Tips for Attending Weddings if you’re Gluten Free

Gluten Free Wedding Tips

Weddings are always such a joyous event: celebrating the love between two people, cute little appetizers, delicious food, if you’re lucky an entire dessert table and dancing the night away. While this is such an exciting day for the bride and groom, and fun for guests… if you’re gluten free then you know weddings are another social event that can be stressful.

Even if you’re gluten free, you should be able to have fun and enjoy a wedding without the added stress your dietary restrictions bring! This year alone, Erik and I have attended 5 weddings (plus our own!) and we’re headed to Texas this weekend for another one! So… needless to say, I have created and mastered a system for enjoying weddings!

Tips for Attending Weddings if you’re Gluten Free:

  • Make a Note of your RSVP Card: Chances are if you’re invited to the wedding, the bride/groom may know about your dietary needs… however they have A LOT going on and should’t go out of their way for you (harsh.. but true!). On your RSVP card you can either make a note that you’re gluten free OR make a note that due to being gluten free you will bring your own food (so they don’t pay for a meal for you).
  • Plan Ahead: Depending on the bride (how much she has going on) talk to her or someone else involved in the wedding planning and have them talk to the venue/caterer about bringing in your own food due to health reasons. *I’ve NEVER had an issue with this.
  • Eat a Big Meal Beforehand: Weddings tend to be long days, especially if there is a large break between the ceremony and reception. The last thing you want is to be starving with not many options, other than a little plate of veggies at cocktail hour. Before you head to the wedding, eat a big meal! Try to load up on protein so it holds you over.
  • Bring your Own Bar: Listen, this may not sound like the classiest thing to do as a lady… but hey, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do! I always pack little bottles of alcohol in my purse (or lunchbox!) and then just ask the bartender for soda or tonic water and a lime. Yes, lots of alcohol is gluten free… BUT.. if they don’t do a “free pour” you could be at risk for cross-contamination. I’ve learned from experience, many bartenders use the same shot glass (and just wipe it) between each drink they make.
  • Pack a Meal: Everyone that knows me, knows I always come with a big lunchbox (possibly a mini-cooler!). Like I said, I’ve never had an issue with a venue saying I can’t bring food in… however I have had a place tell me they can’t hold it in the refrigerator (due to liability). Therefore, make sure you put ice packs in your lunchbox. Also, it’s up to you about asking for them to heat your meal. I prefer not to have them do it, due to cross-contamination. Therefore, I try to always pack something I can eat cold (i.e. salad with some type of meat, quinoa, gf pasta chicken salad, etc). I also pack appetizers (gf crackers, cheese, etc) and always dessert!
  • Request a Clean Plate: As soon as you’re seated and see your server, ask them to bring you a clean plate before dinner is served. I always pull them aside discretely and just tell them my situation. Everyone has always been very nice about it.
  • Don’t Make it a Big Deal: My feeling is food is not that big of a deal to take chances on. Yes, you can talk to the caterer and take a chance they’re careful (when they’re preparing meals for possibly hundreds of people) OR you can just pack your own food and guarantee yourself a night where you won’t get sick. Make it about the people and the fun… not the food!

I remember the first time I went to a wedding after I was diagnosed with celiac… I was not prepared and was practically in tears because I was so stressed. Fast forward years later and I love weddings! As I always say… plan ahead, take precautions, don’t make it a big deal and have fun!

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2016 Gluten Free Halloween Candy List

gluten free halloween candy list

How is it already time for Halloween?! Every year I put together a list of gluten free Halloween candy of popular brands that you can easily find in stores, and this year is no different! No need to stress about what candy you can or can’t enjoy this year… I’ve got you covered!


