My Annie Sloan Confession

Wanting to brighten up my flea-market-find rocking chairs, I went with the color Florence and the Soft Wax.

Wanting to brighten up my flea-market-find rocking chairs, I went with Annie Sloan in Florence and the Clear Soft Wax.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, I am confessing more than chatting. For a long time, I resisted. For several years, I have refused to have anything to do with the “trendy” chalk paint. There was no way I would EVER dip a paintbrush into a can of Annie Sloan….

So blah and so boring! These rockers were in desperate need of love and color.

So blah and so boring! These rockers and small table were in desperate need of love and color.

Now, a little backstory before I get deep into my confession. I have been painting and repurposing furniture for about 20 years using everything from cheap craft paint (because I didn’t know any better) to spray paint.

One of my all-time favorites.

One of my all-time favorites.

For most of those years, I painted outside because I could. In Mississippi, I lived in the middle of nowhere, so I could paint outside…naked, if I had desired to do so *wink* I had no worries about dry-time or ventilation because the sunshine and fresh air took care of those matters.

Only the cows would have known had I been painting with my clothes on *wink*

Only the cows would have known, if I had been painting with my clothes on *wink*

Flash forward to the present. I currently live in the city…like really close to downtown and all the happenings and events. I have neighbors–really nice, but close neighbors. So, not only is painting in the nude totally out, but also spray painting all willy-nilly. What in the world was a furniture re-doer supposed to do?!? Build a special room with big fans and ventilation??? Only paint on days when the sun is shining and the wind is not blowing???

I had to break my vow not to use Annie Sloan paint because I could not look at my bland rockers any longer.

I had to break my vow not to use Annie Sloan paint because I could not look at my bland rockers any longer. Shhhh, no one has to know *wink*

And there I was, standing inside One.40.four in Jonesborough, Tennessee holding a can of Annie Sloan…thinking….This is it. The solution to all my problems. This little can holds the magic that will allow me to paint furniture inside (or out) without having to wait hours…days to finish a project. Yes, I bought that can of Florence. I took it home, and I loved it. I praised it. It was beautiful. The application was so easy. Oh, I painted and painted those rockers with that Annie Sloan paint! I was giddy, and I was in love.

Painting with Annie Sloan on the front porch

Painting with Annie Sloan on the front porch

I honestly could not believe how easy it was to use the Annie Sloan paint and how quickly it dried.

I honestly could not believe how easy it was to use the Annie Sloan paint and how quickly it dried.

It began to rain, so I moved the Annie Sloan paint party (of one) to the parlor.

It began to rain, so I moved the Annie Sloan paint party (of one) to the parlor.

I immediately became addicted to Annie Sloan paint and returned to One.40.four to get more. This time Pure White for the seat of the rockers and top of the small table + Paris Grey for the bottom of the small table and another furniture piece (which I will reveal in a later post). Yes, I went back again and both more colors…but, I can’t talk about that right now because I still can’t believe that I deprived myself all of those years of such amazement.

This little table, which I painted several years ago, had no idea it was going to be picked for an Annie Sloan makeover.

This little table, which I painted several years ago, had no idea it was going to be picked for an Annie Sloan makeover.

It was raining like madness outside, but I was determined to finish my porch furniture makeover.

It was raining like madness outside, but I was determined to finish my porch furniture makeover.

Fan blowing (not because I needed to dry the paint, but because I work up a sweat when I paint *wink*

The fan is blowing not because I needed to dry the paint, but because I work up a sweat when I paint *wink* The Dyson is there to keep the fur babies from coming near my table while it dries! Perhaps, I should bring the Dyson to the dinner table *giggles*

Whew! It feels great getting all of that off my chest. Who would have thought I would become a total fangirl of Annie Sloan paint! Now, let’s take a look at the porch furniture reveal while we finish off our coffee.

My flea-market rocking chairs finally look happy and at home *big smile*

My flea-market rocking chairs finally look happy and at home *big smile*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as I chatted about my Annie Sloan confession. If you have any paint confessions to make, by all means, share them with all of us in the comment section + if you have your own Annie Sloan projects you would like to reveal, share them with us on Twitter or Instagram using #SweetSorghumLiving. I can’t wait to see all of your projects!

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It has been an adjustment going from country life to city life, but I’m enjoying every single minute of the adventure.

 

 

 

 

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Gluten-free Top Pick of the Week + What Does Lactose-free Mean?

SSL's Gluten-free Top Pick of the Week is Ian's

SSL’s Gluten-free Top Pick of the Week is Ian’s Cheesy French Bread Pizza.

