Gluten Free Big Mac Salad

This salad hits the spot and really kills the craving to hit up the drive thru. It has all the flavors of a Big Mac without the gluten or the guilt.


One small onion. (A medium onion if you're making your own sauce, see below.)
Lean ground beef.
Epicure Burger Seasoning (Optional)
Iceburg lettuce.
Dill pickles.
Red Onion (Optional)
Mushroom (Optional)
Cheddar Cheese
Epicure Big Burger Sauce OR
Mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, ketchup, relish, onion and a pinch of salt.

Step 1) Finely chop a small onion and fry it with the ground beef. Season the beef with Epicure Burger seasoning and when cooked, drain any grease that remains. 

Step 2) Make your salad by first layering washed and rinsed lettuce, ground beef, chopped dill pickle and cheddar cheese. I like the addition of red onion and mushrooms, but that's your call.

Step 3) Create the dressing. You can use Epicure Big Burger Sauce and follow the instructions on the bottle using some of the ingredients listed below OR, follow this recipe for your own Big Mac sauce.

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP Ketchup
  • 4 TSP Relish
  • 1 TBSP Minced Onion
  • 1 TSP White Vinegar
  • 1 TSP Sugar
  • A pinch of salt.

You're welcome!


Gluten Free Avocado Toast

Udi's Gluten Free Hot Dog Bun, Avocado, Crumbled Goat Cheese, Bacon, Fried Egg and Salt, Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes.

If you need to follow a recipe to make avocado toast, we can't be friends.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding - but really, avocado toast is pretty near impossible to mess up. Mash up that green beauty, smear it on toast and jazz it up however you see fit. You can add a fried egg, a spritz of lime or a kick of spice... But with bacon and goat cheese it tastes really nice. You can make it on a rice cake and leave out the bread, you can make it in seconds and go back to bed...

See how excited avocado toast makes me? It's seriously my favorite breakfast.

Pictured above and below are two variations that are simple, delicious and gluten free! 


Rachel Emmilee

Quaker Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Rice Cake, Avocado, Spritz of Lime Juice, Fried Egg and a sprinkling of Epicure Guacamole Dip Mix.


Gluten Free Mexican Dip

This dip came to be when I had leftover corn on the cob from a previous meal, three lime wedges, a ready-to-use avocado and a big bag of corn chips staring me in the face. I mean, what's a girl to do other than make a dip? Add some cheese to the mix and you're laughing!

I will definitely make this again, maybe next time adding some black beans and red onion. It's bright and colorful and fresh, the cheesy layer combined with the smooth avocado and crumbled feta gives it that creamy texture you want a dip to have, and the hint of lime makes it taste like something you'd eat in Mexico.


1/2 block of cream cheese.
1 small tub of sour cream.
A sprinkling or a dash of hot sauce, taco seasoning or Louisiana Hot & Spicy dip mix by Epicure.

Mix all of this together and spread it on a pie plate or shallow bowl for your base layer.

Grilled corn.
Green or red onion.
Feta cheese.
Fresh lime juice.

Simply layer the above ingredients however you see fit and finish with a generous squeeze of lime juice. Serve it cold with gluten free corn chips like Old Dutch.

* Not so pretty the following day, people. Eat it up!

You're welcome!

Rachel Emmilee


It's September First And I Am Currently...

FEELING out of shape and a bit nervous about taking my workout from the comfort of my living room to a studio full of women for my first session of Pound classes this fall. 

READING sewing patterns, or at least trying to. 

LISTENING TO Brothers Osborne, Port Cities and Lady Gaga's Joanne album on repeat.

WATCHING Big Brother and The Sinner, which is so incredibly twisted - and just starting season two of Game of Thrones. Totally late to the GOT party, but better late than never.

PLAYING the guitar after months of neglecting it. It was a gift from G years ago and sadly it's not something I really stuck with, but every now and then I pick it up, attempt a song or two and get inspired to learn more.