  • Airheads
  • Airheads Bites
  • Airheads Xtremes Bites
    *Airheads Xtremes Belts do contain gluten

Ferrara Candy Company

  • Atomic Fireballs
  • All Gummies (Black Forest, Ferrara, Sathers, Trolli)
  • All Jellies (Gum Drops, Orange Slices, etc)
  • Bob’s Sweet Stripes
  • Boston Baked Beans (contains peanuts)
  • Brach’s Wild ‘N Fruity Gummi Worms
  • Brach’s Candy Corn – All Varieties
  • Brach’s Chocolates – Peanut Caramel Clusters, Stars, Chocolate Covered Raisins, Double Dipped Peanuts, Peanut Clusters (they are processed in a facility that processes wheat)
  • Brach’s Cinnamon Disks
  • Brach’s Cinnamon Imperials  (They are processed in a facility that processes wheat)
  • Brach’s Conversation Hearts
  • Brach’s Jelly Bean Nougats (they are processed in a facility that processes wheat)
  • Brach’s Lemon Drops (Kosher)
  • Brach’s Halloween Mellowcremes – All Varieties (They are processed in a facility that processes wheat)
  • Candy Canes (Bob’s, Brach’s, Lemonhead & Friends, Red Hots) Allergen Free
  • Cherry Sours
  • Fruit Snacks (Ferrara, Black Forest, Trolli)
  • Gumballs
  • Jawbreakers / Jawbusters
  • Jelly Beans
  • Juju’s
  • Jujy’s
  • Lemonheads
  • Lemonheads & Friends Conversation Hearts
  • Tropical Chewy Lemonhead
  • Chewy Lemonhead & Friends
  • Berry Chewy Lemonhead
  • Cherryhead
  • Grapehead
  • Now & Later
  • Red Hot’s


  • Almond Joy (All except Almond Joy Pieces Candy)
  • Kisses Milk Chocolate
  • Kisses Milk Chocolate Killed with Carmel
  • Kisses Milk Chocolate Filled with Cherry Cordial Creme
  • Kisses filled with Vanilla Creme
  • Kisses Dark Chocolate filled with Mint Truffle
  • Kisses Pumpkin Spice Flavored
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar (1.55 oz. only)
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar (1.45 oz. only)
  • Hershey’s Nuggets
  • Milk Duds
  • Mounds
  • Payday
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (all except for unwrapped minis and seasonal shaped items)
  • Reese’s Pieces Candy (all except egg shaped)
  • Rolos (all except minis)
  • YORK Peppermint Pattie – (All Except YORK PIECES Candy, YORK Minis, and YORK Shapes (5 oz.)

Just Born

Mike & Ike:

  • Berry Blast
  • Hot Tamales
  • Italian Ice
  • Jelly Beans
  • Jolly Joes
  • Lemonade Blends
  • Mummy Mix & Vampire Variety Treats
  • Mummy Mix Tube
  • Original Fruits
  • Redrageous
  • Strawberry Reunion
  • Tangy Twister
  • Tropical Heat
  • Tropical Typhoon
  • Vampire Variety
  • Zours


  • Chocolate Crème mini
  • Chocolate mousse flavored cats
  • Flavored Marshmallow chicks (except snack size)
  • Marshmallow ghosts
  • Strawberry Crème mini
  • Sour Watermelon mini
  • Sweet lemonade
  • Sugar free marshmallow pumpkins
  • Vanilla Crème


  • Baby Ruth
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Butterfinger bars, but only in fun size, singles, and share pack (Butterfinger Bites, Butterfinger Minis, Butterfinger Cups, and special holiday-shaped Butterfinger items are NOT considered gluten-free)
  • Goobers
  • Milk Chocolate Goobers
  • Nips (including both regular and sugar-free)
  • Oh Henry!
  • Raisinets (all flavors)
  • Sno-Caps
  • Wonka Pixy Stix
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Laffy Taffy Rope
  • Wonka Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip

Tootsie Roll Industries: 

  • Andes
  • Caramel Apple Pops
  • Cella’s Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Cella’s Milk Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Charms Blow Pops
  • Charms Candy Carnival
  • Charms Pops
  • Charms Sour Balls
  • Charms Squares
  • Charms Super Blow Pops Child’s Play
  • Dots
  • Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy
  • Frooties
  • Fruit Rolls
  • Fruit Smoothie Pops
  • Junior Caramels
  • Junior Mints
  • Pops Galore
  • Sugar Babies
  • Sugar Daddy Pops
  • Sugar Mama Caramels
  • Tootsie Peppermint Pops
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Tropical Dots Tropical