Hey y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from handmade goodness to gluten-free goodies. Today on the blog, I am chatting about the gluten-free top pick of the week–Ian’s Cheesy French Bread Pizza + the “lactose-free” food label.

Let’s kick this post off with my favorite food group–PIZZA *wink* If y’all have been following my gluten-free top picks, y’all know that I have a serious love for all things pizza. Honestly, I am a 40-something woman with the daily menu of a preschooler. I wish I could reveal fancy GF top picks that involved my baking from scratch or a homemade quinoa salad (which I love quinoa salad–and would gladly eat one, if it were prepared for me–because cooking is just not something I enjoy doing–mainly, because I do not have the patience to cook…I digress.) Where was I? Oh, yes! Pizza *smile*

This is how the little french bread pizza looks right out of the box.

This is how the little french bread pizza looks right out of the box.

What I love about Ian’s Cheesy French Bread pizza is not only is it free of gluten and wheat, but it is also free of milk, casein, eggs, nuts, and soy + no preservatives, artificial flavors or artificial colors. So, even though it is pizza–it is not filled with junk and fillers…so I deem it a healthy lunch choice, especially when  paired with a small side salad (I get the side salad from Chick-fil-A, but I use my own certified GF salad dressing–no, I don’t even prepare my own side salad. Why? Because I have discovered that if I buy all the fixings for salads I usually end up tossing out half because I don’t eat it all before it expires + Chick-fil-A is only a few minutes from my house, and Mattie enjoys riding in the car with the windows down and 80s music blaring…I digress…again.) *smile*

The ingredients list for the Ian's Cheesy French Bread Pizza

The ingredients list for the Ian’s Cheesy French Bread Pizza

Nutrition info for Ian's Cheesy French Bread Pizza

Nutrition info for Ian’s Cheesy French Bread Pizza

What is so great about having Ian’s Cheesy French Bread Pizza + a Chick-fil-A side salad with certified GF dressing is I can have a filling lunch for about 350 calories–not too shabby.

Fresh out of the microwave and ready to be paired with a side salad.

Fresh out of the microwave and ready to be paired with a side salad.

Speaking of pizza–while I was standing in line at The Fresh Market, I spied a gluten-free magazine with a delicious-looking pizza on the cover. Debating on whether or not I would actually make a pizza from scratch, I decided to buy the magazine even though I had not reached a conclusion on whether or not I would cook one; however, I knew I wanted to take a closer look at all the recipes and gluten-free products featured in it, so I tossed it in my basket without the hubby seeing *wink*. Most likely, I won’t bake a pizza from scratch…I am saying there is a 98.7% chance that I won’t–with a slim possibility that I might wake up one day ready to bake.

I could not say no to a magazine featuring a gluten-free pizza on the cover.

I could not say no to a magazine featuring a gluten-free pizza on the cover. Simply Gluten Free Magazine is very informative and has the prettiest photos, so it was totally worth getting.

Perhaps, I can talk the hubby into making one of these yummy pizzas.

Perhaps, I can talk the hubby into making one of these yummy pizzas.

Just one of the many things that I love about the September-October 2015 Simply Gluten Free Magazine is the article on “How to Decode Food Labels–Beyond Gluten-free”–which covered everything from all natural to enriched. Inspired by that article, I decided to do a little more research on each of the terms and to begin including food-label terms in the “SSL Gluten-free Top Pick” posts. Now, I am not a nutritionist (or a food photographer), but I do try with everything in me to understand the foods that I eat–not only because I have Celiac and Type 1 diabetes, but also because I am not getting any younger, and I believe that as consumers we should know what is in our food and what those labels really mean.

According to Simply Gluten Free Magazine, “lactose-free is not the same as dairy-free, as lactose is only one component of dairy. A lactose-free product could still contain casein, so if you need to avoid casein as well, opt for products labeled dairy-free.”

Bless! I had no idea that lactose-free and dairy-free were not the same thing. Luckily, I do not have a dairy or lactose allergy; however, my daughter is sensitive to dairy (casein), and we try to avoid it because she is.

