Throwback Thursday: Looking Back at 2014

2014 was a full of adventure and moving and moving on. It was a year where I had my gluten-free cupcake + I ate it *wink*

2014 was a year full of adventure and moving and moving on. It was also a year where I had my gluten-free cupcake + I ate it *wink*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living! Y’all come on in and sit a spell with me *smile* Today on the blog, I want to reflect on 2014 and say a big, huge thank you to all  of you that have read and supported my blog. I cannot thank y’all enough for all the sweetness, the kind words, the encouraging comments and emails…for everything! I am getting a little teary eyed thinking about how far SSL has come since its first post. I admit that I am not very good at posting on a regular schedule–life gets in the way *wink* but y’all have stood by the randomness, and I thank y’all for that *big hug*

As I was checking out all the blogs from 2014, it was really hard to pick the top ones. The Fall Foliage Report was a big favorite–and thanks so much for all the shares on Facebook…I am blushing thinking about it! *Drum Roll* According to the readers, the top SSL Fall Foliage Report was Historic Jonesborough. I must admit that I absolutely adore that darling town.

Burst of color outside the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church

Burst of color outside the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church

The Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week was a favorite to share on Pinterest. I admit that I don’t have much time to cook, and I like to keep the food preparation easy and quick *wink* I know I must be babbling, but I really did have so much fun trying new foods, eating gluten-free cupcakes, and attending the Whole Foods Market grand opening in Asheville. I can’t wait to see what gluten-free goodie adventures I go on in 2015! Don’t fret–I will share all the details with y’all *smile*

Matt Muenster of DIY Network's Bath Crashers and Abby at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show.

Matt Muenster of DIY Network’s Bath Crashers and Abby at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show.

Last year, I went on several adventures with my favorite VIP, Abby Hathorn. We attended the Birmingham Home +Remodeling Show and the 4U Ultimate Girls Day Out. We had many more road trips, but y’all will have to head over to the Vintage Inspired Passionista for those!

Looking back, the sleepless nights...loud, creative discussions...and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S. the hubby painted the walls + we put a new top on the island. I cannot wait to tell y'all about it!

Looking back, the sleepless nights…loud, creative discussions…and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S. the hubby painted the walls + we put a new top on the island. I cannot wait to tell y’all about it!

Last year, the little family and I moved from Trussville to Johnson City. Whew! I am getting tired just thinking about all the renovating of Sloss Castle and the packing up to move to Hathorn Hall–a 1920 home located in the historic heart of Johnson City. Be sure to check out the blog post all about the first time I saw Hathorn Hall. Click here.

This was the first picture I took of Hathorn Hall--this was during our whirlwind house hunt in the Tri-Cities area! I immediately fell in love with the front porch *smile*

This was the first picture I took of Hathorn Hall–this was during our whirlwind house hunt in the Tri-Cities area! I immediately fell in love with the front porch *smile*

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One of the most popular repurposed projects on SSL was all about repurposing an old chain link gate. I must admit that I miss that arbor–Note to Self: find an old chain link gate and make an arbor for Hathorn Hall *smile*

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My goodness! So much happened in 2014–and honestly, it is really hard to pick the top events. I know that my perspective changed this year–while in a car wash–yep, I had an enlightenment in the car wash. I know that I struggled with being a housewife, and I know that God blessed me beyond what I deserved.

Once again, a big thanks for all of the love and support. Y’all are the best! Happy New Year!! I don’t know about y’all, but I am excited to see what God has in store for 2015.

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SSL’s Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: Pizza, Soft Pretzels, Banana Bites and Macaroons

Just a shopping buggy full of gluten-free goodness from The Whole Foods in Asheville, North Carolina

Just a shopping buggy full of gluten-free goodness from The Whole Foods in Asheville, North Carolina

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine and chat about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, we are going to check out a few of my gluten-free favorites . I am always searching for new foods to try–especially easy-to-fix ones because we all have busy lives and being able to grab a good, healthy snack or lunch is very important.

