Gluten Free Living in a Non-Gluten Free World: Where You Should Eat And What You Could Try

Our Impromptu Fall Disney Vaca Can’t Come Soon Enough! T-Minus….

After a summer of packing, inspections, house selling, house buying, renovations, and unpacking, I for one am so excited to welcome fall into our lives. We’re celebrating our very first season in our brand new house! And with renovations completed, and only finishing touchings and decorating to do, it’s definitely starting to feel like home. The kitchen of my dreams has been cooked in, our dining room table has been home to several family dinners, and our toddler has been busy practicing her “Super Feet” as she calls them by running laps downstairs with her little sister, our tiny toddler, chasing behind her. I’m just loving all of these new memories!

The downside with this whole new house thing, lots of baby proofing to do and I mean lots. But aside from the steps, outlets, and sharp edges, our new house is definitely our new home, especially for our oldest. I was so worried about how she’d handle a new house, first day of preschool, and dance all in one, but turns out I have one heck of a little girl because she took it all like a champ. She’s loved every bit of it and couldn’t have made Mommy, Daddy, and Sissy prouder. 

So to reward all of us after such a hectic, stressful, and exhaustion filled few months, we decided to use some of our spare DVC points on a surprise Halloween Disney vaca! We planned this vaca months ago pre-move and thought it would be a fun way to unwind after such a busy summer and now that we’re just two weeks away, we could not be more relieved for our reservation. And even more fun, it’s a total surprise for our two Disney darlings, which I know for our baby the surprise factor isn’t such a big deal but for her older sister, who happens to love surprises and love Disney even more, this couldn’t be more exciting!

Those Disney days are calling my name with all of their amazing food, fun, and family time. I can’t wait to leave the house lists, doctor’s appointments, errand running, and drop offs behind for just a little while to spend some much needed time together, just us four. We’ll see you soon Disney!





Magic Kingdom Fun With A Cinderella’s Castle Dinner: 2016 Disney Vacation Wrap Up!

With Mickey balloon in hand we were off for a full day from extra magic hours until bedtime in Magic Kingdom, plus a midday swim break. No Magic Kingdom day is complete without a pre-opening train station pic and a hustle back to your early morning rides. We managed to squeak in some family favorites just before baby sister dozed off and our big girl aka Splash Mountain first timer was off for some Daddy time. Me and my little mini rolled through some air conditioned stores and headed back to catch a classic photo op of my toddler’s first time down Splash Mountain’s big hill. And lucky for Daddy, it was a hit! Our three old loves herself some speedy rides as she calls them, which is magic to her Daddy’s ears who finally has himself a ride partner, since this Mommy here is more a Pirates, Mine Train, Little Mermaid kind of girl.  Disney 2016 (60)

Once a morning of rides and a cat nap were through it was lunch time. Lunch is usually the most challenging meal for me. Don’t get me wrong Disney definitely has plenty of gluten free options but 7 days of the heavier lunches is just too much for me. Instead I many a time, reluctantly enjoy a snack lunch aka Dole Whips or Popcorn (wink wink) or a turkey leg. Meanwhile the little ones are content munching on fresh fruit, light sandwiches, or Mickey pretzels. The good part about the lighter fare, they are easily enjoyed on the go or on a nice shaded bench, a welcomed short break from the tiring Disney hiking and sweating. To break up our 90 degree+ day we decided to head back to our Polynesian home away from home for a midday swim break before dinner at the castle. 

Another bonus for staying at the Polynesian, their amazing pools! Our studio was just outside the newly renovated quiet pool and a only a short walk away from the volcano pool, another pro for a Tokelau studio! The girls loved all of the water days this trip, so some pool time was always welcomed. And a certain someone had so much fun splashing around that she crashed as soon as it was time for dinner, never an optimal time for a nap but especially when we’re talking about an over tired toddler. Needless to say we were dreading waking her up for dinner, seeing as that can be like dealing with a ravenous tiger at times. So to give some extra nap time we decided to do a photo op of our tiny Belle, courtesy of an over generous photopass photographer! Disney 2016 (11)

I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer who took nearly 200 shots of our little one. We got some beautiful classics with her first Mickey ears (only wish we could crop out all of the walkers, but alas what’s a Disney pic without the crowds). And when I say this photographer was fantastic, I mean laying on the ground, staging pics with mom and dad, and even a winner with a sleeping sissy. She was just wonderful, and it was such a treat to meet her! Disney 2016 (14)

Soon enough it was time for our much anticipated Cinderella’s Castle dinner! And yes waking our toddler was much like I imagined/dreaded but thankfully she came around soon enough to enjoy all of her favorite princesses. Okay, food wise, dinner was okay. It definitely was delicious, but I’ve had better at the royal table. First up was the Castle Salad, a huge portion of mixed greens, apples, cucumbers, candied walnuts, and cheese all tossed in a delicious vinaigrette. I’m a salad person, so this was one of my favorite parts of the meal. For my entree I opted for the pork tenderloin, normally I go the steak route but I wanted a change. Not sure what it was but the pork definitely wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. It was just okay, nothing spectacular. However the dessert, a flourless chocolate cake fit for royalty, was just as perfect as I remember. Light just like a cake should be, not your typical dense texture that flourless cakes are known for. Delicious!

