31 May 2012

romi's barnyard party

Our awesome neighbors Merri and Justin have been so generous since the day we moved in: hosting us for dinner (which always includes gluten-free fare, even before I knew I needed it), lending us yard tools we don't yet own, and sharing lots of general mountain living know-how. So when they told us they were hosting a birthday party for their daughter Romi's birthday, I knew it would be a great party.

What I did not know was how ridiculously cute a party it would also be. But lesson learned! Check out the farm-themed fun.


Lots of activities for the tiny tots...



Merri helps Orland find some sticker-filled eggs.


The duck pond was my personal favorite. I kinda wanted to jump in there and grab all those little duckies. Except that it was about 40 degrees out.




Of course you know the food was all of the grown-ups' favorite part.




The pink cupcakes were gluten-free. Huzzah! 





The goodies to take home were awesome, too! Kids could enjoy goodie bags with coloring pages and more stickers, and we snagged some barn cookies for Mark and homemade peanut butter cups for me (oh, okay, I guess I can share).



So fun. I only wish that I could throw a parties with that much of a theme for grown-ups! (Maybe I can... stay tuned!) Thanks, Merri and Justin, for an awesome time. And happy birthday, Romi!

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xoxo,

23 May 2012

new life list entry

After yesterday's big announcement, I'm ready to start blogging again.

Today's news: the addition of a new item to my Life List:


Coconut cake is probably my favorite food in the world, and I cannot fathom a future without it. Give up most pasta? Fine. Bread? Big deal. Cakes? No way. Coconut cake? Not on your life. So the only option is to learn to make it gluten-free myself. Of course, I haven't even figured out yet how to bake a cake successfully at altitude (we're at 6000 feet, and it really does change things), nevermind gluten-free, but I'm hoping that cake will be easier to adapt than bread is, since bread really needs gluten, and with cake, you want as little gluten as possible (hence why there is special cake flour that's lower protein/gluten). I'll let you know how my trials go.

If you're interested to see how I crossed off any of those life list items, you can see the full list here or in the top nav, and just click the links!

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xoxo,

22 May 2012

pomo hostess goes gluten free

Hiya friends. Thanks so much for your patience, and still reading after my extended period of blog silence. I'm finally ready to share what's been going on. (And that title might be a rather huge hint, too.)

Several months ago, I started to wonder if I was having issues with gluten. This blog was never meant as a health confessional, so I won't go into details, but I knew that a healthy, active person in her early 30s should not be experiencing numbness in her hands and feet, or other weird symptoms I've gradually compiled over the years. So I gave gluten-free a trial run, discovering that the learning how to be gluten-free is super time-consuming, exhausting and at times depressing. Gluten is in everything. And even when it's not in food, it's on food, via shared manufacturing machinery or shared food prep facilities. And then there's the non-food you might not even consider. Think lip balms, lipsticks and lip glosses, as well as vitamins and medications.

After taking on the steep learning curve, I started to get the hang of it, taking the opportunity to eat a lot more fresh, unprocessed food. And when traveling for work, I started planning what hotels I'd stay at based on proximity to a Whole Foods, and started submitting expense reports for grocery store meals instead of restaurant meals. But I'd still have several "wop wop" moments every day when I'd look into the fridge or pantry and think, "What can I eat??" Or I'd contemplate going to restaurants I love, and have the same thought. And I didn't want to be THAT person, not only asking about the ingredients in the food, but also how it was prepared and if there was a chance for cross-contamination in the kitchen.

But it was all worth it. Because I felt amazing. All of my bizarro symptoms went away (symptoms which, by the way, hadn't responded to various meds over the years), I looked healthier and I felt way more energetic. People asked if I lost weight (I hadn't), and kept commenting that mountain life must suit me well. But the only thing I changed was getting rid of gluten (oh, and Splenda, too).

That all made me wonder if I might have a real, medical issue with gluten. So I made an appointment to see a gastroenterologist, and they told me that I had to eat gluten for two weeks before I could get any tests, or they could come back false negative. I didn't want to go back to gluten, but knew I had to, and I'll just say that the reintroduction was... unpleasant, which affirmed that there was something to my suspicion (and confirmed that it wasn't just that I felt better from eating more veggies). I was definitely counting the days until I could go back to gluten-free, although I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy the loads of donut holes I ate, just in case this was to be the last hurrah of wheat for me.

So now, here I am. Back to gluten-free, post tests, and just awaiting the results. My GI doc believes that I'm gluten intolerant in some form: worst case is Celiac Disease, best case is gluten sensitivity. But either way, the treatment is the same. Staying GF for good. I'll know for sure which it is in a few more weeks... apparently biopsy results are slow to come back in these parts. While gluten sensitivity is the diagnosis I would much rather get, I've already discovered that a lot of people think gluten sensitivity is made-up or fake, and having read a lot of Celiacs blog about not being taken seriously, I can only imagine it's worse if what's going on isn't even an actual disease. But either way, I'll figure it out.

There are about fifty thousand awesome gluten-free blogs, so that community doesn't need another one. But I'll be experimenting and offering tips for gluten-free entertaining... at least once I figure out what the heck I'm supposed to do with arrowroot powder. Who knows... I might even participate in a What I Ate Wednesday. Thankfully, a lot of folks have gone through this before me, and it seems a whole lot easier to go GF today than it was even five or ten years ago.

I hope you'll stick with me for the journey. Oh, and there's still going to be LOTS of DIY and home/garden stuff, just as soon as I can turn my focus back to that. (We do have a little garden going... stay tuned for pics!)

Thank you for reading!

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xoxo,

04 May 2012

guest post at pfister faucets

Hi friends. I'm guest blogging today over at Pfister Pfaucets. (Just kidding. It's Pfister Faucets. I just think they should carry the "Pf" thing all the way. Remember when their slogan was, "The pfabulous pfaucet with the pfunny name?" I'm sure it didn't really have all those Ps, but I liked it all the same. As usual, I digress.)


We put Pfister faucets in our master bath in LA, and love them. So the Pfister pfolks (there I go again!) asked me to share some DIY tips. And I did. So check em out.

Pfister blog by moi


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xoxo,

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