10 Surprising Items that Contain Gluten

10 Surprising Item that Containing Gluten

For those of us following a strict gluten free diet, reading food labels is a part of life. Gluten is something we think about often, especially before we put anything into our mouths. Typically when you think of gluten being used in items, you think of it as a “glue” that holds food together or a sticky binding substance. The first items that come to mind are bread and pasta, since they have that elasticity texture.

Sorry to tell you, gluten is found in many items that may shock you! Manufacturers often add gluten to products as a stabilizer and thickener. You may be surprised to learn that many of these products, some non-food, contain hidden sources of gluten.

10 Surprising Items that Contain Gluten:

Imitation Seafood: Often times imitation crab you may find in sushi contains fillers made from wheat.

Licorice: Many brands of licorice contain wheat, such as Twizzlers.

Beauty Products: Even though you’re not ingesting beauty products, some products such as lipstick can easily enter your mouth. Many beauty products contain gluten in the form of wheat germ oil or hydrolyzed wheat protein. Hydrolyzed gluten is used to make emulsifiers and  stabilizers. Ingredients containing gluten in beauty products are listed under a variety of names. To see specific ingredients to avoid, click here!

Stamp and envelope adhesive: These often contain gluten as a “glue” for the products. Make sure you don’t lick envelopes and wash your hands after using stamps/stickers.

Play-Doh: Wheat flour is a main ingredient of Play-Doh. Even though you can’t absorb gluten through your skin, many children place their hands and toys in their mouths, which can cause contamination.

Medication: Some medications contain gluten-based filler ingredients. These ingredients are often added to the active drug, so many pharmaceutical companies won’t list this on the bottle. It’s important you discuss the ingredients with your pharmacist or call the pharmaceutical company directly. It’s recommended that you do this each time you get a new medication because pharmaceutical companies often change the inactive ingredients without warning. Generic drugs are more likely to contain gluten.

Vitamins and Supplements: As with medication, gluten may be used in vitamins and supplements as a binding agent.

Pet Food: Many brands of dog food, cat food (and kitty litter!) and fish food contain gluten. If you touch the food and then forget to wash your hands or if your pet licks you after eating, you could be getting contaminated.

Communion Wafers: Communion wafers are traditionally made from wheat, but now you can find some that are gluten free such as these.

Spices and Seasonings: In their pure form, spices and seasonings should be safe. However, be aware of spices with “declumping agents” as these often contain gluten. To see a complete list of gluten free seasonings click here.

As always, make sure you read labels and contact the manufacturer if you’re unsure. Also, when in doubt… go without!

Question:

  • Which item on this list surprises you the most?
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2016: Year in Review -The Best of MsModify

16 Year In Review MsModiify

What feels like the blink of an eye is the year coming to an end. 2016 overall was a great year for me both personally and professionally. In honor of the year ending, I thought today we could look back and reflect on some of the highlights from MsModify! I chose posts to share that had the most comments, re-pins, likes or just meant a lot to me.

January

Best Recipe: {gluten free} Cinnamon Roll Bread

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Bread

 

Best Tip: {Updated} Gluten Free Cold/Flu Medication List

updated gluten free cold/flu medication list

February

Best Tip: Natural Sore Throat Remedy

at-home sore throat remedy

*Since we got married this month, I didn’t post as much

March

Best Recipe: Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup {dairy-free}

tomato basil soup

Best Tip: Sandals Resort- Royal Bahamian: Gluten-Free Review

Sandals Resort Gluten Free Review

Best Personal Experience: Bahamas Recap!

Best Personal Experience: Reliving my Wedding Day

April

Best Recipe: Gluten Free Greek Easter Cookies {Koulourakia}

gluten free Greek Easter Cookies

Best Tip: Plastic Microbeads in Beauty Products- Why it’s an issue and what you can do to help!

May

Best Recipe: {Gluten Free} Baked French Toast Casserole

overnight baked french toast casserole

Best Tip: Celiac Disease Resources

Best Personal Experience: 10 Reasons I’m Grateful for Celiac Disease…

10 Reasons I'm Grateful for Celiac Disease

June

Best Recipe: Greek Tacos

Greek Tacos

Best Tip: Gluten Free Dining in Phoenix

gluten free dining in Phoenix

Best Personal Experience: Erik is 30!