Even though my entree wasn’t as perfect as I’d hoped, a dinner at Cinderella’s castle is a pretty hard thing to mess up. Between the magic of dining in a castle, meeting princess after princess, and watching your two miniature princesses love every bit of it, a less tasty entree didn’t take too much away from anything. So once we had finished our dinner we opted for a late night of rides and the parade (which I’m devastated will no longer be a Disney World special, we love this one). The girls loved the Electrical Parade, especially our toddler who waves ecstatically the entire parade, even at the non-costumed Disney cast members just walking alongside. Our sweet little Belle had a pretty special first viewing of the parade herself, getting sweet kisses and waves from a few of our favorites. Some of our best Disney memories are from this parade so we’re sad to see it go but hoping that’ll make room for lots of new experiences! Disney-2016-12-683x1024 Still to come, my first gluten free beignets, cheese steak sandwich, and naan, and so much more. Pardon the extended posting but we’re in the throws of moving! Yup, we’re closing on our current and our new home in just a few weeks. Stressful yes, especially with two tinies, but so exciting. Can’t wait to share the next chapter of it all!



Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival Gluten Free & Fun: 2016 Disney Vaca Wrap Up!

A Disney day is by far one of our favorite kind of days around here, but for Dan and I, an Epcot day is in the top two of all Disney days. The food, the drinks, the World Showcase, and the rides, every bit of it we love and now our girls love too. Only one more thing can boost an Epcot day a little bit higher on our Disney scale and that’s a day at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival! We’ve vacationed a few times now during this festival and have loved every second of it. Our toddler has enjoyed tons of different treats, live music, floral playgrounds, and topiaries that inspire our at home gardening, no not to Disney’s scale but a certain herb display had me thinking about a new garden next year. Lucky for us, Disney decided to extend their festival this year so our littlest family member could experience her first Disney festival! Disney 2016 (44)

Our next full day of Disney Vaca 2016 was our first Epcot day! We were greeted with some of the best topiaries yet, not to mention these amazing herb and flower displays which I’m already sweet talking my husband into helping me recreate at our new house next Spring. Once we were through the gates and under Epcot’s iconic landmark it was onto an early morning ride on The Land, Nemo, and Test Track and some meet and greets with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Baymax! For my toddler all of her friends were a huge hit, especially newbie Baymax who happens to star in one of her new favorite movies, and for her little sister, well she was cautiously happy to meet them as long as she was safe in Mommy’s arms.  Disney 2016 (45)

One of the flower/herb towers that little one happen to love too! Herb Display

Soon enough, World Showcase was opening and bellies all around were growling. Another bonus on top of the gorgeous topiaries everywhere, the food, some of which happens to be gluten free! Surrounding the lake are festival stands which note gluten free on all of their signage and in the food passports that you can pick up at any store or food stand.  Disney 2016 (56)

A tip, some of these gluten free items are safer than others. I always double check before I order anything anywhere, but especially at smaller stands like these, if there are chances for cross contamination. Some of the answers took a few things off my list but I was more than happy to avoid a possible run in with gluten.  Disney 2016 (57)

Thankfully, others were safe and delicious! Like Japan’s Frushi! For some reason this year this one wasn’t marked as gluten free but in past years it has been but thanks to my fellow gluten free Disney bloggers I had a heads up that it was still safe. So for starters on my Flower and Garden food adventure it was one plate of gluten free Frushi. Fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon all rolled into some raspberry coconut rice with whipped cream on the side. First off, it looks beautiful, definitely sushi like minus the fish which is already a win in my book. It was definitely tasty but a little strange mostly because of the rice. I’m not a huge rice person anyway but the addition of the fruit, raspberry sauce, and whipped cream has made me more of a fan. Altogether pretty tasty and filling, until my next stop in Italy. Disney 2016 (72)

Okay Italy probably brought in the big win of the day with their gluten free food and drink options. Unlike a few others, this Disney vaca Mommy could enjoy a Mommy beverage, so that I did with a favorite of mine, the Bellini. And thanks to the festival I decided on the Cremoso al Pistacchio to go along with it. This sweet treat was amazing! Pistacchio cream with strawberries and marscarpone, perfect perfect perfect! Can you tell I liked it? And thankfully the girls had filled up on Norway bites and were on the verge of napping, otherwise I would’ve had to share this tiny tasting. Cheers to 5 minutes of Mommy time to enjoy this miniature delight and my Bellini! Disney 2016 (49) Disney 2016 (48)

We decided to opt for lighter snacks on our trip around the world on this particular Epcot day mainly because we had an early reservation at Italy’s Tutto Italia. So while I tried a few gluten free sweets, in true hubby style, Dan indulged in some savory delicacies, just enough to tide us over until dinner. While we snacked and our tiny girl napped we dodged in and out of the countries, getting a Duffy bear stamped, meeting a princess or two, and skipping out of the on and off rain storm. Finally it was time for a much anticipated dinner at Tutto Italia. We’ve dined at Tutto Gusto and have loved it so we decided to give it’s mother restaurant a try this time, especially since we never left Tutto Gusto disappointed. 