I was super pumped to discover that Mellow Mushroom has a gluten-free menu.

I was super pumped to discover that Mellow Mushroom has a gluten-free menu.

My name is Chasidy, and I am a pizzaholic. It has been three days since my last piece of gluten-free pizza….Yes, I absolutely love pizza. I like cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, Hawaiian BBQ chicken pizza, House Special pizza….pretty much all pizza *smile* I have mentioned Mellow Mushroom’s gluten-free pizza before, and since that post, I have been a few more times…working my way through the menu *wink* The staff at Mellow Mushroom has been extremely sweet and understanding of my gluten allergy, and so far, I have suffered no ill effects from eating my all-time favorite food.

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So far, I have tried the House Special, Mighty Meat, and Cheese pizzas. I have had the Mighty Meat several times because it is just so good *smile*

The perfect afternoon snack.

The perfect afternoon snack.

I am a huge fan of pretzels. Before being diagnosed with Celiac, I enjoyed soft pretzels with salt and with cinnamon + sugar. It was a warm and comforting snack. Once my Celiac lifestyle began, I never imagined that I would get to enjoy a soft, yummy pretzel again! Can y’all imagine how thrilled I was when I spied Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels at The Whole Foods Market!!! To be honest, I teared up a little *wink*

Nutritional Facts

I know it seems like I am a junk food junkie…and in one way, I am. It is not that I don’t enjoy a good salad–I do love a good salad–especially spinach + strawberries + feta…it is just that I am a grazer…a snacker. But that doesn’t mean that I sit around munching on gluten-free chips and cupcakes *wink* My newest snack addiction is organic chocolate chewy banana bites by barnana. They are deliciously sweet and filling + perfect with a good cup of coffee *smile*

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A serving is about 6 of the bites, but I only eat about three because they are so filing + they satisfy that chocolate, sweet craving.

A serving is about six of the bites, but I only eat three because they are so filing + three is all I need to satisfy that chocolate, sweet craving *smile*

These bites are giant!

These bites are big on size and taste.

The last gluten-free top pick of the week is gluten-free macaroons from Cakes in a Cup in Johnson City, Tennessee. I am totally crushing on Cakes in a Cup’s gluten-free treats! It is so great having a local place where I can get fresh-baked, gluten-free goodies. If you are in or around the Johnson City area, stop by Cakes in a Cup–you won’t regret it *smile*

Vanilla and Pistachio gluten-free macaroons from Cakes in a Cup in Johnson City, Tennessee

Vanilla and Pistachio gluten-free macaroons from Cakes in a Cup in Johnson City, Tennessee

Look how adorable this lemon, gluten-free macaroon is + it is scrumptious *smile*

Look how adorable this lemon, gluten-free macaroon is + it’s scrumptious *smile*

Are y’all hungry yet? I know I am! I think I will go have a few banana bites before I go to the art studio to work on my latest project. Don’t fret. I will be sharing it with y’all soon + the Hathorn Hall Christmas tour. My goodness! So much to do and so little time!! And that is why I snack *wink*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the gluten-free top picks of the week. Be sure to check out the Facebook page and Instagram for all kinds of randomness *smile*

*Please remember that what doesn’t bother me might bother you–so please read all labels carefully + be cautious when trying new foods.*

From the Studio to the Cupcake Shop

The colors are really beginning to show here in Northeast Tennessee. I snapped this photo on Sunday on the way to Asheville.

The colors are really beginning to show here in Northeast Tennessee. I snapped this photo on Sunday on the way to Asheville.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine and chat about everything from home renovation to handmade goodness. I am often asked what I do all day–obviously, I am asked this because I am “labeled” a housewife…homemaker…domestic engineer. Click here to read my Real Media article “Just Piddling”–which is all about the “housewife” topic.

