Friday, July 7, 2017

Monthly blog posts and upcoming GF & AF Expo

Hi, everyone! I have a new strategy about this blog. As I am in graduate school and driving a lot (school is in Boston, 1.5-2 hours away), I do not have a lot of free time, and even less time to write here. With that in mind, I am going to try to do monthly blog posts. The plan is to write myself notes, snippets, etc and then put that all together and write a post. Hopefully, you will stick around for this!

The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly (GF &AF) Expo is coming to the DCU Center in Worcester, Ma July 22-23rd. I will be attending the 22nd with a friend who is also gluten-free. I am very much looking forward to the expo; it is always a wonderful, tasty experience. For more information and to buy tickets, check out the website: GF AF EXPO

 I wanted to mention that I am trying to cut down, and eventually give up, sugar again. It is a lot easier this time around than it was last year. Perhaps I have more motivation this time. Regardless, I still eat chocolate, though I try to just eat a handful of chocolate chips once a day, usually in the evening. My favorite chocolate chips are Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels, which are dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free (check the out here Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels). Enjoy Life even makes snack packs now, in Dark Chocolate Morsels and Mini Chips (see baking chocolate snack packs). Sometimes I have a handful of these Morsels and a spoonful of peanut butter.

However, today, oh today I discovered Hail Merry's Dark Chocolate Espresso cups at one of my local health food stores, Organic Market (OM) in Dennis. My oh my these are lovely, and they are GF, dairy free, NON-GMO and made with maple syrup, not sugar.  They are nothing like peanut butter cups, which is what I expected, but they are soft, not hard, and smooth, not chewy. You can find out more information on Hail Merry's site. I hope you can find them near you and experience the yumminess.


Stay tuned for my monthly blog post, although THIS month there will be another post after the Expo. Remember that you can find me on social media:

Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Today I made some gluten free dutch oven bread...


I recently had a hankering for good ole gluten free bread from scratch, so I dug around the internet for a good Dutch oven recipe. Gluten free Dutch oven bread is what I went with. It turned out well, but make sure to use a LOT of flour. I actually had to make it twice because I messed up by using TABLESPOONS instead of TEASPOONS for salt. DO NOT do that! I started over and wound up with a pretty good dough. It was VERY sticky though so definitely use a lot of flour.

For the 1st batch, I used brown rice flour and tapioca, then had to use Trader Joe's pink bag of all-purpose gluten free bread for the 2nd batch. I like the TJ's pink bag as it's easy peasy but I do prefer to make my own gf flour mix.

Also, you NEED a dutch oven for this recipe. If you don't have one, get one. It is SO worth it. Mine was a gift and I do not use it as much as I should.

It has to cool so I haven't had any yet, except for some of the scraps, which I liked. And the house smells like bread. :)


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hello hello February

Yes, I know it has been AWHILE. I am well into the second semester of graduate nursing school and thus have little time. But, I wanted to stop in and say hi. I hope I still have some followers.

What's new? Not much, just graduate school and planning my handfasting in May (yes, this May).
Nothing really new on the gluten-free front.
February is a drag, as usual, but it will pass, eventually.

You can see more of my life on social media, such as
Instagram
Twitter

I recently made some delicious gluten-free pulled pork and roasted cauliflower. (see Instagram pic here. The recipes come from:
1. cauliflower from Extremely Good Parenting

I LOST the link for the pulled pork...I will find it!

Otherwise, just drinking tea, reading books, and surviving the winter. Lots of Spotify listening going on. Mostly Birdy and Ed Sheeran these days.

Cheers!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

1st year, 2nd week venting

So I am 3/4 done with the 2nd week of graduate school at MGH IHP for Direct Entry Nursing. I am stressed out. Today I am not doing well. Yesterday I wasn't either. Yesterday I was depressed. Today I am frustrated.

