Mr. Charming and I arrived in Vegas! (Again!) Tonight was the welcome dinner for #FABlogCon 2014. I am so excited and honored to be a part of such a fantastic event that helps to support and educate those who want to learn more about food allergies, celiac, food intolerance and health conditions associated with such.
At dinner I met some awesome people and I am looking forward to the seminars this weekend. I will be sharing tips, goodies and photos along the way. I'm most excited to get home and try out all new recipes using some of the yummy and healthy ingredients I've obtained at the event so far. Some of my favorites are here, like Enjoy Life Foods and Beanfields as well as SO many new companies I look forward to meeting with.
I put together the graphic above for those of you headed out to your own conferences. I've been to a few of these and there are some essentials that a girl should pack in her travel bag. The items above are the items I've found most important to get you through long days filled with seminars, meetings and parties. I currently have the Mineral Fusion Blaze polish on my toes as I type this. It pops so well with my navy swarovski sandals!
The generous sponsors gave us so much swag upon arrival! This is only a fraction of it, and I'm so excited to (munch on) and review all these goodies. I also have some GREAT giveaways coming soon including a TON of nut-free options for my new followers who have been requesting such goodies!
My first dinner here was delicious! The Southpoint Hotel in Las Vegas is known for it's Allergen Menus and safe food practices. After mingling for a while, Mr. Charming and I went to Zenshin in the hotel, an Asian food eatery known for it's great sushi, teriyaki and allergen menu! I ordered seared chicken, carrots and jasmine rice. It was so good, I highly recommend it and will probably go back for lunch while I'm in town. There is also a gluten-free Italian restaurant and two steakhouses. It's fun to have choices while on vacation. It's like traveling around the Disney resort.
With a full tummy and a day of road tripping and mingling behind me, I am spent. Although I am currently typing this from the city that never sleeps, this girl doesn't believe in that. I love my sleep, so goodnight lovelies! If you're here at the conference, send me a hello on social media, I'd love to meet you this weekend!
Tomorrow is day one of FABlog Conference and I am so excited! Mr. Charming and I head back to Las Vegas tomorrow and I can't wait to blog along with the event and share with you all. I spent this morning printing new business cards (thanks iPhone 6 for not being able to port my number over), packing and prepping my agenda for the weekend.
I also started a new travel writing job today that I am loving. I also, in the process, pinned a lot of the places I wrote about. Kind of like my last fashion freelance job in which I bought wayyyy to many things online. I probably spent the money I made in booking the job. But a girl who loves cute clothes who has to write about cute clothes and has access to said cute clothes. You're just not going to come out ahead in that scenario. No way, no how.
Mr. Charming has been working so hard lately. He is still working full time and going to school at night, so I'm excited for him to enjoy Vegas while I'm off conferencing, but I wanted to make us a yummy dinner while we situated our last minute travel details. I made him a grass-fed beef pasta dish. It tasted so clean and yummy and was PACKED with veggies. It's gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and dairy-free.
I must get some sleep, it's already after one in the morning and we have to travel tomorrow. I'll be sharing my favorite meals, tips and products from the conference and well as sharing photos. Follow on instagram, twitter and facebook by searching #FABlogCon. And if you're attending, give me a shout out on social media. I'm looking forward to meeting so many of you fellow foodies and bloggers!
It's funny how judgments are made by a single glance. Our society as a whole is so quick to judge. We can so easily judge strangers as they pass by, when we in reality don't know their stories at all. We can judge circumstances and situations based on past experiences without ever giving them a chance. And we can judge ourselves, too often, with way more harshness than we ever should.
This all brings me to the photo above. It looks like a sad little disheveled cupboard. Mugs and extras haphazardly lay strewn about. No order. No organization.
That's one of my kitchen cupboards at this very moment. And to me, that cupboard symbolizes another step towards the health of my family and myself. Because today, I continued purging our plastics. I sorted out all the old tupperware that can harm our food and our bodies, and what was left was a mix of mugs, glass bowls, and some old coffee (which also needs to go), all jumbled and crazy.
Now, because I ADORE organization and order, those mugs will all find a nice little home. I will add back in all the glass bowls, neatly stacked, and glass carrying containers for food for when we travel or when Mr. Charming goes to work. But today, it is messy. It is out of order.
Because sometimes, when we're on the path to a better outcome. A path that is carved out of love, and good intention, sometimes it can look a little messy. A little haphazard, a little out of place.
And that's ok.
This is probably one of the hardest posts I've posted on this blog so far.
1.) Because it's deeply personal.
2.) A lot of people feel the need to weigh in with all their opinions (or judgment, and I've had the thrill of taking more of the latter) on this topic.
3.) Because it's deeply personal.
The reason I am writing this post is also three-fold.
1.) This blog started as a journal, it was once very personal and I want it to stay that way.
2.) Finding love in community is healthy.
3.) Opening up is healing.
I have followed along with so many other womens journeys. Women who put it all out there. Whether its a food blog, a mommy blog, or a fashion blog. We all have a story to tell. We all have our reasons for writing about the things that we do. For starting a journal, or a blog. For walking the path that we walk.
Next week I am scheduled to be a major blog conference that I am so excited to attend. At this conference I hope to connect with others who are on a similar journey with me, as I do find myself to be the "odd man out" at most events, vacations, etc. I want to speak openly with these women, I want to love these women, and I can't expect them to fully know me, especially since the entire weekend is centered around our blogs, if I'm not entirely up front about who I am. And one of the main reasons I'm fanatical about my health.