Whenever we dine in Epcot’s Tutto Gusto we’ve always been instantly transported back to our honeymoon and babymoon trips in Italy, and thankfully Tutto Italia did just the same. The authenticity of the menu options and delicious gluten free pasta brought me right back to one of our last dinners in Venice. And being an Italian who loves her cheese, pasta, and panna cotta, that can rarely get this combo in a farely non-gf US, I was pleasantly surprised by my choices at Tutto Italia. So no surprise, I started off with their Fior Di Latte Mozzarella, fresh mozzarella with roasted red peppers, basil, Maldon sea salt, and olive oil. One word, amazing! The mozzarrella was so flavorful and matched perfectly with the sweetness of the red peppers. Amazing! So much so I shared tiny bites with my girls! Also should mention that they offer some of the best fresh gluten free bread here just like their sister Tutto Gusto. Kind of the icing on the cupcake to these restaurants if you ask me. Disney 2016 (51)

Next up, the main course! While the girls nibbled on mouth watering chicken fingers and veggies, my Penne Caprese was delivered. Rice pasta with pomodoro sauce and burrata cheese, a regular for me now from Tutto Gusto but always a winner. I’m a creature of habit and tend to stick with what I know and love, and this I know and love. The pasta is always cooked to perfection and lathered in the most flavorful pomodoro sauce, and don’t get me started on the creamy burrata cheese on top. Disney 2016 (52)

Last but not least, dessert time! In the past at Tutto Gusto we’ve shared a chocolate and cherry panna cotta that was always my favorite. This time around they marked a different and somewhat surprised dessert option as gluten free. A vanilla and chocolate panna cotta with fresh strawberry compote and crumbled cookies on top, in it’s original version was gluten free! The cookies on top were actually almond-hazelnut meringue cookies which happened to be gluten free but after my first bite, I hesitantly waved the manager over for some questioning. After all, how often can us gluten free vacationers get cookie topping on our desserts? But sure enough these were gluten free cookies for certain which added the perfect crunch to one of my favorite desserts! Disney 2016 (53)

All together this was an amazing day of gluten free sweets and eats thanks to Epcot and it’s always wonderful Flower and Garden and Tutto Italia’s gluten free menu! Thankfully with our slightly longer trip we got to enjoy all of it that much longer and managed another whole Epcot day along with some nights here and there!

Disney 2016 (54)

Every trip I look back at our pictures in the weeks and months that follow, counting down the moments until we can return to Disney. And when I see these faces, these expressions make us want to keep going back. We’re making memories, all four of us. So thank you Disney for another wonderful day at Epcot, and stay tuned for more Disney fun! Disney 2016 (58)



Water Park Fun & Ohana: 2016 Disney Vacation Wrap Up!

Been a little bit since a Disney recap but with birthday celebrations and summer recoveries I’m finally looping back to our Disney vaca! With our first day of Magic Kingdom fun in the books, we were up and ready for our second day of water park fun and our first delicious gluten free dinner! Nothing beats the Florida heat then a morning at one of Disney’s water parks, and first up for us was Blizzard Beach.  Disney 2016 (6)

The water park was a huge hit this year, for one of our girls at least. While our toddler was running, swimming, sliding, floating, and tubing all over, her little sister was snug in Mommy’s arms slowly getting used to the water, splashing a bit in the kiddie zone, floating down the lazy river, and ending it all with a nap in Mommy’s arms. Bet not too many Disney goers can say they napped at a water park! Well my baby girl can!

Lunch is always my toughest meal on vaca. And even though there were definitely gluten free options at the water park of the chicken finger/ french fry variety, I was more in the mood for a light snack, so Disney popcorn it was. The salty, buttery popcorn is highly recommended for any Disney patron but if you’re gluten free, it’s a must! So after a late light lunch for all, it was back to the hotel to freshen up in our amazing studio, grab some fruity drinks at Trader Sam’s, and finally to enjjoy some dinner at Ohana! Disney 2016 (39)