WORRIED ABOUT getting everything I need for a fun weekend in Montreal in a carry-on bag.

WORKING ON a formal dress by pattern, hoping that it's something I can wear to a friends wedding next summer.

CONSIDERING cutting my hair even shorter but concerned that I'd have to put more time into styling it, and that wouldn't fly for this air-dry-only gal.

CRUSHING ON my husband, and before you roll your eyes know that I said Jason Momoa and Justin Trudeau last time I filled this out, but this time I have to give credit where credit is due. My husband is my favorite, for more reasons than I can list. 

EATING corn on the cob with lime, Parmesan cheese, chili powder and paprika sprinkled all over. Also, I can't get enough salad with this homemade blueberry vinaigrette. 
  • 1 cup (give or take) of fresh blueberries.
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
  • 6 tbsp EVOO.
  • 1/4 honey. 

DRINKING my coffee with almond milk and honey.

EXCITED FOR my weekend away with friends to see Lady Gaga in Montreal.

EXCITED ABOUT all things fall, my favorite season, just around the corner.

MISSING my pool already, even though I'm sure I can get a few more swims in before we shut it down for the fall and winter. 

AVOIDING the task of painting our bedroom. I really want white walls, and I know it wouldn't take me long to do it - but I can't seem to muster up the energy or make the time. 

STRUGGLING WITH the fact that some of my favorite clothes don't fit anymore. Whoops! #ThisIs30

HATING that I went to the beach ONE time this summer. ONE time, isn't that sad? For those of you who don't know where I live - the most beautiful beaches you ever did see are never more than five minutes from me. I can see the ocean from my office and both of our family homes, not to mention the beach is only a five minute drive from our house. I am slack.

LOVING our Endy mattress so, so much. I'm having the best sleep of my life in that bed.



Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guys, I am going away this weekend and desperately need to delete pictures from my phone to free up space for more pictures - and if you know me, you know that almost all of the pictures on my phone are pictures of food. So what I'm saying is, I need to delete pictures of food so I can take more pictures of food.

I have very good intentions when I take pictures like this. I can't keep a good thing to myself - which is nice of me, don't you think? Whether it's a good show I've watched, a good book I've read, a beauty product I swear by or in this case an awesome gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe - I need to inspire at least one person to watch it, read it, buy it or try it. Like, now.

Which brings me to this picture of milk and cookies...

To you this is just another picture of milk and cookies - nothing special, they don't even look that good - but to me it's so much more. It's a reminder to never give up, to keep fighting the good fight, to have faith. Faith that a seriously good gluten free cookie exists. Okay, I'm getting carried away but anyone who knows what it's like to try and fail and try and fail when searching for the perfect gluten free recipe gets it. The day I made these cookies was good day, and I knew it was my duty to share the recipe with the world.


* You're going to want to make the cookie dough ahead of time and set it in the fridge to chill. The consistency will be softer than regular cookie dough, therefor harder to work with. You want to make sure your cookies hold their shape when baking and don't melt into one big cookie.

* Speaking of one big cookie, this cookie dough would make a great base for a fruit pizza or layered dessert.

* Roll the cookie dough into a log using cling wrap and freeze it. Whenever you need some quick cookies, thaw the log just enough to slice perfect cookie rounds and throw them in the oven.

* Why not add nuts or caramels or sea salt to the mix? I think any variation of these cookies would be bomb.


2 1/4 cup of GLUTEN FREE all purpose flour like my favorite, President's Choice.
1/2 tsp of GLUTEN FREE baking soda like my favorite, Magic.
2 sticks of unsalted, soft butter.
1/2 cup of white sugar.
2 tsp vanilla.
1 cup of brown sugar.
1 tsp salt.
2 eggs.
2 cups of GLUTEN FREE chocolate chips, white or semi-sweet or both like my favorite, Hershey's.

In one bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.

