

Out with the old – Kitchen demo days

Demo day part 3 - Kitchen edition via It's Jou Life Blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1aZ

BEFORE // The original kitchen cabinets, appliances, and tile counter. Who remembers those automatic can openers attached under the cabinets?

Demo day part 3 - Kitchen edition via It's Jou Life Blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1aZ

AFTER // What kitchen? Removed almost everything. It was hilarious rolling the old school kitchen stove, microwave, and dishwasher to our sidewalk for bulk pick-up.

After taking a break to handle the landscaping, it was time to get back to demo. Up next was to completely gut the kitchen. This includes removing all of the cabinets, lighting, sink, and appliances.

We didn’t have a full-size sledgehammer so we weren’t able to just smash everything like they do on TV. That probably worked for the better since we were forced to take things apart piece by piece, therefore minimizing the amount of debris flying around the house. Even with our small 3-lb sledge, we were a little timid about swinging it. It was definitely a ‘gentle’ demo at first, but soon after making very slow progress, we started swinging the hammer with more gusto and it sped up the demo process.

Our biggest kitchen demo challenge

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Top Trends at Natural Products Expo West 2018 // Part 1 – Food Edition

Exploring Natural Products Expo West 2018

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Made it to the Natural Products Expo West 2018 – the world’s largest natural, organic, and healthy products event (aka the mecca of whole foods and healthy lifestyle products)

Last month, we had the delightful opportunity to attend the 38th Annual Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural, organic, and healthy products event. As always, we excitedly countdown the days to this mecca of whole foods and healthy lifestyle products. We were among the record-breaking 85,000 attendees perusing 3,521 exhibitors, including more than 600 first-time exhibitors. We sure logged in some serious miles during this multi-day event packed with tasting delectable foods, getting our learn on with educational seminars, and meeting innovative brands and their founders during March 7th-11th at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Trends & Highlights at Natural Products Expo West 2018 // Part 1 – Food Edition

Integral ingredients

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Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 – Full Spoilers

Limited Edition Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 – only $36 ($161 value)

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 - $36 (FULL SPOILERS) on It’s Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1bg

Summer + Smiles + Sunblock

It’s that time of year again! With summer around the corner, the popular Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit hit the shelves for only $36 for 16 products and a makeup bag (retail value $161). Added bonus? Sephora will donate $25 from the sale of each kit to skin cancer research and education. Double added bonus? Included in this kit are two full-size products, a tropical-inspired makeup bag, and removable tassel. This limited edition bag is in stores and online, while supplies last. Tip: I’d recommend you call your local store first to see if they have stock.

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 (FULL SPOILERS) on It’s Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1bg

Summer is coming, but first, sunscreen

I love everything about summer and that means enjoying the great outdoors and cool waters responsibly. Here are a few of my sun protection tips:

  • Use broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 or higher – Since spending time in the sun increases skin cancer and early skin aging, I use a broad spectrum (UVA + UVB) sun protection of at least SPF 30 for my face and SPF 45 for my body. I use a higher SPF because I have fair skin and burn easily. Use what’s best for your skin type.
  • Limit sun exposure during 10am-2pm – If you also live an outdoor and active lifestyle, and staying indoors isn’t always optimal, try to protect yourself with a hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeve everything. Yea, I do this when I remember and I pretty much look like a beekeeper.
  • Use a water-resistant formula when in the water – Apply a water-resistant sunscreen liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure and, as always, reapply every few hours. Note: this kit includes three water-resistant sunscreen formulas, including a mousse.
  • Reapply every few hours – Whether you’re in the water or running errands, it’s highly recommended to reapply sunscreen every few hours. That is when the spray sunscreens come in handy since it doesn’t involve disrupting your makeup. Just make sure it’s applied evenly.

So naturally, as a lover of Sephora + SPF, I always buy Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit every year. It’s a curated collection of everything SPF to protect from head to toe. This is a perfect introduction to try various products carried at Sephora, like tinted sunscreen, BB cream, self-tanner pads, sun protection mist, and new this year–sunscreen mousse, a rescue mask, and two full-size sunscreen products. What I’m most excited about this bag is the handful of green and natural brands’ sunscreen products.

