It’s time for another Disney gluten free favorite! Every vacation this list grows and grows so it’s getting tougher to choose my favorites but I can’t deny this Disney classic. Anytime I can just walk up to the counter, double check that the ingredients haven’t changed, and order an item as is because it’s already gluten free, that’s a huge win in my book. Lucky for any gluten free Disney goers, you can do this at quite a few spots! Check out my favorite treat to cool down with in the epic Orlando summer heat!
On those scorching hot Disney days nothing cools you down better than an ice cold, but quickly melting, Dole Whip. Pineapple soft serve, or in my case swirled with vanilla, floating in pineapple juice is perfection. Kind of like a tropical take on a rootbeer float, but so much better! These are my must have snack for all my Disney vacations, especially those extra tired, extra pregnant days in Magic Kingdom. Definitely counting down the minutes, hours, and seconds until I get to have one of these again!
Never Have I Ever Had A Flourless Chocolate Cake In Cinderella’s Castle!
Another non-Disney day, another gluten free treat added to my wish list, thanks to Alexis at Gluten Free In Orlando. This trip we made an ADR at Cinderella’s castle, the perfect dinner spot for our miniature princesses. Since our toddler loves her Disney movies and dressing up like her favorites, this meal was a no brainer. And even though dining in the castle and meeting the princesses is a dream come true, I’m personally looking forward to a certain part of my gluten free meal! How about this amazingly beautiful flourless chocolate cake with berry compote that Gluten Free In Orlando raved about? I love flourless chocolate cakes but I have yet to have one in the most magical place on earth, not to mention one that looks as appetizing as this. Absolutely adding this one to my meal!
Stay tuned for more Disney favorites and more Never Have I Ever Disney treats!
The countdown is officially on until our return to Disney World! This vacation though is minus one pregnant belly but plus one baby, a double stroller, and suitcase overflowing with diapers, foods, and bottles. And as a gluten free mommy I couldn’t be more excited for the deliciousness that Disney holds! So in honor of past and future Disney treats that I’ll be enjoying, I thought I’d share some of my gluten free favorites and a Never Have I Ever list of gluten free Disney treats that are in our plans!
A Disney classic! You can’t escape a Disney trip without eating something Mickey shaped. But if you’re gluten free, you’re options are limited in this department. Luckily breakfast locales throughout the parks and resorts offer gluten free versions of their breakfast staple. Behold these beauties, gluten free and just as pretty as my daughter’s regular waffles. They’re amazing and a must have for any Disney vacation. But, not all dining locations offer these, some offer your standard frozen gluten free waffles so make sure you do your research before making your dining reservations. Our favorite character breakfast at Chef Mickey’s offers these along with a delicious plate of my breakfast favorites, like a cheesy hashbrown! Check out one of my favorite Chef Mickey breakfasts!
Never Have I Ever Had Gluten Free Beignets!
I spend many of my non-Disney days living vicariously through Alexis over at Gluten Free In Orlando. Her blog is filled with gluten free Disney delights which inspire many a Disney trip around here. Hence these fluffy, powder sugar covered pastries that come in a gluten free version at Port Orleans! Pre-babies and pre-gluten free, my husband and I took a couple weekend trips to New Orleans and enjoyed Cafe Du Monde’s beignets. They were amazing, to say the least, and have been greatly missed in my years since. But we’re officially on board to try Disney’s gluten free version on our upcoming trip! Yay!
Stay tuned next week for more Disney favorites and more Never Have I Ever Disney treats!
Too many years ago, I first tasted the deliciousness of Asparagus Rollatini at our favorite fine dining restaurant. Unfortunate for me, their version was gluten filled, which made it’s way onto my no go list soon after. Among other restricted foods, I took losing my new favorite appetizer pretty hard. But little did I know just how simple this dish could be. Literally 5 ingredients, well my version anyway, and free of gluten and equally delicious! Just pick your favorite fresh asparagus spears (I prefer thin ones), salami or prosciutto your choice, provolone cheese, olive oil, and your favorite seasoned bread crumbs, and voila Asparagus Rollatini!
When I say this is a favorite for me, I should actually mention that it’s a favorite for everyone. It’s my go to dish for holidays and dinner parties and surely a party pleaser for all! So without further ado, check out my Gluten Free Asparagus Rollatini!