In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, mix the butter, white sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed until fluffy. Turn your mixer down to slow speed and add the salt, egg and vanilla and mix together. Then add the dry ingredients followed by the chocolate chips and mix until all ingredients are well combined. Place mixture in the fridge to firm up and later, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop mounds of cookie dough 1-2 inches apart. I wouldn't take my time with this step, the more you handle the cookie dough the softer they get and again, you want them to keep their shape when baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. I take the cookies out of the oven when the edges are dark and the center is still slightly soft as they will continue to bake when removed from the oven.

You're welcome!

Rachel Emmilee


10 Things Tuesday: 10 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. I have never watched a Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movie.

2. I think Sushi is disgusting.

3. The only thing I have ever barbecued was a hot dog, and that's after someone fired up the grill for me. Everything else is out of my comfort zone. 

4. I get my best sleep when I am wearing an eye mask and earplugs. 

5. I would absolutely love to go on a solo adventure to another part of the world.

6. I have clothes in my closet that are over ten years old that I still wear.

7. One of my biggest regrets in life is when my family went to Disney World with a large group, and instead of exploring the theme park with my Mom and sisters, I ran around with my new friends trying to impress a cute boy. 

8. I never, ever make my bed in the morning.

9. I don't fart around my husband and if I have, I was likely sound asleep.

10. I don't wear (or own) eye liner, eye shadow or nail polish.


Sh*t To Do By Next Summer

Source Unknown

I've always been the type of person who struggles to live in the moment without planning their next move. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am a true Gemini. Whether it's wondering what color to paint the garage while I try to relax beside the pool, or thinking of ways I can extend the deck instead of enjoying it for what it is, or visualizing how beautiful next years gardens will be instead of managing the gardens I have right now - I am always planning my next project. It's not necessarily a good thing. With me, watching a beautiful sunset over the mountain from our front porch rocking chair wouldn't be complete without a very convincing pitch to cut down a few trees for an even better view.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, either. I'm not lazy, I set goals, I don't mind getting my hands dirty and there are worse things I could be spending my time and money on, that's for sure. But this summer isn't even over and I'm already thinking of next summer and all that I could have accomplished if I make a list and set my mind to it. 

How many times do you catch yourself sitting around thinking I'm sure there's something else I could be doing right now yet your mind is blank? Well, having a list of short and long term goals is all you need to make better use of your time and money. This list may seem like a bit much, but I've got all year to get shit done.

So, here goes...

Create a fire pit. We've cleared an area near the pool so all we need to do is remove some roots, level the ground and fill it with whatever necessary to keep the weeds away. I think we can all agree that a fire pit is a summer must, so this project is high up on our priority list for next year.

Paint garage. We spend a lot of time out by the pool therefor I spend a lot of time cringing over the eye sore that is our garage. Only two sides are seen so only two sides need painting which will make the job a bit easier. I'll take a leftover piece of siding from the house, color match and plan a weekend around getting this done once and for all. 

Paint wooden table, chairs and glider. These wood pieces are all in great shape but desperately need a fresh coat of paint. All I need to do is set up a work station in our basement and I'll have the perfect project for cold winter nights when there isn't much to do.

Install outdoor lights on house. This is a job for hubby. We have all ten lights, we just need to install them before it's too cold to be outside without gloves.

Buy new patio furniture, hammocks and pool toys when they go on sale. Not exactly a project, but definitely a big expense. Buying patio furniture nowadays is like refurnishing your family room, have you noticed? Adding this to my list will remind me where I should spend a few bucks this year to save big next year. We have a lot of outdoor sitting areas that are being neglected because we simply don't have the patio furniture, so if we take advantage of off-season sales we can fix that problem and finally enjoy our outdoors to it's full potential.

Cut and trim. This summer I noticed way too many plants, bushes and trees that are overgrown and obstructing our pathways and our beautiful view. I'm asking Santa Claus for a hedge trimmer this year, mark my words. Before next summer, we should have everything cut back or cut out - and something must be done ahead of time to prevent the weed takeover that we're experiencing this year.  