Yesterday I was questioned by the nice lady at the doctor’s office (Don’t fret, Mom. I am not sick. I had to go for the annual mammogram…hopefully, that was not TMI for y’all…but I didn’t want my mom worrying.)…where was I? Oh, yes. The nice lady at the doctor’s office wanted to know when I was planning on getting a job in Johnson City. I am assuming she was making light conversation…like chit chat stuff. I told her that I was not really unemployed…that I was a freelance writer, blogger, and artist. This answer was not suitable for her. She suggested that I look into temporary holiday work to get myself started in the workforce. I then explained that I had been in the workforce for many years as a teacher, and I was exploring my options as a writer and artist. This was not a suitable response. The well-meaning lady then suggested that I get a part-time job and go back to school. I simply responded “What a wonderful idea! Thank you for suggesting that.” It was not a wonderful idea, and I was not thankful for her suggestion. But how do you argue or explain your career choices to people like that? Simple. You don’t.

Stand tall and reach for the sky :)

Stand tall and reach for the sky 🙂

I understand that what I am doing right now with my life is hard to explain. It doesn’t fit the standard box. Each day is different. It seems like I am spending more money than I am making–which I am. But I believe in what I am doing. We are never too old to dream big *smile*

Today on the blog, I wanted to share a little bit of what I do. Perhaps to show that I don’t spend all day in my pajamas. However, I do wear leggings…a lot *wink*

I spend several hours of my day in my art studio--from sketching to painting. I am currently working on a series of small, wooden houses

I spend several hours of my day in my art studio–from sketching to painting. I am currently working on a series of small, wooden houses and some flying pigs. I have a plan for my art pieces…I am just not ready to reveal my plan *smile*

I love creating custom pieces. Y'all can check out the Facebook page for a sampling of past projects. I am terrible at taking photos because when I am working--I am in the zone!

I love creating custom pieces. Y’all can check out the Facebook page for a sampling of past projects. I am terrible at taking photos because when I am working–I am in the zone!

I try to add personal touches to each piece that I make.

I try to add personal touches to each custom piece that I make. I don’t believe in a standard box or a one-size-fits-all.

The initials were a three-step process--paint, paper, highlight. The paper gives the cross a bit of dimension and personality.

The initials were a four-step process–paint, paper, distress, and highlight. The paper gives the cross a bit of dimension and personality, and the silver highlights add a touch of shimmer.

The birth announcement details are detachable.

The birth announcement details are detachable.

The bow is made from tulle and ribbon. It is attached with wire--not hot glue!

The bow is made from tulle and ribbon. It is attached with wire–not hot glue!

After a few hours in the studio, I usually explore new places to find gluten-free foods–from restaurants to farmer’s markets. This sounds like an easy thing to do. Get in the car, drive to a new place, and check out gluten-free products. It is not that simple–research is involved, questions are asked, and risks are taken–especially when I am dining on gluten-free meals at a restaurant. I am trying these things not only for myself, but also for all of you that read my blog. The risk is real–and sometimes, I get sick…very sick. But I have to try…so I will know, and so I can pass the info along to others.

Today I checked out the revamped Cakes in A Cup in Johnson City. I tried two new cupcakes--Cinnamon Swirl and Strawberry Dream. Both were super delicious, moist, and so far I have had no reaction--which is fabulous news *smile*

Today I checked out the revamped Cakes in A Cup in Johnson City. I tried two new cupcakes–Cinnamon Swirl and Strawberry Dream. Both were super delicious, moist, and so far I have had no reaction–which is fabulous news *smile*

Gluten-free Cinnamon Swirl cupcake from Cakes in a Cup. Stay tuned for more on this sweet establishment *smile*

Gluten-free Cinnamon Swirl cupcake from Cakes in a Cup. Stay tuned for more on this sweet establishment *smile*

What I love about these gluten-free cupcakes is the detail. These are not sloppy, sorry-you-can't-eat-real-cupcakes cupcakes. They are pretty--and that means a lot to someone with Celiac or a gluten intolerance.