With sangria, a toddler friendly slushie of some kind, and hubby’s favorite drink in a tiki man glass in hand we were seated for a much anticipated Ohana dinner. The chef was over shortly to go over my options and quickly after that my first round of food appeared. That’s one thing with Ohana, you won’t have an empty table for long, when food arrives, it keeps coming the whole dinner. The rolls were warmed well and with butter hit the spot perfectly since we were pretty much starving by this point. Next up, the salad, which I love! I could eat bowls and bowls of just the salad, topped with just the right amount of my favorite fruity dressing. Not too long after, some chicken wings with seasoned veggies arrived. The veggies I loved, the chicken wings had way too much seasoning for me, please keep in mind though that I’m super sensitive to any seasoning, so less is so much more for me. Next time I definitely have to remember to remind the chef of my preference but totally forgot.  Disney 2016 (40)

Finally it was time for the main course and what Ohana is known for, meat skewers! While all of the meats are gluten free, I’ve watched many a skewer touch down on plates that have gluten filled lomein on them, so I requested my very own portions of new meats. Grilled chicken and steak came out perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection! And to sweeten our first Disney dinner a little more, the chef brought out a chocolate cookie ice cream dessert. Not nearly as appetizing as the mouth watering and legendary Ohana bread pudding but free of gluten and a sweet ending to my meal! Disney 2016 (41)

Altogether, great gluten free dinner but the highlights were my sweet little ones getting serenaded and participating in the coconut race, well our toddler at least. Amazing that last time at Ohana we had just one little girl who was only old enough to sit tableside and nibble on lettuce, bread, and noodles. Now we were back still with a high chair but with a new little one in it, amazing how fast time goes once your a parent. Disney 2016 (5)

Anyway, as soon as dinner was over we couldn’t wait to hop on the monorail to enjoy a night of fun at the Magic Kingdom. Nothing beats topping off a relaxing day of water fun then with a nighttime ride on Dumbo and the most amazing views of Cinderella’s castle!

Another amazing day in Disney! Stay tuned for more of our adventures!



Disney’s Magic Begins: 2016 Vacation Wrap Up!

Finally fourteen months and one more little girl later we returned to Disney World. Not only was this our baby girl’s first trip to Disney but also our first vaca as a family of four aka Dan and my first vacation with two very small little girls. With disposable bottles, squeezable baby foods, containers of formula, and diapers, diapers, diapers all packed in every nook and cranny of our suitcases, we were off early and driving, shuttling, flying, and busing to Disney!

The flying part of any vacation is probably the part I worry the most about, flying wise and in general with small kids. We’ve traveled quite a bit with our first daughter and some flights have certainly been rougher than others, so for this one we weren’t really sure what to expect from our newest flyer. So I packed my Disney backpack aka diaper bag aka snack cooler aka Mommy’s a pack mule for her little girls and we buckled up for that sometimes very long 2 1/2 hour flight. For baby I made sure we had plenty of nibblers from dried fruit and puffs to gold fish and yogurt melts along with the essential bottle for taking off. And then there were the not so small and not so easy to pack baby toys which were overflowing out of the backpack, and yes all of them were played with since a crawling baby only likes sitting for two minutes not two hours. But with her sister occupied beside her eating her bagel while coloring, playing a PBS kids game on the ipad, or watching a Disney favorite, our baby managed to have a cat nip for the first bit leaving the last half with Mommy and Daddy playing pass the potato. But 2 1/2 hours later and we landed in sunny and humid, I mean really humid, Florida! Disney 2016 (29)

A grueling 15 minutes later of repetitive “Mommy are we here yet?” while the pilot slowly parked and everyone disembarked ahead of us, we were finally free! With two girls changed into summer Disney gear and plopped in the double stroller (which was such a blessing!), we headed straight for the Magical Express. Nothing beats catching your first glimpses of Disney at Orlando’s airport, checking in with your magic band, and your girls getting their first princess greetings, you know the fun is just beginning!

During the final leg to Disney, the anticipation was a little too much for our toddler who fell asleep during the intro videos aboard the Magical Express. But not her little sister who’s tiny cat nap seemed enough to beat that early morning wake up call, for now at least. Once we arrived at our home away from home for the week, the Polynesian Villas, our toddler woke without too much trouble, especially once she got her special flower necklace, which she wore proudly for the days ahead.  Disney 2016 (30)

We checked in and took a little walk around our new hotel. We normally stay at the Wilderness Lodge which is by far our favorite Disney home but as our first vaca with DVC we opted for a special treat and decided to try the Polynesian. It was gorgeous and a wonderful change, but I’ll spend a whole post just reviewing the hotel later! So after our toddler took in the tiki man in the lobby and Minnie dressed in her hula skirt in the hall we headed straight to Magic Kingdom via the monorail. We were there in no time and soon enough standing on Main Street staring straight at the castle.