They no longer provide a gluten free list. According to their website:

“1) We will always declare the presence of any of the top allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat, fish and crustacean shellfish) whenever they are part of the recipe regardless of the source (e.g., flavors, spices, colors, other minor ingredients, etc.).*

2) We label these allergens in commonly understood terms at least once within the ingredient listing (e.g., casein (milk)”

Surf Sweets:

According to their website:

“Yes, our products are both manufactured without wheat and made in a facility that is free of wheat, making them suitable for people with celiac disease or following a gluten-free diet. (Note: we do random testing on finished product down to 5PPM for gluten and have never had a positive test result.)”

Jelly Belly: 

According to their website:

“All flavors of Jelly Belly beans are free of gluten. We do not use any wheat, rye, barley, or oats in the basic recipe for Jelly Belly jelly beans. The modified food starch listed on the package is cornstarch.”


According to their website:

“YES! Smarties® and our entire line of products are gluten free. If the UPC number on the packaging begins with “0 11206”, you can be assured that it is manufactured in a facility that is gluten free and safe to eat if you have Celiac Disease.”

**This list is for the US. If you’re in another country, please contact the manufacture first.

If you’re not interested in passing out candy and want to know about the Teal Pumpkin Project instead, click here!

Happy trick-or-treating friends!

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Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

{This post may contain affiliate links. The cost remains the same for you.  Click here for my disclosures.}

Happy Fri-Yay!! I hope you all have had a wonderful week… mine has been busy trying to get ahead of my to-do list before we leave for Texas the end of next week.

So… I’ve been noticing a theme throughout my life lately… pumpkin! In honor of my love of pumpkin, today I’m going to share some of my favorites with you!

1. Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix


Don’t get me wrong, I love baking from scratch but there is nothing better than delicious bread that you can throw together in a hurry and Williams-Sonoma NEVER lets me down!

I LOVE this Nordic Ware Fall Harvest Loaf Pan… it will make a beautiful loaf of bread! Can’t wait to make it for Thanksgiving!


And guess what?! They’re both 20% off right now!

2.  STAUB 3 1/2 Quart Cast Iron Pumpkin Cocotte 


How cute is this pumpkin cocotte?! It’s perfect all season long for soups and stews. Not only is it practical and keeps your food really warm, but it looks like decoration for your table! I got a cast iron dutch oven for a wedding gift and I swear I use it more than my pots (and I cook every night)!

3. Think Thin Protein Bars- Pumpkin Spice 


They’re back!! I’m so excited about these… I buy them in bulk so I can eat them all year long! You can literally open my purse at any given time and find snacks; particularly these protein bars because they hold me over when I’m in a crunch. #celiacproblems

I just bought a box of these to take with me on my trip!

4. Glade Plugins -Rich Pumpkin Dream


I think this is the thing I’m loving most lately! We are big plugin fans over here, but this has to be my favorite fall scent! No joke, Erik has walked in a few times and asked what I baked! HA Poor guy! That’s how good these smell… like you have a pumpkin pie in the oven! I went to Target two different times to buy this specific scent, and they were sold out both times! Luckily I found it on Amazon.

AND—-One thing not pumpkin related… I’m just excited about them!

5. New Booties

I bought these Lucky Brand Booties (mine are in “Storm Leather”, but they come in a couple other colors) and have been saving them to wear on my trip (so I hope the weather in Texas will allow for it!). They are really comfortable and the perfect height to wear with my jeans rolled. FYI: These legging jeans are my favorite to roll up with booties!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! xo

Today I’m linking up with Erika! 



