Monday, October 31, 2011

Schar Samples! - Glutenfree bread :)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Schar for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So if you are wheat-free or gluten-free like me you know how hard it can be to find bread that you like and that doesn't taste or feel like cardboard.  This is an endeavor that can be very costly; $5 for a bad loaf here, $6 there, it can add up quickly!  So what if I told you can try some gluten-free bread for free and that after you try it you wouldn't end up hating it? 

If you can haven't heard of Schar, they are one of the big names in gluten-free around the world.  I was pleasantly surprised to find them on the shelves of my local grocery store.  They are relaunching their brand of Sub Rolls, ciabatta rolls and even a bagette!  I don't know about you but I miss bagettes and ciabatta.  I can't wait to try them out.  I'm thinking bagette with brie and summer sausage and a glass of wine.  My favorite back in my wheat-filled days.

Okay so to the free part:  Schar is offering a new Schar club.  You sign-up and get the latest in products, tips for gluten-free living  and for a limited time a free sample of the ciabatta bread.  So you'll need sign-up then go to your toolbox and click on giveaways.  How easy is that?  Warm fresh ciabatta to dip into your soup on a cool fall day.  Sounds like gluten-free heaven :)  No more looking longingly at brie cheese and wishing for a gluten-free bagette, just open your Schar gluten-free bagette. 

This is perfect timing in my opinion.  With winter around the corner and soups back on the menu, gluten-free bread is a must and Schar is and answering the call.  Just heat, serve and enjoy.  So what are you going to try first?  Leave me a comment with your plans for the new Schar breads.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011


So, I've been called many things.  Most recently a hipster.  DH has become obsessed with the concept of being a hipster.  He keeps saying I'm a hipster.  That is so hipster.  See you are a total hipster.

Before I can really decide if I am a hipster, I need to know what the hell is a hipster.  So I googled and here is what I found:
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. 
That is the beginning of the definition on Urban 

I am 32 and a woman so I'm fitting the def so far.  Do I value independent thing?  Doesn't everyone?  I don't think I'm counter-culture.  I mean I cloth-diaper, homebirth, and breastfeed but those aren't exactly counter-culture, are they?  Progressive politics, who knows what is progressive these days?  An appreciation of art and indie-rock, I'm pretty with the crowd.  I love pop music; doesn't sound very hipster to me.  Value intelligence and witty banter, again doesn't everyone?  Are there people in this world that think thinking is bad?  And who seeks bad conversation?  If you can banter and have fun talking then why even open your mouth?

At the end of the definition, it mentions a liberal arts degree.  DH has me there.  I do have a BA from my beloved Hollins.  I think having knowledge in a little bit of everything is a good thing.  The definition also has a large section talking about style.  It mentions a couple of stores that I've never been in but then style isn't my thing. 

Am I a hipster?  If I am is that a bad thing?  If I take this label do I lose my hippy label?  I have no clue what to think.  I guess I am a hipster.  I guess it's not a bad thing.  DH does say that hipsters are douches so maybe it is a bad thing.  If that is what he thinks then why would he want to call me that?  Am I a douche?  Think this is a topic that will be coming back.

Random Favorite things

Just writing a list of things I like/love.  Not in any particular order or rhyme or reason.

Favorite Band: The Killers
Just love them.  Everything about them rocks.

Favorite song: Triangulo by Los Babys
Reminds of drives to Mexico to see my grandparents.

Favorite sports team: The Pittsburgh Steelers
The why is complicated but they are my team.  In good times and in bad.

Favorite Athlete: Troy Polumalu
He's a Steeler.  He's one of the best at his position.  He's a good guy and a real role model.

Okay that's the list for now.  I'll be back with more stuff later!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wheat-free not Calorie-free

Okay so the number one thing I hear about going wheat-free is "Wow, I hear you can lose a lot of weight doing that."  I guess people just want to be positive; you know find the silver lining.  I think it doesn't help that I've lost about 30 lbs since I went wheat-free. But the research actual shows that usually people that go wheat-free/gluten-free gain weight.