I remember a few years ago on our toddler’s first Disney trip when we finally made it to Magic Kingdom she had just fallen asleep after our long morning of travel. So the fact that her little sister was awake, a little hot and blinky from the bright sun, but taking it all in was really special. She couldn’t get enough of the hustle bustle but her favorite were the Mickey balloons flying above her, someone is just like her sister. So a Mickey balloon for two it was, red was the choice this year and our toddler even got to play the role of a coveted Disney Balloon Cast Member for a minute!  Disney 2016 (4)

Balloon split between four tiny hands, we headed off for our first rides and lunch. Small World, Peter Pan, Cinderella’s Carousel, are always top on the list of firsts and for a certain tiny little girl these I’m sure will become favorites like they are for her sister. Finally it was time for our first Disney meal, a Mickey pretzel and fresh fruit of course for the girls and a turkey leg for this Mommy and Daddy. This is by far one of our favorite lunches at Magic Kingdom, a Frontierland favorite and conveniently located next to the Mickey pretzels! Smoked turkey meat that fills any starving vacationer for their afternoon of fun, absolutely delicious! The only downside are the carnivorous tall, skinny birds that you see lurking around Frontierland, well they just so happen to love turkey legs and aren’t shy about it. Their presence wasn’t exactly welcomed with our toddler who literally fell off her seat trying to escape them, thankfully Mommy and Daddy were there to protect her. 

We decided pre-vacation to take the first day pretty easy and call it an early one, with no dinner reservations. In the past we’ve all been too exhausted, mainly the miniature, to really enjoy a meal so we figured short and sweet this time would be the way to go, absolutely right decision. We enjoyed an afternoon of rides at the park before we got caught in a massive downpour and headed back to the Polynesian. Once the monorail brought us back home we stopped into Captain Cook’s for a “quick dinner,” which thanks to the rain made the wait for dinner a little lengthier than we wanted. But after speaking to the chef I was able to enjoy a sandwich, nothing spectacular, but just enough so we could call it an early night in our Tokelau suite! Disney 2016 (32)

Stay tuned for more Disney fun and gluten free deliciousness from our 2016 Disney Vacation!



A NEW Gluten Free Find: Jules Thin Crust

Even with a toddler and baby we’re stilling going strong with our adventures. And our dinners out haven’t slowed down too much either, well maybe a few less since we’re in the middle of cold/flu season.  Admittedly we’re creatures of habit, okay really just me, but I like what I like and we tend to order in or dine out at the same rotation of restaurants. Happy to report we just added a regular to the rotation!

I’m always on the lookout for new gluten free options. And I have high standards when it comes to a try out, I’m talking a gluten free menu that includes more than three items that just omit sauce and side and offer plain meat. So when I noticed a random post by Gluten Free Philly it felt like fate that I was introduced to Jules Thin Crust. HOMEMADE pizza crust, not frozen, with over 25 pizza combinations, thanks to all gluten free toppings! Too good to be true? This is totally true I promise! And I have to spoil the surprise with a sneak peak at a pie!

Jules Thin Crust (3)

A little about Jules Thin Crust, they have locations on the West and East Coast so if you see a location close enough for a day trip, it’s worth it, trust me. The best part though, they don’t just have a gluten free menu with the little “Eat at your own risk” disclosure, they are really GLUTEN FREE! They’ve worked with the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America to make sure their gluten free dough is safe. The ingredients we all know are only half the battle but the staff here too are trained and well trained to prevent contamination. Good news for any gluten free diner!

Okay now the good stuff. The pies are AMAZING! They come in two sizes, mini and medium which is huge as is. They’re prepped and cooked safely, topped with any of their toppings and sauces, all of which are certified gluten free. Now for everyone else their pies are already made and just need warming, ours are custom made which takes about 12 minutes. But a little wait is worth it because once your pie arrives on a pizza word with gluten free labeled paper underneath you’ll be more than ready to dig right in.

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So the pizza…was….AMAZING!!! I opted for half plain and half pesto tomato, yes you can do that here too. The combos are endless and all gluten free, yes I know I said it already but it’s just so exciting. The crust is deliciously thin, a little crispy but soft too making a perfect pizza option for me. And fresh, nothing beats a fresh pizza crust, not frozen, textureless and flavorless like too many others. The toppings go right to the edge, everything is perfectly seasoned and just phenomenal. They have so many options I honestly had trouble choosing what to try. Check out all of the pizza options Jules Thin Crust Menu!

Yes I included the soda because they have so much more that’s gluten free. From a list of gluten free beverages, which you never see, salads, and desserts too, they just kept impressing me! And even though I hardly finished my pizza, my toddler insisted on a sweet treat, so I happily obliged. She picked out a sprinkle butterfly cookie, soft and freshly packaged and it was delicious. 

Jules Thin Crust (1)

From start to finish the meal was perfect and the experience even better. All of the staff knew just what to do and how to answer every question. Good food and good staff, win win! Even better, my daughters, one of which got to actually taste the food, and my husband loved the dinner as well. We’ll definitely be back, and very soon!

Thanks Jules Thin Crust for making gluten free living a little more enjoyable!



