{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!

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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!

Enjoy!

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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!

Question:

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

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

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{gluten free} Enchilada Pasta Casserole

All the delicious flavor enchiladas bring, with the comfort of pasta. This simple one-pan gluten free enchilada pasta casserole calls for little prep and easy clean up!gluten free enchilada pasta casserole

Two of my favorite food categories are Mexican and Italian. If they had a baby, they would have this enchilada pasta bake! It encompasses the bold flavor of enchiladas, but all the ease to make and comforting taste of a big bowl of pasta!

Toss these ingredients together, throw it in a casserole dish, place it in the oven and then there you have it… dinner made easy!

Ingredients:

1 box gluten free pasta (I used penne)
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with chiles (Del Monte, Ro-Tel and S&W are gf)
1 pack gluten free taco seasoning (I used McCormick gf taco seasoning)
1/2 red onion, chopped
olive oil
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (Las Palmas and La Victoria are gf)
1 cups shredded cheese (I used pepper jack, but you can use your favorite)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
3. In a large skillet, drizzle olive oil in pan over medium-high heat and add onions.
4. Sauté onions until they soften and begin to turn translucent.
5. Add corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning and half of your cheese.
6. Stir everything, so it’s evenly mixed.
7. Drain your cooked pasta and add it to your skillet.
8. Make sure everything is well mixed and evenly coated.
9. Pour into a large casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
10. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has completed melted.

gluten free enchilada pasta casserole

Enjoy!

Today I’m linking here for Allergy Free Thursdays!

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Gluten Free Soup List

gluten free soup list

With fall quickly approaching, that means soup weather is coming! I know what you’re probably thinking… “I need to worry about gluten being in my soup?!”… well yes you do! You’d be surprised how gluten can hide in many processed foods.

No need to worry though… I’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of gluten free soups:

Campbell’s Organic Soup

Chicken Tortilla

Creamy Butternut Squash

Garden Vegetable with Herbs

Lentil

Sun-Ripened Tomato and Basil Bisque

Swanson® Broth & Stock (Aseptic)

Natural GoodnessTM Chicken Broth Chicken Broth

Organic Chicken Broth

Chicken Stock

Beef Broth

Lower Sodium Beef Broth Beef Stock

Unsalted Beef Flavor Stock Unsalted Chicken Flavor Stock Vegetable Broth

Swanson® Broth (Canned) 

Natural GoodnessTM Chicken Broth

50% less Sodium Chicken Broth

Chicken Broth

Vegetable Broth

Progresso 

Reduced Sodium, Garden Vegetable Soup 
High Fiber Chicken Tuscany Soup

Rich & Hearty Chicken Corn Chowder

Rich & Hearty New England Clam Chowder

Traditional Potato, Broccoli & Cheese Chowder

Traditional Clam Chowder:

99% Fat Free, New England

Manhattan

New England

Traditional Soup:

Chicken Cheese Enchilada

Chicken Rice with Vegetables

Southwestern Style Chicken

Split Pea with Ham

Vegetable Classics Soup:

99% Fat Free Lentil

Creamy Mushroom

French Onion

Garden Vegetable

Hearty Black Bean

Lentil

Amy’s 


Hearty Organic Soup:

French Country Vegetable

Rustic Italian Vegetable


Soup:

Indian Dal Curried Lentil

Indian Dal Golden Lentil

Tom Kha Phak Thai Coconut


Organic Soup:

Chunky Tomato Bisque

Chunky Tomato Bisque, Light in Sodium

Fat Free Chunky Vegetable

Fire Roasted Southwestern Vegetable

Hearty Spanish Rice & Red Bean

Lentil

Lentil Vegetable

Lentil Vegetable, Light in Sodium

Lentil, Light in Sodium

Low Fat Black Bean Vegetable

Low Fat Cream of Tomato

Low Fat Cream of Tomato, Light in Sodium

Low Fat Split Pea

Low Fat Split Pea, Light in Sodium

Summer Corn & Vegetable

Tuscan Bean & Rice

Wolfgang Puck

Organic Soup:

