Another blog post to my favorite city of Newburyport, MA! While visiting New England on our week long vacation, my husband and I spent an entire day in Newburyport. We were able to get a few hours of sight-seeing and shopping in before the rains came down again. Every day of our seven day vacation included rain. However, it was hard to be disappointed when we were surrounded with such quaint, historic beauty. I absolutely adore the brick buildings and flower boxes that adorn the restaurants and boutiques in this lovely city.
If you are gluten free or have food allergies, Newburyport has several options for you! We had our morning snack at Revitalive Cafe. They have fantastic smoothies, soups and desserts to choose from. They just happened to be located right near WishBasket, which was oh, so convenient for us!
It was not long before our appetites were ready for lunch! My favorite part of vacation, eating out!! Not Your Average Joe's is located right in the middle of downtown Newburyport. It has indoor and outdoor seating. We chose to eat outside on the square. People watching happens to be one of our past times and it was a perfect location for it. I was beyond excited to see the large gluten free menu options. Not Your Average Joe's offers salads, sandwiches on GF bread, soups and more. I had the turkey BLT sandwich with a side salad. I saved most of my bread to finish off their amazing dipping sauce!
Once the downpours began, we decided to seek shelter in one of my favorite cafes in downtown Newburyport: Souffles. It is a little shop that sells unique kitchen accessories as well as coffee. I ordered a chai latte with almond milk. A perfect choice for a cold,blustery New England day!
With the wind and rain we are currently experiencing in Virginia Beach, Virginia, I almost feel like I am back on vacation. I think I'll head downstairs and make myself some tea!
About two weeks ago, I received my blood work back testing me for gluten cross reactors. For those of you that have Celiac Disease or suffer from a gluten allergy, you may want to look into this. There is a list of gluten free foods that if eaten, will give you gluten-sensitivity-like symptoms. A few common foods on the list are:
- Cow's Milk
I was tested by Cyrex Laboratories. My chiropractor is big into nutrition and he set it up for me. My cross-reactors are Cow's Milk, Casein, Casomorphin, Whey Protein, Chocolate, Coffee, Teff, Soy and Egg. I was pretty mortified when I learned of my results. I was reading on Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom that once the cross reactors have been out of your diet for three months, you can take the test again to see if your immune system has calmed down. If so, you can slowly add the foods back into your diet. My chiropractor suggested one to two years. I'm sure it is different with each individual. Here's a great video on Gluten and Cross-Reactors.
I have been on a gluten free, vegan diet for about one week now. There has been a dramatic change in my energy, clarity of thought and overall digestive health. I actually wake up refreshed in the morning and can get myself out of bed. I just might actually become a morning person again! (I can hear my husband laughing in the other room.) Eating a diet this limited is going to be tough, but having a somewhat normal life back is worth it. If you have Celiac Disease and still suffer symptoms, look into removing suspected cross reactors from your diet or take the blood test. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
It’s been a full week since I last blogged and I feel like an entire year of my life has gone by. I have been fighting bronchitis for almost two weeks and for the past 7 days, its gotten the best of me. It's crazy how your perspective on life changes when everything comes to a dead stop. I was cut off from my computer, the telephone, the gym, work, and friends and family. It definitely was not the break I had in mind; however, it had its positive moments…
My Top 10 Reasons Why Being Sick Wasn't ALL Bad
1. An endless supply of my favorite tea: Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea by Celestial Seasonings.
2. Revenge. This show was highly recommended by friends of ours and once we watched the first episode, we were hooked. We signed up for Hulu Plus and finished the season in three days! Now we are
patiently waiting until the fall to see what happens!
3. No trips to the grocery store. My sweet husband took care of all the grocery shopping for two weeks. The only drawback being, he didn’t remember the COUPONS! I will just have to be super savvy the rest of the month.
4. Preparation for The Dark Knight Rises. My husband had me watch Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I enjoyed them both so much I wish I could have been there on July 20th. Hoping to visit the theater soon!
5. Sleeping in. I love not waking up to an alarm clock!
6. Silent Boggle with my husband. If you enjoy word games, I highly recommend this one.
7. Beating my Bejeweled score by 600,000 points to finish with a whopping score of 1.85 million! *applause* Thank you, thank you.
8. Coming up with new blog concepts during the late night hours while
sleeping on the sofa.
9. Getting to eat popsicles for snacks any time of the day. Too bad Edy’s doesn't make boxes of only Goji White Grape flavored popsicles. They are the best!
10. Finding my new favorite nail polish on a trip to CVS for NyQuil. Orly’s Gumdrop!
Next time you find yourself sedated by NyQuil and drowning in tissues, try to look at the positives. You can't go through a day without finding one or two and before you know it, you are as good as new.