Create a hammock haven and tea garden.  We have a beautiful shaded area that I'm dying to turn into a tea garden and hammock haven. We just need to level the ground and either lay some flat rock or build a small platform deck. With a table and chairs, a few hammocks and some solar lights it would make the cutest little hiding spot.

Work on the little extras for the tea garden. I'd like to make a sign, some DIY bird-feeders, paint some flat rock and a buy a step stool to reach my clothesline from that end. I'd also like to sew some new cushion covers. These little projects can be worked on inside all winter. 

Extend the front porch step to meet the side deck. This project isn't as extreme as it may sound, but it would take having to do some extra budgeting and hiring a carpenter. It's not a must, but if done eventually, it would really improve the look of our existing deck, add a few feet of sitting room on our front porch and it would hide a big section of our front lawn that we hate to look at.

Stain decks. Thankfully I have a lot of time to mentally prepare myself for this grueling project because it will have to wait until the snow melts. 

Clear property of fallen trees.  Nothing bothers me more than looking at all of the fallen trees around our property knowing I can't just pick them up and move them myself. This will be a bit of a tall order as it will also require some extra hands and maybe even some machinery. The bonus? It could pay off in firewood for the winter.


This Is 30

Source Unknown

I went out with friends a few months ago wearing a pair of high heel shoes that I've worn several times without a problem, and had to secretly slip them off under the table to give my feet a break. My feet and legs were killing me so much that I tried to stand in one spot all night to avoid walking around, and the next day I obsessed over my inflamed pinkie toes as I swore to JESUS that I'd never wear anything but a practical shoe ever again. I was so upset, and I blamed it all on turning thirty.

I was given a big bag of scrap fabric and as I sorted through each piece, I excitedly put aside what I knew would make cute tablecloths with matching oven mitts and pot holders. I looked forward to spending the following Saturday at my sewing machine and may or may not have hoped that my husband would have plans of his own so I could be free of distractions. In that moment there was no denying that times have changed and I was in fact, turning thirty.

When I came to the realization that weekends without commitments are my favorite kind of weekends, I can no longer shop at Forever 21, and if it doesn't have SPF I'm not buying it - I knew I was turning thirty. When it dawned on me just how much I love waking up without a hangover so I can drink coffee and plan a productive day - I knew I was turning thirty. When I admitted out loud that I'd rather get a tan from working around the yard and that I'd much rather have a drink during the day so I can still get to bed at a decent hour - I knew I was turning thirty. When watching Jeopardy with a cup of tea and a blanket over my lap became an anticipated part of my weeknight routine, and when it became crucial that my friends and I compared work schedules in order to find time to hang out - I knew I was turning thirty.

And of course, there was no denying it the day I bought my first pair of waist shaping underwear. 

But now I am thirty.

And, I'm cool with it.

I took those ridiculous underwear off the first night I wore them. Rolled them up and stuffed them in my purse, took a deep breath and returned to the party where I could finally relax and enjoy myself. I didn't need those underwear or anything or anyone to make me feel good about myself. I am no longer an insecure woman who worries if she looks okay in a crowd or if someone already saw her out in that dress. I am no longer an insecure woman who spends her alone time anxiety ridden, wondering what she is missing or if anyone is missing her. I turned thirty with a long list of things I love about myself and things that I am passionate about; things that make me love to be alone like writing, reading, sewing, cooking, listening to music or simply getting lost in the peace and quiet of our home. I even love my body. I love to treat myself with bubble-baths and face masks and hair treatments and exercise. I love that I know my strengths and weaknesses and that I'm never apologetic for how I feel or what I want, even if it's extra cheese or gravy on the side or crushed Doritos on my salad.

The thing I love most about myself at thirty is that I can list all those things before listing the man I share my life with. I've learned to love myself first, which makes loving someone else and being loved that much better. I love that I'm not the same woman I was years ago, and the woman I have become is a woman I really like. 