The most exciting part of our Disney countdown has begun. We’re in the last few weeks before our trip and it’s finally time to make my packing list, start the pre-Disney shopping, and once we get to that last week finally start the packing! Some people hate the prep for a vacation but I love it. And this one specifically is so special for so many reasons. It’s our first as DVC members, our first as a family of four, the first Disney trip our toddler understands and is counting down with us towards,and best of all it’s our baby girl’s very first Disney vacation. In fact she’ll turn 11 months while we’re there, and I personally can’t think of a more magical way to ring in 11 months!
Since I’ve been living on the Disney blogs lately and clicking on just about any article with the mention of Disney in it, I can’t help but notice the all too many anti-baby Disney vacationers out there. Since we took our first little girl when she was only 9 months I’ve heard it all when it comes to vacationing to Disney World with babies. “They’re too young, they won’t remember anything.” “We’re not taking our kids until they are old enough to enjoy it and remember it themselves.” “You’re only going to Disney for yourself when your baby is that young.” “You’re only taking them now because they’re free.” “Vacationing with babies is too much work, I’d rather wait to all of my kids are out of diapers.”
Honestly does this look like a face of a baby who didn’t enjoy her Disney vacation?
While I’m a huge advocate for traveling with babies there are some truths to the arguments some people say. Yes, babies don’t travel light and if you think you’re back won’t hurt from the constant carrying or stroller pushing you’re sorely mistaken. Yes, your relaxing vacations are a thing of the past. And yes, my babies won’t remember their first vacations, or even their second or third. But I bet we will, right?
So why do we plan Disney vacations every year while are babies are under 1, 2, 3, and even 4? That’s easy. We’re making family memories. Dan and I traveled plenty before we had kids and we knew once our family grew that we’d want to keep travelling with kids in tow. We decided long ago that we wanted to show our girls the world. For now it’ll be Disney World but in the future they’ll see plenty more. For now we’re enjoying watching them smile, laugh, and clap to the Disney parades, be held and snuggled by Cinderella in her castle, and sit front and center on Main Street, so tiny and staring in awe at the humongous castle in front of them. And every one of these memories we’ve taken pictures and videos of. Our girls may or may not remember these firsts but we will and we’ll always be able to show them.
Are Disney vacations easy with babies? No, but there is nothing better than seeing your baby’s eyes light up when they see everything Disney for the first time. It’s worth every extra pound in our suitcases of foods, bottles, formula, and diapers just to see those precious reactions. It’s exhausting, but that’s Disney in general, and it’s so worth it. So my vote, if you can, take your babies to Disney World. The memories that you make together as a family will mean so much to you and to your little one too. And yes, they are free, which is a bonus!
So for us, in just a few short weeks we’re Disney bound as a family of four, and are ready to watch our little blondie fall in love with Disney like her sister did, hopefully haha. But I have a good feeling. After all, she tries to snag her sister’s precious Mickey, who by the way was her first friend from Disney World, every chance she gets. I guess we know who her first Disney friend will be too!
Until then, pardon the pixie dust over here on my blog. Between house selling and buying, dance recitals, first birthdays approaching, and too much more, life has been crazy. Plus I’m kind of undergoing a bit of a blogging transformation. With two little girls now and a brand new adventure starting, which I promise I’ll fill you in on soon, life has changed quite a bit and my blog has too. So stay tuned for our Disney adventures, life with two little girls, and some brand new gluten free additions.
Okay so we’re officially into Spring, as my allergies could tell you. Even though the Zyrtec hasn’t kicked in yet we celebrated our first Easter as a family of four. Everything about Easter I love, the flowers (minus the sneezing and puffy eyes), the Spring Day weather (usually), and of course the excitement that the holiday brings. And even though it was chillier this Easter, both of my girls still loved it all, from start to finish.
Bunny Hat, JWhiteFlower, LLC on Etsy
This adorable bunny celebrated her first Easter and she loved every bit of it! We kicked off the day with early Easter baskets. Our toddler was amazed at the goodies, I just love the complete and total surprise look on her face. Even better, the bunny paw prints which she couldn’t stop staring at. Our tiniest girl woke up early too and through her sleepy eyes managed to meet her new soft Disney friends and dig into her Easter basket a little. After a quick breakfast, the girls were in their best Easter dresses and ready for church. And the rest of the day was filled with Easter egg hunts, a great gluten free dinner, family, and a new Disney movie from Mommy and Daddy. All ending with two very sleepy girls, getting a head start on their bedtime by a good hour and a half.