Black Bean

Free-Range Chicken with White & Wild Rice

French Onion

Hearty Lentil Vegetable

Signature Butternut Squash

Signature Tortilla

Tomato Basil Bisque

Thai Kitchen

Instant Rice Noodle Soup:

Bangkok Curry

Garlic & Vegetable

Lemongrass & Chili

Spring Onion

Thai Ginger

Pacific

Soup:

Cashew Carrot Ginger

Chipotle Sweet Potato

Curried Red Lentil

Natural Spicy Black Bean

Rosemary Potato

Thai Sweet Potato

Organic Bisque:

Butternut Squash

Cashew Carrot Ginger

Hearty Tomato

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato

Organic Condensed Soup:

Cream of Celery

Cream of Chicken

Cream of Mushroom

Organic Soup:

Chicken & Wild Rice

Creamy Butternut Squash

Creamy Tomato

French Onion

Light Sodium Creamy Butternut Squash

Light Sodium Creamy Tomato

Light Sodium Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato

Santa Fe Style Chicken

Organic Soup Starters Beef Pho Broth

Organic Soup Starters Soup Base:

Chicken Pho

Vegetarian Pho

Imagine

Soup:

Creamy Acorn Squash & Mango

Creamy Broccoli

Creamy Butternut Squash

Creamy Corn & Lemongrass

Creamy Garden Broccoli, Light in Sodium

Creamy Garden Tomato, Light in Sodium

Creamy Harvest Corn, Light in Sodium

Creamy Portobello Mushroom

Creamy Potato Leek

Creamy Red Bliss Potato & Roasted Garlic, Light in Sodium

Creamy Sweet Pea

Creamy Sweet Potato

Creamy Sweet Potato, Light in Sodium

Creamy Tomato

Creamy Tomato Basil

Happy Eating! 🙂

 

 

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{gluten free} Strawberry Yogurt Bread

A delicious moist strawberry bread made with Greek yogurt and lemon zest… no one will ever know it’s gluten free!

gluten free strawberry yogurt bread

This strawberry yogurt bread was love at first bite! It’s the perfect combination of sweet strawberries with a touch of zesty lemon. This bread is literally so easy to make… no time needed waiting for it to rise. Mix the ingredients, pop it in the oven and then straight to your mouth!

The great thing about baking with Greek yogurt is that it makes the bread so moist, even the next day!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zest of
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (you can use vanilla if you prefer sweeter)
1 cup strawberries, fresh

Instructions:

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 lemon juice.
4. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Slowly mix together your wet and dry ingredients.
6. Add in the Greek yogurt and gently stir until evenly mixed.
7. Fold in strawberries and lemon zest.
8. Pour into your greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

gluten free strawberry yogurt bread

Something I love about this recipe is that you can modify it so many different ways just by changing out the fruit! My friends at Shari’s Berries are sharing this great chart with you showing peak seasons for over 50 fruits! Having this information, you can literally make this bread all year long…just switching out the fruit depending what’s in season!

sb-fruits-in-season-2

Enjoy!

Today I’m linking here for Allergy Free Thursdays!

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Back to School Part 2: Tips for Navigating a Gluten Free School Year

tips for navigating a gluten free school year

Starting a new school year and getting back into the swing of things is often challenging for students and parents, but having a child with celiac disease can provide an added stress during the start of a school year.

Going back to school should be an exciting time, not a stressful one. If you have a child with celiac, they don’t need to miss out on school activities… just modify them!

Tips for Navigating a Gluten Free School Year:

Empower your child: Encourage even young children to understand their diet and the importance of following it. This also means talking to them about speaking up if something is not right with their food, supplies, etc.

Identify potential risks: Be aware of places and situations that may be more at-risk for your gluten free student. Some places may include: the cafeteria, class parties, field trips, camps, sports, clubs, home economics class, etc.

Communication is key: Make sure prior to the start of the year or right in the beginning of the school year you talk to all adults involved. This will include your child’s teachers, class aids, cafeteria workers, possibly the school nurse and principal. It’s important that they know your child’s dietary restrictions and what it consists of (many people don’t know play-doh contains gluten). This is also important so the teacher can inform you prior to a class party, so your child can have gluten free treats. Possibly even giving the teacher a bag of gluten free goodies to keep in the class for those times!