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{gluten free} Pumpkin Cookies

These gluten free pumpkin cookies are so soft, they melt in your mouth! 

gluten free pumpkin cookies

In my opinion, from September 1st- December 1st is officially pumpkin season! I can’t get enough of everything pumpkin… and if fall were a cookie, it would be these pumpkin cookies! These are so soft, not only do they melt in your mouth…but no one will ever know they are gluten free!

I must warn you though… there is a chance you will eat more than you plan! I admit it, Erik and I took these to my parents house and we ate them all in the course of 2 days… 30 cookies! Yes, that’s right… 2 days, 30 cookies, 4 people… you do the math and please don’t judge!

Recipe modified from: BHG


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups gluten free flour (*I always use Cup4Cup)
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups powdered sugar (until desired consistency)
  • cinnamon, to sprinkle on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
  5. Add in pumpkin.
  6. Slowly add in flour until evenly mixed.
  7. Drop heaping Tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes, then with the back of a spoon flatten down a little and continue to bake for 2 more minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool before you frost.


  1. In a small saucepan heat butter and brown sugar until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in milk and vanilla.
  3. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
  4. Spread frosting on cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon.

gluten free pumpkin cookies


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Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal Pumpkin Project

Have you seen teal pumpkins popping up in stores or even throughout your neighborhood? Yes, they look cute but that’s not the reason for them. Teal pumpkins are part of the allergy-free Halloween movement known as the Teal Pumpkin Project.

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

In 2014 the Teal Pumpkin Project became a national movement after Food Allergy Research & Education expanded the idea that was started by a mom in Tennessee. The teal pumpkin outside a house represents a sign to trick-or-treaters that there is a non-food treat available at that house.

Why is this important?

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), it’s estimated that 1 in every 13 children (under the age of 18) has a food allergy. That’s about 2 in every classroom!

Not only are food allergies and conditions like celiac disease a very serious medical issue, but they can also impact a child’s social and emotional development when they feel they’re left out due to their allergies/illness.

Every child deserves to experience the fun of trick-or-treating on Halloween and not feel excluded due to their dietary restrictions. The Teal Pumpkin Projects asks for participants to offer a non-food treat.

What can I pass out on Halloween?

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can simply go to the dollar store, dollar section of Target or even a party supply store that sells little prizes in bulk.

Some ideas include:

  • pencils, erasers, crayons
  • bracelets, necklaces, glow sticks
  • hair clips or accessories
  • bubbles
  • slinkies
  • kazoos or other noisemakers
  • bouncy balls
  • yo-yos
  • spider rings
  • vampire fangs
  • stickers
  • pencil toppers
  • mini coloring books
  • rubber stamps
  • mini army men

*Be careful with Play-Doh as it contains wheat 

*I found bulk prizes here! 100 items included for under $20!

So I can’t pass out candy?

You absolutely can still pass out candy, but make sure you do it safely! What do I mean by safely? Keep your candy in one bowl and your non-food treats in a separate bowl. The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible, so we want everyone to have fun together!

When trick-or-treaters come to the door, you can either ask who has food allergies or tell them to pick from either bowl (this way they don’t feel like they stand out). Most kids with food allergies are very aware of them and will know to select the non-food option or many times parents will be with them to make sure.

How can I participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?

  1. Mark your house as an allergy-friendly spot for trick-or-treaters by either placing a teal pumpkin outside (you can paint a pumpkin teal or I just saw plastic teal pumpkins at Michaels Craft Stores!) OR you can simply download a free printable sign to place outside your house. I also found this cute garden flag to place in your front yard!
  2. Buy non-edible treats (along with candy treats if you’d like).
  3. Have fun passing treats out!

To learn more, check out the Teal Pumpkin Project website! 


*Ms.Modify is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to




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Apple Picking Recap!


Happy Friday! I don’t know about for you, but this week flew by for me! Instead of sharing a bunch of my favorite things from the week, I thought I would just share one!

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (username: Ms.Modify), then you know over the weekend we went apple picking. Erik and I have wanted to go for the past few years, but here in southern California we’ve been in a drought and the orchards closed early every year… so we missed it! This year we were determined to make it and I’m so glad we did!