With Easter 2016 added to our photo album, it’s onto normal Spring fun and then DISNEY!!!! We couldn’t be more excited for our first vacation as a family of four! But before then we’re starting another chapter in our family’s book by officially putting our house up for sale.
The whole idea of moving is a horrible concept to me. The unknown of where we’re going, if our own house will sell, the actual act of packing and moving, finding a new house that feels like our home, and the idea of change now with two little girls. But even though moving isn’t overly appealing, this was our starter house. We started here before there were two little us’s, before there was our fur daughter, even before we were married. We bought this house, made it a home, and shared so many amazing memories. We brought our newborn baby girls home here, we spent our first years as a married couple here, we brought out first official furrier baby home here, and we celebrated milestone after milestone right here. Wait, why are we moving again? Oh yeah, but we’re kind of outgrowing it now. Our family has grown and we’re ready to start a new adventure.
The hardest part for me is leaving our house behind. It’s beautiful and holds such an important piece of our story, But even though it’s a little sad, we’re just as excited to see where our future will be. So now the real fun begins. Selling and buying, yay! Wish us luck!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Gluten free while baby was in my belly. Gluten free while I was breastfeeding. So now that baby is ready for food, does that mean they need to be gluten free too? The questions never stop for any mother, but for us gluten free mommies we’re hyper-critical of our baby’s eating phases for so many good reasons.
Seeing as we ourselves live strictly gluten free lives, that certainly doesn’t change when baby comes into the picture. In fact it becomes even more important to avoid gluten like it’s a plague since the last thing you need while your pregnant is a violent glutening. So it only makes sense that since our babies aren’t ever exposed to gluten from conception on that they may themselves be gluten free when the time comes for food. Trust me, this question was top of my list while I was pregnant.
Sure there’s a million genetic reasons why our babies are what they are. But I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that a genetic lottery alone would determine my baby’s food future. That my dietary restrictions would have no conceivable effects on my unborn baby’s future with food. After all, she was eating and not eating everything I was, it was a travesty. Both of my little girls missed out on gluten filled donuts, bagels, hoagies, and pizzas galore while they were in utero and beyond, fun for them huh? Don’t worry, both of them were born a healthy 8 lb and change, early to boot, so this gluten free diet does something for baby’s growth, like miracle grow. But I nevertheless couldn’t help but wonder if they ever would taste the delicious Italian flavors I grew up with.
Truth is, since very few of us are able to see the future and know exactly what our children’s lives will look like, those questions are still questions. And the best part, even if they eat gluten from their first bite of cereal there’s no telling if one day they’re story will be just like mommy’s. After all, I woke up to a total body change, that took years to diagnose yes, but a drastic change that made a whole grocery store off limits. Prayers that that future they escape. But all I can tell you is what they’re life with food looks like so far.
My toddler is living a half and half life, filled with gluteny snacks, pastas, and breads, and plenty of gluten free meals too, not out of necessity but merely by convenience. For my safety we limit how much gluten cooking and baking touches our kitchen, not to mention cooking and baking twos of everything is exhausting. As a gluten free mommy to a non-gluten free little girl I’m trying to introduce her to both worlds. She tastes flavors from mine and gobbles up parts of her daddy’s, getting the best from both. And even though food seems to be worry free for her now, I’m on heightened alert at all times. I watch her every bite like a hawk and am ready at any point if we need to make a change.
For my baby girl, well she’s just starting out. We started her just like her sister, under doctor’s advice, to slowly introduce new foods, giving two to three days between newbies to watch for reactions. And so far, oatmeal, puffs, fruits, and veggies, gluten and gluten free, all seem to be safe. She’s loving it all, except oddly not the fruity flavored oatmeal which I thought would be a huge hit but instead I get that adorable stink face and shutter with disgust. And just like her big sissy, we’ll be keeping her under a microscope too. Her first birthday cake, first solid food dinner, and first Disney snack will all be free of gluten for now!
Truth is when it comes to our girls we don’t have all of the answers. Actually not even half of the answers. I’ve interrogated the doctors at every appointment about their food habits and each time I’m reminded how well they’ve taken each food so far. Nobody has the answers of what will come but we just take it slow and steady. So maybe their future will be different than mine? Who knows, but I’m here, they’re built in gluten free guide, just in case they need to join mommy on my lonely gluten free boat.