What I love about these gluten-free cupcakes is the detail. These are not sloppy, sorry-you-can’t-eat-real-cupcakes cupcakes. They are pretty–and that means a lot to someone with Celiac or a gluten intolerance.

Check out this gluten-free Strawberry Dream. I can't wait to go back and get more details for y'all.

Check out this gluten-free Strawberry Dream. I can’t wait to go back and get more details for y’all.

Isn't it pretty! And it is gluten-free. And it is moist and delicious. The icing is divine!

Isn’t it pretty! And it is gluten-free. And it is moist and delicious. The icing is divine!

After getting cupcakes, I went to the UPS Store to ship a package. While there, i asked a few questions about shipping other packages and learned more about their services for small businesses. Now, I have to weigh the pros and cons of UPS versus USPS for my shipping needs.

Once I got back to Hathorn Hall, I had a business meeting with my daughter. She runs two blogs and also freelance writes. We had to go over event requests, discuss fan mail, and work on scheduling photo shoots. Lots of brainstorming took place + we are working on a big plan for all of the blogs. That means more research…which means more time in front of the computer…reading, taking notes, emailing people and calling people for advice….

No, my day is not typical. I don’t punch a clock. I don’t have a boss–other than myself and the VIP…and the furbabies. But my days are full and productive. My house is clean, my laundry is done, and the furbabies are happy. I am learning all about social media and website building…I am helping Abby achieve her dreams and her goals. I am creating a new path for myself. So to the nice lady at the doctor’s office and everyone else who thinks I spend all day in my pajamas watching television, I am working *smile*

I do not spend all day in my pajamas, but I do love my leggings and oversize sweatshirts. A big thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for sending me this fabulous Mississippi State sweatshirt. #hailstate

I do not spend all day in my pajamas, but I do love my leggings and oversized sweatshirts. A big thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for sending me this fabulous Mississippi State sweatshirt. #hailstate P.S. please do not tell Abby that I “borrowed” her super comfy Tom’s flats. She may or may not get these back *smile*

To be perfectly honest, I have spent a great deal of time trying to take selfies. It is the trendy thing to do, but it is so much harder than it looks. Or it least it is hard for me...I could learn a thing or two from Kim Khardashian. Note to Self: Look up KK's Instagram.

To be perfectly honest, I have spent a great deal of time trying to take selfies. It is the trendy thing to do, but it is so much harder than it looks. Or it least it is hard for me…I could learn a thing or two from Kim Kardashian about how to take selfies. Note to Self: Look up Kim Kardashian’s Instagram.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. I hope that I have inspired all of you to go out and do what you love even if others do not understand it…or approve of it. I have no idea if what I am doing with my life will work or produce a profit, but at least I am trying *smile*

 

SSL’s Gluten-Free Top Picks of the Week: All About Budget-friendly

A little sneak peek of Hathorn Hall's front porch fall decor. Head over to Vintage Inspired Passionista for a few more sneak peeks.

A little peek at Hathorn Hall’s front porch fall decor. Head over to Vintage Inspired Passionista for a few more sneaky peek photos.

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living! I am so excited for fall–the weather, the colors, the adventures…Oh, my! I am about to drive the hubby nuts with pumpkin shopping. Yesterday I wanted to buy the lot across the alley that is for sale to grow my own pumpkins. It was a fleeting idea, but a pumpkin farm would be fabulous. I could team up with my dad and grow all kinds of pumpkins and gourds. Can y’all tell I LOVE pumpkins and fall *smile* Today’s blog isn’t about my pumpkin addiction–it is about SSL’s gluten-free top picks of the week–from fruit snacks to hummus–all budget-friendly.