July

Best Recipe: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

mediterranean quinoa salad

Best Tip: How to Avoid Gluten when Staying at Someone’s House

How to avoid gluten at someone's ouse

August

Best Recipe: Watermelon Lime Popsicles

watermelon lime popsicles

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

504 plan and students with celiac

September

Best Recipe: {gluten free} Enchilada Pasta Casserole

gluten free enchilada pasta casserole

Best Tip: Gluten Free Soup List

gluten free soup list

Best Personal Experience: Things I’d Tell My 20-Year-Old Self

Things I would tell my 20 year old self

October

Best Recipe: {gluten free} Pumpkin Cookies

gluten free pumpkin cookies

 

Best Tip: How to Dilute Essential Oils

How to Dilute Essential Oils

Best Personal Experience: Friday Favorites: Texas Trip Recap

November

Best Recipe: {gluten free} Cheese & Herb Bread

gluten free cheese & herb bread

Best Tip: Gluten Free Spices & Seasonings List

Gluten Free Spices and Seasonings List

December

Best Recipe:  {gluten free} Kourambiedes – Greek Christmas Cookies

gluten free Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

Best Tip: Avoiding Gluten Cross-Contamination at Parties

Avoiding Gluten Cross-Contamination at Parties

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for sharing this journey called life with me! I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings and wish you all a healthy and happy New Year!!

Cheers to 2017!

xo, Kristina

 

 

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Gluten Free Alcohol List

gluten free alcohol list

When you’re following a strict gluten free diet, you not only need to be aware of what you can and can’t eat, but also which drinks you consume. Alcohol is something I find to be more on the difficult side when trying to determine what is and isn’t gluten free.

There is a big debate in the gluten free world regarding distilled alcohol. Most experts believe that distilled alcoholic beverages, even those made with gluten containing grains are safe to drink because all the gluten is removed during the distillation process. For me personally, I avoid all alcohol made with gluten containing grains, even those that have been distilled. It’s important that everyone does what works best for their body!

Here are some popular brands that are gluten free.

To see a complete list be sure to get The Gluten Free Alcohol Guide where you will find over 40 pages of alcohol categories, brands, flavors and mixers that are gluten free!

Gluten Free Beer (*Some of these brands are strictly gf and others offer gf options):

Gluten Free Hard Cider:

Gluten Free Vodka (I did not include gluten containing grains that have been distilled):

Gluten Free Tequila: When tequila is made the traditional way from a blue agave plant, it will be gluten free. In order to make sure your teguila is gluten free make sure the bottle says, “100% agave”.

Gluten Free Rum:

Wine and Champagne: Wine is made from grapes, so it’s considered gluten free. The only time wine can be a concern is when a wine sealant is used in wine barrels, and this can cause cross-contamination. Most wineries no longer use this wheat paste as a sealant, however if you’re concerned I recommend you call the winery.

Whiskey: Whiskey is made from gluten grains, however they’re distilled. As mentioned above, many people say the gluten is removed during the distillation process. Please drink with caution.

I get asked a lot about wine coolers. Wine coolers contain barley malt, so they’re not gluten free!

For a more detailed list, you can purchase the complete Gluten Free Alcohol Guide.

MsModify Gluten Free Alcohol Guide Cover

This is a complete guide listing categories, brands and flavors. I also explain some of the controversial issues to help you make safe decisions when choosing which ones to consume. Included in the guide are ten of my favorite cocktail recipes made with gluten free alcohol and mixers!

Cheers!

 

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{gluten free} Vasilopita- Lucky Greek New Year’s Cake

This traditional Lucky Greek New Year’s Cake called a Vasilopita, has a hint of orange flavor, is covered in powdered sugar and has a coin hidden inside for good luck! 

gluten free Vasilopita-Greek lucky New Year's Cake

My Greek culture plays a huge part of who I am and the older I get the more I realize that. Being Greek, we have so many traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. Food and family go hand in hand in our culture, so naturally many of these traditions revolve around food!