Outstanding Gluten Free Lunch/Dinner At Peddler’s Village Cock n’ Bull Restaurant

With a summeresque morning at the beach under our belts, we decided to top off our day with an early dinner out. In just a few weeks our dinners out will be numbered for a little while so we figured we’d take advantage of the gorgeous weather and head over to Peddler’s Village which offers tons of charm and lots of gardens, shops, and dining. One of their most popular restaurants, Cock n’ Bull, offers a gluten free menu for both lunch and dinner that goes a step beyond your typical meat offerings, actually including some sandwich options. Gluten free sandwiches? No need to ask me twice then, without any hesitation we headed out to sneak in for an early dinner/ really late lunch at the heart of Peddler’s Village.

Gluten Free Sandwich at Cock n' Bull
Gluten Free Sandwich at Peddler’s Village Cock n’ Bull Restaurant

We were seated right in the middle of a huge window overlooking all of the action in the village, a perfect spot for our toddler who chose to sit in a big girl seat for the very first time. While Dan and little one decided between their food options I knew exactly what my choice would be, a Gluten Free Whole Grain Sandwich with Grilled Turkey, Fontina Cheese, Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper, and Pesto Mayo with a side of gluten free chips. Mouth watering yet? Yup, well rightfully so because this sandwich was delicious! 

For starters the bread itself was delicious, held up with all of the sandwich fillings and had a fantastic flavor and texture. The roasted turkey on the inside was so juicy and flavorful and matched perfectly with the melted cheese and spinach and roasted red peppers. As far as the size goes, as we all know gluten free bread can be on the smaller side, this portion was pretty decent and filled this mommy-to-be with no problem. Needless to say I enjoyed every single bite of this sandwich, as evidenced by the empty plate that was left behind. So if you’re ever in the area of Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, PA make sure you check out Cock n’ Bull and request this amazing gluten free sandwich!

All together it was a great weekend filled with lots of smiles, laughs, and new memories that’ll last a lifetime. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to ring in my 35th week then with the two loves of my life at the beach and with a perfect gluten free dinner that made both baby and Mommy happy. 


Lindsay (35 weeks)


Wildflour Bakery/Cafe Gluten Free Sweets Are A Gluten Free Mommy-To-Be’s Best Friend

No gluten free pregnancy would be complete without an indulgence in some gluten free pastries. Honestly, all pregnancy we haven’t taken too many trips to my all time favorite and really only all gluten free bakery/cafe in the area. So last week while in route running errands the other day I decided to stop in and treat myself to a couple of new sweets. 

If you’ve never been and are in the area you absolutely have to check out Wildflour Bakery/Cafe. They offer tons of different gluten free treats from sweet and savory crepes and sandwiches to smoothies and tons of different desserts, check out their full menu to get the whole picture. I personally always have a hard time choosing which items I’ll try that day, mostly because you’ll never see those items again anywhere else. For this particular stop in I decided to of course start with my favorites, the Gluten Free Pink Smoothie along with some Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Puffs. Needless to say these didn’t survive too long post purchase but I have managed to snap some pictures of these in the past so make sure you check them out. The Pink Smoothie is just delicious and didn’t bother my acid reflux too badly, or maybe that was the cheese puffs that helped out, either way I was a happy mommy drinking down my strawberry banana and almond milk smoothie. But the star of every one of my visits to Wildflour are the Brazilian Cheese Puffs which are light and airy, moist and cheesy, and just a perfect bread treat that is so uncharacteristic of typical gluten free breads. 

Wildflour Bakery/Cafe Treats
Wildflour Bakery/Cafe Gluten Free Treats

Okay, so I obviously indulged in some of my regular snacks but what did I try out that was newer? Well, I did manage to snag two other sweets that I hadn’t seen there in awhile, the Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie, cheesecake portions swirled through a delicious brownie, and a Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Puff, fluffy puff pastry stuffed with sweet cream and covered in chocolate which I’ve reviewed before. Both were equally as delicious and brought many smiles for the days that followed.  

The last three desserts were new to me so since I don’t get to the bakery too often I decided to pick them up and try them out for blogging purposes of course. Can I just say that each and every single one of these desserts were divine. Starting on the left is a gigantic Gluten Free Apple Turnover that was so light and doughy and stuffed with just enough, but not too many, cinnamon apples. While the filling was superb, what always surprises me with every tasty treat from the bakery is just how perfect the breads and pastries are. They’re spot on with just how the regular version of their treats should be in both texture and taste and we all know that’s no easy feat for a gluten free anything.

Next up was the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bar which was absolute perfection. Light and fluffy cheesecake with chocolate chips scattered throughout, you can’t get any better than that. And lastly, the Gluten Free Strawberry Tart, a pastry tart filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with fresh strawberries, a great treat for this Spring and Summer. The tart was moist and held together perfectly to envelope the sweet, but not too sweet, cream and strawberry filling.

Thanks to this impromptu visit, myself and baby were happy for many days to come. Quite honestly, by first glance I probably could’ve finished off several of these much more quickly but I paced myself to spread out the goodness and I’m so glad I did. A huge thank you goes out to Wildflour’s for consistently making me one of the happiest gluten free mommies in the area. Can’t wait until my next visit!