IMG_6521I typically buy my fruit snacks from Earth Fare. I like the all-natural, organic, no- artificial-colors kind. I will chat about those later *smile* But the hubby tires of my all-natural, no-artificial-ingredients shopping list. Don’t get me wrong. He is super supportive of my special dietary needs…he just tires of its expense. And y’all know how expensive eating healthy can be! Long story short–I decided to hunt for gluten-free items at my local Ingles supermarket + to find less expensive alternatives to the items I normally pick up at The Fresh Market, Earth Fare or The Whole Foods.

First item on the list was fruit snacks. I gotta have my delicious gummies *smile* I was pleasantly surprised to find that Welch’s has gluten-free choices. Each pouch has 80 calories, 19 grams of carbs, and 100% Vitamin C. The things I do not like about this product are the use of artificial flavors, corn syrup, and Red 40 and Blue 1. I realize that the lower cost of the fruit snacks accounts for the use of artificial flavors and colors–but wouldn’t it be wonderful, if all companies looked for ways to add real flavor and real color to their foods without charging an arm and a leg!! Overall–the flavor is good + the cost is lower + no bad reactions so far.

IMG_6514I don’t eat a lot of cereal because it does a number to my blood sugars–even when I bolus. But the hubby loves it and likes to eat a bowl at night while watching X-Files on Netflix. I was glad to find that Cocoa Pebbles is gluten-free. He gets his nightly snack + when I get a craving for chocolate or cereal, I can indulge without paying the price…well, at least I won’t get “glutened”…the blood sugar will suffer…but I can’t please all my diseases all the time *wink*

IMG_6516IMG_6520The shopping at Ingles continued, and the hubby was happy because the grocery bill was going to be lower this week. I figured a week or two eating chemicals and artificial colors and flavors wouldn’t kill me…not instantly. Besides, before being diagnosed with Celiac, I ate a lot of bad stuff. I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want to think about what I unknowingly did to my body.

Anyway…I am a huge fan of hummus. Love it. Not as much as pumpkins, but I love it *wink* Hummus and crackers is a perfect comfort snack. Hummus and veggies is a perfect lunch. It is the perfect, versatile food.

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Boar’s Head traditional hummus contains steamed chickpeas, sunflower oil, olive oil, sesame tahini (pure crushed sesame seeds), water, sea salt, citric acid, garlic, guar gum, and cumin.

IMG_6499I am always looking for quick, easy lunch ideas…even dinner ideas…because life is busy…life is full of interruptions. My go-to for this is Glutenfreeda.

I was excited to find a gluten-free pizza wrap at Ingles. And guess what company makes a gluten-free pizza wrap? Yep! Glutenfreeda. I was going to eat it for lunch today, but the daughter came home for lunch…and beat me to it! She said is was really good, and that I should buy more of them. Looks like the hubby will get to shop at Ingles next week *wink*

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IMG_6507IMG_6504Cookies make me smile. They are cute and yummy. Finding delicious, gluten-free ones that are quick and easy to make is a challenge. I decided to give Pillsbury a shot. Overall–I give them four out of five stars…five out of five on taste and price.

IMG_6500IMG_6501Writing the gluten-free top picks always makes me hungry! I think I am going to bake the rest of those chocolate chip cookies now–which I love the fact that I can just scoop out and bake a few. It keeps the blood sugar happy *smile*

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about my gluten-free adventure at Ingles in Johnson City. I discovered some good items that saved the hubby money + these products are available in most grocery stores.

Remember what doesn’t bother me–might bother you. Please read labels carefully.

SSL’S Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: Simple Lunch Menu

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Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we are chatting about one of my favorite go-to lunches. It is super easy + packable for school or work. Now let’s sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and look at my easy, gluten-free lunch menu. P.S. I thought I would get better at snapping pics with my Samsung Galaxy S5, but…it is much harder than those fancy food blogs make it look! Kudos to those photographers!