Hi Everyone! Been awhile I know but I promise I’ll get back on the blogging bike soon. Life has been so so busy and we’re just trying to find our footing in all of the madness. But as you know this time of year is super crazy around here with birthday after birthdays, holidays, and the ever so nasty cold/flu season so I’m back to fill you in on what’s around the corner for us.
It’s officially that time again! My husband and I share a birthday week and every year we celebrate our respective older ages (his just happens to be 3 years and 3 days older than my own) with a special dinner just us two and then three and now four. 2016 just happens to be the year I start my 30s. I couldn’t think of a better way to ring in the new decade then with my most favorite people by my side.
My 20s were definitely more eventful in some ways I never wanted and in others that I thought were only in my dreams. The best parts trumped the worst by far and gave me three perfect people that I’ll carry with me for the next decade and beyond. Obviously one of my top three highlights of my twenties was marrying my soulmate, yes I believe in those! Dan completes me in ways that I so desperately needed and together we’ve overcome so much. I thank God everyday for making this amazing man and bringing us together!
The two other blessings in my twenties are obvious (3 actually since I have an amazing furbaby as well). I’ve been so fortunate to be able to be a mother to two amazing little girls. It’s very true that a mother’s love is something so unlike any other, and I never could have imagined the love that overflows out of my heart for them both. But I never knew that these two amazing little beings that we created could give back to me exactly what I give to them. Nothing beats those “I love yous”, “You’re my best friend”, and unprompted hugs and kisses from my toddler and don’t get me started on those twinkly gazes from my baby girl’s knowing eyes and ear to ear grins that I’m sure are responsible for melting the feet of snow we had outside for about a hot second. There’s no denying the love from my girls beats any other feeling, and turns any of my worst days a bit brighter. I’m truly blessed to have found my place in this world, right beside my husband and my two girls stuck to me like glue, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I think ahead about my 30s I have to admit I’m mostly excitedly about what’s to come. I no longer plan more than a second ahead because I’m owe too familiar with the idea that plans are just plans and life may not necessarily agree with what you’ve planned. I do however have plenty of hopes for the next decade. I hope my girls will have a fantastic childhood filled with amazing memories. I hope we’re able to give them a younger sibling, or as my toddler says a girl first than a boy, hate to disappoint but just one more is in the realm of possibility. And I hope that a few mommy projects pan out. I have so many side projects that I’m working on and hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to share them with you too!
It’s true, you never know what life will hand you. Everyday holds it’s own mystery and I’ve realized that so much is out of your hands. I know now and I want to show my daughters that enjoying everyday is a must. Things will happen that will challenge you but it’s those things that tell your story. Don’t get me wrong I’d stand a few less challenges in my story but God has a plan for us all and I’m just going to go along for the ride he planned for me.
Cheers to turning 30 and getting to spend another year in this beautiful life!
Every mommy-to-be has her go to favorites to fill those pregnancy cravings. Katz Gluten Free saw me through two pregnancies and all of those times between. It’s no secret they’re a favorite for me. They’ve captured my heart on the sweet side that’s for sure, with my pastry favorite Chocolate Buns, the delicate Sprinkle Cookies just like I used to get from an Italian bakery, and the cupcakes, oh my, picture perfect Chocolate Cupcakes iced with chocolate frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles. And so much more! But they don’t just do sweets, their bagels have always held a sweet spot with me too! They were the first to offer this gluten free mommy a gluten free Everything Bagel that could rival even it’s gluten competitors.
So when I heard that Katz Gluten Free was coming out with a Grab ‘N’ Go line with donuts and bagels I had to check them out. Could it be that my favorites were going to be packed and ready to go for a busy mom out the door? All of us gluten free folks are well versed on bringing along our own meals and/or snacks to any and all events. Katz makes our lives so much easier with this now. The benefits with these delicacies wrapped in individual portions are endless. I’m thinking vacations! I love that these will make those weeks away a breeze. Ahem, not to mention those early morning flights to Disney that can now start with a fresh powdered donut or egg sandwich on a bagel. Love it!
The best part, these individual portions are kept so fresh in their wrapping! Nice soft powdered donuts ready to be enjoyed as a quick breakfast or treat at a school party. Plain bagels that are perfect to throw in your bag for lunch or bring along to put together a breakfast sandwich at a restaurant. Hey, we can all totally admit that we’ve brought our own bread and put together our own burgers, sandwiches, and beyond, right? Well if you haven’t, you will with these!
