I adore weddings. The epic celebration of love, of two people uniting before God for all time... it reaches every romantic bone in my body and makes it grin so widely. We were so honored to be invited to witness our two great friends, Chris and Amy, get married here in Arizona. The wedding weekend started with the rehearsal dinner at Buca Di Beppo in Scottsdale. Sadly, their menu doesn't offer many options to the gluten-free foodie, which I was prepared for, but the bride was so sweet and made sure I got a salad that I could have.
Chris and I have been friends for about 10 years. We met in Hollywood while I was working on music and he was working towards being an actor. He quickly became one of my very best friends and has remained so all these years.
When he introduced me to Amy, and her adorable son Gavin, at my Roaring 30's Bday Bash I knew she was his match. She is such a doll and I loved her instantly. They are such kind, warm people and Mr. Charming and I are excited they got hitched so we can have more awesome married couples to do game night with! ;)
The wedding was absolutely beautiful. The details that Amy chose were so perfect. The ceremony was sweet, you could feel God's presence so strongly, and the love that was present between Chris and Amy was abundant. Some of my favorite highlights were when Chris sang to Amy, the adorable coffee and tea bar where you got to pick your own cup, (I don't know why this excites me so much, it just does) and the people we got to meet that night. I got to slow dance with my husband, which we never do, it's one of the reasons why I love weddings and formal affairs, and we took a lot of fun & crazy photos. I have put in a little gallery below of some of the evening.
I had brought my own food since I wasn't sure what would be served, which still makes me uncomfortable sometimes, since you feel like that "freak at the table", but the people at our table were so, so sweet about it. One girl looked over at my gluten-free ziti and salad and said, "Oh, my mom has Celiac's, totally get it." And that was that, we enjoyed our food and laughed, overall a great evening!
Below I had to include a photo of the gummy eggs they included in their "Candy Bar" because, as a Paleo, I thought it was humorous.
Congrats again Chris & Amy! Many blessings for a long life of love, happiness and dreams coming true!! Love you guys!
Prepper Fest is right around the corner and Nosh & Nurture will be on site at the expo bringing you reviews on the hottest trends in prepping, sustainability and, yes, even gluten-free goodies! I love that the prepper community is supporting the gluten-free community and I am excited to visit the vendors the weekend of March 21st.
For more information on the prizes click here.
Make sure you stop by the Registration Drawing Booth just inside the main doors of the building to register for over $12,000 worth of prizes awarded throughout the show, including a Fish Powered Aquaponics package from Endless Food Systems valued at over $5,000 complete with fish tank, 2 growing beds and a wicking bed! Winners must be present to win most daily prizes awarded every hour.
See you at the expo!
Today is a very special day. Not only is it a beautiful Sunday, it is the third birthday of my adorable niece whom I love more than words, Miss Peyton Abigail. This morning started with a lazy sleep in until nine and piping hot bowls of fruit-packed gluten free oatmeal with the ever gorgeous Mr. Charming.
After breakfast we hit the gym where I got in a nice little jog and Mr. Charming lifted weights. We are such opposites at the gym. haha. I'm looking forward to getting new pilates and Praise Moves DVD's in the mail so we can work out together at home more.
After a good work-out we got ready to head to the park to celebrate with friends and family. Three is such a fun age. She had been waiting for her "birthday weekend" and got so into opening all of her wonderful gifts and blowing out her candles. I adore this little girl more than words can express.
Mr. Charming & I got her a Princess Castle to play in. The last time we were at my sisters, he built a fort out of chairs and blankets and she LOVED it. She loved it! We ended up putting it up at the park and I climbed inside to play with her. It was quite warm in there, as we've been having 80 degree + days in March, but she assured me that "I'd be safe" in there with her. I swear, she's just too cute for words.