There are a couple different places in southern California to go apple picking, but we heard that Oak Glen is the best so we went there.

My parents came too! My dad is from Boston, so he kept telling us how it compared to the orchards in New England (of course the Bostonian said they’re better there!).

I seriously felt like we were so much further than an hour away. It was so wide open and pretty.

In the middle of the apple orchards, they had the cutest wedding venue. They were setting up for a wedding that day. What a charming place to get married!

They turned this old house into a restaurant and it smelted sooo good, but since we are always prepared with my celiac, we packed a picnic! It’s so sweet how Erik, my mom and dad don’t mind about passing on eating out and want me to be included.

As always, we came prepared! We found a nice table under a tree and had a picnic!

My mom being the Greek mom she is, even packed appetizers (Greek olives, marinated artichokes, with cheese and crackers)!

If there is anything I’ve learned over the past few years it truly is that I don’t need to miss out because of celiac. When first diagnosed, I would have been really bummed I couldn’t have eaten at that restaurant but now I like our picnics!

After lunch, we started apple picking. They have paths and apple trees all along the way.

Trying to get the perfect one! Ha. I could have used a ladder!

It was a great day and I’m so glad we finally went apple picking! If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it!


  • Any suggestions on what I should make with the apples?

Have a great weekend! xo

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How to Dilute Essential Oils

How to Dilute Essential Oils

Essential oils provide many health benefits and are something many people, including myself use regularly. They are highly concentrated oils obtained by plants so it’s very important you use them safely… which brings me to the topic of diluting!

Many people have a misconception about diluting oils and think it weakens the power of the oils. This is not the case! Let’s dive in and learn why and how to dilute our oils!

*As always, I am not a medical professional or expert on essential oils so please always consult your doctor. This is just what I’ve learned and use based off my experiences. 

Why Should You Dilute Oils

  • Diluted oils are more easily absorbed in skin
  • More cost effective because oils will last much longer
  • Helps avoid skin irritation
  • Helps to reduce the rate of oil from evaporating
  • The therapeutic properties of the essential oils will be strengthened when used with carrier oils

Different Types of Carrier Oils:

A carrier oil does exactly what it sounds like… it carries the essential oils onto the skin. You want to use a vegetable oil that is typically derived from seeds, nuts or kernels.

 Popular Carrier Oils:

  • Almond Oil
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  •  Sunflower Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  •  Jojoba

How to Dilute Based on Age/Situation:

0.5%-1%: For children 2-6 years old and *pregnant women.

2%-5%: For seniors and adults with sensitive skin.

5%-10%: Adults

*Some oils are not safe during pregnancy. As always, consult your doctor first. 

How to Dilute Essential Oils

Supplies Needed:

Roller Bottles: You can decide what size roller bottle works best for you. Personally I like using 10 ml bottles so they last longer. I’ve tried a few different ones, but found these to be the best quality so far.

Essential Oils: I personally use and love dōTERRA, but you can make these rollers with which ever brand you love!

Carrier Oil: Pick a carrier oil you prefer. I use fractioned coconut oil and really like how it goes on smooth without leaving a residue.

Bottle Labels: You can get labels for the oil use (ex: headache) or labels with the name of the oil (ex: peppermint).

How to dilute essential oils

How to Make Rollers:

It’s so simple! All you do is add the amount of drops your dilution calls for, fill the rest of the bottle up with your carrier oil, pop the roller on and place the sticker on the cap!

The bottles I get come with this handy little tool to help you easily put the roller on, and it helps make sure it’s secure and won’t spill!

There you have it, now you know how to safely dilute your essential oils!

If you are new to essential oils and want to learn the basics, make sure you read a post I did on “Essential Oils 101”.


*Ms.Modify is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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Friday Favorites!


Happy Friday! We have officially made it through our first week of fall… however you would never know that here in southern California! On Monday during lunch I went to a Pure Barre class, and no joke when I got out it said it was 106 degrees! Yikes! Come on weather, I’m ready to pull out my scarves and slow cooker!