And I'm only thirty.

Rachel Emmilee


Hello, June!

I went for lunch all by myself yesterday. For the first time in twenty-nine years and three hundred and sixty days I chose to ignore the urge to invite a friend along or ask my husband if he had time to meet me. I took a table for one and sat far enough away from other folks that making conversation was not expected of me. It was nicer than I thought it would be, actually. I didn't realize it was something I wanted to do before I turned thirty until I was there doing it - sitting in a restaurant all alone. I didn't have to eat slow and careful so not to be caught with a mouthful of food at the wrong time and there were no awkward silences to fill with small talk in between bites. I didn't even care that I had food in my teeth when the waitress came to check on me. 

I opened my day planner to welcome June, my favorite month. Almost every square was covered in ink; exclamation points, doodles of hearts and balloons and stickers to brighten up the page. I turn thirty, two of my best friends also turn thirty and my sister-in-law and bestie turns twenty-nine. My niece turns ten, my new nephew is due to enter the world and my parents celebrate thirty-one years married. There's a heart drawn on the day Garett asked me to marry him and several hearts drawn on June 30, the date that marks five incredible years as husband and wife. This month also marks ten years out of college. Where did the time go?

There will be no shortages of parties, dinner dates or fun in the sun. There's even a staff BBQ and a weekend in Halifax penciled in, and you best believe I'll be taking myself out for lunch again... June brings with it so many reasons to celebrate. It will be the greatest kick off to summer 2017 and an even better start to my thirties...

Rachel Emmilee


Throwback Thursday - Keith Urban - Nashville TN

Watching this video will forever give me chills. Tickets to Keith Urban at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN was a birthday gift from my husband, sister and brother in law. When seeing Keith Urban in concert is on the top of your bucket list and you score this view and eye contact, what could be any more exciting?

A Sweet Escape

"We are just going to Ottawa," I'd say with a shrug of my shoulders and a mildly impressed facial expression as if just going to Ottawa was nothing to get excited about.

In my defense, when someone asked me if we had travel plans this winter I knew what they were really asking. They were really asking if we were going south, and I really wanted to say yes to Jamaica or Mexico or Cuba. I love a seven day vacation on the sand drinking bottomless cocktails and smoking cigars with strangers - long story - but with him on a new diet that I feel would be nearly impossible to follow at a resort and me being insanely paranoid of mosquitoes, going south this year didn't make sense.

Instead we just went to Ottawa. We only saw the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators in a shootout and went to two incredible concerts. We had a car and an apartment to ourselves, did some outlet shopping and ate our way around the city. We attended Mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral because we just so happened to be in the right place at the right time while playing tourist early on Sunday morning, and we drove to Quebec to spend an entire day at Nordik Spa. We even spent an afternoon in bed watching Netflix because apparently we don't do that enough back at home.

We had an amazing time.

So I was wrong. Okay? I admit it. You don't have to escape winter to escape the winter blues. I sounded like a spoiled brat saying 'just' and shrugging my shoulders and making that face. We're lucky to be able to travel at all, and I'm not proud that I underestimated how much fun we could have in our very own country. The truth is, it's the simple things that make me happy and as long as he is by my side, any escape is a sweet escape.

Rachel Emmilee


It's the second of March and this is my very first post of 2017. No holiday wrap up, no list of personal goals, no resolutions set for the new year. What's up with that? I could say I haven't stopped long enough to write but that would be a lie. It's winter and I live in the sticks, and there have been plenty of storm days and power outages that could have been spent curled up with my computer. I've had all the time in the world to keep my blog up to date to be very honest, but life happens. Life happens and it's not always fun to talk about. So I will begin by taking another deep breath, because sometimes that's all a person can do, and then I'll bring you up to speed. But, not actually.


FEELING irritable and a tad bit antisocial. Wanting to avoid crowds, long conversations and people in general. The peace and quiet of my sewing room has been my happy place for the last few weeks.