I was accepted a week before the program started. I accepted on 9/6 and classes started 9/12. A lot of my classmates were accepted MONTHS ago. They had months to prep for this. To buy their books, get scrubs, get MGH IHP patches (for scrubs & lab coat), read everything, do their EHR training, find a place closer to school. I have not. I am trying to play catch-up but it's not easy.

In August I figured that I wasn't getting accepted so I moved on. TJ and I signed a lease for a new place on the Cape, closer to his work. This place is perfect for us: 2 bedroom, central air, newer appliances, just us, just us..oh, did I mention, JUST US?! Same rent price as where we are currently, though we pay separate for utilities. Perfect.

Then the unthinkable (but wonderful) happened; MGH IHP had a spot for me. Then the whirlwind happened. We went on vacation also, got engaged while we were there. I came back and started school. It has been chaos. The schedule is nuts. Driving from the Cape is crazy. I'm grateful because I am staying at a friend-of-a-friends in Winthrop, which cuts my commute time down immensely. That is only temporary though. But I have had several people offer their spare rooms/couches, which is awesome.

I am being grateful. I got the chance to go to my DREAM school. But damn if the Universe isn't making it HARD for me.

I cannot afford to move to Boston and have the place on the Cape. TJ and I agreed we were not giving it up, at least not for now.

AND the commuting is exacerbating the pain in my body. My back, hips, and legs are aching so bad. I keep having muscle cramps in my right calf.

But this is awesome. This is an amazing experience and I will kick it's ass. Eventually.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Waitlisted no more!

Dreams do come true, but with a price. Earlier this year I applied to Mass General Hospital Institute for Health Professions in Boston for a Direct Entry Masters of Nursing program. I also applied to Regis College for the same program. Sadly I was wait-listed to both of the programs. By the time August came around I had pretty much resigned myself to not going to grad school this year. So plan B was to retake a Pharmacology Calculations class at the local community college and apply for their Associates in Nursing which would allow me to sit for the NCLEX which is the RN test. And suddenly in early August I found myself with a new job as a medical assistant at a clinic in Hyannis. I didn't tell them about being waitlisted because I had resigned myself to not being called to go to graduate school.

And then last Friday happened. I was on my way home from work taking the backroads because Route 6 was a nightmare and I received a phone call from 617 number, which I knew was Boston, and I expected that it was Mass General Hospital calling me back regarding a question I had about genetic profiles. No, instead it was Brian calling from the admissions department at MGH IHP to let me know that they had a spot for me this semester starting on September 12th. We were coming up on the Labor Day weekend and he gave me until Tuesday to make the decision.

 I was completely flabbergasted and unprepared and spent the entire weekend freaking out. If your friends with me on Facebook or friends with me beyond that you know that I spent the entire weekend just losing my mind about the fact that my dream had come true. MGH ihp has been my dream school, their masters in nursing program has been my dream program for 4 years. Everything I have done in terms of school at the community college has been to get into one of these programs. This news completely changed my life.

Here I am now a couple of days away from starting the program and I am freaking out. This college does practically everything online. Because I got taken off the waitlist right before the beginning of the semester I have orientation that I have to do online ,plus orientation to my specific program and orientation to this learning environment we use which is similar to Blackboard online. Plus I have to get all my health information together and sign all the forms and go through all these modules and go through this checklist. Plus wait on financial aid before I can even buy the $900 books that I need. On top of that because I live on the Cape and I'm not moving to Boston, although we're moving to Yarmouth in a month, I have to figure out how and when I'm commuting, if I'm staying with friends during the times that I need to have early classes and late clinicals. They sure as hell don't make it easy for someone who just got taken off the waitlist. Needless to say I'm completely overwhelmed but I'm getting through it and I will get through it just like I'm going to get through this program! 😄 sure I might be stressed out and I might not have time for anybody else but my loved ones are very well aware of that and are very supportive of what I'm doing. Thank Goddess.

So if any of you have suggestions for anything that will help me along this path I would greatly appreciate it. Feel free to say hi or drop me some love mail.

Love love love
Kate