Vasilopita is something my family bakes and cuts on New Year’s Eve at midnight, or New Year’s Day every year. It can be made as a bread or cake, and you place a coin into the dough before baking. The bread/cake is sweet which symbolizes the sweetness and joy of life. The Vasilopita also represents the hope that the New Year will be filled with life, health and happiness.

You cut a piece for “the house” and one for each person. Whoever gets the coin has good luck for the entire year!

Gluten Free Vasilopita- Greek lucky New Year's Cake

I’ve shared this recipe in the past, however last time I made it in a bunt cake, whereas today I’m sharing the traditional way a Vasilopita is made.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups gluten free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • Powdered Sugar
  • A Coin

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-10 inch cake or bunt pan.
  3. In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter.
  4.  Add the orange juice, vanilla and orange zest. Mix with a mixer.
  5. Add the eggs to the butter mixture and mix.
  6.  In a medium bowl mix the flour and baking powder and add to the wet ingredients and mix.
  7. Add the coin in the batter. The batter will be thick.
  8. Pour batter in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  9.  Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10.  Remove from oven and let cool.
  11. Release cake from pan, turn right side up and sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
  12. Cut the cake and hope you get the coin!

I hope your family tries our family tradition!  Enjoy!

 

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Avoiding Gluten Cross-Contamination at Parties

Avoiding Gluten Cross-Contamination at Parties

With Christmas being this weekend, that means lots of food and parties! Of course those of us who need to be on a strict gluten free diet don’t attend parties and intentionally eat gluten! However, whenever eating gluten free food that has been prepared in the same kitchen as gluten, we always run the risk of cross-contamination.

Trust me, I know attending parties centered around food when you’re gluten free can be stressful, but they don’t need to be! It’s normal that you don’t want to stand out as the weird person that’s paranoid about food… I get it more than you know! I follow these rules when going to parties and don’t have to worry about getting sick!

Tips on Avoiding Cross-Contamination at Parties:

Call Ahead of Time: Don’t forget to be prepared and plan ahead! If you’re invited to a party at someone’s house call ahead and see what they’re serving. This way you can have an idea if there is anything you can eat. Also, ask the host if you can bring a dish for everyone (this way you know for sure you can eat something!). If you’re attending a party at a restaurant, call ahead and speak to the manager about gluten free meal options. If you don’t feel comfortable with their options or preparation, let the manager know you will be bringing in outside food due to your dietary restrictions  (I do this all the time and have never had an issue).

Avoid the Wood Cutting Board: Don’t eat anything that has been cut on a wood cutting board, or even if it’s just being used for cheese and fruit. The reason for this is because wood is porous, so no matter how much they’ve been scrubbed small amounts of gluten can stay in them.

Pass on the Butter: Even if you know the butter is gluten free and you’re eating a gluten free dinner roll, chances are the butter at someone’s house (a non-gf kitchen) contains bread crumbs on it (kind of gross.. I know!) even if you can’t see any. Always ask for a new stick of butter.

Bring an Appetizer or Dessert for Everyone: Even if the host says you don’t need to bring anything, bring something! This way you know you can safely eat and I guarantee everyone will love that you did. I always bring gluten free dessert to parties, and I’ve never had a host be upset about it! Chances are people will say “wow this is gluten free?!”.

Pack Your Own Meal: If you don’t think there are safe gluten free options for you, just pack your own meal! It’s best for you to call the host ahead of time to see what they’re serving so you can do something similar. I don’t mean cook the same meal, but if it’s a party with just appetizers and drinks, then I would just pack that.

Eat Ahead of Time: That’s right! Never go to a party on an empty stomach because just incase there are no safe gluten free options, you don’t want to get tempted to try something!

Avoid the Dips: Even if you think you’re just dipping your veggies into the bowl of hummus or guac, don’t do it! Someone may have just dipped their gluten containing chip/cracker into the same dip, leaving traces of gluten in it! I always pack individual packets of hummus with me.

Serve yourself First: If they’re serving buffet style, always be in the front of the line. I know this sounds rude, but really who cares! You need to worry about not getting sick and this is important so that you can use clean serving utensils for gluten free items first and not have to worry about them being used on gluten items.