So why the gaining of weight?  I think it comes down to this: wheat-free is not calorie-free.  People are always looking for the easy fix, which means buying things labeled wheat-free and stuffing your face til you are so full you can walk.  What's wrong with this approach?  Well it is wheat-free but not calorie-free so you are still overeating and not exercising so you gain weight.  Processed food is processed food so you get calories from the sugar and the other stuff in the food.

I think the only reason I lost weight is that instead of buying lots of replacement gluten-free versions of processed foods I was eating homemade items and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.  Basically I was eating healthy without wheat.  It's only been in the last few months that I've been buying gluten-free bread, muffins and cake.  Weight loss has stopped since I discovered processed gluten-free food.  I make this wonderful fat-fill wheat-free cakes and stuff my face.  Not going to loss weight by eating chocolate cake, even if it wheat-free.  So in closing, wheat-free is not calorie-free.  Even we wheat-free peeps have to watch the calorie counts and use portion control.  Just because my Carl's Jr burger is half the calories since it has no bun does not mean I should eat 2 to make up for it.  Maybe I'll try the tofu noddles, I hear those are wheat-free and almost calorie free too but they are pretty price so we'll see.

Wheatfree Chocolate Cake, my downfall

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Random Recipe: Wheat-free Cinnamon Pecan Pancakes

So I'm starting to get more adventurous with my cooking.  I'm a follow the recipe kind of person but I'm trying to adapt my old recipes for wheat-filled things for my new wheat-free life.  I'll be posting my experiements, successes and failures.  We learn from everything so we'll see how much I learn :)

I have always loved pecan pancakes.  So I dusted off the recipe and gave them a wheatless whirl.  Word of caution, I'm labeling things wheat-less not gluten-free because I live in a mixed house.  Cross contamination heaven to say the least.  Besides I read labels and look for wheat not gluten so read your labels!

Martha's Wheatless Cinnamon Pecan Pancakes
2 cups Bisquick Gluten-free Mix
2 cups Whole Milk
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
3 handfuls of pecans chopped via food processor

Mix.  I added the pecans last but I don't think order really matters.  Cook and serve.
This yielded about 14 pancakes.

I put lots of butter and syrup.  I would post a pic but I was lucky to get any to eat so forget the pics.  My personal feelings where they were great but next time I will add a bit of sugar and a dash of vanilla.  My dad and DH both said for me to cut the pecans out.  My mom enjoyed them plain with nothing but a bit of butter and normally she hates pancakes.  So that's the skinny on the pancakes.  Let me know if there are tweeks or suggestions to make them better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: on daddy's shoulders

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Read anything and everything

So as a librarian, the question I get asked most often is how do I get my children to read or to read more?  My first question to them is what does your child like to read?  Usual answer, nothing.

So what is up with the lack of love of reading?  Is it a new thing?  Can we blame the internet?  Personally, I blame parents.  Okay okay, hear me out.  Not every parent is to blame for their child's lack of love of reading.  The love reading is complex thing.  Well in reality, all love is complex but anyways.

How can a parent help their child read/love to read/read more?  I think, this is totally just me, no research, just an opinion, parents need to read.  Your child needs to see that you read.  If the parent reads then the child will see that reading is important.  They see reading and then they begin to think that should read.  Simple, right?  Be the change you want to see.

Many times when I ask parents for a topic for books for their children, the parent has no clue.  Well I think she might like a book on fairies.  Do you have anything for a 3rd grader?  Reading level has nothing to do with developing a love of reading.  I have read things above my head (anything Shakespeare) and things that super easy but keep my attention (Don't let the pigeon drive the bus).  Telling a librarian a grade level doesn't really mean much unless your only goal is AR points.  (I hate AR but that's a post for another day).

I know the next problem is my child is behind.  My child has a special issue.  My child can't read so how can they ever love to read?  I have watched children who are mentally handicapped enjoy books.  Looking at the pictures and being read to are things anyone can do and love.  To bring your child's reading level up read with and to them.  So again the parent needs to have an active role.