A special "Thank You" to my husband for his support and care during the past two weeks. Once again, he has shown a true servant's heart while serving me with patience and love.
Tomorrow I board a plane from Norfolk, Virginia that will take me to New Hampshire. I haven’t been there since Christmas and every time I return, I get a bit nostalgic. My parents are in Aruba soaking up the sun and beach, so it will just be my brother and I (and the dogs) at the house. The truth is…I am heading to New Hampshire to spend a few days of quality time with my grandparents.
The Lord has blessed me with many years of memories with my grandparents. My Gram taught me how to bake chocolate chip cookies and to play Rummikub. She brought me to the arcades and played Skee Ball with me and then bought me my own personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut afterwards. I remember countless nights where I had “sleepovers” at Gram’s. Grandpa was usually off working in his wood shop on a customer’s cabinets or refurbishing his antique car. However, he was always home for dinner together. We would all sit together and watch a show before bed and he would carry me up to the guest bedroom when I was asleep. I cherish those childhood memories.
Here we are 20 years later and my grandparents have reached that pivotal point in life where they need someone to care for them. I am proud of how hard they have worked and stayed independent and strong. At 88 years old, they go to the gym 3 to 4 days a week, attend social gatherings and church, visit their elderly friends without family, and go out for the Senior Citizens Discount Brunch at Friendly’s every week. It’s hard to reach them on the phone they are so busy! However, that way of life is about to change for them.
One month ago, my grandparents put their home on the market and sold it to the first person that saw it. In this market, that is an incredible story. They are wavering between living with family and entering a nursing home. It’s a decision neither one has wanted to face for some time. Even I have wanted to push off that reality and keep them frozen in time, just the way I remember them. Life keeps moving onward no matter how hard I push on the brakes.
The past two years I’ve been in Virginia have been full of change. Marriage to my husband and entering a new family has been a wonderful blessing. However, the hardest part about my move was the knowledge of how far I was from my grandparents. Even though I know the Lord could take me home tomorrow, it seems more real to think of in the case of my grandparents as they are nearing their 90 year milestone. I’ve felt the pull of home more and more lately and the need to just see them and be with them, maybe for the last time. Some of my family may feel my quick decision to drop everything, hop on a plane and spend close to a week of time investing in my grandparents a bit rash. I don’t think so.
As I get on that plane tomorrow to see my grandparents, I thank God for giving me a husband who supports me and sacrifices so we can afford to send me on this trip. I thank Him for the wonderful memories I hold so dear. I thank Him for the Godly example my grandparents have always been to me, my family, the elderly, and the countless children from their AWANA ministry through the years. I pray that I can be a small blessing to them in this time and that the Lord would speak comfort and truth through me. I pray this trip will not be one of sadness, but one we will cherish together until that day we meet in heaven.
When it comes to summer time, vacations, or special events, I prefer my skin to have that warm, bronzed look. However, there are times where those events or trips happen during the middle of winter and that “look” isn’t going to happen naturally. And, as I wrote a few weeks back, my precious sun is the cause of skin aging and freckles! What’s a girl to do?!
Over the years, I’ve tried everything from tanning beds to sunless tanning lotions. The beds are still harmful to your skin and the lotions leave you with streaks and that funky, burning odor. Over the past few months, I’ve been trying out a few products from Mary Kay and I think I may have found the answer to my problem.
Before I suggest or recommend a product to someone, I always try it myself. For the past week, I have been using the Mary Kay Sun Care Subtle Tanning Lotion. Application of this sunless tanner is just like putting on your morning body cream. It goes on light and smooth, while leaving your skin feeling moisturized. I made sure to wash my hands thoroughly afterward and had no problem with discolored hands or marks on my clothing. I noticed results within the first two days.
The directions suggest you use the product for an entire week for maximum color. I would agree with this and would also suggest reapplication every now and then to keep your color. I have slightly olive colored skin and the Mary Kay Sun Care Subtle Tanning Lotion gave my skin that light, sun-kissed look that I desired, without making it look that fake orange that we all recognize when we see it.
Now, regarding the scent…it definitely does not smell like the other products I have tried. As I mentioned earlier, sunless tanners seem to have a lingering scent of, yes this is gross and may be just my opinion, burning skin. The Mary Kay Sun Care Subtle Tanning Lotion has a light, tropical scent. I think I smell a little citrus and coconut. While it smells tropical, the scent is still a bit on the musky side.
With a price tag of $16.00, this product is well worth the amount. With one week’s application, I still have plenty left in the bottle for occasional re-applications. If you are interested in giving this product a try for yourself, visit my Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant site. Mention this blog and you will receive 15% off. Get your glow on!
Image via: Mary Kay