The Year in Review

This year seemed to just fly by.  I feel like I was just complaining about the cold & snow that we had last winter and here we are facing another winter (although this one seems to be much milder at this point).  We usually don’t do much on New Year’s Eve and this year isn’t any different.  Hannah is still recovering from a nasty stomach virus and Aaron may have had a touch of it as well.  We are laying low, dining on Pei Wei and hoping to make it to midnight to see the ball drop.  In the meantime, I am going to recap our year below.

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Last winter/spring I joined MIT for the first time.  At the time I didn’t realize the impact this would have on my life.  While training for The Flying Pig Marathon, I made some amazing friends.  These are the people that I ran with each Saturday for hours on end.  We ran through the snow and ice. And if that wasn’t bad enough, then came the rain.  I used to hate to run in the rain, even a mist.  After spending hours running 14 miles in the pouring down rain, through flooded bike paths, a short run through the rain seems like a walk in the park.  Funny how things change.  I will never forget those difficult runs, as they have made me a stronger person mentally.  Even though I didn’t run my goal race due to injury, I still managed to complete 3 half marathons last year and PR the one I ran in October, finally coming in under 2 hours.  I’ll take that.  During training for those races & continuing to run after, I have run 1,077 miles this year!  That is like running from here (Columbus, Ohio) to Waco, Texas.

Jon’s JV hockey team had an amazing first season, beating one of the top teams for the championship!  Congrats, guys!


Summer started out with a bang with our annual trip to the beach.  We had an amazing time and returned to settle into our routine for the summer.  Jon, Hannah and I headed out to have dinner at Marcella’s on a hot summer night.  We had gluten-free pizza and stopped at a neighbor’s house on the way home to drop off a gift for housesitting while we were gone.  Hannah fell while playing with the neighbor kids and broke her arm.  She ended up having surgery & 3 pins placed in her arm.

Just as things were getting back to normal, the cast came off and pins came out, Hannah had another stroke of bad luck – appendicitis. 


I am fairly certain the look on her face says “are you freakin’ kidding me?”.  The girl is a trooper and is much stronger than I was a 9 years old.  Don’t get in her way! 

Aaron and I celebrated our 11th anniversary together!  I wish for many more years with the man that I love!

I shared my list of gluten-free favorites from 2011 on, so make sure to swing by to take a look.  This was a big year for gluten-free.  May 2011 brought the gluten-free food labeling summit with the world’s largest gluten-free cake organized by 1in133.  It is a wonderful time to be gluten-free! 

For the coming year, I wish for peace.  Peace in the world, peace in my house, peace within myself.  Raising a teen is stressful.  Raising a tween is stressful.  Stress is why I began to practice yoga last July.  Now I feel lost when I miss a class or it is cancelled.  Not only does it help me to unwind, but it has done wonders for my tight hamstrings.  My short list of goals:

1.  Be more patient.  Slow down.  Smell the roses.

2.  Spend more quality time with family.

3.  Continue my yoga practice.

4.  Try Zumba.

5.  Run 5 half marathons this year.  I already have 4 picked out with the first being in March. 

Happy New Year!

Sugar Inc. Cupcakes

I may have found heaven on earth the other day.  I took a trip to the mall with Hannah to see Santa and while we were waiting for the jolly red man to appear, we wandered up to Sugar Inc. to see what gluten-free goodies they had in store that day.  Though they were running behind, we found that they had Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla icing.  I am sure I didn’t get the name right, but you get the idea, right?  We told the lady that was setting up that we would return and went to see Santa. 


Santa was running a tad late, but no worries, we got the job done and headed off to cupcake land. After sampling a mini version of the gluten-free cupcake available that day, I purchased 2 – one for me and one for Jon.  I loved that the gluten-free cupcakes were the same price as the gluten-filled cupcakes ($3 each).  Hannah chosen the gluten-filled version of the cupcake that Jon and I had and told me at home that she preferred the gluten-free version (she had tasted mine) because it was more moist.  I am going to just go ahead and say this:  I don’t think I have had a better cupcake.  Ever.  That is a huge statement coming from someone who is a chocolate cake/cupcake fiend.  Don’t get me wrong I won’t turn down a vanilla version, but it wasn’t my first choice, until I tried these.  I hear the triple berry is even better!! 

