• January 27, 2016

    Setting up a Gluten Free Kitchen


    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!


    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!  :)


    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.


    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!

  • December 30, 2015

    Christmas in Our New Home


    Moving is hard, ya’ll.  Know what’s harder?  Moving right before Christmas.

    Oh. Mah. Gawd.

    Fortunately, I can tell you that we did survive and managed to have a nice Christmas and everything on top of it all.  We even managed to host a Christmas/Housewarming Party complete with homemade cookies!

    But certainly you aren’t here to hear about my struggles.  I know what you are really here for: pictures!  So, without further ado, here is what Christmas in our new home was like:

    I love getting hand written cards!

    I love getting hand written cards!




    Flowers from my in-laws.

    Flowers from my in-laws.


    So much food!

    So much food!


    And, of course, an owl!

    And, of course, an owl!


    I hope you all had a wonderful, exciting Christmas and find yourself feeling very blessed in the new year to come!

  • December 23, 2015

    All Moved In!


    Sorry I’ve been missing for a little while… we moved in to our new home at the beginning of December and it’s been non-stop chaos ever since!  Have faith, though, my friends… I’ll have pictures and stories and things to post again very soon.  For now, Merry Christmas!  *grin*

  • November 11, 2015

    House Update


    Wow!  So much has happened with the house in the last month, I hardly know where to start!  I mean, we still have a ways to go… but it’s really starting to look like a home!  *grin*

    Ok, so at the last update, they were still working on the siding which is now finished:


    They also completed the roofing and outside paint!  So pretty!  Every other house on our street is brown so far, so the blue-gray really stands out and looks amazing!  The stonework is incredible with the gray too – I wish I had an up-close picture of it to show just how well it matches.

    In addition to the work outside, they have also come a long way inside.  We have all our cabinets:


    And the tile and granite is almost complete:


    And they put in the faucet and dishwasher last week:


    You guys, my kitchen is starting to look useable!  We saw the oven and microwave in the garage, so that must be coming next week.  Doesn’t it all look so beautiful together?

    Let’s see what else there is…. Oh!  They did all the tile and floors and cabinets and fixtures in the bathrooms too!   I can’t wait to soak in this tub with some fancy bubble bath!


    Another big thing they recently wrapped up is the lighting.  Look how pretty at night!  *grin*


    I’m sure I missed something else they worked on, but there is just so much!  They still have a long way to go… we need the stonework on the fireplace, carpets, lots of touch up spots and re-painting, as well as all the grass and fencing outside.  BUT STILL.  Hopefully we’ll stay on track and we’ll be able to move in the first week of December.  We better stay on track… we gave notice to the apartments yesterday so… yeah.

    Keep your fingers crossed for us and hopefully the next house update I do will be the finished product!

  • October 21, 2015

    House Update


    Time for another house update, friends!  It’s getting harder and harder to wait patiently for everything to be done – I want mah house!  *grin*  But, really, I’m totally ready to move in right now.  Unfortunately, I can’t move in right now.  In fact, they got off schedule and had to push out the completion date by a couple of weeks.


    All disappointment aside, they really have been making steady progress.  All of the drywall was installed!




    And the texture has now been put up so the painting can begin this week!  Look at the walls! 


    The walls look like walls now!

    And there are doors!  Apparently they had to paint them because there are doors all over my future living room:


    Also, most of the siding has been installed.  I’m a little confused why they stopped half way through… but I guess they’ll finish when they’re ready, right?  Right?

    Another fascinating development is the arrival of our next door neighbors.  Their house is done and we saw them moving in over the weekend.  Unfortunately, there were so many people moving things that we couldn’t really tell who our neighbors actually were.  Oh well, I guess that will come with time, right?

    Anyway, at this point, we are thinking we’ll be moving in around Thanksgiving, but we’re not 100% sure yet.  Keep your fingers crossed for us, will you?

  • September 23, 2015

    House Update


    Okay, ya’ll, it’s time for an update on the house; SO much has happened in the last month, I hardly know where to begin!

    Last time I checked in, the ground had been leveled and the first phase of cement was poured.  I was especially excited to see the second phase of cement because that meant I could finally see the real size of our new back yard.  I had been very worried that the yard would be too small, and I will admit that it did turn out smaller than I had hoped, but it should still work well for our needs.  The patio is beautiful and will be big enough for a table and chairs as well as our grill.  And we’ve already figured out where we want to plant a tree back there for shade and to beautify the space.  The only thing I’m not so sure about is where we will be able to have a garden space.  Because the space is limited and already existing trees block a lot of the sun, we may need to get very creative.  But, we’ll figure that out more once we’re in the house.


    After getting the cement poured, they started working on the frame and roof.  It was remarkable how quickly everything went up!  I watched them put up parts of the roof and it made me so dizzy – I don’t know how people can work so high up with wood and tools and people constantly moving all around them without falling or getting sick.  I even get dizzy just looking up at what they built!