Know your Alcohol: Avoid beer, unless it’s labeled “gluten free”. Stick to wine and distilled alcohol. Avoid pre-made mixtures and try to use soda or fresh fruit juice.

Over the years I’ve learned not to make it a big deal and just to have fun. If you’re in control and act like it’s not a big deal, chances are others will too! Just plan ahead and be prepared so you can enjoy yourself and not have to worry about what you can eat! Remember why you’re there… it’s not about the food, it’s about enjoying the company of other people!

And… as always…when in doubt, go without!

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{gluten free} Eggnog Bread

This moist gluten free bread loaf made with eggnog, brandy and nutmeg, topped with a brandy glaze makes the perfect Christmas morning treat or holiday gift!

gluten free eggnog bread

I’ll be honest, I always thought I hated eggnog because I remember trying it as kid and not liking it. But, one day I was grocery shopping and saw a large display of eggnog and thought I would give it a try again… and guess what?! It’s pretty darn good!

I don’t think I could drink a large glass of it because it’s a little too rich for me, but when used in baking it’s pure perfection! Even if you think you’re not an eggnog fan, I say give this gluten free eggnog bread a chance! The eggnog flavor is subtle enough to not overpower the bread, yet the mixture of the eggnog, brandy and nutmeg is enough to make a lasting impression!

This bread is moist and light, almost like a sponge cake, rather than a dense loaf of gluten free bread!

Toasting slices and topping it with butter is the perfect simple breakfast on Christmas morning.

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

  • 2 cups gf flour (I used Cup4Cup as always)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups eggnog
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (I use plain, but you could use vanilla if you prefer it sweeter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp brandy
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the Glaze:

  • ½-1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp eggnog
  • 2 tsp brandy (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch bread pan and set aside.
  2. Mix sugar, egg, vanilla, Greek yogurt, brandy and eggnog in bowl until combined.
  3. Then stir in dry ingredients until evenly mixed.
  4. Pour batter into your prepared pan.
  5. Bake in oven for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  6. Allow bread to cool.
  7. Mix glaze and pour over loaf of bread.

gluten free eggnog bread

Enjoy!

Question:

  • Are you an eggnog fan?
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2016 Gluten Free Christmas Candy List

gluten free Christmas candy list

‘Tis the Season for Christmas candy! Am I the only one who receives boxes of chocolate around the holidays and is unsure if they’re gluten free, so they end up being given away?

I know what some of you may be thinking… “wait, how does chocolate have gluten in it?”. Ahhh, yes my friends you would think that. Pure, unsweetened chocolate made from cacao beans with nothing else added is gluten free, but that often doesn’t taste good… so they add to it!

The issue with even pure chocolate is if it’s made on the same equipment as other products that include gluten. Also, some chocolate contains wheat (in the form of chocolate-cookie flavors) and also barley malt (used as a sweetener).

I called many manufacturers and it seems the main issue is being processed in the the same facility as gluten; risking a chance of cross-contamination.

Here is what I found out about Specialty Chocolate being Gluten Free:

Ghirardelli Chocolate: According to the company, If a product contains wheat it will say it on the package, however Ghirardelli’s does not test for gluten, therefore there is a change of cross-contamination in all products. The company does clean the lines between products but since they don’t test for gluten, they can’t verify anything is less than 20ppm. You can contact them here.

Lindt: According to their website, “Gluten can be found in several premium chocolate products that Lindt & Sprüngli produces; either as a cereal ingredient or as a barley component. For consumers who are sensitive to gluten, we do offer certain premium chocolate products that are manufactured without cereal or barley malt, which may be suitable for consumers with such dietary restrictions. These offerings include our white chocolate products, as well as high cocoa content chocolate bars from our EXCELLENCE line – 70%, 85%, 90% and 99%.

We are sensitive to the fact that there are consumers who are unable to enjoy all of our chocolate at this time, and we hope that in the future we will be able to extend more product offerings to accommodate our consumers with varying dietary requirements.” You can contact them here. 

Godiva: “ALL of our products including solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products.” You can contact them here.

See’s Candies: All of Sees products are gluten free. You can contact them here. 