READING nothing. Amy Schumer's book The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo has been on my nightstand since December 27th.

LISTENING TO old records. There is something very intimate and almost romantic about listening to old records, and I especially love that most record jackets come with the lyrics printed on the inside so you can get drunk and sappy and sing along no problem.

WATCHING way too many shows to list. Girls, This Is Us, Nashville and Portlandia which is hilarious by the way. New Girl, The Big Bang Theory, Kevin Can Wait, SNL and of course, The Bachelor. SPOILER ALERT! I really thought he would pick Corrine and I'm kind of disappointed that he didn't.

PLAYING Catchphrase with anyone who comes to visit and Scrabble with my husband who can't seem to beat me.

WORRIED ABOUT our sweet little dog. He's not a puppy anymore. In fact, he's almost nine years old. I've started to worry about his health and really panic at the thought of losing him.

WORKING ON moving out of one bedroom and into another which requires a lot of lifting, cleaning and reorganizing. The entire idea stresses me out so we're at a bit of a standstill but it has to be done, we need a main level guest room. Also working on dresses, skirts and tops for the spring and summer.

CONSIDERING buying an Endy mattress because it would be our only shot at getting a king size bed up our stairs. It's time we break up with our pillow-top queen mattress; it's ten years old, way too soft and surprisingly too small for the two of us and our dog.

CRUSHING ON young Justin Trudeau and Jason Momoa. Have you seen his Instagram? His smile, his style, his love for his wife and children and the earth... I mean, really?

EATING cheese, crackers, pickles and prosciutto like it's going out of style.

DRINKING too much coffee and not nearly enough water. Oh, and the coldest pop machine known to man happens to be in the staff room at work, so Friday is Pepsi day and I have no shame.

EXCITED FOR my hair appointment next weekend and a sweet escape with Garett in March to see a couple of concerts and take in some rest and relaxation.

EXCITED ABOUT my Babe Cave. I've been spending hours on end in that room sewing, designing dresses and skirts and watching tutorials online. It's glorious.

MISSING quality family time.

AVOIDING exercising every day, cleaning out our fridge and doing laundry.

STRUGGLING WITH sleeping through the night without waking several times to a thirsty and/or anxious dog, therefor I am also struggling to function like a normal human being in the mornings.

HATING Zika Virus. Garett and I took traveling south off the table this year because we feel the risk of contracting the virus is quite high and definitely not worth it. A little part of me dies inside each time someone tells me they are beach bound because there is no place I would rather be right now.

LOVING my new bed sheets, the big mouth SnapChat filter and my little fam.



We Are Gluten Free

My cat, dog, husband and me! We are gluten free!

See what I did there? Sorry, not sorry...

Okay. Real talk. We aren't following a gluten-free diet for 30 Days of Healthy Living bragging rights or because all the cool kids are doing it. Unfortunately my husband has no choice, and while I was hesitant to share that with the whole world via blog post, it's really not something we can keep to ourselves even if we tried.

In the search for our new normal, here are some things we discovered. If you're a newly diagnosed Celiac or if you're living with someone who is, you may find these few tips helpful. The best thing we've found so far is that transitioning from a regular diet to a gluten free diet is a piece of cake. A piece of delicious gluten-free cake, because there is such thing.

You can't keep it a secret so get comfortable talking about it.
As much as you may hate being fussed over or given special treatment, your friends, family and the people serving you at restaurants need to know how important it is that you avoid eating gluten. You have an allergy. You have an autoimmune disease. What you don't know may kill you. They can't just pick the croutons off your salad or thicken the gravy with a *little* bit of flour. Don't be afraid to speak up and point out mistakes you see, and always stress the importance of avoiding cross contamination. It will help you and others in the long run.

Nobody wants to hear your shitty stories.
Pun intended. Guess what? Not everyone with Celiac Disease experiences cramps, urgency and explosive diarrhea when they eat gluten. Need I say more?

Some people just don't get it.