Provide awareness: Encouraging awareness from others at school will help to educate other staff members and even students. This will help eliminate bullying or other stressful situations when classmates may question their eating.

Pack “normal” lunches: Many children will feel uncomfortable just knowing they’re eating “different” food from their peers. In order to eliminate this stress, pack lunches that are similar to what their friends are eating. Now they have so many great gluten free options that they shouldn’t have to stand out with their food.

No-Big-Deal: Even though celiac is a big deal, you don’t need to make your child feel like an outsider. It’s important when talking to your child about their diet and needs to prepare them how to respond when others ask about it. Chances are, if your child acts confident about it, other students won’t make it a big deal.

Don’t hold them back: Dealing with celiac is hard enough for your child that you don’t want them to miss out on parties, activities, field trips, etc because of it. Just be prepared in advance to pack them safe food or make sure they have options. This is the perfect time in their life to learn that these limitations won’t hold them back and their life does go on!

Consider a 504 Plan: Decide if a 504 Plan is right for your child and consider moving forward on getting one.

Talk with parents: Most schools have a Back to School Night with only parents, so this may be a good time to let other parents know your child’s situation. Not only will you be helping them understand your child’s needs, but you are also spreading awareness of celiac!

Don’t take it personally: Chances are sooner or later a parent will unexpectedly stop in with treats for the class and maybe your gluten free stash for the teacher is out (or some other situation). Don’t get mad about this and make a big deal. Remember that your child will often react how you react, so you are setting the tone. Unfortunately, your child will face situations like this their whole life, so this is the perfect opportunity to teach them to kindly decline the treats offered and know it’s not the end of the world.

The Take-Away Points:

  •  Teach your child to be their own best advocate…you can never start talking about this with them early enough.
  •  Open-communication with anyone directly in contact with your child is key.
  • Be a good role-model for your child… like I perviously stated, how you handle situations is most likely how they will, so act wisely.

If you missed my post last week on “504 Plans for Students with Celiac”, you can read it here!

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Coconut-Lime Popcorn

This popcorn recipe is a simple snack with the perfect combination and sweet coconut and tangy lime! A healthy alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth!coconut-lime popcorn

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big time night snacker… more specifically when I watch tv. I always try to make healthy choices but sometimes I just need something sweet to snack on! Rather than picking up a box of cookies or a candy bar I often go for popcorn, modifying it to satisfy my sweet tooth.

The thing I love most about popcorn is that you can make it so many ways! Sweet, spicy, salty… the list goes on and on. This sweet and tangy coconut-lime popcorn tops my list of favorites!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup butter
2 limes, juice and zest of

Instructions:

1. Pop the popcorn as per the directions on package (I use an air popper).
2. Place coconut on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 mins until lightly toasted.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then add in the lime juice.
4. Place popcorn and coconut into a bowl, and toss until evenly mixed.
5. Pour butter mixture on top and then top with lime zest.

coconut lime popcorn

Enjoy!

Today I’m linking up here! 

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Back to School Part 1: 504 Plan & Students with Celiac

504 plan and students with celiac

Now that school’s back in session for some students and approaching near for others, it’s important to be prepared in order for your child to have a successful school year. For students with celiac disease, this can be an added stress when facing a new school year. Many parents prepare their gluten free children by packing their lunch, educating them on the importance of avoiding gluten and speaking with their teachers. However, sometimes this just isn’t enough.

Some of you may know that professionally I’m a Behavior Analyst and my primary area of focus is autism, however my background is education and I have a Master’s degree in School Counseling, so 504 Plans are something I personally have experience with.

Did you know getting a 504 Plan can can help ensure a gluten free environment at school for your child with celiac disease?

What’s a 504 Plan?

According to the US Department of Education: 

” Section 504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law designed to            protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . .”

 

The Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student’s individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met.”

What does this mean?