My own reading journey starts with my dad.  My dad is a reader.  My grandfather was a reader.  I am a reader.  My child is a reader.  How do you have a line of readers?  You read.  It is not unusual to see DH, Audrey and myself reading in front of the TV.  Yes the TV is on and no one is paying it any attention.

I know that in schools the focus is on testing and that makes reading level most important.  Your child's reading level should not be the only focus when you choose a something to read.  READ ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.  Read a cereal box at breakfast.  Read the funny pages.  Read the Wall Street Journal to your baby.  The what is not important.  Reading in and of itself is the important thing.  Please let your child read a manga/comic book.  If they are excited then let them read it.  Parents read, read to your child and read with your child.  If you want a reader in your house then you have to be the example.  If you talk about how horrible reading is or how dumb it is to read then don't be surprised when you a child that hates reading.

Please ask the school and/or public librarian for help.  We love to help people find the right book but don't look at us cross eyed when we ask you for help.  We're librarians not mind readers.  Find your library and use it.  Choose graphic novels, picture books, long fiction books, maybe even a magazine and take them home.  Don't force it.  If you put the example and read something then your child might just start picking through the pile and read something too.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Do I have to?

So yesterday, DH and I took Audrey to the Cadwell Zoo in Tyler.  We had a blast.  Got to see an elephant pretty close.  I think Audrey was actually disappointed to not see a hippo; Cadwell doesn't have one. 

While there Audrey asked to nurse twice.  The first time she got distracted by pine straw and a friend so she forgot she wanted to nurse.  The second time, we found a rocking chair at the entrance/exit and sat right down and got to nursing.  I was a bit worried that someone would say something but no one even noticed.  It was busy so no one had time to notice.

We decided to take Audrey to a hibachi place since we had been missing good hibachi since we moved from Virginia.  I must say this was at about 5pm, which is prime Audrey nap time.  We knew as soon as we got her in the car for 90 min trip home she would fall asleep so we decided to try dinner with a sleepy baby.  Almost as soon as we sat down she started fussing for "BOOB!"

I so did not want to nurse her at the table.  At almost 22 months and super active, she is not one to allow me to be discreet.  If I lift the shirt a bit then she will lift it up above my head, or at least try to.  What to do?  What is a lactivist, LLL leader, committed breastfeeding mom to do?

I had put on a nursing tank so at least no one would see my rolls and I nursed my toddler at the table.  I'm mean what else was I going to do?  It was either nurse or suffer the wrath of Audrey.  I know the people at my table didn't want me to nurse but once food started coming out Audrey turned her attention to the food and we had a pleasant dinner.  I know if I had fought her off the boob, dinner would have been horrible.  At our table, there were two pregnant women.  DH said that yes they noticed but that they just blew it off.  Considering the turn around in Audrey's behavior, I would say that they had a positive impression.  So maybe women who would have never thought about breastfeeding might give it a second thought and try. 

So why didn't I want to breastfeed?  Well at a hibachi table you are sitting very close to other people.  When we are in a non-hibachi eatery, I have no issues whipping out a boob.  But with strangers at your table it's a bit different.  Maybe it shouldn't be but it was.  So why did I breastfeed?  Well I'm a walk the walk type of person.  How can I tell mom's to NIP if I won't?  So out came the boob and Audrey's world was safe and calm again.  If I can NIP a toddler at a table with strangers without a cover then anyone can NIP.  Just take a deep breath and remember that baby comes first.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Horrible person

So I am a horrible person.  Hear me out.  I don't mean in general but in one specific area.  I am not happy for one of my friends.  I am trying to be happy for him but the harder I try the harder I find it.

This friend of mine is B's husband.  As you might remember B died in childbirth just a little over a year ago.  I have really struggled to come to terms with her death.  Everytime I think I'm "over" it, something just snaps me back to how not "over" it I really am.  Just an example, I got an Averett University magazine.  B and I both earned MEds there.  Just flipping through the mag and got to the "Deaths" secetion and there was her name.  It's been a year but it hit me like it was yesterday.  I dropped the mag and cried.  So not over it. 

