Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Soap Making on the Mom-Stuff Blog Tour

Over at Mom-Stuff, you’ll find my post on making your own soap… what a fun, crafty way to spend Spring Break!  I’m thinking if we get cracking now… we should have enough made by Mother’s Day for all the Aunties, Grandma’s and God-Mama’s in our lives.  What a great handmade holiday idea!
Head on over and check it out!

Don't forget to check out my original blog, LooksGoodInPolkaDots for lots of gluten free and sustainable living ideas. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gluten Free Restaurant Experiences

Recently, we’ve had the joy of finding a couple restaurants that offer gluten free foods.  This is very exciting… I love seeing gluten free hitting the mainstream, as that means awareness is increasing!
Some of these may be Portland, OR area only, but you can find places to eat in your area at the Gluten Free Registry.
Bellagios- eat in, carry out, or delivery.  10 inch(small) only.  $10-$13, $1.00 each for extra toppings.  Also sells ready to use crust, $3.50/1 or 2 for $6.00.
Garlic Jim’s- Gluten Free Food Service Accreditation from the Gluten Intolerance Group.  Contains no dairy or soy in the crust (sauces and toppings could, depending on your choice).  Carry out/delivery ONLY (although locally, the Nimbus location does offer dine in seating).  Available in a large only, prices are about $3.00 more than the regular menu.  All flour used in the stores is a GF blend, it is used on ALL pizzas.  Employees are trained to prevent cross contamination.
Hawthorne/Corbett Fish House- Uses rice flour, so you can enjoy fish and chips again!
Old Spaghetti Factory-   Serves DeBole’s Rice Fettuccine, 4 sauce choices, salad (request no croutons).  Can also add chicken or Italian sausage.  Baked chicken is available at dinner time only.
Olive Garden- It’s a limited menu, but they do have a gf penne pasta which you can sub (after questioning menu ingredients) in some pasta dishes.
Cruise In Country Diner.  Natural, Organic, Local.  The owners are very friendly and seem to be always there.  Offering gluten free buns, gf fries (must specify), and gf BEER (Redbridge) which is made with sorghum.  The ground beef is all antibiotic and hormone free.
Red Robin- I’m not impressed with their offerings as it’s just a listing of regular menu items minus all the good stuff.  Doesn’t offer any gluten free buns or pasta, you just have to go low carb style.  Their fries are gluten free, but are usually fried in a shared frier, so double check before you order.  You also have to ask for no RR seasoning (and how yummy is that stuff?!?!).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Shopping

Normally I would be almost done with my Holiday gift preparation by December 1st. Not so this year.

In addition to Christmas, we have Hubby’s Birthday on Dec. 17th and mine on December 29th… once the Holidays are over, we celebrate Little Critter’s Birthday on January 21st. Wowsa.

We have a rule in our house, it’s not a set in stone rule, more of a guiding post. We are trying to downsize the number of gifts the kids receive and to ensure each gift is something that will last a long time.

That said, our kids get one gift from Mom and Dad, one (two tops if accessories are needed) from Santa and one from their sibling group. All the kids receive the same number of packages to open. We also try to get a family gift, usually a game. Sometimes its an inexpensive board game, last year it was a Wii system… what the family gift is depends on what Santa has for a budget that year.

Even with limiting the kids gifts to 3-4 each, we are looking at 15-20 gifts for them each year. That’s a lot. I normally avoid clothing for Christmas and Birthdays, because its not so much fun getting something you need for a gift. However my 6 and 8 year old daughters are starting to enjoy clothes, so they each will get a new outfit as their gift form Mom and Dad. This is mostly because they are outgrowing their current clothes! I can easily pass down clothing from K2 to K3, but I feel bad that K3 seldom gets new clothing just for her!

Some of the things our children might receive this Christmas:

Piggy Paints Nail Polish (safe, non smelly, non toxic polish!)


Planet Pixies

Indoor Gardening Set

Nature Discovery in My Backyard (book)

K-Man has requested an iPod Nano in black, K2 and K3 have requested a DS system and Little Critter wants everything, but specifically a ride on Barbie Jeep, that crazy Dinosaur or a Leapster game.

They all wrote letters to Santa, they got to pick the top three items from their wish list and only one could be expensive. I explained to them that Santa’s budget might vary based on how many children and what their needs and wants were, so they needed to represent a good price range. :)

Lucky kids, their Santa found some really good deals so they should be thrilled Christmas morning. I would much rather they receive one good gift that will last years then to give them several plastic gifts that will be tossed aside in a month.

I’ve had NO luck with the family regarding toy purchases for the kids. We aren’t a plastic toy free home, as the kids do have Barbie, Polly and Legos… we are trying DESPERATELY to limit plastic and poor quality toys. I would much rather they receive wooden food for their play kitchen, organic cotton clothing (socks rock!), wooden puzzles, non-toxic art sets, books, etc… Last year my favorite gifts the kids received were the Daring Book for Girls and the Dangerous Book for Boys from my Aunt Lisa. K-Man and K2 read the book almost daily and are sure to get many more years of enjoyment from them.

In the stockings they find items such as new undies and socks (isn’t it always a good feeling to have new undies?), organic candy canes, homemade maple Santa candy, maybe a rolled up organic cotton t-shirt if a good sale was found. Santa likes a sale. :)

How’s your Holiday shopping going? Do you have a good plan for financing the Holidays? Do you give your children only HandCrafted items? Do share!

All posts are originally posted at Looks Good In Polka Dots.