Lindsay (33 weeks) 

Wedding Season Is Upon Us, But How Do You Handle Them When You’re Gluten Free?

As Spring rolled in so did the season of weddings which we welcomed with two back to back. The weather was gorgeous, the main event was romantic and memorable, and the company was even better, but as any wedding participant or guest can attest the food is a huge part of a wedding. Almost five years ago, wow can’t believe we’ll be celebrating our five year wedding anniversary next month, I remember planning the festivities for our own wedding like it was yesterday. Even though I was really sick those days I was pre-gluten free so I thoroughly enjoyed the pre-wedding tastings and wedding day of bits and pieces that I managed to gobble down. Since then, we’ve attended numerous weddings, all of which have been since going gluten free, so sadly I’m very familiar with the protocol for attending a non-gluten free wedding, as most are. 

Weddings, weddings, weddings, how can you navigate them gluten free?
Weddings, weddings, weddings, how can you navigate them gluten free?

Since I started my gluten free adventures we’ve attended six or more weddings, five of which I’ve been pregnant for and all of which have been equipped with mountains of mouth watering foods that were strictly off limits to me. Leading up to each of the events I always have the same anxieties, hours of just watching everyone around you gobble down food only to wonder if the venue will at least be able to accommodate your dietary needs for the main course? This experience is hard enough when you’re just gluten free but when you’re gluten free and pregnant it’s even more difficult to endure the sights and smells of tons of non-gluten free foods for hours on end. Now, is eating at a wedding impossible for us gluten free folks? I’m happy to report that I’ve never left one wedding without eating at least something, but you certainly have to harness that will power of yours, come with a full belly, and plaster a permanent smile on your face as trays of steaming hot horderves pass you. To help you along your way this wedding season, I’m here to offer a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up through the years. 

Surviving The Cocktail Hour

Okay, so this is a toughy. I’m not a huge drinker but I do like a glass of wine or champagne which unfortunately for me has been off limits as well for a majority of the weddings we’ve attended making cocktail hour even tougher. But for this chunk of time there are a few things that you can do. What I always do is eat a dinner of sorts before we go to the wedding, if the timing is appropriate, so I’m not really hungry when it’s time for cocktail hour. This time around it was salad central before both weddings which tided me over for a short time, but for some reason it didn’t buy me much time probably because of that little bump I had going on. 

Along with a pre-wedding dinner, you can also scurry into the cocktail hour as soon as possible and survey the tables of food. I tend to stay away from most everything because of cross contamination, especially once a lot of people start serving themselves, but if you manage to get there early on see if you can spot a fresh vegetable, fruit, or cheese table. All of the fruits and veggies of course would be perfect for you, sans touching by too many guests later on, and the cheeses might be okay too, you can always try checking with some of the staff. As far as the rest of the food though, most if not all will be off limits, so make sure you grab your favorite cocktail, circulate the crowd, and fill your plate up early with lots of fresh treats and enjoy!

The Dreaded Sit Down Dinner At The Reception 

So I’m sure you remember that little attendance/meal selection card that you returned just weeks prior to the wedding. It might seem presumptuous to think that the wedding venue might be able to accommodate your dietary needs but keep this in mind, they do these large events every day with scores of guests coming through with all kinds of needs so chances are you might be in luck. However, as with every event, you’re better off giving some advanced notice of your needs if possible and this meal selection card is your chance. I simply mark the meal I would like sans gluten and just note gluten free on there as well, which in most cases is repeated back to me by our server once we’re seated at our table in the reception, a great feeling that they at least are aware of a special need. At this point I would always request to speak with a manager so you can review your meal options for the rest of the reception, especially your main entree. Don’t be afraid to do this, trust me you’ll be hungry enough to check your shyness at the door and make sure you have some safe food options. 

Mommy, Daddy, and Baby #2 celebrating a new marriage!
Mommy, Daddy, and Baby #2 celebrating a new marriage!

Next up, be prepared to sit silently through the first few courses before your entree arrives. I know, not what you wanted to hear but there’s a strong possibility that the salad dressing may have flour in it (which you can always order dry but that’s not my cup of tea), the pasta of course is chock full of gluten and they may not have a gluten free option, and that roll that they plopped down in front of you, well that goes without saying that it’s strictly off limits. However, don’t be discouraged, after talking to the manager at several weddings I’ve successfully had delicious salads, sometimes custom made for just me, gluten free pasta courses, and delicious entrees at the end, you just want to make sure you review your options early on in the meal. If some of these aren’t options then it’s time to go with Plan B, always always always bring your own snacks.