So back to B's husband.  He's getting married.  I'm sure she is a wonderful person.  He is a good man and I have no clue the pain and struggle he has had.  To lose your wife on the day your first child is born.  I can't even image.  So I should be happy that he is happy.  I am happy for him.  I really am.  Baby J will have a great mom.  But it feels bad to happy for him.  Like I'm giving up on B.  I don't really know how to describe it.  I want to go on his Facebook page and congratulate him but I can't.  Everytime I try I just backspace it all and close the page.  I don't know how to be happy for him without feeling like I am betraying my friend.  She can't be there.  She is gone and he deserves to be happy.  I am horrible person.  When will I be okay with it?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: babywearing win

Monday, October 3, 2011

Super dirty baby

Okay yes I am a lazy mom.  If you have read any of my other posts, I fully admit and accept that about myself.  Along with being lazy, I think I'm a pretty good mom.  My child is by my side and she is filthy.  She is happy.  She is calm.  She is giving me kisses.  I too am filthy; covered in fingerpaint and sweaty from teaching Audrey to play catch with our dogs Jasmin and Snoopy.  Oh yeah I forgot we both have bubble solution in our hair since I ran the bubble machine.  Filthy and happy.  I like it.  Okay, I love it.

I don't understand moms that refuse to let their children get dirty.  I feel bad for children who get yelled at for playing with dirt.  (My own nephew has a mother like that.  Kid just about has a nervous breakdown when he gets dirty.)  Growing up I got to get dirty.  I'm thankful for parents that understood and appreciated the value of a good mud fight.

I could keep Audrey inside all day.  I could hide all of the pens and pencils and refuse to buy her fingerpaint but what would that really do?  Kids need dirt!  So I have a super dirty baby.  I have a wash and wear baby.  It is amazing the things soap and water can clean :)  Let your kids be kids.  Bring on the dirt!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Birth goddess

I am a birth goddess.  I am tired of people telling me that I'm not. 

So where do I even start.  I had a homebirth.  I had no medication.  I had no doctor at my DD's birth.  DH almost didn't call the midwife in time because I was convinced that I wasn't in labor yet.  DD was just under 7 lbs.  I'm thinking I had about 12 hours of active labor but again the pain only got overwhelming during transition.  I am a birth goddess.

So why do people feel the need to poopoo my birth?  I tell them I had an amazing homebirth and then I tell them that DD was almost 7 lbs and then I get the hand.  "Oh well my baby was 8 lbs so I had to have pain meds."  I am not competing with you or your birth.  You feel like you had to have pain meds, okay.  Your body your choice, I have no clue what you were going through so I believe you. 

It makes me mad that people want to diminish my birth.  I had to push DD out.  It would not have matter if she was 10 lbs; she was coming out.  One way out during a homebirth so I was going to birth until she arrived.  I have met many a mom who birthed a 10 lb at home.  I remember I once asked my midwife if it was true that more homebirth babies were over 8lbs.  In her experience, homebirth babies were bigger. 

I get mad and then I feel bad for them.  Like maybe they are just trying to justify their own birth to themselves.  If they put me down then they feel better.  I don't want to feel bad for them.  I mean their birth is/was their birth.  But I feel bad because I feel like most of them didn't choose but were told how to birth.  I know TV shows birth as all pain but dude thrush was worse than birth.  My bursitis was worse than birth.  So I am a birth goddess.  Just had to get it off my chest.

30 days down

So Saturday was Oct 1st and the first thing I did was brush my hair straight!  I had missed the look but after I did it, I missed my waves/curls.  I think the waves are going to be more apart of my everyday style.  They are easy to do and take no time at all.  It also seems more natural.  No heating up my straightening iron, no worrying about Audrey grabbing the iron.  Just towel dry, add curl creme, scrunch and go. 

So what have I learned.  That I look good with curls and straight hair isn't all that.  I think Spanish telenovelas are to blame for my obession with straight hair.  There are no "good" women with curly hair.  The "good" girl has straight hair, shiny stick straight hair.  What is up with that?  Why do we listen to TV so much?  Well anyways.  I like my hair.  I like it wavy and curly.  I think I'm going to save the straight iron for special occasions.  Most excellent way to spend 30 days, falling in love with my hair.