Our Favorite Things – 2014

Oprah does a list every year, so why can’t I make a list of some of my favorite things for 2014? Some of this stuff really helped to make my year easier, more enjoyable and just plain fun.

What made our favorite things list for 2014? Check it out below.

Favorite Things 2014

1. Coach Clutch – This was a gift I received from a good friend for being in her wedding. I love it. I use it all the time because it is the perfect size and matches everything.

2. Kaliochic Chevron laptop bag  – My laptop bag was falling apart really badly and I finally found a bag that I really liked. Now I absolutely love this bag. It has the right cushioning for my laptop and the right amount of storage for my other stuff for work.

3. Chandon – Oh Chandon, how I love you. Yes, by far my favorite drink of 2014. Oh and it didn’t help that I got to visit when we went to Napa. By far my go to Champagne.

4. Alex and Ani – On our Anniversary trip to Newport, I fell in love with the bracelet I got there. It is light weight but matches everything I wear, casual or dressed up.

5. Eddie Bauer blanket – This was a gift from my hubby. He found this on a shopping trip, while I was off at a shower for his cousin. This is the most lite weight, warm blanket we have every owned. I think it gets used almost every night on our couch when watching TV.

6. Under Armour Workout gear – So comfortable and the best gift I could get from my parents for my birthday. I wish I was in my workout gear all the time. Granted there are still times when I go for competitor products but my UA pants are winners. These pants get me through long workouts and keep me cool.

7. Nikon d800 – I love this camera! I have used this so much this year, it’s crazy. A couple of trips home, an outing with my dad, portraits for several of my cousins, and a vacation, why yes it really has gotten a work out. I even rented a lense for our vacation.

8. LLBean duffle bags – With all of the traveling we did this year, I don’t know what we would have done without these duffles. We each have one but they really came in handy on the trips home, the vacation, and all of the other traveling!

30 Before 30 – Month 3

Man, already 3 months into this, it is flying by like a fast moving storm.

We get to mark a couple of things off of the list for this month, which also means that good progress is being made on my list.

6. Cook something new. As you saw here, I tried a couple of new recipes this month. The Buttermilk Walnut Pecan Cake was definitely awesome as well as someone’s birthday cake. He was nice enough to allow me to make something that I could eat as well.

20. Do something local we haven’t done before.  We got our first delivery of milk and eggs from a local creamery.

21. Visit “home, home” as often as possible. I love spending Christmas at home with my family. This year it couldn’t come soon enough.

29. Read at least 5 new books. I finished another book this month, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. All I have to say is that is one really messed up book. I did not see the ending coming from this one.

Going Gluten Free

After a couple of years of struggling with never knowing what my body would digest and what it wouldn’t and after visiting with several different doctors, I have gone gluten free.

I recently had the test done for Celiac’s disease and it came back negative but there is a lot of recent research out there that talks about Gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity is not being allergic to gluten but your body not being able to digest it as easily as others.

We have loaded up on items that are gluten free for me to try eating. I am doing pretty good with the rice noodles and the pasta wasn’t too terrible, I just wouldn’t eat it by itself. The crackers are ok but they definitely need some cheese or something else to go along with them. We haven’t tried the flour in anything yet but we did try the pancake mix that we got which worked pretty well. Untitled


A few of my other favorites have been spaghetti squash with pesto and chicken. Oh so yummy. I really really enjoy this dish.Untitled

The chicken and potatoes that I talked about here, were also incredibly good. Simple dishes like this seem to work well for me.

My mom and dad got me an awesome cookbook for my birthday that is gluten free cooking. Some of the recipes have been very good. This one on the other hand, scallops with red peppers over polenta, was not one of our favorites. At least we tried it out!

Here are the chocolates chip pancakes I made with the Bisquick mix. They were pretty good but the amount of dairy in them wasn’t good when I didn’t take my meds. oops!


This was another awesome dinner that we made since I went gluten free. It was chicken with a hawaiian chipotle sauce, honey mustard cole slaw, and potatoes. UntitledI feel like the gluten free eating is really forcing me to eat more naturally because a lot of sauces have gluten or soy in them. It has been a little hard to do but I really do feel a lot better since I have given up the gluten.