For every single wedding I never bank on the venue being able to give me dinner so I always make sure that I have plenty of food to get me through the long night. Some of my favorite go to snacks are a bag of Chex, granola bar, cookies or pretzels, fresh fruit or veggies sliced up, and especially right now while I’m pregnant, a little candy here and there. Is it the most fun thing in the world to carry a larger bag stuffed with baggies of gluten free goodies that you then have to whip out during your sit down meal while everyone else is gobbling down their plated meals? Of course not, and do I feel a little bit like a picky kid at the dinner table? Yes. But hey who cares, as long as you’re eating and able to enjoy everything else at the wedding thanks to a full belly, who cares how it gets full anyway.     

Social situations are always a challenge when you follow a different diet than the majority of the world around you. You can live gluten free in your own cocoon easy enough sure, but when it comes time to venture out into the world and experience non-gluten free situations then we’re reminded of just how much the world isn’t quite made for you. Eating is tough enough but the social challenge of attending an event and not eating or interrogating every staff member around you about the gluten status of a dish doesn’t make you feel like you’re the most attractive guest on the planet. But until there’s an epic evolution overnight where the entire world adopts a gluten free lifestyle, those who live the gluten free life have no choice but to make do and take chances everywhere we go.  

So are wedding still beautiful, romantic, and wonderful events for Dan and I to have some alone time? Of course, but they have lost some of their luster for me since going gluten free, at least from the aspect of looking forward to tons of tasty food. However, thanks to many a knowledgeable wedding venue and staff, I haven’t yet starved through a wedding so there’s hope on the horizon for a gluten free food filled wedding, okay well a girl can dream can’t she. 


Lindsay (32 weeks)

Our Gluten Free, 2015 Disney Vacation Wrap Up

Disney vacations are amazing in every single way. While many probably prefer a more mellow and relaxing trip, we love the hustle and bustle of Disney World and the busy schedule of fun that you have for a week, sure it’s exhausting but watching our little girl love every single moment (for the most part, excluding some of the characters here and there) is worth it. This trip was just the same, pretty exhausting, especially for this mommy-to-be, but a world of fun that we’ll all remember for many years to come. 

A mid-morning snack at Gaston's Tavern.
A mid-morning snack of a Gluten Free Lefou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern. 

Our last day of our vacation we always try to plan our flight towards the end of the day so we can squeeze in a little more magic and fly back when we’re all good and exhausted. This round we managed to have that exact schedule so we planned a half a day at Magic Kingdom where we could ride, snack, and lunch to our heart’s content before heading back to the freezing cold Northeast. We squeezed in some must-do rides before a mid-morning snack at Gaston’s Tavern. Dan and little one couldn’t have enjoyed the gigantic cinnamon bun anymore, I mean really who wouldn’t except someone like myself who would get tremendously sick from just licking it. Even though the cinnamon bun looked mighty tempting to my pregnant self, I steered clear of all of that gluten and went with a safe Lefou’s Brew. The apple slushie and sour passion fruit/marshmallow foam on top was perfect for me and our little girl who was chomping at the bit to try some. It was a perfectly, refreshing snack, especially since the classic Florida heat had made a triumphant return after those few chilly days earlier on in the trip. 

Not my favorite gluten free lunch at Casey's Corner.
Not my favorite gluten free lunch at Casey’s Corner.

We wandered the park, dodging in and out of air conditioned stores and fastpassed and non-fastpassed rides until early afternoon came around and it was time for a quick lunch before our big goodbye. Dan loves hot dogs and I knew that he’d really enjoy a lunch at Casey’s Corner, so even though I was a bit skeptical on the gluten free side of things here I wanted to give him one last non-gluten free treat before our departure. Little one had sadly fallen asleep in route to the restaurant so unfortunately no hot dog for her this time, but judging by my husband’s liking of his lunch he’ll probably want to revisit down the road.

I spoke with the manager once we were at the front of the line, interrogated her on the ingredients and cooking process, and finally ordered a plain hot dog with a bag of chips, not exactly what I wanted but the cheesy topping I was wishing for was off limits. Soon enough both of our lunches were ready and we managed to find our way to a standing table top outside of the restaurant. The hot dog itself was great but the roll on the other hand was far from good, it crumbled apart instantly and had a really displeasing spongy texture, pretty disappointing especially since there are better gluten free roll options out there. Sadly for me, I wouldn’t want to return here for a gluten free meal but I’ll certainly be tagging along for my other two hot dog lovers in my family. 

Bye Disney World! Until we return as a family of four!
Bye Disney World! Until we return as a family of four!

The rest of our day was filled with lots of waiting and travel so a lot less magical than how we started it. Even though it was time for us to leave, which is always the worst part of any trip, we were leaving with tons of pictures and videos so we could relive the memories for years to come with both of our little girls. Every Disney trip has been fantastic and special in its own way but this one will always hold an extra special place in our hearts as our last one as a family of three and our second little girl’s first unofficial trip to Disney nestled close to Mommy’s heart. So for now, goodbye Disney and we’ll see you when we return as a family of four!


Lindsay (32 weeks) 

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