Monday, March 29, 2010

Bad Things come in Threes…right?

 

The past few days…have been some of the hardest days of my life. Not THE hardest…but they’re definitely up there. But bad things come in threes right?

Where to begin…

As you may have read on my twitter, the home inspection did not go well. After paying $400 for an appraisal, $75 for a termite inspection, and $500 for a home inspection, we discovered that our potential first home has active termites throughout, white rot, brown rot, and heavy mold. 45-50% of the foundation is crumbling wood, including some foot walls. Minimum $20,000 worth of work. The house will actually have to be jacked up off it’s foundation, and they still won’t be able to completely fix the damage.

the news 012

On the phone telling my bestie.

And yes, I am thankful we found out before we actually purchased the home. We pulled out of the contract of course…but I honestly just wish the owner had known. There had even been some work done in the crawl space, so whoever did that work knew! And either chose not to tell the owner, or the owner knows. Oh…she better not know! But here’s the thing, Parrish and I both work for non-profits. We don’t make a lot of money, and this set back isn’t easy for us to bounce back from. You know?! uuuuuuuggggghhhhhhh

Then Saturday night we found out that we wouldn’t have any water at our rental until Monday afternoon. And then Sunday morning Parrish woke up to a flat tire! Geeeeeeeez.

BUT being the folks that we are, we’re shaking it off, looking at more houses, and Parrish is checking out crawl spaces BEFORE we make an offer.

***Today is a brand new day; SO I started it out right:

mondays 015

MY VERY FIRST OATS IN A JAR!

I made a batch of Chhhh-chhhh-chhh-chia oats and transported them to work because I knew I had an almost empty jar of peanut butter!

mondays 012

I read an article about how chia seeds have been shown to help regulate blood sugar, so I thought I would give them a try. When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, I was in bad health. One issue was that my body was producing too much insulin, and the at some point in my life I would develop diabetes. Basically, my pancreas was going to over work itself. While it was really hard to hear, it was the wake up call I needed to change my eating habits.

I picked up this bag of Navitas Chia Powder at my local Whole Foods. I LOVE it! It’s always nice to eat something other than rice…corn…and soy!

 new foods 005

In the mix: 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk, 4 slices of banana, and 2 tbsp. chia powder

mondays 020

These oats were TASTY and really held me over at work! Mid day snack:

mondays 022

I LOVE Amazing Grass bars! Followed up with a flavor of Stonyfield I had never tried:

mondays 026

Smooth and Creamy is my favorite. Peach was good, but Lime is still my fave!

Parrish surprised me by heating up the grill for supper! On the menu:

mondays 027 

Grilled zucchini, summer squash, onion, and okra tossed in olive oil

Served with:

mondays 030

BBQ rubbed chicken…I enjoyed my chicken sans grilled bacon :)

I LOVE grilled okra! Well actually I LOVE grilled, pickled, raw, or fried okra!

mondays 041

mondays 038

So tasty! Meals like this get me excited for summer.

mondays 036

I think we’re going to try to grow okra this year. Any tips?

Not a bad way to spend a brand new day right? And tomorrow is another brand new day, and I am determined that it be a great one!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It’s all NEW

 

Spring always makes me feel…hopeful. It’s a season full of fresh starts and change.

new foods 022

It’s even on the cover of the latest body + soul magazine!

BUT I love routine. I’m the sort of person who could literally eat the exact same thing week after week for lunch, and be totally happy. I’m not saying that I don’t love a new restaurant or a spontaneous day trip, but habits and routine give me comfort.

One of the biggest issues I faced when I went gluten free was changing my eating habits. But, almost two years later, I can see where that HUGE change has helped me learn how to deal with new issues in my life. I experiment WAY more with food, it’s true. But I also handle stress ten times better. I’m sure moving last year has helped too, but I don’t think I would have even been able to deal with moving as well if it weren’t for going gluten free. I’ve learned to live outside my comfort zone…not on a regular basis, but occasionally :)

Lately, everything is new. Parrish and I are moving to a new town. We’re leaving Chapel Hill and moving to Durham. I work in Durham, and the cost of living in Chapel Hill just isn’t sustainable for a couple that work in the non-profit world.

We’re also buying our first house. We’re currently in contract for a pretty sweet house. The inspection and appraisal are tomorrow. I’m nervous for both. This entire process has been totally…new…and draining. It’s exciting and scary. Cross your fingers for us!

AND I’m getting married. IN SEPTEMBER!! 2011 is going to be SO boring compared to this year! New, new, new. Everywhere.

I have to say though, I did find something new this week that was…total bliss.

new foods 020

Against the Grain Gourmet gluten free baguettes!!

