Thursday, June 30, 2016

Spontaneous Disneyland Trip

This past weekend was a fun one.  I got to sneak away with my daughter Sammi and two good friends, Kim and Kaye.  We drove to California Sunday, hit Disneyland all day Monday and drove home Tuesday.

 It was fun to leave our cares and worries at home and just play for a day.  These guys were so sweet to put up with me as I love the Tower of Terror and I made them ride it first thing.   Seriously, that is my favorite ride.  I can't stop giggling the whole time.

But the coolest thing of all was that I got to spend time with Sammi.  I love having an adult child.  She is so funny and clever.  I love to adventure with her.  She is an amazing person and friend.  It's fun to learn from each others life experiences.  I will miss her so much when she leaves to go back to school in August.   I'm glad we had a little vacation together this summer.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Celiac Disease

3 years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease.  The sad part is,  I am pretty sure I have had it most of my life.  I have had a stomach ache for as long as I can remember.  I have alway had trouble in the bathroom - if you know what I mean.  My stomach has been like a hot air balloon.  Constantly full of air and constantly in pain.   Looking back now,  I am pretty sure that was the first of my problems and the Hashimoto's disease that I was diagnosed with 12 years earlier, came after.  All autoimmune disease begins in the gut.   And my gut was a big hot mess for a long time.

My celiac disease diagnosis has been a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I am finally out of pain and I feel so much better.  A curse because it is hard to make sure no gluten enters your body - NOT EVER!!  I pretty much avoid going out to eat any more.  Most people view the whole gluten free thing as a fad diet and I have had people roll their eyes at me a time or two as I ordered my food.  Once a manager of a Rubio's practically yelled at me and told me everything on the menu was gluten free.  (It's totally not by the way).    Gluten is everywhere and it's quite a chore to avoid it.  I can't eat something if it even touches gluten.  It's that serious.  Even most shampoos have gluten in them.  While gluten doesn't go through the skin,  it does get in your mouth when you wash your hair.  

When I do get gluten in my system,  my small intestine gets attacked.  If you wonder why people with celiacs are so annoying with the whole diet thing, you can learn more here.   Not only do I struggle with anemia, and a damaged small intestine makes that worse, but my joints will ache.  I get anxiety.  My scalp develops a rash, I experience significant hair loss, and of course,  my stomach hurts.  Sounds like fun, right?   Not worth just one bite of that donut or pizza... trust me. 

One of the most difficult parts of eating very carefully now, is that I like to bake.  I like to decorate cakes and cookies.  I love all breads and baked goods.  Dang.  Even more than actually eating them myself, I really just liked to make yummy things for people I love.  Friends and family.  It has been a really difficult journey mentally as I have so many emotions attached to food.  Cinnamon rolls on a rainy day, the smell of the pies at Thanksgiving.  Hot rolls at Easter.  And traveling and eating out were so much fun.  I really enjoyed trying new things.  Trying the best thing on the menu.  When in Hawaii, I heard about a passionfruit donut, and of course I had to partake.  And it was pretty dang good too.

I have leaned so much over the last few years.  I learned about the need to heal my gut.  I learned that going gluten free wasn't enough to really feel better.  I will save that for another post.   But I have had to learn a new normal.  Holidays need to be enjoyed and celebrated in new ways.  Instead of focussing on the yummy pies,  I have had to learn to focus on family, and friendships.  Slowing  down and enjoying whats around me.   I have had to learn to serve my family in different ways.  I can still make yummy food, but now the focus is on nutrient density, instead of sugary sweet.  I am learning to respect food and my body in a whole new way.  

I am growing.  I am leaning.  I am changing.  I like to think that this journey of life is helping me be a better person.  While I resist change, I know change is not bad.  It teaches me compassion and in so many ways, helps me connect with other people.   

Life is good.  Even without the gluten.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Book of the Month

I recently finished The Rent Collector by Camron Wright.  It was such a great book.  Nothing like anything I have ever read before.  It was so nice to read a book from such a different perspective.  I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Two Sisters - Same Cake

I recently finished two wedding cakes for two sisters.  They married a month apart and really liked the same wedding cake.  So they both got the same cake (different flavors) and I just arranged the flowers differently.  They turned out so pretty!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Back to Blogging

Well, three years later, I am still here.  Blogging has changed.  In fact, it's so much easier to use blogger now, that I have no idea what I am doing!  Ha Ha!

Life has been a whirlwind and somehow blogging took a backseat.  Bummer.  So many things have happened and changed in my life, and I wish I had documented it as I went.

Some of the biggest changes in the last few years, aside from the fact that my daughter graduated and left home for college (that was big), and my dog Rusty died (that was traumatic), is that I have been learning how to better manage and live with autoimmune disease.   It has been a difficult journey and I have learned so much along the way.  I am feeling better these days.  So back to blogging!  Time to start documenting the fun, family, cakes, and health tips I am learning and enjoying along the way.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lego Cake

I thought this was such a cute cake.  Bummer I never thought of it when my Nathan was younger!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cruise Ship Cake

My girls had new beginnings last night.  The theme was a cruise vacation - thus, the cruise ship cake.  I was pressed for time so I had to come up with something that was cute, but wouldn't kill me with minute details in the process.  I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  My friend Teresa saved me by cutting out the flags and the shapes on the top!  Shwew! Thanks heavens for good friends!

Rose Wedding Cake

Jessie's pretty wedding cake.
I love making fondant roses.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lord of the Rings Cake

The ring said Happy Birthday in Elfish.  Gotta love it!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Owl Cookies

Cute owl cookies for a birthday party!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Slim & Scrumptious

I consider myself a pretty good cook.  But I am not good at creating my own concoctions.   Give me a recipe to start from and I can usually turn out something great.  
This is my new favorite cookbook.  Really good food, simple to make with simple ingredients, and family friendly.  Best of all, lower in calories.  I am very happy with this purchase.  I've made everything you see on the front cover except the drink.  Delicious!!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ivory Wedding Cake

I made this wedding cake this summer for Brooklyn.  These flowers were a challenge. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jungle Theme Cake

This is a cake I did for a jungle themed party.  They provided the animals later at the party.  I love the bow and palm trees!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Favorite Costco Finds

Today I found a few products I hadn't seen before and I am a big fan.  Here's why: FIBER!
It's so hard to find good snacks for my kids lunches that have any fiber in them.  When there is an absence of fiber, it's as if they are eating straight sugar - at least that's what the body thinks.  I am a big skeptic of "organic chips and crackers" because most of the time they are lacking in fiber and really aren't any good for your body.
 These hummus popped chips are yummy, have natural ingredients (no partially hydrogenated oil, etc.) and actually have Fiber in them!  Yeah!
These Pomegranate Pistachios with Almonds, Cherries, and Black pepper - WOW!  I love them!!  Simple, natural ingredients (I actually understand what each ingredient is),  low sugar, and best of all, a good source of fiber!  Enjoy!!