Renos and a recipe

Hey all,

I’ve been slacking on the blog, but I feel like I have an acceptable reason.  My dad got into town on Thursday afternoon to help us with a long stretch of house renovations – 5 straight days! Today marked the half-way point, and I’d say we’ve made a lot of progress, and we’re all completely exhausted.

My dad asked us how many days we’ve spent on the house, and I couldn’t believe the answer was only 9. In 9 days we’ve been able to: demolish 3 full rooms and the entryway (the entire kitchen and 2 walls came down in total), lay subfloor, repair where the walls came down, dry wall, prime and paint the ceiling, paint the living room, entryway, and hallway, get the electrical updated and rewired, repair the main kitchen wall, and order our kitchen cabinets! We definitely couldn’t have done all that without the help we’ve gotten from family and friends. It’s starting to look like a livable house again…. almost. While we’ve run into a few issues, they’ve thankfully been minor and our timeline has only shifted a little bit.

We’ve managed to keep our training schedule in tact, too. On days that we have off work, we train as early in the morning as possible and then work on the house for the rest of the day. No wonder we’re so exhausted! By the time we get back to the apartment, we barely have the energy to shower, make any necessary food, and get our stuff ready for the gym before we pass out cold.

Main wall of the kitchen with all the holes repaired & the ceiling almost complete. That awful vent pipe will be gone tomorrow!!

Main wall of the kitchen with all the holes repaired & the ceiling almost complete. That awful vent pipe will be gone tomorrow!!

Kyle is now one week into his prep for our first competition, and he had a great week. This is another reason we’re trying to get as much of this house done as quickly as possible – the further he gets into prep, the more depleted he’ll be and the harder it’ll be for him to do major work around the house. So, while we don’t have a concrete timeline, we feel the pressure to get it done ASAP.

Due to the fact that my dad would be here, I made this EASY and unimpressive but surprisingly tasty spaghetti sauce / chilli concoction. I called it sauce, but Kyle thinks it’s more of a chilli, and truthfully, it could be either… and it’s good, so it doesn’t matter what it’s called! I would usually use ground turkey, but the store had a bigger package of beef, so I went with it. Here ya go!


  • Lean ground beef (1kg)
  • 1 can of pasta sauce
  • 3/4 can of chickpeas
  • Franks hot sauce
  • Oregano
  • Onion powder
  1. I cooked the beef in the slow cooker for a few hours because (a) our large pot is in storage and (b) I wasn’t going to be home to watch it
  2. I strained and “washed” the meat to get rid of the fat – ran it under water in the strainer
  3. I put about 3/4 of it in a pot on the stove (again, no large pot, so this is all that would fit) and added the rest of the ingredients over medium heat, stirring as needed
  4. So far, it’s been eaten plain, with rice, and with crackers crumbled on top
  5. I used chickpeas because I had them on hand – any bean would work. I love spice, so I put Franks in there, but you can leave it out and season it however you’d like. I usually add diced tomatoes but didn’t have any and I wasn’t about to go to the store. 😉
Spaghetti / Chilli masterpiece... with a little Muscular Development in the background - light reading at dinner.

Spaghetti / Chilli masterpiece… with a little Muscular Development in the background – light reading at dinner.

Oh, and as a follow up to my flat-iron situation, my new one arrived a day early (!) and it’s terrific.  I got the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium 1.5″ iron, and all 450 degrees are amazing! Lol, I don’t actually even need to use it at full heat and it’s already taken time off my straightening needs! Happy accident, thanks Moxie.   Happy Family Day – hope you enjoy your day off if you get one!

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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