Ignoring comments and memes like this can be a challenge. People! We had allergies to gluten years and years ago too, it just wasn't diagnosed. People ate wheat, barley and rye without knowing that each crumb destroyed the lining of their stomachs leading to malabsorption of iron, protein, calcium and all the essential minerals and nutrients you need to be healthy. Today those people have Osteoarthritis, Anemia, Diabetes, liver dysfunction or worse. But why is it so common all of a sudden, you ask? Think about the difference in the food we eat today verses all those years ago and all the crap we consume. Celiac Disease may be a disease on the rise but it's absolutely not a fad, a trend or something to roll your eyes at.

It's not a death sentence so don't feel bad.
Once I realized how easy it was to avoid gluten and I saw how quickly my husband began to look and feel better, I stopped feeling bad for him. There's no more upset over missing out on Thursday wing night specials or Mom's turkey stuffing. It could be much, much worse.

You're already eating a lot of gluten free foods.
Once you become familiar with other names for gluten and where it's hiding you'll become comfortable shopping in all the aisles of your grocery store. You'll even find that some of the things you've been adding to your shopping cart for years are safe to continue buying. Smartfood Popcorn? Hell yes! Find comfort in knowing that what you throw away can easily be replaced with gluten free alternatives. We found some great sauces, breads, seasonings, condiments, pasta and flour blends that make all of our favorite dishes possible and surprisingly better than before. A post on GF Pantry Staples is soon to come!

Even YOU can change the way you eat.
If you're living with someone who has Celiac Disease you can buy two of everything and carefully watch that the wrong knife doesn't dip into the peanut butter, or you can scrap all the gluten contaminated items in your home and start fresh. With the exception of one small basket of snacks that only I would eat - gluten free or not - our pantry and fridge are fully stocked with gluten free foods therefor all of our meals are prepared that way. This is obviously not a diet I must follow but I choose to follow it at home to support my hubby.

Gluten Free Beer is actually REALLY good.
As a beer drinker my husband was heartbroken to learn that he and Alexander Keith were never, ever, ever getting back together. It became very important that we found a gluten free beer he liked so we spent our life savings on a whole whack of gluten free beer and set up a tasting at home. The jury is still out on low PPM beer like Bud Light, Corona and Heineken. I won't be the one to tell you it's safe, but many Celiacs are confident that Bud Light has so little gluten that it is safe to consume. If anyone with experience would like to comment on this, I'd love the input.

Here are some of our favorites, the best one being "Leave Me Blue" by Good Robot Brewery. Check out Good Robot Brewery (Halifax, NS) here.

You'll learn new skills and become a better home cook.
Don't let anyone tell you that your days of eating comfort food are over. It took some experimenting and a little bit of trial and error, but there is absolutely nothing boring or tasteless coming out of our kitchen. We've had lots of fun trying out new ingredients and modifying our old favorite recipes - which I'll be soon be sharing on the blog, stay tuned!

This picture features GF Breton Herb & Garlic Crackers, President's Choice GF Bread Crumbs and Flour, Catelli GF Pasta, and homemade dipping sauces with GF ingredients.

GF "Big Mac" Salad with Epicure sauce and beef seasoning for kick.

Chocolate Chip Cookies made with President's Choice GF flour. (Recipe soon to come!)

You have to know where to go.
We're on the road a lot so I took it upon myself to search for restaurants that offer gluten free options in all of our nearby towns, on the highway and even in the cities we often visit. I downloaded and printed dozens, and I mean dozens of menus to keep in the car so when we're traveling we'll know exactly where to go to get our fix. No matter what we're craving this collection of menus has us covered and it's already come in handy several times.
* If you live in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick - check out this list of restaurants with gluten free options.

You need support from family and friends.
We can't imagine it's been easy for friends and family to listen to us dissect menu items or make waitresses squirm, especially when there was a time we'd eat anything and everything put in front of us. Still, they've been so great. We even have friends and family that have taken upon themselves to shop for GF foods to have on hand for our visits. To all of our amazing friends and family, thanks for your patience and support.