It’s also a wonderful way to try different types of sunblock products–physical (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) and chemical-based (oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate) sunscreens. The sizes are perfect–airplane-friendly and compact enough to place in my purse.

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 (FULL SPOILERS) on It’s Jou Life blog - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-1bg

Products in the Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2018 & Reviews

AmorePacific Resort Collection Sun Protection Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen // Haven’t tried this yet, but look forward to retouching my face with this spray throughout the day without having to rub sunscreen on when I’m out and about. This comes in handy because we’re supposed to reapply every few hours.

Clinique Pep-Start Hydro Rush Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 // Haven’t tried this yet.

Coola Rōsilliance™ Organic BB+ Cream SPF 30 (Light/Medium) // Haven’t tried this yet, but I love BB creams to even out skin tones with a glow. I also tend to gravitate towards mineral-based sunscreens. If this formula is like their other products, I remember it being light and a barely-there feel.

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DIY Landscaping

ITSJOULIFE Landscaping & co

One of the big changes of owning a single-family home is having to handle all of the landscaping. At our previous condo, all of the landscaping was managed by the HOA so we didn’t have to worry about fixing sprinklers, mowing the lawn, or trimming the hedges.

Using the reel mower


We decided to take a break from the interior of the house to mow the lawn and check on the sprinkler system. I grew up mowing the lawn at my parent’s house so it wasn’t anything new to me. But J had never done it before and wanted to give it a try. We purchased an updated version of the old school manual reel mower since our yard is small and doesn’t require something more powerful. The reel mower is also very quiet since there is no motor. After showing J the basics, I let her finish up the front yard while I watched. Back and forth she went, occasionally mowing the same area over and over and over, but overall, a great job for the first time.

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Whole Foods Beauty Bag 2018 (Limited Edition) On Sale March 23 – $20

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Limited Edition Whole Foods Beauty Bag 2018 – only $20 ($100 value)

Calling all natural beauty and skincare lovers! Mark your calendars to grab this year’s Whole Foods Beauty Bag 2018 for only $20 on Friday, March 23, 2018. This limited edition bag is available in stores only, while supplies last.

Limited Edition Whole Foods Beauty Bag 2018

Where: Your local US Whole Foods Market store (in stores only)

When: Friday, March 23, 2018

How much: $20 ($100 value)

Valued at $100, the custom bag contains Whole Foods Market’s curated natural beauty favorites from Alba, Dr. Hauschka, evanhealy, Mineral Fusion, Trilogy, Weleda, W3LL People, and more. The products come in a beautiful, organic cotton bag from Piece & Co who empowers skilled artisans to created traditional textiles of exceptional quality. New to the sale and bag this year are the wide array of hair care products found in Whole Body.

I bought the WF Beauty Bag last year and discovered new favorite items that I’ve implemented into my regular skincare regimen. I get a lot of questions on what items are on my skincare shelf and how do I know what brands to use. Honestly, skincare depends on your skin type–I have combo skin most of the year and normal to dry in the winter–so I have a handful of products that I use depending on how my skin is at-the-moment.  And what works for me may not work for you.

That is why I love purchasing bargain beauty bags to try which brands, formulas, and lines work with my skin. As always, I want to share with you my experience with navigating my way in the (sometimes overwhelming and saturated) skincare market and this is one of the ways how!

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Planning an IKEA Kitchen & 15% off IKEA Kitchen Sale

A glimpse into our kitchen’s future

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We created mock-up of our kitchen using IKEA’s online planning tool

When we purchased our home, we knew we wanted to update the kitchen. That said, our second major demo project is to clear out the outdated (very old and possibly original) appliances, vent hood, and cabinets. We looked at a bunch of cabinet inspo on Pinterest and Houzz, but kept coming back to the simplistic and budget-friendly ones at IKEA. To our luck, there’s an IKEA Kitchen Sale going on. We did some pre-planning before making the trek over to our local store. After browsing the kitchen showrooms, we found what worked with us, and we started the process of planning our new kitchen. 

Bonus: Keep reading for details on how to save 15% on your kitchen with the IKEA Kitchen Sale going on (now through April 8, 2018)! Continue reading