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I really like Glutenfreeda products. The name is fabulous, and the quality is great and consistent. The best thing is all of their items are manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility, which is very, very important for those of us dealing with Celiac Disease.

I have tried other gluten-free, microwavable burritos, but Glutenfreeda Gluten-Free Burrito Chicken & Cheese is my favorite for three reasons:

1. It is made from all-natural ingredients and GMO free corn.

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2. It has only 28g of carbs and 2g of fiber–which means I bolus less for it than the others on the market. Some of the burritos out there have 50+ grams of carbohydrates. As a person living with Type 1 Diabetes, I choose my carbs carefully! And I’m not wasting my carb allowance on a microwavable burrito!

3. It doesn’t “explode” like some of the others. Heating a burrito in the microwave isn’t as easy as the instructions make it sound. I’ve learned to dampen the paper towel before wrapping the burrito in it. It doesn’t guarantee that the paper towel won’t stick, but it helps! I also sprinkle salt on the paper towel before swaddling the burrito…Speaking of salt…

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Since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I’ve made it my mission to replace everything in my pantry and fridge with certified, gluten-free products. Getting “glutened” is no fun, so I do everything I possibly can to prevent it…to avoid cross-contamination.

I recently discovered Himala Salt at The Fresh Market in Johnson City. I was pretty excited because I’ve had trouble finding certified, GF salt and spices in my new town. What is so grand about this brand is it is NONGMO verified, Kosher, powered by 100% renewable energy and organic.

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Lunch Menu

Burrito + Salad + Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee organic chocolate

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I wanted to say a big thank you for reading, pinning, tweeting, and sharing my blog and especially the gluten-free top picks. Y’all have inspired me to be healthier and research more. I want to share what I find and try with y’all so y’all don’t have to spend countless hours hunting for quality gluten-free foods. Keep in mind what doesn’t bother me might bother you, so always read labels. I will do my best to include photos of the nutritional information of each item I chat about.

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It has not been easy or cheap living healthier, but it has been totally worth it because I feel so much better + I’ve lost weight. I want to learn as much as possible about the foods I buy, eat and feed my family because they deserve to eat the way I did when I was a kid.

I grew up on a hobby farm where the eggs came from the chickens residing  in the backyard and the beef was homegrown. We grew our own veggies and had fresh milk. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I had processed junk food and boxed dinners like Hamburger Helper. Life was hectic. My parents needed faster solutions to meals. Bless! They trusted the food they were buying. At that time, fast food restaurants were on the rise. Popular. Cool. Farming was frowned upon and hobby farmers were labeled as poor country folks not cool enough to buy Little Debbie.

The lunch my mom packed for me in elementary got me made fun of…now it’s the cool thing to have organic, all natural, locally sourced food in your eco-friendly lunchbox. Funny how time changes things…

I’m glad…proud to be returning to my roots…and I look forward to not only supporting local farmers more, but also growing some of my own veggies. I’m glad my parents grew our food, and my mom packed me lunches that got me ostracized…I learned so much from those experiences…and I hope to pass along what I’ve gained to all of you *smile*

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about a simple lunch menu and reminisced about my country folk days. I do miss those days! *smile*

SSL’S Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: Anniversary Cupcake + Wine

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Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we are chatting about SSL’s gluten-free top picks of the week + my 20th anniversary getaway to Asheville. It’s not easy to surprise me, and it’s certainly difficult to plan a surprise picnic for a person with Celiac and Type 1 Diabetes…but my sweet hubby planned and accomplished the impossible *wink*

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The hubby packed delicious fruit, cheeses, crackers, and wine all sans gluten. We had a picnic brunch at The Botanical Gardens at Asheville on a flat rock in the creek. It was peaceful and gorgeous + sweet and romantic *smile*

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From the Cupcake Vineyards website: Q: Are Cupcake Vineyards wines gluten free? A: We did not use wheat, barley or rye in the production of these wines.

