3/31/14

one moment.

A single photo  - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.




3/21/14

Gluten-Free: Four Weeks In

This Sunday marks four weeks since I made the decision to cut gluten from my diet.   My body feels better, I haven't had to pop Advil for pain or soreness, my tummy feels better, my pants fit better, I feel like I have energy (though I'm still mommy-exhausted, I don't see that changing with diet!)

I haven't been able to remain 100% gluten-free.  I knew traveling would be tricky and I did eat a hamburger bun (it was heaven) and drink beer with my family.  My heart didn't stop and my stomach didn't explode, but I could tell something was off - more than the late nights of playing "Cards Against Humanity."  It's funny that before I ate whatever I wanted and just felt "normal."  Now I can tell when I eat something that doesn't agree with me.  It's not enough to level me for the day, but enough that I feel gross and tired.

Enough to make me want to stick with this.

And I'm not expecting people to change their ways just because I've changed mine.  Nate can eat a Jimmy Johns sandwich and I only get a little jealous.  The girls can snack on goldfish crackers and PB&J all day long.  In fact, Liv thinks she's "special" because "I can eat whatever I want.  And mom, you're special because you can't have gluten.  We're all special."

Dinners will more than like default to gluten-free just because that's the time when we all eat together, so if I can't easily leave the breading off a baked chicken breast, we're probably going to have gluten-free pasta or rice for dinner.  If we eat out, I can find something to eat.  If we eat at someone's home, I can find something, or if worse comes to worse, my manners will always win and I'll have my courtesy bite.  This is my choice, I'm not expecting someone to try to stock their pantry to feed me one mean (gluten-free ingredients aren't cheap!)

Come summer, hot dog buns and cold beer might win when I'm poolside, but at the rate this winter is clinging on, I've got some time to make that decision.

Read more about my gluten-free journey {here} and {here}


3/20/14

Super Soft Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Potato chips and vodka are always gluten-free, but some times I want something sweet.  I am committed to being as gluten-free as I can, but I still can't swallow the hefty price tag of gluten-free flours for baking and cooking.  Luckily, Bisquick has a gluten-free version (and Aldi has an even cheaper version!)


The most irritating thing about these cookies was chilling the dough so they didn't spread like mad while baking.  As you can see, I probably didn't wait long enough because even though my dough went in to the oven with those cute little fork-cross-hairs, they came out pretty smooth.

Who's got two thumbs and doesn't care, just wants to eat cookies?
That's right, this girl.

{adapted from Betty Crocker and Bisquick}

gather up:

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c peanut butter (I used smooth, but you could use chunky for more texture to your cookie)
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 c gluten-free Bisquick (or other quick-mix alternative)
Normally I would encourage you to preheat your oven, but this dough needs chilling, so you can wait on the preheating, unless your home is cold - in which case, enjoy the added warmth!

Start by creaming together your sugars, butter and peanut butter.  Add in egg and mix well to incorporate.  Stir in salt and gluten-free mix.  Cover dough and chill for 2 hours until firm (this is where I went astray and tried using my freezer to speed the process.  I still ended up with amazing cookies, but not exactly Martha Steward photo-worthy. #sorryimnotsorry)

When you're ready to bake your dough, preheat your oven to 375 and spoon small 1 to 1-1/2" mounds onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Press down dough with sugar-dipped fork to create a criss-cross pattern and bake 9-10 minutes.  Cook slightly before removing to cooking rack to cool completely (or until your tastebuds can't stand it anymore!)




3/19/14

currently...

Currently, I am:

{watching}
Frozen.  On repeat.  I can't wait for another kids' movie to come out so I can get new songs stuck in my head.

{reading}
US Weekly and the Food Network magazines that I'm two months behind.  They make me sad and hungry and miss real pasta and bread!

{listening to}
Frozen.  Did you miss that one before?  It's all the kids sing, recite, want to listen to in the car.  I have to play mean mom and demand that we listen to something OTHER than "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" for the 1,897th time.

{making}
Lots and lots and lots of wine mugs!  And I have new acrylic tumblers that will be out just in time for those spring picnics and summer soccer games!  {buy yours here}

{feeling}
Like I miss real bread and pasta.  Staying strong with this gluten-free thing, and my health has improved but I'm a little sad when I have to say "I can't eat that."  I just want a damn sandwich from Potbelly's!!!

{planning}
A weekend night away from my kids.  Whole night.  Date night.  Trying to convince the hubs we should get a hotel and make a night of it downtown.  Happy wife, happy life, right?

{loving}
That Liv is back in school and we're getting back to a normal schedule.  Spring Break was awesome and I loved having her home with me, but it's very obvious our family thrives on somewhat of a routine, even if we're not always very good at sticking to it!

3/6/14

currently...

Ever wonder what everyone else is doing with their days?  Maybe I do because I'm constantly internet stalking bloggers and people on Instagram.  Anyway, in case you were curious about little 'ole me…

Currently, I am:

{watching}
Smutty reality TV like Being Farrah and Survivor.  PS, Farrah is the biggest adult-sized brat.  She is so rude to her parents and demanding of her daughter, it makes my stomach hurt.

{reading}
I am thisclose to finishing When I Found You.  It's so sweet, and I want to finish it before tomorrow so I can borrow a new, free book on my Kindle.  Sidenote, I may have a slight addiction to Amazon Prime.  Time to scour my {reading list} for the next one!

{listening to}
"New" kid friendly songs, like "Happy" or even "Wrecking Ball" (Avery does a great job belting out the chorus!) that do not include the soundtrack to Frozen being on permanent repeat in my car.  Love the songs, they're amazing.  I am hearing them in my dreams, and I have to draw the line somewhere!  Oh and a lot of ZZ Ward to prep for her concert we're going to on March 22nd!

{making}
Chocolate chip cookies for our weekend away that I can't eat.  Gluten-free has done me some good, and it's be a worthwhile sacrifice, but sometimes you just want a damn cookie, ya know?

{feeling}
Anxious about the watermark this weekend.  Olivia will be amazing, I have no fears for her.  I am worried that Avery will panic, not want to participate, just sit on me the whole time.  Or the other side is she has a blast and forgets to use the potty and we're the family that closes down the watermark because she pooped.  I know, I'll bring swim diapers, but what if she doesn't want to wear them?  Then there's that fight to have.  Basically, she's been in such a great mood lately (mostly because she HAS been pooping in the potty) and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Fingers crossed...

{planning}
A 3-night trip at the Kalahari.  As of now, the girls are packed.  Nate and I are not.  But Nate brought up a good point, money aside, we could leave our house with absolutely nothing and stop at the Wal-Mart just a few miles down the road from our resort and get everything we need.

{loving}
The promise of a little family-time away.  This winter has been dreadful and cold and I am looking forward to some warm, clement-controlled fun!

linking up with Ot & Et and Harvesting Kale; theme inspired by Craft Interrupted


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3/4/14

one moment.

A single photo  - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.





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