Friday, March 27, 2015

Flashback Fridays

Hi friends and welcome to another Flashback Fridays!  Link up as many oldie but goodies that you'd like and be sure to browse the linkup as well.  Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to prevent itchy allergy eyes

As much as I love Spring my allergies do not, and my eyes suffer the most.  For most of my life I have spent this time of year in and out of my eye doctor's office to the point I should have just set up a standing appointment for once a week this time of year.  For a few weeks each Spring I would run around sans makeup with giant red, miserable itchy eyes.  That was until my early 20's when I started working for an eye doctor as a receptionist/appointment scheduler.  My job greatly increased during the Spring months and I felt like fist bumping every allergy-eye-sufferer that walked in the door as a sign of solidarity.  But I noticed these fellow sufferers weren't returning as I typically did and I finally figured out why.  

A little secret was being handed out in the exam room with a simple, seemingly common household item

I had my serious doubts about this theory but I have tested it for a few years now and cannot recommend it enough.  Here's how I do it-
Take a wash cloth and soak it with as hot as water as you can stand.  Put about a dime size amount of soap on the towel and rub together with the other side, and close your eyes and rub it on, making sure to get the eyelashes as well where so many germs and dirt hide.  Keep your eyes shut until you rinse with warm water.  My eye doctor swears by this method and recommends doing this twice a day during really bad allergy season.  This is such an easy and economical alternative to hanging out in the eye doctors office all season!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tasty Tuesday "Healthy-fied" Tator Tot Casserole & Recipe Link Up

Welcome to another Tasty Tuesday!  I'm so glad you're here!

Yesterday I shared about my new gluten free lifestyle here and the ups and downs of it.  The hardest meal by far for me to figure out how been dinner.  It seems like I can somehow easily put together a breakfast, meal, or snack.  But by dinner time I'm all out of ideas and I'm tired which makes me a little sad that I can't just have "whatever" anymore.  Between the fatigue, drama, and lack of ideas-it's a hot mess up in here. 

I don't know how I came across this gluten free casserole idea, but I am so very thankful I did.  Casserole spells comfort food for me and I was in need of a good dose of comfort food.  Surprisingly, this recipe did not disappoint.  Even if you aren't gluten free you should give this recipe a whirl.  I paired it with an easy green salad and dinner was served.  Here's what you'll need:
32 oz. frozen tator tots, thawed (Ore Ida is typically gluten free!)
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
8 oz. shredded cheese
1 1/2 lb. ground round (not pictured because I'm an airhead sometimes and already had it on the stove)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by browning the ground beef with chopped onion.  Once the meat is cooked (if needed, drain) add in everything else except the tator tots and cheese.

Pour this mixture into a slightly greased 9x13 dish

Then layer on the cheese

Finally pour on the entire bag of tator tots in a single layer

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until the tator tots are golden brown.  

This meal can even be frozen, and the leftovers are delicious!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Signed, a gluten free hipster

I have hesitated sharing this new part of my life with you all for a little while now for a few reasons.  Was it necessary?  Would it help anyone else?  Would it matter anyways?

But for the sake of always being real with you all, I guess I feel it is important after all.  Even if it isn't a big deal or nobody else really cares about it.  This is suddenly a big part of my life and it feels wrong to not share it here as well.

A few weeks ago I started experiencing some health problems, which I immediately concluded meant one thing-I was dying.  This happened to coincide with a major snow storm so of course for me that meant I had more time to sit around and think (aka worry) about my imminent demise.  Ya'll I'm embarrassed to admit just how many tears and freak-outs were had over the course of about 2 and a half weeks.  Eventually the problem was tracked down to an issue with gluten that in hindsight, I have most likely carried my entire life and just not realized it .  

My first reaction was relief obviously to think it wasn't as intense of a diagnosis that I might have been expecting.  But then my mind began to race.  The harsh reality was my health had hit this scary-low because of my ignorance to the issue.  The even scarier reality though was that if I didn't remove gluten altogether, it would eventually kill me.  It was slightly terrifying and even more overwhelming.  For about a day or so I ate very little, not exactly sure what was "safe" or not.  Heck I hardly even really knew what gluten was, and if I was 100% honest I'd have to admit I kind of thought the whole "gluten-free" trend was kind of a fad?  Not an actually health issue?  But here I suddenly was realizing it was much, much more than a fad, and I had to figure it out fast.

My first job was to figure out exactly what gluten was (I never admitted to being the brightest crayon in the box ya'll).  Next I spent some time in the kitchen rummaging through every cabinet and refrigerator shelf.  Unfortunately this ended in major tears and frustration as I realized that apparently I had a certified gluten kitchen if ever a thing did exist.  I also happened to be in the middle of a major mid-term week that was screaming for all my time and attention.  I remember telling the Mr, do I want to pass this class or eat today?  Because there's no way I have time to figure out both.  

But somehow, someway, God always shows up right here in the messiness of it all.  In this particular situation He sent a whole army of the most amazing friends and family a girl ever had.  The Mr. showed his support by declaring that if I couldn't eat gluten, neither could he.  My amazing sister spent HOURS researching and shopping for food that I would actually be able to eat since I was in study-zone and about to starve to death.  My best friend showed up with a gluten free CAULIFLOWER CRUST pizza that she found and made herself (cauliflower ya'll, can you even get over it?  I'm sure this has been all the rage for years now but as per usual I'm just now catching up).  Day by day, we got through that first week being "gluten-free-hipsters".  

Here's the thing-I share this seemingly random event for 3 main reasons.
-My God is big enough for the big, major life wipeouts.  But He is absolutely as equally ABLE enough for all of my silly meltdowns over the stupid stuff.  He IS.  No matter what my stuff is.  
-It's always been important to me to keep things real here.  The big and little.  
-Not every recipe on Tasty Tuesday from here on out will be gluten free, because not everyone in my life is.  It's important to me to not change everyone else's groove just because mine has.  However, there will probably be more gluten free recipes here than there were (seeing as that count was at a solid zero).  Speaking of, tomorrow I share a gluten free recipe that was influential in teaching me that not every new food would taste like the Pottery Barn catalog.

If you have any questions about the whole gluten thing, please leave me a comment.  I have a 99.9% chance that I won't know, but would love to help as I've been helped.  Also, if you are gluten free and have any tips to share with me or any must-have foods please help a sister out and share away.  
The newbie-of-newbies-gluten-free-hipster

Linked up with:  Mommy Moments, Making your Home Sing, Modest Mom 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Scripture Sunday

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Break

The first time I typed that title it read-Sprint Break.  I stared at it far too long wondering why it didn't look right.  This moment of stupidity just affirmed my decision to take a break!  The Mr. is off this week for Spring Break and we have been going in two different directions for far too long!  I've missed that man like crazy.  We are taking some time to get away for a few days and reconnect-and I could NOT be more excited!  

I'll see you gals next week!  In the meantime you can still catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  If you're on Spring Break too I hope you have a wonderful break as well!