From the Cupcake Vineyards website: Q: Are Cupcake Vineyards wines gluten free?
A: We did not use wheat, barley or rye in the production of these wines.

After our picnic, we walked and enjoyed the beautiful scenery surrounding us. I cannot wait to go back this fall when the foliage is in full show!

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The hubby knows I HAVE to have something sweet for special occasions. So, he got me an adorable and delicious cupcake from Whole Foods Market Asheville.

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All this talk about my anniversary has me tearing up because the hubby really is the best. He loves surprising me + he takes time to research and read labels for me *smile* He also loves to make me laugh, and he is rarely serious…except when it comes to saving money, playing any kind of game, traffic and anything work related *haha*

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Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about my gluten-free anniversary picnic brunch. Join me next time for all the fabulous junky treasures I spied while antiquing and junking with the hubby in Asheville.

SSL’S Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week: Pick-me-up Snacks

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Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we are chatting about SSL’s top gluten-free picks of the week–which are perfect pick-me-ups for the mid-afternoon slumps. So, go grab a good cup of coffee and sit a spell with me *smile*

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I loved Fig Newtons as a kid. Loved them. It was a fun and delicious snack. It was a cookie and a tiny cake.

But then along came Celiac Disease,  and it robbed me of one of my favorite snacks. It took a lot away from me, but I’m not here to complain…I’m here to celebrate and announce that Pamela’s makes a super delicious, extra large, Fig Newton substitute…really a replacement because the “Figgies & Jammies” are incredible…fantastical + fun to say! Figgies & Jammies…Figgies & Jammies!

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I wanted to include a photo that showed the nutritional information and ingredients of the “Mission Fig Figgies & Jammies”–bless, I get so frustrated reading labels in the grocery store. Always apologizing for being in the way…digging in my purse for my reading glasses…trying to remember if that’s the gluten-free crackers the hubby eats. The hubby doesn’t have any dietary restrictions, but he’s super sweet to follow all of mine *smile*

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The next pick-me-up snack is the 100% freeze-dried pineapple “Crispy Fruit” by “Crispy Green”–which also offers apple, Asian pear, banana,  cantaloupe,  and mango. I’ve only tried the pineapple, but cantaloupe is next on my list. I will let y’all know how that venture turns out.

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At first, I was hesitant about trying freeze-dried fruit…big fan of the dehydrated ones…but freeze-dried? I admit the visual appeal is not there, and the texture is a bit odd…but…the taste is divine…like fresh pineapple…a bit of a crunch…packed with tons of fresh flavor. Fresh…crunchy…pineapple!

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Check out the ingredients list. Just one. Pineapple!  *big smile* Plus, there are only 9g of carbohydrates and 35 calories in the individual snack pack. Just toss one in your purse or briefcase, and you are set for the 3:00 p.m. slump.

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I never liked to eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast…not enough substance to get me through until lunch. However,  Pop-Tarts were great for afternoon snacking. Call me crazy–but I liked mine straight out of the package. No toaster required. Occasionally,  I’d put one in the microwave for a few seconds. Well, along came Celiac…and out went the Pop-Tarts…and in came glutino toaster pastries…apple cinnamon to be exact!

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I admit this isn’t the healthiest snack, but who cares! Glutino toaster pastries  taste great + eating one makes me feel like a kid again. Sometimes, it is good to be bad *wink*

As I’ve stated before, I’m no food expert.  Not a food photographer.  Not a cook. Please don’t come over expecting fancy meals that I found on Pinterest.  There will be no cookies that look like penguins or veggies shaped like flowers. But, I will have a great pot of coffee and delicious snacks that are gluten-free…and we can sit a spell, chat, and drink coffee while the hubby cooks *wink*

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Now, I must get back to my painting project. Stay tuned to find out which rooms are being brightened with color.

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Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about gluten-free, pick-me-up snacks.

P.S. Remember what doesn’t bother me might bother you. Be careful when trying new foods.