Sugar Inc. is located in Olde Dublin, but had a Holiday store open in Polaris Fashion Place.  I heard a rumor that they were opening a store in Westerville, which would make me very happy because it is closer to me than the Dublin location.  A little more about Sugar Inc.:

Welcome To Sugar Inc. Cupcakes & Tea Salon!

Our bakery specializes in custom wedding cakes, cupcakes and special event catering for corporate events, birthday parties, baby showers and weddings. Our creations are not only stunning to look at, they are delicious as well!

We serve 100% organic bakery items that are made fresh EVERY day using locally sourced ingredients.

We offer over 100 flavors ranging from classic favorites like Dark Chocolate and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla to fun, eclectic flavors like Strawberry Balsamic, Tomato Basil, Dark Chocolate Cherry Cognac and Almond Green Tea. Creativity is delicious!

Sugar Inc. delivers 7 days a week to the following areas: Dublin, Westerville, Powell, Gahanna, Hilliard, Columbus, New Albany, Pickerington and Worthington!  Call (614) 389-3459 for more information.  

Weekly Menu Plan December 26, 2011

Here we are in the last week of 2011.  Where has the year gone?  Time really does fly when you are an adult, as opposed to dragging when you are a kid.  All I know is that today it was 42 and sunny out when I went for a run in SHORTS!!  Glorious & rare in Columbus this time of year. 


We are still eating ham leftovers here, which is fine by me.  Hannah is on a strict bland food diet, sans dairy, as she ended up puking again at midnight last night.  This poor girl and her stomach lately.   I was completely shocked, as she had been fine for the previous 48 hours.  I called her pediatrician and we saw him this morning, hence the bland foods.  She was not pleased, but when faced with bland foods or puking, she chose the foods.  He said it could be another stomach bug or her stomach just trying to get back to normal after having been slowed down from the first bug.  He also mentioned temporary lactose intolerance and she had a lot of cheese last night, so it does make some sense.  Let’s hope the bland food does the trick.  We also started Hannah on Florastor for Kids in hopes of normalizing the bacteria in her GI/digestive system.  She hates it, but such is life, right? 

So, the menu this week won’t be overly flavorful, as I hope to pull food out from what I am making to feed Hannah.

Tuesday – Grilled chicken, baked potatoes and salad (not for Hannah – she’ll have bread or crackers if she wants more than what is served)

Wednesday – Shrimp & brown rice pasta with salad.  We may have Alfredo. 

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner (probably waffles, turkey bacon & fruit)

Friday – MYOP (I am going to pick up some Daiya cheese and hope that Hannah likes it)

Saturday – Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Merry Christmas

I hope that you all have had a wonderful holiday!  We have been busy here the past few days.  I was on a roll, getting all kinds of things done when I got glutened on Friday.  While I was “over the worst” in a few hours, it took a good 24 hours to get back to “normal” or close to it.  Then, out of the blue, Hannah got sick.  Not sure if it was something she ate or the ugly virus she had a few weeks back rearing its ugly head.  At first I thought it was something we both ate, but we didn’t eat the same food.  Additionally, I was sick within 30 – 60 minutes of eating the gluten-containing food, so I had no doubt what made me sick.  Whatever it was, she is now better, too.

Thankfully I was a little ahead and was able to rest & recover.  Christmas Eve dinner was a hit.  Hannah even helped organize our veggie tray:




Not pictured: Ham, Catholic potatoes, salad, Buffalo chicken dip, chips & dip and edamame.

Christmas day we managed to sleep in until 7:30 AM!  I consider that a victory!  The kids were downstairs and ready to go by 8, after mamma had her coffee.  Well, one of them was. 