    Once the framing was done, they were able to close it all in and started working on rough-ins for the fireplace and kitchen island.  My biggest requirement for this new house was to have a big kitchen.  Our old home had a nice sized kitchen and I really felt it was necessary to have a similarly sized (or bigger) space to store all my different equipment and gluten free flours as well as space to work and try new recipes.  Well, this kitchen should provide that and I can’t wait to try it out!  It’s maddening living with an apartment sized kitchen while knowing what I have to look forward to!


    Around the same time they were working on the rough-ins, they also put in the air ducts, wiring, and some of the water lines.  When we first saw the air ducts, we decided we had walked in to a haunted house and that was a giant spider made of trash bags on the ceiling.  Seems legit, right?  *grin*


    So, that is where they have left off at this point.  Soon there will be drywall inside and they’ll start working on the roof and siding outside.  Once that is all done, I am guessing they’ll be able to start finishing the inside and installing cabinets and carpets and all of those sorts of things.  The last estimate we had for completion was mid-November.  That time-frame may change, depending on weather and how everything continues to progress, but we’re hoping to be in the house before Thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to see how things go and to show you what we’ve been waiting for for so long!

  • August 19, 2015

    House Update


    Hold on to your hats, ya’ll, I have a house update!  The builder officially broke ground last week and we’re on our way to having a house again!  I know this probably isn’t half as exciting for you as it is for me, but that’s ok, right?


    So.  Yes.  They have leveled the earth and poured the concrete and progress is happening!  This is particularly exciting because we’ve been watching our next door neighbors home being built and they have been just one step ahead of us the whole time.  Jealous as we have been, it’s good to finally see some movement on our lot!

    Also encouraging is the thought of no longer living in an apartment in the near future.  I know there are so many things to be thankful for here in this little place, but there are also a lot of things that make day to day life really difficult!  You see, we have been used to having a yard for Ollie and a kitchen with enough room for two to dance while making dinner.  We’re used to quiet dishwashers and big barreled washing machines.  We’re used to quiet and lots of light coming in our windows.  So, while I really try not to complain about things… I do find it difficult to stay positive here because so many of our routines and enjoyable activities have been significantly disrupted.

    To help us continue to look forward, I’m going to make a paper chain to count down the days until our home should be ready for habitation!  We will take down one piece of the chain every day and write something that either we are thankful for or that we are looking forward to in the new house.  I’m not sure yet what we’ll use each piece for, but for now it keeps us looking forward!

    As things progress, I’ll keep ya’ll updated.  Hopefully I’ll have lots to share soon!

  • July 8, 2015

    Moving is Hard

    Oh. Em. Gee.  Moving is hard, ya’ll.

    Seriously, I haven’t been able to post anything in over a month and I’m not even really sure this will go up because our internet isn’t working most of the time.  Arrrgh!

    In  the event that I do finally figure out how to get this posted, I feel like I should probably update you with our progress.  So… yeah.  We had the house on the market just under 3 weeks, had one open house, lots of lookers, and 2 offers.  We took the best one and closed after all of the inspections and minor repairs were done!

    During that time, we were also researching and interviewing different apartments for short term leases and pet friendliness.  We were packing boxes and moving things to storage and my parents house.  We were praying and stress eating and cleaning compulsively.  The pets were super stressed and grumpy with us, but we all somehow managed to come out on the other side of it alive.  People have actually joked that they’re amazed we made it through and still talk to each other.

    It’s funny because it’s true.

    I have honestly never hated an experience more than I have hated this move.  We have too much stuff and there wasn’t enough time to sort through it all before having to box it up and get it out.  I hate being in discombobulation wondering where my toothbrush is because someone shoved it in a box somewhere.  It’s hard not having a functional kitchen and I hate being sick from going out to eat so much.


    But!  In the end it will all be great!  We’re going to end up in a house we built and in a location that rocks!  Near a huge city park and the new co-op, close to shopping, entertainment, and friends, our new place will totally be worth all the pain and suffering.

    Pretty sure I’ll be hiring movers next time, though.  *grin*

  • April 29, 2015

    Movin’ on Up


    Good gracious, keeping up with the blog has been harder than I thought it would be!  I was planning to wait until things were a little farther along to talk about it here, but keeping it secret doesn’t really seem to be much of a choice anymore so…

    We’re having a house!

    You thought I was going to say baby, didn’t you?  Ha!

    Ok.  So.  Yes.  We are in the process of selling our current house in favor of finding something in a better location, with a different layout, and that is a little newer.  The past couple of months we have been researching, planning, and getting things ready for transition and this last weekend we finally put ‘er on the market!  It has been so ridiculously overwhelming that I can’t actually focus on anything else for more than a few minutes at a time.

    Now that she’s on the market, though, I think things are going to improve a lot and maybe even get back to normal.

    I hope.

    Anyway, that is what I have been up to and why my blogging is suddenly less consistent than normal.  Sorry!  I will keep ya’ll updated, though, as things progress and we move forward!  *grin*

    Wish us luck!