2017 Spring Trip to NH + Skillet Recipe

Morning, Ya’ll! I’m back from spending a week in my home state of New Hampshire. There is something special about spring in New England. The beauty of the crisp morning air, birds singing, ombre shades of green everywhere you look and all the locals smiling at the sun as they soak in its warmth! Even though I’m a Southern gal now, I still remember how good it felt to have the snowy, winter months behind me and summer days at the lake awaiting me.

Where i ate

Today was my second day back at the gym after a week of rest and traveling. I managed to stay on my Paleo, gluten free diet almost the entire trip. My first morning in the Lakes Region, I took my grandfather and brother out to eat at Kitchen Cravings. I had my usual plate of scrambled eggs, fruit and sausage with a much needed cup of coffee. This restaurant is my go-to for gluten free breakfast when I’m visiting NH.

Kitchen Cravings Gilford NH Gluten Free Breakfast
Kitchen Cravings of Gilford, NH

Family Together Drinking Coffee at Kitchen Cravings NH

I had to share a portrait of my grandfather and I. We have been going to to breakfasts together at Kitchen Cravings for years now. It’s “our place”. I loved how we even had matching coffee mugs. On a side note, this was day 2 of my curls refreshed with my handy-dandy spritzer bottle I packed with me. This was the first time I traveled “curly”. Much thanks to Controlled Chaos Curl Creme!

On day 2 of my trip, I allowed myself to split a vegetarian, GF pizza with my mom at Giuseppe’s in Meredith, NH. We sat outside, listened to the roaring waterfall behind us and chatted about our day spent with my niece and nephew. It was perfect.

Mill Falls Marketplace Where to Eat Gluten Free
Mill Falls Marketplace

When I visit my family, I try to be a good influence by cooking a meal or two. This trip I made one of my favorite skillet meals. It is pretty simple and easy to remember. The main ingredients are sweet potato, asparagus and chicken! This is also a fabulous weight training meal and is dairy free, gluten free and grain free.

Sweet Potato asparagus chicken skillet

sweet potato chicken skillet with calphalon serving utensils

Sweet Potato Asparagus Chicken Skillet

An easy to make and perfectly balanced meal consisting of:

  • Protein: Chicken
  • Complex, Starchy Carbohydrate: Sweet Potato
  • Complex, Fibrous Carbohydrate: Asparagus.

Controlled Chaos Curl Creme Product Review

This blog is for all my curly girl friends out there. The daily struggle of hoping our curls play nice, stay frizz-free and look naturally beautiful is quite stressful. I am guilty of spending hours and hours of my life straightening my mane as it was the only way to control it. I have tried hundreds of products and have thrown out most of them. Nothing solved my daily routine woes until I tried Controlled Chaos Curl Creme.

curl cream product review controlled chaosThe first time I heard about this curl cream miracle was on Shark Tank back in January of 2016. I wasn’t too interested in the price tag and continued to use my drugstore products. When I decided to take the plunge and purchase the product, they were sold out. I finally received my Controlled Chaos Curl Creme a few weeks ago. That is over a year since seeing the pitch on Shark Tank!

I prefer to use a product for a good amount of time before giving my feedback. I’ve tried so many curl products that worked great the first couple times and then left my hair a mess afterward. Controlled Chaos Curl Creme is on a winning streak so far!

Here is a photo of me the first time I tried Controlled Chaos Curl Creme. As you can tell, I’m pretty happy with the results. I admit, I’m not the best “selfie” taker, but you can see how my curls are soft and defined.

long curly hair with controlled chaos curl cremeAfter using the product for a few weeks, I prefer to use a leave-in conditioner with the curl cream. My hair needs just a little extra moisture to be completely frizz free. Kinky-Curly Knot Today is a fantastic conditioner. I use a quarter-sized amount and comb it through my hair while my hair is still wet. I then work Controlled Chaos Curl Creme through my hair scrunching and twisting the curls in their natural curl pattern. I immediately diffuse my hair until it is about 80% dry, let it dry completely and then tease it a bit around my scalp for extra volume.

curl defining product duo, kinky curly, controlled chaosI will not do this review justice unless I mention that this product is also gluten, sulfate and paraben free! Go out there and try it today. Controlled Chaos Curl Creme has helped me love my curls again!

3 Days in Charleston: Where to Stay and Play Gluten Free

Last March my husband, Nick, and I celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary. Every year we travel someplace fun. With our recent move and home purchase, we thought it best to find a place close to Charlotte. We chose Charleston, South Carolina. It is a quick four-hour road trip from the Queen City.

Charleston Day 1

We arrived at our hotel in the heart of the city ready to see and do everything Charleston had to offer. King Charles Inn was the perfect location for walking to all the tourist spots and best restaurants. The staff welcomed us with an anniversary card, champagne and chocolates. With half the day left to sight see and eat, we chose to browse King Street, walk Historic Charleston City Market and have dinner at Sticky Fingers Ribhouse. They had an entire gluten free menu but my favorite item was the sticky potato skins! It was early to bed afterward as we planned a sunrise photo shoot the next morning with Charleston Photography Tours.