It was such an amazing, refreshing and rejuvenating day. Soaking up the sun, I enjoyed my healthy lunch I packed of sweet potato chips, organic turkey and fresh avocado. I forgot how fun it could be to swing on swings, play in the sand and play kick ball. After the park we headed to bible study where a new friend joined us and we stayed late for game night. Overall, it was a beautiful, blessed Sunday full of new memories and a renewal for the soul that only getting in touch with your inner child can bring. I highly recommend it!
Check out my new post on 10 Ways To Play: Taking Yourself On A Play Date With Your Inner Child.
The other day I was hit with an inspired thought. I had made gluten-free oat pancakes for breakfast, in which I mix in cinnamon and vanilla as I use no sweetener, and topped them with fresh, warmed organic strawberries. Later as I was writing I got a craving for a sandwich. Cravings for foods I haven't eaten in years will randomly hit and I'll take a few moments longing for gooey mac n' cheese or tiramisu and then I'll move on. However, this time I wanted to see what I could do. So I made myself a little jelly sandwich with a leftover pancake which led me to my plans for dinner last night.
As many times as I've attempted a good, gluten-free bread that doesn't use yeast, and all the very pricey ones I've bought, NOTHING is as soft as that little oat pancake. I decided to whip up a batch, this time omitting the cinnamon and vanilla to give it a very neutral flavor. I piled on crispy bacon, turkey, lettuce and fresh tomato and had a very satisfying little sandwich. For the recipe you can click here to view the pancakes, just omit the sweet/savory ingredients.
One of the projects I was working on while I was creating this awesome new little burger/pancake/sandwich concoction was seeking out a celiac/gluten-free speaker for the Prepper Fest AZ Expo taking place out here in Phoenix on March 21st-23rd. I will be a blogger at the event and am so honored and excited! Especially since Mr. Charming and I just recently started putting our family preparedness kit together. For all the details, check out the flyer below. I will be posting info from the event as well as reviewing the preparedness vendors and the gluten-free vendors, throughout the weekend! Hope to see you there!
Before attending the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo I had never tried Chebe products. I usually make all my baked goods from scratch, but when I got to talking to the lovely ladies representing Chebe at the show I wanted to give their products a go.
I don't do a lot of sugar, but when I stumbled upon gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free cinnamon rolls I knew it was a good candidate for a splurgy morning breakfast that would hopefully be decadent & delicious.
I was pleasantly surprised. Enjoy my review of Chebe's Cinnamon Rolls.
The prep: It was fairy simple. Aside from the box mix, which is pretty pure for a box mix and includes tapioca starch and cinnamon, it calls for eggs, a milk substitute (I used coconut milk). extra cinnamon, butter (I use soy-free, dairy-free Earth Balance) and brown sugar (I used organic maple sugar). For those who can't do eggs I do not know how it would work with an egg substitute. Please comment if you've tried! You will need a mixing bowl, measuring spoons, a large cutting board to roll out your dough, a rolling pin, a mixer and a muffin pan.
Preparing the rolls: The mix was very easy, rolling out the dough to prepare for the filling was a little trickier. I had to use a little more coconut milk than the recipe called for, and it for sure didn't roll out as pretty as one would hope for. (it looked more like a map of the US than a rectangle) but once I got the toppings mixed and onto the dough, I used the roller to roll it up to cut it into the 1 inch rolls and it was fairly easy. I then just popped them into muffin cups that I had pre-sprayed with coconut oil. They also held together very well.
The presentation: I think they came out looking beautiful! They looked like mini cinnamon rolls and I was so excited to serve them with a side of organic scrambled eggs so Mr. Charming and I could have some protein with them. You can see for yourself.
The most important part, the taste test: They were DELICIOUS!!! I had 2 as I am watching my sugar intake but I could have easily eaten double that. They aren't the best second day because the tapioca starch became quite hard when I had saved them in the fridge, so try to enjoy them fresh. They are a GREAT dish to serve along with tea, some eggs and fresh fruit if you are entertaining for breakfast or brunch.
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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