If a product is labeled lactose-free, that does not mean it is necessarily dairy-free. People who seek dairy-free products may be vegan or have an allergy to dairy. Vegans avoid all animal products, including eggs and dairy, for a variety of reasons, including health, religious or ethical views. Individuals with a dairy allergy are allergic to either one or both of the milk proteins, casein and whey. Milk allergies are more common in children and some people grow out of them. Symptoms may include hives, wheezing and vomiting, and in some severe cases, anaphylaxis. The only sure way to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid all products containing dairy. Vegans and people who have or are caring for someone who has a dairy allergy should become comfortable with reading food labels because whey and casein are often present in unexpected places, including some canned tuna, certain protein powders and some non-dairy cheese products. Read more at: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2013/05/19/lactose-free-vs-dairy-free/?oc=linkback

Dairy is a broad term that includes milk from cows and other mammals, as well as any food product (cheese, butter, cream) made from this milk. Dairy-free products should contain no dairy whatsoever, including lactose and casein. They’re safe for people with both lactose intolerance and milk allergies, as well as those on a vegan diet. Be advised, however, that “non-dairy” is not the same thing as dairy free. Non-dairy creamers and other products labeled non-dairy are allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to contain milk proteins (casein and whey) and other milk derivatives. Click here to read more from Dairy Free Vs. Lactose Free by Elizabeth Brown.

What I learned from researching is how important it is to understand the meanings behind the labels. It is not enough just to read labels and assume–we need to know what we are putting in our bodies! I encourage each of you to do your own research on food labels, so you can be better informed the next time you go grocery shopping.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the gluten-free top pick of the week + what does lactose-free really mean. Now, Mattie and I are about to head to Chick-fil-A for a side salad *wink*

Mattie and I just sitting a spell on the porch swing.

Mattie and I just sitting a spell on the porch swing.

SSL’s Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: Black Sheep Market in Gray, Tennessee

A peek inside my basket at the Black Sheep Market Discount Grocery in Gray, Tennessee

A peek inside my basket at the Black Sheep Market Discount Grocery in Gray, Tennessee

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to home renovation. Today on the blog, I am sharing my gluten-free finds from the Black Sheep Market Discount Grocery in Gray, Tennessee.

I discovered Black Sheep Market on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, and I finally got the opportunity to visit a few days ago. The hubby had to take his rental car back to the Tri-Cities Airport, and I decided to ride with him in order to spend a little time with him. Bless! He has been traveling so much lately that a trip to the airport and a discount grocery store is classified as a date *wink*

Black Sheep Market has fresh produce, frozen meats, dinners, gluten free and organic, breads, drinks from coffee to juices, snacks of all kinds, cereals, protein bars, and so much more. Y’all know me–I immediately started hunting for gluten-free snack items, and I found ones that I have never tried + a couple of old favorites. I even got a dozen cage-free eggs for $1.99–yes, $1.99!

Abby and I were totally excited about trying out the Glutenfreeda Pocket Sandwich!

Abby and I were totally excited about trying out the Glutenfreeda Pocket Sandwich!

Glutenfreeda is one of my favorite gluten-free brands. The foods taste good, and most of the items require around two minutes to heat + they are easy to fix–which is really important because we are all busy, busy.

I can’t tell y’all how super excited I was when I spotted the Southwest Chicken Chipotle Pocket Sandwich at the Black Sheep Market. I had never had one from Glutenfreeda, so I did not hesitate to open that freezer door. I picked up two–one for Abby and one for me–to try. Overall, we liked the flavor and the ease of preparation.

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The total fat content is a little high, so I definitely will not be consuming these on a daily basis *wink* The calories, carbs, and protein are all pretty good for a heatable + portable sandwich.

Ingredients in the Glutenfreeda Pocket Sandwich.

Ingredients in the Glutenfreeda Pocket Sandwich. Hopefully, I will find some of the other flavors to try *smile*

My biggest score of the trip was my hamburger buns. Normally, I pay anywhere between $4.50 to $6.00 for Udi’s Gluten Free Hamburger Buns–depending on where I get them, and if they are on sale.

I cried a little when I found these buns...for $2.49! *happy dance*

I cried a little when I found these buns…for $2.89! *happy dance* Fingers crossed that this will be an item that I can find every week!

Honestly, I really don't fret about the nutrition of my hamburger bun because I am just so happy to have a bun with my burger!

Honestly, I really don’t fret about the nutrition of my hamburger bun because I am just so happy to have a bun with my burger!

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I admit that I have a slight obsession with pizza. It is my favorite food group *wink*

Y’all know that I was super pumped to find a gluten-free pizza in the freezer section of the Black Sheep Market. I have seen Glutino pizza before, but I have never been willing to shell out the cash to try one.

Check out that price!

Check out that price! I decided to try the Uncured Pepperoni. The taste was okay. The flavor of the sauce was pretty good. Be careful when baking it in the oven because it goes from almost done to super crispy in a finger snap!