King Street Charleston SunriseCharleston Day 2

Charleston Photography Tours picked us up and brought us to Folly Beach to photograph the sunrise. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky; however, I was still able to capture beautiful colors reflected in the calm sea water. Our second location for the tour was Edisto Island where we photographed the Spanish moss hanging from the tree-lined the streets.

We returned to the city around 1:00 PM and headed to lunch immediately. There was a Mellow Mushroom on King Street just a couple minutes walk from the hotel. We scarfed down the Kosmic Karma pizza and headed toward Waterfront Park. A cruise ship had just arrived and the street corners were packed with people. We decided to go the opposite direction of the crowds and hit up the Battery (White Point Garden). As dinner approached, I felt the need to indulge my sweet tooth and have dessert for dinner. I had heard Kaminsky’s had gluten free goodies. The dessert cafe was packed with tourists but we happened to get the last, quiet table in the back. Unfortunately, the only gluten free options were a flourless chocolate cake and milkshakes. The cake was good, but I think I’d save my calories for a different restaurant.

Charleston Day 3

As we had covered so much ground on day 2, we thought we deserved a spontaneous, low-key day. We opened Kitchen 208 at 7:00 AM and had the outdoor patio seating all to ourselves. I could have had breakfast and finished my day satisfied. I ordered the Cobblestone Sandwich with gluten free bread, a side of fresh fruit and coffee.

After we finished reveling in the greatness that was our breakfast, we walked to Rainbow Row. I wanted to capture the thirteen houses with the warm morning sunrise enriching their pastel colors. Along the way, we stopped for a snack and pit stop at Bakehouse Charleston. They are a cute coffee shop on East Bay Street that offers gluten free snacks, smoothies and coffee. We purchased a homemade protein bar and wandered along the street until reaching Rainbow Row.

We continued our stroll to the Battery and stopped to enjoy the warmth of the spring sunshine as we took in the beautiful homes. Since we started the day so early, the streets were quiet and void of other tourists. We took advantage of this and found ourselves wandering along back alleys and streets. The backyards of Charleston homes may be small, but every square inch is a landscaped oasis.

Around lunch time we found ourselves at the Four Corners. Each corner of the street has a building representing different legal jurisdictions: St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (God’s law), Charleston City Hall (city law), the Charleston County Courthouse (state law) and the Federal Courthouse (federal laws). We followed Broad Street East as we heard there was an amazing sandwich shop, Brown Dog Deli, one block away. They will make any sandwich you want gluten free. I had the classic Philly and Nick had Turkey in the Straw. Be sure to plan extra time as more than likely there will be a wait to “eat in”. We sat outside in the covered backyard.

We spent the afternoon shopping on King Street and mead tasting at the Savannah Bee Company. To finish our day or touristy-goodness, we rode a horse drawn carriage around the city. I highly recommend Old South Carriage Company. Our tour guide was personable and full of fun facts about the area. We felt fortunate to have walked most of the streets the tour brought us down. It helped us understand where we had been.

We finished the day watching the sunset at Waterfront Park and dinner at Minero Restaurant. Just as I had read, they were quite knowledable when it came to gluten free options. Our favorite menu item was our appetizer of guacomole and warm corn chips.

As you can see, three days in Charleston is plenty of time to experience a majority of the tourist sights. We still have a few more things to see on our list. However, the next time we visit, we’ll be spending most of our time eating. Charleston is one of the first cities I’ve visited where I never had to worry about where I would be able to eat next. That very fact makes it a perfect vacation spot.

Recipe: Chocolate Almond Energy Balls

When do you find it the most difficult to eat healthy? For me, it is when I travel. Whether it is a road trip, an international flight or an airport layover, I can never seem to find a restaurant that meets all my dietary needs. Chocolate Almond Energy Balls to the rescue!

These sweet treats not only fix that afternoon sugar craving, but they are naturally filling and full of good things for your body. On weight training days, I eat a few of these in-between meals. When traveling, I throw a couple in my purse and freeze the rest to store in my luggage for later.

After viewing a few mouth-watering photographs below, scroll down to print the recipe for yourself!

chocolate almond gluten free dairy free energy ball recipe

Chocolate Almond Energy Balls

Energy balls are the perfect on the go, hunger-satisfying snack. If you are on a weight training program, like I am, it is essential that you feed your body the proper nutrients it needs throughout the day. The husband and I love these Chocolate Almond Energy Balls as they satisfy our sweet tooth while feeding our body the protein it needs.

Traveling with food allergies or on a limited diet can be a real struggle. However, these chocolate goodies can be frozen and stored in your luggage for future snacking needs! They are gluten free, dairy free, egg free and vegan.