I haven’t done a “Friday Favorites” in a while (these are some of my favorite posts!), so I thought I would bring it back today. Sit back and here we go!

1. Essential Oil Rollers


If you’ve been a reader for a while, then you know I’m a big fan of essential oils. If you’re not a believer or don’t know much about them, you should read my post on Essential Oils 101!  I diffuse them daily and have just been using them in their pure form, but lately I’ve been reading a lot about diluting them and making roller balls.

I’m really excited because I ordered the roller balls, carrier oil and labels… now I need to make them! I’m planning on doing that this weekend and then I’ll share the details with you!

2. Enjoy Life- Soft Baked Minis


You guys, you need these little treats in your life! I’m not a huge fan of prepackaged gluten free cookies, as you know they often are very hard and have a funny taste… but not cookies from Enjoy Life!

I love that these now come in a mini version and in a snack pack! They’re perfect to pack in lunches, for keeping a treat in your purse or even just helping with portion control. They come in other flavors as well, but I’m a fan of the soft baked ones!

You can find them at certain grocery stores or buy them online here! 

3. Everyday Coconut Face Scrub


So you know my favorite face cream EVER is from Everyday Coconut and now I’m a believer in their face scrub too! I have really sensitive skin and this works like a gem.

The scrub is made mainly of Coconut Oil, Cane Sugar, Sea Salt and Sunflower Seed. It scrubs my face, but leaves it feeling moisturized too (if that makes sense)! What I love about their products are that they are: gluten free, no animal testing, fair trade, vegan, no synthetic fragrances, no parabens, and no microbeads!

If you recall, I’m passionate about NOT using products with microbeads. To learn why, you can read my post on it here!

3. “She Believed She Could, So She Did”

So I’ve officially been 30 for a week and I’ve decided my motto for the year (or decade!) is “She Believed She Could, So She Did”! If you read my post last week where I gave my 20-year-old self advice , then you noticed there was a theme in my 20’s… fear… of change, of failure, of illness, of success etc. 

I found this bracelet and decided to buy it for myself. Every day I look down and am reminded “She Believed She Could, So She Did”. It also looks cute with my new watch Erik bought me! 🙂

Speaking of my birthday, over the weekend my parents had a family bbq for me. Look how pretty the table is that my mom set!

Since football was on, all the guys were inside watching the game before dinner and us girls were outside catching up!

My sweet mom, Godmother and cousin Cathy!

There you have it, some of my favorite things from the week! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  xo


  • Are you up to anything fun this weekend?
  • Are you having fall weather yet?! Ha


Today I’m linking up with Erika!

*Ms.Modify is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


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{gluten free} Nutella Pumpkin Bread

This moist gluten free pumpkin bread, swirled with creamy Nutella is the perfect way to start your morning this fall!

gluten free Nutella Pumpkin bread

Can you believe I just tried Nutella for the first time a few months ago?! Yeah, I know! I can’t believe I went my whole life missing out on the sweet, creamy goodness of Nutella! It was love at first taste and now I’m obsessed!

I decided I had to mix pumpkin and Nutella together and then this incredibly moist bread was made! Let me tell you, I bake a lot of bread… but this one has to be my favorite so far! Normally when I bake, I keep a little and then give the rest away. When Erik took one bite of this bread, he wouldn’t let me give it away! Side Note: We may or may not have eaten the whole loaf in two days! 

gluten free Nutella pumpkin breadSo my friends, this fall grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy a warm piece of my Nutella pumpkin bread!


1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Nutella


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk melted butter, sugar, eggs and pumpkin.
4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. Slowly mix together the wet and dry ingredients.
6. Place Nutella in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 10-15 seconds.
7. Pour half of pumpkin batter into your prepared pan.
8. Spoon half of Nutella over batter and swirl with a knife.
9. Pour remaining pumpkin batter over top.
10. Repeat with Nutella and swirl.
11. Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

gluten free Nutella pumpkin bread

If you’re looking for more gluten free recipes this fall, there is a great website I highly recommend called FavGlutenFreeRecipes. They have thousands of recipes, including great fall ones…and some of mine! If you need some inspiration in the kitchen, make sure you check out their site!