Holy Moly. Taste explosion!

new foods 025

Two baguettes are $7.99 at WHOLE FOODS!! (Beyond expensive) But totally worth it. Best preparation: cut 1/4 of the frozen baguette off and then go ahead and slice it open while frozen. Then, nuke it in the micro for 30 seconds. Then melt a bit of butter ( I can’t believe it’s not) in a pan over medium heat. Cook the bread cut side down until golden and crispers.

new foods 019

Friends, it’s beyond delicious. I can’t wait until our first tomato harvest this summer. I’m going to make a KILLER bruschetta.

New things are good.

Thanks to Jillian for telling me about this new item:

new foods 021

Did they read this? All natural Crystal Light?! Yes, I instantly bought it! PLUS there was a $1.00 off coupon in last week’s paper. Score! I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll be sure to let you guys know! Maybe I’ll try it in this glass:

new foods 017

Yes. I own a Diet Coke glass. :)

I did however try the ONE coconut water I bought the other day.

Thanks Allie ;)

pizza night 009

VERDICT: DELICIOUS!! Refreshing, slightly sweet, 100% amazing! Loved it! I’m excited to try one after a long run.

*******************

Ok, off to watch The Office…and then hopefully get some sleep. SO excited for tomorrow!!!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rollercoaster Ride

 

****I hope you guys enjoyed all my twitter postings over the weekend!!****

Friday morning I woke up at 6:30…and I fairly sure I took a shower…although I’m pretty sure I slept through it. I quickened my pace at 6:45 with a much needed iced coffee and hopped in the car to pick up my Mom and then head towards my bestie sister’s house.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. I HATE waking up before the sun, but I do love a good sunrise.

bestie sister 001

Even when it’s in my rearview.

bestie sister 002

We had a FULL day of wedding dress shopping planned. Which, if you follow me on twitter, then you know that Day One was MORE than unsuccessful. However, there was a silver lining in the cloud:

image

Souper!Salad!

I googled ‘gluten free charlotte’ and this restaurant, though a chain, was recommended. Here’s why:

bestie sister 004

Gluten Free Menu Items! I asked the hostess for their gluten free menu, and this is what she handed me! I used it when I walked through the salad bar, and choosing was such a breeze! I typically AVOID salad bars. Dressings are like a mine field…and don’t even think about soup! I was SO excited by how easy this was!

bestie sister 006

Tasty, tasty green stuff.

After lunch I renewed my hatred for David’s Bridal. I hated it the first time and I REALLY hated it the second time. Rude sales people, stupid procedures…ugly dresses. I was nearly in tears in the dressing room, I kid you not. We rode back to my sister’s house in near silence. I felt defeated.

Saturday I woke up feeling renewed. And excited! It was my other sister, Susan’s baby shower, and I was meeting a new buddy to look at jewelry for the wedding!

If you follow me on twitter, then you saw the bridesmaid earrings I chose…and it was SO hard to choose!

bestie sister 007

Look at that spread! I read about Kathleen’s jewelry on Bites and Bowls. I was immediately in love! Then I perused her website – and knew. This was it. Her designs are STUNNING! Affordable. Timeless. And meeting her was amazing! She’s energizing, gorgeous, and quite possibly one of the nicest folks I’ve met! I’m so excited about having her jewelry be a part of the wedding!

After meeting her in the morning, I helped my bestie prepare for the shower and before we knew it, the guests had arrived! It was a super fun shower. We played a game where anytime someone said “baby” then you took their necklace. The person with the most necklaces at the end won a prize. At first my bestie was winning:

bestie sister 024

But then my Auntie took the lead! She had EVERYONE’s necklace!!

bestie sister 025

She had her game face on, and didn’t say “baby” once! I made the Strawberry gluten free cupcakes,

bestie sister 008

which everyone enjoyed! Even…

bestie sister 019

Lil’ Gluten Loves Me !!

bestie sister 018

The cupcakes were just as good as the last time I made them! I’m not even sure anyone noticed they were gluten free!

After the shower, my bestie suggested we try one more bridal store she had thought of. I wasn’t feel enthusiastic, but I agreed. We headed to Group USA, and I’m SO glad we did!

It was an amazing experience! We were allowed to choose our own dresses to try on, and the salesperson only checked on us once and let us know she was there if we needed her. The dressing room was big enough for all three of us! It was…the best. Trying on dresses became fun…

bestie sister 037

Joan helped me get into the dresses and my Mom helped hang them up. It’s amazing how much fabric is used to make a wedding dress! You could get lost in there!

bestie sister 036

I tried on one dress that was TRULY fairy tale-esque.

bestie sister 033

Very Cinderella.

And I tried on a dress…that was different.

bestie sister 027

The front was pretty, but then I turned around and…

bestie sister 028

Oops! I pooped a bow!

Then I tried on what has became quite possibly…THE dress.

bestie sister 039

I love it. I can tell that I really loved it, because I didn’t want to take it off. It was flattering and form fitting. The material has a raw feeling to it…and I wouldn’t have to get it steamed! It’s a crinkled taffeta. Love it. The more I think about it…that MORE I love it! It’s a good sign. I’m so thankful my sister made me go! And made me try dresses on! Two thumbs up to Group USA. HIGHLY recommend going there!