Basically to put this definition in simpler terms, a 504 Plan is a legally binding document detailing any and all accommodations that need to be made by the school in order to assure a student with a disability (pre-school through college) receives an appropriate education. Section 504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination in all institutions receiving federal financial assistance (including schools) on the basis of disability, including certain diseases.

Does celiac qualify for a 504 Plan?

Yes! Celiac disease is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act was amended in 2008 to include eating as a major life activity.

Why would you want a 504 Plan for your student with celiac?

A 504 Plan will clearly state which accommodations will legally need to be made in order to safely attend school and participate in activities. Having this plan can help eliminate any confusion on what needs to happen.

What will a 504 Plan provide to students with celiac?

*These are just some samples, it could vary student to student. 

  • Gluten Free lunches at school
  • Unlimited bathroom privileges
  • Gluten Free classroom and art supplies
  • Safe access to field trips and school sponsored camps
  • Notification of holiday parties, birthdays and classroom activities involving food
  • Microwave access
  • Refrigerator/freezer use for storage of gluten free foods
  • Lunch monitoring for young students

Steps to getting a 504 Plan:

  1. Educate yourself on exactly what they are and how it will help your child. This will help you to advocate for your child.
  2. Request a letter from your child’s doctor about their celiac diagnosis and required gluten free diet.
  3. Find out who the 504 coordinator is at school (this could be various school personnel) and schedule a meeting.
  4. The first meeting may just be with the coordinator to discuss the process.
  5. At the second meeting when the plan is written, ask for all teachers that will interact with your child to be present so everyone is on the same page.
  6. Make copies of the plan!

Do all students with celiac need a 504 Plan?

This is completely up to families to decide what is best for their student. My biggest recommendation is to have open communication with your child’s teachers and other school staff from day one.

I hope you found this information helpful and hope your kiddos all have a wonderful time back at school!

*Make sure you head back over next week, because I’ll be posting Back to School Part 2: Tips for Navigating a Gluten Free School Year

 

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Friday Favorites!

Friday

Happy Friday! I haven’t done a Friday Favorites or shared much personal information lately, so I thought I would change things up a little today! I hope you all had a wonderful week and have an even better weekend!

1. Indian Healing Clay

 FullSizeRender-2

OMG…we are obsessed with this stuff over here! And by “WE” I mean Erik too! Ha

IMG_5844

If you follow me on Snapchat (username: Ms.Modify <- come find me!) then you’ve seen this pic! [side note: I’m not sure if Erik knows I posted this pic…well now he does! :)]

So basically you mix the clay (it’s a powder to start out with) with apple cider vinegar, plaster it all over your face and then wait for it to harden. Your face literally pulls when it’s on!

After I rinse it off, I apply my favorite coconut face cream (you can read about that here!) and then my face is soo soft!

If you have any bumps or blemishes, this mask literally gets rid of them immediately. Just an FYI: if you decide to try it, your face will be red right after you wash it off but that goes away shortly after.

I bought mine at WholeFoods (for less than $10!) but you can also get it here

2. Maya Kaimal Kashmiri Curry

 kashmiri-curry-sauce_300

Have you tried this stuff? If not, it’s a must! It’s vegan, gluten free and delicious! I saw it at HomeGoods of all places, so I decided I would buy it and throw it in my pantry.

The other night I found a recipe on Pinterest that I really wanted to try, but didn’t have over half of the ingredients (and didn’t want to go to the store) so I modified the recipe and used this sauce!

Thai-Coconut-Red-Curry-Turkey-Meatballs-2

The recipe I found was this Thai Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs from wholesomelicious (How amazing does that look?!) but instead of making the homemade sauce, I used my jar of Kashmiri Curry… and it was delicious (and really quick to whip up!). I forgot to take a picture of mine to show you… it was so good I couldn’t wait to eat it!

3. Our Wedding Pictures!

Can you believe last Saturday Erik and I were officially married 6 months!? Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! With that being said, we just (yes just!) got our professional pictures. Island time is a real thing apparently!

Since many of you shared in our journey through my blog, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you!

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For those of you new to my blog, we had a small destination in the Bahamas! We had a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony and then had the reception on the sand at The Sandals Resort.

To read more about our wedding journey, check out these posts!:

I’m Getting Married!