Everyone had a great time & got all kinds of fun stuff, stuff they wanted.  Most importantly, we were together.  After the gift opening and breakfast, I set out for a run in the amazing December weather.  40 and sunny on Christmas day, yes please!   After 6 miles, the stars had realigned and all was right in the world. 

Hope that you all had a wonderful holiday & were able to spend some quality time with friends & family.



Weekly Menu Plan & Winner

I promise I did not forget about the giveaway that ended Saturday night.  I was letting the suspense build.  Yeah, that sounds good.  First I would like to thank everyone who entered.  To see if you won, click here

Next up, Christmas week menu plan.  Really that translates to what I can throw together while I run around trying to get everything done before Saturday. 

Sunday – Pei Wei after hockey

Monday – Baked pork chops & applesauce, roasted potatoes, broccoli & salad

Tuesday – Taco bar, black beans & salad

Wednesday – Chicken fettucine Alfredo, roasted green beans & salad

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner and fruit

Friday – Make your own pizza and salad

Saturday – Christmas Eve – Glazed ham, Catholic potatoes, roasted carrots & green beans, salad

The baking frenzy will be commencing momentarily.  Time to increase the levels of caffeine and pray. 

What do you have left to do?  Are you done or are you procrastinating like me?


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Rudi’s Gluten-Free Rudific Holiday Giveaway

‘Tis the season, right?  Rudi’s is celebrating on their Facebook page with the 12 Day of Gluten-Free Christmas goodness.  They have also been very busy cooking up awesome recipes for the holidays, including this one for Gluten-Free French Toast:


Rudilicious French Toast


  • 8 slices Rudi’s gluten-free multigrain bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk (may sub non-dairy)
  • 2-3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp. allspice
  • 2-3 tsp. ginger
  • Gingerbread men cookies, strawberries, maple syrup (for garnish)


1. Combine Eggs, milk, cinnamon, allspice and powdered ginger in a shallow bowl and whisk until well blended

2. Dip slices of bread into shallow bowl until completely saturated

3. Heat oil in a skillet and fry bread on both sides until well browned

4. Sprinkle with fun toppings such as gingerbread men, strawberries, maple syrup and powdered sugar!

Who wants to win a Rudi’s Swag Bag? Here is the list of goodies:

Swag Bag:
-post it notes
-Sandwich box (forgot to put it in the picture)
-bread clip


Continue reading

How You Can Help Send Children To A Gluten-Free Summer Camp?

How can you help?  Read on.


“It’s better to give than to receive.”

And the holiday season is the perfect time for you to give back to the community.

In the spirit of the giving season, I want to bring your attention to a fundraiser I’m helping promote this week for a great gluten-free cause.

This week only, giving just $2 of your hard-earned money will go toward providing scholarships for children to attend a gluten-free summer camp hosted by the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) next summer in Southern California.

But this week, donating $2 doesn’t mean you’re just donating $2…

This week through Sunday, December 25, Gluten-Free Saver has partnered with Van’s Natural Foods to raise money to send children to next summer’s CDF-sponsored summer camp, and Van’s is matching all donations up to $1,000!

The goal is to raise $2,000 – and when you donate $2, you’re really contributing $4.

You can read more about the fundraiser here:

The summer camp will be held in San Bernardino in Southern California from July 30 to August 3, 2012, and it’s open to all 7-15 year old gluten intolerant and gluten-sensitive children – not just those diagnosed with celiac disease.

Sure, receiving gifts this time of year is always fun, but the feeling of knowing that your generous donation of just $2 can bring a tremendous amount of joy to a young child… well, now that’s priceless.

Please help reach the goal of donating $2,000 to the Celiac Disease Foundation this week. Every $2 helps.

YES! I want to help send a child to a gluten-free summer camp and donate $2 right now!

P.S. 100% of all donations will go directly to CDF.

P.P.S. If you’re feeling extra generous this holiday season, you aren’t limited to donating just $2 – you can give as much money as your heart desires!

