Review: Bread and Wine

Posted on Jul 31, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments

At the beginning of the summer, I received the book “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequist to read and review. I’ve read other books by Shauna, so was looking forward to reading her newest book. I can honestly say I wasn’t disappointed. Bread and Wine, to me, was a collection of stories and recipes, showing how food can bring people together. It talks about lessons learned over the dinner table, discussions of life during bridal and baby showers, and memories of places, people and food.

I was a little nervous about reading a book that included recipes, because of my food allergies. I didn’t want to read a bunch of recipes that I couldn’t eat. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of the recipes were gluten free or could be modified. Her husband doesn’t eat gluten, so she has learned to modify recipes. There were a few times, where she talked about baguettes and cheeses in France, when I wanted to shut the book and not continue to read. There are still times where I struggle with my food allergies and eating bread and cheese in France has always been a dream of mine. The chapters are short, so if I got discouraged with my food allergies, I did put it down for awhile until I could pick it back up. But that’s my issue, and nothing to do with the book. :-)

The stories reminded me of the importance of gathering over a dinner table, and sharing with family and friends. It reminded me how life can pass quickly by and it’s important to take the time to have people over and to be conscious of their eating habits or allergies. The recipes at the ends of the chapters were sometimes incorporated into the story itself. Some recipes are easier than others, and it’s encouraged to start on small and work up to the more difficult recipes.

While I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, there are a few that I would like to try, including the bacon wrapped dates. Doesn’t that sound so good? But the book is more than recipes, it’s about relationships being made and deepened over the table. It’s a book that I recommend to read. It doesn’t need to be read in one sitting, it can be read a little at a time. It’s all worth your time.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Gluten Free Baking with Betty Crocker

Posted on Jun 21, 2013 in Uncategorized | 4 comments


Since having to transition to gluten-free and dairy-free a few years ago, there are certain things that I just miss. Cookies and cakes being one of them. Finding those items that have don’t have both gluten and dairy is such a challenge. On top of that, finding cookies and cake that taste “normal” is another challenge. So therefore, when I found out that Betty Crocker started making gluten-free items, I was ecstatic to try them. My sweet husband got me a box of the Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix this past week and I decided to whip them up today as a treat for myself and my parents.

The process was very simple – three ingredients, plus the mix. Butter (I substituted oil), vanilla, and one egg.

Gluten Free Baking Betty Crocker

The mixture was a bit crumbly when I put it all together, which concerned me a little but thankfully, the instructions mentioned that it was going to be crumbly. When I was done mixing them, just rolled them into balls and put them on these cookie sheets. The cookie sheets are, apparently, older than me. (I baked these in my parent’s kitchen)

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cookies

They only took about 8 minutes to bake and they flattened out just a little. They were darker than what I had thought they would be. But it might have been because I used oil instead of butter. I’m not really sure.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Baking

But they turned out pretty good! I tried them while they were warm, and they melted in my mouth. I had my parents and hubby try them also. My dad, who is a chocolate fanatic, said that they were good – so that’s an excellent sign!

I would definitely try them again – maybe with a dairy free butter next time to see if that makes a difference in the color.

Betty Crocker just came out with a Banana Bread that I want to try. This easy baking is the kind I like!


They also have several other baking products, such as vanilla and chocolate cake. Yum! Check out your local grocery store for some and give a try!


Disclaimer: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark, but the opinion is entirely my own.

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Posted on May 20, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments

Happy Monday to you. If there is such a thing! Today’s topic is Struggles.

A few things that I struggle with:

* waking up in the morning. Especially mornings such as this, travel days. Means getting up at 4, which is ridiculously hard for me.

* going too long without my Starbucks intake. I don’t function.

* working out on a regular basis. I try. I really do but working out usually zaps whatever energy I have, so it has to be a balance somehow.

* realizing how old I am. Girls I used to babysit are graduating college. Now how did that happen?

* losing weight. I’m not wear I’d like to be. I realize some of that is because of my health and meds but it’s a struggle when I would like to be where I use to be.

* relaxing. I can’t really relax. My mind is always on and thinking about something.

* packing. I’m getting better at it but packing for a business trip in a carry on and laptop bag is difficult. I just need one more purse to carry on but they don’t let me. ;-)

* coming to terms with the fact that May is almost over. Where did it go? The weather still being cool hasn’t helped much.

* Starbucks changing their mug design – again! I haven’t gotten all the city ones, yet (shocking I know!) and I don’t like the new designs. Sigh. This is a huge internal struggle for me. Haha.

Those are a few things I’m struggling with. What about you?

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Five Fave Blogs

Posted on May 19, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Another day, another new blog post for May. Yay! Today’s topic is give of my favorite blogs. I read so many blogs, it was kinda hard to narrow down. But here are five blogs that I read daily now.


A new to me blog, but Meghan is just so sweet. Her blog is full of gluten-free and healthy recipes, photography tutorials, and vibrant writing. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should definitely do so.

Much Love Illy

I’ve been a fan of Ilene’s blog for years. We’ve even meet several times in person. She’s a lot of fun, loves bright colors and loves to write. I always enjoy reading her writing and seeing her outfits.

Under the Sycamore

This is another blog that is full of beautiful photography and a lovely family story. I’ve followed the blog through her recent(ish) adoption and love seeing updates and glimpses of their life.

Celebrate Life

I love following Karen’s blog, she’s so creative and another great photographer. It’s been neat watching her daughter grow through the years.


A knitting blog, that has awesome patterns and I like to see some of her processes in designing and knitting.

Those are some of my favorite blogs. What are yours?


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My Fav Photo

Posted on May 17, 2013 in Blog, Family | 0 comments

I started yesterday’s post. Stopped because I needed to think about it. Came back to finish it today and it was gone. Sigh. It’s a topic I might revisit later.

But until then, my prompt is to share my favorite photo of myself. It was hard to narrow down (not to sound self-centered!) but I have so many photos that I love because of the people who are in them with me or the memories that are attached to them. In the end, I narrowed it down to these two with my hubs. Both at different locations on our various trips. I love traveling, especially with him.



What’s your favorite photo?

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A Moment in My Day

Posted on May 15, 2013 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Day 7 (for me!). Today is suppose to be a day in the life of…. but I did that earlier here. So I’m using that day’s prompt and talking about a moment in my day. Which is:


Much of my day is spent staring at my computer, especially when I’m home. (Excuse my messy desk!) My work day is full of calls and working through stuff (yes, that’s the technical term of what I do) at my computer. Exciting, eh? I’m very thankful for this position, the company, the people and the flexibility.

Today at lunch, I took a break and so I thought I’d share another moment in my day:



With the weather FINALLY getting nice, I’m trying to take advantage of it and get some exercise and Vitamin D.

These are just a few moments in my day. What about yours?

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Happy, Happy, Happy

Posted on May 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I missed Day 5. Oops. Technically I could have written it but the topic (a public apology) didn’t impress me too much. So I just decided to go onto the next day. Day 6′s topic is 10 Things That Make You Happy. Ready?

1. My husband


2. My family (well, most of the time. ;-)) and friends

3. Starbucks (Duh)


4. Pink (the color, not the artist)

5. My nieces, nephew, and goddaughters

6. Knitting pretty things and actually finishing them!


7. Peanut butter and chocolate (even more now when I can find ones that are dairy free!)


8. The beach and the ocean


9. Summer days


10. Sleeping in

What makes you happy these days?







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