Nutritional info + ingredients of the Glutino Uncured Pepperoni pizza

Nutritional info + ingredients of the Glutino Uncured Pepperoni pizza

I am always on the hunt for traveling snacks, and I discovered two new ones to try. I even opened up one and enjoyed it on the way back home *smile*

Overall, Udi's is a dependable brand. It is one of my favorite gluten-free companies.

Overall, Udi’s is a dependable brand. It is one of my favorite gluten-free companies. Did you see the price? Wow! Just wow!

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I was so hungry that I had to have a little snack on the way home. Let me tell, y'all, I am a fan of these Cheese Bites.

I was so hungry that I had to have a little snack on the way home. Let me tell, y’all. I am a fan of these Cheese Bites. I have only tried a few Schar gluten-free goodies, and all of them have been delicious. Hopefully, I will find more from this brand at the Black Sheep Market.

Look how adorable these are!

Look how adorable these are!

Perfect snack!

20150420_141014-1_resizedWhile at the Black Sheep Market, I picked up my favorite crouton replacement.

20150420_140930_resizedI am so happy that I discovered the Black Sheep Market. It has a wide selection of gluten-free products from which to choose. I will definitely be a returning customer because of the selection + price and because of the friendly customer service.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about my recent GF finds. I encourage all of y’all to search your cities and towns for discount grocery stores that carry GF products. Please let us know what you find 🙂

P.S. Remember what doesn’t bother me might bother you–so read those labels and sample carefully!

 

SSL’s Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: Freschetta Pizza, Sahale Snacks, and Bobo’s Oat Bars

20150318_135405-1_resizedHey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from handmade goodness to gluten-free goodies. Today on the blog, we are chatting about this week’s gluten-free top picks–which is all about pizza, pecans, and Bobo’s deliciousness.

First up, pizza. Y’all know how much I love pizza. Honestly, it is my favorite food group *wink* A friend of mine, Rachel–who is an amazing artisan, shared Freschetta Gluten Free pizza with me. I had no idea that Freschetta had such an option–and I am so glad that Rachel told me about it. Overall, the flavor is good, and the crust is delicious and crispy–but I must warn you to watch it while it cooks because it seems to burn quickly. Like from almost done to super done in a matter of a couple of minutes!! For a snacking pizza, this one is great, but to me–it does not have that “meal” feel.

P.S. This is not a dairy-free pizza + it does contain soy. It makes me happy to see larger companies embracing the gluten-free demand…but I would love to see larger companies embracing more organic ingredients as well. Support those local, small farms, big companies out there!

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20150318_135438-1_resizedNext up, is nuts *wink* well, just pecans *smile* Sahale Valdosta Pecans make for a perfect crunchy, salty + sweet snack, and they are a great substitute for croutons. I discovered these accidentally at Ingles in Johnson City while checking the snack aisles for new gluten-free goodies to try. There are a few flavor varieties in this brand, but this one by far is my favorite.

20150318_135838-1_resized20150318_135936-1_resizedThe last pick of the day is Bobo’s Oat Bars. My daughter loves these–she eats them for breakfast and for mid-afternoon snacks. They are a perfect on-the-go item that fits easily into a purse or backpack. There are several gluten-free flavors from which to choose, but the peach is one of Abby’s favorites.

20150318_152538-1_resized20150318_152614-1_resized20150318_152602-1_resizedThanks so much for sitting a spell with today as we chatted about the gluten-free top picks of the week. Remember what doesn’t bother me–might bother you–so please, please be careful when trying new foods, and don’t forget to read those labels!

 

SSL’s Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: From Salad Dressing to Zinc

A sampling of some gluten-free Super Bowl snacks that I picked up at the local Ingles.

A sampling of some gluten-free Super Bowl snacks that I picked up at the local Ingles.

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from handmade goodness to home renovation. Today on the blog, we are chatting about the gluten-free top picks of the week.

I decided last week that being “themed” with my GF top picks was too stressful and not very realistic because my grocery list isn’t themed–so how could my top picks possibly be!

I know it seems like I eat a lot of junk food–which I do…but I also eat a lot of healthy things–like salad. I love a good salad. Since being diagnosed with Celiac, I have struggled finding certified gluten-free dressings. I often use Grapes & Olives On Tap naturally flavored olive oils on my salads and GF pastas–the Meyer Lemon is probably my favorite; however, sometimes, I just want a creamy Ranch-style dressing to drizzle on my bowl of mixed greens.