Wedding Planning

Save the Dates

Engagement Pictures

Bridal Shower

One more thing… If you’re gluten free and are wondering about taking a vacation at The Sandals Resort, make sure you read my review about how they accommodated my dietary needs!

I’m so happy to be back sharing some of my personal life with you!

Questions:

Now it’s your turn… 

  • Have you ever tried a face mask?
  • What’s your favorite easy go-to jar sauce?
  • Do you have any fun plans this weekend?

Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

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 amazon.com

 

 

 

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Tips for Making Mornings Easier + Simple Recipes

tips for making mornings easier

When your alarm goes off in the morning are you someone who runs around frantically to get out of the house… hoping not to forget anything, having everyone fed and get to school/work on time? Whether you have kiddos to get ready and get to school in the morning, or just need to get yourself to the office in time, I’ve got you covered!

Here are some simple tips to make morning routines easier:

Pack Lunches the Night Before: This goes along with meal planning. Whether you’re planning on packing leftovers or even a sandwich for lunch, don’t wait until the morning… chances are if you do you won’t take a lunch! Pack lunches the night before, pop them in the fridge and then just grab them in the morning!

Pick Clothes the Night Before: Take a few minutes the night before and plan out everyone’s outfit for the next day. If something needs to be ironed, do it then too! Either put the outfit in the front of the closet or lay it out on the dresser.

Do Grocery Shopping Over the Weekend and Meal Plan: People often plan out dinners for the week, but you rarely hear someone talk about breakfast/lunch meal plans. This is so important in order to ensure everyone eats breakfast. You can’t expect to make a homemade gourmet breakfast during the week, however you can plan to whip something simple up within 5-10 mins.

Set Out your Gym Clothes: If working out is part of your morning routine (or if you wish it was!) put your gym clothes on top of your dresser and even set out your shoes. Chances are if you see them staring at you in the morning… you’ll wear them and work out!

Set Important Belongings by the Front Door: Make sure homework, your laptop, the bag of clothes that needs to be returned during the day, etc is all put together and placed by the front door the night before.

If you’re prepared the night before, your morning routine will go smoothly and that sets the tone for your whole day!

It’s true what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Taking 5-10 mins to make something healthy to eat will hold you and/or the kiddos over until lunch and help everyone focus on their day!

I’ve teamed up with Van’s Foods in honor of TODAY being NATIONAL WAFFLE DAY to share with you a couple of my favorite recipes using their gluten free waffles!

Gluten Free Berry Waffle Kabobs

With little prep time, these berry waffle kabobs are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast for kiddos and adults! Who doesn’t think food is better on a stick?! These are so easy to make and you can modify them by switching out the fruit. 

waffle kabobs

Ingredients:

(makes 4 mini skewers)

4 small skewers
2 frozen Vans gluten free blueberry waffles
4 strawberries, cut in half
12 blueberries
Maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Toast the waffles until golden brown.
2. Cut into small pieces.
3. Skewer the waffles, strawberries and blueberries (alternating ingredients).
4. Optional to serve with maple syrup.


waffle kabobs

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Waffle Sandwich

This creamy, yet crunchy peanut butter waffle sandwich puts a twist on a classic favorite. This is the perfect simple breakfast sandwich with lots of flavor, and a boost of protein!

peanut butter waffle sandwich

Ingredients: 

(makes one sandwich)

2 frozen Vans gluten free waffles
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 banana, cut into slices
1 tsp honey
cinnamon
1 tsp butter/margarine

Instructions:

1. Toast the waffles until golden brown.
2. Spread 1 Tbsp of peanut butter on each waffle.
3. Layer on the banana slices, drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon.
4. Heat butter in pan.
5. Put sandwich together and cook in pan for a couple minutes, until peanut butter melts.
6. Remove from pan, cut in half and top with more cinnamon.

peanut butter waffle sandwich

Enjoy!

Question:

Now I’d love to hear from you…

  • Are mornings easy for you?
  • What tricks help you get out of the house on time and not frazzled?
  • What’s your go-to healthy, yet quick breakfast?
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