Rachel Emmilee


Falling Into Fall

I know, I sound like a broken record.

It's officially my favorite time of year and not just because it's sweater weather or because it's time for pumpkin spice everything - but because the rush of summer is over and it's time to fall back into a routine. And so what if my routine is coming home from work, cooking, eating and then watching three hours of television before going to bed?

Okay, maybe it's not all about good TV - even though I am such a sucker for it - it's just, this time of year is like the start of an extended period of 'Me Time' and who doesn't love 'Me Time'? Having time to play with, time to kill and time to spare is so refreshing after a busy summer. However, let me remind you, I live in a small little village that shuts down once the leaves fall so you have to be very creative with your time to stay sane. This is when I read more, get out more often to exercise, become more organized, spend more time in the kitchen and take on more projects around the house. This is also when I start planning our next vacation - looking forward to a getaway definitely makes the colder months more bearable.

Here are some other things that will get me by.

These weekly classes:
  • Zumba
  • Yoga

These weekend musts:
  • Sunday Farmer's Markets
  • Baking and meal planning.
  • Making pickles and applesauce.
  • Family dinner.
These new and returning TV shows:
  • Code Black
  • New Girl
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Mindy Project
  • Kevin Can Wait
  • SNL
  • The Bachelorette Canada (No shame!)

These Books I can't wait to read:

Sydney thinks she’s finally gotten her life together until she discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with who she’d thought was her best friend. After moving out, Sydney is taken in by her neighbor Ridge. He’s a musician, charismatic and sweet, and their chemistry is immediate. But Ridge has secrets of his own that will set Sydney on an even more dramatic emotional roller coaster. Maybe Someday makes you question everything — about friendship, trust, betrayal, and romance.—Sobiya U.

In Thirteen Reasons Why, characters start receiving tapes from their classmate, Hannah, two weeks after she’s committed suicide. The tapes reveal Hannah’s account of how each person contributed to her death, culminating with Clay Jensen, who was hopelessly in love with her. Waiting to discover how he might have pushed her over the edge will keep you up late, flipping fast through the pages.
—India A.

Set in the 1980s, it’s already a nostalgia-filled romp, but what I didn’t expect was how heartbreaking and adorable this romance is. You will cheer and root for Eleanor and Park, bite your nails when things get bad, and lose your mind with love for this adorable underrated story of love.
—Annabelle Burdsal
A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything. - Shauna Niequist

These Sewing Patterns:

(Check my @RachelEmmilee 'SEWING' Pinterest Board for links and original sources!) 
These recipes I can't wait to try:






(Check my @RachelEmmilee 'YUM' Pinterest Board for the links and original sources!)




Summer's Gone Away, Gone Away With Yesterday.

Over the past couple of weeks I've sat at my computer numerous times trying to put Summer 2016 into words. After many unsuccessful attempts to create collages of pictures that perfectly capture the fun we had, I realized it's nearly impossible to touch on it all. The beautiful weddings we've attended, our family reunion, the pool parties, the projects we started and the projects we finished and the road trips. I don't know where to begin. It was truly a great summer and quite possibly the first one I ever let go of feeling refreshed and fulfilled.

With so much going on and so many familiar faces vacationing on Route 19, it's easy to lose sight of the reality that is work Monday to Friday, responsibilities of being a homeowner and the importance of quality time with people you love. I should probably add budgeting to that list, as I tend to stop tracking my spending in the summer months. This summer, not so much. This summer I kicked FOMO to the curb and I loved every minute of my cozy visits with friends, my time spent at the sewing machine and soaking up the sun on the sand and by the pool. I even took pride in choosing a glass of wine and an episode of Big Brother over attending some of the best parties of the year. Laugh all you want. 

It's not officially over but I've certainly had my fill. Summer '16, that's a wrap.