I just sent my donation in, won’t you join me

Tiny Bubbles

I like bubbles in my drinks.  This is probably most of the reason that I drank diet soda for so many years.  Bubbles.  I now try to stay away from soda (diet or regular) and if I feel the need to drink bubbles, I choose La Croix or seltzer in a restaurant with a slice of lime.  If I am looking to make my glass of white wine go a little further, I will add half a glass of seltzer and half wine = wine spritzer!  It is really all about the bubbles, much like the song:

Tiny bubbles

In the wine

Make me feel happy

Ah, they make me feel fine

Moving along now.  Ferrarelle Platinum is Italy’s #1 sparkling mineral water.  I was very excited to  receive a bottle to sample & review here.  More about Ferrarelle Platinum:

The natural bubbles in Ferrarelle are finer and more numerous than in water manufactured with added CO2, thus giving Ferrarelle more delicacy on the plate and a unique taste. By a fluke of geology, Ferrarelle is naturally effervescent, coming out of the source already sparkling. Most other brands of sparkling waters come out of the ground still (or flat) and are then artificially carbonated like soda. This makes their carbonation very strong and harsh while Ferrarelle has a much softer texture which complements the best spirits and cuisine without compromising them.

The Ferrarelle spring is located near the extinct Roccamonfina volcano in the Campagnia region, where the rainwater starts a 9.3 mile journey during which time it is purified and enriched with precious healthy minerals. Subject to very strict controls, Ferrarelle’s mineral water is tested 615 times per day and its quality is guaranteed by major international certifications including the ISF. Each of its bubbles contains all the natural richness of precious minerals such as:

– Calcium: Ferrarelle contains 365 mg per liter. In Italy, Ferrarelle is often recommended to lactose-intolerant people for their daily calcium requirement.
– Bicarbonate: Helps to facilitate digestion.
– Silica: Essential to delay the aging process of tissue.
– Potassium: Helps to reinforce the muscular system.

A sleek Ferrarelle Platinum bottle will impress any host or hostess and is the perfect accessory for chic holiday gatherings. Also great for those who can’t imbibe, Ferrarelle Platinum is a trendy Italian offering for those who appreciate the best bubbles without the alcohol.


I love the fizz sound when I first opened the bottle!  I poured a glass and took my first sip – AH….the bubbles!!!  The best part about these bubbles is that they are natural and are not added with CO2 like other sparkling waters.  There seemed to be a lot more of them, too.  Next up was trying as part of my wine spritzer.  I poured half a glass of Moscato and then topped it off with Ferrarelle Plantinum.  What a great way to enjoy a wine spritzer! 

Ferrarelle Platinum can be purchased online, but isn’t cheap at $7.50 for 25 fl. oz.  I am not sure that I would spend that amount of money on sparkling mineral water, even though I really liked it.  If I could find it locally, maybe for special occasions like birthdays or New Year’s Eve. 

**The samples reviewed in this blog were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The opinions stated here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Dear Martha,

I don’t know where to start, as I am still in disbelief of the stance you have taken on guests with food allergies.  Do you know how many people you have now alienated, or was that your goal?  Let’s sort out some quick facts:

I am really happy for you that you don’t have to worry about the food that you put in your mouth, but many of us do.  Does that mean that we should be excluded from dinner parties or other functions?  The most important thing I have learned since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease is that while I do have to follow a gluten-free diet, social situations aren’t always about the food.  Attending a dinner party, wedding, baby shower or even a work conference usually means that some kind of food will be served and eating will most likely be complicated (especially if the hosts are anything like you).  I have learned to shift my focus from the food to the people.  I focus on catching up with friends and family; I aim to try to learn something new about each person I speak with.  Work functions that include food are spent networking or getting to know co-workers.

What do you have against those of us who can’t eat like you do?  Is it because preparing our food is more complicated?  I used to look forward to reading your magazine and support the sale of your products, but no longer.  Additionally, I have a feeling that I am not the only one who feels this way.


A former fan, supporter, reader

Edited to add the link to the NY Post article where Stewart shares more info.  She does mention whipping up an egg dish for gluten-free or vegetarians, but then goes on to say that “Everybody can skip a meal”.



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