Admittedly, I was slightly disappointed by the size of the plain bagel. I’ve purchased their regular bagels in their plain and everything flavors for years and they’ve always been biger bigger but don’t let the size deter you. The convenience, texture, and flavor speak for themselves and are on my list of must gets before our Disney vaca in a few months!
Interested in Katz’s Grab ‘N’ Go line, check out all they have to offer here!
With our breastfeeding days far behind us now, and our little girl fast approaching 8 months, we’ve definitely hit our formula stride. Formula feeding is definitely easier in some ways but way more expensive and a bit less convenient in others (i.e. when Mommy and her girls venture out alone for a morning of errands and fun and forgets to bring along a lunchtime bottle because she didn’t anticipate that long of a morning, yeah that’s what I mean). Even though you don’t tote along an endless milk supply anymore to prevent uh-oh moments like those, the plus no more pumping, no more thawing, no more freezing, and no more endless stress and worry on this Mommy. I know that the formula is doing its job for my little one and I no longer have the fear of whether my milk is healthy enough, filling enough, if I fed her enough, and so on and so on.
I am a total advocate for breastmilk don’t get me wrong but for so many mothers it’s just not in the cards. Sadly for so many breastfeeding can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle rather than a blissful experience. And when it comes down to it I’d rather feed my baby formula than have her go hungry if my milk supply is too low. Now that we’re full time formula and food eaters I know that my little girl is full because she’s thriving everyday and growing like a weed. She’s as adorable as they come, strong as a baby bull, and so very smart, so for this little girl (and her big sister too), formula does a baby good.
Just choosing your formula and figuring out that feeding road can be a task and a half though. With our second little girl we stuck with the same formula that worked for our first which thankfully made her sister equally as happy. But picking out the formula to how to introduce and finally figuring out how much to give can be really tough so I wanted to share some of my tips as a 2 time half breastfeeding/ formula mom.
Step 1, Picking Your Formula
No kidding, there are about fifty different options of formula out there, so where do you start? We always make big decisions like these through the pediatrician. Always start there. See what they recommend, they know your child’s health the best. Don’t be offended, yes we know our babies the best but they know how their systems work and what they need to be the healthiest inside and out. Our pediatrician recommended Gerber Good Start and for us both babies took to it immediately! We’re using Gerber Good Start Gentle most recently which is most similar to breastmilk, nutrient wise.
Step 2, Introducing Your Very First Formula Bottle
This can either go fantastic, eh okay, or be a total no go. My advice, be patient, heed the advice of your pediatrician, and save your frozen breastmilk for this time. Our ped recommended to mix breastmilk and formula when you first offer and gently shift the proportion OR go straight to formula and see what happens.
We did it both ways. With our first baby girl she was so tiny when we had to start formula so we were even more cautious and did half and half. With out second baby girl, she was twice her sister’s age, a whopping 4 months, so we figured we’d give the straight formula a try. Yay for us because she loved in since Day 1. A little suspicious at first but never turned it down. My advice, try straight formula first (unless advised by the doctor not to do so), then try half and half or less formula, and then if baby still isn’t a fan try another formula. Very tough to find the magic formula and make the transition but you will, be patient.
Step 3, How Much? How Often?
Isn’t this the unanswered question that’s plagued mothers for ages. And just so you know, no number that anyone gives you works for all. Every baby really is different. Every pediatrician will tell you that they’ll stop when they’re full but I can tell you both of my girls would’ve drank 10 oz bottles from the start if they could. So we tried it out with 4-5 oz about 5 times a day which seemed to do the trick for the most part. Our little girl was a colic baby from the start, not to mention a non-pacifier baby too, so fussiness was always very hard to distinguish from hunger. But I’m happy to say whatever we were feeding her and the amount seemed to pacify her because soon enough we were out of the over fussy stage and onto just normal baby fussy.
Feeding babies is tough, no matter how you do it. But with formula, it’s all about trial and error from the start and the downside is it can be very pricey. When they’re available though, coupons will be your best friend, yes $3 can make a huge difference when you’re going through two formula containers a month. Also if you pick a formula your pediatrician recommends they more than likely have samples of those so ASK! Every time you go for your baby check ups ASK for samples, any free bit is a blessing.
Best of luck formula mommies and babies! Cheers to full baby bellies no matter what’s in those bottles!