You may recall an earlier post, from almost a year ago exactly. To Baby Or Not To Baby. When I was starting hormone tinctures, and testing my ovulation, where that happy little stick face said I was ovulating every month.
I'm not so sure about him.
I want a baby. That's the thought that this is centered around. I'm letting go and letting God, but sometimes it consumes my emotional womanly side and I get sad. Sad that we have been trying for a year. Sad that I thought the moment I started trying it would happen (we prevented it for years, because of enjoying our newlywed status, traveling and our careers, we thought for sure if we slipped, BAM! baby). Sad that I so badly want to give my husband his own flesh and blood child, and we don't know why it hasn't happened yet.
Let go and let God.
I'm not seeking advice. Or sympathy. Or answers, even. I'm just seeking community. Women who are going along their own path, that I can talk with. Share with. Learn from. And maybe even teach something to. Because isn't that what we're all here for?
To live? To learn? To love?
I have received a lot of requests for nut-free dessert options for readers (and their littles) who can't have nut based flours or milks. I tend to favor almond flour in most of my breads and dessert recipes because I prefer its consistency but there are many other gluten-free, nut-free flour options that make delicious cookies, pies, cakes and smoothies.
And for those of you who are regulars, here are a few new ones to try!
I'm so excited to head back to Vegas on Friday for the Food Allergy Bloggers conference. I will be posting along the way about my experience as well as posting reviews of my finds. Some of my favorite brands and speakers will be present along with new brands I'm excited to meet. I'll also be keeping my eye out for special swag and special giveaways for when I return from the conference!
I say go back because Mr. Charming and I just returned home from Vegas yesterday. We went to celebrate our three year wedding anniversary. We stayed at a timeshare resort off the strip called Club 36 by Blue Green. It was pretty nice, we had a full kitchen which made eating on the trip a breeze (though we did find some great, healthy finds.) and a view of the Eiffel Tower at Paris out our hotel window, which was beautiful at night. It's one of my favorite hotels because of my love for all things Parisian.
We ate most of our meals in the room over the course of the three days. For breakfasts we made organic scrambled eggs with organic chicken sausage or gluten-free oatmeal with fresh fruit. And for lunches, turkey wraps made with coconut meat paleo wraps and stuffed with veggies to keep us full.
Our anniversary was Wednesday night so we splurged and got Fleming's steak. I like going to the high end restaraunts because I feel they take much, much better care of ones needs. Which is why we eat at home 99.9% of the time, so when we splurge on high end steaks it all evens out. They cooked it without butter and pepper for me and it was amazing. We had it with broccoli and gluten-free pasta topped with dairy-free butter and it was heavenly. We exchanged cards and shopped a bit as our gifts to one another.
After dinner we headed out to take a tour of the Neon Boneyard museum. If you havn't been I suggest you add it to your list of things to see and do in Vegas. We had a great time and it was so fun seeing all the old signs. If you've seen the movie National Lampoons Vegas Vacation you'd be familiar with some of the signs you'll see on the tour. It's how I found out about this place. The photo above is Mr. Charming and I with the old "R" from the Sahara sign, restored.
We spent most of our vacation leisurely strolling the hotels and shopping but we did make it back to the Dolphin and White Tiger Habitat at the Mirage, which is always beautiful. We got to see the white baby tiger cubs and I fell in love a little. We also rode the gondola's this time at the Venetian, it was romantic and relaxing, and a good way to rest your feet after a long day of walking the Strip.
My next post with be a special on "Eating Gluten Free & Dairy Free in Vegas" with some of the best eateries I found along the strip. Stay tuned!
And if anyone is attending Food Allergy Blog Conference or wants more information on it, feel free to contact me! I'd love to meet some of you there!
ALSO! If you havn't yet, check out our September Recipe Of The Month.
So, if you recall my aforementioned post on Choffy, the non-coffee, cacao bean alternative, you will remember my gushing about the amazingness of this product.
And it is, really, really good. I ordered the Ivory Coast, the lightest of the blends and it's just perfect on a chilly fall night. I am enjoying a mug right now, as I force my eyes to stay open so I can spend tonight with my gorgeous husband who I miss when we are busy working or, as his schedule is right now, in night school.
I just wrapped my coverage of New York Fashion Week along with Eila Mell, author of Project Runway, and now I am working remotely on London Fashion Week and it's as crazy busy as it sounds. Deadlines daily, a millions shows, a billions outfits to write about. Which is why in September/October my blog posts are always lighter.
On the health/medical front I went to day two of my new physical therapist. As I've touched on, during this health journey one of the problems I've faced is pelvic pain. Though it's been a frustrating circle with doctors with a handful of different guesses, nothing bringing me full relief. I'm seeing some improvements already, with some additional spasming which she said could be expected. I am trying to always stay positive and in prayer through all new endeavors to finding the best solutions for my body.
Remaining in yoga and on the healthy diet helps with stress and inflammation and I know its on me as well to stay healthy to help the journey.
Speaking of good food, the new recipe of the month was posted. Check it out, even the littles love it!
Counting down to my conferences this month and next and SO excited to blog live for FAB Bloggers Conference in Vegas this month. I will be sharing my journey there with you from Las Vegas and may even do some fun little giveaways ;) You'll have to stay tuned.
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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