Monday, April 20, 2015

Newly Gluten Free

I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have stomach problems, headaches, migraines, and fatigue. I've always just told myself to tough it out, that I just had a sensitive stomach. Most doctors just told me to eat better and exercise more (duh). I've only ever had one that took me seriously and actually ran some tests, and even had me have an MRI. Everything came out normal (yay!). Recently though the headaches and migraines had been getting more and more frequent. Finally, rather than thinking of myself as weak, and trying to convince myself that it was all in my head, After reading an article that talked about all the symptoms of gluten sensitivity that aren't as well known as the stomach problems, like anxiety, migraines and headaches, depression, I decided to take action. I can't say that I have Celiac, because I've never been tested. And I know people that do have it, and my symptoms are not so severe. But a gluten intolerance of some sort was a definite possibility. Why not give up gluten for a while and see what happens? 

I in no way expected this to be an easy task. I don't have the best eating habits, and never have. I grab and go a lot. And I happen to LOVE bread. All kinds of bread. And baked goods. Cookies, cake, donuts. How could I possibly live without white bread and donuts? I've actually kind of suspected gluten to be the culprit for my issues for several years, but tried very hard not to think that seriously about it, because I would NEVER be able to give up all my favorite foods. It seems like the gluten free products have really stepped up their game over the last few years. I did some research, read a lot of blogs on the subject, and decided to go for it. 

Today marks two whole weeks since I put this into action. The first week was surprisingly easy! I had to put more thought and effort into what I was eating every day, but it went pretty smoothly. And y'all, I felt great! I can't attribute that to cutting out gluten necessarily, because this process has forced me to eat healthier in general, but I liked how I felt, and wasn't missing certain foods as much as I thought I would.  Week two was a little tougher, but still not that bad. I didn't feel amazing like I did week one, but I did feel good. I tried a few new gluten free products. Some I liked, others were pretty gross. My favorite pizza place, Pieology, has gluten free crust, and it was just as good as the regular crust. Yay! I tried a French baguette by ....... , because I couldn't find the exact brand I was looking for, and was not a fan, But Udi's brand dinner rolls were awesome! 

They actually tasted like bread! Yay again! Also, Betty Crocker brand gluten free brownie mix was a definite winner. 

The fam actually liked it better than the regular kind! That one will stay on my list for sure. Over the weekend we made pancakes using Krusteaz gluten free mix, and I was pleasantly surprised! 

The texture was just a little bit different than what I'm used to, and I may add some vanilla and maybe cinnamon next time for some extra flavor, but overall not bad! I'll use it again. There are a few other products I bought that I haven't had the chance to try yet, but I'll keep you updated on those. It seems easy 

So, two weeks is not enough time to really know how my body will react to being gluten free. But so far I haven't had any stomach issues, no migraines, and only one headache. When it came on I started double checking the ingredients on what I had been eating lately, and found that a French onion dip I had had two days in a row did in fact contain gluten. Hmm.....Got rid of that one, and no more headaches! Interesting indeed.

So, I'll be keeping track of this little gluten free experiment on the blog. So far so good. But I know that long term this is not going to be as easy as it seems now. I'm excited to try more products and recipes though, and eventually add in some gluten here and there to see how my body reacts to it. Wish me luck! And I would LOVE to hear your stories and suggestions! I'll take all the advice I can get!

On a different note, sometimes you just throw on an outfit quickly and don't put any real thought into it, and it ends up being super cute. I love it when that happens! I'm a big fan of simplicity.

T-shirt Dress / Hat- similar here / Bag - cute option here / Shoes - similar here / Necklace - Summer Smith Designs / Bracelet - similar here

xo, Summer

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lilly for Target Love

So, I braved Target this morning for the Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collection. I didn't attempt the online thing last night, which I kind of regret. My mom was able to get a few items that way. I got up early and planned to get to the store about 15 minutes before they opened, thinking that this being Vegas and not somewhere Southern, there wouldn't be a crowd. As I was getting ready I was scrolling my instagram feed, and suddenly me plans changed. The pictures people were posting of lines wrapped around buildings, empty clothing racks, and crazy crowds of people made me nervous, so I decided to go ahead and head out. 

I got to my Target an hour before opening, and there was not a person to be seen. Only a few cars were in the lot, belonging to employees. Awesome! I was so excited! I just thought I'd sit in my car for a while and casually stroll in and have my pick of the loot. 