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Things I’d Tell My 20-Year-Old Self

Things I would tell my 20 year old self

Today I turn 30 (I remember being younger and thinking 30 was so old!) and I must say it’s a little bittersweet. It’s the end of an era that involved some failures, uncertainty and health struggles…but on the other hand it was filled with personal growth, accomplishments and many lessons learned.

My world was turned upside in my twenties when I got sick and was then finally diagnosed with celiac disease. That was a time when my relationships, my faith, and my strength were all tested.

Looking back over those ten years, I think overall I did pretty well and I’m really happy with where I’m at today. But, there are definitely some things I wish the younger  me knew and did.

In honor of the big 3-0 here are 20 things I wish I knew at 20:

(No particular order): 

  1. Do direct deposit into your savings: Chances are if your entire paycheck goes into your checking, you’ll spend it. Put it all into your savings and then transfer a portion to your checking each month. This will help you budget and save.
  2. Embrace your culture and who you are: Family is important and so are the traditions that go along with your culture. It may not mean much to you now, but one day you’ll be so proud of where you come from.
  3. You can’t and shouldn’t save everyone: It’s great that you want to help others, but like mom and dad told you,  “surround yourself with those that will lift you up, not drag you down”.
  4. If you hate your job, it’s okay to get a new one: Most likely you’ll switch jobs many times in your twenties and that can be a good thing. If it’s a toxic environment don’t stay…life’s too short to be miserable. But at the same time know that work is hard, it will be stressful at times, and you can’t quit every time you face a challenge.
  5. Life will throw you curve balls and that’s okay: You’re stronger than you think you are. Always remember, “this too shall pass”.
  6.  Exercise to feel good, not just look good: It’s so important to get up, get dressed and work out everyday not only to fit into your skinny jeans, but to help with stress and to stay healthy.
  7. Sometimes you need to put your big girl panties on and get over it: You will fail at things and that’s okay…don’t dwell, just learn and move on.
  8. Listen to your parents, they know more than you think: More times than not, they’re right. They have much more life experience than you do and chances are they’ve been through what you’re dealing with.
  9. You won’t always end up in the career you planned and worked so hard for: Just because you end up doing something other than what your college degree is in doesn’t mean you failed. Don’t close doors before they open just because you think you’re not the right fit.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. Through questions you learn!
  11. If it scares you, then it probably means it’s important and you should do it: Don’t be afraid to task risks. You’re young, so if it doesn’t work out  you have time to try something else.
  12. You’re not invincible: You will get diagnosed with an illness but it won’t stop you from living and having a great life. Everyone will get something at some point in their life, your time will just  come sooner and that’s okay…it will make you stronger.
  13. Know what’s happening in the world: Not just about celebrity gossip, but current world events. Read more and watch less tv.
  14. Travel, travel, travel!: Now that you don’t have any real obligations tying you down, go explore! Every place you go will open your eyes to new things!
  15. Learn to open up and lean on others when you need it: You can’t do life alone and can’t always be the person others go to with problems. People want to be there for you too, you just have to let them in.
  16. Don’t drift from your faith: Keep your relationship strong with God, not just when you need Him.
  17. Live in the present: Don’t dwell on the past or “what-if” the future  because by doing this you’ll miss all the wonderful things that are happening now!
  18. Protect your skin: Wear sunscreen daily, take your makeup off before bed, moisturize twice a day  and never-ever go to tanning beds!
  19. Buy quality over quantity when it comes to clothes: You will actually end up buying less and they will last longer.
  20. Time always passes whether you’re ready or not: Sometimes there is no right timing, just go for it! Don’t live life based on timelines. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect to end up great.

I’m looking forward to the next decade and taking everything I learned with me!

Now I want to hear from you!


  • What would you tell your 20-year-old self? 
  • Any advice as I enter my thirties?


Just for fun… this is me on my 20th birthday!

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