After reading what seemed like a million labels and trying what seemed like a hundred different kinds, I discovered one that I truly love.

Great on a salad and for dipping fresh, raw veggies in *smile*

Great on a salad and for dipping fresh, raw veggies in *smile*

Hilary's Eat Well

Hilary’s Eat Well is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, egg free, yeast free, and nut free–but definitely not free of delicious flavor.

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Why can't more companies be like Hilary's Eat Well!

Why can’t more companies be like Hilary’s Eat Well! P.S. check out the total carbs–yes, diabetic friendly *smile*

I never thought much about “added” ingredients in my vitamins until I HAD to think about it. Oh, my! The places you will find gluten and soy and eggs and dairy….

I am telling y’all the truth–read those labels…carefully…read them twice…three times….Believe me. It is totally worth the extra time and effort!

Be sure to head over to the Country Life website for more info and vitamin selection.

Be sure to head over to the Country Life website for more info and vitamin selection.

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Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about this week’s gluten-free top picks. Remember what doesn’t bother me might bother you–so read those labels carefully and be extra cautious when trying new foods and vitamins.

 

Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week + A Rant About Joy Behar and NASCAR

Cakes in a Cup in Johnson City just launched their new espresso drinks--from lattes to cupcakes--Cakes in a Cup has us covered for our sitting-a-spell needs *smile*

Cakes in a Cup located in Johnson City, Tennesee just launched their new espresso drinks. From lattes to cupcakes–Cakes in a Cup has us covered for our sitting-a-spell needs *smile*

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living! If this is your first time visiting, the rules are simple–(1) grab a good cup of coffee (regular or decaf) or a nice glass of wine (2) sit a spell and enjoy good conversation about everything from handmade goodness to DIYs *smile*

Today on the blog, we are chatting about the gluten-free top picks of the week. I have tried to “theme” my top picks in the past–but that is so stressful and no fun! I am more random than “themes”–however, I do enjoy a good theme party. Where was I? Oh, yes. No theme on the blog today. It is all about the random foods I bought and tried since my last gluten-free post. Truly, I wish I could say that I made this giant list–narrowed the list down using research–then planned a special shopping day…but…no.  It is just how my gluten-free life rolls.

And by the way, for all the Celiac nonbelievers out there and for all the gluten-free lifestyle haters–poo on you. *sticking out tongue*

While I am on my soap box…

I am not one to be negative or to get involved in crazy politics and such…but Joy Behar and NASCAR have me in a tizzy. Celiac is real, and it sucks. I have Type 1 diabetes and Celiac. I did not sign up for either one of these diseases. Nor did anyone else that has them. Shame on you, Joy Behar. Bless her heart *in my most Southern Belle accent*

Check out the fabulous blog post “Joy Behar: An Absolute Gluten-Free Train Wreck” by GlutenDude. Well stated, dude, well stated.

Now, if that were not a big enough kick in the pants to what Celiacs have been fighting, NASCAR delivers a big blow to the gut *see what I did there, wink*

I am not going to justify a response to this ad. Once again, GlutenDude has the matter under control. Click here to check out his reaction to this Super Bowl ad.

How does all of this make y’all feel? Please comment on this post because I would love to know! Let’s not remain silent because Celiac and gluten intolerance is real–not baloney. If you feel really fired up and passionate, sign the petition found on GlutenDude.

*Stepping off soap box*

Speaking of gluten intolerance, let’s take a look at this week’s gluten-free top picks–and a big shout out and thank you to all the companies and restaurants who believe *smile*

One of my favorite restaurants in Johnson City is Buffalo Street Deli. They were so sweet and understanding of my having Celiac, so much so, they prepared me this "Meat Mountain"--the gluten-free version of their Carnivore Pizza.

One of my favorite restaurants in Johnson City is Buffalo Street Downtown Deli. They were so sweet and understanding of my having Celiac, so much so, they prepared me this “Meat Mountain”–the gluten-free version of their Carnivore Pizza. It was super delicious, and the best news is they have a gluten-free flatbread that can be used as a pizza crust or wrap!

Alter Eco chocolate bars are my weakness. I just tried this one a few days ago. Oh.My.Goodness.

Alter Eco chocolate bars are my weakness. I just tried this one a few days ago. Oh.My.Goodness.

I consider this an iron supplement *wink*

I consider this an iron supplement *wink*

Brown Butter--enough said.

Brown Butter–enough said.

There are no words to describe how delicious this sweet nectar is...no words.

There are no words to describe how delicious this sweet nectar is…no words.

