Monday, January 25, 2010

Blog Review: Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

 I don't talk about other blogs much here.  I have a list on the side of the blogs that I read, and will occasionally post a link to something I've read and enjoyed.  However "Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef" deserve their own post.

 Flourless Peanut Butter cookies I made from the blog.

I first learned about Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna James Ahern, and became interested in her writing when I decided I needed to cut gluten out of my diet back in the summer of 2008, it was a daunting task, but she made it easier.  I was able to see someone was living a VERY happy and food filled life without gluten.  I read her blog posts with anticipation, wondering what new idea she was going to cook up next.

That Christmas I got her first book.  This was a combination of her life story and a cook book.  While there were not many recipes it discussed the ins and outs of eating gluten-free.  And she introduced us to her husband Danny, the Chef.

I have been reading her blog longer than most blogs I read on a regular basis, with the exception of people I know personally.  With the introduction of the Chef, there were more stories of family love and watching their Little Bean grow up to love food.  Very very soon there will be a full cookbook in the bookstores and I am SO looking forward to it.

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef make me want to eat, and eat better.  I love their stories of farm stands and vegetables.  I honestly didn't eat many veggies until around 2007 and this blog has given me the courage to try more.  I still won't eat tomatoes though.

I look forward to hearing how one recipe didn't quite work and what they did to correct it.  And while a lot of their food would naturally be gluten-free they do great looking recipes for some yummy baked goods, like these graham crackers.

Besides the amazing food these two cook up I LOVE LOVE LOVE their photographs.  I've been into photography way longer than I've been into gluten-free food, and these just shine.  I honestly strive to take pictures like this someday.  So go ahead and jump over and check them out, you won't be disappointed.  If you don't believe me just check out the honors they have received over the years.

enjoy. enjoy. enjoy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review: Unexpected Blessings

It's been awhile since I told you I was going to read and write a review on a book I received in the mail. Between the Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the holidays, it has really taken me this long to find an appropriate time to sit down and write. I wanted to give the book the attention it deserved, and this week when I came down with a TERRIBLE kidney infection I figured it's as good a time as any. I'm starting to feel better, but not incredibly well physically and my mind is itching for something to do. It also had me thinking a lot about the book, so here it is.

I received an e-mail from the publisher of Unexpected Blessings: Stories of Hope and Healing by Roxanne Black asking me if I would be interested in an advance copy and writing a review on my blog. I thought OF COURSE I'm interested, it's a book, and a book about something I know quite a bit about. So when I received it in the mail, I set right to reading it and it did not take me long to become thoroughly engaged.

The stories in Unexpected Blessings centered around the life, loss, healing, and hope of Roxanne Black who at 15 was diagnosed with systemic lupus. It was after this diagnosis and subsequent hospital stays that Black was driven to develop the Friend's Health Connection to help others like herself find one another and form a network of support. She recalls with great clarity the moments in her life that she sees as most important, and speaks candidly about her two kidney transplants and what the lives of the individual donors have meant to her.

In the two years since I really began to understand what living and learning with a chronic condition means I have read a lot of books that describe individual stories of great challenges and overcoming those challenges to live a new and adjusted type of life. Unexpected Blessings is that, but it is something more as well. She does not just describe her own story of illness, but also the stories of ones the she has come in contact with throughout her life and treatment. They are strong testament of the wills of people of all ages and times, dealing with chronic and life changing illnesses. Even as I read in the corner of my favorite coffee shop I found myself slightly embarrassed to be crying in public. It wasn't a all out sobbing cry, but some tears of recognition in each one of their stories.

The stories Black shared were powerful, and her life has been very inspirational. I would have like to have seen more continuity to the chapters, and a little more conclusion to the story. She tends to jump around, not unlike I do in this blog, and I felt not completely informed about the messages she was trying to share. Of course a conclusion to Black's life story will not come for some time and I look forward to hearing from her in the future.

If you see this book in the bookstore or your local library I recommend a read. Roxanne Black is a remarkable woman who tells a remarkable story.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Columbus Hope for Haiti

Hey Friends, I'm not sure how many Columbus and Central Ohio readers I have out there, but this just came across my Twitter and I wanted to share it here on my blog.

Thursday January 21 from 7a.m. to 7p.m. "Columbus Hope for Haiti" is taking place at the Ohio Historical Society and online. The City of Columbus, the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, and local media outlets are joining forces to raise money for the earthquake stricken country of Haiti.

I am very proud of my city for stepping up and making it a city wide event. There are several ways you can help out. First, you can drop your check off for the Red Cross at the Ohio Historical Society which is located just of I-71 at Exit 111.

If you do not live in Columbus or can not make it on Thursday there are several other ways you can donate:
  • Call the Red Cross at 1-800- HELP-NOW
  • Text "Haiti" to 90999, this will donate $10 which wills how up on your wireless bill.
  • Make a secure donation online at
Please help out in any way you can!
And Thank You!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What to do with a Wedding Dress?

So, something that has been on my mind lately is what to do with my wedding dress. I love it and am so glad we were able to spend a little extra money that we planned when Mom and I set out shopping.

However, I've been married for almost 5 years and obviously have no use for a wedding dress anymore. It's sentimental, but at the same time it has been in the closet and not been looked at more than once or twice since the big day. It needs some slight repair, I popped one of the shoulder straps towards the end of the day. And it obviously needs to be cleaned, but other than that it's beautiful.

Some people are able to wear their dresses again by just changing a few details. I don't attend the kind of event that I would need such a formal dress and it's a quite overwhelming amount of fabric.

I could sell it on eBay, or take it to a consignment shop, but I'd really like to do something a little more "good" with it.

Does anyone know of any organizations that do great things with used wedding dresses? I would love to support someone who helps others out in some way or the other, or who is doing good things for the environment. Let me know below.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Positive-Thought Strategies to Help You Achieve Your Goals - Gaiam Life

I've read a lot of books, tips, articles, blogs, etc over the last two years in attempt to get my life back on track. Achieving my goals has seemed extremely far away. This article came across my Twitter feed today, and it's one of the best and most helpful things I've read in a really long time. It's things we all should already know, but of course, need to be reminded of from time to time. Click on the link below to take you to the site, it's good stuff.

Positive-Thought Strategies to Help You Achieve Your Goals - Gaiam Life

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