• January 27, 2016

    Setting up a Gluten Free Kitchen

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    When we moved into our new home, my hubby and I discussed what to do in the kitchen to keep it safe for me to eat.  Previously, we had shared everything for both gluten and gluten free foods but, given the opportunity to start fresh with a brand new, squeaky clean workspace, well, we couldn’t pass it up!

    kitchen1

    Now we have taken the following steps to clean up our act and run a completely gluten free household:

    Step 1: Get rid of gluten containing food products from your pantry and fridge.  Sort through everything and either throw out or give away any foods you can’t eat.  This is a great opportunity to check expiration dates and get rid of old food at the same time.

    Step 2: Sweep away any crumbs or flour that may have collected in the pantry and fridge as well as the floor.  If you are using the same appliances (fridge, microwave, oven, etc.), deep clean everything the best you can.

    Step 3: Replace old, glutened up cookware and utensils.  When sorting through items to keep or be rid of, consider the following questions as it applies to each item:

    1. Is it made of porous material (wood, plastic, cast iron, stone, etc)?
    2. Are there chips or scratches in the surfaces where gluten can hide?
    3. Is it possible to clean every nook, cranny, and hole to rid it of gluten?

    Some common gluten catchers that you’ll definitely want to replace include:

    • Wooden and plastic utensils
    • Toaster, Bread Maker, etc.
    • Pots and Pans – especially non-stick and cast iron (replace with stainless)
    • Colander
    • Pizza stone
    • Cutting Boards, Rolling Pins
    • Cookie sheets
    • Cleaning supplies – sponges and brushes

    It is ok to keep glass, ceramic, and stainless steel cookware as long as you carefully clean it out with hot, soapy water.  We kept our pyrex storage containers, but got rid of the plastic ones and bought new lids for the pyrex.  We also replaced all of our cooking spoons, pots and pans, colander, cutting boards, and toaster.  Our bread maker was already only used for gluten free breads, so that got to stay!  :)

    kitchen3

    Step 4: Once you have your new gluten free kitchen set up, keep up on it!  Keep gluten foods out of your space as much as possible and don’t allow your new supplies to be used for those kinds of foods.  Clean your kitchen and appliances completely and frequently.

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    Now that  you have everything set up, you can look forward to feeling better and being healthier than ever!  Keeping gluten out of your home won’t be easy, but it’s worth the effort to maintain your health!

  • January 20, 2016

    Top 5 Movies of 2015

     

    Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Everyone is talking about the newest addition to the Star Wars saga right now and for good reason.  I don’t want to give anything away, so let’s suffice it to say that The Force Awakens makes me very happy.  I love the new characters and the integration of former characters.  I love the style and the feel of the film.  I love the character development.  If you haven’t seen this one yet, please do!

     

    The-Martian

    The Martian

    I don’t really care too much for Matt Damon, but this was an excellent film!  The script was a marvelous balance between humor and intensity and the film itself literally had me on the edge of my  seat the whole time!

     

    Inside-Out

    Inside Out

    I’m pretty sure Pixar can’t do anything wrong.  Ever.  There isn’t a Pixar film out that I’ve disliked.  But Inside Out… this film really stands out to me as something great.  Humor all ages can appreciate and a meaningful story that opens up so many opportunities for parents to talk with their kids about feelings!  I’ve listened to numerous interviews with the creators of Inside Out and it sure seems to me that these people really did their homework to create an accurate representation of psychology of emotions.  I love it!

     

    Avengers-Age-of-Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Much like Pixar, Joss Whedon has yet to make a movie (or television show, or comic, or mini-series) that doesn’t impress the hell out of me.  I didn’t grow up a big fan of Marvel comics, but the way Joss tells these stories makes me care… makes me want more!  I love the action and the humor which, as always, is well balanced and a lot of fun to watch!

     

    Paper-Towns

    Paper Towns

    Not as good as the book (movies never are), but still pretty great.  John Green tells a great story and the film is a lot of fun.  They didn’t stick strictly to the story, but the sentiments, the actual point of the book, it’s still there.  It was lots of fun to watch.  *grin*

     

    Of course, there were a lot of other great movies that came out in 2015, but this is my top 5, not top 50, so… this is what you get.  ha!

  • January 13, 2016

    Books of 2015

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    In 2014, I challenged myself to read a book with a title from every letter in the alphabet.  I wasn’t able to complete that challenge in 2014, so I continued it in 2015 (and will finish up in 2016).  Jeeze, I feel like I’m a really slow reader!  I think part of it is that I’ve read all of the Game of Thrones books in the last two years, and those books take forever to get through!  So don’t blame me, blame George RR Martin!  ha!

    Anyway, at the end of 2014, I had read letters A, B, C, F, G, H, I, K, O, and S.  In 2015, I read letters D, F (yes, again), J, L, M, P, Q, U, W, Y, and Z:

    Feast-for-Crows

    Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

     

     

    Dance-with-Dragons

    Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

     

     

    The-Joy-Luck-Club

    Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

     

     

    The-Lovely-Bones

    Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

     

     

    Me-Talk-Pretty-One-Day

    Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

     

     

    Paper-Towns

    Paper Towns by John Green

     

     

    Quiet

    Quiet by Susan Cain

     

     

    Under-the-Udala-Trees

    Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

     

     

    Wild

    Wild by Cheryl Strayed

     

     

    Yes-Please

    Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

     

     

    Zel

    Zel by Donna Jo Napoli

     

     

    In 2016, I’ll be looking for titles that start with E, N, R, T, V, and X to complete my reading quest!

  • January 6, 2016

    Resolutions

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    As you probably know by now, I like to take time every year to consider the progress I’ve made and how things have changed in my life.  I like to write resolutions and really do try to stick to the changes being made.  Of course, this year shall be no different!  *grin*

    Last year’s resolutions and progress:

     

    1. Continue updating blog on time and improving content.

    Mostly met – things fell apart a little when we moved into the apartment and then again when we moved into the house.  Guess I’ll need to keep working on this one!

     

    2. Take more pictures and improve quality; improve Photoshop skills.

    Mostly met – pretty good progress, but still have a lot to learn!

     

    3.  Practice better self care.

    Met!  In 2015, I started working out, read a ton of books, and did better with taking breaks and time off when I needed to!

     

    4. Go somewhere new.

    Met!  I had no idea how real this one would get when I wrote it!  Not only did I go somewhere new, I live somewhere new!

     

    5. Renew old relationships and cultivate new ones.

    Partially met – I did meet some new people and am in the process of building up those friendships.  I didn’t really renew old relationships so much, though.

     

    Aaaand my new resolutions for 2016:

    1. Improve photos and content on The Bliggity Blog.

    2. Cook and bake more – experiment.

    3. Give generously.

    4. Prioritize meeting new people and developing friendships.

    5. Take a vacation!

     

    Wish me luck!