 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: According to a representative for the company, “The only two items that are gluten free are their milk truffle bar and dark truffle bar, but not every store carries them.” You can contact them here.

Since you can’t celebrate the holidays without candy canes, here are some gluten free ones!

Candy Canes:

Spangler: According to the company website, “Candy Canes, Dum-Dums, Saf-T Pops, and Circus Peanuts are gluten-free and free from the top 8 allergens.” You can contact them here.

Bob’s Candy Canes: According to the company, “all Bobs candy canes are considered gluten-free to 20 parts per million, without a possibility of cross-contamination from other gluten-containing products.” You can contact them here.

Jelly Belly Candy Canes: Jelly Belly doesn’t have your traditional mint candy canes, however they have six different flavors: Very Cherry, Green Apple, Orange, Tutti Frutti, Blueberry and Watermelon. Jelly Belly candies are considered gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million. You can contact them here.

Starburst Candy Canes: Starburst candy canes come in a box of 12 with six strawberry and six green apple flavor. According to the company, “Starburst candy canes sold in the U.S. are free of any gluten sources, and are not produced on equipment that also processes gluten-containing items.” You can contact them here.

If you’re looking for other candy brands that are gluten free, maybe to decorate your (gf) gingerbread house… make sure you read my Halloween Candy Post which includes SO many different options to choose from!

Happy Holidays!

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

Question:

  • What’s your favorite Christmas candy? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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{gluten free} Kourambiedes – Greek Christmas Cookies

These Greek holiday cookies, called Kourambiedes, are covered in powdered sugar, melt in your mouth and have been modified from my grandma’s recipe to be gluten free!

 

gluten free Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

This recipe is bittersweet for me to share. These Greek Christmas Cookies, called “Kourambiedes” are something I’ve made every year with my grandma (“yia yia”) since I can remember. This being our first holiday season without her, it was hard to make them alone. But at the same time, I knew she’d want me to carry on our tradition.

{gluten free} Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

I decided to modify them to be gluten free so that I can enjoy them too! Even though she was not here making them with me, I felt like a part of her was. As I tried to figure out and adjust her measurements, I could envision her saying “this much sugar!”… holding out her hand and getting mad when I tried to put everything into measuring cups!

These Kourambiedes are a staple in every Greek house during the holidays, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp brandy
  • 3 cups gluten free flour (I always use Cup4Cup)
  • 1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in mixer for about 15 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
  4. Add the baking soda, brandy, vanilla and gradually add the flour until you have dough (add more flour as needed).
  5. Stir in almonds and knead lightly.
  6. Break off small pieces of dough (about 1 1/2 tsp), form into ball (or whatever shape you’d like).
  7. Place on baking sheet and lightly flatten each dough ball.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until pale gold. You do not want them to brown.
  9. While the cookies are baking, cover serving plates with about 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar (just make sure the plates are covered).
  10. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven dust them generously with half of your remaining confectioners sugar.
  11. Let them cool only for a couple minutes (you want them warm), and carefully transfer them to sugar-coated platter. Sift the remaining sugar on the cookies, making sure they’re completely covered.
  12. Let cool and then serve!

*My yia yia always served them in cupcake liners because they’re quite messy and this way if you hold up the the liner to your mouth as you bite into the cookie, all the sugar gets caught.

{gluten free} Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

Enjoy!

Question:

  • Does you family have a tradition of making certain cookies during the holidays?
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Christmas Gift Ideas for Someone Who’s Gluten Free

Christmas gift ideas for someone who's gluten free

When someone is gluten free, it affects them so much more than just their diet (trust me, I’d know!). Being gluten free can often be challenging, so embracing the diet/lifestyle is crucial. This Christmas, why not give the gluten free person in your life a gift that will be really useful and helpful to them!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Someone Who’s Gluten Free:

Cookbooks

Let’s be real, chances are the gluten free person cooks a lot due to the fact that dining out freely is a little more challenging. These are a few of my favorite gluten free cookbooks:

Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free Cookbook

The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook

The Spiralizer Cookbook 

It’s A Pleasure 

Make it Paleo II: Over 175 New Grain-Free Recipes for the Primal Palate

Kitchen Gadgets

People that are gluten free tend to make a lot of their own things and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so why not have fun have things that make their life easier & some that just look pretty!