I went back to my sister’s house happy. And sleepy. I slept so hard last night and woke up this morning to make the drive home. It has been a long weekend. And definitely a roller coaster, but I’m so happy to be one step closer to finding my wedding dress.

Now…back to packing up boxes…because we’re buying a house…

:)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ASAP

 

My life these past two days as been ASAP. Not in a bad way, just in a busy way. Parrish and I made an offer on a house, there was a counter offer, then we countered, and then the seller accepted our counter. Before we could barely take a breath, we were in contract and all of our inspections were scheduled! We’re trying not to get our hopes up quite yet, there are still SO many steps that have to happen successfully. But we’re definitely enjoying the ride!

I do still feel like someone is going to call me and be like “Ugh…no, you’re not buying a house! You’re not grown up yet!”

*******************************************

Last night I used this:

busy 002

to make a ton of these:

busy 001

It looks like a print! We’re going to cut these out and string them up to help folks find their table at the reception. The paper I stamped them on is actually recycled paper that was used in a shipment we received at work to separate hand-painted prints from Senegal. Sweet! Recycled and FREE, two of my favorite things!

And I was so busy being a one-woman stamping machine, that I didn’t even take pictures of the soup I slurped for supper. (say that 10 times fast!)

And I have NO pictures to show you from today either!?! Man, just when I was patting myself on the back for being a good blogger right?!

To make it up to you, if you follow me on twitter, you are getting ready to be bombarded with THREE days of updates and pictures! INCLUDING possible wedding dresses :)

That’s right, Gluten Hates Me is taking a road trip…to Charlotte. SO follow me on twitter for all the mini-post action!

****************************

And thank you SO much Chandice for featuring me on Gluten Free Frenzy!!! Thanks lady!

And you really should check out her blog, NO ONE has more giveaways than Chandice!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Today is the Day

 

that I tried on a smaller size pants…

tuesdess 038

and they fit! :) (Do you spy a sleepy puppy?)

I was so excited that these pants fit! Since going gluten free, I have really struggled with my weight gain. The additional fat and calories in GF substitute foods, such as breads and pastas, really threw my for a loop. But exercise (and less GF bread) has really helped!

Also this morning I was a very responsible blogger and took photos of my lunch while I packed! I know right? I’m blogging at normal intervals and actually taking photos of my lunch…who am I? :)

tuesdess 017

Carrot and celery sticks for lunch time crunching. And because I LOVE dips…but hate calories and fat, I made a tasty batch of

tuesdess 018  PLUS tuesdess 019 EQUAL

tuesdess 022

A super tasty dip! This wasn’t my favorite yogurt dip ever, but it was good! My favorite is mixing 0% Greek Yogurt with Simply Organic Dill Dip. I don’t remember which blog I first read that was using Greek Yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, but THANK YOU whoever you are! Cause girl, I LOVE to dip!

I also made myself a smoothie to have for lunch. I hate being super full after lunch at work; I just get too sleepy. In the mix was a new product I clipped a coupon for:

tuesdess 024

Dole Ready-Cut Frozen Fruit

tuesdess 026

I picked out the strawberries for the smoothie. I’m going to save the bananas for oatmeal! With the strawberries I added the new juice, a hint of vanilla soymilk & three handfuls of:

tuesdess 028

A Berry Green Monster

tuesdess 032

Hello Deliciousness.

I also packed some slices of cheese, but not surprisingly I should’ve packed a bit more food. Around 4:30 my stomach was grumbling! So I searched in the back of the food cupboard at work and unearthed some peanut butter. Perfect! And look what else I found:

tuesdess 002

I REALLY like the lemonade flavor, so I thought I’d mix it up today and try these. Apparently I bought these almost a YEAR ago. Oops. Guess I was thinking about going chemical free last spring too ;)

tuesdess 013

I only used 1/4 of the packet and added water. Verdict?

Ehh…not as good as the lemonade. It sort of tasted like liquid smarties. I’m not a fan of smarties. Good thing I know someone who is!

Luckily the peanut butter held me over through my afternoon and commute home. I was excited when I got home and remembered that tonight’s meal involved:

tuesdess 040

We LOVE this Lundberg Risotto! It’s super easy and never fails to be tasty! PLUS

tuesdess 042

Oh yeah. That’s how we like it!

We mixed in grilled chicken and topped it with shredded mozz.

tuesdess 050

Super quick. Delicious!

*********************************

Ok friends. Me and this glass of vino

tuesdess 044

from my

tuesdess 046

Black Box have a date with LOST in 3 minutes! I’m so excited!! Last week’s Charles Widmore cliff hanger had me thinking all week!!