I accidentally discovered these at Earth Fare while looking for gluten-free onion rings...really...truly...I was. I never did find those onion rings...

I accidentally discovered these at Earth Fare while looking for gluten-free onion rings…really…truly…I was. I never did find those onion rings….

A sweet and delicious snack that made me feel like a kid again.

A sweet and delicious snack that made me feel like a kid again.

I love to snack on bite-sized food. Don't judge me *wink*

I love to snack on bite-sized food. Don’t judge me *wink*

Hands down my favorite gluten-free chicken nugget--and I have tried several. I love the bit of crunch of the outside.

Hands down my favorite gluten-free chicken nuggets–and I have tried several. The bit of crunch on the outside is sooooo goooood.

Cakes in a Cup has delicious and moist gluten-free cupcakes that are baked and served fresh! Not frozen then thawed out! Nope. Fresh *smile*

Cakes in a Cup has delicious and moist gluten-free cupcakes that are baked and served fresh! Not frozen then thawed out! Nope. Fresh *smile*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as I ranted about gluten-free haters and chatted about the gluten-free top picks of the week.

And as far as the comments by Joy Behar and the NASCAR ad thingy–well, they can both kiss my sweet, Southern behind *smile*

A little Throwback Thursday for y'all--let's just say it was the late 80s...and I was much younger than I am now *wink*

A little Throwback Thursday for y’all–let’s just say it was the late 80s…and I was much younger than I am now *wink*

SSL’s Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: Healthy Grazing Snacks

I am having so much fun creating one-of-a-kind little houses. This one has a wreath made from salvaged, rusty wire, and a doorknob made from an upholstery tack.

An update on what is happening in the art studio: I am having so much fun creating one-of-a-kind little houses. This one has a wreath made from salvaged wire, and a doorknob made from an upholstery tack.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee…and if y’all are like me…it feels good to take a break with a hot beverage and enjoy good conversation about everything from handmade goodness to tales of warmer days! Oh, how I miss the sun…and warm temperatures! *sigh* Well, until the sun decides to visit again…I guess I will just paint more little houses yellow *wink*

Today on the blog, we are chatting about SSL’s gluten-free top picks of the week–which are all about healthy grazing snacks. I must confess that I do not like big meals…I am more of a grazer…snack a little here…snack a little there. I realize this is probably frowned upon…but in my defense…I do try to make healthy choices.

This is one of my go-to ingredients in my homemade trail mix. It is deliciously sweet + has a bit of a crunch. The name says it all *smile*

This is one of my go-to ingredients for my homemade trail mix. It is deliciously sweet + has a bit of a crunch. Sprinkle some on a salad or even enjoy a handful with a good cup of coffee.

Yummy for the tummy

Yummy for the tummy! Notice the three grams of fiber–see I told y’all a grazer can snack healthy *smile* Click here for more on dang.

Every trail mix needs a bit of dried fruit--just to add that bit of sweet and chewy. I chopped my dried fruits up pretty small because dried fruit is high in carbs.

Every trail mix needs dried fruit–just to add that bit of sweet and chewy. I chop my dried fruit up pretty small because it is a little high in carbs.

No added sugar--just the sweetness of nature *smile*

No added sugar–just the sweetness of nature *smile* Click here for more on Made in Nature products.

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Trail Mix: lightly salted cashews from The Fresh Market, walnuts from Earth Fare, Dang coconut bits from Earth Fare, dried apricots from Earth Fare

Trail Mix: lightly salted cashews, walnuts, dang toasted coconut chips, Made in Nature dried apricots, Eden Organic dry roasted pumpkin seeds

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These little cookies are packed with flavor.

These little cookies are packed with flavor. I like to enjoy them with a bottle of Smart Water while catching up on my social media and emails.

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I have never eaten 18 of these at one time. The flavor is so rich that I am usually satisfied after about 5-7 cookies. Click here for more on Go Raw.

20150109_173600_resizedThanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about healthy grazing options. In this busy world we live in, it is challenging to sit down and eat three, square meals a day. But don’t despair, and don’t reach for that potato chip bag! Instead, snack on homemade trail mix *smile*

Remember what doesn’t bother me might bother you. If you have gluten intolerance, Celiac, or diabetes–please read those labels carefully!!

Some of the little houses have painted fronts and backs. I am hoping to get brave enough to open an online shop--I am getting there *smile*

Some of the little houses have painted fronts and backs. I am hoping to get brave enough to open an online shop. Thanks to all my sweet fans and cheerleaders, I am getting there *smile*