Quick Pop Maker   

Batter Dispenser

Personalized Cutting Board

Pineapple Measuring Cups 

Microwave Popcorn Popper 

Diamond Ice cube Tray

Smart Slice Mandolin 

5-Piece Kitchen Gadgets

Herb Chopper and Mincer

Entertaining Items

Most people that are gluten free tend to host parties more often because it’s easier for them to control the food situation and avoid getting sick. Here are some things they will love to help  them entertain!

Wire Brass Candlestick Holder

Marble & Wood Cake Stand  

Jar Candle

Gold Mirrored Tabletop Tray

Gold Stemless Wine Glasses   

Marble & Copper Cheese Knives

Kitchen Towels, Potholders & Aprons

If your gluten free friend spends a lot of time in the kitchen, let’s help them look good while being practical! Here are my favorite towels, potholders and aprons!

Kate Spade Kitchen Towel

Jumbo Kitchen Towels

Indigo Towels  

Braided Potholders 

Striped Potholder

Gold Polka Dot Apron 

Herringbone Apron 

Dollie & Me Mommy & Me Apron

Cuisine Couture Apron

Picnicking

Lets face it, if you’re gluten free… especially those of us with celiac do a lot of picnicking! Not just the typical picnic in the park, but we literally bring our food everywhere! Here are some helpful gifts to help your gluten free friend pack their food.

Stackable Lunch Pot 

Insulated Lunch Bag   

Stainless Steel Lunch Jar 

Picnic Basket 

Portable Grill 

Blanket Tote

Picnic Backpack 

Cheeseboard Wine & Tools Set   

Picnic Cooler on Wheels 

Picnic Tote 

I hope these give you some ideas for the gluten free person in your life!

Happy Shopping!

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here

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Weekend Recap

monday

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I haven’t done a weekend recap in a while, so I thought it would be a fun way to start the week!

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First of all…we got a new fridge Saturday! As many of you know my grandma passed away over the summer and now their house is for sale, so my family decided Erik and I should have her refrigerator and washer/dryer. We are so excited to have these new appliances, but also happy that a part of her will be with us everyday!

Erik was joking that we know we’re adults when we keep going into the kitchen just to look at our “new toy”! It’s like Christmas came early for us.

img_6856

We also finished our Christmas decorations. I wish we could keep them up all year because it makes the apartment feel so cozy!

img_6867

We got this ornament as a gift in the Bahamas at our wedding, so it’s in the center of our garland as a reminder of our special day!

img_6869

On Sunday Erik and I went with my brother George to this event in LA called “Unique La” which is a giant trade show-sized shopping event that has local made design and art. They also had food vendors, DJs and arts & crafts for kids. This event happens four times a year in LA, so I’m glad we were able to make it! (Side Note: The cover of the brochure is George’s photograph!) 

img_6865

Each vendor had an area set up with their items for sale. They had everything from clothes, home goods, art, jewelry, mens section (even with a barber giving free haircuts!), children’s toys/clothes/etc, things for pets, and so much more. It literally was a one-stop shop for all your Christmas shopping!

img_6866

Erik was really excited to get a new wallet. But, I told him I’m wrapping it and putting it under the tree!

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Our holiday picture from the event! Ha… please note George is holding an ax!

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As many of you know finding gluten free nuts and seeds sometimes can be a challenge, due to shared facilities, so I was really excited to meet the vendor Imlak’esh Organics. All of their superfood products are gluten free, vegan, raw, non-gmo… and made in a dedicated facility!

img_6864

They were selling food too… so I was excited to be able to eat!

Erik and George both got the quinoa bowl, and I had the salad… they were all delicious!

After we left, we headed to my parents house where my cousin was visiting from Arizona with her family (she has twins that are 9 months old and a 3 year old)… they’re going to Disneyland today (wish them luck)!

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Poor Bella is not used to being around kids, so she was exhausted when they left!

We had a wonderful/busy weekend, so by the time we got home last night I felt exactly like Bella!

Hope you all have a great week! xoxo

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