A little bit later I noticed that a couple of people had arrived and were waiting outside the door, so I went ahead and joined them. We were soon joined by a few more, but it was still only a group of half a dozen or so. Everyone was so friendly, and we all chatted about the crazy stories we had already seen online about the madness in other areas, and everyone agreed that we were civilized people, and there would be no pushing, grabbing, or hoarding. This wasn't going to be so bad!

Well, about 5-10 minutes before the store was scheduled to open the masses started to show up. All of a sudden there was a line all the way across the front of the store. Now I was starting to get really nervous. You could feel everyone's excitement, and I wasn't so sure my little group of "civilized" early birds were being joined by people of the same mindset. 

Let me just say, that I love a bargain, and I'll go out of my way to get one. But I don't do Black Friday, or sample sales, or anything like that. I'm just not cut out for that kind of thing - I'm too timid. Hence my nerves this morning. I knew there was no way I was getting a dress if someone was actually going to grab it out of my hands. Do things like that really happen? I haven't witnessed it, and I was still optimistic.

When they unlocked the doors at Target we all filed in. No one was running, but we were walking VERY fast! I made a beeline straight for the women's clothing. It wouldn't have been that bad, but leave it to one bad apple (or a few) to ruin it for everyone else. One (very mean!) lady pushed past everyone in her path to get to the racks of clothes, grabbed literally everything she could hold, and took off. Everyone was stunned. I don't know why - we totally should have expected this kind of behavior. But experiencing it in person is just so much different. A couple of women asked her if she was seriously going to take all of it, and she didn't even make eye contact or say a word to anyone. You don't need 3 of the same dress in every size. Really. We know you're just going to go sell them on eBay for 5 times the price Target is charging. Way to ruin it for the rest of us, lady. I just can't even. 

So I grabbed a couple of things in my size (there were only a couple left), and wandered over to the girl's section. Not much left there, but I was able to grab one jumper in Mason's size. Now on to the home section. The plates I had my eye on were gone, as were the trays, but no biggie. Because after the HORRIBLE  lady almost ruining my faith in people, the rest of my shopping trip restored it. There was a camaraderie between all these women I met in line, and everyone was sharing, and trading, and just really trying to help each other out and be NICE to one another. I loved it! The Lilly fans in Las Vegas are fantastic!

So, in the end I only got a few things, despite being one of the first people through the door. Like I said, I'm just not cut out for cutthroat shopping! My mom made the trip in her neck of the woods and got more stuff than I did, plus was able to score a few items online early this morning. Between the two of us we did OK! There were plenty of other goodies that I REALLY wanted, but the fact that we got anything at all makes me happy! Here's our haul.......

So, when the next Target collaboration happens, will I try again? Well.....maybe. Depends on the designer! :) Were y'all able to snag any Lilly? Any good stories to tell? 

xo, Summer

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Finally Tried Pure Barre...And LOVED It!

But also kind of hated it. But mostly loved it. Ask me again tomorrow when I can't walk....

I've been dying to try Pure Barre for the longest time. I'm not really sure why I haven't up until now, but I am sure glad I finally bit the bullet! It helped that a couple of my girlfriends were game for checking it out with me. 

I just want to say, that this workout is not easy. I know a lot of people seem to think it is for some crazy reason. Those people have obviously never been to a Pure Barre class. It will kick your booty! In the very best way of course. I have a gym membership, but it's easy to get in a rut. I sometimes get bored with the same old routine, so this was a great way to change it up. Even though I probably looked like a fool, my abs were on fire,and my legs were shaking like crazy, I can't wait to go back! If you haven't tried Pure Barre, I highly recommend! Happy tucking!

xo, Summer

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

OBSESSED With the Lilly Pulitzer Collection for Target!!!

I love when designer do affordable collections for Target, my favorite store in the world! When I found out about the most recent collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer I was SOOOO excited! Then I saw the pieces, and Oh. My. Gosh. I'll take one of everything please! The bright colors and fun patterns are just perfect for spring and summer. The women's collection is full of comfy dresses, jumpsuits, and cover ups among other things. There's also precious items for little girls! Literally, the most adorable things ever. If that wasn''t enough to fill your cart, there are some amazing home decor items as well. I will be there bright and early when this collection launches on April 19th! 

Here are some of my must haves. It seems like a lot, but it was actually really hard to edit my favorites!

You can preview the entire collection here. I am seriously dying over the Kelley green and navy blue patterns, and aren't you loving all the cute rompers?  I have no idea how I'm going to choose which items to buy. What Lilly for Target pieces are on your list?

xo, Summer

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