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Throwback Thursday: Nashville 2016

Visiting Nashville for the first time will definitely rank high on my treasured list of life highlights. We traveled with a group of friends including my pregnant sister, her boyfriend, a lifelong best friend of both G and I, and friends from home who know how to make the most of our time together and never fail to make us laugh. The house we shared was so cozy and inviting that we immediately felt at home and often found ourselves sitting around the coffee table with our feet up and a drink in hand playing Catch Phrase instead of touring around the city. That says a lot about the home, but more about the people we shared it with.

On our first night, however, we stayed at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel, which is unlike any hotel I have ever seen. Big and beautiful doesn't even begin to describe it, so I encourage anyone visiting Nashville for the first time to check it out, even just to walk through the extravagant indoor gardens or to eat at one of the many restaurants inside. That …

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.

YOU WILL NEED:
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 bel…

Gluten Free Avocado Toast

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! 
Enjoy!
Rachel Emmilee XO




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.


YOU WILL NEED:
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. Avocado. Tomato. Green or red onion. Feta cheese. Fresh lime juice.
Simply layer the above ingredients however you see fit an…

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 gettingeverything 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 …

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 …

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

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 alrea…

This Is 30

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…

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 m…

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 arejust 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 j…

C U R R E N T M O O D

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 Tatt…